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

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Let us remember the great talent each possessed "

Bill DeArango
September 20th 1921 ~ December 26th 2005

Jazz guitarist Bill DeArango, played with some of the world's great jazz musicians. The list reads like a who's who in jazz from the 1940's. Ben Webster, Charlie Ventura, Coleman Hawkins, Red Norvo, Dizzy Gillespie and others
has sadly died from pneumonia at a home for seniors in East Cleveland.
Bill DeArango
He was born in Cleveland but in the 1940s moved to New York City, where he was soon performing and making recordings with Sarah Vaughn, Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and other jazz legends. Esquire magazine named DeArango to its "All-American Jazz Band" in 1946. By 1950 Bill had laid down some of the most inventive and creative jazz guitar solos known at that time. And, all this creative output was accomplished playing in the shadows of the great horn players of that period in New York. He returned to Cleveland at the end of the 40's, and from there guided several generations of musicians including saxophone players Ernie Krvida and Joe Lovano. In 1954 with a recording entitled DeArango he displayed this great playing that set him apart from other guitarists of that time. He ran his own music shop in Cleveland through the Sixties and Seventies and played part-time locally. He became manager of the rock group Henry Tree and recorded anonymously with it in 1970. DeArango himself dabbled in Jimi Hendrix guitar styles and listed Duke Ellington and Prince among his personal favorites. He played at Cleveland's Smiling Dog Saloon during the Seventies and recorded again in 1981 with the accomplished but under-recognised pianist Kenny Werner. He was a major mentor to many musicians over 6 decades. In the last decade DeArango occasionally played at the Barking Spider in Cleveland but he suffered from dementia and was taken into a nursing home in 1999.

Derek Bailey

January 29th 1930 ~ December 25th 2005

Free improvising avant garde guitarist Derek Bailey sadly died in London on Christmas Day at the age of 75. He had been suffering from motor neuron disease. (A desease which destroys the cells that control voluntary muscle activity)
Derek Bailey
Derek Bailey was born in Sheffield, England, he played the guitar from an early age, studying with John Duarte among others. He found work as a guitarist in clubs, radio, dance halls, and so on. He began to play in a trio in Sheffield with Tony Oxley and Gavin Bryars called Joseph Holbrooke. Although originally performing relatively traditional jazz this group became increasingly free in direction. In 1966, Derek moved to London where he met many like-minded musicians, including Evan Parker, Kenny Wheeler, John Stevens, Barry Guy and Dave Holland, occasionally collaborating under the umbrella name of the Spontaneous Music Ensemble (or the SME as they tended to be known). In 1970, Derek founded the record label Incus with Tony Oxley and Evan Parker, often said to be the first independent label owned by musicians. In 1976, he formed Company, an ever changing collection of like-minded improvisors, which has at various times included Anthony Braxton, Tristan Honsinger, Misha Mengelberg, Lol Coxhill, Fred Frith, Steve Beresford, Steve Lacy, Johnny Dyani, Leo Smith, Han Bennink and many others. In 1980, he wrote the book Improvisation: Its Nature and Practice. This was adapted by UK's Channel Four into a four part TV series in the early nineties, edited and narrated by Bailey. Derek played both acoustic and electric instruments, and was able to obtain a far wider range of sounds from the instrument than are usually heard, producing delicate tinkles as well as the most fierce noise. He sometimes played on the body of the guitar rather than the strings, but typically played a conventional instrument.

Michael Botts
December 8th 1944 ~ December 9th 2005

Michael Botts, drummer of the legendary soft rock band Bread sadly passed away December 9th after a battle with colon cancer. He was 61 years old, dying the day after his birthday.
Michael Botts
Born in Oakland, California, then raised for his first six years in the nearby town of Antioch and at age seven the Botts family moved to Sacramento. This is where Michael's fascination with music and drums began, at school in the musical department. By the time he started high school, he was also starting to play gigs around town with local bands and had developed a particularly strong interest in Jazz and Rhythm & Blues. It was during his second year of college he was offered a few casual summer gigs with a group based out of Los Angeles called the Travelers Three. A few months later they called him from Canada to say they were going Electric, they needed a drummer and offered him the job. With recommendations by a few close friends, he did more session and studio work in between the college and club tours with the Travelers Three. This is when he first met Dave Gates. Michael did another couple of years with Joshua Fox band. Now a successful studio drummer based Los Angeles, 1970 sees Dave Gates asking him to join Bread. In 1973 Bread split and he started working with Linda Ronstadt. He recorded and toured with Linda for about two and a half years. 1976 sees him back with Bread for a further 2 years. All this time he had done studio work too. Next he toured with Karla Bonoff and James Taylor, and formed a band with Andrew Gold. From 1985 through 1990 he was almost totally involved in recording as a player, singer, writer, and producer. The only exception was a short tour to Japan with Richard Carpenter in 1989. The next 15 years sees him touring with many great artists including Eddie Money, Tina Turner, Dan Fogelberg, releasing a CD rom of drum samples and loops, "Double Platinum Drums", a 2 year tour with Bread, his first solo CD effort, "Adults Only". This was followed by the great 'Na Kama Hele' (the Travelers) "Slack Key"project which was just plain fun. The original members of the 'Travelers 3' reunited along with Rick Cunha to record two CD's, "Ki Ho `Alu Journey" and "The One They Call Hawaii". Michael continued till 2005 writing, playing, and producing, also doing tours, projects and live performances with Dan Fogelberg.

Chris Whitley
August 31st 1960 ~ November 20th 2005

Singer/songwriter Chris Whitley died Sunday at the age of 45 after battling lung cancer. The veteran Texas-reared artist is survived by his daughter Trixie, his brother Dan and his girlfriend Susanne, whom he was planning to marry.
Chris Whitley
From the Southeast, Chris eventually moving with his mother to Mexico after his parents divorced when he was 11; they later settled in a log cabin in Vermont. At the age of 15, he began playing guitar, inspired by Creedence Clearwater Revival, Johnny Winter and Jimi Hendrix, eventually learning how to play slide guitar. He quit high school a year before graduation, moving to New York City, where he busked on the streets. One of his performances was witnessed by a listener who ran a travel agency, and decided that Whitley would be a success in Belgium and offered to send him to Europe. With nothing to lose, Whitley accepted the offer, where he recorded a series of bluesy, rocky and funk albums. He decided to return to New York in 1990, where he met producer Daniel Lanois later that year. Impressed by Whitley's songs, Lanois helped set up a deal with Columbia Records for the songwriter, and produced his first album. Released in the spring of 1991, Whitley's U.S. debut Living with the Law was an atmospheric set of blues and folk-rock that received glowing reviews and earned him a slot opening for Tom Petty the Heartbreakers. It was four years till his second record, Din of Ecstasy, an attempt to connect with the hard-edged mainstream alternative-rock audience. . Two years later, Whitley released Terra Incognita, which combined elements of his first two records. Dirt Floor followed on the Messenger in 1998, restoring Whitley to a level of critical acclaim that rivaled his early work. Live at Martyrs' followed in the spring of 2000, and just a few months later, the spare studio effort Perfect Day appeared on the Valley imprint. Rocket House (2001) expanded on more soulful grooves, and boasted eclectic collaborations with Bruce Hornsby, Blondie Chaplin, and Dave Matthews. It was also his first for Matthews' own imprint, ATO Records. A year later, 'Long Way Around': An Anthology 1991-2001 compiled his years at Columbia. The stark, naked, and compelling 'Hotel Vast Horizon' appeared in 2003 and was followed by two, mail-order only albums, 'Weed' and 'War Crime Blues'. His final studio outing was earlier this year (2005) releasing the album 'Soft Dangerous Shores'.

Jerry Lynn Williams
1948 ~ November 25th 2005

Jerry Lynn Williams, the little-known writer of such songs as Eric Clapton's "Running on Faith," Bonnie Raitt's "Real Man" and B.B. King's "Standing on the Edge of Love," has died. He was 57. Williams died Nov. 25 of kidney and liver failure on St. Martin in the French West Indies, where he had lived for the last two years. A familiar name only in the music industry, Williams was probably the most successful unknown songwriter in rock and rhythm and blues.
Born in Dallas, he grew up in Fort Worth and learned music in church. A pastor's wife taught him to play piano, but at the age of 11, he got his first guitar and focused on playing like Jimmy Reed. By 14, Williams had dropped out of school and was working Texas roadhouses with his own band, the Epics. He toured with Little Richard's band until authorities discovered Williams' age and sent him home. He learned to play lead guitar from a fellow band member, Jimmy James, better known as Jimi Hendrix. A maverick, Williams spent nearly four decades bouncing between Los Angeles, where he wrote, recorded and performed, and Texas and Oklahoma, where he ranched. On one drive west, he stopped to look at the Grand Canyon and was inspired to write "Standing on the Edge of Love." The songwriter was recommended to Clapton in 1984 when the singer needed material for what is regarded as his comeback album, "Behind the Sun." Williams wrote the album's "See What Love Can Do," "Something's Happening" and "Forever Man." In 1989, five of his songs - "Pretending," "Anything for Your Love," "Running on Faith," "No Alibis" and "Breaking Point" - were included on Clapton's "Journeyman" album. The same year, his "Real Man" and "I Will Not Be Denied" were on Raitt's "Nick of Time," which won three Grammy Awards. Williams also contributed five songs to King's 1992 album, "King of the Blues," and wrote Clint Black's "The Hard Way" and Delbert McClinton's signature song, "Givin' It Up for Your Love." He helped Stevie Ray and Jimmie Vaughan write the song "Tick Tock." Williams made four blues-rock albums of his own, but none of them sold well.Jerry was the father of Chris Williams, the Backbone69 rock band leader and songwriter who died in 2001 at the age of 31 when the car he was driving plunged off a Malibu cliff.

Link Wray
May 2nd 1929 ~ November 5th 2005

Guitarist Link Wray, who was said to have invented the power chord, the major modus operandi of modern rock guitarists, has died in Copenhagen. He was 76. A native of Dunn, N.C., Wray's style is considered the blueprint for heavy metal and punk music. He's especially noted for the early feedback and distortion experimentation on his major hit, the 1958 instrumental "Rumble", by Link Wray and The Raymen. Its menacing sound led to a ban on several radio stations, a rare feat for a song with no lyrics. He is survived by his wife and son.
Link Wray
Wray was born Frederick Lincoln Wray, Jr., in Dunn, North Carolina. It was there that Link first heard slide guitar at age 8 from a black player named "Hambone". Link and his family later moved to Norfolk Virginia as his father got work in the Navy shipyards. His family later moved to Washington DC, and from there they moved to a farm in Accokeek, Maryland. He lived his last years in Denmark with his wife, Olive. Wray was a veteran of the Korean war, where he contracted tuberculosis that ultimately cost him a lung. Despite this, on his rare vocal numbers he displays a range equivalent to Clarence "Frogman" Henry. Wray and his brothers Doug and Vernon Wray had been playing country music and Western swing for several years when they took a gig as the house band on Milt Grant's House Party, a Washington version of American Bandstand. They played for many performers, from Fats Domino to Ricky Nelson. When attempting to work up a backing for The Diamonds' "The Stroll", they came up with the stately, powerful blues instrumental "Rumble", which they called "Oddball". The song was an instant hit with the live audience, which demanded four repeats that night. The band had several more hard-rocking instrumental hits in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including "Rawhide", "Ace of Spades", and "Jack the Ripper", the latter named after a "dirty boogie" dance popular in Baltimore at the time. Wray's career had been in and out since those days, with periods of retirement followed by renewed popularity, particularly in Europe. He toured and recorded several albums with retro rockabilly Robert Gordon and continued to tour under his own name up till his death, most recently with the San Francisco band Dieselhed.His music has been featured in numerous films, including Desperado, Pulp Fiction, Independence Day, 12 Monkeys, This Boy's Life, Johnny Depp's Blow, Brad Pitt's Johnny Suede, and Pink Flamingos by John Waters, which is set in Baltimore. In 1999, his tune "Jack the Ripper" was used in the original Taco Bell television commercial featuring a talking chihuahua. Part Shawnee Indian, Link frequently spoke of ancestry in performances and interviews, and three of his compositions bear the names of American Indian tribes: "Shawnee," "Apache," and "Comanche.". His style is said to have inspired many rock musicians, including Pete Townsend, David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Steve Van Zandt and Bruce Springsteen. Link, known for his trademark black leather jacket, gave his last performance in July 2005 in Glendale, California.

Shirley Horn
May 1st 1934 ~ October 20th 2005

Grammy-winning Shirley Horn, the US jazz pianist and vocalist who found fame working with Miles Davis, known for her intimate, whispery vocals and top-drawer piano playing, died at Gladys Spellman Nursing Home in Cheverly, Md., after an extended battle with diabetes. She was 71 and is survived by her husband, a daughter and two grandsons.

Shirley Horn
Shirley Horn was born in Washington DC and began piano lessons at the age of five, studied piano and composition throughout her teenage years & graduated from Howard University with a degree in music. She worked her way through college by playing piano at the Merryland Club. She formed her own trio in 1954 and secured the job of opening act at Olivia Davis's Patio Lounge, one of Washington's leading jazz clubs. In 1960, she recorded her first album, Embers And Ashes, for the small Hi-Life label. It was heard by the trumpeter Miles Davis, who was so impressed that he sent for her to come to New York and play the opening set of his nightly appearance at the Village Vanguard. The exposure led to a contract with Mercury Records, for whom she recorded two albums, Loads Of Love and Shirley Horn With Horns. She was, however, presented purely as a singer, backed by an orchestra. She felt so uncomfortable away from the keyboard that she returned to low-profile but more satisfying work in Washington. She married, gave birth to a daughter, and made only occasional forays beyond her home town. In 1968 she recorded the theme songs for two films, Dandy In Aspic and For Love Of Ivy. It was not until 1978 that she re-emerged to record A Lazy Afternoon, the first of three albums for the Danish label Steeplechase. This was, to all intents and purposes, her recording debut as a self-accompanying singer and it displayed her mature style to great effect. On the strength of this album Shirley Horn began to receive invitations to tour, and she scored a particular triumph in 1981, at the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague. Even so, she was reluctant to commit herself to the life of a full-time performer, and took only occasional engagements away from Washington. 1986 Richard Seidel, vice-president of PolyGram, signed her to Verve, its jazz label. This marked the start of Shirley Horn's late-flowering prime, in which she released CDs at roughly annual intervals. On most of them she was accompanied by the two Washington musicians, bassist Charles Ables and drummer Steve Williams, who had been with her since the early 1980s and knew her playing intimately. She also formed a close musical bond with the composer and arranger Johnny Mandel, who employed a string section to add subtle tints, notably on Here's To Life (1991) and You're My Thrill (2000). The new century brought two serious setbacks for Shirley Horn. Charles Ables, her trusted bass player for more than 30 years, died in 2001 and in the same year complications from diabetes led to the amputation of her right foot. For the first time in four decades she was obliged to rely on another pianist for her accompaniment. Her 2003 release, May The Music Never End, reveals her sounding frail and hesitant for the first time. After Davis's death in 1991 she released a particularly moving set entitled I Remember Miles, with Roy Hargrove playing trumpet and an appearance by the harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans. She was nominated for seven consecutive Grammys and won in 1998 for the best jazz vocal performance. Her winning song was I Remember Miles, a tribute to her mentor Miles Davis. Shirley also won five Wammys, the Washington area's music industry award, as well as multiple other titles.

Baker Knight
July 4th, 1933 ~ Oct 12th, 2005

Prolific songwriter Baker Knight, whose hits were recorded by stars ranging from Elvis Presley to Ricky Nelson, Paul McCartney, Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, has sadly died of natural cases at age 72. He is survived by his daughter, Tuesday Knight, an actress who lives in Studio City, a brother, Robert; sister, Nonie and son Thomas Baker Knight, a veterinarian and taxidermist of Pensacola, Fla.
Baker Knight.
From the 1950s to the 1970s, Knight wrote almost 1,000 songs. More than 40 singers recorded his tunes, which include the 1970 Presley hit "The Wonder of You" and Dean Martin's "Somewhere There's a Someone" and "That Old Time Feelin'." Nelson and McCartney sang the same Knight hit, "Lonesome Town," decades apart. Perry Como, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sammy Davis Jr. and Mickey Gilley also recorded some of Knight's songs. Born Thomas Baker Knight Jnr in Birmingham, Alabama, on Independence Day 1933., he went to Los Angeles in 1958 and met Nelson through a mutual friend. Within six months, Nelson's version of "Lonesome Town," a ballad about being lonely in Hollywood, was a top 10 hit on the Billboard Pop Singles chart, as was its flip side, "I Got a Feeling," another Knight tune. In all, Nelson recorded 21 Knight originals. Knight learned to play guitar while in the Air Force. He formed a rock band, Baker Knight and the Knightmares, whose height of fame was opening for country stars Carl Perkins and Conway Twitty in 1956. Within a year the band developed a huge following in the Birmingham area and one day, as fortune would have it, the proverbial "Hollywood agent" came to town. He liked the band and signed them up. The band recorded several songs but one of them stood out, "Bring My Cadillac Back," written by Knight. It started climbing the charts, selling 40,000 records in just two weeks. But the song was removed from the radio play lists because the then "powers that be" felt it was a free commercial for Cadillac. After after this the band split up, Knight moved to L.A. for a movie role but nothing came of this venture. He returned to Birmingham in 1985 and began to suffer from agoraphobia and a condition similar to chronic fatigue syndrome. Mickey Gilley, whose rendition of Baker's "Don't The Girls All Get Prettier At Closing Time" won the Academy of Country Music's "Song of the Year" award. Baker has the distinction of having a Two Million Performance song and three One Million Performance songs to his credit.

Paul Pena
January 26, 1950 ~ Oct 1st, 2005
Paul Pena, talented San Francisco blues guitarist who wrote one of the biggest hits for the Steve Miller Band, died in San Francsico Saturday evening due to complications from diabetes and pancreatitis. He has been bravely battling ill health for 8 years. He is survived by his parents, Jack and Virginia Pena of Harwich, Mass., and two brothers. Tragically he lost his wife, Babe to kidney failure in 1991.
Paul Pena.
Paul is perhaps best known for writing "Jet Airliner," a No. 8 hit on the Billboard pop singles chart in 1977. He lived off the royalties from that song. He is also familiar to audiences for the 1999 Academy Award-nominated documentary "Genghis Blues," which tells the story of how he took up Tuvan throat singing.
Pena, almost completely blind since birth and plagued by illnesses most of his life, was born in Hyannis, Mass. He proved to be a natural musician, singing and teaching himself several instruments. In the late 1960's, he was in a band that opened for big-time acts including the Grateful Dead and Frank Zappa. Blues artists ranging from T-Bone Walker to B.B. King to Bonnie Raitt recognized his talents, hiring him to play guitar in their bands. Paul became interested in throat singing when he heard a Tuvan broadcast on his shortwave radio in 1984. Later he found a Tuvan record, playing it countless times until he learned how to throat sing, which involves producing several distinct vocal-cord sounds simultaneously. In 1993 he demonstrated his technique to Kongar-ol Ondar, one of the foremost throat singers in the world. Mr. Ondar was impressed with Pena, nicknaming him “Earthquake” and inviting him to Tuva to participate in an annual competition. His 1995 journey there is recounted in “Genghis Blues.”

Willie Hutch
Dec 6th, 1944 ~ Sept 19th, 2005

Willie Hutch (Willie McKinley Hutchison),
60, an award-winning Motown and rhythm and blues musician, songwriter and producer who co-wrote the Jackson 5 hit "I'll Be There," died Sept. 19 in Duncanville, Texas, where he lived. Survivors include six children; 10 grandchildren; one great-grandchild; five brothers, and eight sisters.
Willie Hutch (Willie McKinley Hutchison)
Willie Hutch grew up in Dallas where he sang with The Ambassadors. He was a graduate of Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas. He first came to the attention of the music business in 1964 when his debut single 'Love Has Put Me Down' was released by the Soul City Records label. His songs attracted the attention of The Fifth Dimension who recorded a number of them. Willie himself recorded with Venture prior to two albums in the early 70's with RCA (including 'Let's Try It Over'). In 1970, he received a phone call from producer Hal Davis who urgently needed a song written to a backing track he had entitled 'I'll Be There'. By 8 am the next morning, The Jackson 5 were in the studio recording it. Willie later co-arranged vocals on 'Got To Be There' and 'Never Can Say Goodbye' for the group, impressing Berry Gordy who employed him at Motown on a more permanent basis. Willie produced the first Smokey Robinson album without The Miracles, and when Sisters Love had a cameo role in 'The Mack', the group's manager suggested Willie record the soundtrack. The result was 'The Mack', including 'Brother's Gonna Work It Out' and 'Slick', Willie's first album for Motown in 1973. (Willie also worked with Sisters Love on 'Mr Fix-it Man'.) His other albums at the label included 'The Mark Of The Beast' (1975); 'Concert In Blues' (1976), including 'Party Down'; 'Color Her Sunshine' (1976), including 'I Like Everything About You', 'Havin' A House Party' and 'Fully Exposed' before he joined the Whitfield label for two albums, 'In Tune (1978), including 'Easy Does It', and 'Midnight Dancer'. Hutch also wrote the entire album for the 70's movie "Foxy Brown". In 1982, he wrote 'Keep The Fire Burning' for Gwen McCrae and returned to Motown for three collaborations with Berry Gordy. The first was a duet for The Four Tops and Aretha Franklin 'What Have We Got To Lose' (1983), the second a song / production for Sammy Davis Jnr, 'Hello Detroit' (1984), and the third a soundtrack album for Berry's film 'The Last Dragon' (1985). This soundtrack included a Willie Hutch single 'The Glow'. During this period at Motown he wrote/produced 'Sexy Ways' for The Four Tops and released two albums, 'In And Out' (1985) and 'Making A Game Of Love' (1985), including 'Keep On Jammin'. Willie has also written and/or produced for The Miracles, The Main Ingredient ('California My Way'), Junior Walker, Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye, among others. In recent years, Willie with his back-up band '7 Down' recorded on his own music label, GGIT releasing two albums 'From The Heart' and 'The Mack Is Back'. Both sets were well received.

Al Casey
Sept 15th 1915 ~ Sept 13th 2005

Jazz Guitarist Al Casey died Sunday of colon cancer at age 89, just two days before his 90th birthday. Mainly known for his work with Fats Waller, Casey also played with Louis Armstrong, Teddy Wilson and Billie Holliday among a few. He is survived by his wife of 67 years, Althea Jonathan Casey and a son Al Casey Jr.
Al Casey.
Albert Aloysius Casey was born Sept. 15, 1915, in Louisville, an orphan. His new family included uncles and aunts who were in a spiritual group called the Southern Singers. One of those uncles, featured on a radio show broadcast from Cincinnati, provided the key introduction to Waller years later. He initially took violin lessons but switched to ukulele "because I wanted to be popular with the girls". Moving to New York City in 1930 to stay with other relatives, he began playing guitar with a school friend's band that played at Harlem's Apollo Theater and other venues. Advanced enough for his uncle to encourage a meeting with Waller, Al impressed the band leader and began recording songs. However, Waller refused to hire him full time until he finished high school. Al later called Waller his "second father." Al developed a fast-moving style that jumped from chord to chord. This, he felt, would do justice to Waller's vocal buffoonery, as he called it. Al provided a steady and swinging rhythmic accompaniment for the leader's vocal antics. Casey's distinctive style helped to define the sound of Fats Waller's band in the 1930s and 1940s. He appeared on more than 230 records that, all told, sold millions of copies. In the late 1930s, he left Fats temporarily to work with e pianist Teddy Wilson and also made recordings with singer Billie Holiday and saxophonists Ben Webster, Chu Berry and Lester Young. After Fats Waller's death, played side man to many greats. In the 50's he switched to electric guitar and he joined a rhythm-and-blues band led by saxophonist King Curtis and also played with Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers and Curley Hamner. He disliked rock music's chord structure, dismissing it as simplistic or "distorted." Over the decades Al Casey played with names like Louis Armstrong, Roy Eldridge, Charlie Parker, Louis Armstrong, Dizzy Gillespie, Coleman Hawkins, Art Tatum, Duke Ellington, Barney Bigard and Jack Teagarden. In 1981, he began a 20-year association with the Harlem Blues and Jazz Band, established Albert Vollmer who revered the jazz players of the 1930s. Featuring guest veterans of bands led by Armstrong, Ellington, Jelly Roll Morton and King Oliver, Highly regarded in Europe, he remained largely overlooked in the United States.

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
April 18th 1924 ~ Sept 10th 2005

Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, the singer, guitarist who built a 50-year career playing blues, country, jazz and Cajun music, died Saturday after a long battle with lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease. He had gone to brother's home in Orange, Texas to escape and survive Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed his home in Slidell, Louisiana, a bedroom community of New Orleans . He was 81 & survivors include three daughters and a son.
Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
Louisiana-born, Texas-raised multi-instrumentalist Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown has been dishing up his unique blend of blues, R&B, country, jazz, and Cajun music for more than 50 years. A virtuoso on guitar, violin, harmonica, mandolin, viola, and even drums, Gatemouth has influenced performers as diverse as Albert Collins, Frank Zappa, Lonnie Brooks, Eric Clapton, and Joe Louis Walker. Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown started playing fiddle by age 5. At 10, he taught himself an odd guitar picking style he used all his life, dragging his long, bony fingers over the strings.
In his teens, Brown toured as a drummer with swing bands and was nicknamed "Gatemouth" for his deep voice. After a brief stint in the Army, he returned in 1945 to Texas, where he was inspired by blues guitarist T-Bone Walker. Brown's career took off in 1947 when Walker became ill and had to leave the stage at a Houston nightclub. The club owner invited Brown to sing, but Brown grabbed Walker's guitar and thrilled the crowd by tearing through "Gatemouth Boogie" -- a song he claimed to have made up on the spot, T-Bone was not amused by the young upstart, but the crowd went wild, tossing $600 at Brown's feet in 15 minutes. He made dozens of recordings in the 1940s and '50s, including many regional hits -- "Okie Dokie Stomp," "Boogie Rambler," and "Dirty Work at the Crossroads." But he became frustrated by the limitations of the blues and began carving a new career by recording albums that featured jazz and country songs mixed in with the blues numbers. "He is one of the most underrated guitarists, musicians and arrangers I've ever met, an absolute prodigy," said Colin Walters, who is working on Brown's biography. Brown -- who performed in cowboy boots, cowboy hat and Western-style shirts -- lived in Nashville in the early 1960s, hosting an R&B television show and recording country singles. In 1979, he and country guitarist Roy Clark recorded "Makin' Music," an album that included blues and country songs and a cover of the Billy Strayhorn-Duke Ellington classic "Take the A-Train." Brown recorded with Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt and others, but he took a dim view of most musicians -- and blues guitarists in particular. He called B.B. King one-dimensional. He dismissed his famous Texas blues contemporaries Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland as clones of T-Bone Walker, whom many consider the father of modern Texas blues. "All those guys just tried to sound like T-Bone," Brown said. By the end of his career, Brown had more than 30 recordings and won a Grammy award in 1982. "I'm so unorthodox, a lot of people can't handle it," he said in a 2001 interview. In his last years Brown suffered ill-health but managed to record a final album, "Timeless", in 2004.

Barry Steven Cowsill
September 14th 1954 ~ Sept ?? 2005
Barry Cowsill, multi-musician, songwriter, former member of The Cowsills, who went missing in New Orleans when Hurricane Katrina struck has been found, tragically dead. December 28th his body was found under Chartres Street Wharf in New Orleans and identified via dental records on January 4th, 2006. The coroner has determined the cause of death to be drowning in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. 50/51 year old Barry is survived by his siblings, two daughters, one son and two grandsons as well as a step-daughter and two step-granddaughters
Barry performing with the Cowsills on Sept. 13, 2004 at the El Rey Theatre at a benefit concert for brother Billy’s medical expenses.  This was the eve of Barry’s 50th birthday.
Born in Newport, RI, Barry was the 5th of 7 children in the musical Cowsill family, and by the age of 10 was drumming round the locals venues, school halls, clubs & frat parties at Brown University in Newport, with older brothers Bob and Bill. The band, full of Beatlemania named themselves The Cowsills. He soon changed to bass guitar when another brother, John joined them playing drums. Barry was only 13 when they shot to fame with "The Rain, the Park and Other Things." with a string of chart hits following over the next 4 years. It was obvious at an early age Barry would be an accomplished songwriter and able producer, penning “Dover Mines” from their 1970 “On My Side” album and “Don’t Look Back” from 1970’s “II x II” when only 14 and producing "On My Side" at age 16... the band grew bigger as another brother, a sister and their mother became members. The Cowsills were the inspiration for The Partridge Family. They were to star in the show, but at the last minute, they pulled out because the network wanted to cast actress Shirley Jones as the mother, Barbara. "If you don't have the whole family you don't have any" said there father and manager William Cowsill. In 1971, following a series of personal problems among the family members, and squabbles and disagreements between each other, the band split up. Barry, with the traumas from his childhood, domestic abuse, extreme adulation, over exposure and sudden loss of fame was affected deeply, and from this time on he took his sensitive tortured soul and guitar on the road, spending most of the next 25 years roaming from town to town. His excessive drinking didn't stop him becoming an extremely talented guitarist and songwriter. Eventually in the late 90's he settled in New Orleans and bought out a solo album "As Is" in 1998 and a 2 track CD "Fishin Worm Blues" and "Drunkards Nappy" in 2000. At the time of his death, Barry was working on a new CD with his band US 1. His travels brought him many friends and fans, touching each of their souls with his charismatic character, superb music, and down to earth sense of humor. Sadly, he did not get out of New Orleans before Katrina hit and was among the missing for 4 months. Barry had been spotted at the Ernest N. Memorial Convention Center on August 29th, but was not heard from after leaving phone messages for his sister on September 1st. On Decembr 28th, a badly decomposed body was recovered from the
Chartres St Wharf; it was identified on January 4th, 2006 as Barry Cowsill. Further tragedy struck; a memorial service was held on February 18th, 2006 at the King's Park Gazebo, Newport, R.I. at 1 p.m. and a Celebration of Life party was held at 7 p.m. in the Viking Hotel Ballroom. It was between the time of the service and the party, that the family received the phone call saying Barry's brother, Billy Cowsill had passed away. Suddenly, the Life Celebration became an event for two brothers instead of just one. Billy Cowsill, who had been living in Canada had died due to complications from a variety of illnesses including emphysema, osteoporosis and Cushing syndrome.
Barry and Billy may you both rest in peace
Rare shot of Barry and Billy Cowsill playing together as adults at Taste of Rhode Island in 2000.
Above : Rare shot of Barry and Billy Cowsill playing together as adults at Taste of Rhode Island in 2000.
Top photo : Barry performing with the Cowsills on Sept. 13, 2004 at the El Rey Theatre at a benefit concert for brother Billy’s medical expenses. This was also the eve of Barry’s 50th and last birthday.
Many thanks to Kate for the photographs

R.L. Burnside
23rd November 1926 ~ 1st Sept 2005
R.L. Burnside, one of the last, great Mississippi bluesmen, whose raw, country blues was discovered late in his life, has died. He was 78.
He sadly died Thursday morning at the St. Francis Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, where his health had been declining for some time. He is survived by his wife, Alice Mae, 12 children and numerous grandchildren.
R.L. Burnside
RL Burnside the gifted musician, songwriter, and storyteller started life in Oxford, Mississippi, born on a plantation. He grew up in the depression-era deep south and saw things most people only read about or see on TV's documentry channels. His life has been one long constant roller-coaster ride of the blues. He spent most of his life in the north Mississippi hills working as a sharecropper and fisherman. He began playing music at age 16 learning his licks from Delta Blues men, such as Mississippi Fred McDowell and Muddy Waters. Burnside started out on the harmonica but soon switched to the guitar. In the 1940s he moved to Chicago and later met Muddy Waters. But Burnside left the city after his father and two of his brothers were killed there. When Burnside moved back to Holly Springs, Mississippi, he shot a man who he said was trying to run him off his home. He was convicted and served six months in jail before a plantation foreman got him out to work the cotton harvest. For many years blues fans could travel to Holly Springs and visit Junior Kimbrough's club and see R.L. along with Junior and their combined offspring playing the blues. Burnside wasn't recorded until he was in his 40s, and didn't become a professional musician until 1991, when he was signed by Fat Possum. He released over a dozen albums including the 1992 live album "Bad Luck City" , "Too Bad Jim" in 1994. Burnside's raw, John Lee Hooker-style, one-chord progression blues on songs like "Death Bell Blues" and "Shake 'Em on Down" received critical acclaim. He toured worldwide, though he performed less after heart surgery in 1999. His last record was 2004's "A Bothered Mind.". Anywhere he played, was just like any another Saturday night sitting on the front porch of some Mississippi delta juke-joint, drinking corn whiskey, telling stories and playing the music he grew up around. This truly incorruptible delta character/musician/storyteller will be very sadly missed.

Little Milton
7th September 1934 ~ 4th August 2005
Inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1988, the Grammy-nominated songwriter/artist was also the recipient of several W.C. Handy Blues Awards, the highest honor given to artists in the genre. Singer, guitarist and songwriter, Little Milton, has passed away from complications from a stroke. He was 71. Little Milton is survived by his wife, Patricia and several children.

Born James Milton Campbell Jnr., to sharecropping farmers near the Mississippi Delta town of Inverness, he played guitar from the age of 12. Little Milton made his first public appearances as a teenager in the blues bars and cafes on Greenville's celebrated Nelson Street. Milton first appeared on record accompanying pianist Willie Love in the early 50's, then appeared under his own name on three singles issued on Sam Phillips' Sun label under the guidance of Ike Turner. Although their working relationship continued throughout the decade, it was on signing to Chicago's Chess / Checker outlet that Milton's career flourished. Milton had a hit in 1965 with the optimistic 'We're Gonna Make It', and followed it with other releases, including 'Who's Cheating Who?' in 1965, and 'Grits Ain't Groceries' in 1968. He remained with Chess until 1971, whereupon he relocated to the Stax imprint. Milton also worked alongside Sonny Boy Williamson III. 'That's What Love Will Do' returned the singer to the R & B chart after a two-year absence, but despite his appearance in the Wattstax film, Little Milton was unable to maintain a consistent recording career. In the 90's he was with Delmark Records. His most recent album 'Think Of Me' was released in May 2005.

Eugene Booker Record

23rd December 1940 ~ July 22nd 2005
The songwriter, lead singer with the velvet voice of the Chi-lites, Eugene Booker Record has sadly passed away at his daughter's south suburban home after a long battle with cancer. He leaves a wife of 31 years.

Few music fans know the name Eugene Record, but many know his music. As well as his creamy rich vocals this amazing man was the composer and musical guiding force behind the greatest songs of the Chi-Lites, including "Oh Girl," "Have You Seen Her" and "Coldest Days of My Life." A true descendant of Smokey Robinson, Record's emotional songs portrayed love found and mostly lost, and his vulnerable, sensitive protagonists were quite a contrast to the "love men" (Barry White, Teddy Pendergrass, et. al.) who would control urban adult contemporary radio in the late 70s and early 80s. Eugene left the Chi-Lites after 1976's Half A Love, and appeared headed for a bright solo career. But despite creating generally good material, his solo work never properly took off. Record's 1977 solo debut, The Eugene Record, was his most popular, it included the minor hit "Laying Beside You," but was overall a step down from his Chi-Lites work. He came back strongly in 1978 with Trying to Get to You, a solid mix of ballads and dance tunes that he debuted in an appearance on Saturday Night Live. In 1979 he released his first primarily dance oriented album, the top notch Welcome to My Fantasy, which contained two wonderful disco tunes (the title track and the Andre Crouch/Eugene Record collaboration "Where Are You"), but was unfortunately overlooked by both pop and soul radio stations and after three Warner Brothers albums he returned to the Chi-Lites in 1980 for four more albums, including "Heavenly Body", "Me And You" and "Hot On A Thing. "Record retired from the Chi-Lites in 1988 to live a more spiritual life. He spent the next decade moving into gospel music and evangelization, eventually releasing Let Him In, his first gospel album, in 1998 on a very limited basis. In 2001, Record co-produced a local Chicago R&B girl group called C-Nario and was happy working with the Praise and Worship Team at his Chicago church, Crusaders Church. He also reunited with the Chi-Lites for one night for the PBS Soul Music special in March, 2004, and saw his classic Chi-Lites tune, "Are You My Woman" remade as Beyonce's across-the-board Grammy Winning hit, "Crazy In Love. Record planned to remix and re-release Let Him In, but illness ultimately prevented him. After a battle with cancer, he died on July 22, 2005, leaving a rich musical legacy.

Long John Baldry
January 12th 1941~ July 21st 2005
British Blues / R&B artist, the great legendary "Long John" Baldry died last night (July 21) in Vancouver after battling a chest infection for four months. He was 64.

Born January 12th 1941 in London, UK, Long John begun his career playing folk and jazz in the late 50s, he toured with Ramblin' Jack Elliott before moving into R&B. His strong, deep voice won him a place in the influential Blues Incorporated, following which he joined Cyril Davies' R & B All Stars. After Davies' death, Long John fronted the Hoochie Coochie Men, which also included future superstar Rod Stewart, who later joined Baldry in Steam Packet (featuring Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll). After a brief period with Bluesology (which boasted a young Elton John on piano & keyboards), Long John decided to go solo and record straightforward pop. Already well known on the music scene, he nevertheless appeared an unusual pop star in 1967 with his sharp suits and imposing 6foot 7inch height. Composer/producer Tony Macauley and his partner John McLeod presented him with the perfect song in 'Let The Heartaches Begin', a despairing ballad which Baldry took to number 1 in the UK in 1967. His chart career continued with the Olympic Games theme, 'Mexico', the following year, which also made the Top 20. Such a shame that is his legacy .. Long John must be one of the most underestimated singers I know. However ... sadly , by the end of the 60s, the hits had ceased and another change of direction was ahead. Furs and a beard replaced the suits and the neat, short haircut, as Long John attempted to establish himself with a new audience. With production assistance from former colleagues Rod Stewart and Elton John, he recorded a strong album, It Ain't Easy, but it failed to sell. After a troubled few years in New York and LA he emigrated to Vancouver, Canada, where he performed on the club circuit. In the early 90s his voice was used as Robotnik on the Sonic The Hedgehog computer game. After many years a new Baldry album was released in 1993, subtly titled 'It Still Ain't Easy'.
May you rest in peace.

Renaldo "Obie" Benson

June 14th 1936~ July 1st 2005
Renaldo "Obie" Benson, a member of the legendary Motown singing group the Four Tops, died Friday. Benson died at 69 of lung cancer that was discovered when he had a leg amputated several weeks ago because of circulation problems.

Orbie attended Northern High School with Lawrence Payton. The pair met Levi Stubbs and Abdul "Duke" Fakir while singing at a friends birthday party in 1954 and decided to form a group called the Four Aims. Roquel Billy Davis, Payton's cousin was a fifth member of the group for a time and a songwriter for the group. Davis played an instrumental role in the group being signed by Chess Records who were mainly interested in Davis' songwriting ability. The group changed their name to the Four Tops to avoid confusion with the Ames Brothers and had one single "Kiss Me Baby" released through Chess which failed to chart. The Four Tops left Chess although Davis stayed with the company. The group then went to Red Top Records and Riverside Records before signing with Columbia Records where they released "Ain't That Love" in 1960. This record was a supper club style record and the Four Tops would sing at a number of jazz venues in the early 1960s. Benson was responsible for the band's choreography in the early years of the band. He was best known as the bass of Motown group The Four Tops, which he continued to perform with for over five decades, until April 8, 2005.
The group signed with Motown Records in 1963 and produced a string of hits over the next decade, making music history with the other acts in Berry Gordy's Motown lineup. The Four Tops sold more than 50 million records and recorded hit songs such as "Baby I Need Your Loving," "Reach Out (I'll be There)," "I Can't Help Myself" and "Standing in the Shadows of Love." Benson also co-wrote "What's Going On" which became a #2 hit for Marvin Gaye in 1971, and which Rolling Stone rated as #4 on their List of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time released in 2004. Benson's death leaves two surviving members of the original group: Levi Stubbs and Abdul "Duke" Fakir. The fourth original Top, Lawrence Payton, died of liver cancer in 1997. They are members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Benson "enjoyed every moment of his life," Fakir told the Detroit Free Press through a publicist. "He put a smile on everyone's face, including my own." Benson spent more than a third of each year performing on the road . The group would often tour with The Temptations as part of a double bill. His last performance was on April 8 2005 on the "Late Show With David Letterman." He sadly leaves two daughters.

Luther Vandross

April 21st 1951 ~ July 1st 2005
Legendary R&B artist Luther Vandross, whose smooth, silky voice gave soul to songs about life, love and relationships, died at JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey at 1:47 p.m. ET, Friday surrounded by family, friends. He was 54 years old.

Alluding to the stroke, hospital spokesman Rob Cavanaugh said, "Throughout his illness, Luther received excellent medical care and attention from his medical team. Luther was deeply touched by all the thoughts and wishes from his fans." The popular crooner suffered a debilitating stroke in April 2003, which he never fully recovered from. Even so, his album "Dance With My Father," co-written with Richard Marx, sold nearly a million copies in its first month of release that June. The following year, that album won three Grammy Awards, including song of the year. His eighth and final Grammy came for best R&B performance by a duo -- the remake of "The Closer I Get to You," sung with Beyonce Knowles. Vandross' songs and emotionally charged ballads carry a signature sound. During his four-decade career, Vandross sold more than 25 million copies, each one of his 14 albums achieving either platinum or multi-platinum status. Luther Ronzoni Vandross was born into a New York City family steeped in the traditions of gospel and soul. He began his career writing and performing jingles for television commercials. He even appeared on "Sesame Street" in October 1969. It was after a chance meeting with David Bowie at a recording studio in 1975 that Vandross was asked to sing backup on Bowie's hit album, "Young Americans." Later, Vandross served as Bowie's opening act. Vandross also sang backup for Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand. When record companies rejected him, Vandross used his own money to produce his 1981 debut album, "Never Too Much." It went on to top the R&B charts and sold 2 million copies. By the end of the 1980s Vandross had nearly two dozen smash singles, including "Give Me the Reason," "Stop to Love" and "There's Nothing Better Than Love," made with Gregory Hines. Arguably his most memorable hit was the 1989 classic, "Here and Now," which has become a wedding staple. The momentum carried into the 1990s, with Vandross recording "The Best Things In Life Are Free," a pop duet with Janet Jackson that hit the Top 10 and No. 1 on the R&B charts. He followed that in 1994 with "Endless Love," a duet with Mariah Carey that reached No. 2 on the pop charts. "I was Luther from day one, from the day I began, and I think that's a very important thing," he once said. "I think that's what sustained my career for so long is that when I start, you know it's me." Vandross struggled with health and image problems, claiming that he lost 100 pounds -- 13 times. He suffered from hypertension and diabetes, which killed two siblings and his father, but refused to slow down until his stroke two years ago. Of "Dance With My Father," he once said that title song "was very emotional for me and, yes, it is based on my own experience. "It's not just about losing one's father, but about missing someone who is gone -- for whatever reason -- and the longing you feel for that moment in the past when you were together," he said.

Simon "Si" Waronker

1915 ~ June 7th 2005
Simon "Si" Waronker, founder of Liberty Records, one of the top indie labels of the 1950s and early '60s, who lent his first name to the smartest of David Seville's Chipmunks, died of natural causes in his sleep, in Los Angeles. He was 90. He is survived by a son, a daughter, a sister, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Simon "Si" Waronker
Si was born in 1915 in a poor section of Los Angeles. When he was five, his father started him playing the violin. He was a child prodigy, starting high school at eleven and graduating at thirteen. Si got a scholarship to study violin in Philadelphia and then France. He ended up in Germany during the rise of Hitler. After barely escaping from a Nazi youth gang that was pursuing him because he was Jewish, he returned to the United States. Back in Los Angeles, he worked for 20th Century Fox, playing on countless scores for the studio. He founded Liberty in 1955. The company's initial single was "The Girl Upstairs," a side by Lionel Newman, a longtime power in the Fox music department; the label's early releases focused on film and orchestral music. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Liberty's first big hit was by an actress, Julie London, whose torchy "Cry Me a River" led to a run of popular albums on the label, the young Henry Mancini, R&B veterans the Dominoes and exotica bandleader Martin Denny. The company's diverse roster included Ross Bagdasarian's novelty act the Chipmunks (one of whose helium-voiced members was named after Waronker. The Chipmunks were wryly named for Liberty executives Alvin Bennett, Simon Waronker, and Theodore Keep. ) In 1957 Liberty acquired Dick Bock's label Pacific Jazz. During the rock 'n' roll era, Liberty was the home of singer-guitarist-producer Eddie Cochran, teen idol Bobby Vee, rocker-turned-pop vocalist Johnny Burnette and surf duo Jan & Dean. In ill health, Waronker sold Liberty in 1963 to electronics company Avnet for $12 million. Ownership of the label subsequently changed hands several times, and its catalog is now controlled by EMI Music. Waronker's son Lenny is the former head of Warner Bros. Records and DreamWorks Records. Granddaughter Anna Waronker is a former member of the group that dog and co-founder of the indie label Five Foot Two Records. Grandson Steve Berman is head of sales & marketing at Universal's Interscope/Geffen/A&M unit.

Oscar Brown Jr.
Oct. 10, 1926 ~ May 29, 2005
Chicago born legendary singer, songwriter, playwright, poet and civil rights activist Oscar Brown, Jr. was originally hospitalized in mid-April, suffering from osteo-myelitis, a bone infection. Sadly he lost his fight and died May 29th. Oscar was 78 years old, he impacted millions of people world-wide during his illustrious career, with both his music and his politics.
Oscar Brown Jr.
He had become a remarkable and powerful force for generations of young people in the community, by tapping into their "over-looked" talents. "He is, indeed, a national treasure, and one of the most important figures of our time, "explains Maggie Brown, his daughter with whom he would often perform with."Although we will miss him deeply, he has left a wealthof material that will continue to touch the world". Brown wrote over a thousand songs, and more than a dozen musical plays. His rendition of the musical, "Big Time Buck White", appeared on Broadway starring Muhammad Ali. However, his dynamic productions "Opportunity Please Knock" & "Great Nitty Gritty," tapping into the talents of gang members and other youth in the Chicago area, is credited with turning around the lives of hundreds of young people in the city. He is also noted for such classic compositions as, "The Snake", "Work Song", and "Signifyin? Monkey". Proving that his works are timeless, Brown had become a regular on Russell Simmons? Def Poetry Jam. His passing comes at a time when his works are seeing a major resurgence. Brown recently established The Oscar Brown, Jr. H.I.P. (Human Improvement Potential) Legacy Foundation, to continue his efforts. Screenings are planned nation-wide for a newly completed documentary about Brown?s life, (Music Is My Life / Politics Is My Mistress). According to his daughter Maggie, "He has passed us the torch, and we are carrying it proudly. Generations to come will not only enjoy, but finally truly appreciate the contributions he has made".

Jimmy Martin
August 10, 1927 ~ May 14, 2005
Jimmy Martin, a pioneering bluegrass singer/guitarist who performed with the Blue Grass Boys and many other performers, died Saturday. He was 77. Martin died in a Nashville hospice, more than a year after he was diagnosed with bladder cancer. Jimmy leaves 3 sons Ray, Timmy & Buddy Lee and a daughter Lisa.
Jimmy Martin.

His son, Lee Martin said "He loved bluegrass music, country music. Bill Monroe was his idol and someone he patterned himself after musically," referring to bluegrass legend Bill Monroe, head of the Blue Grass Boys. Jimmy Martin, MCA Recording Star and known as "The King of Bluegrass" and "Mr. Good 'N Country" was born in Hancock County, Sneedville, Tennessee. His lifelong dream came true when he joined Bill Monroe in 1949 as lead singer and emcee. Jimmy worked with Bill Monroe for five years, helping him write and record such high lonesome classics as "Uncle Pen," "The Little Girl and the Dreadful Snake," and "I'll Meet You in Church Sunday Morning (which Jimmy actually sang tenor to Bill's lead)". In 1955, Martin formed his own band, the Sunny Mountain Boys, and recorded with Decca (MCA) records for 18 years. "In his heyday, he could take an audience of any size and have them eating out of his hand," said Sunny Mountain Boy member Bill Emerson. "He'd just smoke those people, and they'd be waiting in line for him when he got offstage." Martin recorded several bluegrass standards, including "Rock Hearts," "Sophronie," "Hold Watcha Got," "Widow Maker" and "The Sunny Side of the Mountain." Martin was inducted into the International Bluegrass Music Association's Hall of Honor in 1995. His life was also the subject of an independent documentary film, "King of Bluegrass: The Life and Times of Jimmy Martin," which was released in 2003.

Bryan Ottoson
March 18th 1978 ~ April 19th 2005
American Head Charge guitarist Bryan Ottoson died prior to the group's performance in North Charleston, S.C. The guitarist was found dead in his bunk on the group's tour bus. He tragically died of an overdose of prescribed drugs.

Sadly I can't find anymore information about
Bryan Ottoson.

Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen
May 27th 1946 ~ April 19th 2005
Acclaimed Danish jazz bassist Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen has died at the age of 58. The musician, dubbed "the great Dane," made hundreds of recordings and accompanied jazz greats like Dexter Gordon, Chet Baker, Dizzy Gillespie, Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald. Niels-Henning played in his first band at 14 and recorded at the age of 15 with Bud Powell. Mr. Orsted Pedersen is survived by his wife, Solveig, and three children.

Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen
In 1991 the internationally highly esteemed jazz double bass player Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen was awarded the Nordic Council music prize. It was the first time this prize for composition went to a performing musician, which must be ascribed to his international standing. He is presumably the internationally most sought-after Danish instrumentalist, who has travelled and recorded with many of the greatest jazz soloists, and he has also a particular ability to interpret Danish songs and folk melodies, partly in collaboration with the pianist Kenny Drew. Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, the son of a church organist, was born at Osted, Denmark, on May 27 1946. He began piano lessons at the age of seven, and at 13, when he was tall enough, took up the double bass in order to play in his family band. He made such rapid progress that, within two years, he was playing at the Montmartre Jazzhus, Copenhagen's leading jazz club.
His talent was soon seen to be of international quality; as a 16-year-old he received an offer from Count Basie and did a recording with the pianist Bud Powell, and since the 1970s he has for longish periods been the permanent double bass player for Oscar Peterson. In addition, he has often played in trios, partly collectively with the trumpeter Palle Mikkelborg and the keyboard player Kenneth Knudsen, and partly under his own name, usually with guitar and drums. Referred to as "NHOP", was among the most frequently recorded jazz musicians in history, having taken part in more than 400 albums. There was scarcely a major name with whom he had not played in the course of the last 40 years.

Johnnie Johnson
July 8th 1924 ~ April 13th 2005
Johnnie Johnson, a rock'n'roll pioneer has sadly died died at his St. Louis home. He was 80. The cause of death was not immediately known. He had been hospitalized a month ago with pneumonia and was on dialysis for a kidney ailment, said John May, a friend and fellow musician.

Johnson was born July 8, 1924, in Fairmont, WV, and he began playing piano at age five, thanks to his mother, who provided the funds to purchase a piano and encouraged the young Johnnie's interest. His parents had a good collection of 78-rpm records, including items by Bessie Smith and Ethel Waters. In his teens, he listened to the radio broadcasts of big bands, and taught himself based on what he heard from the likes of Art Tatum, Earl "Fatha" Hines, and Meade "Lux" Lewis. Johnson's goal in all of this listening and playing in his teenage years was to come up with his own distinctive style. Piano player Johnnie Johnson isn't exactly a household name, because for 28 years, he worked as a sideman to Chuck Berry. Berry joined Johnson's band, 'The Sir John Trio', on New Year's Eve, 1953, and afterward, Berry took over as the group's songwriter and frontman /guitar player. On the strength of a recommendation from Muddy Waters and an audition, Berry got a deal with Chess Records. Johnson's rhythmic piano playing was a key element in all of Berry's hit singles, a good number of which Johnson arrange. The pair's successful partnership lasted a lot longer than most rock & roll partnerships last these days. Johnson's albums under his own name include Blue Hand Johnnie for the St. Louis-based Pulsar label in 1988; Johnnie B. Bad in 1991 for the Elektra American Explorer label; That'll Work in 1993 for the same label, and most recently, Johnnie Be Back for the New Jersey-based MusicMasters label in 1995. All four are winners, and all are available on compact disc.
In a 1995 interview, Johnson explains his abilities with piano as his mother did, a gift from God. "I can hear something and keep it in my mind until such point as I can get to a piano, and then I'll play it...that is a gift, the ability to do that."

Hideaki Sekiguchi
1967 ~ March 31st 2005
38 year old Hideaki Sekiguchi, who played bass with Japanese rock band Guitar Wolf
died after suffering a heart attack. Hideaki's heart had stopped in his sleep
at home the previous night, and he later died in a Tokyo hospital.
He is survived his wife Naoko and two children.

Bass Wolf, who was also known as Billy to his fans and as Hideaki Sekiguchi to his family, was born in Japan in 1967. He was brought up with the many influences of the great rock and punk bands of the 70 & 80's, (Ramones a special favourite). This was a shared interest with his childhood friend, guitarist Seiji Anno and in 1987 they together formed the band "Guitar Wolf". The two were soon joined by drummer Toru Kuvibayashi & within a few short years, the group established themselves as one of the top garage rock bands in Japan. The hard-rocking trio, were signed to Sony Music Entertainment (Japan) affiliate Ki/oon Records. The '90s saw their popularity increase overseas as their records became available in various countries around the world. Fans, critics and fellow musicians raved over the group and their rapid-fire musical assault. Their latest album 'Love Rock' was releases last year on which "Black Hawk" penned by Billy/Bass Wolf is one of the album's most visceral stretches. The three had just completed a month's tour in North America in support of Guitar Wolf's most recent release. The jaunt saw the Japanese trio use their razor-sharp brand of rock 'n' roll to deliver awe-inspiring performances throughout Canada and the U.S.. Bass Wolf/Billy had only been back with his family a couple of days when he died of heart failure. The band was due to fly to Australia, April 6th, to continue their tour.
In the U.S., Guitar Wolf's albums have been released by such labels as Goner, Matador and Narnack. Narnack, had already been preparing an expanded U.S. release of "I Love Guitar Wolf Very Much", a tribute album, featuring the Coachwhips, the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Lightning Bolt, J. Mascis and the Fog, and Puffy AmiYumi & others. This album will still be issued in the U.S. in the coming months.
" He rocked harder than anyone in the room, and I would feed off that energy. He was a great friend. Lately, Billy was acting a little odd, but said nothing was wrong. Just like him - the hardass. I just can't believe it, he was there from the beginning. I know Billy's up there in heaven rocking out, keeping those motherfuckers up all night. I bet he'll start a band with Joey Ramones and Elvis. He'd love that. I love you Billy, God speed." ~ Friend & fellow wolf brother~ guitarist Seiji Anno

Paul Hester
January 8th 1959 ~ March 26th 2005

Sadly, Paul Hester founder member and former drummer of Crowded House took his own life. He had taken his two dogs for a walk and hanged himself from a tree in Elsternwick Park near his home in Melbourne, Australia. His body was found the next day. Aged 46, Paul is survived by two daughters, aged 8 and 10.
Paul Hester
Paul Newell Hester was born in Melbourne, Australia, his father, Mulga Mike Hester, was a legendary bushman and his mother, Ann, a jazz drummer. From an early age, Paul was encouraged by his mother to learn to play the drums, and was soon displaying his talent. His schooldays were less successful. Paul had the dubious honour of being the first student in the history of education in Victoria to have his teachers signing a petition asking him to leave. Following his departure from school, Paul tried out various jobs before embarking on a musical career. In 1980 he was a founding member of a quartet called Cheks, a group which in 1982 evolved Deckchairs Overboard when they relocated to Sydney. In late 1983, popular New Zealand group Split Enz needed a new drummer and by advice of Rob Hirst (Midnight Oil), Paul was auditioned. After having attended three rehearsals without knowing if he was in or not, Paul finally brought a tape recorder and got each member to say he had got the job. Split Enz decided to go separate ways in 1984. Paul and singer/guitarist/songwriter Neil Finn formed a new group, Crowded House (originally called Mullanes), and Paul remained a key member of the group until he quit during an American tour in April 1994. Paul cited the pressures of touring and declining motivation for the group as his reasons. After leaving Crowded House, Paul was guest host on various radio and TV shows in Australia, and has opened a tea house in Elwood Beach. Musically, he has collaborated with Richard Pleasance, Deborah Conway (in the group Ultrasound) and Penny Flanagan, and wrote songs with old Deckchairs Overboard cohort John Clifforth. He hosted a music show on Australia's ABC network, hosted an acousting concert series, and made several appearances on TV and radio, including a recurring role as Chef Paul on kid's show "The Wiggles". Two weeks ago, he appeared on the SBS music quiz show, "RockWiz."

Rod Price
November 22nd 1947 ~ March 22nd 2005
Legendary guitarist Rod Price, founding member of the blues boogie band FOGHAT, passed away on March 22, 2005 at the age of 57. Rod sustained fatal massive head trauma in an accidental stairway fall at his home in Wilton, New Hampshire. He is survived by his wife Jackie and children Rory, Jessie, David, Robin and Sarah.
Rod Price
Born November 22, 1947 in London, England, Price co-founded a British blues band in the 1970s and became an American idol leading FOGHAT to the top of the billboard charts. Price gained notoriety for his signature slide and blues based playing earning him the reputation as "the magician of slide." His instantly recognizable solos drove 'Foghat' to three platinum and eight gold records during their quarter century career. After many years of touring he settled in Wilton, New Hampshire in 1994. Many in town knew Price as a loving father who never missed his son's baseball, soccer or basketball games. In addition to his playing with FOGHAT, Price has worked with Champion Jack Dupree, Duster Bennett, Eddie Kirkland, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Willie Dixon and Honey Boy Edwards. Price's two solo CDs, "Open" and "West Four", allowed Rod to expand his quite capable songwriting abilities and showcase not only his incomparable slide work but his lead vocals and heartbreakingly beautiful acoustic abilities.
In recent years, Rod concentrated on his blues projects, cutting several CDs and giving private guitar lessons at his home. Liken to many American musical sensations, Price's music; considered Classic Rock by many Americans, will continue to bless even more with the sound of his music long after his death.

Bobby Short
September 15th 1924 ~ March 21st 2005

Living legend, pianist, husky baritone, nightclub entertainer Bobby Short, known for his interpretation of songs by 20th century composers such as Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Harold Arlen, Rodgers and Hart, Vernon Duke and George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin, has sadly died of leukemia at New York Presbyterian Hospital, aged 80.
Bobby Short
Robert Waltrip Short was born in Danville, IL, took an early interest in the family piano and was mainly self-taught. He busking, at 8 started playing in local roadhouses. Soon, he was performing at society parties in a white tuxedo. When he was only 11, July 1936, an agent took him to Chicago to perform in vaudeville and on radio. At 12 he moved to New York City, where he appeared at the Frolics Cafe in October and at La Grande Pomme, as well as at other clubs and theatres around the country. He returned to Danville in the summer of 1938 to attend to high school . After graduating in 1942 he went back to show, opening at the Capitol Lounge in Chicago that July, followed by engagements in Cleveland, Omaha, and Los Angeles. By the following year, he was working in Milwaukee and St. Louis, and in the spring of 1945 he was an opening act at the Blue Angel in New York City for four weeks. In 1952, Bobby spent a year in Europe, appearing at top clubs such as the Mars Club and Spivy's in Paris, and the Embassy Club in London. He returned to America to play the Black Orchid in Chicago, Café Gala in Los Angeles, Red Carpet Club and Beverly Club in New York City. He recorded a 10" album "Bobby Short Loves Cole Porter" and soon after his first full length LP "Songs By Bobby Short" . 1956 sees his his debut at Broadway in Kiss Me Kate and on November 14th 1957, Bobby returned to the Blue Angel, but this time as top of the bill, with a salary of 1,000 dollars a week, where he to play on and off until 1963. While rock and pop was becoming fashionable, Bobby struggled, but stayed true to his love of his genre music. He continued, touring, recording and playing the big clubs on both sides of the Atlantic until 1968, when he was offered a two-week stint at the Café Carlyle in New York City, to fill in for George Feyer. He was so popular , when Feyer's contract expired, the Carlyle hired him as a permanent replacement. For the next 37 years, Bobby became a huge part of the sophistication of New York, guesting on radio and TV shows, making films with the likes of Woody Allen, appeared on bill boards, TV advertising, Broadway and TV films; over the years he recorded dozens of records, nominated for three grammys, appeared with all the top jazz artists and stars, entertained 4 past US presidents ~ Nixon, Carter, Reagan and Clinton at The White House, written articles the The New York Times and The Saturday Review of Literature, lectured at Harvard University and New York's the New School and written 2 autobiographies, 'Black and White' and 'The Life and Times of a Saloon Singer'. In 2000 The Library of Congress designates Short a Living Legend, a recognition established as part of its bicentennial celebration. By 2004, at the age of 80, wanting to tour more, Bobby retired from the Cafe Carlyle making his final appearance on New Year's Eve, he agreed to appear at the club's 50th anniversary in May , but sadly Bobby didn't make the gig, he died of leukemia on March 21st 2005. The world has lost not only an amazing entertainer
but it also marks the end of an era of sophistication in New York that cannot ever be replaced.

Chris LeDoux

October 2nd 1948 ~ March 9th 2005
Chris LeDoux, singer/songwriter and rodeo champion and acclaimed sculpture, sadly passed March 9th at the age of 56. He had checked into the Casper Medical Center, Wyoming earlier this week following complications from ongoing treatment for cancer of the bile duct. He was surrounded by family and friends at the time of his death.
Chris LeDoux
Chris LeDoux was born Oct. 2, 1948, in Biloxi, Miss., and raised in Austin, Texas. His grandfather, who had served in the U.S. cavalry and fought against Pancho Villa, encouraged LeDoux to ride horses on his Wyoming farm. LeDoux attended high school in Cheyenne, Wyo., and while still at school, he twice won the state's bareback title. In 1967, after graduating, he won a rodeo scholarship and received a national title in his third year. In 1976, he became the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association's (PRCA) world champion in bareback riding. LeDoux has been playing guitar and harmonica and writing songs since his teens, and he used his musical ability as a means of paying his way from one rodeo to another. Since 1971, he has been recording songs about "real cowboys," and his albums combine his own compositions about rodeo life with old and new cowboy songs. He describes his music as "a combination of western soul, sagebrush blues, cowboy folk and rodeo rock 'n' roll." Charlie Daniels, Johnny Gimble and Janie Frickie are among the musicians who have appeared on his records, and Garth Brooks famously paid tribute to him in "Much Too Young (To Feel This Damn Old)." He and Brooks also teamed for the Top 10 hit, "Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy," in 1992. In October 2000, LeDoux was diagnosed with a liver disease, and successfully underwent a liver transplant. Within six months of the surgery, LeDoux was on tour again - throwing himself right back into the hard-driving, full-force stage shows he was known for. In 2003, he released the album Horsepower and celebrated career sales of more than 5 million albums. Late last year he was diagnosed with liver cancer and began undergoing radiation treatment. A devoted husband and doting father, LeDoux spent his time off the road with his family at their ranch in Kaycee, Wyoming.

Chris Curtis
August 26th 1941 ~ February 28th 2005
Chris Curtis (Crummey), original drummer of 1960s pop group The Searchers, has died at the age of 63 after a long illness. Named after the 1956 John Ford western, the Liverpool-based beat combo were formed in 1960 and sold millions of records in their heyday, being UK's top group at the time.
Chris Curtis
Chris, born Christopher Crummey, from Oldham, was part of the original line-up, which also included Mike Pender, Tony Jackson and John McNally. Original bassist Tony West said Curtis "was the epitome of the group itself, He contributed an awful lot to the vocals and the harmonies - his was the distinctive high voice. He was also a very good drummer. I will remember him as full of life and enthusiasm." The band's fortunes declined after Curtis' 1966 departure. In 1967, Chris reached number four in the UK with 'Let's Go To San Francisco', recorded under the alias of 'The Flowerpot Men'.
Now he wanted to go one step further and form another band. "Curtis was a very '60s man",Jon Lord recalls, "who had this very off-the-wall idea for the time. Namely, that he wanted himself and myself [Lord] to form the nucleus of a band, along with a dazzling new guitarist named Ritchie Blackmore, whom Curtis had recently unearthed". As Lord puts it, "[we] should be the center of the roundabout and other musicians could jump on and off the roundabout as they chose. It was 'a lovely, psychedelic sort of idea',"
~ so the band 'Roundabout' was formed ~ the band that went on to become Deep Purple,
but it was Chris who jumped off before the group hit the big time.
Chris appeared to have it all. He was gregarious and was friends with all the people who mattered in London. Lionel Bart. Brian Epstein. Alma Cogan. Dusty Springfield. Madeleine Bell. Vicki Wickham. Chris was one of the 'In Crowd'. He produced discs for Paul and Barry Ryan, Alma Cogan and others and some of his productions made their mark, but the big one proved elusive and eventually, when the money ran out, he returned to Liverpool and his family, and turned his back on the fickle world of showbusiness. After working for many years for the government as a civil servant his health began to deteriorate and he was forced into early retirement. He made a belated return to performing and recently sang with charity group The Merseycats.

Edward Patten
August 2nd 1939 ~ February 25th 2005
Edward Patten a member of Gladys Knight's Pips died early this morning (Feb. 25) at a suburban Detroit hospital, according to his cousin William Guest, another member of the group. Sadly he died at a hospital in Michigan from a stroke he suffered a few days before. He was 65.

Edward Patten, was born in Atlanta August 2nd 1939. Edward, known for his high tenor voice, joined his cousin's (Gladys Knight) group way back in 1959. He took over from Gladys' sister Brenda when she left to get married. The Pips was formed in the 1950s by gospel-singing family members, in the 50's the WHOLE of the group was known as the Pips. The name Pips came from yet another cousins name, Gladys' and Edwards cousin / manager James "Pips" Wood.1962's "Letter Full Of Tears" was the first single credited to Gladys Knight & The Pips. Edward stayed in the quartet till 1989. Between '64 & '66 the Pips did masses of studio and sessions jobs while Gladys had dropped out for 2 years when she too got married. After which they signed to Motown. In 1973 their Motown contract ended and they decided not to renew. The group moved Buddah Records in 1973, where they had their biggest hit, "Midnight Train to Georgia,". Throughout the 70's & 80's as we know they rentlessly toured and recorded and by 1989 The Pips had had enough of all the touring and Edward went into the Ice Cream business. Since then The Pips and Gladys re-united for specials to thrill people with their amazing sound. He was also one of the founders of Crew Records, based in Detroit and Atlanta, and sang backup for the label's recording artists. In 1996 Edward with The Pips and Gladys was inducted into the Rock 'n ' Roll Hall of Fa

Jewel 'Sammi' Smith
August 5th 1943 ~ February 18th 2005
Country singer Jewel (Sammi) Smith, 61, known for her trademark ballad, "Help Me Make It Through The Night", died Saturday after a long illness.
Jewel 'Sammi' Smith
Ms. Smith born August 5th in Orange, California won a Grammy for best female country vocal performance in 1971 for "Help Me Make It Through The Night," which was written by Kris Kristofferson. Ms. Smith produced her first hit, "So Long Charlie Brown," in 1967. Six years later, she moved to Dallas, where she joined the Outlaw Movement with Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings. Ms. Smith also celebrated her Native American heritage and was a frequent visitor to an Apache reservation in Arizona, where she made pottery and jewelry

Tyrone Davis
May 4th 1938 ~ February 9th 2005
Tyrone Davis, the 66 year old king of romantic Chicago soul and one of Chicago's best-loved R&B singers , has sadly passed away after a long illness. He is survived by his wife, Ann, numerous children and grandchildren.

Tyrone Davis was born May 4, 1938, in Greenville, MS; he spent most of his formative years in Saginaw, MI, and moved to Chicago in 1959, where he eventually found a job as a valet and chauffeur for bluesman Freddie King. He befriended the likes of Bobby "Blue" Bland, Little Milton, and Otis Clay, among others, and began to pursue his own singing career in the clubs on the city's West and South Sides. Singer/pianist Harold Burrage took Davis under his wing and helped him refine his craft, and the budding blues shouter got his first shot in 1965 on the Four Brothers label. His first single, "Suffer," was recorded under the name Tyrone the Wonder Boy and written and produced by Burrage, as was the follow-up "Good Company." Unfortunately, Burrage passed away in late 1966, and after one more single Davis moved on to cut one-offs for Sack and ABC. He found a home at Carl Davis' new label Dakar in 1968, when a Texas DJ flipped his first release over and started playing the B-side, "Can I Change My Mind." Showcasing Davis' lovelorn pleading to best effect, the song went all the way to number one on the R&B charts, and reached the pop Top Five as well For Soul followers, probably his career high point was reached with the album, and title track, 'In The Mood' in 1979. 'Are You Serious' followed in 1982. His following output was remarkable. He had suffered a stroke last September 2004 Tyrone was taken to the Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and sadly never regained consciousness. Tyrone has recorded over 50 hits.

Jimmy Smith
December 8th 1928 ~ February 8th 2005
Legendary unsurpassed master of Hammond B-3 organ player Jimmy Smith sadly died at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona, apparently of natural causes. He was 79.

Born in Norristown outside of Philadelphia on December 8, 1928. He was playing stride piano by fourteen and performing with his piano-playing father in a dance team during the early forties. Jimmy left school in the seventh grade to help his dad who was having knee problems. Although he liked school he never returned and at age fifteen joined the navy, coming out in 1947. Jimmy used the GI bill to attend the Ornstein's School of Music where he studied bass and piano. Jimmy didn't read music and remembers how he cleverly hid this fact from his teacher. "She would play a thing by Brahms, maybe a minuet or just a little waltz, and she would say, 'Now James, you think you can read this?' I'd say, 'Yes ma'am.' I hated for her to find out I was just doing it by ear. She'd say, 'James, are you sure you're reading music?'" In 1951, Jimmy joined Don Gardner's Sonotones playing R&B piano. Feeling confined, he began experimenting with the organ and went to see the then-reigning king, Wild Bill Davis, at the Harlem Club in New Jersey. "Bill had everything goin'. Bill had extra, booming stuff in his speakers. He had the best stuff in those days, '50, '54, man. When you went to hear Bill, you could hear him down two blocks." Jimmy's organ recordings with Don Gardner reveal his initial "Wild" Bill Davis influence. A distinct new era in Jazz organ history was underway. Jimmy Smith's new sound utilized the first three drawbars and the percussion feature of the Hammond B-3 model newly introduced in 1955. Jimmy cut the tremolo off and began playing horn lines with his right hand, having been inspired by players like Coleman Hawkins, Don Byas, and Arnett Cobb. "I copped my solos from horn players. I don't listen to keyboard players. I can't get what I want from keyboard players," Jimmy Smith became the organist everyone wanted to chase. Smith became forever linked to a new generation of listeners after the Beastie Boys sampled his "Root Down" for their track of the same name on the 1994 album "Ill Communication." The artist continued to record and tour in recent years, and recently completed an album with longtime friend Joey DeFrancesco, "Legacy," due next Tuesday via Concord. The pair were planning to begin a tour in support of the set Feb.16 [05] at Yoshi's in Oakland, Calif. "Jimmy was one of the greatest and most innovative musicians of our time," DeFrancesco said in a statement. "I love the man and I love the music. He was my idol, my mentor and my friend."

Keith Knudsen
February 18th 1948 ~ February 7th 2005
56 year old Keith Knudsen, the longtime Doobie Brothers drummer sadly died of pneumonia Monday Feb. 7. after being hospitalized for more than a month. He had a battle with cancer in 1995 from which he never really regained to his full strength.
Keith Knudsen
Keith Knudsen was born in LeMars, Iowa on February 18, 1948. The first music that he became interested in was Elvis, Johnny Burnett and the Everly Brothers. He began drumming in the 8th grade and joined the marching band in Jr. High School.. Then in 1963 he discovered the Beatles and was changed forever! His first real paying gig was at a country bar at age 14. During his last year of High School he played in Blues bands and really fell in love with the music of BB King, Otis Rush, Eric Clapton and Big Joe Williams. In 1969 he moved to San Francisco and played in the house band of a club called the Matrix for about six months, and then performed with the Blind Joe Mendlebaum Blues Band. During this time he ran into his future band mates. He actually met the Doobies in the studio while we were recording demos for Warner Brothers: but for the next 2 and a half years Keith joined up with the popular and talented Lee Michaels, and did three albums with Lee. Keith joined the Doobie Brothers in 1974. "After a week's rehearsal, I went on the road with the band," Knudsen said. He played with the Doobies until a 1982 farewell tour. During the band's pause, Knudsen and bandmate John McFee formed the country rock group Southern Pacific, which released four albums and had several hits. He rejoined the Doobies full-time in 1993. "He's going to be missed," said Tom Johnston, the band's founder. "We're going to miss him on drums. I'm going to miss him as a buddy."
Keith Knudsen is the fourth member of the Doobies to pass away, joining percussionist Bobby LaKind, bassist Dave Shogren and saxophonist Cornelius Bumpus.

Martyn Bennett
February 17th 1971 ~ January 30th 2005

The innovative, groundbreaking Scottish musician, Martyn Bennett, who dared and succeeded mixing the excitment of his bagpipes and fiddle with the dizziness of rave has lost a long brave battle with cancer. At only 33, this musical pioneer he leaves behind, his loving wife Kirsten, his mother and his father, who were beside him at his passing.
Martyn Bennett
Martyn Bennett was born to Scottish parents, born into a Gaelic speaking farm community in the Cordroy Valley, in Western Newfoundland, Canada, where he was first introduced to the old traditional music of the Celtic folk. At six, his parents divorced and he went with his mother, who was a folk singer, when she returned to Scotland, settling in Kingussie, Speyside. It is here where his history teacher, David Taylor, introduced him to the Great Highland bagpipes, which he immediately fell in love with and had a feeling of instant rapport. Martyn also had a big interest in the folk scene and by the time he was 12, he was winning prizes in junior piping competitions all around Scotland, playing in pubs and appearing in festivals, where he had the privilege at this young age to met with the Gaelic singers, the bards, the Romany gypsies, the story tellers and many great folk artists. At 15, he moved to Edinburgh with his mother, where he won a scholarship at the Edinburgh City School of Music. It is here he met and worked with other highly motivated musicians of his own age and he learnt composition, violin, piano and learned to read and write music. After 3 years he gained a place Royal Scottish Academy of Music & Drama to study performance on the violin and piano under the careful and watchful eye of Miles Baster. While being surrounded by classical music, working hard on his violin by day, Martyn kept up with his Celtic and folk music by performing in the pubs by night. Amazingly in the whole 4 years he attended the academy, no-one ever knew he was a bagpipe player. In 1993, just before graduating, he was diagnosed with testicular cancer. After medical treatment, in 1994, he spent more time with his first musical love .. folk and traditional. Martyn began experimenting in the field of free-jazz and fusion and he started to experiment with electronica. He was also enjoying a new found sound, the modern dance music, inspired by this rave scene, he started playing his fiddle and bagpipes over programmed dance beats. Then in 1996, he released his first self-titled album followed in 1998 by "Bothy Culture". Martyn and his band did many international tours in Europe, USA and Canada, he performed at the world premiere party for the film Braveheart, he played for Tanzanian president on his visit to Scotland, he started composing theatre music, but in 2000, a few months after headlining the Cambridge Folk Festival, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma. He underwent intense chemo and radiotherapy and several major operations. Deverstated and frightened of his future at one point he destroyed all his beloved instruments. Martyn had moved to Mull in 1999, which now with the love of his wife and a solitude with nature helped him back for two more alblums "Glen Lyon" and his final album "Grit" ... Grit, sees a dramatic change in his sound, he sampled the voices of the Scottish travellers and bards of the 1950s, building a sound collage around them to extraordinary effect. He recorded this last album struggling with his daunting disease, he had become too weak to play his instruments, he had to rely on samples and synthesizers in order to keep creating the music, bravely he finish an amazing album. The album "Mackay's Memoirs" featuring Martyn's compositions was recorded by Broughton High School the morning after his death, all involved only heard about his death after they'd finishedthe rcording. Sadly Martyn recieved little media recognition of his ground breaking music in his lifetime, but his innovative work mixing his own exciting bagpipe and fiddle playing with dizziness of rave, hardcore techno and dance beats, broke into new territory and like Martyn, it is forever in the history of music.

David Lerchey
1938 ~ January 29th 2005
David Lerchey, a founding member of one of the first integrated rock and roll acts, the Del Vikings, sadly died Saturday January 29th at a veterans hospital, HALLANDALE, Fla.. 67 year old Dave had been suffering from cancer and pulmonary problems. He is survived by his wife Linda, two sons and a stepdaughter.
David Lerchey
The Del Vikings were formed by five airmen in 1955 at an Air Force in Pittsburgh, said Harvey Robbins, founder of the Doo-Wopp Hall of Fame of America. Three members were black, Lerchey was one of two white members. "David Lerchey was a wonderful singer, he was a courageous individual, he certainly carried himself on the stage with dignity and pride," Robbins said. Lerchey sang baritone and tenor. The Del Vikings appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" in 1957, Robbins said, the same year they had two No. 1 hits: "Whispering Bells" and "Come Go With Me." Other Del Vikings hits included "Cool Shake," "A Sunday Kind of Love," "Summertime" and "Bring Back Your Heart." The group was inducted into the Doo-Wopp Hall of Fame in 2003. Lerchey gave his final performance last summer in a concerned organized by the Hall of Fame at Foxwoods Casino in Connecticut. He sang with the other known surviving group member, Norman Wright, who continues performing as the Del Vikings with his sons. "We all knew that David was struggling over the last several years, and yet when he hit the stage his spirit was still as it was as a teenager," Robbins said.

Eric Griffiths
October 31st 1940 ~ January 29th 2005

Eric Griffiths, a founder member of The Quarrymen who was diagnosed with cancer last November (04), sadly died at his home in Edinburgh, Scotland, Saturday January 29th. He is survived by his wife of 40 years and three sons. He was 64.

Eric was originally from Denbigh, North Wales, but had moved with his parents to Woolton, Liverpool, aged 10. Eric and John Lennon met while attending Quarry Bank High School in Liverpool in the 1950s. Both were fans of rock and roll music but getting fed up with their basic guitar lessons. When Lennon's mother Julia taught the two how to play banjo chords, they were inspired and invited a few other school friends to form a band which they called The Black Jacks, but later changed it to refer to the school they attended - hence The Quarrymen. In 1957, Lennon later invited another schoolboy, Paul McCartney, to join the group. As the Quarrymen became more driven toward becoming a serious rock 'n' roll band, the original schoolmate members - who had joined the group primarily for fun - slowly dropped out, including Griffiths. Eric left the group in 1958, around the time The Quarrymen picked up another guitarist, George Harrison. The band became The Beatles in 1960. July 6th 1997 saw Griffiths reunited with the original Quarrymen [minus Lennon] for a 40th year anniversary party " The Day John Met Paul" at St. Peter's Church in Woolton. Eric (guitar), Colin Hanton (drums), Len Garry (lead vocals, guitar), Pete Shotton (washboard, tea-chest bass) and Rod Davis (guitar) made up the band, the same line up as when Lennon first met McCartney on 6 July 1957 at the Garden Fete, St. Peter's Church in Woolton.The reunited band went on to perform in Europe, North America and Japan . The band cut an album, "The Songs We Remember", at the Liverpool Beatles Convention August 2004. His death came just two weeks after the release of that first major-label album under the Quarrymen name. Although a little fame came late to him, Eric had always been very proud of being one of the original Quarrymen, the band that evolved into the Beatles.

Jim Capaldi
August 2nd 1944 ~ January 28th 2005

Legendary rock drummer / multi musician / singer songwriter Jim Capaldi has sadly died after a brief fight with stomach cancer. 60 year old Jim died peacefully in his sleep with his wife and family at his bed side in the early hours of January 28th.
Jim Capaldi
Jim Capaldi born August 22nd, 1944 in the UK was of Italian decent . His father Nick an accomplished accordionist, had a regular show broadcast on Radio Luxembourg in it's early days and his mother Maria sang with a touring troupe and recorded early 78 rpm records. They lived and breathed music, Jim was born with music already in his blood. He formed his first band at the age of fourteen and was soon recording for Pye records with the Hellions. His next band was Deep Feeling which he shared with fellow 'Traffic' founder Dave Mason & 'Family' founding member Poli Palmer. The idea of Traffic was born while jamming late into the night with other bands in Birmingham after gigs. Capaldi was a member of Traffic in their two incarnations, from 1967 to 1968 and from 1970 to 1974. He and Steve Winwood wrote the lyrics of most of Traffic's best-known songs. Capaldi recorded his debut solo album, 'Oh How We Danced', during a gap in the band's career in 1972, and scored a U.S. singles chart entry with "Eve." He turned solo full-time when Traffic split in '74 and earned world respect in his own right with hits such as "Love Hurts", "Its Alright". The Hollies had had eleven album multi- platinums & Jim had enjoyed eleven solo albums, when in 1994 Traffic reformed for a for a very successful tour and released a further album. As a songwriter Jim Capaldi enjoyed being a five time winner of either BMI or ASCAP awards, in respect of most played compositions in America, he has been sought after for many projects. One being The Eagles return; having written their massive radio cut "Love Will Keep Us Alive". On March 2004 Capaldi was inducted with Traffic into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, just five months before being diagnosed with terminal cancer. A re-union Traffic Tour had to be cancelled last August due to Capaldi suffering what at the time was described only as a "severe gastric ulcer." Jim's last Solo Album was released in 2001 'Living On The Outside'

Ray Peterson
April 23rd 1939 ~ January 25th 2005

Sadly singer Ray Peterson has died of cancer at the age of 65. He is survived by his wife, Claudia, and seven children.

Peterson was born in Denton, Texas, and as a child contracted poliomyelitis in an epidemic that killed several classmates. In hospital, he sang to entertain fellow patients, and after being discharged with braces on both legs, he was set on a career in music. In 1957, he moved to Los Angeles, where talent agent Stan Shulman found him a recording contract with RCA Records. Peterson's musical hero was black vocalist Jesse Belvin, and his first recording was a version of Fever, a recent hit for rhythm and blues singer Little Willie John. Peterson's own first minor hit was 'The Wonder Of You', composed by Baker Knight and later recorded by Elvis Presley. Then came 'Tell Laura I love Her', written by Jeff Barry and Ben Raleigh; it reached the Top 10 in 1960 and inspired an "answer" song, 'Tell Tommy I Miss Him', recorded by Marilyn Michaels. Laura's macabre theme had led to it being banned by a few US radio stations, but in Britain it inspired moral panic after an extract was broadcast on BBC television news. So great was the furore that Decca Records cancelled plans to release Peterson's disc, declaring it to be "too tasteless and vulgar for the English sensibility", and scrapping the 25,000 copies it had already pressed. Meanwhile EMI cut a new version of the song with an unknown Ricky Valance. It became a No 1 hit even though the BBC Light Programme declined to play it, citing a recent spate of fatal motor racing accidents. In 1961, Peterson and Shulman created their own record company, Dunes. They hired the then almost unknown Phil Spector as a producer. He gave a Latin tinge to Peterson's second and final Top 10 hit, the traditional ballad 'Corrina, Corrina', and produced Dunes' only other big success, Pretty Little Angel Eyes, by Curtis Lee, a singer discovered by Peterson in Arizona. In the 1970s, he moved to country music, recording the album Peterson Country. He later became a Baptist minister, but continued to perform on the growing oldies circuit, alongside Connie Francis and other 1960s stars.

Spencer Dryden
April 7th 1938 ~ January 10th 2005
Jefferson Airplane drummer and Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee, Spencer Dryden, passed away at his home in Penngrove, California on Monday, January 10th after a brief battle with colon cancer. He was 66. He is survived by his son Jes from his marriage to Sally Mann, Jackson from his relationship with Kathy Miller, and Jeffrey from his marriage to Jeannie Davis, along with his mother Alice Judd , sisters Ginny Ramsdell and Marillyn Morris and 5 grandchildren, Aaron, Lauren, Christen, Meagan, and Jessica.
Spencer Dryden
Nephew of the great Charlie Chaplin, Spencer was born in Manhattan, New York in 1938 to English actor, Wheeler Dryden, and Radio City Music Hall prima ballerina, Alice Chapple. The family moved to Los Angeles a year later, where Wheeler Dryden went to work as an assistant director for Chaplin. Spencer grew up honing his drumming skills on the Los Angeles jazz circuit, playing with such notables as Charles Lloyd, Bobby Hutcherson and Paul Bley. In 1956, Spencer joined his first rock band, The Heartbeats, which featured guitar legend Roy Buchanan. Ten years later, he would join Jefferson Airplane. Jefferson Airplane was the sound of a generation. More than just the most successful and influential rock band to emerge from San Francisco during the 1960s, they personified the cutting edge of the decade's counterculture. The Airplane didn't just dominate American popular music and culture at the peak of the '60s, they transformed it. Their 1967 smash hits "Somebody to Love" and "White Rabbit" provided the soundtrack to the Summer of Love, virtually inventing the era's signature pulsating psychedelic music. They were the only band to play all three of the landmark rock festivals of the sixties: Monterey Pop, Woodstock, and Altamont. After leaving the group in 1970, Spencer continued his musical career with The New Riders of the Purple Sage in the seventies, and throughout the eighties with San Francisco super group, Dinosaurs, which also featured Barry Melton of Country Joe & The Fish, John Cipollina of Quicksilver Messenger Service, Peter Albin of Big Brother & The Holding Company, Robert Hunter of The Grateful Dead, and Merl Saunders of the Saunders-Garcia band. 1996 Along with the other members of Jefferson Airplane, Spencer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In recent years Spencer had been besieged by bad luck, a hip replacement that didn't take well left him permanently disabled. In September 2003, fire destroyed his home and all of his possessions and memorabilia. Three weeks after the fire, he suffered a heart attack and was told that he needed cardiac surgery. Friends and family worked tirelessly throughout 2004, to raise the funds needed for the procedure. A week before he was set to have it performed, he was diagnosed with cancer. His battle with the disease lasted only three months. Even throughout this difficult period, Spencer managed to maintain the humor and wit that so many people will remember him for. In a December interview, he jokingly remarked, "Well, at least I know how much I'm worth," when speaking in regards to the seven-figure medical debt he had managed to accumulate in two-months' time.

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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.

If you have a special request ~ please email me