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Posts Tagged ‘Merv Griffin’

RIP, Al Jarreau (February 12, 2017) American Jazz Singer

Posted by themusicsover on February 12, 2017

Al Jarreau
March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017

Al Jarreau was an internationally renowned jazz vocalist who, over the course of his career, earned seven Grammy’s while garnering over a dozen more nominations.  To this day, he’s the only vocalist to win a Grammy in three different categories – in his case, jazz, pop and R&B.  Born in Milwaukee, Jarreau spent much of youth singing at local church and school events.  He continued singing through high school and college where he performed with jazz trio which included George Duke.  By  the early ’70s, Jarreau was performing at top clubs in Los Angeles as well as  on TV shows like The Dinah Shore Show, The Mike Douglas Show, The Merv Griffin Show and The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson.  He signed with Warner Bros. Records in 1975 and went on to release 16 studio albums and several more live and compilation albums.  His debut, 1975’s We Got By was released to critical acclaim, and introduced him to new fans the world over.  1981 found Jarreau releasing what would become his best-selling album, Breakin’ Away.  Jarreau continued to record and tour through much of the rest of his life.  On February 8th, 2017, he cancelled his current tour and was hospitalized for exhaustion.  Four days later, February 12th, Al Jarreau, passed away at the hospital surrounded by this family and friends. He was 76. Cause of death was not immediately released.

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Died On This Date (August 22, 2008) Ralph Young / Sandler & Young

Posted by themusicsover on August 22, 2010

Ralph Young (Born Ralph Israel)
July 1, 1918 – August 22, 2008

Ralph Young at right

Ralph Young is best remembered as half of the duo, Sandler & Young which he formed during the ’60s with fellow singer, Tony Sandler.  Signed to Capitol Records in 1966, the duo went on to release 22 albums and toured the world.  They were also a popular draw in Las Vegas throughout the ’70s and ’80s and made regular television appearances on such programs as the Ed Sullivan Show, Merv Griffin Show, and the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  Sandler & Young retired in 1983 but reunited on ocassion, the most recent being in 2003.  Ralph Young passed away in his home at the age of 90.

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Side By Side - Sandler & Young

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Died On This Date (August 12, 2007) Merv Griffin / World Famous Band Leader & Televison Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on August 12, 2010

Merv Griffin
July 6, 1925 – August 12, 2007

Besides having a long and ultra-successful career as a television host and media mogul, Merv Griffin was also a very talented musician and songwriter.  Griffin began his music career as a singer at the age of 19 when he appeared on a nationally syndicated radio program which lead to a gig singing in front of a traveling orchestra for the next four years.  Shortly thereafter, Griffin recorded his first album, Songs By Merv Griffin, which would go down in history as the first American album ever recorded on magnetic tape.  At 25, Griffin’s “I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts” became a chart topper, eventually selling some three million copies.  By now Griffin was a popular fixture on the nightclub circuit, where he was discovered by Doris Day who opened some Hollywood doors which eventually lead to his lucrative film and television career.   Griffin’s most popular song was a lullaby written for his son entitled “A Time For Tony.”  The tune was renamed “Think!” and found a home as the countdown music for the Final Jeopardy rounds.  Griffin has said that that simple melody has earned him in excess of $70 million dollars in royalties.  Merv Griffin passed away as a result of prostate cancer on August 12, 2007.  He was 82.

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Died On This Date (June 26, 2010) Benny Powell (June 26, 2010) Acclaimed Jazz Performer

Posted by themusicsover on June 26, 2010

Benny Powell
March 1, 1930 – June 26, 2010

Benny Powell was a New Orleans-born jazz trombonist who is best remembered for his dozen years playing with Count Basie.  Powell began playing professionally when he was just 14, and by the time he turned 18, he was playing with Lionel Hampton.  In 1951, he joined Basie and can be heard most prominently in “April in Paris.”  In later years he was in house band for the Merv Griffin Show and did session work on countless recordings.  He also lead his own band for several years.  Benny Powell was 80 when he passed away on June 26, 2010.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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Nextep - Benny Powell

 

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Died On This Date (February 12, 1983) Eubie Blake / Jazz Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on February 12, 2010

James “Eubie” Blake
February 7, 1887 – February 12, 1983

eubie-blakeEubie Blake was a jazz pianist and songwriter who is most closely associated with the golden age of ragtime jazz.  Many of his compositions, such as “I’m Just Wild About Harry,” “Charleston Rag,” and “Memories of You” have become standards.   In 1921, Shuffle Along, a musical he co-wrote, became one of the first Broadway shows that was written and directed by African-Americans.  Blake continued to work well into his later life and was a regular guest on the Johnny Carson and Merv Griffin shows.  Eubie Blake was 96 years old when he passed away on February 12, 1983.

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Memories of You - EUBIE BLAKE

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