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In Memoriam 2009 Vol. 1

December 24th, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

About the only reason why I still bother to watch awards shows is to catch the sequence of people who have died since the last show (and of late successive shows have contrived to fuck that up by going for “artistic” camera angles which don”t hep the TV viewer in identifying dead people). Here is my In Memoriam section, with mix-tapes, for 2009, including only musicians, in three parts. The second will run next week, and the third early in the new year to accommodate late entries. so please don”t shout at me for having failed to pick up that the little singer of the Jackson 5 has died; he”ll feature in the second instalment. Feel free, however, to shout at the Grammys for omitting many of the departed musicians I will highlight.

The order of musicians does not run in the chronology of death, but is dictated randomly by the requirements of mix-tape sequencing “” and the total aptness of leading with the Jim Carroll song as the theme of the mix. The songs featured on the mix should remind us what a debt we owe to those who have gone, and in some cases how much we are going to miss them, or cause us regret that we did not get to know them better.

Rest in Peace, y”all.

*  *  *

Jim Carroll, 60, post-punk musician and writer of The Basketball Diaries, on September 11.
The Jim Carroll Band – People Who Died (1980)

Willy DeVille, 58, punk musician, on August 6
Mink DeVille – Just To Walk That Little Girl Home (1980)

Al Martino, 82, crooner and actor (Johnny Fontane in The Godfather), on October 13
Al Martino – To The Door Of The Sun (1974)

Ellie Greenwich, 68, Brill Building songwriter and occasional singer, on August 26
Ellie Greenwich – I Can Hear Music (1973)

Rusty Wier, 65, country singer and songwriter, on October 9
Rusty Wier – High Road, Low Road (1976)

John Martyn, 60, singer-songwriter, on January 29
John Martyn – Ways To Cry (1973)

Jay Bennett, 45, multi-instrumentalist, engineer, ex-Wilco member, on May 25
Jay Bennett & Edward Burch – Forgiven (2002)

Taylor Mitchell, 19, Canadian singer-songwriter, killed by coyotes on October 28
Taylor Mitchell – Don’t Know How I Got Here (2009)

Mary Travers, 72, folk singer and a third of Peter, Paul & Mary, on September 16
Mary Travers – Five Hundred Miles (1973)

Gordon Waller, 64, half of “60s duo Peter & Gordon (represented here with a Lennon/McCartney composition), on July 17
Peter & Gordon – I Don’t Want To See You Again (1964)

Estelle Bennett, 67, member of The Ronettes and sister of Ronnie Spector, on February 11
The Ronettes – Silhouettes (1962)

Dewey Martin, 68, Buffalo Springfield drummer, on January 31
Buffalo Springfield – Sit Down, I Think I Love You (1966)

Billy Lee Riley, 75, rockabilly singer on Sun Records (sometimes backed by Jerry Lee Lewis on piano, as on this song), on August 2
Billy Riley – Pearly Lee (1957)

Gale Storm, 87, actress and singer born Josephine Owaissa Cottle, on June 27
Gale Storm – Dark Moon (1957)

Huey Long, 105, last surviving member of the Ink Spots (whom he joined in 1944), on June 10
Ink Spots – To Each His Own (1946)

Chris Connor, 81, jazz singer born Mary Coutsenhizer, on August 29
Chris Connor – They All Laughed (1957)

Kenny Rankin, 69, pop and jazz singer, on June 7
Kenny Rankin – Sunday Kind Of Love (1975)

Koko Taylor, 80, blues singer, on June 3
Koko Taylor – I Don’t Care No More (1985)

Johnny Carter, 75, R&B singer with The Flamingos and The Dells, on August 21
The Dells – The Love We Had (Stays On My Mind) (1971)

Leroy Smith, 56, founder and keyboardist of UK soul group Sweet Sensation, on January 15
Sweet Sensation – Sad Sweet Dreamer (1975)

Viola Wills, 69, soul singer who made a comeback as disco diva, on May 6
Viola Wills – Gonna Get Along Without You Now (1979)

Eddie Bo, 79, funky blues legend, on March 18
Eddie Bo – We’re Doing It (The Thang Pt1) (1970)


\In Memoriam Vol. 1


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  1. James
    December 24th, 2009 at 00:24 | #1

    It’s probably a good thing that you included a Ronettes record instead of Estelle Bennett’s truly bizarre solo single, “The Year 2000.”

  2. December 24th, 2009 at 00:35 | #2

    I’ll have to look for that now. I thrive on bizarre!

  3. James
    December 24th, 2009 at 00:48 | #3

    It’s on one of Ace’s collections of “death records” (I think the second one, Still Dead: The Grim Reaper’s Jukebox). Or you can probably find it through the usual online resources…

  4. Dane
    December 24th, 2009 at 00:55 | #4

    Wow, Huey was 105? Amazing.

  5. jb
    December 24th, 2009 at 00:59 | #5

    A fine list. I look forward to the rest of the installments. Merry Crimble (as the Beatles would say) to you and yours.

  6. December 24th, 2009 at 01:00 | #6

    Thanks for the links and info. .. hadn’t realized we lost so many

  7. Rhod
    December 24th, 2009 at 23:53 | #7

    Looking forward to playing the “In memoriam” album. It is time to remember those performers who gave us such great times



  8. whiteray
    December 25th, 2009 at 06:51 | #8

    Nicely done. Thanks.

  9. dickvandyke
    December 25th, 2009 at 19:19 | #9

    A very merry christmas …
    however, lest we forget the great jukebox in the sky.

    And thank you for your dynamic effort throughout 2009.

  10. December 26th, 2009 at 10:42 | #10

    Nice to see that the majority of them lived to a ripe old age.

  11. George at asda
    January 9th, 2010 at 04:01 | #11

    First time I’d heard Viola Wills had died.

  12. KODRA
    December 19th, 2011 at 01:31 | #12

    This link no more exist.I`m very disappointed about that.I missed than, and now…Can you fix it?

    With respect for your job on the blog…

  13. halfhearteddude
    December 19th, 2011 at 13:45 | #13

    I just checked the link, and it’s still working.

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