'What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others'. Pericles (495 - 429 b.c.)
b. Jonathan Kemp, 2nd August 1959, Nassau, Bahamas.
d. 16th April 2015, Montego Bay, Jamaica.
The Soul singer, Johnny Kemp, has died. Johnny was 55.
According to Jamaica police, Johnny was found floating at a beach in Montego Bay.
One report stated that he was on a cruise organized by the radio host Tom Joyner.
Johnny began his singing career as a teenager in the Bahamas before relocating to New York in 1979, where he became part of the group Kinky Fox (who recorded ’So Different’).
During the mid-Eighties, Johnny recorded hits including ‘Just Another Lover’ and ‘Dancin’ with Myself’, from his 1986 ’Secrets of Flying’ album.
In 1989, Johnny recorded ‘Birthday Suit’, a track from the soundtrack to the movie, ‘Sing’.
He was scheduled to perform for the Tom Joyner Foundation Fantastic Voyage Cruise at this time.
Johnny is survived by a wife and two sons.
b. Cecil Hunt Sr., 27th July 1940, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A.
d. 12th April 2015, Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A.
Cecil Hunt, Sr., (of the Seventies Funk band, Funk Incorporated), has died. Cecil was 74.
He was Funk Incorporated’s conga player, performing alongside Steve Weakley, Gene Barr, Bobby Watley and Jimmy Munford, in the group.
The group were founded in Indianapolis in 1969 by organist Bobby Watley, who recruited tenor saxman Eugene Barr, guitarist Steve Weakley, drummer Jimmy Munford and Cecil.
Funk Incorporated sent a tape to Prestige's A & R department in March 1971 postmarked 'Indianapolis' along with a note of recommendation from Brother Jack McDuff.
In the early 1970's, the original line-up came to the attention of Bob Porter, a highly regarded producer who signed Funk, Inc. to Prestige and paved the way for the band to record five albums for that label.
The band's line-up included Bobby Watley on organ.
After stressing a looser approach on the first three albums 'Funk Inc.', 'Chicken Lickin' and 'Hangin' Out', the group began to lose their way in the mid-1970's and turned to heavier production, with more arranging and background vocals.
This newer approach led to tension within the group, and Funk Inc. went their separate ways in 1976.
Sadly, the original members Jimmy Munford and Gene Barr passed away a few years earlier.
It was during the 1990's a few of Funk Inc.’s 1970's albums were released on CD.
Cecil was preceded in death by his wife, parents and brothers.
His surviving family members include his children: Cecil Hunt, Jr., Vicki Phillips-Terrell and Corrie Smith (Jerelle); siblings and other loving family and friends.
Cecil’s visitation will be on Friday the 17th of April 2015, 10am - 11am, with the Homegoing Celebration at 11am in Williams & Bluitt Funeral Home Peoples Chapel.
b. Percy Tyrone Sledge, 25th November 1941, Leighton, Alabama, U.S.A.
d. 14th April 2015, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.A.
Percy Sledge, probably best remembered for his 1966 evergreen Soul hit, ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’, has died. Percy was 73, and had been suffering from liver cancer.
‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ became a Top 40 hit record.
The hit overshadowed, somewhat unfairly, a fine career spanning the late Sixties and early Seventies.
Born in Leighton, Alabama, his early career covered several roles (in farming and in health), before becoming a touring vocalist in the early Sixties.
He toured with the likes of the Esquires Combo whilst still working in hospital, which was where he was introduced (through the recommendation of a patient at the hospital) to the record producer Quin Ivy.
Percy’s debut single ‘When A Man Loves A Woman’ b/w ‘Love Me Like You Mean It’ was subject to a response record, this time round to another 1966 single from Esther Phillips entitled ‘When A Woman Loves A Man’.
Percy’s single reached number 1 in the U.S.A., and reached number 4 in 1966 and number 2 in 1987 in the U.K.
It was also the first gold record released by Atlantic Records.
In 2004, Percy was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
Percy was was the cousin to the Soul singer Jimmy Hughes.
b. William E. Butler, 7th June 1945, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
d. 1st April 2015, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
It has been reported that the singer, Billy Butler has passed away. Billy died in his sleep early in the morning of the 1st of April, at home in Chicago.
Billy is probably best remembered for his Northern Soul hit 'The Right Track', which was released in 1966.
He was part of the groups Billy Butler and the Enchanters, and Billy Butler & Infinity.
Billy recorded for Curtis Mayfield's Curtom Records imprint during the mid Seventies.
His brother is the recording artist Jerry Butler.
Leak & Sons Funeral Home and Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church of Christ.
The funeral services for Billy Butler are as follows:
Viewing - Friday - April 3 - 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Leak & Sons Funeral Home
7838 S. Cottage Grove Ave.,Chicago, IL., 60619
Prepast - Saturday - April 4 - 10:00 am
Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church of Christ
4100 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Chicago, IL. 60653
FUNERAL - Saturday - 11:00 am
Metropolitan Apostolic Community Church of Christ
4100 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Chicago, IL. 60653
b. Paul Jeffrey, 8th April 8 1933, New York City, U.S.A.
d. 20th March 20 2015, Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A.
The saxophonist, arranger, and teacher, Paul Jeffrey, has died. Paul was 81.
Throughout her career, Paul performed with many performers, including, Thelonious Monk, Charles Mingus, Dizzy Gillespie, Clark Terry, Lionel Hampton and B.B. King.
Born in New York, Paul graduated from Kingston High School in 1951.
He went on to become a Bachelor of Science at Ithaca College in 1955.
In the fifties he toured with several bands, who featured the likes of Illinois Jacquet, Elmo Hope, Big Maybelle, and Wynonie Harris.
He later toured the U.S. with B.B. King, Howard McGhee, Clark Terry, and Dizzy Gillespie.
In 1968, he released the album ‘Electrifying Sounds’ on Savoy Records.
He toured with the Count Basie Orchestra, and collaborated with Thelonious Monk and Charles Mingus.
Paul performed with Thelonious Monk’s band at various shows throughout he US and Japan.
In 1974, he set up a 15-piece band for a tribute concert to Thelonious Monk at Carnegie Hall.
Throughout the seventies, Paul collaborated with Charles Mingus, performing with the Mingus’s big band at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1972.
During 1973 and 1974, he released 3 studio recordings on the Mainstream Records label.
As a teacher, he taught saxophone at Columbia University in 1973.
He went on to teach at Jersey City State College in 1974, the University of Hartford between 1975 and 1983), at Livingston College of Rutgers University, between 1978 and 1983, and at Duke University, between 1983 and 2003.
Paul helped organize the NC/Umbria Jazz Festival and the Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival.
In 2009, he recorded a tribute to Thelonious Monk for the Imago Records imprint.
Up until his passing, Paul lived in Durham, North Carolina.
b. Michael Joseph Porcaro, 29th May 1955, South Windsor, Connecticut, U.S.A.
d. 15th March 2015, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The bassist, Mike Porcaro, passed away on the 15th of March 2015. Mike was 59.
He had been suffering from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and died in his sleep at his home in Los Angeles.
Probably, best remembered for his role within the group Toto, Mike was active on many a Soul performers tours and albums.
Mike was the middle brother of Toto members Jeff Porcaro and Steve Porcaro.
Mike toured with Michael Franks, Seals & Crofts, Larry Carlton, and Boz Scaggs.
His album C.V. included album collaborations with Harvey Mason (’Til You Take My Love’), Lee Ritenour, The Hues Corporation, Gap Mangione, Deniece Williams (‘When Love Comes Calling’), Aretha Franklin (‘Love Me Forever’), The Pointer Sisters, Dionne Warwick, Syreeta (‘Freedom’), Natalie Cole (‘Good To Be Back’), Donna Summer, Joe Farrell and Michael McDonald.
In 2007, a growing numbness in his fingers that made it increasingly difficult for him to play, and he retired from performing that year.
Former band members of Toto, (including Steve Porcaro), toured Europe in fund raising support of him in 2010.
By 2012, Mike was in a wheelchair as the disease took it’s toll.
b. Willie Mae Taplin, 7th December 1924, Burton, Texas, U.S.A.
d. 12th March 2015, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
The Civil Rights campaigner, the Reverend Willie Taplin-Barrow, has died. She was 90.
Willie was not only the godmother of the current U.S. President, Barack Obama, she was also the mother of the late Soul Singer, Keith Barrow (who recorded ‘You Know You Want To Be Loved’).
She was nicknamed ‘The Little Warrior’, due to the fact she was only, just, 5 feet in height.
Born in Burton, Texas, to Nelson and Octavia Taplin, Willie was one of a large family.
She had six brothers and sisters.
Willie began her Civil Rights campaigning at a very early age, organising protests regarding the lack of bus transport for black students, who were made to walk to school, whilst the White kids were allowed to ride.
As a teenager, she relocated to Portland, Oregon, in order to study at the Warner-Pacific Theological Seminary.
Willie went on to work with other African American residents in Portland who combined to create one of the first black Churches of God.
In 1943, Willie joined the National Urban League.
In 1945, she joined the National Council of Negro Women.
During World War 2, Willie took on a role as a welder at the Kaiser shipyards in Swan Island, Washington.
It was there where she met, her soon to be, husband Clyde Barrow (the two were married for 56 years).
keith, willie and clyde barrow during the seventies
Willie and Clyde traveled to Chicago in June 1945, where she began working as the youth minister at the Langley Avenue Church of God.
In the 1950’s Willie worked as an organiser with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and in the 1960’s she worked on Operation Breadbasket with the Rev. Jesse Jackson.
In 1969, she was awarded the Woman Of The Year award in Chicago.
Willie was an active campaigner in the 1963 march on Washington and the 1965 march on Selma, Alabama.
She was also the co-chairman of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
Willie was a strong campaigner against the U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War.
She led a delegation to North Vietnam in 1968.
with jesse jackson in 1984
In 1984, Willie worked with Reverend Jesse Jackson as campaign manager for Jesse’s 1984 presidential bid.
In 1997, a street on Chicago's South Side was renamed in Reverend Barrow's honour.
Willie crusaded on issues such as A.I.D.S. in the black community, children's welfare, and domestic violence.
She was a civil rights icon hailed for her unwavering pursuit of justice.
charmayne ' maxee' maxwell
b. Charmayne Maxwell, 11th January 1969, Guyana, South America
d. 27th February 2015, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The singer with the group Brownstone, Charmayne Maxwell, has died.
Charmayne died as a result of complications, following a recent fall. She was 46.
Brownstone were a Grammy-nominated band, who were best known for their 1995 hit single, ‘If You Love Me’.
Charmayne later released a solo single entitled ‘When I Look Into Your Eyes’ in 2000.
She was a member of Brownstone between 1994 until 1998, later rejoining the group between 2007 and 2015)
Charmayne was married to the Danish producer Soulshock.
b. 14th December 1920, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
d. 21st February 2015, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
The Jazz trumpter, Clark Terry, has died. Clark was 94.
Clark died surrounded by his family, students and friends.
Earlier this month, Clark entered hospice care for treatment concerning his advanced diabetes.
Clark had played with some of the great jazz musicians of the last century, including the likes of Charlie Barnett, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Quincy Jones.
Hailing from St. Louis, Clark attended the Vashon High School, later becoming a band player in the United States Navy during World War II.
The the Forties and Fifties, he played with Count Basie and Duke Ellington’s bands.
In his early days, Clark had educated a young Miles Davis back in St. Louis.
Clark, later joined NBC, becoming their first African-American staff musician.
Over a ten year period, Clark appeared on ‘The Tonight Show’ as a member of house band.
By the 1980’s he became the featured soloist in that group.
In late 1980, he headlined alongside Anita O'Day, Lionel Hampton and Ramsey Lewis at the Blue Note Lounge at the Marriott O'Hare Hotel near Chicago.
Clark continued collaborating with various musicians including J. J. Johnson, Oscar Peterson, and Bob Brookmeyer.
Up until the 1990s, Clark performed at Carnegie Hall, Town Hall, and Lincoln Center.
In 1998, Clark recorded ‘Let's Call the Whole Thing Off’ for the album ‘Red Hot + Rhapsody’, and in 2001, he contributed to the album ‘Red Hot + Indigo’, (a tribute to Ellington).
Throughout his career, Clark performed for seven U.S. Presidents, and performed with the London Symphony Orchestra, the Dutch Metropole Orchestra, and the Chicago Jazz Orchestra.
Clark’s recording of the ‘Theme To The Flintstones ‘, became a popular novelty hit on the Acid Jazz scene during the Eighties.
Dizzy Gillespie once described Terry as the ‘greatest jazz trumpet player on earth’.
b. Kenneth Bernard Kelley (a.k.a. Kelly), 9th January 1941, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A.
d. 17th February 2015, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Kenneth ‘Wally’ Kelley, the last surviving founding member of the Manhattans, has died. Kenneth was 72.
Kenneth passed away, only 2 months after the passings of two other group members, Winfred ‘Blue’ Lovett (9th December 2014) and Edward ‘Sonny’ Bivins (3rd December 2014).
Born in Jersey City to Eloise and Lloyd Kelly, the singer had left the group, a few years ago, in order to follow a career as a qualified teacher in biology.
The Manhattans began their recording careers in the early Sixties (Kenneth had attended the Lincoln High School), after group members had been in the armed forces.
They recorded for Carnival Records, and later, Columbia Records.
Gerald Alston joined the group later on, and performed on their number one hit ‘Kiss and Say Goodbye’, in 1976.
Further hits followed, including ‘Hurt’, ‘I Kinda Miss You’, ’Shining Star’ and ’Crazy’.
Gerald departed the group in 1988, and was replaced by Roger Harris.
Services were held on Saturday the 28th of February, 2015, at 1 p.m. at the Perry Funeral Home, 34 Mercer St., Newark, N.J.
b. Lesley Sue Goldstein, 2nd May 1946, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
d. 16th February 2015, the New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Manhattan, New York City, U.S.A.
The blue eyed soul singer and songwriter, Lesley Gore, has died. Lesley was 68.
She had been suffering from cancer, and passed away at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital in Manhattan.
Lesley Gore will, probably, be best remembered for her 1963 pop hit, ‘It’s My Party, however her skills took her into the acting arena and, she later became an equal rights campaigner.
Born in New York City, Lesley attended the Dwight School for Girls, which is where she achieved her number one hit, ‘It's My Party’.
The single was followed by further hit’s, including ‘Judy's Turn to Cry’, ‘She's a Fool’, ‘You Don't Own Me’, ‘That's the Way Boys Are’, ‘Maybe I Know’, ‘Look of Love’ and the Grammy-nominated ‘Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows’.
In 1965, she appeared in the film ‘The Girls on the Beach’, performing the songs, ‘Leave Me Alone’, ‘It's Gotta Be You’ and ‘I Don't Want to Be a Loser’.
with quincy jones and millie small
Quincy Jones, worked with Lesley between 1963 and 1965, also releasing Marvin Hamlisch's first hit composition, ‘Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows’.
Quincy was later to cover a Lesley penned song, the title track from Lesley's 1976 album 'Love Me By Name', on his own 1978 project, 'Stuff Like That' (featuring Patti Austin).
Lesley performed on two episodes of the Batman TV series in 1967.
Bob Crewe’s 1967 song ‘California Nights’, reached number 16 that year.
Lesley attended the Sarah Lawrence College, studying literature.
She also composed songs for the soundtrack of the 1980 film ‘Fame’.
Lesley went on to perform in concerts and appeared on television throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
In 2005, she released the album ‘Ever Since’.
In 2004, Lesley hosted the television series ‘In the Life’, which focused on homosexuality issues.
Lesley spoke of her own sexuality, having lived with her female partner for more than 23 years.
It was Lesley’s partner who informed the media that Lesley had passed away from cancer.
b. Donald Randolph, 24th March 1938, Orangeburg, South Carolina, U.S.A.
d. 30th January 2015, Franklin Square, New York, U.S.A.
The R&B singer and songwriter, Don Covay, has died.
Don's passing has been confirmed by his daughter. He had suffered a stroke. Don was 76.
Don is best remembered for his self penned hits 'See Saw', 'Mercy, Mercy' and 'Sookie Sookie', whilst, as a songwriter for others, he penned 'Chain Of Fools' for Aretha Franklin.
In the 1990's, Don suffered a stroke, however, he recovered to release the album 'Adlib' in 2000.
b. Clifford Alanza Adams Snr., 8th October 1952, Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.A.
d. 12th January 2015, Capital Health Regional Medical Center, Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.A.
The trombonist, Clifford Adams, has died Clifford was 62.
Clifford passed away following a struggle with liver cancer.
Best known for his work within the second incarnation of the group, Kool and the Gang (‘Ladies Night, ‘Too Hot’ etc.), he had been suffering with medical issues for a year or so.
Clifford was without health insurance to cover medical expenses.
In recent weeks, his family and friends held several fundraisers to try to cover the cost of a liver transplant.
Apart from his work with Kool and the Gang, Clifford also collaborated with the likes of The Stylistics, Patti Labelle and the Bluebells and Duke Ellington’s Orchestra during his career.
He released two solo albums, namely, ‘The Master Power’ and ‘I Feel Your Spirit’.
Clifford founded the organisation DRUMM (Developmental Roundtable for the Upward Mobility of Musicians), which was dedicated in bringing music into Trenton schools.
b. Andra Edward Crouch, 1st July 1942, Compton, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
d. 8th January 2015, Northridge Hospital Medical Center, Northridge, California, U.S.A.
The gospel singer, songwriter, arranger, recording artist, record producer, and pastor, Andraé Crouch, has died. Andraé was 72.
Andraé attended hospital in December, due to pneumonia and congestive heart failure.
He returned to hospital this month, following the postponement of a tour, in Los Angeles. Andraé had suffered a heart attack.
Andraé Crouch was born in 1942 in San Francisco, along with his twin sister, Sandra.
When he was 11, Andraé’s father suggested he speak at a local church, during which, Andraé played the piano.
He penned his first Gospel song at the age of 14.
In 1960, Andraé became part of the Church of God in Christ Singers (a.k.a. COGICS).
The singers group included the artist, Billy Preston.
Andraé attended the Valley Junior College in California forming the gospel group, The Disciples in 1965, along with Perry Morgan and Bill Thedford.
He was then introduced to Tim Spencer of Manna Music Publishing, who went on to publish Andraé’s song ‘The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power’.
Tim took the Disciples to the Light Records founder Ralph Carmichael, who released their first album, ‘Take The Message Everywhere’, in 1968.
Andraé began to record his compositions that year, including the aforementioned ‘The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power’, along with ‘Through It All’, ‘Bless His Holy Name’, ‘Soon and Very Soon’, ‘Jesus is the Answer’, and ‘My Tribute’.
The Disciples went their separate ways in 1979.
Andraé pursued his solo career with an ensemble including Howard Smith, Linda McCrary, Táta Vega, and Kristle Murden and The Andraé Crouch Singers.
His recordings featured many major artists, including Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, Dean Parks, David Paich, Phillip Bailey and Stevie Wonder.
Andraé has co-produced projects for The Winans, Danniebelle Hall, and Kristle Murden.
In 2006, Andraé released ‘Mighty Wind’, a 40th anniversary album featuring guest performances by Lauren Evans, Crystal Lewis, Karen Clark Sheard, Táta Vega, and Marvin Winans.
Andraé Crouch helped merge Christian music within various ethnic groups.
In 1987, the Andraé Crouch Choir sang background vocals on Michael Jackson's hit single ‘Man in the Mirror’ from the singers album ‘Bad’.
Andraé, also, became the Senior Pastor at Christ Memorial Church of God in Christ in Pacoima, California, (the church founded by his parents).
b. Jeffrey Golub, 15th April 1955, Copley, Near Akron, Ohio, U.S.A.
d. 1st January 2015, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
The guitarist and session performer, Jeff Golub, passed away, on New Years Day, at the age of 59.
Jeff’s passing followed a serious of health issues.
In 2011, he suffered the collapse of an optic nerve, leaving him blind.
As a result, Jeff was nearly killed after falling onto some subway tracks.
As a performer, Jeff released 12 solo albums and three CDs as the leader of the instrumental band, Avenue Blue.
His performances saw him collaborating with Rod Stewart, who he worked with between 1988 until 1995.
Jeff studied at Berklee College of Music in Boston, performing with The James Montgomery Band.
He relocated to New York in 1980, where he worked with Billy Squier, (Jeff appeared on all of Billy’s Capitol albums).
Jeff, also, worked alongside Hammond legend Brian Auger and Brian’s guest vocalists Christopher Cross and former Ambrosia leader David Pack.
Jeff released his first solo recording, ‘Unspoken Words’ for Gaia Records in 1988.
As band leader and performer he released ‘Avenue Blue’ in 1994.
He was also a member of Dave Koz & The Kozmos.
In June 2011, Jeff became blind due to collapse of the optic nerve.
In 2012, he fell onto the tracks of a subway train, and was taken to the New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center with minor injuries.
In 2014, Jeff was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy, which, eventually took his life on the 1st of January 2015.
2014...those we fondly remember...