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A Field Guide to Graves of Famous Rock Musicians

Updated on June 5, 2017

Each year, thousands of music fans make a vigil to their favorite musician’s grave sites. At Graceland, in Memphis, Tennessee, where the king of rock n’ roll Elvis Presley is buried, 600,000 tourists pay a visit each year. On May 3, 2016, Graceland celebrated 20 million visitors. If 20 million Elvis fans can’t be wrong, where would your destination be?

Featured: Jim Morrison, Michael Jackson, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Jim Croce, Johnny Cash, Bob Marley, Amy Winehouse and Elvis Presley.

Jim Morrison

People fear death even more than pain. It's strange that they fear death. Life hurts a lot more than death. At the point of death, the pain is over. Yeah, I guess it is a friend.

— Jim Morrison

This is the end, beautiful friend

If Jim Morrison was alive today, he would still be trending. No other rock music icon epitomized his music better than the so-called Lizard King. In addition to Morrison, the Doors was comprised of keyboardist Ray Manzarek, drummer John Densmore, and guitarist Robbie Krieger. Together they created a brand of psychedelic rock music that’s truly their own, with Morrison a self-styled poet. Their very best songs like “Light My Fire,” “Roadhouse Blues,” “People are Strange,” Hello I Love You,” “Break On Through,” and “The End” allowed them to enjoy huge popularity during the late 60s to early 70s, and a cult following even after Morrison’s premature death in his apartment in Paris in 1971. The cause of death is still considered a mystery, although listed as heart failure and no autopsy was performed.

Morrison was buried in Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France. It is also the resting place of Oscar Wilde and Edith Piaf.

Background Informtion

 
 
Birth Name
James Douglas Morrison
Born
December 8, 1943
Place of Birth
Melbourne, Florida, USA
Died
July 3, 1971
Place of Death
Paris, France
Age during death
27
Cause of death
Heart failure
Grave site
Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris, France

Père Lachaise Cemetery

Address: 16 Rue de Repos, 75020 Paris, France
Area: 45 ha
Built in: 1804
Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 8AM–6PM
Saturday: 8:30AM–6PM
Sunday: 9AM–6PM
Famous burials: Oscar Wilde, Edith Piaf, Frederic Chopin, Victor Noir, Moliere, Honore de Balzac, Marcel Proust, Yves Montand, Maria Callas, Simone Signoret, Gertrude Stein, Marcel Marceu, George Melies, Georges Bizet, Ahmet Kaya, Eugene Delacroix, Jean de La Fontaine, Guillaume Apolinaire, Isadora Duncan, Alfred de Musset, Marie Trintignant

Jim Morrison with Pam Courson
Jim Morrison with Pam Courson

Michael Jackson

If you enter this world knowing you are loved and you leave this world knowing the same, then everything that happens in between can be dealt with.

— Michael Jackson

Last moonwalk

Michael Jackson’s destiny was written the day his father thought he was old enough (6 years old) to join his brothers as “The Jackson 5.” They made several record hits—“ABC,” “I Want You Back,” “The Love You Save,” and “I’ll Be There.” Young Michael easily became the main draw, and soon turned solo, and with the release of his 6th album Thriller with the hits “Beat It,” “Billie Jean,” “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’” and “Thriller,” he was on the road to becoming the biggest recording star in the world. He holds several records with 13 Grammy Awards, 26 AMA awards, and 13 number one singles—the most by any other male artist. With his record sales of over 350 million worldwide, the phenomenal kid from Gary, Indiana became the one and only King of Pop.

Michael Jackson died from cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009. His personal physician Conrad Murray found him in his room in Holmby Hills, CA not breathing. Attempts to revive him proved futile, Jackson was pronounced dead at 2:26 p.m. at the age of 50. Worldwide mourning followed his passing.

He was buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Los Angeles, California, United States on July 7, 2009.

 
 
Birth Name
Michael Joseph Jackson
Born
August 29, 1958
Place of Birth
Gary, Indiana, USA
Died
June 25, 2009
Place of death
Los Angeles, California, USA
Age during death
50
Cause of death
Cardiac arrest
Grave site
Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles, California

Forest Lawn Memorial Park--Glendale

Address: 1712 S Glendale Ave, Glendale, CA 91205, USA
Area: 300 acres
Telephone: + 1 323-254-3131
Built in: 1906
Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 8AM–6PM
Saturday-SUnday: 8AM–6PM
Famous burials: Clark Gable, Carole Lombard, Humphrey Bogart, Errol Flynn, Spencer Tracy, Jean Harlow, Robert Taylor, Mary Pickford, W.C. Fields, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Walt Disney, Lon Chaney, Alad Ladd, Tom Mix, Red Skelton, Robert Young, Dick Powell, Wallace Beery, Nat King Cole, Jack Carson, Joe E. Brown, L.Frank Baum, Theodore Dreiser, and many more.

Fans mourn Michael Jackson's death
Fans mourn Michael Jackson's death

Funeral

Among the attendees at his Staples Center funeral were: Mariah Carey, Lionel Ritchie, Stevie Wonder, Usher, Jermaine Jackson, Jennifer Hudson, John Mayer, Queen Latifah, Reverend Al Sharpton, Smokey Robinson, Berry Gordon, Brooke Shields, Kobe Bryant, Magic Johnson.

Buddy Holly

Death is very often referred to as a good career move.

— Buddy Holly

The day the music died

He’s was only 22 years old when the music died. Buddy Holly would’ve gone to make more hits had he not perished in a terrible plane crash off Mason City, Iowa that also took the lives of fellow musicians Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper. Holly’s gift for music makes him a big what if, but even in his short career, he, together with his band The Crickets, left us some memorable hits like “Peggy Sue,” “Everyday,” and “That’ll Be the Day.” He is immortalized in the 1978 biopic The Buddy Holly Story directed by Steve Rash where he is portrayed by Gary Busey.

Holly was buried in the City of Lubbock Cemetery in his hometown of Lubbock, Texas.

Background Information

 
 
Birth Name
Charles Hardin Holley
Born
September 7, 1936
Place of birth
Lubbock, Texas, USA
Died
February 3, 1959
Place of death
Clear Lake, Iowa, USA
Age during death
22
Cause of Death
Plane crash
Grave site
Lubbock Cemetery, Lubbok, Texas

City of Lubbock Cemetery

Address: 2011 E 31st St, Lubbock, TX 79404, USA
Phone: + 806-767-2270
Built in: 1892
Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 7:30AM–8PM
Saturday & SUnday: 7:30AM–8PM
Famous burials: Dirk West, George Andrew Davis Jr., Herman C. Wallace

Buddy Holly statue in Lubbock
Buddy Holly statue in Lubbock

Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper

Ritchie Valens (born Richard Steven Valenzuela) who popularized the song "La Bamba," is of Mexican descent. He was born on May 13, 1941 in Pacoima, California. He was only 17 years old during the plane crash.

The Big Bopper (born Jiles Perry Richardson Jr.) is known for the song "Chantilly Lace." Richardson was born on October 24, 1930 in Sabine Pass, Texas. He was 28 years old when he died.

Eddie Cochran

We may stop lovin' to watch Bugs Bunny, but he can't take the place of my honey.

— Eddie Cochran

Son, you're too young to die

Eddie Cochran taught himself guitar and with a bit of swagger and style turned himself into a matinee idol—a real rock n’ roll icon. With his trademark Gretsch guitar and flashy suits, he is the early proponent of rockabilly with hits like “Summertime Blues,” “C’mon Everybody,” Twenty Flight Rock,” and “Somethin’ Else.” His rebellious attitude and good enough looks were also deemed worthy of Hollywood where he appeared in three movies. He died of injuries in a traffic accident while protecting his fiancée Sharon Sheeley on April 16, 1960.

Cochran was buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, California.

 
 
Birth Name
Edward Raymond Cochran
Born
October 3, 1938
Place of birth
Albert Lea, Minnesota, USA
Died
April 17, 1960
Place of death
Bath, Somerset, England
Age during death
21
Cause of death
Car accident
Grave site
Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Cypress, California

Forest Lawn Cypress

Address: 4471 Lincoln Avenue Cypress, CA 90630 USA
Phone: + 1 888-204-3131
Built in: X
Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 8AM–6PM
Saturday & SUnday: 8AM–6PM
Famous burials: Karen Carpenter, Ken Maynard, Angel Florez

Jim Croce

But there never seems to be enough time

To do the things you want to do

Once you find them

I've looked around enough to know

That you're the one I want to go

Through time with.

— Jim Croce "Time in a Bottle"

One less set of footsteps

You could feel a steady flow of emotion in his voice—which is soft, calm and sincere. Like his song “Time in a Bottle,” the American folk singer and songwriter’s music stands the test of time: “I Got a Name,” “Bad Bad Leroy Brown,” “I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song,” “Operator,” “Photographs and Memories,” and “You Don’t Mess Around With Jim.” His unfortunate death in a plane crash (a chartered Beecher plane near Natchitoches Regional Airport in Louisiana) that could’ve been avoided, killed himself and 5 others on September 20, 1973. Croce has 5 albums under his name, somehow it doesn't feel enough, his songs will stay with us forever.

Croce was buried at Haym Salomon Memorial Park in Frazer, Pennsylvania.

 
 
Birth Name
James Joseph Croce
Born
Januray 10, 1943
Place of birth
South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Died
September 20, 1973
Place of death
Natchitoches, Louisiana
Age during death
30
Cause of death
Plane crash
Grave site
Haym Salomon Memorial Park, Frazer, Pennsylvania

Haym Salomon Memorial Park

Address: 200 Moores Rd, Frazer, Pennsylvania, USA
Phone: + 1 610-644-110
Built in: 1883
Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 7AM–7PM
Saturday & Sunday: 7AM–7PM

Johnny Cash

There's no way around grief and loss: you can dodge all you want, but sooner or later you just have to go into it, through it, and, hopefully, come out the other side. The world you find there will never be the same as the world you left.

— Johnny Cash

Darkness comes for the Man in Black

Cash had been battling with death for most of his life. The brooding country and rock singer, dubbed “The Man in Black” for his propensity for wearing black outfits, is one of the truest icons of music, outliving everyone until the ripe old age of 71, when he finally succumbed to a longtime illness, also by depression over the passing of his great love—June Carter. Cash has left a lasting legacy with songs “I Walk the Line,” “Ring of Fire,” “Get Rhythm,” “A Boy Named Sue,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” and “Hurt”—the cover song by Nine Inch Nails which was featured in several movies. Towards the twilight of his career, Cash had a resurgence, recording some of his best work since his heydays. There will be no one like him ever again.

Cash was buried next to his wife in Hendersonville Memory Gardens in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

 
 
Birth Name
J. R. Cash
Born
February 26, 1932
Place of Birth
Kingsland, Arkansas, USA
Died
September 12, 2003
Place of death
Nashville, Tennessee
Age during death
71
Cause of death
Diabetes
Grave site
Hendersonville Memory Gardens in Hendersonville, Tennessee

Hendersonville Memory Gardens

Address: 353 E Main St, Hendersonville, TN 37075, USA
Phone: + 615-824-3855
Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 24 hours
Saturday & Sunday: 24 hours
Famous burials: June Carter Cash, Maybelle Carter, Rosie Nix Adams, Luther Perkins, Sheb Wooley, Helen Carter, Ferlin Husky, Joe Maphis, Max D. Barnes

Johnny Cash and June Carter forever.
Johnny Cash and June Carter forever.

June Carter

June Carter Cash was born on June 23, 1929. She was 3 years older than Johnny, and they were married from 1968 until her death in 2003. They have a son, John Carter Cash who is also a musician, songwriter and producer.

Bob Marley

“I don’t believe in death, neither in flesh nor in spirit.”

— Bob Marley

Rasta goodbye

His music spans across the globe not just as entertainment but as a symbol of love, freedom and brotherhood in songs such as “No Woman No Cry,” “Redemption Song,” “Is This Love,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Get Up Stand Up,” and “Buffalo Soldier.” Whether with his band the Wailers or as a solo artist, Bob Marley has put reggae to worldwide attention, listened to by everyone from all walks of life, with no barriers for age or creed. Globally recognized and sold more than 75 million records, he is the king of Reggae. In May 11, 1981, Marley died of skin cancer called melanoma which started from his toe (and his refusal to have it amputated due to religious reasons).

His remains is located in a mausoleum in his hometown of Nine Mile, Jamaica.

 
 
Birth Name
Robert Nesta Marley
Born
February 6, 1945
Place of Birth
Nine Mile, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica
Died
May 11, 1981
Place of death
Miami, Florida, USA
Age during death
36
Cause of death
Cancer
Grave site
Bob Marley Mausoleum, Nine Mile, Jamaica

Bob Marley Mausoleum, Nine Mile, Jamaica

Address: Nine Mile, St. Ann's Bay, Jamaica
Phone: + 1 877-610-6996
Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 8AM to midnight
Saturday & Sunday: 8AM to midnight

Amy Winehouse

Life's short. Anything could happen, and it usually does, so there is no point in sitting around thinking about all the ifs, ands and buts.

— Amy Winehouse

No No No

Once in a blue moon, comes a singer with an incredible ear for music, gracious talent and stage presence. Winehouse was at a place in music that she seemed to carry on her own—a fusion of Pop, R&B, and Jazz, and style that’s unmistakably all her own. 6 Grammys and more for hits like “Rehab,” “Body and Soul,” “You Know I’m No Good,” and “Back to Black.” But, everything just happened too quickly, drastically all at the same time. Amy Winehouse was a supernova that exploded at the prime of her career. Karen Heller of the Philadelphia Inquirer wrapped up her career like so:

“She's only 24 with six Grammy nominations, crashing headfirst into success and despair, with a codependent husband in jail, exhibitionist parents with questionable judgement, and the paparazzi documenting her emotional and physical distress. Meanwhile, a haute designer Karl Lagerfeld appropriates her dishevelled style and eating issues to market to the elite while proclaiming her the new Bardot.”

Coming from rehab from crack and suffering from emphysema, Winehouse was holding on thinly to life. She was found dead in her apartment, apparently from imbibing too much alcohol. She was buried on July 26, 2011 at Edgwarebury Lane cemetery in north London.

 
 
Birth Name
Amy Jade Winehouse
Born
September 14, 1983
Place of Birth
Southgate, London, England
Died
July 23, 2011
Place of death
Camden, London, England
Age during death
27
Cause of death
Alcohol intoxication
Grave site
Edgwarebury Lane cemetery, North London

Edgwarebury Lane Cemetery

Address: Edgwarebury Ln, Edgware HA8 8QP, UK
Phone: + 44 20 8958 3388
Built in: 1972
Operating Hours:
Monday-Thursday: 8:30AM–3:45PM
Friday: 8:30AM–3:15PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: 8:30AM–3:45PM

Elvis Presley

Until we meet again, may God bless you as he has blessed me.

— Elvis Presley

Elvis has left the building

42 seems to be too early for a king to die. But, Elvis Presley has already lived his life to the fullest. Over 700 recordings, 600 million record sales worldwide, hundreds of performances, movies, books, awards—Elvis has been inducted into almost all kinds of music hall of fames. His hit singles are just too many to mention: “That’s Alright,” “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Hound Dog,” “Love Me Tender,” “All Shook Up,” “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear,” “Jailhouse Rock,” “Can’t Help Falling in Love,” etcetera etcetera. Elvis left a lasting legacy that cannot be equaled, he is the one and only King of Rock N’ Roll.

Elvis’ death is still the subject of much controversy. The official cause of death is heart attack sustained on August 16, 1977 in his Graceland Estate, where he is also buried.

 
 
Birth Name
Elvis Aron Presley
Born
January 8, 1935
Place of Birth
Tupelo, Mississippi, USA
Died
August 16, 1977
Place of death
Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee
Age during death
42
Cause of death
Heart attack
Grave site
Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee

Graceland, Memphis, TN

Address: Elvis Presley Blvd, Memphis, TN 38116, USA
Phone: + 901-332-3322
Built in: 1939
Area: 5 ha
Operating Hours:
Monday-Friday: 9:00AM–5:00PM
Saturday: 9:00AM–5:00PM
Saturday: 9:00AM–4:00PM

Elvis funeral motorcade
Elvis funeral motorcade

Elvis funeral attendees:

Some of the celebrities that attended Elvis' funeral were: Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie Presley, Vernon and Minnie Mae Presley, Chet Atkins, Ann-Margret, Colonel Tom Parker, Charlie Hodges, George Hamilton, Sammy Davis Jr., James Brown.

Pallbearers: Jerry Schilling, Joe Esposito, Lamar Fike, George Klein, Billy Smith, Gene Smith, Dr. Nichopoulous, and Vernon Presley.

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