Entries tagged with: RIP

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Joel Burrows with The Thermals @ BV CMJ day party 2006 (more)
Joel Burrows

Joel Burrows, longtime local musician and fixture of the Portland music scene, has passed away. Burrows performed with many Portland bands and was a talented multi-instrumentalist, playing drums for the Minders and guitar in the Thermals, among his contributions for many other bands. In early 2011, Burrows was struck by a van as he crossed the street and suffered a serious head injury. He spent following months in the ICU and fought valiantly for his life. Burrows made substantial progress and was able to leave the hospital to live in an assisted living facility for people with brain injuries. -[Portland Mercury]
Rest in peace, Joel.

Joel only spent a short time in The Thermals, part of which was spent in NYC for CMJ 2006. We were honored to host him and the rest of the band in the basement of Fontana's that year.

Terry Callier

Soul and jazz singer Terry Callier has died. The 67-year-old songwriter experienced belated success in his career after working with acts including Massive Attack and Beth Orton.

He died on Sunday after suffering from a long illness.

Born in the Chicago projects, Callier was a childhood friend of Curtis Mayfield and Jerry Butler, and began singing in doo-wop groups in his teens. Later he became a fixture on the city's coffee house scene, releasing a debut album titled The New Folk Sound of Terry Callier in 1968. In the early 70s he released three critically celebrated "jazz-folk" albums and toured with George Benson and Gil Scott-Heron, but he had abandoned music for a job as a computer programmer at the University of Chicago until a new generation rediscovered his work in the early 90s. - [The Guardian]

Rest in peace, Terry. Below are videos of his collaborations with Beth Orton and Massive Attack, plus a stream of The Bongo Years via Spotify.

Continue reading "R.I.P. Terry Callier"

(photo by Kate Simon)

You first encountered Teddy, the sharkskin-suited maître d'hôtel, on the sidewalk. If you got past him, Steve Paul was at the door to insult you.

The insult, usually devilishly clever, was the cover charge to one of New York City's hottest, most intriguing clubs in the 1960s. It was called the Scene, and it was the brainchild of the dashing, idiosyncratic Mr. Paul, who was 23 when he opened it in 1964. It became famous for brilliant moments in the history of rock music, as the place where Jimi Hendrix and the Doors shaped the music of the '60s in inspired jam sessions.

Mr. Paul, who went on to manage Johnny Winter and other rock stars and record them for his own label, died at 71 on Sunday at a hospital in Queens. His friend Tariq Abdus-Sabur said the cause was not yet known. -[NY Times]

Steve Paul was an iconoclast and general NYC music scene legend. Rest in peace, Steve.

David S Ware

Free-jazz giant, David S. Ware, has died aged just 62. The New Jersey-based saxophonist had been plagued by poor health for many years, undergoing nearly a decade of dialysis treatment and, at the age of 60, a kidney transplant using an organ donated in response to an email appeal sent to 1,000 of his fans.

While Ware's many admirers will mourn this premature loss, there's comfort to be had from the fact that the two short years gained by surgery allowed him time to record some of his strongest work, including two astonishing albums by the heavyweight quartet, Planetary Unknown, featuring drummer Muhammad Ali, pianist Cooper-Moore and long-time collaborator, bassist William Parker. - [Jazzwise]

A true one-of-a-kind, David S. Ware you will be missed. Check out a preview of A World of Sound, Amine Kouider's documentary short on Ware below and you can watch the whole thing on David Lynch TV.

Continue reading "R.I.P. David S. Ware"

Howard Scott (R) with the great Aaron Copland
Howard Scott
Howard H. Scott, known by some as the godfather of the LP, and others as a classical composer and producer, passed away last month in Reading, PA at the age of 92 after a fight with cancer.

In 1946, Mr. Scott was 26 and just discharged from the Army when he got a job at Columbia Masterworks, the label's classical division. He was soon assigned to Columbia's top-secret project: developing a long-playing record to replace the 78 r.p.m. disc, which could hold only about four minutes of music on each brittle shellac side.

The project had begun in 1940 and was nearing completion. But its engineers needed someone with musical training -- particularly the ability to read orchestral scores -- to help transfer recordings from 78s to the new discs, which played at 3 31/3 r.p.m., could hold about 22 minutes a side and were made of more durable vinyl.

Howard Hillison Scott fit the bill. -[NY Times]

He went on to produce many classical records with symphonies in Boston, Philadelphia, St. Louis, and the New York Philharmonic among many many others, eventually winning a Grammy in 1966 for his production on Charles Ives's Symphony No. 1, performed by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

R.I.P. Mr Scott, your lasting contributions to both music and technology will be felt for generations to come.

Big Jim Sullivan

Prolific session guitarist Big Jim Sullivan, who played on hits by stars including Tom Jones, Shirley Bassey and Dusty Springfield, has died.

Sullivan, 71, was reputed to have played on more than 1,000 hits including 55 number one singles...

His widow Norma said he died peacefully at home in West Sussex on Tuesday.

Sullivan was one of the most sought-after session musicians of the 1960s and 70s...

Born James Tomkins, he started playing the guitar aged 14 and turned professional within two years...

He is also credited with playing a part in a number of key developments in rock, including pioneering the use of the fuzzbox and the talkbox. -[BBC]

Big Jim Sullivan's extensive list of credits include Shirley Bassey's "Goldfinger," Bowie's "Space Oddity," plus work for Walker Brothers, Dusty Springfield, Ella Fitgerald, Zombies, Marianne Faithful, Kinks, Petula Clark, Herman's Hermits, Olivia Newton-John and so many others. Big Jim Sullivan, you will be missed, but thank you for your lasting contribution to music... it will live on forever.

Terence Connor

Very sad to report that Total Slacker drummer Terence Connor has died following a hit-and-run. Our thoughts to out to Terence's family, friends and fellow bandmates. .

UPDATE: Gothamist confirms that Terence was killed on his bike in the "intersection of Metropolitan Avenue and Stewart Avenue at around 5:15 a.m. " And the band writes:

Were unbelievably heart broken, our drummer Terence Connor was killed in a hit and run accident while riding his bike early this morning.
Sending all our love to his family and friends.
THE SADDEST DAY -- WE WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOU, FOREVER...
RIP, Terence

andy williams

"Moon River" was written by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer, and Audrey Hepburn introduced it in the 1961 film "Breakfast at Tiffany's," but it was Mr. Williams who made the song indisputably his own when he sang it at the 1962 Academy Awards ceremony and titled a subsequent album after it. When he built a theater in Branson, he named it the Andy Williams Moon River Theater.

"Moon River" became the theme song for his musical-variety television series "The Andy Williams Show," which, along with his family-oriented Christmas TV specials, made him a household name.

"The Andy Williams Show" ran on NBC from 1962 to 1971 and won three Emmy Awards for outstanding variety series. But its run also coincided with the social and cultural upheavals of the 1960s, and with a lineup of well-scrubbed acts like the Osmond Brothers (whom Mr. Williams introduced to national television) and established performers like Judy Garland and Bobby Darin, the show, at least to many members of a younger, more rebellious generation, was hopelessly square -- the sort of entertainment their parents would watch. - [NY Times]

Legendary crooner Andy Williams, who made the world swoon with "Moon River," lost his battle with cancer last night. He was 84. In addition to that song, Williams' hits included "Can't Get Used to Losing You" (memorably covered by The Beat in 1980), and the theme songs to Born Free and Love Story. He also made a zillion Christmas albums and chances are your grandparents own at least one of them. You can stream many of his hits below via Spotify and watch some classic video clips as well. Rest in peace, Andy.

Continue reading "Andy Williams, RIP"

by Fred Pessaro // BBG

Hydra Head

Hydra Head Records has never been a smooth-running operation. We've spent the majority of our existence excitedly scrambling from one thing to the next, taking on more than we could ever possibly hope to achieve, and never quite finding solid footing in the midst of our self-induced whirlwind of chaos. Though not every second of doing this label has been enjoyable, it has been a very rewarding and meaningful project for me, and I hope for many of the other lives to which it has been directly connected. The fact that it has lasted close to two decades at this point is astonishing, and much has changed during that time - the lives of those directly involved with running the label, the bands and artists we've worked with, and the nature of the music industry itself. Though many of these changes have been positive, or at least illuminating, the impact of our history and current industry circumstances are culminating into a slow and somewhat painful death for the label. It certainly isn't an entirely unforeseen event, but we didn't think it would come quite so abruptly, or (perhaps naively) ever. -[Aaron Turner of Hydra Head Records, Isis, Old Man Gloom, etc]
The full statement is below. So sad to see one of my favorite labels of the 2000s disappear. It is truly the end of an era.... so many great bands have passed through their ranks.. from Botch to Discordance Axis to Torche to Coalesce to Pyramids to Oxbow to Circle to Xasthur to Old Man Gloom to Isis to Harvey Milk and on and on and on. This leaves a huge void. RIP Hydra Head, you will definitely, 100% be missed.

Full statement is below.

Continue reading "R.I.P. Hydra Head Records"

Lil JoJo RIP
Lil Jojo

To quote The Smoking Section:

A little over a month ago, we saw Lupe Fiasco overcome with emotion as he watched video of friends whose young lives were snuffed out by violence. A week ago, the Chicagoan stated that the culture Chief Keef represented scared him. Today, we see more hard evidence as to why Lupe fears for the direction of his hometown, and the young people who populate it.

[An 18]-year-old rapper named Joseph Coleman, otherwise known as Lil JoJo, died from gunshot wounds late last night. Coleman had been embroiled in a rivalry withChief Keef associate and fellow rapper Lil Reese, even having an angry exchange with him in a video was posted on YouTube only a few days ago. In the clip, someone yells the words "I'mma kill you."

In a seemingly related set of tweets following Coleman's death last night, Keef seemed to be laughing at the tragedy that befell his teenaged rival.

17 year old Chief Keef's recent accomplishments include playing both Pitchfork and Lollapalooza, making the cover of FADER, and signing to Interscope Records who at least one writer suggests should drop Keef who he calls "garbage wrapped in human skin."

UPDATE: The police are investigating Chief Keef (and much more too)

Hal David

Hal David, the Oscar- and Grammy-winning lyricist who in the 1960s and '70s gave pop music vernacular the questions "What's It All About?," "What's New, Pussycat?," "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?" and "What Do You Get When You Fall in Love?," died on Saturday in Los Angeles. He was 91.

The cause was a stroke, according to his wife, Eunice, who said he died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.

Mr. David, whose lyrics could be anguished pleas, wistful yearnings, sexy mash notes or wry musings, and sometimes all four in the same song, was best known for the long strand of hits he and the composer Burt Bacharach wrote for Dionne Warwick.

He was something of a late bloomer: he did not have his first Top 10 hit -- "Magic Moments," recorded by Perry Como -- until 1958, when Mr. David was in his late 30s. He achieved his greatest successes well after he turned 40, at a time when many of the other successful songwriters were half his age and many young performers were writing their own songs.

Mr. David's words also found fertile ground on Broadway, in the hit musical "Promises, Promises"; in the movies, in the Oscar-winning song "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" from "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid"; and at weddings via the classic first-dance song "(They Long to Be) Close to You." -[NY Times]

Ninety-One is a good run. R.I.P., Hal. A few Hal David classics are below.

Continue reading "R.I.P. Hal David"

Nintendo Power

Gamers of a certain age likely remember the days when their main fix of information about new and upcoming video games came in the form of the monthly Nintendo Power magazine that was delivered directly to their mailbox. That experience is set to become yet another relic of a past era, as Ars Technica has learned that Future Publishing is planning to stop publishing the magazine....

....Nintendo Power senior editor Chris Hoffman seemed to confirm our source's information on Twitter, saying that he was "sad to see it go" and that the editorial team would "try to make the last issues memorable." Nintendo Power writer Phil Theobald, meanwhile, promised on Twitter that they had "something pretty sweet planned for the final issue." [Further update: It seems the tweets in question have been deleted after publication.] [Ars Technica]

Continue reading "Nintendo Power still exists (but not for long)"

Scott McKenzie

According to a note on Scott McKenzie's website, the singer behind 1967 hit, "San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Flowers In Your Hair)," has passed away. Scott lost his battle with Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which has been ongoing for the last two years. He was 73.

"San Francisco," which was written by The Mamas and the Papas' John Phillips but given to Scott McKenzie to sing, was originally used as a promotional single for the Monterey Pop Festival, but eventually became an anthem for the Summer of Love, the hippie generation, and the entire culture associated with it. Scott, along with John Philips, also co-wrote The Beach Boys' 1988 comeback single, "Kokomo."

Almost half a century later, "San Francisco" song remains impacting for those who were there to experience the late '60s and those who weren't. Your fantastic voice and the powerful song behind it will never be forgotten. RIP Scott.

A video of Scott playing "San Francisco" at Monterey Pop Festival and a stream of the studio version are below.

Continue reading "Scott McKenzie, RIP"

by Fred Pessaro // BGG

Inter Arma
Inter Arma

Inter Arma have signed to Relapse Records. The band is planning a new LP for the label in the new year, and will head out on a string of tour dates that will kick off with their appearance supporting Pallbearer at Knitting Factory on September 11 (tickets). Full tour schedule is listed at the bottom of this post. Inter Arma played our 2010 CMJ showcase alongside another great young band, Royal Thunder (who will also play the Knitting Factory bill).

Barn Burner will head out on a string of dates supporting Gallows that will include a stop at The Studio at Webster Hall on November 3. Tickets are on sale and all other dates are listed at the bottom of this post. The band recently released the new NSFW video for "Scum of the Earth," which you can watch below.

And finally, Akimbo have called it quits. The band has "half of a record completed" but so far no plans to release that material... who will step up to the plate?

All suggested shows for the next two weeks are below along with other listed tour dates and videos. What did I miss?

Continue reading "Evillive (Inter Arma, Barn Burner, Akimbo RIP, more)"

Horshack

Actor Ron Palillo, who played Arnold Horshack on the 1970s television series "Welcome Back, Kotter," died Tuesday at his home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla. He was 63.

Jacqueline Stander, an agent for Palillo, told NBC News that the actor had a heart attack and passed away in his sleep.

Palillo starred as Horshack, the goofball of the high school group known as the Sweathogs on the hit series. The show aired from 1975-79 and featured a young John Travolta as Vinny Barbarino. - [NBC]

Damn, that's the second Sweathog this year. ( Robert "Epstein" Hegyes died back in February.) Horshack was a classic Brooklyn character. Rest in peace, Ron.

A couple Horshack-related video clips are below.

Continue reading "R.I.P. Ron Palillo"

David Rakoff

When writer David Rakoff died Thursday at the age 47, he was barely the age he said he was always "meant" to be. In his 2010 memoir, Half Empty, he wrote, "Everyone has an internal age, a time in life when one is, if not one's best, then at very least one's most authentic self. I always felt that my internal clock was calibrated somewhere between 47 and 53 years old."

Rakoff died in New York City after a long struggle with cancer -- an ordeal that he wrote about with sobering honesty and biting wit.

"I can see a great beauty in acknowledging the fact that the world is dark," Rakoff said in a 2010 interview. It's healthy, he insisted, to employ "a certain kind of clear-eyed examination of the world as it is."

Rakoff was born in Montreal, studied East Asian literature and was diagnosed with lymphoma at 22. He recovered, and wrote a fan letter to humorist David Sedaris, which led to frequent contributions to This American Life. In his first essay on This American Life, Rakoff reflects on his role as -- oddly enough -- Sigmund Freud in the Christmas display of an upscale department store.

"In the window I fantasized about starting an entire Christmas Freud movement: Freuds everywhere, providing grown-ups and children with the greatest gift of all: Insight."

In May, Rakoff and some other This American Life contributors appeared onstage before a live audience in New York City. By then, a recent surgery to remove a tumor had severed nerves in his left arm, leaving him unable to feel or move that limb. He spoke wistfully about the pleasure he once took in the rigorous study of modern dance:

"You become this altered humming -- dare I say beautiful -- working instrument of placement and form and concentration," he said. "But like I said, that's a long time ago and a version of myself that has long since ceased to exist. Before I became such an observer ..." His voice trailed off and he was not able finish. He just stood there on the stage. But then, he did something wonderful: He danced. Gracefully, always gracefully. [NPR]

Rest in Peace David.

Some videos starring David are below.

Continue reading "David Rakoff, RIP"

Carl Davis (left) with The Chi-Lites
Carl Davis

The iconic music producer who shaped what became known as "the Chicago Sound" died Thursday at his home in Summerville, S.C. He was 77 years old. Mr. Davis had been suffering from lung disease. Mr. Davis and wife Dedra Davis relocated from Chicago to South Carolina in 2009.

Mr. Davis was one of the first African-American A&R directors and produced numerous hit songs for the Columbia Records subsidiary Okeh Records.

He was to Chicago soul music what the Chess brothers were to blues. - [Chicago Sun-Times]

Carl Davis left behind a legacy that included producing hits by Gene Chandler, Major Lance, Jackie Wilson, The Chi-Lites, Barbara Acklin and many more. RIP Carl Davis, but thanks for making the music happen.

Marvin Hamlisch

Marvin Hamlisch, the singularly productive and sensationally decorated composer of musicals like "A Chorus Line" and songs like "The Way We Were," has died, The Associated Press reported. A family spokesman told The A.P. that Mr. Hamlisch died in Los Angeles on Monday after a brief illness but did not provide additional details. Mr. Hamlisch was 68.

In a career that spanned film, television, theater and recorded music, Mr. Hamlisch won seemingly every award available in each medium. He was a 12-time Academy Award nominee, for his score and song contributions to films like "The Spy Who Loved Me" and "Sophie's Choice," and a three-time Oscar winner for the score of "The Sting" as well as its song "The Way We Were" (with lyrics by Alan and Marilyn Bergman). He won four Emmy Awards and four Grammy Awards, as well as a Tony Award for his score to the musical "A Chorus Line." That musical, which blended bouncy, brassy songs like "One" and "Dance: Ten; Looks: Three" with melancholy numbers like "At the Ballet," also won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1976. - [NY Times]

RIP, Marv. Even though the kids thought you were square, your music helped define a decade. Some video clips are below.

Continue reading "Marvin Hamlisch R.I.P."

Jason Noble

I was not planning on blogging while on vacation here in Saratoga. But news arrived this weekend of the death of guitarist/bassist Jason Noble, and I felt he deserved at least a few words.

Jason was the founder of the post-rock band called Rachel's. In fact, initially, he WAS Rachel's. And back in the mid-90s, there was no such thing as "post-rock," but along with Tortoise (in Chicago), Rachel's was one of the trailblazers of an instrumental style that melded rock and classical sounds. If you're a fan of bands like Godspeed! You Black Emperor, or Mogwai, then you're hearing the long-lasting echoes of Jason's work. - [WNYC Soundcheck]

Rodan/Rachel's/Shipping News member Jason Noble lost his three-year battle with cancer on Saturday (8/4). He was 41. R.I.P. Jason.

You can stream select works from Jason's career below via Spotify.

Continue reading "R.I.P. Jason Noble (Rodan / Rachel's / Shipping News)"

Bill Doss in Austin (more by Tim Griffin)
Bill Doss

"Nuçi's Space is a non-profit health and music resource center in Athens, GA. The aim of the organization is to prevent suicide by providing obstacle free treatment for musicians suffering from depression and other such disorders as well as to assist in the emotional, physical and professional well-being of musicians."
The cause of Bill Doss's untimely death has not been revealed, but "In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make donations to Nuci's Space, a local musician support & resource center." That said, Athens-Clarke County coroner Sonny Wilson told an Athens paper that "No evidence of foul play or suicide is evident and Doss had no history of medical problems, Wilson said."

The note, via the band's publicist, also reads: "We ask that you please respect the privacy of the Elephant 6 family at this time. Our hearts are with them, and we will release any further details and statements as it's fit in the days to come."

A memorial is set for this Saturday, August 4 (2PM-4PM) at The Fabulous 40 Watt Club in Athens, GA.

Continue reading "Bill Doss memorial set; Musician Support organization donations being accepted"

by Andrew Sacher

Tony Sly

it's been a while since I've dusted off my copy of No Use for a Name's ¡Leche con Carne!, but it was one of the more impressionable albums on me in my music taste forming days, which began with a whole lot of '90s pop punk. And when their video for "Soulmate" from that album (which you can watch below) appeared on Hopeless Records' video compilation Cinema Beer Goggles (along with NOFX, Vandals, Circle Jerks, Blink-182, etc) I must have watched it enough times to recite it's storyline.

We're now saddened to receive news from No Use for a Name's label Fat Wreck Chords, that the band's frontman Tony Sly, who also had a solo career and has recorded with Lagwagon frontman Joey Cape, has passed away. He was 41 years old. Fat's website reads:

It is with great sorrow that we must say goodbye to Tony Sly of No Use For A Name. We received a call earlier today of his passing, and are devastated. We have lost an incredible talent, friend, and father - one of the true greats. Fat Mike had this to say: "One of my dearest friends and favorite song writers has gone way too soon. Tony, you will be greatly missed."
RIP Tony. You'll be missed and always remembered through your music. The video for "Soulmate" is below.

Continue reading "Tony Sly, RIP"

Bill Doss (Olivia Tremor Control) @ P4K Fest 2012 (more by Fred Pessaro)
bill Doss
Bill Doss

We really hope this news, from Athens, Georgia's Flagpole Magazine music editor Gabe Vodicka turns out to be false. UPDATE: Chunklet and others confirm. UPDATE 2: Olivia Tremor Control writes, "We are devastated by the loss of our brother Bill Doss. We are at a loss for words." Rest in Peace Bill.

As Wikipedia points out, "Bill Doss (born September 12, 1971) is among the co-founders of The Elephant 6 Recording Company, based in Athens, Georgia, and one of the key creative forces behind The Olivia Tremor Control, one of the leaders of the collective, and later, following the band's break-up, The Sunshine Fix." Olivia Tremor Control played the Pitchfork Music Festival earlier this month. The reunited band played a show at Music Hall of Williamsburg in June.

Bob Babbitt

DETROIT (AP) -- Prominent Motown studio musician and Funk Brothers member Bob Babbitt, whose bass playing pounded through the Temptations hit "Ball of Confusion" and Marvin Gaye's "Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)," has died. He was 74.

Babbitt died Monday of complications from brain cancer in Nashville, Tenn., where he had lived for many years, his manager David Spero said in a statement released by Universal Music, the label in which Babbitt contributed to numerous hit records.

Well-known for decades among musicians, Babbitt laid down bass lines on Stevie Wonder's "Signed, Sealed, Delivered," along with "The Tears of a Clown" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, "Inner City Blues" by Marvin Gaye, and Edwin Starr's "War."

"Bob was a teddy bear of a guy," former Motown engineer Ed Wolfrum told the Detroit Free Press. "And he was an extraordinary musician -- a player's player."

After leaving Motown, he recorded with Bette Midler, Jim Croce, Bonnie Raitt and Frank Sinatra.
In all, he played on more than 200 top 40 hits, including "Midnight Train to Georgia," by Gladys Knight and the Pips and "Ready to Take a Chance Again" by Barry Manilow.

Babbitt gained wider public recognition through the 2002 film about the Funk Brothers, "Standing in the Shadows of Motown."

"He was one of the last of the breed of journeymen bass players who were total pros, could go in and crank out a hit, go to the next session and crank out another one," Allan Slutsky, the film's writer and producer, told The Detroit News. [AP]

Dude was a legend and played on so many incredible records it's mind boggling (and hip-shaking). Rest in peace, Bob. A few videos are below.

Continue reading "R.I.P. Funk Brothers bassist Bob Babbitt"

Kitty Wells

Kitty Wells, the often proclaimed "Queen of Country Music" died Monday from complications after a stroke. She was 92.

Wells, born Ellen Muriel Deason, became the first female singer to reach No. 1 in the country music charts with her 1952 song It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels, and she spent much of the next two decades as one of the most well-known names in country.

In 1976, Wells was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame, and her other accolades include the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, Governor's Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Recording Industry and induction into the Grammy Hall of Fame. [WSMV]

First Jon Lord, now Queen of Country Kitty Wells, whose many country hits included "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels," "Making Believe," "Searching (for Someone Like You)" and "Amigo's Guitar," all of which are streamable below. Rest in peace, Kitty.

Continue reading "R.I.P. Kitty Wells"

Jon Lord

Born in Leicester, Lord learned classical piano at an early age before being seduced by watching early rock 'n' roll star Jerry Lee Lewis and jazz organist Jimmy Smith.

He could have chosen a career as an actor after receiving a drama school scholarship, but started playing in pub bands including short-lived outfits with future Rolling Stones star Ronnie Wood and his brother Art.

He also worked as a session musician and is thought to have played piano on The Kinks' hit You Really Got Me.

After meeting guitarist Ritchie Blackmore through another project, the first incarnation of Deep Purple was born.

Lord's classical influence surfaced when Lord composed Concerto for Group and Orchestra, which the band performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969.

But the group refined their heavy rock sound and found mass success at the start of the 1970s with albums including Deep Purple in Rock and Machine Head.

In their classic years, the band also included Blackmore, singer Ian Gillan, drummer Ian Paice and bassist Roger Glover.

Lord continued to compose classical works alongside the group's output and, when they split in 1976, he joined other groups Whitesnake and Paice, Ashton and Lord. [BBC]

R.I.P. Deep Purple founding member and keyboardist Jon Lord, who lost his battle with pancreatic cancer today (7/16) at age 71. Lord's Hammond organ stylings were intrinsic to Deep Purple's sound, but were influential beyond the hard rock/heavy metal world (The Charlatans' hit "The Only One I Know" was almost a rewrite of Deep Purple's "Hush"). He also co wrote many of the band's best-known songs, including "Smoke on the Water," "Strange Kind of Woman," and "Black Night." Jon, here's hoping you have access to a perfectly maintained Leslie cabinet wherever you are now.

A few Deep Purple classics via YouTube are below.

Continue reading "R.I.P. Jon Lord"