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In Memoriam – October 2013

November 6th, 2013 Leave a comment Go to comments

In Memoriam - October 2013The headline death this month is that of Lou Reed, obviously. Much has been written about the man, but I particularly liked this summary on Facebook by the fine music writer David Stubbs: “Lou Reed. An utterly rude and unpleasant twat to interview by many accounts. Also, painted rock music a new shade of black. Cornerstone, gone. RIP.” I think Reed would have appreciated this as a fair and accurate summary.

One thing that Motown did differently from the other labels in the 1960s was to send their acts to charm school. The idea was that The Supremes or The Temptations would know how to present themselves — and, more pertinently, the label — in elevated company. They’d be taught how to speak, dress and hold a fork. And the doyenne of the Motown finishing school was Maxine Powell, who has died at 98. Besides good social etiquette, Powell taught her pupils the secrets of body language while performing. Diana Ross was taught not to pull faces when singing, Marvin Gaye was instructed to keep his eyes open, and so on. The net result of the grooming, as testified by her pupils, was an increased self-confidence — a self-confidence that found reflection in the Motown sound.

Here’s a tale to make you weep. Amy and Derrick Ross were very much in love, even after 13 years of marriage. They performed as the folk duo Nowhere Man And A Whiskey Girl, mainly in Arizona where they had a loyal following. Their bliss came to a sudden, cruel end when Amy died on 14 October of a blood infection, contracted during the dialysis that formed part of her treatment for lupus.

Derrick insisted that he was dealing fine with his beloved wife’s death. On the way home from the hospital he bought a gun, and at the home he had shared with Amy he put an end to his life. Read the full story, with Facebook postings, HERE.

The remarkable life of Noel Harrison, son of the actor Rex Harrison, came to an end on 22 October. Perhaps best remembered for singing the original version of “The Windmills Of Your Mind” from the 1968 film The Thomas Crown Affair, Harrison was an actor and something of a comic, who was half a of a group which on the 1960s British TV show Tonight sang the news headlines in calypso style. In 1952 and 1956 he took part in the Winter Olympics as a slalom skier for Great Britain. His death came from a heart attack, just a few hours after performing on stage.

Under most circumstances, the death of Lage Fosheim would merit a one-line entry, even if it occurred at the tragically young age of 55. But when both members of a two-man group die of cancer in the same year, one takes note. So it was with the Norwegian ska outfit The Monroes (a Scandinavian equivalent of Madness), which in March lost guitarist Eivind Rølles, and in October singer Fosheim.

 

Keith ‘Sabu’ Crier, 58, founder and bassist of funk group GQ, on September 29
G.Q. – Disco Nights (1978)

Margaret Ann Williams, backing singer for Elvis Presley, Aretha Franklin, briefly member of Sweet Inspirations, on October 1
Sweet Inspirations – (Gotta Find) A Brand New Lover (1970)

Frank D’Rone, 81, jazz singer and guitarist, on October 3
Frank D’Rone – Think I Will

Butch Warren, 74, jazz bassist, on October 5
Dexter Gordon – I Guess I’ll Hang My Tears Out To Dry (1962, on bass)

Philip Chevron, 56, singer-songwriter and guitarist of The Pogues, on October 8
The Pogues – Thousands Are Sailing (1988, also as songwriter)
The Radiators From Space  – Joe Strummer (2006)

Marc Trovillion, 56, former bassist of Lambchop, on October 9
Lambchop – The Old Matchbook Trick (2001)

Jan Kuehnemund, 52, founder and guitarist of hard rock band Vixen, on October 10
Vixen – Edge Of A Broken Heart (1988)

Cal Smith, 81, country singer, on October 10
Cal Smith – Country Bumpkin (1974)

Jim Shumate, 92, bluegrass fiddler and singer, on October 10
Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys – Kentucky Waltz (1945, on fiddle)

Tommy Whittle, 87, British jazz saxophonist, on October 13

Ginger Dinning, 89, last surviving member of vocal trio The Dinning Sisters, on October 14
The Dinning Sisters – Please Don’t Talk About Me (1945)

Maxine Powell, 98, Motown charm school teacher, on October 14

Amy & Derrick Ross, 40 and 39, folk duo Nowhere Man And A Whiskey Girl, on October 14

Gloria Lynne, 83, jazz singer, on October 15
Gloria Lynne – I Wish You Love (1960)

Donald Bailey, 80, jazz drummer, on October 15
George Benson – Tuxedo Junction (1969, on drums)

Roland Janes, 80, rockabilly guitarist and record producer on Sun, on October 18
Jerry Lee Lewis – Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On (1957, on guitar)

Lage Fosheim, 55, member of Norwegian ska duo The Monroes, on October 19
The Monroes – Sunday People (1983)

Ronald Shannon Jackson, 73, jazz drummer, on October 19

Noel Harrison, 79, British singer and actor, on October 22
Noel Harrison -The Windmills Of Your Mind (1968)

Taidhg Burke, 32, bassist of Irish country-rock band The Calvinists, on October 22

Gypie Mayo, 62, guitarist of Dr Feelgood, on October 23
Dr. Feelgood – Milk And Alcohol (1979, also as co-writer)

Tony Brevett, 60s, member of Jamaican rocksteady group The Melodians, on October 26
The Melodians – Rivers Of Babylon (1969)

Al Johnson, 65, soul singer, member of The Unifics, on October 26
Al Johnson – I’m Back For More (1980)

Lou Reed, 71, rock legend, on October 27
The Velvet Underground – Pale Blue Eyes (1969)
Lou Reed – I Wanna Be Black (1978)
The Blind Boys of Alabama with Lou Reed – Jesus (2009)

Peter Haycock, 62, guitarist with Climax Blues Band, film composer, on October 30
Climax Blues Band – Gotta Have More Love (1980)

Frank Wess, 91, jazz saxophonist and flautist, on October 30
Count Basie – Basie Goes Wess (1954, on tenor sax)

GET IT! (PW in comments)

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  1. halfhearteddude
    November 6th, 2013 at 07:24 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. Mark Orr
    November 7th, 2013 at 07:35 | #2

    Folks like me, on the younger side of the Baby Boom, recall Noel Harrison primarily as the sidekick of April Dancer, the Girl from UNCLE. RIP.

  3. dogbreath
    November 7th, 2013 at 17:31 | #3

    Thanks for October’s In Memoriam compilation. It was not that long ago while I caught another showing of the Steve McQueen classic “Thomas Crown Affair” that I wondered what had become of Noel Harrison. Now I know! His version of “Windmills…” perfectly fits the mood of the picture when it appears in the soundtrack & I remember it well when it made the charts back in ’68. RIP Noel.

  4. Rhod
    November 8th, 2013 at 21:11 | #4

    Thanks for another series of In memoriam. Appreciate the hard work.

    Regards

    Rhod

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