Archive for the ‘obituaries’ Category

Ikutaro Kakehashi, 1930 – 2017

June 1, 2017

Ikutaro Kakehashi, 1930 – 2017

Ikutaro Kakehashi, Roland corporation founder and electronic music pioneer died earlier this year. He was 87. His TR-808 Rhythm Composer drum machine and the sounds it generates seem to be immortal.

“Everybody getting’ down make no mistake
Nothing sounds quite like an 8-0-8”
— Beastie Boys, “Super Disco Breakin’”

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Joe Ligon, 1936 – 2016

February 6, 2017

Joe Ligon, lead singer of the three-time Grammy-winning gospel group Mighty Clouds of Joy, died on December 11th at the age of 80.

Mighty Clouds of Joy website

More:

“Joe Ligon, Gospel Singer With the Mighty Clouds of Joy, Dies at 80,” William Grimes, New York Times

“‘He Was Just That Anointed’: Remembering Gospel Star Joe Ligon,” Andrew Limbong, NPR

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Toots Thielemans, 1922 — 2016

August 24, 2016

Musician and composer Toots Thielemans, who brought the chromatic harmonica into the realm of jazz, died Monday in his native Belgium. He was 94.

Active in Europe as a jazz guitarist, Mr. Thielemans moved to the U.S. in 1952. While playing guitar in the George Shearing Quintet he began introducing occasional harmonica and whistling numbers (the whistling recording of his composition “Bluesette” became a hit in 1962). From 1959 on he was in demand as a harmonica player for recording sessions, soundtrack work for films, and television theme songs. He played on many pop records but his first love was always jazz.

Often a soloist with big bands, we feel his best work was with small jazz combos, where the intimate tone of his chosen instrument is most striking. Jean-Baptiste “Toots” Thielemans was named a Baron by King Albert II of Belgium in 2001 and honored with an NEA Jazz Masters Fellowship in 2009.

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Mack Rice, 1933 – 2016

July 1, 2016

Mack Rice, 1933 – 2016

Singer and songwriter Mack Rice died Monday. He was 82. He wrote and recorded “Mustang Sally” in 1965, but it was a bigger hit the following year for his former bandmate Wilson Pickett, and it’s still a Rock & Roll standard.

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Scotty Moore, 1931 – 2016

June 30, 2016

Scotty Moore, 1931 -- 2016

Guitarist Scotty Moore died Tuesday at the age of 84. In 1955, at tiny Sun Studio in Memphis, Mr. Moore played his Gibson ES-295 through an EchoSonic amp and, along with bass player Bill Black, backed up young Elvis Presley on an uptempo version of Junior Parker‘s song “Mystery Train.” It was the first Rock n’ Roll record many people ever heard.

You can hear the key role Scotty Moore’s finger-picked guitar played in propelling the tune on the Elvis recording and on the version he recorded in 1964 without a lead vocal:

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Guy Clark, 1941– 2016

May 18, 2016

Guy Clark, 1941-- 2016

Influential Texas-born singer, songwriter, and luthier Guy Clark died in Nashville Tuesday at the age of 74. A wonderful performer, his songs were big hits for others, notably Jerry Jeff Walker, Jimmy Buffett, Lyle Lovett, Ricky Skaggs, Steve Wariner, and Rodney Crowell.

More:

“Guy Clark dead at 74,” Peter Cooper, The Tennessean

“Guy Clark, a King of the Texas Troubadours, Is Dead at 74,” Bill Friskics-Warren, New York Times

“Legendary Texas songwriter Guy Clark, 74, dies,” Roberto Villalpando, Austin America-Statesman

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Lonnie Mack, 1941– 2016

April 28, 2016

Lonnie Mack, 1941-- 2016

Virtuoso electric guitarist Lonnie Mack died last Thursday at the age of 74. In 1963 he recorded the groundbreaking electric guitar instrumentals “Memphis,” “Wham!”, “Chicken Pickin,” and “Suzie Q” and is considered the father of the “Blues Rock” genre.

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Antonin Scalia, 1936 — 2016

February 13, 2016

Antonin Scalia, 1936 -- 2016

Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia died today on a ranch in West Texas. He was out West doing the thing he loved second best, playing with guns. What did he love best? The sound of his own voice.

A stunned nation mourns the learned jurist who brought “jiggery-pokery,“ “somersaults of statutory interpretation,” and “pure applesauce“ to the High Court. Justice Scalia also brought George W. Bush to the White House, and willful misinterpretation to the Constitution.

 He was less “Originalist” than an “original.” We’ll not see his like again. With any luck.

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Red Simpson, 1934 — 2016

January 19, 2016

Red Simpson, 1934 -- 2016

Singer, musician, and songwriter Red Simpson died earlier this month. His songs helped define country music’s Bakersfield Sound, and his truck driving songs formed the soundtrack of midcentury American highways.

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Global Bowie

January 16, 2016

Video assembled by Anne-Sophie Goninet for Worldcrunch.

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

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