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but the songs live on forever

RIP, Prince (April 21, 2016) Genius

Posted by themusicsover on April 21, 2016

Prince Rogers Nelson
June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016

Photo by David Plastik - Click To Order Quality Prints - Discount code: 10OFF

Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

Prince was his given name, and that’s all he needed to become one of the most well-known, influential, innovative and gifted musicians, songwriters, singers, producers, and performers pop music has ever known.  Born and raised in the Minneapolis area, Prince would eventually come to represent what was known as the Minneapolis sound – a marriage of funk, rock, synth pop, new wave, and dance.  He released his first album, For You, in 1978 and what followed was an astonishing run of 39 albums over the course of 35 years.  Some double, and even triple, albums.  But it was 1984’s soundtrack to his film, Purple Rain, that first sent Prince into the stratosphere. It was his first album to top the Billboard album charts and went on to sell a staggering 13 million in the US alone. Purple Rain is often regarded as one of the top five greatest albums ever made – of any genre.  He was far from done though, as he went on to be recognized with 32 Grammy nominations, winning seven throughout his career.  In  all, Prince scored four #1 albums in the US, and an additional 12 landed in the Top 10.  As a performer, there were very few who could match him when it came to captivating his audiences.  That was put on international display when he did the Super Bowl Halftime show in 2007.  As torrential rains hammered the stage like no other time in Super Bowl history, Prince took the storm and made it his stage prop to gloriously add an exclamation point to his final song, “Purple Rain.”  Rumor has it that when the show’s director asked out of concern what they should do to protect him, the band, and the dancers from being electrocuted, Prince replied, “can you make it rain harder?”   Since 2014, Prince released four new albums, and legend has it that he has enough finished material in his vault to keep releases coming for years if not decades to come.  Whether they will ever see the light of day is debatable.  On April 21, 2016, Prince was found unconscious in an elevator within his studio complex, Paisley Park.  Attempts to revive him failed and he was pronounced dead on the scene.  He was just 57.  Cause of death was not immediately known, but foul play or suicide were not initially suspected.

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Posted in Funk, Gospel, Musician, Pop, R&B, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: | 1 Comment »

RIP, Merle Haggard (April 6, 2016) Country Music Icon

Posted by themusicsover on April 6, 2016

Merle Haggard
April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016

Merle-HaggardMerle Haggard was a country music legend who, along with Buck Owens, created the blueprint for what would become known as the “Bakersfield Sound,” a reaction to the slickly produced pop leaning country records that were coming out of Nashville at the time. Developed in local honky-tonks, the sound was built around the foundation of traditional country, the twang of a Telecaster, and the rough edge of vocals like Haggard’s.  Haggard also came to represent all that became “outlaw country.”  Songs like “Skid Row,” “They’re Tearing the Labor Camps Down,” “Okie From Muskogee,” “The Bottle Let Me Down,” “The Fightin’ Side of Me,” and “White Line Fever” found a huge audience with fans who could personally identify with the lyrics.  Over the course of a career that spanned five decades, Haggard scored nearly 40 #1 hit singles, a combined total of 25 ACM and CMA awards, three Grammys, and numerous other accolades.  His most recent album, 2015’s Django & Jimmie, with Willie Nelson, hit #1 on the Country charts and #7 on the Top 200. Not bad for an album that was recorded in just three days.  Merle Haggard passed away on April 6, 2016, his 79th birthday.  Cause of death was not immediately released although he had been battling pneumonia.

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RIP, Patty Duke (March 29, 2016) American Actress & Pop Singer

Posted by themusicsover on March 29, 2016

Anna Marie “Patty” Duke 
December 14, 1946 – March 29, 2016

Patty-DukePatty Duke was an American stage, film and TV star who is perhaps best remembered for her leading role in the 1960s sitcom, The Patty Duke Show, which originally ran for three seasons on ABC.   Prior to that, she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her work in The Miracle Worker.  At the age of 16, she was, at the time, the youngest to do so.  Duke was also a successful recording artist who performed on television numerous times and released six albums.  Her hits included, “Don’t Just Stand There” (which reached #8 on the pop charts), “Say Something Funny” (#22), and “Donna Donna.”  Patty Duke was 69 when she passed away on March 29, 2016. Cause of death was attributed to sepsis from a ruptured intestine.

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Posted in Pop, Singer | Tagged: | 2 Comments »

RIP, George Martin (March 8, 2016) Legendary Beatles Producer

Posted by themusicsover on March 8, 2016

George Martin
January 3, 1926 – March 8, 2016

george-martinGeorge Martin was a classically trained musician, record producer, and talent scout who most famously took a chance on the Beatles after they had been turned down by most other British record labels at the time.  What followed was a collaboration that changed not only the musical landscape of the era, but also what would become popular music and pop culture for decades to come.  With Martin as producer (and so much more) on the Beatles’ original albums, they scored 30 #1 singles in the UK and 23 in the US – and millions in sales, of course. Of the list of Beatles collaborators who were referred to as “the Fifth Beatle,” it was Martin who actually deserved the title.  That alone on a person’s resume is enough to cruise through the rest of his or her life, but not Martin.  Over the next six decades, he had a big hand in the success of the likes of Elton John, Dire Straits, Cheap Trick, ELO, and Celine Dion, to name a few.  Martin also worked extensively in film, either arranging, scoring or producing. Two of the most famous songs he produced for films were Shirley Bassey‘s “Goldfinger” for Paul McCartney‘s “Live and Let Die” from the James Bond movies of the same name.  He’s been recognized with six Grammys, an Academy Award, and countless other accolades.  George Martin was 90 when he died in his sleep on March 8, 2016.

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Posted in Composer, Early Rock, Easy Listening, Engineer, Musician, Pop, Producer, Rock | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

RIP, Maurice White (February 4, 2016) Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire

Posted by themusicsover on February 4, 2016

Maurice White
December 19, 1941 – February 4, 2016

Maurice-WhiteMaurice White was the founder and co-lead singer of the highly influential R&B band, Earth, Wind & Fire.  Formed in Chicago in 1969, the band went on to sell over 100 million albums, making them one of the most successful bands of the 20th century.  For over four decades, the group dazzled audiences around the world thanks in part to their dynamic horn section and energetic live shows.  White was born in Memphis, Tennessee and gravitated toward music at an early age along with childhood friend, Booker T Jones.  As a teenager, White moved to Chicago where he found work as a session drummer for the legendary label, Chess Records.  He played on numerous records by the likes of Etta James, Muddy Waters, the Impressions, and Buddy Guy.   In 1966, he joined Ramsey Lewis Trio with whom he recorded nine albums and received his first Grammy for the single, “Hold It Right There.”  Three years later, he formed Earth, Wind & Fire and went on to produce most of the their albums.  In all, the group earned six Grammys along with countless other awards and accolades.  During the ’80s, White was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Due to that, he ultimately retired from touring in 1994, but continued to oversee the band’s business side while producing their records and those by others.   His most notable successes outside of Earth, Wind & Fire were releases by the Emotions and Deniece Williams.   The stunning list of other collaborators includes Barbra Streisand, Weather Report, Neil Diamond, and Minnie Riperton.  Maurice White was 74 when he passed away on February 4, 2016.  Cause of death was not immediately released but likely attributed to his long battle with Parkinson’s.

What You Should Own

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Posted in Composer, Disco, Funk, Musician, Pop, Producer, R&B, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »