Entries tagged with: RIP

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We were sad to just learn that DC saxophonist Doc Night passed away earlier this month at the age of 52. He was a member of Scream (before Dave Grohl was, and three decades later appeared with Scream vocalist Pete Stahl in Grohl's one-off supergroup Don't Need Its), played in Body Count, and with HR of Bad Brains, who is helping spread the word that money is being collected for Doc's family. Rest in peace, Doc.

Speaking of Bad Brains and Dave Grohl, the Foo Fighters just brought out Darryl Jennifer and Dr. Know at their second of two Citi Field shows to cover Bad Brains classics "How Low Can A Punk Get" and "The Regulator." Videos of both covers are below.

HR wasn't at that those shows, and he isn't a current Bad Brains member, but he is playing some of his own shows. He'll be on a West Coast tour in October, and then his band HR & Dubb Agents plays NYC on December 18 at Bowery Electric. Opening that show is the Bandroidz, who recently toured with Desaparecidos. Tickets for NYC are on sale now.

All HR dates are listed below...

Continue reading "HR pays tribute to Doc Night (RIP), playing shows (but not with Bad Brains or Foo Fighters)"


Grabbing a falafel at Bereket after a show at Mercury Lounge, Pianos or another East Village or Lower East Side venue was a tradition cut short last year when the Turkish kebab house suddenly closed to make room for a bigger building at its Orchard and Houston location. I don't make it over that way as much as I used to, so it hasn't even fully sunk in that Bereket and the surrounding businesses are now completely gone and DEMOLISHED. Photographer Gabi Porter posted the above depressing photo to Instagram yesterday. We miss Bereket. Do you?

NYC POP artist Marco was the man resposible for painiting the funky octopus/ATM art above the door. He stopped by the shuttered business to make sure he had some video footage before it was gone. Watch his video and other older ones below....

Continue reading "We miss Bereket (which was totally demolished in July)"


Veteran Park Slope, Brooklyn rapper Pumpkinhead (real name Robert Diaz) sadly passed away this past June in a Somerville, NJ hospital (the Rock Steady Crew threw a tribute to him in Central Park in July), and now his home neighborhood is taking steps to immortalize him, and the news is positive so far.. Park Slope Stoop reports that the first hurdle is cleared to have a street in Park Slope named after the rapper...

A request to rename a street for Robert "PH" Diaz -- a rapper who also went by the name Pumpkinhead -- passed handily in a vote by the Community Board 6 Transportation/Public Safety Committee on Thursday, September 17. The vote was almost unanimous; one committee member abstained because she came late to the discussion.

The committee will now bring the request to the general CB6 meeting that involves renaming Degraw Street between 4th and 5th Avenues to Robert "PH" Diaz Way. The City Council will have final approval.

Listen to Pumpkinhead's song "Park Slope" below...

Continue reading "Park Slope rapper Pumpkinhead passed away in June; a Park Slope street may soon be named after him"

photo: Bolt Thrower at MDF 2013 (more by Fred Pessaro)
Bolt Thrower

Sad news in the metal community today: drummer Martin 'Kiddie' Kearns of long-running English death metal band Bolt Thrower passed away in his sleep at age 38. The band's statement (via Black Conjuration Fest) reads:

With the heaviest of hearts, and still numb from shock, we have to share the very sad news that on Monday 14th September Bolt Thrower lost our powerhouse drummer, Martin 'Kiddie' Kearns.

After the first rehearsal for our upcoming tour of Australia, Kiddie suddenly felt unwell which continued throughout the night, and the next day he passed away peacefully in his sleep.

He was a fantastic Dad, husband, son, friend, but to us he was always 'Kiddie', the same 17 year old Coventry kid whose drumming style and personality blew us away when he first walked into our rehearsal room 20+ years ago.

Kiddie enriched our lives, and the Bolt Thrower sound. He leaves a massive hole in the lives of everyone who knew him and will be very sorely missed by many.

Karl, Jo, Baz, Gav & the loyal BT crew

So sad to hear. Black Conjuration Fest also reports that the band's upcoming Australian tour will be cancelled.

Rest in peace Martin. Watch a video of Bolt Thrower playing Vienna last year, below...

Continue reading "Bolt Thrower drummer Martin 'Kiddie' Kearns, RIP"

I wonder what Zune tattoo guy thinks about this...

Zune tattoo

Did you realize Zune was still a thing?

Microsoft has announced it will retire the last of its Zune services on 15 November.

The company's Zune players and digital music service were launched in 2006 to rival Apple's iPod and iTunes.

But they never made a considerable impact and Zune hardware was discontinued in 2011.

The devices still have a small cult following who subscribe to the remaining Zune streaming music service.

On Wednesday, Microsoft said that service would be switched off on 15 November, with remaining users being migrated to its new Groove service.

Any remaining Zune players will still work as an MP3 player, but will no longer be able to stream online music. [BBC]

PREVIOSULY: Queens of the Stone Age played Zune launch party at The Box (pics)

Rico Rodriguez RIP

Sad News: Emmanuel "Rico" Rodriguez who played with the original lineup of The Specials and The Special AKA, died on Friday (9/4) at age 80. Born of a Cuban father and Jamaican mother in Kingston, Jamaica, Rodriguez played on dozens of reggae records in the late'-60s and '70s before hooking up with the Two Tone ska revivalists where his trombone style became a signature component The Specials' sound. He also cut a couple singles for Two Tone, "Jungle Music" with The Specials and a cover of "Sea Cruise" which was released just as Rico, as well as two early-'80s solo albums.

Rico, you'll be missed. Rest in peace. For those in London, there's a special Rico tribute happening this Friday (9/11). From Bim Skala Bim's Facebook page:

Rico's children and wonderful close friend, Rasta Larry, will be attending the special honorary show next Friday 11th Sept (planned since last year), at the 229 Club in London, where Rico was due to attend and receive an award accolade, from the Jamaican High Commissioner (along with Owen Gray and Prince Buster). The family will receive the award on Rico's behalf. The night will include a speech by Jerry Dammers and performance by The Neville Staple Band, plus other special guests.
Bless you Rico. Your legendary name and music will live forever.
Flyer for the tribute show, plus a few of Rico's songs with The Specials and his solo singles, below...

Continue reading "The Specials' trombonist "Rico" Rodriguez, RIP"

Sean Price (left) w/ Pharoahe Monch at Pete Rock's release party in Brooklyn in June
Sean Price

The Source reports that according to his friends and family, Brooklyn rapper Sean Price passed away in his sleep this morning. He was 43. Cause of death is currently unknown.

Sean left his mark on New York rap as one half of the influential duo Heltah Skeltah and a member of the supergroup Boot Camp Clik. Even as new trends entered the genre, Sean stayed true to his '90s-style roots, delivering uncompromising lyricism on his solo albums and as a member of the trio Random Axe. Duck Down had announced earlier this month that they'd release his next mixtape, Songs in the Key of Price, on August 21.

Rest in peace Sean P. Your music will definitely not be forgotten.

Listen to two singles from Songs in the Key of Price, with some of Sean's classic videos and tweets from fellow musicians about his passing, below...

Continue reading "Sean Price, RIP"

Lynn Anderson

Lynn Anderson, whose version of the song "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden" was one of the biggest country hits of the 1970s, has died. She was 67.

Anderson died Thursday of a heart attack at Vanderbilt Hospital in Nashville after being admitted for pneumonia, publicist Mark Logsdon told CNN.

Anderson was born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, in 1947, and grew up in Sacramento, California. Born to the music business -- both her parents were songwriters -- she got her start as a professional singer while still in her teens, releasing her first record, "For Better or for Worse," when she was 19.

...All told, Anderson had 18 country Top 10 hits, including five No. 1 songs. Among her other hits: "Rocky Top," the Felice and Boudleaux Bryant tune that's one of Tennessee's state songs. Anderson's version hit No. 17 on the country charts in 1970. [CNN]

Country singer Lynn Anderson passed away on Thursday, almost two months after releasing her latest album, Bridges. Other musicians have paid tribute to her. Dolly Parton said "she's blooming in God's rose garden now" and Morrissey posted a tribute on his website too. The post mentioned that last month in Nashville, Morrissey covered her biggest hit. You can watch a video of that (via Stereogum) below.

Rest in peace Lynn.

Continue reading "Lynn Anderson passed away; Morrissey paid tribute"

Rowdy Roddy Piper

Sad news from the world of wrestling -- WWE star "Rowdy" Roddy Piper died in his sleep on Thursday night from cardiac arrest. From ESPN:

"Roddy Piper was one of the most entertaining, controversial and bombastic performers ever in WWE, beloved by millions of fans around the world," said WWE chairman and CEO Vince McMahon. "I extend my deepest condolences to his family."

Roddy Piper was added to the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005. John Shearer/WireImage for BWR Public Relations
Piper, born Roderick Toombs, joined WWE in 1984. He teamed with Paul Orndorff on March 31, 1985, to take on Hulk Hogan and Mr. T at Madison Square Garden in Wrestlemania's first main event.

Inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame in 2005, Piper was well-known for his microphone skills and often hosted the Piper's Pit segment during WWE shows. He is the second Hall of Famer to die this summer following the June death of Dusty Rhodes.

In addition to pro wrestling, Piper also acted, most notably in John Carpenter's great 1988 darkly comic, highly subversive thriller They Live. You can watch Piper's "I came here to chew bubblegum" and famously epic fight scene with Keith David below.

Roddy, you will be missed. Rest in peace.

Continue reading ""Rowdy" Roddy Piper, RIP"

Vic Firth

Everett "Vic" Firth, founder of drumstick company Vic Firth, has passed away. A post on Vic Firth's Facebook reads:

To our dear friends around the world:

We are heartbroken to share the news with you that Vic has passed away.

Vic was an inspiration to all of us. He was a visionary, a mentor, a leader and a friend. He always said he surrounded himself with the best people, but the truth is he brought out the best in all of us. His boundless passion for music and musicians drove every decision he made.

Vic's spirit and legacy will continue to live at the core of the Vic Firth Company. He will be missed beyond words.

Rest in peace, Vic.

Don Joyce (second from left) with Negativland around the time of the "U2" single
Negativland Don Joyce

Don Joyce of electronic innovators and culture satirists/critics Negativland died Wedensday at his home in Oakland, CA. He was 71. A DJ at Berkley's KPFA, he coined the term "culture jamming" and hosted his midnight sound collage show "Over the Edge" since 1981 and continued to broadcast. Negativland shared the sad news on their website:

Negativland had found its "lead vocalist" without even realizing they were looking for one. It was Don who took the idea of reshaping previously recorded words - in a pre-sampling age - and ran with it to an extent and depth never before heard, and never equalled. "Recontextualization" became his weapon, with the 1/4" tape machine and razor blade his ammunition, and the radio "cart player" - an entirely forgotten piece of broadcast history using endless-loop tape cartridges, which he used until he death - his delivery system.

When he and Negativland discovered their mutual love for "found" sounds, an intensely collaborative creative partnership was cemented. It continued non-stop for the ensuing decades, with Don endlessly scanning the airwaves of radio and television, along with his massive LP collection, for new material, day by day, week by week. There was often a TV and a radio on in his room simultaneously, cassette recorders always at the ready. And as an extremely shy and often quite reclusive person, radio was a perfect medium for Don. He could reach thousands of people each week without having to deal with very many actual humans, just as he preferred it. Creating art was not only Don's full-time pursuit, it was literally his life's work. He had made it clear to the group as recently as a few weeks ago that he was happy and satisfied with what he had been able to achieve in his life, and were he not able to continue to work, his life would feel as good as over.

You can read the entirety of Negativland's tribute to Joyce here. This is the second Negativland death this year: '80-era member Ian Allen died in January from a heart attack.

Joyce was an integral part to Negativland's most acclaimed work, namely 1987's Escape from Noise and 1989's Helter Stupid. Their most famous work, though was 1991's "U2" single which set a expletive-laden blooper reel of America's Top 40 host Casey Kasem trying to read the intro to U2's first appearance on the show ("These guys are from England and who gives a shit!") over a sample the Irish band's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" and other found sounds. U2's label Island Records sued Negativland, saying that the cover art mislead U2 fans into buying the record, and over copyright infringement of the sample. It made the news and the whole debacle later got turned into the 1995 album Fair Use: The Story of the Letter U and the Numeral 2. You can stream the "U2" single below -- it's still funny.

Negativland also announced that all of Don's "Over the Edge" radio shows will be available later this year via the Internet Archive. Rest in peace, Don. You'll be missed but your work lives on.

Continue reading "Negativland's Don Joyce, RIP"


Founding OOIOO member Kyoko has passed away. Exclaim points out that her bandmate Yoshimi P-We (also of Boredoms) posted the above photo to Instagram and wrote the following:

This is Yoshimio.
I regret to inform you that my friend, Kyoko has passed away morning on July
Kyoko came from same hometown as I am . We started OOIOO together. She was
the first guitar player of OOIOO. She left the band to concentrate to cure
her illness but she came to help selling merchandise sometimes to our shows.
She started the band with Itoken who was also her longtime partner.

Kyoko was 183cm tall. She was on her own pace , optimistic and natural blur.
I loved her very much. I do not like to believe she is no longer with us
anymore. I love to see her again.

Rest in peace Kyoko.


Grooveshark co-founder Josh Greenberg, a pioneer in Gainesville's student startup movement, was found dead in his bed Sunday by his girlfriend in the house they shared. He was 28.

Lori Greenberg, his mother, said Monday he had no health problems and she was told by police who investigated Sunday night that there was no evidence of foul play, injuries or drugs.

She said her son was more relieved than depressed about the settlement that shut down Grooveshark on April 30 since it ended the lawsuit that had been hanging over his head. Several record companies had sued the online music streaming service over copyright violations.

...The medical examiner was performing an autopsy Monday morning and would know if there were obvious problems with Greenberg's heart or brain, otherwise, toxicology results would be done in two or three months, Lori Greenberg said.

"They are as baffled as I am," she said. [Gainesville.com]

Josh Greenberg, founder of Grooveshark (which shut down in April after 8 years of existence), was found dead in his Gainesville home at age 28. Cause of death is unknown, and police found no evidence of foul play or suicide.

Our thoughts go out to Josh's friends and family.

The L Magazine RIP
The L Magazine RIP

The L Magazine, the free weekly magazine that started in 2003, has ceased publishing its print edition. This week's issue was its last as the editors wrote:

Weird news you may have heard already: As of today, July 15th, The L Magazine will no longer be published as a print magazine. This is neither tragic nor particularly sad nor further proof that everything is fucked. It is rather-and we realize this may seem like a line of bullshit-a decision we've made so that we can focus on and grow our sister publication, Brooklyn Magazine, which, starting in September, will go from being a quarterly publication to a monthly one. This is very exciting.

It's become common to sentimentalize the Brooklyn of the very recent past; it doesn't take much encouragement before people begin to wax nostalgic about the way things used to be before the condos went up, or this bar closed, or that chain store opened, or these people moved out, or these other people moved in. It's an understandable tendency, this need to reflect upon a now-broken past; we do it in order to better understand our present, and to make sense of the decisions we'll need to make to build our future.

The L, which continues as a website goes through each of its years of existence in print, highlighting notable events, albums, books, openings, and average asking price of an apartment in various neighborhoods. Northside Media Group continues to publish Brooklyn Magazine in print and run the Northside Festival, among other things. RIP, L Magazine print edition.

Already filling that void is Time Out NY, which turns 20 this year and which became a free weekly back in April.

Nick Cave with his sons Arthur and Earl
Nick Cave

Today in very sad news, Nick Cave's 15-year-old son Arthur died after falling from a cliff near Brighton on Tuesday. The Guardian reports:

His death is not being treated as suspicious. Nick Cave and his wife, Susie, paid tribute to Arthur, who also leaves behind his twin brother, Earl, in a short statement confirming his death.

"Our son Arthur died on Tuesday evening. He was our beautiful, happy, loving boy," it read. "We ask that we be given the privacy our family needs to grieve at this difficult time."

A Sussex police spokeswoman said: [...] "Members of the public carried out first aid on the boy before he was taken to the Royal Sussex county hospital, Brighton, just after 6pm. He later died there of his injuries. The death is being dealt with by the coroner's officer."

Really sad. Our thoughts go out to Nick and his family.

Singh (right) playing MoMA PS 1 Warm Up last summer (via Facebook)
Charanjit Singh

Indian musician Charanjit Singh passed away in his sleep on Sunday in his Mumbai home, reports The Wire. He was 75.

His 1982 album Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat, predated (and inadvertently predicted) acid house and has since been heralded as a classic. Singh, who played North American shows last year (including a few in NYC), was getting ready for a London performance as well as a recording session of Indian folk music. Rest in peace, Charanjit Singh.

Stream Ten Ragas to a Disco Beat, below...

Continue reading "Charanjit Singh, RIP"

photo: Chris Squire with Yes in NJ in 2013 (more by Greg Cristman)

Chris Squire, the co-founder and longtime bassist of prog rock icons Yes and the only member of the group to feature on every studio album, has passed away just over a month after revealing that he was suffering from a rare form of leukemia. Squire was 67. Current Yes keyboardist Geoff Downes first tweeted the news, "Utterly devastated beyond words to have to report the sad news of the passing of my dear friend, bandmate and inspiration Chris Squire."

Yes confirmed Squire's death on their official Facebook page. "It's with the heaviest of hearts and unbearable sadness that we must inform you of the passing of our dear friend and Yes co-founder, Chris Squire. Chris peacefully passed away last night in Phoenix Arizona, in the arms of his loving wife Scotty," the band wrote in a statement. [Rolling Stone]

RIP Chris. You'll be missed and your music will live on.

Yes's upcoming tour is scheduled to hit the NYC-area this August. Watch a video of Chris playing "Close To The Edge" with the band in 2013, below...

Continue reading "Yes co-founder Chris Squire, RIP"

Ron Moody Oliver Fagin RIP died

We've already said goodbye to a lot of people today, and here's more sad news. Ron Moody, best known for playing Fagin in Oliver!, died today (6/11) in London. He was 91. From The Guardian:

Moody was on his way to becoming a sociologist when he fell into acting. He got his first taste of show business aged 16 when he worked as a wages clerk at Elstree studios. He spent the second world war in the RAF before going on to study at the London School of Economics. Years later, he remembered: "While there, I got dragged into taking part in a student revue and ended up writing, and appearing in, a few sketches. In short, I got the stage bug."

He reluctantly auditioned for the role in Lionel Bart's musical that made him a star: "At first, I never wanted to do it. They told me there was this musical of Oliver Twist, so I went to see the Alec Guinness film, which I found to be so anti-semitic as to be unbearable.

"But Bart is as Jewish as I am and we both felt an obligation to get Fagin away from a viciously racial stereotype and instead make him what he really is - a crazy old Father Christmas gone wrong."

In addition to his role as Fagin, Moody appeared in many other movies and television shows and, at one point, turned down the role of Dr. Who. Rest in peace, Ron Moody. Watch his "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two" number from Oliver! below...

Continue reading "Ron Moody (Fagin in 'Oliver!'), RIP"

Dusty Rhodes

Today is full of sad news. Here's some more from the WWE:

WWE is deeply saddened that Virgil Runnels, aka "The American Dream" Dusty Rhodes -- WWE Hall of Famer, three-time NWA Champion and one of the most captivating and charismatic figures in sports entertainment history -- passed away today at the age of 69.

Runnels became a hero to fans around the world thanks to his work ethic, his impassioned interviews and his indomitable spirit. Moreover, Runnels was a dedicated father to WWE Superstars Goldust (Dustin Runnels) and Stardust (Cody Runnels), a caring husband and a creative visionary who helped shape the landscape of WWE long after his in-ring career had ended.

WWE extends its sincerest condolences to Runnels' family, friends and colleagues.

Rest in Peace, Dusty.

Today we also learned of the passing of Christopher Lee and Ornette Coleman

Christopher Lee, RIP

Horror icon, occasional metal musician, and all-around cool dude Christopher Lee died on Sunday (6/7) in a London hospital. He was 93. From Billboard:

According to media reports, Lee died on Sunday morning, June 7 at Westminster Hospital in London after being admitted for respiratory problems and heart failure. The Guardian reported that his wife, former Danish model and painter Gitte Kroencke, decided to release the news days later in order to inform family members first. The couple had been married since 1961.
Lee was a staple of Hammer Films' horror films, played the (thrice) titular James Bond villain in The Man with the Golden Gun, freaked audiences out in The Wicker Man, and had roles in both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogies, and the Star Wars prequels (as Count Dooku, he was probably the least lame thing in those). But it wasn't until late in life that his love of opera, history AND heavy metal came to the fore, working with Rhapsody of Fire and Manowar before releasing his first symphonic metal LP, Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross, in 2010. You may also remember his 2012 metal Christmas single. Rest in peace, Christopher Lee. You led a long, awesome life.

Stream Charlemagne: By the Sword and the Cross via Rdio and watch the video for Lee's "The Bloody Verdict of Verden," below.

Continue reading "Christopher Lee, RIP"

photo: Ornette Coleman at Prospect Park in 2014 (more by Greg Cristman)
Ornette Coleman

The alto saxophonist and composer Ornette Coleman, one of the most powerful and contentious innovators in the history of jazz, died on Thursday morning in Manhattan. He was 85.

The cause was cardiac arrest, a representative of the family said.

Mr. Coleman widened the options in jazz, and helped change its course. Partly through his example in the late 1950s and early '60s, jazz became less beholden to the rules of harmony and rhythm, and gained more distance from the American songbook repertory. His own music, then and later, became a new form of highly informed folk song: deceptively simple melodies for small groups with an intuitive, collective language, and a strategy for playing without preconceived chord sequences. [NY Times]

One of jazz's greatest and most influential saxophonists, Ornette Coleman has sadly passed away at age 85. Much of his music (like the seminal 1959 album, The Shape of Jazz to Come) broke new ground for the genre, and his reach also extended outside of jazz, influencing rock artists such as Lou Reed.

Rest in peace Ornette. You'll be missed.

Ornette Coleman's last public appearance was the big celebration in Brooklyn's Prospect Park last year that also included Patti Smith, Thurston Moore, Flea and more. More pictures (like the one above) here. Listen to some Ornette Coleman below...

Continue reading "Ornette Coleman, RIP"

photo: BB King at BB King's in 2013 (more by Dana (distortion) Yavin)

Riley B. King, the legendary guitarist known as B.B. King, whose velvety voice and staccato-picking style brought blues from the margins to the mainstream, died Thursday night.

He was 89.

His daughter, Patty King, said he died in Las Vegas, where he announced two weeks ago that he was in home hospice care after suffering from dehydration. [CNN]

Blues legend BB King had been in and out of the hospital, and had not long ago cancelled a tour due to illness, but as recently as last month he was saying he was feeling better. Now, sadly, the great and forever influential guitarist has died. A post on his Facebook says he passed peacefully in his sleep at 9:40 PM last night (5/14).

Rest in peace BB. You'll be missed and won't be forgotten.

Watch a few live videos below...

Continue reading "BB King, RIP"

Craig Gruber

Veteran hard rock/heavy metal bassist Craig Gruber died yesterday (5/5), after battling prostate cancer, Blabbermouth reports. He was 63.

Gruber was a member of Elf, one of the early bands of Ronnie James Dio (who we lost in 2010), playing on their second album, 1974's Carolina County Ball, and their third and final album, 1975's Trying to Burn the Sun. That same year, he and Dio hooked up with Deep Purple guitarist Ritchie Blackmore to record the first Rainbow album (then known as Ritchie Blackmore's Rainbow). Gruber (and everyone else except Dio) was fired by Blackmore from Rainbow after that album, but Gruber and Dio played together again in Black Sabbath during Geezer Butler's brief departure from that band. Following that, he played in other projects including Bible Black, Ozz and more.

Rest in peace, Craig. You'll be missed.

Listen to some Elf and Rainbow songs Craig was on, below...

Continue reading "Rainbow/Elf bassist Craig Gruber, RIP"

Ben E King

Ben E King, the singer best known for the hit Stand By Me, has died aged 76, according to his agent.

King started his career in the late 1950s with The Drifters, singing on hits including There Goes My Baby and Save The Last Dance For Me.

After going solo, he hit the US top five with Stand By Me in 1961.

The track returned to the charts in the 1980s, reaching No 1 in the UK when the song was used as the theme of the coming-of-age film of the same name starring River Phoenix and Corey Feldman.

The song entered the US Billboard 100 nine times over the years - King's version did so twice while covers by artists like John Lennon and Spyder Turner featured seven times. [The Guardian]

Rest in peace, Ben. You'll be missed.

Watch Ben sing "Stand By Me" in 1961 here and listen to the song below...

Continue reading "Ben E. King, RIP"


Ely, who died Tuesday at age 71, had simply walked into a tiny Portland recording studio with his band one day in 1963 to cut an instrumental version of a song that had been a hit on Pacific Northwest jukeboxes -- one that kids could dance to.

"Right out of his mouth, my father would say, 'We were initially just going to record the song as an instrumental, and at the last minute I decided I'd sing it," Ely's son, Sean Ely, told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

When it came time to do that, however, Ely discovered the sound engineer had raised the studio's only microphone several feet above his head. Then he placed Ely in the middle of his fellow musicians, all in an effort to create a better "live feel" for the recording.

The result, Ely would say over the years, was that he had to stand on his toes, lean his head back and shout as loudly as he could just to be heard over the drums and guitars.

It might not have helped, either, that the 20-year-old musician was wearing braces at the time, although Ely maintained that the real problem was trying to sing with his head tilted back at a 45-degree angle.

In any case, the end result was that about the only words anyone could clearly understand were contained in the song's first two lines: "Louie Louie. Oh no. We gotta go." [Associated Press]

The KIngsmen's Jack Ely, who sang on their best known song -- their 1963 cover of Richard Berry's "Louie Louie" -- passed away in his home in Oregon yesterday, after a long battle with illness. He was 71.

Rest in peace Jack.

Watch The Kingsmen play "Louie Louie" below...

Continue reading ""Louie Louie" singer Jack Ely (of The Kingsmen), RIP"