Rock & Roll Heaven

Slim Whitman…We’ll Remember You

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Country singer Otis Dewey Whitman Jr better known as Slim Whitman has passed away at the age of 89.

Whitman was consistently more popular throughout Europe, and in particular Britain, than in his home and native land of the United States.

His 1955 hit single "Rose Marie" held the Guinness World Record for the longest time at number 1 on the UK Singles Chart until Bryan Adams broke the record in 1991 after 36 years.He sold in excess of 120 million records. He was managed for a time by Colonel Tom Parker who signed him to RCA Records where he released his first single in 1948.   In 1955 in the United Kingdom, he had a No.1 hit on the pop music charts with "Rose Marie." He also had a hit with “I’ll Remember You’.
For his contribution to the recording industry, Slim Whitman was given the accolade of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1709 Vine Street. He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum's Walkway of Stars in 1968.

The late Michael Jackson listed Whitman as one of his ten favorite vocalists and Beatle George Harrison has said Whitman as an early influence: "The first person I ever saw playing a guitar was Slim Whitman, either a photo of him in a magazine or live on television. Guitars were definitely coming in. Paul McCartney credited a poster of Whitman with giving him the idea of playing his guitar left-handed with his guitar strung the opposite way to a right-handed player.

Joey Covington of Jefferson Airplane & Hot Tuna Killed in Accident

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Joey Covington, former drummer for the groups Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna, has died on June 4, 2013 in Palm Springs, California.

Joey Covington's sedan slammed into a retaining wall on the side of the road and despite attempts to revive the musician, he was pronounced dead at the scene. Covington was the only passenger in the car at the time of the crash, and police reported he was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the accident.

A self-taught drummer since the age of 10, Covington (also known in his childhood as Joey Michno) helped found Blues-rock group Hot Tuna in 1969, alongside Jefferson Airplane members Jack Casady and Jorma Kaukonen, while the latter band was still in its beginnings.

However, the recordings he did for Tuna were unreleased and he eventually rejoined Casady and Kaukonen at the Airplane and featured on three studio albums, the first being Volunteers, as he replaced Spencer Dryden midway through the recording process. He co-wrote and sang the last hit for Jefferson Airplane, 1971's "Pretty As You Feel", featured on the Bark album, a single that peaked at No. 12 on the Cashbox Charts.

Doo Wop Singer Marshall Sewell Passes On

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Marshall Sewell, the outstanding bass vocalists of the Doo Wop band, The Edsels has passed away in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.

The Edsels were an American doo wop group active during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The name of the group was originally The Essos, after the oil company, but was changed to match the then-new Ford automobile, the Edsel. The Edsels recorded over 25 songs and had multiple performances on Dick Clark's American Bandstand. The Edsels were one of the few doo wop groups to sign with a major record label, as most groups of that era found success with small independent labels. Before their national hit "Rama Lama Ding Dong," songs like "What Brought Us Together," "Bone Shaker Joe," and "Do You Love Me" helped the group land a major recording contract with Capitol Records in 1961.

Today, the group is known almost exclusively for their song, "Rama Lama Ding Dong." The song was recorded in 1957 and released, under the erroneous title "Lama Rama Ding Dong," in 1958. The song did not become popular until 1961, after a disc jockey in New York City began to play it as a segue from The Marcels doo wop version of "Blue Moon." The song eventually became popular throughout the USA, topping the Cashbox Charts in the Top Ten.

Cornelius ‘Nini’ Harp of The Marcels Passed On

Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Cornelius ‘Nini’ Harp, the former lead singer for the group The Marcels, passed away on June 5, 2013.

The Marcels were an American doo-wop group known for turning popular music songs into rock and roll. The group formed in 1959 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and signed to Colpix Records, with lead Cornelius Harp, bass Fred Johnson, Gene Bricker, Ron Mundy, and Richard Knauss. The group was named after a popular hair style of the day, the marcel wave, by Fred Johnson's younger sister Priscilla.

In 1961 many were surprised to hear a new version of the ballad "Blue Moon", that began with the bass singer saying, "bomp-baba-bomp" and "dip-da-dip." The record sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc and was featured in The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll. The disc went to number one on the Cashbox Magazine Charts. Additional revivals in the same vein as "Blue Moon" – "Heartaches" and "Melancholy Baby" – were less successful, although "Heartaches" peaked at No. 7 on the Cashbox Charts and eventually sold over one million copies worldwide.

I Want To Live Like That – Larry Wayne Clark

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Submitted by Mike Biggar

On May 30, 2013, our dear friend and prolific songwriter Larry Wayne Clark passed away after living with cancer for 3 years. Born in Montreal, Quebec, Larry's career in country music as a songwriter, producer, teacher and music journalist spanned 30-plus years in both Nashville and Vancouver. He was loved by artists, writers, producers, publishers and other music industry professionals literally around the world. The richness of Larry’s life’s work is evidenced not just in the hundreds of songs he penned for a myriad of top-level artists, nor in the unending accolades and recognition he received for his craft. Possibly the greatest record of Larry’s success – and that for which I envy him most - is the deep affection he enjoyed from those he worked with.  You just couldn’t help but love Larry Wayne Clark.  Now his legacy lives on in the beautiful music he created, but even more in the beautiful person that he was, and the lives of those he touched.

Ed Shaughnessy Joins Johnny, Doc and Ed Once Again

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Submitted by Cashbox Magazine

Ed Shaughnessy, the jazz drummer who for nearly three decades anchored the rhythm section of Doc Severinsen’s “Tonight Show” band, has died in Southern California. He was 84 years old. He died of a heart attack at his home in Calabasas, outside of Los Angeles, California.

Shaughnessy .was the drummer on Carson’s lengendary late night talk show from 1963 until 1992.

"When you have a high profile gig like The Tonight Show, people kind of assume that's your  thing. . "But prior to getting that gig, I had a really deep and rich jazz background and I really made my living as a jazz drummer."

The New Jersey native began his jazz career as a teenager, playing with Billie Holiday, Benny Goodman and Count Basie. He replaced Buddy Rich in Tommy Dorsey’s band.

He was married to Ilene Woods, the voice of Cinderella in the Disney animated film, who passed away in 2010.

Shaughnessy is survived by a son and three grandchildren.

R.I.P Ed, the beat goes on!

Ray Manzarek Closes The Door

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

How bizarre it was on Monday May 20, 2013. Facebook and Twitter accounts buzzed with the death of Ray Manzarek, then immediately apologized for the “hoax, ,reports, were issued that was indeed NOT dead. Then ,NO, he is dead!  Sort of like long ago bandmate Jim Morrision of the Doors, dead or alive? Finally confirmation came the keyboardist Ray Manzarek had died at the age of 74 in Rosenheim, Germany after a long battle with bile duct cancer.

Manzarek and Jim Morrison were the founding members of the legendary rock band the Doors. Manzarek and Morrison met by chance on Venice Beach in California. Morrison said he had written some songs, and Manzarek expressed an interest in hearing them.  Morrison then sang a rough version of "Moonlight Drive". Manzarek liked the songs and co-founded the Doors with Morrison at that moment. They formed the band with John Densmore and Robby Kreiger whom Manzarek had met at a Transcendental Meditation Conference.

Alan O’Day Goes to Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Singer/songwriter Alan O’Day. Who wrote the Righteous Brothers classic Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven has gone home. The 72 year old O’Day passed away after a short battle with brain cancer and left behind a legacy of hit tunes. Besides the aforementioned ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven’, O’Day wrote ‘The Drum’ for Bobby Sherman, ‘Train of Thought’ for Cher  and the classic ‘Angie Baby’ for Helen Reddy.

Perhaps best known for his own record ‘Undercover Angel’ which became the number one song on the U.S. Charts and sold over 2 million copies. In 1983, O'Day met San Francisco's singer-songwriter Janis Liebhart, with whom he co-wrote a children's song for a new Saturday morning animated TV show, Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies. Within eight years they had written almost 100 songs for the program, which won an Emmy Award and has since been syndicated internationally.

So R.I.P. Alan O’Day and remember……

If you believe in forever

Then life is just a one-night stand

If there's a rock and roll heaven

Well you know they've got a hell of a band

(The Righteous Brothers 1974)


Jeff Hanneman Dies of Liver Failure Contributed to Spider Bite

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

On Thursday, May 2, 2013, Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman passed away from liver failure in a Los Angeles hospital.  In what was a bizarre set of circumstances, the theory was that a bite from a spider over two years ago might have contributed to his death. The bite was over two years ago, which led to a severe infection that Hanneman never really totally recovered from and family felt that it may have contributed to his death.

Hanneman was thought to be on the mend and he had been writing songs with the band in anticipation of recording a new album later this year.

Hanneman had been slowly recovering from necrotizing fasciitis, a flesh-eating disease that nearly cost him his arm. Such an infection can develop from a minor cut or scratch.Hannenman was bitten while in a friend’s hot tub and failed to seek immediate treatment. Infections by flesh-eating bacteria are rare. The affliction can destroy muscle, fat and skin and may require surgery to remove the diseased tissue to save a patient's life.

Hanneman had several operations to remove dead and dying tissue from his arm, the band said on its website last year.It's unknown if Hanneman was bitten by the dangerous brown recluse spider,but it is said that whatever spider  bit the Slayer guitarist never recovered.

The government estimates roughly 750 flesh-eating bacteria cases occur each year, usually caused by a type of strep germ. About 1 in 5 people with the most common kind of flesh-eating strep bacteria die.

Greg Quill Journalist and Artist – Gone Too Soon

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada

In  Canada most people know him as one of the country's leading cultural journalists, senior arts columnist at the Toronto Star.

In Australia, a few will remember another Greg Quill, the award-winning singer-songwriter and leader of the seminal Australian roots band Country Radio, which scored hits with "Gypsy Queen", "Wintersong", "Fleetwood Plain" and "She Do It To Me", toured the country endlessly, headlined at the Sydney Opera House,and shared stages with many musical icons of the era, including Fairport Convention, Elton John, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Santana, J.J. Cale and Stephen Stills, among others.

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