Archive for January, 2023

Any Major Hits from 1973 – Vol. 1

January 26th, 2023 2 comments

Flashback 50 years ago to 1973! This is the first of two mixes of hits in that year. As in the mixes covering past years, it’s supposed to be a snapshot of the year’s charts, rather than a representative overview — because if it was that, these mixes could be pretty bad (US top song of 1973? Tie A Yellow Ribbon…). I’ve also not necessarily chosen the biggest or even the best hits of the year; if I had, Superstition would feature.

So, the goal is to evoke a little bit of 1973, with some classics and some perhaps half-forgotten hits. The first mix for 1973 focuses on the US charts; the follow-up will cover the UK. What surprised me in researching these two mixes is how few British acts had hits in the US in 1973. The British invasion had been repelled.

In the Top 100 hits of the year, there were British mega acts like Elton John, Wings, George Harrison, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Deep Purple, Pink Floyd — all global stars whose fame transcended their passports. Otherwise, Sweet featured with Little Willy, Stealer’s Wheel with Stuck In The Middle With You, and Gilbert O’Sullivan (who was Irish) with the awful Get Down and the rather sweet Clair. Plus Focus, who were Dutch.

By contrast, the UK charts were full of US acts, including a number of tracks on this mix. That mix will drop later in the year.

The debates about the “first-ever disco record” are futile, because how do you define disco, a genre of several strands? But I think that any list of proto-disco songs should include First Choice’s quite wonderful Armed And Extremely Dangerous.

I suppose a companion series to this one before us today is A Life In Vinyl, which goes back to 1977, when I started to invest seriously in records.  That series tracks my music-buying behaviour in the decade or so that followed.

If you dig the feel of 1973, take a look at the collection of posters from West-Germany’s Bravo magazine in 1973 (other years are available, too).

As ever, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, and includes home-lovetraineded covers. PW in Comments.

1. Deep Purple – Smoke On The Water
2. Alice Cooper – No More Mr Nice Guy
3. Edgar Winter Group – Free Ride
4. Doobie Brothers – Long Train Runnin’
5. Jim Croce – I Got A Name
6. Helen Reddy – Delta Dawn
7. Skylark – Wildflower
8. Dobie Gray – Drift Away
9. The Independents – Leaving Me
10. Barry White – I’m Gonna Love You Just A Little More Babe
11. O’Jays – Love Train
12. Three Dog Night – Shambala
13. Ozark Mountain Daredevils – If You Wanna Get To Heaven
14. King Harvest – Dancing In The Moonlight
15. Seals & Crofts – We May Never Pass This Way (Again)
16. Chicago – Just You ‘N’ Me
17. The Isley Brothers – That Lady
18. Ike & Tina Turner – Nutbush City Limits
19. Billy Preston – Will It Go Round In Circles
20. First Choice – Armed And Extremely Dangerous
21. Carole King – Corazon
22. Maria Muldaur – Midnight At The Oasis


Any Major Hits from 1944
Any Major Hits from 1947
Any Major Hits from 1961
Any Major Hits from 1970
Any Major Hits from 1971
Any Major Hits from 1972 Vol. 1
Any Major Hits from 1972 Vol. 2

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Any Major Favourites 2022 – Vol. 2

January 17th, 2023 3 comments

Last week I ran the first set of “favourites” from Any Major mixes in 2022, with links to the respective posts (with a PDF containing them included). Here’s the second volume.

I noted last week how popular the Songbooks have been. In 2022, I songbooked Carole King, Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson on their respective 80th birthdays, and Elton John, Carol Bayer Sager and the late Laura Nyro on their 75th, and Lamont Dozier (alone and with the Holland brothers) on his passing. I’ll have to see what jubilees there are in 2023 (a couple are pencilled in already); obviously there needn’t be a special occasion to run a Songbook.

Of course I’ll continue other regulars: Covered With Soul (for which I have a surprise coming up), Any Major Soul, A Year in Hits, Albums of the Year, and so on. And no doubt here’ll be a few stand-alones, like 2022’s Any Major Laurel Canyon, Any Major Party and Any Major Sugar. And there will be more Beatles in foreign languages.

All this presumes, of course, that I will have the time to continue as I have in the past. Professional and private priorities must obviously take precedence, but how can I think of cutting back when I get such kind comments, such as this by a reader signing off as Le Trev:

I have no idea how I came across your site only a few days ago but it is my best Christmas present so far. (Albeit the only one but no matter!) If you are a one-man Operator, then your knowledge of “popular music” probably cannot be bettered by anybody in ” The business”!

Of course, you are invited to leave comments on posts — even if to say you enjoyed or didn’t like a mix. In fact, I would be very happy if you could tell me which mixes you particularly liked over the past year. This mix also include a PDF with the links below, for later reference. PW in comments.

1. Jo Jo Gunne – Run Run Run (1972)
Any Major Hits from 1972 – Vol. 2

2. Ike & Tina Turner – Get Back (1973)
Paul McCartney Songbook Vol. 1

3. Wilson Pickett – Sugar Sugar (1970)
Covered With Soul Vol. 24

4. The Monkees – Pleasant Valley Sunday (1967)
Any Major Carole King Songbook Vol. 2

5. Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich – The Legend Of Xanadu (1968)
Any Major Teen Dreams

6. Southern Freeze – Freeez (1981)
Any Major Disco Vol. 10 – Party Like It’s 1981

7. Charles & Eddie – Would I Lie To You (Acoustic Version) (1992)
Any Major Charlies

8. Dexys Midnight Runners – Liars A To E (1982)
Any Major Albums of the Year: 1982

9. The Pogues – Streets Of Sorrow/Birmingham Six (1988)
Life in Vinyl 1988

10. Carole King – Sweet Seasons (1970)
Any Major Laurel Canyon

11. Salome Bey – Hit The Nail Right On The Head (1970)
Any Major ABC of Canada

12. Chairmen Of The Board – Everything’s Tuesday (1970)
Any Major Lamont Dozier Songbook

13. Z.Z. Hill – Cheating In The Next Room (1982)
Any Major Soul 1982

14. The Bushmen – Pioggia (1966)
Any Major Beatles in Italian

15. Jody Reynolds – Endless Sleep (1958)
Any Major Teenage Tragedy

16. Merle Travis – So Round, So Firm, So Fully Packed (1947)
Any Major Hits From 1947


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Any Major Favourites 2022 – Vol. 1

January 10th, 2023 2 comments


I noticed with some surprise that I’ve been doing these reviews of mixes posted throughout the gone year since 2015. Happily, it seems that people aren’t getting tired of what I’m doing in this little corner of the Internet, so I hope that I’ll be able to offer new Any Major Favourites comps in 2024.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. What we have here is the first of two mixes featuring a song from each mix posted in 2022 (with the exception of the Party Like It’s 1981 set, which ran in December 2021, and the year’s only Christmas album). These songs are among my favourites on each compilation.

In the tracklisting, I give a link to the particular mix these tracks come from, for easy click-through in case you missed it the first time around. I also have these links in a PDF file that is included.

So, which Any Majors have I listened to most? Obviously I don’t keep count — that would be weird — but the one I have loved the most is the Any Major Laurel Canyon mix, which I had put together long before I posted it. Because it is my top mix of the year, it will feature again on Vol. 2.

Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 12 got a lot of play, as did the Songbooks of Carole King (Vol. 1 and Vol. 2) and Elton John (actually, all the Songbooks did), the Any Major Hits from 1972 (Vol. 1 and Vol.2), and Albums of 1972 and 1982.

The Songbooks seems to be a very popular feature, and I have a few more in store for 2023. Poignantly, I compiled this playlist last month, before the death on New Year’s Eve of Anita Pointer. It closes with a song by the Pointer Sisters, from the Carole Bayer Sager Songbook, on which Anita took the lead vocals.

Older Any Major Favourite posts contain links to mixes you might have missed. Many of their links are still live. This post is also included as a PDF, for later reference.

At this point I want to thank the good people who have bought me coffees over the past year, and thereby helped in covering the costs of running this thing. With that, I wish everybody a superb and superbly healthy 2023.1. Rhinestones – Party Music (1975)
Any Major Party

2. Sad Café – Every Day Hurts (1979)
Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 12

3. Malo – Suavecito (1972)
Any Major Hits from 1972 – Vol. 1

4. The Style Council – Long Hot Summer (1983)
Best of Any Major Summer

5. Soft Cell – Where Did Our Love Go (1981)
Holland-Dozier-Holland Songbook

6. Richie Havens – Band On The Run (1974)
Paul McCartney Songbook Vol. 2

7. Martha Reeves – Dixie Highway (1974)
Any Major Carole King Songbook Vol. 1

8. Claudia Lennear – It Ain’t Easy (1973)
Ziggy Stardust Recovered (1972)

9. The Allman Brothers Band – Blue Sky (1972)
Any Major Albums of the Year: 1972

10. Jimi Hendrix – Angel (1971)
Saved! Vol. 6 – The Angels edition

11. Judee Sill – Crayon Angels (1971)
Any Major Laurel Canyon

12. Dave Alvin – Surfer Girl (2006)
Brian Wilson Songbook

13. Joseph Arthur – Honey And The Moon (2002)
Any Major Sugar

14. Neil Diamond – Rocket Man (1978)
Any Major Elton John & Bernie Taupin Songbook

15. Swing Out Sister – Stoned Soul Picnic (1997)
Any Major Laura Nyro Songbook

16. Candi Staton – Nights On Broadway (1977)
Barry Gibb Songbook Vol. 2

17. Pointer Sisters – The Love Too Good To Last (1980)
Any Major Carole Bayer Sager Songbook


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In Memoriam – December 2022

January 5th, 2023 5 comments

What a depressingly brutal, never-ending pestilent month closed down the year 2022! The list of music people who deserved a write-up is much longer than what I could find the time for. Those who might have featured most other months include Maxi Jazz of UK dance group Faithless, Lars Lönndahl (the “Swedish Sinatra”), the drummer of the Young Rascals or the bassist of The Tubes, Kim Simmonds of Savoy Brown, rock & roll singer Charlie Gracie, and more.

It was a truly awful month for soul fans, with three huge losses and a few smaller ones, and for English new wave/punk/indie/dance fans, for Portugal and Sweden….

Lastly, if you are of a sensitive nature, better don’t translate the title of the song by Italian band Stadio.


The Philly Soul Man
In July we lost Delfonics singer William ‘Poogie’ Hart, now the writer, producer and arranger of most of those great hits by The Delfonics (and The Stylistics and The Spinners) has left us. Thom Bell was in the vanguard in defining Philly Soul in the late 1960s and the ’70s, along with his collaborators Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff.

The son of Jamaican immigrants once sang in a band with Gamble, Huff and Daryl Hall, the future sidekick of John Oates. A classically-trained musician, Bell first worked for the Cameo/Parkway label, writing a series of songs and producing Chubby Checker and, by 1967, The Del Fonics (who’d soon streamline their name). With Poogie Hart, Bell wrote harmonies-heavy hits which would shape what we’d come to call Philly Soul, such as the parentheses-heavy classics La-La (Means I Love You), Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time), and Ready Or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide From Love). Bell also produced and arranged these tracks, and many others he didn’t co-write.

Other hits he wrote (many of them with Linda Creed) include The Stylistics’ I’m Stone In Love With You, You Make Me Feel Brand New, Betcha by Golly Wow, People Make The World Go Round, Ebony Eyes, Break Up To Make Up, Stop Look Listen (To Your Heart), and You Are Everything (the latter two were later covered by Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye); The Spinners’ I’ll Be Around, Ghetto Child, and The Rubberband Man (Bell only produced Could It Be I’m Falling In Love); Dusty Springfield’s Brand New Me (covered to great effect by Aretha Franklin); New York City’s I’m Doin’ Fine Now. (Links are to mixes that feature these tracks.)

Bell produced all the big Stylistics, Spinners and Delfonics hits, as well as records by acts like The O’Jays (including Backstabbers), Dionne Warwick (including her chart-topping duet with The Spinners, Then Came You), Johnny Mathis, Billy Paul, Ronnie Dyson, New York City, Elton John (including the 1979 hit Mama Can’t Buy You Love) and others. After Philly Soul faded away, Bell produced hits such as Deniece Williams’ It’s Gonna Take A Miracle James Ingram’s I Don’t Have The Heart.

In November we also lost Joseph Tarsia, in whose Sigma Sound Studios Bell created many of these hits.

The Pointer Sister
With the death on New Year’s Eve of Anita Pointer, there is only one surviving Pointer Sister, namely Ruth (who keeps carrying the Pointer flame with her daughter and granddaughter). Bonnie left us in 2020, and June in 2006.

Anita was the last sister to join the group. At one point, she was also in charge of making the most unexpected impact when she and Bonnie wrote the country-soul song Fairy Tale, a 1974 hit on which Anita took the lead vocals. It not only earned the sisters a Grammy for best country song but also a place on the stage of the usually integration-sceptic Grand Ole Opry. The following year, the song was covered by Elvis Presley. For the sisters, singing country was a normal extension of what they had grown up with. In 1986, Anita went on to have a country hit with Earl Thomas Conley, titled Too Many Times. The following year she released her only solo album.

Anita took the lead on many of Pointer Sister hits, including Yes We Can Can, Slow Hand, Fire (the original of which featured on Any Major Soul Originals Vol. 2), and the wonderful I’m So Excited.

The Specials One
Few artists manage to score hits with three different groups and then make a mark as a critically-acclaimed solo act. Terry Hall did so as lead singer of The Specials, then with his trio Fun Boy Three, then with The Colourfield — all in the space of just six years, between 1979 and ’85.

With The Specials he inspired a generation, in Britain and in many parts of Europe, of ska or two-tone fans. In 1981, Hall suddenly left The Specials and founded Fun Boy Three with two fellow Specials alumni. That group had hits of their own, and two more with Bananarama. One of these collaborations, with Bananarama as the headliners, was a cover of The Velvelettes’ Really Saying Something — and we lost a Velvelette in December, too.

In 1983, after four Top 10 hits — including Our Lips Are Sealed, which Hall wrote with The Go-Go’s Jane Wiedlin — the trio split. Hall went on to found The Colourfield, another trio, which scored one hit with the wonderful Thinking Of You (featured on A Life In Vinyl 1985 Vol. 1). Further bands and collaborations — notably with the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart and Steven Duffy — followed.

For much of his life Hall suffered from depression, a result of a horrifying crime of sexual abuse when he was 12. Known for his political principles, humility and kindness, Hall was widely mourned after his death by cancer at only 63.

The Soul Builder
It was a fiddle-playing hillbilly who changed rhythm & blues music so fundamentally that the record label he co-founded and ran has become a byword for soul music. Jim Stewart, who has died at 92, was the co-founder of Stax Records, the label that gave us a galaxy of soul stars such as Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Sam & Dave, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, William Bell, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Eddie Floyd, the Bar-Kays, Johnnie Taylor, The Staple Singers, and so on. The label’s name was a contraction of the first letters of Stewart’s surname and that of co-founder Estelle Axton, his sister.

Stax was a non-racial oasis in segregated Memphis, with even the house session band racially mixed. Atlantic Records sent many of their acts to record at Stax; Atlantic also was a distributor for Stax, and screwed over the label royally in the late 1960s. This and the death of Redding forced the label to rebuild itself, as a subsidiary of Paramount. It did so to spectacular effect in the early 1970s, giving us the eternal gift that is Isaac Hayes, culminating in 1972’s Wattstax concert, the “Black Woodstock”. Even Elvis Presley recorded at Stax.

But financial troubles soon hit, especially owed taxes. Stewart lost almost all he had trying to save Stax. He returned to producing in the 1980s, but soon left the music business.


The Inspirer
As half of the folky Canadian singing-songwriting duo Ian & Sylvia, Ian Tyson helped inspire the greats of the genre which his country would soon give to the world, such as Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Gordon Lightfoot. The latter would later have a hit with his cover the duo’s Early Morning Rain, which featured in Any Major Orginals – The 1970s.

Tyson and Sylvia Fricker started performing in 1959, and had a number of hits as Ian & Sylvia and later with their band The Speckled Bird. They hosted a TV show, and in 2005 the Tyson-composed Four Strong Winds topped a poll by CBC Radio One listeners of the all-time greatest Canadian song. It has been covered by many great artists, including Canadians Neil Young and The Band.

Ian and Sylvia divorced amicably in 1975. Tyson enjoyed a long solo career in folk and country music.

The Strangler
In the first vanguard of punk in the UK were The Stranglers, though they could be better described as a pub-rock band. They certainly were older than the other bands in that vanguard, and drummer Jet Black was older than the other Stranglers. Black, who has died at 84, was in his late 30s when punk happened, and had success as a businessman before co-founding The Stranglers in 1974. He had 23 UK Top 40 singles with the band.

Black, born in 1938 as Brian Duffy, stayed with The Stranglers until 2018, when poor health forced his retirement.

The Velvelette
The narrative with Motown bands usually involve housing projects, high schools or factories. Not so with the Velvelettes, who had their roots at the music school of the Western Michigan University. There students Bertha Barbee-McNeal — who has died at 82 — and Mildred Gill formed The Velvelettes, roping in Bertha’s cousin Norma, Mildred’s sister Carolyn, and a friend. And it was their performances on campus that brought them to Motown’s attention in 1962.

The Velvelettes never broke huge — their biggest hit was the superb Needle In A Haystack, which reached US #45 — but they occupy a firm place in Motown’s history. By 1967, Bertha and all but one of the group left. Bertha went on to raise a family, obtained a masters degree in music education, and worked in that field in the Michigan city of Kalamazoo.

The Bob
The kindly Bob McGrath was a fixture of my childhood as one of the adults on Sesame Street, whose cast he joined at its inception 1969 and remained with for the following 36 years. Before he was Bob on Sesame Street, McGrath was a singer with easy listening legend Mitch Miller in the 1960s, and Miller presented an album of McGrath singing easy listening songs (it’s not my cup of tea, I have to say). McGrath also enjoyed a string of hits in Japan, singing in Japanese.

How decent a guy was Bob? Well, he remained married to his wife for 64 years, till his death at the age of 90.


The Composer
In June we lost Julee Cruise, who gave a voice to the theme of Twin Peaks. Now the theme’s composer Angelo Badalamenti, has followed her at the age of 85. The New York-born film and television composer had a rich vein of film scores, many with director David Lynch, including Blue Velvet, The Straight Story and Mulholland Drive. Badalamenti also scored films such as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, The City of Lost Children, Holy Smoke!, and A Very Long Engagement.

In his long career, which started in 1962, he also recorded with acts like Nina Simone, Shirley Bassey, Pet Shop Boys, Dusty Springfield, Marianne Faithfull, and David Bowie.

The Krautrock Guitarist
As the leader of the groups Ash Ra Tempel (with drummer Klaus Schulze and bassist Hartmut Enke) and Ashra in the 1970s and 80s, Manuel Göttsching was one of the most influential guitarists of the Krautrock genre. Born in 1952 in West-Berlin, he drew his influences widely, from the pop and rock of the 1960s he grew up with, from classical music, and from the free jazz which encouraged the trained classical guitarist to improvise. According to Wikipedia, “his style and technique influenced dozens of artists in the post-Eno ambient and Berlin School of electronic music scenes in the 1980s and 1990s”, a statement I’m not qualified to cast doubt on.

I don’t know if Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo have conveyed their crooning skills to record, but Brazilian football legend Pelé made a couple of compentent turns as a bossa nova singer, in 1969 in a duet with Regina Elis (written by Pelé himself) and in 1977 for the Sergio Mendes-produced soundtrack to a film about the GOAT’s life. On the latter, Pelé was accompanied by singer Gracinha Leporace (who also happened to be Mendes’ wife). On saxophone we hear Gerry Mulligan, on drums Jim Keltner — both also legends in their fields.

The Latino Belgian
Among the most unusual exponents of Latin music were the Chakachas, whose recording career spanned almost 20 years, from 1958 to 1977. Formed in Brussels, its members were all Flemish Belgians (and a Dutchman), including bandleader and percussionist Gaston Bogaerts, who has died at 101.

In the 1950s and 1960s — a time when cultural appropriation was not a problem yet — the Chakachas created Latin dance music, and even entered the lower reaches of the UK charts once, The group may be best known for their superb 1970 Latin funk song Jungle Fever, or perhaps 1972’s funk groover Stories.


The Casey
When The Beatles were one of several beat groups among many, their rivals for Merseybeat supremacy included Cass & the Cassanovas, whose leader Brian Casser (a.k.a. Casey Jones) has died at 86. Casser also ran his own club in Liverpool, the Casanova Club, where The Silver Beetles appeared. There is a story according to which it was Casser who suggested that the young band change the spelling of their proposed rebranded name from The Beatals to The Beatles.

Having moved to London, Casser restyled himself as Casey Jones, and formed Casey Jones and The Engineers, with whom he recorded a 1963 single, One Way Ticket. The group at one point included pre-fame Eric Clapton and Tom McGuinness. Soon Casey moved to Germany, where his group, now Casey Jones & The Governors, followed in the Beatles’ footsteps with a residency at Hamburg’s Star Club. The group had a few hits in West Germany, including Don’t Ha Ha, a reworking of Huey Smith’s Don’t You Just Know It.

Casey remained in Germany, working later as a DJ, and died there on December 27.

The Moog Co-inventor
One featured track here isn’t much to listen to, except as a historic artefact: “Jazz Images – A Worksong And Blues” was the first piece of music ever written for the Moog synthesizer by the instrument’s co-inventor, Herbert Deutsch, who has died at 90.

For pop music, the introduction of the Moog was a moment of revolution, with Giorgio Moroder being at the forefront in popularising it through his song Son Of My Father, which became a global hit in Chicory Tip’s cover in 1972.

The Hep Swede
In the 1960s, one of Sweden’s biggest groups was the Hep Stars, whose keyboard player, Benny Anderson, went on to become a global star and musical genius as one of the Bs in ABBA. At the height of their success, the Hep Stars’ lead singer was Svenne Hedlund, who has died at 77.

Hedlund was also a member of the band Idolerna, and with his US-born singer wife Charlotte formed the duo Svenne & Lotta in the late 1960s, having a string of minor hits in Europe as Sven & Charlotte (they divorced in 2014). The featured songs by the duo were written by old pals: Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of ABBA. Dance is a cover of the ABBA album track, Funky Feet was intended for ABBA’s Arrival album but was rejected because it supposedly sounded too much like Dancing Queen.As always, this post is reproduced in illustrated PDF format in the package, which also includes my personal playlist of the featured tracks. PW in comments.

Andrew Speight, 58, Australian-born saxophonist, in train accident on Dec. 1

Jo Carol Pierce, 78, singer-songwriter and playwright, on Dec. 2
Jo Carol Pierce – Borderline Tango (1995)

Svenne Hedlund, 77, Swedish singer (Hep Stars), on Dec. 3
The Hep Stars – Sunny Girl (1966)
Sven & Charlotte – Dance (While The Music Still Goes On) (1974)
Svenne & Lotta – Funky Feet (1977)

Bobby Naughton, 78, jazz vibraphonist and pianist, on Dec. 3
Bobby Naughton – Nauxtagram (2014)

Alexandre Zelkine, 84, French folk music singer, on Dec. 3

Jamie Freeman, 57, British singer and songwriter (actor Martin’s brother), on Dec. 3
The Jamie Freeman Agreement – Steel Away (2013)

Manuel Göttsching, 70, German musician (Ash Ra Tempel) and composer, on Dec. 4
Ash Ra Tempel – Daydream (1973)
Ashra – Sunrain (1977)

Jim Stewart, 92, co-founder of Stax Records, producer, on Dec. 5
Otis Redding – Respect (1965, as producer)
Wilson Pickett – 634-5789 (Soulsville) (1966, as producer)
The Soul Children – Hearsay (1972, as producer)
Shirley Brown – Woman To Woman (1974, as co-producer)

Bob McGrath, 90, actor and singer (Sesame Street), on Dec. 4
Bob McGrath – On The Street Where You Live (1965)
Bob and Sesame Street Cast – People In Your Neighborhood (1969)

Hamsou Garba, 63, Niger singer, on Dec. 5

Jess Barr, 46, guitarist of band Slobberbone, on Dec. 5
Slobberbone – Pinball Song (2000)

Alexandre Zelkine, 84, French folk music singer, on Dec. 5

Jet Black, 84, drummer of The Stranglers, on Dec. 6
The Stranglers – (Get A) Grip (On Yourself) (1977)
The Stranglers – Nice ‘n’ Sleazy (1978)
The Stranglers – Always The Sun (1986)

Hamish Kilgour, 65, co-founder of New Zealand indie band The Clean, found Dec. 6
The Clean – Flowers (1982)

Peter Cooper, 52, country singer, songwriter, producer, exec, journalist, on Dec. 6
Peter Cooper – Wine (2008)

Fionna Duncan, 83, Scottish jazz singer, on Dec. 6

Carmen Jara, 85, Spanish copla singer, on Dec. 6
Carmen Jara – Amor que te di (1966)

Quin Ivy, 85, soul songwriter and producer, on Dec. 7
Percy Sledge – When A Man Loves A Woman (1966, as co-producer)
Bill Brandon – Rainbow Road (1969, as producer)

Roddy Jackson, 80, rock & roll singer, songwriter and pianist, on Dec. 7
Roddy Jackson – I’ve Got My Sights On Someone New (1958)

Mack Allen Smith, 84, rockabilly and blues singer, on Dec. 7
Mack Allen Smith – Skeleton Fight (1964)

Leno, 73, Brazilian singer, guitarist and composer, on Dec. 8

Djalma Corrêa, 80, Brazilian musician and composer, on Dec. 8
Djalma Correa – Salsa (1984)

Yitzhak Klepter, 72, guitarist of Israeli bands The Churchills, Kaveret, on Dec. 8

Gaston Bogaerts, 101, bandleader and percussionist of Belgian Latin-funk band Chakachas, on Dec. 9
Les Chakachas – Eso es el amor (1958)
Chakachas – Jungle Fever (1970)
Chakachas – Stories (1972)

Herbert Deutsch, 90, co-inventor of the Moog synthesizer, composer, on Dec. 9
Herbert Deutsch – Jazz Images – A Worksong And Blues (1960s, first music written for Moog)

Tony Hill, rhythm guitarist of UK-based rock group The Misunderstood, announced Dec. 10
The Misunderstood – I Can Take You To The Sun (1966, also as co-writer)

J.J. Barnes, 79, soul singer, on Dec. 10
J. J. Barnes – Hold On To It (1968)
J.J. Barnes – She’s Mine (1976)

Tshala Muana, 64, Congolese singer, on Dec. 10
Tshala Muana – Cicatrice d’amour (1985)

Zak Godwin, 57, rock guitarist and singer, in hit-and-run on Dec. 10
Zak Godwin – Missin’ The Muse (2000)

José Ángel Trelles, 78, Argentine singer, musician and composer, on Dec. 10

Tracy Hitchings, 60, former lead singer of UK prog-rock group Landmarq, on Dec. 10
Landmarq – Prayer (Coming Home) (2012)

Georgia Holt, 96, singer and actress (mother of Cher), on Dec. 10
Georgia Holt – I Sure Don’t Want To Love You (2013)

Angelo Badalamenti, 85, film and television composer, on Dec. 11
Christine Hunter – Santa Bring Me Ringo (1964, as co-writer and arranger)
Nina Simone – I Hold No Grudge (1967, as co-writer)
Angelo Badalamenti – Theme from Twin Peaks (1990, as writer and conductor)

Stuart Margolin, 82, TV actor, singer and songwriter, on Dec. 12
Shango – Day After Day (It’s Slippin’ Away) (1969, as co-writer)

Roberto Ferri, 75, Italian singer and songwriter, on Dec. 12

Ekambi Brillant, 74, Cameroonian makossa singer, on Dec. 12
Ekambi Brillant – Ayo Mba (1977)

Sol Amarfio, 84, Ghanaian drummer of Afro-funk band Osibisa, on Dec. 13
Osibisa – Flying Bird Anoma (1976)

Lalo Rodríguez, 64, Puerto Rican salsa singer, on Dec. 13
Lalo Rodriguez – Tu No Sabes Querer (1980)

Grand Daddy I.U., 54, rapper with Juice Crew, on Dec. 13
Grand Daddy I.U. – Something New (1990)

Kim Simmonds, 75, founder and guitarist of English rock group Savoy Brown, on Dec. 13
Savoy Brown – Cold Hearted Woman (1981)

Benjamin Bossi, 69, saxophonist of new wave band Romeo Void, on Dec. 13
Romeo Void – A Girl In Trouble (Is A Temporary Thing) (1984)

Koji Ryu, 60, member of Japanese pop band C-C-B, on Dec. 14

Rock Nalle, 79, Danish rock musician, on Dec. 14
Nalle – Amanda (1980)

Djene Djento, 59, Cameroonian singer-songwriter, on Dec. 14

Stephen ‘tWitch’ Boss, 40, DJ on the Ellen DeGeneres Show, suicide announced Dec. 14

Dino Danelli, 78, drummer of The Rascals, on Dec. 15
The Young Rascals – Good Lovin’ (1966)
The Young Rascals – How Can I Be Sure (1967)

Shirley Eikhard, 67, Canadian singer-songwriter, on Dec. 15
Shirley Eikhard – Say You Love Me (1976, as writer)

Bertha Barbee-McNeal, 82, founding member of The Velvelettes, on Dec. 16
The Velvelettes – Needle In A Haystack (1964)
The Velvelettes – These Things Will Keep Me Loving You (1966)

Rick Anderson, 75, bassist of The Tubes, on Dec. 16
The Tubes – Don’t Touch Me There (1976)
The Tubes – The Monkey Time (1983)

Jean-Paul Corbineau, 74, singer-songwriter with French folk-rock band Tri Yann, on Dec. 16
Tri Yann – Si mort à mors (1981, also as co-writer)

DJ Shog, 46, German trance DJ and producer, on Dec. 16

Charlie Gracie, 86, rock & roll singer, on Dec. 17
Charlie Gracie – Butterfly (1957)

Yuji Tanaka, 65, drummer of Japanese rock band Anzen Chitai, on Dec. 17

Terry Hall, 63, English singer and songwriter, on Dec. 18
The Specials – Gangsters (1983)
Fun Boy Three – The Tunnel Of Love (1983)
Colourfield – Castles In The Air
Terry Hall – Sonny And His Sister (1997)

Martin Duffy, 55, keyboardist with English groups Felt, Primal Scream, on Dec. 18
Felt feat. Elizabeth Fraser – Primitive Painters (1985)
Primal Scream – Rocks (1994)

Sandy Edmonds, 74, New Zealand pop singer, on Dec. 19
Sandy Edmonds – Daylight Saving Time (1967)

Randy Begg, 71, drummer of Canadian pop band Wednesday, on Dec. 20
Wednesday – Last Kiss (1973)

Iain Templeton, drummer of British rock band Shack, on Dec. 20
Shack – Natalie’s Party (1999)

Anton Habibulin, 44, guitarist of Russian rick band Tantsy Minus, on Dec. 20

Claudisabel, 40, Portuguese singer, car accident on Dec. 20
Claudisabel – Não Vou Voltar A Chorar (2002)

Mauro Sabbione, 65, keyboardist of Italian pop group Matia Bazar, on Dec. 21

Harvey Jett, 73, guitarist of rock band Black Oak Arkansas (1970–74), on Dec. 21
Black Oak Arkansas – Hot And Nasty (1971)

Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington, 79, blues singer and guitarist, on Dec. 22
Walter ‘Wolfman’ Washington – It’s Rainin’ In My Life (2011)

Thom Bell, 79, Jamaican-born soul songwriter, producer and arranger, on Dec. 22
The Delfonics – Ready Or Not Here I Come (1969, as co-writer, co-producer, arranger)
The Stylistics – You Make Me Feel Brandnew (1973, as co-writer, producer)
Diana Ross & Marvin Gaye – You Are Everything (1974, as writer)
The Spinners – Rubberband Man (1976, as co-writer, producer)

Big Scarr, 22, rapper, on Dec. 22

Maxi Jazz, 65, musician, rapper, singer, songwriter of UK electronic band Faithless, on Dec. 23
Maxi Jazz – What More Can I Say? (1992)
Faithless feat. Dido – One Step Too Far (2002, also as co-writer)

Massimo Savić, 60, Croatian singer of Yugoslav rock band Dorian Gray, on Dec. 23

Madosini, 78, South African traditional musician, on Dec. 24
Madonisi – Uthando Luphelile (1997)

Mampintsha, 40, member of South African kwaito band Big Nuz, on Dec. 24
Big Nuz – Serious (2013, also as co-writer)

Freddie Roulette, 83, blues guitarist and singer, on Dec. 24
Freddie Roulette – Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven (1999)

Luther ‘Guitar Junior’ Johnson, 83, blues singer and guitarist, on Dec. 25
Luther Johnson – Luther’s Blues (1976)

Camilo Azuquita, 76, Panamanian salsa singer and composer, on Dec. 25
Camilo Azuquita – Borombon (1969)

Penda Dallé, 64, Cameroonian Mokassa musician and artist, on Dec. 26

Lasse Lönndahl, 94, Swedish singer and actor, on Dec. 26
Lars Lönndahl – Tangokavaljeren (1949)

Alexander Shevchenko, 61, Russian singer, composer and producer, on Dec. 26

James ‘Jabbo’ Ware, 80, jazz saxophonist, on Dec. 26

Ashley Henderson, bassist of Australian soul-funk band Stylus, announced Dec. 27
Stylus – I Just Don’t Wanna Fall In Love (1976, also as writer)
Stylus  Funky Fig (1976, also as co-writer)

Harry Sheppard, 94, jazz vibraphonist, on Dec. 27

Brian Casser, 86, British rock & roll singer and guitarist, announced Dec. 27
Casey Jones and His Engineers – One Way Ticket (1963)
Casey Jones & The Governors – Don’t Ha Ha (1964)

Jo Mersa Marley, 31, Jamaican reggae musician, Bob’s grandson, on Dec. 27

John Neff, 71, musician, songwriter, producer, engineer, producer, on Dec. 27
Buffy Sainte-Marie – Starwalker (1992, on bass)

Pat Briggs, member of industrial band Psychotica, on Dec. 27

Scott Nash, bassist of Australian hard rock band Asteroid B-612, on Dec. 28
Asteroid B-612 – Edge A Little Closer (1994)

Linda de Suza, 74, Portuguese singer, on Dec. 28
Linda de Suza – Un Portugais (1978)

Black Stalin, 81, Trinidadian calypso musician, on Dec. 28

Ian Tyson, 89, Canadian folk singer and songwriter, half of Ian & Sylvia, on Dec. 29
Ian & Sylvia – Four Strong Winds (1963, also as writer)
Ian Tyson – Fifty Years Ago (1963, also as writer

Pelé, 82, Brazilian football legend and bossa nova singer, on Dec. 29
Pelé & Elis Regina – Perdão, Não Tem (1969, also as writer)
Pelé & Gracinha – Meu Mundo é Uma Bola (1977)

Margriet Eshuijs, 70, Dutch singer, on Dec. 29

Giovanni Pezzoli, 70, drummer of Italian pop-rock group Stadio, on Dec. 29
Stadio – Grande figlio di puttana (1982)

Vivienne Westwood, 81, British fashion designer and punk pioneer, on Dec. 29
The Sex Pistols – Who Killed Bambi (1979, as co-writer)

Jeremiah Green, 45, drummer of indie band Modest Mouse, on Dec. 30
Modest Mouse – The View (2004)

Anita Pointer, 74, singer and songwriter with the Pointer Sisters, on Dec. 31
The Pointer Sisters – Fairy Tale (1974, also as co-writer and on lead vocals)
The Pointer Sisters – Fire (1979, also on lead vocals)
The Pointer Sisters – I’m So Excited (1982, also as co-writer and on lead vocals)
Anita Pointer – Temporarily Blue (1987)


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