Sunday, November 16, 2008

Endless sleep

In a week that has been notable for the deaths of those whose initials are MM (Mitch Mitchell and Miriam Makeba) another less noticed death is that of Jody Reynolds, whose Endless Sleep was a top hit of 1958. Aged 75, Jody's later recordings could never match the doom laden atmosphere of his initial million seller, but his place in rock and roll history was assured as a result of Endless Sleep, which was of course covered by Marty Wilde in the UK.

Mitch Mitchell made his name initially with Georgie Fame's Blue Flames, but became a rock legend by default as Jimi Hendrix's drummer. In a trio he had to really bang those drums to make any sort of impression behind Jimi's virtuosity. He died in Portland aged 61, appropriately enough in a Hendrix tribute band.

Miriam Makeba, who died in Italy at the age of 76, was much more than just a singer. Married at various times to Hugh Masakela and Stokely Carmichael she was a leading anti apartheid campaigner and had her South African passport revoked in the early 60s after associating with Harry Belafonte in the US. She was eventually persuaded to return to South Africa by Nelson Mandela. Even in death she was fighting injustice - she suffered a heart attack at a concert campaigning against the Camorra, a mafia-like organisation in southern Italy.
Meanwhile , back in London, bluesman Sherman Robertson put on a first rate performance at the 100 Club, well up to the standard of his shows over the years.


At 3:14 pm , Blogger Private Beach said...

So many great musicians dying this year - Odetta is the latest.


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