Hubert Sumlin
30 Images

Notable deaths of 2011: Music

Hubert Sumlin‘s snarling guitar helped define Howlin’ Wolf‘s sound. Though Sumlin never attained a fraction of the fame of his celebrated boss, he is revered by fellow blues musicians. He was 80. Full obituary

Notable music deaths of 2011 (Paul Hawthorne / Getty Images)
Dobie Gray was a smooth balladeer and soul singer who scored his biggest hit in the early 1970s with “Drift Away.” He worked increasingly as a songwriter, mainly in a country vein. He was 71. Full obituary

Notable music deaths of 2011 (Kevin Winter / Getty Images)
Heavy D helped shaped rap music as the frontman of Heavy D and the Boyz, which fused New Jack Swing with reggae. He later became a record executive and had a successful acting career. He was 44. Full obituary

Notable music deaths of 2011 (File photo)
Roger Williams was of the most popular instrumentalists of the mid-20th century and hit No. 1 on the pop charts in 1955 with his arpeggio-strewn “Autumn Leaves.” Between 1955 and 1972, he had 22 hit singles -- including “Born Free” -- and 38 hit albums. He was 87. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (Lawrence Lucier / Steinway & Sons via Getty Images)
The Scottish singer-guitarist influenced rock and folk greats including Neil Young, Jimmy Page, Paul Simon and Pete Townshend, who credit Jansch’s effect on their music and celebrate his virtuosic playing and evocative songwriting. He was 67. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010  (Jim Dyson / Getty Images)
Robinson owned Sugar Hill Records. The label released “Rapper’s Delight” by the Sugar Hill Gang in 1979. It’s considered the first mainstream hip-hop hit. She also had a solo hit with “Pillow Talk” in 1973. She was 76. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)
The Chicago bluesman, the son of a sharecropper and grandson of a slave, performed with the founders of the art form: Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton, Son House, Tommy McLennan, Sonny Boy Williamson, Big Joe Williams. He was the last of the bluesmen from his generation. He was 96. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010  (Joe Brier / McClatchy-Tribune)
Nick Ashford and his wife Valerie Simpson made up the songwriting and performing team of Ashford & Simpson, which had success at Motown with classics such as “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” and “Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand.” Above, an Ashford & Simpson performance in 1984. He was 70. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (Los Angeles Times)
Songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller’s first No. 1 hit was Elvis Presley‘s “Hound Dog.” They also wrote for the Coasters, the Drifters, Ben E. King and many other artists. A popular musical based on their songs, “Smokey Joe’s Cafe,” opened on Broadway in 1995. Above, Leiber, right, with Elvis and Stoller in 1957. He was 78. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010  (Michael Ochs Archives)
Bob Flanigan, top center, helped form the group at Butler University in 1948 with Hal Kratzsch, left, Don Barbour, bottom and Ross Barbour, right. Between 1953 and 1958, the Four Freshmen won the DownBeat magazine Readers Poll as best vocal group of the year five times.He was 82. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 ()
“Cherry Pie” and “Heaven” were among the hits the metal rock band Warrant had with songs Jani Lane wrote. With his long blond hair and tight leather outfits, he embodied the excess of 1980s “hair metal” rock bands. He was 47. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (John Scarpati)
Tom Garvin was a popular accompanist for vocalists Carmen McRae, Peggy Lee, Lou Rawls and Diane Schuur. He also wrote tunes for the Tonight Show Band. He was 67. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010  ()
Marshall Grant, who worked as Johnny Cash‘s road manager and played bass for him for more than two decades, helped create the singer’s famous sound. He was 83. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010  (Wayne Risher / Associated Press)
A founding member of the band America, Dan Peek’s soft-rock trio had big hits in the 1970s with “A Horse With No Name,” “Ventura Highway” and “Sister Golden Hair.” Above, Peek, center, with bandmates Dewey Bunnel, right, and Gerry Beckley in 1976. He was 60. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (Associated Press)
The saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen‘s E Street Band put his stamp on such Springsteen classics as “Born to Run” and “Rosalita.” He was known both for his full-throttle tenor sax work and his larger-than-life onstage persona as “the Big Man.” He was 69. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (Hillery Smith Garrison / Associated Press)
A founding member of the Coasters, Gardner was also lead singer of the R&B group, whose hits included “Yakety Yak,” “Charlie Brown” and “Poison Ivy.” Above, Gardner, left, with Earl Carroll, Billy Guy and Will Jones. He was 83. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (Gilles Petard / Redferns)
The singer and poet “set the template’"for rap music. He combined social and political commentary with spoken words and musical grooves in ‘The Revolution Will Not Be Televised’ and other songs. He was 62. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (Mischa Richter)
The playwright and Broadway director, who won two Tony Awards, wrote the books for the classic Broadway musicals “West Side Story” and “Gypsy.” His screen credits include “The Way We Were” and “Rope.” He was believed to be 93. Full obituary

Notable film and television deaths of 2010  ()
The singer gained fame with her 1974 hit, “Poetry Man.” She received wide acclaim for her self-titled album, which showed off her multi-octave range and musical versatility. She had suffered a brain hemorrhage in January 2010. She was 60. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images)
Raised in poverty in the West Virginia coal country, she formed a popular bluegrass singing duo with Alice Gerrard before continuing as a solo artist. She was a lifelong advocate for miners, the poor and women, causes that were infused into her music. She was 75. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (Tom Hindman)
The influential steel guitarist played with Buck Owens, Waylon Jennings and Merle Haggard. He was one of the architects of the “Bakersfield sound” of country music, a louder, more rhythmically propulsive version of the music coming out of Nashville in the ‘50s. He co-wrote the hit “Crazy Arms,” which became a No. 1 hit in 1956. He was 82. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (Michael Manning)
The entertainer who came out of Bakersfield helped open doors for a California strain of country music. He charted more than 50 country hits from the 1950s to the 1970s. He created the template for the Nashville Sound, according to one music historian. He was 85. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (File photo)
The West Coast rapper created the blend of singing-rapping known as G-funk. Born Nathaniel D. Hale in Long Beach, he gained attention for two tracks on Dr. Dre‘s 1992 debut “The Chronic.” He lent his baritone vocals to hits by Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg and Warren G and earned a Grammy nomination for the track “Regulate” in 1995. He was 41. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 ()
She dated Bob Dylan for four transformative years and wrote an acclaimed book about Greenwich Village in the ‘60s. The cover of “The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan” shows the couple walking arm-in-arm. She was 67. Full obituary

Notable deaths of 2010 (Columbia)
George Shearing, a top British jazz pianist, came to the U.S. in 1946, then hit on a musical formula that established him in the jazz world and made him one of its leading artists for half a century. Above, Shearing at a party with Lynn Redgrave in 1968. He was 91. Full obituary (Richard Drew)
The composer won five Oscars for films such as “Born Free” and “Out of Africa” and scored Bond films including “Goldfinger,” “Diamonds Are Forever” and “From Russia With Love.” His work on the Bond franchise put him in the forefront of music composers. He was 77. Full obituary

Notable film and television deaths of 2010  (Dave Hogan / Getty Images)
Horton sang “Please Mr. Postman” with the Marvelettes. She was just 15 when she recorded Motown Records’ first No. 1 pop single in 1961. The group had six top 20 singles, including “Beachwood 4-5789,” “Don’t Mess With Bill” and “Playboy.” Horton is pictured above, at left, with Katherine Anderson and Wanda Young of the Marvelettes. She was 65. Full obituary (Motown archive)
With his brother and singing partner Ira, Charlie Louvin created a harmonizing sound that inspired the likes of the Everly Brothers, the Beatles, Emmylou Harris and successive generations of musicians. He was 83. Full obituary  (Tennessean)
Don Kirshner guided the careers of songwriters, launched the Monkees and introduced TV audiences to an array of musicians and comics through his show in the 1970s. He was 76. Full obituary

Notable film and television deaths of 2010  (Joshua Prezan t/ Washington Post)
In a career that spanned seven decades, Margaret Whiting, who was mentored by Johnny Mercer, recorded more than 700 songs, including “That Old Black Magic” and “Come Rain or Come Shine,” and had a dozen gold records. She was 86. Full obituary (File photo)