Phil Brodie Band Info Page
1938: Benjamin Robertson "Ben" Harney (65) America songwriter, entertainer, and pioneer of ragtime music. His father's military records show Ben was born in Memphis, Tennessee. He toured widely on the Vaudeville circuits in the USA, as well as tours of theatres in Europe, Asia, Australasia and the South Pacific. His 1895 composition "You've Been a Good Old Wagon but You Done Broke Down" is regarded as one of the first published ragtime songs. Other compositions included "Mister Johnson, Turn Me Loose", "Cake Walk In The Sky", "There's A Knocker Layin' Around", "You May Go, but This Will Bring You Back", "Cannon Ball Catcher", "T.T.T. (Treat, Trade or Travel)", "I Love My Little Honey", "The Wagon" and "There's Only One Way to Keep a Gal". In 1924, the New York Times wrote that Ben "probably did more to popularize ragtime than any other person". Time Magazine termed him "Ragtime's Father" in 1938. (Heart attack) b. March 6th 1872
1942: Charlie Christian (24) American jazz guitarist and blues singer; the first important electric guitarist, he was an important early performer on the electric guitar, and is cited as a key figure in the development of bebop and cool jazz. He gained national exposure as a member of the Benny Goodman Sextet and Orchestra from August 1939 to June 1941. His single-string technique combined with amplification helped bring the guitar out of the rhythm section and into the forefront as a solo instrument. In 1990 Charlie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (tuberculosis) b. July 29th 1916.
1972: James "Spanky" DeBrest (34) American jazz bassist; he played with Lee Morgan in his early years in Philadelphia. In 1957 he was a member of Ray Draper's Quintet, with Jackie McLean, pianist Mal Waldron, and drummer Ben Dixon. He also played with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers until 1958, including sessions with Thelonious Monk. Other credits include work with greats such as John Coltrane, Clifford Jordan, Ray Draper, Lee Morgan, and J. J. Johnson. His last recordings were made in 1971 (?) b. April 24th 1937
1991: Serge Gainsbourg/Lucien Ginsburg (62) French legendary singer, pianist, guitarist; born in Paris, France, known as the saucey old man of popular music and provocateur notorious for his appetite for alcohol, cigarettes, and women, his scandalous, taboo-shattering output made him a legend in Europe but only a cult figure in America. In late-1967, he had a short but ardent love affair with Brigitte Bardot to whom he dedicated the song and album Initials BB. His early songs influenced by Boris Vian, were largely in the vein of old-fashioned chanson. However, Serge began to move beyond this and experiment with a succession of different musical styles: jazz early on to pop in the 1960s, rock and reggae in the 1970s, and electronica in the 1980s. His many hits include "Bonnie and Clyde", "Lemon Incest", "Je t'aime... moi non plus", "Poupée de cire, poupée de son", "Comment te dire adieu", "Mon légionnaire", "White and Black Blues", and "Les Sucettes". During his career, he wrote the soundtracks for more than 40 films. In 1996, he received a posthumous César Award for Best Music Written for a Film for Élisa, along with Zbigniew Preisner and Michel Colombier. (Serge died of a heart attack, his death virtually lead to national mourning in France) b. April 2nd 1928.
1994: Anita Rose Morris (50) American actress, singer, and dancer, born in Durham, Nth. Carolina. Among many roles, her most prominent film role was as Carol Dodsworth, the mistress to Danny DeVito, in Ruthless People and for her sensual performance as Carla in the musical 'Nine' opposite Raul Julia. Her signature number in Nine was "A Call from the Vatican" and she also sang "Simple", late in act two. She was scheduled to perform the former at the Tony Awards in 1982, but the television censors found her outfit too revealing. Her stage work began in the American Mime Theatre and carried her to Broadway both for Nine, Jesus Christ Superstar, Seesaw, The Magic Show, Sugar Babies and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. Other film work included Bloodhounds of Broadway with Madonna, Randy Quaid and Matt Dillon, Ruthless People with Danny DeVito and Bette Midler, 18 Again! with George Burns and Charlie Schlatter, Absolute Beginners with David Bowie and Radioland Murders, which was her final film role. (Anita sadly died after bravely fighting cancer for 14 years) b. March 14th 1943.
1999: David Thomas Ackles (62) American singer-songwriter of the 1960s and 1970s, born in Rock Island, Illinois. Although he never gained wide commercial success, he influenced many other artists. When Elvis Costello was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003, he cited David Ackles in his speech as one of his major influences. Elton John and Phil Collins, are self-declared fans of David too. When Phil Collins was on the British BBC radio show Desert Island Discs, he selected David Ackles' song "Down River" as one of his eight all-time favorite songs. David had also been a child actor, appearing in six of the eight films in Columbia Pictures' Rusty children's film series made 1945-1949. (sadly died of lung cancer) b. February 27th 1937
1999: Dusty Springfield/Mary O'Brien (59) British husky-voiced soul singer; UK's greatest pop diva, also the finest white soul singer of her era, a performer of remarkable emotional resonance whose work spans the decades. She began her solo career in '63 with the upbeat pop hit, "I Only Want To Be With You". Other hits included "I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself", "Wishin' and Hopin'" and "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me". Her rendition of "The Look of Love", was included on the soundtrack of the James Bond movie Casino Royale and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Song. Dusty in Memphis earned her a nomination for the Grammy Award and it received the Grammy Hall of Fame award. International polls list the album among the greatest of all time. Its standout track "Son of a Preacher Man" was an international Top 10 hit in 1969. Because of her enthusiasm for Motown music, she campaigned to get some little-known American soul music singers a better audience in the U.K. She devised and hosted The Sound Of Motown, a special edition of Ready Steady Go! TV programme on 28 April 1965. The show was broadcast by Rediffusion TV from their studios in Kingsway, London. Dusty opened the two parts of the show, performing "Wishin' and Hopin'" and "Can't Hear You No More", accompanied by Martha Reeves and the Vandellas and Motown's in-house band The Funk Brothers. Other guests included The Temptations, The Supremes, The Miracles, Stevie Wonder. In 1987, she sang with the Pet Shop Boys on their single "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" it reached No.2 on both sides of the Atlantic. While in Nashville, Dusty fell ill during the recording her final album A Very Fine Love (breast cancer) b. April 16th 1939.
2003: Hank Ballard/John Henry Kendricks (75) American singer and songwriter born in Bessemer, Alabama, but grew up in Detroit, Michigan with relatives, where he began singing in church. In 1951, he formed a doo-wop group and was discovered by the legendary band leader Johnny Otis, and was signed to sing with a group called The Royals. The group changed its name to The Midnighters to avoid confusion with The "5" Royales. Their debut single in 1953 "Get It" was shunned by many radio stations because it contained sexually oriented lyrics. In 1954, Hank wrote the song "Work With Me Annie", drawn from "Get It", it became The Midnighters' first major R&B hit, going to No.1 on the R&B charts. After a small string of hits, the group dissolved in 1965. Hank tried to launch a solo career, working with James Brown, but he re-formed The Midnighters, and The Midnighters Band, they toured from the mid 1980's til 2002. (sadly Hank died fightling throat cancer) b. November 18th 1927.
2003: Malcolm Benjamin Graham Christopher Williamson AO, CBE (71) Australian composer born in Sydney; he wrote seven symphonies; four numbered piano concertos (plus the Concerto for Two Pianos & Strings, the Concerto for Two Pianos & Wind Quintet, after Rawsthorne, and the Sinfonia Concertante), a violin concerto, an organ concerto, a harp concerto and a saxophone concerto; many orchestral works; operas including English eccentrics, to a libretto by Edith Sitwell; Our Man in Havana, after Graham Greene's novel; The Violins of Saint Jacques from Patrick Leigh-Fermor's novel, and which features a volcanic eruption killing all the principal characters except one; Lucky Peter's Journey and The Growing Castle, both of which set plays by August Strindberg). He also wrote several ballets including Sun Into Darkness and The Display, many effective choral works, chamber music, music for solo piano, music for film and television including "Prologue" and "Main Title" of Watership Down. Malcolm also wrote music for children, including the operas The Happy Prince (based on the story by Oscar Wilde) and Julius Caesar Jones; as well as cassations, short operas incorporating audience participation. One of these, The Valley and the Hill, written for the silver jubilee of Elizabeth II, was performed by 18,000 children. After the death of Sir Arthur Bliss, Malclom held the title of Master of the Queen's Music from 1975 to 2003 (He died in hospital in Cambridge after a series of illnesses) b. November 21st 1931.
2005: Martin Denny (93) American pianoist and composer known as the "father of exotica"; a child prodigy, at age ten he studied piano under Lester Spitz and Isadore Gorn. In a long career that saw him performing into his 90s, he toured the world popularizing his brand of lounge music which included exotic percussion, imaginative rearrangements of popular songs, and original songs that celebrated Tiki culture. In 1958, Dick Clark hosted Denny on American Bandstand. "Quiet Village" reached No.2 on Billboard's charts in 1959 with the Exotica album" reaching No.1. He rode the charts of Cashbox and Variety also. Denny had as many as three or four albums on the charts simultaneously during his career. He also had national hits with "A Taste of Honey", "The Enchanted Sea", and "Ebb Tide". (His last concert was held in Hawaii on February 13th 2005 at a benefit to aid tsunami victims, just three weeks later he sadly passed away) b. April 10th 1911.
2008: Jeff Healey (41) Canadian jazz-blues-rock guitarist and vocalist born in Toronto, Ontario. Jeff lost his sight to retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eyes. His eyes had to be surgically removed, and he was given artificial replacements. He began playing guitar when he was three, developing his unique style of playing the instrument flat on his lap. At 17, he formed a local band Blue Direction. He was soon hosting a blues show on radio staion CIUT-FM where he became known for playing from his massive collection of vintage 78 RPM gramophone records, after which he formed a trio, "The Jeff Healey Band". In 1988, the band released the album See the Light, featuring the hit single "Angel Eyes" and the song "Hideaway", which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. While recording See the Light, they were also filming and recording for the soundtrack of the Patrick Swayze film Road House. Jeff had numerous acting scenes in the movie with Swayze, as his band was the house cover band for the bar featured in the movie. In 1990, the band won the Juno Award for Canadian Entertainer of the Year. The albums ''Hell to Pay'' and ''Feel This'' gave Jeff 10 charting singles in Canada between 1990 and 1994, including a cover of The Beatles' While My Guitar Gently Weeps which featured George Harrison and Jeff Lynne on backing vocals and acoustic guitar. Over the years, he toured and sat-in with many legends, including, Dire Straits, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Buddy Guy, BB King, ZZ Top, Steve Lukather, Eric Clapton and many more. In 2006, Jeff appeared on Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan's CD/DVD ''Gillan's Inn''. He passed away a month before the release of his album, Mess of Blues, which was his first rock/blues album in eight years (sadly died after a couple of years of health problems and a brave battle cancer) b. March 25th 1966.
2009: Ernie Ashworth (80) American country singer, songwriter and longtime star of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. He began his career singing on Huntsville radio station WBHP. In 1949, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he worked for several radio stations and was signed by Wesley Rose as a songwriter for Acuff-Rose Music. Among the artists who recorded his songs were Jimmy Dickens, Carl Smith, Johnny Horton and Paul Anka. As a singer his first single, "Each Moment (Spent With You)," became a Top 5 Hit, which was followed by another top 10 hit "You Cant Pick A Rose In December". Then the release that would become his signature song Talk Back Trembling Lips went to No.1 and he was voted "Most Promising Male Artist" by Cashbox, Billboard and Record World in 1963 and 1964 and he was also invited to join the cast of the Grand Ole Opry in 1964. In 1989, he purchased radio station WSLV in Ardmore, Tennessee. In 1992, Ernie was inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and remained active as a recording artist until his death (?) b. December 15th 1928.
2011: Erling Kroner (67) Danish trombonist and bandleader, born in Copenhagen; during 196970 and 197374, he attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, but played professionally beginning as early as 1961, amongst others in Germany in the Dixieland Stompers and played avant garde music, amongst others with John Tchicai, and rock in Melvis & His Gentlemen. In 1967 he formed his own band, which he kept together ever since, and which primarily was a quintet or tentet. During the 1970s Erling played in NDR's Big Band in Hamburg. 19731986 he also was a member of the DR Big Band and played in Leif Johanssons orchestra and Lasse Beijboms band White Orange. From mid-1990s he was bandleader of a big orchestra together with Lasse Beijbom The Beijbom-Kroner Big Band. In 2004 he and the American baritone saxophonist Ed Epstein formed the band Bari-Bone Connection, who recorded the album Bari My Heart (sadly died after a fight with cancer) b. April 16th 1943.
2014: Jap Chong (71) Japanese guitarist and pioneer musician; Jap was the founder of hugely popular 1960s band The Quests, which once topped The Beatles off Singapore and Malaysia's Hit Parade Charts with its original song, Shanty. (sadly died of a heart attack) b. 1942
1961: Paul Wittgenstein (73) Austrian-born concert pianist, who became known for his ability to play with just his left hand, after he lost his right arm during the First World War. He devised novel techniques, including pedal and hand-movement combinations, that allowed him to play chords previously regarded as impossible for a five-fingered pianist. He commissioned several pieces for the left hand from prominent composers. Benjamin Britten, Paul Hindemith, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Sergei Prokofiev, Franz Schmidt, Sergei Bortkiewicz, and Richard Strauss all produced pieces for him. Maurice Ravel wrote his Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, which became more famous than any of the other compositions. Paul became an American citizen in 1946, where he did a good deal of teaching as well as playing (?) b. November 5th 1887.
1987: Danny Kaye/David Daniel Kominski (74) American actor, singer, dancer, comedian and was the first ambassador-at-large of UNICEF. He became extremely popular in films with his bravura performances of patter songs and for children's favorites such as The Inch Worm and The Ugly Duckling. Danny first gained fame on Broadway by upstaging the great Gertrude Lawrence in Lady in the Dark with an unforgettable rendition of the "Tchaikovsky," in which he rapidly fired off the names of 54 Russian composers in 38 seconds! His many films included 'Hans Christian Andersen', 'White Christmas', 'The Court Jester', Merry Andrew'. He also portrayed cornet player and bandleader Red Nichols in the film 'The Five Pennies'. He appeared on many TV shows as well as his own show in the 1960s. (sadly died of a heart attack, following a bout with hepatitis) b. January 18th 1913.
1993: Carlos Montoya (89) Spanish flamenco guitarist born in Madrid; he began studying the guitar with his mother and a neighboring barber, Pepe el Barbero. By the time he was 14 years old he was accompanying dancers and singers in the cafes of Madrid, Spain. In the 1920s and 1930s he performed extensively in Europe, North America, and Asia with the likes of La Teresina. The outbreak of World War II brought him to the United States where he began his most successful days as a musician, and frequently toured with the dancer La Argentina. Settling in New York City during World War II, he began touring on his own, bringing his fiery style to concert halls, universities, and orchestras. During this period he made a few recordings for several major and independent labels including RCA Victor, Everest and Folkways. Carlos would toured all year round but always returned to his homeland, Spain for Christmas with his family (died in Wainscott, New York) b. December 13th 1903.
2000: Toni Ortelli (95) Italian alpinist, conductor and composer from, born in Schio, the Veneto region of Italy. He is well known in the southern Alps regions of Italy, Austria and Switzerland for being the composer of the famous Trentino folk song "La Montanara"/The Song of the Mountains. He wrote the melody and lyrics in 1927 while being on an excursion in the mountains. Luigi Pigarelli has added other vocal parts to harmonize it to a choral piece. It has been translated into 148 languages (?) b. November 25th 1904.
2002: Harlan Perry Howard (74) American songwriter, principally in country music; born in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up on a farm in Kentucky and he was 12 years old when he began writing songs, starting a career which spanned six decades. His songs include "Pick Me Up on Your Way Down", "Heartaches By The Number", "Everglades, Busted "I Fall To Pieces", his songs were so immediately successful that in 1961 alone, he had fifteen of his compositions on the country music charts, earning himself ten BMI awards. Howard was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1973 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1997 (?) b. September 8th 1927.
2003: Goffredo Petrassi (98) Italian composer of modern classical music, conductor, and teacher, born in Zagarolo, and is considered one of the most influential Italian composers of the 20th century. After working in a music shop at 15 to help his family financially, in 1928, he entered the Santa Cecilia Conservatory in Rome to study organ and composition. He went on to become musical director of the opera house La Fenice, and from 1959 taught composition at the Santa Cecilia Conservatory and at the Salzburg Mozarteum (?) b. July 16th 1904.
2008: Giuseppe Di Stefano (86) Italian operatic tenor born in Motta Sant'Anastasia, a village near Catania, Sicily. He sang professionally from the late 1940s until the early 1990s. He was known as the "Golden voice" as the true successor of Beniamino Gigli. He was also known for his long-term performance and recording association and brief romantic episode with the soprano Maria Callas. He made his New York debut in 1948 as the Duke of Mantua in Verdi's Rigoletto. He went on to perform regularly in New York for many years. In 1957, he made his British debut at the Edinburgh Festival as Nemorino in L'Elisir d'Amore and his Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, debut in 1961, as Cavaradossi in Tosca. His final operatic role was as the aged Emperor in Turandot, in July 1992 (In November 2004 Giuseppe was critically injured in his home in Diani Beach, Kenya, after a brutal beating by unknown assailants. He was still unconscious a week after the attack and was fed intravenously, and underwent several operations. In December 2007, he was flown to the San Raffaele clinic at Milan, where he slipped into a coma. He he sadly died in his home in Santa Maria Hoè near Milan 3 months later) b. July 24th 1921
2008: Norman "Hurricane" Smith (85) British singer, songwriter, record producer, also recording engineer with The Beatles, Pink Floyd and many others. Born in Edmonton, North London, he served as a RAF glider pilot during World War II. In 1959 after an unsuccessful career as a jazz musician, he joined EMI as an apprentice sound engineer. He later worked on 180 Beatle tracks, "Rubber Soul" was the last album he worked on before he got promoted to producer. Norman wrote many hits, using a pseudonym of "Hurricane Smith" and he had a UK hit with Don't Let It Die, a song he had written for John Lennon and .. READ MORE .. (?) b. February 22nd 1923.
2010: Michalis Toumbouros (51) Greek singer-songwriter and physician, he wrote the lyrics and music to musicals such as "Trojan Women" (Tragically died in a traffic accident) b. ????
2010: Big Tiny Little/Dudley "Tiny" Little Jr (79) American pianist, he performed and recorded professionally for more than 60 years. Tiny began his career as a musician at an early age touring with his father's band. Although he remained principally a pianist, he also mastered the organ, tuba, bass fiddle and vocals. Tiny was well known for his honky-tonk piano role on the "Lawrence Welk Show" from 1955 to 1959. After which he performed on virtually every music and variety show on the air including the first Mike Douglas Show, Ed Sullivan, Dean Martin and Dinah Shore. A part of that Dinah Shore Show featured four pianists at one time playing different interpretations of songs. Peter Nero playing jazz, Ray Charles playing rhythm and blues, Liberace playing classical style and Tiny playing Dixieland. Besides recording 35 albums, including one gold record, he has played in clubs from coast to coast, and performed on cruises to Australia, Hawaii and South America and he was the first American performer to appear on Japanese TV and he was also invited to perform at President Reagan's Inaugural Ball in 1985. He began touring in 2004 with a Welk alumni in the Live Lawrence Welk Show and in 2008 Big Tiny was named Emperor of the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee where he had played piano for the last twenty-seven years. (Passed away in his hometown of Carson City) b. August 31st 1930.
2011: Aldo Clementi (85) Italian composer, born in Catania, Italy. He studied the piano, graduating in 1946. His studies in composition began in 1941, after receiving his diploma in 1954, he attended the Darmstadt summer courses from 1955 to 1962. Important influences during this period included meeting Bruno Maderna in 1956, and working at the electronic music studio of the Italian radio broadcaster RAI in Milan. Poesia de Rilke-1946 was the first work of his to be performed in Vienna-1947. Of more significance was the premiere of Cantata-1954, which was broadcast by North German, Hamburg Radio in 1956. In 1959 he won second prize in the ISCM competition with Episodi, and in 1963 he took first prize in the same competition, with Sette scene da "Collage". Aldo also taught music theory at the University of Bologna from 1971 to 1992 (?) b. May 25th 1925.
2012: Ronnie Montrose (64) American fiery rock guitarist and pioneer; born in Denver, Colorado, and grew up in San Francisco, California. After learning his trade with teenage bands, he started out in a band called Sawbuck with Bill Church, before auditioning for Van Morrison, which led to him playing on Morrison's 1971 album Tupelo Honey. He also played on the song "Listen to the Lion", which was released on Morrison's next album, Saint Dominic's Preview in 1972. That same year he played briefly with Boz Scaggs, then joined the Edgar Winter Group, where he played on They Only Come Out at Night album, which included the hit singles "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride". He then >>> READ MORE <<< (sadly Ronnie while fighting prostate cancer) b. November 29th 1947.
2013: Müslüm Gürses/Müslüm Akbas (59) Turkish singer and actor also known as Müslüm Baba born in Fistiközü, Halfeti, Sanliurfa. He began singing at the age of 13, in the tea-garden where he worked. In 1967, he entered in a song contest and won the title. He then began to perform at Radio Çukurova. During this time, he adopted the surname Gürses, which means literally "stentorian voice". His debut record single "Emmioglu/Ovada Tasa Basma" was released in 1968. The next year in 1969, he already landed a hit record titled "Sevda Yüklü Kervanlar/Vurma Güzel Vurma" released by Palandöken Records in Istanbul, which sold 300,000 copies. Although he was mainly an arabesk singer, later his interest shifted to other musical genres. He included pop and rock music to his repertory, singing such titles as "Olmadi Yar" of Nilüfer, "Paramparça" of Teoman and "Ikimizin Yerine" of Tarkan (sadly Müslüm died of complications from heart surgery) b. May 7th 1953
2013: Bobby Rogers (73) American soul singer, songwriter, co-founder and member of Motown Records' first signed group The Miracles from 1956 until 2011. Originally called the Five Chimes, then The Matadors, and renamed The Miracles when Bobbys cousin Claudette joined the line-up in 1957. Over his 56 years with the Miracles, Bobby has been on all their hit singles including their 1960 single "Shop Around" which was Motown's first number one hit on the R&B singles chart, and was also Motown's first million selling hit single.. Other hit singles include "You've Really Got a Hold on Me", "My Girl Has Gone", "I Second That Emotion", "Mickey's Monkey", "Going to a Go-Go", "Ooo Baby Baby", "Tracks of My Tears", "Baby Baby Don't Cry", and "Tears of a Clown". Referred to as Motown's "soul supergroup", the Miracles recorded 26 Top 40 hits, 6 top 20 singles... >>> READ MORE <<< (sadly Bobby died with complications from diabetes) b. February 19th 1940.
2014: Robert Ashley (83) American composer born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he studied at the Manhattan School of Music and was later a musician in the US Army. He is best known for his operas and other theatrical works, many of which incorporate electronics and extended techniques and along with Gordon Mumma, he was also a major pioneer of audio synthesis. From 1961 to 1969, he organised the ONCE Festival in Ann Arbor with Roger Reynolds, Gordon Mumma, and other local composers and artists. He was a co-founder of the ONCE Group, as well as a member of the Sonic Arts Union, which also included David Behrman, Alvin Lucier, and Gordon Mumma. In 1969 he became director of the San Francisco Tape Music Center. In the 1970s he directed the Mills College Center for Contemporary Music (Robert passed away from narural causes) b. March 28th 1930.
2016: Gwyneth George (95) British concert cellist and music academic and grew up in Swansea before studying at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and Royal College of Music. She made her Wigmore Hall debut in 1950 and performed regularly with the Argentinian pianist Alberto Portugheis in UK concert halls from 1967 to 1972, as well as in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden. In 1979 Gwyneth premiered the Five Nocturnes and Cadenzas that had been written for her by the Welsh composer Alun Hoddinott. She only recorded only one commercial disc, a recording of Rachmaninoff and Shostakovich cello sonatas for the Unicorn label in 1971. She also was a professor of music in Kingston, Jamaica, before returning to the UK where she joined the Trinity staff and received an honorary diploma. Gwyneth gave her name to the Gwyneth George Award, which is presented annually to chamber music groups by the Beethoven Piano Society of Europe. (?) b. May 27th 1920.
2016: John Thomas (63) Welsh guitarist; John started off with bands including Warwick; the psychedelic rock outfit, Edgar Broughton Band; then the UK southern rock group George Hatcher Band, before joining the Welsh hard rock band Budgie in 1979, replacing Rob Kendrick. He played with Budgie until the acts first breakup in 1988, coming back in 1995 when Budgie reformed. John was also part of Budgies second reformation in 1999, ultimately leaving for good in 2002. He performed on three of Budgies albums: Power Supply, Nightflight and Deliver Us From Evil. The latter two were Budgies most successful albums in the U.K. (?) b. February 21st 1952.
2017: Misha Mengelberg (81) Ukrainian-born Dutch jazz pianist and composer, born in Kiev, Ukrainian SSR, but his family moved back to the Netherlands in the late 1930s and Misha began learning the piano at age five. He entered the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, where he studied music from 1958 to 1964. While there he won the first prize at a jazz festival in Loosdrecht and became associated with Fluxus. His first appearance on record was on one of Eric Dolphy's final recording, Last Date in 1964. Over his long career he played with a large variety of musicians. He often performed in a duo with fellow Dutchman Bennink, with other collaborators including Derek Bailey, Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker and Anthony Braxton. He was also one of the earliest exponents of the work of the once-neglected pianist Herbie Nichols (?) b. June 5th 1935
2017: Tommy Page (46) American singer-songwriter and music industry executive with Reprise Records. Born in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, he grew up in nearby West Caldwell and graduated from James Caldwell High School in 1985 at the age of 15. At 18, he was asked to write the theme tune of the film Shag and later released it as his first single. His self-titled debut album was released in November 1988 and contained hits such as "A Zillion Kisses," "Turning Me On," "I Think I'm in Love," and "A Shoulder to Cry On". He released six further albums, the last being 'Ten 'Til Midnight' in 2000. In 2011, after a successful stint as an executive at Warner Bros Records, where he helped to shape the careers of Michael Bublé, Alanis Morissette, Josh Groban, and Green Day, among others, he joined Billboard as publisher. He held that role for two years and was responsible for the successful relaunch of the brand. As a publisher he created new features such as the Industry Icon Award as well as the infamous Power 100 List. (tragically died from an apparent suicide) May 24th 1970.
2017: Lyle Joseph Ritz (87) American bassist and jazz ukulele musician who was a key part of the Hawaii ukulele genre. Born in Cleveland, Ohio, but began his music career as a college student working at the Southern California Music Company in Los Angeles, where he demonstrated instruments including the ukulele. After hearing him play, he was signed by Verve who released his first ukulele record, 'How About Uke?' in 1957 and '50th State Jazz' in 1959. He then became a session musician on the bass guitar and joined the Wrecking Crew, a popular group of studio musicians in the Los Angeles recording industry. Lyle compiled over 5,000 credits including such notable tracks as Herb Alpert's "Taste of Honey", The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling", and the Beach Boys' "Good Vibrations". Other notable recording artists he backed up include Sonny & Cher, The Monkees, Herb Ohta, Dean Martin, and Linda Ronstadt. He also played bass on television soundtracks including The Rockford Files, Name That Tune, and Kojak. In 1979 he was hired to play the ukulele in place of Steve Martin when Martin was shown playing in 'The Jerk'. Popular in Hawaii he was a regular face at their Annual Ukulele Festival and he continued to recored until 2007. That same year Lyle was inducted to both the Ukulele Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum. (?) b. January 10th 1930.
1954: Noel Gay/Reginald Moxon Armitage (55) English composer, born in Wakefield; his most famous show, Me and My Girl was originally performed at the Victoria Palace London, in 1937, and ran for a 1,646 performances. It was revived again in 1952, and 1984, when it ran for eight years initially at the Haymarket theatre in Leicester and then at the Adelphi theatre in London, later going on tour throughout Britain, and transferring to Broadway. The show's "showstopper", "The Lambeth Walk" has the distinction of being the only popular song to be the subject of a leader in The Times, in October 1938 it was reported "While dictators rage and statesmen talk, all Europe dances to 'The Lambeth Walk'". He went on to write songs for revues by The Crazy Gang, and for star artists like Gracie Fields, Flanagan and Allen and George Formby, penning popular World War II songs such as "Run Rabbit Run". After the war, his songwriting diminished, and he concentrated on production (?) b. July 15th 1898.
1960: Leonard Warren (48) American baritone born in New York; made his concert debut at the Metropolitan Opera in excerpts from La traviata and Pagliacci during a concert in New York in November 1938. His formal operatic debut took place there in January 1939, when he sang Paolo in Simon Boccanegra. A recording contract with RCA Victor soon followed. He went on to sing in San Francisco, Chicago, Mexico City, and Buenos Aires, he appeared at La Scala in Milan in 1953, and in 1958, he made a highly successful tour of the Soviet Union, but for most of his career he remained in New York and sang at the Met (he sadly died on stage of a massive cerebral hemorrhage in mid performance of La forza del destino with Renata Tebaldi, at The Met) b. April 21st 1911.
1978: Joe Marsala (71) American jazz clarinetist and songwriter born in Chicago, where he freelanced starting in the late '20s before moving to New York City where he found his greatest success as the leader of the 1936 band in the Hickory House on 52nd Street. Over the next ten years Joe featured such side players as Adele Girard, Buddy Rich, Red Allen, Eddie Condon, Joe Bushkin, Dave Tough, Shelly Manne, Max Kaminsky, and his brother, Marty, among others. He also recorded with Wingy Manone in the mid-'30s. Joe retired from full-time playing in 1948, working instead in music publishing (sadly died fighting cancer) b. January 4th 1907
1979: Harry Hopkinson aka Harry Torrani(76) British yodeler billed as the "Yodeling Cowboy from Chesterfield" who was credited as one of the world's greatest yodelers. He started singing in the North Wingfield Church choir, and after a spell working in the local colliery, entered show business in a troupe of traveling entertainers. The yodeling part of his act was expanded, and he adopted the more commercial and continental sounding name of Harry Torrani. He recorded his first yodelling song on 27 August 1931 "Honeymoon Yodel" / "Happy and Free". His recording career continued until 1942, and he recorded 25 records. Some of his songs were "Yodel All Day", "Yodelers Dream Girl", "Honeymoon Yodel", "The Australian Yodel", "The Highland Yodel", "Mammys Yodel!" and "Mississippi Yodel!". After his his retirement in the late 40s, he worked as a watch repairer (?) b. 1902
1979: Mike Patto/Michael McCarthy (36) English singer and keyboardist, born in Cirencester, Gloucestershire. He first became vocalist and front man for The Bow Street Runners, who won a prestigious TV band competition Ready Steady Win during 1964 . He was a member of Timebox, his own band Patto and Dick and the Firemen. In 1974 he joined Spooky Tooth as vocalist and 2nd keyboardist, Spooky Tooth was one of the very few bands to adopt the twin keyboard approach. He is also known as a founding member of the rock band Boxer along with the legendary guitarist Ollie Halsall and global keyboardist Chris Stainton. They toured both the US and Europe (sadly died after a brave battle with throat cancer) b. September 22nd 1942
1986: Howard Greenfield (49) American lyricist and songwriter, who for several years in the 1960s worked out of the famous Brill Building. He is best known for his series of successful songwriting collaborations, including one with Neil Sedaka from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s, and a near-simultaneous and equally successful songwriting partnership with Jack Keller throughout most of the 1960s. He co-wrote four songs that reached No.1 on the US Billboard charts: "Breaking Up Is Hard to Do", as recorded by Neil Sedaka; "Everybody's Somebody's Fool" and "Breakin' in a Brand New Broken Heart", both as recorded by Connie Francis, and "Love Will Keep Us Together", as recorded by The Captain & Tennille. He also co-wrote numerous other top 10 hits for Neil Sedaka, including "Oh! Carol", "Stairway to Heaven", "Calendar Girl", "Little Devil", "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen", and "Next Door to an Angel"; Connie Francis including the "Theme to Where The Boys Are" and "My Heart Has a Mind of Its Own"; The Everly Brothers-"Crying In The Rain"; Jimmy Clanton-"Venus In Blue Jeans" and The Shirelles-"Foolish Little Girl". As well, co-writing the theme songs to numerous 1960s TV series, including Bewitched, The Flying Nun and Hazel. In 2005, "Is This The Way To Amarillo", a song Greenfield had written with Sedaka in the early 1970s, reached No.1 on the UK charts sung by Tony Christie when the song was re-released on 14 March 2005 to raise money for the Comic Relief charity, with an accompanying video by comedian Peter Kay. In 1991, Howard Greenfield was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame (sadly died from complications due to AIDS) b. March 15th 1936.
1986: Richard Manuel (42) Canadian singer, piano, keyboards, drums, and lap slide guitarist, born in Stratford, Ontario. He started out playing in the Rockin' Revols before joining up with Ronnie Hawkins band The Hawks. John P. Hammond recommended The Hawks to Bob Dylan, who tapped them to serve as his backing band while he switched to an electric sound. In 1966, they toured Europe and the U.S. with Dylan and were known for enduring the ire of Dylan's folk fans, and were subjected to unpleasant hissing and booing. They gradually became called The Band. Richard's is the first voice you hear on The Band's legendary debut album, Music From Big Pink, a rich baritone so soulful and charged with pathos it's hard to believe it could come from the frail Canadian. (committed suicide by hanging when his wife briefly stepped out of their room. A bottle of Grand Marnier and cocaine were found alongside his body) b. April 3rd 1943.
1989: Lloyd "Tiny" Grimes (72)American jazz and R&B guitarist; born in Newport News, Virginia he began his career playing drums and one-fingered piano. In 1938 he took up the electric 4-string tenor guitar. In 1940 he joined the Cats And A Fiddle as guitarist and singer, then in 1943 he joined the Art Tatum Trio as guitarist making a number of recordings. He left Art to form his own bands in New York recording with the likes of Billy Holiday, Charlie Parker, Coleman Hawkins, Illinois Jacquet, Roy Eldridge, Pepper Adams, and other noted players, with numbers like "Ill Always Love You", "Red Cross", "Tinys Tempo", "Romance Without Finance", and his jazzed up version of "Loch Lomond". He continued to lead his own groups into the late '70s. It has been suggested that the guitar break, based on the Scottish tune "The Campbells are Coming", on The Crows one hit wonder "Gee" in 1952 may have been played by Tiny. The song which has been credited as the first Rock n Roll hit by a rock and roll group and it was the first 1950s doo-wop record to sell over one million records. (?) b. July 7th 1916.
1992: Mary Osborne (70) American jazz guitarist, violin, bassist and vocalist with many jazz bands touring with Buddy Rogers, Dick Stabile, Terry Shand, Joe Venuti, and Russ Morgan, and recorded with Mary Lou Williams, Beryl Booker, Coleman Hawkins, Mercer Ellington, Ethel Waters, and Wynonie Harris. She also featured on Jack Sterling's daily CBS radio program from 1952 to 1960. Born in Minot, North Dakota, she learned violin as a child and could play guitar and bass by the age of 15. She remained a formidable guitarist late in life; in an appearance with Lionel Hampton at the 1990 Playboy Jazz Festival, she virtually stole the show (?) b. July 17th 1921.
1993: Art Hodes (88) American jazz pianist born in Ukraine and his family settled in Chicago, Illinois when he was a few months old. His career began in Chicago clubs, but he did not gain wider attention until moving to New York City in 1938. In that city he played with Sidney Bechet, Joe Marsala, and Mezz Mezzrow. Later he founded his own band in the 1940s and it would be associated with his home town of Chicago for the next forty years. Art also played and recorded with musicians such as Louis Armstrong, Wingy Manone, Gene Krupa, Muggsy Spanier, Joe Marsala, Mezz Mezzrow, Sidney Bechet, Albert Nicholas, Wild Bill Davison, and Vic Dickenson. In the late 1960s Art starred in a series of TV shows on Chicago style jazz called "Jazz Alley" and in 1998, he was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame (?) b. November 14th 1904.
1993: Tomislav Ivcic (40) Croatian singer, songwriter, guitarist and politician; one of the most popular Croatian singers and songwriters in 1970s appearing at many pop music festivals. During the war in Croatia, he wrote the song "Stop the War in Croatia" which became a hit as well as charting in the Top 10 in Australia in 1991. In 1990, he also became a member of Croatian Democratic Union. He expressed his patriotism through the song "Boe cuvaj Hrvatsku", that would become semi-official anthem of his party. In February 1993 he ran as his party's candidate for House of Chambers of Croatian Parliament, and won a seat. (A few weeks before he was supposed to take office and shortly after a Globus interview in which he was described as "first Croatian senator", he tragically died in a accident) b. January 6th 1953.
1993: Eugene "Gene" Hall (79) American music educator, saxophonist, and arranger, most known for creating and presiding over the first academic curriculum leading to a bachelors degree in jazz, then called "Dance Band" at an institution of higher learning, being at the University of North Texas College of Music in 1947. Born in Whitewright, TX, he studied the saxophone and played in church, later played saxophone local combo called the Joy Makers. He performed with dance bands in the North Texas area in the 1930s and in 1934 began a two-year European tour as saxophonist with the Clarence Nemir Orchestra, where he developed his arranging skills. Among his many projects he also worked with Stan Kenton and his successor, Leon Breeden, at the Stan Kenton Band Clinics (?) b. June 12th 1913.
1995: Eden Ahbez/George McGrew/George Alexander Aberle () American songwriter, singer and poet from the 1940s-1960s, born in Brooklyn, brought up in Kansas and whose lifestyle in California was influential on the hippie movement. From at least the 1940s, he traveled in sandals and wore shoulder-length hair and beard, and white robes. He camped out below the first L in the Hollywood Sign above LA, studied Oriental mysticism, and claimed to live on three dollars a week, sleeping outdoors with his family, and eating vegetables, fruits, and nuts. Eden composed the song "Nature Boy", which became a No.1 hit for eight weeks in 1948 for Nat "King" Cole, and has since become a pop and jazz standard, his other songs include "Land of Love (Come My Love and Live with Me)" and "Lonely Island". In 1959, he began recording instrumental music, and in 1960, he recorded his only solo LP, Edens Island, mixing his beatnik poetry with exotica arrangements.(Tragically he died from injuries sustained in a car accident) b. April 15th 1908.
1999: Eddie Dean/Edgar Dean Glosup (91) American western singer and actor, born in Posey, TA. At the age of 16 he performed on the Southern gospel circuit with the Vaughan and then the V.O. Stamps quartets, before moving to Chicago with his brother Jimmie and performed together on WLS Radio's National Barn Dance. They also did work from a radio station in Yankton, South Dakota. In 1934, Eddie appeared in his first of many films in the role of Sam in Manhattan Love Song. Beginning in 1941, he recorded a string of singles including the country No.1, "Dearest". In 1955, Eddie and Hal Southern released "Hill-Billy Heaven". He was also a member of the Cowboy Hall of Fame and the Western Music Association Hall of Fame (sadly Eddie died of emphysema) b. July 7th 1907.
1999: Milosz Magin (69) Polish composer and pianist, born in Lodz; he won prizes in several international competitions: the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, the Marguerite Long-Jacques Thibaud Competition in Paris and the Vianna da Motta Competition in Lisbon. He left his native country together with his wife Idalia Magin and stayed in Portugal, Germany, and England until finally settling in Paris in 1960. Parallel to his career as a pianist and composer, Milosz Magin became a very popular teacher with students who came to him from all over the world, including such famous performers as Jean-Marc Luisada. (sadly Milosz died of a heart attack, during a tour of concerts in Tahiti) b. July 6th 1929.
1999: Teddy McRae (91) American jazz tenor saxophonist and arranger born in Philadelphia; he played with June Clark in 1926 before moving to New York City to found his own band. Following this he played and/or recorded with Charlie Johnson, Elmer Snowden, Stuff Smith, Lil Armstrong, Benny Morton, Teddy Wilson, Red Allen and Chick Webb. After Webb's death he was musical director for the orchestra during its tenure under the leadership of Ella Fitzgerald-1939-41. In the 40s he worked in the orchestras of Cab Calloway, Jimmie Lunceford, Lionel Hampton and Louis Armstrong; he also served as Armstrong's musical director during his period with that band. He wrote tunes for Artie Shaw including "Back Bay Shuffle" and formed his own band in 1945. He and Eddie Wilcox formed their own R&B label, Raecox, in the 1950s. He also recorded with Champion Jack Dupree in 1955-56, and recorded a few sides for Groove Records in 1955 and Moonshine Records in 1958 (?) b. January 22nd 1908.
2000: Kyi Kyi Htay (75) Burmese four-time Myanmar Academy Award winning film actress, opera performer, singer, and dancer born in a small town of Letbadan. She took part in Burmese traditional opera, Zat Thabin, since her childhood and became famous under the name Aung Chin Ma Marla Yi. She crossed over to films in 1952, and won her first Burmese Academy Award with her debut film Chit Thet-Wai. She won three more Academy Awards for Chit Kwint Ma Paing in 1956, Nu Nu Nge Nge in 1970, and Lu Zaw in 1978. (?) b. March 19th 1924.
2001: Glenn Hughes (50) American singer, the original "Biker" character in the disco group Village People from 1977 to 1996. He attended Manhattan College, where he was initiated as a member of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia music fraternity in 1969. He responded to an advertisement by composer Jacques Morali seeking "macho" singers and dancers. Glenn and other members of the band were given a crash course in the synchronized dance choreography that later typified the group's live performances. Glenn's powerful bass voice played an important part in the background lyrics of almost all Village People's most known hits. In 1996, he retired from dancing and launched his own successful New York cabaret act, until lung cancer was diagnosed. However, he did continued with management of the band. His iconic handlebar moustache and leather clothing have made Glenn a gay archetype yet Glenn was heterosexual. During his later years, he was known for storming the streets of New York with his Custom Harley-Davidson motorcycle. (Sadly he lost his brave battle with lung cancer) b. July 18th 1950.
2002: Eric Flynn (62) Chinese-born British actor and singer Born in Hainan, he appeared as Alan-A-Dale in "A Challenge For Robin Hood" in 1963, as Leo Ryan in the Doctor Who story The Wheel in Space in 1968, as Ivanhoe in a 1970 TV mini series and as Major Tom Graham in series five of Freewheelers in 1971. He was also an established musical theatre actor appearing in shows such as "Evita", "Annie Get Your Gun", "The Sound Of Music", "My Fair Lady", "A Little Night Music" and "Copacabana" starring alongside the likes of Lauren Becall and Maria Freidman (sadly lost his fight against cancer) b. December 13th 1939.
2004: John McGeoch (48)Legendary Scottish guitarist born in Greenock, Renfrewshire; he played with a number of bands of the post-punk era, including Magazine; Visage and Public Image Ltd; and Siouxsie and the Banshees, playing on albums Kaleidoscope in 1980, Juju-1981, and A Kiss in the Dreamhouse-1982. The Banshees' hit singles of this era featured some of John's greatest work, particularly 1980's "Happy House", "Christine" and "Israel". He was described as "one of the most influential guitarists of his generation" and he was also considered as "the new wave Jimmy Page". In 1996, he was listed by Mojo in their "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" for his work on the Siouxsie and the Banshees song "Spellbound" (reportedly he died in his sleep) b. August 25th 1955.
2004: Claude Nougaro (74) French songwriter and singer; born in Toulouse, he was widely regarded as the singer who fused the traditions of the French chanson with the energy and verve of American jazz. Claude never learnt to write music or play an instrument, in the early days he sent his lyrics to Marguerite Monnot, Édith Piaf's songwriter, who put them to music. He started to sing for a livelihood in 1959 in a Parisian cabaret in Montmartre, the Lapin Agile. As well as collaborating with jazz greats including Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman and Nat Adderley, during the 1960s Claude studied Brazilian music, working with Baden Powell and Chico Buarque, some of his noted songs include "Je Suis Sous" ("I Am Drunk"), "Cécile, Ma Fille" ("Cecile, My Daughter"), "Jazz and Java," and "Paris Mai". Although Nougaro's commercial success declined during the 1970s, the 80s saw comeback inspired by the success of Nougaro, an album cut in New York City. At this time, he also experimented with African rhythms. In 1988 Victoires de la musique rewarded him with best album and best artist, and between 1993 and 1997 he released three new albums (cancer) b. September 9th 1929
2005: Robert "Rob" Consoli (40) American actor, guitarist and singer born in Bradford, Massachusetts, he moved to California in the late-80s to pursue an acting career. As well as his acting career, he also performed with Canadian singer Norman Iceberg both as an actor and musician, adding a theatrical touch to the shows. (Rob sadly died fighting leukemia) b. August 21st 1964.
2005: Una Hale (82) Australian operatic soprano, born in Adelaide, and relocated to Britain in 1946 to study at the Royal College of Music. She appeared with the Carl Rosa Opera Company from 1949 to 1954, playing many leading roles, such as Violetta in Verdi's La Traviata Micaela Carmen and Marguerite in Gounod's Faust. In 1954 Una was engaged as a principal soprano at the Royal Opera, Covent Garden, where she sang most of the major lyric soprano roles. She was particularly noted for her portrayals of Ellen Orford in Britten's Peter Grimes, Eva in Wagner's Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg, The Marschallin in Richard Strauss's Der Rosenkavalier, and Liu in Puccini's Turandot. In 1956 she portrayed Naomi in the world première of Lennox Berkeley's opera, Ruth. In 1962, she sang the title role in the Australian première of Strauss's Ariadne auf Naxos. During that same season she also portrayed Donna Anna in Mozart's Don Giovanni and Alice Ford in Verdi's Falstaff. In 1963-64 she sang Ellen Orford and Tosca with the Sadler's Wells Opera Company, and Tosca and The Marshallin in Romania with the Romanian National Opera (?) b. November 18th 1922.
2007: Tadeusz Nalepa (63) Polish singer-songwriter and guitarist; he graduated from the Music Academy in Rzeszów in violin, clarinet and contrabass. In 1965, he and his friend Stan Borys, formed the rock band Blackout, before starting a new band Breakout shortly after, releasing 10 albums before disbanding in 1981. In 1982, he debuted as a solo artist in the Warsaw concert "Rock-Blok". On the May 25th 1985, Tadeusz re-formed Breakout and in 1986, the magazine Jazz Forum named him the best musician, composer and guitar player. Along with the other winners, he took part in the concert series "Blues/Rock Top '86". At this same period of time he was also working with another polish rock/blues band Dzem. In 2003, Tadeusz was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Polonia Restituta. (He had became very ill in the recent years and he had to be dialised because of the kidney problems and sadly died from serious illness of his digestive system) b. August 26th 1943.
2007: Natalie Bodanya (98) American operatic soprano, born in Manhatten, who had an active international career from the late 1920s through the 1940s. She notably sang at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City from 1937 through 1942 and was a performer with the New York City Opera during the company's 1943-1944 inaugural season. In addition to her appearances in the United States, Bodanya was also active as a guest artist in operas and concerts in Europe. She notably canceled her contracts with the Vienna State Opera and La Scala in 1938 to protest the anti-Semitic measures being taken by the governments of Italy and Austria. She also appeared in nightclubs, performed on the radio, and recorded a few songs with Mario Lanza. In the 1950s Natalie embarked on a second career as a singing teacher in California (?) b. August 23rd 1908.
2007: Richard Joseph (53) British games soundtrack composer; he was noted in game audio for bringing "real" voice actors into a game for the first time, Mega Lo Mania, the earliest use of interactive music, Chaos Engine, working with established recording artists - Betty Boo on Magic Pockets, Captain Sensible on Sensible Soccer, Brian May on Rise of the Robots and Jon Foxx on Gods and Speedball 2, and featuring vocals in title tunes, which was revolutionary for the time. In the late 1980s and early '90s, he produced soundtracks for development teams Sensible Software and the Bitmap Brothers. He is also credited with the soundtrack to the C64 version of the hit Defender of the Crown. Prior to working in games Richard had a fleeting career in the music industry working with artists such as Trevor Horn and Hugh Padgham. Richard released one solo single on EMI and was part of the group CMU which released two albums, Richard was only involved with the second, Space Cabaret, on Transatlantic before evolving into jazz funk band Shakatak (sadly lost his battle with lung cancer) b. April 23rd 1953.
2008: Leonard Rosenman (83) American academy award winning film composer born in Brooklyn, NYC. After service in the Pacific in the Army Air Forces in WW II, he earned a bachelor's degree in music from the University of California, Berkeley. He also studied composition with Arnold Schoenberg, Roger Sessions and Luigi Dallapiccola. He went on to compose the scores for dozens of films such as East of Eden-1955, Rebel Without a Cause-1955, Fantastic Voyage-1966, The Lord of the Rings-1978), Cross Creek-1983 and Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home-1986 and incidental music for television series as such The Defenders, The Twilight Zone, Gibbsville and Marcus Welby, M.D. He also wrote the theme and almost all of the incidental music used for the entire run of the 1960s World War II television series Combat!. In the 1970s he composed Bass Concerto Chamber Music 4 for bassist Buell Neidlinger and four string quartets with a second bass (sadly he died of a heart attack) b. September 7th 1924.
2009: John "Bowling Green" Cephas (78) American Piedmont blues guitarist, well known as one half of the duo Cephas & Wiggins. He learned the blues from a guitar-playing aunt while his grandfather taught him about eastern Virginia folklore and his cousin David Taleofero, is credited with teaching him the Piedmont blues style of alternating thumb-and-picking method of guitar. Before serving in the Army during the Korean War, he joined the Capitol Harmonizers and toured on the gospel circuit. He met "Harmonica Phil" Wiggins at a jam session in Washington in 1977, and both performed as regular members of Wilbert "Big Chief" Ellis's Barrelhouse Rockers. Wilbert Ellis died later that year, John and Phil carried on together and since 1978, as the duo Cephas & Wiggins, they have performed on tours of Europe, Africa, Asia, South and Central America and the Soviet Union. Their 13 releases from the 1980 include Dog Days of August, Guitar Man and Flip, Flop and Fly. All are great examples of state-of-the-art, acoustic Piedmont blues (natural causes) b. September 4th 1940.
2009: Joseph Bloch (91) American concert pianist and professor of piano literature at the Juilliard School in New York City. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana, he attended Chicago Musical College, where he was awarded a bachelor's degree and later attended Harvard University, where he earned a master's degree in musicology. His education was interrupted by his service in the US Army Air Force during World War II, where he was stationed in Guam. During his career at Juilliard that spanned 5 decades, his students included Emanuel Ax, Jeffrey Siegel Van Cliburn, Misha Dichter, Garrick Ohlsson, and Jeffrey Swann. During his time at the school, with the exception of an attempted retirement in the 1980s, he taught every piano student at Juilliard. While other Juilliard piano instructors taught prowess at the keyboard, Joseph focused on what The New York Times described as "the who, the why and the what-if" of the piano, not "the how-to" (Sadly Joseph died of a heart attack) b. November 6th 1917.
2010: Fred Wedlock (67) British folk singer, songwriter, guitarist, he was best known for his UK hit single, "The Oldest Swinger In Town" and performed at many venues in Britain and Europe. He taught in the East End of London during the 1960s and then at South Bristol College, before taking up music full time in the 1970s. He played the folk circuit for many years, both prior to, and in the wake of, his single chart success. He also presented many programmes on West Country TV. In 1997 Fred took a leading role in Bristol Old Vic's production of Up the Feeder, Down the Mouth, a theatrical history of Bristol Docks. In 2001 the production was remounted on the waterfront. He also appeared in several productions for Bristol theatre company, The Ministry of Entertainment, most recently in December 2009. Fred was also devoted to charitable causes, he performed on numerous occasions for the Variety Club, and raised thousands of pounds over the years (Fred sadly died from a heart attack, after having contracted pneumonia) b. May 23rd 1942
2010: Johnny Alf (80) Brazilian singer, pianist and composer born in Rio de Janeiro. He introduced Brazil to a new way of singing, playing, and composing several years before the term "bossa nova" was even coined. All those who came after such as Tom Jobim, Leny Andrade, Luís Eça, Carlos Lyra, had some Alf influences. Unfortunately Alf, a musical genius, was highly underestimated, his importance in Brazilian popular music as a fundamental precursor is still to be properly regarded, while he has been frequently recorded by international musicians such as Lalo Schifrin, "Rapaz de Bem". In Brazil, his playing is registered on 46 albums, singles, compilations, and participations, but he has recorded only nine solo LPs or CDs in his career (lost his brave battle with cancer) b. May 19th 1929.
2010: Ron Banks (58) American singer born in Redford, Michigan, Ron was a singer with the soul music vocal group, The Dramatics from the 1960s until his death. The Dramatics originally known as the Dynamics, changed their name around 1967, when they had their first minor hit single, "All Because of You". They did not break through until their single, "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get," broke into the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at No.9, this was their first million selling disc and was awarded gold disc status by the R.I.A.A. in December 1971. Through the 1970s, they appeared on Soul Train and continued to have hits, including the No.1 R&B hit, "In the Rain", "Toast to the Fool", "Me and Mrs. Jones", "I'm Going By The Stars In Your Eyes" and "Be My Girl". Ron with The Dramatics also were guests on the Snoop Doggy Dogg song, "Doggy Dogg World". The song appeared on Snoop's 1993 debut album, Doggystyle. "Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get" appeared in the 2005 documentary Sunday Driver, as well as the movies, Wattstax and Darktown Strutters, and the 2007 Petey Greene biopic, Talk To Me (sadly died of a heart attack) b. May 10th 1951
2010: Lolly Vegas/Lolly Vasquez (70) American singer and guitarist born in Coalinga, Calif., and grew up in Fresno. He and his brother Pat, a singer and bassist, were session musicians who performed together as Pat and Lolly Vegas in the 1960s at Sunset Strip clubs and on the TV variety show "Shindig!". They formed the Native American band Redbone in 1969. The band, with members of Latino and native American origin, released its self-titled debut album the following year. The band first gained notice with "Maggie" in 1970 and "The Witch Queen of New Orleans" in 1971. "Come and Get Your Love" peaked at No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1974. In concert, Redbone often dressed in traditional Native American attire, and some of the group's songs, including "We Were All Wounded at Wounded Knee," emphasized the members' Indian background. Lolly and Pat also were prolific songwriters whose "Niki Hoeky" was covered by Aretha Franklin, Bobbie Gentry and P.J. Proby. (sadly died after a brave battle against cancer) b. October 2nd 1939.
2010: Etta Cameron/Ettamae Louvita Coakley (60) Danish singer and actor born in Nassau, Bahamas; she went to Denmark from DDR, she was stranded for five years in East Berlin, after a performance commitment she had lost her passport. She especially sang jazz and gospel, and put her marks in the Danish music culture through her entire career since she arrived to Denmark in the 1970s. She was made a Knight of Dannebrog in 1997. Etta is also well-known as one of the judges in the first two seasons of Scenen er din, the Danish version of the American TV show Star Search (died after a long illness) b. November 21st 1939.
2011: Johnny Preston/John Preston Courville (71) American pop music singer, who was best known for his international No.1 hit in 1960, "Running Bear". Born in Port Arthur, Texas, he sang in high school choral contests throughout the state of Texas and formed a rock and roll band called 'The Shades', who were seen performing at a local club by J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson. Big Bopper offered him the chance to record a teenage tragedy song he had written, "Running Bear", which they did in Houston, Texas in 1958. The "Indian" sounds on the record were performed by Richardson and George Jones. The record was released after Big Bopper's death in Buddy Holly-Ritchie Valens plane crash entering the U.S. Hot 100 in October 1959, reaching No.1 in January 1960. It was a transatlantic chart-topper, reaching No.1 in the UK in March 1960.The sales of the record exceeded one million copies, earning Johnny his first gold disc. This was followed up with "Cradle of Love", "Feel So Fine", and others. His pioneering contribution to the genre was recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. He also performed at Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theatre in Branson, Missouri. In 2009, Johnny performed at the Lamar State College, in his hometown. (Johnny had coronary artery bypass surgery in 2010, but has sadly died of heart failure after years of heart related illnesses) b. August 18th 1939.
2013: Fran Warren/Frances Wolfe (87) American singer and actress, born in the Bronx, New York City. After some time on a chorus line at New York's Roxy Theater, she sang with bands led by Randy Brooks, Art Mooney, Billy Eckstine who gave her the stage name, Charlie Barnet and Claude Thornhill with who she made the charts for the first time, with "A Sunday Kind Of Love" in 1947. In 1948 she went solo, making a number of recordings, her biggest hit was a duet with Tony Martin, "I Said My Pajamas (and Put On My Pray'rs)" which reached No.3 on the charts. In the 1950s, she also started to play in musical comedy, performing in The Pajama Game and Finian's Rainbow and later playing the title role in Mame. She did not neglect her band singing, touring with Harry James in the 1960s and trumpet player Joe Cabot in the 70s and early 80s (?) b. March 4th 1926.
2014: Renato Cioni (84) Italian operatic tenor, born in Portoferraio on the Isle of Elba. In 1956, as a result of winning an international voice contest organized by the Rome Opera, he made his stage debut at Spoleto, as Edgardo in Lucia di Lammermoor. He quickly became in great demand as a leading tenor throughout Italy, making debut in Rome, Naples, Palermo, Venice, Genoa, Trieste, Bologna, and Catania, etc. He made his La Scala debut on 4 March 1961, as Pinkerton, under Gianandrea Gavazzeni. Also that year he made his studio recordings of Lucia di Lammermoor and Rigoletto, opposite Joan Sutherlandin and he was soon also singing outside Italy, appearing in Spain, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, and France. In 1964, he took part in two historical performances, first at Covent Garden, as Cavaradossi in Tosca, opposite Maria Callas and Tito Gobbi, and then at La Scala, as Alfredo in La traviata, opposite Anna Moffo and Mario Sereni, under Herbert von Karajan.(?) b. April 15th 1929.
2015: : Vladimir "Vlada" Divljan (56) Serbian singer, guitarist and songwriter born in Belgrade, FPR Yugoslavia. He was known as the frontman for the Serbian and former Yugoslav rock band Idoli, one of the bands which initiated the Yugoslav new wave on the music and cultural scene of the former Yugoslavia in the 1980s, as well as for his solo works. The first serious band he formed after graduation, in 1976 was called Merlin but soon renamed Zvuk Ulice/ Sound Of The Street, after which he formed the band Decaci/The Boys. In the 80s he launched a solo career before moving to Australia in 1991. Having started working on TV and movie soundtracks he was included into the Movie Composer's Society and in 1996 started studying at the University of Sydney, section Sound studies of the Movie Academy. During a short visit to Yugoslavia in late 1995 / early 1996, he formed the Old Stars Band. In 1999 he and his family moved to Vienna, where he settled for the rest of his days. He continued to work on radio, films and with different music and band projects. (sadly died fighting cancer) b. May 10th 1958.
2015: Jim McCann (70) Irish guitarist and singer born in Dublin. He dropped out of University College Dublin where he was stuying medicine, when he became interested in folk music during a 1964 summer in Birmingham, UK. He began to perform in folk clubs in the area, and, upon his return to Dublin, he joined a group called the Ludlow Trio in 1965; they had an Irish No.1 hit 1966, with The Sea Around Us, but the band broke up the following year. Jim began a solo career, releasing an album, McCann. In 1973 he performed alongside Luke Kelly in the original cast of Jesus Christ Superstar, in the role of Peter. In April 1974 Kelly asked him to join The Dubliners temporarily, to replace Ciarán Bourke during an illness. However, he became a permanent member soon afterwards, when Ronnie Drew left the group. He remained with The Dubliners until the end of 1979, during which he toured incessantly, also recorded several albums with the group. Jim continued his solo career, but he rejoined The Dubliners in 2002 for their 40th anniversary tour and again at Vicar Street in 2012 for their 50th. Jim released 7 solo albums including From Tara to Here which went gold. (sadly Jim died battling throat cancer) b. October 26th 1944.
2016: Zhou Xiaoyan (98) Chinese vocal pedagogue, classical soprano and considered to be the first important instructor of Western opera in China. Born in Wuhan she was educated at a Roman Catholic school in Shanghai which exposed her to studies in Western music. At aged 18, Zhou began her professional musical training at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music and rose to fame in her native country shortly after the outbreak of the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1937. In 1946 Zhou was a featured soloist at the first Prague Spring International Music Festival; a performance which earned her the nickname the "Chinese nightingale". With the rise of the Cultural Revolution, Western music was no longer accepted by those in power and Zhou found herself out of favor. In 1970 Zhou returned to Shanghai and her post at the conservatory. In 1988, Zhou established the Zhou Xiaoyan Opera Center under the Shanghai Conservatory of Music. At the 50th anniversary of China's victory against Japan, Zhou was invited to sing at the Great Wall of China. Over her long career she performed at many established theatres across Europe in countries including England, Luxembourg, Czechoslovakia, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland (?) b. August 17th 1917.
2016: Joey Martin Feek (40) American country singer and one half of the husband-and-wife singing duo Joey + Rory. Originally from Alexandria, Indiana, she made her stage debut at 6 years old, performing Dolly Parton's "Coat of Many Colors". In 2000, two years after moving to Nashville, Joey Martin was signed to Sony Music as a recording artist, but her two LPs were shelved before being released. The second album, 'Strong Enough to Cry', was eventually issued in 2007, five years into her marriage to songwriter Rory Lee Feek. In 2008, the Feeks combined their talents to compete on the CMT series "Can You Duet". They came 3ird and secured a deal with Sugar Hill Records, releasing their debut LP, 'The Life of a Song', featuring the Top 30 hit "Cheater, Cheater". The follow-up, 'Album Number Two', was released in 2010, succeeded by A Farmhouse Christmas a year later. In 2010, Joey + Rory were named the ACM Top New Vocal Duo of the Year, receiving additional nods from the ACM and CMA from 2009 to 2011. They scored a Grammy nomination in 2015, in the Best Country Duo/Group Performance for their cover of Townes Van Zandt's "If I Needed You". On April 3rd, they are up for Vocal Duo of the Year at the 51st ACM Awards. On Feb. 12, the couple released their 7th final album, "Hymns That Are Important To Us," which they recorded last summer in Nashville. (sadly Joey Martin died fighting cervical cancer) b.1975.
2016: Bankroll Fresh/Yung Fresh/Trentavious White (28) American rapper born in Atlanta, Georgia. He appeared with Gucci Mane on multiple records. In 2014, he collaborated with Mike Will Made It on the song "Screen Door". He made a guest appearance on song "For the Love", which appeared on the 2014 Metro Boomin mixtape 19 & Boomin'. He had a minor hit of his own with the 2014 single "Hot Boy", and the same year, released the mixtape 'Life of a Hot Boy'. In 2015, he released Life of a Hot Boy 2, and followed it with a self-titled mixtape. In February 2016, he released a video for his song "Poppin' Shit" (tragically Bankroll was shot and killed late in the evening at Street Execs Studio, a recording studio in Atlanta. Investigators found over 50 shell casings at the scene. No one else was injured) b. August 2nd 1987.
2017: Edi Fitzroy/Fitzroy Edwards (62) Jamaican reggae singer born in Chapelton, and attended Chapelton All-Age and Clarendon College. After studying accounting, he took a job as an accounts clerk with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation while also singing in his spare time. He released his debut album 'Youthman Penitentiary' in 1982 and 'Check For You Once' topped the Jamaican albums chart for four weeks later that year. He had a major Jamaican hit with "The Gun", and he contributed to the "Land of Africa" charity single in aid of the Ethiopia famine appeal. After the release of his 1993 album 'Deep in Mi Culture', Edi toured the United States with backing band Massawa. In the mid-1990s he started his own Confidence label to release his own material and became a regular performer at annual Peter Tosh memorial concerts in Jamaica (?) b. November 17th 1955.
2017: Valerie Carter (64) American singer-songwriter perhaps best known as a back-up vocalist who has recorded and performed with a number of artists including Linda Ronstadt, Don Henley, Christopher Cross, Little Feat, Jackson Browne, The Outlaws and, most notably, James Taylor. She wrote songs for Judy Collins-"Cook with Honey", Jackson Browne- "Love Needs a Heart", The Brothers Johnson- "Deceiver", and Earth, Wind & Fire-"Turn It into Something Good" to mention some. As a solo artist she released four solo studio albums, a live album and a compilation album. Valerie also recorded 'Howdy Moon' with the band Howdy Moon in 1974. In 1996, she released with "The Way It Is", covering songs by Neil Young, Jackson Browne, Van Morrison and Warren Zevon, and a Japanese live album. (?) b. February 5th 1953.
1947: Alfredo Casella (63) Italian composer born in Turin; he had his biggest success with the ballet La Giara, set to a scenario of Pirandello's; other notable works include Italia, the Concerto Romano, Partita and Scarlattiana for Piano and Orchestra, the Violin and Cello Concerti, Paganiniana, and the Concerto for Piano, Strings, Timpani and Percussion. Amongst his chamber works, both Cello Sonatas are played with some frequency, as is the very beautiful late Harp Sonata, and the music for Flute and Piano. He also made live-recording player piano music rolls for the Aeolian Duo-Art system, all of which survive today and can be heard. In 1923, together with Gabriele D'Annunzio and Gian Francesco Malipiero from Venice, he founded an association to promote the spread of modern Italian music, the "Corporation of the New Music" (?) b. July 25th 1883.
1953: Sergei Prokofiev (61) Russian composer, born in Sontsovka; at the age of nine he was composing his first opera, The Giant, as well as an overture and miscellaneous pieces. His orchestral music alone is played more frequently in the United States than that of any other composer of the last hundred years, save Richard Strauss, while his operas, ballets, chamber works, and piano music appear regularly throughout the major concert halls world-wide. He also composed music for children, Three Songs for Children and Peter and the Wolf, among others. as well as the gigantic Cantata for the Twentieth Anniversary of the October Revolution, which was banned from performance and had to wait until May 1966 for a partial premiere (?) b. April 23th 1891.
1963: Patsy Cline/Virginia Patterson Hensley (30) American country singer, who helped blaze a trail for female singers to assert themselves as an integral part of the Nashville-dominated country music industry. Posthumously, millions of her albums have been sold over the past 46 years and she has been given numerous awards, which has given her an iconic status. Only ten years after her death, she became the first female solo artist inducted to the Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2002, she was voted by artists and members of the Country Music industry as No.1 on CMT's television special of the 40 Greatest Women of Country Music of all time, and in '99 she was voted No.11 on VH1's special The 100 Greatest Women in Rock and Roll of all time by members and artists of the rock industry. According to her 1973 Country Music Hall of Fame plaque, "Her heritage of timeless recordings is testimony to her artistic capacity." Among those hits are "Walkin' After Midnight", "I Fall to Pieces", "She's Got You", "Crazy", and "Sweet Dreams" (Patsy died in a plane crash with Cowboy Copas and Hawkshaw Hawkins) b. September 8th 1932.
1963:Hawkshaw Hawkins/Harold Franklin Hawkins (41) American country music singer born in Huntington, West Virginia. He was popular from the 50s into the early 60s known for his rich, smooth vocals, music drawn from blues, boogie and honky tonk. His first two recordings in the late 40s "Pan American" and "Dog House Boogie", were top ten country hits. He recorded his biggest hit, "Lonesome 7-7203" in 1962. At 6 ft 5 inches tall, he had an imposing stage presence, and his tasteful Western suits set him apart from the rhinestone gaudiness of other male country singers. He was a member of the Grand Ole Opry and was married to country star Jean Shepard. (He died in the 1963 plane crash that also killed country stars Patsy Cline and Cowboy Copas) b. December 22nd 1921.
1963: Cowboy Copas/Lloyd Estel Copas (49) American country music singer born in Jefferson Township in Adams County, Ohio. He began performing locally at age 14, and appeared on WLW-AM and WKRC-AM in Cincinnati during the 1930s. In 1943, he achieved national fame when he became the vocalist in the Pee Wee King band and began performing on the Grand Ole Opry. His first solo single, "Filipino Baby," in 1946, hit number four on the Billboard country chart and sparked the most successful period of his career. Other hits in the late 40s and 50s included "Tennessee Waltz," "I'm Waltzing With Tears in My Eyes," "Signed, Sealed and Delivered," "Tennessee Moon," "Breeze," "Hangman's Boogie," "Candy Kisses," "The Strange Little Girl." and "'Tis Sweet to Be Remembered," (died in the 1963 plane crash that also killed country stars Patsy Cline and Hawkshaw Hawkins) b. July 15th 1913.
1973: Michael Jeffery (39) British music business manager of the 1960s who is best known for his management of British band The Animals and American guitarist-composer Jimi Hendrix, whom he co-managed for a time with former Animals bassist Chas Chandler. A former associate of noted British pop impresario Don Arden, he was and remains a controversial figure... Hendrix died in September 1970. His body was found in London at the flat of Monika Dannemann, who was Hendrix's girlfriend at the moment. In May 2009 the UK media reported claims that Michael Jeffery had murdered Jimi Hendrix. James "Tappy" Wright, who was a roadie for Hendrix and The Animals in the 1960s, claimed he met Michael Jeffery in 1971, one year after Hendrix's death, and Jeffery confessed to having murdered Hendrix by plying him with pills and a bottle of wine in order to kill him and claim on the guitarist's life insurance. Jeffrey is quoted by Wright as telling him: "I was in London the night of Jimi's death and together with some old friends.. we went 'round to Monika's hotel room, got a handful of pills and stuffed them into his mouth...then poured a few bottles of red wine deep into his windpipe." The manager was allegedly worried that Hendrix was about to sack him. He had reputedly taken out an insurance policy worth $2 million on Hendrix' life, with himself as beneficiary. At the time of Hendrix's death, a coroner recorded an open verdict, stating that the cause was "barbiturate intoxication and inhalation of vomit". However Dr. John Bannister, the doctor who attempted to resuscitate Hendrix, later raised the possibility that Hendrix actually died from forced inhalation of copious amounts of red wine (Michael was killed in 1973 in a mid-air collision over Nantes, France, whilst aboard an Iberia Airlines DC-9) b. March 1933.
1981: Theodore Dudley "Red" Saunders (69) American jazz drummer and bandleader, he also played vibraphone and timpani. Early in his career, he played with Stomp King in Milwaukee and Chicago, and worked with Tiny Parham at the Savoy Ballroom in Chicago. In 1937, the Club DeLisa gave Saunders control of the house band, where he remained until the club closed in 1958. Among his sidemen were Leon Washington, Porter Kilbert, Earl Washington, Sonny Cohn, Ike Perkins, Riley Hampton, and Mac Easton. Among the arrangers he employed were Johnny Pate and Sun Ra. He also played with Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, and Woody Herman, and recorded with Big Joe Turner. He continued to lead a band at the Regal Theater in Chicago into the 1960s, and played with Little Brother Montgomery and Art Hodes at the New Orleans Jazz Festival in the 1970s (?) b. March 2nd 1912.
1981: Yip Harburg/Isidore Hochberg (84) American popular song lyricist, born on the Lower East Side of New York City. He who worked with many well-known composers and worked on 11 fims, 8 Broadway musicals, and 17 Broadway revues. He wrote the lyrics to the standards, "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?", which swept the nation, becoming an anthem of the Great Depression, "April in Paris", and "It's Only a Paper Moon", as well as all of the songs in The Wizard of Oz, including "Over the Rainbow" for which he won the Academy Award for Best Music, Original Song. He also recieved Oscars for "Cabin in the Sky", in 1943 and "Can't Help Singing" in 1944. True to his strongly leftist views, Yip supported the 1948 presidential campaign of Henry Wallace, and wrote the lyrics of the campaign song "Everyone Likes Wallace, Friendly Henry Wallace." From about 1951 to 1962, he was a victim of the Hollywood blacklist when movie studio bosses blacklisted industry people for suspected involvement or sympathy with the US Communist Party. No longer able to work in Hollywood, he nevertheless continued to write musicals for Broadway, among which was Jamaica, which featured Lena Horne. Yip was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972. (tragically he died in a car accident on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood) b. April 8th 1896.
1982: John Belushi (33) American comedian, actor and musician, notable for his work on Saturday Night Live, National Lampoon's Animal House and The Blues Brothers. The Blues Brothers were a Grammy Award-nominated American blues and soul revivalist band founded in 1978 by comedians John and his friend Dan Aykroyd as part of a musical sketch on Saturday Night Live. John as lead vocalist "Joliet" Jake Blues and Dan as harpist/vocalist Elwood Blues, they fronted the band, which was composed of well-known and respected musicians. The band made its debut as the musical guest on the April 22, 1978, episode of Saturday Night Live. The band then began to take on a life beyond the confines of the television screen, releasing an album, Briefcase Full of Blues, in 1978, and then having a Hollywood film, The Blues Brothers, created around its characters in 1980 (sadly John died of an overdose of cocaine & heroin) b. January 24th 1949.
1984: Pierre Cochereau (59) French organist and composer born in Saint-Mandé, near Paris. After studying piano, he was introduced to the pipe organ and he continued his organ studies with André Fleury and Paul Delafosse, whom he succeeded as titular organist at St. Roch in Paris in 1942. In September 1948, he made his first recital tour to Hungary. In 1949, aged 26, Pierre was appointed director of the Le Mans Conservatory and in 1955, he succeeded Léonce de Saint-Martin as titular organist at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. In 1956, his recording of Marcel Dupré's Symphonie-Passion opus 23 was awarded the Grand Prix du Disque. That same year, he made his first of 25 recital tours to the United States. In 1961, became director of the Nice Conservatory, which he left in 1979, accepting the directorship of the Lyon Conservatory. As a composer, he left several organ works, chamber music and choir compositions (sadly Pierre suffered a cerebral hemorrhage) b. July 9th 1924.
1984: Tito Gobbi (70) Italian international operatic baritone born in Bassano del Grappa and studied law at the University of Padua before he trained as a singer. In 1942, he debuted at La Scala in Milan, in the role of Belcore in Donizetti's L'elisir d'amore. He also appeared at the Rome Opera and other significant Italian venues.Tito's international career blossomed after the Second World War, beginning with appearances in 1948 at the San Francisco opera. He performed for the first time at London's Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, in 1950 and sang with the Lyric Opera of Chicago from 1954 until 1974. The year 1974 also saw the last of Tito's numerous appearances at Covent Garden. In retirement, he turned to writing. His autobiography, Tito Gobbi: My Life, was published in 1979. The book Tito Gobbi and His World of Italian Opera followed in 1984 (?) b. October 24th 1913.
1995: Vivian Stanshall (51) English singer-songwriter, guitarist, trumpeter, percussionist, painter, author, and poet, best known for his work with the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, for his surreal exploration of the British upper classes in Sir Henry at Rawlinson End, and for narrating Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells. Viv was the original tenor in the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band, which combined elements of music hall, trad jazz, psychedelic rock, and avant-garde art, the Bonzos came to the attention of a broader British public through a children's television programme, Do Not Adjust Your Set. Their biggest hit came in 1968 with "I'm the Urban Spaceman" with reached No.5 in the UK Singles Chart. (Viv tragically died in a house fire) b. March 21st 1943.
1996: Minnie Pearl/Sarah Ophelia Colley (83) US comedienne, singer, she was a member of the Grand Ole Opry cast from 1940 until her death and on the television show Hee Haw from 1969 to 1991. Born in Centerville, Hickman County, Tennessee, her first professional theatrical job was with the Wayne P. Sewell Production Company, a touring theater company based in Atlanta, for which she produced and directed plays and musicals for local organizations in small towns throughout the southeastern United States. Minnie was an important influence on younger female country music singers and rural humorists such as Jerry Clower, Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall, Carl Hurley, David L Cook, Chonda Pierce, Ron White and Larry the Cable Guy. In 2002 she was ranked as number 14 on CMT's 40 Greatest Women in Country Music list (complications due to a stroke) b. October 25th 1912.
1999: Richard Paul Kiley (76) American stage, television, and film actor born in Chicago. He is best known for his voice work, as narrator of various documentary series, and for having played Don Quixote in the original 1965 production of the Broadway musical Man of La Mancha. Richard was the first to sing and record The Impossible Dream, the hit song from the show. In the 1953 hit musical Kismet, he played the Caliph, and introduced the song Stranger in Paradise (?) b. March 31st 1922
2000: Rena Dor/Irini Giannatou (82 or 83) Greek actress, singer, Pan-Athenian award winner and wife of Kostas Hadjihristos. Born in Patras, she was orphaned at the age of 4 along with her 9 sisters. She first entered the musical theatre mainly as a dancer with Zozo Dalma in a periodical that performed in Egypt. Her first theatrical work was with Marika Krevata and Mimi Kokkini in 1954, the first of 15 theatre shows and 4 films; her last appearance was in 1978 at the Minoa theatre (?) b.1917.
2005: Robert Consoli (40) American actor and guitarist born in Bradford, Massachusetts; after graduating from Haverhill High School, he moved to California in the late-80s to pursue live stage acting. His acting ability and charisma earned him roles in several plays. Rob studied with Estelle Harman and Ari Barak and has appeared in movies such as God's Army-2000, Girl Crazy-1997, and Falling Words-1997. He has also performed with Canadian singer Norman Iceberg both as an actor and musician (sadly died of leukemia)b. August 21st 1964.
2010: Philip Langridge CBE (70) British tenor born in Hawkhurst, Kent, educated at Maidstone Grammar School and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London. His repertoire ranged from the operas of Claudio Monteverdi and Mozart to more modern works by Ravel, Stravinsky, Janácek and Schoenberg. Late in his life, he was adding some Wagner roles, including Loge from Das Rheingold. Philip was also a fine concert singer and regularly performed the sacred music of Bach and Handel. He won great acclaim for his assumption of the title role in Elgar's oratorio, The Dream of Gerontius. Other roles in which he excelled included Zivny in Osud, Laca in Jenufa and Gregor in The Makropulos Affair (all by Janacek), Mozart's Tito and Idomeneo, Shuisky in Boris Godunov and King Alonso in Adès's The Tempest and in 2001 the title role in Pfitzner's rarely performed opera Palestrina at Covent Garden, winning plaudits for his capturing of the tortured composer's world-weariness and nihilistic despair, and his final attainment of quiet rapture. Appointed CBE in 1994, he received many other awards, including the Olivier award for Osud, the Singer of the Year award from the Royal Philharmonic Society, The Worshipful Company of Musicians' Santay award and the NFMS/Charles Groves prize of 2001 for his "outstanding contribution to British music". He marked his 70th birthday with a concert at the Wigmore Hall with Owen Norris and the Doric Quartet (?) b. December 16th 1939.
2011: Manolis Rasoulis/Emmanouil Rasoulis (65) Greek composer, singer and lyricist born in Heraklion, Crete. He frequently collaborated with famous musicians such as Manos Loizos, Stavros Kougioumtzis, Nikos Xydakis, and Christos Nikolopoulos and singers such as Vasilis Papakonstantinou, Haris Alexiou, Sokratis Malamas, and Nikos Papazoglou (sadly died of a heart attack) b. September 28th 1945.
2012: Robert Bernard Sherman (86) American songwriter who specialized in musical films with his brother Richard Morton Sherman. Some of the Sherman Brothers' best known songs were incorporated into movies and animations like Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Slipper and the Rose, Snoopy Come Home, The Aristocats, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Magic of Lassie, The Sword in the Stone, and the theme park song of "It's a Small World (After All)". Robert and his brother Richard began writing songs together on a challenge from their father, Al Sherman, a successful popular songwriter in the "Tin Pan Alley" days. They began by writing rocknroll, country and hillbilly songs in the 1950s. In 1958, Robert founded the music publishing company, Music World Corporation, which later worked with Disney's BMI publishing arm, Wonderland Music >>> READ MORE <<< (died peacefully in London, UK) b. December 19th 1925.
2013: John LaChapelle (91) American jazz guitarist, and teacher; he was known to many people in the Tri-Cities and beyond as the godfather of jazz guitar (sadly died of heart failure) b. 1921.
2013: Melvin Rhyne (76) American jazz organistborn in Indianapolis and took up playing the piano at a very young age. At 19 years old, he started performing on piano with the then unknown tenor saxophonist Rahsaan Roland Kirk but he soon switched over to the Hammond B3 organ, and before long he was backing famous blues players like B.B. King and T-Bone Walker. In 1959 he joined Wes Montgomery's newly formed trio; Melvin played with Montgomery for the next five years and cut four records with The Wes Montgomery Trio: A Dynamic New Sound, Guitar on the Go, Boss Guitar, and Portrait of Wes. Melvin then moved to Wisconsin and kept to himself for two decades. Melvin returned to the jazz scene in full force in 1991, playing on Herb Ellis' album Roll Call, Brian Lynch's At the Main Event, and his own comeback album, The Legend. He continued to be prolific in the years to come, releasing eight more solo albums with his trio (?)b. October 12th 1936.
2014: SL/Selim Lemouchi (33) Dutch lead guitarist, lyricist-songwriter, born in Eindhoven, North Brabant; in 2006 he founded occult rock band The Devil's Blood who released thier first full-length album, The Time of No Time Evermore, on September 11th 2009. In November 2011, the band released their second full-length album, The Thousandfold Epicentre, which was later released in the United States in January 2012. Following the US release of the album, the band embarked on The Decibel Magazine Tour 2012, which was headlined by the Polish blackened-death-metal band Behemoth and the tour included twenty-six tour stops across North America. They released therir final album III: Tabula Rasa or Death and the Seven Pillars in February 2013 after which the band called it quits and disbanded Selim emerged with a new band, Selim Lemouchi & His Enemies, whose debut album, "Earth Air Spirit Water Fire", was released December 2013. (sadly, "suspected" suicide) b. June 29th 1980.
2014: Dave Sampson (73) English rock 'n' roll singer born in Uttoxeter and his first ever recording was a four tune EP demo with Steve Laine, later of the Liverpool Five. Both were singers on the EP with a backing band that was never named but included Don Groome on drums, John Milner on bass and Tony Haslett on guitar. Dave had a UK hit single in May 1960 with his backing band, The Hunters, with "Sweet Dreams", which peaked at No. 29 on the UK Singles Chart (?) b. January 9th 1941.
2015: Vladimir "Vlada" Divljan (56) Serbian singer, guitarist and songwriter born in Belgrade, FPR Yugoslavia. He was known as the frontman for the Serbian and former Yugoslav rock band Idoli, one of the bands which initiated the Yugoslav new wave on the music and cultural scene of the former Yugoslavia in the 1980s, as well as for his solo works. The first serious band he formed after graduation, in 1976 was called Merlin but soon renamed Zvuk Ulice/ Sound Of The Street, after which he formed the band Decaci/The Boys. In the 80s he launched a solo career before moving to Australia in 1991. Having started working on TV and movie soundtracks he was included into the Movie Composer's Society and in 1996 started studying at the University of Sydney, section Sound studies of the Movie Academy. During a short visit to Yugoslavia in late 1995 / early 1996, he formed the Old Stars Band. In 1999 he and his family moved to Vienna, where he settled for the rest of his days. He continued to work on radio, films and with different music and band projects. (sadly died fighting cancer) b. May 10th 1958.
2015: Jim McCann (70) Irish guitarist and singer born in Dublin. He dropped out of University College Dublin where he was stuying medicine, when he became interested in folk music during a 1964 summer in Birmingham, UK. He began to perform in folk clubs in the area, and, upon his return to Dublin, he joined a group called the Ludlow Trio in 1965; they had an Irish No.1 hit 1966, with The Sea Around Us, but the band broke up the following year. Jim began a solo career, releasing an album, McCann. In 1973 he performed alongside Luke Kelly in the original cast of Jesus Christ Superstar, in the role of Peter. In April 1974 Kelly asked him to join The Dubliners temporarily, to replace Ciarán Bourke during an illness. However, he became a permanent member soon afterwards, when Ronnie Drew left the group. He remained with The Dubliners until the end of 1979, during which he toured incessantly, also recorded several albums with the group. Jim continued his solo career, but he rejoined The Dubliners in 2002 for their 40th anniversary tour and again at Vicar Street in 2012 for their 50th. Jim released 7 solo albums including From Tara to Here which went gold. (sadly Jim died battling throat cancer) b. October 26th 1944.
2016: Nikolaus Harnoncourt-Unverzagt (86) Austrian conductor and cellist born in Berlin. He was a cellist with the Vienna Symphony from 1952 to 1969 and in 1953, he founded the period-instrument ensemble Concentus Musicus Wien with Alice Hoffelner, whom he married that year. In 1971, he started a joint project with conductor Gustav Leonhardt to record all of J. S. Bach's cantatas and in 1975 he made his guest-conducting debut with the Concertgebouw Orchestra, Amsterdam. Between 1987 and 1991, he conducted four new productions of Mozart operas at the Vienna State Opera. In 1992, he debuted at the Salzburg Festival conducting a concert with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. In the following years, he led several concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Vienna Philharmonic and the Concentus Musicus. Other recordings outside of the baroque and classical era repertoire includes his 2002 recording of Bruckner's Symphony No.9 with the Vienna Philharmonic. An accompanying second CD contained a lecture by himself about the symphony with musical examples, including the rarely heard fragments from the unfinished finale and in 2009, he recorded Gershwin's Porgy and Bess, With over 2 dozen awards Nikolaus was a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Music, Honorary Doctor of the University of Edinburgh and of the Order Pour le Mérite for Science and Art. (?) b. December 6th 1929.
2016: Chip Hooper (53) American musical agent born in Miami, FL, but grew up in Chicago, and attended college at Missouri State University. He broke into the music industry with the Minneapolis-based Good Music Agency before hiring into the Carmel, California-based Monterey Peninsula Artists as an agent in 1988. Chip was instrumental in promoting the Jam Band movement, through his agency with Phish Dave Matthews and other seminal acts. He became the head of music at Paradigm, after the company acquired Monterey Peninsula Artists from co-founders Dan Weiner and Fred Bohlander in 2004. He oversaw agents from four offices and more than 2,000 artists. Chips was also a world-class photographer, with his art published in books and hung in galleries around the world. (sadly died fighting cancer) b.1962.
2017: Kurt Moll (78) German operatic bass singer born in Buir. As a child, he played the cello and also sang in the school choir. He joined the Cologne Opera at age 20 and remained a member of the ensemble until 1961. He then sang for 3 years at the Mainz Opera and 5 years at the Wuppertal Opera. In 1969, he accepted an engagement with the Hamburg State Opera, and then performed in major opera houses of Europe. He made his US debut with the San Francisco Opera as Gurnemanz in Wagner's Parsifal in 1974, a role he reprised with the company in 2000. He made his debut at the Metropolitan Opera on the opening night of the 1977/78 season, appearing as the Landgraf in Wagner's Tannhäuser. He was awarded several prestigious European record awards; he also won a 1990 Grammy Award for his participation in James Levine's 1988 recording of Wagner's Das Rheingold. Kurt retired from the stage in 2006, after singing the Nachtwächter at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich (?) b. April 11th 1938.
1932: John Philip Sousa (77) American composer and conductor born in Washington, D.C. he was known particularly for American military and patriotic marches. Because of his mastery of march composition, he is known as "The March King". He wrote over 100 marches, including "Stars and Stripes Forever". John served in the U.S. Marine Corps, first from 1868 to 1875 as an apprentice musician, and then as the head of the Marine Band from 1880 to 1892; the year he left the US Marine Band, John organized his own band. The Sousa Band toured from 18921931, performing at 15,623 concerts. In 1900, his band represented the United States at the Paris Exposition before touring Europe. In Paris, the Sousa Band marched through the streets including the Champs-Élysées to the Arc de Triomphe one of only eight parades the band marched in over its forty years. Also the sousaphone was named after him, it was created in 1898 by C. G. Conn at John's request for a tuba that could sound upward and over the band whether it was seated or marching (heart failure) b. November 6th 1854
1951: Ivor Novello/David Ivor Davies (58) Welsh composer, singer and actor who became one of the most popular British entertainers of the early 20th century. Born in Cardiff, Wales, Ivor first became known as a result of the song "Keep the Home Fires Burning". His 1917 show, Theodore & Co was a wartime hit, composed while he was in the Navy. Ivor wrote his musicals in the style of operetta and was one of the last major composers in this form. While he generally wrote his own librettos, Christopher Hassall wrote the lyrics for most of his shows. He also appeared in West End musicals of his own devising. His musicals in the 1930s were expensive, spectacular productions, with several scene changes and a large cast including many extras and dancers. The best known of these were Glamorous Night in 1935 and The Dancing Years in 1939 . Ivor later went to Hollywood and appeared in numerous successful films, but the stage always remained his first love. The Ivor Novello Awards for songwriting are awarded each year by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA) and in 2005, the Strand Theatre in London, above which Novello lived for many years, was renamed the Novello Theatre. On 27 June 2009, a statue of Novello was unveiled outside the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff Bay. (sadly Ivor died from a coronary thrombosis) b. January 15th 1893.
1961: George Formby OBE/George Hoy Booth (57) English singer, comedian, ukulele, banjo; a musical comedian among Britain's most popular stars during the first half of the 20th century, with a legacy encompassing over 200 records and more than 20 hit films. His best-known song, "Leaning on a Lamp Post" was written by Noel Gay. He recorded two more Noel Gay songs "The Left-Hand Side of Egypt" and "Who Are You A-Shoving Of?". Many of which were recorded, were written by Fred Cliff and Harry Gifford, either in collaboration or separately, and Formby was included in the credits of a number of them, including "When I'm Cleaning Windows". Some of his songs were considered too rude for broadcasting. His 1937 song, "With my little stick of Blackpool Rock" was banned by the BBC because of the lyrics. George appeared in the 1937 Royal Variety Performance, and entertained troops with Entertainments National Service Association in Europe and North Africa during World War II. He received an OBE in 1946. His most popular film is the espionage comedy Let George Do It (sadly George died of a heart attack) b. May 26th 1904.
1967: Nelson Eddy (65) American singer and actor who appeared in 19 musical films during the 1930s and 1940s, as well as in opera and on the concert stage, radio, television, and in nightclubs. A classically trained baritone, he is best remembered for the eight films in which he costarred with soprano Jeanette MacDonald. He was one of the first "crossover" stars, a superstar appealing both to shrieking bobby-soxers as well as opera purists, and in his heyday was the highest paid singer in the world. During his 40-year career, he earned 3 stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one each for film, recording, and radio, left his footprints in the wet cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater, earned three Gold records, and was invited to sing at the third inauguration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. He also introduced millions of young Americans to classical music and inspired many of them to pursue a musical career (Eddy was singing "Dardanella" at the Sans Souci Hotel in Palm Beach, Florida, when he was stricken on stage with a cerebral hemorrhage, he died a few hours later) b. June 29th 1901.
1967: Zoltán Kodály (84) Hungarian composer, one of the first people to undertake the serious study of folk tales, he became one of the most significant early figures in the field of ethnomusicology. In 1905 he visited remote villages to collect songs recording them on phonograph cylinders. During his early years of study he had composed throughout this time, producing two String quartets, Sonata for cello and piano and Sonata for cello solo and his Duo for violin and cello. Dances of Marosszék, the Dances of Galanta, the Peacock Variations and the Missa Brevis are a few of his better known works. He also was very interested in the problems of music education, and he wrote a large amount of material on music education methods as well as composing a large amount of music for children. He became the president of the Hungarian Arts Council, and in 1962 received the Order of the Hungarian People's Republic. His other posts included a presidency of the International Folk Music Council, and honorary presidency of the International Society for Music Education. He died in Budapest in 1967, one of the most respected and well known figures in the Hungarian arts (?) b. December 16th 1882.
1971: Thurston Dart (49) English harpsichordist, keyboardist, musicologist, conductor and professor; born in Kingston, he was educated at Hampton Grammar School and was a chorister at the Chapel Royal in Hampton Court. He studied keyboard instruments at the Royal College of Music in London from 1938 to 1939. In 1947 he was appointed assistant lecturer in music at the University of Cambridge, lecturer in 1952, and professor in 1962, with a reputation as a dynamic teacher and professor. In 1964 he was appointed King Edward Professor of Music in the University of London. He made numerous appearances on the harpsichord, and made many harpsichord, clavichord and organ recordings, especially for the L'Oiseau-Lyre label; he was also a conductor and he served as editor of the Galpin Society Journal from 1947 to 1954 and was secretary of Musica Britannica from 1950 to 1965. His book The Interpretation of Music in 1954 was highly influential, aas were his numerous seminal articles on aspects of musical sources, performance and interpretation. In the 1950s he participated in annual concerts featuring four harpsichordists, the three others being George Malcolm, Denis Vaughan and Eileen Joyce. In 1957 this group also recorded two of Vivaldi's Concertos for Four Harpsichords, one in a Bach arrangement, with the Pro Arte Orchestra under Boris Ord. They also recorded Malcolm's Variations on a Theme of Mozart (?) b September 3rd 1921.
1988: Bob Garber (84) American pianist and band leader; very big around Washington DC, and a regular on the radio, apparently his band didn't use vocalists (?) b. April 23rd 1903.
2005: Tommy Vance/Richard Anthony Crispian Francis Prew Hope-Weston (63) British pop radio deejay and broadcaster, born in Eynsham, Oxfordshire. Along with Neal Kay he was one of the few broadcasters in the United Kingdom to champion hard rock and heavy metal in the early 1980s, providing the only national radio forum for both bands and fans. The Friday Rock Show that he hosted gave new bands airtime for their music and fans an opportunity to hear it. His radio show was a factor in the rise of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. He used a personal tag-line of TV on the radio (sadly died of a stroke) b. July 11th 1941.
2006: Dana Reeve née Morosini (44) American actress, singer, activist for disability causes and wife of actor Christopher Reeve. She born in Teaneck, New Jersey, but grew up in the town of Greenburgh, New York, where she graduated from Edgemont High School in 1979. Her many singing and acting credits include appearances on television, where she had guest roles on Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, soap operas All My Children as Eva Stroupe and Loving, among others. She performed at theatres on and off Broadway and at numerous regional theatres. She also did a long-running commercial for Tide laundry detergent that aired during the 90s. In 2005, she received the "Mother of the Year Award" from the American Cancer Society for her dedication and determination in raising her son after the loss of her husband. In her final public appearances, she appeared at Madison Square Garden on January 12th 2006 and sang the Carole King song "Now and Forever" in honor of New York Rangers hockey player Mark Messier (sadly, Dana, a non-smoker died while fighting lung cancer) b. March 17th 1961.
2006: Tom Robb (57) American bassist, born in Passaic NJ, where he endured many childhood hardships of homelessness, and a long list of foster homes and children homes. While at High School he was sent to live at Bonnie Brae Farm for Boys. It was here where he began playing the drums and later the bass guitar. After leaving the boys home he moved to Greenwich Village, playing bass with different local bands and doing sessions in the studios of New York. He wet on to be a highly respected and much sort after session bassist playing on hundreds of albums with a wide range of artists, including Alicia Bridges' worldwide hit "I Love The Night Life". (sadly lost his fight against liver cancer) b. 1948 ... read more
2006: King Floyd (61) American New Orleans soul singer-songwriter, he started his singing career at the Sho-Bar on Bourbon Street. Following a stint in the army, he went to California, where he joined up with record producer Harold Battiste. His debut album, A Man In Love, failed to make an impact on the charts. He retuned to New Orleans in '69, where he recorded "Groove Me" B-side the to his, "What Our Love Needs." A New Orleans radio DJ's started playing "Groove Me" and it became a local hit. Atlantic Records picked up national distribution of "Groove Me," which topped the US R&B chart and reached No.6 on the Billboard Hot 100. It sold over one million copies, and received a gold disc awarded by the R.I.A.A. (complications of a stroke and diabetes) b. February 13th 1945.
2009: FrancisM/Master Rapper/The Mouth/The Man From Manila/Francis Magalona (44) Filipino rapper, entrepreneur, songwriter, producer, actor, director, and photographer. He was the first Filipino rapper in the Philippines to cross over into the mainstream. He was credited for having pioneered the merging of rap with Pinoy rock, becoming a significant influence to artists in that genre as well. He was also a television host on MTV Asia and Channel V Philippines and on noontime variety television show Eat Bulaga! He was later awarded a posthumous Presidential Medal of Merit. The award's citation noted that it had been given for his musical and artistic brilliance, his deep faith in the Filipino and his sense of national pride that continue to inspire us. (sadly he died 7 months after being diagnosed with acute myelogenous leukemia) b. October 4th 1964.
2009: David Williams (58) American guitarist born in Newport News, Virginia; he started his professional career with the Dells at age 18. After he finished his time in the Army he hooked up with the Temptations for live gigs and eventually settled in Los Angeles where became one of the most in-demand session guitarists recording with Michael Jackson, The Jacksons, The Pointer Sisters, Peter Allen, Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, Madonna, Julio Iglesias, George Benson, The Manhattan Transfer, Michael McDonald, Melissa Manchester, The Temptations, Stevie Nicks, Rod Stewart, Dionne Warwick, Shalamar, Go West, Genesis, Boz Scaggs, Karen Carpenter, Mariah Carey, Julian Lennon, Bryan Ferry, Paul McCartney, Johnny Mathis, Del Shannon, Chaka Khan, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Lionel Richie, Jessica Simpson, Diana Ross, The Crusaders, Andraé Crouch, Eddie Murphy, Herbie Hancock, Peter Cetera, Whitney Houston, Monkey Business and more. Also in 1978 along with James Jamerson Jr. the son of the legendary bassist, James Jamerson, he co-formed the disco group Chanson. They were a one-hit wonder, reaching No.21 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No.33 in the UK Singles Chart in 1979 with "Don't Hold Back". ( sadly David died of cardiac arrest at his home in Hampton, Virginia) b. November 21st 1950
2010: Mark Linkous (47) American singer, songwriter, guitarist, pianist and multi-musician born in Arlington, Virginia; he graduated from high school in the early 1980s and moved to New York City, where he co-founded the band Dancing Hoods. They released a self-titled EP in 1984, followed by their debut album "12 Jealous Roses" in 1985. In 1988 "Baby's Got Rockets", a single from their "Hallelujah Anyway" album, became a college radio hit. Mark and the band relocated to Los Angeles, but broke up shortly after their move. He moved back to Virginia, and formed the alternative rock band Sparklehorse, releasing their first album, (Mark took his own life while in Knoxville, Tennessee, tragically he shot himself) b. September 9th 1962. ... read more
2011: Herman "Roscoe" Ernest III (59) American drummer well none on the New Orleans R&B and funk scene; he anchored Dr. John's band for more than three decades and appeared on the singer-pianist's albums The City That Care Forgot," Mercenary," Duke Elegant," Creole Moon," Anutha Zone" and N'Awlinz: Dis, Dat or D'Udda". He also recorded behind such local notables as Lee Dorsey on the Allen Toussaint -produced Night People", the Neville Brothers on their breakthrough Fiyo on the Bayou", Irma Thomas , Aaron Neville, Snooks Eaglin , Johnny Adams , Anders Osborne and Al Carnival" Johnson. In 2006, Herman sat in with the band Cowboy Mouth on their post-Katrina set Voodoo Shoppe". He also backed Solomon Burke during his stay at New Orleans' Black Top Records and appeared on LaBelle's 1974 album Nightbirds," which spawned the Toussaint-produced hit Lady Marmalade". Herman last performed at Tipitina's on Dec. 30th 2010 with Dr. John (Herman sadly died after a brave two year fight with cancer) b.August 12th 1951.
2012: Lucia Mannucci (91) Italian singer born in Bologna, Emilia-Romagna, but relocated to Milan at a young age. She attend the Art of Movement school directed by Carla Strauss. She successfully auditioned for EIAR, the Italian national radio broadcasting company, and worked as a singer for the various radio orchestras. She toured Italy for some years, working with the such entertainers as Gorni Kramer, Natalino Otto, and the Quartetto Cetra. On August 19th 1944, she married Virgilio Savona, one of the singers of the Quartetto Cetra. Three years later, she also joined the quartet, replacing Enrico De Angelis, making her the only female member of Quartetto Cetra, but she also had a successful career as a solo singer, musical actress, and TV show hostess. She and her husband also did research on folk music (?) b. May 18th 1920.
2013: Chorão/Alexandre Magno Abrão (42) Brazilian lead singer and co-founder of the band Charlie Brown Jr. Their biggest influences were The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Suicidal Tendencies and Rage Against the Machine. Between 1997 and 2012 they released 9 studio albums, 3 live albums and 5 DVD albums. In 2007, Chorão ventured into cinema with the film "O Magnata", he was writer and screenwriter and he also acts in the movie, and Charlie Brown Jr. songs are featured in the soundtrack (cause of death is still unknown) b. April 9th 1970.
2013: Alvin Lee/Graham Alvin Barnes (68) English rock guitarist and singer, born in Nottingham and attended the Margaret Glen-Bott School in Wollaton. He began to play professionally in 1962, in a band named the Jaybirds, they began that year to perform in the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany. After a couple of name changes by 1966 they had finally decided on the name Ten Years After. The band secured a residency at the Marquee Club, and an invitation to the Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival in 1967 led to their first recording contract. The self-titled début album received airplay on San Francisco's underground music radio >>> READ MORE <<< (He died unexpectedly following complications during routine surgery) b. December 19th 1944.
2013: Stompin' Tom Connors (77) Canadian country folk singer-songwriter and guitarist born in Saint John, New Brunswick. He focused his career exclusively on his native Canada, and is credited with writing more than 300 songs and has released four dozen albums, with total sales of nearly 4 million copies. Three of his best-known songs "Sudbury Saturday Night", "Bud the Spud" and "The Hockey Song" play at every home game of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey team, also The Hockey Song is played at games throughout the National Hockey League. During the mid 70s, he wrote and recorded "The Consumer", an ode to bill-paying that became the theme song for the popular Canadian Broadcasting Corporation consumer affairs program, Marketplace. Other better-known songs include "Big Joe Mufferaw", "The Black Donnellys", "The Martin Hartwell Story", and "Reesor Crossing Tragedy" (died of natural causes at his home in Ballinafad, Ontario) b. February 9th 1936.
2014: Marion Stein CBE (87) Austrian-born British concert pianist, born in Vienna and came to the UK just before the Second World War. She was the joint founder in 1961, along with Fanny Waterman of the Leeds International Pianoforte Competition. In 1973, she was a guest on BBC Radio 4's Desert Island Discs and was an occasional panellist on the BBC music quiz Face the Music (?) b. October 18th 1926.
2016: Kalabhavan Mani/Maulana Willem Lodewijk (45) Indian actor and singer; he started his career as a mimicry artist with the Kalabhavan troupe. From 1995 he went on to become a top playback singer and actor starring in over 200 films, including Malayalam, Tamil, and Telugu films, and is renowned for his comedy, character, and villain roles. Honoured with many awards, he received a special jury award at National Film Award and Kerala State Film Award in 1999 for his performance as Ramu in Vasanthiyum Lakshmiyum Pinne Njaanum. (sadly died from liver cirrhosis and methyl alcohol poisoning) b. January 1st 1971.
2016: Ireng Maulana (71) Indonesian jazz guitarist, born in Batavia , the Dutch East Indies. In his mid to late teens he joined the band Joes & His Band, and began participating in music festivals. Then he joined the music group Gelora Samudra Hotel Des Indes play in Jakarta after which he founded the band Eka Sapta. In 1978 founded the group Ireng Maulana All Stars over the years they played in at festivals worldwide. Ireng was also instrumental in the founding of the international jazz festival, Jakarta Jazz Festival (sadly Ireng died from a heart attack) b. June 15th 1944.
2016: Aaron Huffman (43) American rock bassist, songwriter and art director; he was a member of rock band Harvey Danger which rose to prominence in 1998 with the single "Flagpole Sitta", which is also used as the theme tune to the British sitcom Peep Show. During a hiatus in 2001-03, Aaron formed the group Love Hotel. April 2004 saw both the 10th anniversary of Harvey Danger and their first show since 2001. With Nada Surf opening, the band played Seattle's Crocodile Cafe to a rapturous audience. In May 2009, the band announced, "After 15 years, three albums, hundreds of shows, and far more twists and turns than we ever imagined possible, we've decided to put Harvey Danger to rest. The decision is totally mutual and utterly amicable" before performing 8 final gigs. After the split Aaron worked for The Stranger, a weekly newspaper in Seattle, as arts director (Aaron sadly died with respiratory failure after a battle with cystic fibrosis) b. 1972.
2017: Alberto Zedda (89) Italian conductor and musicologist whose specialty was the 19th century Italian repertoire. He studied in his native Milan and made his debut there as conductor in 1956, with The Barber of Seville. He was quickly invited to conduct at most of the opera houses of Italy and began an international career, appearing in Bordeaux, Paris, Vienna, Berlin, London, New York, etc. He was for a time musical director of the Festival della Valle d'Itria in Martina Franca and later of the Pesaro Festival. (?) b. January 2nd 1928.
2017: Dille/Lars Diedricson (55) Swedish singer-songwriter and founding member of the rock band Snowstorm. He along with Peter Nordholm, Torben Ferm and Micael Serenban formed the band in Gothenburg in 1976. They had several chart successes in Sweden during the 1970s and '80s, one of their most famous songs is "Sommarnatt" from 1980. In the 1990s Dille fronted the band Don Patrol who released two albums and opened for David Lee Roth in Europe in 1991 and they reunited in to record an album in 2015. Also he won the Eurovision Song Contest 1999 as the songwriter for 'Take Me to Your Heaven' performed by Charlotte Nilsson for Sweden. Other hit songs include "Thousand and One Nights", "Everything That I See", and "I Lie So Well". (?) b. August 12th 1961.
2017: Robbie Hoddinott (62) American guitarist and co-founded of the rock band, Kingfish in 1973. Formed in Francisco Bay Area they signed their first record contract, after Grateful Dead guitarist and singer Bob Weir, joined the band in 1974. Robbie performed on Kingfish's first two albums, 'Kingfish' and 'Live 'n' Kickin', before leaving the band in 1976. (?) b. March 7th 1954.
1943: Alma Templeton Moodie (44) Australian violinist who established an excellent reputation in Germany in the 1920s and 1930s. She was born near and grew up in Mount Morgan where she studied violin, being taught initially by her widowed mother from a very young age and from the age of 5 by Louis DHage in Rockhampton. She appeared in public recitals at age 6. In 1907, aged 9, she gained a scholarship to the Brussels Conservatory and in 1919 she made Germany her home. She was regarded as the foremost female violinist during the inter-war years and she premiered violin concertos by Kurt Atterberg, Hans Pfitzner and Ernst Krenek. She and Max Rostal were regarded as the greatest proponents of the Carl Flesch tradition. She performed in many concerts around Europe and appeared with many orchestras including the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and London Symphony Orchestra as well as teaching in Frankfurt at the Hoch Conservatory. However, Alma made no recordings and she appears in very few reference sources and despite her former renown, her name became virtually unknown for many years. She appeared in earlier editions of Grove's and Baker's Dictionaries, but sadly does not appear in the more recent editions. After her death, in that same year, 1943, Karl Höller wrote his Violin Sonata No. 2 in G minor, Op. 33 in memory of Alma Moodie and the Australian composer David Osborne wrote a violin concerto titled Pictures of Alma, which was premiered on May 30th 2010 at the Iwaki Auditorium, ABC Southbank Centre, Melbourne, Australia. (sadly Alma died during an air raid on Frankfurt, although the bombs were not the cause of her death. A doctor reported that she died accidentally of a thrombosis brought on by the mixture of alcohol and sleeping pills she had taken, but a number of her close friends believed she commited suicide. b. September 12th 1898.
1966: Mike Millward (23) UK rhythm guitarist, singer; in the late 50's he played with Bob Evans and the Five Shillings, which become "The Vegas Five", then "The Undertakers", after which he was an original member the Four Jays in 1961. In the summer of 1963, the group, now called The Fourmost - signed up with Brian Epstein. This led to their being auditioned by George Martin and signed to EMI's Parlophone record label. Their first two singles were written by John Lennon. "Hello Little Girl", one of the earliest Lennon songs dating from 1957. Their follow-up single, "I'm in Love" a Lennon/McCartney song, was released on 15 November 1963. Their biggest hit "A Little Loving", written by Russ Alquist, reached Number 6 in the UK Singles Chart in mid 1964. The band appeared in the 1965 film, Ferry Cross the Mersey and are on the soundtrack album of the same name. The group's only album, First and Fourmost, was released in September 1965 (taken ill with throat cancer in '64, he recovered from that only to be tragically struck down by leukaemia) b. May 9th 1942
1971: Harold McNair (39) Jamaican-born saxophonist and flautist, born in Kingston, where he started out at Alpha Boys School, renowned for both the discipline it instilled in its pupils and the outstanding musical tuition they received, while playing with Joe Harriott, Wilton "Bogey" Gaynair and Baba Motta's band. He spent the first decade of his musical career in The Bahamas, where he used the name "Little G" for recordings and live performances. In 1959 he toured Europe with Quincy Jones and worked on film and TV scores in Paris, before moving to London, UK. He quickly gained a reputation as a formidable player on flute, alto and tenor saxophone, leading to a regular gig at Ronnie Scott's nightclub. His playing drew the admiration of bass player Charles Mingus, who was in London to shoot the 1961 motion picture All Night Long. Harold was part of a quartet Mingus formed to rehearse with during his stay in Britain. However, the band never performed in front of a paying audience, due to a ban imposed by the Musicians' Union on US musicians in British nightclubs (the ban was lifted later in 1961). A recording of the band exists, playing the earliest recorded version of the now famous Mingus composition "Peggy's Blue Skylight", but it has never been released, despite featuring in the movie itself. He briefly returned to The Bahamas, where he cut his first all-jazz album, Up in the Air with Harold McNair, before settling back in London permanently. His unique phrasing on the flute in particular led to great demand for his services among non-jazz musicians, especially during the late 1960s. His flute was heavily featured on the soundtrack for Ken Loach's 1969 film Kes and his soundtrack contribution was his tenor saxophone on the original 1962 soundtrack theme from Dr. No. His best-known sideman role came via his regular participationon Donovan's mid-to-late 1960s recording sessions and as a member of Donovan's touring band (sadly died fighting lung cancer) b. November 5th 1931.
1974: Alberto Rabagliati (67) Italian singer and actor born in Milan, in 1927 he moved to Hollywood as the winner of a Rudolph Valentino look-alike contest. He remained four years in America, where he got the opportunity to get to know new musical genres such as jazz, swing, scat singing. Back in Europe he started his singing career, after a brief experience with Pippo Barzizza's orchestra, he joined the Lecuona Cuban Boys, a Cuban band. He performed with his face painted black and made a hit with the song "Maria la O". At this time he met Giovanni D'Anzi who gave him an audition with Italian state radio station EIAR; he soon became a radio star, and in 1941 had his own radio show, showing his most famous songs such as "Ma l'amore no", "Mattinata fiorentina", "Bambina innamorata", "Ba-Ba-Baciami Piccina", "Silenzioso slow". He was so popular that his name was sung in the lyrics of La famiglia canterina, Quando canta Rabagliati, Quando la radio. At a time when anything foreign was banned, he was allowed to maintain his American-influenced style. His last public appearance was in 1974 as a guest in the TV show Milleluci hosted by Mina and Raffaella Carrà (sadly died of cerebral thrombosis) b. June 26th 1906.
1981: Kirill Petrovich Kondrashin (67) Russian conductor, born in Moscow; in the 1st International Tchaikovsky Competition in 1958, he was the conductor for Van Cliburn, who won the first prize. After the competition he toured the United States with Cliburn, being the first Russian conductor to visit America since the Cold War began. He was also the artistic director of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra from 1960-75. He left the Soviet Union in December 1978 while touring in the Netherlands and sought political asylum there, whereupon the Soviet regime immediately banned all his previous recordings. He took the post of Permanent Guest Conductor of Amsterdam's Concertgebouw Orchestra in 1978 and remained in that position until his death. He also established a brief but fruitful collaboration with the Vienna Philharmonic. (He sadly died from a heart attack on the day after he conducted Mahler's First Symphony with the North German Radio Symphony Orchestra) b. March 6th 1914.
1983: Igor Markevitch (70) Ukrainian-born composer and conductor born in Kiev, who later became both an Italian and a French citizen. He débuted as a conductor at 18 with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. After presiding at the Dutch premiere of Rébus, he studied conducting with Pierre Monteux and Hermann Scherchen. As a conductor, he was well respected for his interpretations of the French, Russian and Austro-German repertory and of 20th century music in general. He settled in Italy and during World War II was active in the partisan movement. He married and settled in Switzerland in 1947, but pursued his conducting career worldwide. He became permanent conductor of the Orchestre Lamoureux in Paris in the 1950s, conducted the Spanish RTVE Orchestra in 1965 and was also permanent conductor of the Monte Carlo orchestra. In 1970, after ignoring his own compositions for nearly 30 years, Markevitch began to conduct his own music frequently, triggering its slow revival (tragically he died suddenly from a heart attack in the Antibes, after a concert tour in Japan) b. July 27th 1912.
1985: Gordon Huntley (54) British pioneer pedal steel guitarist, known as the Father of Britsh Pedal Steel guitaring, as heard in his wonderful work with the country rock band Southern Comfort formed in 1970. The group debuted with Frog City, in 1971, which was followed up by self-titled release and Stir Don't Shake in 1972. Gordon played on all Southern Comforts albums and singles. The beautiful velvet tones of his steel on their No.1 hit Woodstock was probabley an introduction and inspiration to many guitarists and future pedal steel guitarists. He started his long career out on the road with Felix Mendelssohn & his Hawaiian Serenaders, and by the late 50's before pedals were standard in the UK, Gordon was playing a triple-neck Fender non-pedal guitar. In 1963, he joined The Westernaires, a band mainly made up of U.S. Servicemen, by this time he had built himself one pedal onto his steel! Soon after he got himself his first model, a six pedal. As well as all the bands he has been a member of he became a much in-demand session player in both the studio and out on the road, which he prefered, with the likes of The Pretty Things, Pilot,Marc Ellington, Bridget Saint Paul, Cliff Richard, Elton John, Clodagh Rogers, Rod Stewart, Pete Green, Demis Roussos, John Renbourn, Al Jones, Fairport Convention and many others, before he was taken too early from us (cancer) b.1930
1987: Karl Leichter (84) Estonian musicologist, he graduated in 1929 in theory and composition and between 1929-1931 he worked in the Estonian Folklore Archives. Following World War II and the ensuing Soviet occupation of Estonia, he worked hard to re-establish functioning musical education and musicological research. For a short period, he was dean of Tallinn State Conservatory, but quickly lost his position due to political reasons. Only after Stalin's death could he slowly work his way back to a position as a teacher and eventually as the Chair of the Department of Composition and Musicology. He later worked in Stockholm and Helsinki. The Eduard Tubin Museum of Alatskivi Castle today contains exhibits related to him and his other peers who studied with him at the Tartu school. His large archive of correspondence with many important musicians throughout Estonia and abroad was donated by his widow to the Estonian Museum of Theatre and Music in the 1990s (?) b. October 13th 1902.
1988: Divine/Harris Glenn Milstead (42)US female impersonator, actor, singer; he featured in many films including the 1974 movie "Female Trouble", where he played the dual roles of teenage crime queen Dawn Davenport and Earl Peterson, the man who gets her pregnant! He also sang the theme song to "Female Trouble". This flamboyant and talented actor also had a singing career, which started in 1979 when Divine as a disco diva released his first single Born To Be Cheap/The Name Game. But his best-known hits came in the early and mid-Eighties, with high-energy disco tracks like Shoot Your Shot in 1983 and Walk Like A Man in 1985. But it is the song You Think Youre A Man that was hiss biggest hit, reaching number 16 in the UK charts in 1984. Divine performed this song on well-known UK music show Top Of The Pops on July 19 1984, resulting in a barrage of complaints to the BBC. He released eleven international hit dance singles, and toured the world with his solo cabaret act of disco and outrageous humor, performing over 900 times in more than 19 countries (The autopsy found he had died in his sleep of heart failure, or an enlarged heart brought on by sleep apnea. The night he died, he had leaned over his hotel balcony and sang "Arrivederci Roma" before retiring to bed) b. October 19th 1945.
1991: Al Klink (74) American swing jazz tenor saxophonist; played with Glenn Miller from 1939 to 1942, and is heard trading solos with Tex Beneke on "In the Mood". He next played with Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey, and did work as a session musician after World War II. From 1952 to 1953 he played with the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra. In 1955, he recorded his only session as a bandleader, doing six songs for a Bob Alexander album which won a Grammy award. After the 50s he disappeared from record until 1974, when he began playing with the World's Greatest Jazz Band. Later in the 70s he played with Glenn Zottola and George Masso, and continued playing until the mid-1980s, when he retired in Florida. He died there in 1991 (?) b. December 28th 1915.
2000: Pee Wee King/Julius Frank Kuczynski (85) American country singer-songwriter, best known for co-writing "The Tennessee Waltz". Born in Milwaukee, he learned to play the fiddle from his father. In the 1930s, he toured and made cowboy movies with Gene Autry and joined the Grand Ole Opry in 1937. In 1946, while he was the bandleader of the Golden West Cowboys, Pee Wee, together with the band's vocalist, Redd Stewart, composed "The Tennessee Waltz", inspired by "The Kentucky Waltz" by bluegrass musician Bill Monroe. They first recorded it in 1948, and it went on to become a country music standard. Pee Wee's other songs included "Slow Poke" and "You Belong to Me", both co-authored with Chilton Price and Redd Stewart. His songs introduced waltzes, polkas, and cowboy songs to country music. He was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970 and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1974 (sadly died of a heart attack) b. February 18th 1914.
2001: Frankie Carle (98) American pianist and bandleader, nicknamed "The Wizard of the Keyboard" in the 1940s and 1950s. He started out with a number of mainstream dance bands. He received attention when he joined Horace Heidt's band, later becoming co-leader of the band. In 1944 Frankie left Heidt's band to form his own, with his daughter, Marjorie Hughes, as lead female singer. Carle had several major hits in the 1940s and early 1950s, including his theme song, "Sunrise Serenade" but was perhaps best known for the classic "Frankie And Johnnie". His band disbanded after 1955 and he performed mainly as a soloist thereafter (natural causes) b. March 25th 1903
2006: Gordon Roger Alexander Buchanan Parks (93) American photographer, musician, composer, writer and film director, born in Fort Scott, Kansas and best best remembered for his photographic essays for Life magazine and as the director of the 1971 film, Shaft. At 14 his mother died and he was sent to live with relatives, but sadly that ended with Gordon being turned out onto the street to fend for himself. He went on to have a hugely successful career in photography, film making, writing for which received more than twenty honorary doctorates in his lifetime. But he started out on a musical road, his first job was as a piano player in a brothel as teenager, he also performed as a jazz pianist. His song "No Love", composed in another brothel, was performed during a national radio broadcast by Larry Funk and his orchestra in the early 1930s. He composed Concerto for Piano and Orchestra in 1953 at the encouragement of black American conductor, Dean Dixon, and his wife Vivian, a pianist and with the help of the composer Henry Brant. He completed Tree Symphony in 1967, Then in 1989, he composed and choreographed Martin, a ballet dedicated to Martin Luther King, Jr. He was the subject of film and print profiles produced by others, notably, Half Past Autumn in 2000. A gallery exhibition of his photography-related, abstract oil paintings was held in 1981. (sadly Gordon died fighting cancer) b. November 30th 1912.
2006: Ali Ibrahim Farka Touré (66) Malian singer and guitarist; born in the village of Kanau, on the banks of the Niger, near Timbuktu, he was one of the African continents most internationally renowned musicians and he was ranked number 76 on Rolling Stones list of The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. His music is regarded as representing a point of intersection of traditional Malian music and its North American cousin, the blues. He sang in several African languages, mostly Songhay, Fulfulde, Tamasheq or Bambara as on his breakthrough 1988 album, Ali Farka Touré, which established his reputation in the world music community. Alis first North American concert was in Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia and recorded his 1994s album Talking Timbuktu, a collaboration with Ry Cooder. His 1999 release Niafunké, was a more traditional album focusing on African rhythms and beats. In 2002 Ali appeared with Black American blues and reggae performer Corey Harris, on an album called Mississippi to Mali. He and Harris appeared together in Martin Scorsese's 2003 documentary film Feel Like Going Home, which traced the roots of blues back to its genesis in West Africa. The film was narrated by Harris and features Alis performances on guitar and njarka. In 2004 Alis became mayor of Niafunké and spent his own money grading the roads, putting in sewer canals and fuelling a generator that provided the impoverished town with electricity. In September 2005, he released the album In the Heart of the Moon, a collaboration with Toumani Diabaté, for which he received a second Grammy award (sadly lost his long battle with bone cancer) b. October 31st 1939.
2007: Murray Grand (87) American songwriter, singer and pianist; born in Philadelphia, Murray played piano as a teenager. During WW II, he served as and infantryman in U.S. Army and played piano accompaniment for USO Tour stars including Gypsy Rose Lee and Betty Grable. After the war, he studied piano and composition at the Juilliard School and worked as a cabaret performer in New York City. In 1952, he wrote Guess Who I Saw Today (with lyrics by Elisse Boyd) for the Broadway musical revue New Faces of 1952. The song has been recorded by Nancy Wilson, Carmen McRae, and Eydie Gorme among others. Murray's other songs include Hurry, April in Fairbanks, Boozers and Losers" written with Cy Coleman, "Thursday's Child", "Too Old to Die Young", "I Always Say Hello to a Flower", "Everything You Want", Come By Sunday, "I'd Rather Cha-Cha than Eat", "Comment Allez-Vous" and Not a Moment Too Soon. His songs have been recorded by Peggy Lee, Eartha Kitt, Paula West, Toni Tennille, Blossom Dearie, Eydie Gorme, and Michael Feinstein. Grand appeared in two Paul Mazursky films: The Tempest and Moscow on the Hudson. In his later years Grand lived for a time in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where he ran a pet food business and continued to perform (He died of emphysema in Santa Monica) b. August 27th 1919.
2012: Big Walter Price aka Thunderbird (97) American singer-songwriter and a master of the barrelhouse style of piano, born in Gonzales, Texas. He moved to San Antonio where he released his first song called "Calling Margie" in 1955, after which he moved to Houston, where he lived until his death. In 1960s he singned with Peacock Records and released several singles. His song "Pack Fair and Square" was covered by the J. Geils Band on the J. Geils Band album (?) b. August 2nd 1914. (his birth certificate put him at three years younger, 1917, but he always maintained the disparity was a paperwork error)
2012: Lucia Mannucci (91) Italian singer, born at Bologna and relocated to Milan at a young age. She attend the Art of Movement school directed by Carla Strauss. She successfully auditioned for EIAR, the Italian national radio broadcasting company, and worked as a singer for the various radio orchestras. In 1947 Lucia joined the Italian vocal jazz quartet, Quartetto Cetra. In 1948 Quartetto Cetra did the dubbing of the choruses for the Italian release of Disney's movie Dumbo. For their excellent job they received a congratulation note signed by Walt Disney himself. Afterwards they did the dubbing for other movies such as Make My Music, Melody Time and The Wizard of Oz. They had appeared on British TV in 1948 in Café Continental, and later went on to do a great number of other TV programs, such as their parodies of literature classics such as The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo were a huge success. Lucia also had a successful solo career, besides working with Quartetto Cetra, Lucia pursued a solo career as singer, musical actress, and TV show hostess. She and her husband, who was also a member of Quartetto Cetra, did research on folk music (?) b. May 18th 1920.
2013: Jeffrey Skitch (85) Australian-English opera singer and actor born in Millicent, South Australia, he moved with his mother to England when he was two years old. He served in the RAF during World War II and began acting by 1949. He joined the D'Oyly Carte Opera Company for the 195253 season.He recorded several roles with D'Oyly Carte over the years and toured different parts of the world including America. While in Los Angeles, he met his future wife, American singer Stella Maria Hawley. He also participated in several radio broadcasts with the company. After his career with D'Oyly Carte, he turned to teaching and from 1981 to 1995 he was the Principal of Elmhurst Ballet School (?) b. September 16th 1927
2013: Claude King (90) American country music singer and songwriter born in Keithville, Louisiana. He taught himself to play guitar at 12 and later he was offered a baseball scholarship to the University of Idaho at Moscow. On his return his returned he joined Louisiana Hayride, a TV and radio show produced in Shreveport and broadcast in the U.S. and the UK. He was frequently on the same shows with Elvis Presley, Tex Ritter, Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, Webb Pierce, Kitty Wells, Jimmie Davis, Slim Whitman, Faron Young, Johnny Horton, Jim Reeves, George Jones and Lefty Frizzell. He switched to Columbia records in 1961 and the same year had the top 10 country hits "Big River, Big Man" and "The Comancheros", followed in 1962 with his No.1 hit "Wolverton Mountain". Other of his many hits include "Sheepskin Valley," "Building a Bridge" "Hey Lucille!", "Sam Hill", "Tiger Woman", "Catch a Little Raindrop", "Laura (What's He Got That I Ain't Got)", and "All for the Love of a Girl". As well as a career recording and touring, he also performed as an actor in several movies and appeared in the 1982 television miniseries The Blue and the Gray. In 1981, Arkansas governor Frank D. White paid tribute to Claude and his big 1962 hit by declaring August 7th "Wolverton Mountain Day" (?) b. February 5th 1923.
2013: Kenny Ball (82) English jazz trumpeter, vocalist a nd bandleader, Kenny Ball was born in Ilford, Essex; he was a member of the local sea cadets, where he became a bugler which led to his love of the trumpet, and inspired by Harry James, he started to play jazz with friends. Kenny left school at 14 to begin work as a semi-pro musician whilst also working as a salesman and for an advertising agency. He turned full time professional in 1953 playing trumpet in bands led by Sid Phillips, Charlie Galbraith, Terry Lightfoot and Eric Delaney, before forming his own trad jazz band, Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen, in '58. He secured his band a regular spot on the BBC radio programme Easy Beat and became involved with television shows such as New Faces and Top of the Pops. His dixieland band was at the forefront UK's jazz revival, and from the late 50's through the >>> READ MORE <<< (sadly Kenny died of pneumonia) b. May 22nd 1930.
2013: Peter Banks/ Peter Brockbanks (65) English guitarist and progressive rock pioneer, born in Barnet, North London; he learnt to play the guitar and banjo as a young lad and joined the band Syn shortly after it formed in 1965, where he met bassist Chris Squire. Syn bridged the gaps between beat and psychedelia, it was pivotal band of the era and opened the door for the emerging prog movement. When Syn split Peter played briefly with the bands Neat Change and Mabel Greer's Toy Shop, before joining up again with Chris Squire to form the progressive rock band, Yes. They recorded their debut self-titled album in 1969. Peter left Yes after the recording of their second album Time And a Word in 1970. He next played and recorded 3 sort after albums with the band Flash, and did stints with >>> READ MORE <<< (sadly Peter died from heart failure) b. July 15th 1947.
2014: Adilia Castillo (80) Venesualian actress , singer and songwriter of folk music known as Joropo typical of Venezuelan llanos, born in the town of El Yagual. She began her career singing on local radio before moving to Caracas at the age of 14. She found it hard to find work singing so began training as a bullfighter and was known as "The Girl I roll". She went on to write over 80 songs, mostly boleros, passages, calypso and joroguara a mixture of Guaracha Joropo and released 6 albums. She toured and entertained audiences in Cuba, Chile, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Spain, Colombia, United States and Mexico (?) b. August 26th 1933.
2015: Jennifer Ward Clarke (79) English baroque cellist and pedagogue born in Yateley, Hampshire and studied at the Royal College of Music in London; in 1967 she was a founder member of the Pierrot Players, working closely with Harrison Birtwistle and Peter Maxwell Davies. With this group and its successor, the Fires of London, she took part in many first performances, including Maxwell Daviess Eight Songs for a Mad King and Birtwistles Medusa. She went on to serve as a member of the London Sinfonietta, London Classical Players, Monteverdi Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, and the acclaimed Salomon Quartet. She also served long term teaching positions at Londons Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music and was widely respected as one of the most distinguished period cello performance experts in the world (?) b. June 20th 1935
2015: Brian Carman (69) American guitarist, founding member of surf rockers the Chantays and co-writer of the band's career-defining hit "Pipeline". Inspired by a local band called the Rhythm Rockers, Brian and four classmates at Santa Ana High School formed the Chantays in the early 60s. He and his bandmate Bob Pickard wrote Pipeline after school one day. It peaked at No.4 on the Billboard Pop Chart in 1963; this was followed by and album of the same title. More recent albums include The Next Set, a live recording and Waiting for the Tide. On April 12th 1996 they were honored by Hollywood's Rock Walk (sadly Brian died while battling Crohn's disease) b. August 10th 1945.
2016: Bruce Geduldig (63) American experimental synth musician, film producer and a longtime member of the San Francisco experimental synth band Tuxedomoon. After a period of working with Winston Tong on his quirky theatrical shows in San Francisco, Bruce joined Tuxedomoon in 1979. The avant-garde music collective moved from San Francisco to Brussels in the 1980s, where Bruce also collaborated with Belgian partners on projects spanning the artistic spectrum from music to film to theatre. He had a chart hit with the gonzo Brussels electronic outfit The Weathermen and directed music videos for other artists, including his long-time friends and fellow expatriates Minimal Compact. He was constantly at work in front of and behind the camera on television and film productions in Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands (sadly Bruce died from liver desease) b. March 6th 1953.
2016: Koyo Bala (37?) South African singer and socialite who was part of pop gay trio 3Sum - a pop band which was formed in Johannesburg and used to comprised of himself Amstel Maboa and the now deceased Jeff Moyo. They were known in the entertainment industry as activists for gay rights. (sadly died in Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town, after bravely fighting cancer for three years)*1979?
2016: Joe Cabot/Joseph Claude Caputo (94) American jazz trumpeter and bandleader born in Cleveland, Ohio. His first performances took place locally while he was still a small boy, and by 1939 he was a sideman with Gene Krupa. Over the span of 6 decades, Cabot has backed vocalists including Peggy Lee, Ruth Brown, Chris Connor, Eartha Kitt, Anita O'Day, Fran Warren, Tony Bennett. He played with Bobby Darin on many recordings, most notably Mack the Knife and Beyond the Sea. Joe also worked alongside many luminaries of the jazz world, among them Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Oscar Peterson, Stan Getz, and Harry James. In 1981 he conducted an eight-piece jazz band at NYC's famed Michael's Pub backing vocals by Fran Warren (?) b. July 12th 1921.
2017: Kamran Aziz (85) Turkish Cypriot pianist, composer, pionerr and pharmacist; she was the first female composer and the first female pharmacist in Turkish Cypriot society. She made significant contributions to Turkish Cypriot folk music to the extent that she started the genre in its modern sense. She was also one of the first female musicians to play in public and pioneered the playing and teaching of western music. Kâmran started her musical broadcasts on the British Military Radio in 1945, that same year she started translating classical pieces into Turkish, years before similar translations would start in Turkey. In 1950 she founded a musical ensemble called 'Kâmran Aziz ve Arkadaslari' / "Kâmran Aziz and her Friends", they played popular songs as well as translations of opera arias and Lieder of composers such as Schubert into Turkish. Her role in the Turkish Cypriot musical tradition led to the Cultural Committee of the Assembly of the Republic awarding her a Special Prize. Also Kâmran graduated in pharmacology in 1944 to become the first Turkish Cypriot female pharmacist and opened her pharmacy, the Aziz Pharmacy, in 1947. Throughout her career, she managed music and her pharmacy together. In 1959, she founded the Turkish Cypriot Union of Pharmacists with eleven other pharmacists (sadly Kâmran died with pulmonary complications) b. 1922.
1957: Othmar Schoeck (70) Swiss composer and conductor born in Brunnen, he was known mainly for his considerable output of art songs and song cycles, though he also wrote a number of operas, mostly notably his one-act Penthesilea, premiered in Dresden, 1927, and revived at the Lucerne Festival, 1999, and instrumental compositions including two string quartets and concertos for violin, cello and horn. He suffered a heart attack in March 1944, but continued to compose (?) b. September 1st 1886.
1961: Sir Thomas Beecham, 2nd Baronet, CH (81) English conductor and impresario born in St. Helens, Lancs, in a house adjoining the Beecham's Pills factory founded by his grandfather. From the early twentieth century until his death, Sir Thomas was a major influence on the musical life of Britain and, according to Neville Cardus, was the first British conductor to have a regular international career. From a wealthy industrial family, he used the money at his disposal to transform the operatic scene in England from the 1910s until the start of World War II, staging seasons at Covent Garden, Drury Lane and His Majesty's Theatre with international stars, his own hand-picked orchestra and a wide range of repertoire. In the concert hall, London still has two orchestras founded by Sir Thomas: the London Philharmonic and the Royal Philharmonic. He also maintained close links with the Liverpool Philharmonic and Hallé Orchestras in his native county of Lancashire. His repertoire was eclectic, sometimes favouring lesser-known composers over famous ones. His specialities included composers whose works were rarely played in Britain before he became their advocate, such as Frederick Delius and Hector Berlioz. He toured the major halls in America and Europe over his long career, sixty-six years after his first visit to America, he made his last, beginning in late 1959, conducting in Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago and Washington. During this tour, he also conducted in Canada. He also was known for his wit, and many "Beecham stories" are still told 50 plus years after his death (sadly he died of a coronary thrombosis at his London flat) b. April 29th 1879.
1965: Tadley Ewing "Tadd" Dameron (48) American jazz composer, arranger and pianist, born in Cleveland. He was the most influential arranger of the bebop era, but also wrote for swing and hard bop players. The bands he arranged for included those of Artie Shaw, Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie, Sarah Vaughan and Jimmie Lunceford. He and lyricist Carl Sigman wrote "If You Could See Me Now" for Sarah Vaughan and it became one of her first signature songs. In the late 1940s, he wrote arrangements for the big band of Dizzy Gillespie, who gave the première of his large-scale orchestral piece Soulphony at Carnegie Hall in 1948. Also in 1948, he led his own group in New York, which included Fats Navarro; the following year he was at the Paris Jazz Fair with Miles Davis. From 1961 he scored for recordings by Milt Jackson, Sonny Stitt, and Blue Mitchell. He also arranged and played for rhythm and blues musician Bull Moose Jackson. Tadd composed several bop standards, including "Hot House", "Our Delight", "Good Bait" and "Lady Bird". His bands featured leading players such as Fats Navarro, Miles Davis, Dexter Gordon, Sonny Rollins, and Wardell Gray (sadly died fighting cancer) b. February 21st 1917.
1973: Ron "Pigpen" Mckernan (27) American multi-musician and founding member The Grateful Dead. His musical contributions included vocals, Hammond organ, harmonica, percussion, and occasionally guitar. He began spending time around coffeehouses and music stores, where he met Jerry Garcia. One night Garcia invited him onstage to play harmonica and sing the blues. Garcia was impressed and Ron became the blues singer in local jam sessions.He was a participant in the preceeding groups leading to the formation of the Grateful Dead, beginning with the Zodiacs and Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, which evolved into The Warlocks. Around 1965 Ron urged the rest of the Warlocks to switch to electric instruments after which they became the Grateful Dead. In 1970, Ron began experiencing symptoms of congenital biliary cirrhosis; these were exacerbated by his alcohol abuse. He had a short relationship and longer friendship with Janis Joplin who joined him onstage at the Fillmore West in June 1969 with the Grateful Dead to sing his signature "Turn On Your Lovelight". The two repeated this duet July 16, 1970 at the Euphoria Ballroom in San Rafael. After an August 1971 hospitalization, doctors requested that he stop touring indefinitely, He carried on performing, but sadly after their Europe '72 tour, his health had degenerated to the point where he could no longer continue on the road. His final concert appearance was June 17th 1972 at the Hollywood Bowl, in Los Angelese (gastrointestinal hemorrhage) b. September 8th 1945.
1983: Sir William Turner Walton OM (80) British composer and conductor, his style was influenced by the works of Stravinsky and Prokofiev as well as jazz music, and is characterized by rhythmic vitality, bittersweet harmony, sweeping Romantic melody and brilliant orchestration. His output includes orchestral and choral works, chamber music and ceremonial music, as well as notable film scores. His earliest works, especially Edith Sitwell's Façade brought him notoriety as a modernist, but it was with orchestral symphonic works and the oratorio Belshazzar's Feast that he gained international recognition. (?) b. March 29th 1902
1988: Henryk Szeryng (69) Polish violin virtuoso, born in Zelazowa Wola; he made his solo debut on in January 1933 playing the Brahms Violin Concerto with the Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the Romanian George Georgescu. From 1933 to 1939 he studied composition in Paris with Nadia Boulanger, and during World War II he worked as an interpreter for the Polish government in exile, he was fluent in seven languages, and gave concerts for Allied troops all over the world. During one of these concerts in Mexico City he received an offer to take over the string department of the university there. In 1946, he became a naturalized citizen of Mexico. Henryk focused on teaching before resuming his concert career in 1954. His debut in New York City brought him great acclaim, and he toured widely for the rest of his life (?) b. September 22nd 1918.
1988: Amar Singh Chamkila/Dunni Ram (27) Punjabi folk singer, widely touted as the most influential Punjabi folk singer of all time. This is an incredible feat as he sang for less than a decade. He is also regarded as one of the greatest Punjabi folk live stage performers. In his heyday, he was known to do three stage performances in a single day. He partnered up with the female vocalist Surinder Sonia and recorded eight duets. The record was released in 1979 and was produced by Charanjit Ahuja. The cunningly worded lyrics, which he had written himself, became hits across Punjab and paved the way for the unique lyrical mastery his fans would come to expect. In 1980 Amarjot Kaur became his permenant female singing partner, providing the female vocals for his duets (having arrived to perform in the famous pind of Mehsampur, Punjab, both Chamkila and Amarjot, were gunned down by AK47'S along side Gill and other group members as they exited their vehicle, a gang of terrorists shot several rounds fatally wounding the couple and other members of the entourage) b. July 21st 1960.
1988: Kenneth Colyer (59) English jazz trumpeter and cornetist, born in Great Yarmouth, but grew up in Soho, London, he was devoted totally to New Orleans jazz. His band was also known for skiffle interludes. After a stint in the Merchant Navy he played with various bands and in 1949 joined the Crane River Jazz Band, the band played at the Royal Festival Hall on 14 July 1951 in the presence of HRH Princess Elizabeth. He rejoined the Merchant Navy and in New Orleans played with his idols in the George Lewis Band. He was offered the job of lead trumpeter on a tour, but was then put in prison and deported. He was invited to take the trumpet lead for the Chris Barber Band and so formed the first Ken Colyer's Jazzmen: Chris Barber, Monty Sunshine, Ron Bowden, Lonnie Donegan and Jim Bray. They made their first recordings on Storyville in 1953. The next, brief, band in the mid 1950s featured Acker Bilk on clarinet. Ken and his Jazzmen band made an appearance in Joe Meek's 1963 film "Live It Up". In 1971, after a bout with stomach cancer, he took his doctors' advice to stop leading a band, but continued with a solo career into the 1980s. He moved to the south of France in his last years (?) b. April 18th 1928.
1993: Billy Eckstine (79) US jazz singer and band leader; his smooth baritone and distinctive vibrato broke down barriers throughout the 1940s, first as leader of the original bop big-band, then as the first romantic black male in popular music. After working in many bands, he formed his own big band in 1944 and made it a fountain head for young musicians who would reshape jazz by the end of the decade, including Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Miles Davis, Art Blakey, Charlie Parker, and Fats Navarro. The Billy Eckstine Orchestra was the first bop big-band, and hit the charts often during the mid-'40s, with Top Ten entries including "A Cottage for Sale" and "Prisoner of Love." On the group's frequent European and American tours, Eckstine, popularly known as Mr. B, also played trumpet, valve trombone and guitar. Billy made numerous appearances on television variety shows, including "The Ed Sullivan Show," "The Nat King Cole Show", "The Tonight Show" with Steve Allen, Jack Paar, and Johnny Carson, "The Merv Griffin Show", "The Art Linkletter Show," "The Joey Bishop Show," "The Dean Martin Show," "The Flip Wilson Show," and "Playboy After Dark." He also performed as an actor in the TV sitcom "Sanford and Son," and in such films as Skirts Ahoy, Let's Do It Again, and Jo Jo Dancer. He recorded his final album in 1984, "I Am A Singer", featuring beautiful ballads arranged and conducted by Angelo DiPippo (?) b. July 8th 1914.
1995: Ingo Schwichtenberg (29) German drummer and one of the founding members of German power metal band Helloween formed in 1984 in Hamburg. He was famous for his high-energy drumming, and between 1985-93 he recorded 6 albums with Helloween, their self titled debut album in 1985, followed by Walls of Jericho, Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 1, Keeper of the Seven Keys Part 2, Pink Bubbles Go Ape, and Chameleon . He was ejected from the band in 1993 during the tour of the album Chameleon. The dismissal was reportedly due to his dependence on alcohol and drugs. Sadly he also suffered from schizophrenia, and his refusal to take his medication would lead to bizarre episodes such as uncontrollable sobbing, which made it impossible for him to take the stage. Ingo was somewhat dissatisfied with the direction of the band as well, and especially did not care for the song Windmill from the Chameleon album (After his ejection from the band, he slid further and further into his schizophrenic episodes, culminating in his suicide in 1995, tragically by jumping in front of a subway train) b. May 18th 1965.
2003: Adam Faith/Terence Nelhams-Wright (62) English singer, actor in TV, movies and theatre and financial journalist. He began his musical career in 1957, while working as a film cutter in London, singing with and managing a skiffle group, The Worried Men, and became the resident band at The 2i's Coffee Bar, where they appeared on the BBC Television live music programme Six-Five Special, which led to a solo recording contract with HMV under the name Adam Faith, but his first two singles failed to chart. In March 1959, John Barry invited him to audition for a BBC TV rock and roll show, Drumbeat, he was given a contract for three shows, extended to the full 22-week run. He recorded six-track EP released by the Fontana record label, again he failed to chart. After taking drama and elocution lessons, he got an acting job appearing as a pop singer in the film, Beat Girl. This led to his third recording contract, with Parlophone. His next record in 1959, "What Do You Want?", this became his first number one hit in the UK Singles Chart. It was also the first number one hit for Parlophone, and Adam Faith the only pop act on the label. He went on to record 37 singles, 24 being chart hits, and nine albums, before going into full time acting. In the 1980s, he became a financial investments advisor. (heart attack) b. June 23rd 1940.
2009: Hank Locklin (91) American country singer, member of Grand Ole Opry. His hits include "Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On", "Geisha Girl", and "Please Help Me I'm Falling", which went to No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music chart. Billboard Magazine's 100th Anniversary issue also listed it as the second most successful country single of the Rock and Roll era. He had/has a strong following in Europe, and Ireland, so much so in 1963 he recorded an album called Irish Songs Country Style, which includes the beautiful song Wild Irish Rose. Also he has a fanclub situated in Langeli, Norway. In 2006, he appeared on the PBS special, Country Pop Legends in which he performed "Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On", and "Please Help Me I'm Falling". Until his passing in 2009, he was the oldest living member of the Grand Ole Opry at the age of 91. He recently released his 65th album, By the Grace of God, a collection of gospel songs () b. February 15th 1918.
2011: Mike Starr (44) American bassist born in Honolulu, Hawaii and best known as a founding member and bassist with the alternative rock band, Alice in Chains, formed in Seattle in 1987. The band was one of the most successful music acts of the 1990s, selling over 25 million albums worldwide, and over 12 million in the US alone. The band achieved two number-one Billboard 200 albums "Jar of Flies" and "Alice in Chains", 14 top ten songs on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and eight Grammy Award nominations. Mike is featured on albums We Die Young -1990; Facelift-1990; Sap-1992; Dirt-1992; Music Bank-1999; Nothing Safe: Best of the Box-1999; Live-2000; Greatest Hits-2001; and The Essential Alice in Chains released in 2006. Mike left Alice In Chains in 1993 while it was touring behind the album Dirt. However in 1992 he had also been a founding member of the heavy metal supergroup Sun Red Sun along with Ray Gillen and Bobby Rondinelli, both former members of Black Sabbath. The project was cut short by Gillen's death ...READ MORE... (sadly found dead on this date in a house in Salt Lake City - no details have emerged yet as to the cause of death) b. April 4th 1966.
2011: Bernard Lee aka St. Clair Lee (66) American singer, he was one of the original members of the pop and soul trio formed at Santa Monica, California in 1969, Hues Corporation, along with Hubert Ann Kelley and Fleming Williams. The group's name was a pun on the (Howard) Hughes Corporation, with the 'hue' being the group's African-American heritage. They started out as an opening act for the likes of Flash Cadillac, Ike Turner, and Delaney Bramlett. In 1972 they were asked to appear in and also record three songs for the film 'Blacular' soundtrack; "There He Is Again", "What The World Knows" and "I'm Gonna Catch You". Shortly after, RCA signed them, their first single, "Freedom For The Stallion", from the album of the same name, reached No.63 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.This was followed by their 1974 single, "Rock the Boat" which became a No.1 hit on the Billboard chart and the group's signature song. Other hits included "Rockin' Soul, "Love Corporation", and "I Caught Your Act" (details of Bernard's death have not yet been given) b. April 24th 1944.
2012: Jimmy Ellis (74) American lead singer with the Philadelphia disco band, The Trammps. The band's first major success was with their 1972 cover version of "Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart". The first disco track they released was "Love Epidemic" in 1973. They are best known for their Grammy winning song, "Disco Inferno", immortalized in the film Saturday Night Fever, released in 1976 becoming a UK pop hit and US R&B hit, then re-released in 1978 becoming a US pop hit. Other major hits included "Hold Back the Night"-75 and "That's Where the Happy People Go"-76. In late 1977, they released "The Night the Lights Went Out" to commemorate the electrical blackout in New York on July 13th 1977 (sadly died from Alzheimer complications) b. November 15th 1937.
2012: Buddy "Bugs" Henderson (68) American blues guitarist; born in Palm Springs, Calif., but he grew up in Tyler, Texas. As a teenager he played guitar for the Tyler-based band Mouse and the Traps, before one-hit pop wonder Bruce Channel recruited him into a band. He established is own band the Shuffle Kings, and spent his entire working life as musician performing in Fort worth clubs and all over the world, forging and establishing a large cult following. He released around 18 albums and his guitar style impressed musicians such as Eric Clapton, Freddie King, Johnny Winter, and Ted Nugent (sadly died while fighting cancer) b. October 20th 1943.
2014: James Van Buren Fowler (54) American rock and roll guitarist; he was lead guitarist for the southern rock band Drivin N Cryin from 1988-93 featuring on 3 of their albums Mystery Road, Fly Me Courageous, Smoke and their EP, Live on Fire. They also opened for the bands REM, The Who and Neil Young. Their most successful release was 1991's Fly Me Courageous. Buren also played guitar on two R.E.M. tours (?) b. June 29th 1959.
2015: George Tutko (61) American music engineer whose lengthy list of credits includes sessions for Blondie, Duran Duran, Bob Dylan, John Mellencamp, Kiss, Rod Stewart, Lita Ford and many others (sadly George died fighting cancer) b. 1953?
2015: Inezita Barroso (90) Brazilian sertanejo singer, guitarist, actress, TV presenter, librarian, folklorist and teacher born in São Paulo. By the 1950s she had had a few mainstream hits, but had a fondness for traditional folk and rural music, even though she herself has been a lifelong urbanite (?) b. March 4th 1925.
2015: Lew Soloff (71) American jazz trumpeter born in Brooklyn, NYC; he studied trumpet at the Eastman School of Music and the Juilliard School. In these early days worked with Machito, Gil Evans, Tony Scott, Tito Puente and Maynard Ferguson and before working with Blood, Sweat & Tears from 1968-1973. In the 1980s he was a member of a jazz ensemble Members Only. Throughout his career he made frequent guest appearances with jazz orchestras all over the world with bands such as the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra and the Magic City Jazz Orchestra. Lew recorded with the likes of George Benson, Gil Evans, Dizzy Gillespie, Carla Bley, Marianne Faithfull, Hilton Ruiz, Frank Sinatra, Art Garfunkel, Ray Anderson's Pocket Brass, just to mention a few. Lew was also a long time member of the Manhattan Jazz Quintet and Mingus Big Band. (sadly died of heart attack) b. February 20th 1944.
2016: Andrew Loomis (54) American drummer and founding member of the seminal Oregon rock band Dead Moon, which formed in 1987. A backbone of the Portland rock scene for decades the group self-released its albums and even cut its own vinyl masters on the historic lathe used for the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie"; its songs and independent spirit helped fuel Portland's '90s punk scene as well as Northwest heavyweights such as Pearl Jam, who have covered Dead Moon's "It's O.K.". Andrew's drum kit signature was a burning candle, placed to melt into an empty Jack Daniels bottle. Dead Moon's most recent album, and perhaps its final effort, was last year's Voodoo Doughnut Recordings release "Tales from the Grease Trap, Vol. 1: Dead Moon Live at Satyricon," a blistering live recording from 1993. Prior to his 28 years with Dead Moon, Andrew had been playing with Washington rock band the Shiny Things.(sadly died from the affects of a previous hard fight with cancer) b. 1961/62
2016: Ross "Hanna" Hannaford (65) Australian rock guitarist was born in Newcastle, NSW, but moved with his family to Melbourne the following year, in 1951. In early 1965, he started a long collaboration with singer-songwriter Ross Wilson, which began as teenagers, with the R&B band The Pink Finks. This was followed by the two forming The Party Machine, and releasing a single "You've All Gotta Go". In 1970, inspired by Fank Zappa, they formed yet another band, the avant garde 'Sons of the Vegetal Mother' which eventually evolved into the band, Daddy Cool. After the release of their hugely successful debut single "Eagle Rock" which nailed down the No. 1 position on the sales chart for a then-record 10 weeks, and their debut LP Daddy Who? Daddy Cool, the band became one of the most popular and successful rock acts of the '70s, breaking all previous sales records for an Australian act. The band toured the U.S. six times and released a >>> Read More <<< (sadly died while fighting cancer) b. December 1st 1950.
2016: Sir George Martin (90) British Hall of Fame record producer, composer, arranger and engineer, six-time Grammy Award winner ...... UPDATING ...... () b. January 3rd 1926.
2017: Jonathan Strasser (70) American violinist and conductor raised in New York City. He attended the High School of Music & Art and then the Manhattan School of Music for violin studies. He was a faculty member for over 30 years at Music & Art and his high school's successor, LaGuardia H.S. of Music & Art and Performing Arts. He founded Inter-School Orchestras of New York to help students in New York City without a music program at their school. He was also on faculty for the Manhattan School of Music pre-college division, for which he would remain for over 30 years as teacher and conductor of the MSM Precollege Philharmonic (?) b. June 3th 1946.
2017: Dmitry Mezhevich (76) Russian actor, musician and singer-songwriter; born in Moscow he worked in the Moscow Taganka Theatre, appearing in such productions as 'The Good Person of Szechwan', 'Hamlet', 'Woe from Wit', and 'Tartuffe'. After serving the theatre for many years he retired in 2011. Dmitry also studied hoboe aka oboe and eventually took up the guitar. Soviet poet and musician, Bulat Okudjava dedicated a song to him. (?) b. December 19th 1940.
2017: David Joseph "Dave" Valentin (64) American latin jazz flautist born in the South Bronx, New York; he learned percussion at an early age, and by 10 was playing conga and timbales professionally. When he was 12, he began to teach himself the flute so he could get to know a girl in school who played the flute, Irene Cathcart, they remained friends for 53 years. In the 1970s, he combined Latin music with jazz in bands with Bill O'Connell, Lincoln Goines, Richie Morales, Robby Ameen, Sammy Figueroa, and Giovanni Hidalgo. He was the first musician signed to GRP Records, a label founded by Dave Grusin and Larry Rosen that specialized in smooth jazz, jazz fusion, and jazz-pop. He recorded his debut album with Ricardo Marrero in 1977. Over time he recorded with many more artists such as Noel Pointer, Patti Austin, Lee Ritenour, Chris Connor, David Benoit, Eliane Elias, and Nnenna Freelon. Dave was chosen best jazz flautist by readers of Jazziz magazine for seven years in a row and in 1985, he received a Grammy Award nomination. In 2003, he won a Grammy for 'Caribbean Jazz Project', an album he did with Dave Samuels. Dave suffered a stroke in 2012 which left him unable to perform and another in 2015 (sadly died from complications of a stroke and Parkinson's disease) b. April 29th 1952.
1966: Henry Stuckley (68) American blues guitarist and accidental founder of the Bentonia tradition of country blues. Born in 1897 in Bentonia, MS; he learned an open E minor guitar tuning from black Bahamian soldiers while serving in France during World War I, and upon returning home in 1919, incorporated the tuning into his playing, eventually, around 1924 he taught it to a young Skip James. Skip featured the tuning on several of the 18 sides he recorded for Paramount in 1931, recordings that became treasured by blues scholars, historians, and collectors for their distinctive plaintive and eerie sound (sadly died of cancer) b. April 11th 1897.
1985: Robert Alexander "Bumps" Blackwell (62)American songwriter, arranger, and record producer best known for his work overseeing the early hits of Little Richard. He produced and co-wrote hits for Little Richard including: "Long Tall Sally"; "Good Golly Miss Molly"; "Ready Teddy"; and "Rip It Up". He also produced Sam Cooke's hit "You Send Me". Earlier in his career in the 1940s he led a jazz group that included pianist Ray Charles and trumpeter Quincy Jones. He moved to Hollywood, California and took a job at Art Rupe's Specialty Records as an arranger and producer. He worked with Larry Williams, Lloyd Price and Guitar Slim before "discovering" Little Richard in 1955. In 1981 he produced some songs for Bob Dylan's album, Shot of Love, including the title track. Not be confused with another songwriter, Otis Blackwell (pneumonia) b. May 23rd 1922.
1993: Bob Crosby (79) American dixieland bandleader and vocalist with a singing voice remarkably similar to his brother Bing, but without its range. He began singing with Anson Weeks in 1931, then Dorsey Brothers in 1934, before he led his first band in 1935. His most famous band, the Bob-Cats, was a Dixieland jazz group with members from the Bob Crosby Orchestra. Both the Bob Crosby Orchestra and the smaller Bob-Cats group specialized in Dixieland jazz, showcasing the traditional jazz revival of the 1940s. Over the years members included Yank Lawson, Billy Butterfield, Muggsy Spanier, Matty Matlock, Irving Fazola, Ward Silloway, Warren Smith, Eddie Miller, Joe Sullivan, Bob Zurke, Jess Stacy, Nappy Lamare, Bob Haggart, Walt Yoder, Jack Sperling, and Ray Bauduc. During World War II, he spent 18 months in the Marines, touring with bands in the Pacific. His radio variety series, The Bob Crosby Show, aired on NBC and CBS in different runs between the years 1943 to 1950, followed by Club Fifteen on CBS from 1947 through 1953 and a half-hour CBS daytime series, The Bob Crosby Show from 1953 to 1957. Also in 1952, Bob replaced Phil Harris as the bandleader on The Jack Benny Program, remaining until Benny retired the radio show in 1955 (complications from cancer) b. August 23rd 1913.
1994: Maurice "Moe" Purtill (77) American drummer who is best known today as Glenn Millers featured drummer from 1937 to 1942. Born in Huntington, New York, he dropped out of high school and started out as a freelance drummer in New York Studios. After playing with Red Norvo his big break came when he played in Glenn Miller's first band in December 1937, but went to play with Tommy Dorsey until 1938, and rejoined Miller on April 6th 1939 where he remained until September 27th 1942 when Miller broke up his band to join the Army. Moe appeared on virtually all of Millers hit records and also while with Glen, he appeared in two films, Sun Valley Serenade-1941, and Orchestra Wives-1942. After the breakup of the band in 1942, he went on to play with Kay Kyser until 1944, he then joined the Navy and entered World War II. After his discharge, he played briefly, in 1946, with the reformed Glenn Miller Orchestra directed by Tex Beneke. Moe went on to record in the studio on various projects and would sometimes participate in a few Miller retrospective projects (?) b. May 4th 1916.
1997: Notorious BIG/Biggie Smalls/Christopher Wallace (24) American gangsta-rapper, a central figure in the East Coast hip-hop scene and increased New York's visibility at a time when hip hop was mostly dominated by West Coast artists. He began rapping when he was a teenager, entertaining people on the streets, as well as perform with local groups, the Old Gold Brothers and the Techniques. He had also lived a life of crime since he was 12 selling drugs and guns. After a prison sentence, Chris made a demo tape under the name Biggie Smalls which led his signing with Uptown who immediately gave him an appearance on Heavy D & the Boyz' "A Buncha Niggas". In mid 1992, he signed to Bad Boy Records. By 1996, he was headlining shows, enjoying MTV appearances, No.1 hit singles, and his debut album, Ready to Die, was selling remarkably well. He focused his energies on his second album, Life After Death, where, rather than relying on hardcore narratives and beats, he opted for midtempo and pop grooves, spawning hit singles such as "Hypnotise" and "Mo' Money, Mo' Problems". But when his former friend, Tupac Shakur was gunned down in Las Vegas in September of 1996, and fingers were soon pointing at Chris and his East Coast associates, especially by the LA Times newspaper, which ran a campaign accusing the rapper of paying the Crips gang £1m to kill Shakur. Less than a year later, on a promotional tour in Los Angeles, Chris was dead, which many believed was in retaliation for Tupac's death. (After leaving a party in L.A. a black Chevy Impala pulled up alongside Chris's truck. The driver of the Impala, an African-American male neatly dressed in a blue suit and bow tie, rolled down his window, drew a 9 mm blue-steel pistol and fired numerous rounds into the GMC Suburban; four bullets hit Chris in the chest. He was rushed to Cedars -Sinai Medical Center by his entourage but was pronounced dead at 1:15 a.m.) b. May 21st 1972.
1999: Mike Anthony (68) American guitarist with 5th Dimension (heart attack) b. ????
1999: Harry Stewart Somers CC (73) English-Canadian composer, born in Toronto. In 1942, he came under the influence of John Weinzweig set up a program of traditional harmony study for the young composer as well as introducing him to 12-tone techniques. There followed a period of study in Paris. It was there that Somers heard and was influenced by the music of Boulez and Messiaen. Returning home to Toronto in 1950 Somers worked as a music copyist while he honed his compositional talents. By the 1960s he was able to support his family almost entirely by his composition. An important work from the 1950s was Five Songs for Dark Voice. In the 1960s his music include Five Concepts for Orchestra, Twelve Miniatures, "Picasso Suite", and Five Songs of the Newfoundland Outports shows him clearly working within the choral mainstream. These five accessible arrangements of Newfoundland folk songs have become popular with choirs around the world. Also Louis Riel, an opera written for the 1967 Canadian centennial. He was a founding member of the Canadian League of Composers, and was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1971 (?) b. September 11th 1925.
2000: Ivo Robic (77) Croatian singer-songwriter; born in Rijeka, Croatia, he was a pioneer of popular Yugoslav music from the early 1950s. Following the success of his first international hit, "Morgen" / "Tomorrow") in 1959, he was nicknamed "Mister Morgen". The optimistic song was the first collaboration between Ivo and Bert Kaempfert. Following its success in Germany, the German-language version became a No.13 hit on the pop chart in the US, selling over one million copies. He performed and collaborated with Kaempfert, Freddy Quinn, and Dean Martin. His version of "Strangers in the Night", which he originally recorded for the music festival in St. Petersburg, Russia, was later sang in German, "Fremde in der Nacht", and in Croatian language "Stranci u Noci". Other international hits include "Muli-Song", "Mit 17 fängt das Leben erst an", "Ein ganzes Leben lang", "Rot ist der Wein", and "Ich zeig' dir den Sonnenschein". During his career in what was then Socialist Republic of Croatia within Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, he made more than one hundred records, mostly singles and schlagers.Vracam se Zagrebe tebi/Coming Back to You, My Zagreb, Ta tvoja ruka mala/That Little Hand of Yours, and Tiho plove moje cenje/Silent Sail of My Yearnings (?) b. January 29th 1923.
2004: Tony Lee (69) English jazz pianist born in Whitechapel, London, who played with the likes of Tommy Whittle, Tom Jones, Dusty Springfield, Barney Kessel, Sonny Stitt, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Terry Smith, Tubby Hayes, Dick Morrissey and legendary UK drummer Phil Seamen. He had a long-lasting association of some 40 years with bassist Tony Archer in the Tony Lee Trio. Lee and Archer also played together in the sextet The Best of British Jazz formed in the early 1970s (?) b. July 23rd 1934
2004: Rust Epique/Charles Lopez (36) American singer and guitarist, born in Stockton but raised in Modesto, Ca. He toured with many bands, including "Kinesthesia", "Xit", "The Limit", and "Cliff Morrison", until in 1989, he relocated to Hollywood. In 1999, he joined the L.A. rapcore band Crazy Town, their hit single, Butterfly, topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 2001. Despite his success with Crazy Town, Rust quit the band as a result of various disagreements with his band mates. He formed the band Rustandthesuperheroes and in 2003, V2 Records signed him to work with a band called Pre)Thing. They released their debut album, 22nd Century Lifestyle, in 2004 to much radio success (sadly died of a heart attack) b. February 29th 1968.
2005: Chris LeDoux (56) American singer, guitarist and rodeo performer. As well as being a solo artist he recorded and played with his pal Garth Brooks. He has recorded thirty-six albums and was awarded one gold album certification from the RIAA, and was nominated for a Grammy Award and the Academy of Country Music Music Pioneer Award. When his rodeo career ended, he continued to write and record his songs, and began playing concerts, which often featured a mechanical bull. He worked independenly until 1989, when he shot to national prominence when he was mentioned in the debut song of future superstar Garth Brooks, the Top-10 country hit "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)". In 1991 Chris signed with Capitol Records and released his first national album, Western Underground, and his follow-up album, Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy, was certified gold and reached the top ten. The title track, a duet with Brooks, became LeDoux's first and only Top Ten country single, reaching #7 in 1992. In 2000, Chris suffered an illness that required a liver transplant. Garth Brooks volunteered to donate part of his liver, but it was found to be incompatible. n donor was located, and LeDoux did receive a transplant. After his recovery he released two additional albums (complications from ongoing treatment for cancer of the bile duct and liver) b. October 2nd 1948.
2006: Laura Stoica (38) Romanian singer, composer and actress; she made her debut in 1990 at the "Mamaia" festival with Un actor grabit/"An Actor in a hurry", written by Bogdan Cristinoiu. The following year she was declared the best pop-rock singer and 'Un actor grabit' became the song of the year. Her debut album, entitled Focul/The Fire, was released in 1994. Since then, her songs have been included in many compilations. Her second album, Nici o stea/"Any Star"), was released in 1997. She was also an actress, in 2000, she graduated from the Ecological University of Bucharest with a degree in drama (Laura and her fiancé tragically lost their lives in a car accident near Urziceni. She was pregnant at the time) b. October 10th 1967.
2006: Anna Moffo (73) American soprano born in Wayne, PA; after graduation, in 1954 she entered and won the Philadelphia Orchestra Young Artists Auditions. Awarded a Fulbright fellowship, she went to Rome to study voice, master the Italian language and train for opera and made her stage opera debut in 1955 as Norina in Donizetti's "Don Pasquale" in Spoleto. Her big breakthrough came the next year, when she starred in a television production of Puccini's "Madama Butterfly". Anna she sang an average of 12 new roles a year for the first four years of her career, all star parts. Her Met debut in 1959 was as Violetta in "La Traviata" and became a favorite at the Met, and remained so well into the 1960's. She appeared some 200 times with the company. Although her career began splendidly, her voice had declined by her late 30's, but with her radiant appearance, she was drawn early on into television and film, playing host of her own variety show on Italian television for many years (Anna sadly died of a stroke after fighting with complications of breast cancer) b. June 27th 1932.
2007: Brad Delp (55) American multi-musician, lead singer, frontman of the rock band Boston, he is also known for his extremely high range, and often cited as a key influence in the rock music vocal scene. He began performing in Tom Scholz' band 'Mother's Milk' in 1969. Eventually they signed with Epic Records and renamed the band 'Boston'. Their debut album, Boston, released in August 1976, was an enormous success, selling over 17 million records and produced future rock standards such as "More Than a Feeling" and "Peace of Mind", it ranks as the best-selling debut album in United States history. Brad performed all lead and backing vocals, including all 'layered' vocal overdubs on the album. They went .. READ MORE .. (sadly committed suicide) b. June 12th 1951.
2009: Jimmy Boyd (70) US actor, singer on a small farm in McComb, Miss; at age 4 he started guitar and harmonica lessons, at 7, he was playing and singing at barn dances. Texas Jim Lewis, a country-western bandleader, heard Jimmy sing and signed him up for his Saturday night radio show. That led to a winning performance in a radio talent show in LA and the contract to sing I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, this led to appearances on television shows hosted by Ed Sullivan, Perry Como, Doris Day, Bing Crosby and Bob Hope, among others. At 15, he was cast by Universal Pictures as the kid brother in "The Second Greatest Sex," a musical set in the Old West. In 1957, he played the title role in The United States Steel Hour's telecast of a musical version of "Huckleberry Finn." For 25 episodes, from 1958 to 1962, he was in the sitcom "Bachelor Father." Among his film roles was "Inherit the Wind," the 1960 movie classic. Jimmy co-starred on Broadway in Neil Simon's play Star Spangled Girl with George Hamilton and Deana Martin (cancer) b. January 9th 1940.
2010: Wilfred "Wilfy" Rebimbus (67) Indian musician, born in in Mangalore and became known as Konkan Kogul ("the nightingale of Konkani"). A highly talented composer and singer, he starting his career at 15, a career spanning over 50 years. Mog Tuzo Kitlo Axelom, Maria Tuzo Moga Maka Maria, and Philomena, are just a few among the 3,000 of songs Wilfy has written. He has staged more than 500 shows, 248 'Wilfy Nights' and released 40 albums, 6 devotional albums and 1 Instrumental album. Wilfy had also brought out a book, "Kogul Gaaithaa, comprising 40 volumes in four editions. He has written three Konkani musical plays, Hazaar Umaalyamche Kazaar, Vechik Pooth and Mother Teresa. His compositions not only in Konkani, but Tulu too are cherished by millions worldwide (sadly lost his fight with lung cancer) b. April 2nd 1942.
2012: Terry Teene/Terence Blaine Knutson (70) American musician, vocalist, songwriter and entertainer, most commonly known for the early 1960s novelty hit "Curse of the Hearse". According to the Rockabilly Hall of Fame, he has recorded over 300 distinct songs, "Curse of the Hearse" is perhaps his most famous, and played over 100 or more released recordings, performing as a "major artist" on 25 of them; he recorded under 70 names and appeared in over 500 nightclubs. Other songs include "Happiness Is Coming", as Blaine Bel Aire, "We're Going to Put Iowa on the Map", "Fun to Be With", "Pussy Galore", and "Perfect 36". As Terry Teene, he appeared in concert with Alice Cooper, Nazareth, Flo and Eddie, The Kinks, Sha Na Na, The Knack, Cheap Trick, and Bobby Vee. He also had a 2nd parallel career as a clown, under the names of "ToBo the Clown" and "Clownzo"; and he was the creator and originator, along with George Voorhees, of the costume, likeness, name and character of the famous clown Ronald McDonald. As an actor Terry appeared in films including Raging Bull; Die Laughing; Dempsey; On The Other Side of The Moon; The Trip; Psych-Out; In Living Color; 4th Network; Little Nicky; and I Love Basketball (tragically he died from injuries when a bicycle he was riding was struck by a tow truck in Tyler, Texas) b. February 6th 1942.
2015: Wayne Kemp (73) American country music singer and songwriter born in Greenwood, Arkansas; he charted twenty-four singles on the Hot Country Songs charts. His highest-peaking "Honky Tonk Wine," peaked at No. 17 in 1973. The song is included on his second studio album, Kentucky Sunshine, which reached No. 25 on Top Country Albums. Wayne also co-wrote songs for other artists, including "Love Bug" for George Jones and "One Piece at a Time" for Johnny Cash. Ricky Van Shelton also released a cover of Kemp's "I'll Leave This World Loving You" (sadly Wayne was suffering from multiple ailments and was on kidney dialysis when he died) b. June 1st 1941.
2015: Jerry Brightman (61) American pedal steel guitarist born in Akron; in October 1969, he was offered a position with the house band of the Jamboree U.S.A. radio show, at the Wheeling Jamboree in West Virginia, which led to an invitation to record with country star Buck Owens. At just 18, he was a full-time member of Owens' backing band, the Buckaroos, touring extensively, performing in Japan, Australia, the Grand Ole Opry, NY's Madison Square Garden, and the Grand Opening of Disney World! He went into semi-retirement in 1977. He went on with a management company for new artists along with concert productions and record producing (?) b. 1953.
2016: John Morthland (68) American pioneering rock journalist; he was among the first wave of rock critics who revolutionized the form, writing to capture the spirit of the music and audience. He worked at Rolling Stone and Creem in the late 1960s and '70s. He befriended Lester Bangs, and became Bangs' estate's literary executor after his death. John published his book The Best of Country Music, in 1984.
In the late '80s, after settling in at Texas Monthly, Morthland helped establish SXSW, working as a panel organizer and general advisor. (?) b. 1947/48?.
2016: Jon English (66) English-born Australian musician and actor; he emigrated to Australia with his parents in 1961. He was an early vocalist and rhythm guitarist for Sebastian Hardie but left to take on the role of Judas Iscariot in the Australian version of the stage musical Jesus Christ Superstar from May 1972. As well as his acting career, he was also a noted solo singer; he released around 20 albims and his Australian top twenty hit singles include "Turn the Page", "Hollywood Seven", "Words are Not Enough", "Six Ribbons" and "Hot Town". (sadly Jon died with complications from surgery) b. March 26th 1949.
2016: Naná Vasconcelos (71) Brazilian jazz percussionist, vocalist, berimbau player and eight-time Grammy Award winner, born in Recife. Among his many collaborations, he contributed to four Jon Hassell albums from 1976 to 1980 including Possible Musics by Brian Eno and Hassell, and later to several Pat Metheny Group works and Jan Garbarek concerts from early 1980s to early 1990s. In 1984 he appeared on the Pierre Favre album Singing Drums along with Paul Motian. He also appears on Arild Andersen's album If You Look Far Enough with Ralph Towner. Nana also formed the group, Codona, with Don Cherry and Collin Walcott, which released three albums in 1978, 1980 and 1982. He was awarded the Best Percussionist Of The Year by the Down Beat Critics Poll for seven consecutive years, from 1984 to 1990 and was also honored with eight Grammy Awards. (Naná sadly died while fighting lung cancer) b. August 2nd 1944.
2016: Joe The Colonel Haney (88) American marching band director and musical arranger; born in Colorado City he played trombone while at Marlin High School and attended SMU, where he received his bachelors degree, then earned a masters from Sam Houston. After serving in Korea, he directed high school bands at Hemphill, Calvert, and Mexia and founded the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band. His arrangement of The Spirit of Aggieland has been performed by the Aggie Band at all football games since 1968. In 1972 he bacame Associate Director at Texas A&M and director the following year and organized a symphonic band, which he led it from 1973-1999. His marching bands made eight bowl performances, marched in the inaugural parade of President George H.W. Bush and performed at the inaugurations of several Texas Governors. Joe also served in the Texas State Guard for 16 years, retiring as a full colonel. (sadly died due to Alzheimer's disease) b. August 19th 1927.
2016: Ray Griff (75) Canadian country music singer-songwriter born in Vancouver, British Columbia. He began songwriting in the early 1960s with Johnny Horton, Jim Reeves, and others recording his songs. Ray moved to Nashville in 1964 to pursue his music career full-time. His first records as a singer were released in the late 1960s, having first hit, "Patches", a remake of the Clarence Carter soul hit in 1970 which peaked at No. 26 in Billboard. As a song writer he had over 700 songs recorded including the major hits "Canadian Pacific" for George Hamilton IV, "Who's Gonna Play This Old Piano" for Jerry Lee Lewis, and "Baby" for Wilma Burgess. Others who had major hit records with Ray's songs include Faron Young, Porter Wagoner, Dolly Parton, Bob Luman, Gene Watson, and Johnny Duncan. He returned to Canada in the late 1970s where he remained active on the country music scene there as an artist, songwriter, and record producer.(sadly died from pneumonia following surgery) b. April 22nd 1940.
2017: Barbara Helsingius (79) Finnish singer, poet and Olympic fencer born in Helsinki. As well as her sporting and teaching career she was interested in American art and folk music, she began to record. She released her first of 13 albums, "Barbara" in 1966, a collection of American folk songs, translated to Finnish. Her final album was 'Songs Finland Sings' released in 2002, adouble CD of Finnish poems and songs, classics and songs which she translated to English. It also featured 30 guest artists, including the Serena choir. (sadly Barbara died following a long illness) b. September 27th 1937.
2017: Tony Lorenzo (30) American guitarist and founding member of the death metal band Sons of Azrael. The band from Buffalo, New York, was formed in 2004 and released 3 demos and 2 albums 'The Conjuration of Vengeance' in 2007, and 'Scouting the Boneyard' in 2010. In October 2011 Tony was shot while walking in Buffalos Elmwood Village and left paralysed from the waist down and the band has been inactive, since the passing of vocalist Joe Siracuse in 2012. (the cause of death has not been given) b. 1986/87.
1910: Carl Reinecke (85) German pianist, conductor and composer born in Altona, Hamburg; at 19, he undertook his first concert tour in 1843, through Denmark and Sweden. In 1846, Reinecke was appointed Court Pianist for Christian VIII in Copenhagen and in 1851, Carl became a professor at the Cologne Conservatory. In ensuing years he was appointed musical director at Barmen, and became the academic, musical director and conductor of the Singakademie at Breslau. In 1860, he was appointed director of the Gewandhaus Orchestra concerts in Leipzig, and professor of composition and piano at the Conservatorium. He led the orchestra for more than three decades, until 1895. He conducted premieres such as the full seven-movement version of Brahms's German Requiem-1869. In 1865 the Gewandhaus-Quartett premiered Brahms' piano quintet, and in 1892 his D major string quartet. He is best known for his flute sonata "Undine", but he is also remembered as one of the most influential and versatile musicians of his time. At the age of 80, Carl recorded his playing on piano roll for the Welte-Mignon company, making him the earliest-born pianist to have his playing preserved in any format. (?) b. June 23rd 1824.
1967: Yiorgos Batis/Yiorgos Tsoros (82) Greek bouzouki player and composer born in Methana, but moved to Piraeus when he was very young; he served in the Greek army from 1912 to 1918. In the mid-1920s, he opened a music school called "Carmen", then opened a café named "Georges Baté" in 1931 and formed one of the most important scenes of rebetiko music. In 1933, he made his first sound-recording in with bouzouki after which he dedicated himself solely to music. He collaborated closely with, among others, Markos Vamvakaris in the rebetiko band ("kompania") called I Tetras i Xakousti tou Peiraios -the Famous Quartet of Pireos (?) b. 1885
1977: E. Power Biggs (70) English concert organist, born in Westcliff-on-Sea, but moved to the Isle of Wight while a baby. After training in London at the Royal Academy of Music, he emigrated to the United States in 1930. He did much to bring the classical pipe organ back to prominence, and was in the forefront of the mid-20th-century resurgence of interest in the organ music of pre-Romantic composers. On his first concert tour of Europe, in 1954, He performed and recorded works of Johann Sebastian Bach, Sweelinck, Dieterich Buxtehude, and Pachelbel on historic organs associated with those composers. In addition to concertizing and recording, he taught at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, Massachusetts, at various times in his career and edited a large body of organ music. For his contribution to the recording industry, Edward has a star on California's Hollywood Walk of Fame, at 6522 Hollywood Blvd (?) b. March 29th 1906.
1988: Andy Gibb (30) UK-Australian solo singer, the youngest of the Gibb brothers but he was not a member of The Bee Gees. In 1977, he began his career as a solo singer, following his brothers' disco style. His first 3 singles "I Just Want to Be Your Everything," "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water," and "Shadow Dancing" all reached the No.1 spot. Three more consecutive Top Ten hits followed, cementing his overnight sensation status. Despite the number four "Desire," Gibb's streak of Top Ten hits began to slip in 1980; the following year he had his last Top 40 hit, "Me (Without You)." After a stint as the host of Solid Gold, Andy turned to acting, but he did not replicate the enormous success of his recording career. Sadly he developed a massive cocaine addiction, which helped lead to his death (sadly died from the virus myocarditis, inflammation of the heart muscle) b. March 5th 1958
1989: Doc Green Jr (54) American bass & baritone singer; he was a member of The Five Crowns when in 1958 manager George Treadwell, who owned the rights to the name "Drifters", but had sacked the whole band, approached Lover Patterson, the manager of The Five Crowns featuring lead singer Ben E. King, wanting his band to adopt the appellation of The Drifters. So the new line-up of The Drifters consisted of Doc as baritone, Ben E King (lead tenor), Charlie Thomas (tenor), and Elsbeary Hobbs (bass). The group went out on the road to tour for almost a year. Since this new group had no connection to the prior Drifters, they often played to hostile audiences. This new Drifter lineup, widely considered the "true" golden age of the group, released several singles with King on lead that became chart hits. "There Goes My Baby", the first commercial rock-and-roll recording to include a string orchestra, was a Top 10 hit, and number 193 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. "Dance with Me" followed, and then "This Magic Moment" No.16 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1960. "Save the Last Dance for Me" reached No.1 on the U.S. pop charts and No.2 in the UK. This was followed by "I Count The Tears." This version of The Drifters was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2000 as Ben E. King and the Drifters (sadly died after his battle with cancer) b. November 8th 1934.
1992: Giorgos Zampetas (67) Greek music composer, singer who became one of the greatest bouzouki artists; born in Metaksourgio of Athens, from a very young age. He showed a great interest in music, as he was helping his father in his barber shop, he secretly played his first melodies on a bouzouki. Anything that was producing sound seemed exciting to him and helped him in his compositions. In 1932, as a 7 year old first grader, he won his first prize, playing his first song in a school competition (?) b. January 25th 1925.
1997: Lavern Baker aka Delores Williams (57) American rhythm and blues singer; one of the sexiest divas gracing the mid-'50s rock & roll circuit. In 1953 she signed for Atlantic Records as a solo artist, her first release being "Soul on Fire". Her first hit came in early 1955, with the Latin-tempo "Tweedlee Dee" reaching No.4 on the R&B chart and No.14 on the national US pop charts. This was followed by a string of hits on the R&B charts over the next couple of years with her backing group The Gliders, including "Bop-Ting-A-Ling", "Play It Fair", and "Still. At the end of 1956 she had another smash hit with "Jim Dandy" No.1 R&B and No.17 pop, it sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Further hits followed for Atlantic, including the follow-up "Jim Dandy Got Married", "I Cried a Tear", "I Waited Too Long" written by Neil Sedaka, "Saved" and "See See Rider". In the late 1960s, she became seriously ill after a trip to Vietnam to entertain American soldiers. About that same time, a friend recommended that she stay on as the entertainment director at a Marine Corps night club at the Subic Bay Naval Base in the Philippines, and she remained there for 22 years.Laverne received the 1990 Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and in 1991, she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Her song "Jim Dandy" was named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll and was ranked #343 on the Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (coronary complications) b. November 11th 1929.
2001: Massimo Morsello (42) Italian far-right political activist and singer-songwriter. He was the main figure of Italian far-right political music and, with Roberto Fiore, a co-founder of the Italian nationalist movement Forza Nuova. He began his career as a musician in the '70s, with his first performance being at the first Hobbit Camp. During the so-called "Anni di Piombo" or Lead Years he became involved in various violent episodes and is thought to have possibly been a member of the neofascist terrorist organization Nuclei Armati Rivoluzionari. After the Bologna Massacre of August 2, 1980, Massimo, Roberto Fiore, leader of Terza Posizione and seven other people were accused of subversive association. They escaped first to Germany, then, after a few months, to London. Italy called for their extradition but it was refused by England because the crimes they were accused of were only political (cancer)b. November 10th 1958.
2001: Mati Nuude (60) Estonian weightlifter and singer born to a family of an Estonian officer, repressed by the Soviet Union. His coach in weightlifting was Alfred Neuland. During 1965-1975 he was 7 times champion of Estonia in weightlifting and at his peak he was the 8th strongest man in the world. During 1975-1989 he was a singer in the band Apelsin and later launched his solo career (?) b. February 18th 1941.
2002: Shirley Scott (67) American hard bop and soul-jazz organist; she played played piano and trumpet before moving to the Hammond organ, her main instrument, though on occasion she still played piano. Shirley became known in the 1950s for her work with saxophone player Eddie Davis, particularly the song "In the Kitchen" and went on to play with many greats. Shirley recorde 23 albums as a leader and six albums with Stanley Turrentine (Shirley died of heart failure, hastened by the diet drug fen-phen) b. March 14th 1934.
2004: Dave Blood/David Schulthise (47) American bass guitarist for the punk band Dead Milkmen who enjoyed international success on the strength of 1988's "Punk Rock Girl", a single from their Beelzebubba album. He helped form the band in 1983 along with fellow pseudonymous musicians Joe Jack Talcum, Dean Clean, and Rodney Anonymous.Allegedly, he tuned the strings of his bass guitar, in order from lowest to highest, D E A D, to match the name of the band. He stopped playing music in 1995 after the band broke up as the result of developing tendinitis in both hands (sadly David committed suicide by overdosing on pills) b. September 16th 1956.
2005: Jacqueline "Jazzy Jackie" Neal (37) American blues singer, born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, her father Raful Neal, was also a blues musician, as were eight of her ten siblings. She was best known for her hit "Right Thang, Wrong Man". Jackie released 4 albums, ''Blues Won't Let You Go''; ''Lookin' for a Sweet Thang''; ''Money Can't Buy Me Love''; and lastly ''Down in Da Club''. (Tragically, she was shot and killed by her ex-boyfriend, James White, in Baton Rouge) b. July 7th 1967.
2005: Danny Joe Brown (53) American singer from Jacksonville, Florida; was a member of the Southern rock group Molly Hatchet, and singer and co-writer of the band's biggest hits from the late 1970s. He is best known for writing and singing such hit singles as "Flirtin' with Disaster", and "Satisfied Man". He left the band in 1980 to form The Danny Joe Brown Band. He later rejoined Molly Hatchet in 1982, but had to leave in 1995 after suffering a stroke. (Danny died less than an hour after returning to his home from a 4 week hospitalization. He had been fighting a long battle with diabetes and effects of a past stroke) b. August 24th 1951.
2006: Anna Moffo (73) American soprano born in Wayne, Pennsylvania; she was offered the challenging role of Cio-Cio-San in an Italian television (RAI) production of Madama Butterfly, the telecast aired on January 24th 1956, and made her an overnight sensation throughout Italy. She returned to America for her debut there, as Mimì in La Bohème next to Jussi Björling's Rodolfo, at the Lyric Opera of Chicago on October 16, 1957. Her Metropolitan Opera of New York debut took place on November 14th 1959 as Violetta in La traviata and performed at The Metropolitan Opera for seventeen seasons in roles such as Lucia, Gilda, Adina, Mimi, Liù, Nedda, Pamina, Marguerite, Juliette, Manon, Mélisande, Périchole, the four heroines of Les contes d'Hoffmann. She enjoying a successful international career singing at most major opera houses around the world, Stockholm, Berlin, Monte Carlo, Mexico City, Buenos Aires, among others. She made her debut at the Royal Opera House in London, as Gilda, in a Franco Zeffirelli production of Rigoletto, in 1964. Such a heavy workload however led to physical exhaustion and a serious vocal-breakdown in 1974, from which she never fully recovered (sadly died of a stroke following a decade-long battle with breast cancer) b. June 27th 1932.
2008: Charles "Chuck" Day (65) American blues guitarist, singer and bassist born in Chicago and at age 15 in 1957, he recorded the single "Pony Tail Partner" under the name Bing Day at Federal Records. He recorded several singles over the next ten years as 'Bing Day' and, also, 'Ford Hopkins', before moving to L.A. in 1965. He worked with the likes of the Johnny River band on the tracks "Here We GoGo Again" and "Rivers Rocks the Folk", Chuck wrote the distinctive riff in "Secret Agent Man". He next joined the Mamas and Papas as their bass guitarist and was second guitarist on "Monday, Monday" and "California Dreamin'" before forming his own band. Chuck also recorded with The Young Gyants, Shel Silverstein and more recently in 2006 with Steve Wolf (died in Healdsburg District Hospital after a long illness) b. August 5th 1942
2008: Dennis Irwin (56) American jazz double bassist, born in Birmingham, Alabama but grew up in Atlanta and Knoxville. His older brothers were jazz fans, and with their encouragement Dennis began playing clarinet. In the mid-1960s the family relocated to Houston, where as a teenager he played alto sax in a series of local R&B bands and while studying classical clarinet at University he began playing upright bass in the school's Two O'Clock Big Band. In 1975, Dennis started working with trumpeter Ted Carson, emerging as the bassist of choice for vocalists including Mose Allison, Betty Carter, Annie Ross and Jackie Paris. He made his record debut the following year, supporting pianist Dom Salvador's album "My Family". In 1977, he signed on with Blakey's Jazz Messengers and went on to play with many other greats including John Scofield, Stan Getz, Johnny Griffin, Horace Silver, Chet Baker and Mel Lewis (He sadly died from complications of cancer on the same day as a Jazz at Lincoln Center benefit concert was held in his honor which featured performances by Wynton Marsalis, Tony Bennett, Jon Hendricks, Joe Lovano and Joe Scofield) b. November 18th 1951.
2009: Ralph Mercado (67) American promoter of Latin American music Latin Jazz, Latin rock, merengue and salsa he established a network of businesses that included promoting concerts, managing artists, a record label, film company, nightclubs and restaurants. He out started promoting "waistline parties", live music events in apartment building basements where women were charged in proportion to their waist size, with himself measuring at the door. Soon he was promoting Latin jazz at Manhattan clubs such as The Village Gate. These expanded into concerts at major venues with stars such as James Brown, who appeared with Latin acts such as Mongo Santamaría. He turned to managing performers, founding RMM Management in 1972, where his clients included Celia Cruz and Tito Puente, achieving acclaim as the biggest salsa manager in the United States by the 1970s. He developed new talent, such as La India Marc Anthony, presenting salsa concerts at major venues across the country, from Madison Square Garden to the Hollywood Bowl. Ralf started RMM Records in 1987, which had in excess of 130 artists performing across the Latin music spectrum, representing merengue, salsa, Latin jazz and Latin rock. He rode the expanding size and economic power of the nation's Hispanic population and a general interest in salsa music. Mercado brought in international groups and influences from Africa, Brazil and even Japan. He achieved acclaim as the most successful promoter of salsa music, and in 1991, Billboard magazine described him as "the entrepreneur who took salsa from New York to the world" (cancer) b. September 29th 1941
2010: Evelyn Dall (92) American singer and actress, born in The Bronx, New York City. In 1935 she was invited to become the female vocalist for Bert Ambrose and his Orchestra, in the UK, where she remained until 1946. Over her career she has worked in musical films such as Sing as You Swing, Kicking the Moon Around, He Found a Star, and King Arthur Was a Gentleman, and in supporting roles on Broadway and Londons's West End in.. Something for the Boys, Parade, Follow the Girls, and Present Arms. She was known there as England's "Original Blonde Bombshell" (died after a long illness) b. January 8th 1918.
2010: Micky Jones (63) British singer and guitarist with the legendary Welsh pychedelic, progressive rock, blues and country-rock band "Man", formed in 1968 as a reincarnation of Welsh rock harmony group The Bystanders from Merthyr Tydfil. Micky has played in every incarnation of Man until his illness in 2002 and again in 2005. In 1960, whilst still at school, Micky formed his first band The Rebels, before he formed his first professional band The Bystanders in 1962. He adopted the stage name of Mike Martin and later Mike Steel. They released eight singles, including "98.6" in February '67, which featured in the '09 film, The Boat That Rocked and ... READ MORE ... In 2002 Micky was diagnosed with a brain tumour and had to take time off for treatment. A trooper till the end in '04 he was back with Man but tragically the following year his health deteriorated due to the re-occurrence of his brain tumour and Micky sadly remained in hospital for the next 5 years. (passed away peacefully) b. June 7th 1946 John Burtenshaw is currently writing a book about the life of the amazing but sadly sometimes over-looked musician Micky Jones. Any information please email email@example.com
2011: Mario Clavell (88) Argentine singer, actor and composer; movies, radio, records and TV opened up new markets and made him internationally known. In Uruguay and Peru he was voted the Best Showman on television. He also performed in Chile, Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, México, Puerto Rico and Spain. In '69 he was hired in Madrid to broadcast his personal radio-show for 6 months and his success made him stay there for 4 years, sharing his work with frequent appearances in the best shows in TV and performing in top night-clubs of Spain. He also produced and acted in a very successful "cafe-concert" show, with his own music. He also wrote the score and songs for the musical"El Oso y el Madrileño". More recently, Mario performed for numerous latin-american audiences in Miami, USA, where his "boleros" have always been very popular through the recordings of the most important singers and orchestras. In 1995 he was honoured a significant distinction: Miami´s Dade Major proclaimed the day July 5 as "El Día de Mario Clavell" - Mario Clavell´s Day (sadly died after a long ilness) b. October 9th 1922
2012: Domna Samiou (83) Greek singer and music researcher, born in Athens; during her childhood she lived the harsh life of a refugee, but was also surrounded with the humane solidarity of the refugee communities. It was there she acquired her connection with popular culture and her love for folk music. Her first professional collaboration was with the National Radio Foundation, the state-run national radio station of Greece, when she was a member of the Simon Karas choir, before her solo career. For over fifty years, Domna performed all over the world, in places as distant as Australia and South America, appealing not only to the Greek diaspora, but also introducing non-Greek audiences to Greek music with no Bouzouki. In 1981, the Domna Samiou Greek Folk Music Association was founded to preserve and promote Greek traditional music and in 2005, the President of Greece, K. Stefanopoulos, awarded her a medal of honour (?) b. October 12th 1928.
2016: Ernestine Anderson (87) American jazz and blues singer born, in Houston, Texas; her family moved to Seattle, Washington in 1944, when she was sixteen and Anderson graduated from Garfield High School. When she was eighteen, she left Seattle, to tour for a year with the Johnny Otis band. In 1952, she went on tour with Lionel Hampton's orchestra. After a year she settled in New York, determined to make her way as a singer. Her appearance on Gigi Gryce's 1955 album Nica's Tempo led to a partnership with trumpeter Rolf Ericson for a three-month Scandinavian tour. In a career spanning more than six decades, she worked with many famous ochestras, recorded over 30 albums and nominated four times for a Grammy Award. She sang at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, the Monterey Jazz Festival, six times over a 33-year span, as well as at jazz festivals all over the world. In the early 1990s she joined Qwest Records, the label of fellow Garfield High School grad Quincy Jones.(?) b. November 11st 1928.
2016: Gogi Grant/Myrtle Audrey Arinsberg (91) American pop singer born in Philadelphia, PA; at aged 12, she moved to Los Angeles, where she attended Venice High School, won a teenage singing contest and appeared on television talent shows. She worked as a car salesperson in the early 1950s before she began her recording career in 1952. She had her first top ten hit with "Suddenly There's a Valley" in 1955. The following year, she had her biggest hit, reaching No.1 on Billboard 's Top 100 with "The Wayward Wind" and holding it there for six weeks. Gogi carried on performing until she retired from singing in 1967 after a final US chart single, "The Sea". Occasionally Gogi did come out of retirement for special events like when she headlined with The Fabulous Palm Springs Follies in Palm Springs, CA in 2006, and she was still singing in 2013 at the age of 89. (?) b. September 20th 1924.
2016: Keith Noel Emerson (71) English keyboardist and composer born in Todmorden. He began his career as a member of the Keith Emerson Trio, John Brown's Bodies, Gary Farr and the T-Bones, The V.I.P.'s and P. P. Arnold's backing band The Nice. He found his first commercial success with The Nice in the late 1960s, before becoming a founding member of Emerson, Lake & Palmer /ELP, one of the early supergroups, in 1970. Emerson, Lake & Palmer were critically and commercially successful through much of the 1970s, becoming one of the best-known progressive rock groups of the era. UPDATING (Keith sadly died in Santa Monica, California. He was found dead at home by his longtime partner Mari Kawaguchi. The cause of death was not announced immediately, but Santa Monica Police announced within a few hours that they were investigating the death as a possible suicide by gunshot) b. November 2nd 1944.
1967: Geraldine Farrar (85) American operatic soprano and actress, born in Melrose, Massachusetts, she is noted for her beauty, acting ability, and "the intimate timbre of her voice". At 5 she began studying music in Boston and by 14 was giving recitals. Later she studied voice with soprano Emma Thursby in New York, in Paris, and finally with the Italian baritone Francesco Graziani in Berlin. After performing at top opera houses around the world, she retired from opera in 1922 at the age of 40. Her final performance was as Leoncavallo's Zazà. By this stage, her voice was in premature decline due to overwork. According to the US music critic Henry Pleasants, she gave between 25 and 35 performances each season at the Met alone, which included 95 appearances as Madama Butterfly and 58 as Carmen in 16 seasons. The title role in Puccini's Tosca, which she had added to her repertoire in 1909, was another of her favourite Met parts. Gerry continued to give recitals until 1931 and was briefly the commentator for the radio broadcasts from the Met during the 1934-35 season. She also starred in more than a dozen films from 1915 to 1920, one of her most notable screen roles was as Joan of Arc in the 1917 film Joan the Woman. In 1960 she was awarded two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, in the music and film categories. (sadly died of a heart attack) b. February 28th 1882.
1978: Sofia Vembo (67) Greek singer, dubbed the "Singstress of Victory"; she began her career in Thessaloniki in the early 1930s, and in 1933 she was hired by the theatre operator Fotis Samartzis of the Kentrikon theatre for the revue "Parrot 1933". She then began to record romantic songs for the Columbia company, achieving fame because of her distinctly sonorous contralto voice. Her reputation rocketed after the Italian attack on Greece on 28 October 1940, when her performance of patriotic and satirical songs became a major inspiration for the fighting soldiers. At the same time, she offered 2,000 gold pounds from her own fortune to the Hellenic Navy. Following the German invasion and occupation of the country in April 1941, she was transported to the Middle East, where she continued to perform for the Greek troops in exile. After the war, in 1949, she acquired her own theatre, the "Vembo Theatre", in the Metaxourgeio quarter of Athens. During the 60s, she began to perform less and less, before finally retiring in the early 70s (?) b. 1910
1978: Claude Francois (39) French pop singer and songwriter, born Ismaïlia, Egypt; he wrote "Comme d'habitude," the original version of "My Way." A young François worked as a bank clerk and at night earned extra money playing drums with an orchestra at the luxury hotels along the French Riviera. He was offered a chance to sing at a hotel in the fashionable Mediterranean resort town of Juan-les-Pins. His show was well received and eventually he began to perform at the glamorous night-clubs along the Côte d'Azur. After moving to Paris he had a major hit with "Belles Belles Belles" topping the French charts, selling close to 2 million copies, making him a star overnight. He had hit after hit recording UK and US hits in French. He worked non-stop, touring across Europe, USA, Africa and Canada. However, his workload caught up with him in 1971 when he collapsed on stage from exhaustion. After a brief period off, he returned to the recording studios, releasing several best-selling hits throughout the early 1970s. (Officially Claude electrocuted himself adjusting a light bulb while standing in his bathtub, but some suspect foul play) b. February 1st 1939.
1984: Kostas Roukounas (81) Greek singer born on the Isle of Samos. His repertoire included "traditional" and "popular" songs. Most notable is his contribution to the subgenre of rebetiko. He began his artistic career in the mid-1920s as a singer at a taverna and shortly after he moved to Athens. There he sang professionally on various festive occasions until he was discovered by Panagiotis Tountas, a leading composer and recording industry executive. He collaborated with many composers throughout his long career, particularly Panagiotis Tountas, Spyros Peristeris, Kostas Skarvelis, and Grigoris Asikis (sadly died of a heart attack) b. 1903.
1986: Sonny Terry/Saunders Terrell (75) America blues singer, harmonica born in Greensboro, GA. where his father taught him the harmonica at an early age. Sadly by the time he was 16, Sonny was blind, and he decided to be a blues singer. He began traveling to nearby Raleigh and Durham, NC, performing on street corners for tips. In 1934, he befriended the popular guitarist Blind Boy Fuller, who convinced Sonny to move to Durham, where the two immediately gained a strong local following. By 1937, they were offered an opportunity to go to New York and record for the Vocalion label. It is here where Sonny paired up with guitarist Brownie McGhee, the duo worked together as Brownie McGhee and his Jook House Rockers or Sonny Terry and his Buckshot Five until the mid 70's, playing concerts and festivals around the world. Sonny also became a much in demand session player working regularly on the records for the likes of Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, and Pete Seeger. In the late 70's and early 80's he was working with a different generation including Johnny Winters. Sonny was inducted into the Blues Foundations Hall of Fame in 1986. (?) b. October 24th 1911.
2007: Betty Hutton/Elizabeth June Thornburg (86) American stage, film, and TV actress, comedienne and singer. She made 19 films from 1942 to 1952 including a hugely popular The Perils of Pauline in 1947. She was billed over Fred Astaire in the 1950 musical Let's Dance. Her greatest screen triumph came in Annie Get Your Gun in 1950 for MGM. In 1944, she signed with Capitol Records, one of the earliest artists to do so, but became unhappy with its management and later signed with RCA Victor. Her hits include "The Jitterbug" on the Bluebird label in 1939, "It Had To Be You", "His Rocking Horse Ran Away", "A Bushel and a Peck" duetting with Perry Como, "Stuff Like That There", and "Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief" (died after a brave battle with colon cancer) b. February 26th 1921.
2008: Leslie 'Les' Mighall (65) English drummer famed for being one of David Bowie's drummers in the 60s and the original drummer with Bowie's The Lower Third band (died of natural causes) b. March 10th 1943.
2010: Paul Dunlap (90) American composer born in Springfield, Ohio; he wrote the scores for more than 200 films and television programs including The Three Stooges Meet Hercules, The Three Stooges in Orbit, The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze and The Outlaws Is Coming. He also scored the last Abbott and Costello film Dance With Me, Henry (?) b. July 19th 1919.
2011: Rita Guerrero (47) Mexican actress and singer born in Guadalajara; while at university she pursued an acting career, the late 80s finds her in Mexico City and in 1989, along with bassist Alfonso "Poncho" Figueroa, guitarist Pablo Valero and keyboardist Jacobo Leiberman (Juan Sebastian Lach was keyboardist for a while), she formed Mexico's most original and experimental rock band Santa Sabina, the name of the group honors the memory of Maria Sabina, the Mazatec shaman who lived in the southern state of Oaxaca. Their albums include, Santa Sabina -1992, Símbolos -1994, Babel -1996, Mar adentro en la sangre-2001 and Espiral-2003. In 1997, they also recorded an album of their "unplugged" performance for MTV Latinoamerica called Santa Sabina Unplugged. In early 2006, the group released a double live album "XV Aniversario" which also included a DVD. Rita also performed as part of Ensamble Galileo, an acoustic chamber group specializing in Renaissance era music (Rita was diagnosed with breast cancer in January 2010. She underwent chemotherapy, and tried various treatments of allopathic medicine, but sadly all were unsuccessful) b. May 22nd 1964.
2011: Hugh Martin (96) American musical theatre and film composer, arranger, vocal coach, and playwright born in Birmingham, Alabama. He is maybe best known for his score for the classic 1944 MGM musical 'Meet Me In St. Louis', in which Judy Garland sang three of his songs, "The Boy Next Door", "The Trolley Song", and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas". The last of these has become a Christmas season standard. He wrote the music, and in some cases the lyrics, for 5 Broadway musicals: Best Foot Forward-1941; Look Ma, I'm Dancin'!-1948; Make a Wish-1951; High Spirits-1964 with Timothy Gray; and Meet Me In St. Louis-1989. Hugh's first Broadway credit was as an arranger for the 1937-1938 musical Hooray for What! and was a vocal or choral arranger for such later Broadway musicals as The Boys From Syracuse 193839, Too Many Girls 193940, DuBarry Was a Lady 193940, Cabin in the Sky 194041, and Gentlemen Prefer Blondes 194951, Top Banana 195152, and Lorelei 1974. He was also one of the vocal arrangers for Sugar Babies 197982. Ralph Blane was Hugh's songwriting partner for most of his work, and the two recorded an album of their best songs entitled Martin and Blane Sing Martin and Blane with the Ralph Burns Orchestra in 1956. Martin and Blane were twice nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song, for "The Trolley Song" in 1944, and for "Pass the Peace Pipe" from Good News in 1947. Hugh has also received four Tony award nominations, three for High Spirits- Best Musical, Best Book Author of a Musical, Best Composer and Lyricist; and one for the 1990 Meet Me in St. Louis - Best Original Score. Other film work includes songs for the films Athena-1954, and The Girl Most Likely-1957 as well as the film version of his Broadway hit Best Foot Forward which starred Lucille Ball (Hugh died of natural causes) b. August 11th 1914.
2011: Jack Hardy (63) American folk singer and songwriter, he wrote hundreds of songs, protest songs, political talking songs and romantic ballads; beginning in the mid-seventies Jack hosted Monday Night Pasta Dinners at his apartment on Houston Street, to which all songwriters were generously welcome. He also began a small, informal songwriters' group at The English Pub in Greenwich Village, which later became a more formal songwriters' night at the Cornelia Street Cafe in December 1977. This group later evolve into the Songwriter's Exchange, releasing an album on Stash Records in 1980. Eventually, the group formed a cooperative, led by Jack, and in '81 took over the booking of the "Speak Easy", which became a thriving venue for songwriters. He was also the founder and first editor of Fast Folk Musical Magazine in '82. He also toured frequently on both sides of the Atlantic solo or with his long-time friend and fellow songwriter David Massengill as a duo called the Folk Brothers (sadly Jack died after a battle with lung cancer) b. November 23rd 1947.
2013: László Bódi (47) Hungarian rock singer-songwriter born in Uzhgorod and later moved to Budapest, where he and fellow musician Lászlo Attila Nagy played in the band Cipofuzo. In 1989, the two formed the rock band Republic and released their first album 'Indul a mandula!!!' in 1990. This was followed by 28 albums, the last being 'Bólints Tibi!' released in 2012 (sadly László died of heart failure) b. May 3rd 1965
2013: Sripada Pinakapani (99) Indian classical singer, born in Srikakulam; he held the position of Professor of Medicine and later transferred to Kurnool Medical College. He had a successful career performing at major festivals and concerts. His disciples include carnatic vocalists, Nedunuri Krishnamurthy, Nookala Chinna Satyanarayana Malladi Suri Babu, Malladi Brothers and many others (?) b. August 3rd 1913.
2014: Mohamed Saleban Tubec (69) Somali singer born in Hargeisa, but following the Somali state failure in 1991, he fled to Britain in search of safety after deadly battles sparked largely in Mogadishu when armed clan militias and criminal gangs emerged. Over the past thirty years, plus years he has gained a huge support and thousands of fans for his songs and stage performances. Known as The Melody King, to many Somalis, his albums are the most spectacular in the history of Somali music. (sadly passed away following complications with pneumonia at Barmherzige Bruder hospital in Germany) b. 1944.
2015: Billy Block (59) American roots guitarist and singer; for nearly 20 years, Billy's weekly showcases provided a Nashville stage for the left-of-center country music that would eventually be called Americana. Artists like Jim Lauderdale, Buddy Miller, Lucinda Williams and Elizabeth Cook found a home on Block's show, while contemporary mainstream stars Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves and Florida Georgia Line are among the numerous acts he supported when they were still unknown. (sadly died after a long, brave battle with cancer) b. 1955 ?
2015: Carlo Ubaldo Rossi (56) Italian composer and music producer, born in Monaco of Bavaria, he later moved to Turin and then to Florence , where he began his collaboration with Litfiba and others of the music scene in Florence. In 1987 he returned to Turin where, along with other musicians, he founded the Transeuropa Recording Studio. His many collaborations include 883, 99 Posse, Africa Unite, Baustelle, Jo Davidson, Vinicio Capossela, Irene Grandi, Jovanotti, Ligabue, Litfiba, Persian Jones, Mau Mau, Meg, Gianna Nannini, Serena Abrami, Neffa, Negrita, Giuliano Palma & the Bluebeaters, Arisa, Max Pezzali, Subsonica, Syria, Chiara Galiazzo, Paola Turci, and Nina Zilli (tragically Carlo died in a motorcycle accident in the hills of Moncalieri, near Turin) b. August 17th 1958.
2015: Jimmy Greenspoon aka Maestro (67) American keyboard player and composer born in LA, California and raised in Beverly Hills. He was taught the piano at aged 7 by his mother, the silent screen star, Mary O'Brien. While at senior school he formed a surf group The New Dimensions, in 1963, before attending the LA Conservatory of Music to studiy piano. Jimmy worked on the Sunset Strip in the 1960s with the groups Sound of the Seventh Son and The East Side Kids. His bands held residence at The Trip, Stratford on Sunset now The House Of Blues, Brave New World, Bidos Litos, Ciros, and The Whiskey. In late 1966, Greenspoon he to Denver, Colorado, with the members of The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band and formed the group Superband. In 1968, he moved back to Los Angeles, where he met Danny Hutton, and subsequently formed Three Dog Night >>> READ MORE <<< (sadly Jimmy died while bravely fighting metastatic melanoma) b. February 7th 1948.
2016: Louis Meyers (60) American festival organizer and co-founder of South by Southwest; he was part of the original team that birthed SXSW out of New York's New Music Seminar, along with Roland Swenson, Nick Barbaro and Louis Black, in 1987. He was also an accomplished multi-instrumentalist but enjoyed playing banjo and has recorded, toured, producied or performed withwith many artists including Bill & Bonnie Hearne, Bob Schneider, Killbilly, The Killer Bees, Mojo Nixon, Fastball, Willis Alan Ramsey, Tommy Ramone, and Jello Biafra and from 2005 to 2013, he was executive director of Folk Alliance International (sadly Louis died from a suspected heart attack) b. 1955/56
2016: Joe Ascione (54) American jazz drummer, born in Brooklyn, New York; his parents bought him his first drum set at age 4, and he was playing professionally by the time he was 12. As a teenager, he was a roadie for Buddy Rich. Ascione has been on about 70 recordings to date. Ascione performed, recorded or toured with musicians from the worlds of jazz, rock and pop including Cab Calloway, Donald Fagen, Della Reese, David Grisman, George Coleman, Billy Mitchell, Flip Phillips, Al Hirt, Dr. John, Phoebe Snow, Jon Hendricks, Dick Hyman, Joey DeFrancesco and Herb Ellis (?) b. March 14th 1961.
2016: Ras Munya/Munyaradzi Nyemba (55) Zimbabwean reggae bassist, with the band Transit Crew. Formed in 1988 makes Transit Crew the oldest reggae band in the country and are a pivotal part of the history of local reggae music in Zimbabwe. The group has visited South Africa, Japan, the United Kingdom and has been a supporting act for a number of international artistes such as Misty in Roots, Dennis Brown, Luciano and Mickey General in Jamaica, UK poet Zephaniah Benjamin, Jamaican dub poet Yasus Afari and the late Lucky Dube. (sadly Ras died from a heart attack) b.1960/1
2017: Ángel Parra/Luis Ángel Cereceda Parra (73) Chilean singer and songwriter, born in Valparaiso. At the age of ten he began to play the Chilean guitarrón and in 1958, at the age of 15, he published his first EP "4 Chilean carols" as a member of the group Los Norteños, which includes two folk carols, as well as two of his own songs. In 1 961, he traveled to Europe with his mother Violeta Parra and his sister Isabel Parra, and he formed the duet Isabel and Ángel Parra with his sister, and together they created the a famous Chilean folk rock 'Peña de los Parra'. In 1965 Ángel released his first solo album, 'Ángel Parra and his guitar'. Due to the coup d'etat in September of 1973 he relocated to Mexico, then France, where he continued with his music and made his home. In the 1990s he increased his musical production, including an album about the 500 years of the discovery of America; the 50th anniversary of the death of Gabriela Mistral; panties choras; tributes to Violeta Parra and others.vIn 2004 Ángel and his sister were honoured with the distinction "Fundamental figures of the Chilean music". (sadly Ángel died fighting lung cancer) b. June 27th 1943.
2017: Evan Johns (60) American guitarist born in McLean, Virginia; he began his musical career in the Washington, D.C. area, where he met and played with guitarist Danny Gatton, writing three songs, including the title track for Gattons 1978 album, Redneck Jazz. He then founded his own band, "the H-Bombs", after which in 1984 he relocated to Austin, Texas, to join The LeRoi Brothers. Evan performed on the 1985 compilation album, 'Trash, Twang and Thunder'; the album earned a Grammy Award nomination for rock-instrumental music. In 1985, he re-formed the H-Bombs in Austin they played together for several years, becoming known for their eclectic repertoire, of "cajun, rockabilly, punk, surf, blues, country even spaghetti Western soundtrack music". In the mid 1990s, Evan began to suffer alcohol related and other health problems and stopped playing regularly in 1998, but continued to write and record music until his death. (sadlly died from complications after surgery) b. July 12th 1956.
2017: Don Warden (87) American country musician and manager born in Mt. Grove, Missouri; he grew up singing in church and formed his own band during high school, The Rhythm Rangers, playing steel guitar and singing. He also had an afternoon radio show on KWPM-AM in West Plains, Missouri. () b. March 27th 1929. The band gained popularity, moving on to Kennett, Missouri's KBOA-AM and KHWN-AM in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and gigs in East Texas honky tonks; eventually leading to Louisiana Hayride, backing The Wilburn Brothers and Red Sovine. Don left the show in 1951 for a two-year stint with the US Army, after which he met Porter Wagoner at KWTO-AM in Springfield, Missouri. With Speedy Haworth, they formed the Porter Wagoner Trio and were regulars on ABC television's Ozark Jubilee broadcast from Springfield. In 1957, Don joined the Grand Ole Opry with Wagoner, and in 1960 began a 14 year television run of "The Porter Wagoner Show". In 1966, singer Dolly Parton joined the show and Don and Dolly, backed by the Wagonmasters, became one of country music's most popular duos. Parton left the show in 1974 to pursue a solo career, and Don joined her as her full-time manager, a job he held until his death. He was inducted into the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame in 2008 (?) b. March 27th 1929.
1937: Jeno Hubay/Eugen Huber (78) Hungarian violinist and composer; Eugen Huber was born into a German family of musicians in Pest, Hungary. He adopted the Hungarian version of his name, Jeno Hubay, in his twenties, while living in the French-speaking world. He was trained in violin and music by his father. At aged thirteen, he began his studies in Berlin, where he remained for five years, receiving instruction from Joseph Joachim. In 1878, following the advice of Franz Liszt, he made his début in Paris, which was a great success. Sitting in the audience was Henri Vieuxtemps, with whom Jeno formed an intimate friendship and from whom he received instruction. In 1882 he was employed at the Brussels music institute as the head of the department of violin studies. Returning to Hungary in 1886, he succeeded his father as head of the Liszt Academy. That same year, he established the Budapest Quartet with fellow teacher, cellist David Popper. (?) b. September 15th 1858.
1937: Charles-Marie Widor (93) French organist and composer born in Lyon and studied organ with Jacques-Nicolas Lemmens. He became one of the leading organ recitalists of his time and toured many different nations, including Russia, England, Germany, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Poland and Switzerland. In addition he participated in the inaugural concerts of many of Cavaillé-Coll's greatest instruments, notably Notre-Dame de Paris, Saint-Germain-des-Près, the Trocadéro and Saint-Ouen de Rouen.(?) b. February 21st 1844
1955: Charlie Parker (34) American saxophonist; considered one of the greatest and influential jazz musicians, ranked with such players as Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington. He began playing the saxophone at age 11 and at age 14 joined his school's band using a rented school instrument. He spent 3 to 4 years practicing up to 15 hours a day, playing many tunes in all 12 keys. In this wood-shedding period, he mastered improvisation and developed some of the ideas of be-bop. He became an icon for the hipster subculture and later the Beat generation, personifying the conception of the jazz musician as an uncompromising artist and intellectual, rather than just a popular entertainer. His style from a rhythmic, harmonic and soloing perspective influenced countless peers on every instrument, he changed the sound of jazz music forever. His numerous awards, inductions and achievements include four recordings inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame - 1945's "Billie's Bounce", 1946's "Ornithology", 1953's "Jazz at Massey Hall" and 1950's "Charlie Parker with Strings", a Grammy Award for Best Performance By A Soloist in 1974, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1984, in 1995 a 32 cents Commemorative stamp was issued in his honor and in 2002, the Library of Congress honored his recording "Koko" (1945) by adding it to the National Recording Registry (died in his friend Nica de Koenigswarter's Stanhope Hotel suite while watching Tommy Dorsey on TV. The official causes of death were lobar pneumonia and a bleeding ulcer) b. August 29th 1920.
1985: Eugene Ormandy/Jeno Blau (85)Hungarian conductor and violinist born in Budapest; he gave his first concerts as a violinist at age seven and moved to America in 1921. He was first engaged by conductor Erno Rapee, as a violinist in the orchestra of the Capitol Theatre in New York City, a 77-player ensemble which accompanied silent movies. He became the concertmaster within five days of joining and soon became one of the conductors of this group. He also made 16 recordings as a violinist between 1923 and 1929. In 1936 he began his 44-year tenure with the Philadelphia Orchestra. Over his career he gained many honors, for his vast influence on American music and the Philadelphia performing arts community, in 1972 he was awarded the prestigious University of Pennsylvania Glee Club Award of Merit; he was presented The Presidential Medal of Freedom by Richard M. Nixon in 1970; The Ditson Conductor's Award for championing American music in 1977; appointed by Queen Elizabeth II an honorary Knight of the British Empire in 1976; awarded the Kennedy Center Honors in 1982 and was a recipient of Yale University's Sanford Medal. After his death, his papers including complete arrangements, and his marked scores fill 501 boxes in the archives of the University of Pennsylvania Library (?) b. November 18th 1899.
1999: Yehudi Menuhin, Baron Menuhin, OM, KBE (82) American born violinist and conductor who spent most of his performing career in the UK. He was born in New York City, but became a citizen of Switzerland in 1970, and of the United Kingdom in 1985. Yehudi began violin instruction at age four under violinist Sigmund Anker. He displayed extraordinary talents at an early age. His first solo violin performance was at the age of seven with the San Francisco Symphony in 1923. He went on to be considered twentieth century's greatest violin virtuosi. He used a number of famous violins including the Giovanni Bussetto 1680, the Giovanni Grancino 1695, the Guarneri filius Andrea 1703, the Soil Stradivarius, the Prince Khevenhüller 1733 Stradivari, the Guarneri del Gesù 1739, and the Lord Wilton 1742 Guarneri del Gesù. (He died in Berlin, Germany following a brief illness, from complications of bronchitis) b. April 22nd 1916.
2005: Stavros Kouyioumtzis (72)Greek composer, one of the most significant Greek music composers of the 20th century. He worked with some of the most important Greek singers, Eleftheria Arvanitaki, Anna Vissi, Haris Alexiou, Yiannis Parios, and Giorgos Kalatzis and also collaborated in many songs with the poet-lyricist Manos Eleftheriou. His last appearance on television was in the music show of Spyros Papadopoulos on NET TV. During his last few years he left Athens and moved back to his birthplace, Thessaloniki, where he continued working on music and songs (?) b. 1932
2009: Kalman Bloch (95) American clarinetist; he was principal clarinetist of the LA Philharmonic for more than 40 years. He studied with Simeon Bellison, a notable clarinetist for the New York Philharmonic. He left New York for LA during the Great Depression and wrote for over 100 job applications. Otto Klemperer, then music director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, was the only one to respond. Kalman also performed on several film soundtracks, including those of Sunset Boulevard and North by Northwest (?) b. May 30th 1913.
2010: Lesley Duncan (66) British singer-songwriter born in in Stockton-on-Tees, her songs were often about life and its problems, "Everything Changes" and "Sing Children Sing". Elton John duetted with her on his album Tumbleweed Connection, which was similar to her own version of "Love Song". She appeared onstage with Elton in a '74 concert at the Royal Festival Hall to once again perform the duet. She sang backing vocals to Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon album as well as singing lead on the song "If I Could Change Your Mind" on the Alan Parsons Project album, Eve. As well as writing and singing her own material, Lesley was a backing vocalist in the mid to late 1960s and the 1970s, most notably for Dusty Springfield (sadly Lesley died from a cerebrovascular disease) b. August 12th 1943.
2011: Adionilla "Nilla" Pizzi (91) Italian singer born in Sant'Agata Bolognese, she was particularly famous in Italy during the 1950s and 1960s. She won the Sanremo festival in 1951, singing "Grazie dei fiori", and again in 1952, singing "Vola colomba" (?) b. 16 April 1919
2011: Joe Morello (82) American drummer born in Springfield, Massachusetts he is maybe best known for his twelve and a half-year stint with The Dave Brubeck Quartet. He was frequently noted for playing in the unusual time signatures in such pieces as "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo à la Turk". At six years old he began studying the violin, going on to feature three years later as soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra playing Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, and again three years later. At 15 he switched to drumms and later moved to New York City, were he worked with numerous notable jazz musicians including Johnny Smith, Tal Farlow, Stan Kenton, Phil Woods, Sal Salvador, Marian McPartland, Jay McShann, Art Pepper, Howard McGhee, and others. After a period playing in McPartland's trio, Joe joined the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1955 and contributed to over 60 albums with Brubeck. He later became an in-demand clinician, teacher and bandleader whose former students include Danny Gottlieb, Max Weinberg, Gary Feldman, Patrick Wante, Jerry Granelli, Glenn Johnson and Rich Galichon (?) b. July 17th 1928.
2011: Italo Pizzolante (82) Venezuelan poet, composer, musician, professor and engineer. Author of famous songs like Motivos, Mi Puerto Cabello, among others. The song Mi Puerto Cabello is dedicated to his native town. It was popularized in the 1960s by Felipe Pirela along with the Billos Caracas Boys. In August, 1998 the song was decreed the Official City Anthem. He gained recognition by winning the First Venezuelan Music Contest of the Central University of Venezuela with the song Provincianita. Italo represented Venezuela in 1992 at the Bolero Festival in Havana, Cuba, obtaining first prize and in 2001, he received an award at the Teresa Carreño Cultural Complex, along with other Venezuelan musicians (?) b. December 2nd 1928.
2012: Bodjie Dasig/Darius Delphin Dasig (48) Filipino singer-songwriter, who came into prominence for writing the song "Ale (nasa langit na ba ako?"/''Miss (am I in heaven?)'' and "Maaalala Mo Pa Rin"/''You will still remember for singer Richard Reynoso'', and "Ayoko na Sana"/''I wouldn't have wanted'' for Ariel Rivera. He also wrote and sang the hit song "Sana Dalawa ang Puso Ko"/"I wish I had two hearts" for his band Bodjie's Law of Gravity, which became the theme song of a movie with the same name (sadly Darius died Monday at 10:48 pm (PST) fighting cancer in a i Southern Californian hospital) b. June 10th 1963
2012: Michael Hossack (65) American drummer, born in Paterson, New Jersey; he started playing drums in the Little Falls Cadets, Our Lady of Lourdes Cadets and Fair Lawn Cadets. He always credits these experiences taught and prepared him for playing in a two-drummer group such as the Doobie Brothers. After graduating high school, he served for four years in the US Navy during the Vietnam War. Following his honorable discharge in 1969 he returned to New Jersey, where a close friend talked him into auditioning for a California-based band called Mourning Reign. They played heavily in upstate New York, before relocating to the San Francisco bay area and signing with a production company that had also signed the newly formed rock band, the Doobie Brothers >>> READ MORE <<< (sadly Mike died while battling cancer) b. October 17th 1946.
2013: Clive Burr (56) British drummer born in London; previously a member of Samson, he joined Iron Maiden in '79. An acquaintance of then-Iron Maiden guitarist Dennis Stratton, he played on their first 3 records: Iron Maiden, Killers and their breakthrough release The Number of the Beast, but left the band in 1982 due to Iron Maiden's tour schedule and his personal problems. Clive co-wrote one song on The Number of the Beast, "Gangland", and another song, "Total Eclipse", that was cut from the album and showed up as the b-side of the "Run to the Hills" single, and later on the Number Of The Beast remastered CD re-release. He also appeared on "The Number of the Beast" and "Run To The Hills" videos. After leaving Iron Maiden, he briefly played in the French group Trust, thus switching places with McBrain, and briefly with the American band Alcatrazz. He was featured in the short-lived NWOBHM supergroup Gogmagog which also included ex-Iron Maiden vocalist Paul Di'Anno and future Maiden guitarist Janick Gers. He also had a band known as Clive Burr's Escape. He then joined Dee Snider in his post-Twisted Sister outfit Desperado, and performed with British bands Elixir and Praying Mantis in the 1990s, but did not become a member of either (died in his sleep, with complications from multiple sclerosis) b. March 8th 1957.
2014: Reggy Tielman (80) Dutch Indorock guitarist and the last surviving member of The Tielman Brothers, His brothers Andy died in 2011, Ponthon in 2000 and Loulou in 1994. They were the first Dutch East Indies / Dutch-Indo band to successfully venture into the international music scene in the 1950s. They were one of the pioneers of rock and roll in The Netherlands, later becoming famous in Europe for playing a kind of rock and roll later called Indorock, a fusion of Indonesian and Western music with roots in Kroncong. They had chart hits in the 50s and 60s with songs like Rock Little Baby Of Mine and Little Bird (?) b.1933.
2014: Jean Vallée/Paul Goeders (72) Belgian songwriter and singer born in Verviers. In 1967 he represented Belgium in the Festival of Rio where he was a member of the jury. He represented Belgium for the Eurovision Song Contest 1970 with "Viens l'oublier" finishing eighth. He participated a second time in the Eurovision Song Contest 1978 with "L'amour ça fait chanter la vie", ending up second behind the Israeli entry. Jean was made Knight in the Order of the Crown by HM Albert II in 1999 (?) b. October 2nd 1941.
2014: Ray Still (94) American classical oboist born in Elwood, Indiana, and moved to Los Angeles as a teenager. He started studying the clarinet at 14, and volunteered as an usher at Los Angeles Philharmonic concerts, where he heard the Belgian oboist Henri de Busscher, whose singing style inspired him to switch to the oboe at 16. He was in the US Army from 19431946, after which he enrolled in the Juilliard School of Music in New York. He played in several orchestras including the Kansas City Philharmonic, the Buffulo Philharmonic, and the Baltimore Symphony before joining the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1953, where he stayed until 1993 and played principal oboe on almost all of the recordings in that time. His oboe teaching positions included Peabody Institute in Baltimore in the 40s, the Roosevelt University in Chicago in the 50s and Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois where he was Professor of music from 1960 until his retirement in 2003. (?) b. March 12th 1920.
2014: Iola Brubeck (90) American jazz lyricist who was married to Dave Brubeck from 1942 until his death in December 2012, is credited with making him a popular concert attraction on college campuses in the early 1950s, when his quartet was relatively unknown and she served as his manager, booker and publicist.She wrote to scores of colleges, which resulted in numerous bookings and to the release of the live albums Jazz at Oberlin, Jazz at the College of the Pacific and Jazz Goes to College, whose success helped to make Dave one of the musics biggest stars. She later worked with him as a lyricist and librettist, providing words for tunes like In Your Own Sweet Way, Strange Meadowlark and as well as longer works like the oratorio The Light in the Wilderness and the cantatas The Gates of Justice and Truth Is Fallen. The duo's most ambitious collaboration was probably The Real Ambassadors the satirical story of an American jazz musician who visits Africa on a State Department tour. It is scheduled to receive its belated New York premiere on April 11th and 12th 2014 at the Appel Room of Jazz at Lincoln Center. (sadly Iola died fighting cancer) b. August 14th 1923.
2014: Meredith Irwin "Med" Flory (87) American saxophonist, bandleader and actor born in Logansport, IA. He learnt clarinet as a child and joined his high school concert band when he was 12. During World War II he was an Army Air Force pilot, and after the war he took his bachelor's degree in philosophy from Indiana University. He played in the bands of Claude Thornhill and Woody Herman in the early 50s before forming his own ensemble in New York City. In 1955 he relocated to California and started a new group and played at the '58 Monterey Jazz Festival. In the late 1950s he played with Terry Gibbs, Art Pepper, and Herman again, playing tenor and baritone saxophone. In the 1960s, he worked more in television and film as an actor and screenwriter; his credits include Wagon Train, The Rifleman, Maverick, Route 66, Daniel Boone, Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C., Lassie, and the film The Nutty Professor. In the mid-1960s Flory worked with Art Pepper and Joe Maini on transcriptions and arrangements of Charlie Parker recordings, and in 1972, he co-founded Supersax, an ensemble devoted to Parker's work. Supersax's debut album, Supersax Plays Bird, won a Grammy award (sadly died with heart related problems) b. August 27th 1926.
2014: George Donaldson (46) Scottish singer also known as Big George born in Glasgow, has been a member of the Celtic Thunder a Scottish /Irish singing ensemble since 2008 and has enjoyed success on both sides of the Atlantic. Performing in over forty states of America and Canada, including three sold out shows in New Yorks Radio City Music Hall and also having the prestigious honour of performing for President Obama and the first Lady at the White House for a St Patricks Day celebration. He was the oldest member of the group and was a well-known balladeer, guitarist and flautist from Glasgow. At Scotland's Celtic Park, he played to 65,000 fans at the opening match of the 2000-2001 season. He released his new solo album "The World In My Mind" in the Spring of 2013 (sadly George died suddenly of a heart attack) b. February 1st 1968.
2015: Erol Büyükburç (79) Turkish composer and singer born in Adana; he briefly studied economy at university, but abandoned the higher education after choosing a music career. He began singing in various jazz bands and in 1961, he composed and wrote the lyrics to his best known hit "Little Lucy". Before the 1960s, Turkish pop music was mostly covers of West European melodies. " Little Lucy" is considered as one of the milestones in Turkish popular music, not only because it was one of the earliest popular music compositions, but also it was sung in English. Other self penned hits included 'Kiss me', 'Lovers Wish' and 'Memories' also English-lyrics compositions. In September 1964 he won the best Singer title at Balkan Music Festival and this honor was repeated in 1965 at the Bosphorus Music Festival Award. After the 1980s, he began singing melodies of various genre like children's songs, football teams' songs etc. Throughout his career from 1964 to 2007, he has also appeared in 24 films, including Avare Asik, Sus Sus Kimseler Duymasin, Turist Ömer Boga Gürescisi, Bitmeyen Azap, Reklam Filmi:Shubuo Kral, and Söhret Okulu (Erol sadly died from a heart attack) b. March 22nd 1936
2016: Tommy Brown (84) American R&B singer and drummer born in Lumpkin, Georgia. As a teenager he formed a small band with himself as the drummer in the 1940s, and worked in clubs around Atlanta. In 1949 he recorded "Atlanta Boogie", the track contained very early references to rock and roll. In 1951 he moved on to Dot where he was teamed with the Griffin Brothers, an R&B orchestra led by brothers Jimmy Griffin and Ernest "Buddy" Griffin from Norfolk, Virginia. They had toured widely with Amos Milburn, Paul Williams, and others, and recorded as the backing band for Margie Day on two R&B Top 10 hits, "Street Walkin' Daddy" and "Little Red Rooster". In August of that same year Tommy was featured singer on the R&B Top 10 hit "Tra-La-La", credited to the Griffin Brothers Orchestra, and later in the year they reached No.1 on the R&B chart with "Weepin' and Cryin'", credited to The Griffin Brothers Orchestra featuring Tommy Brown. After a stint in the military he moved to Chicago where played in Bill Doggett's band and recorded with Walter Horton. Over the next decade he recorded R&B for a number of smaller labels, before starting to perform and record as a comedian in the later 1960s and 1970s. In 1977, he returned to Atlanta to run the Landmark Personal Care Center. Tommy made a comeback in 2001, recording and performing around the world in blues festivals and in 2015 he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in Memphis (?) b. May 27th 1931.
2016: Conor Walsh (?) Irish indie rock pianist and composer born in Swinford; the Mayo-born minimal pianist and electro composer released his debut EP 'The Front' last year and has performed at Electric Picnic, Body & Soul and Other Voices, as well as supporting Hozier on a sold-out Irish tour in 2013. His experimental music style has been compared to the likes of Philip Glass, Aphex Twin and Nils Frahm. Connor's music has been used on the soundtracks to short films, as well as on RTÉ's Prime Time, Radio One, TV3 and RnaG documentaries. (?) b.????
2017: Joey Alves (63) American guitarist backing vocals; he grew up in a small town just south of Oakland called San Lorenzo and started playing guitar after high school and he was only in one local band before joining the band Yesterday & Today in 1974, a hard rock/heavy metal band formed in Oakland, California, that same year. They later shortened their name to Y&T and released their first two studio albums, their self-titled debut and Struck Down, in 1976 and 1978 respectively. Y&T's sixth studio album, In Rock We Trust, released in 1984, became the band's highest charting and best selling album. "Summertime Girls" was the band's most widely recognized song, along with fan favorites such as "Mean Streak," "Contagious," "Rescue Me," "Forever" to name a few. Joey left the band in 1989, just before the band officially disbanded in 1991. Joey rejoined the band in 2004 tour and again as a guest in 2016 (sadly died with complications from ulcerative colitis) b. 1953/54
1946: Thomas Frederick Dunhill (69) English composer and writer on musical subjects, born in Hampstead, London, maybe best-known for his song-cycle 'The Wind among the Reeds'. In 1893 Thomas attended the Royal College of Music, London, and studied pianoforte under Franklin Taylor and composition under Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. He won an open scholarship for composition in 1897 and became a music-master at Eton College for several years, before becoming a professor at the Royal College of Music in 1905. From 1907 to 1919 he gave concerts of chamber-music in London, the Thomas Dunhill Concerts, at which important chamber music by English composers was performed. He himself wrote chamber music and also songs and song-cycles. His song-cycle The wind among the reeds, for tenor voice and orchestra, was first performed by Gervase Elwes with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at Queen's Hall in 1912. His setting of W.B. Yeats's 'The Cloths of Heaven' is deservedly famous. Elwes along with with Frederick B. Kiddle, recorded his song 'A Sea Dirge', a setting of Shakespeare's lyric Full fathom five (?) b. February 1st 1877.
1987: Gerald Moore CBE (87) English pianist best known for his career as one of the most in-demand accompanists of his day, accompanying many of the world's most famous musicians. Born in Watford but received most of his musical education in Toronto, Canada, to which country his family emigrated when he was a child, and where he was an organist at St Thomas' Church, Huron Street, in Toronto. He accompanied notable instrumentalists such as Pablo Casals and the child prodigy Josef Hassid, but is perhaps best remembered for his work with his notable partnerships including Elisabeth Schwarzkopf, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Victoria de los Ángeles, Elisabeth Schumann, Maggie Teyte and Kathleen Ferrier. He retired from public performances in 1967, and was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in 1954 (?) b. July 30th 1899.
1990: Karl Münchinger (74) German conductor of European classical music born in Stuttgart, Münchinger. He helped to revive the now-ubiquitous Canon in D by Johann Pachelbel, through recording it with his Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra in 1960. Karl is also noted for restoring baroque traditions to the interpretation of Bach's oeuvre, his greatest musical love: moderate-sized forces, judicious ornamentation, and rhythmic sprightliness, though not period instruments. In 1977, his Stuttgart Chamber Orchestra became the first German ensemble to visit the People's Republic of China. Karl retired in 1988 (?) b. May 29th 1915.
1994: Danny Barker (85) American jazz banjoist, singer, guitarist, songwriter, ukelele player, author, and founder of the locally famous Fairview Baptist Church Marching Band from New Orleans. He was also a rhythm guitarist for some of the best bands of the day, including Cab Calloway, Lucky Millinder and Benny Carter throughout the 1930s. In 1945 he recorded with Ohio's native jazz pianistSir Charles Thompsona date that included saxophonists Dexter Gordon and Charlie Parker. His work with the Fairview Baptist Church Brass Band was pivotal in ensuring the longevity of jazz in New Orleans, producing generations of new talent. Brothers Wynton Marsalis and Branford Marsalis both played in the band as youths as well as "The King of Treme" Shannon Powell, Lucien Barbarin, Dr. Michael White and countless others. One of Danny's earliest teachers in New Orleans was fellow banjoist Emanuel Sayles, whom he recorded with. Throughout his career, he played with Jelly Roll Morton, Baby Dodds, James P. Johnson, Sidney Bechet, Mezz Mezzrow, and Red Allen. He also toured and recorded with his wife, singer Blue Lu Barker (sadly lost to cancer) b. January 13th 1909.
1998: Judge Dread/Alex Hughes (52) English reggae and ska artist; the first white recording artist to have a reggae hit in Jamaica, and has the most banned songs of all time. He worked as a bouncer, a bodyguard, professional wrestler, debt collector and radio DJ before he released his first record, "Big Six" which reached No.11 in the UK Singles Chart and spent six months on the chart, despite getting no radio airplay due to its lyrics. Further hit singles followed with "Big Seven" and "Big Eight", both following the pattern of rude versions of nursery rhymes over a reggae backing, as well as "Y Viva Suspenders" and "Up With The Cock". He was the first white recording artist to have a reggae hit in Jamaica with "Big Six", which lead him to travel to Jamaica to perform live, where many were surprised that he was white. He released 13 albums and he had 11 UK singles chart hits in the 1970s, which was more than any other reggae artist, including Bob Marley. The Guinness Book of World Records credits Judge Dread for having the highest number of banned songs of all time, 11! He helped organize a benefit concert for the famine in Ethiopia featuring The Wailers and Desmond Dekker, and released a benefit single "Molly". Despite this single not featuring Dread's trademark innuendos, it was still banned from radio airplay. He tried releasing singles under the pseudonyms JD Alex and Jason Sinclair, but the BBC still banned them (He was finishing a performance at Penny Theatre in Canterbury, he turned to the audience and said, "Let's hear it for the band." They were his final words, as he walked offstage, he suffered a fatal heart attack) b. May 2nd 1945.
1999: Balduína "Bidu" de Oliveira Sayão (96) Brazilian-American soprano born in in Botafogo, Rio de Janeiro. At the age of only eighteen, she made her major opera debut in Rio de Janeiro. Her acclaimed performance led to an opportunity to study with the famous Elena Teodorini , first in Brazil and then in Romania; and then to study with the renowned Polish tenor and tutor, Jean de Reszke, in Nice. Bidu made her U.S. debut in a recital at Town Hall in New York City on December 30, 1935. Her U.S. operatic debut followed not long thereafter, on January 21, 1936, when she sang in the penultimate production of the Washington National Opera and a few months later with the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall. She sang her first performance at the Metropolitan Opera as Manon on February 13, 1937. After fifteen years with the Metropolitan Opera, she gave her last performance in 1952, choosing to retire from opera while still at the top of her form. For the next two years she was a guest performer throughout the U.S., but in 1957 she decided to retire completely from public performance; two years after that she made her final recording as the soprano soloist on Villa-Lobos's world premiere stereo recording of his cantata Forest of the Amazon with the composer conducting the Symphony of the Air (?) b. May 11th 1902.
2002: Marc Moreland (44) American rock guitarist for new wave band Wall of Voodoo, punk band The Skulls, and rock bands Pretty and Twisted and Department of Crooks. He also released a solo album under the name Marc Moreland Mess. The Wall of Voodoo sound was noted for Marc's unique guitar style, a mixture of twangy spaghetti western-style melodies, angular postpunk riffs and well-placed guitar feedback. The band had a sizeable hit with the song "Mexican Radio" in 1982 (sadly died of liver failure) b. January 8th 1958.
2003: Ian "Sammy" Samwell/Ian Ralph Samwell (66) English musician, songwriter and record producer, best known as the writer of Cliff Richard's debut hit "Move It" written when he was a member Harry Webb's group soon to become Cliff Richard and the Drifters, as a guitarist, and his association with the rock band America with whom he had his biggest commercial success with their hit single "A Horse With No Name". He also worked with bands such as Small Faces, The Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, Joni Mitchell, John Mayall and Hummingbird. He wrote for many other UK artists, including Joe Brown, Elkie Brooks, Kenny Lynch, and Dusty Springfield. Several of his songs were recorded in Spanish for Mexican group, Los Teen Tops and were released in Latin America and the Spanish speaking territories of the world. He also worked as a record producer with Sounds Incorporated, Georgie Fame, John Mayall and the mod band The Small Faces, co-writing their 1965 hit single "Whatcha Gonna Do About It". Also back in the 60s, Sammy worked as a Disc Jockey at The Orchid Ballroom Purley (?) b. January 19th 1937.
1998: Bill Bolick (80) American country music singer, banjoist and along with his brother Earl, 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 in June 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.
2008: Martin Fierro (66) American tenor saxophonist also known as "the Meester" to his many loving fans; he played in the jazz, freeform rock, and avant-garde traditions and who played with musicians as diverse as the Sir Douglas Quintet, Legion of Mary, Jerry Garcia, James Cotton, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Loudon Wainwright III, Queen Ida, Jazz Is Dead, The String Cheese Incident, David Grisman, Derek Trucks, Dark Star Orchestra, the Allman Brothers, Merl Saunders, The Grateful Dead, Zero, Steve Kimock & Friends, Yonder Mountain String Band and many more (died after his battle against cancer) b. January 18th 1942.
2009: Alan W. Livingston (91) American music executive; he began his career leading his own college orchestra at the University of Pennsylvania. After the war he obtained his first position with Capitol Records, as a writer/producer. He wrote and produced many children's series of storytelling record-album including the debut of Bozo the Clown with the September 1946's "Bozo at the Circus"; many products for Walt Disney; Walter Lantz's Woody Woodpecker; Hopalong Cassidy including "Hopalong Cassidy and The Singing Bandit" in 1950; Bugs Bunny and all of the Warner Bros characters and he wrote the 1951 pop hit "I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat". Alan moved on to the adult music and became Vice President. He signed Frank Sinatra, who agreed to work with Nelson Riddle, with an immediate impact, producing the classics "I've Got the World on a String." and "Young-at-Heart". Alan was also officially credited as the inspiration for the distinctive Capitol Records Tower, completed in April 1956, noted for being the first circular office building in the world. In the 60's he turned Capitol Records into a more rock-oriented company with such artists as The Beach Boys, Steve Miller, The Band, and others. He signed The Beatles, agreeing to release 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' in 1963 and bringing them to the United States in 1964, after rejecting their previous singles as unsuitable for the U.S. market despite Capitol being owned by The Beatles' U.K. record company, EMI. Alan was the creative force responsible for Capitol Records' growth from net sales of $6 million per year to sales in excess of $100 million per year. He later sold his stock in Capitol Industries to form his own company, Mediarts Inc., for the production of motion pictures, records and music publishing. Aug '76, he joined 20th Century Fox as Senior Vice President and President, Entertainment Group. He left in 1980 to accept the presidency of Atalanta Investment Company, but resigned in 1987 to produce a one-hour film for television and to form Pacific Rim Productions, Inc (?) b. October 15th 1917.
2010: Jean Ferrat/Jean Tenenbaum (79) French singer, songwriter and composer born in Vaucresson, Hauts-de-Seine and studied at the Jules Ferry College. In the early 1950s he started in Parisian cabaret. In 1956, he set "Les yeux d'Elsa" ("Elsa's eyes"), a Louis Aragon poem to music. Its rendition by popular artist André Claveau brought Jean some recognition as a songwriter. He released his debut album, Deux Enfants du Soleil in 1961, followed by Nuit et Brouillard in 1963, and was awarded the Académie Charles Cros's Grand Prix du Disque. Jean retired from performing on stage in 1973. In 1990, he received an award from the Société des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs de musique, (SACEM) the French association of songwriters, composers and music publishers (passed away after a long illness) b. December 26th 1930.
2011: Ritchie Pickett (56) New Zealand country singer and songwriter, born in Morrinsville, he began playing in rock 'n' roll bands such as Graffiti, which toured New Zealand with singer Tom Sharplin in the mid-1970s, before joining metal/prog rock band Think, with whom he recorded an album. Think relocated to Sydney, Australia, where they broke up and Ritchie formed his own band Snuff. In the early 1980s back in New Zealand, he formed country music band Ritchie Pickett & the Inlaws which toured New Zealand relentlessly and released an acclaimed LP, but disbanded in 1985. He was also a regular performer on the high-rating primetime television show That's Country. He fronted several Waikato bands through the late 1980s and early 1990s, including the Jones Boys, the Fat Band, Stingray Martini's Excellent Duckbeast and the Disturbance, before working mainly under his own name, releasing his debut solo album in 1998. In 2004, Ritchie released a live album featuring his contributions from a New Zealand tour with fellow New Zealand songwriter Glen Moffatt and Australian roots songwriter Bill Chamber. Later in 2009 he was part of the band The Rattler, also featuring former members of Knightshade and the Furys, which released The Leaving. (?) b. February 16th 1955.
2012: Karl Roy (43) Filipino rock singer noted for his song "Yugyugan Na"/"Time to shake". He gained prominence in the '80s as frontman for Advent Call. However mainstream success came when he formed the funk rock band, POT, having had a major hit with a cover of the Advisors Yugyugan Na. He continued making music with super band, Kapatid, which also included Nathan Azarcon and Ira Cruz of Hijo. Kapatid released two albums, the self-titled debut in 2003 and Luha in 2006. In 2007, Roy suffered a stroke that left half his body paralyzed for months which he used songwriting while recovering. Roy and the rest of POT reformed in October of 2011. (sadly died of a cardiac arrest, but he had also been diagnosed with Pulmonary Edema) b. May 25th 1968.
2014: Cherifa/Ouardia Bouchemlal (88) Algerian singer-songwriter originally from Kabylia; she debuted on stage at the age of 16 years, interpreting traditional Kabyle songs and made her debut on Radio Kabyle in 1942 and became a pioneer of this medium that would change the habits and attitudes by introducing singing and music into the homes of Kabyle. She went on to compose over 800 songs in her 40 year career, but times could be fairly brutal for women and her personal répertoire was plundered and her songs covered without a penny paid over to her. Happily in the early 1990s, she made a comeback in France and in 2001 she performed in two concerts in the United States with Naïma Ababsa and Zakia Kara Terki (?) b. January 9th 1926.
2014: Al Harewood (90) American jazz drummer and teacher, born in Brooklyn. As a drummer he worked with many jazz musicians including the J.J. Johnson/Kai Winding group, the Art Farmer/Gigi Grice band, David Amram and the Curtis Fuller-Benny Golson Sextet. He participated in many classic sessions for Blue Note recording artists in the 1950s and 60s and played on many notable soul jazz recordings by Lou Donaldson, Horace Parlan, Ike Quebec, Dexter Gordon, Betty Grant and Grant Green among others and had a long association with saxophonist Stanley Turrentine from 1959 to the early 1960s. (?) b. June 3rd 1923.
2015: Daevid Allen aka Divided Alien/Christopher David Allen (77) Australian beat poet, guitarist, singer, composer and colourful performance artist, co-founder of psychedelic rock groups Soft Machine and the legendary Gong. Born in Melbourne, he worked in a book shop before moving to Paris, France, then in 1961 he travelled to Dover, England, where he formed he formed the free jazz outfit, the Daevid Allen Trio which included his landlord's son, 16-year-old Robert Wyatt. In 1966, together with Kevin Ayers and Mike Ratledge, they formed the band Soft Machine, the name having come from the Burroughs novel The Soft Machine. Ayers and Wyatt had previously played in Wilde Flowers. Following a tour of Europe, he was refused re-entry to the UK because he had overstayed his visa on a prior visit. He returned to Paris where he took part in the 1968 Paris protests which swept the city, after which he fleed to Deya, Majorca, where he met poet Robert Greaves. They recorded an album Magick Brother under the name Gong, in which they were joined by flautist Didier Malherbe, whom they claim to have found living in a cave on Robert >>> READ MORE <<< (sadly Daevid died fighting cancer) b. January 13th 1938.
2016: Sidney Mear (97) American trumpeter; early in his career he joined the Horace Heidt big band and was featured soloist on Heidt's 1937 recording of "Hot Lips" which reached No.5 on US Billboard. Sid was principal trumpet of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra from 1947 to 1968 after joining the orchestra in 1940. He was principal trumpet of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Mexico under Carlos Chavez from 1940 to 1942. He also played with the Philadelphia Orchestra under Eugene Ormandy on a North American transcontinental tour in 1946 following World War II. He was Professor of Trumpet at the Eastman School of Music, having taught from 1940 while still a student until 1980. He graduated from the Eastman School with a Bachelor of Music degree and Performer's Award in 1941 and a Master's Degree in 1949. During his orchestral career he performed under some of the world's most esteemed conductors/composers such as Igor Stravinsky, Howard Hanson, Erich Leinsdorf, Eugene Ormandy, Carlos Chavez, Jose Iturbi, Aaron Copland, Sir Thomas Beecham, Leonard Bernstein and Dmitri Mitropoulos (?) b. June 23rd 1918.
2017: Tommy LiPuma (80) American music producer born in Cleveland, Ohio. While playing in local big bands, he also attended barber school, intending to follow in his father's footsteps. However, a chance opportunity to go on tour with a band changed his plans. In 1961, he joined Liberty Records where he produced demo sessions for young songwriters such as Jackie DeShannon, Randy Newman and P.J. Proby. In late 1964, he produced his first recording for The O'Jays "Lipstick Traces". Then in 1965, Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss hired him to be the first staff producer for their A&M label. Over the next four years, he produced hits for the Sandpipers, Chris Montez, and Claudine Longet and in 1968 he formed the Blue Thumb label with Bob Krasnow. Over his career he also worked with Columbia Records, A&M/Horizon, Warner Bros Records, and GRP/Verve Records. He received 33 Grammy nominations, 5 Grammy wins, and sold more than 75 million albums. He worked with so many musicians, including Barbra Streisand, Miles Davis, George Benson, Phil Upchurch, Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Natalie Cole, Dave Mason, the Yellowjackets, Michael Franks, Michael Bublé, Willie Nelson, Diana Krall, Paul McCartney, Ben Sidran, The Crusaders, Joe Sample, Randy Crawford and Dr. John. (?) b. July 5th 1936.
2017: John Lever (55) English drummer with the post-punk band The Chameleons aka The Chameleons UK in North America. They formed in Middleton, Greater Manchester in 1981, originally consisted of singer and bassist Mark Burgess, guitarists Reg Smithies and Dave Fielding, and drummer Brian Schofield. But John, a member of the Politicians, soon replaced Brian on the drums. After performing several radio sessions for BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, the band was signed to Epic Records and in 1982 released their debut single, "In Shreds". After their 3rd album 'Strange Times' and sudden death of their manager Tony Fletcher, the Chameleons disbanded. John and Burgess formed the Sun and the Moon, who released a self titled studio album in 1988. John later joined the band Bushart, releasing the album 'Yesterday Is History'. In 2000, the Chameleons reunited and released three more albums before disbanding again in 2003. In 2009, John and Burgess reformed as ChameleonsVox to play Chameleons past tracks, and released an EP, "M+D=1(8)", in 2013. In 2014, John reunited with Dave Fielding in the band Red-Sided Garter Snakes, and recorded the album 'Endless Sea'. (sadly John died after a short illness) b. 1961/62.
2017: Maxx Kidd/Carl Lomax Kidd (75) American singer, producer and go-go music pioneer, who grew up in West Virginia. After a stint in the army, in 1960 he relocated to Washington, D.C. where he joined a local soul group The Enjoyables. His first major breakthrough was working as a producer for Curtis Mayfields Curtom Records, where he collaborated with such artists as Jerry Butler, Gene Chandler and Chuck Brown & the Soul Searchers. Two R&B hits by Brown, Blow Your Whistle and We Need Some Money are among Kidds best-known productions. Four years later, he played a role in producing and supporting D.C.s infamous go-go sound, working with Brown & the Soul Searchers as well as fellow funk groups Trouble Funk and E.U/Experience Unlimited. Maxx also served as an associate producer of the 1986 film "Good to Go" starring Art Garfunkel that used D.C.s burgeoning go-go scene as its musical backdrop. He also co-produced the films go-go/dancehall-inspired soundtrack. In addition to establishing his own record label, T.T.E.D. Records, he became an independent promoter and marketer, with a client list that included the OJays, the Temptations, Lou Rawls, Van McCoy, Johnnie Taylor and Shalamar. (sadly died after fighting several illness) b. August 18th 1941.
1972: Linda Lane/Linda Jones (27) American soul singer; born in Newark, New Jersey; she started singing in her family's gospel group the Jones Singers at the age of six. Her first recording was "Lonely Teardrops", in 1963. She signed with Warner Bros in 1967 and released the biggest of several hits, "Hypnotized" (Soon after her career took off, she was diagnosed with diabetes, she tragically died after collapsing between shows at the Apollo Theatre, Harlem) b. December 14th 1944.
1973: Rafael Godoy (65) Colombian composer born in Natagaima, Tolima; from a young age, he was linked to the trade-union movement in Barrancabermeja, Santander, from where he had to emigrate when his personal security was threatened. He fled to Venezuela, where he developed his musical career and composed what are often taken to be his best musical pieces. His most widely known, and possibly best song, is the bambuco "Soy colombiano" / I'm Colombian; he composed many other bambucos and andean music songs, such as "Arrunchaditos", "Pasito", "Mi cafetal", "Canto a Colombia", "Tierra caliente". Many versions of "Soy colombiano" have appeared since it was composed, even a vallenato version by Lisandro Meza, although the most popular version is the one from the Tolimense folk music duet Garzón y Collazos (?) b. 1907
1976: Busby Berkeley/William Berkeley Enos (80) American film director, musical choreographer, famous for his elaborate musical production numbers that often involved complex geometric patterns. His quintessential works used legions of showgirls and props as fantastic elements in kaleidoscopic on-screen performances. Films included A Connecticut Yankee (Broadway), Whoopee!, 42nd Street, Footlight Parade, Gold Diggers of 1933, Fashions of 1934, as well as In Caliente, Wonder Bar, Ziegfeld Girl, Babes on Broadway, Rose Marie and many others (passed away from natural causes) b. November 29th 1895.
1991: Howard Ashman (40) American playwright, director and lyricist, he first studied at Boston University and Goddard College and then went on to achieve his master's degree from Indiana University in 1974. He collaborated with Alan Menken on several films, notably animated features for Disney, Howard writing the lyrics and Menken composing the music. His best known film works include 'God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater', 'Little Shop of Horrors'-1982 and 'Smile' as lyricist, librettist and director; Little Shop of Horrors-1986 as lyricist and screenwriter; Oliver & Company, lyricist for "Once Upon A Time In New York City"; The Little Mermaid as lyricist, co-producer, writer; Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue lyricist for "Wonderful Way To Say No"; Beauty and the Beast lyricist, executive producer; and Aladdin lyricist for "Arabian Nights", "Friend Like Me", and "Prince Ali". Howard was co-recipient of two Grammy Awards, two Golden Globe Awards and two Academy Awards. His second Academy Award in 1992 was awarded posthumously for Academy Award for Best Original Song and was accepted by his partner, Bill Lauch.(he sadly died following complications from AIDS) b. May 17th 1950.
1991: Doc Pomus/Jerome Solon Felder (66) American blues singer and songwriter, found success as one of the finest white blues singers of the 1940s before becoming one of the greatest songwriters in the history of American popular music; He is best known as the lyricist of many rock and roll hits, by 1957, he had given up performing in order to devote himself full-time to songwriting. He collaborated with pianist Mort Shuman, their songwriting efforts had Doc write the lyrics and Shuman the melody, although quite often they worked on both. They wrote the hit songs such as: "A Teenager in Love"; "Save The Last Dance For Me"; "Hushabye"; "This Magic Moment"; "Turn Me Loose"; "Sweets For My Sweet"; "Go Jimmy Go", "Can't Get Used to Losing You"; "Little Sister"; "Suspicion"; "Surrender"; "Viva Las Vegas"; "(Marie's the Name) His Latest Flame". Also during the 1950s and early 1960s, Doc wrote several songs with Phil Spector: "Young Boy Blues"; "Ecstasy"; "Here Comes The Night"; "What Am I To Do?"; with Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber: "Young Blood" and "She's Not You", and other Brill Building-era writers. He also wrote "Lonely Avenue", which became a 1956 hit for Ray Charles. Doc was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the category of non-performer in 1992. He was also inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1992 and the Blues Hall of Fame (sadly died after battling cancer) b. June 27th 1925.
2000: C. Jérôme/Claude Dhotel (53) French singer born in Paris, he had a successful singing career for over 3 decades and sold 26 million records. In 1995, Jerome C. became a radio announcer at Radio Monte Carlo where he presented a daily morning show entitled 'Years Tubes' with Claire Cardell. In 1996 he moved to TF1 for a daily oldies show La Chanson treasure. He also joined Michel Drucker in Deeply Sunday for presenting a section on oldies (sadly C. Jérôme died while fightng cancer) b. December 21st 1946.
2009: Alain Bashung (61) French singer, songwriter, comedian and actor, a multi-platinum artist, he received three awards during the ceremony at the Paris Zenith, including best male artist, best album for "Bleu Pétrole" and best live show. He spent his career singing a pop-chanson repertoire. With 11 trophies won since 1993, he was the most awarded artist in the history of the Victoires de la Musique. On 1 January 2009, Alain was made Chevalier (Knight) of the Légion d'honneur. On 28 February 2009, he received three prestigious Victoires de la Musique awards for his final album Bleu pétrole. The 2009 award ceremony was his last public appearance. He appeared frail, but still performed "Résidents de la République" (sadly died after battling lung cancer) b. December 1st 1947.
2011: Todd Cerney (57) American songwriter of rock, country, and blues music, born in Detroit, he played guitar, mandolin, harmonica, keyboards and sang lead and backing vocals with various artist. He began his song-writing career after moving to Nashville, Tennessee. Some of the earliest artists to record his songs include Brush Arbor- "Don't Play That Song Again", Steve Carlisle -"I'll Fall in Love Again", and Levon Helm - "Blue House of Broken Hearts". During his career he composed such top-selling hits as "Good Morning Beautiful", a 2002 five-week country No.1 hit for Steve Holy co-written with Zack Lyle; "I'll Still Be Loving You", a 1987 country No.1 hit for Restless Heart co-written with Pam Rose, Mary Ann Kennedy, and Pat Bunch; and "The Blues Is My Business" co-written with Kevin Bowe, part of Etta James' 2003 Grammy Award winning album "Let's Roll". He and his co-writers were nominated for a Grammy Award for "I'll Still Be Loving You". (sadly Todd died of cancer) b. August 8th 1953.
2011: Big Jack Johnson (70) American guitarist and blues singer born in Lambert, Mississippi; at the age of 13, he was playing guitar with his father's band. By 18, he followed B.B. King's electrified lead. His break came when he sat in with Frank Frost and Sam Carr at the Savoy Theatre in Clarksdale, Mississippi and they played together for the next 15 years, recording for Phillips International and Jewel Records with Frank as the bandleader. In 1979, as the Jelly Roll Kings, he released Rockin' the Juke Joint Down, marking Big Jack's first recordings as a singer. His '87 album The Oil Man, included his recording of "Catfish Blues". He performed and wrote "Jack's Blues" and performed "Catfish Medley" with Samuel L. Jackson on the Black Snake Moan, film soundtrack (?) b. July 30th 1940.
2011: Ronnie Hammond (60) American singer and multi-musician; he became lead singer for the southern rock band Atlanta Rhythm Section, in 1972. They had hits during the 1970s, including Doraville, Jukin, Champagne Jam, Imaginary Lover, So Into You, Im Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight, and a remake of the Classics IV hit Spooky. Ronnie left the band in the early '80s, but returned in 1987, and 1989 ARS released thier first album in 8 years 'Truth in a Structured Form'. He continued to record and tour wit the band until 2001 when Ronnie decided to leave ARS and join the band Voices of Classic Rock, but left the touring business altogether soon afterward to focus on family and songwriting (sadly Ronnie died due to a heart attack) b. November 10th 1950.
2012: Eddie King/Edward Lewis Davis Milton (73) American Chicago blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, born in Talladega, Alabama and learned basic guitar riffs from watching from outside the window of local blues clubs. He grew up playing alongside Luther Allison, Magic Sam, Junior Wells, Eddie C. Campbell, and Freddie King, before relocating to Chicago in 1954. He first recorded under the guidance of Willie Dixon and, in 1960, played on several tracks recorded by Sonny Boy Williamson II.Also in 1960, he had a single released "Shakin' Inside" / "Love You Baby" as well as recording with Detroit Junior. For the next twenty years he was the guitarist backing Koko Taylor as well as forming his own band, Eddie King & the Kingsmen. Since the early 1990s, his backing ensemble were known as the Swamp Bees, and his output has incorporated Chicago blues, country blues, blues shouter, and soul. In 1997, Eddie recorded ''Another Cow's Dead'', for which he was honored with a Blues Music Award for 'Best Comeback Blues Album (?) b. April 21st 1938.
2013: Jack Greene aka Jolly Green Giant (83) American country singer and multi musician born o in Maryville, Tenn. In the early 50s, he moved to Atlanta, where he formed his own band, The Peach Tree Boys as a lead vocalist, drummer, and guitarist. In 1961 he started a stint in Ernest Tubb's band, The Texas Troubadors as a drummer, guitarist, vocalist and MC. He was soon opening shows for Ernest playing guitar and singing and in 1964, Jack released his first solo record with "The Last Letter". His first Top 40 hit came in early 1966 with "Ever Since My Baby Went Away", followed by his first No.1 hit "There Goes My Everything". In 1967 he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry and in 1969, he had two No.1 hits with "Until My Dreams Come True" and "Statue of a Fool". In 1970, Jack gained a duet and a touring partner in Jeannie Seely, and together they had a number 2 hit with the song "Wish I Didn't Have To Miss You". Jack continued to record and tour with Jeannie and as a solo artist. having several more hits in the 70's and 80s. He retired in 2011 and lived his final days with his dedicated manager serving as his caretaker. (sadly died of complications from Alzheimer's disease) b. January 7th 1930
2013: Gary Burger (72) American singer and guitarist, born in Turtle River, Minnesota. He joined the U.S. Army straight after graduating from Bemidji High School and was stationed in Germany. Gary formed the Five Torquays in 1964 with four other American soldiers he met in Germany. A group of German students noticed the band and agreed to manage them if they changed their outfits. The band all wore black cassocks, nooses around their necks, and shaved the top of their heads. By 1965 the Five Torquays had become the Monks. They recorded one album, 1966's Black Monk Time. After touring Europe for three years, the Monks broke up and Gary moved back to the United States and enrolled at Bemidji State University on a GI Bill scholarship. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources later hired him to create films and advertisements. He also opened a small recording studio that serviced the northern Minnesota music scene. In 1997, he reunited with his former Monks bandmates to play a reunion show in New York City after learning copies of Black Monk Time had become collectors items. Gary was elected mayor of Turtle River, in 2006. (sadly died fighting pancreatic cancer) b. 1942
2016: Tim Cretsinger (61) American festival organizer, founder of the Groovefest Music and Art Festival, a week long celebration of the roots of American Music that celebrated art in all its forms. From literature to fine art and music, the all-encompassing festival drew crowds from all over the country into Cedar City each year. Dubbed the Father of the Groove, he was also the owner of Cedar Citys Groovacious record store (sadly died after a brave two year battle with throat cancer) b. September 30th 1954.
2016: Sir Peter Maxwell Davies (81) English composer and conductor; as a student at both the University of Manchester and at the Royal Manchester College of Music, he formed a group dedicated to contemporary music, the New Music Manchester, with fellow students Harrison Birtwistle, Alexander Goehr, Elgar Howarth and John Ogdon. His compositions include eight works for the stage, from the monodrama Eight Songs for a Mad King, which shocked the audience in 1969, to Kommilitonen!, first performed in 2011. He wrote ten symphonies, the first from 197376, the tenth, "Alla ricerca di Borromini" in 2013. As a conductor, he was Artistic Director of the Dartington International Summer School from 1979 to 1984. From 1992 to 2002 he was associate conductor/composer with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, a position he also held with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2004 he was made Master of the Queen's Music, until retiring in 2014. (sadly died from leukaemia) b. September 8th 1936.
2017: Ileana Ciuculete (64) Romanian folklore singer, born in Gubaucea. Throughout her career she recorded 30 records, 3 of which went gold and one platinum in Romanian and in Serbia one went gold (sadly Ileana died from cirrhosis, after developing hepatitis C which was not treated on time) b. September 20th 1952.
1959: Lester Young (49) American saxophone, clarinet, he was also known to play the trumpet, violin, and drums; Billie Holiday gave him his nickname Prez, short for president, he was one of the three most important tenor saxophonists of all time. Born in Woodville, Mississippi, he came to prominence while a member of Count Basie's orchestra which he joined in 1936 and was hailed as a new stylist on the instrument. His small-group recordings from the late 1930s with Basie and vocalist Billie Holiday are classics. Lester formed his own band in 1941, playing at the club Kelly's Stable in New York. He then co-led a band in California and New York with his brother Lee. He rejoined Basie in 1943 and was featured in an art film called Jammin' the Blues, which portrays him as a bohemian of the jazz age. In September 1944, while playing with drummer Jo Jones in a California club, he was served his army call up papers, where he spent a traumatic 15 months. His experiences with racism in the military were horrifying, he spent a year confined at Fort Leavenworth, Texas, where the only relief he had came from Gil Evans (who later joined Miles Davis), who was stationed there and did what he could to help him. His army experience had a devastating effect on his mental state of mind, the brutal humiliation, remained with him for the rest of his life. In 1946, Lester joined Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic (JATP) troupe, touring regularly with them over the next 12 years and he made many studio recordings under Granz's supervision for his Verve Records label, including more trio recordings with Nat King Cole. He also recorded extensively in the late 1940s for Aladdin Records in 1946-7, and for Savoy in 1944, '49 and '50, some sessions included Basie on piano. He gave some brilliant performances during the second half of the 40's and early 50s, particularly with JATP in 1946, 1949, and 1950 and his solo on "Lester Leaps In" at the 1949 JATP concert at Carnegie Hall is perhaps one of the greatest solos by any jazz musician ever. One of Lester's personal favorite pieces, was DB Blues, (Detention Barracks Blues), released 1946. Throughout the 40s and 50s Lester had sat in on many Count Basie Orchestra gigs, the best-known of these is their July 1957 appearance at the Newport Jazz Festival. By the end of the 50' he was eating less, drinking heavily, and suffering from liver disease and malnutrition. He made his final studio recordings and live performances in Paris in March 1959 with drummer Kenny Clarke at the end of a European tour during which he virtually drank himself to death. Lester is remembered as one of the finest, most influential players on his instrument, playing with a cool tone and sophisticated harmonies. He also became a jazz legend, inventing or popularizing much of the hipster ethos which came to be associated with the music (After becoming ill in Paris in March 1959 suffering with internal bleeding, he was flown back to New York and died in his hotel bedroom shortly after his return) b. August 27th 1909.
1988: Dannie Richmond (52) American saxophonist and drummer; he started playing tenor saxophone at the age of thirteen and he went on to play R&B with the Paul Williams band in 1955. His career took off when he took up the drums, through the formation of what was to be a twenty-two year association with Charles Mingus recording on 24 of Mingus's albums between 1957-1979. After Mingus' death in 1979, Dannie became the first musical director of the group Mingus Dynasty in 1980. Dannie also worked with Joe Cocker, Chet Atkins, Elton John and Mark-Almond among others.(?) b. December 15th 1935.
1991: Lawrence "Bud" Freeman (84) American jazz musician, bandleader, and composer, born in Chicago, Illinois, he is known mainly for playing the tenor saxophone, but also able at the clarinet. He was one of the most influential and important jazz tenor saxophonists of the Big Band era. His major recordings were "Tillie's Downtown Now", "The Eel", "Crazeology", "The Buzzard", and "After Awhile", composed with Benny Goodman. Bud was one of the original members of the Austin High School Gang which began in 1922, they began to formulate their own style, becoming part of the emerging Chicago Style of jazz.In 1927, he moved to New York, where he worked as a session musician and band member with Red Nichols, Roger Wolfe Kahn, Ben Pollack, Joe Venuti, among others. After WW2, he worked with groups such as Buck Clayton, Ruby Braff, Vic Dickenson and Jo Jones, and was a member of the World's Greatest Jazz Band between 1969 and 1970. In 1974, he moved to England for 6 years where he made numerous recordings and performances there and in Europe. Bud was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1992 (?) b. April 13th 1906.
1993: Gene Leis (73) American jazz guitarist, teacher, bandleader, composer, and entrepreneur, born into a musical family in Sedgwick, Kansas. Known primarily for his influential publications and recorded guitar courses in the 1960s, including The Complete Nexus Method Course, which included 10 records, a 132-page instruction book, a 36-page chord book and three Chord Maps. Gene was also a popular performer and a mentor to a large number of musicians through his teaching studios in Manhattan Beach, California (?) b. April 19th 1920
1998: Tim Maia/Sebastião Rodrigues Maia (55) Brazilian singer, born in Rio de Janeiro, known for his ironic, iconoclastic, outspoken, but always humorous musical style. He was also known for his habit of lightheartedly missing appointments and even important gigs. He performed in a variety of musical genres, ranging from happy and energetic dance music to sentimental songs such as his hit "Me Dê Motivo". He performed soul music, funk, bossa nova in the 1990s, romantic songs, American pop, samba, baião, and Música Popular Brasileira. His many songs included "Meu País", "Sentimento", "These Are the Songs", "Azul da Cor do Mar", "Coroné Antônio Bento", "Réu Confesso", "Gostava Tanto de Você", "O Descobridor dos Sete Mares" and "Me Dê Motivo" (he became ill while performing at the Municipal Theater of Niterói, hospitalized, he died few days later) b. September 28th 1942.
1999: Nigel Stranger (56) English tenor & soprano saxophonist, pianist and architect, born in Newcastle. He played with a host of name blues bands including John Mayall, Alexis Korner, Georgie Fame, The Animals. In later years, he backed the likes of The East Side Torpedoes, Jimmy Witherspoon and The Crosbys, as well as playing with his own different line-up bands. In the 1990s, Nigel and his friend, music manager, producer, ex-Animal bassist Chas Chandler, set up in business and together they established Park Arena Ltd, and they developed the 11,000- seater Newcastle Arena, the largest sports and entertainment venue in the north-east, which opened on Saturday November 18th 1995. It has since been renamed the Metro Radio Arena(sadly Nigel died while bavely battling cancer) b. January 16th 1943.
2004: Rust Epique/Charles Lopez (35) American guitarist and painter, who gained fame while performing with the alternative rock bands Crazy Town and pre)Thing. He was born in Stockton, C.A, but raised in Modesto, California. In his earlier days he toured with many bands, including "Kinesthesia", "Xit", "The Limit", and "Cliff Morrison". In 1999, he joined Crazy Town, a rapcore band from Los Angeles. The band earned significant recognition with their hit single, Butterfly, which topped the Billboard Hot 100 in 2001. Despite his success with Crazy Town, he quit the band as a result of various disagreements with his band mates. He formed the band Rustandthesuperheroes and began working on a four track demo CD to shop to the record labels. In 2003, V2 Records signed Rust to work with a band called Pre)Thing. They released their debut album, 22nd Century Lifestyle, in 2004 to much radio success (died of a heart attack) b. February 29th 1968.
2008: Mikey Dread/Michael Campbell (54) Jamaican singer, producer, and broadcaster, his music attracted the attention of British punk rockers The Clash, who invited him over to England to produce some of their music. During the early 1980s he provided vocals with the reggae collective Singers And Players on Adrian Sherwood's On-U Sound record label and produced ten dub tracks for UB40 and toured Europe and Scandinavia as their support artist. In 1991, Mikey recorded Profile and African Anthem Revisited. He also toured in Europe and the USA with Freddie McGregor, Lloyd Parks, We The People Band, and the Roots Radics Band. In 1992, he collaborated with former Guns N' Roses guitarist Izzy Stradlin on a duet entitled "Can't Hear 'Em". He was nominated for a NAIRD award, for his work on his 1990 compilation album Mikey Dread's Best Sellers. In 1993, he was involved in several projects, including his tour supporting the album Obsession and working in TV with the Caribbean Satellite Network (CSN) where he was Program Director and On Air personality as well as Producer of various shows. In 1994 he presented The Culture Award of Honor in the Martins International Reggae Music Awards in Chicago. In 1995, he worked as a Radio DJ for WAVS 1170 AM and WAXY-AM 790 in Miami, Florida. In 1996 he participated in the Essential Music Festival as a performer in Brighton, UK. He did live appearances with The Clash, UB40, Bob Dylan, Carlos Santana, Macka B, Channel One, and many other bands and artists. He also produced artists such as Sugar Minott, Junior Murvin, Earl Sixteen, Wally Bucker, Sunshine, Jah Grundy and Rod Taylor. He also worked closely with producer Trevor Elliot to launch musical career of singer Edi Fitzroy. Mikey Dread was the featured artist on "Lips Like Sugar" with Seal for the soundtrack of the 2004 film, 50 First Dates (brain tumor) b. June 4th 1954.
2008: Vytautas Kernagis (56) Lithuanian singer-songwriter, bard, actor, director, TV announcer and a pioneer of Lithuanian sung poetry. In 1973, he graduated from the Lithuanian Academy of Music & Theatre. He was a member of the pioneering Lithuanian big beat bands Aisciai from 1966-1968 and Rupus miltai from 1969-1972. He recorded his first album of sung poetry in 1978; took part in the first Lithuanian rock opera Velnio nuotaka; first Lithuanian musical Ugnies mediokle su varovais in 1976, and first Lithuanian musical for a puppet theatre okantis ir dainuojantis mergaites vieverselis (sadly died after suffering from gastric cancer) b. May 19th 1951
2009: Edmund "Ted" Hockridge (89) Canadian singer and actor; he first visited the UK in 1941 with the Royal Canadian Air Force and helped set up the Allied Expeditionary Forces Network, which supplied entertainment and news for troops in Europe. He was loaned to the BBC, often working with the Glen Miller Band and the Canadian band of the Allied Expeditionary Forces led by Robert Farnon. He sang and produced more than 400 shows with the BBC Forces Network and as the war ended he sang with big bands such as Geraldos. After the war and back in Canada he played leading roles in operas such as Don Giovanni, La bohème, Peter Grimes and Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, as well as having his own radio show in Toronto. In 1951 he returned to Britain to take the part of Billy Bigelow in Carousel at the Theatre Royal, London. He went on to play leading roles in a string of popular musicals including Guys and Dolls, Can Can and The Pajama Game and had recording hits with songs such as ''Young and Foolish'', ''No Other Love'', ''The Fountains of Rome'' and ''More than Ever''. A song from The Pajama Game, ''Hey There'', gave him his biggest hit and became his signature tune. He appeared in early editions of The Benny Hill Show, Sunday Night at the London Palladium and he starred in a 6 month, sell-out variety season at the Palladium. In 1953 he was in the Royal Variety Show and the same year he was Canadas representative in the Westminster Abbey choir at the Coronation. Edmond headlined in cabaret on the QE2s maiden voyage and he toured Europe in revivals of musicals. He also turned to British summer seasons and Sunday concerts, becoming one of Blackpools most popular stars. He topped the bill on Blackpools North Pier for seven years and appeared in several of Harold Fieldings Opera House concerts in the 1960s. In the early 1980s he appeared in revivals of The Sound of Music and South Pacific but he made a spectacular comeback in 1986 when he played the part of the elderly Buffalo Bill in the big revival of Annie Get Your Gun. In the 90s he was back on the road with his show, The Edmund Hockridge Family, joined on stage by Jackie and their two sons, Murray and Stephen. He never really retired and even in his eighties he was still making public appearances and giving talks about his long career (?) b. August 9th 1919.
2009: Jack Lawrence (96) American Academy Award-nominated songwriter; one of his first major songs after leaving the service was "Yes, My Darling Daughter", introduced by Dinah Shore on Eddie Cantor's radio program. His song, "If I Didn't Care", introduced the world to The Ink Spots. And, although Frank Sinatra was already a well-known big band singer, Jack's "All or Nothing at All" was Sinatra's first solo hit. also wrote the lyrics for "Tenderly", Rosemary Clooney's trademark song (in collaboration with composer Walter Gross, as well as the English language lyric to "Beyond the Sea" (based on Charles Trenet's French language song "La mer"), the trademark song for Bobby Darin. Another French song for which Lawrence wrote an English lyric was "La Goualante de Pauvre Jean", becoming "The Poor People of Paris". Together with Richard Myers he wrote "Hold My Hand", which was nominated for the 1954 Academy Award for Best Song. It was featured in the film Susan Slept Here. He was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1970. (died of complications from a fall) b. April 7th 1912
2010: Sam Mtukudzi (21) Zimbabwean acoustic guitarist, saxophone player, singer, multi-musician and also the son of legendary Zimbabwean singer, Oliver Mtukudzi. Born into a musical family in Kwekwe, Sam started playing with one of his Fathers guitars at four years, he gradually taught himself to play the guitarist. At aged 10 after seeing his son perform at an annual school concert for the first time, Sam's father was so impressed he bought Sam his first guitar. Sam entered Prince Edward High school at the age of 13 where he widened his musical interests and learnt to play alto saxophone, marimba, bass guitar, electric guitar, percussion including congas, hosho and drums, nyunga nyunga mbira, all of which he would soon play professionally, but the acoustic guitar always remained his first instrument. Sam has quoted as well as his family, Youssou N'Dour as one of his big musical influences. After finishing High School, Sam has joined his father on several foreign tours playing the saxophone with along with the Black Spirits. He has perfomed in Zambia, Malawi, the UK, the USA, Mozambique, Kenya, Canada, Lesotho, Swaziland, Nigeria, and Ireland and played many of the major festivals in Africa including South Africas Cape town International jazz festival, Victoria Falls International jazz festival,Zimbabwes Harare International Festival of the Arts, Winter jazz festival, and Joburg International jazz festival. Sam also formed his own band called Ay Band Sam with whom he recorded his debut album, Rume Rimwe in 2008. The week before his sudden tragic death he had returned from South Africa where he was overseeing the mixing of his second album. His last show was at the Sports Diner, Saturday night, March 13th 2010 (Sam was travelling as passenger with his sound engineer, Owen Chimhare, driving from Harare to Norton, when at 1.20am they were involved in a car accident, tragically both were killed instantly) b. April 1st 1988.
2010: Dan Achen (51) Canadian guitarist and founder member of the alternative rock band Junkhouse. He formed the band in 1989 in Hamilton, Ontario, with himself on guitar, vocalist and guitarist Tom Wilson, bassist Russ Wilson and drummer Ray Farrugia. In September 1993 they released their official debut, Strays, and promoted the album by touring as an opening act for The Waltons and Soul Asylum. The album produced radio hits for the band with "Out of My Head", "Prayin' for the Rain" and "Big Brown Turtle". The band was also featured on the soundtrack to the television show Due South. Their cover of the song "Oh, What a Feeling" is on the first soundtrack from the Paul Haggis show. (tragically died of a heart attack while playing hockey) b. 1959
2011: Smiley Culture/David Victor Emmanuel (48) British reggae singer and DJ, born in South London, he helped popularized the 'fast chat' style of deejaying that had originated with Jamaican deejays such as Ranking Joe. His first single 1984's "Cockney Translation" was a Jamaican's guide to the East End dialect "Cockneys have names like Terry, Arfur and Del Boy/We have names like Winston, Lloyd and Leroy". This was followed by "Police Officer", in late 1984. This was supposedly an autobiographical tale of how Smiley was arrested for the possession of cannabis, but then let off when the police officer recognised him as a famous reggae artist. In 1986, Emmanuel enjoyed a brief flirtation with the cinema when he made a cameo appearance in the film, Absolute Beginners. After which he began investing in diamond mining, and by 2010 had gold and diamond mine concessions in several countries including Ghana, Uganda, Liberia, and Kenya. (Smiley apparently died from self-inflicted stab wounds at his home in Warlingham, Surrey, during a police drugs raid) b. February 10th 1963.
2011: Nate Dogg/Nathaniel Dwayne Hale (41) American hip hop and R&B artist, born in Long Beach, California; he began singing as a child in the New Hope Baptist Church in Long Beach, and at Life Line Baptist Church in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where his father was a pastor. At the age of 16 he dropped out of high school in Long Beach, California and left home to join the United States Marine Corps, serving for three years. He was the friend and partner in the rap game with Snoop Dogg, Warren G, RBX, Daz Dillinger and he was the cousin of Butch Cassidy and Lil' ½ Dead. Nate, Snoop Dogg and Warren G, all belonged to the Rollin 20 Crips gang and formed a rap trio called 213, recording there first demo in the back of the famed V.I.P record store in Long Beach. Nate made his debut on hip hop artist Dr. Dre's The Chronic album ...READ MORE... (Nate died of congestive heart failure, along with complications related to his previous strokes) b. August 19th 1969.
2011: Yakov Kreizberg (51) Russian-born Austrian-American conductor; he was widely sought-after by the world's leading orchestras, and held posts with the Theatre Krefeld Mönchengladbach, Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, the Komische Oper in Berlin and the Wiener Symphoniker. Yakov was appointed Artistic Director of L'Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte Carlo in January 2008, and subsequently Artistic Director and Music Director in September 2009. At the time of his death he was the Chief Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Netherlands Philharmonic and Netherlands Chamber Orchestras. He led them on many highly successful tours and leaves behind a number of great recordings.His final concert took place on February 14th 2011, conducting the Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. The programme consisted of Glinkas Overture to Russlan and Ludmilla, Prokofievs Violin Concerto No.2 with soloist Alexander Sitkovetsky, and Rimsky-Korsakovs Scheherazade (sadly died after bravely fighting a long illness) b. October 24th 1959.
2011: Melvin Sparks (64) American soul jazz, hard bop and jazz blues guitarist. He released a number of albums for the influential Prestige Records, including Sparks-1970, Akilah!-1971 and Sparkplug-1971, later recording for Savant Records such as, It is what it is-2004, This is it!-2005 and Groove on up-2005. He appeared on several recordings with musicians including Lou Donaldson, Charles Earland, Sonny Stitt, Leon Spencer and Johnny Hammond Smith. He was seen on Northeastern television commercials as the voice of Price Chopper's "House of BBQ" advertising campaign (sadly died of complications from diabetes) b. March 22nd 1946.
2011: Musa Juma (35) Kenyan singer, rumba and Benga musician and led the Orchestra Limpopo International, born in Usonga, Siaya District.Some of his most popular songs were "Hera Mudho", "Ufisadi", "Mercelina", and "Freddy". He released eight albums, the last of them being titled Lake Victoria. During his career he toured in various countries. Only weeks before his death, he and his band had a tour in the United States (died sadly from pneumonia) b. December 6th 1975.
2013: Terry Lightfoot (77) British jazz clarinetist born in Potters Bar, he started his musical career as a vocalist during school-life, singing popular songs with a small amateur variety group. In 1949, he came to jazz while at Enfield Grammar School in Enfield, London and he changed from playing the trumpet to clarinet to meet the needs of the traditional Dixieland jazz band of his friends. After leaving school, he formed his first jazz band, the 'Wood Green Stompers', when he was 17. Following national service in the RAF, he formed his ensemble, the 'Terry Lightfoot's New Orleans Jazzmen' in 1955, his drummer, Ginger Baker >>> Read More <<< (sadly died while fighting prostate cancer) b. 21 May 21st 1935
2013: Hardrock Gunter/Sidney Louie Gunter Jr (88) American singer-songwriter guitarist and early rock n roll pioneer, born in Birmingham, Alabama. He formed his first group, the Hoot Owl Ramblers, in his teens and also performed a solo novelty act in talent shows. In 1939, he joined Happy Wilson's Golden River Boys and acquired his nickname when a van trunk lid fell on him before a show and he never flinched. After wartime service he returned to the group, his music at the turn of the 1950s prefigured rock and roll and rockabilly music. He recorded his self penned song "Birmingham Bounce" in early 1950, the Golden River Boys being renamed the Pebbles. He followed up with "Gonna Dance All Night", one of the first records to feature the actual words "rock'n'roll". In 1958 he was one of the first musicians to use both echo and overdub on his recording of "Boppin' to Grandfather's Clock", released under the name Sidney Jo Lewis. In the 1960s he left the music business, until 1995 when he began to perform again at festivals in England, Germany and the United States. His song "Birmingham Bounce" was covered by many artists, the most successful being by Red Foley, whose version reached No.1 on the Billboard country chart and No.14 on the pop chart (sadly Hardrock died from complications of pneumonia) b. February 27th 1925.
2014: Huseyn Darya (?) Azerbaijani rapper (tragically died in hospital of his injuries from a traffic accident) b.?
2014: Cees Veerman (70) Dutch singer, guitarist and composer; from Volendam, he played in the bands Electric Johnny & The Skyriders, Sputniks, Mystic Four and The Blue Cats, prior to becoming one of the founders The Cats. In the late 60s and 70s The Cats of which Cees was a main song writer too, saw a large number of successes, including Lea (1968), Why (1969), Marian (1970), Where Have I Been Wrong (1970) and Be My Day (1974). Their best-selling single was One Way Wind from 1972, which reached No.3 in the Top 40. The Cats are considered the founders of the Palingsound, a word that is used to indicate that only a classic, typical Dutch style in the pop music of Volendam is made. In 1976 Cees released a solo album called "Another Side Of Me", which spawned the single "Sailor, Sail On (Dreamer, Dream On)". The Cats disbanded in 1979. On March 23rd 2006, The Cats were made Members of the Order of Orange-Nassau,the same year they made a reunion to record a single for inclusion on a Best Of-album which went gold. Cees performed with the Cats Aglow Band as support act of Willy De Ville's Amsterdam Carré show on July 7th 2008. (?) b. October 6th 1943.
2014: Scott Asheton (64) American drummer born in Washington, D.C. and moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan with his family at 14. He co-formed the Stooges in 1967 along with his older brother Ron Asheton, Dave Alexander and Iggy Pop. The original incarnation of the band released two LPs, 'The Stooges' and 'Fun House' before moving through several lineup changes, releasing a third LP 'Raw Power' in 1973 and disbanding the following year. The Stooges aka Iggy and the Stooges are widely regarded as instrumental in the rise of punk rock, as well as influential to alternative rock, heavy metal and rock music at large.They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010 and in 2004, Rolling Stone ranked them 78th on their list of the 100 greatest artists of all time. During the Stooges' separation he was among the few ex-members to play again with Iggy Pop, with the mini-reunion for a European tour in 1978. Scot also played drums with Scott Morgan in different bands, among which were the Scott Morgan Band, Scots Pirates and most notably Sonic's Rendezvous Band. He then went on to play drums touring in a late incarnation of Destroy All Monsters, under the name Dark Carnival. Other than Iggy Pop, Scott was the only consistent member of the Stooges after the death of his brother, guitarist Ron Asheton, in 2009. After the Hellfest Festival show of June 17th 2011, in France, he suffered a severe stroke, that caused his temporary retirement from live duty (sadly Scott died from a heart attack) b. August 16th 1949.
2016: Daryl Coley (60) American gospel singer, born in Berkeley, California. At 14, he was a member of the ensemble "Helen Stephens and the Voices of Christ". He began performing with Edwin Hawkins in the Edwin Hawkins Singers and then worked with James Cleveland, Tramaine Hawkins, Sylvester, Pete Escovedo and others. Albums of his include Just Daryl, He's Right On Time: Live From Los Angeles, When The Music Stops and others (sadly Daryl died in hospice care) b. October 30th 1955.
2017: Wojciech Mlynarski (75) Polish poet, singer and songwriter; born in Warsaw, he graduated from the Tomasz Zan High School in Pruszków and then in 1963, from the Faculty of Polish Language Studies at the Warsaw University. He became most famous for his ballads and what is known as sung poetry, as well as for his collaboration with numerous vocalists and cabarets. He wrote lyrics to more than 2,000 songs, a small fraction of which he sang himself. His songs received a total of 25 "Karolinkas", which are the main awards of the Polish Song Festival in Opole, the most important Polish song festival, occurring annually since 1963. In the 1970s, Wojciech authored numerous operas and musicals, including "Henryk VI na lowach", "Cien" and "Awantura w Recco". He also translated the librettos of the musicals Cabaret, Chicago and Jesus Christ Superstar onto the Polish. He is considered an icon of Polish culture and in 2013, the first "Festival of Wojciech Mlynarski's Songs" was organized in the city of Sopot. (sadly died after a long illness) b. March 26th 1941.
2017: Philip Michael "Phil" Garland (75) New Zealand folk singer and guitarist, born and raised in Christchurch. He recorded 18 albums, and won the New Zealand Music Awards folk album of the year three times. Phil was awarded the Queen's Service Medal in the 2014 Queen's Birthday Honours for services to folk music. (?) b. 1942
1968: Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (72) Jewish-Italian composer, born in Florence; he was known as one of the foremost g uitar composers in the twentieth century with almost one hundred compositions for that instrument. In 1939 he migrated to the United States and became a film composer for some 200 Hollywood movies for the next fifteen years. In 1926, Castelnuovo-Tedesco premiered his opera, La Mandragora, based on a play by Niccolò Machiavelli. It was the first of his many works inspired by great literature, which included interpretations of works by Aeschylus, Virgil, John Keats, William Wordsworth, Walt Whitman, Federico García Lorca, and especially William Shakespeare. Another major source of inspiration for him was his Jewish heritage, most notably the Bible and Jewish liturgy. His Violin Concerto No. 2 , written at the request of Jascha Heifetz, was also an expression of his pride in his Jewish origins, or as he described it, the "splendor of past days," in the face of rising anti-Semitism that was sweeping across much of Europe. In 1939, Toscanini sponsored Mario as an immigrant in the United States. He landed a contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, in Hollywood as a film composer. Over the next fifteen years, he worked on scores for some 200 films there and at the other major film studios (?) b. April 3rd 1895.
1970: Tammi Terrell/Thomasina Montgomery (24) American singer, a member of The Sherrys, and Motown singer, born in Philadelphia, she entered the music business at the age of 13, regularly performing live. Tammi was a Grammy Award-nominated American soul singer, most notable for her association with Motown and her duets with Marvin Gaye. As a teenager she recorded for the Scepter/Wand, Try Me and Checker record labels. She signed with Motown in 1965 and enjoyed success as a solo singer. Once she was paired with Gaye in 1967, her stardom grew, but later that year she collapsed on stage into Marvin Gaye's arms during their duet of 'That's All You Need To Get By'. (Tammi was diagnosed with a brain tumor, from which sadly she died) b. April 29th 1945.
1975: T- Bone Walker/Aaron Thibeaux Walker (64) American blues guitarist, pianist and singer songwriter born in Linden, Texas; In the early 1920s, as a teenager learned his craft amongst the street-strolling stringbands of Dallas. His songs included "Call It Stormy Monday (But Tuesday Is Just as Bad)", "T-Bone Shuffle" and "Let Your Hair Down, Baby, Let's Have a Natural Ball". He was the idiom's first true lead guitarist, and undeniably one of its very best. Modern electric blues guitar can be traced directly back to this pioneer, who began amplifying his sumptuous lead lines for public consumption circa 1940 and thus initiated a revolution so total that its tremors are still being felt today. He was the childhood hero of Jimi Hendrix, and Hendrix imitated some of Walker's ways throughout his life including T-Bone's flamboyant playing style with the guitar behind his back and legs and with his teeth on stage. He won a Grammy Award in 1971 for "Good Feelin'" and was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1980, and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. (He died of bronchial pneumonia following a second stroke) b. May 28th 1910.
1991: Reba Mcentire's BAND... All seven members of country star Reba Mcentire's band and her road manager were tragically killed in a plane crash after a show in San Diego.
1993: Johnny Cymbal/John Hendry Blair (48) Scottish born American songwriter, singer, and record producer; from aged 15 until his death, Johnny made a meaningful impact on popular music worldwide as a singer-songwriter, performer and record producer. During those years, in addition to his rock and roll anthem, "Mr. Bass Man", he was responsible for hits including: "Teenage Heaven", "Cinnamon", "Mary In The Morning", "I'm Drinking Canada Dry" and "Rock Me Baby". In 1963, with his hit "Mr. Bass Man" all over the top of the charts from the US to Asia, he was recognized as a teen star. While continuing to record, he toured the U.S., Europe and Japan performing as both a solo headlining act and in rock and roll package shows. Later, as a songwriter and record producer, he found success in New York, L.A., and Nashville (he died in his sleep of a heart attack) b. February 3rd 1945.
1996: Joseph Pope (62) American singer and the founder of The Tams which he formed in 1960, he took their long lasting name from the Tam o'shanter style of hat that the group choose to wear on stage. By 1962, they had a hit single "Untie Me", a Joe South composition, became a Top 20 US R&B success. In 1964, their single "What Kind of Fool (Do You Think I Am)", reached the Top 10 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song spent three weeks at number one on the Cash Box R&B chart. "Hey Girl Don't Bother Me" was also a hit the same year and rocketed to No.1 in the UK charts. The Tams next major US hit was in 1968 "Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy", which also made the UK Top 40 in 1970 (?) b. November 5th 1933.
2004: Vilém Tauský (93) Czech conductor and composer, at age 19, he conducted Giacomo Puccini's Turandot in Brno on short notice in place of Chalabala, who had become ill. During WWII being of Jewish decent he moved to France and he volunteered for service with the Free Czech Army, where he was appointed the bandmaster of a military orchestra consisting of instruments obtained from the Paris Police. He eventually went Britain to escape the Nazi regeme. From 1945 to '49, he was musical director of the Carl Rosa Opera Company and music director of Welsh National Opera from 1951 to '56. He was principal conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra from 1956 to '66 where he held various BBC appointments, in Belfast, Glasgow and Manchester, where he worked with Benny Hill, Frankie Howerd, Elsie and Doris Waters, Morecambe and Wise, Tessie OShea, Jimmy Edwards and Gracie Fields. In addition, he conducted new British music. Between 1966 and '92, he was the director of opera and head of the conducting course at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. His compositions include a Ballade for cello and piano, a Symfonietta for orchestra, the Fantasia da Burlesca for violin and orchestra, an oboe concerto, written for Evelyn Rothwell, a harmonia concerto written for Tommy Reilly, Coventry: A Meditation for Strings, and a Serenade for Strings. In 1979 he was honoured as a Freeman of the City of London and in 1981, appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire-CBE (?) b. July 20th 1910.
2005: Justin Hinds (62) Jamaican ska vocalist, with his backing singers the Dominoes, born in Steertown, Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica. He is best known for his work with Duke Reid's Treasure Isle Records, where his most notable song, "Carry Go Bring Come" recorded in late 1963, went to number one in Jamaica. He recorded seventy singles between 1964 and 1966, and was the most popular artist on the record label. His final studio album Know Jah Better was released in 1992, but he worked on Wingless Angels with other Jamaican musicians, which was produced by Keith Richards in the early 1990s. In 1997, he toured the US for the first time and he would release a couple of live albums in the early 2000s, including one recorded at the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music and Dance in Trumansburg, New York (sadly died fighting lung cancer) b. May 7th 1942
2007: Frederick Tupper Saussy III (70) American keyboardist, composer and artist, born in Statesboro, grew up in Tampa, Florida and graduated from the University of the South at Sewanee, in 1958. While at Uni, he formed a jazz combo recording the album, Jazz at Sewanee, Tuppy co-founded an advertising agency, McDonald and Saussy, and kept his musical career alive with recording dates and club sessions. In 1965, he composed 'The Beast with Five Heads' for the Nashville Symphony,. For its 1968/69 season, they commissioned him to write a piano concerto for Bill Pursell. Tupper was perhaps best known as the songwriter and keyboardist for the psychedelic pop band The Neon Philharmonic, whose vocalist was Don Gant. The Neon Philharmonic's single "Morning Girl" rose to Top 20 status and was nominated for two Grammy awards in 1969. Their two albums, The Moth Confesses and The Neon Philharmonic were released in 1969, but the group disbanded in 1972. He has released several albums of his jazz compositions: "Discover Tupper Saussy," "Said I to Shostakovitch," and The Swingers' Guide to Mary Poppins. In the 70s, he continued to composed works for the Nashville Symphony Orchestra and the Chattanooga Symphony. He also composed two pop songs for The Wayward Bus, "The Prophet: Predictions by David Hoy" and "Love Hum". He has also worked with Chet Atkins and Ray Stevens, and he wrote arrangements for Mickey Newbury's Harlequin Melodies, Boudleaux Bryant, Bobby Bare, and Roy Orbison. In April 2006, Tupper resumed his musical persona with the Nashville and started work on a new album "The Chocolate Orchid Piano Bar," which includes new and vintage songs, his first new musical release in 37 years, but sadly he died two days before it's release. (heart attack) b. July 3rd 1936
2008: Ola Brunkert (61) Swedish session drummer; born in Örebro, Örebro län, Sweden; he began his musical career as a jazz drummer. His first professional job was with the Slim's Blues Gang, before joining the pop group Science Poption in the mid '60s. He then joined the jazz-pop group Opus III with his friend, guitarist Janne Schaffer. By the 70s Ola had become one of the most sort after session musicians in Sweden. His first session with Abba was on their first single, "People Need Love," in 1972. Over the next 10 years Ola recorded 62 singles and all 8 studio albums with Abba and accompanied them on all their tours (bled to death in a tragic accident at his home in Mallorca, when he fell into a glass door, cutting his throat) b. September 15th 1946..read more
2008: Daniel MacMaster (39) Canadianrock vocalist for Canadian/British hard rock band Bonham releasing two albums with them The Disregard of Timekeeping and Mad Hatter. In 2005, Daniel released a solo album entitled Rock Bonham...And The Long Road Back which was re-issued by Suncity Records in 2006. In recent years, MacMaster started a new project with Connecticut-based singer/songwriter Jimmy D of the band Emerald Monkey, dubbed Monkey-MacMaster (sadly died from a staph infection) b. July 11th 1968.
2010: Herb Cohen (77) American record company executive, manager, and music publisher born in New York; he artists, including Screamin' Jay Hawkins, George Duke, Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Tim Buckley, Lenny Bruce, and Linda Ronstadt. He was best known as the manager of Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention from 1965, arranging their first club dates and, after encouraging record producer Tom Wilson to see them perform, securing their first record deal. He and Zappa went on to set up and jointly own the Straight, Bizarre, and DiscReet Records labels. Herb also handled Montreux Jazz Festival tours of Japan and the US, and produced the US portion of the Nelson Mandela concert in Wembley Stadium upon Mandela's release (?) b. December 30th 1932
2010: Ksenija Pajcin (32) Serbian singer and dancer, sometimes referred to as Xenia, Ksenija was known for her sometimes sexually appealing image on stage. She started her career as a go-go dancer and was offered the opportunity to join a pop group, The Duck. As a dancer, she was famous in Greece, where she performed in numerous night clubs. Ksenija later went on to have a solo music career, and while her vocals were not too impressive, she garnered attention for her dancing and outfits. She released four albums, Too Hot to Handle in 1997, Extreme in 2001, Magije in 2004 and a Best Of... in 2006. Ksenija also owned a dance studio in Belgrade and worked as a model. She frequently appeared in tabloids and was known for her outrageous statements. (She was found dead along with her boyfriend Filip Kapisoda, a 22-year old model, in her apartment in Belgrade, both had gunshot wounds to the head. Police suspect a murder-suicide, with Filip Kapisoda as the shooter. Police were called to the house several nights earlier as the couple were reported by neighbors because Filip had broken into Ksenija's apartment, by knocking down the door) b. December 3rd 1977
2012: Dieter Zechlin (85) German pianist born in Goslar; he was one of East Germany's most prominent pianists in 1950-60s. In 1959 he received the Art Prize of the GDR and in 1961 the National Prize of the GDR. He was married to composer Ruth Zechlin, and later married pianist, Susanne Grützmann (?) b. March 16th 2012.
2013: Bobby Smith (76) American soul singer born in Detroit, Michigan; he had been the principal lead singer of the classic Motown group, The Spinners since its inception. The group, first called The Domingoes, was formed in 1954 at Ferndale High School, Bobby took over from James Edwards who lasted only 2 weeks. The Spinners also known as the Detroit Spinners or the Motown Spinners, had thier first hit, with Bobby singing lead, "That's What Girls Are Made For" in 1961. The group earned half a dozen Grammy award nominations and around a dozen gold records including "Truly Yours", "I'll Always Love You", "I'll Be Around", "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love", "They Just Can't Stop It the (Games People Play)". In 1974 they scored their only No.1 hit with "Then Came You" (sadly died complications of influenza and pneumonia) b. April 10th 1936.
2013: Jason Molina (39) American singer-songwriter, originally from Lorain, Ohio. After performing in various local metal bands, he came to prominence in the mid 90s performing and recording as Songs: Ohia, both in solo projects and with a rotating cast of musicians, recording 10 albums under that name. Since 2003, he had recorded 3 albums under his own name and 5 albums with a stable line-up of band members as the Magnolia Electric Co. (sadly Jason died from multiple organ failure after a long battle with alcoholism) b. December 16th 1973.
2014: Mitch Leigh/Irwin Michnick (86) American Tony Award-winning musical theatre composer and theatrical producer; born in Brooklyn, New York, he graduated from Yale in 1951 with a Bachelor of Music and in '52 received his Master of Music. He began his career, as a jazz musician and writing commercials for radio and television. In 1955 he wrote music for the LP 'Jean Shepherd Into the Unknown with Jazz Music', writing the music for the jazz interludes between radio broadcaster Jean Shepherd's improvisations. In 1965 he teamed up with Joe Darion and Dale Wasserman to write a musical based on Wasserman's 1959 television play, I, Don Quixote, the musical "Man of La Mancha" which opened on Broadway in 1965 and in its original engagement ran for 2,328 performances. Other shows included 'Chu Chem', 'Cry for Us All', 'Home Sweet Homer', 'Saravà', and 'Halloween'. He also composed the jingle: "Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee". Mitch won a Tony Award for composing the music for Man Of La Mancha and he was also nominated for a Tony Award as the producter and director of the 1985 revival of The King and I. He received the Contemporary Classics Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame for "The Impossible Dream". Also a building in The School of Music at Yale University was named "Abby and Mitch Leigh Hall" in 2001. (Mitch sadly complications from pneumonia and a stroke) b. January 30th 1928.
2014: Lapiro de Mbanga/Lambo Sandjo Pierre Roger (56) Cameroonian singer, political and social activist, born in Mbanga, Littoral Cameroon and who is noted for his 1985 recording of Pas argent no love and for being imprisoned for 3 years in 2008 after criticizing Cameroon president Paul Biya in the song Constitution constipée / Constipated Constitution. For several years, he lived in self-imposed exile in Nigeria and Gabon and returned to Cameroon in 1985, where he proceeded to compose and record what Index on Censorship has described as a long list of biting texts on the socio-economic realities in his beleaguered country. Nicknamed the guitar man, Lapiro became the idol of the downtrodden and forgotten workers, the people of the slums and bus stations of Cameroon and the spokesman for the youth of his country. His hits of that period included No Make Erreur, Pas argent no love, Kop Nie, Mimba We, and Na You. He was regularly censored by the Cameroonian government. He returned to the stage on July 13th 2011, in Lille, France, for the first time since his release from prison. During the summer of 2011 he also played in Lausanne, Brussels, Paris, Barcelona, and at various venues in the United States, Canada, and Britain. Then on September 2nd 2012, he, his wife Louisette Noukeu and five of their six children left Cameroon for the United States, where they had been granted asylum. They arrived in the U.S. on September 14th 2012 (sadly Lapiro died while fighting cancer) b. April 7th 1957.
2015: Nazmi Yükselen (89) Turkish folk singer-songwriter, composer and a state writer, born in the province of Milas in Mugla and did his stint in Istanbul for military service in 1948. After that, he started to work in Istanbul Radio and became an artist of "Halk Türküler".. He who produced his first self penned album in 1950, wrote and composed songs titled 'Bodrum Hakimi' and 'Karaova Wedding'. Nazmi Yükselen, who compiles the songs of which included the songs 'Forester', and 'A Rose I Am In Milas'. He then moved to Ankara radio and worked as a guest artist in the "Yurttan Sesler Korosu", directed by Muzaffer Sarisözen. There was also stage work. Between 1958 and 1962 he worked on the Izmir radio. In 1974 he returned to Milas. Over his career he recorded 42 records, and worked on three films with dubbing music. In 1982, Nazmi was selected as a state artist by the Ministry of Culture. (sadly died fighting liver cancer) b. 1926.
2015: Don Robertson (92) American songwriter and pianist mostly in the country and popular music genres., born in Beijing, China. As a performer, he hit the US and UK Top 10 hit with "The Happy Whistler" in 1956, it sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. As a songwriter, his songs were recorded by Elvis Presley, The Chordettes, Les Paul, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jean Shepard, Hawkshaw Hawkins, Frankie Laine, Hank Locklin, Al Martino, Dean Martin, Jim Reeves, and many others. Songs include "Anything That's Part of You", "Born to Be with You", "Hummingbird", "There's Always Me", "Please Help Me I'm Falling", "Ringo", "I Don't Hurt Anymore", "I Really Don't Want to Know", "Starting Today" and the list goes on. Don was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1972. (?) b. December 5th 1922.
2015: Bruce Crump (57) American rock drummer born in Memphis, Tennessee. By the age of twenty in 1976 he was a member and performing with southern rock band Molly Hatchet, appearing on their most successful albums: 1978's 'Molly Hatchet', 1979's double-platinum 'Flirtin' With Disaster', 1980's 'Beatin' The Odds' and 1981's 'Take No Prisoners', and playing on hit singles such as "Flirtin' With Disaster", "The Rambler", "Power Play" and "Satisfied Man". With his departure Crump relocated to Canada and joined Streetheart, appearing on their 1983 live album 'Live After Dark'. However the drummer quickly returned to Molly Hatchet, playing on 1984's 'The Deed Is Done', 1985's 'Double Trouble Live' and 1989's 'Lightning Strikes Twice' before exiting for the last time. Crump memorably joined the current edition of Molly Hatchet, during a 2004 performance at Richmond, Va. Crump later started a new band, called Red Star Crush. At the time of his death, Bruce was in the Jacksonville, Florida-based band White Rhino and the newly reformed China Sky (?) b. July 17th 1957.
2015: Andy Fraser (62) English bass guitarist, songwriter and a founding member of the rock band Free in 1968, at age 15. Born in Paddington, Central London, he started playing the piano at the age of five. and was trained classically until twelve, when he switched to guitar. By thirteen he was playing in East End, West Indian clubs and after being expelled from school in 1968 at age 15, enrolled at Hammersmith F.E. College where another student, Sappho Korner, introduced him to her father, pioneering blues musician and radio broadcaster Alexis Korner, who became a father-figure to him. Shortly thereafter, he was playing bass in John Mayall's outfit, at only 15, he was in a pro band and earning £50 a week. But later that year he joined Paul Roger to forn the now legendary rock band, Free. Andy produced and co-wrote the No. 1 hit "All Right Now" with Rodgers, recognised by ASCAP in 1990 for garnering over 1,000,000 radio plays in the United States by late 1989. He also co-wrote two other hit singles for Free, "My Brother Jake" and "The Stealer". Free initially split in 1971, and Andy formed a trio, Toby, he re-joined Free in December 1971, but left for the second time in June 1972. He then formed The Sharks before forming the Andy Fraser Band, a trio with Kim Turner on drums and Nick Judd on keyboards; they released two albums. Fraser re-located to California, to concentrate on songwriting. He crafted hits for Robert Palmer, Joe Cocker, Chaka Khan, Rod Stewart and Paul Young. Having been diagnosed with HIV, he was later diagnosed with Kaposi's sarcoma, a form of cancer that had been very rare until the onset of the AIDS epidemic. He played bass Paul Rodgers, at Woodstock '94, but otherwise kept a low profile until 2005, when a new release, Naked and Finally Free, appeared. In 2008, he wrote and sang the song "Obama (Yes We Can)", to support the campaign to elect Barack Obama as president of the United States. In 2010, Andy took part in BBC2's documentary series titled Rock 'n' Roll, mid-2013, he played a supporting role as bassist in the band of protege Tobi Earnshaw for a series of UK dates. (A cause of death was not immediately announced, but sadly had been battling both cancer and AIDS)b. July 3rd 1952.
2016: Ali Ahmed Hussain Khan (77) Indian shehnai specialist born in Kolkata and he taught shehnai at Sangeet Research Academy, Calcutta since 1974. He was regularly featured on All India Radio and Indian Television and composed the signature tune for Indian Television with Pandit Ravi Shankar. Ali traveled extensively in India and abroad; his concert tours have included countries like United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland, Netherlands, France, Belgium, Russia, Tunisia, Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and Philippines, over a span of twenty years. Ali has numerours awards and on many occasions he has been invited/sponsored by governments and/or music festivals. He performed a duet with pianist Peter Michael Hamel at the Indo-German Festival and participated in Music Festival Raag-Mala in the U.S. and Canada in 1994. Many years ago his grandfather Wazir Ali Khan was the first to demonstrate Indian classical music on shehnai at Buckingham Palace. (sadly died from kidney disease) b. March 21st 1939.
2016: Grace Chinga (37) Malawian gospel singer and icon (died suddenly) b. 1978/79
2016: Lee Andrews (79) American doo-wop singer and leader of Lee Andrews & the Hearts which he formed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1953. In 1957 and 1958 they had their three biggest hits, "Teardrops", "Long Lonely Nights" and "Try the Impossible". Lee and a shifting line-up of Hearts, continued to tour and record throughout the 1960s before disbanding. Lee is also the father of Khalib Thompson aka Questlove, joint frontman and drummer with Grammy-winning act the Roots. (?) b. 1935/36
2016: Frank Sinatra Jr (72) American singer, songwriter, and conductor born in Jersey City, New Jersey. By his early teens, he was performing at local clubs and venues. At age 19, he became the vocalist for Sam Donahue's band and also spent considerable time with Duke Ellington. By 1968 he had performed in 47 states and 30 countries, had appeared as guest on several television shows, including two episodes of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour with sister Nancy, hosted a 10-week summer replacement show for The Dean Martin Show, appeared in the Sammy Davis, Jr. drama A Man Called Adam and had sung with his own band in several Las Vegas casinos. In 1989, Frank Jr sang "Wedding Vows in Vegas" on the acclaimed Was (Not Was) album, What Up, Dog?, later performing the song with the band on Late Night with David Letterman. August 17th 2015, he sang "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Yankee Stadium. (died unexpectedly of cardiac arrest while on tour in Daytona Beach, Florida) b. January 10th 1944.
2017: James Cotton (81) American blues harmonica player, singer and songwriter; dubbed "Mr. Superharp", he was born in Tunica, Mississippi, but by the time he was nine both of his parents had passed away and he left home with his uncle and moved to West Helena, Arkansas, where Sonny Boy Williamson II mentored him in his early career. At the age of 15 he cut four songs for the fledging label Sun Records: Straighten Up Baby, Hold Me In Your Arms, Oh, Baby, and Cotton Crop Blues for the and at aged 17 KWEM, a radio station in West Memphis, Arkansas, as well as performing with the Howlin' Wolf's band in the early 1950s. In 1955 he was invited to join the Muddy Waters Band and stayed with the group for eleven years, until 1966. Jame's first recording session with Waters took place in June 1957 and he alternated with Little Walter on Waters's recording sessions until the end of the decade. In 1965 James formed the Jimmy Cotton Blues Quartet, with Otis Spann on piano, to perform with in-between the Waters's band gigs. In 1966, he toured and recorded with Janis Joplin while pursuing his solo career, before he formed the James Cotton Blues Band in 1967.