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Archive for the ‘Producer’ Category

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, Trisha 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 Wynona 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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RIP, Leon Russell (November 13, 2016) 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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Died On This Date (March 8, 2016) George Martin / 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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