b. 10th August 1940, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
d. 6th November 2003, Kalamazoo, Western Michigan, U.S.A.
Righteous Brother, Bobby Hatfield, died on the 6th of November 2003 at 63 years of age.
Bobby, who with partner Bill Medley, pioneered 'Blue-Eyed Soul' as the Righteous Brothers with such hits as 'Unchained Melody' and 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'.
He died of undetermined causes at a hotel in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was 63.
Bobby's body was discovered in his bed half-an-hour before he and Bill were to perform at Miller Auditorium on the Western Michigan University campus.
Manager David Cohen said. 'It's a shock, a real shock'.
The duo's title implied that they were actually brothers, however, they were unrelated.
They met in 1962 at California's Black Derby club, a place that was frequented mainly by Black folks, who gave the pair a musical 'vote of confidence'.
The pair performed with the local groups the Paramours and the Variations and even kept the Paramours name for their first single.
It was in 1963 that the duo performed under the new title of 'the Righteous Brothers'.
They achieved national fame in 1964 following several appearances on U.S. television's highly popular 'Shindig'.
They were later to be signed by the legendary producer Phil Spector, leading to 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin' becoming a huge hit all around the World.
The Righteous Brothers then left Spector's wing in 1966, and were awarded a gold disc for '(You're My) Soul And Inspiration'.
They went their seperate ways in 1968, with Bobby retaining the name with new partner Jimmy Walker.
The pair then went their seperate ways and Bobby and Bill became an item again.
They scored a U.S. Top 3 hit in 1974 with 'Rock'n' Roll Heaven', ironically, a song that was a testament to passed Rock Stars.
Bobby Hatfield will be sadly missed.
b. 1st March 1932, St. Louis, Missourri, U.S.A.
d. 28th October 2003, St. Louis, Missourri, U.S.A.
Oliver Sain passed away on the 28th of October in St. Louis County from bone cancer that had followed on from a previous bladder cancer he developed in 1995. He was 71.
Born in St. Louis, Oliver was, mainly, remembered for his fine sax playing, however he was an accomplished songwriter, bandleader, drummer and a highly regarded producer.
He was raised in Dundee, Mississippi, where he developed his skills as a saxophone player.
Oliver relocated back to St. Louis in 1959, later to set up a recording studio in 1966 called the Archway Studio.
His many musical achievements included discovering Bobby McClure and Fontella Bass.
He was also credited with launching the career of Little Milton, who became a vocalist in Oliver's band.
His first recordings were made in 1962 for the Bobbin imprint and featured Fontella and Little Milton in the group.
Oliver worked with many diverse artists, ranging from Puff Diddy to Loretta Lynn.
During the 1970's he became popular on the dancefloor with hits such as 'Bus Stop', 'Booty Bumpin', 'Party Hearty' and 'Feel Like Dancing'.
He struck a chord with fusion fans with his 1981 album entitled 'So Good (In The Morning)', an album that contained the popular melody 'Cruisin On Sunset'.
Oliver performed, live, right up until his passing according to his wife.
Edward Benjamin Townsend
b. 16th April 1929, Fayetteville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
d. 13th August 2003, San Bernardino, California, U.S.A.
Ed Townsend was born in 1929, Fayetteville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
He sadly, passed away on the 13th August 2003 from a heart attack. He was 74.
Here is a personal tribute by the artist Elaine Stepter. Elaine knew Ed:
'I believe it was the summer of 86 when I first met Ed.
As an aspiring artist, I was in New York, just got a deal with an independent label call 1800 records. The company offices were located between 56 and 57th street on Broadway.
I was told that those offices was formerly the home of Delight Records and Ed, along with Jeff lane, André Harrell, The Aleems and a host of others would come by the studio on a daily basis, anyway to make a long story short, Ed heard me singing one day and came into the room I was in and just stood there.
He knew the producer I was working with who was Hence Powell. He spoke and I remember the look on his face, he seemed to be so please with what he heard, he just looked and smiled. Later he introduced himself to me and told me some very encouraging things, that I cherish to this day.
I was in new york all by myself and there were some very difficult times in between waiting for the finalization of my deal. Ed looked out for me. For about a year straight, he made sure I had money in my pocket and that I ate very well at least once a day.
He really didn't know me, but he knew where I was in my life at that the time, and did all be could to keep my mind together until things were final, constantly telling me that he believed in me and wanted me to know that there was some one there who really knew what I had.
The last time I saw Ed was a few years ago at a music convention here in Los Angeles. When he saw me, with that same expression he had on his face the first time I met him, he stretched out his arms and just embraced me and said 'hey lady, It's so good to see you', and it was such an emotional moment for me.
That was the last time I saw my friend. I'm truly gonna miss him. Deep in my heart, I know he was angel, that was sent to watch over me.
He showed love that was unconditional. Just think of what the world would be like with a few more people with this kind of spirit.. I love you Ed. R.I.P. and Thank you.
Love, Elaine Stepter'
...and from Ed's wife:
'Ed and I, Cherrigale, were married in 1954 and divorced in 1971. We had two sons, David Townsend and Michael Townsend. (David Townsend was a member of SURFACE, and David died October 27, 2005). Ed also had a daughter, Kathryn Griffin, and was never married to her mother. Ed and Janice Carbonnaire were living together at the time of Ed's death but they were never married and had no children together.'
Cherrigale wanted to clear up a few issues regarding her late husband.
Quinn Golden (a.k.a. Queintin Lynn Golden)
b. 25th October 1954, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
d. 28th July 2003, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Quinn Golden died from a heart attack on the 28th July 2003 in a hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 48 years old.
Quinn Golden hailed from Memphis in Tennessee.
Son of Thomas and Bernice Glover-Golden, Quinn came to prominence, in the U.K., in 1990 via two 12" singles entitled 'I Can't Live Without You' and 'If You Don't Love Me'.
A subsequent album followed entitled 'I Am Serious About Your Love' for the Traction Records label, based in Jackson, Mississippi.
Originally, Quinn sang with the Elements of Love as a teenager.
In his early days he toured with several Stax Records artists, opening, on occasions, for the Barkays.
Quinn was an accomplished bass player who worked for Al Green and played for the group White Heat.
The group were later to become the band Switch, who, in turn, were, originally, produced by Jermaine Jackson.
Quinn had worked alongside many soul artists along with several rock performers including Bob Dylan and members of the Rolling Stones.
He stated 'Music is the only way to go in life. So live an exciting life'.
Skip Scarborough (a.k.a Clarence Alexander Scarborough)
b. 26th November 1944, (Unknown location), U.S.A.
d. 3rd July 2003, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
Skip Scarborough died in Los Angeles from cancer on the 3rd of July 2003.
Skip was a real unsung hero of soul music, taking a background role as a producer, arranger and songwriter on many a record that will grace the shelves of your soul music collection.
Listing his output is an almost impossible task as Skip's work was so prolific.
Saddened me that there are few references to his genius on the Internet, let alone an image of the man.
Skip was married to Alton McClain of Alton McClain and Destiny and has the habit of appearing on just about every album that I dig out from the shelves here.
A friend of mine asked me if I could recommend a few tunes by Wilton Felder that a record company might utilise for a compilation that they were putting together. I took out the album 'Gentle Fire' and, lo and behold, there was Skip's name on the writing credits on 'Driftin' On A Dream'.
Here are some other credits to his marvellous portfolio. A real genius in all senses of the word.
'Love Ballad'-LTD, ConFunkShun's 'Ffun,' 'Can't Hide Love'-Earth, Wind & Fire / Creative Source, 'Love's Holiday'-Earth Wind and Fire, 'Don't Ask My Neighbours'-The Emotions, 'Love Changes'- Mother Finest, 'The Answer Is You'- Phyllis Hyman / Marc Radice, 'Giving You the Best That I've Got'-Anita Baker, 'Lover to Lover'-Bobbi Humphrey and 'Music Is My Way of Life', 'It's Alright With Me', 'Come What May', 'Love and Learn'-Patti Labelle.
b. 12th September 1944, Galveston, Texas, U.S.A.
d. 4th July 2003, Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
Barry White has died.
Barry had suffered kidney failure following years of high blood pressure.
He passed away at the Cedars-Sinai Medical Centre in Los Angeles at around 9.30 a.m. local time, according to his manager Ned Shankman.
He was 58.
Barry was born as Barry Eugene Carter, in Galveston, Texas, but raised in Los Angeles.
He was involved in the local music community while still very young, playing piano on Jesse Belvin's hit 'Goodnight my Love' at the age of 11.
Barry recorded his first record when he was 16 with a group called the Upfronts.
The song was called 'Little Girl' on a local L.A. label called Lummtone Records.
Barry made several records during the early 60's, under his own name, as 'Barry Lee', and as a member of the Atlantics, the Majestics as well as the Upfronts.
Following on Barry worked for various independent labels around Los Angeles.
He was also a producer and road manager for Bob and Earl.
Barry took an A & R position with Bob Keene, the man who first recorded Sam Cooke.
He was hired for 40 dollars a week to do A.&.R for Keene's other labels, Mustang and Bronco.
Barry recorded a record for Bronco called 'All in the Run of a Day.'
One of the first groups he worked with was the Versatiles who later became the 5th Dimension.
Barry found a greater success as a backroom figure, guiding the careers of, among others, Felice Taylor, recording 'It May Be Winter Outside,' 'I'm Under the Influence of Love,' and 'I Feel Love Coming On', and Viola Wills ('Lost Without the Love of My Guy', Top 20 R & B).
In 1969, he put together Love Unlimited, a female vocal trio made up of Diana Taylor, Glodean James (his future wife) and her sister Linda.
He also founded the Love Unlimited Orchestra, a 40-piece ensemble to accompany himself and the singing trio, for which he conducted, composed and arranged.
Love Unlimited's success, in 1972, with 'Walkin' In The Rain With The One I Love', featuring his voice on the telephone, rejuvenated Barry's own career.
The hits followed including 'I'm Gonna Love You Just A Little More', 'Never, Never Gonna Give You Up' (both 1973), 'Can't Get Enough Of Your Love, Babe' and 'You're The First, The Last, My Everything' (both 1974) all of which proved popular in the U.K. and the U.S.A. alike.
Barry had a major hit in 1978 with Billy Joel's song 'Just The Way You Are'.
He later undertook several recordings with Glodean White before returning to the U.K. Top 20 in 1987 with 'Sho' You Right'.
Barry's achievements during the peak of his career, in securing gold and platinum discs for worldwide sales is impressive.
In 1990, he was a featured vocalist on the Quincy Jones project 'Back On The Block' , contributing to the song 'The Secret Garden'.
Lisa Stansfield has often voiced her approval of Barry's work and in 1992, she and he re-recorded a version of Stansfield's hit 'All Around The World'.
In 1999, Barry returned with 'Staying Power' containing the popular 'Which Way Is Up'.
He, also, took a cameo role in the television series Ally McBeal, where his recordings were pivotal to many of the series storylines.
Barry's godson is the singer and songwriter Chuckii Booker.
In 2002, Barry was admitted into hospital and underwent kidney dialysis following kidney failure after suffering years of high blood pressure.
Barry had suffered two strokes, the latest of which occurred in May 2003.
His contribution to soul music has been immeasurable.
Very, very sad news indeed.
I would like to thank Chuckii Booker for the information regarding Barry's birthname. Chuckii is Barry's Godson.
Herbie Mann (Herbert Jay Solomon)
b. 16th April 1930, Brooklyn, New York, U.S.A.
d. 1st July 2003, Pecos, New Mexico, U.S.A.
Flautist Herbie Mann has died from prostate cancer at the age of 73.
He died in his sleep at his home in Pecos, New Mexico, with his wife, Susan Janeal Arison, and three of his four children by his side.
In 1997, Herbie was, initially, diagnosed with inoperable prostate cancer.
He had received radiation and chemotherapy treatments and formed a non-profit foundation called Herbie Mann's Prostate Cancer Awareness Music Foundation that used performances and recordings to help spread the word.
Herbie Mann began his career on the clarinet when he was nine but was soon also playing flute and tenor.
After a period in the Army, he joined Mat Mathews's Quintet (in 1953-54).
During 1954-58, Herbie collaborated with Phil Woods, Buddy Collette, Sam Most, Bobby Jaspar and Charlie Rouse.
Herbie was one of the few jazz musicians in the 1950's who recorded on bass clarinet.
He also recorded in 1957 a full album (for Savoy) of unaccompanied flute.
After spending time playing and writing music for television, in 1959 Herbie formed his Afro-Jazz Sextet.
He toured Africa (in 1960) and Brazil (in 1961), had a hit with 'Comin' Home Baby' and recorded with Bill Evans.
At the 1972 Newport Festival his sextet included David Newman and Sonny Sharrock.
During the 70's, Herbie became involved in rock, pop, reggae and even recorded disco albums, including the album 'Waterbed' on Atlantic in 1975, the title track becoming a big club tune.
Herbie recorded for Chesky, cut a record with Dave Valentin and in the 1990's and founded the Kokopelli label.
Brandi Wells a.k.a Marguerite J. Pinder Bannister
b. 13th May 1955, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
d. 25th March 2003, Chester, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Brandi Wells died in Chester, Pennsylvania, on the 25th March 2003.
She first appeared professionally in the group Twilight while still at school.
In 1972, she left to join Major Harris's backing singers Brown Sugar.
A year later she formed Breeze, who backed acts such as Billy Paul, Fat Larry and Philly Cream (a.k.a. Ingram), as well as recording in their own right on the WMOT label.
Breeze then evolved into Slick who had a UK Top 20 hit 'Space Bass' in 1979 and then hit with 'Sexy Cream' shortly afterwards.
Brandi joined WM0T as a soloist in 1981 and with an all-star line-up of musicians that included Thom Bell, Dexter Wansel, Nick Martinelli and Michael Pedicin Jnr., recorded her debut 'Watch Out'.
She made the US R & B charts with 'When It's Love' in 1981 and the album's title track became her biggest hit, making the R & B Top 40 and the bottom of the UK charts.
'I Hate To See You Go' also received airplay on the more discerning soul music radio stations.
A second album '21st Century Fox' was released on the Omni label in 1985.
Funeral services were held on Friday 4th April, 2003 at 12 noon at the First Pentecostal Holy Church, 324 Pusey Street in Chester, Pennsylvania.
Nina Simone a.k.a. Eunice Kathleen Waymon
b. 21st February 1933, Tyron, North Carolina, U.S.A.
d. 21st April 2003, France
Nina Simone died on the 21st of April 2003, after a long illness at her home in Southern France. She was 70.
Nina was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina, in 1933, one of eight children.
She sang in church from infancy and began playing the piano at the age of two.
Nina studied at the Juilliard Conservatory in New York where she intended to pursue a career as a concert pianist, however, the need to earn a living led her to becoming a night-club accompanist.
Before long, she was an attraction in her own right.
A concert at New York's town hall in 1959 when she secured a hit with an her individual interpretation of George Gershwin's 'I Loves You Porgy'.
Her 1960's work included 'Gin House Blues', 'Forbidden Fruit' and 'I Put A Spell On You', while another of her singles, 'Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood', was later covered by the Animals.
The singer's popular fortune gained following upon her signing with RCA.
'Ain't Got No, I Got Life', a song featured in the musical 'Hair', became a U.K. number 2, while her version of the Bee Gees', 'To Love Somebody' reached number 5 in the charts.
Nina's involvement with the civil rights movement provided the material for many of her songs such as 'Mississippi Goddam', 'Backlash Blues', 'Four Women', and 'To be 'Young, Gifted and Black'.
The song became an anthem of the movement and was dedicated to her late friend, the playwright Lorraine Harisberry.
Many of the civil rights activists she became friends with included the Black Muslim leader, Louis Farrakhan, the singer, Miriam Makeba, the Black Panther activist, Stokely Carmichael, and the writer, James Baldwin.
Nina's appearances were increasingly focused on benefits and rallies.
A surprise hit, 'My Baby Just Cares For Me', moved her back into the commercial spotlight when it reached number 5 in 1987after it was utilised in a television advertisement for Chanel No 5 perfume.
Tired of an America, which she saw as becoming an uncaring environment, she relocated to France.
Nina's real legacy lay in her influence on subsequent generations of women singers.
The likes of Erykah Badu, Cassandra Wilson and Alicia Keys are among the many who benefited from the example of her fusion of blues, soul, jazz, folk and pop, as well as her uncompromising stance against racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination.
b. Eva Narcissus Boyd, 29th June 1943, Bellhaven, North Carolina, U.S.A.
d. 10th April 2003, Kinston, North Carolina, U.S.A.
'Little Eva' died on the 10th of April 2003 after a long illness.
She was discovered by songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin.
Little Eva shot to fame in 1962 with the international hit 'The Loco-Motion'.
Her follow-up single, 'Keep Your Hands Off My Baby' was less succesfull.
Further releases from the following year, 'Let's Turkey Trot' and 'Old Smokey Locomotion' maintained her high profile.
Eva continued to record until 1965, with her only other substantial hit coming with 'Swinging On A Star', a duet with Big Dee Irwin.
She made a UK chart comeback in 1972 with a reissue of 'The Loco-Motion', which peaked at number 11.
homer banks and carl hampton
b. 2nd August 1941, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
d. Thursday 3rd April 2003, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Homer Banks died on the 3rd of April 2003, after suffering from cancer, at his home in Memphis, Tennessee.
Homer was a former member of the Soul Consolidators gospel group.
In the late 50's Banks worked as a clerk in the offices of the Satellite Studio in Memphis later to become Stax Records.
Homer's own solo recording debut was for the Genie label in 1964.
Whilst at STAX, Homer was part of the We Three production team.
He recorded five singles for Minit between 1966 and 1968, including the self co-penned 'A Lot Of Love', the riff of which would later be utilised by the Spencer Davis Group for their hit 'Gimme Some Lovin'.
Homer maintained his connections with Stax Records and, by the 70's, was writing many hits with regular collaborators such as Raymond Jackson, Carl Hampton and Bettye Crutcher.
These included 'Who's Making Love' for Johnnie Taylor, 'Be What You Are' and 'lf You're Ready (Come Go With Me)' for the Staple Singers, and 'If Loving You Is Wrong (I Don't Want To Be Right)' for the Koko Records artist Luther Ingram.
Homer also co-wrote Shirley Brown's 1974 hit on the Truth label, 'Woman To Woman'.
After the demise of Stax, Homer went on to write for and produce artists on various labels.
He also formed Two's Company with Lester Snell, which has released albums on the Platinum Blue label, including 1993 sets from J. Blackfoot and Ann Hines.
b. Charles Hatcher, 21st January 1942, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
d. 2nd April 2003, Nottingham, England.
Edwin Starr died at his home in Nottingham, England, from a heart attack on the 2nd of April said his manager Liliam Kyle.
Apart from his many hits for the Motown label, Edwin also rode the Disco period with hits such as 'Contact', although he will, probably be best remembered for his conflict diatribe, 'War'.
It was ironic that he should pass during the current conflict in the Middle East.
Here is a posting that I placed at a Soul Group in the U.K. the following day:
'Hello there, Thanks for posting the info on Edwin.
I know everyone will have their own anecdotes regarding the great man.
My story is that, working as a designer in my non Soulwalking life, I get to draw and design shows for various clients.
I took a call from one company regarding an event at the Heathrow Raddison Hotel. Corporate sort of thing that is my bread and butter type of work.
Went out to the Hotel for a measure up and look around and met up with a few contractors. We went through the set design and I asked them who was headlining?
Jonathan Ross was the presenter and Edwin was the main act. I finished up the design and handed over the drawings.
The show was to be in a couple of weeks, for a large multinational, very similar in size to the one I am currently in discussions with at the site.
I have always held the opinion that the punter and the artist are the victims of the larger companies. They tell us what to buy and tell the artist what to do.
Edwin was told that he couldn't sing 'War' because of the 'Conflict in the Middle East'.
Rest in peace Edwin. 'War, what is it good for, absolutely nothing...'
b. Henry Bernard Ballard, 18th November 1927, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
d. 2nd March 2003, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Hank Ballard, the singer and songwriter whose hit 'The Twist' ushered a nationwide dance craze in the 1960s, has died.
Hank, who was suffering from throat cancer, died Sunday at his home, friends said.
Friend and caretaker Anna Ayala said Ballard's birth records indicate he was born in 1927, but biographical information lists his birthdate as 1936.
His truck-driving father died when Ballard was seven years old and he was sent to Besserner, Alabama, to live with relations.
The strict religious and gospel upbringing caused him to run away, and by the age of 15, Ballard was working on an assembly line at Ford Motors in Detroit.
His cousin, Florence Ballard, became a member of the Detroit girl group the Supremes (however this information is under some discussion).
Hank Ballard's singing voice was heard by Sonny Woods of the Royals, who was amused by his mixture of Jimmy Rushing and Gene Autry.
He was asked to replace frontman Lawson Smith during the latter's army service.
In 1953, Ballard's first session with the Royals led to their first US R & B Top 10 entry, 'Get It', which he also wrote.
Ballard composed their 1954 R & B chart-topper, 'Work With Me, Annie', although its sexual innuendoes were too strong for some radio stations to broadcast.
Its popularity spawned sequels (Annie's Aunt Fanny', 'Annie Had A Baby') as well as answer records (the Platters' 'Annie Doesn't Work Here Anymore').
In 1955, the Drifters had converted a gospel song into 'What'cha Gonna Do' and, in 1957, Hank Ballard And The Midnighters used the same melody for 'Is Your Love For Real?'.
They then modified the arrangement and changed the lyrics to 'The Twist'.
Not realizing the song's potential, it was released as the b-side of 'Teardrops On Your Letter', a number 4 US R & B hit.
Shortly afterwards, 'The Twist' was covered by Chubby Checker, who added dance steps and thus created a new craze.
On the strength of Chubby Checker's success, their original version of 'The Twist' made number 28 on the US pop charts.
In 1963, Hank Ballard split with the Midnighters, but he retained the group's name, which has enabled him to work with numerous musicians using that name.
For some years he worked with James Brown, who has paid tribute to him on record.
His father was Dove Ballard (Sr.), his mother was Sie Bell Hendricks.
b. Esther Ridgeway, b. 1960, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
d. Saturday, 22nd February 2003, Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
Esther Ridgeway (the youngest of the Ridgeway Sisters) died on Saturday, 22nd February 2003 in Ford Hospital, Detroit from a heart attack.
She was just 43 years old.
The Ridgeways hail from Detroit, Michigan.
The sisters first came to the attention of soul fans via their fine vocal contributions to the Gene Dunlap album 'It's Just The Way I Feel' for the Capitol Records label in 1981.
Prior to that outing, the group recorded under the name Sweet Cream, releasing 'Sweet Cream And Other Delights' for the Shadybrook imprint in 1978.
The Ridgeways have since become highly sought after session singers performing with the likes of Aretha Franklin ('A Rose Is Still a Rose'), Nancy Wilson ('If I Had My Way'), Gerald Alston ('First Class Only'), Vesta ('Everything-N-More'), Keith Washington ('You Make It Easy'), Vanessa Bell Armstrong ('Something on the Inside'), Jerry Butler, Fontella Bass, Dionne Warwick and Wendy Moten.
The group also took a cameo role in the movie 'Blues Brothers 2000', playing the roles of Mrs Murphy's friend.
More recently, they can be heard on the Dave MacMurray, smooth jazz vehicle 'Soul Searching' singing their version of the Stephanie Mills evergreen 'Whatcha Gonna Do With My Lovin'.
A bereaved Anita Baker cites the group as being responsible for her returning to the stage following her mothers death.
b. Anthony Salatore Bell, 12th August 1947, Philadelphia, Pennsylvannia, U.S.A.
d. 4th February 2003, Tacoma, Washington, U.S.A.
Tony Bell died on the 4th February 2003 in Tacoma, Washington, U.S.A.
Reports state that he was found in a hotel room from a possible stroke, although this has yet to be confirmed.
He was a very talented session man, however, he was unfairly overshadowed, during his career, by his brother Thom Bell, producer / keyboardist / arranger / songwriter for Gamble and Huff / Philadelphia International Records.
Tony was a multi-talented keyboard player, guitarist, songwriter, singer, arranger and engineer.
During his career he worked with Elton John, The Spinners, Lou Rawls, The Delfonics and Blue Magic.
Other artists that he worked alongside included Diane Steinberg, Marjie Joseph, Willis 'Gator' Jackson, Don Covay, Johnny Mathis and Jackie Moore.
Roger Troutman II
b. Roger Troutman II (a.k.a. Roger T. Lynch), 31st January 1970.
d. 22nd January 2003, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
Roger Troutman II (a.k.a. 'Lynch'), the son of Roger Troutman of the group Zapp, suffered a head injury several months ago.
On 22nd January, 2003 he passed away from his injuries in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.A.
The services were held on Monday 27th January 27, 2003 at Knox Presbyterian Church on Minnehaha Avenue.
The son of Roger Troutman, 'Little Roger' appeared as a child on stage with the group Zapp.
In 1989, 'Lynch' released the album 'A Pinch Of Lynch' on the Capitol Record imprint.
He worked with the acts Mint Condition and Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, before releasing 'The Second Coming' under his real name of Roger Troutman II.
Tragedy struck the Troutman family when, in 1999, Roger was shot to death by his brother Larry, who subsequently, turned the gun on himself and comitted suicide.
b. Ramon Santamaria, 7th April 1917, Havana, Cuba.
d. 1st February 2003, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
Percussionist and bandleader, Mongo Santamaria died on the 1st of February 2003 in Miami, Florida.
Mongo had become a hugely influential bandleader, working with the likes of, the late, Tito Puente, Ray Charles and Cal Tjader.
Ramon 'Mongo' Santamaria originally took up the violin but then switched to drums before dropping out of school to become a professional musician.
A performer at the Tropicana Club in Havana, Mongo traveled to Mexico City with a dance team in 1948 and then moved to New York City in 1950.
Mongo's first significant recordings in America were made in 1958 for the Fantasy imprint.
His second Fantasy album 'Mongo' (1959) contained a composition called 'Afro-Blue' (later covered brilliantly by Dee Dee Bridgewater) which quickly became a Latin-jazz standard, recorded by John Coltrane, Dizzy Gillespie and Dee Dee amongst others.
He will, probably, be best remembered for his version of Herbie Hancocks composition 'Watermelon Man', which reached the Top Ten in 1963.
Master Henry Gibson
b. 9th August 1942, U.S.A.
d. 18th December 2002, Stockholm, Sweden.
Master Henry Gibson died on the 18th of December 2002 in Stockholm in Sweden. He was 60.
Henry had a heart attack and all attempts to revive him failed.
He was an unsung soul artist playing on many artists albums including Leroy Hutson, Curtis Mayfield, Aretha Franklin ('Almighty Fire'), Minnie Riperton, Natalie Cole ('Natalie'), Tyrone Davis ('Best Of'), Phil Upchurch, Eddie Harris, The Rotary Connection and many more.
Henry was an accomplished drummer and percussionist who had made Stockholm his base.
He was a well-respected figure on the Stockholm circuit and his masterly percussionary performances were always spellbinding and enthralling to watch.
He was the percussionist on Leroy Hutson's mega rare album 'Hutson 1'.
Henry was also a performer on the late Donny Hathaways 1970 album 'Everything Is Everything'.
b. 1st September 1943, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.
d. 20th November 2002, Barryville, New York, U.S.A.
Every now and then I receive news regarding the passing of an artist that has this scribe running around the house in total disbelief.
Webster was an enormous influence on music in the Seventies and Eighties, although he never received the accolades he deserved.
He heavily influenced my musical upbringing and I bought everything the man put out there. Really sad to hear this news.
Webster Lewis was a fine pianist, clarinetist, conductor and arranger.
Although born in Baltimore, Webster Lewis moved to Los Angeles in the mid 1970's.
Prior to his move, Webster played the live circuit, cutting 'Live At Club 7' on Counterpoint Records, a three track live album that included his version of the Isley Brothers 'It's Your Thing'.
He was recruited to Epic Records, where he began a series of albums held in high regard by soul and jazz fans alike.
'On The Town' commenced the run with a disco feel on vocal tracks, highlighted by the infectious dancer 'Love Is The Way' and the breezy 'Do It With Style'.
'Touch My Love' followed 2 years later and is a much sought after offering, mainly for the rare groove 'Barbara Ann'.
'Eight For The Eighties' followed including the excellent 'The Love You Give To Me', co-produced by Herbie Hancock, and then came 'Let Me Be The One' containing 'El Bobo' and the ballad 'Open Up Your Eyes'.
His last outing was a collaboration with Barry White entitled 'Welcome Aboard'.
Following these releases, Webster Lewis moved into production work, producing artists as diverse as Gwen McCrae ('Keep The Fires Burning') and Michael Wycoff ('Looking Up To You').
In recent years he moved on to a very successful career in television commercial work and movie soundtrack songwriting (including 'The Hearse' & 'The Sky Is Grey').
Webster sadly passed away as a result of diabetic complications on the 20th November 2002 in Barryville, New York, U.S.A.
Lewis is a great favourite of punters and musicians alike.