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In Memoriam – March 2010

April 13th, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

A little later in the month than previously, here are some of the music people who died in March (since then, of course, Malcolm McLaren has joined the great recording studio in the sky). The Grim Reaper took two notable frontmen from us, Alex Chilton and Mark Linkous, as well as the blues singer Marva Wright (whose version of I Will Survive is as glorious as Gloria’s) and grievously underrated folky Lesley Duncan (featured here with one of the few songs Elton John ever covered). Most bizarre was the death of Serbian pop star Ksenjica Pajcin, who apparently was shot dead by her boyfriend who then killed himself. Her 2006 greatest hits compilation featured the legend, “My boyfriend is out of town”. A few names appear here without tribute track “” that’s because I have nothing by them.* * *

Ralph Martin, 70, singer with doo wop band The Willows (or The Five Willows), on February 19.
The Willows – Church Bells Are Ringing (1956)

Lolly Vegas, 70, singer of Native-American rock group Redbone, on March 4.
Redbone – The Witch Queen Of New Orleans (1970)

Ron Banks, 58, singer of soul group The Dramatics, on March 4.
The Dramatics – Whatcha See Is Whatcha Get (1972)

Johnny Alf, 80, Brazilian singer and composer, on March 4.
Johnny Alf – Rapaz de Bem (1990)

Fred Wedlock, 67, British Western singer, on March 4

Andy Johnson, 62, guitarist of British blues band Sam Apple Pie and sound engineer for the Pogues, U2 and others, on March 5
Sam Apple Pie – Something Nation (1968)

Mark Linkous, 47, frontman of alt.rock act Sparklehorse, on March 6.
Sparklehorse – Don’t Take My Sunshine Away (2006)

Micky Jones, 63, singer-guitarist of Welsh prog rock band Man, on March 10.

Lesley Duncan, 66, singer-songwriter and backing vocalist for Pink Floyd (on Dark Side Of The Moon), the Alan Parsons Project, Dusty Springfield, Walker Brothers a.o., on March 12.
Lesley Duncan – Love Song (1971)

Carol Clerk, 52, British rock journalist (Melody Maker), on March 12.

Jean Ferrat, 79, French singer, on March 13
Jean Ferrat – Potemkine (1965)

Kevin Neill, 78, bassist with the Karl Denver Trio, on March 13.
Karl Denver Trio – Wimoweh (1962)

Cherie De Castro, 87, member of The DeCastro Singers, on March 14.
DeCastro Sisters – Teach Me Tonight (1954)

Ksenjica Pajcin, 32, Serbian pop star, murdered on March 16.
Ksenija Pajcin – Vestica

Alex Chilton, 59, singer with the Box Tops and Big Star, on March 17.
Big Star – The Ballad Of El Goodo (1972)
Box Tops – Cry Like A Baby

Marva Wright, 62, big-voiced blues singer, on March 23
Marva Wright – I Will Survive (2004)

Johnny Maestro, 70, singer with doo wop band The Crests, on Marc h 24.
The Crests – Sixteen Candles (1958)

John Ciambotti, 67, session bass player for Elvis Costello, Huey Lewis, John Prine, Lucinda Williams a.o. and chiropracter, on March 25
Elvis Costello – Alison (1977)

Herb Ellis, 88, legendary jazz guitarist, on March 28.
Herb Ellis & Joe Pass – The Shadow Of Your Smile (1968)



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  1. April 13th, 2010 at 14:52 | #1

    Johnny Maestro was far more than a singer with The Crests. He was their lead singer, and The Crests were one of the first interracial rock and roll groups. In 1968, Maestro became lead singer of The Brooklyn Bridge (“The Worst That Could Happen”). Both groups had several other hit songs, and Johnny Maestro and The Brooklyn Bridge were the most popular oldies group on the East Coast and in great demand for concerts.

  2. April 13th, 2010 at 15:08 | #2

    Sad list, but its scary when you see someone your own age on the list.

  3. April 13th, 2010 at 15:26 | #3

    Herb Ellis was one of those weird occasions when I heard him for the first time one day, then read his obituary the next. Maybe I should put on one of the wife’s Sting CDs…

  4. Dual Smitty
    April 13th, 2010 at 19:12 | #4

    Johnny Maestro has passed. He was one of the greatest voices ever and probably *the* greatest of his genre. What a loss for humanity. It is as though you woke up one day and learned God had decided not to allow the sun to shine anymore.

  5. halfhearteddude
    April 14th, 2010 at 07:09 | #5

    That wouldn’t work because you’d not discover Sting anew. What is needed is a hitherto unknown recording of a “super”band comprising Sting, Bono, Michael F Bolton, Kid Rock and Ronan Keating.

  6. windshallah
    April 16th, 2010 at 09:37 | #6

    Ah – John Ciambotti. I remember meeting him back in 1976 – nice guy. More than a session player, he was originally founder of Clover and a band member until their final disintegration in 1978. They had two careers in effect; two albums for Fantasy in SF in 1970-1, before showing up in England in 1976 to record two more for Phonogram. I guess they are best remembered now for Sean Hopper and Huey Lewis, in the latter’s band, and John McFee who joined the Doobies. Almost surreally, but i am pretty sure that Clover provided the backing music for Twiggy’s self titled 1976 album – a little different form working with Elvis Costello…
    Great site – much appreciated

  7. Rhod
    April 16th, 2010 at 23:13 | #7

    Always sad to see the demise of some wonderfully talented people but we must be positive and enjoy the legacy that they have left us.



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