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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Jackson’

Died On This Date (June 19, 2013) Slim Whitman / Country Music Legend

Posted by themusicsover on June 19, 2013

Ottis “Slim” Whitman
January 20, 1923 or 1924 – June 19, 2013

slim-whitmanSlim Whitman was an American country singer, songwriter and guitarist who is perhaps best remembered for his high voice and yodeling skills.  Highly influential, even George Harrison and Michael Jackson have cited Whitman as an influence.  Born in Tampa, Florida, Whitman served in the US Navy during World War II before launching his music career.  While working in a shipyard, he was given the opportunity to sing on a local Tampa radio station only to be heard by Col. Tom Parker of Elvis Presley fame who helped secure Whitman his first recording contract with RCA Records in 1948.  A series of country hits followed until 1955, when he scored his first #1 pop hit with “Rose Marie.”  The record sat at the top of the UK charts for an unprecedented 11 weeks until Bryan Adams broke the record in 1991.  In 1979, Whitman appeared in one of the earliest infomercials on television.  The piece is considered THE most successful one ever, responsible for selling 1.5 million copies of his All My Best greatest hits album.   Over the course of his career, Whitman sold over 120 million albums which include his most recent, 2010’s Twilight On The Trail, his first new studio album in 26 years.  Slim Whitman died of heart failure on June 19, 2013.  He was 90 years old.

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Posted in Country, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (May 1, 2013) Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly / Half Of ’90s Rap Duo, Kris Kross

Posted by themusicsover on May 1, 2013

Chris Kelly
June 11, 1978 – May 1, 2013

Chris Kelly on right.

Chris Kelly on right.

Chris Kelly is best remembered as one-half of the popular ’90s rap duo, Kris Kross.  Formed in 1990 with Chris “Daddy Mac” Smith when they were just 13 years old, the pair went on to have a major hit in 1992 with “Jump.”  That single, which appeared on their debut album, Totally Krossed Out, spent eight weeks at #1 on the Billboard singles chart and sold in excess of two million copies. The album from which it came sold upwards of four million copies in the US alone.  Kris Kross’ two follow-up albums went platinum and gold in the US respectively.  Kelly and Smith were also known for wearing their clothing backwards on stage.  Born in Atlanta, Kelly and Smith were discovered by Jermaine Dupri who helped land them a deal with Columbia Records’ Ruffhouse imprint.  In 1992, the duo hit the road with Michael Jackson, opening for his Dangerous World Tour.  They also appeared in Jackson’s video for “Jam.”  Throughout the ’90s, the guys made several cameos on various television shows and such.  They also recorded “Rugrats Romp” for the popular Nickelodeon program, Rugrats.  Kelly and Smith parted ways in 1998 but reunited for Dupri’s So So Def Recording’s 20th anniversary concert in 2013.  On May 1, 2013, Chris Kelly, age 34,  was found unresponsive in his Atlanta home and was later pronounced dead at a local hospital.  Official medical reports concluded he died of a drug overdose.

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Click to find at amazon.com



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Died On This Date (February 23, 2012) Mike Melvoin / Jazz Pianist; Studio Session Legend

Posted by themusicsover on February 23, 2012

Mike Melvoin
May 10, 1937 – February 23, 2012

Mike Melvoin was a much-respected jazz pianist whose talent can be heard on countless records by some of the biggest names in music.  Since 1961, Melvoin graced recordings by such luminaries as Frank Sinatra, Tom Waits, Peggy Lee, Michael Jackson, and Charlie Haden.  As one of L.A.’s leading session players, it was Melvoin who got the call to play on such landmark recordings as the Jackson 5’s “ABC,” the Beach Boy’s “Good Vibrations,” Natalie Cole’s “Unforgettable,” Barbra Streisand’s “Evergreen,” and John Lennon’s “Stand By Me.”   He released several albums of his own as well, on such respected labels as Verve, Dot, and Liberty.  Melvoin also found time to raise his own family of respected musicians – Wendy Melvoin of Wendy & Lisa, Jonathan Melvoin of Smashing Pumpkins fame, and Susannah Melvoin.   Mike Melvoin was 74 when he died of cancer on February 23, 2012.

Thanks Craig Rosen at Number 1 Albums for the assist.




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Died On This Date (February 1, 2012) Don Cornelius / Creator & Host Of “Soul Train”

Posted by themusicsover on February 1, 2012

Don Cornelius
September 27, 1936 – February 1, 2012

Don Cornelius was the creator, writer, producer, and host of the extremely influential American dance program, Soul Train.  Launched in October of 1961 after Cornelius noticed a void of nationally broadcast television shows that catered to the African-American audience, Soul Train ran until March of 2006.  Cornelius hosted the program from its inception until 1993.  Soul Train has been praised for influencing countless African-American kids while bringing black music into the white neighborhoods.  Over the years, the show featured lip-synched performances by everyone from James Brown, Marvin Gaye and Aretha Franklin, to Michael Jackson, Ice Cube and Prince.  Two popular segments of the show were the “Soul Train Scrabble Board” where two dancers tried to un-scramble letters to identify a significant person in African-American culture, and the oft-imitated “Soul Train Line” where the dancers formed two lines and then strutted their stuff with a partner down the middle.  In 1987, Cornelius launched the Soul Train Awards, a nationally broadcast program that honored the year’s best artists in R&B, Soul, Jazz and Hip-Hop.  The show ran until 2000.  Throughout the years, Cornelius was honored and/or parodied in countless sit-coms, rap songs, and films.   In the early hours of February 1, 2012, police responded to the home of Don Cornelius where they found him dead of what initially appeared to have been a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  He was 75.

Thanks to Bruce Kilgour at Slipped Disc Entertainment for the assist.

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Died On This Date (January 26, 2012) Clare Fischer / Legendary Arranger, Composer & Jazz Musician

Posted by themusicsover on January 26, 2012

Clare Fischer
October 22, 1928 – January 26, 2012

Clare Fischer was a pianist, composer and arranger who, besides having his own respectable career as a musician, arranged music for some of pop music’s biggest stars.  Fischer was still a child when he first started making music, and after graduating from college and serving in the Army, he pursued a career in music.  During the late ’50s, he took on his first gig of note as the pianist and arranger for popular vocal quartet, the Hi-Los.  It was his work with the group that helped establish them as a major influence on the likes of the Manhattan Transfer, Brian Wilson, and Quincy Jones.  It was around that time that he also arranged music for jazz greats Cal Tjader, Donald Byrd, and George Shearing among others.  Fischer began recording his own albums in 1962.  His output includes First Time Out, Surging Ahead, and Clare Fischer & Salsa Picante Present 2+2 , for which he won a Grammy.  Throughout his career, he was recognized with 11 Grammy nominations and two wins.   In 1985, Fischer began writing arrangements for Prince.  Albums on which they collaborated include Under A Cherry Moon and Graffiti Bridge.  Other artists he arranged for include Paul McCartney, Michael Jackson, Celine Dion, and Robert Palmer.  On January 26, 2012, Clare Fischer died as a result of a heart attack he suffered some three weeks prior.  He was 83.

Thanks to Ken McCullagh for the assist.

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Clare Fischer

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