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Posts Tagged ‘the byrds’

Died On This Date (November 13, 2016) Leon Russell / Legendary Musician, Songwriter & Producer

Posted by themusicsover on November 13, 2016

Leon Russell (Born Claude Russell Bridges)
April 2, 1942 – November 13, 2016

Photo by Carl Lender

Photo by Carl Lender

Leon Russell was a celebrated musician, singer, songwriter and producer whose early work as a session player alone was enough to rightfully find him a home in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Add to that his credits as a songwriter, and you have one of the most respected artists we have ever known.  Born in Oklahoma, Russell began playing the piano at just four years old.  By high school, he and schoolmate David Gates, of future Bread fame, had a band together. Over the next couple of years Russell needed a fake ID to play the clubs of Tulsa. And then, at just 16 years old, he headed to Los Angeles to take a crack at becoming a session musician. Russell quickly built a solid reputation and became one of the first people called into the studio or on stage to lend his talents.  The list of artists or their producers that mad that call is staggering – it includes the Byrds, Frank Sinatra, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, the Rolling Stones, Barbra Streisand, and the Beach Boys.  And as part of the famed Wrecking Crew of L.A. studio musicians, the list goes on. Russel’s first hit as a songwriter came by way of Joe Cocker‘s 1969 recording of his “Delta Lady.”  As the ’70s dawned, Russell began making his own albums while producing others.  And thanks in part to the success of “Delta Lady,” he became a go-to songwriter for hopeful pop and rock stars.  In 1970, he released his self-titled debut. The album spawned one of his most famous songs, “A Song For You” which has been covered by a diverse list of artists that includes Ray Charles, Zakk Wylde, Andy Williams, Herbie Hancock with Christina Aguilera, Whitney Houston, Willie Nelson, and Amy Winehouse. Russell spent the rest of the ’70s on a seemingly endless recording and touring cycle. He eventually slowed down, but became no less productive and influential.  The next three decades found him working with the likes of New Grass Revival and Bruce Hornsby while releasing several more of his own albums which leaned more bluegrass and country than much of his ’70s output. In 2010, Elton John (who called Russell his biggest influence as a pianist, singer and songwriter) and Bernie Taupin partnered with Russell on The Union, which resulted in a return-to-the-charts for both. The outstanding album, produced by T-Bone Burnett, and credited equally to both John and Taupin, entered the Billboard charts at No. 3, Russell’s highest charting album since 1972 and John’s highest since 1976.  Rolling Stone called it one of the best 30 albums of 2010.  The new-found exposure for Russell found him touring heavily up through the first half of 2016 when a heart attack sidelined him. Not discouraged, plans were being made to hit the road again in 2017.  Unfortunately, while still recovering from the heart attack, Leon Russell died quietly in his sleep on November 14, 2016.  He was 74.

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Posted in Country, Musician, Producer, R&B, Record Label, Rock, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Died On This Date (November 13, 2016) Leon Russell / Legendary Musician, Songwriter & Producer

Died On This Date (January 15, 2015) Kim Fowley / American Musician, Producer & Manager

Posted by themusicsover on January 15, 2015

Kim Fowley
July 21, 1939 – January 15, 2015

Photo by Nikki Kreuzer

Photo by Nikki Kreuzer

Kim Fowley was an American producer, musician, singer, songwriter, manager, disc jockey, music publisher, and film maker who is perhaps best remembered for forming and managing the Runaways.  And legend has it that he was the one who created the phenomenon of lighting one’s match/lighter at a concert.  Born in Los Angeles, Fowley got into the music business during the ’60s, initially producing and publishing novelty hits like “Alley Oop” by the Hollywood Argyles (which was basically just Fowley with mostly anonymous studio musicians) and  “Popsicles and Icicles” by the Murmaids.  The list of artists he either produce or write/co-write songs reads like a who’s who of ’70s rock and pop. That list includes Gene VincentKISS, Warren Zevon, Cat Stevens, Helen Reddy, Alice Cooper, the Byrds, and Kris Kristofferson.  In 1975, he met Joan Jett who was looking to put an all-girl band together. A couple of weeks later, he met Sandy West outside of The Rainbow Bar and Grill on Sunset Blvd.  Fowley gave Jett’s phone number to West, and the Ruaways were born.  In 2010, Fowley was portrayed by Michael Shannon in the film, The Runaways.  During his final years, he could be heard sharing his vast knowledge of pop music and pop culture via his regular program on Little Steven’s Underground Garage on SiriusXM.  Kim Fowley was 75 when he died of bladder cancer on January 15, 2015.

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

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Died On This Date (January 3, 2014) Phil Everly / The Everly Brothers

Posted by themusicsover on January 3, 2014

Phil Everly
January 19, 1939 – January 3, 2014

phil-everlyPhil Everly, along with his brother Don Everly, are considered the must influential vocal duo pop music has ever known.  Working together as the Everly Brothers, they created such seamless and glorious harmonies that no less than members of the Byrds, the Beatles, and the Beach Boys have preached their influence ever since.  Born in Chicago, Illinois to a musical family, Phil learned to play the guitar at an early age.  Family patriarch, Ike Everly was a respected professional musician himself, so the boys were introduced to music as a way of life while still in their childhood.  Ultimately settling in Knoxville, Tennessee, the Everly family performed as a group throughout the area for many years.  By the early ’50s, Phil and Don were working as a duo, making an early believer out of Chet Atkins who helped then secure their first recording contract with Columbia Records.  Their first single, “Keep A’ Lovin’ Me,”  performed less than spectacularly, so Columbia dropped them.  Before they knew it, Acuff-Rose Publishing snatched Phil and Don up as songwriters while Roy Acuff helped land them a deal with Cadence Records. From there, the Everly Brothers’ career skyrocketed.  Their first release for Cadence, “Bye Bye Love” shot to #2 on the pop charts, #1 on the country charts, and #5 on the R&B charts.  What followed that million-seller was a string of hits that helped define the era.  Records like “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have To Do Is Dream,” and “Cathy’s Clown”  earned the duo more than $35 Million dollars by 1962 – an astonishing sum at that time.  After the British Invasion hit the U.S. in 1964, the Everly Brothers’ shine diminished as teenagers scrambled for the new sound by the likes of the Beatles, who ironically, might not have ever crossed the Atlantic if it weren’t for Phil and Don.  By the dawn of the ’70s, the Everly Brothers had split up to pursue solo careers.  Phil worked with likes of  Warren Zevon and Roy Wood, and later scored a hit with “Don’t Say You Don’t Love Me No More,” a tune he wrote and performed with actress, Sondra Locke in the Clint Eastwood hit film, Every Which Way But Loose.  In 1983, the Everly Brothers reunited for an acclaimed concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London.  The show was recorded and the subsequent album returned the duo to the charts.  Phil and Don continued to record and perform as a duo and individually well into the 2000s.  In all, they scored 35 Billboard Top 100 singles, a record that still stands to this day.  They  were also recognized with nearly every musical award you could think of including being part of the first group of ten artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986.  On January 3, 2014, it was announced that Phil Everly died of pulmonary disease.  He was 74.

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Posted in Country, Early Rock, Musician, Rock, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Died On This Date (March 23, 2013) Larry Robinson / Southern California Singer-Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on March 23, 2013

Edward Lawrence Robinson
DOB Unknown – March 23, 2013

larry-robinsonLarry Robinson was a beloved San Diego-area singer-songwriter who, over the course of his career, released six albums, three of which as a member of the Dorados during the ’90s.   Americana in vein, Robinson’s songs spoke of a California that unfortunately, many are too young to have known.  During the ’60s, he played in the band, Things To Come who once shared the Whiskey A Go-Go stage with the Byrds.  On March 22, 3013, 64-year-old Larry Robinson was bound and severely beaten during a robbery of Pete’s Music Store where he worked part-time in Temecula, California.  He died of his injuries the next day .  His assailant or assailants remained unidentified in the weeks following his death.

For more on Larry Robinson, please visit Easy Ed’s blog at nodepression.com

 

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Died On This Date (December 11, 2012) Ravi Shankar / World Renowned Indian Musician

Posted by themusicsover on December 11, 2012

Ravi Shankar (Born Robindro Shaunkor Chowdhury)
April 7, 1920 – December 11, 2012

With George Harrison

Ravi Shankar was and Indian musician and composer who is widely considered the most well-known musician India has ever produced.  As a master of the sitar, Shankar heavily influenced the later music of the Beatles, and in particular, George Harrison, with whom he collaborated during the ’70s.  Learning to play music as a child, Shankar was barely in his teens when he began playing behind a dance group that featured his brother.  The group toured Europe and the United States during the ’30s, exposing Shankar to western culture and music.   By the dawn of the ’60s, Shankar was finding fans of his music the world over, and while recording in Los Angeles, he was overheard by members of the Byrds, who went on to incorporate Indian sounds into their music.  That lead to an introduction to Harrison, who ultimately exposed the sitar to many by way of “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” on the Beatles’ Rubber Soul album.  Soon, other rock musicians began adding the sitar to their music, resulting in the sub-genre of rock known as raga.  “Within Without You” on the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band is another fine example of Shankar’s influence on their sound.  In 1967, Shankar performed at the Monterey Pop Festival, and in 1969, at Woodstock, but he soon decoded to distance himself from the hippie movement.  In 1971, Shankar performed at the Harrison-organized Concert For Bangladesh. The resulting album went on to top most of the charts around the world and was named Album of the Year at the 1973 Grammys.  Shankar continued to collaborate with Harrison including a 1973 tour of North America which included a stop at the White House and a visit with President Gerald Ford.  Over the course of his career, Shankar sold millions of albums, won three Grammys, and was nominated for an Academy Award for his music featured in the film, Gandhi.  In December of 2012, he was nominated for yet another Grammy to be awarded in 2013.  His children include musicians Norah Jones, Annapurna DeviShubhendra “Shubho” Shankar, and Anoushka Shankar, with whom he toured well into his final years.  Ravi Shankar was 92 when he passed away on December 11, 2012.

Thanks to Craig Rosen and Number 1 Albums for the assist.

What You Should Own

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The Sounds of India - Ravi Shankar

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