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Posts Tagged ‘Diana Ross’

Died On This Date (June 19, 2014) Gerry Goffin / Celebrated Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on June 19, 2014

Gerry Goffin
February 11, 1939 – June 19, 2014

gerry-goffinGerry Goffin was arguably America’s most prolific hit lyricist. During the second half of the 20th century, no fewer than 50 songs that he penned the lyrics for made the Top 40.  Born in Brooklyn, New York, Goffin married Carole King who also happened to be his song writing partner throughout the ’60s. As part of the legendary Brill Building collective, Goffin and King wrote such pop and rock standards as “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Take Good Care Of My Baby,” “The Loco-Motion,” “Go Away Little Girl,” and “Pleasant Valley Sunshine.”  The seemingly endless list of artists who made their songs into hits includes Little Eva,  the Shirelles, the Four Seasons, Bobby Vee, Dion & the Belmonts, Grand Funk Railroad, the Monkees, and Aretha Franklin.  Goffin also had successful writing partnerships with Barry Goldberg, Barry Mann, Michael Masser, and Russ Titelman.  He was nominated for an Academy Award in for his co-write on the theme song to the 1975 film, Mahogany, which was sung by Diana Ross. Goffin also wrote the Whitney Houston hit, “Savin’ All My Love for You.”  He and King were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.  Gerry Goffin was 75 when he died of natural causes on June 19, 2014.

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

Posted in Pop, Rock, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Died On This Date (April 8, 2011) Roger Nichols / Producer & Engineer

Posted by themusicsover on April 8, 2011

Roger Nichols
September 22, 1944 – April 8, 2011

Roger Nichols was a respected producer and recording engineer who over the course of his career, accumulated seven Grammys.  Most closely associated with Steely Dan, Nichols also worked with the likes of John Denver, the Beach Boys, James Taylor, Stevie Wonder, Frank Zappa, and Diana Ross, to name just a few.  Raised in Southern California, Nichols went to high school with Zappa with whom he made his earliest tapes.  After graduating from college where he studied nuclear physics, Nichols first found work has a nuclear operator at the San Onofre nuclear power plant north of San Diego.  But in the mid ’60s he moved back over to music and opened his own recording studio.  In 1970, he went to work for ABC Dunhill Records where he met Walter Becker and Donald Fagen who were hired writers for the label.  Within a year, Nichols was behind the board for the birth of Becker’s and Fagen’s group, Steely Dan.  He would go on to engineer such landmark albums as their Pretzel Logic, Aja, Countdown To Ecstasy, and Gaucho.  He earned Grammys for his work on Aja, Gaucho, Two Against Nature, FM, and John Denver’s All Aboard!.  Roger Nichols was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in May of 2010, and died from it on April 8, 2011.  He was 66.

Posted in Engineer, Rock | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Died On This Date (August 9, 2009) David Van De Pitte / Arranger For Motown

Posted by themusicsover on August 9, 2010

David Van De Pitte
October 28, 1941 – August 9, 2009

As a music arranger for Motown, David Van De Pitte helped make hits out of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” Eddie Kendricks‘ “Keep On Truckin,'” Gladys Knight’s “If I Were Your Woman,” and many more.  Van De Pitte started working at Motown in 1968 and besides his arrangement successes, he was also the music director for live shows by the likes of Diana Ross, Paul Anka, the Four Tops and the Temptations.  David Van De Pitte died of cancer at the age of 67.

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Died On This Date (July 26, 1992) Mary Wells / ’60s R&B Great

Posted by themusicsover on July 26, 2010

Mary Wells
May 13, 1943 – July 26, 1992

MaryWellsMary Wells was an American R&B singer whose voice helped usher in the Motown sound with such earl hits as 1964’s “My Guy.” Although Wells’ only #1 hit, it will go down in history as the song that broke the Beatles’ 1964 chart-topping streak. After a few moderate hits, Wells left Motown in 1965 and made a comparatively small amount of recordings until she all but retired in 1970. The late ’80s found Wells launching a much-welcomed comeback, releasing a couple well-received albums. But then in 1990, Wells was diagnosed with larynx cancer for which she had to spend what was left of her money on treatment. Thankfully friends and fans like Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Martha Reeves, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart and more donated large sums of money to help her out. On July 26, 1992, while in a hospital getting treated for pneumonia, Wells passed away from the effects of the cancer at the age of 49.

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Posted in R&B, Singer | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (July 11, 1937) George Gershwin / Iconic Composer

Posted by themusicsover on July 11, 2010

George Gershwin (Born Jacob Gershowitz)
September 26, 1898 – July 11, 1937

Although his career spanned just around twenty years due to his untimely death, George Gerswhin, along with his brother Ira Gershwin, created some of the most popular music of all time.  His compositions can, to this day, be heard on Broadway, in classical concert halls, films and television.  Many of his songs have become standards and have been recorded by the biggest names in show business.  That list includes Barbra Streisand, Sting, Janis Joplin, Frank Sinatra, Sam Cooke, Diana Ross, Billie Holiday, John Coltrane and Louis Armstrong.  George Gershwin died at the age of 38 during surgery for what was a brain tumor.  There have been some who disputed that a tumor caused his death.

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Posted in Blues, Composer, Easy Listening, Jazz, Musician, Pop, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »