September 21, 1987 – John Francis Anthony Pastorius III aka Jaco Pastorius changed the way the bass was played. Born in Pennsylvania on December 1, 1951, Jaco’s family moved south and he grew up in Fort Lauderdale, where he first took on the drums. Being a direct descendant of poet Francis Daniel Pastorius, who drafted the first protest against slavery in the US in 1688!, artistry ran in the family. His dad was a big band leader and singer.
During his formative years drums, like his dad, but a football injury made him move to bass. Upright bass at first but after his bass cracked because of the ocean front humidity in Florida he bought an electric bass. Continue reading Jaco Pastorius 9/1987
September 11, 1987 – Winston Hubert McIntosh better known as Peter Tosh/Stepping Razor was a Jamaican guitarist and singer in the original Wailers of Bob Marley & the Wailers fame. Born in Petersfield on October 19th 1944, he became a pioneer reggae musician, as the original guitarist for The Wailers and he is actaully considered as one of the originators of the choppy, syncopated reggae guitar style, and as trailblazer for the Rastafari movement and the fight to legalize cannabis.
He was a target for the police and underwent many beatings. In the early 60s Winston met Bob Marley and Bunny Wailer through his vocal teacher, Joe Higgs. Continue reading Peter Tosh 9/1987
July 10, 1987 – John Hammond ll was born on December 15th 1910 in New York.
Not persé a rock and roller he was an important record producer, musician and music critic from the 1930s to the early 1980s, including the early years of Rock and Roll. A heir to both the Vanderbilt and Sloane fortunes, he grew up in a Manhattan mansion, where he listened to music with the black servants in the basement. He attended St. Bernard’s, Hotchkiss and Yale, but dropped out to be a disc jockey and live in Greenwich Village.
He funded the recording of pianist Garland Wilson in 1931, marking the beginning of a long string of artistic successes as record producer and eventually became one of the most influential figures of 20th century music sparking the careers of Benny Goodman, Charlie Christian, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Babatunde Olatunji, Asha Puthli, Pete Seeger, Teddy Wilson, Big Joe Turner, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Bob Dylan, Freddie Green, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, Arthur Russell and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
He is also largely responsible for the revival of delta blues artist Robert Johnson’s music. John received a Grammy Trustees Award for being credited with co-producing a Bessie Smith reissue in 1971, and in 1986 was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
He died from a series of strokes at age 76 on July 10, 1987.
His son John Hammond Jr. is an accomplished blues musician in his own right.