Posts Tagged ‘obituaries’

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.

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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.

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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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Annie Ross, 1930 — 2020

July 29, 2020

Jazz singer Annie Ross died last week at the age of 89. In 1952, as a member of vocal trio Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, she set words to saxophonist Wardell Gray’s composition “Twisted” and performed it in a classic recording. The National Endowment for the Arts named her an NEA Jazz Master in 2010.

More:

“Annie Ross, mainstay of ‘the greatest jazz vocal group that ever was,’ dies at 89,” Matt Schudel, Washington Post

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Vera Lynn, 1917 – 2020

June 19, 2020

Dame Vera Lynn died yesterday at the age of 103. The singer, actress, and radio personality is best known for her 1939 recording of “We’ll Meet Again,” written by Ross Parker and Hughie Charles, a signature song of Britain in World War II. Not a bad anthem for the pandemic crisis quarantine, either.

More:

“Vera Lynn, Singer Whose Wartime Ballads Lifted Britain, Dies at 103,” Lawrence Van Gelder, New York Times

“Obituary: Dame Vera Lynn, a symbol of resilience and hope,” BBC News

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Norma Miller, 1919 – 2019

June 7, 2019

“Norma Miller, Lindy Hop dancer known as the ‘Queen of Swing,’ dies at 99,” Harrison Smith, Washington Post

“Norma Miller, the ‘Queen of Swing,’ Has Died at 99,” Brigit Katz, Smithsonion

Video: Hellzapoppin’, 1941.  Whitey’s Lindy Hoppers, including Frankie ManningNorma Miller, and Slim and Slam. Frankie Manning, choreographer.

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Dick Dale, 1937 – 2019

March 20, 2019

Surf Guitar king Dick Dale died last Saturday at the age of 81. A cancer survivor, he continued to tour until his death in order to pay his medical bills.

More:

“Dick Dale, ‘King of the Surf Guitar,’ dead at 81,” Vanessa Franko, Orange County Register

“Dick Dale, godfather of surf guitar, dies aged 81,” Laura Snapes, The Guardian

“Dick Dale: ‘King of Surf Rock’ guitarist dies aged 81,” Mark Savage, BBC

“Dick Dale, the Inventor of Surf Rock, Was a Lebanese-American Kid from Boston,” Amanda Petrusich, The New Yorker

 

Video: “Miserlou,” by Dick Dale & His Del-Tones, an adaptation of an Eastern Mediterranean tune (hear the original 1927 recording here).

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Elvis français a quitté le bâtiment.

December 7, 2017

Elvis français a quitté le bâtiment. Johnny Hallyday, the “French Elvis,” has left the building. He died Wednesday at age 74. He was best known for his versions of American pop hits with French lyrics.

More:

“Johnny Hallyday, Gallic rocker worshiped as the ‘French Elvis,’ dies at 74,” Dennis McLellan, Los Angeles Times

“Johnny Hallyday, the Elvis Presley of France, Is Dead at 74,” William Grimes, New York Times

“The Untranslatable French Love for Johnny Hallyday,” Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker

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