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In Memoriam – August 2010

September 3rd, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Grim Reaper maintained his unwelcome prolific endeavours, adding something of a twist to this month”s proceedings. On August 19, Michael Been, former bassist and singer of 1980s group The Call, died at Belgium”s Pukkelpop festival, where he had acted as the sound engineer for his son”s group, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. The following day, synth popster Charles Haddon, 22, committed suicide after performing at the same festival with his band Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, whose debut album was due for release in October.

The old adage instructs us not to speak ill of the dead. I don”t subscribe to that point of view. I will gladly speak ill of, say, Sid Vicious, and I will not hold my counsel when Dick Cheney finally takes the highway to hell. So while most entries here, as always, are listed in affectionate tribute to doubtless lovable artists, I”m not sure what to make of George Richey, the last husband of Tammy Wynette (who was previously married to George Jones, for whom Richey wrote). Richey allegedly injected Wynette with drugs to keep her performing and supposedly had her brutally assaulted. Or so Tammy”s daughters said when they sued him, unsuccessfully, for the wrongful death of their mother. Richey denied the charges. Wynette stayed with him for two decades until her untimely death in 1998 at 55. Is there no smoke without a fire, or do we take a wife”s loyalty as evidence?

Fact fans might enjoy Bill Phillips” song and title track of his 1966 album, which was written by a young and already prodigiously talented Dolly Parton.

And so to last month”s departed, with the listed songs all wrapped up in one file for your tributing pleasure.

Richard ‘Scar’ Lopez, 64, member of Cannibal and the Headhunters, on July 30.
Cannibal and the Headhunters – Land Of 1000 Dances (1965)

Mitch Miller, 99, producer, musician, record executive and TV host, on July 31
Mitch Miller – Yellow Rose Of Texas (1955)
Frankie Lane – Mule Train (1949) (as producer)

George Richey, 74, country musician, songwriter, producer, and manager, on July 31
George Jones – I’ll Share My World With You (1969) (as composer)

Mitch Jayne, 82, bassist of country/bluegrass band The Dillards, on August 3
The Dillards – Ebo Walker (1965)

Bobby Hebb, 72, soul singer and composer of Sunny, on August 3
Bobby Hebb – A Satisfied Mind (1966)

Chris Dedrick, 62, member of “60s pop group The Free Design, on August 6
Fee Design – Kits Are Fun (1967)

Catfish Collins, 66, guitarist with James Brown, Parliament/Funkadelic and Bootsy Collins” brother, on August 6
Parliament ““ Flashlight (1977)

Ted Kowalski, 79, singer of Canadian doo-wop band The Diamonds, on August 8
The Diamonds – She Say (Oom Dooby Doom) (1959)

Jack Parnell, 87, British drummer, composer and bandleader of The Muppet Show, on August 8
Theme of The Muppet Show

Ezra Ngcukana, 55, influential South African jazz saxophonist, on August 9

Dana Dawson, 36, soul singer, actress and cancer activist, on August 10
Dana Dawson – Ready To Follow You (1988)

Richie Hayward, 64, drummer of Little Feat, on August 12
Little Feat – Strawberry Flats (1970)

Esteban ‘Steve’ Jordan, 71, accordion wizard, on August 13

Abbey Lincoln, 80, jazz singer and actress, on August 14
Abbey Lincoln – As Long As You’re Living (1959)

Robert Wilson, 53, bassist of The Gap Band, on August 15
The Gap Band ““ Outstanding (1983)

Ahmad Alaadeen, 76, American jazz musician, on August 15

Mac Tontoh, 69, trumpeter and chief songwriter of Afro-fusion band Osibisa, on August 17
Osibisa ““ Sunshine Day (1975)

Kenny Edwards, 64, singer-songwriter and member of folk-rock band The Stone Poneys (with a young Linda Ronstadt), on August 18
The Stone Poneys – Different Drum (1967)

Dick Maloney, 77, Canadian singer, on August 19
Dick Maloney – Late Night Bar

Michael Been, 60, member of “80s group The Call, on August 19
The Call – Let The Day Begin (1989)

Charles Haddon, 22, member of British synthpop Ou Est Le Swimming Pool, of on August 20
Ou Est Le Swimming Pool – Dance The Way I Feel (2009)

George David Weiss, 89, co-composer of hits such as What a Wonderful World, Can’t Help Falling in Love, and the ripped-off The Lion Sleeps Tonight, on August 23
Ella Fitzgerald – Lullaby of Birdland (1955) (as lyricist)

Bill Phillips, 74, country singer, on August 23
Bill Phillips (with Dolly Parton) – Put It Off Until Tomorrow (1966)


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  1. September 3rd, 2010 at 16:32 | #1

    That Charles Haddon story is bizarre and sad. Though at least he spared us the irony of going out Brain Jones-style.

  2. September 3rd, 2010 at 19:43 | #2

    That’s a long and sad list. Thank you for keeping us up to date.


  3. Rhod
    September 4th, 2010 at 05:19 | #3

    Some great songs by artists that will be missed – once again great work



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