Deaths In The Music World
Rest In Peace...
"Fast" Eddie Clark
Tony Joe White
Frank Sinatra, Jr.
In Memory Of These Great Musicians
DR. JOHN (NOVEMBER 20, 1941 – JUNE 6, 2019)
The legendary Dr. John, born Malcolm John Rebennack, Jr., passed at 77 year of age of a heart attack on June 6, 2019. Dr. John created a unique style of music, which represented his home town of New Orleans. He began his career in the 1950's, playing guitar and bass, after injuring his left ring finger. while protecting his then band mate, Ronnie Barron, from gunfire.
Dr. John's father owned a record store in New Orleans, so he grew up with all the genres of music. His breakout albums were Gumbo in 1972 and In the Right Place in 1973. The single, "Right Place, Wrong Time," was his only top 10 Billboard 100 hit at a No.9 placing. He played piano on the Carly Simon and James Taylor duet, "Mockingbird," in 1974. Dr. John wrote the score for John Steinbeck's, Cannery Row film. He played multiple benefits for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. He was a Grammy winner six times and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2011 by artist, John Legend. In 2006, Dr. John, with another famous New Orleans musician, Aaron Neville, performed the "National Anthem" at the Super Bowl. His duet with Rickie Lee Jones in 1992, "Makin' Whoopee," was memorable.
He liked to fish, relaxing on a boat in his favorite fishing spot in New Orleans and just meditate. Dr. John had a dream of recording a country album as his final album. It currently has no release date, however, it should be special in a Dr. John way, being producted by Shane Theriot, a veteran of the Neville Brothers and current musical director for Daryl Hall and John Oates. The main thread of this forthcoming release is about time and retrospection. Dr. John passed when he was happy, happy that he was recording a country record, which he always wanted to make wistfully. He felt it was his last record. Dr. John heard and approved this last album before his death. It is anxiously being awaited by all his fans.
His career encompassed 60 years, two dozen albums of original studio recordings, plus many live and compilation albums.
Fats Domino in 1967
CREDIT: Clive Limpkin / Getty Image
FATS DOMINO (FEBRUARY 26, 1928 – OCTOBER 24, 2017)
This week saw the passing of one of R&B and Rock and Roll's great visionaries. Fats Domino was born and raised in Louisiana and brought his own brand of rhythm and blues, or what he called, "Dixieland Music," to the world. His accomplishments included 35 records in the U.S. Billboard Top 40 with five of his pre-1955 recordings being certified gold. From 1955 to 1960 he had eleven top 10 hits and the only artist at the time to sell more records was the legendary, Elvis Presley. His influence on music runs so deep that two of rock's biggest acts, The Beatles and Elvis, both attribute him as a major influence. Elvis even claimed Fats to be the true "King of Rock and Roll" in a post show interview in 1969. Throughout his career, Fats sold an astonishing 65 million records. He will be missed, but his legacy will certainly remain.
TOM PETTY (OCTOBER 20, 1950 – OCTOBER 2, 2017)
On the evening of October 2nd, 2017, the world lost another great artist. Tom Petty was an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. Although best known as the front man for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Petty was also a member of the 80's supergroup, the Traveling Wilburys, and also Mudcrutch, a band that predated the Heartbreakers.
Petty's music touched many lives during his career. He sold more than 80 million records worldwide and had numerous hit singles along the way. Many of these tunes are staples of American rock radio and have transcended generations of fans. Petty was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and included in his list of awards are three Grammy's (He was nominated 18 times!). The impact of his music will be felt for many years to come. We will miss you, Tom.
CREDIT: Photographer Todd Owyoung
Walter Becker in 1995
CREDIT: Patti Ouderkirk / Wireimage
WALTER BECKER (FEBRUARY 20, 1950 – SEPTEMBER 3, 2017)
On September 3, 2017, the rock and roll world lost another great contributor. Walter Becker was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer that had great success as one of the founding members of Steely Dan. The group changed line-ups numerous times, but Walter, along with Dongald Fagen, remained as the core of the group.
Walter was born in Queens, New York and didn't start playing music until his high school years. First giving the saxophone a try before switching over to guitar. He met Donald Fagen while attending Bard College and after starting to work musically together they soon relocated to California where they formed Steely Dan. Becker played bass and guitar on many of the recordings and eventually switched to just playing guitar and providing some backing vocals. As a producer, one of his most notable recordings was Ricki Lee Jones, Flying Cowboys. Walter was the recipient of four Grammy Awards and also was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
PRINCE (JUNE 7, 1958 – APRIL 21, 2016)
Few artists have created a body of work as rich and varied as Prince. He emerged as one of the most singular talents of the rock & roll era, capable of seamlessly tying together pop, funk, folk, and rock. An American singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and actor. Prince was renowned as an innovator and was widely known for his eclectic work, flamboyant stage presence, and wide vocal range. He was widely regarded as the pioneer of the Minneapolis sound. Prince wrote his first song at age 7, released his first platinum album in 1979, and has sold more than 100 million albums worldwide making him one of the best selling artists of all time.
CREDIT: Photographer Herb Ritts
CREDIT: Photo by Myriam Santos
MERLE HAGGARD (APRIL 6, 1937 – APRIL 6, 2016)
Merle had a rough start due to a tough childhood and spending time in jail for a number of minor offenses. Luckily he was able to turn it all around. As a performer and a songwriter, Merle Haggard was the most important country artist to emerge in the 1960s, when he became one of the leading figures of the Bakersfield country scene. One of the original outlaw country artists and forever a legend he charted 38 number one hits between the 1960’s and the 1980’s.
GLENN FREY (NOVEMBER 6, 1948 – JANUARY 18, 2016)
Frey started out in his hometown of Detroit amongst the mid-1960’s rock scene. Around this time he befriended Bob Seger who helped get Frey a management and recording contract essentially putting his foot in the door. Best known as one of the main creative forces behind the Los Angeles-based rock band the Eagles, Glenn Frey embarked on a solo career after the ensemble initially split up in 1980. He was successful in nearly everything he took on even starting his own record label.
CREDIT: Photo by Bil Zelman
DAVID BOWIE (JANUARY 8, 1947 – JANUARY 10, 2016)
The mercurial David Bowie was the original pop chameleon. He was everything from inoffensive pop singer to glam icon to white soulman to art-rocker and more in the course of his long, prolific career. For five decades he innovated and reinvented his music and stagecraft significantly influencing popular music and landing a spot in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1996.