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Posts Tagged ‘Sonny Bono’

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.

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The Beat Goes On: Best Of - Sonny & Cher



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Died On This DAte (December 6, 2011) Dobie Gray / Soul & Country Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on December 6, 2011

Dobie Gray
July 26, 1940 – December 6, 2011

Dobie Gray was an American soul (and later, country) singer and songwriter who, over a career that started in 1960, released hits like “The In Crowd” and “Drift Away,” which sold over a million copies and remains a staple on radio.  Born into a family of Texas sharecroppers, Gray was exposed to gospel music at an early age thanks to an uncle who was a Baptist minister.  By the early ’60s, he was living in Los Angeles where he met Sonny Bono who connected him with his first label, Stripe Records.  It wasn’t long until Gray was putting out a string of hits like “Look At Me,” “See You At The Go-Go,” and of course, “The In Crowd” and “Drift Away.”  The latter has been also recorded by such luminaries as Rod Stewart, Roy Orbison, the Neville Brothers, and Humble Pie. When he wasn’t making records, Gray worked as an actor – he spent over two years as part of the Los Angeles cast of Hair.  During the mid ’70s, Gray moved to Nashville where he wrote songs that were recorded by the likes of Charley Pride, George Jones, Ray Charles and Don Williams.  He also released a handful of moderately successful records at that time.  During the mid ’80s, Gray signed with Capitol Records and released a few country records that performed fairly well on the country charts.  Dobie Gray was 71 when he passed away in his sleep on December 6, 2011.  Cause of death was not immediately released, though he had been ill.

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Best of Dobie Gray (Re-Recorded Versions) - Dobie Gray



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Died On This Date (August 25, 2000) Jack Nitzsche / Iconic Record Producer

Posted by themusicsover on August 25, 2010

Bernard “Jack” Nitzsche
April 22, 1937 – August 25, 2000

jack

Jack Nitzsche was a respected arranger, composer, producer and session musician who was involved in many of the greatest west coast pop recordings of the ’60s and ’70s.  His first significant contribution to pop music came in 1955 when he co-wrote “Needles And Pins” with Sonny Bono.  The song was a hit for Jackie DeShannon and was later recorded by the Searchers, Cher and the Ramones.  By the early ’60s, Nitzsche was working as an arranger for Phil Spector,  orchestrating the celebrated “wall of sound” on hits like Ike & Tina Turner’s “River Deep Mountain High.”  Nitzsche was also part of the famed Wrecking Crew, a group of studio musicians that included Glen Campbell, Leon Russell, and Hal Blaine.  Much like their Motown counterparts, the Funk Brothers, the Wrecking Crew were the faceless band behind many ’60s pop hits coming out of Los Angeles.  They could be heard on records by the likes of the Monkees and the Beach Boys. Nitzsche also worked on classic recordings by the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Buffalo Springfield, Graham Parker and Willy DeVille to name a few.  During the ’70s, Nitzsche created the music for several motion pictures including One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Starman, 9-1/2 Weeks, and An Officer And A Gentlemen, for which won the best song Oscar for “Up Where We Belong.”  Jack Nitzsche died of cardiac arrest at the age of 63.

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Jack Nitzsche

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