A Phil Brodie Band Muso Page
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2008
MEMORIALS
" Let us remember the great talent each possessed "


Freddie Hubbard
April 7th 1938 ~ December 29th 2008

70 year old Grammy award winning jazz musician Freddie Hubbard, whose style influenced a generation of trumpet players has died in the at Sherman Oaks Hospital, a month after suffering a heart attack. He had been hospitalized since suffering the heart attack a day before Thanksgiving and leaves behind his wife, Briggie and his son, Duane.

Born Frederick Dewayne Hubbard, he started playing the mellophone and trumpet in his school band, studying at the Jordan Conservatory with the principal trumpeter of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. In 1958, at the age of 20, he moved to New York, and began playing with musicians such as Philly Joe Jones, Sonny Rollins, Slide Hampton, Eric Dolphy , J. J. Johnson and Quincy Jones. In June 1960 he made his first record as a leader, 'Open Sesame', with saxophone player Tina Brooks, pianist McCoy Tyner, bassist Sam Jones, and Clifford Jarvis on drums. The 60s sees Freddie as a sideman on some of the most important albums from that era, including, Oliver Nelson's 'The Blues and the Abstract Truth', Herbie Hancock's 'Maiden Voyage', and Wayne Shorter's 'Speak No Evil'. He also recorded extensively for Blue Note Records, eight albums as a bandleader, and twenty-eight as a sideman. He had further success in the 1970s with a series of albums for Creed Taylor and his record label CTI Records, his early 1970s jazz albums Red Clay, First Light, Straight Life, and Sky Dive were particularly well received and considered among his best work. "First Light" won him a 1972 Grammy Award and included pianists Herbie Hancock and Richard Wyands, guitarists Eric Gale and George Benson, bassist Ron Carter, drummer Jack DeJohnette, and percussionist Airto Moreira. The 1980s sees Freddie again leading his own jazz group, playing at concerts and festivals in the USA and Europe, often in the company of Joe Henderson. He played at the legendary Monterey Jazz Festival in 1980 and in 1989. In 1985 he recorded and played with Woody Shaw, and two years later recorded Stardust with Benny Golson. In 1988 he teamed up once more with Blakey at an engagement in Holland, from which came Feel the Wind. In 1990 he appeared in Japan headlining an American-Japanese concert, he also performed at the Warsaw Jazz Festival at which Live at the Warsaw Jazz Festival. In 2006, The National Endowment for the Arts honored Freddie Hubbard with its highest honor in jazz, the NEA Jazz Masters Award.

Delaney Bramlett
July 1st 1939 ~ December 27th 2008

Singer-songwriter, producer and guitarist Delaney Bramlett has sadly passed away. The 68 year old icon, who worked with John Lennon, Jerry Lee Lewis, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and so many more died in the arms of his wife, due to complications of gall bladder surgery. He is survived by his widow Susan Lanier-Bramlett, his three daughters, Suzanne, Michele, and Bekka Bramlett and his son, Dylan Thomas.
Delaney Bramlett
Delaney Bramlett was born in Pontotoc, Mississippi, but he moved to Los Angeles, California in the mid 50's after his few years in the United States Navy. In the mid 60's he became a regular on the U.S. television show Shindig! as member of the show's house band, the the Shin-diggers, later renamed the Shindogs, along side a young Glen Campbell, Joey Cooper, Billy Preston, James Burton, and pianist Leon Russell. He also worked with J.J. Cale and Leon Russell on their own material. In 1967, Delaney, his wife Bonnie and Leon Russell formed the band Delaney & Bonnie and Friends with often featured other gust artists. Eric Clapton took them on tour in mid-1969 as the opening act for his band Blind Faith. Clapton became fast friends with Delaney, Bonnie and their band, preferring their music to Blind Faith's; he would often appear on stage with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends during this period, and continued to record and tour with them following Blind Faith's August 1969 breakup. Eric asked Delaney and Bonnie and their band to back him on his debut solo album of which Delaney produced and also co-wrote many of the songs. Eric has often said "Delaney taught me everything I know about singing," and George Harrison had his first slide bottle placed in his hand by Delaney, who taught George how to play slide guitar, which led into a gospel jam that resulted in Harrison's hit "My Sweet Lord".
He produced an assortment of artists, such as Etta James, Elvin Bishop, John Hammond, Dorothy Morrison and The Staple Singers. He also wrote, recorded, or appeared on stage with many notable performers, including Joe Cocker, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Rita Coolidge, Dave Mason, Billy Preston, John Lennon, The Everly Brothers, Spooner Oldham, Dr. John, George Harrison, Gram Parsons, Steve Cropper, Billy Burnette, Mac Davis, Dennis Morgan, and his own daughter, Bekka Bramlett. In 2006 he was one of the duet artists on the Jerry Lee Lewis album Last Man Standing, singing and playing guitar on "Lost Highway". As well as his countless guest and session appearences, over a 40 year span, he recorded 17 albums as Delaney & Bonnie and solo, his last being a solo album, A New Kind of Blues, which was released in early 2008.


Mitch Mitchell
July 9th 1947 – November 12th 2008
Mitch Mitchell, UK drummer of the legendary Jimi Hendrix Experience, the last surviving member of the power trio which proved one of the most influential bands in the history of rock music, has unexpectedly died at the age of 61. He had just finished an eighteen city, coast to coast tour across American, and was due to fly back home to the UK on Nov 12th, but was found dead that morning in his hotel bedroom at Portland, Oregon, USA. Officals report that he had died from natural causes. He is survived by his wife Dee, and one daughter.
John "Mitch" Mitchell
John "Mitch" Mitchell was born in Ealing, west of London; he started life in show business as a child actor on the TV series "Jennings At School". His love and lust for jazz and pop music drove him to become a musician. Mitch's main influences in music were Max Roach and Elvin Jones, teaching himself on the drums, he mixed jazz and rock styles, which later become known as “fusion”, of which he was a pioneer. In the early days he found work as a session player and worked with groups such as Johnny Harris and the Shades, the Pretty Things and the Riot Squadand in 1965 he began playing with Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames. It was in 1966 when he got a phone call from Chas Chandler asking him if he was interested in playing with a guitarist, singer song-writer he had brought over from America called Jimi. He met up with "this guy in a burberry raincoat" in what he described as a "sleazy little club" and soon after with Noel Redding on bass guitar, one of the most influential bands in the history of rock music was born, The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Almost immediately after their first rehersal on October 6th 1966, they were touring France, warming up for Johnny Hallyday. Their debut single "Hey Joe" charted in the UK. Mitch's playing not only provided a rhythmic support for the music, but also a source of momentum and melody. He made heavy use of snare rudiments, fast single and double stroke rolls, and jazz triplet patterns in his playing, and shifted between both traditional and matched grips. "Hey Joe" was a fine example of his style which included the rudiment-heavy fills which help to carry the song through a series increasingly intense crescendos. Mitch with Jimi Hendrix recorded on the albums Are You Experienced?, Bold As Love, Electric Ladyland, The Cry Of Love, Rainbow Bridge, War Heroes and the relivant hit singles, and played with Hendrix at all the big festivals including Montery, Woodstock and the Isle of Wight festival. During a tour of the United States they had given 54 concerts in the space of only 47 days, and the band split up in 1969. Mitch did some work with Martha Velez, and played on her Fiends and Angels album, but Mitch still worked a lot with Jimi, in 1970 he had been offered the drum spot with ELP, but he turned it down to play with Band of Gypsies. After Jimi's untimely tragic death, Mitch formed a band Ramatam, cutting 2 albums "Ramatam" and "In April Came the Dawning of the Red Suns". Over the following years Mitch has had steady work as a session musician, touring, gusting and recording with the likes of Junior Brown, Greg Parker, Bruce Cameron, Roger Chapman, Billy Cox, Buddy Miles, Jack Bruce, and played live shows with the Hendrix emulator Randy Hansen. More recently, he was part of the Gypsy Sun Experience, along with former Hendrix bassist Billy Cox and guitarist Gary Serkin. His final tour was in the US celebrating the music and legacy of Jimi Hendrix on the 2008 Experience Hendrix Tour, the music he loved. Also featuring in the tour were Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Eric Johnson, Cesar Rosas, David Hidalgo, Brad Whitford, Hubert Sumlin, Chris Layton, Eric Gales and Mato Nanji. This legendary pioneer drummer has given so much to the generations that followed him and will be sadly missed.

Jimmy Carl Black
February 1st 1938 ~ November 1st 2008

Drummer, sometimes lead vocalist, the Indian of the group, who discovered Frank Zappa and drummed with Captain Beefheart has sadly died at the age of 70. Diagnosed this August with lung cancer, he leaves behind his second wife Monika, having tragically lost his first wife in the 90's, his three sons and two daughters.
Jimmy Carl Black
Born James Inkanish, Jr. Jimmy spent his childhood in El Paso, Texas, he was of Cheyenne heritage. He recorded his first single in 1962 with a band called "The Keys" in Wichita, Kansas. He moved to California in 1964 where he met Roy Estrada and Ray Collins and started the band called "The Soul Giants", playing rock 'n' roll covers at local clubs, performing 3 to 5 sets a night. In 1964 he auditioned Frank Zappa for lead guitar position in his band. Frank soon pursuaded Jimmy to stop the covers and try out Franks compositions. The idea was to create an image of the band as the ultimate set of freaks, to cash in on the peace and love hippie era. They changed the band's name to the Mothers of Invention and in 1965 released the first double album in rock history. Frank Zappa exploited the eccentric character of Jimmy, the Cheyenne Indian musician, knowing that Jimmy's personality was unsual for rockers of that era. It was the Mothers of Invention's 3rd album "We're Only in It for the Money" which gave Jimmy his trademark line, when he ad libbed "Hi Boys and Girls, I'm Jimmy Carl Black, and I'm the Indian of the group". Jimmy and Frank released a full-length film, 200 Motels, in which Jimmy was prominently featured in what came to be one of his signature songs, "Lonesome Cowboy Burt". The Mother's played with all the top stars including Jimmy Hendrix, Janis Joplin,The Doors, Howling Wolf, B.B. King, The Greatful Dead, The Jefferson Airplane, Cream and many more. After Zappa went solo, Jimmy, formed the rock-blues band Geronimo Black, writing several classic native American protest tunes for the band's debut album. Other groups he played in were Captain Glasspack and the Magic Mufflers and Big Sonny and the Lo Boys, and in 1975, he joined the rock legend Captain Beefheart as one of a set of double drummers. The 80's see's him founding The Grandmothers making the album A Mother Of An Anthology and also working with Arthur Brown. He moved to Europe in the 90's continuing to tour and record with his band The Grandmothers. In l995 Jimmy started a 2nd band, a blues band called "The Farrell & Black Band" , recording 2 albums over the next 5 years. Also that year he started playing with a Liverpool (UK) band, called the Muffin Men. Over the years he did six tours with them as a lead singer, the last one in 2007.
Jimmy was told by his doctor in October 2001 that he had a weak case of Leukima. Driven by his love and thirst for music he continued recording and touring with his different bands and in 2002 he reunited with Roy Estrada after a long 32 years to record the album "Hamburger Midnight" An autobiographical audio production by Jimmy was recorded in 2007, called The Jimmy Carl Black Story. Then tragically Jimmy was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2008. A benefit will be held on Nov 9th 2008 at the Bridgehouse II in London.

Levi Stubbs
June 6th 1936 ~ October 17th 2008
Former lead vocalist of the Four Tops, Levi Stubbs, one of the most profound lead vocalist in American history has died at his Detroit home at the age of 70. He had suffered a series of strokes and had been battling with cancer for a number of years prior to today's tragic news. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Clineice, five children, and 11 grandchildren.
Levi Stubbs
Born Levi Stubbles in Detroit, he formed a doo-wop quartet with his friends Abdul 'Duke' Fakir, Renaldo 'Obie' Benson and Lawrence Payton in 1954. In 1953 Levi, then a student at Pershing High School in Detroit, and his friend Abdul Fakir, known as Duke, attended a birthday party, it was here where he met Renaldo 'Obie' Benson and Lawrence Payton, both students from Northern High School, together the four students formed a vocal group called the Four Aims. To avoid confusion with a group known as The Ames Brothers, they changed their name to the Four Tops in 1954. They went from strength to strength from backing up Jazz musicians like Count Basie to singing R&B, recording for Chess, Red Top and Riverside Studios before signing up to Motown in 1963. Their first substantial hit, the first of many with Motown, was "Baby, I Need Your Loving" in July 1964. This was followed by many more memorable hits including "I Can't Help Myself", "It's the Same Old Song", "Something About You", "Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)", "Loving You Is Sweeter than Ever", "Reach Out, I'll Be There", "Standing in the Shadows of Love", "Bernadette", "7 Rooms of Gloom" and "You Keep Running Away". The Tops last R&B Top Ten on Motown, was "(It's the Way) Nature Planned It". Levi had been offered a solo career, but chose to stay loyal to his friends, his fellow group members and when Motown closed the Detoit studios and moved to Los Angeles in 1972, Levi and the Tops stayed behind in Detroit. They were soon enjoying a long string of hits for ABC Records, Dunhill Records and MCA Records, these included "Keeper of the Castle", the gold-selling "Ain't No Woman (Like the One I Got)", "Are You Man Enough", "Sweet Understanding Love", "One Chain Don't Make No Prison", the hit theme for Shaft in Africa, “Are You Man Enough", "Catfish"and "Midnight Flower". They moved to the Casablanca Label, now PolyGram for their R&B number one "When She Was My Girl". Between 1964 and 1988 they had a staggering 45 top 100 singles, plus all the *original members* performed up to 200 times a year together well into the 90s. Levi stepped down from his role in 2000 after he was diagnosed with cancer. He later suffered a stroke, and had been in poor health ever since. In the movies, Levi also made a lasting impression, as the voice of the man-eating plant, Audrey II, in “Little Shop of Horrors” and singing the memorable “Mean Green Mother From Outer Space.”. Levi was also the voice of Mother Brain, an evil character on the cartoon show “Captain N: The Game Master,” from 1989 to 1991. This mighty icon and legend will be so sadly missed.


Norman Whitfield
May 12th 1940 ~ September 16th 2008

American songwriter and producer, best known for his work with the Motown label and bringing the sub-genre of psychedelic soul to Motown has died at the age of 65. He had been fighting against diabetes and other ailments for some years, but has sadly lost the battle.

Norman Whitfield was born in Harlem, he used to earn a living as a hotshot pool player, before becoming a junior at Hitsville, in Detroit. He watched and learnt, seeing how everything worked. After writing hits for Marvin Gaye, the Marvelettes and the Velvelettes and after the success of Ain't Too Proud to Beg, he gained control of the Temptations from Smokey Robinson. Strongly influenced by Sly and the Family Stone and the Holland-Dozier-Holland team gone, Norman took Marvin Gaye, Edwin Star, but mainly his Temptations, into rockier territory with hard-hitting songs, driving rhythms, wailing guitars and ominous string arrangements.
The first Temptations single to feature his new "psychedelic soul" style was "Cloud Nine" in late 1968, it earned Motown its first Grammy award for Best Rhythm & Blues Performance by a Duo or Group. He co-wrote and/ or produced many funkier hits for the label, including "Heard It Through the Grapevine," "I Can't Get Next to You," "Cloud Nine," "Ball of Confusion," "Just My Imagination," "War," the Grammy-winning "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone" and many others. His most frequent collaborator during this era was lyricist Barrett Strong. At the same time other Motown artists would record his songs entirely differently. This is how he worked, exploring many sounds and trying out funk and psychedelic experiments on his productions. Norman left Motown in 1973 and set up Whitfield Records, where he found chart success Rose Royce, who were originally Eddwin Starr's backing group and Norman won a Grammy Award in 1976 for his work on the "Car Wash" film soundtrack. He had retired from music by the late '80s, only to resurface in 2005 when he pleaded guilty to settle a tax-evasion case. The final months of this innovator were spent in
at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where he was undergoing treatment for his diabetes and other ailments.


Richard "Rick" Wright
July 28th 1943 ~ September 15th 2008

English pianist, keyboardist, vocalist and songwriter, Rick Wright, best known for his vast work with the legendary Pink Floyd has sadly died of cancer, aged 65. He leaves behind his son James and daughter Gala from his first marraige and his son Ben, from his third marraige.
Richard Wright
British multi-musician, Richard grew up in Hatch End, North London and is best known for his long career with Pink Floyd. Although he wasn't really credited as a singer, he frequently sang background and occasionally lead vocals onstage and in the studio with Pink Floyd most notably on "Time", "Echoes", "Matilda Mother", and "Astronomy Domine", as well as notable harmonies on "Chapter 24" and "The Scarecrow". Examples of his early compositions include "Remember a Day", "See-Saw", "Paint Box" and "It Would Be So Nice". He also wrote significant parts of the music for classic albums such as Meddle, The Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, as well as for Pink Floyd's final studio album The Division Bell. His instrumental compositions include "Cirrus Minor", "Interstellar Overdrive", "A Saucerful of Secrets", "Careful with That Axe, Eugene", "One of These Days" and to musical themes for film scores. During 1984, he formed a new duo with Dave Harris called Zee and released only one album, Identity, with EMI. In 1996, inspired by his successful input into The Division Bell, he released his second solo album, Broken China. On July 2nd 2005, Richard, Gilmour and Mason were joined by Waters on stage for the first time since the Wall concerts for a short set at the Live 8 concert in London. Richard contributed keyboards and background vocals to Gilmour's solo album, On an Island, and performed with Gilmour's touring band for over two dozen shows in Europe and North America in 2006. His final vocal performance took place at "The Madcaps Last Laugh" a tribute concert in London on May 10th 2007 organised by Joe Boyd in the memory of Syd Barrett who had died the previous July. Boyd rounded up many musical guests all paying their tributes to Syd including Captain Sensible, Chrissie Hynde, Damon Albarn, Kevin Ayers, Kate McGarrigle with Martha Wainwright and Lily Lankin, Mike Heron, Nick Laird Clowes, Vashti Bunyan, Robyn Hitchcock and performing solo, Roger Waters. His final live performance was as part of David Gilmour's band at the premiere of Gilmour's concert DVD Remember That Night on September 6th 2007, at the Odeon Leicester Square, London.

Richard "Popcorn" Wylie
June 6th 1939 ~ September 9th 2008

Legenary pianist, producer,
band director and songwriter, Popcorn Wylie has unexpectedly died at the age of 69. The one time Motown musician was sadly found dead at his home in Detroit by a family member. He had been battling congestive heart disease for five years since he lost his wife. He leaves behind a loving family.
photo of Richard"Popcorn" Wylie with courtesy of  The Motown Alumni Assocaition
Detroit native, Richard "Popcorn" Wylie was born into a musical family, learning the piano at a very young age. It was when he was at high school that he formed his first band with his fellow school friends James Jamerson on the upright bass and Clifford Mack on the drums, the three were dedicated musicians, and had a huge love of jazz. They soon became a popular band at parties, weddings, colleges functions and night spots around Detroit. Popcorn's band gradually evolved into Popcorn and the Mohawks. In 1960 Popcorn signed with the Northern label to record his debut single, "Pretty Girl" before signing with the Tambla Motown Label. At this stage Popcorn and The Mohawks consisted of Richard "Popcorn" Wylie playing piano, James Jamerson grooving on his upright bass, Eddie Willis on guitar, Robert Finch on drums, Andrew "Mike" Terry playing the sax, and Norman Whitfield on the tambourines. While with Motown, Popcorn and The Mohawks released "Shimmy Gully," one of the earliest Motown releases, "Money (That's What I Want)" and "Real Good Lovin'.". His piano work was also featured in the Miracles' "Shop Around" and the Marvelettes' "Please Mr. Postman" , he also served as the bandleader for the first Motown Revue tours. Popcorn left Motown in 1962 for a solo career signing with Epic records releasing 4 singles over 2 years. In 1964 he freelanced as a songwriter, producer, and session player for SonBert and Ric-Tic label, after which in 1966 he formed his own labels, Pameline and Soulhawk, as well as writing and producing dozens of singles for Ed Wingate's Golden World labels. Popcorn returned to his own recording career in 1968 at the Karen Label, releasing "Rosemary, What Happened?" and "Move Over Babe (Here Comes Henry. In 1971 he briefly signed with Motown again to record the now classic "Funky Rubber Band" which wasn't released until 1975. 1974 saw Popcorn's last headlining singles, an excellent collection of songs written by himself and Lamont Dozier, including "ESP", "Lost Time", "I Can Take The World On With You", "Both Ends Against The Middle", and "Singing About You And Me". and "Georgia's After Hours". From then on he dedicated his time to session work, song writing and production, becoming one of Detroit's most respected men in music.. He will be sadly missed by friends and fans, as will his vast experience in the music business, but his many influences and his music will play on.



Claire Frances
August 21st 1946 ~ July 25th 2008

Claire Frances Stroface, lead singer and music producer of North Weymouth, has sadly died following a long illness. 61 year old Claire leaves behind, sister Debbie, brother George, and many loving friends and fellow women musicians. Tributes in her honor may be sent to Oxfam (Boston, MA) or Ladyslipper Music (Durham, NC).
Claire Frances Stroface
A native New Yorker, Claire’s lifelong musical career began in high school on Long Island when she produced and fronted an all-girl doo-wop group. After moving to Massachusetts, she sang with a number of female rock bands throughout the 70s and 80s, such as Lilith, Liberty Standing, The Ina Ray Band, and Trans-Sister. Claire also handled their stage production, musical arrangements, business management, and studio production, as well as contributing original songs.
Her bands headlined at the Paradise in Boston, the Peppermint Lounge in New York, and many New England clubs and events. In addition, she was a studio producer for Lizzie Borden and the Axesand, and did live concert production for acts including Holly Near and Cris Williamson. In recent years Claire worked tirelessly for Oxfam America, but still remained active in the entertainment field as a popular mobile DJ.
A brief memorial service will be held in Provincetown on Saturday, September 13th 2008, at the Unitarian church on Commercial Street at 2PM. There'll be live and pre-recorded music, and whoever would like to share a story, a memory, an image recalled, or any thoughts of Claire is most welcome to do so. Then her ashes will be committed, along with her favorite M 'n Ms, to the ocean, and her soul will return to the universe, where we wish she may find peace, love, and rock 'n roll for all eternity.


Bo Diddley
December 30th 1928 ~ June 2nd 2008

Cited as a key figure in the transition from blues to rock and roll, the musician who introduced more insistent, driving rhythms and a hard-edged guitar sound into his music, the legendary Bo Diddley has sadly died of heart failure at his home in Archer, Florida at he age of 79. His survivors included his 4 children, Evelyn Kelly, Ellas A. McDaniel, Tammi D. McDaniel, and Terri Lynn McDaniel; 15 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren and 3 great-great-grandchildren; and a brother.
Bo Diddley
Born in McComb, Mississippi, USA as Ellas Otha Bates, Bo was adopted and raised by his mother's cousin, Gussie McDaniel, whose surname he assumed, becoming Ellas McDaniel. The family moved to Chicago when he was seven. He took violin lessons as a youth, but was inspired to become a guitarist after seeing John Lee Hooker.
He began a musical career playing on street corners with friends, including Jerome Green as a band called the Hipsters, and later with the Langley Avenue Jive Cats. During the summer of 1943–44, he played for tips at the Maxwell Street market in a band with Earl Hooker. In 1951, he landed a regular spot at the 708 Club on Chicago's South Side,and adopted the stage name, Bo Diddley, a southern black slang phrase meaning "nothing at all", as in "he ain't bo diddley". The nickname is also linked to the diddley bow, a one-stringed instrument that was used in the south by black musicians working in the fields. In late 1954, he teamed up with harmonica player Billy Boy Arnold, drummer Clifton James and bass player Roosevelt Jackson, and recorded demos of "I'm A Man" and "Bo Diddley". They re-recorded the songs at Chess Studios with a backing ensemble comprising Otis Spann on piano, Lester Davenport on harmonica, drummer Frank Kirkland and Jerome Green on maracas. The record was released in March 1955, and the A-side, "Bo Diddley", became a No. 1 R&B hit. On November 20th 1955, he appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, the show had requested that he sing Tennessee Ernie Ford's hit "Sixteen Tons", but, when he appeared on stage, he sang "Bo Diddley" instead. This substitution resulted in his being banned from further appearances. He recorded many hits through the 50's and 60's popularising his know famous "Bo Diddley beat," a rumba-like beat , similar to "hambone", a style used by street performers who play out the beat by slapping and patting their arms, legs, chest, and cheeks while chanting rhymes. In 1963, he starred in a UK concert tour with the Everly Brothers and Little Richard. The Rolling Stones . Over the decades, his performances have ranged from sweaty Chicago clubs to rock and roll oldies tours to guesting with the likes of The Clash, The Grateful Dead and the Rolling Stones. Bo's trademark instrument was the rectangular-bodied Gretsch, nicknamed "The Twang Machine." Although he had other similar-shaped guitars custom-made for him by other manufacturers, he fashioned this guitar himself around 1958 and wielded it in thousands of concerts all over the world over the years. Bo has included women in his band, being one the first American male musicians to do so. This includes Peggy Jones aka Lady Bo, Norma-Jean Wofford aka The Duchess, and Cornelia Redmond aka Cookie. He also set up one of the first home recording studios. He achieved numerous accolades in recognition of his significant role as one of the founding fathers of rock and roll. In 1986, he was inducted into the Washington Area Music Association's Hall of Fame. The following year saw his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His pioneering contribution to rockabilly has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. In 1996, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation. The following year saw his 1955 recording of his song "Bo Diddley" inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as a recording of lasting qualitative or historical significance. He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1998. The start of the new millennium saw Bo Diddley inducted into the Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame and into the North Florida Music Association's Hall of Fame. He received a Pioneer in Entertainment Award in 2002 from the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters, and a Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) Icon Award. In 2004, Mickey and Sylvia's 1956 recording of his song, "Love Is Strange," was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame as a recording of qualitative or historical significance, and he was inducted into the Blues Foundation's Blues Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked him No. 20 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. In 2005, Bo celebrated his 50th anniversary in music with successful tours of Australia and Europe, and with coast-to-coast shows across North America, and in the UK, Uncut magazine included his 1958 debut album "Bo Diddley" in its listing of the '100 Music, Movie & TV Moments That Have Changed The World'. He performed a number of shows around the country in 2005 and 2006 with the Johnnie Johnson Band, featuring Johnson on keyboards, Richard Hunt on drums and Gus Thornton on bass. In 2006, Bo participated as the headliner of a grass-roots organized fundraiser concert, to benefit the town of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, which had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina. U.S. Representative John Conyers paid tribute to Bo Diddley in the United States House of Representatives describing him as "one of the true pioneers of rock and roll, who has influenced generations".

James Harrell McGriff
April 3rd 1936 ~ May 24th 2008

Hard bop and soul-jazz organist, master of the Hammond B-3, James McGriff has died of multiple sclerosis at the age of 72. He leaves behind his wife of 14 years, Margaret McGriff; two children from an early relationship, Donald Kelly and Holiday Hankerson; his mother, Beatrice McGriff; and five grandchildren.
James McGriff
James McGriff was born in Philadelphia, US and started playing piano at the age of five, by his teens, he was also playing alto sax and upright bass. His first group was playing bass in a local trio, before joining the army, after which he did 2 years in thee police force. James bought his first Hammond B-3 organ in 1956, then studied at New York's Juilliard School of Music. He also studied privately with Milt Buckner, Jimmy Smith, and Sonny Gatewood. He soon formed his own combo and also accompanied such artists as Don Gardner, Arthur Prysock, Candido and Carmen McRae.
In 1961, his trio had a hit with an instrumental version of Ray Charles' hit "I've Got a Woman". Between 1962 and 1965, James recorded a series of popular albums for the Sue label, ending with what still stands as one of his finest examples of blues-based jazz, 'Blues for Mister Jimmy'. When Sonny Lester started his Solid State record label in 1966, he recruited James as his star attraction. Lester framed James in many different groups, performing a wide variety of styles and giving James unlimited opportunities to record. During this time, he performed at clubs and concert halls worldwide. He settled in New Jersey, and eventually opened his own supper club, the Golden Slipper, where he recorded Black Pearl and a live album with Junior Parker in 1971. He also performed regularly with Buddy Rich's band, though the two only recorded once together in 1974 on The Last Blues Album Volume 1 . He toured and recorded relentlessly through the 70's. In 1980 he began a long relationship with Fantasy's Milestone label, collaborating with Rusty Bryant, Al Grey, Red Holloway, David "Fathead" Newman, Frank Wess and Eric Alexander and the next 27 years, when he wasn't in the recording studio, he was on tour. In 1986 he began to work with saxophonists Hank Crawford, David "Fathead" Newman and Eric Alexander. Between 1994 and 1998, he experimented with the Hammond XB-3, a sort of synthesized organ that increased the organ's capabilities with MIDI enhancements. By the time of his final recording, 2006's "Live at Smoke," he had more than 100 albums to his name. He gave his final performances in 2007.

Eddy Arnold
May 15th 1918 ~ May 8th 2008

Legendary country singer Eddy Arnold has died just one week prior to his 90th birthday. His wife of 65 years, Sally Gayhart, died on March 11, 2008 following hip replacement surgery. Both Eddy and Sally were survived by their children, Dickie and Jo Ann, as well as two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren
Eddy Arnold
Edward Arnold was born in Henderson, Tennessee, made his first radio appearance in 1936. When he was 18, he left home to make his mark in the music world. He landed a job as the lead male vocalist for the Pee Wee King band and by 1943, he had become a solo star on the Grand Ole Opry. Eddy began to dominate country music. In 1947- 48, he had 13 of the top 20 songs. He successfully made the transition from radio to television, appearing frequently in the new medium. With the advent of rock and roll, his record sales dipped in the late 1950s. He continued to try to court a wider audience by using pop-sounding, string-laced arrangements, a style that would come to be known as the Nashville sound. But the 60's sees Eddy having 16 straight hits and he started performing and touring with symphony orchestras in virtually every major city. Eddy was honored with induction into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1966, was voted the first Country Music Association's Entertainer Of The Year the following year, and received the Academy of Country Music's Pioneer Award in 1985. he has sold more than 85 million records and had 147 songs on the charts, including 28 No. 1 hits on Billboard's "Country Singles" chart. He performed his final concert on May 16, 1999, the day after his 81st birthday, at the Hotel Orleans in Las Vegas and in 2003, he ranked #22 in CMT's 40 Greatest Men of Country Music, and Eddy released a new RCA album, "After All These Years" in 2005 at the age of 87.

Franz Jackson
Nov 1st 1912 ~ May 6th 2008

Tenor saxophonist and clarinetist, Franz Jackson, notable as one of the last surviving jazz artists to have recorded pre-1940, one of the last musicians to have learned Chicago Style jazz from its originatorshas sadly died at the grand age of 95.
Franz Jackson
Franz Jackson born in Rock Island, Illinois began his studies at the Chicago Musical College and played with various bands, starting at around aged 13. His first professonal job came at age 16 with Albert Ammons iafter which he then worked with Cassino Simpson, Carroll Dickerson, Jimmie Noone, Roy Eldridge, and Fletcher Henderson . In 1938 he went to New York with Roy Eldridg. He toured California with Earl Hines in 1940-41, then worked in New York City with Fats Waller and Cootie Williams. Next he played in Boston with Frankie Newton , toured again with Eldridge in 1944, and worked with Wilbur De Paris. Jackson visited the Pacific with Jesse Stone in 1946 in the first of a series of tours in the late 40's and early 50's. After returning to Chicago in 1957, Franz formed the Original Jass All-Stars. The band was a huge success and played a long residency at the Red Arrow in Berwyn, near Chicago. During this period he also recorded with Lil Armstrong in 1961 and formed his own record company, Pinnacle. After playing in New York in late 1968, the Original Jass All-Stars went on several UStours, visiting Vietnam and other locations in the Far East in the late 60's and early 70's. Franz formed another group, the Jazz Entertainers, in 1980 and toured Europe as a soloist in 1981. In 1996 he received the Jazz Master Award from Arts Midwest. At the turn of the century he continued active on the Chicago and international jazz scenes. He appears regularly in Chicago venues such as Joe's BeBop Cafe, Andy's, the Green Mill, the Chicago Cultural Center, the Chicago Historical Society, the Chicago Jazz Festival, and Jazz Institute of Chicago and Illiana Club of Traditional Jazz events. He also plays at jazz festivals and clubs throughout the world, and was often the main attraction for special events such as dinner in honor of the King of Sweden and the Jazz Series at the Tel Aviv Museum. Franz will be honored at the Chicago Jazz Festival this August with a tribute by some of Chicago's best jazz musicians.

Jerry Wallace
December 15th 1928 ~ May 5th 2008

Jerry Wallace, American country and popular music singer, nicknamed "Mr. Smooth" because of his vocal style has sadly died in Corona, California, after suffering congestive heart failure. He was 79 years old.
Jerry Wallace
Jerry Wallace was born in Guilford, Missouri, and started on the road as a pop act in the late 40's. He began recording in 1951 and burst onto the pop charts in 1958 on the Challenge label with "How the Time Flies" and the even bigger "Primrose Lane" a year later. His focus became more country-oriented with "Shutters and Boards" and "In the Misty Moonlight" in 1963-64, and he made a full-fledged switch to country in 1965 after switching to the Mercury label. In 1972, soon after he began recording for Decca, his song "If You Leave Me Tonight I'll Cry" was featured in the 1972 Night Gallery episode "The Tune in Dan's Cafe," and the song subsequently became a No. 1 hit on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart that August. Also in 1972, he gained nomination for the Country Music Association Award as Male Vocalist of the Year, and his song "To Get To You" gained nomination for Single of the Year. His recording "Don't Give Up on Me" reached the Top Five, but Jerry only managed one more Top Ten, 1974's "My Wife's House" . He charted continually until the end of the decade. His last chart entry was "If I Could Set My Love To Music" in 1980. By this time he had become a talented actor and narrator, he has done voice-overs for commercials and appeared in many top television plays and shows such as Night Gallery and Hec Ramsey.

Humphrey Lyttelton
May 23rd 1921 ~ April 25th 2008

Humphrey Lyttelton, British Jazz patriarc, trumpeter, cartoonist, BBC radio broadcaster, and chairman of the BBC radio programme 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue' has died following heart surgery to repair an aortic aneurysm. The 86 year old legend died peacefully in Barnet Hospital and is survived by a daughter from the first marriage to Patricia Braithwaite, and two sons and a daughter from his second marriage to Jill Richardson in 1952, which sadly ended with her death in 2006.
Humphrey Lyttelton
Humphrey Richard Adeane Lyttelton known to friends and fans as Humph was born at Eton College, UK. He attended Sunningdale Preparatory School and Eton College. Inspired heavily by Louis Armstrong and Nat Gonella, he taught himself the trumpet and in 1936 formed a quartet while at Eton College, which included the future journalist Ludovic Kennedy on drums. He was commissioned in the Grenadier Guards during WW II and saw action, most notably on the beach at Salerno. On VE Day, 8 May 1945, Hump joined in the celebrations by playing his trumpet from a wheelbarrow, inadvertently giving his first broadcast performance; the BBC recording still survives. By 1948, he had formed a band with the clarinet player Wally Fawkes. That year he went to France's Nice Jazz Festival, where he met his idol, Louis Armstrong. In 1949, he joined the Daily Mail as a cartoonist, where he remained until 1956. He was prominent in the British revival of traditional jazz forms from New Orleans, recording with Sidney Bechet in 1949. To do so he had to break with the Musicians' Union restrictive practices which forbade working with jazz musicians from the United States. In the '50s, he opened the Humphrey Lyttelton Club in a basement in Oxford Street in London. In 1956, he had the hit, with the legendary recording of his self penned "Bad Penny Blues", which was in the UK Singles Chart for six weeks. As the trad jazz movement developed, Humph moved to a mainstream approach favoured by American musicians such as trumpeter Buck Clayton; they recorded together in the early 1960s. He also helped develop the careers of many now prominent British musicians, including Tony Coe and Alan Barnes. In 1968, at the request of NASA, hewent to the United States to play a selection of jazz numbers which were broadcast live to the crew of the Apollo 8 space craft. He composed more than 120 original works for his band, although some of his best-known numbers were 'When The Saints Go Marching In', 'Memphis Blues', 'High Society' and the self-penned 'Bad Penny Blues'. His band has also backed several singers, ranging from New Orleans singer Lillian Boutte to Helen Shapiro to Elkie Brookes, and more recently, Stacey Kent. Humphrey had been offered a knighthood, but he turned it down. In 1993, he was the recipient of the radio industry's highest honour: The Sony Gold Award, and in 2000 he was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Post Office British Jazz Awards. The following year he joined rock band Radiohead for a seven-hour session during the recording of their new album, Amnesiac. Playing the music was just part of Humph's life, he championed British jazz with his weekly programme on Radio 2 introducing millions of listeners to the glories of the British jazz scene, he presented and performed in many jazz radio programmes - Jazz Scene, Jazz Club and The Best of Jazz, which started in 1968 and only ended last month. He was also chairman of BBC Radio 4's I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue, the show, which began in 1972, gained a huge and loyal following of listeners, overthe last 36 years. This great legend will be missed in so many different areas of his full and rich life.
"Keep an iron grip, to the very end, on the capacity for silliness.
It preserves the soul from dessication" ~ Humph

Al Wilson
June 19th 1939 ~ April 21st 2008

Soul singer and songwriter Al Wilson has sadly died in Kaiser Permanente Medical Center, Fontana, of kidney failure. The 68 year old legend is survived by his wife, Patricia;
his son Tony; daughters Alene Harris and Sharon Burley; a brother, Eddie; sisters Lottie Ross, Ruby Conyers and Maebell Cole, and 13 grandchildren.
Al Wilson
Al Wilson was born in Meridian, Mississippi, he prefered to perform in school plays rather than the academic side of school and sung in talent shows and won first prize in a local art contest. He began his career at the age of 12 leading his own spiritual quartet and singing in the church choir. While he was in high school, Al along with his family relocated to San Bernardino, California, where he worked odd jobs as a mail carrier, a janitor, and an office clerk, in addition to teaching himself to play drums. After graduation he spent four years touring with Johnny Harris and the Statesmen before joining the U.S. Navy and singing with an enlisted men's chorus. After a two years in the military, he settled in Los Angeles, working the local nightclub circuit before joining the R&B vocal group the Jewels; from there he landed with the Rollers, followed by a stint with the instrumental combo the Souls. In 1966, Wilson signed with manager Marc Gordon, who introduced him to Johnny Rivers who sined Al and also agreed to produce the sessions that yielded the 1968 R&B smash "The Snake" which has been very popular on the Northern Soul music circuit in the UK. In 1973, when he released the platinum selling "Weighing In" album which included his big hit single "Show and Tell," 1974's "The La La Peace Song" proved another major hit, and two years later, "I've Got a Feeling We'll Be Seeing Each Other Again" cracked the R&B Top Three. With 1979's "Count the Days" Wilson scored his final chart hit. Al lived for his music and to sing, and he spent the next two decades touring clubs and lounges. His wide range of pop & jazz, gospel, rock, blues, funk and the sensitivity and strength of his performances made him an enduring and ever popular star. In 2001 he re-recorded his classic hits for the album Spice of Life. In 2007 many of his original master tapes were lost to a fire at his home recording studio. Al's recording of "The Snake" is currently being featured in a Lambrini advert on British TV.

Danny Federici
January 23rd 1950 ~ April 17th 2008

58 year old Danny Federici,
close friend and longtime keyboard player for Bruce Springsteen, whose stylish work helped define the E Street Band has lost his three year battle with melanoma at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, US. He is survived by his 2 daughters, Madison and Harley
Danny Federici
Danny started to play accordion when he was seven years old, which he learned from watching The Lawrence Welk Show. When he mastered classical music and polka, his mother booked him at parties, clubs and on radio. Although he continued his studies in classical accordion, he began to enjoy and experiment with jazz and blues. While he studied at Hunterdon Central High School in New Jersey, he, along with Vini Lopez started the band Child with their friend Bruce Springsteen as singer. Danny also joined Bruce in other early bands such as Steel Mill and joined Bruce in the E Street band. Danny's organ fills are a key component in the E Street sound, and sometimes take on a more prominent role, such as on the hit "Hungry Heart". His use of the electronic glockenspiel is also an easily recognized E Street element; he subsequently used electronic keyboards to simulate the glockenspiel sound. During the long time the E Street Band was inactive during the 1990s, Danny recorded a solo album of jazz instrumentals called Flemington, after his hometown of Flemington, New Jersey. This was released on the Music Masters Jazz label in 1997; it was later re-worked and re-issued as Danny Federici on Hip-O Records in 2001. Federici followed this up with a smooth jazz album Sweet, in 2004; it was re-issued as Out of a Dream in 2005.Besides his work with Bruce Springsteen, Danny played on albums by an impressive roster of other artists including Van Zandt, Joan Armatrading, Graham Parker, Gary U.S. Bonds and Garland Jeffreys. He played to the end, his last performance with Bruce and the band was only last month, appearing in the show at Indianapolis on March 20th 2008.

Sean Costello
April 16th 1979 ~ April 15th 2008

Up and coming blues guitarist Sean Costello was found dead in an Atlanta hotel room, just one day before his 29th birthday. The young guitar virtuoso had died from an overdose of drugs that included prescribed anti-anxiety medication
Sean Costello
Born in Philadelphia, Sean Costell
o moved to Atlanta at the age of 9 and began his career while still in high school. He was obsessive about the guitar from a young age and he got hooked on the blues after buying a Howlin’ Wolf record. He won the Memphis Blues Society's Talent Award aged 14, released his first album, "Call The Cops" when he was 17 and in 2000, his second album "Cuttin' In", earned him a Gold Record before his 21st birthday. Tinsley Ellis called him ‘the most gifted young Blues guitarist on the scene'. He toured widely in the USA and Europe and his reputation as a brilliant live performer enabled him to play alongside blues luminaries such as B.B. King, Buddy Guy, Hubert Sumlin, Elvis Costello, Dr. John, Kim Wilson, Johnnie Johnson, Pinetop Perkins, Luther Allison, Anson Funderburgh and Sam Myers, Lynwood Slim, Steve Jordan, Willie Weeks, and Jimmy Vivino . In addition to Susan Tedeschi, he has recorded with Helm, Jody Williams and Tinsley Ellis, and his band was hand-picked to record backing tracks for gospel greats The Five Blind Boys. Most recently, Sean received acclaim as the primary guitarist on Long Time Coming, the Blues Music Award-nominated comeback album by blues shouter Nappy Brown. He has received two posthumous nominations for the Blues Awards, to be held in Memphis on May 7th 2009 at the Cook Convention Center. Sean recorded five solo albums in all, his last one "We Can Get Together" released in early 2008 just before his death.

Brian Davison
May 25th 1942 ~ April 15th 2008

Brian "Blinky" Davison, drummer with the legendary 60s progressive rock band "The Nice" has sadly died at the age of 65. Earlier this year Brian had been diagnosed with having inoperable tumor.
Brian "Blinky" Davison
Brian
Davison born in Leicester, Leicestershire, played drums in various Skiffle groups in and around the youth clubs and pubs in North-west London, especially around Baker Street in the late 1950s and part of the 60's. He especially enjoying drum battles with his friend Ken Pugh. He had been drumming in a band called Attack prior joining up with The Nice in 1967. The Nice was originally set up as P.P. Arnold's backing band, but soon had a successful career in their own right. The Nice were known for their unique blend of rock, jazz and classical music of which Brian played a major part. Their debut album, The Thoughts of Emerlist Davjack was released in 1967; it is often considered the first progressive rock album. They recorded 5 albums and some specials for US sales. The Nice also provided instrumental backing for the track "Hell's Angels" on Roy Harper's 1970 album "Flat Baroque and Berserk" before spilling that same year. Brian then formed "Every Which Way" releasing an album in 1970, before he joined up with Lee Jackson again to play in Jackson Heights which released five albums between 1970 and 1973. Both Lee and Brian formed Refugee another progressive rock group, with keyboardist Patrick Moraz, they recorded one self titled album. Davison went on to work with Gong, before leaving life in the studios and on the road to take up teaching drums in Bideford, Devon.
The Nice reformed in 2002 for a series of successful live concerts and released their final and 6th album "Vivacitas" in 2004.

Phil Urso
October 2nd 1925 ~ April 7th 2008

Tenor jazz saxophone player Phil Urso who once backed the great Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra has sadly passed away at his home in Denver, at the age of 82. He is survived by his wife Bruna and daughter Stephanie.
Phil Urso
Phil Urso born in New Jersey City but moved to Denver with his family in 1935, learned clarinet as a child at Horace Mann Junior Highand switched to tenor sax while in North High School. He served in the Navy during World War II and played in a six-piece band on an escort carrier that transported supplies from San Diego to Hawaii. In 1947 he moved to New York City where he joined the Eliot Lawrence Orchestra, backing singers such as Nat Cole and Frank Sinatra. He also played with Woody Herman, Terry Gibbs, Miles Davis, Oscar Pettiford, Jimmy Dorsey, Claude Thornhill and Bob Brookmeyer among many others . In 1955, he first began working with trumpeter Chet Baker, and was a prominent contributor to Baker's Pacific Jazz releases in 1956. Phil and Chet collaborated on and off until 1972. Phil seemed to recede from national attention. He moved back to Denver and continued performing locally. He suffered a heart attack in 1981; his pacemaker broke down in 1984 and again in 1997, but he never stopped playing
. He possessed a hard bop intensity, softened by a Lester Young-ish tone, and for a period during the mid-1950s he ranked among the most promising young players on the scene. But sadly his destiny was to become another one of those forgotten musicians. "I think people take Phil for granted. The guy was a monster .. he'd come out on the bandstand and kick everybody's ass, even his own. Knowing musically what he knows, I think people get a little intimidated." ~ quote drummer John Arcotta. "I have always felt you were and are the most underrated of America's jazz players and composers, .... Well, Phil, we'll say goodbye for now with one more reminder that we love you and wish you all good things, and when anyone asks me about my favorite tenor player, the answer is always Phil Urso." Quoted from a letter written by the late Chet Baker.

Israel "Cachao" López
September 14th 1918 ~ March 22nd 2008

Israel "Cachao" López , Cuban mambo musician, bassist and composer, who helped bring mambo music to popularity in the early 1950s has sadly died from kidney failure. The 89 year old legend, one of the great bassists of our time was often described as "the inventor of the mambo". He is survived by his daughter, María Elena López, and nephew Orlando "Cachaito" López, the bassist in Buena Vista Social Club.


Cachao was born in Havana, into a family of musicians, many of them bassists, around 40, counting his extended family. His parents made sure he was classically trained, first at home and then at a conservatory. At 8 years old he joined a children's septet as a bongo player, the band included a future famous singer and bandleader, Roberto Faz. A year later, now on bass, he provided music for silent movies in the local theatre, with his pianist friend, the future cabaret performer Ignacio Villa, known as Bola de Nieve. In his early teens he was already playing contrabass with the Orquesta Filarmónica de La Habana, under the baton of guest conductors like Herbert von Karajan, Igor Stravinsky and Heitor Villa-Lobos. Cachao and his brother the late Orestes López were at the forefront of the revolutions in Cuban music from the 1930s to the 1950s & founding father of the descarga. It was his introduction of the ritmo nuevo in the late 1930s which transformed the danzón and sent shock waves through Havana by pushing African rhythms to the forefront of Cuban music and thereby paving the way for the mambo.In 1957, Cachao gathered a group of musicians in the early hours of the morning, pumped from playing gigs at Havana's popular nightclubs, to jam in front of the mikes of a recording studio. The resulting descargas, known to music aficionados worldwide as Cuban jam sessions, revolutionized Afro-Cuban popular music. Under Cachao's direction, these masters improvised freely in the manner of jazz, but their vocabulary was Cuba's popular music. This was the model that wold make live performances of Afro-Cuban based genres, from salsa to Latin jazz, so incredibly hot. Cachao moved from Cuba to settle in America. For a while, he had two distinct musical lives, the New York salsa scene he was revered as a music god, with homage concerts dedicated to him, and records of his music produced by Cuban-music collector René López. In Miami, he was an ordinary working musician who would play quinceañeras and weddings, or back dance bands in the notorious Latin nightclubs of the Miami Vice era. In the early 1960's, Cachao was one of the most in-demand bassists in New York City performing at clubs and venues such as the Palladium Ballroom, The Roseland, The Birdland, Havana San Juan, and Havana Madrid. He has played with artists such as Celia Cruz, Bebo Valdes, Tito Puente, Willy Chirino, Paquito D'Rivera, Willie Colon, and his music has been featured on movies such as The Birdcage, and on the Grand Theft Auto: Vice City soundtrack. For years he seemed to be forgotten until in 1993 actor Andy Garcia produced a documentary entitled "Cachao - Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos" ("With A Rhythm Like No Other") about his music, this produced a set of new recordings which circled the globe many times over and returned Cachao to his proper place in the Pantheon of Cuban music legends and Jazz Greats. His and Andy's great frindship continued throughout the rest of Cachao's life. In 1995, he won a Grammy for Master Sessions Volume 1. In 2003, he won a Latin Grammy for Best Traditional Tropical Latin Album together with Bebo and Patato Valdés for El Arte Del Sabor. Cachao won a further Grammy in 2005, again for his own work, Ahora Si!. and he is featured in documentary-film "La Epoca,", expected in theatres in September 2008. He played his sole UK concert in April 2007, at London's Barbican Centre, where his musicianship and warm personality won over all who encountered him.

Ola Brunkert
September 15th 1946 ~ March 16th 2008

Swedish session player, former drummer with the Swedish pop band Abba has tragically died. The 61 year old musician was found in his garden, by a neighbour, where he had bled to death after a freak accident hours earlier while alone at his home in Mallorca. He had fallen into the glass door of his dining room, cutting his throat; he had managed to wrap a towel around his neck but collapsed in his garden while trying to reach help.
Ola Brunkert
Ola Brunkert, born in Örebro, Örebro län, Sweden began his musical career as a jazz drummer. His first professional job was with the Slim's Blues Gang, before joining the pop group Science Poption in the mid 1960s. He then joined the jazz-pop group Opus III with his friend, guitarist Janne Schaffer. By the 70s Ola had become one of the most sort after session musicians in Sweden. His first session with Abba was on their first single, "People Need Love," in 1972. Over the next 10 years Ola recorded 62 singles and all 8 studio albums with Abba. His credits are naturally on the dozens of compilations produced from these. He also accompanied the group on their tours. Abba was one of the world's most successful bands, with album sales of more than 370 million and even after their retirement 26 years years ago, they continue to sell nearly 3 million records a year, and Ola played a major roll in the Abba sound, the Abba success story and throughout it's whole history, from the first single to the last album. A few years after the break up of Abba, Ola moved to Arta, a little town on the east coast of Mallorca. He enjoyed over 20 years of semi-retirement playing in local jazz bands, but sadly his wife died last year. Although his music has gone down in the history books of music, this is a very frightening, lonely and tragic end to one of the world's most successful drummers. ~ RIP


Martin Fierro
January 18th 1942 ~ March 13th 2008

Martin Fierro, tenor saxophonist who played in the jazz, freeform rock, and avant-garde traditions, best known by Dead Heads for playing sax and flute on the Dead’s 1973 album "Wake of the Flood" has sadly died aged 66, leaving behind a large loving family.

Martin Fierro
Born in Mexico, a Native American of the Apache and Tarahumara tribes, Martin (Mar-Teen) Fierro moved to El Paso, Texas with his family in 1952. He started with classical piano lessons when he was 5, then in high school, he switched to clarinet and tenor sax after being strongly influenced by the sax sound of the Fats Domino and Little Richard bands. He taught himself to play the saxophone in order to join the high school band. He was soon in a rock and roll band playing in a local club six nights a week. The fifteen year-old Martin developed his chops backing up musicians such as Chuck Berry.
Mid 60's sees Martin in Mexico City, where he had a successful jazz quartet, the Maxnava Jazz Four playing for audiences that included Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Thelonius Monk. At the invitation of those musicians he planned to move to New York City to continue a career in jazz. However, in 1968, The Great Spirit guided him to the San Francisco Bay Area where he continued to play both jazz and rock, mesmerizing live audiences and embarking on a recording career with a variety of bands and musicians. He has played with Sir Douglas Quintet, Legion of Mary, James Cotton, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Loudon Wainwright III, Queen Ida, Jazz is Dead, The String Cheese Incident, David Grisman, Derek Trucks, Zero, the Allman Brothers, Merl Saunders, The Grateful Dead, Steve Kimock & Friends, Yonder Mountain String Band and many, many more. He joined the band Mother Earth, recording with Michael Bloomfield, Mark Naftalin and Tracy Nelson. He also formed a lifelong musical alliance with Jerry Garcia, appearing on The Grateful Dead's 'Wake of the Flood' album and accompanied them on tours, and also joined Garcia in The Legion of Mary. Among other groups and artists, Martin has recorded with The Quicksilver Messenger Service, James Cotton, The Shades of Joy and Merle Saunders, and performed with Steve Miller, Boz Scaggs and Queen Ida. In 1970 Martin composed the musical score for the cult film classic, El Topo. In recent years he has also performed with The String Cheese Incident, Yonder Mountain String Band, Dark Star Orchestra and New Monsoon. Martin's last quest was as a founding member the jam band Zero. Martin is one of the most versatile, accomplished and respected saxophone players in American rock history, a true rock legend, The Meester ~ RIP

Norman Smith aka Hurricane Smith
February 22nd 1923 ~ March 3rd 2008

Norman "Hurricane" Smith, British singer, songwriter of Don't Let It Die, record producer, and recording engineer with The Beatles and Pink Floyd has sadly died at the age of 85.

Norman Smith was born in Edmonton, North London and served as a RAF glider pilot during World War II. In 1959 after an unsuccessful career as a jazz musician, he joined EMI as an apprentice sound engineer. When the Beatles came along, the now main engineer, Norman, nicknamed "Normal Norman" by John Lennon, was the engineer on all the Beatles recordings up until 1965. He worked on 180 Beatle tracks, "Rubber Soul" was the last album he worked on before he got promoted to producer. 1967 sees him working with a new band, Pink Floyd, he produced their first, second, and fourth albums, 'The Piper at the Gates of Dawn', 'A Saucerful of Secrets' and 'Ummagumma'. In 1968, he produced one of the first rock concept albums, The Pretty Things' "S.F. Sorrow", experimenting with the latest sound technology, including the Mellotron and early electronic tone generators. He produced early recordings by Barclay James Harvest, including their highly-rated album "Once Again", and many years later was name checked in John Lees's song, "John Lennon's Guitar". In 1971, Norman took the pseudonym of "Hurricane Smith," and had a UK hit with "Don't Let It Die". He had written with the hope that John Lennon would record it. In 1972, he enjoyed a US hit with "Oh Babe What Would You Say?", which became a U.S. No. 1 Cashbox hit. His 3rd hit was a cover of Gilbert O'Sullivan's "Who Was It?" which was included on his self-titled debut album. He also recorded an instrumental track entitled "Theme From an Unmade Silent Movie", which the West Midlands based radio presenter Tony Butler adopted as his theme music. In 2004, Norman released a new CD, "From Me To You" which includes new recordings of his biggest self-penned hits, "Don't Let It Die" and "Oh Babe, What Would You Say?", and includes messages in the liner notes from Sir Paul McCartney and members of Pink Floyd. Next he wrote a memoir, entitled "John Lennon Called Me Normal". It debuted on March 16th 2007 as a limited edition at The Fest for Beatles Fans in Secaucus, New Jersey, where, Norman appeared and sang "Oh Babe". The book contains never before published pictures, newly revealed historical facts about the Beatles and Pink Floyd at Abbey Road Studios, as well as details of Norman's life as an RAF glider pilot ~ RIP

Jeff Healey
March 25th 1966 ~ March 2nd 2008

Blind Canadian rock musician Jeff Healey has died in a Toronto hospital, aged 41, after a lifelong battle against cancer. Master of the trumpet and clarinet, but famed for his guitar virtuosity, playing electric guitar flat on his lap; Jeff leaves behind his wife Christie, daughter Rachel and son Derek.
Jeff Healey
Adopted as a small baby, Jeff Healey was raised in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Tragically at 8 months old, he lost his eye sight due to retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eyes which he suffered from throughout his life. His eyes had to be surgically removed, and he was given artificial replacements. When he was three years old his father, a fire-fighter, bought him a guitar, on which he learnt his unique, wicked string bending technique and style of playing, with the instrument flat on his lap. He spent hours listening to all music, modern and old, all genres and loving the sounds he could make on his guitar. He progressed through many different styles of music through his teens, both as a player and as a singer. At 15, Jeff along with friends, Jeremy Littler, Graydon Chapman and Rob Quail formed a local cover band calling themselves 'Blue Direction'. At 19, Jeff formed a trio with bassist Joe Rockman and drummer Tom Steven. The trio, who became known as The Jeff Healey Band soon gathered a big following, great press reviews and bigger venues including the famed blues club Albert's Hall, where they were on the same billing as Albert Collins, and the band shared the stage with BB King at Expo '86 in Vancouver. It was around this time the guitar virtuoso Stevie Ray Vaughan discovered him. Jeff played the electric guitar with Stevie in SRV's rock video 'Look At Little Sister'. In 1988 the band released their debut album "See The Light" which went platinum in the U.S., it featured the top 10 single "Confidence Man", and Billboard No.5 hit single "Angel Eyes". Jeff was also nominated for a Grammy Award for "Best Instrumental" for his performance on the track 'Hideaway'. This all lead to appearances on Late Night with David Letterman and The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. A busy 1988 also sees The Jeff Healey Band at the film studios appearing in the hit movie 'Roadhouse', (released 1989) alongside Patrick Swayze, in which he and his band played the resident act at a violent bar that Swayze’s character had to clean up. The following years were filled with tours with the likes of touring with Bob Dylan, ZZ Top, Ringo Starr, Little Feat, Bonnie Raitt and many others. Jeff's second album "Hell To Pay", featured George Harrison, Mark Knopfler, Bobby Whitlock and Paul Shaffer, it sold 2 million worldwide. Though known primarily as a guitarist, Jeff also played trumpet and clarinet during live performances. He also appeared on Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan's CD/DVD Gillan's Inn. After his 5th album "Cover to Cover " and after 12 hectic years of non-stop playing, recording, personal appearances, tours and world touring, in 1995 Jeff retired from the road for 5 years. Year 2000 saw him back with a bang, touring, headlining at the major festivals and five more albumsand he e discovered and helped develop the careers of Amanda Marshall and Terra Hazelton. For many of his latter years 'back at his roots', Jeff had enjoyed playing his music at Healey's on Bathurst Street in Toronto, where he played with a rock band on Thursday nights, and with his jazz group, Jeff Healey's Jazz Wizards, on Saturday afternoons. The club moved to a bigger location at 56 Blue Jays Way and it was re-named Jeff Healey's Roadhouse. He had lent his name and often played there, but he never owned the bar. Also Jeff , from time to time, hosted a CBC Radio program entitled 'My Kind of Jazz', in which he played records from his vast vintage jazz collection of more than 30,000 vinyl 78s of pre 1940s jazz, and 5,000 CDs of reissued material, all weighing in at 5 ton! He hosted a program of the same name on Toronto station CJRT-FM, also known as JAZZ.FM91. Last year, Jeff underwent cancer surgery on his lungs and legs and had chemotherapy. He and his band had been planning to perform a series of shows in Britain, Germany and Holland in April 2008, to coinside with the release of their 10th album "Mess Of Blues".
Taken Too Young ~ RIP


Mike Smith
December 6th 1943 ~ February 28th 2008

Mike Smith, the frontman/lead singer, keyboard player and songwriter of 1960's British pop group The Dave Clark Five, has died at the age of 64. He died from pneumonia, passing away peacefullly at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Bucks, UK. He is leaves behind by his second wife, Charlie, an actress whom he married in 2001. His only son, Jamie, died in 2003 in a scuba diving accident.
Mike Smith
Mike, an only child was born in Edmonton, North London, his natural ability as a pianist surfaced as early as age five when he started lessons in classical piano, and at the age of 13 passed the entrance exams at Trinity Music College in London.
Mike first met Dave Clark when they were both members on the same football team for the St. George Boys Club. By his mid-teens, Mike had developed a strong vocals, while idolising Little Richard, among other American rock & roll stars. At age 17, Dave Clark asked him to join his band, which was busy rebuilding itself around Dave's drums and rhythm guitarist (later bassist) Rick Huxley. With Mike on vocals, piano or organ, Denny Payton on saxophone and lead guitarist Lenny Davidson, the new line up of The Dave Clark Five was ready to rock the world. His debut recording with the band was "I Knew It All the Time" flip side "That's What I Said" in 1963. The Dave Clark Five had 19 UK Top 40 hits, including Bits and Pieces and the number one single Glad All Over. They had US hits with Because, I Like it Like That and Glad All Over, and set a record among British acts after appearing on the Ed Sullivan show 13 times. Mike co-wrote the majority of all their material with Dave. They sold more than 100 million records, sold out five consecutive world tours and six in the U.S. including 12 consecutive shows at Carnegie Hall, and were immortalised in the 1965 feature film "Catch Us If You Can". Sadly they disbanded in 1970, Mike continued a while with Dave and in 1976 recorded with former Manfred Mann's Michael d'Abo, after which he earned his crust as a record producer for such artists as Shirley Bassey and Michael Ball, for whom he recorded four gold albums; and he worked as a writer and singer of advertising jingles; his clients ranged from British Airways to Volvo and McDonald's. He also sang on the original recording of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Evita. In the late 90's Mike moved to Spain and did many charity gigs there until an accident in September 2003 which caused severe injury to his spinal cord, leaving him permanently paralysed from the waist down and in his right arm, with very little movement in his left arm. The man with the magnificent ”growl”, tragically died , just 11 days before he was to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of The Dave Clark Five.

Buddy Miles
September 5th 1947 ~ February 26th 2008

Flamboyant American drummer, friend of Jimi Hendrix and co-founder of the short lived Band of Gypsys has sadly died after fighting a battle with a crippling heart disease. He died in Austin, Texas, of congestive heart failure aged 60.
Buddy Miles

George "Buddy" Miles was born in Omaha, Nebraska where he was known as a child prodigy. As a teenager blues-rock drummer Buddy played in his father's band The Bebops, also, Ruby & the Romantics, the Ink Spots, the Delfonics and others. At this time he met and struck up a friendship with Jimi Hendrix when they were both sidemen.
In 1967 Buddy formed Electric Flag with Mike Bloomfield, they broke up after their 2nd album, and he then formed the Buddy Miles Express. In 1969 Hendrix produced the Buddy Miles Express release, "Electric Church" and Buddy drummed for Hendrix on his Electric Ladyland album; he played on the tracks "Rainy Day, Dream Away" and "Still Raining, Still Dreaming". Soon after the release he joined Hendrix in forming the short lived band, "Band of Gypsys". Buddy went on to be a solo and freelance drummer, recording over 70 albums, 6 world tours, working with the likes of Stevie Wonder, Muddy Waters, Barry White, Carlos Santana, Bootsy Collins, David Bowie, George Clinton, Jack Bruce, Joe Perry, Billy Cox, and many others. Buddy continued to be active musically and performed selected shows with proceeds going to help support victims of natural disasters and other noble causes. Sadly there is a history of congestive heart failure in his family, both his sister and mother died of this same illness. It was known that his heart had certainly been struggling, working at only 15%, and his health had been consistently deteriorating over the past few months. According to friends, "he had turned off his defibrillator and was ready for heaven." The day before Buddy died, he heard Eric Clapton playing his famous track 'Them Changes' at Madison Square Garden through his cell phone. 'Them Changes' is now part of Clapton's set on tour as a tribute to Buddy.

John Stewart
September 5th 1939 ~ January 19th 2008

68 old year old American songwriter and singer, known for his contributions to the US folk music movement in the 60's as member of The Kingston Trio has passed away, his wife, Buffy, and children were at his side. According to a friend, Mr. Stewart had suffered a massive stroke or aneurysm late in the previous day.

John Stewart was born in southern California, living mostly in the cities of Pasadena and Claremont with his parents.
He demonstrated an early talent for music, learning the guitar and banjo, and composing his first song, "Shrunken Head Boogie," when he was just ten years old. He graduated from Pomona Catholic High School, in 1957.
John's first venture into pop music was with a high school garage band known as "Johnny Stewart and the Furies." Influenced by the reigning icons of the day, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly, the Furies toured southern California colleges and coffee houses, releasing one single, "Rockin' Anna," a minor, regional hit. Following this he became a member of The Woodsmen, with Gil Robbins (father of actor Tim Robbins) and John Montgomery to form The Cumberland Three. They recorded a two LP album set of Songs from the Civil War, after a third album, in 1961, John left the group to join the Kingston Trio, one of the best-known and best-selling acts on the folk music scene. John recorded a dozen albums with them, taking the music into new directions, including more original material, and performing covers of songs by relative newcomers Tom Paxton, Mason Williams, and Gordon Lightfoot; the group disbanded in 1967. Jonh continued to write songs and record for Capitol, while touring as a solo act. It was during this time that he composed the hit "Daydream Believer" for The Monkees and toured with Robert F. Kennedy's ill-fated 1968 presidential campaign. Next he was signed by Warner Bros. Records, with whom he recorded just two albums before moving on to RCA Records, where he recorded three LPs. He teamed up with Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham to record and released Bombs Away Dream Babies, which included the No.5 hit, "Gold," in 1979. Two other tracks from the album, "Midnight Wind" and "Lost Her in the Sun," would also hit the top 40. From 1980, John finished as a singer, going into full time writing and producing the songs which were recorded by many acts such as Nanci Griffith, Rosanne Cash, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Joan Baez. He also had a passion for painting, doing art shows and covers for his recordings and books, touring the US and Europe regularly.

Robert Patrick Ferrara
July 22nd 1965 ~ January 15th 2008


Shred guitarist, guitarist and composer Bobby Ferrara has sadly and very unexpectedly passed way. He died in his sleep at his home after suffering a fatal heart attack. Bobby leaves behind him among others, his loving wife Angel, and a his close family in New York. Bobby had so many plans panning out for 2008, personal and professional, what a loss .. he will be greatly missed. Rest In Peace, Bobby, our thoughts are with your family.
READ MORE ABOUT BOBBY



Rod Allen / Rodney Bainbridge
March 31st 1944 ~ January 10th 2008

Rodney Bainbridge, better known as Rod Allen, frontman, bassist - the distinctive voice behind the legendary band The Fortunes for over 45 years, has sadly died of liver cancer at his home in Coventry, England. He was 63 years old and is survived by his wife Margaret, son Leigh, daughter Sharon and three grandchildren.
Rod Allen / Rodney Bainbridge
Rodney Bainbridge was born in Leicester, and like many musicians of the Golden Era of pop, he was originally inspired at a young age by the UK skiffle king, Lonnie Donegan. At 14, Rod moved to Birmingham with his parents, where he attended Moseley Grammar School, and it was here where he met Glen Dale and Barry Pritchard. By the time Rod was sixteen he had learnt to play the bass guitar and the three friends had formed a guitar trio, called the Clifftones. In 1963 they added drummer Andy Brown and keyboard player David Carr, and were soon managed by promoter, and owner of off-shore pirate radio station Radio City, Reg Calvert aka Robin Hood, who at that time took the roll of singer too. This led to the band dressing in green tights and jerkins and renaming to The Merry Men. Later that same year, due to Reg's many business interests, Rod took over lead vocals, as well as playing bass; he changed his name to Rod Allen, changed the group name to the Fortunes Rhythm Group and they won a “beat contest” at Birmingham’s Gay Tower Ballroom, which earned them a recording contract with Decca. The Fortunes debuted with "Summertime, Summertime" with no success; their follow up in 1964, the famous song "Caroline", was used as the signature tune for the popular and influencial Pirate Radio station, Radio Caroline, but very strangely it did not become a hit single. It wasn't till their 5th single that they got the brake through they had worked so hard for. Their 1965 hit "You've Got Your Troubles" featuring Rods's soaring lead vocals, shot up in the top ten charts on a worldwide scale, as did their 6th single "Here It Comes Again". 1966 saw Rod and the band on world tours, the death of their manager Reg Calvert in an arguement and shooting with the Radio Caroline pirate station owner, the release another hit single "This Golden Ring" and Glen Dale leaving for a solo career. Despite not having any more hits in the 60's, Rod and the band prospered by playing the cabaret club circuit and by recording jingles for several television and cinema commercials on both sides of the Atlantic. The most distinctive and remembered being Rods's rendition of "It's The Real Thing", the Coca-Cola theme. The 1970's give the band more hits singles in the US, UK and worldwide with "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again", "Storm in a Teacup", "Freedom Come, Freedom Go", and "That Same Old Feeling". These were their last hits, but from then until Rod's sad death, he and The Fortunes have worked very successfully performing around the world to packed and sold out venues. "You've Got Your Troubles" and "Here It Comes Again" especially, have stood the test of time and have now become classic power ballads showcasing Rod's amazing vocals. Rod played his last show with The Fortunes at Yeovil in November 2007, just days before he was diagnosed with liver cancer. It was Rod's wish that the surviving group members should continue his lifes work with The Fortunes, after his death.

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BACK TO MUSO PAGE

I started these pages June of 2004. When the great Ray Charles died,
I wrote a tribute to him... and just carried it on from there.
Sorry I haven't the time to write past ones too.

BUT
THE BIRTH/DEATH PAGES
HAVE A SMALL TRIBUTE WITH ALL THE DEATHS


But if you do have a special request ~ please email me

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