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Ramses Shaffy 12/2009

Ramses ShaffyDecember 1, 2009 – Ramses Shaffy was born in Paris on August 29th 1933  in the suburb Neuilly-sur-Seine. His father was an Egyptian diplomat and his mother was a Polish-Russian countess. He grew up with his mother in Cannes. When she was infected with tuberculosis, Shaffy was sent to an aunt in Utrecht in the Netherlands and eventually ended up in a foster family in the city of Leiden.

He did not finish high school, but he was accepted at the Amsterdam school of theatre arts in 1952. In 1955, he made his debut with the Nederlandse Comedie. He went to Rome’s Civitavecchia in 1960 aspiring to be a film actor, but was unsuccessful in the endeavor.

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Eric Woolfson 12/2009

eric-woolfsonDecember 2, 2009 – Eric Woolfson was born in Glasgow, Scotland on 18th March 1945. Eric had an uncle in Glasgow who played the piano masterfully and who inspired Eric to want to become a musician. After a very short spell of piano lessons which were soon abandoned, Eric started playing by himself and became a self-taught pianist who never was able to read music!

In his teens, following a brief but somewhat unsuccessful foray into the profession of Chartered Accountancy where they said he’d be better apprenticed to a circus, Eric went to London via Manchester where he got involved with music business agency, Kennedy Street Enterprises. He joined one of their acts HERMAN’S HERMITS as a guest pianist for a short spell, and had high hopes of becoming a permanent member of one of their other groups, but they wouldn’t guarantee him a retainer and so he decided to carry on further south to London. The musicians Eric left behind in Manchester, shortly afterwards became known as 10CC. Finally arriving in London he hung around Denmark Street a.k.a. ‘Tin Pan Alley’ where he managed to get work as a session pianist and worked with musicians such as Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones who went on to form LED ZEPPELIN and managed to fix a meeting with the Record Producer & Co. Manager of THE ROLLING STONES, Andrew Loog Oldham.

After being kept waiting for over four hours for his meeting, Oldham finally showed up and asked Eric to play something he’d written himself. After playing just one song, Oldham stood up and said ‘You’re a fucking genius’ and immediately offered Eric a publishing deal with Oldham’s newly formed company ‘Immediate Records’.

Oldham placed Eric’s work with a number of well known artists of the day such as MARIANNE FAITHFULL and FRANK IFIELD as well as using Eric as a session pianist on many of his independent productions.

Other songs written by Eric found their way into various record producers’ hands, including MICK JAGGER’s first attempt as a record producer with a singer called CHRIS FARLOWE – although Eric’s song eventually was consigned to the B-side, the single OUT OF TIME went to number one in the UK Charts.

Eric signed other publishing deals with other companies as his repertoire flourished and more and more of his songs found their way to major recording artists, both in Europe and America.

He signed a deal with Southern Music where he joined the ranks of composers such as Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. Eric remembered Lloyd Webber and Rice’s decision to create stage musicals as a vehicle for their songs, rather than the more difficult route of trying for covers by the big artists of the day. As time went by, Eric realized how well founded their idea was.

Later, Eric was taken on as an independent record producer by several record companies working with artists including DAVE BERRY, THE EQUALS and THE TREMELOES.

Around this time, Eric had the idea to make an album inspired by Edgar Allan Poe. He wrote some of the material which later found its way into the Alan Parsons Project and at that time he recorded some demos with guitarist Rick Westwood of THE TREMELOES. Eric produced the recordings but was not sure that he had the necessary skill to realize such a grandiose project and shelved the idea.

Despite having many of his songs recorded all over Europe, Eric found that earning a living as a songwriter was not easy and so he decided to try his hand at artist management.

His first two clients were a singer CARL DOUGLAS who had just reached the top of the charts with KUNG FU FIGHTING and a record producer called ALAN PARSONS who he had met while on a session at Abbey Road Studios.

Alan had decided to become a producer and with Eric as his manager, he enjoyed a string of successes including consecutive number one hits with PILOT and COCKNEY REBEL. Other notable successes were JOHN MILES and AL STEWART with YEAR OF THE CAT.

At that time, the film business had become a director’s medium with luminaries such as Stanley Kubrick being more influential in the making of a film than the stars who appeared in it. Now having access to Alan’s production and engineering talent, Eric saw an opportunity to mirror this in the record business by combining his own writing talents with Alan’s. His Edgar Allan Poe idea came off the shelf and the ALAN PARSONS PROJECT was born.

The first album entitled TALES OF MYSTERY AND IMAGINATION, EDGAR ALLAN POE was released in 1976. It was immediately obvious that there was more to the idea than one album, but as the original record deal was for only the first album, a new deal was done with Arista Records for nine further albums.

Despite there being no live performances and few obvious hit singles the venture was a great success. There were however hit singles (many on which Eric sang lead vocal) including EYE IN THE SKY, TIME and DON’T ANSWER ME, three of which in addition to record sales, have been played on American radio more than 1 million times.

After ten albums Eric wanted to develop in other areas and decided it was time to move into the area of stage musicals. His first attempt, inspired by Sigmund Freud, was entitled FREUDIANA which was premiered in 1990 in Vienna’s historic THEATER AN DER WIEN where Beethoven premiered ‘Fidelio’, his one and only opera. Eric had always been inspired by creative minds and his wife Hazel had been studying psychology and began to leave books on Freud lying around the house. Intrigued by the titles, Woolfson became fascinated by their content and started researching Freud and spent a lot of time in the Freud Museum in London, even lying on the couch on which Freud’s patients recounted their dreams.

The success of this first musical work led to Woolfson’s second musical GAUDI which premiered in 1994 in Aachen, Germany and went on to be staged in Alsdorf (1995) and Cologne (1996) where a 1,700-seat theatre was specially built in the heart of the city to stage the show. Half a million people saw GAUDI in the five years that it ran and every performance received a standing ovation. A german tour of GAUDI was later planned for 2009/2010 and an Asian production planned for 2010.

For his next musical GAMBLER, Eric drew on his experiences of living in Monte Carlo (in the late 70s) which had also been the inspiration for the Alan Parsons Project TURN OF A FRIENDLY CARD album. Many of the songs from this album (Eye in the Sky, Turn of a Friendly Card, Snake Eyes, Games People Play and Time) were included in the show. It was premiered in Germany in Monchengladbach in 1996. GAMBLER has so far had seven productions in Korea, one of which also toured Japan in 2002 and 2005 (the first time a Korean language production had been staged in this way) and it won several Korean Tony Awards.

In 2007 Eric’s musical DANCING SHADOWS premiered in Asia. This was a unique musical project inspired by a famous Korean play entitled A FOREST FIRE based on the anti-war play Forest Fire by the Korean playwright Cham Bum-Suk. The noted playwright and author Ariel Dorfman wrote the book and Eric wrote the music and lyrics. The production won 5 Korean Tony awards including Best Musical. International production plans for the show are in development.

Eric’s work POE re-visits his original Tales of Mystery and Imagination inspiration, Edgar Allan Poe. It had its world premiere concert showcase at Abbey Road Studios in 2003 and a studio album was released containing 10 songs from the piece ‘POE, More Tales of Mystery and Imagination’.

The latest project that Eric worked on was the result of having gone through the APP archives to find bonus tracks for the 2007/2008 Sony and Universal releases of all 10 Alan Parsons Project albums in remastered expanded edition versions, plus a new Essential APP compilation. Eric discovered a number of songs which hadn’t been included on the original APP albums for a variety of reasons. These were later included, in their unfinished form as bonus tracks on the expanded edition APP albums, and Eric also completed and recorded some of these songs which are included on the ‘Eric Woolfson sings The Alan Parsons Project That Never Was‘ album which was released in January 2009.

Eric died of kidney cancer in the early hours of the 2nd December 2009, aged 64.

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The Rev Sullivan 12/2009

James the rev sullivanDecember 28, 2009 – 
The Rev Sullivan (The Reverend Tholomew Plague) or more affectionately called “The Rev”, by his many fans, was born James Owen Sullivan on 
February 10, 1981. He attended a Catholic school at Huntington Beach, California, until 2nd grade along with future A7X lead singer M. Shadows.

Jimmy was influenced by musicians such as Vinnie Paul, Dave Lombardo, Mike Portnoy, Paul Bostaph and bands like Metallica, Rancid and Transplants. At the age of 17, he did a brief stint with the third-wave ska band Suburban Legends recording their debut album “Origin Edition”.

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James Gurley 12/2009

james gurley2009 – James Gurley was born on December 22, 1939 in Detroit Michigan, the son of a stunt-car driver, and attended the city’s Cooley high school. His father would sometimes enlist his son’s ­support, strapping him to the bonnet of a car and driving through walls of fire. Gurley had his first encounter with a guitar at the age of 16 when an uncle brought one to his home, but initially he showed no interest. He took up the instrument seriously three years later, at age 19, initially teaching himself the rudiments by listening to recordings of the bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins. In 1962 he moved with his wife Nancy and son to the Bay area in San Francisco.

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Tim Hart 12/2009

Tim HartDecember 24, 2009 – Tim Hart (Steeleye Span) was born  January 9, 1948 in Lincoln, grew up in St.Albans Hertfordshire, where several young British music careers started in the sixties. His father was a vicar. At St Albans school, he was a member of the Rattfinks, a pop band that never rivalled the school’s best-known alumni, the hit-making Zombies. He worked, briefly, as a bookbinder, blacksmith, cost clerk, civil servant and hospital washer-up, while diversifying his musical interests and singing at St Albans folk music club. He met Maddy Prior there in 1965 and, by January 1966, they were singing together professionally.

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Pim Koopman 11/2009

pimkoopman1November 23, 2009 – Pim Koopman was born in Hilversum, the Netherlands on March 11th 1953. In 1972 he co-founded the progressive rock band Kayak along with Ton Scherpenzeel, Johan Slager and Max Werner.

He left the band in 1976 because of health reasons and some issues with the band manager and went on to become a record producer, and was successful with acts such as Maywood, Petra Berger, Valensia and Robby Valentine.

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Mary Travers 9/2009

101864-mary_travers_617x409September 16, 2009 – 

Mary Travers was born in Louisville, Kentucky on November 9th 1936, but at the age of 2, her family moved to Greenwich Village in New York City, where she attended the Little Red School House, she left school in the eleventh grade to pursue her singing career.

But while still in high school, she joined The Song Swappers, a group who sang backup for Pete Seeger when he recorded the album Talking Union, in 1955. The Song Swappers recorded a total of four albums in 1955, all with with Peter Seeger. Mary was also cast in the Broadway-theatre show, The Next President.

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Larry Knechtel 8/2009

famous session musician larry knechtelAugust 20, 2009 – Lawrence William Larry Knechtel (Bread, The Wrecking Crew) was born on August 4, 1940 in Bell, California. Larry took piano lessons in his pre-teen years. Naturally gifted with perfect pitch, Larry moved beyond sheet music and started playing by ear. An interest in radio and electronics prompted him to build his own crystal radio, which introduced him to the blues and early rock-n-roll which was being aired by local R&B stations. Excited by what he heard, Larry purchased 45’s of black R&B artists and studied them intently. He also joined an inner-city youth band which included players from several local schools in the central Los Angeles area. This proved to be a fertile experience which introduced him to other good players, some of whom later became noted session musicians, among them saxophonist Jim Horn and guitarist Mike Deasey.

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Ellie Greenwich 8/2009

ellie greenwich picAugust 26, 2009 – Eleanor Louise “Ellie” Greenwich (October 23, 1940 – August 26, 2009) was born in Brooklyn New York into an immigrant family with an amateur music tradition. At age ten she was quite proficient on the accordion which she later replaced for piano when she started writing music and performing. In the sixties she was the driving force of a music partnership that brought rock and roll to the foreground with classic pop songs such as “Chapel of Love,” “River Deep, Mountain High”, “Doo Wah diddy” and “Be My Baby”.

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Les Paul 8/2009

les paul guitar legendAugust 12, 2009 – Les Paul( birth name Lester William Polfus) was born on June 9th 1915 in in Waukesha, Wisconsin.

By at least one account, Paul’s early musical ability wasn’t superb. “Your boy, Lester, will never learn music,” one teacher wrote his mother. But nobody could dissuade him from trying, and as a young boy he taught himself the harmonica, guitar and banjo.
By his teen years, Paul was playing in country bands around the Midwest. He also played live on St. Louis radio stations, calling himself the Rhubarb Red.

Coupled with Paul’s interest in playing instruments was a love for modifying them. At the age of nine he built his first crystal radio. At 10 he built a harmonica holder out of a coat hanger, and then later constructed his own amplified guitar. Continue reading Les Paul 8/2009

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Willy DeVille 8/2009

romantic punk rocker Willy DevilleAugust 6, 2009 – Willy DeVille was born William Paul Borsey Jr. on  August 25th 1950 in Stamford, Connecticut. The son of a carpenter, he grew up in the working-class Belltown district of Stamford.

DeVille said about Stamford, “It was post-industrial. Everybody worked in factories, you know. Not me. I wouldn’t have that. People from Stamford don’t get too far. That’s a place where you die.” DeVille said about his youthful musical tastes, “I still remember listening to groups like the Drifters. It was like magic, there was drama, and it would hypnotise me.

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Billy Lee Riley 8/2009

billy lee riley -rockabilly starAugust 2, 2009 – Billy Lee Riley was born on October 5, 1933 in Pocahontas, Arkansas, and taught to play guitar by black farm workers.

After a four year stint he first recorded in Memphis, Tennessee in 1955 before joining Sam Phillips at Sun Studios. His first hit was “Flyin’ Saucers Rock and Roll” / “I Want You Baby” in early 1957 after which he recorded “Red Hot” /”Pearly Lee” released in September 1957 both backed by Jerry Lee Lewis on piano.

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Danny McBride 7/2009

July 23, 2009 – Danny McBride (Sha Na Na) was born Daniel Hatton on November 20, 1945 in Reading, Massachusetts, where he graduated at Reading Memorial High School in 1963, where he would entertain his childhood friends with puppet shows, and then graduated from Boston University in 1970. After graduating he went into broadcasting, starting as a news reporter on a North Carolina radio station.

McBride and his group, the Cavaliers, had been popular in the early/mid 60’s Boston music scene, but McBride later became widely known as lead guitarist and lead singer for Sha Na Na during their heyday and on their own TV series of the same name.

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Marmaduke 7/2009

John “Marmaduke” Dawson

July 21, 2009 – Marmaduke aka John Collins Dawson IV was born on June 16th 1945 in Detroit. The son of a Los Altos Hills, California filmmaker, he took guitar lessons from Mimi Fariña, Joan Baez’s sister, before attending the Millbrook School near Millbrook, New York. While at Millbrook, he took courses in music theory & history and sang in the glee club.
After stints at Foothill College and Occidental College, Dawson’s musical career began in the mid-1960s folk and psychedelic rock music scene in the San Francisco Bay Area.

He soon became part of the of Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions, a jug band that included Jerry Garcia and several other future members of the Grateful Dead. It is here where he also met fellow guitarist David Nelson.

John “Marmaduke” Dawson had original tunes in his pocket and a guitar in his hands in 1969 when a buddy just learning to play pedal steel guitar often joined his weekly gig at the Underground, a San Francisco Bay Area hofbrau house. The friend was Jerry Garcia of the Grateful Dead, and those sessions set the stage for the New Riders of the Purple Sage, a group they considered “the original psychedelic cowboy band.”

John decided that it was his life’s mission to combine the psychedelia of the San Francisco rock with his beloved electric country music and by 1969, he had written a number of country rock songs, so with Jerry Garcia the two began playing coffeehouse concerts together while the Grateful Dead was off the road.

By the summer of ’69 John and Jerry decided to form a full band, David Nelson was recruited from Big Brother to play electric lead guitar, Robert Hunter on electric bass and Grateful Dead Mickey Hart on drums. This was the original line-up of the band which became known as the New Riders of the Purple Sage.

In 1970 and 1971, the New Riders and the Grateful Dead performed many concerts together. John also appeared as a guest musician on three Grateful Dead albums — Aoxomoxoa, Workingman’s Dead, and American Beauty and he co-wrote the Dead’s “Friend of the Devil”.

Buddy Cage replaced Jerry Garcia as the New Riders’ pedal steel player, John and David Nelson led a gradually evolving lineup of musicians in the New Riders of the Purple Sage, playing their psychedelic influenced brand of country rock and releasing a number of studio and live albums.

In 1982, David Nelson and Buddy Cage left the band. John Dawson and the New Riders carried on without them, taking on more of a bluegrass influence with the addition of multi-instrumentalist Rusty Gauthier to the group. John continued to tour with the band and released the occasional album, until their eventual retirement in 1997 when John relocated to Mexico to become an English teacher and made several guest appearances at the revival of the New Riders concerts in the mid 2000s onwards.

He died in Mexico from stomach cancer on July 21, 2009. He was 64.

• Rob Bleetstein, archivist for the New Riders, wrote in an e-mail, “Dawson’s songwriting brought an incredible vision of classic Americana to light with songs like ‘Glendale Train’ and ‘Last Lonely Eagle.’ “

• With that material and such other “wonderful” Dawson songs as “Garden of Eden” and “Henry,” the band “simply had to become a reality,” claimed Dennis McNally, a Grateful Dead publicist.

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Gordon Waller 7/2009

July 17, 2009 – Gordon Waller  (Peter & Gordon) was born in Braemar, Scotland, on June 4th 1945. The son of a surgeon, Gordon met fellow student, Peter Asher while attending the prestigious Westminster School, and they began playing together as the duo Peter & Gordon.

Both were keen guitarists and soon they were entertaining their fellow students. By 1963, they were playing (initially as Gordon and Peter) in pubs and small clubs at lunchtimes and evenings for small fees or for a meal, often singing their own compositions in the close harmony style of the Everly Brothers.

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Drake Levin 7/2009

drake-levinJuly 4, 2009 – Drake Levin was born Drake Maxwell Levinchefski on August 17th 1946 in Chicago, Illinois. Many sources cite his birth name as Levinshefski, but his brother Jeff said the family’s version, Levinchevski, was shortened to Levin many years before his birth. When he was 13, his family moved to Boise, Idaho. As a young man he played in a band called the Surfers, along with a bassist, Phil Volk, who would later join the Raiders.

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Sky Sunlight Saxon 6/2009

skysaxonJune 25, 2009 – Sky Sunlight Saxon was born Richard Elvern Marsh in Salt Lake City, Utah on August 20, 1937. Different sources suggest a birth year of 1937, 1945 or 1946. His widow has said that his birthday was August 20, but would not confirm the year because he believed age was irrelevant. However, 1940 census records indicate he was born in Utah in 1937.

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Tim Krekel 6/2009

tim-krekelJune 24, 2009 – Tim Krekel (Jimmy Buffett) was born on October 10, 1950 in Louisville, Kentucky. He became interested in music early and his first lessons were on the drums. He began taking guitar lessons at age 10 or 11, when it dawned on him that “the guitar player was up front getting all the attention, like Rick Nelson”. He was singing and playing his guitar for audiences by the time he was 12, gigging in Lebanon, Kentucky, at places like The Golden Horseshoe and Club 68. He began to write his own songs in high school, although he was reluctant to share them with anyone for a few years.

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Bob Bogle 6/2009

Bob BogleJune 14, 2009 – Bob Bogle (The Ventures) was born on 
Jan 16, 1934 near Wagoner, Oklahoma. After leaving school at 15 he worked as a bricklayer in California.

In 1958, while working on different construction sites he met up with fellow mason worker Don Wilson in Seattle, the two formed a band called The Versatones. The duo played small clubs, beer bars, and private parties throughout the Pacific Northwest. They recruited bassist Nokie Edwards, Skip Moore on drums and changed their name to the Ventures.

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Michael Jackson 6/2009

Michael JacksonJune 25, 2009 – Michael Jackson, The King of Pop, was born on August 29, 1958 in Gary, Indiana as the seventh of nine children. His siblings are Rebbie, Jackie, Tito, Jermaine, La Toya, Marlon, Randy and Janet. His father Joseph Jackson, who physically and emotionally abused Michael as a child, often performed in an R&B band called The Falcons. Michael was raised as a Jehovah’s Witness by his mother.

In 1964, he and his brother Marlon joined the Jackson Brothers, a band formed by brothers Jackie, Tito and Jermaine, as backup musicians playing congas and tambourine, respectively. Soon he began performing backup vocals and dancing; then at the age of eight, he and Jermaine assumed lead vocals, and the group’s name was changed to The Jackson 5. They extensively toured the Midwest from 1966 to 1968 and frequently performed at a string of black clubs and venues collectively known as the “chitlin’ circuit”, where they often opened for stripteases and other adult acts.

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Barry Beckett 6/2009

barry-beckettJune 11, 2009 – Barry Beckett was born on February 4, 1943 in Birmingham, Alabama. His father, Horace, was an insurance salesman who also dabbled on guitar and for a time hosted a local radio program. He attended the University of Alabama, where, according to The Times Daily of Florence, Ala., he first heard the music of two of the Swampers, Johnson and Hawkins, who were then playing in a band called the Del-Rays. He was working with a blues producer in Pensacola, Fla., when he was asked to join the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section.

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Kenny Rankin 6/2009

kenny-rankinJune 7, 2009 – Kenny Rankin was born in Los Angeles on February 10, 1940 but raised in the Washington Heights area of Brooklyn, New York.

He was introduced to music by his mother, who sang at home and for friends. Early in his career he worked as a singer-songwriter, while a well-regarded guitarist, he played in Bob Dylan’s backup band on the influential 1965 album “Bringing It All Back Home.”

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Hugh Hopper 6/2009

hugh-hopperJune 7, 2009 – Hugh Hopper (Soft Machine) was born on April 29, 1945 in Canterbury, England.

Hugh C. Hopper was perhaps the central figure of the whole famous Canterbury scene. In a career spanning forty years, he played with litterally everyone : Robert Wyatt, Daevid Allen, Richard Sinclair, Elton Dean, Mike Ratledge, Phil Miller, Dave Stewart, Pip Pyle…

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Koko Taylor 6/2009

koko-taylorJune 3, 2009 – Koko Taylor was born Cora Walton on September 28, 1928 on a farm near Memphis, Tennessee. Her daddy was a sharecropper. She lived with her parents and five brothers and sisters in a “shotgun shack” with neither electricity nor running water. Although never professional singers, her parents used to sing enthusiastically while working the cotton fields, and she began to sing gospel in church. She also soaked up the blues played on local radio, which she and her siblings would surreptitiously perform with improvised home-made instruments, despite their father’s opposition.

By the time she was 11, both her parents had died and she too was forced to work in the cotton fields. But growing up, she and her five brothers and sisters had amused themselves by singing the blues, accompanying themselves on homemade instruments. (Their father did not discourage them, although he would have rather they sang gospel music.) Continue reading Koko Taylor 6/2009

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Ean Evans 5/2009

ean-evansMay 6, 2009 – Ean Evans Outlaws/Lynyrd Skynyrd) was born on September 16, 1960 in Atlanta, Georgia. He started in music at the age of five, playing trumpet and having an orchestral background until his teen years. Picking up the guitar at 15, he was soon playing the southeastern rock circuit with various cover groups.

A few years later he switched to bass so as to bring fellow guitarist into the band. In the 1980s he played bass for a rock band called “…Five Miles High”, along with Mike Reynolds (drummer), Reuban Lace (guitarist), Carl Brown (keyboardist), Del Stockstill (guitar). Five Miles High played venues from Georgia to Kentucky and all over the south east. Five Miles High was rated in the top 10 rock bands of the 1980s in a Mississippi radio station contest.

Around 1983 FMH disbanded, and Ean returned to his native Atlanta, Georgia. There he welcomed his newborn daughter and worked on plans to form a new group with close friend keyboardist, Joey Huffman. This project quickly became the band, “Babe Blu” (with former FMH members Carl Brown, Reuban Lace, and adding JT Williams on drums). Babe Blu immediately become a top draw in Atlanta, and on the southeastern club and college circuit. However, in 1987, Ean left Babe Blu permanently to be home with his young family, and to work on his own original compositions.

He studied the styles and techniques of John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin), Geddy Lee (Rush) and Leon Wilkeson (Lynyrd Skynyrd) giving him an aggressive approach to the bass guitar.

In 1988, he was picked up by his then personal manager, J.J. French. (Twisted Sister), Evans formed his first original band “Cupid’s Arrow”. They became quite popular in the Atlanta area. After composing and recording over 50 songs, Ean became a full-time studio musician.

It was during this time he was called to join the Outlaws by leader Hughie Thomasson, who showed him worldwide touring experience. The Outlaws stopped touring when Hughie was called to join Lynyrd Skynyrd in the mid 90s.

In 1997, Evans and ex-Halloween guitarist (1982–1988, 1997–2000) Rick Craig formed “Noon”, which blends metal with southern rock. They released 1 album in 2002 and many other unreleased recordings exist and are subject to release.

Following the death of Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist Leon Wilkeson, the call came for Ean to continue on for his fallen friend. He joined the line up of Lynyrd Skynyrd on August 11, 2001, in Las Vegas, Nevada, beginning his own chapter with the band which lasted until his lung cancer diagnosis in 2008.

Evans performed with Skynyrd one last time from a chair on April 19, 2009, at the Mississippi Kid Festival, organized in support of him.

He died 17 days later at age 48 on May 6, 2009.

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England Dan 3/2009

England-Dan-&-John-Ford-8March 25, 2009 – England Dan was born Danny Wayland Seals on February 8th 1948.

He was the younger brother of Jim Seals from the duo Seals & Crofts. Dan joined with fellow W.W. Samuell High School classmate and longtime friend John Ford Coley to perform first as part of Dallas pop/psych group Southwest”Freight on Board”/” F.O.B“, before going under the name of England Dan, and forming the soft rock duo England Dan & John Ford Coley in 1970.

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Uriel Jones 3/2009

Uriel JonesMarch 24, 2009 – Uriel Jones (the Funk Brothers) was born on June 13th 1934 in Detroit. He began playing music in high school. But his first instrument was the trombone and wanted to box also. But when he went to band classes his lip was swollen and he couldn’t play the trombone, so he had to switch to the drums.

Drawn from the ranks of Detroit jazz players by Berry Gordy Jr., the founder of Motown, the Funk Brothers were the label’s regular studio backup band from 1959 to 1972, when Motown moved to Los Angeles and left most of them behind. Jones joined the Funk Brothers around 1963 after touring with Marvin Gaye and he moved up the line as recordings increased and principal drummer Benny Benjamin’s drug addicted health deteriorated fast. Around 1963 Jones and another player, Richard Allen, known as Pistol, started gradually taken over drumming his duties and Benjamin died of a stroke in 1969.

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Reg Isidore 3/2009

March 22, 2009 – Reg Isidore was born on 4 April 1949 in Aruba, Netherlands Antilles. As is quite common in the Caribbean Islands, kids are sent abroad for their formal education, which is how Reg Isidore ended up in London.

Reg’s musical career started with the 1960’s soul scene and included  stints with The High Tensions, The Rick ‘ n’ Beckers, Peter Green and the late great Richard Wright (Pink Floyd). In the early days he also played with Peter Bardens (Camel) for many years, then managed by Legendary manager John Schatt, who was building up his worldwide company the Filmpow Group.

As a musician however he was a rock drummer who became best known for his work with the Robin Trower Band. The band, consisting of Robin Trower (guitar), Jimmy Dewar (bass and vocals) and drummer Reg Isidore, formed in December of 1972 and played their first show in Vienna, Austria in February of 1973.

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Mel Brown 3/2009

Mel BrowenMarch 20, 2009 – Mel Brown was born in Jackson, Mississippi on October 7th 1939; he started guitar in his early teens while battling meningitis, studying the music of idols like B. B. King and T-Bone Walker. In 1960, he toured with The Olympics, followed by a two years stint with Etta James.

By 1963, tired of life on the road, Mel returns to L.A. where he once again rejoins Johnny Otis. This time in the house band at the hot spot Club Sands. Here Mel gets a chance to back artists such as Pee Wee Crayton, Johnny Guitar Watson, Billy Preston and Sam Cooke. At this juncture of his career Mel begins to work steadily in the highly competitive L.A. studio scene appearing on sessions with everyone from Bobby Darin to Doris Day, Bill Cosby to Jerry Lewis. Meanwhile back in the blues world, after impressing T-Bone Walker with his playing one night at the Sands Club, Walker invited Mel to appear on an album , “Funky Town”, that he was preparing to record for the ABC/Impulse label.

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Hank Locklin 3/2009

Hank LocklinMarch 8, 2009 – Hank Locklin was born on February 15th 1918 in McLellan in the Florida Panhandle.

His pop hits, the only reason why he shows up on this listing, include “Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On”, “Geisha Girl”, and “Please Help Me I’m Falling”, which went to No. 8 on the Billboard Hot 100 pop music chart. Billboard Magazine’s 100th Anniversary issue also listed it as the second most successful country single of the Rock and Roll era.

As a songwriter, many of his songs were covered by by many other artists, including Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton, Roy Rogers, Dwight Yoakam and even Dean Martin.

Hank had a strong following in Europe, and Ireland, so much so that in 1963 he recorded an album called Irish Songs Country Style, which includes the beautiful song Wild Irish Rose. Also he has a fanclub situated in Langeli, Norway.

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David Williams 3/2009

david williamsMarch, 6, 2009 – David Williams (Session-guitarist) was born November 21st 1950 in Newport News, Virginia. He started his professional career with the Dells at age 18.

After he finished his time in the Army he hooked up with the Temptations for live gigs and eventually settled in Los Angeles where became one of the most in-demand session guitarists recording with Michael Jackson, The Jacksons, The Pointer Sisters, Peter Allen, Aretha Franklin, The Four Tops, Madonna, Julio Iglesias, George Benson, The Manhattan Transfer, Michael McDonald, Melissa Manchester, The Temptations, Stevie Nicks, Rod Stewart, Dionne Warwick, Shalamar, Go West, Genesis, Boz Scaggs, Karen Carpenter, Mariah Carey, Julian Lennon, Bryan Ferry, Paul McCartney, Johnny Mathis, Del Shannon, Chaka Khan, Kenny Loggins, Steve Perry, Lionel Richie, Jessica Simpson, Diana Ross, The Crusaders, Andraé Crouch, Eddie Murphy, Herbie Hancock, Peter Cetera, Whitney Houston, Monkey Business and more.

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Kelly Groucutt 2/2009

kelly groucuttFebruary 19, 2009- Kelly Groucutt (ELO) was born September 8, 1945 in Coseley, West Midlands, England.

Groucutt began his musical career at 15 as Rikki Storm of Rikki Storm and the Falcons. He went on to sing with various outfits during the ’60s, picking up the guitar as he went along. Groucutt was also a member of a band called “Sight and Sound”, and later with a band called “Barefoot”.

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Estelle Bennett 2/2009

Estelle BennettFebruary 11, 2009 – Estelle Bennet (The Ronettes), born in New York City on July 22, 1941, became along with her sister Ronnie Spector and cousin Nedra Talley the Rosettes. The Ronettes first began performing as the Darling Sisters and later worked as dancers at New York’s Peppermint Lounge, the epicentre of the 60s dance craze, the Twist. They first signed with Colpix, before being signed by Phil Spector.

Their recording of “Be My Baby” reached hit No. 2 on Billboard in 1963 and was followed by a string of hits including “Walkin’ in the Rain” and “Baby I Love You”. Their rendition of “Sleigh Ride” that appeared on Spector’s “A Christmas Gift for You” album. Their last Philles single was “I Can Hear Music” in 1966. After the Ronettes break-up, she recorded a single for Laurie Records, “The Year 2000/The Naked Boy”. She then quit the music business and had rarely been seen since.

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Lux Interior 2/2009

Lux InteriorFebruary 4, 2009 – Lux Interior (The Cramps) was born Erick Lee Purchaser in Stowe, Ohio on October 21st 1946.

He met his wife Kristy Wallace, better known as Poison Ivy, a.k.a. Ivy Rorschach, in Sacramento in 1972, when he and a friend picked her up when she was hitchhiking. The two shared a love for surf rock, shamanism, rockabilly, B-movies and other bits of so-called “trash culture.”

Lux Interior’s name came “from an old car commercial”, having previously flirted with the names Vip Vop and Raven Beauty, while his wife’s name change was inspired by “a vision she received in a dream”.

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Dewey Martin 1/2009

Dewey Martin of Buffalo SpringfieldJanuary 31, 2009 – Dewey Martin
, (Buffalo Springfield) born Walter Milton Dwayne Midkiff in Chesterville, Ontario, Canada on September 30, 1940 was best known for his work with the notoriously volatile country rock band, Buffalo Springfield.

Dewey started playing drums when he was 13 years old and joined a high school band The Jive Rockets, but was soon playing with more professional rockabilly bands, including Bernie Early & The Early Birds. After his army discharge, he moved to Nashville in 1961 where he became an in-demand session drummer, playing and recording with the likes of Carl Perkins, Charlie Rich, Patsy Cline, Everly Brothers, Faron Young and Roy Orbison among others.

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John Martyn 1/2009

John MartynJanuary 29, 2009 – John Martyn born Iain David McGeachy OBE on September 11, 1948.  He began his professional musical career when he was 17, playing a blend of blues and folk that resulted in a unique style that made him a key figure in the London folk scene during the mid-1960s, releasing his first album, ”London Conversation”, in 1968.

By 1970 he had developed a wholly original and idiosyncratic sound: acoustic guitar run through a fuzzbox, phase-shifter, and Echoplex. This sound was first apparent on album Stormbringer! in 1970.

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Billy Powell 1/2009

Billy PowellJanuary 28, 2009 – William Norris “Billy” Powell was born on June 3rd 1952 in Corpus Christi, Texas. Powell grew up in a military family and spent several of his childhood years in Italy, where his father was stationed with the U.S. Navy. After his father died of cancer in 1960, the Powells returned to the United States to settle in Jacksonville, Florida. In elementary school, Powell met Leon Wilkeson, who would become a lifelong friend and the bassist for Lynyrd Skynyrd. Powell took an interest in piano and he began taking piano lessons from a local teacher named Madalyn Brown, who claimed that Billy did not need a teacher as he was a natural and picked things up well on his own.

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Dave Dee 1/2009

Dave DeeJanuary 9, 2009 – Dave Dee was born David John Harman on December 17th 1943 in Salisbury, Wiltshire, England. One day in 1946 he arrived home from kindergarten to find a man in a kilt talking to his mother. It was his father, whom he had never seen, and who had just returned from the war as a soldier in the Black Watch.

As a boy, he boarded at the Adcroft School of Building, formerly the Hammersmith School of Arts and Crafts which had been evacuated during the war from London to a former army camp at Trowbridge. Having been warned off the building trade by his father, David dabbled in plumbing but also became interested in music, initially the sort that accompanies Morris dancing. At 13 he played in a skiffle group and later sang in a Salvation Army choir, an experience he claimed cost him his virginity with a teenage comrade “dressed in the full uniform, including stockings and suspenders – the whole works”.

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Ron Asheton 1/2009

Ron Asheton with Iggy PopJanuary 6, 2009 – Ronald Franklin Ron Asheton was born in Washington D.C. on July 17, 1948. As a founding member of the legendary Stooges (Iggy Pop),  Asheton forever changed the face of rock & roll, his raw, primordial riffs presaging the rise of punk by a decade. His distorted guitar was a hallmark of the Iggy Pop-led group.

He first surfaced in the teen band the Dirty Shames before joining the Iggy Pop-led Stooges in 1967; the Ann Arbor, MI-based group made its live debut on Halloween of that year, earning immediate notoriety for its frighteningly intense live presence and blistering, primitivist sound. Although celebrated in certain underground circles, the band – which also included Asheton’s drummer brother Scott and bassist Dave Alexander – was otherwise almost universally reviled, but still was signed by Elektra to record its self-titled 1969 debut LP; the album sold poorly, as did its successors (1970’s Fun House and 1973’s Raw Power), but the Stooges’ long-term impact was incalculable – in effect, their aggressive, take-no-prisoners approach laid the groundwork for the emergence of punk.

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Bluzman Taylor 1/2009

Sam Bluzman TaylorJanuary 5, 2009 – Bluzman Taylor was born Sam Willis Taylor Jr. on October 25th 1934 in Crichton, a suburb of Mobile, Alabama. Taylor began singing gospel at the age of three. His Long Island connection began in 1957, during his service in the Air Force.

Widely known as a jump blues songwriter and performer, he wrote songs that have been recorded by everyone from Elvis Presley and Son Seals to DMX and EPMD . Jump blues is an up-tempo blues usually played by small groups and featuring saxophone or brass instruments.

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