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In Memoriam – May 2024

May 26th, 2024 3 comments

This month’s music deaths are listed in the actual month they left us. I wouldn’t be able to post the In Memoriam for May in the beginning of June, so I’ll cover the remaining deaths of May with those whom the Reaper will claim in June. But even without the stragglers, there are plenty of great stories to be told, involving a supporting cast as diverse as Bob Dylan, Albert Einstein and Walt Disney.

I have debated with myself whether to include a write-up about punk legend and trailblazing producer Steve Albini. I’ve decided not to, in light of certain revelations about an aspect of his life. Of course, such a write-up would have generously noted his pioneering role in the hugely influential punk outfit Big Black, and his production of albums such as the Pixies’ Surfer Risa and Nirvana’s In Utero, though Albini saw himself as a facilitator rather than a producer. It would have noted his feats in record engineering, and his general iconoclasm and courageous integrity on many issues that gave him such a dedicated fan base. But then there are those revelations. So, having noted the above, I still feel unable to put up a photo of the man.

The Sax Legend
It is a bit unfair that David Sanborn, who has died at 79, is often written off as a smooth jazz merchant, because he was a serious jazz fusion musician — when he wasn’t making the kind of smooth jazz music that got a bad name for the dull non-excesses of the Kenny G types. But at his best, Sanborn made beautiful jazz, smooth or not. Take the featured song, Seduction, from his 1980 Hideway album. It’s not exactly free jazz, but it is a gorgeous tune, delivered well. Sanborn, it may be noted, himself didn’t like the concept of “smooth jazz”.

Sanborn became a name in fusion in the 1970s as a member of the Brecker Brothers band and with a series of solo albums and broke through in 1980 with Hideaway. By then, he had made his bones as a session man, having started out as a member of The Butterfield Blues Band.

As a session man, he played for — deep breath now —  Stevie Wonder, James Brown (on Funky President), David Bowie (on the Young Americans album, including the title track), Bruce Springsteen (on Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out), The Rascals, B.B. King, Donny Hathaway, Todd Rundgren, Gil Evans, The Fabulous Rhinestones, O’Donel Levy (on Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky, which featured on the Me And Playboy mix), Miles Davis, Esther Phillips, Manhattan Transfer, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Michael Franks (including Monkey See-Monkey Do), Ron Carter, Hubert Laws, Bataan, Loudon Wainwright III, Cat Stevens, Elton John, Phoebe Snow, George Benson, Idris Muhammad, Maynard Ferguson, Bob James, Burt Bacharach, Alessi, Garland Jeffreys, Don McLean, Chaka Khan, JD Souther (on You’re Only Lonely), Linda Ronstadt, Carly Simon (on You Belong To Me), Dr John, Tim Curry (on I Do The Rock, which featured on A Life In Vinyl 1980), Nils Lofgren, John McLaughlin, Bonnie Raitt, Eagles, Steely Dan and many more…

And that was just in the 1970s! Later, he played on tracks like Bill LaBounty’s wonderful Livin’ It Up (featured on Not Feeling Guilty Vol. 1), as well as for big hitters like Billy Joel, Aretha Franklin, The Rolling Stones, Kenny Loggins, The Bee Gees, Roger Waters, Bryan Ferry, Toto, Roberta Flack (on the lovely Oasis), Eric Clapton, Al Jarreau (on So Good, which featured on Any Major Soul 1988/89), Randy Crawford (on her superior version of Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, which featured on Any Major Bob Dylan Songbook Vol. 3), and on the wonderful duets of Jarreau and Crawford on the Casino Lights album, which featured on mixes like Any Major Ashford & Simpson Songbook and Any Major Albums of 1982.

The Electric Light Keyboardist
The distinctive sound of the Electric Light Orchestra is usually attributed to Jeff Lynne, but its creation also owes much to Richard Tandy, who contributed group’s the characteristic keyboards and worked with Lynne to arrange the idiosyncratic strings in the studio recordings.

Tandy, who also played guitar, made his first contribution to a charting record through his old friend Bev Bevan, drummer of The Move, by contributing the harpsichord to the band’s UK #1 hit Blackberry Way. By 1970, The Move trio of Bevan, Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne, formed ELO as a side-project. After Wood decamped to form Wizzard, Tandy joined the band. With Lynne and Bevan, Tandy remained a constant member throughout the band’s hit-making career.

Besides his own projects, Tandy also collaborated on various projects by Lynne.

The Disney Tunesmith
Some of the finest songs from Disney films were written by the brothers Sherman. Now Richard M. Sherman has died at the age of 95, some 12 years after his long-estranged brother Robert. The sons of a well-known Tin Pan Alley songwriter are said to have produced more movie scores than any other songwriting team in history. Their scores and/or songs featured in films such as The Parent Trap, The Sword In The Stone, Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Bedknobs & Broomsticks, The Aristocats, Charlotte’s Web, The Slipper And The Rose, and more, as well ass many stage musical productions.

They won Oscars and Grammys for their Mary Poppins soundtrack, which included standards like A Spoonful Of Sugar, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, and Chim-Chim-Cheree, which won the Best Song Oscar. Their Sister Suffragette featured in the In Memoriam for January 2024 to mark the death of Glynis Johns. Apparently Feed The Birds was Walt Disney’s favourite song.

Before Disney, the Sherman brothers wrote pop hits such as Your Sixteen (Johnny Burnette, and later Ringo Starr) and Tall Paul (for Anette Funcicello). Their song It’s A Small World (After All), written for the 1964 World Fair in New York City, is reportedly the most publicly performed song of all time, by virtue of being played on rides in all Disney theme parks.

Before the songwriting, Richard Sherman was a US soldier in World Way II, and was among the first US troops to enter Dachau concentration camp.

The Hard Rock Pioneer
With the death of lead singer Doug Ingle, the classic line-up of Iron Butterfly is now gone (a sentence I have to write more often these days, as I will again twice a couple of entries down). Iron Butterfly were greatly influential on all hard rock music of the 1970s.

Their centre-piece was the interminable In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, which was written by Ingle in one night, while he was drunk on red wine. Drummer Ron Bushy wrote down the lyrics for Ingle to sing, but in his inebriated state, the singer slurred the words “in the Garden of Eden” as “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida”. And thus one of rock’s more mystifying song titles was born.

After Iron Butterfly split in 1971, Ingle had stints with the groups Stark Naked and Car Thieves, but he was no longer part of the Iron Butterfly when they reformed in 1974, or in subsequent reunions.

The Folk Influencer
Last month we lost the last of The Limeliters in Alex Hassilev; this month the last of another influential folk trio passed away. “Spider” John Koerner was the leader, guitarist and a vocalist of the folk-blues trio Koerner, Ray & Glover.

As an 18-year-old in 1956, Koerner began to study aeronautical engineering but dropped that to make music. Instead he formed a folk band with Dave Ray and Tony Glover in Minneapolis, with whom the gifted songwriter became a pioneering figure in the folk born of the early 1960s. In Minneapolis, Koerner took a youngster under his wing who soon would make his mark in New York under the name of Bob Dylan. They sometimes performed as a duo, and Dylan remembered Koerner fondly in his autobiography.

Koerner recorded three studio albums with Ray & Glover, as well as collaborations with others, and several solo sets. Folk experts rate Koerner’s influence on folk and guitar-playing highly, crediting him with being able to fuse folk and blues in an original way, rather than simply copying existing blues styles.

The Hit Drummer
In the mid-1940s, a man was stranded in a boat that had run out of gas. Luckily, a passing woman was able to help the hapless fellow to the shore, while he held her infant in his arms. The luckless sailor was Albert Einstein; the infant future rock drummer John Barbata.

Barbata went on to have a bunch of hits as the drummer of The Turtles, including the classic Happy Together. The band was part of the Laurel Canyon scene (see Any Major Laurel Canyon), so when Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young fired drummer Dallas Taylor in 1970, Barbata was roped in. He played on eight of their albums, as well as on records by the individual members. Being with CSN&Y, Barbata turned down an offer to join the upcoming band Eagles.

In the interim, he joined Jefferson Airplane in 1972, and made the transition to Jefferson Starship. In between, he played sessions for the likes of Ry Cooder, JD Souther, John Sebastian, Judee Sill, The Everly Brothers, PF Sloan, Linda Ronstadt, Dave Mason, and (unreleased) Joni Mitchell.

His time with Jefferson Starship ended in 1978, when Barbata broke his neck, arm and jaw in 32 pieces in a car crash. With that, he retired from the music industry, though he still recorded and performed on the side.

The Machine Gun
In February we lost Wayne Kramer of the seminal proto-punk group MC5. Now drummer Dennis Thompson has died at 75 — which means that the classic MC5 line-up is now all gone.

Thompson, who joined the band in 1965, was known as “Machine Gun” for his ferocious drumming, which would come to influence the punk movement that followed in MC5’s trail, as well as metal drummers.

The Arranging Saxophonist
Having made his recording debut as a 22-year-old in 1949, jazz saxophonist Bill Holman’s career as a musician, composer and arranger spanned seven decades, during which he released his own albums and worked with some of the biggest names in jazz. And he arranged a number of pop hits as well.

His career as a sideman was most closely tied to Stan Kenton, but he also played with the likes of Chet Baker, Bud Shank, Ella Fitzgerald, Mel Tormé, Terry Gibbs, Maynard Ferguson, Art Pepper, Shorty Rogers, Buddy Bregman, and others.

He also arranged and/or composed for many of them, as well as for Count Basie, Gerry Mulligan, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Louie Bellson, Sarah Vaughn, Anita O’Day, Peggy Lee, Carmen McRae, Buddy Rich, Zoot Sims, and others.

In the 1960s and early 1970s, Holman also did arrangements, usually alongside Bones Howe and Bob Alcivar, for pop acts, especially several hits for The 5th Dimension, but also including the likes of The Monkees, The Association (Never My Love, Windy), The Sandpipers (Come Saturday Morning), and Seals & Croft. From the 1990s, he also arranged for Natalie Cole, Diane Schuur, Tony Bennett and Michael Bublé, among others.

Holman was involved in many Grammy-winning recordings, though he was personally awarded “only” three, out of 16 nominations.

The Yodeller
In the pop interregnum between Elvis’ conscription and the rise of The Beatles, Frank Ifield was one of the biggest stars in the UK, with his trademark yodel which punctuated his easy listening country fare. He peaked in 1962/63, when in the space of a year he scored five consecutive Top 5 hits, four of them hitting #1 — I Remember You (also a US #5), Lovesick Blues, Wayward Wind, and Confessin’. He’d reach the Top 10 one more time in 1964; by 1966 his time on the charts was over, other than a novelty dance remix of his song She Taught Me How To Yodel, renamed The Yodeling Song, in 1991.

Born in England, his Australian family had returned home in 1948, when Frank was 11. He grew up on a farm, listening to hillbilly music, while milking cows. Having recorded as few minor hits in Australia, he moved to England in 1959, returning home only in 1986.

The Vocal Coach
She released only three studio albums, but her work was mostly behind the scenes. Peggi Blu was best-known as an award-winning vocal coach, most visibly on American Idol, and as the 1986 winner of the TV talent show Star Search.

Blu did a lot of backing vocals for some big names, including Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Esther Phillips, Elkie Brooks, Stephanie Mills, The Weather Girls, Quincy Jones, Tracy Chapman (on Freedom Now), The Manhattans, Kylie Minogue, Leonard Cohen, Aaron Neville, Young M.C., among others. She also was one of several backing singers on the Irene Cara hit Fame, alongside Luther Vandross.

Blu released three albums between 1980 and 2002. Her 1987 set Blu Blowin’ was a very good collection which merited greater success than it achieved.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.

Richard Tandy, 76, English keyboardist of ELO, announced May 1
The Move – Blackberry Way (1968, on harpsichord)
Electric Light Orchestra – Evil Woman (1975)
Electric Light Orchestra – Confusion (1979)
Tandy & Morgan – Suddenly (1986)

Richard Maloof, 84, bassist, tuba player in Lawrence Welk orchestra, on May 1

Gary Floyd, 71, singer of punk band Dicks, on May 2
Dicks – Sidewalk Begging (1984)

John Pisano, 92, jazz guitarist, on May 2
John Pisano & Billy Bean – Take Your Pick (1958)
Sam Cooke – (Ain’t That) Good News (1964, on guitar)

Jim Mills, 57, bluegrass banjo player, on May 3
Dolly Parton – Little Sparrow (2001, on banjo)

Ken Brader, 70, jazz trumpeter, on May 4

Ron Kavana, 73, Irish singer-songwriter, on May 4
Ron Kavana & The Alias Acoustic Band – Reconciliation (2005)

Miroslav Imrich, 71, singer of Czech rock band Abraxas, on May 4

Willie Hona, 70, ex-guitarist of New Zealand reggae band Herbs, on May 5
Herbs – Slice Of Heaven (1986)

Eric ‘E.T.’ Thorngren, producer and engineer, on May 6
Squeeze – Hourglass (1987, as co-producer, arranger and engineer)

Bill Holman, 96, jazz saxophonist, composer and arranger, on May 6
Stan Kenton and His Orchestra – Bags And Baggage (1952, on tenor saxophone)
Bill Holman – Far Down Below (1958, also as composer, conductor and producer)
The 5th Dimension – One Less Bell To Answer (1970, as co-arranger)
Diane Schuur – Deed I Do (1991, as arranger and conductor)

Christiane Stefanski, 74, Belgian singer, on May 6

Wayland Holyfield, 82, country songwriter, on May 6
Don Williams – You’re My Best Friend (1975, as writer)

Steve Albini, 61, punk musician with Big Black, producer and engineer, on May 7
Big Black – He’s A Whore (1987)
Pixies – Where Is My Mind (1988, as producer and engineer)
Nirvana – Heart Shaped Box (1993, as producer and engineer)

Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, 88, Polish jazz musician, composer and arranger, on May 7

Phil Wiggins, 69, harmonica player of blues duo Cephas & Wiggins, on May 7
Bowling Green John Cephas & Harmonica Phil Wiggins – Police Dog Blues (1989)

John Barbata, 79, drummer of The Turtles, CSNY, Jefferson Airplane/Starship, on May 8
The Turtles – Elenore (1968)
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Ohio (live) 1971, on drums)
Jefferson Starship – Miracles (1975, as member)

Conrad Kelly, 65, Jamaican ex-drummer of UK reggae band Steel Pulse, on May 8
Steel Pulse – Settle The Score (1997)

Giovanna Marini, 87, Italian singer-songwriter, on May 8
Giovanna Marini – Persi le forze mie (1976)

Suzette Lawrence, 66, singer-songwriter, on May 9

Dennis Thompson, 75, drummer of MC5, on May 9
MC5 – Looking At You (1970)
MC5 – Over And Over (1971)

Fred Noonan, drummer of Australian swamp rock group Six Ft Hick, on May 9

David Sanborn, 78, jazz and session alto saxophonist, on May 12
Stevie Wonder – Tuesday Heartbreak (1971, on alto sax)
David Sanborn – The Seduction (Love Theme) (1980)
Al Jarreau & Randy Crawford – Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong (1982, on alto sax)
Bob James & David Sanborn – Maputo (1989)

Enrico Musiani, 86, Italian singer, on May 13

Christian Escoudé, 76, French gypsy jazz guitarist, on May 13
Christian Escoudé & Jean-Charles Capon – Gousti (1980)

Mélanie Renaud, 42, Canadian singer, on May 14

Jimmy James, 83, Jamaican-British singer, on May 14
Jimmy James & The Vagabonds – Ain’t Love Good, Ain’t Love Proud (1966)
Jimmy James & The Vagabonds – I’ll Go Where Your Music Takes Me (1976)

John Hawken, 84, English keyboardist, on May 15
Nashville Teens – Tobacco Road (1964, as member)
Strawbs – Shine On Silver Sun (1973, as member)

Missinho, 64, singer with Brazilian Axé band Chiclete com Banana, on May 17

Jean-Philippe Allard, 67, French jazz producer, on May 17
John McLaughlin – Django (1995, as producer)
Abbey Lincoln – Black Berry Blossoms (2000, as producer)

Frank Ifield, 86, English-born Australian country singer, on May 18
Frank Ifield – I Remember You (1962)
Frank Ifield – Up Up And Away (1967)

John Koerner, 85, songwriter, guitarist, singer with folk trio Koerner, Ray & Glover, on May 18
Koerner, Ray & Glover – Black Dog (1964, on shared lead vocals)
‘Spider’ John Koerner – Spider Blues (1965, also as writer)
John Koerner & Willie Murphy – Running, Jumping, Standing Still (1969, also as co-writer)

Palle Danielsson, 77, Swedish jazz double bassist, on May 18

Jon Wysocki, 53, drummer of alt.rock group Staind, on May 18
Staind – It’s Been A While (2001)

Peggi Blu, 77, soul singer, American Idol vocal coach and judge, on May 19
Irene Cara – Fame (1980, on backing vocals)
Peggi Blu – Once Had Your Love (And I Can’t Let Go) (1987)
Tracy Chapman – Freedom Now (1989, on backing vocals)

Jan A. P. Kaczmarek, 71, Polish Oscar-winning film composer, on May 21
Jan A.P. Kaczmarek – The Peter Pan Overture (from Finding Neverland) (2005, as composer)

Charlie Colin, 58, ex-bassist of rock group Train, on May 22
Train – Drops Of Jupiter (2001)

Toni Montano, c.61, Serbian rock musician, on May 22

Doug Ingle, 78, ex-lead singer of Iron Butterfly, songwriter, on May 25
Iron Butterfly – In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida (single version) (1968, as writer)
Iron Butterfly – In The Times Of Our Lives (1969, also as co-writer)
Iron Butterfly – Easy Rider (Let The Wind Pay The Way) (1970, also as co-writer)

Richard M. Sherman, 95, American film songwriter, on May 25
Johnny Burnette – You’re Sixteen (1960, as co-writer)
Julie Andrews – A Spoonful Of Sugar (1964, as co-writer)
Louis Prima – I Wanna Be Like You (1967, as co-writer)

Categories: In Memoriam Tags:

Gladys Knight Sings Covers

May 21st, 2024 1 comment

 

Gladys Knight, who is turning 80 next week, on May 28, apparently is known as “The Empress of Soul”. If this is indeed her title, that makes the Queen of Soul her subordinate. I wouldn’t hazard to make a judgment about which singer is the greater.

As we saw on the Aretha Sings Covers mix, the Queen was a tremendous interpreter — and reworker — of songs. Certainly, no woman soul singer ever exercised as much influence on her genre as Aretha did. But ask me whose voice I’d prefer to hear on my deathbed, I’d vote for Gladys Knight’s over Aretha’s.

Where Aretha was assertive, even strident, and in her later years even shrill, Gladys exercised restrained. She needed no resort to melisma or bellowing to convey emotion. She could (and probably still can) do so through a little drop or rise in tone, and through her flawless phrasing — much like Randy Crawford, who one day ought to be the subject of a covers mix too.

Aretha had female backing singers, often including her sisters. Gladys had one not-at-all-secret weapon: The Pips. These three guys — her brother Merald “Bubba” Knight and cousins William Guest and Edward Patten — are among the greatest backing singers ever. If there should be a Backing Singers Hall of Fame, only ignorance would exclude The Pips from immediate induction.

Of course, Gladys would have been a star even without The Pips, but her interplay with the guys was an principal ingredient in her soul stew. Just consider the exquisite commentary The Pips deliver on Midnight Train To Georgia. (A track which, like other covers which Knight and Pips turned into hits, doesn’t feature here.)

Gladys had some history with the previous singer featured in this series, Diana Ross. It goes back to the 1960s, when Gladys was with Motown. She and The Pips were supporting Dana Ross and The Supremes on tour — and they stole the show. Berry Gordy was unhappy about that, and, according to Knight, Diana had her act dumped from the tour.

Gladys Knight went on to have a prolific career after Motown, with a string of big hits, some covers and others originals. (See  and The Originals: Soul Vol. 2)

This collection of songs here shows Knight to be a magnificent interpreter of songs, often taking ownership of them. Some of these songs were recorded in their hit versions by some of the greatest singers in pop; Gladys matches or even eclipses them.As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-pipped covers, and the text above on PDF format.

1. (I Know) I’m Losing You (1970, The Temptations)
2. Who Is She (And What Is She To You) (1973, Bill Withers)
3. You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ (1968, Righteous Brothers)
4. He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother/Bridge Over Troubled Water (1971, Hollies/S&G)
5. Fire And Rain (1971, James Taylor)
6. One Less Bell To Answer (1971, The 5th Dimension)
7. Goin’ Out Of My Head (1968, Little Anthony and the Imperials)
8. Help Me Make It Through The Night (1971, Kris Kristofferson)
9. Feel Like Makin’ Love (1975, Roberta Flack)
10. The Way We Were/Try To Remember (1974, Barbra Streisand/Ed Ames)
11. The Makings Of You (1974, Curtis Mayfield)
12. Look Of Love (1968, Dusty Springfield)
13. Groovin’ (1968, The Young Rascals)
14. Sugar Sugar (1975, The Archies)
15. Cloud Nine (1970, The Temptations)
16. Grandma’s Hands (2001, Bill Withers)
17. End Of The Road Medley (live) (1994, Boyz II Men a.o.)
18. Since I Fell For You (2005, Lenny Welch)

GET IT!

Previously in Sings Covers:
Al Green Sings Covers
Aretha Franklin Sings Covers
Diana Ross Sings Covers
Tina Turner Sings Covers

More Mix CD-Rs
Covered With Soul
1970s Soul

Categories: Covered With Soul, Covers Mixes Tags:

Any Major Billy Joel Songbook

May 9th, 2024 3 comments

Today, May 9, Billy Joel turns 75. He has had a long career, and hasn’t always been the most universally admired singer. But for about ten years, between 1973 and 1983, he had a run of producing excellent songs (amid a few duds, take a bow of shame, Only The Good Die Young). I regard 1977’s The Stranger as a minor masterpiece, and Turnstiles (1976), 52nd Street (1978) and An Innocent Man (1983) are superb albums. The other two efforts were more patchy, though both had great moments, too.

And his Songs In The Attic, released in 1981, is a perfect live album (though it is not a record of a single concert). According to the linernotes, Joel’s aim with the album was to recreate improved versions of songs which he thought had been inadequately produced on the studio albums. He succeeded in that aim on every song.

After 1983 Joel still produced the odd gem (Baby Grand, his duet with Ray Charles was one of them), but the magic was gone. And then came the horrible We Didn’t Start The Fire, a hit so big that it came to define his career, at least in part. Even Billy Joel thinks the song is a pile of crap.

Strangely, it seems difficult to cover Billy Joel, and few singers bothered to do so in the 1980s and ’90s. Some people have done so well, but good covers of his best-known songs are scarce. Look at the tracklisting and see what’s missing: The Stranger, My Life, It’s Still Rock And Roll To Me, You May Be Right, All For Leyna, Allentown, Pressure, Tell Her About It, Leave A Tender Moment Alone, An Innocent Man, And So It Goes, Baby Grand…

Say Goodbye To Hollywood has been covered by Ronnie Spector and the E-Street Band (it featured on the Roy Bittan Collection). It’s an okay cover. Bette Midler in 1978 gave it a jaunty vibe, thus totally misreading the song. Either failed to make the cut here.

Also missing is Uptown Girl, which has been covered by many acts — including Westlife, who had a megahit with it — but by none I’ve heard did so well. I don’t mind that; it’s not a song I particularly like.

Piano Man sneaks into the mix with a good Spanish version; I know of no particularly good English version. I thought maybe one of Billy Joel’s duets with Elton John on their live tours might do. They don’t.

Photo from the shoot for the covers of The Stranger. On the cover, they’re black & white.

 

Likewise, Just The Way You Are tends to be covered in disagreeable easy listening mode. Barry White had a hit with a soulified cover of the song, but I don’t like his self-conscious vocals on it. Just The Way You Are would have failed to appear here too but for the saving grace that is Isaac Hayes. Of course, Ike turns it into a long jam with a long spoken intro.

Indeed, the best interpretations here tend to be by soul acts. The Three Degrees take Stop In Nevada, a lesser known Billy Joel song from 1973’s Piano Man album, and turn it into a quite different number. Zhané turn the doo wop of The Longest Tine (from An Innocent Man) into a slow-burning ’90s R&B groove.

The Manhattans take all the fake gospel out of Everybody Has A Dream (originally on The Stranger) and show why it is really a soul song.

Margie Joseph’s cover of She’s Got A Way — the earliest cover in this collection, from 1974 — starts off like a straight cover, but soon she makes it her own song. Produced by Arif Mardin, listen to the backing singers, who include Cissy Houston and fellow Sweet Inspirations Myrna Smith and Sylvia Shemwell, Gwen Guthrie and Judy Clay (who was also Shemwell’ sister). The drummer is Bernard Purdie (see the Bernard Collection Vol. 1 and Vol. 2); on guitar are Cornell Dupree and Hugh McCracken, and the distinct keyboards are by Richard Tee.

Another old-school soul singer appears here with Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Billy Griffin succeeded Smokey Robinson as lead singer of The Miracles (it’s his lead on hit like Love Machine). He was also the co-producer of Take That’s debut album.

The Songbook ends with a song performed by the man himself, recorded live at Carnegie Hall on June 3, 1977. Souvenir, originally on 1974’s Streetlife Serenade, comes from a terrific live set released with 2008’s “legacy edition” of The Stranger.

And my favourite Billy Joel song? Summer, Highland Falls — preferably the live version from Songs In The Attic.

As ever, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, and includes home-pressured covers and the text above in an illustrated PDF. PW in comments.

1. Waylon Jennings – The Entertainer (1984)
2. The Manhattans – Everybody Has A Dream (1978)
3. Margie Joseph – He’s Got A Way (1974)
4. The Three Degrees – Stop In Nevada (1976)
5. Richard Marx – Miami 2017 (1993)
6. Lauren Wool – Summer, Highland Falls (2004)
7. Zhané – For The Longest Time (1997)
8. Beyoncé – Honesty (2009)
9. Joan Baez – Goodnight Saigon (1991)
10. Ana Belén – El hombre del piano (1981)
11. Angelo – I’ve Loved These Days (1978)
12. Lynda Carter – She’s Always A Woman (1978)
13. Isaac Hayes – Just The Way You Are (1978)
14. Barbra Streisand – New York State Of Mind (1977)
15. Paul Anka – I Go To Extremes (2007)
16. Ladysmith Black Mambazo feat. Billy Griffin – The River Of Dreams (2012)
17. Gregorian – Leningrad (2013)
18. Billy Joel – Souvenir (live) (1977)

GET IT!

Previous Songbooks:
ABBA
Ashford & Simpson
Barry Gibb Vol. 1
Barry Gibb Vol. 2
Bill Withers
Bob Dylan Volumes 1-5
Brian Wilson
Bruce Springsteen
Burt Bacharach & Hal David Vol. 1
Burt Bacharach & Hal David Vol. 2
Burt Bacharach’s Lesser-Known Songbook
Carole Bayer Sager
Carole King Vol. 1
Carole King Vol. 2
Chuck Berry
Cole Porter Vol. 1
Cole Porter Vol. 2
Elton John & Bernie Taupin
George Harrison
Gordon Lightfoot
Hank Williams
Holland-Dozier-Holland
John Prine
Jimmy Webb Vol. 1
Jimmy Webb Vol. 2
Jimmy Webb Vol. 3
Lamont Dozier
Laura Nyro
Leonard Cohen
Neil Diamond
Paul McCartney Vol. 1
Paul McCartney Vol. 2
Prince
Rod Temperton
Rolling Stones Vol. 1
Rolling Stones Vol. 2
Sly Stone
Steely Dan

More Songbooks
More Covers Mixes
More CD-R Mixes

Categories: Covers Mixes, Songbooks Tags:

In Memoriam – April 2024

May 3rd, 2024 2 comments

Here are the music deaths of April, with two guitar legends leaving us.

The Guitar Man
For many boomers born in the 1940s and early ‘50s, the sound of Duane Eddy’s twangy guitar is an echo of their childhood. Between 1958 and 1962 Eddy had a string of hits in the US and UK with his mostly instrumental rock & roll tracks.

Eddy’s sound prefigured the surf rock of the early 1960s; The Beach Boys lifted his riff from Movin’ n’ Groovin’, released in 1958, for Surfin’ USA (Eddy himself borrowed it from Chuck Berry’s Brown Eyed Handsome Man).

Eddy scored seven US Top 20 hits, from 1958’s Rebel Rouser (#6) to 1962’s (Dance With The) Guitar Man (#12). The latter was also the final of his six UK Top 10 hits. It featured The Blossoms (Fanita James, Jean King and Darlene Love) on vocals.

The Guitar Genius
Few rock guitarists could create their own distinctive sound as Dickey Betts did. When you heard that sound, you knew it was Betts. Perhaps his most famous composition, certainly in Britain, is the instrumental Jessica, which he wrote as a long-time member of the Allman Brothers Band. The track was used as the theme tune for the hugely popular and lamentably reactionary Top Gear show.

With Duane Allman, Betts redefined how two lead guitars can work together — just witness their solos on the wonderful Blue Sky, which Betts also wrote and took lead vocals on. First Duane plays his great solo (said to be the last thing he recorded before he died), then Betts comes in with his solo, and it is every bit Duane’s equal. It featured on Any Major Guitar Vol. 2.

Betts also wrote and sang the band’s big breakthrough hit Ramblin’ Man (featured on Any Major Southern Rock Vol. 1). In between the Allman work, Betts released some solo stuff. In 2000 he was fired from the band over his drug and alcohol use. He would never play with the band or any of its members again. Drummer Jaimoe Johanson is now the last survivor of the founding members of the Allman Brothers Band.

The Croaker
Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, who has died at 87, belonged to the group of R&B singer-pianists from New Orleans who managed to cross over into the mainstream (though nobody did it as comprehensively as Fats Domino). He also recorded a number of country records.

Henry, whose nickname Frogman referred to his trademark croak, had a national Top 20 hit with his first record, Ain’t Got No Home, in 1956, while still a teenager.

He went on to have two further Top 20 hits, a cover of Bobby Charles’ (I Don’t Know Why) But I Do (US #4; UK #3) and You Always Hurt The One You Love (US #12, UK #6). The former featured on Any Major Hits 1961.

The hits dried up, but in 1964 he still supported The Beatles on 18 dates during their US tour. For almost two decades he performed nightly in New Orleans’ Bourbon Street. Henry, who was married seven times, performed right up to his end; he was billed to appear at last month’s New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. Alas, he died from complications after surgery on April 7.

The Moody Blue
With the death of keyboard player Mike Pinder at 82, all five original members of The Moody Blues are now dead (of the classic late-1960s/early 1970s line-up Justin Hayward and John Lodge are still with us). Pinder was with the band until 1978, writing several songs on which he took lead vocals. The recited poetry on some Moody Blues songs, written by Graeme Edge, were recited by Pinder.

On the Moody Blues most famous song, Nights In White Satin, Pinder’s mellotron created the orchestral sounds in the main body of the song (that in the beginning, final chorus and fade-out on the LP version, which features here, were by the London Festival Orchestra). Pinder also recited the Edge’s poetry in the album version of the song.

After the Moody Blues, Pinder emigrated to the US, and worked for Atari in the area of music synthesis. In the 1990s he released a second solo album, as well as making spoken-word recordings for children’s albums.

The Limeliter
With the death at 91 of Alex Hassilev, all the founder members of the pivotal folk trio The Limeliters are now gone. The group’s baritone and banjo player was predeceased by Louis Gottlieb in 1996 and the fascinating Glenn Yarbrough in 2016.

Between 1959 and ‘65, the trio had a few hits, but they were more successful as an albums act, at a time when albums, as a commercial proposition, were more commonly the domain of jazz and musical soundtracks. The Limeliters incorporated a lot of humour into their act, and while they were of the left-leaning scene, their political satire was relatively restrained.

They broke up in the mid-‘60s, and Hassilev recorded solo, but reunited and remained a long-running and popular live act.

The Soul Brother
Five brothers from New Bedford, Massachusetts created some of the sweetest soul music in the 1970s. Tavares were the brothers Ralph (who died in December 2021), Tiny, Chubby, Butch and Pooch. In April we lost Arthur ‘Pooch’ Tavares, who was 81.

Pooch didn’t take lead vocals on the group’s biggest hits, such as Heaven Must Be Missing An Angel, Check It Out or More Than A Woman, but his harmonies formed an important part of the whole. Pooch took lead on songs such as Penny For Your Thoughts, Love Calls, Right Back In Your Arms and Never Say Never Again.

The Gospel Singer
Gospel-soul singer Mandisa, who has died at the horribly young age of 47, was a fine performer in her genre; certainly good enough to win a Grammy. But the moment she will probably be remembered for most is her calling out the ghastly Simon Cowell when she was a contestant on American Idol in 2005. Cowell had made several demeaning comments about Mandisa’s weight.

At one point she told Cowell: “What I want to say to you is that, yes, you hurt me and I cried and it was painful, it really was. But I want you to know that I’ve forgiven you and that you don’t need someone to apologise in order to forgive somebody. I figure that if Jesus could die so that all of my wrongs could be forgiven, I can certainly extend that same grace to you.”

Cowell duly apologised and said that he was “humbled”, though you may decide for yourself whether that guy has the capacity for sincerity and humility, or whether his expression of regret was simply performative.

Mandisa didn’t win the talent show but made a good career, which came to a halt in 2014 when she suffered depression following the death of a close friend. She wrote her autobiography and released her final album, Out Of The Dark, in 2017.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.

Bill Briggs, keyboardist of garage rock band The Remains, on March 26
The Remains – Don’t Look Back (1966)

Michael Ward, 57, rock guitarist (The Wallflowers, School of Fish), on April 1
The Wallflowers – 6th Avenue Heartache (1996, as member on lead guitar)

Phil Delire, c.67, Belgian producer, on April 1

Sue Chaloner, 71, British-born half of Dutch duo Spooky & Sue, on April 1
Spooky & Sue – I’ve Got The Need (1975)

Jerry Abbott, 81, country singer-songwriter and producer, on April 2
Jerry Abbott – The Bottom Of The Bottle (1969, also as writer)
Pantera – Nothin’ On (But The Radio) (1983, as producer, engineer and manager)

John O’Leary, 79 British blues singer and harmonica player, on April 3

Albert Heath, 88, jazz drummer and composer, on April 3
Albert Heath – Dunia (1974, also as writer)
Heath Bros – Mellowdrama (1978, as member)

Joe Aitken, 79, Scottish folk singer, on April 3

Keith LeBlanc, 69, hip hop drummer and producer, on April 4
Malcolm X – No Sell Out (1983, as writer and producer)

Graeme Naysmith, 57, guitarist of English shoegaze band Pale Saints, on June 4
Pale Saints – Kinky Love (1991)

J. Snare, 64, keyboardist and songwriter with rock band Firehouse, producer, on April 5
Firehouse – When I Look Into Your Eyes (1992, also as co-writer)

Phil Nimmons, 100, Canadian free jazz clarinettist, on April 5

Rocket Norton, 73, former drummer of Canadian rock band Prism, on April 5
Prism – Don’t Let Him Know (1981)

Dutty Dior, 27, Norwegian rapper, on April 6

Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, 87, R&B singer, on April 7
Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry – Ain’t Got No Home (1956, also as writer)
Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry – You Always Hurt The One You Love (1961)
Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry – Hummin’ A Heartache (1967)

Joe Viera, 91, German jazz saxophonist and festival founder, on April 7

‘Seth’ Jon Card, 63, Canadian punk drummer, on April 8
SNFU – Black Cloud (1986, as member)

Sturgis Nikides, 66, rock guitarist, on April 9
John Cale – Mercenaries (Ready For War) (1980)

Muluken Melesse, 70, Ethiopian singer and drummer, on April 9

Max Werner, 70, singer and drummer of Dutch band Kayak, on April 9
Kayak – Ruthless Queen (1978, on drums)

Bob Lanese, 82, US-born trumpeter with the James Last Orchestra, on April 9
Lucifer’s Friend- Blind Freedom (1973, on trumpet)
BAP – Silver Un Jold (1996, on trumpet)

Dan Wallin, 97, soundtrack engineer, on April 10
Bob Dylan – Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (1973, as engineer)
The Trammps – Disco Inferno (1977, Saturday Night Fever version, as engineer)

Mister Cee, 57, hip hop DJ and producer, announced April 10
Big Daddy Kane – Mister Cee’s Master Plan (1988, as DJ)

Park Bo-ram, 30, South Korean K-pop singer, on April 11

Enrique Llácer Soler, 89, Spanish jazz percussionist and composer, on April 11

Rico Wade, 52, part of producer group Organized Noize and songwriter, on April 12
En Vogue – Don’t Let Go (Love) (1996, as co-producer and co-writer)

Lucy Rimmer, British singer with The Fall, announced April 12
The Fall – Birthday (1996, on lead vocals)

Richard Horowitz, 75, film composer and actor, on April 13
Ryuichi Sakamoto – The Sheltering Sky Theme 1990, as co-composer)

Jun Mhoon, 69, session and touring drummer and producer, on April 13

Calvin Keys, 82, jazz guitarist, on April 14
Calvin Keys – Trade Winds (1974)

Ben Eldridge, 85, banjo player with bluegrass band The Seldom Scene, on April 14
The Seldom Scene – Muddy Water (1973)

Reita, 42, bassist of Japanese rock band The Gazette, on April 15

P.K. Dwyer, 74, jump and folk musician, on April 15
P.K. Dwyer & Donna Beck – Dandy Annie (1975)

Arthur ‘Pooch’ Tavares, 81, singer with soul band Tavares, on April 15
Tavares – Don’t Take Away The Music (1976)
Tavares – More Than A Woman (1977)
Tavares – My Love Calls (1979, on lead vocals)

Clorofila, 56, member of electronic-dance group Nortec Collective, on April 16
Nortec Collective – Olvidela compa (2005)

Topo Gioia, 72, Argentine-born Germany-based percussionist, on April 15

Gavin Webb, 77, bassist of Australian rock band The Masters Apprentices, on April 16
The Masters Apprentices – Buried And Dead (1967)

Dickey Betts, 80, guitar legend, singer and songwriter, on April 18
The Allman Brothers Band – Jessica (1973, also as writer)
The Allman Brothers Band – Ramblin’ Man (1973, on lead vocals and as writer)
Dickey Betts & Great Southern – Sweet Virginia (1977, also as writer)
The Allman Brothers Band – Brothers Of The Road (1981, also as co-writer)

Jack Green, 73, Scottish guitarist, bassist, singer and songwriter, on April 18
Jack Green – This Is Japan (1980)

Steve Kille, bassist of rock band Dead Meadow, on April 18
Dead Meadow – 1000 Dreams (2013)

Mandisa, 47, gospel-soul singer, on April 18
Mandisa – Only The World (2007)
Mandisa – Stronger (2011)

Eddie Sutton, 59, singer of thrash metal band Leeway, on April 19

Michael Cuscuna, 75, jazz producer, journalist, founder of Mosaic label, on April 19
Young-Holt Unlimited – Yes We Can (1972, as producer)

Kaj Chydenius, 84, Finnish singer-songwriter, on April 20

Tony Tuff, 69, Jamaican reggae singer (African Brothers), on April 20
Tony Tuff – Love Light Shining (1980)

Chris King, 32, rapper, shot dead on April 20

MC Duke, 58, British rapper and producer, on April 21
MC Duke – I’m Riffin’ (1989)

Jean-Marie Aerts, 72, guitarist of Belgian new wave band TC Matic, on April 21
TC Matic – Willie (1981)

KODA, 45, Ghanaian gospel-jazz singer, songwriter, musician and producer, on April 21

Alex Hassilev, 91, banjo player and baritone of folk group The Limeliters, on April 21
The Limeliters – The Hammer Song (1959)
The Limeliters – By The Risin’ Of The Moon (1963)
Alex Hassilev – Young Man (1965)

Chan Romero, 82, rock & roll singer-songwriter and guitarist, on April 22
Chan Romero – Hippy Hippy Shake (1959, also as writer)
Chan Romero – A Man Can’t Dog A Woman (1965, also as writer)

Florian Chmielewski, 97, polka accordionist and state senator, on April 23

Brian Gregg, 85, British rock & roll bass player, announced April 23
Johnny Kidd and The Pirates – Shakin’ All Over (1960, as member)

Fergie MacDonald, 86, Scottish folk accordionist, on April 23

Mike Pinder, 82, keyboard player, singer, songwriter with The Moody Blues, on April 24
The Moody Blues – The Night: Nights In White Satin (1967, on mellotrone, spoken words)
The Moody Blues – A Simple Game (1968, on lead vocals and as writer)
The Moody Blues – When You’re A Free Man (1972, on lead vocals and as writer) 

Robin George, 68, English rock guitarist, singer and producer, on April 26
Robin George – Heartline (1984)

Anderson Leonardo, 51, singer with Brazilian samba band Molejo, on April 26

Frank Wakefield, 89, bluegrass mandolin player, arranger and producer, on April 26
Red Allen, Frank Wakefield & The Kentuckians – New Camptown Races (1964)

Jean-Pierre Ferland, 89, Canadian singer-songwriter, on April 27
Jean-Pierre Ferland – Le chat du café des artistes (1970)

Maria Feliciana, 77, Brazilian singer, on April 27

Mac McKenzie, 63, singer of South African jazz-rock band The Genuines, on April 29
The Genuines – Struggle (1986)

Chris ‘Christian’ McClure, 80, Scottish singer and entertainer, on April 29
Chris McClure Section – You’re Only Passing Time (1971)

Duane Eddy, 86, guitar legend, on April 30
Duane Eddy – Movin’ n’ Groovin’ (1958)
Duane Eddy – Peter Gunn (1958)
Duane Eddy – (Dance With The) Guitar Man (1962, also as co-writer)
Duane Eddy & The Rebelettes – Play Me Like You Play Your Guitar (1975)

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Any Hits from 1974 Vol. 1

April 18th, 2024 8 comments

In the first of two mixes of hits from 1974, we concentrate on songs that were hits in the United States. Volume 2 will look at the hits in the UK and Europe.

1974 is not widely regarded as a high-water point of pop music, but it marked an interesting point of convergence, in the US especially. This Hits from 1974 mixes reflect some of that.

Disco started to emerge from the underground club scene into the mainstream, with hits like Rock Your Baby by George McCrae and Rock The Boat by the Hues Corporation (both will be on Vol. 2). These songs helped propel disco into the mainstream consciousness. In the US, Eddie Kendricks’ Boogie Down, as US hit in early 1974, helped pave the way for that, as did The Jackson 5’s Dancing Machine and MFSB’s TSOP.

Funk and soul had already had a presence on the charts in the preceding years. In 1974, that presence seemed to grow. Of 36 US #1 in 1973, 11 were by soul, funk or disco acts.

Country music continued to cross over into pop, with artists like Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers and Billy Swan enjoying mainstream success. John Denver, who really was a folk singer-songwriter, was co-opted by the country scene, as was Olivia Newton-John. In 1975, Denver was awarded the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year award, having scored two #1s in 1974 (Sunshine On My Shoulders and Annie’s Song). A drunk Charlie Rich announced the award which he evidently didn’t agree with — and set fire to the announcement card.

Other singer-songwriters also did well, with acts like Gordon Lightfoot and Carole King, representing their genre here. The sax on the King track is by Tom Scott, seeing as you will probably wonder.

Where possible, I have used the 7” single versions of the featured hits. The tracklisting is roughly chronological. As always, these are not necessarily my choices of the best hits of the year; rather, I hope to recreate a bit of the vibe of the year in question, using some of the better music of the year.

Links for all past mixes in the series are up.  If you dig the feel of 1974, take a look at the collection of posters from West-Germany’s Bravo magazine in 1974 (other years are available, too).

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-boogiedowned covers. PW in comments.

1. Eddie Kendricks – Boogie Down
2. Cher – Dark Lady
3. Redbone – Come And Get Your Love
4. The Jackson 5 – Dancing Machine
5. William DeVaughn – Be Thankful For What You Got
6. The O’Jays – For The Love Of Money
7. Wet Willie – Keep On Smilin’
8. The Doobie Brothers – Another Park, Another Sunday
9. Gordon Lightfoot – Sundown
10. Chicago – Call On Me
11. Bachman-Turner Overdrive – Takin’ Care Of Business
12. Billy Preston – Nothing From Nothing
13. First Class – Beach Baby
14. Carole King – Jazzman
15. Neil Diamond – Longfellow Serenade
16. Olivia Newton-John – I Honestly Love You
17. The Three Degrees – When Will I See You Again
18. The Kiki Dee Band – I’ve Got The Music In Me
19. Helen Reddy – Angie Baby
20. Billy Swan – I Can Help
21. J. Geils Band – Must Of Got Lost

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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
Any Major Hits from 1973 Vol. 1
Any Major Hits from 1973 Vol. 2

A Year in Hits
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Any Major Marvin Gaye Songbook

April 9th, 2024 4 comments

I was 17 and had just got into Motown in a big way. Apart from various Motown compilations, one LP I had was the one of duets by Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye. I had decided that What’s Going On was my new all-time favourite song (and it has remained one of my all-time favourites). I had liked Gaye for his two comeback singles in 1982, My Love Is Waiting and Sexual Healing, so I paid extra attention to his Motown songs.

We were just about to leave on a long road-trip in early April 1984 when the radio news announced that Marvin Gaye had been shot dead. Bloody hell! First Lennon, now Gaye.

So to mark the 40th anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s murder by his own father on April 1 — the day before his 45th birthday — here’s a Songbook. It comes a bit later than the actual anniversary. Diana Ross Sings Covers for her 80th birthday (a mix that featured Marvin on two duets) and the In Memoriam for March got in the way.

I wonder how Marvin’s legacy is regarded today. No doubt, to some people — content creators for clickbait sites and their consumers — he is the carnal crooner who in an aggressively cheesy video pursues a saucy nurse for some “sexual healing”. To them, the healing the singer seeks is the kind that culminates in sticky stuff. But that’s getting Marvin wrong. He was actually addicted to porn and masturbation (he hints at that in the lyrics); what he sought was actual healing from his addictions, to regain a healthy sexuality. But that awful video hardly helped tell that story. The song is covered here by Rita Coolidge.

Of course, Marvin was the loverman who nine years earlier had pleaded to get it on. By then his marriage to Anna Gordy was effectively over. In 1977 Marvin agreed to settle his divorce from Anna by giving her half of the royalties from his next album. His first instinct was to knock off a substandard piece. Indeed, my own instinct would have been to record an album of covers of songs that deal with bitter break-ups.

In the event, he produced an introspective double album, acerbically titled Here, My Dear, which is not an easy listen but maintained Marvin’s artistic integrity. I don’t know of any covers of songs from that album, though.

Marvin’s songwriting creativity exploded in the 1970s, but he scored a number hits as co-writer during his early Motown years, when he still complemented his singing career with session drumming.

With William “Mickey” Stevenson and a changing roster of third partners, he wrote several of his own early hits, such as Stubborn Kind Of Fellow (covered here by Kate Taylor), Hitch Hike (covered by Jean DuShon), Pride And Joy (covered by the Jackson 5), Wherever I Lay My Hat, his duet with Kim Weston It Takes Two, and If This World Were Mine, his duet with Tammi Terrell, which he wrote on his own (it is covered here in a superlative version by Luther Vandross and Cheryl Lynn).

He also co-wrote Motown classics for others, such as Dancing In The Street for Martha & The Vandellas (covered here by The Mamas & The Papas), The Marvelettes’ Beechwood 4-5789, and a little later Baby I’m For Real for The Originals (the latter with Anna Gordy, covered beautifully by the ill-fated soul singer Sherrick). See ID3 tags for co-authors of the featured songs.

For more covers of Marvin Gaye songs, check out the What’s Going On Recovered mix, posted in 2021 for its 50th anniversary.As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R, and includes home-ongotten covers and the above text in PDF format. PW in comments.

1. Jean DuShon – Hitch Hike (1964)
2. The Mamas & The Papas – Dancing In The Street (1966)
3. Kate Taylor – Stubborn Kind Of Woman (1978)
4. The Jackson 5 feat. Michael Jackson – Pride And Joy (1976)
5. Sherrick – Baby I’m For Real (1987)
6. Fourplay feat. El DeBarge – After The Dance (1991)
7. Cheryl Lynn & Luther Vandross – If This World Were Mine (1982)
8. Nancy Wilson – Come Get To This (1975)
9. Sylvia – You Sure Love To Ball (1976)
10. The Three Degrees – Distant Lover (1975)
11. Ken Boothe – Let’s Get It On (1974)
12. Richie Havens – What’s Going On (1973)
13. Sarah Vaughan – Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler) (1971)
14. Aretha Franklin – Wholy Holy (1972)
15. Randy Crawford – Just To Keep You Satisfied (1979)
16. Rita Coolidge – Sexual Healing (1993)
17. Kyle Eastwood with Joni Mitchell – Trouble Man (1998)
18. Michael McDonald – Mercy Mercy Me (2004)
19. David Sanborn feat. Howard Hewitt – Got To Give Up (1994)
BONUS TRACKS
20. Stanley Turrentine – Don’t Mess With Mister T. (1973)
21. Cornell Campbell – Wherever I Lay My Head (1975)

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Previous Songbooks:
ABBA
Ashford & Simpson
Barry Gibb Vol. 1
Barry Gibb Vol. 2
Bill Withers
Bob Dylan Volumes 1-5
Brian Wilson
Bruce Springsteen
Burt Bacharach & Hal David Vol. 1
Burt Bacharach & Hal David Vol. 2
Burt Bacharach’s Lesser-Known Songbook
Carole Bayer Sager
Carole King Vol. 1
Carole King Vol. 2
Chuck Berry
Cole Porter Vol. 1
Cole Porter Vol. 2
Elton John & Bernie Taupin
George Harrison
Gordon Lightfoot
Hank Williams
Holland-Dozier-Holland
John Prine
Jimmy Webb Vol. 1
Jimmy Webb Vol. 2
Jimmy Webb Vol. 3
Lamont Dozier
Laura Nyro
Leonard Cohen
Neil Diamond
Paul McCartney Vol. 1
Paul McCartney Vol. 2
Randy Newman
Prince
Rod Temperton
Rolling Stones Vol. 1
Rolling Stones Vol. 2
Sly Stone
Steely Dan

More Songbooks
More Covers Mixes
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In Memoriam – March 2024

April 2nd, 2024 3 comments

The most remarkable non-music (or any) death in March was that of the South African painting pig Pigcasso, whose artworks have been sold for big money all over the world to finance a farm sanctuary. Pigcasso was rescued from the slaughterhouse by ex-golfer Joanne Lefson (who apparently married a dog once), and taken in at the Farm Sanctuary which she and her sister were running near Cape Town.

Lefson trained the pig to hold the brush in her mouth and apply paint to paper mounted on an easel, thereby creating colourful abstract paintings. The artworks were signed with Pigcasso nose, pressed on the canvas after being dipped into beetroot ink and transferring onto the canvas. She was the first non-human artist to have art exhibitions staged — in South Africa, Netherlands, Germany, Britain and China — and holds the record for most expensive artwork ever sold by an animal, at $20,000. In 2019 she designed a limited-edition timepiece for Swatch.

The pig’s prominence was used to stimulate debate on issues such as veganism, meat production, and animal welfare. Pigcasso died on March 6 at the age of seven of chronic rheumatoid arthritis. Alas, unlike the names that follow here, she never recorded any music.

 

The Power Balladeer
It has become something of a fashion to dismiss Eric Carmen, the singer who has died at 74, with some disdain. One may see why not all of Carmen’s oeuvre is universally appealing — I am not a devotee myself — but the guy didn’t deserve the prejudice, much less the petty derision. Much of it, I suspect, is predicated on received wisdom, a bit like the stupid suggestion that pineapple on pizza somehow constitutes an epicurean crime.

Carmen’s big hit, All By Myself, is a great power ballad, in a league with Nilsson’s Without You. It made sense that the classically-trained Carmen based All By Myself on Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Follow-up Never Gonna Fall In Love Again also riffed on Rachmaninoff. Carmen’s contribution to the Dirty Dancing soundtrack, Hungry Eyes, was also a cut above most 1980s movie soundtrack fare. He didn’t write the song, but Carmen did produce it.

Before going solo in 1976, Carmen had been the frontman of the power pop band Raspberries (who featured on Any Major Hits from 1972 Vol. 1), for whom he also wrote or co-wrote most songs.

The Cockney Rebel
One of the songs chosen here to mark Eric Carmen’s passing is the Raspberries’ Overnight Sensation, which features a few stop-starts. But Steve Harley perhaps made the greatest stop-start song of them all with Make Me Smile (Come Up And See Me). Credited to Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel, it was a UK #1 in 1975. The song was written by Harley, and co-produced by him, with Alan Parsons. The target of the embittered lyrics were his former Cockney Rebel bandmates.

With Cockney Rebel, Harley had six UK hit singles in the mid-1970s, including the innovative Judy Teen, Mr. Soft and a cover of The Beatles’ Here Comes The Sun. Prior to UK success, the band had a hit in Europe with the prog-rocker Sebastian.

Harley returned briefly to the upper reaches of the UK charts in 1986 with his duet with Sarah Brightman of the title track of the Andrew Lloyd-Webber musical The Phantom Of The Opera, which he, however, didn’t perform on the stage.

The Singing Oscar-winner
Various illnesses had tried to claim him for the past 30 years, but he kept surviving. But on Good Friday the  lights went out for Louis Gossett Jr, at the age of 87.

Gossett is best-known as being a remarkable actor of film, TV and stage. He provided rare spots of illumination in dreck like Iron Eagle, but he will be forever remembered for his role of Sgt Emil Foley in 1982’s An Officer And A Gentleman. He won an Oscar for that; the second ever for a male black actor.

Less known is that as Lou Gossett, he was also a singer, in the soul-folk genre which his friend Richie Havens made his own. Previously a nightclub singer, Gossett released a series of singles between 1964 and ’68, and one album, titled From Me To You, in 1970. None of them were hits. Gossett also co-wrote Richie Havens’ Handsome Johnny, one of the great anti-war songs.

The Ideas Man
In concerts, Robbie Williams likes to claim that he had written his 1999 hit She’s The One. When the song’s actual writer, Karl Wallinger, objected to this lie, Williams announced the song as his “fifth-best” composition. Wallinger took to calling Williams a “c**t”, a sentiment which doubtless would attract a sizable constituency.

She’s The One was first recorded by Welsh-born Wallinger’s band World Party (their version features on The Originals – 1990s & 2000s), which released five albums, including 1993’s very successful Bang!. World Party’s 1987 song Ship Of Fools, written by Wallinger, just about failed to reach the UK’s Top 40 but was a hit in the US.

Before that, the multi-instrumentalist was a member of The Waterboys, not only playing on their big 1985 hit The Whole Of The Moon but effectively arranging it, with those synth hooks and cymbal beats, turning a good song into a dazzling slice of genius. He left the group soon after; some argue that had Wallinger remained, The Waterboys would have enjoyed more commercial success to go with the critical acclaim.

After his death, his frequent collaborator Peter Gabriel paid tribute to Wallinger: “Karl was overflowing with wonderful musical ideas that blew us all away, all delivered with terrible jokes that had us laughing uncontrollably all day and night. He was such a gifted, natural writer and player, it was a tap that he could turn on at will, effortlessly.”

The Piano Funkster
The shimmering piano notes that open the Blackbyrds’ wonderful 1974 hit Walking In Rhythm were played by Kevin Toney, then only 20 years old. Toney also co-wrote several of the jazz-funk band’s songs, including the Blackbyrd’s own theme, as well the hits Rock Creek Park and Unfinished Business.

As a solo jazz-funk musician, his album Strut was chosen as “official music” for the Winter Olympics of 2002.

The Entertainer
He was an established star in the US, but to me Steve Lawrence was only Maury Sline, the Blues Brothers’ former manager (you may remember the scene where Elroy and Jake have a meeting with him the steam room, both wearing their hats and shades).

Later, as a blogger, my view of his career expanded to knowing that he was the original singer of Gladys Knight & The Pips’ The Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me (featured on The Originals – Soul Vol. 1) and I’ve Gotta Be Me from the musical Golden Rainbow, one of my all-time favourites in Sammy Davis Jr’s version (featured on The Originals – Rat Pack Edition).

Before all that, Lawrence had been a singer on Steve Allen’s show in the 1950s, and had a bunch of hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, with 1962’s Go Away Little Girl the most famous of them (the song’s arranger, Marion Evans, also died this month; see below). For decades he also performed in a duo with his wife Eydie Gormé, until her retirement in 2009.

The Gaylad
Among the pioneers of reggae was the Jamaican ska band The Gaylads, whose co-founder B. B. Seaton has died at age 79. Seaton first recorded as a solo artist in 1960 before forming the duo Winston & Bibby with Winston Delano Stewart, which in turn evolved into The Gaylads. After a string of hits, Seaton left The Gaylads and embarked on a solo career. He went on to have hits, especially with covers of songs like Sweet Caroline, Lean On Me, and Thin Line Between Love and Hate.

Seaton might have had success with cover versions, but he was also a prolific songwriter, writing for acts such as Ken Boothe, The Melodians, and Delroy Wilson. In the mid-1970s Seaton moved to Britain in the mid-1970s, where he worked as a producer. He was the first reggae artist to be signed by Virgin Records. In the 2010s, he rejoined The Gaylads and performed with the group.

The Arranger
The musical career of Marion Evans, who has died at age 97, stretched back to the mid-1940s, when he played trumpet in the university band. In the late 1940s, he was one of the arrangers for the Glenn Miller Orchestra, then led by Tex Beneke. He went on to arrange for orchestras such as those of Tommy Dorsey, Vaughn Monroe, Percy Faith, and Count Basie.

From the 1950s, Evans worked as an arranger and orchestra leader for acts including Judy Garland, Diahann Carroll, Dick Haymes, Eydie Gormé, Steve Lawrence (and Gormé & Lawrence as a duo),  Jaye P. Morgan, Jack Lemmon, Perry Como, and Tony Bennett. Evans received Grammy nominations for his work on the albums Blame It On The Bossa Nova by Eydie Gormé and Go Away, Little Girl by Steve Lawrence.

Evans also composed music for 17 TV series and served as an orchestrator for eleven Broadway shows. After a stint in the financial industry in the 1970s, he returned to music in the 1980s. He worked with Tony Bennett on his Grammy-winning/nominated duo albums Duets II (2011) and Cheek To Cheek (with Lady Gaga, 2014).

The Composer
French composer Jean-Pierre Bourtayre, who has died at 82, wrote the tune for one of the great Eurovision Song Contest winners, Séverine’s Un banc, un arbre, un rue, which won the thing for Monaco in 1971 (it featured on Any Major Eurovision). It was a hit throughout Europe in various language version. Bourtayre also wrote for acts like Claude François, Jacques Dutronc, and Michel Sardou.

He also wrote for films and TV shows, including the two closing themes for the 1970s TV series Arsène Lupin, which was popular in many European countries.

The King of the Boogaloo
There are few musical genres with a better name than Boogaloo. Puerto Rico-born Pete Rodriguez was its king during his relatively brief recording career, which spanned from 1964-71. His biggest hit was 1967’s I Like It Like That, which a few years ago was liberally sampled for the big hit by Cardi B (Rodriguez’ song featured on Any Major Samples).

I Like It Like That was written by Tony Pabon and Manny Rodriguez. Pabon, a boogaloo bandleader in his own right, did the lead vocals.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.

 

Gylan Kain, 81, poet, singer and playwright, on Feb 7 (announced March 18)
Kain – Loose Here (1970)

Ernest ‘Bilbo’ Berger, 73, Czech-born drummer of British funk band Heatwave, on March 1
Heatwave – Super Soul Sister (1976)
Heatwave – Mind Blowing Decisions (1978)

Don Wise, 81, tenor saxophonist, songwriter, producer, on March 1
Don Wise – Deeper Shade Of Blue (2001)

Jim Beard, 63, jazz fusion keyboardist and composer, on March 2
Jim Beard – Big Pants (1997, also as writer, producer and vocals)

W.C. Clark, 84, blues guitarist and singer, on March 2
W.C. Clark – Let It Rain (2002)

Eleanor Collins, 104, Canadian jazz singer and TV presenter, on March 3
Eleanor Collins – Lullaby Of Birdland (1965)

Bill Ramsay, 95, jazz saxophonist and bandleader, on March 3

Brit Turner, 57, drummer of country-rock band Blackberry Smoke, on March 3
Blackberry Smoke – Pretty Little Lie (2012)

Félix Sabal Lecco, c.64, Cameroonian session drummer, on March 3
Paul Simon – Born At The Right Time (1990, on drums)

Presto, 31, German rapper, on March 3

Harris B. B. Seaton, 79, Jamaican singer (The Gaylads), songwriter, producer, on March 4
The Gaylads – It’s Hard To Confess (1968, on lead vocals and as writer)
B.B. Seaton – Accept My Apology (1972, also as co-writer)

Jean-Pierre Bourtayre, 82, French composer, on March 4
Jacques Dutronc – L’Arsène (1970, as co-writer)
Séverine – Un banc, un arbre, un rue (1971, as co-writer)

Linda Balgord, 64, stage actress and singer, on March 5

Debra Byrd, 72, backing singer and vocal coach on American Idols, on March 5
Barry Manilow & Debra Byrd – Let Me Be Your Wings (1994)

Pavel Zajíček, 72, member of Czech rock band DG 307, poet, visual artist, on March 5

Ralph Beerkircher, 56, German jazz guitarist, on March 5

Dimos Moutsis, 85, Greek singer-songwriter and composer, on March 6

Steve Lawrence, 88, Pop singer and actor, on March 7
Steve Lawrence – Go Away Little Girl (1962)
Steve Lawrence – I’ve Gotta Be Me (1968)

Joe Cutajar, 83, half of Maltese duo Helen & Joseph, announced March 7

Pete Rodriguez, 89, Latin boogaloo pianist and bandleader, on March 7
Pete Rodriguez – Oye Mira (Guajira Boogaloo) (1965)
Pete Rodriguez – I Like It Like That (1967)
Pete Rodríguez and His Orchestra – Nunca Abandones Tu Mujer (1968)

Pedro Altamiranda, 88, Panamanian singer, on March 7

Ernie Fields Jr, 89, baritone saxophonist and session musician, on March 8
Ernie Fields Jr – Ride A Wild Horse (1978)

Ľubomír Stankovský, 72, member of Czechoslovakian rock group Modus, on March 8

Malcolm Holcombe, 68, American singer-songwriter, on March 9
Malcolm Holcombe – Who Carried You (1999)

Nick Mulder, 51, Australian jazz musician, announced March 10

Karl Wallinger, 66, Welsh musician and songwriter, on March 10
The Waterboys – The Whole Of The Moon (1985, as member on synths, backing vocals)
World Party – Ship Of Fools (1986, as member, writer and producer)
World Party – She’s The One (1997, as member, writer and producer)

M. Stevens, 72, bass guitarist, singer, session musician, on March 10
Pretenders – Don’t Get Me Wrong (1986, as member on bass)
TM Stevens – I’m A Believer (1995)

Paul Nelson, blues-rock guitarist, songwriter, producer, on March 10
Johnny Winter – T Bone Shuffle (2011, on guitar)

Blake Harrison, 48, grindcore musician (Pig Destroyer, Hatebeak), on March 10

Marc Tobaly, 74, Moroccan-born French guitarist, composer, on March 10
Les Variations – Down The Road (1971)

Eric Carmen, 74, singer, musician, songwriter, on March 11
Raspberries – Overnight Sensation (1974, as member on lead vocals and as writer)
Eric Carmen – Change Of Heart (1978, also as writer)
Eric Carmen – Hungry Eyes (1987, also as producer)

Ray Austin, 81, English-porn German jazz, blues and folk musician, on March 11

Boss, 54, rapper, on March 11
BO$$ – Deeper (1993)

Russ Wilson, 62, bassist of Canadian rock band Junkhouse, on March 12
Junkhouse – Be Someone (1995)

Michael Knott, 61, rock singer-songwriter, on March 12
Michael Knott – Deaf And Dumb (1993)

John Blunt, drummer of The Searchers (1966-67), announced March 13

Sylvain Luc, 58, French jazz guitarist, on March 13
Sylvain Luc – Tous les cris les S.O.S. (2009)

Dick Allix, 78, drummer of UK pop group Vanity Fare; darts official, on March 13
Vanity Fare – Early In The Morning (1969)

Frank Darcel, 65, guitarist of French post-punk band Marquis de Sade, on March 14
Marquis de Sade – Conrad Veidt (1978)

Angela McCluskey, 64, Scottish singer and songwriter, on March 14
Télépopmusik – Breathe (2001, on vocals and as co-writer)

Hans Blum aka Henry Valentino, 95, German singer and songwriter, on March 15
Harry Valentino mit Uschi – Im Wagen vor mir (1977, also as writer and producer)
Boney M. – El Lute (1979, as co-writer)

Steve Harley, 73, English singer, songwriter, musician and producer, on March 17
Cockney Rebel – Judy Teen (1974, also as writer and co-producer)
Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel – Come Up And See Me (1975, also as writer and co-producer)
Steve Harley & Sarah Brightman – The Phantom Of The Opera (1986)

Sandra Crouch, 81, gospel singer and minister, on March 17

Cola Boyy, 34, funk singer, songwriter and musician, on March 17
Cola Boyy – You Can Do It (2021)

Kevin Toney, 70, pianist of jazz-funk band Blackbyrds, composer, arranger, on March 18
Blackbyrds – Runaway (1974, also as co-writer)
Blackbyrds – Walking In Rhythm (1974)
Kevin Toney – Strut (2001)

Chavelita Pinzón, 93, Panamanian folk singer, on March 18

Jimmy Hastings, 85, British rock and jazz flautist and saxophonist, on March 18
Caravan – Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly) (1971, on flute)

Greg Lee, 53, singer with ska band Hepcat, on March 19

George Darko, 73, Ghanaian highlife musician, on March 20
George Darko – Obi Abayewa (1986)

Gene Elders, 80, country fiddler and mandolin player, on March 20
George Strait – Hot Burnin’ Flames (1987, on fiddle)

Marion Evans, 97, arranger, conductor, TV composer, announced March 21
Diahanna Carroll – Old Devil Moon (1958, as arranger)
Steve Lawrence – Go Away Little Girl (1962, as arranger – see Steve Lawrence entry)
Eydie Gorme – Blame It On The Bossa Nova (1963, as arranger)
Tony Bennett & Natalie Cole – Watch What Happens (2011, as arranger and conductor)

Laurens van Rooyen, 88, Dutch pianist and composer, on March 21

Daniel Beretta, 77, French pop singer, composer and actor, on March 23
Daniel Beretta – Juliette pour la vie (1970)

Ulf Georgsson, 61, drummer of Swedish dansband Flamingokvintetten, on March 23

Vincent Bonham, 67, singer with soul-funk group Raydio, announced March 24
Raydio – You Need This (To Satisfy That) (1978, on lead vocals)

Def Rhymz, 53, Surinamese-Dutch rapper, on March 24
Def Rhymz – Doekoe (1999)

Humphrey Campbell, 66, Surinamese-Dutch singer and producer, on March 25

Slađana Milošević, 68, Serbian new wave singer, songwriter, producer, on March 26
Slađana & Neutral Design – Hey, Little Boy (1983, also as writer)

La Castou, 75, Swiss singer, dancer and actress, on March 27

Louis Gossett Jr., 87, actor, singer, songwriter, on March 29
Lou Gossett – Red Rosy Bush (1964)
Richie Havens – Handsome Johnny (1967, as co-writer)
Lou Gossett – The River And I (1970, also as producer)

Gerry Conway, 76, English drummer and percussionist, on March 29
Cat Stevens – Tuesday’s Dead (1971, on drums)
Linda Lewis – Old Smokey (1973, on drums)

Mark Spiro, c.66, singer, songwriter and producer, announced March 30
Mark Spiro – Winds Of Change (1986)

Casey Benjamin, 45, jazz & hip hop musician, producer, and songwriter, on March 31

Categories: In Memoriam Tags:

Diana Ross Sings Covers

March 26th, 2024 2 comments

 

Today, March 26, Diana Ross turns 80. To mark that milestone, here’s a collection of La Ross doing cover versions, drawing from the 1970s and early 1980s.

It is claimed by some that Ross wasn’t even the second-best singer in The Supremes. That may or may not be so, but what she had over her two fellow Supremes was an excess of charisma, which found expression in her physical appearance and also in her vocal interpretation of the songs she performed.

This collection highlights the interpretative attributes of Ross, her charisma and her confidence in delivery. Her best, and best-known, cover is that of Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell’s Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, featured here in its full length from Diana’s self-titled debut album in 1970.

That cover is lightning in a bottle. Produced by Ashford & Simpson, also the song’s writers, the Ross version was arranged by Paul Riser, who had also arranged tracks like Gaye’s version I Heard It Through The Grapevine, My Girl, The Tears Of A Clown, What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted, Ross’ own Reach Out And Touch (Somebody’s Hand), and, later, The Temptations’ Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone. The Ross version completely reinvents the original, with Ross’ spoken intro barely hinting at the impending musical tsunami. The best vocal bit: when Diana goes “A-OW!”

Diana’s 1971 reworking of the Four Tops’ glorious Reach Out, I’ll Be There slows down the song — not in the pretentious ways of whispy-voiced-girls-with-guitars that blight TV ads these days, but a total reinvention, also produced by Ashford & Simpson, that builds up as it goes along.

On this collection, that track is followed by a straight, though renamed, cover of Aretha Franklin’s Call Me. Aretha, of course, was the subject of a previous … Sings Covers mix (available here). As was Al Green, though I know of no covers of his songs by Ross. I can imagine her covering Let’s Stay Together, and nailing it.

Some of the originals of songs featured here appeared on The Originals – Motown Edition, specifically the two Stylistics tracks, and Thelma Houstons Do You Know Where Youre Going To, which in Ross hands became the Theme of Mahogany. That mix also includes a couple of originals of Supremes tracks.

Marvin Gaye looms large in this collection. On two tracks, Diana duets with him, three are covers of Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell originals, and half a track covers Marvin from his What’s Going On album (which was Recovered in 2021. On that collection, Dizzy Gillespie covers Save The Children). On April 2, we will commemorate the 40th anniversary of Marvin Gaye’s murder. Of course, Diana Ross later recorded a song in tribute to Marvin, titled Missing You.

The tracklisting provides the year of Ross’ version and the name of the act that recorded the song’s best-known version, not necessarily the original artist.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes self-covered covers. PW in comments.

1. What You Gave Me (1978 – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell)
2. Baby, I Love Your Way (1983 – Peter Frampton)
3. I Can’t Give Back The Love I Feel For You (1971 – Syreeta)
4. Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (1970 – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell)
5. You Are Everything (with Marvin Gaye) (1973 – The Stylistics)
6. Stop, Look, Listen To Your Heart (with Marvin Gaye) (1973 – The Stylistics)
7. You’re All I Need To Get By (1970 – Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell)
8. Reach Out, I’ll Be There (1971 – The Four Tops)
9. I Love You (Call Me) (1970 – Aretha Franklin)
10. Brown Baby/Save The Children (1973 – Nina Simone/Marvin Gaye)
11. Something (1970 – The Beatles)
12. Theme From Mahogany (1976 – Thelma Houston)
13. Too Shy To Say (1977 – Stevie Wonder)
14. (They Long To Be) Close To You (1970 – Carpenters)
15. I Won’t Last A Day Without You (1973 – Carpenters)
16. Where Did We Go Wrong (1978 – Maureen McGovern)
17. Imagine (1973 – John Lennon)
18. Smile (1976 – Charlie Chaplin)
19. All Of Me (1972 – Billie Holiday, Frank Sinatra a.o.)
20. I Need A Little Sugar In My Bowl (1977 – Bessie Smith)

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Peviously in Sings Covers:
Al Green Sings Covers
Aretha Franklin Sings Covers
Tina Turner Sings Covers

More Mix CD-Rs
Covered With Soul
1970s Soul

Categories: 70s Soul, Covers Mixes Tags:

Any Major Soul Women

March 15th, 2024 3 comments

Coincidence can be a strange thing. A while ago, as I was leaving my house to do some shopping, I had an Amy Winehouse track playing (Love Is A Losing Game). As I got into the car, I switched on the radio, and another Amy Winehouse song was playing (Rehab, predictably). And I was thinking of a mix of soul women which I had posted alongside my reflections on her death in 2011, with the idea that I should repost the collection.

A day later, I received a request from regular reader and coffee-buyer rat-ta-tat for a few re-ups. One of them was the Soul Women mix on the Winehouse post. I happily obliged.

But here is the repost of the mix, separated from the Winehouse article (which today I might frame a little differently), because it really is a fine set of music.

In the 1960s and ’70s, rock music was still holding on to its patriarchal ways, even as strong women emerged from the singer-songwriter scene. Soul didn’t have that members-only Men’s Club mindset of rock music. Of course, female artists in soul music often faced challenges and barriers in a male-dominated industry. They had to navigate issues such as unequal pay, limited creative control, and stereotypes about women’s roles in music.Still, there were many women in soul music. Leading them were the legends, like Aretha Franklin or Diana Ross, who were so big that they crossed over with great success. But by the 1970s especially, there were many other strong women in soul: Millie Jackson, Gladys Knight, Betty Wright, Marlena Shaw, Jean Knight, Lyn Collins and so on.

They were singing of love and sex, and of empowerment and social justice. They embodied the strength and resilience of women, and the aspiration and/or declaration of emancipation.

Women also brought a diversity of styles and voices to the soul, ranging from the gritty, blues-inflected vocals of Etta James to the polished, poppy sound of Diana Ross

This mix covers 11 years of soul women, from Mitty Collier’s Little Miss Loneliness in 1963 to Sandra Wright’s Wounded Woman, which was recorded in 1974 but not released until many years later. It features a few quite well-known singers — Candi Staton, Tammi Terrell, Fontella Bass, Betty Everett, the recently late Marlena Shaw — who tend to be known widely for only a few songs, and some whom time has forgotten such as Lorraine Ellison, Ila Vann, Marie ‘Queenie’ Lyons, or Linda Jones, who died of diabetes-related causes in 1972 at the age of 27.

Most have featured in the Any Major Soul series at some point, but the idea is to highlight singers who ought to be better known than they are.

As always, the mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-emancipated covers. PW in comments.

1. Anna King – Sittin’ In The Dark (1964)
2. Baby Washington – You Are What You Are (1966)
3. Betty Everett – Until You Were Gone (1964)
4. Rhetta Hughes – Cry Myself To Sleep (1969)
5. Irma Thomas – She’ll Never Be Your Wife (1973)
6. Laura Lee – Mama’s Got A Good Thing (1972)
7. Ila Vann – Got To Get To Jim Johnson (1967)
8. Erma Franklin – You’ve Been Cancelled (1969)
9. Fontella Bass – I Surrender (1966)
10. Marlena Shaw – Go Away, Little Boy (1969)
11. Mitty Collier – Little Miss Loneliness (1963)
12. Tami Lynn – I’m Gonna Run Away From You (1972)
13. Candi Staton – I’ll Drop Everything And Come Running (1972)
14. Jean Knight – Pick Up The Pieces (1970)
15. Sandra Wright – Wounded Woman (1974)
16. Esther Phillips – I Don’t Want To Do Wrong (1972)
17. Margie Joseph – Sweeter Tomorrow (1971)
18. Lyn Collins – Take Me Just As I Am (1973)
19. Marie ‘Queenie’ Lyons – Your Thing Ain’t No Good Without My Thing (1970)
20. Linda Jones – Don’t Go (I Can’t Bear To Be Alone) (1972)
21. Barbara Mason – I Miss You Gordon (1973)
22. Rosetta Hightower – I Don’t Blame You At All (1971)
23. Tammi Terrell – That’s What Boys Are Made For (1968)
24. Brenda Holloway – I’ll Always Love You (1964)
25. Dee Dee Warwick – We’re Doing Fine (1965)
26. Jean Wells – Have A Little Mercy (1968)
27. Lorraine Ellison – Try (1969)
28. Ruby Andrews – Overdose Of Love (1972)

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Categories: 60s soul, 70s Soul, Any Major Soul, Mix CD-Rs Tags:

In Memoriam – February 2024

March 4th, 2024 3 comments

Some deaths sort of intersect with my plans: In the coming weeks, I’ll be posting the first of the Hits from 1974 mixes. Among the tracks on that collection is Redbone’s Come And Get Your Love. This month we lost Butch Rillera, who played the drums on that song.

Carole King had cause for grieving in January, with two deaths which were not announced until early February. Her frequent songwriting partner, the lyricist Toni Stern passed away on January 17; then Hank Ciralo, sound engineer on almost all of her 1970s albums (including Tapestry), died on January 31.

One entry here might surprise. Carl Weathers was a famous actor, playing Apollo Creed in the Rocky series of films. Just recently I saw him on a repeated binge of the great TV series The Shield, on which Weathers had a couple of cameos as a disgraced ex-cop. Weathers tried his luck at being a soul singer, but released only one single, in 1981. It was a rather good soul number, which he had co-written. I’d like to have heard more from Weathers.

 

The Jam Kicker
In the late 1960s, there had never been a band quite like MC5 (which stood for Motor City Five). They had a raw, forceful high-energy sound, which made use of feedback and loud guitar solos, with lyrics that were militantly left-wing, and could include profanity (“Kick out the jams, motherfuckers!”). They performed as part of the anti- Vietnam War protests outside the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago that were met with rioting police.

MC5 foreshadowed, inspired and influenced the punk scene that would emerge a few years later. Playing that aggressive lead guitar was Wayne Kramer, who has died at 75. Now only drummer Dennis Thompson is still with us of the classic MC5 line-up.

MC5 didn’t last long. Subjected to government harassment, radio bans and some retailers refusing to stock their records, the band broke up in 1972, though several reunions followed. Kramer was part of those.

After MC5, Kramer was involved in a number of musical projects, including playing with Was (not Was), Bad Religion, Pere Ubu and Mudhoney. And he spent four years in jail in the 1970s for pushing drugs. This was referred to in The Clash’s song Jail Guitar Doors.

Later in life, Kramer composed music for TV and film, was still involved in social justice activism and advocacy for young musicians, and remained a frequent guest at other acts’ shows, such as Rage Against The Machine, the 1990s successors to MC5.

The Last Spinner
With the death at 85 of baritone singer Henry Fambrough, all members of the classic line-up of The Spinners are gone. Frambrough was a Spinner from the group’s founding in 1954, and apart from a military-forced gap of two years in the early 1960s, he remained with the band until April last year — a stretch of 69 years.

After he returned from the army, The Spinners were signed to Motown. It was a fallow period with no hits; Frambrough served much of it as a driver for Berry Gordy’s mother.

When success came, on Atlantic, in the 1970s, Frambrough was one of the group’s three leads.

The Can Singer
With the death of Damo Suzuki, only one member of the classic early 1970s line-up of Krautrock legends Can is still alive, keyboardist Irmin Schmidt. Japanese-born Suzuki was Can’s lead singer from 1970-73, arguably their most prolific and certainly commercially most successful period. Aside from providing lead vocals, Suzuku also co-wrote material, including the chart hit Spoon and the classic Vitamin-C.

Born in Kobe, Japan, Suzuki came to West Germany in the mid-1960s. He was spotted busking in Munich by Can bassist Holger Czukay and drummer Jaki Liebezeit, who invited him to first overdub the recorded vocals of departed singer Malcolm Mooney and then to join the band.

After leaving Can, Suzuki became a Jehovah’s Witness and retired from the music business. Having left the Witnesses, he returned to music in 1983, with German experimental rock band Dunkelziffer and The Damo Suzuki Band, and in the 1990s with Damo Suzuki’s Network.

The Flagwaver
The first time I ever heard a Toby Keith song, it was not a happy experience. His angry patriotic song Courtesy Of The Red, White, & Blue, written in reaction to 9/11, was a perfect articulation of The Ugly American as perceived by so much of the rest of the world. It soundtracked George W Bush’s illegitimate war on Iraq. Ironically, despite having supported Bush, Keith voiced his opposition to that invasion.

Keith’s politics were complicated. A long-time Democrat, he left the party only in 2008, though he still endorsed Obama. By 2016, he played for Trump.

Keith was a huge star in country music. Of the 69 singles he released after his 1993 debut, 42 made the Billboard Country Top 10, and 20 topped those charts. In the 2000s, he crossed over. Of 37 singles released between 1999 and 2012, only two failed to make it into the Billboard Top 100 charts, 15 reached the Top 40 (none made it into the Top 10, though). The subject matter of most of these records revolved around alcohol and women who were either easy (and fond of a drink) or too much work for a catch like Toby.

 

The Wailing Bassist
Without the bass, reggae is only half a thing. Playing the bass for The Wailers on those Bob Marley records from 1970 to his death in 1981 was Aston Barrett, who went by the nickname Family Man — thus dubbed before he even had the first of his 41 children.

Barrett, a multi-instrumentalist who mentored Robbie Shakespeare of Sly & Robbie, also played on records of other acts, such as Lee Perry, The Upsetters, Peter Tosh (including on Legalize It), Taj Mahal, Burning Spear, Jimmy Cliff, Horace Andy, Max Romeo, King Tubby, Bunny Wailer, Dillinger, Al Campbell, Bunny Lee, The Paragons, and many others. He also produced Benjamin Zephaniah’s Free South Afrika, which featured on In Memoriam – December 2023.

Barrett lost a lot of money in 2006 when he unsuccessfully sued Island Records and the (not always lovable) Marley family for unpaid royalties to the tune of £60 million. The court found that Barrett had signed away his rights to any further royalties in a 1994 settlement, for which he had received a few hundred thousand dollars.

The Wailing Guitarist
Three days after Barrett died, his some-time colleague Donald Kinsey left us at age 70. Born in Gary, Indiana, Kinsey was a guitarist in the touring line-up of Bob Marley and The Wailers. In 1976, Kinsey was standing near Marley when assassins tried (and failed) to take the singer’s life at his home. Kinsey avoided being hit by using his guitar case as a shield from the bullets.

Kinsey was on guitar duty, alongside Barrett’s bass, on Peter Tosh’s Legalize It, as well as on some Burning Spears records.

In 1984, Kinsey joined his father, Big Daddy Kinsey, and his brothers in The Kinsey Report, a blues-rock band.

The Tich
You’d think that in a group whose name consists of five names, the last-named guy is something of an afterthought. But that would do injustice to Ian “Tich” Amey of English 1960s popsters Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. It was in fact Tich who co-founded the future multi-moniker band with Dozy, known to his mom as Trevor Davies.

With Dave Dee on lead vocals and Tich on lead guitar, the band had a string of hits in the UK and Europe, including Bend It, Hold Tight, Save Me, Zabadak!, I’m Okay and the UK chart-topper The Legend of Xanadu. Tich left the band briefly a couple of times in the 1960s, but remained with it until 2014. There have been two more Tichs in the band since.

In 1974 Amey released an album with John “Beaky” Dymond and Peter Mason under the moniker Mason, and then was in a band called Tracker. After 1976 he rejoined Dozy, Beaky and Mick permanently.

Of the original line-up, only Beaky and Nick survive.

The Banjo Stoneman
To a generation of US television viewers, Roni Stoneman was best known as the gap-toothed character Ida Lee Nagger on the country music comedy show Hee Haw. But above that, she was an accomplished banjo player, performing mostly with her siblings and, in the early days, father as The Stoneman Family or Stonemans, which won the CMA award for best group in 1969. In the 1970s she released a handful solo singles, none of which were successful.

The Stoneman Fanily had a link to the pioneering days of country music, long before that term (or bluegrass) was even invented. Their father and initial frontman Ernest Stoneman was among the first musicians of the genre to have a hit, in 1924 with The Sinking Of The Titanic. Alas, Stoneman lost all the wealth he had built up in a lucrative career during the Great Depression, at the far end of which Roni was born in 1938. She was one of 13 siblings who lived into adulthood (ten others died in infancy or childhood). All but one are now gone; mandolin player Donna is the last survivor.

 

The Viral Fighter
In January, Cat Janice knew that the cancer, which she had beaten once before, would soon take her, at the horribly young age of 31. So she speed-released her new song, Dance You Outta My Head, on January 19 and wrote the rights to it over to her seven-year-old son, so that he would benefit from the revenue it will create. The video went viral. Four days after releasing the song on Tik Tok, she went into hospice. Just over a month later, on February 28, she passed away.

The career of the woman born in 1993 as Catherine Janice Ipsan was brief. A classically-trained musician, she released two albums, the first in 2014, and had two of her songs featured on TV shows, Selling Sunset and Redneck Island. Her family says there are more songs waiting to be released.

Cat, who worked as a geospatial information scientist and studied towards a master’s degree in coastal geology, had first been diagnosed with cancer in early 2022. After chemo treatment, she was declared free of cancer. A few months later, it returned — alas, fatally.

The Sun Drummer
Having toured with rock & roll pioneers Billy Lee Riley and Conway Twitty, drummer Jimmy Van Eaton became a session musician on Sun Records. There he drummed for acts like Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Warren Smith, Charlie Rich, Dickey Lee, Charlie Feathers and others — and especially Jerry Lee Lewis. Among the latter’s tracks on which Van Eaton swung the sticks was Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On. Lewis called him “The creative rock ‘n’ roll drummer”.

After a brief attempt at a solo career, Van Eaton got married, packed in the rock & roll business, and joined the workforce, eventually becoming an investment banker.

On the side he played with a gospel outfit called The Seekers, with whom he released an album. In 1980 he joined Jerry Lee Lewis in a rockabilly revival project, and in 1998 he released a solo album.

The Quarryman
A friend of Paul McCartney’s since they were 11-year-olds in 1953, pianist John ‘Duff’ Lowe was asked to join The Quarrymen, the proto-Beatles, in 1958. During his two years with the band, Lowe was part of the line-up that recorded a vanity single comprising two songs, Buddy Holly’s That’ll Be The Day and In Spite Of All the Danger, a McCartney & Harrison composition. Lowe held on to that single until 1981, when he sold it to Paul McCartney.

Lowe left The Quarrymen to join another Liverpool group, which was led by future TV actor Ricky Tomlinson (the dad in the great The Royle Family). He’d periodically join later iterations of The Quarrymen.

The Non-hanging DJ
When I lived in London in the 1980s, a radio DJ to whom I took a visceral dislike was the hugely popular Steve Wright, who has died at the age of 69. The obituaries reveal the man to be of good heart and less reactionary ways than many of his BBC colleagues. Wright had a line in comedy which in our age won’t wash — witness his 1984 “comedy” single The Gay Cavalieros. I won’t inflict that on you (what I do inflict on you is bad enough).

The story goes that Morrissey of The Smiths wrote the song 1986 Panic, with its chorus of “Hang the DJ”, in righteous outrage after hearing Wright following news on the nuclear disaster by playing Wham!’s I’m Your Man. The first reports of Chernobyl were on April 28; Panic was recorded in May, so that’s a very quick turnaround. I suspect that the story might be less than iron-clad accurate: The Wham! Song had been a hit five months earlier, so no longer on BBC1’s playlist in later April 1986. Johnny Marr has said the story is largely true but exaggerated. So did Wright inspire a Smiths hit? I guess Wright was pleased at the idea of having needled Morrissey, and enjoyed the ensuing feud.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.

 

Toni Stern, 79, songwriter, on Jan. 17
Carole King – Where You Lead (1971, as co-writer)
Denise LaSalle – It’s Too Late (1972, as co-writer)

Hank Cicalo, 91, recording engineer, on Jan. 31
Carole King – Where You Lead (1971, as chief engineer; see above)
Meat Loaf – Whatever Happened To Saturday Night (1975, as chief engineer)

Carl Weathers, 76, actor and occasional soul singers, on Feb. 1
Carl Weathers – You Ought To Be With Me (1981, also as co-writer)

Wayne Kramer, 75, guitarist, singer and songwriter with rock band MC5, on Feb. 2
MC5 – Kick Out The Jams (1969, also as co-writer)
MC5 – Miss X (1971, also as writer)
Was (Not Was) – Wheel Me Out (1980, on guitar)
Wayne Kramer – Poison (1995, also as writer)

Robert ‘Corky’ Stasiak, recording engineer, on Feb. 2
Kiss – Love Gun (1977, as engineer)

Steve Brown, 66, British musician, songwriter and producer, on Feb. 2
Rumer – Am I Forgiven (2010, as producer, co-writer and on bass and keyboards)

Marcelo Yzurieta, 49, Argentine singer, guitarist and composer, on Feb. 2

Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett, 77, Jamaican reggae bassist (The Wailers), on Feb. 3
Family Man Barrett – Soul Constitution (1971, also as writer)
Burning Spear – Marcus Garvey (1975, on bass)
Bob Marley & The Wailers – Waiting In Vain (1977, on bass, and as co-engineer)

Virginia López, 95, Puerto Rican singer, on Feb. 3
Virginia López – Tu Me Perteneces (1960)

René Toledo, 66, Cuban jazz fusion guitarist, on Feb. 5
René Toledo – Bahia (1995)

Harold Jefta, 90, South African jazz saxophonist, announced Feb. 5
Abdullah Ibrahim – Township One More Time (1998, on alto sax)

Butch Rillera, drummer (Redbone, The Trademarks), announced Feb. 5
Redbone – Suzi Girl (1973, as member on drums)

Toby Keith, 62, country singer and songwriter, on Feb. 5
Toby Keith – How Do You Like Me Now (1999)
Toby Keith & Willie Nelson – Beer For My Horses (2003)

John Quara, 99, jazz guitarist, on Feb. 6

Donald Kinsey, 70, blues and reggae guitarist and singer, on Feb. 6
Bob Marley & The Wailers – No Woman No Cry (Live At The Roxy, 1976) (on guitar)
Peter Tosh – Apartheid (1977, on guitar)
The Kinsey Report – Full Moon On Main Street (1987, also as co-producer)

Pablo ‘Dead Dawg’ Grant, 26, German rapper with BHZ and TV actor, on Feb. 6

Henry Fambrough, 85, baritone singer with The Spinners, on Feb. 7
The Spinners – That’s What Girls Are Made For (1961)
The Spinners – Ghetto Child (1973, on co-lead)
The Spinners – If You Can’t Be In Love (1976, on lead)

Tony Middleton, 89, doo wop, soul and jazz singer, on Feb. 7
The Willows – Church Bells Are Ringing (1956, as lead singer)
Tony Middleton – Keep On Dancing (1969)

Mojo Nixon, 66, musician, radio DJ and actor, on Feb. 7
Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper – Debbie Gibson Is Pregnant With My Two Headed Love Child (1989)

Bill Allred, 87, jazz trombonist, announced on Feb. 8

Damo Suzuki, 74, Japanese-born singer of Krautrock band Can, songwriter, on Feb. 9
Can – Vitamin C (1972, also as co-writer)
Dunkelziffer – I See Your Smile (1984)
Damo Suzuki’s Network – Terry White Meets J.B. (2001)

Jimmy Van Eaton, 86, rock & roll drummer, singer and producer, on Feb. 9
Jerry Lee Lewis – Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On (1957, on drums)
Jimmy Van Eaton – Beat-Nik (1960, also as co-writer)
Jerry Lee Lewis – Hillbilly Fever (J.M. Van Eaton Speaks) (1961, on drums)

Renata Flores, 74, Mexican pop singer and telenovela actress, on Feb. 9
Renata – Mi Novio Juan (1966)

Frank Howson, 71, Australian singer and theatre/film director, on Feb. 9
Frankie Howson – Seventeen Ain’t Young (1969)

Fritz Puppl, 79, guitarist of East German rock band City, on Feb. 10
City – Am Fenster (1977)

Randy Sparks, 90, founder of The New Christy Minstrels and songwriter, on Feb. 11
The New Christy Minstrels – Green, Green (1963, also as co-writer)
The Back Porch Majority – Southtown U.S.A. (1966, as leader and producer)

Juris Kulakovs, 65, member of Latvian rick group Pērkons, on Feb. 12

Steve Wright, 69, English radio DJ, comedy singer, on Feb. 12
Steve Wright & The Sisters Of Soul – Get Some Therapy (1983)

Eddie Cheeba, 67, hip hop DJ, on Feb. 13
Eddie Cheba – Lookin’ Good (Shake Your Body) (1979)

Kerry ‘Fatman’ Hunter, 53, jazz drummer, on Feb. 13
New Birth Brass Band – I Ate Up The Apple Tree (1997, on snare drum)

Alan Tomlinson, 74, British free jazz trombonist, on Feb. 13

Jussi Raittinen, 80, Finnish rock musician, on Feb. 13
Eero ja Jussi & The Boys – Balladi kanuunasta (1966)

Johanna von Koczian, 90, German actress and schlager singer, on Feb. 13

Ian ‘Tich’ Amey, 79, lead guitarist in Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, on Feb. 15
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich – Zabadak! (1968)
Mason – When Freedom Comes (1973)
Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich – She’s My Lady (1974)

Paul Schmeling, 85, jazz pianist, on Feb. 15

Fritz Hinz, 68, drummer of Canadian metal band Helix, on Feb. 16
Helix – Rock You (1984)

Dex Romweber, 57, half of roots rock band Flat Duo Jets, on Feb. 16
Flat Duo Jets – My Life, My Love (1980)
The Dex Romweber Duo – Nowhere (2011)

Cynthia Strother, 88, half of vocal duo The Bell Sisters, on Feb. 16
The Bell Sisters – Bermuda (1951, also as writer)

Etterlene DeBarge, 88, gospel singer, songwriter and matriarch, on Feb. 16
Reverend William Abney – Walk Around Heaven All Day (1975, on lead vocals)

Bhen Lanzarone, 85, pop and TV soundtrack composer, arranger, on Feb. 16
The Brothers – Are You Ready For This (1975, as co-writer and arranger)

Bobby Tench, 79, British guitarist, singer, songwriter, arranger, announced Feb. 19
Jeff Beck Group – Short Business (1971, as member on lead vocals)
Linda Lewis – On The Stage (1973, on guitar)

Larry Ballard, 77, country singer and songwriter, on Feb. 19
Larry Ballard – Silver Eagle (1976, also as writer)

Judi Pulver, 77, pop singer, songwriter and keyboardist, on Feb. 20

David Libert, 81, member of pop group The Happenings, music exec, on Feb. 20
The Happenings – I Got Rhythm (1967)

Roberto Darvin, 82, Uruguayan singer-songwriter and guitarist, on Feb. 20
Roberto Darvin – Jacinto Vera (1976)

Getachew Kassa, 79, Ethiopian singer and percussionist, on Feb. 21

Kiev Stingl, 80, German rock musician and author, on Feb. 22
Kiev Stingl – Der Sommer ist längst vorbei (1975)

Vitalij Kuprij, 49, Ukrainian-born keyboardist (Trans-Siberian Orchestra), on Feb. 21
Ring Of Fire – Shadow In The Dark (2001, as member)

John Lowe, 81, English pianist with The Quarrymen, on Feb. 22
The Quarrymen – That’ll Be The Day (1958)
The Quarrymen – In Spite Of All The Danger (1958)

Roni Stoneman, 85, bluegrass banjo player and singer, cast member of Hee Haw, on Feb. 22
The Stoneman Family – Dark As A Dungeon (1968)
The Stonemans – According To The Plan (1970, as member on lead vocals and as co-writer)

Tina Rainford, 77, German pop singer, announced Feb. 23
Tina Rainford – Silver Bird (1976)

Shinsadong Tiger, 40, South Korean K-Pop producer and songwriter, on Feb. 23
Apink – No No No (2013, as producer and co-writer)

Laurence Canty, 74, British jazz bassist and author, announced Feb. 23

Juana Bacallao, 98, Cuban singer and dancer, on Feb. 24
Juana Bacallao & Combo Pepé Delgado – La Chismosa (Rumba)

Georg Riedel, 90, Czechoslovak-born Swedish jazz bassist and composer, on Feb. 25

Bigidagoe, 26, Dutch rapper, shot dead on Feb. 25

Peter ‘Peetah’ Morgan, 46, singer with Jamaican reggae band Morgan Heritage, on Feb. 25
Morgan Heritage – Unjust World (1994)

Martin Weiss, 62, German gypsy-jazz violinist and guitarist, on Feb. 25

Jaakko Teppo, 71, Finnish singer-songwriter, on Feb. 26

Cat Janice, 31, American singer-songwriter, on Feb. 28
Cat Janice – Pricey (2018)

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