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Artists Killed In Automobile Accidents

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The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that an average of 114 people die in car crashes each day in the United States.

Most of these fatalities are caused by drunken driving, speeding or a general disregard for safety. However, the victims also include those who are simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Although we don't like to think about it, every time you get into a car you put your life at risk. Traffic deaths can affect every level of society, and that includes musicians, both famous and not. In fact, musicians are at greater risk because they must travel much of the time to make their living. Long days and nights on the road can be monotonous for the tour bus driver. Combine this with the pressure of making it to the next stop on time and the musician's reputation for hard partying and you have a recipe for disaster.

This playlist includes songs by artists who have lost their lives in automobile accidents.


Artists Killed By Automobile Accidents Playlist

1. Soul Man - Sam & Dave

Dave Prater, the "Dave" in Sam & Dave, was killed in a car accident in Syracuse, GA.

2. Oh Baby Mine - Johnnie & Jack

Jack Anglin, half of the country duo Johnnie & Jack was killed speeding to Patsy Cline's funeral on March 7th, 1963. 

3. Where's My Girl? - Jesse Belvin

Jesse Belvin was the composer of the hit song Earth Angel died in a crash after speeding away from a racially charged integrated concert in Little Rock. 

4. Bang A Gong (Get It On) - T. Rex

T. Rex's Marc Bolan (pictured) was killed while a passeger in a car driven by his girlfriend Gloria Jones on September 16th, 1977.

5. Feel - Big Star

Chris Bell of Big Star died in Memphis, TN, three days after Christmas when his car hit a telephone pole.

6. Corona - The Minutemen

The Minutemen lost the great D. Boon three days before Christmas 1985. He was sleeping in the back of a van driven by his girlfiriend who fell asleep at the wheel.

7. The Only One I Know - The Charlatans UK

Rob Collins, the keyboardist of Charlatans UK died on July 22, 1996 when he crashed his red BMW in Wales.

8. Can't You See - The Marshall Tucker Band

Tommy Caldwell of the Marshall Tucker Band passed away from injuries sustained in a car wreck.

9. Too Much To Dream Last Night - Stiv Bators

While standing on a sidewalk in Paris, Stiv Bators (Dead Boys, Lords of the New Church) was hit by a car. He later died at home of the injuries.

10. Cat's In The Cradle - Harry Chapin

While traveling to a benefit concert, Harry Chapin was killed wafter being involved in an accident with a truck in Jericho, NY.

11. Aerial Boundaries - Michael Hedges

Michael Hedges was found dead in 1997 down a cliff after he lost control of his BMW on a California highway.

12. The Kneeling Drunkard's Plea - The Louvin Brothers

Ira Loudermilk (Louvin) of the Louvin Brothers died with his wife in 1965 after his car was in a head-on accident following a performance.

13. Here Comes My Baby - Dottie West

Dottie West had an 81 year-old neighbor drive her to the Opry, who crashed at high speed. Dottie suffered a rupture of the liver and died a few days later.

14. Need  A Little Sugar In My Bowl - Bessie Smith

Bessie Smith and her fiance Richard Morgan were driving to Memphis when their car was struck head-on by a truck. Morgan survived, Smith's right arm was almost severed, and she bleed to death.

15. Pleadin' For The Blues - Bertha "Chippie" Hill

Bertha "Chippie" Hill was was run over by a car and killed in New York City.

16. The Battle Of New Orleans - Johnny Horton

In 1960 Johnny Horton was killed in an car accident on a Texas bridge after an appearance in Austin. The crash also claimed the life his guitarist, Tommy Tomlinson.

17. San Antonio Rose - Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

Tommy Perkins, the drummer for Bob Willis & His Texas Playboy died after he drove off the H.E. Bailey Turnpike. 

18. Why Baby Why - Red Sovine

Red Sovine died of a heart attack behind the wheel of his car in Nashville. (Okay, maybe he is not eligible)

19. One Hundred Years From Now - The Byrds

Clarence White of The Byrds and The Kentucky Colonels was killed by a drunk driver while loading equipment into his car after a concert.

20. Jack & Diane - John Mellencamp

John Cascella of John Melloncamp's band died in a car accident in 1992.

21. Insect Collector - Shonen Knife

Mana "China" Nishiura, drummer for Japan's Shonen Knife was tragically killed in a three car crash while on tour in the United States with DMBQ.

22. Nerves - Silkworm

Doug Meis, the drummer of the Dials; John Glick, the guitarist for the Returnables; and Michael Dahlquist, the drummer for Silkworm all died in a car accident when a woman intent on suicide, rear-ended the car they were in. She survived and was charged with murder.

23. Mighty K.C. - For Squirrels

On September 8, 1995, the band's van blew a tire and overturned on the way back from a gig at CBGB's. Jack Vigliatura, Bill White, and manager Tim Bender were killed.

24. Sad But True - Metallica

Metallica's Cliff Burton was killed on September 27th, 1986 when Metallica's tour bus overturned after hitting black ice on a Swedish road.

25. Magic Carpet Ride - Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf's bassist Rushton Moreve died in an auto accident at the age of 33. 

26. Don't You Ever Leave Me - Hanoi Rocks

While speeding and driving drunk, Mötley Crüe's singer Vince Neil lost control of his car and crashed. His passenger, drummer of Hanoi Rocks, Razzle Dingly, was taken to the hospital but was declared dead on arrival.

27. Hall Of The Mountain King - Savatage

Lead guitarist of metal band Savatage, Criss Oliva and his wife Dawn were struck by a drunk driver. Dawn survived, Criss died at the scene.

28. Stoopid - Snot

Lynn Strait of the band Snot was involved in a three-vehicle crash resulted in his death. Also killed was Strait's dog, Dobbs, who fans know from his appearance on the cover of Snot's Geffen debut album Get Some.

29. No Scrubs - TLC

Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes died in a car accident in Honduras on April 25, 2002. She was there doing missionary work.

30. Wanna Wanna - Marvin Pontiac

Marvin Pontiac was hit and killed by a bus in 1977

31. Since I Don't Have You - The Skyliners

David Proch of The Skyliners died when his car hit a truck hauling asphalt near Ligonier, about 45 miles east of Pittsburgh.

32. Write Me A Letter - Trapezoid

Freyda Epstein of the group Trapezoid died in 2003 when she was in a head-on crash with a car driven by a man who had just beat and stabbed his girlfriend.

33. Three Dog Jig - Heart Of Gold Band

Keith Godchaux who played with the Grateful Dead and The Heart of Gold Band was killed when he drove into the back of a truck after leaving a toll plaza.

34. A Thin Line Between Love & Hate - H-Town

28 year-old Dino Conner of H-Town and his girlfriend Teshya Rae Weisent struck by a SUV that ran a red light. Both were killed.

35. One Kiss - Eddie Cochran

Eddie Cochran died after the taxi he was riding in crashed into a lamppost on Rowden Hill.

36. Bush Street Boogie - Meade "Lux" Lewis

Meade "Lux" Lewis died in an automobile accident in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 7, 1964.

37. I Do Love You - Billy Stewart

Stewart died at age 33 after his car struck a bridge abutment and plunged into a river. Brake problems were suspected.

38. Swingin' - Clifford Brown

Clifford Brown died with Chris Powell and his wife Nancy. While driving at night on the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Nancy lost control of the car on a wet road, and all three were killed.

39. Yo Tengo Mi Babalao - Polo Montañez

Polo Montañez died in 2002 as a result of a car accident.

40. All The Way - Bob Berg

Saxophonist Robert Berg was killed in 2002 when a cement truck skidded across an icy road and crashed into his sport utility vehicle.

41. The End - Earl Grant

Pianist Earl Grant died instantly in a car accident in New Mexico at the age of 37.

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