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While striking miners are enjoying a Christmas Party in The Italian Hall, Calumet, Michigan, USA, a mass panic is caused when someone shouts 'Fire!'. In the ensuing rush for the doors, seventy-three people are trampled to death, fifty-nine of them
children. The horrific tragedy, known as The Italian Hall Disaster
, will be recorded in Woody Guthrie
's 1941 song, 1913 Massacre
Singer, dancer and silent movie actor Dustin Lancy Farnum dies of kidney failure, aged 55, in New York City, USA.
Popular singer and pioneering recording artist Dan W. Quinn
dies aged 79 of intestinal cancer in New York City, USA.
Revered politically-active folk singer and songwriter Pete Seeger
marries his girlfriend Toshi Aline Ohta
. The couple will remain together until her death at the age of 91.
, an outstanding Chicago-based blues and boogie pianist and recording artist, dies aged 42 in Chicago, Illinois, USA. His son, Gene Ammons
, will go on to be a highly respected saxophone player.
Jazz guitar legend Django Reinhardt
dies in Fontainebleau, France, aged 43, following a brain hemorrhage which struck him as he walked home after playing in a Paris club.
During the Winter Dance Party Tour, Buddy Holly
, Big Bopper
and Ritchie Valens
are all killed in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, USA. The incident will inspire numerous tribute songs, but it is most popularly identified as "the day the music died" in Don McLean
's huge hit single American Pie
records Suicide Won't Satisfy, Blue S uede Shoes and I Wonder If I Care at Andrus Studios, Houston, Texas, USA.
Popular French singer Marcelle Bordas
dies aged 61 in Ile-de-France, Paris, France, Europe.
, is born in Stockholm, Sweden, Europe.
Johnny Hedlund, vocalist of Swedish death metal band
Revered country music fiddler and recording artist Clayton McMichen dies in Battletown, Kentucky, USA.
, blues vocalist and pioneering recording artist, dies in Harlem Hospital, New York City, USA, aged 76.
Influential bandleader, singer and recording artist Ted Lewis
dies aged 80, in New York City, USA. Ted Lewis's band was second only to the Paul Whiteman
Orchestra in popularity during the 1920s.
dies in Long Island, New York, USA. Blaine first found success as a jazz bandleader, recording eighteen tracks for Master and Bluebird Records
in the late 1930s, before going on to found such r'n'b/rock record labels as Jubilee, Josie
, Port, Dana and Chex.
Jazz pianist, composer and arranger Lennie Tristano
dies aged 59, of a heart attack at home in Jamaica, New York City, USA.
Sid Vicious dies of a heroin overdose in the apartment of his actress/girlfriend Michelle Robinson, in New York City, USA.
Recently deceased blues and jazz pianist, Amos Milburn
is buried in Houston Memorial Cemetary, Houston, Texas, USA.
Pioneering jazz trombonist and recording artist Preston Jackson
dies in Blytheville, Arkansas, USA.
guitarist and founder-member of Swiss metal band Krokus
commits suicide by hanging himself on Christmas Eve. Kiefer was a long-term heroin addict.
James Vance, one of two American teenagers who shot himself three years earlier after listening to the Judas Priest
album Stained Class, dies.
, the first female rapper signed to Motown
Records, dies in her sleep at the home of a friend in Los Angeles, California, USA. Having been born with epilepsy she required daily treatment to prevent seizures. Her death came while she was making her second LP.
Brian May of Queen reveals on a UK tv breakfast show that Freddie Mercury knew he had AIDS for five years before his death.
An audience member rushes the stage at a Jimmy Page
concert in The Palace, Auburn Hills, Michigan, USA, determined to stab the guitarist and thus end his 'Satanic' music. Two security guards who apprehend him are stabbed instead, but recover.
Stig Anderson, manager of Abba
and writer of over 3,000 song lyrics, dies of a heart attack in Stockholm, Sweden, Europe, aged 66.
Jazz crooner Mel Torme
, known as the Velvet Fog, dies of a stroke in Los Angeles, California, USA, aged 73.
Derek Bell, harpist of internationally successful irish folk band The Chieftains, dies in Phoneix, Arizona, of a heart disorder.
issues a statement on the death of Ray Charles
: "I am saddened to hear of the death of my friend, Ray Charles
. He was a true legend...an American Treasure. His music is timeless; his contributions to the music industry...unequaled; and his influence, unparalleled. His caring and humility spoke volumes. He paved the way for so many of us, and I will forever remember him in my heart."
, best-known as a recording engineer and producer at Elektra Records
in Los Angeles, California, USA, dies of lung cancer
in Portland, Oregon. Richmond was also an acclaimed bass player, working with Eric Von Schmidt, Tom Rush
, The Charles River Valley Boys and many others, as well as being co-founder of The Jim Kweskin Jug Band.
Revered British jazz guitar improviser Derek Bailey
dies of motor neurone disease.
dies at home, aged 55, in Austin, Texas, USA. Taylor first became internationally famous as country-rocker Joe Ely
's blistering lead guitar player, and also forged a successful blues-oriented solo career.
The day after the death of Michael Jackson
, The Los Angeles County Coroner's office says that an autopsy did not reveal any signs of foul play or external trauma, and orders toxicology tests that could take up to six weeks to complete.
Calypso singer Cy Grant
, remembered by millions for his frequent appearances singing topical songs on BBC tv show Tonight in the 50s and 60s, dies aged 90
, in London, UK.
Actor Fess Parker
, who scored a worldwide hit with the tv show theme song The Ballad Of Davy Crockett in 1955, dies aged 85 of natural causes
at his home near the Fess Parker Winery in Santa Ynez, California, USA.
Influential rapper Guru
, best-known as front man for Gang Starr, dies in New York City
, USA, aged 43, after a long battle with cancer. He had been in a coma for several weeks.
Country music hitmaker Billie Jo Spears
dies aged 74 of cancer in Vidor, Texas, USA.
is found dead, aged 48
, in the bath in a room at The Beverly Hilton Hotel, Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, USA. LA police say that there are no suspicious circumstances.
Lover's Rock reggae artist Trevor Spar ks
dies from a stroke in Chicago, Illinois, USA. For some years before his death he had been confined to a wheelchair following injuries sustained in a car accident.
Juke music pioneer DJ Rashad dies aged 34
in his apartment in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The cause of his death in not immediately revealed.
dies aged 81 of pancreatic cancer
, USA. As a session bass player with famed studio session team The Wrecking Crew
in the 1960s, he appeared on hits by The Association
, Ricky Nelson
, Scott McKenzie, The Grass Roots, The Mamas And Papas, Simon And Garfunkel
, The Carpenters
, The Monkees
, Herb Albert And The Tijuana Brass, Gram Parsons, Helen Reddy, Johnny Rivers
, Richard Harris, America, The Fifth Dimension and countless others.