Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Some recent music deaths

Time to catch up on a few music deaths over the last few weeks - some of them not that well known, but influential.
Clyde Stubblefield, who has died aged 73, was THE funk drummer, having played with James Brown on many hits including Cold Sweat, There Was A Time, I Got The Feeling, Say It Loud - I'm Black and I'm Proud. and the album Sex Machine. Named the second best drummer of all time by LA Weekly, having been sampled by the likes of Run-DMC, Public Enemy, LL Cool J and Prince, Clyde played regularly in his home town of Madison, Wisconsin, having left the James Brown band, and also backed Maceo Parker and Bootsy Collins, among others. He released a solo album The Revenge of the Funky Drummer in 1997.
Another noted percussionist to have died is ska, rocksteady and reggae performer Noel Simms, also
known as Scully and Zoot Simms, who recorded solo sides for Prince Buster including Press Along and as one half of Simms and Robinson. He also recorded with bands such as the Upsetters and the Heptones and toured as part of the Jamaica All Stars. He was 81.
We've said farewell also in recent weeks to Louisiana blues and swamp pop musician Guitar Gable, who recorded the original of the swamp pop classic This Should Go On Forever. A member of the Musical Kings, which also included drummer Jockey Etienne, he became part of Jay Miller's studio band, backing artists such as
Lazy Lester, Classie Ballou, Bobby Charles and Slim Harpo. Along with singer King Karl he recorded Life Problem on Excello and its
B side the instrumental Congo Mambo. I saw Guitar Gable at the Blues Estafette in 1998 (pictured), along with King Karl, and he attended the Swamp Pop reunion in Crowley in 2011, although he didn't perform because of ill health.
Al Jarreau, who was 76, straddled jazz and soul as a singer and won no fewer than seven Grammy Awards. His most successful album was Breakin' Away and he sang the theme for the 1980s series Moonlighting.
Another recent death is that of jazz guitarist Larry Coryell, known as the Godfather of Fusion. His first solo album, Lady Coryell, was released in 1968 and others included Coryell, At The Village Gate and The Lion and the Ram.
Also Peter Skellern, aged 69, who had a huge hit in 1972 with You're A Lady. He later had a minor hit with Love Is The Sweetest Thing and was ordained as a Church of England minister in October, 2016.


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