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Posts Tagged ‘Whitney Houston’

Died On This Date (June 19, 2014) Gerry Goffin / Celebrated Songwriter

Posted by themusicsover on June 19, 2014

Gerry Goffin
February 11, 1939 – June 19, 2014

gerry-goffinGerry Goffin was arguably America’s most prolific hit lyricist. During the second half of the 20th century, no fewer than 50 songs that he penned the lyrics for made the Top 40.  Born in Brooklyn, New York, Goffin married Carole King who also happened to be his song writing partner throughout the ’60s. As part of the legendary Brill Building collective, Goffin and King wrote such pop and rock standards as “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Take Good Care Of My Baby,” “The Loco-Motion,” “Go Away Little Girl,” and “Pleasant Valley Sunshine.”  The seemingly endless list of artists who made their songs into hits includes Little Eva,  the Shirelles, the Four Seasons, Bobby Vee, Dion & the Belmonts, Grand Funk Railroad, the Monkees, and Aretha Franklin.  Goffin also had successful writing partnerships with Barry Goldberg, Barry Mann, Michael Masser, and Russ Titelman.  He was nominated for an Academy Award in for his co-write on the theme song to the 1975 film, Mahogany, which was sung by Diana Ross. Goffin also wrote the Whitney Houston hit, “Savin’ All My Love for You.”  He and King were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990.  Gerry Goffin was 75 when he died of natural causes on June 19, 2014.

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

Posted in Pop, Rock, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

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.

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Died On This Date (June 4, 2012) George Marino / Legendary Recording Engineer

Posted by themusicsover on June 4, 2012

George Marino
1947 – June 4, 2012

George Marino was a much-respected mastering engineer whose talents can be heard on such iconic albums as AC/DC’s Highway To Hell, Stevie Wonder’s Innervisions, Guns N’ Roses Appetite For Destruction, Bon Jovi’s Slippery When Wet, John Lennon & Yoko Ono’s Double Fantasy, and Whitney Houston’s Whitney.  Marino’s began his career as a musician, playing guitar in various bands in New York City. In 1967, he was hired by Capitol Records as a librarian and assistant in their New York studio.  After Capitol closed the studio, he went to work at the Record Plant before landing at Sterling Sound in 1973.  It was there that he worked on many of the most iconic albums of the rock era.  Besides those mentioned above, Marino worked on albums by Metallica, Coldplay, Cyndi Lauper, Motley Crue, Iron Maiden, Ozzy Osbourne, and many more.  Throughout his career, he was recognized with three Grammys including Arcade Fire’s Suburbs in 2011.  George Marino died of lung cancer on June 4, 2012.



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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.

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Posted in Disco, R&B, Singer | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (February 11, 2012) Whitney Houston / Pop Music Icon

Posted by themusicsover on February 11, 2012

Whitney Houston
August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012

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Whitney Houston was an R&B singer who, by most accounts was one of the biggest female pop stars of all time.  Born in Newark, New Jersey to a musical family that also included mother, Cissy Houston and cousins Dionne Warwick and Dee Dee Warwick.   Her godmother was none other than Aretha Franklin.  Following an early career that included fashion modeling and back-up singing for the likes of Chaka Khan, Jermaine Jackson, and Lou Rawls, Houston found herself taken in by legendary hit maker, Clive Davis, who signed her to his Arista Records and released her self-titled debut in February, 1985.  The album, which spawned several hit singles, went on to sell an astonishing 25 million albums worldwide.  Her follow-up album, Whitney, became the first album by a female artist in history to debut at #1 on the Billboard album charts.  Over the next several years, Houston released hit after hit.  In 1992, she starred opposite Kevin Costner in The Bodyguard. The romantic-thriller was the 2nd highest grossing film worldwide that year, while Houston’s soundtrack went on to sell over 45 million copies thanks to such hits as “I’m Every Woman, “Run To You,” and of course, her cover of Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You,” which sold over 12 million copies itself.  The soundtrack reached #1 in virtually every country that does such tracking.  On January 7, 1991, while the United States was locked in the Persian Gulf War, Houston performed what many consider the greatest version of the “Star Spangled Banner” that the Super Bowl has ever known.  It was quickly released as a single and became the first and only time the national anthem was a massive pop hit.  Houston donated her share to the American Red Cross.  The following year, Houston married former New Edition member and rap star, Bobby Brown.  The two had a daughter together but divorced in 2006.  After several years of personal set-backs, Houston returned with a new album, I Look To You, in 2009.  The album hit #1 in the US and went on to sell over 3.5 million copies worldwide.  It was her first #1 album since The Bodyguard.  In September of 2011, Houston announced that she was going to produce and star in a remake of the 1976 film, Sparkle.  On February 11, 2012, while in Los Angeles for the Grammys, Whitney Houston was found dead in her Beverly Hilton Hotel room bathtub.  Officials later ruled that she accidentally drowned as a result of a heart condition and chronic drug use.   She was 48.

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Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston

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