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Posts Tagged ‘Morgana Kennedy’

Died On This Date (August 3, 2008) Erik Darling / The Weavers, Rooftop Singers

Posted by themusicsover on August 3, 2010

Erik Darling
September 25, 1933 – August 3, 2008

Erik Darling was a folk singer-songwriter who found success in two of the genres most influential groups, the Weavers and the Rooftop Singers.  Prior to replacing Pete Seeger in the Weavers in 1958, Darling had a group with future film star, Alan Arkin.  The group was first called the Tunetellers and later, the Terriers and they scored a Top 5 Billboard hit with their version of “Banana Boat Song (Day-O).”   Darling was in the Weavers for four years after which he formed the Rooftop Singers, a hipper folk group whose “Walk Right In” landed at #1 on pop charts in 1963 and was certified gold for selling over 1 million copies for Vanguard Records.  Darling died of lymphoma at the age of at the age of 74.  Upon learning of Darling’s passing, Vanguard’s Morgana Kennedy said, “That’s sad.”

Thanks to Craig Rosen at  Number1Albums for the assist

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Vanguard Visionaries: The Rooftop Singers - The Rooftop Singers

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Died On This Date (July 10, 1987) John Hammond / Legendary Talent Scout & Producer

Posted by themusicsover on July 10, 2010

John H. Hammond
December 15, 1910 – July 10, 1987

Photo by Frank Driggs

Photo by Frank Driggs

John Hammond was one of the most influential men in the music business during the 20th century.  Whether as a producer or talent scout, Hammond was instrumental in the success of many of the names in music.  That list includes Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Pete Seeger, Aretha Franklin, and Count Basie.  Hammond began his career in the early ’30s, mostly working with jazz artists, primarily helping African American musicians like Lionel Hampton and Charlie Christian land gigs in previously all-white bands.  In 1938, Hammond put together the first of the groundbreaking From Spirituals To Swing concerts that included the biggest names in jazz, blues and gospel.  Taking place at Carnegie Hall, it was reportedly the first significant concert by a racially mixed group of performers in front of a racially mixed audience.  The albums documenting the shows are now considered American music classics and a box set was released in 1999 thanks in part to Morgana Kennedy at Vanguard Records. In the early ’60s, Hammond was hired by Columbia Records where he signed Springsteen, Dylan, Seeger, Aretha and many others.  John Hammond passed away after a stroke at the age of 76.

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Died On This Date (June 11, 2008) Mickey McMahan / Played Trumpet For Lawrence Welk

Posted by themusicsover on June 11, 2010

Clinton “Mickey” McMahan
August 23, 1930 – June 11, 2008

Mickey McMahan at center

Mickey McMahan was a trumpeter for both Lawrence Welk and Les Brown.  McMahan joined the Welk show in 1967, and stayed 15 years.  Prior to his years with Welk, McMahan played in Brown’s Band of Renown on The Steve Allen Show as well as at military bases around the world when they were Bob Hope’s USO band.  Mickey McMahan died of neuropathy and an unrelated blood disease on June 11, 2008.  He was 77.

Thanks to longtime Welk staffer Morgana Kennedy for the assist.

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Died On This Date (May 18, 1985) Pee Wee Crayton / Texas Blues Great

Posted by themusicsover on May 18, 2010

Connie “Pee Wee” Crayton
December 18, 1914 – May 18, 1985

Pee Wee Crayton was a brilliant Texas blues guitarist stylistically similar to T-Bone Walker but a bit more soul leaning. One of his first recordings landed at the top of the Billboard R&B charts in 1948. Crayton continued to record and tour well into the ’70s. In recent years, Morgana Kennedy at Vanguard Records exposed Crayton’s music to new fans around the world.  He died of a heart attack on May 18, 1985.

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Died On This Date (May 17, 1992) Lawrence Welk / American Bandleader & Television Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on May 17, 2010

Lawrence Welk
March 11, 1903 – May 17, 1992

Lawrence Welk was an American band leader and accordionist who rose to fame as one if television’s earliest variety show hosts. His The Lawrence Welk Show began airing in 1951 and would continue to entertain millions for the next 30 years with its squeaky clean “Champagne Music.” On his 21st birthday, Welk left the family farm in Strasburg, ND to pursue his career in music, first performing in bands and then forming his orchestra which would take him all over the region and later to major cities like Chicago and New York. In 1951, he settled in Los Angeles and debuted The Lawrence Welk Show on local channel, KTLA. It became an instant local hit and was picked up by ABC who began airing in nationally in 1955. The conservative program was well liked for its wholesome entertainment and familiarity of music – Welk insisted the entertainers perform only songs that were already hits by others. The show launched the careers of such musical greats as Myron Floren, Pete Fountain, Johnny Hodges and the Lennon Sisters. Many of the show’s original performers continue to pay tribute to Welk on various anniversary programs. Although Welk died from pneumonia in 1992 at the age of 89, his legacy lives on thanks to the hard work of devoted long-time Welk staffers like Morgana Kennedy.

What You Should Own

Click to find at amazon.com

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