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Posts Tagged ‘John Belushi’

Died On This Date (May 13, 2012) Donald “Duck” Dunn / Booker T. & The MG’s

Posted by themusicsover on May 13, 2012

Donald “Duck” Dunn
November 24, 1941 – May 13, 2012

As the house bassist for Stax Records throughout the ’60s and ’70s, Donald “Duck” Dunn provided the unmistakable bottom-end for countless soul and R&B songs that have stood the test of time. He can also be heard on some of the greatest rock recordings from the ’70s and ’80s.  From Otis Redding’s “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” Sam & Dave’s “Hold On I’m Coming,” and Albert King’s “Born Under A Bad Sign” to Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks’ “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,”  Dunn’s groove can not be missed.  And in between, there was Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, and Rod Stewart, to name a few.  And as bassist for Booker T. & the MG’s, Dunn made his mark on such iconic songs as “Green Onions.”  In 1980, Dunn played himself alongside John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd as part of the Blues Brothers band both in the movie, and at live performances.  Although semi-retired by 2000, Dunn continued to play at occasional Booker T. gigs and other events well into the new decade.  Donald “Duck” Dunn died in his sleep following a performance in Tokyo, Japan on May 12, 2012.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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Briefcase Full of Blues - The Blues Brothers

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Died On This Date (September 16, 2011) Willie “Big Eyes” Smith / Grammy Winning Electric Blues Great

Posted by themusicsover on September 16, 2011

Willie “Big Eyes” Smith
January 19, 1936 – September 16, 2011

Photo by Michael Kurgansky

Willie “Big Eyes” Smith was an influential electric blues triple threat.  Not only was he revered for his singing and harmonica playing, but he was also an award-winning drummer.  Born in Helena, Arkansas, Smith moved to Chicago when he was 17 and initially took up the harmonica.  Inspired by the likes of harpists Sonny Boy Williamson II and Henry Strong, Smith formed his own trio within a year of landing in Chicago.  It was also around this time that he played on Bo Diddley’s recording of “Diddy Wah Diddy.”  Smith soon realized that harmonica players were basically a dime a dozen in Chicago, so he switched to drums and was shortly thereafter hired by Muddy Waters.  He went on to play with Waters on and off for the next two decades, only taking a break during the mid ’60s to earn more consistent money as a cab driver.  Between 1960 and 1980, Smith played on over 80 of Waters’ recordings, many of which ending up on Grammy-winning albums.  In 1980, Smith and other members of Waters’ band splintered off to form the Legendary Blues Band who some may recognize as the band behind John Lee Hooker in the 1980 motion picture, The Blues Brothers, starring Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi.  The Legendary Blues Band recorded seven albums and toured with the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan during their run.  It wasn’t until 1995 that Smith began making his own albums.  He continued to record and perform as recently as 2010 when he and former Legendary Blues Band mate and Muddy Waters refugee, Pinetop Perkins released Joined At The Hip for Telarc Records.  The album earned the pair a Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album on February 13, 2011.  Perkins passed away a little over a month later.  According to The Celebrity Cafe, Willie “Big Eyes” Smith passed away on September 16, 2011 following a stroke.  He was 75.

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Joined At the Hip: Pinetop Perkins & Willie

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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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Briefcase Full of Blues - The Blues Brothers

 

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Died On This Date (October 10, 2010) Solomon Burke / Pioneering Soul, Blues & Gospel Singer

Posted by themusicsover on October 10, 2010

Solomon Burke
March 21, 1940 – October 10, 2010

Solomon Burke was a beloved and influential singer-songwriter who built a sizable following due to his powerful gospel, soul, and blues voice.  Burke ‘s first adult profession was a preacher, and went on to become a popular gospel radio host and then a singer.  Signed to the prestigious Atlantic Records in 1960, went on to release several critically acclaimed secular records, his most famous perhaps was “Everybody Needs Somebody to Love,” which was covered by the likes of the Rolling Stones, Jerry Garcia, Wilson Pickett, and the Blues Brothers (John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd).  During the 2000s, Burke made a comeback of sorts.  He was inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and won a Grammy in 2003 for his Fat Possum release, Don’t Give Up On Me Baby album.  He was also playing in front of his biggest crowds at concerts and festivals around the world, as well as worldwide audiences on television.  Between 2005 and 2008, Burke released a trilogy of albums for Shout! Factory, Make Due With What You Got, Nashville, and Like A Fire – all are essential listening.  On October 10, 2010, Solomon Burke died unexpectedly at an Amsterdam airport where he had just landed en route to a performance.  Cause of death was not immediately released, but it is believed to have been of natural causes.  He was 70.

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Nashville - Solomon Burke

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Died On This Date (July 28, 2010) Derf Scratch / Founding Bassist Of Fear

Posted by themusicsover on July 28, 2010

Derf Scratch (Born Fred Milner III)
DOB Unknown – July 28, 2010

Derf Scratch is best remembered as the founding bassist for legendary Los Angeles hardcore punk band, Fear.  Formed with Lee Ving in 1977, the band would become one of the foundations on which hardcore was built.  During their early years, Fear found a fan in John Belushi who championed them enough to get them a coveted spot on a 1981 episode of Saturday Night Live.  That performance became that on which rock legends are built, as it quickly devolved into a partially planned mini-riot.   Meanwhile, Scratch and Belushi became good friends and partners in substance abuse.   Later that year, Scratch and the band were prominently featured in Penelope Spheeris’ landmark punk documentary, The Decline of Western Civilization.  In May of 1982, Fear released its debut album, The Record,  which generally lands high upon lists of the most influential punk, if not overall rock albums, ever recorded.  Scratch and the band parted ways later that year.  On July 28, 2010, Derf Scratch passed away reportedly following a long illness.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums for the assist.

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The Record - Fear

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