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Tony Joe White 10/2018

Tony Joe White – October 24, 2018 was born on July 23, 1943, in Oak Grove, Louisiana as the youngest of seven children who grew up on a cotton farm. He first began performing music at school dances, and after graduating from high school he performed in night clubs in Texas and Louisiana.

As a singer-songwriter and guitarist, he became best known for his 1969 hit “Polk Salad Annie” and for “Rainy Night in Georgia”, which he wrote but was first made popular by Brook Benton in 1970. He also wrote “Steamy Windows” and “Undercover Agent for the Blues”, both hits for Tina Turner in 1989; those two songs came by way of Turner’s producer at the time, Mark Knopfler, who was a friend of White. “Polk Salad Annie” was also recorded by Elvis Presley and Tom Jones.

In 1967, White signed with Monument Records, which operated from a recording studio in the Nashville suburb of Hendersonville, Tennessee, and produced a variety of sounds, including rock and roll, country and western, and rhythm and blues. Billy Swan was his producer.

Over the next three years, White released four singles with no commercial success in the U.S., although “Soul Francisco” was a hit in France. “Polk Salad Annie” had been released for nine months and written off as a failure by his record label, when it finally entered the U.S. charts in July 1969. It climbed to the Top Ten by early August, and eventually reached No. 8, becoming White’s biggest hit.

White’s first album, 1969’s Black and White, was recorded with Muscle Shoals/Nashville musicians David Briggs, Norbert Putnam, and Jerry Carrigan, and featured “Willie and Laura Mae Jones” and “Polk Salad Annie”, along with a cover of Jimmy Webb’s “Wichita Lineman”. “Willie and Laura Mae Jones” was covered by Dusty Springfield and released as a single, later added to reissues of her 1969 album Dusty in Memphis.

Three more singles quickly followed, all minor hits, and White toured with Steppenwolf, Anne Murray, Sly & the Family Stone, Creedence Clearwater Revival and other major rock acts of the 1970s, playing in France, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and England.

In 1973, White appeared in the film Catch My Soul, a rock-opera adaption of Shakespeare’s Othello. White played and sang four and composed seven songs for the musical.

In late September 1973, White was recruited by record producer Huey Meaux to sit in on the legendary Memphis sessions that became Jerry Lee Lewis’s landmark Southern Roots album. By all accounts, these sessions were a three-day, around-the-clock party, which not only reunited the original MGs (Steve Cropper, Donald “Duck” Dunn and Al Jackson, Jr. of Booker T. and the MGs fame) for the first time in three years, but also featured Carl Perkins, Mark Lindsay (of Paul Revere & the Raiders), and Wayne Jackson plus The Memphis Horns.

From 1976 to 1983, White released three more albums, each on a different label. Trying to combine his own swamp-rock sound with the popular disco music at the time, the results were not met with success and White gave up his career as a singer and concentrated on writing songs. During this time frame, he collaborated with American expat Joe Dassin on his only English-language album, Home Made Ice Cream, and its French-language counterpart Blue Country.

In 1989, White produced one non-single track on Tina Turner’s Foreign Affair album, the rest of the album was produced by Dan Hartman. Playing a variety of instruments on the album, he also wrote four songs, including the title song and the hit single “Steamy Windows”. As a result of this he became managed by Roger Davies, who was Turner’s manager at the time, and he obtained a new contract with Polydor.

The resulting album, 1991’s Closer to the Truth, was a commercial success and put White back in the spotlight. He released two more albums for Polydor; The Path of a Decent Groove and Lake Placid Blues which was co-produced by Roger Davies.

In the 1990s, White toured Germany and France with Joe Cocker and Eric Clapton, and in 1992 he played the Montreux Festival.

In 1996, Tina Turner released the song “On Silent Wings” written by White.

In 2000, Hip-O Records released One Hot July in the U.S., giving White his first new major-label domestic release in 17 years. The critically acclaimed The Beginningappeared on Swamp Records in 2001, followed by Heroines, featuring several duets with female vocalists including Jessi Colter, Shelby Lynne, Emmylou Harris, Lucinda Williams, and Michelle White, on Sanctuary in 2004, and a live Austin City Limits concert, Live from Austin, TX, on New West Records in 2006. In 2004, White was the featured guest artist in an episode of the Legends Rock TV Show and Concert Series, produced by Megabien Entertainment.

In 2007, White released another live recording, Take Home the Swamp, as well as the compilation Introduction to Tony Joe White. Elkie Brooks recorded one of White’s songs, “Out of The Rain”, on her 2005 Electric Lady album. On July 14, 2006, in Magny-Cours, France, White performed as a warm-up act for Roger Waters’ The Dark Side of the Moon concert. White’s album, entitled Uncovered, was released in September 2006 and featured collaborations with Mark Knopfler, Michael McDonald, Eric Clapton, and J.J. Cale.

The song “Elements and Things” from the 1969 album …Continued features prominently during the horse-racing scenes in the 2012 HBO television series “Luck”.

In 2013, White signed to Yep Roc Records and released Hoodoo. Mother Jones called the album “Steamy, Irresistible” and No Depression noted Tony Joe White is “the real king of the swamp.” He also made his Live…with Jools Holland debut in London, playing songs from Hoodoo.

On October 15, 2014, White appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman alongside the Foo Fighters to perform “Polk Salad Annie”. Pointing to White, Letterman told his TV audience, “Holy cow! … If I was this guy, you could all kiss my ass. And I mean that.”

In May 2016, Tony Joe White released Rain Crow on Yep Roc Records. The lead track “Hoochie Woman” was co-written with his wife, Leann. The track “Conjure Child” is a follow up to an earlier song, “Conjure Woman.

The album Bad Mouthin’ was released in September 2018 again on Yep Roc Records. The album contains six self-penned songs and five blues standards written by, amongst others, Charley Patton and John Lee Hooker. On the album White also performs a cover of the Elvis Presley song “Heartbreak Hotel”. White plays acoustic and electric guitar on the album which was produced by his son Jody White and has a signature Tony Joe White laid back sound.

White died of a heart attack on October 24, 2018, at the age of 75

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I started this website sometime in 2013 as a legacy site to pay tribute to the many wonderful musicians, singer frontmen and songwriters that paved the soundtrack of my life with their music. As an amateur rocker, who did not only listen to the music, but also played in many coverbands, duos and trios over the decades since rock and roll exploded into our lives, I realized later on in life, as I’m reluctantly entering the supposedly quiet years, that rock music between the mid 1950s and the 1990s, drove our entire culture. More than ever before in history was a global generation defined by music, as Rock and Roll became the soundtrack of our lives. It changed and over time defined politics, commerce, industry, transportation, communication, social interaction and education.

For 40 years it guided our sense of values, what was waste, what was cool and what was not. The guitar was cool. Rock and Roll was driven by the advance of the electric guitar. It demanded attention, even if only because of the volume and reach. It guided the best educated generation in history into adult hood.

But when our generation became too overly self important and self indulgent, Rock and Roll lost its driving cultural influence and handed it over to new genres like Hip Hop and Electronic Dance Music (EDM).

By the 1990s, as one generation handed the musical torch to a new generation, rock had been bent and bullied into new music genres, promoted by different music distribution platforms and rapidly advancing entertainment technology outlets, and we kind of turned away from rock as if it were a youthful indiscretion.

And then, as history usually goes, we turned old enough to remember the power of rock and roll in our younger years and we created niche markets for rock to live in, at least for the remainder of our years. Personally I have noticed that a lot of young females guitarists are picking up the torch, aided by educational online resources such as youTube and Vimeo video channels. It gives me hope for the future of rock and roll. But for now it’s still derivative as these young talents still focus on what we did fifty years ago. Give it time and they will make it their own and select new directions for rock and roll.

This website serves a little bit as a reminder to all of us baby boomers and rock music lovers, who picked up a guitar or kicked a drum in our formative years, and gained an understanding of how music transformed us.

Johan Ramakers

2019

JANUARY

• Pegi Young  – Neil Young’s ex and singer/songwriter with The Survivors (December 1, 1952 – January 1, 2019) – cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pegi_Young

• Daryl Dragon – Captain and Tennille (August 27, 1942 – January 2, 2019) – renal failure • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daryl_Dragon

• Clydie King – backup singer for superstars (August 21, 1943 – January 7, 2019) – age • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clydie_King   She was my ultimate singing partner,” said Dylan. “No one ever came close. We were two soulmates”

IN 2018 WE SAID GOODBYE TO:

JANUARY

• Betty Willis – Soul Singer (March 10, 1941 – January 1, 2018) strangled • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betty_Willis_(singer)

• Rick Hall – FAME studios in Muscle Shoals (1933- January 2, 2018) Cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rick_Hall

• Ray Thomas – Moody Blues (December 29, 1941 – January 4, 2018) cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Thomas

• Mikio ‘Ko-Gami’ Fujioka – Babymetal Kami Band (1981 – January 5, 2018) Complications from a fall • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babymetal

• France Gall – French pop idol (October 9, 1947- January 7, 2018) cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/France_Gall

• Buster Stiggs – born Mark John Hough, drummer for The Swingers and Models (8 December 1954 – 7 January 2018)- Multiple Meyeloma • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buster_Stiggs

• Denise Lasalle -Queen of the Blues (July 16, 1939 – January 8, 2018)- Complications from surgery – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denise_LaSalle

• Fast Eddie Clarke – Motörhead and Fastway (October 5, 1950 – January 10, 2018) – pneumonia • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie

• Alfred Morris III – Lead guitar for Iron Man (March 9, 1975 – January 10, 2018)- complications from diabetes • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iron_Man_(band)

• Dolores o’Riordan – The Cranberries (September 6, 1971 – January 15, 2018) – undisclosed • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dolores_O%27Riordan

• Edwin Hawkins – Edwin Hawkins Singers (August 19, 1943 – January 15, 2018) cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edwin_Hawkins

• Dave Holland – Judas Priest drummer (April 5, 1948 – January 16, 2018) – secretive • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dave_Holland_(drummer)

 Jim Rodford – Argent/Zombies/Kinks (7 July 1941 – 20 January 2018) fall of the stairs • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Rodford

 Billy Hancock – Danny Gatton (November 4, 1946 – January 22, 2018) liver failure • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Hancock

• Hugh Masekela – The Byrds/Paul Simon (4 April 1939 – 23 January 2018) cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Masekela

• Mark E. Smith – The Fall (March 5, 1957 – January 24, 2018) organ failure • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_E._Smith

 Floyd Miles  – Allman Brothers (April 13, 1943 – January 26, 2018)  heart attack • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Floyd_Miles

• Buzz Clifford – One Hit Wonder (October 8, 1942 – January 26, 2018) influenza • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buzz_Clifford

FEBRUARY

• Dennis Edwards – The Temptations
 (February 3, 1943 – February 1, 2018) – meningitis • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Edwards

• Leon “Ndugu” Chancler
 -Drum sensation (July 1, 1952 – February 3, 2018) – cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leon_”Ndugu”_Chancler

• Mickey Jones – drummer for Dylan, Johnny Rivers and Kenny Rodgers
 (June 10, 1941 – February 7, 2018) – complications from diabetes • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mickey_Jones

• Pat Torpey
 – drummer for Mr. Big, the Knack a.o.(December 13, 1953 – February 7, 2018)-complications from Parkinson’s • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pat_Torpey

• Craig MacGregor -Foghat
 (September 13, 1949 – February 9, 2018) – lung cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Craig_MacGregor

• Klaasje van der Wal – Bass for Shocking Blue (February 1, 1949 – February 12, 2018) — heart failure • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shocking_Blue

• Barbara Alston – The Crystals (September 28, 1943 – February 18, 2018) complications from the flu • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Crystals

• Edward Robert “Eddie” Amoo – Vocals and guitar for The Real Thing ( May 5, 1944 – February 23, 2018) – • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Real_Thing_(UK_band)

MARCH

• Patrick Doyle – drummer for Veronica Falls (1986 – March 3, 2018) – depression • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Veronica_Falls

• Nokie” Edwards – lead guitar for the Ventures (May 9, 1935 – March 12, 2018)- Complications from surgery • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nokie_Edwards

• Claudia Fontaine – Back up singer for Joe Cocker/Pink Floyd etc. (26 August 1960 – 13 March 2018)-cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudia_Fontaine

• Peter “Mars” Cowling – Pat Travers Band(May 26,1946 – March 20, 2018)- undisclosed • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_%22Mars%22_Cowling

• Mike Harrison – Spooky Tooth (3 September 1945 – 25 March 2018)- unknown • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mike_Harrison_(musician)

APRIL

• Timothy Matley – Lead voice forthe Overtones (16 February 1982 – 9 April 2018)- illness related suicide • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Overtones

• Yvonne Staples – Staple Singers (October 23, 1937 – April 10, 2018)- colon cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Staple_Singers

• Avicii (Tim Bergling) – EDM Superstar ( April 18, 2018) – suicide with broken glass • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avicii

• Reginald Duwayne McArthur – Lead singer for The Controllers (September 25, 1954 – April 19, 2018)- • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Controllers_(R%26B_band)

• Brian Hooper – Beast of Burden (1963 – April 20, 2018) – lung cancer • https://brianhenryhooper.bandcamp.com/

• Charles Neville – The Neville Brothers (December 28, 1938 – April 26, 2018)- cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Neville_(musician)

• Tim Calvert – Nevermore (November 7, 1965 – April 30, 2018) – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Calvert

MAY

• John “Jabo” Starks – drummer for James Brown (October 26, 1938 – May 1, 2018) – heart failure • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_%22Jabo%22_Starks

• Scott Hutchison  – Frightened Rabbit (20 November 1981 – 10 May 2018)- suicide • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Hutchison

• Jürgen Marcus – German Schlager star (6 June 1948 – May 2018) – COPD • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%BCrgen_Marcus

• Reggie Lucas – Sunfire (February 25, 1953 – May 19, 2018) – heart disease • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reggie_Lucas

JUNE

• Eddy Clearwater – blues musician (January 10, 1935 – June 1, 2018) – heart failure • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddy_Clearwater

• Ralph Santolla – guitarist for Deicide etc. (December 8, 1966- June 6, 2018) – heart failure • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ralph_Santolla

• Danny Kirwan – guitarist for Fleetwood Mac (May 13, 1950 – June 8, 2018) – mental health related • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Danny_Kirwan

• Jon Hiseman – drummer for Colosseum (21 June 1944 – 12 June 2018) – cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jon_Hiseman

• D.J. Fontana – drummer for Elvis (March 15, 1931 – June 13, 2018)- complications from broken hip • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/D._J._Fontana

• Nick Knox – drummer for the Cramps (March 26, 1953 – June 15, 2018) – cardiogenic shock • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nick_Knox

• Matt “Guitar” Murphy – guitarist for The Blues Brothers (December 29, 1929 – June 15, 2018)- heart attack • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matt_%22Guitar%22_Murphy

• Vinnie Paul – drummer for Pantera/Damageplan (March 11, 1964 – June 22, 2018) – heart failure • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vinnie_Paul

JULY

• Richard Swift – The Black Keys etc. (March 16, 1977 – July 3, 2018) – complications from hepatitis • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Swift_(singer-songwriter)

• Joe ‘Joseph Scott’ Maus – John Maus Bassist (January 6, 1988 – July 28th, 2018) – undisclosed • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Maus

AUGUST

• Aretha Franklin – Queen of Soul (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) – cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aretha_Franklin

• Ed King – guitarist for Lynyrd Skynyrd and Strawberry Alarm Clock – ( September 14, 1949 – August 22, 2018) – cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_King

• Kyle Pavone – singer for We Came as Romans (1990 – August 25, 2018) – overdose • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/We_Came_as_Romans

SEPTEMBER

• Conway Savage – keyboards for Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds (July 27, 1960 – September 2, 2018) – brain tumor • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conway_Savage

• Maartin Allcock – fiddle for Fairport Convention and Jethro Tull  (January 5, 1957 – September 16, 2018) – cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maartin_Allcock

• Marty Balin – singer Jefferson Airplane (January 30, 1942 – September 27, 2018) – cardiac arrest • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marty_Balin

• Otis Rush – blues guitar virtuoso (April 29, 1935 – September 29, 2018) – complications from a stroke • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Otis_Rush

OCTOBER

• Charles Aznavour – French singer/songwriter (May 22, 1924 – October 1, 2018) – pulmonary edema • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Aznavour

• Joop Roelofs – lead guitar for Q65 (October 2, 2018) – cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Q65_(band)

Tony Joe White – songwriter/performer (July 23, 1943 – October 24, 2018)- heart attack • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Joe_White

• Jimmy Farrar – singer for Molly Hatchet (1951 – 29 Oct 2018) – heart attack • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmy_Farrar

NOVEMBER

• Glenn Schwartz – original guitar player for the James Gang (March 20, 1940 – November 2, 2018)- undisclosed • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Schwartz

• Hugh McDowell – cellist for ELO and others (31 July 1953 – 6 November 2018) -cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_McDowell

• Roy Clark – Virtuoso guitar and banjo picker (April 15, 1933 – November 15, 2018) – pneumonia • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Clark

DECEMBER

• Joe Osborn – legendary bass sessionist (August 28, 1937 – December 14, 2018) – cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joe_Osborn

• Nancy Wilson – jazz and blues diva (February 20, 1937 – December 13, 2018) – cancer • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Wilson_(jazz_singer)

• Honey Lantree – drummer/singer for the Honeycombs (1943 – December 23, 2018) • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Honeycombs

 Ray Sawyer – singer/congas Dr.Hook and the Medicine Show (February 1, 1937 – December 31, 2018) – short illness • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Sawyer

• Dean Ford – Lead vocalist for the Marmalade (5 September 1946 – 31 December 2018) – parkinson’s • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dean_Ford

For all the heroes we lost in rock’s history, dating back to the early origins in the late 1930, all the way to the present day, click HERE