Saturday, January 06, 2007

Remember Me: Musical Passings of 2006


I kept tabs on deaths in the music world throughout 2006. A partial list of the most notable passings follows. Among them is Johnny Jenkins. He's best known as Otis Redding's guitarist. Jenkins is heard to great effect on this take of "Come To Me" from Remember Me, an astounding collection of previously unreleased material. Appropriately for my purposes here, Otis does his best James Brown impression near the song's conclusion.

Bryan Harvey- House of Freaks
Lou Rawls- vocalist
Barry Cowsill- of the Cowsills 
Lester "Wizard" King- Kansas City bluesman
Bob Feldman- Red House Records founder and owner
Bob Weinstock- founder of Prestige Records 
Wilson Pickett- soul giant 
Janette Carter- of the Carter Family 
Gene McFadden- Philly soul artist, "Ain't No Stoppin' Us Now" 
Sherman Ferguson- jazz drummer, of Catalyst 
Thomas "Pig Champion"- of Poison Idea

Milt Abel- Kansas City jazz bassist
Dan Conn- Kansas City music retailer 
Christopher D. Riley, aka 747- Kansas City-area rap artist
J Dilla- hip hop producer
Elton Dean- British saxophonist, of Soft Machine 
Ray Barretto- Latin jazz and salsa giant 
Bill Cowsill- of the Cowsills 
Professor X- of X-Clan 
Jesse Taylor- guitarist for Joe Ely

Cindy Walker- country songwriter 
Buck Owens- country legend 
Roccio Durcal- actress and singer popular as Mexican ranchero singer 
Nikki Sudden- of the Swell Maps
Pete Wells- Rose Tattoo guitarist
Jackie McLean- jazz saxophonist 

Buddy Blue- Beat Farmers founder 
Gene Pitney- rock'n'roll and country vocalist 
Proof- of D12
June Pointer- of the Pointer Sisters 

Rosalita Fernandez- San Antonio's first lady of song 
Grant McLennan- of the Go-Betweens 
John Hicks- jazz pianist
Johnnie Wilder, Jr.- lead singer of Heatwave
Freddie Garrity- Freddie and the Dreamers singer 
Billy Walker- star of the Grand Ole Opry
Rimitti- Algerian Rai singer
Hamza El Din- Nubian oud player

Vince Welnick- of the Tubes and Grateful Dead
Billy Preston- soul, funk and rock star
Hilton Ruiz- jazz pianist
Charles Smith- founder and guitarist of Earth, Wind & Fire 
Arif Mardin- Atlantic Records producer 
Johnny Jenkins- guitarist for Otis Redding 

Syd Barrett- of Pink Floyd 
Michael O 'Domhnaill- of Nightnoise and the Bothy Band
Bill Miller- Frank Sinatra's pianist 
Floyd Dixon- blues man 
Rufus Harley- jazz bagpiper 
Jesse Mae Hemphill- blues guitarist 

Arthur Lee- of Love 
Duke Jordan- jazz pianist 
Barbara George- New Orleans singer, "I Know (You Don't Love Me No More)" 
Mike Douglas- television talk show host and crooner 
Joseph Hill- of reggae band Culture 
Bruce Gary- drummer for the Knack 
David Schnauffer- mountain dulcimer 
Maynard Ferguson- jazz trumpeter 
Gregory Hickman-Williams- Kansas City jazz vocalist 
Ron Rooks- owner of Kansas City's Music Exchange 
Jumpin' Gene Simmons- rockabilly singer, Hi and Sun labels 
Pip Pyle- drummer for Gong, Hatfield and the North, National Health 

Dewey Redman- jazz saxophonist  
Bennie Smith- St. Louis blues guitarist
Al Casey- session guitarist for the likes of Nancy Sinatra, Beach Boys, etc.
Danny Flores- of the Champs' "Tequila" fame 
Don Walser- the yodelling "Pavarotti of the Plains" 
Etta Baker- Piedmont guitarist 
Henry Townsend- St. Louis bluesman 
Jamie Lyons- vocalist for Music Explosion, "Little Bit O' Soul" 
Raymond "Boz" Burrell- of Bad Company and King Crimson 

Freddy Fender- rock, country and Latin star 
Sandi West- drummer from the Runaways 
Lebo Mathosa- South African pop star 
Rogerio Duprat- Brazilian Tropicalia arranger for Gilberto Gil, Oz Mutantes 
Marijohn Wilkin- cowriter of "Long Black Veil," wrote "Cut Across Shorty"
Ian Rilen- of Rose Tattoo and (Australian) X 

Paul Mauriat- French conductor
Ruth Brown- R&B legend
Gerald Levert- R&B singer
Art Jackson- Kansas City jazz saxophonist in The Scamps 
Robert Jr. Lockwood- blues man 
Anita O'Day- jazz vocalist 
H-Bomb Ferguson- eccentric blues shouter 

Mariska Veres- Shocking Blue singer, "Venus" 
Jay McShann- jazz and blues innovator 
Freddie Marsden- drummer for Gerry & The Pacemakers
Kenny Davern- jazz clarinetist 
Homesick James- blues man 
Ahmet Ertegun- Atlantic Records executive 
Braghuina- Brazilian composer
James Brown- icon
Martha Tilton- big band vocalist
Russ Long- Kansas City jazz pianist and composer


moose & squirrel said...

I'd like to add Freddie Marsden to the December listing:


Happy In Bag said...

Done. Thanks, M&S.

moose & squirrel said...

I have another one for December now:

Martha Tilton

Big Band singer "Liltin'" Martha Tilton, perhaps best-known for "And the Angels Sing" with Benny Goodman and the World War II ballad "I'll Walk Alone," has died. She was 91.

Tilton died of natural causes Friday at her Brentwood home, her granddaughter Maura Smith said.

Tilton joined the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra in 1935, but she didn't make her first recording until 1937 when she joined Goodman and remained with him until 1939 when she left in a shake-up after the departure of Harry James.

While with Goodman, she performed in a famous swing concert at Carnegie Hall in 1938.

Tilton worked with Artie Shaw briefly before joining the Billy Mills Orchestra on the "Fibber McGee and Molly" radio show in 1941. She also was the host of her own NBC radio show "Liltin' Martha Tilton Time."

She then became a solo artist. Besides "I'll Walk Alone" in 1944, her biggest hits were "I Should Care" and "A Stranger in Town" in 1945 and "How Are Things in Glocca Morra?" from "Finian's Rainbow,""That's My Desire" and "I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder" in 1947.

Tilton also appeared in several motion pictures, including "The Benny Goodman Story," playing herself opposite Steve Allen's Goodman, "Strictly in the Groove,""You'll Never Get Rich,""Irene,""Topper,""Crime, Inc." and "Swing Hostess."

"To me, she was so unique because she didn't reinterpret the song that the composers gave her; she sang it straight, without her own styling or imprint on it," Chuck Cecil, longtime host of the Los Angeles-area radio show "The Swingin' Years," told the Los Angeles Times on Monday.

"So many of them become song stylists and they sort of reinterpret the song, but she sang it with clarity and with charm — and very successfully," Cecil said. "I'd say one of the definitive records of the swing era was the song `And the Angels Sing.'"

Born Nov. 14, 1915, in Corpus Christi, Texas, Tilton lived in Texas and Kansas before her family moved to Los Angeles when she was 7. While attending Fairfax High School, she began singing on a small radio station where she was heard by a talent agent who got her jobs on larger stations.

Tilton's younger sister, Liz, who also became a Big Band singer, died in 2003.

Besides her granddaughter, Tilton is survived by husband Jim Brooks; daughter Cathy Smith; son Jon Vannerson; and four other grandchildren.

A private funeral was planned.

Happy In Bag said...

What a life! Thanks again, M&S.