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Posts Tagged ‘Smithereens’

Died On This Date (September 25, 2012) Paul Kirby / Walk The West; Cactus Brothers

Posted by themusicsover on September 25, 2011

Paul Kirby
DOB Unknown – September 25, 2011

Paul Kirby was a Nashville singer-songwriter who fronted the popular roots rock band, Walk The West and later, Cactus Brothers.  Decades before anyone thought up the name, “Americana” as a music genre, Kirby was marrying rock ‘n roll with rough-and-tumble country music.  Formed with his brother, Will Kirby and schoolmate John Goleman in 1984, Walk The West quickly built a sizable local following thanks to their blistering live shows and growing arsenal of original songs.  They were quickly snapped up by Capitol Records just as major labels were trying to find their own contributions to the “cow punk” scene that was suddenly in vogue.  The band had a couple of minor hits thanks in part to video play on MTV and opening slots for the likes of the Smithereens and the Ramones.  Walk The West never released a follow-up for Capitol and disbanded within the next few years.  During the early ’90s, Kirby resurfaced with the more adventurous Cactus Brothers  who were definitely more “alt” than “country,” but nonetheless found a home on Liberty Records who was currently riding the high of Garth Brooks.  The band released two albums and appeared in the film Pure Country before again being dropped by their label.  Kirby and Walk The West reunited for a special event in Nashville in 2008, and then again just weeks before his untimely death.  According to the Nashville Scene, Paul Kirby died of cardiac arrest on September 25, 2011.  He was 48.  Fellow Cactus Brother David Schnaufer died in 2006.

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Died On This Date (September 28, 2008) Walter Lee / Longtime Capitol Records Promo Man

Posted by themusicsover on September 28, 2009

Walter Lee
September 29, 1942 – September 28, 2008

walter-lee

Photo courtesy of Deborah Lee Germain

Walter Lee, began his career in music as lead guitarist for the Boston-area rock ‘n roll combo, the Uniques, a band who had some local success after releasing two singles.  He was eventually hired by Capitol Records and moved to Detroit where he is credited for bringing Bob Seger to the label.  After a handful albums failed to get Seger noticed outside of the Midwest, Capitol was ready to give up on the artist until Lee persuaded the higher-ups to put out an album that captured Seger in his element, live on stage.  That album was Live Bullet, and it launched Seger into the stratosphere.  The ’80s found Lee running Capitol’s radio promotion department in Hollywood.    His leadership as Vice President and GM at the label contributed to the success of Duran Duran, the Motels, Missing Persons, Iron Maiden, Steve Miller and many more.  After leaving Capitol, Lee lead the promotion team at Morgan Creek Records.  In recent years, he was a partner at Pro Sports Music, a firm that promoted music through sporting events.  Walter Lee died of colon cancer on September 28, 2008.

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