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Posts Tagged ‘Bo Diddley’

Died On This Date (November 1, 2013) Bobby Parker / American Blues Guitar Legend

Posted by themusicsover on November 1, 2013

Bobby Parker
August 31, 1937 – November 1, 2013

bobby-parkerBobby Parker was an American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter who counted no less than Led Zeppelin and the Beatles as his disciples.  His biggest hit, 1961’s “Watch Your Step,” was covered by Santana, Manfred Mann and the Spencer Davis Group, while its primary lick was borrowed by the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers, Deep Purple and countless more. John Lennon called “Watch Your Step” one of his favorite records of all time.  Born in Louisiana but raised in Los Angeles, California, Parker picked up the guitar at a young age.  During his early professional years, he played for the likes of Bo Diddley, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and the Everly Brothers.  He later toured with Check Berry and Little Richard among others. He settled in Washington, DC during the ’60s and continued to record and perform over the next four decades.  Bobby Parker was 76 when he passed away on November 1, 2013.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus at Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.

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Died On This Date (March 6, 2013) Alvin Lee / Ten Years After

Posted by themusicsover on March 6, 2013

Alvin Lee (Born Graham Barnes)
December 19, 1944 – March 6, 2013


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Alvin Lee was an English rock musician who is best remembered as founder and lead singer of the influential blues rock band, Ten Years After.  Considered one of rock’s greatest guitarists, Lee began playing at age 13.  In 1962, he formed his first band, the Jaybirds, who haunted the same Hamburg clubs that had recently hosted the pre-fame Beatles.  By the late ’60s, the Jaybirds morphed into Ten Years After who quickly built a sizable following throughout Europe and scored a record deal with Deram Records.  Finding their way to the San Francisco airwaves, songs from their self-titled debut caught the ear of Bill Graham who invited them to tour the US in 1968.  The following year, they played the Woodstock Festival and appeared in the iconic film documentary of the event.  Soon, the band found themselves playing arenas and stadiums all over the world, and Lee’s remarkable talent as a guitarist could not be denied.  After recording 10 albums with the group, Lee decided to move on in 1974.  What followed were a series of solo albums and collaborations with the likes of George Harrison, Mylon LFevre, Bo Diddley, and Jerry Lee Lewis.  He reunited with Ten Years After for a couple of albums and tours during the late ’70s.  Lee continued recording and touring until the release of his final album, 2012’s Still On The Road To Freedom.  Alvin Lee died unexpectedly on March 6, 2013.   According to a post on his website, he “unexpectedly passed away early this morning after unforseen complications following a routine surgical procedure.”  He was 68.

Thanks to David Plastik of eRockPhotos for the assist.

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Died On This Date (May 1, 2012) Charles “Skip” Pitts / Prominent Guitarist On “Shaft”

Posted by themusicsover on May 1, 2012

Charles Pitts
April 7, 1947 – May 1, 2012

Charles Pitts was a Memphis guitarist whose style of playing has prompted many sources to include him on the list of the architects of funk and soul guitar. By the time Pitts was just 11 years he had picked up the guitar and was learning on the street corners around his Washington DC neighborhood.  One of his early teachers was none other than neighbor, Bo Diddley, who offered the boy tips on how to play.  His other early sources of inspiration came from the likes of James Brown and Otis Redding who he saw perform at the Howard Theater which sat next door to a hotel his uncle owned.  Pitts eventually became a session player for Stax Records, playing on records and/or performing live with Wilson Pickett, Gene Chandler, the Isley Brothers, and Rufus Thomas, to name s few.  In 1971, Pitts came up with the iconic “wah wah” guitar sound that helped make Isaac Hayes‘ “Theme From Shaft” one of the most iconic songs of all time.  He went on to play with Hayes for nearly 40 years.  In later years, his riffs were been sampled by the Beasite Boys, Eazy-E, Massive Attack, and Dr. Dre.  Charles Pitts died of cancer on May 1, 2012.  He was 65.

Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.


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Died On This Date (January 7, 1964) Cyril Davies / British Blues Musician

Posted by themusicsover on January 7, 2012

Cyril Davies
January 23, 1932 – January 7, 1964

Cyril Davies was one of the pioneers of the British blues movement of the 1960s.  He began his career during the ’50s when he actually played the banjo in an acoustic skiffle group.  He soon switched to the harmonica, eventually becoming Britain’s first Chicago blues style player.  In 1962, he and fellow musician, Alexis Korner, opened the popular Ealing Club.  It was there that they founded Blues Incorporated, a highly influential electric blues band that counted Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker and Charlie Watts as members over the years.   The club became hangout for up-and-coming musicians like Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, Brian Jones and Eric Burden who generally ended up jamming together by the end of the night.   Cyril Davies was 31 when he died on January 7, 1964.  Cause of death was either leukemia, lung cancer or pleurisy, depending upon your source.

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Died On This Date (December 28, 2011) Danny DeGennaro aka Dan Rio / Kingfish

Posted by themusicsover on December 28, 2011

Daniel DeGennaro
DOB Unknown – December 28, 2011

Photo by William Johnson

Danny DeGennaro, who also performed as Dan Rio, was Philadelphia-area singer, songwriter, and guitarist who is perhaps best remembered as a former member of Kingfish, a band which also counted Bob Weir and New Riders of the Purple Sage bassist, Dave Torbert, as members.  Joining the outfit post-Weir in 1979, Rio played guitar and shared vocals until they disbanded following the death of Torbert in 1982.  Rio also performed or recorded with Billy Squier, Bo Diddley and Jorma Kaukonen, Clarence Clemons throughout his career.   In recent years, DeGennaro fronted his own 5-piece blues band, the Danny DeGennaro Band.  On December 28, 2011, Danny DeGennaro, age 56, was shot and killed in his yard in what appeared to have been a robbery.  Police had no suspects in the early weeks following the murder but indicated it likely was not a random attack.


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