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In Memoriam – April 2014

In Memoriam - April 2014Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith nearly received no credit for his most successful composition. Owing to its inclusion in the film Deliverance, “Dueling Banjos” became a pop hit, spending four weeks at #2 on the Billboard charts. But Smith had to sue for the credit that initially was denied him, because “Dueling Banjos” was in fact his 1955 song “Feudin’ Banjos”. He had recorded that with Don Reno, who features also on the track included in tribute to bluegrass guitarist George Shuffler, who has died at 88. Smith was hardly an obscurity: as a country guitar player he influenced acts like The Ventures and Glen Campbell. His songs were recorded by acts like Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison, Willie Nelson, Boots Randolph and Tom Petty. And at his funeral on April 12, The Avett Brothers were among those performing,

Berry Gordy called Gil Askey “the glue that held Motown together”. Askey, a jazz trumpeter by trade, served as a musical director and arranger for Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, The Supremes, The Four Tops, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, The Temptations, Stevie Wonder, The Jackson 5, Gladys Knight etc, and also worked with Curtis Mayfield and The Staple Singers. He was part of Motown’s grooming department, and was the conductor when The Supremes played at New York’s Copacabana club, which yielded a live album. He received an Oscar nomination for writing the score of the 1973 Diana Ross film The Lady Sings The Blues. In 1980 he married an Australian woman and moved down under.

With the death on Wednesday of Paul Goddard, we have buried three members of the Atlanta Rhythm Section since March 2011. First singer Ronnie Hammond (member from 1972-82; 1988-2001) went , then in May 2012 we lost drummer Robert  Nix (1971-79), and now bass player Goddard, who was with the band from  1971-83 and rejoined in 2011.

I fear my curse has struck again: On Saturday I played Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock’s 1988 hip hop classic “It Takes Two” (I had a retro rap day); the following day DJ EZ Rock died. Known to his mom as Rodney Bryce and to his friends as Skip, DJ EZ rock died at the age of 46 of diabetes, a disease he had been living with for 20 years. “It Takes Two”, which sampled Lyn Collins’ 1972 song “Think”, was the duo’s biggest hit by far, going platinum in 1988. I’m now going to make a mix-tape comprising nothing but Michael F. Bolton, Bono, Ted Nugent, Kid Rick, Limp Bizkit, Puff Daddy…


George Winfield, 76, baritone and pianist with doo wop band The Chateaus, on March 30
The Chateaus – If I Didn’t Care (1959)

King Fleming, 91, jazz pianist, on April 1

Arthur Smith, 93, country guitarist and songwriter, on April 3
Arthur Smith and his Cracker Jacks – Guitar Boogie (1948)
Arthur Smith and his Cracker Jacks – Feudin’ Banjo’s (1955)

Lawrence Hamilton, 59, Broadway singer and musical director, on April 3

Wayne Henderson, 74, trombonist of The Jazz Crusaders and producer, on April 4
The Crusaders – Put It Where You Want It (1972)
The Crusaders – Greasy Spoon (1974)

David Lamb, leader of folk band Brown Bird, on April 5
Brown Bird – Down To The River (2009)

Jason McCash, 38, bassist of doom metal band Gates of Slumber, on April 5

Mickey Rooney, 93, occasionally singing actor, on April 6
Judy Garland & Mickey Rooney – Good Morning (1943)

Ed Hurt, 90, bluegrass fiddle and mandolin player, on April 6

George Shuffler, 88, bluegrass guitarist, on April 7
Reno & Harrell with George Shuffler – Black Snake Moan (1967)

Gil Askey, 89, musician, composer and producer, on April 9
Diana Ross – Little Girl Blue (1973, as producer/arranger)
Staple Singers – Let’s Do it Again (1976, as arranger)

Steve Backer, 76, jazz producer and executive, on April 10
The Brecker Brothers – If You Wanna Boogie…Forget It (1976)

Jesse Winchester, 69, folk singer-songwriter, on April 11
Jesse Winchester – Step By Step (1976)

Fred Ho, 56, free jazz saxophonist and composer, on April 12

Armando Peraza, 89, Cuban-born jazz percussionist (Santana, Carl Tjader, John McLaughlin), on April 14
Armando Peraza – Funky Broadway (1969)
Sister Sledge – Make A Move (1981)

Little Joe Cook, 91, doo-wop singer and songwriter, on April 15
Little Joe & The Thrillers – Peanuts (1957)

Shane Gibson, 35, nu-metal guitarist (Korn, stOrk), on April 15

Júnior, 70, Filipino singer and actor, on April 15

Stan Kelly-Bootle, 84, English songwriter, on April 16
Cilla Black – Liverpool Lullaby (1969, as composer)

Cheo Feliciano, 78, Puerto Rican salsa/ bolero composer and singer, on April 17

Kevin Sharp, 43, country singer, on April 19
Kevin Sharp – Nobody Knows (1997)

Deon Jackson, 68, soul singer and songwriter, on April 19
Deon Jackson – Love Makes The World Go Around (1966)

Mike Atta, 53, guitarist of hardcore punk band Middle Class, on April 20

Mundo Earwood, 61, country music singer-songwriter, on April 21
Mundo Earwood – Fooled Around And Fell In Love (1979)

Lee Dresser, 72, rockabilly singer-songwriter and guitarist, on April 24
The Krazy Kats – Beat Out My Love (1957)

DJ Rashad, 34, producer and disc jockey, on April 26

DJ E-Z Rock, 46, hip-hop musician, on April 27
Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock – It Takes Two (1988)

Dennis Kamakahi, 61, Hawaiian musician, on April 28

Iveta Bartošová, 48, popular Czech singer, suicide on April 29

Paul Goddard, 68, bassist of southern rock band Atlanta Rhythm Section, on April 30
Atlanta Rhythm Section – Do It Or Die (1979)


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  1. halfhearteddude
    May 1st, 2014 at 18:58 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. JohnnyDiego
    May 2nd, 2014 at 11:55 | #2

    When you get around to it how about adding Steven Tyler to your mix-tape.

  3. rhod
    May 2nd, 2014 at 22:23 | #3

    Thanks Amad

    Look forward to these posting each month as it gives me the chance to hear people that I have never heard of and unfortunately only have their back catalogue to go by. Great work



  4. halfhearteddude
    May 2nd, 2014 at 23:18 | #4

    He has to die first?

  5. JohnnyDiego
    May 4th, 2014 at 11:22 | #5

    No, No, Dude. Remember when you were listening to George Jones in you car and that day you found out he had died? Then on Saturday you played Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock. The next day he was dead.
    Now you’re thinking once again about making a mix-tape of Michael F. Bolton, Bono, Ted Nugent, Kid Rick, Limp Bizkit, Puff Daddy to play in your car. All I’m asking is that you please add Steven Tyler to that tape.
    And while you’re at it how about a little Michael Bublé too.

  6. halfhearteddude
    May 4th, 2014 at 16:18 | #6

    Argh, I’m slow on picking up on my own gag. How stupid am I? I’ll oblige with Tyler, but Bublé seems like a nice guy, I’ll spare him.

  7. dogbreath
    May 7th, 2014 at 16:32 | #7

    I do look forward (if that’s an appropriate expression) to the “death list” each month. Thanks for doing the homework so I can crib your research! Cheers……

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