Home > In Memoriam > In Memoriam – June 2013

In Memoriam – June 2013

IM_June2013The headline death of the month must be that of Bobby “Blue” Bland (1), a man who transcended the blues-soul divide with such ease as few have. Bland credited as his primary inspiration the crooner Nat “King” Cole, and that influence also found expression in Bland”s music.

Country fans, on the other hand, might argue that the headline death was that of Slim Whitman (2). British readers will be pained to reminded that Slim”s great record of 11 weeks at #1 of the UK charts, with 1955″s “Rose Marie”, was broken almost four decades later by Bryan Adams” regrettable hit “Everything I Do blah blah blah”.  Whitman, an early client of “Colonel” Tom Parker, was a member of the Grand Old Opry and had many hits in the US, especially the yodel number Indian Love Call, but it was in Britain where he was the biggest name in country, rivaled only by Jim Reeves. George Harrison once said that Whitman was the first musician he had ever seen with a guitar. And across the pond, Michael Jackson rated Slim as one of his top-ten favourite singers.

The death at 56 of Mandawuy Yunupingu (3) brought to an end a remarkable life. Born on an Aboriginal reservation in Australia to an artistic family, he was an activist for indigenous rights in a country whose laws, if not conduct, were not a million miles off from apartheid. In the mid-“˜80s he founded Yothu Yindi, the first rock band to find national and international success with material that drew from aboriginal roots. All the while he was working as an educator. He was named “Australian of the Year” for 1992 by the National Australia Day Council, and in April 1998 received an honorary doctorate by the Queensland University of Technology.

Soul singer Darondo (4), real name William Daron Pulliam, was long forgotten until his sole hit “Didn”t I” received some airplay in Britain and then was included on several TV and film soundtracks, most prominently Breaking Bad (episode 4 of season 1, if you”d like to check it out). The revival brought the San Francisco singer back on stage after years in Californian suburbia, where he dabbled in real estate and worked as a physical therapist “” a far cry from the brief halcyon years in the “70s when he wore mink coats and owned a white Rolls-Royce, fitted out with a bar.

Sometimes the Grim Reaper has a fine sense if timing. On June 4 he took Marshall Sewell (5), bass singer of doo wop band The Edsels; a day later he took Cornelius Harp (6), lead singer of the multi-racial doo wop band The Marcels. The neat trick was that The Edsel”s  “Rama Lama Ding Dong” became a hit in 1961, three years after it was recorded, because a New York DJ played it as a segue from the doo wop hit “Blue Moon” “” by The Marcels. guitarcoffin

Richard Raines, 48, guitarist of country band Perfect Strangers, on June 1
Perfect Stranger – You Have The Right To Remain Silent (1994)

Isaac M. “˜Ike” Carpenter (Janie Thompson), 91, jazz bandleader and academic on June 1

Mandawuy Yunupingu, 56, singer and guitarist of Australian band Yothu Yindi, on June 2
Yothu Yindi – Timeless Land (1994)

Rob Morsberger, 53, singer, songwriter and arranger (Boardwalk Empire soundtrack, My Morning Jacket), on June 2

MickDeth, 35, heavy metal bassist (Eighteen Visions, Bleeding Through), on June 2

Graham Walker, 68, founder of British comedy band  Grumbleweeds, on June 2
Grumbleweeds – In A Teknikolor Dreem (1972)

Rick Neeley, 64, folk musician, on June 2

Piano “˜C” Red, 79, blues pianist, on June 3
Piano “˜C” Red – Hundred And Two (1963)

Chris Levoir, 31, member of Canadian rock band The Mark Inside, announced on June 3

Joey Covington, 67, drummer with Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna, in a car crash on June 4
Jefferson Airplane – Pretty As You Feel (1971, on vocals and as songwriter)

Ben Tucker, 82, American jazz musician, in a car crash on June 4
Mel Tormé – Comin’ Home Baby (1962, as co-writer)

Jim Sundquist, 85, leader of rockabilly band The Fendermen, on June 4
The Fendermen – Mule Skinner Blues (1960, on lead guitar)

Marshall Sewell, 75, bass singer of doo wop band The Edsels, on June 4
The Edsels – Rama Lama Ding Dong (1958)

Cornelius “˜Nini” Harp, lead singer of doo wop band The Marcels, on June 5
The Marcels ““ Heartaches (1961)

Don Bowman, 75, country singer, songwriter and comedian, on June 5
Don Bowman – Boll Weevil Air Lines (1966)

Bert Wilson, 73, jazz saxophonist, member of Rebirth, on June 6

Darondo, 67, soul singer, on June 9
Darondo ““ Didn”t I (1972)

Murray McNabb, 66, New Zealander jazz musician and film scorer (Once Were Warriors), on June 9

Johnny Smith, 90, jazz guitarist and songwriter, on June 12
Stan Getz & Johnny Smith – Nice Work If You Can Get It (1952)
Johnny Smith – Walk, Don”t Run (1954, also as composer)

Fatai Rolling Dollar, 86, Nigerian singer, on June 12

Gavin Taylor, 72, director of concert films (U2 at Red Rocks, Queen at Wembley), on June 12

Sam Most, 82, influential jazz flautist, on June 13
Chris Connor – Lonely Town (1956, on flute)

Roger LaVern, 75, keyboardist of The Tornados (1962-65), on June 15
The Tornados ““ Telstar (1962)

William Mysterious (Alastair Donaldson), bassist of British punk band The Rezillos, on June 18
The Rezillos – Flying Saucer Attack (1978)

Slim Whitman, 90, country singer-songwriter, on June 19
Slim Whitman – Indian Love Call (1952)
Slim Whitman – The Twelfth Of Never (1966)

Lil Snupe, 18, American rap artist, shot dead on June 20

Mary Love, 69, soul and gospel singer, on June 21
Mary Love – Lay This Burden Down (1966)

Gary Pickford-Hopkins, 65, Welsh singer with Wild Turkey, Rick Wakeman, on June 22
Wild Turkey ““ Easter Psalm (1971)

Wendy Saddington, 64, Australian jazz and blues singer, on June 22

Bobby “˜Blue” Bland, 83, American blues and soul singer, on June 23
Bobby Blue Bland & Ike Turner ““ Drifting (1962)
Bobby Bland – Share Your Love With Me (1964)
Bobby Blue Bland ““ Ain”t No Love In The Heart Of City (1974)

Jeanne Arland Peterson, 91, jazz pianist, on June 23

Puff Johnson, 40, soul singer and songwriter, on June 24
Puff Johnson – Over And Over (1996)

Alan Myers, 58, drummer of Devo, on April 24
Devo – Whip It (1980)

John Harrelson, 62, rock musician and music academic, on June 26

Paul Smith, 91, jazz pianist, on June 29
Anita O”Day – As Long As I Live (1955, as pianist)

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  1. AMD
    July 3rd, 2013 at 10:27 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Birgit
    July 3rd, 2013 at 14:04 | #2

    Thanks for the list and In Memoriam in general. This month I have to admit that otherwise I would have missed nearly all of the mentioned deaths.

  3. Rhod
    July 6th, 2013 at 01:45 | #3

    Thanks again for a wonderful In Memoriam. Appreciate the effort and time



  4. Guy
    July 10th, 2013 at 09:05 | #4

    As always.. a good one.

    Thank you!

  5. dogbreath
    July 16th, 2013 at 11:17 | #5

    Thanks as always for the sad rollcall, much appreciated to be reminded of artists, songs & times past. Cheers!

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