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Posts Tagged ‘Duke Ellington’

Died On This Date (December 31, 2015) Natalie Cole / R&B Great

Posted by themusicsover on December 31, 2015

Natalie Cole
February 6, 1950 – December 31, 2015

Natalie-ColeNatalie Cole was an American R&B singer who, over the course of a career that spanned 6 decades, sold over 30 million albums and earned nine Grammys.  Born into a show business family – her father was Nat King Cole and her mother was Maria Hawkins Cole, a one-time singer for Duke Ellington, Cole followed her parents into show business at a very early age.  When she was just six, she sang on her father’s iconic Christmas album, and within five years, she was performing on stage.  After graduating from college, Cole began singing in clubs and soon caught the ear of a couple of producers who recorded a few tracks and shopped them around.  Capitol Records signed her and released her first album, Inseparable, in 1975.  The album contained her first top 10 single, “This Will Be (An Everlasting Love)” which resulted in Cole’s first two Grammys, Best Female R&B Vocal Performance and Best New Artist.  The balance of the ’70s were extremely prosperous for Cole as she released several more hit records; performed to sell-out crowds; and made numerous TV appearance including her own two specials.  The early ’80s were less kind to her as record sales dwindled and she battled her own personal demons.  But by 1987, Cole’s career was bouncing back.  Her 1987 dance album, Everlasting, brought her back to the charts with such hit singles as, “Everlasting,” “Jump Start,” “I Live For Your Love,” and her pop crossover version of Bruce Springsteen‘s “Pink Cadillac.”  The hits continued through the early ’90s and beyond, with Cole’s style maturing into that which made her father famous, jazz vocals/traditional pop.  She continued to record and perform to adoring fans over the next two decades, but in December of 2015, it was later revealed, she had to cancel several shows due to ongoing health problems.  On December 31, 2015, Natalie Cole died of congestive heart failure at the age of 65.

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Died On This Date (February 21, 2015) Clark Terry / American Jazz Great

Posted by themusicsover on February 21, 2015

Clark Terry
December 14, 1920 – February 21, 2015

clark-terryClark Terry was an American jazz trumpeter who is widely considered one of the most influential and popular jazz musicians of his time.  Terry launched his career during the early ’40s, just in time to serve in the US Navy Band during World War II.  After his discharge, Terry went on to perform with Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and later, Quincy Jones, among others, as well as leading his own bands. As one of the most recorded artists jazz music has ever known, Terry appeared on nearly 1000 known recordings.  Throughout his career, he wrote over 200 jazz songs, performed for seven US Presidents, and put on several jazz festivals and jazz camps.  In 1991 he was awarded the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award, and in 2010, he became one of only five trumpet players to receive the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.  A lifetime student of jazz as well as a respected educator, Clark held sixteen honorary doctorates.  He was even knighted in Germany.  Clark Terry was 94 when he passed away on February 21, 2015.

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Died On This DAte (July 10, 2012) Maria Hawkins Cole / Jazz Singer; Wife Of Nat King Cole; Mother of Natalie Cole

Posted by themusicsover on July 10, 2012

Maria Hawkins Cole
1922 – July 10, 2012

Maria Hawkins was a popular jazz vocalist who began her career singing for the likes of Count Basie and Duke Ellington.  In 1946, Hawkins launched her solo career and began singing at the legendary Club Zanzibar in New York City.  She soon met the great Nat King Cole and the two married in 1948.  Throughout the ’50s, Hawkins Cole traveled and performed with husband.  In 1950, Hawkins Cole gave birth to their daughter, Natalie Cole who went on to become a multi-Grammy award-winning R&B singer.  Maria Hawkins Cole died on cancer on July 10, 2012.  She was 89.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.

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Died On This Date (September 20, 2011) Frank Driggs / Record Producer & Jazz Historian

Posted by themusicsover on September 20, 2011

Frank Driggs
1930 – September 20, 2011

Frank Driggs was a jazz lover who became one of the genre’s most respected historians and collectors.  Because of his reputation, producer legend, John Hammond hired him during the late ’50s to help him put packages together for Columbia Records.  While at the label, Driggs worked on releases by the likes of Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and the most celebrated, Robert Johnson’s Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings which won Driggs a Grammy in 1991.  He also produced records for Bluebird, Okeh, and MCA, to name a few.  Meanwhile, Driggs was gathering jazz photos, hand bills, ticket stubs and such for his own personal collection which, by the mid 2000s, swelled to over 100,000 images.   After retiring in 1977,  Driggs continued to earn a living by providing photographs for books and documentaries, the highest profile being perhaps Ken Burns’ Jazz series of 2001.  Frank Driggs passed away of natural causes on September 20, 2011.  He was 81.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.

Posted in Jazz, Producer | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (June 8, 2011) Alan Rubin / Mr. Fabulous; The Blues Brothers Band

Posted by themusicsover on June 8, 2011

Alan Rubin
February 11, 1943 – June 8, 2011

Alan Rubin as an American trumpet player who was commonly referred to as Mr. Fabulous.  A gifted musician since childhood, Rubin started at the esteemed Julliard School of Music on a scholarship at the age of 17.  In 1975, he was hired on as the trumpet player in the original Saturday Night Live band.  In 1980, he backed fellow cast members, John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd in the Blues Brothers, in both the film and beyond.  His resume throughout the years reads like a pop music VIP list, having played with likes of Frank Sinatra, Frank Zappa, the Rolling Stones, Duke Ellington, Billy Joel, B.B. King, Miles Davis, Sting, James Brown, Ray Charles, and Eric Clapton.  Alan Rubin died of cancer on June 8, 2011.  He was 68.

Thanks to Benji Isabel for the assist

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