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In Memoriam – November 2013

December 5th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

In Memoriam - Nov 2013Before the last installment of In Memoriam even came out, Bobby Parker died at 76. It”s OK if you don”t know him, but know that his signature song “Watch Your Step” provided the template for the guitar intro of The Beatles “I Feel Fine” and also inspired “Day Tripper” (as well as “Moby Dick” by the oft-inspired Led Zep). Indeed, the future Fab Four played that song on stage before they hit the big time.

Viewers of the British cult TV show The Professionals were saddened by the death of actor Lewis Collins. Less well-known than his thespian career is Collins” musicianship. As a young man in Liverpool, he was a member of Merseybeat combo The Mojos, who had a #9 hit in 1963 with “Everything”s Allright”; the two follow-up singles also charted, peaking at #25 and 30. Collins was a friend of Paul McCartney”s brother Mike with whom he wrote songs. When The Beatles fired Pete Best, Mike suggested Lewis as a replacement. Ringo got the gig instead.

When I used to spin the platters at parties, one of the go-to records which would ensure a filling dance floor would be Oliver Cheatham“s “Get Down, Saturday Night”, an utterly infectious slice of disco-funk which even at six minutes-plus never outstayed its welcome. So I was saddened to hear of the death at 65 of Cheatham, of a heart-attack in his sleep.

One of the most bizarre deaths this year must be that of outlaw country singer Wayne Mills. According to reports, Mills was at a bar when he decided to light up a smoke. His friend, the bar owner, confronted him about it, and evidently the conversation was not entirely cordial. It ended with the friend shooting Mills, claiming self-defence. Insert your own inappropriate gag about the health hazards of smoking here. Get music by the Wayne Mills Band at https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/wayne-mills-band/id329699416

It”s a heartwarming story: music-loving teenager Georgina Anderson is diagnosed with fatal cancer; wants her music to be heard by many people before she dies; her song gets uploaded on YouTube; YouTube song goes viral; Georgina dies having had her dream realised. It”s a lovely story. Then the corporate jump on the bandwagon. Talk of a charity single, and the ghoulish overlord of serial twattery Simon Cowell is tweeting about “a brave young girl” whose song is available on download at iTunes. Urgh. (Watch Georgina”s videos HERE)

There”s a trend developing: another YouTube teenager with cancer died this month. Canadian Olivia Wise attracted more than a million YouTube hits with a video of her cover of Katy Perry”s “Roar”. Perry herself made a video, commending Olivia. Wise”s version of “Roar” was released as a single, for charity, and raised $115,000 to support brain tumor research.  (Watch HERE)

Also bizarre was the murder of two members, a pair of brothers, of the New York-based Iranian exile band The Yellow Dogs and a collaborator of theirs “” not at the hands of a dastardly agent in the employ of the ayatollahs, but murdered by a semi-automatic rifle-wielding pal who went on to kill himself.


Bobby Parker, 76, blues-rock guitarist and singer, on November 1
Bobby Parker – Watch Your Step (1961)

Jack Alexander, 78, member of Scottish folk duo Alexander Brothers, on November 2

Betsy Smittle, 60, country singer and bassist; Garth Brooks” half-sister, on November 2

Clyde Stacy, 77, co-creator of the Tulsa Sound, in a car crash on November 5
Clyde Stacy – Hoy Hoy (1957)

Lee Crystal, drummer with Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, on November 6
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts – I Love Rock And Roll (1982)

Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, 77, jazz saxophonist, on November 9

Bob Gillett, 88, New Zealand jazz bandleader, arranger and producer, on November 9

Bob Beckham, 86, country singer and music publisher, on November 11
Bob Beckham – Like A Fool (1961)

Arash Farazmand, 28, drummer of Iranian exile band The Yellow Dogs, murdered on November 11
Soroush Farazmand, 27, guitarist of Iranian exile band The Yellow Dogs, murdered on November 11
Ali Eskandarian, 35, associate of The Yellow Dogs, on November 11

Georgina Anderson, 15, English singer, on November 14

Pavel Bobek, 76, pioneering Czech folk-rock singer, on November 20
Pavel Bobek – NedÄ›lní ráno (1973)

Brian Dawson, 74, British folk singer, on November 22

Wayne Mills, 44, country singer, shot dead on November 23
Wayne Mills Band – Hard Times

Chico Hamilton, 92, jazz drummer and bandleader, on November 25
Gerry Mulligan Quartet – Nights At The Turntable (1952, on drums)
Billie Holiday – Willow Weep For Me (1954, on drums)
Chico Hamilton – For Mods Only (1966)

William Adam, 96, trumpeter and bandleader, on November 25

Bob Day, 72, half of English pop duo The Allisons, on November 25
The Allisons – Are You Sure? (1961)

Olivia Wise, 16, Canadian singer, on November 25

Arik Einstein, 74, pioneering Israeli rock singer-songwriter, on November 26

Lewis Collins, 67, British actor, bassist with beat group The Mojos, on November 27
The Mojos ““ Everything”s Alright (1964)

Dick Dodd, 68, singer and drummer of The Bel-Airs, The Standells, on November 29
The Belairs – Mr. Moto
The Standells – Dirty Water (1966)

Oliver Cheatham, 65, soul/funk singer, on November 29
Oliver Cheatham – Everybody Wants To Be The Boss (1982)
Oliver Cheatham – Get Down Saturday Night (1983)

Chris Howland, 85, British-born German TV star and Schlager singer, on November 30

GET IT! (PW in comments)

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  1. halfhearteddude
    December 5th, 2013 at 07:23 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Douglas
    December 5th, 2013 at 17:28 | #2

    Your efforts are immensely appreciated, Dude. Thank you.

  3. dogbreath
    December 6th, 2013 at 11:19 | #3

    Interesting & informative as always, and a respectful nod to those who have passed on. Many thanks.

  4. Rhod
    December 6th, 2013 at 20:51 | #4

    As usual great research and great work . Look forward to this every month, I know it sound ghoulish but these people left a musical legacy for all of us to enjoy.



  5. Jim
    December 6th, 2013 at 23:46 | #5

    This is a fine tribute to these artists – thoughtful comments from you as always. I also would like to remember the passing on Nov. 12 of British composer John Tavener, known particularly for his choral music. He was a friend of the Beatles, was recorded for Apple Records, and one of his works was featured at the memorial for Princess Diana.

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