Rock & Roll Heaven

Peter Sarstedt of Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) Fame Passes On

Peter Sarstedt pictured with Anita Atke at London Heathrow Airport in 1969.jpg

Courtesy of Ray Connolly The Daily Mail
Peter Sarstedt pictured with Anita Atke at London Heathrow Airport in 1969

Many popular songs catch the feeling of the time. That’s why they become popular. But few songs are able to freeze that moment to the extent that nearly half a century after we first heard it we can sing along to the lyrics.

That was what Peter Sarstedt, who died January 8, 2017 at age 75, achieved with his #1 smash Where Do You Go To (My Lovely). He was not quite a one-hit wonder (his follow-up, Frozen Orange Juice, also made the Top Ten), but Sarstedt’s career was defined by that No 1 song.

And what a song. Sounding unlike anything else that was around in 1969, it topped the charts all over Europe and in Australia, and was a hit even in Japan.

Just to hear that opening French-sounding accordion, playing in the then dreaded waltz-time — a rhythm your grandparents used to dance to — at the very height of the Sixties, should have condemned it to everlasting obscurity. But the very opposite happened. It touched an international nerve.

Tommy Allsup Joins His Friends in Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven

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Submitted by Don Graham

Tommy Allsup, the guitar player in Buddy Holly’s band for the Winter Tour in 1959, will join Buddy and Waylon Jennings in that historic trio in Rock ‘n’ Roll heaven. Tommy passed away in Lubbock, Texas at the age of 85.

Neither Tommy nor Waylon were on the flight that killed Buddy Holly, Richie Valens and J.P. ( Big Bopper) Richardson on February 3rd, 1959. After Holly’s death, Allsup moved to Los Angeles, where he found work with local bands, did some session work, along the way earning a songwriting credit for The Ventures', "Guitar Twist".

Allsup had recorded with Holly before he began touring with him in the summer of 1958. The first song he cut with the rising star was “It’s So Easy (To Fall in Love).”

After completing the Holly tour, Allsup moved to California playing guitar in a Los Angeles nightclub where he met the head of Liberty Records. Snuff Garrett. Garrett hired him to play on a Buddy Knox session which led to more session work for the label.

Eventually, Allsup worked his way up to head of A&R for Liberty’s country music division. It was there that he produced Willie Nelson, Tex Williams and Billy Mize, amongst others.

Allsup moved to Odessa,Texas where he set up a recording studio after he left Liberty. It was there that the duo Zager & Evans recorded their song “In the Year 2525.” Allsup released the song on his own label, then it was picked up by RCA and went #1 on the charts.

Guitarist/singer Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake and Palmer Dies

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Submitted Courtesy of Canadian Press
Journalist Jill Lawless
Photo: Emerson Lake and Palmer Provided by Canadian Wire Press

LONDON - Musician Greg Lake co-founded both King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer — bands that helped define the sprawling, influential but often-maligned genre known as progressive rock.

Lake, who died of cancer at 69, was instrumental in bringing classical influences, epic length, mythic scope and 1970s excess into rock 'n' roll, winning millions of fans before punk swept in and spoiled the party.

Manager Stewart Young said in a statement that Lake died Wednesday after "a long and stubborn battle with cancer."

Born in the southern English seaside town of Poole in 1947, Lake founded King Crimson with guitarist Robert Fripp in the late 1960s. The band pioneered the ambitious genre that came to be known as progressive rock.

He went on to form ELP with keyboardist Keith Emerson and drummer Carl Palmer. With Lake as vocalist and guitarist, ELP impressed crowds at the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival, in a lineup that also featured Jimi Hendrix and The Who.

The band released six platinum-selling albums characterized by songs of epic length, classical influence and ornate imagery, and toured with elaborate light shows and theatrical staging.

Brad 'Rusty' Bakewell, lead singer of Jack Damage R.I.P.

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Submitted by Bill Ross

(Editor's Note: Brad 'Rusty' Bakewell, lead singer and master provocateur of hard rock crew Jack Damage has passed . Rusty never made the big time but every time he was onstage, he made it a big time. He was a very relatable dude and his big-hearted ways made a mark in many people's lives. The memoir below is from one of them.)

This is my friend Brad Bakewell. Most of you knew him as Rusty or Crusty Rusty if you were part of our scene at Rock'N'Roll Heaven. Rusty left us last week. Indications are it was from complications surrounding a near fatal car accident a couple of years back, in BC. Rusty was a complete rock and roll animal in the end. And for that we who loved him and thanked him.

Songwriter Mentor Williams of “Drift Away” Fame Dies

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Story Credit CMT / Journalist Edward Morris

Songwriter Mentor Williams, composer of Dobie Gray’s 1973 hit, “Drift Away,” died Wednesday (Nov. 16), according to the Taos (New Mexico) News. The location and cause of death were not reported, although he was a longtime resident of the Taos area. Nor was his age confirmable at press time.

Williams also co-wrote such country hits as Alabama’s “When We Make Love” (1984), Eddy Raven’s “She’s Gonna Win Your Heart” (1984) and Randy Travis and George Jones’ “A Few Ole Country Boys” (1990).

Narvel Felts had a Top 10 country hit with “Drift Away” in 1973. The song was later covered by Waylon Jennings, Rod Stewart, Ray Charles, Roy Orbison and Michael Bolton, among others. Uncle Kracker enlisted Gray to join him on a remake of the song which peaked at No. 9 on Billboard’s all-genres Hot 100 chart in 2003 and topped the trade publication’s adult contemporary chart.

Williams is the brother of singer, songwriter and actor Paul Williams, who now serves as president and board chairman of ASCAP, the performance rights society.
Mentor Williams had a romantic relationship with country singer Lynn Anderson from the 1980s until her death in 2015.

Editor’s Note: Cashbox Canada had the pleasure of meeting Mentor Williams brother, singer/songwriter Paul Williams many times at Canadian Music Week. Our heartfelt sympathies go out to Paul Williams and his family on his loss.

Leon Russell Gone at the Age of 74

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Leon Russell died on Nov. 13, 2016 in Nashville at the age of 74. His wife said that he passed away in his sleep.

The Master Of Space And Time was a legendary musician and songwriter originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma who performed his gospel-infused southern boogie piano rock, blues, and country music for over 50 years.

Leon was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame and the Songwriter's Hall of Fame in 2011.

Leon led the famous Joe Cocker's ‘Mad Dogs & Englishmen’ tour and performed with George Harrison and Friends at the Concert For Bangladesh. Leon has also toured with Delaney & Bonnie and Friends, Edgar Winter, The New Grass Revival, Willie Nelson, and Sir Elton John.

Leon Russell Master of Space and TimeLeon Russell Master of Space and TimeLeon's songwriting credits include 'A Song For You', ‘Delta Lady’, ‘Hummingbird’, ‘Lady Blue’, ‘Back To The Island’, ‘Tight Rope’, and ‘This Masquerade’.

Leonard Cohen It’s Closing Time

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Submitted by Don Graham

“I’m ready to die. I hope it’s not too uncomfortable”. Leonard Cohen said these words not long ago. The iconic singer/songwriter whose work spanned nearly 50 years, died last week at the age of 82. Leonard Cohen's record label, Sony Music Canada, confirmed his death on the singer's Facebook page with the following statement.

"It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away. We have lost one of music's most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will be held at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief."

From some perspectives it could argued that  death has  been a part of  Cohen’s writing since he began creating  poetry but perhaps more present lately as he aged.  It was probably brought more to the forefront when Cohen’s living musical contemporaries, the ones who planted the seeds for modern rock and folk music, started passing on in numbers.  Elvis Presley, who was born a year after Cohen, died young in 1977 and  earlier this year, so too did Presley’s longtime guitarist Scotty Moore. David Bowie, who released his debut the same year Cohen did, also died this year.

In July, Marianne Ihlen, who was Cohen’s lover and muse when they lived in Greece in the  60s died  at the age of 81.  She of course was the Marianne in “So Long, Marianne,”

Before she passed away, Cohen sent her a letter that  was read to her on her deathbed.

Curly Putnam Heading For The Green Green Grass of Home

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Submitted by Don Graham

Claude “Curly” Putman, has died at the age of 85. Putnam was a prolific songwriter writing or co-writing such hits as Tammy Wynette’s classic DIVORCE with Bobby Braddock and the George Jones comeback hit He Stopped Loving Her Today. But he is probably best known for the all time favourite Green, Green Grass of Home, which propelled Tom Jones to stardom

Curly was born and raised in Princeton, Alabama, on a mountain named after his family where his father worked in the sawmill where he would also work after school. He went to Southern University Junior College before spending four years in the U.S. Navy aboard the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Valley Forge.

After leaving the Navy, he played steel guitar with a band in Huntsville, Alabama, where he met his future wife, Bernice They would marry in 1956. They moved around for several years eventually settling in Huntsville where he worked in a shoe store. As a songwriter he had his first cuts from Marion Worth and Grand Ole Opry star Charlie Walker. He was transferred to a Nashville store before moving to Memphis then back to Huntsville where he played in a band at night. In 1960, he recorded "The Prison Song," a top 30 single. On a 1963 visit to Nashville, he ran into Buddy Killen, who was working for music-publishing company Tree International.who hired Putnam as a song plugger.

Rod Temperton, songwriter Behind Thriller Dies

Rod Temperton with Mica Paris David M Benett Getty Images.jpg

Courtesy of The Guardian UK
Photo: Rod Temperton with Mica Paris David M Benett Getty Images

British writer of the huge Michael Jackson hit, who also worked with Quincy Jones, Anita Baker and Aretha Franklin, has died of cancer at the age of 66.

Rod Temperton, the British songwriter behind Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Rock With You, has died aged 66.

Jon Platt, the chairman of music publisher Warner/Chappell said Temperton died in London last week following “a brief aggressive battle with cancer”.

“His family is devastated and request total privacy at this, the saddest of sad times,” Platt added.

Temperton, whose other credits include Boogie Nights, Off the Wall, Give Me the Night, Sweet Freedom and Always and Forever, is one of the most important songwriters and composers in contemporary pop.

Hailing from Cleethorpes, his career began in the disco group Heatwave, a band best known for Boogie Nights, and went on to write for the likes of Anita Baker, Aretha Franklin, The Brothers Johnson, Herbie Hancock and Quincy Jones, who enlisted him to work alongside Jackson.

His compositions for the King of Pop – particularly on the Thriller album – are some of the most famous pop songs in history, and the album continues to sell more than 100,000 copies a year.

He came up with the title for the smash hit song and album Thriller, which went on to sell millions of copies worldwide.

Joan Marie Johnson Faust of the Dixie Cups Passes Away

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Submitted Courtesy of Rob Durkee/Cashbox Magazine USA

NEW ORLEANS — Joan Marie Johnson Faust, an original member and founder of the Dixie Cups, has passed away due to congestive heart failure. According to oldiesmusic.com, she was 72.

Faust was the cousin of sisters Barbara and Rosa Hawkins, who together formed the Dixie Cups. That group had one of the most memorable #1 wedding hits in 1964 with “Chapel Of Love”...(and, yes, that’s Fabian introducing them in this 1989 performance on the TV show “Let’s Rock Tonight")...

When “Chapel Of Love” replaced “Love Me Do” at #1, the Dixie Cups became the first American group to dethrone and replace the Beatles at #1. The Fab Four had been at #1 with "Love Me Do.” The Dixie Cups also had Top 40 hits with “People Say,” ”Iko Iko” and “You Should Have Seen The Way He Looked At Me."

For more on the Dixie Cups...

http://www.wwltv.com/news/local/joan-marie-johnson-faust-founding-member...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dixie_Cups

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