Any Major Love in Black & White

February 11th, 2016 2 comments

Any Major Love in B&W

Last year’s Any Major Love mix featured a general spread of songs about being in love. For this year’s Valentine’s Day I’ve created a mix of songs about being in reciprocated love spanning the era between 1933 and 1962 (equivalent to a time span from 1987 to today, if I may make you feel very old).

Many of these are standards performed by the big names of that era, though not all are obvious choices. So we have Sinatra singing a song which 14 years later would be a hit for Dean Martin, and Bing Crosby sings with his wife at the time, both of whom are billed below the bandleader.

So grab your one true love, and get jiggy in the ways of a 1990s romantic comedy. It would work particularly well if you are a Harold and have a Maude.

Next week’s mix will provide an antidote to all the amorous happiness.

As always, this mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes covers made by a sweatshop-full of cupids. PW in comments.

1. Sammy Davis Jr. – Face To Face (1961)
2. Anita O’Day & Billy May – I Could Write A Book (1960)
3. Peggy Lee – Cheek To Cheek (1958)
4. Ella Fitzgerald – I Only Have Eyes For You (1962)
5. June Christy – The First Thing You Know, You’re In Love (1954)
6. Tony Bennett – Happiness Street (Corner Sunshine Square) (1956)
7. Frank Sinatra – Everybody Loves Somebody (1948)
8. Margaret Whiting – Come Rain Or Come Shine (1946)
9. Billie Holiday – Let’s Do It (Let’s Fall In Love) (1941)
10. Lena Horne – As Long As I Live (1944)
11. The King Cole Trio – I’m In The Mood For Love (1945)
12. Victor Young with Bing & Dixie Lee Cosby – The Way You Look Tonight (1936)
13. Mildred Bailey – These Foolish Things (1944)
14. Doris Day – Again (1949)
15. Gene Kelly – I’ve Got A Crush On You (1951)
16. Julie London – You’re Getting To Be A Habit With Me (1958)
17. Chris Connor – Embraceable You (1957)
18. Dinah Washington – What A Diff’rence A Day Makes (1959)
19. Ray Charles – It Had To Be You (1959)
20. Eddie Fisher – So In Love (1955)
21. Mel Tormé – Oh What A Night For Love (1961)
22. Billy Eckstine – No One But You (1954)
23. Dean Martin – I’ll Always Love You (1950)
24. Sarah Vaughan – These Things I Offer You (1951)
25. Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra ft. Anna Boyer – I Concentrate On You (1940)
26. Swing and Sway with Sammy Kaye – Let There Be Love (1940)
27. Louis Armstrong and his Orchestra – I’ve Got The World On A String (1933)
28. Joe Turner’s Orchestral with Pete Johnson – Baby, Won’t You Marry Me (1948)

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In Memoriam – January 2016

February 4th, 2016 18 comments

It was utter carnage in January, especially if you add all the thespian deaths to the reaper’s music victims!

0116 IM gallery-1In the In Memoriam series I like to feature little-know artists who have died, such as English singer, songwriter and actor David Bowie who started off his career as Davie Jones, made a name for himself as an occasional painter, as leader of early 1960s band The Konrads and eventually as the husband of supermodel Imam.

Well, to be honest, everything that can be said about Bowie has been said. The tributes were glowing and generally paid due respect to the master’s lifetime achievements, right down to his refusal to accept medals and knighthoods from the queen of England. Alas, all that honour will be brutally urinated upon at the Brits later this month. For the occasion a “supergroup” has been put together. Noel Gallagher, Bono, Damon Albarn, Coldplay and Adele on one stage beating the career of David Bowie with sticks. I can hear Bono intoning: “Ziggy played guitar, jamming good with [insert gratuitous lyrics change here with reference to other twats on stage]…” The Oasis goon will perform Suffragette City with that whiny voice, stripping the song of its explosive energy. Coldplay will play… sorry, I forgot, I fell asleep just imagining it. And Adele will foghorn her way through Life On Mars, holding long notes at inappropriate moments. There’ll be an acoustic version of Let’s Dance before they all go on to slaughter Heroes (of course, Heroes!) and do the “we’re not worthy” shtick — bowing for Bowie, so to speak — that always indicates that they think they are in fact very worthy indeed. Bowie’s cremated ashes will flurry in their urn like glitter in a snow globe.

Exactly a week after Bowie, Mott The Hoople drummer Dale Griffin died, aged 67. The band, of course, got their breakthrough thanks to a Bowie track, All The Young Dudes. Bowie had known Hoople bassist Peter Watts and upon learning that the band was going to split due to their lack of success, he offered them Suffragette City. The band turned down the track (luckily so: where would ‘70s pop be without Bowie’s frenzied “aaah wam bam thank you ma’am”?). Bowie took the rejection, graciously sat down on the floor and wrote All The Young Dudes for them. It came out just three weeks after the Ziggy Stardust album and was a huge hit. Drummer Griffin, who went on to produce many John Peel sessions for the BBC, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, the disease that eventually killed him, at the age of 58.

Colin Vearncombe, who has died at 53 after being in an induced coma following injuries sustained in a car crash in Ireland, was best known by the moniker Black, under which he enjoyed a couple of UK hits in 1987. One of these was the beautiful Wonderful Life which was accompanied by a gorgeous video that looks like a coffee table book of exquisite black & white photography. If you’ve never seen it, you will want to (Click here). He had some success with the follow-up albums to Wonderful Life, but then left his major label to record independently. Last year he released to good reviews an album, Blind Faith, which was financed by crowd-funding. Buy it HERE.

The unlikely figure of the Georgian-born, Swiss-raised Giorgio Gomelsky was instrumental in the success of the Rolling Stones and The Yardbirds. It was his blues club, the Crawdaddy Club in Richmond (near London), where the young blues fans that would spearhead much of British rock first congregated. The unknown Stones were his houseband. When they left for bigger things, he replaced them with The Yardbirds, whom he also managed and produced (including their biggest hit, For Your Love). Other acts that played at Crawdaddy included future stars Led Zeppelin, Long John Baldry, Elton John and Rod Stewart. In 1967 Gomelsky set up the Marmalade Records label which gave starts to Julie Driscoll & Brian Auger and Graham Gouldman, Kevin Godley and Lol Crème, who’d become central parts of 10cc.

0116 gallery-2With Jefferson Airplane, the band he co-founded, Paul Kantner played at the five most important or famous music festivals of the 1960s: The Fantasy Fair and Magic Mountain Music Festival (the first-ever real rock festival) in June 1967 , Monterrey (held a week after), Woodstock and Altamont in the US in ‘69 plus the Isle of Wight festival in 1968 in Britain. The band’s dynamics were complicated at the best of times. In the late ‘60s Kantner was in love with Grace Slick, but she was with drummer Spencer Dryden. But in 1969 Grace split up with Dryden and hooked up with Kantner, with whom she ended up having a daughter, actress and former MTV vee-jay China Wing Kantner (he had two more children). They split in 1975 but would collaborate further musically. Kantner died at 74 from a heart attack but might have gone twice much younger: In the early 1960s he survived a serious motorcycle accident, and in 1980 he recovered, against the odds, from a cerebral hemorrhage.

I don’t think it has ever happened: two members of a band passing away of natural causes on the very same day. But so it was this month with the deaths of Paul Kantner and Jefferson Airplane’s founding singer Signe Toly Anderson, both on January 28. Anderson sang on only the first album in 1966, leaving the band after a final concert on October 15, 1966 at The Fillmore, mainly because she was pregnant and because the other band members didn’t get on with her husband. She was replaced by Grace Slick. Anderson, who had a series of health problems starting in the 1970s, lived in Oregon and performed for nine years with a ten-piece band, Carl Smith and the Natural Gas Company.

The name Otis Clay will be known to some soul fans, but two of his songs crossed over into the pop charts in cover versions. His 1972 song Trying To Live My Life Without You, recorded on the Hi Records label, became a US #5 hit for Bob Seger in 1981; his 1980 song The Ony Way Is Up became a UK #1 in 1988 for Yazz and the Plastic Population. Both originals are featured here.

And if it’s originals you want, this lot also includes that of the early ‘70s hit Mamy Blue, written by French songwriter Hubert Giraud, who has died at 96. More significant than that slice of Euro pop was his 1951 co-composition of Sous le Ciel de Paris, one of the loveliest songs about the city and a staple in Edith Piaf’s repertoire after she recorded it in 1954. In 1958 André Claveau won the Eurovision Song Contest with his song Dors, mon amour. Although he made his name as a composer, Giraud started his career on stage, as part of Django Reinhardt’s jazz ensemble in 1941.

0116 IM gallery-3The recent documentary on the Eagles confirmed that Glenn Frey was not an invariably lovely fellow to his colleagues. Of course, I have no idea whether the docu was an accurate representation of the man; he came across as thoughtful man in interviews. I like me some Eagles from time to time, and many of my favourite songs by the group were written or co-written by Frey: Take It To The Limit, I Can’t Tell You Why, Tequila Sunrise, Lyin’ Eyes, Take It Easy, After The Thrill Is Gone, New Kid in Town, Best Of My Love, Desperado… But I do detest his big solo hit: The Heat Is On.

With the death of Kitty Kallen, a voice that began to be heard as long ago as 1936, on US radio, has fallen silent. As a girl Kitty once won an amateur competition and came home with her prize of a camera. Mr Kallen did not believe his daughter had such talent to win singing contests and punished her for stealing the camera. The truth was revealed when neighbours came over to congratulate the family. I hope Kitty took a photo with that camera of her father’s astonished face. She made her recording debut as the singer of the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra, scoring a #1 hit with Besamo Mucho in 1944, and had two further chart-toppers in 1945 with the Harry James Orchestra. She enjoyed a million-selling hit in her own right in 1954 with Little Things Mean A Lot, followed by more big hits with Chapel in the Moonlight, True Love and If I Give My Heart to You. She retired in the 1960s due to lung disease.

Impresario Robert Stigwood left his mark on popular culture in many ways by making sure stuff happened. In the 1960s the Australian managed Cream and the Bee Gees, turning the latter into stars. He produced the mega hit movies Saturday Night Fever, which turned disco into a phenomenon that would burn itself out, and Grease. Both soundtracks were million-sellers on Stigwood’s RSO label which, apart from the Bee Gees, also had artists such as Eric Clapton, Yvonne Elliman and Player on their books. RSO released more soundtracks, including those for Times Square, Fame and The Empire Strikes Back. But Stigwood also suffered failures, none more public than the much-derided Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band movie. There was an irony in that: in January 1967 Stigwood merged with Beatles manager Brian Epstein’s NEMS Enterprises management company. At one point Epstein mooted the idea that Stigwood might become Beatles manager, only to face a rebellion from the Fab Four who disliked Stigwood. Epstein learnt to do likewise, though Stigwood left NEMS only after Brian’s death in 1968 — and went on to form his multi-faceted entertainment behemoth RSO.0116 IM gallery-4The bassist of what Kerrang! once named as the greatest heavy metal album of all time is gone. Scottish-born Jimmy Bain played on Rainbow’s Rising album in 1976. By early 1977 Ritchie Blackmore had sacked him. In 1978 Bain formed Wild Horses who went on to release two albums in the early 1980s while also doing session work for the likes of John Cale, Thin Lizzy, Roy Harper and Kate Bush (playing on Sat In Your Lap, Leave It Open, and Get Out Of My House on The Dreaming album). He also worked with Phil Lynott, co-writing his Old Town which became a big hit in the 1990s for The Corrs. In 1983 he was close to joining German heavy metal band Scorpions; instead he joined Dio, reuniting with former Rainbow singer Ronnie James Dio, with whom he co-write some of the band’s best-known songs, including Holy Diver.

To people who have lived in Britain in the past four decades, the name Terry Wogan will mean something. Although well known as an avuncular chat show host or radio presenter or charity fundraiser, he probably was most famous as the commentator of the Eurovision Song Contest, which over the course of more than 30 years the Irish-born entertainer treated with a certain measure of disdain and sarcasm. Among the many one-liners he’d shoot off, the best might be this from 2007: “Who knows what hellish future lies ahead? Actually, I do. I’ve seen the rehearsals.” The irony is that his foray into the British charts, 1978’s Floral Dance, was worse than many of the songs this decent man commentated on. I won’t inflict it upon you; if you must, watch it HERE.

The world’s porniest singer, perhaps alongside the exhibitionist Rudy Ray Moore, is gone with the death of Blowfly, whose record covers tended to feature ladies in states of undress while he wore nightmarish masks and outfits. Among the charming titles of Blowfly songs are: “Can I Come In Your Mouth?”, “Too Fat To Fuck”, “Electronic Pussy Sucker”, “Spermy Night In Georgia”, “My Baby Keeps Farting In My Face” and “The Sperm Is Gone”. In his defence, he did those only for fun, and some of them have killer grooves. Clarence Reid, as Blowfly’s mom knew him, had a serious side: he recorded under his own name and also wrote for and produced artists including Betty Wright, Sam & Dave, Irma Thomas, Gwen McCrae, Wilson Picket, Jimmy “Bo” Horn, Bobby Byrd, Dusty Springfield, Timmy Thomas and KC & the Sunshine Band. Needless to say, the featured Sesame Street Theme is NSFW!

Mark B, 45, British hip-hop DJ and record producer, on Jan. 1

Michel Delpech, 69, French singer-songwriter and actor, on Jan. 2
Michel Delpech – Pour Un Flirt (1971)

Jason Mackenroth, 46, drummer with Henry Rollins Band, Blue Man Group, on Jan. 3

Paul Bley, 83, Canadian free jazz pianist, on Jan. 3

Robert Stigwood, 81, Australian music, theatre and film impresario, on Jan. 4
Cream – White Room (1967, as arranger)
Bee Gees – My World (1972, as co-producer)

Long John Hunter, 84, blues guitarist and singer-songwriter, on Jan. 4
Long John Hunter – She Used To Be My Woman (1953)
Long John Hunter – Lone Star Shootout (1996)

Achim Mentzel, 69, German musician and TV presenter, on Jan. 4

Nick Caldwell, 71, extravagantly bearded singer with The Whispers, on Jan. 5
The Whispers – Never Again (1964)
The Whispers – Here Comes Tomorrow (1972)
The Whispers – Love Is Where You Find It (1981)

Alfredo ‘Chocolate’ Armenteros, 87, Cuban-born trumpeter, on Jan. 6

Amy Regan, 30, folk-pop singer, on Jan. 6

Troy Shondell, 76, pop singer, on Jan. 7
Troy Shondell – This Time (1961)

Kitty Kallen, 94, vocalist, on Jan. 7
Jimmy Dorsey and his Orchestra – They’re Either Too Young Or Too Old (1943, on vocals)
Kitty Kallen – Little Things Mean A Lot (1954)

Jit Samaroo, 65, Trinidadian steelpan musician and arranger, on Jan. 7

Otis Clay, 73, soul singer, on Jan. 8
Otis Clay – Trying To Live My Life Without You (1972)
Otis Clay – The Only Way Is Up (1980)

Red Simpson, 81, country singer and songwriter, on Jan. 8
Red Simpson – Diesel Smoke, Dangerous Curves (1967)

Brett Smiley, 60, glam pop singer and songwriter, on Jan. 8
Brett Smiley – Va Va Va Voom (1974)

John Berry, singer and guitarist of Indie band Idaho, on Jan. 9

David Bowie, 69, legend, on Jan. 10
Davie Jones & The King Bees – Liza Jane (1964)
David Bowie – Ragozzo Solo, Ragazza Sola (1970)
David Bowie – Ziggy Stardust (demo) (1972)
David Bowie – Heroes (French version) (1977)
David Bowie – Rebel Rebel (1985, at Live Aid)

Jack Penland, 79, bluegrass singer and guitarist, on Jan. 10

Giorgio Gomelsky, 81, impresario, band manager, songwriter, producer, on Jan. 13
The Yardbirds – I’m A Man (1965)
Julie Driscoll, Brian Auger & The Trinity – This Wheel’s On Fire (1967, as producer)

George Grant, 78, lead singer of R&B band The Castelles, on Jan. 14
The Castelles – Over A Cup Of Coffee (1954)

Pete Huttlinger, 54, country guitarist (John Denver), on Jan. 15

Gary Loizzo, 70, singer of The American Breed, record engineer and producer, on Jan. 16
The American Breed – Bend Me, Shape Me (1968)

Hubert Giraud, 94, French songwriter, on Jan. 16
Edith Piaf – Sous le Ciel de Paris (1954, as composer)
Ivana Spagna – Mamy Blue (1971, as composer)

Dale Griffin, 67, drummer of Mott The Hoople, on Jan. 17
Mott The Hoople – All The Young Dudes (1972)
Mott The Hoople – The Saturday Gigs (1974)

Mic Gillette, 64, brass player of funk band Tower of Power, on Jan. 17
Tower Of Power – This Time It’s Real (1973)
Mic Gillette Band – Put It Where You Want It (2015)

Clarence ‘Blowfly’ Reid, 76, soul-funk musician, songwriter and producer, on Jan. 17
Betty Wright – Clean Up Woman (1972, as co-writer and producer)
Blowfly – Sesame Street Theme (1974)

Ramblin’ Lou Schriver, 86, country musician and radio broadcaster, on Jan. 17

Glenn Frey, 67, member of Eagles, singer-songwriter, actor, on Jan. 18
Eagles – After The Thrill Is Gone (1975)
Glenn Frey – The One You Love (1982)
Eagles – Take It Easy (live 1994)

Alec Wishart, 76, member of New Zealand band Hogsnort Rupert, on Jan. 22

Curtis Potter, 75, country musician and record label owner, on Jan. 23
Curtis Potter – I’m A Real Glad Daddy (1957)

Cadalack Ron, 34, rapper, on Jan. 23

Jimmy Bain, 68, bassist of Rainbow, Dio, on Jan. 24
Rainbow – Starstruck (1976)
Philip Lynott – Old Town (1982, also as co-writer)
Dio – Holy Diver (1983, also as co-writer)

Zarkus Poussa, 40, drummer of Finnish electro-jazz band RinneRadio, on Jan. 24

Black/Colin Vearncombe, 53, British singer-songwriter, from car crash injuries on Jan. 26
Black – Sweetest Smile (1987)
Colin Vearncombe – Wonderful Life (live, 2001)

Bryce Rohde, 92, Australian jazz pianist and composer, on Jan. 26

T.J. Tindall, 65, session guitarist, member of MFSB, on Jan. 26
The O’Jays – Backstabbers (1972, on guitar)
The Trammps – Disco Inferno (1976, on guitar)

Joe Harris, 89, jazz drummer (Dizzy Gillespie), on Jan. 27

William E. Martin, musician, songwriter and screenwriter, on Jan. 27
Harry Nilsson – Rainmaker (1969, as co-writer)

Paul Kantner, 74, guitarist, singer, songwriter and co-founder of Jefferson Airplane/ Starship, on Jan. 28
Jefferson Airplane – Volunteers (1969, also as co-writer)
Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young – Wooden Ships (1969, as co-writer)

Signe Toly Anderson, 74, singer with Jefferson Airplane, on Jan. 28
Jefferson Airplane – Chauffeur Blues (1966, on lead vocals)

Terry Wogan, 77, Irish-born broadcaster and entertainer, on Jan. 31

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(PW in comments)

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Beatles Reunited – Smile Away (1972)

January 28th, 2016 12 comments

The Beatles - Smile Away

What if The Beatles hadn’t broken up in 1970? In Any Major Alternative Universe the Fab Four stayed together, releasing solo records as they pleased but also keeping on producing Beatles albums.

We’ve already had the double-album follow-up to Let It Be, titled Everest, from 1971, and a live album from 1972. This new effort is also from 1972, including a few hold-overs from Harrison’s and Lennon’s fertile period in 1971. In 1972 Lennon was busy producing his weak Some Time In New York solo album with Yoko anyway, so that was just as well.

Ringo was on a roll and had two songs of his own composition included on the album (both in real life featuring George Harrison, who also played on John’s Gimme Some Truth). Back Off Boogaloo, written by Ringo, was so good that Paul couldn’t object to its inclusion, even though the song addresses him.

In his commendable alternative-history novel The Life And Death of Mal Evans, Peter Lee “produced” his own idea of post-1970 Beatles albums. I followed his lead in calling the 1971 effort Everest. His follow-up album was set in 1974, as will be my next collection. I’ll then use the title Peter used for that 1974 album.

Arriving at a title for this putative 1972 LP was a bit of a challenge. What would The Beatles call an album in 1972? What was the vibe? I went for an easy option, and decided to riff on one of the song titles on this collection. But which one? I was torn between some theme relating to Gimme Some Truth, or maybe It Don’t Come Easy. But I think Smile Away is enigmatic and sounds like it fits to 1972. So that’s the one.

This is a single album, so it’ll easily fit on a CD-R. Covers included; PW in comments.

Side 1
Power To The People (John)
It Don’t Come Easy (Ringo)
Hi Hi Hi (Paul)
Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll) (George)
Another Day (Paul)
Imagine (John)

Side 2
If Not For You (George)
Smile Away (Paul)
Gimme Some Truth (John)
Back Off Bugaloo (Ringo)
Behind That Locked Door (George)
Wild Life (Paul)

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The Death & Life of Mal Evans by Peter Lee is available in print or eBook from avonypublishing.com or from Amazon or Kobo. Also check out Peter’s blog of the book.

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Any Major Favourites 2015 Vol. 2

January 25th, 2016 9 comments

Layout 1

Last week we had 21 songs from 21 mixes posted on this blog in 2015. Here are 19 more songs from 19 more mixes posted in 2015. That gives us 40 mixes, though there were a couple more, in addition to the monthly In Memoriam posts.

Nobody has asked me which was my favourite Any Major Mix of 2015. I will still venture an answer. I think I’ve played the Any Major Roads Vol. 1 mix the most, along with both Not Feeling Guilty mixes, Vol. 4 and Vol. 5, and Any Major Winter.

I dare not ask which mix you liked in particular, since readers of his blog are very shy people, aside from a few comment section regulars, whom I love very much. Still, which Any Major Mix (or mixes, of course) did you particular enjoy the past year — or, indeed, ever?

1. Diana Ross – The Boss (1979)
Any Major Funk Vol. 8
2. Janis Ian – Fly Too High (1980)
Any Major Disco Vol. 2 – Pop Edition
3. Ambrosia – You’re The Only Woman (1980)
Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 5
4. Rita Coolidge – That Man Is My Weakness (1971)
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 1
5. John Lennon – How (1971)
Beatles Reunited – Everest (1971)
6. The Rolling Stones – Winter (1973)
Any Major Winter
7. B.B. King – Ghetto Woman (1971)
The Ringo Starr Collection
8. Hall & Oates with Eddie Kendricks & David Ruffin – My Girl (1985)
Live Aid – 30 years ago
9. The Intruders – Rainy Days And Mondays (1974)
Covered With Soul Vol. 20
10. The Ebonys – You’re The Reason Why (1973)
Any Major Soul 1973 – Vol. 2
11. Salsoul Orchestra feat Loleatta Holloway – Runaway (1977)
Any Major Disco Vol. 3
12. Juluka – Scatterlings Of Africa (1982)
A Life In Vinyl: 1982
13. Billy Idol – Hot In The City (1982)
Any Major Summer Vol. 5
14. Sweet – Fox On The Run (1975)
Any Major Glam Vol. 2
15. T. Rex – Metal Guru (1972)
Any Major Teen Dreams
16. The Redskins – Bring It Down (This Insane Thing) (1985)
Should Have Been A UK Top 10 Hit – Vol. 1
17. Depeche Mode – But Not Tonight (Extended Remix) (1986)
Any Major B-Side
18. Godley + Creme – Under Your Thumb (1981)
Any Major Halloween Vol. 2
19. Humble Pie – Drive My Car (1975)
Beatles Recovered: Rubber Soul

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(PW in comments)

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The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 2

January 21st, 2016 8 comments

The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 2

This is the second mix of songs featuring the great, prolific and versatile session drummer Steve Gadd — and there will be a third mix, the first in this series of compilations in honour of session players. And still there will be loads of artists for whom Gadd has drummed who will be excluded. I ran that list last time; I do so again here.

Bette Middler, Bob James, Joe Farrell, Rusty Bryant, Ellie Greenwhich, Jackie DeShannon, O’Donel Levy, Chet Baker, Hubert Laws, Herbie Mann, Deodato, Stanley Clarke, Hank Crawford, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Merry Clayton, David Sanborn, Leon Redbone, Kenny Vance, Chick Corea, Maynard Ferguson, The Brecker Brothers, Jon Lucien, Alessi Brothers, Freddie Hubbard, Ashford & Simpson, Eric Gale, Phoebe Snow, Lou Courtney, Al Di Meola, Harry Chapin, Earl Klugh, Sergio Mendes, Garland Jeffreys, Ringo Starr, Frankie Valli, Lolleatta Holloway, Manhattan Transfer, Weather Report, The Sylvers, Mongo Santamaria, Sadao Watanbabe, Richard Tee, Charles Mingus, Yusef Latif, Meco, Larry Carlton, Herb Alpert, Joe Sample, Jennifer Holliday, Diana Ross, Tania Maria, Paul Shaffer, Laurie Anderson, John Sebastian, Mark Cohn, Edie Brickell, Buddy Rich, Angela Bofill, Stephen Bishop, Eric Clapton, Tracy Chapman, Joss Stone, Randy Crawford, Nils Landgren, Kate Bush — and many others…

This mix is particularly nice. I’ve had it on frequent rotation over the past few months, and enjoy its chilled out vibe every time it comes on. I hope you’ll like it, too.

As always, CD-R length, home-made covers, PW in comments (and do feel free to tell me whether you like this mix, or find the covers of no use, or what you think about Steve Gadd).

1. Tom Scott – Gotcha (Theme from Starsky & Hutch) (on percussion, 1977)
2. Roberta Flack – I’m The One (1982)
3. Melissa Manchester – I Wanna Be Where You Are (1977)
4. Michael McDonald – Playin’ By The Rules (1982)
5. Carly Simon – You Belong To Me (1978)
6. Christopher Cross – Words Of Wisdom (1983)
7. Bee Gees – Nothing Could Be Good (1981)
8. Janis Ian – Do You Wanna Dance? (1978)
9. Esther Phillips – Living Alone(1974)
10. Maggie Bell – A Woman Left Lonely (1974)
11. Kate & Anna McGarrigle – Kiss And Say Goodbye (1975)
12. Paul McCartney – Take It Away (1982)
13. Joe Cocker – I Broke Down (1976)
14. Everything But The Girl – The Only Living Boy In New York (1993)
15. Dusty Springfield – Beautiful Soul (1974)
16. Nancy Wilson – From You To Me To You (1976)
17. Luther Vandross & Patti Austin – I’m Gonna Miss You In The Morning (1978)
18. NYCC – Make Every Day Count (1978)
19. Bob James – Soulero (1974)

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Previous session musicians’ collection:
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 1
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 1
The Bernard Purdie Collection Vol. 2
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 1
The Ricky Lawson Collection Vol. 2
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Gordon Collection Vol. 2
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 1
The Hal Blaine Collection Vol. 2
The Bobby Keys Collection
The Louis Johnson Collection
The Bobby Graham Collection
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 1
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 2
The Ringo Starr Collection

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Any Major Favourites 2015 Vol. 1

January 18th, 2016 10 comments

Any Major Covers

In my younger days I was an enthusiastic mix-tape compiler. The lucky girls who were the objects of my affection would be blessed with my carefully compiled cassettes. I have no doubt whatsoever that they profoundly appreciated the education they were receiving, never mind if they liked Whitney Houston and I inducted them into the delights of Prefab Sprout or The Rock Lobsters. Funny enough, I ended up marrying none of them. Not that my future wife escaped my aggressive mix-taping, but by the time we were dating, I had the consideration to compile songs in her favoured genres.

As the regular reader will know, I still enjoy making mix-tapes. I love selecting the music, even as I hate omitting good songs to keep within my set length of one standard CD-R. I enjoy sequencing the songs; it’s perhaps the most creative part of the process. And I love playing the mixes, mostly in my car.

Here is a compilation of songs that featured on compilations that ran during the past year, with a second mix coming next week.

1. Odyssey – Use It Up And Wear It Out (1980)
Any Major Disco Vol. 1
2. Jorge Ben – Taj Mahal (1976)
Copy Borrow Steal – The Collection
3. Bill LaBounty – Livin’ It Up (1982)
The Steve Gadd Collection Vol. 1
4. Michael McDonald – I Keep Forgettin’ (1982)
The Louis Johnson Collection
5. Karl Kikillus – Another Shore (1983)
Not Feeling Guilty Mix Vol. 4
6. Alan Price – Groovy Times (1978)
Any Major Love
7. Tim Rose – You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away (1972)
Help! Recovered
8. The Dells – Dock Of The Bay (1969)
Covered With Soul Vol. 21
9. Margie Joseph – Touch Your Woman (1973)
Any Major Soul 1973 – Vol. 1
10. Bettye Crutcher – Up For A Let Down (1974)
Any Major Soul 1974 – Vol. 1
11. Sammy Davis Jr – Keep Your Eye On The Sparrow (Theme of Baretta) (1976)
Any Major TV Theme Songs Vol. 3
12. Tony Joe White – I’ve Got A Thing About You Baby (1972)
The Originals – Elvis Presley Vol. 2
13. Little Feat – Truck Stop Girl (1970)
Any Major Roads Vol. 1
14. Alison Krauss – Forget About It (1999)
The Jim Keltner Collection Vol. 2
15. Rilo Kiley – The Angels Hung Around (2007)
Saved! Vol. 6 – The Angels edition
16. The The – Heartland (1986)
Should Have Been A UK Top 10 Hit – Vol. 2
17. Garland Jeffreys – R.O.C.K. (1981)
A Life In Vinyl: 1981
18. Paul McCartney & Wings – Maybe I’m Amazed (live, 1976)
The Beatles: Reunited and live
19. Dusty Springfield – You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me (1966)
The Bobby Graham Collection
20. Edith Piaf – Notre-Dame de Paris (1952)
Any Major Paris In Black & White
21. Smiley Lewis – One Night Of Sin (1956)
The Originals – Elvis Presley Vol. 1

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Any Major Roads Vol. 2

January 14th, 2016 8 comments

Any Major Road Vol.2

Let’s go for a drive again with songs about cars and being on the road. The first Any Major Roads mix was very popular. This time around I’ve been a bit less purist about the song having to do with actual driving; here the artists can also talk about their cars or trucks. Though I cannot vouch that this is really case with Patrick Gammon’s rather metaphorical Yo’ Chevy.

I have also waived my rule about not repeating artists: as indicated last time, there are just too many Springsteen songs about cars and girls (and look which Prefab Sprout I did not choose). And how did you like the beta-version of Thunder Road on the first mix?

One song here is about a real-life incident: George Jones’ car crash in 2003 in Tennessee. Jones was talking on his cellphone when he crashed into a concrete bridge railing (luckily not into another car). He wasn’t wearing a seatbelt, which aggravated his serious injuries. So the Drive-By Truckers song is a valid public safety announcement. Talking (never mind texting) on the phone while driving is dangerous, also to other roads users. In terms of shitty driving behaviour, it ranks only just below driving while drunk.

The next Any Major Roads will comprise nominations from readers; quite a few were offered in the comments of Volume 1. If you have any nominations, please list them in your comments.

I made this mix at the same time as I was planning a musical road-trip around the US, which will kick off in Boston in a few weeks’ time.

As always, this mix is timed to fit on a standard CD-R and includes home-serviced covers. PW in comments.

1. Canned Heat – On The Road Again (1968)
2. Allman Brothers Band – Brothers Of The Road (1981)
3. Carole King – Main Street Saturday Night (1978)
4. Steely Dan – Midnite Cruiser (1972)
5. Patrick Gammon – Yo’ Chevy (1979)
6. Prefab Sprout – Faron Young (1985)
7. James Taylor – Traffic Jam (1977)
8. NRBQ – Ridin’ In My Car (1978)
9. Dar Williams – Road Buddy (1997)
10. Son Volt – Highways And Cigarettes (2007)
11. Steve Earle – N.Y.C. (1997)
12. Bon Jovi – Fast Cars (2009)
13. Joe Walsh – Life’s Been Good (1978)
14. Bruce Springsteen – Stolen Car (1980)
15. Drive-By Truckers – George Jones Talkin’ Cell Phone Blues (2009)
16. George Jones – The One I Loved Back Then (Corvette Song) (1985)
17. Johnny Cash – I’ve Been Everywhere (1996)
18. Elvis Presley – Long Black Limousine (1969)
19. Ronnie and the Daytonas – Little GTO (1964)
20. The Beach Boys – Little Deuce Coupe (1963)
21. Jan & Dean – Dead Man’s Curve (1964)

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Great Covers: Ziggy Stardust (1972)

January 11th, 2016 6 comments

Ziggy

[To mark the passing of David Bowie, I repost this from October 2013]

There is a sweet irony in the cover picture of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars: the alien superstar is photographed in a seedy sidestreet, not a glittering glamour spot, of London’s West End. Instead of shining brightly in a metallic science fiction wonderland, the monochrome photo is hand-coloured in the way of postcards from the turn of the last century.

The cover holds not the promise of the story we are coming to hear, but its denouement: Ziggy has come back down to earth as David Bowie. There’s trash, there’s rain, there’s a bin, there’s the sign of the furrier K. West, where the fiction of left-handed Ziggy and the fact of Bowie, holding his guitar right-handed, come together.

Or that’s how I choose to see it. The story of Ziggy Stardust is vague enough to let you project your own ideas on it. In fact, by writing about the cover, by stripping away a veneer of its mystique, I may be depriving you, if you do not know the story of the cover, of your ability to freely project. Read on at your own peril.

What we will find is that the story of the cover is rather… ordinary. The photo was taken on a cold January night in 1972 in Soho’s Heddon Street, then an insalubrious sidestreet, but today a fashionable pedestrian zone. The photographer was Brian Ward, who had studio in the street.

He took 17 photos that night, including the back cover shot of Ziggy/Bowie in the telephone booth. The front cover pic was taken at house number 23, under the big sign for K. West. Apparently Bowie turned up (with a posse of two girls), posed for a few minutes, and quickly disappeared into the rainy night, leaving Ward to develop his black-and-white photos.

Did Bowie feel like Ziggy in “Five Years”? “It was cold and it rained and I felt like an actor.”

ziggy-bwThe winning shot was colourised, giving the jumpsuit a blue hue when it was, in fact, green. You can see the jumpsuit in real life on this clip from the Old Grey Whistle Test in February 1972.

Have look at all 17 photos of the session at the Five Years site (from which I’ve borrowed one here). And if you feel that Bowie was wrong as Ziggy, and it should have been your mug on the cover, well, that can be arranged HERE.

As for the signs on the wall? They were for Paquerette Dresses (4th Floor), Ramar Dresses Ltd (3rd Floor), International Wool Secretariat, Cravats Ltd (main entrance), and T.H. Ferris (2nd Floor)

So, to mark the Ziggy cover here’s a mix of Ziggy covers. Every track off the album is performed in sequence by various artists — and two by Bowie. One is from the famous Hammersmith Odeon concert at which he killed off Ziggy Stardust — obviously the final track, “Rock ’n’ Roll Suicide” — the other a new mix of the largely uncovered “Star”. In fact, there’s a third Bowie number: The Arnold Corns was a Bowie project on which he test-drove some Ziggy tracks a year before he gave birth to the alien superstar.

One song on the album, of course, was a cover itself: “It Ain’t Easy” was a Ron Davies song. The cover of that on this mix also precedes Ziggy.

1. The Polyphonic Spree – Five Years (2002)
2. Marti Jones – Soul Love (1986)
3. The Arnold Corns – Moonage Daydream (1971)
4. Leningrad Cowboys – Starman (2006)
5. Three Dog Night – It Ain’t Easy (1970)
6. Seu Jorge – Lady Stardust (2005)
7. David Bowie – Star (40th Anniversary Mix) (1972/2012)
8. Contraband – Hang On To Yourself (1991)
9. Bauhaus – Ziggy Stardust (1982)
10. Red Hot Chili Peppers – Suffragette City (2012)
11. David Bowie – Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide (live) (1973)

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In Memoriam – December 2015

January 7th, 2016 7 comments

IM Dec 2015 gallery-1In what might be his best-known song, Ace of Spades, Motörhead’s frontman Lemmy Kilmister sang: “That’s the way I like it, Baby; I don’t want to live forever”. Just after Christmas he got his wish — only just over a month after the death of Motörhead drummer Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor. Lemmy, who was widely believed to be indestructible and therefore immortal, had learnt of his aggressive cancer only a couple of days before his death. Reportedly he checked out playing his favourite video game.

On the day Lemmy died one of the pioneers of rock & roll also went (coming too late to my attention for inclusion in the annual round-up of music deaths which I posted on New Year’s Eve). Saxophonist Joe Houston was a pioneer without being really a rock & roller. His jam was the jump, but he used the terminology of “rock and roll” and “rockin’” before it became a big thing, on a 1952 album titled Rock And Roll which included titles like titles such as “We’re Gonna Rock ‘N’ Roll” and “Rockin’ At The Drive-In” (Hear the latter HERE). Of course, the term had been used before, even by Ella Fitzgerald. But Houston was part of the movement that would give rise to the genre. His style of playing sax certainly became a feature of rock & roll. Houston went on to back the likes of Little Richard and Big Joe Turner during the rock & roll heyday. He never broke through, but played on the circuit until a stroke hit him in 2005. Apparently his gigs were raucous affairs

I was really saddened to hear of the death at 65 of Natalie Cole on New Year’s Eve. She was a fine singer, equally at home in soul as she was in jazz vocals. She also has a fascinating life which she recounted in a forthright memoir. Born the daughter of Nat King Cole, who died when Natalie was 14, she became a heroin addict and fraudster, and even worked as a prostitutes’ “come-on girl” on the streets of Harlem. Then she cleaned up, had a string of soul hits, faded away and became a cocaine addict. She again cleaned up, and had a comeback in 1987 with I Live For Your Love. In 1991 she had her massive hit with a posthumous duet with her father, with modern technology facilitating as recording of his hit Unforgettable.

With his cousin Hugo Peretti (who died in 1986), Luigi Creatore adapted two foreign songs to create classic hits: The Token’s The Lion Sleeps Tonight (originally a South African song by Solomon Linda; read the who sorry tale here) and Elvis’ Can’t Help Falling In Love, which borrowed heavily from the old French love song Plaisir d’amour, composed in 1785 by Johann Paul Aegidius Martini. Hugo & Luigi, as they liked to style themselves, also produced Perry Como, Little Peggy March and Sam Cooke (notably hits like Chain Gang, Twistin’ the Night Away and Wonderful World) for RCA. Before that they produced a string of hits for Jimmie Rodgers, including Honeycomb and Kisses Sweeter Than Wine. These were released on the Roulette label in which they were partners with mafioso Mo Levy. The FBI identified Roulette as a source of revenue for the Genovese crime family (Peretti and Creatore were not implicated in illegal activity). In the 1970s they were partners in Avco Embassy Records, for whom acts like Van McCoy, The Stylistics, Maxine Brown and The Softones had hits.

IM Dec 2015 gallery-2Gladys Knight’s heavenly voice and perfect delivery overshadows everything, but The Pips were more than just a trio of backing singers. Many of the songs were arranged with their part as an integral part of the performance. Just listen to their vocals on the most famous Gladys Knight & The Pips song, Midnight Train To Georgia, for evidence of that. On Christmas Eve one of the Pips, William Guest, joined the great Soul Train in the Sky at the age of 74. The group members were all related: Gladys and her brother Bubba Knight were cousins to Guest and Edward Patton, who in 2005 was the first of them to die. The Pips, incidentally, were named after the nickname of another cousin. Look at The Pips performing their routine on The Richard Pryor Show in 1977, without Gladys.

Wally Roker was a rare breed in his day: in the 1950s he was a black musician who was savvy in the music industry and wasn’t going to be taken for a ride. As the bass singer of doo wop band The Heartbeats he also took care of the group’s business affairs. His savvy later led to the founding of the massively influential Scepter label, for which he was the A&R man. It was at Scepter that Burt Bacharach first made his mark with his records for the likes of Dionne Warwick and Chuck Jackson. Roker remained a record exec for the rest of his career. The featured song is a proto type for Daddy’s Home, a 1961 hit for Shep and the Limelites — it was written by Shep Sheppard, a member of both groups.

With John Garner, singer of Sir Lord Baltimore, one of the pioneering voices of heavy metal is gone. In a genre that thrives on the frontman throwing poses, Garner was an anomaly: the lead singer who was also the drummer. Co-produced by Mike Appel, who’d become Bruce Springsteen’s mentor, Sir Lord Baltimore released their first album in 1970, titled Kingdom Come. In a review, Creem applied to it one of the earliest uses of the label “heavy metal” (the magazine had done so half a year earlier, probably for the first time, in reference to Humble Pie). One more LP followed; by 1976 the band had broken up. They reformed in 2006, releasing one CD, and then faded away again.

The producer Snuff Garrett merits mention for his work with artists such as Cher (with and without Sonny), Vicky Lawrence, Telly Savalas, Tanya Tucker, Merle Haggard, Smokey Robinson, Randy Crawford, Frank Sinatra, Sonny Curtis, Bobby Vee, Johnny Burnette, Brian Hyland, Eddie Cochran, The Crickets, Julie London, Peggy Lee, Liza Minnelli, Gene McDaniels (including Tower of Strength, featured on The Originals – Burt Bacharach Collection) , Jan & Dean, Gary Lewis & the Playboys and Del Shannon, or for giving young guys like Phil Spector, Scott Walker and Leon Russell an early leg-up in the industry, or for missing out on the gig of producing The Monkees. But what is particularly interesting about Garrett, a Texan who has died at 77, has nothing to do with music. In the 1970s he bought the cassette rights to the old RKO and Republic films for next to nothing. A few years later the video recorder became a big thing and films on video cassettes big business. Garrett’s collection, bought as a hobby, went on to earn him many millions.

Shirley Gunter, 82, pioneering R&B singer, on Dec. 1
Shirley Gunter & The Queens – Oop Shoop (1954)

Leoni Franco, 73, musician with Uruguayan pop band Los Iracundos, on Dec. 1

Wally Roker, 78, Bass singer with doo wop group The Heartbeats, on Dec. 2
The Heartbeats – A Thousand Miles Away (1957)

Kelvin Knight , 56, drummer of punk bands The Axe, Delta 5, on Dec. 2

Scott Weiland, 48, singer of Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, on Dec. 3
Stone Temple Pilots – Trippin’ On A Hole In A Paper Heart (1996)

J Capri, 23, Jamaican dancehall singer, in traffic accident on Dec. 4

Chris Carney, 35, singer with The Prom Kings, in traffic accident on Dec. 4

John Garner, 63, singer and drummer of rock band Sir Lord Baltimore, on Dec. 5
Sir Lord Baltimore – Lady Of Fire (1970)

Marque Lynche, 34, singer and former Mouseketeer, announced on Dec. 6

Gary Marker, 72, bassist (Rising Sons, Captain Beefheart) and recording engineer, on Dec. 8
Rising Sons – Candy Man (1966)

Bonnie Lou, 91, country/roackabilly singer, on Dec. 8
Bonnie Lou – Daddy-O (1955)

Rusty Jones, 73, American jazz drummer, on Dec. 9
George Shearing – The World Is A Ghetto (1975, on drums)

Rainer Bloss, 69, German electronic musician, on Dec. 10

Luigi Creatore, 93, songwriter and record producer, on Dec. 13
Sam Cooke – Chain Gang (1960, as co-producer)
Elvis Presley – Wild In The Country (1961, as co-writer)

Snuff Garrett, 76, record producer, on Dec. 16
Bobby Vee – The Night Has A Thousand Eyes (1962, as co-writer and producer)
Cher – Gypsys, Tramps And Thieves (1970, as producer)
Telly Savalas – If (1974, as producer)

Adam Roth, 57, guitarist with rock band Del Fuegos, on Dec. 16
The Del Fuegos – I Still Want You (1986)

Mick Lynch, singer of Irish indie rock band Stump, on Dec. 17
Stump – Charlton Heston (1988)

Gareth ‘Morty’ Mortimer, 66, lead-singer of Welsh pop group Racing Cars, on Dec. 17
Racing Cars – They Shoot Horses, Don’t They? (1976)

Peter Broggs, 61, Jamaican reggae musician, on Dec. 19

Sam Dockery, 86, jazz pianist, on Dec. 21

Carson Van Osten, 70, bassist with Todd Rundgren and Disney comics artist, on Dec. 22
Nazz – Hello It’s Me (1968)

William Guest, 74, co-founder and member of Gladys Knight & the Pips, on Dec. 24
Gladys Knight & The Pips- Every Beat Of My Heart (1961)
Gladys Knight & The Pips – I Heard It Through The Grapevine (1968)
Gladys Knight & The Pips – Heavy Makes You Happy (1973)

Stevie Wright, 68, lead-singer of Australian rock group The Easybeats, on Dec. 27
The Easybeats – Friday On My Mind (1966)

Andy M. Stewart, 63, Scottish folk singer, formerly with Silly Wizard, on Dec. 27
Andy M. Stewart – The Ramblin’ Rover (1982)

John Bradbury, 62, drummer of English two-tone band The Specials, on Dec. 28
The Specials – Rat Race (1980)
Special A.K.A. – Free Nelson Mandela (1984)

Lemmy Kilmister, 70, singer of Motörhead, Hawkwind, on Dec. 28
Hawkwind – Silver Machine (1972)
Motörhead – Killed By Death (1984)

Joe Houston, 89, R&B and jazz saxophonist, on Dec. 28
Joe Houston – Worry, Worry, Worry (1952)
  Joe Houston & His Rockets – Teen Age Boogie (1958)

Ron Ford, 67, funk singer and songwriter (Parliament, Funkadelic, P-Funk Allstars), on Dec. 28
P-Funk All Stars – Pumpin’ It Up (1983, also as co-writer)

Guru Josh, 51, British acid house musician, on Dec. 28
Guru Josh – Infinity (1989)

Dal Richards, 97, Canadian big band leader, on Dec. 31

Natalie Cole, 65, soul and jazz singer, on Dec. 31
Natalie Cole – This Will Be (1975)
Frank Sinatra with Natalie Cole – I Get A Kick Out Of You (1977)
Natalie Cole – Good To Be Back (1989)

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Notable music deaths of 2015

December 31st, 2015 2 comments

As 2015 comes to an end, there will be the usual roll-calls of the year’s notable deaths. Regular readers will know that this blog has a monthly round-up of recent music deaths; I think it might be the most comprehensive such list on the Internet. The list for December will run next week.

Here are the most notable music deaths of the past year, in my subjective opinion, sorted by category in leagues of five or ten. Here is hoping nobody worthy of inclusion dies before the year is out (seven names that will appear next week are already included here). EDIT: An 8th December death occurred on New Year’s Eve: Natalie Cole’s. I’ve added her name to this round-up.

No music this time; instead we have lots of pictures. The story of many the people listed here were told in the monthly In Memoriams — revisit them here.

POP
Demis Roussos
, 68, Greek/Egyptian singer, on Jan. 25
Steve Strange
, 55, Welsh New Wave musician (Visage), on Feb. 12
Lesley Gore, 68, pop singer, on Feb. 16
Cilla Black
, 72, English singer and TV presenter, on August 1
Cory Wells, 74, singer with Three Dog Night, on Oct. 20

2015 pop 1
Billy Joe Royal, 73, pop and country singer, on Oct. 6
Jack Ely, 71, co-founder and original lead singer of The Kingsmen, on April 27
Jackie Trent, 74, English singer-songwriter and actress, on March 21
Trevor ‘Dozy’ Ward-Davies, 70, bassist of Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, on Jan. 13
Michael Brown, 65, keyboardist of The Left Banke and songwriter, on March 19

2015 pop 2

 

ROCK
Lemmy Kilmister, 70, singer of Motörhead, Hawkwind, on Dec. 28
Andy Fraser, 62, bassist of Free and songwriter, on March 16
Scott Weiland, 48, singer of Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, on Dec. 3
Edgar Froese, 70, leader of German electro-rock band Tangerine Dream, on Jan. 20
Phil “Philthy Animal” Taylor, 61, drummer of Motörhead, on Nov. 112015 rock 1Lew Soloff, 71, jazz trumpeter (Blood, Sweat & Tears 1968-73), on March 8
Stevie Wright, 68, singer of The Easybeats, on Dec. 27
A. J. Pero, 55, drummer of Twisted Sister, on March 20
Bob Burns, 64, drummer of Lynyrd Skynyrd (1966-74), car crash on April 3
Chris Squire, 67, bass guitarist of Yes, on June 28
2015 rock 2

 

SOUL/FUNK
Ben E. King
, 76, soul legend, on April 30
Percy Sledge
, 74, soul legend, on April 14
Allen Toussaint, 77, musician, songwriter, producer and arranger, on Nov. 10
Louis Johnson, 60, legendary bassist; half of Brothers Johnson, on May 21
Natalie Cole, 65, soul singer, on December 31
Errol Brown, 71, singer of Hot Chocolate, on May 62015 soul 1Andraé Crouch, 72, gospel singer, songwriter and producer, on Jan. 8
William Guest, 74, singer with Gladys Knight & the Pips, on Dec. 24
Kenneth ‘Wally’ Kelley, 72, founding member of The Manhattans, on Feb. 17
Don Covay, 76, soul singer and songwriter, on Jan. 30
Charmayne ‘Maxee’ Maxwell, 46, singer with R&B trio Brownstone, in a fall on Feb. 27

2015 soul 2

 

COUNTRY
Lynn Anderson
, 67, country singer, on July 30
Little Jimmy Dickens, 94, country singer, on Jan. 2
Bonnie Lou, 91, country/rockabilly singer, on Dec. 8
Don Robertson, 92, country performer and songwriter, on March 16
Randy Howard, 65, outlaw country singer, shot by a bounty hunter on June 92015 country

 

FOLK
Ronnie Gilbert
, 88, singer-songwriter with The Weavers and actress, on June 6
Guy Carawan, 87, folk singer, musicologist and activist, on May 2
Rod McKuen, 81, poet, singer and songwriter, on Jan. 29
Theodore Bikel, 91, Austrian-born actor, folk singer and composer, on July 21
Popsy Dixon, 72, drummer and singer with The Holmes Brothers, on Jan. 9
Wendell Holmes, 71, member of The Holmes Brothers, on June 192015 folk

JAZZ
Wilton Felder
, 75, saxophonist of The Crusaders and session bass player, on Sep. 27
Ornette Coleman, 85, free jazz saxophonist, on June 11
Harold Ousley, 86, jazz saxophonist, on August 13
Judith Hendricks, 78, jazz singer with Lambert, Hendricks & Ross, on Nov. 18
Clark Terry, 94, jazz trumpeter and flugelhornist, on Feb. 212015 jazz

 

MOM’S FAVOURITES
Louis Jourdan
, 93, French actor and singer, on Feb. 14
James Last
, 86, German big band leader, on April 9
Val Doonican
, 88, Irish singer and TV personality, on July 1
Ray Charles, 96, singer, songwriter, conductor and arranger, on April 6
Buddy Moreno, 103, musician and radio personality (started his career in 1929!), on Nov. 29

2015 moms

 

PIONEERS
Joe B. Mauldin
, 74, bassist of The Crickets, recording engineer, on Feb. 7
Peggy ‘Lady Bo’ Jones, 75, American guitarist, on Sep. 16
Johnny Meeks, 78, lead guitarist with Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps, on July 30
Rose Marie McCoy, 92, R&B and soul singer and songwriter, on Jan. 20
Curtis Lee, 75, rock & roll singer, on Jan. 82015 pioneers

 

WORLD
Patachou
, 96, French singer and actress, on April 30
Pino Daniele, 59, Italian singer and songwriter, on Jan. 4
Doudou N’Diaye Rose, 85, Senegalese drummer, composer and bandleader, on August 19
David Masondo, 67, singer of South African mbaqanga group The Soul Brothers, on July 5
Bunny Mack, 69, Sierra Leone-born funk singer, on July 112015 world

 

BLUES
B.B. King
, 89, blues legend, on May 14
Mighty Sam McClain, 72, soul and blues singer, on June 15
Big Time Sarah, 62, blues singer, on June 132015 bluesMOVERS & SHAKERS
Kim Fowley
, 75, producer, manager, impresario and musician; alleged rapist, on Jan. 15
John Berg
, 83, art director and LP cover designer, on Oct. 11

 

SESSION MUSICIANS
Marcus Belgrave, 78, jazz trumpeter, on May 24
Rutger Gunnarsson, 69, bassist for ABBA, on May 8
Smokey Johnson, 78, influential funk drummer, on Oct. 6
Buddy Emmons, 78, steel guitarist, on July 29
Arthur G. Wright, 78, soul and funk session guitarist, writer and arranger, in early July2015 session 1Andy White, 85, Scottish drummer (drummed for The Beatles), on Nov. 9
Gary Marker, 72, bassist (Rising Sons, Captain Beefheart) and recording engineer, on Dec. 8
Harry Pitch, 90, harmonica player (Mr Bloe), on July 15
Bobby Emmons, 72, keyboardist and songwriter, on Feb. 23
Phil Woods, 83, jazz and session saxophonist and clarinetist, on Sep. 292015 session 2

 

PRODUCERS
Bob Johnston
, 83, record producer, on August 14
Harold Battiste, 83, jazz and R&B composer, arranger and musician, on June 19
Larry Rosen
, 75, jazz engineer, producer, record executive, on Oct. 9
Billy Sherrill, 78, country songwriter, producer and arranger, on August 4
Van Alexander, 100, songwriter, film and TV score composer, arranger, on July 19

2015 producers

 

SONGWRITERS/COMPOSERS
Michael Masser
, 74, soul and pop songwriter and producer, on July 9
P.F. Sloan, 70, American singer and songwriter, on Nov. 15
Luigi Creatore, 93, songwriter and record producer, on Dec. 13
Ernie Maresca, 76, songwriter and singer, on July 8
James Horner, 61, movie composer, in a plane crash on June 22
2015 songwriters

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