Rock & Roll Heaven

Dick Clark of American Bandstand Dies of Massive Heart Attack


Television legend Dick Clark – who for 33 years helmed the groundbreaking TV music show American Bandstand while ringing in countless New Year’s Eves for viewers at home since the 1970s – has died. He was 82.

Clark's agent Paul Shefrin said in statement that the veteran host died this morning following a "massive heart attack."

Celebrated for his youthful appearance and relentlessly upbeat manner, Clark was a TV icon long before the contemporary notion of celebrity took hold. He hosted American Bandstand from 1956 to 1989  making it the must-visit stop on the promotional itinerary for every happening pop musician in its day. More recently, Clark rang in the New Year alongside reality TV host Ryan Seacrest, an obvious chip off the block.

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve with Ryan Seacrest was s consistent hit with viewers, commanding such talent as Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber (to name  two recent guests) to perform December 31 in Manhattan’s Time Square.

Clark also served as a host to the game show, Pyramid. Like many celebs who flourished in the golden age of television, Clark made his mark early on in radio.



The Canadian music scene lost one of its most influential figures over the weekend with the death of Steve Kirman, founder of Steve's Music Store. Kirman is the Steve of Steve's Music, a music store chain that opened in Montreal in 1965, expanded to include Toronto and Ottawa, and today is considered indispensable for music equipment in each city.

For decades, his stores have been a popular gathering place for a city musician and his shop in Montreal on St-Antoine and Clark now takes up almost the entire block.

At all three stores, the phones were ringing off the hook, with musicians from all over the world wanting to pass along their condolences. "He's seen many of these clients go on to major fame, he's seen many of these clients go on to different parts of the world and still have extremely fond memories of Steve," said Sheldon Sazant, the shop's general manager and an employee for 34 years.

Ironically, for a man who loved the music business, Kirman didn't play an instrument, although he could tune a guitar. The joke was his favourite instrument was his cash register.

Davy Jones of the Monkees Dead from Heart Failure

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Davy Jones the lead singer of the Monkees has passed away. On the morning of 29 February 2012, Jones was found dead at his Indiantown, Florida home at the age of 66. His publicist announced that Jones had suffered a massive heart attack in his sleep and was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Jones is survived by his wife Jessica and 4 daughters Anabel, Talia, Sarah and Jessica.  from previous marriages. He was 66-years-old. Jones was married to Jessica Pacheco -- his 3rd wife.

Jones joined The Monkees in 1965 along with Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork ... and together they churned out a bunch of hugely popular songs including 3 number 1 hits -- "Daydream Believer," "Last Train to Clarksville" and "I'm a Believer."

Because of his popularity with The Monkees another singer named David Jones was forced to change his name to David Bowie. 

Davy Jones was born in Leamington Street, Openshaw, Manchester, England, on 30 December 1945. At the age of 11, he began his acting career, and appeared on the British television soap opera Coronation Street as Ena Sharples's grandson, Colin Lomax in 1961. He also appeared in the BBC police series Z-Cars. However, after the death of his mother from emphysema when he was 14 years old, he left acting and trained as a jockey with Basil Foster.

Pierre Juneau Namesake of the Juno Awards Passes On


Story: Sandy Graham

One of the great defenders of Canadian culture has died. Pierre Juneau passed away at the age of 89.

Born in Montreal in 1922, Juneau began his career at the National Film Board of Canada, where he played a significant role in the development of French-language filmmaking at the federally funded film studio. He was at the NFB from 1949 to 1966, holding various managerial positions related to distribution and production, including developing co-productions with France and Italy.

When an independent French-language production unit was set up at the NFB in 1964, he was the first director of the studio.

In 1960, he co-founded Quebec's first film festival, the Montreal International Film Festival. When he left the NFB in 1966, he was named vicechairman of the Bureau of Broadcast Governors, which became, in 1968, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC), the country's broadcast regulator.

Juneau became the first chairman of the CRTC in 1968 and it was under his guidance that the CRTC brought in Canadian-content regulations for television and radio, a move that most see as a key catalyst for the development of viable TV and music industries in this country. The rules forced the TV networks to fill 60 per cent of their schedule with Canadian fare while the radio stations had to air 30 per cent Canadian music.

Whitney Houston – Gone Too Soon.


On Saturday, February 11, the music world shook with the sad news of the sudden death of Whitney Elizabeth Houston.

Born on August 9, 1963, Whitney Elizabeth Houston was an American treasure being a singer, actress, producer, and model. In 2009, the Guinness World Records cited her as the most-awarded female act of all time. Her awards include two Emmy Awards, six Grammy Awards, 30 Billboard Music Awards, and 22 American Music Awards, among a total of 415 career awards as of 2010. Houston was also one of the world's best-selling music artists, having sold over 170 million albums, singles and videos worldwide. Inspired by prominent soul singers in her family, including her mother Cissy Houston, cousins Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick, and her godmother Aretha Franklin, Houston began singing with her New Jersey church's junior gospel choir at age 11 After she began performing alongside her mother in nightclubs in the New York City area, she was discovered by Arista Records label head Clive Davis. Houston released seven studio albums and three movie soundtrack albums, all of which have diamond, multi-platinum, platinum or gold certification.

Photographer Andrew MacNaughtan dies on Rush Shoot

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Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Toronto photographer Andrew MacNaughtan, longtime documenter of Rush’s exploits and the man behind dozens of iconic portraits of Canadian celebrities, passed away suddenly in Los Angeles on Wednesday.  MacNaughtan, in his mid-40s, reportedly suffered a heart attack while in California shooting his old friends, Rush.

A member of the band’s local management said they are  “heartbroken over here,” while Rush members Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson and Neil Peart issued a joint statement in MacNaughtan’s honour via their Facebook page: “We’re deeply shocked and heartbroken to learn of the sudden passing of our close friend and longtime photographer, Andrew MacNaughtan. He was a sweet person and a very talented artist. Words cannot describe how much he will be missed.

Charlie Camilleri

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Charlie Camilleri, music industry veteran, passed away on December 23, 2012, and his family is honouring his legacy at a public celebration of his life on January 28, 2012 from 2 -4 p.m. at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 3.

For more information contact his son, Ron Camilleri at

You can read more about Charlie Camilleri's life at

Len Nevin

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Len Nevin was a Northern Ontario Country Music Hall of Fame inductee who made music for more than 40 years.

Nevin died January 6, 2012 at Sault Area Hospital after a brief illness. Nevin was 74. With his wife, Yuanita, he toured Ontario and Michigan with his Country Ramblers band. That group disbanded in 1991, but the Plummer Hospital tradesman kept performing. Nevin played bass with Happy Days Band, featured Wednesday afternoons at Royal Canadian Legion Branch 25. Two other groups, Yesterday's Wine and Friends, entertained seniors in nursing and retirement homes.

"It's such a thrill for me to see that my God, we're getting through to a few of these people," he told The Sault Star in 2007. "I've seen it happen. It's fantastic." Not only was he "a good musician," he made sure to arrive early before the rest of the Happy Days Band to set up before a show at the Legion Hall, said bandmate Bob Jenkins. "He moved so much equipment without ever complaining," he said. "He was very generous with his time. He was a really kind guy."

His efforts on the technical side paid off. The band's sound "wasn't great" at first, but picked up after Nevin joined the group. "He'd really look after the details," said Jenkins. When Nevin was inducted to the Northern Ontario Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004, it was Jenkins who did his portrait. "He couldn't do enough for people," he said. "He was most generous with his time, for everybody."

Charlie Camilleri A Legacy to Be Remembered

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By Sandy Graham

The Canadian Music Industry has lost ‘one of our own’. Charlie Camilleri, well known in the old school circles, has left us, and the business has lost an icon who truly paved a path for future record reps to learn the ropes.

I met Charlie in the mid-70’s in Montreal, when I was a very young Music Director at CJFM. When all the reps would show up on Wednesday to push their latest new hits, they were a young hip bunch, dressed in the latest looks. Not Charlie. He would show up in shirt and tie, looking more like a bank manager than a record rep. But boy did he know his stuff. He was a music man, from his relationships with radio, nightclubs, theatres and the artists, managing to make them all happy and feel good about this business.

Burton Cummings and CharlieBurton Cummings and CharlieCharlie was also more mature than the rest. We were in our 20’s and he was pushing 40-ish so that was mature for us back then. He was a gentleman as well, and never made you feel obligated to play his latest ‘push’, but somehow he always got his songs played and charted by his persuasive promo skills.

Charlie also spent time with his artists, and was always on the tour with them; making lifelong friends with stars like Tony Bennett, Ronnie Hawkins, Tom Jones and Andy Williams to name a few.

Dobie Gray


Singer, songwriter and Nashvillian, Dobie Gray, famous for his 1973 hit song "Drift Away" passed away Tuesday, December 6. Gray's website confirmed his death late Tuesday evening.

Gray was born near Houston, Texas, by his own account in Simonton although some sources suggest the nearby town of Brookshire. His birth name was probably Lawrence Darrow Brown, who is listed in the Fort Bend County Birth Records as being born in 1940 to Jane P. Spencel and Jethro Clifton Brown. Other sources suggest he may have been born Leonard Victor Ainsworth, a name he used on some early recordings.

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