Friday, April 15, 2011

Catching up

Time to catch up on a few notable music deaths.

Randy Wood, whose Randy's Record Shop in Gallatin, near Nashville, pioneered the sale of R&B records by mail order and who later founded Dot Records, has died aged 94. In the early years Dot released records by R and B artists such as Ivory Joe Hunter and Brownie McGhee, but it had its greatest success with covers of R and B hits by white artists such as Pat Boone, Gale Storm and the Fontane Sisters, and albums by MOR acts such as Lawrence Welk and Billy Vaughan. Randy sold Dot to Paramount in 1957 but stayed on as president and was successful in picking up records from smaller labels, including Sanford Clark's 'The fool' and 'Come go with me' by the Del-Vikings. Later hits incuded surf classics such as 'Pipeline' by the Chantays and 'Wipeout' by the Surfaris and the great early soul sides of Arthur Alexander (pictured) recorded in Muscle Shoals.

The story of Sir Lattimore Brown, who died aged 80 in an accident on March 25, has been well documented in the excellent Red Kelly blog and it was Red who was responsible for reviving his career and taking him to New Orleans last year where he performed at the Ponderosa Stomp. The full fascinating story of his life and career can be explored in detail at

Other recent deaths include recording engineer Roger Nichols, who produced records by the likes of Steely Dan, The Beach Boys and Roy Orbison; Willie Davis, tenor with the Cadets/Jacks and the Flares; and Carl Bunch , drummer on Buddy Holly's ill fated Winter Dance Party tour in 1959.


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