Thursday, December 04, 2014

More music deaths - Ian McLagan and others

Winter is here and with it another batch of music deaths. Most noteworthy is that of Ian McLagan, keyboard player with the Small Faces and the Faces, who also made records with his own band.
My friend Ronnie Cook dropped me an email about Ian which was a pretty good summary of his career. He wrote: 'No sooner had you paid tribute to the British R and B bands of the 60s another one passes. The death of Ian McLagan reminded me that it was through The Small Faces (particular Mac) that I first started listening to Brenda Holloway, Gladys Knight etc in the mid 60s. The first real R'n'B records I actually bought.  Always underrated, I would doubt there has been any other musician who has been a fulltime member of the Stones, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Raitt and Jackson Browne's bands along with countless others. Pity his solo records were pretty crap.' McLagan was 69 and had been performing until recently with the latest version of the Faces and was about to start a US tour with Nick Lowe. Here's the BBC report of his death.
By a sad coincidence another Rolling Stones sideman has also died - sax man Bobby Keys, whose sax break on Brown Sugar is one of the most memorable in pop music. Keys originated from Texas and began his music career backing Buddy Holly. As well as playing on many hits in the 60s, including Dion's The Wanderer apparently, he backed Bobby Vee and joined Delaney and Bonnie's band before teaming up with the Stones in 1969. His wild lifestyle led to a temporary suspension from the Stones band but he was soon back in the band and also played on recordings by John Lennon, Marvin Gaye and B B King among others. He was 70.
Frances Nero, who was 71, had a record released on Motown's Soul subsidiary in 1965 (Keep On Lovin' Me) and also recorded with Gino Parks for the Shrine label, but it wasn't until 1991 that she had a hit with Footsteps Following Me, produced by Northern soul producer Ian Levine. She had an album released by Levine and also recorded for her own AJA label.
Another recent death is that of Glen A Larson, best known as the creator of hit TV shows such as Battlestar Galactica, Magnum PI, Knight Rider and Quincy M E. Less well known is the fact that he was a founding member of the Four Preps, who had a smash hit in 1957 with Big Man and success also with 26 Miles and Down By the Station. He was 77.


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