b. Clarence Anicholas Clemons, Jr., 11th January 1942, Norfolk, Virginia, U.S.A
d. 18th June 2011, Palm Beach, Florida, U.S.A.
The Saxophonist and actor, Clarence Clemmons, has died. He was 69.
Clarence suffered a stroke on the 12th of June 2011, and died relating to complications from the stroke on Saturday the 18th of June.
He was fondly known as 'The Big Man', and was a prominent member of Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band.
He released several solo albums, throughout his career, and in 1985 achieved a hit single with 'You're a Friend of Mine', which was a duet with Jackson Browne.
Clarence performed on on Aretha Franklin's hit 'Freeway of Love'.
He performed with many Rock based groups, including Twisted Sister, The Grateful Dead and Ringo Starr & His All-Starr Band.
He acted in several films, including 'New York, New York' and 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure', and appeared in several TV series, including 'Diff'rent Strokes', 'Nash Bridges', 'The Simpsons' and 'The Wire'.
He recently published his autobiography, 'Big Man: Real Life & Tall Tales', in 2009.
mark 'drac' hicks
b. Mark F. Hicks, 1959, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.
d. 14th June 2011, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.
Lead and Rhythm guitarist of the group Slave, Mark 'Drac' Hicks, has died from a heart attack. He was 52.
Further details are scare at this time.
Fellow Slave member, Steve Arrington, posted the news on his Facebook page.
The self titled song 'Drac Is Back' appeared on the group's 1978 album release 'The Concept'.
Bassist for the group, Mark Adams, passed away earlier this year.
From the Dayton Daily News:
News Death Notice
HICKS, Mark F. 52, of Dayton, passed Tuesday, June 14, 2011. Funeral service 1:00 p.m., Friday, June 24, 2011 at the House of Wheat Funeral Home, Inc.
b. Carl Edward Gardner Sr., 29th April 1928, Tyler, Texas, U.S.A.
d. 12th June 2011, Port St. Lucie hospice, St. Lucie County, Florida, U.S.A.
Carl Gardner, founder of the group, the Coasters, has died. He was 83.
Carl passed away after suffering with congestive heart failure and vascular dementia.
He was born in Tyler in Texas, and and moved to Los Angeles in the early 1950s, forming the Coasters with Bobby Nunn in 1955.
Carl had been part of the group The Robins, under the wing of the songwriting/producing team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
The Coasters had 14 songs on the R&B charts, and eight of which reached the pop Top 40, including 'Searchin', 'Poison Ivy' and 'Young Blood'.
Their best remembered single 'Yakety Yak' reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 following its 1958 release, and stayed for seven weeks as the No. 1 rhythm and blues song.
Many of their hits were written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.
In the 1960's, their hits were performed by The Beatles, the Rolling Stones, along with several other U.K. acts from that era.
Carl held the rights to the group's name having been a longtime campaigner for legislation that would prevent other groups from using the names of famous performers such as The Coasters, The Drifters, The Shirelles, The Platters and many others.
Success was realised when Florida lawmakers passed such legislation in 2007.
The Coasters have continued to perform over the decades, with several changes to the lineup.
The Coasters were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.
b. Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
d. 10th June 2011, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Darryl Pandy passed away following a long illness.
Cause of death has not yet been determined.
Darryl came to the attention of the UK and European audiences in 1986, following his vocal contributions to the Farley 'Jackmaster' Funk, Jesse Saunders, Duane Buford & Vince Lawrence dancer 'Love Can´t Turn Around'.
The song also became a U.S. commercial success and helped the Chicago house sound and house music gather huge interest on the dancefloors both sides of the Atlantic.
'Love Can´t Turn Around' became a U.K. hit in mid - 1986, reaching the Top-Ten.
Darryl also recorded for the U.K. Nightmare label, along with the Mirakkle, Trax, Bright Star, London and D.J. International imprints.
b. 11th December 1931, Pensacola, Florida, U.S.A.
d. 3rd June 2011, Pensacola, Florida, U.S.A.
The singer, Benny Spellman has died. He was 79.
Benny passed away from respiratory failure in Penscaola.
He will be fondly remembered for his 1962 Minit Records hit 'Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette)', written by Allen Toussaint and his original version of 'Fortune Teller', recorded by The Rolling Stones amongst others.
Benny recorded for Atlantic Records, releasing the single, 'Word Game'.
During his career, Benny had worked with Allen Toussaint, Earl King ('Trick Bag'), Huey Piano Smith and Ernie K-Doe ('Mother-in-Law').
In 1965, then he semi-retired from music to work in the drinks industry.
In 1988, Benny performed at a party for George H.W. Bush, which coincided with the Republican National Convention in New Orleans, Louisiana.
That year Collectables Records issued a retrospective album of 16 of his recordings from the 1960's.
Then in 2009, Benny Spellman was inducted into the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, which he could not attend, following a stroke some years ago.
He was also the father of the gospel and jazz singer, Judy Spellman.
b. Gilbert Scott-Heron, 1st April 1949, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
d. 27th May 2011, St. Luke's Hospital, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Gil Scott Heron has died. He Was 62.
Gil died in the afternoon of the 27th 0f May 2011 at St. Luke's Hospital in New York, after returning from a European trip.
Born in Chicago in 1949, Gil Scott-Heron became one of the inspirators of Rap Music.
He was raised in Jackson, Tennessee, relocating to New York at the age of 13, following the passing of his grandmother, (who looked after the young Gil).
With very much of a political viewpoint, Gil became a mouthpiece for the Black Person in America during the Seventies and Eighties.
His father was one of the first Black soccer players to play in the British Football League, signing to Glasgow Celtic in Scotland.
His political style of musical delivery, he termed 'bluesology', actually describing himself a 'bluesician'.
Gil's musical output manouvered it's way through several styles of 'message music'.
He was politically famous through songs such as 'The Revolution Will Not Be Televised' and 'Gun', however, he was equally at home with the mellower side of the genre ('I Think I'll Call It Morning').
In recent years, Gil was forced to deal with his own personal demons.
He was troubled with an addiction to cocaine, which took him in and out of various legal institutions, and he was also diagnosed as being HIV positive.
Last year, Gil returned to the studio, releasing 'I’m New Here', which was his first new studio release in 16 years, but also, sadly, the album became his swansong.
Gil Scott Heron's true legacy will be the articulation of the Black politic throughought the Seventies, which illustrated his eye was truly on the political prize.
b. 19th December 1942, Forth Worth, Texas, U.S.A.
d. 8th May 2011, Forth Worth, Texas, U.S.A.
Guitarist, Cornell Dupree has died. He was 69.
Cornell had recently been diagnosed with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
He fronted Cornell Dupree's Soul Survivors and was a member of the group Stuff (along with Richard Tee, Eric Gale and Steve Gadd).
Cornell performed in the original Saturday Night Live band and worked with King Curtis, Miles Davis, Sam Cooke, Jimi Hendrix, Brook Benton (on 'Rainy Night In Georgia'), Fats Domino, Archie Shepp, Grover Washington Jr., Bill Withers, Peter Wolf, Donny Hathaway, Lena Horne, Wilson Pickett, Sam And Dave, Miles Davis, Duane Allman, James Taylor, Aretha Franklin (on 'Respect') and Joe Cocker.
He is survived by his wife, Erma.
b. Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
d. Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Sigidi Abdullah has died. The information was confirmed by his friend and colleague Craig T. Cooper.
Sigidi penned 'Take Your Time (Do It Right)' for the group the SOS Band.
His family moved to Los Angeles when he was nine years old.
Sigidi was later mentored by producer Bones Howe (the 5th Dimension, the Association).
He became a music copyist for Motown and A&M Records' music publishing arm, Almo/Irving Music.
He then met Clarence Avant, (former president of Sussex Records), who was then running Tabu Records.
Along with his school friend, Harold Clayton, the pair penned the SOS Band dancer, which remained at number one R&B for five weeks and at number three pop on Billboard's charts in 1980.
Robert 'Spike' Mickens, 59, passed away on Tuesday, the 2nd of November 2010, in a nursing home in Far Rockaway, New York, following a long illness.
Robert was a founding member of the group Kool and the Gang, back in 1964 in New Jersey.
He was the group's trumpeter, vocalist and played the flugelhorn.
Robert was part of the group line up through the early part of the 1970's, when the group were releasing some Dance and Soul classics, including 'Jungle Boogie', 'Hollywood Swinging' and 'Summer Madness'.
Robert was the son of the late Victor and Roberta Mickens and brother of the late Victor A. Mickens, Jr.
He is survived by his sisters Sylvia A. Mickens and Marsha Mickens-Hankerson.
b. Phoebe Ann Laub, 12th July 1950, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
d. 26th April 2011, Edison, New Jersey, U.S.A.
Phoebe Snow has died. She was 60.
Phoebe passed away on Tuesday the 26th of April 2011 from complications following a massive hemorrhagic stroke she suffered on the 19th January 2010.
For the previous eighteen months or so, Phoebe had suffered from blood clots, pneumonia, and congestive heart failure.
She was also a mother to her late, brain-damaged, daughter, Valerie, for her 31 year life.
Phoebe had recently completed recording many songs, and was rehearsing for an upcoming show in New York.
From a hugely talented family, Phoebe's mother was a Martha Graham dancer and her grandfather was a comedian.
During her childhood in Teaneck, New Jersey, she initially studied piano, moving on to the guitar during her teenage years.
She was originally discovered by a record company executive as a teenager singing in a Greenwich Village club in New York.
Her song 'Poetry Man' was Phoebe's first hit, which was followed by a Grammy Award in 1975, releasing 16 albums during her career.
Her daughter, Valerie, was born, and, tragically, severely injured during birth, which in turn led to Phoebe's decision to stay at home with her daughter.
Valerie passed away in 2006, and Phoebe took to recording and performing again, sometimes performing 50 or more shows every year.
Phoebe collaborated with many artists including Cindy Lauper, Roger Daltry, Brian McKnight, Queen Latifah, Paul Simon, Chaka Khan, Donald Fagen and Steely Dan, Levon Helm, Michael McDonald, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Billy Joel, Michael Bolton, and Bonnie Raitt.
She also performed for the ex-President, Bill Clinton, who thought very highly of her artistic skills.
Phoebe took her stage name from the Lackawanna Railroad's passenger train called the 'Phoebe Snow' which ran from Hoboken, New Jersey to Buffalo, New York.
Phoebe is survived by her sister, Julie Laub, and her uncle Bob Laub, along with several cousins.
never letting go - 1977... one brilliant phoebe snow album
b. Loleatta Holloway, 5th November 1946, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
d. 21st March 2011, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Loleatta Holloway has passed away. She slipped into a coma and died from heart failure on the 21st of March 2011. She was 64.
There are no further details at present.
Loleatta’s death was confirmed on Monday the 21st of March by her manager, Ron Richardson.
She is survived by four children and nine grandchildren.
A private service for the family and a public memorial at Rev Jesse Jackson's church in Chicago are due to be held.
other passings this month...
b. Joseph William Perkins, 7th July 1913, Belzoni, Mississippi, U.S.A., d. 21st March 2011, Austin, Texas, U.S.A.
Blues Hall Of Fame Inductee. Singer and pianist who collaborated with Robert Nighthawk, Earl Hooker, Sonny Boy Williamson, Hubert Sumlin, Willie 'Big Eyes' Smith and Muddy Waters.
b. David Victor Emmanuel, 10th February 1963, South London, England, United Kingdom.
d. March 2011, Warlingham, Surrey, United Kingdom.
Cause: Alleged suicide by stabbing.
On 15 March 2011, Emmanuel died during a police raid on his house in Warlingham, Surrey.
His death is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
b. Nathaniel Dwayne Hale, 19th August 1969, Long Beach, California, U.S.A.
d. 15th March 2011, Long Beach, California, U.S.A.
Cause: Heart failure
b. 22nd March 1946, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
d. 15th March 15, 2011, Mount Vernon, New York, U.S.A.
Cause: Heart attack.
dave brubeck quartet (joe morello on the left)
b. Joseph A. Morello, 17th July 1928, Springfield, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
d. 12th March 2011, Irvington, New Jersey, U.S.A.
The drummer Joe Morello has died. He was 82.
Joe died at home on the 12th of March, and no further details, relating to the causes, have been posted at this time.
He was famous as being part of Dave Brubecks Quartet.
His drumming can be heard on several classic Jazz performances, including 'Take Five' and 'Blue Rondo A La Turk'.
Joe also worked with The Boston Symphony Orchestra, Hank Garland And The Grand Old Opry, Johnny Smith, Gil Melle, Tal Farlow, Stan Kenton, Phil Woods, Whitey Bernard, Art Pepper, Howard McGhee and Marian McPartland, amongst others.
Sight-impaired from an early age, he took up the violin at the age of 6 and performed Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto in E minor with the Boston Symphony Orchestra three years later.
Joe later gave up the violin for the drums at the age of 15.
From 1953 to 1956 he played in the pianist Marian McPartland’s trio, performing at the Hickory House nightclub in New York at the time.
During Joe's engagement with Ms. McPartland, Paul Desmond urged Mr. Brubeck to go see the drummer.
He became a full time member of the Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1956, remaining with the group for a further 11 years.
'Take Five' became one of the most recognizable themes and most successful singles in jazz, selling more than a million copies and reaching No. 25 on Billboard magazine’s Hot 100 chart in 1962.
When the Dave Brubeck Quartet went their separate ways, Joe worked as a drum clinician and teacher.
Some of his students included Jerry Granelli, Danny Gottlieb and Max Weinberg, the drummer for Bruce Springsteen.
Joe later performed sporadically in the 1970s and ’80s, including reunions with Mr. Brubeck in 1976 and 1985.
During the 1990s Joe fronted his own group, which featured the saxophonist Ralph Lalama.
bernard lee (hues corporation)
b. Bernard St. Clair Lee, 24th April 1944, San Francisco, California, U.S.A.
d. 8th March 2011, 150 E. Lakeshore Drive, Lake Elsinore, California, U.S.A.
Bernard Lee, of the group the Hues Corporation, has died. He was 66.
Bernard died on Tuesday the 8th of March 2011, at his home in Lake Elsinore in California, from natural causes.
He was found unresponsive in his home at 150 E. Lakeshore Drive at around 8:30 a.m.
Bernard was born in San Francisco in 1944 and attended Santa Monica College.
When he was born his surname was written down as St. Clair, however it should have been spelt 'Sinclair'.
His mother decided to leave the name as it was written by the hospital.
Bernard was the baritone singer within the group, whose main chart hit came in 1974 with their chart topper 'Rock The Boat'.
The Hues Corporation took their name from Los Angeles aviation giant Hughes Corp., owned by Howard Hughes, and was a humorous play on words.
They were formed in 1969 by Bernard, soprano Hubert Ann Kelly and tenor Flemming Williams.
'Rock the Boat' was followed by other popular releases including 'Rockin' Soul' and 'Freedom For The Stallion'.
The Hues Corporation worked with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Milton Berle, Nancy Sinatra and Glen Campbell.
Ann later left the group to become a minister, whilst Flemming sadly passed away.
Bernard had recently been performing a revamped Hues Corporation featuring Elaine Woodard and Bruce Glover.
Bernard is survived by his wife, Arlene, his mother, Jackie Austin, a son, Mark, two stepsons, Andre Goosby and Jody Benney, and a sister, Michelle.
b. Parmaley 'Carl' Rainge, 11th May 1936, Gary, Indiana, U.S.A.
d. 6th March 2011, NHC Healthcare, Columbia, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Parmaley 'Carl' Rainge, a former member of the Gary doo-wop group The Spaniels, died on Sunday 6th of March 2011 in Columbia, Tennessee, after a lengthy illness. He was 74.
Older brother Rudolph Rainge said his brother, known to everyone as Carl, was the only one of seven children who sang and pursued a career as an entertainer.
He was a graduate of the Roosevelt High School class of 1955 and also coached a Midtown little league baseball team.
In 1956, Carl stepped in as a member of The Spaniels, who were with Vee-Jay Records.
The group was already riding high with their hit 'Goodnight Sweetheart'
After Carl joined the group it went on to release the hits 'Everybody’s Laughing', 'You’re Gonna Cry' and 'Peace of Mind'.
Carl remained in the group for about 20 years.
In 2005 the Spaniels were inducted into the Doo-Wop Hall of Fame.
Carl also worked various jobs in Gary and northwest Indiana, including a stint as bailiff at the Lake County Courthouse in Gary.
He lived in Gary until he became ill two years ago and moved to Columbia to be near his daughter, Linda Rainge.
He also is survived by a son, Parmaley Keith Rainge, five siblings, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
b. Mark Leslie Adams Snr., 1960, Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.
d. 5th March 2011, Columbus, Ohio, U.S.A.
The rhythm bass player and producer, Mark Leslie Adams, has died.
He passed away on Saturday the 5th of March 2011.
Details surrounding the cause of death have not been made public.
The passing has been confirmed on Steve Arrington's Facebook page.
He began his music career as a bass player with the groups the 'Young Mystics' and 'Black Satin Soul' who combined to form the group Slave.
Mark was known as the 'Hansolor' and played bass on the group Slave's first album "Slide' / 'You And Me') in 1977.
He remained with the group until the mid Eighties.
Mark is survived by his father, Andrew Adams, sisters, Tina (Samuel) Smith & Patricia A. Black, children, Mark Laquan Akridge, Mareesa LaQasha, Christen Mark, Mark Leslie Jr. & Martina Chamagne Adams, & Aingel Lanae Montague.
Also by his close friend, Sheena L. Damico (mother of 3 of his children), 10 grandchildren and a host of other family and friends.
Funeral arrangements have been scheduled for 11 am Friday, 11th of March 2011 at Shiloh Baptist Church, 3801 Fairbanks Ave. Dayton. Rev. Timothy Newkirk officiating.
eddie joe lewis
b. Eddie Joe Lewis (aka Eddie Joe Guess), 26th November 1942, Fulton, Montana, U.S.A.
d. 13th February 2011, Trinity Pathway Hospice, Bettendorf, Iowa, U.S.A.
The singer and songwriter, Eddie Joe Lewis, has died. He was 68.
Eddie had been suffering from cirrhosis, and passed away at the Trinity Pathway Hospice facility in Bettendorf in Iowa, U.S.A. He had been there for nearly a week.
He penned 'Son Of A Twister', for Jack Harris And The Arabians, and worked with Ike And Tina Turner, The Jackson 5, Double Exposure, The Five Stairsteps (between 1968 to 1970), Bobby Taylor And The Vancouvers and The Chi-Lites
Eddie's early years were spent in Fulton, Montana, where he met Ike and Tina Turner, after they performed in his hometown in the early 1960s.
Following three tours with Ike and Tina, he launched his own singing career.
He changed his name to Eddie Joe Guess, writing for Jack Harris and the Arabians, salsa singing with the Jackson 5, Five Stairsteps and Chi-Lites.
Eddie shared the same birthday as Tina, whose publicist stated that they were very moved by Eddie's passing.
b. Clayton Hammond Jr., 21st June 1936, Groesbeck, Texas, U.S.A.
d. 4th February 2011, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
Clay Hammond has died, following a 10 year battle with cancer. He was 74.
Clay will, probably, be best remembered as the writer of the Little Johnny Taylor hit 'Part Time Love'.
He was a singer who recorded four singles for the Kent imprint between 1966-69, which were recorded in Los Angeles.
These 45's appear on the Ace CD 'Southern Soul Brothers'.
He also recorded with his brother Walter, releasing a 45 under the name of the Hammond Brothers.
Clay recorded sporadic singles and albums for various labels after the 1960s, in addition to performing with the lineups of the Drifters, The Mighty Clouds Of Joy and the Rivingtons (joining the group and taking over as lead singer after Carl White's death).
In 1977, Clay released the album 'Come Into These Arms Of Love' for the P-Vine imprint.
In the Eighties, he recorded the album 'Streets Will Love You' for the Evejim Label.
b. 16th February 1946, Blackville, South Carolina, U.S.A.
d. 8th February 2011, Vicksburg, Mississippi, U.S.A.
The singer Marvin Sease has died. He was 64.
Marvin died from pneumonia in Vicksburg, Mississippi on the 8th of February.
He hailed from Blackville, South Carolina, and began singing as a Gospel vocalist.
He sang with the Charleston based group, the Five Gospel Crowns, before relocating to New York City when he was 20.
After briefly singing with another Gospel ensemble called the Gospel Crowns before moving into the secular performing arena.
He formed an R&B group called 'Sease', who comprised of his three brothers, however, the groups existence was short-lived.
He then began performing live in Brooklyn, performing mainly cover versions of well known songs, before releasing a solo album in 1986, simply called 'Marvin Sease'.
Marvin then began performing at venues in the South, and signed with Polygram, enabling him to re-release his first album through the Mercury imprint in 1987.
The musical content of many of his songs somewhat stifled his own career, although many fans of Soul Music recognised a vocalist of the highest pedigree.
His song 'Candy Licker' became big on the circuit, although not the radio networks, with the song, lyrically, being seen as too 'risque' for the stations.
He released several other albums for Mercury and Jive Records in the following years, with comparisons being made, vocally, with the likes of Tyrone Davis and Johnnie Taylor.
b. Gladys Catherine Horton, 30th May 1944, Gainesville, Florida, U.S.A.
d. 26th January 2011, Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.A.
Glady's Horton, of the Sixties Motown singing group, the Marvelettes, has died. She was 66.
She passed away on the 26th of January 2011 in a nursing home in Sherman Oaks, California, following complications related to a stroke in 2010.
Born in Gainesville, Florida, Gladys was raised in the western Detroit suburb of Inkster by foster parents.
She attended Inkster High School on Middlebelt Road and in 1961, she formed a group with Georgeanna Tillman, Katherine Anderson and Juanita Cowart. She also invited Georgia Dobbins to join her new group.
Formerly calling themselves The Casinyets (a.k.a. 'can't sing yet'), the group auditioned for Motown with Berry Gordy and Smokey Robinson. The Marvelettes biography can be found here:
When she retired from the music business to take care of her handicapped son, she occasionally performed under the title of Gladys Horton of the Marvelettes.
Gladys, along with Marvelette Katherine Anderson were involved with the official biography of the group.
During in the early 1970s, she resided in Southern California.
b. Clyde Darnell Wilson, 25th December 1945, Walhall, South Carolina, U.S.A.
d. 8th January 2011, Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
Steve Mancha a.k.a. Clyde Wilson passed way on the 8th of January 2011 at the Ford Hospital, Detroit, Michigan following a long illness.
A tribute and remembrance performance for Clyde will be held on Sunday, January 23 from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Northern Lights Lounge, 660 W. Baltimore Ave, Detroit (313) 873-1739.
Many friends including Melvin Davis, McKinley Jackson, Pat Lewis, Buddy Smith, Joey Kingfish, and Cody Black will be performing.
Proceeds will go to Clyde's mother and brother to help offset his medical expenses.
b. 16th April 1917, Union, South Carolina, U.S.A.
d. 7th January 2011, Harlem, New York City, U.S.A.
Bobby Robinson, who ran his own record shop, Bobby's Happy House, on Harlem's 125th St. passed away on the 7th of January, following a long illness. He was 93.
His store generated several No. 1 national hits and was run by Bobby for a period covering six decades, unfortunately closing in January 2008.
His store (left) and with Frankie Lymon (right)
The store originally opened in 1946.
In the late 1970's, Bobby was one of the first label owners to record rap music, recording material with Grandmaster Flash, Doug E. Fresh and Spoonie Gee.
He relocated his store just around the corner from his original building in the late 1990s, and he closed finally on the 21st of January 2008, (his landlord decided to demolish their building for another structure).
Bobby was a hugely successful record producer (between 1952 and 1962), working, throughout his life, with the likes of The Shirelles, Spoonie Gee, Wilbert Harrison, Elmore James, Lee Dorsey, Grandmaster Flash And The Furious Five, Dave 'Baby' Cortez, Doug E. Fresh, Kool Moe Dee and Gladys Knight And The Pips ('Every Beat Of My Heart', released on his Fury imprint).
In another role, he formed, (or co-founded), the labels Red Robin Records, Whirlin' Disc Records, Fury Records, Everlast Records, Fire Records and Enjoy Records.
...passings in 2010...
b. William Edward Taylor Jnr., 24th July 1921, Greenville, North Carolina, U.S.A.
d. 28th December 2010, Manhattan, New York City, New York State, U.S.A.
The Jazz pianist, Billy Taylor has died. He was 89.
Billy suffered heart failure whilst in Manhattan. He was 89.
His father, William, was a dentist. His mother, Antoinette, was a schoolteacher.
He had his first piano lesson at the age of 7 and later studied music at the Virginia State University.
He relocated to Manhattan in 1943, working with the tenor saxophonist Ben Webster at the Three Deuces on 52nd Street.
Billy was the co-composer (with Dick Dallas) of the song 'I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free' (a song that became one of the unofficial anthems of the civil rights movement in the 1960's).
He formed and fronted The Billy Taylor Trio, working with the likes of Miles Davis, Ben Webster's Quartet, Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker.
Billy is survived by his wife, Theodora, and his daughter, Kim Taylor-Thompson. A son, Duane, died in 1988.
b. Mary Christine Brockert, 5th March 1956, Santa Monica, California, U.S.A.
d. 26th December 2010, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
Teena Marie has died. She was 54.
She was found unconscious by her daughter at her Pasadena home around 3 p.m. on Sunday the 26th, according to Pasadena Police.
The cause of death has yet to be determined, her publicist stated that Teena suffered a grand mal seizure, which is a neurological event, marked by loss of consciousness and violent muscle contractions.
Teena's biography was updated at the site earlier this year and can be found here:
On a personal note, I spoke to Teena on her visit to London in January this year. Sat for an hour with her and Charles Waring (Blues and Soul, Mojo magazine). Took her some chocolates and talked about her music, likes and dislikes, downloading music from the Net, and she told me her favourite singer was Sarah Vaughan. Her daughter filled her iPod with the newer music around, to keep her up to speed on the new singers on the block. It was her daughter, Rose, who found her. She must be devastated. I am sure all our thoughts are with her and the family.
When I spoke to Teena, I said to her that she was a woman in a very small group of White singers (which includes the likes of Dusty Springfield), who have been completely embraced into Soul Music by Black audiences. Definitely a one off singer, instantly recognisble vocally, leaving in her wake a huge contribution to Black music. A very lovely person.