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Posts Tagged ‘Stevie Wonder’

Died On This Date (December 26, 2016) Alphonse Mouzon / Jazz Fusion Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on December 26, 2016

Alphonse Mouzon
November 21, 1948 – December 26, 2016

Alphonse Mouzon was a jazz drummer who came to be one of the architects of American jazz fusion during the late ’60s and early ’70s.  Born in Charleston, SC, Mouzon realized in high school that he had what it took to make a living as a musician.  Upon graduation, he moved to New York City where he studied music and drama.  Mouzon’s first gig of note was playing percussion in the Broadway show, Promises, Promises.   He then went to work with jazz great, McCoy Tyner, and spent about a year in Weather Report before being signed to Blue Note Records as a solo artist in 1972.  In 1973, he joined up with Larry Coryell‘s Eleventh House, one of the premiere fusion bands of its time.  He played with Coryell for about two years and can be heard on such albums as Introducing The Eleventh House and Level One.  Throughout his career, which spanned over 45 years, Mouzon also recorded or performed with the likes of Donald Byrd, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Roberta Flack, Robert Plant, Stevie Wonder, and Eric Clapton – to name a few.  Alphonse Mouzon died from neuroendocrine carcinoma on December 26, 2016.  He was 68.

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Died On This Date (January 8, 2015) Andrae Crouch / The Father of Modern Gospel Music

Posted by themusicsover on January 8, 2015

Andrae Crouch
July 1, 1942 – January 8, 2015

andrae-crouchAndrae Crouch was a Gospel music pioneer in that he almost single-handedly crossed it over to the mainstream over the course of his career.  Crouch took to music at an early age, and had already written his first Gospel song by the time he was 14.  In 1960, he formed his first group, the Church of God in Christ Singers, that also counted Billy Preston as a member.  That lead to the Disciples which lasted until 1979, when Crouch went on to his successful solo career.  His best known songs are “My Tribute (To God Be the Glory),” “Soon and Very Soon,” and “The Blood Will Never Lose Its Power.”  Over the years, Crouch collaborated with the likes of Elton John, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Madonna (to name just a few).   He also contributed original music to several films and television shows, most notably,  The Lion King and The Color Purple,  for which he earned an Academy Award nomination.  Throughout a career that spanned nearly 50 years, he won seven Grammys, four Dove Awards, and numerous other accolades.  Andrae Crouch was 72 when he died on January 8, 2015 while in the hospital after suffering a heart attack five days earlier.

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

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

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.

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

Died On This Date (August 4, 2012) Kevin O’Hare / Respected Music Critic

Posted by themusicsover on September 4, 2012

Kevin O’Hare
DOB Unknown – August 4, 2012

Kevin O’Hare was a respected Boston area music critic who also fancied himself a human encyclopedia when it came to music trivia. Although his writings appeared in dozens of periodicals across the US, he called The Republican home since 1982.  Starting out as a sports writer, he later became a news writer, and eventually the paper’s senior music writer.  His weekly column, “Playback,” included interviews of the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Billy Joel and Paul McCartney who once marveled at how at ease O’Hare put him during his interview.  Throughout his career, O’Hare critiqued over 7000 albums and nearly 2000 concerts.  During the early ’80s, O’Hare played in the Cardiac Kids who built a sizable regional following.  Kevin O’Hare was 55 when he passed away on August 4, 2012.  Cause of death was not immediately released but he had been suffering from an undisclosed illness.

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

Posted in Journalist, Rock | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (August 15, 2012) Bob Birch / Journeyman Bassist; Played With Elton John, Billy Joel, Cher

Posted by themusicsover on August 15, 2012

Bob Birch
July 14, 1956 – August 15, 2012

Photo by Alexander Klink

Bob Birch was a respected bassist who worked both in the studio and on the road with some of pop music’s biggest stars.  Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, Birch was exposed to the greats at Motown at an early age.  Fist playing the saxophone, Birch won several awards while in school.  He eventually took up the bass and earned a scholarship to Wayne State from which he graduated with a degree in music.  During the early ’80s, he moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career in music.  During his early days in L.A., Birch played on a multi-platinum Jazzercise album.  One of Birch’s first gigs as a touring bassist was for Jose Feliciano.  In 1992, Birch was hired by Elton John and went on to be his primary touring and studio bassist.  The list of artists Birch also performed live or recorded numbers in the dozens if not hundreds.  It includes Billy Joel, Cher, George Michael, Stevie Wonder, Sting, Gregg Allman, Brian Wilson, and Bruce Hornsby.   He also played on such soundtracks as The Scorpion King and The Replacements.  Bob Birch died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound on August 15, 2012.  He was 56.

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