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In Memoriam – December 2012

January 3rd, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

The Grim Reaper had a busy December. The headlines went to Ravi Shankar and Dave Brubeck, but the month also claimed two of the 1960s more unjustly overlooked female soul singers, Fontella Bass and Marva Whitney.

Hal Schaefer, who has died at 87, might have been a fine musician, but his greatest fame resides in the “Wrong Door Affair”. Google this quite amazing story involving Schaefer and Marilyn Monroe, whose vocal coach he was, Joe DiMaggio, Frank Sinatra, private detective Barney Ruditsky and a wrong address. Schaefer was also vocal coach for Mitzi Gaynor, Barbra Streisand and Judy Garland.

Gil Friesen was the business chief of A&M Records where co-founder Herb Alpert took care of the artistic side, and Jerry Moss of promotion. He was the taxi driver in the Tijuana Taxi video, and Dolores Erickson, the cream-covered on the cover of Alpert”s Whipped Cream And Other Delights cover (which I wrote about HERE), was his girlfriend at the time. Friesen was also a movie producer; one of the films he produced was The Breakfast Club.


Alvy West, 97, saxophonist and bandleader, on November 30
Anita O’Day with the Alvy West Band – Ace In The Hole (1947)

Dee Harvey, 47, soul singer and backing vocalist (e.g. Rod Stewart), on December 1
Dee Harvey  – Leave Well Enough Alone (1991)

Dave Brubeck, 91, American jazz pianist and composer, on December 5
Dave Brubeck Octet – I Hear A Rhapsody (1946)
Dave Brubeck Trio ““ Singin” In The Rain (1950)
Dave Brubeck Quartet – Blue Rondo à la Turk (1959)

Sammy Arena, 81, half of pop duo Arena Twins, on December 5
The Arena Twins ““ Judy Says (1961)

Mary Jane Lazenby, 70, half of rockabilly duo The Lazenby Twins, on December 5

Huw Lloyd-Langton, 61, guitarist of British hard-rock band Hawkwind, on December 6
Hawkwind ““ Motorhead (1975)

Ed Cassidy, 89, drummer of jazz-rock band Spirit, on December 6
Spirit – Dark Eyed Woman (1969)

Hal Schaefer, 87, jazz pianist and vocal coach, December 8
Marilyn Monroe ““ I”m Gonna File My Claim (1954, on piano)

Jenni Rivera, 43, American-born Mexican banda singer, in a plane crash on December 9
Jenni Rivera feat Marco Antonio Solis – Basta Ya (2011)

Ravi Shankar, 82, Indian music legend and composer, on December 11
Ravi Shankar – Raga Bhimpalasi (live at Monterey, 1967)

Tony Robertson, 62, R&B guitarist with The Vaqueros, on December 12

Eddie “˜Guitar” Burns, 84, blues musician, on December 13
Eddie “˜Guitar” Burns – Treat Me Like I Treat You (1957)

Gil Friesen, 75, president of A&M Records (1965″“90), on December 13
Herb Alpert – Tijuana Taxi (1966)

Willie Ackerman, 73, drummer for Willie Nelson, Louis Armstrong, Johnny Cash, The Monkees a.o., on December 13
George Jones ““ The Grand Tour (1974)

Keith Deen, 56, singer of “80s heavy metal band Holy Terror, on December 13

Sheila McKinley, 71, half of Scottish duo The McKinleys, on December 16
The McKinleys – Someone Cares For Me (1964) 

Inez Andrews, 83, gospel singer, on December 19
The Caravans – Mary Don’t You Weep (1958)

Ken Chaney, 73, jazz pianist, on December 19
Young-Holt Unlimited – Soulful Strut (1968)

Pecker Dunne, 79, Irish banjo player, on December 19

Jimmy McCracklin, 91, R&B singer and pianist, on December 20
Jimmy McCracklin – The Walk (1957)

Lee Dorman, 70, bass guitarist (Iron Butterfly, Captain Beyond), body discovered on December 21
Iron Butterfly – Iron Butterfly Theme (1968)

Terry Huff, 65, soul singer, on December 21
Terry Huff and Special Delivery – That’s When Love Hurts (1976)

Franco Ceccarelli, 69, singer and guitarist of Italian rock band Equipe 84, on December 21

Marva Whitney, 68, soul and funk singer, on December 22
Marva Whitney – It’s My Thing (You Can’t Tell Me Who To Sock It To) (1969)

Mike Scaccia, 47, heavy metal guitarist (Ministry, Rigor Mortis, Revolting Cocks), on December 22

Ray Collins, 73, singer of The Mothers of Invention, on December 24
Mothers of Invention – Trouble Comin” Everyday (1966)

Fontella Bass, 72, soul singer, on December 26
Fontella Bass – Talking About Freedom (1972)
Fontella Bass – Coca-Cola Commercial

Lloyd Charmers, 74, Jamaican reggae singer and producer, on December 26

Mike Auldridge, 73, bluegrass-fusion musician and member of The Seldom Scene, on December 29
The Seldom Scene – With Body And Soul (1972)

(PW in comments)

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  1. halfhearteddude
    January 3rd, 2013 at 07:33 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Rhod
    January 4th, 2013 at 23:45 | #2

    Thanks Amd

    Another great effort in collating the passing in December



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