Sunday, December 13, 2020

Death list for 2020

As usual at this time of year I pay tribute to those musicians who have died during the last 12 months. As ever it's a long list, made worse by COVID 19 which has claimed quite a few. The latest casualty of this disease is black country star Charley Pride, who was RCA's biggest seller after Elvis with a string of hits in the late sixties and seventies. Charley brings back memories of the period in the seventies when I lived in Skelmersdale, an overspill town of Liverpool, where country music was incredibly popular. I had many Charley Pride LPs at the time, but the track that stays with me through the years is 'Crystal Chandeliers', a song first recorded by Carl Belew. It was a big hit in Liverpool for Charley and is credited with bringing together the two sides in Northern Ireland at the time. Charley was a remarkable singer - a black man in the pale world of country music - and it's a shame to see him pass on as a result of COVID 19, even though he reached the good age of 86.
Another recent death is that of Joseph 'Mojo' Morganfield. son of Muddy Waters. Here is a list of some others who have died during 2020. Barney Ales - Motown promotion man, Rance Allen - bishop and gospel singer, Tony Allen - Nigerian drummer with Fela Kuti, Bobby Ball - half of comedy act Cannon and Ball, Len Barry - lead singer of the Dovells and solo star, Charlie Baty - leader of Charlie and the Nightcats, Ronald Bell - singer/composer with Kool and the Gang, Rod Bernard - swamp pop artist best known for 'This Should Go On Forever', Frank Bey - soul singer who starred at Porretta, Hamilton Bohannon - disco band leader, Big George Brock - St Louis based bluesman, Hux Brown - Jamaican guitarist with the Maytals, Marvin Brown - member of the Softones, Van Broussard - swamp pop singer, Johnny Bush - country singer/songwriter, Edd Byrnes - actor in '77 Sunset Strip', Pete Carr - guitarist with the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section, Big Al Carson - bluesman from New Orleans, Lorraine Chandler - Detroit soul singer, Rudy Clark - songwriter and discoverer of James Ray, Terry Clemson - guitarist with the Downliners Sect, Freddy Cole - jazz singer brother of Nat King Cole, Bobby Comstock - 'Let's Stomp' singer, Eddie Cooley - R and B singer who co-wrote 'Fever', Max Crook - electronic music pioneer, Charlie Daniels - southern rock/country singer/songwriter, Eddie 'Ghetto Baby' Daniels - rock and roll pioneer, Hutch Davie - orchestra leader and composer, Mac Davis - country singer/songwriter, Spencer Davis - Welsh singer and musician, Jackie Dennis - Scottish fifties pop singer, Tommy DeVito - founder member of the Four Seasons, Manu Dibango - Cameroonian sax player, Joe Diffie - country singer, Carl Dobkins Jr - 50s pop singer, Georgia Dobbins - co-writer of 'Please Mr Postman', Dobby Dobson - Jamaican singer and producer, Bent Fabric - Danish composer and pianist, Julie Felix - American folk singer based in the UK, Tom Finn - singer with the Left Banke, Wayne Fontana - UK singer with the Mindbenders, Dominic Grant - Guys 'n' Dolls singer, Henry Gray - blues piano player, Marty Grebb - member of the Buckinghams, Juliette Greco - French singer/actress, Earl Green - UK based Jamaican blues singer, Herman Green - jazz saxophonist, Peter Green - founder of Fleetwood Mac, Dave Greenfield - keyboardist and singer with the Stranglers, Crazy Cavan Grogan - UK based rockabilly singer, Roy C Hammond - soul singer best known for 'Shotgun Wedding', Gordon Haskell - bass player with the Fleur de Lys and King Crimson, Roy Head - wild man renowned for 'Treat Her Right',
Ken Hensley - English singer with Uriah Heep & the Gods, Frederick 'Toots' Hibbert - reggae superstar with the Maytals, Gaynel Hodge - Co-founder of the Platters and writer of 'Earth Angel', W S 'Fluke' Holland - drummer at Sun records, Pamela Hutchinson - member of the Emotions, Bobby Jones - bluesman who recorded as Bobby Jonz, Al Kasha - American songwriter, Lee Kerslake - member of Uriah Heep, Hal Ketchum - country singer, Eddie Large - half of comedy duo Little and Large, Bunny 'Striker' Lee - Jamican record producer, Bobby Lewis - 'Tossin' and Turnin' hit maker, Raymond Lewis - New Orleans R and B singer, Little Richard - the 'quasar of rock and roll', Brian Locking - member of the Shadows, Trini Lopez - American singer and actor, Tami Lynn - soul singer from New Orleans, Vera Lynn - wartime forces sweetheart, Ellis Marsalis - jazz pianist, Barbara Martin - original member of the Supremes, Ian Mitchell - bassist with the Bay City Rollers, Phil May - singer with the Pretty Things, Dave Munden - drummer with the Tremeloes, Johnny Nash - American pop and reggae singer, Des O'Connor - English comedian, TV presenter and singer, David Olner - American folk singer, Rudy Palacios - Tejano guitarist from San Antonio, Lucky Peterson - Bluesman who played guitar and keyboards, John 'Bucky' Pizarelli - American jazz guitarist, Bonnie Pointer - member of the Pointer Sisters, Steve Priest - bass player and singer with Sweet, John Prine - American country folk singer/songwriter, Ronan O'Rahilly - founder of Radio Caroline, Helen Reddy - Australian/American singer, Al Rex - bass player with Bill Haley's Comets, Emitt Rhodes - American singer/songwriter, Diana Rigg - Avengers star and all round actress, Alfred 'Uganda' Roberts - conga player with Professor Longhair, Mike Sagar - British rock and roll singer, Barry St John - Scottish female singer, Florian Schneider - founder member of Kraftwerk, Billy Joe Shaver - Texas singer/songwriter, Hylda Syms - Uk skiffle artist, Millie Small - ska singer famed for 'My Boy Lollipop', Lucille Starr - half of Canadian duo Bob and Lucille, Cy Tucker - Liverpool based singer, Ricky Valance - 'Tell Laura I Love Her' singer, Eddie Van Halen - rock songwriter and guitarist, Jerry Jeff Walker - 'outlaw' country singer/songwriter. Ian Whitcomb - English singer/songwriter, Rev John Wilkins - soul gospel family group leader, Bo Winberg - guitarist with the Spotnicks, Mark Wirtz - French producer and singer, Bill Withers - soul singer/songwriter, Betty Wright - soul songstress, Edna Wright - singer with the Honeycone, Young Jessie - R and B singer and songwriter.

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