Submitted by Cashbox Canada Credit Source: The Guardian and Billboard
In a musical career lasting more than 50 years, Joe Cocker, who has died of lung cancer aged 70, bounced between the euphoria of chart-topping success and the misery of drug and alcohol abuse. In the latter part of his life, the singer had re-established himself as a soulful interpreter of material from a broad range of songwriters.
Cocker’s background and upbringing in Sheffield, where he was born, son of Harold and Marjorie, established his credentials as a ballsy, salt-of-the-earth performer cut from stalwart working-class stock. At first it seemed as if the young Joe was destined for an unglamorous future working as a fitter for the East Midlands Gas Board. As his mother commented: “When Joe left school at 16, I thought he was going to take up gas fitting as a career. I even got him a lot of books on the subject, and he was interested in gas for a time, but there was always the music. He told me he didn’t want a job where he worked for years and years and then got presented with a gold watch at the end.”
One of the finest voices to grace Nashville and country music has passed away from lung cancer at age 53.
Dawn Sears was a member of Nashville's Grammy-nominated western swing group The Time Jumpers, as well as a background singer in Vince Gill's touring band. Mrs. Sears was battling lung cancer and on November 30, she put on a benefit concert in Gallatin, Tennessee for cancer research at Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. The event was headlined by Reba McEntire.
"Every time I turn around somebody I know has cancer of some kind, and I just got tired of hearing it," Mrs. Sears said last month, "This is my way of fighting back."
Dawn was a longtime member of The Time Jumpers and since 1999, has been seen onstage in Nashville with the group nearly every Monday night of the year, starting with a 13-year residency at The Station Inn, then moving to 3rd &Lindsley in 2012.)." Her audiences often included country music notables. Larry Gatlin said he was very impressed the first time he heard Dawn sing "Sweet Memories," with a voice that was "a cross between Patsy Cline and Barbra Streisand and Sarah Vaughan."
She continued to perform until June of 2014, and was still mesmerizing the room with renditions of Hank Cochran's "Don't You Ever Get Tired of Hurting Me" and Vern Gosdin's "If You're Gonna Do Me Wrong (Do It Right)."
Publisher, record producer and singer/songwriter Bob Montgomery has passed away at the age 77. Born in Lampassas,Texas in 1937, Montgomery was the original songwriting partner of Buddy Holly and the second half of the duo Buddy and Bob. Montgomery met Holly while they attended Hutchinson Junior High School in Lubbock, Texas.
Montgomery was the lead singer while Holly sang the harmony parts. They had a weekly Sunday radio show on station KDAV and in 1955, Bill Haley did a concert at the Fair Park Auditorium which also featured Montgomery and Holly.
Montgomery co-wrote some of Holly's songs, such as "Heartbeat", "Wishing", and "Love's Made a Fool of You".
He was instrumental as a publisher in the discovery of some of the great songs while working on Music Row back in the day, when Nashville was a vibrant bustle of creativity. Bob was a big believer in the song being the star; once he had a song he believed in he would walk up and down the Row pushing the song to the folks who made it happen. “Wind Beneath My Wings” was one of the tunes that managed to see the light of day becoming a hit because of Bob Montgomery.
Montgomery also wrote Patsy Cline’s “Back In Baby’s Arms” which his son Kevin recorded on his “True” album. Bob also wrote the classic “Misty Blue”, the Dorothy Moore hit single that was covered by over 200 artists. He also produced all of Bobby Goldsboro’s hits, including the 1968 #1 “Honey”.
Ian McLagan, keyboard player for the Small Faces and the Faces, has died aged 69, due to complications from a stroke suffered earlier this week.
"It is with great sadness and eternal admiration that we report the passing of [a] rock and roll icon," read a statement on his official website. McLagan, known as Mac, played on such memorable Small Faces tracks as Lazy Sunday and Itchycoo Park in the 1960s. The band became the Faces when Rod Stewart and Ron Wood joined in 1969. McLagan went on to record and perform with the Rolling Stones and also worked with Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
The Hounslow-born musician was about to embark on a North American tour, supporting label mate Nick Lowe, at the time of his death in his adopted home town of Austin, Texas.
"I am completely devastated by this shocking news and I know this goes for Ronnie and Rod as well," said Small Faces and Faces member Kenney Jones. Steward added: "I'm absolutely devastated. Ian McLagan embodied the true spirit of the Faces.
"Last night I was at a charity do, Mick Hucknall was singing I'd Rather Go Blind, and Ron Wood texted to say Ian had passed. It was as if his spirit was in the room. I'll miss you mate."
Bobby Keys, saxophone player for the iconic rock ‘n’ roll band The Rolling Stones has passed away after a long illness. The band issued a statement ; "The Rolling Stones are devastated by the loss of their very dear friend and legendary saxophone player, Bobby Keys. Bobby made a unique musical contribution to the band since the 1960’s. He will be greatly missed.”
“I have lost the largest pal in the world and I can't express the sense of sadness I feel, although Bobby would tell me to cheer up," Stones guitarist Keith Richards said in a statement. "My condolences to all that knew him and his love of music.”
Born in Slaton,Texas Buddy was discovered by King Curtis of whom Keys said, "He approached his sax solos differently than your jazz cats – most of 'em were pretty snooty jazzberries who thought rock & roll was just a waste of time. But King Curtis, he played sax the way a guitar plays, like James Burton would play a lead on a song. It was how he played and how he attacked the notes and his phrasing that was different than the normal.” In Lubbock, Keys befriended Buddy Holly, playing with him briefly as a teenager. "I kind of weaseled my way into the perimeter of the garage. He was the first guy I heard play electric guitar and it impressed the hell out of me."
Jimmy Ruffin, the older brother of Temptations' lead singer David Ruffin and was most famous for the 1966 hit, "What Becomes Of the Broken Hearted," died late Monday at a Las Vegas Hospital. According to the Associated Press, he was 78. At press time, no cause of death was known.
For eons, it was believed that Jimmy Lee Ruffin was born on May 5, 1939. Actually, though, he was born May 5, 1936 in Collinsville, Mississippi.
"Jimmy Ruffin was a rare type of man who left his mark on the music industry," said a statement from Philicia Ruffin and the Ruffin family. "My family in its entirety is extremely upset over his death. He will be truly missed. We will treasure the many fond and wonderful memories we all have of him."
"Jimmy was a phenomenal singer," Motown Records founder Barry Gordy told The Detroit News. "He was truly underrated because we were so fortunate to have his brother, David, as the lead singer of the Temptations, who got so much acclaim. 'What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted' was one of the greatest songs put out by Motown and was one of my favorites. Jimmy was a wonderful human being, quiet and unassuming, who touched many lives with his music, not just here in the states, but overseas as well."
Mr. Acker Bilk, whose clarinet helped propel him to world-wide fame with the 1962 instrumental hit, "Stranger On The Shore,"has passed away. He died Sunday (November 2, 2014) in Bath, Somerset, England, after a lengthy illness. He was 85.
According to bbc.com and Wikipedia, Bernard Stanley Bilk was born January 28, 1929 in Pensford, Somerset, England. He changed his name to Acker, which is Somerset slang for "mate," after he learned to play the clarinet in the Army. His last concert was August of last year (2013).
Pamela Sutton, his manager for the past 45 years, said, "He'd been ill for some time. He was my great friend and his music was legendary."
What made Mr. Acker Bilk legendary was one 2:54-long instrumental. "Stranger On The Shore" was named the #1 song of 1962 by one major entertainment publication plus was the biggest selling single in England that year. It was Mr. Bilk's only Top 40 hit although he had at least three other minor chart hits.
Before the advent of rap performers, Mr. Acker Bilk was the answer to a question Casey Kasem would often answer on "American Top 40." Namely, "Have we ever had an act known as a Mister or Miss or Mrs. on the chart?" For many years, the answer was Mr. Acker Bilk and Miss Toni Fisher (of 1959's "The Big Hurt" fame).
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Heaven Band just got a whole lot better as the legendary Jack Bruce leaves this earth and joins his many brothers in the great beyond. And no matter who’s playing bass in that band right now, they will gladly give the lead cord to Jack Bruce who many, including Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters, thought “was probably the most musically gifted bass player who's ever been." Jack was born on 14 May 1943, in Bishopbriggs, Lanarkshire, Scotland and attended 14 different schools as his parents moved around a lot. He started playing the jazz bass while still a teen and studied cello and musical composition at The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama on a scholarship. He gigged with Jim McHarg's Scotsville Jazz Band to make a few pounds but The Academy disapproved of its students playing jazz. "They found out, and said 'you either stop, or leave college.' So I left college.”
In July 1966 Bruce, Eric Clapton and drummer Ginger Baker founded Cream , the original power trio, and they became superstars playing a mixture of blues-rock and jazz influenced rock music. Jack Bruce was the lead singer on most of the tracks in the beginning. Bruce, with his Gibson EB-3 electric bass, became one of the most famous bassists in rock, winning musicians' polls and influencing the next generation of bassists such as Sting, Geddy Lee and Jeff Berlin to name just a few. Bruce co-wrote most of Cream's single releases with lyricist Pete Brown including the hits, "Sunshine of Your Love", "White Room", and "I Feel Free". In 1968, Cream broke up.
John Ford (aka John John) passed away October 8, 2014 in Gibsons, British Columbia. Born July 19, 1940, John leaves behind Myra, his wife of 52 years, and three daughters Leslie (granddaughter Karly), Terry (granddaughters Ella, Mia & Shane) and Jacqueline.
John joined RCA Records in Vancouver on January 1, 1970 as a senior salesman and promotional representative, working his way up the ranks to national sales & promotional manager in Toronto and eventually USA. He is the only RCA Canadian representative to be promoted to RCA Records USA – eventually as Vice-President –based out of New York. He moved back to Canada in 1986, first to Toronto, then Vancouver. John retired in 2005 moving to Gibsons on BC’s Sunshine Coast a few years later.
John was diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer in July of 2014 and on October 8 2014, he passed away at age 74 at the Hospice care facility at Surrey Memorial, with his wife and daughters by his side.
Country music legend George Hamilton IV passed away Wednesday September 17, in Nashville after suffering a heart attack. He was 77 years old.
Hamilton was born in Winston-Salem, North Carolina on July 19, 1937 and while he was a 19-year-old student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill he recorded "A Rose and a Baby Ruth" for Chapel Hill Records. The song was written by John D. Loudermilk, and made it all the way to No. 6 on the country charts. By 1960, "A Rose and a Baby Ruth" went gold for ABC-Paramount who had acquired the song. The self-penned B-side, "If You Don't Know", showed Hamilton's rockabilly side. In late 1959, Hamilton moved his family to Nashville to pursue his dream of being a country musician. In February of 1960, Hamilton officially became a member of the Grand Ole Opry and later that same year, he began recording for RCA Records, having been signed by Chet Atkins.
Hamilton's breakthrough hit was the 1961 song "Before This Day Ends" while his biggest hit came two years later with "Abilene", another song penned by Loudermilk and Bob Gibson. The song spent four weeks at No. 1 on country singles chart and reached the Top 20 of the Hot 100. The success of "Abilene" was followed with the song "Fort Worth, Dallas or Houston" a Top 5 hit in late 1964.
After his American chart success declined in the early 1970s, Hamilton began touring the world, across the Soviet Union Australia, the Middle East and East Asia. These widely acclaimed international performances earned Hamilton the nickname The International Ambassador of Country Music. He also hosted several successful television programs in the UK and Canada during the 1970s, and in the 1990s he played himself in the West End musical Patsy, based on the life of Patsy Cline.
Hamilton was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 2010.