Posts Tagged ‘obituaries’

Chuck Berry, 1926 – 2017

March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry, the perpetual wild man of rock music who helped define its rebellious spirit in the 1950s and was the sly poet laureate of songs about girls, cars, school and even the ‘any old way you choose it‘ vitality of the music itself, died March 18 at at his home in St. Charles County, Mo. He was 90.”

— “Chuck Berry, wild man of rock who helped define its rebellious spirit, dies at 90,” Terence McArdle, Washington Post [links added]

More:

“‘Shakespeare of rock ‘n’ roll’ Chuck Berry dies at 90,” Bonnie Kristian, The Week

“Chuck Berry tributes pour in: ‘Greatest rock‘n’roll writer who ever lived,'” James Tapper, The Guardian

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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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Leon Russell, 1942 – 2016

November 17, 2016

Leon Russell, 1942 – 2016

Musician and songwriter Leon Russell died last Sunday. He was 74.

More:

“Leon Russell, Hit Maker and Musicians’ Musician, Dies at 74,” Jon Pareles, New York Times

“Leon Russell, Renowned Songwriter and Musician, Dead at 74,” Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone

“Leon Russell, musician and hit songwriter, dies at 74,” Terence McArdle Washington Post

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Stanley Dural, Jr., 1947 – 2016

October 4, 2016

Musician Stanley Dural Jr., better known as Buckwheat Zydeco, died September 24th in Lafayette, Louisiana at the age of 68. Mr. Dural, who grew up in southwestern Louisiana, didn’t initially like the accordion-and-fiddle French Creole music of his father’s generation, and played piano and organ in R&B bands. Then in 1977 he sat in with the band of his father’s friend Clifton Chenier, and he was hooked.

Buckwheat Zydeco website

More:

“Buckwheat Zydeco leader Stanley Dural, Jr. dead at 68,” Chelsea Brasted, New Orleans Times-Picayune

“Stanley Dural Jr., who popularized zydeco music as Buckwheat Zydeco, dies at 68,” Matt Schudel, Washington Post

“Stanley Dural Jr., Founder of Buckwheat Zydeco, Dies at 68,” Jon Pareles, New York Times

Video: “Allons a Boucherie,” about a pig-stickin.’ Lyrics here.

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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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Ralph Stanley, 1927 – 2016

June 26, 2016

“Stairway to Heaven” (no, not that one), written by Bill J. Grant and Ralph Stanley, recorded by Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys.

More:

“Ralph Stanley, Whose Mountain Music Gave Rise to Bluegrass, Dies at 89,” Bill Friskics-Warren, New York Times

“Bluegrass great Ralph Stanley was one of our last links to an old America,” Geoffrey Himes, Washington Post

“Ralph Stanley’s Inimitable Voice,” David Cantwell, The New Yorker

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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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‘Good-night, sweet prince ….’

April 21, 2016


Version from the “Purple Rain” film soundtrack  here.

“Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest. ”
Hamlet, Act V Scene ii

Prince Rogers Nelson, June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016.

More:

“Prince Dead at 57,” Kory Grow, Rolling Stone

“Fans leave flowers, touch Prince’s star on First Avenue’s wall,” Katie Humphrey and Emma Nelson, Minneapolis Star-Tribune

“Beyond Raspberry Berets: What Prince Left Behind,” Erin Blakemore, Smithsonian

“We’ll Never Understand Prince, and That’s Why We Love Him, Brian Raftery, Wired

“Tributes to Prince spring up across the US,” Associated Press

“Purple Pain: World Front Pages Mourn Prince’s Death,” Worldcrunch

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