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2009
MEMORIALS
" Let us remember the great talent each possessed "


"The Rev"
February 10th 1981
~ December 28th 2009
American hard rock drummer, James "The Rev" Sullivan of the Orange County heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold, has tragically and unexpectedly died at his home in Huntington Beach, CA, home of what has been suggested to be natural causes, but The Orange County coroner's office is investigating the very sudden death. At only 28, he sadly leaves behind his loving wife Leana.
Jimmy "The Rev" Sullivan
James Owen Sullivan, The Reverend Tholomew Plague or more affectionately called
"The Rev", by his many fans, attended a Catholic school at Huntington Beach, California, until 2nd grade along with future A7X lead singer M. Shadows. Jimmy was influences by musicians such as Vinnie Paul, Dave Lombardo, Mike Portnoy, Paul Bostaph and bands like Metallica, Rancid and Transplants. At the age of 17, he did a brief stint with the third-wave ska band Suburban Legends recording their debut album "Origin Edition". He soon after he left the band in 1999 to help create Avenged Sevenfold. They went under the shortened name A7X in the early days and each took their high school nick names, Jimmy's being The Reverend Tholomew Plague. Avenged Sevenfold's debut album, Sounding the Seventh Trumpet, was released in 2001 and they started to get recognition, performing with bands such as Mushroomhead and Shadows Fall and playing on the Take Action Tour. They also found success with such alternative and modern-rock outlets as MTV's "Total Request Live" show. Jimmy and the band achieved mainstream success with their 2005 album City of Evil, which includes singles "Burn It Down", "Bat Country," "Beast and the Harlot" and "Seize the Day." The band's success followed with their self-titled album, with singles such as "Critical Acclaim", "Almost Easy", "Afterlife", "Scream" and "Dear God". They put out four albums and won Best New Artist at the MTV Video Music Awards in 2006. The group's self-titled fourth album reached No. 4 on the Billboard 200 chart in 2007. Jimmy also performed vocals and piano in his side project, the avant-garde metal band, Pinkly Smooth, he formed in 2001 with fellow Avenged Sevenfold guitarist Synyster Gates. Jimmy took the name Rathead and released just one album, "Unfortunate Snort". Among his career highlights Jimmy cited was making contact with some of their childhood heroes, notably some tour dates the band shared with the legendary Metallica.

Stephen Gately
March 17th 1976 ~ October 10th 2009

Irish pop singer, Stephen Gately, one of two lead singers in the boy band Boyzone, has died suddenly while on holiday in Mallorca, the cause of death has yet to be determined. The 33 year old singer leaves behind his civil partner of three years, businessman Andrew Cowles.
Stephen Gately
Singer Stephen Gately born in Dublin, he was along with Ronan Keating, one of two lead singers in the boy band Boyzone. The band was put together in 1993 by manager Louis Walsh and thier 1994 debut single "Working My Way Back to You" reached No.3 in the Irish charts; this was soon followed by 17 top ten hits in the UK singles charts, which included 6 chart toppers, "Words", "A Different Beat", "All That I Need", "No Matter What", "When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Get Going" and "You Needed Me". They released 3 albums in the 90s, Said And Done, A Different Beat, and Where We Belong, all of which reached the No.1 spot in the UK and were chart hits in many other parts of the world. After the success of Boyzone, the band decided in 2000 to move on to solo projects. Stephen was the first with his debut solo single titled 'New Beginning' and later a debut solo album of the same name. The album included another of his hit singles "Bright Eyes" which he recorded for the soundtrack to the new TV version of Watership Down. He also became the voice of one of the characters, 'Blackavar', which was created to look like him. He also provided the vocals to the Big Finish Productions Doctor Who audio play, Horror of Glam Rock. As well, Stephen took up acting, appearing in a various stage productions, which included the lead role in Bill Kenwright's new production of Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and the role of the evil Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, at the London Palladium. He appeared and guested on many television programmes such as All Star Talent Show and Dancing On Ice. In 2008, he rejoined his bandmates as Boyzone reformed for a series of successful concerts and recordings. Also in 2008 Stephen appeared in the independent horror film, Credo which was released in the United States as Devil's Curse. As well as his musical and acting career, Stephen was a vice patron of the charity Missing People (formerly National Missing Persons Helpline), supporting their Runaway Helpline service for young people.

Steve Ferguson
November 22nd 1948 ~ October 7th 2009
Guitar virtuoso, singer- songwriter, Steve Ferguson, a founder member and first guitarist with the
New Rhythm and Blues Quartet has sadly died aged 60, after a long and brave battle with cancer
.
Steve Ferguson
Steve Ferguson, was born in Louisville, US, where he first formed a group called the Merseybeats with his high school friend and pianist Terry Adams. After which the two moved Miami in Florida, where the pair helped found the band NRBQ, short for New Rhythm and Blues Quartet (originally Quintet), along with singer Frank Gadler, drummer Tom Staley and bassist Joey Spampinato in 1967. Soon they re-located to the northeastern US, living in Park Slope, Brooklyn, where they gained attention in local clubs. In the spring of 1969, NRBQ was the opening act for a 3-band program at "The Fillmore East" with 2nd act Joe Cocker the headline act The Jeff Beck Group with lead singer Rod Stewart, after which NRBQ was signed to Columbia Records in 1969. They released their self-titled debut album the same year. The record featured cover versions of everyone from Eddie Cochran to Sun Ra, along with a number of similarly wide-ranging original songs all showcasing the wild fretboard use and style of Steve's which had helped propel the band into the limelight. The following year, the group collaborated with rockabilly legend Carl Perkins on an album titled Boppin' The Blues. Steve wrote tracks including 'Flat Foot Flewzy', 'Ain't It All Right' and 'Fergie's Prayer'. He left NRBQ after their second album to follow a solo career. This sometimes forgotten guitar virtuoso, singer-songwriter worked with many great musicians including Johnnie Johnson and Mark Horn, and recorded several superb albums with his own bands, Brother Stephen & The Humanitarians, and Steve Ferguson and the Midwest Creole Ensemble, notably the classic "Jack Salmon and Derby Sauce" in 1992. Steve would also play the occasional reunion gig with NRBQ. More recently he recorded an album with his old lifelong friend Terry Adams, their 2006 album "Louisville Sluggers" with Ardolino on drums, Pete Toigo on bass, this album's lineup performed some live shows in the US and Japan as "The Terry Adams - Steve Ferguson Quartet"


Mary Travers
November 9th 1936 ~ September 16th 2009

American folk singer, Mary Travers, part of the famed trio, Peter Parl and Mary has sadly lost her long fight with leukemia. She died at Danbury Hospital in Connecticut at the age of 72. Mary leaves behind her fourth husband, restaurateur Ethan Robbins; two daughters, Erika Marshall and Alicia Travers; half-brother John Travers; a sister, Ann Gordon and two grandchildren.
Mary Travers
Mary Allin Travers was born in Louisville, Kentucky, but at the age of 2, her family moved to Greenwich Village in New York City, where she attended the Little Red School House, she left school in the eleventh grade to pursue her singing career. But while still in high school, she joined The Song Swappers, a group who sang backup for Pete Seeger when he recorded the album Talking Union, in 1955. The Song Swappers recorded a total of four albums in 1955, all with with Peter Seeger. Mary was also cast in the Broadway-theatre show, The Next President. Unlike most folk musicians who were a part of that early 1960s Greenwich Village music scene, Mary actually grew up there. The group Peter, Paul and Mary which included Mary, Peter Yarrow and Noel Paul Stookey was formed in 1961 by their manager, Albert Grossman, who was wanting to form a super-folk group. Their 1962 debut album, Peter, Paul and Mary, included the hits "500 Miles", "Lemon Tree", and the Pete Seeger hit songs "If I Had a Hammer" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?". The album was listed in the Billboard Magazine Top Ten for 10 months, including 7 weeks at No.1. Their version of "If I Had a Hammer" soon became an anthem for racial equality. They released 12 albums and had 17 hit singles including "Puff (The Magic Dragon)", "Blowin' in the Wind", "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right", "I Dig Rock and Roll Music", "Day is Done" and "Leaving on a Jet Plane". They were early champions of Bob Dylan, their recording of "Blowin' in the Wind", helped spur Bob into the limelight. In 1963 they took part in the 500,000-strong march on Washington organised by Dr. Martin Luther King, and two years later, in dangerous circumstances, they campaigned for racial equality in Selma, Alabama.
They performed 200 concerts a year, often for charitable or political causes. The group broke up in 1970, and Mary pursued a solo career recording five albums: Mary in 1971, Morning Glory in 1972, All My Choices in 1973, Circles in 1974 and It's in Everyone of Us in 1978. After which, that same year, Peter Paul and Mary re-formed. They reunited for a concert to protest nuclear energy, and continued to record albums together and tour, playing around 45 shows a year, until Mary's death. Sadly in 2005, Mary was diagnosed with leukemia. They remained politically active as well, performing at the 1995 anniversary of the Kent State shootings and performing for California strawberry pickers.The group collected five Grammy awards, inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999 and received the Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award from Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2006.

Simon Dee
July 28th 1935 ~ August 30th 2009

Britain’s first TV chat show host and the first voice to be broadcast from the pirate radio ship "Radio Caroline", Simon Dee has lost his battle with bone cancer. He died in a hospital near his home in Winchester, Hants. The 74 year old pioneer for music channels and commercial radio was married three times and leaves behind four children and four grandchildren.
Simon Dee
British radio disc jockey and television presenter,
Simon Dee, born Cyril Nicholas Henty-Dodd was educated at Brighton College and Shrewsbury School and served his compulsory military service in the Royal Air Force. During the 1956 Suez Crisis he was wounded in the face by a sniper in Cyprus. After leaving the RAF and after many odd jobs including coffee bar bouncer and leaf-sweeper in Hyde Park, in 1964 he joined Radio Caroline, a now legendary pirate radio ship broadcasting pop music from outside UK territorial waters. He made history on Easter day, March 30th, when his was the first voice to be heard on the radio station, welcoming listeners and handing over to the only other DJ on the ship at the time, Chris Moore, for the opening programme. In 1965 he left Caroline to work for the BBC Light Programme, introducing a late-night show on Saturdays, as well as working on 208, Radio Luxembourg. When BBC Radio 1 opened in 1967, he introduced the Monday edition of Midday Spin and frequently presented Top of the Pops on BBC television. Also in 1967 Simon began his early evening chat show Dee Time on BBC television, opened with sports presenter Len Martin announcing "It's Siiiiiiimon Dee!". He shaped the face of chat shows in the 1960s and was the leading presenter of the time. His twice weekly show became extremely popular, interviewing the likes of Sammy Davis Jr, Bob Hope and John Lennon, attracting up to 18 million viewers. Simon also had cameo roles in films, including The Italian Job and Doctor in Trouble. He fell out with the BBC and breifly worked for ITV, but had disagreements with them too. In 1970 he joined his former Radio Caroline boss, Ronan O'Rahilly, to campaign for pirate radio and against the Labour government's Marine Broadcasting Offences Act, issuing a poster of Prime Minister Harold Wilson dressed as Chinese dictator Mao Zedong. Pirate radio had become a political issue and, in the run up to the general election that summer, Radio Caroline International launched a campaign in support of the Conservative Party, which supported commercial radio. Simon later claimed that there was an Establishment plot against him because of his open opposition to PM Harold Wilson, and recently released government files show that he was indeed being monitored by the Security Service. Simon soon fell on hard times, spending 28 days in Pentonville prison for non-payment of rates on his former Chelsea home in 1974. His career never really recovered. In the late 1980s, he hosted Sounds of the 60s on BBC Radio 2. In 2003, Victor Lewis-Smith arranged for a one-off new live edition of Dee Time to be broadcast on Channel Four, following Dee Construction, which covered Dee's career. Allegedly actress Elizabeth Hurley has claimed that Simon was the model for the character Austin Powers in the spoof 1960s films of 1997-2002.


Eleanor "Ellie" Greenwich
October 23rd 1940 ~ August 26th 2009

Producer, songwriter and singer Ellie Greenwich, from the New York's famed "Brill Building" scene of the 1960s, has sadly died of a heart attack at St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital,
New York, where she had been admitted a few days earlier for treatment of pneumonia. The 68 year old, multi-award winning songwriter is survived by a sister, brother-in-law, nephew and her niece.
Ellie Greenwich
Born in New York and raised on Long Island, as a young teenager Ellie Greenwich entered talant contests, then at 17, while attending Queens College, she recorded her first single, the self-penned "Silly Isn't It" b/w "Cha-Cha Charming" under the name Ellie Gaye. Also at this time she met an up and coming songwriter Jeff Barry and soon the pair began writing songs together. Along with Jeff she was a co-writer of "Tell Laura I Love Her," in 1960. A couple of years later they were signed by Leiber and Stoller to the famed Time Square's Brill Building and began writing and producing for Phil Spector's short-lived Philles label. In 1962 Ellie and Jeff married and decided to write songs exclusively with each other. They became one of the most successful and prolific of Brill Building composers. Before the end of 1963, the Barry-Greenwich team had scored hits with songs such as "Be My Baby" and "Baby, I Love You" (The Ronettes), "Chapel Of Love" (The Dixie Cups), "Then He Kissed Me" and "Da Doo Ron Ron" (The Crystals), "Not Too Young To Get Married" (Bob B. Soxx & the Blue Jeans), and "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)" by Darlene Love. Ellie and Barry also recorded singles and an album under the name The Raindrops, with Ellie providing all the female vocals through overdubbing, and Jeff singing backgrounds in a bass voice. They wrote many hits at this time including "Hanky Panky", "Do Wah Diddy Diddy", "Cherry Cherry", "Kentucky Woman", "I Can Hear Music", "River Deep, Mountain High" to mention a few. After her divorce, Ellie formed Pineywood Music in 1967 with Mike Rashkow, they worked with Dusty Springfield, The Definitive Rock Chorale, The Other Voices, The Fuzzy Bunnies, and The Hardy Boys. She went on to collaborate with other writers such as Ellen Foley and Jeff Kent as well as providing backing vocals on many hits over her long career. As well as the above she worked with Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Elton John, Cher, Tina Turner, Mariah Carey, Bette Midler, Celine Dion, U2 Twisted Sister and Hanson and many others artists and bands have recorded her songs. In 1984 she was involved in a musical based on her life titled Leader of the Pack. In 1991, Ellie and Jeff Barry were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Ellie's songs have earned her over 25 gold and platinum records and sales in the tens of millions along with over 33 BMI Awards and numerous civic and Hofstra-Alumni citations.

Les Paul
June 9th
1915 ~ August 13th 2009

Musician, inventor pioneer and guitar virtuoso, Les Paul, the man who made rock and roll possible has sadly passed away at the age of 94. With his loving family and friends at his bedside, he died from complications of pneumonia at White Plains Hospital in White Plains, New York.
Les Paul ~ Rest In Peace.
One of the most important figures in the development of the electric guitar and studio recording techniques. Born Lester William Polfus in Wankesha, Wisconsin, USA. Les began playing guitar and other instruments while still a child. In the early 30s he broadcast on the radio and in 1936 was leading his own trio. In the late 30s and early 40s he worked in New York, where he was featured on Fred Waring's radio show. He made records accompanying singers such as Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters. Although his work was in the popular vein, with a strong country leaning, Les was highly adaptable and frequently sat in with jazz musicians. One of his favourites was Nat "King" Cole, whom he knew in Los Angeles, and the two men appeared together at a Jazz At The Philharmonic concert in 1944, on which Les played some especially fine blues. Les also hosted a 15-minute radio program, The Les Paul Show, on NBC in 1950, featuring his trio (himself, Ford, and rhythm player Eddie Stapleton) and his electronics, recorded from their home and with gentle humor between Les and Mary bridging musical selections, some of which had already been successful on records, some of which anticipated the couple's recordings, and many of which presented re-interpretations of such jazz and pop selections as "In the Mood," "Little Rock Getaway," "Brazil," and "Tiger Rag." Several recordings of these shows survive among old-time radio collectors today. The show also appeared on television a few years later with the same format, but excluding the trio and retitled The Les Paul & Mary Ford Show (aka Les Paul & Mary Ford At Home) with "Vaya Con Dios" as a theme song. Dissatisfied with the sound of the guitars he played, Les developed his own design for a solid-bodied instrument, which he had made at his own expense. Indeed, the company, Gibson, ..... READ MORE


Mike Seeger
August 15th 1933 ~ August 7th 2009

Michael Seeger, multi-musician, singer, folklorist and founder member of The New Lost City Ramblers, to many the most influencal folk group in the late 50s and 60s, has sadly lost his fight with cancer. He had been under going treatment for leukemia for a few years, but recently had been diagnosed with multiple myeloma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer. It was his decision to forgo treatment and enter hospice care. The talented musician died at the age of 75 surrounded by a loving family; his wife, his sons and his sister.
Mike Seeger
Mike Seeger
born in New York was influenced throughout his early life by his mother, the modernist composer and folk music specialist Ruth Crawford-Seeger and his father Charles Seeger, who worked with musicologists John and Alan Lomax. Mike was a self-taught musician, playing banjo, autoharp, dulcimer, fiddle, guitar, mouth harp, mandolin and dobro. In 1958 at the of age 25 years he became a founding member of the highly influencial string band The New Lost City Ramblers along with friends John Cohen and Tom Paley. They distinguished themselves by focusing on the traditional playing styles they heard on the old 78rpm records of musicians recorded during the 1920s and 1930s, many of whom would later appear on the Anthology of American Folk Music. They debuted on Folkways Records with a self titles album The New Lost City Ramblers in 1958, which was followed by a volume 2 the following year. Mike and the band released 29 albums over their very long career, the last to date being "40 Years of Concert Performances" released in 2001. The Ramblers also pioneered the practice of bringing many older rural musicians onstage with them for collaborative concerts, bridging gaps of culture and time for new audiences. Mike also had a busy solo career, touring the world and guesting with many musicians. He has recorded and/or appeared on dozens of albums, including more recently Robert Plant and Alison Krauss's 2007 album Raising Sand and Ry Cooder's 2007 album My Name Is Buddy. His influence on the folk scene is described at some length by Bob Dylan in his autobiography, Chronicles: Volume One, and his dedication and great love for the old time music has been rewarded with six Grammy nominations and he was the recipient of four grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous other awards. The New Lost City Ramblers's final concert, will be held in West Virginia on August 30th 2009, so sadly without this great and highly respected musician, Mike Seeger.

Mbah Surip
May 6th 1949 ~ August 4th 2009

Indonesian reggae star has died from heart failure at the age of 60. He was taken to hospital from a house belonging to Mamiek Prakoso, a comedian from Srimulat. Tragically he died at 10.30 a.m on the way to Pusdikkes Hospital in East Jakarta leaving behind a loving family.
Mbah Surip. (Photo: Afriadi Hikmal, JG)
Mbah born as Urip Achmad Ariyanto, had lived in poverty nearly all his life, earning what money he could as a street performer. But earlier this year, overnight he became famous and a much loved star in Indonesia when he released a single "Tak Gendong"/"I will carry you"... it became an instant hit. Mbah was recognizable by his braided hair and hearty laugh. His signature greeting was “I love you full, I love you full” which he would say over and over to everyone he met. “I love singing and I don’t mind doing it non-stop, once I sang for 60 hours with only a little sleep, but I’m happy,” he said in a recent interview with SCTV. So sadly and cruely he was taken from us before he could fully enjoy his massive success after a live time of struggle. Before the funeral, Mbah’s daughter, Resia Tri Kresnawati, held her wedding ceremony in front of her father’s remains. Resia’s wedding was originally planned to be held on August 16 in Mojokerto, East Java, but the wedding was brought forward because of Mbah’s death and the need of a quick funeral is in accordance with Islamic teachings.

Michael Joseph Jackson
August 29th 1950 ~ June 25th 2009

The musical legend, King of Pop, Michael Jackson has tragically and unexpectedly died of a cardiac arrest at his home in Bel Air at the age of only 50. He is survived by a large loving family and his three children, Prince Michael Jr, Paris and Prince Michael II. Suspicions surround his death, further autopsies are being conducted
Michael Jackson
The "King of Pop", American recording artist, entertainer and businessman, born in Gary, Chicago, Indiana, he was the seventh of nine children. His siblings are Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy and Janet. His father Joseph Jackson, who physically and emotionally abused Michael as a child, often performed in an R&B band called The Falcons and Michael was raised as a Jehovah's Witness by his mother. In 1964, he and his brother Marlon joined the Jackson Brothers, a band formed by brothers Jackie, Tito and Jermaine, as backup musicians playing congas and tambourine, respectively. Soon he began performing backup vocals and dancing; then at the age of eight, he and Jermaine assumed lead vocals, and the group's name was changed to The Jackson 5. They extensively toured the Midwest from 1966 to 1968 and frequently performed at a string of black clubs and venues collectively known as the "chitlin' circuit", where they often opened for stripteases and other adult acts. Michael's first brake came in 1966, when the band won a major local talent show with renditions of Motown hits and James Brown's "I Got You (I Feel Good)", led by himself, after which The Jackson 5 recorded several songs, including "Big Boy", before signing with Motown Records in 1968. The group set a chart record when its first four singles "I Want You Back", "ABC", "The Love You Save" and "I'll Be There" reached No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Starting in 1972, Jackson released a total of four solo studio albums with Motown, among them Got to Be There and Ben, which produced successful singles such as "Got to Be There", "Ben" and "Rockin' Robin". The Jackson 5 left Motown in 1975. It was in 1978 while Michael was working on the film musical The Wiz, an all-black retelling of the Wizard of Oz - in which he played the Scarecrow to Diana Ross's Dorothy - that he met music producer, composer and arranger, Quincy Jones, the man who would turn him into a superstar and transform the world of popular music, taking Michael's raw talent and moulding it into an awesome new sound, producing albums with massive world sales, such as Off The Wall: 19m, Thriller: 65m, Bad: 28m, Dangerous: 29m, HIStory: 18m, Invincible: 8m. As well as being a double-inductee of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, once as a member of The Jackson 5 in 1997 and later as a solo artist in 2001, throughout his career Michael has received numerous honors and awards, including the World Music Awards' Best-Selling Pop Male Artist of the Millennium, the American Music Award's Artist of the Century Award and the Bambi Pop Artist of the Millennium Award. He was also an inductee of the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2002. His awards include multiple Guinness World Records, eight in 2006 alone, 13 Grammy Awards, 13 number one singles in his solo career—more than any other male artist in the Hot 100 era and the sale of over 750 million albums worldwide, making him the world's best selling male solo pop artist. In recent years, Michael has been plagued by money problems and shielded himself from public view. Arrested in 2003 on charges of molesting a 14 year old boy, after a gruelling five-month trial, which took it's tole on Michael, he was cleared in June 2005. After which he moved for a while to the Middle East where he befriended the king of Bahrain's son, Sheikh Abdulla Bin Hamad Bin Isa Al-Khalifa. Sadly his record breaking charity programs seem to have been pushed to the background in more recent years, over the decades Michael has raised and helped raise millions of dollars for various charities. Michael was due to begin a sold-out comeback 50 date residency in London starting next month. Hundreds of fans queued at the O2 arena as tickets went on sale and more than a quarter of a million people queued online, around 750,000 tickets were sold for the 50-date residency, which he had billed his "Final Curtain Call". Rehearsals for the show were under way when Michael allegedly suffered a cardiac arrest at his home in Bel Air. He was later pronounced dead at the UCLA medical centre in Los Angeles.

Bob Bogle
January 16th 1934 ~ June 14th 2009

Bob Bogle, lead guitarist with American band The Ventures, has sadly died at the age of 75 following a short illness. He had been diagnosed and battling non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

American guitarist
and founding member of the instrumental rock band, The Ventures. Born near Wagoner, Oklahoma, he was a self-taught guitar player, his use of the tremolo arm was particularly notable and his playing in their 1960 cover of "Walk, Don't Run" influenced a generation of guitarists including John Fogerty, Steve Miller, Joe Walsh and Stevie Ray Vaughan. After leaving school at 15 he worked as a bricklayer in California. In 1958, while working on different construction sites he met up with fellow mason worker Don Wilson in Seattle, the two formed a band called The Versatones. The duo played small clubs, beer bars, and private parties throughout the Pacific Northwest. They recruited bassist Nokie Edwards, Skip Moore on drums and changed their name to the Ventures. The band enjoyed their greatest popularity and success in the US and Japan in the 1960s, but they have continued to perform and record up to 2009 recording in all 38 albums. With over 110 million albums sold worldwide, the group remains the best selling instrumental rock group of all time. The Ventures' 1960s chart success made its way to the UK, scoring top 10 hits with Walk, Don't Run and Perfidia. Bob along with The Ventures was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 10th 2008


Ruben "Zeke" Zarchy
June 12th 1915 ~ April 12th 2009

American jazz legend, trumpet player Ruben "Zeke" Zarchy has sadly died at Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Irvine, of complications from pneumonia at the grand age of 93. His wife of 58 years, Margaret, died in 2007 at age 85. He is survived by his son Andrew Fielding of Vancouver; his daughters Carol Hettmansberger, Amy Winterstein and Laura Wagner and a grandson.
Ruben "Zeke" Zarchy
Ruben "Zeke" Zarchy was born in New York, where his father played the mandolin and wanted his children to learn instruments. Zeke played violin in his youth and became enthralled with horn players like Louis Armstrong and switched to trumpet in his early teens. He became the bugler for his Boy Scout troop and knew from then on that he wanted to stay with the horn. He was 20 when he started playing with the Joe Haymes' orchestra in 1934, then he played with Benny Goodman in 1936 and Artie Shaw in 1937. From 1937 to 1942, he recorded and worked with the bands of Red Norvo, Mildred Bailey, Frank Sinatra, Helen Ward, Judy Garland, Bob Crosby, Tommy Dorsey, and Ella Fitzgerald. Zeke's trumpet can be heard on recordings such as Benny Goodman's "Bugle Call Rag", Bob Crosby's "South Rampart Street Parade", and Glenn Miller's "Moonlight Cocktails". When World War II broke out, he was the first musician to be chosen by Glenn Miller for what became Miller's Army Air Force Band; officially, the 418th Army Band, where he played lead trumpet and was Master Sergeant from 1942 to 1945. He was the last band member to speak to Miller before the great musician boarded a plane on Dec. 15, 1944, for a trip to Paris. Miller's flight never made it to France, and he and the others aboard were presumed lost over the English Channel. After the war, singer Frank Sinatra invited Zeke to move to Los Angeles, where he became a first-call studio musician. He played on the recordings of hundreds of vocalists, including Louis Armstrong, Tony Bennett, Dinah Shore, and The Mills Brothers. His trumpet is heard in the soundtracks of many classic Hollywood movies, including West Side Story, Dr. Zhivago and the The Glenn Miller Story to mention a few. During the 1960s and '70s, he played in the house bands of several CBS TV variety shows, including The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, The Danny Kaye Show and The Jonathan Winters Show, and was a member of the NBC Staff Orchestras in Los Angeles and New York and a prominent member of the Great Pacific Jazz Band. In his later years, Zeke made many music tours of Europe, South America, and Australia, as well as 32 concert trips to Japan.


Dan Wayland Seals
February 8th 1948
~ March 25th 2009
Singer songwriter, multi-musician, Dan Seals, who performed as England Dan in the folk-pop duo England Dan and John Ford Coley, has sadly died at his daughter’s home in Nashville from complications of the treatment of mantle cell lymphoma. He was 61 and
is survived by his brother Jim; his mother Sue Taylor; his wife Andrea; their daughter Holley May Lizarrga; their son Jesse; his two sons from a previous marriage, Jimmy and Jeremy and seven grandchildren.
Dan Seals
Dan Wayland Seals was born in McCamey, Texas, into a busy musical family, where his father was an amateur country singer, his brother Eddie was a member of the 1950s group, The Champs; his brother Jim performed as one half of Seals and Crofts and three of his cousins were in bands too. Dan learnt to play the upright bass, guitar and saxophone and started out playing the local gigs with his father in the Seals Family Band and various groups with his bothers. In the late 60's he joined with fellow W.W. Samuell High School classmate and longtime friend John (Ford) Coley to perform in a band called the Shimmerers, recording some demos in 1965; they became the pop/psych group Southwest Freight on Board/" F.O.B" two years later, scoring a chart single with "The Smell of Incense". After which Dan went under the name of "England Dan", a childhood nickname he'd aquired because of his affected English accent, plus his love of The Beatles and in 1970, he and John formed the soft rock duo England Dan and John Ford Coley. The duo had six Top 40 singles including "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight", "It's Sad to Belong", "Love Is the Answer", as well as "Nights Are Forever Without You" and "We'll Never Have to Say Goodbye Again". In 1980, Dan launched his solo career releasing his debut album, ''Stones''. He recorded sixteen studio albums and charted more than twenty singles on the country charts. 11 of his singles reached No.1: "Everything That Glitters (Is Not Gold)", "Meet Me in Montana" (with Marie Osmond), "Big Wheels in the Moonlight", "Bop","You Still Move Me", "I Will Be There", "Addicted", "Three Time Loser", "One Friend", "Love on Arrival", & a cover of Sam Cooke's "Good Times". Five more of his singles also reached Top Ten on the country charts. More recently Dan and his brother Jim had been working together on an album, which they had planned to release later this year.


Eddie Bo
September 20th 1930 ~ March 18th 2009

American classic R&B singer-songwriter and one of the last New Orleans junker-style pianists, Eddie Bo, who inspired a dance craze with his 1962 hit "Check Mr. Popeye" has sadly died of a
heart attack. His close friend and booking agent, Karen Hamilton
said Eddie Bo had a "sudden, massive heart attack" while out of town Wednesday. She said he "went very quickly, very peacefully."
Eddie Bo
Bor
n Edwin Joseph Bocage, Eddie Bo was born into a musical family with his cousins Charles, Henry and Peter playing with Sidney Bechet and his Mother was a self-taught pianist in the style of their family friend, Professor Longhair, and who was a huge inspiration to Eddie Bo. Eddie Bo became known for his wild R&B, soul and funk recordings, compositions, productions and arrangements as well as his jazz and blues. After leaving school and a stint in the army he studied piano, music theory, sight reading and music arrangement at the Grundwald School of Music in New Orleans. He was influenced by Russian classical pianist Horowitz and bebop pianists Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson. Eddie Bo began playing in the New Orleans jazz scene and went under the name of Spider Bocage, later forming the Spider Bocage Orchestra. In the 1950s he and a group of New Orleans musicians toured the country supporting singers Big Joe Turner, Earl King, Guitar Slim, Johnny Adams, Lloyd Price, Ruth Brown, Smiley Lewis, and The Platters. He debuted on Ace Records in 1955 and released more single records than anyone else in New Orleans other than Fats Domino, releasing more than 50 singles in his 5+ decade career. His song "Hook & Sling" was featured on the breakbeat compilation "Ultimate Breaks and Beats". In the 70's he can be heard with the likes of Curly Moore & The Kool Ones and Roy Ward. Through the 1980s and 1990s he played, toured (US, Europe and Japan) and/or recorded with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Willy DeVille, Victory Mixture and Big Easy Fantasy. He later joined up with Raful Neal and Rockin’ Tabby Thomas playing and recording under the names The District Court , The Louisiana Legends and The Hoodoo Kings. As well as his extremely busy career as a recording, performing and touring musician, Eddie Bo also produced and arranged records by such artists as Art Neville, Chris Kenner, The Explosions, Chuck Carbo, Irma Thomas, Johnny Adams, Al “Carnival Time” Johnson, Mary Jane Hooper, Robert Parker and The Vibrettes. Songwriting was another string to his bow, writing songs like "I'm Wise," which was made famous by Little Richard when renamed and released in 1956 as "Slippin' and Slidin'" and the 1960 Etta James' hit "My Dearest Darling" are just a couple of his many self penned songs. He was honoured on May 22, 1997 when it was declared "Eddie Bo Day" in New Orleans by mayor Marc Morial, at the time Bo was playing in Karachi, Pakistan. He won many music awards including two Lifetime Achievement awards from the South Louisiana Music Association and Music / Offbeat Best of the Beat and was named New Orleans' music ambassador to Pakistan. It is so sad that such a master of funky classic R&B and innovator did not get more recognition, although he did get some late recognition in the UK over the last few years when his hit "Here Come The Girls" was used on a big TV advertising campaign.

Edmund "Ted" Hockridge
August 9th 1919 ~ March 15th 2009

One of London's West End’s biggest stars in the 1950s, Edmund Hockridge, with his distinct and powerful baritone voice, has sadly passed away at the age of 89. He is survived by his wife Jackie, their sons Murray and Stephen, a foster son, Clifford, and Ian, his son from his first marriage.

Edmund "Ted" Hockridge
Born in Vancouver into a farming yet musical family, Edmund Hockridge always wanted to become a singer, and when his voice broke, it was found he had a remarkable baritone voice. In his teens, he took a job as an usher for pocket money at Vancouver Auditorium, where he saw world class singers, such as Beniamino Gigli, Paul Robeson and others. When New York Metropolitan Opera star, John Charles Thomas, heard Ted perform, he encouraged Ted to make music his career. He first visited the UK in 1941 while serving with the Royal Canadian Air Force and he helped set up the Allied Expeditionary Forces Network, supplying entertainment and news for troops in Europe. He was loaned to the BBC, often working with the Glen Miller Band and the Canadian band of the Allied Expeditionary Forces led by Robert Farnon. He sang and produced more than 400 shows with the BBC Forces Network and as the war ended he sang with big bands such as Geraldo’s. After the war and back in Canada he played leading roles in operas such as Don Giovanni, La bohème, Peter Grimes and Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, as well as having his own radio show in Toronto. In 1951 he returned to the UK to take the part of Billy Bigelow in Carousel at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, in London, he had rave reviews and made over 1,000 performances, and became one of the West End's biggest stars of the 1950s. He went on to play leading roles in a string of musicals including Guys and Dolls, Can Can and The Pajama Game, which lead to him becoming a major recording artist, with hit songs such as ''Young and Foolish'', ''No Other Love'', ''The Fountains of Rome'' and ''More than Ever''. A song from The Pajama Game, ''Hey There'', gave Ted his biggest hit and became his signature tune. He appeared in early editions of The Benny Hill Show, Sunday Night at the London Palladium and he starred in a six-month, sell-out variety season at the Palladium. In 1953 he was in the Royal Variety Show and the same year he was Canada’s representative in the Westminster Abbey choir at the Coronation. Ted headlined in cabaret on the QE2’s maiden voyage and he toured Europe in revivals of musicals. He also turned to British summer seasons and Sunday concerts, becoming one of Blackpool’s most popular stars. He topped the bill on Blackpool’s North Pier for seven years and appeared in several of Harold Fielding’s Opera House concerts in the 1960s. In the early 1980s he appeared in revivals of The Sound of Music and South Pacific but he made a spectacular comeback in 1986 when he played the part of the elderly Buffalo Bill in the big revival of Annie Get Your Gun. In the 1990s he was back on the road with his show, The Edmund Hockridge Family, in which he was joined on stage by Jackie and their two sons, Murray and Stephen. Ted never properly retired and even in his eighties he was still making public appearances and giving talks about his long career.

Alan Wendell Livingston
October 15th 1917 ~ March 13th 2009
Alan Wendall Livingston, the music executive who created Bozo the Clown and signed the Beatles during his tenure as president of Capitol Records, has died of age-related causes in his Beverly Hills home at the grand age of 91. He is survived by his wife Nancy Olson, one son, one daughter, and two stepdaughters.
Alan Wendell Livingston
Alan Livington began his career leading his own college orchestra at the University of Pennsylvania. After the war he obtained his first position with Capitol Records, as a writer/producer. He wrote and produced many children's series of storytelling record-album including the September 1946 release of "Bozo at the Circus"; many products for Walt Disney; Walter Lantz's Woody Woodpecker; Hopalong Cassidy including "Hopalong Cassidy and The Singing Bandit" in 1950; Bugs Bunny and all of the Warner Bros characters and he wrote the 1951 pop hit "I Tawt I Taw a Puddy Tat". Alan moved on to the adult music and became Vice President. He signed Frank Sinatra, who agreed to work with Nelson Riddle, with an immediate impact, producing the classics "I've Got the World on a String." and "Young-at-Heart". Alan was also officially credited as the inspiration for the distinctive Capitol Records Tower, completed in April 1956, noted for being the first circular office building in the world. In the 60's he turned Capitol Records into a more rock-oriented company with such artists as The Beach Boys, Steve Miller, The Band, and others. He signed The Beatles, agreeing to release 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' in 1963 and bringing them to the United States in 1964, after having rejected all their previous singles as unsuitable for the U.S. market despite Capitol being owned by The Beatles' U.K. record company, EMI. Alan was the creative force responsible for Capitol Records' growth from net sales of $6 million per year to sales in excess of $100 million per year. He later sold his stock in Capitol Industries to form his own company, Mediarts, Inc., for the production of motion pictures, records and music publishing. In August 1976, he joined 20th Century Fox Film Corporation as Senior Vice President and President, Entertainment Group. He left in 1980 to accept the presidency of Atalanta Investment Company, but resigned in 1987 to produce a one-hour film for television and to form Pacific Rim Productions, Inc

Louie Bellson
July 6th 1924 ~ February 14th 2009

Six-time Grammy nominee, international jazz drummer Louie Bellson, has sadly and unexpectedly passed away at the age of 84. He had been hospitalized over the last few months after falling and braking his hip last November, but had been convalescing at a Rehabilitation Facility in L.A. when he died.
Louie Bellson.  Image with courtesy of John Spragens, Jr.
Born Luigi Paulino Alfredo Francesco Antonio Balassoni, in Rock Falls, Illinois, Italian-American Louie took up the drums at the age of 3; at the age of 15, he pioneered the double-bass drum set-up; at 17, he triumphed over 40,000 drummers to win the Slingerland National Gene Krupa contest, this was the start of an incredible career. In 1942, he performed with the Benny Goodman band and Peggy Lee in "The Power Girl", the first of his many film appearances. Aged 24, he joined Danny Kaye, Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, Lionel Hampton, Charlie Barnett, Benny Carter, Mel Powell, Kenny Dorharn, Harry Babasin, Al Hendrickson, Buck Washington, and Goodman for Howard Hawks' "A Song Is Born". Over his very long and successful career, Louie has performed in virtually every capital city around the world, performing and/or recording over 200 albums as a leader, co-leader or sideman with renowned musicians and leaders such as Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Woody Herman, Norman Granz' J.A.T.P., Benny Carter, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Dizzy Gillespie, Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz, Hank Jones, Zoot Sims, Sonny Stitt, Milt Jackson, Clark Terry, Louie Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Shelly Manne, Billy Cobham, James Brown, Sammy Davis Jr., Tony Bennett, Pearl Bailey, Mel Tormé, Joe Williams, Wayne Newton, and film composer John Williams. As a composer and author, he has written more than 1,000 compositions and more than a dozen books on drums and percussion. He received the prestigious American Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1994. In 1998, Louie was hailed as one of four “Living Legends of Music”, along with Roy Haynes, Elvin Jones and Max Roach, when he received the American Drummers Achievement Award from the Zildjian Company. As well as being a six-time Grammy nominee., Louie had been voted into the Halls of Fame for both Modern Drummer magazine and the Percussive Arts Society, Yale University named him a Duke Ellington Fellow in 1977. He also has Honorary Doctorates at DePaul University, Chicago, IL, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, Denison University, Granville, OH, and Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL On November 6th 2008, Louie suffered a fall in the L.A. area and was taken to the Hospital, where it was found he had a broken hip. In the New Year he had been transferred to a Rehabilitation Facility in L.A. for convalescence and a rigorous regimen of physical therapy. “not only the world’s greatest drummer... but also the world’s greatest musician!”.. quote - Duke Ellington.

Estelle Bennett
July 22nd 1941 ~ February 11th 2009

Estelle Bennett, US singer and member of the legendary girl group The Ronettes has died at her New Jersey home at the age of 67. The cause of death has not yet been determined. She is survived her daughter, Toyin Hunter of Santa Monica, Calif., three grandsons, and her sister Veronica Bennett aka Ronnie Spector.
Estelle Bennett
Estelle Bennett, who was born in New York formed The Ronettes along with her sister Veronica Bennett aka Ronnie Spector and cousin Nedra Talley. They first began performing as The Darling Sisters and later worked as dancers at New York's Peppermint Lounge, the epicentre of the 60s dance craze, the Twist. As The Darling Sisters, they entered and won a talent show at the Apollo Theatre in 1959, which lead to them being signed with Colpix Records and a name change to The Ronettes. They recorded several unsuccessful tracks and also worked as backing singers for Bobby Rydell, Del Shannon, and Joey Dee, before being noticed and signed by Phil Spector to his Philles label. Their first Spector recording of "Be My Baby" reached hit No. 2 on Billboard in 1963 and was followed by a string of hits including "Walkin' in the Rain" and "Baby I Love You".
Their rendition of "Sleigh Ride" that appeared on Spector's "A Christmas Gift for You" album. Their last Philles single was "I Can Hear Music" in 1966. After the Ronettes break-up, Estelle recorded a single for Laurie Records, "The Year 2000/The Naked Boy". She then quit the music business and has rarely been seen at public appearences since. In 2007, when the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, due to ill health Estelle declined to perform with them, and spoke only a brief two sentences during her acceptance speech, "I would just like to say, thank you very much for giving us this award. I'm Estelle of the Ronettes, thank you."


Dewey Martin
September 30th 1940 ~ January 31st 2009
Canadian drummer, best known for his work with the notoriously volatile rock band, Buffalo Springfield has died at the age of 68. He was found dead in his Van Nuys apartment by a roommate. The cause of death is at the moment unknown, but longtime friend Lisa Lenes said Dewey has had health problems in recent years and she believed he died of natural causes.
Dewey Martin - R.I.P.
Born Walter Milton Dwayne Midkiff in Chesterville, Ontario, Canada, Dewey started playing drums when he was 13 years old and joined a high school band The Jive Rockets, but was soon playing with more professional rockabilly bands, including Bernie Early & The Early Birds. After his army discharge, he moved to Nashville in 1961 where he became an in-demand session drummer, playing and recording with the likes of Carl Perkins, Charlie Rich, Patsy Cline, Everly Brothers, Faron Young and Roy Orbison among others. In 1963, he travelled to Los Angeles with Faron Young's band, where he decided to stay. He first worked with a group called Lucky Lee & The Blue Diamonds. In November 1964, with some local musicians, calling themselves Sir Raleigh & The Cupons, Dewey recorded his first single, a rendition of "White Cliffs of Dover". They released four more singles "While I Wait"/"Somethin' or Other"; "Tomorrow's Gonna Be Another Day"/"Whitcomb Street"; "Tell Her Tonight"/"If You Need Me"; and "I Don't Want to Cry"/"Always". He also worked The Standells; MFQ; and The Dillards before becoming a founding member of Buffalo Springfield, playing on all 3 of their albums. In concert, he sang covers "In The Midnight Hour", "Nobody's Fool" and "Good Time Boy". The latter appeared on the band's second album, "Buffalo Springfield Again" . He also sang Neil Young's "Mr Soul" as the introduction to Young's "Broken Arrow" on the same album and backing vocals on the band's biggest hit, "For What It's Worth". Buffalo Springfield split in 1968, after which Dewey formed a new version the "New Buffalo Springfield", The new band toured extensively with the likes of The Turtles and appeared at the "Holiday Rock Festival" in San Francisco along with Steppenwolf and Canned Heat amongst others. Dewey soon fell foul when Stephen Stills and Neil Young took legal action to prevent Dewey from using the band's name. Dewey lost the case and with it his royalties. Undeterred, he simply shortened the name to New Buffalo and continued to tour until July 1969. In September 1969, he recorded a cover of "Jambalaya" with session ace James Burton on guitar. It was released as a single with Martin's own composition "Ala-Bam" on the b-side. Next, he put together the band Medicine Ball, releasing the album, "Dewey Martin's Medicine Ball", which featured steel guitarist Buddy Emmons and former Buffalo Springfield bass player the late Bruce Palmer. After producing an album for Truk in 1971, Dewey retired for a while from the music industry to become a car mechanic. During the mid-1980s he briefly worked with Pink Slip and the Meisner-Roberts Band. He also played with Buffalo Springfield Revisited, the band formed by original bass player, Bruce Palmer. During the early 1990s, Dewey revived the "Buffalo Springfield" mantle again for further live work but retired soon afterwards. Since then he spent time developing his own drum rim and 1997 saw him inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Sadly a somewhat unheralded drummer, but it should be remembered and noted, that in his era, he was a highly influentual musician with unique drumming skills for the time, he was also well known for his many jovial pranks, his battle with the demon drink and will be remembered for having an incredibly friendly and kind soul.

John Martyn O.B.E.
September 11th 1948 ~ January 29th 2009

British singer-songwriter, guitarist and multi-musician, John Martyn, whose soulful songs, skilled guitaring and earthy vocals are admired by musicians such as Phil Collins, David Gilmour and Eric Clapton has sadly died at the age of 60, in Ireland, were he was currently living. The cause of death has not been confirmed.John Martyn, born Iain David McGeachy - R.I.P.
John Martyn, born Iain David McGeachy in New Malden, Surrey, England, into a musical family where both his parents were opera singers. But they divorced when he was five and he spent his childhood alternating between England and Scotland. His strongest ties were in Glasgow, where much of his time was spent in the care of his grandmother and he attended Shawlands Academy there. Influenced by American blues artists such as Robert Johnson and Skip James, the traditional music of Scotland , and the eclectic folk of Davey Graham, John began his professional musical career when he was seventeen, playing a blend of blues and folk that resulted in a unique style that made him a key figure in the London folk scene during the mid-1960s. He released his first album, ''London Conversation'', in 1967, after being signed by Island Records. His second album ''Tumbler'' released in 1968 was slightly more jazz influenced. By 1970 he had developed a individual and wholly original sound: acoustic guitar run through a fuzzbox, phase-shifter, and Echoplex. This sound was first apparent on ''Stormbringer!'' his 3rd album released in 1970. In 1977 his 9th album "One World", includes tracks such as "Small Hours" and "Big Muff", a collaboration with famous reggae producer Lee "Scratch" Perry. Over a forty-year career he recorded twenty studio albums, and released 14 further albums and worked with artists such as Eric Clapton, John Paul Jones, David Gilmour, Phil Collins, and his former wife, Beverley Martyn. John had a reputation as being a bit of a hell-raiser, he had battled with drugs and alcohol throughout his life and was forced to have his right leg amputated below the knee after a cyst burst in 2003, he carried on performing but from a wheelchair. On 4 February 2008, he received the lifetime achievement award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk awards and on September 1st 2008 to mark John's 60th birthday, Island Records released a career-spanning 4CD boxed set, "Ain't No Saint", which includes many unreleased studio material and live recordings. For his final reward, Iain David McGeachy aka John Martyn, was appointed an OBE, The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, in the 2009 New Year Honours.

Billy Powell
June 3rd 1952 ~ January 28th 2009

Billy Powell, long time keyboardist for the Lynyrd Skynyrd band, survivor of the horrific 1977 plane crash, has died at his home in Orange Park, Florida, of a suspected heart attack. The legendary musician was only 59, and leaves behind a loving family, including his four children and wife Ellen Vera Powell.
Billy Powell - R.I.P.
William Norris Powell was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, but spent much of his early childhood in Italy where his father was stationed in the U.S. Navy. When Billy was only 12, his father sadly died of cancer, the family moved back to the United States and settled in Jacksonville, Florida. Billy's interest in music began to grow and he started piano lessons from a local teacher, he was a natural and could also play by ear. While at Bishop Kenny High, he met and became close friends with Leon Wilkeson, the future bassist for Lynyrd Skynyrd. After school, Billy enrolled briefly in college, majoring in Music Theory, after which he he worked as a roadie for Lynyrd Skynyrd, until 1971 when he became a full member as their keyboard player, the only keyboardist ever to play with the band and played with them throughout it's history until his death. It was just after this they changed their name to Lynyrd Skynyrd. In 1973 they debuted with "(pronounced 'leh-'nérd 'skin-'nérd)", commonly referred to as "Pronounced", which features the hit songs "I Ain't the One", "Gimme Three Steps", "Simple Man", "Tuesday's Gone", and "Free Bird".
Their distinctive triple-lead guitar sound made their songs "Free Bird", and "Sweet Home Alabama" American anthems. They bought out four more albums before tragidy struck on October 20th 1977. Six people were killed, lead singer Ronnie Van Zant; guitarist Steve Gaines; and his sister, vocalist Cassie Gaines; along with the band's assistant road manager, the pilot and co-pilot, when the band's plane crashed in a forest five miles northeast of Gillsburg, Mississippi. Billy suffered severe facial lacerations, almost completely losing his nose in the fatal plane crash. Two years after the accident, Billy and fellow surviving members Allen Collins, Gary Rossington and Leon Wilkeson formed the Rossington-Collins Band, but it broke up in 1982. Billy then joined a Christian rock band named Vision, where his keyboard playing was spotlighted in their concerts. In 1987 Lynyrd Skynyrd re-banded for a ful scale tribute tour, with Ronnie Van Zant's younger brother, Johnny, as lead singer. Billy remained with the band until his death. The band have bought 6 albums out since they reunited, the last to date being "Vicious Cycle" in 2003. At last the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2006, after been nominated 7 times. January 28th 2009, Billy called 911 at 12:55 a.m. saying he was having trouble breathing. Rescue crews found him unconsious with the phone still in his hand, they performed CPR, but Billy was pronounced dead at 1:52 a.m.. He had a history of heart problems, and the day before his death he had missed an appointment with his doctor for a cardiac evaluation. Tragically and sadly Gary Rossington is now the only member from the classic lineup who continues to perform with the reunited band.


Sam "Bluzman" Taylor
October 25th 1934 ~ January 5th 2009

American singer-songwriter, guitarist Sam Taylor, whose music has been recorded by everyone from Freddie King and Son Seals to DMX and EPMD, has sadly died at his home in Islandia, New York of complications associated from heart disease. The 74 year old musician is survived by three daughters, Sandra Taylor, Daionae Sparks, and Donna Brown, and a son, Kevin Taylor; 13 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.
Sam Taylor - R.I.P.
Sam Taylor was born in Mobile, Alabama, he started singing gospel at the church at the age of 3. He went north while in the Air Force and stationed at the Westhampton Beach Air Base, only a short distance from the blues mecca of the east end, Flanders, and the Blue Bird Inn where he and his friends jammed and gigged. These times and influences were a big and helpful learning lesson for a young Sam. After leaving the Air Force he went to live in Riverhead on the north shore of Long Island, working as Maxine Brown's band leader at the Apollo Theatre, having hits including the No.1 R&B hit "Funny". Over his long career, Sam penned hundreds of songs, many of them hits and some went gold, like "Do It 'Til You're Satisfied", performed by the BT Express. His music can be heard rendered many artists including Maxine Brown, Freddie King, Son Seals, Joey Dee, Amy Winehouse, Jimmy Witherspoon, The Vagrants, Jay and the Americans, L*A*W, and Joe Tex. He was also bandleader and/or played guitar for the likes of Otis Redding, Maxine Brown, The Drifters, Big Joe Turner, T-Bone Walker, The Isley Brothers, Albert Collins, Joey Dee & the Starlighters, Joe Frazier and the Knockouts, Tracy Nelson and Mother Earth, The Olympics and more notably Sam and Dave with their hits "People in Love" & "Listening For My Name" which he co-wrote with Bennie Earl. Sam was also an original member and guitarist with Joey Dee and the Starliters, which is considered to be the first integrated rock and roll band that contributed to the twist-dance craze with the "Peppermint Twist". He also appeared in two films with Joey Dee and the Starliters, before leaving the band to become a staff writer for The Beach Boys new record label, Brother Records, with his writing partner Bennie. At this time he also released his opus Tunnels Of My Mind on the GRT record label. Through the 1970s he spent his days writing, producing, arranging and teaching mainly for 1970s legendary Funk/Soul group B.T Express when they had their No.1 R&B hits "Do It (Til You're Satisfied)" and "Express" in 1974/1975. Sadly because of jealousy and unscrupulous business practices with in the music industry, Sammy decided to leave Long Island for a while and the early 80's saw him creating a scene of his own at Venice Beach, Santa Monica, California, where he was attracting artists like Rickie Lee Jones and good friend Albert Collins, but drugs and medical issues started causing him problems. On the advice of his friend Kidd Squid, he moved to Tucson, Arizona where a very supportive blues community helped him heal and he soon became a celebrity of that town too. In the mid 90's, when his son Bobby tragically died of heart failure, Sam thought it time to return to his beloved Long Island and family. He was also well known for his own blues work, with more than 12 solo albums, including "I Came from Dirt" and 2004's "Voice of the Blues", and famous also for his appearances at Long Island blues clubs. In 2006 he was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame and just before his death, he released his autobiography "Caught In The Jaws Of The Blues"

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I started these pages June of 2004. When the great Ray Charles died,
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