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Posts Tagged ‘The Supremes’

Died On This Date (June 4, 2013) Joey Covington / Drummer For Hot Tuna & Jefferson Airplane

Posted by themusicsover on June 4, 2013

Joey Covington
June 27, 1945 – June 4, 2013

joey-covingtonJoey Covington was a journeyman drummer who is perhaps best remembered for his tenure with both Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna.  Playing since the age of 10, Covington found his influence in jazz drummers of the day.  He also took a shine to the playing of the great Sandy Nelson.  By the time he was 14, he had already been playing with local polka groups for a couple of years, often chaperoned by his parents.  He soon gave his parents the slip and found work playing in strip club bands, which was fairly common for up-and-coming rock drummers during the ’50s and early ’60s.  During high school, Covington started playing with fellow students in rock bands.  When he turned 20, he went to New York City where he found work playing in back-up bands for such visiting acts as the Supremes, the Fenways, and the Shangri-Las.  He also played in the band for a Dick Clark cavalcade-of-stars type roadshow.  By the late ’60s, Covington found himself in Los Angeles and playing around with violin great and Jefferson Airplane member, Papa John Creach which lead to his relationship with the band and other musicians in their inner circle.  In 1969, Covington helped form Hot Tuna, a side project for Jefferson Airplane’s Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady who needed something to do during a break while singer, Grace Slick recovered from a surgery.  The Hot Tuna recordings that featured Covington were not released at the time.  In 1969, Jefferson Airplane hired Covington to replace Spencer Dryden. He played on Volunteers, Bark, and Long John Silver and wrote or co-wrote a number of the band’s songs including the hit, “With Your Love.”  After leaving the band in 1972, Covington formed Fat Fandango.  In later years, he participated in various Jefferson Airplane/Starship configurations called the San Francisco All-Stars.  On June 4, 2013, Joey Covington was reportedly killed when his car crashed into a wall in Palm Springs, California.  Details of the accident were not immediately released.  Covington was 67.

Thanks to Ben Anderson for the assist.

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Died On This Date (July 13, 2013) Maurice D. Davis / Motown’s Funk Brothers

Posted by themusicsover on July 13, 2012

Maurice D. Davis
June 9, 1941 – July 13, 2012

Maurice D. Davis was a respected trumpet player who, over the course of his long career, graced over 1500 recordings.  After graduating from Tennessee State University and teaching for two years at Rust College, Davis found himself in Detroit, Michigan.  The year was 1965, and Davis soon found himself playing in the legendary Motown session band, the Funk Brothers.  During his term that lasted until 1980, Davis played on recordings by or toured with the likes of the Supremes, the Four Tops, Stevie Wonder, Lionel Richie, and the Temptations on whose “Papa Was A Rolling Stone,” he particularly shined.  Beyond Motown, Davis played with Tony Bennett, Whitney Houston, Sammy Davis Jr., Dizzy Gillespie, and many more.  Through all this, Davis still found time to continue his teaching.  In 1997, he retired from the Detroit Public Schools after 32 years.  He also taught at Wayne State University from 1980 to 1995.  An ordained minister as well, Davis founded the Trumpeting High Praises Community Resources Center in Detroit in 1998.  In 2002, he was featured in the critically acclaimed documentary about the Funk Brothers, Standing In The Shadows of Motown.  Maurice D. Davis was 71 when he passed away on July 13, 2012.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

What You Should Own

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Died On This Date (May 17, 2012) Donna Summer / Disco Icon

Posted by themusicsover on May 17, 2012

Donna Summer (Born LaDonna Gaines)
December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012

Donna Summer was a world-renowned American R&B singer who hit her stride during the disco era.  Unlike many of her contemporaries, Summer, with her mezzo-soprano vocal range, needed very little studio trickery for her vocals.  Coming of age in Boston during the early ’60s, Summer spent countless hours listening to records by and imitating the likes of the Supremes and Martha & the Vandellas. By then she had already been singing in church gospel groups.  As the ’60s rolled on, Summer discovered the powerhouse vocals of Janis Joplin, who, along with the early girl groups, influenced her own singing. Upon hearing Joplin sing on her Big Brother and the Holding Company records, she decided that’s what she wanted to do, so she joined her first band as lead singer, the psychedelic rock outfit, Crow.   That brought her to New York City where she focused on Broadway.  Her first role of significance was in the European company of Hair!. In 1975, Summer cut her first record, “Love To Love You Baby,” which although banned by most American radio stations due to its raw sexuality, became an instant smash in Europe.  From there it was a deal with Neil Bogart’s Casablanca Records who began pumping an extended version of the song to underground discos and Summer’s massive gay following was born.  She went on to release several albums that helped define the disco era and became the first artist to have three consecutive #1 albums that were two-record sets.  During the ’80s, Summer broke away from disco by adding a more rock sound to her records, and even though she had tracks on the soundtracks for the blockbuster films, Flashdance and Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the decade was not terribly kind to her.  She continued to make records well into the 2000s – some faring better than others, but for the most part were very well received.  Throughout her career, Summer was recognized with five Grammy awards (17 nominations), three multi-platinum albums, 11 gold albums, an NAACP Image Award, and six American Music Awards.  Her songs have been covered (or sampled) by Sheena Easton, David Guetta, Madonna, Whitney Houston, Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and many more.  Donna Summer passed away after a long struggle with cancer on May 17, 2012.  She was 63.

What You Should Own

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On the Radio - Greatest Hits, Vol. 1 & 2 - Donna Summer

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Died On This Date (January 17, 2012) Walter Gaines / Motown’s The Originals

Posted by themusicsover on January 17, 2012

Walter Gaines
DOB Unknown – January 17, 2012

Walter Gaines was the founder of, and baritone singer in the Motown vocal group, the Originals.  Formed in 1966, the outfit released several albums and hit singles including, “Baby I’m For Real,” “God Bless Whoever Sent You,” and “The Bells,” which sold over 1 million copies.  The group can also be heard handling back-up duties on early records by the likes of Marvin Gaye, the Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Edwin Starr, and David Ruffin.  It was during the late ’60s that the Originals found the bulk of their success, but they did well during the disco era as well.  They ultimately broke up in 1982 but reformed in a different configuration for the oldies circuit during the 2000s.  Walter Gaines passed away on January 17, 2012.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin at 2+ Printing for the assist.


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Died On This Date (September 30, 2012) Marv Tarplin / Guitarist In Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

Posted by themusicsover on September 30, 2011

Marv Tarplin
June 13, 1941 – September 30, 2011

Marv Tarplin was a guitarist and songwriter who is perhaps best remembered as a founding member of Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.   Tarplin was playing guitar for Detroit girl group, the Primettes, when they auditioned for Robinson, who was doing A&R at Motown at the time.  Robinson was so taken by Tarplin’s playing that he offered him a gig in his own group.  The year was 1958, and Tarplin was suddenly the lead guitarist and co-songwriter for the Miracles, who would eventually become one of Motown’s most popular acts.  Meanwhile, the Primettes would soon make history themselves after morphing into the Supremes. Tarplin went on to play on and co-write numerous hits for the band. That list includes “My Girl Has Gone,” “Going To A Go-Go,” and most famously, “Tracks Of My Tears.”  After both he and Robinson left the Miracles in 1973, Tarplin continued to write and perform with Robinson.  He also co-wrote the Marvin Gaye hits, “Ain’t That Peculiar” and “One More Heartache,” among others.  Tarplin remained active in the music business until his retirement in 2008.  As reported in the American Spectator, Marv Tarplin was 70 when he passed away on September 30, 2011.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

What You Should Own

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Ooo Baby Baby: The Anthology - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles

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