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Archive for the ‘International’ Category

Died On This Date (May 21, 2012) Eddie Blazonczyk / The Polka King

Posted by themusicsover on May 21, 2012

Eddie Blazonczyk
July 12, 1941 – May 21, 2012

Known as the Polka King, Eddie Blazonczyk rose to prominence during the 1950s.  He first began playing at Polish festival in and around Chicago as Happy Eddie and his Polka Jesters.  For a time during his early years, he made pop music as Eddie Bell and the Bel-Aires, even performing on American Bandstand.  But in 1962, he returned to polka and formed the Versatones.  He quickly became the biggest name in American polka. In 1963, he founded his own record label, Bel-Aire Records.  Throughout the years, Blazonczyk released over 30 albums, with his 1986 release, Another Polka Celebration earning him a Grammy.  And in 1998, he was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship.  After suffering a stroke, Blazonczyk retired from performing in 2002.  Eddie Blazoczyk was 70 when he passed away on May 21, 2012.

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Died On This Date (April 2, 2012) Jimmy Little / Australian Aboriginal Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on April 2, 2012

Jimmy Little
March 1, 1937 – April 2, 2012

Jimmy Little was a popular Australian aboriginal singer-songwriter who, over a career that spanned some 60 years, became one of the first indigenous musicians to find mainstream success in that country. Influenced by the likes of Nat King Cole, Jim Reeves, and Johnny Mathis, Little’s repertoire seemed to know no bounds. He was equally at home whether he was performing folk, country, or even reggae.  Although he released no fewer than 30 albums since he was first signed to a Regal Zonophone Records in 1956, his most popular proved to be 1999’s Messenger, which reached #26 on the Australian albums chart.  A tireless supporter of education for indigenous children, Little spent many hours teaching and mentoring.  He also started the Jimmy Little Foundation to promote good health and diet for the indigenous.  In 2004, the Australian people voted him a National Living Treasure, and in 2010, the APRA Awards recognized him for Outstanding Services To Australian Music.  Jimmy Little was 75 when he died of various health conditions on April 2, 2012.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin at 2+ Printing for the assist.

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Died On This Date (January 9, 2012) Bridie Gallagher / Popular Irish Balladeer

Posted by themusicsover on January 9, 2012

Bridie Gallagher
September 7, 1924 – January 9, 2011

Bridie Gallagher was an influential Irish singer who, over a career that spanned more than 50 years became known as one of the nation’s must important female vocalists.  Known as “The Girl From Donegal,” Gallagher became Ireland’s first international pop star thanks to such records as 1956’s  “A Mother’s Love’s A Blessing.”  That was followed by another popular single, “The Boys From County Armagh” from her successful debut album,  The Girl From Donegal.  Before she knew it, Gallagher was playing to sell-out crowds at the Royal Albert Hall, Carnegie Hall, and the Sydney Opera House.   She went on to sell millions of records and perform the world over until her retirement in 2000.  Bridie Gallagher passed away in hour Belfast home on July 9, 2011.  She was 87.

Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.

What You Should Own

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The Heart Of Donegal - Bridie Gallagher

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Died On This Date (January 9, 2012) Ruth Fernandez / Pioneering Puerto Rican Singer

Posted by themusicsover on January 9, 2012

Ruth Fernandez Cortada
May 23, 1919 – January 9, 2012

Once called “The Soul of Puerto Rican Song,” Ruth Fernandez was a popular singer who broke both racial and gender barriers during the 1940s.  After learning to play the piano as a child, Fernandez began performing around her neighborhood in Ponce, and by the time she was 14, she had already formed her first group and was performing for 50 cents a day at local radio stations.  She went on to perform at area nightclubs and casinos with Mingo, a popular bandleader.  In 1941, Fernandez received a recording contract from Columbia Records who released her first hit single, 1941’s “Cuando Vuelvas.”  Before she knew it, she was performing in clubs as far north as New York City.  Fernandez also became a popular performer for soldiers stationed overseas as she traveled to entertain troops of Hispanic descent during WWII and the Korean War.  In 1954, she performed on El Show Libby’s, Puerto Rico’s first-ever televised music program.  Over the course of her career, Fernandez toured the world, and in many places was  the first Latina to do so.  She also appeared in several Spanish-language films.   In 1973, Fernandez was elected to the Senate of Puerto Rico where she served until 1981.  During her tenure, she worked to better conditions for the artistic class.  After retiring during the 2000s, it was revealed that Fernandez was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease.  Ruth Fernandez passed away at the age of 92 on January 9, 2012.


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Died On This Date (January 1, 2012) Yafa Yarkoni / Iconic Israeli Singer

Posted by themusicsover on January 1, 2012

Yafa Yarkoni
December 24, 1925 – January 1, 2012

Known as Israel’s “Songstress of the Wars,” Yafa Yarkoni began to find popularity during the late ’40s.  She earned her nickname thanks to her frequent performances for Israeli troops during wartime.  During Israel’s War of Independence in 1948, Yarkoni joined an Israel Defense Forces singing group with whom she sang “Bab el-Wad,” a song which has become a standard and is sung each year on Israel’s Memorial Day.  Yarkoni’s list of fan favorites also includes “Road To Jerusalem” and “Don’t Say Goodbye, Say I’ll See You.”  She suffered from Alzheimer’s Diseases in later years and made her last television appearance in 2007.  Yafa Yarkoni was 86 when she passed away on January 1, 2012.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin of 2+ Printing for the assist.

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