Posted by themusicsover on March 27, 2013
DOB Unknown – March 27, 2013
Gordon Stoker is best remembered as a member of Elvis Presley‘s backing vocalists, the Jordanaires. He also acted as their manager. Just 15 when he became a professional musician, Stoker eventually played piano on WSM’s Grand Ole Opry radio program. In 1949, he was picked up by the Jordanaires Gospel group to play piano. Within two years, he was singing tenor in the group. In 1956, Presley invited them to be his back up singers both live and on record. Stoker can be heard on such records as “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You,” “I Got A Woman,” and “Heartbreak Hotel.” The group continued on – with Stoker remaining until the time of his death – after Presley passed away in 1977. The list of other artists that were backed by the Jordanaires on record includes Ricky Nelson, Johnny Cash, Ringo Starr, Patsy Cline, George Jones, Dolly Parton, Ween, and Kristen Chenoweth. Gordon Stoker was 88 when he passed away on March 27, 2013. Cause of death was not immediately released.
Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.
Posted in Early Rock, Gospel, Musician, Singer | Tagged: Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley, George Jones, Gordon Stoker, Johnny Cash, Kristin Chenoweth, Patsy Cline, Ricky Nelson, Ringo Starr, Ween | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on March 7, 2013
February 5, 1923 – March 7, 2013
Claude King was a popular country singer throughout the ’60s and ’70s. Born near Shreveport, Louisiana, King was just 12 years old when he picked up the guitar. During the ’50s, he became a regular on the widely popular radio program, Louisiana Hayride, often sharing the bill with the likes of Elvis Presley, Patsy Cline, Johnny Cash, and Hank Williams. In 1961, King signed with Columbia Records’ Nashville label and commenced to release a series of country hits that started with 1661′s “Big River Big Man.” Later that year, he scored another hit with “The Comancheros.” His biggest success came in the Spring of 1962. “Wolverton Mountain” sat at the top of the Country charts for nine of the 26 weeks it resided there. The record also cracked the Top 10 of the pop charts and went on to sell over a million copies. The hits continued for the next ten years, with 29 in all finding their way to the charts. King continued to record and perform well into the 2000s and even found time to act in several movies along the way. Claude King passed away on March 7, 2013, but not before celebrating his 67th wedding anniversary a few weeks earlier. He was 90.
What You Should Own
Click to find at amazon.com
Posted in Country, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Claude King, Elvis Presley, Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Patsy Cline | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on February 1, 2013
February 16, 1918 – January 30, 2013
Patty Andrews, along with her two older sisters, Maxene Andrews and LaVerne Andrews were known professionally as the Andrews Sisters, the best-selling female vocal group in pop music history. Over their career, the Andrews’ recorded over 600 sides that sold over 75 million copies in all. They had 113 charted hits, 46 of which landing in the top 10, a feat that surpassed even Elvis Presley and the Beatles. The original group’s run came to an end when LaVerne died of cancer in 1967. Patty was the last of the siblings to pass away on January 30, 2013.
What You Should Own
Click to find at amazon.com
Posted in Easy Listening, Pop, Singer | Tagged: Andrews Sisters, Elvis Presley, LaVerne Andrews, Maxene Andrews, The Beatles | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on November 16, 2012
1927 – November 16, 2012
Bernard Lansky was a longtime Memphis clothing retailer who, along with his brother, Guy Lansky owned Lansky Brothers on Beale Street. Since the early ’50s, the Lansky brothers helped create a visual image for celebrities who appreciated their store’s simple yet classic suits. The long list of their musical clientele over the years included Rob Orbison, Isaac Hayes, Robert Plant, Dr. John, Johhny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King, Steven Tyler, and most famously, Elvis Presley. One day back in 1952, Bernard invited a 17-year-old Presley into the store after seeing him continually window-shop outside his store. Presley, who was working at a local movie theater at the time, remarked to Bernard that he was going to buy him out if he ever made enough money. To that Bernard replied, “Don’t buy me, buy from me!”, and that is exactly what Presley did when he ultimately made it big. It was Lansky who put Presley in the suit he wore for that first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. And from then on, Presley was one of Lansky Broters’ most loyal customers, and in return, the Lanskys opened the shop for him late at night so he could shop in peace and even hand-delivered suits to Graceland to try on. When Presley died in 1977, it was Bernard who selected the suit and tie that he was buried in. Bernard Lansky was 85 when he passed away on November 16, 2012.
Thanks to Henk de Bruin for the asssist.
Posted in Other | Tagged: B. B. King, Bernard Lansky, Dr. John, Ed Sullivan, Elvis Presley, Guy Lansky, Isaac Hayes, Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, Robert Plant, Roy Orbison, Steven Tyler | 1 Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on October 14, 2012
Blake Baker Cunningham, Jr.
DOB Unknown – October 14, 2012
B.B. Cunningham was a legendary Memphis musician who, over a career that spanned some 50 years, played in Jerry Lee Lewis‘ band, played in a high school group that included pre-Booker T & The MG’s Steve Cropper and Donald “Duck” Dunn, scored a Top 20 hit as leader of the ’60s garage band, the Hombres, and engineered records by the likes of Elton John. Born into a musical family that included his father who, performing under the name Buddy Blake, recorded for Sam Phillips‘ Sun Records during the ’50s. B.B.’s brother, Bill Cunningham, was a founding member of Alex Chilton’s legendary band, the Box Tops. While in high school, Cunningham played alongside Cropper and Dunn in a band called the Six O’Clock Boys who had a regional hit with “Ivory Marbles.” Meanwhile, Cunningham’s father was working at Sun Studios which lead to a night in 1954 when Phillips invited B.B. to play percussion on Elvis Presley’s earliest Sun sessions. The Six O’Clock Boys soon became the Mar-Keys who had another moderate hit with “Last Night.” The other members of the Mar-Keys eventually evolved into Booker T & the MG’s while Cunningham dabbled in production and session work. In 1963, he joined Jerry Lee Lewis’ band on bass and keyboards. He played with the Killer on-and-off for decades. In 1965, he co-founded the Hombres who had a Top 15 hit with “Let It All Hang Out,” a garage rock staple. During the early ’70s, Cunningham moved to Los Angeles where engineered recordings by the likes of Elton John, Lou Rawls, and Billy Joel. He eventually settled back in Memphis where he opened his own recording studio. In recent years, Cunningham was working as a security guard. In the early morning hours of October 14, 2012, Cunningham, who was working security at an Southeast Memphis apartment complex, reportedly heard a gunshot from a neighboring complex. Initial reports were sparse, but indicate that when police arrived on scene, they found both Cunningham and a 16-year-old boy dead from gunshot wounds. B.B. Cunningham Jr. was 70 when he passed away.
Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number 1 Albums for the assist.
Posted in Musician | Tagged: B.B. Cunningham, Bill Cunningham, Booker T & The MG's, Buddy Blake, Donald Duck Dunn, Elton John, Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Sam Phillips, Steve Cropper, the Box Tops, The Hombres, The Six O'Clock Boys | 1 Comment »