Friday, August 28, 2015

More final words

Time to catch up with a few of the music people who have passed away during the last few weeks. Two of them have strong Memphis connections.
Louis Paul, who has died aged 67 in a motor accident, made his name with Memphis garage rock
band The Guilloteens, who were a favourite in local club the Roaring Sixties and considered by some to be the best garage band in town. They had a US hit in 1965 with I Don't Believe which led to appearances on Shindig and other national TV shows. Louis lived in Lauderdale Court, with Elvis as a neighbour, and went to Humes High School, just as Elvis had done.The band moved to LA where they played at the Red Velvet club. They were due to record at Gold Star with Phil Spector, but he moved to New York and their manager Jerry Williams signed them to the Hanna-Barbera label instead. They 'went from the Wall of Sound to Huckleberry Hound', Louis joked. After leaving the band Louis recorded for Cotillion and then joined Stax, recording an album called Reflections Of The Way It Really Is, released on Enterprise in 1973. After the demise of Stax and a short spell at Leon Russell's Shelter label, Louis continued to play in Memphis with the New Guilloteens.

Memphis's much better known garage band the Box Tops enjoyed great success with three songs written by Wayne Carson. The Letter was a huge hit and has been recorded by countless other artists, including Joe Cocker, the Beach Boys and Al Green. Neon Rainbow and Soul Deep were also Carson compositions. His best known song, however, was Always On My Mind, which was first recorded by Brenda Lee but became a standard following recordings by Elvis, Willie Nelson and the Pet Shop Boys, among others. Originally from Denver, Carson was 72.
Another recent death is that zydeco and R and B drummer Clarence 'Jockey' Etienne, aged 81,
Known for his rhumba beat, Etienne played with Slim Harpo and Guitar Gable at J D Miller's Crowley studio and also backed Joe Simon and Solomon Burke. He played with zydeco band Fernest and the Thunders, the Creole Zydeco Farmers, Lazy Lester and Katie Webster and, more recently with Lil Band of Gold, after Warren Storm left. He was due to play at the Ponderosa Stomp in a few weeks' time with the Mama Mama Mamas, as Lil Band Of Gold are now known.
Other recent deaths to whom the Vinyl Word raises a glass include country songwriter Billy Sherrill, who wrote Stand By Your Man and Almost Persuaded. Also country singer Lynn Anderson, who had a smash hit with Rose Garden, and Liverpool singer and TV personality Cilla Black.


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