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Posts Tagged ‘Chuck Berry’

Died On This Date (October 26, 2011) Reese Palmer / The Marquees

Posted by themusicsover on October 16, 2011

Reese Palmer
DOB Unknown – October 26, 2011

Reese Palmer was an American soul singer who, during the mid 1950s, belonged to a singing group, the D.C. Tones which also counted among its members, Marvin Gaye and Sondra Lattisaw (mother of Stacy Lattisaw).  Gaye soon left the group to join the US Air Force, but upon his return in 1957, he reunited with Palmer to form the Marquees.  Shortly thereafter, the group was discovered by Bo Diddley while they were performing at a local club.  Diddley signed them to Okeh Records for whom they recorded the moderately successful “Wyatt Earp” and “Hey Little Schoolgirl.”  In 1958, the Marquees were hired by Harvey Fuqua to serve as his backing group in the New Moonglows after his original singers quit.  As part of the New Moonglows, Reese sang on records by the likes of Chuck Berry (“Almost Grown” and “Back In The U.S.A.”) and Etta James.  After leaving the New Moonglows in 1960, Reese went on to sing with the Revlons and the Orioles.  In 2001, he resurrected the Marquees with new members.  On October 26, 2011, Reese Palmer passed away following a battle with prostate cancer and bladder cancer.  He was 73.



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Died On This Date (April 13, 2005) Johnnie Johnson / Pianist for Chuck Berry

Posted by themusicsover on April 13, 2010

Johnnie Johnson
July 8, 1924 – April 13, 2005

Johnnie Johnson was a jazz and blues pianist who joined forces with Chuck Berry with whom he spent over twenty years collaborating on such rock ‘n’ roll classics as “Sweet Little Sixteen,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” and “Nadine,” even though he never received song-writing credits or royalties. It has been reported that “Johnnie B. Goode” was actually inspired by Johnson. After his run with Berry, Johnson was all but retired from music and working as a bus driver in St. Louis until he heard the praise being given him by the likes of Keith Richards. That motivated him to get back into music and record his first album in 1987 which lead to him sharing the stage with such luminaries as Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Bo Diddley, and John Lee Hooker, and later hitting the road as part of Bob Weir’s Ratdog. In 1999, writer Travis Fitzpatrick released a biography of Johnson entitled Father of Rock and Roll: The Story of Johnnie B. Goode Johnson. It was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. In 2001, Johnson received his well-deserved place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He passed away in 2005 at the age of 81.

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Johnnie Johnson

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Died On This Date (March 2, 1942) Charlie Christian / Jazz Guitar Great

Posted by themusicsover on March 2, 2010

Charlie Christian
July 29, 1916 – March 2, 1942

charlie

Charlie Christian was an influential jazz guitarist who, with his electric guitar prowess, helped pave the road for cool jazz, bebop, and ultimately, rock ‘n roll.  Christian became a household name, at least in the jazz world, during the swing era and has since been called the greatest improviser of that time.  His influence stretched far beyond jazz, earning him such disciples a  T-Bone Walker, Chuck Berry, Eddie Cochran and Jimi Hendrix.  By doing so, he was named to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as an early influence in 1990.  During the late ’30s, Christian was diagnosed with tuberculosis, causing his health to quickly deteriorate.  Charlie Christian was just 25 when he died of the disease on March 2, 1942.



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Died On This Date (February 7, 1959) Guitar Slim / New Orleans Blues Great

Posted by themusicsover on February 7, 2010

Guitar Slim (Born Eddie Jones)
December 10, 1926 – February 7, 1959

guitar-slimGuitar Slim was a New Orleans blues singer and guitarist whose “The Things That I Used To Do” is considered one of the most important records to the birth of rock ‘n roll.  Slim learned to play the guitar as a child while working the cotton fields of Mississippi.  After serving in the military during WWII, Slim began to build a local following due to his dynamic live shows.  He was one of the first to wear outlandishly colorful outfits while sometimes dying his hair to match.  And he is likely the first to commonly roam through the audience attached to a long guitar chord.  On occasion he’d even walk out the front door of the club and literary stop traffic while playing a solo.  He was also one of the earliest users of distortion in his playing.  In 1954, he released his biggest hit, “That Thing That I Used To Do,” which was later covered by the likes of Stevie Ray Vaughan, Chuck Berry, Jimi Hendrix and Buddy Guy.  Slim’s version was produced and arranged by a young Ray Charles.   Just five years later, Guitar Slim died of pneumonia at the age of 32.

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Sufferin' Mind - Guitar Slim

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Died On This Date (February 5, 2009) Piney Brown / Blues Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on February 5, 2010

Piney Brown
1922 – February 5, 2009

piney-brownPiney Brown was a blues singer and songwriter who was not only known for his dynamic performances but for his skills as a songwriter.  Over the years, his songs have been recorded by the likes of Little Milton and James Brown.  His career spanned the better part of sixty years, and over the course of that time, he shared the stage with such greats as Bo Diddley and Chuck Berry.  He released several singles but never had nothing more than a regional hit or two.  Piney Brown was 87 when he passed away on February 5, 2009.

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Piney Brown

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