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2011
MEMORIALS
" Let us remember the great talent each possessed "


Ralph MacDonald
March 15th 1944 ~ December 18th 2011

Grammy Award-winning percussion virtuoso and pioneer Ralph MacDonald, whose understated Afro-Caribbean rhythms were known as “the ghost” behind a multitude of hit records of '70s and ’80s pop stars has sadly died battling cancer at the age of 67. He leaves behind a loving family including his wife, Grace; their children Atiba and Nefra-Ann; two children Anthony and Jovonni from a previous marriage; and three grandchildren.
Ralph MacDonald
Afro-Trinbago-American percussionist, song-writer, musical arranger, record producer, pioneer, plus conga drums and steelpan virtuoso was born in Harlem, USA. Calypso and the steelpan were his roots and in his creations he never strayed too far from them. Ralph began showing his musical talent, particularly with the steelpan, even before his teens, learning his craft at an early age from his father and five uncles, immigrants from Trinidad, who all played professionally in calypso bands. When he was 17, he landed a job playing pan for the Harry Belafonte
show; He wrote many songs for Harry, most of which are showcased on Mr. Belafonte’s 1966 album “Calypso Carnival". Ralph remained with the Belafonte outfit for 10 years before going on his own. His versatility made him a much sought-after session player on records by jazz and jazz-soul fusion artists like Bobbi Humphrey, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Herbie Mann, David Sanborn, Ron Carter, Tom Scott, Maynard Ferguson and Grover Washington Jr. for whom he co- wrote the 1975 hit “Mr. Magic”. He is also featured on on George Benson's 1976 album, Breezin'; on percussion on Carole King's 1975 album, Thoroughbred, and on Looking Glass's 1973 album Subway Serenade among many, many others. In 1967, together with Bill Eaton and William Salter, he formed the Antisia Music Incorporated, where Ralph convinced Roberta Flack to record "Where is The Love", which he and William had earlier written. Roberta did the song with Donnie Hathaway, the song sold 10 million copies and generated two Grammies. Another of his noted compositions is "Just the Two of Us" a mega-hit sung by Bill Withers and covered my many other artists. His recording credits number in the hundreds and include Burt Bacharach, George Benson, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin, Art Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Quincy Jones, Carole King, Miriam Makeba, David Sanborn, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Luther Vandross, Amy Winehouse, Bob James, Ashford and Simpson, Nana Mouskouri, The Average White Band, Hall and Oates, The Brothers Johnson, and Jimmy Buffett.

Billie Jo Spears
January 14th 1938 ~ December 14th 2011

"The Queen Mother" of country music, Billy Jo Spears has sadly died at the age of 73, while battling cancer. She leaves behind a loving family including her three sons, Tim, Kevin and Ronnie.
Billy Jo Spears
American country music singer; born Billie Jean Spears in Beaumont, Texas, her father was a truck driver; her mother, a shipyard welder, played guitar in the popular western swing band the Light Crust Doughboys. Billie
made her professional debut at the age of 13 at a country music concert in Houston, and after graduating from high school, she sang in nightclubs. Billie cut her first single "Too Old For Toys, Too Young For Boys" in Jack Rhodes' makeshift recording studio,while still a teenager, before moving to Nashville, Tennessee in 1964. She gained her first recording contract with United Artists Records, but soon moved over to Capitol Records with her producer Kelso Herston. Billie did not follow the new type of Country called countrypolitan unlike many of the artists of that time, and she proved to Nashville that country music could still have a more earthy sound. Her first chart success came with the song 'He's Got More Love In His Little Finger', released in November 1968, followed by 'Mr Walker, It's All Over' which reached No.4 on the Country chart and No.80 on the Pop charts. She had some vocal chord problems, after 2 years recovery, she moved back to United Artists Records, and returned to the charts in 1975 with a No.1 hit "Blanket on the Ground", followed with hits such as "What I've Got In Mind", "Sing Me An Old Fashioned Song", "Misty Blue", "'57 Chevrolet," "Love Ain't Gonna Wait For Us," "If You Want Me," and others. In 1977 Billy appeared at the International Festival of Country Music at Wembley Arena, London, UK, a booking that was repeated often over the years. She had a very loyal fan base in Britain and Billie continued to tour in the UK for more than 30 years. She continued releasing albums in America until the late 80s and throughout the 90s and onwards in the UK. Billie recovered from triple bypass surgery in 1993 after which she continued to tour for more than 16 years. She released around 30 albums, four of which went gold, the last of which was in 2005. She paid her final visit to the UK earlier this year, 2011, touring with the veteran Irish country singer Philomena Begley.

Myra Jardine Taylor
February 24th 1917 – December 9th 2011

Myra Taylor, one of the final living links to Kansas City’s heyday as a jazz mecca, has died at the age of 94. Like a shining star she performed well into 2011, but sadly Myra's health declined after and she had been under hospice care at the Swope Ridge Geriatric Center, for her last three months.

Myra Taylor
American jazz singer Myra Taylor was born in Bonner Springs, Kansas, and moved to Kansas City as a child. She began dancing and singing in her teens finding an escape from life in domestic service. She danced at the famed Sunset and Reno clubs on Kansas City 12th Street strip and in 1930 she began touring the Midwest with Clarence Love's band, where she became noticed for her singing. Myra then moved to Chicago in 1937 and worked with Warren “Baby” Dodds, Lonnie Johnson, Roy Eldridge and Lil’ Hardin Armstrong. She returned to Kansas City in 1940 and Harlan Leonard hired her as the featured singer for his new band Harlan Leonard and His Rockets. It was here Myra recorded her uptempo version of the song “I Don’t Want to Set the World on Fire”. Kansas City is also where she recorded her best-known song, “The Spider and the Fly”. She performed in USO shows during World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, performing in 32 different countries. But Myra became frustrated at the American music business, and spent most of the 50s in Juarez, Mexico, before relentlessly touring in Europe, and then in 1965 she moved to Frankfurt, Germany, where she opened her own club named Down by the Riverside. In 1977, Myra moved back to the US and settled in Los Angeles, California to work in film and television, including three episodes of the sitcom “The Jeffersons”. In 1994 she relocated once again in Kansas City. In 2000, she recorded "My Night to Dream", for Analogue Production Originals records and released it on the very inauspicious date of September 11th 2001. Myra continued singing and performing with the group Wild Women of Kansas City celebrating her 94th birthday with a concert at Knuckleheads Saloon with Samantha Fish and Mike Zito. Her final performance was July 24th 2011 with the Wild Women of Kansas City at the Jardine’s nightclub in Kansas City.

Bill "Tappy" Tapia
January 1st 1908 – December 2nd 2011

Maybe the most beloved and revered figure in the ukulele world, Bill Tapia, who performed with the likes of Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong has away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Westminster, California at the age of 103. His loving wife Barbie and daughter Cleo sadly died around the turn of the century.
Bill Tapia
American jazz guitarist and ukulele player, also known as known as "Uncle Bill" and "Tappy" was born to Portuguese parents in Honolulu. He got his first instrument at the age of 7 from Manuel Nunes, one of the first and most respected ukulele makers in Hawaii. By the age of 10, he was already playing professionally playing “Stars and Stripes Forever” for World War I troops in Hawaii. Early in his career Bill was traveling back and forth from Hawai’i to the West Coast playing on steamships, then in vaudeville and quickly expanding as a jazz guitarist, banjo and ukulele player. He performed with names such as Bing Crosby, Louis Armstrong, Elvis Presley and Hawaiian musicians such as King Bennie Nawahi, Sol Ho‘opi’i, and Andy Iona. Bill played with Johnny Noble’s band at the opening of the iconic Royal Hawaiian Hotel in 1927, returning to perform at the hotel’s reopening in 2009! He spent World War II in Honolulu leading a 14 piece band in “blackout ballrooms”, with all the lights out to avoid possible detection by Japanese bombers. After the war, Bill relocated to the San Francisco area, continuing to tour for several years with swing bands such as Charlie Barnet’s group. He settled down with wife Barbie and daughter Cleo, playing in TV orchestras, as a sideman with local bands, and teaching guitar. An entire generation of Bay Area guitarists have fond memories of learning their first licks from “Tappy” at Campagna Music in Lafayette, where he worked for several decades. By the turn of the last century, Bill had sadly lost both his wife and daughter and he embarked on perhaps the unlikeliest career comeback in music history. Returning to his ukulele roots, he released his first CD “Tropical Swing” in 2004 at aged 96, that same year he was inducted into the Ukulele Hall of Fame, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Hawaiian Academy of Recording Arts in 2011. Bill toured until late in 2010 and continued to perform until his death and he is widely believed to be the oldest performing musician ever to take the stage.

Doyle Bramhall
February 17th 1949 ~ November 12th 2011

Acclaimed Texan drummer, singer-songwriter Doyle Bramhall, has unexpectedly passed away in his sleep of heart failure at his home in Alpine, aged 62. He leaves behind a loving family including his wife, Barbara Logan, daughter Georgia, and his son, renowned guitarist Doyle Bramhall II.
Doyle Bramhall
American drummer and singer-songwriter Doyle Bramhall was born and raised in Dallas, Texas and while still at high school, he and Jimmie Vaughan formed The Chessmen. The highly talented band opened for Jimi Hendrix when he played Dallas. In 1969, Doyle moved to Austin and formed the band Texas Storm, again with his friend with Jimmie Vaughan and in the 1970s, he founded The Nightcrawlers with bassist Marc Benno, which this time included Jimmie Vaughan's younger brother Stevie Ray Vaughan on guitar. While in The Nightcrawlers, Doyle co-wrote the tune "Dirty Pool," which appeared on Stevie Ray Vaughan's debut album, Texas Flood. Doyle would wrote or co-wrote several other songs for the younger Vaughan, such as "Life By The Drop" from SRV's The Sky Is Crying album, and he played the drums on the Vaughan Brothers only album, "Family Style". Doyle released his debut solo record in 1994, which included appearances from the Vaughans and his own son guitarist Doyle Bramhall II. He also collaborated with Jennifer Warnes in the 1990s. His most recent solo album "Is It News" was nominated for a Grammy in 2007. Doyle performed at this year’s Main Street Fort Worth Arts Festival, sadly this was to be one of his last appearances. He was due to appear at the Granada Theatre with support from Fort Worth’s the Quaker City Night Hawks on November 26th.


Heavy D
May 24th 1967 ~ November 8th 2011

American rapper, record producer and singer, Heavy D, leader of the influencial hip-hop band Heavy D & the Boyz has tragically died, suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 44. He died just after he had been rushed hospital while suffering respiratory difficulties which started on his return home from a shopping outing.

Born Dwight Arrington Myers in Jamaican he moved with his family to New York City when he was a young child. He was the former leader of Heavy D & the Boyz, the influencial hip hop group which included G-Whiz, "Trouble" T. Roy, and Eddie F. His debut album, Living Large, was released in 1987, but it was his 2nd album Big Tyme which was his breakthrough which included the hits "We Got Out Own Thang", "Somebody for Me", and "Gyrlz, They Love Me". Tragically Trouble T. Roy died aged 22 in a fall on July 15, 1990, his passing led to a tribute on the follow-up platinum album, Peaceful Journey, called "They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.)" which is regarded as a hip-hop classic. He released a total of seven studio albums throughout his career. Heavy D & the Boyz gained even more fame by singing the theme song for the television program In Living Color and also MADtv. Heavy D performed the rap on Michael Jackson's hit single "Jam" as well as sister Janet Jackson's hit single "Alright". He then began focusing on his acting, appearing in television shows before returning to the music charts with Nuttin' But Love. After appearing in the off-Broadway play Riff Raff at Circle Repertory Company, he returned to recording with the hit Waterbed Hev. In 2005, the Will Smith movie Hitch played his hit song "Now That We Found Love". In 1997, Heavy collaborated with B.B. King on his duets album Deuces Wild rapping in the song "Keep It Coming". He also has a small role in the 1999 Oscar-nominated movie The Cider House Rules. More recently he recorded a series of reggae fusion albums and Heavy had performed at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards just a few weeks ago on October 11th 2011.


Sir Jimmy Savile
October 31st 1926 ~ October 29th 2011

British disc jockey, DJ pioneer, TV presenter and charity fundraiser, Jimmy Savile, best known for his BBC television show "Jim'll Fix It", and for being the first and last presenter of the long-running BBC chart show "Top of the Pops" has died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Leeds, two days prior to his 85th birthday.
Jimmy Savile
He was also well known for his support of various charities and fundraising efforts, particularly Stoke Mandeville Hospital; he raised over £40,000,000 during his long and colourful career. Born in Leeds, Jimmy was a Bevin Boy, conscripted during World War II to work as a coal miner at South Kirkby Colliery, West Yorkshire. Having started playing records in dance halls in the early 1940s, he claimed to be the first ever disc jockey and is acknowledged as one of the pioneers of twin turntables for continuous play of music. Jimmy
later lived in Salford, and worked as manager of the Plaza Ballroom in Oxford Road, Manchester, in the mid-fifties and he also managed the Mecca Locarno ballroom in Leeds around the late 1950s and early 1960s. Mecca also owned the Palais, a dance hall in Ilford, Essex, and Jimmy did a stint as manager there between 1955 and 1956. His Monday evening records-only dance sessions, at 1/- admission, were a huge favourite with local teens. He also was a hospital porter at Broadmoor Hospital and Leeds General Infirmary and became a semi-professional sportsman, competing in the 1951 Tour of Britain cycle race and over 300 other professional bike races, plus competed in 212 marathons and worked as a professional wrestler. He started his radio career working as a Radio Luxembourg DJ from 1958 to 1967. Among his programmes was the Teen and Twenty Disc Club. In 1968 he joined BBC Radio 1, where he initially presented Savile's Travels and the discussion show Speakeasy. His best-remembered contribution to Radio 1, however, is the Sunday lunchtime show Jimmy Savile's Old Record Club, where entire top tens from years gone by were played. This was the first show to feature old charts. It began in 1973 as The Double Top Ten Show and ended in 1987 as The Triple Top Ten Show, at which point he left Radio 1 after 19 years. His television career stared in 1960 when he presented Tyne Tees Television's music programme "Young at Heart!; although the show was broadcast in black and white, he dyed his hair a different colour every week. During the early 1960s he co-hosted (with Pete Murray) New Musical Express Poll Winners' Concert, annually held at Empire Pool, Wembley, with acts such as The Beatles, Cliff Richard and The Shadows, Joe Brown And the Bruvvers, The Who, and many others. These were filmed and recorded and later broadcast on television. On New Year's Day, 1964, he presented the first edition of British music chart television programme Top of the Pops. On July 30 2006 he also co-hosted the final edition, ending the show with the words "It's number one, it's still Top of the Pops", before being shown turning off the studio lights after the closing credits. On December 31st 1969, Jimmy hosted the BBC/ZDF co-production Pop Go The Sixties, shown across Western Europe, celebrating the hits of the 1960s. He presented the legendary television programme Jim'll Fix It from 1975 to 1994. In 1971 he was awarded the OBE, and in 1990 he was knighted for his services in the Queen's Birthday Honours List. The same year he was honoured with a papal knighthood from the Vatican making him a Knight Commander of Saint Gregory the Great. Jimmy was also a Knight of Malta and was awarded honorary Commando Green Beret by the Royal Marines in the 1970s for being one of only two civilians to complete the Royal Marine Commando speed march, 30 miles across Dartmoor carrying 30 lb of kit.

Edmundo Ros
December 7th 1910 ~ October 21st 2011

Edmundo Ros, the musician, pioneer and bandleader who introduced Latin American music to British audiences has died peacefully in his sleep in a nursing home in Benimeli, Spain. The 100 year old legend sadly leaves behind
his wife Susan and his two children Douglas and Luisa from his first marriage to Britt Johansen.
Edmundo Ros
Trinidadian bandleader, vocalist and arranger who made his career in Britain, Edmundo, was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad; he enrolled in military academy where he became interested in music and learned to play the euphonium. From 1927-37 he lived in Caracas, Venezuela, where he played in the Venezuelan Military Academy Band as well as being a tympanist in the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra. He received a music scholarship from the government, under which from 1937-1942 he studied harmony, composition and orchestration at the Royal Academy of Music, London, UK. At the same time he was the vocalist and percussionist in Don Marino Baretto’s band at the Embassy Club and recorded with Fats Waller. In August 1940 he formed his own rumba band, Edmundo Ros and His Rumba Band and in 1941 he cut his first track 'Los Hijos de Buda'. At the Bagatelle a visit from Princess Elizabeth and party, helped make his name and the future Queen danced in public for the first time to Edmundo's music. In later years his orchestra was often invited to play at Buckingham Palace. By 1946 he owned a club, a dance school, a record company and an artistes' agency. His band grew to 16 musicians and was renamed Edmundo Ros and His Orchestra. His number 'The Wedding Samba', 1949, sold three million 78s. His album Rhythms of The South in 1958 was one of the first high-quality LP stereo records: it sold a million copies. In 1950, King George VI invited him to perform at Windsor, and that same year he married the beautiful Swedish aristocrat Britt Johansen. In 1951 Ros bought the world famous Coconut Grove on Regent Street and in 1964 renamed it Edmundo Ros's Dinner and Supper Club. Only those mentioned in "Who's Who" were allowed membership in the club, and the BBC had regular radio broadcasts there. He was with Decca Records from 1944 to 1974, and altogether made more than 800 recordings. He got the smart idea of recording Broadway musical melodies arranged to different Latin rhythms: the mambo, cha cha cha, rumba, samba, baion, bolero, valse creole, meringe, guaracha, and the conga. He also made a series of TV shows for the US and European markets. In 1975 after his 7th Japanese tour and a BBC recording session, he announced the disbanding of the orchestra. Emundo retired and moved to Jávea, Alicante, Spain with his second wife Susan. He gave his last public performance on 8 January 1994 when he conducted and sang with the BBC Big Band with Strings at The Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. The concert was broadcast over BBC Radio 2 and it was such a success that a Japanese recording company invited them into a recording studio in London to make yet another Edmundo Ros CD. At the turn of the century, Edmundo was honoured when he was awarded the Order of the British Empire by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, in the 2000 New Year's Honours List.

Elizabeth "Betty" Driver
May 20th 1920 ~ October 15th 2011

Child singing star Betty Driver, and
national treasure after 42 years starring in over 2,800 episodes as Coronation Street's Betty Turpin, has sadly died from pneumonia at the age of ninety one.
Betty Driver
Born in Leicester, England, but at aged two Betty moved to West Didsbury, Manchester, with her family. At the age of 8, pushed by her mother, she began performing professionally with Terence Byron Repertory Theatre Company; singing for the BBC by the age of 10; and began touring across the UK in her first revue at the age of 12. Whilst performing in London at the age of 14, Betty was spotted by the agent Bert Aza, despite her young age, he booked her for the lead in a revival of Mr Tower Of London, which had brought Gracie Fields to prominence 19 years earlier. When she was still only 14, when she made her first record "Jubilee Baby", and had another major success with "The Sailor with the Navy Blue Eyes" and made several more hit records. She was also approached by George Formby to appear in their new film Boots! Boots! . At 16 she was in a West End show "Home and Beauty". Film director Basil Dean, after seeing her in Jimmy Hunter's Brighton Follies, cast her in the 1938 film Penny Paradise, and after a few months of variety and radio work, she returned to the studio to make her second film, "Let's Be Famous". In the 1940s, Betty became a noted big band singer and during the Second World War, she travelled through Europe with ENSA, entertaining the troops. She also appeared for seven years on the radio show Henry Hall's Guest Night and on her own show, A Date with Betty, which was first broadcast live from the People's Palace in London's East End on 14 July 1949. The show's format was based around her singing, doing sketches and introducing guests., her words were scripted by an up and coming young Bob Monkhouse. In 1953 married Wally Petersen, a South African singer who had guested on one of her shows but the union was not a success, Peterson was a serial womaniser and made free with Betty's money. The couple parted in 1960. Betty went on to perform in Australia where she performed her own show, Cyprus, Malta and the Middle East. On her return to England she appeared in various Ealing Comedies, on stage in The Lovebirds, Pillar to Post and What A Racket, and on TV with James Bolam in Love on the Dole and in Pardon the Expression, alongside Arthur Lowe, after which she retired and started running a pub with her sister Freda in Derbyshire. But in 1969 Betty came out of retirement to play police officer's wife Betty Turpin on Coronation Street, a role she would play for over 40 years. She was the longest serving barmaid in the history of the Rover's Return and Betty's legendary Hot Pot is now an iconic dish, which has been offered as a ready meal in UK supermarkets. Betty was honoured with an MBE, when she was named a Member of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II on the Millennium New Year's Honours List on Dec 31st 1999 and in May 2010 Betty was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the British Soap Awards.

Wardell Quezergue
March 12th 1930 – September 6th 2011

American R&B hitmaker, bandleader and musician Wardell Quezergue, a New Orleans' legend has sadly died at the age of 81 from complications of congestive heart failure. Wardell leaves behind five sons, Brian, Donald, Wayne, Victor and Martin; eight daughters, Violetta Johnson, Gaynelle Mitchell, and Iris, Diana, Yoshi, Helen, Ramona and Lesley; a brother, Leo; and many grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Sadly Yoshi Tamaki, his wife of 60 years, died earlier this year.
Wardell Quezergue
Wardell Quezergue an American conductor, bandleader, music arranger and producer, known among New Orleans musicians as the “Creole Beethoven” was born into a musical family in New Orleans and took up music at a very early age. After playing with Dave Bartholomew’s band from the late 1940s and serving as an army musician in Korea, he emerged as a bandleader in his own right in the mid-1950s with his Royal Dukes of Rhythm who became a welcome fixture on the New Orleans music scene. Along with the drummer Smokey Johnson, he wrote the 1964 instrumental “It Ain’t My Fault,” later sampled by Mariah Carey, the rapper Silkk the Shocker and others. As well as his band and songwriting career, Wardell worked mainly as a producer and arranger with the cream of New Orleans musicians, such as Professor Longhair and Fats Domino, with songs including “Barefootin’ ” by Robert Parker, “Big Chief” by Professor Longhair, “Iko Iko” by the Dixie Cups, “Groove Me” by King Floyd, “Mr. Big Stuff” by Jean Knight and “Misty Blue” by Dorothy Moore among so many others. He later worked as an arranger on the albums “Fiyo on the Bayou” for the Neville Brothers; “Orchid in the Storm” for Aaron Neville; “Goin’ Back to New Orleans” for Dr. John; “Deacon John’s Jump Blues” for `Deacon John Moore; and two albums for the blues singer Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, “Gate Swings” and “American Music, Texas Style”, just to name a few. On July 19th 2009, a tribute was mounted to honor Wardell Quezergue at the Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall. Also in 2009 Wardell released his own album, “Music for Children Ages 3 to 103: The St. Agnes Sessions”

Jerry Leiber
April 25th 1933 ~ August 22nd 2011

Jerry Leiber, one of the most important songwriters in the history of rock & roll, whose 60+ year partnership with Mike Stoller produced over 200 iconic songs has tragically died from heart failure in Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, LA, at the age of 78. He leaves behind a loving family including
his sons Jed, Oliver and Jake.
Jerry Leiber
Influencial
American lyricist Jerry was born in Baltimore, his family moved to L.A. when he was in his teens. At aged 17, as a senior at Fairfax High, Jerry met his composer-songwriting partner Mike Stoller in 1950, when they formed the legendary 6 decade+ partnership Leiber and Stoller. Together they played a key role in the birth of rock 'n' roll, writing and composing such iconic hits as "Hound Dog" which originally topped the "race" music charts as a rhythm and blues single by Big Mamma Thornton in 1953; "Jailhouse Rock", "Poison Ivy", "Charlie Brown", "Yakety Yak", "On Broadway" and the hit "Stand By Me," which they co-wrote with singer Ben E. King.. They went on to pen more than 200 tunes covered by such recording stars as Elvis Presley, Buddy Holly, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, James Brown, B.B. King, the Drifters and Peggy Lee. Elvis alone recorded over 20 Leiber and Stoller songs. In 1950, Jimmy Witherspoon recorded and performed their first commercial song, "Real Ugly Woman". Their first hit composition was "Hard Times," recorded by Charles Brown, which was a rhythm and blues hit in 1952. "Kansas City", which was first recorded in 1952 as "K. C. Loving" by rhythm & blues singer Little Willie Littlefield, became a No. 1 pop hit in 1959 for Wilbert Harrison. In the 1960s, Leiber and Stoller founded Red Bird Records, which issued the Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack" and the Dixie Cups' "Chapel of Love". After selling Red Bird, they continued working as independent producers and writing songs. Their last major hit production was "Stuck in the Middle With You," by Stealers Wheel in 1972. In 1975, they recorded an album of art songs with Peggy Lee, entitled Mirrors. A remixed and expanded version of this album was released in 2005 as Peggy Lee Sings Leiber & Stoller. In 1977, A&M Records recruited them to write and produce the Elkie Brooks album , "Two Days Away", their composition "Pearl's A Singer" became a hit for Brooks, and remains her signature tune today. They produced another album for her, Live and Learn, in 1979. Aside from rock music, they also composed songs in other genres such as cabaret and jazz, working with the likes of crooner Frank Sinatra and the French songstress Edith Piaf. They were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1985, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987 and their awards include a National Academy of Songwriters Lifetime Achievement Award-1996, Distinguished Artist Award/Los Angeles Music Center- 1997, NARAS Trustees Award -1999, Johnny Mercer Award/National Academy of Popular Music-2000, Ivor Novello International Songwriters Award-2000, ASMAC President’s Award- 2005, World Soundtrack Award/Flanders International Film Festival- 2005. Their song “Kansas City" has been named the official song of Kansas City, Missouri, Elvis Presley's recording of “Hound Dog” has been placed in the Grammy Hall of Fame and contestants performed their songs on American Idol, on May 11 2011. In 2009, Simon & Schuster published Hound Dog: The Leiber & Stoller Autobiography, written by Leiber and Stoller with David Ritz.


Jani Lane
February 1st 1964 ~ August 11th 2011

Multi-talented musician, former frontman and songwriter of the metal rock band Warrant has tragically and died suddenly at the age of 47. His body was found at the Comfort Inn Hotel in Woodland Hills, California; no cause of death has yet been determined. Jani sadly leaves behind his third wife, Kimberly, and four children; his two daughters Taylar and Madison, and two step daughters, Brittany and Ryan.
Jani Lane
Born John Kennedy Oswald, in Akron, Ohio, he was playing in local bands by the age of 11 under the stage name Mitch Dynamite and attended Field High School in Mogadore, Ohio, where he showed himself to be a gifted athlete and musician. After playing with an Akron band named Cyren, John moved to Los Angeles and played in the group Plain Jane under the stage name Jani Lane. The inspiration for his nom de metal came from his German grandparents' pronunciation of "Johnny". Jani went on to become lead vocalist, frontman, lyricist and songwriter with the more estabished Californian glam metal band Warrant. The band immediately benefited from their new singer's songwriting abilities. With Warrant, Jani wrote 3 hit singles: "Heaven," "Down Boys" and "Sometimes She Cries" for thier debut album Dirty Rotten Filthy Stinking Rich which peaked at number 10 on the billboard 200 and another 3 hit singles: "Cherry Pie," "I Saw Red," and "Uncle Tom's Cabin" for the second album Cherry Pie which peaked at No.7 on The Billboard 200. He co-wrote and performed the song "The Power" in the '92 movie "The Gladiator" and also had an unreleased project "Jabberwocky" which has become an underground fan favorite worldwide. He left Warrant in March 1993, following the release of the band's critically acclaimed record Dog Eat Dog which peaked at number 25 on The Billboard 200. However he returned to the band in Sept 1994, helping the band to secure a new record with Tom Lipsky of CMC International. He and the band then recorded Ultraphobic in '95, Belly to Belly in '96, Greatest & Latest in '99 and a cover album Under the Influence in 2001. He left the band for good in 2008. In the years of 2000s Jani also had a successful solo career, releasing the solo album Back Down to One in 2002, as well as acting in films, recording guest vocals for several rock artists and continued to write songs for artists such as Alice Cooper. In 2008 he finished finished work on his side project, Saints of the Underground, along with Bobby Blotzer and Robbie Crane, both from Ratt, and Keri Kelli from Alice Cooper. Their album, Love the Sin, Hate the Sinner was released on April 22, 2008. In the summer of 2010, Jani went on tour with Great White, filling in for singer Jack Russell who was recuperating from surgery.



Frank Foster
September 23rd 1928 ~ July 26th 2011

Frank Foster, one of the great jazz tenor soloists has sadly died aged 82
of complications from kidney failure. He leaves behind a loving family including his wife and personal manager of nearly 45 years, Cecilia Foster.
Frank Foster
American jazz saxophonist and composer, born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and he moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1949 where he joined the local jazz scene, playing with musicians such as Wardell Gray. After finishing his two year military service in 1953 he joined Count Basie's big band and contributed both arrangements and original compositions to Count Basie’s band including the standard, “Shiny Stockings”, and other popular songs such as “Down for the Count”, “Blues Backstage”, “Back to the Apple”, “Discommotion”, and “Blues in Hoss Flat” as well as arrangements for the entire Easin’ It album. He also played with Elvin Jones, the Thad Jones–Mel Lewis big band, the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. From 1972 to 1976, Frank was full-time Assistant Professor in the Black Studies Program at the State University of New York at Buffalo. He also formed and lead several groups, most notably Living Color and The Loud Minority. He co-led a quintet with Frank Wess in 1983, and toured Europe as a member of Jimmy Smith's quintet in 1985. Then in June 1986 Frank succeeded Thad Jones as leader of the Count Basie Orchestra for nearly ten years. In 1995, he resumed his leadership of three musical groups: The Non-Electric Company, Swing Plus, and The Loud Minority Big Band, each of which he had organized years prior to assuming leadership of the Basie unit in 1986. Frank suffered a stroke in 2001 that impaired his left side to the extent that he could no longer play the saxophone. After continuing to lead The Loud Minority on limited engagements for much of the 2000s, he had recently turned his leadership responsibilities for the band over to Cecil Bridgewater. Until his death he continued composing and arranging at his home in Chesapeake, Virginia. Among his many honors, Frank received two Grammy Awards, the first for his big band arrangement of the Diane Schuur composition, "Deedles’ Blues" - Best Arrangement Accompanying a Vocal in 1987, and the second for his arrangement of guitarist/vocalist George Benson’s composition, “Basie’s Bag” - Best Instrumental Arrangement, Jazz Category, 1988). He also received two Grammy nominations: first, for his big band arrangement of Charles Trenet’s composition, "Beyond the Sea" and for an album with his fellow Basie alumnus Frank Wess entitled "Frankly Speaking"



Amy Winehouse
September 14th 1983 ~ July 23rd 2011

27 year old English singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse, known for her powerful contralto vocals and her eclectic mix of musical genres including R&B, soul and jazz, has sadly died. Two ambulances were called to Amy's home in Camden, London, shortly afterwards, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that she had died.
Amy Winehouse
Born in
Southgate, London, at nine years old, Amy attended the Susi Earnshaw Theatre School and at ten, she founded a short-lived rap group called Sweet 'n' Sour. She stayed at the Earnshaw school for four years before seeking full time training at Sylvia Young Theatre School, she appeared in an episode of The Fast Show in 1997 before allegedly being expelled at 14 for "not applying herself" and for piercing her nose. Amy had taken up the guitar at 13 and was writing songs by the age of 14. She began working soon after, including as a showbiz journalist for the World Entertainment News Network, in addition to singing with local group the Bolsha Band. She signed to Simon Fuller's 19 Management in 2002. Amy's 2003 debut album, Frank, was critically successful in the UK and was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Her 2006 follow-up album, Back to Black, led to six Grammy Award nominations and five wins, tying the then record for the most wins by a female artist in a single night, and made Winehouse the first British female to win five Grammys,including three of the "Big Four": Best New Artist, Record of the Year and Song of the Year. On 14 February 2007, she won a BRIT Award for Best British Female Artist; she had also been nominated for Best British Album. She won the Ivor Novello Award three times, one in 2004 for Best Contemporary Song (musically and lyrically) for "Stronger Than Me", one in 2007 for Best Contemporary Song for "Rehab", and one in 2008 for Best Song Musically and Lyrically for "Love Is a Losing Game", among other distinctions. The album was the third biggest seller of the 2000s in the United Kingdom. She was credited as an influence in the rise in popularity of female musicians and soul music, and also for revitalising British music. British singer Adele had credited Amy's success in the US for making her and fellow British singer Duffy's journey to the United States and American singer Lady Gaga credited Amy with paving the way for her rise to the top of the charts. Tragically her problems with drug and alcohol illness, and her self-destructive behaviours were regular tabloid news from 2007 until her death, and had sadly started to affect her short but amazing and iconic career.


Gil Bernal
February 4th 1931 ~ July 17th 2011

World esteemed jazz tenor-saxophinist and vocalist, Gil Bernal, has sadly died of congestive heart failure at the age of 80. He leaves behind by his wife, Harriet; two sons, Gil Jr. and Nick; three daughters, Colette, Lisa and Michelle; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

Gil Bernal
American saxophonist Gil, is described by many as having one of the most sensual sounds in Jazz. Born in Los Angeles, he began singing and playing the tenor sax in his early teens and joined local bands playing at parties and dances. By the age of 18, he had joined up with Lionel Hampton, spending the next three years playing with Quincy Jones, Little Jimmy Scott and Benny Powell, touring the U.S. and Canada with the band as a featured tenor-sax soloist and vocalist. He also played sax on 1950s and early ‘60s hits such as Duane Eddy's "Rebel Rouser" and The Robins' "Smokey Joe's Cafe" and “Youngblood”. Next he did a stint with his own band in Las Vegas, before joining Spike Jones' band as saxophone soloist, vocalist, and impressionist, spending the next six years touring the U.S., playing Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe, as well as appearing on numerous NBC and CBS television shows. After which he returned to L.A. where he founded his own band, which included Shelley Mann and Shorty Rogers, playing the busy L.A. music scene and working Vegas and Lake Tahoe, this time with his own band. In 1967, his “The Eyes Of Love,” from the film Banning, was nominated for an Academy Award. Many of his records, like “Can You Love A Poor Boy” and “To Make A Big Man Cry” are very collectable by Northern Soul fans. Other notable recordings are "Keep Those Wandering Eyes Off My Baby" for American Records, "Starwberry Stomp" for Spark Records and "Tower Of Strength" for the Imperial label. Over his 60 year career, Gil worked on several projects with Ry Cooder, including overdubs on "Buena Vista Social Club", the 1997 recording of veteran Cuban musicians and "Chavez Ravine", a 2005 concept album about an earlier era in Los Angeles, including a version of Leiber and Stoller's "Three Cool Cats". As one of L.A.’s most in-demand session players, he recorded with many other greats, including Ray Charles, Big Mama Thornton, The Dominos, The Coasters, Quincy Jones Orchestra, Buddy Bregman Orchestra, Henry Mancini Orchestra, David Rose Orchestra, Dan Terry Orchestra and many others.


Cuddly Dudley
May 22nd 1924 ~ July 15th 2011

Pioneer and Trail Blazer, Jamaican singer Cuddly Dudley, noted for being “Britain's first black rock & roller”, has sadly died at the age of 87.
Dudley Heslop aka Cuddly Dudley
English-Jamaican rock & roll singer, dancer and actor, Cuddly Dudley, came to fame in the UK on the early teenage music ITV TV show, Oh Boy! , and is noted for being “Britain's first black rock & roller”. Born Dudley Heslop, in Kingston, Jamaica, he started performing when very young with a "native song and dance act" for tourists. In 1947 emmigrated to Britain where he first spent a year in the play Sauce Tartare at the Cambridge Theatre in the West End, before singing in clubs for 6 months. He then played in Folies Bergeres at the Hippodrome, London and toured Australia in Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate, before joining Sid Milward's Comedy orchestra, The Nit Wits, supporting Max Bygraves. He became influenced by early rock 'n' roll and, being black, with a strong voice, decided to change musical style, he also adopted a big grin, flashy suits and snazzy ties and manager manager, Guy Robinson, promoted him as "Bristol's answer to The Big Bopper". At this time Dudley also a co-founded The Dominoes, with pianist Iggy Quail and vocalist Boysie Grant. This change of direction led to him getting a residency on Jack Good's new TV series Oh Boy!. Dudley appeared on both pilot recordings of Oh Boy! as Dudley Heslop, but changed back to Cuddly Dudley, before the main series started. He was usually backed by the house band, Lord Rockingham's XI and appeared in a total of 21 episodes, the most appearances by any artist, one more than Cliff Richard, whilst The Drifters, who became The Shadows and Marty Wilde appeared on 17 shows each. His first recordings as Cuddly Dudley were on the TV spin-off album Oh Boy! in 1958, where he sang "Hey Hey Hey Hey" (later covered by The Beatles) and "Lets Rock While the Rocking's Good". A solo single "Later" b/w "Lots More Love" was released in 1959, and in 1960 he appeared, as himself, in the film Girls of the Latin Quarter. After the finish Oh Boy! in May 1959, he began touring with his own all-black band, The Embraceable Four, with whom he supported The Platters on their 1960 UK tour, and released a second single, a cover of Chuck Berry's "Too Pooped To Pop" and in 1961 he took over as lead singer with “The Redcaps”, with whom he released a single "Sitting On A Train". By 1963/64 Dudley had rejoined pianist Iggy Quail and recorded some of the first bluebeat and ska tracks outside Jamaica and they formed a trio with bassist Clyde Davies. They accompanied comedians such as Bob Monkhouse and Tommy Trinder and had a residency at the Kingfisher Club.Dudley released several singles but retired from the music business in the latter 60s


Eric Delaney
May 22nd 1924 ~ July 14th 2011

Eric Delaney, born showman, drum pioneer, one of the most inventive, exciting and one of the finest drummers Britain has ever produced, captivating audiences with his energetic leaps across the stage from drums to timpani has sadly died at the age of 87. Married three times, he is survived by his son and three daughters.
Eric Delaney
Eric must be the ultimate drummer's drummer!! Born in Acton, London, UK, Eric was playing drums to live audiences at 6 and by aged 10 was in his first group, with his mother on piano and his father on banjo. In his early teens he was acclaimed as a "Drum Genius" taking drum command and touring the UK with the Royal Kiltie Junior Band and the Hughie Green Roadshow. By the time he was 16, Eric was voted Britain's Best Young Swing Drummer, and in 1941 at the age of 17, Eric joined George Shearing of the famous Ambrose Octet touring the variety theatres of that time. Although best known as a jazz drummer, Eric was a multi-percussionist, as well as the drums he played xylophone, glockenspiel, timpani, military side drum, tubular bells, a variety of Chinese gongs and tam tams and incorporated many everyday items such as brushes and whistles into his shows over the years. Over the years Eric been voted No.1 of 8 titles including, Drummer of the Year and Musician of the Year, Band of the Year award and appeared on 3 Royal Command performances. In 1995 Eric was invited to perform at the Royal College of Music, London with some of the finest drummers and percussionists from across Europe, and he overwhelmed them all with his spellbinding technique. Over his long career Eric has played everywhere, with everyone and most genres.
In 1998 he moved to Benidorm where he became a nightly attraction playing at the Talk of the Town into the early hours of the morning, when many of the other cabaret performers would stay on to watch him. He returned to Britain in 2006 and continued entertaining audiences and inspiring a new generation of musicians, Eric continued to play till his end. A book "The Magnificent Eric Delaney" described as bits and pieces from the life of a living legend as told and assembled by his long time friend, trumpet player Eddie Sammons was published in 2008.


Rob Grill
November 30th 1943 ~ July 11th 2011
Rob Grill, a veteran lead singer and musician has sadly died at the age of 67, after 45 years as a guiding light and constant force of the Californian rock 'n' roll band The Grass Roots as a singer, musician and songwriter. He died from the effects of a stroke and head injuries. Rob had been in a coma since tragically sustaining a head injury several weeks earlier when he fell after suffering a stroke. He leaves behind a loving family including his wife Nancy.
Bob Grill
American lead singer, songwriter and bass guitarist, Robert Frank Grill was born in Los Angeles, and was an early member of the California rock and roll band, The Grass Roots in 1967,
soon after it was created by songwriters Steve Barri and P.F. Sloan in 1966. Between 1967 and 1972, the band set a record for being on the Billboard charts for 307 straight weeks and have sold over 20 million records worldwide. The band also hold the all time attendance record for a one act, at the US concert of 600,000 people on July 4th 1982 in Washington DC. Their hit singles include: Let's Live For Today, I'd Wait A Million Years, Midnight Confessions, Sooner Or Later, Two Divided By Love and Temptation Eyes. The band disbanded in 1975, but since 1978 Rob and a newer lineup of The Grass Roots have continued to tour and play many live shows each year. He lead the group into the new millennium and beyond, he has been the guiding light and the common thread for the positive output that the group has given music listeners around the world for over forty years. In 2008, he and the band released a live album chronicling their fourteen Top 40 Billboard hits titled "Live Gold". During 2010 and 2011, The Grass Roots had heavy touring schedules throughout the U.S. both on their own and as part of the Happy Together: 25th Anniversary Tour. Prior to Grass Roots, Rob had attended Hollywood High, and after graduating he began working at American Recording Studios with Cory Wells of Three Dog Night' fame and John Kay of Steppenwolf of fame. Rob also launched a solo career in 1979, assisted on his solo album by several members of Fleetwood Mac. In his long career he composed sixteen songs for The Grass Roots and his solo album, including "Come On And Say It" which was a single "A" side for the band. In 2006, his former manager Marty Angelo published a book, Once Life Matters: A New Beginning, which contains many stories about his life on the road with Rob and the Grass Roots in the early 1970s.


Clarence Clemons
January 11th 1942 ~ June
18th 2011
39 golden years with the E Street Band, the "Big Man," saxophonist Clarence Clemons has sadly died at the age of 69, in Palm Beach, Florida, from complications of a stroke he suffered last Sunday. Five times married Clarence leaves behind his four beloved sons, Clarence III, Charles, Christopher and Jarod.
Clarence Clemons
American saxophonist Clarence Clemons was born in Norfolk, Virginia; at aged 9, his father gave him an alto saxophone as a Christmas present and paid for music lessons. He later switched to baritone saxophone and played in a high school jazz band. At age 18, Clarence had one of his earliest studio experiences, recording sessions with Tyrone Ashley's Funky Music Machine, a band from Plainfield, New Jersey that included Ray Davis, Eddie Hazel and Billy Bass Nelson, all of whom later played with Parliament-Funkadelic. He also performed with Daniel Petraitis, a New Jersey and Nashville legend. These sessions were eventually released in 2007 by Truth and Soul Records as Let Me Be Your Man. While at Maryland State College he joined his first band, The Vibratones, which played James Brown covers and stayed together for about four years in the early to mid 60s, before playing with
The Joyful Noyze. In July 1972, Bruce Springsteen began recording his debut album Greetings from Asbury Park, N.J. and during recording breaks, he jammed with Clarence and The Joyful Noyze on at least two occasions at The Shipbottom Lounge in Point Pleasant, New Jersey. When Springsteen decided to use a tenor saxophone on the songs "Blinded By The Light" and "Spirit In The Night" it was Clarence he called and from 1972 until his death, he was a prominent member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, playing the tenor saxophone. He also released several solo albums and in 1985 had a hit single with "You're a Friend of Mine", a duet with Jackson Browne. As a guest musician he featured on Aretha Franklin's classic "Freeway of Love" and on Twisted Sister's "Be Chrool to Your Scuel" as well as performing in concert with The Grateful Dead and Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band. He has recorded with dozens of artists from Roy Orbison to The Four Tops to Scarlet Rivera to Lady Gaga As an actor he featured in several films, including New York, New York and Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure. He also made cameo appearances in several TV series, including Diff'rent Strokes, Nash Bridges, The Simpsons and The Wire. Together with his TV writer friend Don Reo he published his autobiography, Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales, in 2009
.


Kathy Kirby
October 20th 1938 ~ May
19th 2011
Nicknamed the "Golden Girl of Pop", British singing star and blonde bombshell of the 60s, Kathy Kirby, has sadly died after short illness, at aged 72. She leaves behind a loving family and friends.

British singer born Kathleen O'Rourke in Ilford, Essex, portrayed as a 'blonde bombshell', and was often compared to Marilyn Monroe. It began in 1954, at 16, she went to watch the famous bandleader Bert Ambrose at the Ilford Palais de Danse, when during the show, in an episode that went down in showbusiness legend, she walked up to the maestro and asked if she could sing with his band, Ambrose agreed;
her renditions of two standards "Love Me Or Leave Me" and "All Of Me" were greeted with wild applause. Ambrose, recognising a remarkable voice and talent, immediately signed her up. She remained with his band for 3 years and he became her lover and remained her manager and mentor until his death in 1971. She had 5 Top 40 hits between 1963-65, the best known of which is her rendition of "Secret Love" in 1963, also that same year she won Top British Female Singer in the New Musical Express poll. Kathy was one of the biggest stars of the mid 1960s, appearing many times at he London Palladium, sang at the Royal Command Variety Performance and three television series for BBC TV. She represented the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1965, and came second with the song "I Belong". On 31 December 1976, she performed her hit song "Secret Love" on BBC1's A Jubilee Of Music, celebrating British pop music for Queen Elizabeth II's impending Silver Jubilee. In the 1970's sadly her life was blighted by misfortune and failed comebacks. Her money drained away, and at one point tragically she was said to be sleeping in a shop doorway. She suffered a much-publicised nervous breakdown and was eventually diagnosed with schizophrenia. A lesbian affair with a fan accompanied by scandalous tabloid headlines ended with the other woman being jailed for fraud and forgery. Kathy retired entirely from show business in the 80's and became a virual recluse. Even so, she retained a large fan base and interest in her work continued, particularly among gay men for whom she was something of an icon. A 2005 biography was adapted into a stage show about her life, called "Secret Love", which opened in Leeds in May 2008.


Lacy Gibson
May 1st 1936 ~ April 11th 2011

The sought after session guitarist of Chicago's once-thriving blues scene, Lacy Gibson, has sadly died of a heart attack at the age of 74. He leaves behind a large loving family, his wife Ann, a son, five daughters, seventeen grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Lacy Gibson
American jazz influenced blues guitar virtuoso, and vocalist born in Salisbury, North Carolina; moving to Chicago in 1949 he learned from veterans Sunnyland Slim, T-Bone Walker and Muddy Waters and picked up pointers from immaculate axemen Lefty Bates, Matt "Guitar" Murphy, and Wayne Bennett. Lacy made a name for himself as a session player in 1963, assuming rhythm guitar duties on sides by Willie Mabon, Billy "The Kid" Emerson and Buddy Guy on various labels. He also made his vocal debut with his self-penned blues ballad "My Love Is Real" at Chess the same year. He was a musician's musician, his versatile guitar and unique rich style of joining the influences of jazz and blues and pop quickly became a mainstay on stages and in recording studios for numerous bands led by such blues luminaries as Son Seals, Otis Rush, Ray Charles, Jimmy Reed, Billy Boy Arnold, Big Time Sarah, Billy "The Kid" Emerson, Sun Ra and others. As a leader he recorded three albums, beginning with "Wishing Ring" on his brother-in-law Sun Ra's label in 1971. Lacy also recorded at Chicago's famed Chess Records, singing vocal on his tune "My Love Is Real" with Buddy Guy on guitar. He also cut four tracks for Alligator Records' "Living Chicago Blues" series in 1980, then released "Switchy Titchy" on the Black Magic label in 1983. His most recent release was "Crying For My Baby" in 1996 for Delmark. Most recently, semi-retired because of heart problems, he helped run and occasionally played sets at an after-hours club on Chicago's West Side called Ann's Love Nest, named in honor of Lacy's loving wife.

Roger Nichols
September 22nd 1944 ~April 9th 2011

Sixty-six year old Grammy-winning sound engineer and record producer Roger Nichols has died after a brave year long battle with pancreatic cancer. He sadly leaves behind his wife, writer-musician Conrad Reeder and his two daughters Cimcie and Ashlee.
Roger Nichols
American sound engineer, record producer, and 7-time Grammy Award-winner Roger also nicknamed "The Immortal" was born in Oakland, California. He started out in 1965 when he and some friends created their own recording studio, Quantum Studios, in what was originally a four car garage, in Torrance, CA. From the 1970 onwards Roger is best known for his work with the group Steely Dan and John Denver, but his work includes numerous major music acts including the Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, Crosby Stills & Nash, Al Di Meola, Roy Orbison, Cass Elliot, Plácido Domingo, Gloria Estefan, Diana Ross, Bela Fleck & the Flecktones, Rickie Lee Jones, Kenny Loggins, Mark Knopfler, Eddie Murphy, Michael McDonald, James Taylor, and Toots Thielemans, among others. Although now common place, back in 1978, he pioneered the technique of "digital drum replacement" by inventing the Wendel sampling computer, which was used to provide some of the drum and percussion sounds on Steely Dan's album, Gaucho, notably the song "Hey Nineteen". He also invented and produced a rubidium nuclear clock under his company name Digital Atomics, which provided the accuracy of nuclear timekeeping to better synchronize digital recording equipment, In 1977, 78, 81 and 2000 he was awarded 6 Grammy Awards for his work with Steely Dan and another in 1997 for John Denver "All Aboard!" album. In 2006 his work was formally recognized by The Recording Academy Producers and Engineers Wing.

Jet Harris
July 6th 1939 ~ March 18th 2011
Jet Harris, legenary first bass guitarist with Cliff Richard and The Shadows, has sadly died after battling throat cancer. He was 71 years old. Jet leaves behind his four sons and loving partner, Janet Hemingway.
Jet Harris
Born Terence Harris in Honeypot Lane, North London, Jet
started off playing clarenet a young teenager before making his own double bass and forming a school band with friends Peter Newman, John Welsh, and Ray Edmunds. He played in several bands including The Vipers Skiffle Group and The Most Brothers and a stint with Wee Willee Harris & Tony Crombie's Rockets before in 1959 he joined Cliff Richard's backing group The Drifters, who later changed their name to The Shadows. In 1959, after the neck of his Framus bass was damaged, he was presented by the importers a Fender Precision Bass,with one of the first to come to Britain from the United States. Jet also contributed vocally, adding backup harmonies and had a trademark scream used in the Shadows' "Feeling Fine" and Cliff Richard's "Do You Wanna Dance?". In 1962, he left the Shadows following personal disagreements. He released instrumental and vocal work with some success, and as part of a duo with former Shadows drummer Tony Meehan, topping the UK Singles Chart in early 1963 with "Diamonds". Jet and Meehan followed this with two further hit singles, "Scarlett O'Hara" and "Applejack". His singles were relatively unusual in that they made prominent use of the bass as a lead instrument, and the best of them "Diamonds," "The Man With the Golden Arm", and "Man From Nowhere" — had a menacing, shuddering bass reminiscent of the best James Bond soundtracks. Jimmy Page was a session guitarist on the Diamonds single. Sadly Jet had started on a 30 year road of alcoholism, before his recovery. He still played occasionally, with backing band The Diamonds or as a guest with The Rapiers, and teamed up with Tony Meehan for a support performance in Cliff Richard's 1989 'The Event' concerts. In 1998 he was awarded a Fender Lifetime Achievement Award for his role in popularising the bass guitar in Britain. Jet was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire in the 2010 New Year Honours, also the same year he was presented with a special award from the US Fender guitar company for his services to their company in effectively launching their bass guitar in the UK in 1960.

Nate Dogg
August 19th 1969 ~ March 15th 2011

Hip-hop and R & B star Nate Dogg has been battling health issues for several years; after having survived strokes in 2007 and 2008, he has sadly died of congestive heart failure at the age of 41.
Nate Dogg
Born Nathaniel Dwayne Hale in Long Beach, California, he began singing as a child in the New Hope Baptist Church in Long Beach, and at Life Line Baptist Church in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where his father was a pastor. At the age of 16 he dropped out of high school in Long Beach, California and left home to join the United States Marine Corps, serving for three years. He was the friend and partner in the rap game with Snoop Dogg, Warren G, RBX, Daz Dillinger and he was the cousin of Butch Cassidy and Lil' ½ Dead. Nate, Snoop Dogg and Warren G, all belonged to the Rollin 20 Crips gang and formed a rap trio called 213, recording there first demo in the back of the famed V.I.P record store in Long Beach. Nate made his debut on hip hop artist Dr. Dre's 1992 The Chronic album, singing in what later became his trademark style. He was well-received by fans and critics alike, and went on to sign with Death Row Records in 1993. He was also featured on Mista Grimm's "Indosmoke" with Warren G. Then in 1994 he produced his first hit single "Regulate" with Warren G. He was also featured in many Tupac releases, including his collaboration record Thug Life: Volume I. In 1998, after a tumultuous time at Death Row Records, he released a double album was titled G-Funk Classics Vol. 1 & 2 and was followed up in late 2001 with Music & Me which peaked at No.3 on the Billboard hip-hop charts in 2001. In 2002, Nate appeared on a celebrity episode of The Weakest Link, making it to the last three players before being voted off by Xzibit and Young MC. As of 2004, he had featured in and contributed to over 40 chart singles. Sadly his final years were encumbered with ill health, suffering a stroke in december 2007 which had rendered the left side of his body paralyzed, but as he was recovering, in 2008 he suffered a second stroke. His long awaited his self-titled album Nate Dogg, recorded in 2004, was finally released on June 3rd 2008

Mike Starr
April 4th 1966 ~ March 8th 2011
Former
bassist and co-founding member of the pioneering Seattle grunge band, Alice in Chains, Mike Starr has been found dead in a house in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mike was 44 years old, but no details have as yet emerged to the cause of death.
Mike Starr
American bassist Mike Starr born in Honolulu, Hawaii is best known as a founding member and bassist with the alternative grunge rock band, Alice in Chains, formed in Seattle in 1987. The band was one of the most successful music acts of the 1990s, selling over 25 million albums worldwide, and over 12 million in the US alone. The band achieved two number-one Billboard 200 albums "Jar of Flies" and "Alice in Chains", 14 top ten songs on the Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, and eight Grammy Award nominations.
Mike is featured on albums We Die Young -1990; Facelift-1990; Sap-1992; Dirt-1992; Music Bank-1999; Nothing Safe: Best of the Box-1999; Live-2000; Greatest Hits-2001; and The Essential Alice in Chains released in 2006. Mike left Alice In Chains in 1993 while it was touring behind the album Dirt. However in 1992 he had also been a founding member of the heavy metal supergroup Sun Red Sun along with Ray Gillen and Bobby Rondinelli, both former members of Black Sabbath. The project was cut short by Gillen's death in 1993. Their self-titled debut album was recorded at Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studio in New York City released in 1995. Mike was later featured in the third season of the VH1 reality television series Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew in 2010, which documented his treatment for heroin addiction at the Pasadena Recovery Center, which began in August 2009. His subsequent stint staying in a sober living environment was then documented on the spinoff Sober House. He and fellow recovering addicts Mackenzie Phillips and Tom Sizemore appeared in the eighth episode of Celebrity Rehab's fourth season to provide testimonials about their recovery to that season's patients. During this appearance, Mike had marked six months and seven days of sobriety.


Gary Moore
April 4th 1952 ~ February 6th 2011

Irish guitar virtuoso, singer-songwriter-composer, Gary Moore has
sadly died in his sleep in the early hours of the morning while on holiday, in Estepona, Costa del Sol, Spain. At 58 years, he leaves behind a loving family.
Gary Moore ~ Rest In Peace.
Irish blues-rock guitarist and singer-songwriter-composer, and sadly, one of rock's most underrated guitarists, was born Robert William Gary Moore in Belfast, Northern Ireland; he collaborated with a broad range of artists including George Harrison, Trilok Gurtu, Dr. Strangely Strange, Colosseum II, Jimmy Nail, Albert Collins, Mo Foster, Ginger Baker, Jack Bruce, Jim Capaldi, Vicki Brown, Cozy Powell, the Beach Boys, Ozzy Osbourne and Andrew Lloyd Webber. He experimented with many musical genres, including rock, jazz, blues, country, electric blues, hard rock and heavy metal. Gary started playing guitar on an old battered acoustic guitar at the age of 8. At the age of 14, he got a better guitar and taught himself to play the right-handed instrument in the standard way despite being left-handed. After seeing Jimi Hendrix and John Mayall's Bluesbreakers in his home town of Belfast, his own style was developing into a blues-rock sound that would come to dominate his career. But his greatest influence in the early days came from guitarist Peter Green, of Fleetwood Mac fame, who was a mentor to Gary when performing in Dublin. Later he paid a tribute to Pete on his '95 album Blues for Greeny, an album consisting entirely of Green compositions. On this tribute album he played Green's 1959 Les Paul Standard guitar which Green had lent him after leaving Fleetwood Mac, which he ultimately purchased at Green's request. Now 16, Gary's first professional band was a Dublin based blues-rock band 'Skid Row' in 1969. The band was founded by bassist Brendan "Brush" Shiels, with Phil Lynott on vocals. The band became a power trio, with Gary, Brendan now on vocals and bass, and drummer Noel Bridgeman. They recored 4 albums, Skid-1970; 34 Hours-1971; Skid Row-1971, released 1990; and Live And On Song – BBC Live in Concert-69/71. Gary released his first solo album in 1973, 'Grinding Stone', also in the 70s he did 3 stints with the legendary Irish rock band Thin Lizzy, in 1974, 1977 and 1979 staying long enough at last to record on their 9th album 'Black Rose: A Rock Legend' which debuted at No.2 in the UK album chart, the band's most successful studio album to date, but Gary would never be constrained by the music group format. In 1978, he appeared on three other artists' recordings - Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Variations', Rod Argent's 'Moving Home', and Gary Boyle's 'Electric Glide'. Also in 1978 his solo career continued with help from Phil Lynott, the combination of Gary's blues-based guitar and Lynott's voice produced "Parisienne Walkways", which reached the Top Ten in the UK Singles Chart in April 1979 and the Thin Lizzy-Moore version appears in the videos for Waiting for an Alibi and Do Anything You Want To. He left Thin Lizzy half way through their '79 American tour, to go to LA in an attempt to make a solo rock presence, but with the offer to tour with Van Halen, he recruited Motown session player bassist Tony Newton, vocalist Willie Dee and percussionist Mark Nauseef, formerly of the Ian Gillan Band to form the power trio G-Force, the tour was a success, and the album was released that same year, then they dis-banded; his solo career again continued. After a series of rock records, including albums 'Victims of the Future', 'Dirty Fingers' and others, Gary returned to his blues music with 1990s 'Still Got the Blues', with contributions from Albert King, Albert Collins and George Harrison. In 1993 he formed the power trio BBM, with ex Cream's bassist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker. They recorded one album, 'Around The Next Dream', much of the work was written by Gary with contributions by Bruce and Baker.
They went on a UK tour and also played rock festivals on the continent, before disbanding and his solo career again continued. He stayed with the blues format until 1997, when he decided to experiment with modern dance beats on 'Dark Days in Paradise'; but 'Back to the Blues' saw his return to his tried and tested blues format in 2001. He continued with this style on Power of the Blues-2004, Old New Ballads Blues-2006, Close As You Get -2007 and Bad For You Baby-2008. Gary also contributed guitar sections to Richard Blackwood's 2000 album, 'You'll Love to Hate This', and 2003 saw Gary featured on the Monsters of Rock tour. A few other of many hi-lites included 1987's, collaboration on the UK charity record "Let It Be", a cover of The Beatles track. He performed a guitar solo for inclusion on the recording, which was released under the group-name of 'Ferry Aid'. The record raised funds for the survivors of the MS Herald of Free Enterprise disaster, and in 1993 he was included on a cassette Rock Classics Vol. 1 with "Run to Your Mama", and "Dark Side of the Moog". He also took part in a comedy skit "The Easy Guitar Book Sketch" with comedian Rowland Rivron and fellow British musicians Mark Knopfler, Lemmy from Motorhead, Mark King from Level 42, and David Gilmour. While Gary was somewhat less popular in the US, his work has brought much acclaim and commercial success in most other parts of the world – especially in Europe and Japan. Throughout his career Gary has been recognised as an influence by many notable guitarists including Patrick Rondat, Jake E. Lee, John Norum, Joe Bonamassa, Adrian Smith, Randy Rhoads, John Sykes, Kirk Hammett, and Gus G among others ~ RIP

John Barry
November 3rd 1933 ~ January 30th 2011

Oscar winning English film score composer, trumpet player and bandleader, John Barry has sadly died of a heart attack at his home in Oyster Bay, America, at the age of 77. He leaves behind Laurie, his wife of 33 years, his four children, son Jonpatrick, and daughters Susie, Sian and Kate, and five grandchildren.
John Barry ~ Rest In Peace.
Born
John Barry Prendergast in York, he is best known for composing 11 James Bond soundtracks and was hugely influential on the 007 series' style. As a teenager he learned the trumpet and grew interested in composing and arranging music. During his National Service in Cyprus, he began performing as a musician. After which he started work as an arranger for the Jack Parnell and Ted Heath's Orchestra and he formed his own band in 1957, The John Barry Seven, with whom he had several hit records, including "Hit and Miss", the theme tune he composed for the BBC's Juke Box Jury programme, a cover of the Ventures' "Walk Don't Run", and the theme for the United Artists Western The Magnificent Seven. His career breakthrough was the BBC television series Drumbeat, when he appeared with The John Barry Seven and arranged for many of the singers, including Adam Faith and his films ''Beat Girl'', ''Never Let Go'', and ''The Amorous Prawn''. John was employed by the EMI record company from 1959 until 1962 arranging orchestral accompaniment for the company's recording artists. His work caught the eye or ear of the producers of a new film called Dr. No, the result would be his arrangment and the performance by John Barry & Orchestra of one of the most famous signature tunes in film history, the "James Bond Theme". After the success of Dr. No, John scored eleven of the next 14 James Bond films. He also wrote scores for dozens of films, TV series and musicals, one of his best known compositions is the theme for the 1971 TV series The Persuaders!, starring Tony Curtis and Roger Moore. In a career spanning over 50 years, John received a number of awards for his work, including five Academy Awards; two for Born Free, and one each for The Lion in Winter, for which he also won a BAFTA Award, Out of Africa for which he also won a Golden Globe, and Dances with Wolves, for which he also won a Grammy Award and in 2002, he was named an Honorary Freeman of the City of York.


Gladys Horton
May 30th 1945 ~ January 26th 2011

Gladys Horton, co-founder and former lead singer of the popular Motown all-female group, "The Marvelettes," has sadly died at the age of 65 in Sherman Oaks, Calif. a nursing home where she had been bravely fighting complications from a stroke that she suffered a few years ago. Gladys leaves behind a loving family including her sons, Sam and Vaughn along with two grandchildren.
Gladye Horton ~ Resy In Peace.
Born in Gainesville, Fla, but tragically orphaned at 9 months old, Gladys was raised by foster parents, in a suburb of Detroit. It was here as a student at Inkster High School, when she developed a strong interest in singing and joined the high school glee club. She got together with other members of the glee club, Katherine Anderson, Juanita Cowart, Georgeanna Tillman and later Georgia Dobbins to form a group, calling themselves "The Casinyets," short for "can't sing yet". Following a successful talent contest to sing for Motown, Georgia, who was the group's first lead singer, co-created "Please Mr. Postman". Sadly, Georgia had to leave the group after her father forbid her from singing in nightclubs. Where upon Gladys became the lead singer and the group changed their name to "The Marvelettes". Motown released their song in the summer of 1961 when Glays was only fifteen. The song jumped to No.1 on the Billboard Hot 100, becoming Motown's first No.1 Pop hit. She led on several other hits songs, including "Beechwood 4-5789," "Playboy" and "Too Many Fish In The Sea". Gladys was later replaced as lead singer in 1965 by Wanda Young, but stayed with the group until 1967. She relocated to California in 1970 and for years had retired from the business to take care of her handicapped son. On occasion, she performed as Gladys Horton of the Marvelettes. In the late 1980s, she and Wanda reunited to collaborate on the 1990 Marvelettes album for Ian Levine's Motor City Records label titled The Marvelettes...Now! though Wanda didn't take part in the group's performances. The Marvelettes released the single "Holding On With Both Hands" in 1990, which the lead was sung on record by Wanda but performed by Gladys in public due to Wanda's severe personal problems.

Gerry Rafferty
April 16th 1947 ~ January 4th 2011

Renown Scottish singer-songwriter and musician, Gerry Rafferty, known for Stuck in the Middle With You and Baker Street has sadly died at the age of 63 after battling liver and kidney illnesses over the last few years. He is survived by his loving daughter Martha, his granddaughter Celia, and brother Jim.
Gerry Rafferty  R.I.P. (photographer:  Eddie Mallin
Born in Paisley, near Glasgow into an unhappy family, Gerry was educated at St Mirin's Academy. In 1963 he left to work in a butcher's shop, then at the tax office. At the same time he also worked in a local group, the Mavericks. In 1966 Gerry and his old school friend Joe Egan released a single, "Benjamin Day" / "There's Nobody Here", as members of a band The Fifth Column. He then joined Billy Connolly in a folk band The Humblebums, recording 2 albums with Billy, 'The New Humblebums' and 'Open Up the Door'. It was Gerry who urged Connolly to go it alone as a comic, after which Gerry recorded his first solo album, 'Can I Have My Money Back'. In 1972, Gerry again teamed up with friend Joe Egan to form Stealers Wheel, a group which was beset by legal wranglings, but did have a huge hit "Stuck in the Middle With You" which was used in the notorious ear-slicing scene in ‘Reservoir Dogs’ in 1992, and the smaller top 40 hit "Star". The duo disbanded in 1975. In 1978, Gerry cut a solo No.1 album, City to City, which included the song with which he remains most identified, "Baker Street". The single reached No. 3 in the UK and No. 2 in the U.S. The album sold over 5.5 million copies, toppling the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack in the U.S. on 8 July 1978. "Baker Street" features an awesome saxophone solo by Raphael Ravenscroft which remains a mainstay of soft-rock radio airplay. In October 2010 the song was recognised by the BMI for notching up over 5 million plays worldwide. Stuck in the Middle With You has achieved over 4 million plays worldwide, and Right Down The Line has achieved over 3 million plays. After City To City, Gerry released a further 12 albums. He also contributed to the soundtrack to the film, Local Hero with the song "The Way It Always Starts" in 1983, and co-produced The Proclaimers' first UK hit single, "Letter from America", in 1987 with Hugh Murphy. Sadly alcohol gradually took over his life, and spiraled into alcoholism, but then in 2009, Gerry did released 'Life Goes On', the album features a mixture of new recordings, covers of Christmas carols, traditional songs and edited tracks from his previous three albums.


MORE TRIBUTES ON THE BIRTH & DEATH PAGES

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


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

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