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Posts Tagged ‘Paul Anka’

Died On This Date (December 5, 2011) Violetta Villas / Polish Torch Singer; ’60s Las Vegas Star

Posted by themusicsover on December 5, 2011

Violetta Villas (Born Czesława Cieślak)
June 10, 1938 – December 5, 2011

Violetta Villas was a Polish soprano singer who, instead of taking the obvious route of opera, chose a career in pop music.  Known as much for her magnificent head of blond curls as her four-octave voice, Villas starred in six films and recorded nearly 300 songs in ten different languages.  In 1966, Villas was hired by the Dunes Hotel in Las Vegas to perform in their Casino de Paris.  Her run lasted until 1971, and along the way she was joined on stage by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Eartha Kitt, Barbra Streisand, and Paul Anka.  During the late ’70s, Villas returned to Poland to care for her dying mother, and was forced to hand her passport over to the Communist regime who forbade her from leaving the country for more than ten years.  She was able to return to the world stage in 1987 so she toured the United States and Canada one last time.  Violetta Villas was 73 when she passed away on December 5, 2011.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin at 2+ Printing for the assist.

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Died On This Date (August 9, 2009) David Van De Pitte / Arranger For Motown

Posted by themusicsover on August 9, 2010

David Van De Pitte
October 28, 1941 – August 9, 2009

As a music arranger for Motown, David Van De Pitte helped make hits out of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” Eddie Kendricks‘ “Keep On Truckin,'” Gladys Knight’s “If I Were Your Woman,” and many more.  Van De Pitte started working at Motown in 1968 and besides his arrangement successes, he was also the music director for live shows by the likes of Diana Ross, Paul Anka, the Four Tops and the Temptations.  David Van De Pitte died of cancer at the age of 67.

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Died On This Date (August 5, 1992) Jeff Porcaro / Toto

Posted by themusicsover on August 5, 2010

Jeff Porcaro
April 1, 1954 – August 5, 1992

Born into a musical family, Jeff Porcaro began playing the drums at an early age. His father was well-known session drummer, Joe Porcaro, and his brothers, Steve and Mike Porcaro are active studio musicians as well. Drum lessons began for Jeff at age seven, leading to a career as one of the most respected drummers of his time. At seventeen, Porcaro landed his first job, playing in Sonny & Cher’s touring band. By his twenties, he was playing with the likes of Steely Dan and Boz Scaggs. In 1977, Porcaro, Steve Lukather, and David Paich co-founded Grammy-winning rock band, Toto. Having sold some 30 million albums to date, they are considered to be one of the most successful mainstream rock bands of all time. Even with all that success, Porcaro had time to play on recordings by a who’s who of popular music, including Bruce Springsteen, Dire Straits, Paul McCartney, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Eric Clapton and Paul Anka. On August 5, 1992, Porcaro suffered a fatal heart attack at the age of 38. Some speculated that his death was caused by an alergic reaction to insecticide. The offiicial autopsy concluded that he died of a previously undiagnosed heart condition.

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