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Dan Fogelberg 12/2007

Dan FogelbergDecember 16, 2007 – Daniel Grayling “Dan” Fogelberg was born on August 13, 1951 in Peoria, Illinois into a musical family; his father being a high school band director and his mother a classically trained pianist.

So it comes as no surprise Dan’s first instrument, at a very early age, was the piano but he soon took an interest in the Hawaiian slide guitar and when his grandfather presented him with one, he spent hour upon hour teaching himself the skills.

This, combined with his admiration for The Beatles, he taught himself electric guitar and by the age of 13 he had joined his first band, a Beatles cover band, The Clan. This stint was followed by a band called The Coachmen, which in 1967 released two singles “Maybe Time Will Let Me Forget” and “Don’t Want To Lose Her”.

With his third band Frankie and the Aliens he started touring with  covering the blues masters .. such as Muddy Waters and the rock of Cream.

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Karlheinz Stockhausen 12/2007

Karlheinz StockhausenDecember 5, 2007 – Karlheinz Stockhausen was born on August 22, 1928 near Cologne in Germany. I have hesitated celebrating him in this Ode to Rock and Roll, because strictly spoken he is a composer of music. In the end I felt in favor of inclusion because so many rock performers have admitted to be influenced by the man’s incredible body of work created in electronic music. Pink Floyd, Zappa, the Who, Jefferson Airplane, the Grateful Dead, Bjørk, Kraftwerk, the Beatles, all reflect his influence on their own avant-garde experiments as well as the general fame and notoriety he had achieved by that time.

As a composer he is widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Critics have called him “one of the great visionaries of 20th-century music”. He is known for his ground-breaking work in electronic music, aleatory in serial composition, and musical.

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Ike Turner 12/2007

Ike TurnerDecember 12, 2007 – Ike Wister Turner  was born on November 5th, 1931 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. By the time he was 8 years old he was working at the local Clarksdale radio station, WROX, as an elevator boy, soon he was helping the visiting musicians and doing all sorts around the radio stations.

He met many musicians such as Robert Nighthawk, Howlin’ Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Elmore James, Muddy Waters, Little Walter and his idol Pinetop Perkins taught the young Ike to play boogie-woogie on the piano.

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Lucky Dube 10/2007

lucky_dubeOctober 18, 2007 – Lucky Dube was born August 3rd 1964 in Ermelo, formerly of the Eastern Transvaal, now of Mpumalanga. While at school he joined a choir and formed his first musical ensemble, called The Skyway Band.

It was here too he discovered the Rastafari movement. At the age of 18 Philip joined his cousin’s band, The Love Brothers, playing Zulu pop music known as mbaqanga.

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Hughie Thomasson 9/2007

Hughie Thomasson 300September 9, 2007 – Hughie Thomasson (The Outlaws) Born Hugh Edward Thomasson Jr., Hughie Thomasson joined a fledgling Tampa-area bar band named the Outlaws in the late ’60s. With David Dix on drums, Thomasson quickly made a name for himself as a no-nonsense guitar master. The group disbanded, but Thomasson reformed the Outlaws in 1972 with guitarist Henry Paul, drummer Monte Yoho and bassist Frank O’Keefe. (Paul later enjoyed a successful country career as a member of BlackHawk) Guitarist Billy Jones joined in 1973, completing the guitar army rock approach.

Known as the Florida Guitar Army for their triple-lead guitar attack, the Outlaws were the first group signed by former Columbia Records head Clive Davis when he formed Arista Records. He flew to Columbus, Ga., in 1974 to see the Outlaws perform with Lynyrd Skynyrd at the Columbus Civic Center and went to the Ramada Inn after the show and made an offer.

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Lee Hazlewood 8/2007

August 4, 2007 – Barton Lee Hazlewood (These Boots Are Made for Walkin’) was born on July 9, 1929 in Mannford, Oklahoma. The son of an oil man, he spent most of his youth living between Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, and Louisiana. He grew up listening to pop and bluegrass music. He spent his teenage years in Port Neches, Texas, where he was exposed to a rich Gulf Coast music tradition. He studied for a medical degree at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.

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Uncle John Turner 7/2007

July 26, 2007 – Uncle John Turner – Unc to his friends was born and raised in Port Arthur Texas, hometown of Janis Joplin as well, on August 20th 1944. He was one of the founders of the blues-rock style of drumming and therefore a Texas legend.

Uncle John Turner was born and raised in Port Arthur, Texas. He first played drums with Jerry LaCroix. Then Unc met the Winter brothers and performed with them a few times as a substitute. In 1968, Unc convinced Johnny to try a full blown blues band and sent for his friend Tommy Shannon to play bass. This group quickly got natonal recognition and began making records and shortly after that played Woodstock, with Edgar Winter as the fourth member.

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Ron Miller 7/2007

July 23, 2007 – Ron Miller was born Ronald Norman Gould on October 5, 1932 in Chicago, Illinois. He served in the U.S. Marines and then sold washing machines, before he was discovered by Motown founder Berry Gordy while playing in a bar. Gordy invited him to write songs for his new company, Motown, and Miller responded by writing the lyrics to “For Once in My Life”, to music by Orlando Murden. The lyrics were written the night his daughter Angel was born, and was first recorded at Motown by Barbara McNair before being covered in a more upbeat style by Stevie Wonder.

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Kelly Johnson 7/2007

July 15, 2007 – Kelly Johnson (Girlschool)  who was born on June 20, 1958 and educated at Edmonton County School, Enfield, North London, was the epitome of a rock chick. She started playing piano in her father’s footsteps, when five years old and switched to guitar at twelve and played bass and piano in various schoolbands.

Johnston first discovered music while a pupil at Edmonton County School in North London. Already writing and playing her own material, in the mid-1970s, Johnson fell in with her future band-mates – bassist Enid Williams and guitarist Kim McAuliffe, who, along with Deirdre Cartright and Kathy Valentine, had formed the prototype for Girlschool, Painted Lady. Touring the local pub circuit, lead guitarists came and went until Johnson joined in 1978. With Denise Dufort taking over on drums at the same time, this was the classic, most enduring Girlschool line-up, surviving until 1982.

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Boots Randolph 7/2007

Boots RandolphJuly 3, 2007 – Boots Randolph was born Homer Louis Randolph III was born on June 3, 1927 in Paducah, Kentucky, where he grew up in the rural community of Cadiz.

When Boots Randolph was “tootin’ his horn”, he did more than just play the saxophone. More than just pop out music notes. And that’s why his saxophone sounded like it could sing…could talk…could almost speak to deaf ears! His ability was awesome. His versatile style still has no equal. He brought audiences to their feet ever since the early sixties, when his signature song– “Yakety Sax” — first hit the airwaves. It took off like gangbusters and turned the young musician into a celebrity, probably before some of his friends in the hills of Kentucky could even spell it!

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George McCorkle 6/2007

george mccorkleJune 29, 2007 – George McCorkle (Marshall Tucker Band) was born on August 23, 1947 in Chester, South Carolina, but raised in nearby Spartanburg from the age of two. As the youngest of three brothers he grew up aware of the long and hard hours mother Mildred worked at the cotton mill.

“We were a typical South Carolina mill family,” George recalled in his web page bio. “Very poor.”So he developed a strong and active work ethic. Although his greatest achievements were from music, he took gigs as a dental lab technician, race-car driver, and car salesman, owner of both a glass company and a car lot to supplement his professional music livelihood. He believed his work ethic has its roots in his “meagre beginnings” and “growing up Southern”.

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Richard Bell 6/2007

richard_bellJune 15, 2007 – Richard Bell was born in Toronto, Canada on March 5, 1946. The son of famous Canadian composer and musician Dr. Leslie Bell, he began piano lessons at the age of 4, and studied at Canada’s Royal Conservatory of Music. Later he also learned to play the organ, saxophone, and accordion, and composed music.

Bell’s career first gained significance when he joined Ronnie Hawkins as a member of the group And Many Others, following the departure of Hawkins’s previous band (who would gain fame as the Band). Hawkins fired the entire band in early 1970, and they renamed themselves Crowbar, subsequently recording Official Music (as King Biscuit Boy with Crowbar) (1970, Daffodil; 1996, Stony Plain). Bell left Crowbar shortly after this to join Janis Joplin’s Full Tilt Boogie Band, making good on an offer made the previous year when while on tour in New York, he was contacted by Michael Friedman, an associate of Janis Joplin’s manager Albert Grossman.

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Lynne Randell 6/2007

lynne-randellJune 10, 2007 – Lynne Randell was born Lynne Randall on 14 December 1949 in Liverpool England where she had started primary school. When five years old however, her family migrated to Australia and settled in the Melbourne suburb of Murrumbeena. She later attended Mordialloc High School. She completed Form Three and won a singing talent quest at a school fete – the prize was a one-week engagement at Lorne on the Victorian surf coast.

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Zola Taylor 4/2007

Zola TaylorApril 30, 2007 – Zola Taylor (The Platters) was born in Los Angeles, California on March 17th 1938. She became the only female member of The Platters from 1954 to 1962, when the group produced most of their popular singles such as “My Prayer”, “Twilight Time”, “Harbor Lights”, “To Each His Own”, “If I Didn’t Care” and “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”.

Zola Taylor was a member of The Platters until 1962, when she was replaced by singer Barbara Randolph.

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Mark St.John 4/2007

Mark St.JohnApril 5, 2007 – Mark St.John (Kiss) born Mark Leslie Norton in Hollywood, California on February 7, 1957. St.John was Kiss’ third official guitarist, having replaced Vinnie Vincent in 1984. He started out as a school teacher and guitarist for the Southern California cover band Front Page, before joining Kiss.

By this point, Kiss had done away with its trademark makeup and costumes, but the group was enjoying a career renaissance. The lone Kiss album on which St. John appeared, “Animalize,” re-established the group as one of the world’s top arena metal bands. The album spawned the popular MTV video, “Heaven’s on Fire” (the only Kiss video to feature St. John).

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Luther Ingram 3/2007

Luther IngramMarch 19, 2007 – Luther Ingram was born in Jackson, Tennessee on November 30, 1937. Starting out with his brothers as The Gardenias in Alton, Ill., Ingram went on to a solo career with Koko Records, which was distributed by the famous Stax label.

 His early interest in music led to him making his first record in 1965 at the age of 28. His first three recordings failed to chart but that changed when he signed for KoKo Records in the late 1960s, and his first hit “My Honey And Me” peaked at #55 on the Billboard Hot 100 on 14 February 1970. Many of his songs appeared in the pop and R&B charts, even though Koko was only a small label, owned by his manager and record producer, Johnny Baylor. Koko and Baylor were closely associated with the Memphis based Stax Records label during the height of its commercial success.

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Brad Delp 3/2007

brad_delp500March 9, 2007 – Brad Delp  was born on June 12, 1951. Delp was born in Peabody, Massachusetts on June 12, 1951 to French-Canadian immigrants. He was raised in Danvers, Massachusetts.

In 1969, guitarist Barry Goudreau introduced Delp to Tom Scholz, who was looking for a singer to complete some demo recordings. Eventually Scholz formed the short-lived band Mother’s Milk (1973–74), including Delp and Goudreau. After producing a demo, Epic Records eventually signed the act. Mother’s Milk was renamed Boston, and the self-titled debut album (recorded in 1975, although many tracks had been written years before) was released in August 1976. Delp performed all of the lead and all backing harmony vocals, including all layered vocal overdubs.
Boston’s debut album sold more than 20 million copies, and produced rock standards such as “More Than a Feeling”, “Foreplay/Long Time” and “Peace of Mind”.

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Billy Thorpe 2/2007

Billy ThorpeFebruary 28, 2007 – Billy Thorpe (Thorpie and The Aztecs) was born on March 29th 1946 in Manchester England. His parents, Bill and Mabel Thorpe and he emigrated to Australia in 1955, arriving in Melbourne and then settling in Brisbane, Queensland. He performed as a ten-year-old under the pseudonym Little Rock Allen. Six months later, after he was heard singing and playing guitar by a television producer, Thorpe made regular musical appearances on Queensland television.

By the time he was 15, Thorpie had worked in stage shows, variety television, clubs and even vaudeville at Brisbane’s Theatre Royal with George Wallace. He toured regional venues with Reg Lindsay in 1961, and national venues with Johnny O’Keefe and with Col Joye. By 1963, as an experienced singer and musician, he decided to relocate to Sydney, where he joined The Aztecs.

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Denny Doherty 1/2007

Denny DohertyJanuary 19, 2007 – Denny Doherty was born on November 29th 1940 in Halifax, Nova Scotia. In 1960, aged 19, Doherty started his musical career in Halifax in 1956 with a band called the Hepsters. With friends Richard Sheehan, Eddie Thibodeau and Mike O’Connell, the Hepsters played at clubs in the Halifax area.

The band lasted about two years. Sheehan recalls that they drew crowds wherever they went due to Denny’s incredible voice. In 1960, at the age of 19, Doherty, along with Pat LaCroix and Richard Byrne, began a folk group called The Colonials in Halifax, Nova Scotia. When they got a record deal with Columbia Records, they changed their name to The Halifax Three. The band recorded two LPs and had a minor hit, “The Man Who Wouldn’t Sing Along With Mitch”, but broke up in 1963. Coincidentally, they separated at a hotel called “The Colonial” in Los Angeles.

In 1963, Doherty established a friendship with Cass Elliot when she was with a band called “The Big 3.” While on tour with “The Halifax III”, Doherty met John Phillips and his new wife, model Michelle Gilliam.

A few months later, The Halifax III dissolved, and Doherty and their accompanist, Zal Yanovsky, were left broke in Hollywood. Elliot heard of their troubles and convinced her manager to hire them. Thus, Doherty and Yanovsky joined the Big 3 (increasing the number of band members to four). Soon after adding even more band members, they changed their name to “The Mugwumps”. The Mugwumps soon broke up also due to insolvency. The Mamas & the Papas song “Creeque Alley” briefly outlines this history. Yanovsky went on to join The Lovin’ Spoonful with John Sebastian. Doherty then joined John Phillips’ new band, “The New Journeymen.”

“The New Journeymen,” needed a replacement for tenor Marshall Brickman. Brickman had left the folk trio to pursue a career in television writing, and the group needed a quick replacement for their remaining tour dates. Doherty, then unemployed, filled the opening. After the New Journeymen called it quits as a band in early 1965, Elliot was invited into the formation of a new band, which became “The Magic Cyrcle.” Six months later in September 1965, the group signed a recording contract with Dunhill Records. Changing their name to The Mamas & the Papas, the band soon began to record their debut album, “If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears“. The group burst on the national scene in 1966 with the top 10 smash “California Dreamin’.” The Mamas and the Papas broke new ground by having women and men in one group at a time when most singing groups were unisex.

In late 1965 however, Doherty and Michelle Phillips started an affair. They were able to keep it secret during the early days of the band’s new-found success. When the affair was discovered, John and Michelle Phillips moved to their own residence (they had been sharing a house with Doherty), and the band continued recording together. Eventually the group signed a statement in June 1966 with their record label’s full support, firing Michelle from the band. She was quickly replaced by Jill Gibson, girlfriend of the band’s producer Lou Adler. Gibson’s stint as a “Mama” lasted two and a half months.

Due to fan demand, Michelle Phillips was allowed to rejoin the band in August 1966, while Gibson was given a lump sum for her efforts. The band completed their second album (titled simply, The Mamas and the Papas) by re-recording, replacing, or overlaying new vocal parts by Michelle Phillips over Jill Gibson’s studio vocals.

After a continuing string of hit singles, many television appearances (including a notable and critically well-received TV special featuring the music of Rodgers and Hart), a successful third studio album (The Mamas and the Papas Deliver in March 1967), and the groundbreaking sociological impact of the Monterey International Pop Festival (which had been organized by John Phillips and Lou Adler) in June 1967, an ill-fated trip to England in October 1967 fragmented the already damaged group dynamic. Cass Elliot quit, after a stinging insult from John Phillips, but returned to complete her parts for the group’s overdue fourth album The Papas and the Mamas, which was finally released in May 1968. By then, Michelle Phillips had given birth to Chynna Phillips (in February 1968) and a formal statement had been released, announcing the group’s demise.

“Monday, Monday” won the band a Grammy for best contemporary group performance. Cass Elliot left the band in 1968 for a solo career, which brought an end to this amazing band.

Cass Elliot and Doherty remained friends. After the band’s breakup, Elliot had a hit solo show. She eventually asked Doherty to marry her, but he declined. Doherty released a few solo LPs and singles. Of note are 1971’s Watcha Gonna Do? and 1974’s Waiting for a Song. The latter LP went unreleased in the U.S. and featured both Michelle Phillips and Cass Elliot on background vocals. The recordings would be Elliot’s last, as she died a few months after the record was finished. Doherty was stunned and saddened to hear about her death in 1974 at age 32. He and John and Michelle Phillips of the group attended her funeral.

In 1982, Denny joined a reconstitution of the Mamas and the Papas consisting of John Phillips, his daughter Mackenzie Phillips and Elaine Spanky McFarlane, which toured and performed old standards and new tunes written by John Phillips.

In 1993, Doherty played the part of Harbour Master, as well as the voice-overs of the characters, in Theodore Tugboat, a CBC Television children’s show chronicling the “lives” of vessels in a busy harbour loosely based upon Halifax Harbour.  This program is based an the villages & coves around were Denny was born; the big harbour itself is modeled after Halifax Harbour, in Nova Scotia, Canada.

In 1999, Doherty also played “Charley McGinnis” in 22 episodes of the CBC Television series Pit Pony.

In 2003, Doherty was co-author and performer in the well recieved Broadway show called “Dream a Little Dream: The Mamas and the Papas Musical,” which traced the band’s early years, its dizzying fame and breakup. It was well received and garnered favorable reviews. The show was in part a response to John’s PBS documentary Straight Shooter: The True Story of John Phillips and The Mamas and the Papas. It featured music from the group and focused on his relationship with Mama Cass. It was, he said, to “set the record straight”.

In 2004, Doherty appeared on Sharon, Lois & Bram’s 25th Anniversary Concert special titled “25 Years of Skinnamarink” that aired on CBC on January 1, 2004 at 7:00pm. He sang two songs with the trio: “California Dreamin'” and “Who Put the Bomp?”.

Doherty appeared in the Canadian TV series Trailer Park Boys, Season 7 Episode 10 (season finale) as FBI Special Agent Ryan Shockneck. Filming was completed just shortly before his death in early 2007. The episode ended with “This episode is dedicated to the memory of DENNY DOHERTY.”

Denny Doherty died on 19 January 2007 at his home in Mississauga, a city just west of Toronto, of kidney failure following surgery on a abdominal aneurysm. He was 66.

 

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Michael Brecker 1/2007

Michael BreckerJanuary 13, 2007 – Michael Leonard Brecker was born on March 29th 1949 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Michael Brecker was exposed to jazz at an early age by his father, an amateur jazz pianist. Among the generation of jazz musicians that saw rock music not as the enemy but as a viable musical option, Brecker began studying clarinet, then moved to alto saxophone in school, eventually settling on the tenor saxophone as his primary instrument. After only a year at Indiana University, Michael Brecker moved to New York City in 1970 where he carved out a niche for himself as a dynamic and exciting jazz soloist.

He first made his mark at age 21 as a member of the jazz/rock band Dreams – a band that included his older brother Randy, trombonist Barry Rogers, drummer Billy Cobham, Jeff Kent and Doug Lubahn. Dreams was short-lived, lasting only a year, but influential (Miles Davis was seen at some gigs prior to his recording “Jack Johnson”).

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Sneaky Pete Kleinow 1/2007

Sneaky Pete KleinowJanuary 6, 2007 – Sneaky Pete Kleinow  was born on August 20th 1934 in South Bend, Indiana. He became intrigued by the steel guitar, particularly the Hawaiian stylings of Jerry Byrd, and he took up the instrument when he was 17. He worked repairing roads, but he would play in club bands at night. One band decided that everyone should have nicknames and, for Kleinow, “Sneaky” stuck.

In 1960, he moved to Los Angeles and wrote jingles, and worked as a special effects artist and stop motion animator for movies and television, including the Gumby and Davey and Goliath series. He did special effects for the film The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962) and the cult TV show The Outer Limits.

His first date as a session musician was on the Ventures‘ “Blue Star” in 1965. He played in clubs around Los Angeles and sat in with Bakersfield Sound-oriented combos and early country-rock aggregations playing the pedal steel guitar. This is where he became acquainted with Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons of The Byrds, helping the group to replicate their newly country-oriented sound onstage with banjoist Doug Dillard and, early in 1968, Chris Hillman and Gram Parsons told him of their plans to relaunch the rock band the Byrds in a country music setting.

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