Rock & Roll Heaven

Robert Knight Gave Us ‘Everlasting Love’

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Robert Knight has sadly passed away at the age of 72.

The legendary singer was known world-wide for his hit song “Everlasting Love.”
Robert Knight, who recorded the first version of ‘Everlasting Love’, one of the biggest songs to come out of Nashville, died Sunday, November 5, 2017 after a short illness.

He was born Robert Peebles in Franklin on April 24, 1945.

As young man, he was a member of the Fairlanes and sang lead for the Paramounts before becoming a solo artist.

In 1967, while performing during a fraternity party at Vanderbilt University, Mac Gayden heard "this voice coming from the Kappa Sigma House." He ran over there and met Knight as he was coming off the stage. "He didn't want to talk to me, but I gave him my card," Gayden remembered. Gayden introduced Knight to Buzz Cason, who signed Knight to Rising Sons Music, and they began working on an album.

Cason and Gayden had written a song called ‘The Weeper’, which they thought would be Knight's breakout hit. But then he cut another Cason/Gayden composition: ‘Everlasting Love’. It was, Gayden said, the last song cut during the session, "kind of like a throwaway tune."

Knight's infectious, soaring recording became an R&B and pop hit, and a beach music staple. Over the last half-century, it has been covered by Carl Carlton, Love Affair, U2 and Gloria Estefan, among others.

Boogie Nights Singer Keith Edward Wilder Passes On

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Funk Legend of the hit song ‘Boogie Nights’ passed away on October 29, 2017, at the age of 68. The unconfirmed cause of death was a massive heart attack.

Keith Edward Wilder was a vocalist for the legendary funk band Heatwave. Formed in 1975 by Wilder’s brother Johnnie Wilder, Jr., Heatwave hits included "Boogie Nights," "Always and Forever" and "The Groove Line."It was 40 years ago at this time that Heat Wave was climbing to #2 on the pop chart with this disco-dance smash.

In London during the mid-1970’s Johnnie Wilder, Jr. and Rod Temperton (both who have passed away 2006 and 2016 respectively) with several other musicians including Keith came together and created music history. The group has changed musician members over the years. Napoleon Eugene Phillips, Elliot Levine, Keith Busey, Geno Myers, Nathan Watson, Ignatius Mason, Byron Byrd, Donavan Blackwood and my longtime friend ElWarren Weatherspoon (World-Class Drummer) affectionately known in the industry as “Spoon”.

Fats Domino Adieu Antoine Godspeed

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Submitted by Don Graham

Antione “Fats” Domino, one of the most influential rock and roll performers of the 1950s and 60s, has died at the age of 89.

He was best known for his songs ‘Ain't That A Shame’, ‘I’m Walkin’ and ‘Blueberry Hill’ and sold more than 65 million records, outselling every 1950’s rock and roll acts with the exception of  Elvis Presley. Elvis Presley once referred to Fats Domino as "the real king of rock n roll" and Paul McCartney reportedly wrote the Beatles song ‘Lady Madonna’ in Fats’ style of piano playing. He was one of the first rhythm and blues artists to gain popularity with a white audience and his music was most prolific in the 1950s.

Domino had 11 US Top 10 hits and his music was a big influence on artists during the 1960s and 70s.

He was one of the first inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, but by then he would no longer leave New Orleans, not even to accept the award.

Fellow New Orleans-born musician and actor Harry Connick Jr. paid tribute to Domino on Twitter, saying he had "helped pave the way for New Orleans piano players".

Lighthouse co-founder and drummer Skip Prokop Gone at 74

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Story Credit: Ryan Awram Victoria, BC, Canada / 100.3 The Q!
Skip Prokop in 2012 Photo Credit Jonathan Grime Photography

Skip Prokop, co-founder of Canadian band Lighthouse, has died. He was 74. Prokop had been living with a heart condition and was reportedly ill for some time.

Born Ronald Harry Prokop, the Hamilton native had his first taste of success with Canadian psychedelic rock band the Paupers in the early 1960s. After the group broke up, Prokop was a session musician for industry heavyweights including Carlos Santana, Janis Joplin and folk trio Peter, Paul and Mary.

Prokop co-founded Lighthouse in 1968 with jazz pianist and film composer Paul Hoffert. They teamed with guitarist Ralph Cole and some 10 other musicians from the jazz, rock and classical world.

Sun Records Artist Sonny Burgess Passes Away in Little Rock, Arkansas

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada
Photo: Sonny Burgess, performing at the Country Music Hall Of Fame in Nashville in 2015

Rockabilly singer, songwriter and guitarist Sonny Burgess passed away on August 18, 2017 in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Burgess made his career when he became one of Sam Phillips/Sun Records' stars, with signatory whoops and howls all along accompanied by his furious guitar.

Born May 28, 1929, Burgess was raised on a farm near Newport, Arkansas. He grew up listening to shows from the Grand Ole Opry, and started out playing with friends in local bars and dance halls in a band they called The Rocky Road Ramblers. His original dream was to be a professional baseball player, but after a couple of years spent in the minor leagues, Burgess entered the U.S. Army, and served in West Germany during the Korean War. After advice from Sun record producer Sam Phillips, the group expanded to form the Pacers, at first called the Newport Pacers. Burgess was sharing dates with the likes of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash.

In recent years, Burgess was one of the hosts of a weekly program for member station KASU at Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, Ark.; the show was named We Wanna Boogie, after one of the songs on Burgess' first recording for Sun Records.

Glen Campbell Adios

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Submitted by Don Graham

When I got the word that Glen Campbell had passed away my reaction wasn’t the same as when I heard of other passings. When Glenn Frey passed I was shocked, when George Jones and Merle Haggard passed I was sad, when Canadian teen idol and friend Bobby Curtola passed I was devastated. But when I heard about Glen Campbell passing the first word that came to mind was finally, finally free from the grip of that horrible disease Alzheimer’s. I was also terribly sad and nostalgic to hear but felt a great relief for him and his family. The last days of his life he couldn’t speak, communicate or interact in any way. Who knows for sure what was going on in his head. His family released a statement on his website “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather, and legendary singer and guitarist, Glen Travis Campbell, at the age of 81, following his long and courageous battle with Alzheimer’s disease … In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Glen Campbell Memorial Fund at Bright Focus Foundation through the CareLiving.org donation page.”

Campbell was first diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in June 2011, he had been suffering from short-term memory loss for years, but the Alzheimer’s diagnosis was confirmed that year. The battle was long and hard and well documented in the Academy Award winning film “I’ll Be Me” , which followed the singer and his family on his 2011 tour as his memory declined.

Bobby Taylor Passes Away in Hong Kong

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Credit Wikipedia

Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers were a soul band from Vancouver, British Columbia Canada. The group recorded for the Gordy Records (division of Motown Records) in 1968, where they had a top 30 hit single, "Does Your Mama Know About Me". As a producer and solo artist, Bobby Taylor contributed to several other soul recordings, both inside and outside of Motown. Taylor is most notable for discovering and mentoring The Jackson 5. Tommy Chong was a member of Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers before he became famous as a comedian.

Bobby Taylor, born February 18, 1934 in Washington, DC, was raised in Washington. As a young man, he moved to New York City and sang in doo-wop groups with singers who later joined successful acts such as Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers and Little Anthony and the Imperials.[1] In 1958 he began his music career as a member of The Four Pharaohs, who released a few locally-selling recordings in the Columbus, Ohio area.

Norro Wilson Hall of Fame Songwriter Dies

Submitted by Don Graham

Norris “Norro” Wilson, Nashville Songwiter Hall of Fame member  has passed away.. Wilson,the  co-writer of classic songs  like “The Grand Tour,” “The Most Beautiful Girl” and “A Picture of Me (Without You),” died after several months of bad health at 79 years old.

During his long career Wilson his career was active in many different aspects of the music business as a performer, a songwriter, a song plugger, a publisher, an A&R rep and a producer,  working  with artists that included George Jones, Kenny Chesney, Charley Pride, Tammy Wynette and Reba McEntire.

Born on April 4, 1938, in Scottsville, Kentucky.  Wilson began performing in a barbershop quartet in high school. Going to  Western Kentucky State College after highschool he  joined the Southlanders Quartet,  that brought him to Nashville in 1957.

In 1970, as an artist, he was picked for Country Radio Seminar’s inaugural “New Faces of Country Music.” That year, his recording of "Do It to Someone You Love" which reached as high as # 20 , the highest-charting single of his singing career. He gave up recording entirely when he started thriving as a songwriter and music executive.

Charlie Rich’s 1973 crossover hit with "The Most Beautiful Girl," written by Wilson, Billy Sherrill and Rory Bourke,  topped the country, pop and adult contemporary charts. Two years later, Wilson and Sherrill’s “A Very Special Love Song”, also recorded by Charlie Rich, was named Best Country Song at the Grammy Award.

Record Industry Icon Gerry Lacoursiere Passes On

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Germain Robert Joseph (Gerry) Lacoursiere, the man responsible for the launch of A&M Records in Canada, has passed away on May 9th at his family home in Windsor, Ontario.
The legendary Canadian record label executive was inducted into the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame in 1997, just after he retired from the position of Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Polygram Group. He was also presented the Billboard International Business Achievement Award by the trade publication.

A & M Records Canada was established in 1970 under Lacoursiere’s direction. It was headquartered in Toronto, and, by 1990, had branch offices in six other cities.

A & M Records of Canada Ltd. Canadian subsidiary of A & M Records, a US company founded in 1962 by the trumpeter Herb Alpert (then leader of the Tijuana Brass) and the producer Jerry Moss. A & M and its subsidiaries became part of PolyGram in 1990. A & M (Canada) was established in 1970 under the direction of Gerry Lacoursiere, with head offices in Toronto and, by 1990, branch offices in six other cities. (Joe Summers succeeded Lacoursiere as president in 1990.)

Though established to distribute and promote A & M's US releases in Canada, it actually went on to release many recordings by Canadian pop artists, including Bryan Adams, The Arrows, Véronique Béliveau, Bim (Roy Forbes), CANO, Chilliwack, Lucien Francoeur, Offenbach, Payola$, Peter Pringle, Erroll Starr, Lucille Starr, Ian Tyson, Valdy and Gino Vannelli.

Jurgen Peter of The Haunted Passed Away

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Co-founder and guitarist of one of Canada’s original garage bands The Haunted from the 1960’s has passed away in British Columbia. Details are not available at the time of publishing.

The Haunted were a Canadian garage rock band from Montreal , Quebec. The band was formed by Jurgen Peter (guitar) in 1965, and went on to release several records before finally disbanding in 1971. They were among the first Canadian bands to achieve a level of success in their musical genre.

In 1965, Jurgen Peter joined up with Bob Burgess (vocals), Al Birmingham (lead guitar), Glenn Holmes (bass), and Peter Symes (drums) to form The Haunted. Besides Peter, the other constant band member through most of its six-year history was Birmingham. The band membership that recorded the band's best known song, "1-2-5" was composed of Birmingham (lead guitar), Peter (rhythm guitar), Burgess (vocals), Mason Shea (bass) and Dave Wynne (drums).

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