Posted by themusicsover on September 26, 2012
Howard “Andy” Williams
December 3, 1927 – September 25, 2012
With 18 gold and three platinum albums, and a three-time Emmy winning primetime variety show, Andy Williams was a force to be reckoned with during the ’60s and ’70s. Williams launched his career with six recordings for an X Records, and RCA Victor label, in 1953. A year later he made his first of many appearances on Tonight Starring Steve Allen which led to his signing to Cadence Records and his first hits. By the mid ’60s, Williams was recording for Columbia and had purchased the Cadence master tape catalog which also included recordings by the Everly Brothers and the Chordettes. He soon launched Barnaby Records which had hits with Ray Stevens’ “Everything Is Beautiful” and “The Streak.” He also signed a young Jimmy Buffett to his first record deal at Barnaby. Meanwhile, Williams was quickly becoming the most popular pop vocalist of his era. At one point during the ’60s, he was awarded the most expensive recording contract in history. As a solo performer with 18 gold records, his award count was eclipsed by only Elvis Presley, Johnny Mathis, and Frank Sinatra at the time. Williams’ many hits over the years included “Born Free,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” “(Where Do I Begin) Love Story,” “Butterfly,” and “Can’t Get Used To Losing You.” The Andy Williams Show, which ran between 1962 and 1971, was one of the most popular variety shows of all time. It played host to most of the biggest names in show business, and it’s semi-annual Christmas specials set the standard. And with eight Christmas albums and a huge hit with “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year,” Williams became known around the world as Mr. Christmas. And although he was considered a “square” by the counter culture, Williams was one of the few major stars who was very vocal against the Nixon Administration’s attempts to deport John Lennon during the early ’70s. In May of 1992, Williams opened the Moon River Theater in Branson, Missouri. Hosting performers like Glen Campbell, Ann-Margret, Rich Little and David Copperfield, the theater became one of the most popular venues in the city. Andy Williams was 84 when he passed away on September 25, 2012. He had been suffering from bladder cancer.
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Posted in Easy Listening, Musician, Pop, Singer | Tagged: Andy Williams, Ann-Margret, David Copperfield, Elvis Presley, Everly Brothers, Frank Sinatra, Glen Campbell, Jimmy Buffett, John Lennon, Johnny Mathis, Ray Stevens, Rich Little, The Chordettes | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on December 18, 2011
March 15, 1944 – December 18, 2011
Ralph MacDonald was an in-demand percussionist and hit songwriter who could count two of the biggest R&B songs of the ’70s as his own. Growing up in a musical family in Harlem, New York, MacDonald first picked up the steelpan as a youngster. By the time he was 17, he had already played his first big gig at a local Harry Belafonte show. He continued on with Belafonte for the next ten years until parting ways in 1971. MacDonald soon became one of contemporary music’s most in-demand session players, performing on countless R&B, jazz and disco records. The list of those he recorded with includes George Benson, Paul Simon, Jimmy Buffett, Carole King, Average White Band, the Brothers Johnson, Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin, and David Bowie. MacDonald also released several albums under his own name. His song, “Calypso Breakdown” can be heard on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack. As a songwriter, MacDonald scored to massive c0-writing hits; “Where Is The Love,” the 1971 hit for Roberta Flack, and “Just The Two Of Us,” the Grammy-winning hit for Bill Withers in 1981. Ralph MacDonald was 67 when he died of lung cancer on December 8, 2011.
Thanks to Paul Bearer for the assist.
Posted in Jazz, Musician, R&B, Songwriter | Tagged: Amy Winehouse, Aretha Franklin, Average White Band, Bill Withers, Carole King, David Bowie, George Benson, Harry Belafonte, Jimmy Buffett, Paul Simon, Ralph MacDonald, Roberta Flack, The Brothers Johnson | 1 Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on August 16, 2010
April 5, 1928 – August 16, 2005
Vassar Clements was an influential fiddler who, although mostly associated with bluegrass, also performed swing and jazz. Self taught at the age of seven, it was only a matter of time before Clements successfully auditioned for Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys. He played and recorded with Monroe for the better part of seven years, after which he went off to become one of Nashville’s most in demand session fiddlers. The list of artists he recorded with is staggering. It includes Faron Young, John Hartford, Earl Scruggs, Jim & Jesse, the Grateful Dead, Paul McCartney, the Monkees, Dickey Betts, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Linda Ronstadt, and Jimmy Buffett. Clements played on over 200 albums including nearly two dozen of his own. In 2005, he won a Grammy for Best Instrumental Performance. Vassar Clements died of cancer on August 16, 2005. He was 77.
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Posted in Bluegrass, Musician | Tagged: Bill Monroe & His Blue Grass Boys, Dickey Betts, Earl Scruggs, Faron Young, Grateful Dead, Jim & Jesse, Jimmy Buffett, John Hartford, Linda Ronstadt, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Paul McCartney, The Monkees, Vassar Clements | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on June 25, 2010
October 10, 1950 – June 25, 2009
Tim Krekel was perhaps best known as part of Jimmy Buffett’s band for nearly ten years. Both on tour and on record, Krekel contributed to Buffett’s success, particularly on his Son Of A Son Of A Sailor. Over the years, Krekel also toured with Bo Diddley, the Eagles, and Delbert McClinton. As a songwriter, Krekel has been recorded by the likes of Canned Heat, Alan Jackson, Patty Loveless, Crystal Gayle and Martina McBride. Tim Krekel died of cancer at the age of 58.
Posted in Country, Musician, Rock, Songwriter | Tagged: Alan Jackson, Bo Diddley, Canned Heat, Crystal Gayle, Delbert McClinton, Jimmy Buffett, Martina McBride, Patty Loveless, The Eagles, Tim Krekel | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on May 9, 2010
November 7, 1948 – May 9, 2009
Stephen Bruton was a beloved Texas songwriter, guitarist, and producer. Born in Fort Worth, Bruton’s first big break came at age 22, when he was asked to play in Kris Kristofferson’s band. Since then, Bruton has been an entertainment jack of all trade. After many years as a sideman, Bruton stepped out to the front of the stage and became a headliner himself. As a respected songwriter, he’s written songs for Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, Johnny Cash, Jimmy Buffett, Martina McBride and many more. As a producer, he worked the board for such greats as Joe Ely, Alejandro Escovedo, Hal Ketchum and others. Bruton also engineered albums by the likes of Ziggy Marley, John Mellencamp and R.E.M. He even had some acting credits, appearing in such films as A Star Is Born, Miss Congeniality, and Heaven’s Gate. But it was his outstanding guitar work that might end up being his strongest legacy. Over the years, he’s been heartily invited to play on projects by Elvis Costello, Delbert McClinton, Carly Simon, Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge, and many more. Bruton was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2007 and succumbed to it in Los Angeles where he was working on the soundtrack to the Jeff Bridges film, Crazy Heart.
What You Should Own
Click to find at amazon.com
Posted in Americana, Engineer, Musician, Producer, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Alejandro Escovedo, Bonnie Raitt, Carly Simon, Delbert McClinton, Elvis Costello, Hal Ketchum, Jeff Bridges, Jimmy Buffett, Joe Ely, John Mellencamp, Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, Martina McBride, R.E.M., Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson, Ziggy Marley | Leave a Comment »