Four more gone
Another day and another batch of music deaths, sadly.
Guitarist Alvin Lee, founder of rock band Tens Years After, was just 15 when he formed his first band the Jaybirds who initially made their name in Hamburg as did many bands of the early sixties including, of course, the Beatles. Returning to London the band changed its name to Ten Years After and gained a residency at the Marquee Club. The band's first album came out on Deram in 1967 and the success of the band was assured with an appearance at the Woodstock Festival two years later. Other albums included Undead, Stonedhenge, Ssssh! and Cricklewood Green and the band toured the US 28 times in seven years. Subsequently Alvin made several solo albums including On The Road To Freedom, with gospel singer Myron Le Fevre, Pump Iron and Let It Rock. He continued recording into the 21st century. Aged 68, Alvin died from complications arising from routine surgery.
Another death is that of American soul singer Jewel Akens, whose best known record The Birds And The Bees, recorded for Era, sold over a million copies and made the UK top 30. The follow up Georgie Porgie was less successful and he later toured with a group of fake Coasters. In 1973 he co-produced the album Super Taylors, featuring soul singers Ted Taylor and Little Johnny Taylor.
Bobby Rogers, a member of the Miracles from its earliest days in 1956, is another soul man to have passed on, aged 73. He remained a member of the group until 2011. His cousin, Claudette Rogers, also a member of the group, later married Smokey Robinson.
Finally, Kenny Ball, the man who brought trad jazz to the masses and even had a huge hit in the US with Midnight in Moscow in 1962, has died aged 82. Other major hits included Samantha, March of the Siamese Children, The Green Leaves of Summer and Sukiyaki before the trad boom fizzled out in the mid sixties.