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2014
MEMORIALS
" Let us remember the great talent each possessed "



Joe Cocker
May 20th 1944 ~ December 22nd 2014

The legendary Grammy award winning singer, Joe Cocker, renowned for his unique voice and passionate delivery, has sadly died at the age of 70. He died in Crawford, Colorado, after a long and brave, three year battle with lung cancer. He leaves behind his wife Pam Baker, his brother Victor Cocker, his step daughter, Zoey Schroeder and two grandchildren, Eva & Simon Schroeder.
Joe Cocker
English rock and blues singer Joe Cocker, known for his gritty voice, spasmodic body movement in performance, and cover versions of popular songs, particularly those of The Beatles. He was born
John Cocker in Sheffield and was one of the most prolific artists of his era, releasing 40 albums in his 50 year career. As a young teenager he was influenced by the likes of Lonnie Donigan and Elvis Presley and in 1961 under the name Vance Arnold he headed the band Vance Arnold and the Avengers performing covers of Chuck Berry and Ray Charles in local pubsin and around Sheffield. In 1963, they supported the Rolling Stones at Sheffield City Hall and cut his first single, a cover of the Beatles' "I'll Cry Instead", with Jim Sullivan and Jimmy Page playing guitars. He soon developed an interest in blues music of John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Lightnin' Hopkins and Howlin' Wolf and teamed up with Chris Stainton to form the Grease Band. He then moved to London with Chris Stainton, where a new Grease Band were given a residency at the Marquee Club in London. He formed the new band with Chris Stainton and keyboardist Tommy Eyre. After minor success in the United States with the single "Marjorine", Joe and his Grease band was propelled to pop stardom when his version of "With A Little Help From My Friends" reached No.1 in 1968. The recording features Jimmy Page on lead guitar, drumming by B. J. Wilson, backing vocals by Sue and Sunny, and Tommy Eyre on organ. Their touring line-up now featured Henry McCullough on lead guitar and they embarked on their first tour of the United States in spring 1969, which included several large festivals, including the Newport Rock Festival, the Denver Pop Festival and the Woodstock Festival they performed several songs, including "Delta Lady", "Something's Comin' On", "Let's Go Get Stoned", "I Shall Be Released", and "With a Little Help from My Friends". Joe is also well known for his epic ‘Mad Dogs and Englishmen’ Tour of 1970, which featured over 40 musicians which included Chris Stainton, Bobby Keys, Rita Coolidge, Leon Russell, and Chuck Blackwell. They toured 48 cities across the US, and resulted in a third gold album by the same name and a concert film. Joe carried on touring the world throughout the 70s though to the 2000s, producing hits such as "The Letter", You Are So Beautiful", "Woman To Woman". In 1978 Joe moved to in Santa Barbara, California. In 1983 he won his first Grammy with ‘Up Where We Belong’, a duet with Jennifer Warnes, the theme from the 1982 film ‘An Officer and a Gentleman’. On June 3rd 2002, Joe performed "With A Little Help From My Friends" accompanied by Phil Collins on drums and guitarist Brian May at the Party at the Palace concert in the grounds of Buckingham Palace, an event in commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II. He went onto receive an OBE in 2011 for his great contribution to music.


Bobby Keys
December 18th 1943 – December 2nd 2014

A touring, hard living musician from the mid-late 50s until his death, Bobby Keys, the saxophonist on 100s of albums for many rock’n’roll greats including the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd and John Lennon has sadly died at his home in Franklin, Tennessee, from cirrhosis of the liver; he was 70 years old. Bobby is survived by his wife Holly, son Jesse and daughter Amber.
Bobby Keys
Robert Henry Keys was born at Lubbock army airfield in Hurlwood, Texas, and took up the saxophone after being injured while playing baseball and it was the only instrument left unclaimed in the school band, but soon after he met Jerry Allison, a local drummer who was working with Buddy Holly in near by Lubbock. Bobby convinced his grandfather to sign his guardianship to the drummer and he joined Jerry’s band, the Crickets and he was then playing behind Buddy Holly, Buddy Knox and other local rockers. By the age of 15, he was touring with the pop singer Bobby Vee on Dick Clark’s Caravan of Stars, alongside such artists as Little Eva and Major Lance. It was while he was playing with Vee when he first met the Rolling Stones at the San Antonio state fair in Texas. In the late 60s Bobby joined Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs & Englishmen tour and appears in the subsequent concert film and toured with Delaney & Bonnie in a band that also included Eric Clapton and George Harrison. Bobby renewed his association with the Stones when they were recording Let It Bleed, and he was summoned to play a solo on Live With Me. He and trumpeter Jim Price also featured on the hit single Honky Tonk Women. In December 1969 he recorded and provided the driving sax in his famous solo on Brown Sugar, and the extended solo on Can’t You Hear Me Knocking, both on the Stones’ 1971 album Sticky Fingers. He played on Clapton’s first solo album and Harrison’s solo debut, All Things Must Pass and worked steadily with the Stones until his lifestyle got the better of him during their 1973 European tour; but he returned to them for 1982’s European shows and was fully restored with the Stones for the Steel Wheels campaign in 1989, an assosiation which this time lasted until his death. As well as his work with the Stones, in 1972 Bobby recorded the instrumental solo album, Bobby Keys, which featured George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton. He became part of Lennon’s entourage along with Ringo Starr, Harry Nilsson and Keith Moon during Lennon's “lost weekend” separation from Yoko and played on Lennon’s albums 'Some Time in New York City', 'Walls and Bridges', which generated the US chart-topper "Whatever Gets You Through the Night" and the album 'Rock 'n' Roll'. Additionally, he took part in the last known recording session between Paul McCartney and Lennon, 'A Toot and a Snore' in '74. In the 60s and 70s he also recorded with the likes Elvis Presley, Dion, Delaney & Bonnie, Joe Cocker, Humble Pie, the Faces, Carly Simon, Nilsson, Marvin Gaye, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and B.B. King to mention a few. In 1979 Bobby was part of Ronnie Wood’s band The New Barbarians, which toured the US and he supported Led Zeppelin at the Knebworth festival. Bobby also appeared with Richards’s band X-Pensive Winos on their intermittent appearances in the 80s and 90s. In the late 1980s, Bobby became the musical director for Ronnie Wood's Miami club, Woody's On the Beach. The first week the club opened, he booked Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, and the Crickets. More recently he had played regularly with Sheryl Crow and had been fronting his own band, the Suffering Bastards, comprising former members of bands such as the Black Crowes and the Georgia Satellites. In 2012 he published his autobiography, Every Night’s a Saturday Night. On June 29th 2013 he played with the Rolling Stones at their Glastonbury Festival debut, but, 2014 marked Bobby's last performance with the Stones at the Roskilde festival in Denmark in July, as part of the 14 On Fire tour. Sadly Bobby had to drop out of the tour’s Australia and New Zealand dates for health reasons.

Dave Appell
March 24th 1922 – November 18th 2014

Songwriter for Chubby Checker, band leader of the Applejacks and pioneer of Rock 'n' Roll, Dave Appell, has sadly died at the age of 92. His survivors include his daughters Roz and Lynda and granddaughter Sara.
Dave Appell
American multi-musician, musical arranger and record producer, Dave Appell, was born in Philadelphia, and during his service in World War II, he worked as an arranger for several United States Navy big bands, including Jimmie Lunceford orchestra. After the war he arranged for dance orchestras, including Benny Carter and Earl "Fatha" Hines and he recorded on Decca Records as the Dave Appell Four, before changing the group name to the Applejacks. He and The Applejacks appeared in the 1956 Alan Freed film, "Don't Knock the Rock", which also featured Bill Haley and the Comets, Little Richard and other greats of the era. He and The Applejacks played Las Vegas, before returning to Philadelphia, where they started working for Cameo Records, as the Cameo-Parkway's house band, backing artists such as Chubby Checker, Bobby Rydell, Dee Dee Sharp, The Dovells, and The Orlons. As well as doing background vocals, session work as a guitarist, engineering, arranging and producing at the studios, Dave also worked alone side lyricist Kal Mann and songwriter-producer Bernie Lowe. He co-wrote songs such as "Let's Twist Again" and "Limbo Rock" for Chubby Checker; “Don’t Hang Up,” “South Street” and “The Wah Watusi” for The Orlons; “Mashed Potato Time” and “Gravy for My Mashed Potatos” for Sharp, the Philadelphia-born R&B singer; “Wild One” and “Swinging School” for Bobby Rydell and “The Bristol Stomp” and “(Do The New) Continental” for The Dovells. In 1958 he also wrote the instrumental "The Mexican Hat Rock," which peaked at No.16 for himself and the The Applejacks, they also charted with "Rocka-Conga" that same year. Dave left Cameo in 1964. In the '70s he had success with his productions at Bell Records, for Tony Orlando and Dawn, including two No.1 hits, "Knock Three Times" and "Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree", in 1971 and 1973, respectively. He later lived and had a studio in Cherry Hill, N.J. where he was still working in his 90s.

Jimmy Ruffin
May 7th 1936 ~ November 17th 2014

Legendary former Motown soul singer Jimmy Ruffin, has died while fighting a serious illness in a Las Vegas hospital, he was 78 years old. His son Jimmie Ray died last year, but he sadly leaves behind his other 5 children: Arlet, Philicia, Jimmie Lee Jr., Ophelia, and Camilla.
Jimmy Ruffin
American soul singer Jimmy Lee Ruffin, born in Collinsville, Mississippi, was nearly two when his brother David was born and as children, they began singing with a gospel group, the Dixie Nightingales. In 1961 Jimmy moved to Detroit City, where he became a singer as part of the Motown stable, mostly on sessions but also recording singles for its subsidiary Miracle label. He was then drafted for national service, but returned to Motownin 1964, where he was offered the opportunity to join the Temptations to replace Elbridge Bryant. However, after hearing his brother David, they hired him for the job instead, so Jimmy worked with The Funk brothers as a main backing singer and he resumed his solo career. He recorded for Motown's subsidiary Soul label, but with little success. Then in 1966, he persuaded songwriters Weatherspoon, Riser and Dean to let him record one of their numbers which they had originally written for The Spinners. The song "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" became a major hit, peaking at No.7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No.8 in the UK, but reached No.4 in the UK in 1974, when it was re-issued. This was followed by "I've Passed This Way Before" and "Gonna Give Her All the Love I've Got", and he worked with his brother David in the 1970s on the album, I Am My Brother's Keeper. Jimmy seemed to be under-rated in the USA, so concerntrated more on the British market and the 70s recorded "Farewell Is a Lonely Sound", "I'll Say Forever My Love" and "It's Wonderful (To Be Loved By You)" each made the UK top ten, and he was voted the world's top singer in one British poll. He left Motown, and recorded for the Polydor and Chess labels, where he recorded "Tell Me What You Want". In 1980, Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees produced his album Sunrise and the hit single "Hold On To My Love", which reached No.10 in the US and No.7 in the UK. Also in the 80s, Jimmy moved to the UK, where he continued to perform successfully. He collaborated with Paul Weller of The Style Council for his benefit single "Soul Deep", to raise money for the families of striking miners affected by the UK miners' strike. In 1986 he collaborated with the British pop group Heaven 17, singing "A Foolish Thing To Do" and "My Sensitivity" on a 12" EP record. He also recorded duets with both Maxine Nightingale and Brenda Holloway. When his younger brother David, died in 1991 of a drug overdose, Jimmy became an avid anti-drug campaigner.

Mike Burney
November 1st 1944
~ November 13th 2014
English saxophonist of international fame, Mike Burney, who thrilled us with chart hits like "See My Baby Jive" and "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" has sadly died after a long, brave battle with cancer. He was 70 years of age. He leaves behind his first love, long time partner and wife Sue, who he married last July.

English saxophonist born in the Great Barr area of Birmingham, and received his musical education at Bromsgrove College of Further Education. In the early to mid 60s he started out with the Everett’s Blueshounds before joining Billy Fury's backing band in 1968 to 1970. Following this, he became a founding member of Wizzard. The band made their live debut at The London Rock and Roll Show at Wembley Stadium on August 5th 1972, this was the very first concert to be held at the stadium and Wizzard's second appearance was at the Reading Festival later that month. He played on hits s such as "I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday" of which also Mike wrote its b-side, "Rob Roy's Nightmare (A Bit More H.A.)". Their biggest hit was with their second single,"See My Baby Jive", which topped the UK charts, this was followed "Angel Fingers (A Teen Ballad)", which also topped the charts. Mike went on to become a much in demand session musician and visiting American musicians, knowing of his reputation as a world-class player, would seek him out and get to play alongside Mike. Over his long career Mike has toured, accompanied and sessioned with many greats including Chaka Khan, The Beach Boys, Sammy Davis, Jr., Petula Clark, Memphis Slim, Jimmy Cliff, Steve Winwood, Ruby Turner, Adam Faith, Sarah Vaughan, Bob Hope, Cliff Richard, Cilla Black, Mel Torme, Dionne Warwick, Engelbert Humperdinck, Billy Eckstine, Matt Monro; covering a range of blues, jazz and big band genres. He toured and recorded with US bluesmen Gene The Mighty Flea Connors and guitar legend Mickey Baker, Sonny Boy Williamson and Memphis Slim as well as with leading rhythm and blues combo, King Pleasure & the Biscuit Boys. He worked with the Million-Airs Big Band & Concert Orchestra and spent eight years with The Syd Lawrence Orchestra with who he made many appearances on the Morecambe and Wise Show on British TV. He also worked on a joint project with other Wizzard members called The Old Horns Band and he has featured at the Birmingham International Jazz & Blues Festival every year from 1985 until illness prevented him from doing so in 2013. His fellow musicians showed their respect by holding two benefit shows for Mike, the first during the 2013 Birmingham International Jazz & Blues Festival which featured Roy Wood Rock & Roll Band, The Steve Gibbons Band and King Pleasure & the Biscuit Boys and the last only two weeks ago at Nothing But The Blues at The Asylum where 14 of Mike’s band mates performed.


Mr. Acker Bilk MBE
January 28th 1929 ~ November 2nd
2014

English clarinetist Acker Bilk, with his goatee beard, bowler hat and striped or fancy waistcoats, who personified the trad jazz revival of the 1950s and '60s, has died at his home, surrounded by his family. He died at the age of 85 after a lengthy illness. Sadly he leaves behind his childhood sweetheart-cum-long time loving wife, Jean, who he met at school and their two children, daughter Jenny and son Pete.
Acker Bilk
Legendary English clarinetist and vocalist, Acker Bilk, was born Bernard Stanley Bilk in Pensford, Somerset; he earned the nickname "Acker" from the Somerset slang for "friend" or "mate". After working in the W.D. & H.O. Wills's cigarette factory in Bristol, he served three years national service with the Royal Engineers in the Suez Canal Zone, where he learnt the clarinet after his sapper friend, John A. Britten, gave him one he had bought at a local bazaar there. On returning home Acker joined his uncle's blacksmith business, qualifying in the trade and played in local jazz bands in the Bristol area. In 1951, he and his wife, Jean, moved to London where he did a brief stint in the Ken Colyer band, but not liking London much, they returned west and Acker formed his own band in Pensford called the Chew Valley Jazzmen, soon renamed Bristol Paramount Jazz Band before a six-month gig in Düsseldorf, Germany, playing in a beer bar seven hours a night, seven nights a week. This is where he developed his distinctive style and appearance, with his trademark goatee, bowler hat, striped and fancy waistcoats and vibrato-rich, lower-register clarinet style. Back in Britain and based in Plaistow, London, the band played the London jazz club scene and became part of the boom in traditional jazz that swept the UK in the late 1950s. In 1960, their single "Summer Set" (a pun on their home county), co-written by Acker and pianist Dave Collet, reached No.5 on the UK Singles Chart, and began a run of 11 chart hit singles. 1961 saw his biggest UK hit with his self composed "Stranger On The Shore" backed by The Leon Young String Corale which peaked at No.2, but reached the No.1 spot in the USA; he had originally called it Jenny as he had written it for his daughter. That same year "Acker Bilk and His Paramount Jazz Band" appeared at the Royal Variety Performance. In January 1963, he performed at the biggest trad jazz event to be staged in Britain at Alexandra Palace. Although he carried on recording throughout his career, his last UK single chart success came in 1976 with "Aria", which went to No.5 in the UK. In May of '77, Mr. Acker Bilk & His Paramount Jazz Band provided the interval act for the Eurovision Song Contest. He continued to tour with his Paramount Jazz Band, as well as performing concerts with his two contemporaries, Chris Barber and Kenny Ball, as the 3Bs. Acker also provided distinctive vocals on many of his tracks, including: "I'm an Old Cowhand", "The Folks Who Live on the Hill", "White Cliffs of Dover", "Travellin On" and "That's My Home".

Jack Bruce
May 14th 1943 ~ October 25th 2014

One of Britain's most influential bassists of all times Jack Bruce, has died from liver disease at the age of 71. He sadly leaves behind his wife Margrit Seyffer; his son Malcolm, from his first marrage to Janet Godfrey; and his two daughters Natascha a.k.a. Aruba Red, and
Kyla and youngest son Corin from his second marrage Margrit. Tragically his eldest son, Jonas who played keyboard in his father's band and formed a band called AfroCelt died in 1997 from respiratory problems.
Jack Bruce
Scottish bassist Jack Bruce was born John Symon Asher Bruce in Bishopbriggs, Lanarkshire; his parents moved frequently, resulting in Jack attending 14 different schools. As a young teenager in the late fifties he began playing upright bass on the Glasgow scene, performing every night, trad jazz, blues, and cover versions. He won a scholarship to study cello and musical composition at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama and played in Jim McHarg's Scotsville Jazz band to support himself while at college. But the academy disapproved of Jazz, so classically trained Jack, decided to leave college to pursue his musical career. After leaving he toured Italy with the Murray Campbell Big Band, playing double bass. Then in 1962 he became a member of the London-based band Blues Incorporated, led by Alexis Korner, in which he played the upright bass. The band also included organist Graham Bond, saxophonist Dick Heckstall-Smith and drummer Ginger Baker. In 1963 the group broke up and he went on to form the Graham Bond Quartet with Bond, Baker and guitarist John McLaughlin. They changed their name to the Graham Bond Organisation and Jack changed from upright bass to electric bass. After many fall outs with Ginger, Jack left to do some solo work, recording a single, "I'm Gettin Tired", for Polydor Records. By his early 20s, Jack was already a much in-demand sideman in the growing British blues scene, and he joined John Mayall and his Bluesbreakers group, which featured guitarist Eric Clapton at this time. But he had his first commercial success as a member of Manfred Mann in 1966, including the No.1 hit "Pretty Flamingo" and the ground-breaking jazz-rock of their Instrumental Asylum album. At this time too, he was a founding member of Eric Clapton's Powerhouse band, a studio supergroup formed in 1966, which included singer Steve Winwood, credited as Steve Anglo; himself on bass; Eric Clapton on guitar; Paul Jones on harmonica; Pete York on drums, and pianist Ben Palmer. Also in 1966, Jack along with Clapton and Ginger Baker formed the legendary super rock-blues "power trio", Cream, which was a progenitor of both heavy metal and prog-rock, and he became one of the most famous bassists in blues and rock history, winning musicians' polls and influencing the next generation and beyond of bassists. As well as playing bass in Cream, he sang lead vocals and co-wrote most of Cream's single releases with lyricist Pete Brown, including the hits "Sunshine of Your Love", "White Room", and "I Feel Free". After many Jack and Ginger, on and off stage arguments, Cream broke up in 1968, they reunited a few times in the 1990s and 2000s, on special occasions. That same year 1968, Jack was the uncredited bass player on The Scaffold's No.1 hit "Lily the Pink". He did much to elevate his instrument’s status, playing hard, and freely, he showed that the bass could be a lead instrument as well as part of the rhythm section. Being a top session musician, he stayed busy right up to his death, over many decades formed new supergroups and performed session work with the likes of Leslie West, Robin Trower, John McLaughlin, Cozy Powell,
Bernie Worrell, Jon Anderson, Gary Moore, Jimi Hendrix, Rory Gallagher, and Ringo Starr just to mention a tiny few. In 2003 Jack was diagnosed with liver cancer and in Sept 2003 he had a liver transplant, which proved almost fatal, as his body initially rejected the new organ. He recovered, and in '04 reappeared to perform "Sunshine of Your Love" at a Rock Legends concert in Germany organised by the singer Mandoki. In May '05, he reunited with former Cream bandmates Clapton and Baker for a series of concerts at London's Royal Albert Hall. His gigs were many and varied, February 2012 saw him playing in Havana, Cuba, along with guitarist Phil Manzanera, supporting the mambo band of Augusto Enriquez. March saw another residency at Ronnie Scott's in London supported by his Big Blues Band, followed by a UK tour, accompanied by a series of dates at large jazz festivals in Nth America and Europe. He released his final album Silver Rails, in March 2014 on the Esoteric Antenna label, his first solo studio album in over a decade.

Alvin Stardust
September 27th 1942 ~ October 23rd 2014

Once described as "the Godfather of British Rock 'n' Roll" by Rolling Stone Keith Richards, English singer Alvin Stardust has died at his home at the age of 72. He had recently been diagnosed with metastatic prostate cancer. Married three times, Alvin sadly leaves behind his wife, actress-choreographer Julie Paton and thier daughter Millie; his two sons Shaun and Adam to his first wife Iris Caldwell; and his daughter Sophie from his second marrage to the actress Liza Goddard.

Alvin Stardust
English singer and actor Alvin Stardust aka Shane Fenton, was born Bernard William Jewry in the East End of London, but as a young boy moved with his parents to Mansfield. He started playing guitar as a schoolboy and he met one of his biggest influences, Buddy Holly, at a gig in Doncaster and played backstage with the singer and his band the Crickets. He started out on his musical journey as a roadie for a local band, Johnny Theakstone and the Tremeloes; the band sent an audition tape to the BBC's Saturday Club show, under the pseudonym, Shane Fenton and the Fentones, but tragically the young lead singer, Johnny, died of rheumatic fever. The BBC invited the band to perform on the show. Not wanting to miss this golden opportunity, the remaining band members asked Bernard to become “the new Shane Fenton”, which he accepted. The group went down well and were invited back for numerous BBC broadcasts, which led to them signing a contract with Parlophone in 1961. The band went on to enjoy a string of hits in the UK Charts, debuting with “I’m A Moody Guy” in October 1961. This was followed by "Walk Away", “It’s All Over Now” and their biggest and last hit “Cindy’s Birthday”. The band broke up in the mid 60s and Bernard aka Shane disappeared from the music industry for almost a decade before he emerged in the early seventies with a brand new persona, Alvin Stardust, a glam pop rocker. His debut single, “My Coo Ca Choo”, in 1973 was an instant hit peaking at No.2 in the UK charts. This was followed by another 12 chart hits including his No.1 hit "Jealous Mind", "You, You, You", "Red Dress" and "Good Love Can Never Die". In 1976 Alvin was part of the Green Cross Code road safety campaign, Children's Heroes, with his famous tagline of "You must be out of your tiny minds" directing children to look both ways before they cross the road. The 80s saw him in the Top 10 again with "Pretend", "I Feel Like Buddy Holly" and "I Won't Run Away". In 1986 Alvin performed at Windsor Castle as a lead in the Lloyd Webber - Rice musical Cricket and in 1989, he hosted his own Sunday morning children's TV series on ITV called It's Stardust. He has also appeared on stage in such musicals as Godspell, The Phantom of the Opera and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, in which he played the fearsome Child Catcher and he made sporadic acting appearances in Hollyoaks, The Grimleys and Doctors.

Raphael Ravenscroft
June 4th 1954 ~ October 19th 2014

Raphael Ravencroft, the saxophonist of the haunting sax solo in "Baker Street", has died at the Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital at the age of 60. Some time ago he suffered a stroke, and it is believed he has died of a heart attack. Twice divorced and separated from his third wife in 2009, sadly he leaves behind his daughter from his second marrage, Scarlett Raven.
Raphael Ravencroft
British saxophonist, composer, author and tutor Raphael Ravenscroft, born in in Stoke-on-Trent was influenced as a young musician by Jimi Hendrix, whose guitar solos he used to learn by heart. He is best known by most, for his work with Gerry Rafferty, which catapulted him into fame, performing the renowned eight-bar haunting saxophone riff on the 1978 song "Baker Street". He was paid only £27 for the session and then the cheque bounced! But in contrast, the song is said to have earned him £80,000 a year in royalties. In a 2011 radio interview, he said the song annoyed him, "I'm irritated because it's out of tune," he said. "Yeah, it's flat, by enough of a degree that it irritates me at best". "Baker Street" reached No.3 in the UK charts and peaked at No.2 in the US, it appeared on Rafferty’s solo album City To City, which sold more than five million copies. Some more noted performances of his are with Pink Floyd as tenor saxophone on The Final Cut, and with Abba and Marvin Gaye. Other credits include work with America, Maxine Nightingale, Daft Punk, John Lennon, Tina Turner, Kim Carnes, Mike Oldfield, Chris Rea, Robert Plant, Brand X, Hazel O'Connor and Bonnie Tyler among others. In 1979, he released a solo album, "Her Father Didn't Like Me, Anyway" which features songs by Paul McCartney, Gerry Rafferty and Ian Dury and 1983, saw the release of his single "Maxine". In 2010, Raphael played on albums and on sessions with Duffy, Mary Hopkin and Jamie Hartman and from 2011-12, he contributed to the album Propeller by Grice, and during this period, he also composed for several major advertising campaigns around the world. In 2011 Raphael recorded "Forgiveness", a tribute to commemorate the funeral of Gerry Rafferty which combined his saxophone playing with the voices of Grammy-nominated choir Tenebrae. In 2012, he created the music for a series of films featuring photographer Don McCullin. Besides his recording career Raphael had been a tutor of music at York College, and he published a successful instruction book, The Complete Saxophone Player. More recentley, this summer, he organised a charity gala concert in memory of a local schoolgirl who died after falling from a wall.

John Holt
July 11th 1947 ~ October 19th 2014

"Stick By Me" veteran reggae legend and pioneer, John Holt has died in a London hospital at the age of 67. He was taken ill at the One Love Festival on August 16th 2014, an illness from which sadly he never recovered.
John Holt
Reggae pioneer John Holt was born in the Greenwich Farm area of Kingston of Jamaica, and by the age of 12, he was a regular entrant in talent contests run at Jamaican theatres by Vere Johns. His final victory came in 1962, when he performed Solomon Burke's "Just Out of Reach". The talented teen was quickly snapped up by producer Leslie Kong, who recorded John's debut single, "Forever I'll Stay"/"I Cried a Tear". At this period of time he also recorded duets with Alton Ellis, debuting the partnership with "Rum Bumper".
He got his big break in 1964 when he joined the vocal group the Paragons, as lead singer, replacing founding member Leroy Stamp. "Good Luck and Goodbye" was his first recording with the group. By 1968, the Paragons were Jamaica's premier vocal group, with virtually every one of their releases a hit. Their succession of hit singles at Treasure Isle Studio include "Ali Baba", "Tonight", "I See Your Face", and of course his self penned "The Tide Is High" which was later made world famous by Blondie and also covered by Atomic Kitten. "Wear You to the Ball" was another of his hits with the Paragons which hit the charts again, when U-Roy added a Deejay verse to it. During his time with the Paragons, he also recorded solo material including "Fancy Make-up", "A Love I Can Feel", "Let's Build Our Dreams" and "OK Fred". John
left the Paragons in 1970 to concentrate on his solo career and just 12 months later, he was one of the biggest stars of reggae, and his Bunny Lee produced track, "Stick By Me" became the biggest selling Jamaican record of 1972. Other of his hits include "Tonight", "Stranger in Love", "A Love I Can Feel" and his rendition of the Kris Kristofferson penned "Help Me Make It Through the Night", peaked at No 6 in the UK charts. Throughout his long music career he became loved for his rich voice with a slower and more romantic take on reggae music and he can be heard on more than 40 albums of reggae, rocksteady and ska.

Paul Revere
January 7th 1938 ~ October 4th 2014
Frontman, keyboardist, "The madman of rock and roll", Paul Revere, founder and leader of Paul Revere & the Raiders for over 56 years has died at his home in Garden Valley, Idaho at the age of 76. Paul who had been bravely fighting cancer, sadly leaves behind his loving wife of 35 years, Sydney, and their son, Jamie.
Paul Revere
American organist and vocalist, born Paul Revere Dick in Harvard, Nebraska, and grew up in Boise, Idaho. In his early 20s, he owned several burger restaurants in Caldwell, but in 1958 at the age of 20, he also formed a group called The Downbeats; it was an instrumental band before he recruited singer Mark Lindsay, then changed the name to Paul Revere & The Raiders in 1960. They got their brake in 1963 with a cover of "Louie, Louie", after which, they scored 4 Top Ten singles in the 60s with "Kicks," "Hungry," "Good Thing" and "Him or Me, What's It Gonna Be". Their biggest hit came in 1971 with "Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian)". Paul became known as "the madman of rock and roll" for his revolutionary war-style, colonial attire with his tri-cornered hats and his infectious, energenic onstage persona with the band. The band appeared regularly on national U.S. television, most notably on Dick Clark's Where the Action Is, Happening '68, It's Happening and The Ed Sullivan Show. Paul continued to lead and tour with various line-ups of The Raiders throughout the 70s, 80s, 90s and 2000s until 2014 when sadly he got too ill to perform. Over his 56 years leading The Raiders, he released 14 studio albums, 15 compilation albums, 2 live albums and released 39 singles with the band.

Lynsey de Paul
June 11th 1950 ~ October 1st 2014
Small in stature, but huge in ambition, talent and positive personality, singer and songwriter Lynsey de Paul has sadly died at the age of 64, following a suspected brain haemorrhage.

Lynsey de Paul, English singer-songwriter, was born Lynsey Monckton Rubin in Cricklewood, London; while attending Hornsey College of Art, and wanting to leave home, she started to design album sleeves for artists which required her to listen to the tracks. From this income, she rented her first flat, where she turned to songwriting. Lynsey first co-wrote several songs for child star Jack Wild including "Takin' It Easy" and "Bring It On Back to Me", released in 1971. In 1972 she wrote “Storm In A Teacup” with her friend Ron Roker, which became a top 10 hit for The Fortunes. As a singer, her biggest of 5 top 20 hits was her "Sugar Me" which peaked at No.5 in the singles chart in 1972 just a year after she had launched her music career. Her 1973 hit "Won't Somebody Dance With Me" won her, her first Ivor Novello award, which made Lynsey the first woman ever to win an Ivor Novello award for songwriting. A second Ivor Novello Award followed a year later for No Honestly, which also was the theme tune to the ITV comedy of the same name, starring Pauline Collins and John Alderton. Lynsey wrote the themes to other TV series including Ester Rantzen's BBC1 series Hearts Of Gold and to the sitcom The Rag Trade. She wrote a total of fourteen UK Singles Chart hits, most notably "Dancin' (on a Saturday Night)" which was a hit for co-writer Barry Blue. Her songs have reached the charts in many countries, including the US, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Canada and Australia. She also performed producing and arranging duties on many of these recordings. In 1976, she was the recipient of the 'Woman of the Year Award For Music' from the Variety Club of Great Britain. In 1977, she teamed up with Mike Moran as the UK entry for Eurovision, staged at Wembley Conference Centre, and finished in second place with "Rock Bottom". In 1983 Lynsey famously appeared at the Conservative Party conference, performing a song she had written about the party. In more recent years Lynsey was seen in celebrity editions of TV shows such as Come Dine With Me and Cash In The Attic, and also acted in the Stephen Fry drama Kingdom. On 15 September 2012, she , together with Noddy Holder, co-hosted the Marc Bolan 35th anniversary concert, a special charity event for the PRS for Music Members Benevolent Fund held at the O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire
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Bob Crewe
November 12th 1930 ~ September 11th 2014
Influencial veteran songwriter, singer, producer and artist Bob Crewe has died at the age of 83 at a nursing home in Scarborough, Maine. Sadly Bob's health had been declining for a couple of years following a fall and he had diagnosed with dementia. He leaves behind many loving friends and his family including his brother Dan.
Bob Crewe
American songwriter, singer, manager, record producer and fine artist, Stanley Robert Crewe born in Newark and raised in Belleville, New Jersey, was known for producing and co-writing with Bob Gaudio a string of Top 10 singles for the Four Seasons and was intucted in to the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 1985. He took tap dance lessons as a boy, but as a student in the forties s he gave up studying to be an architect to become a singer, and became a teen idol. By the end of the fifties, early 60s he found his true niche in writing. As a prolifiic songwriter, his most successful songs included "Silhouettes" (co-written with Frank Slay); "Big Girls Don't Cry", "Walk Like a Man", "Rag Doll", "Silence Is Golden", "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)", "Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby, Goodbye)", the much covered "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" (all co-written with Gaudio); "You're Looking Like Love to Me" (written with Gaudio and Jerry Corbetta); "Let's Hang On!" (wriiten with Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell);"My Eyes Adored You" and he is responsible for one of the most memorable French choruses in pop – Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir in his "Lady Marmalade" (co-written with Kenny Nolan), as well as "Daddy Cool", "Sherry", "Jenny Take A Ride", and so many others. In the 60s he formed Crewes Recording Studios and was also known for his hit recordings with Diane Renay, Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels, Bobby Darin, the Rays, Freddy Cannon, Lesley Gore, Oliver, Michael Jackson, Roberta Flack, Peabo Bryson, Patti LaBelle, and his own Bob Crewe Generation. Since 2005, he has been featured as a supporting character (played originally by Peter Gregus) in Jersey Boys, the multiple Tony Award-winning, long-running Broadway musical based on the story of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons that has gone on to become an international hit. Bob is credited as the show's lyricist. The show won three Tonys in 2005 and a forth the following year for Best Musical. A Best Musical Show Album Grammy followed in 2007. In addition to his music, Bob also has impressive credentials in the art world, he has designed numerous album covers and has been featured in several one-man gallery showings, including The Earl McGrath Gallery and Thomas Solomon's Garage in Los Angeles.


Dick Wagner
December 14th 1942 ~ July 30th 2014

American guitarist, “The Maestro of Rock”, Dick Wagner, has left the stage at the age of 71. Sadly Dick has died of respiratory failure at the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center in Scottsdale, where he had been in intensive care following a cardiac procedure. Dick leaves behind so many loving friends and family including his two sons Robert and Mark; his daughter Jasmine and dear friend and business partner, Suzy Michelson.
Dick Wagner

Born Richard Allen Wagner in Oelwein, Iowa, but grew up in the Saginaw, Michigan, he formed his first band The Bossman in the mid 60s. They had several radio hits with his self penned songs, including "Baby Boy", and "You're The Girl For Me". In the late 60s he formed his second band The Frost, it was in these days he penned one of the best-known songs "Only Women Bleed". He next moved to New York in 1972, where he formed the group Ursa Major in which included Billy Joel in the original line up. The band toured nationally with Jeff Beck and then with Alice Cooper. The following year, he, along with fellow guitarist Steve Hunter featured on Lou Reed's 1973 studio album, Berlin. Soon after, this powerful guitar duo were joined by Prakash John, Pentti "Whitey" Glan and Ray Colcord joined Lou Reed's Rock 'n' Roll Animal Tour, the guitar duo can also be heard on Lou Reed's the Rock 'n' Roll Animal album. Soon after in 1974, Dick teamed up with Alice Cooper and became his right-hand man on the albums "Welcome To My Nightmare", "Goes To Hell", "Lace And Whiskey", "From The Inside" and "DaDa", helping in songwriting, composing, production and playing lead guitar. He also contributed to the making of "School's Out", "Billion Dollar Babies", "Muscle Of Love", "Hey Stoopid", and Alice Cooper's latest album, "Welcome 2 My Nightmare". Alice Cooper's The Nightmare Tour became the largest and longest touring rock show of the time. The live show featured the duelling lead guitars of Dick and Steve in a guitar battle captured on the film of the same name. The film became a TV special and was released on home video in 1976 and the world tour. In covered more than 120 cities over an eighteen month period.
Dick co-wrote many songs with Alice Cooper including "I Never Cry", "You And Me" and "How You Gonna See Me Now".In 1978, Dick released a solo LP called Richard Wagner, but sadly the title confused record stores and disc jockeys alike, who relegated the record to the classical music bin, assuming it was a classical music record composed by the 19th century classical composer with the same name. In the late 70s and through the 80s he can be heard on albums including KISS' Destroyer, Revenge, Peter Gabriel's self-titled solo debut, Air Supply, Hall & Oates' Along the Red Ledge, Burton Cummings' Dream of a Child. He also produced and co-wrote albums for Mark Farner's solo début and a pair of albums for the star of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Tim Curry and many more. Dick also penned "Remember The Child", a song he wrote to address the issue of child abuse. New York Times best selling author, John Bradshaw, selected "Remember The Child" as the theme song for his award winning PBS television special, "Homecoming: Reclaiming and Healing Your Inner Child". In 1996, Dick was invited by Leo Najar, conductor of the Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra to perform a two and a half hour concert of his songs with the symphony. Dick named the concert, "The Remember The Child Concert", raising funds for child abuse agencies in central Michigan through his "Remember The Child Foundation". Dick moved to Phoenix, Arizona in 2005 where he was writing a new album with Alan Gordon (Happy Together, Celebrate). In 2007 he produced and wrote songs for artist Wensday on the album Torch Rock, which was included in the 2007 50th Anniversary Grammy Awards ballot. Also that same year a film about the work of Dick Wagner and Steve Hunter, entitled "Rock and Roll Animals", was produced by Noble Savage Productions. But later that year he suffered a massive heart attack and stroke, he spent two weeks in a coma, awakening with a paralysed left arm. While recovering he continued to write songs and began writing his memoirs, which ultimately became his book, Not Only Women Bleed. His book spent more than two weeks at No. 1 on Amazon.com's Hot New Releases in Biographies & Memoirs of Entertainers and it has won five international book awards. In 2013 and 2014, after suffering more than six years of extreme health adversities: two heart attacks, a stroke, a paralysed left arm, a diagnosis of hydrocephalus (NPH) two brain surgeries, a pacemaker and more, amazingly he recovered and returned, and he fully resumed performing, touring, writing songs and producing music, his book tour took him to more than 40 states. He made personal appearances in documentary films and writing film scores and also had three songs featured in the multi-award winning documentary “Louder than Love”. Dick played his final show on June 29th 2014 in Owosso, Mich..

Johnny Winter
February 23rd 1944 ~ July 16th 2014

Guitar legend Johnny Winter, known for his lightning fast blues guitar riffs, has died at the age of 70. He was found dead in his Swss hotel room just two days after his performance at the Cahors Blues Festival in France. Sadly, he leaves behind a loving family including his wife, Susan and his brother, fellow musisian Edgar Winter.

John Dawson Winter III, American blues guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, singer, producer, known for his high-energy blues-rock albums, his live performances in the late 1960s and 1970s, his lightning fast blues guitar riffs and better known as Johnny Winter was born in Beaumont, Texas. He and his younger Edgar were both born with albinism, and in the mid 50s they appeared as a duo on a local children's show, singing songs and playing ukulele. By the time he was 15 years old, he had formed a band, Johnny and the Jammers, and released a single "School Day Blues" on a local Houston record label. Also in these early days he sometimes sat in with Roy Head and the Traits when they performed in the Beaumont area, and in 1967, Johnny recorded a single with the Traits, "Tramp" backed with "Parchman Farm". In 1968, he released his first album The Progressive Blues Experiment, and he often performed with blues and rock singer Janis Joplin, the two became close during the 1960s. A huge break came for him in December of 1968, when Mike Bloomfield, invited him to sing and play a song during a Bloomfield and Al Kooper concert at the Fillmore East in New York, he sang B.B. King's "It's My Own Fault", after which Columbia records gave him a recording deal. He recorded and released his debut Columbia album 'Johnny Winter' in 1969, which also featured his brother on keyboards and saxophone. The album contained his self penned "Dallas" which became one of his signature songs, as well as, "Good Morning Little School Girl" and "Be Careful With A Fool". That same year, the Winter trio toured and performed at several rock festivals, including Woodstock. With brother Edgar added as a full member of the group, he recorded his second album, Second Winter, in Nashville. When Edgar formed his own band, Johnny formed a new band with guitarist Rick Derringer, bassist Randy Jo Hobbs, and drummer Randy Z, originally to be called "Johnny Winter and the McCoys", but shortened to "Johnny Winter And", which was also the name of their first album, which included Derringer's "Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo". Soon after, sadly Johnny got caught up in the drug scene, but quickly sought treatment and recovered from his heroine addiction. By 1973, thankfully, he had returned to the music scene with the release of his album Still Alive and Well, backed by The And. A dream came true for Johnny at Blue Sky Records in 1977, when he played on and produced Hard Again, the twelfth studio album by Muddy Waters, Johnny's childhood hero. He produced two more studio albums for Muddy, I'm Ready, King Bee and a best-selling live album Muddy "Mississippi" Waters - Live. The partnership produced three Grammy Awards for Muddy and an a Grammy for Johnny's own Nothin' But the Blues. After his time with Muddy, he recorded several Grammy-nominated blues albums and in 1988, was inducted into the Blues Foundation Hall of Fame. In 2003, he was ranked 63rd in Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time". Johnny headlined such prestigious events as the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Chicago Blues Festival, the Sweden Rock Festival, the Warren Haynes Christmas Jam, and Rockpalast. He also performed with the Allman Brothers at the Beacon Theater in New York City on the 40th anniversary of their debut. In 2007 and 2010, he performed at Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festivals. The Gibson Guitar Company released the signature Johnny Winter Firebird guitar in a ceremony in Nashville with Slash presenting. Over his long career Johnny released 19 studio albums, the last 2014's Step Back. He was active till the end when tragically he was found dead in his Swss hotel room just two days after his performance, at the Cahors Blues Festival in France.

Tommy Ramone
January 29th 1949 ~
July 11th 2014
Drummer and producer, Tommy Ramone, the last remaining original member of the New York punk band the Ramones, has died at his home while battling bile duct cancer. The 65 year old punk legend sadly leaves behind his longtime partner Claudia Tienan, brother Peter; sister-in-law Andrea Tienan; and nephews Eric and David.
Tommy Ramone
American record producer, drummer and last of the original band member of the Ramones, was born Erdélyi Tamás in Budapest, Hungary, to Jewish parents who survived the Holocaust by being hidden by neighbours, although many of his relatives were victims of the Nazis. The family emigrated to the USA when Tommy was aged four and he grew up in Forest Hills, Queens, New York. While in high school, he and guitarist Johnny Cummings, who later became Johnny Ramone, performed together in a garage band called the Tangerine Puppets. In 1970, Tommy was an assistant engineer for the production of the Jimi Hendrix album Band of Gypsys. Then in 1974, hugely influenced by 60s groups and the New York Dolls, Tommy, along with Johnny Cummings, Jeffrey Hyman and Douglas Colvin formed a new band and bassist Douglas, inspired by Paul McCartney's use of the pseudonym Paul Ramon, called himself Dee Dee Ramone and convinced the other members to take on the name Ramone and came up with the idea of calling the band the Ramones. They rose to fame playing at the iconic music venue CBGBs before achieving worldwide success. The band became a major influence in the punk rock movement in both the United States and in the United Kingdom influencing groups like the Clash and the Sex Pistols. They performed 2,263 concerts, touring virtually nonstop for 22 years. Tommy was responsible for two of the group's biggest hits, writing "I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend" and the majority of "Blitzkrieg Bop". In 2002 the Ramones were ranked the second-greatest band of all time by Spin magazine, behind the Beatles. On March 18th 2002, Tommy and the other three original members of the Ramones were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in 2011, the group was awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Tommy remained as drummer from 1974-78, playing on and co-producing their first three albums, Ramones, Leave Home, and Rocket to Russia, as well as the live album, It's Alive. After which he handled band management and co-production for their fourth album, Road to Ruin and later returned as producer for the eighth album, 1984's Too Tough to Die. In the 1980s he produced the highly regarded Replacements album Tim, as well as Redd Kross's Neurotica. He played as a Ramone once again, October 8th 2004, with C.J. Ramone, Daniel Rey, and Elvis Ramone in the "Ramones Beat Down On Cancer" concert. Then October 2007 in an interview to promote It's Alive 1974-1996 a double DVD of the band's greatest televised live performances and he paid tribute to his deceased bandmates: "They gave everything they could in every show. They weren't the type to phone it in, if you see what I mean". Additionally Tommy started an acoustic bluegrass based folk duo called Uncle Monk with his partner and former Simplistics, Claudia Tienan, releasing one selve titled album, and he joined songwriter Chris Castle, Garth Hudson, Larry Campbell and the Womack Family Band in July of 2011 for Castle's album Last Bird Home. Sadly of the other three founder members, Joey Ramone died of lymphoma in 2001; Dee Dee was killed by a heroin overdose in 2002; and Johnny died from prostate cancer in 2004.


BobbyWomack
March 4th 1944 ~ June 27th 2014
Sadly, inspirational soul singer-songwriter, Bobby Womack has died just 2 weeks after performing at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. The 70 year old legend had been bravely battling a number of health issues including diabetes, heart trouble, cancers, drug addictions and he was diagnosed with Alzheimers disease 2 years ago. Bobby's son, Vincent, from his marriage to Barbara Campbell, took his own life in 1988, and his son Truth from his second marrage died at 4 months old. He leaves behind his daughter, Gina, from his marriage to Regina Banks; and two sons, Cory and Jordan, from his relationship with Jody Laba.
Bobby Womack
American singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer, Robert Dwayne "Bobby" Womack was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, to Naomi Womack and Friendly Womack, he was the third of five musical brothers. Both his parents were musicians and when Bobby was still in single figures his father formed The Womack Brothers. With their parents accompanying them, the brothers, Cecil, Curtis, Bobby on guitar, Harry and Friendly Jr, toured the gospel circuit and in 1954, when Bobby was only ten years old, the group, under the name of Curtis Womack and the Womack Brothers recorded and released thier first single, "Buffalo Bill". Even though Curtis often sang lead, Bobby was allowed to sing alongside him showcasing his gruff baritone vocals in contrast to his older brother's smoother tenor tones. Sam Cooke discovered the group performing while he was still in the Soul Stirrers in 1956 and began mentoring the boys and within four years, Sam had formed SAR Records and signed the quintet to the label. Changing their name to the Valentinos, he produced and arranged the group's first hit single, "Looking for a Love", which was a pop version of a gospel song they had previously released titled "Couldn't Hear Nobody Pray", written by Bobby. The group's next hit came in '64 with "It's All Over Now", co-composed by Bobby. The Rolling Stones covered it and it reached No.1 in the UK charts. Three months after Sam's tragic death in 1964, 21 year old Bobby married Sam's widow, Barbara Campbell, the Valentinos disbanded after the collapse of SAR Records and Bobby began work as a session musician at Chips Moman's American Studios in Memphis. He played on recordings by Joe Tex and the Box Tops and played guitar on several of Aretha Franklin's albums, including Lady Soul, but not on the hit song, "Chain of Fools", as often thought. His funky guitar work can be heard on records by Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Dusty Springfield and so many others. Between 1965 and 1968 Bobby also toured with Ray Charles. His work as a songwriter caught the eye of music executives after Wilson Pickett took a liking to some of the songs and insisted on recording them. Among those songs included the hits, "I'm a Midnight Mover" and "I'm in Love". He wrote 17 songs during this period, and gave all of them to Pickett. In 1968, Bobby signed with Minit Records but with none of his own material left, he cut an album of covers, his first solo album, Fly Me to the Moon, where he scored his first major hit with his rendition of the Mamas & The Papas' "California Dreamin'". Bobby, over his 6 decade career, released around 30 solo albums and has created some of the world's most soulful songs, both for himself and others, as a singer his most notable hits include "That's The Way I Feel About Cha", "Lookin' For a Love", "Harry Hippie", "Woman's Gotta Have It", "Across 110th Street" and his 1980s hit "If You Think You're Lonely Now". In 2009, Bobby was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and in early 2012, Bobby's career was the subject of the documentary show Unsung on TV One. He recently performed at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and had been scheduled to perform at multiple events across Europe in July and August.

Gerald "Gerry" Goffin
February 11th 1939 ~ June 19th 2014

American lyricist Gerry Goffin, who co-wrote some of the biggest hits of the 1960s with his former wife and longtime collaborator Carole King, died at the age of 75. Four times married, Gerry sadly leaves behind four daughters, Louise, Sherry, Jeannie and Lauren; one son, Jessie and six grandchildren.
Gerry  Goffin
American lyricist, Gerry Goffin was born in Brooklyn, New York and grew up in Queens. He enlisted in the Marine Corps Reserve after graduating from Brooklyn Technical High School. After spending a year at the U.S. Naval Academy, he resigned from the Navy to study chemistry at Queens College. At college he met Carol Klein, who had started writing songs under the name Carole King. They began collaborating on songwriting, with Carol writing the music and Gerry the lyrics, and began a relationship. When King became pregnant, they married in August 1959, he was 20 and she was 17. Writing with his wife, he co-wrote many international pop hits of the early and mid-1960s, including the US No.1 hits "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", "Take Good Care of My Baby", "The Loco-Motion", and "Go Away Little Girl". He also worked successfully with other composers in the early 1960s, including Barry Mann with "Who Put the Bomp (in the Bomp, Bomp, Bomp)" and Jack Keller with "Run to Him".
After he and Carol divorced, he wrote with other composers, including Bob Dylan, Russ Titelman, Barry Goldberg and Michael Masser, with whom he wrote "Theme from Mahogany (Do You Know Where You're Going To)" and "Saving All My Love for You", also No.1 hits. He and Masser won an Academy Award nomination in 1976 for the theme to the film Mahogany, sung by Diana Ross; and also wrote "Saving All My Love for You", a worldwide hit for Whitney Houston, "Tonight, I Celebrate My Love", and "Nothing's Gonna Change My Love for You". Gerry and Masser also received a Golden Globe nomination for "So Sad the Song" from the 1976 Gladys Knight film Pipe Dreams. During his career Goffin penned a total of 59 US Top 40 and 21 UK Top 40 hits, including seven chart-toppers. Gerry and Carol were inducted together into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Gerry also released three solo albums, It Ain't Exactly Entertainment in 1973, Back Room Blood in 1996 and It Ain't Exactly Entertainment Demo & Other Sessions.

Randy Coven
1960 ~ May 20th 2014

American rock bassist, Randy Coven who was sort after by the top named musicians like Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai, influencing fellow bassists worldwide has sadly died at the age of just 54.
Bass virtuoso Randy Coven.
Randy was born in Great Neck; at the age of five in 1965, his parents took him for his first concert experience ~ The Beatles at Shea Stadium. Then when the movie Woodstock came out he was at the preview in New York again with his parents and that was it... he and his brother Les... started up together, Randy on the drums, his brother on the guitar. Randy felt restricted on the drums, so here enters "The Bass", which he played in several high school bands. In 1978 he attended the renowned Berklee School of Music in Boston where he was surrounded by an impressive list of soon-to-be renowned musicians Steve Vai, Steve Smith, Victor Bailey, Jeff Berlin, etc. He formed a life friendship with fellow student Steve Vai. 1979 saw Randy and Steve founding the band "Morning Thunder". This band consisted of David Rosenthal - keyboards, Eddie Rogers on drums, Steve Vai - guitar and Randy Coven - bass. Also while at Berklee he he met up with some Canadian musicians joining their band "Orpheus". Their show featured a pair of songs penned by Coven. Randy had 4+ very useful learning years on the road with this band, touring Canada full time. Eventually 1984 sees a much more seasoned Randy returning to his native New York, full of ideas with the need to form his own band. He first teamed up with guitarist Jim Hickey and drummer Todd Turkisher, which was the start of 'The Randy Coven Band'. The trio recorded their debut, Funk Me Tender, in 1985. The title track featured a guest spot by Coven's old pal Steve Vai. Coven's debut album sent Randy's name echoing across music scene, causing mass ripples. A deal with Guitar Recordings soon followed (run by the magazine "Guitar" for the Practicing Musician), which resulted in many recordings through the late 80's, such as "Sammy Says Ouch!" bring Randy together with Blues Saraceno - guitar, Mark Wood - violin, Al Pitrelli - guitar and John O'Reilly on drums who featured as his band on this album. Which lead to "C.P.R." Coven - Pitrelli - John O'Reilly and included many guest stars such Zakk Wylde, Vito Bratta, and Steve Morse. The late 80's and 90's was a busy time for Randy, who had taken over from Billy Sheehan writing The Bass Secrets monthly column for the "Guitar Recordings ", which lasted for 5 years, the longest time for any one writer. He was also appearing on a host of compilations put out by Guitar Recordings. "CPR" had bought Randy, Al Pitrelli, and John O'Reilly international fame. The 90's also sees Randy on world tours and recording with musicians such a Leslie West as part of "Mountain" and bassist in Yngwie Malmsteen's touring/recording band. Amongst all this Randy forms yet another mega band in 1994, the metal band "Holy Mother" with New York metal vocalist Mike Tirelli, Tommy Hellbent and Jim Harris. Their 2nd album, Toxic Rain. was awesome groundbreaking power metal and with hard touring, appearances at major European heavy metal festivals all over Europe, certainly gave the media & metalheads worldwide something to grind their teeth on. "Holy Mother continued for 9 years working round Randy's busy schedule. By 2003, Holy Mother had progressed and their 5th & last brilliant album "Agoraphobia" being much heavier, melodic and aggressive, the band pushed themselves to the cutting edge with a refined explosion of sound and rhythm which will have lasting impression on the metal scene for years to come. Year 2000/1 saw Randy touring and recording again with Yngwie J. Malmsteen's "Rising Force War To End All Wars World Tour" and he released his solo album "Witch Way" in 2002.
2006 sees Randy and drummer The Mac Attack in Milan, Italy recording an Italian rock opera. They were recording with a 27 peice orchestra. "Dream Theater's" singer/guitarist, Marco Stogliis also involved in this exciting project , also this year he performed at the 2006 Winter NAMM show in Anaheim, California.
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Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith
April 1st 1921 ~ April 3rd 2014
‘Dueling Banjos’ songwriter, Arthur ‘Guitar Boogie’ Smith has sadly passed away at his home in Charlotte, N.C., just two days after his 93rd birthday. He is survived by his wife, Dorothy, a daughter, two sons, 7 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith
American multi-musician,
singer-songwriter-composer, Arthur Smith was born in Clinton, South Carolina; he went on to become a celebrated country music instrumental composer, guitarist, fiddler and banjo player. Arthur was playing trumpet in his father's band by age 11 and by age 14, he had his own radio show in Kershaw. A
long with his brothers Ralph and Sonny, he formed a Dixieland combo, the Carolina Crackerjacks and by age 15, he had made his first recording for RCA. Also before World War II, when he served in the US Navy, he was an part time member of the WBT Briarhoppers band. After the war he had a major hit with his self penned instrumental "Guitar Boogie", which went on to sell millions and was one of the earliest crossover hits. The song earned him the name Arthur "Guitar Boogie" Smith which also differentiated him from Tennessee fiddler Fiddlin' Arthur Smith. The track, renamed "Guitar Boogie Shuffle", became a rock n roll hit for Frank Virtue and the Virtues. Arthur influenced and inspired several generations of country musicians via his region television program, The Arthur Smith Show, which aired from 1951 to 1982 and was the first syndicated country music show, he wrote and recorded some of country music's most influential tunes at this time. Musicians who have been influenced by Arthur include Nashville studio ace Hank "Sugarfoot" Garland, Roy Clark, Frank Virtue, Glen Campbell and surf music pioneers the Ventures. In 1955, Arthur composed a banjo instrumental he called "Feudin' Banjos" and he recorded the song with five-string banjo player Don Reno. Later the composition appeared in the popular 1972 film Deliverance as "Dueling Banjos" played by Eric Weissberg and Steve Mandel. Not given credit, Arthur had to proceed with legal action that eventually he won $200,000 in damages plus royalties and a number of awards the song won were transferred to him; this was a landmark copyright infringement suit. Arthur had nearly 500 copyrights, including over 100 active inspirational and/or gospel music compositions including million sellers "The Fourth Man" and "I Saw A Man". His compositions have been recorded numerous times by many artists including Chet Atkins, Glen Campbell, Johnny Cash, the Statesmen Quartet, the Cathedrals, Al Hirt, Tom Petty, Oak Ridge Boys, Willie Nelson, Barbara Mandrell, the Gatlin Brothers, Roy Orbison, Boots Randolph, the Statler Brothers, Randy Travis, George Beverly Shea, The Stamps, Ricky Van Shelton and so many more. His band Crackerjacks employed a number of noted country musicians throughout the years, his long time friend and banjo virtuoso Don Reno, fiddler Jim Buchanan, banjoists David Deese, Carl Hunt and Jeff Whittington, resonator guitarist Ray Atkins and country singer George Hamilton IV. Other regular members included Wayne Haas, Maggie Griffin, Don Ange, and Jackie Schuler, along with Ralph Smith and Tommy Faile. A portion of his Crackerjacks group sang and recorded gospel music under the the name of the Crossroads Quartet. Over his very long career he has had several side projects such as a chain of supermarkets and a recording studio which hosted radio shows for Johnny Cash, Chet Akins, James Brown to mention a few. Arthur also gathered many honors including a BMI Song of the Year award in 1973 and that same year he was honored with a Grammy as the original writer of “Dueling Banjos”, Golden Eagle Award, Southeast Tourism Society Award, American Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award, North Carolina Folk Heritage Award, North Carolina Award, Legends Award, Lifetime Achievement Award, BMI Legendary Songwriter Award and was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2010. Also Arthur and his son Clay collaborated on 12 major motion picture soundtracks including Black Sunday, Death Driver and Living Legend. The father-son team received the Grand Prize-First Place Award for Original Music in the International Real Life Adventure Film Festival in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy.

Paco de Lucía
December
21st 1947 ~ February 25th 2014
World-renowned Spanish musician, innovator and musical revolutionary, Paco de
Lucía, the world's most celebrated flamenco guitarists has died aged 66 while on holiday in the Mexican resort of Cancun. Tragically, he died of a heart attack while playing with his children on the beach. He sadly leaves behind a large loving family including three children from his first marrage to Casilda Varela; his second wife, Gabriela and their two children, Diego and Antonia.
Paco de Lucía
Paco de Lucía was born Francisco Sánchez Gomes in Algeciras, in the province of Cádiz. The son of flamenco guitarist Antonio Sanchez, of Gypsy origin, he took his stage name in honour of his mother, Lucia Gomes. In 1958, at age 11, Paco made his first public appearance on Radio Algeciras. That year, he met the Romani guitar virtuoso, Sabicas for the first time in Malaga. A year later, he was awarded a special prize at the Festival Concurso International Flamenco de Jerez de la Frontera flamenco competition. At the age of 14 he made his first record with his brother Pepe, "Los Chiquitos de Algeciras"/Kids of Algeciras and in the early 1960s, he toured with the flamenco troupe of dancer José Greco. Then in New York City in 1963, at the age of 15, he had his second encounter with Sabicas and his first encounter with Mario Escudero, both of whom became his mentors and later close friends. In 1964, he met Madrileño guitarist Ricardo Modrego with whom he recorded three albums: Dos guitarras flamencas, 12 canciones de García Lorca para guitarra and 12 éxitos para 2 guitarras flamencas. His early albums were traditional flamenco recordings and he recorded classics such as Malagueña on the 12 éxitos para 2 guitarras flamencas album. He toured with José Greco in 1966 and recorded Ímpetu, a bulerias composed by Mario Escudero, for his debut solo album, La fabulosa guitarra de Paco de Lucía in 1967. Paco appeared at the 1967 Berlin Jazz Festival. According to Gerhard Klingenstein, top jazz musicians who appeared at the festival like Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk, profoundly influenced Paco and sparked a fascination for jazz that remained with him throughout his life. In the late 1960s, he toured Europe with a group called Festival Flamenco Gitano and encountered other new talents in the flamenco world including singer Camarón de la Isla, with whom he enjoyed a fruitful collaboration between 1968 and 1977. They recorded ten albums together and received considerable acclaim. Paco made a cameo appearance, dressed as a Mexican guitarist, in the 1971 western Hannie Caulder, playing the melody of Ken Thorne's main theme over a string section. In 1972 his release "El duende flamenco de Paco de Lucía" was considered a groundbreaking album in the flamenco community and as the 1970s progressed, he continued to produce groundbreaking albums and ventured into an increasingly unconventional and innovative style of flamenco with jazz influences. On 18 February 1975, de Lucía became the first-ever flamenco performer to perform at the Teatro Real of Madrid. He played a set with his brother Ramón, in front of a relatively young audience without the use of effects. In the late 70s he performed extensively across the US and Europe, increasing his popularity outside Spain and with the flamenco community in Europe and met many jazz, Latin and other musicians who continued to have an impact on Paco's evolution as a "Nuevo flamenco" player. He began to show a very keen interest in jazz fusion with rock and in 1977 performed with Carlos Santana in the Plaza de toros de las Arenas bullring in Barcelona. In 1979, he, John McLaughlin and Larry Coryell (later replaced by Al Di Meola) formed "The Guitar Trio" and together made a tour of Europe and released a video recorded at London's Royal Albert Hall entitled Meeting of the Spirits. He continued to record and tour with various line-ups and guesting on albums throughout the 80's and 90's and dazzled audiences with his lightning-speed flamenco rhythms and finger work; he formed the Paco de Lucía Sextet in 1981 with his brothers, singer Pepe de Lucía and guitarist Ramón de Algeciras and collaborated with jazz pianist Chick Corea on their 1990 album, Zyryab. In 1995 he recorded world hit "Have You Ever Really Loved A Woman?" with Brian Adams, which stayed at No.1 for five weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. In 1996, his first "golden hits" album, Antología, was in the top 20 in Spain for at least 16 weeks, selling over 65,000 copies. In 1997, he performed in a tribute show to the assassinated Spanish politician Miguel Angel Blanco, alongside the likes of Julio Iglesias and Los Del Rio. Paco lived for five years in Yucatan, Mexico, but returned to his native Spain in 2003 after professing to have become really tired with spending his whole life touring for six to eight months a year, getting up at the crack of dawn and living in hotels, but he continued to keep a holiday home in Mexico and regularly visited with his family. In 2004 he toured the United States and Canada with Seville flamenco singer La Tana, but subsequently greatly reduced his live performances in public. He retired from full touring, and would only give few concerts a year, usually in Spain and Germany and at European festivals during the summer months. He also
played in Pula, Croatia in 2006 and 2010, and in Turkey, Morocco and Tunisia in 2013. In 2004, Paco won the Prince of Asturias Awards in Arts and March 23rd 2007, the University of Cadiz recognized his musical and cultural contributions by conferring on him the title of Doctor Honoris Causa. In 2010, he was awarded an honorary doctorate by Berklee College and performed at the Montreux Festival. Sadly Paco made his final appearance at the Carthage International Festival at the Roman Theatre, July 31st 2013.

Franny Beecher
September 29th 1921 ~ February 24th 2014

Bill Haley and the Comets guitarist, Franny Beecher,
who helped kick off the rock and roll era, died peacefully in his sleep at a nursing home near Philadelphia aged 92. He sadly leaves behind two sons, one daughter and six grandchildren.
Franny Beecher
American Hall of Fame guitarist Franny was born Francis Beecher in Norristown, Pennsylvania; he was the lead guitarist for Bill Haley & His Comets from 1954 to 1962 and is best remembered for his innovative guitar solos combining elements of country music and jazz. He composed the classics "Blue Comet Blues", "Week End", "Goofin' Around" and "Shaky" when he was the lead guitarist for Bill Haley and the Comets. He continued to perform with surviving members of the Comets into 2006. In 2012, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted him as a member of the Comets by a special committee, aimed at correcting the previous mistake of not inducting the Comets with Bill Haley. He already had had a lengthy career as a guitarist, having performed and recorded with the Benny Goodman Orchestra, which he joined in 1948, at a time Goodman was experimenting with music in the bebop idiom. He also worked with other big bands, with singer and former Goodman "bop band" pianist Buddy Greco and the Sharps, as well as with several country western groups. He played guitar on the 1947 single by Buddy Greco "Baby I'm True to You" b/w "How Many Times" and the 1948 single "Lillette" b/w "A Stranger in Town". His guitar work influenced young musicians playing the same venues in the Philadelphia / Reading area where the Comets were based, among them the guitarist and future legendary comic-book writer-artist Jim Steranko. He first worked with the Comets in the fall 1954 as a session musician, replacing the recently deceased guitarist Danny Cedrone. His first work with Haley was the single "Dim, Dim the Lights". In August 1955, he appeared for the first time on national TV with the Comets performing "Rock Around the Clock" and soon afterward was promoted to a full-time member of the band, appearing with the group in the films Rock Around the Clock in 1956 and Don't Knock the Rock in 1956, as well as several other film appearances: in Germany in 1958, Hier bin ich - hier bleib' ich (Here I Am, Here I Stay) in 1959 and in Mexico in the early 1960s, such as Jóvenes y rebeldes and Besito a Papa, both in 1961.
Franny was also a busy songwriter-composer, his compositions included "Blue Comet Blues", "Goofin' Around", "Shaky", "Tampico Twist", "The Beak Speaks", "Hot to Trot", "Beecher Boogie Woogie", "Whistlin' and Walkin' Twist", "The Catwalk", and "Week End", which was a chart hit with The Kingsmen, reaching No.35. It was also recorded and released as a single by rock guitarist Link Wray in September in 1963. Both Red Price Sid, and Phillips and His Band also released "Week End" in the UK, both in in 1958.
He will be best remembered for his innovative guitar solos, he played with members of the Comets from 1954 right up until 2006

Bunny Rugs
February 6th 1948 ~ February 2nd 2014
The charismatic, distinctive husky voiced, lead singer of the internationally famed reggae band Third World, William "Bunny Rugs" Clarke, has died of cancer in his home town of Orlando, Florida; he was 65. Bunny sadly leaves behind by his wife and their eight children.
Bunny Rugs
Jamaican reggae singer, Bunny Rugs aka Bonny Scott was born William Clarke, in Mandeville and raised in Kingston. His nickname 'Bunny' came from his grandmother calling him 'Bunny' as a child because he would "jump around the house like a rabbit" and then 'Bunny Rugs' came later, from a member of the Third World road crew calling him 'Rugs' because of his liking for sleeping on the floor. In the mid 1960s he joined Charlie Hackett and the Souvenirs, the resident band at the Kitty Club on Maxfield Avenue, before leading the early lineup of Inner Circle in 1969. From 1971 he did a stint in New York where he was a member of the dance band Hugh Hendricks and the Buccaneers and the Bluegrass Experience. He returned to Jamaica in 1974 and recorded with Lee "Scratch" Perry, initially as a backing singer, then with Leslie Kong's nephew Ricky Grant as the duo Bunny & Ricky. They released singles such as "Freedom Fighter" and "Bushweed Corntrash" and he also recorded the solo album To Love Somebody in 1975, which is credited as Bunny Scott. Bunny was also a member of The Wild Bunch before he returned to New York to take over as lead singer of Third World from Milton "Prilly" Hamilton in 1976. The group was signed to Island Records and had hits on British and U.S. charts, including 'Now That We Found Love', 'Always Around' and 'Reggae Ambassador'. He performed on all of Third World's records, until his death, except the group's debut. In 1981, Stevie Wonder, who performed on stage with the band at Jamaica's Reggae Sunsplash festival that year, co-wrote and produced Third World's 1982 song "Try Jah Love". As well as performing and recording with Third World, Bunny continued to record as a solo artist, his last solo album being 'Time' released in 2012. From this album he released the single "Land We Love", with profits going to the charities the Jamaican Children's Heart Fund, the charity for which he was a spokesman and Chain of Hope. Later that same year he received a Caribbean American Heritage Award for Outstanding Contribution to Reggae. Health problems forced him to miss some of the shows on Third World's fortieth anniversary tour in 2013 and he confirmed that he had been diagnosed with cancer.


Johnny Allen
September 20th 1917 ~ January 29th 2014

Pianist and arranger Johnny Allen, one of last direct links to the heyday of Paradise Valley, has sadly died at the age of 96 at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit from pneumonia. Johnny is survived by his six children Angela Allen, John Jr. Allen, David Allen, Brian Allen, Carol Allen and Quincy Allen.
??Johnny Allen??
American pianist and music arranger, Johnny Allen was born in Uchee, Ala., but grew up in Chicago. Already an accomplished pianist and self-taught arranger he moved in Detroit in 1936, where he first worked at the upscale Club Congo. As the musical director, he wrote snappy arrangements of current pop and jazz tunes. As a pianist, his foremost influence was Earl Hines. He went on to write arrangements for the Motown and Stax labels and his associations ranged from Billie Holiday to the Supremes, the Originals, the Temptations, Stevie Wonder, the Dramatics, Luther Ingram and the Staple Singers to mention some. He wrote arrangements like “I’ll Take You There”, “Respect Yourself”, “What You See is What You Get”, “Hot Buttered Soul”, “Black Moses” and “Shaft”. In 1971 he shared a Grammy Award with Isaac Hayes for their arrangement of “Theme from Shaft”. In recent years, Johnny could still be seen working around town with small jazz groups and appearing at the Detroit Jazz Festival. He continued playing well into his mid-90s. His contributions to Detroit’s musical culture spanned some seven decades, he was among the last direct links to the heyday of Paradise Valley, the vibrant historic center of African-American cultural and commercial life in Detroit in the mid-20th Century


Pete Seeger
May 3th 1919 – January 27th 2014

American folk singer and activist Pete Seeger, who was hailed "America's conscience" has dies at the age of 94. Toshi, Pete's wife of 70 years died 6 months ago, July 2013 and their first child Peter had died at 6 months old, but he sadly leaves behind their three children, Daniel, Mika and Tinya; also grandchildren Tao, Cassie, Kitama Cahill-Jackson, Moraya, Penny, and Isabelle.
Pete Seeger and his wife of 70 years, Toshi.
American folk singer and activist, Peter Seeger was born in Midtown Manhattan. He was well known for his liberal politics, he protested U.S. wars from Vietnam to Iraq, participated in the civil rights movement, supported organized labor and helped found an environmental group that played a key role in cleaning up the polluted Hudson River. In 1961, he was sentenced to prison for refusing to testify to Congress about his time in the Communist Party, then nearly a half-century later, he performed at a January 2009 concert marking the inauguration of President Barack Obama. A fixture on nationwide radio in the 1940s, he had a string of hit records during the early 1950s as a member of the Weavers, which he co-founded in 1949. The Weavers helped opened the way for Bob Dylan and another generation of folk music singer/songwriters in the 1960s and '70s. Their most notable recording Lead Belly's "Goodnight, Irene", topped the charts for 13 weeks in 1950. In the 1960s, he re-emerged as a prominent singer of protest music in support of international disarmament, civil rights, counterculture and environmental causes. A prolific songwriter, his best-known songs include "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?", a hit recording for the Kingston Trio in 1962, Marlene Dietrich, who recorded it in English, German and French also in 1962 and Johnny Rivers in 1965; "If I Had a Hammer" was a hit for Peter, Paul & Mary and Trini Lopez, while the Byrds had a No.1 hit with "Turn! Turn! Turn!" in 1965. Pete was one of the folk singers most responsible for popularizing the spiritual "We Shall Overcome" that became the acknowledged anthem of the 1960s American Civil Rights Movement and in the PBS American Masters episode "Pete Seeger: The Power of Song", Pete stated it was he who changed the lyric from the traditional "We will overcome" to the more singable "We shall overcome". In May 2009, Pete celebrated his 90th birthday with a concert in New York's Madison Square Garden that drew 15,000 spectators and performers, including Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, Emmylou Harris, Arlo Guthrie, Joan Baez and Kris Kristofferson. Proceeds went to Pete's environmental group, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater. Clearwater, was a group he helped found, which built a sailing sloop also named Clearwater, which traveled up and down the Hudson to promote the group's cleanup campaign and to provide environmental education. Among his many awards and honours, he won two Grammys for best traditional folk albums "Pete" and "At 89" and another for best musical album for children for "Tomorrow's Children." He also received a Lifetime Achievement Grammy in 1993. He was honoured with the National Medal of the Arts and he was a 1994 recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, an annual award given to a select group for contributions to American culture.

Freddie 'Fingers' Lee
1938 ~ January
13th 2014
Consett's own Jerry Lee Lewis, the colourful honky tonk, rock n roll pianist and musician, Freddie "Fingers" Lee, has died at Greenways Care Home, where he lived. He contracted pneumonia on Christmas Day from which he has died at the age of 76. Single at this time, Freddie sadly leaves behind his brother, Billy; his sister, Angela; his son Joseph and daughters Debbie and Holly, as well as three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Freddie 'Fingers' Lee
British rock and roll pianist and musician,
Freddie 'Fingers' Lee, was born Frederick John Cheesman in Consett, Nr Newcastle. He lost an eye as a one years old and usually wears an eye patch. His career started in the 1950s as a guitarist in a skiffle group, playing between films on the Star Cinema circuit. He had soon joined Eden Kane's band, touring with the likes of Cliff Richard and Marty Wilde and went on to play piano with Screaming Lord Sutch, in the house band at The Star Club in Hamburg. He contined to work with Screaming Lord Sutch until Lord Sutch's suicide in 1999. Freddie appeared in the 1979 revival of the TV show, Oh Boy, after which he starred alongside Bill Haley and Ray Campi in the 1980 rockabilly documentary Blue Suede Shoes, in which he smashes his piano with an axe. He also appeared in Let's Rock in 1981 and Play for Today in 1970. Freddie also played in the bands of visiting artists to Britain and Europe including Little Richard, Chuck Berry, The Crickets, Fats Domino and Gene Vincent. Freddie played extensively in the UK and Europe with his own band too, which included Robin Murly on bass, Les Bailly on drums and Pete Davenport who plays guitar, before retiring from touring in 1999, after which he continued to play more locally and at charity gigs. Sadly he retired from the stage after suffering heart attacks in 2004 and 2006. By this time his prolific song writing had resulted in 19 singles, 8 albums, 12 compilations and had stars such as Tom Jones and Charlie Gracie covering his songs.

Phil Everly
January 19th 1939 ~ January 3rd 2014

Phil Everly, one half of the pioneering rock'n'roll duo, sadly died after a long brave battle with emphysema and bronchitis at Providence St. Joseph Medical Center in Burbank, California, aged 74. He leaves behind a loving family including his mother, his wife Patti, two sons Jason and Chris and two granddaughters.
Phil Everly
American singer-songwriter and guitarist, Phillip Everly was born
in Chicago, Illinois, into a musical family; his father, Ike who was also a musician had a show on KMA and KFNF in Shenandoah, Iowa, in the 1940s, with his wife Margaret and their two young sons, Don and Phil. Singing on the show gave the brothers their first exposure to the music industry. The family sang together and lived and traveled in the area singing as the Everly Family. The Everly Brothers grew up from ages 5 and 7, through early high school, in Shenandoah before moving to Knoxville, Tennessee, where the brothers attended Knox West High School, continuing their musical development. The boys caught the attention of Chet Atkins who became an early champion of the Everly Brothers. Chet got them signed to Columbia records in early 1956, but their first single, "Keep A' Lovin' Me" was a flop and they were dropped from Columbia. Chet next introduced them to Wesley Rose of Acuff-Rose music publishers, who, in late '56 signed them as songwriters. By February 1957 they had signed to the Cadence Records label and released their first Cadence single, "Bye Bye Love", which had been rejected by 30 other acts, in March of '57. The song reached No. 2 on the US Billboard Pop charts and topped the Country Chart. They toured extensively with Buddy Holly in 1957 & '58, but sadly in February 1959, Phil was one of Buddy Holly's pallbearers at his funeral. Famed for their harmonising, the brothers used vocal harmony mostly based on diatonic thirds with Don singing the baritone and Phil the tenor part on most of their recordings. The duo's harmony singing had a strong influence on rock groups of the 1960s including The Beach Boys, The Byrds, The Bee Gees, The Hollies, Simon & Garfunkel, The Beatles and so many others. Don and Phil had hits in the USA and the UK, the biggest being "Wake Up Little Susie", "All I Have to Do Is Dream", "Bird Dog" and "Problems". They had 35 Billboard Top 100 singles, 26 in the top 40 and hold the record for the most Top 100 singles by any duo. In the UK, the Everly Brothers had 30 chart hit singles, 29 in the top 40, 13 top 10 and 4 at No. 1 between 1957 and 1984 and have had 12 top 40 albums, between 1960 and 2009. They were also songwriters, penning "Till I Kissed You"-Don, "Cathy's Clown"-Don and Phil, and "When Will I Be Loved"-Phil. In 1986, the Everlys were among the first 10 artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. During the ceremony, they were introduced by Neil Young, who observed that every musical group he belonged to had tried and failed to copy the Everly Brothers' harmonies. In 1997 the brothers were awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, they were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001 and the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2004. Their pioneering contribution to the genre has also been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. The brothers have a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 7000 Hollywood Blvd and in 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked The Everlys No. 33 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Times. They are also No. 43 on the list of UK Best selling singles artists of all time. The brothers split in 1973 and pursued solo careers having success on both sides of the ocean. They reunited in 1983, "sealing it with a hug" said Phil Everly. They marked their reunion with a concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London on September 23rd 1983. In 1988, the brothers began hosting an annual homecoming benefit concert in Central City, Ky., to raise money for the area and more recently they joined Simon & Garfunkel as the featured act in Simon and Garfunkel's Old Friends reunion tour of 2003 and 2004. Until his death, Phil was also involved with his own musical instrument accessories company, Everly Music Company which produces products designed by Phil and Jason Everly, Phil's eldest son, for guitar and bass.


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I started these tribute pages June of 2004, when the great Ray Charles died,
I wrote a tribute to him... and just carried it on from there.
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