A Phil Brodie Band Muso Page
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" Let us remember the great talent each possessed "

James Joseph Brown, Jr.
May 3rd 1933 ~ December 25th 2006

James Joseph Brown, Jr., commonly referred to as "The Godfather of Soul", has sadly passed away. He was admitted to the Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia on Dec 24, '06 after a dentist visit where he was found to have severe pneumonia. 73 year old James Brown died the next day on December 25, 2006, around 1:45 a.m. (06:45 UTC). According to his agent, the cause of death was heart failure. James leaves behind 5 children from 3 of his wives, his eldest son of 6 children Teddy, died in a car crash in 1973.
James Brown
Renowned for his shouting vocals, feverish dancing and unique rhythmic style, James Brown was born the small South Carolina town of Barnwell. His family later moved to nearby Augusta, Georgia. As a child, James helped support his family by picking cotton in the nearby fields and shining shoes downtown. At the age of sixteen, he was convicted of armed robbery and sent to a juvenile detention centre in Toccoa. While in prison, he met up with Bobby Byrd, whose family helped James secure an early release after serving only three years of his sentence, under the condition that he not return to Augusta or Richmond County and that he would try to get a job. This is when James turned his energy toward music. In 1955 he joined a gospel group called "The Gospel Starlighters" along with Bobby Byrd's sister Sarah, which gave him the experience to join Bobby Byrd's group the Avons. They started experimenting in rhythm and blues, changed the name to The Blue Flames and began touring and were soon signed up with King Records. In 1956, their debut single, "Please, Please, Please" credited to "James Brown with the Famous Flames", reached No.5 in the R&B charts and was a million-selling single. This was followed by 9 failed singles. But in 1957 when Little Richard half way through a tour suddenly turned to the church, James Brown and his band honoured all Little Richards oustanding venues. A year later, the group released "Try Me," which became James' first No. 1 hit. The mid-1960s was the period of Brown's greatest popular success, with two of his signature tunes, "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "I Got You (I Feel Good) released in 1965. It was around this time when James turned much funkier, he sped up the released version of "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" to make it even more intense and commercial and 1970 saw a big change in his backing band which included Bootsy Collins on bass. This new band was called the JBs. In 1974, they performed in Zaire as part of the build up to the The Rumble in the Jungle fight between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman. James and his JBs were one of the busiest bands on the road, he worked till 3 days before his death. A prolific singer, songwriter, bandleader and record producer, he was a seminal force in the evolution of gospel and rhythm 'n' blues into soul and funk. He has left his mark on numerous other musical genres, including rock, jazz, reggae, disco, dance and electronic music, afrobeat, and hip-hop music. James received several top music industry awards and honors, being was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on January 23, 1986. February 25, 1992 he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 34th annual Grammy Awards. Exactly a year later, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 4th annual Rhythm & Blues Foundation Pioneer Awards. On November 14, 2006, James was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame. He was one of several inductees that performed at the ceremony. He was a recipient of Kennedy Center Honors in 2003 and on August 22, 2006, the Augusta-Richmond County Coliseum Authority voted to rename the city's civic center the James Brown Arena.

Darren "Wiz" Brown
January 18th 1962 ~ December 6th 2006

Former Mega City Four songwriter/guitarist /frontman Darren Brown has unexpectedly passed away.This highly talented musician collasped while at band rehearsals, and just hours later he tragically died
at St George's Hospital, Tooting, of a blood clot in his brain. 44 year old Darren leaves a very loving family and inspirational girlfriend Karina.
Darren'Wiz' Brown (photo taken by taken by Pete Cole)
Like most admired musicians Darren Brown, better known as Wiz by his fans started playing in local groups, serving his apprenticeship; but in 1986, he, as lead guitarist /singer and his friends, bassist Gerry Bryant, drummer Chris Jones, and his brother rhythm guitarist Danny Brown, formed the pop-grunge/indie band Mega City Four. This very hard-working band, duty drawn to their beliefs in Wiz's music toured south east UK, expanding the area as they grew in popularity . This hard work paid off in 1987 when their single "Miles Apart"/"Running In Darkness" led to gigging with the likes of Senseless Things and Snuff. A much bigger break came for Wiz & Mega City Four with their 1989's single "Less Than Senseless", this brought extensive touring around the UK, across Europe, America and Canada, working with the bands Les Thugs, Midway Still, Ned's Atomic Dustbin, Carter The Unstoppable Sex Machine, Doughboys and others. In their 10 year history, they earned a reputation across the globe as an exciting live band, releasing 14 singles, 7 albums and also a live LP, a Peel Sessions disc. Mega City 4 broke up in the April of 1996, after which Wiz went to Canada, where he met up with and joined The Doughboys, playing guitar with them for over a year. 1999 sees him back in his home town of Farnborough, UK. He and his old MC4 band mate Gerry Bryant formed Serpico a much-admired band, which toured for 3 years, they released one album 'Everyone Versus Everyone'. Then in 2002 Wiz, with Rauf on bass and Lawence playing drums went on to form Ipanema who were playing and recording until his death. Wiz and his band had just returned from a successful tour of America and he had virtually finished writing, as it is said, some of his best work yet, for a new Ipanema album. But at rehearsals he suddenly collasped and later tragically died at St George's Hospital. Wiz was dearly loved by all his friends, family and fans who he always made the time to chat to . This extraordinary, highly talented song writer, often sadly over-looked musician, was greatly respected by everyone who ever met or heard him and his thought provoking lyrics touched the souls of them all.

David Mount
March 3rd 1947 ~ December 2nd 2006
Drummer in the 1970's glam-rock group Mud, Dave Mount, unexpectedly died at St Heliers Hospital, Carshalton. Allegedly, he had taken his own life. 59 year old Dave, was twice married and is survived by his four sons.
David Mount
Dave Mount was born in Carshalton, Surrey, a later comer musician, he was fifteen before he got his first drum kit. It was at this time that he joined Rob Davis’ new band The Apaches. After leaving school Dave became an apprentice with the South Eastern Electricity Board. In 1964, still in his teens, he and guitarist Rob formed a new band, the Remainder, the bass player with the Trolls, Ray Stiles, was also in the band. On their first engagement, their vocalist was ill and was temporally replaced by Les Gray from the Mourners. By late 1965, they had all joined Les Gray in the Mourners, still keeping their day jobs, they gigged by night working the pubs & social clubs around Surrey. The band changed their name to Mud & signed with CBS, in April 1966 they made their first live appearance, at Streatham Ice Rink, coinciding with the release of their debut CBS single "Flower Power". They got their first break when they came second in the TV talent show "Opportunity Knocks ". This led to two more TV appearances, on Crackerjack and The Basil Brush Show, and a tour with Jack Jones. Their second big break came when they appeared Revolution Club in London, where they caught the eye of Micky Most. Micky signed them to his label Rak. Dave's fancy footwork lay claim to having helped define their sound, which was was propelled by Mount's powerful drumming. Mud had a string of hits while with Mickey Most with "Crazy", "Hypnosis", "Tiger Feet", "Dyna-Mite", "The Cat Crept In" , "Oh Boy". Their hit single, Tiger Feet, which spent four weeks at No.1 was typical of the band, with a beat thumping out the rhythm on Dave's floor toms to create urgency and excitement. Dave was strongly featured on an instrumental version of Glenn Miller's "In the Mood", released under the name "Dum". They had a Christmas No.1 hit in 1974 with an Elvis styled "Lonely This Christmas". After their last No 1 "Oh Boy", they left Rak to write their own material, having a couple of hits "The Secrets That You Keep" & "Lean On Me", but by the end of the 70's the band had split. Dave carried on working with Les, in the "Les Gray's Mud". The mid 1980s saw Dave had move out of the music world for good and worked as a kitchen salesman before moving into insurance.


Alan "Fluff" Freeman
July 6th 1927 ~ November 27th 2006

Former Radio 1 DJ Alan "Fluff" Freeman, who coined the phrase "Greetings, Pop Pickers", has died.
The 79 year-old broadcaster died peacefully at his home in Twickenham, south-west London, after a brief illness
Alan Freeman
Alan 'Fluff' Freeman was born in Melbourne, Australia , but came to Britain in 1957 to made his career as a well-known disc jockey and radio personality in the United Kingdom and he enjoyed almost 50 years in the industry. Other BBC presenters gave him his nickname "Fluff" early in his career, because of his habit of turning up for his show in woolly jumpers. During the 1960s, Freeman briefly attempted an acting career, notably in Dr. Terror's House of Horrors, but his limitations were apparent, and in other films he has played himself. He also played God (albeit a God who sat at a mixing desk and said "Alright?") in two episodes of The Young Ones in 1984. Alan had a huge love for rock music and opera and is best known for presenting the BBC Radio 1 Rock Show (initially from 1973 to 1978, and later from 1989 to 1993) & Pick of the Pops, which he first hosted for the BBC(originally on the Light Programme) in 1961 and, continued to present until 1972, later reviving it on Radio 1 (1989-1992) and Radio 2 (1997-2000). Alan presented late-evening programmes on Radio Luxembourg in the 1960s and early 1970s. He also worked for Capital Radio from 1979 to 1988, reviving both Pick of the Pops and The Rock Show, and for Capital Gold (Pick of the Pops) and Virgin Radio (The Rock Show) in the 1990s. His final broadcasts focused on his other beloved world .. opera, presenting Their Greatest Bits for BBC Radio 2 from 1997 until 2001. Throughout his career his distinctive presenting style included the frequent use of classical music stings between records, and many memorable catchphrases such as 'Alright, pop pickers? Alright!' and 'Not 'arf!'. His style has been much parodied, and he was the model for Harry Enfield's popular character 'Dave Nice', although he contributed to the satire himself in good grace by appearing on Enfield's show. For all Alan's supposed clichés and archetypes in his broadcasting style, he has always been regarded as a true original by his fellow broadcasters - when he appeared on John Peel's This Is Your Life, Peel said he was 'the greatest out-and-out disc jockey of them all'. In December 1993 Freeman presented the Alternative Chart Show on a trial RSL broadcast by XFM in London. In March 1994, Alan revealed on breakfast television that he had become celibate in 1981, but had previously been bisexual. He was awarded the CBE in 1998 and lived his last few years in quiet retirement as a resident of Brinsworth House, a retirement home for actors and performers run by the Entertainment Artistes Benevolent Fund making the occasional on-air appearances.

Anita O'Day
October 18th 1919 - November 23th 2006
Hard-swinging jazz singer, Anita O'Day, has sadly died this Thanks Giving Day. The dynamic, 85 year old singer died in her sleep at a West Hollywood, California convalescent hospital, while recovering from pneumonia.
Anita O'Day
Born Anita Belle Colton in Chicago, brought up in a broken home which she left at the age of 14 to tour the Midwestern United States as a marathon dance contestant and singing "The Lady in Red" for tips. In 1936 she switched from dancing to singing, working as chorus girl in such venues as the Celebrity Club and the Vanity Fair, and working as a waitress to make ends met. In the late 30's while singing in a jazz club called the Off- Beat, she met drummer Gene Krupa. In1941 Anita change her last name to O'Day and joined Krupa's band, with trumpeter Roy Eldridge. Anita Eldridge had great chemistry on stage and their their duet "Let Me Off Uptown" became a million-dollar-seller, boosting the popularity of the Krupa band. The trio recorded 34 tracks, with hits such as "Boogie Blues" and "Just a Little Bit South of North Carolina.". She shattered the traditional image of the "girl singer", refusing to pander to any female stereotype, Anita presented herself as a "hip" jazz musician, wearing a band jacket and skirt as opposed to an evening gown..The 40's also see's her at the Hollywood Palladium with Woody Herman, and recording 21 tracks with Stan Kenton's band. By the end of the '40s Anita had be come a solo artist. The 1950's see's her shining in the world of jazz performing at jazz festivals and jazz-oriented concerts, appearing with figures including Louis Armstrong, Thelonious Monk, and George Shearing. Her performance at 1958's Newport Jazz Festival made her fame worldwide after being released on a film titled "Jazz on a Summer's Day". Her series of ninteen Verve LPs during the '50s and '60s proved her to be one of the most distinctive, trend-setting, and successful vocal artists of the time, but 60's were also marred with drug abuse, which earned her the nickname "The Jezabel of Jazz". Although she continued a full and successful career until 1967 when she collapsed, nearly dieing of a heroin overdose forcing her to take a few years off to totally kick the habit. She made a big come back at the Berlin Jazz Festival, by followed many live and studio recordings over the next 30 years. Anita appeared in several films in the 70's Zig Zag (1970) and The Outfit (1974). She also wrote her memoirs in 1981, the intriguing book "High Times, Hard Times". Anita's last album, "Indestructible!" was released in 2006. A feature length documentary "Anita O'Day: The Life of A Jazz Singer" directed by Robbie Cavolina and Ian McCrudden, is due to be released in early 2007. (watch the film review)

Gerald LeVert
July 13th 1966 ~ November 10th 2006

The sensual, powerful voiced R&B soul singer, accomplished songwriter, Gerald Levert has very unexpectedly passed away in his sleep, of a heart attack at his home in Cleveland. He was only 40. His sudden sad death came just after he and his father, Eddie Levert, had returned home from a 10-day trip to South Africa where they had met with Nelson Mandela. He leaves a loving family including a daughter, Carlysia.
Gerald Levert
Gerald LeVert was born in Cleveland, Ohio, into a very musical family, his father being Eddie Levert, the lead singer of The O'Jays. Gerald as a small boy, would happily accompany his father on the exciting tours in the school holidays, meeting many of the greats, such as Marvin Gaye & James Brown. This privileged musical upbringing did give him an insight of the music world, but it did not make him a great singer, it must have been more differcult for Gerald following in a father's giant footsteps, a brave path to tread. It was his own powerful velvety baritone voice he had been gifted with, and the music in his soul, that made him the great singer he was. When in his teens Gerald, his younger brother Sean and a school friend Marc Gordon formed a soul group which they called LeVert. They recorded their first single, "I'm Still," on the independent Tempre label and by 1985 were signed with Atlantic Records. They made their debut single with Atlantic "Casanova", " in 1986. With Gerald as lead singer, their second single "Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop (Goes My Mind)" reached No. 5 in the charts and No. 1 in the R&B chart in 1987, these were followed by three more R&B No 1's, "Addicted to You," "Just Coolin'" featuring Heavy D and in 1991 "Baby I'm Ready", and had many other chart hits. At this stage, Gerald branched out on a solo career with his debut album, Private Line, and topped the Soul charts with the title track. Then more noteably was Gerald's duet with his father Eddie “Baby Hold On To Me,” a phenomenal ballad that was one of 1992’s most memorable songs. He sang with his father again in 1994 on their "Father and Son" album, with a heart striking rendition of 'Wind Beneath My Wing'. On his live performances he is remembered by his dozens of teddy bears, which he would through to his adored audience. He made 9 solo albums producing countless hit singles on the different charts. Gerald was also a member of the group LSG, which included himself, Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill under the acronym LSG, gaining another the hit single "My Body". As well as highly successful singing career, Gerald's talents included songwriting and producing. He worked on projects with Barry White, including co-writing and co-producing Barry White's last No. 1 R&B hit, "Practice What You Preach." in 1994. He also wrote and produced recordings for Stephanie Mills, Teddy Pendergrass, Patti Labelle, Rude Boys, the Winans, The O'Jays and many more. In his 21 year career Gerald also has appeared on some 38 films and televised productions as himself, one being "In The Shadows Of Motown, he appears in 6 more as an actor and he is on 7 film soundtracks. This great soul man will be sorely missed in the world of soul music and by his many fans around the world. ~ R.I.P. Teddy Bear.

Jance Garfat
March 3rd 1944 ~ November 6th 2006

US bassist Jance Garfat with the legendary cult band Dr Hook, has tragically died in a road accident. While riding his motorcycle to work, he apparently swerved to avoid a dog in the road and was thrown from his bike, onto the highway, and struck by another vehicle, killing him outright.
Jance Garfat
Jance Garfat started his career with different bands around his home town in California before joining the pop-country rock band Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show, later to be none as just Dr. Hook, in 1972 as their first full-time bassist. Jance brought a fuller depth, rhythm and a solid bottom line to their sound. At the height of their success Dr Hook were top of the charts in 42 countries. They were known more for there singles rather than an album band and Jance can be heard on all the bands tracks from 1972 to 1985, such as
'More Like The Movies', 'A Little Bit More', 'If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body', 'Sexy Eyes', 'Cover Of The Rolling Stone', 'Only Sixteen', 'Ballad Of Lucy Jordan', 'When Your In Love with a Beautiful Woman' and dozens more. This bassist extraordinaire, with a great band together amassed 60 gold and platinum singles and albums, touching the heart and soul of thousands of people around the world.

Freddy Fender
June 4th 1937 ~ October 14th 2006

Legendary 69 year old Freddy Fender, the "Bebop Kid" of the Texas-Mexico border has sadly died of lung cancer at his home in Corpus Christi, Texas. This triple Grammy award winning, important Tex-Mex musician had been diagnosed earlier this year with cancer.
Freddy Fender
Born Baldemar Huerta, in the Rio Grande Valley town of San Benito, Texas, Freddy was the first and biggest pioneer in Tex Mex music, paving the way for others, and his works in Tejano Music have and are being used by many international stars, which helped spread his Tex Mex work worldwide. Sadly for many years he seemed to be completely forgotten by writers of Tejano Music History, but in 1998 he was documented as The First American Hispanic and Hispanic Rock & Roll Recording Artist In Anglo Latino Musical History. His great acheivements in the history of Tejano Music must not be forgotten, he is the most significant singer, writer and musician in the Mexican American music world. His parents were migrant workers and he traveled with them during the picking season, listening to the black workers and thier blues music out in the fields, music that would later become apart of his own unique style. He made himself a guitar at the age of six, at 10 he was singing on local radio stations and winning talent competitions. Then at 16, he joined the Marines for three years. After his discharge, he started playing Texas honky tonks and dance halls. His big break came with Falcon Records in 1957, when he recorded Spanish versions of Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" and Harry Belafonte's "Jamaica Farewell." The recordings both reached No1 in Mexico and South America. He signed with Imperial Records in 1959, renaming himself "Fender" after the brand of his electric guitar, and "Freddy", well.. because it sounded good with Fender. In 1960 he had a national hit with "Wasted Days and Wasted Nights", but he and his bass player were arrested and sent to prison for 3 years for the possession of two marijuana cigarettes. After which he spent 5 yers in New Orleans, developing his interest in rhythm & blues and Cajun funk. In 1974, he recorded "Before The Next Teardrop Falls" and on April 8, 1975, it reached the Number One spot on Billboard's pop and county charts, the first time in history an artist's first single reached Number One on both charts. With its success, he won the Academy of Country Music's best new artist award. Throughout his long career Freddy has appeared on 18 TV shows, in 8 films, 11 videos, and countless soundtracks, commercials, shows, tributes and is a triple Grammy Award winner. He won his first shared Grammy with the Texas Tornados, in 1990 for best Mexican-American performance for "Soy de San Luis", his second shared Grammy came in with Los Super Seven in the same category in 1998 for "Los Super Seven.". Then in year 2002 he won his own Grammy for Best Latin Pop Album in 2002 for "La Musica de Baldemar Huerta."

Al Thompson
1947 ~ October 12
th 2006

Al Thompson, former Motown drummer, longtime drummer for Gladys Knight & The Pips, Stevie Wonder and Natalie Cole has sadly died in Austin, TX at the age of 59.

Jumpin' Gene Simmons
July 10th 1933 ~ August 29th 2006

Rockabilly singer and songwriter Jumpin' Gene Simmons, who worked with Elvis Presley has sadly died after a long illness. He was 69 and is survived by his son, his mother, a sister and two brothers.
Jumping Gene Simmons
Born in Tupelo, MS, where, as a teenager, his two sisters brought home an old guitar. He could not stop smacking its strings. In a few months, he was strumming them sweetly and performing on the radio and at dances with his brother in the Simmons Brothers band. Gene relocated to Memphis, after appearing in some Memphis clubs as lead singer with his new band the Bill Black Combo, he signed with Sun Records, the legendary Memphis label formed by Phillips that launched the careers of Presley, Johnny Cash and other stars. Among other early gigs, he performed as an opening act for Presley in Tupelo. While he didn't have the chart success of other Sun performers, Gene's recordings have become known to later generations through reissues. Brian Setzer did a version of Simmons' "Peroxide Blonde in a Hopped Up Model Ford" on his "Rockabilly Riot Vol. 1: A Tribute to Sun Records." Moving to the Hi label in the early '60s, Gene Simmons had a number 11 hit in 1964 with the novelty "Haunted House," but his heart was actually in the rich and rootsy rock, soul, and country traditions of his home base of Memphis. He recorded several singles and an album, but "Haunted House" was the only one that met with success before his last single for the company in 1966. With his white Southern R&B, Simmons echoed such fellow travelers as Roy Head, Bruce Channel, and post-rockabilly Dale Hawkins, although he was not as gritty as any of them and gave the Hi label some of their first tastes of success.
More recently, he co-wrote "Indian Outlaw," which became a big hit in 1994 for country superstar Tim McGraw.

Maynard Ferguson
May 4th 1928 ~ August 23rd 2006

Jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson, known for his powerful, soaring dizzy high notes, has sadly died after a short illness. He died from kidney and liver failure due to an abdominal infection. The 78 year old legend leaves four daughters, Kim, Lisa, Corby and Wilder, and other close relatives.

Maynard Ferguson, was born into a musical family in Verdun, Quebec. Encouraged by his mother & father, Maynard was playing piano & violin by the age of four. At nine years old, he heard a cornet for the first time in his local church and asked his parents to buy him one. He won a scholarship to the French Conservatory of Music, where he received formal training and in 1941, at the age of thirteen, Maynard soloed as a child prodigy with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Orchestra. By 1945, at age 17, he became the leader of his own Big Band. In 1949, he moved to the United States to New York City. When he debuted with Stan Kenton's Orchestra in 1950, Maynard could play higher than any other trumpeter up to that point in jazz history, and he was accurate. Somehow he has kept most of that range through the decades. In 1954, Maynard left the Innovations Orch to work for Paramount Pictures on film soundtracks in Hollywood. He played lead trumpet on such notable films as The Ten Commandments. After leaving Paramount, he had perhaps the most fertile period of his career, leading first the Birdland Dream Band, then his own brilliant bands which featured the likes of Joe Zawinul, Don Menza, Mike Abene, and Jaki Byard. Maynard's's multi-instrumental skills were much in evidence during this period, as he soloed brilliantly on not just trumpet, but virtually all the brass instruments. In the mid 60's he left the States and took his music and family to live in England. He returned to the US in the early 70's, where he continued to tour 9 months out of every year with his current band, Big Bop Nouveau, over the US and Europe, Japan, Thailand, South America and Australia. In his long career he played with all of the great 1940's Big Band Leaders including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Barnett, Jimmy Dorsey and Stan Kenton. He recorded more than 60 albums, received numerous honors and awards including the GRAMMY nomination for "Gonna Fly Now". In 2005, Maynard was awarded Canada's highest civilian honor, the "Order of Canada" from the Right Honorable Governor General Adrienne Clarkson. In addition to those honors, he has been the recipient of DownBeat Magazine's prestigious "DownBeat" Award. Most recently, a new, highly-anticipated live album, MF Horn 6 Live at Ronnies, was released March 25th 2006. Maynard Ferguson and his Big Bop Nouveau Band had been touring the United States and he was preparing for a Fall Tour beginning mid-September in Tokyo, Japan. He had also been invited to play for the King of Thailand's 80th birthday in January.

Mike Douglas
August 11th 1925 ~ August 11th 2006

Singer and TV host, Mike Douglas has sadly died at a Palm Beach Gardens, Flo., on his 81st birthday. The cause of death has not yet been disclosed, but he grew dehydrated on a golf course a few weeks ago and has been treated for that off and on since. He is survived by his widow Genevieve, daughters Kelly and twins Michele and Christine, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Mike Douglas
Mike Douglas was born in Chicago, Illinois, and began singing as a choirboy. By his teens he was working as a singer on a Lake Michigan dinner cruise ship. After serving briefly in the United States Navy near the end of World War II, and as a "staff singer" for WMAQ-TV in Chicago, he moved to Los Angeles. There he became a vocalist in the big band of Kay Kyser, with whom he was featured on two notable hits, "Ole Buttermilk Sky" in 1946 and "The Old Lamplighter" the following year. He remained part of Kyser's band until Kay Kyser retired from show business in 1951. He then became a house singer for a nightclub and spent much of the 50's on the road. 1961 sees Mike the host of the afternoon television talk-show at WKYC-TV, then known as KYW-TV. The show rapidly gained popularity, and ultimately, national syndication in August 1963 on five Westinghouse-owned stations. It stopped broadcasting live in 1965 after guest Zsa Zsa Gabor used inappropriate language on the air. The program moved to Philadelphia in June 1965 with KYW, & by 1967, The Mike Douglas Show was being broadcast to 171 markets and over 6,000,000 viewers each day. In 1967, the program received the first Emmy Award for Individual Achievement in Daytime Television from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
In July 1978, the talk show's home base was transferred to Los Angeles, where it remained until finally going off the air in 1981. A second series, The Mike Douglas Entertainment Hour, ended production in 1982. Mike was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1990, but after surgery he was cancer-free. Mike spent much of his retirement pursuing his favourite pass-time ... Golf and writing his memoirs, his book was released in 1999 "I'll Be Right Back: Memories of TV's Greatest Talk Show".

Arthur Lee
March 7th 1945 ~ August 3rd 2006

Arthur Lee, the enigmatic and volatile frontman, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist of the legendary Los Angeles psychedelic band Love, has lost his battle with leukaemia. He died yesterday, aged 61, at the Methodist University Hospital, Memphis. He is survived by his wife, Diane.
Arthur Lee.
He was born Arthur Taylor Porter, in Memphis, Tennessee. The family moved to Los Angeles, California when Lee was young. In his mid to late teens he formed a band, The Lags with Johnny Echols, guitarist and vocals, saxophonist Alan Talbot on Roland Davis on drums and Arthur Lee playing organ, a Booker T & The MG's type of group. In 1963 they cut their first record "The Ninth Wave". As a songwriter, Arthur composed "My Diary", the first of his compositions that was somewhat of a hit. It was written for the R&B singer Rosa Lee Brooks, who performed and recorded it. This recording included Jimi Hendrix on electric guitar and, indeed, the first known Hendrix recording session. He wrote the surf songs, "White Caps" and "Ski Surfin' Sanctuary". In 1964 he forms a new band The American Four, recording "I've Been Tryin'", "Luci Baines", "Everybody Jerk" and "Slow Jerk". Arthur was being influenced by folk rock band The Byrds and in 1965 formed another band "Grass Roots" but this name was taken, so he changed the band name to "Love". The band released 3 classic albums with their core members Johnny Echols (lead guitar), Bryan MacLean (guitar), Ken Forssi (bass) and Michael Stuart (drums). These are the self-titled "Love" in 1966, By the 2nd album, "My Little Red Book", Lee was pioneering the psychedelic black man archetype of Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone in terms of music, fashion and attitude and their 1967 LP "Forever Changes" is regarded as not only their finest recording but one of the best albums of the sixties. In 1968 Arthur formed a totally new Love band, which released 2 albums, '69's "Four Sail" and 1970's "False Start" featuring a duet with Jimi Hendrix entitled "The Everlasting First". Arthur's erratic behaviour, increasing drug abuse, frail physical and mental health fuelled a rock myth which, like later with Syd Barrett, possibly served to keep the memory alive. Syd Barrett, freely let it be known that Love was a big influence on his band, Pink Floyd. Arthur broke the band up after the second album. The 70's and 80's sees Arthur in a solo career bringing 2 Albums out in '70 & '72.. It wasn't till the 90's he re-emerge, in 1992, with a new album entitled "Arthur Lee & Love", In 1993 he played his first shows in New York and England in twenty years. But in 1995 Arthur Lee was sentenced to 12 years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm. He had apparently threatened a neighbour with a gun. No one was injured and no property destroyed in the incident. He served 6 years of this very severe and unfair sentence. While in prison he refused visitors and all interviews, and very sadly, the original Love lineup would never reform as Maclean and Forssi both died while Arthur was in prison. In 2002 Arthur Lee began touring under the name "Love with Arthur Lee". with great success throughout Europe and North America. The band performed the "Forever Changes" album in its entirety, often with a string and horn section. A live CD and DVD of this material was released in 2003. Sadly Arthur Lee became ill and left the band Love in August 2005. He was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia earlier this year (2006) and underwent bone marrow transplant surgery in May. Several well attended benefit concerts had been held to help him with his medical bills, with former Led Zeppelin frontman, Robert Plant headlining the latest at New York's Beacon Theater in June.

Roger 'Syd' Barrett
January 6th 1946 ~ July 7th 2006

Syd Barrett, psychedelic pioneer and the original guitarist/frontman of legendary rock group Pink Floyd, has died peacefully at his home in Cambridge, UK, from complications arising from diabetes. The 60 year old guitarist Syd, was the band's first creative force and a highly influential songwriter, penning most of their early hits.
He named the band after two bluesmen, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, who he admired and were part of his record collection.
Roger "Syd" Barrett
Born Roger Keith Barrett, in Cambridge, England, to a well-off middle class family. He was the youngest of five siblings. His father Arthur Barrett was a prominent pathologist and both he and his wife Winifred encouraged the young Roger in his music. He attended the Cambridge County School for Boys, (now Hills Road Sixth Form College) in Cambridge. His father died when Roger was 11, this left lasting scares. He acquired the nickname "Syd" at the age of 15, a reference to an old local Cambridge drummer, Sid Barrett. Syd changed the spelling in order to differentiate himself from his namesake. In his late teens, Syd joined up with Roger Waters, Nick Mason, Richard Wright, Bob Klose in a band called "The Megadeaths" as frontman /second guitar. Shortly after he took over lead guitar when Bob Klose left to follow jazz. The Megadeaths became Pink Floyd in 1965. The band was initially inspired by American blues and R&B artists, but they began to stretch that material out, incorporating feedback and other guitar trickery into long passages of their songs, and adding psychedelic light shows to their frenetic live sets, which they dubbed "happenings." Syd was an innovative guitarist, one of his trademarks was playing his Fender Esquire guitar by sliding a Zippo lighter up and down the fret-board through an old echo box to create the mysterious, worldly sounds that became associated with the group. His experimentation was partly inspired by free improvisation guitarist Keith Rowe. By the time their first album PIPER was released,"Arnold Layne" had reached #20 on the British singles charts (despite a ban by the BBC). and a follow-up single, "See Emily Play" peaked at #6. Out of the 11 album tracks Syd wrote eight and co-wrote another two. Unfortunately the pressures of fame and pressures from his fans took its tole on Syd, which contributed to him experiencing increasing psychiatric illness. His behavior became increasingly unpredictable, partly too as a consequence of very frequent experimentation with psychedelic drugs such as LSD. Before a performance in late 1967, Barrett put an entire tube of Brylcreem into his hair, which gradually melted down his face under the heat of the stage lighting, making him look like "a guttered candle". The image of Syd's melting features was used in the Wall film. In 1968 after a US tour was cut short due to Syd being now quite ill, he was temporarily replaced by David Gilmour. Sadly Syd didn't return. However between '69 - '71 he did have a brief solo career, releasing two solo albums, The Madcap Laughs and Barrett. Syd made one last appearance on BBC Radio, recording three songs at their studios on 16 February 1971. At this stage, though, Barrett seemed to have little interest in recording music, and even less interest in performing it live. After this session, he would take a hiatus from his music career that lasted more than a year. In late 1972, he formed a short-lived band called Stars with ex-Pink Fairies member Twink on drums and Jack Monck on bass. In 1974 Syd withdrew from the music industry. He sold the rights to his solo albums back to the record label, moved into a London hotel and when the money ran out he walked back to Cambridge to live in his mother's basement. Many, many attempts were made to get him back to the music business. As a recluse he became an artist and avid gardener. Syd influenced a huge long list of musicians with both his songwriting and guitar work. Syd Barrett's decline had a profound effect on Roger Waters' song-writing, and the theme of mental illness would permeate Pink Floyd's later albums, particularly 1973's Dark Side of the Moon and 1979's The Wall. Waters' composition "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" alluded to Barrett with its lyrics: "Remember when you were young, you shone like the sun; Shine on you crazy diamond; Now there's a look in your eyes, like black holes in the sky." At the Live 8 concert in London a year ago, when Pink Floyd reunited without Barrett, Waters sang "Wish You Were Here" -- a tribute to the singer and lyricist.
"I can't tell you how sad I feel," wrote David Bowie on his Web site. "Syd was a major inspiration for me. His impact on my thinking was enormous. A major regret is that I never got to know him." Bowie covered "See Emily Play" on his 1973 album "Pin-Ups."
"Syd was a lovely guy and a unique talent," added Waters. "He leaves behind a body of work that is both very touching and very deep and which will shine on forever."

Johnny Jenkins
March 5th 1939 ~ June 26th 2006

Johnny Jenkins, 67, left-handed blues guitarist who helped to propel the singing career of his former driver, Otis Redding and hugely inspired Jimi Hendrix, has sadly died at Coliseum Medical Centers in Macon, Ga., after suffering a stroke.
His survivors include two sons, Johnny E. Jenkins Jr. and Kelvin Jenkins; two daughters, Stacy Marie Jenkins and Bridget White; two sisters, Gladys Jenkins and Sandra Bryant; a brother, Terry L. Jenkins; and seven grandchildren. His wife, Janest Durham Jenkins, died in 2001.
Johnny Edward Jenkins
Johnny Edward Jenkins, the son of a day laborer, was born in east Macon's rural Swift Creek area. On the radio, he was drawn to hillbilly music and at age 9 built his own guitar from a cigar box and rubber bands and learned to play it upside down and left-handed for folks at the local gas station. He left school in seventh grade to take care of his ailing mother and by 16 had turned to music full time, playing in R&B bands around the Southeast. He soon started his own band, Johnny Jenkins and the Pinetoppers. In 1960, when he first saw a young singer by the name of Otis Redding performing, he invited Redding to sing and occasionally chauffeur for the Pinetoppers. During his time with Jenkins, Redding got his first chance to record. Jenkins later played guitar on Redding's first recording, "These Arms of Mine." Jenkins declined to join Redding's band, citing a fear of flying, but there may have been other reasons for his refusal. Jennings preferred to play music in his own way and style, guitar acrobats, playing his guitar behind his head, using his teeth, and other wild stage antics. In the mid-1960s while Jenkins and his band were playing around Macon, a young guitarist in town from Seattle to visit his aunt saw Jenkins. That man, Jimi Hendrix, was impressed by his unorthodox technique and stage presence, and he incorporated them into his own act. And in 1969 when Hendrix became an international superstar, he invited Johnny Jenkins to New York to play with him. That same year, Jenkins hooked up with future music mogul Phil Walden. The record producer signed Johnny as his first client, and he became part of the fledgling Capricorn Records label, founded by Mr. Walden and his partner Frank Fenter. Johnny Jenkins recorded his debut solo album, "Ton Ton Macoute!" This album featured another young guitarist, Duane Allman, and members of his new group, the Allman Brothers Band. Jenkins, frustrated with the music business, dropped out for most of the next 25 years, spending time with his family. In 1996, Walden convinced him to go into the studio again to record a comeback album, "Blessed Blues" in 1996. Johnny continued playing nightclubs in the Macon area and in the studio, "Blessed Blues," was followed by "Handle With Care" - 2001 and "All in Good Time" - 2005 being Jenkins last album

Arif Mardin
March 15th 1932 ~ June 25th 2006
Arif Mardin, the legendary producer/arranger whose career spanned landmark recordings from Aretha Franklin to the Bee Gees to Norah Jones, passed away yesterday (June 25) in New York. Arif was 74 and had been suffering from pancreatic cancer for about a year. Mardin is survived by his wife Latife; son Joe, a producer; and daughters Julie and Nazan Joffre.
Arif Mardin
Mardin was born in Istanbul, but attended the London School of Economics. It was a lucky meeting in 1956 in Turkey with Dizzy Gillespie and Quincy Jones that lead to his decision to attend the Berklee School of Music in Boston. He graduated from Berklee in 1961 and Nesuhi Ertegun, a fellow Turk whom he met at the Newport Jazz Festival, brought him to Atlantic Records two years later. At Atlantic, Mardin took his lessons about engineering and producing from a team of in-house giants that included Ahmet Ertegun, Jerry Wexler and Tom Dowd. Mardin originally wanted to be a big-band arranger, but he caught the pop bug in 1965, while co-producing the Rascals with Dowd. In the coming decades, he produced hits for a remarkable array of Atlantic artists, including Franklin, Average White Band, Phil Collins, Hall & Oates, Roberta Flack, Brook Benton and Dusty Springfield. In the mid-'70s, Mardin helped the Bee Gees redefine their sound and revive their career with the album "Main Course," which included the No. 1 hit "Jive Talkin'.". Arif showed great diversity, with successes ranging from Bette Midler's sweeping ballads "From a Distance" and "Wind Beneath My Wings" to Chaka Khan's funky "I Feel For You." He also produced memorable folk albums for John Prine, jazz albums for Eddie Harris, Herbie Mann and Charles Lloyd and country sets for Willie Nelson. In 1990, he was inducted into the Recording Academy's Hall of Fame. Arif remained at Atlantic until 2001, rising to senior VP. Shortly after retiring from the label, he re-emerged as co-VP/GM of EMI's revived Manhattan label under Blue Note chief Bruce Lundvall. It was at EMI that Arif put the final crescendo on his career, co-producing Norah Jones' breakthrough Blue Note album "Come Away With Me." which won Grammys for album of the year and record of the year in 2003 and earned Arif producer of the year honors. He also produced Jones' "Feels Like Home," which sold 1.02 million in its debut week in February 2004. Arid has collected 60 gold or platinum albums and won 12 Grammy Awards in his distinguished career.

Hilton Ruiz
May 29th 1952 ~ June 6th 2006

On May 19 2006, jazz pianist, Hilton Ruiz was found unconscious on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. Police seem at present to have concluded that Ruiz stumbled and fell and was not attacked. As a result of the accident, Hilton was in a coma at East Jefferson General Hospital, from which he never regained consciousness. He was 54 years old. Hilton was in New Orleans working on a Hurricane Katrina benefit. He had recorded a benefit album for New Orleans residents in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and flewn to New Orleans May 18 2006 with Marco Matute, a producer for the M27 World label, to shoot a companion video.
Hilton Ruiz
A native of Teaneck, N.J., jazzman Hilton first trained in classical music, he played at Carnegie Recital Hall when he was only 8 years old. His first recording, at the age of 14, was with a group called Ray Jay and the East Siders, and he gigged with Freddie Hubbard and Joe Newman when he was young. From 1974 to 1977, he was saxophone player Rahsaan Roland Kirk's main pianist, featuring on such records as The Case of the 3 Sided Dream in Audio Color and The Return of the 5000 Lb. Man. Hilton also recorded several solo albums, he released more than 20 solo albums between the 1980s and 2000s, his most recent being 2005's "Homenaje a Puente." Ruiz was widely recognized as one of the most accomplished pianists in the contemporary Latin jazz world, as versatile with bop and stride as he was with Afro-Cuban music, but he was a mean blues player too. He had a love of karate, when asked how he had found time to become a second-degree black belt in karate while also practicing piano eight hours hours a day, he answered 'Well, I didn't start karate until I was 14. I started piano when I was 3". His teachers included jazz pianist and composer Mary Lou Williams. Hilton Ruiz who was divorced is survived by his ex-wife, Aida (pronounced "Ida") Ruiz, and daughter, also named Aida Ruiz.

Billy Preston
September 9th 1946 ~ June 6th 2006

Billy Preston, the exuberant keyboardist died today
in Scottsdale, Arizona, at the age of 59. Billy had battled kidney disease in his later years. Although he received a kidney transplant in 2002, his health continued to deteriorate. He died of complications of malignant hypertension that resulted in kidney failure and other complications. He had been in a coma since November 21, 2005.

Billy Preston
Born William Everett Preston, Billy started playing piano while sitting on his mother's lap at age three. Over the years Billy collaborated with some of the greatest names in the music industry, including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Little Richard, Ray Charles, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Sam Cooke, Sammy Davis Jr., Sly Stone, Aretha Franklin, the Jackson 5, Quincy Jones, and Red Hot Chili Peppers. He began his career playing in the bands of Little Richard and Ray Charles as a keyboardist, however he was probably best known for his work with the Beatles. He played on their 1970 'Let It Be' album and on the songs "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and "Something", from 1969's Abbey Road. Signed to their Apple label, in 1969, Preston released the album 'That's the Way God Planned It' and a single of the same name (produced by George Harrison). He was on several of George's 70's solo albums. Preston also made notable and energetic contributions to the Concert for Bangladesh. He also worked on solo recordings by John Lennon and Ringo Starr. Billy played keyboards for the Rolling Stones, he appears on the Stones' albums Sticky Fingers, Exile on Main Street, Goats Head Soup, It's Only Rock'n Roll and Black and Blue. He toured as a support act with the Stones in 1973, and recorded his live album Live in Europe in Munich with Mick Taylor on guitar. In 1974 composed one of Joe Cocker's biggest hits You Are So Beautiful. In 1975 he became the first musical guest on Saturday Night Live. In 1975 and 1976 he again toured with the Stones, this time getting to play two of his own songs, backed by the Stones, in the middle of every concert. . He continued to play on solo records by Stones members, and made an appearance again on the Stones' 1997 Bridges to Babylon album. In 1991, he entered no-contest pleas to the cocaine and assault charges. He was sentenced to nine months at a drug rehabilitation center and three months of house arrest. Preston managed to conquer his problems in the early 1990's, and toured with Eric Clapton, and recorded with a wide range of artists. Preston participated in the tribute concert "Concert for George Harrison" at Royal Albert Hall and his performance of My Sweet Lord has received critical acclaim. He also recorded on the last album of Ray Charles. He toured with The Funk Brothers and Stevie Winwood in Europe in early 2004 and then with his friend Eric Clapton in Europe and North America. It has been claimed that his big contribution to the Beatles' sound was made clear with the release of the Let it be naked album. Preston played clavinet (an electronically amplified keyboard instrument) on the song "Warlocks" for the Red Hot Chili Peppers album Stadium Arcadium released in 2006. Preston's final contribution was playing Gospel-tinged organ on the Neil Diamond album, 12 Songs.

Vince Welnick
Febuary 21st 1951 ~ June 2nd 2006

Vince Welnick, 55, who played keyboards with the Grateful Dead for five years till the death of band founder Jerry Garcia, unexpectedly died Friday.
Sonoma County sheriffs said he was taken, injured, from his home in rural Forestville near Santa Rosa, to a local hospital where he died..
Vince Welnick
Born and bred in Phoenix, Arizona, Vince while in his teens formed the band Beans with friends Bill Spooner (guitar, vocals) and Rick Anderson (bass). The line-up later included Fee Waybill (vocals), Roger Steen (guitar, vocals), and Prairie Prince (drums). In 1971 Vince and band moved to San Francisco, where the loud and livelyshock rock band Tubes evolved from the Beans. The Tubes were soon signed by A&M, releasing their self titled debut album in 1975,followed up a year later with Young & Rich. The Tube made a few more albums including The Tubes Now, Remote Contol and Completion Backwards Principle before disbanding in 1986. Vince Welnick went on to play with Todd Rundgren after the Tubes broke up, releasing Nearly Human and Second Wind. In 1990, Vince was invited to try out for the Grateful Dead after the death of their keyboardist, Brent Mydland. Welnick was the 4th keyboard player from the Grateful Dead to have died ... founding vocalist and keyboard player Ron McKernan died in 1973 of a gastrointestinal haemorrhage, Keith Godchaux died in a car accident in 1980 and Brent Mydland died in 1990 of a drug overdose. He said that he'd never seen the likes of such music, friendship and spirit and did not know if he ever would again. He was deeply affected by the death of Jerry Garcia. As a member of the Dead, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Although kept from the major media, Welnick was suffering from a lung disease during the band's last tour in the Spring and early Summer of 1995. Over whelmed by Jerry's death, Vince never appeared at any of the bands re-union gigs. Since the '95 disbanding of The Dead, Vince became involved in solo efforts, had a brief stint with Ratdog, reteamed with Dead percussionist Mickey Hart as a featured member of the Mickey Hart Band and formed his own band Missing Man Formation, with Steve Kimock (guitar), Prairie Prince (percussion), Bobby Vega (bass), Bobby Strickland (bass clarinet, saxophone, vocals), and various other musicians. He had been scheduled to play the House of Blues in Chicago later this month (June 2006) Vince and his wife, Lorie, also opened an art gallery/performing arts center in Akumal, Mexico.

Desmond Dekker
July 16th 1941 ~ May 25th 2006

Desmond Dekker, the legendary reggae singer with songs such as his record making "Israelites," sadly died unexpectidly of a heart attack at his home in Surrey, England, aged 64. Mr. Dekker was divorced and is survived by a son and daughter.
Desmond Decker
Jamacian Desmond Dekker was the singer, songwriter, who fronted his band The Four Aces. He was the true King of Ska, who introduced and brought Jamacian music to the whole world before Bob Marley had ever been heard of. Born Desmond Adolphus Dacres in Kingston, orphaned as a teenager, he began working as a welder, singing around his workplace. Encouraged by his co-workers he signed with Leslie Kong's Beverley's record label and released his first single, "Honor Your Father and Your Mother," in 1963. It was followed by a number of Jamaican hits including "King of Ska." jubilant song on which Dekker was backed by The Cherrypies also known as The Maytals. The song remains well known among ska fans. Desmond then recruited four brothers, Carl, Patrick, Clive and Barry Howard, who became his backing band, The Four Aces.
Some of his most popular songs celebrated the culture of violent street toughs, or 'rude boys' as they were called, songs such as "Rude Boy Train," "Rudie Got Soul" and "007 (Shanty Town)," which was featured on the soundtrack of the seminal Jamaican film "The Harder They Come". These songs made Desmond a hero of British youth. 1968 sees Desmond become the first Jamacain to enter the US charts with pure Jamaican music, with "Israelites," which also was the first reggae song to top the UK charts. This was followed by a chain of hits and his friend Paul McCartney mentioned Desmond in The Beatles' song "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da". The early 70's sees Desmond moving to the UK permanently followed by another mega hit with "You Can Get It If You Really Want," written by his label-mate Jimmy Cliff. Dekker's career suffered greatly after the 1971 death of his mentor Leslie Kong In 1974 he began working with the production duo Bruce Anthony. His first hit with the pair was 1975's “Sing a Little Song” which reached the UKTop Ten. Late 70's early 80's he worked with Stiff Records, a punk label linked with the Two-Tone movement, a fusion of punk and ska. He recorded an album called Black & Dekker. The 80's sees him working with Robert Palmer and others. He retained a strong British following until his death, performing and touring Europe regularly. Desmond had been due to play across Europe this summer (2006), with dates in UK, Ireland, Poland, Belguim, Germany, Italy, Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

Billy Walker
January 14th 1929 ~ May 21st 2006

Sadly 77 year old, country star Billy Walker died in an automobile accident in Fort Deposit, Alabama, on his way back to Nashville after a performance in Foley, Alabama. His wife and manager Bettie, bassist Charles Lilly Jr., and guitarist Daniel Patton Sr. were also tragically killed in the crash. Billy Walker's 21-year-old grandson, Joshua Brooks, survived the crash, but with very serious injuries.
Billy Walker
Billy Marvin Walker was born in Ralls, Texas, as one of eight children and was the grandson of a Methodist minister. Inspired by the music of Gene Autry, he began his professional music career in 1947 and joined the Big D Jamboree in Dallas in 1949. After working with Hank Thompson in Waco, Texas, Thompson helped Billy secure his first recording contract in 1949 with Capitol Records. In 1952, Billy became a member of the Louisiana Hayride in Shreveport, La., where he and Slim Whitman were partially responsible for Elvis Presley's first appearance on the popular KWKH radio show. In 1955, Billy and Elvis teamed up for a tour of West Texas. Billy Walker later became a member of the Ozark Jubilee in Springfield, Mo., where he formed a strong friendship with Red Foley. He scored his first hit in 1954 with "Thank You for Calling." After which he concentrated on playing the Texas bar circuit before moving to Nashville in 1959 and joining the Grand Ole Opry in 1960. He was one of the first artists to record one of Willie Nelson's songs, when he befriended Willie and recorded "Funny How Time Slips Away" in 1961; this helped propel Mr. Nelson into the media attention. . In 1962, Billy topped the chart with "Charlie's Shoes," sadly, the only No. 1 single of his career. He recorded hits for Columbia and MGM Records, several independent labels including his own Tall Texan imprint. Billy Walker continued to tour and remained a mainstay on the Grand Ole Opry. He was scheduled to perform Tuesday (May 23) on the Opry with Terri Clark, Cherryholmes, Restless Heart & Porter Wagoner.

Charles Lilly Jr.
July 14th 1961 ~ May 21st 2006
Daniel Patton Sr.
November 15th 1965 ~ May 21st 2006

Danny Patten - Lynn Beckman - Billy Walker - Charles Lilly
Danny Patten - Lynn Beckman - Billy Walker - Charles Lilly
Photo with courtesy of lynnbeckman.com

for a lovely tribute site dedicated to bassist Charles Lilly Jr. and guitarist Daniel Patton Sr.; who tragically died in the
automobile accident on Interstate 65 in Fort Deposit, Alabama, along with country star Billy Walker aka "The Tall Texan" (tribute above). Both Charles and Danny were loving family men and young fathers. The tragic lost of these three talented musicians will be felt throughout the country music scene as well as the devestation to the families.

Freddie Garrity
November 14th 1940 ~ May 19th 2006

65 year old Mancunian, Freddie Garrity, the lead singer of the 1960's pop band Freddie and the Dreamers, sadly died on Friday in Ysbyty Gwynedd, Wales, UK. from blood circulation problems. He had been suffering from systemic sclerosis and emphersemia for a few of years, spending much of his time in a wheelchair. He leaves his wife Christine, three daughters and a son.
Freddy Garrity
Freddie is remembered most for his very happy, wacky stage shows with his band The Dreamers, and for being able to come up with a some light-hearted top hits at the height of Beatlemania. Freddie Garrity worked as a shoe salesman, a brush salesman, a milkman and he was an engineer also had played in a series of local Manchester skiffle groups - The Red Sox, the John Norman Four and finally The Kingfishers, which evolved into Freddie and The Dreamers in 1959. The band itself consisted of Garrity on vocals, Roy Crewsdon, guitar, Derek Quinn, guitar, Pete Birrell, bass and Bernie Dwyer, on drums. They stayed semi-professional until they passed a BBC audition in 1963. Their first release, a cover version of James Ray's, "If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody" reached to No 3 in the UK charts and led to a series of TV appearances, where audiences quickly remembered the band for their off beat humour and stage antics. After Freddie's U.S. No.1 with 'I'm Telling You Now', American audiences were amused by Freddie's zany stage antics and wanted to know more about the dance he seemed to do, swinging his arms and legs out to his sides, and all sorts of trouser splitting angles!! "It's called the Freddie", he innocently replied. A song of the same name was quickly written and released, it became a U.S. Top 20 hit called "Do The Freddie", even Chubby Checker recorded a cover version. Despite the success of the song in the US, it was never issued in Great Britain. In 1976, Garrity put the band back on the road with a new line-up. It was short-lived, but they did oldies tours in England, the US and in Australia. Twelve years later, in 1988, he got his first serious acting role in a production of 'The Tempest'. Since then, Freddie has also appeared in several British theatre productions and continued to work with different versions of The Dreamers. The original members of the band have all retired from the music business. Pete Birrell became a Taxi driver, Roy Crewsdon bought a bar in the Canary Isles, Derek Quinn went to work for a soft drink company and Bernie Dwyer died on December 4th 2002 at the age of 62. Sadly, by 2004, Freddie's health began to fail and following an American tour, he had a heart attack, which forced his retirement. He also suffered from systemic sclerosis and enthersemia, spending much of his time in a wheelchair

Johnnie James Wilder Jr.
July 3rd 1949 ~ May 13th 2006

Johnnie Wilder Jr., frontman and co-founder of the 1970s R&B group Heatwave, has sadly died at his home in Clayton, Ohio. He was 56. No cause of death has been made public. He is survived by his wife, Rosalyn, and their daughter, Carla; and three brothers Keith, Ernest & Gregory Wilder,
Johnnie Wilder Jr.
Born and raised in Dayton, Ohio, where he was heavily involved with his high schools musical Glee Club. After graduating, he served three years in the military in Germany and formed a five man vocal group with his brother Keith Wilder, that performed in military and civilian clubs in the surrounding area. After army life ended, a few of the group migrated to West Germany where they restructured under various names, from Heat Wave to Johnnie Wilder Jr. and the Chicago Heatwave. With the addition of a talented performer, Rod Temperton (whose credits include having written "Thriller" and "Off The Wall" for Michael Jackson), their band performed throughout Europe, acquiring an enviable reputation and loyal following at every stop. Eventually, the band relocated to England, shortened its name back to Heatwave and began to attract attention with the release of an original single entitled, "Boogie Nights". Which reached #1 in UK, and brought them international fame. During the spring of 1979, Johnnie suffered a horrific auto accident, while visiting family and friends in Dayton, Ohio, when a van struck Wilder's car, paralyzing him from the waist down and hospitalizing him for a year.waist down. Now wheelchair bound, he was unable to continue live performances with the group, but he remained a co-producer of the group with Barry Blue. Determined to continue working with the band he had nurtured since the very beginning, Wilder remained on board singing lead vocals in their studio work. In 1988, Johnnie released a solo spiritual album My Goals on Light. Heatwave itself was revitalized in 1991, when a remix version of their "Mind Blowing Decisions" charted in the UK. Long standing favorites of the retro dance circuit, Heatwave fans were treated to a new extended club remix of "Boogie Nights" in 2002. Keith Wilder said his brother was given a week to live after the crash 27 years ago. 'He did a lot with his life. He touched a lot of people's hearts.'

November 3rd 1969 ~ May 10th 2006

Colombian-American singer-songwriter Soraya
has sadly lost her long battle with cancer. This week, prior to her death, she posted a goodbye letter to fans on her Web site:- "I know there are many questions without answers, and that hope doesn’t leave with me, and above all, that my mission does not end with my physical story,"
Soraya was born in New Jersey in 1969, after which her family had to return to South America. At age 5, she was playing the guitar, and at 8, when her family moved back to New Jersey for good, she was proficient in classical violin. Despite living in the U.S., Soraya stuck with her Latin roots. She played her music to audiences at the coffee houses of Rutgers University, where she studied English literature, French philosophy and women's studies. In early 1996, she got a record contract with Polygram Latino/Island Records. On Nights Like This, her debut release, this success put her on tours to open for Natalie Merchant, Zucchero, Sting, and Alanis Morissette.
Four songs hit the top of the charts just about everywhere in the Latin American and U.S. Spanish markets, and her single "Suddenly / De Repente" dominated the Billboard Latin Pop listings. Her second album, Wall of Smiles, co-written with her idol Carole King and released in late 1996, that helped her gain worldwide recognition. She wrote the soundtrack of an international TV series, and was set to record her third album, but took time off to draw inspiration. In 2000, Soraya released Cuerpo Y Alma, her 3rd album, but just before starting on a world tour, Soraya, at 31 was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, the same disease that killed her mother, grandmother and aunt. Soraya put everything aside as she sought an aggressive two-year treatment of chemotherapy and radiation. Soraya became the Latin spokesperson for the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, touring all the Americas to raise awareness. She to return to music in 2002., releasing her fourth and self-titled album in 2003, which blended Latin, R&B, folk, pop, and country. For her work, she won the 2004 Latin Grammy for Best Songwriting. Not one to quit while she's ahead, Soraya released her last CD in March 2005, entitled El Otro Lado de Mi. Her most hard-rocking project, it's an expression of struggle and hope rolled into one.

Grant W. McLennan
February 12th 1958 ~ May 6th 2006

One of Australia's greatest songwriters, Grant W. McLennan, also lead singer, guitarist of Australia's The Go-Betweens, one of the defining indie bands of the 1980s, tragically died of a sudden heart attack on Saturday at his home in Brisbane. 48 year old Grant McLennan had gone upstairs for a rest before attending a party and died peacefully in his sleep.

Grant W. McLennan
Grant was born in Rockhampton, Queensland. When he was four the family moved to Cairns, but when his father, a doctor, died the family moved to a cattle station in central north Queensland. Grant was sent as a boarder to Church of England Grammar School, Brisbane. In 1976 Grant began a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Queensland. Here, like many students of the time he was an activist & was arrested in a student protest against aspects of the controversial Joh Bjelke-Petersen conservative policies. It was here also, he met Robert Forster, and took to the guitar. The two formed a duo and in 1978 released a single "Lee Remick", on the B side was "Karen". At this time the two shared in the songwriting and singing almost equally. Gradually Lindy Morrison on the drums, Robert Vickers on bass and Amanda Brown on oboe and violin joined the duo and the Go-Betweens was truly born. Later John Wilsteed replaced Robert on the bass. The Go-Betweens disbanded in 1989, after releasing six exceptional albums that achieved widespread critical acclaim and were fundamental in bringing Australian music to a global audience and influencing groups such as REM and Franz Ferdinand. Grant then worked on a few projects with Steve Kilbey in the band Jack Frost, before going solo. As a solo artist Grant released four albums, Watershed (1991), Fireboy (1994), Horsebreaker Star (1995), In Your Bright Ray (1997). Year 2000 saw the re-uniting of Grant McLennan and Robert Forster, The Go-Betweens were reformed and back on the road, a reunion greeted with popular acclaim. They recorded three more successful albums. Grant was working on a 10th Go-Between album at the time of his completely unexpected, sudden death.
A number of McLennan's songs were inspired by his childhood, "Cattle and Cane," "Bye Bye Pride."and "Dusty in Here" the latter was about his father, the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA) recently voted his song Cattle and Cane as one of the 10 greatest Australian songs of all time, but The Go-Betweens best known songs were "Bachelor Kisses" and "Streets of Your Town".

June Pointer
November 30th, 1953
~ April 12th, 2006
June Pointer, the youngest of the Pointer Sisters sadly died of cancer
at Santa Monica University of California, Los Angeles, Medical Center. She had been hospitalized since late February. The type of cancer wasn't disclosed. June was 52.
June Pointer
June Antoinette Pointer was born November 30, 1953 at Highland Hospital in Oakland, California to Rev. Elton and Sarah Pointer. She attended Edison Elementary School, Elmhurst Junior High and Castlemont High School and received an honorary Bachelor of Arts degree from Bishop College. Always precocious, at the tender age of sixteen, June left high school and joined her sister, Patricia "Bonnie" Pointer, to form the singing group, Pointers - A Pair. Coming of age during the tumultuous 1960's, June's social and political consciousness evolved into an early awareness of the ability of music to entertain, uplift and transform. Anita and Ruth later joined the group, which sang backup for artists such as Taj Mahal, Boz Scaggs and Elvin Bishop. Their self-titled debut album was released in 1973, and the song "Yes We Can Can" became their first hit. They followed up with "That's A Plenty," which featured an eclectic mix of musical styles ranging from jazz to country and pop. They won a Grammy Award in 1974 for best country vocal performance by a group for the song "Fairytale." June's voice has been described as unrestrained, exuberant, soulful, wicked, wild and truthful, singing with a power anchored in and infused with the deep conviction and content of a rigorous spiritual household.. With her sisters, for 37 years, June toured America and the world bringing joy to millions and recorded 17 albums, in addition to two solo albums. June died "in the arms of her sisters, Ruth and Anita and her brothers, Aaron and Fritz, by her side," a statement said. "Although her sister, Bonnie, was unable to be present, she was with her in spirit."

Proof aka DeShaun Holton
October 2nd 1973 ~ April 11th 2006

D12 rapper, Proof, Eminem's best friend and hypeman, was shot to death at the Detroit club, C.C.C. on Eight Mile Road, which was operating illegally after hours. The 32 year old Proof was shot three times, in the head and chest, during an argument. Proof is survived by his wife, Sharonda, and five children.
Proof aka DeShaun Holton
Proof, real name was DeShaun Holton whose father was involved in the music industry and produced The Jones Girls, Marvin Gaye, Tower of Power, among others, rose to prominence alongside Eminem and other D12 members over the past five years. Proof was a steady hand for Detroit's then up-and-coming hip-hop scene. It was his idea to assemble a collection of Detroit's best hip-hop talent and call it D12. We may never have heard of Eminem if Proof hadn't taken under his wing years ago, it was his hand that helped push Eminem to become one of the world's biggest pop stars, including serving as his on-stage hype man on concert tours. He spent much of his life in the shadow of a rapper whose fame dwarfed his own great talent. He appeared in Eminem's autobiographical film "8 Mile." After the release of "8 Mile," when battle rap was gaining new found commerical exposure, Proof was hired to host a national search for the next best battle rapper by Showtime Networks. In Detroit, he hosted Fight Club, a battle rap competition that would happen near his Iron Fist Records offices on Bagley in Detroit. There, Detroit hip-hop elite would gather and listen as up-and-comers would verbally duke it out, hoping to become as big as Proof, Eminem or other Detroit hip-hop comrades. Proof is the second member of Eminem's inner circle to be shot in recent months. Obie Trice was shot while driving in Detroit on New Year's Eve but has since recovered from his wounds. In 2004, Proof released his long-in-the-works solo debut, "I Miss the Hip Hop Shop" recorded between 2002 and 2004, which was followed by "Searching for Jerry Garcia" in August 2005 on his own Iron Fist Records. His mother read poetry on the song "Billie Holiday" on the album "Searching for Jerry Garcia", last August on his own Iron Fist Records. His mother read poetry on the song "Billie Holiday" on his solo album. Eminem described Proof as "funny, smart and charming" and said that he would be sorely missed and described him as "the heart and ambassador of Detroit hip-hop". Eminem said that Proof was, and always will be, his best friend.

Derek Raynard Jamerson Sr.
December 22nd 1966 ~ April 7th 2006

Derek Jamerson Sr, the son of the late James Jamerson, sadly passed from us, 10.56pm April 7th, at the Presbyterian St. Lukes Hospital, Denver, Colorardo. He was 39 years of age. Derek is survived by his wife, Deidre Jamerson, three children: Jennifer, Derek Jr. and Jordon Jamerson; his mother, Annie Jamerson, his sister Dorene "Penny" Jamerson; two brothers James Jamerson 111 and Joey Jamerson; and many other loving relatives
Derek Raynard Jamerson Sr.
Derek Jamerson Sr. was born in Detroit, Michigan to Annie and the late James Jamerson, Music Hall of fame inductee known for his huge contribution and inventive bass to the Motown sound. In the early 70's Derek moved to Los Angeles with his mother father and family when Motown shut the Detroit studios, transfering all recordings to their L.A. buildings. While in LA he attended Alexander Hamilton High School were he graduated from in 1985. He was also known for his basketball skills, at The Robertson Centre, LA he had the nickname of "Dr J". From an early age, and for many years Derek played drums in the the Mount Zion Missionary Baptist Church band, where he had been baptized at the age of seven. After his father's premature death he, with his mother and other family members moved back to their home in Detriot. Here Derek became well known for his contribution to the Detriot Techno music scene, working with Kevin Saunderson of Inner City fame, Underground Resistance (the first Techno band to play live in Detroit), Reece Project, Mike Banks, and Mike Clarke. His work took him to the UK were he worked with the ex motown musician/singer Edwin Starr. He also worked with Shaun Turner in Denver, Colorado.
"To my baby brother, Derek, I will always Love You and deeply miss you" ~
Love your Big Brother, Jimmy

Gene Pitney
February 17th 1940 ~ April 5th 2006
A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, US singer Gene Pitney died peacefully in his sleep on Wednesday, April 5th, 2006 at his hotel in Cardiff, Wales after playing a sold out show while on tour in the UK. He had shown no signs of illness. The cause of death is not yet known but is not suspicious. He was 66 years old and is survived by his wife Lynne, and three sons.
Gene Pitney
Gene Francis Alan Pitney who has continually toured over the last forty years was born, in Hartford, Connecticut, son of a mill worker, he grew up in the Rockville section of Vernon, Conn. Gene learned to play the guitar and piano and formed a schoolboy band with friends from high school, leading the band Gene and the Genials, with Richard "Dick" Spurling and Robert "Bob" Terry. He married his Rockville High School sweetheart Lynne in 1967, and they raised three sons in Somers. Gene had his first success as a songwriter with "Rubber Ball," a Top 10 hit for Bobby Vee in 1961. Later that year, Ricky Nelson had a hit with Pitney's "Hello Mary Lou." As a performer, Gene had his first success that same year with "(I Wanna) Love My Life Away." But Burt Bacharach and Hal David provided the songs that put Pitney in the Top 10: "(The Man Who Shot) Liberty Valance," "Only Love Can Break a Heart" and "Twenty Four Hours from Tulsa." "Only Love Can Break a Heart" was Pitney's biggest U.S. hit, peaking at No. 2 on the charts in 1962. The No. 1 song at the time was The Crystals' "He's a Rebel," written by Gene. He contributed in early Rolling Stones recording sessions. A song written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, That Girl Belongs To Yesterday was recorded by Gene and went to number seven on the UK charts. He played maracas on the Stones' recording of Buddy Holly's Not Fade Away and piano in the background of other songs by the Stones. He is also credited with helping the Rolling Stones break the American market with his endorsement of the band. Gene had 16 top forty songs in the USA from 1961 to 1968, and he had forty such songs in the UK all the way up to 1974. In 1990 he had another British No. 1 when he rerecorded "Something's Gotten Hold of My Heart" with Marc Almond. Gene also had some success as a country singer, pairing with George Jones to record "I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night" and "Louisiana Man." He recorded in Italian and Spanish, and twice took second place at the San Remo Song Festival in Italy. He also had a regional hit with "Nessuno Mi Puo' Giudicare." Gene Pitney was elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Gene's tour manager who found him Wednesday morning said : "Last night at St David's Hall was genuinely one of the happiest and most exuberant performances we've seen out of him. He was absolutely on top of his game and was really happy with the show." Today Gene had received a glowing review in the South Wales Echo - "non-stop enthusiastic performance" during what proved to be his final concert in Cardiff, UK.

(Gene Pitney's birth announcement: born February 17th 1940, can be found in the March 10, 1940 edition of the Hartford Courant, page A3, column 5, lines 19-21)

Pete Wells
1947 ~ March 26th 2006

Rose Tattoo heavy metal and slide guitarist Pete Wells has passed away after a long battle with prostate cancer. The 58-year-old guitarist, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2002, had been undergoing treatment, which had caused him to stand aside from touring with Rose Tattoo.
Pete Wells
Pete started out as a bass player for a band called Head in Brisbane in 1966. He moved to Sydney and joined heavy metal band Buffalo. The band's "Volcanic Rock" was the first Australian metal album to go gold; the act also scored an overseas deal with Vertigo. In 1976 he switched to slide guitar, formed the seminal Rose Tattoo and went on to hire lead singer Angry Anderson. Rose Tattoo played their first gig on New Year's Eve 1976 and in no time had established a reputation as one of the baddest, most brawling bands in the land. Rose Tattoo are one of the greatest bar-room blues bands ever to draw breath and their first two albums in particular are still regarded as masterpieces. They became one of Australian's main street outlaw bands and found a loyal following in the United Kingdom, USA, Germany and France. Wells' original concept for the band was for all the members to sport bright orange hair, tattoos, shaved eyebrows and black T-shirts and jeans. Rose Tattoo's influence later became apparent on U.S. rock combos like Guns N' Roses, who covered its track "Nice Boys (Don't Play Rock'n'Roll)," Motley Crue and L.A. Guns. Rose Tattoo's self-titled debut album was released in November 1978 on Albert Records. It became an instant classic, thanks to tracks like "Rock'n'Roll Outlaw" and "Bad Boy for Love." Wells left Rose Tattoo in 1983. In between running a tattoo parlor, House of Pain, Wells later played in a series of bands such as Illustrated Men, Scattered Aces and Romeo's Dog. He also made music with his partner, Lucy De Soto. His five solo albums, including 1991's "Everything You Like Tries To Kill You," showed his love for country blues and his whisky-soaked drawl. He rejoined Rose Tattoo in 2000 for tours in Europe and for a 2002 album, "Pain." Australian acts such as the Beasts of Bourbon, Paul Kelly and Tim Rogers staged benefit concerts for Wells in Sydney and Melbourne last September.

Nikki Sudden
July 19th 1956 ~ March 26th 2006
One of UK's most underrated musicians & singer songwriters Nikki Sudden, died Sunday after a show at New York's Knitting Factory on Saturday night. Cause of death has been made public yet. He was 49. This last concert was for his beloved late brother Kevin / Epic Soundtracks, who's 47th birthay would have been on March 23rd.
Nikki Sudden
Adrian Nicholas Godfrey aka Nikki Sudden, born in London on July 19, 1956, began playing guitar in 1971 after hearing T.Rex. Enamored with T.Rex, the New York Dolls and the Rolling Stones, he rechristened himself and along with his brother, Kevin - reborn as Epic Soundtracks on piano and drums started Swell Maps. The duo stabbed their unique take on bedsit glam bombast largely behind closed doors for almost four years, before a Sex Pistols performance in 1976 impressed them to take greater action. The Maps released 4 singles and 2 albums between '77 and their break up in '80. All reached the top of in the Indipendent Charts. After the post-punk band Swell Maps dissolved Nikki began a diverse and busy solo career, working extensively on both sides of the Atlantic, performing with a number of different bands and side projects. Nikki released his first solo record, 'Waiting on Egypt', in 1982, followed closely by 'The Bible Belt' in 1983. In 1984, Nikki Sudden formed the Jacobites with drummer his brother, Kevin/Epic Soundtracks (who died of unknown causes in 1997) and guitarist/vocalist Dave Kusworth, who co-wrote the material with him. The Jacobites released four albums and three EPs between 1984 and 1986, when Kusworth left the band. Nikki Sudden stayed with the Jacobites name, releasing 'Texas' on the Creation label in 1986. Late 80's Nikki went solo again & began making music that strongly recalled early Rolling Stones. Nikki continued to record during the '90s, releasing (among others) new Jacobites records with Dave Kusworth, an album called The Jewel Thief featuring R.E.M. as the backing band. In 2003 Nikki, with his band Last Bandits, recorded his ninth solo release, Treasure Island, special guests include Ian McLagan (Small Faces, Faces), Mick Taylor (Rolling Stones), Anthony Thistlethwaite (Waterboys), Dave Kusworth (Jacobites) and Darrell Bath (Dogs D'Amour / Crybabys). Based in Berlin doing 100 gigs yearly with his band, Nikki was also working on a book about Ronnie Wood, and completing his autobiography "The Last Bandit", which were due to be released on March 29th. In all Nikki recorded 29 albums, from Swell Maps 'A Trip To Marineville' in 1979 to his just completed a new solo album, "The Truth Doesn't Matter," due for release October 10th 2006.

Rocío Dúrcal
October 4th, 1945 ~ March 25th 2006

60 year old Spanish actress and singer Rocío Dúrcal, who found fame as one of Mexico's most popular folk singers, died Saturday in Madrid following a 5 year battle against cancer. She leaves husband Antonio Morales, 3 children and one grandchild.
Rocío Dúrcal
Rocío Dúrcal, whose real name is María de los Angeles De Las Heras Ortíz, was born in Madrid, Spain on October 4th, 1945. At 10 years old, she participated in the radio quiz, "Conozca a sus Vecinos" (Meet Your Neighbors). In 1960, when she not was reached yet fifteen years old, she was appeared in the TV quiz "Primer Aplauso" (First Applause), and an Spanish movie producer discovered her and he changed her name to Rocío Dúrcal (Rocío is sprinkle in Spanish and Dúrcal is a town of Andalusia, a region of the South of Spain). Her first movie was Canción de Juventud (Youth's Song) in 1961 and that was the first of many musical comedies when she starred in, and it was famous not only in Spain but also in Portugal, France and Spanish America. Rocío married the Philippine singer and composer Antonio Morales a.k.a. Júnior, former member of the Pop musical group "Los Brincos," who were considered the Spanish version of The Beatles, and they are one of the more solid marriages of the Spanish Show Business. They have three children: Carmen María (born in 1971), Antonio (born in 1974) and Shaila (born in 1980) and one grandson: Christian (born in 1997, son of Carmen María). In 1975, Rocío retired from movies to dedicate herself to her family, but she got back into show business two years after (1977), when she recorded the first (of many) record of Mexican songs and ballads written by the Mexican singer-composer Juan Gabriel and with the participation of the Mexican Group Mariachi América, which resulted in an unexpected smash hit, popularity and awards, not only in Spain and Mexico but also in Latin America and in the Hispanic Community of United States. Since then, Rocío Dúrcal (ironically being Spanish) revitalized in the 70 and 80s the Mexican music and now is better known as a singer of Rancheras (typical Mexican song) in her maturity than their work as actress in her youth! They have thousands of fans all over the world and their records have sold millions. This Madrilène woman was, definitively, one of the more brilliant stars of Spanish language show business.

Buck Owens
August 12th 1929 ~ March 25th 2006
Buckarro, Buck Owens died in his sleep of an apparent heart attack, only hours after performing at his Crystal Palace restaurant, club and museum in Bakersfield. Buck
with twenty number one hits on the Billboard magazine country music charts, pioneered what has come to be called the Bakersfield sound. He is survived by three ex-wives, and three sons
Buck Owens
Alvis Edgar "Buck" Owens, Jr. was born in Sherman, Texas. In 1937, his family migrated to Mesa, Arizona during the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. In 1945 Owens co-hosted a radio show called "Buck and Britt". In the late 1940s Owens became a truck driver and discovered the San Joaquin Valley of California. He was impressed by Bakersfield, where he and his wife settled in 1950. Soon Owens was frequently traveling to Hollywood for session recording jobs at Capitol Records, playing backup for Tennessee Ernie Ford, Sonny James, Wanda Jackson, Del Reeves, Tommy Sands, Tommy Collins, Faron Young and Gene Vincent and many others. During the Rock and Roll craze of the 1950s, Buck recorded a rockabilly record called "Hot Dog" for the Pep label, using the pseudonym Corky Jones. His career took off in 1959, when his song "Second Fiddle" hit number 24 on the Billboard country chart. A few months later, "Under Your Spell Again" hit number 4, and then "Above and Beyond" reached #3. In the early 1960s, the "countrypolitan" sound was popular, with smooth, string-laden, pop-influenced style likeEddy Arnold, Jim Reeves, and Patsy Cline. Owens' went against the trend, with a purer and rawer honky-tonk hillbilly feel, mixed idiosyncratically with the Mexican polkas he had grown up listening to on border radio stations. Owens was named the most promising country and western singer of 1960 by Billboard, and his Top-10-charting duets with Rose Maddox in 1961 earned them awards as vocal team of the year. 1961's "Act Naturally" became Buck's first #1 hit. The Beatles later did a straight cover of it in 1965. In 1968 Owens performed at the White House for President Johnson, while Creedence Clearwater Revival, one of the biggest American rock bands of the period, made the reference "listenin' to Buck Owens" in the lyrics of their hit "Lookin' Out My Back Door". In 1969 Hee Haw hit the television airwaves, and kept Owens busy throughout the 1970s and 1980s. In 1972 he had another #1 hit, "Made in Japan". On July 17, 1974, his guitarist and best friend Don Rich was killed in a motorcycle accident. Buck was devastated and never really recovered from the loss. "He was like a brother, a son and a best friend", he said recently, continuing, "something I never said before, maybe I couldn't, but I think my music life ended when he did. Oh yeah, I carried on and I existed, but the real joy and love, the real lightning and thunder is gone forever." Dwight Yoakam, another Bakersfield resident, teamed up for a duet of "Streets of Bakersfield" in 1991. Their duet was Owens' first #1 single in 16 years

Cindy Walker
July 20, 1918 ~ March 23, 2006

American singer/songwriter and dancer
sadly passed away at Parkview Regional Hospital in Mexia, Texas. She was 87. Her niece, Carol Adams, said Walker had been ill for several months.
Cindy Walker
Born in Mart, Texas, Cindy wrote a great many hit songs for a number of country music stars such as Bob Wills, Eddy Arnold, and Carl Smith. Walker wrote songs for Bing Crosby and the 1962 rock song "Dream Baby" for Roy Orbison. She also authored "Distant Drums" for Jim Reeves, a song that stayed at No.1 on the British charts for five weeks in 1966. Other popular songs she wrote include "You Don't Know Me" co-written with Eddy Arnold and recorded by Ray Charles and Jerry Vale; and "In The Misty Moonlight" that was a big hit for both Jerry Wallace and Dean Martin, plus the Western song made popular by Gene Autry, "Blue Canadian Rockies". She also wrote many hit songs for Bob Wills and they co-wrote "Sugar Moon" which, years after being a considerable success for him, was included by k.d. lang on her Shadowland album. In addition to her song writing, Walker also sang on stage and recorded a number of albums. Some of her best recording work was produced by Fred Foster at his Monument Records. In 1970, she became a charter inductee to the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 1997 she was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and in 1998 into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame. In 2006 American music icon Willie Nelson released an album's worth of Walker's songs. The album is You Don't Know Me: The Songs of Cindy Walker. Cindy
continued writing songs in her old age, music always remained the love of her life.

Pio Leyva
May 5th 1917 ~ March 23rd 2006

Pio Leyva, deep country voiced singer, composer in the Buena Vista Social Club band of veteran Cuban musicians, and the author of the well-known guaracha El mentiroso died of a heart attack in Havana. He had suffered a stroke on Sunday and sadly died early Thursday morning in hospital . He was 88.
Pio Leyva
Leyva was born Wilfredo Pascual in Morón, Cuba, he won a bongo contest at the age of six and made his singing debut in 1932, and has recorded over 25 albums since he signed his first contract with RCA Victor in 1950. Regarded as one of the best improvisers, he is known as "El Montunero de Cuba". In 1953, he was recording with Compay Segundo in La Habana on the day of the revolutionary attack on the presidential palace. He swears the sound of gunshots can be heard on the album. Leyva, such a colorful personality of traditional Cuban "son" music was the latest of the famed band's stars to pass away. Its oldest member, guitarist Compay Segundo, and pianist Ruben Gonzalez died in 2003, aged 95 and 84. Singer Ibrahim Ferrer died last year at the age of 78. The largely forgotten musicians saw their careers suddenly relaunched when they recorded a jam session with guitarist Ry Cooder in 1996 that became the award-winning album credited to the Buena Vista Social Club. The recording rekindled world interest in traditional Cuban music. Buena Vista was the name of a seniors-only social club in a western Havana neighborhood. The touching story of their late-life rise to international fame was told in the Oscar-nominated documentary of the same name by German director Wim Wenders. "Music was his life. He almost sang yesterday," daughter Rosalia said at his wake

Thomas James "Tom" Robb
1948 ~ March 6th 2006

Highly respected and much sort after session bassist, Tom Robb has sadly lost his brave battle with liver cancer. 57 year old Tom is survived by
many other loving relatives, including his devoted wife of many years, Melanie Deyer; and brothers Doug & Ken Robb
Bassist, Thomas James Robb
Thomas James Robb was born in Passaic NJ, where he endured many childhood hardships of homelessness, and a long list of foster homes and children homes. While at High School he was sent to live at Bonnie Brae Farm for Boys. It was here where he began playing the drums and later the bass guitar. After leaving the boys home he moved to Greenwich Village, playing bass with different local bands and doing sessions in the studios of New York. 1970 sees Tom moving to Atlanta, GA to work with rock artist Mylon LeFevre. While in Atlanta he also worked with many other artists including Dionne Warwick, Paul Davis, Frankie Miller, Melissa Manchester and Alicia Bridges. It is Tom playing the distinguishing licks on Alicia Bridges' worldwide hit "I Love The Night Life" .
Tom moved on to Nashville in 1980 and played on hundreds of albums with a wide range of artists, including Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, the Winans, Sweethearts Of The Rodeo, Van Gosdin, Deborah Allen, Aaron Tippin, Eddie Rabbitt and too many more to mention. He also contributed to his skills to movie projects, TV shows and publishing projects for numerous songwriters and publishers. Tom was a straight-up guy, a consummate professional, an animal lover, an avid sports fan, and a devoted husband. Nashville drummer, long time friend Eddie Bayers, who played with Tom on many hits, says: “I loved Tom Robb. He played right in the center of the beat. He wasn’t just the pocket—he was the whole pair of pants!”

Johnny Jackson
March 3rd 1951 ~ March 1st 2006
March 2nd, 54 year old Johnny Jackson a former drummer for the Jackson 5 was found dead inside his home in Gary, Ind., the city's coroner's office said he had be stabbed to death.
Johnny Porter Jackson was an African American musician, he replaced the Jackson 5's original drummer around 1967. He played, toured and recorded with the band for 15 years and lived with them after their move from Gary to Los Angeles in 1969.
Motown promoted him as a cousin, presumably to keep the family industry image intact, but he wasn't related to the Jackson 5 family. Randy, the youngest of the Jackson 5 brothers, said he learned how to play drums from Johnny. "He had a lively way of living and enjoyed every moment," he said. "He made touring fun. There was never a dull moment, with jokes and a lot of laughs." Yolanda Davis, 44, has been charged with the murder of his death. Davis allegedly told police she stabbed him with a steak knife when he lunged at her during a fight. Recently, Jackson had been playing with a small band in Gary, 'White Dove'.

Ray Barretto
March 29th 1929 ~ February 17th 2006

Legendary percussionist and bandleader Ray Barretto, one of the leading figures of the Latin jazz movement died Feb. 17 in Hackensack, N.J. He was 76. Barretto's health had been fragile since the beginning of the year, when he underwent a quintuple bypass operation in New Jersey. He was hospitalized Jan. 30 with post-surgical complications and pneumonia.
Ray Barretto
Barretto was born on 29 April 1929, in the Brooklyn borough of New York City, of Puerto Rican parents, he was raised in the Latin ghettos of East Harlem and the Bronx, in an environment filled with music of Puerto Rico but with a love for the swing bands of Ellington, Basie and Goodman. He escaped the ghetto by joining the United States Army when he was 17 years old, but he did not escape the music. Influenced by a record of Dizzy Gillespie, "Manteca", with conguero Chano Pozo, Barretto sat in on jam sessions held at the Orlando, a GI jazz club in Munich, Germany. After military service in 1949, he returned to Harlem and taught himself how to play the drums. In 1957, Barretto then replaced Mongo Santamaria in Tito Puente's band, Barretto got his first job as a bandleader in 1961 when Orrin Keepnews of Riverside Records, asked him to form a charanga for a recording. Also during the early 1960s, Barretto began a his relationship with New York-based record label Fania, which specialized in Latin music and was, according to Barretto, the Latin version of Motown. Over the the next decade, Barretto became a member and eventually music director for the label's famed Fania All-Stars. The band included trombonist Willie Colon, vocalists Hector Lavoe and Ruben Blades. Barretto spent nearly three decades with the Fania All-Stars. But as time went on, he found himself frustrated with the limitations of salsa. So in 1992, he formed his last ensemble, New World Spirit, that places a heavier emphasis on bebop jazz. With the success of New World Spirit and his induction into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 1999. In 2003, he released the critically acclaimed CD Homage to Art on the Sunnyside label. That same year Concord Picant released Hot Hands, presenting two of Ray Barretto's best, Ancestral Messages and Taboo, in a specially-priced 2-CD collection. In 2006 he received the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Fellowship. Barretto amazing career spanned more than 50 albums, his last album being Time Was - Time Is.

Elton Dean
October 28th 1945 ~ February 7th 2006

British saxophonist, keyboard-player and composer, Elton Dean, has sadly died in a London hospital after bravely battling with heart and liver related problems over the past year. This unique, 60 years old musician from whom Elton John took his name, leaves behind a loving family including his parents, his wife Marie-Noëlle, her daughter Iris and his own daughter Janna.
Elton Dean
Elton Dean was born in Nottingham, but grew up in Tooting, London, he had piano and violin lessons from a very early age. He lost interest in the piano but listened to jazz on the radio and using £20 his grandfather had given him he bought a clarinet when he was 18 and he took up the saxophone 2 years later. Over the years he favoured a little-used member of the sax family, the saxello, an hybrid between alto and soprano, with an instantly recognizable sound. Elton graduated from trad jazz gigs in pubs to playing rhythm'n'blues with Lester Square and the GTs and subsequently with John Dummer at the Star Club in Hamburg and he then played with the Jamaican Soul Pushers. In the mid-Sixties, Elton was a member of Bluesology, the band fronted by Long John Baldry, which also featured Reg Dwight on piano. When Dwight went solo he thought about his former bandmates Dean and Baldry and became Elton John, changing his name by deed poll five years later. Between 1969 and 1972, Dean contributed to the Third, Fourth and Fifth albums, Soft Machine's most successful recordings, and toured with them extensively throughout the UK and continental Europe, where groups from the Canterbury Scene found their most receptive audiences. Dean recorded with many artists from the extended Canterbury family, guesting on solo albums by the Soft Machine alumni Kevin Ayers, Hugh Hopper and Robert Wyatt in the Seventies as well as working with musicians drawn from the ranks of Caravan, Gong, Matching Mole, Hatfield and the North and National Health in Phil Miller's In Cahoots throughout the Eighties and Nineties. During a career spanning 40 years, Elton has also recorded with Marsha Hunt, Julie Driscoll, Heads, Hands and Feet, Alexis Korner, Dudu Pukwana and Towering Inferno as well as touring with the American jazz performer Carla Bley and working with the British jazz éminence grise Keith Tippett on ambitious projects like Centipede which gathered the crème de la crème of British jazz players - over 40 musicians and a 19-strong string section - in 1971 on the Septober Energy album. In the last decade, Elton and his French wife Marie-Noëlle commuted between London and Paris, and he toured with Brotherhood of Breath tribute band the Dedication Orchestra, partnered American free-jazz trombonist Roswell Rudd and worked with various Soft Machine-related groups. In recent years, Dean joined forces with the former Soft Machine members bassist Hugh Hopper, John Marshall on drums and guitarist John Etheridge to revive their jazz-fusion glory days and explore new horizons as SoftWorks, Soft Bounds and the Soft Machine Legacy. Last year, they recorded a new album which is due for release next month and the Soft Machine Legacy went ahead with their London gigs last week and dedicated them to Dean. For the last year in particular he had been suffering from heart and liver related health problems. Deans was a totally unique musician, at times lyrical and moving, at others explosive and unsettling, his approach of saxophone playing was totally his own.

Wilson Pickett
March 18th 1941 ~ January 19th 2006

The great southern soul legend Wilson Pickett sadly died of a heart attack today (Jan. 19) in a hospital near his home in Virginia. He was 64. Wilson is survived by his fiance and four children. He will be buried beside his mother Lena in Louisville, Ky..

Born in Prattville, Alabama, Wilson Pickett moved with his family to Detroit when he was 14. His vocal training stared early, in Baptist church choirs and on the streets. He made his professional debut as the lead singer of The Violinaires in the late '50s. In 1961 he joined The Falcons, writing and singing their 1962 hit "I Found Love.". In 1963 he went solo and signed with Lloyd Price's Double L Records, where he wrote and recorded "If You Love Me" (covered by the Rolling Stones) and "It's Too Late". 1964 finds Wilson signing with the great southern soul label Atlantic Records in Memphis, Tennessee. Recording in the Stax Studio with Booker T. and The MGs.(Stax studio band) and he was also cutting tracks at The Fame Studio in Muscle Shoals Alabama. Between 1963 and 1972 Wilson had many great hits which included the classics such as "In the Midnight Hour", "Mustang Sally", "Funky Broadway.", "Midnight Mover" with Bobby Womack, "Sugar, Sugar", "Land of 1000 Dances", and "Hey Jude" with Duane Allman on guitar. Five of his singles reached No.1 on the Billboard R&B charts. He left Stax for RCA in 1972 recording and touring regularly till the late 80's. 1991 was a double bonus year for Wilson, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the film "The Commitments," which followed an unknown Irish soul band of the same name pursuing its dream of performing with Pickett, revived his music and career. Wilson joined the band for performances at the New York and Los Angeles film premieres. His last studio album, 1999's "It's Harder Now," won WC Handy Awards for soul/blues album of the year and comeback album of the year, and he was named soul/blues male artist of the year. Wilson Pickett helped introduce the aggressive style of rhythmic style of soul music and was one of the most popular black singers of the '60s.

Louis Allen Rawls
December 1st 1933 ~ January 6th 2006

Sadly, three time Grammy Award winner, Lou Rawls, has died at the age of 72. Rawls was diagnosed with lung cancer in December 2004 and brain cancer in May 2005. Besides his wife, Rawls is survived by four children: Louanna Rawls, Lou Rawls Jr., Kendra Smith and Aiden Rawls.

Velvet voiced Rawls, born in Chicago, was indroduced to music at a very early age by his grandmother, who loved gospel. He moved to Los Angeles in the mid-1950s to join a touring gospel group, the Pilgrim Travelers. After two years in the Army, Rawls rejoined the Pilgrim Travelers in Los Angeles, where he sang with his childhood friend Sam Cooke. Rawls performed with Dick Clark at the Hollywood Bowl in 1959, and he later opened for the Beatles at Crosley Field in Cincinnati. Lou was playing small blues and R&B clubs in Los Angeles when his four-octave range caught the ear of a Capitol Records producer, who signed him to the label in 1962. His debut effort, "Stormy Monday," recorded with the Les McCann Trio, was the first of his 52 albums. In 1966, his "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing" topped the charts and earned Rawls his first two Grammy nominations. He won three Grammys in a career that spanned nearly five decades and included the hits "Your Good Thing (Is About to End)," "Natural Man" and "Lady Love." He released his most recent album, "Seasons 4 U," in 1998 on his own label, Rawls & Brokaw Records. But his trademark will always be "You'll Never Find," released in 1976 and written by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, architects of the classic "Philadelphia Sound." In 1976, Rawls became the corporate spokesman for the Anheuser-Busch Cos. breweries. Rawls also appeared in 18 movies, including "Leaving Las Vegas" and "Blues Brothers 2000," and 16 television series, including "Fantasy Island" and "The Fall Guy." In 1980, Rawls began the "Lou Rawls Parade of Stars Telethon" which benefits the United Negro College Fund. The annual event, now known as "An Evening of Stars", consists of musical performances and stories of successful African American students who have graduated or benefitted from one of the many historically black colleges and universities who receive support from the UNCF. The event has raised over US$200 million for the fund thus far (2006). In January 2004, Rawls was honored by the United Negro College Fund for his more than 25 years of charity work with the organization. Instead of Rawls' hosting and performing, he was given the seat of honor and celebrated by his performing colleagues, including Stevie Wonder, The O'Jays, Gerald Levert, Ashanti, and many others.

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2016 . 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.

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