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Posts Tagged ‘Joni Mitchell’

Died On This Date (April 7, 2013) Andy Johns / Legendary Record Producer & Engineer

Posted by themusicsover on April 7, 2013

Andy Johns
January 1, 1952 – April 7, 2013

andy-johnsAndy Johns was an English record producer and engineer whose resume reads like an encyclopedia of rock.  Still in his teens, Johns hit the ground running working as Eddie Kramer‘s second engineer on recordings by the likes of Jimi Hendrix.  Over the next four decades, Johns left his mark on such iconic albums as Led Zeppelin‘s IV, Physical Graffiti, and Houses Of The Holy;  the Rolling StonesSticky Fingers, Exile On Main St., and Goat’s Head Soup; Free‘s Highway; and  Television’s Marquee Moon.  He also produced or engineered albums for Van Halen, Humble Pie, Ron Wood, L.A. Guns, Cinderella, Chickenfoot, Joe Satriani, Eric Johnson, Steve Miller, Mott The Hoople, Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, and many more.  Albums on which he worked have reportedly sold more than 160 million copies in all.  He was the younger brother of the equally impressive producer and engineer, Glyn Johns.  Andy Johns was 61 when he died on April 7, 2013.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number 1 Albums and Brett Ortone at Go Aloha Entertainment for the assist.

 

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Died On This Date (May 5, 2012) Sweet Joe Russell / The Persuasions

Posted by themusicsover on May 5, 2012

Jesse “Sweet Joe” Russell
September 25, 1939 – May 5, 2012

Photo by Susana Millman

Sweet Joe Russell was an influential vocalist who, for the better part of five decades, sang with the a capella group, the Persuasions. Formed in Brooklyn in 1962, the Persuasions first found an audience on local street corners.  In 1970, after hearing them sing over the telephone, Frank Zappa signed them to his Straight Records and released their debut record, A Capella.  They went on to release numerous albums and record or tour with the likes of the Grateful Dead, Ray Charles, Elvis Presley, Joni Mitchell, and Liza Minnelli.  And it was Russell, with his sweet tenor, who was called “the voice of the Persuasions.”  Sweet Joe Russell died on May 5, 2012, after a long battle with diabetes.  He was 72.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.

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Acappella - The Persuasions

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Died On This Date (April 19, 2012) Levon Helm / Drummer & Co-Lead Singer For The Band

Posted by themusicsover on April 19, 2012

Mark “Levon” Helm
May 26, 1940 – April 19, 2012

Levon Helm was a rock musician, singer and songwriter best known for his time spent in the Band, one of Canada’s most celebrated rock bands.   Helm was still a few years shy of his teens when he first took up the guitar.  The drums were soon to follow.  After graduating from high school, he was invited by Ronnie Hawkins to join his back up band, the Hawks.  Hawkins later recruited Canadian musicians, Rick Danko, Robbie RobertsonGarth Hudson and Richard Manuel.  After splitting away from Hawkins in 1963, the group forged on as Levon & The Hawks – touring throughout Canada and the northern U.S. until they got a call from Bob Dylan asking them to support him on the road.   Changing their name to simply the Band by the late ’60s, they secured a deal with Capitol Records and delivered their debut, Music From Big Pink, one of rock music’s true masterpieces.  That was followed by albums like The Band, Stage Fright, and Cahoots which only added more songs to one of rock’s finest catalogs. Helm sang lead on many of the group’s best songs.  On Thanksgiving night of 1976, the Band performed what would be their final show as that unit at San Francisco’s Winterland.  To the surprise of the audience, the Band proved to be the greatest backing band of all times as a cavalcade of the era’s most respected performers showed their own respect by joining them on stage throughout the evening.  That list included Neil Young, Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell, Eric Clapton, Neil Diamond, and Dylan, each arguably giving the single greatest live performance of their careers.  Fortunately, the evening was captured on film by Martin Scorsese, who released it theatrically as The Last Waltz, often noted popular music’s greatest concert film.  Following the band’s break up, Helm continued on as a solo act and participated in later reincarnations of the Band.  In later years, Helm hosted numerous concerts at his home and studio in Woodstock, NY.  These Midnight Rambles, as they became to be known, played host to a veritable who’s who of roots music.  He later took the show on the road, even releasing one such evening, Ramble at the Ryman, on CD in 2011.  During the late ’90s, Helm learned he had throat cancer.  He eventually recovered enough to hit the Ramble stage and record arguably his two best solo albums of his career, 2007’s Dirt Farmer, and 2009’s Electric Dirt.  They earned him Grammys for Best Traditional Folk Album and Best Americana Album, respectively.  Ramble at the Ryman was named Best Americana Album as well.  During the second week of April, 2012, Helm’s family released a statement that he was in the final days of a battle with cancer.  On April 19, 2012, Levon Helm passed away at the age of 71.

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Dirt Farmer - Levon Helm

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Died On This Date (June 27, 2009) Jackie Washington / Canadian Jazz & Blues Icon

Posted by themusicsover on June 27, 2010

Jackie Washington
November 12, 1919 – June 27, 2009

jack3Jackie Washington was one of those artists that was referred to as both a jazz and blues singer.  Born in Ontario, Canada, Washington taught himself how to play the guitar at thirteen.  This helped the family during the depression as he and his brothers began performing to earn extra money for their large family. During the late ’40s, Washington became Canada’s first African American disc jockey, hosting a jazz show on a Hamilton radio station.  Washington’s career as a musician kicked into high gear during the folk revival of the ’60s, becoming a regular along Canada’s folk and blues festival circuits.  Besides making several albums of his own, including four excellent titles for Vanguard Records, Washington appeared on recordings by such greats as Lionel Hampton, Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell, and Duke Ellington.  He was also an inspiration to many, including a young Bob Dylan, who liberally “borrowed” from Washington’s version of “Nottumun Town” for his own “Masters Of War.” There was even talk of Washington suing Dylan, but that never came to be. Jackie Washington died of complications from an earlier heart attack.  He was 89.

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Keeping Out of Mischief - Jackie Washington

 

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Died On This Date (March 4, 1986) Richard Manuel / The Band

Posted by themusicsover on March 4, 2010

Richard Manuel
April 3, 1943 – March 4, 1986

With Bob Dylan

With Bob Dylan

Richard Manuel was a Canadian multi-instrumentalist and singer who is best remembered as a long-time member of perhaps the greatest “back up” band in history, the Band.  Manuel first started working with his former Band mates when, at just 17, he joined rockabilly great, Ronnie Hawkins’ backing band, the Hawks.  About two years later, that unit morphed into the Band, which would count Manuel, Levon Helm, Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson and Garth Hudson as its most celebrated members.  Manual mostly played piano in the group.  When Bob Dylan decided to go electric during the mid ’60s, it was the Band he called to serve as his backing band.  And when he went on hiatus after being injured in a motorcycle accident in 1967, the Band holed up in a big pink house in Woodstock, New York to record what would become their acclaimed debut album, Music From Big Pink.  Manuel wrote its “Tears of Rage” (with Dylan), “In A Station,” “We Can Talk,” and “Lonesome Suzy.”  The band continued to release respected albums and collaborate with other performers, all culminating in a remarkable “farewell concert” on Thanksgiving Day, 1976.  In front of an unsuspecting audience, the Band gave the show like no other, sharing the stage with such invited guests and admirers as Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Neil Diamond, Dylan, Eric Clapton, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison and more.  Each artists’ performance was arguably the single greatest of their careers.  The evening was captured on film by Martin Scorsese and released as The Last Waltz, considered one of rock music’s greatest concert films.  Sadly however, Manual was a chronic substance abuser along the way.  His inner demons finally got the best of him when, on March 4, 1986, he hung himself in his hotel room after a show.  Richard Manual was 42 when he died.

What You Should Own

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The Last Waltz - The Band

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