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Spirit of the West singer John Mann dies at 57
NOVEMBER 20, 2019 | The Globe and Mail | MARSHA LEDERMAN

John Mann, who as lead singer of Spirit of the West helped create the soundtrack to countless Canadian parties and celebrations, has died. Diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s Disease when he was 50, Mr. Mann died Wednesday in Vancouver. He was 57.
A clever lyricist and charismatic showman, Mr. Mann is no doubt best known for his band’s anthem Home for a Rest. The song, from its slow, signature start (“You’ll have to excuse me, I’m not at my best”) to its rollicking chorus (“I’m so sick from the drink; I need home for a rest”) has been sparking singalongs and bringing down the house at frosh parties, New Year’s Eve celebrations and weddings since its release in 1990.
'90s  Alzheimer’s_disease  Canadiana  music  obituaries  singers 
november 2019 by jerryking
(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay — why Otis Redding’s biggest hit wasn’t actually a soul song
October 6, 2019 | FT.com | by Dan Einav.

“This is my first million seller,” announced Otis Redding to nervous-looking studio bosses in early December 1967. He was referring to his upcoming record, “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay”, which would indeed prove to be his first seven-figure release, eventually selling several times that amount. It would also be the last song he ever worked on. Two days after his second recording session on this breezy new ballad, he was dead — killed in a light-aircraft crash.

Executives at Atlantic Records cynically requested that a new song be released immediately. Redding’s collaborator and studio guitarist, and the song’s co-writer, Steve Cropper, was forced to set aside his grief and transform the rough cuts of “The Dock of the Bay” into a coherent track in just 24 hours. The result was an unassuming yet near-perfect composition that would serve as a fitting legacy for one of soul’s greatest talents.

But “The Dock of the Bay” wasn’t really a soul song in the conventional sense. In the summer of 1967, Redding immersed himself in The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper and was inspired by the band’s devotion to stress-testing the limits of popular music. “It’s time for me to change my music,” said Redding, as his wife and employers voiced concerns about his “poppy” new direction which took him away from his roots in soul and R&B.

That autumn Redding was recovering after a punishing touring schedule on a houseboat in Sausalito, across the bay from San Francisco, owned by promoter Bill Graham. It was there, idly watching the ferries sail to-and-from the harbour, that he conceived of that scene-setting first verse and the basic chords for “The Dock of the Bay”. Back in the studio, he asked Cropper to flesh out the melody and the brilliant, bittersweet lyrics.
'60s  1967  Beatles  music  Otis_Redding  pop_music  R&B  singers  songs  soul  Stax  tributes 
october 2019 by jerryking
Rihanna to lead new LVMH fashion house
May 10, 2019 | Financial Times | by Harriet Agnew in Paris.

Pop star will launch a new line of ready-to-wear luxury clothing, footwear and accessories brand named Fenty, becoming the first woman to create an original brand at LVMH. This is significant because it is one of the most high-profile creative tie-ups to date between a celebrity and a luxury group, and illustrates the lucrative potential of celebrities to draw attention — and sales — through Instagram (Rihanna has 70.5m followers). .....LVMH said Fenty would be “centered on Rihanna, developed by her, and takes shape with her vision . . . including commerciality and communication of the brand”....Rihanna joins other singers such as Beyoncé in launching her own clothing line.....
accessories  apparel  beauty  brands  celebrities  creative_class  digital_influencers  entrepreneur  entrepreneurship  Fenty  footwear  greenfields  Instagram  luxury  LVMH  music  partnerships  singers  clothing  clothing_labels 
may 2019 by jerryking
James Ingram, a Hitmaking Voice of ’80s R&B, Is Dead at 66 - The New York Times
By Jon Caramanica
Jan. 29, 2019

James Ingram, whose voice — technically precise, crisp and reserved, yet full of audacious feeling — made him one of the defining singers of R&B in the 1980s, has died. He was 66.

Just as R&B’s “quiet storm” phase was peaking, Mr. Ingram was plucked from side-gig obscurity by the producer Quincy Jones to appear on his 1981 album, “The Dude.”
'80s  African-Americans  obituaries  R&B  singers  smooth_jazz 
january 2019 by jerryking
Dean Ford, Singer on Marmalade’s ‘Reflections,’ Is Dead at 72 - The New York Times
By Neil Genzlinger
Jan. 4, 2019

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"Reflections of My Life".......The latter song – one of a number Ford co-wrote with his bandmate William ‘Junior’ Campbell – is a haunting, melodic, gorgeous, elegiac track, much of whose power came from Ford’s distinctive, hair-raising vocal tone and its electrifying blend of fearfulness and cautious optimism. When he sings “the world is a bad place, a bad place / a terrible place to live / but I don’t wanna die”, the listener might feel for a moment as though they really are experiencing a deathbed confessional. For many in the States, the song was evocative of the Vietnam era.
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'60s  obituaries  singers  songs 
january 2019 by jerryking
Daryl Dragon, of the Captain and Tennille Pop Duo, Dies at 76 - The New York Times
By Neil Genzlinger
Jan. 2, 2019

*Love Will Keep Us Together.
* You Never Done It Like That
* Do That to Me One More Time
'70s  music  nostalgia  obituaries  singers  duos  pop 
january 2019 by jerryking
'Black People Will Be Free': How Aretha Lived The Promise Of Detroit : NPR
August 16, 20186:49 PM ET
DREAM HAMPTON

It is important to understand the tradition of black liberation theology, a term coined by James H. Cone, that sought to use scripture to center black self-determination. In Detroit, pastors like C.L. Franklin and Albert Cleage of the Shrine of the Black Madonna used black liberation theology to help a growing black city to imagine itself powerful. They used their churches to launch the campaign of Detroit's black political class, including Coleman Young. At the same time, Rev. Franklin's church remained a touch point for even more radical organizing. He opened New Bethel to black auto workers who were waging a class struggle within a racist United Automobile Workers union. He gave shelter to Black Panthers who were targeted by J. Edgar Hoover's crusade against them. Later leaders of the fractured Black Power movement like the late Jackson, Miss. mayor (and Detroit native) Chokwe Lumumba gathered at New Bethel to form the Republic of New Afrika.
Aretha_Franklin  black_liberation_movement  Black_Panthers  Black_Power  Detroit  obituaries  scriptures  singers  soul  women 
august 2018 by jerryking
Gord Downie, a Canadian Rock Legend, Sings Goodbye -
OCT. 18, 2017 | NYT | The New York Times. | By SIMON VOZICK-LEVINSON.
Gord_Downie  tributes  music  singers  obituaries 
october 2017 by jerryking
Legendary rocker Tom Petty dies at 66
October 3, 2107 | The Globe and Mail | BRAD WHEELER.

Mr. Petty and the Heartbreakers – as capable a backing band as ever assembled – made music destined for open-road listening. As with fellow classic-rock troubadours Mr. Springsteen and John Mellencamp, he wrote about outcasts and broken dreams, albeit with a mellower, stoned aesthetic.

American Girl, the Heartbreakers' dark second single, led like a novel: "Well, she was an American girl, raised on promises."

In the prosperous Fifties and the summers-of-love Sixties, the promises of America were bankable and often fulfilled. The 1970s, on the other hand, was a time of gas shortages, Watergate and rude awakenings. Mr. Petty's early material (sometimes co-written with band members) reflected the dim, grim era, yet offered glimmers and prospects.......Beyond 13 studio albums with the Heartbreakers and three solo albums, Mr. Petty released a pair of albums with the good-natured supergroup the Traveling Wilburys. Along with Bob Dylan, George Harrison and the Electric Light Orchestra's Jeff Lynne, the Wilburys perhaps introduced younger listeners to the group's fifth member, Roy Orbison (who only lived long enough to appear on Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1).

Mr. Petty's best solo work is likely found on 1989's Full Moon Fever, a record that found the songwriter working with well-acquainted collaborators from the Heartbreakers and the Wilburys, while lyrically touching upon familiar themes of regret (Free Fallin' ), defiance (I Won't Back Down) and open-road existentialism.
obituaries  music  musicians  guitarists  Brad_Wheeler  rock-'n'-roll  classic-rock  singers  songwriters 
october 2017 by jerryking
Foo Fighters Stand Up for the Power of Rock (Again) on ‘Concrete and Gold’
SEPT. 13, 2017 | The New York Times| By JON PARELES.

A turbocharged Foo Fighters blast through “Concrete and Gold,” the ninth studio album by a rock band that has been working since 1994 and can still headline arenas. The album is a tenacious attempt to retain the classic-rock virtues that Foo Fighters cherish while using all the flexibility of a digital era.....In the 1990s, grunge and its radio-friendly “alternative rock” descendants were at the center of both rock and pop. But more recently, the old rock paradigm — a fixed band making albums together, year after year — has been destabilized and pushed aside by the free-floating collaborations of dance music, hip-hop and pop, while the electric guitar was dethroned, to be treated more like an accessory than a cornerstone. What once was a vanguard, and then a mainstream, is now a subset of classic rock. Yet Foo Fighters have been proud to be classicists, keepers of the flame.......On “Concrete and Gold” Foo Fighters reflect the entire timeline of the classic-rock format; there are clear homages to the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Queen, glam, thrash and grunge. But the band has a new producer, Greg Kurstin, who has collaborated with Adele, Pink and Beck. And with him, Foo Fighters now shuffle genres, even within songs, more suddenly and whimsically — more digitally — than ever. Previous albums have presented studio-enhanced versions of the band onstage, while on “Concrete and Gold,” Foo Fighters can switch configurations in an instant, from brute-force riffing to platoons of multitracked vocals.
Foo_Fighters  music_reviews  music  Pink_Floyd  rock-'n'-roll  songwriters  singers  classic-rock 
september 2017 by jerryking
Gregg Allman, Influential Force Behind the Allman Brothers Band, Dies at 69
MAY 27, 2017 | The New York Times | By BILL FRISKICS-WARREN.

The band’s lead singer and keyboardist, Mr. Allman was one of the principal architects of a taut, improvisatory fusion of blues, jazz, country and rock that — streamlined by inheritors like Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Marshall Tucker Band — became the Southern rock of the 1970s.

The group, which originally featured Mr. Allman’s older brother, Duane, on lead and slide guitar, was also a precursor to a generation of popular jam bands, like Widespread Panic and Phish, whose music features labyrinthine instrumental exchanges.

......Gregg Allman’s vocals, by turns squalling and brooding, took their cue from the anguished emoting of down-home blues singers like Elmore James, as well as from more sophisticated ones like Bobby Bland. Foremost among Mr. Allman’s influences as a vocalist, though, was the Mississippi-born blues and soul singer and guitarist known as Little Milton.

“‘Little Milton’ Campbell had the strongest set of pipes I ever heard on a human being,” Mr. Allman wrote in his autobiography, “My Cross to Bear,” written with Alan Light (2012). “That man inspired me all my life to get my voice crisper, get my diaphragm harder, use less air and just spit it out. He taught me to be absolutely sure of every note you hit, and to hit it solid.”

The band’s main songwriter early on, Mr. Allman contributed expansive, emotionally fraught compositions like “Dreams” and “Whipping Post” to the Allman Brothers repertoire. Both songs became staples of their epic live shows; a cathartic 22-minute version of “Whipping Post” was a highlight of their acclaimed 1971 live album, “At Fillmore East.”

More concise originals like “Midnight Rider” and “Melissa,” as well as Mr. Allman’s renditions of blues classics like “Statesboro Blues” and “Done Somebody Wrong,” revealed his singular affinity with the black Southern musical vernacular.
music  singers  Southern_rock  obituaries  country_rock  songwriters 
may 2017 by jerryking
Jazz Singer Al Jarreau Dies at 76 - WSJ
Associated Press
Feb. 12, 2017

The Milwaukee native won seven Grammys over the course of his half-century in music. His biggest single was 1981’s “We’re in This Love Together” from the album “Breakin’ Away.” Mr. Jarreau was also a vocalist on the all-star 1985 track, “We Are the World,” and sang the theme to TV’s “Moonlighting.”

Al Jarreau performing at the Rock in Rio music festival on Sept. 27, 2015, in Rio de Janeiro. Mr. Jarreau, 76, died Sunday in Los Angeles.

He is one of the few artists to have won Grammys in three separate categories—jazz, pop and R&B. Time Magazine once called him the “greatest jazz singer alive.”
singers  jazz  obituaries  African-Americans  '80s  R&B  pop 
february 2017 by jerryking
Life of a song: Hallelujah
12 November/13 November, 2016 | Financial Times | by David Cheal
music  obituaries  gospel  Montreal  singers  songwriters 
november 2016 by jerryking
Gord Downie’s Canada: Barstool bard has a lasting legacy of enigmatic erudition - The Globe and Mail
BRAD WHEELER
The Globe and Mail Last updated: Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Although it’s one of the most successful rock bands in Canadian history, the Tragically Hip’s true-north appeal has never been matched outside the country; the lack of American validation, however, is seen by fans as a point of pride – a Canadian success story on its own terms.
Brad_Wheeler  music  cancers  Canadiana  Canadian  Gord_Downie  songwriters  singers  legacies  patriotism  authenticity  Tragically_Hip  poets  rock-'n'-roll 
may 2016 by jerryking
The Life of a Song: War
February 13/14, 2016 | Financial Times | David Honigmann
Bob_Marley  reggae  '70s  music  singers  songwriters 
february 2016 by jerryking
Maurice White, Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire, Dies at 74 - The New York Times
By PETER KEEPNEWS FEB. 4, 2016

Earth, Wind & Fire — whose many hits included “Shining Star,” “September,” “That’s the Way of the World” and a cover of the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” — had a sound that was rooted in rhythm and blues but crossed musical boundaries, attracting an audience that was as diverse racially as the music was stylistically.

The horn arrangements were punchy, the bass lines funky and the rhythms infectious, but there was also room for adventurous improvisation, mellow vocal harmonies and pure pop melodicism.

“Although we were basically jazz musicians, we played soul, funk, gospel, blues, jazz, rock and dance music … which somehow ended up becoming pop,”....Earth, Wind & Fire, which was larger than the average rock or funk band, became renowned not just for its music but also for its elaborate stage shows, marked by pyrotechnics, choreography, lighting effects and sometimes even magic tricks.
obituaries  singers  songwriters  African-Americans  '70s  music  funk 
february 2016 by jerryking
Glenn Frey, Eagles Founding Member, Dies at 67 - The New York Times
By BRUCE WEBERJAN. 18, 2016

The band’s hit songs included yearning, battle-of-the-sexes musings like “Lyin’ Eyes” and “Heartache Tonight,” and the cool-cat lifestyle statements “Take It Easy” and “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” all of which featured Mr. Frey’s light, casual, relaxed lead vocals, as well as the No. 1 hit “Hotel California,” the band’s signature song from its 1977 album of the same name.

Its imagistic, vaguely mystical lyrics — the song was written by Mr. Frey, Mr. Henley and Don Felder — hint at a drug-fueled state of being, perhaps promising rapture, perhaps not, and have supplied fuel for countless interpretations:
singers  music  obituaries  California  '70s  songwriters  country_rock  the_Eagles  rock-'n'-roll 
january 2016 by jerryking
Glenn Frey, Founder of The Eagles, Dies at 67 - Speakeasy - WSJ
January 18, 2016 | WSJ | By JOHN JURGENSEN.

Glenn Frey, a founder of the Eagles who helped create some of rock’s biggest hits with fellow songwriter Don Henley, including “Hotel California” and “Lyin’ Eyes,” died Monday in New York at age 67....Frey, who would help define the California sound of the 1970s with the Eagles’ tight vocal harmonies and country-inflected rock, had his roots in the Midwest.
obituaries  singers  songwriters  '70s  music  the_Eagles  country_rock  rock-'n'-roll 
january 2016 by jerryking
Alessia Cara Talks Huge 'Here' Year, Def Jam Signing | Rolling Stone
Autre Ne Veut – Age of Transparency Look for song, Switch Hitter. Heard it on CBC Radio on Dec. 18, 2015
women  singers  Canadian 
december 2015 by jerryking
Bill Withers: Still Himself, but He’ll Allow the Attention - The New York Times
SEPT. 18, 2015 | NYT | By BEN SISARIO.

In a recording career that lasted only 14 years, starting with the album “Just As I Am” in 1971, Mr. Withers developed a style that drew on gritty blues, R&B and the confessional singer-songwriter style of the era, in ways that could be muscular or vulnerable. He turned out danceable hits like “Use Me”; the drippy AM gold of “Just the Two of Us,” which he released with the saxophonist Grover Washington Jr.; and the stark poetic detail of “Grandma’s Hands.”
music  singers  songwriters  '70s  African-Americans  R&B 
september 2015 by jerryking
Ben E. King, singer of ‘Stand By Me,’ dies at age 76 - The Globe and Mail
WILLIAM GRIMES — The New York Times News Service
Published Friday, May. 01 2015,

King left the Drifters in 1960 and embarked on a successful solo career. “Spanish Harlem,” written by Leiber with Phil Spector, reached the Top 10 that year. “Stand by Me,” which King helped write, reached the Top 10 in 1961 and again in 1986, when it was used in the soundtrack of the Rob Reiner film of the same name.

“Because he recorded the work of so many great songwriters, his own songwriting is often overlooked,” Emerson said. “But he co-wrote ‘There Goes My Baby,’ and ‘Stand by Me’ originated with him.” He was also the principal writer of “Dance With Me.”

Rolling Stone ranked “Stand by Me” 122nd on its list of the 500 greatest songs. In 1999 BMI, the music licensing organization, announced that it was the fourth-most-recorded song of the 20th century, having been played more than seven million times on radio and television.
singers  obituaries  African-Americans  '60s  '50s  music  music_labels  soundtracks  songwriters 
may 2015 by jerryking
Percy Sledge and the Southern Soul Revolution | The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum
April 16: 9 a.m.
Posted by Charles L Hughes

Sledge’s spare, aching ballad – the still-iconic “When A Man Loves A Woman” – not only set a musical template for deep soul, but also reflected the unique musical alchemy that made Muscle Shoals and southern soul into an international symbol of cultural change. ....By the end of the 1960s, southern-soul was one of the most prominent styles of popular music and a symbol for racial breakthrough in the era of Civil Rights and Black Power. -
'60s  black_liberation_movement  black_nationalism  Percy_Sledge  tributes  obituaries  soul  Muscle_Shoals  singers  music  songwriters  southern_soul  discrimination  Black_Power 
april 2015 by jerryking
Percy Sledge, Who Sang 'When A Man Loves a Woman,' Dies - NYTimes.com
APRIL 14, 2015| By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A No. 1 hit in 1966, "When a Man Loves a Woman" was Sledge's debut single, an almost unbearably heartfelt ballad with a resonance he never approached again. Few singers could have. Its mood set by a mournful organ and dirge-like tempo, "When a Man Loves a Woman" was for many the definitive soul ballad, a testament of blinding, all-consuming love haunted by fear and graced by overwhelming emotion.

The song was a personal triumph for Sledge, who seemed on the verge of sobbing throughout the production, and a breakthrough for Southern soul.
obituaries  singers  African-Americans  Muscle_Shoals  cancers  '60s  music  Percy_Sledge  southern_soul 
april 2015 by jerryking
Stevie Wonder’s ‘Love’s in Need of Love Today’
When Stevie Wonder released “Songs in the Key of Life,” in 1976, some at Motown were uneasy. Two years had passed since his last album with the label, “Fulfillingness’…
gospel  music  singers  '70s  Stevie_Wonder  pop  soul  Motown  songwriters 
march 2015 by jerryking
The Death of Soul’s King: remembering Sam Cooke 50 years after his death - WSJ
By MARC MYERS
Dec. 9, 2014

What has survived are Cooke’s hits, including “You Send Me,” “Cupid” and “Another Saturday Night.” All remain relevant and continue to be covered by contemporary artists. Overlooked, however, are two of Cooke’s other big achievements: In the late 1950s and early ’60s, the singer-songwriter pioneered romantic soul and created a formula for success that helped Motown and other black-owned labels cross over to the pop charts with original music.

In the late 1950s, Cooke was the first black singer-songwriter to figure out how to parlay male vulnerability into sweet pleas that resonated with integrated teen audiences.
soul  killings  anniversaries  '60s  '50s  singers  music_labels  songwriters  African-Americans  Sam_Cooke  music  Motown  black-owned 
december 2014 by jerryking
Lou Reed, Rock ’n’ Roll Pioneer, Dies at 71 - NYTimes.com
By BEN RATLIFF
Published: October 27, 2013

Lou Reed, the singer, songwriter and guitarist whose work with the Velvet Underground in the 1960s had an impact on generations of rock musicians, and who remained a powerful if polarizing force for the rest of his life, died on Sunday at his home in Southampton, N.Y., on Long Island. He was 71.

....Not too long after his first recordings, made at 16 with a doo-wop band in Freeport, N.Y., Mr. Reed started singing outside of the song’s melody, as if he were giving a speech with a fluctuating monotone in his Brooklyn-Queens drawl. That sound, eventually heard with the Velvet Underground on songs like “Heroin,” “Sweet Jane” and in his post-Velvets songs “Walk on the Wild Side,” “Street Hassle” and others, eventually spread outward to become one of the most familiar frequencies in rock. He played lead guitar the same way, hitting against the wall of his limitations.
musicians  obituaries  rock-'n'-roll  singers  songwriters  guitarists  '60s 
october 2013 by jerryking
20 Feet from Stardom: A chronicle of great singers with invisible faces - The Globe and Mail
Liam Lacey

The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Jul. 05 2013

"Stay cool, stay humble, stay beautiful, and just do the work." A movie about backup singers.
movies  music_industry  singers  films 
july 2013 by jerryking
Troggs lead singer Reg Presley dies of lung cancer at 71 - The Globe and Mail
Feb. 05 2013 | The Associated Press | GREGORY KATZ.

They faded in the 1970s but their songs were revived in the 1990s when REM and Wet Wet Wet released covers of the Troggs’ Love Is All Around.
obituaries  singers  rock-'n'-roll  songwriters 
february 2013 by jerryking
Robin Gibb Helped Drive Bee Gees to Fame - WSJ.com
May 21, 2012 | WSJ |By JIM FUSILLI and STEPHEN MILLER
obituaries  disco  music  singers  '70s  Bee_Gees  pop  soul 
may 2012 by jerryking
Legendary blues singer Etta James dies
January 20, 2012 || abc30.com |AP By NEKESA MUMBI MOODY and ROBERT JABLON
obituaries  singers 
february 2012 by jerryking
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