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Archive for the ‘Producer’ Category

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

Posted by themusicsover on October 2, 2017

Tom Petty
October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017

Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF

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, 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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RIP, Pete Overend Watts (January 22, 2017) Mott The Hoople

Posted by themusicsover on January 22, 2017

Pete Overend Watts
May 13, 1947 – January 22, 2017

Top row center, with Mott the Hoople.

Pete Overend Watts was the founding bassist for British glam rock band, Mott the Hoople. The band, which featured Ian Hunter on lead vocals during their “classic years,” had originated as the Buddies, made a few more name changes,  until finally settling on Mott the Hoople when Hunter joined in 1969.  After failing to find a large audience after the release of four albums, the band was on the verge of disbanding when David Bowie stepped in and convinced them to give it another go with him producing.  The resulting album, All The Young Dudes and the Bowie-penned single of the same name kicked the band into overdrive and helped solidify their place as deities of the glam rock movement of the mid-’70s.  West continued to play in different incarnations of Mott the Hoople through 1981 and then again for two reunions during the 2010s.  He also worked as a producer, most famously for Hanoi Rocks.  Pete Overend Watts died of throat cancer on January 22, 2017.  He was 69.

Thanks to Bruce Kilgour for the assist.

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RIP, Mike Kellie (January 19, 2017) Drummer For Spooky Tooth & The Only Ones

Posted by themusicsover on January 19, 2017

Mike Kellie
March 24, 1947 – January 19, 2017

Photo credit: Joe Vitale

Mike Kellie was an English drummer who found acclaim with, primarily, Spooky Tooth and the Only Ones.  Born in Birmingham, England, Kellie was self-taught and began playing in the St. Michael’s Youth Club band while in his teens. It wasn’t long before he was asked to join Wayne and the Beachcombers, his first “real” band.  In 1967, Spooky Tooth was launched with Kellie on drums. Although it would change line-ups throughout the years, at the time it included Gary Wright, Greg Ridley and Keith Emerson.  The band’s second album, Spooky Two is considered a classic rock staple and spawned their most popular songs, “Waiting For The Wind,” “Evil Woman,” and “Feelin’ Bad.”  In 1976, Kellie joined the Only Ones, an influential power pop/new wave band that was a far cry from the more proggy sounds of Spooky Tooth.  The band released three studio albums for CBS Records. Their most famous record was 1978’s “Another Girl, Another Planet.”  The song has since been heard in numerous movies and commercials, and has been recorded by Blink-182, the Lightning Seeds, and the Replacements to name a few.  Throughout the balance of his career, Kellie was on board for a reunion or two by Spooky Tooth and the Only Ones, while being in demand as a session player.  He can be heard drumming on records by the likes of Johnny Thunders, the Who, Joe Cocker, Peter Frampton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Traffic and George Harrison.  Mike Kellie was 68 when he passed away on January 19, 2017.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.

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Died On This Date (November 13, 2016) Leon Russell / Legendary Musician, Songwriter & Producer

Posted by themusicsover on November 13, 2016

Leon Russell (Born Claude Russell Bridges)
April 2, 1942 – November 13, 2016

Photo by Carl Lender

Photo by Carl Lender

Leon Russell was a celebrated musician, singer, songwriter and producer whose early work as a session player alone was enough to rightfully find him a home in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Add to that his credits as a songwriter, and you have one of the most respected artists we have ever known.  Born in Oklahoma, Russell began playing the piano at just four years old.  By high school, he and schoolmate David Gates, of future Bread fame, had a band together. Over the next couple of years Russell needed a fake ID to play the clubs of Tulsa. And then, at just 16 years old, he headed to Los Angeles to take a crack at becoming a session musician. Russell quickly built a solid reputation and became one of the first people called into the studio or on stage to lend his talents.  The list of artists or their producers that mad that call is staggering – it includes the Byrds, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, the Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand, and the Beach Boys.  And as part of the famed Wrecking Crew of L.A. studio musicians, the list goes on. Russel’s first hit as a songwriter came by way of Joe Cocker‘s 1969 recording of his “Delta Lady.”  As the ’70s dawned, Russell began making his own albums while producing others.  And thanks in part to the success of “Delta Lady,” he became a go-to songwriter for hopeful pop and rock stars.  In 1970, he released his self-titled debut. The album spawned one of his most famous songs, “A Song For You” which has been covered by a diverse list of artists that includes Ray Charles, Zakk Wylde, Andy Williams, Herbie Hancock with Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Willie Nelson, and Amy Winehouse. Russell spent the rest of the ’70s on a seemingly endless recording and touring cycle. He eventually slowed down, but became no less productive and influential.  The next three decades found him working with the likes of New Grass Revival and Bruce Hornsby while releasing several more of his own albums which leaned more bluegrass and country than much of his ’70s output. In 2010, Elton John (who called Russell his biggest influence as a pianist, singer and songwriter) and Bernie Taupin partnered with Russell on The Union, which resulted in a return-to-the-charts for both. The outstanding album, produced by T-Bone Burnett, and credited equally to both John and Taupin, entered the Billboard charts at No. 3, Russell’s highest charting album since 1972 and John’s highest since 1976.  Rolling Stone called it one of the best 30 albums of 2010.  The new-found exposure for Russell found him touring heavily up through the first half of 2016 when a heart attack sidelined him. Not discouraged, plans were being made to hit the road again in 2017.  Unfortunately, while still recovering from the heart attack, Leon Russell died quietly in his sleep on November 14, 2016.  He was 74.

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