Phil Brodie Band Info Page
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Scott Joplin (49) African-American composer
and pianist, born in Bowie County, Texas, into the first post-slavery generation.
Settling in Sedalia, Mo., in 1895, he studied music at the George R. Smith College
for Negroes hoping to become a concert pianist, but he achieved fame for his unique
ragtime compositions, and was dubbed the "King of Ragtime". During his
career, he wrote forty-four original ragtime pieces, one ragtime ballet, and two
operas. One of his first pieces, the "Maple Leaf Rag", became ragtime's
first and most influential hit, and remained so for a century. Moving
to New York City in '07, he wrote an instruction book, The School of Ragtime,
outlining his complex bass patterns, sporadic syncopation, stop-time breaks, and
harmonic ideas, which were widely imitated. Scott
and ragtime was stimulated in the 1970s by the use of his music in the Academy
Award-winning score to the film The Sting. Also in 1970 he was inducted into the
Songwriters Hall of Fame by the National Academy of Popular Music and in 1976
he was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize for his special contribution to American
music (Scott suffered a nervous
breakdown and collapse in 1911, and by 1916, he was suffering from tertiary syphilis,
then in January 1917, he was admitted to a
mental institution, Manhattan State Hospital, where
he sadly died a few months later) b. November
1979: Bruno Coquatrix (68) French
songwriter and music impresario
born in Ronchin. He made himself known as songwriter-composer, writing over 300
songs including Mon ange; Clopin-clopant; Cheveux dans le vent, as well as some
was also the impresario of some French singers, e.g. Jacques Pills and Lucienne
Boyer. Bruno also managed the variety theatre Bobino before he took over the Olympia,
Europes biggest music hall in 1954. He then staged all the eras celebrities,
including Georges Brassens, Jacques Brel, Gilbert Bécaud, Johnny Hallyday,
Dalida, Édith Piaf, Annie Cordy, Mireille Mathieu, Yves Montand, and so
many others. He also co-founded a record company, the Disques Versailles (?)
b. August 5th 1910.
1981: Eua Sunthornsanan (71) Thai composer and
born in Amphawa, Samut Songkhram Province. A pioneer in introducing Western music
into Thai popular culture, he founded the Suntaraporn band in the 1940s, Thailand's
best-known big band, it continues to play concerts and special functions. In 1936
he started composing scores for Thai films, and combined jazz and Western classical
music with traditional Thai classical music. It was an already established genre,
called phleng Thai sakol, but with his compositions, he greatly expanded the repertoire.
With his own popular big band, Suntaraporn, phleng Thai sakol found a wider audience
lost to cancer) b.
January 21st 1910.
Marvin Gaye/Marvin Pentz Gay, Jr. (44) Legendary
Motown singer, pianist, drummer, songwriter,
with a three-octave vocal range. Starting as a member of the doo-wop group The
Moonglows in the late fifties, he ventured into a solo career after the group
disbanded in 1960 signing with the Tamla subsidiary of Motown Records. After a
year as a session drummer, Marvin ranked as the label's top-selling solo artist
during the sixties. Due to solo hits including "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved
by You)", "Ain't That Peculiar", "I Heard It Through the Grapevine"
and his duet singles with singers such as Mary Wells and Tammi Terrell, he was
crowned "The Prince of Motown" and "The Prince of Soul". Notable
for fighting the hit-making but restrictive Motown process in which performers
and songwriters and producers were kept separate, he proved with albums like his
1971 What's Going On and his 1973 Let's Get It On that he was able to produce
music without relying on the system, inspiring fellow Motown artists such as Stevie
Wonder and Michael Jackson to do the same. (tragically shot
dead by his father during a violent argument, the day before his 45 birthday.
Marvin's relatives claimed that he had purposely pushed his father to the edge
instead of having to commit suicide) b. April 2nd
Nigel Preston (32) British drummer; a founding member of The Death
Cult and The Cult. He also played and recorded with Sex Gang Children, Theatre
of Hate, The Gun Club, and The Baby Snakes. His
biggest hit was "She Sells Sanctuary" by The Cult from their "Love"
L.P. In March 1985, The Cult recorded their fourth single, "She Sells Sanctuary",
which charted at #15 in the UK charts. It re-entered the charts at #56 in September
1986, spending 14 consecutive weeks on the charts. The song was recently voted
No.18 in VH1's Indie 100. Preston refused to accept being put on wages after the
song became a hit and parted company with the band in June of 1985 (an
apparent overdose) b. July 1959
Walter Andreas Schwarz (78) German
singer, songwriter, novelist, Kabarettist, author of radio dramas and translator.
In 1956, he competed with his own composition "Im Wartesaal zum großen
Glück" in the German national final for the Eurovision Song Contest
and won. Along with Freddy Quinn, he therefore became the first German entrant
in the competition. The song was released as a single but commercially, it was
not very successful. Other notable records were not released. He went on to become
a successful author of novels and especially radio dramas. One of his last contirbutions
was an adaption of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy in 1990 and 1991, which
included 17 episodes (?) b.
Rozz Williams/Roger Painter (34)
American deathrock vocalist, a pioneer of deathrock,
most famous for fronting the bands Christian Death and Shadow Project, the latter
with his then wife, Eva O. He took the name of Rozz Williams from a gravestone
he found in Pomona cemetery. His first bands were called The Crawlers, The Upsetters,
The Asexuals and
Daucus Karota before he went on to form Christian Death in late 1979. The band
broke up temporarily in 1981, and Rozz formed Premature Ejaculation. Other musical
projects he was involved in include Heltir and EXP Premature Ejaculation. He also
recorded several solo albums including ''Every King a Bastard Son'', ''The Whorse's
Mouth'', ''Live In Berlin'', ''Accept The Gift of Sin'' (Suicide,
found by Ryan Wildstar, his roommate of 7 years, hanged to death in their West
Hollywood apartment) b.
November 6th 1963.
Jesse Stone (97) American rhythm and blues
musician and songwriter whose influence spanned a wide range of genres. He also
used the pseudonyms Charles Calhoun and Chuck Calhoun. Born in Atchison, Kansas,
by 1926 he had formed a group, the Blue Serenaders, and cut his first record,
"Starvation Blues", in 1927. For the next few years he worked as a pianist
and arranger in Kansas City, recording with Julia Lee among others, and then in
the 1930s organised a larger orchestra. In 1953 he wrote Ray Charles' hit "Losing
Hand", and also wrote "Money Honey", which became the first hit
record for The Drifters, topping the national R&B chart for 11 weeks. The
following year, he arranged "Sh-Boom" by The Chords. His best known
composition as Calhoun was "Shake, Rattle and Roll". In 1960, he served
as arranger and orchestra director for a session for LaVern Baker which produced
four songs including the hit Bumble Bee. Jesse was honored by the Rhythm and Blues
Foundation in 1992 with a Pioneer Award (?)
November 16th 1901.
2001: Trinh Cong Son (62) Vietnamese composer,
musician, painter and songwriter. He, along with Pham Duy and Van Cao, is widely
considered one of the three most salient figures of modern (non-classical) Vietnamese
Cong wrote over 500 songs, and, during the 1960s and 1970s, Joan Baez dubbed him
the Bob Dylan of Vietnam for his moving antiwar songs. He became one of South
Vietnam's best-known singer-songwriters, after his first hit, Uot mi/Tearing 'Lashes
in 1958 (?) b. February 28th
2003: Leslie Cheung Kwok-Wing (46) Hong
Kong singer, director and film actorborn in Kowloon,
Hong Kong; he was considered as "one of the founding fathers of Cantopop",
and he combined a hugely successful film and music career. In 1977, he won second
prize by singing Don McLean's "American Pie" at the Asian Music Contest
held by Rediffusion Television. He signed a contract with RTV, which became Asia
Television Limited and began his career in the entertainment industry. He also
signed a music contract with Polydor Records, releasing Day Dreaming in 1977 and
Lover's Arrow in 1979. He soon became an icon and in
2000, Leslie was named Asian Biggest Superstar by China Central Television, and
voted/ranked the 1st as The Most Favorite Actor in 100 Years of Chinese Cinema
in 2005 (Leslie committed suicide at 6:41pm. Sadly he had
been suffering from severe clinical depression for a year and leapt to his death
from the 24th floor of the Mandarin Oriental hotel, located in the Central district
of Hong Kong Island) b. September 12th 1956.
2004: Paul Atkinson (58)
UK guitarist for legendary rock band The Zombies along
with Rod Argent, Colin Blunstone, Chris White and
Hugh Grundy, scoring US hits in the mid- and late-1960s with "She's Not There",
"Tell Her No", and "Time of the Season". He later became an
artists and repertoire executive, discovering and signing such bands as ABBA,
Bruce Hornsby, Mr. Mister, Judas Priest, and Michael Penn. On 25 November, 1997,
all five Zombies reunited at the Jazz Cafe in London's Camden Town as part of
a solo show by Colin Blunstone, to perform "She's Not There" and "Time
of the Season". (sadly died in a Santa Monica, California hospital of a liver
and kidney disease) b. March 19th
2004: Nilo Soruco/Danilo
Soruco Arancibia (76) Bolivian singer-songwriter;
a communist, he was banned under the Bolivian leadership of the 1970s and was
in exile in Caracas, Venezuela until 1978.
He wrote more than 300 songs, including Instantánea, "La
vida es linda", "Ya la pagarán", Duraznero,
and particularly "Caraqueña", composed in
his Venezuelan exile. Danilo won Bolivia's National Culture Prize in 2003
b. July 6th 1927.
2005: Alexander Brott/Joël Brod (90)
Canadian violinist and composer, born in Montreal; he earned degress from
the Schulich School of Music at McGill University (MU) and the Juilliard School.
He began his career as a concert violinist in the 1930s and joined the faculty
at the MU, teaching there until his retirement in 1980. He founded the McGill
Chamber Orchestra and was
leader of the Montreal Orchestra, Les Concerts symphoniques de Montréal
and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra from 1945 to 1958. In 1939, he joined the
Faculty of Music at McGill University, where he remained until 1980. His compositions
included Arabesque, Circle, Triangle, 4 Squares, and Paraphrase in Polyphony.
He was also the founder and musical director of the McGill Chamber Orchestra.
He also conducted the Kingston Symphony from 1965 to 1981. In 1979 he was made
a Member of the Order of Canada and in 1988 he was made a Knight of the National
Order of Quebec (?)
b. March 14th 1915
Jack Keller (68) American songwriter native of Brooklyn, New York;
after writing hits for the Chordettes and the Poni-Tails, he got his big break
late 1959 when he joined Al Nevins and Don Kirshner's
publishing company, Aldon Music. Here, together Jack and Howard Greenfield wrote
'My Heart Has A Mind Of Its Own', 'Everybody's Somebody's Fool' and 'Breakin'
In A Brand New Broken Heart', all smash hits for Connie Francis, and Jimmy Clanton's
'Venus In Blue Jeans'. With Gerry Goffin he wrote 'No One Can Make My Sunshine
Smile' and 'How Can I Meet Her' for the Everly Brothers, 'Run To Him' and 'A Forever
Kind Of Love' for Bobby Vee, plus hits for Brenda Lee, Little Eva, the Cookies
and others. In 1963, he moved to LA and began writing theme tunes for Columbia's
TV shows, including Bewitched, Gidget, Hazel, The Flying Nun and, later, Here
Come The Brides, out of which came the Perry Como hit 'Seattle'. His compositions
continued to be recorded by Frank Sinatra, Patti Page, Mama Cass and other stars.
He also worked with the Monkees, co-producing both their first album and the theme
song from their hit TV series. His other producer credits included records by
Tony Orlando, Hoyt Axton, Jewel Akens, Sally Field and the Lewis & Clarke
later years he was a staff writer with United Artists Music in Hollywood before
moving his family to Nashville in 1984 (sadly died of leukemia)
November 11th 1936.
Duane Jarvis (51) American guitarist,
singer-songwriter; influenced by BB King, The Who, The Kinks, and The Rolling
Stones he was part of a blues band and a power pop group while in his teens. He
went on to record songs with many rock and roll and country music performers,
including Frank Black, Peter Case, Rosie Flores, John Prine, Amy Rigby, Lucinda
Williams and Dwight Yoakam. In
addition to his collaborations, which included co-writing "Still I Long For
Your Kiss", a song on Lucinda Williams's Grammy-winning album "Car Wheels
on a Gravel Road", he also released a number of solo albums including "D.J.'s
Front Porch", "Far From Perfect" and "Certified Miracle"
(sadly lost to colon cancer) b.
August 22nd 1957.
Pedro Infante Jr. (59) Mexican actor and singer, son of Pedro Infante
2009: Margreta Elkins AM (78) Australian mezzo-soprano;
she sang at Covent Garden and with Opera Australia,
Dublin Grand Opera Company, the Carl Rosa Opera Company and other companies. She
made a number of recordings, including singing alongside sopranos such as Maria
Callas and Joan Sutherland. She went freelance in 1980 and recorded Elgar's Sea
Pictures with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in 1983, a recording which is
often compared favourably with Dame Janet Baker's; 11 June 1984, she was made
a Member of the Order of Australia and awarded an honorary doctorate from the
University of Queensland in 1986. In 1990 she appeared as Azucena in Il trovatore
for Queensland Lyric Opera. She returned to the stage once more
in 2002, as Mamma Lucia in Cavalleria rusticana for
Opera Queensland where she was an honorary life member (sadly
died after fighting cancer)b. October 16th 1930.
2013: Johnnie "Mr. Johnnie" Billington
(76) American blues guitarist, singer and teacher;
born in the Delta community of Crowder, Miss., his father bought him a guitar
when he was ten years old, he taught himself the instrument by playing along with
the performances on the radio. Within three years he was performing in local clubs
with a small band. He left the Delta in 1954, ending in Chicago, where he and
new his band would play the brutal Chicago blues clubs at night, frequently performing
with legends like Muddy Waters and Elmore James. He returned to Mississippi in
1977. Performing at night and working during the day in his own auto repair shop
in Clarksdale, he began opening his repair shop at night as a rehearsal space,
teaching the kids how to play blues music, as well as the history of the blues
and the Mississippi Delta. Grants from the Mississippi Arts Commission allowed
him to expand his efforts, and in the early 1990s he formed the non-profit Delta
Blues Education Fund that provided free year-long blues music instruction to the
area youth. Around the world he has received many accolades for his selfless work
in the blues, including The Blues Foundation's "Keeping The Blues Alive"
education award, the Mississippi Arts Commission's Folk Arts Fellowship, and the
Artist Achievement Award from the Mississippi Governor's Awards For Excellence
In The Arts, among many other honors (sadly Johnnie
died from complications suffered from an earlier heart attack)
b. April 11th 1935
2014: King Fleming/Walter Flemming
(91) American jazz pianist, born in Chicago.
After playing trombone in the McKinley High School band, he went on to study at
the Midwest College of Music. He had already led several informal bands before
King Fleming and His Swing Band first performed in September 1942. In 1945, he
started doing session work in LA and joined Johnnie Alston & His All Stars
for recording dates backing Wynonie "Blues" Harris after which he joined
the Swing combo Oliver "King" Perry's Pied Pipers. In 1950 he was a
member of the Dallas Bartley Quartet, and that summer he recorded as a session
pianist for the vocal group, the Dozier Boys, at Chess Records and later that
year he joined Oliver Coleman's Palmaires. Then in 1954 he recorded under his
own name on the Blue Lake label. Walter and his trio worked the Chicago area many
years and recorded again in 1996 on the Southport label (died
from natural causes) b. May 4th 1922.
Roel Cortez (47) Filipino singer-songwriter,
noted in the 80s for his hits such as pinasikat Baleleng, daughter of Peace, Filipina
in Japan, I'm hurt and many others (sadly died from
colon cancer) b. 1967.
Cynthia Lennon née Powell (75) British
author, first wife of John Lennon born in Blackpool; at the age of 12, she was
accepted into the Junior Art School, and was later enrolled in the Liverpool College
of Art, where John Lennon also studied. She and John were married on August 23rd
1962 at the Mount Pleasant register office in Liverpool.The Lennons' son, John
Charles Julian Lennon, was born at 7.45 am on 8 April 1963, in Sefton Hospital,
but John being on tour at the time, did not see his son until three days later.
In 1964, they lived at Kenwood in Weybridge, where she kept house and accompanied
John in a London-based social life. In 1968, John left her for Yoko Ono; the couple's
divorce was legally granted on November 8th 1968. (sadly
Cynthia died fighting cancer) b. September 10th 1939
Dave Ball (65) English guitarist, born in Birmingham;
he started in the band Big Bertha, before replacing Robin Trower, in Procol Harum
in 1970. He can be heard on the group's live album, Procol Harum Live with the
Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, but left during the recordings for their 1973 album
Grand Hotel, in Sept 1972. Dave then formed the rock band Bedlam with his brother
Dennis and drummer Cozy Powell. They released one album on Chrysalis Records,
but the group then disbanded. He also recorded with Long John Baldry on their
1973 album Good to Be Alive. He did a stint in the Army after which he travelled
to places including Australia, New Zealand and Scotland. He also played in the
Nickey Barclay Band in London in the 1980s. In 1988, while working in Oman, he
performed in the band Rashid Goes To Nizwa. He last played with Gary Brooker of
Procol Harum in London, in July 2007. He also sometimes played with the Procol
Harum tribute band, The Palers and released a solo album, Don't Forget Your Alligator,
in 2012 (sadly died of bowel cancer) b. March
2015: Billy Butler (69) American
soul singer, guitarist and younger brother to Jerry Butler; born in Chicago, he
formed the vocal group the Enchanters while still at high school. He first recorded
in 1963, backed by the Chanters, a renamed version of the Enchanters.
Their first and biggest hit in 1965 "I Can't Work No Longer", reached
No.6 on the U.S. Billboard Black Singles chart and No.60 on the Billboard Hot
100; they disbanded in 1966. Billy then had a solo hit with "The Right Track"
which was placed at number 11 in the Northern Soul Top 500. He
later formed a new group, Infinity, they had three R&B hits: "Get on
the Case" in 1969, "I Don't Want To Lose You" in 1971 and "Hung
Up On You" in 1973. Billy also wrote songs for his brother and for musicians
such as Major Lance and Gene Chandler, as well as playing guitar in his brother
Jerry's band (sadly Billy died while fighting colon
cancer) b. June 7th 1945.
Bennie Moten (40) American
jazz pianist and band leader born in Kansas City, he played a key roll in what
is called the Kansas City Jazz style and the history of jazz. In 1922 he formed
the B. B. & D. Trio, Beenie, Bailey and Dude, although they were popularly
referred to as Big, Black and Dirty and he made his recording debut in 1923, when
his band accompanied Blues singer Ada Brown on the song "Evil Mama Blues".
In 1926, Bennie Moten's Kansas City Orchestra began recording for Victor. He had
several bands touring under his name in the 1920s. Bennie started "raiding"
another Kansas City band, The Blue Devils for musicians including Count Basie,
Jimmy Rushing, Hot Lips Page, Eddie Durham and Ben Webster, thus forming the nucleus
of the future Count Basie Orchestra. Their hits included classics like "Toby",
"Moten Swing", "The Blue Room", "Imagination", "New
Orleans", "The Only Girl I Ever Loved", Milenberg Joys", "Lafayette",
"Prince of Wails", "Two Times", When Bennie died in 1935,
Basie took over the band. Under his leadership the band emerged as one of the
greatest of all Jazz bands
(sadly and tragically Bennie died from a botched tonsillectomy)
b. November 13th 1894
1958: Tudor Davies (65) Welsh operatic tenor, born in
Cymmer, near Porth, after serving in the Royal Navy during WW I. He toured the
United States, Canada and Australia and then returned to Britain, where he sang
with the British National Opera Company, Sadler's Wells Opera and the Carl Rosa
Opera Company. He sang Rodolfo to Dame Nellie Melba's Mimi in La bohème
in 1922 at Covent Garden. He
sang leading tenor parts from the Italian, French and German repertoire. He also
appeared in English operas such as Dame Ethel Smyth's Fête Galante, and
Arthur Benjamin's The Devil Take Her. He created the title role in Ralph Vaughan
Williams' opera Hugh the Drover in 1924, excerpts from which he also recorded.
In 1928, he also sang in the US premiere of the opera, with the Washington National
Opera. He sang the title role in Giuseppe Verdi's Don Carlos in the opera's first
performance in England in 1938, and he appeared in the first Sadler's Wells performance
of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov's The Snow Maiden. In
his later career he was mainly a concert singer, and teacher in Cardiff
(sadly died after having surgery for a liver condition)
b. November 12th 1892.
1976: Marie-Louise-Taos Amrouche (63) Algerian
writer and singer born in Tunis into a family
of Kabyle Roman Catholic converts. She was the first Algerian female writer and
her first novel "Jacinthe noir", an autobiographical novel, published
in 1947 . Her mother Fadhma Aït Mansour had a great impact on her life. Her
literary style reflected the oral traditions of Kabylie, descended from her mother.
With her compilation of tales and poems La Grain magique in 1966 , she took the
nom de plume Marguerite-Taos, Marguerite was her mother's Christian name. While
she wrote in French, she sang in Kabyle. Her first album ''Chants berbères
de Kabylie'', which was a great success, was a collection of traditional Kabyle
songs that were translated to French by her elder brother Jean Amrouche in 1939
. She was an activist in Berber issues and she was among the founders of Académie
berbère in 1966. (died
in Saint-Michel-l'Observatoire, France)
b. March 4th 1913.
1987: Buddy Rich/Bernard
Rich (69)American jazz drummer, bandleader and
former Marine. He was billed as "the world's greatest drummer" and was
known for his virtuoso technique, power, and speed. He began playing drums in
vaudeville when he was 18 months old, billed as "Traps the Drum Wonder"
and by the time he was
11, he was performing as a bandleader. At the peak of his childhood career, he
was reportedly the second-highest paid child entertainer in the world, after Jackie
Coogan. He expressed great admiration for, and was influenced by the playing of
Chick Webb, Gene Krupa, Dave Tough and Jo Jones among others. He
first played jazz in 1937 with Joe Marsala's group, with Bunny Berigan in 1938
and with Artie Shaw 1939. In 1939, Buddy taught drums to a young Mel Brooks, and
persuaded Artie Shaw to allow a 13-year-old Mel to attend Shaw's recording sessions
in Manhattan. In October 1944, at the Paramount Theatre Rich mentioned to Frank
Sinatra that he was interested in starting his own band. Frank wrote him a cheque
for $40,000 and said "Good Luck. This'll get you started." Between 1940
to 1966 he played with Tommy Dorsey, Benny Carter, Harry James, Les Brown, Charlie
Ventura, and Jazz at the Philharmonic, as well as leading his own band and performing
with all-star groups. For most of the period from 1966 until his death, he led
a successful big band in an era when the popularity of big bands had waned. He
also served as the session drummer on many recordings with the likes of Ella Fitzgerald,
Louis Armstron and Oscar Peterson. He was also a frequent guest on The Steve Allen
Show, Johnny Carson's Tonight Show and The Merv Griffin Show, among others.
Only a few weeks prior to his death
appeared with his Big Band on Michael Parkinson's British talk show Parkinson
b. September 30th 1917.
Robert 'Rob' Pilatus (32) Afro-German model,
stripper, singer of the duo Milli Vanilli. The son of an African American soldier
and a German mother, he was later adopted by a German family and raised in Munich.
He worked as a model and break dancer before joining Milli Vanilli, a pop/dance
music project formed by Frank Farian in Germany in 1988, fronted by Fab Morvan
and Rob Pilatus. Their debut platinum album "Girl You Know It's True"
became a worldwide hit and produced five hit singles including 3 No.1 hits, "Girl
I'm Gonna Miss You", "Baby Don't Forget My Number" and "Blame
It On The Rain". The album won them the 1990
Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
On November 12th 1990, Frank Farian confessed to
reporters that Rob and Fab did not actually sing on the records. As a result of
US media pressure, Milli Vanilli's Grammy was withdrawn, their three American
Music Awards were never withdrawn, but Arista Records dropped the act from its
roster and deleted their album and its masters from their catalog, taking "Girl
You Know It's True" out of print. After a failed comeback attempt, Rob turned
to a life of crime and in 1996, he served three months in jail for assault, vandalism
and attempted robbery. He also spent six months on drug rehabilitation, before
returning to Germany. On February 14, 2007, it was announced that Universal Pictures
was developing a film based on the story of Milli Vanilli's rise and fall in the
music industry (drug overdose)
b. June 8th 1965.
Edwin Starr/Charles Edwin Hatcher (61) American soul music singer,
born in Nashville, but moved to to Cleveland, Ohio before relocating to Detroit;
most famous for his Norman Whitfield produced singles of the 1970s, notably the
number one hit "War". In 1957, Starr formed a doo-wop group, The Future
Tones, and began his singing career. In the 1960s he recorded for the record label
Ric-Tic, and later for Motown Records after it absorbed Ric-Tic in 1968. The song
which began his career was 1965's "Agent Double'O'Soul" Other early
hits included "Headline News", "Back Street","Way Over
There", and "S.O.S. (Stop Her On Sight)"and his international hit
"25 Miles". Moving to England in 1973, he continued to record music,
most notably r the song "Hell Up In Harlem" for the 1974 film, Hell
Up in Harlem, "Eye to Eye Contact" and "H.A.P.P.Y. Radio".
Edwin remained a hero on England's Northern Soul circuit and continued living
in England for the remainder of his life (sadly died of
a heart attack) b. January 21st 1942.
2006: Buddy Blue/Bernard Seigal (48) American,
guitarist, music critic and writer who performed and often wrote under the name
Buddy Blue. He was a founding member of The Beat Farmers, a Southern California
rock band that blended country roots music and rock 'n' roll. Born in Syracuse,
New York, he moved to San Diego in 1973 and played in local bands before co-forming
Beat Farmers in 1983, producing national hits such as "Happy Boy," "Riverside"
and "Gun Sale at the Church". He left
the Beat Farmers in 1986 to start a new band, The Jacks. A year later, he was
hired as a music critic for the San Diego Reader, but later fired when his editors
suggested he wrote negative reviews about local musicians whom Buddy felt did
not deserve bad press. He went on to write for The San Diego Union-Tribune, LA
Times, The Orange County Weekly, San Jose Mercury News, La Jolla Light and OC
Weekly. Buddy also recorded solo in the 90s including the CDs Guttersnipes and
Zealots, Dive Bar Casanovas, Greasy Jazz, Dipsomania, Pretend It's Okay and Sordid
Lives (heart attack) b. December
2009: Bud Shank (82)
American alto saxophonist; he began with clarinet, but had switched to
saxophone before attending the University of North Carolina. In 1946 he worked
with Charlie Barnet before moving on to Kenton and the West coast jazz scene.
He also had a strong interest in what might now be termed world music, playing
bossa nova in the early 1950s, and in 1962 fusing jazz with Indian traditions
in collaboration with Indian composer and sitar-player Ravi Shankar. As well as
releasing 12 albums as a leader, the last to date being 2007's Beyond the Red
Door, he has also recorded with The Mamas & the Papas, Ravi Shankar and Gene
Clarke. In 2005 he formed the Bud Shank Big Band in Los Angeles to celebrate the
40th anniversary of Stan Kenton's Neophonic Orchestra (pulmonary
failure) b. May 27th 1926.
Kelvin Henderson (62) British country musician, hailing from Bristol,
he was a singer, guitarist, banjo player, songwriter and BBC broadcaster and promoter
of Country and Folk music. For many years he and many talented musicians that
formed several different formations of his backing band, which toured both home
and abroad and performing with some of the biggest names in country music, appearances
at the Wembley Country Music Festivals and the Albert Hall, a successful television
series "Country Comes West" and his own weekly, networked radio show
"My Style Of Country" for BBC. Kelvin was inducted into the BCMA Hall
of fame in 2009, the award was presented by Chris Jackson and collected by Johny
West. Johny bought the award back to Bristol where the award was then presented
to Kelvin In person By Tom Russell at Tom Russells concert (died
after an eight year brave battle with progressive supranuclear palsy which gradually
robbed him of his and mobility) b.????
Efrain Loyola (94)
Cuban flautist from Cienfuegos, who had the distinction of being one of
the oldest active flutists in the world, had a career that spanned over 7 decades
and was also a captain in the Cuban militia who fought in the War against the
Bandits. He was part of many important groups, among them the Conjunto Tradicional
de Sones Los Naranjos, the Ritmica 39, which became the Orquesta Aragón
and his own band, The Efrain Loyola Orchestra. Efrain was given almost 150 acknowledgements
and awards in his lifetime, including: "Worthy Member of the Writers and
Artists Association of Cuba (UNEAC)", "Distinguished Son of Cienfuegos
City", "The Jagua Award" and the order of Jesús Menéndez,
granted by the Cuban Workers' Organization (?) b.
December 18th 1916.
2012: James "Jimmy"
Little (75) Australian singer, born at Cummeragunja Mission, NSW; influenced
by Nat King Cole, Johnny Mathis and Jim Reeves, and at the age of 16 he travelled
to Sydney to perform on a radio programme, Australia's Amateur Hour and in 1955
left home to live in Sydney to pursue a career in country music. He released his
first single, "Mysteries of Life"/"Heartbreak Waltz" in 1958.
His next single was "El Paso", which reached No. 12 in Sydney in 1960.
He made his acting debut in the Billy Graham evangelical feature film Shadow of
the Boomerang the same year. His mellow style soon earned him the nicknames of
"the Balladeer", "Gentleman Jim" and "the Honey Voice".
His biggest hits were the gospel song, "Royal Telephone", and the Barry
Gibb-penned "One Road". By the 1980s Jimmy had turned to full-time acting,
making his theatre debut in Black Cockatoos before appearing in director Wim Wenders'
1991 film Until the End of the World. He returned to the music industry again
in the early 90s and in 2002 he won the Golden Gospel Award at the Australian
Gospel Music Awards for his lifetime support of Australian gospel music (natural
causes) b. March 1st 1937
Roy Cox (64) American bass musician, who in 1966 was
one of the founding members of the psychedelic rock band Bubble
Puppy, formed in San Antonio. They are best remembered
for their one hit wonder, Hot Smoke and Sassafras, which rose
to the No.14 spot on the Billboard 100. Bubble Puppy received a star on the South
Texas Music Walk of Fame in 2004, and was inducted into the Austin Music Hall
of Fame in 2011.Roy founded The Blues Knights and released two CDs: "Before
I Go" in 1999, and "Road To Freedom" in 2001. He formed the NYC
Outlaws in September 2007 in New York City, along with Tony Saracene on guitar,
Dan Curley on guitar, Cody Willard on guitar, Evan Hammer on bass, and Billy Brooks
(?) b. 1948.
2013: Robert Ward (95) American composer born
in Cleveland, Ohio; as a boy he sang in church choirs and local opera theatres
and studied at John Adams High School, where he wrote his first compositions,
the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, and the Juilliard School of Music. He
went on to write 12 chamber music works, 9 operas, 17 orchestral works and
29 other concert band, concertante, vocal, choral and keyboards works.
He conducted the Doctors Orchestral Society of New York from 49-55, he left to
become Executive Vice President of Galaxy Music Corporation and Managing Editor
of High Gate Press in New York until 1967; afterwhich he became Chancellor of
the North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem until 1975, when he stepped
down to serve as a member of the composition faculty for five more years. In 1978
he went to Duke University as a visiting professor, and he remained as Mary Duke
Biddle Professor of Music from 1979-87. His opera, The Crucible, premiered
in 1961, for which he received the 1962 Pulitzer Prize for Music
(?) b. September
Marks (66) British television producer and music
director; he was brought up in Harrow, London,
and educated at Haberdashers' Aske's Boys' School and Trinity College, Cambridge.
He went on to be head of music at BBC Television in the 1980s and from 1993 to
1997 was general director of English National Opera. He was also a maker of television
documentaries, broadcaster and author. (?)
b. July 2nd 1948.
Gato Barbieri/Leandro Barbieri (83) Argentine jazz saxophonist and
composer born in Rosario, Santa Fe, and began playing music after hearing Charlie
Parker's "Now's the Time". He played the clarinet and later the alto
saxophone while performing with the Argentinean pianist Lalo Schifrin in the late
1950s. He rose to fame during the free jazz movement in the 1960s and by the mid-70s,
he was recording for A&M Records and moved his music towards soul-jazz and
jazz-pop. Caliente! in 1976 included his best known song, a rendition of Carlos
Santana's "Europa". Although he continued to record and perform well
into the 1980s, the death of his wife Michelle led him to withdraw from the public
arena. He returned to recording and performing in the late 1990s with the soundtrack
for the film Seven Servants by Daryush Shokof in 1996 and his album Qué
Pasa in 1997 moved more into the style of smooth jazz. (sadly
died from pneumonia) b. November 28th 1932.
Johannes Brahms (63) Austria-Hungarian
composer, pianist; his works blend classical tradition with a romantic impulse
and include concertos, four symphonies, chamber music, and choral compositions.Born
in Hamburg, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, where
he was a leader of the musical scene. In his lifetime, Brahms' popularity and
influence were considerable; following a comment by the 19th century conductor
Hans von Bülow, he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig
van Beethoven as one of the Three Bs (sadly died of cancer)
b. May 7th 1833.
Ray Noble (74)
bandleader, composer, arranger and actor; he became leader of the HMV Records
studio band in 1929, known as the New Mayfair Dance Orchestra. The most popular
vocalist with Noble's studio band was Al Bowlly, he also
provided music for many radio shows like The Charlie McCarthy Show and Burns and
Allen. The Bowlly-Noble recordings achieved popularity in the US. Union bans prevented
Ray taking British musicians to America so he arranged for Glenn Miller to recruit
American musicians. Glenn Miller played the trombone in the Ray Noble orchestra
which performed Glenn's composition "Dese Dem Dose" as part of the medley
"Dese Dem Dose/An Hour Ago This Minute/Solitude" during a performance
at the Rainbow Room in 1935. The American Ray Noble band had a successful run
at the Rainbow Room in New York City with Bowlly as principal vocalist. Al
Bowlly returned to England but Ray continued to lead bands in America, moving
into an acting career portraying a stereotypical upper-class Englishman. His last
major successes as a bandleader came with Buddy Clark in the late 1940s. Ray also
wrote both lyrics and music for many songs that became popular, contributing "Love
Is The Sweetest Thing", "Cherokee", "The Touch of Your Lips",
"I Hadn't Anyone Till You" and "The Very Thought Of You" to
popular culture. He co-wrote "Goodnight, Sweetheart", "Turkish
Delight" and "By the Fireside". The Ray Noble composition "You're
So Desirable" was recorded by Billie Holiday and Teddy Wilson, and by Robert
Palmer in 1990. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 1987,
inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame. Also "The Very Thought
of You", recorded by Ray Noble and His Orchestra on Victor in 1934, has been
inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame
b. December 17th 1903.
Cliff Carlisle (79)
singer, a yodeler, a pioneer in the use of the Hawaiian steel guitar in country
music and a brother of country music star Bill Carlisle. Born in Taylorsville,
Kentucky, he began performing locally with cousin Lillian Truax at age 16. They
first played at Louisville, radio station WHAS-AM in 1930, which made them local
stars. Then in 1931, they recorded with Jimmie Rodgers and toward the end of 1931,
Cliff signed with ARC and was offered performance slots on several radio stations,
including WBT-AM in Charlotte, North Carolina, WLS-AM in Chicago and WLW-AM in
Cincinnati, Ohio. Cliff's brother Bill Carlisle became his guitarist after Ball
left in 1934. During the 1930s he recorded a large amount of material and frequently
released songs with sexual connotations including barnyard metaphors, which became
something of a hallmark. He also toured with his son on occasions, but by thr
50s Cliff had retired from music. (?) b.
May 6th 1903.
Peter Pears (75) English
opera singer born in Farnham, Surrey; he attended Keble College, Oxford, studying
music and served as organist at Hertford College, but left without taking his
degree. In 1936, he met Benjamin Britten; the following year, they gave their
first concert together with Peter singing and Benjamin on piano at Balliol College
in Oxford, to support the Government in the Spanish Civil War. From 1939 to 1942,
the two men lived in the United States and in Canada. On their return, Upon their
return to England in 1942, they performed Britten's Seven Sonnets of Michelangelo
together at Wigmore Hall and then recorded them for EMI, their first recording
together. Peter went on to take the principal tenor roles in all of Britten's
operas, including Midsummers
Night Dream, Billy Bud, Peter Grimes and Death In
Venice. He sang regularly at the Royal Opera House and other major opera houses
in Europe and America. In 1946 they founded the English Opera Group and in 1948
founded the Aldeburgh Festival. He was knighted in 1978. Peter and Benjamin are
buried next to each other in Aldeburgh churchyard (?)
b. June 22nd
Sarah Vaughan (66) American
with a contralto vocal range, considered one of the
most influential jazz vocalists of the 20th Century. Nicknamed "Sailor",
for her salty speech,"Sassy" and "The Divine One", she was
a Grammy Award winner and The National Endowment for the Arts bestowed upon her
its "highest honor in jazz", the NEA Jazz Masters Award, in 1989. Her
songs included "That Lucky Old Sun", "Make Believe (You Are Glad
When You're Sorry)", "I'm Crazy to Love You", "Our Very Own",
"I Love the Guy", "Thinking of You" (with pianist Bud Powell),
"I Cried for You", "These Things I Offer You", "Vanity",
"I Ran All the Way Home", "Saint or Sinner", "My Tormented
Heart", "Time", "How Important Can It Be" with Count
Basie, "Whatever Lola Wants", "The Banana Boat Song", "You
Ought to Have A Wife" and "Misty". Her commercial success peaked
in 1959 with "Broken Hearted Melody", among many others (sadly
died of lung cancer)
b. March 27th 1924.
Lionel Bart (69) UK composer of songs
and musicals; his
first professional musical was the 1959 'Lock Up Your Daughters', based on the
18th century play 'Rape Upon Rape', followed by, 'Fings Ain't Wot They Used T'Be'
produced by Joan Littlewood's Theatre Workshop, was notable for encouraging the
use of authentic Cockney accents on the London stage. His 1960 musical 'Oliver!'
and became the first British musical to transfer successfully to Broadway and
has sustained its popularity to the present day. It contained such song hits as
"As Long As He Needs Me" and "Consider Yourself" and is also
notable for featuring Australian satirist Barry Humphries in his first major stage
role as Mr Sowerberry and future rock stars Steve Marriott, who became the lead
singer of The Small Faces and Humble Pie and Phil Collins of Genesis fame. His
next musical, Blitz! produded the hit Far Away. Lional did 3 further musicals
Maggie May, Twang! and La Strada. He also wrote many pop songs including "Living
Doll" for Cliff Richard and "Rock with the Cavemen","Handful
of Songs", "Butterfingers" and "Little White Bull" for
Tommy Steele. He wrote the theme song for the 1963 James Bond film From Russia
With Love,"Do You Mind?" recorded by both Anthony Newley and Andy Williams,
"Easy Going Me" for Adam Faith and "Always You And Me" with
Russ Conway. In 1957, he won three Ivor Novello Awards, a further four in 1958,
and two in 1960. He continued writing songs and themes for films, and in 1986
he received a special Ivor Novello Award for his life's achievement. A musical
play based on Lionel Bart's life and using his songs, "It's a Fine Life"
was staged at the Queen's Theatre, Hornchurch in 2006 (died
after a long hard struggle with cancer) b. August
2002: Fad Gadget/Frank Tovey (45)
An influential British avant-garde electronic musician, he was an exponent of
both New Wave and early industrial music. His music was characterized by a distinctive
use of synthesizers in conjunction with sounds of found objects, including drills
and electric razors. He was known for his confrontational live performances, which
included covering himself in tar and feathers, leaping into the audience, and
playing instruments with his head or spreading his naked body in shaving cream
onstage. In 1989, he changed musical tactics in his criticism of industrialization,
recording a mostly acoustic album of protest and labor songs Tyranny and the Hired
Hand including such standards as "Sixteen Tons."
(he had suffered from heart problems since his childhood, and died of a heart
attack) b. September 8th 1956.
2003: Homer Banks (61) African-American songwriter,
singer and record producer; born in Memphis, Tennessee, at the age of 16 he formed
the Soul Consolidators gospel group which toured around the southern states, He
went on to become a songwriter at Stax. He began working with co-writer Allen
Jones, placing songs with Johnnie Taylor and Sam and Dave, also writing "I
Can't Stand Up for Falling Down", later a UK hit for Elvis Costello. He had
success with the Staple Singers, writing their first Stax single "Long Walk
To DC", and then some of their biggest hits including "If You're Ready
(Come Go With Me)". In 1968 he formed a songwriting trio with Bettye Crutcher
and Raymond Jackson, calling themselves We Three. Their first song was "Who's
Making Love", which was recorded by Johnnie Taylor. Homer also wrote, with
Jackson and Carl Hampton, "(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want to Be Right".
The song was first recorded by The Emotions, became a smash hit when recorded
by Luther Ingram, and later became a key song for both Isaac Hayes and Millie
Jackson as well as being recorded by many other singers including Barbara Mandrell,
Rod Stewart and Cassandra Wilson. After Stax, Homer and Carl Hampton moved to
California and worked with A&M Records. In 1977, the two recorded the album
Passport To Ecstasy for Warner Bros Records. In the 1980s Homer formed the Two's
Company recording company with Lester Snell, which released albums by J. Blackfoot
and Ann Hines (cancer) b. August
2004: Gabriella Ferri (61) Italian
singer; born in Rome, she began her career in a Milan nightclub in 1963, and by
1965, she had successfully broke onto the Rome singing scene by singing popular
Roman songs. One of her biggest hits was "Sempre" ("Always").
During her career, she also performed Neapolitan and Latin American pieces. During
the 1970s, she starred on several popular TV shows. By the 1990s, however, she
had largely left the spotlight. (She
died in Corchiano, province of Viterbo, after falling from a third-floor balcony
in an apparent suicide. Family members dispute this, saying she may have fallen
ill after taking anti-depression medication and lost her balance.)
b. September 18th 1942.
2005: Tony Croatto/Hermes Davide Fastino Croatto Martinis
(65) Italian singer, composer and TV presenter born in Attimis, he
moved to La Paz, Uruguay at aged 9. He is best known for his interpretations of
Puerto Rican folk music. In 1959, at 19, he created his first band "TNT"
with his brother Edelweiss, nicknamed "Tim" and his sister Argentina,
nicknamed "Nelly". In 1960, TNT recorded their huge hit, "Eso,
eso, eso". They moved to Spain in 1963 and represented the country in the
Eurovision Song Contest 1964 in Copenhagen, billed as "Nelly, Tim and Tony".
Nelly and Tony then became a duo and in 1968, after travelling across South America
and spending two years in Venezuela they moved to Puerto Rico. He went on to become
well known and highly regarded for his interpretations of Puerto Rican folk music.
(Sadly died as a result of lung and brain cancer. His funeral
was held at the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture and he was given a state funeral)
b. March 2nd 1940
Martin Gilks (41) English drummer for
the alternative rock band The Wonder Stuff. Born in Stourbridge, he was the drummer
with The Mighty Lemon Drops band before leaving in 1985. After which he along
with singer Miles Hunt, guitarist Malcolm Treece, Rob "The Bass Thing"
Jones formed the band Wonder Stuff in March of '86. They went on to have a string
of top-forty singles and albums as well as Martin being voted the best drummer
on the planet in an NME poll in 1989. They also backed UK comedian Vic Reeves
on a great remake of "Dizzy" in the early 90s. He left the group at
the end of 1995 to join his brother "Tank" in forming Furtive Mass Transit
Systems, a management company who looked after Reef, Cable, A and Hundred Reasons
(Died tragically in a motorcycle accident, after losing
control of his bike in London) b. March 2nd 1965.
Freeze/Wayne Frost (44)
Puerto Rican B-boy, breakdancer and member of the hip-hop group Rock
Steady Crew, known for his comedic, acrobatic and inventive style; his trademark
move is known as, "The Suicide" aka "The Death Freeze Drop".
His talents with The Rock Steady Crew were featured in movies such as Flashdance,
Wild Style, Style Wars and The Freshest Kids and also appeared on the cover of
The Village Voice in 1981. He was featured in early hip hop music videos such
as Afrika Bambaataa and The Soulsonic Force's "Planet Rock" and Malcolm
McLaren's "Buffalo Gals". In 2004, he along with several other members
of The Rock Steady Crew were honored at the VH-1 Hip Hop Honors. (He
was stricken with an undisclosed illness during early 2008, went on life support
on March 27) b. December
2009: Charlie Kennedy (81)
American alto saxophonist; he played with Louis Prima's big band orchestra
in the 1940s. After a brief stint in his own band, he joined Gene Krupa's big
band. Over the course of his long career, he played with Terry Gibbs's Dream Band,
Charlie Ventura, Flip Phillips, Chico O'Farrill, and Bill Holman among others.
In addition to live performances and recordings with big name bands, he also was
a frequent studio musician. He played in the orchestras for popular movies including
My Fair Lady and West Side Story. In the 1970s, for more stable income to support
his family with six children, he gave up his career as a full-time musician, but
continued to perform in clubs near his home in Southern California (pulmonary
disease) b. July 2nd 1927.
Calvin Russell/Calvert Russell Kosler (62) American
protest singer-songwriter and guitarist born in Austin; at 12 he started to learn
guitar and at 13 he joined a band called 'The Cavemen'. In 1989 he met Patrick
Mathe of the French record label New Rose. After his first album was released,
Calvin started touring in Europe in 1990, his debut album "A Crack in Time"
became an instant European hit as did many of his 15 albums. The
tone of protest in several of his songs made him very popular among Europeans,
more so than in the United States (sadly died after his
fight with cancer) b. November 1st 1948.
Dorothy Taubman (94) American music teacher,
lecturer and founder of the Taubman Institute of New York, who developed the "Taubman
Approach" to piano playing. For many years, she ran her Dorothy Taubman School
of Piano at Amherst College in Massachusetts. Formerly a professor at the Aaron
Copland School of Music of Queens College and a professor at Temple University,
she has been featured in many articles and interviewed in the Boston Globe, Piano
and Keyboard and Clavier magazines (?) b.
August 16th 1917
2013: Harry J/Harry Zephaniah Johnson
(67) Jamaican music
producer, studio owner and musician; born in Westmoreland Parish, he started to
play music with the Virtues as a bass player before moving into management of
the group. In 1968, when he launched his own record label, "Harry J",
by releasing The Beltones' local hit "No More Heartaches", one of the
earliest reggae songs to be recorded. his Harry J Studio where Bob Marley &
The Wailers recorded some of their albums in the 1970s.The studio was also a 'must
stop' hangout of many British and other musicians including the Rolling Stones,
The Who, and Grace Jones. Throughout the 1970s and the 1980s, assisted by former
Studio One sound engineer Sylvan Morris, he also recorded Ken Boothe, Augustus
Pablo, Burning Spear, Toots, Shaggy, Sly & Robbie,The Cables and US pop singer,
Johnny Nash, and produced albums by Zap Pow and Sheila Hylton.
(sadly died with diabetes) b. July 6th 1945.
2014: Lawrence Hamilton (59) American
musical director, born in Foreman, Arkansas. He graduated
high school and got a bachelor of music from Henderson State University. He went
on to star in Broadway hits including 'Play On', 'Jelly's Last Jam' and 'Ragtime'.
Over his career he served as a musical director for opera star Jessye Norman;
was a vocal coach for pop group New Kids on the Block; and performed for former
president Ronald Reagan and at the Vatican for Pope John Paul II. He also took
on the Directorship of Choral Activities at Philander Smith College in Little
Rock and was a member of the Arkansas Entertainers Hall of Fame and
inducted into the Arkansas Black Hall of Fame in
2003. He had recently starred in The Piano Lesson until the play's last curtain
call on March 23rd 2014 (sadly
died from a gastrointestinal blood clot) b. September 14th 1954.
Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith
(93) American multi-musician and songwriter,
born in Clinton, South Carolina, he became a celebrated country music instrumental
composer, guitarist, fiddler and banjo player. He was playing trumpet in his father's
band by age 11 and by age 14, he had his own radio show in Kershaw. Along
with his brothers Ralph and Sonny, he formed a Dixieland combo, the Carolina Crackerjacks
and by age 15, he had made his first recording for RCA. Also before World War
II, when he served in the US Navy, he was an part time member of the WBT Briarhoppers
band. After the war he had a major hit with his self penned instrumental "Guitar
Boogie", which went on to sell millions and was one of the earliest crossover
hits. The song earned him the name Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith which
also differentiated him from Tennessee fiddler Fiddlin' Arthur Smith. The track,
renamed "Guitar Boogie Shuffle", became a rock n roll hit for Frank
Virtue and the Virtues. Arthur influenced and inspired several generations of
country musicians via his region television program, The Arthur Smith Show, which
aired from 1951 to 1982 and was the first syndicated country music show, he wrote
and recorded some of country music's most influential tunes at this time. Musicians
who have been influenced by Arthur include Nashville studio ace Hank "Sugarfoot"
Garland, Roy Clark, Frank Virtue, Glen Campbell and surf music pioneers the Ventures.
In 1955, Arthur composed a banjo instrumental he called "Feudin' Banjos"
and he recorded the song with five-string banjo player Don Reno
MORE <<< (?)
b. April 1st 1921
Richard Worthington (93) American musician, conductor
and known as the founding father of symphony music in northeastern Louisiana.
He served for 14 years as the director of bands at the University of Arkansas
before arriving in Monroe in 1970. In 1971, then-Northeast Louisiana University
professors approached him with a proposition to form the Monroe Symphony Orchestra.
Richard held the post of music director until stepping down in 1991. He taught
at then NLU and was director of the School of Music for 17 years. He was named
Professor Emeritus in March 1989 and retired in 1995. Also for 29 years, he was
a member of the Grace Episcopal Church and choir, where he served one term as
a member of the Grace Vestry and one year as the senior warden, plus, Richard
was a licensed lay eucharist minister (?)
b. 1920/21 ?.
2015: Andrew Porter (86) British
music critic, born inn Cape Town, South Africa. He studied organ at Oxford University
in the late 1940s. He then began writing music criticism for various London newspapers,
including The Times and The Daily Telegraph. In 1960, he became the editor of
The Musical Times. From 1972 to 1973 he served a term as the music critic of The
New Yorker but returned in 1974 and remained the magazine's music critic until
he moved back to London in 1992. His writings for The New Yorker won respect from
leading figures in the musical world. In 2003, Andrew was honored with the publication
of a festschrift, Words on Music: Essays in Honor of Andrew
Porter on the Occasion of His 75th Birthday
(sadly died from pneumonia) b. August 26th 1928.
Kayahan/Kayahan Açar (66) Turkish singer-songwriter,
born in Izmir; an accomplished composer, he was consistently
ranking among the best-selling Turkish musicians of all time. He composed all
of his own material and released more than eight best-selling albums during a
career spanning three decades. He became known for his songs "Geceler"/"Nights",
"Kar Taneleri"/"Snow Flakes", "Esmer Günler"/"Brunette
Days", which were sang by Nilüfer, all became pop classicals. He received
his first important award "Altin Portokal"/Golden Orange with the song
"Geceler"/Nights at the 1986 International Mediterranean Music Contest.
He represented Turkey at the Eurovision Song Contest 1990 with his song "Gözlerinin
Hapsindeyim"/"Captive in your eyes", which landed in fourth place.
In 2003, he was honored with the Altin Kelebek/Golden Butterfly, and the "MÜYAP"/Music
Producers Association award for the bestselling-success of the album Ne Oldu Can.
He released "Kelebegin Sansi"/"The Luck of the Butterfly"
in 2005, and "Biricigime"/"To My One and Only" in March 2007.
After a Valentine's Day concert which he performed with Nilüfer on February
14th 2015, he bid a public final farewell to his fans (sadly
died of of multiple organ dysfunction syndrome while bravely fighting cancer)
b. 29 March 1949.
Bob Burns (64) American drummer born
in Jacksonville, Florida; was a founding member and original drummer of the Southern
rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd. He plays on the band's earliest
demos, recorded in 1970, some of which are included on the album Skynyrd's First
and... Last. He also played on the band's first two official albums: "(Pronounced
'Leh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd)" and "Second Helping". Bob
left the band in 1974 due to being overwhelmed by
life on the road. In 1996, he participated in a performance to promote Freebird:
The Movie and on n March 13th 2006, he rejoined Lynyrd Skynyrd for one performance
as he played alongside Gary Rossington, Billy Powell, Ed King, Artimus Pyle and
the Honkettes at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. (tragically
he died in a car accident, when his car
hit a mailbox and tree on a sharp curve in Bartow County, Georgia, when returning
from a gig) b. November 24th 1950
Zorana "Lola" Novakovic (80) Serbian singer born in Belgrade,
Kingdom of Yugoslavia; she was hugely popular during the 1960s and to a lesser
degree the 1970s. Internationally, she is most notable for having represented
FPR Yugoslavia at Eurovision Song Contest in 1962 where she finished fourth. Also
in 1962, she starred in eki snima, pazi se, a full-length comedy inspired
by the public persona of football sensation Dragoslav ekularac. (?)
b. 25 April 1935
Don Francks aka Iron Buffalo (84) Canadian jazz singer-songwriter and
actor, born and raised in Burnaby, British Columbia, a suburb of Vancouver. He
performed in vaudeville, worked as a foundryman and was involved in summer stock
before moving to Toronto. Don wrote songs, played trombone, drums, and flute,
in many jazz clubs including George's Spaghetti House in Toronto, and the Village
Vanguard in New York City, there taping the LP quoting Jackie Gleason for the
title Jackie Gleason Says No One in This World Is Like Don Francks, in 1963. In
New York, he also recorded Lost... and Alone in 1965. In August 1962, the Don
Francks Trio with Lenny Breau debuted at Toronto's Purple Onion. In 1964, he appeared
on Broadway in the title role of the musical Kelly,In 2004, Art of Life Records
released a four decades-old recording as Live at the Purple Onion. A National
Film Board documentary called Toronto Jazz '62 includes rehearsals and performances
of two other groups. In 2010 Don performed on CJRT-FM and has since recorded a
podcast for the station called Jazz Genesis. In January 2013 he completed mixing
a double live CD to be released in the fall of 2013. He performed in Toronto jazz
clubs seasonally, including an annual stint for The TD Toronto Jazz Festival.
Don also had a prolific career in acting, appearing in dozens
of films and in television shows
(sadly died fighting lung cancer)
b. February 28th 1932
Bill Henderson (90) American jazz vocalist and
actor born in Chicago, Illinois. He began his professional music career in 1952,
performing in Chicago with Ramsey Lewis, and
after a move to New York in 1958 began recording
as a leader. He subsequently recorded with jazz pianist Horace Silver on a a vocal
version of Silver's "Señor Blues" which was a jukebox hit, and
remains one of jazz label Blue Note's top-selling singles. Additionally, Bill
performed and recorded with other artists including Oscar Peterson, Jimmy Smith,
Count Basie, Yusef Lateef, and Eddie Harris. He was under contract to the Vee
Jay label between 1958 and 1961, who recorded his first album as leader, Bill
Henderson Sings in 1958,which features trumpeter Booker Little among the sidemen.
Beginning in the mid-1970s, he frequently appeared on television in supporting,
usually one-time roles. He also recorded his own vocal tracks as "King Blues"
for the comedy film Get Crazy in 1983 and made a guest vocal appearance on Charlie
Haden's album The Art of the Song in 1999. (?) b.
March 19th 1926.
2016: Koji Wada aka Immortal Butterfly
Anisong Singer (42) Japanese rock singer born
in Fukuchiyama, Kyoto, he debuted in 1999 with his first single, "Butter-Fly",
the theme song of the anime Digimon Adventure. He released his first original
album, All of My Mind, in 2001 followed by a second album Kazakami no Oka Kara.
He also contributed songs to six of the seven Digimon anime series, with one of
his songs reused for the seventh, as well as opening themes for the first five
of them. He also performed two songs used as ending themes for Digimon Frontier.
In July 2007, Koji made his first show in Brazil, doing a solo presentation and
singing along other invited Japanese singers on the "Anime Friends".He
also performed in Argentina, Chile, Peru and Mexico (sadly
died fighting nasopharynx cancer) b. January 29th 1974.
Kishori Amonkar (84) Indian classical singer
born in Bombay. She was a performer of the classical genre khyal and the light
classical genres thumri and bhajan. Kishoriwas trained under her mother, classical
singer Mogubai Kurdikar of the Jaipur gharana, but experimented with a variety
of vocal styles in her career and considered one of the pre-eminent representatives
of Hindustani classical music.
She received several of India's national awards
and civilian honours, including the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award in 1985, the Padma
Bhushan in 1987, the prestigious Dr. T. M. A. Pai Outstanding Konkani Award in
1991, and Padma Vibhushan in 2002, the Sangeet Natak Akademi Fellowship in 2009
and in 2016 she was one of 7 recipients of the M.S. Subbulakshmi Award for classical
music. She is also the subject of a documentary titled Bhinna Shadja. (Kishori
is reported to have died in her sleep) b. April 10th 1932.
L.A. Dre/Andre Decarlo Bolton (??) American R&B/hip-hop
keyboardist and producer. Part
of Dreco Productions, he is perhaps best known for his work with Ruthless Records
between 1989-1990. He provided keyboard contributions to the gold and platinum
selling albums: "Eazy Duz It" by Eazy-E, "No One Can Do It Better"-
D.O.C."Straight Outta Compton"- N.W.A., "Living Like Hustlers"-
Above The Law, and Michel'Le's self-titled album. He resurfaced as a member of
the R&B/new jack swing group AZ 1, that in 1992 released an album and a pair
of singles on Scotti Bros. Records. In 1994, he worked as a studio musician, engineer
and producer, with Too Short on albums such as "Gettin' It (Album Number
Ten)", "Cocktails", "Nationwide", "You Nasty"
and "Married To The Game". In 2008, he worked on a project for his own
label, Dot Com Muzik Group, which was a prison project featuring artists from
the Nevada State Prison System. The entire album was recorded, produced, and performed
in prison by prisoners. He received fourteen gold and platinum albums during his
career. (Andre had
suffered a stroke just six weeks before sudden
and unexpected death) b. ????.
Brenda Jones (62) American
R&B singer and member of the Detroit trio, The Jones Girls, which consisted
of sisters Brenda, Valorie and Shirley Jones. They served as backup singers for
Lou Rawls, Teddy Pendergrass, Aretha Franklin, and Le Pamplemousse. They worked
with Diana Ross from 197578 and were the backup singers on Linda Clifford's
1978 album 'If My Friends Could See Me Now' and on Tower of Power's ' 1979 album
'Back on the Streets'. Their own biggest hit was "You Gonna
Make Me Love Somebody Else", followed by "I Just Love The Man",
charting at No.9 in January 1981. Brenda eventually moved to Atlanta, where she
sang frequently with her four-piece band, performing both Jazz and R&B numbers,
including many Jones Girls' songs. She later moved to New York after her children
were grown, to have a more active performing and recording schedule.
was visiting her daughter in Wilmington, Delaware, where she was
tragically killed while attempting to cross
a road and was hit by several cars) b. December
1980: Red Sovine/Woodrow Wilson Sovine (61) American
country music singer in Charleston, West Virginia, and is associated with truck
driving songs, particularly those recited as narratives but set to music. The
most famous example was his 1976 No.1 hit "Teddy Bear"."Giddyup
Go", "Why Baby Why" "Hold Everything (Till I Get Home)"
"Phantom 309" "It'll Come Back" and "Woman Behind the
Man Behind the Wheel". Red is also remembered for his Christmas tear-jerkers,
which included "Here It Is Christmas", "Faith In Santa", and
his sentimental song "Little Rosa"
he suffered a heart attack while driving his Ford van in Nashville)
b. July 17th 1918.
1992: Sammy Price/Samuel
Blythe Price (83) American
jazz - blues pianist and bandleader, born in Honey Grove, Texas.
After singing in local venues in the Dallas area, he left Texas and lived and
played jazz in Kansas City, Chicago and Detroit. In 1938 he was hired by Decca
Records as a session sideman on piano, assisting singers such as Trixie Smith
and Sister Rosetta Tharpe, but his most noteworthy work was with his own
band, the Texas Bluesicians which included fellow musicians Don Stovall and Emmett
Berry, recording on
Decca Records. He is also equally notable for his decade long partnership
with jazz trumpeter Henry "Red" Allen. Later in his life, he partnered
with the Roosevelt Hotel in New York; and was the headline entertainment at the
Crawdaddy Restaurant, a New Orleans themed restaurant in New York in the mid 1970s,
performing at times with visiting Benny Goodman and Buddy Rich and the 80s him
playing Boston's Copley Plaza where he performed till nearly the end
(?) b. October 6th 1908.
1992: Arthur Russell (40) American
cellist, singer, and disco artist; while he found the most success in dance music,
his career bridged New York's downtown, rock, and dance music scenes; his collaborators
ranged from Philip Glass to David Byrne to Nicky Siano. Relatively unknown during
his lifetime, a series of reissues and compilations have raised his profile in
the 2000s and he has earned hero status among a current generation of acts such
as the Rapture, Playgroup, !!!, and Metro Area, who are looking back at fusions
of rock, pop, and dance music (sadly died of AIDS) b.
May 21st 1951.
Kenny Everett/Maurice Cole (50)
English radio DJ, TV presenter; first break, as Maurice
Cole, came when he sent a tape to the BBC in 1962, who gave him an interview and
offered him a job as a presenter on the Light Programme, the forerunner to BBC
Radio 2. He declined, in favour of the less constrained world of pirate radio,
where he began his career as a DJ for Radio London. He teamed up with Dave Cash
for the 'Kenny & Cash Show' one of the most popular programmes on
pirate radio. He was given his own show by Radio Luxembourg. Within a year, he
had joined the BBC's new pop music station Radio 1 after previewing The Beatles'
new album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and interviewing the band. Kenny
accompanied the Beatles on their 1966 tour of the United States, sending back
daily reports for Radio London. He also produced their 1968 and 1969 Christmas
records. In 1975 he played a pivotal role in getting Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody"
released as a single. He also presented a pre-recorded programme on Saturday lunch-time
for Radio Victory in Portsmouth. In Oct '81, Everett returned to BBC Radio, this
time on Radio 2, on Saturday from 11am-1pm. He went on to have a very successful
TV career with a variation of different shows (sadly died
of aids) b. December 25th 1944.
Larry LaPrise (83) American songwriter and founder of the Ram Trio
group from Detroit, Michigan. After the group broke up in the 1960s, he worked
for the Post Office in Ketchum, Idaho (?)
b. November 11th 1912.
Gene Ames (74)
American singer born in Malden, Massachusetts, he along with his brothers formed
the Amory Brothers, touring US Army and Navy bases entertaining the troops and
were offered a job at The Fox and Hounds nightclub in Boston. After which they
took their act to New York, changed their name to The Ames Brothers and got a
job with bandleader Art Mooney. They went on to
star in their own TV show, The Ames Brothers Show, which was seen on Friday nights
and acheive 50 U.S. chart entries and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall
of Fame in 1998 (?)
b. February 13th 1923.
Grigoris Bithikotsis (82)
Greek folk singer/songwriter and bouzouki player with a career spanning five decades.
Born in Athens he composed over 80 songs, including: Stu Belami to ouzeri and
Toy Votanikou o magas. He possessed a rich singing voice with which he performed
his own compositions and those of Theodorakis, who frequently chose his friend
Grigoris to perform his masterpieces. The two contributed greatly to the then-emerging
laika style of Greek music (sadly
following 3 months of hospitalization) b. December
2009: Eduardo Parra (90) Chilean folk singer
(septic shock) b. ??
Sugar Lee Hooper/Marja van der Toorn (62) Dutch party singer best known
for her powerful voice and extravagant, colourful look. She made her biggest hits
in the Netherlands in the 1990s. In 2008 she had to retire due to health issues.
She was the first Dutch celebrity to be married to a same-sex partner, Andrea
van der Kaap (Sugar fell into a coma during surgery on her
broken hip. Sadly she didnt recover) b. February
2011: Scott Columbus (54) American
lefty drummer with the
heavy metal band Manowar, from 1983 until 1990, when he had to leave for personal
reasons, but Scott returned for "Louder Than Hell" album in 1996 and
remained with the band until the summer of 2008. In 1984 the band was included
in the Guinness Book of World Records for delivering the loudest performance,
a record which they have since broken on 2 occasions. They also hold the world
record for the longest heavy metal concert after playing for 5 hours and 1 minute
in Bulgaria in 2008. Scott played the so-called "Drums of Doom", a kit
made of stainless steel, because his drumming technique is too rough on standard
kits which had to be replaced too regularly (?)
b. November 10th 1956.
2013: Chris Bailey (62)
Australian singer born in Nanyuki, Kenya to Irish parents.
He grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland until the age of seven, when his family
emigrated to Australia. He went on to be co-founder and lead singer with the hard
rock band The Angels, that formed in Adelaide, South Australia, in 1974. The band
later relocated to Sydney and enjoyed huge success, clocking up hit singles across
four decades, including "No Secrets", "Marseilles", "Long
Line", "Mr Damage", "Let The Night Roll On" and "Waiting
For The Sun". Along side his band duties Chris forged a solo
career and in 1991, Bailey formed the Chris Bailey Combo including Paul Hester,
Nick Seymour, Dror Erez and a revolving cast of guest players. Between 1983-2005
he released nine solo albums (sadly
Chris died while battling an aggressive throat cancer) b. 1959
2014: Wayne Henderson (74)
American soul jazz and trombonist and record producer born in Houston, Texas.
In 1961, along with Joe Sample, Stix Hooper and Wilton Felder, he co-founded the
soul jazz/hard bop group The Jazz Crusaders. He left the group, who by then had
changed their name to The Crusaders, in 1975 to pursue a career in producing,
but revived The Jazz Crusaders in 1995. As a producer he worked
with the likes of Monk Montgomery, Ronnie Laws and Gábor Szabó.
In 2007, he took a position with the California College of Music in Pasadena,
(sadly Wayne died heart failure) b. September 24th
Irma Bule (29) Indonesian pop singer,who was
notorious for incorporating cobras, boa constrictors and pythons into her performances
(Irma tragically died from a snake bite after her
king cobra called Rianti, bit her mid-performance during a Karawang, West Java
concert. In the middle of Irmas second song, she stepped on the snakes
tail. The snake then bit Irma in her thigh.Irma continued to sing for a full 45
minutes after the serpent sunk its teeth into her thigh. She then collapsed after
vomiting and experiencing seizures. She was pronounced dead upon her arrival at
a local hospital) b. 1986.
Royston Nash (82) English conductor best known
for his work with the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company. Born in Southampton and grew
up in Bournemouth, he began to study the trumpet at age seven and at the age of
sixteen, he joined the Royal Marines School of Music, remaining there for six
years and receiving a Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music in conducting.
He began as a conductor with the Royal Marines from 1957 to 1970. He then joined
D'Oyly Carte, becoming Music Director from 1971 to 1979. There, he led the company
during its centenary year in 1975 and issued a number of recordings, including
the company's only recordings of Utopia, Limited, The Grand Duke, and The Zoo.
He then moved to the United States, where he became musical director of the Nashua
Symphony Orchestra and the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra until his retirement in
2007. He also founded and conducted Symphony by the Sea. (Royston
sadly died at the McCarthy Care Center in East Sandwich, Massachusetts)
b. July 23rd 1933
2016: Getatchew Mekurya (81)
Ethiopian jazz saxophonist born in Yifat. He began his musical
studies on traditional Ethiopian instruments such as the krar and the masenqo,
and later moved on to the saxophone and clarinet. Upon reaching adolescence, he
began his professional career in 1949 as a part of the Municipality Band in Addis
Ababa. In 1955 he joined the house band at Addis' Haile Selassie I Theatre, and
in 1965 joined the famous Police Orchestra. He was also one of the first musicians
to record an instrumental version of shellela, a genre of traditional Ethiopian
vocal music sung by warriors before going into battle. He reached an international
audience when his album Negus of Ethiopian Sax was re-released as part of the
Ethiopiques CD series. Dutch avant-garde/punk band The Ex caught the ears of Mekurya,
and he invited them to play with him, which they did from 2004 on. Mekurya asked
the Ex to be the backup band for his 2006 album, Moa Anbessa. The Ex and Mekurya
toured The Netherlands, Belgium and France together in 2006 and 2007, and then
the United States in 2008 and Canada in 2009. Over his long career Getatchew has
added his distinctive sound to collaborations with numerous other contemporary
artists, including British Tamil singer Susheela Raman and Boston jazz ensemble
Either/Orchestra (?) b. March 14th 1935.
Manolo Tena/Jose Manuel de Tena Tena (64) Spanish singer and songwriter;
he was a member of the rock group Spoonful from 1977-1981 and the rock band Alarm
!!! from 1983-1986. In 1988 he began his solo career with an album of urban rock
"So Rare", while he continued composing for artists like Miguel Rios,
Ana Belen, Luz Casal, Rosario Flores, and Ricky Martin.
(?) b. December 21st 1951.
Dorothy Schwartz (89) American singer and
one of the original members of a girls Barber Shop style group, The Chordettes,
which was the brainchild of a girlfriend from high school in her hometown of Sheboygan,
Wisconsin and was formed in 1946. Other original members were Janet Ertel, Carol
Buschmann and Jinny Osborn. They traveled as The
Chordettes performing at Barber Shop fairs and programs around the country.
They gained the attention of Arthur Godfrey who signed the girls to perform on
his television program. They stayed with Mr. Godfrey for three years before Dorothy
decided to return home to raise her family. The
group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2001. (?)
b. February 18th 1927.
Carlo Mastrangelo (77) American doo-wop singer and progressive rock
singer. Born and raised in the Bronx, and was an original member of The Belmonts
with and without Dion DiMucci, a popular singing group of the late 1950s and early
1960s. After the group's breakup with DiMucci, Carlo did lead vocals on all Belmonts
recordings until leaving for a solo career in 1962. Between 1964 and 1966 Carlo
was Dion DiMucci's occasional songwriting partner, backup vocalist, and drummer
in the group, "Dion and the Wanderers". In late 1966, the three original
Belmonts, Carlo, Milano, and D'Aleo, reunited with DiMucci and released the album,
"Dion & The Belmonts Together Again". In the early 1970s, he sang
lead, played drums, percussion, and kazoo for the jazz-rock ensemble, "Pulse".
After Pulse disbanded, he formed and sang lead for The Midnite Sun, a popular
New York City area nightclub band. From the 1980s onwards the two former lead
singers of The Belmonts Dion and Carlo continued to collaborate on many of DiMucci's
recordings and live performances until Carlo's death in April 2016.(?)
b. October 5th 1938.
1946: Vincent Youmans
(47) American composer and Broadway producer,
born in New York City. After WW1 he became a rehearsal pianist for famed composer
Victor Herberts operettas. No, No, Nanette was the biggest musical-comedy
success of the 1920s in both Europe and the USA and his two songs "Tea for
Two" and "I Want to Be Happy" are considered standards. He collaborated
with the greatest songwriters on Broadway: Herbert Stothart, Otto Harbach, Oscar
Hammerstein II, Irving Caesar, Anne Caldwell, Leo Robin, Clifford Grey, Billy
Rose, Edward Eliscu, Edward Heyman, Harold Adamson, Mack Gordon, Buddy De Sylva
and Gus Kahn. He collaborated with lyricist Ira Gershwin on the score for Two
Little Girls in Blue, which won wide acclaim. Vincent was forced to retire in
1934, after a professional career of only 13 years, publishing around 100 songs,
18 of these were considered standards by ASCAP. He also contributed and worked
on 14 musicals, and contributed to 10 films. In 1970, he was inducted into the
Songwriter's Hall of Fame (died of
tuberculosis in Denver. At his death, Vincent left behind a large quantity of
unpublished material) b. September 27th 1898.
1967: Mischa Elman (76)
Ukrainian violinist born in the small town of Talnoye near
Kiev; he made his Berlin debut in 1904, creating a great sensation. His London
debut in 1905 included the British premiere of Alexander Glazunov's Violin Concerto
in A minor. He played in Carnegie Hall in 1908, making a great impression on his
American audience. He toured Australia in 1914, after which the Elman family moved
to America, and became a citizen in 1923. In 1917, he was elected to honorary
membership in Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity. He sometimes performed in
as many as 107 concerts in a 29-week season. In 1943, he gave the premiere of
Bohuslav Martinu's second concerto, which was written for him. Sales of his records
exceeded two million. Mischa also performed and recorded with Josef Bonime, Carroll
Hollister and others, and from 1950, his steady accompanist and recital partner
was Joseph Seiger (?)
January 20th 1891.
Carlo Tagliabue (80) Italian baritone;
he made his debut in Lodi, Italy, in Loreley and Aida. His debuts in Genoa in
1923; Torino, La Scala -1930; Rome -1931; and Naples in 1931 were all in Tristan
und Isolde. He also performed in Wagner's Götterdämmerung, Tannhäuser
and Lohengrin. However, Carlo would go on to excel in the Verdian repertoire,
especially La forza del destino, Aida, Rigoletto, La traviata, Nabucco, and Otello.
He created the role of Basilio in Respighi's La fiamma in 1934. His international
career included Buenos Aires' Teatro Colón -1934, the Metropolitan Opera,
New York 1937-39, and San Francisco Opera and Covent Garden, London in 1938).
His last performance was in 1955 at La Scala, at the famous performance of La
traviata where Maria Callas scandalized the public by throwing her shoes off (?)
b. January 13th 1898
Bob Hite (36) American lead singer, harmonica
with Canned Heat. In 1965, aged 22, he formed a band with Alan Wilson and their
mutual friend Henry Vestine joined soon after and this trio formed the core of
the blues-rock band Canned Heat. Bob remained the lead singer until his death.
Canned Heat appeared at most major musical events of the late 1960s including
the two legendary '60s concerts Monterey and Woodstock, which gained them international
fame. Their songs - "Going Up the Country" and "On the Road Again"
- became international hits; both were re-workings of obscure blues (heart
February 26th 1943.
Cliff Carlisle (79)
singer, a yodeler, a pioneer in the use of the Hawaiian steel guitar in country
music and a brother of country music star Bill Carlisle. Born in Taylorsville,
Kentucky, he began performing locally with cousin Lillian Truax at age 16. They
first played at Louisville, radio station WHAS-AM in 1930, which made them local
stars. Then in 1931, they recorded with Jimmie Rodgers and toward the end of 1931,
Cliff signed with ARC and was offered performance slots on several radio stations,
including WBT-AM in Charlotte, North Carolina, WLS-AM in Chicago and WLW-AM in
Cincinnati, Ohio. Cliff's brother Bill Carlisle became his guitarist after Ball
left in 1934. During the 1930s he recorded a large amount of material and frequently
released songs with sexual connotations including barnyard metaphors, which became
something of a hallmark. He also toured with his son on occasions, but by thr
50s Cliff had retired from music. (?) b.
May 6th 1903.
1983: Danny Rapp (41) American
singer born in Philadelphia, musical career began in 1955 with the formation of
his group The Juvenairs, which later became known as Danny and the Juniors. Their
1957 song "Do the Bop" came to the attention of Dick Clark, who suggested
they rename it to "At the Hop." After limited initial success with the
song, it became a worldwide hit when it was played on American Bandstand. The
Juniors went on to have two more hits "Rock 'n' Roll Is Here To Stay"
and "Twistin' USA". The Juniors released several more records in the
1960s but were not able to produce any more hits. In the 70s they toured the oldies
circuit, re-releasing "At the Hop" in 1976 (an apparent suicide by gunshot)
b. May 9th 1941. (although his birth certificate
states his birth was May 10th, he was born at home on May 9th and registered the
Kurt Cobain (27) American singer, guitarist;
he formed the grunge band Nirvana with Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington
in 1985 and established it as part of the Seattle music scene, having its debut
album 'Bleach' released on the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989. After
signing with major label DGC Records, the band found breakthrough success with
"Smells Like Teen Spirit" from its second album 'Nevermind' in 1991.
Following the success of 'Nevermind', Nirvana was labeled "the flagship band"
of Generation X, and Kurt hailed as "the spokesman of a generation".
However he was often uncomfortable and frustrated, believing his message and artistic
vision to have been misinterpreted by the public, with his personal issues often
subject to media attention. He challenged Nirvana's audience with its final studio
album 'In Utero'
in 1993. Since their debut, Nirvana, with Kurt as
a songwriter, sold over twenty-five million albums in the US alone, and over fifty
million worldwide. (He sadly struggled with heroin addiction, and death was ruled
a suicide by gunshot. Circumstances surrounding his death have fueled much analysis
and debate - was it murder?)
b. February 20th 1967.
Cozy Powell/Colin Flooks (50) British
legendary drummer, born in Cirencester, England, he started playing drums at age
12 in the school orchestra. He played with swamp rocker Tony Joe White at the
Isle of Wight Festival 1970 and went on to work with the Jeff Beck Group, Rainbow,
Graham Bonnet & The Hooligans, Gary Moore, Whitesnake, and as a soloists,
top session player and freelance drummer. Considered
to be one of England's best drummers and very much in demand for rock and pop
records, Cozy is legendary for his heavy-hitting style that he made to work with
many kinds of rock music, whether it be for the thundering pop productions or
the softer rock ballads (Cozy died in hospital following
a car crash, driving his Saab 9000 in bad weather on the M4 motorway near Bristol.
While talking to his girlfriend on his mobile phone, he lost control and crashed
into the central barriers)
b. December 29th 1947.
2002: Layne Staley (34) American lead singer
and co-lyricist of the rock group Alice in Chains, which was formed in Seattle,
Washington in 1987 by Layne and guitarist Jerry Cantrell. They rose to international
fame as part of the grunge movement of the early 1990s. The band became known
for its distinct vocal style, which often included the "snarl-to-a-scream"
vocals of Layne, as well as the harmonized vocals of Layne and Cantrell. He was
also a member of the supergroups Mad Season and Class of '99. He struggled throughout
his career with severe drug addiction. (tragically died of a lethal overdose of
heroin and cocaine) b. August 22nd 1967.
Alexander Brott/Joël Brod (90) Canadian conductor, composer, violinist
and music teacher; born in Montreal, he was leader of the Montreal Orchestra,
Les Concerts symphoniques de Montréal and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra
from 1945 to 1958. In 1939, he joined the Faculty of Music at McGill University,
where he remained until 1980. His compositions included Arabesque, Circle, Triangle,
4 Squares, and Paraphrase in Polyphony. He was also the founder and musical director
of the McGill Chamber Orchestra and conducted the Kingston Symphony Orchestra
from 1965 to 1981. In 1979 Joël was made a Member of the Order of Canada
and in 1988 he was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec (?)
b. March 14th 1915
2006: Gene Pitney (66)
American singer songwriter, born in Hartford, Connecticut; he learned to play
the guitar and piano and formed a schoolboy band with friends from high school,
leading the band Gene and the Genials, with Richard "Dick" Spurling
and Robert "Bob" Terry. Gene had his first success as a songwriter with
"Rubber Ball," a Top 10 hit for Bobby Vee in 1961. Later that year,
Ricky Nelson had a hit with his "Hello Mary Lou." As a performer, Gene
had his first success "(I Wanna) Love My Life Away"
in his sleep at The Hilton Hotel, Cardiff Wales, UK, after a sold out show at
St. Davids Hall) b. February 17th 1940.
2007: Mark St. John/Mark Leslie Norton (50)
American guitarist and teacher from Hollywood, California; he started out as a
school teacher and guitarist for the Southern California cover band Front Page,
before joining the rock band Kiss. Mark was featured on the album Animalize, the
second album of the "unmasked" period. This turned out to be one of
Kiss's most successful studio albums, aside from those made by the original lineup.
Mark's only video appearance with Kiss is in the video for the hit single "Heaven's
on Fire". After leaving Kiss, he formed a band called White Tiger, featuring
singer David Donato, Glenn Hughes on bass, and J. R. Saenz on the drums. (he
died of a cerebral hemorrhage) b. February 7th 1957.
2009: Nancy Overton (83) American singer;
first formed a group with her sister Jean Swain and two college friends, in 1946,
touring with orchestra leader Tommy Tucker for 6 months, as Tommy Tucker's Two
Timers, and recorded the song "Maybe You'll Be There". They next sang
with singer and band leader Ray Heatherton, they were then known as The Heathertones.
The Heathertones disbanded in 1953. In 1957, Janet Ertel of The Chordettes, though
still recording with the group, elected not to continue touring, Nancy was invited
to appear with The Chordettes for live appearances and did so until the group
broke up in the early 1960s. After her husband Hall Overton died in 1972, she
retired from show business and worked for Prentice-Hall Publishers as an editorial
assistant. In the early 1990s, The Chordettes regrouped with Nancy, Doris Alberti,
and original members Lynn Evans and Jean Swain, doing shows ranging from a doo
wop concert to touring with Eddy Arnold (esophageal cancer) b.
February 6th 1926.
2009: Tony D/Anthony Depula
(42) American hip hop DJ and musician; He was the first artist to have
a record released on Mark Rae's burgeoning British Grand Central Records independent
record label, then called Gone Clear Records. His other albums were released on
Cha-Ching Records and 4th & B'way Records, and he was a part of the group
Crusaders for Real Hip Hop, which released one album on Profile Records. He had
also worked as a producer for DJ Muggs, Outsidaz, Scott Lark, Poor Righteous Teachers,
Young Zee, King Sun, Blvd Mosse, and Pace Won. He was last reported to be working
on a band project called The WBs (car accident) b.????
2011: Gil Robbins (80) American folk singer;
he was a well-known musician in the folk scene of New Yorks Greenwich Village
as a member of the Cumberland Three and the Belafonte Singers, which toured with
singer Harry Belafonte before joining the Highwaymen in 1962. He took the group
in a more political direction, playing and singing baritone on five albums until
their 1964 breakup. He is the father of Tim Robbins, and later worked on four
films; two with his son Tim Bob Roberts, as Bishop Norwich
in Dead Man Walking, as Cardinal Geary in Wide Awake and
as Congressman Starnes in the Cradle Will Rock. Gil has also been
a club owner, off Broadway actor, and choir director (sadly
died of prostate cancer)
b. March 2nd 1933.
Bernard Noël "Banjo Barney" McKenna (72) Irish
mandolin and melodeon, but is most renowned as a pioneer banjo player. He was
born in Donnycarney, County Dublin, and played the banjo from an early age, as
he could not afford to buy the instrument of his choice, a mandolin. In 1962 along
with Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly, and Ciarán Bourke, he formed the Irish folk
band The Dubliners. Initially known as "The Ronnie Drew Ballad Group",
they made a name for themselves playing regularly in O'Donoghue's Pub in Dublin.
The change of name came about because of Drew's unhappiness with it, together
with the fact that Kelly was reading Dubliners by James Joyce at the time. They
played at the Edinburgh Festival in 1963 >>>
MORE <<< (unexpectedly
at his home in Howth, Co. Dublin, Ireland)
b. December 16th 1939.
2012: Cynthia Dall/Cynthia Ann Loya (41)
American singer, guitarist and photographer born in Sacramento, California.
She started recording and performing with then-boyfriend, Bill Callahan under
his former moniker, Smog. She first appeared on the Smog song "Wine Stained
Lips", the B-side to the 1994 "A Hit"single. She went on to contribute
vocals and guitar on the Burning Kingdom EP, Wild Love, and The Doctor Came at
Dawn, and also toured with Smog in the US and Europe in 1995. In 1996, Cynthia
released her first solo album, Untitled. In 1998, she did the vocals for a remix
of "Torture Day" by The Notwist. In 2002, she released her second album,
Sound Restores Young Men, and was working on a third album at the time of he death.
Cynthia also gained notoriety in the fanzine world of the 1990s for her frequent
transgressive-styled cover shots and appearances in Lisa Carver's Rollerderby
b. March 12th 1971.
Enzo Toppano (85) Australian accordionist,
born in Broken Hill and made his debut on ABC Radio at the
age of 13. In the late 1940s, he moved to London, where he was repeatedly
voted best instrumental performer on the London Palladium circuit. His support
acts included artists such as Julie Andrews and Petula Clark. In London he also
joined forces with another Australian, rising star Peggy Mortimer and the duo
soon married and had three children. They returned to Australia in the 1950s and
eventually went on to establish "breakfast television" as the first
hosts of channel 7's daily Early Morning Variety Show. During the second half
of the 1970s to the mid-1980s, The Toppano family was a permanent fixture at the
Manly Music Loft. After Peggy's death in 2003, Enzo dedicated himself to performing
in her memory. He and one of his sons, Dean, frequently performed in homes and
institutions for dementia and Alzheimer's disease patients in memory of Peggy.
Musician Vov Dylan worked with closely with Enzo from 2005 and the pair made numerous
albums together. In December 2012 he moved to Mexico with his sons Peta, Lorenzo
and Dean. In the last week of his life, was with his sons in Mexico recording
keyboard overdubs for a coming CD for the Latin American market
(?) b. February 14th 1928.
Piero de Palma (87) Italian operatic tenor, particularly associated
with comprimario roles. He made his stage debut in 1952 at the San Carlo in Naples,
where he was to performed regularly until 1980. The same year saw his debuts at
the Rome Opera and the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, he then went on singing throughout
Italy, appearing in Genoa, Palermo, Catania, Trieste, Bergamo, etc., he also appeared
at the Baths of Caracalla and the Verona Arena, and made his debut at La Scala
in Milan in 1958. He performed for numerous seasons regularly at The Dallas Opera.
He made his Metropolitan Opera debut as Dr. Cajus in Falstaff in 1992 (?)
Alan Davie (93) Scottish painter and
saxophone player, born in Grangemouth and studied at Edinburgh
College of Art in the late 30s. An early exhibition of his work came through the
Society of Scottish Artists. After WWII, he played tenor saxophone in the
Tommy Sampson Orchestra, which was based in Edinburgh but broadcast and toured
in Europe. He travelled widely and in Venice became influenced by other painters
of the period, such as Paul Klee, Jackson Pollock and Joan Miró, as well
as by a wide range of cultural symbols. His painting style also owes much to his
affinity with Zen. Musically, as well as saxophone he played piano, cello and
bass clarinet. In the 70s his interest in free improvisation led into a close
association with the percussionist Tony Oxley. His paintings have also inspired
music by others, notably the bassist and composer Barry Guy. James has also been
fascinated by the work of psychoanalyst Carl Jung. (?)
b. September 28th 1920.
2014: Jason McCash (37) American
former bassist, co-songwriter and co-lyricist for Indianapolis doomsters 'The
Gates of Slumber' from 2003 until 2013, after which Simon and Fouts decided to
dissolve the band. The group became better known in Germany and UK than in their
native United States. Over his career he has also played in the bands Chrome Waves,
Amongst the Swarm, Void, Spine, Merrick, The Dream Is Dead, Birthright, Black
Carcass, The Keep and Switchstance (?)
b. April 19th 1976.
2014: Óscar Avilés
(90) Peruvian guitarist, singer
and producer, born in El Callao and he was one of
the major figures of the Peruvian folk music. When he was 15 he began playing
for the duo The Limeñita and Ascoy and three years later he won a radio
contest organized by the newspaper "La Noche", which launched him on
the road to fame. He went on to become known as the lead guitarist of Peru. In
1946, he was part of The Troubadours of Peru, along with Miguel Paz, Oswaldo Campos
and Panchito Jiménez. He joined the trio Los Morochucos, between 1947 and
1952 , together with Alejandro Cortez and its founder Augusto Ego Aguirre, who
after a break reconvened between 1962 and 1972. Also, in 1952 founded the first
school of Creole-style guitar (Óscar
died after a short illness)
b. March 24th 1924.
David Lamb (35) American folk singer,
songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, he was the
founder of the Rhode Island, husband and wife duo, Brown Bird. He formed Brown
Bird in 2003 in Seattle, before moving to Portland, which included Jerusha Robinson
on cello and her husband Jeremy on multiple instruments. They left the group in
2009, leaving David, MorganEve Swain on fiddle and Mike Samos on lap steel guitar
and dobro in the line-up. In 2010, with the departure of Samos,
the band had become a duo. Their last of 6 albums 'Fits of Reason' was released
in April 2013 (sadly David died while bravely fighting leukemia)
Claudio Prieto (80) Spanish composer born in
Muñeca de la Peña, he began his musical career as a boy playing
various musical instruments for the municipal band of Guardo. His professional
career began in Madrid with the premier at the Ateneo Auditorium of his work 'Improvisation'.
In 1969 his piece 'Solo a Solo', for flute and guitar, won him "Best Spanish
wor for Young Musicians award. His biography, Música, belleza y comunicación,
was published by Editorial Complutense in 1994. In Guardo, a secondary school
bears his name, the Instituto de Educación Secundaria or IES Claudio Prieto
(?) b. November 24th 1934.
Juan Carlos Cáceres (79) Argentine
tango singer, pianist and painter, he was also an accomplished jazz trombonist
by his mid-twenties. Born in Buenos Aires where he quickly became a fixture in
the Buenos Aires jazz community and became a mainstay at the Cueva de Passarato
jazz club, an important musical venue, as well as a gathering place for revolutionary
and existential thinkers. In the late '60s he relocated to Paris, where he engaged
in a wide variety of artistic pursuits, including painting, producing, teaching,
and above all, playing. During this period, he became an expert on the music styles
such as tango, milonga, murga, and candombe. His musicianship flourished as he
earned a reputation not only as a proficient trombonist, but as a pianist, vocalist,
and songwriter as well. (sadly Juan died fighting cancer)
b. September 4th 1936.
Julie Wilson (90) American singer and actress, born in Omaha,
NA. She made her Broadway stage debut in the 1946 revue Three to Make Ready. In
1951, she moved to London to star in the West End production of Kiss Me, Kate
and remained there for four years, appearing in shows such as South Pacific and
Bells Are Ringing while studying at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. She was
nominated for the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical in 1989 for
her performance in Legs Diamond. In 1957, Julie sang with Ray Anthony and his
Orchestra, contributing vocals to a number of songs in the soundtrack to the film
This Could Be The Night. She also had an acting role in the film, as singer Ivy
Corlane. TV credits include regular roles on the American daytime soap opera The
Secret Storm. (sadly died from complications after a stroke)
b. October 21st 1924.
Leon Haywood (74) American funk-soul
singer and keyboard player, born in Houston.
In his teens, he performed with a local group and worked as an accompanist to
blues musician, Guitar Slim. In the early 1960s, he moved to Los Angeles, where
he worked with saxophonist Big Jay McNeely, after which he joined Sam Cooke's
band as keyboardist until the singer's death. In 1967, he secured his first solo
hit with "It's Got to Be Mellow", but he is best known for his 1975
hit single "I Want'a Do Something Freaky to You", which has been much
sampled by Dr. Dre and others. Leon is credited with writing the 1981 hit "She's
a Bad Mama Jama" by Carl Carlton, which he produced in his own studio. From
the 1980s, he produced blues albums by Jimmy McCracklin, Clay
Hammond, Ronnie Lovejoy, Buddy Ace and others on his own Evejim Records label.
(?) b. February 11th
Ryo Kagawa (69) Japanese folk singer, born in
Hikone, was known as a central figure in the Kansai folk-music boom of the late
1960s and early 1970s in Japan, and was a key influence on the early musical development
of such major Japanese artists as Tsuyoshi Nagabuchi. He recorded 17 albums over
a four-decade career, and his musical style has incorporated elements of folk,
rock, and pop. (sadly died fighting leukemia)
b. November 21st 1947
2017: Paul O'Neill (61)
American rock producer, composer and songwriter; born in
New York City he began playing guitar with a number of rock bands in high school
and quickly graduated to folk guitar gigs at downtown clubs. In the mid 70s he
landed a position at Leber-Krebs Inc., as the personal assistant to manager David
Krebs at Leber-Krebs, a management company that worked with Aerosmith, AC/DC,
Ted Nugent, The New York Dolls, Scorpions and Joan Jett among others. In the 1980s,
he became a large rock promoter in Japan, promoting every tour of Madonna and
Sting done in that decade, as well the largest rock festivals done in Japan till
that time with such acts as Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake and Ronnie James Dio.
He began a fortuitous relationship with the band Savatage that led to conceptual
pieces such as 'Hall of the Mountain King', 'Gutter Ballet', 'Streets: A Rock
Opera' and 'Dead Winter Dead' plus 10 albums. It also introduced him to Jon Oliva,
Bob Kinkel and Al Pitrelli, as well as reconnecting him with studio engineer Dave
Wittman, who all became key original collaborators in Paul's grand vision
his Trans-Siberian Orchestra with who he worked with until his dead. His last
album with them was 'Letters From the Labyrinth' in 2015 (sadly
Paul died fighting a chronic illness) b. February 23rd 1956.
1971: Igor Stravinsky (88) Russian-born
composer, pianist, conductor and is widely acknowledged
as one of the most important and influential composers of 20th century music.
He was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the
century. He became a naturalized French citizen in 1934 and a naturalized US citizen
in 1945. In addition to the recognition he received for his compositions, he also
achieved fame as a pianist and a conductor, often at the premieres of his works.
triad of early ballets, The Firebird 1909-10, Petrushka 1910-11, and importantly,
The Rite of Spring 1911-13, did more to establish his reputation than any of his
other works; indeed, the riot which followed the premiere of The Rite is one of
the most notorious events in music history. After the deaths of his daughter,
his wife, and his mother within a period of less than a year, he emmigrated to
America, settling in California in 1940. His works between 1940 and 1950 show
a mixture of styles, but still seem centered on Russian or French traditions.
Despite declining health in his last years, Igor continued to compose until just
before his death. He has a star on Hollywood Walk of Fame at 6340 Hollywood Boulevardm,
posthumously received the Grammy Award for Lifetime Achievement in 1987, and was
inducted into the National Museum of Dance C.V. Whitney Hall of Fame in 2004
(?) b. June 17th 1882.
1977: Benny Featherstone (65) Tasmanian
drummer, trumpeter and legendary bandleader(?)
b.July 30th 1912.
1984: Ral Donner (41)
American singer born in Chicago; a most successful Elvis sound-alike, getting
a career, a year's worth of charting singles, and years of steady work out of
the fact that his singing bore an uncanny resemblance to the King of Rock &
Roll's ballad style. He recorded a cover of Presley's "The Girl of My Best
Friend", along with a backing band called The Starfires. His next single,
"You Don't Know What You've Got (Until You Lose It)", became his biggest,
and only Top Ten, hit on the Billboard charts, peaking at No.4. He managed a few
more hits, the last of which was in 1962. In 1981, Ral was asked to narrate Elvis
Presley's voice in the film This Is Elvis. (died after his
battle with cancer) b. February 10th 1943.
Kennedy (81) Irish
songwriter born near Omagh, predominantly a lyricist, putting words to existing
music such as "Teddy Bears' Picnic" and "My Prayer", or co-writing
with the composers Michael Carr, Wilhelm Grosz and Nat Simon amongst others. While
serving in the British Army's Royal Artillery, where he rose to the rank of Captain,
he wrote the wartime hit, "We're Going to Hang out the Washing on the Siegfried
Line" for the British Expeditionary Force. His other hits include "Barmaids
Song", "Hokey Cokey", "Roll Along Covered Wagon", "Red
Sails in the Sunset", "The Isle of Capri", "Love is Like a
Violin", "Hokey Cokey", "Roll Along Covered Wagon" and
others. Jimmy won two Ivor Novello Awards for his contribution to music and received
an honorary degree from the New University of Ulster. He was also awarded the
OBE in 1983 and in 1997 he was posthumously inducted into the Songwriter's Hall
of Fame (?) b. July
Orlean Williams (48) American lead singer with
the punk band the Plasmatics, with songs such as "Corruption", "Living
Dead", and "Butcher Baby", as well as a solo artist. In 1984, she
released the "W.O.W." album, produced by Gene Simmons of Kiss. Kiss
members Paul Stanley, Ace Frehley, Eric Carr, and Vinnie Vincent also perform
on the album. Her stage theatrics included blowing up equipment, near nudity and
chain-sawing guitars. Dubbed
"The Queen of Shock Rock," she was born in Webster, New York and widely
considered the most controversial and radical female singer of her day and often
sported a Mohawk haircut. Wendy was nominated in 1985 for a Grammy in the Best
Female Rock Vocal Performance category during the height of her popularity as
a solo artist. (sadly Wendy died in a wooded area near her home of a self-inflicted
gunshot wound. She had first attempted suicide in 1993 by hammering a knife into
her chest; the knife lodged in her sternum and she changed her mind; she attempted
suicide again in 1997 with an overdose of ephedrine) b.
May 28th 1949.
1998: Tammy Wynette/Virginia
Wynette Pugh (55) American country music singer-songwriter born near
Tremont, Mississippi, Tammy was one of country music's best-known artists and
biggest-selling female vocalists. She was known as the First Lady of Country Music,
and one of her best-known songs, "Stand by Your Man," was one of the
biggest selling hit singles by a woman in the history of the country music genre.
Many of Tammy Wynette's hits dealt with classic themes of loneliness, divorce
and the difficulties of male-female relationships. During the late 1960s and early
1970s, she dominated the country charts, scoring 17 number one hits, including
"Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad", "My Elusive Dreams", "I
Don't Wanna Play House", "Take Me to Your World," "D-I-V-O-R-C-E",
"Singing My Song" and "The Ways to Love a Man", "He Loves
Me All the Way", "Run Woman, Run", "The Wonders You Perform",
"Good Lovin' (Makes it Right)", "Bedtime Story", "My
Man (Understands)", "'Til I Get it Right", "Kids Say the Darndest
Things" and "The Wonders You Perform". Though the 60s, 70s, 80s,
90s and the 2000s, Tammy has been gained dozens of awards and honours and has
been inducted into several Halls of Fame (After years of
medical problems, approximately twenty-six major surgeries and an addiction to
large doses of pain medication, Tammy sadly died, while sleeping on her couch.
There was no autopsy held until 1999 when the coroner declared that she died of
a cardiac arrhythmia) b. May 5th 1942.
1999: Red Norvo (91)
American jazz vibraphonist born in Beardstown, Illinois; he career began
in Chicago with a band called "The Collegians", in 1925. He played with
many other bands, including an all-marimba band on the vaudeville circuit, and
the bands of Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman, Charlie Barnet, and Woody Herman. Red
recorded with Mildred Bailey, his wife; Billie Holiday, Dinah Shore and Frank
Sinatra, among others. Together, Red and Mildred were known as "Mr. and Mrs.
Swing." He also appeared in the film Screaming Mimi in 1958, playing himself.
Over his career he composed instrumentals such as "Dance of the Octopus",
"Bughouse" with Irving Mills and Teddy Wilson, "The Night is Blue",
"A Cigarette and a Silhouette", "Congo Blues", "Seein'
Red", "Blues in E Flat", "Hole in the Wall", "Knockin'
on Wood", "Decca Stomp", "Tomboy", and "1-2-3-4
Jump". He recorded and toured throughout his career until a stroke in the
mid-1980s forced him into retirement (?)
b. March 31st 1908.
1999: William Pleeth (83)
British cellist and an eminent teacher of the cello. He is probably best known
as the teacher of Jacqueline du Pré. Born in London he showed his talent
as a cellist by age 7, by 15 years old, he had learned all the solo cello suites
by Johann Sebastian Bach, all the Piatti Caprices, and 32 concertos, 24 of which
he had memorized. He studied at the London Cello School and then in Leipzig with
Julius Klengel, who also taught Emanuel Feuermann and Gregor Piatigorsky. William
performed as a soloist with orchestras but preferred chamber music. He organized
the Allegri String Quartet in 1952. He was professor of cello at the Guildhall
School of Music & Drama and began teaching at the Menuhin School in 1977.
He also wrote the book "Cello" in the Menuhin instrument guides (?)
January 12th 1916
2001: Charles Pettigrew (37) African-American
singer, best known as half of R&B duo Charles and Eddie, who had a worldwide
hit in 1992 with "Would I Lie To You?." The track is amongst the most
well-recognised of early '90s r'n'b tracks. Pettigrew met singing partner Eddie
Chacon in New York. Previously, Mr. Pettigrew lived in Boston and was lead singer
of the band Down Avenue. Down Avenue was the winner of radio station WBCN's 1985
Rock 'n Roll Rumble. (sadly
died from cancer)
b. May 12th 1963.
Olatunji (75) Nigerian drummer, educator, social activist and recording
artist born in Ajido, Lagos State. He read in Reader's Digest magazine about the
Rotary International Foundation's scholarship program, and applied for it. He
went to the United States of America in 1950. He went on to work with many prominent
musicians, including Santana, Cannonball Adderley, Pee Wee Ellis, Horace Silver,
Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Randy Weston, and with Max Roach and Abbey Lincoln
on the pivotal Freedom Now Suite aka We Insist, and with Grateful Dead member
Mickey Hart on his Grammy winning Planet Drum projects. He is also mentioned in
the lyrics of Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Free" as recorded on the album
The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. Babatunde favoured a big percussion sound, and his
own band 'Drums of Passion' typically featured more than 20 players. His debut
album also "Drums of Passion" became a major hit and it introduced many
Americans to world music. He toured the American south with Rev. Martin Luther
King Jr and joined King in the march on Washington. He was also a music educator,
and invented a method of teaching and recording drum patterns which he called
the "Gun-Dun, Go-Do, Pa-Ta" method after the different sounds made on
the drum (passed away in Salinas, California from diabetes)
b. April 7th 1927.
Niki Sullivan (66) American guitarist
born in South Gate, California; he was one of the three original members of Buddy
Holly's backing group, The Crickets; his guitar playing was an integral part of
Holly's early success. He also co-wrote a number of his hit songs and sang back-up
vocals on 27 of the 32 songs Buddy recorded over his brief career. He helped arrange
the music to "Peggy Sue", "Not Fade Away", which he helped
write, "I'm Gonna Love You Too", "That'll Be the Day", and
"Maybe Baby". It was around this period that he also wrote and produced
the single "Look to the Future," which was recorded by Gary Tollett
and The Picks, who often did back-up vocals for the Crickets (sadly
died of a heart attack) b. June 23rd 1937.
Augustyn Bloch (75) Polish composer and organist,
student of Feliks Raczkowski and Tadeusz Szeligowski. He was an active concert
organist, conducted his own music, and wrote music for the Polish Radio Theatre
b. August 13th 1929.
Jan "Tollarparn" Eriksson (69) Swedish jazz pianist (?) b.
July 25th 1939.
2010: Luigi Waites/Lewis Waites
(82) American jazz drummer and vibraphonist from Omaha, Nebraska. He
performed weekly gigs in the Omaha area both solo and with ensembles such as Luigi,
Inc. He served the Omaha music community for over 60 years. He toured Europe twice
and performed with jazz legends such as Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald and Dinah
Washington. Luigi, Inc has shared the stage with Jean-Luc Ponty, James Brown and
Dizzy Gillespie. In 1996 he was awarded Nebraska Artist of the Year by the Nebraska
inducted into the Omaha Black Music Hall of Fame in 2005 and
received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the first annual Omaha Entertainment
Awards on January 4th 2007 (Luigi sadly passed away
at Immanuel Medical Center in Omaha, of natural causes)
b. July 10th 1927.
2011: Coyote McCloud (68)
American disc jockey based in Nashville, Tennessee; he first became well-known
in the early 1970s on WMAK-AM, then a market-dominant rock and roll station, as
host of its 7 p.m.midnight program. He has been called "legendary"
amongst Djs. Coyote was one of the most controversial deejays of the late 1980s
when he was the lead man on "The Zoo Crew" on Nashville's Y107 / WYHY.
While enormously popular amongst his target demographic, his outlandish on-air
personality drew the ire of many within the community as being a "bad influence"
on teenagers. He was one of the subjects of a CBS 48 Hours documentary in 1992
about "shock radio". He enjoyed his highest level of popularity while
working for Y107, and had his own fan club. He worked at the station for over
10 years, from 1984 to 1995 and was featured frequently in Billboard. He also
worked at Kix 104 / WWKX in the early 1980s, Power Country 103 / WZPC in the mid-1990s,
and Oldies 96.3 / WMAK in the early 2000s. Along with Cathy Martindale, he hosted
Coyote & Cathy In The Morning on 96.3 WMAK FM and 97.1 WRQQ until late November
2006 (he had been battling cirrhosis of the liver)
b. August 31st 1942.
Peter Kaberere aka Kabz
singer mostly in Swahili pop and contemporary gospel tradition. He began his career
in the group JoggC and was member of Zaidi Ya Mziki as well as launching a solo
musical career. He released the album Kiburi that produced the hit "Kiburi
ni cha nini?". Other famous hits include "Nisamehe", "Just
a Way" with Mr. Vee and he featured in "Mwanake" by Benachi. Kabz
also worked as operations manager at Mo Sound Ltd, the company that hosts the
annual gospel awards Groove Awards and the Safaricom Live concerts (tragically
was electrocuted in a freak accident at the car wash)
Jacques Castérède (87) French composer
and pianist born in Paris; in 1944 he entered Paris National Conservatory of Music
where between 1948 and 1953 he obtained 5 first prizes, in piano, chamber music,
analysis, composition, and harmony classes. He also won the Grand Prix de Rome
in 1953 with his cantata La boîte de Pandore. The following year, he went
to Rome where he stayed until 1958. In 1960, he was appointed as a professor of
solfege in Paris National Conservatory, then counseller of piano study in 1966
and analysis in 1971. On request from Chinese government, he became a professor
of composition at the Central Academy in Beijing. His very many works, which include
symphonies, concertos, ballets, ensemble and chamber music and he has received
numerous awards as a composer, among them the Paris Civil Award in 1991, Charles
Cros Award and Record Academy Award in 1995 (?)
b. April 10th 1926.
Erzsi Kovács (85) Hungarian
pop singer and performer, born in Budapest and her first major success was with
"Régi óra halkan jár"/"The Old Clock Ticks
Softly" in 1957. In 2009, he recorded her last album, Mosolyogva búcsúzom/I
Leave with a Smile at the age of 79. Erzsi was awarded the highest honor in Hungary,
the Order of Merit of the Republic of Hungary(sadly
died after a long illness) b. June 2nd 1928.
2014: Ed Hurt (90) American
bluegrass fiddle, mandolin player and he emceed some of the largest bluegrass
and folk music festivals in the South, including the Union Grove, N.C., National
Fiddlers Convention, which drew around a quarter of a million people when
it finally closed in 1979 and bluegrass festivals
held in Lavonia, Ga., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Dallas, Ga., and elsewhere, where
he introduced on stage the whos who of the bluegrass music world including
Bill Monroe, Lester Flatt, Keith Whitley, Ralph Stanley, Ricky Skaggs, Jimmy Martin,
Doc Watson, Jim & Jesse McReynolds, Mac Wiseman, The Osborne Brothers and
hundreds more. Being a virtuoso on both the fiddle and mandolin, over the decades
he became the mentor and instructor for many of Augustas budding musicians,
including Doug and Talmadge Flowers, John Lamb and Eryn Eubanks
(?) b. 1924.
DeLugg (96) American composer, songwriter, musician, bandleader
and arranger born in Los Angeles, maybe best known for
his time as bandleader for The Gong Show. In 1938, he joined the Matty Malneck
Orchestra as an accordionist, before serving with the Army Air Corps during World
War II, after which he formed his own group. Freelancing he worked on themes for
shows such as The Fred Allen Show, What's My Line? and the Junior Miss pageant
and penned many songs including "Hoop Dee Do",
"The Happy Wanderer", "Just Another Polka" and "Orange
Colored Sky". In 1964, he penned the score to the cult classic Santa Claus
Conquers the Martians. In 1966 he assumed bandleading duties on NBC's The Tonight
Show, before he joined The Gong Show, where he and his group were dubbed "Milton
DeLugg and the Band with a Thug." In addition to composing music for a number
of children's records released through RCA and Golden Books, in 1967 he also issued
the solo album Accordion My Way..Ole! (?)
b. December 2nd 1918.
2015: Ray Charles (96)
American musician, singer, songwriter, vocal arranger and conductor who was best
known as organizer and leader of the Ray Charles Singers and as a songwriter,
known for the choral anthem "Fifty Nifty United States," in which he
set the names of the states to music in alphabetical order. In 1936, he joined
the Federal Theater show "O Say Can You Sing", before moving to New
York City, where he started getting work, singing on the radio for Lyn Murray,
Ray Bloch and other choral directors. By 1944, he was doing 10 radio shows a week.
After his time in the Navy, he worked again in NYC befoe moving LA. In June 1959,
for the next 35 years he and his singers became a fixture on The Perry Como television
show. It was a busy time with televisions top variety shows, records and
commercial jingles. The Ray Charles Singers, a name bestowed on them by Perry
Como, began recording a series of albums. Due to advances in recording technology,
they were able to create a softer sound than had been heard before and this was
the birth of what has been called "easy listening". His rendition of
"Cuando Calienta el Sol" recorded in English "Love Me with All
Your Heart", reached No.3 the Billboard Hot 100 chart
(?) b. September 13th 1918.
Dennis Davis (64) American
drummer and session musician best known for his work with David Bowie. Born and
raised in Manhattan, New York City, he studied with drummers Max Roach and Elvin
Jones before joining the Clark Terry Big Band in 1967. He met guitarist Carlos
Alomar when they were both playing with Roy Ayers. He was hired by David Bowie
in 1974 with Alomar and bassist George Murray and formed the rhythm section which
performed on a number of Bowie's albums released in the 1970s. "Heroes"
and "Ashes To Ashes" The snare sound used on Bowie's Low album is considered
one of the most influential musical recording aspects in popular music. In
the early 2000s, Dennis played percussion on David Bowie's live tours, including
Bowie's last tour, A Reality Tour, in 2003. Over his long
career Dennis also played with Stevie Wonder, on albums including "Journey
Through The Secret Life Of Plants" and ''Hotter Than July''; with Iggy Pop
on "The Idiot"; and on albums with George Benson, Jermaine Jackson and
Roy Ayers. (sadly Dennis died while fighting cancer)
b. August 28th 1951.
2016: Merle Haggard (79)
American singer-songwriter, guitarist,
fiddler, and instrumentalist born in Oildale, California, who, along with his
band the Strangers helped create the Bakersfield sound, which is characterized
by the twang of Fender Telecaster, the unique mix with the traditional country
steel guitar sound and new vocal harmony styles. At 12, his brother, Lowell, gave
him his used guitar and Merle learned to play alone, with the records he had at
home, influenced by Bob Wills, Lefty Frizzell, and Hank Williams. Merle had a
childhood after the death of his father in 1945, and he was incarcerated several
times in his youth. When he was 14, he ran away to Texas with his friend Bob Teague,
they rode freight trains and hitchhiked throughout the state. When he returned
the same year, he and his friend were arrested for robbery, but were released
when the real robbers were found. >>>
MORE <<< (ongoing
complications from pneumonia) b. March 19th 1926.
David Peel/David Michael Rosario (73) American
musician, guitarist, street musician, and New York folk singer. He first came
to notice in the late Sixties when he and his band the Lower East Side scored
an offbeat hit with "I Like Marijuana", off the group's 1968 debut album
'Have a Marijuana' which was all
recorded live on the streets of New York, it also featured counterculture anthems
like "Up Against the Wall," an ode to the anarchist group, and "Show
Me the Way to Get Stoned". In 1971, John Lennon and Yoko Ono witnessed one
of Dave's street performances; Lennon became fascinated by him, and soon signed
Dave to Apple Records, from which came 'The Pope Smokes Dope' a lone album recorded
for Apple. He continued to be a prolific performer in the following decades and
recently, he resurfaced as a street musician during the Occupy Wall Street protests
in New York, where he was a regular at the Occupy stronghold of Zuccotti Park;
he refashioned his "Up Against the Wall" into "Up Against the Wall
Street" for the protests. David also recorded "I Can't Breathe,"
a response to Eric Garner's death. (sadly
died several days after suffering a massive heart attack)
b. August 1st 1943.
Joseph Rascoff (71) American
rock and roll business-tour manager and accountant. In 1974 he was a partner at
the Manhattan accounting firm Hurdman & Cranstoun, when he met Prince Rupert
zu Loewenstein, the financial adviser for the Rolling Stones. Hurdman & Cranstoun
could not take the Stones on as clients because of their drug history, so Joseph
took a leave of absence and became the Stones road accountant, and then
became their tour producer. He
never returned to that firm, but also, he never stopped being an accountant and
formed his own company. Although Mr. he preferred classical music, he immersed
himself in the rock n roll business, which had never had real professionals
attempt to get it under control. Then in 1988 he merged businesses with Mr.Zysblat,
to form the Rascoff/Zysblat Organization. As well as the Rolling Stones, he also
represented the likes of David Bowie, Sting, Paul Simon, the Allman Brothers Band
and the Elvis Presley estate among others. (sadly died fighting
prostate cancer) b. 1945/46.
1976: Jimmy Garrison (42)
American jazz double bassist born in Miami. He was best known through his long
association with John Coltrane from 1961-67. He appeared on many classic Coltrane
recordings, including A Love Supreme. In concert with Coltrane, he would often
play unaccompanied improvised solos, sometimes as the prelude to a song. He also
had a long association with Ornette Coleman, first recording with him on 'Ornette
on Tenor and Art of the Improvisers'. He and drummer Elvin Jones have been credited
with eliciting more forceful playing than usual from Coleman on the albums New
York is Now and Love Call. Jimmy also performed with jazz artists such as Kenny
Dorham, Philly Joe Jones, Curtis Fuller, Benny Golson, Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz,
Jackie McLean, Pharoah Sanders, and Tony Scott, among others. After Coltrane's
death, he worked with Hampton Hawes, Archie Shepp and groups led by Elvin Jones
(?) b. March 3rd 1934.
1981: Kit Lambert (45) English record producer and the manager for
The Who. After serving in the army, he became assistant director for the films
The Guns of Navarone and From Russia when he met The Who and became The Who's
manager. He also replaced Shel Talmy as the group's producer in 1966. While mainly
associated with The Who, he worked with other bands, including Jimi Hendrix and
Arthur Brown. In 1980 he began writing a book on his life, of how he found The
Who, and with many never-before-told stories about The Beatles, Rolling Stones,
Brian Epstein, Jimi Hendrix and friends like Princess Margaret and Liberace. Days
before Kit was to sign a publishing deal, the publisher was contacted by the Official
Solicitor who was in charge of Lambert's life, and who said all monies must be
paid into the court to be doled out to Kit. This was the beginning of his downward
spiral (tragically died of a cerebral hemorrhage after falling
down a flight of stairs at his mother's home in London) b.
May 11th 1935.
Lee Brilleaux (41) South
African singer, harmonica player, slide-guitarist and the power-driving front
man, and founder member, of the traditional rock and electric blues fusion Dr
Feelgood; born in Durban, South Africa, but
at 13, he moved with his family to Canvey Island,
the oil refinery community in the Thames Estuary, UK. Lee co-founded Dr Feelgood
in 1971, with the guitarist Wilko Johnson and went on to co-found the Stiff record
label in 1976, and the band's own record label Grand Records. Their breakthrough
1976 live album, Stupidity, reached No.1 in the UK albums chart and their Top
10 hit single
"Milk and Alcohol" charted in 1979. Every
year since Lee's death, a special concert, known as the Lee Brilleaux Birthday
Memorial, is held on Canvey Island (sadly died from throat
cancer) b. May
Henry Georg Schwartze (57) German
vocalist and bass player, born in Germany but raised in Southampton, UK. His biggest
solo hit was "Just Like Eddie", a tribute to Eddie Cochran. He was initially
backed by The Saints. His later backing groups "The Wild Ones", and
"The Wild Boys" featured Ritchie Blackmore and Mick Underwood among
others. Before he went solo in early 1963, he was a member of The Tornados.
(he died of a stroke, from the effects of motor neurone disease)
b. July 24th 1942.
2000: Broery/Broery Marantika
in Ambon, Maluku; he recorded around 18 albums, producing many hits including
Aku Jatuh Cinta; Ayah; Kharisma Cinta; Aku Orang Tak punya; Duri Dalam Cinta;
Senja Di Kuala Lumpur; Alam Jadi saksi; Rindumu rinduku; Balada seorang Minta-minta;
Rindumu Rinduku; and Senja Kelabu. He recorded duets with the likes of Emillia
Contessa, Vina Panduwinata, Dewi Yull and Ziana Zain. Broery also featured in
over a dozen films including Akhir sebuah impian, Istriku sayang istriku malang,
Kasih sayang, and Wajah tiga perempuan. In 1991 he won of six Categories at Jakarta
Music Festival in Best Vidio, Clip, Sound track, Composition and Producer - He
sings Once There Was Love; 1in 996 The Best of Sound Track Album of the Movie
at Malaysia Hapuslah Air Mata/wipe your tears and in 1997 he was the winner with
his song Surat Untuk Kekasih at Malaysia Official Music Industry Award (?)
b. June 25th 1944.
Grigoris Bithikotsis (82) Greek folk singer/songwriter born in Peristeri,
Athens; he met composer Mikis Theodorakis in 1959 and the two collaborated producing
folk songs. Grigoris composed over 80 songs, including: Stu Belami to ouzeri and
Toy Votanikou o magas. He possessed a rich singing voice with which he performed
his own compositions and those of Theodorakis, who frequently chose him to perform
his masterpieces. The two contributed greatly to the then-emerging laika style
of Greek music. A leftist, Grigoris was exiled to the island of Makronisos in
the 1950s during the reign of King Paul. Throughout his life, Bithikotsis performed
frequent concerts at numerous venues, including one in Athens upon the occasion
of his eightieth birthday (sadly
died following 3 months of hospitalization)
b. December 11th 1922.
2006: Derek Jamerson
(39) American drummer and keyboardist very active in the Detroit Techno
Music Scene, he is also the son of the legendary bassist James Jamerson
More <<< (died in the Presbyterian
St. Lukes Hospital, Denver, Colorardo) b. December
2007: William "Lefty"
Bates (87) American Chicago blues guitarist, born in Leighton, Alabama,
he was raised in St. Louis, Missouri, attending Vashon High School and while there
help form the Hi-De-Ho Boys. In 1936, they relocated to Chicago, and recorded
for Decca Records and played in several Chicago clubs. He served in World War
II, and later joined the Aristo-Kats, who recorded on RCA Victor. He was a regular
on the Chicago blues scene with his Lefty Bates Combo, and worked as a session
musician with the likes of the El Dorados, John Lee Hooker, the Flamingos, Jimmy
Reed, Buddy Guy, Etta James, the Moroccos, and the Impressions among others (sadly
died of an arteriosclerosis) b. March 9th 1920.
2008: Phil Urso (82) American jazz tenor saxophonist
and composer, he learned clarinet as a child and switched to tenor sax while in
high school. He served in the Navy during World War II and then moved to New York
City in 1947. He backed Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra with the Eliot Lawrence
played with Woody Herman, Jimmy Dorsey, Miles Davis, Terry Gibbs, Oscar Pettiford
and many others in the late 1940's until the early 70s. Phil moved to Denver and
continued performing locally into the 1990s (?) b.
October 2nd 1925.
2009: Mari Trini/Maria Trinidad
Perez Miravete (61) Spanish pop singer and actress; she learned to
play guitar and compose songs at a young age. After meeting American film producer
Nicholas Ray she moved to London to improve her natural skills and later to Paris
in 1963 where she signed her first record deal. In 1969 Mari debuted with the
release of a self-titled album featuring songs in both Spanish and French. Amores,
Escuchame and Ventanas followed soon after. Her songs "Cuando Me Acaricias,"
"Canción de Otoño," and "Yo No Soy Esa," became
classics in the Latin pop music field. She released 25 albums over her long career,
her intensity, with a strong undercurrent of melancholy, expressed in an intimate,
slightly rasping voice, brought comparisons with Edith Piaf. (cancer) b.
July 12th 1947.
2010: Graciela Grillo-Perez
(94) Cuban latin jazz singer born in Havana. In the early 1940s, Graciela
moved to New York City to seek success and became known as 'The First Lady of
Latin Jazz'. Her best-known songs include "This is Graciela", "Intimate
and Sentimental" and "That's the Way I Am"
(Passed away due to renal and pulmonary failure)
b. August 23rd 1915.
François Chassagnite (55) French jazz trumpeter and singer;
in 1979 he joined the Paris Club, his first professional job and in 1981 he became
a member of the Euro-Jazz Big Band. In the 1980s, he played in bands led by Jean-Loup
Longnon , Antoine Hervé, Andy Emler and Denis Badault . He together with
Alain Jean-Marie, Alby Cullaz and Oliver Johnson he formed a quartet together
with whom he toured European and African countries went on. In 1987/88 he was
with the big bands of Gil Evans and Gérard Badini in 1989. He played his
debut album Samya Cynthia in 1993, followed by the Thelonious Monk album Epistrophy.
He also worked with Stéphane Bertrand , Emanuele Cisi, Dominique Lemerle
and Frédéric Viale (sadly died of a heart
attack) b. 1955.
Irma Ravinale (75) Italian composer and music educator born in Naples;
she studied composition at the Rome Conservatory of Santa Cecilia and continued
her studies in Paris and in Cologne, also studying piano, conducting and choral
1966, she took a position teaching composition at
the Conservatory Santa Cecilia in Rome. She
became director of San Pietro a Maijella Conservatory in Naples where she served
until 1989 and then Director of the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia where she served
until 1999. She is member of the International Honour Committee of the Fondazione
Donne in Musica. She composes many works for symphony orchestra, chamber ensembles
and musical theatre. In 1992 she was honored with Commander of the Order of Merit
of the Italian Republic (?)
October 1st 1937.
2013: Andy Johns (61)
British sound engineer and record producer born in Surrey and attended The King's
School, Gloucester. Before his nineteenth birthday, he was working as Eddie Kramer's
second engineer on recordings by Jimi Hendrix and many others. His
sound is exemplified by Free's album Highway, which he engineered and produced.
In a career spanning more than forty years, he engineered or produced records
by artists ranging from Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones to Van Halen and Rod
Stewart, whose sales total in excess of 160 million copies
(Andy sadly died after a short stay in a Los Angeles hospital being treated for
complications from a stomach ulcer) b.
Neil Smith (59) Australian rock electric bassist, he was an early member
of AC/DC before he joined up with Rose Tattoo in 1979 (sadly
died while battling cancer) b. 1952 or 1953.
2014: John Shirley-Quirk CBE (82)
English bass-baritone, born in Liverpool where he
sang in the choir at Holt High School. He was a member of the English Opera Group
from 196476 and his vast discography includes many of Britten's works and
Mahler's Eighth Symphony under Sir Georg Solti on Decca, and Vaughan Williams'
vocal works under Sir David Willcocks and the Choir of King's College, Cambridge
for EMI. He also sang in the premiere recording of Delius's Requiem in 1968, shortly
after a rare live performance at the Albert Hall with the same forces. Among his
early recordings for Saga of British songs is the first complete version of Vaughan
Williams's Songs of Travel.
He was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire/CBE) in 1975 and
in 1982 was appointed associate artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival and
1991 he was on the faculty of the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore,
(sadly died while fighting cancer)
b. August 28th 1931.
2014: George Shuffler
(88) American bluegrass guitar player born in
Valdese, North Carolina, he was an early practitioner of the crosspicking style.
During his career he played with The Bailey Brothers, The Stanley Brothers and
Ralph Stanley's Clinch Mountain Boys. He was a 2007 recipient of the North Carolina
Heritage Award and in 2011 was elected to the International Bluegrass Music Hall
of Fame. In his later years, after he heard his daughters sing a
gospel song at church, he decided to form a family gospel band. He released a
few gospel albums and had a big hit "When I Receive My Robe and Crown,"
which stayed on the gospel charts for eleven months. (?)
b. April 11th 1925.
Jade Lemons (?)
American rock guitarist and member of the Atlanta hard rock
band Injected. The band was formed mid-1990s by a group of high school friends
and spending years gathering a strong following on the Atlanta rock scene, Injected
released its major label debut, Burn It Black, in early 2002 which produced rock
radio airplay with the singles . They spent the year touring the country playing
venues large and small with artists such as Local H, Saliva, Hoobastank, Greenwheel,
Jerry Cantrell, Tommy Lee, Default,
Nickelback, Sevendust, Incubus, Fu Manchu, Speeddealer,
Damone, and Papa Roach. At the end of touring the US/Canada in 2002, Jade and
Injected parted ways. On May 9th 2009, Injected played with all four original
members for the first time in seven years. They performed the Cheap Trick track,
"I Want You to Want Me" at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta as one of 500
acts at the charitable 10 night event, 500 Songs for Kids. During 2010, Grady
and Lemons began working together with Kyle Spence on drums to record some new
material. On May 18, 2013, Injected reunited to play a two-song set at 500 Songs
for Kids Benefit Festival. (tragically
from an apparent drug overdose)
2016: Jimmie Van Zant (59)
American rock singer, songwriter, guitarist, and
was cousins to Lynryd Skynyrd fame, Ronnie & Johnny Van Zant as well as cousins
with 38 Specials Donnie Van Zant. He made a name for himself performing
at summer festival shows and Harley-Davidson rallies. Between 1996-2012, he recorded
3 albums, The Jimmie Van Zant Band, Southern Comfort, and his final album, Feels
Like Freedom. (sadly Jimmie died fighting liver cancer)
María Luisa Ozaita (77) Spanish pianist,
harpsichordist, musicologist, conductor and composer born in Barakaldo. She studied
with Fernando Remacha, and continued her studies in Copenhagen with Leif Thybo
and K.J. Isaksen through a MFA exchange scholarship. She also studied harpsichord
in France and at Darmstadt in Germany. She went on to
performed internationally in Europe, North America and Eastern Europe, and her
compositions have also been performed internationally. She lectured on music history,
and published professional articles in magazines including Confutatis and OpusMusica,
also in the book 'Women in Music' by Patricia Adkins Chiti and collaborated on
the Spanish edition of 'Women in Music'. (?)
b. May 20th 1939.
Ben Lacy Speer (86) American singer, pianist,
music publisher, and record company executive, born in Double Springs, Alabama.
He sang with the Southern gospel group The Speer Family for most of his career
and was youngest child of Lena and G.T. Speer, who originally led the family group,
with Ben's siblings Brock, Mary Tom, and Rosa Nel. During his years with the group,
they recorded more than 75 albums and in addition to singing and playing piano,
he also arranged music for them. He retired from the group in 1992, but made some
appearances until the group itself retired in 1998. The Speer Family was the first
group to receive the Gospel Music Association's Lifetime Achievement Award. Other
recognition for the Speers included inclusion in the Alabama Music Hall of Fame,
receiving the Southern Gospel Music Guild's Heritage Award, and receiving 14 Dove
Awards. The group's recording of "I'm Standing on the Solid Rock" has
the distinction of having the longest tenure as the top song on the Singing News
chart of popular Southern Gospel recordings. Ben was individually inducted into
the Gospel Music Association's Hall of Fame in 1995 and induced agin with the
group in 1998. (sadly died battling Alzheimer's Disease)
b. June 26th 1930.
1938: Joe "King" Oliver (57)
American cornet player; born in Aben, Louisiana, he pioneered in the use of mutes,
including the plumber's plunger, derby hat, bottles and cups in the bell of his
horn. His recording "WaWaWa" with the Dixie Syncopators can be credited
with giving the name wah-wah to such techniques. He gave Louis Armstrong the first
cornet that Louis was to own. Louis called Oliver his idol and inspiration all
his life. Joe was also noted as a composer, having written many tunes still regularly
played, including "Dippermouth Blues", "Sweet Like This",
"Canal Street Blues", and "Doctor Jazz". Two of Armstrong's
most famous recordings, "West End Blues" and "Weather Bird",
were Oliver compositions. Joe was inducted as a charter member of the Gennett
Records Walk of Fame in Richmond, Indiana in 2007. (The
Great Depression was harsh on him and Joe "King" Oliver ,
one of the most influential pioneer icons, died in poverty
in a Chicago rooming house at 508 Montgomery Street)
b. December 19th 1885
1942: Kostas Skarvelis (61) Greek
songwriter; growing up in Istanbul, he composed hundreds of songs, writing mostly
of love, over 200 recordings still survive. He collaborated with singers including
Giorgos Kavouras, Rita Abatzi, Kostas Roukounas, Marika Frantzeskopoulou, Kostas
Tsanakos, Markos Vamvakaris, Stellakis
Perpiniadis, Apostolos Chatzichristos. (tragically Kostas died of hunger
as a result of the occupation of Greece by the Axis (Germany-Japan-Italy) during
the WW2, sharing the fate of hundreds of thousands of Greeks)
John Frederick Coots (87) American songwriter
born in Brooklyn, New York, he wrote over 700 songs including 'Santa Claus Is
Coming to Town' a song that became one of the biggest best sellers in American
music history. John offered the song to Eddie Cantor who used it on his radio
show that November and it became an instant hit. The morning after the radio show
there were orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music, and, by Christmas, sales
had passed 400,000. Other songs included Love Letters In The Sand, You Go To My
Head, Louisiana Fairy Tale, For All We Know, and I Still Get a Thrill (Thinking
of You). (?) b. May
Yukiko Okada (18) Japanese singer;
in March 1983, she was the winner of "Star Tanjo!", on Nippon Television,
similar to American Idol. Yukiko debuted with a single, "First Date"
in April of '84. That
year, she won Rookie of the Year, and was awarded the 26th Japan Record Awards'
Grand Prix Best New Artist Award for her third single, "Dreaming Girl: Koi,
Hajimemashite". Yukiko played the leading role in her first television drama
Kinjirareta Mariko /The Forbidden Mariko, in 1985 and in her 1986 single "Lip
Network", reached number one on the Oricon weekly singles chart (Yukiko
was found with a slashed wrist in her gas-filled Tokyo apartment, crouching in
a closet and sobbing. Two hours later, the singer jumped to her death from the
seven-storey Sun Music Agency building. The reason for her suicide is still unknown)
August 22nd 1967.
1991: Dead/Per Yngve Ohlin (22) Swedish black
metal vocalist born in Stockholm, Sweden best known for his work with Norwegian
black metal band Mayhem. In the late '80s Dead worked as vocalist with the Swedish
death metal band Morbid, recording demos Morbid Rehearsal and December Moon both
in 1987. He joined the Norwegian black metal band Mayhem in 1998 and can be heard
on their albums Dawn of the Black Hearts, Live in Leipzig, Freezing Moon/Carnage,
and Out from the Dark. Allegedly Dead used to smell a dead crow he kept in a jar
before performances so that he could sing with the smell of death in his
nostrils and would regularly cut himself with knives and bottles on stage.
When he killed himself via neck and wrist slitting and shotgun to the head, it
is rumoured his band member took some pictures and made necklaces out of the skull
fragments. Then, one of the pictures was stolen and made in to the cover of the
bootleg album Dawn Of The Black Hearts. Many people say that the Norwegian black
metal scene realized its true potential when Dead died. (suicide)
b. January 16th 1969.
Roosevelt "Booba" Barnes (59) US
Bluesman, harmonica player; born in Longwood, Mississippi, he started out with
the Swinging Gold Coasters in 1960, a Mississippi blues outfit, before relocating
to Chicago in 1964, where he played in bars and clubs. By the early 70s he was
back in Mississippi playing locally. In 1985 he opened a nightclub, the Playboy
Club, where he would play with his backing band called the Playboys. They became
regional blues favorites, and eventually signed to Rooster Blues. Booba released
his debut album "The Heartbroken Man" in 1990. The album was hailed
by Allmusic as "an instant modern classic". He toured the U.S. and Europe
following the album's release (lung cancer) b.
September 25th 1936
Laura Nyro (49) American
singer, guitarist, pianist, songwriter born in The Bronx, New York. Her style
was a hybrid of Brill Building-style New York pop, jazz, gospel, rhythm and blues,
show tunes and rock. She
was best known, and enjoyed her greatest commercial success, as a composer and
lyricist rather than as a performer. Between 1968 and 1970 a number of other singers
had significant hits with her songs: The 5th Dimension with "Blowing Away",
"Wedding Bell Blues", "Stoned Soul Picnic", "Sweet Blindness",
"Save The Country" and "Black Patch"; Blood, Sweat & Tears
and Peter, Paul & Mary with "And When I Die"; Three Dog Night with
"Eli's Coming"; and Barbra Streisand with "Stoney End", "Time
and Love", and "Hands off the Man (Flim Flam Man)". Nyro's best-selling
single was her recording of Carole King and Gerry Goffin's "Up on the Roof"
(ovarian cancer) b. October 18th 1947.
2008: Cedella Malcolm Booker (81)
Jamaican mother of the great Bob Marley, born in Rhoden Hall, Saint Ann
Parish, Jamaica. At 18, she married Norval Marley, a white Jamaican of English
ancestry, when she became pregnant with his son. Norval was a Marine officer and
captain as well as the plantation overseer. His family applied constant pressure
however, and although he provided financial support for them, the Captain seldom
saw his wife and son. Bob was ten years old when Norval died of a heart attack
in 1955 at age 60. Cedella and Bob then moved to Trenchtown, a slum neighborhood
in Kingston (natural causes) b. July 23rd 1926.
"Pop" Winans (74) American gospel singer;
the patriarch of the award-winning gospel music family, The Winans. Born in Detroit,
he began singing with a gospel quartet at the age of 18.
He met his wife Delores while in the Lucille Lemon Choir, and recorded together
as "Mom and Pop Winans" and separately at various times as "Mom",
"Pop", "David" or "Delores". They received a Grammy
nomination for their CD "Mom & Pop Winans" in 1989 and in 1999,
David was nominated for a Grammy for his solo album, "Uncensored". The
Winans family gospel group earned six Grammy awards and were well known for the
yearly Christmas concerts they organized at Mercy Hall in which their ten children
died from a heart attack)
b. April 20th 1934.
Herb(ie) Lovelle (84)
American drummer, who played jazz, R & B, rock, folk and
was also a studio musician and an actor. He began his career with trumpeter, singer
and band leader Hot Lips Page late in the 1940s, then played in the 1950s with
saxophonist Hal Singer, Johnny Moore's Three Blazes, and pianist Earl Hines. Through
working for both Lucky Thompson and Jimmy Rushing of Count Basie's Orchestra,
he became house drummer at the Savoy Ballroom in New York City for much of the
1950s. He toured with tenor sax Arnett Cobb and pianist Teddy Wilson in 1954.
In the early years of television, he performed with the King Guion Orchestra on
the Jerry Lester Show and the Ed Sullivan Show. In 1966, he was the lead drummer
for the Sammy Davis, Jr. TV show. In 1976, he produced the first Stuff album,
which went platinum in Japan. He also played drums in the 1976 revival of Guys
and Dolls. From the 1980s on, he acted in film and television, including on Law
& Order (19952004). His film credits include Bella, Mitchellville, The
Rhythm of the Saints, Don't Explain, The Curse of the Jade Scorpion Down to Earth,
Girlfight, Maximum Risk, Getting Away with Murder, White Lies, Bleeding Hearts,
The Paper, Running on Empty, Death Wish III, A Man Called Adam. His TV credits
& Order, Into the Fire, How Do You Spell Belief?,
Kingpin Rising, and Third Watch (?)
b. June 1st 1924.
2010: Malcolm McLaren (64)
English performer, impresario, self-publicist and former manager of the Sex Pistols.
He had been attracted early in his life to the Situationist movement, which promoted
absurdist and provocative actions as a way of enacting social change. In 1968
Malcolm had tried unsuccessfully to get to Paris to take part in the demonstrations
there. He was raised by his grandmother, Rose, in Newington Green, North London,
who home-schooled him and fed him slogans such as "To be bad is good... to
be good is simply boring", and after having been expelled from several art
colleges, he opened a clothes shop on the King's Road, with his then girlfriend
Vivienne Westwood in 1971. The shop, which had a few names, became a focal point
of the fledgling punk movement. It was here that he first encountered a young
John Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten of the future Sex Pistols. After a trip to New York
in 1972 he brought back exciting images in his mind, images to add to, and blast
on to the British public, images of this distressed, strange thing called Richard
Hell, and the phrase, 'the blank generation'. Malcolm credits American musician
Richard Hell, an originator of the punk fashion look, the first to spike his hair
and wear torn, cut and drawn-on shirts, often held together with safety pins,
as a definite, 100% inspiration, for his accessorized clothing he sold in his
London shop, and the Sex Pistols' look and attitude. In 1975, he breifly worked
with The New York Dolls >>> Read
(sadly died after a long and brave battle with mesothelioma cancer)
Dorothea Margaretha "Teddy" Scholten-van Zwieteren (73) Dutch
singer born in Rijswijk, close to The Hague; in
1959, Teddy won the Eurovision Song Contest for the Netherlands singing "Een
beetje"/A little bit, with music composed by Dick Schallies and lyrics by
Willy van Hemert. Also she commentated for the Netherlands in the Contest for
the 1966 Eurovision. With her husband, Henk Scholten, she recorded several albums,
many of them containing songs for children. In the 1950s and 1960s she appeared
in popular television shows in The Netherlands. In 1965 and 1966, she presented
the National Song Festival (?)
b. May 11th 1926.
Pitcock IV (59)
American guitarist and singer-songwriter born in Tulsa; he began performing
as a guitarist with his parents' dance band in 1964. In 1971, he began to life
long work with the Dwight Twilley Band, best known for the Top 20 hit singles
"I'm on Fire", and "Girls". He also played with fellow Twilley
band member, Phil Seymour playing on the hit Precious To Me, also
Phil's first solo album contained two songs written by Bill, "Don't Blow
Your Life Away" and "Won't Finish Here". As well as as these commitments
from 1983 to 1998 he also played with the Mystery Band. Bill had recently released
his first solo CD "Play What You Mean" and can be heard playing on Twilleys
2010 release, "Green Blimp". (?) b.
December 7th 1952.
2011: Donald Shanks AO OBE (70)
Australian operatic bass-baritone, born in Brisbane.
His first experience of a staged work was Gilbert and Sullivans The Mikado,
the opera with which he also chose to end his career in 2004. Over the years,
he built a reputation as one of the most versatile figures in Australian opera,
performing in all the major comic roles, from the title role in Don Pasquale and
Bartolo in The Marriage of Figaro, to The Italian Girl in Algiers to bel canto
roles such as Lucia di Lammermoor and Norma, to the key dramatic roles, particularly
in Wagner heavyweights such as Tannhäuser, Lohengrin and Tristan und Isolde.
He sang in Lucia di Lammermoor, Il trovatore and Norma with Dame Joan Sutherland,
La bohème with Luciano Pavarotti, and Banquo in Macbeth with Sherrill Milnes,
a few of his 65 principal roles. Donald was made an Officer of the Order of the
British Empire in 1977 and an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1987
(died sadly from a heart attack)
b. July 5th 1940.
2011: Daniel Catán (62)
Mexican composer known particularly for his operas
and his creative friendship with the tenor, Placido Domingo. He was the first
Mexican composer to have an opera produced in the United States, when San Diego
Opera produced his Rappaccini's Daughter in March, 1994. In addition to composition,
he had a career as a writer on music and the arts. In 1998, Daniel received the
Plácido Domingo Award for his contribution to opera, and he received a
Guggenheim Fellowship in 2000. His newest opera, Il Postino, with Plácido
Domingo in the role of Pablo Neruda, is based on a novel by Antonio Skármeta
and the film by Michael Radford, and premiered at the Los Angeles Opera, in September
2010. (his death came a few days after he attended
rehearsals for Il Postino at the Moores Opera Centre, Houston) b. April
2012: José Guardiola (81)
Spanish singer of popular music; born
in Barcelona, he sang in Spanish and Catalan, and
performed and recorded mostly Spanish versions of foreign songs. He reached his
maximum fame in Spain and Latin America in the early 1960s with versions of songs
like "Sixteen Tons", "Mack the Knife" and "Ya Mustafa".
He represented Spain in the Eurovision Song Contest of 1963, placing 12th
(?) b. October 22nd 1930.
2012: Rikiya Yasuoka (64)
Japanese actor and singer of mixed Japanese and Italian
descent born in Minato-ku, Tokyo. He was a founding member of the
pop/rock group 'Sharp Hawks' formed in 1963; they made their
recording debut in 1966, and had hits such as Land
of A Thousand Dances, What I Say, Let Me Go and
a Flamenco version of the standard Unchain My Heart. In 1964,
he made his first film appearance in the movie "Car Thief", his other
films include Stray Cat Rock: Sex Hunter, Torakku Yaro: Go-iken muyo, Tampopo,
and Black Rain. Sadly Rikiya was diagnosed with GuillainBarré syndrome
in 2006 (died of heart failure)
b. July 19th 1947.
2012: George Wilberforce Kakoma
(89) Ugandan musician, a graduate of Trinity College of Music
and Durham University he composed "Oh Uganda,Land of Beauty", Uganda's
national anthem. Prior to Uganda's independence, three sub-committees were established
to deal with Ugandas national symbols. The committee for the creation of
a national anthem encouraged Ugandans to submit songs and in July 1963, they chose
George's composition. In 1975, George fled to exile in Nairobi following numerous
threats on his life. While in Kenya, he taught music at Kenyatta University. He
returned in 1986 and served as a head of department at Makerere University Department
of Music, Dance and Drama until 1992. He later returned to Kenyas Maseno
University where he helped to establish and head a music department. After six
years in Kenya, he retired to a quiet life at his Wakiso home (sadly
George had been seriously ill with heart problems since February 2011)
2013: Sara Montiel (85)
Spanish actress and singer, born in Campo de Criptana
in the region of CastileLa Mancha and was the most commercially successful
Spanish actress during the mid-20th century in much of the world, co-starring
along side the likes Gary Cooper, Mario Lanza and Burt Lancaster. She also had
a successful singing career, recording around 30 albums. In November 2009, Alaska
from the pop group Fangoria invited Sara to record a track sharing vocals with
her for the re-release of the band's album Absolutamente. They recorded the title
track "Absolutamente" as a duet and when the single was released it
became an instant Top 10 hit (sadly Sara died from
b. March 10th 1928
2014: Otis Head (94)
American harmonica player, promoter and producer born near Praters Mill,
North of Varnell, Ga. at Gobblers Knob. Otis was a bluegrass radio host
of 60 years, with his final live broadcast on WTTI in March 2014. He began hosting
live radio shows featuring C&W bluegrass in 1959 on WBLJ. He moved to WRCD
for 28 years and finally settled at WTTI sharing bluegrass gospel for 27 years.
As a producer, he fostered the careers of multi-million selling banjo stylist
Raymond Fairchild; country singer Clyde Beavers and numerous bluegrass and gospel
acts. He hosted seasonal western shows in Florida and North Carolina featuring
an array of western-themed street plays featuring gunfights for audiences in western
theme parks. Otis was also a quick draw pistol artist and usually played the role
of the town marshal in the productions. Otis was inducted into the Atlanta County
Music Hall of Honor for his contributions to music in 2008 (?)
1963: Eddie Edwards (71) American
jazz trombonist, best known his pioneer recordings with the Original Dixieland
born in New Orleans, Louisiana, he started playing violin at age 10, and took
up trombone in addition at 15. He played both instruments professionally, including
with the bands of Papa Jack Laine and Ernest Giardina. In 1916 he was picked by
Alcide Nunez to go to Chicago, to play trombone with Johnny Stein's Jass Band.
With a few changes of personnel this band became the famous Original Dixieland
Jass Band which made the first records of jazz music in 1917. He left the band
after being drafted into the US Army. After his discharge he led a band of his
own and worked in the band of Jimmie Durante before returning to the O.D.J.B.
After the break up the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, Eddie again led his own band
in New York City for most of the 1920s. In the early 1930s he retired from music
and ran a newspaper stand and worked as a sports coach. He returned to music when
Nick LaRocca reformed the O.D.J.B. in 1936, playing with them until 1938. He played
with other bands including O.D.J.B. alumni Larry Shields, Tony Sbarbaro, and J.
Russell Robinson into the 40s and continued playing professionally until shortly
before his death in New York City (?) b.
May 22nd 1891.
1976: Dagmar Nordstrom (72) American composer,
pianist and singer; born in Chicago, she performed together with her sister Siggie
as a cabaret singing duo known as The Nordstrom Sisters. During the 1920s she
cut piano rolls for Steinway and Duo-Art, including "Happy
Days and Lonely Nights", "Sweet Dreams", "Are You Happy?",
"Blue River", and "Glad Rag Doll" (she
sadly suffered a massive stroke)
b. December 12th 1903.
1976: Phil Ochs (35) America protest singer-songwriter,
born in El Paso, Texas; He wrote hundreds of songs in the 1960s and released eight
Politically, Phil described himself as a "left social democrat" who
became an "early revolutionary" after the protests at the 1968 Democratic
National Convention in Chicago led to a police riot, which had a profound effect
on his state of mind. He performed at many political events, including anti-Vietnam
War and civil rights rallies, student events, and organized labor events over
the course of his career, in addition to many concert appearances at such venues
as New York City's Town Hall and Carnegie Hall. The Vietnam War ended on April
30th 1975. Phil planned a final "War Is Over" rally, which was held
in New York's Central Park on May 11. More than 100,000 people came to hear Phil,
joined by Harry Belafonte, Odetta, Pete Seeger and others. He and Joan Baez sang
a duet of "There but for Fortune" and he closed with his song "The
War Is Over"finally a true declaration that the war was over. Michael
Korolenko directed the 1984 film Chords of Fame, which featured Bill Burnett as
Ochs. The film included interviews with people who had known Ochs, including Yippies
Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin, manager Harold Leventhal, and Mike Porco, the owner
of Gerde's Folk City. Chords of Fame also included performances of Ochs songs
by folk musicians who knew him, including Bob Gibson, Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton,
Dave Van Ronk, and Eric Andersen. (Phil's
drinking had become more and more of a problem, and his behavior became increasingly
very erratic. Also afflicted with serious depression, he hung himself at his sisters
home in Queens, New York) b.
December 19th 1940.
Wilfrid Pelletier (85) French Canadian
conductor, pianist, composer, instrumental in establishing the Montreal Symphony
Orchestra. He was one of the most influential music educators in Canada during
the 20th century. It was largely through his efforts that the Conservatoire de
musique et d'art dramatique du Québec (CMADQ), an organization which has
established and oversees nine different schools of higher education in music and
theatre in Quebec, was established in 1942. From 1943 through 1961 he served as
the director of the CMADQ and its first school the Conservatoire de musique du
Québec à Montréal. He also served as the first director of
the CMDAQ's second school, the Conservatoire de musique du Québec à
Québec, from 19441946, and was instrumental in establishing the Conservatoire
d'art dramatique du Québec à Montréal in 1954. As a pianist,
he was active during the 1920s and 1930s as one half of a piano duo with partner
Arthur Loesser. He also made a number of solo recordings in the early 1920s, playing
mostly piano reductions from the operas of French composers like Georges Bizet,
Charles Gounod, and Jules Massenet. As a composer, he produced only a small body
of work, most notably In the Dark, in the Dew which soprano Maria Jeritza included
in a number of her recitals. Wilfrid
from performance in the early 1970s (?)
b. June 20th 1896.
Dave Prater (50) American
Southern Soul and R & B singer who was the deeper, baritone and second tenor
vocalist of the duo Sam & Dave from 1961 until his death in 1988. Their hit
"You Don't Know Like I Know," started a series of 10 straight top 20
Billboard R&B hits that included "Hold On! I'm Comin'", "You
Got Me Hummin', "When Something Is Wrong with My Baby", "Soul Man",
and "I Thank You". Most hits were penned
and Isaac Hayes and the majority of recordings they
were backed by Hayes on piano with Booker T & the M.G.s and the Memphis Horns.
Dave is a member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Grammy Hall of Fame
for the song "Soul Man", the Vocal Group Hall of Fame, the Georgia Music
Hall Of Fame and was a Grammy Award winning and multi-Gold Record award winning
recording artist (sadly died in a car
crash at Syracuse)
b. May 9th 1937.
1988: Brook Benton/Benjamin Franklin Peay (56)
American singer and songwriter born in Lugoff, South Carolina. His silky
smooth tones was popular with rock n roll, rhythm
and blues, and pop music audiences during the late 1950s and early 1960s, when
he scored hits such as "It's Just A Matter Of Time", "Hotel Happiness",
"Think Twice", "Kiddio", "The Boll Weevil Song"
and "Endlessly", many of which he co-wrote. He
made a comeback in 1970 with the ballad "Rainy Night in Georgia". Brook
eventually charted 49 singles on the Billboard Hot 100, with other songs charting
on Billboard's rhythm and blues, easy listening, and Christmas music charts, as
well as writing hits for other performers such as Nat King Cole, Clyde McPhatter,
and Roy Hamilton (complications
from spinal meningitis)*September 19th 1931.
1991: Martin Hannett aka Martin Zero (42) English
record producer, born in Manchester, Lancashire; as a teenager he played bass
with Spider Mike King and as member in a band called Paradox, in 1973, alongside
Paul Young, later of Sad Café and Mike + The Mechanics.
His production work began with the cartoon show All Kinds of Heroes soundtrack.
Another early production works included Greasy Bear material, Belt & Braces
Road Show Band's self-titled album, in 1975, and five songs from Pete Farrow's
repertoire, later included on that artist's compilation album Who Says There's
No Beach in Stockport, in 1977. Credited as Martin Zero, he appeared on Top of
the Pops playing bass, actually an acoustic guitar with four strings, on Jilted
John's eponymous single, Martin also produced. He went on to work with The
Smiths, New Order, Joy Division, Happy Mondays, Magazine, and U2, The Psychedelic
Furs (discovered dead in his chair, sadly a victim of heart
May 31st 1948.
Mae Boren Axton (82) Known in the music
industry as the 'Queen Mother of Nashville'. She was one of the co-writers of
the song Heartbreak Hotel, made popular by Elvis Presley. She
was an influential member of the Nashville music industry. For decades she used
her influence to contribute to the success of many musical careers including Mel
Tillis, Reba McEntire, Willie Nelson and Blake Shelton to name only a few. She
wrote some 200 songs, 14 of which made the charts (drowned
in her hot tub at her home)
b. September 14th 1914.
Tom Corra (44) American cellist and composer;
he made his musical debut as drummer on a local TV program and in the mid-1970s
he played guitar for a Washington, D.C. jazz club house band. He took up the cello
while at the University of Virginia, during this time he formed his own group,
The Moose Skowron Tuned Metal Ensemble and began constructing instruments for
1979 he moved to New York where he worked with Shockabilly guitarist Eugene Chadbourne,
introducing the cello to the honky tonk circuits of North America. He performed
and/or recorded with John Zorn, Fred Frith, Andrea Centazzo, Butch Morris, Wayne
Horvitz, David Moss, Toshinori Kondo and others. He also collaborated with George
Cartwright and Bill Laswell which led to the formation of the art rock band Curlew
in 1979. In 1982 he and Fred Frith formed Skeleton Crew, touring Europe and Japan
and was also a member of the improvising trio Third Person, formed in 1990. Tom
performed with a number of other bands, including Nimal and post-rock quartet
Roof. In 1990, he played two concerts with Dutch anarcho-punk band, The Ex, and
the success of this collaboration resulted in him performing hundreds of concerts
with The Ex and appearing on two of their CDs. (malignant
melanoma) b. September
Norvo/Kenneth Norville (91) American
jazz vibraphonist known as "Mr. Swing". He helped establish the xylophone
and later the vibraphone as viable jazz instruments. His major recordings included
"Dance of the Octopus", "Bughouse", "Knockin' on Wood",
"Congo Blues", and "Hole in the Wall". Born in Beardstown,
Illinois, he started out in Chicago with a band called "The Collegians",
in 1925. He played with many other bands, including an all-marimba band on the
vaudeville circuit, and the bands of Paul Whiteman, Benny Goodman, Charlie Barnet,
and Woody Herman. Red recorded with Mildred Bailey (his wife), Billie Holiday,
Dinah Shore and Frank Sinatra, among others. (sadly died
from a stroke) b. March
Manley (56) English guitarist and vocalist,
born in Liverpool; in 1958 along with Don Andrew he founded the The Remo Quartet,
changing their name to the Remo Four in the summer of 1959. They were voted Number
Three Group in a 1961 Mersey Beat poll, among their fans were the young Beatles.
They band played many gigs around Europe and in late 1967, Beatle George Harrison
hired the Remo Four as his backing band for part of his first solo project, the
soundtrack album to the movie Wonderwall. While the songs were mostly instrumentals,
they did record one lyrical song, "In The First Place", with Harrison,
which was left in the can until the 1990s. They also became Billy Fury's backing
band, in the late 1960s until they disbanded in 1970. Colin went on to become
an accompanist for singers including Engelbert Humperdinck, and later joined The
Swinging Blue Jeans. Colin and Don Andrew appeared with Gerry Marsden performing
on stage in an episode of the UK TV soap "Brookside" in the 1990s
(sadly died fighting cancer) b. April 16th
2008: Bob Kames (82) American polka musician,
songwriter and is credited with developing and popularizing the modern-day version
of the song "Dance Little Bird," which is much better known by its more
common name, The Chicken Dance. He recorded over seventy albums throughout his
career. He owned and operated a chain of music stores called Bob Kames Wonderful
World of Music, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He is a member of the Wisconsin
Area Music Industry's Hall of Fame (sadly died after a fight
with prostate cancer) b. April 21st 1925.
2008: Erkki Aukusti Junkkarinen (78) Finnish
established his musical career in 1950 with his successful album Yksinäinen
harmonikka. He made only one album in the 1960s, Ruusut hopeamaljassa. In 1975,
he released the same songs under the different name Ruusuja hopeamaljassa. The
new edition sold very well, and Junkkarinen received the first Finnish platinum
record ever. As he grew to an unually large fame for an artist in Finland, he
helped spread the humppa style of music. (?) b.
2008: Choubeila Rached (75)
Tunisian singer, decorated with the insignia of the Order of the National
Merit in the cultural sector by President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali (?)
D'Mond/Richard Palmer (66) British singer; founder
member and lead singer of 46 years with the The Barron Knights, he retired from
performing 4 years ago after a bad fall. The Barron Knights, a British humorous
pop group, was originally formed in 1959 as The Knights of the Round Table, they
became the Barron Knights on October 5th 1960. They toured with the Beatles, the
Rolling Stones, Pet Clarke and others. Of their many humorous songs recorded,
they achieved 14 chart hits, including "Come to the Dance", "Pop
Go the Workers", "Merry Gentle Pops", "Live in Trouble",
"The Topical Song", "A Taste of Aggro" and their first and
best known hit 1964's "Call Up The Groups", written in response to the
end of national service in the UK. (pneumonia
- Duke was rushed to a hospital in Oxford with internal bleeding, then went into
a coma before having a severe heart attack and developing pneumonia)
b. February 25th 1943
2009: Randy Cain/Rudy
Cain (63) American singer; soul singer and founder member of the The
Delfonics whose hits included La La Means I Love You. Randy along
with brothers William and Wilbert Hart formed the band while attending Overbrook
High School in Philadelphia in the 1960s. The group, one of the earliest to define
the smooth, soulful Philadelphia sound, won an R&B Grammy in 1970
for its song Didnt I (Blow Your Mind This Time). He left the Delfonics
in 1971 and later helped form the group Blue Magic, who had a hit in 1974 with
the quirky love song "Slideshow", when he brought singer and songwriter
Theodore Mills to his production company. He rejoined The Delfonics in the 1980s.
The group enjoyed renewed popularity in later decades after their music was sampled
by several major hip-hop artists, including Notorious BIG, Missy Elliott and The
Fugees. The chorus of Ready or Not by The Fugees, which topped the UK charts in
1996, is based on The Delfonics' song, Ready Or Not, Here I Come (Can't Hide From
Love) (died at his home in Maple Shade, New Jersey)
b. May 2nd 1945.
2010: Kenneth McKellar
(82) Scottish tenor singer; after studying forestry
at the University of Aberdeen, he trained at the Royal College of Music as an
opera singer. He did a short stint with the Carl Rosa Opera Company, but left
to pursue a career singing traditional Scottish songs and other works. His albums
of the songs of Robert Burns are considered by musicologists to be definitive
interpretations. In 1966 Kenneth was selected to represent the UK in the Eurovision
Song Contest in Luxembourg, the song "A Man Without Love". In the 1960s
and 1970s he appeared many times on the BBC Television Hogmanay celebration programme,
alongside Jimmy Shand and Andy Stewart and other programmes and toured widely,
including New Zealand. On 31 December 1973, the first Scottish commercial radio
station Radio Clyde began broadcasting to Glasgow. The first record they played
was "Song of the Clyde" sung by Kenneth McKellar. The same recording
featured over the opening titles of the 1963 film, Billy Liar. He also recorded
several classical works, including Handel's Messiah alongside Joan Sutherland
in a performance conducted by Sir Adrian Boult (pancreatic
cancer) b. June 23rd 1927.
Roger Nichols (66) American sound engineer, record
producer, and 7-time Grammy Award-winner born in Oakland, California. In 1965
he and some friends created their own recording studio, Quantum Studios, in what
was originally a four car garage, in Torrance, CA. From the 1970 onwards Roger
is best known for his work with the group Steely Dan and John Denver, but his
work includes numerous major music acts including the Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder,
Frank Zappa, Crosby Stills & Nash, Al Di Meola, Roy Orbison, Cass Elliot,
Plácido Domingo, Gloria Estefan, Diana Ross, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones,
More <<< (Roger sadly died
after his brave battle with pancreatic cancer)
September 22nd 1944.
2011: Robert Orrin Tucker (100)
American bandleader born in St. Louis, Missouri, whose theme
song was "Drifting and Dreaming". His biggest hit was "Oh Johnny,
Oh Johnny, Oh!" in 1939, sung by vocalist "Wee" Bonnie Baker. Robert
and his orchestra remained active until the 1990s, when health problems forced
him to retire. In 2003, he was interviewed about his passion for music and his
long career as a bandleader by the NAMM oral history program (?)
b. February 17th 1911
Wood (94) American
record producer and founder of Dot Records; he had earlier started a mail order
record shop, known for its radio ads on WLAC in Nashville and its R&B and
black gospel air personality Bill "Hoss" Allen. He founded Dot Records
in 1950, the headquarters of were in Gallatin, Tennessee, many of the older recording
were recorded in radio station WHIN, which Randy also owned at the time. WHIN
was a daytime only radio station so recording sessions were held at night when
the station was off the air. In its early years, the label specialized in artists
from around Tennessee. His first artist was ragtime pianist Johnny Maddox, recording
what became The Crazy Otto Medley. In 1956, the company moved to Hollywood,
CA. Then it branched out to include musicians and singers from across the United
States. It recorded a variety of country music, rhythm & blues, polkas &
waltzes, gospel music, rockabilly, pop music, and early rock & roll. After
the move to Hollywood, Dot Records bought up many recordings by small local independent
labels and issued them nationally. In 1957, Randy sold ownership of the label
to Paramount Pictures, but he remained the president of the company for another
Randy died after a fall in his home at La Jolla, California)
b. March 30th 1917.
2012: Jim Niven (?) Australian
pianist and keyboard player; he played with The Pink Finks before joining The
Captain Matchbox Whoopee Band, a band which grew within a couple of years from
an underground art school band to a national icon, with film and TV appearances
and regular appearances in the charts. Their debut LP Smoke Dreams-1972 was released
in the USA in the DynaQuad quadraphonic format and their second LP Wangaratta
Wahine featured a cover illustration by noted Australian cartoonist Michael Leunig.
In 1976 Jim was
a founder member of the Australian rock group The Sport, their best known songs
include "Boys (What Did the Detective Say?)", "Don't Throw Stones",
"When You Walk in the Room", "How Come", "Who Listens
to the Radio?", "Perhaps" and "Strangers on a Train".
In October 2010, their 1979 album, Don't Throw Stones, was listed in the book,
100 Best Australian Albums (sadly died after a battle with cancer) b. ????
2013: Emilio Pericoli (85) Italian singer
born in Cesenatico, Romagna. He recorded a cover version of the song, "Al
di là", by festival winner Betty Curtis. The song was an international
success, hitting the charts in tthe USA and the UK and sold over one million copies,
and was awarded a gold disc. In 1962, Pericoli entered the Sanremo Festival and
together with composer Tony Renis he sang the ballad, "Quando, Quando, Quando",
which later became one of the best-known Italian hits. A year later, he returned
to San Remo with Renis with the song "Uno per tutte". He placed among
the winners, and won a spot in the 1963 Eurovision Song Contest, where he placed
third, behind the winners Grethe and Jorgen Ingmann and runner-up Esther Ofarim
(?) b. January 7th 1928.
2014: Gil Askey (89)
American jazz trumpeter, composer, producer and musical director who was
born in Austin, Texas and emigrated to Australia in 1980. He studied music at
the Boston Conservatory of Music and the Harnett School of Music in New York and
was considered to be "one of the architects of the legendary Motown sound".
Berry Gordy often called Gil "The glue that kept everything together".
He played as a jazz trumpeter for almost 25 years before arriving at Motown records
to work as a musical director, producer, songwriter and musical arranger for such
artists as Gladys Knight, The Temptations, The Supremes, Martha Reeves and The
Vandellas, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5 and The Funk Brothers.
Gil was also part of Motown's Artists Development crew that included Maxine Powell,
Maurice King, Cholly Atkins and Harvey Fuqua. When Diana
Ross became a solo performer, she hired him to be her Musical Director. He worked
with her for 10 years and wrote the score for her very first motion picture Lady
Sings the Blues that earned him an Academy Awards nomination in 1972. After moving
to Melbourne, Australia in 1980, he returned to performing in 1993 and continued
to tour and played many regular gigs and jazz spots around the country perform
right up to his death. He also taught and mentored young aspiring musicians
(sadly died fighting lymphoma) b.
March 9th 1925.
Tut Taylor/Robert Arthur Taylor Sr (91) American bluegrass dobro, mandolin,
and banjo player born in Milledgeville, Georgia. He began playing banjo and mandolin
as a child, and began playing dobro at aged 14, learning to use the instrument
with a distinctive flat-picking style. In the 60s he played with The Folkswingers
with who he recorded 3 albums, the
Dixie Gentlemen, John Hartford's Aero-Plain band as well as releasing his debut
single album in 1964.
In 1995, he was awarded the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album for his work
on The Great Dobro Sessions with Jerry Douglas. (?)
b. November 20th 1923.
Tony Conrad (76) American
avant-garde musician, composer, video artist and professor
in music, born in Concord, New Hampshire and graduated
from Harvard University in 1962 with a degree in Mathematics.
He was an early member of the Theatre of Eternal Music, nicknamed The Dream Syndicate
and utilized just intonation and sustained
sound/drones to produce what the group called "dream music" but is now
called drone music. His first musical release, and only release
for many years, was a 1972 collaboration with the German "Krautrock"
group Faust, Outside the Dream Syndicate, published in 1973. Later, he composed
more than a dozen audio works with special scales and tuning for solo amplified
violin with amplified strings. Releases included Early Minimalism Volume 1, a
four-CD set, Slapping Pythagoras, Four Violins, Outside the Dream Syndicate Alive
with Faust, from London, and Fantastic Glissando. He also issued two archival
CDs featuring the work of late New York filmmaker Jack Smith and released the
1968 recording of Joan of Arc in 2006. He also collaborated with artists such
Haino, Charlemagne Palestine, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Jim O'Rourke, David
Grubbs, C Spencer Yeh, Tovah Olson, MV Carbon, and numerous others. In 2012 Tony
was part of the line-up of the touring avant garde festival Sonic Protest that
took place in five cities in France and in 2013 Conrad visited Genoa to open his
first solo exhibition in Italy. In the early 1960s, he and John Cale were recruited
by Pickwick Records to play as a backing band for a new act, The Primitives, to
perform the 1964 single "The Ostrich"/"Sneaky Pete.". Walter
de Maria joined on drums, and the only pre-existing member of the band, Lou Reed,
sang. After a few shows, the group disbanded. Cale and Reed
went on to form The Velvet Underground. (sadly died of pneumonia)
b. March 7th 1940
Joe "King" Oliver (52) American
jazz cornet player and bandleader born in Aben, Louisiana. He was particularly
noted for his playing style, pioneering the use of mutes. Also a notable composer,
he wrote many tunes still played regularly, including "Dippermouth Blues",
"Sweet Like This", "Canal Street Blues", and "Doctor
Jazz". He was the mentor and teacher of Louis Armstrong. His influence was
such that Armstrong claimed, "if it had not been for Joe Oliver, jazz would
not be what it is today". By 1922, after travels in California, Joe was the
jazz king in Chicago, with King Oliver and his Creole Jazz Band performing at
the Royal Gardens. Virtually all the members of this band went on to notable solo
careers. Personnel were himself on cornet, his protégé Louis Armstrong,
second cornet, Baby Dodds, drums, Johnny Dodds, clarinet, Lil Hardin on piano,
Honoré Dutrey on trombone, and William Manuel Johnson, bass and banjo.
Recordings made by this group in 1923 demonstrated the serious artistry of the
New Orleans style of collective improvisation or Dixieland music to a wider audience.
Sadly he lost his life savings when a Chicago bank collapsed
b. May 11th 1885.
1958: Chuck Willis/Harold Willis (30) American
blues, rhythm and blues, and rock singer and songwriter; he was born in Atlanta,
Georgia. In 1951, Willis signed with Columbia Records, in 1956, he moved to Atlantic
Records where he had immediate success with "It's Too Late", "Juanita",
and "Love Me Cherry". His most successful recording was "C.C. Rider",
which topped the rhythm and blues chart in 1957 and also crossed over and sold
well in the pop market, and inspired the emergence of the popular dance, The Stroll.
Willis's follow-up to "C. C. Rider" was "Betty and Dupree",
another "stroll" song, which did very well. (Chuck had suffered from
stomach ulcers for years, sadly he died suddenly and premarurly of peritonitis
while at the peak of his career) b. January 31st 1928.
Arthur Leslie Benjamin (66) Australian composer,
pianist, conductor and teacher. He is well known as the composer of Jamaican Rhumba,
composed in 1938. Born in Sydney and brought up in Brisbane, he made his first
public appearance as a pianist at the age of six.
As well as his career teaching music in Australia, Britain
and other parts of the world, tutoring students including
Muir Mathieson, Peggy Glanville-Hicks, Miriam Hyde, Joan Trimble, Stanley Bate,
Le Gallienne, Bernard Stevens, Lamar Crowson, Alun
Hoddinott, Natasha Litvin, and Benjamin Britten, his many chamber, opera
and orchestral works, Arthur also wrote music for
films. This began in 1934 with The Scarlet Pimpernel and Alfred Hitchcocks
The Man Who Knew Too Much. Other scores included An Ideal Husband, The Conquest
of Everest, The Cumberland Story, Steps of the Ballet, The Crowthers of Bankdam,
Above Us the Waves and Fire Down Below to mention a few
(he died at the Middlesex Hospital, UK, from a re-occurence of the cancer that
had first attacked him three years earlier) b. September
1962: Stuart Sutcliff (22) British
bassist born in Edinburgh, Scotland; an art school friend of John Lennon, he was
the original bassist of The Beatles for two years and is credited with naming
the group after Buddy Holly's band the Crickets. As a member of the group when
it was a five-piece band, Stuart is one of several people sometimes referred to
as "the fifth Beatle". He
played with the Beatles in Hamburg, where he met photographer Astrid Kirchherr,
to whom he was later engaged. He
left the Beatles to pursue a career as an artist, enrolling in the Hamburg
College of Art and studied under future pop artist Eduardo Paolozzi. Stuart earned
praise for his paintings, which mostly explored a style related to abstract expressionism.
In 1967, The Beatles included a photo of him among those on the cover of the Sgt.
Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album (he tragically died
of a brain haemorrhage in an ambulance on the way to hospital)
b. June 23rd 1940.
1970: Rafael "Ralph" Escudero (71)
Rican bassist and tubist active on the early
jazz scene. At aged 12 he began playing bass in a
school band, before moving to New York to
play with the New Amsterdam Musical Association in 1920-21. In 1923 he was playing
with Wilbur Sweatman at the Howard Theater in Washington, D.C., then with Fletcher
Henderson until 1926. After which he joined McKinney's Cotton Pickers, where he
played and recorded until 1931. In the 1930s he played with Kaiser Marshall, the
Savoy Bearcats, and W.C. Handy. Ralf then returned to Puerto Rico, playing there
into the 1960s (?)
b. July 16th 1898.
1979: Nino Rota/Nino Rinaldi (67) Italian
composer born in Milan; he is best known for his film scores, notably for the
films of Federico Fellini and Luchino Visconti. He also composed the music for
two of Franco Zeffirelli's Shakespeare films, and for the first two films of Francis
Ford Coppola's Godfather trilogy. During
his long career Nino was an extraordinarily prolific composer, especially of music
for the cinema. He wrote more than 150 scores for Italian and international productions
from the 1930s until his death in 1979, an average of three scores each year over
a 46 year period.
Alongside his great body film work, he composed ten operas, five ballets and dozens
of other orchestral, choral and chamber works, the best known being his string
concerto. He also composed the music for many theatre productions by Visconti,
Zeffirelli and Eduardo de Filippo as well as maintaining a long teaching career
at the the Liceo Musicale in Bari, Italy, where he was the director for almost
30 years (coronary thrombosis) b.
December 3rd 1911.
1986: Linda Creed/married name Linda Epstein (37)
Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter, born in Philadelphia. Linda's
big break came in 1970, when UK singer Dusty Springfield recorded her song "Free
Girl". That same year, she teamed up with songwriter and producer Thom Bell.
Their first songwriting collaboration, "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)",
became a Top 40 pop hit for the Stylistics, this began an extended collaboration
that also yielded the group's symphonic soul classics "You Are Everything",
"Betcha by Golly, Wow", and "I'm Stone in Love With You".
The duo also paired on a number of hits for the Spinners, including "Ghetto
Child", "I'm Coming Home", "Living a Little, Laughing a Little",
and, most famously, the 1976 blockbuster "The Rubberband Man". Linda
Creed also worked with fellow Philadelphia native Phyllis Hyman on many of her
songs, most notably "Old Friend". Although Linda was diagnosed with
breast cancer at 26, she bravely kept on working, teaming with composer Michael
Masser to write "Greatest Love of All" for the 1977 Muhammad Ali biopic
The Greatest; then in the spring of 1986, the song topped the charts for singer
Whitney Houston. Sadly, just weeks before Whitney reached the No.1 spot, Linda
had lost her long battle with cancer. She also wrote the theme for the TV series,
"Simon and Simon". Over the years, cover recordings of her songs were
major hits for Roberta Flack, Rod Stewart, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson and
many, many others. In 1992, Linda was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters
Hall of Fame. (cancer) b.
December 6th 1948.
2003: Little Eva/Eva
Narcissus Boyd (59) America singer born in Belhaven, North Carolina,
and moved to the Brighton Beach section of Brooklyn, New York at a young age.
she worked as a maid and earned extra money as a babysitter for songwriters Carole
King and Gerry Goffin. It is often claimed that Goffin and King were amused by
her individual dancing style, so wrote "The Loco-Motion". After the
success of "The Loco-Motion", she was unfortunately stereotyped as a
dance-craze singer and was given limited material. Other single recordings were
"Keep Your Hands Off My Baby", "Some Kinda Wonderful", "Let's
Turkey Trot" and a remake of the Bing Crosby standard "Swinging on a
Star," recorded with Big Dee Irwin, though Eva was not credited on the label.
She also recorded the song "Makin' With the Magilla" for an episode
of the 1964 Hanna-Barbera cartoon series The Magilla Gorilla Show. In the late
80s he returned to live performing with other artists of her era on the cabaret
and oldies circuits. She also occasionally recorded new songs
(died after a 2 year battle with cancer)
b. June 29th 1943.
Douglas 'Noel' Fox (63) American bass singer with the country and gospel
band The Oak Ridge Boys from 1969 to 1972. He went on to work as booking agent,
talent manager and publisher. In 1978, he began managing the Oak Ridge Boys' publishing
entity (died after surgery following a series of strokes)
Gottlieb (34) American drummer for Rock band Bleed the Dream. In late
2003-early 2004, Scott developed leukemia. In support, his band released the acoustic
EP Asleep. In the fall of 2004, Bleed the Dream began work on their debut full-length
album Built by Blood, and Scott was healthy enough to record the drum tracks for
every song. Sadly he died shortly before the album was released; He is regarded
by many as a "truly amazing man" and "devoted his life to his band."
The video "Just Like I Remember," is dedicated to him. The back of the
Keith's guitars have "RIP S.G" in tape on it. (sadly
lost his fight with leukemia) b. August 20th 1970.
Wally Tax (57) Dutch singer and songwriter, best known as founder
and frontman of the Nederbeat group The Outsiders. They were influenced by the
harder-edged British groups like The Pretty Things and The Rolling Stones. In
November 1965, The Outsiders opened for Stones' second Dutch concert. The band
released thirteen singles, including 1967's "Summer Is Here," which
reached the Top Ten on the Dutch charts. After commercial and artistic success
with The Outsiders in the late 1960s, Wally had a brief solo career in the 1970s,
after which he went on to become a successful songwriter, producing a number of
hit songs for Dutch artists. He faded into obscurity in the 1980s, but after his
death two benefit concerts in Amsterdam proved his lasting popularity and influence.
b. February 14th 1948.
Norbert Brainin (82) Austrian violinist, the first violinist of the
Amadeus Quartet. In 1947 he formed the Brainin Quartet, which was renamed the
Amadeus Quartet in 1948. Amadeus was one of the most celebrated quartets of the
20th Century, and its members were awarded many honours, including: The Order
of the British Empire, presented by the Queen; Doctorates from the Universities
of London, York, and Caracas; The highest of all German awards, the Grand Cross
of Merit; and The Austrian Cross of Honour for Arts and Sciences; They disbanded
in 1987 upon the death of Peter Schidlof, who was regarded as irreplaceable by
the surviving members. Norbert continued to perform as a soloist, often performing
with pianist Günter Ludwig. His instruments included the 1734 "Rode"
Guarnerius del Gesu, the "Chaconne" Stradivarius of 1725 and the "Gibson"
Stradivarius of 1713. (cancer)
b. March 12th
2007: Dakota Staton (76) American jazz vocalist,
who was also known by the Muslim name Aliyah Rabia for a short period. She studied
music at the Filion School of Music in Pittsburgh, after which she performed regularly
in the Hill District, a jazz hotspot, as a vocalist with the Joe Wespray Orchestra.
She next spent several years in the nightclub circuit in such cities as Detroit,
Indianapolis, Cleveland and St. Louis. While in New York, she was noticed singing
at a Harlem nightclub called the Baby Grand by Dave Cavanaugh, a producer for
Capitol Records. She was signed and released several singles, including her 1957
No. 4 hit, "The Late, Late Show". She relocated to England in the mid-1960s,
where he continued to record semi-regularly, her recordings taking an increasingly
strong gospel and blues influence (?) b.
June 3rd 1930
2007: Walter Hendl (90) American conductor,
composer and pianist; born in West New York, New Jersey, he later went on to study
at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. His many posts include 1939-1941
he taught at Sarah Lawrence College in New York City; in 1941 and 1942, he was
a pianist and conductor at the Berkshire Music Center; in 1945, he became associate
conductor of the New York Philharmonic; 1949-1958, he was music director of the
Dallas Symphony Orchestra; 1953-1972, he became music director of the Chautauqua
Symphony Orchestra. He was also active in the Symphony of the Air and conducted
its 1955 tour of east Asia. From 1964 to 1972, Walter served as director of the
Eastman School of Music at Rochester, New York. In 1976 he was appointed music
director of the Erie Philharmonic in Erie, PA. In 1990, he became professor of
conducting at Mercyhurst College in Erie. His best-selling recordings include
violin concerti featuring Jascha Heifetz, Henryk Szeryng, and Erick Friedman and
piano concerti featuring Van Cliburn and Gary Graffman. Walter was inducted as
a National Patron of Delta Omicron, an international professional music fraternity
on December 1st 1960 (sadly
died after suffering from heart and lung disease)
b. January 12th 1917.
2010: William Walker
(78) American baritone opera singer, whose career ranged from the State
Fair of Texas to more 360 performances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York from
March 1962 to June 1978. He appeared over 60 times on TV's "Tonight Show"
with Johnny Carson and also sang on Broadway. From 1969 to 1976, William gave
more than 250 solo recitals in the United States and Canada, performing classical
operatic arias, art songs and American musical show stoppers, most memorably "Soliloquy"
from Carousel and "Surrey With The Fringe On Top" from Oklahoma!. In
1980, he became the Hearndon Distinguished Visiting Professor of Music at Texas
Christian University and taught master classes in performance for several years.
He also taught master classes as the Carol Kyle Distinguished Visiting Professor
of Music at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas from 1980 to 1984. In 1991, he
accepted the position of General Director of the Fort Worth Opera (William
was diagnosed with cancer several years ago, but cause of death has not yet been
disclosed) b. 1931
Barbara Buchholz (52) German
composer and one of the leading theremin players of the world. Born in Duisburg,
she studied flute, guitar, bass guitar and singing at the Bielefeld University
and earned her first success as a bass player in the German woman jazz band Reichlich
Weiblich. In jazz and contemporary music she developed new playing techniques
and experimented with various sound possibilities for the theremin. In
2005, together with Lydia Kavina, the grandniece of Léon
Theremin, she founded the Platform Touch! Don't Touch! for theremin. Barbara also
performed in a trio with Norwegian trumpeter Arve Henriksen, and live electronics
performer Jan Bang, and performed tours with Jazz Bigband Graz in the framework
of Electric Poetry & Lo-Fi Cookies and conducts solo performances as well.
She played the theremin in various contemporary works, like The Little Mermaid,
a ballet by John Neumeier, music by Lera Auerbach, and in the operas Linkerhand
by Moritz Eggert and Bestmann-Opera by Alex Nowitz (sadly
died while fighting cancer)*December
2013: Tim Carr (57)
American songwriter, producer, and A&R executive;
while living in Minneapolis, he wrote music reviews for the local press and put
on a local music festival. After which he perhaps made his biggest mark on the
music business while at Capitol, Dreamworks and Geffen Records. While at Capitol,
he was instrumental in signing such bands as the Beastie Boys and Megadeth to
the label. He also worked with such acts as Babes In Toyland, Lush,
David Byrne, and Information Society. During the early 2000s, he moved to
Pattaya, Thailand where he worked with local rock singer,
Sek Loso. He was also working on a music documentary
(According to Pattaya103.com, he was reportedly found in
his apartment by his landlard with a long knife wound across his chest, and circumstances
were deemed suspicious by local police) b. 1955
Paul Wilson (29) Sth African drummer and founder member of the rock-blues
band Southern Gypsey Queen. They were spotted by Piet Botha and their first album
was an unofficial demo self titled album with 12 tracks and in 2004 they released
their first official album, Sweet Voodoo. Their first single and music video,
Who We Are, reached No.2 on the music channel MK89 and their second single, Song
for the Captain, spent six weeks in the No.1 spot (tragically Paul has died from
a heart attack and meningitis) b. 1983/4
Jimmy Dawkins (76) American Chicago blues-electric blues guitarist
and singer born in Tchula, MI. He started out in local blues clubs and soon gained
a reputation as a session musician. In 1971 he released his 2nd album All For
Business with singer Andrew "Big Voice" Odom and the guitarist Otis
Rush. He continued to tour extensively until health problems slowed him down.
Jimmy was generally considered a part of the "West Side Sound" of Chicago
blues (?) b. October 24th 1936.
2014: LUPO/Lutz Ludwig
(57) German techno DJ; from 1983 to 1994 he was
resident DJ at Munich nightclub P1. Along with Andy Weiner he founded the label
P1 Records, on which appeared, among others, Rick Planters House classic "Night
Moves". Later he met Maximilian and Fabian Lenz and moved to Berlin, where
they formed the Low Spirit Label and he also worked as a booker and DJ Promoter
several years. (?) b.
2014: Steve Backer (76) American
jazz record producer-executive born in Brooklyn; during his 4-plus decades in
the music industry, he worked with such labels as ABC/Impulse, Arista, Savoy,
Windham Hill/Magenta and RCA. He was involved with releases
by a long list of artists including Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Anthony
Braxton, the Brecker Brothers, Roy Hargrove, Chet Baker,
Gato Barbieri and Cecil Taylor, Keith Jarrett, Oliver Lake, Julius Hemphill and
Pharoah Sanders. He was also involved with reissuing many of the titles he originally
produced for Alice Coltrane, Sam Rivers and Marion Brown
(sadly died from pneumonia)
b. June 3rd 1937.
Keith McCormack (74) American singer, guitarist
and songwriter, born in Dalhart, Texas; he sang and played guitar for the Patio
Kids; the Rock 'n' Rollers; and the Leen Teens who were re-named the String-A-Longs
from 1956 until 1965. They had their biggest hit in 1960
with "Wheels", which reached No.2 on the billboard chart. Keith co-wrote
"Sugar Shack" with his aunt Fay Voss, which was recorded by Jimmy Gilmer
and the Fireballs and sold over one million copies in the US in 1963. It was the
biggest selling song of the year and spent five weeks at No.1 on the Billboard
Hot 100. He also co-wrote their follow-up single, "Daisy Petal Pickin'",
which reached No.15 on the Billboard chart (?)
b. October 19th 1940.
1977: Jacques Prévert (77)
French poet, lyricist; some of his poems, such as "Les Feuilles mortes"/Autumn
were set to music by Joseph Kosma, Germaine Tailleferre of Les Six, Christiane
Verger and Hanns Eisler. They have been sung by prominent 20th century French
vocalists, including Yves Montand and Édith Piaf, as well as by the later
American singers Joan Baez and Nat King Cole. In 1961, French singer-songwriter
Serge Gainsbourg paid tribute to "Les feuilles mortes" in his own song
"La chanson de Prévert". The British remix DJs Coldcut released
their own version in 1993. A German version has been published and covered by
Didier Caesar (alias Dieter Kaiser), which he named "Das welke Laub"
(?) b. February 4th 1900.
1976: Al Frisch/Albert T. Frisch (60) American song-writer, sax player
and pianist born in New York City; he wrote songs performed by 100s
artists such as Louis Armstrong, Doris Day, Johnny Mathis, Tommy Tucker
& His Orchestra,
Tony Bennett, Vic Damone, Ronnie Hilton, Frank Sinatra, Glenn Miller &
His Orchestra, Les Brown & His Orchestra,
Mantovani & His Orchestra, Nat "King" Cole, Kay Starr, Peggy
Lee, Elvis Presley, Dinah Shore, Eddie Fisher, Jimmy Dorsey & His Orchestra,
Woody Herman, Dinah Washington and many more. His hit songs include "This
Is No Laughing Matter", "I Won't Cry Anymore", "Congratulations
To Someone", "Flowers Mean Forgiveness", "Two Different Worlds",
and "All Over The World"
(?) b. March 27th 1916.
Basie nee Morgan (67) Wife of Count Basie;
Count Basie and Catherine married on August 21st 1942. They were married over
40 years and still married at her passing (sadly
Catherine died of a heart attack at the couple's home in Freeport, Grand Bahama
Island) b. April 11th 1914
1994: Samie "Sticks" Evans/Samuel Smith (71) American jazz
and rhythm & blues drummer; born Samuel Smith, as a session percussionist
Sticks performed on hundreds of records, often uncredited. He can be heard on
recordings by Tim Hardin, Mickey & Sylvia, and Aretha Franklin, among many
others. He made one side under his own name, the wild "Go Go Go Blow,"
one of very few records with the word "go" in the title more than twice.
He also wrote and produced several singles for the obscure soul singer Paul Sindab
in the mid '70s. Earlier he was also involved in the third stream orchestral jazz
adventures of composer, conductor, and arranger Gunther Schuller, taking part
in several radical performances and concerts featuring Ornette Coleman and Eric
Dolphy. Sticks was a skilled music teacher and taught junior high school music
February 5th 1923.
2000: Diana Darvey/Diana
Magdalene Roloff (54) British actress, singer and dancer,
who is most famous for her appearances on The Benny Hill Show. She made her first
appearance on the show on 7 February 1974, and became an instant hit with fans.
Her self-designed often gravity-defying costumes became as famous as her show-stopping
performances singing such Continental music standards as "Sway," "Quizás,
Quizás, Quizás" and "Perfidia" on the show.
Prior to Benny Hill, in '62, she was part of a London ballet troupe which travelled
Sweden, Germany and Spain. After the tour ended, she settled in Spain, where she
became a popular revista performer under famed Spanish impresario Colsada. Then
for several years she appeared in musical theatre productions in and around Spain.
It was during a performance, in Madrid in the early 1970s, that she was discovered
by British comedian Benny Hill. After Benny Hill, she travelled around the world
with her cabaret act, in tandem with her husband, Terry Gittings, who had been
a drummer in Georgie Fame's backing band (?)
April 21st 1945.
2001: Sandy Bull (60) American composer and accomplished
player of many stringed instruments, including guitar, pedal steel guitar, banjo
and oud. His music blends non-western instruments with the 1960s folk revival.
His albums often presented an eclectic repertoire including extended modal improvisations
on oud. An arrangement of Carl Orff's composition Carmina Burana for 5-string
banjo appears on his first album and other musical fusions include his adaptation
of Luiz Bonfá's "Manhã de Carnaval", and compositions
derived from works of J. S. Bach. Sandy used overdubbing as a way to accompany
himself. As documented in the Still Valentine's Day, 1969: Live At the Matrix,
San Francisco recording, Sandy Bull's use of tape accompaniment was part of his
solo performances in concert as well (sadly died of lung cancer)
b. February 25th 1941
June Pointer (52) American Pop-R&B singer and was a founding member
of the vocal group The Pointer Sisters. They released their self-titled debut
album in '73, and found fame with hit singles such as "Yes We Can Can",
"Fairytale", and the R&B hits, "How Long (Betcha Got a Chick
on the Side)" and "You Gotta Believe" before Bonnie left the group
for a solo career in 1977. The remaining sisters continued on as a trio and found
huge success, hitting the Top 10 with a cover of Bruce Springsteen's "Fire"
in 1978, followed by "He's So Shy", and "Slow Hand". Their
1983's Break Out album, produced hits "Automatic"; "Jump (for My
Love)". Other hits from follow up albums included "Dare Me" "Freedom"
and "Goldmine". June is notable for being the lead singer of "He's
So Shy", "Jump (For My Love)", "Baby Come And Get It"
and "Dare Me" among others. The group eventually would receive a star
on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. During the 1980s, she launched a solo career, scoring
hits with "Ready For Some Action" (1983) and 1989's "Tight On Time
(I'll Fit U In)". Together with Bruce Willis she scored a top 5 pop single
in 1987 with a cover of the Staples Singers' "Respect Yourself"
lost her to a stroke after a brave battle with bone, liver and lung cancer)
b. November 30th 1953.
2006: Proof / DeShaun Holton (32) American rapper, member of the hip
hop groups D12, Promatic, 5 Elementz, and Goon Sqwad. He rose to prominence alongside
Eminem and other D12 members, he was a steady hand for Detroit's then up-and-coming
hip-hop scene. It was his idea to assemble a collection of Detroit's best hip-hop
talent and call it D12. We may never have heard of Eminem if Proof hadn't taken
under his wing years ago, it was his hand that helped push Eminem to become one
of the world's biggest pop stars, including serving as his on-stage hype man on
concert tours. In 2000, Proof toured along with Eminem, Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg
in the Up In Smoke Tour. He appeared in Eminem's autobiographical film "8
Mile", after which he was hired to host a national search for the next best
battle rapper by Showtime Networks. Proof released his long-in-the-works solo
debut, "I Miss the Hip Hop Shop" recorded between 2002 and 2004, which
was followed by "Searching for Jerry Garcia" in August 2005 on his own
Iron Fist Records. >>> Read
More <<<His mother read poetry on the song "Billie
Holiday" on the album(shot to death at the Detroit
club, C.C.C. on Eight Mile Road) b. October
2009: Johnny Roadhouse (88) British saxophonist;
he joined Teddy Foster's orchestra in 1946, two years later he became leader of
the sax section for the BBC Northern Variety Orchestra. In 1953 this was transformed
into the Northern Dance Orchestra, he remained a member until its demise in the
1980s. He has also played with the Hallé Orchestra and the Liverpool Philharmonic.
As well as his musical performing career, in 1955 he opened "Johnny Roadhouse
Music" on Oxford Street, the best-known musical instrument shop in Manchester.
Eventually the business grew offshoots, such as a team of specialist instrumental
teachers and a band agency. In 2005 he was presented with Lifetime Achievement
awards by the Lord Mayor of Manchester and the Variety Club of Great Britain (passed
away in his sleep after a short illness) b.January 13th
2010: Julia Tsenova (61)
Bulgarian composer, pianist and musical pedagogue; she was a member of the Union
of the Bulgarian Composers, the International Society for Contemporary Music,
and a President of the Bulgarian section. She wrote in the field of symphonic,
chamber, choral and scenic music and her compositions have been performed in different
musical forums in Bulgaria, Austria, Switzerland, England, Ireland, Germany, France,
Italy, Spain, Holland, Norway, Poland, Czech Republik, Slovakia, Hungary, Rumania,
Greece, Russia, India, Australia, USA, Canada and other countries.
(Sadly lost her battle with cancer) b. July 30th
2011: Billy Bang/William
Vincent Walker (63) American
free jazz violinist and composer born in Mobile, AL, but moved to the Bronx, New
York as a child and learnt the violin at junior school. After serving in the Vietnam
War he took up the violin again, he studied with the prominent avant-garde jazz
violinist Leroy Jenkins, became immersed in the 1970s downtown loft-jazz ferment,
collaborated with idiosyncratic musical auteurs like Kip Hanrahan and Bill Laswell
and later joined Sun Ra's band. In 1977, Billy co-founded the String
Trio of New York, with guitarist James Emery and double bassist John Lindberg,
he left the trio in 1986. Solo, he explored his experience in Vietnam in two albums:
Vietnam: The Aftermath-2001 and Vietnam: Reflections-2005, recording with a band
which included other veterans of that conflict (sadly
died of lung cancer) b. September 20th 1947.
2011: Lacy Gibson (74) American jazz
influenced blues guitar virtuoso, and vocalist born in Salisbury, North Carolina;
moving to Chicago in 1949 he learned from veterans Sunnyland Slim, T-Bone Walker
and Muddy Waters and picked up pointers from immaculate axemen Lefty Bates, Matt
"Guitar" Murphy, and Wayne Bennett. Lacy made a name for himself as
a session player in 1963, assuming rhythm guitar duties on sides by Willie Mabon,
Billy "The Kid" Emerson and Buddy Guy on various labels. He also made
his vocal debut with his self-penned blues ballad "My Love Is Real"
at Chess the same year. He was a musician's musician, his versatile guitar and
unique rich style of joining the influences of jazz and blues and pop quickly
became a mainstay on stages and in recording studios for numerous >>>
MORE <<< (Lacy sadly died of a heart
attack) b. May
2012: Hal McKusick (87)
American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist and flautist,
In the 40s he
worked with Boyd Raeburn and Claude Thornhill, in the early 1950s he worked with
Terry Gibbs, Don Elliott, George Russell, Jimmy Giuffre. and also released albums
under his own leadership, including a 1957 album for Prestige titled Triple Exposure.
In 1958 he led a small group with Bill Evans that recorded Cross Section Saxes
which included contributions from Art Farmer, Paul Chambers and Connie Kay. Hal
also worked on sessions with other prominent jazz musicians including Lee Konitz
and John Coltrane. He later taught at the Ross School in East Hampton, New York
died from natural causes)
b. June 1st 1924.
2013: Gilles Marchal/Gilles
Pastre (68) French songwriter and singer born in Paris, most of his
repertoire was original, but at the beginning of his career he performed a few
covers of songs by Lee Hazlewood and Fred Neil and one of his greater successes,
"Un étranger dans la ville", a version of "Everybody's Talkin'".
In homage to the Paris, he sang the anthem "Les prénoms de l'Ile de
France" in 1977. The following year, he released an album at Sonopresse containing
his own words and music. Songs such as "Drôle de vie", "C'était
en France", "C'est pas la Chine" and "Miss Pharmago"
were a successfil both in France and abroad. He retired from singing in 1985 to
devote his time to his love of writing and history () b.
September 2nd 1944.
Thomas Hemsley CBE (85) English opera singer,
born in Coalville and made his debut as Purcell's Aeneas at the Mermaid Theatre,
London in 1951, and debuted at Glyndebourne in 1953. He was principal baritone
at the Aachen Opera from 1953-56, the Deutsche Oper am Rhein from 1957-63, and
the Zürich Opera from 1963-67. He was a notable interpreter of Beckmesser
in Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, performing the role at Bayreuth from 1968
to 1970 and recording it under the baton of Rafael Kubelík. In 1960 he
created the role of Demetrius in A Midsummer Night's Dream with the English Opera
Group at Aldeburgh. In 1965 he was the baritone soloist of Delius's Requiem, in
Liverpool, in only the second UK performance, the fourth performance in the work's
history. He made his Covent Garden debut in 1970 creating Mangus in The Knot Garden,
and in 1974 at the Scottish Opera he created Caesar in Iain Hamilton's opera The
Catiline Conspiracy (?)
b. April 12th 1927.
2013: Don Blackman (59)
American jazz-funk pianist, singer and songwriter, born
in Queens, NY; while still a teenager he played
in McPherson's band and at the early 70s, he played withParliament/Funkadelic,
Earth, Wind and Fire and Roy Ayers, before joining Lenny White's group Twennynine,
for whom he wrote songs such as "Peanut Butter" and "Morning Sunrise".
He released his self-titled debut solo album in 1982 which including his songs
"Holding You, Loving You", "Heart's Desire" and "Since
You've Been Away So Long" that became hits in Europe. As a session musician,
he appearing on albums by Kurtis Blow, Bernard Wright, Najee, David Sanborn, Lenny
White, Roy Ayers, Sting, World Saxophone Quartet, Janet Jackson's "That's
the Way Love Goes" and Wayman Tisdale. He wrote the composition "Live
to Kick It", which appeared on Tupac Shakur's album R U Still Down? (Remember
Me); "Dear Summer" on Memphis Bleek's album "534" featuring
artist Jay-Z, and "Holding You, Loving You" on Master P.'s album "I
Got The Hook Up". He also scored and wrote music for commercials, TV shows,
and movies (sadly
Don died while fighting cancer)
b. September 1st 1953.
2014: Nandu Bhende (58)
Indian theater artist, singer, music composer, music producer
and was one of the pioneers of rock music in India. In the 70s he worked with
bands such as Velvette Fogg, Savage Encounter and Atomic Forest. He later went
on to perform the roles of Judas in Alyque Padamsee's production of Jesus Christ
Superstar and the role of Jesus in the Bangalore version of the same opera; this
lead onto further roles in Tommy, Fantastiks and Jaya. He was also a playback
singer in Bollywood films, his most famous work being in the 1982 musical Disco
Dancer, for which he received a Gold Disc.
(sadly died from a heart attack) b. 1955.
2014: James Ridout "Jesse" Winchester (69)
American singer-songwriter and guitarist born in Bossier City, Louisiana;
he moved to Canada in 1967, where he began his career as a solo artist. He became
a Canadian citizen in 1973, gained amnesty in the U.S. in 1977 and resettled there
in 2002. His highest charting recordings were of his own
tunes, "Yankee Lady" in 1970 and "Say What" in 1981. probably
best known as a songwriter, with his works being recorded by many notable artists,
including Patti Page, Elvis Costello, Jimmy Buffett, Joan Baez, Anne Murray, Reba
McEntire, The Everly Brothers and Emmylou Harris. A number of these recordings
have had success on various charts. He was nominated for the Best Country Male
Vocalist award at the Juno Awards of 1990 and received a Lifetime Achievement
Award from the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers in 2007
(sadly died from bladder cancer)
b. May 17th 1944.
Bill Arhos (80) American musician, founder of
the long-running Austin City Limits show and the inspiration behind the Texas
capital's now-annual music festival.
A longtime executive at Austin's KLRU, he helped create the Austin City Limits
concept in 1974. That same year, the show's debut episode, featuring Willie Nelson,
aired on the public television station. The show helped Austin to become widely
known as the "Live Music Capital of the World", and is the only television
show to receive the National Medal of Arts, which it was awarded in 2003. It also
won a rare institutional Peabody Award in 2011 "for its more than three decades
of presenting and preserving eclectic American musical genres" (sadly
Bill died from heart disease) b. November 3rd 1934.
Jack Hammer/Earl Solomon Burroughs (90) American
pianist, singer and songwriter, credited as the co-writer of "Great
Balls of Fire". Born in New Orleans, but grew
up in California and in the the early 1950s, he moved to New York City, where
he worked as an MC at the Baby Grand Theatre. He began writing songs, one of his
earliest being "Fujiyama Mama", then after starting to use the pseudonym
Jack Hammer, he also wrote "Rock 'n' Roll Call". He also recorded several
singles in the mid-1950s, including "Football Rock" on Decca, and "Girl
Girl Girl" on Roulette. He co-wrote "Great Balls Of Fire" a huge
hit for Jerry Lee Lewis and "Peek-A-Boo", a hit for the Cadillacs. Much
of Hammer's songwriting work is credited to various aliases including Earl Burrows,
Early S. Burrows, George Stone, and T.T. Tyler. In 1960, when the lead vocalist
of the Platters left for a solo career, Jack joined the group and performed, recorded,
and wrote songs for them. The following year he moved to Paris, where he performed
impersonations of Sammy Davis Jr. and Chuck Berry in cabaret, and then to Belgium,
before moving to Germany and performed on US military bases. The mid 70s saw Jack
back in the US of A where he performed in the Broadway production of Bubblin'
Brown Sugar. (?)
b. September 16th 1925.
Eric Cook (?) British heavy metal band manager
and record label executive, co-founder of Demolition Records (sadly died while
2017: John Warren "J" Geils Jr (71) American
guitarist () b. February 20th 1946.
2017: Steven "Scotty" Miller
(65) American drummer born in Trenton, New Jersey () b. August 22nd 1951
Nichols (44) American jazz pianist,
composer; his first work was with the Royal Barons in 1937, where he became friends
with pianist Thelonious Monk. After the war he worked in various bands , beginning
to achieve some recognition when Mary Lou Williams recorded some of his songs
in 1952. He recorded for Blue Note in 1955 and 1956, which led to the issue of
three albums. Other tracks from these sessions were not issued until the 1980s.
His tune "Serenade" had lyrics added, and as "Lady Sings the Blues"
became firmly identified with Billie Holiday. In 1957 he recorded his last album
for Bethlehem Records "Love, Gloom, Cash, Love". All of his recordings
as leader have been released on CD. In recent years his music has been heavily
promoted by Roswell Rudd, who worked with Herbie in the early 1960s. Roswell has
recorded or programmed at least three albums featuring Nichols' compositions,
including "The Unheard Herbie Nichols" and a book "The Unpublished
Works". Obscure during his lifetime, he is now highly regarded by many musicians
and critics (leukemia)
b. January 3rd 1919.
1967: William "Buster"
Bailey (64) American jazz musician specializing in the clarinet, but
also well versed on saxophone, he was one of the most respected session players
of his era. He started with W.C. Handys Orchestra in 1917 when he was 15
years old. In 1919 he joined Erskine Tates Vendome Orchestra in Chicago
until 1923 when he joined up with Joe "King" Oliver and became friends
with Louis Armstrong, who was also a member of that band at the time. In 1924,
Armstrong left the band to join Fletcher Hendersons Orchestra in New York.
Within a month Armstrong extended an invitation for Buster to join him as a member
of the band, he accepted and moved to New York City. He went on to record and/or
tour the US and Europe with many greats including Perry Bradford, Clarence Williams,
Noble Sissles Orchestra, the John Kirby Band, Edgar Hayes, Dave Nelson,
Midge Williams and Her Jazz Jesters, Big Chief Russell Moore, the Mills Blue Rhythm
Band, Wilbur de Paris, Henry "Red" Allen, Wild Bill Davison, Saints
And Sinners as well as his own band Buster Bailey and His Rhythm Busters. In 1965
he rejoined his old friend Armstrong and became a member of Louis Armstrong and
His All-Stars (Sadly died from a heart attack)
b. July 19th 1902.
Stephen Henry Sholes (57) American recording executive with RCA Victor,
born in Washington, D.C. then moved to Camden, New Jersey, where his father got
work in the RCA plant. Stephen started work at RCA as a messenger boy in 1929
while a student at Rutgers University. After which he worked in RCA's radio division,
but his experience playing saxophone and clarinet in dance bands led him to the
record division. In 1945, he became head of the country division in Nashville,
and was responsible for recruiting such talent as Chet Atkins, Eddy Arnold, The
Browns, Hank Locklin, Homer and Jethro, Hank Snow, Jim Reeves, and Pee Wee King.
In 1955, he signed Elvis Presley for RCA. He convinced RCA to build its own recording
studio in Nashville on Seventeenth Avenue South in 1957. In 1963, Stephen became
RCA Records vice president for pop A&R. He also served on the Country Music
Association, and Country Music Foundation boards of directors. He was inducted
into the Country Music Hall of Fame, which he had worked to create, in 1967
(heart attack) b. February 12th 1968.
1971: Wynton Kelly
(39) US jazz pianist; he started his professional career as a teenager,
playing with R&B groups. He recorded 14 titles for Blue Note with his trio,
and worked with Dinah Washington, Dizzy Gillespie, and Lester Young during 1951-1952.
After serving in the military, he worked with Dinah Washington from 1955-1957,
Charles Mingus from 1956-1957, and the Dizzy Gillespie big band in 1957. Maybe
he was most famous for his work with Miles Davis from 1959-1963, recording such
albums as "Kind of Blue", "At the Blackhawk" and "Someday
My Prince Will Come" (tragically taken by an epileptic
fit) b. December 2nd 1931.
Arthur Freed/Arthur Grossman (78)
American lyricist and Hollywood film producer; born in Charleston, SC, he began
his career as a singer- pianist in Chicago. After meeting Minnie Marx, he sung
as part of the act of her sons, the Marx Brothers, on the vaudeville circuit,
he also wrote material for the brothers, and eventually hired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
Arthur brought masses of talent from the Broadway theatres to the MGM soundstages
including Kay Thompson, Vincente Minnelli, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Roger Edens,
Zero Mostel, June Allyson, Nancy Walker, choreographer Charles Walters, orchestrators
Conrad Salinger, Johnny Green, Lennie Hayton, and many others. He
also helped shape the careers of stars including Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Kathryn
Grayson, Red Skelton, Lena Horne, Jane Powell, Esther Williams, Howard Keel, Cyd
Charisse, Ann Miller, Vera-Ellen, and many others. He brought Fred Astaire to
MGM coaxing him out of semi-retirement to star with Garland in Easter Parade.
Arthur produced nearly 50 movies, and helped elevate MGM as the studio of the
musical. His team of writers, directors, composers and stars produced a steady
stream of popular, critically acclaimed musicals until the late 1950s.
few of his credits are "Babes in Arms" (1939), "Lady Be Good"
(1941), "Cabin in the Sky" (1943), "Meet Me in St. Louis"
(1944), "The Harvey Girls" (1946), "Good News" (1947),"
Easter Parade" (1948), "On the Town" (1949), Annie Get Your Gun"
(1950), "An American in Paris" (1951), "Show Boat" (1951),
"Singin' in the Rain" (1952), and "Gigi" (1958). He was presented
the Irving G. Thalberg Award for "Creative producers, whose bodies of work
reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production" in 1951;
two of his films won the Academy Award for Best Picture: 'An American in Paris'
and 'Gigi'; he received an Honorary Oscar and was inducted into the Songwriters
Hall of Fame in 1972 (?) b.
September 9th 1895.
Theodore Guy "Ted" Buckner (62) American
jazz saxophonist, St. Louis, Missouri, but
raised in Detroit, where he played very early in his career before joining McKinney's
Cotton Pickers. He was best known for his time spent in the orchestra of Jimmie
Lunceford, where he remained from 1937 to 1943. After which he primarily played
locally in Detroit, where he worked into the 1970s. His activities included small
jazz combos, work in the Motown studios, and co-leading a big band with Jimmy
Wilkins, Ernie Wilkins's brother. He toured Europe in 1975, and also appeared
in the New McKinney's Cotton Pickers (?) b.
December 14th 1913.
Colette Deréal/Colette Denise de Glarélial (60) French
actress and singer born in Saint-Cyr-l'École, Seine-et-Oise (now Yvelines).
In 1961, she represented Monaco in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Allons,
allons les enfants"/"Let's go, let's go children", finishing joint
10th with the Finnish entry Valoa ikkunassa/The lights in the window sung by Laila
Kinnunen and the Dutch entry Wat een dag/What a day sung by Greetje Kauffeld,
all receiving six points (died in Monaco) b. September 22nd
1989: Herbert Mills (77) American
tenor singer born in Piqua, Ohio and co-founder of The Mills Brothers; Herburt
and his brothers Donald, Harry, and John began practicing in their father's barbershop
quartet and singing in the
choir of the Cyrene African Methodist Episcopal
Church and in the Park Avenue Baptist Church in Piqua. In the late 20s the
quartet was signed to perform in a variety of shows, they sang as the Steamboat
Four, the Tasty East Jesters, and Will, Willie, Wilbur and William, among other
names, finally they went under the name the Mills Brothers and by 1931 they were
recording for Brunswick Records. In 1934, The Mills Brothers became the first
African-Americans to give a command performance before British royalty. They performed
at the Regal Theatre for a special audience: King George V, Queen Mary, and their
mother. They went on to make more than 2,000 recordings
that combined sold more than 50 million copies, and garnered at least three dozen
gold records. By 1950 they had 50 chart hits. Their last number one was 1952s
Glow Worm, adapted from the German operetta Lysistrata. It also became
a hit in England, reaching No.10 at the beginning of 1953. The Mills Brothers
were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1998 (?)
b. April 2nd 1912.
1999: Boxcar Willie/Lecil Travis Martin (67)
American "hobo music" / country singer; he was the son of a railroad
man who used to play his fiddle on the porch while Lecil played guitar. By his
teens he was performing in jamborees all over the state until he gave up show
business to enlist in the Air Force, where he spent 22 years, logging some 10,000
hours as a flier. He performed under the nickname of "Boxcar Willie"
for the first time at a talent contest in San Jose, California, while he was still
in the Air Force, he won the first prize of $150. In 1976, Lecil left the Air
Force and became a full-time performer, he went on to become a star in country
music, selling more than 10 million records worldwide, with hits such as "Lonesome
Whistle Blues", and "Wabash Cannonball". In 1981, he achieved a
professional landmark by being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry as its 60th member.
In 1985, he moved to Branson, Missouri and purchased a theatre on Highway 76 /
76 Country Music Boulevard, calling it the Boxcar Willie Theatre. He opened a
museum and had two motels, both bearing his name. The overpass at Interstate 35E
and Farm to Market Road 664 in Red Oak, Texas was renamed "Boxcar Willie
Memorial Overpass" after a major reconstruction project (sadly
died of leukemia) b. September 1st 1931.
2006: Rajkumar/Singanalluru Puttaswamayya Muthuraju (77)
Indian actor and singer; born in Gajanur, he was the first actor in Indian cinema
to enact a role which resembled James Bond; his first such movie was Jedara Bale.
Later he acted in other Bond films such as Operation Jackpotnalli CID 999, Goadalli
CID 999, and Operation Diamond Rocket. As well as his many acting rolls, he was
also a well known singer, and sang many devotional songs. He won the National
Award for the song "Naadamaya" from the movie Jeevana Chaitra. He had
trained in classical music while in Gubbi Veranna's drama troupe. He performed
a song in the movie Mahishasura Mardini with G. K. Venkatesh as the music director.
However, he did not become a full-fledged singer until his hugely popular song
"Yare Koogadali" from the movie Sampathige Sawal (died
of a cardiac arrest) b. April 24th 1929.
2009: Ruben "Zeke" Zarchy (93) American
jazz trumpet legend; he joined Joe Haymes orchestra in 1934, then played with
Benny Goodman in 1936 and Artie Shaw in 1937. From 1937 to 1942, he worked and
recorded with the bands of Red Norvo, Bob Crosby, Mildred Bailey, Frank Sinatra,
Helen Ward, Judy Garland, Tommy Dorsey, and Ella Fitzgerald. Zeke's trumpet can
be heard on recordings such as Benny Goodman's "Bugle Call Rag", Bob
Crosby's "South Rampart Street Parade", and Glenn Miller's "Moonlight
Cocktails". When World War II broke out, he was chosen by Glenn Miller for
what became Miller's Army Air Force Band, officially, the 418th Army Band, where
he played lead trumpet and was Master Sergeant from 1942 to 1945. After the war,
singer Frank Sinatra invited Zeke to move to Los Angeles, where he became a first-call
studio musician. He played on the recordings of hundreds of vocalists, including
Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, Dinah Shore, and The Mills Brothers. His trumpet
is heard in the soundtracks of many classic Hollywood movies, including West Side
Story, Dr. Zhivago and the The Glenn Miller Story. During the 1960s and '70s,
he played in the house bands of several CBS TV variety shows, including The Smothers
Brothers Comedy Hour, The Danny Kaye Show and The Jonathan Winters Show, and was
a member of the NBC Staff Orchestras in Los Angeles and New York. In his later
years, Zarchy made many music tours of Europe, South America, and Australia, as
well as 32 concert trips to Japan (sadly died with complications
from pneumonia) b. June 12th 1915.
Andrew Love (70) American saxophonist born in Memphis; he began his
interest in music at the Mount Nebo Baptist Church were his father was pastor.
His music education continued in high school and at University in Oklahoma. He
returned to Memphis in 1965 and began session work atStax Records where he teamed
up with trumpeter Wayne Jackson. The two created the signature horn sound at Stax,
heard on hit records by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and others, and helped fuel
the label's golden era.After recording numerous tracks at Stax, he and Wayne formed
themselves into the renowned Memphis Horns and began freelancing >>>READ
MORE<<< (sadly Andrew died of complications from Alzheimer's
disease) b. November 21st 1941.
2013: Oöphoi/Gianluigi Gasparetti (55)
Italian ambient musician; born in Rome, his music is known as being static, organic
and minimalistic, created by using synths, singing bowls, flutes, and processed
voices, often integrated in a meditative and spiritual context. Maybe he is better
known as the editor of "Deep Listenings", an Italian magazine dedicated
to ambient and deep atmospheric music, where he has featured interviews with many
famous ambient artists including Steve Roach and Michael Stearns (sadly
died after a long illness) b. 1958
Fred Ho/Fred Wei-han Houn (56) American jazz baritone saxophonist,
composer, bandleader, writer and Marxist social activist, born in Palo Alto, California.
Although he is associated with the Asian American jazz or avant-garde jazz movements,
he himself was opposed to the use of term "jazz" to describe traditional
African American music because the word "jazz" was used pejoratively
by white Americans to denigrate the music of African Americans. Fred is credited
with co-founding several Asian American civic groups including as the East Coast
Asian Students Union, while a student at Harvard, the Asian American Arts Alliance
in New York City, the Asian American Resource Center in Boston and the Asian Improv
record label. (sadly Fred died with complications from colorectal cancer)
b. August 10th 1957.
2014: Boris Karadimchev
(81) Bulgarian composer and film scorer born in Yambol. He was known
for A Peasant on a Bicycle in 1974, A Nameless Band in 1982 and Armstrong in 1998.
In addition to composing many famous melodies he was the longtime artistic director
of the Pim-Pam choir and a professor at the National Academy for Theatre and Film
Arts in Sofia (sadly Boris died of a heart attack)
b. March 30th 1933.
2014: Brita Koivunen
(82) Finnish schlager singer;
she rose to fame in 1954 after winning of a competition at the Helsinki Workers'
Hall. During her career, she sold 100,000 certified records, making her among
the top 50 best-selling female soloists in Finland. Some of her most famous
songs include "Sävel rakkauden", "Suklaasydän",
käännösiskelmät/"Chocolate Heart" and "Mamma,
tuo mies minua tuijottaa"/Ma! He's Making Eyes At Me. During the late 1990s,
Brita performed in a trio with Pirkko Mannola and Vieno Kekkonen, until she retired
in 2005. (sadly Brita died fighting cancer)
b. August 31st 1931.
2016: Robbie Brennan (?)
Irish drummer and a former member of Phil Lynott's band Grand Slam. He also
played with a variety of Irish musicians such as Christy Moore, Skid Row, Auto
Da Fé, Paul Brady and Clannad. For several years in the late 1970s and
early 1980s, Robbie was the drummer of the Dublin rock band Stepaside, along with
ex-Miami Showband member Paul Ashford. He was also a member of Scullion recording
Spin in 1985. Brennan played with Auto Da Fé, then later with Dublin jazz
band Hotfoot during the 1980s until it disbanded in 1987 (sadly
Robbie died after a long illness)
Peggy Hayama (83) Japanese singer (sadly died
2017: Barry Smith (71) American drummer
Mika Vainio (53) Finnish electronic and experimental musician
Kathleen Cassello (58) American operatic soprano
1959: Eduard van Beinum (58) Dutch conductor,
pianist and violinist born in Arnhem, he joined the Arnhem Orchestra as a violinist
in 1918. He conductor of the Haarlem Orchestral Society from 1927 to 1931. He
first conducted the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam in 1929. He became second
conductor of the Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1931, under the supervision of Willem
Mengelberg. In 1938 he was named co-principal conductor, alongside Mengelberg.
In 1947 he took over the leadership of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, but
left after two successful seasons through ill health. He made his US guest conducting
debut in 1954, with the Philadelphia Orchestra. In 1956, the year of Eduard's
25th anniversary with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, he was invested as a Grand
Officer of the Order of Orange Nassau, and also received an honorary doctorate
from the University of Amsterdam.He also served as music director of the Los Angeles
Philharmonic from 1956 to 1959 (he
sadly suffered fatal heart attack on the Concertgebouw podium while rehearsing
the orchestra for a performance of Johannes Brahms' Symphony No.1) b.
September 3rd 1901.
1984: Ralph Kirkpatrick (72) American musicologist and harpsichordist,
most famous for his chronological catalog of Domenico Scarlatti's keyboard sonatas.
From 1933 to 1934, he taught at the Mozarteum in Salzburg, Austria. From 1940
he was a professor at Yale University, where he published his biography of Domenico
Scarlatti and a critical edition of Scarlatti's complete works in 1953. He made
a number of recordings of the harpsichord works of Johann Sebastian Bach and also
produced an edition of Bach's Goldberg Variations which includes extensive discussion
of ornamentation, fingering, phrasing, tempo, dynamics, and general interpretation.
Ralph played modern music too, including Quincy Porter's Concerto for Harpsichord
and Orchestra, Darius Milhaud's Sonata for Violin and Harpsichord, and the Double
Concerto for Harpsichord, Piano and Chamber Orchestra by Elliott Carter, which
was dedicated to him (?)
b. June 10th 1911.
2004: Elden C. 'Buster' Bailey (81) American percussionist; he attended
the New England Conservatory and graduated from Juilliard. During WW II he was
a member of the U.S. Army 154th Ground Force Band. After the war Buster became
a member of the New York Philharmonic, a career which would span 42 years and
he was also a percussion teacher at Juilliard for 24 years. He was one of the
original members of both the Little Orchestra Society and the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra.
He wrote two books on percussion instruments and was a member of the Percussive
Arts Societys Hall of Fame. Buster was also an avid fan of circus music
and was a member of Windjammers Unlimited, an organization devoted to music of
the circus (?) b. April 22nd
2005: Johnny Loughrey (59)
Irish singer and songwriter born in Newtownstewart, County Tyrone. With
his mix of country songs, Irish ballads and easy listening music which he had
a passion for. He released around 12 albums achieving success in both England
and Ireland (?)
b. July 20th 1945.
Johnnie Johnson (80) American piano player and blues musician born
in Fairmont, West Virginia. His work with Chuck Berry led to his induction into
the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While serving in the US Marine Corps during WW
II, he was a member of Bobby Troup's all serviceman jazz orchestra, The Barracudas.
After his return, he moved to Detroit, Illinois and then Chicago, where he sat
in with many notable artists, including Muddy Waters and Little Walter. He moved
to St. Louis, Missouri in 1952 and put together a jazz and blues group, The Sir
John Trio. On New Years Eve that year, Johnnie called on a young Chuck Berry to
help him out on a gig, after which Johnnie hired him permantly. Eventally Johnnie
became part of Chuck's band. Over the next twenty years, the two collaborated
in the arrangements of many of Berry's songs including "School Days",
"Carol", and "Nadine". The song "Johnny B. Goode"
was a tribute to Johnnie, with the title reflecting his usual behavior when he
was drinking.Although never on his payroll after 1973, Johnnie played occasionally
with Berry until Johnson's death. In 1987 he recorded his first solo album, Blue
Hand Johnnie. He later performed with Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, John Lee Hooker,
Bo Diddley and George Thorogood appearing on Thorogood's 1995 live album Let's
Work Together Live. In 1996 and 1997, Johnson toured with Bob Weir's Ratdog, playing
67 shows. In 1999, Johnnie's biography was released, Father of Rock and Roll:
The Story of Johnnie B. Goode Johnson (?) b.
July 8th 1924.
2010: Steve Reid (66)
American jazz drummer from New York, he started drumming in his teens, and worked
at the Apollo Theatre under the direction of Quincy Jones. After graduating at
Adelphi University in Garden City, NY, he spent 3 years in Africa, opening up
his influences even more. He affirms Africa is the heart of drumming. He went
on to work with artists including Miles Davies, Sun Ra, James Brown, Fela Kuti
and Ornette Coleman, as well as being a prolific session musician for Motown Records.
In the early seventies he started his own label, Mustevic Sound Inc., and later
lived in Switzerland working in Europe for a number of years. Steve was named
JAZZIZ's "Percussionist of the Year" in both 1993 and '95. In 2006,
he teamed up with groundbreaking electronic musician Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet,
with whom he released 4 albums, The Exchange Session Vol.1 & 2, Tongues and
NYC between 2006 and 2008
sadly passed away following a battle with cancer)
b. January 29th 1944.
Manos Xydous (57) Greek singer-songwriter, musician and record producer
(sadly died from a cardiac arrest) b.
May 15th 1953
2013: Chi Cheng (42)
American bassist, born in Davis, California, and educated at CSU Sacramento. He
was the original full time bassist of the alternative metal band Deftones from
Sacramento, founded in 1988. have released seven albums to date, with three Platinum:
Adrenaline, Around the Fur, and White Pony and one Gold certification For Deftones.
Their many hit singles include "Be Quiet and Drive (Far Away)", "Change
(In the House of Flies)", "Minerva" and "Hole in the Earth".
Chi was also the author of a collection of poetry titled The Bamboo Parachute
released in 2000 as a spoken word album. (sadly died from
complications of injuries sustained in a vehicle collison in 2008 after which
he tragically fell into a coma) b. July 15th 1970.
2015: Ronnie Carroll/Ronald Cleghorn (79)
Northern Irish singer, entertainer and political candidate born in Belfast. He
recorded his first hit in 1956 with "Walk Hand in Hand" on the Philips
label. Having taken part in the 1960 UK Eurovision selection contest with the
song "Girl with a Curl", he returned to win the selection and be Britain's
entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1962, and with the song "Ring-a-Ding
Girl" shared fourth place, the same placing he reached in 1963 with another
British Eurovision Song Contest entry, "Say Wonderful Things". Other
hits include "Roses Are Red", but a lack of good material meant that
he could not sustain a chart presence and worked the clubs and on cruise ships.
In the 90s he went into politics. In the 2005 he released a comeback album, Back
on Song. He stood in the 2008 Haltemprice and Howden by-election as a candidate
for Make Politicians History and received 29 votes despite announcing that he
was trying to enter the record books by receiving no votes (?)
b. August 18th 1934.
Mariano Mores/Mariano Martínez (98) Argentine
tango composer and pianist, born in the San Telmo area of Buenos Aires. He made
his professional debut at the age of 14 at Café Vicente on Corrientes Avenue
and took classical music lessons at the D´Andrea conservatoire in Lanús.
After a brief spell with the folk group "La Cuyanita," he was hired
as conductor and pianist with Roberto Firpo's orchestra. He also created the Trio
Mores with sisters Margot and Myrna Mores and went on
to become one of the leading tango performers. He
married Myrna and adopted her artistic surname as his own. In 1938 he wrote the
soundtrack of the film Senderos de Santa Fe and together with Enrique Santos Discépolo,
he wrote such classics as Uno, Sin palabras, and Cafetín de Buenos Aires.
Mores and José María Contursi wrote En esta tarde gris, Tu piel
de jazmín, Grisel and Cristal. He co-wrote La calesita and El patio de
la morocha with Cátulo Castillo; Una lágrima tuya with Homero Manzi
and Cuartito Azul with Mario Battistella. Mariano also took part in several musical
films together with such stars as Delia Garcés, Osvaldo Miranda, Virginia
Luque and Hugo del Carril. He starred in the film Corrientes, calle de ensueño,
and La doctora quiere tangos with Mirtha Legrand, in 1950.
(?) b. February 18th
2016: Jock Scot/John Graham Manson Leslie
(63) Scottish poet and recording artist born in Musselburgh, near Edinburgh.
A remarkable post-punk musical Zelig, he worked with artists including The Clash,
Ian Dury, Vivian Stanshall, Taj Mahal and The B52s. From the 1990s onward Jock
reinvented himself as a rampaging rock poet and read his material in concert at
the invitation of bands including Belle & Sebastian, The Libertines and British
Sea Power. Having sold lemonade on the council estates and worked and slept on
a building site, his break came in 1978 when he threw his tam oshanter on
to the stage at an Ian Dury concert in Edinburgh and was asked backstage afterwards,
where Ian gave him a job and took him to London. Scot went to work for Stiff records
and lived in Bow in a squat with Kosmo Vinyl, the sometime manager of The Clash.
Scot befriended Joe Strummer and Paul Simonon of the Clash, Wreckless Eric, Wilko
Johnson and Norman Watt-Roy of Dr Feelgood, Shane MacGowan of the Pogues and Billy
Bragg, who called Scot his hero and the
young poet would regularly go on stage as a warm-up man for both Ian Dury and
The Clash. Jock met guitarist Gareth Sager, who persuaded Scot to come on tour
with him and play the teacup on stage at the Hacienda Club in Manchester. They
recorded several songs together, including Sin Bin and 1,000 Hangovers Later.
A film of Jock Scots life is being prepared by the Soho director Robert
(sadly Jock died while fighting cancer) b. September
José Miguel Class (78) Puerto Rican singer
1954: Lil Green (34) American
blues vocalist noted for superb timing and a distinctively sinuous voice; born
in Mississippi; she went to Chicago, Illinois, where she began performing, at
18 she recorded her first session for the 35 cent Bluebird subsidiary of RCA.
In the 1930s she and Big Bill Broonzy had a night club act together. Her two biggest
hits were, her own composition "Romance in the Dark" 1940, and her rendition
of "Why Don't You Do Right?" in 1941. As well as performing in Chicago
clubs, she toured with Tiny Bradshaw and other bands, but never really broke away
from the black theatre circuit. (pneumonia)
b. December 22nd 1919.
Ricardo/Manuel Serrapí (68) Spanish flamenco composer, guitarist
and child prodigy; born in Seville, he is considered by some as the most accomplished
flamenco player of his day. He played a significant part in the evolution of the
flamenco guitar. He spent his early years playing in the taverns and bars of Seville
where he developed his own personal style and created much of his own material.
He was inspired by the great threesome of flamenco guitar; Ramón Montoya,
Manolo de Huelva, and Javier Molina, by whom he was guided at the start of his
professional career in the Salon Variedades in Seville. He recorded with many
singers, including Pastora, El Carbonerillo, Mazaco, Antonio and Manuel Mairena,
Fernanda y Bernarda, Caracol and Talega. (sadly Nico died
of cirrhosis of the liver) b. July 11th 1904.
1981: Victor Assis Brasil (35) Brazilian
jazz saxophonist, born in Rio de Janeiro, he became the best Brazilian jazzman
of his generation. As a young child he learnt the drums and excelled on the harmonica
gaving his first concert at the age of 12. He took up saxophone at 16 and recorded
his first album "Desenhos" in 1965, then in 1966 he achieved the third
place at the International Jazz Contest in Vienna, Austria, and the Best Soloist
award in the Berlin Jazz Festival, German, which granted him a scholarship to
the Berklee School of Music, where he studied for 5 years. While in the United
States he played with Dizzy Dillespie, Jeremy Steig, Richie Cole, Clark Terry,
Chick Correa, Ron Carter, Bob Mover and others. He had the opportunity to write
arrangements of his compositions for all types of orchestras, gaining invaluable
experience. Simultaneously, he taught improvisation in general in JD 5. School
of Music in Boston. Victor's virtuoso playing seemed to be more appreciated abroad
then in his own country and toured with his quartet with international rave reviews
and thrilling audiences on 3 continents. He recorded eight albums between 1966
and 1980 before his career sadly came to a premature end (tragically
Victor died from periartite nodosa, a rare and severe circulatory disease)
b. August 28th 1945.
Pete Farndon (30) English bassist in the
band The Pretenders, he played with Cold River Lady until the summer of 1976,
and then toured with Australian folk-rock band The Bushwackers prior to joining
the Pretenders in 1978. He played a large role in shaping The Pretenders' tough
image, often wearing his biker clothing, or later, samurai gear onstage. Chrissie
Hynde later acknowledged that two Pretenders' songs, "Biker" and "Samurai"
had "references to a Pete Farndon type of character". Sadly he became
more and more dependant on his drug use. (tragically found
drowned in his bath due to a drug overdose) b. June
1990: Thurston Harris (58)
American singer born in Indianapolis; he first appeared on record as the featured
vocalist with the Lamplighters in 1953, one of the many groups on the early R&B
scene in South Central Los Angeles, throughout the early 1950s. The group later
evolved into the Tenderfoots, then the Sharps. He is widely regarded as a one-hit
wonder, with the song "Little Bitty Pretty One", in 1957, with the Sharps.
It reached No.6 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. The track sold over one million
records, achieving gold disc status. The song appeared on the soundtracks to films
or television dramas, such as Telling Lies in America, Lipstick on Your Collar,
and Christine. In 1958, Thurston scored a Top 20 R&B hit with "Do What
You Did," but he failed to have any chart success afterwards. His other best
known song was "Runk Bunk", recorded in 1959, and released by Aladdin
b. July 11th 1931.
1995: Burle Ives (85)
American actor, folk music singer-songwriter and musician, born in
Hunt City, Illinois, where he attended Eastern Illinois State Teachers College.
Playing his banjo on the streets, he was jailed in Mona, Utah, for vagrancy and
for singing Foggy, Foggy Dew, which the authorities decided was a
bawdy song. Around 1931 he began performing on WBOW radio in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Then in 1940 Burle began his own radio show, titled The Wayfaring Stranger after
one of his ballads. Over the next decade, he popularized several traditional folk
songs, such as Foggy, Foggy Dew, an English/Irish folk song; Blue
Tail Fly, an old Civil War tune; and Big Rock Candy Mountain,
an old hobo ditty. He went on to have dozens of hits such as "Riders In the
Sky (A Cowboy Legend)", "Lavendar Blue, Dilly Dilly", "A Little
Bitty Tear", "On Top Of Old Smokey", "Wild Side of Life",
"Call Me Mister In-Between", and "Funny Way of Laughing."
As an actor, his work included comedies, dramas, and voice work in theatre, television,
and motion pictures. His movie credits include East of Eden, Cat on a Hot Tin
Roof, Desire Under The Elms, Wind Across The Everglades, The Big Country, for
which he won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor; and Our Man in Havana.
Berle's Broadway career included appearances in The Boys From Syracuse, Heavenly
Express, This Is the Army, Sing Out, Sweet Land, Paint Your Wagon, and Dr. Cook's
Garden and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. His folk sing career (sadly
died of complications of mouth cancer) b. June 14th
1998: Dorothy Squires/Edna May Squires (83) Welsh
singer born in her parents' carnival caravan in Pontyberem, UK. She taught herself
to play a ukulele and at 16 began to perform professionally as a singer in local
working men's clubs. She soon relocated to London; while working as a nurse she
met agent Joe Kay, who got her night time work in clubs. It was a club in the
East End which gave her the name stage Dorothy. In 1936, Dorothy joined the Billy
Reid's orchestra, he was her partner for many years. Immediately after the war,
she worked on the BBC radio show Variety Bandbox, which made her the highest paid
female singer in the UK. Working
with Billy Reid, who also wrote many songs for her, Dorothy recorded the original
version of Reid's composition, "A Tree in the Meadow", and other Reid
penned songs including "I'm Walking Behind You" and "The Gypsy".
8 years in the US and a marrage to actor Roger Moore, Dorothy returned to the
UK, recording albums and performing to sold out concerts. But in 1971 she began
an apparent love affair with the law courts, and undertook 30 cases over the next
15 years. In 1988 she lost her home in Bray following bankruptcy proceedings.
Her last concert was in 1990, to pay her poll tax. She retired to Trebanog, Rhondda,
South Wales in a home provided by a fan, Esme Coles, where she became a recluse
(Sadly died of lung cancer in Llwynypia Hospital, Rhondda)
b. March 25th 1915.
Anthony Newley (67) English actor, singer and songwriter, born in Hackney,
London. His first major film role was as Dick Bultitude in Peter Ustinov's Vice
Versa in 1948 followed by the Artful Dodger in David Lean's Oliver Twist the same
year, these were the first of many. He wrote ballads, many with Leslie Bricusse,
that became signature hits for Sammy Davis Jr., Shirley Bassey and Tony Bennett.
During the 1960s he also added his greatest accomplishments on the London West
End theatre and Broadway theatre stage, in Hollywood films and UK and US TV. He
also enjoyed success as a performer in such diverse fields as rock & roll
and stage and screen acting. He started in May 1959 with the song "I've Waited
So Long" a number 3 hit in the UK quickly followed by his No.6 hit "Personality"
and then two No.1 hits in early 1960: "Why" and "Do You Mind?"
(written by Lionel Bart). As a songwriter, he won the 1963 Grammy Award for Song
of the Year for "What Kind of Fool Am I?". His last single "Sweet
November" was released in 1968. In the 1970s he remained active, particularly
as a Las Vegas and Catskills Borscht Belt resort performer and talk show guest
(kidney cancer) b. September
2005: Benny Bailey/Ernest Harold
Bailey (79) American bebop and hard-bop
jazz trumpeter. He learnt the piano and flute in his youth, then switched to trumpet,
and concentrated on the instrument while at the Cleveland Institute of Music.
In the early 1940s he worked with Bull Moose Jackson and Scatman Crothers and
later worked with Dizzy Gillespie and toured with Lionel Hampton. During a European
tour with Hampton he decided to stay in Europe and spend time in Sweden where
he worked with Harry Arnold's big band and The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big
Band. Later he began to work with Quincy Jones and that led to a brief return
to the US in 1960. After that he migrated to Germany, and later the Netherlands.
In 1969 he played on Eddie Harris and Les McCann's album Swiss Movement which
was recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival, even though it was not normally
his style of music. Then in 1988 he worked with Tony Coe and he kept producing
albums until 2000 when he was in his mid-70s. (he died at
home in Amsterdam) b. August 13th
Don Ho/Donald Ho Tai Loy (76) Legendary Hawaiin pop singer, keyboardist,
he was originally signed to Reprise Records and released his debut album, Don
Ho Show, in 1965 and began to play high profile locations in Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe,
and New York City. In 1966 he released his second album, a live compilation called
Don Ho Again!, which charted in the early part of that year. In the fall
of 1966, he released his most famous song, "Tiny Bubbles", which charted
on both the pop and easy listening charts and caused the subsequent Tiny Bubbles
LP to remain in the album Top 20 for almost a year. Another song associated with
Don was "Pearly Shells". From 1964 to 1969, Don's backing group was
The Aliis: Al Akana, Rudy Aquino, Benny Chong, Manny Lagodlagod and Joe Mundo.
In the 70s he landed a television series on ABC from October 1976 to March 1977
with the Don Ho Show variety program which aired on weekday mornings (heart
failure) b. August 13th 1930.
Mississippi Slim/Walter Horn Jr (66) American blues singer born in
Shelby, Mississippi; raised in Greenville and he worked on a plantation before
leaving for Chicago in 1968. His trademark style was bright-coloured hair, multi-coloured
suits and mix-matched shoes and socks. He returned to Mississippi in 1994. In
1999, he recorded "Miracles" with LaJam Records. With his remarkable
stage presence, Mississippi Slim was a crowd favorite at the Mississippi Delta
Blues Festival in 2008 (?) b.
August 13th 1943.
2010: Peter Steele/Petrus T. Ratajczyk
(48) American multi-musician and composer.
Born in Brooklyn, he started taking guitar lessons at 12,
moving on to bass 6 months later. He played for the metal group Fallout, which
later reformed as Type O Negative, and the thrash
band Carnivore, before reforming the gothic metal band Type O Negative,
with himself as lead singer, bassist, and main composer.
Type O Negative's debut album, Slow, Deep and Hard, was released in '91. The band
went platinum with '93's "Bloody Kisses", and gained an enormous following
with 7 studio albums, two best-of compilations, and concert DVDs. His last album
was 2007's "Dead Again". He went on to appear as a guest on the talk
shows Ricki Lake, The Howard Stern Show, and The Jerry Springer Show. In 2003,
he had an acting role in an episode of the HBO drama series Oz. He
followed this with a role in the 2005 film Bad Acid. He is among the musicians
featured in the upcoming documentary Living the American Nightmare, set for release
in 2011 (Peter died of heart failure) b. January 4th 1962.
George Jackson (68) American rhythm & blues
and soul singer and songwriter born in Indianola, Miss. He sang southern soul
from the 1960s into the 1980s. As a writer, he provided scores of songs for Goldwax
and Fame in the 1960s and Hi and Sounds Of Memphis in the 1970s, through to an
ongoing relationship with Malaco Records, that saw him pen material for dozens
of artists, such as "One Bad Apple" for the Osmonds, "Old Time
Rock & Roll" for Bob Seger and "The Only Way Is Up", which
became a UK No.1 for Yazz and Coldcut, having been written originally
for Otis Clay (sadly died from cancer)
b. March 12th 1945.
2014: Maalim Gurumo (??)
Tanzanian dansi (Swahili: "dance music") musician
who had been a member of the band Msondo Ngoma for over 50 years. Msondo Ngoma
founded in 1964 was formerly known as NUTA
Jazz Band, renamed Juwata Jazz Band and then OTTU Jazz Band. It is the oldest
active dansi band in Tanzania and is known as "baba ya muziki"/"father
of music" (sadly Maalim died after a fall in
the Muhimbili National Hospital where he was admitted with a long illness)
2015: Percy Tyron Sledge (74) American
R&B, soul, gospel, and traditional pop singer, born in Leighton, Alabama,
while growing up he would sing in church every Sunday. He worked on several farms
in the fields before taking a job as an orderly at Colbert County Hospital in
Sheffield, Alabama. Through the mid-1960s, he toured the Southeast with the Esquires
Combo on weekends, while working at the hospital during the week. A
former patient introduced him to record producer Quin Ivy, who signed Percy to
a recording contract. "When a Man Loves a Woman" was his first song
recorded under the contract, and was released in April 1966. It reached
No. 1 in the US and went on to become an international hit, charting twice in
the UK, reaching No. 4 in 1966 and, on reissue, peaked >>>
MORE <<< (sadly died while fighting
liver cancer) b. November 25th 1940.
Manfred Jung (76) German opera singer born in
Oberhausen, and studied singing at the Folkwang-Hochschule Gesang in Essen, graduating
in 1968. Subsequently, he received engagements at the chamber opera in Cologne
and from 1971-1975 an engagement at the music theatre in Dortmund, then at the
theatre in Kaiserslautern. In 1975, he had his first guest appearances at the
"Salzburg Easter Festival" under Herbert von Karajan and then in Jerusalem.
He went on perform in many major music theatres and opera houses around the world
including the Metropolitan Opera in New York and made a name for himself as a
Wagner tenor. He was one of the few singers who sang all tenor parts in Wagner's
Ring of the Nibelungen. He was also the artistic director of the "Junge Musiker-Stiftung"
since about 2005, who performs the "cantilena singing contest" in Bayreuth,
which promotes young recruits of different categories: opera, concert, operetta.
(?) b. July 9th 1940.
Martín Elías/Martín Elías Díaz Acosta (26)
Colombian vallenato singer and the son of the singer / composer
Diomedes Díaz. Martín was considered a pioneer of the 'new wave'
of vallenato music and released 10 albums, debuting in 2007 with 'Una nueva historia'.
He released his last album 'Homenaje a los grandes Volumen II' a few months ago
in 2016. (tragically Martin died in a traffic collision;
the accident happened during the early hours of the morning while he was on his
way to Valledupar, after he had performed at a music festival the night before)
b. June 18th 1990.
2017: Bruce Langhorne (78)
American folk guitarist and percussionist born in Tallahassee,
but from the age of four, he lived with his mother in Spanish Harlem, in NYC.
At an early age he learned violin, but lost
most of three fingers of his right hand as a child when lighting a homemade rocket.
He started playing guitar at the age of 17, and the loss of his fingers contributed
to his distinctive playing style. He
began accompanying folk singer Brother John Sellers at clubs in Greenwich Village,
and soon started to work with other musicians. Bruce worked with many of the major
performers in the folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s, including The Clancy Brothers
& Tommy Makem, Joan Baez, Richie Havens, Carolyn Hester, Peter LaFarge, Gordon
Lightfoot, Hugh Masekela, Odetta, Babatunde Olatunji, Peter, Paul and Mary, Richard
and Mimi Fariña, Tom Rush, Steve Gillette, and Buffy Sainte-Marie. He first
recorded in 1961, with Carolyn Hester, which is when he met Bob Dylan. In 1963
he accompanied Dylan on 'The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan'; in 1965 he was one of several
guitarists on the album 'Bringing It All Back Home', and later accompanied Dylan
on his album 'Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid. The title character of Bob Dylan's
song "Mr. Tambourine Man" was inspired by Bruce, Bruce used to play
a large Turkish frame drum in performances and recordings; the drum had small
bells attached around its interior, giving it a jingling sound much like a tambourine.
He composed the music for the Peter Fonda western film The Hired Hand in 1971,
which combined sitar, fiddle, and banjo. He also provided the scores for Fonda's
1973 science fiction film 'Idaho Transfer' and his 1976 vigilante movie 'Fighting
Mad'. Other films featuring Bruce's scores include Stay Hungry in 1976, Melvin
and Howard in 1980 and Night Warning in 1982. In 1992 he founded a hot-sauce company,
Brother Bru-Bru's African Hot Sauce, which is unique for containing "African
spices" and all-natural or organic, no-sodium or low-sodium ingredients
died with complications
from a debilitating stroke which he suffered in 2015)
b. May 11th 1938.
Sylvia Moy (78) American songwriter of "Uptight
(Everything's Alright)", "I Was Made to Love Her", "My Cherie
Amour" and record produce
2017: Allan Holdsworth (70) British guitarist
and composer (sadly died after a massive heart attack) b.
Pedro Infante/José Pedro Infante Cruz (39) Mexican
actor and singer of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema and an idol of the Mexican
people. As well as his vast career in films, as a singer he recorded about 350
songs. Waltzes, cha-cha-chas, rancheras and boleros placed him among the most
popular singers of the mariachi
famed for his mariachi shout and ranchera music. Some
of his most popular songs include: Amorcito Corazón/My Little Love and
Heart; Te Quiero Así/I Love You Like This; La Que Se Fue/She Who Left;
El Durazno/The Peach; Dulce Patria/Sweet Fatherland; Maldita Sea Mi Suerte/Cursed
Be My Luck; Así Es La vida/Life Is Like This; Mañana Rosalía/Tomorrow
Rosalía; Mi Cariñito/My Little Darling; and ¿Qué Te
Ha Dado Esa Mujer?/What Has That Woman Given You?). His world famous song Bésame
Mucho ("Kiss Me a Lot" or "Give Me a Lot of Kisses"), was
the only melody that he recorded in English and he interpreted it in the movie
A Toda Máquina (At Full Speed), with Luis Aguilar. Pedro was very often
accompanied by the great musical ensembles of the time like the Mariachi Vargas
de Tecalitlán, Noé Fajardo's Orchestra, the Trío Calaveras
and Antonio Bribiesca, among others. (Tragically he died
in a plane crash when he was piloting a Consolidated Aircraft X B-24-D, which
crashed 5 minutes after take-off from Mérida, Yucatán)
Borys Mykolayovych Lyatoshynsky (73) Ukrainian
composer, conductor, teacher, and leading member of the new generation of twentieth
century Ukrainian composers. He finished his musical studies at the new Kiev Conservatory
in the composition class of Reinhold Gliére, with whom he was to continue
a life-long relationship. He graduated in 1919 and he soon took up a position
as a teacher and later professor. As a composer he wrote a variety of works, including
five symphonies, symphonic poems and many shorter orchestral works, choral and
vocal music, two operas, chamber music and a number of works for solo piano (?)
b. January 3rd 1895.
Giovanni D'Anzi (68) Italian songwriter born
in Milanhe wrote music and lyrics of "O mia bela Madonina".
In 1935 , a song dedicated to his hometown which soon became a sort of
unofficial city anthem. Between
1930s and 1950s Giovanni and Alfredo Bracchi formed a very prolific pair of songwriters.
They worked for radio, cinema and theater productions. Several of their songs
were great hits. Among them "Ma le gambe", "Bambina innamorata",
"Ma l'amore no", "Ti parlerò d'amor". His song "Malinconia
d'amore" has been sung by both Luciano Pavarotti and José Carreras.
During the 1960s Giovanni D'Anzi retired from the musical scene. He moved to Liguria
and took up painting (Giovanni
died at Santa Margherita Ligure. Milan's local authorities included him in the
list of important Milanese people at the Monumental Cemetery)
b. January 1st 1906.
Machito/Francisco Grillo (74)
Latin jazz musician born in in Havana, Cuba, during
the 40s, he took jazz improv and fused it with Afro-Cuban rhythms to help
popularize Latin jazz around the world. Machito's music greatly inspired such
North American jazz giants as Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Kenton. As a band leader,
he fronted the Afro Cubans, who also featured his sister, Graciela Perez-Grillo
as lead vocalist for a time. Machito was awarded a Latin Grammy in 1983 for his
Machito & His Sals Big Band 82. More recently, his song "Mambo
Mucho Mambo" has featured on the sound track for the game Grand Theft Auto
Vice City. In 2005, his 1957 album, Kenya, was added to the list of albums in
'1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die'.(Sadly
died of a fatal stroke while performing in London, UK) b. December 3rd
Soviet classical pianist; born in Kazan, USSR, but feeling politically and being
gay, sexually constrained by the Soviet system, he defected from the Soviet Union
in 1976 while on a concert tour in Rome, Italy and travelled to Amsterdam where
he was to meet his long term partner. In July, 1978, Musical America Magazine
selected Youri as their "Musician of the Month". He made his Carnegie
Hall debut on December 16, 1978 once again under the aegis of Gershunoff. The
concert was recorded live. In August 1979, two of his albums appeared on Billboard
Magazine's Best-Selling Classical LP chart. He made his home in Amsterdam and
throughout the 1980s he played primarily in Europe. His last American appearance
was in Florida in 1986. (sadly died with complications of
AIDS) b. May 28th 1954.
Cleo Brown (85) American jazz singer born in Meridian, Mississippi,
and sang in church as a child. In 1919 her family moved to Chicago and she began
studying piano; in
the 1920s she began taking gigs in clubs and broadcast on radio. made recordings
in the '30s and '40s, with titles such as "Breakin' in a Pair of Shoes",
"Mama Don't Want No Peas and Rice and Coconut Oil" and "The Stuff
Is Here and it's Mellow". She entered the studios again in the late '80s
after being rediscovered living in the hinterlands of Colorado (?)
b. December 8th 1909.
1998: Rose Maddox (71) American
and fiddle player born in Boaz, Alabama, she performed with her siblings as Maddox
Brothers and Rose during the late 30s and early 40s. When her brothers
went off to serve their country in WWII, Rose continued as a solo act and later
rejoined them upon their return. Rose has been referred to as the grandmother
After the group disbanded in the late 50s, Rose signed to Capitol Records
as a solo act. She scored several Top 20 hits including a No.4 hit duet with Buck
Owens. In the mid 60s, Rose switched gears a bit and started performing
bluegrass. She found a new audience among the folk revivalists of the era. She
continued recording and performing occasionally well into the 90s, and earning
a Grammy nomination in 1996 (sadly died of kidney failure)*August
Joey Ramone/Jeffry Ross Hyman (49) American
musician and singer, grew up in Forest Hills, Queens where he had a disfunctional
upbringing, but in 1974, he co-founded the punk rock band Ramones with friends
John Cummings and Douglas Colvin. All three adopted stage names using "Ramone"
as their stage surname. Cummings became Johnny Ramone, and Colvin became Dee Dee
Ramone, with Jeffry adopted the name Joey Ramone. The name Ramone stems from the
fact that x-Beatle Paul McCartney used to check into hotels under the psuedonym
"Paul Ramon" while touring. Joey initially served as the group's drummer
and Dee Dee was the original vocalist. However, he proved to be unsuited for the
lead vocals so they switched positions. The Ramones had enormous influence on
the punk rock movement in the US, they achieved only minor commercial success,
their only record certified gold was the compilation album Ramones Mania. In 1996,
after a tour with the Lollapalooza music festival, the band played their final
show and then disbanded. Recognition of the band's huge importance slowly built
over the years, and they are now regularly represented in many assessments of
all-time great rock music, such as the Rolling Stone lists of the 50 Greatest
Artists of All Time and 25 Greatest Live Albums of All Time, VH1's 100 Greatest
Artists of Hard Rock, and Mojo's 100 Greatest Albums. In 2002, the Ramones were
voted the second greatest rock and roll band ever in Spin. After the band split
Joey did make occasional public appearances and worked for a time as a radio DJ;
toward the end of the decade, he worked sporadically on a solo album and also
assembled a band featuring guitarist Daniel Rey, bassist Andy Shernoff , and drummer
Frank Funaro and played several gigs in the New York area. In 2001 the Ramones
were named as inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Joey's solo album 'Don't
Worry About Me' was released posthumously in 2002. (he
sadly died after a brave seven year battle with lymphoma)
b. May 19th 1951.
Ray Condo/Ray Tremblay (53) Canadian
rockabilly singer, saxophonist, guitarist, born in Hull, Quebec. He taught himself
to play the guitar at 11 and by the time he was 16 had co-written and released
his first recording, 'If You Only Knew' with a band in the style of the British
invasion called The Peasants. He went on to form the band The Hardrock Goners,
they performed a variety of styles, rockabilly, jazz, blues, country and western
swing. Their first album was "It Came From Canada". They then established
their own record label, "Crazy Rekkids". In 1991 they merged with a
group called The Five Star Hillbillies, to create The Ricochets
(sadly died from a heart attack) b.
May 16th 1950.
John Fred/John Fred Gourrier (63)
American singer; his group, John Fred and the Playboys, was formed in 1956 having
their first hit single "Shirley" in 1958's. In 1967, Fred and band member
Andrew Bernard co-wrote "Judy in Disguise", a parody of The Beatles
song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds". The song knocked another Beatles
song "Hello, Goodbye" out of the No.1 chart position on the Billboard
Hot 100 for 2 weeks in January '68. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded
a gold disc. Although Fred actually had a well-rehearsed and talented group honed
by years on the road, he was branded as a novelty act and never had another success.
Fred continued to perform in bands, and remained a fixture at concerts and shows
in his hometown, and hosted a popular local radio show, The Roots of Rock 'n'
Roll. In 2002, he released his final album, Somebody's Knockin (He
sadly died from complications from a kidney transplant the year previous to his
death) b. May 8th 1941.
2008: Richard Anthony "Dick" Charlesworth (76)
English jazz clarinettist, saxist and bandleader, totally self taught, born in
Sheffield, Yorkshire, but later moved to London. He formed his first group in
1956 while still doing his day job, and his 'Dick Charlesworth's Jazzmen' won
the South London Jazz Band Championship in 1957. He signed a recording contract
with EMI and his group was remarketed as 'Dick Charlesworth's City Gents'. They
had a chart hit with "Billy Boy", and The City Gents often appeared
on television including The Morecambe and Wise Show and Sunday Night at the London
Palladium. Dick sang the title song of a comedy film, In the Doghouse, starring
Leslie Phillips and featured in his own 15 minute musical short in 1963. When
jazz declined he broke up his band, and from 1964 to 1969 worked for P&O fronting
a band on the cruise liners Canberra and Orsova. He then settled in Mojácar,
in Spain where he ran a music bar until he returned to Britain in 1977. He was
active on the London jazz scene until the early 2000s. He worked with many artists
including Keith Smith, Rod Mason, Alan Littlejohn and Denny Wright. He appeared
on the BBC Radio series, Jazz Score, a quiz show which encouraged its participants
to relate anecdotes about their lives in jazz (sadly
died of a heart attack) b. 8 January 8th 1932.
2008: Clifford Davies (59) British
drummer and pianist; after playing local gigs in the Aldershot area, he went on
to join the second incarnation of British jazz-rock band "If" from 1972
to 1975. He played on four albums by the band and contributed many of their songs.
Following If's break-up, he joined US hard rock guitarist Ted Nugent from 1975
to 1982 as drummer, producer and/or co-producer of all Nugent's recordings over
those years, in collaboration with Lew Futterman, who had also produced If. In
the 1980s, Cliff worked for Next City Productions, also owned by Futterman, in
New York City recording with Grand Funk Railroad among others. Since the late
1990s he lived in Atlanta teaching piano and drums. He was also instrumental in
founding the Rock and Roll Remembers Foundation. (tragically
he died from a self inflicted gun shot wound) b.
Brian "Blinky"Davison (65) British
drummer and former member of the now legendary progressive rock band The Nice.
Born in Leicester, he played drums in various Skiffle groups in and around the
youth clubs and pubs in North-west London, especially around Baker Street in the
late 1950s and part of >>> Read
(he had been diagnosed with an inoperable tumor earlier this year, of which he
sadly died) b. May 25th 1942.
Sean Costello (28)American blues guitarist
singer and songwriter, born in Philadelphia, but moved to Atlanta at the age of
9. He won the Memphis Blues Society's Talent Award aged 14. He released his first
album "Call The Cops" when he was 17 and in 2000, he released his second
album "Cuttin' In", earning him a Gold Record before his 21st birthday.
Tinsley Ellis called him the most gifted young Blues guitarist on
the scene. He toured widely in the USA and Europe and his reputation as a brilliant
live performer enabled him to play alongside blues luminaries such as Buddy Guy,
B. B. King and Hubert Sumlin. (tragically found dead in
his Atlanta hotel room, he died from an overdose of drugs including prescribed
anti-anxiety medication) b. April 16th 1979.
2009: Robert Brookins (46) American singer;
he began singing at the age of four, and after winning a Motown talent search
in 1974, he joined a group called Afterbach whose debut was produced by Earth
Wind & Fires Maurice and Verdine White. His vocals were featured on
George Dukes self titled release of 1986. He soon signed to MCA Records
for whom he recorded a handful of acclaimed R&B albums. Over his career he
worked with the likes of Stephanie Mills, Deniece Williams, the Whispers, Jeffrey
Osbourne, and Bobby Brown. (Robert sadly died of a heart
b. October 7th 1962.
2010: George Melvin (63)
American jazz and R&B keyboardist, born in Charlottesville, launched his
career while still in his late teens, mainly focusing on the Hammond B-3 organ.During
the first thirty years of his career, George performed with many well-known musicians,
either as a member of their bands or as the host musician at the venues
where he was employed. Pearl Bailey, Dean Martin, Toots Thieleman, Al Hurt, Grant
Green, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Aretha Franklin,
Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Ray Charles, the Moments Nancy Wilson,
Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Ray Charles, Teddy Pendergrass, Nat Reeves and many
others have expanded both his stylings and his repertoire.
In later years, he was a constant fixture of the Charlottesville, Virginia music
scene. (sadly died after a long battle with a series of
diabetes-related health complications) b. May 24th
2011: Vincenzo La Scola (53)
Italian tenor born in Palermo; he had a successful international opera career
for more than 25 years. He was particularly admired for his portrayals in operas
by Giuseppe Verdi, Giacomo Puccini, Gaetano Donizetti, and Vincenzo Bellini. He
also achieved success as a crossover artist, particularly in his many collaborations
with singer-songwriter Cliff Richard and for his solo crossover album Vita Mia
in 1999. In 2000 he was made a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and from 2004 until
his sudden death he served as principal teacher- artistic director of the Accademia
Verdi Toscanini in Parma (sadly died of a heart attack)
b. January 25th 1958
2012: Charles E. Givings (66)
American musician, singer, songwriter, producer, Charles
E. Givings, a session drummer for Motown in the LA Studios in the 60s, was the
founder of the 'Black Gems Rare' in 1969. A year later the band changed their
name to 'Rare Gems Odyssey', and later became The Rare Gems. Over the years they
toured, played regularly in Las Vegasand in California and opened for for Ray
Charles at the Shrine. They have had many hits including the classic funk track
"What is Funk", which has become a very collectable record especially
in the UK. With 8 albums under their belt, they were still performing until Charles'
death. In the 80's Charles formed his own label, Imagination Records, where he
produced his own band and other artists. Charles has also released some beautiful
solo love albums, >>>
MORE <<< (sadly Charles passed
away in his sleep from a massive heart attack)
b. February 7th 1946
2013: Dave McArtney (62) New
Zealand singer and guitarist born in Auckland; he is best known for his work with
the band Hello Sailor and his solo career with Dave McArtney & The Pink Flamingos.
His best-known song was Gutter Black, the first song from Hello
Sailor's debut album, released in 1977, which 20 years later became the theme
song to the hit New Zealand drama series Outrageous Fortune. After Hello Sailor
split in 1980, he formed the Pink Flamingos and released their first album Dave
McArtney & The Pink Flamingos in 1981. They relocated to Sydney, releasing
their 2nd album We Never Close in 1982 after which the disbanded, with Dave moving
to London. Returning to New Zealand in 1984, he recorded the Pink Flamingos' third
album, The Catch. He was music director and composed music for film and television
productions, including Incredible Mountains-1983, Queen City Rocker-1986 and Raglan
by the Sea-1987. At the time of his death he was a tutor at the Music and Audio
Institute of New Zealand (sadly died
while fighting cancer) b. 1950
Miller (53) American singer-songwriter and musician,
member of the 1980s power pop group Game Theory and lead singer of the group The
Loud Family. Both bands were based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Miller wrote
most of the lyrics and compositions, and played lead guitar. In 2010, he published
Music: What Happened?, a book based on the series he wrote for the Loud Family
web site, in which he wrote about each of the past 53 years in popular music (1957-2009)
via countdown song lists (?)
b. April 4th 1960.
2014: Shane Gibson (35) American
guitarist, Houma, Louisiana; he graduated in 2002 from the Berklee College of
Music, moving then to Los Angeles, where he first worked as a roadie for Kiss
and later on TV spots and music for movies, before becoming lead guitarist for
the rock band Korn. In 2010 he formrd American avant-garde metal supergroup, stOrk
along with session drummer Thomas Lang. The band's self titled debut album,
stOrk, was released in January 2011. Their second album, Broken Pieces, is set
to be released on April 29th 2014. Shane was also a founding member of the heavy
metal / comedy act named SchwarZenatoR along with JP Von Hitchburg and Jonathan
Weed. Their self-titled debut album was released on February 23rd 2010. He also
played guitar on Godhead singer Jason C. Miller's solo album Last to Go Home and
in 2010, he recorded the single "Free" with band Echoes the Fall.
died from a blood clotting disorder) b. February
2015: Billy Ray Hearn (85) American
record label chairman and founder of the Capitol Christian Music Group (formerly
EMI Christian Music Group) the world's largest religious music label. He
graduated from Baylor University with a degree in church music. In '72, he started
Myrrh Records, one of the first labels devoted to contemporary Christian music.
Then in '76, he formed Sparrow Records,
which over the years became Capitol Christian Music Group. The company's
roster features top names in the Christian and gospel communities, among them
W. Smith, Amy Grant, Jeremy Camp, Hillsong United, Smokie Norful, Tye
Tribbett, Britt Nicole, David Crowder Band, Newsboys, NF, Matt Redman, Tasha Cobbs,
Sheri Jones-Moffett, Colton Dixon, Mandisa, Paul Porter, and Matthew West.
(sadly Billy died from heart disease)*April 26th
2015: Margo Reed (73)
American jazz vocalist and Pheonix jazz legend. The daughter of a gospel singer,
started out singing at the age of four. She moved from the Chicago
area to Arizona in 1973, became known for her deep, stirring voice, described
as unforettable, she quickly established herself as a major performer on the local
jazz scene. Eventually she was followed by musical siblings Michael, Lavergne,
Bucko and national recording artist Francine Reed. Her first gigs in Phoenix were
at the legendary nightclub The Century Sky Room. That led to a long run at the
premiere Phoenix jazz club, the Boojum Tree. She has since performed at many of
the major venues in San Diego, Seattle, Las Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Atlanta, Detroit,
Oregon and Denver. Margo was inducted to the Arizona Blues Hall of Fame in 2004
and received the Jazz in AZ Lifetime Achievement Award in 2008.
(sadly Margo died with complications from dementia) b.1943.
Guy Anthony Woolfenden OBE (78)
English composer and conductor, born in Ipswich; he studied
music at Christ's College in Cambridge and went on to study at the Guildhall School
of Music and Drama. He joined the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon
in 1961 and was Head of Music from 1963 to 1998. He was Artistic Director of the
Cambridge Festival from 1986 to 1991 and in 1995 he was a founder director of
the English Music Festival which became the Stratford on Avon Music Festival.
Guy was the Chairman of the Denne Gilkes Memorial Fund, a charity which supports
young musicians and actors. He was also the founder of the publishing company,
Ariel Music. Guy composed around 150 scores for the Royal Shakespeare Company
and worked with many major European theatre companies, including the Comédie-Française,
Paris; the Burgtheater, Vienna; the Teatro di Stabile, Genoa; and the Norwegian
National Theatre, Oslo. He also composed music for films such as Work Is a Four-Letter
Word (1968) and the 1968 movie version of A Midsummer Night's Dream, as well as
the 1974 television version of Antony and Cleopatra. His 1977 musical adaptation
of The Comedy of Errors won the Olivier Award for Best New Musical and he was
awarded the OBE for his services to music in the New Year Honours List in 2007
(?) b. July 12th 1937
1973: Nino Bravo/Luis
Manuel Ferri Llopis (28) Spanish singer,
born near Valencia, he began singing at a hotel, where he sang his favorite English
song, "Only You". In
the late 60s he went on to appeared at the Barcelona Music Festival and received
favorable reviews from a festival audience in Athens, Greece, after which he sang
at the Rio de Janeiro Festival. After being exposed to these international audiences
in Europe and Latin America, Nino's first solo album was soon released, and the
song "Te quiero, te quiero", became an international hit, which is now
considered a classic by many Hispanic music critics. His first album, "Tu
Cambiarás" /"You Will Change", sold well, particularly in
Colombia, where Bravo became very popular. He
then sang on the Spaniard television contest show, "Pasaporte a Dublín"
/ "Passport to Dublin" in which the winner would represent Spain in
1971's Eurovision. After the show, he went on tour in Colombia and Brazil, where
he participated, for a second time in the Rio de Janeiro Festival. (Nino
was driving his car along with the Humo duo and Miguel Diurni when his car was
involved in a tragic accident about 100 km southeast of Madrid. He died on the
way to the hospital as consequence of his injuries)
b. August 3rd 1944.
1973: István Kertész (43) Hungarian
orchestral and operatic conductor. From 1953-55, he conducted at Gyor, and Budapest
Opera orchestra from 1955-57. In March 1960, he was invited to become General
Music Director of the Augsburg Opera. There, he conducted performances of Mozart's
The Magic Flute, The Abduction from the Seraglio, Così fan tutte, and The
Marriage of Figaro, and earned for himself a reputation as one of the finest interpreters
of Mozart's work. With exhilarating performances of Verdi's Rigoletto, Don Carlos,
Otello and Falstaff, and Richard Strauss's Salome, Arabella, and Der Rosenkavalier,
he also proved himself a master of the finest of Italian romantic operas. Invited
to the Salzburg Festival, he conducted The Abduction from the Seraglio in 1961,
and The Magic Flute in 1963. During this time, he also conducted the first of
many performances with the Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, Israel
Philharmonic Orchestra, San Francisco Opera, the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto,
and with Arthur Rubinstein in Paris. His UK debut was with the Royal Liverpool
Philharmonic Orchestra in 1960. He began an association with the Israel Philharmonic
Orchestra guest conducting a concert at Tel Aviv's Mann Auditorium in March 1962.
He conducted over 378 compositions with that orchestra over an eleven year period
(while on a concert tour, Istvan tragically drowned while
swimming off the coast of Israel at Herzliya) b.
August 28th 1929.
Andy Russell/Andrés Rabago Pérez (72)
US popular vocalist, he became vocalist and drummer with the bands of Johnny Richards,
Gus Arnheim, Sonny Dunham, and Alvino Rey. By 1944, he had become well enough
regarded a pop vocalist to be featured on radio, and in the next year had his
"Old Gold Show". In 1946, the pop music radio program Your Hit Parade
asked him to take the place of Frank Sinatra, this led to increased popularity.He
was signed on with Capitol Records and his first charted hit was "Bésame
Mucho", followed by "Amor", "What a Difference a Day Made",
"I Dream of You"/"Magic Is Moonlight", "I Can't Begin
to Tell You", "Laughing on the Outside", "They Say It's Wonderful"
and "Pretending", "I'm Still Not Through Missing You", "It's
Such a Pretty World Today" to mention a few. He relocated to Mexico, then
Argentina where he had a successful television variety show that ran for seven
years, before returning to the US (?) b. September 16th
1999: Alexander "Skip"
Spence (52) American -Canadian drummer, guitarist
born in Windsor, Ontario; his family relocated to San Jose, CA, in the late '50s;
he was best known for his work with Moby Grape and Jefferson Airplane. Skip was
a guitarist in an early line-up of Quicksilver Messenger Service before Marty
Balin recruited him to be the drummer for Jefferson Airplane. After one album
with Jefferson Airplane, their debut Jefferson Airplane Takes Off, he left to
co-found Moby Grape, once again as a guitarist. It was with Moby Grape that Spence
found his greatest musical fame, writing among other songs, "Omaha",
from Moby Grape's first album in 1967, a song identified in 2008 by Rolling Stone
Magazine as one of the 100 greatest guitar songs of all time. Mental illness,
drug addiction and alcoholism prevented him from sustaining a full time career
in the music industry. He remained in and around San Jose and Santa Cruz, California.
(sadly died from lung cancer) b.
April 18th 1946.
2010: C. P. Rele/Chandrashekhar
P. Rele (82) Indian classical singer born in Mumbai, he specialized
in singing, teaching, and composing khyal. He studied vocal music along with the
legendary Kumar Gandharva under the well-known musicologist Prof. B.R. Deodhar.
also witnessed at close quarters, the training and the growth of Kumar Gandharva.
His compositions are very popular among younger musicians today. Critics and musicians
have acclaimed his collection of 135 compositions. Among his others writings,
Dr. Rele is also the author of an extremely significant work on Raga Sangeet,
entitled 'Svara Pravaaha' (?) b.????
2012: Sári Barabás (98)
Hungarian-born German opera singer, born in Budapest
where she studied and made her debut at the Budapest Opera in 1939, as Gilda in
Rigoletto, but then the war interrupted her career. She appeared at the Zurich
Opera and the Vienna Volksoper, and then joined the Munich State Opera in 1949,
where she remained until 1971, she was also a regular guest at the Vienna State
Opera, where she established a reputation as a soprano of agility and glamorous
personality. She made guest appearances as Gilda, at the Royal Opera House in
London, and at the Glyndebourne Festival, where she sang Konstanze in Die Entführung
aus dem Serail, Adele in Le comte Ory, and Zerbinetta in Ariadne auf Naxos to
great acclaim. Sári made her American debut at the San Francisco Opera
in 1950, as the Queen of the Night in The Magic Flute. She also sang operetta,
and enjoyed considerable success in London in 1969, in a revival of the musical
The Great Waltz. She retired from the stage in 1973
(sadly Sári died from a stroke) b. March 14th
Teddy Charles/Theodore Charles Cohen (84) American jazz musician and
composer whose instruments were the vibraphone, piano, and drums. Born in Chicopee
Falls, Massachusetts, he studied at Juilliard School of Music as a percussionist.
Later he began to record and made personal appearances as Teddy Cohen with bands
as a vibraphonist, writing, arranging and producing records before changing his
last name to Charles in 1951. He was one of many jazz musicians who hung out at
an apartment building at 821 Sixth Avenue in New York City known as the Jazz Loft.
Known as an innovator, his main work was recorded in the 1950s. He also did session
work with musicians and singers as varied as Miles Davis and Dion. He recorded
an album, Live at the Verona Jazz Festival, for the Italian Soul Note label in
1988. Charles was the Captain of the Skipjack Pilgrim out of Greenport, New York,
on the North Fork of Long Island, and performs music locally. In his last years,
Charles began performing again after spending some years at sea (?)
b. April 13th 1928.
2013: Richard D. Kelley (76) American
bassist with Los Angeles Philharmonic; he was one of the orchestra's longest serving
musicians at the time of his retirement in October 2012. He joined the bass section
in 1956 at the age of 19. During his 57-year tenure, he played under six different
music directors, most recently with Gustavo Dudamel (sadly
Richard died while fighting cancer) b.
2013: Jim McCandless
(68) American singer and songwriter, born
in a Chicago, he was a fixture at dozens of Chicago music rooms including the
Abbey Pub, the No Exit Cafe, the Old Town School of Folk Music and FitzGeralds
in Berwyn, where he debuted his latest record, Lucky Day, in February.
In 1988 he bought standing-room-only tickets to the National Basketball Association
All Star Game at the Chicago Stadium to see Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Mr. McCandless
had composed the song Kareem and Me about each of them going bald
together (tragically died after a fall)
Kelly-Bootle (84) British songwriter,
author and computer engineer, born in Liverpool; in 1950, he helped found the
St Lawrence Folk Song Society at Cambridge University. As a folk song author and
singer, he performed under the name Stan Kelly and he wrote some of his own tunes
and also wrote lyrics set to traditional tunes. In the course of his musical career,
he made over 200 radio and television appearances and released several recordings,
as well as having his songs recorded by many others. His most famous song is the
"Liverpool Lullaby (Oh you are a mucky kid)", which was recorded by
Judy Collins in 1966 for her album In My Life. Cilla Black also recorded it in
1969 as the B-side to her pop hit "Conversations". He was also notable
for achieving the first postgraduate diploma in computer science in 1954
(?) b. 1929.
2015: Johnny Kemp (55)
Bahamian singer, born in Nassau; he began singing in nightclubs in the Bahamas
at 13 years old. He moved to New York in 1979 with the band Kinky Fox. In 1986
he released his debut self titled solo album. His second album, Secrets of Flying,
contained 2 top 5 hits on the US Billboard R&B chart: "Dancin' with Myself"
and "Just Got Paid", the latter hitting the No.1 spot. "Just Got
Paid" also charted in the UK Singles Chart peaking at No.68 in August 1988.
(tragically his body was found floating
in the water of Montego Bay, Jamaica. While he was scheduled to be on the Tom
Joyner Foundation-hosted annual Fantastic Voyage cruise as a performer when his
body was found, reports state he did not board the ship) b. August 2nd
Ismael Quintana (78) Puerto Rican
latin singer and composer, born in Ponce. His family moved to The Bronx sector
of New York when he was only two weeks old, and while he was still in high school
he formed a band with his neighborhood friends. In 1961, bandleader Eddie Palmieri
heard Quintana sing for an audition and invited him to join his newly formed conjunto
"La Perfecta", in which he became the lead singer between 1961 and 1971.
During this time he co-wrote some of Palmieri's major hit songs. With Palmieri,
Ismael was awarded the 1966 Trophy for the "Most Popular Latin Singer of
the Year", awarded at the famed Palladium Ballroom in New York. He
left Palmieri and between 1974-1983, he recorded five solo albums, scoring his
first major hit with "Mi Debilidad". As well as his solo career he was
also a member of the Fania All-Stars and went on tour with them to Africa,
Japan, France, Central and South America and the United States.
(sadly Ismael died of heart failure)
b. June 3rd 1937.
Peter Rock/Peter Mociulski von Remenyk (70) Austrian-born Chilean rock
singer born near Vienna, but after the death of his father, his mother remarried
and the family emigrated to Chile in 1955. He had a long successful career, with
high lights including him performing the Festival de Viña del Mar and in
Bierfest Valdivia. (sadly Peter died from the affects of ALS/MND) b.
September 3rd 1945.
1941: Albert Allick "Al" Bowlly (43)
Southern-African singer, songwriter,
composer and band leader, born in Lourenço Marques in the then Portuguese
colony of Mozambique. Al gained his musical experience singing for a dance band
led by Edgar Adeler on a tour of South Africa, Rhodesia, India and Indonesia during
the mid 20s. He bwent on to be a popular Jazz crooner during the 1930s in the
UK and later, in America. He recorded more than 1,000 records between 1927 and
1941. His most popular songs include "Goodnight, Sweetheart", "The
Very Thought of You", "Guilty", and "Love Is the Sweetest
Thing". As well as singing, he played both the guitar and the ukuleleAl Bowlly
is invariably credited with inventing crooning, or "The Modern Singing Style",
and is also credited with being the first "Pop Star". Al remains one
of the most highly regarded singers of his era because of his extraordinary range,
his command of pitch and rhythm, and, above all, the sincerity with which he could
deliver a lyric (Al was tragically
killed by a Luftwaffe parachute mine which detonated outside his London flat.
His body appeared unmarked: although the massive explosion had not disfigured
him, it had blown his bedroom door off its hinges and the impact against his head
proved fatal. He was buried with other bombing victims in a mass grave at the
Hanwell Cemetery, originally City of Westminster Cemetery, Uxbridge Road, Hanwell,
London, where his name is spelled Albert Alex Bowlly) b.
1960: Eddie Cochran (21) American
singer, songwriter, multi-musician born in Minnesota, one of the greatest, and
the most talented of the early pop stars. He was a rock and roll pioneer who in
his short career had lasting influence on rock music. His songs have influenced
bands and artists such as The Who, The Beach Boys, Bruce Springsteen, Van Halen,
Tom Petty, The
Stray Cats, Motörhead, Rod Stewart, Humble Pie,
Lemmy Kilmister, T. Rex, The
White Stripes, Brian Setzer, Cliff Richard,
The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, UFO, The Sex Pistols
and many more. Eddie's rockabilly songs, such as "C'mon Everybody",
"Somethin' Else" and "Summertime Blues", captured teenage
frustration and desire in the late 1950s and early 1960s. It was his bold attitude
and confident guitar playing, that, particularly on the 1960 British tour, impressed
budding rockers and fans alike. He experimented with multitracking and overdubbing
even on his earliest singles, and was also able to play piano, bass and drums.
His image as a sharply dressed, rugged but good looking young man with a rebellious
attitude epitomized the stance of the Fifties rocker, and in death he achieved
iconic status. His "Three Steps to Heaven" single became a UK No.1 hit
a couple of weeks after his death. (while
on tour in the UK, Eddie died as a result of a traffic
accident, in a Ford Consul taxi he was traveling in on the A4, Chippenham, Wiltshire.
He was thrown through the windscreen when it hit a lamp post. Sadly Eddie died
in hospital in the early hours of the following morning with severe head injuries)
b. October 3rd 1938.
Henry "Red" Allen (61) American
jazz trumpeter and singer, born in of New Orleans, Louisiana; he
was playing professionally by 1924 with the Excelsior Brass Band and the jazz
dance bands of Sam Morgan, George Lewis and John Casimir. After playing on riverboats
on the Mississippi River, he went to Chicago in 1927 to join King Oliver's band.
Around this time he made recordings on the side in the band of Clarence Williams.
After returning briefly to New Orleans where he worked with the bands of Fate
Marable and Fats Pichon, he was offered a recording contract with Victor Records
and returned to New York City, where he also joined the Luis Russell band. In
1929 Red was a featured with Luis Russell's Orchestra until 1932 and took part
in recording sessions that year some of which featured Fats Waller and/or Tommy
Dorsey. In 1933 he joined Fletcher Henderson's Orchestra until 1934. After which
he played with Lucky Millinder's Mills Blue Rhythm Band 1934-1937, when he returned
to Luis Russell for three more years by the time Russell's orchestra was fronted
by Louis Armstrong. He continued making many recordings under his own name, as
well as recording with Fats Waller and Jelly Roll Morton with vocalists including
Victoria Spivey and Billie Holiday. Red started leading his own band at The Famous
Door in Manhattan. He then toured with his band around the USA into the late 1950s.
In 1959 Allen made his first tour of Europe when he joined Kid Ory's band, Red
made his final tour of England with his own band ending six weeks before his death
(sadly died from pancreatic cancer)
b. January 7th 1906.
1971: Carmen Lombardo
(67) Canadian singer and composer, born in London, Ontario, he was
the younger brother of bandleader Guy Lombardo. His compositions included the
1928 classic "Sweethearts on Parade",
which was No.1 for three weeks
in 1929 on the U.S. pop charts; "Ridin' Around in the Rain", written
with Gene Austin in 1934; the jazz and pop standards "Coquette", "Boo
Hoo", and "Some Rainy Day", and "Powder Your Face With Sunshine
(Smile, Smile, Smile)", written with Stanley Rochinski in 1948-49, As a child
he took flute lessons, and later learned to play saxophone. He later formed a
band with his brother Guy as conductor, which developed into The Royal Canadians
in 1923, Carmen both sang and wrote music. Carman also wrote the words and music
with John Jacob Loeb for Guy Lombardo's stage productions of Arabian Nights 1954/1955;
Paradise Island 1961/1962, and Mardi Gras 1965/1966, at Jones Beach, New York
died of cancer) b. July
Donald (24) American
lead guitarist; he replaced Henry Gross as the lead guitarist the rock and roll
group Sha Na Na in 1970 until his untimely death in '74
(Vinnie sadly died from a heroin overdose after a concert
at University Hall at the University of Virginia) b. 1949.
1983: Felix Pappalardi (43) American
music producer, songwriter, vocalist, and bassist; born in the Bronx, NY. a classically
trained musician, he attended the University of Michigan. In 1964 he was a member
of Max Morath's Original Rag Quartet. As a producer, he is perhaps best-known
for his work with British psychedelic blues-rock power trio Cream, beginning with
their second album, Disraeli Gears. As a musician, Felix is widely known as a
bassist, vocalist, and founding member of the American hard rock band Mountain
The band's signature song, "Mississippi Queen" is still heard regularly
on classic rock radio stations. Felix was forced to retire because of partial
deafness, ostensibly from his high-volume shows with Mountain. He continued producing
throughout the 1970s and released a solo album and recorded with Japanese hard
rock outfit Blues Creation. (He was tragically shot dead
by his wife Gail Collins during a jealous rage. She claimed it was an accident,
and was found guilty of the lesser criminally negligent homicide and sentenced
to 16 months to 4 years in prison and was released on parole in April 1985.)
b. December 30th 1939.
1987: Carlton Barrett (36) Jamaican
musician, an influential reggae drummer and percussion player. His musical development
in the early years were with his brother Aston "Family Man" Barrett
as a member of Lee "Scratch" Perry's "house band" The Upsetters.
The brothers joined Bob Marley and The Wailers around 1970. He wrote the well
known Bob Marley song "War" and with his brother Aston co-wrote "Talkin'
Blues". Carlton is featured on all the albums recorded by Bob Marley and
the Wailers with the exception of the 1970 "Soul Shakedown Party". He
was the originator of the one drop rhythm, a percussive drumming style. With Carly's
beats and his brother Aston's bass, the Wailer rhythm section planted the seeds
of today's international reggae. He stayed and performed with Bob Marley until
Marley's death in 1981. (Carlton was murdered, shot twice
in the head outside his house in Kingston) b. December
Linda McCartney née Eastman
(56) American vocalist, keyboardist, photographer,
and animal rights activist. Born in New York City, after a priveliged upbringing,
she started work as a receptionist for the Town & Country magazine, and was
the only unofficial photographer on board the SS Sea Panther yacht on the Hudson
River, After which she became the house photographer at the Fillmore East concert
hall, photographing artists such as Aretha Franklin, Grace Slick, Jimi Hendrix,
Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Eric Clapton, Simon & Garfunkel, The Who, The Doors,
The Animals, and Neil Young. She photographed Clapton for Rolling Stone magazine,
becoming the first woman to have a photo featured on the front cover May 11th
1968. She and Paul McCartney also appeared on the
cover of Rolling Stone on January 31st 1974, making her the only person both to
have taken a photo, and to have been photographed, for the front cover of the
magazine. Linda made an uncredited vocal contribution to The Beatles song "Let
It Be" in January 1969. Linda and Paul were the accredited artists on Paul's
second post-Beatles LP, 1971's "Ram".
Paul permanently included Linda in the lineup for his subsequent group, Wings.
The group won several Grammy Awards, becoming one of the most successful bands
of the 1970s. In 1977, a single entitled "Seaside Woman" was released
by an obscure band called Suzy and the Red Stripes, on Epic Records in the US.
In reality, Suzy and The Red Stripes were Wings, with Linda McCartney, who also
wrote the song, on lead vocals. She was a strong advocate for animal rights, and
lent her support to many organizations like PETA; The Council for the Protection
of Rural England, Friends of the Earth; and was a patron of the League Against
Cruel Sports (Sadly Linda lost her battle with breast cancer)
b. September 24th 1941.
Earl King/Earl Silas Johnson IV (69) New
Orleans Blues guitar virtuoso and songwriter most
active in blues music. He was the composer of well known standards such as "Come
On" (covered by Jimi Hendrix), and Professor Longhair's "Big Chief".
He started to play guitar at 15. Soon he started entering talent contests at local
clubs. It was at one of those clubs where he met his idol Guitar Slim. Earl started
imitating Slim, his presence gave a big impact on his musical directions. In 1954,
when Slim was injured in an automobile accident, Earl was deputized to continue
Slim's band tour, representing himself as Slim. After succeeding in this role,
he became a regular at the Dew Drop Inn. Earl is considered to be one of the most
important figures in New Orleans R&B music. (complications
of diabetes in New Orleans) b. February 7th 1934.
2008: Danny Federici (58) American
musician; life long friend and over 40 years as keyboardist with Bruce Springsteen
in bands Child, Steel Mill and The E Street Band. Danny started to play accordion
when he was seven years old, and was soon playing at parties, clubs and on radio.
He attended Hunterdon Central High School in New Jersey, when he, along with Vini
Lopez started the band, Child at the end of the '60s, with Bruce Springsteen their
chosen singer a friendship and working friendship that lastrd throughout his life.
During the '90s, Tony recorded a solo album of jazz instrumentals called Flemington,
re-worked and re-issued as Danny Federici on in 2001. This was followed up with
a smooth jazz album Sweet in 2004, was also re-issued as Out of a Dream in 2005.
Danny performed on other artist's records as well, including those of Graham Parker,
Joan Armatrading, Gary U.S. Bonds and Garland Jeffreys. He made his last appearence
on March 20, 2008, for portions of a Springsteen and E Street Band performance
in Indianapolis at Conseco Fieldhouse (died after a three year battle with melanoma)
b. January 23rd 1950
Eric Gross (84) Austrian-born Australian pianist and composer born
in Vienna, but emigrated to the UK in 1938; from the age of 14 he worked as a
pianist in bands and orchestras, and as a studio accompanist for the BBC. Following
professional engagements in Ceylon/Sri Lanka and New Caledonia, he settled in
Sydney in 1958. He joined the staff of the Department of Music at the University
of Sydney in 1960 and remained there until retiring in 1991 as Associate Professor
of Music. His
worldwide travels and cultural experiences tended to give his music a cosmopolitan
flavour, with trace's of Austrian, Scottish, Asian
and South American influences emerging from time to time. He also enjoyed experimentation,
especially when a sympathetic virtuoso or ensemble such as bass-baritone Alan
Light, trombonist Greg van der Struik or Adrian Hooper's Sydney Mandolins, was
available. In 1989 he was visiting Professor at the University of Guyana. A past
President of the Fellowship of Australian Composers, he was also Treasurer and
Executive Board Member of the Asian Composers' League from 1981 until 1994. In
1998 Eric was made a Member of the Order of Australia and, on Australia Day 2006,
he was declared to be the City of Canada Bay Cultural and Artistic Citizen of
the Year (?) b. September 16th
2011: Nikos Papazoglou
(63) Greek singer-songwriter, born in Thessaloniki;
he began performing in a number of Greek local groups in the 1960s. In 1972, he
moved to Aachen in Germany with the group Zilotis in an attempt to break into
the international music scene. The group recorded six songs in Milan, Italy. Shortly
afterwards, he returned to Greece. Since 1984 e and his band known as Loxi falaga
recorded and toured gaining huge popularity with the general public. His works
generated an ever-expanding audience in northern Europe and America. His songs
include: Kaneis edw den tragouda, Ax Ellada, Avgoustos, Oi magkes den yparxoun
pia, Ydrokhoos and many others (sadly died after a battling
cancer) b. March 20th 1948.
Dimitris Mitropanos (64) Greek singer born in Trikala;
the age of 16 he moved to Athens to begin his musical career. In 1967, he recorded
his first album with the song "Thessaloniki" which was followed by "Chameni
Paschalia", a song that was censored by the Greek military junta and thus
never released. He went on to become one of the foremost interpreters of Greek
rebetika and popular folk music. In his long career in the Greek song industry,
Dimitris collaborated with leading artists of the Laïko and Éntekhno
music, including Giorgos Zampetas, Mikis Theodorakis, Dimos Moutsis, Apostolos
Kaldaras, Takis Mousafiris, Christos Nikolopoulos and Yannis Spanos (sadly
Dimitris died after suffering pulmonary edema caused by a heart attack)
b. April 2nd 1948.
2013: Gary Biddles (?)
British singer and one time roadie for The Cure and who sang in Fools
Dance and Presence in the 80s and 90s, each of which featured members
of the Cure. After Simon Gallup left The Cure, he and Gary formed the band Fools
Dance, which released a couple of albums before Gallup re-joined The Cure. Then,
in 1990, after Lol Tolhurst was fired from The Cure, he, Gary and former Cure
bassist Michael Dempsey formed Presence, and released the album Inside in 1990.The
band recorded a second album in 1992 that was never released until being posted
on Soundcloud last month (?) b. 19??
Sita Chan (26) Hong Kong pop singer; after winning some singing contests,
she began singing in shopping malls and weddings. In 2005, she graduated from
the City University of Hong Kong, obtaining a degree in English for Professional
Communications. In 2011 she signed to Star Entertainment and later that year,
she won the "newcomer impact award" in the Jade Solid Gold Best Ten
Music Awards Presentation. Sita released her first album "Crazy Love"
in March 2012, followed by heer second album "Let Me Find Love" in December
was tragically involved in a fatal traffic collision
near Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong, while driving home along the West Kowloon Highway)
b. March 10th 1987.
Cecilia Smiga (38) Welsh opera soprano; former pupil of Ysgol Morgan
Llwyd in Wrexham, study in Belgium and Switzerland. A former finalist in The Welsh
Singer of the Year Competition her stage career included the West End and European
opera venues. She was also head of music and performing arts at a school in Berkshire
(sadly died after a short illness)
2013: Dariush Safvat (85)
Persian music master and ethnomusicologist born in in Shiraz. He began learning
to play the Setar at an early age from his father, Ali Asghar Safvat, and studied
with two other Masters of Persian classical music, Abolhasan Saba and Haj Agha
Mohammad Irani. He was the founder and a director of the Centre for Preservation
and Propagation of Iranian Music. Most credit him with saving traditional music
from obliteration in the 1970s. The Centre counts among its graduates some of
the most prolific and admired masters of classical Persian music, including Mohammad
Reza Lotfi, Hossein Alizadeh, Hossein Omoumi, Parisa, Nasser Farhangfar, Dariush
Talai, Majid Kiani and Mahmoud Farahmand (died from natural
causes) b. November 28th 1928.
2013: Bi Kidude/Fatuma binti Baraka (100) Zanzibari
singer and considered the undisputed queen of Taarab and Unyago music and was
also a protégé of Siti binti Saad. In 2005 Bi received the prestigious
WOMEX award for her outstanding contribution to music and culture in Zanzibar
(?) b. 1913/14
2013: Yngve Moe (55) Norwegian
bass guitarist born in Tromsø, known for playing in bands such as peas,
beef and pork before becoming a founding member of the Norwegian rock band Dance
With a Stranger. Yngve and the band released 8 albums the last being 'Everyone
Needs a Friend... The Very Best of Dance with a Stranger'. He
also continued working as a studio session musician, participating in projects
like Olav Dale's Son Mu Ernesto Manuitt y Grupo and Groovy (while
on holiday with his family on the island of Tenerife, Spain, he was caught by
underwater currents when swimming at the beach, and dragged underwater for a period
of time, after which he was in a coma, sadly he did not recover)
b. October 4th 1957.
2014: Cheo Feliciano/José Luis Feliciano Vega (78)
Puerto Rican composer and singer, born
in Ponce. At only eight years old he formed his first group with his friends and
named it "El Combo Las Latas". They were so poor that their musical
instruments were made out of cans. After studying at the Free School of Music
and finishing his primary education he became a percussionist. In 1952, he moved
Spanish Harlem, New York City where he worked with the likes of Tito Rodríguez,
Kako y su Trabuco orchestra, Joe Cuba, the Eddie Palmieri Orchestra and was also
a roadie for Mon Rivera. In 1972, he recorded the album "Cheo", his
first solo recording, which broke all sales records in the Latino music market.
The album included the tracks "Anacaona"
and "Mi Triste Problema" In 2000, he recorded "Una Voz, Mil Recuerdos"
as a tribute to various Puerto Rican singers. The album was named among the 20
outstanding recordings of the year by the National Foundation of the Popular Culture
of Puerto Rico (tragically died in a car accident on Highway
176 in Cupey, Puerto Rico, after allegedly losing control of his vehicle)
b. July 3rd 1935.
Gary Ignacio (49) Filipino singer, founding
member and front man of the rock band Alamid. Their hit single "Your Love"
was named Song of the Year at the NU107 Rock Awards in 1995. Other hits include
"Sama-Sama", "Just Wasn't Brave Enough", "Still Believe
in Love" and the intro to thier hit "China Eyes" was used for ABS-CBN
sitcom Palibhasa Lalake. Gary was active in his community, co-founding the Malabon
Musicians Alliance in 2009, where he put together his love for music and
concern for the environment. He was also an organizer of Basurock, an annual rock
and dance concert in Malabon that advocated a plastic-free Malabon
(sadly died from multiple organ failure while bravely fighting
bone cancer) b. 1965/66 ?.
Willy Cruz (70)
Filipino songwriter, pianist, composer, arranger and musical
director; after a stint with the group Ambivalent Crowd working with Celeste Legaspi,
he joined Vicor Music Corporation where he worked with Pilita Corrales, Nora Aunor,
Cinderella and many other artists. He also founded Jem Recording where he composed
and produced songs for Hajji Alejandro ("May Minamahal"), Zsa Zsa Padilla
("Kahit Na") and Nonoy Zuñiga ("Never Ever Say Goodbye").
Cruz also did the soundtracks for Bukas Luluhod Ang Mga Tala, Sanay
Wala Nang Wakas and Madrasta where the Sharon Cuneta theme song
"Hanggang Kailan Kita Mamahalin" was also re-used for the teleserye
"The Legal Wife. He left a rich legacy of songs which enriched OPM
history, including Pangarap Na Bituin, Kumusta Ka, Magandang
Gabi, Mahawi Man Ang Ulap, Kapag Pusoy Sinugatan,
Sa Duyan Ng Pag-ibig, Init Sa Magdamag, "Araw-araw,
Gabi-gabi," "Doon Lang" and Let The Pain Remain
(sadly died following a stroke) 1946/47
1973: Willie "The Lion" Smith (79) American
jazz pianist; one of the masters of the stride style. Duke Ellington stated "Willie
The Lion was the greatest influence of all the great jazz piano players who have
come along. He has a beat that stays in the mind". Born in Goshen, New York
and by the early 1910s he was playing in New York City and Atlantic City, New
Jersey. After serving in WW1 he returned to working in Harlem clubs and in rent
parties, he worked for decades, often as a soloist, sometimes in bands and accompanying
blues singers such as Mamie Smith. Although working in relative obscurity, he
was a "musician's musician", influencing countless others including
Duke Ellington, George Gershwin and Artie Shaw. In the 1940s his music found appreciation
with a wider audience, and he toured North America and Europe through to 1971.
(?) b. November 25th 1897.
George Farr (54) English arranger, songwriter and record
producer, born in Walthamstow; he started his career as an arranger with Decca
Records in 1963 and Bell Records in 1972 and worked with such musicians as Marianne
Faithfull, Billy Fury, Marc Bolan, Joe Cocker, the Small Faces, Van Morrison,
Alan Price, Peter Frampton, Keith Richards, Shirley Bassey, Lulu, Jimmy Page,
Roy Orbison, Brian Jones and Gene Pitney. He is perhaps best known as co-writer
and producer for Gary Glitter throughout the 1970s. Mike worked as a producer
and arranger with Ben E. King and the Drifters on the Atlantic record label. Later
he was requested
by Paul McCartney to arrange the Beatles' "She's Leaving Home" from
the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album. He was executive producer of
the Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice concept album Jesus Christ Superstar and in the
late 1960s wrote scores for several films, including Privilege, with Paul Jones
and Jean Shrimpton; Run a Crooked Mile with Mary Tyler Moore and Louis Jourdan;
and The Adding Machine with Billie Whitelaw and Milo O'Shea. In the 1980s he wrote
the musical Matador, which gave Tom Jones a hit album and single, A Boy From Nowhere.
Mike died fighting cancer)
b. June 30th 1941.
1996: Bernard Edwards (42) American
bassist and producer, born in Greenville, North Carolina, but grew up in Brooklyn,
New York City. In 1972 he and Nile Rodgers formed the Big Apple Band and in 1976
they united with drummer Tony Thompson to form Chic together with singer Norma
Jean Wright. They had hits such as "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah,
Want Your Love", "Everybody Dance",
"Le Freak", and "Good Times". After Chic's breakup in 1983,
a solo album the same year, and in 1985 he was instrumental in the formation of
the supergroup Power Station. He followed this by producing Robert Palmer's hit
album Riptide and continued to produce artists throughout the 1980s and 90s including
Diana Ross, Adam Ant, Rod Stewart, Air Supply, ABC and Duran Duran. Bernard teamed
up with Nile Rodgers again for the Chic reunion in the early 1990s and released
the album Chic-Ism in 1992. In 1996 they were invited to play in concert at the
Budokan Arena in Tokyo, although he felt very ill before the concert he managed
to perform, which sadly was to be his last performance (While
performing in Japan, Bernard died in his Tokyo Hotel bedroom after complaining
that he was feeling ill. The
cause of death was ruled to be pneumonia)
b. October 31st 1952.
Stuart Taylor (60)
guitarist born in London. He was a member of The Tornadoes in the years 1964 and
1965 (?) b. October 18th
Burch/John Alexander Burchell) British
pianist, composer and band leader playing traditional jazz, bebop, blues, skiffle,
boogie-woogie and rock. He
played in army bands during his military service stationed in Germany and in the
late 50s toured military bases with his group, which included Graham Bond. In
1959, he toured France with bassist Jeff Clyne and saxist Bobby Wellins. In 1960
he joined Allan Ganley's Jazzmakers. In the early 60s he led a quartet and an
octet with Graham Bond, Dick Heckstall-Smith, Ray Warleigh, Peter King, Hank Shaw,
Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce. In 1965 he led a trio featuring Ron Mathewson and
John Stevens. Other musicians he worked with include Don Rendell, Rahsaan Roland
Kirk, Freddie Hubbard, Red Rodney, Jon Eardley, Kathy Stobart and Eddie Vinson.
In 1984 he re-formed the octet with Dick Morrissey, at the same time playing with
UK jazz-funk band Morrissey. As a composer, he wrote "Preach and Teach"-1966
the B-side of Georgie Fame's hit "Yeh Yeh". He composed Fame's follow-up,
"In the Meantime", and also its B-side, "Telegram". He dedicated
his "Resurrection Ritual Suite" to Dick Morrissey and on his death had
just completed a tribute to Ronnie Scott called "Just By Chance"
b. January 6th 1932.
Weiss (80) American
musical theater arranger, conductor and pianist. Coming to prominence in the 1960s,
Howard served as the conductor and dance music arranger for the original Broadway
productions of Hello, Dolly!, 1776 and Annie and served as the dance music arranger
for the original Broadway productions of Chicago, The Tap Dance Kid and Crazy
for You. (Parkinson's Disease)
b. July 29th 1927.
2009: Bruno Adams (46)
Australian singer-songwriter, guitarist born in Bacchus
Marsh, he moved to Melbourne in 1978. There, he became part of the embryonic Punk/New
Wave scene, playing with musicians from The Saints, Crime & The City Solution,
and Laughing Clowns. In
1984 he formed his own band Once Upon A Time. They played Melbourne's clubs from
1985 to '88, building a reputation for apocalyptic live shows with their avantgarde
psychedelic blues sound. They moved to Berlin, Germany in 1989 and supported Nick
Cave & The Bad Seeds throughout Europe on "The Good Son"- Tour of
1990. A European tour supporting Swans followed in the early 1990's. They recorded
3 CDs "Once Upon A Time", "In The Blink Of An Eye" and "Don't
Look Down" before braking up in 1996. Since then they have done reunion concerts
in Berlin and Prague in 2004 and 2005 () b. 1963.
Devon Clifford (30) Canadian drummer with the five piece dance-punk
band from Abbotsford, British Columbia, You Say Party! We Say Die!. The band was
birthed out of a bike gang known as "The Smoking Spokes". December of
2003 was too cold to ride bikes, so a band was born, You Say Party! We Say Die!
played their first show in April 2004. They went on release four albums thr last
to date 2009's XXXX. Their albums produced eight singles. Devon and the band toured
relentlessly in the
(Devon collapsed on stage during the band's set at The Rickshaw Theatre in Vancouver,
Canada, he sadly died of complications from a sudden brain hemorrhage) b.
"Boogie" Mosson (60) American
bassist, Plainfield, New Jersey; as a teenager he and his friend Garry Shider
went to Canada and joined a band called United Soul, which were spotted by George
Clinton. In 1971 Clinton produced several tracks by United Soul with input from
members of Funkadelic. The songs "I Miss My Baby" and "Baby I Owe
You Something Good" were released as a single in 1971 under the group name
U.S. Music with Funkadelic. He went on to become a prominent contributor to albums
by both Funkadelic and Parliament from 1972 until the dissolution of the two groups
in the early 1980s, and was the featured on-stage bassist for Parliament-Funkadelic
after Bootsy Collins went solo. Cordell also appeared in
the movie PCU as himself, in 1994 and then in 1997 along
with 15 other members of Parliament-Funkadelic he was inducted
into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
(?) b. October
Storm Elvin Thorgerson (69) English graphic designer
and music video director, born in Potters Bar, Middlesex, he attended Summerhill
School, Brunswick Primary School in Cambridge, and the Cambridgeshire High School
for Boys with Pink Floyd founders Syd Barrett and Roger Waters. In 1968, along
with Aubrey Powell, he founded the graphic art group Hipgnosis, and between them
they designed many famous single and album covers, with Peter Christopherson joining
them for their later commissions. In 1983, following the dissolution of Hipgnosis,
Thorgerson and Powell formed Greenback Films, producing music videos. He is best
known for his work for rock artists such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Nik Kershaw,
Black Sabbath, Scorpions, Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Yes, Al Stewart, Europe, Catherine
Wheel, Bruce Dickinson, Dream Theater, Anthrax, The Cranberries, The Mars Volta,
Muse, The Alan Parsons Project, Helloween, Biffy Clyro, Angels and Airwaves and
Rival Sons. (sadly died after battling cancer
for several years)
b. February 28th 1944.
2014: Brian Priestman (87)
British maestro and conductor in Birmingham
and studied at the University of Birmingham and the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.
He founded and was principal conductor of the Opera da Camera and the Orchestra
da Camera in Birmingham, and Music Director of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at
Stratford-upon-Avon 196063. He was Music Director of the Edmonton Symphony
Orchestra 196468, Music Director of the Handel Society of New York 196670,
Resident Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra 196870, Music Director
of the Denver Symphony Orchestra 197078, Principal Conductor of the New
Zealand National Orchestra 197376, Music Director of the Florida Philharmonic
197780, Principal Conductor of the Cape Town Symphony 198086 and Principal
Guest Conductor of the Malmö Symphony Orchestra 198890). His final
performances as conductor took place in Edmonton in October 2003. He was
awarded honorary doctorates from Regis University, Denve and the University of
Colorado and awarded the Golden Lyre by the American Institute of High Fidelity
for services to music in the US (?)
b. February 10th 1927
Brian Asawa (49)
American-Japanese opera singer born in Fullerton, California but grew up
in LA where he sang in the choir at a Methodist church with a Japanese congregation.
He began his studies as a piano major at the University of California, Santa Cruz,
ultimately switching his studies to singing. His career was launched in 1991 when
he became the first countertenor to win both the Metropolitan Opera National Council
Auditions and an Adler Fellowship to the San Francisco Opera's Merola Opera Program.
He made his professional opera debut at the San Francisco Opera in 1991 in Hans
Werner Henze's Das verratene Meer where he also sang the Shepherd in Tosca and
Oberon in Benjamin Britten's A Midsummer Night's Dream in 1992 and went on to
perform in many of the major opera houses around the world. More recently in May
2014, he performed a recital program with mezzo-soprano Diana Tash at the Festival
de Mayo in Guadalajara, Mexico and in 2014, he and Peter Somogyi formed Asawa
and Associates, an operatic artists' management agency. (sadly
died following a long illness)
b. October 1st 1966.
1944: Jimmy Noone (48)
American clarinet player born on the Stanton Plantation, Cut Off, Louisiana; at
15 he moved to New Orleans, where he studied with Lorenzo Tio and with the young
Sidney Bechet, who was only 13 at the time. By 1912, he was playing professionally
with Freddie Keppard in Storyville, and played with Buddy Petit, Kid Ory, Papa
Celestin, the Eagle Band, and the Young Olympia Band, before joining the Original
Creole Orchestra in Chicago in 1917. The following year, he joined King Oliver's
Creole Jazz Band, then in 1920 joined Keppard in Doc Cook's band for six years,
and make early recordings. In 1926, he started leading the band at Chicago's Apex
Club. This band, Jimmie Noone's Apex Club Orchestra, was notable for its unusual
instrumentation and included pianist Earl Hines for a time. His
first 1928 session yielded "Four or Five Times" b/w "Every Evening
(I Miss You)", a best seller. In 1935, he moved New York City then returned
to Chicago where he played at various clubs until 1943, when he moved to LA. Shortly
after he joined Kid Ory's band, which was featured for a time on a radio program
hosted by Orson Welles (died
suddenly of a heart attack while in L.A) b.
April 23rd 1895.
1993: Steve Douglas Kreisman
American saxophonist, fluteist, clarinetist, and drummer; he was one of the most
sort after session musicians in L.A, a member of The Wrecking Crew, who worked
with Phil Spector, Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys. He can be heard on records
by Duane Eddy, Aretha Franklin, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, BB King, Ike & Tina
Turner, Bobby Darin and so many others. In 2003 he was elected to the Rock and
Roll Hall of Fame in the category "Sidemen" (while warming up for a
recording session with Ry Cooder, he collapsed and died from heart failure) b.
El Duce/Eldon Hoke (39)American
singer and drummerwith the heavy metal band The
Mentorsnoted for its deliberately sexist shock
rock lyrics. El and the Mentors worked to
gain attention through farcical demonstrations of political incorrectness. Their
guitarist renamed himself "Sickie Wifebeater," and the group often appeared
in public wearing black executioner hoods. The Mentors released their first EP,
The Trash Bag, in 1983. Their first live album, Live at the Whiskey/Cathey de
Grande, came out the following year. This was followed by five more albums before
his death. In the mid-nineties, after the death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain,
El began making the claim that Cobain's wife, Courtney Love, had offered to pay
Hoke $50,000 to kill Cobain. He promoted his story in such media outlets as TV's
Jerry Springer Show, The National Enquirer weekly tabloid, and in Nick Broomfield's
documentary film, Kurt & Courtney. Authors
Max Wallace and Ian Halperin of Who Killed Kurt Cobain?
claim that El secretly informed Drew Gallagher that he had "killed Kurt Cobain".
(Died horridly in Riverside, California after being hit
by a train while intoxicated) b. March 23rd 1958.
Earl Bolick (79) American country music
singer, guitarist and along with his brother Bill, one half of the Blue Sky Boys.
The brothers were born and raised in East Hickory, North Carolina and made their
radio debut in 1935 at local radio station WWNC in Asheville, North Carolina as
part of the "Crazy Hickory Nuts". Then together with Homer Sherrill
of the "Crazy Hickory Nuts" they formed the "Good Coffee Boys"
in the late 1935. Six months later, in June 1936, the Bolick brothers moved to
Atlanta, Georgia to perform at radio station WGST. Because they were sponsored
by the "Crazy Water Crystal", they had to perform using the name "(Crazy)
Blue Ridge Hillbillies". They made their first recordings in Charlotte, North
Carolina on June 16, 1936. Their first record "Sunny Side of Life" coupled
with "Where the Soul Never Dies" became an instant success. It sold
so fast the brothers were dubbed "The New Hillbilly Kings. Between 1937 and
1941 the group recorded about 100 songs before their 5 year stint in the military.
After their discharge they continued to record, but RCA asked them to play with
electric guitars, they refused and stopped recording in 1949. Due to personal
issues, the Blue Sky Boys retired in 1951. They re-united in 1962 until 1969 and
again in the mid-70s (?) b.
November 16th 1919.
Louis Applebaum (82) Canadian conductor and conductor;
born in Toronto, where he studied at the Conservatory of Music with Leo Smith
and the University of Toronto with Boris Berlin, Healey Willan and Ernest MacMillan.
He composed music for numerous films and was nominated for an Academy Award for
his score of the 1945 war film, The Story of G.I. Joe. Louis went on to become
executive director of the Ontario Arts Council and Vice-President of the Canadian
League of Composers and was the first music director of the Stratford Festival.
His fanfares have opened every performance since the Festival started in 1953.
In 1976 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Companion
in 1995 (?)
b. April 3rd 1918.
2003: Conrad Leonard (104!)
English pianist, composer; the oldest working musician in Britain. At
99 years old, his doctor advised him to "ease up a bit", and he accordingly
cut his engagements to 75 gigs a year. Until the age of 103 years, he played the
piano every Thursday at lunchtime in the Plantation Cafe at Squire's Garden Centre
in Twickenham. Born in South Norwood. After serving in WWI
he studied music at the Guildhall School of Music, and he subsequently toured
the country as a professional musician. From the 1930s, he performed with stars
like Fred Astaire, Cole Porter and Gracie Fields. He composed over 400 ballads;
the most famous being "My Love is Only For You"-1946 and "I heard
a Robin singing"-1948. During WWII, he joined Laurence Wright, a music publishing
firm, as an arranger until 1969. In 1999, Conrad was given the Golden Badge Awards
by the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters (?)
b. October 10th 1898.
2005: Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen (58)
Danish double bassist; known for his impressive technique
and an approach that could be considered an extension of the innovative work of
Scott LaFaro. At 17, he had already turned down an offer to join the Count Basie
orchestra, mainly because he was too young to get legal permission to live and
work as a musician in US. During the '60s, he played with several important American
jazzmen who were touring or resident in Denmark, including Ben Webster, Bill Evans,
Brew Moore, Bud Powell, Count Basie, Roy Eldridge, Dexter Gordon, Dizzy Gillespie,
Jackie McLean, Roland Kirk, Sonny Rollins, and Ella Fitzgerald; he also played
with Jean-Luc Ponty. He was the bassist of choice whenever a big-name musician
was touring Denmark He also contributed to several avant-garde recordings with
Anthony Braxton, Albert Ayler, Archie Shepp and he worked in duo and trio arrangements
with pianist Kenny Drew, recording over 50 albums together. Niels
was awarded Best Bass Player Of The Year by Downbeat Critics' Poll in 1981 (sadly
b. May 27th 1946.
2005: Bryan Ottoson (27)German
born lead guitarist with the US
metal band American Head Charge from Minneapolis.
Their self-released debut album caught the attention of Rick Rubin, who signed
and produced The War of Art in 2001. By then the group was a supporting act on
Ozzfest and the Pledge of Allegiance tour with Slipknot. He had also played in
the bands Black Flood Diesel and A:POD (he was battling
walking pneumonia with prescribed penicillin and pain medication, but was found
dead in a bunk of their tour van as a result of these two drugs; his death was
tragically accidental) b.
Tilahun Gessesse (68) Ethiopian singer;
regarded as one of the most popular of his country's "Golden Age" in
the 1960s. During
the 1960s he became famous throughout the country, nicknamed "The Voice".
He raised money for aid during the famines of the 1970s and 1980s and earned the
affection of the nation, being awarded a doctorate by the University of Addis
Adaba and also winning a lifetime achievement award from the Ethiopian Fine Art
and Mass Media Prize Trust. In his later years he suffered from diabetes (He died
in Addis Adaba shortly after returning from America. Tilahun was honoured with
a state funeral attended by tens of thousands of his fellow citizens)
2010: Keith "Guru" Elam (48)
American rapper, emcee and member of the hip-hop duo
Gang Starr, along with DJ Premier. He was born in Roxbury, Massachusetts. The
name Guru is a backronym that stands for Gifted Unlimited Rhymes Universal and
the less-often used God is Universal; he is the Ruler Universal, which are both
references to the teachings of the Nation of Gods and Earths. He is also known
for lending his voice for 8-Ball in Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto:
Liberty City Stories.
He founded Gang Starr in 1987 and released their first LP No More Mr. Nice Guy
on Wild Pitch Records; they achieved a sizable following and released six critically
acclaimed and influential albums from 1989 to 2003. Two albums, Moment of Truth-1998
and compilation Full Clip: A Decade of Gang Starr (1999) were certified gold in
the United States by the RIAA. Gang Starr made "archetypal East Coast
rap" with Guru's rapping described as sharp eyed but anti-ostentatious. His
first solo album not a part the Jazzmatazz series, Baldhead Slick & da Click
was released in 2001. Guru's final releases were the 4th installment in the Jazzmatazz
series released in June 2007, and Guru 8.0: Lost And Found, released May 19th
(February 28th 2010, Guru went into cardiac arrest and following
surgery, fell into a coma. It was claimed that Guru had briefly awakened from
his coma but sadly died from cancer) b. July 17th 1966.
Greg Ham (58) Australian songwriter, actor and
saxophone player born in Melbourne, and attended Camberwell Grammar School. He
is best known for playing multiple instruments as a key member in the 1980s band
Men at Work. In addition to the saxophone, he played flute, organ, piano and the
synthesiser. They are the only Australian artists to have a simultaneous No.1
album and No.1 single in the United States with Business as Usual and "Down
Under" respectively. They achieved the same distinction of a simultaneous
No.1 album and No.1 single in the UK. They also won the 1983 Grammy Award for
Best New Artist; that same year, Canada awarded them a Juno Award for "International
LP of the Year". As an actor, Greg was a regular cast member on While You're
Down There. Later
in life, he taught guitar at Carlton North Primary School in Melbourne. (circumstances
of Greg's death are yet to be clarified)
b. September 27th 1953
2012: Levon Helm (71) American
rock multi-instrumentalist and actor born in Marvell, Arkansas, and grew up in
Turkey Scratch. After graduating from high school, he was invited to join Ronnie
Hawkins' band, "The Hawks". In the early 1960s he and Hawkins recruited
an all-Canadian lineup of musicians: guitarist Robbie Robertson, bassist Rick
Danko, pianist Richard Manuel and organist Garth Hudson. But in 1963, the band
parted ways with Hawkins and started touring under the name "Levon and The
Hawks," and later as "The Canadian Squires" before finally changing
back to "The Hawks". In the mid 1960s, Bob Dylan was interested in performing
electric rock music and asked "The Hawks" to be his backing band. Levon
was known for his deeply soulful, country-accented voice, and creative drumming
style highlighted on many of The Band's recordings, such as "The Weight"
MORE<<< (sadly Levon died after a long
and brave battle with throat cancer) b. May 26th
2014: Sonia Silvestre (61) Dominican
singer and announcer, born in San Pedro de Macorís. She was married to
the broadcaster, producer and host Yaqui Núñez del Risco. After
they divorced, she moved to Mexico, where she remained about three years
(sadly died after 2 massive strokes) b. August 16th
2014: Bashir Ahmad (74) Bangladeshi
playback singer, born in Kolkata, India, but migrated to Bangladesh during the
Partition period and started his singing career. He first got his popularity when
he sang playback hits in Pakistani films. He went on to become a legendary singer,
who was acclaimed throughout the subcontinent for his smooth, and soulful voice,
which animated Pakistani, Hindi and Bengali cinema. He was honoured and beloved
in Bangladesh, and he received numerous National Film Awards for his singing as
well as the country's highest civilian honour, the Ekushey Padak. (sadly
died while fighting cancer) b. April 12th 1940.
Kevin Sharp (43) American country music singer,
born in Redding, California. When he was seven years old, his family moved to
Weiser. He made his debut on the country music scene in 1997 with a cover of R&B
artist Tony Rich's single "Nobody Knows", a cover which topped the Billboard
country charts for four weeks. His debut album, Measure of a Man, was released
the same year, producing additional Top 5 singles in "If You Love Somebody"
and "She's Sure Taking It Well" and a Top 50 hit "There's Only
You". Having survived a rare form of bone cancer in his teenage years, Kevin
also became actively involved in the Make-A-Wish Foundation. He also wrote an
inspirational book about his experience, and occasionally toured the United States
as a motivational speaker. (sadly died with complications
from a digestive disorder) b. December 10th 1970
Deon Jackson (68) American soul singer and songwriter,
born in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He performed in groups and as a soloist while he
attended Ann Arbor High School and was signed by producer Ollie McLaughlin while
still in school. Deon's first single was his own "You Said You Love Me",
followed by "Come Back Home"; both were regional hits in Michigan. Deon
toured heavily on the local club circuit before releasing his next record, 1965's
"Love Makes the World Go Round" on Carla Records. The tune became a
major pop hit, and a full-length album was released subsequently on Atco Records.
He is often referred to as a one hit wonder, but he did had two more successful
singles, "Love Takes a Long Time Growing" in 1966 and "Ooh Baby"
in 1967. He recorded until the end of the decade, after which he performed mostly
in the Chicago area (?) b. January 26th 1946.
2015: Bernard Stollman (85) American
record label founder born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, and grew up in Plattsburgh,
upstate New York. In 1960, he started work as an unpaid intern for a law firm
working on the estates of Charlie Parker and Billie Holiday. After which he did
some legal work for Moe Asch at Folkways Records, and began advising jazz and
rhythm and blues musicians on copyrights and contracts. He also learned Esperanto,
and made a recording of poetry and songs, Ni Kantu en Esperanto, to promote the
language, releasing it on his own label which he called ESP-Disk, which in the
beginning his parents had funded. He went on to record such jazz musicians as
Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Ornette Coleman, Paul Bley and Gato Barbieri. He also
recorded writers including William Burroughs and Timothy Leary, and underground
folk and rock acts including The Fugs, Pearls Before Swine and The Holy Modal
Rounders.In the 1980s he worked as an assistant New York Attorney General, retiring
in 1991. In 2005, he re-activated the ESP label, to reissue old recordings as
well as making new recordings. (sadly
died while bravely fighting colon and spine cancer) b. July 19th 1929.
Lord Tanamo/Joseph Abraham Gordon (81) Jamaican singer-songwriter and
percussionistbest known for his mento and ska work. Born in Kingston and raised
in Denham Town in the West of the city, he was influenced by Lord Kitchener, who
lived in Jamaica in the 1940s. His early hits included "Blues Have Got Me
Down" in 1960 before he changed to Ska in the early 1960s, and was a founding
member of the Skatalites, singing with the band on tracks such as "Come Down"
and "I'm In The Mood For Ska". In 1970, he recorded a reggae cover of
Tony Joe White's "Rainy Night in Georgia", which was a number one hit
in Jamaica for seven weeks. He was based in Canada from the mid-1970s onwards,
where he married a local woman and opened the Record Nook shop, selling Jamaican-produced
records, although he returned to Jamaica to record. In 1990, his ska cover of
"I'm in the Mood for Love", gave him his only UK hit, reaching No.58
in the UK Singles Chart after being featured in a television advert for Paxo in
1989. In 2002, he performed as part of the 'Legnds of Ska' concerts in Toronto,
the performances were recorded and released as a film in 2014. He continued to
perform with the Skatalites into the 21st century, including performing at the
2003 Glastonbury Festival. In January 2008 it was stated in a Jamaican newspaper
that sadly Tanamo was in a nursing home in Canada after suffering a stroke that
had left him unable to speak. (?) b. October 2nd 1934.
Richard Lyons (57) Ameerican singer best known for being one of the
founding members of the experimental music band Negativland. In 1988, Richard
masterminded a hoaxed press release that claimed the Negativland song "Christianity
Is Stupid" had inspired 16-year-old David Brom to murder his entire immediate
family. It also claimed that Negativland had been "advised by Federal official
Dick Jordan not to leave town pending an investigation into the Brom murders".
He prepared the phony press release and mailed it out to various news outlets,
many of whom took it at face value. The hoax received widespread media coverage,
inspiring Negativland's next album Helter Stupid. After taking a brief hiatus
from the group, he composed and sang several songs on Negativland's 1997 album
Dispepsi, including "Happy Hero" and "The Greatest Taste Around".
In 2002 his book "Other People's Mail" was released by Negativland with
an accompanying soundtrack CD as 'Deathsentences of the Polished and Structurally
Weak'. Richard traveled with
the band during its "True or False" tour, doing a mid-show version of
"Pastor Dick's Treehouse"
(sadly died fighting nodular melanoma)
b. April 19th 1959.
Pete Zorn (65) American multi-instrumentalist born Somerset, Pennsylvania,
Steeleye Span; he was a longstanding member of Richard Thompson's backing band,
in which he played acoustic guitar, mandolin, saxophone, flute, tin whistle and
acted as a backing vocalist. He was also a bass guitarist. Although he frequently
toured with Thompson, he was a top sessionist and played with many other singers
and groups including Arizona Smoke Revue, formed by older brother Bill Zorn, Show
of Hands, the Phil Beer Band, Elaine Paigeomas Anders, Gerry Rafferty, Barbara
Dickson, Chris Rainbow, and his band WAZ, as well as Driver
67. In 2009 Pete joined Steeleye Span on the spring section
of the band's 40th anniversary tour, replacing Rick Kemp, who was absent for health
reasons. He also replaced Kemp on the American and Australian legs of the tour.
Kemp returned for the winter leg of the tour, but Pete stayed with the band as
a guitarist and multi-instrumentalist due to various strains on the band.
(sadly Peter died while fighting cancer) b. May 29th
Pat 'Fitzy' Fitzpatrick (60) Irish keyboardist
born in Belfast; an indemand session musician, he was better known the 6th member
of the Irish rock band Aslan with who he played keyboards with for over 20 years
and was there with them on all their gigs and all their recordings. He also played
with Something Happens, The Blades, Van Morrison and lots of other great bands.
Just 11 days ago he was rocking the roof off The Cork Opera House with the band
Aslan. (sadly Pat lost his battle with liver cancer)
1920: Tony Jackson (44)
American jazz and ragtime pianist and singer born in Uptown New Orleans, Louisiana;
he got his first musical job at age 13, when he began playing piano during off
hours at a Tonk run by bandleader Adam Olivier. By age 15 he was already considered
by many musicians the best pianist in town. His singing voice was also exceptional,
and he was said to be able to sing operatic parts from baritone to soprano range.
Fellow musicians and singers were universal in their praise of Tony Jackson, most
calling him "the greatest", and even the far-from-modest Jelly Roll
Morton ranked Jackson as the only musician better than Morton himself. He also
wrote many original tunes, a number of which he sold rights to for a few dollars
or were simply stolen from him; some of the old time New Orleans musicians said
that some well known Tin Pan Alley pop tunes of the era were actually written
by Tony. A legend from the ragtime years who sadly never recorded, but portions
of his style are no doubt to be found in the recordings of younger musicians he
influenced, like Jelly Roll Morton, Clarence Williams, and Steve Lewis (Impaired
by disease, probably syphilis, he died in Chicago) b.
June 5th 1876.
Benny Benjamin/Papa Zita (43) American
drummer for the Motown studio band known as The Funk Brothers, noted for his dynamic
record producers, including Berry Gordy, refused to work on sessions unless Papa
Zita was the drummer and James Jamerson was the bassist. Born in Birmingham, Alabama,
Among the Motown songs he performed the drum tracks for are early hits such as
"Money (That's What I Want)" by Barrett Strong and "Do You Love
Me" by The Contours; as well as later hits such as "Get Ready"
by The Temptations, "Uptight (Everything's Alright)" by Stevie Wonder,
"I Heard It Through the Grapevine" by Gladys Knight & the Pips and
"Going To A Go-Go" by The Miracles. Benny was inducted into the "Sidemen"
category of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003 (sadly
he had been struggling with drug and alcohol addiction
and died from a stroke) b.
July 25th 1925.
Shakeel Badayuni (53) Indian poet and
lyricist, he moved to Bombay in 1944 to write songs for films. He met film producer,
A.R. Kardar and music composer, he was sined for the film, Dard-1947. The songs
of Dard proved to be very successful especially Uma Devi (Tun Tun)'s Afsana Likh
Rahi Hoon. His success continued on over the years with many more films. Sahib
Bibi Aur Ghulam-1962 is his biggest hit, the title song from Chaudhvin Ka Chand,
rendered by Mohammed Rafi, won Badayuni the Filmfare Award for Best Lyricist in
penned numbers for around 89 films. In
addition, he wrote many popular ghazals which are still sung by vocalists like
Pankaj Udhas and others (sadly Shakeel succumbed to diabetes
b. August 3rd 1916.
Ronnie Boykins (44) American
jazz bass player, born in Chicago, Illinois; he is best known for his work with
pianist, bandleader Sun Ra. A wanted session player he also played with such disparate
musicians as Muddy Waters, Bill Barron, Johnny Griffin, and Jimmy Witherspoon
prior to joining Sun Ra's Arkestra. He also worked with tenor saxophonist Archie
Shepp's New York Contemporary Five in 1964. In the late '60s, he formed his own
group, the Free Jazz Society, which included the pianist John Hicks. In
the '70s, Ronnie played with the Melodic Art-tet, a cooperative free jazz ensemble
that also included drummer Roger Blank, saxophonist Charles Brackeen, and trumpeter
Ahmed Abdullah. In 1979 he played with Steve Lacy and Dennis Charles on New York
Capers and Quirks. In the course of his career, Ronnie also worked with Mary Lou
Williams, Marion Brown, Sarah Vaughan, and Daoud Haroom, among others (sadly
died of a heart attack)
December 17th 1935.
Steve Marriott (44) British
singer-songwriter and guitarist; best remembered for his powerful singing voice
and his guitar play in the
groups Small Faces and Humble Pie. Born in London
he started singing and performing, by busking at local bus-stops for extra pocket
money and winning talent contests during the family's annual holidays at Clacton-on-Sea.
At the age of 12, he formed his first band with school friends Nigel Chapin and
Robin Andrews, called 'The Wheels', later the 'Coronation Kids'. At 13, he appeared
as the Artful Dodger in Lionel Bart's musical Oliver!, staying with the show for
12 months. He provided lead vocals for the songs "Consider Yourself",
"Be Back Soon," and "I'd Do Anything," which all appeared
on the official album to the stage show. In 1963 he formed The Moments, originally
called The Frantiks. The Frantiks recorded a cover version of Cliff Richard's
song "Move It" with ex-Shadow's drummer Tony Meehan. As 'Marriott and
his Moments', they played support for artists such as Georgie
Fame, The Animals, The Nashville Teens, and John
Mayall. In 1965, heavily influenced by American rhythm and blues, he founded The
Small Faces along with Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones, and Jimmy Winston, by 1966 Winston
was replaced by Ian McLagan as the band's keyboardist. They had hit songs such
as "Itchycoo Park", "Lazy Sunday", "All or Nothing",
"Tin Soldier", and their concept album Ogdens' Nut Gone Flake, they
evolved into one of the UK's most successful psychedelic acts before disbanding
in 1969. In late 1968 Steve formed Humble Pie with Greg Ridley, Peter Frampton
and Jerry Shirley. Their debut single "Natural Born Bugie" was released
in July 1969 becoming a No.4 hit in the UK Singles Chart and was quickly followed
by the album As Safe As Yesterday Is, which peaked at No.16 in the UK album charts.
This album was one of the first albums to be described by the term "heavy
metal" in a 1970 review in Rolling Stone magazine. In later life Steve became
disillusioned with the music industry and turned his back on the big record companies,
remaining in relative obscurity. He returned to his music roots playing the pubs
and clubs around London and Essex. In 1996, the Small Faces were belatedly awarded
the Ivor Novello Outstanding Contribution to British Music "Lifetime Achievement"
award. (Steve tragically lost his life in a house fire at
his home in Essex) b. January 30th 1947.
1992: Benny Hill/Alfred Hawthorne Hill (68) English
and singer, born in Southampton; he is maybe best
known for his long-running TV programme The Benny Hill Show. The shows always
closed, with the famous "running gag" which featured various members
of the cast chasing Benny and usually featured
as part of the chase scantily-clad women, along with
other stock comedy characters, such as policemen, vicars, old ladies, and so on.
The tune used in all the chases, "Yakety Sax", is commonly referred
to as "The Benny Hill Theme". He also appeared in nine films including,
Who Done It?; Those Magnificent Men in Their Flying Machines; Chitty Chitty Bang
Bang, and The Italian Job. His recordings include "Gather in the Mushrooms",
of Love", "Pepys Diary", "Transistor
Radio", and "Ernie (The Fastest Milkman In The West)" which
made the UK chart as the Christmas number one single in 1971,
and was at No.1 for 4 weeks. He also appeared in the '86 video of the song "Anything
She Does" by the band Genesis (Benny sadly died from
coronary thrombosis) b. January 21st 1924.
1992: Johnny Shines (76) American
Delta Blues slide guitarist; born in Frayser, Tennessee. He spent most of his
childhood in Memphis, Tennessee playing slide guitar at an early age in local
jukes and for tips on the streets. He is best known as a traveling
companion of Robert Johnson, but his own contributions to the blues have often
been unfairly shortchanged, simply because Johnson's legend casts such a long
shadow. (heart complications)
b. April 26th 1915.
2001: Giuseppe Sinopoli (54) Italian
conductor and composer; best known for his intense and sometimes controversial
interpretations of opera, especially works by Italian composers and Richard Strauss.
Every October since 2005, Taormina Arte has dedicated a festival to Giuseppe Sinopoli,
the artistic director of the Music section of the Taormina Festival from 1989
to 1997. The Giuseppe Sinopoli Festival does not only celebrate the man as a musician
and as a conductor but also as a composer, a doctor, an archaeologist and intellectual,
with a variety of events from music and literature, theatre and art to conferences,
exhibitions, publications and, of course, concerts. Every year the Festival welcomes
the most important orchestras in the country (he died of
a heart attack while conducting Giuseppe Verdi's Aïda at the Deutsche Opera
in Berlin) b. November 2nd 1946.
2002: Alan Dale/Aldo Sigismondi (76)
American singer, born in the Brooklyn, New York. He had a No.10 hit "(The
Gang that Sang) Heart of My Heart" with Johnny Desmond and Don Cornell in
1953, the No14 hit "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" in 1955, and
"Sweet and Gentle," which also charted in 1955, at No.10. He became
a friend of Alan Freed, and as a result got a chance to play a role as a rock
and roll singer in the 1956 film, Don't Knock the Rock, playing alongside Freed,
Bill Haley & His Comets, Little Richard, and The Treniers. He sang the title
song, which he also recorded as a single (?) b.
July 9th 1925.
2003: Teddy Edwards (78)
American jazz saxophonist, a
top L.A. sessionist and highly sort after freelance player, some people consider
him to be one of the most influential saxophonists in American history. Born in
Jackson, he learned to play at a very early age, first on alto sax and then clarinet.
His first professional job was with The Royal Mississippians with Doc Parmley.
Teddy relocated to Los Angeles, which became his city of residence. He got a job
playing at Club Alabam on Central Ave, and went on to become an A list session
playing with many Jazz notables, including his personal friend Charlie Parker,
Roy Milton, Wynonie Harris, Vince Guaraldi, Joe Castro and Ernie Andrews. A classic
1947 recording with Dexter Gordon, The Duel, helped set him up as a legend, a
status he liked to maintain by challenging other worthy sax players to similar
duels whenever possible, including a recording with Houston Person. One such memorable
duel took place in the 1980s at London's 100 Club with UK tenor Dick Morrissey.
In 1964, Edwards played with Benny Goodman at Disneyland, and at the 1964 New
York World's Fair. Teddy also did a lot of work with Tom Waits, appearing on albums
and toured with him on the Heart Attack and Vine tour (prostate cancer) b.
April 26th 1924.
2007: Andrew Hill (75) American
jazz pianist and composer, born in Chicago, is recognized as one of the most important
innovators of jazz piano in the 1960s. He first recorded as a sideman in 1954,
but his reputation was made by his Blue Note recordings as leader from 1963 to
1970, and also played on albums by Joe Henderson, Bobby Hutcherson, and Hank Mobley.
His distinctive compositions accounted for three of the five pieces on Hutcherson's
classic Dialogue album. He obtained a doctorate in music from Colgate University
of Hamilton and served as the university's composer in residence from 1970 to
1972. He later taught in California and was an associate professor on a tenure
track at Portland State University. During his time at PSU, he established a Summer
Jazz Intensive program in addition to performing, conducting workshops and attending
residencies at other universities such as Wesleyan University, University of Michigan,
University of Toronto, Harvard University and Bennington College. He returned
to New York City in 1990. His final public performance was on March 29th 2007
at Trinity Church in New York City (sadly died after
a fight with lung cancer)
b. June 30th 1931.
Grinstead (27) American R&B, hip hop soul
singer, member of the platinum-selling and multi award winning female R&B
trio, 702 (sadly died of cancer and kidney failure)
b. June 2nd 1980.
2008: VL Mike/Michael Allen (32)
American rap artist, born in New Orleans,
Mike was known for his gangsta rhyme structure and street lyrics throughout New
Orleans. He first appeared on the mainstream rap
scene in 2004 as a member of the New Orleans record label, Chopper City Records.
After the 2007 release of the Chopper City Boyz, "We Got This" debut
album, VL Mike departed from Chopper City Records and set out to pursue his solo
career. VL Mike stated on his Place Yo Betz mixtape that the reason he departed
from the label was due to the fact that B.G. had been portraying himself as a
gangster for years through his music when he wasn't. (tragically
shot to death while exiting his vehicle on the 4700 block of Miles Drive)
b. January 19th 1978.
Sahilatua (57) Indonesian
singer, he started out in his late teens as one half of a duo with his sister,
Jane Sahilatua, recording 15 albums as Franky & Jane. Franky also pursued
a solo career recording nine albums and is famous for singles such as Boat Crack,
The Suburbs, Terminal and Under the Flag Pole (sadly died
from spinal cancer) b. August 16th 1953
2011: Gerard Smith (34) American bassist,
keyboardist and member of the Brooklyn, New York, rock band 'TV on the Radio'.
He recorded 3 albums with the band "Return to Cookie Mountain"-2006,
"Dear Science"-2008, and "Nine Types of Light"-2011 (sadly
died after a struggle with lung
Weedon (91) English
guitarist and composer whose style of guitar playing was influential and popular
during the 1950s and 1960s, Herbert Maurice William Weedon was born in East Ham,
London, and began learning classical guitar at the age of twelve. In his teens
during the 1930s, he led groups such as the Blue Cumberland Rhythm Boys, and Bert
Weedon and His Harlem Hotshots, before making his first solo appearance at East
Ham town hall in 1939. He worked with leading performers including Stephane Grappelli
and George Shearing, and performed with various big bands and orchestras, including
those of Ted Heath and Mantovani. He joined the BBC Show Band directed by Cyril
Stapleton in the 1950s, when he began to be featured as a soloist. He also worked
as a session musician on many early British rock and roll and other records, and
worked as an accompanist to visiting American >>>
MORE <<< (?) b.
May 10th 1920.
Joe Muranyi (84) American jazz clarinetist, saxophonist,
producer and critic and
was primarily interested in early jazz styles such as Dixieland and swing. After
playing in an US Army Air Forces band, he moved to New York City in the 1950s
and attended the Manhattan School of Music and Columbia University. In the 1950s
he played under Eddie Condon, collaborating with Jimmy McPartland, Red Allen,
Max Kaminsky, Yank Lawson, Bobby Hackett, and also played with the Red Onion Jazz
Band, Danny Barker, and Wingy Manone. In 1963, Muranyi played with The Village
Stompers, a Dixieland band which reached the pop charts with "Washington
Square". From 1967-71 he was the clarinetist with the Louis Armstrong All-Stars.
Armstrong, after struggling to pronounce Joe's Hungarian name, introduced him
on stage as "Joe Ma Rainey". Following Louis' death, he played with
Roy Eldridge, World's Greatest Jazz Band, Cozy Cole, Lionel Hampton, Wild Bill
Davison, Herman Autrey, Zutty Singleton, and others. Joe also did extensive work
as a record producer and wrote liner notes for hundreds of albums (sadly
Joe died while fighting cancer) b. January 14th 1928.
2012: Ayten Alpman (82)
Turkish jazz singer, born in Istanbul. She worked as a soloist for Istanbul
Radio after finishing high school.
Encouraged by Turkish producer Arif Mardin to sing jazz, she
began her singing career during the 1950s and released her first record, "Sayonara/Passion
Flower", in 1959. In 1972 she released her song "Memleketim"/"My
Country" which became immensely popular in Cyprus and Turkey in '74 during
the Cyprus conflict. She rarely entered the recording studio, and had released
only two LPs throughout her career. Her most notable songs include, "Sensiz
Olmam", "Yanimda Olsa" and "Ben Varim". Her last release
was a compilation of her best known singles released in 1999 (sadly
died from respiratory failure) b. October 10th 1929.
2013: Artie "Blues Boy" White (76)
American southern soul singer; born in Vicksburg, Miss., he moved to Chicago in
1955 and had hits including Leaning Tree, Dont Pet My
Dog and My Dessert. He was a well-known headliner at clubs such
as East of the Ryan and the White Rose in Phoenix, Ill. During the early 1970s,
he owned Bootsys near 22nd and Cottage Grove. He also appeared at the Chicago
Blues Festival, his most recent set being in 2006. (sadly
died while battling Parkinson's disease) b. April
2014: Herb Wong (88)
American jazz expert,
journalist, historian, critic, record and
concert producer who grew up in in Stockton to Oakland, and started learning piano
at aged six; during WWII the army put him in radio and communications, after which
he became a jazz deejay with the Armed Forces Radio Service. In 1959, he won a
listener contest sponsored by KJAZ to talk on the air with a disc jockey. He impressed
the staff so much with his knowledge of jazz that the station gave him his own
designed a jazz oral history exhibit for the Smithsonian Institution and produced
the Palo Alto Jazz Festival and he also cofounded the Palo Alto Jazz Alliance.
During his career, he has hosted radio shows, taught jazz in schools and been
an important early supporter of the Monterey Jazz Festival. In addition he has
held high positions with the International Association of Jazz Educators, been
the main producer for the Black Hawk (2) and Palo Alto Records labels and written
countless liner notes, articles and reviews leaving behind a legacy filled with
writings and interviews covering the world of jazz over much of the 20th century.
He was honored in December 2013 with the Palo Alto Excellence Award in Jazz Education
for his dedication and design of 75 different courses over 25 years teaching in
Palo Alto. (sadly Herb has died after a long brave battle
with cancer) b. March 18th 1926.
Mike Atta (53) American hardcore punk rock guitarist with the American
punk rock/hardcore punk band The Middle Class established in 1977 in Santa Ana,
California. The band consisted of Jeff Atta on vocals, Mike Atta on lead guitar,
Mike Patton on bass, and Bruce Atta on drums. The band achieved success in the
hardcore punk scene of Southern California. Their first shows were in 1978 in
various Los Angeles clubs and ballrooms and released their first EP Out of Vogue
in 1978. (sadly died from kidney and lung cancer)
2015: Richard Anthony/Ricardo
Anthony Btesh (77) Egyptian-born French
singer and saxophonist; born in Cairo but was educated in Paris as a teenager,
where he went on to become popular with his native renditions of US smashes such
as Buddy Hollys Peggy Sue and Lloyd Prices Personality.
He came into his own, during the twist craze with Cest Ma Fête
(Its My Party), and an untranslated Lets Twist Again
established him as a rival to Johnny Hallyday (the Gallic answer to
Elvis Presley). After a million-selling French cover version of Peter, Paul And
Marys 500 Miles Away From Home, he secured a UK chart entry
in 1963 with Walking Alone and reached the Top 20 with If I
Loved You. He continued to tour and record backed for some time by the Roulettes;
his total record sales exceeded 12 million. (?)
b. January 13th 1938.
Attila Özdemiroglu (73) Turkish composer born in Ankara and at
aged eight, he took private lessons on violin. He learnt to play many music instruments
such as flute, vibraphone, double bass and trombone and participated at music
events during his high school and university years. In 1966, he moved to Istanbul
and joined the music band Durul Gence 5. Later, he played in several other music
groups and also for Turkish pop stars like Ajda Pekkan, Nilüfer, Kayahan
and Sezen Aksu. One of his compositions, Pet'r Oil, was selected for Turkey's
entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1980, where he conducted the orchestra himself.
Attila was awarded five times for his film scores at the Antalya Golden Orange
Film Festival and twice at the Adana Golden Boll Film Festival. As well as his
musical career, Attila
was one of the co-founders of Anadolu.net the first Internet Service Provider
in Turkey together with Riza Nur Pacalioglu and Tony Yustein
died fighting lung cancer)
b. January 5th 1943
1970: Earl Zebedee
Hooker (41) American
Chicago blues guitarist, perhaps best known for his slide guitar playing;
born in rural Quitman County, Mississippi, he was considered
a "musician's musician", he performed with blues artists such as Sonny
Boy Williamson II, Junior Wells, and John Lee Hooker (his cousin) as well as fronting
his own bands. An early player of the electric guitar, he was influenced by the
modern urban styles of T-Bone Walker and Robert Nighthawk who taught him slide-guitar
techniques. As a band leader, he recorded several singles and albums, in addition
to recording with well-known artists. His "Blue Guitar", a popular Chicago
area slide-guitar instrumental single, was later overdubbed with vocals by Muddy
Waters and became the popular "You Shook Me".
His early singles were often credited to the vocalist he recorded with including
Johnny O'Neal, Little Sam Davis, Boyd Gilmore, Pinetop Perkins, The Dells, Arbee
Stidham, Lorenzo Smith, and Harold Tidwell (sadly
Earl died after a lifelong struggle with tuberculosis)
b. January 15th 1929.
1977: Issy Bonn (84)
Jewish actor, singer and comedian, born in London, and is most famous for his
recording of "My Yiddishe Momme"
popular "I'm In Love With Two Sweethearts" reached No.1 in 1946 .
Issy also appeared in two films, 'I Thank You' in 1941 and 'Discoveries' in 1939,
where he played Mr. Schwitzer. He played on BBC Radio music shows, and in music
halls before retiring to become a theatrical agent. His image appears on the cover
of The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
April 21st 1893.
1978: Alexandra "Sandy" Denny (31) English
folk singer, piano, guitar; she emerged in the mid 60s while still a teenager,
performing on the folk scene where she displayed her mastery of traditional singing
and interpretation. Her song, "Who Knows Where the Time Goes?", written
during these early years, has been covered by numerous artists and is regarded
as a classic of its type. She worked the folk club circuit with an American-influenced
repertoire, including songs by Tom Paxton, together with folk songs. At the Troubadour
club, a member of Strawbs heard her. In 1967, she was invited to join the band,
and recorded one album with them in Denmark. She joined Fairport Convention breifly
in 1968, after recording and, touring Liege & Lief she left to form her own
band, Fotheringay, which included her boyfriend, Australian born Trevor Lucas,
but dissolved the group after one album to concerntrate on a solo career. "The
North Star Grassman and the Ravens" and "Sandy" remain her most
popular solo albums and Melody Maker twice voted her the "Best Female Singer"
in 1971 and 1972. In 1973, she married Lucas and returned to Fairport Convention
in '75 for a world tour and another album, "Rising for the Moon", which
featured several of her own compositions (While on holiday
with her parents in Cornwall, Sandy was injured when she fell down a staircase.
A month after the fall she collapsed at a friend's home; four days later she died
in hospital as a the result of a traumatic mid-brain hemorrhage)
b. January 6th 1947.
1985: Irving Mills aka
Joe Primrose (91) American
jazz music publisher,
born in the Lower East Side of Manhattan in New York City. He founded Mills Music
with his brother Jack in 1919. Between 1919 and 1965, when they sold Mills Music,
Inc., they had built and became the largest independent music publisher in the
world. Irving and Jack discovered a number of great songwriters, among them Sammy
Fain, Harry Barris, Gene Austin, Hoagy Carmichael, Jimmy McHugh, and Dorothy Fields.
He either discovered or greatly advanced the careers of Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington,
Ben Pollack, Jack Teagarden, Benny Goodman, Will Hudson, Raymond Scott and many
others. Although not a musician himself , he did sing, Irving put together his
own studio recording group. In Irving Mills and his Hotsy Totsy Gang he had for
sidemen: Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Joe Venuti, Eddie Lang, Arnold Brillhardt,
Arthur Schutt, and Manny Klein. Other variations of his bands featured Glenn Miller,
Benny Goodman, and Red Nichols (He
sadly died in Palm Springs, California) b. January
Willi Boskovsky (81) Austrian violinist and conductor
born in Vienna, he joined the Vienna Academy of music at 9. He was the concertmaster
of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra from 1936-79. From
1955, he was also conductor of the Vienna
New Year's Day Concert, which is usually devoted to the music of Johann Strauss
II and his contemporaries. Along with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, he was
also the chief conductor of the Wiener Johann Strauss Orchester up until his death.
A forerunner of this ensemble was the 19th century Strauss Orchestra founded by
Johann Strauss I in 1835. He died in Visp, Switzerland. (?)
June 16th 1909.
Charles "Buddy" Rogers (94)
American actor and jazz musician, born in Olathe,
Kansas. He studied at the University of Kansas where he became an active member
of Phi Kappa Psi. In the mid-1920s he began acting professionally in Hollywood
films. As well as his film career, he was a talented trombonist and skilled on
several other musical instruments, he performed with his own jazz band in motion
pictures and on radio. his most remembered performance in film was opposite Clara
Bow in the 1927 Academy Award winning Wings, the first film ever honored as "Best
Picture" (Buddy died from natural causes)
b. August 13th 1904.
2000: Neal Matthews (70) American
singer; after serving with the US Army during the Korean War and receiving a Bronze
Star, in 1953, he became a member of the Nashville-based singing group, The Jordanaires.
Neal developed the Nashville Number System for chords in music that was instrumental
in creating the Nashville sound. With
The Jordanaires, he worked with artists such as Patsy Cline, Red Foley, Johnny
Horton, Ferlin Husky, Jim Reeves and George Jones. They also served as backup
vocalists for pop music artists such as Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme, Connie
Francis and Julie Andrews. They are best known, however, as the backup vocalists
for Elvis Presley for 15 years. Neal and The Jordanaires also toured extensively
around the world and recorded a number of their own albums, winning a Grammy Award
for Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Album (heart
attack) b. October
Simone/Eunice Kathleen Waymon (70)
American singer, songwriter, pianist, arranger, and civil rights activist. Born
in Tryon, North Carolina, Nina originally aspired to become a classical pianist,
but her work covers an eclectic variety of musical styles that include classical,
jazz, blues, soul, folk, R&B, gospel, and pop. She recorded over 40 live and
studio albums, the greatest body of her work being released between 1958, with
her debut 'Little Girl Blue' and 1974. She became known as The High Priestess
of Soul, and her most well known songs include "My Baby Just Cares for Me",
"I Put a Spell on You", "Four Women", "I Loves You Porgy",
"Feeling Good", "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood", "Sinnerman",
"To Be Young, Gifted and Black", "Mississippi Goddam", "Ain't
Got No, I Got Life" and "I Want a Little Sugar in My Bowl". Musicians
who have covered her work or her specific renditions of songs include J.Viewz,
Carola, Aretha Franklin, Janis Joplin, Marilyn Manson, David
Hathaway, Elkie Brooks, Roberta Flack, Jeff Buckley, Jhelisa Anderson, The Animals,
Muse, Cat Power, Timbaland, Katie Melua, Feist, Shara Worden, and Michael Bublé.
Nina's music has featured in soundtracks of various motion pictures and video
games, including but not limited to the The Big Lebowski, Point of No Return aka
The Assassin, Notting Hill, The Thomas Crown Affair, The Dancer Upstairs, Before
Sunset, Cellular, Inland Empire, Sex and the City, Revolutionary Road, and Watchmen.
Nina's last performance in Britain was at the Bishopstock Festival in August 2001.
February 21st 1933.
Loyde/Barry Lyde/John Baslington Lyde (65)
rock music guitarist, songwriter and producer born in Longreach,
Queensland. He first came to prominence in the Brisbane r&b band Purple Hearts
in 1965. In Jan '67, he left to join the 2nd incarnation of the Melbourne band
Wild Cherries, and wrote most of the songs that made up the band's four singles
for the Festival label. In the 70s he joined of The Coloured Balls. Dances and
concerts around Melbourne became battlegrounds between rival skinhead gangs, fuelled
by the music of the Coloured Balls. He spent several years in the UK then joined
Billy Thorpe & the Aztecs on his return to Australia. His musical influence
proved crucial in steering Thorpe in a completely new direction, into the blues-based
heavy-rock genre. He also did a stint with the band Rose Tattoo. Lobby went on
to work as a record producer, producing albums for such bands as Machinations,
The Sunnyboys, The Red Crayons, Tablewaiters, Kevin Borich, X and Painters and
died after a brave battle with cancer)
May 18th 1941.
2008: Aaron Shearer (88)
American classical guitarist; he has several
publications including his well known Classical Guitar Technique method books.
He has been director of the guitar programs at both North
Carolina School of the Arts and Peabody Conservatory
and holds an honorary doctorate from Duquesne University. His former students
include Manuel Barrueco, Ricardo Cobo and others (?)
b. September 6th 1919.
2008: Al Wilson (68) American
soul singer best known for his No.1 hit song "Show and Tell" and northern
soul anthem "The Snake", which has been very popular on the Northern
Soul music circuit in the UK and is currently, 2008, being featured in a Lambrini
advert on British TV. Born in born in Meridian, Mississippi, after graduation
he spent four years touring with Johnny Harris and the Statesmen, before joining
the U.S. Navy, and singing with an enlisted men's chorus. Two years later he settled
in Los Angeles, touring the local nightclub circuit before joining the R&B
vocal group the Jewels; from there he landed with the Rollers. He began his solo
career in 1966. Other hits include "The La La Peace Song", "Do
What You Gotta Do", "Poor Side of Town", "I've Got a Feeling
We'll Be Seeing Each Other Again" among others (sadly
died of kidney failure) b.
June 19th 1939.
Ludvigsen/Gustav Lorentzen (62) Norwegian
singer, guitarist and entertainer born in
He is best known from being half
of the successful duo Knutsen & Ludvigsen, alongside Øystein "Knutsen"
Dolmen, having several No.1 hits, including "Grevling i taket" ("Badger
in the ceiling"), "Hallo! Hallo!" and "Dum og deilig"
("Stupid and gorgeous"). Gustav
went solo in 1986, winning four Spellemann awards and one nomination for his 5
albums. He also has a degree in acoustics from the Norwegian Institute of Technology.
addition to music, Gustav has made several TV series and books, mostly intended
for children and he relentlessly worked for children and children's charities.
collapsed during an orienteering competition and went into cardiac arrest. He
was pronounced dead a few minutes later) b.
Yoshiko Tanaka (55) Japanese actress and singer born in Adachi, Tokyo;
in 1973 she was a founding member of the pop group Candies, her nickname was Sue.
Among their many songs they had 8 top 10 hits, Toshishita no Otokonoko; Haru Ichiban;
Natsu ga Kita!; Yasashii Akuma; Shochuu Omimai Moshiagemasu; Un, Deux, Trois;
Wana; and Hohoemi Gaeshi. She also had a role in Godzilla vs. Biollante, portraying
Asuka Okouchi. She won the award for best actress at the 14th Hochi Film Award
for Black Rain. (sadly died after a long brave fight with breast cancer)
b. April 8th 1956.
Iküzöne/Ikuzou Baba (46) Japanese
bassist and founder member of Dragon Ash, the Japanese rap core group formed in
1996 by Furuya "Kj" Kenji and Sakurai Makoto. They had hits including
"Let yourself go, let myself go",
"Grateful Days" and "I Love Hip Hop" and released 10 albums
between 1997 and 2010. They have also been nominated for
8 MTV awards, winning Best Rock Artist in 2002. Iküzöne
Ash had just finished a tour, following Iküzönes
return to the music world. He had taken some time off starting last May for treatment
for radial paralysis on his left arm (sadly he died from
acute cardiac insufficiency) b. November 1st 1965.
2013: Jean-Michel Damase (85) French pianist,
conductor and composer of classical music,
born in Bordeaux. He was studying with Marcel Samuel-Rousseau at the age of five
and composing by age nine. He was admitted to the Conservatoire de Paris in 1940,
he won first prize for piano in 1943 and his first prize for composition in 1947,
in which year he won the Grand Prix de Rome. Also that year he wrote his trio
for flute, viola and harp which has several times been recorded. He made the first
complete recording of Gabriel Fauré's nocturnes and barcaroles, for which
he received the Grand Prix du Disque (?) b.
January 27th 1928.
2013: Dani Crivelli (?) Swiss heavy metal
drummer with the rock band Krokus, he performed on the band's 1988 album Heart
Attack. He performed on such Krokus staples as Rock n Roll Tonight
and Wild Love. Unfortunately, the band split after the support tour
of the Heart Attack album. Dani has also played in two other Swiss
bands, 'Killer' and 'Aint Dead Yet', the latter band also had fellow Krokus
members Many Maurer and Tony Castell as members (tragically he fell off a bridge
in Trimbach and did not survive the fall) b. ????
Chrissy Amphlett (53) Australian singer; she grew up in Geelong as
a singer and dancer and left home as a teenager to travel around England, France
and Spain where she was imprisoned for three months for singing on the streets.
In 1980 back in Australia, together with Jeremy Paul formed the rock band Divinyls.
The band released five studio albums, with four of them reaching the Top 10 in
Australia, and one, reaching No.15 in the US. Their biggest-selling single, "I
Touch Myself" in 1991, achieved No.1 in Australia, No.4 in the US and No.10
in the UK. She made her film debut in the 1982 film Monkey Grip, in which she
had a supporting role as the temperamental lead singer of a rock band and in 1988,
Chrissy starred alongside Russell Crowe in the first Australian production of
Willy Russell's stage musical Blood Brothers.
In 2006 with the band she was inducted ARIA
Hall of Fame (sadly Chrissy died fightiing cancer and multiple
sclerosis) b. October 25th
Raymond "Mundo" Earwood (61) American
country music singer-songwriter, born in Del Rio, Texas. His most successful single,
"Things I'd Do for You", reached the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot Country
Songs chart in 1978. He appeared on the Billboard charts 24 times during his career,
with hits hits such as "Behind Blue Eyes", "Let's Hear it for Loneliness",
"Lonesome as a Cowboy" and "I Can Give You Love".
Mundo was also a member of the Texas Music Hall of Fame (sadly
died fighting pancreatic cancer) b. October 13th
2015: Wally Lester
(73) American tenor singer and founder member
of the doo-wop group The Skyliners formed
in Pittsburgh in 1958. They are best known for their 1959 No.12 hit "Since
I Don't Have You", which has been covered by many artists from The Brian
Setzer Orchestra to Don McLean to Guns N' Roses. There other hits in the 50s and
60s include "This I Swear", "Pennies from Heaven", "It
Happened Today", "Close Your Eyes" and "Comes Love".
Wally went on to become a sales manager for Clairol and then the company vice
died while fighting pancreatic cancer)
b. October 5th 1941.
Rogers Nelson (57)
singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and actor;
born in Minneapolis he developed an interest in music as a young child, writing
his first song called Funk Machine when he was seven years old. At
the age of 10 he danced on stage with James Brown when his stepdad lifted him
on to the stage with Brown and he danced until the bodyguard took him off. Then
as a young teenager he formed his own band called Grand Central. After recording
songs with his cousin's band 94 East, 19-year-old Prince recorded several unsuccessful
demo tapes before releasing his debut album "For You" in 1978. This
was followed by his self titled album, which went platinum in the US and silver
in the UK. His next three records, "Dirty
Mind" in 1980, "Controversy" in 1981, and "1999" in 1982,
continued his success, showcasing Prince's trademark of prominently sexually charged
lyrics and incorporation of elements of funk, dance, and rock music. In
1984, he began referring... >>>
(waiting autopsy results)
Lonnie Mack/Lonnie McIntosh (74)
American singer, guitarist virtuoso, pioneer and a "guitar hero's guitar
hero", born in West Harrison, Indiana; he began playing at the age of seven,
using an acoustic guitar, as they had no electicity at home, he had traded for
a bicycle. He quit school in the sixth grade after fighting with a teacher and
soon began professional music engagements in local clubs, eventually changing
his last name to Mack. As a teen-aged solo artist in the late 1950s, he recorded
a cover of Al Dexter's 1944 western swing hit, "Pistol Packin' Mama".
During the same period, he played lead guitar for his older cousins, Aubrey Holt
and Harley Gabbard, on two recordings, The Stanley Brothers' "Too Late to
Cry" and the cousins' own "Hey, Baby". His 1963 LP The Wham of
That Memphis Man!, boasted his instrumental rendition of Chuck Berry's "Memphis,"
which became a surprise Billboard Top Five hit. Mack soon became known for his
"blue-eyed soul" style of singing and his virtuosic guitar abilities
that straddled genres like country, blues and R&B and, as Rolling Stone noted
in a 1968 review, "a pioneer in rock guitar soloing"; he influenced
an entire generation of guitarists like Stevie Ray Vaughan, Duane Allman, Eric
Clapton, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Dickie Betts, Ray Benson, Bootsy
Collins, Ted Nugent, John Mayall and so many more. He also served as a session
guitarist for artists like James Brown, Freddie King... >>>
MORE <<< (Lonnie died of natural
causes) b. July 18th 1941.
Ryan Davies (40) Welsh actor,
singer, pianist and songwriter, born in the Carmarthenshire village of Glanamman
in the Black Mountain, and was educated in Bangor and at the Central School of
Speech and Drama. His first professional appearance was in the National Eisteddfod
of Wales in 1966. He made his name on Welsh language television shows such as
the sitcom Fo a Fe and Ryan a Ronnie, in which he appeared with Ronnie Williams,
as well as starring
as "2nd Voice" in the 1972 film Under Milk Wood with Richard Burton.
Ryan had a simultaneous solo career as a singer, pianist and songwriter;
his best-known compositions are: "Ceiliog y Gwynt", "Nadolig Pwy
a Wyr" and "Blodwen a Mary". His album, Ryan at the Rank, is now
regarded as a classic
(Ryan died suddenly of an asthma attack while visiting friends
in Buffalo, New York, USA) b. January 22nd 1937
1980: Jane Froman (72) American singer,
actor; she moved to New York in 1933 where she appeared on Chesterfield's "Music
that Satisfies" radio program with Bing Crosby. She also joined the Ziegfeld
Follies... lavish revues, between alater Broadway show and a more elaborate high
class Vaudeville variety show. By the time she was 27, she had become the top-polled
"girl singer." She is credited with three films.. Kissing Time, Stars
Over Broadway and Radio City Revels. From 1952 to 1955, she hosted her own TV
show on the CBS network, "The Jane Froman Show". "I Believe",
was written for Jane by the show's musicians, Ervin Drake, Irvin Graham, Jimmy
Shirl, and Al Stillman and earned her a gold record in 1953.She performed on stage,
radio and television despite chronic injuries that she sustained from a 1943 plane
crash. The 1952 film, With a Song in My Heart, is based on her life (sadly
died from a cardic arrest) b. November 10th
Earl "Fatha" Hines (79) American
jazz pianist; once called "the first modern jazz pianist," he differed
from the stride pianists of the 1920s by breaking up the stride rhythms with unusual
accents from his left hand. In 1928, for 11 years, his was "The Band"
Earl Hines Orchestra) in The Grand Terrace
Cafe in Chicago. The Grand Terrace was controlled by Al Capone, Fatha Hines was
Capone's "Mr Piano Man". He recorded endlessly till his death both solo
and with jazz notables like Louis Armstrong, Cat Anderson, Harold Ashby, Barney
Byard, Lawrence Brown, Benny Carter,
Buck Clayton, Cozy Cole, Wallace Davenport, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Duke
Ellington, Panama Francis, Vic Dickenson,
Roy Eldridge, Ella Fitzgerald, Bud Freeman, Dizzie Gillespie, Stephane
Grappelli, Paul Gonsalves, Sonny Greer,
Lionel Hampton, Coleman Hawkins, Johnny Hodges, Budd Johnson, Jonah Jones, Gene
Krupa, Ellis Larkins, Marian McPartland, Ray Nance, Oscar Peterson, Russell Procope,
Sullivan, Pee Wee Russell, Stuff Smith,
Rex Stewart, Buddy Tate, Jack Teagarden, Clark Terry, Jimmy
Venuti, Jimmy Woode, Ben
Webster, Sarah Vaughan, Earle Warren,
Teddy Wilson, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Lester Young. Possibly more surprising were
Alvin Batiste, Teresa Brewer, Richard Davis, Elvin Jones, Vi
Redd, Etta Jones, Peggy
Lee, The Inkspots, Helen Merrill, Charles
Mingus, Dinah Washington and Ry Cooder (?)
b. December 28th 1903.
1999: Apostolos Nikolaidis (60) Greek
singer whose career spanned four decades. He was born in Drama, Greece and grew
up in Thessaloniki. He is best known for being the first Greek artist to record
or re-record the authentic, "prohibited" rebetika songs in the early
1970s with their original lyrics at a time when this type of music was censored
in Greece due to the military junta of 19671974 in power.
biggest early hit was 1968's "Asimorfoti".
1998, Apostolos recorded and released "Magia mou pou 'me Paoktzis,"
a 2-track ode to the Thessaloniki soccer team PAOK. He moved to America and continued
to give performances in New York, Toronto, Houston, San Francisco, Vancouver and
Germany into the late 80s and early 90s. In April 1999, Apostolos released "Allagi
Frouras," a collection of laika tragoudia with a decidedly contemporary feel
(sadly died of complications from cancer)
b. 30 June 1938.
Felice Bryant/ Matilda Genevieve Scaduto (77) American
songwriter; one half of the wife and husband country music songwriting team who
were also at the forefront of the evolution of pop music. With her husband,
Boudleaux, they wrote numerous
Everly Brothers' hits including "All I Have to Do Is Dream" and "Bye
Bye Love". Their prolific and quality compositions would produce hit records
for many stars from a variety of musical genres including Tony Bennett, Bob
Simon and Garfunkel, Sonny
James, Eddy Arnold, Charley Pride, Nazareth, Jim Reeves, Leo Sayer, Sarah Vaughan,
Roy Orbison, Buddy Holly, the Grateful Dead, Elvis Costello, Count Basie, Dean
Martin, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan among
many others. They formed one of the most potent songwriting teams in country history
(cancer) b. August 7th 1925.
Kay Finegan/Vivian Blessing (95)
Amerian singer and arranger of the big band era who later became one of New York's
top caterers; she began singing in speakeasies of the 1920's, using the name Kay
Ray. In her music career she worked with Benny Goodman, the Dorsey Brothers, Glenn
Miller, Ted Fioritto
and any others. She called herself the hyphen
in the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, of which her husband, Bill Finegan, was a co-founder.
After her divorce she
reinvented herself and became one of New York's top caterers; she
was one of the first to popularize take-out meals (old
age) b. March
2008: Monna Bell/Nora Escobar (70) Chilean
one of Juan Gabriel's muses. She enjoyed a
successful career in Spain, Mexico and other parts of Latin America. She moved
to Mexico in the 1970s after launching a successful career in Spain (stroke)
b. January 22 1938.
2008: Paul Davis (60)
American singer and songwriter, best known for his radio hits and solo career
which started worldwide in 1970. His career encompassed soul, country and pop
music, and he wrote many memorable country music hits. Best known for hits like
"I Go Crazy," "'65 Love Affair," "Cool Night" (heart
attack just one day after his 60th birthday) b. April 21st
2010: Fred Panopio (71)
Filipino folk singer, who rose to fame in the 1970s. He
is known for having made the yodeling style of music famous in the Philippines.
This particular kind of music is evident is many of his hits, such as "Pitong
Gatang," "Markado," and "Tatlong Baraha." He was also
an occasional actor, and appeared in some movies along Jess Lapid and Fernando
Poe, Jr. In 1999, Fred, along with Victor Wood released an album, Certified Jukebox
Kings. He appeared in an episode of noon-time variety show Wowowee in 2009 as
a special guest, during which host Willie Revillame addressed him as a "Living
Dickens (75) American bluegrass singer, songwriter, double bassist
and guitarist born in Mercer County, West Virginia. She met Mike Seeger, younger
brother of Pete Seeger and founding member of the New Lost City Ramblers and became
active in the Baltimore-Washington area bluegrass and folk music scene during
the 1960s. During this time she also established a collaborative relationship
with Mike Seeger's wife, Alice Gerrard, and as "Hazel & Alice" recorded
two albums for the Folkways label: "Who's That Knocking (And Other Bluegrass
and "Won't You Come & Sing for Me"-1973. She and Alice were bluegrass
bandleaders at a time when the vast majority of bluegrass bands were led by men.
appeared in the documentary Harlan County, USA and contributed four songs to the
soundtrack of the same film. She has also appeared in the films Matewan and Songcatcher
(?) b. June 1st 1935.
Lalgudi Jayaraman (82) Indian award-winning Carnatic
violinist, vocalist and composer and was a great in demand for accompanying vocalists,
and has accompanied such great vocal virtuosos as Ariyakudi Ramanuja Iyengar,
Chembai Vaidyanatha Bhagavatar, Semmangudi Srinivasa Iyer, G. N. Balasubramaniam,
Madurai Mani Iyer, Voleti Venkateswarulu, Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, K.V.Narayanaswamy,
Maharajapuram Santhanam, D. K. Jayaraman, M.Balamuralikrishna, T. V. Sankaranarayanan,
T. N. Seshagopalan and flute maestros like N. Ramani, to mention a few. His recordings
submitted to the International Music Council, Baghdad, Asian Pacific Music Rostrum
and Iraq Broadcasting Agency by AIR New Delhi have been adjudged as the best and
accorded the first position out of 77 entries received from the various countries
during 1979. He was invited to give concerts at Cologne, Belgium and France. The
Government of India chose him to represent India at the Festival of India in USA,
London and he gave solo and 'Jugalbandi' concerts in London and also in Germany
and Italy that received rave reviews (sadly died
of a cardiac arrest)*September 17th 1930.
Carmel Kaine (75) Australian violinist, born
in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales and studied at the New South Wales Conservatorium,
graduating at age 17 with the prize for the most outstanding student. Two years
later, she spent a year as a member of the South Australian Symphony Orchestra.
She continued her studies at the Royal Academy of Music in London, where she won
the three violin prizes and the Violin Scholarship in her first year and furthered
her studies at the Juilliard School in New York. Carmel was a co-founder and leader
of Academy of St Martin in the Fields and in 1991, with her husband John Willison,
she founded the Limpinwood Ensemble and many performances have been given for
the ABC and at Tyalgum Classical Music Festival, which they also founded. She
also founded the Queensland Conservatorium Soloists, which has raised over $30,000
for the Conservatoriums String Department (?)
b. March 22nd 1937.
2013: Richie Havens (72)
American folk singer and guitarist; born in Brooklyn,
he was the eldest of 9 children. At an early age, he began organizing
his neighborhood friends into street corner doo-wop groups and was performing
with the McCrea Gospel Singers by the age of 16. At aged 20, he left Brooklyn,
seeking artistic stimulation in Greenwich Village. After recording two records
for Douglas Records, he signed on with Bob Dylan's manager, Albert Grossman, and
signed with Verve Forecast label, where he released "Mixed Bag" in 1967,
which featured tracks such as "Handsome Johnny", co-written by himself
and future Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr; "Follow", and a cover
of Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman". By 1969, he had released 5 more
albums, Something Else Again in 1968 became his first Billboard charting album
and also pulled "Mixed Bag"... >>>
More <<< (sadly
Richie died from a heart attack) b. January 21st 1941.
Loyd Boldman (59) American keyboard player, vocalist,
and a founding member of the Christian
rock band, Prodigal. Formed in Cincinnati, Ohio,
in 1975, Prodigal
released three albums in the early to mid 1980s. Although classified primarily
as a rock band, the group's sound ranged from radio-friendly pop to keyboard-driven
new wave to pop country. They had success on Christian radio with the songs "Invisible
Man", the No. 1 single "Scene of the Crime" and "Emerald City"
and "Jump Cut". The band also created a number of promotional music
videos for their albums 2nd and third albums 'Electric Eye' and 'Just Like Real
Life'. After Prodigal disbanded, Loyd released a solo album 'Sleep Without Dreams'
in 1988, from which his a video won Best Video from the Florida Motion Picture
and Television Association. He later co-founded Devotion Media, and from 1989
had been part of the worship team at Northland Church in Longwood, Florida.
(?) b. July 19th 1954.
Ojars Grinbergs (73)
Soviet-Latvian singer born in Riga where he sang with various bands
before his time in the Soviet Army. While in the army he was the founder and lead
singer the band "Zvezdochka", which became the winner of the competition
"Liepaja Amber". He was also a member of the Riga Variety Orchestra
from 1966-1974. Since 1973, he sang in a duet with Margarita Vilcane and both
performers were soloists with the pop ensemble Latvian State
Philharmonic. Ojars had also been honored with the Order of the Three Stars (?)
b. November 19th 1942.
American hard bop jazz pianist whose block chord style, in part originated by
Milt Buckner, influenced many forthcoming pianists in the jazz idiom.
Born in Dallas, Texas, after the Second World War, he performed with Roy Eldridge,
Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Parker, Eddie Vinson, John Coltrane and Lester Young,
before, in 1955 he joined the Miles Davis Quintet featuring John Coltrane, Philly
Joe Jones and Paul Chambers. Together the group recorded their famous Prestige
albums, Workin, Steamin', Cookin', and Relaxin'. In 1958 he formed his own trio,
among the musicians the trio recorded with are Pepper Adams, Nat Adderley, Ray
Barretto, Kenny Burrell, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Jimmy Heath, Harold
Land, Philly Joe Jones, Blue Mitchell, Ira Sullivan, and Leroy Vinnegar. The trio
also recorded as a quintet with John Coltrane and Donald Byrd (sadly
died from a heart attack) b. May 13th 1923.
1986: Harold Arlen/Chaim Arluck (81) American
composer of popular music, born in Buffalo, New York. He over 500 songs, a number
of which have become known the world over. In addition to composing the songs
for The Wizard of Oz, including the classic 1938 song, "Over the Rainbow,
Harold is a highly regarded contributor to the Great American Songbook. "Over
the Rainbow," in fact, was voted the twentieth century's No.1 song by the
Recording Industry Association of America and the National Endowment for the Arts.
In the 1940s, he teamed up with lyricist Johnny Mercer, and continued to write
hit songs like "Blues in the Night", "That Old Black Magic",
"Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive",
for My Baby (and One More for the Road)" and "Any
Place I Hang My Hat Is Home" (?)
b. February 15th 1905.
Johnny Thunders/John Anthony Genzale Jr (38) American
guitarist, vocals, with The New York Dolls. Born and raised in Jackson Heights,
Queens, NY, his first musical performance was at Quintano's School for Young Professionals
with "Johnny and the Jaywalkers", under the name Johnny Volume. In the
summer of 1970, he went to England for the Isle of Wight Festival, it was in London
that he met Arthur Kane and Rick Rivets. He joined their band, "Actress",
which became the New York Dolls with David Johansen, Sylvain Sylvain and Billy
Murcia. At this time John renamed himself Johnny Thunders. After the Dolls he
formed The Heartbreakers touring the US and UK, releasing one official album,
L.A.M.F., in 1977. The group relocated to the UK, where their popularity was significantly
greater than it was in the U.S., particularly among punk bands. In
late 1979 Johnny began performing in a band called Gang War and recorded a number
of solo albums beginning with So Alone in 1978. The notoriously drug-fueled recording
sessions featured a core band of Johnny, bassist Phil Lynott, drummer Paul Cook,
and guitarist Steve Jones, with guest appearances from Chrissie Hynde, Steve Marriott,
Walter Lure, Billy Rath, and Peter Perrett of The Only Ones. The CD version of
the album contains four bonus tracks, including the single "Dead or Alive".
After its release, Thunders and Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious played in the
Living Dead for a short time (He died primarily from methadone
and alcohol poisoning, although doctors had diagnosed leukemia in him earlier
in the year) b.
July 15th 1952.
1993: Daniel Jenkyn Jones OBE (80) Welsh
composer of classical music, born in Pembroke, Wales.
He studied at the University of Wales and the Royal Academy of Music, and a Mendelssohn
Travelling Scholarship allowed him to study in Czechoslovakia, France, Holland
and Germany, and to develop his skills as a linguist. He used these skills during
the Second World War as a cryptographer and decoder of Russian, Romanian and Japanese
at Bletchley Park. Daniel composed the music for the 1954 radio production of
his childhood friend Dylan Thomas's Under Milk Wood, as well as editing several
collections of Dylan's poetry and prose. Daniel's fourth symphony is dedicated
to Dylan's memory, and he also wrote a biography of the poet, My Friend Dylan
Thomas, in 1977.
Daniel wrote twelve numbered symphonies in all, plus a later Symphony in Memory
of John Fussell. Among his other works are chamber music, including eight string
quartets and a sonata for three timpani, orchestral and choral works, and several
operas. He was made an OBE in 1968 (died in Swansea)
December 7th 1912.
Melba Doretta Liston (73) American
trombone, composer, musical arranger; born in Kansas
City, Missouri. After playing in youth bands and studying with Alma Hightower
and others, she joined the big band led by Gerald Wilson in 1943. She began to
work with the emerging major names of the bebop scene in the mid-1940s. She went
on to tour and work with Count Basie, Billie Holliday, Randy Weston, Ray Charles,
Dexter Gordon, Dizzy Gillespie and many others. Her collaborations with pianist-composer
Randy Weston, beginning in the early '60s, are widely acknowledged as jazz classics
(sadly died from heart problems) b.
January 13th 1926.
Robert Farnon (87)
composer, conductor, musical arranger and also a noted trumpet player born in
Toronto. As well as being a famous composer of original works, often in the light
music genre, but also for film and television, he was recognised as one of the
finest arrangers of his generation. In later life he composed a number of more
serious orchestral works, including three symphonies. He won four Ivor Novello
Awards including one for "Outstanding Services to British Music" in
1991 and in 1996 he won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Arrangement for
"Lament" performed by J. J. Johnson & his Robert Farnon Orchestra.
He was also awarded the Order of Canada early in 1998 (?)
b. July 27th 1917.
2010: Engin Yörükoglu (65) Turkish
drummer and founding member of the pioneering Turkish Anatolian rock band Mogollar.
Engin was born in the southern province of Kahramanmaras, he graduated from the
Haydarpasa High School in Istanbul and began producing music in 1963. He joined
the Selçuk Alagöz Orchestra in 1964 and worked with the band Kurtalan
Ekspress, before founding the rock band Mogollar, recording two albums, after
which they disbanded in 1976. He relocated to France for a number of years and
formed various trios and quartets. He returned to Turkey in 1991 and opened a
local venue called Jazz Stop in Istanbul, which provided an opportunity for those
making alternative music. He also operated a restaurant called Farm Stop in Bodrums
Kizilagaç village. After a 17-year absence, Engin, together with Cahit
Berkay, and Taner Öngür reformed Mogollar in 1993, joined by keyboard
player Serhat Ersöz. Engin also performed in and produced music for theatre
plays, attending around 15 theatre festivals in Europe (Sadly
he lost his long battle with cancer, he died of respiratory failure and cardiac
arrest at his home in the Kizilagaç village in Bodrum. Engin had been undergoing
treatment in hospital for lung cancer since 2007)
b. January 7th 1945.
Alan Rich (85) American music critic who
served on the staff of many newspapers and magazines on both coasts. Originally
from Brookline, Massachusetts, he first studied medicine at Harvard before turning
to music. He
was music director of KPFA, the Berkeley radio station, and successively a music
critic for publications including The New York Times, the New York Herald Tribune,
New York magazine, Newsweek, California magazine, the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner,
and from 1992 to 2008 LA Weekly magazine. He subsequently worked briefly as music
critic for Bloomberg News. (?)
b. June 17th 1924
2010: Bo Hansson (67)
Swedish keyboardist and guitarist; as a teenager he joined his parents in Stockholm,
where he soon became interested in the rock and roll scene and taught himself
to play the guitar, before joining the band, Rock-Olga. After
the rock and roll craze gave way to jazz and blues in the late fifties, he joined
'Slim' Notini's Blues Gang as a guitarist. Bo moved on and formed his own blues
group The Merrymen, who supported The Rolling Stones on an early Scandinavian
tour. Inspired by American jazz organist Jack McDuff, Bo acquired his own Hammond
organ and together with drummer Janne Karlsson played up-tempo Hammond organ based
music and releasing three albums between 1967 and 1969. He released his solo album
Music Inspired by Lord of the Rings in 1972, followed by Magician's Hat, Attic
Thoughts, and Music Inspired by Watership Down, among others. He also occasionally
performed live sets with fellow organist Eric Malmberg who has been greatly inspired
by Hansson's work (?)
Huey P. Meaux (82)
and recording studio owner, he created his own music industry most
notably his SugarHill Recording Studios in
Houston, producing a mountain of hit singles between the late 50s and early
"The Crazy Cajun", his credits included such hits as "She's About
a Mover" by the Sir Douglas Quintet, "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights"-
Freddy Fender, "You'll Lose A Good Thing"- Barbara Lynn, "Talk
To Me"- Sunny & The Sunliners and "Big Blue Diamonds"- Gene
Summers. In 1996, he pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual assault of a child,
a drug possession charge, a child pornography charge and another for jumping bail.
He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and was released in 2007. In 2010 under
Freedom Express Label he released artist Ramón Ángel Solís
in a bilingual CD- "The Mexican Side of Me" (?)
b. March 10th 1929.
Peter Lieberson (64) American
composer, he came to prominence in the mid-1980s with the Piano Concerto and Drala,
two major commissions from the Boston Symphony. Of profound influence on his music
has been his practice of Tibetan Buddhism. Since 1980 many of his works have been
inspired by Buddhist themes such as King Gesar and the opera Ashokas Dream,
both based on the lives of enlightened rulers. Lyricism and vocal writing dominate
his works of the last decade, reflecting the rich collaborations with Lorraine
Hunt Lieberson for whom he composed Neruda Songs. In addition to his associations
with major orchestras such as Boston, New York, Cleveland, Chicago and Los Angeles,
he enjoys long-standing artistic collaborations with Peter Serkin, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel
Ax and Oliver Knussen. Recent commissions include Remembering JFK: An American
Elegy for the National Symphony Orchestra, The World in Flower for the New York
Philharmonic; Remembering Schumann for Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax, The Coming of
Light; a new song cycle for baritone, oboe, and string quartet; the orchestral
Suite from Ashoka's Dream; and Songs of Love and Sorrow for Gerald Finley and
the Boston Symphony Orchestra (sadly died due to complications
of lymphoma) b.
October 25th 1946.
"Dutch" Tilders (69) Netherlands-born
Australian blues singer-songwriter and guitarist; born in Born in Nijimegen, Holland,
but moved to Australria at the age of one. He released his self-titled first album
in 1972, and during the 1970s recorded, toured and performed with musicians including
John Mayall, Taj Mahal, Brownie McGhee and Sonny Terry. In 1976 B B King first
met Dutch, having only heard and never seen Dutch, he assumed that he was black.
B B and Dutch became best mates simply because BB believed that, the Dutchman
was a genuine bluesman. During the 1970s and 1980s, he fronted bands such as the
Elks, the Cyril 'B' Bunter Band, Mickey Finn and the R&B Six. Later he toured
extensively with The Blues Club and The Legends Band. Dubbed the "Godfather
of Blues" in Australia, as recently as November 2010 he joined Barbara Blue,
known as the "Queen of Memphis Blues", on her Australian tour
died of cancer)
b. August 29th 1941.
2012: Billy Bryans (62) Canadian
percussionist, songwriter, music producer and DJ, known as one of the founders
of The Parachute Club, among other accomplishments in music.
Born in Montreal, he spent childhood
his in Pointe-Claire, Quebec, where
he was associated with his first professional band, M.G. and The Escorts, they
released three singles. In 1970, he and his
group Theodore's Smokeshop moved
to Toronto where he soon gained a reputation
as a musician, engineer and record producer. As a producer, he worked on projects
for artists as diverse as Dutch Mason, Raffi, Lillian Allen and the Downchild
Blues Band. He was particularly supportive of world music as both a promoter and
publicist, focusing on bringing Cuban and Latin American music to a wider audience.
(sadly Billy died from lung cancer)
b. September 15th 1949.
2012: Tommy Marth (33)
American saxophonist born in Las Vegas, Nevada, and well
known for his work with the rock band The Killers. He was a respected figure in
Sin City's music scene even before teaming up with the rock outfit, beginning
his career as the saxophonist for the Las Vegas All Star Jazz Band and he also
played on albums by the likes of The Big Friendly Corporation and Black Camaro.
However his career highlight was playing on The Killers 2006 album Sam's Town
and 2008's Day and Age
and he was also a member of their touring band.
Over the years worked at a variety of local music venues; he performed live with
Halloween Town, a Las Vegas band whose lead singer Ryan Pardey joined Marth on
tour with The Killers in 2009 and he had also been the Hard Rock's nightlife marketing
manager in Las Vegas since November of 2011. (tragically
Tommy commited suicide, he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his head)
b. November 23rd 1978
2012: Chris Ethridge (65) American
country rock bass guitarist, born in Meridian, MI. where he began playing in local
bands before moving to California aged 17. He was a member of the International
Submarine Band and The Flying Burrito Brothers, and co-wrote several songs with
as well as touring with Willie Nelson's band for almost eight years, and later
played with the Kudzu Kings. Throughout his career
he had been an in demand session musician, recording with leading acts, including
Judy Collins, Jackson
Winter, Ry Cooder, Leon
Russell, Randy Newman, Linda Ronstadt and
The Byrds (sadly died
of cancer) b. February 10th 1947.
Shamshad Begum (94) Indian singer born
in Amritsar, Punjab; she was one of the first playback singers in the Hindi film
industry and a versatile artist, singing over 6000 songs in Hindi and the Bengali,
Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil and Punjabi languages (?)
b. April 14th 1919.
Patric Standford (75)
English composer born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire; he began his working life
as a legal accountant and served in the RAF at 617 Squadron in Lincolnshire before
studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London in 1961, where he
studied composition. While a student, he was awarded the Carl Meyer Prize and
the Royal Philharmonic Society Prize for composition. In
1964, he was awarded the Mendelssohn Scholarship, enabling him to travel to Venice
and study with Gian Francesco Malipiero, and later to Warsaw where he studied
with Witold Lutoslawski. He became chairman, 19771980, of the Composers'
Guild of Great Britain/the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors
(BASCA) and chairman, 19801992, of the British Music Information Centre/Sound
and Music. Patric continued to compose up until his death, one of his many noted
works include his Easter oratorio Christus Requiem he composered for the Guildhall
School of Music and Drama's principal Allen Percival and the City of London in
1973. Christus Requiem brought together the full orchestral, choral and dramatic
forces of the Guildhall School for its first performance in St. Paul's Cathedral,
also in 1973. This oratorio received the Yugoslavian Government award in 1974.
(?) b. February 5th 1939.
Bill Sevesi/Wilfred Jeffs (92) Tongan-born New Zealand steel guitar
virtuoso who helped popularise Hawaiian-style music in New Zealand and the Pacific
Islands. He began playing the Hawaiian Steel Guitar in 1936, and in later years
his band 'Wilfred Jeffs and the Islanders' became 'Bill Sevesi and the Islanders'.
He performed all over the Pacific Islands, New Zealand, Australia and United States.
He recorded some classic favourites such as '"Bye Bye Baby Goodbye"
in 1958 as well as recording artists such as Daphne Walker, The Yandall Sisters
and Annie Crummer. During a career spanning six decades Bill composed more than
200 songs with over 20 albums to his credit. He won numerous awards and honours,
including the Queens Service Medal for public services in the 1995 Queen's Birthday
Honours, the Jerry Byrd Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998 from the Steel Guitar
Players Hall of Fame in Missouri, and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the New
Zealand Pacific Music Awards in 2006. In 2009 he was presented with the Nostalgia
Award from the Variety Artists Club of New Zealand. Bill was inducted into the
New Zealand Music Hall of Fame as APRA's 2015 inductee at the 2015 APRA Silver
Scroll Awards in September 2015.
(?) b. July 28th 1923.
Vjateslav "Slavka" Kobrin (58) Russian guitarist, vocalist,
flutist and songwriter born in Cherepovets and in 1979, he founded a rock group
Rok-Sentyabr/Rock September. In 1983 Estonian rock musician Gunnar Graps invited
him to his Magnetic Band where he played a guitar in 19831984. In 1984,
he joined Lainer, a band of Estonian singer Jaak Joala. In 1986, several musicians
from Lainer and Muusik Seif, a band of Tõnis Mägi, formed Kobrin Blues
Band, a special project to perform at Levimuusikapäevad festival in Tartu.
Later the same musicians formed Ultima Thule. Slavka together with Riho Sibul
became the main songwriters of the band. In
1980s, Slavka was considered one of the best blues guitarists in the Soviet Union.
In 1990, after Ultima Thule's tour in Canada, he left the band and decided to
stay in Canada. He played in different bands, most significantly in the band of
Michael Pickett. Also he opened a retail store in Toronto. In 2005, he moved with
his family to Manuel Antonio in Costa Rica where he semi-retired performing only
slip in his bathroom hitting his head and fell into a coma from which tragically
he did not recover from)
b. April 11th 1958.
Mac/Harry McClintock (74)
American country singer and hobo; born in Knoxville,
Tennessee, His drifting began when he ran away from home as a boy to join a circus.
He railroaded in Africa, worked as a seaman, saw action in the Philippines as
a civilian mule-train packer, supplying American troops with food and ammuniton,
and in 1899 found himself in China as an aide to newsmen covering the Boxer Rebellion.
Back in USA he took the boomer trail as railroader and a minstrel. He is best
known for his song "Big Rock Candy Mountain", featured in the movie
O Brother, Where Art Thou?. The song reached No.1 on Billboard's "Hillbilly
Hits" chart in 1939. He is credited as being the first person to sing "The
Preacher and the Slave", a song by Joe Hill, in public. He was a lifelong
member of the Industrial Workers of the World. In the early 20s he worked and
organized union men in the oil fields of west Texas, where he met and recruited
writer Jim Thompson, who later incorporated him into several short stories using
the name "Strawlegs Martin." Having worked as a cowboy himself, Harry
was one of the few "country" singers who had an authentic background
from which to draw. He was included in R. Crumb series of "Heroes of Old
Time Country Music" trading cards (?) b.
October 8th 1882.
1962: Milton J. Franklyn (65) American
musical composer and arranger who
went on to work on the Warner Bros.' Looney Tunes animated cartoons.
Born in New York he moved to Salt Lake City at the age of three. After leaving
he could play a number of instruments, he joined a band in San Francisco and for
the next few years played at the Palace and St. Francis Hotels. He began his own
9-piece orchestra, known at various times as the Peninsula Band, the Super Soloists,
and the Merrimakers. In early '36, he joined Warner Bros, as music arranger to
Carl Stalling, becoming music director in 1953. The first cartoon with Milton
credited as a composer was Bugs and Thugs, in '54. He estimated his 599th cartoon
for Warners was Past Perfumance. At the time of his death, he was composing the
score for Tweety cartoon, The Jet Cage. The first two minutes of the cartoon were
scored by Milton, the rest by William Lava (sadly
died of a heart attack) b. September
Compere (62) Belgian jazz trumpet player;
while playing in the White Diamonds he met up with Charles Remue which led to
the formation of the band
Charles Remue and His New Stompers. Music publisher /promoter Felix Faecq
brought the group to London to record their first sides, five of the 14 recordings
made were written by David Bee and Peter Packay, 2 of the first Belgian jazz composers
December 28th 1906.
Otis Spann (40) American musician; one
of Chicago's leading postwar blues pianist. Born in Jackson, MI, the age of 14,
he was playing in local bands, finding more inspiration in the 78s of Big Maceo
Merriweather, who took the young pianist under his wing once Spann migrated to
Chicago around 1946-7. Here he gigged solo and with guitarist Morris Pejoe, working
a regular spot at the Tic Toc Lounge before hooking up with Muddy Waters in 1952.
He was full-time member of Waters' band from 1952 to 1968 before leaving to form
his own band. In that period he also did session work with other Chess artists
like Howlin' Wolf and Bo Diddley. The 60s also so him touring and recording in
Europe and in the UK appearing on records with the likes of Eric Clapton, Buddy
Guy, Big Mama Thornton, Peter Green, Fleetwood Mac
and others He was posthumously elected to
the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980 (Otis sadly died fighting
b. March 21st 1930.
1975: Pete Ham (27) Welsh
singer, songwriter and guitarist, best known as the leader of the group Badfinger.
Born in Swansea, hee formed a local rock group called The Panthers around 1961,
which underwent several name and lineup changes before becaming The Iveys in '65.
'69 they had relocated to Londan and had evolved into Badfingers having hits including
"Come and Get It", a composition written by Paul McCartney, and
Top 10 hit worldwide, other
hits were "Maybe
Tomorrow", "No Matter
What", "Day After Day" and "Baby Blue"
as well as recording the original version of "Without You," a frequently
covered song that became a Billboard No.1 hit for Harry Nilsson and a No.3 hit
for Mariah Carey. Pete is often credited as being one of the earliest purveyors
of the power pop genre, but his most widespread effect in popular music is the
ballad "Without You," co- written with bandmate Tom Evans (Tragically
by '75, with no income and the band's business manager non-communicative, he became
depressed and despondent and he hanged himself in the garage of his Surrey home)
b. April 27th 1947.
Al Hibbler (85) US
blind Jazz, pop, r&b singer; Al was blind from birth, born in Tyro, Mississippi,
he attended a school for the blind in Little Rock, Arkansas where he joined the
school choir. He won an amateur talent contest in Memphis, Tennessee, where he
first worked with local bands, before starting his own band. He also joined a
band led by the Kansas City based bandleader, Jay McShann, where he became lead
singer and was on tour with him for the next two years, then in 1943 he replaced
Herb Jeffries in Duke Ellington's orchestra, where he won the Esquire New Star
Award as best male singer in 1947, and the Downbeat award as best band singer
in 1948-49. He worked eight years with Duke Ellington before becoming a soloist,
his biggest solo hit was "Unchained Melody", Other hits include "He,"
"11th Hour Melody", "Never Turn Back" and "After the
Lights Go Down Low". He
performed at Louis Armstrongs funeral in 1971. Al's last public appearance
was at the Lincoln Center, New York, in January 1999, with a group of old Ellington
alumni, where he sang, "Time After Time". He has a star at 1650 Vine
Street on the Hollywood Walk of Fame (died in Chicago) b.
August 16th 1915
Jimmy Giuffre (86) American jazz clarinetist
and saxophonist born in Dallas, Texas and graduated of Dallas Technical High School
and North Texas State Teachers College. arranger for Woody Herman's big band,
for which he wrote the celebrated 'Four Brothers'.
His first trio consisted of himself, guitarist Jim Hall and double bassist Ralph
Pena. They had a hit in 1957 when "The Train and the River" was featured
on the television special The Sound of Jazz.
He continued with different line-ups and to write creative, unusual arrangements
throughout his career. He was a central figure in West coast jazz. He suffered
from Parkinson's Disease and in his last years he no longer performed
(pneumonia) b. April 26th 1921.
2009: Rev. Timothy Wright (61) American
gospel singer; he started on piano at age 12, and sang and composed for his church
choir as a teenager at the St. John's Fire Baptized Holiness Church of God in
Brooklyn. He played piano for F.D. Washington and Isaac Douglas in the 1960s and
1970s, including on recordings, and he formed his own gospel ensemble in the mid-1970s,
the Timothy Wright Concert Choir. He eventually became pastor of Grace Tabernacle
COGIC in Crown Heights, New York, and issued albums regularly from 1990. His
1994 album Come Thou Almighty King, with the New York Fellowship Mass Choir, was
nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album, as was his
1999 release Been There Done That. He has recorded 20 albums
from 1984 until his death (On
July 4th 2008, he was critically injured in a car crash on Interstate 80 in Pennsylvania,
a crash which killed his wife and grandson as well as the driver of the oncoming
car. He died as a result of these injuries)
b. June 17th 1947.
2012: Ubaldo de Lío (83)
Argentine tango guitarist born in Boedo and went on to be widely
acknowledged as tangos
greatest guitarrist. Between 1947-1955, he was lead guitarist in Hugo del Carrils
orchestra, but it was in 1957 that he would consolidate his professional status,
forming a duo with Horacio Salgán, a partnership that lasted for over 50
years. They started out as a five-piece, the Quinteto Real, featuring musicians
such as Pedro Laurenz, Mario Francini, and Rafael Ferro. The
Quinteto Real became a sensation in South America, and toured extensively, playing
in Europe, Japan and the US. Ubaldo also performed with other of tangos
greatest artists, such as Ignacio Corsini, Nelly Omar and Azucena Maizani, among
countless others. (?)
b. March 11th 1929.
Brozman (59) American guitarist, slide guitar
and ethnomusicologist, born in New York. He
performed in many styles such as gypsy jazz, calypso, blues, ragtime, Hawaiian
and Caribbean music. He also collaborated with musicians from diverse cultural
backgrounds such as India, Africa, Japan, Papua New Guinea and Reunion Island.
He recorded numerous albums and has won the Guitar Player Readers' Poll three
times in the best blues, best world and best slide guitarist categories
(?) b. March 8th 1954
2014: Konstantin Orbelyan (85) Armenian pianist,
composer and head of the State Estrada Orchestra of Armenia born in Armavir, Russia.
He was only 11 when he and his brother were cast out on the street upon the arrest
of their parents, being such a talented pianist he managed to get a job playing
the piano in the circus at that young age. At age fifteen, he was invited to perform
with the Armenian State Pop Orchestra; and subsequently became its conductor.
He went on to become the People's Artist of USSR in 1979, Union of Soviet Composers
Board member, Armenian Composer's Union secretary since 1983, and Vice-President
of All-Soviet Musical Society of the USSR (?) b.
July 29th 1928.
2015: Benjamin Franklin "Tex"
Logan Jr (87) American engineer and bluegrass fiddler, born in Coahoma,
TX, he studied electrical engineering at several universities gaining his docrine
at Columbia University. He played with Mike Seeger in the late 1950s, with The
Lilly Brothers & Don Stover, Jerry Garcia and Bill Monroe in the 1960s, and
with Peter Rowan in the 1980s. In 1969, he played fiddle on the Bee Gees' 1969
song "Give Your Best", released on the band's sixth album Odessa. Tex
performed on several records and international tours, and had minor roles in movies
as well. He also wrote "Christmas Time's A-Coming", a song made popular
by Bill Monroe that has been recorded by many performers, including Johnny Cash,
Emmylou Harris, Sammy Kershaw and Patty Loveless, among others; and "Diamond
Joe" recorded by Bob Dylan. Tex also worked as an electrical engineer and
mathematician at AT&T Bell Laboratories in New Jersey. He was honored as a
pioneer by the International Bluegrass Music Museum in Owensboro, Ky., and received
the International Bluegrass Music Associations Distinguished Achievement
Award in 2010 (sadly Tex died of a heart attack)
b. June 6th 1927.
2015: Sid Tepper (96) American
songwriter born in New York; He is best known for his collaborations with Roy
C. Bennett, which spawned several hits for Elvis Presley. Between 1945 and 1970,
Sid and Bennett published over 300 songs. In his teens, Sid's family moved to
Brooklyn, where he met his future musical collaborator, Roy C. Bennett. Their
first hit was "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" in 1948, recorded by Guy Lombardo
and his Royal Canadians. Over the next 22 years, the songwriting team wrote for
Tony Bennett, Rosemary Clooney, Peggy Lee, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Dean
Martin, and many more. Their song "The Young Ones" was instrumental
in boosting the career of Cliff Richard, for whom they wrote 21 compositions.
They went on to write 43 songs for Elvis Presley, all related to his movies, the
most of any songwriter, or song writing team. In the 70s, Sid suffered a heart
attack, which sadly forced his retirement and an end of his songwriting partnership
with Bennett; Sid retired in Surfside, Florida. In
2002, Sid and Roy were honored at ceremonies in Memphis, Tennessee by Lisa Marie
Presley for their contribution to her father's success. They were also honored
for having written almost half the album in Presley fans favorite, Blue Hawaii.
(?) b. June 25th 1918.
Papa Wemba/Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba (66) Congolese Congolese
rumba / soukous singer and musician born in Lubefu, Belgian Congo. He was dubbed
the King of Rumba Rock and was one of the most popular musicians of his time in
Africa and played an important role in world music. Together with his bands Zaiko
Langa Langa, Isifi and Viva La Musica, he racked up hit after hit, including L'Esclave
and Le Voyageur. He appeared in two feature films, Life Is Beautiful in 1987 and
Wild Games in 1997. He was also a fashion icon who popularized the La Sape look
and style through his musical group, 'Viva la Musica'. Papa Wemba also toured
around the world, and recorded with British artist Peter Gabriel. In 2004, he
was convicted of people-smuggling in France and spent three months in prison.
A Belgian court convicted him of the same crime in 2012, handing down a fine of
€22,000/£17,143/$24,690 and suspended prison sentence of 15 months.
(sadly died after collapsing on stage with a seizure during a concert)
b. June 14th 1949.
2016: Billy Paul/Paul Williams
(81) American R&B singer born in Philadelphia; he began his singing
career at age eleven, appearing on local radio station WPEN, then owned by the
local Philadelphia Bulletin newspaper and attended the West Philadelphia Music
School and the Granoff School of Music for formal vocal training. In 1952 he traveled
to New York City to record his first single, "Why Am I", released that
April. In 1957, he was drafted and was stationed with Elvis Presley and Gary Crosby
and after his discharge, Billyl formed a jazz trio with hard bop pianist Sam Dockery
and bassist Buster Williams and he was a brief stand-in for one of the ailing
Blue Notes with Harold Melvin. He acheived international fame with his 1972 LP
'360 Degrees of Billy Paul' and the single "Me and Mrs. Jones". Both
the album and song received commercial and critical recognition."Me and Mrs.
Jones" was a No.1 hit for the last three weeks of 1972, selling two million
copies, and went on to win Billy a Grammy Award. (sadly
died while fighting pancreatic cancer)
Pamela Courson (27) American long-term
companion of the late Jim Morrison, frontman of the rock band The Doors. Born
in Weed, California, she left high school at 16 and met Jim in 1965, while she
was an art student at Los Angeles City College. Her relationship with Morrison
was tumultuous, with repeated sexual excursions by both partners. After Jim's
death she became a recluse (died of a drugs overdose)
b. December 22nd 1946.
Mike Brant/Moshe Brand (28)
Israeli pop star who achieved fame after moving to France. At 17, Moshe
Brand joined his brother's band, "The Chocolates," as lead singer, he
sang in English and in French, although he spoke only Hebrew. He relocated to
Paris July 9th 1969, singer Sylvie Vartan introduced him to the producer Jean
Renard. Under Renard's guidance, he changed name to Mike Brant, and recorded his
biggest hit, "Laisse-moi t'aimer" ("Let Me Love You"). The
song was a success at the Midem music festival in January 1970. "Laisse-moi
t'aimer" sold 50,000 copies in two weeks. By 1972 - 1975 he was giving 250
concerts a year, some attended by 6,000-10,000 people, as well as his work in
the studio. This led to lonliness and a deep depression, he attempted suicide
in 1974 while in Geneva (At
the height of his career and on the
day his final album Dis-lui ("Tell Her", french version of "Feeling")
was released, Mosha committed suicide by jumping from the window of a Paris apartment)
February 1st 1947.
Carolyn Franklin (43) American
singer and younger sister of Aretha; born in Memphis, Tennessee she was Inspired
by her sisters' successes in the music field in the early 1960s, and joined Erma
and Aretha into a secular recording career, first recording in 1963. Though, like
Erma, her modest success in the industry wasn't matched by Aretha's later blockbuster
breakthrough in the late 1960s. While struggling to release a big hit, Carolyn
began to work behind the scenes as a songwriter, mainly for sister Aretha's work.
Aretha and Carolyn's bond led to several collaborations between the two and in
other occasions, Carolyn came up with songs for Aretha to sing. Among one of the
first collaborations that became a hit success was "Ain't No Way", recorded
in 1968. (sadly
died after a fight with cancer)
b. May 13th 1944.
Dexter "Long Tall Dexter" Gordon (67) American
saxophone virtuoso; standing at 6ft 6ins, he was considered one of the greatest
jazz saxophonists ever, during his heyday, `45-`80, he played tenor sax with many
of the all-time jazz greats, including Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong, Billy
Eckstine and many others. In the 60s. He played in Europe extensively where he
was very popular and lived there for the most part during the 60s and the early
to mid 70s. Around 1977, he returned to America and made some well-received records.
Round Midnight was his only feature role, playing a character not unlike himself,
for which he was nominated for an Oscar. He has influenced subsequent generations
of musicians with his artful approach to jazz. His feel and subtle nuances are
sorely missed in the world of jazz. (kidney failure) b.
February 27th 1923
1992: Yutaka Ozaki (26)
Japanese pianist, guitarist, singer, songwriter born
in Tokyo, he was discovered by producer Akira Sudo and signed to Sony Records
in 1983. His hits include Jugo no Yoru - The Night; Junanasai no Chizu - Seventeen's
Map; Hajimari-sae Utaenai - Can't Sing Even the Beginning; Sotsugyou - Graduation;
Driving All Night; Kaku - Core; Taiyo no Hahen - Debris of the Sun; Love Way;
Tasogare-yuku Machi-de - 57th Street; Eien no mune - Eternal Heart; Kegareta Kizuna
- Bond; and I Love You. Yutaka
is ranked at No. 23 in a list of Japan's
top 100 musicians by HMV (officially it said he died of
pulmonary edema, but many theories have arisen as to the actual cause of death,
the most popular being homicide) b. November 29th
Roger Troutman (47) American vocalist, the lead singer of the band
Zapp who helped spearhead the Funk movement and heavily influenced West Coast
hip hop due to the scene's heavy sampling of his music over the years. He was
well known for his use of the talkbox, a device that is connected to an instrument,
frequently a keyboard, to create different vocal effects. As both lead singer
of Zapp and in his subsequent solo releases, he scored a bevy of funk and R&B
hits throughout the 1980s. In his later years, he was mostly known for singing
the chorus to the hip-hop classic, "California Love" (he
was found shot, critically wounded outside a recording studio in Dayton, Ohio;
he died during surgery. It seems he was shot by his brother Larry, who took is
own life after shooting Roger)
b. November 29th 1951.
1999: Larry Troutman (54) American percussionist
and a founding member of the funk/R&B band Zapp alongside his younger brother,
Roger Troutman. The band enjoyed a string of hits throughout the 1980s, most notably
"Computer Love" and "More Bounce to the Ounce"
police found Lary in his car, dead as a result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
His younger brother Roger was found a couple of blocks away; his death was ruled
a homicide. To this day, no motive is known, though a business dispute was suspected.
Sources say that Larry had not slept in several days and was not in his normal
state of mind at the time)
b. August 12th 1944.
Eye/Lisa Nicole Lopes (30)
American singer, songwriter, rapper, best known as
a member of the R&B girl group TLC. She
contributed her self-written raps to many of TLC's hit singles, including "Ain't
2 Proud 2 Beg", "What About Your Friends", "Hat 2 da Back",
"No Scrubs", "Waterfalls", and "Girl Talk". She
began to expand her solo career. She became a featured rapper on several singles,
including former Spice Girl Melanie C's "Never Be the Same Again", which
went to No.1 in 35 countries, including the UK. She was also featured on the first
single from Donell Jones' second album, "U Know What's Up", and she
sang "Space Cowboy" with *NSYNC on their 2000 album, No Strings Attached.
She also collaborated on "Gimme Some" by Toni Braxton from her 2000
release The Heat. In 2001, she appeared in two commercials for The Gap, and was
also the host of the MTV series, The Cut (tragically
died in a car accident in La Ceiba, Honduras) b.
May 27th 1971.
Bobby "Boris" Pickett (69) American singer, songwriter born
in Somerville, Massachusetts, who sang and co-wrote the Halloween anthem "Monster
Mash" which has put him in the history books making him pop music's most
enduring Top 20 one-hit wonder ever. The song was a spoof on the dance crazes
popular at the time, including the Twist and the Mashed Potato, which inspired
the title. The Christmas-themed follow-up, "Monster's Holiday," also
released in 1962 reached No.30 in December that year. Among his other novelty
songs there was also an early 1980s musical "sequel" to the monster
mash called "the Monster Rap" which featured Bobby teaching the creature
to speak through "rapping" and in October 2005, Bobby protested inaction
on global warming by releasing "Climate Mash," a new version of his
hit single. Back in 1967, Bobby and television author Sheldon Allman wrote the
musical "I'm Sorry the Bridge Is Out, You'll Have to Spend the Night"
which has been produced by local theatres around the USA. They followed it up
later with another musical, "Frankenstein Unbound". In 1995 the co-writers
of Disney's Toy Story, Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolov, produced a movie of it, originally
entitled Frankenstein Sings, but later released in the US under Monster Mash the
Movie. Bobby starred in it with Candace Cameron, Jimmie Walker, Mink Stole, John
Kassir, Sarah Douglas, Anthony Crivello, Adam Shankman and Carrie Ann Inaba. (leukemia)
b. February 11th 1940.
Humphrey Lyttelton (86) British
Jazz patriarc, trumpeter, cartoonist, BBC radio broadcaster,
and chairman of the BBC radio programme 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue'. Born at
Eton College, Buckinghamshire, he was inspired by the trumpeters Louis Armstrong
and Nat Gonella. He taught himself the instrument, and formed a quartet at the
school in 1936 that included the future journalist Ludovic Kennedy on drums. After
action at Salerno during Operation Avalanche when he came ashore with his pistol
in one hand, and his trumpet in the other and on VE Day, 8 May '45, in the celebrations
by playing his trumpet from a wheelbarrow, he inadvertently gave his first broadcast
performance; the BBC recording still survives
MORE <<< (died peacefully following
heart surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm) b. May
da Paraíba (79) Brazilian musician
and violinist (sadly died of a heart attack) b.
2010: Dorothy Michelle Provine (75)
American singer, dancer, actress, and comedienne born in Deadwood, Sth Dakota.
As well as her huge TV and film career Dorothy also released a few records. Between
1960-62 in the TV drama series ''In Roaring Twenties'', she played the beautiful
singer Pinky Pinkham. Rex Reason co-starred with her in the series, along with
Donald May, John Dehner, Mike Road, and Gary Vinson. Dorothy recorded an album
of songs from the show, and had two hit singles in the UK Singles Chart
"Don't Bring Lulu" in 1961 and "Crazy Words, Crazy Tune" in
1962 (sadly died of emphysema) b.
January 20th 1935.
2010: Susan Reed (84)
Irish-American folk singer, harpist and zitherist who delighted nightclub and
radio audiences in the years after WWII. She performed in New York venues such
as Cafe Society, where she starred for two years, and the Blue Angel and toured
the country under the auspices of Columbia Concerts, making 107 concert appearances
alone in one year that brought her the title "America's Concert Favorite".
Susan was also a regular at Carnegie Hall and Town Hall in New York, at the Wilshire
Ebell Theatre in LA, and Chicago's Palmer House. Susan also starred with drummer
Gene Krupa in the Columbia musical "Glamor Girl" in 1948 and in numerous
TV shows including "The Firestone Hour". On Broadway, she starred in
the 1946 production of "Billy the Kid" and co-starred with her husband
James Karen in regional theater productions of "Brigadoon" and "Finnian's
of natural causes at San Simeon by the Sound, nursing home, Greenport, N.Y)
January 11th 1926.
Poly Styrene/Marianne Joan Elliott-Said (53) British singer-songwriter
born in Bromley, she was a founding member of the London based punk band X-Ray
Spex formed in 1976. They released five singles and one album. Nevertheless, their
first single, "Oh Bondage, Up Yours!", is now acknowledged as a classic
punk rock single and the album, "Germ Free Adolescents", is widely acclaimed
as one of the greatest albums of all time. After the original X-Ray Spex broke
up, Poly Styrene recorded a solo album, Translucence, in 1980. The album abandoned
X-Ray Spex's loud guitar work for a quieter and more jazzy sound. In 1983, she
was initiated into the Hare Krishna movement and recorded at their recording studios
while living as a devotee at Bhaktivedanta Manor (sadly
died after a brave battle with breast cancer)
b. July 3rd 1957.
2011: Rui Biriva (53)
Brazilian singer, well known in New South Wales; he recorded
10 albums his 30 year career and he also hosted programs on country-style radios
(?) b. 1957
Jacob Avshalomov (94) Chinese-born American conductor
and composer, his father was
the Siberian-born composer Aaron Avshalomov. Jacob
was born in Tsingtao, China and graduated from British and American schools before
the age of fifteen. He went on to received the Ditson Fellowship in Composition
following World War II and a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1951. In 1953 he was recognized
by the New York Music Critics Circle for his choral work Tom o' Bedlam. Other
awards include a Bloch Award, Naumburg Recording Award,
Governor's Arts Award, Ditson Conductor's Award in
1965 and American Symphony Orchestra League Award. In 1994 he was named a Portland
First Citizen, an honor established to recognize "civic achievements and
business leadership within the community". In 2011 he was one of three honorees
to be recognized by the Portland Center for the Performing Arts Foundation for
outstanding contributions to Portland's art community. Awards recipients had a
granite star placed on Main Street by Antoinette Hatfield Hall and were presented
with a bronze folly bollard. (died in his sleep)
b. March 28th 1919.
Yoshio Tabata (94) Japanese ryukoka and enka
singer, songwriter and electric guitarist, born in
Matsusaka, Mie prefecture. His debut song "Shima
no Funauta" / "Island Ship Song" was released in 1939. His debut
had a big impact on Japanese popular music; Ryukoka music of that time was mainly
sung by classical singers. His last album 'Tabi no Owari ni Kiku Uta wa' was released
in 2001 (?) b.
January 1st 1919
Alfred Schreyer (92) Ukrainian-born Polish
fiddler and singer born in Drohobych, he was a pupil of Bruno Schulz and survivor
of the Holocaust. During the German occupation the Nazi murdered his entire family.
His father was gassed in the death camp. He himself was taken to the concentration
camp in Plaszów, Gross-Rosen, Buchenwald and the camp in Taucha near Leipzig,
where he escaped from the death march. After
his return to his hometown of Drohobych, USSR in 1946 he played in a cinema band
and at a local restaurant. At the same time, he started working as a teacher at
the secondary music school, the job he did for the rest of his life. Shortly before
death he moved to Warsaw
b. May 8th 1922.
Mei Baojiu (82) Chinese contemporary Peking opera artist,
born in Shanghai. He was also a performer
of the Dan role type in Peking Opera and Kunqu opera, and went on to become the
leader of Mei Lanfang Peking Opera troupe in Beijing Peking Opera Theatre. As
a member of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative
Conference, he put forward a proposal on introducing Peking Opera into elementary
schools in 2009 and in 2012 he received his Ph.D. from J. F. Oberlin University
in Japan (sadly his death was caused by a bronchospasm)
b. March 29th 1934.
2016: Wolfgang "Wölli"
Rohde (66) German drummer and member of the Dusseldorf based punk band,
Die Toten hosen, from 1986 to 1999. Prior to this he was member of the Berlin
band The Suurbiers. In 2000, Wölli
had a serious car accident and narrowly escaped death and from 2004, he ran the
record label Golden times and co-founded the annual festival Rock am Turm in Meerbusch.
He also led his own band the Goldene Zeiten Orchestra. (sadly died fighting liver
cancer) b. January 9th 1950.
1972: Margaret Bonds
composer and pianist born in Chicargo; one of the first black composers and performers
to gain recognition in the USA, she is best remembered today for her frequent
collaborations with Langston Hughes. She became one of the few black students
at Northwestern University and her song "Sea-Ghost" won a Wanamaker
Award in 1932. Two years later, at the age of 21, she left Northwestern with a
bachelor's and master's degree, both in music. Her works include 'The Negro Speaks
of Rivers'; 'The Ballad of the Brown King'; 'Three Dream Portraits'; and 'Shakespeare
in Harlem' among others. (?) b.
March 3rd 1913.
1984: Count Basie (79) American jazz pianist,
organist, and bandleader; he led his jazz orchestra almost continuously for nearly
50 years. Many notable musicians came to prominence under his direction, including
tenor saxophonists Lester Young and Herschel Evans, trumpeters Buck Clayton and
Harry "Sweets" Edison and singers Jimmy Rushing and Joe Williams. His
theme songs were "One O'Clock Jump" and "April In Paris".
Count Basie introduced several generations of listeners to the Big Band sound
and left an influential catalog. The Count Basie Theatre and Count Basie Field
in his hometown of Red Bank, New Jersey were named in his honor. The street on
which he lived, Mechanic Street has the honorary title of Count Basie Way. On
Sept 26, 2009, Edgecombe Ave and 160th Street in Washington Heights, Manhattan,
were renamed as Paul Robeson Boulevard and Count Basie Place. The corner is the
location of 555 Edgecombe Avenue, also known as the Paul Robeson Home, a National
Historic Landmark building where Count Basie and Paul Robeson lived
(pancreatic cancer) b. August
1987: Shankar Singh Raghuvanshi (64)
Indian music composer duo with Jaikishan Dayabhai Panchal in the Hindi
film industry, working together from 19491971. Shankar-Jaikishan, wrote
among may others "everlasting" and "immortal melodies" in
fifties and sixties. Their best work was noted for being "raga-based and
having both lilt and sonority".
During their career, S-J won Filmfare Best Music Director Awards for a record
nine times. The last three awards were won in three successive years, thereby
making S-J the first composers to score a hat trick of these awards. S-J also
came out tops in Binaca Geetmala, the legendary countdown radio program on Hindi
film music, where their compositions were declared the most popular on six occasions.
a record later equaled by Laxmikant Pyarelal. These songs were Mera joota hai
japani in '55, Teri pyari pyari surat ko in '61, Ehsaan tera hoga mujh par in
'62, Bol radha bol in '64, Baharon phool barsaao in '66, and Zindagi ek safar
hai suhana in '71. In 1968 S-J was honoured with the Padmashri by the Government
of India (?) b. October
1991: Léo Arnaud (86) French-American
composer of film scores, best known for Bugler's Dream, which is used as the theme
by television networks presenting the Olympic Games in the United States. Born
in Lyon, he studied composition at conservatories in Lyon and Paris and after
playing as a jazz trombonist in France using the name Leo Vauchant and arranging
for the Jack Hylton band in England from 1928 to 1930, he immigrated to the United
States in 1931. He worked in Hollywood as an arranger for Fred Waring before joining
MGM as an arranger, composer, and orchestrator from 1936 to 1966. In 1980, Leo
left Hollywood and retired to Yadkin County, North Carolina (?)
b. July 24th 1904.
Carmine Coppola (80) American
award winning composer, director songwriter and flute player; he studied at Juilliard
and later at the Manhattan School of Music. During the 1940s, he worked under
Arturo Toscanini with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Then in 1951, Carmine left the
Orchestra to pursue his dream of composing music. During that time he mostly worked
as an orchestra conductor on Broadway and elsewhere, working with his son, legendary
filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola, on additional music for his Finian's Rainbow.
Together with Nino Rota, Carmine composed music for The Godfather, and for The
Godfather Part II, for which they won Oscars for Best Score. Carmine then scored
Francis' Apocalypse Now, for which he won a Golden Globe award for best original
score. He also composed three and a half hour score for Francis' 1981 reconstruction
of Abel Gance's 1921 epic Napoleon (?) b.
June 11th 1910.
Ernest Stewart (47) American
keyboardist with KC and the Sunshine Band, founded in 1973 in Miami, Florida,
their style has included funk, R&B, and disco. Their most well known songs
include the disco hits "That's the Way (I Like It)", "(Shake, Shake,
Shake) Shake Your Booty", "I'm Your Boogie Man", "Keep It
Comin' Love", "Get Down Tonight", "Give It Up", and "Please
Don't Go". They took their name from lead vocalist Harry Wayne Casey's last
name "KC" and the "Sunshine Band" from KC's home state of
Florida, 'The Sunshine State' (Ernest sadly died from an asthma attack)
Adrian Borland (41) English singer, songwriter,
guitarist and record producer; he co-founded his first band, the Wimbledon-based
punk rock trio The Outsiders, with himself on vocals and guitar, Bob Lawrence
was on bass, and Adrian 'Jan' Janes on the drums. Adrian formed the punk band
Sound in 1979 which had gradually evolved from The Outsiders. Their debut album
Jeopardy, received favorable reviews. After the band split in 1987, he created
a substantial solo career spanning five albums by April 1999
(he succumbed to the symptoms of schizoid-affective
disorder and committed suicide) b. December 6th 1957.
2010: Willy Caron (75) Dutch
tenor opera singer; he came to fame at the 1964 edition of the International Verdi
Concours in Venice where he was hailed by the audience as the Dutch Caruso. Willy
performed across Europe and for ten years worked at the Städtische Oper in
Cologne. In the Netherlands, he made many recordings as soloist with the Maastrechter
Staar Choir and sang as soloist with the Limburg Symphony Orchestra directed by
André Rieu Sr. In 1998, he founded the Willy Caron Musical Theatre to make
classical music accessible to a wide audience. (?)
b. June 15th 1934.
2011: Phoebe Snow (58)
American singer-songwriter, born in New York; it was at the Bitter
End club in 1972 that Denny Cordell, a promotions executive for Shelter Records,
was so taken by the singer that he signed her to the label and produced her first
recording. She released an eponymous album, Phoebe Snow, in 1974, featuring guest
performances by The Persuasions, Zoot Sims, Teddy Wilson, David Bromberg and Dave
Mason. It spawned the Billboard Hot 100 No.5 hit single, "Poetry Man",
reached number 4 on the Billboard 200 album chart, won Peobe a nomination for
the Grammy Award for Best New Artist, and established her as a formidable singer,
songwriter. She performed as the opening act for tours by Jackson Browne and Paul
Simon. 1975 also brought the first of several appearances as a musical guest on
Saturday Night Live, on which she performed both solo and in duets with Paul Simon
and Linda Ronstadt (tragically died from the result a brain
hemorrhage which she suffered in January 9th 2010)
b. July 17th 1952.
Pete Fornatale (66) American radio disc jockey, a New York City
disc jockey, considered a "pioneer of FM Rock," who played an important
role in the progressive rock era of FM broadcasting. By broadcasting progressive
rock and long album tracks, he was noted for introducing a musical alternative
to Top 40 AM radio in New York in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Billboard called
his station "a legend, affecting and inspiring people throughout the industry".
He gave early exposure to country-rock bands like Buffalo Springfield and Poco,
and did one of the first American interviews with Elton John. He began professionally
in 1969 at WNEW-FM and also worked at WXRK née WKTU. He returned to WFUV
in 2001 and was heard weekly on his shows, "Mixed Bag" and "Mixed
Bag Radio," which is also on XM satellite radio. He won the Armstrong Excellence
in Broadcasting Award in 1983 and received AFTRA's Media & Entertainment Excellence
Award in February 2012 at the Plaza Hotel in New York City (tragically
Peter died from a brain aneurysm) b. August 23rd
Jones aka Possum (81) American
country music singer born in Saratoga, near Beaumont and raised in Vidor, Texas.
He was given a guitar when he was nine, and was soon busking for money on the
streets of Beaumont. He left home at 16 and went
to Jasper, Texas, where he sang and played on the radio station and where he first
met his hero Hank Williams in 1949. George served in the Marines from 1950 to
1953, stationed in California for his entire servic, after which he recorded his
debut single, "No Money in This Deal" released in 1954. He first entered
the national Billboard country charts in 1955 with "Why Baby Why", which
peaked at No.44 on the country charts that same year. He had his first of 14 No.1
hits in 1959 with "White Lightning". Through the 60s he had multiple
singles on the country charts each year ballads like "The Window Up
Above", "If My Heart Had Windows", "The Race Is On",
with its rumbling, 6-string bass solo >>>
More <<< (While
on a US tour, George was admitted to Vanderbilt University Hospital with fever
and irregular blood pressure; sadly after being on oxygen for several days, he
died of acute hypoxia) b. September 12th 1931.
2013: Braxton Schuffert (97) American
guitarist who played with Hank Williams as one of the original Drifting Cowboys.
Born in Shelby County, AL, he moved to Montgomery at the age of five. By the age
of 16, he had an early morning radio show on WSFA. In 1938, he met Hank Williams,
who was only 15 at the time, and a guest on his WSFA show. Braxton helped Williams
form his first band and played guitar with the future legend with the band which
eventually became the Drifting Cowboys. He remained active till the months leading
up to his death (he had been receiving medical treatment
in hospital since Easter in March) b. February 22nd
2014: DJ Rashad/Rashad Harden (34)
American electronic musician,
producer and DJ known as a pioneer in the footwork genre. Born in Hammond, Indiana
he developed an early interest in music and began to DJ in his early teens, also
in high school, he gained further DJ experience at the Kennedy-King College radio
station WKKC. While at Thornwood High School, he met Morris Harper aka DJ Spinn,
the two began to produce tracks and performing at parties together. Rashad was
one of the founders of the Teklife crew and developed the footwork around dance
battles in the greater Chicago area andhe was also
one of the performers at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago in 2013 and completed
support-slot on the tour of Chance the Rapper in December 2013 (tragically
Rashad died from a drug overdose) b.
October 9th 1979.
Joe Siva (61) Malaysian record producer, deejay and pioneer in the
independent Malaysian music scene born in Seremban. He started his deejaying career
in Kuala Lumpur in 1976 playing the disco circuit and organised club shows nationwide,
before finally taking on the record-making challenge in the late 1980s. In 1989,
Siva began his production career with KL deejay/rap-based group Krash Kozz, one
of the pioneers from the local hip hop scene. Exposing homegrown talent and helping
various charity campaigns were also part of Joes music-making mission. In
1991, he was responsible for the Save The World compilation, featuring 16 local
deejays, to benefit the Malaysian Nature Society. In 1994, Joe broke further ground
in Malaysian club culture when he gave local deejays a chance to participate at
the DMC World DJ Championships, the worlds largest DJ competition. As the
director of DMC Malaysia, Joe held the competitions franchise rights and
built a strong base for turntablism culture. (sadly died
after a short battle with lung cancer) b. 1955.
1984: Z. Z. Hill/Arzell
Hill (48) American blues singer, in the soul
blues tradition, born in Naples, Texas. He began his singing career in the late
1950s as part of a gospel group called The Spiritual Five. In 1964, he moved to
California and recorded "You Were Wrong" on his brother's M.H. record
label. In 1971, he recorded the hits "Faithful & True" and "Chokin'
Kind" in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. One of ZZ's biggest selling hits came while
signed to Columbia, "Love Is So Good When You're Stealing It," which
spent 18 weeks on the Billboard R&B chart in the summer of 1977. His 1982
album, 'Down Home', stayed on the Billboard soul album chart for nearly two years.
The track "Down Home Blues" has been called the best-known blues song
of the 1980s. This track plus his songs "Taxi", "Someone Else Is
Steppin' In", and "Open House" have become R&B/Southern soul
standards (he tragically died in Dallas from a heart attack
after a road accident) b. September
Messiaen (83) French composer and one
of the first composers to use an electronic keyboard; he entered the Paris Conservatoire
at the age of 11 and was appointed organist at the Église de la Sainte-Trinité
in Paris in 1931, a post held until his death. He taught at the Schola Cantorum
de Paris during the 1930s. On the fall of France in 1940, Olivier was made a prisoner
of war, during which time he composed his Quatuor pour la fin du temps/"Quartet
for the end of time" for the 4 available instrumentspiano, violin,
cello and clarinet. The piece was first performed by himself and fellow prisoners
for an audience of inmates and prison guards. He was appointed professor of harmony
soon after his release in 1941, and professor of composition in 1966 at the Paris
Conservatoire, positions he held until his retirement in 1978. His many distinguished
pupils included Pierre Boulez and Yvonne Loriod, who became his second wife. He
found birdsong fascinating, believed birds to be the greatest musicians, and considered
himself as much an ornithologist as a composer. He notated bird songs worldwide
and incorporated birdsong transcriptions into most of his music. Although in considerable
pain near the end of his life, requiring repeated surgery on his back, he was
able to fulfil a commission from the New York Philharmonic Orchestra, Éclairs
, which was premièred six months after his death
(?) b. December 10th 1908.
1999: Al Hurt/Alois Maxwell Hirt (76) American
trumpeter, bandleader and New Orleans legend maybe best remembered for his million
selling recordings of "Java", and the album, Honey in the Horn in 1963.
In 1940, Al went to Cincinnati, Ohio to study at the Cincinnati Conservatory of
Music with Dr. Frank Simon, a former soloist with the John Philip Sousa Orchestra.
After a stint in the US Army during World War II, Al performed with various Swing
big bands, including those of Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, and Ina
Ray Hutton. In 1950, he became first trumpet and soloist with Horace Heidt's Orchestra.
Returning then to New Orleans, he worked with various Dixieland groups and leading
his own bands. From the mid 1950s to early 1960s, he and his band played nightly
at Dan's Pier 600 at the corner of St. Louis and Bourbon Street. In 1962 Hirt
opened his own club on Bourbon Street in the French Quarter, which he ran until
1983. (liver failure)
b. November 7th 1922.
2000: Vicki Sue Robinson (45) American
singer and broadway star; her records were among some of the best produced and
arranged '70s disco releases with solid beats built on solid songs including her
1976 hit "Turn the Beat Around". Her theatre performances included Hair-1970,
Soon-1971, Long Time Coming, Long Time Gone-1971, Voices From The Third World-1972
and Jesus Christ Superstar-1973. A resurgence of interest in disco music by the
mid 1990s led Vicki along with fellow disco veterans K.C. and the Sunshine Band,
Thelma Houston, Gloria Gaynor and The Village People to embark on a well-received
world tour. She released her final single, "Move On," in 1999, which
reached No.18 on Billboard's Dance Chart. That same month, she was forced to withdraw
from her Off Broadway show owing to ill health. However she undertook the role
of a fairy godmother in the film Red Lipstick, which was released on April 16th
2000 (sadly died after a brave battle cancer)
b. May 21st 1954.
Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich, KBE (80) Soviet-Russian cellist
and conductor, widely considered to have been the greatest cellist of the second
half of the 20th century, and one of the greatest of all time. In addition to
his outstanding interpretations and technique, he was well-known for his commissions
of new works which enlarged the cello repertoire more than any cellist before
or since. He gave the premieres of over 100 pieces. His
impromptu performance during the fall of the Berlin Wall as events unfolded earned
him international fame and was reported throughout the world. He was also internationally
recognized as a staunch advocate of human rights, being awarded in 1974 the Annual
Award of the International League of Human Rights.
(sadly died after bravely battling intestinal cancer)
b. March 27th 1927.
Ron O'Brien (56) American disc jockey; he grew up in Des Moines, IA,
and worked at his high school's radio station and started his professional career
in 1969 at KUDL in Kansas City. He went on to work for many stations, including
KTLK in Denver, WCAR in Detroit, WQXI in Atlanta, WCFL/WMVP in Chicago, WOKY in
Milwaukee, WFIL in Philadelphia, KFI and KIIS in Los Angeles, KWK/WARH in St.
Louis-where he stayed for nine years, KZDG in Denver, WYXR/WLCE /WRFF in Philadelphia,
WNBC/WFAN and WXLO/WRKS in New York, WPGC in Washington, D.C., and WRKO in Boston.
WOGL, also in Philadelphia, was his employer for the final six years of his life,
and he had recently signed a two-year contract extension. Ron
also recorded cover versions of "Everybody Knows Matilda" and "Take
Some Time Out" (sadly died of complications from pneumonia)
2008: Marios Tokas (54) Greek-Cypriot composer;
he has worked with some of the most famous Greek singers, including Dimitris Mitropanos,
Constantina, Yiannis Parios, Aleka Kanellidou, Charis Alexiou, Dimitra Galani,
Dionisis Theodosis, Katerina Kouka, Antonis Kalogiannis and Manolis Mitsias to
mention a few. He always offered free of charge concerts every summer in his native
Cyprus, for all the 18 year olds that were going for their 26 month compulsory
service in the National Guard. Marios is regarded as the most prominent composer
in Cyprus and one of the most important in Greece. His work includes religious
albums, folk albums, soundtracks to television shows, and pure Greek music. His
last work was the official anthem of the Cyprus University of Technology (sadly
died after a long struggle with cancer) b. June 8th
2010: Morris Pert (62)
Scottish composer and percussionist who worked with Yamash'ta. Born in
Arbroath, Angus, he graduated with a BMus from Edinburgh University in 1969, and
went on to study composition and percussion at the Royal Academy in London. He
wrote three symphonies, "The Rising of the Moon", premiered in Tokyo
under Hiroyuko Iwaki in 1981; "The Beltane Rites", was commissioned
and performed by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, and "The Ancient Kindred",
was premiered by the Munich Opera Orchestra under Eberhard Schoener on German
television in 1980. He also worked for 18 years as a session musician in recording
studios, working with many artists, including Paul McCartney, Andrew Lloyd Webber,
John Williams, Kate Bush, Phil Collins, Mike Oldfield, Peter Gabriel, Bryan Ferry,
Elkie Brooks, Talk Talk and the jazz-rock band Brand X. He also arranged for the
Classic Rock series of records by the London Symphony Orchestra. In 1977 Morris
was voted the fourth jazz and rock percussionist in the world by America's Billboard
magazine. He has received five gold albums, an American ASCAP award for a hit
song and a nomination by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences for
his performances on record. Among his other many, many works were an electronic
ballet score Continuum for the London Contemporary Dance Theatre at Sadlers Wells;
Voyage in Space, twenty short piano pieces; The Ancient Pattern for chamber ensemble,
a McEwen commission from Glasgow University and, more recently, incidental music
for Eden Court Theatre's production of Peter Pan in Inverness and Aurora, a work
for taped electronics. Morris had just completed his fifth album for release,
"Chromosphere" (?) b.
September 9th 1947.
2011: Dag Stokke (44) Norwegian keyboardist,
church organist and mastering engineer, born Gjøvik. He best known for
his work with the Norwegian rock bands TNT and Vagabond, he also owned an online
mastering service called OnlineMastering. Dag
was TNT's live keyboardist from April 1987 Dag Stokke starting with TNT's "Tell
No Tales" tour to 2011 and played on every TNT album from Realized Fantasies
in 1992 to A Farewell to Arms in 2010. However, he was never a permanent TNT member.
Quote: "I'm completely laidback with that. I got to experience the rockstar
existence so much in 1987 and especially in 1989 and a little bit into 1992, so
that dream has been realized. If I'm not upfront, that's totally cool, because
I know I've been a part of all this". He played his last concert with TNT
in Umeå, Sweden on March 5th 2011. Dag also recorded with Unni
Wilhelmsen, Jorn, Arnstein Hammershaug and Vagabond (sadly
Dag died from a quick brutal form of cancer) b. April
2011: Neusinha Brizola/Neusa
Brizola Maria Goulart (56) Brazilian singer and
songwriter, famous for her hit "Mintchura", in partnership with composer
and guitarist Joe Euthanázia gaucho in the early '80s. In 1984 she participated
in the soundtrack of the children's musical program Plunct, plact, Zuuum , the
Rede Globo and also composed some soundtracks to novels, as in Transas Family
Ties and the film, The Seven Vampires (sadly Neusinha
died with complications resulting from hepatitis)
Damon/James Demopoulos (75) American singer, born in
Memphis, Tenn; as a youth he began singing at church and local venues like the
Kiwanis Club and his fathers Memphis restaurant, the New York Cafe. It was
there that he met and then performed with such future major stars as Conway Twitty
and Elvis Presley. He moved Chicago in the mid 60s where he soon became a huge
presence on the Chicago music scene until his sudden death (tragically
died from a very rare blood disease) b. April 27th
2014: DJ E-Z Rock/Rodney "Skip"
Bryce (46) American hip-hop musician and
one half of the Harlem-New York hip-hop duo Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock who were
best known for their hit "It Takes Two", a single that was a top 40
hit and has been certified platinum by the RIAA. The song was a part of the duo's
album of the same name, which also has been certified platinum. They are known
for being pioneers of the crossover success that rap music would have in the popular
music mainstream (sadly
died after suffering from a diabetic seizure)
Rolf Smedvig (62) American
classical trumpeter born in Seattle. He joined the Seattle Symphony
at age 13 and in 1971, he participated in the summer music program at Tanglewood
Music Center. Rolf joined the Boston Symphony the next year, aged 19, making him
the youngest orchestra member. He was promoted to principal trumpeter in 1979,
but left in 1981 to focus on a solo career, conducting, and chamber music. He
co-founded Empire Brass, a brass quintet, who toured regularly in North America,
Europe, and Asia and they had also been the Faculty Quintet-in-Residence at Boston
University since 2001. They
also appeared on ABC's Good Morning America, NBC's Today Show, PBS's Mr. Rogers'
Neighborhood and made joint concert appearances with organist Douglas Major
died from a heart attack) b. September 23rd 1952.
2015: Jack Ely (71)
American singer, pianist, guitarist and co-founder of the Kingsmen, born in Portland,
ON. Classically trained in piano, he began playing guitar after seeing Elvis Presley
on television. In 1959, he co-founded the Kingsmen and with them recorded "Louie
Louie" in 1963; Ely's famously incoherent vocals were partly the result of
his braces and the rudimentary recording method. Before the record became a hit
Jack was forced out of the group and began playing with his new band, the Courtmen.
Ely began touring with his new group, and in 1966, they
released "Louie Louie '66" and "Ride Ride Baby" after which
he was called up into the army. He went on to have a farm in Terrebonne, Oregon,
where he trained horses (?) b.
September 11th 1943.
Guy LeBlanc (54) Canadian keyboard
player born in Moncton, New Brunswick; he began formal musical training at age
4, and ended his classical piano training at age 11, in order to concentrate on
composition and modern electric music. He started playing keyboards in rock bands
at 15 and co-founded Nathan Mahl at age 20 with Mark Spenard, Don Prince and Dan
Lacasse. In 1991, on a dare, he released a series of recorded improvisations with
2 drummers, and dubbed the project Mahl Dynasty. He reformed Nathan Mahl several
times over many years through to his death. In 1999, he was invited to join the
British progressive band Camel, with whom he toured in 2000-2001 and recorded
the studio disc A Nod and a Wink and during the fall of 2013, he returned to Camel.
Over the years he also worked with Curtis Reid, Donnamatrix, The Rebel Wheel,
and The Distinguished Panel of Experts (sadly Guy died while
fighting kidney cancer) b. October 16th 1960.
2015: Marty Napoleon (93) American jazz pianist
born in Brooklyn, New York, best known for having replaced Earl Hines in Louis
Armstrong's All Stars in 1952. In 1946 he worked with Gene Krupa and went on to
work with his uncle Phil Napoleon, in Phil's Original Memphis Five. In the 1950s
he also worked with his pianist brother Teddy Napoleon, and from 19661971
he was performing with Louis Armstrong again (?)
b. June 2nd 1921.
Gabriele Sima (61) Austrian opera singer born
in Innsbruck and raised in Salzburg. She had an active international performance
career since 1979. Particularly known for her appearances at the Salzburg Festival,
the Vienna State Opera, and the Zurich Opera, she has performed in roles associated
with both the soprano and mezzo-soprano repertoires. (?)
b. February 25th 1955.
1975: Tom Donahue (46) American
FM disc jockey and pioneering rock and roll radio disc jockey; his career started
in 1949 on the east coast at WTIP in West Virginia, WIBG in Philadelphia and WINX
in Maryland before moving to San Francisco in 1961. Here he worked as a disc jockey
at Top Forty station KYA/KOIT, discovered, produced, recorded, and managed The
Beau Brummels, opened a psychedelic nightclub "Mothers" and produced
concerts at the Cow Palace and Candlestick Park with his partner, disc jockey
Bobby Mitchell aka Bobby Tripp. He also revamped the foreign-language station
KMPX into what is considered to be America's first alternative "free-form"
radio station on the largely ignored FM band, playing non-commercial music by
album-oriented bands. In 1969 he managed the band Silver Metre, and Stoneground
in 1970. In 1972 he moved to the role of general manager at KSAN, where he encouraged
playlists of music from different eras and genres interspersed with political
commentary. Tom, and his DJ wife Raechel, formed further free-form radio stations
KMET and KPPC-FM in Los Angeles. Tom was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall
of Fame in 1996 as a non performer, as one of only three disc jockeys to receive
that honor (Tom sadly died of a heart attack)
b. May 21st 1928.
1980: Tommy Caldwell (30)
American bassist and original frontman for The Marshall Tucker Band between
1973 and 1980. He was from Spartanburg, South Carolina. As well as being the frontman,
he also sang background vocals and wrote several songs, including "Melody
Ann," which was the only song he ever performed lead vocals on. His last
performance with the band was on April 18, 1980. This performance is captured
on the 2006 release, "Live on Long Island" (died of injures from a Jeep
crash) b. November 9th 1949.
1981: Steve Currie (33) English electric bass player
born in Grimsby, North East Lincolnshire, and was best known as a member of the
English glam rock band T.Rex. His first worked with a local jazz rock band "The
Rumble Band", before joining T.Rex as bass guitarist in 1970 and continued
to play with them until late 1976. He
appeared on all of Bolan's most memorable hit singles from "Ride a White
Swan" in 1970 to "Laser Love" in 1976 , as well as all the albums
from 1971's Electric Warrior to Dandy in the Underworld released in 1977. After
leaving T.Rex, Steve went into session work, and moved to Portugal to live. (car
accident) b. May
McEachern (66) Canadian jazz and swing trombonist and alto saxophonist
best known for having played trombone for Benny Goodman, the trombone and alto
saxophone for the Casa Loma Orchestra and his studio work in his later career
for Hollywood films, including solo performances in The Glenn Miller Story, Paris
Blues and The Benny Goodman Story. He studied the violin at the Toronto Conservatory
of Music as a boy, and played his first concert recital at Massey Hall at age
12. As a teenager he studied both the saxophone and clarinet, playing with Lucio
Agostini and also appearing on CRBC with Percy Faith.
got his big break in 1936 when he went to
Chicago and secured the job as soloist on trombone for Benny Goodman's big band.
Over time McEachern became proficient on several instruments, including the trombone,
and violin. He also worked with
the Jack Hylton orchestra, the Paul Whiteman orchestra and the Phil Moore orchestra,
he toured Europe in 1972 and briefly worked with the Duke Ellington orchestra
in 1973 and was owner/director of the Tommy Dorsey orchestra from 1974 to 1977
(?) b. August 16th 1915.
B W Stevenson/Louis
Charles Stevenson (38)
American country artist,
and "B.W." stood for "Buckwheat". Born in Dallas, Texas, he
attended W.H. Adamson High School, as a teenager he played in a variety of local
rock bands before attending college, and eventually joining the U.S. Air Force.
He went on to have hits with, "My Maria", "Calabasas", "A
Little Bit of Understanding", "We Be Sailin'" and "Lifeline".
Author Jan Reid devotes a chapter to B.W., in his book 'The Improbable Rise of
Redneck Rock', dubbing him "The Voice". Since his death, Poor David's
Pub in Dallas has held an annual songwriting competition in his memory (He
sadly died shortly after undergoing heart valve surgery)
October 5th 1949.
1991: Ken Curtis/Curtis Wain Gates (74)
American singer and actor best known for his role as Festus Haggen on the long-running
CBS western television series, Gunsmoke. He was a singer before moving into acting,
and combined both careers once he entered movies, performing with the popular
Sons of the Pioneers from 1949 to 1953 as well as singing with the iconic Tommy
Dorsey band. Curtis replaced Frank Sinatra as vocalist for the Dorsey band, but
details of Curtis's relationship with the band are unclear. He was with the Dorsey
band in 1941, prior to Sinatra's departure, and may have served simply as insurance
against Sinatra's likely defection. Dick Haymes contractually replaced Sinatra,
in 1942. Ken then joined Shep Fields and His New Music, an all-reeds band that
dispensed with a brass section. Columbia
Pictures signed him to a contract in 1945. He starred in a series of musical westerns
with The Hoosier Hot Shots, playing singing-cowboy romantic leads. For much of
1948, Curtis was a featured singer and host of the long-running country music
radio program WWVA Jamboree. (Ken died in his sleep of natural
causes in Fresno, California)
b. July 2nd 1916.
2005: Percy Heath (81)
American jazz double bass player born in Wilmington, North Carolina and
started playing violin at age 8 and also sang locally. In Chicago in 1948, he
recorded with his brother on a Milt Jackson album as members of the Howard McGhee
Sextet before moving to New York in the late 1940s. He was the brother of tenor
saxophonist Jimmy Heath and drummer Albert Heath, with whom he formed the Heath
Brothers in 1975. He has also worked with Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie
Parker, Wes Montgomery and Thelonious Monk. At the age of 81, he released his
first album as bandleader through the Daddy Jazz label. The album, titled A Love
Song, garnered rave reviews and served as a fitting coda for Percy's illustrious
sadly died, after a second fight with bone cancer)
b. April 30th 1923.
2007: Tommy Newsom
bandleader and a saxophone player in
the NBC Orchestra on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, for which he later
became assistant director and was frequently the band's substitute director. Tommy
joined the band in 1962, and left it when Carson retired in 1992. Tommy
was often a foil for Carson's humor, who nicknamed
him "Mr. Excitement" as a sarcastic take on his low-keyed, often dull
persona. He was as well known within the music industry as an arranger as he was
a performer. He arranged for groups as varied as the Tonight Show ensemble and
the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, and musicians Skitch Henderson, Woody Herman, Kenny
Rogers, Charlie Byrd, John Denver, and opera star Beverly Sills (died
of bladder and liver cancer) b. February 25th 1929
2009: Valeria Peter Predescu
(62) Romanian popular/folk singer (heart
attack) b. 1947
2009: Vern Gosdin (74)
American country music singer; in
1961 he moved from Alabama to California, where he joined the West Coast Country
music movement, first as a member of the Golden State Boys, then the Hillmen before
forming The Gosdin Brothers with brother Rex. The duo hit the charts in the late
'60s with "Hangin' On" and "Till The End". In the '80s he
teamed with Max D. Barnes as a songwriting collaborator, he had hits with "If
You're Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)"; "Way Down Deep", his first
No. 1 single with "I Can Tell by the Way You Dance (You're Gonna Love Me
Tonight)" in 1984; "Do You Believe Me Now";
his 2nd No. 1 hit "Chiseled in Stone," which won the Country Music Association's
Song of the Year award in 1989.
From 1989-1991, he released a number of songs and three more made the Billboard
top 10: "Right in the Wrong Direction," "That Just About Does It"
and "Is It Raining at Your House." In 2008, Gosdin released "40
Years of the Voice," a four-CD career retrospective. The boxed set on VGM
Records features 101 songs, including 14 previously unreleased tracks recorded
35 years ago (he had suffered a stroke at the beginning of April 2009, and died
peacefully in his sleep at a Nashville hospital)
b. August 5th 1934.
"Connie" Codarini (80) Canadian
pop-gospel bass singer and a founding member of the The Four Lads. In the 1950s,
1960s, and 1970s, the singing
quartet earned many gold singles and albums. Their
first single was "The Mocking Bird" on Columbia's Okeh label was released
in 1952. This was followed by many hits including 5 gold records
"Istanbul", "Moments to Remember,"
"Standin' on the Corner," "No, Not Much," and "Who Needs
You," They made many television appearances including the award-winning PBS
special, Moments to Remember. In 1984 The Four Lads were inducted into the Canadian
Music Hall of Fame and were inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003
(?) b. ????
János Starker (88) Hungarian-American
cellist and Grammy Award-winning recording
in Budapest; a child prodigy, he made his
first public performances at ages six and seven. He entered the Franz Liszt Academy
of Music in Budapest to study with and made his debut there at age 11.
János began teaching other
children at age eight, and by the time he was 12 he had five pupils. After the
war he became principal cellist of the Budapest Opera and the Budapest Philharmonic
Orchestras. After travelling parts of Europe, he emigrated to the US in 1948 to
become principal cellist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra under Antal Doráti.
In 1949 he moved to New York to become principal cellist of the Metropolitan Opera
under Fritz Reiner. It was in New York that he made the first of his acclaimed
recordings of the Bach Cello Suites. From 1958 until his death, he taught at the
Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where he held the title of Distinguished
Professor. He trained some of the most accomplished cellists. Among them is Emilio
Colon, David Effron and Maria Kliegel. At Starkers 75th birthday celebration
in 1999 many of them performed (?) b.
July 5th 1924.
2013: Barry Fey (73)
American rock concert promoter based out of Colorado who was best known for bringing
prominent music acts to the United States for the first time. His first concert
was Baby Huey and the Babysitters in 1965 at the American Legion Hall in Rockford
that made only $92. On December 26th 1968 he promoted the first Led Zeppelin show
in North America. Shortly after in June 1969, Feyline presented the 3 day Denver
Pop Festival, which featured the final performance of The Jimi Hendrix Experience.
He promoted more shows with The Rolling Stones and The Who than anybody else all
before the days of the "national tours"
and U2's "Under a Blood Red Sky" at Red Rocks, among so many others.
In 1991, Barry merged with Universal Concerts, which later bought him out in 1997,
after a 30 year career. In an interview withImage magazine they called Barry,
"Not only the best promoter in the land, but "A National Treasure".
Bill Clinton videotaped a message of thanks and congratulations upon his retirement
in 1997. After 9/11, he spearheaded a campaign that provided more than 7,000 pounds
of toys to be delivered to victims' children. November 1st 2011 he announced the
completion of his book "Backstage Past" with forewords written by Ozzy
and Sharon Osbourne and Pete Townshend and in 2012 he was inducted into the Colorado
Music Hall of Fame
(sadly Barry committed suicide) b. July 16th 1939.
2013: Paulo Emilio
Vanzolini (89) Brazilian scientist and
music composer; he was best known by his samba compositions, including the famous
'Ronda' and 'Boca da Noite' and for his scientific works in herpetology. He is
considered one of the greatest samba composers from São Paulo
April 25th 1924.
2014: Dennis Kamakahi (61) Hawaiian slack
key guitarist, recording artist, music composer and Christian minister. He started
out his proffessional career playing guitar with Na Leo O Nu'uanu and went on
to become one of Hawaii's most prolific songwriters in the Hawaiian language,
composing 500 songs. Many of his songs became Hawaiian classics, including Pua
Hone, Wahine 'Ilikea, E Hihiwai, Koke'e, Golden Stallion, Selamoku, Hualalai,
Kou Aloha Mau A Mau, Na Makani 'Eha, Na Ali'i Pu'olani. In 1974, Dennis recorded
with the Sons of Hawai'i for the National Geographic Society's Music of the World
series. It would be the beginning of seven albums under the Hawaii Sons label
and the recording of many of his music compositions. He was a 3 time grammy winner
and has been honoured with many awards including the 2007 Lifetime Achievement
Award from the Hawaii Academy of Recording Arts as a member of the Sons of Hawaii
and inducted into the Hawaiian Music Hall Of Fame (sadly he died while battling
lung cancer) b. March 31st 1953.
Idris Sardi (75) Indonesian violinist and composer; born in Jakarta,
he learned to play the violin when he was only six years old and at age 10, he
performed in public for the first time in Yogyakarta in 1949. He was awarded the
prestigious Citra Award for best sound in several movies: Pengantin Remaja/Young
Newlyweds in 1971, Perkawinan/Marriage in 1973, Cinta Pertama/First Love in 1974,
and Doea Tanda Mata/Two Mementos in 1985. He composed an astounding 1,900 songs,
four of which won Piala Citra awards for Best Film Score in the 1970s and 1980s.
(?) b. June 7th 1938.
1953: Alice Ernestine Prin (52) French
nightclub singer, artists' model, actress, painter; She was a symbol of bohemian
and creative Paris, she flourished in, and helped define, the 1920s liberated
culture of Paris. At age 28 she was declared Queen of Montparnasse and was one
of the century's first truly independent women. Kiki's music hall performances
in black hose and garters included crowd-pleasing risqué songs, which were
uninhibited, yet inoffensive. For a few years during the 1930s, she owned a Montparnasse
cabaret, which she named Chez Kiki. As an artists' model she poses for dozens
of artists, including Chaim Soutine, Julian Mandel, Tsuguharu Foujita, Francis
Picabia, Jean Cocteau, Arno Breker, Alexander Calder, Per Krohg, Hermine David,
Pablo Gargallo, Mayo, and Tono Salazar. Moise Kisling painted a portrait of Kiki
titled Nu assis, one of his best known. (Kiki died in Sanary-sur-Mer, from complications
of alcoholism or drug dependence. Many artists and fans attended her funeral and
followed the procession to her interment in the Cimetière du Montparnasse)
b. October 2nd 1901.
1961: Miff Mole/Irving Milfred Mole (63) American
jazz trombonist and band leader born in Roosevelt, New York. As a child, he studied
violin and piano and switched to trombone when he was 15. His major recordings
included "Slippin' Around", "Red Hot Mama" in 1924 with Sophie
Tucker on vocals, "Miff's Blues", "There'll Come a Time (Wait and
See)", on the film soundtrack to the 2008 movie The Curious Case of Benjamin
Button, and "Toddlin' Blues" and "Davenport Blues", recorded
in 1925 with Bix Beiderbecke and Tommy Dorsey as Bix Beiderbecke and His Rhythm
Jugglers. He is considered as one of the greatest jazz trombonists and credited
with creating "the first distinctive and influential solo jazz trombone style".
became a regular at Nick's in Manhattan, where he played with Pee Wee Russell,
Baby Dodds, and others, but due to bad health,
he played very sporadically during his last years. Sadly Miff died broke in New
York City, a benefit gig to raise money for him took place just too late. He was
buried in a pauper's grave (?)
b. March 11th 1898.
1961: Cisco Houston/Gilbert
Vandine Houston (42) American
folk singer and songwriter who is closely associated with Woody Guthrie due to
their extensive history of recording together. He
was a regular recording artist for Moses Asch's Folkways recording studio. He
also performed with such folk/blues musicians as Lead Belly, Sonny Terry, and
the Almanac Singers. Born in Wilmington, Delaware, but moved to California while
he was still young, and he attended school in Eagle Rock, Los Angeles where began
to play the guitar. In 1938 he pursued a career in acting. During this time he
visited folk singer Woody Guthrie at a radio studio in Hollywood, which was the
beginning of the close friendship with Guthrie. The two men began traveling together,
touring migrant worker camps, singing, and promoting unionism and workers
rights, eventually making their way to New York City. Cisco toured India in 1959
with Sonny Terry, Brownie McGhee, and Marilyn Childs. In 1960 he hosted the television
special, Folk Sound U.S.A. on CBS, and appeared later that year at
the Newport Folk Festival (sadly
died of stomach cancer) b. August 18th 1918.
1967: J. B. Lenoir (38) American
blues guitarist and singer-songwriter, his initials "J.B." had no specific
meaning; his given name was simply "J.B". During the early 1940s, he
worked with blues artists Sonny Boy Williamson II and Elmore James in New Orleans.
In 1949, he moved to Chicago where he began to perform at local nightclubs with
musicians such as Memphis Minnie, Big Maceo Merriweather, and Muddy Waters, and
became an important part of the city's blues scene. He began recording in 1951,
his recording of "Korea Blues" was licensed to and released by Chess,
as having been performed by 'J. B. and his Bayou Boys'. His band included pianist
Sunnyland Slim, guitarist Leroy Foster, and drummer Alfred Wallace. His more successful
songs included "Let's Roll", "The Mojo" featuring sax player
J. T. Brown, and the controversial "Eisenhower Blues" which his record
company, Parrot, forced him to re-record as "Tax Paying Blues". His
most commercially successful release was "Mamma Talk To Your Daughter",
recorded in 1954 which reached No.11 on the Billboard R&B chart and was later
recorded by many other blues and rock musicians. In the later 1950s, he wrote
several more blues standards including; "Don't Dog Your Woman", and
"Don't Touch My Head" (J.B. sadly died
from a heart attack related to injuries he suffered in a car accident three weeks
b. March 5th 1929.
James McCracken (61) American tenor
born in Gary, Indiana; he made his professional opera debut in 1952 with the Central
City Opera in Colorado as Rodolfo in Puccini's La bohème and sang minor
roles at the Metropolitan Opera from 1953 to 1957, while he was still a student.
In 1957, he moved to Europe and made his debut at the Vienna State Opera and had
great success with the Zürich Opera. Otello
was one of his signature roles. Starting in 1963, he became one of the Met's principal
dramatic tenors. New productions that starred James were Otello 1963 and 1972,
Carmen '72, Aida '76, Le prophete '77 and Tannhaeuser '78, his only leading Wagnerian
role. He took part in a live telecast of Verdi's Aida, on Jan 3rd 1985, which
was historic in that it was Leontyne Price's farewell to the operatic stage..
He was a member of the Metropolitan Opera's final U.S. tour, where he sang the
role of Canio in Pagliacci. James left behind a number of recordings, such as
"Le prophète" with Marilyn Horne and Renata Scotto, c1976, "Carmen"
conducted by Leonard Bernstein, 1972, "Fidelio" with Birgit Nilsson,
1964, "Otello" with Dame Gwyneth Jones, 1968 and "Pagliacci"
1967, as well as Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder with Jessye Norman, Tatiana Troyanos
and David Arnold in 1979 (?)
b. December 16th 1926
Floyd Butler (52)
vocalist; member of the musical group, 'The Vocals' from 1963 until they disabanded
in 1965, their first single, 'Lonesome
Mood,' was released in '64. He next joined 'The Fifth Dimension,' before co-founding
the group, 'The Friends of Distinction,'
in 1968. The group had several hits including 'Grazing In The Grass,' 'Going In
Circles,' 'Time Waits For No One,' I Need You,' and 'Love Or Let Me Be Lonely,'
(Floyd sadly died of a heart attack)
b. June 5th 1937
1993: Mick Ronson (46) English
guitarist, composer, multi-instrumentalist, arranger and producer; after several
attempts through the '60s of making it in London, he got his break in early 1970,
when he joined David Bowie's new backing band called The Hype. The Hype played
their first gig at The Roundhouse on 22 February 1970. They also went under the
names 'Harry The Butcher' and 'David Bowie's New Electric Band' before they became
known as The Spiders From Mars. Mick was a key part of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy
Stardust and the Spiders from Mars album. He
co-produced Lou Reed's album Transformer with Bowie, playing lead guitar on the
album and piano on the song "Perfect Day". Again with Bowie, he recut
the track "The Man Who Sold The World" for Lulu, released as a single
in the UK, and played on a few tracks on the Dana Gillespie album "Weren't
Born a Man". He appeared on the 1972 country-rock album Bustin' Out by Pure
Prairie League, and on Bowie's Aladdin Sane and 1973's covers album "Pin
Ups". After leaving Bowie after the "Farewell Concert" in 1973,
Mick released three solo albums. After a short stint with Mott the Hoople he became
a long-time collaborator with former Mott the Hoople leader Ian Hunter. Mick went
on to work as a musician, writer and record producer with many other acts including
Slaughter & The Dogs, Morrissey, The Wildhearts, The Rich Kids, Elton John,
Johnny Cougar, T-Bone Burnett, Dalbello, Benny Mardones, Iron City Houserockers
and the Italian band Moda and many others. His last, high profile, live performance
was his famed appearance at The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992. Poignantly,
he played on "All The Young Dudes" with David Bowie and Ian Hunter,
and "Heroes" with Bowie. His s last ever recorded session was as a guest
on the 1993 Wildhearts album Earth Vs The Wildhearts, where he played the guitar
solo on the song "My Baby Is A Headfuck" (cancer)
b. May 26th 1946.
Michael "Micky" Waller (66) British
drummer born in Hammersmith, London; he was much in demand as a session musician
and played with many of the biggest names on the UK rock and blues scene after
he became a professional musician in 1960 and eventually he became Rod Stewart's
drummer of choice. His first pro-band, The Flee-Rekkers, had a No.23 hit in the
UK Singles Chart in 1960, with their recording of "Green Jeans". He
left to join a well-known band of the day, Joe Brown and the Bruvvers. In July
1963, he joined the Cyril Davies R&B All Stars. After Davies' death in 1964,
he joined Marty Wilde as one of the Wildecats. After a short stint with Georgie
Fame and the Blue Flames, who he rejoined several times, he joined Brian Auger
as part of The Trinity. In April 1965, the group evolved into The Steampacket.
He also worked with the Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, the Jeff Beck Group, John
Mayall's Bluesbreakers, Little Richard, Chuck Berry and in 1968, was involved
in staging the rock musical Hair in London. He also played with the Walker Brothers,
Cat Stevens, Eric Clapton, Bo Diddley, Dusty Springfield, Paul McCartney, Rod
Stewart and played in the band of Tex- Mex accordion player Flaco Jimenez in the
mid-80s. But blues and R&B were his love, and after much studio work in the
1970s and 80s he continued throughout his later years, to play live in bands such
as the Deluxe Blues Band, the Terry Smith Blues Band, and his own Micky Waller
(sadly Micky died from liver failure) b. September 6th 1941. a
few sources give Micky Waller's death as May 6th 2008
(both in 2008)
Jonah Jones (90)
American jazz trumpeter; he began in the 1920s playing on
Mississippi riverboats, in 1928 he joined with Horace Henderson, before working
with Jimmie Lunceford and from 1932-1936 he had a successful collaboration with
Stuff Smith. In the 1940s he worked in big bands like Benny Carter's and Fletcher
Henderson and spend most of the decade with Cab Calloway's band. In the 1950s
he had his own quartet, his most mentioned accomplishment of this style is perhaps
their version of "On The Street Where You Live." which led to his quartet
performing on An Evening With Fred Astaire in 1958 and won at the Grammy Awards
of 1960. In 1972 he made a return to more "core" jazz work with Earl
Hines. He was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1999 (died
in New York City) b. December 31st 1909.
Vladimir Krainev (67) Russian pianist, professor
and a People's
Artist of the USSR, born in Krasnoyarsk, he made his solo debut when he was seven
years old, performing Haydn and Beethoven concertos. After winning first prizes
at international contests in Lisbon, Portugal and Leeds, England, and especially
after his brilliant victory at the ninth International Tchaikovsky Competition
in Moscow ib 1970, his career as a pianist began. He performed with some of the
world's leading orchestras and conductors, and collaborated with renowned artists
throughout the world. Alfred Schnittke dedicated one of his piano concertos to
him. International music festivals known as "The Invitation of Vladimir Krainev"
were held each year in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and concerts called
"Vladimir Krainev: his Friends and Pupils" were given annually at the
Moscow Conservatory. Krainev was a jury member of many international piano competitions,
for instance: Leeds, Lisbon, and Tokyo, as well as the Tchaikovsky Competition
in Moscow. In 1994, he established the Vladimir Krainev International Fund for
(sadly Vladimir died from an aortic aneurysm)
b. April 1st 1944.
David Mason (85) English orchestral, solo and
session trumpet player born in London and educated at Christ's Hospital and the
Royal College of Music.
After leaving college he became a member of the orchestra of the Royal Opera House,
moving on later to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra where he eventually became
principal trumpet. After seven years in that role he moved to the Philharmonia,
where he remained for most of the rest of his orchestral career. He was a professor
of trumpet at the Royal College of Music for thirty years. Back in January 1967
at Abbey Road Studios David recorded the piccolo trumpet solo which is a prominent
part of The Beatles' song "Penny Lane" and even further back he was
the flugelhorn soloist for the world premiere of Ralph Vaughan Williams's Symphony
No. 9 in April 1958.
(David sadly died fighting leukaemia)
b. April 2nd 1926.
2014: Iveta Bartoová
(48) Czech singer, actress and celebrity, born
in Celadná and spend her childhood and adolescence in Frentát
pod Radhotem. She was three-time best female vocalist in the music poll
Zlatý slavík in 1986, 1990 and 1991 and also known for her turbulent
lifestyle attracting the attention of the Czech tabloid media (she
committed suicide by throwing herself under a train in Uhríneves, Prague)
b. April 8th 1966
Paul Goddard (68) American bass player and a
founding member of the stylish Southern rock band the Atlanta Rhythm Section.
He performed on ARS hits such
as So Into You,
Im Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight,
Do It or Die and the remake of the Classics IVs Spooky.
Rolling Stone magazine voted his work on Another Mans Woman,
from the 1979 live album Are You Ready!, as one of the top five bass solos of
all time (sadly Paul died while
fighting cancer) b. June 3rd 1945.
Batyrkhan Shukenov (52) Kazakh-Russian
saxophonist, singer, frontman and co-founder of the pop band A-Studio. He started
his musical career with the position of a singer saxophonist at Rosa Rymbaevas
ensemble. In 1987, the band changed its name to "Alma-Ata". In 1988
it was renamed into the "A-Studio" and he became its lead singer and
frontman. They became famous for such hits as "Julia", "Soldier
of Love," "These warm summer days", "Unloved" and others.
left the band in 2000 for a solo career. During this time, he released six CDs
with his songs. In 2009, the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) appointed Batyrkhan the
first national Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF in Kazakhstan. (sadly
died of a heart attack) b. May 18th 1962.
Dmytro Hnatyuk (91) Ukrainian
baritone opera singer and a former member of the Ukrainian Parliament; born in
the village of Mamaesti, he graduated from the Kiev Conservatory in 1951 as an
opera and chamber singer. He was a singer at the Kiev Opera and Ballet Theatre
appearing as a soloist in many songs. In 1988, he became the director of the State
Academic Theatre of Opera and Ballet and was elected the head of the Musical Society
of Ukraine, as the head of the Kiyvan Theatrical Society, as a member of the Committee
of State Shevchenko Prizes, the Committee of Defense and Peace and others. Over
his career he sang in many operas by Ukrainian and worldwide composers.
b. March 28th 1925.
David Page (55)
musician and composer; raised in Brisbane, he was a descendant of the Nunkul people
and the Munaldjali clan of the Yugambeh tribe from southeast Queensland and studied
saxophone, voice, composition and song at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies in
Music at Adelaide University. He joined Bangarra Dance Theatre in 1991 as a composer
and was eventually elevated to the most senior role as music director. His major
works include major works: Praying Mantis Dreaming (1992), Ochres (1995), Ninni
(1996), Fish (1997), Skin (2000), Corroboree (2001), Bush (2003), Unaipon/Clan
(2004), Boomerang (2005), X300 (2007) and Mathinna (2008). Since 1995, he has
been nominated for eight awards for the Deadlys Sound Awards and won four
of them. He was also nominated for an ARIA award for his work in Heartland in
1996 and was the first winner of the Indigenous Artist Award for the Sidney Myer
Foundation in 2000. David was also responsible for creating the music behind the
2000 Sydney Olympic Games. In 2014 he performed in the Queensland Theatre Company
and Sydney festival production 'Black Diggers' and restaged his 1994 one-man autobiographical
show 'Page 8', about his life as a young singing star on the rise. (tragically
died very unexpectedly) b. 1961.
Aaron Aites (??) American
vocalist, creator and frontman of the experimental rock band Iran. He founded
Iran in San Francisco in 1998. The band debuted in 2000 with a self-titled album.
It would go on to release two more albums, 2003's The Moon Boys and 2009's Dissolver.
In 2009, Aaron and his life partner Audrey Ewell directed the documentary about
Norwegian black metal "Until the Light Takes Us". They also directed
99%: The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film in 2013, and 2015's Memory Box.In
recent months, TV on the Radio, Thee Oh Sees, and several other artists auctioned
off collectibles and played benefit shows to help cover Aaron's medical bills.
(sadly died while bravely battling kidney cancer)
1943: Leo Smit (42)
Dutch composer of many works from 1923 to the early 40s
(tragically killed during The Holocaust at the Sobibor extermination
b. May 14th 1900.
Farina (29) American folk singer and author born
in Brooklyn, New York, of Cuban and Irish descent. He wrote "Been Down So
Long It Looks Like Up To Me" and also appeared in the film "Festival".
Richard married Mimi
the sister of folk singer Joan Baez in 1963. They
moved to a tiny cabin in Carmel, California, where they composed songs on a guitar
and Appalachian dulcimer and debuted their act as "Richard & Mimi Fariña"
at the Big Sur Folk Festival in 1964 and were signed to Vanguard Records. They
recorded their first album, Celebrations For a Grey Day, with the help of Bruce
Langhorne, who had previously played for Dylan. Due to his short life, his musical
output was limited, released 3 albums, one posthumously
(Richard tragically died in a motorcyle accident
after his book signing party)
March 8th 1937
1970: Hall Johnson (82)
American composer and arranger born in Athens,
Georgia; he taught himself to play the violin and went on to play the violin and
viola professionally, including in the orchestra for the 1921 musical, Shuffle
Along. He became more interested in choral music, forming the Hall Johnson Negro
Choir, the first of many choral ensembles, in 1925. Hall Johnson and his choir
became renowned through their participation in the 1930 Broadway production of
Marc Connelly's The Green Pastures as well as in national and international tours
of the play, radio versions, the 1936 film adaptation, and Hallmark Hall of Fame
television broadcasts. He also arranged music for and conduct his choir in more
than thirty feature-length Hollywood films, as well as a number of short films
and cartoons. In 1975 he was posthumously honored for his work in films by being
elected to the Black Filmmakers Hall of Fame
died during a fire at his New York apartment) b.
March 12th 1888.
1982: Lester Bangs (33) American rock critic;
he began writing freelance in
1969, after reading an ad in Rolling Stone
soliciting readers' reviews. His first piece was a negative review of the MC5
album Kick Out The Jams. In 1973, Jann Wenner fired him from Rolling Stone over
a negative review of Canned Heat, after which he moved to Detroit to edit and
write for Creem, which is where his legendary stature as a rock critic really
began to grow. After leaving Creem, he wrote for The Village Voice, Penthouse,
Playboy, New Musical Express and many other publications. Lester was not only
involved as a critic of music but as a musician in his own right. He teamed up
with Joey Ramone's brother, Mickey Leigh to put together a New York group named
Birdland. In 1980 he traveled to Austin, Texas and met a punk rock group named
the Delinquents. During his stay in Austin he recorded an album as Lester Bangs
and the Delinquents entitled "Jook Savages on the Brazos" (tragically
overdosed through drug interaction, after treating a cold with Darvon and Valium)
b. December 13th 1948.
1983: Andy Cavaliere
(36) British manager of Steve Winwood
and others (heart attack)
Muddy Waters/McKinley Morganfield (68) American
legendary Blues Man born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, he taught himself harmonica
as a child. He later took up guitar, eagerly absorbing the classic delta blues
styles of Robert Johnson and Son House and went on to be known as "the Father
of Chicago blues". In 1940, Muddy moved to Chicago for the first time. He
played with Silas Green a year later, and then returned to Mississippi. In the
early part of the decade he ran a juke joint, complete with gambling, moonshine
and a jukebox; he also performed music there himself. In 1943, Muddy headed back
to Chicago were he eventually recorded including "Baby Face", "Hoochie
Coochie Man", "Rollin' and Tumblin'", "I Just Want to Make
Love to You", "I'm Ready", "Got My Mojo Working" and
"Long Distance Call". Muddy headed to England in 1958 and shocked audiences
with his loud, amplified electric guitar and thunderous beat,
he was a major inspiration for the British blues explosion in the 1960s.
His performance at the 1960 Newport Jazz Festival, recorded and released as his
first live album, "At Newport 1960", helped turn on a whole new generation
to his sound. In the 70s he won six Grammy Awards, plus recieving a Grammy Lifetime
Achievement Award in 1992. In the 90s and 2000s he won 4 Blues Foundation Awards.
Muddy has also been inducted into both the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame and Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame and was ranked #17 in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the
100 Greatest Artists of All Time. (Sadly passed away in
his sleep) b.
April 4th 1913.
James McCracken (61) American tenor vocalist;
he made his professional opera debut in 1952 with the Central City Opera in Colorado
as Rodolfo in Puccini's La bohème. He sang minor roles at the Metropolitan
Opera from 1953-1957, while he was still a student. In 1957, he moved to Europe
making his debut at the Vienna State Opera. He had great success with the Zürich
Opera and in
1963, he became one of the Met's principal dramatic tenors. Productions that he
starred in included Otello, Carmen, Aida, Le prophete and Tannhaeuser. James left
us a number of recordings, such as "Le prophète", with Marilyn
Horne and Renata Scotto; "Carmen", conducted by Leonard Bernstein; "Fidelio"
with Birgit Nilsson; "Otello" with Dame Gwyneth Jones; "Pagliacci",
and Schoenberg's Gurre-Lieder with Jessye Norman, Tatiana Troyanos and David Arnold,
from 1979. James was a member of the Metropolitan Opera's final U.S. tour, where
he sang the role of Canio in Pagliacci
(?) b. December 16th 1926.
1999: Darrell Sweet (51)
English drummer for the Scottish hard rock band, Nazareth. He was a co-founder
of Nazareth, which was formed in 1968. The band moved to London in 1970 and released
their eponymous debut album in 1971. After their second album Exercises, in 1972,
Nazareth supported Deep Purple on tour, and issued the Roger Glover produced,
Razamanaz, in early 1973. This collection spawned two UK Top Ten hits, "Broken
Down Angel" and "Bad Bad Boy". This was followed by Loud 'N' Proud
in late 1973, which contained another hit single with a hard-rocking cover of
Joni Mitchell's song "This Flight Tonight". Then came Rampant, in 1974,
that was equally successful with the single, "Shanghai'ed in Shanghai".
1975 album, Hair of the Dog, title track, popularly though incorrectly, known
as "Son Of A Bitch", became a staple of 1970s rock radio. The American
version of the album included the The Everly Brothers, and Roy Orbison, the melodic
ballad "Love Hurts", that was released as a hit single in the UK and
in the U.S., where it went platinum. The track became the band's only U.S. Top
Ten hit and it spent a record-breaking 60 weeks on the Norwegian chart. Darrell
toured, performed and recorded with Nazareth for 31 years and performed on 29
albums (and any best ofs) before his untimely death. (The
band had arrived at Indiana's New Albany Amphitheater when Darrell began to feel
ill, within minutes he had gone into cardiac arrest and was taken to Floyd Memorial
Hospital in New Albany, where so sadly, doctors pronounced him dead) b.
16 May 16th 1947.
Grégory Lemarchal (23) French singer born in La Tronche, Isère,
he rose to fame by winning the 4th series of the reality TV programme Star Academy
France, broadcast on the TF1 television network. He sold over 1 million albums
in France, becoming the second highest-selling album of Star Academy France winner,
behind Jenifer Bartoli, who sold 1.3 million albums in 2007. In March 2005, Gregory
released his debut single, "Écris l'histoire", which peaked at
No.2 in French Singles Chart. His first album, 'Je deviens moi', debuted at No.1
and was certified platinum. From May to June 2006, he completed his first solo
nationwide tour across France, Belgium and Switzerland and a DVD album of his
performance, Olympia 06, was released. His first single of the album, "Même
si (What You're Made of)" reached No.2 (sadly Gregory
died of cystic fibrosis) b. May 13th 1983.
Zola Taylor (69)
American singer born in Los Angeles, California. She was
the only female member of The Platters from 1954 to 1962, when the group produced
most of their popular singles such as "My Prayer", "Twilight Time",
"Harbor Lights", "To Each His Own", "If I Didn't Care"
and "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes". The group was inducted into the Rock
and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 and into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in its inaugural
year of 1998. The Platters were the first rock and roll group to have a Top Ten
album in America. They were also the only act to have three songs included on
the American Graffiti soundtrack that sparked an oldies revival in the early to
mid-1970s: "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", "The Great Pretender"
and "Only You (and You Alone)". (died
from pneumonia, following a series of strokes)
b. March 17th 1938.
2007: Grégory Jean-Paul
Lemarchal (23) French singer who rose to fame
by winning the fourth series of the reality TV programme Star Academy France,
broadcast on the TF1 television network. In
March 2005, Gregory released his debut single, "Écris l'histoire",
which peaked at number 2 in French Singles Chart. His debut album sold over 1
million albums in France, "Je deviens moi", becoming the second highest-selling
album of Star Academy France winner, behind Jenifer Bartoli. At the 2006 NRJ Music
Awards, Gregory won the award "Breakthrough Artist of the Year". His
posthumous album, La Voix d'un ange, was released one month and a half after his
death, with profits going towards the Association Grégory Lemarchal, again
reached No.1 in the charts. (Tragically
he died prematurely from complications of cystic fibrosis, a hereditary disease
which affects the lungs, liver, pancreas and intestine of which he was diagnosed
with at the age of twenty months. Gregory died while waiting for a lung transplant)
May 13th 1983.
2009: Ron Richards/Ronald
Richard Pratley (80)
British record producer, best known for discovering The
in London, he played the piano and saxophone for the Central Band of the Royal
Air Force. He later worked at EMI's Parlophone imprint as an assistant to producer
George Martin. He went on to discover and sign The Hollies in 1963 to a recording
contract with the Parlophone label. Ron produced most of The Hollies' music between
1963 to 1979, during which time they had seventeen Top 10 hit singles in the UK,
as well as worldwide success. He also produced The Beatles' "Love Me Do"
and Gerry & the Pacemakers' "You'll Never Walk Alone". In August
1965, he joined Martin in leaving EMI to start AIR Studios.Working for Liberty
Records, Ron was also the musical director for P.J. Proby and they worked together
on the Proby albums.(?) b.
January 22nd 1929.
2010: Gerry Ryan (53)
Irish disc jockey and radio-television
presenter born in Dublin. He presented The Gerry Ryan Show on radio station RTÉ
2fm each weekday morning from 1988 until his death. Gerry
hosted several series of television shows, including Secrets, Gerry Ryan Tonight,
Ryantown, Gerry Ryan's Hitlist and Operation Transformation and Ryan Confidential,
which recently finished its seventh series on RTÉ One. He was also noted
for co-presenting the 1994 Eurovision Song Contest from the Point Theatre, Dublin
and presenting an edition of the long-running chat show The Late Late Show in
2008 (On April 29th Gerry had mentioned feeling ill and
cancelled all his appointments. He was found dead in the bedroom of his Leeson
Street, Dublin apartment by his partner and a builder the following afternoon.
The alarm was raised when he failed to turn up to present his radio show that
morning) b. June 4th 1956.
2013: Tim Hensley (50) American country multi-instrumentalist,
vocalist and recording artist born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and raised in nearby Norwood.
Growing up, he sang in gospel groups and listened to bluegrass and soon taught
himself to play banjo, as well as guitar, Dobro, mandolin, bass and steel guitar.
spent 11 years as a key member of country superstar Kenny Chesneys touring
band and in-studio team. He also spent 10 years in Patty Loveless band,
and a year with Ricky Skaggs. A superb harmony vocalist, he sang on albums including
Chesneys When The Sun Goes Down and No Shoes, No Shirt,
No Problems, Skaggs Comin Home To Stay and Loveless
When Fallen Angels Fly and Trouble With The Truth. His
vocals onstage and in the studio were a hallmark of Loveless live shows
and records in the 1990s. Tim also had a solo career and in 2008 released his
only solo album Long Monday. That same year Tim realized a childhood
dream when he played the Grand Ole Opry on April 4th 2008 (sadly
died from liver failure) b. October 8th 1962.
2013: Deanna Durbin/Edna Mae Durbin (91) Canadian
singer and actress; born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, she appeared in a number of musical
films in the 1930s and 1940s. With the technical skill and vocal range of a legitimate
lyric soprano, she performed everything from popular standards to operatic arias.
Between December 15th 1936 and July 22nd 1947, she recorded 50 tunes for Decca
Records. While often re-creating her movie songs for commercial release, she also
covered independent standards, like "Kiss Me Again", "My Hero",
"Annie Laurie", "Poor Butterfly", "Love's Old Sweet Song"
and "God Bless America" (?)
b. December 4th 1921.
2013: Paul Shurey (53) British
drummer and keyboard player who in 1989 went into acid house and dance music and
became a major rave promoter, when he founded the Tribal Gathering music festivals
which were popular on the rave and dance scene in the Nineties. The first Tribal
Gathering took place Friday 30 April 1993 at Lower Pertwood Farm, Warminster,
25,000 people attended to see acts such as diverse as Laurent Garnier, Carl Cox,
Slipmatt, The DiY Sound System and Pete Tong. In 1994 Tribal Gathering moved to
Munich Germany and in cooperation with "N.A.S.A/ Hannover Nice And Safe Attitude"
managed to stage one of the most exciting event in Munich and Universe/Tribal
Gathering was selected as the best event in Germany in 1994. In the UK Tribal
Gathering teamed up with the Mean Fiddler organisation to organise more legal
festivals. The next event took place in May 1995, UK Tribal Gathering at Otmoor
Park, Beckley, Oxfordshire. Headline acts included The Prodigy, Orbital and Moby.
By 1998, the Tribal Gathering name had grown into a brand, with albums, a TV Show
and plans to establish events worldwide. However their things did not go to schedule
and the 1998 event did not take place due to Universe and Mean Fiddler's legal
battle of the Tribal Gathering name (tragically
Paul died from head injuries; he slipped and fell on cobblestones in while in
Goa, India, banging his head. He became ill two days later, and sadly died after
two operations) b. 1959
Kartina Dahari (73) Malaysian singer and best
known for her song "Sayang Di Sayang"/Lover is Loved. She was also known
as the queen of keroncong, a traditional Malay folk music genre as well as being
the face and voice of Malay television and radio from the 1960s to the 1980s.
She received many awards throughout her illustrious career, including the Artistic
Excellence Award by The Composers and Authors Society of Singapore in 2010 and
MediaCorp Suria's "Perdana Emas" or Golden Award in 2009, which was
presented by former president S.R. Nathan (sadly
Kartina died while bravely fighting ovarian cancer) b. 1940/41
Joe Young (54) American
guitarist and founding member of the punk rock band, Antiseen; he grew up in Lenoir
and ran Lenoirs Repo Depot record store for 10 years with his younger brother,
Jeff. Joe discovered the likes of the Ramones, the Clash and the Sex Pistols while
working at the record store and it wasnt long after that the brothers moved
to Charlotte and started the band Antiseen which became a notorious and sometimes
controversial voice in Southern punk rock. The band has a strong love for professional
wrestling and have displayed this by making musical tributes to various wrestlers,
including Cactus Jack, Sabu, Terry Funk, and Abdullah the Butcher. Non-specific
songs include "(I'm a) Babyface Killer" and "From Parts Unknown"
which is a tribute to wrestlers who wear masks. Other hits include "Walking
Dead" and "Run My World" (sadly Joe died
unexpectedly of a heart attack) b. 1960
Ronald Senator (89) British composer,
(tragically died in a house fire)
2015: Patachou (96) French singer
2015: Ben E. King/Benjamin Earl Nelson
(76) American soul and R&B singer born in
Henderson, North Carolina and moved to Harlem, New York, at the age of nine in
As a teenager in Harlem, he helped out in his fathers three restaurants,
he sang in church choirs but also joined his school friends in a street-corner
vocal group, the Four Bs, imitating the harmonies they heard in recordings by
such doo-wop heroes as the Cadillacs, the Five Satins, the Charms, the Moonglows,
and Little Anthony and the Imperials. Aged 20, in 1958, he joined a doo-wop group
the Five Crowns; later that year, the Drifters' manager George Treadwell fired
all the members of the original Drifters, and replaced them with the members of
the Five Crowns. Ben co-wrote and sang lead on the first Atlantic hit with the
new incarnation of the Drifters, "There Goes My Baby" >>>
MORE <<< (sadly Ben had been suffering
from heart illnesses, died from natural causes) b.
September 28th 1938
Harrison Calloway (75) American trumpet, bandleader and founder member
of The Muscle Shoals Horns, the brass section of session musicians who performed
on many R&B and rock records between the late 1960s and the mid-1980s, as
well as making their own recordings which included the 1976 R&B chart hit
"Born To Get Down". Other members were Ronnie Eades on baritone saxophone,
Harvey Thompson on saxophone and flute, and Charles Rose on trombone. Harrison
was seen by the other members as "the father of the group". They began
recording together at the FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals in the late 1960s, and
performed on 300 albums, by musicians including Bob Dylan, B.B. King, and Elton
John, often working with the musicians of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. They
also achieved commercial success in their own right, releasing three albums under
their own name, with four records on the R&B singles chart in 1976-77
"Born To Get Down (Born To Mess Around)", "Open Up Your Heart",
"Bump De Bump Yo Boodie", and "Dance To The Music" (Harrison
suffered the stroke on April 22nd, tragically he never regained consciousness)
b. November 6th 1941.
Phil Ryan (69) Welsh keyboardist and composer,
born in Port Talbot, he played trombone in the National Youth Orchestra, until
his rock career started in 1964 when he formed the Port Talbot/Neath band The
Smokestacks, before joining The Eyes of Blue. They turned professional and won
the 1966 Melody Maker Beat Contest, winning a one-year record contract, but neither
of their singles, "Heart Trouble" / "Up And Down" and "Supermarket
Full of Cans" / "Don't Ask Me To Mend Your Broken Heart", sold
well. In 1970 Phil joined Pete Brown & Piblokto! playing on a single, "Flying
Hero Sandwich" / "My Last Band", after which he joined the Welsh
rock band, Man, but left in 1973 to re-form the Neutrons. Phil started working
with Pete Brown again and also toured with Gallagher and Lyle, including a 1978
BBC "In Concert" session. Phil moved to Denmark in 1980, where he met
and married the actress Bolette Bernild. In the 1980s he wrote the score for the
BBC Play For To Day, Red Shift. Although living in Denmark, he continued a productive
song writing partnership with Pete Brown, and they began touring in 1993.
Phil rejoined Man in 1996, playing on the albums 1998 at the Star Club and Endangered
Species, despite suffering a mild stroke, he continued playing and remained in
Man until his death in Denmark (?) b. October 21st 1946.
birthdates and death dates are unique to this site,
I have been working on
them for well over 14
give credit or link if copied
PAGES UPDATED DAILY
you to everyone who sends me any dates or errors .. so VERY appreciated
! ! Big Thanks to Gary Feest for his daily mistake checking for 2010/11 ! !
Big thanks to John for so many UK jazz musician birthdates
! Big Thanks to Terry Miller for his many monthly updates ! !
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