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In Memoriam – November 2019

December 5th, 2019 Leave a comment Go to comments

November was a bad month for English photographers of pop legends. And we lost the man who brought the calypso into the mainstream.

The Calypso Pioneer
Few people can claim to have written pop classics and a national anthem, as could Irving “Lord Burgess” Burgie, who has died at 95.  A World War II veteran of West Indian and US parentage, Burgie wrote classics such as Island In The Sun, Jamaica Farewell and Angelina, and co-wrote the Harry Belafonte version of the Jamaican work song Day-O (The Banana Boat Song). While he kept writing music, Burgie rarely performed after Belafonte scored hits with his songs. Burgie used the wealth he accumulated from royalties to found a magazine for the community in Harlem, and to engage himself in the civil rights movement. He also wrote the lyrics for the national anthem of Barbados, after the Caribbean island gained independence in 1966.

The French Chanteuse
French singer and actress Marie Laforêt, who has died at 80, was intent on becoming a nun when she entered a talent contest, standing in for her sister. It came as it had to: Marie won and was discovered by director Louis Malle. She made her film debut opposite Alain Delon in René Clément’s 1960 film Plein Soleil. In her second film, Saint Tropez Blues, she sung the title song, launching a career in music. Laforêt drew more from chanson and folk than pop, though she gave in to the pressure to record material aimed at the commercial end of the market. She had some success in the 1970s (when she covered several German schlager in French, usually improving them) but she lost interest in her music career, and concentrated on acting. Laforêt made a brief musical comeback in the 1990s. Last month we heard Czech singer Karel Gott cover the Rolling Stones’ Paint It Black; this month we have Marie Laforêt do it.

The Precious Soul Singer
There is always something poignant when I have a mix prepared, and one of the artists on it dies before it gets posted. So it is with soul singer Jackie Moore, who will feature on the annual disco mix which drops in the last week before New Year’s Eve. Moore is best-known for her 1970 soul hit Precious Precious, or perhaps for 1975’s Make Me Feel Like A Woman. And to some, especially GTA gamers, her 1979 cover of the O’Jays’ song This Time Baby might be the defining Moore song.

 

The Beatles Photographer
You have seen the work of British photographer Robert Freeman, who has died at 82. He took the photos for the covers of four Beatles albums: With The Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night, Beatles For Sale, Help, and Rubber Soul. A track on the latter was Norwegian Wood; rumour has it that Lennon wrote the song about his affair with Freeman’s wife.

The cover photo of Beatles For Sale is probably my favourite of all Fab Four pics. The lads look as tired (because they were exhausted) as half of the hurriedly compiled album sounds. The photo evokes late autumn, mainly because it was taken at that time of the year during a session in London’s Hyde Park.

Almost exactly a year after Beatles For Sale came out, on 3 December1965, the Beatles released another LP, Rubber Soul, with cover art that also evoked autumn. I’ve always imagined that on the photo the four were looking down into a well. What actually happened was that Freeman projected a series of photos he had taken at Lennon’s place on an LP sleeve-sized cardboard, to give an idea as to how each option would look as a cover. At one point, the cardboard had slipped, and the image was projected at an angle. According to Paul, the Beatles really liked the effect, and asked Freeman whether he could recreate it. As we know, he could.

The great monochome photo for With The Beatles, the group’s second LP, was taken on 22 August 1963 in a corridor in the Bournemouth Palace Court Hotel, not an establishment generally associated with great moments in rock & roll. Freeman was given instruction to recreate the shadow-and-light effect often employed by their Hamburg-days friend Astrid Kirchherr, the girl in whose arms original Beatle Stu Sutcliffe died. Freeman achieved the effect by using natural light coming through a window at the end of the corridor.

The Elton John Photographer
It was not a good month for Beatles photographers: legendary British camera wielder Terry O’Neill also departed for the Great Darkroom in the Sky. He was well-known for his photos of acts like the Rolling Stones, David Bowie and Elton John. The latter used O’Neill photos for several of his LP covers, including 1974’s Greatest Hits, Rock Of The Westies, A Single Man, and Ice On Fire, as well as for singles such as Nikita. Other cover photos taken by Faye Dunaway’s ex-husband include The Who’s Who Are You?, Michelle Philips’ 1977 album Victim Of Romance and the Police’s Wrapped Around Your Finger single.

The High Voltage Photographer
That darkroom must have got pretty crowded with British photographers when Michael Putland died at 72. You’ll have seen his work on covers of albums such as Harry Nilsson’s Son Of Schmilsson, AC/DC’s High Voltage, and Madness’ 7. And the photo collages in the booklet of The Who’s The Kids Are Alright album includes photos by both Putland and Terry O’Neill.

 

The Sutherland Brother
We had the original of the Rod Stewart hit Sailing in Any Major Originals: 1970s Vol. 1, performed by the Sutherland Brothers (incidentally, it was conceived as a song about seeking God, not about romantic maritime adventures). The band was brothers Gavin and Iain Sutherland; the latter of whom we lost this month at the age of 71. The Sutherland Brothers, who joined forces with the rock group Quiver for a while, had their biggest success in the ULK with The Arms Of Mary; in the US they were best known for (I Don’t Want to Love You But) You Got Me Anyway.

The Doors’ Bassist
For a couple of albums, Doug Lubahn was The Doors’ unofficial bass player during the recording sessions for Strange Days and Waiting For The Sun (though the great Larry Knechtel did, uncredited, bass work for The Doors at the same time). He was actually invited to join the group but declined, citing his commitment to the rather less successful psychedelic rock band Clear Light. Lubahn later joined a succession of bands that had limited success — Dreams, Pierce Arrow, Riff-Raff — and worked with acts like Pat Benatar (with whom he wrote her breakthrough hit Treat Me Right), Billy Squier and Ted Nugent.

The Punk Robber
We have covered singers who became lawyers and even judges; the kind of leave music to become robbers are the other side of the coin. One of those was Gilles Bertin, whose career path moved from being the singer of French punk band Camera Silens to robbing a cash transport in 1988. And it wasn’t a spontaneous act of criminal hubris: Bertin and his gang had planned the heist for two years. Most of the 11,5 million Francs (about €1,7 million in today’s value) was never found. Bertin’s conspirators were caught, but Bertin escaped to Spain and then Portugal, where he ran a record shop. He returned to France in 2016, and received only a suspended sentence.

 

Waller ‘Sonny’ Collie, 68, drummer of power-pop band The Explosives, on Nov. 1
The Explosives – A Girl Like You (1981)

Marie Laforêt, 80, French-Swiss singer and actress, on Nov. 2
Marie Laforêt – Manchester et Liverpool (1966)
Marie Laforêt – Marie Douceur, Marie Colere
Marie Laforêt – Viens, viens (1973)

Bart Walsh, 56, rock guitarist, on Nov. 2

Wake Self, 30, hip-hop artist, traffic collision, on Nov. 3

Kelley Looney, 61, bassist in Steve Earle’s band, on Nov. 4
Steve Earle – Copperhead Road (1988, on bass)

Vaughn Benjamin, 50, Antiguan singer with reggae band Midnite, on Nov. 4
Midnite – Jubilees Of Zion (2000)

Timi Hansen, 61, bassist with Danish metal bands Mercyful Fate, King Diamond, on Nov. 4

Michael Sherwood, 60, keyboardist and singer, on Nov. 5
Lisa Loeb – Underdog (2001, on keyboards)

Gilles Bertin, 58, singer of French punk band Camera Silens and robber, on Nov. 7
Camera Silens – Pour la gloire (1983)

Robert Freeman, 82, photographer (Beatles) and graphic designer, on Nov. 8
The Beatles – In My Life (1965, as cover photographer)

Jackie Moore, 73, soul singer, on Nov. 8
Jackie Moore – Precious Precious (1970)
Jackie Moore – Make Me Feel Like A Woman (1975)

Fred Bongusto, 84, Italian pop singer, songwriter and film composer, on Nov. 8
Fred Bongusto – Doce Doce (1962)

Bob Szajner, 81, American jazz pianist, on Nov. 9

Kehinde Lijadu, 71, half of Nigerian duo Lijadu Sisters, on Nov. 9
Lijadu Sisters – Orere Eljigbo (1984)

Jan Byrczek, 83, US-Polish jazz bassist and journalist, on Nov. 10

Lisa Kindred, 79, folk and blues singer, on Nov. 11
Lisa Kindred – I Like It This Way (1965)

Bad Azz, 43, rapper, on Nov. 11

Papa Don Schroeder, 78, producer and songwriter, on Nov. 15
Webb Pierce – Those Wonderful Year (1963, as writer)
James & Bobby Purify – I’m Your Puppet (1966, as producer)

Éric Morena, 68, French pop singer, on Nov. 16

Browning Bryant, 62, singer-songwriter, on Nov. 16
Browning Bryant – You Might Say (1974)

Fabio XB, 44, Italian trance DJ, producer and remixer, on Nov. 16

Terry O’Neill, 81, English music photographer, on Nov. 16
Elton John – Song For Guy (1978, as cover photographer)

Michael Putland, 72, English music photographer, on Nov. 19 (unconfirmed)
AC/DC – The Jack (1976, as cover photographer)

Lloyd Watson, 70, English rock guitarist, on Nov. 19
Brian Eno – Some Of Them Are Old (1973, on guitar)

José Mário Branco, 77, Portuguese singer-songwriter, producer, on Nov. 19

John Mann, 57, singer-guitarist with Canadian folk rock band Spirit of the West, on Nov. 20
Spirit of the West – Home For A Rest (1990)

Doug Lubahn, 71, rock bassist, on Nov. 20
The Monkees – Porpoise Song (1968, on bass)
The Doors – Hello, I Love You (1968, on bass)
Pat Benatar – Treat Me Right (1980, as co-writer)

Donna Carson, 73, half of folk-rock duo Hedge and Donna, on Nov. 21
Hedge & Donna – Wings (1967)

Eduardo Nascimento, 76, Angolan singer, on Nov. 22
Eduardo Nascimento – O vento mudou (1967)

Eddie Duran, 94, American jazz guitarist, on Nov. 22
Vince Guaraldi Trio – Surfin’ Snoopy 1968, on guitar)
Tania Maria – Come With Me (1982, on guitar)

Clive James, 80, Australian broadcaster, writer and songwriter, on Nov. 24
Julie Covington – The Magic Wasn’t There (1970, as co-writer)

Iain Sutherland, 71, member of Scottish band Sutherland Brothers, songwriter, on Nov. 25
Sutherland Brothers & Quiver – You Got Me Anyway (1973, also as writer)
Sutherlands Brothers & Quiver – Arms Of Mary (1975, also as writer)

Martin Armiger, 70, singer, guitarist, songwriter with Australian band The Sports, on Nov. 27
The Sports – Who Listens To The Radio (1979)

Juninho Berin, 38, Brazilian samba singer-songwriter, on Nov. 28

Irving ‘Lord Burgess’ Burgie, 95, songwriter, on Nov. 29
Harry Belafonte – Jamaica Farewell (1956, as writer)
Harry Belafonte – Angelina (1961, as writer)
Lord Burgess – Island In The Sun (1984, also as writer)
Barbados National Anthem – In Plenty And In Time Of Need (as lyricist)

Micheal Smotherman, 71, country musician and songwriter, on Nov. 29
Glen Campbell – For Cryin’ Out Loud (1977, as writer)
Micheal Smotherman – Do I Ever Cross Your Mind (2003)

Stuart Fraser, Australian guitarist, on Nov. 30
Noiseworks – Take Me Back (1987, as member)

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  1. halfhearteddude
    December 5th, 2019 at 07:28 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. December 5th, 2019 at 20:09 | #2
  3. Stonefish552
    December 5th, 2019 at 20:57 | #3

    I can only imagine how much time you put into this each month, and my mind boggles. Incredible effort and easily the most up to date information on passings in the music industry. Thank you for keeping us all so well informed. I don’t know how you find out so much information from all over the world.

  4. Rhodb
    December 7th, 2019 at 22:32 | #4

    Great share once again

    Really appreciate the effort

    Regards

    Rhodb

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