Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Farewell to Mickey and Speedo

It's that time of year when music greats start to die in ever increasing numbers and this week has seen two of the greats pass away - Mickey 'Guitar' Baker and Earl 'Speedo' Carroll.
Mickey Baker, who was 87, was born in Louisville and became a jazz trumpeter before changing to the guitar when he discovered how lucrative guitar work could be. He was a session player with Savoy, King and Atlantic, backing artists such as the Drifters, Ray Charles, Ivory Joe Hunter and Ruth Brown, before forming a harmony duo with Sylvia Robinson and enjoying a smash hit with Love Is Strange in 1956. After a few more records, including Sweeter As The Days Go By (see Youtube link), he moved to France where he lived until his death. Mickey was one of the most influential blues guitarists of the 50s and was number 53 in Rolling Stone's Greatest Guitarists Of All Time list.
Earl 'Speedo' Carroll was 75 and was the lead singer of New York doowop group the Cadillacs (pictured). He will always be remembered for his great line in the Cadillacs song Speedoo 'They often call me Speedoo but my real name is Mr Earl', along with other Cadillacs hits such as Gloria and Peek-a-boo. After the Cadillacs split, Earl joined the Coasters in the early 1960s before reforming the Cadillacs in the 90s. They performed memorably at the Blues Estafette in Utrecht in 1997. Definitely one of the doowop greats.
A final word too for Larry Hagman, who kept the nation glued to their TVs for his portrayal of J R Ewing in Dallas back in the 80s.
Also to Bernard Lansky, owner of the famous tailoring shop in Memphis, which supplied clothes to a young Elvis, Johnny Cash and B B King among others. I visited the Lansky store in the Peabody Hotel in Memphis last year and treated myself to one of their shirts.


At 2:48 pm , Blogger Nick said...

John Spencely said: Really sad news about them both; have always been a fan of Mickey Baker in particular his guitar work on 'No Good Lover' - such a great record.

At 11:58 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sad news indeed. My favourite MB solo is on "Where Is My Honey" but there were so many.....and he was so instantly recognisable.
Gordon F


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home