A Phil Brodie Band Muso Page
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2015 . 2014 . 2013 . 2012 . 2011 . 2010 . 2009 . 2008 . 2007 . 2006 . 2005 . 2004 . REQUESTS .

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" Let us remember the great talent each possessed "

Ricky Lawson
1954 ~ December 23rd
Grammy winning, top session drummer Ricky Lawson has sadly died at Long Beach Memorial Medical Center from a brain aneurysm. Ricky, who was 59, became disoriented during a performance at the Spaghettini Jazz Club, Seal Beach, California on December 13th and was diagnosed with a cerebral aneurysm. He was taken to hospital and put on life support, but tragically died 10 days later.
Ricky Lawson
American drummer and composer Ricky Lawson was born and raised in Detroit; he started his musical journey at a young age playing with The Sons of Soul, who performed at the 1969 Michigan State Fair, opening for The Jackson Five. Ricky soon developed expertise in jazz, country 'n' western, pop, R&B, funk and Latin rhythms, a versatility that allows him to play with anyone he wants to and he worked extensively as a session musician. As one of the most sought-after and requested session musicians of his time, he collaborated with the likes of Eric Clapton, Michael Jackson, Steely Dan, Al Jarreau, Phil Collins, Babyface,
Toto, Whitney Houston, Quincy Jones, Stevie Wonder, Bette Midler, Russell Ferrante, George Benson, Lionel Richie and George Duke, among others. Ricky has featured on some of the biggest Number 1 and multi-platinum singles and albums, including Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You", Anita Baker's "Sweet Love", James Ingrams' "I Don't Have The Heart" and Lionel Richie's "Dancing On The Ceiling". He also co-authored the Pointer Sisters' hit "Uh-Uh" and co-produced the album Seriously Slammin and the Fattburger hit "Good News". As well as his busy studio schedule, in 1977, Ricky along with 3 other top-notch L.A. sessionists, Robben Ford, Russell Ferrante and Jimmy Haslip, founded the jazz-fusion band the Yellowjackets and 10 years later they won the 1987 Grammy Award for Best R&B Instrumental Performance for "And You Know That" from their 4th album Shades. In 2001, he released his 2nd solo album Ricky Lawson and Friends, which he arranged, produced, performed on and wrote all of the songs. The album featured leading artists Gerald Albright, Phil Collins, George Duke, Sheila E., Nathan East, Donald Fagen, Jon Herington, Robben Ford, James Ingram, Boney James, Al Jarreau, Kirk Whalum, Vesta Williams, and others. As a leader he released 3 other albums including, in 2008, a classic Christmas CD, Christmas with Friends, with special guests Ron Reinhardt and Philppe Saisse on acoustic piano, Rick Braun on trumpet, Richard Elliot, Michael Paulo, and Steve Alaniz on sax, Paul Brown, Adam Hawley and Ian Kenne on guitar, Lenny Castro on percussion, Roberto Vally and Sekou Bunch on bass.

Yusef Lateef
October 9th 1920 December 23rd 2013

93 year old Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Yusef Lateef, one of the first musicians to incorporate world music into traditional jazz, has sadly died at his home in Shutesbury, western Massachusetts, after a brave battle with prostate cancer. He is survived by his wife, Ayesha Lateef; his son Yusef Lateef; a granddaughter and great-grandchildren.
Yusef Lateef
Multi-instumentalist, singer and composer, Yusef Lateef, was born William Emanuel Huddleston in Chattanooga,Tenn., but moved with his family to Detroit in 1925, where he mixed with many top musicians who were part of Detroit's active music scene. After graduation from high school at aged 18, he launched his professional musical career and began touring with a number of swing bands including bands led by Lucky Millinder, Roy Eldridge, Hot Lips Page and Ernie Fields. Although his main instruments were the tenor saxophone and flute, he also played oboe, bassoon, bamboo flute, xun, shanai, shofar, arghul and koto. In 1949, he was invited by Dizzy Gillespie to tour with his band, which was playing be-bop at the time. William took the name Yusef Lateef after becoming a member of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community and twice made the pilgrimage to Mecca. In the 1960 he did a stint in New York playing in Charles Mingus' band and performed with some of jazz's best talent, including Cannonball Adderley, Donald Byrd and Miles Davis. Yusef had began recording as a leader in 1957 and made more than 100 recordings as a leader for such labels as Savoy, Prestige, Impulse, Atlantic and his own label YAL, which he formed in 1992 . His most noted early recordings included such songs as "Love Theme from Spartacus" and "Morning". His 1987 album, Yusef Lateef's Little Symphony, on which he played all of the instruments, won him the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album and in 2010 he received the lifetime Jazz Master Fellowship Award from the National Endowment for the Arts. As a composer, he created works for performers ranging from soloists to bands to choirs. His longer pieces have been played by symphony orchestras throughout the US and in Germany. He held a bachelor's degree in music and master's degree in music education from the Manhattan School of Music and he continued to teach till the end of his life, at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Hampshire College in western Massachusetts.

Chico Hamilton
September 20th 1921 ~ November 25th 2013

Influential jazz drummer and bandleader Chico Hamilton, an architect of the West Coast cool jazz style , has died of natural causes at the age of 92. Sadly he leaves behind his daughter, Denise; his brother Don; a granddaughter and two great-granddaughters. His wife, Helen and his brother, Bernie, both died in 2008.

Chico Hamilton (photo wiith courtesy of Susan Walsh)
American drummer Chico Hamilton was born Foreststorn Hamilton in Los Angeles, California where prior to 1955 he played with many greats including Charles Mingus, Illinois Jacquet, Ernie Royal, Dexter Gordon, Buddy Collette and Jack Kelso. Engagements with Lionel Hampton, Slim & Slam, T-Bone Walker, Lester Young, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Charlie Barnet, Billy Eckstine, Nat King Cole, Sammy Davis Jr., Billie Holiday, Gerry Mulligan and six years with Lena Horne established him as a jazz drummer. He recorded his first album as leader in 1955 with double-bassist George Duvivier and jazz guitarist Howard Roberts. In that same year he formed an unusual quintet in L.A. featuring cello, flute, guitar, bass and drums. The quintet has been described as one of the last important West Coast Jazz bands. In 1966, Chico started composing for commercials and the studios and he broke up his quintet. However, he continued leading various groups, playing music that ranged from the avant-garde to erratic fusion and advanced hard bop. After performing at Montreux Jazz Festival in 1972 and 73, he formed a new group called Players in 1975 and in 1987, he was a founding member of the jazz faculty at the New School University, where his students included John Popper of Blues Traveler and Eric Schenkman of The Spin Doctors. That same year he formed a new band called Euphoria that toured and recorded extensively . Over the years, Chico had a series of dance successes, including his signature song "Conquistadors" from his 60s album El Chico, and the Brazilian influenced song "Strut" his 1980 album, Nomad, which became so successful on the Northern Soul scene in the U.K. that it had its own dance. In 2002 a track titled "For Mods Only" from Chico's 1968 album The Dealer, was included on the Thievery Corporation's Sounds from the Verve Hi-Fi. In 2006, he released four CDs in celebration of his 85th birthday: Juniflip featuring guest appearances from Love front-man Arthur Lee, vocalist Bill Henderson and former Hamilton band members trombonist George Bohanon and bass trombonist Jimmy Cheatham among others; Believe with special guest appearances from vocalist and rhythm and blues singer Fontella Bass and trombonist George Bohanon; 6th Avenue Romp featuring special guest appearances from guitarist Shuggie Otis, trumpeter Jon Faddis, trombonist George Bohanon, vocalist Brenna Bavis and percussionist Jaimoe of the Allman Brothers Band; and Heritage with special guest appearances from vocalist Marya Lawrence and trombonist George Bohanon. He released a further 9 albums after these before his death in 2013.
He released a further 9 albums after these playing into his 90s. Just 6 months before his 90th birthday, Chico held a marathon recording session with his Euphoria group, resulting in 28 new tracks, producing 2 EPs and his last album of 60 as a leader, "Revelation".

Frank Wess
January 4th 1922 ~ October 30st 2013

Frank Wess, pioneering jazz flutist and tenor saxophonist has died after a 70-year career as a leader and sideman to the greats. Sadly Frank has died from liver failure at the grand age of 91.
Frank Wess
American jazz saxophonist and flutist, Frank Wellington Wess was born in Kansas City; he began as a classical musician, before switching to jazz when he moved to Washington, D.C. and by 19 was working in the Big Bands. After serving in WW2 he joined Billy Eckstine's orchestra, where fellow band members included Miles Davis and Art Blakey. He also worked in bands led by Lucky Millinder and Bull Moose Jackson, at the same studying at D.C.'s Modern School of Music, where he earned a degree in flute. From 1953-1964 he was a member of Count Basie's band, also, from 1959 to 1964 he won Down Beat's critic poll for flute. He was a member of Clark Terry's big band from '67 into the '70s and played in the New York Jazz Quartet as well as doing a variety of work for TV, as well as recording with the likes of Zoot Sims, Arif Mardin, Woody Shaw, Melvin Sparks, Bobby Hutcherson, Elvin Jones, Leon Spencer, Chico O'Farrill to mention a few. In the '80s and '90s, he worked with dozens of artists including Kenny Barron, Rufus Reid, Buck Clayton, Benny Carter, Billy Taylor, Harry Edison, Louie Bellson, Jane Jarvis, John Pizzarelli, Howard Alden, Dick Hyman, Ernestine Anderson, Mel Tormé, Frank Vignola and was also a featured member of the Toshiko Akiyoshi Jazz Orchestra. Over Frank's seven decade career as well as recording with dozens of his fellow jazz greats, he also released 14 albums as a leader. In the 2000s, Frank released two albums with Hank Jones and in 2007 was named an NEA Jazz Master by the U.S. National Endowment for the Arts

Lou Reed
March 2nd 1942 ~ October 27th 2013
Hard living rock pioneer Lou Reed, the hugely inventive and influential singer-songwriter-poet-guitarist, who has helped shape fifty years of rock music, has died at the age of 71. Earlier this year, in May, he underwent a liver transplant, but tragically, Lou who had not been well for the last few months, has died from a "liver-related ailment" at his home in Southampton, New York, Long Island. Sadly he leaves behind by his second wife, the musician and performing artist Laurie Anderson.

Lou Reed
American rock singer-songwriter and guitarist, Lewis Allan Reed, was born in Brooklyn and grew up in Freeport, Long Island. A self taught guitarist while at high school he played in a number of bands but his first recording was as a member of a doo wop-style group called The Jades. In 1956, Lou, who was bisexual, went through the horrors of electroconvulsive therapy as a teenager, which was intended to cure his bisexuality; he wrote about the experience in his 1974 song, "Kill Your Sons". In 1960 he entered Syracuse University to study journalism, film directing, and creative writing. In 1964, he moved to New York City where he worked as an in-house songwriter for Pickwick Records. While there he was in a band called "The Primitives", which included Welsh musician John Cale. They had a minor hit with "The Ostrich", before he and John formed Velvet Underground after recruiting Lou's college friends, guitarist Sterling Morrison and drummer Maureen Tucker. The band caught the attention of Andy Warhol, who became thier manager. In 1967 they released their debut album The Velvet Underground & Nico, which was recorded in 1966 during Andy Warhol's Exploding Plastic Inevitable multimedia event tour. Over the years, the album, has become one of the most influential and critically acclaimed rock albums in history, appearing at No.13 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time as well as being added to the 2006 National Recording Registry by the Library of Congress. It produced two singles "All Tomorrow's Parties" and "Sunday Morning". Lou recorded another 3 albums with Velvet Underground leaving not long after their 4th album Loaded was released in November 1971. Later in 1996 Lou and The Velvet Underground were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. After quitting Velvet Underground, Lou launched his solo career and released his self-titled debut album in 1972, but it wasn't until the Bowie-produced album, Transformer, released later that year that he achieved chart success. Transformer produced the international hit "Walk on the Wild Side", which received wide radio coverage, despite its touching on taboo topics such as transsexuality, drugs, male prostitution and oral sex. In the United States, RCA released the single using an edited version without the reference to oral sex. It also featured his song "Perfect Day" which enjoyed a revival in 1996 when it was featured in Danny Boyle's Trainspotting and again a year later when it was re-recorded by a celebrity cast for a BBC charity single. He re-recorded the song himself for his 2003 album The Raven. As a solo artist, Lou released 21 studio albums, his last, Hudson River Wind Meditations, was released in 2007, after which he released the album Lulu which he recorded with the heavy metal band Metallica in 2011. Over his long career Lou has worked with many other artists including Rubén Blades, Simple Minds, The Smithereens, Dion DiMucci, Vince Gill, Antony and the Johnsons, Roy Orbison, The Killers, Gorillaz to mention a few. October 2nd & 3rd 2008, saw Lou premier his new group, Metal Machine Trio at at REDCAT, Los Angeles; the live recordings of the concerts were released under the title The Creation of the Universe and in 2009, he became an active member of the Jazz Foundation of America. Lou has also appeared in eleven films including One Trick Pony, Get Crazy, Blue In The Face, Closure and provided the voice of Maltazard, the villain in the 2009 Luc Besson animated film, Arthur and the Vengeance of Maltazard. The punk, glam and alternative rock movements of the 1970s, '80s and '90s were all indebted to Lou, his songs were covered by the likes of REM, David Bowie, Nirvana, Patti Smith and countless others. U2's Brian Eno summed up their influence by saying: "The first Velvet Underground album only sold 30,000 copies, but everyone who bought it formed a band"

Noel Harrison
January 29th 1934 ~ October 19th 2013

Singer-guitarist-actor Noel Harrison has died at the age of 79. He died in a hospital following a heart attack at his home in Devon, England, just a few hours after he had performed that evening. Sadly Noel leaves behind
his five children Cathryn, Simon, Harriet, Chloe and Will and his his third wife, Lori.
Noel Harrison
British singer, actor, Olympic skier
and son of the actor Rex Harrison, born Noel John Christopher Harrison, in London to Rex's first of six wives, Collette Thomas. He joined the Ipswich repertory theatre group and taught himself guitar, but his main interest at that time was spent skiing. At an early age he was a member of the British ski team, becoming its first giant-slalom champion in 1953 and representing Great Britain at the 1952 Winter Olympics in Oslo, Norway and at the 1956 Winter Olympics in Italy. When he was 20, he started playing his guitar and singing professionally, around the tables in a Greek restaurant in London. He also made a living playing in bars and nightclubs all over Europe, including appearances at the legendary Blue Angel Club, where one show was recorded for a live album. His early break came when he took a regular part in the BBC Television programme, Tonight, as part of a team who sang the day's news in a calypso style. In 1965 he left for the USA, working as a nightclub entertainer and he had a chart hit with "A Young Girl", written by Charles Aznavour. Noel also appeared in TV series The Girl from U.N.C.L.E., The Man from U.N.C.L.E. and "The Galatea Affair". He recorded "The Windmills of Your Mind", the theme tune from the film The Thomas Crown Affair, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 1968 and was also a Top 10 hit in the UK Singles Chart. Noel moved to Canada in 1972 and during the 70s and 80s went on to tour with the shows Camelot, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, Camelot, The Sound of Music, Man of La Mancha, No Sex Please, We're British and Noises Off. In the late 1990s, Noel returned to Britain, moving to Devon. He continued to sing, record and putting on occasional performances. Being an admirer of Jacques Brel, Noel created a one-man musical, "Adieu, Jacques" and in 2002 released an album of songs from the show. In June 2011, he played Glastonbury Festival's "Spirit of '71" stage, marking 40 years since his appearance at the second staging of the then new festival. Television footage was recorded, including a solo backstage acoustic version of "The Windmills of Your Mind" for the BBC.

Philip Chevron
une 17th 1957 ~ October 8th 2013

Pogues guitarist, singer and pioneer Philip Chevron, one of Ireland's first punks, has died at the age of 56. He had been treated for head and neck cancer in 2007, then was given a clean bill of health in April 2012. Tragically a new tumour appeared in August 2012, which sadly, was inoperable.
Philip Chevron .. Photograph: Denis O’Regan
Irish singer, songwriter and guitarist Philip Chevron born Philip Ryan in Dublin was regarded as one of the most influential figures in Irish punk music. In 1976 along with Pete Holidai, Steve Rapid, Jimmy Crashe and Mark Megaray he founded the punk rock outfit The Radiators from Space, in which Philip was lead singer. They were one of the earliest punk bands and released two albums, TV Tube Heart in 1977 and Ghostown in 1979. Following a temporary breakup of the band in 1981, Philip went to live in London, where he befriended Shane MacGowan when they worked together at a record shop. Following the release of the Pogues' 1984 debut album Red Roses For Me, Philip was invited to join the band on a short-term basis as cover for banjo player Jem Finer's paternity leave. He then took over as lead guitarist when Shane decided to concentrate on singing and he became a full-time member of the band in time for the recording of its second album, Rum, Sodomy and the Lash. He also played the banjo and mandolin on the Pogues recordings. Philip proved himself as a songwriter, writing the songs including "Thousands Are Sailing" and "Lorelei" amongst others. The Pogues' "Fairytale of New York" was released as a single in 1987 and reached No.1 in the Irish charts and No.2 in the British charts over Christmas. The song has become a festive classic in the UK and Ireland over the years and was voted the best Christmas song of all time three years running in 2004, 2005 and 2006 in polls by music channel VH1 UK. He left The Pogues for a while in 1994 following problems with drugs and alcohol and not long after the band split up. In 2001, the band re-formed for a Christmas tour and he toured regularly with The Pogues until his death. In 2002 Q magazine named The Pogues as one of the "50 Bands To See Before You Die". In 2003, he also re-formed The Radiators with ex-Pogues bassist Cait O'Riordan and released the album Trouble Pilgrim in 2006, which included a tribute to his friend, Joe Strummer. In later years, Philip became The Pogues' unofficial spokesperson and resident expert on the reclusive Shane MacGowan, frequently visiting online forums and directly answering questions from fans. In 2004, he personally oversaw the remastering and re-release of The Pogues' entire back catalogue on CD. His last public appearance was at the Olympia Theatre for a fundraiser in August 2013.

Marvin Rainwater
July 2nd 1925 ~ September 17th 2013

Country music legend and pioneer, Marvin Rainwater has died after a short illness at the age of 88. He sadly leaves behind three daughters: Judi, who lives in Wenatchee, Washington; Lora, who lives in Columbia Heights, Minnesota; and Barbara, who lives in Coon Rapids, Minnesota and two sons, Wade, who also lives in Minnesota and his son Jimmy, who lives in Alabama.
Marvin Rainwater : photo with courtesy of J. P. Salinero
American country and rockabilly singer Marvin Karlton Rainwater was born in Wichita, Kansas; he was 25% Cherokee and known for wearing Native American-themed outfits on stage. As a child, he took classical piano lessons, which ended after he lost part of his right thumb to a work accident as a teenager. He originally trained to be a veterinarian, but after some time in the USA Navy during WWII took up the guitar. After his naval discharge he started playing and writing songs and with his brothers, he played concerts around Virginia. He got his big break in the music business after winning 1st place on Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts on May 9th 1955, after which he was given a regular role on ABC-TV's Ozark Jubilee for several years in Springfield, Missouri. He got signed with MGM and recorded a series of songs for the label, including numbers like "Hot and Cold" and became one of country's most noteworthy stars in the late 1950s. One of the first country songs he recorded was his self penned "Gonna Find Me a Bluebird", released in 1957, which became a big country-pop crossover hit, making Marvin among the first country singers to appeal to a pop market. The song reached No.5 on the country chart, No.18 on the pop chart, selling one million copies by 1957 and gave him his first gold record. During the song's success, Marvin relocated to the New Jersey-New York area. Further hits included "The Majesty of Love" a duet with Connie Francis, "So You Think You Got Troubles", his self-penned "Whole Lotta Woman" which reached No.1 in the UK, "I Dig You Baby", "Nothin' Needs Nothin' (Like I Need You)", "My Love Is Real", "My Brand Of Blues", "Half Breed" and "The Pale Faced Indian". Marvin developed calluses on his vocal cords and as a result, he and MGM Records parted ways in 1960. In the 1970s, he developed throat cancer, from which he slowly recovered and he moved to Aitkin, Minnesota. He appeared occasionally at rockabilly festivals in Europe and was the 73rd inductee into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

David Jacobs CBE
May 19th 1926 ~ September 2nd 2013

Broadcaster David Jacobs who hosted Pick of the Pops
and Jukebox Jury has died at his home at the age of 87. David had been fighting liver cancer for over 2 years and was suffering from
Parkinson’s disease. Sadly he leaves behind his third wife Lindsay and his 3 daughters from his first marraige to Patricia. David's son Jeremy was killed while working on a kibbutz at the age of 19 in 1973.
David Jacobs
British actor and broadcaster born in London, David Jacobs served in the Royal Navy from 1944 to 1947 and first broadcast on the BBC General Forces Programme Navy Mixture in 1944. He became an announcer with the British Forces Broadcasting Service and was chief announcer on Radio SEAC in Ceylon from 1945–47 and later assistant station director. He took up acting, appearing as Laurie in the first BBC TV adaptation of Little Women in 1951. His voice intoned the title for many of the 53 episodes of the radio space adventure series, Journey Into Space where he played 22 parts in the series and he also broadcast on Radio Luxembourg. He went on to host shows including the BBC's pop music TV series Juke Box Jury, Top of the Pops and Come Dancing, also BBC radio shows including Melodies For You, Music Through Midnight and Housewives' Choice. Between 1957 and 1966, David presented A Song for Europe and provided the UK commentary at Eurovision Song Contests, after which, from 1967-1984 he became Chairman of the BBC Radio 4 political forum, Any Questions?. In 1984, he received the Sony Gold Award for his outstanding contribution to radio over the years and was subsequently admitted to the Sony Hall of Fame. He also achieved the Richard Martin Award for exceptional service in the cause of animal welfare. He later presented the Radio 2 Sunday late-night easy listening show from 1998 until 2013, The David Jacobs Collection, showcasing songs from Hollywood, Broadway and Tin Pan Alley and continuing the "our kind of music" theme. After seven decades with the BBC he was forceded to step down from his Radio 2 programme last month, due to his poor health.

Sathima Bea Benjamin
October 17th 1936 ~ August 20
th 2013

South African vocalist, composer and a beacon of principled objection to apartheid has died at the age of 76. Sadly she leaves behind a son, Tsakwe, now a pianist in Cape Town, and a daughter, Tsidi, the underground rapper known as Jean Grae.
Beatrice "Sathima Bea" Benjamin
South African jazz singer,
lyricist, composer and the wife of acclaimed pianist Abdullah Ibrahim, Beatrice "Sathima Bea" Benjamin was born in Johannesburg, raised in Cape Town and based for nearly fortyfive years in New York City, USA.
By the 1950s she was singing at various nightclubs, community dances and social events, performing with notable Cape Town pianists Tony Schilder and Henry February, among others. At the age of 21, she joined Arthur Klugman's traveling show, Coloured Jazz and Variety, on a tour of South Africa. It was around this time she met Abdullah Ibrahim, then known as Dollar Brand. They began working together, recording her unreleased first album, “My Songs for You,” in 1959. Shaken by events like South Africa’s 1960 Sharpeville Massacre, Sathima and Ibrahim left South Africa to live in Europe in 1962. The couple, along with Ibrahim's trio of bassist Johnny Gertze and drummer Makhaya Ntshoko, settled in Zurich, Switzerland and occasionally worked with visiting American jazz players, including Don Byas, Dexter Gordon, Kenny Drew, Ben Webster, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monkand Bud Powel. They met Duke Ellington while he was in Zurich in 1963, she insisted that Duke hear her husband’s trio at the Club Africana, where Ibrahim's band had a standing engagement. The Duke obliged, but insisted that Benjamin sing for him. Following this encounter, Ellington arranged for the couple to fly to Paris and record separate albums for Frank Sinatra’s Reprise label. Throughout the 60s they moved back and forth between Europe and New York City. In 1979, Sathima launched her own record label, ekapa rpm, to produce, publish and distribute her and Ibrahim’s music. Between 1979 and 2002, she released 8 of her own albums on ekapa: Sathima Sings Ellington, Cape Town Love, Memories and Dreams, Dedications, Windsong, Lovelight, Southern Touch, and Musical Echoes. Her compelling life was the subject of a 2010 documentary film entitled Sathima's Windsong, directed by author and professor, Daniel Yon
. Two weeks before she died, Sathima received a lifetime achievement award at the Standard Bank Joy of Jazz festival in Johannesburg.

Allen Lanier
June 25th 1946 ~ August 14th 2013

Multi-talented, multi-instrumentalist Allen Lancier, keyboardist, guitarist and founder member andfor Blue Öyster Cult, has sadly died at the age of 67 fighting a chronic lung disease.
Allen Lanier
American rock keyboardist and guitarist Allen Lanier was born in Long Island, New York. In 1967 he was a founding member of the band Soft White Underbelly, but after a bad review in 1969 they changed their name to Oaxaca, to the Stalk-Forrest Group, to the Santos Sisters, until the band settled on Blue Öyster Cult in 1971. They released their debut album Blue Öyster Cult in January 1972. Because of their unique sound and diversity, Blue Öyster Cult has been influential to many modern bands that span many genres and are important pioneers of several different styles of rock music that came to prominence in the 1980s and 1990s. Many heavy metal bands have cited them as a major influence, and bands such as Metallica and Iced Earth have covered their songs on studio recordings and during live performances. Allen wrote the music for some of the band’s weirdest material, including "What Is Quicksand?", "Gil Blanco County", "She’s As Beautiful As A Foot", "Before The Kiss" and "A Redcap". Their song "(Don't Fear) The Reaper" has been covered by many diverse artists, notably Evanescence, HIM, The Goo Goo Dolls, The Beautiful South, Wilco, Big Country, and singer-songwriter Elliott Smith. Allen left the band in 1985, but rejoined in '87, until his retirement in 2007. Allen rejoined them for their 40th anniversary concert in New York in November 2012, which proved to be his last ever appearance with the band. He also wrote several songs for Blue Öyster Cult albums, including "Lonely Teardrops", "True Confessions", "Searchin' for Celine", "Tenderloin" and "In Thee". In addition to his work with Blue Oyster Cult, he also contributed to music by Patti Smith, Jim Carroll, The Dictators and The Clash, among others.
For eight years he was the partner of Patti Smith, and co-wrote two tracks on her epochal 1975 debut Horses, the haunting "Elegie'' and "Kimberly". He also guested on her next two releases, Radio Ethopia and Easter. In 1978, he contributed piano to "Julie's Been Working For The Drug Squad'' on Give 'Em Enough Rope, the second album by The Clash, and he also worked with John Cale of the Velvet Underground and facilitated the music career of another poet and performer, Jim Carroll of The Basketball Diaries fame.

Bernie Nolan
October 17th 1960 ~ July 4th 2013

Former lead vocalist of The Nolans, Irish singer and actress, Bernie Nolan has died of cancer at her home at the age of 52. Sadly she leaves behind a large and very loving family which includes her husband, drummer Steve Doneathy and their daughter Erin.
Bernie Nolan
Irish singer, actress and former lead vocalist of The Nolans, was born Bernadette in Dublin but raised in Blackpool, England. She was the second youngest of siblings Anne, Brian, Denise, Maureen, Tommy, Linda and Coleen Nolan. Bernie, along with her sisters, parents and brothers performed in the smokey clubs and pubs in and around Blackpool. The family troupe performed until the early hours and the youngsters would be woken up in the morning for school. In 1974 the five daughters began performing as The Nolan Sisters and after guesting on Cliff Richard's TV show, they began regular appearances on variety and comedy shows including Summertime Special, The Morecambe & Wise Show and The Two Ronnies. In 1975 they supported Frank Sinatra on a European tour and Rolf Harris in South Africa. Their chart breakthrough came in '78 with the covers album 20 Giant Hits and that year they also supported Engelbert Humperdinck on a US tour. They shot to mega stardom in '79 with "I'm in the Mood for Dancing" their biggest hit peaking at No.3 in the UK and No.1 in Japan. Other hits included "Don't Make Waves", "Attention to Me" and "Gotta Pull Myself Together". Bernie composed songs, writing two tracks for their 1982 album Portrait. They sold millions of recordings worldwide, particularly in Japan where they sold over 9 million albums. Bernie also forged an acting career, debuting on the BBC Saturday morning children's show On the Waterfront, after which she left the band to concerntrate more on her acting. In the 1990s she performed in the stage plays The Devil Rides Out and Blood Brothers before joining the cast of Channel 4's soap opera Brookside as Diane. She left in 2002 to play Sheelagh Murphy in ITV's police drama series The Bill. Returning to her music in 2004 Bernie released the single "Macushla" with the proceeds going to charity. In 2005 she released her debut solo album 'All By Myself'. The album consists mainly of power ballads, including the song "Better Place" written by her husband, drummer Steve Doneathy, in memory of their stillborn daughter, Kate. In 2009, Bernie and The Nolans reunited for a sell-out UK reunion tour and in 2010 she took part in ITV's Popstar to Operastar, where she came second to Darius Campbell with only 0.2% between them. In the final, Bernie sang "Les Filles de Cadix" by Delibes, "Somewhere" from West Side Story and "Libiamo ne'lieti calici" ("Brindisi") from La Traviata. In 2010 Bernie was given the all clear after treatment for breast cancer, but last year, in 2012, tragically she discovered her cancer had returned and had spread to her brain, lungs, liver and bones.

Bernard Vitet
May 26th 1934 ~ July 3rd 2013

French composer, trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist, inventor
and legendary free jazz pioneer Bernard Vitet, has sadly died from respiratory failure at the age of 77.
Bernard Vitet
French trumpetist, Bernard Vitet was born in Paris, he also sang, composed, he played flugelhorn, trombone, piano and violin. In his early years he performed with Django Reinhardt, Gus Viseur, Eric Dolphy and Albert Ayler. In 1964, together with François Tusques, he co-founded the first free jazz band in France. In the 1960s, he accompanied and recorded with greats such as Serge Gainsbourg, Barbara, Yves Montand, Claude François, Brigitte Bardot, Marianne Faithfull, Colette Magny, Brigitte Fontaine, Lester Young,
Don Cherry, Chet Baker, Archie Shepp, Anthony Braxton, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Steve Lacy, Gato Barbieri, Jean-Luc Ponty and Martial Solal to mention a few. Under his own name he recorded Surprise-partie avec Bernard Vitet on which he played trombone, La Guêpe, Mehr Licht! and around 200 other records with the above mentioned, plus Jean-Claude Fohrenbach, Georges Arvanitas, Sunny Murray, Michel Pascal, Alan Silva, Alexander von Schlippenbach, Hubert Rostaing, Alix Combelle, Ivan Jullien, Christian Chevalier, Jef Gilson, Jack Diéval, Jac Berrocal, Hélène Sage and 17 albums with Un drame musical instantané. In 1995, he co-wrote the songs of Carton with Birgé, with whom he collaborates on music for films, exhibitions, and CD-Roms. Bernard also composed theatre music for Jean-Marie Serrault and for the films "L'ombre de la pomme", "Bof", "Les coeurs verts" and "La femme-bourreau". From 1976 to 2008, he devoted himself primarily to Un Drame Musical Instantané with Jean-Jacques Birgé, improvising and composing hundreds of pieces together, experimental essays as well as symphonic pieces, songs as well as music for films. Un D.M.I., as a trio or with their 15-piece orchestra, Bernard presented multimedia shows involving cinema, video, litterature, dance and new technologies. He also invented instruments such as a reed trumpet, a multiphonic French horn, a variable tension double-bass, the dragoon which is a giant balafon with frying pans and flower pots keyboard, a clever system of modal clocks, and astonishing musical objects for Georges Aperghis, Tamia, and Françoise Achard.

Slim Whitman
January 20th 1924 ~ June 19th 2013

Yodelling country legend, singer-guitarist Slim Whitman, noted for his hit "Rose Marie", has sadly died from heart failure at Orange Park Medical Center in Orange Park, Florida, at the age of 89. Slim is survived by his daughter Sharon, and his son Byron, who is also a performer and who toured and recorded with his father on numerous occasions. Jerry, Slim's wife of 67 years, sadly died in 2009.
Slim Whitman
Born Ottis Dewey Whitman Jr, in Tampa, Florida, as a boy he learned to yodel by listening to records by Montana Slim and Jimmie Rodgers and while working at a meat packing plant he lost two fingers of his left hand in an accident, even so this did not deter him from learning to play the guitar when he served in the US Navy during the Second World War. After the war, he pursued a singing career at several Tampa radio stations, accompanied by his band, the Variety Rhythm Boys. He signed to RCA in 1948 and after he changed his first name to “Slim”
, he released his first single, "I’m Casting My Lasso Towards the Sky", which eventually became his theme song. Slim’s signature device was the yodel, which he successfully applied on his break through recording, "Love Song Of The Waterfall", which climbed to No.10 in the US country charts in 1952. His follow up song "Indian Love Call", went to No 2 in the country charts and crossing over into the mainstream Top 10. His 1955 hit "Rose Marie", the title song from a 1920s operetta, topped the British charts for a record 11 weeks, which held the Guinness World Record for the longest time at No.1 on the UK Singles Chart until Bryan Adams broke the record in 1991 after 36 years. After this huge success, Slim toured the UK and when a young Paul McCartney, aged 13, saw a lefty play guitar, it inspired Paul to trade his trumpet for a guitar. George Harrison, also counted Whitman a seminal influence. Soon after his tour, Slim was invited to join the Grand Ole Opry, and in 1957, he appeared in the film musical Jamboree. He was given the accolade of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1709 Vine Street and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's Walkway of Stars in 1968. He had a string of hits from the mid-1960s and into the '70s and in 1974 he returned to the British Top 20 with "Happy Anniversary", which remains to this day a favourite on radio request programmes. He became known to a new generation of fans through his music backing television commercials in the '80s and he was featured on the soundtrack of the 1996 film Mars Attacks!. Throughout the 1990s and into the 21st century, he continued to tour extensively around the world and release new material,. releasing his last album, Twilight on the Trail, in 2010.

Joey Covington
June 27th 1945 ~ June 4th 2013

Hot Tuna and Jefferson Airplane former drummer, Joey Covington was tragically killed when he crashed his car into a retaining wall at a curve in the road in his hometown, Palm Springs, Calif.. Joey who was 67 sadly leaves behind his companion Lauren Taines; her sons, Sean and Peter Stogel; three sisters, Sandra Dostal, Patti Ann Sciskowicz and Angela Burke; and his brother, James Michno.
Joey Covington
American drummer, singer-songwriter and producer born Joseph Edward Michno in East Conemaugh, Pennsylvania, was a self-taught drummer since the age of 10. He went on to help form Blues-rock group Hot Tuna in 1969, originally a Jefferson Airplane side project, along with Airplane members Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen, while Grace Slick was undergoing and recovering from throat node surgery. Hot Tuna played acoustic and electric versions of original and traditional blues songs. Joey then joined Jack and Jorma in the psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane in 1970 and he featured on three studio albums, the first being Volunteers. He wrote and sang the last hit for Jefferson Airplane, 1971's "Pretty As You Feel", featured on the Bark album. He left Jefferson Airplane in mid-1972 to pursue a solo career, starting with Fat Fandango. Although in 1976 he co-wrote the hit single "With Your Love" for Jefferson Starship. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s he toured with various configurations as the San Francisco Allstars. To many peoples dismay, he was not inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with other Jefferson Airplane members in 1996. Joey was well-known around the Palm Springs area who delighted his audience by playing free gigs whenever possible. His last performance was for a Marilyn Monroe 87th birthday celebration in Palm Springs June 1st 2013.

Graham Walker
May 19th 1945 ~ June 2nd 2013

Graham Walker, English comedian, singer, bassist and founding member of UK's number one comedy band The Grumbleweeds has sadly died.
Graham Walker
Fiftyone years as a Grumbleweed, musician cum comedian cum actor, Graham Walker was born and bred in Leeds, Yorkshire. In 1962 at the age of 17 he and his friend Robin Colvill formed The Grumbleweeds and served their apprenticeship on the UK club and pub circuit and also stints in Germany. The band's famous line-up came in 1967 with Graham, Robin and three new members, Maurice Lee, Carl Sutcliffe and Albert Sutcliffe. The group appeared on television talent shows Opportunity Knocks, and New Faces, which earnt them a recording contract with Philips. They released a mixture of serious and comedy singles and albums throughout the 1970s and 1980s, although none of these charted. Also in the 70s they appeared in the BBC TV series The Coal Hole Club, and in The Wheeltappers And Shunters Social Club in 1975. It was on the radio that the Grumbleweeds made their biggest breakthrough, with a successful BBC Radio 2 series, The Grumbleweeds Radio Show, running from 1979 to 1988. Fifteen series were recorded, and it received the "Best Radio Show" award from The Television and Radio Industries Awards in 1983. Then Johnnie Hamp also produced The Grumbleweeds Radio Show, as a series of television programmes made between 1983 and 1988 for Granada Television. As time went on The Grumbleweeds, reduced down to the two founder members Graham and Robin, but remained a popular attraction on the cabaret circuit, they would top the bill in summer season and appear in pantomime every year. Known by their peers, as “The Governors”, they enjoyed success in virtually every major seaside resort in the U.K., Australia, Germany, The Falklands, South America, Spain, The Canarys, New Zealand and cruise ships all over the world. Graham also appeared in television series such as Emmerdale, Coronation Street, Heartbeat and Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere.

Marvin Junior
January 31st 1936 ~ May 29th 2013

Pioneer soul singer and lead baritone with The Dells for 60 years, Marvin Junior, has sadly died from kidney failure at the age of 77. He died at his home in Harvey, Illinois, surround by his loving family, which includes his son Marvin Junior Jr, who is following in his fathers footsteps as a great soul singer.
Marvin Junior
American lead singer and founding member of the R&B vocal group, The Dells, Marvin Junior was born in Harvey, a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. The Dells was formed while in Thornton Township High School, in 1952 by Marvin and his school mates Verne Allison, Johnny Funches, Chuck Barksdale, Mickey and Lucius McGill, under the name the El-Rays. They released their first single in 1954, "Darling I Know", which flopped and after which Lucius dropped out of the group. Two years later and after a change of name to The Dells, they had their first R&B hit with "Oh What a Night", which peaked at No.5 on the R&B singles chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The song is ranked No.260 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. They disbanded due to a near-fatal car crash in 1958, but reformed in 1960 with Johnny Funches being replaced by Johnny Carter. This lineup remained together until Carter's 2009 death. The band still performed until illnesses forced Marvin and bass vocalist Chuck Barksdale into retirement in 2012, ending the Dells' 60-year run. Just after Johnny joined The Dells, in 1960, The Dells were successful in the audition as Dinah Washington’s backup group, and toured with Washington from 1961 to 1962 and went on to sing background for the likes of Ray Charles and Barbara Lewis. The group was also being vocally fine-tuned by Quincy Jones and began to include jazz and Broadway-styled show tunes as part of their live and recording acts. They charted with 43 hit singles including "Wear It On Our Face", "I Touched a Dream", "Learning to Love You Was Easy (It's So Hard Trying to Get Over You)", "Always Together", "I Can Sing A Rainbow / Love Is Blue" and their No.1 R&B hit, the 1968's "Stay in My Corner", which really showcased Marvin's incredible vocals. Their last 2 hit singles were "Come and Get It" and "Oh My Love" in the 90s and their last album to date "Then and Now" was released in 2008. In 1991
producer Robert Townsend released his movie, The Five Heartbeats, based on the lives and music career of The Dells, which showed the passion and determination of a group of five young black men with a dream to sing. This film produced another R&B Billboard chart hit, “A Heart Is a House for Love,” and introduced The Dells to a younger generation of R&B music lovers. Marvin, along with The Dells was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004.

Trevor Bolder
June 9th 1950 ~ May 21st 2013

One of Britain's most influential bass players, Trevor Bolder, bassist with the Spiders From Mars and 37 years with
Uriah Heep, one of "The Big 4", has died at the age of 62 in Hull's Castle Hill Hospital after a brave battle pancreatic cancer. He sadly leaves behind his wife Shelly, son Ashley and daughter Sarah.
Trevor Bolder
English rock bassist, musician, songwriter and record producer, Trevor Bolder was born in Kingston upon Hull, East Yorkshire. He first came to prominence in bands The Rats, and Ronno, which featured both Mick Ronson on lead guitar. But his big break came in 1971, when he replaced Tony Visconti in David Bowie's, now legendary backing band, which would soon be known as the Spiders from Mars. His bass and occasional trumpet work can be heard on the albums Hunky Dory-'71, The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars-'72, Aladdin Sane-'73, and Pin Ups-'73, also Ziggy Stardust - The Motion Picture, recorded live 1973 officially released 1983, Santa Monica '72, recorded live 1972 officially released 1994, and later on Spiders From Mars in 1976. After The Spider's break-up, Trevor joined one of "The Big 4" of Hard Rock bands , Uriah Heep in 1976. He first recorded with them on their 1977 album 'Firefly' and then on their 21 following albums, the last being 'Into the Wild' in 2011. He was a constant member of Uriah Heep recording, performing and touring with the band until a couple of months before his death, when he became too ill to continue. Over his long career Trevor also did a short stint with Wishbone Ash performing on their Twin Barrels Burning album in 1982 and was he a member of the
Cybernauts, a David Bowie cover band, formed as a tribute to Mick Ronson, featuring Def Leppard members Joe Elliott and Phil Collen; former Spiders From Mars member Mick "Woody" Woodmansey; and a keyboards/vocalist, Dick Decen; they released one album, Cybernauts Live. In the 1970s, Trevor also recorded with Dana Gillespie, Ken Hensley and recorded four albums with Mike Ronson.

Ray Manzarek
February 12th 1939 ~ May 20th 2013

Ray Manzarek, keyboard player and a founder member of the
legendary 1960s rock band The Doors, has died at the age of 74. He died in a clinic in Rosenheim, Germany, after a long and brave battle with bile duct cancer. Ray sadly leaves behind his loving wife of
45 years, Dorothy; thier son Pablo and three grandchildren, Noah, Apollo and Camille.
Ray Manzarek
Born Raymond Daniel Manczarek, Jr., he was raised on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois, and learnt to play the piano at an early age. He played in shows as a teenager while attending St. Rita High School and DePaul University where he graduated with a degree in economics. From 1962 to 1965, Ray studied in the Department of Cinematography at the University of California, L.A., where he met film student Jim Morrison. Jim told Ray he had written some songs, and upon hearing Jim sing a rough version of "Moonlight Drive" Ray along with Jim, co-founded the Doors at that very moment. Soon after Ray met drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robby Krieger at a Transcendental Meditation lecture, liking them, he asked the two musicians to join the band. The Doors lacked a bassist, so Ray usually played the bass parts on a Fender Rhodes piano and his signature sound is that of the Vox Continental combo organ. In January 1966, the Doors became the house band at the London Fog on the Sunset Strip. The Doors' first recording contract was with Columbia Records, but they were soon released from their contract and Jac Holzman signed them to Elektra Records. They sold more than 100 million albums worldwide and Ray became one of the best-known keyboardists of his era, with his artistry colouring tracks like Riders on the Storm and Light my Fire. He occasionally sang for The Doors, including the live recordings of "Close To You" and on the B-side of "Love Her Madly", "You Need Meat (Don't Go No Further)". He also sang on the last two Doors albums, recorded after Jim's death, July 3rd 1971, Other Voices and Full Circle. Additionally, he provided one of several guitar parts on the song "Been Down So Long". Ray played in several groups after The Doors, including Nite City. He recorded a rock adaptation of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana with Philip Glass, produced and backed Echo & the Bunnymen and Los Angeles band X, played with Iggy Pop, backed San Francisco poet Michael McClure's poetry readings and did improvisational composition with poet Michael C. Ford. He also worked extensively with "Hearts of Fire" screenwriter and former SRC front man Scott Richardson on a series of spoken word and blues recordings entitled "Tornado Souvenirs". In 2006, he collaborated with composer and trumpeter Bal on the album Atonal Head, an exploration in the realm of electronica. The two musicians integrated jazz, rock, ethnic and classical music into their computer-based creations. August 4th 2007, Ray hosted a program on BBC Radio 2 about the 40th anniversary of the recording of "Light My Fire" and the group's musical and spiritual influences. In April 2009, he and Robby Krieger appeared as special guests for Daryl Hall's monthly concert webcast Live From Daryl's House. They performed several Doors' tunes "People Are Strange", "The Crystal Ship", "Roadhouse Blues" and "Break on Through (To the Other Side)" with Daryl providing lead vocals. In May of 2010, he recorded with slide guitarist Roy Rogers on the album Translucent Blues, which was ranked No. 3 on the Top 100 Roots Rock Albums of 2011 by The Roots Music Report. After living many years in Hollywood, Ray moved to Napa County, California, and in his last years he played with local bands in the Napa area.

George Jones
September 12th 1931 ~ April 26th 2013

Award winning American country music singer, who topped the charts 14 times between the 1950s and 1990s, has sadly died aged 81. While in the middle of a US tour George was admitted to
Vanderbilt University Hospital with fever and irregular blood pressure; after being on oxygen for several days, he died of acute hypoxia. He leaves behind his fourth wife Nancy; his daughter Susan, from his first marriage to Dorothy Bonvillion; two sons Jeffrey and Bryan from his marriage to Shirley Ann Corley; and his daughter Tamala Georgette, from his marriage to Tammy Wynette
George Jones
George Glenn Jones aka Possum, was born in Saratoga, near Beaumont and raised in Vidor, Texas. He was given a guitar when he was nine, and was soon busking for money on the streets of Beaumont.
He left home at 16 and went to Jasper, Texas, where he sang and played on the radio station and where he first met his hero Hank Williams in 1949. George served in the Marines from 1950 to 1953, stationed in California for his entire servic, after which he recorded his debut single, "No Money in This Deal" released in 1954. He first entered the national Billboard country charts in 1955 with "Why Baby Why", which peaked at No.44 on the country charts that same year. He had his first of 14 No.1 hits in 1959 with "White Lightning". Through the 60s he had multiple singles on the country charts each year – ballads like "The Window Up Above", "If My Heart Had Windows", "The Race Is On", with its rumbling, six-string bass solo; duets with Melba Montgomery and Gene Pitney. He also topped the charts with "Tender Years", "She Thinks I Still Care" and "Walk Through This World With Me". In 1969, George married Tammy Wynette, one of the most famous country music marriages ever. They recorded a series of duet singles, including chart-toppers "Golden Ring", "Near You" and "We're Gonna Hold On" – that outlined a fictive version of the couple's often-volatile relationship. The duets continued for several years after they divorced in 1975, and the two reunited professionally for a final album together, One, in 1995. Sadly George had gone down the road of drugs and drink, not helped by his early manager giving him cocaine, when he got over tired. However his greatest achievements came with Billy Sherrill, his regular producer for much of the 1970s and '80s, reaching a peak with the 1980 release of "He Stopped Loving Her Today" from the album "I Am What I Am". "He Stopped Loving Her Today" perhaps saved his life. The song, widely considered to be the greatest country record ever made and one that, according to many involved with its creation, took more than a year to get on tape because he was so wrecked by cocaine and bourbon. It gave him his first No.1 hit in five years and won four awards from the Country Music Association, including Song of the Year. It also gave him the first of his two Grammys, he won again in 2000 for the post-wreck "Choices". It was followed by 4 more No.1 hits "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool" with Barbara Mandrell in 1981, "Still Doin' Time" also in '81, "Yesterday's Wine" with Merle Haggard in 1982 and "I Always Get Lucky with You" in 1983. He had received many honors during his long career, from Most Promising New Country Vocalist in 1956, followed by 10 more awards prior to 1980, 11 in the 80s, 8 in the 90s and 7 in the 2000s. Over 55 years his name has appeared on more charting singles – 168 – than any other country singer's, from 1955's "Why Baby Why" to Aaron Lewis' 2010 hit "Country Boy", where he was a featured vocalist with Charlie Daniels. Also, 141 singles charted in the country top 40. George had been a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1956 and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1992, and named a Kennedy Center Honoree in 2008. In 2012 he was presented with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement award, where his longtime friend Merle Haggard paid tribute to him.

Richie Havens
January 21st 1941 ~ April 22nd 2013
Woodstock icon and folk legend, Richie Havens, has sadly died after suffering a heart attack at home in Jersey City, New Jersey, aged 72. He leaves behind three children, five grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.
Richie Havens
Noted for his distinctive soulful vocals, American folk singer, guitarist and songwriter Richie Havens, born Richard Pierce Havens in Brooklyn, was the eldest of nine children. At an early age, he began organizing his neighborhood friends into street corner doo-wop groups and was performing with the McCrea Gospel Singers by the age of 16. At aged 20, he left Brooklyn, seeking artistic stimulation in Greenwich Village. After recording two records for Douglas Records, he signed on with Bob Dylan's manager, Albert Grossman, and signed with Verve Forecast label, where he released "Mixed Bag" in 1967, which featured tracks such as "Handsome Johnny", co-written by himself and future Oscar-winning actor Louis Gossett Jr; "Follow", and a cover of Bob Dylan's "Just Like a Woman". By 1969, he had released 5 more albums, Something Else Again in 1968 became his first Billboard charting album and also pulled "Mixed Bag" back onto the charts. His Woodstock appearance in 1969 catapulted him into stardom and proved to be a major turning point in his career. As the festival's first performer, he held the crowd for three hours, being called back time and again for encores. His repertoire exhausted, he improvised a song based on the spiritual Motherless Child. This became "Freedom", his best known song and an anthem for a generation, which was also included on the soundtrack of Quentin Tarantino's 2012 slavery-era film Django Unchained. After Woodstock, he started his own record label, Stormy Forest, and released Stonehenge in 1970 followed by Alarm Clock that same year. Stormy Forest went on to release four more of his albums: The Great Blind Degree-1971, Live On Stage-1972, Portfolio -1973 and Mixed Bag II-1974. Memorable television appearances included performances on The Ed Sullivan Show and Johnny Carson's The Tonight Show, on which the audience reacted with such enthusiasm that when the applause continued even after the commercial break, Carson asked Richie to return the following night. During the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, he continued a world touring schedule and a steady release of albums. In 1990 he played the role as a character named Daze in the film "Street Hunter" starring John Leguizamo, and in 1993, Richie performed at the inauguration of President Bill Clinton. He was invited to perform at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival opening ceremony. He played "Freedom" at the request of the jury president, Sean Penn. He also performed at the London, Ontario, Blues Festival in July 2008. On May 3rd 2009, Richie performed at the fundraising concert in honor of Pete Seeger's 90th birthday, and June 2009, he performed at the fifth annual Mountain Jam Festival. On July 4th 2009, he performed at the Woodstock Tribute festival in Ramsey, New Jersey. On August 8th 2010, he performed at Musikfest 2010 at Foy Hall at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. On March 20th 2012, sadly Richie announced that he would retire touring after 45 years due to health concerns.

Hugh McCracken
March 31st 1942 ~ March 28th 2013
American "A list" session guitarist and musician, Hugh McCracken has died from leukemia at the age of 70. Hugh sadly leaves behind his wife of 43 years, Holly; two sons, Scott and Marc; two daughters, Jodi and Kimberly; three grandchildren; his mother, Ethel McCracken; his brother, Rev. Don McCracken and sister Pat Stephens. His first marriage, to Lynn White, ended in divorce.
Hugh McCracken
American virtuoso guitarist, sometimes harmonica player, producer and arranger Hugh McCracken was born in Glen Ridge, N.J., and grew up in nearby Hackensack. He taught himself guitar in his early teens when his mother bought him a guitar and he dropped out of school at 16 to form a band, to help pay the family bills. At this time his mother was a hat checker in a club where the sax player King Curtis was playing, she persuaded King to listen to Hugh play, after which he hired Hugh to perform on his '61 album “Trouble in Mind”. In the mid 60s, Hugh played in a North Jersey night club cover band called The Funatics under the stage name of Mack Pierce. The band became Mario & The Funatics for a short time when it merged with saxophonist Mario Madison. He was a member of Mike Mainieri's White Elephant Orchestra 1969–1972, a 20-piece experimental jazz-rock band based in New York City. The band was made up of Steve Gadd, Tony Levin, Warren Bernhardt, George Young, Frank Vicari, Michael Brecker, Ronnie Cuber, Jon Faddis, Lew Soloff, Randy Brecker, Barry Rogers, Jon Pierson, Steve Goodman, David Spinozza and Joe Beck. From the early 60s he had also done much session work and by the end of the 60s he was so busy that in 1971 while working with Paul McCartney on the album “Ram”, he turned down Paul’s invitation to join and help form the band Wings. For over 50 years he was one of the most respected guitar players, a top A list, much in demand session musician and appeared on countless recordings by 100s artists and bands such as Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Steely Dan, Donald Fagen, Jimmy Rushing, Billy Joel, Roland Kirk, Roberta Flack, B. B. King, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Jefferson Airplane, Daryl Hall & John Oates, The Monkees, Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Idris Muhammad, James Taylor, Phoebe Snow, Linda McCartney, Graham Parker, Yoko Ono, Eric Carmen, Loudon Wainwright III, Lou Donaldson, Van Morrison, The Four Seasons, Hank Crawford, Jerry Jemmott and Gary Wright. His guitar work can be heard on a host of hits, including “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” by Neil Diamond, “Hey 19” by Steely Dan, “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” by Paul Simon and “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys; and classic albums including Simon’s ‘Still Crazy After All These Years’ and ‘One Trick Pony,’ Lennon’s ‘Double Fantasy,’ Joel’s ‘The Stranger,’ and ‘Gaucho’ by Steely Dan.

Gordon Stoker
August 3rd 1924 ~ March 27th 2013

Tenor singer and member of the legendary Jordonaires for 62 years, Gordon Stoker, who sang duets with Elvis Presley has died at the age of 88. Sadly, he leaves behind his wife Jean, their two sons, Alan and Brent, daughter Venita and their
several grandchildren.
Gordon Stoker
American singer and pianist
Gordon Stoker was born into a musical family in Gleason, Tennessee and was already a popular pianist with the gospel ensemble the John Daniel Quartet, when he replaced Bob Money as a member of Foggy River Boys in 1949, by which time the group had moved to Nashville to back Grand Ole Opry headliner Red Foley. Before long Gordon began singing lead and tenor, and after the Matthews brothers returned to Missouri in the early 1950s, the remaining group reorganized. They formed a new group the Melodizing Matthews, but soon changed the name to The Jordanaires, after Jordan Creek in Missouri. They are maybe best known for providing vocal background for Elvis Presley, in live appearances and recordings from 1956 to 1972. They performed on an astounding 361 Elvis records and Gordon sang duets with Elvis on hit records like "All Shook Up", "Good Luck Charm", and "Easy Come Easy Go". During the 1960s and way beyond, the Jordanaires often worked as many as four sessions a day, recording with, and backing the likes of Julie Andrews, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline, Red Foley, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Roy Orbison, Charlie Rich, Connie Francis, Johnny Hallyday, Ferlin Husky, Johnny Horton, Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gormé, Waylon Jennings, George Jones, Janis Martin, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Ringo Starr Jim Reeves, Kenny Rogers, Sawyer Brown, Tammy Wynette, and so many others. The Jordanaires have toured the world on several occasions have been heard on Grammy-winning recordings in each of the past six decades, as well as on national television and radio ads such as Coca Cola’s “We’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” campaign. Their voices have been heard on untold millions of records sold worldwide. In 1998 Gordon along with The Jordonaires was inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame; in 1999, North America Country Music Associations International Hall of Fame; in 2000 the Rockabilly Hall of Fame; in 2001 the Country Music Hall of Fame; in 2002 they were honoured at the Golden Voice Awards as Vocal Group of the Year, and also in conjunction with Larry Ford & the Light Crust Doughboys, they won a Grammy Award in the category of Best Southern, Country, or Bluegrass Album, for We Called Him Mr. Gospel Music: The James Blackwood Tribute Album

Derek Watkins
March 2nd 1945 ~ March 22nd 2013

"Mr Lead", trumpet player extraordinaire, who played on every James Bond film from Dr. No to Skyfall, Derek Watkins has sadly died at the age of 68, after a brave, two year battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Wendy, their children, Sean, Ellie and Sarah, and grandchildren Carys, Jamie & Matthew

British t
rumpet player and much in demand session player, Derek Watkins whose horn is heard on the Beatles’ classics ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and ‘Penny Lane’, and who Dizzy Gillespie, called "Mr Lead" was born in Reading, Berkshire. He came from a musical background; his grandfather led a brass band and his father played in brass bands and ran a palais band. Derek started to play the cornet at the age of 4, and worked in his father's band at Reading's Majestic Ballroom as a teenager, before changing to the trumpet. Over his long career Derek worked with artists and bands of many genre including Eric Clapton, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand and The Beatles. He played in dance bands and big bands lead by Jack Dorsey, John Dankworth, Billy Ternent, Ted Heath and Benny Goodman and played the jazz with the likes of with Count Basie, Dizzie Gillespie, Harry South, Stan Tracey, Tubby Hayes, John Dankworth, Laurie Johnson, Don Lusher, Mike Gibbs, Oscar Peterson and Stan Tracey. He also made recordings with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as playing for opera singers including Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Kiri Te Kanawa. Derek played his trumpet on the soundtracks of every James Bond film from Dr. No to Skyfall, and played on the soundtracks of Chicago, Bridget Jones's Diary, Basic Instinct, Made in Dagenham, Johnny English, Gladiator, Superman and Superman II. He also composed incidental music for Midsomer Murders. As well as his many recording and touring dates, Derek taught at the Royal Academy of Music and designed a range of trumpets and flugelhorns much admired by professional players.

Terry Lightfoot
May 21st 1935 ~ March 15th 2013

The jazz clarinettist and bandleader Terry Lightfoot, has sadly passed away after a long battle with prostate cancer at the age of 77. He is survived by his wife Iris and their two daughters, Melinda and Michelle.
Terry Lightfoot
British jazz clarinetist Terry Lightfoot was born in Potters Bar, Hertfordshire and started his musical career as a vocalist during school-life, singing popular songs with a small amateur variety group. In 1949, he came to jazz while at Enfield Grammar School in Enfield, London and he changed from playing the trumpet to clarinet to meet the needs of the traditional Dixieland jazz band of his friends. After leaving school, he formed his first jazz band, the 'Wood Green Stompers', when he was 17. Following national service in the RAF, he formed his
ensemble, the 'Terry Lightfoot's New Orleans Jazzmen' in 1955, turning professional two years later. His drummer, Ginger Baker, was later to achieve greater fame with Cream. The band appeared at the Beaulieu Jazz Festival, Hampshire, in 1961 and enjoyed residencies on top BBC radio shows such as Easybeat, Saturday Club and Sunday Break. Later there were many TV appearances including six seasons of the Morecambe and Wise Show and Des O'Connor's first series. In 1961 and 1962 they had three hit records in the UK Singles Chart with "True Love", "King Kong" and "Tavern in the Town". Terry and his band toured regularly with visiting American jazz artists, and in 1965 was support band for the Louis Armstrong All-Stars UK tour. More recently he and The Jazzmen made regular appearances on Sunday nights at the Wood Green Jazz Club. Terry along with his fellow bandleaders Chris Barber, Acker Bilk and Kenny Ball was one of the leading members of the trad jazz generation of British jazzmen
. He stayed true to the band's freewheeling ensemble style until the end with the accent in his stage presentations on cheerful enjoyment of the music.

Kenny Ball
May 22nd 1930 ~ March 7th 2013

The great British jazzman Kenny Ball has sadly died at Basildon Hospital, Essex, where he was being treated for pneumonia. The legendary trumpet player who led his jazzmen for 55 years died at the age of 82. He is survived by his first wife Betty and thier children Gillian, Jane and Keith, who is now a vocalist with the band and his second wife, Michelle and his stepdaughters Nicole and Sophie.
Kenny Ball
English jazz trumpeter, vocalist and bandleader, Kenny Ball was born in Ilford, Essex; he was a member of the local sea cadets, where he became a bugler which led to his love of the trumpet, and inspired by Harry James, he started to play jazz with friends. Kenny left school at 14 to begin work as a semi-pro musician whilst also working as a salesman and for an advertising agency. He turned full time professional in 1953 playing trumpet in bands led by Sid Phillips, Charlie Galbraith, Terry Lightfoot and Eric Delaney, before forming his own trad jazz band, Kenny Ball and his Jazzmen, in '58. He secured his band a regular spot on the BBC radio programme Easy Beat and became involved with television shows such as New Faces and Top of the Pops. His dixieland band was at the forefront UK's jazz revival, and
from the late 50's through the 60s, he, along with Chris Barber and Acker Bilk – the three Bs of British traditional jazz – reigned supreme, producing hit singles and attracting enormous audience enthusiasm. Of the trio, it was the trumpeter Kenny who gained the most chart entries with his Jazzmen. His hits include "Samantha" , "Midnight in Moscow", "When I'm Sixty-Four" and 'March of the Siamese Children'. Tour destinations included Europe, Japan and the Soviet Union, and there were seasons at the London Palladium. TV bookings included five series with Morecambe and Wise from 1968-72 and a residency on Saturday Night at the Mill from 1975-81. In 1968 the band appeared with Louis Armstrong during his last European tour and later Kenny and his Jazzmen played at the reception for the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. Until 2002, they did 150 dates a year, after which Kenny and his Jazzmen still remained active, his last appearance with them was in Germany in January 2013, also in recent years they sometimes appeared in programmes with Barber and Bilk's bands.

Peter Banks
July 15th 1947 ~ March 7th 2013
Peter Banks progressive rock guitarist, pioneer and innovator has sadly died of heart failure at his home in Barnet, London. He was 65 years old.
Peter Banks
Peter Banks, English guitarist and progressive rock pioneer, was born Peter Brockbank in Barnet, North London; he learnt to play the guitar and banjo as a young lad and joined the band Syn shortly after it formed in 1965, where he met bassist Chris Squire. Syn bridged the gaps between beat and psychedelia, it was pivotal band of the era and opened the door for the emerging prog movement. When Syn split Peter played briefly with the bands Neat Change and Mabel Greer's Toy Shop, before joining up again with Chris Squire to form the progressive rock band, Yes. They recorded their debut self-titled album in 1969. Peter left Yes after the recording of their second album Time And a Word in 1970. He next played and recorded 3 sort after albums with the band Flash, and did stints with bands Empire and Zox & the Radar Boys, as well as session work with the likes of Chris Harwood, Roger Ruskin Spear, Lionel Richie and Jan Akkerman. Also Peter had a successful solo career, recording five solo albums, the last being Can I Play You Something? in 1999. More recently in late 2004, Peter formed a new improvising band, Harmony In Diversity, with Andrew Booker and Nick Cottam; they played a short UK tour in March 2006, and released an album called Trying. In Gibson Guitar's 'Lifestyle' e-magazine of 3 February 2009, Peter is listed as one of the "10 Great Prog Rock Guitarists" and the BBC's Danny Baker and Big George often called him "The Architect of Progressive Music"

Alvin Lee

December 19th 1944 ~ March 6th 2013

Legendary rock musician Alvin Lee, the influential guitarist
with Ten Years After, has died unexpectedly in hospital at the age of 68 following complications during a routine surgery procedure for atrial arrhythmia. He died in Spain where he had been living for the last few years. He leaves behind a loving family including a daughter and his wife Evi.
Alvin Lee
English rock guitarist and singer, born
Graham Alvin Barnes in Nottingham and attended the Margaret Glen-Bott School in Wollaton. He began to play professionally in 1962, in a band named the Jaybirds, and began that same year to perform in the Star-Club in Hamburg, Germany. After a couple of name changes by 1966 they had finally decided on the name Ten Years After. The band secured a residency at the Marquee Club, and an invitation to play at the Windsor Jazz & Blues Festival in 1967 led to their first recording contract. Their self-titled début album, somehow received airplay on San Francisco's underground music radio stations and concert promoter Bill Graham, invited the band to tour the USA for the first time in 1968. Ten Years After would ultimately tour the US twenty-eight times in seven years, more than any other UK band. Alvin's amazing performance at the Woodstock Festival in '69 catapulted him to stardom, the film coverage gave him a worldwide audience and he became a hippie icon. The band, had eight Top 40 albums in the UK, had their biggest hit single in 1971 with I'd Love To Change the World. Ten Years After disbanded in 1974, but Alvin briefly re-formed the band in 1988 to tour Europe and record "About Time", their first studio recording in 15 years. Alvin worked with Steve Winwood, Ronnie Wood, George Harrison and Mick Fleetwood on his first solo album, 'On the Road to Freedom', in 1973; his most recent album, his 14th, Still on the Road to Freedom, was released in September 2012. Alvin had made Spain his home for the last years of his life.

Bobby Rogers
February 19th 1940 ~ March 3rd 2013

American soul singer and co-founder of Motown's first signed group The Miracles, Bobby Rogers has sadly died at the age of 73 after a lengthy struggle with diabetes.
Bobby married was in 1963-1975 to Wanda Young of The Marvelettes. His second wife Joan Hughes, whom he married in 1981, survives him with four of their children; sadly another daughter predeceased him.
Bobby Rogers
Robert E. Rogers, American tenor soul singer and songwriter, was born in Detroit; he was co-founder and member of Motown Records' first signed group The Miracles from 1956 until 2011. Originally called the Five Chimes, then The Matadors, and renamed The Miracles when Bobby’s cousin Claudette joined the line-up in 1957. Over his 56 years with the Miracles, Bobby has been on all their hit singles including their 1960 single "Shop Around" which was Motown's first number one hit on the R&B singles chart, and was also Motown's first million selling hit single. Other hit singles include "You've Really Got a Hold on Me", "My Girl Has Gone", "I Second That Emotion", "Mickey's Monkey", "Going to a Go-Go", "Ooo Baby Baby", "Tracks of My Tears", "Baby Baby Don't Cry", and "Tears of a Clown". Referred to as Motown's "soul supergroup", the Miracles recorded 26 Top 40 hits, 6 top 20 singles, 7 top 10 singles, and a No.1 single "The Tears of a Clown". Following the departure of the Robinsons the rest of the group continued with singer Billy Griffin and scored two final top 40 singles, "Do It Baby" and "Love Machine", which topped the charts, before departing for Columbia Records in 1977 recording as a quintet with Donald Griffin, where after a few releases, they disbanded in 1978. In all, the group had fifty charted hits by the time they disbanded. Bobby along with Ronald White revived the group as a touring ensemble in the 1980s and 1990s. Bobby continued to perform throughout the USA , Canada, and Europe with members Dave Finley, Tee Turner, and Mark Scott of The Miracles, which, in 2009 made him, the longest-serving original Miracles member. In addition to his work in The Miracles, he was a part-time Motown songwriter; his most notable composition, penned with bandmate Smokey Robinson, was The Temptations' first hit single, "The Way You Do the Things You Do". He also co-wrote The Temptations' hit "My Baby", Mary Wells' hit, "What Love Has Joined Together", The Contours' hit "First I Look at the Purse", (later covered by the J Geils Band), Marvin Gaye's hit, "One More Heartache" and The Miracles' own hits, "That's What Love Is Made Of" and "Going to a Go-Go". He is also noted for doing co-lead vocals on The Miracles' 1962 Top 10 smash, "You've Really Got a Hold on Me", and singing lead on the group's 1964 song, "You're So Fine And Sweet". Bobby was also reputed to be the group's best dancer, and was responsible for many of the Miracles' onstage routines. He was inducted along with the other members of the Miracles - with the exception of Smokey Robinson - in 2012 to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Kevin Ayers
August 16th 1944 ~ February 18th 2013
Key figure in British psychedelic rock and founder member of
Soft Machine, Kevin Ayers, has sadly died at the age of 68. He
died peacefully in his sleep at his home in the village of Montolie
in France. He is survived by two daughters, Rachel Ayers and Galen Ayers and his sister Kate.

Kevin Ayers
English psychedelic rock songwriter, guitarist and bassist, Kevin Ayers was born in Herne Bay, Kent, but spent much of his early childhood in Malaysia. In his college years he took up with the musicians' scene in the Canterbury area and was quickly drafted into the Wilde Flowers, a band that featured Robert Wyatt and Hugh Hopper. The Wilde Flowers morphed into Soft Machine with the addition of keyboardist Mike Ratledge & guitarist Daevid Allen; Kevin switched to bass. The band quickly became a fixture at the UFO Club in London in the late 1960s and they often shared stages with Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd. They released their debut single 'Love Makes Sweet Music' / 'Feelin' Reelin', Squeelin' in February 1967, making it one of the first recordings from the new British psychedelic movement. Their 1968 self titled debut album, was recorded in the USA and is considered a classic of the genre. After an extensive tour of the USA opening for Jimi Hendrix, Kevin sold his white Fender Jazz bass to Noel Redding and went to live in Ibiza, Spain with Daevid Allen. While there, he went on a songwriting binge for his first solo album, Joy of a Toy. A second album, Shooting at the Moon, soon followed. For this, Kevin formed a band The Whole World, which included Mike Oldfield mainly on bass, avant-garde composer David Bedford on keyboards and the improvising saxophonist, Lol Coxhill. On June 1st 1974, he headlined at the Rainbow Theatre, London, accompanied by John Cale, Nico, Brian Eno and Mike Oldfield. Bananamour was his fourth studio album by Kevin Ayers and it featured his whimsical tribute to Syd Barrett, "Oh! Wot A Dream". He formed a new band for his album, The Confessions of Dr. Dream and Other Stories which included the guitar virtuoso Ollie Halsall from progressive rock band Patto, this also began a twenty-year partnership with Kevin and Ollie. Although he still recorded regularly throughout the late 70s and 80s, this era saw Kevin go down the drug road. In 1988 he recorded a vocal track for Mike Oldfield's single, "Flying Start". The lyrics of this song contain many references to his life. He withdrew even more after the death of his musical partner Ollie Halsall in May 1992 and by the late 1990s, he was living a reclusive life in the South of France. When he befriended artist Timothy Shepard, this freindship slowly brought Kevin back onto his musical tracks and in 2007, he released a critically acclaimed and final album, "The Unfairground"
. BBC DJ, the late John Peel wrote in his autobiography that "Kevin Ayers' talent is so acute you could perform major eye surgery with it."

Donald Byrd
December 9th 1932 ~ February 4th 2013
Jazz Master Donald Byrd, a leading hard-bop trumpeter, a musical pioneer, who collaborated on dozens of albums with top artists has died at the age of 80. He sadly leaves behind friends and family including his wife of 58 years, Lorraine Glover.
Donald Byrd
American jazz and R&B trumpeter, Donald Byrd was born in Detroit, Michigan and performed with Lionel Hampton before finishing high school. After playing in a military band during his term in the US Air Force, he obtained a bachelor's degree in music from Wayne State University and a master's degree from Manhattan School of Music. While still at the Manhattan School, he joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers. In 1955, he recorded with Jackie McLean and Mal Waldron. After leaving the Jazz Messengers in 1956, he soon became one of the most in-demand trumpeters on the New York scene, Donald performed with dozens of leading jazz musicians, including John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, Max Roach, Cannonball Adderley, Gene Harris, Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis, Red Garland and Herbie Hancock. Donald is notable for his influential role in the early career of renowned keyboard player and composer Herbie Hancock. As a leader his first regular group was a quintet that he co-led from 1958-61 with baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams, an ensemble whose hard-driving performances are captured "live" on At the Half Note Cafe. He went on to record around forty albums as a leader. In June 1964, Donald played with Eric Dolphy in Paris just two weeks before Dolphy's death from insulin shock. By 1969's he was moving away from the hard-bop jazz idiom and began to record jazz fusion and rhythm and blues. He teamed up with the Mizell Brothers for Black Byrd in 1973 which was, for many years, Blue Note's best-selling album. In 1993 he performed on Guru's jazz-rap album, "Jazzmatazz, Vol. 1," and his recordings were sampled on more than 100 hip-hop songs by such performers as Black Moon, Nas, Ludacris and A Tribe Called Quest. In 2000, the National Endowment for the Arts recognized Donald as a Jazz Master, the nation's highest jazz honor. Donald was one of the only bebop jazz musicians who successfully pioneered the funk and soul genres while simultaneously remaining a jazz artist. He was also a pioneer in jazz education, along with his degrees in Music and a doctorate in Education, he also took a degree in Law. Armed with these, he lectured in jazz, African-American studies, law as applied to music and musicians; he taught at Rutgers University, the Hampton Institute, New York University, Howard University, Queens College, Oberlin College, Cornell University, North Carolina, Central University and Delaware State University.

Reg Presley
June 12th 1941 ~ February 4th 2013

Reg Presley, frontman of British rock band The Troggs has died at the age of 71. He died at his home while bravely fighting lung cancer. Sadly he leaves behind his wife Brenda, his son and daughter Karen.
Reg Presley
British singer and songwriter Reg Presley was born Reginald Maurice Ball and educated in Andover, Hampshire.
He first learned the guitar, inspired by skiffle, popularised in the UK by artists like Lonnie Donegan. He was also influenced by the blues bands from America, including Louisiana Red and Lightnin' Hopkins. In the early 60s while working as a bricky, he, along with Chris Britton, Ronnie Bond, and Dave Wright formed a band called the Troglodytes, which soon became the proto-punk band, The Troggs and were signed by Larry Page, manager of the Kinks, and Reg was given his pseudonym in 1965 by the celebrated publicist Keith Altham, who also came from Andover. Their debut single "Lost Girl" was a flop, but this was followed by their most famous hit single "Wild Thing" which reached No.2 in the UK and No.1 in the USA in July 1966 and was awarded a gold disc. Two other Trogg recordings, "With a Girl Like You", and "Love Is All Around", also sold over one million copies and were awarded gold discs. Reg's music has influenced Iggy Pop and won praise from Bob Dylan. Writer, Lester Bangs called the Troggs the "godfathers of punk " and compared Reg Presley to Marcel Proust. Reg also appears as a character in Steve Erickson's 2012 novel These Dreams of You. Reg's most famous composition is "Love Is All Around", Wet Wet Wet's 1994 cover stayed at No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart for 15 weeks. Reg used his royalties from that cover to fund his research subjects, such as alien spacecraft, lost civilisations, alchemy, and crop circles and outlined his findings in a book, Wild Things They Don't Tell Us, published in October 2002. Reg continued to tour with the Troggs until December 2011, when he fell too ill and reluctantly had to retire

Zekuumba Zekkariyas aka Cecil Womack
September 25th 1947 ~ February 1st 2013

Singer-songwriter, musician and producer Cecil Womack aka Zekuumba Zekkariyas, one half of the very successful duo, Womack & Womack has died in Nigeria, Africa, where he had been living for the last 15 or so years. Sadly he leaves behind his wife Linda; his three children from his marriage to Mary Wells, Cecil Jr, Stacy and Harry; and his eldest son, Mateen Womack, from a prior relationship.
Cecil Womack aka Zekuumba Zekkariyas
American singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer, Cecil Womack, the youngest of the Womack brothers, was born in Cleveland, Ohio. He and his brothers Bobby, Harry, Friendly and Curtis, began as a gospel group appearing on the gospel circuit in the mid 50s where they were seen by Sam Cooke of the Soul Stirrers. As Cooke's protégés they changed their name to The Valentinos and in 1961 began to sing and record for secular audiences, producing hits such as "It's All Over Now" and "Lookin' for a Love". Later in the 60s, Cecil concerntrated more on song writing and production. He provided his then wife, Mary Wells, with several chart successes including "The Doctor" released on Jubille Records. His later songwriting credits include "Love TKO" a major hit for Teddy Pendergrass, "I Just Want To Satisfy You" for The O'Jays, "Love Symphony" for Patti LaBelle, and "New Day" for George Benson. After Cecil divorced Mary Wells in 1977, he went on to marry Sam Cooke's daughter Linda and they formed Womack and Womack. The duo released the successful album, Love Wars; the first single from the album, "T.K.O.", reached the Billboard R&B chart; the next single, "Love Wars", reached no.14 on the UK singles chart in early 1984, and the third single from the album, "Baby I'm Scared Of You", was successful in both the US and the UK. They had further success in the UK in 1988 with the single "Teardrops", taken from their fourth album, Conscience. The single reached No.3 in the UK and No.1 in New Zealand. The album tracks "Life's Just A Ballgame" and "Celebrate The World" were also chart hits in the UK. They released 7 albums, the last being Circular Motion in 2007 and 2 best of albums. Most of the tracks the duo recorded together, were written by Cecil and Linda. Their songs have been covered by many artists including The Beautiful South, Boz Scaggs, Teddy Pendergrass, Michael McDonald, Joss Stone, and Eric Clapton. Other artists to record songs written by Cecil include: Bonnie Raitt, George Benson, The Dramatics, The Dells, Patti Labelle and brother Bobby Womack with whom he co-wrote a number of hit songs that include "(If You Want My Love) Put Something Down On It". After traveling to Nigeria, he and Linda discovered Cecil had ancestral ties to the Zekkariyas tribe, and they adopted African names, Zekuumba and Zeriiya Zekkariyas. In 1993 they released their album, Transformed To The House Of Zekkariyas. Later in the 90s Cecil and his wife moved permantly to Nigeria where he spent his final years using his time to explore his African heritage, spirituality and knowledge of the continent

Rene Netto
January 12th 1937 ~ January 4th 2013
Clarinetist, saxophonist and flutist, Rene Netto
, one of New Orleans' greats has sadly died at the age of 75. He is predeceased his son, René W. Netto, Jr and former wife Aline Faucheaux Netto. He will be sadly missed by his wife Harriet Aguiar-Netto, daughter Aline Netto Bourgeois, step-daughter Justine D. Aguiar, step-sons Eugene Hemard, Branche Hemard, and David L. Aguiar, and other family members and friends.

Clarinetist and saxophonist Rene Netto was born in the heart of jazzland ~ New Orleans. He attended McDonough Grammar School where at the age of 11 he started to study music. Continuing his studies at St. Aloysius and McDonough High School, by this time he was very influenced by the greats such as Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young. He finished his education with a year at the University of South Western Louisiana. It isn't any wonder growing up on the doorstep Bourbon Street with the soulful sounds of the blues to the feverish passion of the jazz vibrating from building to building, a melting pot for ethnically diverse cultures. Musical influences from Africa, Spain, Italy, South America, and French cultures, growing up with the jazzland funeral processions and the excitement of Mardi Gras, it isn't any wonder Rene became such a virtuoso of the clarinet, sax and flute. At the age of only 16 Rene was already playing professionally in a band which was to be the start of a musical career spanning 60 years. For many years Rene has had his own band "The Sound Of New Orleans", they played all the major jazz festivals ~ Sacramento, French Quarter Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz Festival & far too many to mention and he played regularly with the Jimmy Maxwell and Herb Tassin orchestras. Rene was a featured attraction in the French Quarter of New Orleans and Bourbon Street. For many years he had also been a featured attraction of the Community Concert series and performed regularly with the great late Al Hirt.
Rene released several albums with his band including Shades of New Orleans, Sounds of New Orleans, Rene Netto & The Sounds Of New Orleans which featured Harry Connick Sr. He also backed both Joe Barry and Harry Connick on albums as well as recording on the The Pelican Brief Soundtrack and is featured on The Mardi Gras Classics Album. He was a lifetime member of the American Federation of Musicians. Most who heard him say he was a better player than Pete Fountain or Boots Randolf, and in class with Benny Goodman and Stan Getz, such a New Orleans great, will be sadly missed.

Patti Page
November 8th 1927 ~ January 1st 2013

Dubbed the Singin' Rage, legendary American singer Patti Page, the best-selling female artist of the 1950s has died at the Seacrest Village Retirement Community in Encinitas, California, at the age of 85. She sadly leaves behind
her son Danny, and her daughter, Kathleen.
Patti Page
Born Clara Ann Fowler in rural Oklahoma, the 10th of 11 children, she started work in the art department of a Tulsa radio station while she was still at school. Her vocal skills soon led her to become the voice of the "Patti Page Show", a daily 15-minute programme sponsored by the local Page Milk Company. The broadcasts came to the attention of Jack Rael, the manager of a Texas orchestra, the Jimmy Joy band. She joined the band in 1946, taking with her the name Patti Page. With Rael as her personal manager, she left the band a year later to launch her solo career, beginning with a broadcast at a Chicago radio station, where she was accompanied by a small group led by Benny Goodman. Patti rose to fame in the 1950s, when she scored such multimillion hits such as her signature song, the chart topping “The Tennessee Waltz”, “Mockin' Bird Hill”, “Left Right Out of Your Heart”, “I Went to Your Wedding”, “Allegheny Moon”, “Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte” and the novelty song “(How Much is That) Doggie in the Window?” which was also a hit in the UK. Over her long career she recorded over a thousand tracks, she had a staggering 111 hits, 15 gold records and four gold albums. Patti became a fixture on USA television, as well as being a frequent guest on the programmes of Ed Sullivan, The Dean Martin and The Steve Allen Show, her own TV shows include In Concert Series: Patti Page, Patti Page Sings the Hits, and The Patti Page Oldsmobile Show. As an actress her movies include "Elmer Gantry" alongside Burt Lancaster, "Coke Time" with Eddie Fisher, "Dondi" with David Janssen and in "Boy's Night Out" with James Garner and Kim Novak. Patti was married three times, first to Jack Skiba, then to the choreographer Charles O'Curran and thirdly to a maple-syrup magnate, Jerry Filiciotti. Her first two marriages ended in divorce, sadly Mr Filiciotti died in 2009. She recorded and toured throughout her career and as the years progressed Patti still enjoyed performing around 50 select concerts throughout a year, until September 2012, when she announced her retirement from performing, for health reasons. In 1997, Patti was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame, then in 1998, she recorded her first live album. It was performed at Carnegie Hall in New York and titled, Live at Carnegie Hall: The 50th Anniversary Concert. The album won her a Grammy Award the following year for Best Traditional Pop Vocal Performance which, despite her prolific career, this was her first Grammy. Patti will be honored again posthumously, with a Lifetime Achievement Grammy Award on February 9th 2013.


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2015 . 2014 . 2013 . 2012 . 2011 . 2010 . 2009 . 2008 . 2007 . 2006 . 2005 . 2004 . REQUESTS .

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I started these tribute pages June of 2004, when the great Ray Charles died,
I wrote a tribute to him... and just carried it on from there.
BUT there are many more tributes
on the birth/deaths pages ~ which I try to work on daily.

If you do have a very special request ~ please email me

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