Posted by themusicsover on April 29, 2012
August 31, 1939 – April 29, 2012
© Jim McCrary / From jimmccrary.com
Jim McCrary was an award-winning photographer whose portfolio includes some of the most iconic rock album covers in history. Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, McCrary was mostly self-taught by the time he enrolled in a college photography program. In 1967, McCrary was hired by A&M Records where he was their chief photographer. Over the next seven years, he took photographs that ended up on the covers of over 300 albums, many of which are some of the famous in rock history. They include Carole King’s Tapestry, the Carpenters’ Now and Then, and Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishmen, to name just a few. The list of other artists he captured lasting images of includes Gram Parsons, Cat Stevens, Lee Michaels, Styx, and Billy Preston. In 1974, McCrary opened his own studio in Hollywood where he worked for the better part of the next 20 years. That was followed by a photography supply store. Jim McCrary was 72 when he died of complications from a chronic nervous system disorder on April 29, 2012.
Thanks to Henk de Bruin at 2+ Printing for the assist.
Posted in Other | Tagged: Billy Preston, Carole King, Cat Stevens, Gram Parsons, Jim McCrary, Joe Cocker, Lee Michaels, Styx, The Carpenters | 1 Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on December 18, 2011
March 15, 1944 – December 18, 2011
Ralph MacDonald was an in-demand percussionist and hit songwriter who could count two of the biggest R&B songs of the ’70s as his own. Growing up in a musical family in Harlem, New York, MacDonald first picked up the steelpan as a youngster. By the time he was 17, he had already played his first big gig at a local Harry Belafonte show. He continued on with Belafonte for the next ten years until parting ways in 1971. MacDonald soon became one of contemporary music’s most in-demand session players, performing on countless R&B, jazz and disco records. The list of those he recorded with includes George Benson, Paul Simon, Jimmy Buffett, Carole King, Average White Band, the Brothers Johnson, Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin, and David Bowie. MacDonald also released several albums under his own name. His song, “Calypso Breakdown” can be heard on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. As a songwriter, MacDonald scored to massive c0-writing hits; “Where Is The Love,” the 1971 hit for Roberta Flack, and “Just The Two Of Us,” the Grammy-winning hit for Bill Withers in 1981. Ralph MacDonald was 67 when he died of lung cancer on December 8, 2011.
Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.
Posted in Jazz, Musician, R&B, Songwriter | Tagged: Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin, Average White Band, Bill Withers, Carole King, David Bowie, George Benson, Harry Belafonte, Jimmy Buffett, Paul Simon, Ralph MacDonald, Roberta Flack, The Brothers Johnson | 1 Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on January 17, 2011
April 17, 1934 -January 17, 2011
Don Kirshner was a music publisher, producer, songwriter-manager, and television host who rightfully earned the nickname, The Man With The Golden Ear. His music career began during the ’50s when he and his partner, Al Nevins, launched Aldon Music, a publishing company that included such future superstar talent as Neil Diamond, Bobby Darin, Carole King, Gerry Goffin, and Neil Sedaka. Kirshner also owned three successful record labels during the early part of his career. In the early ’60s, the creators of a new NBC television program enlisted Kirshner to provide songs for that show. The influential sit-com followed the fictional adventures of an up-and-coming band as it bounced from one loony situation to another while performing catchy pop songs along the way. The show was called The Monkees, and Kirshner brought songs like “I’m A Believer,” “Last Train To Clarksville,” and several others that would become hits that help define the era. He later helped create an animated version of that same concept with The Archies. Then in 1973, Kirshner became a television star in his own right with the launch of Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert. The late night show offered full live performances of songs by current rock stars, making it unique in a time where lip syncing on television was the norm. For many rock music fans in a pre-MTV, pre-youtube era, it was THE only way to enjoy your favorite bands live. Along with being executive producer, Kirshner introduced each act in a monotone manner that was later popularly parodied by Paul Shaffer on Saturday Night Live. The show’s premiere episode included the Rolling Stones and and the series continued at that pace hosting the likes of Alice Cooper, the Allman Brothers Band, Black Sabbath, Aerosmith, Rush, the Eagles, the Ramones, KISS, and Kansas. It quickly became serious competition for other late night programs like The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. The show ran until 1981. Don Kirshner was 76 when he died of heart failure on January 17, 2011.
Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums for the help
Posted in Producer, Publishing, Record Label | Tagged: Alice Cooper, Allman Brothers Band, Bobby Darin, Carole King, Don Kirshner, Gerry Goffin, Kansas, Kiss, Neil Diamond, Neil Sedaka, Paul Shaffer, Rush, The Eagles, The Monkees, The Ramones | 2 Comments »
Posted by themusicsover on December 31, 2010
Michael “Rudy” Guess
February 27, 1953 – December 31, 2010
Rudy Guess was a talented guitarist, producer, and composer who is perhaps best known as the longtime touring guitarist for Carole King. He also helped produce many of King’s studio recordings. As a composer, Guess’ music has been featured on such television shows as Extreme Makeover, Law & Order, and The Practice. Rudy Guess was 57 when he passed away on December 31, 2010. Cause of death was not immediately released.
Thanks To Marc Luzzatto for the help
Posted in Musician, Producer, Singer | Tagged: Carole King, Rudy Guess | 1 Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on April 10, 2010
“Little Eva” Boyd
June 29, 1943 – April 10, 2003
Little Eva got her big break by accident when she began working as a maid and babysitter to earn money as a teenager. As luck would have it, one of her first jobs was babysitting for songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin. Taken by Boyd’s upbeat personality and lively dance moves, they wrote a song called “The Loco-Motion,” which they had her record the demo to send over to its originally intended singer, Dee Dee Sharp. The demo landed on the desk of music impresario Don Kirshner, who liked it just as it was and released it. It shot immediately to the top of the charts in 1962. Boyd was also the inspiration for another Goffin-King penned hit, “He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss).” The song came about after Boyd revealed to them that her boyfriend regularly beat her. When asked why she put up with it, she claimed that him hitting her proved that he really loved her. Boyd’s career fizzled out at around the same time the British Invasion kicked in. She would make a few comebacks over the years, but mostly performing on the Oldies circuit. She passed away in 2003 at the age of 59 from cervical cancer.
What You Should Own
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Posted in R&B, Singer | Tagged: Carole King, Don Kirshner, Gerry Goffin, Little Eva | Leave a Comment »