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In Memoriam – August 2012

September 5th, 2012 Leave a comment Go to comments

The headline death this month probably is that of Scott McKenzie. He was, by all accounts, a quality guy, so we”ll have to forgive him for co-writing the horrible Beach Boys hit Kokomo. His one big hit, the John Phillips-penned San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair), of course helped define a generation, except perhaps for the people of San Francisco, for whom the song was great tourism marketing but probably reflected little of daily life.

Carl Davis, who has died at 77, was to Chicago soul what Gamble & Huff were to Philly and, perhaps, Berry Gordy to Detroit. Davis produced such artists as Jackie Wilson, Curtis Mayfield, Gene Chandler, Major Lance, Barbara Acklin, Tyrone Davis, Mary Wells and The Chi-Lites . His productions included stone-cold classics as Duke Of Earl, (You”re Love Has Lifted Me) Higher And Higher, Turn Back The Hands Of Time, and Oh Girl.

Gospel singer Willa Ward died on August 12 at the age of 91. She never became as big as her sister Clara Ward, but as part of the Ward Singers, Willa and her sisters did much to influence future soul greats such as Aretha Franklin and Patti LaBelle. Willa also sang backing vocals for stars such as Little Richard and Screamin” Jay Hawkins ““ and Patti LaBelle.

First on our list is a hold-over from July: Jay Parker, who died at 87 on July 30, was the desighner of the iconic label for Sun Records, which did not change during the labels run from 1953 to January 1968.

Of course Hal David died on September 1, a day too late for inclusion in this month”s roll call. Check out the compilations of Bacharach/David songs HERE and HERE.

Jay Parker, 87, designer of the label for Sun Records, on July 30
Load Of Mischief – Back In My Arms Again (1968; last ever release on Sun Records)

Tony Sly, 41, frontman of punk band No Use For A Name, on August 1
No Use For A Name ““ Soulmate (1995)

Jimmy “˜Handyman” Jones, 82, pop soul singer and songwriter, on August 2
Jimmy Jones ““ Walkin” (1965)

Stuart Swanlund, 54, guitarist of The Marshall Tucker Band (2009-12), on August 4

Jason Noble, 40, guitarist of post-rock groups Rodan, Rachel”s, Shipping News, on August 4

Johnnie Bassett, 76, blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter, on August 4

Chavela Vargas, 93, Costa Rican/ Mexican singer-songwriter, on August 5
Chavela Vargas – Paloma Negra (2002)

Marvin Hamlisch, 68, composer, arranger and musician, on August 6
Lesley Gore – Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows (as co-writer, 1965)
Marvin Hamlisch – The Entertainer (as performer, 1973)
Carly Simon ““ Nobody Does It Better (as co-writer, 1977)

Mike Kelly, singer with vocal band The Duprees, on August 7
The Duprees – You Belong To Me (1964)

Ranking Trevor, 60, dancehall pioneer, on August 7

Magro Waghabi, 68, Brazilian singer and songwriter with MPB4, on August 8

Carl Davis, 77, pioneering Chicago soul producer, on August 9
Major Lance – Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um (1962)
Barbara Acklin – Love Makes A Woman (1968)
The Chi-Lites – Are You My Woman (Tell Me So) (1970)

Von Freeman, 88, jazz saxophonist, on August 11

Willa Ward, 91, member of influential gospel group The Ward Singers, on August 12
The Ward Singers – Faith That Moves Mountains (1953)

Gary Cox, 59, guitarist of rock band Artful Dodger, on August 12

Brent Grulke, 52, creative director of the SXSW music festival, on August 13

Bob Birch, 56, session bass and piano player (Elton John, Eric Clapton, Tina Turner a.o.), apparent suicide on August 15
Corinne Bailey Rae – Paris Nights/New York Mornings (2010, as pianist)

Altamiro Carrilho, 87, Brazilian flautist and composer, on August 15
Altamiro Carrilho – Doce de Coco (1964)

Bill Tillman, 65, saxophonist of Blood, Sweat & Tears (1974-78), on August 15

Lou Martin, 63, Northern Irish keyboardist with Rory Gallagher and Killing Floor, on August 17
Rory Gallagher ““ Tattoo”d Lady (1974)

Scott McKenzie, 73, singer and songwriter, on August 18
Scott McKenzie – Like An Old Time Movie (1967)

Shimrit Shoshan, 29, Israeli jazz pianist, on August 19

John Stockfish, 69, session bass player (Gordon Lightfoot, Jim Croce), on August 20
Gordon Lightfoot – Sundown (1974)

Phyllis Diller, 95, comedienne, released five novelty music records, on August 20
Phyllis Diller ““ Satisfaction (1970)

Matthew McAnuff, 26, Jamaican reggae singer, fatally stabbed on August 22

Louise Clarke, 62, dancer with Pan”s People on Top of the Pops, on August 24

Byard Lancaster, 70, jazz saxophonist and flautist, on August 25
Byard Lancaster – Over The Rainbow (1968)

George Gallacher, 68, singer of Scottish rock group The Poets, on August 25

Max Bygraves, 89, British singer, variety performer and TV personality, on August 31
Max Bygraves – Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellenbogen By The Sea (1954)


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  1. RHOD
    September 5th, 2012 at 07:51 | #1

    Another sensational effort. I shouldn’t say this but I look forward to the In memoriam posting each month.



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