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In Memoriam – March 2011

April 4th, 2011 7 comments

The Grim Reaper must be in need of a holiday after his brutally busy month.In fact, we’re still finding his victims from last month. For example, the 20 February death of doo wop singer Willie Davis was announced only last week.

Among this month’s dead are Carl Bunch, a drummer who toured with Buddy Holly & the Crickets in early 1959. He was in hospital due to frostbite sustained on the unheated tourbus which Buddy, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper tried to rescape by taking the flight that killed them.

Austrian disco-rocker Kurt Hauenstein’ Supermax featured in the Stepping Back series just a few days after his death (which at that point had passed me by; a reader alerted me to it). And with death of St Clair Lee, both male voices of The Hues Corporation are now silent. Another disco voice now gone is Loleatta Holloway, whose Love Sensation was copiously sampled from for Black Box’s 1989 hit Ride On Time ““ including her vocals (“performed” in the video by a slim, young thing). Holloway had more than that in her repertoire, as the slow-burning soul track in this mix, a b-side from 1971, shows.

Country music lost steel guitar maestro and composer Ralph Mooney (whose Crazy Arms was one of the great hits of the 1950s), composers Joe Taylor and Todd Cerney, Opry member Mel McDaniel, bluegrass musician and songwriter Harley Allen and, above all, Ferlin Husky, who with Buck Owen and Jean Shepard pioneered the Bakersfield sound that produced the likes of Merle Haggard and Gram Parsons.

Nate Dogg’s singing-rap style was, in my view, underappreciated. To my chagrin, in his Summer Night On Hammer Hill, Jens Lekman excluded Nate’s contribution to the ’90s hip hop classic Regulate altogether, mentioning only Warren G.

Of all deaths this month (and probably most others), that of London reggae man Smiley Culture is the most bizarre: he reportedly stabbed himself in the heart during a raid by the police, who suspected him of dealing in cocaine. In that light, his humorous 1984 hit Police Officer, about being searched for ganja in his Lancia, is almost spooky.

As always, songs listed below the entries are collated in one downloadable file.

Willie Davis, 78, tenor of doo wop group The Cadets (also recording as The Jacks, on February 20
The Cadets – Stranded In The Jungle (1956)

Jean Dinning, 86, member of The Dinnings and writer of Mark Dinning’s Teen Angel, on February 22
Dinning Sisters – Beg Your Pardon (1948)

William “Beau Dollar” Bowman, 69, funk singer & drummer, on February 22
Beau Dollar and the Coins – Soul Serenade (1966)

Rick Coonce, 64, drummer of The Grass Roots, on February 25
The Grass Roots – Let’s Live For Today (1967)

Johnny Preston, 71, pop singer, on March 4
Johnny Preston – Running Bear (1960)

Herman Ernest, 59, session drummer for Dr John, Lee Dorsey, Neville Brothers, Labelle (a.o), on March 6
Labelle – Lady Marmalade (1974, as drummer)

St. Clair Lee, 66, singer with soul group Hues Corporation, on March 8
The Hues Corporation – I Caught Your Act (1977)

Mike Starr, 44, bassist of Alice in Chains, body found on March 8
Alice In Chains – Man In The Box (1990)

Eddie Snyder, 92, lyricist (Strangers In The Night, Spanish Eyes), on March 10
Al Martino – Spanish Eyes (1965)

Hugh Martin, 96, film composer, on March 11
Vanessa Williams – Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas (2004, as composer)

Jack Hardy, 63, influential folk singer-songwriter, on March 11

Rita Guerrero, 46, singer of Mexican rock group Santa Sabina, on March 11
Santa Sabina – Invitacion (2003)

Joe Morello, 82, drummer of The Dave Brubeck Quartet, on March 12
Dave Brubeck Quartet – Kathy’s Waltz (1959)

Nilla Pizzi, 91, Italian singer once banned from radio by Mussolini, on March 12
Nilla Pizzi – Amado mio (1947)

Ritchie Pickett, 56, New Zealand country singer, on March 13

Big Jack Johnson, 70, blues singer and guitarist, on March 14
Big Jack Johnson & The Cornlickers – Too Many Drivers (2009)

Ronnie Hammond, 60, singer of the Atlanta Rhythm Section, on March 14
Atlanta Rhythm Section – So Into You (1976)

Todd Cerney, 57, country musician, songwriter and producer,on March 14
Steve Holy – Good Morning Beautiful (2002, as composer)

Nate Dogg, 41, Hip hop legend, on March 15
Nate Dogg feat Warren G – Nobody Does It Better (1998)

Smiley Culture, 48, British reggae singer and DJ, on March 15
Smiley Culture – Police Officer (1984)

Melvin Sparks, 64, jazz and soul guitarist, on March 15
Melvin Sparks – Get Ya Some (1975)

Armen Halburian, 77, drummer with Herbie Mann”s Family of Mann, on March 16  (no pic available)
Herbie Mann – Hi-Jack (1975)

Ferlin Husky, 85, country singer, on March 17
Ferlin Husky – Giddy Up Go (1971)

Jet Harris, 71, guitarist with The Shadows, on March 18
The Shadows – Apache (1960)

Kurt Hauenstein, 62, leader of Austrian disco band Supermax, on March 20
Supermax – It Ain’t Easy (1979)

Johnny Pearson, 85, British composer, arranger and pianist, on March 20
Sounds Orchestral – Cast Your Fate To The Wind (1965, as pianist)

Ralph Mooney, 82, country musician and composer and steel guityar maestro, on March 20
Ray Price – Crazy Arms (1956, as composer)
Buck Owens – Under Your Spell Again (1959, on steel guitar)

Loleatta Holloway, 64, disco and soul singer, on March 21
Loleatta Holloway – Rainbow ’71 (1971)
Loleatta Holloway – Love Sensation (1980)

Pinetop Perkins, 97, blues pianist, on March 21
Joe Willie ‘Pinetop’ Perkins & Marcia Ball – Carmel Blue (2004)

Zoogz Rift, 57, musician, artist and wrestler, on March 22

Frankie Sparcello, bassist of thrash metal band Exhorder, on March 22.

Syd Kitchen, 59, South African alternative singer, on March 22
Syd Kitchen – Where The Children Play (1999)

Ken Arcipowski, 66, founder member of doo wop band Randy & the Rainbows, on March 23
Randy and the Rainbows – Denise (1963)

Joe Taylor, 89, country musician and composer, on March 24
Leroy Van Dyke – The Auctioneer (1957, as composer)

Derek Parrott, 63, American folk musician, on March 25

Carl Bunch, 71, tour drummer of Buddy Holly & the Crickets, on March 26.

Lula Côrtes, 61, Brazilian psychedelic-rock musician, on March 26
Lula C̫rtes РDesengano (1981)

Harley Allen, 55, country singer and songwriter, on March 30
Dan Tyminski & Harley Allen & Pat Enright – I Am A Man Of Constant Sorrow (2000)
Alan Jackson – Everything I Love (1996, as songwriter)

Mel McDaniel, 68, country singer, on March 31
Mel McDaniel – The Big Time (1982)

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In Memoriam – September 2010

October 7th, 2010 3 comments

The Grim Reaper evidently took it easy in September, at least by the standards of the last few months. One notable non-musician death last month was that on September 20 of one Leonard Skinner, the Florida gym coach whose insistence on cut hair inspired a group of future rock stars to name their group in ironic fashion after him “” Lynyrd Skynyrd. As before, all songs listed are compiled in one mix (and I’m afraid that the quality on some tracks isn’t great).

Mike Edwards, 62, cellist with the Electric Light Orchestra from 1972-75, on September 3
Electric Light Orchestra – Eldorado (1973)

Noah Howard, 67, free jazz saxophonist, on September 3

Rich Cronin, 36, member of pop/rap group LFO, on September 8
LFO – Summer Girls (1999)

Hadley Caliman, 78, jazz saxophonist and flautist who recorded with the likes of Santana, Freddie Hubbard and Patrice Rushen, on September 8
Carlos Santana & Buddy Miles – Them Changes (Live, 1972).mp3

King Coleman, 78, R&B singer, on September 11
King Coleman – Down In The Basement (1960)

‘Big’ John Russell, 67, Dutch soul singer, on September 12
Big John Russell – Oh Mabel (1990)

Gus Williams, 73, Australian Aboriginal leader and country singer, on September 13.

Matt Upsher, 31, guitarist of English rock group Grey Dog, on September 13

Jorge Vidal, 86, Argentine tango singer, on September 14
Jorge Vidal – El Metejon

Arrow, 60, Montserratian soca musician, on September 15
Arrow – Hot Hot Hot (1982)

Ahmad Salaheldeen, 79, American jazz saxophone player, on September 15

Roy ‘Whitey’ Grant, 94, half of the long-running country duo Whitey & Hogan, on September 17

Buddy Collette, 89, jazz saxophonist and mentor to Charlie Mingus, on September 19
Herbie Mann & Buddy Collette – Give A Little Whistle (1957)

Fud Leclerc, 86, Belgian singer and the first person to score ‘nul points’ at the Eurovision Song Contest (with the song Ton nom in 1962, his fourth and last appearance in the competition), on September 20
Fud Leclerc – Ton nom (1962)

Don Partridge, 68, British über-busker, on September 21
Don Partridge – Blue Eyes (1968)

Eddie Fisher, 82, crooner, all-round entertainer and ex-husband of Elizabeth Taylor and Debbie Reynolds, on September 22
Eddie Fisher – How Do You Speak To An Angel? (1953 )

Richard Griffey, 71, founder of soul label Solar, musician and songwriter, on September 24
The Whispers – And The Beat Goes On (1979) (as co-writer)

Ed Wiley Jr., 80, American R&B saxophonist and singer who played a pivotal role in the development of early rock ‘n’ roll, on September 27
Ed WileyJr – Cry Cry Baby (1950)

Buddy Morrow (or Moe Zudekoff), 91, jazz bandleader and trombonist, on September 27
Sharkey Bonano – High Society (1936) (as trombonist)

Tomáš Dask, 25, frontman of UK-based Slovak group The Bridgeheads, on September 27
The Bridgeheads – Fire (2010)

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