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Posts Tagged ‘Jackie Wilson’

Died On This Date (November 1, 2013) Bobby Parker / American Blues Guitar Legend

Posted by themusicsover on November 1, 2013

Bobby Parker
August 31, 1937 – November 1, 2013

bobby-parkerBobby Parker was an American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter who counted no less than Led Zeppelin and the Beatles as his disciples.  His biggest hit, 1961’s “Watch Your Step,” was covered by Santana, Manfred Mann and the Spencer Davis Group, while its primary lick was borrowed by the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers, Deep Purple and countless more. John Lennon called “Watch Your Step” one of his favorite records of all time.  Born in Louisiana but raised in Los Angeles, California, Parker picked up the guitar at a young age.  During his early professional years, he played for the likes of Bo Diddley, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and the Everly Brothers.  He later toured with Check Berry and Little Richard among others. He settled in Washington, DC during the ’60s and continued to record and perform over the next four decades.  Bobby Parker was 76 when he passed away on November 1, 2013.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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

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Died On This Date (August 9, 2013) Carl Davis / Acclaimed R&B Producer

Posted by themusicsover on August 26, 2012

Carl Davis
September 19, 1934 – August 9, 2012

Carl Davis was an acclaimed record producer and one of the architects of the “Chicago Sound” – Chicago soul music of the 1960s.  Davis began his music career as the assistant to a local Chicago disc jockey in 1955.  During the early ’60s, he went to work at Nat Records where he produced a regional hit, “Nite Owl,” for the DuKays.  He followed that up with “Duke Of Earl” which was credited to the group’s lead singer, Gene Chandler.  The song quickly became a #1 hit and one of the biggest selling records of the era.  Davis went on to produce hits like “Monkey Time” for Major Lance, Jackie Wilson’s “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher,” Barbara Acklin’s “Love Makes A Woman, and the Chi-Lites’ “Oh Girl” to name a few.   In 1976, Davis founded Chi Sounds Records which he ran well into the 2000s.  Carl Davis was 77 when he died of pulmonary fibrosis on August 9, 2012.

Thanks Henk de Bruin for the assist.

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Died On This Date (January 17, 2012) Johnny Otis / R&B Great; Had Hit With “Willie and the Hand Jive”

Posted by themusicsover on January 17, 2012

Johnny Otis (Born Ioannis Veliotis)
December 28, 1921 – January 17, 2012

Referred to as the “Godfather Of Rhythm and Blues,” Johnny Otis was a man of many aspirations and musical talents.  Born and raised in the San Francisco area, Otis went on to become a successful bandleader, producer, songwriter, journalist, talent scout, arranger, disc jockey, vibraphonist, drummer, club owner, merchant, and even politician.  His most popular contribution to popular music came by way of “Willie and the Hand Jive,” which sold over 1.5 million copies, rose to #9 on the pop charts, and has since been recorded by the likes of George Thorogood, Levon Helm, Eric Clapton, Cliff Richard, and New Riders of the Purple Sage, to name just a few.  A child of Greek immigrants, Otis actually lived and worked as part of the African-American community while employing mostly black musicians for his bands.  He began making an impact on music during the late ’40s when he opened a nightclub in the Watts section of Los Angeles.  It was there that he made his first discovery, Little Esther Phillips, who went on to have several pop and R&B hits of her own. Other future greats he is credited for discovering and working with during their early years include Big Jay McNeely, Jackie Wilson, Hank Ballard, Etta James and  Big Mama Thornton, whose signature song, “Hound Dog,” was produced by Otis.  In 1958,  Otis recorded the self-penned “Willie and the Hand Jive” which quickly became a smash with both black and white audiences and went on to become one of the most iconic songs of the era.  A tireless performer, Otis and his band toured the world well into the 2000s.  During the ’60s, he made an unsuccessful run for the California State Assembly.  Many blamed the loss on the fact that he ran under his virtually unknown birth name.  In 1994, Otis was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and in later years, he hosted “The Johnny Otis Show” on San Francisco radio station, KPFA.  Due to declining health, he did his last show in August of 2006.   His son, Shuggie Otis, had hits of his own during the ’70s. Johnny Otis was 90 when he passed away in his home on January 17, 2012

Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.

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Johnny Otis

Posted in Arranger, Blues, Club Owner, Early Rock, Musician, Producer, R&B, Rock, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Died On This Date (January 17, 2012) Johnny Otis / R&B Great; Had Hit With “Willie and the Hand Jive”

Died On This Date (March 13, 2011) Melvin Sparks / Respected Soul-Jazz Guitarist

Posted by themusicsover on March 13, 2011

Melvin Sparks
March 22, 1946 – March 13, 2011

Melvin Sparks was a brilliant electric guitarist who made a name for himself on countless jazz and soul-jazz recordings as a session player and a band leader.  Born into a musical family, Sparks picked up the guitar at just eleven years old.  By the time he was in high school, he was playing behind Hank Ballard, and within a few years, he was in a touring band called the Upsetters who backed Little Richard, Marvin Gaye, Curtis Mayfield, and Jackie Wilson.  He went on to become a session player for Blue Note and Prestige, playing on records by the likes of Lou Donaldson, Jimmy McGriff, and Hank Crawford.  In the 90s, he played with Soulive and Galactic during the acid jazz revival.  Melvin Sparks was 64 when he passed away on March 13, 2011.  It has been reported that diabetes and high blood pressure was to blame.

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Died On This Date (August 9, 2008) Charlie Adell / Veteran R&B Record Promoter

Posted by themusicsover on August 9, 2010

Charlie Adell
September 19, 1923 – August 9, 2008

Charlie Adell was a record promoter who specialized in R&B during his run which began when in the 1950s, Brunswick Records hired him to work records by Jackie Wilson, among others.   During the ’60s, Adell moved over to the legendary Stax Records where he worked with such acts as the Staple Singers and Isaac Hayes.  Later, he went to work for Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff at their Philadelphia International label, promoting the likes of the O’Jays and Wilson Pickett.  Charlie Adell passed away on August 9, 2008 at the age of 84.


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