In Memoriam 2015: The Musicians We Lost NPR Music remembers musicians — singers, songwriters, instrumentalists — and other visionaries we lost in 2015. Explore and celebrate their musical legacies.
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In Memoriam 2015

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In Memoriam 2015

In Memoriam 2015

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

And on this final day of the year, let's recall some musicians we lost in 2015.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

There were many, from soul singer Ben E. King to operatic tenor Jon Vickers.

INSKEEP: And from composer and scholar Gunther Schuller to jazz great Ornette Coleman.

MONTAGNE: Let's hear some of their voices and their music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TAKE ME BACK")

ANDRAE CROUCH AND THE DISCIPLES: (Singing) Take me back.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "STAND BY ME")

BEN E. KING: (Singing) So darlin', darlin', stand by me, oh, stand by me.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONGS, "JUMPIN' IN THE FUTURE," "DIE WALKURE: ACT I, SCENE III, WINTERSTURME WICHEN DEM WONNEMOND")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing in foreign language).

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "THE L AND N DON'T STOP HERE ANYMORE")

JEAN RITCHIE: (Singing) And the L&N don't stop here anymore.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONGS, "THE PELICAN," "FIDDLIN' AROUND," "JUST A CLOSER WALK WITH THEE," "SOUTHERN COMFORT," "WHEN A MAN LOVES A WOMAN")

PERCY SLEDGE: (Singing) When a man loves a woman can't keep his mind on nothing else.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONGS, "LONELY WOMAN," "IT'S MY PARTY")

LESLIE GORE: (Singing) It's my party and I'll cry if I want to, cry if I want to, cry if I want to.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROSE GARDEN")

LYNN ANDERSON: (Singing) I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONGS, "ROSE," "EROS")

ROD MCKUEN: I need mostly love. Everything else must find its place.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONGS, "VIOLETS FOR YOUR FURS," "KISSES SWEETER THAN WINE")

THE WEAVERS: (Singing) Kisses sweeter than wine.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "FUGUE NO. 2 IN C MINOR")

THE SWINGLE SINGERS: (Vocalizing).

(SOUNDBITE OF SONGS, "BRUSHES AND BRASS," "ROUNDABOUT," "ACE OF SPADES")

MOTORHEAD: (Singing) If you like to gamble, I'll tell you how I'm your man, you'll win some, lose some, it's all the same to me.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DANCE TO THE MUSIC")

SLY AND THE FAMILY STONE: (Singing) Get up and dance to the music.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SWEET LITTLE ANGEL")

INSKEEP: Wow, the sound of Lucille, B.B. King's guitar, closing out our tribute to some of the musicians we lost in 2015.

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