'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. Colonel Abrams, 25th May 1949, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
d. 25th November 2016, New York City, U.S.A.
The R&B singer and songwriter, Colonel Abrams, has died. He was 67.
He had been homeless recently and had been suffering from diabetes.
In 2015, a crowdfunding campaign was launched in order to access some urgent medical treatment.
A young Donald Abrams, had played the guitar and piano from an early age.
He was part of the group Heavy Impact, along with Joe Webb, Lemar Washington, Marston ‘Buffy’ Freeman, Ronald Simmons, Harry Jones and Barbara Mills.
In 1976, he was a member of 94 East , a band which featured the artist Prince.
In 1984, his dancer ‘Music Is the Answer’ (on Streetwise) created waves on both sides of the Atlantic.
His Soulful credentials were confirmed by the ballad ‘Leave the Message Behind the Door’ (the flipside of ‘Music Is The Answer’), which was quickly followed by further dancefloor hits, including ‘Trapped’.
‘I’m Not Gonna Let You’ and ‘Over and Over’ consolidated him as a performer.
In 1987, he released the album, ‘You and Me Equals Us’.
In 1992, he released a third album entitled ‘About Romance’, which was well received by the R&B community.
In 2007, the single ‘Just When You Thought’ followed.
Colonel performed at several 80’s reunion shows, however, his health had been visibly deteriorating for a while.
colonel at the happy days show in surrey in 2012 (he became unwell on stage and was treated by medics at the event)
raymona gordy singleton (a.k.a. Raynoma Liles Gordy)
b. Raynoma Mayberry, 8th March 1937, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
d. 11th November 2016, California, U.S.A.
Label manager, producer and songwriter, Raynoma Gordy Singleton, has died. Raymona was 79.
Raymona was the mother of bassist Cliff Liles and married Motown Records owner, Berry Gordy, becoming his second wife between 1960 and 1964.
Previously, Raymona was a member of the group The Rayber Voices, whose line-up featured (the recently deceased) Robert Bateman and Sonny Sanders, along with Brian Holland.
With Barrett Strong, The Rayber Voices released the 1960 single ‘Whirlwind’ b/w ‘I’m Gonna Cry’.
The group were formed in 1958 and were the original background singers on Berry Gordy's early recordings (and eventually included members of the Temptations, Martha And The Vandellas, and the Miracles) and were replaced eventually by the group, the Andantes.
Raymona was also the mother of Kerry Gordy and formed the label Shrine Records imprint in 1964 with Eddie Singleton.
She later married Eddie, and they stayed married between 1966 and 1970.
Raymona published her own book ‘Berry, Me and Motown’ in 1991.
b. Sharon Lafaye Jones, 4th May 1956, North Augusta, South Carolina, U.S.A.
d. 18th November 2016, New York, New York, U.S.A.
The Daptone Records Soul songstress, Sharon Jones, has died. Sharon was 60.
Sharon had been diagnosed with bile duct cancer (undergoing surgery).
The cancer moved on to stage II, leading to surgery on her liver and further chemotherapy.
Sharon passed away from complications from the cancer, aged at the age of 60.
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings were one of the original groups signed to Daptone Records.
In 2002, the group released their debut for the imprint, entitled ‘Dap Dippin' with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings’.
The group went on to release the albums ‘Naturally’ (in 2005), ‘100 Days, 100 Nights’ (in 2007) and ‘I Learned the Hard Way’ (in 2010).
In 2014, she received her first Grammy, in the category Best R&B Album, for ‘Give the People What They Want’.
For many years, Sharon lived with her mother in Queens, New York.
b. Mose John Allison, Jr., 11th November 1927, Tippo, Mississippi, U.S.A.
d. 15th November 2016, Hilton Head, South Carolina, U.S.A.
The Jazz pianist and songwriter, Mose Allison, has died. Mose was 89.
His passing was announced by his son.
Mose was a personal favourite vocalist of the singer Georgie Fame.
He hailed from Mississippi and was taught the piano as a child.
Mose went on to learn the trumpet, then attending University, followed by a stint in the armed forces.
He later attended Louisiana State University, before moving to New York City.
It was in the city his career blossomed.
Mose performed with the likes of Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Al Cohn, Zoot Sims, and Phil Woods.
He released his debut album in 1957, namely, ‘Back Country Suite’.
Mose formed his own trio in 1958, comprising of himself, along with Addison Farmer on bass and Nick Stabulas on drums.
In 1963, he released ‘Mose Allison Sings’, which featured his version of Willie Dixon’s ‘The Seventh Son’ (later covered by Georgie Fame).
Also featured on the album was the song ‘Parchman Farm’, which became a fans favourite.
Mose recorded for the Prestige, Columbia and Atlantic imprints.
He was inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2006.
b. 20th October 1944, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
d. 14th November 2016, U.S.A.
David Mancuso, the deejay who created the famous ‘The Loft’ nightclub, has died. David was 72.
His first event, entitled Love Saves The Day, was held in 1970.
David became well known with his reverence for his music, leaving silences between tracks, without any effects or mixing.
The functions paved the way for later (and more well known gigs) of the 1970s and 1980’s including the Paradise Garage.
David’s policy of ‘invitation only’ paved the way for nightclubs in the New York scene, especially Studio 54.
In the late Nineties, David and Colleen Murphy compiled a series of releases, entitled ‘David Mancuso Presents The Loft, Volumes One and Two’.
Loft parties influenced several deejays on the New York dance music scene, including Larry Levan (at the Garage) and Tony Humphries (at Zanzibar).
In 2005, David was inducted into the Dance Music Hall of Fame, after which, in 2006, a nightclub was named after David in Tübingen, in Germany.
b. Claude Russell Bridges, 2nd April 1942, Lawton, Oklahoma, U.S.A.
d. 13th November 2016, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
The singer and songwriter, Leon Russell, has died. Leon was 74.
Leon passed away in his sleep in Nashville, Tennessee, on the 13th of November.
In 2010, he underwent surgery to stop leaking brain fluid, and he also suffered a heart attack in July 2016, requiring bypass surgery.
Leon penned (or arranged many songs), recorded by Blue Eyed Soul, Soul and Jazz singers during his career.
These included Joe Cocker’s, Madeline Bells’ versions of ‘Delta Lady’ (and Bobbie Gentry’s version ‘Delta Man’), Damita Jo’s ’Tossin’ & Turnin’, Donny Hathaway’s, Aretha Franklin’s, Freda Payne’s, The Temptations’, Merry Clayton’s, Carmen McCrae’s, Sylvester’s, Beau Williams’, Renee Geyer’s, Herbie Hancock’s, Al Wilson’s, Lou Rawls’, Ray Charles’, Whitney Houston’s, Dusty Springfield’s, Ann Nesby’s, Norman Connors’, Natalie Cole’s, Herb Alpert’s, Betty Wright’s, Peabo Bryson’s, Maxine Weldon’s versions of ‘A Song For You’, Gap Mangione’s ’Superstar’, Richie Haven’s ’Tight Rope’, Bobby Blue Bland’s ‘Help Me Through The Day’, Sharon Forrester’s, George Benson’s, Miki Howard’s, Gap Mangione’s, Gene Harris’, Sergio Mendes’, Rahmlee’s versions of ‘This Masquerade’, Al Jarreau’s ‘Rainbow In Your Eyes’, Facts Of Life’s ‘Lost Inside Of You’, George Benson’s ‘Lady Blue’, B.B. King’s ‘Hummingbird’, ‘Judy Robert’s ‘Fantasy’, Wornell Jones’ ‘Something Good Is Gonna Happen To You’, Randy Crawford’s ‘Time For Love’ and ‘Windsong’ and Luther Vandross’, Will Downing’s versions of ’Superstar’.
b. Victor Randall Bailey, 27th March 1960, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
d. 11th November 2016, U.S.A.
The Jazz bassist, Victor Bailey, has died. Victor was 56.
As a younger man, Victor had been disqualified from naval service, as a result of asthma.
He went on to teach at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
Victor suffered from Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (a weakness in the legs, ankles and feet), which led to Victor using a cane to offset the condition.
The condition spread to his upper body, forcing retirement from performing and from his teaching position at Berklee College of Music.
Victor played the bass for the group Weather Report between 1982 and 1986.
He forged a solo career from 1988 onwards.
During his career, Victor had collaborated with the likes of Omar Hakim, Sonny Rollins, Pharoah Sanders, Miriam Makeba, Larry Coryell, Lenny White, Mike Stern, Dennis Chambers, Poogie Bell, Weather Report, Michael Brecker, LL Cool J, Kenny Garrett, Jim Beard, David Gilmore, Lady Gaga, Madonna, Mary J. Blige, Steps Ahead, Sting, Hamiet Bluiett, Olu Dara, Don Alias, Sadao Watanabe, Michał Urbaniak, Urszula Dudziak, Roy Haynes, Tom Browne, Bobby Broom, Jeff Lorber, Bernard Wright, Don Blackman, René McLean, Kevin Eubanks, Najee, Bennie Maupin and Patrice Rushen.
b. Melbourne Robert Cranshaw, 10th December 1932, Evanston, Illinois, U.SA.
d. 2nd November 2016, Manhattan, New York, U.S.A.
The American Jazz bassist, Bob Cranshaw, has died. Bob was 83.
Bob was originally signed to the Blue Note imprint, and worked, for a long period, with Sonny Rollins.
Later in his career, he worked with a diverse group of musicians, including, Carmen McRae, Paul Simon, Eddie Kendricks, The J.B.’s, Jonathan Butler, Reuben Wilson, Quincy Jones, Sonny Rollins, Donald Byrd, Stanley Turrentine, Freddie Hubbard, Dave Grusin, George Benson and, the late, Cedar Walton.
b. Jimmie Lee Williams, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
d. 31st October 2016, Philadelphia VA Medical Center, 3900 Woodland Ave, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104, U.S.A.
Jimmy Williams, the bassist and vocalist for the Seventies Salsoul group, Double Exposure, has died.
Jimmy lost his battle with cancer on the morning of the 31st of October 2016, passing away at the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, surrounded by his family.
Apart from the famous 1976 debut album ’Ten Percent’, Double Exposure went on to record two further albums (‘Fourplay’ in 1978, and ‘Locker Room’ in 1979).
Jimmy was a hugely in-demand bass player across this era, performing on album releases by the likes of Teddy Pendergrass, Melba Moore, Robert Palmer, Archie Bell & The Drells, First Choice, Barbara Mason, Jerry Butler, The O’Jays, The Four Tops, Loleatta Holloway, Joe Simon, the Salsoul Orchestra, Grace Jones, Jean Carn, the Trammps, Billy Paul, Lou Rawls, Slick, Jackie Moore, Dexter Wansel and Edgar Winter amongst others.
He also co wrote ‘I'm Givin' All My Love’ for Terri Wells on her 1984 ‘Just Like Dreamin’ album.
b. David Charles Wish, 18th July 1942, Bushey, Hertfordshire, United Kingdom.
d. 21st October 2016, Hollingbourne, Maidstone, Kent, United Kingdom.
In 1967, at the start of BBC Radio 1, Dave was a founding DJ, along with Tony Blackburn, Alan 'Fluff' Freeman and Pete Murray.
In 1973, he began work at Capital Radio, as a production manager and presenter.
During his career, Dave also worked at BBC Radio Kent, Radio London, Radio Luxembourg, BBC Radio 1, Radio West, Country 1035 and PrimeTime Radio.
One Media Publishing released over 1000 albums compiled by him, which featured the likes of Django Reinhardt, Artie Shaw, George McCrae, Rose Royce, Evelyn Thomas, Chaka Khan, Usher, Aaliyah, Mica Paris, Ashanti, Toni Braxton, 2Pac, and Snoop Doggy Dogg.
Dave had recently celebrated his 50th year in broadcasting.
b. Fiszel Czyż, 27th March 1921, Częstochowa, Poland.
d. 19th October 2016, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.A.
Philip Chess, brother of co-Chess Records founder Leonard Chess, has died. Philip was 95.
Along with his brother, Leonard, the pair helped found the Chess Records label in 1950.
A Polish American record producer and company executive, Philip (and his brother, Leonard), were originally christened Fiszel and Lejzor.
His family adopted the name Chess, and the brothers relocated to the States in 1928.
After serving in the Second World War, the brothers ran a club called the Macomba Lounge.
Leonard joined the Aristocrat Records imprint in 1948, with Phil following on in 1950.
Aristocrat became Chess Records, which began concentrating, specifically, on the R&B genre.
The artist roster featured the likes of Muddy Waters, Bo Diddley, Sonny Boy Williamson, Robert Lockwood Jr., Etta James, Willie Dixon, Howlin Wolf and Chuck Berry.
Phil Chess produced many early rock and roll recordings during the Fifties and Sixties.
Chess was later sold to GRT (General Recorded Tape) in 1968.
Phil Chess retired, and relocated to Arizona, in 1972.
The Chess Brothers were inducted to the Blues Hall of Fame in 1995.
The story of Chess Records was also re-told in the 2008 film ‘Cadillac Records’.
The Rolling Stones used the address of Chess’ studio for the name of an instrumental, ‘2120 S. Michigan Avenue’.
robert 'big sonny' edwards
b. Robert Edwards, 22nd February 1942, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
d. 15th October 2016, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
One of the last surviving members and founder member, (of the original line-up), of the group the Intruders, Robert ‘Big Sonny’ Edwards, has died. He was 74.
Robert had suffered a sudden heart attack at his Philadelphia home, and died in a local hospital.
His passing was announced by Philadelphia International Records co-founders Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff.
The Intruders comprised of Robert, Phillip 'Phil' Terry, Sam ‘Little Sonny’ Brown and Eugene ‘Bird’ Daughtry.
The Intruders had an impressive C.V. of R&B chart toppers, including ‘Cowboys to Girls’, ‘Win, Place Or Show (She’s A Winner’) and ‘I’ll Always Love My Mama’.
Robert is survived by his wife Deborah Edwards, son Nijer Edwards and two grandchildren.
Memorial services will be held on the 29th October at Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses (noon ET) in Philadelphia.
...for your information...
b. Robert Bateman, 1936, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
d. 12th October 2016, Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles County, California, U.S.A.
The songwriter and producer, Robert Bateman, has died. Robert died from a heart attack. He was 80.
A resident of Detroit, Robert had traveled in late September to Los Angeles, after which he suffered cardiac arrest and slipped into a coma.
Robert co-wrote and co-produced the song ‘Please Mr. Postman’ for the Marvelettes in 1961 (along with Marvelettes friend, Georgia Dobbins).
in cleveland in 1960: l to r: billy johnson, al abrams, johnny j.j. jones, berry gordy, jackie wilson and robert bateman
He was amongst the first people hired by Berry Gordy for the Motown imprint.
Robert, initially, was a backup singer and engineer and bought in the first used recording equipment for the label (a tape machine discarded by Detroit radio station WJLB).
In 1959, he and Sonny Sanders, along with Chico Leverette, formed the group, the Satintones.
The Satintones recorded for Tamla, releasing their first single, ’Going to the Hop’.
Chico left the group in 1961 and, Robert joined Brian Holland to form a songwriting team called Brianbert, not dis-similar to the (later songwriting team) the Corporation.
Brianbert produced the labels first number one record, ‘Please Mr. Postman’ for the Marvelettes.
Robert also co-penned ‘Twistin' Postman’ (in 1962) and ‘Playboy’ (also in 1962).
He then left Motown, relocating to New York where he collaborated with the likes of Wilson Pickett and Florence Ballard.
He also produced one of the few solo singles on founding Supremes member Florence Ballard’s song, ‘Love Ain't Love’ for ABC Records.
Robert (along with Sonny Sanders) penned ‘If You Need Me’ for Solomon Burke and ‘Skate Now’ for Lou Courtney.
In 1969, Robert attended the Woodstock Festival.
Earlier this year, Robert was inducted into the R&B Hall of Fame in Dearborn, Michigan.
He was also the uncle of the Soul Singer Jeff Perry (a.k.a. Jeffree).
b. William Nelson Sanders, 6th August 1939, Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, U.S.A.
d. 12th October 2016, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
The singer, songwriter, producer and arranger, Sonny Sanders, has died. Sonny was 77.
Along with Vernon Williams, James Ellis, Sammy Mack and Robert Bateman, Sonny was a member of the group The Satintones.
The group were the first ensemble signed to the Motown imprint, many years ago.
Sonny became a sought after musician and arranger in the Sixties.
In 1965 he was hired by the Chicago producer Carl Davis.
One of his first collaborations was with Mary Wells.
Sonny worked on her hit ‘Dear Lover’, after her departure from the Detroit imprint.
He co-wrote the songs ‘Me and My Baby’ and ‘Fancy Free’ with Barrett Strong.
Sonny’s work at the Brunswick imprint, included work with Jackie Wilson.
He arranged Jackie’s songs, ‘Whispers (Gettin' Louder)’, ‘I Don't Want to Lose You’, ‘(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher’, and ‘I Get the Sweetest Feeling’.
Sonny also collaborated with the Funk Brothers, along with many artists from the Brunswick stable, including Gene Chandler, Tyrone Davis, the Chi-Lites, the Artistics and Walter Jackson.
As a songwriter he penned songs for the likes of The Chi-Lites, Barbara Acklin, the Marvelettes, Wilson Pickett, Solomon Burke, Edwin Starr, Tom Jones, The Artistics, Gene Chandler, Darrell Banks, Major Lance and The Impressions.
As an arranger, Sonny worked with the Platters, on the songs ‘With This Ring’ and ‘Let the Woman Know’.
As a vocalist, Sonny sang on albums by the likes of Linda Clifford (‘I'll Keep On Loving You’), Tyrone Davis (‘Love & Touch’), the Fantastic Four, Leon Bryant (‘Finders Keepers’), Walter Jackson (‘I Want To Come Back As A Song’), Ronnie McNeir, Frances Nero and J.J. Barnes.
In 1998, he co-arranged and co-produced Eugene Record's first gospel album entitled, ‘Let Him In’.
quincy jones and rod temperton
b. Rodney Lynn Temperton, 9th October 1949, Cleethorpes, Lincolnshire, England
d. (reported) 5th October 2016, United Kingdom
The performer and songwriter, Rod Temperton, has died. Rod was 66.
He had recently had a short, difficult, battle with cancer
Jon Platt, chairman of music publisher Warner/Chappell, said he died in London last week.
Rod’s family has requested complete privacy, following a private funeral, which has already taken place.
Rod penned a huge array of Soul music’s classic songs of the Seventies and Eighties, including Michael Jackson’s ‘Off The Wall’ and ‘Thriller’.
Rod is survived by his wife Kathy.
rod (far right) in heatwave during the seventies
joan marie johnson
b. Joan Marie Johnson (a.k.a. Joan Marie Johnson Faust), 15th January 1945, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.
d. October, 2016, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.
Founding Member of the group the Dixie Cups, Joan Marie Johnson, has died. Joan was 72.
She passed away from congestive heart failure.
Together with her cousins Barbara Anne Hawkins and Rosa Lee Hawkins the trio formed the group in 1963.
Joan Marie Johnson was later to leave the group.
The Dixie Cups reached the top of the national charts with the songs ‘Chapel of Love’ and ‘Iko Iko’ in the Sixties.
They also knocked The Beatles out of the top spot on the recording charts in 1964 with ‘Chapel Of Love’.
The Hawkins sisters had never met Joan, however, they were cousins.
The group originally recorded under the name the Mel-Tones.
With the help of singer Sylvia Vanderpool Robinson of ‘Mickey and Sylvia’ fame) the group went searching for a record contract.
They performed for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who recorded the song ’Chapel of Love’.
The song stayed at Number 1 for three weeks.
‘Iko Iko’, climbed the charts in 1965, following the release of ‘People Say’ a year earlier.
Joan had been married but had no children.
She is survived by several cousins, nieces and nephews.
b. Royal Torrence (a.k.a. Little Royal), 22nd November 1933, Durham, North Carolina, U.S.A.
d. 29th September 2016, Washington Hospital Center ICU, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
The singer, Little Royal, has died. He was 82.
Royal passed away at the Washington Hospital Center ICU.
He was nicknamed ‘James Brown’s Little Brother’, following James Brown saying to the singer they were ‘so much alike that they ‘had’ to be brothers’.
During the Sixties he was often billed as ‘James Brown's Half Brother’.
Royal recorded for the Tri-Us, Carnival and Pacemaker imprints.
During this era, Royal was instrumental in the early careers of Teddy Pendergrass and Bobby Parker (who both performed with this singer).
Royal formed his own group called Little Royal and The Swingmasters, who recorded during the Sixties and Seventies.
In 1972, he recorded his own version of the Barbara Lynn evergreen ‘You’ll Lose A Good Thing’.
He released one album in 1973, entitled ‘Jealous’ for the Tri-Us imprint.
Little Royal and The Swingmasters continued to perform until recently.
He was later inducted into the Beach Music Hall of Fame.
b. LeCresia Campbell, 1963, U.S.A.
d. 29th September 2016, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
The Gospel singer and actress, LeCresia Campbell, has died. She was 53.
Lecresia suffered a stroke recently, and passed away from a pulmonary embolism in hospital in Atlanta.
Her last CD, ‘Even Me’ was released in 1999.
Lecresia’s debut album, ’Draw Me Nearer’, was released in 1987.
b. Michael Jones a.k.a. Kashif Saleem, 26th December 1959, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
d. 25th September 2016, Playa del Rey, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
The singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and performer, Kashif, has died. He was 56.
Kashif lived alone and was found by a neighbour. The Los Angeles County Coroners’s office says he had passed away on Sunday, the 25th of September 2016. Early reports state Kashif died from natural causes.
At the time of his passing, Kashif had been working on some new recordings.
Read more about this fine singer here:
...a request I accepted in July this year....
b. Stanley Dural, Jr., 14th November 1947, Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S.A.
d. 24th September 2016, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center, Lafayette, Louisiana, U.S.A.
Buckwheat Zydeco has died. He was 68.
He passed away at the Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center from lung cancer.
He played the accordion, and was a zydeco artist (Zydeco is a Blues & R&B musical style which originates from Louisiana).
Buckwheat performed with a diverse collection of artists, including Eric Clapton, U2, Joe Tex, Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown, Keith Richards, Robert Plant, Willie Nelson, Mavis Staples, Dwight Yoakam, Paul Simon and Ry Cooder.
Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, Buckwheat started playing the organ in his early years, becoming an in-demand performer.
At the start of the Seventies, he formed Buckwheat & the Hitchhikers, who recorded the single ‘It’s Hard To Get’.
He went on to perform with Clifton Chenier, joining his group towards the middle of the decade.
Buckwheat took up the accordion, and formed another group, namely Buckwheat Zydeco.
The group released ‘One for the Road’ in 1979.
In 1983, they released ‘Turning Point’, followed by 1985’s ‘Waitin’ For My Ya Ya’.
Buckwheat Zydeco also appeared in the movie ‘The Big Easy’ in 1987.
In 2009, his group released the album ‘Lay Your Burden Down’.
b. b. Trisco Smith-Pearson, 1963, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
d. 16th September 2016, Staten Island, New York, U.S.A.
Trisco Smith-Pearson, of the group Force MD’s, has died. He was 53.
He had been fighting cancer, but passed away on the 16th of September.
The Force MD's, hailed from the Mariners Harbor projects on Staten Island, New York City, and came to prominence in the 1980's and 1990’s.
Previous group members, Charles ‘Mercury’ Nelson died from heart attack in 1995, whilst Antoine ‘TCD’ Lundy battled Lou Gehrig’s disease before his passing away in 1998.
The Force MD’s releases included ‘Itchin For a Scratch’, ‘Tears’, ‘Tender Love’, ‘Here I Go Again’ and ‘Love Is A House’.
The surviving group members are: Khalil Lundy, Stevie Lundy and Jesse Daniels.
In an interview in 2009, President Obama highlighted the Force M.D.s (among other artists included) in his Air Force One iPod playlist.
b. Cecil Bustamente Campbell, 24th May 1938, Kingston, Jamaica.
d. 8th September 2016, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
The Reggae/Ska/Rocksteady singer and songwriter, Prince Buster, has died. He was aged 78.
Prince died in a hospital in Miami, Florida, from poor health following several strokes.
In the Sixties, he released several ground-breaking singles, including ‘Madness’ (in 1963), ‘One Step Beyond’ (in 1964) and ‘Al Capone’ (in 1964).
Prince was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1938.
As a child he performed in Frankie Lymon's Sing and Dance Troupe.
In 1961, he released his first single ‘Little Honey’.
That year he produced ‘Oh Carolina’ by the Folkes Brothers, which Melodisc later released on their subsidiary label Blue Beat.
In 1964, Prince met Muhammad Ali who invited him to join the Nation of Islam.
In 1967, he had a top twenty hit in the U.K. with the single ‘Al Capone’.
In 1972, Prince starred in the movie ‘The Harder They Come’ in a cameo role as a DJ.
In 1979, the band Madness released a debut single, a tribute to Prince called ‘The Prince’.
The group took their name from the Prince song ‘Madness’.
They later covered the Prince tune ‘One Step Beyond’, which reached the UK Top 10.
In 2001 he was awarded the Order of Distinction by the Jamaican Government for his contribution to music.
b. Clifford Curry Jr., 3rd November 1936, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
d. 6th September 2016, Knoxville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
The R&B singer, Clifford Curry, has died. Clifford was 79.
He is, probably, best remembered for his 1967 single ‘She Shot a Hole in My Soul’.
Clifford hailed from Chicago, Illinois.
Born in 1936, he spent his non-curricular time performing in several groups.
He was a member of the groups, The Echoes, The Five Pennies, the Hollyhocks, and the Bubba Suggs Band.
Clifford embarked on a solo career in the mid-1960’s.
He recorded under the name of Sweet Clifford for a while, for the Excello Records imprint.
Clifford went on to work with the group the Fabulous Six and the Contenders.
It was in 1967 that he scored his biggest hit, the Buzz Cason produced, ‘She Shot A Hole In My Soul’, which Buzz produced on his own label Elf Records.
He remained in Nashville for several years, performing and writing songs, before returning to Knoxville.
Clifford penned songs for the Oak Ridge Boys (‘He's Gonna Smile on Me’) and soul singer Ann Sexton, amongst others.
He became known as ‘The King Of Beach Music’ on the Carolina Beach Music scene.
Clifford became inducted into the Beach Music Hall of Fame in 1995.
In 1997, he released the album ‘Tennessee R&B Live’, which featured Earl Gaines and Roscoe Shelton.
He also sang with Faye Adams on her number one R&B hit ‘Shake a Hand’.
Clifford passed away in his hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Funeral arrangements are unknown at this time.
b. Fred Craig MacFarlane, U.S.A.
d. 5th September 2016, U.S.A.
The keyboard player, producer, songwriter and remixer, Fred McFarlane has died.
Details are scarce at this point in time.
He was a member of the groups, Logg and Intrigue.
Fred produced many of Soul music’s evergreen recordings.
These included Jocelyn Brown’s, ‘Somebody Else's Guy’ in 1984, Robin S.’s, ‘Show Me Love’ and Dennis Taylor's ‘In The Mood’.
His early career began with collaborations with the likes of Enchantment, Mystic Merlin, the Fatback Band, the Rhythm Makers, Chaka Khan and Crown Heights Affair.
He also worked alongside more contemporary R&B performers, including D-Train, Jenny Burton’s, Madonna, Will Downing, Keith Sweat, Whitney Houston, The Force MDs, Janet Jackson, Dusty Springfield, Tina Turner, Kym Mazelle, Vanessa Williams, Michael McDonald and Evelyn ‘Champagne’ King.
b. Joseph Stafford Jr., 1936, Arkansas, U.S.A.
d. 4th September 2016, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.
The R&B singer and songwriter, Joe Jeffrey, has died. Joe was 80.
He had been battling cancer recently.
Joe will, probably, be best remembered for his 1969 hit ‘My Pledge Of Love’, as part of his group the Joe Jeffrey Group.
The single reached number 14 on the Billboard Hot 100 that year.
The Joe Jeffrey Group comprised of Joe (vocals, guitar), Al Russ (bass), Charles Perry (percussion) and Ron Browning (drums).
The group were signed to the Wand imprint for 5 single releases between 1969 and 1970 (‘My Pledge Of Love’ b/w ‘Margie’, ‘Dreamin Till Then’ b/w ‘The Train’, ‘Hey Hey Woman’ b/w ‘The Chance Of Loving You’ in 1969, ‘My Baby Loves Lovin' b/w ‘The Chance Of Loving You’, ‘A Hundred Pounds Of Clay’ b/w ‘Power Of Love’, both in 1970).
They released one album called ‘My Pledge Of Love’ in 1969.
His band also recorded a version of ‘My Baby Loves Lovin', a song which was also recorded by the Sixties rock group White Plains.
The following decade saw Joe performing locally as a solo singer, where he performed his singles, along with R&B evergreen tunes.
rudy van gelder
b. Rudy Van Gelder, 2nd November 1924, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A.
d. 25th August 2016, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey, U.S.A.
The specialist Jazz recording engineer, Rudy Van Gelder, has died. He was 91.
His association with Jazz became an integral part of many of the Blue Note Records back catalogue.
Rudy was the engineer on many artists recordings, including, John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Wayne Shorter, and Horace Silver, amongst others.
Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, Rudy’s early interests in Jazz music were as a result of his uncle, who had been drummer for Ted Lewis's band in the mid-1930s.
At an early age, Rudy was trained on the trumpet.
He began working on recordings at his parents home, where there was a room set by for the purpose.
The saxophonist Gil Mellé, introduced him to Blue Note Records producer Alfred Lion, in the early Fifties.
His reputation grew, and Rudy began working for several imprints, including Prestige Records, Savoy Records and Vox Records.
In parallel with his engineering chores, in the daytime he also worked as an optometrist.
He was to soon lose the day job, and become a full time engineer by the start of the Sixties.
Previously, Thelonious Monk composed a tribute to Rudy entitled ‘Hackensack’ (where Rudy’s studio was located at the time).
After relocating his studio to Englewood Cliffs in New Jersey, John Coltrane recorded his ‘A Love Supreme’ album (for Impulse! Records in 1964) at the venue.
Verve Records, Blue Note and Prestige Records all used the venue.
After changes in the managerial personnel of some of the imprints, some labels utilised the studio’s to a lesser extent.
Rudy continued to work as an engineer for Creed Taylor's CTI Records.
He was continually active as an engineer throughout the Nineties, at the end of which he remastered the analog Blue Note recordings he recorded several decades earlier.
Rudy was named a fellow of the Audio Engineering Society (AES) in 2009.
He resided in Englewood Cliffs up until his death.
b. Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidor, Baron Thielemans, 29th April 1922, Brussels, Belgium.
d. 22nd August 2016, Brussels, Belgium.
The Jazz harmonica player and guitarist, Toots Thielemans, has died. Toots was 94.
He passed away peacefully in his sleep at his home in Belgium.
Toots announced his retirement in March 2014.
He was, initially, a guitarist, before moving on to the harmonica, as his career developed.
In the late Forties, Toots performed with the likes of Sidney Bechet, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis and Max Roach.
He also toured with Benny Goodman, recording his first record in 1950.
Toots relocated to the States, where he became a member of Charlie Parker's group.
He also worked with Miles Davis, Dinah Washington, George Shearing, Ella Fitzgerald, Pat Metheny, Jaco Pastorius, Stephane Grappelli, J.J. Johnson, Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans, Shirley Horn, and Joe Pass.
He performed on many film soundtracks, including ‘Midnight Cowboy’, ‘Jean de Florette’ and ‘The Getaway’.
In the Eighties he performed with Jaco Pastorius, and featured on Billy Joel's album ‘An Innocent Man’.
He also recorded a version of his own song, ‘Bluesette’ with Quincy Jones, who also used Toots on his own version of the Ivan Lins melody, ‘Velas’.
b. Robert Hutcherson, 27th January 1941, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
d. 15th August 2016, Montara, San Francisco, U.S.A.
The jazz vibraphone and marimba player, Bobby Hutcherson, has died. Bobby was 75.
He had recently been fighting a battle with emphysema.
Bobby , famously, penned ‘Little B's Poem’ (named after his son Barry), which was covered by several artists, including Dee Dee Bridgewater.
His parents were Eli and Esther Hutcherson and he spent is childhood in Pasadena.
Various family members introduced Bobby to the jazz artists, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Eric Dolphy and Billy Mitchell.
He took up the vibraphone after listening to Milt Jackson.
During the late Fifties Bobby began working with Curtis Amy, Carmell Jones, and Eric Dolphy.
Bobby recorded his initial material in 1960 with the Les McCann trio.
In 1961, he released the album ‘Groovin' Blue’ with Curtis Amy and Frank Butler sextet
He joined the Al Grey and Billy Mitchell group in San Francisco and toured with the group for a year.
Bobby then relocated to New York City where he worked part-time as a taxi driver.
He then began working with the bassist, Herbie Lewis.
Bobby was introduced to Blue Note Records by the saxophonist Jackie McLean.
He performed with many of the artists at the imprint, including Eric Dolphy, Lee Morgan, McCoy Tyner, Joe Henderson, Tony Williams, and Jackie McLean.
Bobby spent 13 years with Blue Note.
In 1968 he relocated back to Los Angeles, where he played with the Gerald Wilson Orchestra.
Bobby began working with tenor saxophonist Harold Land, releasing a 1970 album, featuring pianist Joe Sample.
The Hutcherson-Land group separated in 1971.
Bobby released ‘Knucklebean’ in 1977, followed by three further albums for Columbia Records during the decade.
He went on to record eight albums for Landmark Records during the Eighties and Nineties.
In 2004, Bobby joined the SFJAZZ Collective, which featured Joshua Redman, Miguel Zenón, Nicholas Payton, Renee Rosnes, and Eric Harland.
b. Ruby Wilson, 10th May 1948, Fort Worth, Texas, U.S.A.
d. 12th August 2016, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
The Blues, Soul and Gospel singer, and actor, Ruby Wilson, has died. Ruby was 68.
Also known as ’The Queen of Beale Street’, Ruby had suffered a massive heart attack and never regained consciousness.
She died at the Methodist South Hospital in Memphis.
In 2009 she, previously, had suffered a stroke.
Ruby was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in 1948.
At an early age she started out singing in her church choir.
Ruby relocated to Memphis in 1972, singing in B.B. King's Blues Club, where she had a weekly residence.
She recorded some 10 albums during her career.
Ruby also shared the stage with the likes of Ray Charles, the Four Tops, Isaac Hayes and B.B. King amongst others.
She toured Europe and Asia and appeared in several films, including ‘The People vs. Larry Flynt’.
Ruby also sang in the Rev. Al Green's Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis.
b. James Levine, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
d. 9th August 2016, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The songwriter, performer and producer, Jimmy Levine, has died.
He had been suffering from cancer. Further details regarding Jimmy’s passing are unavailable at the moment.
Jimmy’s performing skills were apparent as a child, whilst attending church.
He went on to attend Richmond High School, and UCLA during his education, and began playing saxophone as a teenager, performing in several local group’s.
Jimmy’s career took off when he auditioned for Marvin Gaye in Oakland, California, after which he was employed in Marvin’s group, up until the singers passing in 1984.
He was later signed as a staff songwriter to Jobete (Motown), working alongside the likes of Rick James, Teena Marie and Switch amongst others.
Jimmy became the President of OutPost Productions (owned by Anna Gaye).
He moved to Chicago and began working with the producer Carl Davis, the arranger, Richard Tufo, and Jesse Boyce.
Richard Tufo and Jesse Boyce became part of the group, BLT, with Jimmy, releasing ’Tighten It Up’ in 1982.
Jimmy collaborated with another songwriter, Lowrell Simon, the pair penning songs, including ‘I Want You’ for Barry White, ‘Happy Song’ for the Dells, and Lowell Simon’s own single ‘Love Massage’ and ‘I'll Make The Living If You Make The Loving Worthwhile’ for Gene Chandler.
They also worked with the group Omni, Jerry Butler, along with further projects for Curtis Mayfield's Curtom Records.
Jimmy, more recently, released his own album ’Share My Love’ for Universal Records.
The album featured artistic contributions from the likes of Ray Parker Jr., Wah Wah Watson, Phil Perry, Michael White, Howard Hewett, Everette Harp, Maysa Leak, Lori Perry, Kenda Hathaway, Donald Hayes, Niki Harris and Phillip Ingram.
He was, also, the owner of the Mo-Philly Music Group.
b. Allan Curtis Barnes, 27th September 1949, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
d. 26th July 2016, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
A founding member of The Blackbyrds, the saxophonist, Allan Barnes has died. Alan was 66.
The news was announced on Allan’s Facebook page.
Known as a saxophonist, Allan was also skilled at many reed and woodwind instruments.
He played the flute solo on ‘Walking in Rhythm’.
Born in Detroit, Allan served his national service in the Army.
He attended the U.S. Naval School of Music.
Allan relocated to Washington D.C., where he attended Howard University, at the request of Professor Donald Byrd.
It was at Howard, that Allan combined his kills with 5 other students, in order to form the group, the Blackbyrds (Donald Byrd’s protégées).
The Blackbyrds went on to record many of Soul Music’s dance and fusion classics, including ‘Walking in Rhythm’, ‘Happy Music’ and ‘Rock Creek Park’.
The Blackbyrds released nine albums between 1974 and 2012.
Allan went on to form his own band, Allan Barnes and Primetime.
He also wrote music for many commercials, featuring Larry King, Brenda Sykes, Sugar Ray Leonard, Leslie Nielsen and Muhammad Ali.
During his career he performed with the likes of Prince, Gil Scott-Heron, Lakeside, Nina Simone, Robert Guillaume, Pharaoh Sanders, Mary Wilson, Martha Reeves, Regina Carter and Wilson Pickett.
Allan toured the U.K., (with the Blackbyrds), in late 2015, performing at the Under The Bridge venue at Chelsea Football Club’s ground.
b. Lewis Steinberg, 13th September 1933, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
d. 21st July 2016, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Original bass guitar player for the group Booker T. & the M.G.’s, Lewie Steinberg, has died. He was 82.
Lewie had been battling cancer in recent years.
Born in Memphis, Tennessee, Lewie played with Booker T. & the M.G.’s.
between 1962 to 1965.
Lewie’s bass playing can be heard on the group’s evergreen single, ‘Green Onions’ b/w ‘Behave Yourself’ (on both sides), as well as on the parent album.
He originally wanted to call the track ‘Funky Onions’, however, label owner Estelle Axton wanted another title, and the word ’Funky’ was replaced by the word ’Green’.
Lewie went on to play bass on the group’s 1965 album, ‘Soul Dressing’.
He then left the group and was replaced by the late Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn.
Lewie was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992.
He, later, received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, and was given a Brass Note on Beale Street's Walk of Fame, in Memphis in 2010.
sir mack rice
b. Bonny Rice,10th November 1933, Clarksdale, Mississippi, U.S.A.
d. 27th June 2016, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
The singer and songwriter, Mack Rice, has died. He was 82.
Mack passed away at home in Detroit from complications relating to Alzheimer's disease.
He was a hugely impressive songwriter.
Amongst his many penned songs, include ‘Mustang Sally’ (Wilson Pickett), ‘Respect Yourself’ (Staples Singers), ‘Do The Funky Penguin’ (Rufus Thomas), Cheaper To Keep Her’ (Johnnie Taylor), ‘Short Stoppin’ (Veda Brown), ‘(If Loving You Is Wrong) I Don't Want To Be Right’ (Bobby Blue Bland), ‘Shake A Tail Feather’ (Ike & Tina Turner), ’You Got To Change (Your Evil Ways)’ (Leah Dawson), ‘The Memphis Train’ (Rufus Thomas) and ‘My Little Girl’ (Eddie Floyd).
In the Fifties, Mack began performing with the Five Scalders around 1956.
He then joined the Falcons, whose line-up included Eddie Floyd, Wilson Pickett and Joe Stubbs, between 1957 until 1963.
In 1965 he released ’Mustang Sally’, as a solo artist, a song later to be released (and become a hit) by Wilson Pickett (which reached number 15 on the Billboard R&B chart in 1965).
Mack began a solo career, signing to Stax Records in 1967.
He co-penned several songs for artists on the Stax imprint, including ‘Respect Yourself’ (by The Staple Singers), ‘Do The Funky Penguin’ (by Rufus Thomas) and ‘Cheaper To Keep Her (by Johnnie Taylor).
Mack also sang with Ollie & The Nightingales, joining the group in 1970.
In 1992, Mack released his first solo album, ‘Right Now’ for the Blue Suit imprint.
He was a prolific songwriter with 434 work titles registered at BMI publishing.
His writings have been recorded by many artists, including The Staple Singers, Ike and Tina Turner, Albert King, Johnnie Taylor, Shirley Brown, Rufus Thomas, Etta James, Billy Eckstine, Eddie Floyd, Buddy Guy, The Rascals, The Kingsmen, Wilson Pickett, Albert Collins and Otis Clay.
b. George Bernard Worrell (a.k.a. Dr. George Bernard ‘Bernie’ Worrell, Jr.), 19th April 1944, Long Branch, New Jersey, U.S.A.
d. 24th June 2016, Bellingham, Washington, U.S.A.
Keyboard player and songwriter, Bernie Worrell has died. Bernie was 72.
Bernie had been fighting stage-four lung cancer.
Bernie was born in New Jersey.
He was playing keyboards by the age of three, later studying at Juilliard and the New England Conservatory of Music.
As a student he played with Chubby & The Turnpikes, who were later to become Tavares.
Bernie later met George Clinton, and became part of the Parliament-Funkadelic ensemble.
By this time Bernie was playing the grand piano, Wurlitzer electric piano, Hohner Clavinet, Hammond B3 organ, ARP String Ensemble and Moog synthesizer.
He collaborated with the likes of Bootsy's Rubber Band, Parlet, The Brides of Funkenstein and The Horny Horns.
He released a solo album, ‘All the Woo in the World’ in 1978.
Bernie’s synthesizer stylings became part Parliament's most popular songs, including ‘Mothership Connection’ and ‘Give Up the Funk (Tear the Roof off the Sucker)’ and ‘Aqua Boogie’.
In the Eighties he began to perform and record with Talking Heads.
He also worked with Bill Laswell, Sly and Robbie, Jack Bruce and Fela Kuti.
More recently, Bernie had worked with Parliament-Funkadelic guitarist DeWayne ‘Blackbyrd’ McKnight and performed with his own group, the Bernie Worrell Orchestra.
He also appeared in the movie ‘Ricki and the Flash’ as the keyboard player in Meryl Streep's band.
b. Wayne Lamar Jackson, 24th November 1941, West Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
d. 21st June 2016, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
The co-founder of the Memphis Horns, Wayne Jackson, has died. Wayne was 74.
His wife, Amy, said her husband died of congestive heart failure at a Memphis hospital with her by his side.
Wayne had previously been hospitalized and released on the 7th of June before taking a turn for the worse and being readmitted.
Wayne, along with co-founder, Andrew Love, formed the Memphis Horns in 1969.
He was the trumpet player in the group, and was a one time member of the group, the Mar-Keys.
The Markeys were Stax Records in house band, performing on many sides for the likes of Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, amongst others.
The group comprised of (at various times): Al Jackson Jr., Booker T. Jones, Charles Axton, Charlie Freeman, Don Nix, Donald ‘Duck’ Dunn, Floyd Newman, Isaac Hayes, Jerald Smith, Steve Cropper, Terry Johnson, and Wayne.
The Markeys merged with The Memphis Horns in order to collaborate with other artists, who included the likes of Dusty Springfield, Elvis Presley, Al Green, The Doobie Brothers, Jimmy Buffett, Robert Cray, amongst others.
The Memphis Horns comprised of: Andrew Love, Ben Cauley, Ed Logan, Jack Hale, Jack Hale, Sr., James Mitchell, Lewis Collins, Roger Hopps, Tom McGinley, and Wayne.
In 2008, Wayne and Andrew Love were inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame.
He had also written three books.
In 2012, the Memphis Horns were awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding artistic significance in music.
b. Attrell Cordes (a.k.a. Prince Be), 10th May 1970, Jersey City, New Jersey, U.S.A.
d. 17th June 2016, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Prince Be, of the group P.M. Dawn has died. He was 46.
He passed away as a result of renal disease, and was a diabetic.
Prince Be had previously suffered a massive stroke in 2005 that left him paralyzed on the left side of his body.
P.M. Dawn were formed in 1988 by the brothers Attrell and Jarrett Cordes.
The brothers were brought up by their mother and their stepfather George Brown, (an original member of Kool & the Gang).
The group are best remembered for the album ‘Of the Heart, of the Soul and of the Cross: The Utopian Experience’ in 1991, which featured the single ‘Set Adrift on Memory Bliss’ (which sampled the Spandau Ballet song ‘True’).
The single reached number 28 in early 1992.
That year the group appeared on the Red Hot Organization's compilation CD Red Hot + Dance.
Further single releases included ‘I’d Die Without You’, ‘Downtown Venus’ and ‘Looking Through Patient Eyes’.
In 2000, they released the compilation, ‘The Best of P.M. Dawn’.
b. Lincoln Wayne Moman, 12th June 1937, La Grange, Georgia, U.S.A.
d. 13th June 2016, La Grange, Georgia, U.S.A.
The record producer, guitarist and songwriter, Lincoln Wayne 'Chips' Moman, has died. He was 79.
‘Chips’ was taken into hospice care on Sunday the 12th of June.
He died at 5 p.m. the following day in LaGrange, Georgia.
Although he will be, probably, best remembered for his work with the late Elvis Presley, his songwriting skills were hugely in-demand by R&B artists throughout the Sixties and Seventies.
He collaborated with Bobby Womack and Carla Thomas, as well as helping along the career of the group the Box Tops in Memphis, Tennessee.
His early work began with the Satellite Records imprint, later setting up his own recording studio, the American Sound Studios.
Chips penned (or co-penned) many songs which have become R&B standards, these including:
Aretha Franklin’s ‘Do Right Woman, Do Right Man’, Carla Thomas's - ‘Gee Whiz’, ‘For You’ and ‘Promises’, William Bell’s - ‘Somebody Mentioned Your Name’, ‘Do Right Man, Do Right Woman’, the Triumphs’ - ‘Burnt Biscuits’ (feat. Al Green), Joe Simon’s - ‘Message From Maria’ and ‘Nine Pound Steel’, Esther Phillips’ - ‘Cheater Man’, The Markey’s - ‘About Noon’, Albert King’s - ‘This Morning’, James Carr’s, Percy Sledge’s, Little Milton’s, Clarence Carter’s, Roy Hamilton’s, Aretha Franklin’s, Esther Phillips’, Brenda Lee’s, Dorothy Moore’s, Oscar Toney Jnr’s, Phoebe Snow’s, Bobby King’s (amongst others) - ‘Dark End Of The Street’, The Crusaders - ‘Luchenbach, Texas (Back To The Basics Of Love)’ and Dobie Gray’s - ‘This Time’ amongst other songs.
Chips married fellow songwriter Toni Wine in the early 1970’s.
b. Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr., 17th January 1942, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.
d. 3rd June 2016, Scottsdale, Arizona, U.S.A.
stand by me b/w I am the greatest - 1964
b. Marshall Eugene Jones (a.k.a. Marshall ‘Rock’ Jones), 1st January 1941, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.
d. 27th May 2016, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
The Ohio Players bassist, Marshall Jones, has died. Marshall was 75.
He passed away in the early hours of Friday the 27th of May.
Marshall had been battling stage 4 cancer and had, also, suffered a recent stroke.
In recent years, Marshall had been in retirement in Jamestown.
Marshall was the Ohio Players bassist between 1959 (under the name of the Ohio Untouchables) until 1984.
The Ohio Players C.V. included several hits including ‘Fire’, ‘Love Rollercoaster’, ‘Heaven Must Be Like This’, ‘Funky Worm’, ‘Skin Tight, ‘Honey’, ‘Who’d She Coo?’ and ‘Sweet Sticky Thing’.
After leaving the Ohio Players in the early '80s, Marshall performed with various blues bands and opened a music studio on Salem Avenue in Dayton.
Members of The Ohio Players continue to be involved in the community through donations of time and money to local parks, schools, churches and other worthy charities.
b. Reginald Torian Snr., 22nd November 1950, Chicago Heights, Illinois, U.S.A.
d. 4th May 2016, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Reginald 'Reggie' Torian Sr., lead singer of The Impressions and the Independents Soul groups, has died. He was 65.
He became ill on the 4th of May, and was taken to a hospital where he passed away.
Shortly before his passing, Reggie had been rehearsing with the group, the Independents, for a Mother’s Day Show.
Reggie was also a solo artist, actor and ordained minister.
His father, Virgil 'V.J.' Torian Jr., played for the Harlem Globetrotters.
Reggie spent his early years in Hopkinsville, Kentucky, later growing up in Chicago Heights and Markham, Illinois.
He attended Thornton Township High School in Harvey, Illinois.
Reggie is survived by his daughters, Tyra and Abrease, two more sons, Seth and Reginald 'Tre' III, three more sisters, Sharon Mance, Denise Daniels and Necole Torian, his brothers, Maurice and Vincent, and 17 grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Day 1: The Visitation/Viewing will take place on Friday, May 13, 2016 from 4-7pm at the following location:
Woods Funeral Home
1003 S Halsted St
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
Phone: (708) 755-2010
Day 2: The Memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2016 promptly, at 10:00am at the following location:
Christ Universal Temple
11901 S Ashland Ave
Chicago, IL 60643
Phone: (773) 568-1717
Day 2 part II: Family and friends will gather immediately after the memorial service to fellowship and celebrate the life of our father from 1-4pm at the following location:
Bethel Resource Center
1250 Portland Ave
Chicago Heights, IL 60411
Day 3: The Burial will take place on Monday, May 16, 2016 at 10:30am at the following location:
Mt. Glenwood Memory Gardens
18301 Glenwood-Thorton Rd
Glenwood, IL 60425
b. Harrison Roy Calloway Jnr., 6th November 1940, Chattanooga, Tennessee, U.S.A.
d. 30th April 2016, Jackson, Mississippi, U.S.A.
The trumpet player for the Muscle Shoals Horns, Harrison Calloway, has died. He was 75.
Harrison passed away in Jackson, Mississippi, following a stroke.
He had suffered the stroke on the 22nd of April, and never regained consciousness.
More recently he still was active as an arranger and producer at Malaco Records in Jackson, Mississippi.
Harrison was seen as the ‘father of the Muscle Shoals Horns band’, performing on several Sixties and Seventies sides, including 1976’s dancer, ‘Born To Get Down’.
Along with Ronnie Eades, Harvey Thompson and Charles Rose, the group originally met at the Tennessee State University in Nashville.
The group began recording at the end of the Sixties, at the FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals.
Harrison performed with several musicians at the studio’s, including Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, the Osmonds, Joe Tex, Bobby Womack, Candi Staton, Frederick Knight, B.B. King, and Elton John.
As a solo band, the Muscle Shoals Horns group released three albums, which were ‘Born To Get Down’ (in 1976), ‘Doin' It To The Bone’ (in 1977), and ‘Shine On’ (in 1983).
b. Paul Williams, 1st December 1934, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
d. 24th April 2016, Blackwood, New Jersey, U.S.A.
The veteran Soul, Jazz & R&B singer, Billy Paul, has died. He was 81.
Billy passed away on the 24th of April 2016 at his home in Blackwood, New Jersey.
He had been suffering from pancreatic cancer.
The singer will, probably, be best remembered for his classic Soul ballad, ‘Me & Mrs Jones’, which reached number one in the charts in 1972.
Billy was part of the Philadelphia International Records family, at which he achieved success with the several of the labels finest songs, including ‘Bring The Family Back’, ‘Brown Baby’, 'Malorie', ‘Am I Black Enough For You?’, ‘Let Em In’ and ‘Thanks For Saving My Life’.
Saturday April 30th at the Deliverance Evangelistic Church, 2001 Lehigh Avenue Philadelphia, PA.
Viewing will be from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. with the services to follow.
b. Prince Rogers Nelson, 7th June 1958, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
d. 21st April 2016, Chanhassen, Minnesota, U.S.A.
The singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, Prince, has died. He was 57.
The cause of death was due to flu-like symptoms.
He died at home in Minnesota, his publicist has said.
Police attended his Paisley Park estate and an investigation is underway.
In 2004, Prince was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Last week the singer was taken to hospital, but was released after a few hours.
b. Dennis Davis, 28th August 1951, Manhattan, New York, U.S.A.
d. 6th April 2016, New York, U.S.A.
The drummer, Dennis Davis, has died. He had been fighting a battle with cancer.
Dennis played on several major recordings including, Stevie Wonder’s ‘Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants’ (in 1979), ‘Hotter Than July’ (in 1980), ‘Original Musiquarium’ (in 1982 on ‘Do I Do’) and ‘Characters’ (in 1987), Roy Ayers’ ‘Coffy’ (in 1973), ‘Virgo Red’ (in 1973), ‘Red, Black and Green’ (in 1973), ’Tear to a Smile’ (in 1975) and ‘You Send Me’ (in 1978) and David Bowie’s recordings, ‘Young Americans’ (in 1975), ‘Station to Station’ (in 1976), ‘Low’ (in 1977), ‘Heroes’ (in 1977), ‘Lodger’ (in 1979) and ‘Scary Monsters’ (in 1980).
Dennis also worked with George Benson, Ronnie Foster, Jermaine Jackson and Iggy Pop.
He was the son of Alice and "Sugarfoot" Davis, and had two sisters, Denise and Danna, and a brother called Butch.
Dennis’s uncle urged the youngster to take up percussion, under the wing of his drum teacher, George Scott.
He, later studied with the drummers Max Roach and Elvin Jones.
Dennis performed with the Clark Terry Big Band in 1967.
That year he was drafted into national service, and was sent to Vietnam, where he was wounded.
He performed in the the United States Navy, after which he left the military and went on tour with the vibraphonist, Roy Ayers.
Dennis then came to the attention of David Bowie, where he began a collaboration with lasted for a decade or so.
He had, initially, met guitarist Carlos Alomar (Bowie’s guitarist) when they were both were playing with the Roy Ayers group.
He worked with George Benson and Stevie Wonder in 1979 for studio and live performances.
More recently, he had been working on a solo album, entitled ‘The Groovemaster’.
He leaves four children, Darien, Naoto, Erika, and Kaito.
b. Otha Leon Haywood, 11th February 1942, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
d. 5th April 2016, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The singer, songwriter, arranger and record producer. Leon Haywood, has died. Leon was 74.
According to his godson, Darnell Price, Leon passed away in his sleep.
The singer is, probably, best remembered for his 1975 hit single ‘I Want To Do Something Freaky to You’.
Born in Houston, Leon learned to play the piano as a child, later supporting the Blues musician, Guitar Slim.
He relocated to Los Angeles, and began collaborating with the saxophonist Big Jay McNeely.
Leon went on to work in Sam Cooke’s group, later signing to the Fantasy Records imprint.
In 1967, he released the single ‘It's Got to Be Mellow’, which charted at number 21 (R&B).
He later performed with Dyke & the Blazers, recording solo sides for the Columbia Records and MCA Records labels.
Leon began recording disco sides in the Seventies, which led to the releases of ‘I Want To Do Something Freaky to You’ (in 1975), ‘Strokin' (Pt. II)’ (in 1976) and ‘Party’ (in 1978).
In 1980, he released the single ‘Don't Push It Don't Force It’, which reached number 12 in the U.K.
Leon is credited with writing the Carl Carlton hit ‘She's a Bad Mama Jama’.
His final R&B chart record was ‘Tenderoni’ in 1984.
By the end of the decade he had moved into a production role with the Los Angeles imprint Edge Records.
He produced albums for the likes of Jimmy McCracklin, Clay Hammond, Ronnie Lovejoy and Buddy Ace for his Evejim Records imprint.
During his career he recorded for several labels including, the Imperial, Decca, 20th Century, Columbia, MCA, Casablanca, Modern, Edge and Evejim imprints.
Funeral services for Leon Haywood are as follows:
FRIDAY: APRIL 15, 2016
12 PM - 8 PM
ANGELUS FUNERAL HOME
3875 CRENSHAW BLVD
LOS ANGELES, CA 90008
SATURDAY: APRIL 16, 2016
10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
ANGELUS FUNERAL HOME
3875 CRENSHAW BLVD
LOS ANGELES, CA 90008
BURIAL immediately following the service as directed.
4:00 PM - UNTIL....
3677 CRENSHAW BLVD
ENTER FROM REAR OF THE BLDG.
LOS ANGELES, CA 90016
b. Leandro Barbieri, 28th November 1932, Rosario, Santa Fe, Argentina.
d. 2nd April 2016, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
The Argentine tenor saxophonist, Gato Barbieri, has died. He was 83.
Gato passed away in a New York hospital from pneumonia.
He had recently had bypass surgery to remove a blood clot.
Amongst Soul and fusion fans, he will, probably, be best remembered for his 1976 album ‘Caliente!’, which featured the title track, along with the performers own take on the Marvin Gaye/Leon Ware song ‘I Want You’.
Gato became part of the free jazz movement in the Sixties, moving on to a more Fusion based sound, the following decade, and recorded 35 albums between 1967 and 1982.
He also played the clarinet and the alto saxophone whilst performing with the composer, Lalo Schifrin, during his early career.
Gato wrote the music for the Bernardo Bertolucci film ‘Last Tango in Paris’.
He was awarded a Grammy Award for his efforts.
Gato then signed with Impulse! Records, moving on to the A&M imprint during the Seventies.
Also that decade, Gato worked with his A&M label mate, Herb Alpert, collaborating on the album ‘Ruby Ruby’ in 1977.
During the Eighties, Gato’s wife passed away, and he retired from the public arena for a while.
He returned to recording during the Nineties, where his style had become smooth jazz in format.
Although in poor health, Gato had performed at the Blue Note jazz club, in New York, as recently as November 2015.
Gato received the UNICEF Award at the Argentinian Consulate in 2009.
He married again in 1996 and had a son, Christian, who is 18.
Gato is survived by his wife, Laura, his son Christian, and his sister Raquel Barbieri, who lives in Buenos Aires.
b. Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
d. 20th March 2016, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
Larry Payton, the drummer for the Seventies/Eighties funk band, Brass Construction, has died.
Larry passed away on the 21st of March 2016.
There are few details online at this point.
Larry, and Randy Muller, were students at the George Jr. Gerswhin Junior High School in Brooklyn.
He played in some of the churches of Brooklyn as a teenager.
The duo formed Dynamic Soul with Wade Williamston.
The three teamed up with fellow musicians Maurice Price, Mickey Grudge, Sandy Billups and Jesse Ward.
Larry was performing at the outset of the group, drumming on the dancefloor evergreen’s ‘Movin’, ‘Changin’ and ‘Ha Cha Cha’ amongst others.
Brass Construction’s website stated that Larry had a varied taste in music, appreciating the likes of Billy Cobham, Buddy Rich and Led Zeppelin.
james jamerson jnr.
james (left) with david williams in chanson in 1979
b. James Lee Jamerson Jr., 1958, Detroit City, Michigan, U.S.A.
d. 24th March 2016, Detroit City, Michigan, U.S.A.
The son of James Jamerson, the Motown bassist and member of the group the Funk Brothers, James Jamerson Jnr., has died. James was 58.
The cause of death has not been determined, although James was known to have been unwell in recent years.
James was the father of Derrick Jamerson, and played in the Soul group, Chanson.
As a session musician he performed for the likes of the Originals, Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr., The Crusaders, Tavares, Herb Alpert, Bruce Springsteen, the 5th Dimension, Karen Pree, and Stargard.
In the late Seventies, James and David Williams, formed the group Chanson.
chanson - 1978 / together we stand - 1979
The group recorded two albums in 1978 (‘Chanson’) and 1979 (’Together we Stand’).
1978’s album featured the single ‘Don’t Hold Back’ (which featured the horn section from Earth, Wind & Fire, along with support from Boz Scaggs’ rhythm band).
In the Eighties, James worked with the likes of B.B. King, Bob Dylan, and Teena Marie.
James recently stood in for his father on a recent tour entitled ‘Standing in the Shadows of Motown LIVE!’ (a tenth anniversary tour for the famous film of the same name).
b. Malik Isaac Taylor (a.k.a. ‘Five Foot Assassin’), 20th November 1970, St. Albans, Queens, New York, U.S.A.
d. 22nd March 2016, New York, U.S.A.
The rapper with the group A Tribe Called Quest, Phife Dawg, has died, as a result of complications relating to diabetes. He was 45.
Phife formed the group A Tribe Called Quest in 1985, with his school classmate Q-Tip.
The group were originally known as simply ‘Quest’.
Unlike many of their contemporaries, the group had similarities with the rap ensembles De La Soul and The Jungle Brothers.
Signing with Geffen Records in 1989 (for a demo record), the group eventually landed at the Jive Records imprint, a year later.
The groups debut album was 1990’s ‘People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm’.
the low end theory - 1991
The album was followed, a year later, by ‘The Low End Theory’.
A Tribe Called Quest’s subject matter often involved political issues.
The albums ‘Midnight Marauders’ was released in 1993, ‘Beats, Rhymes and Life’ in 1996, and ‘The Love Movement’ in 1998.
Following the last release, the group disbanded.
Phife was diagnosed with diabetes in May 1990, and received a kidney transplant from his wife in 2008.
He was considered to be one of the most influential rappers in the history of the genre, influencing the likes of Kanye West, Jill Scott, The Roots and Common.
b. Arthur Lee Andrew Thompson, 2nd June 1936, Goldsboro Township, Wayne County, North Carolina, U.S.A.
d. 16th March 2016, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
The Doo-Wop and R&B singer, Lee Andrews has died. He was 79.
Lee was a founder member of the group Lee Andrews & the Hearts, and later became the lead singer in the R&B group, Congress Alley in the early Seventies.
He was also the son of Beachey Thompson of the Dixie Hummingbirds.
Lee Andrews & the Hearts were formed in 1953 in Philadelphia.
The group were managed by the late member of the group, the Silhouettes, Kae Williams, during 1957 and 1958.
Kae’s son went on to front the group Breakwater in the Seventies.
Lee Andrews & the Hearts hits included ‘Teardrops’, ‘Long Lonely Nights’ and ‘Try the Impossible’.
The ensemble consisted of Lee Andrews (lead), Roy Calhoun (first tenor), Thomas "Butch" Curry (second tenor), Ted Weems (baritone) and Wendell Calhoun (bass), releasing material on the on the Gotham, Rainbow, Mainline, Chess, United Artists, Grand and Gowen imprints.
Lee was the husband of the ex. Congress Alley vocalist Jacqui Andrews and was father of Ahmir '?uestlove' Thompson of the group The Roots.
lee andrews with his wife jacqui
Congress Alley released two singles and an album on Avco Embassy in 1973.
b. Daryl Lynn Coley, 30th October 1955, Berkeley, California, U.S.A.
d. 15th March 2016, Fayetteville, North Carolina, U.S.A.
The Gospel singer, Daryl Coley, has died. He was 60.
Daryl passed away on the 15th March 2016, whilst in hospice care surrounded by his family.
Since 1991, Daryl had struggled with juvenile diabetes, (becoming blind temporarily).
More recently he underwent weekly dialysis with only 17% functionality of his kidneys.
As a teenager, Daryl was a vocalist in the Helen Stephens And The Voices Of Christ.
He also sang with the Edwin Hawkins Singers.
Daryl later collaborated with James Cleveland, Tramaine Hawkins, Sylvester and Pete Escovedo.
He grew up in Oakland, California, being raised by his mother, who introduced him to various forms of music.
Following his time with the Helen Stephens And The Voices Of Christ, Daryl began performing with Edwin Hawkins in the Edwin Hawkins Singers.
He remained with the group from 1977 until 1983.
After working as musical director for Tramaine Hawkins, Daryl took an interest in secular music.
He began working with several artists including, Sylvester, Pete Escovedo, Nancy Wilson, Rodney Franklin, and Philip Bailey of Earth, Wind & Fire.
In 1986, Daryl released his solo debut album ‘Just Daryl’.
Further albums followed, including ‘I’ll Be With You’ (in 1988), ‘He's Right On Time: Live From Los Angeles’ (in 1990), ‘When The Music Stops’ (in 1992), ‘In My Dreams’ (in 1994) and ‘Christmas Is Here’ (in 1999).
b. Thomas A. Brown, 27th May 1931, Lumpkin, Georgia, U.S.A.
d. 12th March 2016, U.S.A.
The R&B singer, Tommy Brown, has died. Tommy was 84.
During his career, he was also known as Tommy ‘Weepin' and Cryin' Brown, and ‘Little Tommy Brown.
Born in Georgia, Tommy became a drummer in his early years.
Recording for the Regent imprint, he released ‘Atlanta Boogie’ in 1949.
He switched to the Dot imprint in the early Fifties and began a collaboration with the Griffin Brothers, Jimmy and Ernest Griffin, who hailed from Norfolk, Virginia.
The group recorded on the Margie Day hits, ‘Street Walkin' Daddy’ and ‘Little Red Rooster’.
Tommy sang on the R&B Top 10 hit ‘Tra-La-La’, credited to The Griffin Brothers Orchestra featuring Tommy Brown.
He served in the forces during the early Fifties, for a short time, after which he signed to the, Chicago based, United Records imprint.
Tommy performed with Bill Doggett, co-writing the song ’Honky Tonk’.
Tommy recorded and switched labels occasionally, (Regent, Dot, Savoy, United, Groove, Imperial Records), before performing on a cabaret style performing period (which included comedy, during the Sixties and Seventies).
In the latter format, Tommy released the albums, ‘I Ain't Lyin' and I Ain't Lyin' Vol. 2 in 1967.
1977 saw Tommy returning to Atlanta, and running the Landmark Personal Care Center.
He made a musical comeback in 2001, recording and performing at Blues festivals.
Tommy’s back catalogue has recently been reissued on CD.
b. Augustus R. Stevenson, 1928, U.S.A.
d. 10th March 2016, Holbrook, Suffolk County, New York, U.S.A.
The songwriter, Bobby Stevenson, as died. Bobby was 87.
Augustus wrote under the name of Bobby Stevenson during the Fifties.
He penned (or co-penned) songs for several artists, which featured, ‘Hey Little Girl’ (for Dee Clark), ‘So Many Ways’ (for Brook Benton), ‘I Don't Know’ (for Ruth Brown), ‘Please Say You're Fooling’ (for Ray Charles), ‘Start Movin' (In My Direction’ (for Sal Mineo, ‘After All We've Been Through’ (for Maxine Brown, and ‘Shake! Shake! Shake!’ (for Jackie Wilson).
He became songwriter of the year from Billboard Magazine in 1959.
Bobby was the husband of June A. Stevenson, and father of 4 sons and grandfather of 8.
b. Ernestine Irene Anderson, 11th November 1928, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
d. 10th March 2016, Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.
The Jazz singer, Ernestine Anderson, has died. Ernestine was 87.
She died peacefully, surrounded by her family, at home in Seattle.
Ernestine Anderson is a twin to her sister, Josephine.
The siblings were born, in Houston, Texas
As she grew as a vocalist, her godmother entered her in a local talent contest at the age of 12.
Here family relocated to Seattle, Washington in 1944.
Ernestine attended and graduated from Garfield High School there.
When she was eighteen, she joined the Johnny Otis band.
In the early Fifties, she toured with Lionel Hampton's orchestra.
She relocated to New York, appearing on Gigi Gryce's 1955 album ‘Nica's Tempo’.
Ernestine recorded her debut album, ‘Hot Cargo’, in Sweden, releasing the album Stateside on the Mercury Records imprint in 1958.
The following years, she divided her time, touring in the States and Europe.
Following an appearance at the 1976 Concord Jazz Festival, she signed with the label, releasing 20 albums for the imprint.
Ernestine has appeared at the Monterey Jazz Festival regularly, in 1959, 1982, 1984, 1987, 1990 and 2007.
In 1993, she switched labels from Concord, signing to Quincy Jones’ imprint, Qwest.
At the label, she released the albums ‘Now and Then’ (in 1993), and ‘Blues, Dues & Love News’ (in 1996).
At the end of the millennium, Ernestine had signed to the Koch International label.
b. George Henry Martin, 3rd January 1926, Highbury, London, England
d. 8th March 2016 (aged 90), London, England
The producer of all of the Beatles hit singles, George Martin, has died. George was 90.
george and quincy
Quincy Jones posted on Twitter:
‘RIP to my musical brother George Martin. We were friends since 1964, & I am so thankful 4 that gift. Bless u & your precious posse 4ever’.
George Martin was a carpenter’s son from Holloway in London.
Without doubt, George was the ‘sound’ of the Fab Four, honing every track to the feel he was looking for, without ripping out, the heart of the song, and in the early days, that 'heart' was a very Soulful one.
The Beatles early recordings owed a great debt to R&B, showcased by their various songs from that era.
Roll Over Beethoven (Chuck Berry)
Long Tall Sally (Little Richard)
Dizzy Miss Lizzy (Larry Williams)
Boys (The Shirelles)
Money (That's What I Want) (Barrett Strong)
Twist And Shout (The Isley Brothers/Top Notes)
Chains (The Cookies)
Matchbox (Carl Perkins)
Anna (Go To Him) (Arthur Alexander)
Please Mr Postman (The Marvelettes)
You Really Got A Hold On Me (The Miracles)
Devil In His Heart (The Donays)
Honey Don't (Carl Perkins)
Rock And Roll Music (Chuck Berry)
Bad Boy (Larry Williams)
Some Other Guy (Richie Barrett)
Baby It's You (The Shirelles)
Watch Your Step (Bobby Parker)
When the Beatles went their separate ways, George took the soft rock/blue eyed soul group America under his production wing in 1974.
The album ‘Holiday’ featured the song ‘Tin Man’, a track later covered by the Soul singer, John Edwards.
George went on to produce the group up until 1979.
George Martin produced many Soul Jazz and soft rock artists, including, Jimmy Webb, Billy Preston, Humphrey Lyttelton And His Band, Stevie Wonder, Oleta Adams and Burt Bacharach.
we can work it out - maxine brown
The 2011 Ace Records compilation ‘Come Together: Black America Sings Lennon & McCartney’ is a fine example of the marriage of the Fab Four and Black Music.
Sir George Martin’s contribution to music is immeasurable.
b. Gavin Christopher Wright, 1st May 1949, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
d. 4th March 2016, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
The singer and songwriter, Gavin Christopher, has died. He was 66.
His cousin, Tinonda Bradshaw, said:
‘My beloved Uncle Gavin Christopher passed away today from conjestive heart failure’.
During his career, Gavin worked with Rufus and Chaka Khan during the mid-70's.
He penned 'Life Is A Dance' for Chaka who wrote the sleeve notes to his debut album, 'Gavin Christopher' for Island Records in 1976.
In 1979, he released a second album entitled 'Gavin Christopher' for the RSO label (via Polydor).
Taken from that album, 'We're In Love' was produced by Philadelphia man, Bobby Eli.
'One Step Closer' followed in 1986, including 'In The Heat Of Passion', with the album 'Gavin' following on 2 years later.
Other artists benefited from Gavin's songwriting skills including, Charles Jackson (the song 'Gonna Getcha Love') and Cuba Gooding ('Got The Hots').
He has, also, been the featured vocalist on recordings for Herbie Hancock ('Magic Windows' and 'Monster', including 'Stars In Your Eyes'), Jeff Lorber (on 'Best Part Of The Night') and Tyzik (on 'Love Won't Wait').
His sister is the singer, Shawn Christopher.
b. Clarence Lewis (a.k.a. Little Junior Lewis, Junior Lewis), 20th August 1934, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A.
d. 26th February 2016, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A.
The artist, C.L. Blast has died. He was 81.
Clarence will, probably, be best remembered for his deep Soul tune ‘Lay Another Log On The Fire’.
Born in in Birmingham, Alabama, Clarence graduated from Parker High School in 1954.
That year, he recorded for Bobby Robinson's Red Robin label in New York, under the name of Clarence 'Junior' Lewis.
In 1955, he was drafted into the Army and toured military bases for two years, entertaining troops.
When he left the Army, he returned to New York and recorded ‘Cupid's Little Helper’ for Fury Records in 1960.
He recorded two debut singles as ‘Little Junior Lewis’ that year.
Clarence then signed with Columbia Records in 1961 and recorded four singles under the name of ‘Junior Lewis’ between 1961 and 1963.
In the 1960’s he also performed with the Birmingham musician, Erskine Hawkins and his band, at the Minton Playhouse in Harlem.
In 1964, he relocated back to Birmingham and opened a lounge and record store in North Birmingham called ‘The Players Lounge and One-Stop Record Shop’.
Clarence then went on to record under the name ‘C.L. Blast’ from 1967 onwards.
He signed to Atlantic Records, releasing ‘I’ll Take The Case’ b/w ‘If I Could See My Baby's Face Again’ in 1969.
In 1971 he released ‘What Can I Do (When My Thrill Is Gone)’, for the United Records imprint.
Between 1976 and 1984, Clarence worked with the singer Frederick Knight.
In 1980, C.L. Blast released a debut album under that name entitled, ‘Lay Another Log on the Fire’ for the Atlantic Cotillion Records imprint.
Success of the album led to a tour in South Africa, where he toured for several months.
Clarence settled in Birmingham, and sang gospel in local churches.
b. George William Pearson, 27th July 1935, United Kingdom.
d. 24th February 2016, Royal London Hospital, London, United Kingdom.
George Pearson (co-owner of the Jifs Records store in Chadwell Heath) has died. He was 80.
george with his son, tony
He passed away at the Royal London with his partner, Lyn, his son Tony, Gaynor, and his grand children.
George sold soul records for many years from Chadwell Heath, following a period retailing records from a Petrol station in Harold Wood in Essex.
It was through his Soul music store, Jifs Records, where he saw his greatest success, retailing Black Music during the Eighties.
The store was situated at: Jifs Records, 244 High Road, Chadwell Heath, RM6 6AP, and used the catchphrase ‘The One Stop Funk Shop’.
Jifs was frequented by celebrities and the public alike.
Included in their regular customers were, boxer, Frank Bruno and, snooker champion, Steve Davis.
Music producer, Mark Summers, visited Jifs from time to time.
Mark worked with several artists, including Pitbull, Fatboy Slim, and Bob Sinclair.
George went on to appear on Solar Radio, on a couple of occasions, and was a good friend of the stations owner, Tony Monson.
George and his wife Lyn relocated to Southend a few years ago.
b. Denise Katrina Matthews (a.k.a. Denise Matthews–Smith, D.D. Winters), 4th January 1959, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada.
d. 15th February 2016, Fremont, California, U.S.A.
Denise Katrina Matthews, the lead singer of the female vocal trio, Vanity 6, has died. Denise was 57.
She was suffering from kidney disease, and died in a Fremont hospital in California.
Between 1981 and 1983, Vanity 6 achieved several hits, including the 1982 R&B hit ‘Nasty Girl’.
She also had a parallel career in films, including ‘The Last Dragon’, and ‘Action Jackson’.
In 1980, Prince renamed her Vanity and asked her to become the lead singer of the group Vanity 6.
‘Nasty Girl’ was produced by Prince, who took the group on his 1999 Tour.
The group later signed with Motown Records in 1984 and recorded two solo albums, namely ‘Wild Animal’ and ‘Skin on Skin’.
Later she signed with Geffen Records.
Sadly, the results of substance abuse led to serious kidney problems, which, in turn, led to her having to undergo dialysis five times a day.
b. Obrey Dean Wilson, 27th February 1942, Montgomery County, Maryland, U.S.A.
d. 6th February 2016, Clarksville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
The R&B singer, Obrey Wilson, has died. He was 73.
Obrey was signed to various imprints, including Liberty, Epic, and Jed Records between the years 1961 until 1982.
He released several sides which included ‘Whipping Boy’ b/w ‘That's Where Lonesome Lives’ (in 1961), ‘A Little Bit of Heart Ache’ (in 1964), ‘Sho Nuff You Can’ (in 1973), ‘Hey There Mountain’ (in 1962), ‘In a Woman's Eyes’ (in 1965) and ‘Laid Back and Easy’ (in 1972).
many thanks to Charles Hunt for the notification
b. Maurice White (a.k.a. Reese), 19th December 1941, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
d. 3rd February 2016, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The founder member of the group Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice White, has died. Maurice was 74.
Maurice died in his sleep from the effects of Parkinson's disease at his home in Los Angeles, California.
Maurice was Earth, Wind & Fire’s main songwriter and record producer, retaining executive control of the band.
He won seven Grammys, and was nominated for 21 overall.
As a member of Earth, Wind & Fire, Maurice was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1941, relocating to Chicago and working as a session drummer for Chess Records.
Maurice performed with many of the artists at the imprint, including Etta James, Ramsey Lewis, Sonny Stitt, Muddy Waters, The Impressions, The Dells, Betty Everett, Sugar Pie DeSanto and Buddy Guy.
He was the drummer on the Fontella Bass evergreen ‘Rescue Me’ and the Billy Stewart classic ‘Summertime’.
He later joined the Ramsey Lewis Trio, playing on the classic song ’Wade in the Water’ in 1966.
Maurice formed The Salty Peppers, who were later to become Earth, Wind & Fire.
The group went on to win six Grammy Awards and were awarded a star on the Hollywood Boulevard Walk of Fame.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease in the late 1980s, although he appeared on stage with Earth, Wind & Fire after his retirement from touring.
Maurice collaborated with several major artists including,The Emotions, Deniece Williams, Minnie Riperton, Ramsey Lewis, Jennifer Holliday, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, The Urban Knights, Paulinho Da Costa, Larry Dunn, Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham, Ledisi, Musiq Soulchild, Maceo Parker and Gerald Albright.
b. Yvonne Lowrene Wright, a.k.a. Yvonne Lowrene Wright-Willis, 31st October 1951, Harlem, New York City, U.S.A.
d. 26th January 2016, Dallas, Texas, U.S.A.
Yvonne Lowrene Wright, the first wife of Stevie Wonder, has died. Yvonne was 65.
She had been suffering from cancer, and passed away last week.
The Jazz musician, Bobbi Humphrey, confirmed her passing.
Yvonne was an accomplished songwriter and lyricist.
She was nominated for a Grammy, as a result of her songwriting collaborations with Stevie Wonder.
Together, Stevie and Yvonne penned the songs ‘Girl Blue’, ‘Evil’, ‘I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)’, ‘You’ve Got It Bad Girl’, ‘Black Orchid’ and ‘They Won’t Go When I Go’.
The duo also penned ‘Take A Little Trip’ for the late Minnie Riperton, and Yvonne sang background vocals on Minnie’s song ‘Edge Of A Dream’.
Yvonne was also a background vocalist for the group The Invisible Man’s Band, on their debut album release of the same name in 1980.
These songs have been covered by several other artists, including Hugh Montenegro, Frampton’s Camel, Quincy Jones, Josh, Groban, Mario Biondi, Michael McDonald, Lou Rawls, Reuben Howell, Toots Thielmans, Art Garfunkel, Herbie Hancock, George Michael, Richard Groove Holmes and Ivan Boogaloo Jones.
Contrary to many reports, on several websites, Yvonne was not the sister of Syreeta Wright. They just shared the same surname.
many thanks to bobbi humphrey for her help with this information
b. Thomas Joshua Tindall, 1950, Trenton, New Jersey, U.S.A.
d. 26th January 2016, New Hope, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
An integral part of the M.F.S.B./Philadelphia sound of the Seventies, T.J. Tindall, has died. T.J. was 65.
He had been suffering from cancer. His family removed him from life support on the 26th of January.
T.J. had been keeping his medical problems hidden from his friends and fellow musicians.
T.J. was a member of Salsoul Orchestra and MFSB, the house band for Philadelphia International Records.
His guitar playing can be heard on ‘Enjoy Yourself’ by the Jacksons, 'Backstabbers' by the O'Jays', ‘Drowning In The Sea Of Love’ by Joe Simon, ‘He’s A Friend’ by Eddie Kendricks,'You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine' by Lou Rawls, ‘Ten Percent’ by Double Exposure, ‘Was That All It Was’ by Jean Carn, and ‘Disco Inferno’ by the Trammps.
He has two stars on Philadelphia's Walk of Fame.
Born in Trenton, his early work came with the group, Duke Williams and the Extremes.
T.J. was an original member of The Galaxies IV, and played with the Chambers Brothers.
He also played in the psychedelic rock with the Thomas A. Edison Electric Band at the start of the Seventies.
T.J. took a hiatus from music, running a lighting company in Princeton founded by his father during the Eighties.
In 2012, he returned the studio by David Uosikkinen to record for on a project called ‘In the Pocket’.
In 2013, he was inducted into the Philadelphia Music Alliance Walk of Fame as a member of MFSB and the Salsoul Orchestra.
David Uosikkinen requested he return to record with the group next week to re-record a version of the O'Jays ‘Back Stabbers’.
b. Clarence Henry Reid, 14th February 1939, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
d. 17th January 2016, Lauderdale Lakes (Miami), Florida, U.S.A.
Clarence Reid has passed away. He Was 76.
Blowfly drummer 'Uncle' Tom Bowker announced in a statement on the Blowfly Facebook page that Clarence was suffering from terminal liver cancer and had been admitted to a hospice facility in Florida.
He also recorded under the name Blowfly.
b. David Robert Jones, 8th January 1947, Brixton, London, United Kingdom
d. 10th January 2016, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
With most societies in the world, when a part of that culture dies, the society becomes diminished. The ‘glue’ which inspired those societies is no longer there, and what we are left with, doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.
I saw David Bowie perform in Earls court in 1978. He was with Carlos Alomar, on his European ‘Heroes’ tour. By that time, he was being swept along behind a ’new wave tsunami’, a new wave he unwittingly had set in motion a few years earlier. ‘Heroes’ had a feel of consolidation, following years of huge transformations, finally realised in his ‘Station To Station’ era, when, truth be told, his excesses had become too much for the man. Perhaps he was in need of rehabilitation. Taking a back seat, if you like. Yes, I think he was doing all of that.
The earlier albums, certainly from the ‘Ziggy Stardust’ era, were only partially about music. When you talk about David Bowie at this time, he was exploring and influencing fashion, art, breaking things apart and reconstructing things, some of which worked, and some did not. Some of Stevie Wonder’s most media-criticised albums, were created by testing bounadries, and eventually seen as his greatest, with the passing of time. Music critics did not know what to do with them, so they panned them. None more so than ‘Innervisions’. You should have read the reviews in some of the papers at the time. Disgusting and heartless, all told.
David was interested in bringing down the established, and reconstructing something or other, whether it would come to anything, or not, that did not matter. One man’s vandalism is another man’s ’new beginning’. He generated the fashions that inspired all area’s of music, whether it was Punk Rock, or LaBelle, Funkadelic or Parliament. Even the person in the street, looked like a version of this singer. Might even have been ourselves! He just showed a way forward, for those who looked for something different in self expression. It was this aspect which is probably why he was unconditionally embraced by a new wave, hell bent on it’s own version of destruction at the time. Truth be told, he was loved in equal measures by male and female.
‘Young Americans’ I found fascinating, as the glam rock and roller became involved with the singers I had grown to love. He worked in Philly, recorded with Lennon and Luther Vandross, and influenced James Brown, who sampled ‘Fame’ heavily on the single ‘Hot’. This era influenced Black music to the point that Bowie’s material would sit comfortably on the Soul Music shelves, as well as within the Rock section in your local store, in the years that followed.
Only last Friday, I went to a Record Store in Kingston (with my good friend Nick Power), and chatted with the younger members of the staff about David Bowie and his new album. The guys put the record on the deck and spoke about the man’s influences on themselves, and the music they had listened to by the singer in recent years. Says a lot about David Bowie, that a 69 year old man can influence those nearly 50 years his junior. This is the legacy of David Bowie. The young are not fooled by what passes as popular music these days. Bowie taught people to question the so called ‘corporate educators’. Look for, and demand, something more.
A huge cultural hole has just opened, and many folks will feel the passing of this singer very personally, and will articulate just that. They are entitled to feel that way. You are entitled to feel that way. This singer has been in our lives for 50 years. Not something anyone can ignore. He influenced the music we listened to, the clothes we wore, the hairstyles we adopted, and, in time, he influenced our children.
The void Bowie leaves will be filled by his own artistic creations, as his legacy will still influence those that follow from this time forward. Where will this man’s death stand in the passing of historical time? Well, Lennon was influential musically, Elvis influential iconically and Michael Jackson as a dancer and all round entertainer. You pays your money, you takes your choice. Whatever your conclusions, we have all just received a huge cultural blow to the solar plexus. I think he is, within the music of the pop era, the most important artist we have witnessed. Do not mistake ‘outrageous’ for ‘inspirational’. Many of todays performers are very much the former. The latter takes style, charisma and the ability to write a good song. David Bowie is the archetypal irreplaceable element in music, so we will have to wait for the next bus to come along (and that could be quite a while).
Although most of the shelves here are packed full of albums by Black artists, the Thin White Duke has a sizeable section here, bought as the singer metamorphasised every couple of years. 11th January 2016. Not the greatest of days.
can you hear me? - from 'young americans' 1975
silly boy blue - from 'david bowie' 1967
who can i be now? - from 'young americans' 1975 (sessions track)
david bowie criticising mtv for lack of black artists on their station in 1983
b. Otis Clay, 11th February 1942, Waxhaw, Bolivar County, Mississippi, U.S.A.
d. 8th January 2016, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
The R&B singer, Otis Clay, has died. Otis was aged 73.
He passed away on the 8th of January from a heart attack.
Otis was born in Bolivar County, Mississippi.
His family relocated to Muncie, Indiana in 1953.
Otis sang with the gospel group, the Voices of Hope, later, relocating back to Mississippi, to join the group the Christian Travelers.
Otis moved on to Chicago in 1957, where he joined, initially, the Golden Jubilaires, before joining the groups, the Famous Blue Jay Singers, the Holy Wonders, and the Pilgrim Harmonizers.
He began a secular solo career in 1962.
Otis recorded some unreleased songs before joining the Gospel Songbirds in Nashville in 1964.
He went on to record for several imprints, including Elka and Rounder and Echo Records.
It was at Echo where he recorded the original version of ‘The Only Way is Up’ in 1980.
In 1965, Otis signed with One-derful! Records in Chicago.
Otis recorded his first hit in 1967, in the shape of ‘That's How It Is (When You're In Love)’, (number 34 on the R&B chart).
The follow up single also charted, entitled ‘A Lasting Love’ (number 48 R&B).
In 1968 the record company folded, which, as a result, took Otis to Atlantic Records.
Atlantic’s subsidiary Cotillion label released his version of the Sir Douglas Quintet hit, ‘She's About A Mover’.
The single reached number 97 on the Hot 100 (number 47 R&B).
Cotillion went on to release further Otis sides, including ‘Hard Working Woman’ and ‘Is It Over?’.
Otis switched labels to Hi Records in 1971, releasing, in 1972, ‘Trying To Live My Life Without You’, (number 24 R&B).
Follow up singles included ‘If I Could Reach Out’, along with an album entitled ‘I Can’t Take It’.
Otis moved on to Kayvette Records, releasing the single ‘All Because Of Your Love’ (number 44 R&B) in 1977.
In the 1990s he recorded two albums for the Bullseye Blues imprint, namely, ‘I’ll Treat You Right’ and ‘This Time Around’.
In 2007, he recorded the gospel album ‘Walk a Mile in My Shoes’.
In 2013, Otis was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame.
Visitation Friday Jan 15th 4pm-10pm
Leak & Sons Funeral Chapel
7838 South Cottage Grove Av
Chicago, IL 60619
Family Fellowship Hour 10:00 am -11:00am
Celebration of Life - Home Going Celebration11:00am - Noon
Liberty Baptist Church
4849 King Dr
Oak Woods Cemetery
1035 E 67th St, Chicago, IL 60637
b. Nicholas Caldwell, 5th April 1944, Loma Linda, California, U.S.A.
d. 5th January 2016, Stockton, San Joaquin County, California, U.S.A.
Founding member of The Whispers, Nicholas ‘Nick’ Caldwell, has died. Nick was 71.
He passed away from congestive heart failure at his home in Stockton, California.
Nick had been suffering from heart issues for a while.
More recently, he had been utilising a stool during performances.
He had been attended to by the cardiology team at Stanford University Hospital in California.
...in 2015...those we fondly remember...
b. Natalie Maria Cole, 6th February 1950, Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
d. 31st December 2015, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Daughter of Nat King Cole, cousin of Eddie Cole, niece of Freddy Cole.
Natalie died of congestive heart failure on the 31st of December 2015 at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
Funeral service is set for Monday, January 11th at 11:00 a.m. at West Angeles Cathedral, 3600 Crenshaw Blvd, LA.
ron ford (parliament/funkadelic/p-funk allstars)
b. Ronald Ford, 1948, U.S.A.
d. 28th December 2015, U.S.A.
Ron Ford, (a.k.a. the 'Prophet') of Parliament, Funkadelic and the group the P-Funk Allstars, has died. Ron was 67.
He passed away on the 28th of December, his family members announced on social media.
Ron co-wrote and sang on several P-Funk songs, including 'Pumping It Up', which was sampled by the Beastie Boys and Beyonce, and on the group Marrs dancer 'Pump Up The Volume'.