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Archive for the ‘Disco’ Category

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: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Died On This Date (February 4, 2016) Maurice White / Founder of Earth, Wind & Fire

Died On This Date (July 4, 2013) Bernie Nolan / Actress & Lead Singer Of The Nolans

Posted by themusicsover on July 4, 2013

Bernadette Nolan
October 17, 1960 – July 4, 2013

bernie-nolanBernie Nolan was an Irish actress and singer who fronted the popular all-sister pop group, the Nolans.  Formed initially the Singing Nolans in 1963, the act was made up of the entire Nolan family, including mom and dad and two brothers.  The group had moderate success throughout the UK before the sisters split off as the Nolan Sisters (and eventually the Nolans) in 1974.  After receiving their break on Cliff Richards‘ television show, the group began making regular appearances on several UK programs.  In 1975, they landed the opening slot on Frank Sinatra‘s European tour which was followed by a support gig for Englebert Humperdinck.  The Nolans went on to release a series of disco hits including “I’m in the Mood for Dancing,” Gotta Pull Myself Together,” and “Attention To Me.”  In all, they sold millions of albums including 9 million, in Japan where they found tremendous success.  In the early ’90s, Bernie left the group to concentrate on her acting career.  She built a respectable resume over the next two decades before returning to music in 2004 when she released a charity single, “Macushla” which reached #38 on the UK charts.  She followed that a year later with her first solo album, All By Myself.  In 2010, reports began to surface that Bernie was suffering from breast cancer.  Later that year, she announced that she was cancer free, but by October of 2012, the cancer had returned.  Bernie Nolan ultimately died of the cancer on July 4, 2013.  She was 52.

Thanks to Kim Shepard for the assist.

What You Should Own

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Click to find at amazon.com



Posted in Disco, Pop, Singer | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (May 26, 2013) Clarence Burke, Jr / The Five Stairsteps; Had Hit With “O-o-h Child”

Posted by themusicsover on May 26, 2013

Clarence Burke, Jr.
May 25, 1949 – May 26, 2013

clarence-burke-jrClarence Burke, Jr. was the front man for the legendary soul group, the Five Stairsteps.  Formed by five siblings in 1965, the “First Family of Soul,” as they were known, is perhaps best remembered for their Top 10 single, “O-o-h Child,” which was released in 1970.  Throughout the years, the song has been covered, sampled and used in films and television countless times.  Burke was not only the lead singer of the group, but was also their guitar player, choreographer and primary songwriter.  During the mid ’70s, the Stairsteps, as they were then known, were introduced to the George Harrison by Billy Preston.   Harrison soon signed them to his Dark Horse Records who released their final hit, “From Us To You,” in 1976.  The group soon broke up so Burke formed the Invisible Man’s Band who had a minor disco hit with “All Night Thing” in 1980.  That band split up the following year after which Burke continued on as a solo artist for the remainder of his life.  Clarence Burke Jr. was 64 when he passed away on May 26, 2013.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

Click to find at amazon.com



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Died On This Date (April 13, 2013) Vincent Montana Jr. / Founder Of The Salsoul Orchestra; Member OF MFSB

Posted by themusicsover on April 13, 2013

Vincent Montana Jr.
February 12, 1928 – April 13, 2013

vincent-montana-jrVincent Montana was an American percussionist and band leader who is best remembered as the founder of popular ’70s disco group, the Salsoul Orchestra.  He was also a member of another disco standout band, MFSB.  Both groups, which counted members of each within their folds, released some of the era’s most recognized hits.  MFSB was assembled as the house band for Philadephia’s legendary Sigma Sounds Studios affording Montana the opportunity to play on hits by the O’Jays, the Stylistics, Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes, and many more.  With Salsoul Orchestra, he recorded such disco hits as “Tangerine,” “Salsoul Hustle,” and “Nice ‘N’ Naasty.”  The vast list of others that Montana either played with or produced includes Frankie Avalon , Dusty Springfield, the Delfonics, Johnny Mathis, the Jackson 5, La Belle,  and more recently, the Pet Shop Boys.  Vincent Montana was 85 when he passed away on April 13, 2013.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

Click to find at amazon.com



Posted in Disco, Musician, Producer, R&B | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Died On This Date (April 13, 2013) Vincent Montana Jr. / Founder Of The Salsoul Orchestra; Member OF MFSB

Died On This Date (February 18, 2013) Damon Harris / The Temptations

Posted by themusicsover on February 18, 2013

Damon Harris (Born Otis Harris, Jr.)
July 17, 1950 – February 18, 2013

damon-harrisDamon Harris was a 3-time Grammy Award winning member of the legendary Motown group, the Temptations.  At just 20 years old, Harris was the youngest member of the outfit when he took Eddie Kendrick’s place in 1971.  He had previously sang in a popular Temptations cover band called the Young Tempts who actually scored a minor hit with their version of “I’ve Been Good to You.” It was under the moniker, the Young Vandals however, after Motown filed an injunction over their name.  During his four years with the Temptations, Harris sang on such hits as “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone,” “Masterpiece,” and “Superstar (Remember How You Got Where You Are),” among others.  He also sang lead on “Love Woke Me Up This Morning” from 1972’s All Directions.  After leaving the Temptations in 1975, Harris reformed the Young Tempts, but this time as Impact, who charted with a handful of R&B and disco records through the latter part of the ’70s.  In 1978, he released Silk, the only album under his own name.  Harris retired from music in order to go to college during the ’80s, but by the ’90s he was back fronting a Temptations revival group and briefly touring with a reunited incarnation of the actual group.  During the late ’90s, Harris learned he was suffering from prostate cancer so turned his life’s focus on the fight against the disease by forming The Damon Harris Cancer Foundation.  Damon Harris ultimately died from the cancer on February 19, 2013.  He was 62.  Fellow Temptations Paul Williams, David Ruffin, Ali-Ollie Woodson, and Melvin Franklin have passed away as well.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number 1 Albums for the assist.



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