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Archive for September, 2009

Died On This Date (September 30, 1977) Mary Ford / Popular ’50s Vocalist, Wife of Les Paul

Posted by themusicsover on September 30, 2009

Mary Ford (Born Iris Summers)
July 7, 1924 – September 30, 1977

Mary Ford was the wife and musical partner of Les Paul.  She sang and played guitar when performing and recording with her famous husband.  They were extremely popular in the early ’50s, scoring sixteen top-10 hits and selling over six million records in 1951 alone.  Ford married Paul in 1949 and the two almost immediately launched a radio show on NBC.  The signed to Capitol records at around the same time and began releasing a string of hits.  Their popularity began to wane in the late ’50s, and the two divorced, thus ending their professional relationship in 1964.   Ford spent the latter years of her life performing occasionally with her sisters and brother.  She died of complications from diabetes on September 30, 1977.  She was 53 years old.

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Les Paul with Mary Ford - The Best of the Capitol Masters: 90th Birthday Edition - Les Paul & Mary Ford

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Died On This Date (September 29, 2009) Greg Ladanyi / Grammy Winning Producer

Posted by themusicsover on September 29, 2009

Greg Ladanyi
1952 – September 29, 2009

greg_ladanyiGreg Ladanyi was an engineer and producer who worked with some of the biggest acts of the ’70s and ’80s.  His talents can be heard on landmark albums by the likes of Fleetwood  Mac, Don Henley, Jackson Browne, the Church, the Cruzados, David Lindley, and Toto.  In 1983, he won a Grammy for Best Engineered Album for Toto IV.  In recent years he was working with Greek singer and actress, Anna Vissi.  On Friday, September 25, 2009, Ladanyi was injured in an accident while on stage with Vissi.  He suffered head injuries that lead to his death on September 29, 2009.  He was 57 years old.

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Died On This Date (September 28, 1991) Miles Davis / Jazz Icon

Posted by themusicsover on September 28, 2009

Miles Davis
May 26, 1926 – September 28, 1991

milesMiles Davis was trumpeter who was one of jazz’s must influential musicians of all times.  Over the course of his career, he helped launch the careers of some of biggest names in jazz by hiring them for his bands.  That list includes John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.  In 19444, Davis moved to New York City right after graduating from high school.  He became an integral part of the be-bop scene there.  He also helped pave the way for other forms of jazz as well, including hard bop, fusion, cool jazz, and free jazz.    In 1959, Davis released A Kind Of Blue, which would go on to be his biggest selling album and a key release of all jazz.  Over the course of his career, Davis was awarded nine Grammys for now classic albums like Bitches Brew, Aura and Sketches of Spain.  Davis suffered from cocaine addiction for many years, and was finally able to kick it in the early ’80s.  That decade proved to be a nice renaissance period for him thanks in part to his associating with more contemporary pop artists like Public Image Ltd., Scritti Politti, and Artists United Against Apartheid.  Miles Davis passed away on September 28, 1991 at the age of 65.  Causes of death was pneumonia, stroke and respiratory failure.

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Kind of Blue - Miles Davis

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Died On This Date (September 28, 2008) Walter Lee / Longtime Capitol Records Promo Man

Posted by themusicsover on September 28, 2009

Walter Lee
September 29, 1942 – September 28, 2008


Photo courtesy of Deborah Lee Germain

Walter Lee, began his career in music as lead guitarist for the Boston-area rock ‘n roll combo, the Uniques, a band who had some local success after releasing two singles.  He was eventually hired by Capitol Records and moved to Detroit where he is credited for bringing Bob Seger to the label.  After a handful albums failed to get Seger noticed outside of the Midwest, Capitol was ready to give up on the artist until Lee persuaded the higher-ups to put out an album that captured Seger in his element, live on stage.  That album was Live Bullet, and it launched Seger into the stratosphere.  The ’80s found Lee running Capitol’s radio promotion department in Hollywood.    His leadership as Vice President and GM at the label contributed to the success of Duran Duran, the Motels, Missing Persons, Iron Maiden, Steve Miller and many more.  After leaving Capitol, Lee lead the promotion team at Morgan Creek Records.  In recent years, he was a partner at Pro Sports Music, a firm that promoted music through sporting events.  Walter Lee died of colon cancer on September 28, 2008.

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Died On This Date (September 28, 1972) Rory Storm / ’60s British Rock Star

Posted by themusicsover on September 28, 2009

Rory Storm (born Alan Caldwell)
September 21, 1939 – September 28, 1972

Rory Storm with Ringo Starr on drums

There was a time when Rory Storm & the Hurricanes were more popular than the Beatles.  Also from Liverpool at the time, Storm and his band offered up a rollicking show mostly covering the popular American early rock ‘n roll and rockabilly, much like the Beatles were doing at the time.  In fact, Storm’s drummer at the time, was Ringo Starr who left him to replace Pete Best in the Beatles.  Although the band were a great live act, generally opening for popular American rockers that came through town, they never were able to parlay that into a recording career.  They made just two singles during their run.  Storm broke up the band in 1967 after original member Ty O’Brien died of complications from appendicitis surgery.  He had collapsed on stage, from the appendicitis.  Storm went on to become a local disc jockey and ski instructor.  In September of 1972, Storm was living back to take care of his mother after his father died.  Battling a chest infection, he took sleeping pills to get a good night’s sleep.  The next morning, both he and his mother were found dead.  It is believed that Storm died of an accidental overdose since there was also alcohol in his system.  It was suggested that Storm’s mother, who also had sleeping pills in her system, may have committed suicide after discovering her son dead.  Rory Storm was 33 when he died.

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Died On This Date (September 27, 1986) Cliff Burton / Metallica

Posted by themusicsover on September 27, 2009

Cliff Burton
February 10, 1962 – September 27, 1986

Cliff 'em All

Cliff Burton was the bassist for thrash metal band, Mettalica from 1982 to 1986.  Burton was still in high school when he formed his first band, EZ-Street.  But it was in 1982 that he would be asked to join the band that would eventually become one of the most successful hard rock bands in history.  Burton was playing for a band called Trauma and their tour brought them to the famed Whiskey club on the Sunset Strip.  In the audience were Metallica’s James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich who were so impressed they asked Burton to join the band and moved to the Bay Area because he didn’t want to relocate to Los Angeles.  Burton played on the band’s first three albums, Kill ‘em All, Ride the Lightning, and their major label debut, Master of Puppets, which is considered by many to be the album that brought thrash metal into the mainstream.  While touring Europe to promote Master of Puppets, the band’s driver lost control of their tour bus, causing it to roll, and thus tossing the sleeping Burton out of a window.   The bus landed on Burton who was crushed to death at the age of 24.

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Ride the Lightning - Metallica

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Died On This Date (September 27, 2003) Paul Burlison / Rockabilly Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on September 27, 2009

Paul Burlison
February 4, 1929 – September 27, 2003

burlisonPaul Burlison was a founding member of The Rock and Roll Trio, a rockabilly band who would heavily influence rock ‘n roll bands for generations to come.  He formed the band with brothers, Dorsey Burnette and Johnny Burnette in the early ’50s, and by 1956, they were in New York City recording for the Coral label.  And although their records were never quite hits, they became popular and thus influential due to many television appearances during their short run.  They appeared on American Bandstand, Ted Mack’s Original Amateur Hour, The Tonight Show and Kraft Music Hall, but despite the remarkable promotional blitz, it never resulted in many record sales.  The band called it quits in 1957 and Burlison all but retired from the music business, only to make a comeback during the rockabilly revival of the ’80s.  It wasn’t until 1997 that Burlison made his first solo album, Train Kept A-Rollin’.  Guests on the album included Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Cesar Rojas, David Hidalgo, Mavis Staples, and the second generation of Burnettes, Rocky Burnette and Billy Burnette.  Paul Burlison died of cancer at the age of 74.

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Died On This Date (September 27, 2008) George “Wydel” Jones / Wrote “Rama Lama Ding Dong”

Posted by themusicsover on September 27, 2009

George “Wydell” Jones
October 5, 1936 – September 27, 2008

wydellGeorge “Wydell” Jones was not only the lead vocalist of doo wop singing group, the Edsels, he wrote their most famous song, “Rama Lama Ding Dong.”  The song, even though recorded in 1957, became a hit for the group in 1961, reaching #21 on the Billboard singles charts.  The popularity of the song landed the Edsels on American Bandstand that same year.  George “Wydell” Jones passed away in his home a week before his 72nd birthday.

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Died On This Date (September 27, 1994) Ken “Dimwit” Montgomery / Four Horsemen, D.O.A.

Posted by themusicsover on September 27, 2009

Ken “Dimwit” Montgomery
1958 – September 27, 1994

3rd from left (D.O.A.)

3rd from left (D.O.A.)

Dimwit was the drummer for Vancouver hardcore punk band, D.O.A. in the late ’70s and early ’80s.  They are often referred to as the founders of hardcore.  In 1989, he helped form the Four Horsemen, a band that had more in common with the Cult and Zodiac Mindwarp than Black Flag or the Exploited.  The Four Horsemen landed a deal with Rick Rubin’s Def American who released their Rubin produced Nobody Said It Was Easy in 1991.   Although the band were poised for greatness, grunge soon hit and the band was left in its wake.  Dimwit died of a heroin overdose on September 27, 1994.

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Bloodied But Unbowed - D.O.A.

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Died On This Date (September 27, 1995) Alison Steele / Pioneering FM Disc Jockey

Posted by themusicsover on September 27, 2009

Alison Steele (Born Ceil Loman)
January 26, 1937 – September 27, 1995

AlisonSteeleAlison Steele was a popular disc jockey at New York’s WNEW, one of the country’s first FM stations to switch to a progressive album-track oriented format during the ’60s.  For many years, Steele hosted the night shift, becoming known as “The Nightbird” to her many fans, most of whom were young male adults attracted to her sexy smoky voice.   Jimi Hendrix’s “Night Bird Flying” was inspired by Steele.  In later years Steele worked as a correspondent for CNN and did numerous voice-overs for television and radio.  Alison Steele was 58 when she died of stomach cancer on September 27, 1995.

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Died On This Date (September 27, 1979) Jimmy McCulloch / Wings

Posted by themusicsover on September 27, 2009

Jimmy McCulloch
June 4, 1953 – September 27, 1979

Jimmy McCulloch was a rock guitarist who played with Thunderclap Newman, Stone the Crows, and most famously, Paul McCartney’s band Wings from 1974 to 1977.  His most celebrated contribution to Wings was his lead guitar work on “Junior’s Farm.”  Jimmy McColluch died of a heroin overdose at the age of 26.

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Wings At the Speed of Sound - Wings

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Died On This Date (September 27, 2009) Beau Velasco / The Death Set

Posted by themusicsover on September 27, 2009

Beau Velasco
August 15, 1978 – September 27, 2009

beauBeau Velasco was the founding drummer for up-and-coming electro-punk band, The Death Set.  Formed in Australia in 2005, the band quickly moved to New York City and then settled in Baltimore where they began to build a following for their aggressive genre-bending music.  In 2008, they signed to hip indie label, Counter Records, who released their debut album, Worldwide to positive reviews.  Beau Valesco died on September 27, 2009.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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Worldwide - The Death Set

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Died On This Date (September 26, 2003) Robert Palmer

Posted by themusicsover on September 26, 2009

Robert Palmer
January 19, 1949 – September 26, 2003

Robert Palmer was a popular English rock and blue-eyed-soul singer who had a much longer and fruitful career than many realize.  He was just 15 when, in 1969, Palmer cut his first records as the lead singer of The Alen Bown Set.  That following year, he formed his own band, Vinegar Joe, with whom he sang and played rhythm guitar.  The group soon signed with Island Records and released three critically acclaimed yet commercially ignored albums before the label signed Palmer to a solo deal.  He began releasing a string of moderately successful albums that featured such radio-friendly tracks as “Some Guys Have All the Luck,” “Bad Case of Loving You,” and “Clues.”  The mid ’80s were particularly kind to Palmer.  He first hooked up with members of Duran Duran to form Power Station who scored two huge hits with “Some Like It Hot” and “Get It On (Bang a Gong),” with Palmer on lead vocals.  He soon followed that with a handful of his own hits, which included “Simply Irresistable,” “I Didn’t Mean to Turn You On,” and “Addicted To Love.”  His catchy dance-rock songs and titillating videos were a perfect match for MTV during its most popular and trend-setting era.  Suddenly, Palmer found himself part of an internationally revered club of superstar pop singers that included the likes of Tina Turner, David Bowie and Rod Stewart.   By design, Palmer’s output during the ’90s was much more eclectic, making it critically lauded, but never matching his commercial success of the ’80s.  Palmer’s final album, 2003’s blues set, Drive, was praised by critics as his most sincere, if not best album he ever released.  Robert Palmer suffered a fatal heart attack on September 26, 2003.  He was 54 years old.

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Died On This Date (September 26, 2008) Bryan Morrison / Managed Pink Floyd, Pretty Things

Posted by themusicsover on September 26, 2009

Bryan Morrison
DOB Unknown - September 26, 2008

Byran Morrison was a music publisher and manager who guided the careers of the Pretty Things and Pink Floyd during their early years.  As a music publisher, he owned the valuable catalogs of Wham, T. Rex, the Bee Gees and the Jam.  In 2006, Morrison was involved in an accident, leaving him in a coma ever since.  On September 26, 2008, Bryan Morrison died due to an apparent infection at the age of 65.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums

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