Bix Beiderbecke: Age 28 | Cause Of Death: POOR MAINTENANCE
(b. Leon Bix Beiderbecke, 10 March 1903, Davenport, Iowa, d. 6 August 1931 New York)
Bix Beiderbecke was one of the greatest jazz musicians of the 1920s. His colorful life, quick rise and fall, and eventual status as a martyr made him a legend even before he died, and he has long stood as proof that not all the innovators in jazz history were black. Possessor of a beautiful, distinctive tone and a strikingly original improvising style, Beiderbecke’s only competitor among cornetists in the ’20s was Louis Armstrong but (due to their different sounds and styles) one really could not compare them. ~by Scott Yanow. Troubles led him to take refuge in drink and this swiftly degenerated into chronic alcoholism. One of the legends of jazz, a role he would doubtless have found wryly amusing had he lived to know of it. When he died in August 1931, Beiderbecke was still only 28-years-old.