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Any Major Hits from 1972 – Vol. 1

January 25th, 2022 2 comments

 

1972 was the year I started school. More importantly, it was the year I bought my very first record, at the age of 6. Officially, I’ll claim that “it probably was something like Spoon by Can or Soul Makossa by Manu Dibangu, bought the same day I got Miles Davis’ On The Corner LP”. In reality it was this minor masterpiece of genre-shattering innovation and revolutionary fervour.

I was already keen on music, and at 5-6 years old, my interest was becoming keener. It helped that my mother and older siblings were buying records. My mother bought Poppa Joe by The Sweet, my older sister Elton John’s Crocodile Rock, another sister Beautiful Sunday by the English singer Daniel Boone and Chicago’s Saturday In The Park — though the latter wasn’t a hit in Germany, and Chicago wasn’t generally her style. I suspect a boyfriend bought it for her. And my older brother had a way of turning current hit songs into comedy by changing their lyrics into doggerel which I found amusing, in the way 5-6 year-olds find that kind of thing entertaining. One of them was Dr Hook’s Sylvia’s Mother, which itself was supposed to be comedic in its deliberate overwroughtness.

I can’t say I remember all, or even most, of the songs on the two Any Major Hits from 1972 mixes that are running this year (Volume 2 will drop later this year). But it was a good year for hit singles, as evidenced by the fact of two mixes for 1972.

This first mix concentrates on records that were at least Top 20 hits in the US; the second will cover the UK/Europe. But there was some of cross-pollination, in both directions. Alice Cooper’s School’s Out, The Osmonds’ Crazy Horses and the Carpenters’ I Won’t Last A Day Without You were actually bigger hits in the UK than they were in the US. UK acts on this mix are the above-mentioned Daniel Boone, The Hollies and Badfinger (who were also the originators of the Nilsson hit Without You, as covered in Any Major Originals – 1970s)

Talking of Crazy Horses”: It was a rather unusual song for the otherwise rather tame Osmonds. For one thing, teen idols singing about the environment — the titular equines refer to cars, with their polluting properties. So long before Greta, there was Donny! For another thing, it was young Donny who came up with that crazy whinnying sound on his keyboard. He was not just a pretty face with big teeth.

In compiling these things — we’ve already covered 1970 and 1971 as well as 1961 and 1944 — the idea isn’t really to pick the best hits of the year, or a representative cross-section — though some songs here may be among the year’s best and the mix may reflect the sound of the era — but a selection that captures the vibe of the year in focus, with some songs now classics and others rather forgotten by time.

If you dig the feel of 1972, take a look at the collection of posters from West-Germany’s Bravo magazine in 1972 (other years are available, too).

The mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-singalonged covers. The text above is included in an illustrated PDF booklet. PW in comments.

1. Alice Cooper – School’s Out (US #7 / UK #1 / GE #5)
2. The Osmonds – Crazy Horses (US #14 / UK #2 / GE #2)
3. Raspberries – Go All The Way (US #5)
4. Chi Coltrane – Thunder And Lightning (US #17)
5. Chicago – Saturday In The Park (US #3)
6. Malo – Suavecito (US #18)
7. Cornelius Brothers & Sister Rose – Too Late To Turn Back (US #2)
8. The Staple Singers – I’ll Take You There (US #1 / UK #30)
9. Looking Glass – Brandy (US #1)
10. Eagles – Witchy Woman (US #9)
11. Three Dog Night – Never Been To Spain (US #5)
12. The Gallery – Nice To Be With You (US #4 / GE# 28)
13. Mac Davis – Baby Don’t Get Hooked On Me (US #1 / UK #29)
14. Seals & Croft – Summer Breeze (US #6)
15. Harry Nilsson – Without You (US #1 / UK #1 / GE #12)
16. Carpenters – I Won’t Last A Day Without You (US #11 / UK #9)
17. Joe Simon – Power Of Love (US #11)
18. Michael Jackson – I Wanna Be Where You Are (US #16)
19. Jackson Browne – Doctor My Eyes (US #8)
20. Badfinger – Day After Day (US #4 / UK #10)
21. Todd Rundgren – I Saw The Light (US #16)
22. The Hollies – Long Cool Woman (US #2 / UK #32 / GE #15)
23. Daniel Boone – Beautiful Sunday (US #15 / UK #21 / GE #1)

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Any Major Hits from 1944
Any Major Hits from 1961
Any Major Hits from 1970
Any Major Hits from 1971

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Any Major Favourites 2021 – Vol. 2

January 18th, 2022 1 comment

I previously posted Volume 1 of the Any Major Favourites 2021, which collects one track from each of the playlists I posted in the past year (except the In Memoriams and Christmas mixes).

Of this lot here, I think I was most pleased with the Any Major Shakespeare mix, of songs that features common phrases introduced by The Bard (“In my mind’s eye”, “My salad days”, “The wheel is come full circle”, that sort of thing). I really hope that an enterprising English teacher might find use for this mix as a class project.

1971 was a remarkable year for albums.  I recovered three of them — Carole King’s Tapestry, Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On, and Joni Mitchell’s Blue — and managed to put together a very credible Top 40 of albums from that year, over two volumes (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2).

I’m still running the Buy Me A Coffee thing, whereby readers can express their appreciation for my work by, well, “buying me a cup of coffee”. An encouraging number of people have kept me running in caffeine — and helped to build up the fund to cover the costs of running this site (hosting, domain renewal, really bloody expensive hacker protection subscription etc). Thank you, thank you, thank you, beautiful Any Major Readers! And please keep commenting! Even a “Enjoyed that, thanks” (or a “What the hell was that crap, you idiot?”) is welcome feedback!

If you still need to catch up with the mixes of 2020, they are reviewed in Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.For your convenience and future reference, these CD-R length mixes include the text above and links below in an illustrated PDF.

1. Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band – Roll Me Away (1983)
The Roy Bittan Collection

2. Crowded House – When You Come (live) (2006)
Any Major Top 75 Acts (35-56)

3. The Pogues – A Rainy Night In Soho (1986)
Any Major Rain

4. Van Morrison – And It Stoned Me (1970)
Any Major Top 75 Acts (18-34)

5. Johnny Cash feat. Tom Petty – Solitary Man (2000)
Neil Diamond Songbook

6. Tift Merritt – Hopes Too High (2008)
Any Maj’r Shakespeare

7. Everything But The Girl – Goodbye Sunday (1988)
Any Major Week Vol. 3

8. SWV – Weak (1992)
Any Major Soul 1990-1992

9. Diana Ross – I’m Coming Out (Extended Mix) (1980)
Any Major Disco Vol. 9 – Party Like It’s 1980

10. The Jones Girls – I Just Love The Man (1981)
Any Major Soul 1981

11. Sister Goose And The Ducklings – Super Shine #9 (1973)
Any Major Blaxploitation Tracks

12. Donny Hathaway – What’s Goin’ On (1971)
Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On LP Recovered

13. Baby Huey – A Change Is Going To Come (1971)
Any Major Albums 1971 – Vol. 2

14. The Crusaders – Keep That Same Old Feeling (1976)
Any Major Fusion Vol. 1

15. Elvis Presley – What A Wonderful Life (1962)
Any Major Movie Elvis

16. Brook Benton – Another Cup Of Coffee (1964)
Any Major Coffee Vol. 3

17. The Jive Five – My True Story (1961)
Any Major Hits from 1961

18. Maurice Chevalier – Le sous-marin vert (1967)
Any Major Beatles in French Vol. 2

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Any Major Favourites 2021 – Vol. 1

January 10th, 2022 2 comments

HAPPY NEW YEAR! May this new year see the end of this damn pandemic — it was good only for my Any Major Pandemic mix — and may your 2022 be filled with undiluted happiness and uncompromisingly good health!

As every year, the mixes of the past year (excluding the In Memoriams and Christmas mixes) are revisited by the choice of one favourite song from them — like an annual Greatest Hits of Any Major Dude. I hope it is useful to provide a link to the relevant mix in the playlist, so that you might discover a compilation here or there which you might have missed. If you still need to catch up with the mixes of 2020, they are reviewed in Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 (this series goes back to 2015).

I haven’t bothered to measure which mixes were the most popular, but the two Beatles in French mixes (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) attracted great feedback. Maurice Chevalier doing Yellow Submarine was something of a revelation. There will be more Beatles in foreign languages collections coming up.

The one series I had hoped would get some feedback was the countdown of the Top 75 pop acts, according to myself and Rolling Stone. Did everybody just think, “Yeah, Any Major Dude got all placings spot on”? Surely not.

I had the biggest fun with this year’s Not Feeling Guilty mix, the 11th in the series of soft-rock and AOR numbers from the 1970s and early ’80s. All featured artists had names you might find in a teachers’ register, so I had some fun making a “Our Teachers” gallery for the Any Major Dude High yearbook 1979/80, with Mr D. O’Day as the principal (see it here).

And which mixes have I personally played the most? Well, I had Any Major Hits from 1971 from May on frequent rotation (as I still had the Hits from 1970 installment from 2020). Don’t be surprised if there are not one but two follow-ups covering 1972. The 1961 version on this theme was really enjoyable as well. The Jimmy Webb, Neil Diamond and Barry Gibb Songbooks also had plenty of spins (as is currently the set of Carole King songs, which will drop in February). And for a while I played little else but the mix of tracks from Blaxploitation movies.

Part 2 of this collection follows later. So, which mixes did you enjoy last year?For your convenience and future reference, these CD-R length mixes include the text above and links below in an illustrated PDF.

1. Lemonheads – It’s A Shame About Ray (1992)
Any Major ABC of the 1990s

2. Manic Street Preachers – If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next (1998)
Any Major Dude Kills Fascism

3. The Jesus and Mary Chain – Darklands (1987)
Life In Vinyl 1987 Vol. 2

4. Turley Richards – You Might Need Somebody (1979)
Any Major Originals – Soul Edition Vol. 2

5. Alan O’Day – Undercover Angel (1977)
Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 11

6. Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds – Don’t Pull Your Love (1971)
Any Major Hits from 1971

7. Dusty Springfield – Magic Garden (1968)
Jimmy Webb Songbook Vol. 3

8. Joy – Paradise Road (1980)
Any Major ABC of South Africa

9. Earth, Wind & Fire – Devotion (1975)
Any Major Live Festival – Soul Vol. 1

10. Richard ‘Dimples’ Fields feat. Betty Wright – She’s Got Papers On Me (1981)
Any Major Soul 1981

11. Prince – A Case Of You (2007)
Joni Mitchell’s Blue Recovered

12. Marlena Shaw – So Far Away (1972)
Carole King’s Tapestry Recovered

13. P.P. Arnold – Bury Me Down By The River (1969)
Barry Gibb Songbook Vol. 1

14. Grateful Dead – Ripple (1970)
Any Major Top 75 Acts (57-75)

15. Judee Sill – The Lamb Ran Away With The Crown (1971)
Any Major Albums of 1971 – Vol. 1

16. Simon & Garfunkel – America (1968)
Any Major Top 75 Acts (1-17)

17. Cisco Houston – The Killers (1968)
Any Major Murder Songs Vol. 3

18. Michèle Torr – Et le l’aime (1965)
Any Major Beatles in French Vol. 1

19. Mocedades – Eres Tu (1973)
Any Major Eurovision

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In Memoriam – December 2021

January 4th, 2022 5 comments

The Reaper was busy in December, in music as well as in other fields (Desmond Tutu! Betty White!). One singer on this list featured on two mixes here in the last few months. Canadian singer Renée Martel, who has died at 74, appeared on The Beatles in French Vol. 1 (with her take on The Night Before) and Vol. 2 (with Good Day Sunshine). The Humblebums, whose lead guitarist Tam Harvey has died, were completed by Gerry Rafferty, soon to become big with Stealers Wheel and later his mega-hit Baker Street, and Scottish comedian Billy Connolly. Another track here set a world record: hip hop outfit UTFO, whose Kangol Kid has died at 55, had a hit with Roxanne Roxanne which provoked a record 25 answer records, in what has become known as “The Roxanne Wars”.

Revisit the In Memoriam series to review who left us in the past year.

The Reluctant Monkee
With the death at 78 of Michael Nesmith, there’s only one Monkee left, Micky Dolenz. Davy Jones departed in 2012, Peter Tork in 2019. Of the four, Nesmith always looked like the one who least gave a shit about The Monkees, which probably had as much to do with his frustration at being denied musical input as it did with his natural nonchalance. Half the time, he looked like he had no idea what on earth he was doing there. And yet, once in a while, his talent for improvisation would be allowed to shine through.

Behind the scenes, he wasn’t quite so nonchalant when it came to the broken promises about his musical input. Dolenz recalled that Nesmith’s exasperation once found expression in a hole, punched into a wall. Nesmith was a fine songwriter; his Different Drums even featured in a Monkees episode, albeit in a comedic manner (he slaughters it on stage). Shortly after, it became a hit for Linda Ronstadt’s Stone Poneys.

Nesmith went on to influence the country-rock scene (some obits exaggerated when they claimed he virtually invented it) with his Second National Band. Perhaps his best work was his 1972 acoustic album And The Hits Just Keep On Comin’, on which he finally recorded his own version of Different Drum (the featured track, with Red Rhodes on pedal steel, is from that set). It’s well worth seeking out. As is its critically panned and commercially rejected album Tantamount To Treason, which proves that critics can be fools.

The Bass Producer
With drummer Sly Dunbbar, bass player Robbie Shakespeare formed the rhythm section of the pivotal reggae band Black Uhuru during its glory days from 1979 to 1987. They also recorded together as Sly & Robbie. But Shakespeare and Dunbar made their greatest impact as producers of acts like Grace Jones (including Pull Up to the Bumper), Gwen Guthrie, Joe Cocker, Ian Dury, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger, Jackson Browne, Cyndi Lauper, Yoko Ono, Serge Gainsbourg, No Doubt, Simply Red and more. Obviously they also produced a who-is-who of reggae, such as Peter Tosh, Gregory Isaacs, Bunny Wailer, Sugar Minott, Jimmy Cliff, Dennis Brown, Ini Kamoze, Yellowman, The Mighty Diamonds, Chaka Demus & Pliers, Shabba Ranks, Beenie Man, and more.

A few days after Shakespeare, Black Uhuru co-founder Garth Dennis passed away; none of his terms in the band coincided with Shakespeare’s. But as 2021 was fading out, guitarist Mikey ‘Mao’ Chung, who played on many Shakespeare productions (including the Grace Jones, Peter Tosh and Gwen Guthrie ones), died at the age of 71.

The Voice
For a long time in the 1960s and ’70s, soul singer Joe Simon was a frequent visitor to the US charts, with his distinctive low tenor voice (which might take some getting used to). He started out as a gospel singer before becoming a secular southern soul singer in the 1960s. Like colleagues such as Brook Benton, Simon would occasionally drift into the world of country music — almost naturally, since he was based in Nashville. One of his biggest hits was 1969’s The Chokin’ Kind, written by country songwriter Harlan Howard. Another example is the featured version of Simon’s cover of  Eddy Arnold’s country classic Misty Blue.

In the 1970s, Simon had the good fortune of becoming an early client of the great Gamble & Huff production team, which updated his sound to great effect (check out his I Found My Fad on the Any Major Fathers Vol. 2 mix). As the 1970s turned into the ‘80s, Simon returned to his gospel roots and became a singing evangelical preacher.

The Marvelette
With the death of Wanda Young, both lead singers of Motown pioneers The Marvelettes are gone. Gladys Horton, who took the lead on the group’s early hits, died in 2011. It was Horton who got her friend Young to join her band, called The Marvels, just as Motown was signing them. At first Horton took the lead vocals (such as on Please Mr Postman or Beechwood 4-5789), then she shared lead with Young on songs like Locking Up My Heart and Too Many Fish In The Sea. From 1965, Young (by now going by her married name Rogers) became the principal singer, taking the lead on hits like I’ll Keep Holding On, Don’t Mess With Bill, The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game, When You’re Young And In Love and My Baby Must Be A Magician.

The JB Drummer
Before James Brown had the mighty drummers Clyde Stubblefield and Jabo Starks, he had the mighty Melvin Parker, brother of Maceo. And JB reckoned that Melvin was the best drummer he’d had. Up against Stubblefield and Jabo, that’s a huge compliment.

You can hear Parker on tracks like I Feel Good, Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag, and Out Of Sight. Then Parker was drafted into the army and left the J.B.s. He returned briefly in 1969/70, but soon left and joined his brother in Maceo & All the King’s Men. In 1976 he briefly returned one more time to Brown, playing on his hit Get Up Offa That Thing.

The Smokie
English pop band Smokie produced some real stinkers in their time, but some of those Chinnichap RAK songs deserve rehabilitation. Living Next Door To Alice has been sent up repeatedly (especially with the 1995 “Who the fuck is Alice?” remix), but is a catchy number. And tracks like Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone, I’ll Meet You At Midnight, If You Think You Know How To Love Me, and Don’t Play Your Rock ‘N Roll To Me are well-crafted pop music, wordy titles notwithstanding. And their harmonies were pretty good. The four members also seemed like perfectly nice guys who always had time for their fans.

Bassist Terry Uttley, who has died at 70, with his white-man afro seemed the most affable of the lot. After his wife Shirley became ill with cancer, he became a fundraiser for cancer charities. Exactly a month after her death on November 17, Terry Uttley died.

The Backing Singer-Songwriter
Even if you don’t know the name David Lasley, who has died at 74, you’ll probably have heard his high tenor voice on the backing vocals of various hits by Chic (such as Dance Dance Dance and Everybody Dance), Odyssey (such as Native New Yorker) or Sister Sledge (We Are Family, Lost In Music, He’d The Greatest Dancer, Thinking About You). He also backed acts like James Taylor, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Ringo Starr, Garland Jeffreys, Boz Scaggs, Cher, Tim Curry, Valerie Carter, Aretha Franklin, Randy Crawford, Teddy Pendergrass, Culture Club, Whitney Houston, Rita Coolidge, and especially his close friend Luther Vandross.

Lasley and Vandross did a lot of the back-up singing together, especially on the Chic collective’s songs. Luther did backing vocals on Lasley’s 1982 solo album. Among the songs on that set was the Lasley composition You Bring Me Joy, later covered by Anita Baker. Other songs Lasley wrote or co-wrote include Boz Scaggs’ JoJo, Randy Crawford’s Nightline, Chaka Khan’s Roll Me Through The Rushes, Maxine Nightingale’s Lead Me On, and more.

The Manager
Music managers don’t usually get included in this series, but I’ll make an exception for Ken Kragen, who has died at 85. A bit of an all-rounder — he was also an author and TV producer (such as for The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour), among other things — Kragen managed various acts, especially from the country scene. In 1985, his charges included Kenny Rogers and Lionel Richie when he was approached by Harry Belafonte to put together a charity concert to raise funds for the Ethiopian famine, following the efforts by Band Aid in the UK. Kragen didn’t think a concert would work — turns out, he was wrong — but suggested an all-star charity record in the style of Band Aid.

He got Quincy Jones to produce the record, and Kragen’s client Lionel Richie and Belafonte’s mate Michael Jackson wrote We Are The World. In the end, Kragen had to turn away stars who wanted to appear on the single, which was recorded on January 21, 1985, and released on March 7. It became the fastest-selling record in US history, despite being rather rubbish. A year later, Kragen organised the Hands Across America campaign to raise funds for hunger relief.

The Chant Guy
Especially if you follow football (or soccer), you’ll know the crowd’s chant of “olé, olé, olé”. Grand Jojo, the Belgian singer and songwriter who co-wrote and first recorded it, has died at 85. The chant first made its appearance on a 1985 record in honour of Brussel-based team RSC Anderlecht, titled Anderlecht Champions (Allez, Allez, Allez). Grand Jojo, whose Flemish records appeared under the moniker Lange Jojo, was best-known for drinking-type songs.

The Bradman Principle
It’s cruel when a beloved cultural icon dies less than three weeks short of their 100th birthday. So it was with TV actress Betty White. Long before she was famous for her roles in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and The Golden Girls, White hosted her own TV variety show in the 1950s on which she would sing popular songs. In fact, she was right there in the embryonic days of TV, in 1939. With her death, a bigger chunk of entertainment history than we might have thought has departed.

And the heading to this entry? Cricket fans will know. The greatest-ever batsman was an Australian player named Don Bradman (1908-2001). In his last-ever innings, he needed to score more than one run to finish off with the landmark test average of 100 (the greatest-ever players before and after after him had averages in the 60s or 50s). In his last innings, Bradman was bowled for 1 run, meaning he ended his career with the impressive yet agonising average of 99.94. It is a bit like Betty White bowing out less than three weeks before her centenary.

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

Grand Jojo, 85, Belgian singer and songwriter, on Dec. 1
Grand Jojo – Anderlecht Champions (Allez, Allez, Allez) (1985)

Alvin Lucier, 90, experimental composer, on Dec. 1

Melvin Parker, 77, drummer for James Brown, on Dec. 2
James Brown – Papa’s Got A Brand New Bag
Maceo & All The King’s Men – I Want To Sing (1972, on drums)
James Brown – Get Up Offa That Thing (1976, on drums)

Stonewall Jackson, 89, country singer, on Dec. 4
Stonewall Jackson – Don’t Be Angry (1964)

Toni Santagata, 85, Italian folk singer, on Dec. 5

Bill Staines, 74, folk singer-songwriter, on Dec. 5
Bill Staines – Crossing The Water (1993)

Buddy Merrill, 85, easy listening steel guitarist, on Dec. 5

Enzo Restuccia, 80, Italian drummer, on Dec. 5

John Miles, 72, British singer-songwriter, on Dec. 5
John Miles – Music (1976)
John Miles – No Hard Feelings (1978)

Oleg Emirov, 51, Russian rock composer and keyboardist, on Dec. 5

János Kóbor, 78, lead singer of Hungarian prog-rock band Omega, on Dec. 6
Omega – Stormy Fire (1974)

Margaret Everly, 102, singer and mother of the Everly Brothers, on Dec. 6

Greg Tate, 64, founder & guitarist of jazz-rock collective Burnt Sugar, music critic, on Dec. 7
Burnt Sugar feat Julie Brown & Micah Gaugh – Throw Some Light (2017)

DJ Scholar, former MC of British grime outfit Ruff Sqwad, on Dec. 7

Robbie Shakespeare, 68, Jamaican bassist with Sly & Robbie, Black Uhuru, producer, on Dec. 8
Black Uhuru – Push Push (1980, as member on bass and co-producer)
Grace Jones – I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango) (1981, on bass)
Gwen Guthrie – It Should Have Been You (1982, on bass and as co-producer)
Sly & Robbie – Boops (1987)

Ralph Tavares, 79, singer with soul band Tavares, on Dec. 8
Tavares – It Only Takes A Minute (1975)
Tavares – Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel (1976)

Gil Bridges, 80, wind musician and vocalist with soul band Rare Earth, on Dec. 8
Rare Earth – Born To Wander (1970, on flute and backing vocals)
Rare Earth – I Just Want To Celebrate (1971)

Barry Harris, 91, jazz pianist, composer, arranger, on Dec. 8
Barry Harris Trio – Ladybird (1975)

Slim 400, 33, rapper, shot dead on Dec. 9

David Lasley, 74, singer, songwriter, backing singer, on Dec. 9
Chaka Khan – Roll Me Through The Rushes (1978, as writer and on backing vocals)
Boz Scaggs – JoJo (1980, as co-writer and on backing vocals)
David Lasley – You Bring Me Joy (1981, also as writer)

Steve Bronski, 61, Scottish keyboardist of Bronski Beat, announced on Dec. 9
Bronski Beat – Why? (1984, also as co-writer)

Garth Dennis, 72, Jamaican reggae musician with Black Uhuru, Wailing Souls, on Dec. 9
Garth Dennis – Slow Coach  (1974)
Wailing Soul – Soul & Power (1982, as member)

Michael Nesmith, 78, Monkees guitarist, singer-songwriter, on Dec. 10
The Monkees – The Girl I Knew Somewhere (1967, also as co-writer)
The Stone Poneys – Different Drum (1968, as writer)
Michael Nesmith & The First National Band – Joanne (1970)
Michael Nesmith – Two Different Roads (1972)

Les Emmerson, 77, singer of Canadian pop group Five Man Electrical Band, on Dec. 10
Five Man Electrical Band – I’m A Stranger Here (1972)

Thomas ‘Mensi’ Mensforth, singer of English punk band Angelic Upstarts, on Dec. 10
Angelic Upstarts – I’m An Upstart (1979)
Angelic Upstarts – Lust For Glory (1982)

Vicente Fernández, 81, Mexican singer and actor, on Dec. 12
Vicente Fernandez – Volver, Volver (1972)

Toby Slater, 42, singer-songwriter of Britpop band Catch, on Dec. 13
Catch – Dive In (1997)

Blackberri, 76, singer-songwriter, on Dec. 13

Joe Simon, 85, soul singer, on Dec.13
Joe Simon – Misty Blue (1969)
Joe Simon – Drowning In The Sea Of Love (1973)
Joe Simon – It’s Crying Time In Memphis (1975)

John Nolan, 55, guitarist of Australian punk rock band Bored!, Powder Monkeys, on Dec. 13

Phil Chen, 75, Jamaican bassist, on Dec. 14
Rod Stewart – I Was Only Joking (1977, on bass)

Ken Kragen, 85, music manager, on Dec. 14
USA For Africa – We Are The World (1985, as initiator)

Ian Worang, 47, guitarist and singer of Canadian alt.rock band Uncut, on Dec. 15
Uncut – Taken In Sleep (2004)

Leonard ‘Hub’ Hubbard, 62, bassist of The Roots (1992-2007), on Dec. 15
The Roots – What They Do (1996)

Flow La Movie, 38, Puerto Rican producer, in a plane crash on Dec. 15

Wanda Young, 78, lead singer of The Marvelettes, announced on Dec. 16
The Marvelettes – Don’t Mess With Bill (1965)
The Marvelettes – Destination Anywhere (1968)

Robie Porter, 80, Australian producer, singer and lap steel guitarist, on Dec. 16
Robie Porter – Here In My Arms (1966)
Air Supply – Lost In Love (1980, as co-producer)

Terry Uttley, 70, bass guitarist of English pop band Smokie, on Dec. 16
Smokie – Don’t Play Your Rock ‘n Roll To Me (1975)
Smokie – If You Think You Know How To Love Me (1976)

Meg Brazill, 69, bassist and singer of new wave trio Los Microwaves, on Dec. 16
Los Microwaves – T.V. In My Eye (1981)

John Morgan, 80, drummer of English novelty band The Wurzels, on Dec. 17

Vicente Feliú, 74, Cuban folk singer, on Dec. 17
Vicente Feliú – No sé quedarme (1985)

Lindsay Tebbutt, drummer of Australian rock band The Choirboys, on Dec. 17
Choirboys – Run To Paradise (1987)

Enzo Gusman, 74, Maltese singer, on Dec. 18

Tam Harvey, guitarist Scottish folk-rock band The Humblebums, on Dec. 18
The Humblebums – Shoeshine Boy (1969)

Renée Martel, 74, Canadian pop and country singer, on Dec. 18
Renée Martel – Liverpool (1969)

Kangol Kid, 55, rapper with hip hop outfit UTFO, on Dec. 18
U.T.F.O.  – Roxanne, Roxanne (1984)

Drakeo the Ruler, 28, rapper, stabbed to death on Dec. 19

Billy Conway, 65, drummer of Indie rock band Morphine, on Dec. 19
Morphine – Honey White (1995)

Carlos Marín, 53, German-born Spanish baritone with Il Divo, on Dec.19
Il Divo – Wicked Game (Melanconia) (2011)

Elio Roca, 78, Argentine singer and actor, on Dec. 19

Emil Ramsauer, 103, double bassist with Swiss Eurovision band Takasa, on Dec. 20

Paul Mitchell, singer with soul band The Floaters (“Leo, and my name is Paul”), on Dec. 20
The Floaters – I Am So Glad I Took My Time (1977)

Luboš Andršt, 73, Czech rock guitarist, on Dec. 20

Anthony Williams, 90, Trinidadian steelpan musician, on Dec. 21

Nkodo Sitony, 62, Cameroonian bikutsi singer, on Dec. 21

Robin Le Mesurier, 68, British session guitarist, on Dec. 22
Rod Stewart – Every Beat Of My Heart (1986, on guitar)

Marco Mathieu, 57, bassist of Italian punk band Negazione, on Dec. 24

J.D. Crowe, 84, bluegrass banjo player and band leader of New South, on Dec. 24
J.D. Crowe & The New South – Old Home Place (1975)

Oscar López Ruiz, 83, Argentine composer, producer and guitarist, on Dec. 24

Harvey Evans, 80, musicals actor (West Side Story, Mary Poppins), on Dec. 24
Harvey Evans & Joel Grey – All Our Friends (1968)

Janice Long, 66, English disc jockey, on Dec. 25

Guenshi Ever, Beninese singer, on Dec. 25

 ‘Le Général’ Defao, 62, Congolese rhumba singer-songwriter, on Dec. 27
Defao – Amour scolaire (1992)

Raymond Fau, 85, French singer-songwriter, on Dec. 27

Pavel Chrastina, 81, bassist, singer, songwriter with Czech rock group Olympic, on Dec. 28

Mikey ‘Mao’ Chung, 71, Jamaican guitarist and arranger, on Dec. 28
Mike Chung & The Now Generation – Breezing (1972)
Grace Jones – I’ve Seen That Face Before (Libertango) (1981, on guitar; see Robbie Shakespeare)
Gwen Guthrie – It Should Have Been You (1982, on guitar; see Robbie Shakespeare)

Rosa Lee Brooks, soul singer, on December 28

Paolo Giordano, 59, Italian guitarist, on Dec. 29

Betty White, 99, actress, comedian, occasional singer, on Dec. 31
Betty White – Nevertheless (I’m In Love With You) (1954)
Luciana feat. Betty White – I’m Still Hot (2011)

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