Tuesday, July 29, 2008

First Bob, now Earl

Only a few months after the death of Bobby Relf, Earl Nelson, the other half of Harlem Shuffle duo Bob and Earl has died, aged 79 in Los Angeles. Earl shot to fame when he recorded Buzz Buzz Buzz as lead singer of the Hollywood Flames in the late 1950s and teamed up with Bobby Day as part of his group the Satellites. When Day decided to go solo, Nelson recruited another Bobby, Bobby Relf, and Bob & Earl were born in the early 1960s.They recorded Harlem Shuffle with Barry White which became a big UK hit in 1969, six years after its original release. He also found success under the name of Jackie Lee with The Duck during the mid 60s.

Another recent death is that of Roy Shirley, the 'High Priest of Reggae' whose career began in the mid-sixties when he recorded ‘Shirley’ for Leslie Kong. He teamed up with Errol Dunkley and later Ken Boothe and founded the Uniques along with Slim Smith and Franklyn White. Following the break up of the Uniques, Shirley cut ‘Hold Them’ (aka ‘Feel Good’) for Joe Gibbs and had a run of hits in Jamaica before moving to the UK in 1973. Soon after his move to London, Roy opened a record shop in Dalston and over the years that followed remained active musically, recording new material and founding the British Universal Talent Development Association to help develop new young talent worldwide.
A third death to report is that of ballad and jazz standards singer Jo Stafford, aged 90, whose main success came before the rock and roll era but who sold millions of records in her time.

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