Musicians We’ve Lost Thus Far in 2023: Crosby, Beck & Verlaine Are Among the Most Notable

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Although it is early in the year, we have already lost numerous luminaries within the wide sphere of the music community.

Below are just some of the artists and music industry influencers who have passed in 2023. They are arranged alphabetically, the person’s name followed by the death date and a brief description of who they were.

If an artist’s name is highlighted, you can click on it to be taken to Best Classic Bands’ full obituary.

Below the list of musical artists, we’ve also noted several other prominent figures whose lives were lost in 2023.

We will miss all of these great talents. RIP.

Burt Bacharach—2/8—Masterful songwriter of hits for Dionne Warwick, Carpenters, B.J. Thomas, and more

Robbie Bachman—1/12—Drummer for Bachman-Turner Overdrive

Bruce Barthol—2/20—Founding bassist of Country Joe and the Fish

Paul Beasley—3/13—Tenor vocalist for the gospel group the Blind Boys of Alabama

Keith Beaton—1/13—Singer with Blue Magic (“Sideshow”)

Jeff Beck—1/10—Trailblazing rock/blues/jazz guitarist

Jeff Blackburn—1/6—Half of the ’60s folk-rock duo Blackburn and Snow; co-writer of Neil Young’s “My My, Hey Hey (Out of the Blue)”

Jerry Blavat—1/20—Legendary Philadelphia disc jockey

Lin Brehmer—1/22—Disc jockey at WXRT-FM Chicago

Victor Brox—2/20—British blues musician

Dennis Budimir—1/10—Guitarist with the Wrecking Crew

Brian Bukantis—2/17—Founder of the long-running record collecting publication Goldmine magazine

Nigel Burlinson—1/18—Music publishing executive with key role in administering multiple song catalogs including the Beatles, Beach Boys, Yes, Supertramp and Bob Marley

Bobby Caldwell—3/14—R&B/jazz singer (“What You Won’t Do for Love”)

Nick “Chinga” Chavin—3/15—Leader of the ’70s band Country Porn

Van Conner—1/17—Co-founder and bassist of Screaming Trees

David Crosby—1/18—Co-founder of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills and Nash; singer/songwriter

Carl D’Errico—1/3—Songwriter who co-wrote the Animals’ hit “It’s My Life” and songs for the Yardbirds and others

Dean Daughtry—1/26—Keyboardist and founding member of the Atlanta Rhythm Section and the Classics IV

Simon Emmerson—3/13—Co-founder of Afro Celt Sound System

Bobbi Ercoline—3/18—Woman pictured on the cover of the iconic Woodstock soundtrack LP

Renée Geyer—1/17—Jazz and soul singer popular in Australia

Jim Gordon—3/13—World-class drummer (with Eric Clapton, Joe Cocker, George Harrison and many others), who was imprisoned for killing his mother

Burt Gowers—1/15—Director of music videos, including Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Robert Haimer—3/4—Half of the duo Barnes & Barnes (“Fish Heads”), along with actor Bill Mumy

Gordy Harmon—1/5—Singer with R&B group the Whispers

Clarence “Fuzzy” Haskins—3/16—Co-founding vocalist with Parliament-Funkadelic

Leon Hughes—3/1—Member of the Coasters

Chuck Jackson—2/16—R&B singer (“Any Day Now”)

David Jude Jolicoeur (“Trugoy the Dove”)—2/12—Co-founder of rap group De La Soul

Howie Kane—3/27—Founding member of Jay and the Americans

Tom Leadon—3/22—Co-founder of Mudcrutch with Tom Petty

David Lindley—3/3—Multi-instrumentalist who worked with Jackson Browne and as a solo artist

Levi Lloyd—1/15—California-based blues guitarist

Glen “SPOT” Lockett—3/4—Producer for SST Records artists incuding Black Flag and the Minutemen

Robin Lumley—3/9—Fusion keyboardist; founding member of Brand X

Steve Mackey—3/2—Bassist with Pulp

Stanley Mieses—2/3—Music journalist for The New Yorker, Newsday and others

Butch Miles—2/2—Jazz drummer who played with Count Basie, Frank Sinatra, others

Joe Millar—2/10—Member of the Irish Rovers (“The Unicorn”)

Johnny Powers—1/16—Rockabilly singer/guitarist

Lisa Marie Presley—1/12—Singer/songwriter and daughter of Elvis Presley

Alan Rankine—1/3—Keyboardist/guitarist for Scottish band the Associates

Keith Reid—3/23—Lyricist for Procol Harum (“A Whiter Shade of Pale”)

Michael Rhodes—3/4—Session bassist who played on recordings by Bob Seger, Johnny Cash, Mark Knopfler, Brian WIlson, Stevie Nicks, Merle Haggard and many others

Larry Rivera—1/30—Hawaiian entertainer who worked with Elvis Presley on the film Blue Hawaii

Gary Rossington—3/5—Guitarist who was the last remaining member of the original Lynyrd Skynyrd lineup

Jerry Samuels—3/10—As Napoleon XIV, one-hit wonder who recorded the novelty song “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” in 1966

Wayne Shorter—3/2—Jazz saxophonist and composer who co-founded the fusion band Weather Report

Huey “Piano” Smith—2/13—New Orleans R&B pioneer (“Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu”)

Floyd Sneed—1/27—Three Dog Night drummer

Phil Spalding—2/5—Bassist with GTR, Right Said Fred and others

Barrett Strong—1/29—Singer of Motown hit “Money (That’s What I Want)” and co-writer of several Temptations hits

Yukihiro Takahashi—1/11—Vocalist for Yellow Magic Orchestra

Ted “Kingsize” Taylor—1/2—Leader of pre-Beatles Liverpool band

Charlie Thomas—1/11—Longtime member of R&B vocal group the Drifters

Anthony “Top” Topham—1/23—First guitarist for the Yardbirds

Tom Verlaine—1/28—Guitarist, singer and primary songwriter for the punk-era band Television

Lillian Walker—2/5—Vocalist with the Exciters (“Tell Him”)

James “Owl” Walsh—3/4—Keyboardist with Gypsy

Fred White—1/1—Drummer with Earth, Wind & Fire

Frank Wyatt—1/11—Keyboardist for Happy the Man

Jeff Young—2/23—Keyboardist for Jackson Browne, Steely Dan and others


Richard Belzer—2/19—Comedian and actor

Louise Harrison Caldwell—1/29—Sister of George Harrison

Bobby Hull —1/30—NHL star known as “The Golden Jet”

Charles Kimbrough—1/11—Best known for his role as news anchorman, Jim Dial, on TV’s Murphy Brown

Gina Lollobrigida—1/16—Legendary Italian actress

Lisa Loring—1/28—Actress who played Wednesday on The Addams Family sitcom

Tim McCarver —2/16—All star catcher and Hall of Fame broadcaster who called 24 World Series as an analyst

Lance Reddick —3/17—Actor who frequently played an authority figure on such TV shows as The Wire, Bosch and Oz

Willis Reed —3/21—The Captain. Inspirational leader of the New York Knicks’ first NBA Championship in the 1969-70 season.

Adam Rich —1/7—Child actor on TV’s Eight Is Enough

Tom Sizemore —3/3—Actor well known for supporting roles in Saving Private Ryan and Heat

Stella Stevens —2/17—Actress who starred opposite Elvis Presley in Girls! Girls! Girls! and Jerry Lewis in The Nutty Professor

Raquel Welch—2/15—Actress and sex symbol

Cindy Williams—1/25—Actress in Laverne & Shirley sitcom and American Graffiti

Best Classic Bands Staff
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