1975 in music
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This is a list of notable events in music that took place in the year 1975.
|Years in music:||1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978|
|Centuries:||19th century · 20th century · 21st century|
|Decades:||1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s|
|Years:||1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1978|
- 1 Events
- 2 Also in 1975
- 3 Bands formed
- 4 Bands disbanded
- 5 Albums released
- 6 Biggest hit singles
- 7 Chronological table of U.S. and UK number one hit singles
- 8 Published popular music
- 9 Classical music
- 10 Opera
- 11 Musical theatre
- 12 Musical films
- 13 Births
- 14 Deaths
- 15 Awards
- 16 References
- January 2 - New York City U.S. District Court Judge Richard Owen rules that former Beatle John Lennon and his lawyers can have access to Department of Immigration files pertaining to his deportation case.
- January 5 - The Wiz, a new musical version of the classic Wizard of Oz story, opens at Broadway's Majestic Theater in New York City.
- January 6 - Approximately 1000 Led Zeppelin fans, waiting for tickets to go on sale for Led Zeppelin's February 4 concert, cause an estimated $30,000 in damage to the lobby of the Boston Garden. The fans reportedly broke chairs and doors and caused other damage to the building. Boston Mayor Kevin White cancels the upcoming show.
- January 8 - Three Led Zeppelin concerts at Madison Square Garden sell out in a record four hours.
- January 12 - "The Warner Brothers Music Show" begins a nine city, 18 show tour of Europe. The tour included Warner Brothers acts Little Feat, Tower of Power, the Doobie Brothers, Bonaroo, Montrose, and Graham Central Station.
- January 24 - Jazz pianist Keith Jarrett plays the solo improvisation 'The Köln Concert' at the Cologne Opera, which, recorded live, becomes the best-selling piano recording in history.
- February 13 - The film Slade In Flame, starring the members of Slade, premieres at the Metropole Theatre in London.
- February 21 - John Lennon releases his Rock 'n' Roll LP, featuring his favorite rock songs from the 1950s. To promote the album he conducts a telephone interview with 20 rock radio stations simultaneously.
- March 1 - Jeff Beck releases the album Blow by Blow. It is the first album to be released using just his name.
- March 2 - Los Angeles Police make a routine traffic stop that turns out to be Paul McCartney and his wife Linda. Linda is arrested for having 170 to 225 grams (six to eight ounces) of marijuana in her pocketbook.
- March 21 - Alice Cooper, now a solo artist, begins the Welcome to My Nightmare tour in Kalamazoo, Michigan. The elaborate show is among the largest stage spectacles of the decade.
- March 22 - In the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm, Sweden, the Dutch group Teach-In wins with the song "Ding-A-Dong".
- March 23 - Promoter Bill Graham stages the S.N.A.C.K. (Students Need Athletics, Culture and Kicks) charity concert at Kezar Stadium in San Francisco, California, to benefit the city's educational system. Almost 60,000 people come to see The Grateful Dead, The Doobie Brothers, Santana, Jefferson Starship, Tower of Power, Eddie Palmieri, Joan Baez, Graham Central Station and Neil Young joined by members of The Band along with a surprise appearance by Bob Dylan. It's the largest benefit concert in history to date.
- March 26 - The film version of The Who's Tommy premieres in London.
- April 3 - Steve Miller is arrested and charged with setting fire to the clothes and personal effects of a friend, Benita DiOrio, and resisting arrest. DiOrio drops the charges the following day.
- April 7 - Ritchie Blackmore plays a final show with Deep Purple in Paris before quitting to form his own group, Rainbow.
- April 17 - Cambodian singer-songwriter Sinn Sisamouth and his pregnant wife are among millions forced out of Phnom Penh by the Khmer Rouge.
- April 18 - Alice Cooper's first television special, Welcome to My Nightmare: The Making of a Record Album airs.
- April 24 - Pete Ham, founder of the group Badfinger, is found hanged in his London garage. His death is ruled a suicide.
- April 28 - Tom Snyder interviews John Lennon on the Tomorrow Show.
- May 1 - The Rolling Stones announce their forthcoming North American tour by performing Brown Sugar from a flatbed truck on Fifth Avenue in New York City. The occasion was guitarist Ronnie Wood's debut with the band.
- May 10 - Stevie Wonder performs before 125,000 people at the Washington Monument as part of Human Kindness Day festivities.
- June 1 - The Rolling Stones open their North American Tour in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
- June 20 - Talking Heads perform their first show at CBGB in New York.
- June 23 - Alice Cooper falls off the stage during a concert in Vancouver, breaking six ribs.
- June 24 - "Gens du pays", the unofficial national anthem of Quebec, is performed for the first time by Gilles Vigneault in a concert on Montreal's Mount Royal.
- June 30 - Cher and Gregg Allman are married in a Las Vegas hotel suite.
- July 4 - the Texas Senate declares the Fourth of July "Willie Nelson Day", as over 70,000 fans visit Liberty Hill for the third annual picnic and country rock show headlined by Willie himself.
- August 4 - Robert Plant and his wife Maureen are seriously injured in a car accident while vacationing on the Greek island of Rhodes. The immediate future of Led Zeppelin is cast into doubt, as Plant will not recover for quite some time.
- August 9
- The Bee Gees begin their mid-1970s international comeback when "Jive Talkin'" reaches #1 and goes platinum with sales over 1 million.
- Renato Carosone's comeback concert after a 15-year retirement.
- The first Rock Music Awards, produced by Don Kirshner, are held in Los Angeles, co-hosted by Elton John and Diana Ross. John wins "Outstanding Rock Personality of the Year". The Who's film Tommy, wins "Rock Movie of the Year."
- August 23 - Peter Gabriel leaves British progressive rock group Genesis.
- September 15 - Pink Floyd releases their ninth album, Wish You Were Here.
- September 29 - Singer Jackie Wilson suffers a massive heart attack while performing on stage in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He survives but never physically recovers.
- October 3 - The Who release their seventh studio album The Who By Numbers.
- October 7 - John Lennon finally wins his battle to stay in the United States after the New York Court of Appeals overturns Lennon's 1972 deportation order.
- October 9
- John Lennon and Yoko Ono become parents of Sean Ono Lennon at 2:00 AM. The birth heralds the beginning of John's temporary retirement from the music business as he vows to devote himself to family for the next five years.
- Rock band Kiss earns publicity by playing the homecoming dance of Cadillac High School in Cadillac, Michigan.
- October 18 - Simon & Garfunkel reunite on the second-ever episode of Saturday Night Live on NBC, performing "The Boxer", "Scarborough Fair", and new collaboration "My Little Town".
- October 27 - Bruce Springsteen appears on the covers of both Time and Newsweek magazines on the same week.
- October 30 - Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue tour begins.
- November 6 - The Sex Pistols play their first concert at St. Martin's School of Art in London.
- November 21 - Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" goes to number one in the U.K., where it remains for 5 weeks of 1975 and 4 weeks of 1976.
- December 6 - The Who set the record for largest indoor concert at the Pontiac Silverdome, attended by 78,000 fans.
- December 10 - The John Denver holiday special Rocky Mountain Christmas airs on ABC.
- December 18 - The official break-up of Faces is announced at a London press conference. Rod Stewart will continue his solo career while Ronnie Wood is widely expected to be announced as an official member of The Rolling Stones in the near future.
- December 24 - The first issue of Punk magazine is released with a January 1976 cover date. A drawing of Lou Reed is on the cover.
- December 25 - Bassist Steve Harris forms Iron Maiden, drawing the name from a torture device mentioned in The Man in the Iron Mask.
- December 31 - The fourth annual New Year's Rockin' Eve airs on ABC, with performances by Average White Band, Melissa Manchester, Freddy Fender, and Neil Sedaka.
Also in 1975
- John Rutter becomes Director of Music at Clare College, Cambridge.
- Billy Davis, Jr. and Marilyn McCoo leave the 5th Dimension and start solo careers.
- The Goodies have five top twenty singles (in the UK) becoming, according to Bill Oddie, "the first, the only and the most successful comedy rockers".
- Ramones sign to Sire Records.
- First release of "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda", by John Currie on Australian label M7.
- Brinsley Schwarz
- Faust (reform in 1990)
- The First Edition (Played a few shows without Mickey Jones in 1976 before Kenny Rogers formed a new band)
- The Guess Who (reform in 1977)
- Hatfield and the North
- Humble Pie (reform in 1979, 1989 and 2001)
- Jo Jo Gunne (reform in 2005)
- McGuinness Flint
- Neu! (reform in 1985)
- Stealers Wheel (reform in 2008)
- The Butts Band
|8||Promised Land||Elvis Presley||-|
|16||Forever, Michael||Michael Jackson||-|
|20||Blood on the Tracks||Bob Dylan||-|
|23||Never Can Say Goodbye||Gloria Gaynor||-|
|-||Commoners Crown||Steeleye Span||-|
|Don't Cha Love It||The Miracles||-|
|Down by the Jetty||Dr. Feelgood||-|
|The First Minute of a New Day||Gil Scott-Heron and Brian Jackson||-|
|Flavours||The Guess Who||-|
|It's Time||Bonnie Bramlett||-|
|Modern Times||Al Stewart||-|
|New Year, New Band, New Company||John Mayall||-|
|Picture Music||Klaus Schulze||-|
|Play Don't Worry||Mick Ronson||-|
|Plug Me Into Something||Henry Gross||-|
|Scorching Beauty||Iron Butterfly||-|
|Sunday's Child||John Martyn||-|
|Urban Renewal||Tower of Power||-|
|7||Mister Magic||Grover Washington, Jr.||-|
|12||Have You Never Been Mellow||Olivia Newton-John||-|
|15||Fly by Night||Rush||-|
|16||Bolan's Zip Gun||T.Rex||-|
|17||High Voltage||AC/DC||Australia-only; Debut|
|Rock 'n' Roll||John Lennon||Covers album|
|21||On the Level||Status Quo||-|
|Young Americans||David Bowie||-|
|24||Physical Graffiti||Led Zeppelin||-|
|27||On Your Feet or on Your Knees||Blue Öyster Cult||Live|
|Changing Woman||Buffy Sainte-Marie||-|
|Cold on the Shoulder||Gordon Lightfoot||-|
|Desperate Straights||Slap Happy and Henry Cow||-|
|Dixie Rock||Wet Willie||-|
|An Evening with John Denver||John Denver||Live|
|For Earth Below||Robin Trower||-|
|Mad Dog||John Entwistle||-|
|Pieces of the Sky||Emmylou Harris||-|
|Really Rosie||Carole King||Soundtrack|
|Song for America||Kansas||-|
|Street Rats||Humble Pie||-|
|Then Came You||Dionne Warwick||-|
|Unrequited||Loudon Wainwright III||Studio and live|
|Visions of the Emerald Beyond||Mahavishnu Orchestra||-|
|6||Made in the Shade||The Rolling Stones||Compilation|
|Metamorphosis||The Rolling Stones||Outtakes recorded 1964-'70|
|10||One of These Nights||Eagles||-|
|13||Red Octopus||Jefferson Starship||-|
|16||Why Can't We Be Friends?||War||-|
|20||It's My Pleasure||Billy Preston||-|
|Tonight's the Night||Neil Young & Crazy Horse||-|
|25||One Size Fits All||Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention||-|
|26||The Basement Tapes||Bob Dylan & The Band||Recorded 1967-'75|
|-||Cut the Cake||Average White Band||-|
|The Dream Weaver||Gary Wright||-|
|Dreaming My Dreams||Waylon Jennings||-|
|Greatest Hits||Cat Stevens||Compilation|
|The Heat Is On||The Isley Brothers||-|
|The Hit Man||Eddie Kendricks||-|
|Jasmine Nightdreams||Edgar Winter||-|
|Main Course||Bee Gees||-|
|Michael Bolotin||Michael Bolton||-|
|Return to Fantasy||Uriah Heep||-|
|Rising for the Moon||Fairport Convention||-|
|Trying to Burn the Sun||Elf||-|
|The Tubes||The Tubes||-|
|4||Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow||Rainbow||-|
|15||Atlantic Crossing||Rod Stewart||-|
|18||Daryl Hall & John Oates||Hall & Oates||-|
|Nightingales & Bombers||Manfred Mann's Earth Band||-|
|25||Born to Run||Bruce Springsteen||-|
|27||Love to Love You Baby||Donna Summer||-|
|28||The Best of Michael Jackson||Michael Jackson||Compilation|
|-||Acid Queen||Tina Turner||-|
|Al Green Is Love||Al Green||-|
|Caught in the Act||Grand Funk Railroad||Live|
|Dreamboat Annie||Heart||Canada; released in US Feb. '76|
|E. C. Was Here||Eric Clapton||Live|
|Mellow Madness||Quincy Jones||-|
|Pick of the Litter||The Spinners||-|
|Searchin' for a Rainbow||The Marshall Tucker Band||-|
|So Fine||Loggins & Messina||-|
|Spirit of the Boogie||Kool & The Gang||-|
|Stamp Album||Climax Blues Band||-|
|Win, Lose or Draw||The Allman Brothers Band||-|
|1||Tryin' to Get the Feeling||Barry Manilow||-|
|2||Bongo Fury||Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention with Captain Beefheart||Live + some studio tracks|
|3||The Who by Numbers||The Who||-|
|6||Still Crazy After All These Years||Paul Simon||-|
|10||Come Taste the Band||Deep Purple||-|
|24||History: America's Greatest Hits||America||Compilation|
|Rock of the Westies||Elton John||-|
|Shaved Fish||John Lennon||Compilation|
|-||Against the Grain||Rory Gallagher||-|
|All Around My Hat||Steeleye Span||-|
|Flying Again||The Flying Burrito Brothers||-|
|Godbluff||Van der Graaf Generator||-|
|Lazy Afternoon||Barbra Streisand||-|
|Nighthawks at the Diner||Tom Waits||Live|
|Sun and Steel||Iron Butterfly||-|
|We Sold Our Soul for Rock 'n' Roll||Black Sabbath||Compilation|
|4||Stephen Stills Live||Stephen Stills||-|
|5||Live!||Bob Marley & The Wailers||Live|
|12||Blast from Your Past||Ringo Starr||Compilation|
|Marcus Garvey||Burning Spear||-|
|29||Elite Hotel||Emmylou Harris||-|
|-||Evening Star||Fripp & Eno||-|
|Head On||Bachman–Turner Overdrive||-|
|Heaven and Hell||Vangelis||-|
|Wouldn't You Like It?||Bay City Rollers||-|
Release Date Unknown
Biggest hit singles
The following songs achieved the highest chart positions in the charts of 1975.
|1||Billy Swan||I Can Help||1975||USA - 1, Netherlands - 1, Austria - 1, Switzerland - 1, Norway - 1, Belgium - 1, New Zealand - 1, Germany - 1, Sweden - 1, Australia - 1, France - 1, Denmark - 1, Canada - 2, South Africa - 3, Ireland - 11|
|2||10cc||I'm Not In Love||1975||UK - 1, Ireland - 1, Canada - 1, Brazil - 1, USA - 2, France - 2, Australia - 3, New Zealand - 4, Belgium - 5, Netherlands - 5, Norway - 6, Germany - 8, Switzerland - 8, South Africa - 17, Italy - 24|
|3||Sweet||Fox on the Run||1975||Germany - 1, Australia - 1, South Africa - 1, UK - 2, Canada - 2, Belgium - 2, Netherlands - 2, Norway - 2, Ireland - 2, Austria - 3, New Zealand - 3, Switzerland - 3, USA - 5, Sweden - 10|
|4||Glen Campbell||Rhinestone Cowboy||1975||USA - 1, Canada - 1, Ireland - 1, Belgium - 1, New Zealand - 2, South Africa - 2, Netherlands - 3, UK - 4, Australia - 5, Sweden - 17, Germany - 31|
|5||George Baker Selection||Paloma Blanca||1975||Netherlands - 1, Sweden - 1, Austria - 1, Switzerland - 1, Norway - 1, Germany - 1, Belgium - 1, South Africa - 1, Canada - 5, UK - 10, Italy - 11, USA - 26|
Chronological table of U.S. and UK number one hit singles
Note: best sellers of the year are bold.
Published popular music
- "And All That Jazz" w. Fred Ebb m. John Kander. Introduced by Chita Rivera in the musical Chicago
- "Anytime (I'll Be There)" w.m. Paul Anka
- "At Seventeen" w.m. Janis Ian
- "Calypso" w.m. John Denver
- "I'm Not in Love" w.m. Graham Gouldman & Eric Stewart
- "I'm Sorry" w.m. John Denver
- "Love Will Keep Us Together" w.m. Neil Sedaka & Howard Greenfield
- "Mamma Mia" w.m. Benny Andersson, Stig Anderson & Björn Ulvaeus
- "Movin' On Up" w.m. Jeff Barry and Ja'net Dubois, theme from the TV series The Jeffersons
- "New York State of Mind" w.m. Billy Joel
- "One" w. Edward Kleban m. Marvin Hamlisch
- "Rockin' All Over the World" w.m. John C. Fogerty
- "Wasted Days Wasted Nights" w.m. Freddy Fender & Wayne Duncan
- "The Way I Want To Touch You" w.m. Toni Tennille
- "What I Did For Love" w. Edward Kleban m. Marvin Hamlisch
- "You" w.m. Tom Snow
- Samuel Adler – Symphony No. 5, We are the Echoes
- Osvaldas Balakauskas – Sonata of the Mountains
- Claude Bolling and Jean-Pierre Rampal – Suite for Flute and Jazz Piano
- Mario Davidovsky – Scenes from Shir ha-Shirim for soprano, two tenors, bass soli and chamber ensemble
- Klaus Huber – Blätterlos for piano
- Theo Loevendie – Concerto for Bass Clarinet and Orchestra, Incantations
- Witold Lutosławski – Les Espaces du Sommeil
- Krzysztof Meyer
- Sonata for piano, No. 5
- Sonata for solo violin
- Frederic Rzewski – "The People United Will Never Be Defeated!"
- Karlheinz Stockhausen
- Alexander Vustin – The Word
- Dmitri Shostakovich – Viola Sonata (his final work)
- John Rutter - Bang! (14 March, Fairfield Halls, Croydon)
- Aulis Sallinen - The Horseman (17 June, Savonlinna Opera Festival)
- Chicago - Broadway production
- A Chorus Line (Marvin Hamlisch and Edward Kleban) - Broadway production
- A Little Night Music (Stephen Sondheim) - London production
- Dance With Me - Broadway Production
- The Wiz - Broadway production
- Pacific Overtures - Broadway Production
- January 2
- January 3 - Thomas Bangalter (Daft Punk)
- January 13 - Jason King, radio DJ
- January 15 – Edith Bowman, British radio DJ
- January 24 – Paul Marazzi, English singer (A1)
- January 28 - Lee Latchford-Evans, British singer (Steps)
- January 29 – Kelly Packard, American singer-actress-hostess
- January 30 – Yumi Yoshimura, Japanese singer (Puffy Amiyumi)
- February 1 - Big Boi (OutKast)
- February 4 - Natalie Imbruglia, Australian singer
- February 5 - Adam Carson, drummer (AFI)
- February 6 – Tomoko Kawase, Japanese singer
- February 7 - Wes Borland (Limp Bizkit)
- February 14 – Scott Owen, Australian rock musician (The Living End)
- February 17 - Harisu, South Korean singer, model and actress
- February 18 - Simon Kvamm, Danish singer, keyboard player, and actor (Nephew)
- February 19 – Daniel Adair, Canadian rock drummer (Nickelback)
- February 20 - Brian Littrell, American singer (Backstreet Boys)
- February 21 – Heri Joensen, Faroese rock musician (Týr)
- February 23 - Robert Lopez, composer and lyricist
- March 4 – Hawksley Workman, Canadian rock singer-songwriter
- March 8 - Peggy Zina, Greek singer
- March 10 - Jerry Horton (Papa Roach)
- March 12 - Kelle Bryan, British singer (Eternal)
- March 15 – will.i.am, American rapper/singer of the Black Eyed Peas
- March 17
- March 18 – Sutton Foster, American actress, singer and dancer
- March 25 – Melanie Blatt, singer (All Saints)
- March 27 – Fergie, (Stacy Ferguson) singer (The Black Eyed Peas)
- April 10 – Chris Carrabba, American rock musician (Dashboard Confessional)
- April 14 – Stefano Miceli, Italian conductor and pianist
- 22 April - Anders Nyström, Swedish guitarist (Katatonia & Bloodbath)
- April 26
- May 3 - Maksim Mrvica, pianist
- May 8 - Enrique Iglesias, singer
- May 15 - Peter Iwers, Swedish rock bassist (In Flames)
- May 16
- May 18 - Jack Johnson, singer-songwriter
- May 19 - Jonas Renkse, Swedish vocalist (Katatonia) & bassist (Bloodbath)
- May 20 - Andrew Sega, American musician
- May 25 - Lauryn Hill, singer (The Fugees)
- May 27 - André 3000, vocalist (OutKast)
- May 29 - Melanie Brown, singer (Spice Girls)
- June 2 - Gisle Torvik, Norwegian jazz guitarist
- June 4 - Russell Brand, actor, comedian and DJ
- June 8 - Emm Gryner, Canadian singer-songwriter
- June 23 - KT Tunstall, singer-songwriter and guitarist
- June 26
- June 28
- July 1 – Sufjan Stevens, American folk musician
- July 2 - Erik Ohlsson, Millencolin
- July 5 – Gunnar H. Thomsen, Faroese rock bassist (Týr)
- July 6 - 50 Cent, rapper
- July 9
- July 11 – Lil' Kim, American rapper
- July 12 - Tracie Spencer, American singer and actress
- July 14
- July 18
- July 21 – Fredrik Johansson, Swedish rock guitarist
- July 22 - Aile Asszonyi, operatic soprano
- July 25 - Håvard Ellefsen (Mortiis)
- August 5 – Eicca Toppinen, Finnish cellist (Apocalyptica)
- August 7 - Gaahl, black metal vocalist
- August 27 - Björn Gelotte Swedish guitarist (In Flames)
- August 28 - Marek Szulen, electronic music composer
- September 1
- September 4 – Mark Ronson, British DJ and music producer
- September 8 - Richard Hughes, British drummer (Keane)
- September 9 - Michael Bublé, Canadian big band singer
- September 11 - Brad Fischetti, LFO
- September 16 - Shannon Noll, Australian singer
- September 17 - Constantine Maroulis, American singer (Pray for the Soul of Betty)
- September 21 - Lil Rob, Chicano rapper
- September 22 - Mystikal, rapper
- September 23 – Chris Hawkins, British radio personality
- September 30 – Georges-Alain Jones, French singer
- October 7 – Damian Kulash, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (OK Go and 8in8)
- October 9
- October 14 – Shaznay Lewis, English singer (All Saints)
- October 27 – Max Lilja, Finnish cellist (Apocalyptica)
- October 30 – Ian D'Sa, Canadian rock guitarist (Billy Talent)
- November 1 - Bo Bice, singer
- November 5
- November 6 - Mike Herrera (MxPx)
- November 8 – Ángel Corella, Spanish dancer
- November 12 – Aaron Solowoniuk, Canadian rock drummer (Billy Talent)
- November 14
- November 19 - Tamika Scott, American singer/songwriter and producer
- November 20
- November 25 - Paul Mealor, composer
- December 13 - Tom Delonge, American musician (blink-182)
- December 14 - Justin Furstenfeld (Blue October)
- December 16 – Benjamin Kowalewicz, Canadian rock lead singer (Billy Talent)
- December 21 – Paloma Herrera, Argentine ballet dancer
- December 30 – Yoma Komatsu, former member of the female J-Pop group, BeForU
- January 8 - Richard Tucker, operatic tenor, 61 (heart attack)
- January 11 - Max Lorenz, Wagnerian tenor, 73
- January 16 - Paul Beaver, electronic jazz keyboardist, 49
- January 26 - Toti Dal Monte, operatic soprano, 81
- January 30 - Boris Blacher, composer, 72
- February 3 - Umm Kulthum, singer, songwriter, and actress
- February 4 - Louis Jordan, jazz musician, 66
- February 10 - Dave Alexander, bassist (The Stooges), 27 (pulmonary edema)
- February 13 – Eric Thiman, English composer, 74
- February 16 - Norman Treigle, operatic bass-baritone, 47
- February 19 - Luigi Dallapiccola, composer, 71
- February 22 - Lionel Tertis, viola player, 98
- March 4 - Cornel Chiriac, Romanian record producer, broadcaster and jazz musician, 33 (murdered)
- March 14 - Will Mastin, American vaudevillian
- March 15 - Sandy Brown, jazz musician, 46 (heart attack)
- March 16 – T-Bone Walker, African-American musician (b. 1910)
- March 27 - Sir Arthur Bliss, Master of the Queen's Musick, 83
- April 12 – Josephine Baker, African-American dancer (b. 1906)
- April 14 - Michael Flanders, lyricist, actor, humorist and singer (Flanders and Swann), 53 (intracranial berry aneurysm)
- April 23 - Pete Ham, singer and songwriter (Badfinger), 27 (suicide)
- May 2 - Conchita Badía, operatic soprano, 77
- May 13 - Bob Wills, American Western swing bandleader, 70
- May 18 - Leroy Anderson, American composer and conductor, 66
- June 4 - Frida Leider, operatic soprano, 87
- June 7 - Robert Schmertz, American folk musician and architect, 77
- June 16 - Don Robey, songwriter and producer, 72
- June 21 - David Tamkin, composer, 68
- June 29 - Tim Buckley, singer-songwriter, 28 (drug overdose)
- July 5 - Gilda Dalla Rizza, operatic soprano, 82
- July 10 - Ernst Fischer, composer, 75
- July 14 - Zutty Singleton, American jazz drummer, 77
- July 19 - Lefty Frizzell, Country Music Hall of Fame singer, 47 (stroke)
- August 8 - Julian Cannonball Adderley, American saxophonist (b. 1928)
- August 9 - Dmitri Shostakovich, composer, 68 (heart attack)
- August 10 - Neva Carr Glyn, operatic contralto, 67
- September - Flora Perini, operatic soprano, 87
- September 5
- September 6 - Shelton Brooks, Canadian-born African American song composer, 89
- September 20 - Vincent Lopez, American bandleader (b. 1895)
- October 1 - Al Jackson, Jr., R&B drummer, 39 (shot)
- October 28 - Oliver Nelson, jazz saxophonist, 43
- October 30 - John Scott Trotter, U.S. arranger and conductor
- December 8 - Gary Thain, rock bassist, 27 (heroin overdose)
- December 14 - Mongezi Feza, jazz trumpeter and flautist, 30 (pneumonia)
- December 17
- December 24
- December 25 - Julio Cueva, trumpeter, bandleader and composer, 78
Country Music Association Awards
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Eurovision Song Contest
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