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Posts Tagged ‘Simon & Garfunkel’

Died On This Date (September 5, 2012) Joe South / Popular ’70s Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on September 5, 2012

Joe South (Born Joseph Souter)
February 28, 1940 – September 5, 2012

Joe South was an Atlanta-born singer-songwriter who penned some of the most popular songs of his era.  South was given his first guitar when he was just 11.  A quick learner, he was playing on his local radio station within a year.  Gifted electronically as well, South figured out how to build his own tiny radio station so he could broadcast his songs over the local airwaves.  He apparently mounted it in his car in order to stay one step ahead of the FCC.   In 1958, South scored a minor novelty hit with “The Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor,” which generally resurfaces on the radio each year around Halloween.  By the early ’60s, South was making a name for himself as a songwriter.  His songs were either recorded or performed live by the likes of Billy Joe Royal (“Down In The Boondocks”), Gene Vincent (“Gone Gone Gone”), Elvis Presley (“Walk A Mile In My Shoes”), Deep Purple (“Hush”), and Lynn Anderson, who in 1971, scored a huge hit with his “I Never Promised You A Rose Garden.”  The song and record earned them each a Grammy.   In 1968, South released “Games People Play,” a protest song that cracked the Top 15 and earned him two Grammys including Song Of The Year.  The tune, which is one of the most iconic of the late ‘6os/early ‘7os, has been covered by Waylon Jennings, Jerry Lee Lewis, Dolly Parton, James Taylor, and Ike & Tina Turner, to name a few.  An in-demand session player as well, South can be heard on, among many others, Aretha Franklin’s “Chain Of Fools”, Simon & Garfunkel’s “The Sounds Of Silence,” and throughout Bob Dylan’s Blonde On Blonde album. Joe South was 72 when he died of heart failure on September 5, 2012.

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

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Died On This Date (November 25, 2011) Don DeVito / Longtime Columbia Records Executive & Bob Dylan Producer

Posted by themusicsover on November 25, 2011

Don DeVito
September 6, 1939 – November 25, 2011

Getting a shave from Johnny Cash

Don DeVito was a respected producer and label executive who, over a career that spanned five decades, produced landmark albums by Bob Dylan and played a key role in the successes of Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Johnny Cash, Aerosmith, and Simon & Garfunkel, to name a few. After an early career as a musician – he played guitar for Al Kooper – DeVito went to work for CBS Records as part of their Executive Training Program.  The year was 1967, and by 1971, he was running the marketing department of what had recently been re-named Columbia Records.  He later moved over to A&R where he worked more closely with Columbia’s jaw-dropping stable of artists.  In the studio, DeVito produced Dylan’s Desire and Street Legal, among others.   He was nominated for five separate Grammys, winning in 1989 for Folkways: A Vision Shared – A Tribute to Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly.  After the 9/11 attacks on New York City, DeVito was instrumental to the success of The Concert For New York City which raised over $1 million dollars for the victims and their families.  On November 25, 2011, Don DeVito passed away following a long battle with prostate cancer.  He was 72.

Thanks to Harold Lepidus for the assist.

Posted in Musician, Producer, Record Label | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (June 11, 2011) Steve Popovich / Music Industry Legend

Posted by themusicsover on June 8, 2011

Steve Popovich
July 6, 1942 -June 8, 2011

Steve Popovich was a long-time music industry powerhouse who, over a career that spanned some 50 years wore many hats.  He started in the Columbia Records warehouse in 1962, and quickly moved into radio promotion, sales, TV promotion and even inventory control.  In those early years, he helped promote the likes of Blood, Sweat & Tears, Simon & Garfunkel, and Paul Revere & The Raiders.  In 1972, he became Columbia’s Vice President of Promotion – appointed by Clive Davis. At just 26, he was the youngest VP there ever.  In 1974, he moved over to Epic Records where he helped launch the careers of Boston, Cheap Trick, and Ted Nugent, to name just a few.  In 1977, Popovich founded Cleveland International Records where he would release Meat Loaf’s landmark album Bat Out Of Hell, which went on to sell upwards of 40 million copies during an era when most new releases sold at best, 5000 copies.  He later went on to work as Sr Vice President at Polygram Nashville where he was responsible for numerous other successes.  In recent years, Popovich found himself embroiled in a legal battle with Sony Music over royalties and failure to put the Cleveland International logo on millions of CDs.  Steve Popovich died of an apparent heart attack on June 8, 2011.  He was 69.

Thanks to John Harrison and Ed Maxin for the assist


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Died On This Date (December 18, 2010) Clay Cole / Popular American Rock & Roll TV Host

Posted by themusicsover on December 18, 2010

Clay Cole
January 1, 1938 – December 18, 2010

Clay Cole was a pioneering ’60s New York City rock ‘n roll television show host who, outside of perhaps Ed Sullivan, showcased more rising rock stars than anyone of his era.  At its peak, The Clay Cole Show aired six nights a week and played host to a who’s who of rock and R&B stars.  What was particularly unique about the show, which aired from 1959 to 1968, was that Cole, who was just 21 years old, was as much of the fun as the show’s teenage dancers.  It was on The Clay Cole Show that American teens first caught a glimpse of the likes of Neil Diamond, Simon & Garfunkel, Chubby Checker (who debuted “The Twist” – both song AND dance on the program), Dionne Warwick, and the Rolling Stones.  Of special note, that particular episode featured both the Stones AND the Bealtes, making it the first and only time that has ever happened.  The show also featured many future legends of comedy for their television debut.  That list includes George Carlin and Richard Pryor.  When tastes in popular music began to gravitate toward psychedelic rock in the late ’60s, Cole ended the show, even though it was just peaking in popularity. After the program ended, Cole went on to be a successful producer, writer and director for television.  He won two Emmys as a producer.  Clay Cole died of a heart attack on December 18, 2010.  He was 72.



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Died On This Date (August 20, 2009) Larry Knechtel / L.A. Session Musician; Bread

Posted by themusicsover on August 20, 2010

Larry Knechtel
August 4, 1940 – August 20, 2009

LK_2Larry Knecthel was a Los Angeles session keyboardist and bassist who played on hits by the likes of the Doors, Simon & Garfunkel and the Beach Boys.  After spending a few years as part of Duane Eddy’s touring band in the early ’60s, Knechtel went to work in the studio with Phil Spector, adding his own mark to the legendary “wall of sound.”  Knechtel also played on several Doors records since they didn’t have their own bassist.  He joined the easy rock band, Bread in 1971.  In later years, Knecthel did session work for producer Rick Rubin, most notably on albums by the Dixie Chicks and Neil Diamond.  Larry Knechtel passed away in a Yakima hospital just two weeks after his 69th birthday.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums for the assist


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