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All The People Who’ve Died 2017

December 14th, 2017 Leave a comment Go to comments

The past year has been, thankfully, much gentler than the cursed 2016 was. Still, we lost some big names such as Chuck Berry, Steely Dan”s Walter Becker, Glen Campbell, Al Jarreau, Tom Petty, Fats Domino, Gregg Allman, David Cassidy, AC/DC”s Malcolm Young, funk legend Junie Morrison, Don Williams, Chris Cornell, Cuba Gooding Sr, etc.

Two deaths prompted me to post a special mix in tribute: a mix of covers of Chuck Berry songs and with the death of Walter Becker a mix of covers of Steely Dan songs. I was playing with the idea of doing a mix of tracks produced by Tommy LiPuma, but time restraints prevented me from doing so.

The most significant deaths of 2017 (up to November 30) by my estimation are listed below; if there”s a name you”re missing it most likely featured in the monthly In Memoriam round-ups (so, yeah, not really “All The People Who’ve Died” here; the title borrows from this great tack by the Jim Carroll Band).

Two people whom I failed to give their dues in their respective months were Keith Wilder, lead singer of Heatwave, and soul singer Charles Bradley.

Keith Wilder died on October 29; I learnt of his death just as I was about to post the In Memoriam for that month; time prevented me from including a tribute. He deserved one. The US-born singer of the UK funk & soul band Heatwave died just over a year after his fellow bandmember Rod Temperton. Wilder was a superb singer, his gritty voice complementing the smoother tones of his co-lead singer and brother Johnny Wilder (who died in 2006).

Charles Bradley was not a name I was familiar with in September, when he died at the age of 68. Within a couple of weeks I was a keen admirer of his music after hearing a couple of his songs on the TV mini-series Big Little Lies. It turns out, Bradley”s songs, all recorded within the past 15 years, featured in many other shows, including Ray Donovan, Suits, Goliath, The Vampire Diaries and Black-ish.

The monthly In Memoriam round-ups are, I think, the most comprehensive on the Internet, and I don”t want to discontinue the feature. But I might scale back on the music and the potted obituaries since there seems to be not much of an audience for it; the feedback and page hits don”t justify the work that goes into them.

Somebody who did often comment on posts, via Facebook (become friends with me and be notified of new posts) and with wit and enthusiasm, was Michael Cheyne in England. I was sad to learn of his death earlier this month.

On that note, here is a mix of music, by way of tribute, of some of the big musicians who have died in 2016. As with last year’s compilation, I”ll limit myself to solo artists and people who were members of a featured band ““ so no songwriters, producers or session musicians feature, even if the body of their contributions was weighty.


Chuck Berry, 90, rock “˜n” roll legend, on March 18
Fats Domino, 89, legendary R&B singer-songwriter, on October 24
Walter Becker
, 67, Steely Dan legend, producer, on September 3
Tom Petty
, 66, rock musician, on October 2
David Cassidy, 67, pop singer and actor, on November 21
Malcolm Young, 64, rhythm guitarist and songwriter of AC/DC, on November 18
Gregg Allman, 69, singer-songwriter, keyboardist of Allman Brothers Band, on May 27
Holger Czukay, 79, German rock musician, member of Can, on September 5
Jaki Liebezeit, 78, drummer of German rock band Can, on January 22
Chris Cornell, 52, frontman of alt.rock groups Soundgarden, Audioslave, of suicide on May 18

Pete Overend Watts, 69, English bassist of Mott the Hoople, on January 22
Chester Bennington, 41, singer of Linkin Park, suicide on July 20
Grant Hart, 56, drummer with Hüsker Dü, singer, songwriter, on September 14
J. Geils, 71, guitarist of The J. Geils Band, on April 11
Peter Sarstedt, 75, English singer-songwriter, on Jan. 8


Al Jarreau, 76, jazz and soul singer, on February 12
Cuba Gooding Sr, 72, lead singer of The Main Ingredient, on April 20
Walter “˜Junie” Morrison, 62, musician with Ohio Players, Parliament-Funkadelic, on January 21
Joni Sledge, 60, singer with Sister Sledge, on March 10
Keith Wilder, 65, US-born singer of UK funk group Heatwave, on October 29

Leon Ware, 77, soul singer, songwriter, producer, on February 23
Bunny Sigler, 76, soul singer, songwriter and producer, on October 6
“˜Pete” Moore, 78, singer and songwriter with The Miracles, producer, on November 19
Brenda Jones, 62, singer with soul trio The Jones Girls, on April 3
Prodigy, 42, rapper with hip hop duo Mobb Deep, on June 20


Glen Campbell, 81, country legend, on August 8
Mel Tillis
, 85, country singer-songwriter, on November 19
Don Williams, 78, country singer and songwriter, on September 8
Bob Wootton, 75, country guitarist for Johnny Cash, on April 9
Norro Wilson, 79, country singer-songwriter, on June 7


Buddy Greco
, 90, jazz singer and pianist, on January 10
Jon Hendricks
, 96, singer- songwriter with jazz group Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, on November 22
Della Reese, 86, jazz and gospel singer and actress, on November 19
Grady Tate, 85, jazz drummer and soul singer, on October 8
James Cotton, 81, blues singer, harmonica player, on March 15


Clyde Stubblefield, 73, drummer with James Brown, on February 18
Robert “˜Pops” Popwell
, 70, jazz-funk bass guitarist, on November 27
Bruce Langhorne, 78, folk guitarist and film score composer, on April 14
Laudir de Oliveira, 77, Brazilian percussionist with Chicago, on September 17
Butch Trucks, 69, drummer of the Allman Brothers Band, of suicide on January 24


PRODUCERSTommy LiPuma, 80, legendary record producer, on March 13
Buddy Bregman, 86, producer, arranger and composer, on Jan. 8
David Axelrod, 83, Jazz and R&B arranger, composer and producer, on February. 5
Bill Price, 72, sound engineer and producer, on Dec. 22 (announced in January)
George Young, 70, Australian musician, songwriter and producer, on October 22


George Avakian, 98, producer and label executive, on November 22
Jerry Ross, 84, producer, songwriter, label owner on October 4
Paul Buckmaster, 71, English arranger, conductor and composer, on November 7
David Kapralik, 91, producer and label executive, on July 12
Pierre Henry, 89, French composer and electronic music pioneer, on July 5

The All The People Who Died 2017 mix
1. Fats Domino – I”m Walking (1959)
2. Chuck Berry – School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes The Bell) (1957)
3. Smokey Robinson & the Miracles – Ooo Baby Baby (1964)
4. Buddy Greco – Teach Me Tonight (1962)
5. Al Jarreau – We”re In This Love Together (live) (1985)
6. Heatwave – Always And Forever (1977)
7. The Main Ingredient – Work To Do (1973)
8. Della Reese – Games People Play (1969)
9. AC/DC – Ride On (1976)
10. Mott The Hoople – Roll Away The Stone (1973)
11. Steely Dan – Black Cow (1977)
12. Tom Petty – It”ll All Work Out (1987)
13. The Allman Brothers Band – Old Before My Time (2003)
14. Glen Campbell – Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life) (2008)
15. Don Williams – Listen To The Radio (1982)
16. Mel Tillis – Ruby, Don”t Take Your Love To Town (1976)
17. Johnny Cash – Wanted Man (live, 1969)
18. Grady Tate – Suicide Is Painless (1974)
19. David Cassidy – Daydreamer (1973)
20. Bunny Sigler – Things Are Gonna Get Better (1975)
21. Sister Sledge – Easier To Love (1979)
Bonus Track: Can – Bring Me Coffee Or Tea (1971)


Previous In Memoriams

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  1. halfhearteddude
    December 14th, 2017 at 07:13 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. RhodB
    December 15th, 2017 at 22:02 | #2

    thanks for the summary of those that have passed away

    Great work

    Regards RhodB

  3. December 16th, 2017 at 14:35 | #3

    Very sad to see these talents leave us. They will be missed. Nice of you to pay respects by highlighting their music in the playlist

  4. Hugh Candyside
    December 18th, 2017 at 06:21 | #4

    Thank you as always for this post. I hope you don’t cut back too far on your monthly In Memoriam feature. In spite of the totally unreasonable lack of comments on my part, please be aware that there are many notable passings I would have been unaware of without your updates. Once a month, after your post, I get together with a few of my mates to celebrate those who’ve gone on, and your observations are duly noted. We all own you a debt of gratitude for your good work.

  5. dogbreath
    December 18th, 2017 at 16:25 | #5

    Allow me to echo the sentiments of the previous poster, in that your monthly In Memoriams are an invaluable & indispensable tap on the shoulder for me. I usually pick up on the big headliner who signs out in a month, but the smaller, less well known artists who pass on can pass me by. So it’s a good resource & a good reminder of the work of the recently deceased musician. Perhaps we don’t need too much historical detail – after all, it’s the music that counts – and that would save you time and energy when getting it all together for us. Grateful thanks is gratefully given for what you do for us. Cheers!

  6. halfhearteddude
    December 18th, 2017 at 22:58 | #6

    “Once a month, after your post, I get together with a few of my mates to celebrate those who’ve gone on.” Wow, that is beautiful.

  7. futurelandfill
    December 21st, 2017 at 06:46 | #7

    Hi Dude,

    I’m sure I won’t be the only lookie-lou to be disappointed if you abandon the regular round-up of the dearly-departed. We all see the obits for the great and glorious, but it’s those undersung stalwarts whose names don’t percolate beyond their home towns that we never know about. Donnie Fritts, for example, is still with us, thank the lord, but I can’t imagine his eventual death will be noted in any of the places I cruise for news. Mind you, he might outlast me! Aaron Neville will likely get some attention, but there’s a good chance most of his brothers will pass un-noticed beyond the Mississippi Delta.

    The music papers and mags do keep up with the lately lost, but I don’t regularly check in there. Halfhearteddude is on my list of regular links. I can understand that it’s a lot of combing for you with not a lot of response, but that puts me in mind of the sparse turn-out for the funerals of so many long-forgotten musical dynamos; for sure if I knew, and could readily get there I’d walk to their gravesites.

    But hey, thanks for so much for so long.

    Glenn Allen
    Rockingham Ontario, Canada

  8. halfhearteddude
    December 21st, 2017 at 08:13 | #8

    Thanks for the nice words, Glenn. I’ll definitely continue with the list.

  9. Dave
    December 23rd, 2017 at 03:17 | #9

    Add me to the list of people who never comments but very much looks forward to your monthly roundups! I am well-aware that blogging can be a lonely business; Please know that you efforts are appreciated and that my musical enjoyment has been greatly enriched by your efforts over the years.

    BTW, late-breaking addition to 2017’s death toll: Pat DiNizio of The Smithereens. I’m not sure how big this will have registered on your radar but I was devastated when I heard the news a few days ago.

  10. halfhearteddude
    December 23rd, 2017 at 09:14 | #10

    Thanks, Dave.

    The 2018 round-up will cover December 2017 to November 2018, so DiNizio might get listed then, apart from the monthly December 2917 list in early January.

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