This Day In Music: Recently departed
July 22, 2024 ~ Abdul Kareem Fakir, commonly known as singer Duke Fakir, passed away in Detroit, Michigan, USA ~ Member of the Four Tops, an R&B outfit that recorded for over four decades in its original line-up. The quartet has recorded some two dozen albums since the mid-1960s, and are remembered for a vast body of work that includes Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits such as I Can't Help Myself (Sugarpie Honey Bunch), Reach Out I'll Be There, Standing In The Shadows Of Love, and Bernadette. At their induction in 1990, the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame stated “the only thing that can outlast the Four Tops' lineup is their incredible body of work”. Fakir was the last surviving member of the original quartet, and retired from performing the year before his death ~ Fakir was born in 1935
July 21, 2024 ~ Ellen Lucille Thomas, commonly known as Hi-NRG, disco singer Evelyn Thomas, passed away ~ Discovered by British producer Ian Levine, who was scouting the USA for gospel and soul singers to promote in the UK. Thomas has recorded four albums from the late 1970s through the mid-1980s and is known for songs such as Weak Spot, Masquerade, the Supremes-cover Reflections, Standing At The Crossroads, and perhaps her best-known High Energy, the latter a 1984 club hit on both sides of the Atlantic ~ Thomas was born in 1953
July 20, 2024 ~ Rock guitarist, singer Jerry Miller, full name Jerry A Miller Jr, passed away in Tacoma, Washington, USA ~ Co-founding member of Moby Grape which, though critically considered one of the most innovative to emerge from 1960s San Francisco drawing from folk, rock, blues, and country, never achieved the same level of fame as their contemporaries. The three-guitar outfit, featuring Miller on lead, is known best for the eponymous Moby Grape debut album, and has been praised by the likes of Stephen Stills, David Crosby, Taj Mahal, Eric Clapton, Robert Plant, and Jimmy Page, the latter citing the band as one of the main influences of Led Zeppelin. Following the band's initial disbandement in 1969, Moby Grape has reformed in various line-ups over the years. Miller has also formed the Rhythm Dukes, and recorded several albums as a solo artist. In 2023, looking back on the early days, Miller revealed in an interview with The Spectator the band's tumultuous career didn't faze him: “The way I see it, I'm the luckiest guy in the world. I've still got my health and my music, and I still get to do what I most love for a living. Maybe the Grape were screwed, but so what? If you haven’t been ripped off, you haven't been in the music business” ~ Miller was born in 1943
July 20, 2024 ~ Sandra Lou Posey, commonly known as pop singer Sandy Posey, passed away in Lebanon, Tennessee, USA ~ Working as a receptionist at a recording studio, Posey regularly sang back-up including on sessions for Joe Tex, Bobby Goldsboro, Tommy Roe, Elvis Presley, and Percy Sledge, including the latter's When A Man Loves A Woman hit. As a solo artist, Posey would enjoy a brief spell of success in the mid-1960s, reaching the Billboard Hot 100 top 20 with the singles Born A Woman, Single Girl, and I Take It Back. Posey continued to record into the 1980s, but was unable to repeat the success of her earliest releases. From the early 1970s onwards, however, she did enjoy some minor success on the Billboard Country charts, where Bring Him Safely Home To Me and Born To Be With You both reached top 30, respectively in 1971 and 1978 ~ Posey was born in 1944
July 19, 2024 ~ Pop, world music kora player Toumani Diabaté passed away ~ One of the internationally most recognised African artists. Son of Sidiki Diabaté, brother of Mamadou Sidiki Diabaté, both renowned kora players. Diabaté is strongly rooted in Malian traditional music, yet is also known for numerous cross-cultural collaborations including with flamenco group Ketama, blues guitarist Taj Mahal, jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd, Icelandic rock singer Björk, banjoist Béla Fleck, and jazz keyboardist Herbie Hancock ~ Diabaté was born in 1965
July 18, 2024 ~ Songwriter, producer Jerry Fuller passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Scored a minor hit as a solo artist with a rockabilly rendition of the country classic Tennessee Waltz in 1959. However, Fuller would become best known as a songwriter and producer, scoring his first major hit when Ricky Nelson took Travelin' Man to the top of the American charts in 1961. Fuller had originally written the song with Sam Cooke in mind, but Cooke passed, and the song would become one of Nelson's earliest and best known songs. Subsequently, Nelson recorded some two dozen more songs written by Fuller, including the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits A Wonder Like You, Young World, and It's Up To You. Following a stint in the Army, and touring with the Champs, Fuller relocated to New York, where he discovered the Knickerbockers, for whom he produced the 1965 Billboard Hot 100 top 20 single Lies. Fuller is also known writing and producing several hits for Gary Puckett, notably Young Girl, Lady Willpower, and Over You, and for his work with Mark Lindsay, the Peanut Butter Conspiracy, and OC Smith, producing the hits The Son Of Hickory Holler's Tramp and Little Green Apples for the latter ~ Fuller was born in 1938
July 17, 2024 ~ Harry Peter Traum, commonly known as folk singer, guitarist, songwriter Happy Traum, passed away ~ Traum began playing guitar and banjo in his teens, including taking lessons from noted blues musician Brownie McGhee. Though Traum never became a household name like his contemporaries Pete Seeger, Phil Ochs, and longtime friend and collaborator Bob Dylan, Traum is considered a key figure on the Greenwich Village scene pivotal to the development of folk and one of the most gifted musicians to keep the genre alive past its heyday. Reportedly, Traum with his early 1960s group the New World Singers was the first to release a version of Bob Dylan's Don't Think Twice It's Allright. Traum also regularly recorded with his brother guitarist Artie Traum, the siblings perhaps best remembered for their highly acclaimed 1970 Happy & Artie Traum album. Over the course of his lengthy career, Traum has recorded as a solo artist starting with Relax Your Mind released in 1975, played with several groups, notably the Woodstock Mountain Revue, and served as contributing writer for magazines such as Rolling Stone, Acoustic Guitar, and Guitar Player ~ Traum was born in 1938
July 17, 2024 ~ Folk singer Heather Wood, full name Arielle Heather Wood, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Member of the Young Tradition alongside Peter Bellamy and Royston Wood, no relation. The trio recorded three albums through the late 1960s, The Young Tradition, So Cheerfully Round, and Galleries, and unlike other British folk outfits of the era are known for their traditional material and stripped down sound. The group would split in 1969 over artistic differences, with Bellamy wanting to pursue pure traditional music. Heather and Royston continued to work together, the duo especially known for their aptly titled 1977 No Relation album ~ Wood was born in 1945
July 16, 2024 ~ Jazz, free improvisation pianist, drummer Irène Schweizer passed away in Zurich, Switzerland ~ Considered one of the leading Swiss jazz musicians and an advocate of the women's movement, active since the mid-1960s. Member of all-female avant-garde jazz collective the Feminist Improvising Group. As a solo artist especially acclaimed for her 1978 Tuned Boots album. Well known for her collaborations, usually as a duo, with a series of drummers including Pierre Favre, Günter Sommer, Andrew Cyrille, Han Bennink, Joey Baron, and Hamid Drake. Other notable associations include Manfred Schoof, John Tchicai, Rüdiger Carl, Henry Cow, Louis Moholo, Marilyn Crispell (Overlapping Hands (Eight Segments)), the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, Peter Kowald, Jon Rose, Les Diaboliques (Splitting Image), and Don Cherry. Schweizer is also known as co-founder of the long-running annual cross-border Taktlos Festival in Zurich, Switzerland, and as co-founder of the Intakt Records jazz label. Schweizer continued to perform into her 80s, retiring from the stage for health reasons in 2021 ~ Schweizer was born in 1941
July 15, 2024 ~ Thomas Brückner, commonly known as techno, progressive house, progressive trance DJ, producer Tomcraft, passed away ~ Active as a club DJ since the mid-1990s, notably as resident DJ at Munich's techno club KW Das Heizkraftwerk from the late 1990s through the early 2000s. Closely associated with Eniac, the pair working together on numerous releases. Perhaps best known for his 2002 progressive house single Loneliness, a club hit in the UK, which greatly boosted his career. Subsequent well known releases would include Prozac and Overdose. Bruckner would DJ at the 2003 Love Parade in Berlin, and has established himself as an in-demand DJ at festivals the world over ~ Brückner was born in 1975
July 10, 2024 ~ Country, pop singer, guitarist Dave Loggins, full name David Allen Loggins, passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Best known for his 1974 Billboard Hot 100 No.5 hit Please Come To Boston, lifted off his Apprentice (In A Musical Workshop) sophomore album. Over the years, the song would be covered by numerous artists, including notably Tammy Wynette, Joan Baez, Willie Nelson, Billy Joe Royal, and Reba McEntire. Loggins recorded three more albums through the end of the decade. However, despite critical acclaim, as a solo singer he would fail to repeat his earlier success. Others did reach the charts though with songs penned by Loggins. Three Dog Night had taken Pieces Of April to the Billboard Hot 100 top 20 back in 1971, while both Kenny Rogers and Juice Newton scored a mid-1980s Billboard Country No.1 hit with one of his songs, respectively Morning Desire and You Make Me Want To Make You Mine. Others who recorded songs written or co-written by Loggins include Tanya Tucker, Rita Coolidge, John Conlee, Alabama, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Dave Grusin, the Bellamy Brothers, Johnny Cash, and Wynonna Judd. As a singer, Loggins would have one more hit, duetting on Anne Murray's Nobody Loves Me Like You Do, which reached No.1 Billboard Country in late 1984 ~ Loggins was born in 1947
July 9, 2024 ~ Country, gospel singer Joe Bonsall, full name Joseph Sloan Bonsall Jr, passed away ~ Bonsall first gained attention in the late 1960s as a member of gospel group the Keystone Quartet, alongside Richard Sterban. Through the gospel world, Sterban and Bonsall met up with William Lee Golden of the Oak Ridge Boys. When the band found themselves in need of a bass and tenor singer, they enlisted the pair. Looking back on joining the band, Bonsall later commented the Oak Ridge Boys were “the most innovative quartet in gospel music, they performed gospel with a rock approach, had a full band, wore bell-bottom pants and grew their hair long, things unheard of at the time”. Bonsall remained with the band until his death some five decades later, retiring from performing in early 2024 for medical reasons. The band enjoyed popularity especially from the late 1970s through the early 1990s, with over half a dozen of their albums reaching top 10 Billboard Country. Well known songs include Trying To Love Two Women, Elvira, (I'm Settin') Fancy Free, Bobbie Sue, I Guess It Never Hurts To Hurt Sometimes, Touch A Hand (Make A Friend), and It Takes A Little Rain (To Make Love Grow). Bonsall is also known as an author with close to a dozen books to his name, including his I See Myself memoir released the year before his death ~ Bonsall was born in 1948
July 7, 2024 ~ Jazz trumpeter, conductor Jim Rotondi, full name James Robert Rotondi, passed away in Le Crest, France ~ Co-founding member of One For All, with whom he recorded well over a dozen albums since the late 1990s including the acclaimed What's Going On released in 2008. Also closely associated with Eric Alexander, Charles Earland, and Irene Reid, recording several albums with each. Rotondi has recorded over a dozen albums as a leader, noted specifically for 1000 Rainbows released in 2010. As a sideman and collaborator, Rotondi has appeared on albums by Ann Hampton Callaway, Susan Tobocman, Bill Mobley, David Hazeltine (How It Is), Giacomo Gates, Dena DeRose, Mike DiRubbo (Keep Steppin'), Cecil Payne, Ned Otter, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Joe Farnsworth, Kyle Eastwood, Peter Lerner, Bob Mintzer (Swing Out), Jon Regen, and Craig Wuepper ~ Rotondi was born in 1962
July 6, 2024 ~ Rock singer, keyboardist, guitarist Joe Egan, full name Joseph Egan, passed away ~ Co-founded Stealers Wheel with Gerry Rafferty, the pair also co-writing the band's biggest hit Stuck In The Middle With You which reached top 10 on both sides of the Atlantic in 1973. Subsequently, the band scored two more smaller hits, Everything Will Turn Out Fine and most notably the Egan-penned Billboard Hot 100 top 30 hit Star. The band recorded three albums before disbanding by the mid-1970s over stagnating sales and artistic differences. Egan would release two solo albums through the end of the decade which, though warmly received would sell poorly. His bandmate Rafferty would go on to score a massive hit with Baker Street. Egan retired from music by the 1990s ~ Egan was born in 1946
July 6, 2024 ~ Giuseppe Chierchia, commonly known as pop, Italo disco singer Pino D'Angiò, passed away in Rome, Italy ~ Best known for his 1981 single Ma Quale Idea, a hit across continental Europe selling over 2 million copies and reaching the top 10 in Switzerland, Belgium, and the Netherlands, and the No.1 spot in Spain. It has been suggested Chierchia took the bassline off McFadden & Whitehead's Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now, however, he has adamantly maintained he wrote the song independently with bassist Stefano Cerri. Chierchia would continue to record well into the 2000s, well known songs include Un Concerto Da Strapazzo, Fammi Un Panino, and Genoveffa. In 1990, Chierchia teamed up with Bruno Sanchioni under the moniker Age Of Love, known for their hit of the same name, considered one of the first international trance hits. In 2024, a few months before his death, Chierchia guested on punk pop outfit Bnkr44's Ma Che Idea, a remake of his signature song Ma Quale Idea ~ Chierchia was born in 1952
July 2, 2024 ~ Bassist, violinist, pianist Tom Fowler passed away ~ Best known for his association with Frank Zappa, appearing on well over a dozen of Zappa's albums since the mid-1970s including the acclaimed Over-Nite Sensation, Apostrophe, and One Size Fits All. Fowler also played with Air Pocket, which among others included several of his siblings, and has appeared on recordings by a wide array of artists in jazz, rock, R&B, and experimental music including It's A Beautiful Day, George Duke, Jean-Luc Ponty (Imaginary Voyage), Steve Hackett (Please Don't Touch), Kim Angelis, Don Preston, and Ray Charles. As a solo artist, Fowler is best known for his Heartscapes album released in 1992. Upon hearing of his death, fellow Zappa alumnus Arthur Barrow commented: “He was a hero to me, (…) he was an inspiration for me to buy a bass and start practising” ~ Fowler was born in 1951
July 1, 2024 ~ Bluegrass guitarist, mandolinist, singer Cliff Waldron, full name Clifford Waldron, passed away in Virginia, USA ~ Formed the duo Emerson & Waldron with banjoist Bill Emerson. The band is best known for recording the first bluegrass rendition of Fox On The Run, which later became a bluegrass standard after the Country Gentlemen recorded it. Other well known songs in Emerson & Waldron's repertoire included If I Were A Carpenter, Early Morning Rain, and Spanish Grass. Waldron is also specifically known for founding the New Shades Of Grass, one of the prime 1970s bluegrass groups, with whom he recorded several acclaimed albums before releasing two gospel albums as a solo artist, eventually retiring from music by the mid-1970s to work for the National Park Service. In the mid-1990s, Waldron returned on the music scene, releasing several more albums through the early 2000s ~ Waldron was born in 1941
June 28, 2024 ~ Pop, country pop singer Betty Veldpaus, also known as Betty Dragstra-Veldpaus, passed away ~ Member of 1970s pop group Pussycat, which also included her siblings Marianne Veldpaus, and Toni Willé, with whom she scored about half a dozen top 10 hits in their native the Netherlands from the mid-1970s through the early 1980s including the top 5 hits Georgie, Smile, and My Broken Souvenirs. The band's best known, their 1975 Mississippi debut single would reach No.1 in over a dozen countries, including their native Netherlands and the UK, and sell over 5 million copies ~ Veldpaus was born ca.1952
June 27, 2024 ~ Richard Samet Friedman, commonly known as rock, country rock, progressive country, outlaw country singer, guitarist Kinky Friedman, passed away in Medina, Texas, USA ~ Flamboyant satirist with well over a dozen albums to his name, starting with the acclaimed Sold American released in 1973. Following the wave of country rock from acts such as Gram Parsons, the Band, and the Eagles, Friedman would gain a cult following through provocative songs such as We Reserve The Right To Refuse Service To You, They Ain't Making Jews Like Jesus Anymore, and Get Your Biscuits In The Oven And Your Buns In The Bed, gaining more exposure after touring with Bob Dylan in 1975 and 1976. After his music career stalled in the 1980s, Friedman shifted his focus to writing detective novels, often featuring a fictionalized version of himself, his books laced with the same wit and satirism known from his lyrics. Upon hearing of Friedman's death, close friend and longtime collaborator Kent Perkins commented: “He was the last free person on earth. He had an irreverence about him. He was a fearless writer” ~ Friedman was born in 1944
June 26, 2024 ~ Trumpeter Gary Grant passed away ~ First gained attention in the late 1960s, touring and recording with Woody Herman. Grant would go on to become an in-demand session musician, appearing on hundreds of albums over the course of his career including most notably Neil Diamond's Beautiful Noise, the Brothers Johnson's Blam, and several of Michael Jackson's albums including Off The Wall, Thriller, and Bad. Other credits include José Feliciano, Alphonso Johnson, Stanley Clarke (School Days), Frank Capp (Juggernaut), Patti Labelle, Bill Champlin, Gladys Knight, Dirk Hamilton (Meet Me At The Crux), Cheryl Lynn, Ben Sidran (The Cat And The Hat), the Marshall Tucker Band, Chaka Khan, Paulinho Da Costa, the Mighty Clouds Of Joy, Donna Summer (Bad Girls), the Pointer Sisters, Teena Marie, Toto (Toto IV), Lionel Richie, Dolly Parton, Earth Wind & Fire, Al Jarreau, Michael Sembello, Patti Austin, Chicago (Chicago 17), Richard Marx, Larry Carlton, Kenny Loggins, Carly Simon, and George Duke ~ Grant was born in 1945
June 24, 2024 ~ Seth Brooks Binzer, commnly known as rap rock, alternative rock singer, rapper Shifty Shellshock, passed away ~ Frontman of Crazy Town, with whom he recorded three albums. The band is best known for Butterfly lifted off their The Gift Of The Game 1999 debut album. The single reached top 10 in well over half a dozen countries, including the No.1 spot on the American Billboard Hot 100. During the band's hiatus, Binzer guested on Paul Oakenfold's Starry Eyed Surprise, which reached top 10 in the UK, and recorded a sole album, Happy Love Sick, as a solo artist ~ Binzer was born in 1974
June 18, 2024 ~ James Siegfried, commonly known as no wave, avant-funk, punk jazz saxophonist, singer James Chance or James White, passed away in New York, New York, USA ~ Key figure on the New York no wave scene, rejecting the gloss of new wave and the traditionalism of punk while drawing from funk, jazz and post-punk, Chance enjoyed a cult following from the mid-1970s onwards. Frontman of the short-lived Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, and subsequently the Contortions, recording over half a dozen albums with the latter including the acclaimed Buy released in 1979. Chance has also fronted several side projects, mostly with the same basic set of musicians, including the bizarre disco-influenced James White & the Blacks. Chance had moved to New York in the mid-1970s with the intent of becoming a jazz musician, yet as he would later explain: “I just didn't fit into the jazz scene at all. My whole attitude, my own personal style and everything was more out of rock and roll” ~ Siegfried was born in 1953
June 17, 2024 ~ House, trance, dance producer, DJ Paul Spencer passed away ~ Member of producer, DJ trio Dario G, which also included Scott Rosser and Stephen Spencer, no relation. The trio are best known for their 1998 Sunmachine debut album, which included the hit singles Sunchyme and Carnaval de Paris. The latter was recorded for the 1998 FIFA World Cup held in France, would reach top 10 across Europe, and has since been used at various sporting events the world over. The trio's follow-up album, In Full Colour, released in 2000, spawned the single Dream To Me, which would become their third and final UK top 10 hit. Spencer passed away at age 53 of cancer ~ Spencer was born ca.1971
June 16, 2024 ~ James Elmore Cason, commonly known as rock & roll, pop, country singer, songwriter, producer Buzz Cason, passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Best known for penning Everlasting Love with Mac Gayden. The song would first be recorded by Robert Knight in 1967, with Cason and Gayden also serving as producers, and has been covered by dozens of artists including notably Love Affair, whose rendition topped the UK charts, and Carl Carlton, who took the song to No.6 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. Knight's original had reached No.13 in America. Other songs written or co-written by Cason have been recorded by Jan & Dean, Arthur Alexander (Soldier Of Love), Brenda Lee, the Fleetwoods, Ronny & the Daytonas, and TG Sheppard. Cason has also worked as a singer, notably founding the Casuals, the first rock & roll band to come out of Nashville, as a solo singer going by the moniker Garry Miles, and as a backing singer for Elvis Presley and Kenny Rogers. In 1970, Cason founded the Creative Workshop recording studio, located in Nashville, where artists such as Jimmy Buffett, Dolly Parton, Jerry Reed, Merle Haggard, Emmylou Harris, and the Doobie Brothers have recorded ~ Cason was born in 1939
June 13, 2024 ~ R&B, soul, jazz, dance-pop singer, songwriter Angela Bofill, full name Angela Tomasa Bofill, passed away in Vallejo, California, USA ~ One of the first Latina singers to achieve success in the R&B and jazz markets. Over the course of her career Bofill released about a dozen albums, starting with Angie in 1978, spawning the modest hit This Time I'll Be Sweeter. Bofill's rendition, the song previously recorded by Martha Reeves, Linda Lewis, Marlena Shaw, and Roberta Flack, would become the definitive version, and a signature song for Bofill. Over the next decade, Bofill scored about half a dozen Billboard R&B top 20 singles. Bofill has also sung backing vocals for the likes of Dave Valentin, David Amram, Stacy Lattisaw, Patti Austin, and Narada Michael Walden. The latter has also produced Bofill's two most mainstream albums, Teaser and Too Tough. Although never a household name in her native America, Bofill amassed a large following in Asia, and remained an in-demand live performer through the 2000s often billed alongside jazz artists untill a series of medical misfortunates forced her to slow down ~ Bofill was born in 1954
June 11, 2024 ~ Arthur Hendrickson, commonly known as ska revival, 2 tone singer Arthur Gaps Hendrickson, passed away in Coventry, UK ~ Co-founding and key member of the Selecter. Though their success was brief, they are considered one of the most influential early 1980s bands helpful in ushering in the ska revival in their native UK. The band recorded two albums, Too Much Pressure and its follow-up Celebrate The Bullet, before disbanding in 1982. They are best known for their 1979 UK top 10 hit On My Radio, and the subsequent top 30 hits Three Minute Hero and Missing Words. The band has reformed several times in various incarnations, and continued to record well into the 2000s but failed to repeat their earlier success. Hendrickson sang with the band until diagnosed with cancer in 2023. Following his death, Hendrickson's family issued a statement: “Gaps was known the world over for singing the title track on the Selecter's debut album Too Much Pressure, he brought a captivating angst and frustration to the track as he described the trials and tribulations of daily life for the working man” ~ Hendrickson was born ca.1951
June 11, 2024 ~ Singer, actress, songwriter Françoise Hardy, full name Françoise Madeleine Hardy, passed away in Paris, France ~ Shot to fame at age 18 with the surprise hit Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles to become one of the leading figures in the yé-yé genre, blending the chanteuse tradition with folk, rock, jazz, and blues. Critically regarded as the finest pop-rock singer to emerge from France in the 1960s, and one of the all-time best-selling French artists, Hardy would remain popular well beyond her heyday and is considered a cultural icon. Hardy's musical influence is mostly found in the work of Francophone acts such as Coralie Clément and Carla Bruni, yet she would also influence a wide range of international acts including Stereolab, Charli XCX, Zooey Deschanel, and Goldfrapp. Hardy has recorded well into the 2000s, and is especially acclaimed for her eponymous 1962 Françoise Hardy debut album and 1971's La Question. Weezer lead singer Rivers Cuomo has also named Hardy one of his “sonic ideals”, especially citing Hardy's 1973 Message Personnel album. Hardy has also ventured into acting, was a muse for fashion designers such as Yves Saint Laurent and Paco Rabanne, and amassed a large and devoted fanbase in the gay community, Hardy declaring on several occasions that “her most devoted friends and fans are gay” ~ Hardy was born in 1944
June 9, 2024 ~ Jazz drummer Alex Riel, full name Alex Poul Riel, passed away in Lisleje, Denmark ~ Active since his teens, starting with local traditional jazz bands, and serving as the house drummer at the Montmatre Jazzhus, Copenhagen, Denmark, by the early 1960s. Recorded over a dozen albums as leader or co-leader, starting with Alex Riel Trio in 1965 featuring Kenny Drew and Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. Closely associated with Jackie McLean and Dexter Gordon, recording several acclaimed albums with each. An in-demand sideman and collaborator, Riel has also appeared on albums by Brew Moore (Danish Brew), Archie Shepp, Kenny Dorham, Sahib Shihab (Conversations), Ben Webster (There Is No Greater Love), Stuff Smith, Savage Rose, Karin Krog, Hank Jones (Bluesette), and Thomas Clausen ~ Riel was born in 1940
June 8, 2024 ~ Francis Rodney Zambon, commonly known as singer, songwriter Mark James, passed away ~ Though a formidable singer in his own right, achieving some success especially in the late 1960s, James is best known for writing or co-writing several songs made into hits by others. Wrote Hooked On A Feeling, a Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit for his childhood friend BJ Thomas. Wrote and first recorded Suspicious Minds, best known as recorded by Elvis Presley in 1969. Presley recorded several more of his songs including It's Only Love, Raised On Rock, and Moody Blue. His greatest claim to fame, however, was Always On My Mind, co-written with Johnny Christopher and Wayne Carson. The song was first recorded by Brenda Lee in 1972, and became a hit about a decade later when Willie Nelson covered the track. The Nelson hit would earn the songwriting team a Grammy Award, and the song has become a standard, recorded by over an estimated 400 artists. Other songs written or co-written by James would be recorded by Merrilee Rush, the Box Tops, Lou Rawls, Mac Davis (One Hell Of A Woman), and Roy Drusky ~ Zambon was born in 1940
June 3, 2024 ~ Mark D Ross, commonly known as MC, rapper Brother Marquis, passed away ~ Member of rap group 2 Live Crew, known for their humor and sexually explicit lyrics. Marquis recorded about half a dozen albums with the band, including As Nasty As They Wanna Be which spawned the hit Me So Horny, and Banned In The USA, of which the title track became the band's highest charting Billboard Hot 100 single, peaking at No.20. Ross departed the band in the early 1990s, and initially ventured into stand-up comedy. Ross also notably guested on Ice-T's 99 Problems off his 1993 Home Invasion album. Reportedly, the song was inspired by an off-the-cuff remark Ross made, “Man, I got 99 problems, but a bitch ain't one”. After Ice-T completed the song, he invited Ross to do a verse. A remake of the song by Jay-Z, recorded for The Black Album released in 2004, would become a major hit ~ Ross was born in 1966
June 1, 2024 ~ Drummer Ed Mann passed away ~ Best known for his association with Frank Zappa, appearing on over 30 of his albums including Sheik Yerbouti, Joe's Garage Acts I II & III, Shut Up 'n Play Yer Guitar and Them Or Us. Mann has also worked with Tommy Mars, Banned From Utopia, Project Object, Agent Moosehead, and Desert Rain. Mann has also recorded several albums as a solo artist, perhaps most notably Global Warming released in 1995. Upon hearing of his death, fellow Zappa alumnus Chad Wackerman described Mann as a masterful and brilliant percussionist, adding Mann “could play anything Zappa threw at him and I never once heard him make a mistake” ~ Mann was born in 1954
May 31, 2024 ~ Drummer, singer Carel Copier passed away ~ Co-founding member of Doe Maar, appearing on the band's eponymous Doe Maar debut album and its follow-up Skunk. Copier sang lead on Verdomme Ik Doe Het Wel Alleen, Nix Voor Jou, and Te Laat, the latter two of which Copier co-wrote. In 1981, shortly before their rise to fame, Copier departed the band, to be succeeded by René van Collem. The band would go on to become one of the most successful in Dutch pop history. Following his departure from the band, Copier would focus on his career as a painter ~ Copier was born in 1952
May 25, 2024 ~ Richard Morton Sherman, commonly known as songwriter, film composer Richard M Sherman, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Formed one of the most productive stage and film composer duos in history with his brother Robert B Sherman. The siblings, sons of Tin Pan Alley songwriter Al Sherman, are closely associated with Walt Disney Studios, serving as the studio's staff songwriters from the late 1950s onwards. Notable credits include films such as Jungle Book, The Aristocats, Charlotte's Web and The Adventures Of Winnie The Pooh. The brothers were awarded two Academy Awards for their work on the 1964 Mary Poppins musical fantasy film, one for the entire soundtrack and one for Best Original Song for Chim Chim Cher-ee sung by Dick Van Dyke & Julie Andrews. Following Walt Disney's death in 1966, the siblings have worked as freelance composers writing numerous film scores and musicals, including notably Chitty Chitty Bang Bang ~ Sherman was born in 1928
May 24, 2024 ~ Keyboardist, organist, singer Doug Ingle, full name Douglas Lloyd ingle, passed away ~ Co-founding member, organist, lead singer, primary songwriter of Iron Butterfly. The band is best known for their 1968 hit In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, the title a slurred pronounciation of “in the Garden of Eden”. The 17-minute album version, which became a rock classic, came about by accident. In order to set his levels at the start of the recording session, engineer Don Casale asked the band to jam through a practice run. They kept on jamming for 17 minutes, not knowing that Casale had already hit the “record” button. That first practice run ended up being the master take and made it to the album of the same name. A shortened version would be released as a single, and make it to No.30, their highest-charting of four singles to reach the Billboard Hot 100. The band broke up in 1971, and has been reincarnated with various line-ups since but to considerable lesser success and no new recordings since 1975. The classic line-up will however forever be remembered for their epic 17-minute In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, providing a dramatic sound which helped pave the way for hard rock and heavy metal ~ Ingle was born in 1946
May 22, 2024 ~ Pop rock bassist, guitarist Charlie Colin passed away in Brussels, Belgium ~ Co-founding member of Train, with whom he recorded three albums prior to being fired from the band for substance abuse. Present on the albums Train, Drops Of Jupiter, and My Private Nation. During his tenure with the band, they scored their first Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit, Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me) peaking at No.5, the song also winning a Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. Upon hearing of his death, Train issued a statement describing Colin as the sweetest guy, fondly remembered for his technical prowess and contributions to the band, saying Colin's unique bass playing helped the band get noticed in San Francisco, California, and beyond, adding: “You're a legend, Charlie. Go charm the pants off those angels.” ~ Colin was born ca.1966
May 21, 2024 ~ Composer, film composer Jan AP Kaczmarek, full name Jan Andrzey Pawel Kaczmarek, passed away in Krakow, Poland ~ Has written scores for over 70 films and documentaries, including 2004's Finding Neverland for which he received an Academy Award. Other notable soundtrack credits include Washington Square, Unfaithful, The Visitor, Hachi (A Dog's Tale), and The Karamazovs. Outside the film industry most acclaimed for writing Cantata For Freedom to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Solidarity movement, and Oratorio 1956 commemorating the 50th anniversary of an uprising against the totalitarian government in Poznan, both works premiered live on Polish television ~ Kaczmarek was born in 1953
May 19, 2024 ~ R&B, pop, disco, soul singer, vocal coach Peggi Blu passed away ~ In-demand backing singer, active since the 1970s, appearing on albums by Archie Shepp, Lou Courtney, Stephanie Mills (Merciless), Bob Dylan (Empire Burlesque), Brian Setzer, Barbra Streisand, Tracy Chapman, Quincy Jones (Back On The Block), Kylie Minogue, Laura Branigan, Cherrelle, Leonard Cohen (The Future), Melissa Manchester, Wanda Dee (The Goddess Is Here), Alice Cooper (Dirty Diamonds), and Neil Sedaka. Blue has recorded sporadically as a solo artist, noted most for the singles Tender Moments and All The Way With You, both lifted off her 1987 Blu Blowin' album. A winner of a TV talent show herself, having won Star Search back in 1986, Blu is best known as a vocal coach for the American Idol talent show in the 2000s ~ Blu was born ca.1947
May 18, 2024 ~ Country, country pop singer, guitarist Frank Ifield, full name Francis Edward Ifield, passed away in Sydney, Australia ~ Scored a string of early 1960s hits including I Remember You, Lovesick Blues, Wayward Wind, I'm Confessin' That I Love You, and Please, all of which reached top 30 in his native UK. Ifield, known for frequently incorporating yodeling, has recorded some two dozen albums over his career, enjoying popularity throughout the mid-1980s in both the UK and Australia. In 1986, Ifield contracted pneumonia, which resulted in removal of part of a lung and damage to his vocal cords, seriously pausing his career as he recovered ~ Ifield was born in 1937
May 18, 2024 ~ Blues singer, guitarist, songwriter John Koerner, also known as Spider John Koerner, passed away in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA ~ Closely associated with Dave Ray and Tony Glover, the trio recording and performing in various configurations, in solo turns and duets, but rarely as a trio. Ray suggested that it would be more accurate to refer to them not as Koerner Ray & Gloever, but rather Koerner and/or Ray and/or Glover. However, as a trio they did notably perform at the Newport Folk Festival in 1964, captured on the Newport Folk Festival 1964 (Evening Concerts III) album. In later years they would occasionally perform together, until Ray's death in the early 2000s. Koerner is also known for his 1965 Spider Blues album, and for teaming up with Willie Murphy for the 1969 collaborative Running Jumping Standing Still album. Koerner is considered an early influence on Bob Dylan, of whom Koerner has been quoted as saying: “We were all goofy, you know. We were thinkers and drinkers and artists and players, and Dylan was one of us. He was another guy.” ~ Koerner was born in 1938
May 18, 2024 ~ Hard rock, nu metal, post-grunge drummer Jon Wysocki passed away ~ Co-founding member of Staind, with whom he recorded about half a dozen albums since the mid-1990s. Present on most of the band's best known, including the Billboard Hot 200 No.1 albums Break The Cycle, 14 Shades Of Grey, and Chapter V. Wysocki departed the band in 2011 over artistic differences, at the time stating he was frustrated with the direction of the band and how this “was not the Staind we started out being”, to be succeeded by Sal Giancarelli. Following Wysocki's death, the band issued a statement saying: “The 17 years (with Jon) were some of the best memories of our times together. From practice in Ludlow, Massachusetts, to touring around the world, Jon was integral to who we were as a band” ~ Wysocki was born ca.1971
May 18, 2024 ~ Nils Paul Danielsson, commonly known as jazz, free jazz double bassist Palle Danielsson, passed away ~ Studied violin as a child before switching to bass. Danielsson has been playing professionally since his mid-teens, becoming a fixture on the Scandinavian jazz scene backing artists such as Jan Garbarek and Bobo Stenson and visiting American jazz musicians such as Bill Evans, George Russell, and Ben Webster. Danielsson is perhaps best known for his tenure with Keith Jarrett in the latter half of the 1970s, including on the acclaimed albums Belonging and My Song. Danielsson has recorded sporadically as a leader or co-leader, including on the 1992 collaborative album Togetherness with his sister Monica Dominique, and has appeared on albums by Steve Kuhn (Watch What Happens), Karin Krog, Cornelis Vreeswijk, Barre Phillips, Lee Konitz (Altissimo), Albert Mangelsdorff, Enrico Rava (The Pilgrim And The Stars), Collin Walcott (Grazing Dreams), Michel Petrucciani, Christof Lauer, and Peter Erskine ~ Danielsson was born in 1946
May 15, 2024 ~ Pianist, keyboardist John Hawken, full name John Christopher Hawken, passed away in Metuchen, New Jersey, USA ~ Co-founding member of the Nashville Teens, known for their 1964 recording of Tobacco Road and its follow-up Google Eye both of which would reach top 10 in their native UK. Member of Renaissance, with whom he recorded the albums Renaissance and Illusion at the turn of the 1970s. Member of the Strawbs during the mid-1970s, present on the albums Hero And Heroine and Ghosts. Hawken has also worked with Luther Grosvenor, Claire Hamill, the Sutherland Brothers, and Illusion ~ Hawken was born in 1940
May 14, 2024 ~ Michael James, commonly known as soul, funk, R&B, reggae, ska singer Jimmy James, passed away ~ Lead singer and eponym of Jimmy James & the Vagabonds, first enjoying popularity in their native UK during the 1960s, opening for acts such as the Who and Steampacket. The band initially disbanded in 1970, but would be reformed with an all-new line-up three years later by James, the group's constant member. They are best known for their 1976 UK top 10 hit Now Is The Time. Other charting singles included I Can't Get Back Home To My Baby, Red Red Wine, and I'll Go Where Your Music Takes Me ~ James was born in 1940
May 13, 2024 ~ Gypsy jazz, jazz fusion, world music guitarist Christian Escoudé passed away ~ Taught the guitar by his father, Escoudé would play professionally by his mid-teens, drawing from be-bop and gypsy jazz. Regarded a virtuoso, Escoudé has recorded prolifically since the mid-1970s and is especially acclaimed for Gitane, a 1979 collaborative album with Charlie Haden, and Cookin' In Hell's Kitchen released in 1995. Closely associated with Aimé Barelli, Michel Graillier, and John McLaughlin, touring with the latter in the early 1980s. An in-demand sideman and collaborator, Escoudé has also appeared on albums by André Ceccarelli, John Lewis (Midnight In Paris), Martial Solal, Michel Portal (L'Ombre Rouge), René Urtreger, Louis Chédid, Jean-Marc Jafet, and Florin Niculescu ~ Escoudé was born in 1947
May 12, 2024 ~ Saxophonist David Sanborn, full name David William Sanborn, passed away in Tarrytown, New York, USA ~ Played with Albert King and Little Milton while still in his mid-teens. To jazz-oriented audiences Sanborn is well-known for some two dozen albums as a solo artist, starting with the acclaimed Taking Off released in 1975, his work with the Brecker Brothers as well as on some of Randy Brecker's solo outings, and for his association with Bob James. Pop, rock, and R&B audiences may have heard Sanborn on tracks such as Stevie Wonder's Tuesday Heartbreak, David Bowie's Young Americans, and James Taylor's How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You). Over the course of his lengthy career, Sanborn has appeared on albums by Paul Butterfield, the Eagles, Loudon Wainwright III, Todd Rundgren (A Wizard A True Star), Tommy Bolin, Paul Simon (Still Crazy After All These Years), Bruce Springsteen (Born To Run), Linda Ronstadt, Michael Franks, Jaco Pastorius, Elton John, Flora Purim, Dr John, Chaka Khan, JD Souther, Steely Dan (Gaucho), Randy Crawford, Kenny Loggins, the Rolling Stones (Undercover), Billy Joel (An Innocent Man), Hiram Bullock, the Manhattan Transfer, and Youssou n'Dour ~ Sanborn was born in 1945
May 9, 2024 ~ Dennis Tomich, commonly known as garage rock, proto-punk drummer Dennis Thompson or Dennis Machine Gun Thompson, passed away in Taylor, Michigan, USA ~ Influenced by Elvin Jones, Keith Moon, and Mitch Mitchell. Last surviving member of pioneering proto-punk outfit MC5, one of the rawest and most outspoken bands in American rock. They are especially acclaimed for their 1969 Kick Out The Jams debut album. Thompson's fast and hard drumming, earning him the nickname “Machine Gun”, was an essential element of the band's sound, and proved influential on punk and metal. The MC5 had been nominated for inclusion in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame six times, and was set to be inducted at a ceremony in October 2024. Upon Thompson's death at age 75, his son Chris McNulty told Detroit News: “He was a true, free-spirited rock and roller up until the very last day” ~ Tomich was born in 1948
May 8, 2024 ~ Drummer John Barbata passed away ~ First turned to drumming following his older brother in marching bands, the rudimentary rhythms defining his drum technique throughout his career in pop rock. Member of early 1960s surf group the Sentinals, best known for their Big Surf album which spawned the regional hit Latin'ia. Member of the Turtles for the second half of the 1960s, including on hits such as Happy Together, She'd Rather Be With Me, and Elenore. Member of Jefferson Starship, with whom he recorded about half a dozen albums. In late 1978, Barbata broke his neck, arm and jaw in a car crash, needing a full year to heal from the accident, forcing him to resign from Jefferson Starship. Barbata has also appeared on albums by Linda Ronstadt, Ry Cooder, Batdorf & Rodney, John Sebastian, Crosby Stills Nash & Young (4-Way Street), Stephen Stills, Neil Young (Time Fades Away), and Grace Slick ~ Barbata was born in 1945
May 7, 2024 ~ Piedmont blues harpist Phil Wiggins passed away ~ First teamed up with the elder guitarist John Cephas in the mid-1970s, both playing in singer, pianist Big Chief Ellis' backing unit. Following Ellis' death in 1977, the pair decided to continue as a duo despite their 24-year age difference. Showing strong influences from Blind Boy Fuller, Gary Davis, and Sonny Terry, the duo would become a popular festival act, earning acclaim among blues aficionados for keeping the Piedmont blues alive. Cephas & Wiggins recorded well into the 2000s, and are noted most for the late 1980s albums Dog Days Of August and Walking Blues ~ Wiggins was born in 1954
May 7, 2024 ~ Engineer, producer Steve Albini passed away in Chicago, Illinois, USA ~ Hugely influential and in-demand engineer and producer, having worked on over an estimated 1,000 albums since the 1980s. In his mid-teens a schoolmate introduced him to the music of the Ramones, and Albini credits his music career to hearing their first album. Albini has produced and engineered albums for artists such as Urge Overkill, the Pixies (Surfer Rosa), the Jesus Lizard, the Breeders, the Volcano Suns, Jon Spencer, PJ Harvey (Rid Of Me), Pigface, Nirvana (In Utero), Brise-Glace, Palace, Bush, Veruca Salt, the Bollweevils, Robbie Fulks, Mogwai, Leftöver Crack, the Sadies, and Jarvis Cocker. Although primarily known as a producer and engineer, Albini has also played guitar, bass, and drums in several bands, including Big Black, Rapeman, Flour, and Shellac ~ Albini was born in 1962
May 6, 2024 ~ Country songwriter Wayland Holyfield passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Got his first break when Johnny Russell scored a 1973 Billboard Country top 10 hit with Rednecks White Socks And Blue Ribbon Beer, co-written by Holyfield with Bob McDill and Chuck Neese. Holyfield is perhaps best known for co-writing several songs recorded by Don Williams including You're My Best Friend and Some Broken Hearts Never Mend, both of which have become standards, both a No.1 Billboard Country hit, both covered by over fifty artists. Other songs written or co-written by Holyfield have been recorded by Jeanne Pruett, Waylon Jennings, Crystal Gayle (I'll Do It All Over Again), Charley Pride (I'll Be Leaving Alone), Steve Wariner, Ronnie Milsap (Nobody Likes Sad Songs), Tammy Wynette, Charly McClain, Michael Martin Murphey (Don't Count The Rainy Days), Anne Murray (Could I Have This Dance), Julio Iglesias, George Jones, and George Strait ~ Holyfield was born in 1942
May 2, 2024 ~ Jazz guitarist John Pisano passed away ~ First gained attention in the mid-1950s, taking over for Jim Hall in Chico Hamilton's quartet. Would go on to become an in-demand session musician, and occassional leader, co-leader including forming the duo Pisano & Ruff with Willie Ruff. Other notable associations include Joe Pass, backing Peggy Lee for about a decade, and playing with Herb Alpert's renowned unit the Tijuana Brass. Pisano has also appeared on albums by the likes of Tony Bennett (The Beat Of My Heart), Ken Nordine, Sam Cooke (Ain't That Good News), Bill Perkins, Sérgio Mendes (Equinox), Pete Jolly, Ben Sidran, Dan Hicks (It Happened One Bite), the Manhattan Transfer, Nino Tempo, and Barbra Streisand. In the 1990s Pisano has performed with his wife singer Jeanne Pisano in a group called the Flying Pisanos ~ Pisano was born in 1931
May 1, 2024 ~ Keyboardist, pianist Richard Tandy passed away ~ Key member of the Electric Light Orchestra present on nearly all of the band's recordings, helping define the band's unique sound through his palette of keyboards and serving as frontman Jeff Lynne's right hand and main arranger. The band is known for hits such as Can't Get It Out Of My Head, Evil Woman, Strange Magic, Telephone Line, Shine A Little Love, Don't Bring Me Down, Xanadu, and Hold On Tight ~ Tandy was born in 1948
April 30, 2024 ~ Guitarist Duane Eddy passed away in Franklin, Tennessee, USA ~ One of the most popular guitarists of the 1950s and 1960s, known for his distinctive twangy sound. Helped popularize surf music. Cited as an influence by artists as diverse as George Harrison, Dave Davies, Hank Marvin, John Entwistle, Bruce Springsteen, Adrian Belew, and Mark Knopfler. Well known songs include Rebel Rouser, Cannonball, Forty Miles Of Bad Road, Because They're Young, and Dance With The Guitar Man ~ Eddy was born in 1938
April 26, 2024 ~ Country, bluegrass mandolinist Frank Wakefield, full name Franklin Delano Roosevelt Wakefield, passed away in Saratoga Springs, New York, USA ~ Learned the harmonica, guitar, and bass as a child, switching to mandolin in his mid-teens, Wakefield would eventually become one of the most acclaimed and innovative mandolinists, expanding the range of the instrument. Has recorded about a dozen albums as a solo artist, most noted for Frank Wakefield With Country Cooking released in 1972. An in-demand collaborator and sideman, Wakefield is especially known for his work with Red Allen, Jimmy Martin, the Greenbriar Boys, and Ralph Stanley. In the 1960s, Wakefield has also made strides in the classical world, composing classical mandolin sonatas and arranging classical pieces for traditional bluegrass instruments, leading to performances with the New York Philharmonic, then led by Leonard Bernstein, and guest appearances with the Boston Pops. To rock audiences, Wakefield is well known for touring with Jerry Garcia, as well as with the New Riders Of The Purple Sage, and for opening for the Grateful Dead. Wakefield has also recorded with Don McLean, David Grisman (Early Dawg), the all-star outfit the Bluegrass Mandolin Ensemble (Bluegrass Mandolin Extravaganza), and Bill Jorgenson ~ Wakefield was born in 1934
April 24, 2024 ~ Keyboardist Mike Pinder, full name Michael Thomas Pinder, passed away in California, USA ~ Founding member of the Moody Blues, remaining with the band from its inception in 1964 through the recording of the band's ninth album, Octave, in 1978. Wrote or co-wrote songs such as Let Me Go, Stop, The Best Way To Travel, The Sun Is Still Shining, Procession, Lost In A Lost World, When You're A Free Man and One Step Into The Light ~ Pinder was born in 1941
April 22, 2024 ~ Robert Lee Romero, commonly known as rock & roll singer, guitarist Chan Romero, passed away ~ Best remembered for penning and first recording Hippy Hippy Shake. The song failed to make the American Billboard Hot 100 charts, but would be a hit overseas and has remained popular throughout the decades. The song has been used in several films, and would be covered by over 50 artists including the Swinging Blue Jeans, Billy Fury, Mud, the Beatles, the Georgia Satellites, Shane MacGowan, and Die Toten Hosen. In 2019, a bill to make Romero's Hippy Hippy Shake the official state rock & roll song of his native state Montana failed to pass the Legislature. Regardless, Romero is remembered as one of the state's greatest musicians ~ Romero was born in 1941
April 21, 2024 ~ Singer, guitarist, banjoist Alex Hassilev passed away ~ Co-founding member of the Limeliters, enjoying popularity through the mid-1960s with songs such as There's A Meetin' Here Tonight, City Of New Orleans, A Dollar Down, Have Some Madeira M'Dear, Lonesome Traveler, Wabash Cannonball and Whiskey In The Jar ~ Hassilev was born in 1932
April 21, 2024 ~ Guitarist, singer, producer Jean-Marie Aerts, full name Jean-Marie René Albert Aerts, full name Jean-Marie René Albert Aerts, passed away ~ Influenced by Vince Taylor, Jimi Hendrix, and Jan Akkerman. First gained attention in the mid-1970s, backing the likes of Raymond van het Groenewoud, Johan Verminnen, and Bert de Coninck, yet would rise to fame as a member of TC Matic, one of the quintessential Belgian rock bands of the 1980s. The band, best known for launching the career of lead singer Arno, recorded four albums through the mid-1980s and is especially remembered for songs such as Oh La La La and Putain Putain. Following the band's disbandement, Aerts has recorded as a solo artist, and served as producer for a wide array of Belgian and Dutch artists including Absynthe Minded, Urban Dance Squad, Jo Lemaire, Tom Wolf, Kris de Bruyne, and Gorki ~ Aerts was born in 1951
April 20, 2024 ~ Winston Anthony Morris, commonly known as reggae, dancehall, lovers rock singer Tony Tuff, passed away ~ Formed the African Brothers with Sugar Minott and Derrick Bubbles Howard, known for songs such as Mysterious Nature, No Cup No Broke, and Party Night. After the trio disbanded in the mid-1970s, Morris has recorded as a solo artist into the 2000s. As a solo artist, Morris is perhaps best known for Water Pumpee and Mix Me Down, both produced by Henry Jujo Lawes ~ Morris was born in 1955
April 18, 2024 ~ Forrest Richard Betts, commonly known as guitarist, singer Dickey Betts, passed away in Saratosa, Florida, USA ~ Co-founding and longtime member of pivotal Southern rock outfit the Allman Brothers Band, assuming sole lead guitar duties after the death of Duane Allman in 1971. Wrote and sang lead on one of the band's best known, Ramblin' Man. Betts also penned most of the band's instrumentals, including In Memory Of Elizabeth Reed and Jessica. Betts has also recorded as a solo artist, notably with his backing unit Great Southern, and guested on albums by Derek & the Dominos, Elvin Bishop, Kitty Wells, Bobby Whitlock, Charlie Daniels, Bonnie Bramlett, Buddy Miles, Katy Moffatt, George Jones, Michael Martin Murphey, and Hank Williams Jr ~ Betts was born in 1943
April 12, 2024 ~ Producer, songwriter Rico Wade, full name Rico Renard Wade, passed away ~ Helped define the Atlanta sound. Co-founding member of pioneering production and songwriting team Organized Noize, with whom he worked on hit songs such as Waterfalls by TLC, Don't Let Go (Love) by En Vogue, and Saturday (Oooh Ooooh) by Ludacris, the former two both reaching top 10 Billboard Hot 100. The production team is especially known for their work with fellow Atlanta natives OutKast, producing some of their best-known including the acclaimed albums Aquemini and Stankonia ~ Wade was born in 1972
April 9, 2024 ~ Jazz, big band, easy listening trumpeter Bob Lanese passed away in Hamburg, Germany ~ Active since the early 1960s, first gaining serious attention as a member of the house band at the Alpine Village, a popular nightclub in his native Cleveland, Ohio. Following a European tour with the Glenn Miller Orchestra in 1971, then under the direction of Buddy DeFranco, Lanese would become enamored with the city of Hamburg and relocate to Germany, where he became an in-demand trumpeter and flugelhornist. Best known as a longtime member of James Last's orchestra, serving as the ensemble's lead trumpeter for some three decades starting in 1972. Lanese has also worked with several other German bandleaders, including Kai Warner, Frank Valdor, Max Greger, and Bert Kaempfert, and sporadically recorded as a leader. To pop audiences, Lanese is perhaps best known for his trumpet playing on the 2000 Sing When You're Winning album by Robbie Williams ~ Lanese was born in 1941
April 9, 2024 ~ Singer, drummer Max Werner passed away ~ Co-founding member of progressive rock, art rock outfit Kayak, with whom he recorded about half a dozen albums as lead singer and several more after switching to drums. The band enjoyed popularity in their native Netherlands especially during the 1970s and are best known for songs such as Lyrics, Mammoth, Starlight Dancer, and Ruthless Queen. Werner has also recorded as a solo artist, notably the 1981 hit Rain In May, and with Ekseption on the Dance Macabre album ~ Werner was born in 1953
April 7, 2024 ~ Clarence Henry II, commonly known as R&B singer Clarence Frogman Henry passed away in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA ~ Started learning piano as a child, with Fats Domino and Professor Longhair as main influences. Known for his trademark croak, earning him the nickname “frogman”. Scored several late 1950s, early 1960s R&B hits, notably Ain't Got No Home, You Always Hurt The One You Love and perhaps his best-known (I Don't Know Why I Love You) But I Do, the latter reaching top 10 on both the Billboard R&B and all-genre Billboard Hot 100 charts ~ Henry was born in 1937
April 5, 2024 ~ Carl Jeffrey Snare, commonly known as hard rock, glam metal, pop rock singer CJ Snare, passed away ~ Co-founding member, lead singer of Firehouse, with whom he recorded over half a dozen albums starting with their eponymous Firehouse debut album released in 1990. The band is best known for the singles Don't Treat Me Bad, Love Of A Lifetime, and When I Look Into Your Eyes, the latter two both reaching top 10 Billboard Hot 100. Snare had been diagnosed with cancer and had taken a hiatus from the band in 2023, but was expected to make a full recovery and return to the band for a series of shows in 2024. Upon his death, the band issued a statement describing Snare as “arguably one of the best vocal talents of a generation, touring the world with Firehouse non stop the past 34 years“, also adding “Reach for the sky, CJ!” referencing their 1992 song Reach For The Sky ~ Snare was born in 1959
April 4, 2024 ~ Dream pop guitarist Graeme Naysmith passed away ~ Co-founding member of shoegazing, dream pop, indie pop outfit Pale Saints, with whom he recorded three albums through the mid-1990s. The band is best known for their The Comforts Of Madness debut album, which reached top 40 in their native UK. Following the band's break-up in 1996, Naysmith formed Lorimer and the Terminals, both of which included his Saints bandmate drummer Chris Cooper, and has worked with X-Ray Eyes. Upon hearing of his death, 4AD co-founder Ivo Watts Russell issued a statement saying: “Naysmith was one of only a handful of musicians I worked with who wasn't afraid of a good guitar solo. In tribute I simply recommend digging out Henry from Pale Saints' final album Slow Buildings ~ Naysmith was born ca.1967
April 3, 2024 ~ Albert Heath, commonly known as hard bop drummer Albert Tootie Heath, passed away in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA ~ Brother of saxophonist Jimmy Heath and double bassist Percy Heath with whom he formed the Heath Brothers. First recorded with John Coltrane in 1957, featuring in Coltrane's first session as a leader (Coltrane). As a leader, Heath is best known for the early 1970s albums Kawaida and Kwanza. As sideman, Heath has appeared on albums by Red Garland (Groovy), Billy Taylor, Nina Simone, Cannonball Adderley, Art Farmer (Art), Sonny Red, JJ Johnson, Wes Montgomery (The Incredible Jazz Guitar Of Wes Montgomery), Gene Ammons, Walter Benton, Blue Mitchell (A Sure Thing), Charlie Mariano, McCoy Tyner, Charles McPherson (Be-Bop Revisited), Ben Webster, Tete Montoliu, and Herbie Hancock ~ Heath was born in 1935
April 2, 2024 ~ Band manager, producer, songwriter Jerry Abbott, full name Jerry Bob Abbott, passed away ~ Father of heavy metal band Pantera founders drummer Vinnie Paul and guitarist Dimebag Darrell. Has served as his sons band's manager and produced a number of their early albums. Abbott has also produced artists such as blues guitarist Bugs Henderson, and worked as songwriter and producer for the likes of Gene Watson, Freddy Fender, Buck Owens (Play Together Again Again), and Emmylou Harris ~ Abbott was born in 1942
April 1, 2024 ~ Guitarist Michael Ward passed away ~ Co-founded School Of Fish with Josh Clayton-Felt, known for their minor hit 3 Strange Days. Perhaps best known for his work with the Wallflowers, appearing on the band's 1996 Bringing Down The Horse sophomore album, which included the Grammy Award-winning One Headlight, and its follow-up album Breach. Ward has also appeared on albums by John Hiatt (Perfectly Good Guitar), Ben Harper, Shawn Mullins, Avril Lavigne (Don't Tell Me), Shelby Lynne (Suit Yourself), Tracy Bonham, and Sara Bareilles ~ Ward was born in 1967
April 1, 2024 ~ Pop singer Sue Chaloner passed away ~ First gained attention in an early 1970s touring production of the musical Hair, which also visited the Netherlands after which the British-born Chaloner decided to stay in Amsterdam. Formed the pop duo Spooky & Sue with Iwan Groeneveld, scoring several 1970s hits in the Netherlands including the top 10 hits Swinging On A Star, You Talk Too Much, and I've Got The Need. As a solo artist, Chaloner is perhaps best known for the minor hit Don't Try To Change Me, the theme song to the Dutch film Mama Is Boos. Chaloner was married to keyboardist Hans Jansen of Spin ~ Chaloner was born in 1953
March 31, 2024 ~ Saxophonist, keyboardist, producer, songwriter Casey Benjamin passed away ~ Best known as original member of Robert Glasper Experiment, including on the Grammy Award-winning Black Radio album released in 2012. An in-demand sideman in jazz, R&B, and hip hop, Benjamin has also worked extensively with DJ Logic, formed the duo HEAVY with singer Nicky Guiland, and has appeared on albums by the likes of Pucci Amanda Jhones, Arto Lindsay (Prize), Lynette Washington, Stefon Harris (Evolution), DJ Spinna, Howard Britz, Derrick Hodge (Live Today), Kris Bowers (Heroes And Misfits), A Tribe Called Quest, Solange (A Seat At The Table), and Philip Bailey ~ Benjamin was born in 1978
March 29, 2024 ~ Gerald Conway, commonly known as rock, progressive rock, folk rock drummer Gerry Conway, passed away ~ Perhaps best known for his association with Cat Stevens during the 1970s, backing Stevens on a little over half a dozen albums including the acclaimed Tea For The Tillerman and Teaser & The Firecat, and as longtime member of Pentangle, which also included his wife singer Jacqui McShee. An in-demand sideman and collaborator, Conway has also appeared on albums by Eclection, Fairport Convention (What We Did On Our Holidays), Matthews Southern Comfort, Steeleye Span, Andy Roberts (Urban Cowboy), Keith Christmas, Sandy Denny, Shelagh McDonald, Mike McGear (McGear), Ralph McTell (Easy), Jethro Tull, Joan Armatrading, Richard Thompson, and John Martyn (No Little Boy) ~ Conway was born in 1947
March 28, 2024 ~ Singer, guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, songwriter, producer Mark Spiro passed away ~ As a solo artist, Spiro has released a little over half a dozen albums, starting with In Stereo in 1986. Though a gifted singer in his own right, Spiro is perhaps best known as a songwriter, notably co-writing Cheap Trick's Mighty Wings with Harold Faltermeyer for the Top Gun soundtrack. Songs written or co-written by Spiro have been recorded by the likes of Audrey Landers, Laura Branigan (Foolish Lullaby), Anne Murray, David Hasselhoff, Bad English (Straight To Your Heart), Julian Lennon, and Robin Zander ~ Spiro was born in 1957
March 25, 2024 ~ Christopher Thomas Allen, commonly known as new wave, synth-pop bassist Chris Cross, passed away ~ Member of Ultravox from 1974 through 1987, rejoining in 2008. The band enjoyed popularity in Europe especially during the 1980s, racking up about a dozen hits of which Vienna, All Stood Still and Dancing With Tears In My Eyes all reached top 10 in the band's native UK. Upon hearing of his death, bandmate Midge Ure described Cross as “the glue that held the band together, (and) the logic in the madness and the madness in our lives” ~ Allen was born in 1952
March 25, 2024 ~ Pop, soul singer, producer Humphrey Campbell passed away ~ Represented the Netherlands at the 1992 Eurovision Songfestival with the song Wijs Me De Weg, reaching 9th place. One of the backup singers was Ruth Jacott who would represent the Netherlands the next year, with Campbell as backup singer. Subsequently the two would form a longtime romantic relationship. Campbell has also served as producer, notably working with Jacott, Timeless, and Fluitsma & Van Tijn, and formed the close harmony sibling outfit CC Campbell with his brothers Charles Campbell and Carlo Campbell ~ Campbell was born in 1958
March 24, 2024 ~ Dennis Bouman, commonly known as rapper, songwriter Def Rhymz, passed away in Utrecht, the Netherlands ~ Enjoyed popularity especially in the late 1990s and early 2000s. Has recorded the albums De Goeiste, De Allergoeiste, and Hoorgasme. Best known for Doekoe and Schudden, both of which topped the charts in the Netherlands. Has also notably collaborated with the Postmen on the Doe Maar-cover De Bom, a Dutch top 10 hit at the turn of the century ~ Bouman was born in 1970
March 24, 2024 ~ R&B, funk singer Vincent Bonham passed away ~ Co-founding member of Raydio, with whom he recorded four albums during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The band is best known for the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits Jack And Jill, You Can't Change That, and A Woman Needs Love (Just Like You Do), and launched the career of lead singer Ray Parker Jr. Following the band's disbandement, Bonham has produced his bandmate Jerry Knight's Perfect Fit solo album, and served as backing musician for Prince, Chaka Khan, and Evelyn Champagne King ~ Bonham was born ca.1957
March 20, 2024 ~ Elsa Mazzetti, commonly known as pop singer Cocky Mazzetti, passed away in Milan, Italy ~ Took her stage name after her poodle named “Cocky”. Member of the Minstrels Of Jazz during the 1950s. As a solo artist, Mazzetti enjoyed popularity through the mid-1960s. Well-known songs include an Italian translation of the Los Machucambos track Pepito, Giovane Giovane, and Nuttata 'E Luna. Later on in her career, Mazzetti gained renewed attention on the oldies circuit including as a member of the group the Oldies and as a recurring guest on several nostalgia-themed music TV shows on RAI ~ Mazzetti was born in 1937
March 18, 2024 ~ Saxophonist, clarinetist, flutist Jimmy Hastings, full name James Brian Gordon Hastings, passed away ~ Prominent figure in the Canterbury scene, most closely associated with Caravan with whom he recorded over half a dozen albums including the acclaimed In The Land Of Grey And Pink and For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night. Hastings has also notably appeared on albums by Soft Machine, Trapeze (You Are The Music (We're Just The Band)), Murray Head, Bryan Ferry, Chris Squire (Fish Out Of Water), Hatfield & the North, and National Health. To younger audiences perhaps best known for guesting on the 2001 Radiohead album Amnesiac along with other members of Humphrey Lyttelton's eight-piece jazz band ~ Hastings was born in 1938
March 17, 2024 ~ Matthew Urango, commonly known as keyboardist, guitarist, singer Cola Boyy, passed away ~ Born with spina bifida, kyphosis, and scolioses, as well as a club foot, Urango had experienced discrimination in the labor market prior to establishing himself as a professional musician. His sound compared by NME as “a disco ball melting or the after-effects of some particularly potent hallucinogenics”, Cola Boyy released his debut EP Black Boogie Neon in 2018, followed by the full-length Prosthetic Boombox debut album in 2021. Urango had played in punk rock bands in high school, and played guitar for indie pop band the Sea Lions, but opted for a more accessible sound to reach a wider audience. Well-known songs include Penny Girl, Buggy Tip, Beige 70, and Kid Born In Space, the latter telling of his experience growing up as a disabled person. Urango is known for his anti-capitalist views, and involved in various left-wing causes including advocating for immigrants and workers ~ Urango was born in 1990
March 17, 2024 ~ Stephen Malcolm Ronald Nice, commonly known as glam rock, art rock, pop rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Steve Harley, passed away ~ Lead singer, frontman of 1970s outfit Cockney Rebel, with whom he recorded about half a dozen albums including the UK top 10 albums The Psychomodo and The Best Years Of Our Lives. The band is known for songs such as Sebastian, Judy Teen, Mr Soft, and perhaps their best known Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me), the latter a No.1 hit in both Ireland and the band's native UK and a radio staple to this day. Following the band's disbandement, Harley has recorded about half a dozen albums as a solo artist. The singer continued to perform into his seventies, and was forced to cancel his upcoming 2024 tour after being diagnosed with cancer. Upon hearing of his passing, fellow musician Midge Ure, who had produced Harley's 1982 track I Can't Even Touch You, stated Harley was “a true ‘working’ musician, (who) toured until he could tour no more” ~ Nice was born in 1951
March 14, 2024 ~ Alternative rock, pop rock, electronic singer, songwriter Angela McCluskey passed away ~ Co-founding member, lead singer of critically acclaimed Los Angeles-based outfit Wild Colonials which also included her husband Paul Cantelon, the folk-tinged band known best for the mid-1990s albums Fruit Of Life and This Can't Be Life. McCluskey has also recorded as a solo artist, specifically acclaimed for her 2004 The Things We Do album, and has notably guested on tracks by the Garden Of Eden, Télépopmusik (Breathe), Deep Forest, Kendrick Lamar (Is It Love), Morgan Page, Delerium, Andy Caldwell, Paul Oakenfold (You Could Be Happy), Parov Stelar, and Big Gigantic. Upon hearing of her death, McCluskey's friend of 25 years Julie Panebianco remarked: “She was a singer's singer. Her versions of Famous Blue Raincoat and My Funny Valentine are the ‘only’ versions. She didn't just cover songs, she stole them” ~ McCluskey was born in 1960
March 13, 2024 ~ Pop drummer Dick Allix passed away ~ Co-founding member of Vanity Fare, known for a handful of late 1960s singles. I Live For The Sun, Early In The Morning, and Hitchin' A Ride, all lifted off their The Sun The Wind And Other Things debut album, would all reach top 20 in the band's native UK. Allix departed the band in 1970, and would later become known among sports fans as a sports promoter, manager, and co-founder of the Professional Darts Corporation ~ Allix was born in 1945
March 13, 2024 ~ Gypsy jazz, swing, jazz fusion guitarist Sylvain Luc passed away ~ Praised for his fingerstyle playing technique. About a dozen albums to his name as a leader or solo artist since the early 1990s, especially noted for the 2002 album Trio Sud featuring regular collaborators bassist Jean-Marc Jafet and drummer André Ceccarelli, and Solo Ambre released in 2005. An in-demand sideman, Luc has guested on albums by Patrick Bruel, Françoise Hardy, Charles Aznavour, Lokua Kanza, Biréli Lagrène, Didier Lockwood, Richard Bona, Vincent Peirani, and Juan Carmona ~ Luc was born in 1965
March 10, 2024 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter Eric Carmen, full name Eric Howard Carmen, passed away ~ Rose to fame as frontman and primary songwriter of power pop unit the Raspberries, known best for Go All The Way, I Wanna Be With You, and Overnight Sensation (Hit Record). Following the band's disbandement in the mid-1970s, Carmen embarked on a solo career, scoring several soft rock hits through the late 1980s including Never Gonna Fall In Love Again, Change Of Heart, Hungry Eyes, and Make Me Lose Control. Carmen's best known, the 1975 Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit All By Myself, would be covered by over 150 artists including Carmen McRae, Stanley Turrentine, Hank Williams Jr, the Brotherhood Of Men, Shirley Bassey, Sheryl Crow, and Céline Dion. Carmen also wrote Hey Deanie, a Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit for Shaun Cassidy, and co-wrote Almost Paradise, a Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit for Ann Wilson & Mike Reno lifted off the Footloose soundtrack ~ Carmen was born in 1949
March 10, 2024 ~ Singer, guitarist, keyboardist, drummer Karl Wallinger, full name Karl Edmond De Vere Wallinger, passed away ~ Revered songwriter drawing from British heritage such as the Beatles as well as from Americans such as Bob Dylan. Key member of the Waterboys from 1983 through 1985, present on the albums A Pagan Place and the highly acclaimed This Is The Sea. Following his departure from the band Wallinger recorded as World Party, basically Wallinger's one-man-band at times employing session musicians where needed, known for Ship Of Fools, Way Down Now, Is It Like Today and She's The One, the latter later covered by over a dozen artists including Robbie Williams. Wallinger was also especially helpful in advancing Sinéad O'Connor's career, prominently involved in O'Connor's early demos that landed the then-unknown singer a record deal with Ensign Records ~ Wallinger was born in 1957
March 10, 2024 ~ Thomas Michael Stevens, commonly known as pop rock bassist TM Stevens or occasionally as Shaka Zulu, passed away ~ Recorded about half a dozen albums as a solo artist, perhaps most noted for Shocka Zooloo released in 2002. Member of Space Cadets, known for their eponymous Space Cadets album released in 1981. In-demand session and touring musician from the late 1970s onwards, present on albums by Narada Michael Walden, Stacy Lattisaw, David Sancious, Grandmaster Flash, Gregory Abbott (Shake You Down), the Pretenders (Get Close), Bob Geldof, Joe Cocker, Nona Hendryx, Cyndi Lauper, Tina Turner (Simply The Best), Curtis Stigers, Whitney Houston (The Bodyguard), Steve Vai, and Billy Joel ~ Stevens was born in 1951
March 9, 2024 ~ Classical trumpeter, cornetist Guy Touvron passed away ~ Accomplished soloist. Renowned interpreter of baroque composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Tomaso Albinoni, and Giuseppe Torelli, and contemporary classical music. Premiered trumpet concerts written by Ivan Jevtic, Jacques Loussier, and François Rauber. Principal trumpeter for the Orchestre National De Lyon and the French Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Formed the Guy Touvron Brass Ensemble by the early 1970s ~ Touvron was born in 1950
March 9, 2024 ~ Americana, folk, alternative country singer, guitarist, songwriter Malcolm Holcombe, full name Malcolm Brank Holcombe, passed away ~ Over a dozen albums to his name, including the criminally overlooked A Hundred Lies released in 1996. Known for his moody poetry, country blues guitar, and distintive rumbling baritone voice. Though Holcombe has never achieved mainstream success, he was revered by peers and critics, drawing comparison to the likes of John Prine and Tom Waits. Holcombe enjoyed a cult following, artists such as Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, and Iris DeMent among his fans, and has opened for Merle Haggard and Wilco. Upon hearing of his death, revered singer, songwriter Mary Gauthier commented: “He was a genius. A channel. A giver. A master, a maestro, one of my greatest teachers, saintly in spirit, and truly touched by God and the angels” ~ Holcombe was born in 1955
March 8, 2024 ~ Jazz, R&B saxophonist Ernie Fields Jr passed away in Pasadena, California, USA ~ Son of trombonist, pianist Ernie Fields, with whom he has also worked. Composed the score to the 1978 film Disco Godfather. Toured with James Brown alumnus Fred Wesley during the 1990s. Fields was an in-demand session musician, appearing on albums by Alphonso Johnson, Albert King, Freddie Hubbard, Martha Reeves, Marvin Gaye (Here My Dear), Marlena Shaw, Teena Marie (Wild & Peaceful), Rick James (Bustin' Out Of L Seven), Aretha Franklin, Third World, Miles Davis, Two Tons Of Fun, and Stevie Wonder ~ Fields was born in 1934
March 7, 2024 ~ Sidney Liebowitz, commonly known as singer, actor Steve Lawrence, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Formed the husband-wife duo Steve & Eydie with Eydie Gormé, known for songs such as We Got Us, I Want To Stay Here and I Can't Stop Talking About You. Both Gormé and Lawrence enjoyed parrallel solo careers, Lawrence regularly reaching the higher echelons of the charts with songs such as Go Away Little Girl, Pretty Blue Eyes, Footsteps and Party Doll. Lawrence appeared in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers, portraying the role of Maury Sline, manager and friend of the band ~ Liebowitz was born in 1935
March 4, 2024 ~ Harris Lloyd Seaton, commonly known as ska, rocksteady, reggae singer, songwriter Bibby Seaton or BB Seaton passed away in London, UK ~ Formed the duo Winston & Bibby with Delano Stewart, the pair later expanding into the Gaylads. The vocal group would become one of the premier rocksteady groups in Jamaica, reigning for about a decade starting in the early 1960s. The group had several hits of their own, including My Jamaican Girl, Don't Say No, and There's A Fire, and served as backing unit for the likes of Ken Parker, Ken Boothe, and Delroy Wilson. Seaton has also recorded as a solo artist, noted for songs such Accept My Apology and Thin Line Between Love And Hate, worked with groups such as the Astronauts, Conscious Minds, and the Messengers, and has written songs recorded by Boothe, Wilson, and the Melodians ~ Seaton was born in 1944
March 3, 2024 ~ Southern rock, country rock drummer Brit Turner passed away ~ Member of Blackberry Smoke, which also included his brother bassist Richard Turner, with whom he has recorded a little over half a dozen albums since the early 2000s. The band draws mainly from Southern rock, inspired by Lynyrd Skynyrd, with a solid dose of bluegrass, gospel, and R&B added for good measure. They are noted for being the first independent country band to score a Billboard Country No.1 album with All The Roses released in 2015. The band's next three albums would also reach top 10, with Like An Arrow also reaching top 20 on the all-genre Billboard Hot 200. Diagnosed with glioblastoma, Turner retired from performing in late 2022. Following his death at age 57, the band issued a statement saying: “Brit was Blackberry Smoke's True North, the compass that instituted the ideology that will continue to guide this band” ~ Turner was born ca.1967
March 3, 2024 ~ Elnora Ruth Procter, commonly known jazz singer Eleanor Collins, passed away in Surrey, Canada ~ Dubbed Canada's “First Lady of Jazz”. Active since her mid-teens. Critically compared to Lena Horne and Ella Fitzgerald. Has performed in stage productions of of Finian's Rainbow, Kiss Me Kate, and You Can't Take It With You. Well known for her association with several radio and TV shows, notably Bamboula (A Day In The West Indies), the first variety TV show featuring an interracial cast, and her own The Eleanor Show aired from 1955 onwards making her the first female, the first person of colour, and the first jazz singer to headline a show on national TV. Collins would continue to perform in clubs and concert into the 1980s ~ Procter was born in 1919
March 2, 2024 ~ Wesley Curley Clark, commonly known as blues singer, guitarist WC Clark, passed away ~ Dubbed “the Godfather of Austin Blues” for his influence since the late-1960s. Sang gospel in church choirs, took up guitar by age 14, was playing professionally two years later. Early on in his career, Clark toured with Joe Tex before returning to his native Austin, to find a new crop of young and eager performers. Clark is legendary perhaps most for forming the Triple Threat Revue in the mid-1970s with the then-unknown Lou Ann Barton and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Though the trio only briefly played together, they set the standard for Austin blues, with Vaughan crediting Clark as a mentor and immense influence. Clark has shared stages with BB King, James Brown, Albert King, and Freddie King. Outside Texas, he is perhaps best known for half a dozen solo albums released later on in his career, notably 1994's Heart Of Gold, and From Austin With Soul released in 2002 ~ Clark was born in 1939
March 1, 2024 ~ Saxophonist Don Wise, full name Donald Grover Wise, passed away in Knoxville, Tennessee, USA ~ Recorded a handful of albums as a leader, noted particularly for Swingin' Up A Storm released in 2005. Best known for his association with Delbert McClinton, backing the singer for over two decades including on albums such as One Of The Fortunate Few, Room To Breathe, and Cost Of Living. Other notable associations include Jodi Benson, Bugs Henderson, Kevin McKendree, the Delta Riders, Todd Sharp, Teresa James, and Rob Roy Parnell ~ Wise was born in 1942
February 25, 2024 ~ Peter Anthony Morgan, commonly known as reggae singer Peetah Morgan, passed away ~ Lead singer of sibling outfit Morgan Heritage, comprised of offspring of iconic reggae singer Denroy Morgan. The group has recorded over a dozen albums since the mid-1990s, and is perhaps best known for the Grammy Award-winning Strictly Roots album released in 2015. Morgan has also recorded as a solo artist, noted for his sole full-length album TUT (The Undeniable Truth) released in 2013, and has collaborated with Shane Brown, Irie Love, SunDub, and most recently with Jah Sun on the 2023 Return To Balance album ~ Morgan was born ca.1977
February 22, 2024 ~ Skiffle, rock & roll pianist John Lowe, full name John Charles Duff Lowe, passed away ~ By invite of Paul McCartney, Lowe played with the Quarrymen from 1958 through 1960, a band that would evolve into the Beatles. Lowe, known to friends as “Duff”, was present on the recordings of That'll Be The Day and In Spite Of All The Danger, for which he retained ownership. Lowe sold the songs to McCartney in 1981, the two tracks would be included on the Beatles Anthology Vol.1 compilation album released in 1995 ~ Lowe was born in 1942
February 22, 2024 ~ Veronica Loretta Stoneman, commonly known as banjoist, actress, comedian Roni Stoneman, passed away ~ Dubbed “the First Lady of Banjo”. Daughter of guitarist Ernest Stoneman, one of the earliest country music stars. Member of family outfit the Stonemans for over a decade, with whom she has performed at the White House, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Grand Ole Opry. Stoneman is especially known as a cast member of the Hee Haw country music variety TV show for nearly two decades starting in the early 1970s. While she occasionally picked banjo and sang on the show, it was her comedic talent that garnered more attention, specifically in the character of Ida Lee Nagger. As a musician, Stoneman continued to perform into the 2020s, either as a solo artist or with her sister mandolinist Donna Stoneman ~ Stoneman was born in 1938
February 21, 2024 ~ Classical, neoclassical metal, progressive metal pianist, composer Vitalij Kuprij passed away ~ Regarded a keyboard virtuoso by both classical and heavy metal, progressive metal critics. Received numerous awards in the classical world, notably winning prestigious competitions such as the All-Union Chopin Competition, the Kiev Conservatory Competition and the Cleveland Piano Competition. To metal audiences known for founding progressive metal band Atlantis Rising, which evolved into Artension, as a member of Yngwie Malmsteen's neoclassical, power metal unit Ring Of Fire, as a regular collaborator of the highly influential Finnish metal outfit the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and as a solo artist. Kuprij has recorded about a dozen albums as a solo artist, both classical music and neoclassical metal ~ Kuprij was born in 1974
February 20, 2024 ~ Pianist, singer David Libert passed away ~ Co-founding member of pop group the Happenings. The band was known for adding their own distinctive style to hits originally recorded by others, and enjoyed popularity especially during the mid-1960s. See You In September, Go Away Little Girl, I Got Rhythm, and My Mammy all reached top 20 Billboard Hot 100. Libert briefly served as manager for Rare Earth, and subsequently as tour manager for Alice Cooper during the first half of the 1970s, a time span generally considered Cooper's key period. After relocating to Los Angeles in 1976, Libert became a representative for artists such as George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Brian Auger, Vanilla Fudge, and Living Colour ~ Libert was born in 1943
February 19, 2024 ~ Rock, blues-rock, electric blues guitarist, bassist, keyboardist, singer Bobby Tench passed away ~ Though never a household name, Tench was held in the highest regards by peers and critics, having played with some of the biggest names in British rock. Co-founding member of Gass and of Hummingbird. Best known for his associations with blues guitarist Freddie King and with singer Van Morrison. Worked with Jeff Beck both in the Jeff Beck Group and as a touring singer with Beck Bogert & Appice. Other notable associations include Humble Pie, the Streetwalkers, Hummingbird, Ginger Baker, Linda Lewis, Boxer, Widowmaker, Eric Burdon, Axis Point, Brian Robertson, Topper Headon, Roger Chapman, Ruby Turner, and Alan Price ~ Tench was born in 1944
February 16, 2024 ~ Cynthia Sue Strother, commonly known as singer Cynthia Bell, passed away in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA ~ Formed the sibling duo the Bell Sisters with her baby sister Edith Bell, adopting their mother's maiden name as stage names. The duo would be discovered in 1951 performing Bermuda, written by Cynthia, on a local Los Angeles TV show. Music publisher Joe Happy Goday would take an interest in the sibling act and had them record the track. The single would reach top 10 on the pop charts the following year, and eventually sell a million copies. The sisters would have two more hits, Wheel Of Fortune which scratched the top 10, and Piece A'Puddin' which reached top 20 ~ Strother was born in 1935
February 16, 2024 ~ Rockabilly, roots rock singer, guitarist Dexter Romweber, full name John Michael Dexter Romweber, passed away ~ Iconic figure in underground roots rock, rockabilly circles since the mid-1980s. Cited by the White Stripes guitarist Jack White as a major influence. Best known for founding rockabilly revivalists Flat Duo Jets with Chris Crow Smith, naming themselves after Gene Vincent's Gretsch Duo Jet guitar. The band recorded close to a dozen albums, and are especially acclaimed for their 1990 eponymous Flat Duo Jets album, and its 1992 follow-up Go Go Harlem. Romweber also formed Dex Romweber Duo with his older sister drummer Sara Romweber, their full-length Ruins Of Berlin debut album released in 2009, and has recorded several albums as a solo artist ~ Romweber was born in 1966
February 16, 2024 ~ Greg Hinz, commonly known as hard rock, heavy metal drummer Fritz Hinz, passed away ~ Longtime member of Canadian heavy metal outfit Helix, present on most of the band's best known including their Walking The Razor's Edge album which spawned Rock You, their biggest hit. Hinz remained with the band from 1983 through 1996, rejoining in 2009. Hinz quietly retreated from the band in 2023 as cancer treatments began, his medical condition kept quiet at his request. Following his death, Helix frontman Brian Vollmer described Hinz as a brother, the funniest guy you'd ever want to meet, and the consummate rock drummer: “He loved his drums and he loved drumming and performing. He took great pride in everything he did.” ~ Hinz was born ca.1956
February 16, 2024 ~ Poet, radio host, jazz scholar, music critic Reuben Jackson passed away ~ Known for his encyclopedic knowledge of jazz music and culture. Served as curator of the Duke Ellington Collection at the Smithsonian Institution for over two decades, a position he called “a job of a lifetime”. Hosted Friday Night Jazz for most of the 2010s, aired on Vermont Public Radio. An accomplished music critic, Jackson has written for The Washington Post, Jazz Times, DownBeat, and All About Jazz, his reviews regularly featured on NPR's All Things Considered radio show. Jackson is also known as a poet, his most recent bundle Scattered Clouds published in 2019 ~ Jackson was born ca.1956
February 15, 2024 ~ Pop rock guitarist, singer Ian Amey also known as Tich, full name Ian Frederick Stephen Amey, passed away ~ Co-founding member of Dave Dee Dozy Beaky Mick & Tich. With their zany stage act and lurid dress sense, the band enjoyed popularity especially in Australia, New Zealand, and their native UK during the 1960s, yet unlike many of their contemporaries they failed to achieve much chart success in America. The band scored close to a dozen top 20 UK hits through 1968 drawing from freakbeat, mod, and pop. Well-known songs include Bend It, Save Me, Zabadak, and perhaps their best known the million-seller The Legend Of Xanadu, the latter their sole UK No.1 hit. Hold Tight, originally a 1967 UK No.4 hit, would later be used in the Quentin Tarantino film Death Proof released in 2007 ~ Amey was born ca.1945
February 13, 2024 ~ Edward Sturgis, commonly known as DJ Eddie Cheba, passed away ~ Fixture on the New York scene during the 1970s. One of the earliest rapping DJ's, considered pivotal to the development of hip hop. Influential on Kurtis Blow, close friend DJ Hollywood, and Def Jam Recordings co-founder Russell Simmons, the latter inspired to pursue a career in music after hearing Cheba perform. The year before his passing, Cheba suffered a series of strokes. Upon hearing of his ailing health, Simmons stated, recalling the hey days: “The absolute facts are as follows. If you couldn't get Hollywood, you got Cheba. If you couldn't get Cheba, you got Lovebug Starski. Again, this is actual facts. If you got all three, the number of tickets would skyrocket and you could pay the bar guarantee. They were the rap stars and the biggest money makers and draws.” ~ Sturgis was born in 1956
February 11, 2024 ~ Lloyd Arrington Sparks, commonly known as singer, guitarist, banjoist, songwriter Randy Sparks, passed away in San Diego, California, USA ~ Founded the New Christy Minstrels, most acclaimed for their 1962 Presenting The New Christy Minstrels debut album, and for often-covered songs such as Green Green, Saturday Night and Today written or co-written by Sparks. The band is also especially noted for including Barry McGuire and for launching the careers of John Denver and Kenny Rogers. Sparks also founded the Back Porch Majority, initially intended as a rehearsal space for the Minstrels, yet the group would become successful on its own, recording about half a dozen albums. A 1964 review by The New York Times would read: “The Minstrels maintain the sort of bubbling good spirits that ought to be bottled and sold at every supermarket in the land. They suggest a Norman Rockwell portrait of nine youths who are smiling their way through song and life” ~ Sparks was born in 1933
February 9, 2024 ~ Kenji Suzuki, commonly known as krautrock, experimental rock singer Damo Suzuki, passed away ~ Though his tenure with Krautrock pioneers Can was brief, it is generally considered the band's most important period. Busking outside a Hamburg cafe, he was spotted by bassist Holger Czukay and drummer Jaki Liebezeit who invited him to join the band. Suzuki gave his first performance with the band that same day, and would sing lead vocals on the albums Tago Mago, Ege Bamyasi, and Future Days. As a solo artist, Suzuki is most acclaimed for his 1998 Seattle live double album. Suzuki has been cited as an influence by Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols, Thurston Moore of Sonic Youth, Geoff Barrow of Portishead, and the band Spoon, who took their name from a Can song. Pavement's Stephen Malkmus has been quoted as saying: “I played Can's Ege Bamyasi album every night before I went to sleep for about three years.” ~ Suzuki was born in 1950
February 9, 2024 ~ Rock & roll drummer Jimmy Van Eaton, full name James Mack Van Eaton, passed away in Alabama, USA ~ Initially played Dixieland jazz with the Jivin' Five, which he founded, before switching to rock & roll. Recording a demo at Sun Records with engineer Cowboy Jack Clement impressed Clement, who then recommended Van Eaton to Billy Lee Riley. Van Eaton would tour with Riley, as well as with Conway Twitty, on weekends, and work as a session drummer during the week. From the mid through the late 1950s, Van Eaton drummed on most of the Sun Records recordings by Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, Bill Justis, and Jerry Lee Lewis, including on the latter's 1957 Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On classic. By the 1960s Van Eaton mostly retired from music. In 1998, going by the moniker JM Van Eaton, he released his sole solo album The Beat Goes On, featuring his own songs and vocals ~ Van Eaton was born in 1937
February 7, 2024 ~ R&B, soul singer Henry Fambrough, full name Henry Lee Fambrough, passed away in Sterling, Virginia, USA ~ Last surviving original member of the Spinners, at times known as the Detroit Spinners or the Motown Spinners to avoid confusion with other groups. The group had been recording since the early-1960s, and enjoyed popularity especially during the 1970s. Well known songs include It's A Shame, I'll Be Around, Could It Be I'm Falling In Love, Ghetto Child, the Billboard Hot 100 No.1 hit Then Came You with Dionne Warwick, The Rubberband Man, and Working My Way Back To You. The band would be inducted in the 2023 class of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, acknowledging them as “one of the most beloved R&B vocal groups in the world, (who) came to define the Philadelphia sound despite their Motor City origins.” ~ Fambrough was born in 1938
February 7, 2024 ~ Neill Kirby McMillan Jr, commonly known as rockabilly, cowpunk, psychobilly singer Mojo Nixon, passed away ~ Teamed up with Skid Roper in the 1980s, the duo releasing about half a dozen albums through the end of the decade. They are perhaps best known for Elvis Is Everywhere off their 1987 Bo-Day-Shus album, the single becoming an alternative staple on MTV. Nixon released his Otis solo debut album in 1990 and recorded throughout the mid-2000s before retiring from music. McMillan has also collaborated with Jello Biafra, Dave Alvin, and Country Dick Montana, and acted in about half a dozen films including portraying the role of drummer Jimmy Van Eaton in the Jerry Lee Lewis biopic Great Balls Of Fire ~ McMillan was born in 1957
February 6, 2024 ~ Blues, rock, reggae guitarist, singer Donald Kinsey passed away in Merrillville, Indiana, USA ~ Co-founding member of the Kinsey Report, which also included Ron Prince, his brothers Ralph Kinsey and Kenneth Kinsey, and patriarch Big Daddy Kinsey. Kinsey is also well known for his association with Albert King, appearing on the albums Blues At Sunset and Blues At Sunrise, both recorded live mostly at the 1973 Montreux Jazz Festival, Montreux, Switzerland, and as a member of Peter Tosh's backing unit including on the albums Legalize It, Bush Doctor, and Mama Africa. Other notable associations include Bob Marley (Rastaman Vibration), Burning Spear, Betty Wright, Roy Buchanan (Hot Wires), and Denroy Morgan ~ Kinsey was born in 1953
February 5, 2024 ~ Toby Keith Covel, commonly known as country singer, guitarist, actor Toby Keith, passed away ~ Tried out for the Oklahoma Outlaws professional football team but did not make the team. Had promised himself to have a recording contract by age 30, or give up on music as a career. Keith released his eponymous Toby Keith debut album in 1993, which included his Should've Been A Cowboy Billboard Country No.1 debut single. Keith would go on to record some twenty-odd albums and sell over 40 million records. Became a household name with Courtesy Of The Red White And Blue (The Angry American), released in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Over the course of his career, Keith would rack up over a dozen Billboard Country No.1 hits including You Shouldn't Kiss Me Like This, the Willie Nelson-duet Beer For My Horses, Love Me If You Can, She Never Cried In Front Of Me, and Made In America ~ Covel was born in 1961
February 4, 2024 ~ Artist manager Martin Kirkup passed away in Hawaii, USA ~ Active as label executive and artist manager since the mid-1970s, initially for A&M Records, overseeing campaigns for artists such as Peter Frampton, Supertramp, Joe Jackson, and the Police. Co-founded artist management company Direct Management by the mid-1980s, helping advance the careers of several artists. Notable successes include getting If You Leave by Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark on the Pretty In Pink soundtrack, which significantly boosted the band's exposure in America, helping steer the B52's towards more commercial success starting with the 1989 Cosmic Thing album which spawned the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits Roam and Love Shack, and signing the then-unknown rock outfit the Counting Crows in the early 1990s, whose August & Everything After debut album would go on to sell over 10 million copies. Kirkup has also been involved with artists such as Boy Meets Girl, Bryan Ferry, Katy Perry, and Adam Lambert ~ Kirkup was born ca.1948
February 3, 2024 ~ Reggae bassist, guitarist, keyboardist, percussionist, arranger, songwriter, producer Aston Barrett, full name Aston Francis Barrett, passed away in Miami, Florida, USA ~ Helped define the role of the bass in reggae. Brother of drummer Carlton Barrett. Best known as longtime associate of Bob Marley, serving as bassist, arranger, and bandleader from 1969 until Marley's death a dozen years later. Earned the nickname “Family Man” for his role in Marley's backing unit. One of the first to incorporate a drum machine in reggae, as heard in Marley songs such as No Woman No Cry, So Jah Seh, and Johnny Was. Mentored Robbie Shakespeare of Sly & Robbie, who at some point commented: “He is a master for me. I have had help and influences from other people, but I have to give it mostly to Family Man.” ~ Barrett was born in 1946
February 2, 2024 ~ Wayne Kambes, commonly known as punk rock, proto-punk guitarist, singer Wayne Kramer, passed away ~ Co-founding member of MC5, one of the rawest and most outspoken bands in American rock. They are especially acclaimed for their 1969 Kick Out The Jams debut album, widely regarded as a forerunner to proto-punk and punk nearly a decade later. After two more albums, both of which sold poorly, the band disbanded in 1972. Kramer struggled through the remainder of the decade, before reemerging in the 1980s and 1990s. Kramer has also worked with Johnny Thunders, Was (Not Was), Bad Religion, and Dodge Main, recorded as a solo artist, and reignited MC5 in the 1990s with a rotating line-up. Upon hearing of his death, Rage Against The Machine's Tom Morello commented: “His band the MC5 basically invented punk rock music. Wayne came through personal trials of fire with drugs and jail time and emerged a transformed soul who went on to save countless lives through his tireless acts of service.” ~ Kambes was born in 1948
January 29, 2024 ~ Accordionist, keyboardist, guitarist Tony Cedras passed away ~ Perhaps best known for his longtime association with Paul Simon, both as a touring and session musician including on the acclaimed Graceland album. Cedras has also guested on albums by the likes of Hugh Masekela, Miriam Makeba (Sangoma), Ziggy Marley, Tony Bird, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Cassandra Wilson (Blue Light 'Til Dawn), Henry Threadgill (Carry The Day), Milton Nascimento, Garland Jeffreys, Bakithi Kumalo, and the Indica Project ~ Cedras was born ca.1952
January 27, 2024 ~ Bjørn Falk Nilsen, commonly known as singer, guitarist, songwriter Lillebjørn Nilsen, passed away ~ Formed the late 1960s duo the Young Norwegians with Bjørn Morisse, the latter also referred to as Storebjørn. Recorded consistently as a solo artist since the early 1970s. Considered “the Voice of Oslo” for having written numerous songs about the city. Befriended and worked with his idol Pete Seeger, whose My Rainbow Race he translated to Banr Av Regnbuen. Terrorist Anders Breivik, who killed over 70 people in the 2011 Oslo and Utøya attacks, stated he hated the song. In response, over 40,000 Norwegians sang it publicly outside Breivik's trial. Nilsen was also a member of supergroup Gitarkamaratene ~ Nilsen was born in 1950
January 26, 2024 ~ Jazz, jazz fusion, R&B, funk, rock guitarist Dean Brown passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ One of the most respected jazz guitarists of his generation, praised for his virtuosity and innovative approach. Has recorded five albums as a leader, starting with Here in 2000, often featuring all-star casts of regular collaborators. As a sideman, Brown has appeared on albums by Vital Information, Billy Cobham, Kirk Whalum (And You Know That), Bob James (Grand Piano Album), Steps Ahead, the Brecker Brothers, Marcus Miller (Tales), Till Brönner, Roberta Flack, Ricky Peterson (Souvenir), David Sanborn, Nelson Rangell (Always), Jason Miles, and Joe Zawinul ~ Dean was born in 1955
January 26, 2024 ~ Vibraphonist Michel Hausser passed away ~ Played the accordion before switching to vibraphone by his late teens. Sessioned prolifically in the 1950s and 1960s, backing the likes of Eddy Barclay, Christian Chevallier, Henri Crolla, Benny Golson, Stéphane Grappelli, Roger Guerin, Bobby Jaspar, Lucky Thompson, and Sarah Vaughan. Formed his own trio in the mid-1960s with bassist Jacky Samson and a rotating roster of drummers. Hausser relocated to Germany in the 1970s, where he worked as a teacher ~ Hausser was born in 1927
January 25, 2024 ~ Jazz, improvisation, world music singer Bruno Amstad passed away ~ Sang soul, funk, and rock in the 1980s before switching to jazz and world music, eventually joining Christy Doran's New Bag. Amstad would remain with Doran for over a decade, recording over half a dozen albums. Establishing himself as one of the leading voice in world music to come out of Switzerland, Amstad would collaborate with a host of artists including Asita Hamidi, Sandro Schneebeli, Freddy Studer, Phil Minton, and John Zorn ~ Amstad was born ca.1964
January 23, 2024 ~ Franz Reuther, commonly known as singer, songwriter, producer Frank Farian, passed away in Miami, Florida, USA ~ Prior to his career in music, Farian trained as a cook. Performed and recorded as a singer from the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, before becoming one of the most prolific and successful producers to come out of Germany. Acts founded, managed, produced by Farian have sold over 850 million records and earned some 800 gold and platinum certifications. Best known for founding 1970s disco group Boney M, with whom he enjoyed popularity especially in Europe with disco hits such as Daddy Cool, Ma Baker, Rivers Of Babylon, and Rasputin, and for founding Milli Vanilli, known for the late 1980s Billboard Hot 100 No.1 hits Baby Don't Forget My Number, Blame It On The Rain, and Girl I'm Gonna Miss You. Other notable acts he was involved with include Le Click, La Bouche, No Mercy, Eruption, and the Far Corporation ~ Reuther was born in 1941
January 23, 2024 ~ Melanie Anne Safka, mononymously known as folk, pop singer, guitarist Melanie, passed away ~ Over two dozen albums to her name, enjoying popularity especially during the late 1960s and early 1970s emerging from New York's Greenwich Village folk scene. Best known for the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits Lay Down (Candles In The Rain) and Brand New Key, the latter a No.1 hit in 1971, and the Rolling Stones-cover Ruby Tuesday which reached top 10 in the UK. Along with Janis Joplin and Joan Baez, Safka was one of only three solo women to perform at the Woodstock Music and Art Fair in 1969, of which she later said: “An unbelievably frightening day. I never even felt like I was a hippy, I didn't like the term. If anything, I was the beat generation, people in the Village expressing themselves in so many ways, not being pigeonholed.” ~ Safka was born in 1947
January 22, 2024 ~ Betty Lou Miller, commonly known as Christian, country singer, guitarist, pianist, songwriter Margo Smith, passed away in Franklin, Tennessee, USA ~ Known for her yodeling, her 1970s country remakes of the pop songs Don't Break The Heart That Loves You and It Only Hurts For A Little While both of which topped the Billboard Country charts, and for a number of 1980s hits after turning to a more risque image with songs such as Still A Woman, The Shuffle Song and Cup Of Tea, the latter a duet with Rex Allen Jr ~ Smith was born in 1939
January 22, 2024 ~ Music journalist Neil Kulkarni passed away ~ Following his tenure as a staff writer for Melody Maker from 1993 through 2000, Kulkarni freelanced for publications such as Uncut, Vox, Spin, The Guardian, The Quietus, and DJ Magazine. Kulkarni has also authored several books, starting with Hip Hop Bring The Noise (The Stories Behind The Biggest Songs) published in 2004. Kulkarni focused primarily on hip hop and metal. Upon hearing of his death at age 51, Clash Magazine called him “one of the sharpest pens of his generation” ~ Kulkarni was born in 1972
January 19, 2024 ~ Marlina Burgess, commonly known as jazz, blues, soul singer Marlena Shaw, passed away ~ First turned to music by her uncle jazz trumpeter Jimmy Burgess, who introduced her to recordings of Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, gospel, and singer Al Hibbler who in Shaw's words “really knows how to phrase a song”. Her uncle first brought her to the stage to sing with his band while Shaw was still in her early teens. As a solo performer, Shaw has been active since the early 1960s, getting her first big break when a regular gig at the Playboy Club, Chicago, drew the attention of representatives of Chess Records, who then signed her to the subsidiary Cadet Records label. Though she never became a household name, Shaw is fondly remembered for her rendition of California Soul taken off her 1969 The Spice Of Life sophomore album, her highly acclaimed 1974 Who Is This Bitch Anyway album, and a string of disco tracks through the late 1970s ~ Burgess was born in 1942
January 19, 2024 ~ Singer Mary Weiss passed away ~ Leader of 1960s R&B girl group the Shangri-Las. Sang lead on Remember (Walking In The Sand), Give Him A Great Big Kiss and Out In The Streets. Sang co-lead on the band's biggest hit, The Leader Of The Pack, in tandem with Elizabeth Weiss. Following the band's disbandement in 1968, Weiss mostly disappeared from the music scene for decades, reemerging in 2007 with her first and only solo album, the critically acclaimed Dangerous Game album ~ Weiss was born in 1948
January 13, 2024 ~ Joel Sonnier, commonly known as Cajun, zydeco, country singer, accordionist, songwriter Jo-El Sonnier, passed away in Llano, Texas, USA ~ Active professionally since the late 1960s, first performing on the radio at age six. Would become a fixture on the Louisiana Cajun scene, earning a devoted following bridging the musical traditions. Well over two dozen albums to his name, especially noted for Come On Joe released in 1987, and for Cajun Young Blood released in 1996. Best known for No More One More Time and the Richard Thompson-cover Tear Stained Letter, both of which reached top 10 Billboard Country. Guested on albums by Emmylou Harris (Elite Hotel), Johnny Cash, George Strait, Elvis Costello (King Of America), Patty Loveless, Dolly Parton, the Indigo Girls, Sammy Kershaw, Clarence Gatemouth Brown, and Mark Knopfler ~ Sonnier was born in 1946
January 12, 2024 ~ Bluegrass singer, guitarist, mandolinist Audie Blaylock passed away ~ Spent most of the 1980s backing Jimmy Martin. Would go on to work with Red Allen, Lynn Morris, Harley Allen, Rhonda Vincent, Michael Cleveland, Patrick McAvinue, Michael Martin Murphey, and Bobby Osborne. Released his Trains Are The Only Way To Fly solo debut album in 2001 and has recorded as solo artist and with his backing unit Redline since ~ Blaylock was born in 1962
January 12, 2024 ~ Actor, singer Bill Hayes, full name William Foster Hayes III, passed away ~ To pop audiences known for the single The Ballad Of Davy Crockett which topped the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1955, and sold over two million copies. Hayes would also star in a Broadway production of the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II penned musical Me & Juliet, and score several minor hits including The Berry Tree, High Noon, and Wringle Wrangle. Hayes would eventually become best known as an actor, known particularly for his role of Doug Williams in the soap opera Days Of Our Lives ~ Hayes was born in 1925
January 8, 2024 ~ Singer, songwriter Guy Bonnet passed away in Montpellier, France ~ Internationally best known for several Eurovision Songfestival entries. Co-wrote La Source for Isabelle Aubret, the French entry for the 1968 edition, which reached 3rd place. As a singer, Bonnet also represented his native France twice, reaching 4th place in 1970 with Marie-Blanche, and participating again in 1983, reaching 8th place with Vivre. Songs written or-co-written by Bonnet have also been recorded by Mireille Mathieu, Sylvia Vartan, Franck Fernandel, and Massilia Sound System ~ Bonnet was born ca.1945
January 7, 2024 ~ Guitarist, songwriter Tony Clarkin, full name Anthony Michael Clarkin, passed away ~ Guitarist, sole songwriter for Magnum, known best for their 1988 Wings Of Heaven album and its 1990 follow-up Goodnight LA. Well known songs include Days Of No Trust, Start Talking Love, It Must Have Been Love and Rockin' Chair, all of which reached top 40 in the band's native UK. The band folded in 1995, yet Clarkin and the band's lead singer Bob Catley would record two more albums through the end of the decade going by the moniker Hard Rain ~ Clarkin was born in 1946
January 5, 2024 ~ Derek Peter Palmer, commonly known as engineer, bassist, singer Del Palmer, passed away ~ Best known for his work with Kate Bush, with whom he was also romantically involved for a little over a decade starting in the late 1970s. Played bass on or engineered albums such as Lionheart, Hounds Of Love, The Sensual World, and The Red Shoes. Palmer has also worked with Midge Ure, Roy Harper, Alan Stivell, and Billy Sherwood. Later on in his career, Palmer recorded a handful of albums as a solo artist starting with Leap Of Faith released in 2007 ~ Palmer was born ca.1952
January 4, 2024 ~ Richard David Solberg, commonly known as actor, singer David Soul, passed away in London, UK ~ Best known as an actor, appearing in TV shows such as Here Comes The Bride, Magnum Force, and perhaps most notably Starsky & Hutch, portraying the role of Hutch. Solberg has also recorded as a singer, enjoying popularity during the mid-1970s especially in the UK. Well-known songs include Going In With My Eyes Open, Silver Lady, Let's Have A Quiet Night In, and Don't Give Up On Us, the latter also reaching No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100 ~ Solberg was born in 1943
January 2, 2024 ~ Guitarist, composer Chris Karrer passed away ~ Co-founding member of Amon Düül and its commercially more successful successor Amon Düül II, the latter especially known for a number of soundtracks most notably Niklashauser Fart and San Domingo. Though primarily active as a guitarist, Karrer also plays oud, saxophone, and violin. Karrer has also recorded as a solo artist, and worked with Embryo, Popol Vuh, Uli Trepte, and Guru Guru ~ Karrer was born in 1947
December 29, 2023 ~ Jazz, soul jazz pianist, singer, songwriter Les McCann, full name Leslie Coleman McCann, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Actively recording since the early 1960s. Noted for his 1969 Swiss Movement album, which also featured saxophonist Eddie Harris and trumpeter Benny Bailey. The album spawned the Billboard Hot 100 top 40 hit Compared To What, later covered by over 250 artists including Roberta Flack. McCann also collaborated with Teddy Edwards, Richard Groove Holmes, Lou Rawls (Stormy Monday), Stanley Turrentine, Cash McCall, and Herbie Mann ~ McCann was born in 1935
December 29, 2023 ~ Actor, director, singer, choreographer Maurice Hines, full name Maurice Robert Hines Jr, passed away in Englewood, New Jersey, USA ~ Brother of dancer Gregory Hines, with whom he has also worked including as opening act for the likes of Lionel Hampton and Gypsy Rose Lee. Starting in the late 1970s Hines would appear in Broadway productions of Eubie, Bring Back Birdie, Sophisticated Ladies and Uptown (It's Hot), earning a Tony Award for the latter. Conceived, choreographed, and directed Hot Feet, a 2006 jukebox musical featuring the music of Earth Wind & Fire ~ Hines was born in 1943
December 28, 2023 ~ Samuel David Bailey, commonly known as jazz drummer Dave Bailey, passed away ~ Has recorded a number of albums as a leader during the early 1960s, especially acclaimed for Reaching Out. Closely associated with Gerry Mulligan, appearing on about a dozen of the saxophonist's albums including At Storyville, Songbook, and What Is There To Say. Bailey has also appeared on albums by Lee Konitz (Tranquility), Bob Brookmeyer, Lou Donaldson (Blues Walk), Curtis Fuller, Ben Webster (The Soul Of Ben Webster), John Mehegan, Charlie Rouse (Unsung Hero), Tubby Hayes, Grant Green (Green Street), Clark Terry, Vi Redd, Marian McPartland, Helen Merrill (The Artistry Of Helen Merrill), Zoot Sims, Lucky Thompson, and Nappy Brown. Bailey retired from music by the late 1960s to work as a flight instructor ~ Bailey was born in 1926
December 26, 2023 ~ Comedian, pop, folk guitarist, singer Tom Smothers, full name Thomas Bolyn Smothers, passed away in Santa Rosa, California, USA ~ Formed the musical comedy duo the Smother Brothers with his brother Dick Smothers. Initially the siblings aimed to become folk musicians, but as Tom felt he was not good enough to be a professional musician yet funny enough to do comedy, the brothers added comedy bits to their routine. They are best known for a series of own TV shows, notably The Smother Brothers Comedy Hour aired on CBS. To pop and rock audiences Smothers is perhaps best known for playing guitar alongside John Lennon on the latter's 1969 single Give Peace A Chance, one of Lennon's most enduring songs ~ Smothers was born in 1937
December 26, 2023 ~ Jazz, avant-garde jazz, fusion drummer Tony Oxley passed away ~ One of the most prominent figures of British free improvisation. Well over two dozen albums to his name as leader or co-leader. Co-founded the Incus Records label. Closely associated with the Joseph Holbrooke Trio, the London Jazz Composers Orchestra, and Cecil Taylor. Especially noted for the 1988 collaborative Leaf Palm Hand album with the latter. In-demand sideman, present on albums by Gordon Beck, John McLaughlin (Extrapolation), Howard Riley, Kenny Wheeler (Song For Someone), Vangelis, Peter Brötzmann, Norma Winstone, Paul Bley, and Bill Dixon ~ Oxley was born in 1938
December 24, 2023 ~ Vasilis Kesoglidis, commonly known as laiko singer Vasilis Karras, passed away in Thessaloniki, Greece ~ Started performing in 1969, at age 16, at a local club, quickly becoming a regional favorite due to his distinctive raspy voice. Would continue to perform thoughout Northern Greece throughout the 1970s building a steady reputation. Released his Alismonites Ores debut album in 1980 recording steadily over the next few years. Shot to national fame in the early 1990s. Known best for the 1990s albums Tilefonise Mou and Epistrefo. Has collaborated with some of the biggest names in Greek music including Michalis Rakintzis, Zafeiris Melas, Phoebus, Despina Vandi, and Tolis Voskopoulos ~ Kesoglidis was born in 1953
December 24, 2023 ~ Jazz hornist, bassist Willie Ruff, full name Willie Henry Ruff Jr, passed away in Killen, Alabama, USA ~ Half of longtime duo the Mitchell-Ruff Duo, the other half being pianist Dwike Mitchell. The duo has recorded well over a dozen albums and made history in 1959 when they became the first jazz act to play in the Soviet Union since World War II. Half of Pisano & Ruff, the other half being John Pisano. An in-demand sideman and collaborator, Ruff has appeared on albums by Clifford Coultier, Miles Davis, Gil Evans, Benny Golson, Bobby Hutcherson, Milt Jackson, Quincy Jones, Lalo Schifrin, Leonard Cohen (Songs Of Leonard Cohen), Jimmy Smith, and Sonny Stitt. Ruff was also particularly known as a music scholar and teacher, graduating in 1954 from the Yale School of Music, New Haven, Connecticut, and serving as a professor at his alma mater from 1971 through 2017 ~ Ruff was born in 1931
December 22, 2023 ~ Singer, bassist Laura Lynch passed away in El Paso, Texas, USA ~ Co-founding member, lead singer, bassist for the Dixie Chicks, Present on the band's first three albums, Thank Heavens For Dale Evans, Little Ol' Cowgirl and Shouldn't A Told You That, before departing the band in 1990. Upon hearing of her death in a traffic collission at age 65, the band issued a statement saying: “We hold a special place in our hearts for the time we spent playing music, laughing and traveling together. Her infectious energy and humor gave a spark to the early days of our band. Her undeniable talents helped propel us beyond busking on street corners to stages all across Texas and the mid-West.” ~ Lynch was born in 1958
December 16, 2023 ~ Bossa nova singer, guitarist, songwriter Carlos Lyra, full name Carlos Eduardo Lyra Barbosa, passed away ~ Helped define bossa nova. Among the first songwriters to be recorded by João Gilberto. Frequent songwriting collaborator of Ronaldo Bôscoli, Geraldo Vandré, Vinicius de Moraes. Known for songs such as Quanda Chegares, Criticando, Voce E Eu, Lobo Bobo, Aruanda, and Quem Quiser Encontrar O Amor ~ Lyra was born in 1939
December 15, 2023 ~ Rock drummer Colin Burgess, full name Colin John Burgess, passed away ~ Member of Masters Apprentices from 1968 until its disbandement in 1972, present on most of the band's best known including the hit singles 5:10 Man, Think About Tomorrow Today, Turn Up Your Radio, and Because I Love You. Following the band's disbandement Burgess would serve as the original drummer for AC/DC, remaining with the band joining the band late 1973 and fired early 1974 for appearing drunk on stage ~ Burgess was born in 1946
December 12, 2023 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter, poet, author Ole Paus, full name Ole Christian Paus, passed away ~ Actively recording since the early 1970s. Regarded as Norway's premier troubadour, described as the Norwegian counterpart to Bob Dylan and as “the Voice of the Nation”. Best known for songs such as Innerst I Sjelen and Engler I Sneen. Frequent collaborator of Ketil Bjørnstad. Father of classical composer Marcus Paus, with whom he has also worked ~ Paus was born in 1947
December 11, 2023 ~ Sandra Elayne Hurvitz, commonly known as avant-garde jazz, folk-jazz, blues singer, pianist, guitarist, mandolinist Essra Mohawk, passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Signed to Reprise Records after being discovered by label executive Mo Ostin, which resulted in the highly acclaimed Primordial Lovers album released in 1970, featuring top-notch backing musicians such as Doug Hastings, Dallas Taylor, and James Zitro. Though never becoming a household name, Mohawk has recorded well through the 2000s to critical acclaim and a devoted following. Best known for songs such as Sufferin' Till Suffrage and Interjections. Songs written or co-written by Hurvitz have been recorded by the likes of Vanilla Fudge, Bobby & the Midnites (Haze), Cyndi Lauper (Change Of Heart), Tina Turner, Lorrie Morgan, Diana Ross, and Rita Coolidge (What's It Gonna Be) ~ Hurvitz was born in 1948
December 11, 2023 ~ Pop, rock singer, guitarist, mandolinist, keyboardist Jeffrey Foskett passed away ~ Member of 1970s outfit the Pranks. Best known for his association with Brian Wilson, serving as touring and session musician for Wilson solo and the Beach Boys since the 1980s. Has also recorded over half a dozen albums as a solo artist, starting with the 1996 Thru My Window album regarded by some as “the best Beach Boys album they never recorded”, and has toured or recorded with Jeff Larson, John Blakeley, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Nancy Sinatra, and Harry Shearer ~ Foskett was born in 1956
December 11, 2023 ~ Singer, songwriter Richard Kerr, full name Richard Buchanan Kerr, passed away ~ Though a fine singer in his own right, recording some half dozen albums starting in the early 1970s, best known as a songwriter, notably co-writing several of Barry Manilow's most endearing tracks including Mandy, Looks Like We Made It, and Where Are They Now. Others who recorded songs written or co-written by Kerr include Millie Jackson (A Fool's Affair), Natalie Cole, Don Partridge, the Glass Bottle (Follow Me), Jennifer Warnes, Roy Orbison, Dionne Warwick (I'll Never Love This Way Again), Helen Reddy, Bonnie Raitt, John Denver (Don't Close Your Eyes Tonight), and Tyrone Davis ~ Kerr was born in 1944
December 8, 2023 ~ R&B, funk, disco singer, songwriter Nidra Beard passed away ~ Co-lead singer for disco outfit Dynasty active throughout the late 1980s, known for songs such as I Don't Want To Be A Freak (But I Can't Help It), I've Just Begun To Love You, Do Me Right, and Groove Control. Beard wrote or co-wrote a vast amount of the band's songs, as well as for others including the Whispers, Shalamar (A Night To Remember), 7th Wonder, and 911 ~ Beard was born ca.1952
December 6, 2023 ~ Jazz pianist Michel Sardaby passed away in Paris, France ~ After relocating to France in the mid-1960s, became a fixture on the Paris jazz scene, working alongside artists such as Errol Parker, Stuart de Silva, and Aaron Bridgers. Over a dozen albums to his name, especially noted for his 1970 Night Cap sophomore album featuring backing from Percy Heath and Connie Kay. Other notable collaborators include Billy Cobham, Ray Barretto, Rufus Reid, Ralph Moore, and Tony Reedus. To blues audiences perhaps best known for guesting on T-Bone Walker's acclaimed 1969 Good Feelin' album ~ Sardaby was born in 1935
December 5, 2023 ~ Brian Frederick Arthur Hines, commonly known as pop rock singer, guitarist, bassist, keyboardist Denny Laine passed away in Naples, Florida, USA ~ Co-founding member of the Moody Blues, present on the band's 1965 The Magnificent Moodies debut album. Sang lead on the band's first hit, Go Now, which would top the charts in their native UK in 1965 and reach top 10 Billboard Hot 100. Laine would depart the band in 1966 and be replaced by Justin Hayward. Perhaps best known for his association with Paul McCartney, serving as member of McCartney's backing unit Wings from 1971 through 1981. Also co-wrote Mull Of Kintyre with McCartney. Laine has recorded about a dozen albums as a solo artist, noted for his 1976 Holly Days sophomore album, and worked with the Electric String Band, Balls, Ginger Baker, Colin Blunstone, and Carmine Appice ~ Hines was born in 1944
December 3, 2023 ~ Miles Francis Goodwin, commonly known as rock, pop, hard rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Myles Goodwyn, passed away in Halifax, Canada ~ Lead singer, main songwriter, co-founding and sole constant member of April Wine, with whom he recorded well over a dozen albums. The band would enjoy popularity especially during the 1970s and early 1980s, moving from garage rock to commercially viable rock, hard rock. They are best known for hits such as Tonite Is A Wonderful Time To Fall In Love, The Whole World's Goin' Crazy, and You Won't Dance With Me, all of which reached top 10 in their native Canada. The singles You Could Have Been A Lady, Roller, and Just Between You And Me would also reach top 40 Billboard Hot 100. Goodwyn released his eponymous Myles Goodwyn solo debut album in 1988 ~ Goodwin was born in 1948
November 30, 2023 ~ Punk rock singer Shane MacGowan, full name Shane Patrick Lysaght MacGowan, passed away in Dublin, Ireland ~ Lead singer of the Pogues from its inception in 1982 through 1991, rejoined in 2001. Merging the raw energy and anger of punk with Irish folk and instrumentation the band rose to fame in the 1980s, and would become especially acclaimed for the albums Rum Sodomy & The Lash and If I Should Fall From Grace With God. MacGowan was also a member of the Nipple Erectors and of the Popes, and has collaborated with Joe Strummer, Nick Cave, Steve Earle, the Jesus & Mary Chain, the Dropkick Murphys, Sinéad O'Connor, and Ronnie Drew ~ MacGowan was born in 1957
November 29, 2023 ~ Punk rock guitarist Scott Kempner passed away in Connecticut, USA ~ Best known as co-founding member, longtime rhythm guitarist for the Dictators, with whom he recorded four albums including the acclaimed Go Girl Crazy released in 1975. Has also co-founded the Del-Lords, played with the Brandos, and released the critically acclaimed Tenement Angels solo album in 1992 ~ Kempner was born in 1954
November 28, 2023 ~ Jazz pianist John Colianni, full name John Kelly Colianni, passed away in Langhorne, Pennsylvania, USA ~ First got interested in music after watching Duke Ellington perform. Backed Lionel Hampton during the early 1980s. Over half a dozen albums as a solo artist, especially acclaimed for John Colianni & Company released in 1998. As a sideman, Colianni has appeared on albums by Mel Tormé, Spider Saloff, Scott Whitfield, Ben Tucker, Toni Ballard (I'm Your Pal), Holly Shelton, Muriel Anderson, and Marshall McDonald ~ Colianni was born in 1962
November 26, 2023 ~ Pop rock, psychedelic rock, jazz rock guitarist Brian Godding passed away ~ Member of 1960s rock outfits the Blossom Toes and BB Blunder before John McLaughlin's Extrapolation album turned him to jazz. Member of Keith Tippett's 1970s band Centipede. Member of jazz fusion group Mirage. Frequent collaborator of Mike Westbrook. Frequent songwriting partner of Kevin Coyne. Has also worked with Julie Driscoll, Solid Gold Cadillac, Annette Peacock, and Lol Coxhill. Godding released his sole solo album, Slaughter On Shaftesbury Avenue, in 2004 ~ Godding was born in 1945
November 26, 2023 ~ Kevin Walker, commonly known as post-punk, gothic rock, new wave guitarist Geordie Walker, passed away in Prague, Czech Republic ~ Earned his nickname for his northeastern “Geordie” accent. First got into music at age eight, mesmerized by Love Sculpture's Sabre Dance. Co-founding member of Killing Joke, with whom he recorded over a dozen albums since its inception in the late 1970s. The post-punk outfit would enjoy popularity especially during the mid-1980s and are best known for Love Like Blood, a UK top 20 hit taken off their 1985 Night Time album. Walker has also played with industrial supergroups Murder Inc and Damage Manual ~ Walker was born in 1958
November 25, 2023 ~ Keyboardist, saxophonist Les Maguire, full name Leslie Charles Maguire, passed away ~ Played the saxophone for Liverpool pop group the Undertakers. Joined Gerry & the Pacemakers in 1961, replacing original pianist Arthur Mack, and remained with the band through 1966. Appeared on most of the band's best-known including How Do You Do It, I Like It, You'll Never Walk Alone, Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying, and Ferry Cross The Mersey, all of which reached top 10 in the band's native UK ~ Maguire was born in 1941
November 22, 2023 ~ Jean Audrey Caliste, commonly known as soul, R&B, funk singer Jean Knight, passed away ~ Known for her Stax/Volt single Mr Big Stuff, a Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit in 1971. The single sold two million copies and was nominated for a Grammy Award but lost to Aretha Franklin's Bridge Over Troubled Water though. Knight would continue to record into the 1980s but was unable to repeat her earlier success ~ Knight was born in 1943
November 22, 2023 ~ Singer, guitarist, banjoist Jim Salestrom, full name James Kevin Salestrom, passed away in Arvado, Colorado, USA ~ Co-founded, fronted country-folk rock outfit Timberline. Member of the Wild Jimbos. Also closely associated with Dolly Parton, backing Parton from 1979 through 1991. Wrote It's Too Soon To Let Our Love End, recorded by Mary MacGregor in 1977 ~ Salestrom was born in 1956
November 21, 2023 ~ Jazz, tango, nuevo tango guitarist, composer Horacio Malvicino passed away ~ Studied medicine but decided to pursue a career in music, bitten by the jazz, tango bug playing in the renowned jazz club the Bop Club Argentino in Buenos Aires. Influenced by Charlie Christian, Django Reinhardt, and Benny Goodman. Most closely associated with Astor Piazzolla, including in Piazzolla's pioneering 1950s nuevo tango line-ups. Malvicino would lead several ensembles from the 1960s onward, notably the Horacio Malvicino Jazz Quintet, and has composed numerous soundtracks ~ Malvicino was born in 1929
November 20, 2023 ~ Rock, hip hop, funk, jazz saxophonist Mars Williams passed away ~ Influenced by Eric Dolphy, John Coltrane, and Charlie Parker. Closely associated with Hal Russell, Ken Vandermark, and the NRG Ensemble. An in-demand sideman, Williams has appeared on albums by Fred Frith (Speechless), the Waitresses, Billy Idol (Rebel Yell), the Psychedelic Furs (Mirror Moves), Power Station, Die Warzau, Sister Machine Gun, Nikki Sudden, Peter Brötzmann (Short Visit To Nowhere), Wayne Kramer, and Ike Reilly (We Belong To The Staggering Evening). Described as “one of the true saxophone players” by John Zorn, who once commented: “Williams is someone who takes pleasure in the sheer act of blowing the horn. His tremendous enthusiasm is an essential part of his sound, and it comes through each note every time he plays.” ~ Williams was born in 1955
November 16, 2023 ~ George Melvin Brown, commonly known as drummer, guitarist, keyboardist George Funky Brown, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Co-founding, longtime member of R&B, funk, disco outfit Kool & the Gang, with whom he recorded well over two dozen albums. The band is best known for Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits such as Jungle Boogie, Ladies Night, and Celebration, all co-written by Brown. Brown retired from performing in 2023, diagnosed with lung cancer. Looking back on his lengthy career, Brown commented: “When you do music that's happy music, that's what it does. It brings people to the clubs to have a good time. And that's what we do. We say our prayer before we leave, and we say, let's go make some people happy.” ~ Brown was born in 1949
November 16, 2023 ~ Organist, pianist, keyboardist Peter Solley passed away ~ Backed artists such as Chris Farlowe, Terry Reid, and Arthur Brown throughout the early 1970s. Co-founding member of Paladin, known for the critically acclaimed albums Paladin and its follow-up Charge. Member of Fox, with whom he scored the mid-1970s UK top 20 hits Only You Can, Imagine Me Imagine You, and S-s-s-single Bed. Solley has also appeared on albums by Snafu, Gravy Train, Keith Christmas, Dave Cartwright, Procol Harum, Pat Travers, Al Stewart (Time Passages), Wreckless Eric, Jo Jo Zep & the Falcons, Johnny Warman (Hour Glass), the Romantics (The Romantics), and Eric Clapton ~ Solley was born in 1948
November 11, 2023 ~ Actress, singer Conny Van Dyke, sometimes credited as Connie Van Dyke, passed away ~ Best known as an actress and TV personality, notably starring in the neo noir film Framed, she also had the distinction of being one of the first white singers to be signed to Motown in the early 1960s, while still only in her mid-teens. She cut a few sides for the label, Oh Freddy and It Hurt Me Too, the latter penned and first recorded by Marvin Gaye, before by her own account her music career came to an end after her mother became concerned she might become romantically attracted to one of her black labelmates. Van Dyke recorded two albums in the mid-1970s as a country artist, Conny Van Dyke and Conny Van Dyke Sings For You, but with lack of promotion her music did not get much attention ~ Van Dyke was born in 1945
November 11, 2023 ~ Singer Luis Carlos Gil passed away ~ Formed the trio Trigo Limpio with Iñaki de Pablo and Amaya Saizar, the latter later replaced by Patricia Fernández. The trio enjoyed popularity during the 1970s and 1980s, recording about half a dozen albums. Internationally they are best known for representing their native Spain at the 1980 Eurovision Songfestival, where they reached 12th place with Quédate Esta Noche ~ Gil was born ca.1951
November 9, 2023 ~ Producer Jim Vienneau, full name James Francis Vienneau, passed away in Nashville, Tennessee, USA ~ Best known for producing It's Only Make Believe for Conway Twitty. It would be Conway's breakout hit, reaching No.1 Billboard Hot 100 in 1958, and has become a classic of the genre recorded by over a hundred artists including Johnny Burnette, Paul Anka, Glen Campbell, Lynn Anderson, and Ronnie McDowell. Twitty would re-record the song as a duet with Loretta Lynn in 1971. Other well-known songs produced by Vienneau include Vacation for Connie Francis, Teen Angel for Mark Dinning, and Whole Lotta Woman for Marvin Rainwater. Vienneau has also worked with Hank Williams Jr, Roy Orbison, Bob Gallion, Mel Tillis, and Billy Thunderkloud ~ Vienneau was born in 1926
November 6, 2023 ~ Indie pop singer Sean Martin passed away ~ Lead singer for indie pop outfit the Night Café, formed with childhood friends while still in school. The band was named for the Vincent van Gogh painting of the same name, originally titled Le Café de Nuit. The band has opened for Sundara Karma and the Wombats, released their Get Away From The Feeling debut EP in 2017, followed by a full-length 0151 debut album in 2019. Well-known songs include Growing Up and Addicted ~ Martin was born ca.1997
November 5, 2023 ~ Conductor, arranger Donald Hunsberger, full name Donald Ross Hunsberger, passed away in Pittsford, New York, USA ~ Best known for his association with the Eastman Wind Ensemble, serving as the group's conductor from 1965, succeeding Clyde Roller, through 2002. During his tenure with the ensemble, Hunsberger conducted numerous recordings including notably with trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, and helped establish the principles of the wind ensemble concept. Hunsberger is also known for arranging transciptions of orchestral music for concert band, including works by Dmitri Shostakovich, Claudio S Grafulla, Aram Khachaturian, and John Williams' Star Wars film score ~ Hunsberger was born in 1932
November 3, 2023 ~ Rock bassist Pete Garner passed away ~ Original bassist for the Stone Roses. Garner remained with the band from 1983 through 1987, appearing on several of the band's early singles including So Young, Tell Me, and the UK top 10 hit Elephant Stone, prior to the band's rise to fame, sans Garner, in the late 1980s. Upon hearing of his death the band's lead singer Ian Brown commented: “Few loved music as much as Pete. He had been bathing in music since Anarchy In The UK came out. Pete was off the scale nice, an old nice that you just don't get no more.” ~ Garner was born ca.1962
November 2, 2023 ~ Jazz clarinetist Michel Pilz passed away ~ Especially acclaimed for Carpathes, a collaborative album with bassist Peter Kowald and drummer Paul Lovens released in 1978. Closely associated with Manfred Schoof, playing intermittently with the trumpeter from the late 1960s through the 1980s. Other notable associations include Alexander von Schlippenbach, the Globe Unity Orchestra (Globe Unity 67 & 70), and Guru Guru ~ Pilz was born in 1945
November 1, 2023 ~ Trumpeter, bandoneonist, conductor, composer Pierre Dutour passed away ~ Influenced by Louis Armstrong. Has served in orchestras led by Henri Lovel, Alix Combelle, Aimé Barelli, and Claude Bolling. Composed the soundtrack to the 1974 British drama film Feelings. Dutour has also guested on albums by Nino Ferrer, Claudio Baglioni, Michel Sardou, Anne Sylvestre, and Dalida ~ Dutour was born in 1931
October 30, 2023 ~ Pop rock, gospel, R&B drummer Aaron Spears passed away ~ Session drummer active since the early 2000s, appearing on albums by Lady Gaga, Usher (Confessions), Distinguished, Miley Cyrus, JoAnn Rosario, Chaka Khan, DeWayne Woods (My Life's Lyrics), Tiziano Ferro, and Ariana Grande. On the TV side, Spears served as house drummer for the pilot of NBC's 2019 Songland songwriting competition show, and as music coordinator for the third season of The Masked Singer singing competition, aired on Fox in 2020 ~ Spears was born ca.1976
October 28, 2023 ~ Country singer, songwriter Bill Rice, full name Wilburn Steven Rice, passed away in Merritt Island, Florida, USA ~ As a singer charted about half a dozen singles on the Billboard Country charts throughout the 1970s, most notably Travelin' Minstrel Man which reached top 40. Best known as a songwriter though, his songs recorded by the likes of Johnny Paycheck, Jeannie C Riley (Back Side Of Dallas), Reba McEntire (I'm Not That Lonely Yet), Mickey Gilley (Here Comes The Hurt Again), Charley Pride, Elvis Presley (The Girl Next Door Went A-Walking), Hank Williams Jr, Patty Loveless (Lonely Too Long), and Jerry Lee Lewis ~ Rice was born in 1939
October 26, 2023 ~ Rigobert Bamundele, commonly known as soukous guitarist, songwriter Rigo Star, passed away ~ In-demand session guitarist on the French and African world music scenes from the mid-1980s onward. Appeared on albums by Koffi Olomidé, Papa Wemba, M'bilia Bel (Yalowa), Oliver N'Goma, Guy Lobe, Bibi Dens, Elles, and Madilu System. Notably present on Paul Simon's acclaimed 1990 The Rhythm Of The Saints album. Star has occasionally recorded as a solo artist, noted for his 1998 Attention album featuring singer Sam Mangwana ~ Bamundele was born in 1955
October 24, 2023 ~ Hard rock, heavy metal, glam metal drummer Steve Riley passed away ~ Best known as a member of WASP during the mid to late 1980s, recording three albums with the band, and as a longtime member of the LA Guns, present on the band's best known including the 1988 LA Guns debut album, and its 1989 Cocked And Loaded follow-up. Riley can also be heard on albums by Roadmaster, Open Hand, George Lynch, and Bulletboys ~ Riley was born in 1956
October 23, 2023 ~ Pop rock, trip hop guitarist Angelo Bruschini passed away ~ Member of pop rock unit the Blue Aeroplanes during the late 1980s, early 1990s, present on albums such as Swagger and Beatsongs. Member of trip-hoppers Massive Attack, including on 1998's Mezzanine and 2003's 100th Window, both acclaimed albums. Bruschini is also known for producing Strangelove's eponymous 1997 Strangelove album, which spawned the UK top 40 single The Greatest Show On Earth ~ Bruschini was born ca.1961
October 22, 2023 ~ Bassist, songwriter Gregg Sutton passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Member of Lone Justice. Probably best known for co-writing Stop, Sam Brown's breakthrough hit. Used as the title track and sophomore single of her 1988 debut album, the track would initially only have modest success. Its re-release the following year, however, reached top 10 in over a dozen countries, including her native UK, and catapulted the singer to fame. Others who recorded songs co-written by Sutton include Joe Cocker, Maria McKee (Breathe), Prairie Oyster, the Jeff Healey Band, Curtis Stigers, Charles & Eddie, Billy Ray Cyrus (How Much), and the Bonedaddys ~ Sutton was born in 1949
October 19, 2023 ~ Mark Howard James, commonly known as hip hop DJ, producer the 45 King, passed away ~ His stagename comes from his ability to make beats using obscure 45 RPM records. First gained attention with his 1987 breakbeat track The 900 Number, featuring a looping of a sax solo from Marva Whitney's 1968 Unwind Yourself recording. Not only did his breakbeat track land him a production deal, it would become a hip hop classic sampled by numerous artists. James is also especially acclaimed for his extensive work on Queen Latifah's 1989 All Hail The Queen debut album, serving as co-producer, co-songwriter on nearly half the album's tracks including Dance For Me ~ James was born in 1961
October 19, 2023 ~ Lars Nils Berghagen, commonly known as pop, schlager singer, guitarist Lasse Berghagen, passed away in Stockholm, Sweden ~ Married to singer, actress Lill Babs during the 1960s, with whom he has a daughter singer, actress Malin Berghagen. Known for songs such as Teddybjörnen Fredriksson, En Enkel Sång Om Frihet, Hålligang I Skogen, and Du Som Vandrar Genom Livet. Internationally known for representing Sweden at the 1975 Eurovision Songfestival, reaching 8th place with Jennie Jennie ~ Berghagen was born in 1945
October 18, 2023 ~ Rock, power pop singer, guitarist, pianist, songwriter Dwight Twilley passed away in Tulsa, Oklahoma, USA ~ Known best for two Billboard Hot 100 top 20 singles, I'm On Fire in 1975 with his backing unit the Dwight Twilley Band, and Girls in 1984. The latter would feature labelmate Tom Petty providing counterpoint vocals ~ Twilley was born in 1951
October 17, 2023 ~ Lovella May Borg, commonly known as jazz, free jazz pianist, composer Carla Bley, passed away ~ Over two dozen albums to her name as a leader or co-leader, best known for her 1971 Escalator Over The Hill jazz opera. Married to pianist Paul Bley, who encouraged her to compose, from 1957 to 1964. Married to trumpeter Michael Mantler from 1965 to 1991. Considering herself “99% composer and 1% pianist” Bley would become especially renowned as a composer, writing pieces such as Bent Eagle recorded by George Russell, Ictus recorded by Jimmy Giuffre, and Sing Me Softly Of The Blues recorded by Art Farmer. To rock audiences known for her association with Pink Floyd-drummer Nick Mason, producing, writing all the material of and playing piano on Mason's Nick Mason's Fictitious Sports solo debut album, which also featured Soft Machine's Robert Wyatt on vocals ~ Borg was born in 1936
October 16, 2023 ~ Film composer Gennady Gladkov, full name Gennady Igorevich Gladkov, passed away in Moscow, Russia ~ Renowned Russian film composer with well over two dozen soundtracks to his name, including for the 1969 animated 20 minute film The Bremen Town Musicians. Based on the characters of a fairy tale by the Grimm Brothers, the film would become a cult hit in the Soviet Union because of its memorable soundtrack influenced by Western rock & roll. Two sequels would be made, On The Trail Of The Bremen Town Musicians in 1973 and The New Bremen Town Musicians in 2000, both also scored by Gladkov ~ Gladkov was born in 1935
October 12, 2023 ~ Michael Cooper, commonly known as reggae keyboardist, guitarist Michael Ibo Cooper, passed away ~ Member of Jamaican pop outfit Inner Circle. Co-founding member of reggae unit Third World, with whom he recorded well over half a dozen albums. The band is best known for Now That We Found Love and Try Jah Love, both of which remain radio staples across Europe to this day. Cooper also appears on albums by the Abyssinians, Burning Spear (Social Living), Buju Banton, Beenie Man, and Beres Hammond ~ Cooper was born in 1952
October 11, 2023 ~ Singer, songwriter Rudolph Isley, full name Rudolph Bernard Isley, passed away ~ Co-founding member of R&B band the Isley Brothers, one of the longest-running family outfits, with whom he recorded about two dozen albums starting with Shout released in 1959. The band is known for Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hits such as It's Your Thing, That Lady, and Fight The Power. Rudolph co-wrote and sang co-lead on a vast amount of the band's best known, and sang lead on songs such as It's A Disco Night (Rock Don't Stop), and You Still Feel The Need. Following the death of his brother O'Kelly Isley, Rudolph would record two more albums with the band, Smooth Sailin' and Spend The Night, before retiring from music in 1989 to become a Christian minister ~ Isley was born in 1939
October 9, 2023 ~ Charles Wilburn Trent, commonly known as bluegrass, country banjoist, dobroist, mandolinist, bassist, guitarist, songwriter Buck Trent, passed away ~ Most revered for his work as a banjo player. Invented the electric banjo. Plays lead guitar on both Dolly Parton's I Will Always Love You and Jolene. Other notable collaborations include Bill Monroe during the early 1960s, backing Porter Wagoner for about a decade, and as a regular on Roy Clark's musical variety TV shows The Roy Clark Show and Hee Haw. Trent also toured the Soviet Union with Clark in 1976, the first Soviet tour of any American country music act. As a solo artist Trent is perhaps most acclaimed for the album The Sound Of Bluegrass Banjo released in 1962 ~ Trent was born in 1938
October 9, 2023 ~ Pop rock, new wave drummer Hugh Friel passed away ~ Co-founding member of the Atrix, enjoying regional popularity in their native Ireland from their inception in 1978 through the early 1980s. The band is perhaps best known for their debut single The Moon Is Puce produced by future the Pogues-guitarist Philip Chevron, and for its follow-up single Treasure On The Wasteland produced by Ultravox-frontman Midge Ure. They released their sole album, Procession, in 1981. Friel had previously worked with the Slow Motion Orchestra ~ Friel was born ca.1952
October 9, 2023 ~ Theatre, opera director Jorge Lavelli passed away ~ Staged numerous plays. To classical music audiences known for staging operas composed by Béla Bartók, Georges Bizet, Claude Debussy, Charles-François Gounod, Sergei Prokofiev, and Igor Stravinsky, working mainly as director for the Paris Opera yet also for the Vienna State Opera, La Scala, and others ~ Lavelli was born in 1932
October 9, 2023 ~ Pop singer, guitarist, songwriter Kevin Parrott passed away ~ Formed the one-hit-wonder duo Brian & Michael with bassist, singer Michael Coleman, known for their 1978 UK No.1 hit single Matchstalk Men And Matchstalk Cats And Dogs. The duo originally consisted of Brian Burke and Coleman, but as Burke had left shortly after the first pressing of their debut single his replacement Parrott would be billed as Brian. The duo's follow-up single Evensong would peak in the low 90s on the UK chart. Coleman and Parrott would however remain active in the music industry, either individually or as a team working as songwriters, producers for the Ramblers, Claire & Friends, and Ken Dodd ~ Parrot was born ca.1946
October 8, 2023 ~ Singer Nina Matviienko, full name Nina Mytrofanivna Matviienko, passed away ~ Considered a pivotal voice in Ukrainian folk. Member of the Ukrainian State Folk Choir from 1966 through 1991. Member of folk trio Zoloti Kliuchi. Well-known for her 2017 performance with the Lviv National Opera of Yevhen Stankovych's folk opera When The Fern Blooms. The opera had been banned during the Soviet era, the recording featuring Matviienko would be streamed online following the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine ~ Matviienko was born in 1947
October 4, 2023 ~ Electro, synth-pop keyboardist, organist Dominique Perrier passed away ~ Married to singer Janet Woollacott, who would join her husband in the 1990s band Stone Age. The band is known for merging electro, Celtic and Breton influences. Previously Perrier co-founded electro, synth-pop act Space Art with whom he recorded three albums from 1977 through 1980, and has worked with Christophe, Louis Deprestige, the Gipsy Kings, and perhaps most notably Jean-Michel Jarre including on the acclaimed albums The Concerts In China and Waiting For Cousteau ~ Perrier was born ca.1950
October 3, 2023 ~ Operatic mezzo-soprano Jacqueline Dark, full name Jacqueline Lisa Dark, passed away in Sydney, Australia ~ Has performed opera, music theatre, cabaret, and concerts. Closely associated with the Opera Australia and the Victorian State Opera. Has also worked with the Opera Queensland, the Vienna State Opera, the Royal Philharmonic Society, and the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra ~ Dark was born ca.1968
October 1, 2023 ~ Bandleader, drummer, composer Julian Bahula, full name Sebothane Julian Bahula, passed away ~ One of several South African expatriates fleeing the Apartheids regime, finding success in Europe in the 1970s. Best known for founding and leading Jabula, with whom he recorded five albums through the early 1980s. The group is also known for guesting on the Mike Oldfield-albums Ommadawn, Incantations and Amarok. In 2012 South African president Jacob Zuma presented Bahula with the Order of Ikhamanga for exceptional achievements in the field of music ~ Bahula was born in 1938
October 1, 2023 ~ Soprano singer Patricia Janecková, full name Patricia Burda Janecková, passed away ~ Rose to fame winning the Czech-Slovak talent show Talentmania in 2010, and subsequently released her eponymous Patricia Janecková debut album the following year at age 13. Known for her passionate and emotive performances, Janecková continued to perform in public while studying privately with soprano Eva Drizgova-Jirusova. Diagnosed with breast cancer, Janecková announced a career hiatus in 2022. Despite early signs of a successful treatment, she passed away the following year at age 25 ~ Janecková was born in 1998
October 1, 2023 ~ Pop rock, soft rock, country producer Ron Haffkine passed away in Mexico ~ Best known as manager and producer for Dr Hook & the Medicine Show, the band name shortened to Dr Hook in 1975, for whom he produced songs such as Sylvia's Mother, The Cover Of The Rolling Stone, Sharing The Night Together, When You're In Love With A Beautiful Woman, and Sexy Eyes, all of which reached top 10 Billboard Hot 100 ~ Haffkine was born in 1938
September 30, 2023 ~ Funk, R&B, blues drummer Russell Batiste Jr, full name David Russell Batiste Jr, passed away in LaPlace, Louisiana, USA ~ Leader and sideman. Formed the trio Porter Batiste Stoltz with bassist George Porter Jr and guitarist Brian Stoltz. Has also worked with the Funky Meters, Walter Wolfman Washington, Vida Blue, Harry Connick Jr, Champion Jack Dupree, Robbie Robertson, Maceo Parker, Papa Grows Funk, and the Nuclear Rhythms ~ Batiste was born in 1965
September 30, 2023 ~ Classical pianist, teacher, author Russell Sherman passed away ~ Debuted at the Town Hall, New York, at age 15. Would go on to become an in-demand soloist, working with renowned orchestras such as the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Philadelphia Orchestra. Artist-in-residence and longtime teacher at the New England Conservatory of Music, Boston. As an author known for his collection of short essays on piano playing related concerns, titled Piano Pieces published in 1996 ~ Sherman was born in 1930
September 29, 2023 ~ Recording engineer Jon Fausty passed away ~ Has produced and engineered recordings in the USA, Canada, Cuba, and Europe, best known for his work on some of the most sucessful Latin albums of all time over a career spanning six decades. Has worked on albums by Sabu Martinez, Eddie Palmieri, Celia Cruz, Ricardo Ray (Jala Jala Y Boogaloo), Willie Colón, Machito, Bobby Valentín, the Fania All-Stars, Ray Barretto (The Message), Ismael Miranda, Mongo Santamaria, the Lebrón Brothers, Rubén Blades, Willie Rosario, Jerry González (The River Is Deep), and Gato Barbieri ~ Fausty was born in 1949
September 29, 2023 ~ Progressive rock, space rock, jam rock drummer Ron Howden passed away ~ Co-founding member of Nektar, with whom he recorded about a dozen albums. The band's 1969 Journey To The Centre Of The Eye debut album consisted of a single song running over 40 minutes, with the last 100 seconds of the first side repeated at the beginning of the second side to maintain continuity. The band is especially acclaimed for their work through the mid-1970s, noted for albums such as Remember The Future, Sounds Like This, and Down To Earth. Howden has co-written several of the band's songs, including King Of Twilight which was later covered by Iron Maiden and used as the B-side for their 1984 Aces High single ~ Howden was born ca.1945
September 25, 2023 ~ Harpsichordist Anneke Uittenbosch passed away in Amsterdam, the Netherlands ~ Has taught harpsichord at the Maastricht Academy of Music. Well known for recording Leonhardt Consort with Gustav Leonhardt and Ton Koopman. Toured the USA with her husband baritone Lieuwe Visser, performing 17th and 18th century choral compositions. Throughout her career Uittenbosch was primarily devoted to the works of organist Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck ~ Uittenbosch was born in 1930
September 24, 2023 ~ Guitarist, guitar teacher Barry Olivier passed away in San Francisco, California, USA ~ Part of the Berkeley folk scene from the 1950s onward. Best known as founder and director of the Berkeley Folk Music Festival, an annual event that ran from 1958 through 1970. Over the years artists performing at the event would include Alan Lomax, Doc Watson, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, and Mance Lipscomb. Olivier has also worked as a guitar teacher and is reported to have given John Fogerty, who would later rise to fame as frontman of rock outfit Creedence Clearwater Revival, his first guitar lessons ~ Olivier was born in 1935
September 24, 2023 ~ Classical violinist Felix Ayo, full name Felix Ayo Losada, passed away in Rome, Italy ~ Best known as founder of the Italian ensemble I Musici, formed in 1951 and known for their interpretations of Baroque works, particularly compositions by Antonio Vivaldi and Tomaso Albinoni. Founding member of the Quartetto Beethoven di Roma, with whom he toured extensively. An in-demand soloist, Ayo has also performed with numerous renowned orchestras, taught at the Conservatorio di Musica Santa Cecilia, Rome, and frequently served as juror on international music competitions ~ Ayo was born in 1933
September 23, 2023 ~ Folk rock, sunshine pop percussionist, singer, songwriter Terry Kirkman, full name Terry Robert Kirkman, passed away in Montclair, California, USA ~ Co-founding member, percussionist, singer of the Association, with whom he recorded about half a dozen albums and performed at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Kirkman wrote several of the band's best known including Enter The Young, Everything That Touches You, and perhaps their best known Cherish, all of which reached top 10 Billboard Hot 100. The latter would be covered by over 40 artists including the Lettermen, the Four Tops, Petula Clark, Nina Simone, and Jodeci. Kirkman departed the band in late 1972, and rejoined by the late 1970s. Growing tired of touring Kirkman retired from music by the mid-1980s to work as an addictions counselor ~ Kirkman was born in 1939
September 22, 2023 ~ Pianist, conductor, composer, teacher François Glorieux passed away ~ Influenced by Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, jazz, blues, and Latin rhythms. Has composed over 300 works, mostly orchestral pieces yet also chamber music, works for solo instruments, and scores for film and TV. As a conductor led nearly 6,000 recitals and concerts the world over, working with renowned orchestra such as the Brussels Philharmonic Orchestra, the Locke Brass Consort, the BBC Radio Orchestra, the Kyiv Chamber Orchestra, and most extensively with the Ballet of the 20th Century ~ Glorieux was born in 1932
September 22, 2023 ~ Country, blues, bluegrass guitarist, mandolinist, fiddler, singer Mike Henderson passed away ~ Member of early 1980s blues outfit the Bel Airs, appearing on the 1984 Need Me A Car album. Member of the Roosters and spin-off group the Kingsnakes, renamed to the Snakes prior to releasing their 1989 eponymous The Snakes album. The group is best known for the Henderson-penned Powerful Stuff, which would notably be covered by the Fabulous Thunderbirds. Henderson has also recorded nearly half a dozen albums as a solo artist and with his backing unit the Bluebloods, starting with Country Music Made Me Do It released in 1994 ~ Henderson was born ca.1953
September 22, 2023 ~ Peter Müller, commonly known as singer, guitarist, songwriter Peter Horton, passed away ~ Well over a dozen albums to his name since the early 1970s. Internationally best known for representing his native Austria at the 1967 Eurovision Songfestival, reaching 14th place with Warum Es Hunderttausend Sterne Gibt ~ Müller was born in 1941
September 20, 2023 ~ R&B singer Katherine Anderson passed away ~ Co-founding and constant member of the Marvelettes, one of the seminal 1960s girl groups known for the hits Please Mr Postman, Playboy, and Don't Mess With Bill, all of which reached top 10 Billboard Hot 100. Beechwood 4-5789, Someday Someway, Strange I Know, As Long As He's Mine, Too Many Fish In The Sea, The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game, When You're Young And In Love, and My Baby Must Be A Magician would all reach top 10 Billboard R&B. Following the band's disbandement in 1970 Anderson retired from music ~ Anderson was born in 1944
September 20, 2023 ~ Bennett Kent Stacks, commonly known as punk rock, hardcore punk drummer Kent Stax passed away ~ Co-founding member of pioneering Virginia band Scream. The band is considered one of the most influential hardcore punk units to thrive during the 1980s, drawing from genres as diverse as reggea and metal, with Stacks as one of the fastest and most energetic drummers of the genre. Present on the albums Still Screaming, This Side Up, and Banging The Drum. Stacks departed the band by the late 1980s and would be replaced by a then-unknown teenage Dave Grohl. Stacks rejoined in 2009 and remained with the band until his death of cancer just one day after the band shared music from their upcoming DC Special album, the band's first full-length album since 1993 ~ Stacks was born ca.1962
September 20, 2023 ~ Conductor Yaacov Bergman passed away ~ Married to pianist Joan Behrens-Bergman. Well known for his associations with the Walla Walla Symphony, and the Portland Chamber Orchestra. Has also worked with the Colorado Springs Symphony, the New York Heritage Chamber Orchestra, the Osaka Symphonica, and the Israel Chamber Orchestra ~ Bergman was born in 1945
September 19, 2023 ~ Francis Deprijck, commonly known as pop, disco, samba, ska singer, songwriter Lou Deprijck, passed away in Brussels, Belgium ~ First gained attention as member of Two Man Sound, actually a trio with Sylvain Vanholme and Yves Lacomblez, merging Latin rhythms with disco. The band is known for their 1975 million-seller Charlie Brown, written and recorded by Benito di Paula the previous year, and Disco Samba. Deprijck is also known as thriving force behind Plastic Bertrand, notably providing lead vocals, songwriting and production for the 1978 pastiche Ça Plane Pour Moi. Originally a B-side the single would be re-released with sides flipped, reach top 10 across Europe and later be covered by dozens of artists including Sonic Youth, Leila K, and the Presidents of the United States. In the 1980s Deprijck would find chart success producing Viktor Lazlo ~ Deprijck was born in 1946
September 17, 2023 ~ Rock, garage rock bassist, rhythm guitarist Lies Adji Rachman passed away ~ Member of Indonesian all-female outfit Dara Puspita, which also included her elder sister Titiek Adji Rachman on lead guitar. The band endured pressure from the Sukarno regime, which saw rock music as an unwanted Western influence. Following the regime's collapse the band would release four albums, starting with Jang Pertama in 1965. Despite remaining popular the band would disband in 1972, in part caused by the strains of relentless touring ~ Rachman was born ca.1948
September 16, 2023 ~ R&B, hip hop, pop singer Irish Grinstead passed away ~ Member of girl trio 702, recording three albums from the late 1990s through the early 2000s. They are best known for the singles Get It Together and Where My Girls At, both of which reached top 10 Billboard Hot 100. The group also guested on Subway's 1995 This Lil' Game We Play Billboard Hot 100 top 20 hit, and alongside Magoo on Missy Elliott's 1998 single Beep Me 911, which did not chart in the USA yet reached top 20 in both New Zealand and the UK. Grinstead's twin sister Orish Grinstead was also a member of the group, but ousted prior to recording their debut album ~ Grinstead was born in 1980
September 16, 2023 ~ Jazz, jazz-rock, rock drummer John Marshall, full name John Stanley Marshall, passed away ~ One of the UK's most renowned jazz-rock drummers. Founding member of Nucleus, noted for albums such as Elastic Rock and We'll Talk About It Later. Replaced Phil Howard when he joined Soft Machine in 1972. Has also played with the band's spin-offs Soft Works and Soft Machine Legacy. Other notable collaborations include Graham Collier, Neil Ardley, Jack Bruce (Songs For A Tailor), Centipede, Hugh Hopper, Volker Kriegel, Charlie Mariano (Helen 12 Trees), Eberhard Weber, Ian Carr, Uli Beckerhoff, and Porcupine Tree ~ Marshall was born in 1941
September 15, 2023 ~ Francesco Migliacci, commonly known as lyricist, songwriter, actor Franco Migliacci, passed away in Rome, Italy ~ As an actor has appeared in well over a dozen films from the early 1950s through the late 1960s. To music audiences probably best known for co-writing Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu, also known as Volare, with Domenico Modugno. Originally recorded by Modugno in 1958 the song would become a standard covered by over 300 artists. Other songs co-written by Migliacci have been recorded by Gianni Meccia (Patatina), Neil Sedaka, Rita Pavone, Ennio Morricone, Donatella Moretti, Patty Pravo (La Bambola), and José Feliciano (Che Sarà) ~ Migliacci was born in 1930
September 15, 2023 ~ Rock, pub rock bassist, singer, songwriter Paul Woseen passed away ~ Co-founding and alongside lead singer Dave Gleeson the only other constant member of the Screaming Jets, with whom he recorded over half a dozen albums starting with 1991's All For One. The band would enjoy popularity in their native Australia especially during the 1990s and is best known for songs such as Better, Shivers, and Helping Hand. Woseen released his sole solo album, Bombido, in 2013 ~ Woseen was born ca.1967
September 15, 2023 ~ Pop, bubblegum pop singer Prudence McIntyre, full name Prudence Ann McIntyre, passed away ~ Formed the duo Patience & Prudence with her sister Patience McIntyre. Daughters of orchestra leader Mark McIntyre, they scored two hits in 1956, Gonna Get Along Without Ya Now and Tonight You Belong To Me. Both singles would reach top 10 Billboard Hot 100, both would reach top 20 UK. The siblings continued to record through 1964 but were unable to repeat their earlier surprise succes. Later the duo explained their succes was “just an accident” and the siblings, both in their early teens back when they hit the charts, never intended to become performers ~ McIntyre was born in 1945
September 14, 2023 ~ R&B, funk percussionist, songwriter Fred Lewis, also known as Big Fred, passed away ~ Member of Lakeside, best known for their 1980 Billboard R&B charttopper Fantastic Voyage, considered a funk classic to this day. Other well-known songs include It's All The Way Live (Part 1), From 9:00 Until, Your Love Is On The One, the Beatles-cover I Want To Hold Your Hand, Raid, and Outrageous ~ Lewis was born ca.1951
September 14, 2023 ~ Flutist, dancer, songwriter, teacher Robert Tree Cody passed away ~ Of Dakota and Maricopa heritage Cody is considered a master of the Native American flute with about a dozen albums to his name starting in the early 1990s. Especially acclaimed for his 1993 Dreams From The Grandfather album. Cody has also guested on albums by William Eaton, the Phoenix Chorale, the Rippingtons (Topaz), and Ruben Romero ~ Cody was born in 1951
September 13, 2023 ~ Singer, guitarist, songwriter Roger Whittaker, full name Roger Henry Brough Whittaker, passed away in France ~ To American audiences best known for his 1975 Billboard Hot 100 top 20 hit The Last Farewell, which became a signature song and sold an estimated 11 million copies globally. Besides his warm baritone singing voice Whittaker is also noted for his whistling, specifically on songs such as Mexican Whistler. Other well-known songs include Durham Town (The Leavin'), A New World In The Morning, and I Don't Believe In 'If' Anymore. Whittaker would enjoy popularity especially in Germany during the 1970s and 1980s, recording some two dozen albums in German though he did not speak the language ~ Whittaker was born in 1936
September 12, 2023 ~ Researcher, author Olof Björner passed away ~ Known to Bob Dylan aficionados for meticulously documenting over four decades of Dylan's history of live performances and studio recordings in thirteen volumes of Olof's Files (A Bob Dylan Performance Guide) published by Hardinge Simpole ~ Björner was born in 1942
September 10, 2023 ~ Pop rock, folk rock, country rock guitarist, singer Brendan Croker passed away ~ Close to a dozen albums to his name since the mid-1980s, either fronting the 5 O'Clock Shadows or as a solo artist. Especially acclaimed for his 1991 The Great Indoors album. Member of the Notting Hillbillies, a country-rock infused band which also included the Dire Straits-guitarist Mark Knopfler and known for their sole 1990 Missing (Presumed Having A Good Time) album. In-demand session guitarist and collaborator, present on recordings by the Mekons, Tanita Tikaram (Ancient Heart), Rory Block (Ain't I A Woman), Sally Timms, Kevin Coyne, Chet Atkins, Guy Fletcher, and others ~ Croker was born in 1953
September 10, 2023 ~ Country singer, guitarist, songwriter Charlie Robison, full name Charles Fitzgerald Robinson, passed away in San Antonio, Texas, USA ~ Brother of singers Bruce Robison and Robyn Ludwyck. Married to Emily Erwin of the Dixie Chicks. Turned to music after a knee injury ended a potential football career. Worked with Chaparral, the Millionaire Playboys, and Two Hoots & A Holler. Recorded over half a dozen albums as a solo artist, starting with Bandera released in 1996. Known for songs such as Barlight, I Want You Bad, Walter, My Hometown, and El Cerrito Place ~ Robison was born in 1964
September 10, 2023 ~ Ska punk, punk pop trumpeter Matthew Stewart passed away ~ Member of ska punk outfit Streetlight Manifesto from 2007 until his death at age 41. Present on the albums Somewhere In The Between, 99 Songs Of Revolution, and The Hands That Thieve ~ Stewart was born ca.1982
September 8, 2023 ~ Christian rock, gospel, rock & roll singer, guitarist Mylon LeFevre, full name Mylon Rae LeFevre, passed away ~ Best known for writing Without Him. After Elvis Presley recorded the song for the 1967 How Great Thou Art album, it would be covered by over a hundred artists. LeFevre was a member of family outfit the LeFevres in his early teens, founded and fronted Broken Heart, and has recorded prolifically as a solo artist from the mid-1960s through the 1990s. Noted especially for the albums Mylon (We Believe) released in 1970 and Road To Freedom released in 1973, the latter a collaboration with Alvin Lee ~ LeFevre was born in 1944
September 7, 2023 ~ Contemporary classical composer Akira Nishimura passed away ~ Best known for his orchestral works. Has also composed chamber music, piano works, choral pieces, and the opera Asters which premiered in 2019. Nishimura's works have been recorded by the likes of Nobuko Imai, the Lotus String Quartet, the Osaka Century Orchestra, Thomas Indermuhle, and Yu Kosuge ~ Nishimura was born in 1953
September 7, 2023 ~ Free jazz saxophonist, pianist, bassist, clarinetist, percussionist Charles Gayle passed away ~ After decades of obscurity rose to prominence in the late 1980s and 1990s, starting with the albums Always Born, Homeless and Spirits Before, three albums recorded in a single week. Well over two dozen albums to his name as a leader. Sideman on recordings by Cecil Taylor (Always A Pleasure), Henry Rollins, the Blue Humans, and William Parker ~ Gayle was born in 1939
September 7, 2023 ~ Operatic lyric soprano Margherita Rinaldi passed away in Impruneta, Italy ~ Enjoyed popularity in her native Italy and abroad during the 1960s and 1970s. Perhaps most acclaimed for her role as Giulietta in Vincenzo Bellini's I Capuletti E I Montecchi at La Scala in 1966 under the direction of Claudio Abbado. Has performed with renowned companies including the Dallas Opera, the San Francisco Opera, and the Lyric Opera of Chicago, alongside singers such as Alfredo Kraus, Plácido Domingo, and Grace Bumbry. Rinaldi would retire from the stage by the early 1980s yet continue to privately coach young singers ~ Rinaldi was born in 1935
September 6, 2023 ~ Larry Figueiredo, commonly known as singer Larry Chance, passed away ~ Lead singer of popular 1960s doo-wop group the Earls, known for songs such as Never, Life Is But A Dream and I Believe. and their best known Remember Then. The latter would peak at No.24 on the Billboard Hot 100 at the time of its release in 1962, yet over time would become a classic as one of the best remembered and most cherished songs of the doo-wop era specifically for its “Reh-meh-meh, Reh-meh-meh-member, Reh-meh-meh, Reh-meh-meh-mem-ber then” refrain ~ Figueiredo was born in 1940
September 6, 2023 ~ Jazz, classical, pop rock bassist Richard Davis passed away ~ As a solo artist acclaimed for his 1971 The Philosophy Of The Spiritual album. Best known for his contributions to Eric Dolphy's 1964 Out To Lunch album, Andrew Hill's Point Of Departure the following year, and Van Morrison's 1968 album Astral Weeks. Other notable collaborations include touring with Sarah Vaughan during the late 1950s, classical performances with conductors such as Igor Stravinsky, Leonard Bernstein and Pierre Boulez, and guesting on pop and rock albums such as Bruce Springsteen's Greetings From Asbury Park NJ and Born To Run, Paul Simon's There Goes Rhymin' Simon, Melissa Manchester's Bright Eyes, and Bonnie Raitt's Streetlights ~ Davis was born in 1930
September 5, 2023 ~ Classical pianist, teacher Anatol Ugorski passed away in Lemgo, Germany ~ As a student gained attention through his love of avant-garde pieces, including from renowned yet in the USSR controversial Western composers, premiering pieces by Arnold Schoenberg, Alban Berg, Olivier Messiaen, and Pierre Boulez. By the late 1960s he would be banned by the authorities and his career halted for ten years, confined to work in the provinces and in private performances only. The Ugorski family would emigrate to Germany by the 1990s, setting him of on an international career. Ugorski has performed solo and with orchestras such as the WDR Symphony Orchestra, the Czech Philharmonic, the Concertgebouw Orchestra, and the Orchestre De Paris, and serve as professor at the the Hochschule fur Musik Detmold, Detmold ~ Ugorski was born in 1942
September 5, 2023 ~ Folk, country, pop singer, guitarist, songwriter Bruce Guthro passed away in Halifax, Canada ~ Father of singers Dylan Guthro and Jodi Guthrie. Lead singer of celtic rock band Runrig from 1998, first appearing on the band's In Search Of Angels album, until the band's disbandement in 2018. Has also recorded as a solo artist, noted for his Of Your Son album released in 1998. Three of the album's singles, Walk This Road, Falling, and Ivey's Wall would reach top 20 on the Canadian country charts ~ Guthro was born in 1961
September 5, 2023 ~ Pop, soft rock singer, songwriter Joe Fagin passed away ~ Best known for his 1983 double A-side single Breakin' Away/That's Livin' Alright, which reached top 10 in his native UK. The songs, both produced and co-written by David Mackay, were used as the opening and closing theme to TV comedy-drama Auf Wiedersehen Pet which premiered earlier the same year. Fagin also contributed to the 1985 single You'll Never Walk Alone, recorded by the charity supergroup the Crowd formed by Gerry Marsden specifically to aid the families of the victims of the Bradford City Stadium fire in which over 50 people died ~ Fagin was born ca.1940
September 5, 2023 ~ Lemoine Gardner Ketcham, commonly known as singer, dancer, producer Lee Halliday, passed away in Marseille, France ~ Best known as agent and producer for Johnny Hallyday, producing almost all of the latter's songs from 1961 through the mid-1970s. Previously Ketcham formed an acrobatic dance trio with two of Hallyday's cousins. Ketcham has also produced for the likes of Les Lionceaux, Herbert Léonard, Nanette Workman, Lucky Blondo, and William Sheller ~ Ketcham was born in 1927
September 5, 2023 ~ Singer, guitarist, mandolinist, percussionist, songwriter Richard Laviolette, full name Richard Andrew Laviolette, passed away ~ Fused indie rock, contemporary folk, and alt-country. Has recorded over half a dozen albums, starting with Mary Carl released in 2005. Perhaps best known for his 2017 Taking The Long Way Home album. Suffering from Huntington's disease Laviolette passed away at age 41 in an assisted suicide ~ Laviolette was born in 1982
September 5, 2023 ~ Regla Teresa Garcia Rodriguez, commonly known as singer, bandleader Teté Caturla, passed away ~ Daughter of renowned composer Alejandro García Caturla. Member of all-female orchestra the Orquesta Anacaona. Best known as member of all-female quartet the Cuarteto D'Aida, joining the group in 1963 and taking over as leader after the death of founding member Aida Diestro in 1973 ~ Garcia was born in 1937
September 5, 2023 ~ Rock, stoner rock bassist Tom Davies passed away ~ Member of Nebula from 2003 until his death in 2023, with whom he recorded four albums starting with the critically acclaimed Apollo released in 2006. Davies passed away of leukemia at age 48 ~ Davies was born ca.1975
September 4, 2023 ~ Singer, keyboardist, songwriter Gary Wright, full name Gary Malcolm Wright, passed away ~ Helped establish the synthesizer as a leading instrument in pop and rock. As a solo artist best known for the Billboard Hot 100 top 10 singles Dream Weaver and its follow-up Love Is Alive, both taken of his 1976 Dream Weaver album. On-and-off member of Spooky Tooth from its inception in 1967 through the mid-1970s, notably present on albums such as Spooky Two and You Broke My Heart So I Busted Your Jaw. Guested on George Harrison's acclaimed 1970 All Things Must Pass album, marking the beginning of a longtime friendship. Also played with Ringo Starr & his All-Starr Band ~ Wright was born in 1943
September 4, 2023 ~ Pop rock, alternative rock, ska punk singer, keyboardist, songwriter Steve Harwell, full name Steve Scott Harwell, passed away in Boise, Idaho, USA ~ Lead singer of Smash Mouth, with whom he recorded about half a dozen albums. The band is best known for the hit single All Star of their 1999 Astro Lounge album. Other charting songs include Then The Morning Comes and I'm A Believer. Until his retirement from music in 2021 Harwell and bassist Paul De Lisle were the only two constant members since the band's formation in 1994 ~ Harwell was born in 1967
September 4, 2023 ~ James Yancey Jones, commonly known as Chicago blues, electric blues singer Tail Dragger Jones, passed away ~ Given his nickname “tail dragger” by mentor and major influence Howlin' Wolf for regularly showing up late. Also influenced by Sonny Boy Williamson I, Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon. Backup singer for artists such as Willie Kent, Hubert Sumlin, Carey Bell, Kansas City Red, Little Mack Simmons, Big Leon Brooks, Eddie Shaw, Bob Corritore, and others. Recorded a number of solo albums, starting with Crawlin' Kingsnake in 1996. Convicted of second-degree murder of another blues musician, shooting and killing Boston Blackie in 1993, claiming self-defense and serving 17 months ~ Jones was born in 1940
September 3, 2023 ~ Guitarist, percussionist, singer José Sébéloue passed away ~ Member of pop unit La Compagnie Créole, founded in 1975. The band originally sang in Creole but quickly adopted French as their main language. Known for their feel-good, happy-go-lucky vibe they have recorded about two dozen albums and would enjoy popularity in the Francophone world and beyond especially in the 1980s, reportedly selling over 60 million records over the course of their career. Well-known songs include Vive Le Douanier Rousseau, C'est Bon Pour Le Moral, Le Bal Masqué, Ça Fait Rire Les Oiseaux, and Ma Première Biguine-Partie ~ Sébéloue was born in 1948
September 2, 2023 ~ Walter Aptowitz, commonly known as composer, music critic, teacher Walter Arlen, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Prolific composer specializing in voice and piano scores, with some 65 works to his name. Best known for tracking down other artists whose works were lost or forgotten due to the Nazi regime. Aptowitzer himself fled Europe, relocating to Chicago, after his parents department store was expropriated by the Nazis in the 1938 Kristallnacht. His father would die in a concentration camp, his mother committed suicide after a breakdown. Aptowitzer would form longtime friendships with other German and Austrian emigrées, including Igor Stravinsky, Darius Milhaud, and Heitor Villa-Lobos ~ Aptowitzer was born in 1920
September 1, 2023 ~ Singer, songwriter Jimmy Buffett passed away ~ Active since the early 1970s, recording to a devoted fanbase dubbed “parrotheads”. Known for his laidback island escapism lifestyle and witty lyrics as evidenced in songs such as Margaritaville, Changes In Latitudes Changes In Attitudes, Come Monday, Pencil Thin Mustache, A Pirate Looks At Forty and Cheeseburger In Paradise, often recorded with his backing unit the Coral Reefer Band ~ Buffett was born in 1946
September 1, 2023 ~ Operatic soprano Milka Stojanović passed away in Belgrade, Serbia ~ Debuted at the the Belgrade Opera at age 22 portraying the role of Amelia in Giuseppe Verdi's Un Ballo In Maschera. Would go on to become an in-demand international guest singer with appearances with the Graz Opera, the Vienna State Opera, the Bavarian State Opera, the Cologne Opera, the Metropolitan Opera, the Bolshoi Theatre, and the Hamburg State Opera, amongst others ~ Stojanovic was born in 1937
September 1, 2023 ~ Hardcore punk guitarist Robert Becerra passed away ~ Member of the Stains, one of the earliest Los Angeles punk groups, founded in 1976. The band is considered influential on peers, merging elements from heavy metal into punk, and noted especially for their 1983 eponymous The Stains album. Becerra's guitar playing would serve as an inspiration for more well-known artists, perhaps most notably Black Flag's Greg Ginn ~ Becerra was born ca.1959
August 30, 2023 ~ Rock guitarist Jack Sonni passed away ~ Fronted the Leisure Class, a Monday night fixture at Kenny's Castaways, New York. Best known as guitarist for the Dire Straits during the mid-1980s. Present on the Brothers In Arms album, noted especially for his guitar synthesizer play on The Man's Too Strong. Sonni also played with the band at the 1985 Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium, London. Following the birth of his twin daughters in 1988 Sonni retired from music to pursue a career in marketing ~ Sonni was born in 1954
August 28, 2023 ~ Ray Jacobs, commonly known as R&B, electronic singer, songwriter August 08, passed away ~ Co-wrote I'm The One, a Billboard R&B and Billboard Hot 100 No.1 hit in 2017 for DJ Khaled featuring Justin Bieber, Quavo, Chance the Rapper & Lil' Wayne. As a recording artist Jacobs has released three albums, starting with Father in 2018, and is perhaps best known for his Bruises single released in 2023 ~ Jacobs was born ca.1992
August 28, 2023 ~ Folk singer, songwriter Len Chandler, full name Len Hunt Chandler Jr, passed away in San Pedro, California, USA ~ Part of the 1960s protest movement. As a recording artist known for the albums To Be A Man and The Lovin' People, both released in 1967. Best known for penning Beans In My Ears, later covered by both the Serendipity Singers and Pete Seeger ~ Chandler was born in 1935
August 27, 2023 ~ Calypso, gospel, pop singer Denyse Plummer, full name Denyse Burnadette Kirline Plummer, passed away ~ Has recorded half a dozen albums, starting with Natural in 1978. Quit her day job in 1977 to pursue a career in music, singing pop songs through the early 1980s. An invite by Phase II Pan Groove's Lennox Sharpe to sing two songs would set her on a career in calypso music, eventually being recognised as one of the leading calypso performers of her day. Well-known for songs such as Heroes and Nah Leaving ~ Plummer was born in 1953
August 26, 2023 ~ Jazz trumpeter, composer Bosse Broberg passed away ~ Mainstay on the Swedish jazz scene. Over half a dozen albums as a leader, especially noted for 1995's Regni and 2002's Conspiracy In Flat Five. As a sideman present on albums by Jan Johansson, Monica Zetterlund, Red Mitchell, Bengt Hallberg, Bob Brookmeyer, Rebecka Törnqvist, Knud Jorgensen, Gugge Hudrenius, Swedish Jazz, Lennart Åberg, Arne Domnérus, and Ake Johansson ~ Broberg was born in 1937
August 26, 2023 ~ Punk singer John Kezdy passed away ~ Brother of Naked Raygun bassist Pierre Kezdy. Frontman and sole constant member of the Effigies, active from 1980 until its disbandement a decade later. Though not as well known as contemporaries the band is considered influential in Chicago's post-hardcore punk scene, laying the groundwork for later indie bands, and critically acclaimed for the albums For Ever Grounded, Fly On A Wire, and Ink ~ Kezdy was born ca.1959
August 26, 2023 ~ Márcio André Nepomuceno Garcia, commonly known as singer, songwriter MC Marinho, passed away in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil ~ Dubbed “the Prince of Funk” Garcia enjoyed popularity during the 1990s and early 2000s. Has released about half a dozen albums, his Because I Love You debut album with his then-girlfriend MC Cacau. Well-known songs include Rap Do Solitário, Escrito Pras Princesas, Garota Nota 100, and Glamurosa ~ Garcia was born in 1977
August 25, 2023 ~ José Gonzaga Ferreira, commonly known as pop singer Carlos Gonzaga, passed away ~ Well over a dozen albums to his name since the late 1950s, enjoying popularity in his native Brazil. Best known for his 1958 rendition of Diana, a translation of Paul Anka's Diana released a year earlier. Other well-known songs include Oh Carol, Juramente De Playboy, Bat Masterson, Sereno, and Cavaleiros Do Céu ~ Gonzaga was born in 1924
August 24, 2023 ~ Rock, blues rock, hard rock guitarist, singer Bernie Marsden, full name Bernard John Marsden, passed away ~ Member of Whitesnake from 1978 through 1982, for whom he co-wrote several of the band's best known including Fool For Your Loving, Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues, She's A Woman, Lovehunter, Trouble, Child Of Babylon, Rough And Ready, and Here I Go Again. Marsden has also worked with UFO, Cozy Powell, Babe Ruth, Paice Ashton Lord, Alaska, and the Company Of Snakes, and recorded over a dozen solo albums ~ Marsden was born in 1951
August 23, 2023 ~ Pop rock songwriter, producer Bob Feldman, full name Robert C Feldman, passed away in Florida, USA ~ Formed a songwriter, producer team with Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer. The trio were responsible for 1960s hits such as Let's Stomp for Bobby Comstock, Betty Jean for Freddy Cannon, and My Boyfriend's Back for the Angels. The trio's Sorrow would be used as a B-side for the McCoys in 1965, but is better known as recorded by David Bowie who released it as the sole single of his 1973 Pin Ups album. Goldstein, Gottehrer and Feldman would also record several of their songs themselves under the moniker the Strangeloves, most notably I Want Candy, later covered by Brian Poole, the Surfaris, and Bow Wow Wow ~ Feldman was born in 1940
August 22, 2023 ~ Salvatore Cutugno, commonly known as singer, pianist, guitarist, saxophonist, drummer, songwriter Toto Cutugno passed away in Milan, Italy ~ One of the most popular Italian singers and one of the most successful Italian songwriters of all time with sales reportedly exceeding 100 million globally. As a performer internationally best known for the 1983 worldwide hit L'Italiano, initially intended for Adriano Celentano who turned it down, and for the 1990 Eurovision Songfestival-winner Insieme 1992. Songs written or co-written by Cutugno have been recorded by Joe Dassin, Claude François, Michel Sardou, Domenico Modugno, Miguel Bosé, and Dalida ~ Cutugno was born in 1943
August 22, 2023 ~ Christine Clements, commonly known as dubstep, ambient, IDM singer, keyboardist, programmer, producer Vaccine, passed away ~ One of the first women to be signed to a dubstep related label, Hotflush Recordings, a genre dominated by males. Influenced by Nine Inch Nails, Akira Yamaoke, Portishead, Massive Attack, and Tricky. Has been releasing 12" recordings since the mid-2000s, starting with Wishful Thinking b/w Signal To Noise, leading up to her Decryption EP in 2014 ~ Clements was born in 1979
August 21, 2023 ~ Disco, post-disco, Hi-NRG, dance-pop singer, producer, songwriter Denis LePage passed away ~ Scored a late 1970s disco hit with the instrumental The Break under the moniker Kat Mandu, considered a classic to this day. Formed the disco duo Lime with his wife Denyse LePage, known for the 1980s dance hits Your Love, Babe We're Gonna Love Tonight, and Unexpected Lovers ~ LePage was born ca.1949
August 20, 2023 ~ Pop, pop rock, disco singer, conductor, arranger, songwriter, composer Luc Smets, full name Luc Jan Frans Smets, passed away in Bornem, Belgium ~ Member of 1960s pop group Pebbles, for whom he co-wrote their biggest hit Seven Horses In The Sky. Co-founded Shampoo. Member of disco unit the Dream Express, with whom he reached 7th place at the 1977 Eurovision Songfestival representing Belgium with the song A Million In 1 2 3. Smets has also composed for film and TV ~ Smets was born in 1947
August 19, 2023 ~ Rock, pop singer, keyboardist, film composer Václav Patejdl, also known as Vaso Patejdl, passed away ~ Co-founding member of Elán, one of the most popular Czech acts of the 1980s, with whom he recorded four albums before departing on amicable terms in 1984 to focus on solo projects. Rejoined the band in 1996, to remain a member until his death. Over half a dozen albums as a solo artist, starting with Chlapcensky Usmev released in 1986. Has also written songs for other artists including Beáta Dubasová, Marika Gombitová, and Banket. The latter's Po Schodoch would later become a hit when rerecorded as a solo single by its lead singer Richard Müller. Patejdl also composed several soundtracks, notably for the 1985 movie Fontana Pre Zuzanu and the award-winning 2015 fairy tale film The Seven Ravens ~ Patejdl was born in 1954
August 18, 2023 ~ Pop singer Ray Hildebrand passed away ~ Formed the duo Paul & Paula with Jill Jackson, best known for their 1963 Billboard Hot 100 No.1 hit Hey Paula. The pair were given their stagename by label executive Shelby Singleton, arguing that it wouldn't make much sense for Jill & Ray, their original stage name, to sing “Hey hey Paul, hey hey Paula.” The duo's follow-up single Young Lovers would also reach top 10. After parting ways in 1965 Hildebrand would find modest success as a Christian singer, notably with his Anybody Here Wanna Live Forever single, and duetting with Paul Land throughout the 1980s under the monniker Land & Hildebrand ~ Hildebrand was born in 1940
August 17, 2023 ~ Eli Tatarsky, commonly known as R&B guitarist, songwriter, arranger, producer Bobby Eli, passed away in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA ~ Lead guitarist, co-founding member of seminal Philadelphia studio band MFSB. In-demand songwriter, producer, wrote or co-wrote hits such as Main Ingredient's Just Don't Want To Be Lonely, Major Harris' Love Won't Let Me Wait, and Fat Larry's Band's Zoom. Others who have recorded his songs include Wilson Pickett, Blue Magic, Engelbert Humperdinck, Atlantic Starr, and the Dells. As a studio guitarist Tatarsky has appeared on recordings by Billy Paul, the O'Jays, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Marlena Shaw, the Stylistics, the Delfonics, Barbara Mason, the People's Choice, the Salsoul Orchestra, the Trammps, the Whispers, Ronnie Dyson, First Choice, Grace Jones, Gloria Gaynor, and McFadden & Whitehead ~ Tatarsky was born in 1946
August 17, 2023 ~ Indie rock, punk rock drummer, keyboardist, singer Gary Young passed away in Stockton, California, USA ~ Original drummer of Pavement, present on the band's 1992's Slanted And Enchanted debut album and its follow-up Watery Domestic EP later the same year before being fired from the band in 1993. Young subsequently released a number of solo albums, starting with 1994's Hospital under the group moniker Gary Young's Hospital ~ Young was born in 1953
August 17, 2023 ~ Singer Walter Aipolani, also known as Bruddah Waltah, passed away ~ Dubbed “the Father of Hawaiian Reggae” credited with popularizing Hawaiian-style reggae in the 1980s and 1990s. Influenced by Bob Marley, Elton John, Creedence Clearwater Revival, and the Beatles. Well-known songs include Sweet Lady Of Waiahole, and Keep Hawaiian Lands, the latter inspired by Marley's Waiting In Vain and becoming somewhat of a patriotic anthem. Perhaps best known for his 1991 Hawaiian Reggae album considered a landmark album in the Hawaiian reggae craze, a style sometimes referred to as Jawaiian ~ Aipolani was born ca.1955
August 16, 2023 ~ Label executive Jerry Moss, full name Jerome S Moss, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Co-founded A&M Records in 1962 with trumpeter, bandleader Herb Alpert. The label's stable of artists included acts such as Sérgio Mendes, the Carpenters, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Captain & Tennille, Rita Coolidge, Wes Montgomery, Toni Basil, Joan Baez, Phil Ochs, Billy Preston, Cat Stevens, Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Carole King, Styx, Supertramp, Joan Armatrading, Squeeze, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Janet Jackson, the Police, Sting, Atlantic Starr, Human League, and Joe Jackson. Moss and Alpert sold the label to Polygram Records in 1989 and continued to manage the company until 1993 ~ Moss was born in 1935
August 16, 2023 ~ Operatic soprano, director, voice teacher Renata Scotto passed away in Savona, Italy ~ Regarded as one of the premier opera singers of her generation. During the 1960s became one of the leading singers of the belcanto revival, a movement ushered in by Maria Callas in the 1950s. Known for roles in Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata at La Scala, and Giacomo Puccini's Madame Butterfly at the Metropolitan Opera. As a voice teacher coached singers such as Renée Fleming, Anna Netrebko, and Deborah Voigt. Married to violinist Lorenzo Anselmi, who would become her manager, from 1960 until his death in 2021. The couple would raise a son and a daughter ~ Scotto was born in 1934
August 14, 2023 ~ Operatic soprano Jessica Cash passed away ~ Has performed with the Kent Opera, the Welsh National Opera, and the Glyndebourne Festival, particularly noted for her 1968 performance in Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Die Zauberflöte ~ Cash was born ca.1939
August 13, 2023 ~ Music manager, label executive Clarence Avant, full name Clarence Alexander Avant, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Dubbed “the Black Godfather” for his influence on music. Served as manager for artists such as Little Willie John, Sarah Vaughan, Luiz Bonfá, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Smith, and film composer Lalo Schifrin. Founded Sussex Records, for whom he signed artists such as Bill Withers, Dennis Coffey, and Gallery. Founded Avant Garde Broadcasting, known for operating the first African-American owned FM radio station KAGB-FM airing from Inglewood, California ~ Avant was born in 1931
August 13, 2023 ~ Melvin Barcliff, commonly known as rapper Magoo, passed away ~ Best known for his association with Timbaland, scoring late 1990s, early 2000s hits under the moniker Timbaland & Magoo such as Up Jumps Da Boogie featuring Missy Elliott & Aaliyah, Clock Strikes featuring Skillz, and All Y'All featuring Tweet. Has also worked with Swing Mob, Jodeci, DeVante Swing, Playa, and others ~ Barcliff was born in 1973
August 12, 2023 ~ Berit Maria Jonsson, commonly known as operatic dramatic soprano Berit Lindholm, passed away ~ Closely associated with the Royal Opera House, the Bayreuth Festival, and the Vienna State Opera. Known best for portraying heroines such as Brunnhilde in Richard Wagner's Der Ring Des Nibelungen and Chrysothemis in Richard Strauss's Elektra ~ Jonsson was born in 1934
August 11, 2023 ~ Violinist, conductor Florence Malgoire passed away ~ Considered a specialist of the ancient violin. In-demand solo violinist, known for her associations with baroque ensembles such as La Chapelle Royale, Les Talens Lyriques, and Les Arts Florissants. Founded Les Dominos, an ensemble specializing in 17th and 18th century music. Co-founded chamber music ensemble Les Nièces De Rameau. Has conducted works by Jean-Philippe Rameau, Jean-Féry Rebel, George Frideric Handel, Marc-Antoine Charpentier, and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart ~ Malgoire was born in 1960
August 11, 2023 ~ Punk, rock, alternative rock singer, songwriter Ron Peno, full name Ronald Stephen Valentino Peno, passed away in South Yarra, Australia ~ Member of a number of short-lived punk groups through the early 1980s including the Hellcats, the 31st, and the Screaming Tribesmen. Best known as lead singer, constant member of Died Pretty, with whom he recorded over half a dozen albums starting with Free Dirt released in 1986. The band is perhaps best known for the single Harness Up which reached top 40 in their native Australia in 1993 ~ Peno was born in 1955
August 9, 2023 ~ Singer Peppino Gagliardi passed away in Rome, Italy ~ Enjoyed popularity in his native Italy especially during the 1970s. Well-known songs include T'Amo Et T'Amerò, Settembre, Come Le Viole, and Come Un Ragazzino. His Che Vuole Questa Musica Stasera would become one of his internationally best known, frequently used in soundtracks including the 1974 original film Scent Of A Woman ~ Gagliardi was born in 1940
August 9, 2023 ~ Jaime Royal Robertson, commonly known as guitarist, singer, songwriter Robbie Robertson, passed away ~ Best known as lead guitarist of the Band. Wrote or co-wrote songs such as The Weight, The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, and Up On Cripple Creek. As a solo artist best known for Broken Arrow and Somewhere Down The Crazy River, both taken of his eponymous 1987 Robbie Robertson solo debut album. The album would feature appearances by his former bandmates as well as Peter Gabriel, and U2's Bono and the Edge ~ Robertson was born in 1943
August 8, 2023 ~ Joan Rosemary Yarrow, commonly known as jazz, big band singer Rosemary Squires, passed away ~ Quintessentially English, Squires enjoyed popularity especially during the 1950s and 1960s with regular appearances on BBC shows such as Melody Time, Workers' Playtime, and especially Top Tunes. Equally at home in big bands, including ensembles led by bandleaders such as Ted Heath, Geraldo, and Cyril Stapleton, and in smaller settings, Squires has recorded about a dozen albums over the course of her career. Squires is also known as the voice of the Fairy Liquid advertisement, which ran intermittently for some four decades starting in the 1960s ~ Yarrow was born in 1928
August 8, 2023 ~ Folk, folk rock singer, guitarist, songwriter Sixto Rodriguez, full name Sixto Diaz Rodriguez, passed away ~ Enjoyed popularity in South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand. Best known for Sugar Man of his 1970 Cold Fact debut album ~ Rodriguez was born in 1942
August 7, 2023 ~ Violinist, singer David LaFlamme passed away ~ Worked with the Orkustra and Dan Hicks & his Hot Licks. Best known for founding and fronting It's A Beautiful Day, which also included his wife Linda LaFlamme. The band is best known for White Bird of their eponymous 1969 It's A Beautiful Day debut album. After the group disbanded in 1972 LaFlamme has recorded as a solo artist ~ LaFlamme was born in 1941
August 7, 2023 ~ Willie Perry Jr, commonly known as DJ, hype man, songwriter DJ Casper, also referred to as Mr C The Slide Man, passed away ~ Earned the moniker “Casper” for regularly appearing on stage in all-white attire. Best known for his 2004 single Cha Cha Slide, which became a hit in Chicago. The song would gain wider attention after Perry appeared as a DJ in an episode of Orange Is The New Black, with prisoners and guards line dancing to the song ~ Perry was born in 1965
August 7, 2023 ~ R&B singer, organist Toussaint McCall passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Known for the mid-1960s singles I'll Do It For You and its follow-up Nothing Takes The Place Of You. The latter would reach top 10 Billboard R&B and later be covered by Asleep At The Wheel, Shovels & Rope, and by Prince Buster. McCall released several more singles and a full-length album yet would be unable to repeat his earlier success ~ McCall was born ca.1934
August 5, 2023 ~ Free jazz, free improvisation cellist, composer Tristan Honsinger passed away ~ Leader and sideman. Especially acclaimed for the 1996 Map Of Moods album and its 1999 follow-up A Camel's Kiss. Frequently collaborated with pianist Cecil Taylor and guitarist Derek Bailey. Member of the Henneman String Quartet and the ICP Orchestra. As a sideman present on recordings by Borbetomagus, Butch Morris, Anthony Braxton (October Meeting 1991), Tobias Delius, Alexander von Schlippenbach, and Sean Bergin ~ Honsinger was born in 1949
August 4, 2023 ~ Rock keyboardist John Gosling passed away ~ Member of the Kinks from 1970 through 1978, replaced by Gordon Edwards. Gosling recorded over half a dozen albums with the band, including the acclaimed Muswell Hillbillies released in 1971 ~ Gosling was born ca.1948
August 4, 2023 ~ Rock, indie rock guitarist, keyboardist, clarinetist, singer Tom Pintens passed away ~ As a solo artist best known for In Charleroi of his 2009 Winter Maakt Ons Vrolijk sophomore album. Pintens has been active since the mid-1990s, working with bands such as Flowers For Breakfast, Think Of One, Het Zesde Metaal, and perhaps most notably Zita Swoon ~ Pintens was born ca.1974
August 3, 2023 ~ Conductor, composer Carl Davis passed away in Oxford, UK ~ Best known as prolific composer for film and TV, notably the 1981 drama film The French Lieutenant's Woman and the 1995 BBC TV series Pride & Prejudice. To pop audiences perhaps best known for collaborating with Paul McCartney on the 1991 Liverpool Oratorio album, McCartney's first foray into classical music ~ Davis was born in 1936
July 28, 2023 ~ James Mavin Parker, commonly known as composer Jim Parker, passed away ~ Member of the Barrow Poets. Rose to fame with a series of 1970s recordings of John Betjeman poems set to music, notably Banana Blush and Sir John Betjeman's Britain. Prolific film and TV composer, credits including Midsomer Murders, Foyles War, To Play The King, and The Final Cut. Concert works written by Parker have been performed by the Nash Ensemble, the Hilliard Ensemble, and the Albion Ensemble ~ Parker was born in 1934
July 28, 2023 ~ Thomas Peters, commonly known as singer, guitarist, keyboardist Tommi Stumpff, passed away ~ Founded and fronted punk outfit KFC in the late 1970s. Would go on to record about a dozen solo albums as an EBM singer, starting with Zu Spät Ihr Scheisser released in 1982 ~ Peters was born in 1958
July 27, 2023 ~ Pop singer, actress Bea van der Maat, full name Béatrice Marguerite van der Maat, passed away ~ Fronted Won Ton Ton, known for their 1988 I Lie And I Cheat hit single. Has also recorded as a solo artist, releasing her Thin-Skinned debut album in 1988, guested with the LSP Band and the Belpop Bastards, ventured into acting, and hosted several TV shows ~ Van der Maat was born in 1960
July 27, 2023 ~ Concert pianist, teacher Ruth W Greenfield, full name Ruth Miriam Wolkowsky Greenfield, passed away in Miami, Florida, USA ~ Broke racial barriers, bringing together black and white students, taught by black and white teachers. Studied composition with Nadia Boulanger. Best known for founding the Fine Arts Conservatory. Also taught at Miami Dade College ~ Greenfield was born in 1923
July 26, 2023 ~ Country rock, pop rock bassist, guitarist, singer, songwriter Randy Meisner, full name Randall Herman Meisner, passed away in Los Angeles, California, USA ~ Member of Poco, appearing on the band's 1969 Pickin' Up The Pieces but departing the band before its release. Leaving in high spirits his image was removed from the painting on the album's cover and replaced with a dog. Member of the Stone Canyon Band, present on the albums In Concert At The Troubadour 1969 and Rudy The Fifth. Best known for co-founding the Eagles, for whom he wrote or co-wrote and sang lead on songs such as Take It To The Limit, Try And Love Again, Is It True, Take The Devil, Tryin', and Certain Kind Of Fool. Citing “exhaustion” Meisner left the band in 1977. Meisner released his eponymous Randy Meisner solo debut album the following year ~ Meisner was born in 1946
July 26, 2023 ~ Alternative rock, pop rock singer Sinéad O'Connor, full name Sinéad Marie Bernadette O'Connor, passed away ~ Rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion And The Cobra and its follow-up I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got. Perhaps best known for the Prince-penned Nothing Compares 2 U, which topped the charts in numerous countries including America, the UK and the Netherlands. Has collaborated with U2's the Edge, Jah Wobble, Peter Gabriel, Willie Nelson, Manu Dibango, Shane MacGowan, Zucchero, Massive Attack, Elaine Page, and Danny O'Reilly ~ O'Connor was born in 1966
July 25, 2023 ~ Pop rock singer, songwriter Andreas Tsoukalas passed away in Athens, Greece ~ Known for the albums Stous Kairous Tous Ponirous and its follow-up Mia Kainouria Mera. The latter would contain one of his best known, Antio, a translation of Brian Hyland's 1960s hit Sealed With A Kiss ~ Tsoukalas was born in 1963
July 24, 2023 ~ Pop rock, alternative rock, jam rock bassist, saxophonist, clarinetist Brad Houser, full name John Bradley Houser, passed away ~ Co-founding member of the New Bohemians, fronted by singer Edie Brickell. Present on the band's acclaimed and best known album Shooting Rubberbands At The Stars released in 1988. Also co-founded Critters Buggin with Mike Dillon, Skerik, and Bohemians bandmate Matt Chamberlain. In-demand collaborator, has also worked with Patrice Pike, Steve Wedemeyer, Zydeco Blanco, the Mingtones, and Aimee Bobruk ~ Houser was born in 1960
July 23, 2023 ~ Cantastorie, folk singer, guitarist, songwriter Otello Profazio, full name Otello Ermanno Profazio, passed away in Reggio Calabria, Italy ~ Draws heavily from traditional folk of South Italy, especially Sicily and Calabria. Acclaimed for his 1964 Il Treno Del Sole album. Also known for the 1970s albums Il Brigante Musolino and Qua Si Campa D'Aria. Host of several TV music programs, notably Quando La Gente Canta aired on Secondo Canala ~ Profazio was born in 1934
July 23, 2023 ~ Eurodance, eurodisco singer Patty Ryan passed away in Germany ~ Best known for You're My Love You're My Life of her Love Is The Name Of The Game debut album released in 1987. Other well known songs include Stay With Me Tonight, I Don't Want To Lose You Tonight, and Ohne Zweifel ~ Ryan was born in 1961
July 23, 2023 ~ Singer, songwriter Raymond Froggatt, full name Raymond William Froggatt, passed away in Shrewsbury, UK ~ Spent most of the 1960s fronting the Buccaneers, later renamed to Monopoly and ultimately the Raymond Froggatt Band, starting in rock & roll and moving towards country as the decade progressed. Though chart success eluded them, others would find success with covers of his songs. Beat band the Dave Clark Five would reach UK top 10 with The Red Balloon, originally titled Callow-La-Vita, as would Cliff Richard with Big Ship. Australian singer Russell Morris would have a hit Australia and New Zealand with Rachel. Froggatt would go on to record well into the 2000s as a solo country singer, and is best known for his 1974 Rogues & Thieves album ~ Froggatt was born in 1941