'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. Fontella Marie Bass, 3rd July 1940, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
d. 26th December 2012, Westchester House Nursing Home, St. Louis County, Chesterfield, Missouri, U.S.A.
The Soul singer and songwriter, Fontella Bass, has died. She was 72.
Following a series of strokes (going back to) 2005, Fontella died at a St. Louis hospital from complications of a heart attack suffered earlier in the month.
She will, undoubtedly, be best remembered for her 1965 hit, ‘Rescue Me’, which was a song part penned by herself.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, Fontella was the daughter of the gospel vocalist, Martha Bass (of the Clara Ward singers).
Spending much of her early life singing in the local church, and joining tours with her mother’s group, she sang Gospel up until her mid teens.
She then showed an interest in performing more secular material.
Fontella sang at the Showboat Club near Chain of Rocks, Missouri, later In 1961, she auditioned for the Leon Claxton carnival show.
This led to interest from the likes of Little Milton and his bandleader Oliver Sain who hired her to back Little Milton on piano for concerts and recording.
She later became the vocalist for the ensemble.
When the two band leaders went their separate ways, Fontella stayed with Oliver Sain.
Oliver recruited Bobby McClure for his band, which were titled The Oliver Sain Soul Revue featuring Fontella and Bobby McClure.
During this period, Fontella met and later married the jazz trumpeter Lester Bowie.
She then left the Oliver Sain band and signed to the Chess Records imprint.
Fontella continued to duet with Bobby McClure at the label, releasing in 1965, ‘Don't Mess Up a Good Thing’, which was followed bu ‘You'll Miss Me (When I'm Gone)’.
Following a peroid of touring, Fontella began working with several artists, including the drummer Maurice White, the bassist Louis Satterfield and the saxophonist Gene Barge.
In late 1965, the group released ‘Rescue Me’ in 1965, reaching number 4 on the pop charts, selling over one million copies.
Fontella followed up the massive hit single with 'Recovery', which reached number 13 (R&B) and number 37 (pop) in 1966.
Further releases followed, including 'I Can't Rest' b/w 'I Surrender' and 'You'll Never Know'.
A parent album, entitled 'The New Look', was released after which Fontella left Chess in 1967.
She later disclosed some alleged irregularities regarding the payment of royalties on 'Rescue me'.
Fontella and Lester Bowie left America and relocated to Paris in 1969.
In Paris she recorded a couple of albums with the Art Ensemble of Chicago.
These were 'Art Ensemble of Chicago with Fontella Bass' and 'Les Stances a Sophie', both released in 1970.
Fontella also recorded on her husband's album material, namely his albums 'The Great Pretender' (in 1981) and 'All the Magic' (in 1982).
She moved from label to label in the following years, recording a gospel album with her mother and brother David Peaston, entitled 'From The Root To The Source'.
These years saw many legal issues regarding the ongoing rights to 'Rescue Me', some of which bore fruit for the singer.
In 2001, further interest in Fontella, saw the release of 'Soul Celebration Soul Spectacular' recorded live at Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh that year.
Fontella received a star on the St. Louis Walk of Fame in the Loop in May 2000.
Her younger brother, David Peaston, passed away earlier this year.
with marva in 2007
b. Marva Ann Manning, 1st May 1944, Kansas, Missouri, U.S.A.
d. 22nd December 2012, Kansas City, Kansas, U.S.A.
The singer Marva Whitney has died. She was 68.
Marva passed away as a result of complications of pneumonia at her home.
Probably best known as one of the series of fine singers enlisted to the ranks of James Brown’s performing entourage, she was also best remembered for her solo funk anthem ‘It's My Thing (You Can't Tell Me Who to Sock It To)’.
Marva began performing at the age of three years old whilst touring with her family's gospel group, the Manning Gospel Singers.
She later began singing with James Brown in the late 1960’s, touring Vietnam with his cut-down band, at the request of the military.
Marva was later able to record as a solo artist, showcasing the songs ‘I’m Tired, I'm Tired, I'm Tired (Things Better Change Before Its Too Late)’ and ‘If You Don't Work (You Can't Eat)’.
‘It's My Thing’ reached the R&B Top 20.
Some of her songs, including ‘Unwind Yourself’ have been sampled by many deejays and rappers.
The track was featured on the DJ Mark the 45 King, 1987 track ‘The 900 Number'.
It was also sampled by DJ Chad Jackson, DJ Kool, Sway and Mac Miller.
In 2006, Marva joined forces with German born DJ/collector/manager DJ Pari and Japanese funk orchestra Osaka Monaurail to produce a new single, ‘I Am What I Am’.
She later toured Japan, which was followed by an album release titled by the same name as the 45.
In 2007, 2008 and 2009, the tour was also brought to Europe.
In December 2009, Marva collapsed on stage in Lorne, Australia, while performing with The Transatlantics at Falls Festival.
Marva was taken to Geelong Hospital, where doctors diagnosed a stroke.
She returned to the stage again in 2010.
On a personal note, I was lucky enough to meet Marva on a couple of occasions. D.J. Pari kindly invited me along to meet her, and, that night, could not take her to her London Hotel following one gig at the Jazz Cafe in Camden Town. Charles Waring (Mojo magazine) and myself offered to walk with Marva to her hotel. On the way she recalled a couple of memories of her tour in Vietnam with James Brown. She was a very lovely person, who was great company. Very sad to hear she is no longer with us.
b. James McCracklin, a.k.a. James David Walker, St. Louis, Missourri, U.S.A.
d. 20th December 2012, San Pablo, California, U.S.A.
The pianist and singer, Jimmy McCracklin has died after a long illness. He was 91.
Famous for his R&B compositions, which amounted to over 1000 in total, Jimmy recorded some 30 album releases during his career (which spanned seven decades).
Jimmy was drafted into the United States Navy in 1938.
He was seen as a promising boxer, staying in Los Angeles after his national service, fighting under the name ‘Jimmy Mackey’ in the light-heavyweight division.
He later relocated to California, performing at the Club Savoy.
Jimmy's first single arrived in 1945, recorded for the Globe Records imprint, entitled 'Miss Mattie Left Me', which was followed by 'Street Loafin' Woman' a year later.
He later recorded for Modern Records during 1949 and 1950.
Jimmy later appeared on Dick Clark's show 'American Bandstand'. performing 'The Walk' in 1957.
In 1961, he released his debut album, entitled 'Twist' for the Crown Records imprint.
In 1967, Otis Redding and Carla Thomas scored with the song 'Tramp', penned by Jimmy and Lowell Fulson.
During the 1970's Jimmy ran the Continental Club in San Francisco, and recorded for the Stax imprint.
Jimmy continued to tour and release albums through the 1980's and 1990's.
A favourite of Bob Dylan, Jimmy played at the San Francisco Blues Festival in 1973, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1984 and 2007.
He was awarded a Pioneer Award by the Rhythm and Blues Foundation in 1990, and the Living Legend and Hall of Fame award at the Bay Area Black Music Awards, in 2007.
b. 16th October 1947, Washington D.C., U.S.A.
d. 14th December 2012, George Washington University Hospital, Clinton, Maryland, U.S.A.
The singer and guitarist, Terry Huff has died. He was 65.
Terry had been fighting colon cancer, and lost his fight at a hospice in Maryland.
He is best remembered for his album (recorded under the group name of Terry Huff and Special Delivery), ‘The Lonely One’, which contained the R&B hit ‘I Destroyed Your Love’.
Terry was the ninth child of 18, and began singing with his brothers, on the streets of D.C.
He later served in the Metropolitan Police Department, receiving promotion to a detective, by the age of 24.
Terry left the police department in 1973 to return to music.
He joined the artists George Parker, Reginald Ross, and Chester Fortune to form Terry Huff and Special Delivery, who released their only LP, ‘The Lonely One’.
The album was released in 1976 on the New York based imprint, Mainstream Records, and was arranged and conducted by Al Johnson.
Terry later hit hard times and was homeless for a period, which has led to his family grouping together to raise the money for a funeral for their brother.
Currently, a bloc party is being organised, which will feature several artists supporting this artist, including, Al Johnson, Skip Mahoney, Sarah Dash, Diz Russell and the Orioles, The New Era, as well as surviving members of The Winstons and The Choice Four.
Terry is survived by his daughter, Tiffany, and one grandson.
bishop inez andrews
b. Inez McConcio, 14th April 1929, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A.
d. 19th December 2012, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
The Gospel singer and recording artist, Inez Andrews has died. She was 83.
Known as the Queen Of Gospel Music, Inez was part of the group, the Caravans, whose line-up included Albertina Walker and Dorothy Norwood.
Inez joined the group in 1957, and became a major singer on the Gospel circuit over that period.
The Caravans c.v. included 'Lord Keep Me Day By Day', 'Remember Me' and 'I Won't Be Back' which also featured Inez as lead vocalist on the songs 'Mary Don't You Weep', 'I'm Not Tired Yet', 'Make It In', 'He Won't Deny Me' and 'I'm Willing'.
Inez departed the Caravans in 1962 and recorded the hit, 'Lord Don't Move the Mountain'.
She later rejoined The Caravans, along with Albertina Walker, Dorothy Norwood, and original soprano Delores Washington, on the recording 'Paved the Way'.
Inez was a dedicated Christian and, in 2002, was inducted into the Gospel Hall of Fame.
She is survived by seven children, 19 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.
b. Linda Howard, Pasadena, California, U.S.A.
d. 17th December 2012, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Linda Howard, a member the seventies and eighties female group High Inergy, has died.
Details are not available at the moment regarding causes.
High Inergy came to prominence via their debut 1977 release entitled 'Turnin' On', which featured the hit 'You Can't Turn Me Off (In The Middle Of Turnin' Me On)'.
The group recorded 8 albums for the Gordy imprint, disbanding in 1984.
Linda contributed to albums by DeBarge (who also wrote for High Ingergy), Frank Novato, and Jean Carne.
b. David Warren Brubeck, 6th December 1920, Concord, California, U.S.A.
d. 5th December 2012, Norwalk, Connecticut, U.S.A.
The Jazz keyboard player, Dave Brubeck has died. He was 91, and died of heart failure, one day before his 92nd birthday.
At the time, Dave had been on his way to a cardiology appointment, accompanied by his son, Darius.
A birthday party had been planned for him with family and famous guests, but has now been rearranged as a memorial tribute.
Probably most famous for his Quartet's 5/4 timed 'Take Five' E.P., penned by his long term musical partner Paul Desmond.
Dave became renowned for his experimentation with musical signatures, examples being 'Pick Up Sticks' timed in 6/4, 'Unsquare Dance' in 7/4, 'World's Fair' in 13/4, and the famous 'Blue Rondo à la Turk' in 9/8.
Born in Concord, California, Dave's father was a cattle rancher, whilst his mother, studied piano in England'
Dave later attended the College of the Pacific in Stockton, California, initially studying veterinary science.
In 1942, Dave was drafted into the army, where he played piano at a Red Cross show and put together a band.
The band became the first racially integrated band, (called The Wolfpack), in the services.
It was in the services Dave met Paul Desmond in 1944.
After leaving the army Dave helped to establish Fantasy Records.
In 1949, at the Coronet imprint, Dave made the first recordings of his octet and later his trio.
After a near-fatal swimming accident, Dave organized The Dave Brubeck Quartet in 1951.
Playing at San Francisco's Black Hawk nightclub, they recorded the albums 'Jazz at Oberlin' (in 1953), 'Jazz at the College of the Pacific' (in 1953), and the group's debut on Columbia Records, 'Jazz Goes to College' (in 1954).
In 1958, African-American, Eugene Wright joined for the group to tour of Europe and Asia.
Eugene became a permanent member in 1959, making the famous Quartet's personnel complete.
With some networks still wishing to keep group's segregated, Dave canceled a television appearance when he found out that the producers intended to exclude Eugene from the show.
In 1959, the Quartet released 'Time Out', an album which highlighted Dave's interest in different musical timings.
The album included 'Take Five', 'Blue Rondo à la Turk', and 'Three To Get Ready' and was the first jazz album to sell more than a million copies.
By now the quartet comprised of : Joe Morello, Eugene Wright, Paul Desmond, and Dave.
Several albums followed, including 'Time Further Out: Miro Reflections' (in 1961), 'Countdown: Time in Outer Space' (in 1962), 'Time Changes' (in 1963), and 'Time In' (in 1966).
The Quartet's final studio album for Columbia was 'Anything Goes' (in 1966), and album which saw the demise of the famous Quartet.
As a solo artist, Dave concentrated on longer orchestral pieces.
'The Light in the Wilderness' was released in 1968.
Dave became a Catholic in 1980, and in 1996, he received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and First Lady Maria Shriver announced on the 28th of May 2008, that Dave would be inducted into the California Hall of Fame, located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts.
b. Demetrius La Vell Harvey, 24th August 1965, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
d. 1st December 2012, Los Angeles County, California, U.S.A.
The former Motown recording artist Dee Harvey has died at age 47. He was suffering from an undisclosed illness.
At Motown, Dee recorded the self-penned ballad hit ‘Leave Well Enough Alone’ in 1991.
A parent album was released in 1991, entitled ‘Just As I Am’, which was largely penned by dee and Tena Clark.
Born and raised in Memphis, and began singing as a youngster.
Much of Dee’s subsequent career involved a great deal of session work, for several artists, including Harry Belafonte, Aaron Neville, Dionne Warwick and Rod Stewart.
Dee also performed and sang in the Robert Townsend hit movie, ‘The Five Heartbeats’.
b. MacHouston Baker, 15th October 1925, Louisville, Kentucky, U.S.A.
d. 27th November 2012, Toulouse, France.
The guitarist, Mickey 'Guitar' Baker has died. He was 87.
Mickey was regarded as a catalyst guitarist, who helped bridge the gap between the genre's of R&B and Rock N' Roll.
Born MacHouston Baker in Louisville, as an 11 year old child, he was placed in an orphanage.
He ran away from the institution on several occasions, after being located in several major cities.
After one final 'escape', Mickey settled in New York City, where he worked as a labourer and a kitchen worker.
In his late teens, he developed a desire to become a jazz musician.
After a dabble with the trumpet, he settled on the guitar as his instrument of choice.
By the late 40's he had formed his own group, and began recording for the Savoy, King and Atlantic imprints.
Mickey recorded sessions with The Drifters, Ray Charles, Ivory Joe Hunter, Ruth Brown, Big Joe Turner, Louis Jordan, and Coleman Hawkins.
He then teamed up with Sylvia Robinson (later 'Pillow Talk' and Sugarhill Records) during the mid 50's.
The duo scored with 'Love Is Strange' in 1956, recording intermittently throughout the following decade.
Mickey then relocated to France, recording solo records.
He later appeared at the 1975 version of the Roskilde Festival.
In 1999, Mickey received a Pioneer Award from the Rhythm and Blues Foundation and four years later he was listed at number 53 on Rolling Stone's '100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time'.
earl 'speedo' carroll
b. Earl Carroll, 2nd November 1937, New York, U.S.A.
d. 25th November 2012, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
Earl Carroll, the lead singer with the group the Cadillacs, has died. He was 75.
Earl passed away on Sunday the 25th November. He had been staying at a nursing home in New York City, and was suffering from the ill affects of a stroke and diabetes.
Earl was the original co-founder of The Cadillacs, who had several hits, including ‘Gloria’, ‘You Are’, ‘Wishing Well, ‘My Girlfriend’, ‘Peek-a-Boo’, and the 1955 song ‘Speedo’, which was titled after his nickname.
In 1961, Earl joined The Coasters, and performed with the group for 20 years before departing The Coasters in the early 1990s to reform The Cadillacs.
Earl later worked as a janitor at the Public School 87 in N.Y.C., where the students referred to him by his nickname ‘Speedo’.
The Cadillacs appeared in the movie ‘Go Johnny Go’, and were credited with being one of the first groups to wear flamboyant performance outfits whilst performing dance routines and singing.
Earl left his janitor employment in 2005 and continued to sing with The Cadillacs until his health problems forced him to retire.
b. Major Harris III, 9th February 1947, Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A.
d. 9th November 2012, Richmond, Virginia, U.S.A.
Major Harris, who had a top ten hit with the soul evergreen, 'Love Won't Let Me Wait' in 1975, has died in hospital in Richmond, Virginia, from congestive heart and lung failure. He was 65.
He was a part of the group the Delfonics, for a period, and was also a cousin of the late Philadelphia international Records producer, Norman Harris, and was also the brother of the songwriter, Joseph B. Jefferson.
Born in Richmond, Virginia, Major performed with several groups, including The Charmers, The Teenagers, The Jarmels, and Nat Turner's Rebellion.
He also released some sides for the Laurie and Okeh imprints.
When the singer, Randy Cain, departed the ranks of the Delfonics, Major took on the role of lead singer in 1970, leaving the group for a solo career in 1974.
He signed with Atlantic Records the same year, charting with the Bobby Eli and Vinnie Barrett penned song 'Love Won't Let Me Wait', the following year.
The song peaked at number 5 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart and number 37 in the U.K. Top 50.
In 1976, the single 'I Got Over Love' was a minor hit which featured on the album 'Jealousy'.
Major then relocated to the RCA imprint in 1978 for 'How Do You Take Your Love'.
He later released a twelve inch single entitled 'All My Life' in 1983, and in 1984, he released the album 'I Believe In Love' for Streetwave in the U.K., which, although popular in the U.K., but was largely overlooked globally.
Major then returned to the line-up of the Delfonics, continuing to tour with one of two touring ensembles that used the name in the 1990s and 2000's.
b. Terrence Orlando Callier, 1st September 1941, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
d. 28th October 2012, Saint Joseph Hospital, North Lake Shore Drive, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
The jazz, soul, singer-songwriter and folk guitarist, Terry Callier, has died. He was 67.
Terry died in a Chicago hospital from throat cancer. His family were with him as he passed.
Popular in the U.S., Europe and the U.K. (where he performed on a regular basis), for songs such as 'I Don't Want To See Myself (Without You)', 'Sign of the Times' and 'African Violet', Terry Callier rose to cult status amongst Soul purists during a career which spanned 5 decades.
Born in the North Side of Chicago, Illinois, Terry was raised in the Cabrini–Green housing area district of Chicago.
His songwriting skills were recognised by the Northern Soul purists following the songs such as 'It's All Up To You' for the Dells on the Cadet imprint.
Terry befriended Curtis Mayfield, Major Lance and Jerry Butler, in his youth, performing in various doo-wop groups in his early years.
He released his first single in 1962, followed by an album some 6 years later, entitled 'The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier'.
Terry's songs were recorded by the Sixties cult rock band H.P. Lovecraft, namely 'Spin, Spin, Spin' and 'It's About Time'.
In 1970, Terry was enlisted to the ranks of the Chicago Songwriters Workshop.
At Cadet he released several Seventies albums, including 'Occasional Rain' (in 1972), 'What Color Is Love' (in 1973), and 'I Just Can't Help Myself (in 1974).
After he departed Cadet and the Songwriters Workshop, Terry signed with Elektra Records, for, probably, his best remembered series of releases.
'Fire On Ice' debuted on his new label in 1977, followed by 'Turn You to Love' in 1978 (featuring the aforementioned 'Sign Of the Times', along with a re-working of an earlier tune 'Ordinary Joe').
Terry continued working during this period, up until 1983.
He then took custody of his daughter and took a sabbatical from music, choosing to take classes in computer programming and working at the University of Chicago.
In the late Eighties, his 1983 recorded, 'I Don't Want to See Myself (Without You)', began to receive interest in the U.K., due to the emerging rare groove scene at the time.
From 1991 onwards, Terry began to travel to the U.K. to perform, following his career renaissance.
He released the album 'Timepeace' in 1998 for the Talking Loud label, which became something of a double edged sword, as his colleagues at the University of Chicago learned of his previous career as a musician, leading to his departure from the institution.
After 'Timepeace' was released, he followed up the album with several other releases including 'Lifetime' (1999), 'Alive' (2001), 'Speak Your Peace' (2002) and 'Lookin' Out' (2004).
In 2009, Terry released the album 'Hidden Conversations' which featured Massive Attack released on Mr Bongo Records.
Terry campaigned for many charitable causes including AIDS awareness.
He once wisely stated:
'People respond to me because I’m a throwback to an older tradition that believed you should do more than sing a song for an audience, that you should make people feel something. You can make accessible music and still sing about love and peace and truth and life and death. In the end, those are the only things that matter'.
b. David Spencer Ware, 7th November 1949, Plainfield, New Jersey, U.S.A.
d. 18th October 2012, New Brunswick, New Jersey, U.S.A.
The Jazz saxophonist David Ware has died at Robert Wood Johnson Hospital in New Brunswick, New Jersey at age 62.
David passed away following a long kidney illness.
Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, David Ware grew up in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, and graduated from Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School.
An attendee at the Berklee College of Music, David lived in New York City and worked as a cab driver for 14 years.
In recent years, he had relocated to Scotch Plains.
He recorded a debut album in 1971, and recorded with drummer Andrew Cyrille, pianist Cecil Taylor, and drummer Marc Edwards in the late 1970s.
By the 1990's, David had put together a quartet of Jazz Musicians, whose line-up also included pianist Matthew Shipp, bassist William Parker and drummer Marc Edwards.
He later formed his own free jazz groups, including the Marc Edwards Slipstream Time Travel.
The saxophonist Branford Marsalis signed David to a two-album deal with Columbia Records in the late 1990s.
David's quartet went their separate ways in around 2007, following the release of the album Renunciation.
He later underwent a successful kidney transplantation at the age of 60, after receiving a kidney donated in response to an email appeal to his fans.
b. Ronald Bertram Aloysius R. B. Greaves III, 28th November 1943, Georgetown, Guyana.
d. 27th September 2012, Inglewood, California, U.S.A.
R.B Greaves, the singer who brought us the 1969 hit 'Take A Letter Maria', has died. He was 68.
Ronald passed away from prostate cancer at his home in California.
'Take a Letter Maria' became a number two hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, selling in excess of one million copies.
The parent album was produced by Ahmet Ertegun and recorded at Muscle Shoals Sound.
He later reached the Top 40 again, one year later, with his take on the Burt Bacharach's and Hal David song, '(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me'.
Born in 1943 in Guyana, Ronald was a nephew of Sam Cooke
In 1963 he relocated to the United Kingdom, building a career in his home country and the U.K.
In the U.K., he recorded under the name of Sonny Childe with his group The TNTs.
'Take a Letter Maria', has been recorded by both Tom Jones and Stevie Wonder prior to his own version of his song.
Ronald also recorded his take on Procol Harum's 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' for the ATCO imprint.
In the 1970's he recorded for Bareback Records, and then witched label to Sunflower Records.
At Sunflower he recorded the song 'Margie, Who's Watching the Baby'.
At Bareback he released one self titled album in 1977.
His other Top 40 recordings included covers of 'Fire and Rain' (1970), 'Whiter Shade of Pale' (1970), 'Margie, Who's Watching the Baby' (1972) and 'Naked Eyes' (1983).
In recent years he worked for a technology company in Los Angeles.
b. Frank Edward Wilson, 5th December 1940, Houston, Texas, U.S.A.
d. 27th September 2012, Duarte, California, U.S.A.
Frank Wilson, the prolific songwriter and record producer for Motown Records, has died. He was 71.
Frank had been fighting a long battle with prostate cancer, passing away in Duarte in California.
In the United Kingdom, Frank had become a legend within the Northern Soul scene, with his 1965 single on Soul Records, 'Do I Love You (Indeed I Do)' b/w 'Sweeter As The Years Go By', considered by many as being the definitive song defining the genre.
The song, co-produced by the manager of the Fifth Dimension, Marc Gordon, reportedly comprised of 250 promo singles, disposed of at Berry Gordy's request, with only two known copies in existence. Their value has reached 5 figure sums in recent years.
His recording career proved to fairly sporadic, releasing his 1965 single, along with a 2000 single entitled 'Janice, Don't Be So Blind To Love'. It became his skills as a writer and producer which became the foundations of his prolific musical C.V.
During his youth, his family relocated to Los Angeles, which led to him being recruited to the newly relocated Motown Records imprint, at the request of Hal Davis.
After joining Motown, Frank began writing for the likes of Patrice Holloway, and was then asked by Berry Gordy to relocate to the Detroit offices of the imprint.
In Detroit, Frank wrote and produced records on many of the labels roster, including, Brenda Holloway ('You Made Me So Very Happy'), Junior Walker, Marvin Gaye ('Chained'), The Supremes ('Love Child', 'Stone Love' and 'Up The Ladder To The Roof'), The Miracles, the Four Tops ('Still Water Love' and 'That's The Way Nature Planned It'), The Temptations ('All I Need'), Smokey Robinson and the Miracles ('Whole Lot of Shakin' in My Heart') and Eddie Kendricks ('Boogie Down' and 'Keep On Trucking').
Frank departed Motown in 1976 and became a born again Christian.
Frank's post Motown C.V. included his work alongside the likes of Lenny Williams, Freda Payne, Gloria Scott, Zulema, Barry White, Renee Geyer, Love Unlimited, Sweet Sensation, Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis Jr, Alton McClain & Destiny and New Birth.
He set up several companies, including Traco Music and Specolite Music.
Up until his passing, Frank was a practising minister, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Vision International University in Ramona, California in 2004.
Apart from his daughter, Tracey Stein, a child from his first marriage, to the singer Barbara Jean Dedmon, who died in 1966, Frank is survived by his wife and their four daughters, Launi King, Fawn Weaver, Christy Meeks and Gabrielle Wilson; a son from another relationship, Frank Wilson Jr.; three brothers, James, Leonard and Floyd; and a sister, Barbara Jean Hightower.
The Funeral arrangements for Frank Wilson:
The viewing is Thursday, Oct 4, 4-8 pm, Inglewood Cemetery, 3801 W Manchester Blvd, Inglewood, CA 90305.
The funeral is Friday, Oct 5 at Faithful Central Bible Church - The Tabernacle, 321 N. Eucalyptus Avenue (west of LaBrea), Inglewood, CA 90302. Viewing 9:30-10:30 am, Homegoing celebration - 10:30 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that donations be sent to Frank Wilson Ministries, PO Box 1004, Pasadena, CA 91102.
lillian lopez (singer with the group odyssey)
b. Lillian Lopez-Collazo-Jackson, 16th November 1935, Stamford, Connecticut, U.S.A.
d. 4th September 2012, Basingstoke, Hampshire, U.K.
Lillian Lopez, from the group Odyssey, has died. Lillian was 76.
Odyssey were best remembered for their 1977 hit 'Native New Yorker', which reached number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100, and number 5 on the U.K. Singles Chart.
The song was originally recorded by Frankie Valli some six months earlier that year.
The group were formed as the Lopez Sisters (Carmen, Lillian, and Louise) in 1968.
Odyssey later charted with the songs 'Inside Out' (with the help of the group Slave), ' Use It Up, Wear It Out', 'Don't Tell Me, Tell Her', 'Easy Come, Easy Go', 'Going Back To My Roots' and 'If You're Looking for A Way Out'.
'Use It Up and Wear It Out', reached number one on the U.K. Singles Chart for two weeks in 1980.
When the group departed the RCA imprint, their line-up featured Lillian, Al Jackson and Steven Collazo.
Lillian Lopez and Al Jackson married in 2000, and retired from the music industry in 2003.
Burt Bacharach and Hal David
b. Harold Lane David, 25th May 1921, New York City, New York, U.S.A.
d. 1st September 2012, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
The lyricist, (best remembered as the long time colleague of the songwriter Burt Bacharach), Hal David, has died. He was 91 and had suffered a stroke.
Hal penned the lyrics for many songs, which in time, have become some of the classic melodies from the latter part of the 20th Century.
These included the evergreen melodies 'Magic Moments', 'Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head', This Guy's In Love With You', 'I'll Never Fall In Love Again', 'Walk On By', 'Do You Know The Way To San Hose?', 'What The World Needs Now Is Love', 'I Say A Little Prayer', '24 Hours From Tulsa', A House Is Not A Home', 'Make It Easy On Yourself', 'Trains & Boats & Planes', 'You'll Never Get To Heaven If You Break My Heart', 'Wishin' & Hopin', 'Anyone Who Had A Heart', 'Magic Moments', 'Always Something There To Remind Me', 'One Less Bell To Answer', 'What's New Pussycat', 'Alfie', 'The Look Of Love', 'Don't Make Me Over', 'Close To You', and a collaboration with the writer John Barry, on the Louis Armstrong song, 'We Have All The Time In The World'.
A few of the artists who have recorded these songs include, Dionne Warwick, The Carpenters, Dusty Springfield, B. J. Thomas, Gene Pitney, Tom Jones, Jackie DeShannon, Louis Armstrong, Cilla Black, Randy Crawford, and Perry Como.
David was born in New York City, the son of Lina (née Goldberg) and Gedalier David, a deli owner.
He worked with Morty Nevins for the feature film 'Two Gals and a Guy' in 1951.
In 1957, David met composer Burt Bacharach at Famous Music in the Brill Building in New York.
The two teamed up and wrote their first hit 'The Story of My Life', recorded by Marty Robbins in 1957.
Further hits followed, and in the 1960s and early 1970s the duo penned some of the most enduring songs in American popular music.
Their later work included songs for the Oscar-nominated title songs for 'What's New Pussycat?', 'Alfie', 'Casino Royale', and the Oscar-winning 'Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid'.
The songs 'Don't Make Me Over'," 'Close to You' and 'Walk On By' have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
The writers were awarded the 2011 Gershwin Prize for Popular Song awarded by the Library of Congress.
Hal David was formerly the Chairman of the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Hal was recuperating from a recent illness and was unable to attend the Washington D.C. presentation ceremony in May, passing away in Los Angeles in September of 2012.
b. Carl Henry Davis Snr. a.k.a. Carl Adams, 19th September 1934, Chicago, U.S.A.
d. 9th August 2012, Summerville, South Carolina, U.S.A.
The producer and record company executive, and also the creator of the 'Chicago Sound', Carl Davis has died. He was 77.
Carl died from Pulmonary Fibrosis at his home in Summerville, South Carolina, on the morning of the 9th of August 2012.
He began his career as one of the first African-American A&R Directors .
Carl went on to produce evergreen hit songs for the Columbia Records subsidiary Okeh Records.
His first multi-million song was The Dukay's/Gene Chandler’s 1962 song 'Duke of Earl'.
His follow up productions inlcuded Jackie Wilson’s 1967 hit '(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher', Major Lance’s 'Monkey Time', recorded in 1963 and the Chi-Lites 1972 ballad 'Oh Girl'.
Carl also produced a Sixties single for Cassius Clay, on his take on the Ben E. King song 'Stand By Me' (ably assisted by Sam Cooke).
He is survived by children Pamela Davis, Carl H. Davis II, Trey Davis, Julio Davis, Kelli Morris, Carleen Davis and Jaime Davis, as well as one brother, George Davis, and several grandchildren and great grandchildren.
Funeral Services for Carl Davis
Saturday - 18th August 2012
Christian Life Center
6363 W. 183rd ST. (at the corner of 183rd & Ridgeland. Ridgeland is about a half mile east of Harlem Ave.)
Tinley Park, IL. 60477
*There is no exit at 183rd on I-57. If coming that way, take either the 167th St. West or Vollmer Rd. West exit.
The Prepass - 11:00 am
Funeral services at 12 noon
May he rest in peace.
b. Robert Kreinar, 26th November 1937, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
d. 16th July 2012, Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.
Bob Babbit, the bassist with Tamla Motown's in-house band, the Funk Brothers, has died. Bob was 74.
Bob had been struggling with brain cancer, an illness which eventually too his life.
He was also associated with the Philadelphia International Records, own in house band, M.F.S.B.
Bob performed with the Funk Brothers between 1966 and 1972
Between 1968-1970, along with Mike Campbell, Ray Monette and Andrew Smith he formed the band Scorpion.
Bob performed on some of Motown's best remembered songs, including 'Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours' (by Stevie Wonder), 'War' (by Edwin Starr), 'The Tears of a Clown' (by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles), 'Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)' and 'Inner City Blues' (by Marvin Gaye), 'Band Of Gold' (by Freda Payne), 'Ball of Confusion (That's What the World Is Today)', and 'Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)' (by The Temptations).
He also performed on the songs 'Midnight Train to Georgia' by Gladys Knight & the Pips, 'Scorpio' by Dennis Coffey & the Detroit Guitar Band, and '(The) Rubberband Man' by The Spinners.
Bob is survived by his wife and three children.
jose roberto bertrami
b. Jose Roberto Bertrami, 21st February 1946, Tatuí, São Paulo, Brazil
d. 8th July 2012, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
Jose Bertrami, of the fusion group Azymuth, passed away in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday the 8th of July 2012, at the age of 66.
Jose recorded six albums under his own name, along with many albums with his associated group, Azymuth.
Azymuth are best remembered, by U.K. audiences, for the tracks 'Jazz Carnival' and 'Dear Limmertz'.
Jose worked with Flora Purim and Robertinho Silva before meeting drummer Ivan Conti at a bowling alley, and they recruited bassist Alex Malheiros to form Azymuth (whose members, co-incidentally, were all born in 1946).
During his career, Jose had arranged and written with Sarah Vaughan, Elis Regina, Mark Murphy, Joe Pass, Erasmo Carlos, Milton Nascimento, Airto, Flora Purim and he can be heard on many of the best-known Brazilian releases.
During his four decades with Azymuth Jose toured the world several times, and later signed to Milestones Records, releasing sets such as ‘Light As A Feather’ and ‘Telecommunications’ and had a worldwide chart hit with the aforementioned, ‘Jazz Carnival’.
Since 1994 he released two solo albums, ‘Things Are Different’ and ‘Aventura’, along with ten Azymuth albums.
As a group leader, Jose collaborated on several recordings, going back to 1965 with Trio, The Organ Sound in 1970, Blue Wave in 1983, Dreams Are Real in 1990, Things Are Different in 2001, and Aventura in 2009.
Jose's son Victor Bertrami is following in his father's footsteps, recording and performing fusion and world music.
b. George Louis Pride, 24th May 1950, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
d. 5th June 2012, U.S.A.
The singer, Lou Pride, has died. He was 62.
Lou attended the First Baptist Church, a church pastored by Reverend E.J. Cole, the father of Nat King Cole.
Beginning a singing career, he performed a two year stint singing with The Karls on various service shows in Germany.
He later duetted with a female singer who he married and settled down in El Paso, Texas.
In El Paso, Lou recorded the song 'I'm Com'n Home in the Morn'n' b/w 'I'm Not Thru With You' on the Seumi imprint during the early '70s.
Over this period, he also recorded 'Look Out on Love', 'We're Only Fooling Ourselves', 'You've Got to Work for Love', and 'Been Such a Long Time'.
Lou recorded his first album, 'Very Special' (reissued as 'Gone Bad For A Very Special Reason' in 1988), in 1979 while living in Albuquerque, for the Black Gold Records imprint.
He was then introduced to Curtis Mayfield and recorded an album, entitled 'Gone Bad Again', for the Curtom label.
Ichiban Records released a CD of Lou's recordings in 1997.
Ice House Records later produced 'I Won't Give Up' in 2000.
Signing with Severn Records in 2002, Lou released 'Words Of Caution' in 2002' & 'Keep On Believing' in 2005.
A collection of Lou's early 70's material, entitled 'The Memphis/El Paso Sessions 1970-1973' was later released
His last album will be a postumously released studio album, due in late 2012 on Severn Records.
b. Herbert Reed, 7th August 1928, Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.A.
d. 4th June 2012, Boston, Massachussetts, U.S.A.
Herb Reed, the bass singer from the group, the Platters, has died. He was 83.
Herb was the last surviving original member of the 1950s vocal group, whose hits included 'Only You' and 'The Great Pretender'.
He was the founding member of the group and gave them their name, a name based around the local deejays description of the vinyl record being a 'platter'.
Herb sang bass on all of the Platters hit records.
He died of complications relating to several ailments, including heart disease, at a hospice in Boston on the 4th of June 2012.
b. LaDonna Adrian Gaines, 31st December 1948, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A.
d. 17th May 2012, Key West, Florida, U.S.A.
The disco singer, Donna Summer has died. She was 63.
Donna died in the morning, of the 17th of May, at her home in Key West, Florida following a battle with cancer, an illness she partially blamed on breathing in the dust from the disaster following 9/11.
She was living in an apartment near the Twin Towers at the time.
Her family released a statement saying that they 'are at peace celebrating her extraordinary life and her continued legacy'.
Donna rose to fame in the Seventies with hits including 'Hot Stuff', 'Bad Girls' and the ground-breaking 'Love to Love You Baby'.
She was currently working on a forthcoming album at the time of her death.
Donna is survived by her husband, Brooklyn Dreams co-founder Bruce Sudano, their two children: Brooklyn and Amanda, and her daughter, Mimi, from a previous marriage.
b. 22nd August 1936, Gaston, North Carolina, U.S.A.
d. 16th May 2012, Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A.
The Godfather Of Go-Go, Chuck Brown has died. He was 75.
b. Belita Karen Woods, 23rd October 1948, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
d. 14th May 2012, Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
Belita Woods, member of the groups Brainstorm, Funkadelic and Parliament has died. She was 63.
Belita suffered a heart attack in April 2011.
donald 'duck' dunn
b. Donald Dunn, 24th November 1941, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
d . 13th May 2012, Tokyo, Japan
American bass guitarist, record producer, and songwriter, Donald 'Duck' Dunn, has died. He was 70.
Donald passed away in his sleep on the 13th of May, after finishing a double show] at the Blue Note night club in Tokyo the night before.
At the time, he was on tour with Steve Cropper and Eddie Floyd.
During his career, Donald had collaborated with Booker T. & the M.G.'s at Stax Records, and performed on recordings with The Blues Brothers, Muddy Waters, Freddie King, Albert King, Levon Helm, Neil Young, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Wilson Pickett, Sam & Dave, Guy Sebastian, Rod Stewart, Bob Dylan, Roy Buchanan and Arthur Conley.
Born in Memphis, his father nicknamed him 'Duck' while watching Disney cartoons with him one day, and he spent his formative years growing up with the musician Steve Cropper.
Donald played in several groups including the Markeys, and Booker T & the MG's.
His bass playing can be heard on several Stax evergreen's including Otis Redding's 'Respect' and 'I Can't Turn You Loose', Sam & Dave's 'Hold On, I'm Comin', and Albert King's 'Born Under a Bad Sign'.
Later in his career, Donald played for several musicians, including Muddy Waters, Freddie King, and Jerry Lee Lewis, as well as Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart.
He also played himself in the 1980 feature film 'The Blues Brothers'.
Donald semi retired during the new millennium, and in 2007, he and several Booker T & the MGs members (Lewie Steinberg, Booker T. Jones, Steve Cropper, and Barbara Jackson, the widow of Al Jackson) were given a 'Lifetime Achievement' Grammy award for their contributions to popular music.
Donald 'Duck' Dunn is survived by his wife, June; a son, Jeff; and a grandchild, Michael.
ernest douglas warren (the spaniels)
b. Ernest Douglas Warren, 1933, Gary, Indiana, U.S.A.
d. 7th May 2012, Gary, Indiana, U.S.A.
Ernest was 78 years old, and passed away in Gary, Indiana.
He was a member of The Hudsonaires who later became The Spaniels.
The Spaniels recorded 'Goodnite, Sweetheart, Goodnite' and 'The Bells Ring Out'.
Ernest was a Vocal Group Hall Of Fame Inductee.
Ernest was preceded in death by his fellow Spaniels, Hudson, Gregory, and Courtney.
Baritone Willie C. Jackson is the original group’s lone survivor.
michael 'iron man' burks
b. Michael Burks, 1957, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, U.S.A.
d. 2nd May 2012, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.
Arkansas bluesman Michael 'Iron Man' Burks has died after collapsing at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
He was 54. Alligator Records (his Chicago based record label), stated Michael had collapsed on Sunday the 6th of May, after returning from a European tour.
He was pronounced dead, the cause of which was reported to have been a heart attack, at an Atlanta hospital.
Born in Milwaukee in 1957, Michael relocated, with his family to Camden, Arkansas, in the early 1970s.
Along with his father, Michael helped construct Camden's Bradley Ferry Country Club, a 300-seat juke joint that hosted blues and R&B performers.
His grandfather was a Delta-style bluesman from Camden, Akansas.
He released three albums with Chicago-based Alligator Records ('Iron Man', 'I Smell Smoke' and 'Make It Rain') and headlined at several blues festivals worldwide.
Michael was hugely popular at the King Biscuit Blues Festival in Helena-West Helena.
Upcoming shows included a scheduled gig in Little Rock on the 2nd of June.
charles 'skip' pitts
b. Charles Pitts, 7th April 1947, Washington, D.C., U.S.A.
d. 1st May 2012, Methodist Hospital, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.
The guitarist Charles 'Skip' Pitts has died, following a battle with Cancer, in the Methodist Hospital in Memphis. He was 65.
Charles had been in hospice care for the past two months.
His sessions included the guitar riff, which ran throughout, the Isaac Hayes evergreen, 'Shaft'.
As a child, he learned the guitar prior to becoming a teenager in Washington D.C.
His uncle owned a local hotel, situated nearby the Howard Theater, which led to a young Charles meeting the likes of Bo Diddley, James Brown and Otis Redding.
Charles worked on early recordings by Gene Chandler, before joining the ranks of Wilson Pickett's group, the Midnight Movers.
He joined the Isley Brothers for a while, performing on their classic 'It's Your Thing'.
At the turn of the decade, he relocated to Memphis where he joined the Isaac Hayes group, which led to his sessions on the 'Shaft' hit, sealing his place within Isaac's band for decades to follow.
When the movie 'Shaft' was re-worked in the new millennium, he was recruited for a second time for that soundtrack.
He also performed with Al Green on his album 'I Can't Stop'.
Following Isaac's passing in 2008, he received a brass note on the Beale Street Walk of Fame.
Charles is survived by his wife, Beverly.
b Andrew Maurice Love, 21st November 1942, Memphis Tennessee, U.S.A.
d. 12th April 2012, Memphis Tennessee, U.S.A.
Memphis Horn member, Andrew Love, has died. He was 70.
Along with the trumpeter Wayne Jackson, the tenor saxpohonist comprised of half of the duo from they group.
Since 2002, Andrew had been struggling with with Alzheimer's disease.
The illness caused his early retirement in 2004 leading to his eventual passing in 2012.
Andrew was was born in Memphis and began his musical emergence within the Baptist church were his father was pastor.
He attended Langston University in Oklahoma and returned to Memphis in 1965.
Andrew began recording sessions at Stax Records where he met Wayne Jackson.
The pair created the classic horn sound at Stax, contributing to recordings by Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Issac Hayes, Rufus Thomas and many others at the imprint.
It was at Stax that the duo created the band The Memphis Horns and began working away from the label.
The duo recorded many sides for the likes of Al Green, Neil Diamond, Elvis Presley, Don Harrison Band, Stephen Stills and Dusty Springfield.
They also toured with The Doobie Brothers, Jimmy Buffett, Sting, Peter Gabriel and Robert Cray.
In 2008, the Memphis Horns were inducted into the Musicians' Hall of Fame.
Andrew's funeral will be held on the 21st of April at the Mount Nebo Baptist Church, where his father was a minister.
My apologies for the slightly late inclusion of this entry. No disrespect intended. I have been away attending the funeral of my brother in law in Cornwall, U.K. Respect to Dennis George Flood, who passed away at the age of 54. (1957 - 2012)
jimmy ellis (the trammps)
b. James Thomas Ellis II, 15th November 1937, Rock Hill, South Carolina, U.S.A.
d. 8th March 2012, Rock Hill, South Carolina, U.S.A.
Jimmy Ellis, the lead singer of the Trammps, passed away on Thursday the 8th of March 2012 in Rock Hill, South Carolina. He was 74.
Jimmy Ellis died at a nursing home from complications of Alzheimer’s disease, his daughter, related.
James Thomas Ellis II was born on the 15th of November 1937, in Rock Hill, South Carolina.
He sang gospel as a teenager in St. Mary’s Church, graduated from Emmett Scott High School.
Jimmy relocated to Philadelphia singing with the groups the Volcanoes and the Exceptions, who recorded the song 'Down by the Ocean'.
With the Trammps, Jimmy sang lead vocals on most of the group’s songs, backed by the bass singer Earl Young, (Robert Upchurch joined the band in the mid-1970s).
The Trammps were formed in the early ’70s, who added a second 'm' in the group’s name due to the fact that Jimmy and his friends singing on street corners in their early days.
The police said they looked like tramps, so, in order to elevate their status, they added the second letter.
'Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart' was the group's first single.
The song reached No. 17 on the R&B charts, leading to further successful releases, including 'Hold Back the Night'.
By 1975 the group were signed by Atlantic Records, where they scored again with the dancer 'Where the Happy People Go'.
Their most successful album 'Disco Inferno' followed, whose title track climbed to No. 11 on the Billboard pop chart in 1977, and became one of the 'bedrock' songs from the movie 'Saturday Night Fever'.
The soundtrack won a Grammy for album of the year in 1979, with the Trammps, also receiving Grammys.
Except for a few years, Jimmy toured with the Trammps until 2010.
In addition to his daughter, Jimmy is survived by his wife, Beverly, three brothers, Johnny, George Robert and Charles, a sister, Alice Ruth, a son, James III, eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
b. Roland Bautista, a.k.a Roland 'Amigo' Bautista, 30th May 1951, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
d. 29th February 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
Roland Bautista passed away on the 29th of February 2012. Roland passed away from natural causes. He was 60.
During his career, this guitarist became a member of the Earth, Wind & Fire ensemble.
Roland played on the group's 'Last Days and Time' album, departing the group following the album's release.
He recorded two solo albums, namely 'Bautista' (in 1977 and featuring Side Effect) and the self penned 'The Heat Of The Wind' (in 1978) for the ABC Records imprint.
He also collaborated with several artists including, Tom Waits, The Jackson 5, Ronnie Laws, Lamont Dozier, Bobby Lyle, The Crusaders, Wayne Henderson, Hubert Laws, Ramsey Lewis, Randy Crawford and George Duke.
He rejoined the ranks of Earth, Wind & Fire in 1981 replacing the rhythm guitarist Al McKay.
Roland played on the group's 'Raise' album that year, along with the albums 'Powerlight' and 'Electric Universe' during the following two years.
He departed the group, again, in 1983.
Roland's parents were Ignaciao J. Bautista and Elena Naranjo.
b. Whitney Elizabeth Houston, 9th August 1963, Newark, New Jersey, U.S.A.
d. 11th February 2012, Beverly Hilton Hotel, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.A.
The singer, Whitney Houston has died. She was 48.
Whitney died in her hotel room at the Beverly Hills Hilton Hotel in California, following an evening out. There are no causes of death posted at this time.
Her mother is the singer Cissy Houston.
Her cousins are Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, and her godmother is Aretha Franklin.
b. David Peaston, 13th March 1957, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
d. 1st February 2012, St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.
David Peaston, a winner at 'Showtime at the Apollo', has passed away at the age of 54.
David died at home, from complications from diabetes on Wednesday the 1st of February.
His passing was confirmed by his niece, Neuka Mitchell, on Thursday.
David been battling diabetes for years, having both of his legs amputated below the knees.
His voice was well received at the 'Showtime at the Apollo' showcase.
The singer Fontella Bass has David as her nephew. David's mother is Martha Bass, Fontella's sister.
His mother, Martha Bass, was a member of The Clara Ward Singers gospel group.
David is survived by wife of 24 years, Marilyn, and two sons.
b. Donald Cortez Cornelius, 27th September 1936, Chicago Illinois, U.S.A.
d. 1st February 2012, Sherman Oaks, California, U.S.A.
The creator of the show 'Soul Train', Don Cornelius, has died. He was 75.
Don was found dead at his Sherman Oaks residence on the 1st of February 2012.
The police arrived at his home around 4 a.m., finding him suffering from a a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
There were no signs of foul play, however, the Los Angeles Police Department are investigating.
In recent years, Don was working on a movie based around his famous musical programme.
As the writer, producer, and host of Soul Train, Don was instrumental in offering greater exposure to Black musicians including James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Michael Jackson.
'Soul Train' became the longest-running, nationally syndicated show in television history, bringing African American music and fashion into peoples homes for over 35 years.
Don ceased hosting the show in 1993, and 'Soul Train' halted production in 2006.
He recently appeared at the 2009 BET Awards to present The O'Jays with the 2009 BET Lifetime Achievement Award.
b. Michael Andre Lewis a.k.a. Mandre, 7th December 1948, Nebraska, U.S.A.
d. 31st January 2012, Shreveport, Louisiana, U.S.A.
Michael Andre Lewis passed away on the 31st of January 2012. He was 63.
Michael came from a very musical family. His Father, Harry Lewis, was a saxophonist with the Count Basie Band, and also was bandleader for Fats Domino and Etta James.
When he was six years old, he became a member of a singing group called the Be Bops along with his childhood friend Buddy Miles.
From the age of 15, Michael played a few bands, including the Mike Lewis Quartet and Andre Lewis and the New Breed.
He also worked as a session musician for several Rock Bands, including The Who, Sly and the Family Stone and Jimi Hendrix.
In the mid Seventies, Michael signed to Motown Records under the name of Mandre (a combination of characters from his own name), portraying an artist from outer-space.
Michael recorded three albums for Motown, and achieved two hits, namely, 'Solar Flight (Opus I)' and 'Freakin’s Fine'.
He then released a final album as Mandre, ('Mandre 4'), in 1982 on his own Futuregroove label.
Michael then left his group to pursue his solo career as a record producer with his own group Maxayn.
After Maxayn disbanded, He worked with Johnny Guitar Watson recording three albums and going on to name his backup band, The Watsonian Institute Of Blues.
He later worked with Tata Vega, Diana Ross, Bobby Womack, The Gap Band, Sly Stone, Edwin Starr, Stacy Lattisaw and Marvin Gaye, before relocating to the San Francisco Bay Area.
b. Kell Osborne, 12th March 1939, Birmingham, Alabama, U.S.A.
d. 29th January 2012, U.S.A.
Kell Osborne an original member of The Primes (who later became The Temptations) died on the 29th January 2012. He was 75.
The Primes became The Temptations and their sister group The Primettes became The Supremes.
b. Ronnie Smith (a.k.a. Ron Louis Smith), 12th April 1952, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
d. 21st January 2012, Miami, Florida, U.S.A.
Ron Louis Smith passed away on the 21st of January 2012.
A U.S. Air Force veteran who lived in Miami Lakes, Ron had been a patient at the Veterans Administration Medical Center following a violent carjacking near the Liberty Square housing projects, which left him comatose in 2004.
This singer and trumpet player recorded one solo album, on the Sunshine Sound imprint in 1978.
Ron's album was entitled 'Party Freaks, Come On', which featured the title track along with the dancer 'Party Dress'.
Recorded in Miami, the album was produced by the songwriting team Casey & Finch (K.C. & The Sunshine Band).
Ron also penned Jimmie 'Bo' Horne's dancer 'Spank', and was a member of The Ocean Liner Band and K.C. And The Sunshine Band.
He also worked with Gloria Estefan.
In addition to his son, Ron is survived by daughter Ronsh’ka Latara Smith, and his wife, Beverly Fountain Smith, who is a teacher.
Ron was laid to rest, with military honors, at the South Florida National Cemetery in Lake Worth.
b. Jamesetta Hawkins, 25th January 1938, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
d. 20th January 2012, Riverside, California, U.S.A.
The singer Etta James has died in hospital in Riverside, California. She was 73.
Etta recorded many evergreen Soul songs, including 'The Wallflower', 'I Just Want to Make Love to You', 'Something's Got a Hold on Me' and 'At Last'.
The news was broken by her friend and manager, Lupe De Leon.
Etta passed away from complications from leukemia.
She was diagnosed with leukemia in 2010, and also suffered from dementia and hepatitis C.
She would have been 74 on Wednesday, and passed away 3 days after the artist Johnny Otis, who in turn was instrumental in the launching of her early career.
Etta is survived by her husband, Artis Mills, and her sons, Donto and Sametto.
Below is a link with a fuller resume of Etta James career.
b. Henry E. Davis, a.k.a. Dr. Bass, U.S.A.
d. 18th January 2012, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Henry Davis, the bass player for the group Love, Togetherness & Devotion (L.T.D.), died on the 18th of January 2012.
Details are scarce regarding the causes relating to Henry's passing.
Henry commenced his artistic career amongst the ranks of the Friends of Distinction, during the Sixties.
In the Seventies he joined the ranks of L.T.D, playing on the groups most famous songs 'Love Ballad' and '(Everytime I Turn Around) Back In Love Again'.
During the Eighties, he worked with the likes of Lionel Richie, Morris Day and the Time and Diana Ross.
Henry's bass playing can be heard on Diana Ross's Seventies hit 'Love Hangover'.
He was later reunited with L.T.D., additionally working at two Los Angeles churches, playing bass for Messiah Missionary Baptist Church and conducting the choir at St Paul Catholic Church.
Henry's funeral was held on the 26th of January 2012 at Messiah Missionary Baptist Church.
Henry was not only a hugely proficient bassist, he was also a flautist, keyboardist and fine singer.
johnny otis with a young shuggie otis
b. Ioannis Alexandres Veliotes, 28th December 1921, Vallejo, California, U.S.A.
d. 17th January 2012, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Johnny Otis, the rhythm-and-blues singer, songwriter, drummer, bandleader and disc jockey has died. He was 90.
He was instrumental in the careers of the artists Etta James, Little Richard, Jackie Wilson, Hank Ballard and Little Esther Phillips.
Johnny was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
Although of Greek origin, Johnny stated in 1979, 'I chose, because despite all the hardships, there's a wonderful richness in black culture that I prefer'.
Johnny was born John Veliotes on the 28th of December 1921, in Vallejo, northeast of San Francisco, and was raised in Berkeley.
In later life he served as the deputy chief of staff for the Democrat, Mervyn M. Dymally in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Johnny and his wife of 60 years, Phyllis, had several children and grandchildren.
Check his page at the site here:
walter gaines (the originals)
b. Walter Asbery Gaines , 15th August 1936, Mississippi, U.S.A.
d. 17th January 2012, Glendale, California, U.S.A.
Walter Gaines, of the group the Originals, has died. He was 75.
Walter passed away with his wife Barbara Gaines by his side.
He had been suffering from a long lasting illness, although he still managed to perform with his group when his health allowed.
Walter along with founding members Freddie Gorman, C.P. Spencer and Hank Dixon were best remembered for their number 1 R&B, 1969 hit 'Baby I'm For Real', which by the way also won them their
first gold record.
His passing leaves the only surving member of the group being Hank Dixon.
Walters funeral was held at the Morning Star Baptist Church, 980 Rio Grande, Pasadena, California 91104, on the 24th of January.
Check out the Originals page at the site below.
b. James Walter Castor, 23rd June 1940, Manhattan, New York, U.S.A.
d. 16th January 2012, Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.A.
The singer and saxophonist, Jimmy Castor, has died. He was 71.
There are no reports as to the cause of his passing at this point.
News reports stated that Jimmy's grandson P.J. Romain understood his grandfather had become 'unresponsive at the hospital'.
He later posted that 'My grandfather Jimmy Castor died today at 2:30 on MLK day'.
In November, Jimmy suffered a heart attack and underwent quadruple heart bypass surgery.
In addition to his son Jimmy Jr., Mr. Castor is survived by his wife, Sandi, another son, Jason; two daughters, April Vargas and Sheli Castor; and eight grandchildren.
Jimmy Castor had a career spanning over 50 years. Check his page at the site: