Rock & Roll Heaven

Angus MacKay

Angus MacKay

On June 15, 2010, the Canadian Music Industry lost one of the “the good guys” with the death of Angus MacKay.

Angus MacKay, born and raised in the Toronto area, spent the last three decades creating, developing, and managing not less than four different record labels.

Angus is probably best known as the founding partner in Ready Records, alongside Andy Crosbie. Back in the 1980’s the duo brought Canadians such artists as The Spoons, Blue Peter, The Demics, Santers, and The Extras. As well, Ready also became a brief home for the likes of Teenage Head, The Guess Who, as well as the first ever all Canadian cast recording of Anne of Green Gables.

Angus Mackay was also a founding partner in Kids Records which released, amongst many loved children’s acts, the very first recorded performances of Canada’s number one selling author of all time, Robert Munsch.

At the other end of the musical spectrum, Angus helped launch Fringe Product which gave Canada the works of such hard core punk acts as The Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, and Husker Du.

More recently, in 2007, Angus Mackay joined forces with industry veterans Larry Macrae and Jeff Rogers, as well as reuniting with Andy Crosbie, to bring forth the indie label Sparks Music.

A talented musician himself, Mackay began performing at a very young age and in his teenage years toured Canada extensively in the R&B band, Northern Dancer.

Hank Cochran

Hank Cochran

Hank Cochran Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame member and composer of "I Fall To Pieces," "Make The World Go Away" and numerous other classics — passed away Thursday morning in his Hendersonville home. He was 74.

"Last night, Jamey Johnson, Billy Ray Cyrus and Buddy Cannon dropped by to sing songs with Hank," Cochran's publicist said in a release, "and this morning the legendary songwriter was surrounded by family and friends when he passed away at his Hendersonville, Tennessee home."
Cochran was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Association International Hall of Fame in 1974. He was honored by B.M.I. last year for a body of work that also includes "Ocean Front Property," "Don't You Ever Get Tired Of Hurting Me" and "The Chair."

A private memorial for family as well as a public service are currently being planned. In a statement, the Cochran family requests that those wishing to honor Cochran make donations to the www.nashvillesongwritershalloffamfoundation.com.

Pete Quaife: The original bass player for the British Invasion group the Kinks

Pete Quaife

By ROCKIN' ROBIN

Pete Quaife, the original bass player for the British Invasion group The Kinks, died Wednesday, June 23, 2010, of kidney failure in Herlev, Denmark, according to British news reports. He was 66. According to writer Claire Noland of the Los Angeles Times, Quaife had moved to Denmark in 2005 after living in Canada for many years.

The Kinks were part of the first wave of mid-1960's British Invasion acts. The group first hit in late 1964 with "You Really Got Me," which reached #5 on the Cash Box pop chart. Three more top tenners came in 1965 with "All Day And All Of The Night" (#6), "Tired Of Waiting For You" (#5) and "A Well Respected Man" (#9). The group nearly had another top 10 hit in 1966, but "Sunny Afternoon" peaked at #11.

Big Bad John is Gone – Jimmy Dean Passes Away at 81.

Jimmy Dean

Courtesy of CMT

The average man on the street is most likely to recognize Jimmy Dean from the line of smoked sausage that bears his name, but prior to becoming a spokesman for pork products, Dean was a successful television personality and a country hitmaker noted for his half-spoken narrative songs. Dean was born Seth Ward in Plainview, TX, in 1928, and grew up poor, often working on farms as a boy to help make ends meet. His mother taught him piano starting at age ten, and he went on to pick up guitar, harmonica, and accordion. He joined the Merchant Marines at age 16, and after two years he enlisted in the Air Force, where he first performed publicly with a band called the Tennessee Haymakers. The Haymakers played venues near the Washington, D.C., base at which Dean was stationed, and when he left the service in 1948, he remained in the area and formed a new group called the Texas Wildcats. He eventually scored a record deal with Four Star, and his first hit, "Bummin' Around," reached the country Top Ten in 1953.

1960s chart star Crispian St Peters dies aged 71

Crispian St Peters

Singer Crispian St Peters, best known for his 1966 hit Pied Piper, has died aged 71, at his home in Kent.

His death was confirmed by Chris Ashman, chief of Red Admiral Records.

"Crispian was loved, cherished and admired by anyone and everyone fortunate enough to meet him," he said in a statement.

The musician, who lived in Swanley, Kent, throughout his life, suffered a major stroke in 1995 and gave his last performance four years later.

St Peters - whose real name was Robin Peter Smith - began his career in the 1950s with a number of local bands.

In 1965 he was signed to Decca Records, leading to hit records including his biggest hit Pied Piper and You Were On my Mind.

Mr Ashman called Pied Piper "one of those happy songs which keeps going through your head".

St Peters was also a prolific songwriter, penning more than 200 songs during the course of his 30-year career.

Metal legend Ronnie James Dio dead at 67 after battle with stomach cancer

Ronnie James Dio

Wayne Parry, The Associated Press

Ronnie James Dio, whose soaring vocals, poetic lyrics and mythic tales of a never-ending struggle between good and evil broke new ground in heavy metal, died Sunday, according to a statement from his wife and manager. He was 67.

Dio revealed last summer that he was suffering from stomach cancer shortly after wrapping up a tour in Atlantic City, N.J., with the latest incarnation of Black Sabbath, under the name Heaven And Hell.

"Today my heart is broken," Wendy Dio wrote on the singer's site, adding he died at 7:45 a.m. "Many, many friends and family were able to say their private goodbyes before he peacefully passed away.

"Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all," Wendy Dio continued. "We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us ... Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever."

The statement was confirmed by publicist Maureen O'Connor, who said Dio died in Los Angeles. He had been treated at a Houston hospital, according to his site.

Though Dio had recently undergone his seventh chemotherapy treatment, he was hopeful to perform again. Earlier this month, Heaven And Hell cancelled its summer tour, but Dio did not view being sidelined as a permanent thing.

Malcolm McLaren

Malcolm McLaren

Malcolm McLaren, the former manager of punk group the Sex Pistols, has died in Switzerland aged 64.

McLaren, the ex-partner of designer Vivienne Westwood, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer last October.
He set up a clothes shop and label with Westwood on London's King's Road in the 1970s and was later a businessman and performer in his own right.

The couple had a son, Joseph Corre, the co-founder of lingerie shop Agent Provocateur.
His agent told the BBC that McLaren passed away on Thursday morning.

Spokesman Les Malloy said the artist's family was "devastated" and "in shock" after his condition suddenly deteriorated, adding: "He had been doing very well, it's a sad day."

Full story

David 'Soulfingaz' Williams

Soulfingaz

David 'Soulfingaz' Williams passed away in his sleep on Wed. The music industry is in mourning.

A mainstay in Canada's music scene, Soulfingaz studied composition and piano at Humber College in Toronto and since graduating has been playing professionally in Canada, the US and Europe. As well as being self-taught, he plays rock, soul, funk, gospel, jazz, latin, classical, hip hop and other styles yet to be classified.

Geoff Lloyd, former band member of Matthew Good passes away

Geoff Lloyd

Canadian rocker Matthew Good has paid tribute to his former bandmate Geoff Lloyd, who died at the weekend, in late January. The bassist, who founded the Matthew Good Band with the star in the 1990s, was found dead at the end of January. The cause of death has not yet been publicly confirmed.

And Good admits he's still in a "state of shock" after learning of the tragedy. In a post on his official website, he writes, "I really don't know what to say right now. Having just found out that Geoff has passed I'm still in a state of shock. Geoff was one of the founding members of the Matthew Good Band, and, as far as I'm concerned, it was never quite the same without him."

"I remember a lot of things when I think of Geoff. Like me, he suffered from extreme mood swings and depression, something that he struggled with throughout his life. But, to be honest, most of the time I just remember how funny and utterly selfless he was."

Kate McGarrigle

Kate McGarrigle
The Canadian Press

Funeral for singer Kate McGarrigle to be held in Montreal today.

Singer Kate McGarrigle's funeral will be held today at the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal.

The 63-year-old musician died at her Montreal home on Jan. 18 after a battle with cancer. McGarrigle's brother-in-law, Dane Lanken, earlier told The Canadian Press he expects singer Emmylou Harris to attend the service.

McGarrigle and her sister Anna became known as the McGarrigle Sisters and began their careers performing at Montreal coffeehouses in the 1960s with a group called the Mountain City Four.

They were perhaps best-known to Canadians for their distinctive rendition of Wade Hemsworth's "The Log Driver's Waltz," which was featured in a 1979 animated short done by the National Film Board.

Kate McGarrigle was invested with the Order of Canada in 1994, while she and Anna received the Governor General's Performing Arts Award in 2004.

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