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RIP, David Cassidy (November 21, 2017) Former Teen Idol

Posted by themusicsover on November 21, 2017

David Cassidy
April 12, 1950 – November 21, 2017

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David Cassidy, who became one of the biggest teen idols of the ’70s passed away after being hospitalized with kidney and liver failure.  He was 67. Born into a show business family – his father was actor and singer Jack Cassidy, his mother, actress, Evelyn Ward – Cassidy began his career as a stage actor.  He made his Broadway debut when he was just 18.  At 20, he was offered the superstar-making role of Keith Partridge, on a new television show musical comedy that was loosely based on real life family pop band, the Cowsills.  His stepmother, Shirley Jones who his father married after divorcing Cassidy’s mother, played his mother on the show.  The program was hugely popular, and Cassidy – who played the band’s front man, quickly became a teen idol around the world. During the course of the show, the Partridge Family released eight studio albums and several compilations and singles. Cassidy and Jones, backed by session players, were the only cast members on those recordings.  Their single, “I Think I Love You,” reached number one on the Billboard Singles Chart in August of 1970.  What followed for Cassidy were countless magazine covers, concerts in front of 30,000+ screaming fans, and television appearances across every network.  His solo albums during the mid- to late-70s even outsold those by the Partridge Family.  Unfortunately for Cassidy, he wanted to be seen as a true rock star in the vein of Mick Jagger, but his adoring fans wouldn’t let him escape his bubble-gum teen idol image.   While the hysteria eventually died off, Cassidy continued to record, perform live, and act in one form or another for the rest of his life.  In his final years, he continued to endear himself to his most loyal fans, by adding question and answer segments at the end of his concerts.

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RIP, Malcolm Young (November 18, 2017) AC/DC Founder & Rhythm Guitarist

Posted by themusicsover on November 18, 2017

Malcolm Young
January 6, 1953 – November 18, 2017

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Malcolm Young, the co-founding guitarist for legendary hard rock band, AC/DC passed away with his family by his side after a long battle with dementia.  Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Young moved with his family to Australia when he was 10 years old.  At 20, he formed AC/DC, which would go on to include his brother Angus Young on lead guitar, and Bon Scott on lead vocals. There were several line-up changes through the years, including the hiring of Brian Johnson on lead vocals after Scott passed away in 1980.  With early Bon Scott fronted albums like T.N.T., Powerage, and Highway to Hell, the band began to build a huge following around the world due in large part to the bigger-than-live sound and image largely conceived by Malcolm.  Their first album with Johnson, 1980’s Back in Black, sent the band’s popularity into the stratosphere. That album alone has sold over 50 million copies while their entire catalog sits at over 200 million in sales.  They are one of the highest-selling bands of all time.

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RIP, Tom Petty (October 2, 2017) American Rock Great

Posted by themusicsover on October 2, 2017

Tom Petty
October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017

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Tom Petty, the iconic American singer, guitarist, songwriter and producer passed away peacefully following a massive heart attack he had suffered earlier in the day.  He was 66.  Born in Gainesville, Florida, Petty, like many kids his age, had their first rock and roll moment after witnessing Elvis Presley. But unlike other future rock stars, it wasn’t The King’s appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show that changed his life forever – it was a more personal encounter.  Turns out Petty’s uncle was working on the Presley film, Follow That Dream that was filming nearby, and he invited the 10-year-old down to the shoot. Petty was able to watch Presley up close and in person doing what he did best, albeit in an entirely different arena. He soon traded his slingshot to a buddy for some Elvis 45s, and he was on his way.  Petty’s first band of note – that would reform for kicks in 2007 – was Mudcrutch, which he put together in 1970. Six years later, they morphed into Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. During the next several years, they released a series of hit singles and albums that appealed equally to the fans of the current “heartland rock” movement led by Bob Seger and Bruce Springsteen, and the punk and new wave movements which were grabbing hold on the east and west coasts, as well as in the UK.  Over the next four decades, Petty, both with the Heartbreakers and solo, sold upwards of 80 million albums, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.  Throughout his career, Petty collaborated with many of the biggest names in music, perhaps most famously, Bob Dylan, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison, and George Harrison as the Traveling Wilburys.  This “supergroup” recorded two well-received albums together, 1988’s Vol. 1 and 1990’s Vol. 3.  Others of note with whom Petty had memorable collaborations with were Stevie Nicks, Johnny Cash, Dwight Twilley, and Del Shannon, whose career he revived in 1982 with the album, Drop Down and Get Me.  In 2002, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while November, 2015 saw the much-lauded release of the best-seller, Petty: The Biography, by Warren Zanes.  Around that time he partnered with SiriusXM on Tom Petty Radio, a channel devoted entirely to his music and the music he loved. By all accounts, he was very hands-on with it, making sure the content would be loved by his fans. On Monday, September 25th, 2017, the band played their last of three spirited shows at the Hollywood Bowl in their adopted hometown of Los Angeles, to cap off the hugely successful 40th Anniversary Tour – their longest in 15 years. One week later, Top Petty was gone.

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RIP, Charles Bradley (September 23, 2017) American Soul Singer

Posted by themusicsover on September 23, 2017

Charles Bradley
November 5, 1948 – September 23, 2017

2011. Photo by Vince Hans

Charles Bradley, the revered soul singer who found success late in life, died after a his battle with stomach cancer at the age of 68.  Born in Gainesville, Florida, Bradley moved to New York City at the age of eight to live with his mother who had left him with his grandmother when he was a toddler. In 1962, his sister took the young teen to James Brown’s legendary show at the Apollo Theater, and like many kids who saw the Godfather of Soul perform, Bradley immediately took to practicing Brown’s songs and dance moves.  When he was 14, he ran away from home to escape his family’s life of poverty. He spent the first couple of years living on the streets until he found Job Corps who taught him to cook and help him find a job.  The next 25 years or so found Bradley working as a chef mostly along the west coast and into Canada while playing small club gigs along the way.  Bradley moved back to New York to be with his mother in 1996, and finally started making some decent money impersonating James Brown under the stage name, Black Velvet.  It was during one of these shows that he was discovered by up-and-coming soul revival label, Daptone Records.  After releasing a series of 7″ singles by him, Daptone put out Bradley’s debut album, No Time For Dreaming, in  2011. Two more albums followed, including 2016’s Changes, which included his staggering cover of the Black Sabbath song of the same name.  In 2012, the documentary, Soul of America, which told his story and included live performances, was released to critical acclaim.  Label mate and soul great, Sharon Jones lost her battle with cancer on November 18, 2016.

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RIP, Mark Selby (September 18, 2017) Blues Rock Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on September 18, 2017

Mark  Selby
September 2, 1961 – September 18, 2017

Photo by Roger Pistole. Courtesy of Moraine Music Group

Mark Otis Selby, who made a big mark on music with a string of hits he co-wrote with Kenny Wayne Shepherd and with his own wife, Tia Sillers, passed away at home on Monday, September 18, 2017 from cancer. The Nashville-based recording artist, songwriter, session guitar player and producer released albums on Vanguard Records and his songs have been recorded by a wide array of artists. With Shepherd, his co-writes include “Deja Voodoo,” “Slow Ride,” “Last Goodbye,” and “Blue on Black,” which was #1 for 17 weeks and Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Song of the Year. He also wrote the Dixie Chicks’ first Number One single “There’s Your Trouble” and had his songs recorded by many other artists including Wynonna, Little Big TownTrisha Yearwood, Johnny Reid, Jo Dee Messina, Lee Roy Parnell and Keb’ Mo’. A highly-regarded session player, Selby played on recordings by the likes of Kenny Rogers and Wynonna Judd. Born and raised in Oklahoma, Selby spent his youth harvesting wheat and playing in bands throughout the Midwest before moving to Hays, Kansas to attend Fort Hays University where he earned a bachelor’s degree in music. Selby was inducted into the Kansas Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

A memorial service will be announced at a later date.   In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to MusicCares in memory of Mark. grammy.com/musicares/donations

 

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