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In Memoriam – May 2013

0513_galleryIt might well be the most bizarre music death story of the year. According to the story, Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman (1) died  from causes related to necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease which the musician claimed to have contracted after being bitten by a spider in a friend”s hot tub. As far as I can make out, the illness is caused not by nibbling arachnoids but by uncooked meat or accidental consumption of human faeces. And, to spoil a great rock & roll story which would find easy accommodation in Jeremy Simmond”s Encyclopedia of Dead Rock Stars (aka Number One In Heaven), the official cause of death is the bog-standard alcohol-related cirrhosis of the liver.

Two of rock”s finest sideman died in May: Rick Manzarek (2), whose keyboard intro to The Doors “Riders On The Storm” is one of the most iconic in popular music, and Trevor Bolder (3), whose often intricate bass formed the backbone to David Bowie”s albums Hunky Dory,  Ziggy Stardust, Aladdin Sane and Pin Ups. In 1976, he joined Uriah Heep.

May is a dangerous time to be a one-time member of The Skatalites. Back in 1969, trombonist Don Drummond died on May 6. Saxophonist Tommy McCook  died on May 5, 1998. In 2011, drummer Lloyd Knibb died on May 12; in 2012 bass player Lloyd Brevett died on May 3. Exactly a year later tenor saxophonist Cedric Brooks (4) died. Unlike the other victims of the Reaper in May, he was not a founding member, having joined only in 1999 to replace McCook.

Although Georges Moustaki (5) operated within the field of French chanson “” he wrote for people like Edith Piaf, Françoise Hardy, Yves Montand, Juliette Greco, Brigitte Fontaine, Dalida, Herbert Pagani and France Gall “” his music drew from folk. His poly-ethnic background helped: he was born in Giuseppe Mustacchi to Italo-Greek Sephardic Jews. He grew up in Egypt speaking Italian at home, Arabic on the streets and French in school.

The Five Stairsteps” “O-o-h Child” is one of the most beloved soul songs (one Furious Styles certainly dug it), so the death of Clarence Burke Jr (6), the lead singer of the group, will have saddened many. While it was little brother Keni who had the greatest post-Stairsteps success, Clarence was the prodigy. At the age of 17, he produced the band”s Our Family Portrait LP. The Stairsteps slowly broke up by the mid-1970s, but in 1980 Clarence and Keni briefly re-united to form The Invisible Man”s Band, which released two albums and had a minor hit with “All Night Thing”.

Soul music also lost Marvin Junior (7)  of The Dells, who first had success as an R&B group in the 1950s and “60s, touring with the likes of Dinah Washington and Ray Charles, and as the 1970s neared blazed a trail in forming the vocal group soul sounds of that decade, alongside bands like The Delfonics and The Intruders.  The core of the group stayed together until last year, when Junior and Chuck Barksdale became to ill to perform.

Listen to Stax singer Ben Atkins (8), who has died at 69, and you picture a black southern soul man; look at him, and you see a country singer. Atkins was one of the first white singer to be signed by Stax, recording alongside the likes of Wilson Pickett, Isaac Hayes, Sam & Dave and Otis Redding (though the featured song preceded that). Atkins never broke big, but enjoyed a long career as a regional performer in Mississippi and Alabama. And in 1978 he even had a Billboard chart entry with “We Don”t Live Here, We Just Love Here” “” a country song.

It”s not usual that this feature includes owners of music studios. But one who mustn”t be overlooked is Mack Emerman (9), founder of Florida”s Criteria Studios, who has died at 89. Many classic songs and albums were recorded at Criteria Studios: James Brown”s “I Feel Good” and Derek and the Dominos “Layla”, for example, and The Allman Brothers Eat A Peach , Crosby Stills & Nash CSN and Bee Gees” Spirits Have Flown LPs, parts of Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Hotel California and Rumors.


Deanna Durbin, 91, child actress and singer, announced on April 30
Deanna Durbin – My Own (1939)

Tim Hensley, 50, country backing singer and musician (Kenny Chesney, Patti Loveless), on April 30
Kenny Chesney – When The Sun Goes Down (2004, on harmonies)

Chris Kelly, 34, member of juvenile rap duo Kris Kross, on May 1
Kriss Kross ““ Jump (1992)

Jeff Hanneman, 49, guitarist of heavy metal band Slayer, on May 2
Slayer – Eyes Of The Insane (2007)

Sid Selvidge, 69, rock musician (Mud Boy and the Neutrons), producer and label owner, on May 2

Cedric Brooks, 70, Jamaican reggae/funk musician, on May 3
The Mystic Revelation Of Rastafari ““ Sattamassagana (1980)

Sherman  Mitchell, 83, jazz musician, on May 4

Greg Quill, 66, member of Australian band Country Radio and Canadian band Southern Cross, on May 5
Country Radio – Gypsy Queen (1972)

Anthony “˜Romanthony” Moore, 46, singer on Daft Punk”s “One More Time”, on May 7

Eric Kitteringham, 66, bass-player of Irish blues-rock band Taste, on May 7
Taste – Born On The Wrong Side Of Time (1969)

Peter “˜Club 69” Rauhofer, 48, Austrian DJ, remixer and record producer, on May 7

Bill Langstroth, 81, Canadian country producer and TV presenter, on May 8

Ken Whaley, 66, British bassist (Help Yourself , Man, Tyla Gang), on May 8
Man – Hard Way To Die (1975)

Ollie Mitchell, 86, trumpeter, member of Tijuana Brass and studio collective The Wrecking Crew, on May 10
Steely Dan – Pretzel Logic (1974, as trumpeter)

Grayson Minney, 28, singer of rock band Columbia Fields, in a car crash on May 11

Big Ben Atkins, 69, soul singer, on May 13
Ben Atkins & The Nomads – Come On Over (1967)

Jimmie Steward, 86, member of R&B group The Ravens, on May 16
The Ravens – Write Me A Letter (1955)

Alan O”Day, 72, singer-songwriter, on May 17
Alan O’Day – Undercover Angel (1977)

Monroe Hopper, 86, member of gospel  group The Hoppers, on May 17

Phil Buerstatte, 46, drummer of heavy metal band White Zombie, on May 19

Curley Myers, 93, member of comedy-country  group Captain Stubby and the Buccaneers, on May 19
Captain Stubby and The Buccaneers – Fair, Fat And Forty (1954)

Ray Manzarek, 74, keyboardist of The Doors, on May 20
The Doors – You Need Meat (Don’t Go No Further) (1971, on vocals)
Ray Manzarek – The Golden Scarab (1973)

Ronnie Splinter, 64, guitarist of Dutch garage rock group The Outsiders, on May 20

Zach Sobiech, 18, folk-pop singer and cancer fighter, on May 20

Trevor Bolder, 62, British bassist (David Bowie, Uriah Heep), on May 21
David Bowie – Panic In Detroit (1973)
Uriah Heep ““ Free Me (1978)

Mack Emerman, 89, owner of Criteria Studios, on May 21
Eagles ““ Lyin” Eyes (1975)
Andy Gibb – I Just Want To Be Your Every Thing (1977)

Rudy Mockabee, R&B singer, on May 21
Rudy Mockabee – Sweet Thing (1969)

Georges Moustaki, 79, French singer-songwriter, on May 23
Georges Moustaki РLe m̩t̬que (1969)
George Moustaki РMa Libert̩ (1970)

Ed Shaughnessy, 84, jazz drummer (The Tonight Show), on May 24
Gene Ammons – But Beautiful (1962, as drummer)

Clarence Burke Jr, 62, singer, songwriter and guitarist with the Five Stairsteps, on May 25
5 Stairsteps  – Something’s Missing ““ Something”s Missing (1968, also as co-writer and producer)
The Invisible Man’s Band – All Night Thing (1980)

Marshall Lytle, 79, bassplayer of Bill Haley & His Comets, on May 25
Bill Haley & His Comets – Crazy Man Crazy (1953, also as co-writer)
Bill Haley & The Comets – Shake Rattle And Roll (1954)

Mbuya Dyoko, 68, Zimbabwean mbira singer, on May 26

Little Tony, 72, Italian-born pop singer, on May 27
Little Tony – Too Good (1960)

Hideki Yoshimura, 46, member of Japanese punk band Bloodthirsty Butchers, on May 27

Marvin Junior, 77, lead singer of soul band The Dells, on May 29
The Dells – Oh, What a Night (1956)
The Dells – There Is (1968)

Mulgrew Miller, 57, American jazz pianist, on May 29
Cassandra Wilson – Shall We Dance (1988, on piano)

Gail Heil, 67, folk musician, on May 30

Jerry McGill, 73, American rockabilly singer, on May 30
Jerry McGill & The Topcoats ““ Lovestruck (1959)

Andreas Thein, 59, former member of German groups Propaganda and Kino, on May 30
Propaganda ““ Dr. Mabuse (1982)

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  1. halfhearteddude
    June 5th, 2013 at 12:51 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Douglas
    June 5th, 2013 at 17:34 | #2

    Thanks as always Dude. Your efforts are greatly appreciated.

  3. Jena
    June 5th, 2013 at 18:01 | #3

    Necrotizing fasciitis is caused by a bacterial infection. A good friend of mine lost a chunk of his calf and nearly died — no eating of feces or undercooked meat involved. He had what he thought was a spider bite, and his doctor did a biopsy … which introduced the bacteria that caused the necrotizing fasciitis. Nice, eh?

  4. halfhearteddude
    June 5th, 2013 at 18:21 | #4

    Horrifying! I hope your friend has recovered well from that.

  5. Jena
    June 5th, 2013 at 22:15 | #5

    Fortunately, my friend (SF writer Peter Watts) did recover — and if you have a high tolerance for the gross-out, you can read about it on his blog: http://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=1831

  6. Trod
    June 8th, 2013 at 17:42 | #6

    I’m finding the link is just stalling out in the search on Crocko.

    Accidental consumption of human feces may not be so rare as you think. Check out the stats of e. coli and shopping carts:

    “Gerba says 72% of the carts had a positive marker for fecal bacteria. When they examined some of the samples, they found Escherichia coli, also known as E. coli, on half of them.”

  7. Max
    June 9th, 2013 at 00:29 | #7

    Yup, unable to download, appreciate all that you do Dude.

  8. Maria
    June 9th, 2013 at 00:32 | #8

    Crocko sucks.

  9. halfhearteddude
    June 9th, 2013 at 19:01 | #9

    OK, Zippyshare link is up now: http://www60.zippyshare.com/v/2568705/file.html

  10. dogbreath
    June 11th, 2013 at 10:28 | #10

    Thank you for the roll call of the well known & not so well known to me which always makes it interesting to listen to the diverse tunes in the post, some of which would have passed me by otherwise.

  11. KODRA
    December 16th, 2013 at 12:25 | #11

    please re up because crocko is…. Zippyshare is super but this link is dead!

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