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Posts Tagged ‘the Moody Blues’

RIP, Ray Thomas (January 4, 2018) The Moody Blues

Posted by themusicsover on January 4, 2018

Ray Thomas
December 29, 1941 – January 4, 2018

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Ray Thomas, a founding member of the English rock band, the Moody Blues passed away on January 4, 2018 at the age of 76.  Cause of death was not immediately released.  Thomas was just nine years old when his father taught him to play the harmonica, and by the time he was 16, he had already quit school by two years and had set his music career in motion.  He had also taken up the flute, later, his primary instrument, by that time as well.  His first band of note was called El Riot and the Rebels who opened a gig for the Beatles in 1963.  The following year, he and fellow band mate, Mike Pinder recruited Denny Laine, Graeme Edge and Clint Warwick, and the Moody Blues was born.  The band’s first album, The Magnificent Moodies was released in 1965.  Having a Merseybeat/R&B sound then, which was very popular in the UK, the album produced a #1 UK hit and #10 US hit with the band’s cover of “Go Now.”  Warwick and Laine soon exited, and in 1966, a new era for the band was born with the addition of John Lodge and Justin Hayward.  The group’s sound became more orchestral and complex.  The first resulting album was 1967’s Days of Future Passed, which propelled the band to fame across Europe and North America.  Songs like “Tuesday Afternoon,” and in particular, “Nights in White Satin,” laid the foundation for what would be called Prog Rock. Thomas’ flute solo in “Nights in White Satin” is considered a watershed moment for the genre. He was later nicknamed “The Flute,” for obvious reasons. Health concerns and the Moody Blues’ move into more of a synth sound during the ’80s lead to Thomas’ retirement in 2002, but he did show up on a recording here and there in later years.  In 2013, he was diagnosed with prostate cancer. And December 13, 2017 – less than a month before Thomas passed away, it was announced that the Moody Blues would be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Class of 2018.

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Died On This Date (August 21, 2013) Sid Bernstein / Legendary Concert Promoter; Brought The British Invasion To America

Posted by themusicsover on August 21, 2013

Sid Bernstein
August 12, 1918 – August 21, 2013

sid-bernsteinSid Bernstein was a concert promoter who was largely responsible for the onset of the British Invasion by setting up the first US concerts by England’s biggest rock bands at the time.  In 1964, Bernstein felt the excitement building for the Beatles so he contacted their manager Brian Epstein, and convinced him to let him promote two shows at Carnegie Hall after their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The demand for tickets was so huge, that he arranged their legendary Shea Stadium concert the following year.  By doing so, he became the first promoter to ever set up a rock concert in a sports stadium.  Bernstein went on to organize the first five Rolling Stones shows in America.  He also brought fellow British Invasion groups, Herman’s Hermits, the Moody Blues, and the Kinks over for their first US shows.   The list of others Bernstein organized early major early concerts for include Judy Garland, Tony Bennett, Ray CharlesFrank Sinatra, and James Brown who once credited Bernstein for being the only significant promoter to work with Black acts during the ’60s.  Sid Bernstein was 95 when he passed away on August 21, 2013.


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Died On This Date (July 13, 2011) Jerry Ragovoy / Wrote Numerous Pop Hits

Posted by themusicsover on July 13, 2011

Jerry Ragovoy
September 4, 1930 – July 13, 2011

Photo by Fernando Leon

Jerry Ragovoy was a prolific hit songwriter who over a career that spanned some 50 years, wrote or co-wrote some of popular music’s most iconic songs.  As one of the most important songwriting figures in the Philadelphia and New York soul scenes of the ’60s, his songs have been enjoyed by millions.  His most famous tunes were “Time Is On My Side” (Irma Thomas, the Rolling Stones), “Cry Baby,” and “Piece Of My Heart” (Janis Joplin).  His songs have also been recorded by Garnet Mimms, Howard Tate, Jimi Hendrix, Elvis Costello, the Yardbirds, the Small Faces, Dusty Springfield, Chaka Kahn, the Moody Blues, Barry White, Bonnie Raitt, and many more.  Ragovoy also produced several records throughout his career as well.  Those he worked with in that capacity include Dionne Warwick and Paul Butterfield.  Jerry Ragovoy died on July 13, 2011 of complications from an earlier stroke.  He was 80.

Thanks to Benji Isabel for the assist.

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