Archive for the ‘obituaries’ Category

Loretta Lynn, 1932 – 2022

October 5, 2022

Loretta Lynn 1932 – 2022

Country music legend Loretta Lynn died Tuesday at her home in Hurricane Mills, Tennessee, at the age of age 90. She was born in the coal mining town of Butcher Hollow, Kentucky in 1932, one of eight children. A mother of six as well as a singer and songwriter, Ms. Lynn began singing professionally in 1956, and recorded her song, “I’m a Honky Tonk Girl”, in 1960. She is probably best know for her 1970 song “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” also the title of her 1976 autobiography and a 1980 movie biography. Loretta Lynn recorded for six decades, winning three Grammy awards.

More:

“Loretta Lynn, ever a ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter,’ dies at 90,” Terence McArdle, Washington Post

“Loretta Lynn, Country Music Star and Symbol of Rural Resilience, Dies at 90,” Bill Friskics-Warren, New York Times

“Loretta Lynn, country singer of love and hardship, dies aged 90,” Ben Beaumont-Thomas, The Guardian

“Country Legend Loretta Lynn Braved Controversy to Tell the Truth About Women’s Experiences,” Daily Correspondent, Smithsonian Magazine

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Top image (“Honky Tonk”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Ramsey Lewis, 1935 — 2022

September 14, 2022

Jazz pianist Ramsey Lewis died September 12th, at age 87. His lengthy career took off after a live recording of a 1964 performance at Washington DC’s Bohemian Caverns club was released in 1965. His jazz interpretation of “The ‘In’ Crowd” was a crossover hit, and won a Grammy award (he would win two more). He was accompanied by bassist Eldee Young and drummer Red Holt (they would later form Young-Holt Unlimited). Ramsey Lewis incorporated elements of blues and Gospel music in his playing, and was a major figure in the “Soul Jazz” movement.

More:

“Ramsey Lewis, Legendary Jazz Pianist Known for ‘The In Crowd,’ Dies at 87,” Michaela Zee, Variety

“Ramsey Lewis, NEA Jazz Master, Dies at 87,” DownBeat

“Ramsey Lewis, pianist with crossover hit “The ‘In’ Crowd,” dies at 87,” Matt Schudel, Washington Post

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Mable John, 1930 — 2022

September 1, 2022

Singer Mable John died on August 25th at the age of 91.  She was the first female singer to record as a soloist for Motown in 1960, and became better-know through her later recordings with Stax Records and as a backup singer with Ray Charles.

More:

“Mable John, Motown’s first solo female artist signed by Berry Gordy, has died at 91,” Susan Whitall, The Detroit News

“Mable John, First Female Solo Artist Signed by Motown, Dies at 91,” Mitchell Peters, Billboard

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Judith Durham, 1943 — 2022

August 9, 2022

Judith Durham, lead singer of The Seekers, died in her native Victoria, Australia, on August 5th. She was 79.

Video: The Seekers 25th Anniversary Reunion Concert, Melbourne, 1993. Judith Durham (lead vocals), Keith Potger (12-string guitar, backing vocals), Bruce Woodley (guitar, backing vocals), Guy Athol (bass, backing vocals). The song was written by Tom Springfield (Dusty’s brother).

More:

“Judith Durham: a pioneering woman in Australian music,” Cameron Adams, The Guardian

“Judith Durham, The Seekers lead singer, dead at 79, six decades after the formation of the group,”  Jason Dasey, ABC News (Australia)

“Australian folk star Judith Durham of The Seekers dies at 79,” Zoe Sottile, CNN

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Ronnie Hawkins, 1935 — 2022

June 1, 2022

Ronnie Hawkins, 1935 -- 2022

Rockabilly singer Ronnie Hawkins died last Sunday at the age of 87. The Arkansas-born musician moved to Canada, and assembled a band, The Hawks. The Hawks lineup would gradually become The Band in the mid-1960s.

Here are Ronnie Hawkins and the Hawks interpreting a Chuck Berry song in 1959:

Ronnie Hawkins (vocals), Jimmy Ray “Luke” Paulman (guitar), Willard “Pops” Jones (piano), Jimmy “Lefty” Evans (bass), Levon Helm (drums).

More:

“Rocker Ronnie Hawkins, dies at 87, patron of Canadian rock,” Hillel Italie, Associated Press

“Ronnie Hawkins, cross-border rockabilly legend and endearing showman, dies at 87,” David Friend, Toronto Star

“Ronnie Hawkins, Rockabilly Road Warrior, Is Dead at 87,” Peter Applebome, New York Times

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Top image (“Honky Tonk”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Fred Parris, 1936 — 2022

January 21, 2022

Fred Parris

Fred Parris, songwriter and lead singer of The Five Satins, died last week at the age of 85. He wrote “In the Still of the Night“in 1956, and recorded it in the basement of New Haven’s St. Bernadette Church school. Singers Al Denby, Ed Martin, Jim Freeman and Nat Mosley backed up Mr. Parrish with “shoo-doo-shooby-doo.” Doug Murray played bass, Curlee Glover was on piano, and Bobby Mapp on drums. There’s also a sax solo by Vinny Mazzetta, a St. Bernadette altarboy. The song title was originally rendered as “In the Still of the Nite” to differentiate it from a song by Cole Porter.

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Mike Nesmith, 1946 — 2021

December 15, 2021

Singer-songwriter, film producer, and music video pioneer Michael Nesmith died last week at age 78. He became know as a member of TV’s pseudo-band The Monkees in the Sixties, but enjoyed a long music career afterwards as a solo artist and with his First National Band. Fun fact: his mom invented Liquid Paper correction fluid, a ubiquitous 20th century office product.

More:

“Michael Nesmith, deadpan singer-songwriter with the Monkees, dies at 78,” Harrison Smith, Washington Post

“Michael Nesmith, Monkees Singer-Songwriter, Dead at 78,” Andy Greene, Rolling Stone

“Michael Nesmith invented country rock. Or maybe something even better.” Geoff Edgers, Washington Post

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Music: “Different Drum,” written and recorded by Mike Nesmith, 1972. Steel guitar: Orville Rhodes.

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

 

Robbie Shakespeare, 1953 — 2021

December 15, 2021

Robbie Shakespeare, influential Reggae bassist, died last week at the age of 68. He and drummer Sly Dunbar formed the Grammy-winning duo Sly & Robbie, and were in-demand recording artists for over 40 years, primarily in the Reggae and Dub genres, but also for Rock and R&B sessions.

More:

“Reggae legend Robbie Shakespeare dies aged 68,” Lianne Kolirin, CNN

“Sly & Robbie’s Robbie Shakespeare Dies at 68,” Nina Corcoran, Pitchfork

“Robbie Shakespeare of reggae duo Sly and Robbie dies at 68,” Kate Chappell, Reuters

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Video: “Plastic Dub,” Sly & Robbie, 1993.

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

 

Dave Frishberg (1933 — 2021)

December 3, 2021

“My Attorney Bernie,” written and recorded by Dave Frishberg, 1983. Dave Frishberg (vocal, piano), Steve Gilmore (bass), Bill Goodwin (drums).

“Dave Frishberg, songwriter with a gimlet eye and a tender heart, has died at 88,” James Gavin, WBGO

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Leslie Bricusse, 1931 – 2021

October 21, 2021

“Pure Imagination,” performed by Casey Abrams, 2021

Grammy and Oscar-winning songwriter Leslie Bricusse died on Tuesday. He was 90 years old. His many songs include “Pure Imagination,” which he wrote with Anthony Newley.

“When talking of Pure Imagination earlier this year, Bricusse said: ‘It’s a good thought for people, especially young people, to carry with them through life. You’ll be free if you truly wish to be at the end is, to me, the most important line ….. It’s a reflective thought on how to make a life work.’”

— “Leslie Bricusse, songwriter behind Goldfinger and Willy Wonka, dies at 90,” Benjamin Lee, The Guardian

Obituary here

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