Posted by themusicsover on January 15, 2015
July 21, 1939 – January 15, 2015
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 Vincent, KISS, 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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Posted in Manager, Musician, Producer, Publishing, Rock, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Alice Cooper, Cat Stevens, Gene Vincent, Helen Reddy, Joan Jett, Kim Fowley, Kiss, Kris Kristofferson, Michael Shannon, Sandy West, the byrds, The Runaways, Warren Zevon | 2 Comments »
Posted by themusicsover on January 3, 2014
January 19, 1939 – January 3, 2014
Phil 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: Chet Atkins, Clint Eastwood, Don Everly, Ike Everly, Phil Everly, Roy Acuff, Roy Wood, Sandra Locke, the Beach Boys, The Beatles, the byrds, the Everly Brothers, Warren Zevon | 2 Comments »
Posted by themusicsover on January 19, 2013
December 9, 1938 – January 19, 2013
Known throughout the industry as “The Songwriter’s Best Friend,” John Braheny was a successful songcrafter as well as the author of to best-selling manual, The Craft and Business of Songwriting. Braheny began his career during the late ’60s as a recording artist – his only album, Some Kind of Change came out in 1970. S0me may argue that this album was the birth of the Laurel Canyon country rock scene since its “December Dream” was later popularized by Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys. In 1971, Braheny co-founded the Los Angeles Songwriters Showcase which at one point or another showcased such future greats as Stevie Nicks, Dianne Warren, Janis Ian, and Warren Zevon. As a journalist, Braheny had upwards of 600 interviews and features published in numerous magazines and newspapers. In later years, Braheny taught songwriting classes at UCLA and other Los Angeles area schools. He also served on numerous music industry organization boards throughout his career. John Braheny was 74 when he passed away on January 19, 2013.
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Posted in Journalist, Musician, Rock, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Dianne Warren, Janis Ian, John Braheny, Linda Rondstadt and the Stone Poneys, Stevie Nicks, Warren Zevon | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on September 17, 2012
James “Sugar Boy” Crawford
October 12, 1934 – September 15, 2012
James “Sugar Boy” Crawford was a New Orleans R&B musician who, in 1953, wrote a song called “Jock-A-Moe,” which eventually morphed into “Iko-Iko,” one of the Crescent City’s most beloved standards. As a singer, trombonist, and later, pianist, Crawford began performing around 1950 when he formed the Chapaka Shawee with Doctor Daddy-O. The great Leonard Chess signed him to his Chess Records and changed their name to Sugar Boy & his Cane Cutters. In 1965, the Dixie Cups released “Iko-Iko” which sounded enough like “Jock-A-Moe,” that Crawford was eventually awarded 25% ownership. “Iko Iko” went on to become one of the most popular songs to come out of New Orleans and could be heard in countless movies and television shows. It has been covered by the likes of the Grateful Dead, Cyndi Lauper, Warren Zevon and Dave Matthews. In 1963, Crawford was pistol-whipped by the police to the point that he was laid up for two years. The beating put him into a coma and resulted in a metal plate replacing much of his skull. When he awoke, he had lost most of his memory and motor skills which took the best of two years to re-learn. He retired from the music business until 1969 when he returned to singing in his church only. Crawford resurfaced during the mid ’90s to perform on his grandson, Davell Crawford’s, album and made occasional appearances at New Orleans festivals well into the 2000s. James “Sugar Boy” Crawford was 77 when he passed away in hospice care on September 15, 2012.
Thanks to Henk de Bruin for the assist.
Posted in Musician, R&B, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: Chapaka Shawee, Cyndi Lauper, Davell Crawford, Doctor Daddy-O, Grateful Dead, James "Sugar Boy" Crawford, Leonard Chess, Sugar Boy & his Cane Cutters, The Dixie Cups, Warren Zevon | Leave a Comment »
Posted by themusicsover on August 22, 2011
DOB Unknown – August 22, 2011
Tony Ruffino was a respected Birmingham, Alabama concert promoter who in 1969, began bringing such acts as Jimi Hendrix, the Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley, and the Allman Brothers to the city. Originally from New York, Ruffino settled in Birmingham in 1977, after running Ruffino-Vaughn Productions, the business he shared with Larry Vaughn, from its New York office. During the early ’80s, he and Vaughn parted ways, with Ruffino going on to form New Era Productions where he promoted local shows by the Police, Warren Zevon, and Elvis Costello, to name a few. It was a matter of time before Ruffino opened the popular local venues, Oak Mountain Amphitheatre and Five Points South Music Hall. He also became part owner of Brothers Music Hall before retiring from the business in 2004. On August 22, 2011, Tony Ruffino suffered a fatal stroke. He was 74.
Posted in Club Owner | Tagged: Elvis Costello, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Larry Vaughn, The Allman Brothers, The Police, the Rolling Stones, Tony Ruffino, Warren Zevon | Leave a Comment »