Posted by themusicsover on January 11, 2017
November 24, 1931 – January 11, 2017
Photo by Eric Shaiman
Tommy Allsup was an influential rockabilly and western swing guitarist, but he was also one of the luckiest people in all of popular music. While on tour with Ritchie Valens, Buddy Holly and JP “The Big Bopper” Richardson in February of 1959 – he was in Holly’s band – Allsup was on the “losing” end of the infamous coin toss that gave his seat up to Valens who was killed with the others when the plane crashed. After Holly’s death, Allsup went to work for Liberty Records where he produced records by Willie Nelson and Tex Williams, among others. Although he was most famous for his playing on Holly’s records, Allsup also recorded with the likes of Bob Wills, The Ventures, Kenny Rogers, The Everly Brothers, and Roy Orbison. Tommy Allsup was 85 when he died on January 11, 2017. Cause of death was not immediately released.
Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.
Posted in Country, Musician, Record Label, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Bob Wills, Buddy Holly, Kenny Rogers, Ritchie Valens, Roy Orbison, Tex Williams, The Big Bopper, the Everly Brothers, the ventures, Tommy Allsup, Willie Nelson | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on December 2, 2014
December 18, 1943 – December 2, 2014
Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF
Bobby Keys was one of the greatest saxophone side men the rock world has ever known. Born in Lubbock County, Texas, Keys picked up the saxophone at an early age, and by the time he was 15, he was touring with Bobby Vee and Buddy Holly. Throughout the years, he played on 100s of recordings, along with albums by Lynyrd Skynyrd, George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, the Who, Eric Clapton, and Elvis Presley, to name but a few. But it was with the Rolling Stones that Keys truly made his biggest contributions to popular music. He can be heard on every Stones album between 1969 and 1974, and from 1980 to their most recent. He’s also played on nearly every tour since 1970. His most famous solo is arguably the one he played on “Brown Sugar.” Suffering from Cirrhosis in later years, Bobby Keys passed away in his home on December 2, 2014. He was 70.
Thanks to David Plastik for the assist.
Posted in Musician | Tagged: Bobby Keys, Bobby Vee, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, John Lennon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Rolling Stones, the who | 1 Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on January 13, 2012
1918 – January 13, 2012
Living up to his motto, “Have Percussion, Will Travel,” Phil Kraus is one of the most recorded percussionists in history. Kraus was just 8 years old when he began playing the xylophone, and upon graduation from high school, he was awarded a scholarship to the prestigious Julliard School of Music. After graduating, he was hired by WNEW to play in the studio band. After serving during WWII, Kraus became one of the industry’s most in-demand session players, and he would continue to be as such through the 1970s. He also played in the studio band for numerous television programs. Over the years, he graced recordings by and/or shared the stage with such luminaries as Benny Goodman, Tony Bennett, Ella Fitzgerald, Buddy Holly, Quincy Jones, Billie Holiday and Ray Charles. On May 19, 1962, he was playing in the orchestra at Madison Square Garden when Marilyn Monroe famously sang, “Happy Birthday To You,” to President John F. Kennedy. In later years, Kraus worked with the Houston Symphony and Houston Pops. He also taught percussion at Rice University. Phil Kraus was 93 when he passed away on January 13, 2012.
Thanks to Henk de Bruin for the assist.
Posted in Jazz, Musician | Tagged: Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday, Buddy Holly, Ella Fitzgerald, John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, Phil Kraus, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Tony Bennett | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on March 4, 2011
Johnny Preston (born Johnny Courville)
August 18, 1939 – March 4, 2011
Johnny Preston was a rock ‘n roll pioneer who is perhaps best remembered for is 1960 #1 hit, “Running Bear.” Preston was still in his teens when he and his band caught the attention of JP “The Big Bopper” Richardson at a local club. Richardson was so impressed by the singer, that he gave Preston a tune he had penned to record. That song was “Dancing Bear,” and when they put it to record, it included Richardson and future country icon, George Jones, on backing vocals. The record was a huge hit, reaching #1 on both the U.S. and U.K. charts. Unfortunately, Richardson never saw its success since it was released shortly after he perished in the plane crash that also took the lives of Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens. Preston released a handful of other charting singles over the next couple of years, but none came close to the success of “Dancing Bear.” He did however, continue to perform well into the 2000s and was once recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame as a pioneer of the genre. Johnny Preston died of heart failure on March 4, 2011. He was 71.
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Posted in Country, Musician, Singer | Tagged: Buddy Holly, George Jones, J.P. Richardson, Johnny Preston, Ritchie Valens, The Big Bopper | 2 Comments »
Posted by themusicsover on August 13, 2010
“King Curtis” Ousley
February 7, 1934 – August 13, 1971
King Curtis was a revered tenor saxophonist who, as a session man, played on hits by the likes of the Coasters, Aretha Franklin, and Buddy Holly. His most famous playing can be heard on “Yakety Yak” by the Coasters. He also released several albums on his own before his career was tragically cut short. According to reports, Ousley was carrying an air conditioner up to his New York apartment during a sweltering heat wave. En route, he was met by two men doing drugs who wouldn’t let him pass. In the resulting scuffle, Juan Montanez fatally stabbed Ousley. Sam Moore has claimed that he and Aretha Franklin witnessed the attack as they were arriving to visit Ousley. Franklin and Stevie Wonder each performed at his funeral.
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Posted in Jazz, Musician, Producer, R&B, Songwriter | Tagged: Aretha Franklin, Buddy Holly, Juan Montanez, King Curtis, King Curtis Ousley, Sam Moore, Stevie Wonder, The Coasters | 3 Comments »