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In Memoriam – July 2013

August 1st, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

JULY-13These are dangerous days if you’re a TV actor associated with the Journey song “Don’t Stop Believing”. In June, the wonderful Jim Gandolfini was taken from us much too young; in July Glee’s Cory Monteith suddenly died at an even younger age. Monteith was not the most talented singer or actor on Glee, but his character exuded a fundamental decency which, from all I’ve read, was a defining characteristic of the man. Kids everywhere will have dug out old DVDs of Glee; educate them by playing the originals of songs covered in the first two seasons of the show on the Origleenals mix.

Monteith was the most headlined death of July, but the headline death must be that of JJ Cale, who provided Eric Clapton with two of his biggest hits, “Cocaine” and “After Midnight”. Both versions were superior in Cale’s kicked back manner. Clapton’s decision to record “After Midnight” persuaded Cale to persist with his hitherto unrewarding music career.

In 1968 the immensely talented and even more troubled Frankie Lymon died at the age of 25 of a drug overdose. His younger brother Lewis Lymon was also a singer, with a very similar voice, fronting a group named The Teenchords who, like Frankie’s Teenagers, were multiracial. Lewis, who died at 69 on July 10, did not reach Frankie’s levels of fame. He did however perform to almost the end of his life, described as a modest and contented person. Read the story of Lewis Lymon on Marv Goldberg’s fantastically retro website.

If you are looking for somebody to blame for the stetsoned country boom of the 1990s, then Jim Foglesong is a good bet: as head of Capitol’s Nashville division he signed such megastars as Garth Brooks, Reba McEntire and George Strait. Before that he had made his name as the producer of such acts as Miriam Makeba, Doris Day and Robert Goulet. And before that he had been a session singer with the likes of Dion & The Belmonts, Connie Francis and Neil Sedaka.

The death at 37 of Zimbabwean singer and mbira player Chiwoniso Maraire, apparently from pneumonia, is sad for various reasons. For one, her death comes just a year after that of ex-husband Andy Brown, with whom she had two children. For another, she was an outspoken critic of the police violence which the Mugabe faction tends to unleash on the country’s people. And she broke taboos by playing the mbira, which in Zimbabwean tradition is reserved for men only.

Outside Europe, Dutch jazz singer Rita Reys was known only to aficionados of her genre; on her continent she was known as “Europe’s First Lady of Jazz”. At her peak she was backed by the Pim Jacobs Trio; on one tour, Pim proposed to her and they married. On their wedding day in 1960 they were presented with the first copy of their first album together, aptly titled Marriage in Modern Jazz (the featured track comes from that LP). Pim died in 1996; Reys soon made a comeback, as her late husband had urged her to do.

 

Texas Johnny Brown, 85, blues musician and songwriter, on July 1
Texas Johnny Brown – Two Steps From The Blues (1998)

Rolf Graf, 53, Norwegian musician, producer and music journalist, on July 1
Rolf Graf – Maxine (1985)

Gary Shearston, 74, Australian singer and songwriter, on July 1
Gary Shearston – I Get A Kick Out Of You (1974)

Johnny MacRae, 84, country songwriter, on July 3
Conway Twitty – I’d Love To Lay You Down (1980, as writer)

Bernie Nolan, 52, lead singer of Irish pop group The Nolans, on July 4
The Nolans – Crashing Down (1982)

MC Daleste, 20, Brazilian rapper, shot on stage on July 7

Brett Walker, 51, songwriter, musician and producer, on July 8
Alias – Waiting For Love (1991, as writer)

Jim Foglesong, 90, influential record executive and producer, on July 9
Miriam Makeba – When I’ve Passed On (1966, as producer)

Lewis Lymon, 69, doo wop singer, on July 9
Lewis Lymon & The Teenchords – I’m Not Too Young To Fall In Love (1957)

Peppi Marchello, 68, member of rock band The Good Rats, on July 10
The Good Rats – Injun Joe (1974)

Teddy Days, 48, bassist of metal band Hellion, on July 10

Charles Pope, 76, singer with soul vocal group The Tams, on July 11
The Tams – Hey Girl Don’t Bother Me (1964)

Cory Monteith, 31, actor and singer (Glee), on July 13
Cory Monteith & Mark Salling – Beth (2009)

Curly Lewis, 88, legendary western swing fiddler, on July 14

T-Model Ford, 93, American blues musician, on July 16
T-Model Ford – To The Left And To The Right (1998)

Jack-Alain Léger, 66, French singer, on July 17

Carline Ray, 88, pioneering jazz guitarist, on July 18
Mary Lou Williams – Lazarus (1970, on bass)

Peter Appleyard, 84, Canadian jazz musician, on July 18
Peter Appleyard – S’ Wonderful (1959)

Georgy Guryanov, 52, drummer of Russian band Kino, on July 20

Faye Hunter, 59, bass player of rock band Let’s Active, suicide on July 20
Let’s Active – Every Word Means No (1981)

GiGi Hines, 76, blues singer and songwriter, in a car crash on July 22

Dominguinhos, 72, Brazilian composer and singer, on July 23
Dominguinhos – Querubim (1981)

Chiwoniso Maraire, 37, Zimbabwean Mbira singer, on July 24
Chiwoniso Maraire – Listen To The Breeze (2008)

Pino Massara, 82, Italian musician, composer, record producer, on July 24
Nat ‘King’ Cole – Cappuccina (1961, as composer)

Steve Berrios, 68, Latin jazz drummer, on July 25
Alphonse Mouzon – My Life Is So Blue (1973)

Walter De Maria, 77, composer and drummer in Velvet Underground precursor The Primitives, on July 25

JJ Cale, 74, singer-songwriter, on July 26
JJ Cale – After Midnight (1972)
JJ Cale – Louisiana Women (1973)

Mick Farren, 69, British music journalist, author and singer with The Deviants, on July 27
The Deviants – I’m Coming Home (1967)

Rita Reys, 88, Dutch jazz singer, on July 28
Rita Reys and the Pim Jacobs Trio – Broadway (1960)

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  1. halfhearteddude
    August 1st, 2013 at 17:15 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Lisa
    August 1st, 2013 at 17:22 | #2

    Peppi Marchello deserves an entire page, IMHO. I couldn’t count how many times I saw the Good Rats between the fall of 1976 and, I guess, the early 1980s. Never anything less than an amazing performance … one of the greatest unsung singer-songwriters, amazing guy. I feel like a part of my teen years has died as well … texted my best friend from that period and, as she put it, “Now we’re officially old.”

  3. Jim
    August 3rd, 2013 at 06:48 | #3

    Golly! I need to check the news more frequently. T-Model Ford is gone? And Curly Lewis? Well, thank you as always for a fine summary of the month’s passings and a good mix to boot.

  4. feilim
    August 7th, 2013 at 05:12 | #4

    sorry to be pedantic but JJ Cale originally recorded “After Midnight” in 1966 in an uptempo style which Eric Clapton copied on his own 1970 hit version. The more laid back version (which is superior in my opinion too) was recorded by Cale after Clapton’s hit in 1972.
    The 1966 version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YUhVU__uPw

  5. halfhearteddude
    August 7th, 2013 at 18:20 | #5

    Ah, I didn’t know that. Thanks, feilim.

  6. dogbreath
    August 8th, 2013 at 16:49 | #6

    Thanks for this month’s funeral roll. JJ Cale was probably the saddest loss for me, not only bringing to mind his own fine work but the excellent renditions of his songs by others – Clapton as mentioned & Lynyrd Skynyrd doing “Call Me the Breeze” for example.

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