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Posts Tagged ‘Gladys Knight’

Died On This Date (August 29, 2012) Bill Tillman / Blood, Sweat & Tears

Posted by themusicsover on August 31, 2012

Bill Tillman
DOB Unknown – August 29, 2012

Bill Tillman was a gifted saxophone player and flutist who is perhaps best remembered for his three years playing in popular American rock band, Blood, Sweat & Tears.  Like contemporaries, Chicago, BS&T pioneered the use of a horn section as a lead instrument in rock music.  Tillman played in the group’s horn section between 1974 and 1977 and can be heard on eight of their albums.  Born and raised in Texas, Tillman was recognized by the Texas Public School Board as the most outstanding musician of 1965.  He soon hit the road, playing tours for the likes of Gladys Knight – as music director, the Coasters, Chuck Berry, and Roy Orbison.  In 1978, Tillman began a two-year run as a soloist for the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.  He also released a handful of his own albums beginning in the ’80s and culminating with 2000’s  Altogether.  On August 29, 2012, Bill Tillman passed away after reportedly hitting his head during a fall in his bathroom.  He was 65 and was awaiting a was apparently on a waiting list for a kidney transplant.



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Died On This Date (September 22, 2011) Vesta Williams / Popular R&B Singer

Posted by themusicsover on September 22, 2011

Vesta Williams
December 1, 1957 – September 22, 2011

Vesta Williams was an American R&B singer who achieved a bit of fame during the late ’80s and early ’90s.  Born in Ohio, but transplanted to Los Angeles while still a child, Williams was surrounded by music from an early age no doubt thanks to a father who was a disc jockey. After launching her career when she got out of high school, Williams began finding work as a session singer – working with the likes of Joe Sample, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight, and Stephanie Mills.  That lead to a contract with A&M Records and the release of her debut, Vesta, in 1986.  Over the next several years, Williams scored hits with records like “Once Bitten, Twice Shy,” “Sweet, Sweet Love,” and “Congratulations.”  Her most recent album release was 2007’s Distant Lover.  According to prefixmag, Vesta Williams passed away in a Los Angeles hotel room on September 22, 2011.  Cause of death was not immediately released.  She was 53.

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Vesta Williams

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Died On This Date (August 2, 1983) James Jamerson / Bassist On Many Early Motown Hits; The Funk Brothers

Posted by themusicsover on August 2, 2010

James Jamerson
January 29, 1936 – August 2, 1983

jamersonBorn in South Carolina, James Jamerson moved to Detroit where learned to play the bass in high school.  He soon started playing in the local jazz and blues clubs and by the early ’60s, he was working at Berry Gordy’s studio.  He, along with some of popular music’s greatest musicians were called the Funk Brothers and they can be heard on nearly every Motown record throughout the ’60s.  Jamerson played on literally hundreds of Motown songs including such hits as “My Girl” (the Temptations), “You Can’t Hurry Love (the Supremes), “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” (Gladys Knight), and “What’s Goin’ On” (Marvin Gaye).   It has been said that Jamerson played on more #1 pop hits than the Beatles, who own that actual record.   Many of the world’s greatest bass players have pointed to Jamerson as their main influence.  That list includes John Entwistle, John Paul Jones, Paul McCartney, and Jack Bruce.  Jamerson and Motown parted company in 1973 after which, he found work playing on such disco hits as “Boogie Fever” and “Don’t Rock The Boat.”   A longtime drinker,  James Jamerson died of cirrhosis of the liver, heart failure and pneumonia at the age of 47.



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Died On This Date (March 21, 2004) Johnny Bristol / Prolific Motown Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on March 21, 2010

Johnny Bristol
February 3rd, 1939 – March 21, 2004

Part of the Motown hit making machine from 1961 to 1973, Johnny Bristol could take partial credit for countless massive hits as a writer and/or producer. Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Gladys Knight, Michael Jackson, Edwin Starr and Stevie Wonder are just a handful of who he has helped make superstars out of. Bristol also released a half-dozen of his own albums throughout the 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s. He passed away at the age of 65, reportedly from natural causes.

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Johnny Bristol

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Died On This Date (March 11, 2004) Edmund Sylvers / The Sylvers

Posted by themusicsover on March 11, 2010

Edmund Sylvers
January 25, 1957 – March 11, 2004

As one of disco’s family groups, the Sylvers, Edmund Sylvers scored a huge hit with “Boogie Fever” in 1976. He was also the voice of the Marlon Jackson character in the popular Jackson 5 cartoon. After the disco fever died off, Sylvers continued to work as a percussionist and a producer with such artists as Jackson 5, the Whispers, Gladys Knight and Janet Jackson. He succumbed to cancer on March 11, 2004.

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The Sylvers

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