Teenie Hodges and Gerry Goffin RIP
Another clutch of music deaths to report I'm afraid. The last few days have seen the passing of Mabon 'Teenie' Hodges, Gerry Goffin and Jimmy C Newman.
Mabon 'Teenie' Hodges (68) was a key figure in Willie Mitchell's Hi studio in Memphis. He was rhythm and lead guitarist with the Hi Rhythm Section which, along with brothers Leroy and Charles and drummer Howard Grimes, created the unique warm soulful sound behind Al Green, Syl Johnson, Ann Peebles, Otis Clay and other Hi artists. He co-wrote Take Me To the River and Love and Happiness with Al, having begun his career in a band called the Impalas with his brothers, before being discovered by Willie Mirchell. In 1976 Hi Rhythm recorded an LP called On The Loose and in 1994 they made Perfect Gentlemen, featuring another Hodges brother, Fred, and Percy Wiggins on vocals. He became ill when playing at the South By Southwest festival in Austin in March. shortly after the release of the film of his life, A Portrait Of A Memphis Soul Original. The Hi Rhythm Section didn't often perform as a group away from their Memphis base but I was lucky enough to catch the whole band at the Ponderosa Stomp in New Orleans in 2008. Here's a photo of Teenie taken there.
Together with his then wife Carole King, Gerry Goffin, who has died aged 75, virtually wrote the sixties pop songbook, with a string of brilliant compositions for the likes of the Shirelles, Bobby Vee, Tony Orlando, the Drifters, the Cystals and the Chiffons. The couple made it big with Will You Love Me Tomorrow and followed up with such classics as Take Good Care Of My Baby, The Loco-
Motion, Halfway To Paradise, Oh No Not My Baby, Up On The Roof, Go Away Little Girl and One Fine Day. After his split from Carole he suffered mental problems brought on by drug use but had success with the Theme From Mahogany and Whitney Houston's Saving All Mt Love For You. In all he wrote 59 US top 40 hits.
Another singer to pass away recently is Cajun/country star Jimmy C Newman at the age of 86. Born in Mamou, Louisiana. his career began as a country singer in Nashville, with a hit called Cry Cry Darling in 1953. He joined the Louisiana Hayride and became a regular at the Grand Ole Opry As his career developed in the 1960s and 1970s he moved to a Cajun style with hits like Big Mamou, Alligator Man and Louisiana Saturday Night.