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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jackson’

RIP, Chuck Berry (March 18, 2017) Rock and Roll Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on March 18, 2017

Chuck Berry
October 18, 1926 – March 18, 2017

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As one of the founding fathers of rock and roll, Chuck Berry refined the early sounds of rhythm and blues, added catchy teen-centric lyrics, and turned up the volume of his guitar.  By doing so, he became one of the most influential artists pop music has ever known. Launching his recording career during the mid ’50s, Berry created songs that not only became a part of  America’s fabric, but would be played on radios, at parties, in concerts, on television, and in movies for the next 60 years. His remarkable output included such unforgettable songs as  “Johnny B. Goode,” “Maybellene,” “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Sweet Little Sixteen,” and “Rock and Roll Music.”  On stage, he stood head and shoulders above most of his peers by adding a showmanship that included dazzling guitar solos, and of course, that “duck walk” across the stage.  His direct influence is staggering –  the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Kinks, the Beach Boys, Michael JacksonBruce Springsteen, U2, Prince, Ted Nugent, Tom Petty, and George Thorogood  (to name just a very few) have all cited him as a significant influence or honored him in some way.  In 1986, Berry was deservedly part of the initial class inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and he went on to receive countless accolades for the rest of his life.  And of course, a pop music-related “Best Of” list that does not include him or one of his records somewhere near the top, should be taken to the shredder.  Chuck Berry was 90 when he passed away in his home on March 18, 2017. Cause of death was not immediately released.

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RIP, Leon Ware (February 23, 2017) Successful R&B Songwriter & Producer

Posted by themusicsover on February 23, 2017

Leon Ware
February 16, 1940 – February 23, 2017

Photo by David Corio. Source: rollingstone.com

Leon Ware was an American singer, songwriter and producer who was celebrated for the many hits he crafted for others.  Born in Detroit, Ware began writing professionally in 1967.  Later that year, the first recording note of a song he co-wrote was released; “Got To Have You Back,” by the Isley Brothers.  A couple of years later, he hooked up with Ike & Tina Turner to co-write six songs on their album,  Nuff Said.  What followed was nearly four decades of hit songs for the likes of Michael Jackson, Minnie Riperton, Quincy Jones, and Marvin Gaye.  In Gaye’s case, every song on his I Want You album was penned or co-penned by Ware who also produced the landmark album. It sold over a million copies and is considered a must-have for any album collection.  Ware also recorded nearly a dozen albums of his own, the most successful being 1979’s Inside Is Love, and the most recent, 2008’s Moon Ride.  Leon Ware was 77 when he died of prostate cancer on February 23, 2017.

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Died On This Date (February 27, 2015) Charmayne Maxwell / Co-founder Of Brownstone

Posted by themusicsover on February 27, 2015

Charmayne “Maxee” Maxwell
DOB Unknown – February 27, 2015

charmayne-maxwellCharmayne Maxwell was a founding member of the ’90s R&B vocal group, Brownstone.  Formed in 1994, Brownstone soon found themselves signed to Michael Jackson‘s MJJ Records.  In January of 1995, they released their first album, From The Bottom Up, that included their biggest hit, “If You Love Me,” which was nominated for a Best R&B Performance Grammy.  From The Bottom Up sold over a million copies in the US alone. Their list of hit singles also includes “Grapevyne,” “Pass The Lovin’,” and their cover of the Eagles classic, “I Can’t Tell You Why.”  Brownstone released just one more album, 1997’s Still Climbing.  On Friday, February 27, 2015, Charmayne Maxwell reportedly bled to death from injuries she sustained after accidentally falling onto a broken wine glass.  She was 46.

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Died On This Date (January 8, 2015) Andrae Crouch / The Father of Modern Gospel Music

Posted by themusicsover on January 8, 2015

Andrae Crouch
July 1, 1942 – January 8, 2015

andrae-crouchAndrae Crouch was a Gospel music pioneer in that he almost single-handedly crossed it over to the mainstream over the course of his career.  Crouch took to music at an early age, and had already written his first Gospel song by the time he was 14.  In 1960, he formed his first group, the Church of God in Christ Singers, that also counted Billy Preston as a member.  That lead to the Disciples which lasted until 1979, when Crouch went on to his successful solo career.  His best known songs are “My Tribute (To God Be the Glory),” “Soon and Very Soon,” and “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power.”  Over the years, Crouch collaborated with the likes of Elton John, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Madonna (to name just a few).   He also contributed original music to several films and television shows, most notably,  The Lion King and The Color Purple,  for which he earned an Academy Award nomination.  Throughout a career that spanned nearly 50 years, he won seven Grammys, four Dove Awards, and numerous other accolades.  Andrae Crouch was 72 when he died on January 8, 2015 while in the hospital after suffering a heart attack five days earlier.

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

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Died On This Date (August 5, 2013) George Duke / Highly Regarded Jazz & Pop Musician

Posted by themusicsover on August 5, 2013

George Duke
January 12, 1946 – August 5. 2013

george-dukeGeorge Duke was a highly regarded jazz musician, singer, composer and producer who successful crossed over to R&B and pop throughout the years.  Born and raised in the San Francisco area, Duke began picking up various instruments at an early age.  He received a Bachelor’s Degree in trombone and composition while Minoring in the contrabass.  He later went on the earn a Master’s in composition.  Armed with these credentials, Duke kicked his music career into high gear upon graduating from college.  It was during the mid ’60s that he started dabbling in what would become known as jazz fusion and more avant-garde styles.  Over the course of his career, he released nearly 50 albums which oftentimes touched on funk, R&B, Latin jazz, and most notably, jazz fusion, the style he helped create the blueprint for.  As a collaborator, the list of artists he worked with reads like a pop music encyclopedia. It includes Jean-Luc Ponty, Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, his cousin Dianne Reeves, George Clinton, Cannonball Adderley, Anita Baker, and most consistently, Frank Zappa for whom he played on over a dozen albums.  In 1988, Duke served as the musical director at the Nelson Mandela tribute concert at Wembley Stadium in London.  In recent years, his music was sampled by Daft Punk, Common, Mylo, and many more.  In July of 2013, he released DreamWeaver as a tribute to his wife who passed away in 2012.  George Duke was 67 when he passed away on August 5, 2013.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

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