Posted by themusicsover on November 13, 2016
Leon Russell (Born Claude Russell Bridges)
April 2, 1942 – November 13, 2016
Photo by Carl Lender
Leon Russell was a celebrated musician, singer, songwriter and producer whose early work as a session player alone was enough to rightfully find him a home in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Add to that his credits as a songwriter, and you have one of the most respected artists we have ever known. Born in Oklahoma, Russell began playing the piano at just four years old. By high school, he and schoolmate David Gates, of future Bread fame, had a band together. Over the next couple of years Russell needed a fake ID to play the clubs of Tulsa. And then, at just 16 years old, he headed to Los Angeles to take a crack at becoming a session musician. Russell quickly built a solid reputation and became one of the first people called into the studio or on stage to lend his talents. The list of artists or their producers that mad that call is staggering – it includes the Byrds, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, the Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand, and the Beach Boys. And as part of the famed Wrecking Crew of L.A. studio musicians, the list goes on. Russel’s first hit as a songwriter came by way of Joe Cocker‘s 1969 recording of his “Delta Lady.” As the ’70s dawned, Russell began making his own albums while producing others. And thanks in part to the success of “Delta Lady,” he became a go-to songwriter for hopeful pop and rock stars. In 1970, he released his self-titled debut. The album spawned one of his most famous songs, “A Song For You” which has been covered by a diverse list of artists that includes Ray Charles, Zakk Wylde, Andy Williams, Herbie Hancock with Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Willie Nelson, and Amy Winehouse. Russell spent the rest of the ’70s on a seemingly endless recording and touring cycle. He eventually slowed down, but became no less productive and influential. The next three decades found him working with the likes of New Grass Revival and Bruce Hornsby while releasing several more of his own albums which leaned more bluegrass and country than much of his ’70s output. In 2010, Elton John (who called Russell his biggest influence as a pianist, singer and songwriter) and Bernie Taupin partnered with Russell on The Union, which resulted in a return-to-the-charts for both. The outstanding album, produced by T-Bone Burnett, and credited equally to both John and Taupin, entered the Billboard charts at No. 3, Russell’s highest charting album since 1972 and John’s highest since 1976. Rolling Stone called it one of the best 30 albums of 2010. The new-found exposure for Russell found him touring heavily up through the first half of 2016 when a heart attack sidelined him. Not discouraged, plans were being made to hit the road again in 2017. Unfortunately, while still recovering from the heart attack, Leon Russell died quietly in his sleep on November 14, 2016. He was 74.
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Posted in Country, Musician, Producer, R&B, Record Label, Rock, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Amy Winehouse, Andy Williams, B.B. King, Barbra Streisand, Beach Boys, Bernie Taupin, Bob Dylan, Bread, Christina Aguilera, David Gates, Elton John, Frank Sinatra, Herbie Hancock, Joe Cocker, Leon Russell, Ray Charles, Rolling Stones, T-Bone Burnett, the byrds, Willie Nelson, Wrecking Crew, Zakk Wylde | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on December 2, 2014
December 18, 1943 – December 2, 2014
Photo by David Plastik – Click To Order Quality Prints – Discount code: 10OFF
Bobby Keys was one of the greatest saxophone side men the rock world has ever known. Born in Lubbock County, Texas, Keys picked up the saxophone at an early age, and by the time he was 15, he was touring with Bobby Vee and Buddy Holly. Throughout the years, he played on 100s of recordings, along with albums by Lynyrd Skynyrd, George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Paul McCartney, the Who, Eric Clapton, and Elvis Presley, to name but a few. But it was with the Rolling Stones that Keys truly made his biggest contributions to popular music. He can be heard on every Stones album between 1969 and 1974, and from 1980 to their most recent. He’s also played on nearly every tour since 1970. His most famous solo is arguably the one he played on “Brown Sugar.” Suffering from Cirrhosis in later years, Bobby Keys passed away in his home on December 2, 2014. He was 70.
Thanks to David Plastik for the assist.
Posted in Musician | Tagged: Bobby Keys, Bobby Vee, Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, John Lennon, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Rolling Stones, the who | 1 Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on February 11, 2013
August 5, 1942 – February 11, 2013
There was a moment during the ’60s when Rick Huxley was arguably the biggest bass player in popular music. It was the British Invasion and the band in which he played, the Dave Clark Five, was comfortably seated right behind fellow invaders, the Beatles. Formed in 1958, the band was the Fab Four’s biggest challengers during the early ’60s until the Rolling Stones roared in. With the Dave Clark Five, Huxley played on such pop music staples as “Glad All Over,” “Bits and Pieces,” and “Catch Us If You Can.” In March of 1964, the band became the second British Invasion band to perform on The Ed Sullivan Show. Their two-week run immediately followed the Beatles’ original three-week stint. The group broke up in 1970 and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by Tom Hanks in 2008, with Huxley on hand to accept the honor. Other groups he played with include the Riverside Blues Boys and the Spon Valley Stompers. Rick Huxley was 72 when he passed away on February 11, 2013. Cause of death was not immediately released, though he had been battling emphysema.
Posted in Musician, Rock | Tagged: Dave Clark Five, Ed Sullivan, Rick Huxley, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Riverside Blues Boys, The Spon Valley Stompers, Tom Hanks | 3 Comments »
Posted by themusicsover on July 4, 2011
May 3, 1919 – July 4, 2011
Jane Scott was, simply put, a rock critic’s rock critic. For 50 years, she covered nearly every major concert that came through Cleveland, Ohio for the city’s major daily, the Plain Dealer. Born in Cleveland, Scott graduated from the University of Michigan and served in the U.S. Navy before taking up a career in journalism. In March of 1952, just three days after Cleveland DJ, Alan Freed put on what has been called the world’s first rock concert, Scott was hired by the Plain Dealer to cover local society events. In 1958, she took over a column that was aimed at what now would be called “tweens,” and soon morphed it into one of the world’s first rock columns. Scott’s earliest major rock story came in 1964 when she covered the Beatles‘ first show at Cleveland’s Public Hall. She soon found herself covering the band’s tour through Europe. When the Fab Four returned to Cleveland in 1966, it was Scott who scored one of Paul McCartney’s first American interviews ever. By her retirement in 2002, Scott estimated that she had been to over 10,000 concerts, and along the way she earned the love, friendship and respect from everyone from Mick Jagger to Jim Morrison to David Bowie to Bob Dylan. So beloved by the rock community, it took her 80th birthday celebration in 1999 to reunite the Raspberries. And to help celebrate the occasion, Glenn Frey of the Eagles sent a note saying “Jane, you never met a band you didn’t like,” while Lou Reed wrote “I must confess, I love Jane Scott. When I was in the Velvet Underground in the ’60s, Jane was one of the only people I can remember who was nice to us.” Scott was 83 when she retired, but she continued to attend concerts by her favorites – the Rolling Stones, the Who, and Bruce Springsteen. Jane Scott was 92 when she passed away on July 4, 2011.
Posted in Journalist, Rock | Tagged: Alan Freed, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, Glenn Frey, Jane Scott, Jim Morrison, Lou Reed, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Rolling Stones, The Beatles, The Eagles, The Raspberries, the who, Velvet Underground | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on June 3, 2011
December 11, 1931 – June 3, 2011
Benny Spellman was an R&B singer who released two significant hits during the 1960s. His “Lipstick Traces (On A Cigarette),” written by Allen Toussaint, cracked the Top 30 on the R&B charts, while his original version of “Fortune Teller” went on to be recorded by the likes of the Rolling Stones, the Who, the Hollies, and more recently, as a duet by Robert Plant and Alison Krauss. Spellman also collaborated with Huey “Piano” Smith and sang back up on the Ernie K-Doe hit, “Mother In Law.” Although he went on to work outside the music business by the early ’70s, Spellman continued to perform at festivals and such for many years. Benny Spellman died of respiratory failure on June 3, 2011. He was 79.
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Posted in R&B, Singer | Tagged: Alison Krauss, Benny Spellman, Ernie K-Doe, Huey "Piano" Smith, Robert Plant, Rolling Stones, The Hollies, the who | Leave a Comment »