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2012
MEMORIALS
" Let us remember the great talent each possessed "


Fontella Bass
July 3rd 1940 ~ December 26th 2012

Soul singer Fontella Bass, famous for her hit 1965 “Rescue Me” has sadly died at the age of 72, following complications from a recent heart attack. She is survived by her children, Neuka, Ju'Lene, Larry and Bahnamous, and 10 grandchildren. Her husband, trumpeter Lester Bowie, sadly died in 1999.
Fontella Bass
American singer Fontella Bass was born in St. Louis, Missouri; she was the older sister of the R&B singer David Peaston and the daughter of gospel singer Martha Bass. At 5, she was providing the piano accompaniment for her grandmother's singing at funeral services, at 6 years old she was singing in her church's choir and by the time she was 9 she was accompanying her mother on tours throughout the American South and Southwest. She continued touring with her mother until she was 16. At seventeen, she started her professional career working at the Showboat Club near Chain of Rocks, Missouri. In 1961, she auditioned on a dare for the Leon Claxton carnival show and was hired to play piano and sing in the chorus for two weeks, making $175 per week for the two weeks it was in town. After 2 years working with Little Milton and his bandleader Oliver Sainshe she quit and moved to Chicago where she auditioned for Chess Records, who immediately signed her as a recording artist. Her first works with the label were several duets with Bobby McClure, in 1965, their recording "Don't Mess Up a Good Thing" reached the top five at R&B radio. They followed their early success with "You'll Miss Me (When I'm Gone)". After a brief tour she recorded her solo "Rescue Me" which shot up the charts reaching No.4 on the US pop charts and No.11 in the UK, and gave Chess its first million-selling single since Chuck Berry a decade earlier. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. Tiring of the mainstream music scene, Fontella and husband Lester Bowie left America and moved to Paris in 1969, where she recorded two albums with the Art Ensemble of Chicago – Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fontella Bass and Les Stances a Sophie. The latter was the soundtrack from the French movie of the same title. Bass's vocals, backed by the powerful, pulsating push of the band has allowed the "Theme De YoYo" to remain an underground cult classic ever since. She also appeared on Bowie's The Great Pretender-81 and All the Magic-1982. Like many artists of her time, she experienced a revival of interest. She was featured on the PBS Special and accompanying DVD, Soul Celebration. Soul Spectacular recorded live at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh, PA, November 2001. Her voice can be heard on two tracks on The Cinematic Orchestra's 2002 album Every Day, and another two tracks on their 2007 album Ma Fleur. Fontella received a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame in the Loop in May 2000.


Ed Cassidy
May 4th 1923 ~ December 6th 2012

Veteran jazz and rock drummer, co-founder of the rock band Spirit, Ed Cassidy, has sadly died in his home town of San Jose, California at the age of 89.
Ed Cassidy
American jazz and influential rock drummer,
Ed Cassidy renown for using a single large parade bass drum turned sideways, with pedals on each side instead of a double-bass drum kit. Born in the rural outskirts of Chicago, Ed began his career as a professional musician in 1937. He served in the US Navy during WWII, after which he worked in show bands, country and western bands, Dixieland combos, at one time in the late 1940s he played 282 consecutive one-nighters in 17 states. In the 50s and early 60s he performed with many leading jazz musicians including Art Pepper, Julian Cannonball Adderley, Roland Kirk, Lee Konitz and Gerry Mulligan. In 1964, along with Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder, he formed the Rising Sons. At the time they released a single, "Candy Man" / "The Devil's Got My Woman", but the group disbanded in 1966. Other material they recorded was eventually released in 1992 under the title Rising Sons Featuring Taj Mahal and Ry Cooder. In 1965, Ed formed the Red Roosters, with his young stepson Randy California, Jay Ferguson and Mark Andes. Adding John Locke in 1967, they became the legendary psychedelic rock band Spirit, maybe best known to many for there hit "I Got A Line On You". In 1969 they toured successfully with the then-little-known band Led Zeppelin as their opening act, and their impact on the new group was substantial; Ed often performed his live drum solo with his bare hands, which influenced John Bonham’s performance on ‘Moby Dick’. Ed played with Spirit on around 20 albums over the next forty years, and when Spirit finally disbanded after Randy California's untimely drowning death in Hawaii in 1997, he performed with surf musician Merrell Fankhauser. From the mid 1970s, along side his musical career, Ed also worked as an actor in films and TV, including appearances on the TV series "General Hospital".


Dave Brubeck
December 6th 1920 ~ December 5th 2012

American jazz legend, pianist and composer, Dave Brubeck has died from heart failure at the age of 91. He was taken ill while on his way to a cardiology appointment at Norwalk Hospital, Connecticut where tragically he died just one day before his 92nd birthday. Sadly he leaves behind his wife, Iola; his four sons, Darius, Dan, Chris, and Matthew; his daughter, Catherine; and grandchildren. His son, Michael, died a few years ago.
Dave Brubeck
Born David Warren Brubeck in Concord, California, he is regarded as one of the greatest of American jazz musicians, reaching pop star status with recordings such as "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo a la Turk", both of which appeared on his acclaimed 1959 album, Time Out. Both also showcased his fondness for unusual time signatures... Take Five in 5/4 time and Blue Rondo in 9/8 time. He enjoyed phenomenal success with The Dave Brubeck Quartet in the 1950s and '60s, selling millions of albums. "Take Five", the biggest-selling jazz single of all time, was used as the theme tune to several TV programmes throughout the years, including Channel 4's Secret Life of Machines, and NBC's Today programme.
It was, however, the one track on the album not written by himself, but composed by his long-time saxophonist and friend Paul Desmond. Dave disbanded the quartet in 1967 to enable him to concentrate more on composing and his family, but they reconvened regularly until Paul Desmond's sad death in 1977. Since the 1960s, Dave wrote and recorded several large-scale compositions including two ballets, a musical, an oratorio, four cantatas, a mass, works for jazz group and orchestra, and many pieces for solo piano. Over his long career he appeared at the Newport Festival in 1958, 1972, 1981; Monterey in 1962, 1980; Concord in 1982; he wrote more than 250 pieces of music, toured concert halls from California to Europe to the Far East and performed in front of 4 US Presidents. In France, in 1990 Dave was made an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters. His home country gave him many honours including the National Medal of Arts in 1994, and two years later he was awarded a Grammy for lifetime achievement. In 2007 he was also honored with the BBC Jazz Lifetime Achievement Award. He continued to compose, play and record in his later years; his final release was his 2007 solo piano album Indian Summer.

Mickey "Guitar" Baker
October 15th 1925 ~ November 27th 2012
One half of Mickey & Sylvia, guitar virtuoso Mickey Baker, has died at his home in Montastruc-la-Conseillère, France, of heart and kidney failure at the age of 87. He is survived by his son McHouston Jr., his daughter Bonita Lee and his sixth wife, singer Marie France-Drai.
Mickey "Guitar" Baker
American guitarist and songwriter, born MacHouston Baker, in Louisville, Kentucky where he spent much of his childhood in an orphanage, which he kept running away from. At the age of 15 he ran away for the last time and stayed in New York City, where he found work as a laborer and then a dishwasher, but he gave up work to become a full-time pool shark. At 19, he wanted to become a jazz musician, so taught himself guitar. By 1949, he had his own combo, and he went west where he was introduced to the blues. He returned east and went on to become a renowned sessionist, playing on hundreds of sessions, including Little Willie John- "Need Your Love So Bad", Big Maybelle- "Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin On", The Drifters- "Money Honey" & “Such a Night”, Ruth Brown- "(Mama) He Treats Your Daughter Mean", Big Joe Turner- "Shake, Rattle and Roll", Ike & Tina Turner- "It's Gonna Work Out Fine", as well as Coleman Hawkins, Ivory Joe Hunter, Ray Charles, Louis Jordan and many others. Inspired by the success of Les Paul & Mary Ford, he formed the pop duo Mickey & Sylvia with Sylvia Robinson, one of his guitar students in the mid 1950s. They had a hit single with "Love Is Strange" in 1956. The duo split up in the late 1950s, but continued to record off and on until the middle of the 60s. It was around this time that he moved to and remained in France, making a solo records and working with French pop and rock performers, including Ronnie Bird and Chantal Goya. He was known for his aggressively bluesy chords and powerful soaring solos; he is cited by the likes of Bo Diddley, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Pete Townshend and many others as a major influence. Mickey appeared at the 1975 version of the Roskilde Festival. In 1999, he received a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and in 2003, he was listed at No.53 on Rolling Stone's "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time"

Martin Fay
1938 ~ November 14th 2012

Martin Fay, founding member and fiddle player with The Chieftains, has sadly passed away aged 76, after being ill for quite some time. He leaves behind a loving family including his wife, Gráinne.
Martin Fay
Irish fiddler and bones player, born in Cabra, Dublin, Martin Fay was inspired to learn to play violin after seeing a film about the great violinist-composer, Paganini and went on to win a scolarship to the Dublin Municipal School of Music. He got his first job with a six-piece orchestra that played music at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, before joining the traditional Irish band Ceoltóirí Cualann. Then in the November of 1962, Martin, along with Paddy Moloney, Sean Potts, Michael Tubridy and David Fallon founded the group, The Chieftains. They remained semi-professional up until the very early 70s, by then they had achieved great success in Ireland and the UK. In 1973, their popularity began to spread to the United States when their previous albums were released there. Over the years they have performed with the likes of Luciano Pavarotti, the Rolling Stones, Ultravox, Carlos Núñez, Van Morrison, Ashley MacIsaac, Glass Tiger, Bela Fleck, Siobhán O'Brien, Moya Brennan, Mark Knopfler, Loreena McKennitt, Ry Cooder, Los Cenzontles, Mick Jagger, Elvis Costello, Roger Daltrey, Nanci Griffith, Tom Jones, Sinéad O'Connor, Natalie Merchant, James Galway, The Corrs, Art Garfunkel, Sting, Rosanne Cash, Jim White, Ziggy Marley, Lyle Lovett, Jackson Browne, Eros Ramazzotti, Kepa Junkera, Mike Gordon, Madonna, Paolo Nutini, The Low Anthem, The Civil Wars, and numerous Country-western artists, including Earl Scruggs, Ricky Skaggs, Willie Nelson, Nickel Creek and others. The band have won six Grammy Awards and been nominated eighteen times. They played in a concert for Pope John Paul II, and an audience of more than one million people in 1979 in Phoenix Park in Dublin, to mark the Papal visit to Ireland. In 1983, they were invited by the Chinese Government to perform with the Chinese Broadcasting Art Group in a concert on the Great Wall of China, becoming the first western musical group to do so. They were also the first group to perform in the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C., invited by Senator Edward Kennedy and the former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill. They have won an Emmy and a Genie and contributed tracks, including their highly-praised version of the song Women of Ireland, to Leonard Rosenman's Oscar-winning score for Stanley Kubrick's 1975 film Barry Lyndon. Martin recorded 37 albums with The Cheiftains, then in 2001, he decided to stop touring, limiting his appearances with the band to events in Ireland, and subsequently retired in 2002.

Clive Dunn, OBE
January 9th 1920 ~ November 6th 2012

Clive Dunn, best known for his role as Lance Corporal "Jonesy" Jones,
in Dad's Army and his No.1 hit "Grandad", has died in Portugal aged 92; s
adly he died from complications after an operation. Clive leaves behind his wife Priscilla Morgan and their two daughters, Jessica and Polly.
Clive Dunn
English actor, comedian and singer, Clive Robert Benjamin Dunn was born in Covent Garden, Westminster, London and studied at the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. He played in many film roles from the 1930s onwards, appearing alongside Will Hay in the films Boys Will Be Boys in 1935 and Good Morning, Boys in 1937. His last film role was along side Peter Sellers, in The Fiendish Plot of Dr. Fu Manchu in 1980. Clive served in the army with the 4th Queen's Own Hussars, in WW2, during which he spent 4 years in prisoner-of-war and labour camps in Austria, after which he worked for many years in music halls and theatres. In 1956 and 1957, he appeared in both series of The Tony Hancock Show and the army reunion party episode of Hancock's Half Hour in 1960. In the 1960s he made many appearances with Tony Hancock, Michael Bentine, Dora Bryan and Dick Emery, among others, before winning the role of Lance-Corporal Jack Jones in the much loved BBC sitcom Dad's Army in 1968, when he himself was only 48. After which he performed in the TV series Bootsie and Snudge and played the lead character Charlie Quick in the TV series Grandad. He spent much of his acting life playing characters older than himself, at 19 he played a doddery old man in a production of JM Barrie's play Mary Rose. His last screen credit was playing the Shakespearean clown Verges in a 1984 TV version of Much Ado About Nothing. Clive, accompanied by a children's choir, had a No.1 hit single with the song "Grandad" on his 51st birthday in 1971. This was followed by a string of recordings, including "My Lady (Nana)", "My Old Man", and "There Ain't Much Change From A Pound These Days". Clive was awarded an OBE in 1975, and he spent his last 3 decades in Portugal, where, in his spare time he painted portraits, landscapes and seascapes.

Andy Williams
December 3rd 1927 ~ September 25th 2012
Legendary American crooner, Andy Williams, has died at his home in Branson, Missouri, after a year long battle with bladder cancer. He sadly leaves behind a loving family including his second wife, Debbie Haas and his three grown children by his first wife, French dancer Claudine Longet; his two daughters, Noelle and Christian, and his son Robert.
Andy Williams
American singer Howard Andrew Williams was born in Wall Lake, Iowa and made his first performance in a children's choir at the local Presbyterian church. He and his brothers Bob, Don and Dick,
formed the Williams Brothers quartet in late 1938, and they performed on radio in the Midwest, first at WHO in Des Moines, Iowa, and later at WLS in Chicago and WLW in Cincinnati. The Williams Brothers appeared with Bing Crosby on the hit record "Swinging on a Star" in 1944. They appeared in four musical films: Janie in 1944, Kansas City Kitty, in 1944, Something in the Wind in 1947 and Ladies' Man in 1947. This led to a nightclub act with entertainer Kay Thompson from 1947 to 1951. The quartet stayed together until 1954, after which Andy launched his solo career. In 1956 he signed a recording contract with Cadence, and the following year had a No 1 hit in both the US and Britain with Butterfly. Andy was asked to sing Mancini and Johnny Mercer's song "Moon River" from the movie Breakfast at Tiffany's at the 1962 Oscar Awards. The song won the Oscar and quickly became his theme song, although he never released it as a single, "Moon River" was never actually a chart hit for Andy. He became one of the most popular vocalists in America and was signed to what was at that time the biggest recording contract in history. The 1960s were his hay-day years, when The Andy Williams Show ran from 1962-71, with constant high ratings, and won three Emmy Awards for outstanding variety program. He also at this time he had at least one album in the US top 10 in every year, aided by his musical director, the acclaimed jazz pianist Dave Grusin. In a career that spanned eight decades, he sold more than 100 million albums. He recorded eighteen Gold and three Platinum-certified albums. The Andy Williams Show was also a favourite on British television and he had numerous UK hits in the 1960s and 70s. Among the biggest were Can't Get Used to Losing You in 1963, Can't Help Falling in Love in 1970 and in 1971 Where Do I Begin, the theme from the 1970 film Love Story. Andy hosted the most Grammy telecasts, from the 13th Annual Grammy Awards in 1971 through to the 19th awards in 1977, seven consecutive shows. He returned to television to do a syndicated half-hour series in 1976–1977. Later in his career, after a visit to his brother Don's home in Branson, Missouri, Andy built a theatre there which opened on May 1st 1992 as the Moon River Theatre. It went on to become the first theatre ever to be featured in Architectural Digest, and also won the 1992 Conservation Award from the State of Missouri. In the spring of 2007 Andy also opened the Moon River Grill adjacent to his theatre. The restaurant is decorated in photos from the Andy Williams Television Show with stars including Diana Ross, Elton John and Sammy Davis, Jr. Art is centre stage in the restaurant, with works by several artists including Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana. Andy continued to perform live and tour into his 80s. On October 3rd 2009, he appeared live on the BBC's Strictly Come Dancing in London, singing "Moon River" to promote the UK edition of The Very Best of Andy Williams LP, which peaked at No. 10 in the main pop chart.

Homer Joy
April 12th 1945 ~ September 11th 2012

Sadly Homer Joy, the man who gave Bakersfield it's anthem, has died at the age of 67 of complications from a heart transplant he had six years ago. He leaves behind a large loving family including his second wife, Suzan, their 13 grown children, 33 grandchildren, 3 pre-teen adopted grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Homer Joy
American country singer, songwriter and musician, Homer Joy, was originally signed with Buck Owens Enterprises and Blue Book Music in 1970 as a singer, and a songwriter. During his first 2 years with Blue Book Music, his songs were recorded by major artists such as Suzan Raye, Buck Owens, Tony Booth and Freddie Hart and sold over 3 million records, as a result Blue Book Music won the CMA "Publisher of the Year" Award in 1973. Homer wrote what has become one of the longest running hit songs in Country Music history, "Streets of Bakersfield", originally recorded by Homer himself in 1972, on Capitol Records. Buck Owens followed by including "Streets of Bakersfield" on two of his own albums. It became a No.1 Billboard hit for Buck Owens and Dwight Yoakam in 1988. The song is listed as one of top 100 Country songs of the century. In 1974 Homer recorded the No.1 record, "John Law" on Capitol Records, which launched a string of successful tours for Homer and his band Okie Road, including the largest Country Music Festival ever held up to then, at Noble's Farm in Magnolia, Mississippi, for 140,000 people. His band was a top draw for rodeo's, fairs and clubs. Homer also recorded "John Law" as a duet with Buck Owens in the 90's. While on the road in Canada, Homer had a heart attack and underwent open heart surgery. Further surgeries, stints and angio-procedures and implanted Pacesetter/ Defibrillator devices, became a life long battle. Homer left the road to produce and promote other artists and in 1988, with the success of his song "Streets of Bakersfield", he built his own recording studio. Homer's songs have sold well over 20 million copies world wide, including 2½ million copies of "Streets of Bakersfield, in 2008 alone.

Scott McKenzie
January 10th 1939 ~ August 18th 2012

Folk singer Scott McKenzie, who gave the 60s “flower power” movement around the world their anthem, San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair) has sadly died at the age of 73. Scott had been
suffering from Guillain–Barré syndrome since 2010
Scott McKenzie
Born Philip Wallach Blondheim in Jacksonville, Florida, his family moved to Asheville, North Carolina when he was six months old. It was here where in 1953 he became friends John Phillips, a friendship that lasted throughout their lives. In the mid 1950s, Scott did a brief stint with Tim Rose in a high school group called The Singing Strings, and later with John Phillips, Mike Boran and Bill Cleary, he formed a doo wop band, The Abstracts. In New York, The Abstracts became The Smoothies and recorded two singles with Decca Records. During his time with The Smoothies, Blondheim decided to change his name, and it was comedian Jackie Curtis who said he thought he looked like a Scottie dog. Phillips came up with his daughter's Laura's middle name, and so Scott McKenzie was born. In 1961 Scott, Phillips, and Dick Weissman formed The Journeymen, which recorded three albums and seven singles for Capitol Records; The Journeymen disbanded in 1964. Scott then began his solo career, while Phillips formed the group The Mamas & the Papas and moved to California. Scott declined an opportunity to join the group, but two years later, he left New York and moved to California and he did play 12-string guitar on “Creeque Alley”. Phillips wrote and co-produced "San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)" for Scott. It was released on May 13th 1967 in the United States and became the national anthem of the Summer of Love. It was an instant hit, reaching number four on the Billboard Hot 100. It was also a No.1 hit in the UK and several other countries, selling over seven million copies globally. Although the song was a hit at the peak of the anti-Vietnam protests, Scott dedicated every US performance of the track to Vietnam veterans, and in 2002 he sang the anthem at the 20th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Memorial Wall. The song was also adopted by protestors against strict regimes in Eastern Europe and was widely played during the '68 Prague Spring uprising in Czechoslovakia. When Scott was invited to perform his song in East Germany after the fall of Communism in 1991, he was shocked to learn that citizens were once imprisoned by the Stasi for listening to the song. Many of these people had adopted San Francisco as their personal anthem of hope and freedom. Scott followed the song with "Like An Old Time Movie", also written and produced by Phillips. His first album, The Voice of Scott McKenzie, was followed with an album called Stained Glass Morning. In 1970 he dropped out and moved to Joshua Tree, a California desert town near Palm Springs. In 1986, he started singing with a new version of The Mamas and the Papas. In 1988 along with Terry Melcher, Mike Love and John Phillips, he co-wrote "Kokomo" (1988), a No. 1 single for the Beach Boys. By 1998, he had retired from the road version of The Mamas and Papas, and resided in Los Angeles, California, until his death. Scott made an appearance at the Los Angeles tribute concert for John Phillips in 2001, along with other 1960s contemporary acts.


Jon Lord
June 9th 1941~ July 16th 2012

Jon Lord, founder and the innovative keyboard player for Deep Purple, widely regarded one of the world’s most influential rock bands has sadly died at the age of 71. In 2011, Jon was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he died at a London Clinic after suffering a pulmonary embolism. He leaves behind his daughter Sara, from his first marriage to Judith Feldman; his second wife Jackie Lord and their daughter Amy.
Jon Lord
English composer, pianist and Hammond organ player, Jon Lord, born in Leicester, was known for his pioneering work in fusing rock and classical or baroque forms, especially with Deep Purple, as well as Whitesnake, Paice, Ashton & Lord, The Artwoods and Flower Pot Men. He studied classical piano from the age of five, and those influences were a recurring trademark in his work. The raw sounds of the great American blues organists Jimmy Smith, Jimmy McGriff and "Brother" Jack McDuff, as well as the stage showmanship of Jerry Lee Lewis and the organ-based progressive rock played by Vanilla Fudge were also early influences. He started his London band career in 1960 with jazz ensemble the Bill Ashton Combo, followed by Red Bludd's Bluesicians, The Art Wood Combo, Santa Barbara Machine Head and The Flower Pot Men, before he founded Deep Purple in 1968. Deep Purple started out very much an organ driven band, and although their music cannot be categorised as belonging to any one genre, they are definately among the main pioneers of heavy metal and modern hard rock and were once listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as "the globe's loudest band". The group, considered to be one of the hardest touring bands in the world, have influenced many rock bands, including Pantera, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Queen, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Alice in Chains, Rush, Motörhead, as well as many New Wave of British Heavy Metal bands such as Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, and Def Leppard. They have sold over 100 million albums worldwide, and have released eighteen studio albums, at least thirty-four live albums, twenty-seven compilation albums. Their hit singles include "Black Night", "Smoke on the Water", "Hush", "Strange Kind of Woman", and an epic ten minute rendition of "River Deep - Mountain High" . Jon and drummer Ian Paice were the only constant band members during the band's existence from 1968 to 1976 and from when they reformed in 1984 until Jon's retirement from the band in 2002. On Deep Purple's second and third albums, Jon began indulging his ambition to fuse rock with classical music. An early example of this is the song "Anthem" from the album The Book of Taliesyn in 1968, but a more prominent example is the song "April" from the band's self-titled third album in 1969. Concerto For Group and Orchestra was one of rock's earliest attempts to fuse two distinct musical idioms. Performed live at the Royal Albert Hall on 24 September 1969, recorded by the BBC and later released as an album, the Concerto gave Deep Purple their first highly-publicised taste of mainstream fame and gave Jon the confidence to believe that his experiment and his compositional skill had a future. The Concerto also gave him the chance to work with established classical figures, like conductor Malcolm Arnold. The BBC commissioned him to do another work, which resulted in Gemini Suite performed by Deep Purple and the Light Music Society under Malcolm Arnold at the Royal Festival Hall in September 1970 and in Munich with the Kammerorchester conducted by Eberhard Schoener in January 1972. It then became the basis for Lord's first solo album, Gemini Suite. Jon continued to focus on his classical aspirations alongside his Deep Purple career and finally retired from Deep Purple amicably in 2002. After Purple, Jon continued to tour Europe and record solo and worked with the likes of former Abba superstar, Frida, Jimmy Barnes, Paul Weller, Robert Plant, Phil Manzanera, Ian Paice and Bernie Marsden. His Durham Concerto, commissioned by Durham University for its 175th anniversary celebrations, received its world premiere on 20 October 2007 in Durham Cathedral by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, and featured soloists Jon on Hammond Organ, Kathryn Tickell on Northumbrian pipes, Matthew Barley on cello and Ruth Palmer on violin. It became a hit in Classic FM’s "Hall of Fame", alongside his piano concerto Boom of the Tingling Strings. On November 11th 2010, Jon was made an Honorary Fellow of Stevenson College, Edinburgh, and on July 15th 2011 he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Music degree by his home city's University of Leicester. Among his upcoming projects, Jon had been commissioned to compose a concerto for Hammond organ and orchestra and with special parts for tympani. The piece was to be premiered with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra with Tom Vissgren on tympani in Oslo, Norway. Up until July 2012, Jon had been working on material with recently formed rock supergroup WhoCares, featuring singer Ian Gillan from Deep Purple, guitarist Tony Iommi from Black Sabbath, second guitarist Mikko Lindström from HIM, bassist Jason Newsted formerly from Metallica and drummer Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden.


Bob Babbitt
November 26th 1937 ~ July 16th 2012

Motown legend, Bob Babbitt a member of The Funk Brothers, and one of the most versatile bass players in popular music history, has died while fighting cancer of the brain at a hospice in Nashville. Bob aged 74, sadly leaves behind his wife, Ann Kreinar, and their three children, Carolyn, Joseph and Karen.
Bob Babbitt
Bob Babbitt, born Robert Kreinar in
Pittsburgh to Hungarian parents, received classical training on upright bass, but he said, the gypsy music to which his family exposed him at a young age was far more influential. At aged 15 he moved to Detroit where he got his start on the Motor City music scene playing clubs with the popular local band the Royaltones.
Bob's reputation grew, and he was soon a frequent session bassist for R&B producer Ed Wingate, who owned Golden World studio. It was here that he first came into contact with some of Motown's moonlighting musicians, including keyboardists Joe Hunter and Johnny Griffith, guitarist Eddie Willis, drummer Benny Benjamin, and most important, his inspiration, bassist James Jamerson. In addition to steady work at Golden World, he was busy at United Sound, Terashirma, and just about every other studio of any consequence in the Detroit area, except for Motown. Bob played on some classic R&B tunes during this period, including "I Just Wanna Testify" by the Parliaments, "Love Makes the World Go Round" by Dion Jackson, and "Cool Jerk" by the Capitols. He joined Stevie Wonder’s touring band in 1966, one year later, he was invited to join Motown’s house band, after bassist James Jamerson broke his hand. Bob is most famous for his work as a member of Motown Records' studio band, the Funk Brothers. Also in 1968-1970, with Mike Campbell, Ray Monette and Andrew Smith he formed the band Scorpion. His signature bass line came in 1971, a stellar solo on the pioneering funk-rock song "Scorpio" with Dennis Coffey, also a former Royaltone and Funk Brother. After leaving Motown in 1972, he is noted for his tenure as part of MFSB for Philadelphia International Records and his work in New York City with Bette Midler, Barry Manilow, Bonnie Raitt, Frank Sinatra and others. Bob's most notable bass performances include "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours" - Stevie Wonder, "War" - Edwin Starr, "The Tears of a Clown" - Smokey Robinson & the Miracles, "Mercy Mercy Me, The Ecology" and "Inner City Blues" - Marvin Gaye, "Band Of Gold" - Freda Payne, "Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)", and "Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me" - The Temptations. He participated in hundreds of other hits, including "Little Town Flirt" by Del Shannon, "I Got a Name" by Jim Croce, "Midnight Train to Georgia" by Gladys Knight & the Pips, "Scorpio" by Dennis Coffey & the Detroit Guitar Band, and "(The) Rubberband Man" by The Spinners. He played on the Jimi Hendrix album Crash Landing. Bob lived his last 26 years in Nashville, but spent most of his time touring. He gained wider public recognition through the 2002 film about the Funk Brothers, "Standing in the Shadows of Motown", and in 2004 was presented with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. More recently he played on Phil Collins' 2010 album, Going Back and also appears in Phil's Going Back live concert DVD. In March 2011 he appeared onstage in American Idol, backing up Jacob Lusk's performance of "You're All I Need To Get By" for AI's Motown Week. Over his long career he performed on 100s of recordings, which included over 200 Billboard Hot 100 Top 40 hits, earning him 25 Gold and Platinum records.


Kitty Wells
August 30th 1919 ~ July 16th 2012

The first female country star, the Queen of Country Music, Kitty Wells has died at the age of 92 at her home in Nashville from complications after a stroke. Sadly she leaves behind two children, a daughter Carol Sue, a son Bobby, eight grandchildren, and twelve great grandchildren. Kitty lost her daughter, Ruby, September 27th 2009, and then her husband, Johnnie, exactly 2 years later, on September 27th 2011.
Kitty Wells
American country singer, born Ellen Muriel Deason in Nashville; she began sin
ging as a child, learning guitar from her father. As a teenager, she sang with her sisters, who performed as the Deason Sisters on a local radio station beginning in 1936. At the age of 18 she married Johnnie Wright, and she sang with Johnnie and his sister Louise Wright; the three toured as Johnnie Right and the Harmony Girls. Soon they Jack Anglin, who married Louise and became part of the band, which became known first as the Tennessee Hillbillies and then the Tennessee Mountain Boys. In 1952, Paul Cohen, of Decca Records, asked Kitty to record solo "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels". It was an instant hit and made her the first female country singer to top the U.S. country charts, and turned her into the first female country star. Her Top 10 hits continued until the mid-1960s, inspiring a long list of female country singers who came to prominence in the 1960s. In 1976, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, the second female country singer to be elected (Patsy Cline was the first in 1973). In the late 1970s, Kitty and husband formed their own record label, Rubocca (the name was a composite of their three children's names: Ruby, Bobby, and Carol) and released several albums. In 1979, at age 60, she was back on the Billboard charts with the hit, "I Thank You for the Roses". Kitty ranks as the sixth most successful female vocalist in the history of Billboard's country charts, according to historian Joel Whitburn's book The Top 40 Country Hits, behind Dolly Parton, Loretta Lynn, Reba McEntire, Tammy Wynette, and Tanya Tucker. In 1976, she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and in 1991, she became the third country music artist, after Roy Acuff and Hank Williams, and the eighth woman to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Her many accomplishments earned her the nickname Queen of Country Music. Kitty and Johnnie celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary in 2007, a rare achievement for any couple and one of the longest celebrity marriages in history. On May 14th 2008, her hit recording of "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" was added to the National Recording Registry at the Library of Congress, along with Roy Orbison's "Oh, Pretty Woman", and an exhibit honoring her at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum in Nashville ran from August 2008 through June 2009.

Bob Birch
July 14th 1956 ~ August 15th 2012

Long-time bassist and member of Elton John's band, Bob Birch, has died at the age of 56.
Tragically his body was found around the corner from his home in LA, it appears he shot and killed himself.
Sadly he leaves behind his wife Michele, and his son Jonathan
.
Bob  Birch
American bass player and multi-musician Bob Birch was born in Detroit, Michigan into a musical family. He began his musical journey with the alto saxophone, inspired by Paul Desmond and Cannonball Adderley. He was soon recognized by the Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association through his 1st place finishes at music festival competitions. Around 7th grade, he tried out the electric bass, from his fascination for the Motown sound, while in high school, he played with many bands playing sax, bass, as well as bassoon, before making bass his first instrument of coice. As a senior in high school, he won the Louis Armstrong Jazz award. He moved to L.A. in 1981, where he eventually became a world class session player. In the early 1990s Bob started playing in Sir Elton's band, touring the world with him for the past 20 years, they played over 1400 concerts together. Bob played on many of Elton's famous songs, including his most famous, 1997's Candle In The Wind. But Bob was primarily a session musician and sideman to a huge variety of notable artists, including Brian May, B.B. King, Paul Carrack, Bryan Adams, Ray Charles, Sir George Martin, Leon Russell, Don Henley, Terence Trent D'arby, Melissa Etheridge, Tim Rice, George Michael, Lionel Ritchie, David Coverdale, Sting, Anastacia, LeAnn Rimes, Shirley MacLaine, Billy Joel, Johnny Mathis, Iron Butterfly, Tina Turner, Kiki Dee, Spice Girls, Donna Summer, Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige, Sinead O’Connor, Rick Astley, Jim Carrey, Jose Feliciano, Sandra Bernhard, Backstreet Boys, Tammy Wynette, Little Richard, John Mayer, Natalie Cole, Gary Wright, Eric Clapton, Cher, Marianne Faithful, Sheryl Crow, Julie Andrews, Phil Collins, Lulu, Clint Black, Dolly Parton, and Barry Manilow are just a small handful of artists Bob has worked with over the years. Quote: "He was one of the greatest musicians I have ever worked with, and in all our years on the road he never played or sang a bad note.
I cannot find the words to describe this tragic death, and how much I loved him. May he rest in peace" ~ Elton John

Herb Reed
August 7th 1928 ~ June 4th 2012

The last founding member of the legendary 50s vocal group, The Platters, bass singer Herb Reed has died at the age of 83. Still touring until earlier this year, Herb died at a hospice in Boston from complications of several ailments, including heart disease. He sadly leaves behind his son, Herbert Jr, and his 3 grandsons.
Herb Reed
American bass singer Herb Reed was born in a poor area of Kansas City, Missouri, and moved to Los Angeles when he was fifteen years old with just $3 in his pocket and the clothes he stood up in. He had several odd jobs until in 1953 he recruited Alex Hodge, Cornell Gunter, David Lynch, Joe Jefferson, Gaynel Hodge and formed a harmonizing street singers group. Herb called the vocal group The Platters after noticing that DJs in the 1950s called their records, "platters". They managed to get a contract with Federal Records, before signing to Mercury Records. The group had a few line-up changes and Herb was the only member of The Platters who sang on all of the near on 400 songs recorded by the group, which included huge hits such as "Only You (And You Alone)", "Smoke Gets in Your Eyes", "The Great Pretender", "(You've Got) The Magic Touch", "Twilight Time", "My Prayer", "Harbor Lights", and "I'll Be Home" to mention a few. Two of their recordings, "The Great Pretender" and "Only You (And You Alone)" are in the Grammy Hall of Fame, which honors recordings of lasting significance. During the second half of the 1950s the Platters toured the world as "international ambassadors of musical goodwill". The group also appeared in a number of rock'n'roll themed movies, notably 1956's "Rock Around the Clock" featuring Bill Haley and His Comets. Herb toured throughout his career, performing as many as 200 concerts per year right up until 2012, when he had to stop due to declining health. Also in recent years Herb, has had a long, but successful battle in federal court to obtain superior rights to the name The Platters. As the last surviving member of the original group, that made him the sole heir to the group's legacy, stopping many "pretenders" using the name. Praised for their smooth, stylized renditions of pop standards, The Platters, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.
Their Hall of Fame citation reads "They are fondly remembered as a throwback to a golden era when pop, rhythm and blues and rock and roll flowed together in perfect harmony"

Andy Hamilton, MBE
March 26th 1918 ~ June 3rd 2012

Grand elder statesman of the Birmingham Jazz scene, Jamaican-British jazz saxophonist Andy Hamilton, has died peacefully at his home in Birmingham. The 94 year old calypso-jazz pioneer sadly leaves behind a loving family including two musical sons, trumpet player Graeme and saxophonist Mark.
Andy Hamilton
Jamaican-born British jazz saxophonist and composer Andy Hamilton was born in Port Maria, Jamaica, and learnt to play saxophone on a bamboo instrument. Influenced by American musicians such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie and by the Kingston-based bands of Redver Cook and Roy Coburn, he formed his first band in 1928 with friends who played oil drums and Andy on his bamboo sax. He spent some time in the U.S., having short jazz residencies in Buffalo and Syracuse. After returning to Jamaica, he worked as musical arranger for Errol Flynn at his hotel The Titchfield, and on his yacht the Zaka. Andy composed a Jazz Calypso tune called Silvershine especially for Flynn in 1948, before emigrating in 1949 to the UK, settling Birmingham. It was here where in 1953 he formed his own group, the Blue Notes with fellow Jamaican pianist Sam Brown. He also promoted regular gigs across the city booking an early Steel Pulse and numerous Jamaican bands at The Tower Ballroom, St Johns Restaurant, Accafess, Porsche Club, Junction, Hyatt before establishing regular weekly venue in Bearwood, inviting visiting musicians such as Joe Newman, Al Casey, Teddy Edwards, Art Farmer, Harry Sweets Edison, and David Murray. In 1985 Andy was rushed to hospital in a diabetic coma and was not expected to live. While in the coma, amazingly, the melody to Silvershine, a song he had not played or thought about in nearly 40 years, came to him, and of Errol Flynn dancing on his yacht to the tune, and this brought him out of the coma. Then in 1991 at the age of 73, he made his first ever recording with Nick Gold, "Silvershine"; it became the biggest selling UK Jazz Album of the Year, The Times Jazz Album of the Year, and one of the 50 Sony Recordings of the Year. It was followed two years later by "Jamaica at Night". These recordings led to concerts in St Lucia, Jamaica, Cape Town, Madrid, WOMAD, Paris, Jazz Cafe, Ronnie Scotts and national tours. He continued to play regularly at the Bearwood Corks Club in Birmingham, and monthly at Birmingham Symphony Hall. His sold out 90th birthday concert was at the Birmingham Town Hall featuring Courtney Pine, Sonny Bradshaw, Myrna Hague, Lekan Babalola, Nana Tsiboe, son Mark and The Notebenders. In 1996 Andy was awarded an Honorary Master of Arts degree by Birmingham University, and in 1999 he received a Millennium Fellowship for his work in Community Education. On 30 January 2008, a few weeks before his 90th birthday, he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Birmingham Conservatoire during a ceremony at Symphony Hall and in that same year Andy was honored with an MBE, when he was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire.

Robin Hugh Gibb, CBE
December 22nd 1949 ~ May 20th 2012

Singer-songwriter extrordinaire, co-founder of The Bee Gees, Robin Gibb has passed away at the age of 62 after contracting pneumonia while bravely battling against cancer. Sadly he leaves behind, his wife Dwina and their son Robin-John; two children from his first marrage to Molly Hullis, daughter Melissa, and son Spencer; and also his four year old daughter Snow Robin.
Robin Gibb
Born in Douglas on the Isle of Man, but his family moved to Manchester where at aged 8, Robin started out performing alongside his brothers as a child act encouraged by their father Hugh, a drummer and band leader.
The family then moved to Australia in 1958, where the brothers continued to perform and eventually took the name Bee Gees, an abbreviation of brothers Gibb. In 1963 their first single, "The Battle of The Blue and The Grey", made the charts in Sydney and led to an appearance on a local TV station. In 1965 their single "The Spicks and Specks" gave them their first Australian No.1. Dreaming of more than the Australian market, they returned to the UK in 1966 where they were auditioned by impresario Robert Stigwood, who got them a recording contract with Polydor, here they had their first major hit with "To Love Somebody", co-written by Robin, followed by hits including "I've Gotta Get a Message to You", "Massachusetts", "Words" and "World". But the lead vocals were credited Barry, this eventually led to tension and in 1969, Robin left the group to pursue a solo career. Happily they re-grouped in 1970 and enjoyed their first US No 1, Lonely Days. The following year they had another hit with "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart", later covered by soul legend Al Green. They rocketed to mega status during the late 70s with songs such as “Night Fever”, “How Deep Is Your Love" and “Stayin’ Alive” which established their pop legacy by placing their falsetto harmonies, at the centre of the 70s disco boom.. Their Saturday Night Fever soundtrack was one of the most commercially successful albums of the '70s, topping the US albums charts for 24 consecutive weeks and is credited with the revival of disco. Despite the band's success Robin continued to pursue his solo career, but his music enjoyed more success in Europe than it did in the UK or US. In 1988 Andy, their youngest brother and a solo star in his own right, died at the aged 30 from myocarditis amd in 2003 tragedy the fanily again with the sudden death of Robin's twin, Maurice, after which Robin and Barry disbanded the group, re-uniting occasionally for special gigs and charities. Over their 50-plus-year career, the Bee Gees sold more than 220 million albums, making them one of the most successful groups of all time. As well as writing all their own number one hits, Robin wrote or co-wrote huge hit records for Barbra Streisand - "Woman In Love"; Diana Ross - "Chain Reaction"; Dionne Warwick - "Heartbreaker" & "All the Love in the World", Celine Dion - "Immortality", Dolly Parton & Kenny Roger - "Islands In The Streams", Olivia Newton-John - "Come on Over", and so many others. In 1994 The Bee Gees were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and in 1997, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Among their many awards The Bee Gees were honoured with 5 American Music Awards and 9 Grammy Awards. In 2004, the Bee Gees received their CBEs from the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace for their "contribution to music". Remembered for his distinctive, quavering voice, his vibrato-falsetto harmonies, his unforgettable songwriting, Robin made his final performance on stage in February 2012 supporting injured British servicemen and women at a charity concert at the London Palladium.

Donna Summer
December 31st 1948 ~ May 17th 2012

Five time Grammy award winner, 'the disco queen', Donna Summer has sadly died at her home in Florida at the age of 63 after a brave battle with cancer. Donna leaves behind her daughter Mimi, from her first marrage to actor Helmuth Sommer; her husband Bruce Sudano, and their two daughters Brooklyn and Amanda and four grand children..
Donna Summer
Donna Summer was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines in Boston, Massachusetts and began singing at a young age in the church. In her teens, she formed several musical groups imitating Motown girl groups such as The Supremes and Martha and the Vandellas.
In the late 1960s, influenced by Janis Joplin she dropped out of school to join the psychedelic rock group the Crow as lead singer. Donna moved to Germany for several years with the cast of the musical "Hair" in the role of Sheila. Whilst in Munich she sang as a member of the pop group FamilyTree and also sang as a studio session singer and in theatres. In 1971, still using her birth name Donna Gaines, she released her first single, a cover of "Sally Go 'Round the Roses". Donna found international fame during the disco era of the 70s-80s with a string of No. 1 hits including 'Love to Love You Baby", with its erotic moans, one the most scandalous songs of the era and her early 80s "She Works Hard For The Money", which became an anthem for women's rights. Among her many awards and honors including 6 American Music Awards, and between 1979-2000 she recieved 17 Grammy nominations, winning 5 Grammy Awards: Last Dance -'79, Hot Stuff- '80, He's A Rebel -'84, Forgive M - '85, and Carry On-'98. Donna was the first artist to have three consecutive double albums reach number one on the US Billboard chart, and she also charted four number-one singles in the United States within a 13-month period. Following a nervous breakdown in 1979, Donna became a born-again Christian and decided she would no longer perform the song that had won her international fame and recognition, "Love to Love You Baby". A quarter of a century later, however, Donna began performing the song again live. As recently as 2011, she re-recorded the track, complete with racy sighs and moans, for the "Loverdose" fragrance advertisement by Diesel. Donna continued to score top ten hits on Billboard's Dance Chart well into in the new millennium, and released her last album, Crayons, in 2008.

Donald "Duck" Dunn
November 24th 1941 ~ May 13th 2012
Influential award-winng American bassist, Donald "Duck" Dunn, who helped create the gritty Memphis soul sound
in the 60s and 70s as a member of the legendary Booker T & the MGs, has unexpectedly and so sadly, died in his sleep after finishing a double show at the Blue Note night club in Tokyo the evening before. Donald who was 70 years old, leaves behind his wife June, his son Jeff, and grandchild Michael.
Donald  "Duck" Dunn - Barry Brecheisen/WireImage
American legendary bass guitarist, record producer, and songwriter, Donald was born in Memphis, Tennessee. While still at school he took up bass and along with his friends guitarist Steve Cropper, Charlie Freeman, drummer Terry Johnson, formed "The Royal Spades". This Messick High School group were joined by keyboardist Jerry "Smoochy" Smith, singer Ronnie "Stoots" Angel and a budding young horn section in baritone saxophone player Don Nix, tenor saxophone player Charles "Packy" Axton, and trumpeter, the future co-founder of The Memphis Horns, Wayne Jackson. Donald was totally self taught by playing along with records, but he would fill in what he thought should be there, which made his bass lines very unique. They were signed to Satellite (later Stax) Records, and had national hit with "Last Night" in 1961 under their new name "The Mar-Keys", but he left the Mar-Keys in 1962 to join Ben Branch's big band. In 1964 he rejoined Stax Records and Steve Cooper when he became bassist with The Booker T and the M.G.s, the driving force behind the gritty Southern Soul sound. Stax became known for Jackson's drum sound, the sound of The Memphis Horns, and Duck Dunn's grooves. The MGs with Donald's bass lines can be heard on most of the great Stax hits like Otis Redding's "Respect" and "I Can't Turn You Loose"; Sam & Dave's "Hold On, I'm Comin'", and Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign". His bass playing was very influential in the history of music. He, Cropper, Jackson, and Jones recorded their first album, Hip Hug-He, in 1967. Donald went on to play for Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Bob Dylan, Guy Sebastian, CCR, Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Buchanan, Arthur Conley, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart among others. He was the featured bassist for Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty's "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" from Nicks' 1981 debut solo album Bella Donna, as well as other Petty tracks between 1976-81. He reunited with Cropper as a member of Levon Helm's RCO All Stars and displayed his quirky Southern humor making two movies with Cropper, former Stax drummer Willie Hall, and Dan Aykroyd, as a member of The Blues Brothers band. In 1992, he was inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Booker T & the MG's. Donald semi-retired in the 2000s, but he still performed occasionally with Booker T & the MGs at clubs and festivals.
In June 2004, he, Cropper, and Jones served as the house band for Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival and in 2007 he and several Booker T & the MG's members were given a "Lifetime Achievement" Grammy award for their contributions to popular music. In 2008, he worked with Australian soul singer Guy Sebastian on an 18-date concert tour, for The Memphis Album. Donald was in Japan at the time of his death, as part of an ongoing tour with Steve Cropper and Eddie Floyd.

Adam Yauch
August 5th 1964 ~ May 4th 2012

Rapper Adam "MCA" Yauch, founding member of Beastie Boys and founder of the Milarepa Foundation has died after a brave 3 year battle with cancer. Adam sadly leaves behind his wife, Dechen Wangdu and daughter Tenzin Losel Yauch.
Adam Yauch
American bassist, rapper, activist, and film director
Adam Yauch aka MCA was born in Brooklyn, NYC. While still at high school, he taught himself to play the bass guitar and formed the Beastie Boys with John Berry, Michael Diamond and Kate Schellenbach. On Adam's 17th birthday they played their first show, at that time they were a hardcore punk band. At aged 22, in 1985, he and the Beastie Boys, now performing as a hip hop trio, toured with Madonna; a year later they released their debut album Licensed to Ill, which has been followed by 7 other albums, the last being their 2011 album Hot Sauce Committee Part Two. Under the pseudonym of "Nathanial Hörnblowér", Adam directed many of the Beastie Boys' music videos and in 2002, he built a recording studio in New York City called Oscilloscope Laboratories. He also began an independent film distributing company called Oscilloscope Pictures and directed the 2006 Beastie Boys concert film, Awesome; I Fuckin' Shot That!, although in the DVD extras for the film, the title character in "A Day in the Life of Nathanial Hörnblowér" is played by David Cross. He also directed the 2008 film Gunnin' For That #1 Spot. Beastie Boys have been nominated for 10 Grammy Awards, winning three; and 17 MTV awards winning four. The Beastie Boys had sold 40 million records worldwide by 2010 and in April 2012, the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Adam was inducted in absentia due to his illness. In 2011, Adam received the Charles Flint Kellogg Award in Arts and Letters from Bard College, the college he attended for two years, an award "given in recognition of a significant contribution to the American artistic or literary heritage". Adam was also a practicing Buddhist and became an important voice in the Tibetan independence movement. He created the Milarepa Fund, a non-profit organization devoted to Tibetan independence, and organized several benefit concerts to support the cause, including the Tibetan Freedom Concert.


Lloyd Brevett
August 1st 1931 ~ May 3rd 2012

Jamaican iconic double bassist, Lloyd Brevett, whose legendary band The Skatalites created and pioneered ska music, which paved the way for reggae, has sadly died from a stroke at the age of 80.

Lloyd Brevett
Lloyd Brevett, Jamaican double bassist and founder member of The Skatalite
s, who pioneered ska music and paved the way for reggae. The founders of the Skatalites, Lloyd along with Tommy McCook-died 1998, Rolando Alphonso-died 1998, Lloyd Knibb-died 2011, Don Drummond-died 1969, Jah Jerry Haynes-died 2007, Jackie Mittoo-died 1990, Johnny Moore -2008, Jackie Opel-died 1970 and Lester Sterling, started to play together in 1955, and formed the now legendary Skatalites in 1964. In spring 1964, they recorded their first LP Ska Authentic at Studio One in Kingston and toured Jamaica as the creators of ska., a genre whose name is taken from Lloyd's band name. Later that year "Man in the Street", entered the Top 10 in the UK. The Skatalites were together for 18 months in the 1960s. On New Year's Eve 1964, trombonist Don Drummond stabbed and killed his girlfriend and vocalist Marguerita. The other band members disbanded in July 1965, with Lloyd and other members forming the Soul Brothers, later becoming the Soul Vendors. In 1975, The Skatalites reunited to record Lloyd's solo album African Roots. They continued to reconvene periodically before reforming in the 1980s. In 1996, their album Hi-Bop Ska: The 30th Anniversary Recording, earned a Grammy nomination, with a second nomination coming the following year for Greetings From Skamania. Lloyd toured all over the world with The Skatalites and produced two Skatalites' albums, African Roots in 1975 and The Legendary Skatalites in 1976. He once stated, "Ska was our type of music that could lift the youth and make Jamaica known around the world". Lloyd died 6 weeks after his 32 year old son, Okine, was murdered in March outside their family home in Kingston. He was brutally gunned down just a few of hours after accepting , on behalf of hs father, a reggae industry award for Lloyd's musical contributions. Former Jamaican Prime Minister and one-time Skatalites tour manager PJ Patterson said it was "Brevett who quietly provided the mesmerising backbone to the Skatalites' sound. To say that Brevett was a creator of both ska and dub is not to use hyperbole".


Bert Weedon OBE
May 10th 1920 ~ April 20th 2012

Pioneer electric guitarist Bert Weedon, who influenced the first generation of British post-war pop musicians and who inspired millions of budding guitarists to 'play in a day' has died aged 91. Sadly he leaves behind his two sons from his first marriage, and his second wife, Maggie.
Bert Weedon
English guitarist and composer whose style of guitar playing was influential and popular during the 1950s and 1960s, Herbert Maurice William Weedon was born in East Ham, London, and began learning classical guitar at the age of twelve. In his teens during the 1930s, he led groups such as the Blue Cumberland Rhythm Boys, and Bert Weedon and His Harlem Hotshots, before making his first solo appearance at East Ham town hall in 1939. He worked with leading performers including Stephane Grappelli and George Shearing, and performed with various big bands and orchestras, including those of Ted Heath and Mantovani. He joined the BBC Show Band directed by Cyril Stapleton in the 1950s, when he began to be featured as a soloist. He also worked as a session musician on many early British rock and roll and other records, and worked as an accompanist to visiting American singers such as Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland. It is estimated that he performed on over 5,000 BBC radio broadcasts and he was also seen regularly on British television in the 1950s. In 1959 he was asked by Top Rank Records to make a record as a solo guitarist and became the first British guitarist in the UK Singles Chart, with "Guitar Boogie Shuffle" in 1959, and was cited as an influence by many stars, including Eric Clapton, Brian May, Mike Oldfield, The Shadows and The Beatles. As well as his hits and TV appearances at a crucial time in modern British music history, his best-known contribution to British guitar style is his tutorial guide Play in a Day, first published in 1957, which many stars claim was a major influence on their learning and playing. He also wrote a follow-up, Play Every Day. His playing style focussed on both rhythm and melody, and was itself influenced by the jazz guitarists of the 1950s, notably Les Paul. Burt placed a lot of emphasis on control of tone, and wanted to make the guitar the star of his music. The style became best known through the music of The Shadows, especially Hank Marvin. In November 1976 He made number one, for one week, in the UK Albums Chart with 22 Guitar Golden Greats, a compilation of guitar solos released on the Warwick label. For many years Bert was an active member of the Grand Order of Water Rats, the entertainment business’s charity, and was King Rat in 1992 and he was awarded an OBE in the 2001 Queen's Birthday Honours List for his services to music.

Levon Helm
May 26th 1940 ~ April 19th 2012

Levon Helm, the three-time Grammy Award winner, singer and drummer in the legendary group, The Band, has sandly died of cancer, at the age of 71. He had been bravely battleing throat cancer since 1998. Levon leaves behind his wife, Sandy and his daughter Amy, who sang in his latest band
Levon Helm
American rock multi-instrumentalist and actor born Mark Lavon Helm, in Marvell, Arkansas, and grew up in Turkey Scratch. After graduating from high school, he was invited to join Ronnie Hawkins' band, "The Hawks". In the early 1960s he and Hawkins recruited an all-Canadian lineup of musicians: guitarist Robbie Robertson, bassist Rick Danko, pianist Richard Manuel and organist Garth Hudson. But in 1963, the band parted ways with Hawkins and started touring under the name "Levon and The Hawks," and later as "The Canadian Squires" before finally changing back to "The Hawks". In the mid 1960s, Bob Dylan was interested in performing electric rock music and asked "The Hawks" to be his backing band. Levon took a 2 year haitus, returning in 1967 which by then was often referred to simply as "the band". He achieved fame as the drummer and frequent lead and backing vocalist for The Band, as well as playing, mandolin and other string instruments. The Band, was one of the most revered and influential rock groups to emerge from the 1960s. , and Levon was known for his deeply soulful, country-accented voice, and creative drumming style highlighted on many of the Band's recordings, such as "The Weight", "Up on Cripple Creek", "Ophelia" and "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down". Levon remained with "The Band" until their 1976 farewell performance, The Last Waltz, which was recorded in a documentary film by director Martin Scorsese. Levon embarked on a solo career before 'The Band' reunited in 1983 and they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994. In 1993, he published an autobiography entitled This Wheel's on Fire – Levon Helm and the Story of The Band. Levon performed with many artists and musicians as well as forming his own band, The Levon Helm Band. His 2007 album Dirt Farmer earned the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Folk Album in February 2008, and in November of that year, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him No.91 in the list of The 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. In 2010, Electric Dirt, his 2009 follow-up to Dirt Farmer, won the first ever Grammy Award for Best Americana Album, an inaugural category in 2010. In 2011, his live album Ramble at the Ryman was nominated for the Grammy in the same category and won. The subject of Elton John's song "Levon" was named after him and Marc Cohn wrote the song "Listening to Levon" in 2007. In addition to his work as musician, he also acted in several dramatic films after the breakup of The Band. One of his first acting roles was the 1980 film Coal Miner's Daughter in which he portrayed Loretta Lynn's father.

Charles Givings

February 7th 1946 ~ April 15th 2012
Founder member, drummer and singer of the Rare Gems Odyssey, Charles E. Givings has sadly passed away in his sleep from a massive heart attack at the age of 66. He leaves behind a loving family, including his wife Sandy; and many dear friends who will always be grateful and remember his extreme kindness.
Charles E. Givings
American musician, singer, songwriter, producer, Charles E. Givings, a session drummer for Motown in the LA Studios in the 60s, was the founder of the 'Black Gems Rare' in 1969. A year later the band changed their name to 'Rare Gems Odyssey', and later became The Rare Gems. Over the years they toured, played regularly in Las Vegasand in California and opened for for Ray Charles at the Shrine. They have had many hits including the classic funk track "What is Funk", which has become a very collectable record especially in the UK. With 8 albums under their belt, they were still performing until Charles' death. In the 80's Charles formed his own label, Imagination Records, where he produced his own band and other artists. Charles has also released some beautiful solo love albums, including... 'Songs For Sunset Lovers', 'Songs For Serious Lovers', 'Songs For Moonlight Lovers', 'A Night On The Town' and 'Everlasting Love Songs', sung with his wife Sandy. As well as all this he still found time to session with The Penguins, The Olympics, Al Wilson, Don Julian, Tony Allen, Brenda Holloway, The Cadets, The Sixteens, Ernie Valens, Little Anthony & The Imperials, Frankie Avalon and J.J. Jackson. Among his treasured memories over his busy 45 years plus career was meeting the legendary bassist, James Jamerson. Charles has also written a book.. not about his musical journey, but his second love .. baseball .. among other things!! Drawing on his early life, this is a story about a rag tag multi-racial Little League baseball team from Southern California and this exciting, fun book, delves into the day-to-day lives of kids growing up in an inner city, and Charles has really captured the flavor and spice of the growing pains in the inner city. Before his sudden death Charles was a regular part of Woody Radio's Saturday night EJ Emmons Show, credited as Mr Charles "Chizzy" Givings. ~ R.I.P. Charles

Andrew Love
November 21st 1941 ~ April 12th 2012

Memphis Horns' renowned saxophonist Andrew Love, the legendary musician who has performed on over 83 gold and platinum albums has sadly died at the age of 70 after a 10 year battle with the cruel disease, Alzheimers. Andrew is survived by his wife of 43 years, Willie Love; his children, Vincent Thompson, Terri Lawrence, Angela Parker and Andre Love; his brother, Roy Love; and his longtime musical partner, trumpeter Wayne Jackson.
Andrew Love
American saxophonist, Andrew Love was born in Memphis; he began his interest in music at the Mount Nebo Baptist Church where his father was pastor, and Andrew grew up playing saxophone with the church's gospel band. His music education continued in high school and at University in Oklahoma. He returned to Memphis in 1965 and began session work at Stax Records where he teamed up with trumpeter Wayne Jackson. The two created the signature horn sound at Stax, heard on hit records by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave and others, and helped fuel the label's golden era. After recording numerous tracks at Stax, he and Wayne formed themselves into the renowned Memphis Horns and began freelancing. They recorded at sessions for such artists as Neil Diamond, Elvis Presley, Al Green, Dusty Springfield, James Taylor, and U2, among many others. In total, the duo played on 83 gold and platinum albums and 52 No.1 records during the course of their long career. They also toured with The Doobie Brothers, Jimmy Buffett, Robert Cray and numerous other performers. In the '80s and '90s, the duo continued playing on hits for stars such as Willie Nelson and Steve Winwood. Even after Wayne decided to relocate to Nashville in 1996, they remained in demand, recording with Sting, Bonnie Raitt and Marc Knopfler. Following his Alzheimer's diagnosis in 2002, he continued working briefly before retiring from performing the following year, in 2003. This February 2012, the Memphis Horns were recognized by the Grammys with a Lifetime Achievement Award in Los Angeles, for the hundreds of recordings they performed on together, for nearly 40 years, but sadly Andrew was too ill to attend the ceromenies.


Bernard Noël "Banjo Barney" McKenna
December 16th 1939 ~ April 5th 2012

The much loved legendary banjo player and only surviving founding member of the Dubliners, Barney McKenna, has died unexpectedly at his home in Howth, Co. Dublin
. Sadly, he leaves behind his partner Tina, his sister Marie, his brother Séan Og, and his nephews and nieces, as well as many devoted friends and fans.
"Banjo Barney" McKenna
Irish musician Barney McKenna played the mandolin and melodeon, but is most renowned as a pioneer banjo player. He was born in Donnycarney, County Dublin, and played the banjo from an early age, as he could not afford to buy the instrument of his choice, a mandolin. In 1962 along with Ronnie Drew, Luke Kelly, and Ciarán Bourke, he formed the Irish folk band The Dubliners. Initially known as "The Ronnie Drew Ballad Group", they made a name for themselves playing regularly in O'Donoghue's Pub in Dublin. The change of name came about because of Drew's unhappiness with it, together with the fact that Kelly was reading Dubliners by James Joyce at the time. They played at the Edinburgh Festival in 1963 and that led to them being featured on a BBC programme called Hootenanny and a record contract with Transatlantic Records, with whom they recorded their first album, The Dubliners, and their first single featuring Rocky Road to Dublin and The Wild Rover. Barney was well known for his unaccompanied renditions of songs such as 'South Australia' and 'I Wish I Had Someone to Love Me'. His banjo solos on tunes such as 'The Maid Behind the Bar', 'The High Reel' and 'The Mason's Apron', where he was usually accompanied by Eamonn Campbell on guitar, were often performed to cries of "C'mon Barney!" from audience or band members. Another featured spot in Dubliners performances is the mandolin duet that Barney played with John Sheahan - again with Eamonn Campbell providing guitar accompaniment. As Barney often pointed out: "It's an Irish duet, so there's three of us going to play it". Other noted Dubliners songs include "Seven Drunken Nights", "Finnegan's Wake", "McAlpine's Fusiliers", "The Black Velvet Band", "Whiskey in the Jar", "Home Boys Home", "The Town I Loved So Well", "Dirty Old Town", "The Wild Rover", and "Raglan Road" to mention just a few! Barney was the only founding member to be a member of the band consistently over the first 50 years from the band's foundation in 1962 until his death in 2012, and he is mentioned several times in the song 'O'Donoghue's' by Andy Irvine, which describes the Dublin traditional music scene of the early-mid 1960s that found a spiritual home in O'Donoghue's Pub in Dublin's Merrion Row. Barney helped make The Dubliners the most famous Irish traditional ballad group of all time and responsible for the resurrection of some Irish songs that had died out. They celebrated their 50th anniversary with a series of concerts in Christ Church Cathedral in January 2012 and participating in the official Irish single for the forthcoming European Championships.


Michael Hossack
October 17th 1946 ~ March 12th 2012

Longtime Doobie Brothers' drummer Michael Hossack, has sadly died at the age of 65. He died at his home in Dubois, Wyoming, after bravely battling cancer for two years. Michael leaves behind his son Mike Jr., his daughter Erica Rose and his brother Eric.
Michael Hossack
American drummer, Michael Hossack was born in Paterson, New Jersey; he started playing drums in the Little Falls Cadets, a Boy Scout drum and bugle corps, as well as Our Lady of Lourdes Cadets and Fair Lawn Cadets. He always credits these experiences taught and prepared him for playing in a two-drummer group such as the Doobie Brothers. After graduating high school, he served for four years in the US Navy during the Vietnam War. Following his honorable discharge in 1969 he returned to New Jersey, where a close friend talked him into auditioning for a California-based band called Mourning Reign. They played heavily in upstate New York, before relocating to the San Francisco bay area and signing with a production company that had also signed the newly formed rock band, the Doobie Brothers. The Doobies invited Mike to jam with them and hearing how well Mike and founding drummer John Hartman played together the Doobies decided that having two drummers would beef up the rhythm section and so adopted the "dual drummers" sound. Mike played alongside Hartman on the band's breakthrough albums Toulouse Street in 1972, The Captain and Me in 1973 and What Were Once Vices are Now Habits in 1974, which spawned the band's first No.1 hit, "Black Water". After a 10-month tour in 1974, he left the Doobies. In 1975, Mike helped form the band Bonaroo which released one album before disbanding shortly afterwards. In 1976, he had a brief stint with a band called DFK , with Les Dudek, Mike Finnigan and Jim Krueger and in 1977, he became a partner in Chateau Recorders studio in North Hollywood. Mike returned to The Doobie Brothers when they reunited in 1987 and was a mainstay of the group through the next two decades, and his unique style can be heard on the albums Cycles, Brotherhood, Rockin' down the Highway: The Wildlife Concert, Sibling Rivalry, Live at Wolf Trap and World Gone Crazy. Mike remained with the Doobies performing on most of the group's tours until he sadly had to take a health leave in 2010.

Robert Bernard Sherman
December 19th 1925 ~ March 5th 2012

Robert B Sherman, who penned songs for Chitty Bang Bang and Disney classics including Mary Poppins and Winnie the Pooh with his brother Richard M, has died peacefully in London, where he had made his home since 2000. The 86 year old songwriter sadly leaves behind his wife of 58 years, Joyce; 4 children Laurie Shane, Jeffrey Craig, Andrea Tracy and Robert Jasonl; 8 grandchildren and one new born great grandchild.
Robert B Sherman
American songwriter Robert B. Sherman born in New York City, for much of his life he specialized in musical films with his younger brother, Richard Morton Sherman. Some of the Sherman Brothers' best known songs were incorporated into movies and animations like Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Slipper and the Rose, Snoopy Come Home, The Aristocats, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, The Magic of Lassie, The Sword in the Stone, The Lion King and the theme park song of "It's a Small World (After All)". Robert and Richard began writing songs together on a challenge from their father, Al Sherman, a successful popular songwriter in the "Tin Pan Alley" days and wrote hits for Tommy Dorsey, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong. The brothers began by writing rock’n’roll, country and hillbilly songs in the 1950s. In 1958, Robert founded the music publishing company, Music World Corporation, which later worked with Disney's BMI publishing arm, Wonderland Music Company. That same year, the Sherman Brothers had their first Top Ten hit with "Tall Paul", which was sung by Annette Funicello. The success of this song came to the attention of Walt Disney who hired the brothers as Staff Songwriters for Walt Disney Studios. Over Robert's long and distinguished career the brothers were honored with liturally dozens of nominations and awards for the many above films; in 1965 alone, they won 2 Academy Awards for Mary Poppins, including "Feed The Birds", "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious", and won an Oscar for "Chim Chim Cher-ee". Since Mary Poppins' premiere, Robert subsequently earned 9 Academy Award nominations, 2 Grammy Awards, 4 Grammy Award nominations and 23 gold and platinum albums. Their first non-Disney assignment came with Albert R. Broccoli's motion picture production Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in 1968 which garnered the brothers their third Academy Award Nomination. In 1973, they made history by becoming the only Americans ever to win First Prize at the Moscow Film Festival for Tom Sawyer for which they also authored the screenplay. In 1976, The Slipper and the Rose was picked to be the Royal Command Performance of the year and was attended by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother. That same year the brothers received their star on the Hollywood "Walk of Fame" located at 6914 Hollywood Blvd, directly across from Grauman's Chinese Theatre. In 2005 they were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and President George Bush presented them with the National Medal Of Arts in 2008, the highest honor conferred to an individual artist on behalf of the people. A lesser known part of Robert's life is his painting which he has done since 1941 and kept private until 2002, when an exhibition of his paintings was held in London, England, at Thompsons' Gallery. Paintings which have appeared at the various exhibitions include: "On Route 9G", "Self Portrait", "San Francisco", "Moses" , "Carousel In The Country", "From the Dining Room", "Sacrifice", "Florid Window", "Geisha ", "Fine Four Fendered Friend" and "Park Lane".

Ronnie Montrose
November 29th 1947 ~ March 3rd 2012

Influencial, high-energy rock guitarist, Ronnie Montrose, known for his intense fiery guitar work has sadly died at his home in California at the age of 64. He has been bravely battling prostate cancer over the last five years. Ronnie is survived by his wife, Leighsa, a son, a daughter and five grandchildren.
Ronnie Montrose
American rock guitarist Ronnie Montrose was born in Denver, Colorado, and grew up in San Francisco, California. After learning his trade with teenage bands, he started out in a band called Sawbuck with Bill Church, before auditioning for Van Morrison, which led to him playing on Morrison's 1971 album Tupelo Honey. He also played on the song "Listen to the Lion", which was released on Morrison's next album, Saint Dominic's Preview in 1972. That same year he played briefly with Boz Scaggs, then joined the Edgar Winter Group, where he played on They Only Come Out at Night album, which included the hit singles "Frankenstein" and "Free Ride". He then formed his own band, Montrose, in 1973, introducing a then-unknown Sammy Hagar on vocals. That incarnation of the band released two albums debuting in 1973 with one of rock's all-time greats, Montrose, giving us the hard rock standards such as "Rock the Nation", "Bad Motor Scooter", "Space Station", "Rock Candy" and "Make It Last". This was followed by Paper Money in 1974, after which Hagar left the band to pursue a solo career. Ronnie also added his guitar work to Gary Wright's song, "Power of Love" on the 1975 album, The Dream Weaver. Also in the 70s Ronnie released 2 more albums with Montrose, with singer Bob James and released his debut solo album Open Fire in 1978, the first of 10 solo albums between 1978-1999. 1978 also saw Ronnie forming another band, Gamma, releasing four albums Gamma 1, 2, 3 and 4, with Davey Pattison singing on all four between 1979 and 2005. The original Montrose lineup reformed to play as a special guest at several Sammy Hagar concerts in the summer of 2004 and 2005. Ronnie has also performed regularly from 2002 to present with a Montrose lineup featuring Keith St. John on lead vocals and a rotating cast of veteran hard rock players on bass and drums. Throughout his long career Ronnie has played many sessions and guested with a variety of musicians, including Sammy Hagar, Herbie Hancock, Van Morrison, The Beau Brummels, Kendall Kardt, Boz Scaggs, Beaver & Krause, Gary Wright, Tony Williams, Kathi McDonald, The Neville Brothers, Dan Hartman, Edgar Winter, Johnny Winter, Lauren Wood, Nicolette Larson, Jamie Sheriff, Anti-m, Marc Bonilla, David Culiner, CJ Hutchins, Kevin Crider, and the Edgar Winter Group. On Ronnie's most recent tour, in late 2009, he revealed to his fans that he had successfully fought prostate cancer over the last two years; however, tragically the cancer returned soon after.

David "Davy" Jones
December 30th 1945 ~ February 29th 2012

Singer and frontman with the legendary Monkees, heart throb of the 60s & 70s, Davy Jones, has sadly died unexpectely from a massive heart attack at the age of 66, just months after he, Tork and Dolenz had completed a tour marking The Monkees’ 45th anniversary. Married three times, Davy leaves behind a loving family including his wife Jessica, and four daughters; Talia Elizabeth and Sarah Lee from his first marrage; and Jessica Lillian and Annabel Charlotte from his second marrage.
Davy Jones
English singer-songwriter and actor David Jones was born in Manchester, and at aged 11 began his acting career appearing on the soap opera 'Coronation Street', produced by Granada Television in Manchester, where in 1961 he played Colin Lomax, the grandson of Ena Sharples. However, after the death of his mother, when he was 14 years old, Davy made a career change and became a jockey, training with Basil Foster. He was soon back in the public eye, this time on stage in London's West End and then on Broadway, playing the Artful Dodger, in the show Oliver!, which was nominated for a Tony Award. On February 9th 1964, Davy appeared with the Broadway cast of Oliver! on The Ed Sullivan Show, the same episode on which The Beatles made their first appearance. From 1965 to 1971, he was a member of The Monkees, the now legendary pop-rock group formed expressly for a television show of the same name. He sang lead vocals on many of the Monkees' recordings, including "I Wanna Be Free" and "Daydream Believer". Their first two releases, “Last Train to Clarksville” and “I’m a Believer,” became No. 1 hits, as did “Daydream Believer”, which was the Monkees’ most requested song at concerts. After the band disbanded in 1971, Davy reunited with Micky Dolenz along with Monkees songwriters Tommy Boyce and Bobby Hart in 1974, as a short-lived group called Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart. A Monkees television show marathon "Pleasant Valley Sunday", broadcast on February 23rd 1986 by MTV resulted in a massive wave of Monkeemania not seen since their group's heyday. Davy reunited with Dolenz and Peter Tork from 1986-89 to celebrate the band's renewed success and to promote the 20th anniversary of the group. In 1996 again Davy reunited with Dolenz, Tork, and also Michael Nesmith to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band. The group released a new album entitled Justus, the first album since 1967's Headquarters that featured the band members performing all instrumental duties. It was the last time all four Monkees would perform together. Davy ran his solo career side by side with his other projects and more recently in 2001, he released Just Me, an album of his own songs, some written for the album and others originally on Monkees releases. In the early 2000's he performed in the Flower Power Concert Series during Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival, a yearly gig he would continue until his death. As well as his singing careers, Davy continued acting after the Monkees, either as himself or another character. He appeared in 'Here Come the Brides', 'Love, American Style' and 'My Two Dads'. He also appeared in animated form as himself in "The New Scooby-Doo Movies" and in "SpongeBob vs. The Big One". Other appearances include Sledgehammer, Boy Meets World , Hey Arnold!, The Single Guy , Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and The Brady Bunch Movie. He also returned to theatre, he appeared in several productions of Oliver! as Fagin, and also co-starred with Micky Dolenz in Harry Nilsson's play The Point at the Mermaid Theatre in London in 1978. In addition to his career as an entertainer, Davy's other first love was horses... he had horse ownership interests in both the U.S. and the U.K., and served as a commercial spokesman for Colonial Downs racetrack in Virginia. On 1 February 1996, he won his first race as a jockey, on Digpast, in the one-mile Ontario Amateur Riders' Handicap at Lingfield.

Billy Strange
September 29th 1930 ~ February 22nd 2012

Legendary
session guitarist and musical pioneer, the great Billy Strange, has sadly died in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 81. Billy leaves behind a loving family including his son, Russell Glen Strange, his daughter Kelly Kimberly Strange and his stepson, Jerry Joseph Mitchell.
Billy Strange
American singer, songwriter, guitarist and music arranger Billy Strange was born in Long Beach, California. At just 5 years old he performed on a local radio station winning a yodel contest and at 16 after a stint with the trumpet, he and his guitar he were on the road, travelling across Texas with a few other musicians playing shows and dances and Honky Tonks. Back in Southern California, in his early 20s, he became a regular on live television shows employed as a guitar player and singer, working with the likes of The Sons Of The Pioneers and Roy Rogers, and Spade Cooley and Smokey Rogers and others, which led to working not only with all the country musicians of the 50's but also the pop and jazz players, including Count Basie. Later in the 50s he teamed up with Mac Davis to write several hit songs for Elvis Presley including "A Little Less Conversation", the theme from Charro!, and "Memories". Other Elvis songs he wrote includes "Viva Las Vegas". He composed the musical soundtrack for two of Elvis' films 'Live a Little, Love a Little' and 'The Trouble with Girls', he co-wrote "Limbo Rock" for Chubby Checker and wrote David Cassidy's Partridge family theme, "I Think I love You". Billy soon became one of California's top session musicians providing the instrumental backing and arrangement for Nancy Sinatra's "These Boots are made for Walkin", "You Only Live Twice", "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)" among others, including Nancy and Frank's "Somethin' Stupid". As a member of the “Wrecking Crew” of Los Angeles-based session musicians in the 1960s, he played guitar for Jan & Dean, The Ventures, Willie Nelson, The Everly Brothers, Wanda Jackson, Randy Newman, Bob Wills, Dean Martin, Henry Mancini, Les Brown and Nat King Cole to mention just a few. Billy played guitar on numerous Beach Boys hits including "Sloop John B" and the groundbreaking Pet Sounds album. He has arranged and conducted for Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Duane Eddy, and Elvis Presley. Billy also performed the vocals for Steve McQueen in Baby the Rain Must Fall. He released a series of solo works in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s that highlighted his unusual tone and musicianship and regularly featured as a member of The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show in San Francisco. In the early 1970s Billy moved to Nashville where he ran a publishing company for Frank and Nancy Sinatra. Billy has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame for his pioneering contribution to the genre, and has also been inducted into the Musicians Hall Of Fame & Museum.

Whitney Elizabeth Houston
August 9th 1963 ~ February 11th 2012

Whitney Houston, one of the most celebrated female singers of all time, with hits including "I Will Always Love You" and "Saving All My Love For You" has tragically died at the age of 48. She died while in her bath in her rooms at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, in Los Angeles; the cause of death is as yet unknown. She leaves behind a loving family, including her only daughter, Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown.
Whitney Houston
Born in Newark, New Jersey, Whitney inspired by prominent gospel and soul singers in her family, including her mother Cissy Houston, cousins Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, and her godmother Aretha Franklin, she began singing with New Jersey church's junior gospel choir at age 11. She spent some of her teenage years touring nightclubs with her mother Ciss, and she would occasionally get on stage and perform with Cissy. In 1977, aged 14, she became a backup singer on the Michael Zager Band's single "Life's a Party". Then in 1978, at age 15, she sang background vocals on Chaka Khan's hit single "I'm Every Woman", a song she would later turn into a larger hit for herself on The Bodyguard soundtrack album. She also sang back-up on albums by Lou Rawls and Jermaine Jackson. In the early 80s, Whitney started working as a fashion model, and she appeared in Seventeen becoming one of the first women of colour to grace the cover of the magazine. She also appeared as a lead vocalist on a Paul Jabara album, entitled Paul Jabara and Friends. Whitney signed with Arista in 1983 but first recorded a duet with Teddy Pendergrass entitled "Hold Me". She shot to global fame with her debut self-titled album, released in 1985, which sold 25 million copies worldwide. She went on to be one of the greatest singers of all times. She was the only artist to chart seven consecutive No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits ... "Saving All My Love for You", "How Will I Know", "Greatest Love of All", "I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)", "Didn't We Almost Have It All", "So Emotional" and "Where Do Broken Hearts Go"). She was the second artist behind Elton John and the only female artist to have two number-one Billboard 200 Album awards on the Billboard magazine year-end charts.In 1989, she formed The Whitney Houston Foundation For Children, a non-profit organization that has raised funds for the needs of children around the world. The organization cares for homelessness, children with cancer or AIDS, and other issues of self-empowerment. Also that year she met R&B singer Bobby Brown at the 1989 Soul Train Music Awards. They were married on July 18th 1992 and on March 4th 1993, Whitney gave birth to their daughter Bobbi Kristina Houston Brown. Whitney is one of the world's best-selling music artists, in total, she released 7 albums and 3 film soundtracks; she sold over 200 million albums and singles worldwide. In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all time, which amounted to 415 awards as of 2010, which include six Grammys, 30 Billboard Awards, 22 American Music Awards and two Emmy Awards.


David Peaston
March 13th 1957 ~ February 1st 2012

American award winning R&B and gospel singer David Peaston known for his many performances at "Showtime at the Apollo"
, has sadly died at the age of 54 after a long and very brave battle with diabetes.
David Peaston
Born in Saint Louis, Missouri, into a musical family, his mother Martha Bass was one of the Clara Ward Singers and a great gospel performer, while his sister Fontella Bass has equally distinguished gospel and soul credits. As a child, David attended and sang at the Pleasant Green Missionary Baptist Church along with his mother, and his sister. After graduating he worked as a school teacher but, when he was laid off in 1981, he moved to New York City and started working as a background singer on recording sessions including Lester Bowie's 1982 album, The One and Only. In 1988, he became a featured attraction on the syndicated Showtime at the Apollo, winning over the audience with a powerful rendition of "God Bless the Child". This led to him being signed by Geffen Records and his 1989 debut LP Introducing... David Peaston" was among that year's hottest and most soulful releases. His first single, "Two Wrongs (Don't Make It Right)" made No. 3 on the Billboard Black Singles chart and he had further hits on the R&B chart with "Can I?" and "We're All In This Together". At that time also, David toured Europe making his London concert debut supported by Gerald Alston. In 1990 he won a Soul Train Music Award for Best R&B/Soul or Rap New Artist. He then toured America with Gladys Knight, before moving to the MCA label in 1991, where he recorded the album "Mixed Emotions".
In 1993, he recorded a gospel album ''Promises: A Family Portrait Of Faith'' with Fontella and Martha Bass. Sadly David was later diagnosed with diabetes and had his legs amputated, forcing him to use prostheses. Bravely soldiering on, and his love for music, in 2006 David returned to music with his album, Song Book: Songs of Soul & Inspiration. The album features eight new tracks, as well as several of his biggest hits.


Etta James
January 25th 1938 – January 20th 2012
Etta James, whose rich voice breathed life into many musical genres, from soul to blues to R&B to jazz to pop, has sadly died at the age of 73. Etta died of while fighting Alzheimer's disease and leukemia and leaves behind a husband and her two sons Donto and Sametto.
Etta James
Singer Etta, was born Jamesetta Hawkins, in Los Angeles, Californiam, but due to her 14 year old mother being often absent, Etta lived with a series of caregivers, most notably "Sarge" and "Mama" Lu. She sang at the church from the age of 5 and at home was beaten and forced by Sarge to sing in the early hours at drunken poker games. In 1950 Mama Lu died, and Etta's real mother took her to the Fillmore, in San Francisco. Within a couple of years, Etta inspired by doo-wop, formed a girl group, called the Creolettes. Johnny Otis took the group under his wing, helping them sign to Modern Records and changing their name from the Creolettes to the Peaches and gave Etta her stage name, reversing Jamesetta into Etta James. Through her career Etta's style spanned a variety of music genres including blues, rhythm and blues, rock and roll, soul, gospel and jazz. Her solo debut album, At Last!, was released in late 1960 and was noted for its varied choice in music. She gained fame with hits such as "Dance With Me, Henry", "At Last", "Tell Mama", and "I'd Rather Go Blind" for which she claimed she wrote the lyrics. She has performed at the top world jazz festivals in the world, such as the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1977, 1989, 1990 and 1993, performed nine times at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival, and the San Francisco Jazz Festival five times. Etta faced a number of personal problems, including drug addiction, before making a musical resurgence in the late 1980s with the album The Seven Year Itch.
Etta is regarded as having bridged the gap between rhythm and blues and rock and roll, and is the winner of six Grammys and 17 Blues Music Awards. In 1994 the music industry awarded her her first Grammy for a collection of Billie Holliday songs, Mystery Lady. Her warts and all autobiography, A Rage to Survive, was published in 1998. 2001's Matriarch of the Blues, was critically acclaimed, with Rolling Stone magazine's reviewer saying that she had reclaimed her throne. Etta continued to perform in later years, despite health problems, still the awards came. A Grammy Lifetime Achievement award in 2003, was followed by another Grammy in 2004 for the album, Let's Roll and yet another in 2005, for Blues to the Bone. She was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1993, the Blues Hall of Fame in 2001, and the Grammy Hall of Fame in both 1999 and 2008. Rolling Stone ranked her No 22 on their list of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time and number 62 on the list of the 100 Greatest Artists. In November 2011, Etta released her final album, The Dreamer, which was critically acclaimed upon its release. Over the years she has influenced a wide variety of American musicians including Diana Ross, Christina Aguilera, Janis Joplin, Bonnie Raitt, Shemekia Copeland, and Hayley Williams of Paramore as well as British artists The Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, Elkie Brooks, Amy Winehouse, Paloma Faith, Joss Stone and Adele

Johnny Otis
December 28th 1921 ~ January 17th 2012

Rhythm and Blues pioneer, the Godfather of Rhythm and Blues, Johnny Otis has sadly died at his home in Altadena, California at the age of 90. He is survived by his wife of 60 years Phyllis and their children, two of whom, Nick and Shuggie, played in his band.
Johnny Otis
Pioneering rhythm and blues singer, talent scout, disc jockey, composer, arranger,
author, record producer, vibraphonist, drummer, bandleader, pastor and is commonly referred to as the "Godfather of Rhythm and Blues", was born Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes in Vallejo, a predominantly black neighborhood in California, where he started out playing drums in a variety of swing orchestras, including Lloyd Hunter's Serenaders, and Harlan Leonard's Rockets, after which he founded his own band in 1945 and had one of the most enduring hits of the big band era, "Harlem Nocturne". Other of his many hits included "Double Crossing Blues," "Mistrustin' Blues", "Cupid's Boogie", "Gee Baby", "All Nite Long" "Mambo Boogie", "Sunset to Dawn" and "Ma He's Making Eyes At Me". In the late 1940s, he discovered Big Jay McNeely, then in the mid 50s he discovered Etta James, for whom he produced her first hit, "Roll With Me, Henry" aka "The Wallflower". Among his other discoveries were Little Richard, Little Esther Phillips, Jackie Wilson, Little Willie John and Hank Ballard. He produced the original recording of Leiber and Stoller’s "Hound Dog" with vocals by Big Mama Thornton, and was given a writing credit on all six of the 1953 releases of the song. He was a successful songwriter; one of his most famous compositions is "Every Beat of My Heart", first recorded by The Royals in the 1952. He wrote other R&B hits, including "So Fine", "Double Crossing Blues" and "All Nite Long". In April 1958, he recorded his best-known recording, "Willie and the Hand Jive". In 1970 Johnny played at the Monterey Jazz Festival with Little Esther Phillips and Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson. In the 1980s he had a weekly radio show in Los Angeles, playing R&B music, and also recorded with his son Shuggie Otis, releasing the 1982 album The New Johnny Otis Show. Johnny continued performing through the 1990s and headlined the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1990 and 2000, although because of his many other interests he went through long periods where he did not perform. He was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 as a nonperformer for his work as a songwriter and producer. As an author, Johnny published the book "Listen to the Lambs" in 1968, in the wake of the Watts riots and he chronicled the music scene "Upside Your Head! Rhythm and Blues on Central Avenue" in his 1994 book. In the 1990s, Otis bought a farm near Sebastopol, California, for a time he ran a coffee shop/grocery store/blues club, where one of the featured singers was the Georgia-born singer Jackie Payne. Around this time Otis also founded and pastored a new church, Landmark Community Gospel Church, which held weekly rehearsals in the tiny town of Forestville, California, and Sunday services in Santa Rosa, California. Later he hosted a radio show on KPFA, The Johnny Otis Show, aired every Saturday morning, his last show aired on August 19th 2006.

Robbie France
December 5th 1959 ~ January 14th 2012

Rock drummer, co-founder of Skunk Anansie, Robbie France aged 52, has tragically and unexpectedly died in Spain due to a ruptured aorta and complications during surgery in a hospital in Mazarron, the town where he had lived since 1998. The one time drummer with UFO; Ellis, Beggs, & Howard and many others, leaves behind a loving family and many friends and fans.
Robbie France
English drummer, producer, arranger, journalist, educator, and broadcaster. Born in Sheffield, he emigrated to Australia around 1970, where he studied at the National Academy of Rudimentary Drummers of Australia until 1974. He formed the jazz-fusion group, Carnival, performed at the Oz Jazz Festival, and supported John McLaughlin. He worked with Stevie Wright of the Easybeats, Marty Rhone, Ray Burgess, Tim Gaze, and most major Australian artists. He amassed over 1,000 television, radio, and advertising credits, including eight documentaries and four film scores, including Band on the Run, one of the most successful surfing films ever made. Robbie left Australia in 1982 to return to England, where he joined Diamond Head the following year. Part of the NWOBHM movement, they performed at Castle Donington Monsters of Rock, then went on to record their third album, Canterbury. In 1985 he toured and recorded with UFO, replacing Andy Parker. Leaving UFO in 1986, he formed One Nation with Kipper, now Sting's producer. By now Bobbie was also teaching in drum clinics all over the world and he set up a teaching studio in Kingston upon Thames, where he worked with Gary O'Toole, Hugo Degenhardt, Gary Wallis, Mike + The Mechanics, Power Station, 10 CC, Jean Michel Jarre, The Style Council, Gary Ferguson, Mark Price, Tim Burgess, who he toured with through Europe & the U.K. During 1987, he began his monthly column for the popular British drummer's magazine Rhythm. That same year he joined Ellis, Beggs, & Howard aka E.B.H., whose first single, "Big Bubbles No Troubles", won the Diamond Award for best new group. After E.B.H., in 1990 he did a short stint with Wishbone Ash, with whom he toured and recorded the album Strange Affair. Robbie returned to Australia to form a solo jazz project, 'The Gab'. Based loosely as a tribute to the jazz greats; Elvin Jones & John Coltrane, their first album was recorded at EMI Studio 301 on 28 July 1993. In 1994 he returned to London, to promote the solo project bbut he became a founder member of Skunk Anansie and recorded and co-produced their smash-hit debut album "Paranoid& Sunburnt". He co-wrote the hit track "Weak", which has since been covered by Rod Stewart. He also recorded the B-side, "Army of Me", with Björk. In 1995, he joined the German group Alphaville with whom he toured and recorded with until an accident in which he severed his Achilles tendon. He moved to in Poland for over two years, hosting his own radio programme, and appearing on numerous television shows. In 1998 he moved to Puerto de Mazarron, Spain, in order to concentrate on writing a novel. He also successfully ran Pulpo Negro Records, Pulpo Negro Publishing, Pulpo Negro Studios, GCBC Productions, with his partner, Tim Oldfield up until 2004. His most resent project was a return to Radio broadcasting for both Real Radio 95.6 FM in Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca and One Radio Spain on the Costa Calida, providing simulcasts between the two Costas. Robbie's novel 'Six Degrees South' was published on December 7th 2011.

Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt
July 7th 1948 ~ January 2nd 2012

American rock pioneer and guitarist Larry Reinhardt, better known as El Rhino of Iron Butterfly and Captain Beyond fame, has sadly died at the age of 63, after battling cancer and sclerosis of the liver. Larry leaves behind his long time girlfriend Tracey Hooper.
Larry "Rhino" Reinhardt
After playing with several local bands around Florida, in 1969, Larry, along with bassist Richard Price and drummer Ramone Sotolongo, formed a "power trio" The Load performing mostly original, psychedelic blues-rock and landed a house gig in Gainesville, at a club called Dubs. He was also guitarist, breifly, for The Second Coming before joining Iron Butterfly. In 1970, Iron Butterfly released an album that included Larry and Mike Pinera, titled Metamorphosis, which was officially credited to "Iron Butterfly With Pinera & Rhino. In 1970 Larry and Iron Butterfly bassist Lee Dorman formed Captain Beyond, recruiting former Johnny Winter/Rick Derringer drummer Bobby Caldwell, along with former Deep Purple vocalist Rod Evans. Captain Beyond released its self titled debut album a year later. The band recorded a live album in 1973, Far Beyond A Distant Sun - Live Arlington, Texas, which was not released until 2002. That same year, Marty Rodriguez replaced Caldwell on drums, and keyboardist Reese Wynans, former member of the Blues Messengers and the Second Coming, joined. This new line-up recorded and released Sufficiently Breathless in 1973. Larry guested on two songs by Bobby Womack, "Don't Let Me Down" and "I Don't Want To Get Hurt By Your Love Again" on Womack's 1974 album, Lookin' for a Love Again. From 1977 to 1981 he played with his band own Ryno Band and recorded with the band Mad Dancer on the 1981 album, Lost World, on which he wrote three songs: "Still A Boy", "Serious" and "Such a Feeling". Larry also performed in various reunions of Iron Butterfly in 1978, 1980, 1984, 1988, and in 1989. In 1991, he played on the Robert Tepper album No Rest For The Wounded Heart, which was not released until 1996. In 2000 with a new lineup of Captain Beyond he recorded a four-song EP. The band once again disbanded in 2003 when Larry developed cancer. He was treated but told he had only months to live, but he exceeded all his doctor's expectations and continued to perform music until late 2011, and released his solo album, Rhino's Last Dance, in February 2009


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