Soul And / Or Related Artists

respect 2008...

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december 2008

Eartha Kitt

Eartha Kitt

b. Eartha Mae Keith, 17th January 1927, North, South Carolina, U.S.A.

d. 25th December 2008, Weston, Connecticut, U.S.A.

Eartha Kitt has died. She was 81.

Eartha had been suffering from colon cancer recently.

Born in South Carolina, Eartha said that her father was the white son of a plantation owner, and that she had been conceived as a result of rape.

At eight years of age, her mother sent her away to live with an aunt in Harlem.

She was an actress, singer, and cabaret star and was, perhaps, best known for her 1953 Christmas song 'Santa Baby'.

Orson Welles once described her as the 'most exciting woman in the world', after she performed for him as Helen Of Troy in Welles production of Dr. Faust.

She took over the role of Catwoman for the 4th series of the 1960's Batman TV series, replacing Julie Newmar who was unavailable for the final series.

Her other memorable songs included 'Where Is My Man'.

Offstage, Eartha described herself as shy and fairly reclusive, remnants of feeling unwanted and unloved as a child.

She referred to herself as 'that little urchin cotton-picker from the South, Eartha Mae'.

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november 2008

Miriam Makeba

Miriam MakebaMiriam Makeba

b. (Miriam Zensi Makeba) (a.k.a Mama Afrika), 4th March 1932, Prospect Township near Johannesburg, South Africa.

d. 9th November 2008, Castel Volturno, near Caserta, Italy.

Miriam Makeba, the Empress of African Song, has died from a heart attack in Caserta in Italy. She was 76.

She passed away shortly after taking part in a concert organized to support writer Roberto Saviano in his stand against the Camorra, a mafia-like organisation.

Miriam was most famous for singing the hits, 'Pata Pata' and 'The Click Song'.

As a child, she sang at the Kilmerton Training Institute in Pretoria.

She was a member of The Skylarks, and worked with The Manhattan Brothers and Paul Simon.

For a time, Miriam had been married to Hugh Masekela and Stokely Carmichael, which, in 1968, caused controversy in the United States.

In 1990, Nelson Mandela persuaded her to return to South Africa.

He stated that it was fitting that she passed away doing what she did best. Singing

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Jheryl Busby

Jheryl Busby

b. 5th May 1949, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

d. 4th November 2008, Malibu, California, U.S.A.

Former Motown President and Chief Executive, Jheryl Busby has died. He was 59.

He was found dead in the hot tub at his home in Malibu.

The cause was accidental, probably natural, although this had not been initially determined, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner's office stated.

During his career, Jheryl worked for Stax Records, MCA Records, DreamWorks Records and Def Soul Classics.

He, also, developed the careers of Boyz II Men, Queen Latifah and Johnny Gill.

Jheryl Busby commenced his business career at Mattel Toys, starting as an inventory clerk and ultimately promoted to new-toy coordinator.

In 2004, he founded Def Soul Classics Records, signing LaBelle and the Isley Brothers, and two years later continued his partnership with LaBelle by starting Umbrella Recordings.

In 1998, Jheryl Busby also became a majority stakeholder in Founders National Bank, the first African-American-owned and operated commercial bank in California.

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october 2008

Dee Dee Warwick

Dee Dee Warwick

b. Delia Mae Warrick, 25th September 1945, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.

d. 18th October 2008, Essex County, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Dee Dee Warwick has died. She was 63 years old.

She died on Saturday at a nursing home in Essex County, and had been in failing health in recent months. Dionne was with her when she died.

Born Delia Mae Warrick in Newark, New Jersey, Her older sister, Dionne Warwick recorded a catalogue of Soul classics, however, not to be outshone, Dee Dee created a body of work that his highly regarded amongst Soul purists.

At that time, Dee Dee changed her surname from Warrick to Warwick in the early 1960's.

Dee Dee sang background vocals for Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and others before starting her solo career.

Her first record on the Jubilee label, 'You're No Good', was later recorded in Chicago by Betty Everett for the VeeJay imprint.

In 1964, Dee Dee signed with Mercury's Blue Rock subsidiary and, under the wing of producer Ed Townsend, recorded a series of excellent recordings, notably 'We're Doing Fine' (number 28 R & B).

She then relocated to Mercury in 1966, where she reached the charts with 'I Want To Be With You' (number 9 R & B, number 41 pop), which was taken from the Broadway musical 'Golden Boy', and 'l'm Gonna Make You Love Me' (number 13 R & B, number 88 pop), which was remade the following year in the pop market by Madeline Bell and much later by a collaboration of the Supremes and the Temptations.

Dee Dee then switched labels to Atco in 1970 and became produced in Miami by Dave Crawford, achieving chart success with 'She Didn't Know (She Kept On Talking)' (number 9 R & B, number 70 pop) and a remake of 'Suspicious Minds' (number 24 R & B, number 80 pop).

'Get Out Of My Life' was her last chart record in 1975.

In 2006 Dee Dee returned to singing backgrounds for her sister, Dionne, in concert and also was part of the 'Family First' song in the Tyler Perry movie and soundtrack for 'Daddy's Little Girls'.

In January 2008, Dee Dee is featured in the title song from Dionne's gospel album 'Why We Sing' and continued background vocal chores with her sister.

In February 2008, Dee Dee toured with Dionne's one woman show 'My Music and Me' in Europe.

Dee Dee was the niece of gospel singer Cissy Houston and a cousin of Whitney Houston.

Dee Dee Warwick was an R&B Foundation Pioneer Awardee, and was also was a two-time Grammy Award nominee.

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Levi Stubbs

Levi Stubbs

b. Levi Stubbles, 6th June 1936, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A. d. 17th October 2008, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.

Levi Stubbs, one of the truly great Soul vocalists, has died.

He passed away at his home in Detroit on the 17th October 2008. He was 72.

Levi had suffered a series of strokes and other illnesses had been sick for a number of years prior to his passing.

The illnesses prevented him touring with his group, the Four Tops, in recent years.

Levi did make an appearance during the televised '50 year anniversary Celebration of the Four Tops', one of his last public appearances.

Singer, Ronnie McNeir, had been recruited to the Tops line-up in recent years, as fewer members of the original group endured.

Laurence Payton died in 1997 (his son touring to this day as his fathers stand-in), Obie Benson died in 2005, and now Levi.

Cousin of Jackie Wilson, Levi Stubbs and his wife Clineice were married from 1960. They had five children.

The Four Tops

The Four Tops began their career in the mid 50's, and were already professional recording artists and performers by the time they got to Motown.

They recorded for several labels before signing to Motown in 1963.

The group were one of the main artistic outputs for the famous Holland/Dozier/Holland songwriting team.

Their output was prolific for the label, a curriculum vitae featuring classics including 'Baby, I Need Your Loving" (July 1964), 'Ask the Lonely' (January 1965), 'I Can't Help Myself' (April 1965), 'It's the Same Old Song' (July 1965), 'Something About You' (October 1965), 'Shake Me, Wake Me (When It's Over)' (February 1966), 'Loving You Is Sweeter than Ever' (May 1966), 'Reach Out, I'll Be There' (August 1966), 'Standing in the Shadows of Love' (November 1966), 'Bernadette' (February 1967), '7 Rooms of Gloom' (May 1967), and 'You Keep Running Away' (August 1967).

Holland-Dozier-Holland left Motown (1967), however, Levi and the Tops continued to record for the label, releasing, 'If I were You Carpenter', 'It's All in the Game,' 'Still Water (Love),' a duet with the Supremes on 'River Deep, Mountain High', and 'Just Seven Numbers (Can Straighten Out My Life)', all of which charted on the R&B Top Ten and, also, the mainstream Top 40.

One final hit with Motown, '(It's the Way) Nature Planned It', led to a move to ABC Dunhill, where they enjoyed further success.

The Four Tops

'Keeper of the Castle' (October 1972), 'Ain't No Woman (Like the One I Got)' (January 1973), 'Are You Man Enough' (June 1973 and taken from the soundtrack to the movie 'Shaft In Africa'), 'Sweet Understanding Love' (September 1973), 'One Chain Don't Make No Prison' (April 1974), and 'Midnight Flower' (July 1974), were all R & B hits of the highest standard.

They returned to the R&B Top Ten with 'Catfish' (August 1976 and featuring the rare groove classic 'Strung Out On Your Love'), before relocating to the Casablanca imprint for the R&B number one 'When She Was My Girl' (September 1981).

Levi Stubbs

At this current time, funeral arrangements are yet to be arranged.

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Nappy Brown

Nappy BrownNappy Brown

b. Napoleon Brown Goodson Culp, 12th October 1929, Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.A. d. 20th September 2008, Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.A.

E-mail received on the 22nd of September 2008:

Sunday, September 21, 2008 7:37 PM

Subject: Nappy Brown Passes On

On Saturday night at 10:30 pm Nappy left us. He went peacefully in his sleep. A service is planned for Saturday.

Nappy Brown, was one of the last remaining classic R & B vocalists and blues shouters, is featured on the cover and in the lead article in a recent issue of Living Blues magazine.

The seven page article chronicles Brown's life from his birth in 1929 in Charlotte, North Carolina as well as his highly successful singing career which began with a series of hit recordings in the mid 1950s.

During his heyday, in the mid to late 50s, Nappy was a prolific recording artist for Savoy Records and a much-in-demand stage performer, often playing every night and touring all over the country.

During that period he traveled and performed with Jackie Wilson, Ray Charles, Muddy Waters, Little Walter, Howlin' Wolf, Little Richard, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Eddie Cleanhead Vinson, and T-Bone Walker.

He provided ground-breaking hit songs for other artists, one of his biggest being "Night Time Is The Right Time" which was recorded and made famous by Ray Charles in 1958.

Nappy Brown was active as a performer until the end, performing until his illness was too much.

His last CD was recorded with a group of younger musicians with an abiding knowledge of and respect for Nappy's music and the era of its greatest success.

Guitarists Sean Costello and Junior Watson, among others, provided superb backing for Nappy on Long Time Coming, his first studio recording in many years, which was released by Blind Pig Records on September 25, 2007.

Said an exultant Nappy at the end of the recording sessions, "This is the best record I have done since 1955."

Steve Hecht, Piedmont Talent Inc. Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S.A.

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Earl Palmer

Earl Palmer

b. Earl Cyril Palmer, 25th October 1924, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.

d. 19th September 2008, Banning, California, U.S.A.

Session drummer, Earl Palmer, has passed away in Los Angeles, California, at the age of 83.

Earl played on many Rock and Soul classics, including Little Richard's 'Tutti Frutti' and The Righteous Brothers' 'You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'.'

He passed away on Friday the 25th of September 2008, at his Los Angeles home after fighting a lengthy illness.

Born in New Orleans in 1924, to a mother who was a vaudevillian, Earl was learning rhythmic patterns as a tap dancer at age four.

He later moved to Los Angeles, and worked mainly in both cities, recording with some of the music world's all-time greats on a huge number of songs.

Earl drummed on Ike and Tina Turner's 'River Deep, Mountain High,' Fats Domino's 'The Fat Man' and 'I Hear You Knockin' by Smiley Lewis.

From his Los Angeles home, Palmer drummed for music producer Phil Spector and Motown.

His list of session credits includes artists as diverse as Ritchie Valens, Eddie Cochran, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Duane Eddy, Frank Sinatra, the Monkees, Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Otis, Neil Young and Elvis Costello.

Earl Palmer was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000.

According to the institution's Web site, Little Richard wrote in his autobiography that Palmer 'is probably the greatest session drummer of all time.'

He married four times and is survived by his seven children.

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Norman Whitfield

Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong with barrett strong

b. Norman Jesse Whitfield, 12th May 1941, Harlem, New York, New York City, U.S.A.

d. 16th September 2008, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, U.S.A.

Norman Whitfield, the songwriter and producer, musically way ahead of his time, has died on Tuesday the 16th of September at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 67.

Norman had struggled for months with complications from diabetes. Additionally he had recently emerged from a coma.

Janie Bradford and Detroit producer Clay McMurray were among the many friends and Motown alumni monitoring his health up until his passing.

Clay McMurray spoke with Whitfield by phone last week. Clay had said he felt Norman was recently 'fighting back' from his ill health.

As Motown went through changes in styles towards the latter years of the 1960's, Norman Whitfield moved the Motown Sound into an undiscovered territory, incorporating rock, psychedelic sounds and pulsating rhythms within his work.

He was instrumental in moving the Temptations away from the sweet soul sounds of the mid Sixties, giving the lyrical content an enironmental and political dimension.

Along with Barrett Strong (who is also in a Detroit hospital recovering from a stroke) the pair penned many of the Motown melodies that are today seen as pop standards, perhaps most notably, 'I Heard it Through the Grapevine', recorded by Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight & the Pips seperately.

Norman's post-Motown years included the 1977 soundtrack to the movie 'Car Wash' which featured the band Rose Royce.

At this stage, Funeral arrangements have not yet been allocated.

Norman Whitfield resume

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september 2008

Richard Popcorn Wylie

Richard Popcorn Wylie

b. Richard Wayne Wylie, 6th June 1939, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.

d. 7th September 2008, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.

Pianist and producer Richard 'Popcorn' Wylie has passed away. He was 69.

Richard worked with The Funk Brothers, Barrett Strong (on 'Money'), The Miracles (on 'Shop Around') and The Marvelettes (on 'Please Mr. Postman').

Born in Detroit, he put together his first group at high school, along with James Jamerson and Clifford Mack.

He recorded his first song for Ed and JoAnne in March 1964, and joined Motown Records in 1959, through his friendship with Robert Bateman, and took the first Motown Reviews on the road as bandleader.

At Motown he released 'Shimmy Gully', one of the earliest Motown releases.

His group, Popcorn and The Mohawks, had three releases on the Motown label in 1961.

Richard left Motown in 1962 and worked as a freelancer at the Correc-tone and Continental imprints and signed with Epic Records.

At Epic he made his debut with 'Come to Me', followed a year later by the song 'Brand New Man' and 'Head Over Heels in Love'.

At the Golden World imprint he worked on some songs for the Reflections.

Whilst a songwriter, producer and session player for the small Detroit labels SonBert and Ric-Tic.

In 1966 he formed his own label, Pameline, releasing songs for the Detroit Executives, including the 1967 Northern soul evergreen 'The Cool-Off'.

Richard Popcorn Wylie's Northern Soul output featured recordings for Carl Carlton ('Nothing No Sweeter Than Love'), the Debonaires ('Eenie Meenie') and Stewart Ames ('King For A Day' / 'Angelina').

In 1971 Richard signed with Motown's Soul subsidiary to record 'Funky Rubber Band'.

The single remained unreleased until 1975 and became a U.K. club favourite.

Richard recorded two more 1975 singles on ABC, namely 'Lost Time' and 'Georgia's After Hours' as a solo artist.

Richard Popcorn Wylie

Later he was to record for Ian Levine's Motorcity imprint during the early 1990's, releasing 'See This Man In Love'.

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august 2008

Pervis Jackson

Pervis Jackson

b. Pervis Angelo Jackson, 17th May 1938, New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.A.

d. 18th August 2008, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.

The bass vocalist with The Detroit Spinners, Pervis Jackson, has died. He was 70.

Pervis had been suffering from cancer.

Pervis' widow, Claudreen Jackson said her husband, died about 2 a.m. on Monday at Sinai-Grace.

She said the 70-year-old bass singer had been diagnosed two days previously with brain and liver cancer.

The doctors found tumors late in July, but were unsure at the time if they were malignant.

Pervis formed the bass vocal foundation for the Detroit based group. He was, additionally, one of the original members of the group.

His vocals can be distinctively heard on the Spinners tune 'Games People Play', with Pervis singing the line '12:45'.

Pervis last performed with other members of the group during July in California.

Pervis Jackson

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Jerry Wexler

Jerry Wexler

b. Gerald 'Jerry' Wexler, 10th January 1917, New York City, New York State, U.S.A.

d. 15th August 2008, Sarasota, Florida, U.S.A.

Music producer, Jerry Wexler, has died at his home in Siesta Key, Florida, 15th August 2008, at the age of 91, from congestive heart failure. His life support machine had been turned off after his family were consulted.

check this link for a biography here on Jerry Wexler

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Isaac Hayes

Isaac Hayes

b. Isaac Lee Hayes Jnr., 20th August 1942, Covington, Tennessee, U.S.A.

d.10th August 2008, Baptist Memorial Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Isaac Hayes has died at his home in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 65.

Shelby County Police were called to Mr Hayes' home after his wife found him unconscious on the floor near a still-running treadmill.

He was taken to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, where he was pronounced dead at 2:08pm.

The cause of death was not immediately known.

"Family members believe at this point it is a medical condition that might have led to his death," a police spokesman said, adding Mr Hayes was being treated for "a number of medical issues".

Isaac Hayes

Mr Hayes had suffered a stroke in 2006.

Isaac Hayes full biography at Soulwalking

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july 2008

Hiram Bullock

Hiram Bullock

b. 11th September 1955, Osaka, Japan

d. 25th July 2008, New York, U.S.A.

The jazz guitarist, Hiram Bullock has died. He was 53. Hiram was suffering from throat cancer.

Hiram was a member of Paul Shaffer's The Worlds Most Dangerous Band and The 24th Street Band.

He had worked with Marcus Miller, Carla Bley, David Sanborn, Billy Joel, Barbra Streisand, Burt Bacharach, Roberta Flack, Spyro Gyra, Eric Clapton, James Brown, Sting, Miles Davis, Phyllis Hyman, The Brecker Brothers, James Taylor, Paul Simon, Chaka Khan, Pete Townsend, Ruben Rada and Gil Evans, amongst others.

In 1986 Hiram released his first album for Atlantic Records called 'From All Sides', followed by the albums 'Give It What You Got' in 1987, and 'Way Kool' in 1990.

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Kae Williams Jnr

Kae Williams JnrKae Williams Jnr

b. Kae Williams Jr.(a.k.a. Ulysses Kae Williams Jr.), 7th March 1956, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

d. 11th July 2008, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Kae Williams Jnr, founder of the group Breakwater, has died. He was 52.

Breakwater signed to the Arista imprint and released two albums.

BreakwaterSplashdown

The first album, 'Breakwater' (1978), included 'Work It Out', 'You Know I Love You', 'No Limit' and 'Feel Your Way'.

Two years later, 'Splashdown' (1980) was the bands second album, which included 'Say You Love Me Girl', produced by Kae Williams and Rick Chertoff.

The group split up after leaving Arista.

Kae Williams became a freelance pianist, songwriter and producer.

'Say You Love Me Girl' was issued in the U.K. for the first time in 1986.

Following Breakwater, Kae moved to New York and took up session work, an early project being 'Rescue Me' for Sybil Thomas.

He also met Jacques Fred Petrus who offered him session keyboard work with Change, The Richie Family (co-writing 'I'll Do My Best For You') and B.B.& Q. (writing 'Imagination').

In 1981 he joined Timmy Allen from the group Change and other top session players to record an album as Hi-Gloss (including 'You'll Never Know') for the Prelude label.

He also wrote, arranged and produced all the songs on 'B.B.& Q.' ('Genie'), albums for Mason ('Mason'), and then half a solo album for Curtis Hairston, 'Curtis Hairston' (1986) who sang lead.

He then moved back to Philadelphia where to date he has worked with artists including Mason, lan Foster, the late Phyllis Hyman, the late George Howard, Miki Howard and other local acts.

Kae Williams Snr kae williams snr.

Kae's father was Ulysses Kae Williams (1921-1987). He wrote 'Get A Job' for the group The Silhouettes.

Kae's family are, daughter, Renee Lovett; sons, Kae, III and Curtis Hartley, Jr. and a host of other loving relatives and many special friends.

The funeral service was held on Friday 18th July, 11 a.m. Viewing 9 to 11 a.m. at the Canaan Baptist Church, 5430 Pulaski Avenue, Phila. PA. Int. White Chapel Cem.

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Earl Nelson

Bob and Earl

b. Earl Lee Nelson (a.k.a. Jackie Lee), 8th September 1928, Lake Charles, Louisiana, U.S.A.

d. 12th July 2008, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Less than a year after the passing of Bob Relf, his singing partner in the duo Bob and Earl, Earl Lee Nelson, has died. He was 79.

Under his earlier name, Earl recorded a song called 'The Duck', using the pseudonym Jackie Lee.

Earl was a member of The Hollywood Flames, who recorded, 'Buzz Buzz Buzz' and the song 'Gee'.

Under the name Earl Nelson And The Pelicans, he recorded 'I Bow To You', and recoreded with The Voices, although Earl will be most fondly remembered as part of the duo Bob and Earl, recording 'Harlem Shuffle' and 'Baby It's Over'.

I would like to thank Mrs. Kelli S. Wafer for passing this information on to me. She is Earl's grand daughter. Respect to the family.

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june 2008

Bill Coday

Bill Coday

b. William Chew, 10th May 1942, Coldwater, Mississippi, U.S.A.

d. 7th June 2008, Methodist University Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Bill Coday has passed away. He was 66.

His wife Anna stated that he was due to return to the recording studio on the Monday after his passing. Bill's funeral was sadly held on the same day.

Born in 1942 in Coldwater, Mississippi, Bill Coday spent his early years in Blytheville, Arkansas.

He relocated to Chicago in the early 1960's.

In 1963, he moved to Chicago, and in 1969 was discovered by the singer, and then Crajon label-owner, Denise LaSalle, while performing at the Black Orchid club under the name of Chicago Willie.

'Sixty Minute Teaser' was followed by the ballad 'You're Gonna Want Me' and 'Get Your Lie Straight'.

The latter track was later picked up by the Galaxy imprint, and was followed by two singles for that label, notably, 'When You Find A Fool, Bump His Head' (1971).

The same year Bill released 'Get Your Lies Straight' and his career really took off.

In 1972, a final release for Crajon, 'I'm Back To Collect', was coupled with a re-working of O.V. Wright's 'Jury Of Love (8 Men, 4 Women)', which was also recorded at the Royal Studios.

After Galaxy, Coday recorded a good single, 'I Don't Want To Play This Game', for Epic in 1975, which later featured on that label's 'Lost Soul' compilation album.

Bill then went on to record for Epic Records and Echo Records.

Four other previously unissued Coday sides appeared in the 80's on a now very rare Japanese Vivid Sound album, which also included the best of his released material.

He later set up his own label B & J records based in Memphis, Tennessee.

'You're Gonna Want Me' appeared on the 1992 UK Ace CD compilation of Galaxy masters, 'All Night Long They Played The Blues', four other of his Crajon / Galaxy tracks are on the 1993 UK Ace compilation 'Bad, Bad Whiskey', and his 1975 Epic 'Lost Soul' set is repeated on a 1994 part reissue of that collection under the same title from US Sony / Legacy.

In 1999, 'Put Me In The Mood' was released containing the highly popular 'She's In a Midnight Mood (In The Middle Of The Day)', which received extensive airplay on Jazz FM in the U.K.

'Memories' followed in 2000 on Ecko Records, followed by 'Love Gangster' in 2002.

Bill's funeral arrangements were handled by Wolfe Funeral Home on 7th Street in West Memphis.

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Bo Diddley

Bo Diddley

b. Otha Ellas Bates, a.k.a. Ellas McDaniel, 30th December 1928, McComb, Mississippi, U.S.A.

d. 2nd June 2008, Archer, Florida, U.S.A.

Musician Bo Diddley has died at the age of 79. He died of heart failure in Florida, and had suffered a heart attack in August 2007, three months after suffering a stroke which affected his ability to speak.

Bo was a member of The Hipsters and Langley Avenue Jive Cats and was a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee, Mississippi Musicians Hall Of Fame Inductee, Washington Area Music Association's Hall Of Fame Inductee, Blues Hall Of Fame Inductee and North Florida Music Association's Hall Of Fame Inductee.

Bo Diddley rose to fame in 1955 and his hits included 'Who Do You Love', 'Before You Accuse Me', and 'Mona'.

His own style of guitar playing, he called the 'Bo Diddley beat' influenced rockers from Buddy Holly, to Bruce Springsteen and U2.

Born Ellas Otha Bates in Mississppi in 1928, he changed his name to McDaniel when he was adopted by his mother's cousin.

He moved with his new family to the South Side of Chicago where he acquired his Bo Diddley nickname at school.

In his teens, he trained as a boxer while regularly playing guitar on street corners when not in school. He built his first rectangular guitar, that was to become his hallmark, while still a student.

Later Bo performed at regular gigs at the 708 Club during 1951.

By 1955, he had signed to Leonard Chess's Checker label.

His first single, the classic 'Bo Diddley', reached number one on the R & B charts.

Bo's greatest pop successes came in 1959 when 'Say Man' hit the Top 20, and in 1962 when 'You Can't Judge a Book by the Cover' entered the Top 50.

Playing live, his group featured Jerome Green, Otis Spann, Billy Boy Arnold, Frank Kirkland, and, later, his half-sister 'The Duchess'.

Bo Diddley toured extensively throughout the 1960s and 70's.

He played with The Clash in 1979, introducing his sound to a new generation.

In the late 1980s, he toured with Rolling Stones guitarist Ronnie Wood as The Gunslingers and released the album 'Live at the Ritz'.

In 1989, Bo appeared with baseball star Bo Jackson in a TV commercial for sports shoes, and in 1996, he released his first major album in two decades, 'A Man Amongst Men', with guest artists that included Ron Wood, Keith Richards and The Shirelles.

He also made some cameo appearances in movies playing a pawnbroker in the Eddie Murphy film 'Trading Places' and in 1998 he appeared in 'Blues Brothers 2000'.

Bo DiddleyBo DiddleyBo Diddley

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may 2008

Jimmy McGriff

Jimmy McGriff

b. James Harrell McGriff Jnr., 3rd April 1936, Germantown, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

d. 24th May 2008, Voorhees, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Jimmy McGriff has died. He was 72 and was suffering from multiple sclerosis.

Jimmy was a master of the Hammond B3 Organ and also played bass, saxophone, drums, vibes and the piano.

He played alongside various artists in his career, including Charles Earland, Don Gardner, Arthur Prysock, Junior Parker, Buddy Rich, David 'Fathead' Newman and Carmen McRae.

Jimmy learned the piano by the age of five and as a teenager, he had learned to play vibes, alto sax, drums and the bass.

After joining the Army, he served as an MP during the Korean War and he later became a police officer in Philadelphia for two years.

Later educated by Richard 'Groove' Holmes, they recorded together on two occasions in 1973 for two Groove Merchant records.

Jimmy bought his first Hammond B-3 organ in 1956 and studied at New York's Juilliard School of Music.

He recorded a series of popular albums for the Sue label between 1962 and 1965 and when producer Sonny Lester started his Solid State record label in 1966, he recruited Jimmy.

Jimmy briefly retired from the music industry in 1972, and worked on his horse farm in Connecticut.

He returned to recording later in the decade, releasing several albums that suited the emerging fusion market at the time.

Jimmy later worked with Hank Crawford and experimented with the Hammond B3 into the new millennium, touring overseas on occasion.

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april 2008

Al Wilson

Al Wilson

b. Allen Lamar Wilson, 19th June 1939, Meridian, Mississippi, U.S.A.

d. 21st April 2008, Fontana, Nr. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Soul Singer Al Wilson has died. He was 68.

Reports state that he died due to kidney failure in a hospital in Fontana, a city about 50 miles east of Los Angeles.

Al Wilson was not only a talented vocalist, he was also a drummer.

He moved from Mississippi to California in the late '50's, and sang with a group called The Rollers between 1960 to 1962, a San Bernardino-based quartet whose major claim to fame came in 1961 with 'The Continental Walk'.

Al was, also, a former member of the Jewels.

He was a member of Johnny Harris & the Statesmen in the mid-'60's, and then signed with Soul City in the late '60's.

Al then turned to solo recording, signing to the Soul City imprint, a label owned by the singer Johnny Rivers.

Al released his first single, 'The Snake', in 1968.

His biggest release arrived in 1974 with 'Show and Tell'.

The song spent one week at No. 1 on the Billboard Hit 100 singles chart in January 1974 and was originally recorded by Johnny Mathis.

His song 'I've Got A Feeling (We'll Be Seeing Each Other Again)' reached number 3 in the R & B charts.

Al's last chart appearance came in 1979 with 'Count The Days'.

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Lawrence Lloyd Brown Sr.

Lawrence Lloyd Brown Sr

b. 5th November 1944, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

d. 6th April 2008, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Lawrence Lloyd Brown Sr., an original member of the group Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, died on the 6th April 2008. He was 63.

He died on Sunday 6th of a respiratory condition, according to the Mitchum-Wilson Funeral Home.

Lawrence was still performing with the Blue Notes until January 2008, when he became ill while singing at a show in Chester.

Within the group set-up of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, Lawrence remained the second tenor.

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march 2008

Sean LeVert

Sean LeVert

b. 28th September 1968, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.

d. 30th March 2008, Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A.

Younger son of O'Jays lead singer Eddie LeVert, Sean LeVert, has died. He was 39.

His older brother, Gerald Levert, met an untimely death due to an accidental overdose of over the counter and prescription drugs in November of 2006.

Sean died, late evening, Sunday the 30th of March at the Lutheran Hospital after being
transported to the facility from the Cuyahoga County Jail.

He had gone to the jail infirmary complaining he was sick and had been hallucinating reports state.

At the time Sean had been sentenced to one year and 10 months in jail for failing to pay $89,025 in child support.

He was a member of the family singing combo LeVert, who scored with 'Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop (Goes My Mind)' and the larger hit 'Casanova' (which was nominated for a Grammy in 1988 for best R & B performance by a duo or group with vocal and was also nominated for best R&B song).

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Steven Howlett (a.k.a. Froggy)

Froggy

b. Steven Howlett, 8th November 1948, United Kingdom.

d. 28th March 2008, United Kingdom.

The 'Mafia' Soul deejay, Froggy has passed away. He was 59 and died from a brain haemorrage.

He was married three times he is survived by a brother, two daughters and a son.

At this point in time, details are very scarce, although I have received confirmation from a site visitor who signed the guestbook at the website, along with reports arriving via Peter Young at Smooth FM and Ralph Tee at Expansion Records in the U.K.

If any site visitor has any further details, certainly regarding where Froggy passed away, and his place and date of birth, that would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance.

To the U.S. site visitor, unless you are a Soul artist whose heyday arrived during the Seventies and Eighties (and toured the U.K.), Froggy's name won't mean that much to you.

To the U.K. punter (especially the London based Soul fan) Froggy's deejay mixing talents became part of the rich tapestry of the U.K.'s Soul heritage.

Froggy was one of the first deejays that laid the artistic foundations regarding the careers of many budding deejay superstars of the late Eighties and early Nineties.

He was one of the first deejays to take his show on the road, supporting the likes of Robbie Vincent, Chris Hill and much of the Kent Soul Deejay Mafia. The man would seamlessly weave one dancer into another and singlehandedly turned that act into a work of art.

Froggy appeared several times on Robbie Vincent's legendary Radio London Soul Show back in the day and was still very busy on the deejay circuit in recent times. He will certainly be missed immensly by many a Soul colleague out there.

Another piece of the U.K. Soul jigsaw goes missing, sadly at the prematurely youthful age of 54.

He was cremated at City of London Crematorium on Friday 11th April 2008. There were around 150 people in attendance.

Very many thanks to Maurina Harrison for her help with the biographical information here.

FroggyFroggy's Sound System

Froggy Froggy in 1969

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february 2008

Buddy Miles (a.k.a. George Miles)

Buddy Miles

b. George Allen Miles, 5th September 1947, North Omaha, Nebraska, U.S.A.

d. 26th February 2008, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.

Probably best remembered for this song 'Them Changes', the drummer and singer Buddy Miles has died. He was 60.

He passed away on Tuesday the 26th of February from congestive heart failure at his home in Austin, Texas.

Buddy fronted The Buddy Miles Express and was a member of Electric Flag and Band Of Gypsys.

At the age of 12, Buddy was playing in his father's jazz combo and within a couple of years he became in demand as a session musician, working with various R & B groups, including Ruby and the Romantics and the Delfonics.

He also worked with Jimi Hendrix, The Bebops, Stevie Wonder, Muddy Waters, Barry White, The Ink Spots, Wilson Pickett, David Bowie, George Clinton, Carlos Santana and Bootsy Collins.

During the late Seventies Buddy's career stalled due to convictions for grand theft and auto theft.

He served time in the California Institution for Men at Chino, and at San Quentin State Prison.

Buddy stayed in prison until 1985 and formed bands at both institutions.

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...also passed away this month....

Static Stephen Garrett (singer, songwriter and producer)

b. 1976, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.

d. 25th February 2008, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.

Possible brain aneurysm. He co-wrote Aaliyah's 'Are You That Somebody'. Stephen also wrote songs for Nicole Wray, Brandy and Destiny's Child. He was a member of Playa.

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december 2007 / january 2008

Anthony Joseph Ben

Anthony Joseph Ben

b. 2nd August 1942, Toledo, Ohio, U.S.A.

d. 4th January 2008, Toledo, Ohio, U.S.A.

Anthony Joseph Ben passed away Friday 4th January 2008, in the Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Toledo.

He was 65. The eldest of three children, Tony was preceded in death by his parents, brother, Michael and sister, Robin.

An accomplished percussionist, Tony moved to Los Angeles in 1972, and soon began touring and recording at Capital Records with the singing group The Sylvers.

Later he joined the group, Ronnie Laws and Pressure, with whom he recorded for the Blue Note Label.

The Ronnie Laws group opened for various artists including War, The Jazz Crusaders, Roy Ayers, Tower of Power, Sarah Vaughn, Grover Washington and Freddie Hubbard.

Later he joined the group A Taste of Honey and recorded 'Boogie Oogie Oogie' with the duo.

Subsequently he toured with Donna Summer, Dionne Warwick, the Commodores, the Spinners, Frankie Vallie, Smokey Robinson, Lou Rawls amongst others.

An automobile accident led to glaucoma, a condition that resulted in the loss of most of his vision. He was diagnosed as 'legally blind', attending the Braille Institute and additionally accompanied Stevie Wonder live.

Tony reunited with Frances Cranon Stubblefield, his high school sweetheart in 1995 and they shared twelve years together prior to his passing.

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Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson

b. Oscar Emmanuel Peterson, 15th August 1925, Delisle Street, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

d. 23rd December 2007, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

Oscar Peterson has died from kidney failure. He Was 82.

Pianist and composer, Oscar recorded, 'Canadiana Suite'.

He also fronted The Oscar Peterson Trio and was an inductee in the Canadian Music Hall Of Fame.

...also passed away this month....

Clyde Otis (songwriter and producer)

Clyde Otis

b. 1924, Prentice, Mississippi, U.S.A. d. 8th January 2008, Englewood, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Clyde was 83 years old. He worked with Brook Benton, who recorded 'It's Just A Matter Of Time' and 'Endlessly'. He produced Sarah Vaughan, Charlie Rich, Sonny James, Timi Yuro and The Diamonds.

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Ike Turner

Ike TurnerIke and Tina Turner

b. Ike Wister Turner, 5th November 1931, Clarksdale, Mississippi, U.S.A.

d. 12th December 2007, San Marcos, California, U.S.A.

Producer, pianist, guitarist and singer, Ike Turner, has passed away. He was 76.

He died at his San Marcos home. Cause of death has yet to be determined.

Ike was a member of The Kings Of Rhythm and The Ike And Tina Turner Revue.

He played with Jackie Brenston and His Delta Cats', on the song 'Rocket 88', considered by many to be the first Rock & Roll Record.

Ike also played with Sonny Boy Williamson II, Howlin' Wolf, Elmore James, Robert Nighthawk, Buddy Guy and Otis Rush during his career.

He was singing coach to Blues singer Janis Joplin, along with a young guitarist named Jimi Hendrix was also a one-time member of The Kings of Rhythm.

When she was 18, Ike met, and later married, Tina Turner (then known as Annie Mae Bullock).

At their peak, the duo scored a massive chart hit with 'River Deep, Mountain High', which reached the mainstream charts as well as topping the R & B Chart.

This relationship was overshadowed by his drug-induced abusive treatment of her, which led Tina Turner to eventually seek a divorce in 1976..

Following the divorce, Ike succumbed to cocaine addiction, and was jailed in California in the mid 1980's for drug-related offences.

The duo were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, although Ike was still in prison at the time.

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