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Posts Tagged ‘Mick Jagger’

Died On This Date (April 12, 1975) Josephine Baker / ’30s Cabaret Star

Posted by themusicsover on April 12, 2010

Josephine Baker
June 3, 1906 – April 12, 1975

Miss Josephine Baker was born into poverty in 1906 but would grow up to be one of the most in-demand French cabaret performers of her time. Off stage she devoted her life to fighting prejudice. The slums of St. Louis could not hold this woman down as she left home at the age of 13 to pursue her dream of the stage. Her break came in 1921 when she began to get notice on the stages of New York City. She quickly became a star throughout Harlem and began to grace the stage of such jazz landmarks as the Cotton Club. Baker made the move to Paris in 1925 to perform for audiences more accustomed to her brazen sexuality and minimal costumes. By the ’30s, Baker was owning her own club, starring in films, and recording her own records. Back in America to perform alongside Bob Hope in Ziegfeld’s Follies, Baker began to meet resistance due to both her sexuality and skin color, as conservatives rallied against the show. She quickly fled back to Paris and became a naturalized citizen. About that time, the Nazis invaded so Baker found herself working for the resistance and going as far as to smuggle sensitive documents out of France. She even worked as a sub-lieutenant for the French Air Force’s Women’s Auxiliary, volunteered for the Red Cross, and performed for the troops. She was later awarded military medals for her brave work. By the ’50s, Baker was back in America where she used her fame in the fight for Civil Rights by demanding to perform in front of segregated audiences. After retiring from the stage, Baker spent her time raising her racially mixed brood of 12 adopted children and stayed active in the struggle for equal rights. Josephine Baker passed away of natural causes in her sleep in the early hours of April 12, 1975, following the opening night of a revue in honor of her fifty years in show business. In the crowd that night were the likes of Prince Rainier and Princess Grace, Sophia Loren, Mick Jagger, Shirley Bassey, Diana Ross and Liza Minelli. Opening night received rave reviews.

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Died On This Date (April 5, 2006) Gene Pitney / Early Rock and Roll Star

Posted by themusicsover on April 5, 2010

Gene Pitney
February 17, 1940 – April 5, 2006

Not only was Gene Pitney a future member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2002), he was an accomplished songwriter, guitarist, pianist, and sound engineer. Pitney enjoyed much success as a performer, cranking out more than twenty Top 40 hits at a time when most other American acts were being pushed aside by the British Invasion.  He didn’t fight the trend, he joined it by working on several of the earliest recordings of the Rolling Stones. Pitney’s first hit came in 1961 with “Town Without Pity” from the film of the same name. He sang it at the Academy Awards ceremony, being the first pop singer to perform at the event. His hits as a singer or songwriter continued with a vengeance. He can count the following as his own (as a writer or singer): “He’s A Rebel,” “Hello Mary Lou,” “Rubber Ball,” Today’s Teardrops,” and “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.” He even gave songwriters Mick Jagger and Keith Richards their first Top 10 hit with his version of “That Girl Belongs To Yesterday.” Pitney continued to record and perform throughout the rest of his life until he died of natural causes in his hotel room while on a tour of the UK in 2006. He was 66.

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Died On This Date (January 1, 1984) Alexis Korner / Founding Father Of British Blues

Posted by themusicsover on January 1, 2010

Alexis Korner
April 19, 1928 – January 1, 1984

Alexis Korner has been rightfully called the “Founding Father of British Blues.”  In 1955, Korner and fellow blues enthusiast and musician Cyril Davies opened the London Blues and Barrelhouse Club so there would be a place in town for American blues artists to play.  It would be the first exposure to American blues music that many young Londoners ever  had.  Korner and Bond soon formed Blues Incorporated, an electric band whose ever-changing roster included Charlie Watts, Ginger Baker, Long John Baldry, Graham Bond, and Jack Bruce.  Future greats like Rod Stewart, Mick Jagger, John Mayall, and Jimmy Page and Brian Jones were all fans and occasionally sat in with the band.  By 1966, Blues Incorporated was over and Korner moved over to British television where he was an entertainment news correspondent for a children’s program.  The ’70s and ’80s found Korner working in a few different jazz- and blues-centric groups.  He died of lung cancer on January 1, 1984 at the age of 55.

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Died On This Date (December 12, 1985) Ian Stewart / Co-founder of Rolling Stones

Posted by themusicsover on December 12, 2009

Ian Stewart
July 18, 1938 – December 12, 1985

ian-stewartIan Stewart was a Scottish boogie-woogie piano player who, in 1962, was the first to respond to Brian Jones’ ad looking for musicians to form a band.  Dick Taylor, Tony Chapman, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards were soon to follow, and the original unit of the Rolling Stones was born.   Within a few months, Charlie Watts and Bill Wyman replaced Taylor and Chapman.  In early 1963, the band’s manager convinced the others that Stewart’s burly physique just didn’t fit in with the image the band was developing, so he was relegated to road manager and studio keyboardist.  He played on all but one Stones album between 1964 and 1983.   Over the years, Stewart played keyboards on Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” and “Boogie With Stu” (named for Stewart), as well as George Thorogood’s Bad To The Bone and Howlin’ Wolf’s London Sessions albums.   On December 12, 1985, Ian Stewart, 47,  went to a local hospital to have an ongoing respiratory problem checked out.  While in the waiting room, he suffered a fatal heart attack.

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Died On This Date (October 12, 2008) Amos Heilicher / Minneapolis Music Business Icon

Posted by themusicsover on October 12, 2009

Amos Heilicher
November 12, 1917 – October 12, 2008

Amos Heilicher was a Minneapolis music industry icon whose impact was felt well beyond the Twin Cities.  Heilicher was still in high school when jumped into the record business by purchasing five jukeboxes.  Mercury Records soon came and asked him for help getting their latest singles into other area jukeboxes as well.  After that, he brought on RCA and Columbia along with other labels, and quickly became one of the country’s leading jukebox record suppliers.  Heilicher soon expanded his distribution, or “rack-jobbing,” to include drug stores, department stores, and eventually, such chains as Discount Records and Musicland.  He also had his own label, Soma Records for many years, and has been credited for breaking such hits as the Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird” and Dave Dudley’s “Six Days On The Road.”  It has been said that at one time, Heilicher had a hand in 10% of all records sold in the U.S.  In fact, in 1970, Esquire magazine included Heilicher in a list of the music industry’s most powerful people that also included Berry Gordy and Mick Jagger.  In 1977, Heilicher sold his music business and spent his last decades working in real estate and raising money for various nonprofits.  Amos Heilicher was 90 when he passed away on October 12, 2008.

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