'What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others'. Pericles (495 - 429 b.c.)
b. Malcolm Cecil, 9th January 1937, London, England
d. 28th March 2021.
One half of the production team, consisting of Malcolm Cecil and Robert Marghouleff, Malcolm Cecil, has died. He was 84.
Initially, Malcolm was a Jazz musician, however, his life ’tour de force’ arrived through the transformation in the sound of Stevie Wonder, from the Sixties into the Seventies.
Malcolm formed the group Tonto’s Expanding Head Band, a synthesizer led group, which came to the attention of Stevie, as he looked to a new form of music which realised the ‘music in his mind’ across that time.
Intially, the revolutionary transformation began with Stevie’s ‘Music Of My Mind’, which featured ‘ the single ‘Superwoman (Where were You When I Needed You)’. So impressive and inspirational was that album, that Stevie collaborated further on his albums ‘Talking Book’, ‘Innervisions’ and ‘Fulfillingness' First Finale’.
The calibre of their work led to collaborations with other of Stevie’s contemporaries, including Minnie Riperton, Quincy Jones, Bobby Womack, the Isley Brothers, Billy Preston, Gil Scott-Heron, Weather Report, Stephen Stills, the Doobie Brothers, Dave Mason, Little Feat, Joan Baez, and Steve Hillage.
The artist, Gil Scott-Heron, stated that Malcolm was a creative genius.
b. James Burke, 19th September 1950, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
d. 19th February 2021, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
The American Soul guitarist and vocalist and member of the family group Five Stairsteps, James Burke, has died. He was 70. James had been suffering from pneumonia.
In the Seventies and early Eighties, James was part of the group for '2nd Resurrection' in 1976. James penned the song ‘Pasado’ on the album, which was later covered by the group Pockets.
He was a featured member of a later incarnation of the family group, the Invisible Man’s Band, in 1980 and 1982.
James penned the dancer ‘Love Can’t Come/Love Has Come’ on the group’s debut album.
He also penned the song ‘Along The Way’, with his brother, Clarence in 1982, for the group. In addition to his music career, James was a very talented artist (earning a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago at the age of 10).
b. Bruce Andre Hawes, 26th July 1953, Philadelphia, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
d. 17th February 2021, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
The American singer, pianist, songwriter and producer, Bruce Hawes, has died. Bruce was 67.
His career started at Philadelphia International Records in 1972.
Throughout the Seventies, he collaborated with several Philly groups, along with the artists, the Detroit Spinners (co-penning 'Games People Play'), the Stylistics, Johnny Mathis, Melba Moore, the Whispers and Little Anthony and the Imperials.
After leaving Philadelphia, he worked as an independent producer and music publisher since the Eighties, relocating to Florida in later life.
b. Mary Wilson, 6th March 1944, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
d. 8th February 2021, Henderson, Nevada, U.S.A.
One of founding members of the Supremes/Primettes, Mary Wilson, has died. Mary was 76.
Mary died in her sleep in Henderson, Nevada, U.S.A.
Her cause of death is unknown. Two days before her death, she had announced that she was planning to release new solo material with the Universal Music Group imprint.
Motown founder Berry Gordy said Mary was ‘quite a star in her own right and over the years continued to work hard to boost the legacy of the Supremes’.
Mary is survived by her daughter, son, adopted son, several grandchildren, a sister, and a brother.
b. Nolan Frederick Porter, 10th May 1949, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
d. 4th February 2021, Van Nuys, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
The American singer and songwriter, Nolan Porter, has died. Nolan was 71.
He died at his home in Van Nuys, Los Angeles, U.S.A.
Nolan recorded two albums and six singles in the Seventies.
Nolan’s most famous song was ‘Keep On Keeping On’, which formed the template for the British group Joy Division’s song ‘Interzone’.
He released two studio albums, which were ‘No Apologies’ (in 1970) and ‘Nolan’ (in 1972.
Nolan was married to the artist, Frank Zappa's sister, Candy.
He had previously worked with Frank and his band, the Mothers Of Invention, on his 1970 debut album (released on Lizard Records).
His 1972 album ’Nolan’ was released on the ABC Records imprint.
At various times, Nolan worked in Los Angeles nightclubs as a musician and comedian.
He also toured in Spain and the United Kingdom.
b. James Purify, 12th May 1944, Pensacola, Florida, U.S.A.
d. 23rd January 2021, Pensacola, Florida, U.S.A.
James Purify, has passed away to complications to COVID-19 in Pensacola on the 23rd of January.
James Purify and his brother Bobby are best remembered for their 1966 single, ‘I’m Your Puppet’.
The song reached number 5 on the US R&B chart and number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966.
‘I’m Your Puppet’ was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1967 for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.
The song ranked at number 46 on the Billboard Year-End Hot 100 singles of 1966.
Purify leaves behind six children and a host of grandchildren.
The services and arrangements have not been determined.
b. Harvey Phillip Spector, 25th December 1940, The Bronx, New York City, U.S.A.
d. 16th January 2021, Stockton, San Joaquin County, California, U.S.A.
Phil Spector passed away on Saturday the 16th of January at the age of 81.
His ‘Wall of Sound’ production style changed the way rock music was recorded in the early 1960’s.
His life was ultimately tragic, with, just as groundbreaking as his studio accomplishments were, they were all, almost, overshadowed by his 2009 conviction for the murder of the actress Lana Clarkson.
Phil’s death was confirmed by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, stating ‘California Health Care Facility inmate Phillip Spector was pronounced deceased from natural causes at 6:35 p.m. on Saturday, January 16, 2021, at an outside hospital’.
Following a hung jury that leaned heavily toward a guilty verdict in September 2007, he underwent a second murder trial that began in October 2008, and resulted in a conviction on second-degree murder charges.
In 2009, Phil was sentenced to 19 years to life in prison, where he remained until his death.
b. Edward G. Fletcher, 1951, New York City, U.S.A. d. 13th January 2021, Savannah, Georgia, U.S.A.
Duke Bootee passed away from end stage congestive heart failure, at the age of 69.
...those who left us in 2020...