Home > In Memoriam > In Memoriam – November 2020

In Memoriam – November 2020

December 3rd, 2020 Leave a comment Go to comments

By the nasty standards of this awful year, November was a fairly mild month. Perhaps the Grim Reaper was tied up in recounts, lawsuits about counts trying to make him count votes for some victims but not others, and fictionally dead people claiming to be alive and real dead people not conceding, death certificates notwithstanding. With all that in mind, here’s the final count. In the post-truth world, you are free to deny that any of these people are indeed dead.

 

The Heepster
In September we lost Uriah Heep drummer Lee Kerslake; in November long-time keyboardist Ken Hensley followed him. Hensley was part of the classic Heep line-up, serving the band as keyboardist, guitarist, songwriter and occasionally lead singer. After the departure of lead singer David Byron, Hensley took on the leadership of the group, but departed himself in 1980 when he felt Uriah Heep were taking the wrong musical direction. In 1983/84 he was member of Southern rock band Blackfoot, but in 1985 went into semi-retirement. Hensley is regarded by many as a pivotal figure in the development of keyboard-playing in heavy metal.

The Blue-Eyes Soul Man
Blue-eyed soul singer Len Barry might be best remembered for his 1960s classic 1-2-3, which had a bit of a Motown feel. Barry, who cut his hit-making teeth with doo wop band The Dovells and before that with The Bisstones, toured in Britain with the Motown Revue, supported Sam Cooke on tour, and played in black venues such as the Apollo and other legendary black venues. Later he co-wrote the hits Zoom for Fat Larry’s Band and Love Town for Booker Newberry III.

The Great Engineer
Recording engineers don’t always get the credit they deserve, but they are the ones who make the sound come together, and who’ll get the door to creak on Thriller. The latter effect was among the bag of tricks of Bruce Swedien, the multi-Grammy winner who did a lot of work with Quincy Jones, including all Quincy’s albums from The Dude to Q’s Jook Joint, and many of those he produced, such as George Benson’s Give Me The Night, The Bothers Johnson’s Blam and Light Up The Night (with Stomp), and Michael Jackson’s Off The Wall, Thriller and Bad (Swedien engineered all MJ albums from Thriller to 1996’s HIStory).

Swedien’s career started in 1956, with an album for the Bo Davies Quartet. Subsequent clients included Ramsey Lewis, Count Basie (including his LP of Beatles covers), Art Blakey and Buddy Miles. In the 1970s he engineered his first pop hit, Tyrone Davis’ soul classic Turn Back The Hands Of Time. Other soul acts, such as The Chi-Lites (basically all the big hits), Eddie Harris, and Jackie Wilson followed. He also mixed for acts like Rufus & Chaka Khan, Roberta Flack, Herb Alpert, René & Angela, Donna Summer, Sergio Mendes, and Michael McDonald (on Sweet Freedom).

 

Saving Private Radford
English folk-singer Jim Radford was best-known for his song On The Shores Of Normandy, a lament for the fallen soldiers in the D-Day invasion on 6 June 1944. Radford was well-placed to write such a song: he was part of that invasion, as the youngest-known combatant. He went on to become a peace activist, singing the cautionary verse: “As the years pass by, I can still recall the men I saw that day, who died upon that blood-soaked sand where now sweet children play. And those of you who were unborn, who’ve lived in liberty, remember those who made it so on the shores of Normandy.” The Wehrmacht’s bullets didn’t get him; in the end it was Covid-19 that did.

The Iron Curtain Rock Legends
Two members of the classic line-up of Hungarian prog-rock band Omega, pioneers of Eastern European rock, died within just three days of one another: keyboardist László Benkő at 77 on November 19, and then bassist Tamás Mihály at 73.  The former had been an ever-present member from 1962-2017, the former joined in 1967 and stayed the course.

Omega was the first Eastern European rock band to break through internationally, recording at home, in East-Berlin and in London in Hungarian, German and English, and enjoying an international hit with The Girl With Pearls in Her Hair. The communist regime intermittently banned Omega as culturally subversive; strangely the much more hardline East German regime allowed the band to tour there and even record in German. In 1987 the band stopped, but regrouped following the collapse of Soviet communism. Omega are still recording and touring, with three members of the classic line-up forming the core.

As before, this post is included in PDF format in the package, which also includes my personal playlist of the featured tracks. PW in comments

 

Gerry Hayes, 86, German jazz multi-instrumentalist, on Nov. 1
Gerry Hayes – Soulgirl (Philly Dog) (1967)

Ronnie Peel, 74, Australian guitarist and singer, on Nov. 1
Rockwell T. James – Roxanne (1977, as Rockwell T. James)

Phil K, 51, DJ with Australian production project Lostep, on Nov. 1

Esteban Santos, 69, singer with Spanish pop group Bravo, on Nov. 1
Bravo – Lady, Lady (1984)

Nikki McKibbin, 42, singer-songwriter, on Nov. 1

Ken Hensley, 75, English singer-songwriter with Uriah Heep, on Nov. 4
Uriah Heep – Lady In Black (1971, as writer on lead vocals)
Uriah Heep – Look At Yourself (1973, as writer on lead vocals)
Ken Hensley – Who Will Sing for You (1975)
Blackfoot – Summer Days (1984, as member on keyboards)

Reynaert, 65, Belgian singer, on Nov. 5

Len Barry, 78, American singer, on Nov. 5
The Bosstones – Mope-Itty Mope (1959, on lead vocals)
The Dovells – Bristol Stomp (1961, on lead vocals)
Len Barry – 1-2-3 (1965)
Booker Newberry III – Love Town (1983, as co-writer)

Stefano D’Orazio, 72, percussionist of Italian rock band Pooh, on Nov. 6
Pooh – Pensiero (1973)

King Von, 26, rapper, shot on Nov. 6

Jim Radford, 92, English folk singer-songwriter, on Nov. 6
Jim Radford – On The Shores Of Normandy

Brian Coll, 79, Irish country singer, on Nov. 7

Cándido Camero, 99, Cuban jazz percussionist, on Nov. 7
Candido Camero feat. Al Cohn – Poinciana (1956)
Candido – Candi’s Funk (1980)

Bones Hillman, 62, bassist of Australian rock band Midnight Oil, on Nov. 7
Midnight Oil – Blue Sky Mine (1990)

Vanusa, 73, Brazilian singer, on Nov. 8

Oscar Benton, 71, Dutch vocalist, on Nov. 8
Oscar Benton – Bensonhurst Blues (1982)

Fred Ape, 67, member of German alternative folk-rock trio ABB, on Nov. 9
Ape, Beck & Brinkmann – Regenbogenland (1982)

Michael Bundesen, 71, singer of Danish pop band Shu-bi-dua, on Nov. 9
Shu-bi-dua – Stærk Tobak (1973)

Dave Zoller, 79, jazz pianist, composer and arranger, on Nov. 9
Dave Zoller Jazz Sextet – A Sketch Of Fred Crane (1995)

Alec Baillie, bassist of punk bands Choking Victim, Leftöver Crack, on Nov. 10

DJ Spinbad, 46, DJ, mixer and producer, on Nov. 10

Andrew White, 78, jazz/R&B saxophonist and bassist, on Nov. 11
The 5th Dimension – Together Let’s Find Love (1971, on bass)
Andrew White – Who Got De Funk (1973)

Mo3, 28, American rapper, shot dead on Nov. 11

Adrian Cionco, 48, bassist of Argentine rock-fusion band La Mosca, on Nov. 11

Jim Tucker, 74, guitarist of The Turtles, on Nov. 12
The Turtles – It Ain’t Me Babe (1965)
The Turtles – So Happy Together (1966)

Lynn Kellogg, 77, singer-actress (original Sheila in Hair), on Nov. 12
Lynn Kellogg – Easy To Be Hard (1968)

Doug Supernaw, 60, country singer, on Nov. 13
Doug Supernaw – Reno (1993, also as co-writer)

Bob Van Staeyen, 84, member of Belgian folk group De Strangers, on Nov. 14

Des O’Connor, 88, English singer and entertainer, on Nov. 14
Des O’Connor – I Pretend (1968)

Eric Hall, 73, Iconic English music agent, on Nov. 16

Bruce Swedien, 86, recording engineer and producer, on Nov. 16
Ramsey Lewis Trio – Wade In The Water (1966, as engineer)
The Chi-Lites – Have You Seen Her (1972, as engineer)
James Ingram & Michael McDonald – Yah Mo Be There (1983, as engineer)
Quincy Jones – The Secret Garden (1989, as engineer)

László Benkő, 77, keyboardist of Hungarian rock band Omega, on Nov. 18
Omega – Nem tilthatom meg (1968)
Omega – Pearls In Her Hair (1969)

Tony Hooper, 77, guitarist of English folk-rock band Strawbs (1968-72), on Nov. 18
Strawbs – Forever (1970, also as co-writer)

Dominic Grant, 71, British pop singer, on Nov. 18
Guys ‘n’ Dolls – There’s A Whole Lot Of Loving (1975, as member)

Mshoza, 37, South African kwaito singer, on Nov. 19

John ‘Molly’ Baron, 68, member of South African soul-pop band The Rockets, on Nov. 19
The Rockets feat. Ronnie Joyce – Situations (1984)

Michael Brooks, 85, jazz producer and historian, on Nov. 20

Corrie van Gorp, 78, Dutch singer and actress, on Nov. 20

Tamás Mihály, 73, bassist/cellist of Hungarian rock band Omega, on Nov. 21
Omega – Live As Long As (1974)
Omega – Break The Chain (1996)

Rufus Rehu, 81, member of New Zealand band Quincy Conserve, on Nov. 21

‘Detroit’ Gary Wiggins, 68, jazz and blues saxophonist, on Nov. 22
Detroit Gary Wiggins – That’s All (2008)

i_o, 30, techno DJ, on Nov. 23

Hal Ketchum, 67, country singer-songwriter, on Nov. 23
Hal Ketchum – I Know Where Love Lives (1991)

James Goode, 76, member of garage rock band The Excels, on Nov. 23
The Excels – Let’s Dance (1965)

Flor Silvestre, 90, Mexican singer and actress, on Nov. 25
Flor Silvestre – Cielo Rojo (1961)

Allan Botschinsky, 80, Danish jazz trumpeter, on Nov. 26

Jamir Garcia, 42, singer of Filipino metal band Slapshock, of suicide on Nov. 26

Herman Green, 90, jazz and blues saxophonist, on Nov. 26
B.B. King – I Stay In The Mood (1966, on saxophone)

Piotr Strojnowski, 62, guitarist of Polish reggae band Daab, on Nov. 28

Miša Aleksić, 67, bassist of Serbian/Yugoslavian rock band Riblja Čorba, on Nov. 29

Othella Dallas, 95, jazz singer and dancer, announced on Nov. 29

Jerry Demara, 45, Mexican banda singer-songwriter, on Nov. 30
Jerry Demara – Déjalo (2020) [BUY]

Anne Sylvestre, 86, French singer-songwriter, on Nov. 30
Anne Sylvestre – Le Pêcheur de Perles (1967)

GET IT! or HERE!

Previous In Memoriams

Keep up to date with dead pop stars on Facebook

Be Sociable, Share!
Categories: In Memoriam Tags:
  1. amdwhah
    December 3rd, 2020 at 09:16 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. iammike
    December 3rd, 2020 at 11:10 | #2

    Great stuff as usual!

  3. Barrie Minney
    December 3rd, 2020 at 18:55 | #3

    I had no idea Len Barry, Hal Ketchum and Ken Hemsley had passed. Three artists I’ve always admired. Len Barry’s music is fabulous in Northern Soul, Hal Ketchum sung one of the best break up songs ever with Days of Wonder and Ken Hemsley recorded some great stuff with Paul Kossoff. It seems we’re at age where our music heroes are being lost at a great rate.

  4. Rhodb
    December 11th, 2020 at 23:34 | #4

    Great work full of information makes the share so interesting

    Regards

    Rhodb

  1. No trackbacks yet.