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Posts Tagged ‘Sam Cooke’

Died On This Date (November 1, 2013) Bobby Parker / American Blues Guitar Legend

Posted by themusicsover on November 1, 2013

Bobby Parker
August 31, 1937 – November 1, 2013

bobby-parkerBobby Parker was an American blues rock guitarist, singer and songwriter who counted no less than Led Zeppelin and the Beatles as his disciples.  His biggest hit, 1961’s “Watch Your Step,” was covered by Santana, Manfred Mann and the Spencer Davis Group, while its primary lick was borrowed by the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, the Allman Brothers, Deep Purple and countless more. John Lennon called “Watch Your Step” one of his favorite records of all time.  Born in Louisiana but raised in Los Angeles, California, Parker picked up the guitar at a young age.  During his early professional years, he played for the likes of Bo Diddley, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and the Everly Brothers.  He later toured with Check Berry and Little Richard among others. He settled in Washington, DC during the ’60s and continued to record and perform over the next four decades.  Bobby Parker was 76 when he passed away on November 1, 2013.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus at Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.

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Died On This Date (June 23, 2013) Bobby Blue Bland / Blues Great

Posted by themusicsover on June 23, 2013

Bobby “Blue” Bland
January 27, 1930 – June 23, 2013

bobby-blue-blandKnown as the “Lion of the Blues” as well as the “Frank Sinatra of the Blues,”  Bobby “Blue” Bland was an influential singer who successfully blurred the lines between soul, Gospel, and R&B, and by doing so, found himself years later resting at #44 of Rolling Stone‘s 100 Greatest Singers of All Time.  Born at the southeastern most tip of Tennessee, Bland eventually moved with his mother to Memphis where he began singing with local Gospel groups.  He soon started hanging out in the storied Beale Street clubs where he joined up with a loose group of local aspiring singers and musicians sometimes referred to as the Beale Streeters who counted B.B. King and Johnny Ace as members.  After an early ’50s stint in the U.S. Army, Bland returned to Memphis and began making records in 1954.  The early ones received little notice, but in the late ’50s and early ’60s, his records like “Farther Up The Road,” “Little Boy Blue,” and “I Pity The Fool” started showing up on the R&B charts.  By the late ’60s, he had no fewer than 23 Top Ten R&B hits and was later listed at #13 on a list of the best-selling R&B artists of all time.  In all, Bland released nearly 30 albums, his most recent being 2003’s Blues At Midnight.  Over the course of his career, Bland recorded or performed with B.B. King, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Van Morrison, Junior Parker, and many more.  In 1981, he was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame, and in 1992, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Bobby “Blue” Bland was 83 when he passed away on June 23, 2013.

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Posted in Blues, R&B, Singer | Tagged: , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Died On This Date (September 27, 2012) R. B. Greaves / Had Hit With “Take A Letter Maria”

Posted by themusicsover on October 3, 2012

Ronald “R.B.” Greaves
November 28, 1943 – September 27, 2012

R.B. Greaves was an American singer whose biggest hit came in 1969 with “Take A Letter Maria.”  Born on an American Air Force base in Guyana – and a cousin of Sam Cooke, Greaves grew up on an Indian Reservation back in the US.  To further his career, Greaves eventually moved to England where he performed under the name of Sonny Childe in his band, the TNTs.  During the late ’60s, he wrote “Take A Letter Maria” which was initially recorded by both Stevie Wonder and Tom Jones.  In 1969, Greaves recorded it under his own name and released it on Atco Records.  The song shot to #2 on the Billboard singles chart and went on to sell well over two million copies by the end of 1970.  Greaves followed that with a series of covers that also charted. That list includes “Always Something There To Remind Me” and “Whiter Shade Of Pale.”  R.B. Greaves was 68 when he passed away on September 27, 2012.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus at Bob Dylan Examiner for the assist.

What You Should Own

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R.B. Greaves - R.B. Greaves

Posted in Pop, R&B, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Died On This Date (January 6, 2006) Lou Rawls / R&B Icon

Posted by themusicsover on January 6, 2012

Lou Rawls
December 1, 1933 – January 6, 2006


Lou Rawls was one of the most popular soul and jazz singers during the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s.  Over the course of his career, he released over 70 albums and sold upwards of 40 million.  Rawls’ career in music began as a teenager in Chicago where he and classmate, Sam Cooke performed in a local gospel group.  Signed to Capitol Records in the early ’60s, Rawls kept a busy pace over the course of the next two decades,  from opening for the Beatles in 1966 to co-hosting a television show in 1969 to singing a remarkable rendition of the National Anthem before the Muhammad AliEarnie Shavers fight of September 29, 1977.  His most memorable hit was 1976’s “You’ll Never Find Another Love Like Mine.”  Lou Rawls passed away as a result of cancer at the age of 72.

What You Should Own

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The Very Best of Lou Rawls - Lou Rawls

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Died On This Date (January 5, 1998) Sonny Bono / Sonny & Cher

Posted by themusicsover on January 5, 2012

Salvatore “Sonny” Bono
February 16, 1935 – January 5, 1998

Sonny Bono was a successful singer, songwriter, producer and actor who came to the world’s attention in the mid ’60s when he partnered with his wife, Cher to form the singing and comic duo, Sonny & Cher.  One of Bono’s first jobs in the music business was assisting producer, Phil Spector.  He was also writing songs, penning such pop classics as “Things You Do To Me” (Sam Cooke), “Needle and Pins” (the Searchers, Jackie DeShannon, Tom Petty), and of course, “I Got You Babe,” “The Beat Goes On” and many more made famous by Sonny & Cher.  In 1971, CBS debuted The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour which was a top 20 hit for its four-season run.  Sonny and Cher split both professionally and personally in the mid ’70s, afterwhich Bono periodically made television guest star appearances into the ’90s.  In 1988, Bono was elected mayor of Palm Springs, California, an office he held until 1992.  By all accounts he did a great job and was very popular in the position.   On January 5, 1998,  Sonny Bono died of injuries he sustained from accidentally skiing into a tree at near Lake Tahoe.

What You Should Own

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The Beat Goes On: Best Of - Sonny & Cher

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