12-17: Captain Beefheart Bat Chain Puller 1976 original - Cesaria Evora Miss Perfumado 1997 - Don Ellis Electric Bath 1967 - Grover Washington Jr Mister Magic 1974

1870 – Saverio Mercadante (Italian opera composer, flutist & violinist)
1930 – Peter Warlock [Philip Heseltine] (English-born Welsh composer, music critic & music editor)
1975 – Noble Sissle (American jazz composer, lyricist, bandleader, singer & playwright)
1978 – Don Ellis (American jazz trumpeter, drummer, composer & bandleader)
1981 – Antiochos Evangelatos [Αντίοχος Ευαγγελάτος] (Greek composer & conductor)
1999 – Angelo Mercuriali (Italian operatic tenor)
1999 – Rex Allen (American actor, country singer & songwriter, "the Arizona Cowboy")
1999 – Grover Washington, Jr. (American jazz, R&B & soul saxophonist, singer, composer, arranger & producer)
2000 – Erich Schmid (Swiss composer & conductor)
2001 – Martha Mödl (German dramatic soprano & mezzo-soprano)
2008 – Freddy Breck (German schlager singer, composer, record producer & news anchor)
2010 – Captain Beefheart [Don Van Vliet] (American rock & experimental musician, poet & artist)
2011 – Cesária Évora (Cape Verdean morna & coladeira singer, "the Barefoot Diva")

Okay, I know I've talked about it before, but from now on I really am going to be getting a rid of a lot of the dead weight (heh) from our lists. Most of what takes this blog so long to do is the process of doing all the research, and writing the list, and finding decent images, and putting together the collage. Lately, for obvious reasons, finding viable links has also become a lot more time-consuming, but there's not much I can do about that.

If you think about it, any given day is the anniversary of the deaths of probably thousands of musicians worldwide throughout history, not just the 30 or 40 most famous ones I happen to find out about. Among those 30 or 40 there are likewise some that are going to be less famous than others. So, this is what my rule will be: If you're not famous enough for me to find a Wikipedia article (in some language, not necessarily English) about you, and/or an image of your likeness, you're probably not going to make the cut. Sure, it's brutal. But these people are dead, they can take it.

It's unfortunate that I couldn't find any Peter Warlock (Philip Heseltine) for you. Warlock was one of the more curious musical figures in early-20th-century Britain. He was a fine song composer and music critic who counted composers as diverse as E.J. Moeran and Khaikosru Sorabji among his friends. He took an avid interest in medieval and Renaissance music, and as his pseudonym would suggest, the occult. He experimented with cannabis, wrote dirty limericks, took nude spins on his motorcycle, and practiced flagellation. He was probably bipolar (some have even suggested multiple personality disorder), and his mental instability was not helped by his habit of drinking large quantities of ale. The valves of his gas cooker were left open while he was in his kitchen a week before Christmas in 1930. The cat had been put out of the room. He was 36.


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