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Archive for the ‘Composer’ Category

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 »

Died On This Date (February 4, 2016) Maurice White / 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.

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

Died On This Date (February 21, 2015) Clark Terry / American Jazz Great

Posted by themusicsover on February 21, 2015

Clark Terry
December 14, 1920 – February 21, 2015

clark-terryClark Terry was an American jazz trumpeter who is widely considered one of the most influential and popular jazz musicians of his time.  Terry launched his career during the early ’40s, just in time to serve in the US Navy Band during World War II.  After his discharge, Terry went on to perform with Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and later, Quincy Jones, among others, as well as leading his own bands. As one of the most recorded artists jazz music has ever known, Terry appeared on nearly 1000 known recordings.  Throughout his career, he wrote over 200 jazz songs, performed for seven US Presidents, and put on several jazz festivals and jazz camps.  In 1991 he was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award, and in 2010, he became one of only five trumpet players to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.  A lifetime student of jazz as well as a respected educator, Clark held sixteen honorary doctorates.  He was even knighted in Germany.  Clark Terry was 94 when he passed away on February 21, 2015.

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Died On This Date (August 6, 2012) Marvin Hamlisch / American Composer

Posted by themusicsover on August 6, 2012

Marvin Hamlisch
June 2, 1944 – August 6, 2012

Marvin Hamlisch was a New York City born composer who is one of just two people (the other being Richard Rodgers) to have won an Emmy, an Oscar, a Tony, a Grammy, and a Pulitzer Prize.  His total count was four Emmys, three Oscars, one Tony, four Grammys, one Pulitzer Prize, plus two Golden Globes.  A child prodigy, Hamlisch was just seven when he was accepted to Julliard’s pre-college division.  Years later, his first job was as Barbra Streisand’s rehearsal pianist for Funny Girl.   His movie score credits include The Way We Were, The Sting, Ordinary People, The Spy Who Loved Me, and Sophie’s Choice.   For Broadway, he composed the award-winning score for A Chorus Line among others.  A songwriter as well, Hamlisch wrote hits for Lesley Gore and Carly Simon.   Marvin Hamlisch was 68 when, on August 6, 2012,  he died following a brief illness. Cause of death was not immediately released.

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The Sting (25th Anniversary Edition) [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] - Marvin Hamlisch

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Died On This Date (January 26, 2012) Clare Fischer / Legendary Arranger, Composer & Jazz Musician

Posted by themusicsover on January 26, 2012

Clare Fischer
October 22, 1928 – January 26, 2012

Clare Fischer was a pianist, composer and arranger who, besides having his own respectable career as a musician, arranged music for some of pop music’s biggest stars.  Fischer was still a child when he first started making music, and after graduating from college and serving in the Army, he pursued a career in music.  During the late ’50s, he took on his first gig of note as the pianist and arranger for popular vocal quartet, the Hi-Los.  It was his work with the group that helped establish them as a major influence on the likes of the Manhattan Transfer, Brian Wilson, and Quincy Jones.  It was around that time that he also arranged music for jazz greats Cal Tjader, Donald Byrd, and George Shearing among others.  Fischer began recording his own albums in 1962.  His output includes First Time Out, Surging Ahead, and Clare Fischer & Salsa Picante Present 2+2 , for which he won a Grammy.  Throughout his career, he was recognized with 11 Grammy nominations and two wins.   In 1985, Fischer began writing arrangements for Prince.  Albums on which they collaborated include Under A Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge.  Other artists he arranged for include Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, and Robert Palmer.  On January 26, 2012, Clare Fischer died as a result of a heart attack he suffered some three weeks prior.  He was 83.

Thanks to Ken McCullagh for the assist.

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Clare Fischer

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