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Posts Tagged ‘ZZ Top’

RIP, Gregg Allman (May 27, 2017) Southern Rock Pioneer

Posted by themusicsover on May 27, 2017

Gregg Allman
December 8, 1947 – May 27, 2017

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Gregg Allman was the lead singer, keyboardist and primary songwriter for the Allman Brothers Band, which he formed with his brother, Duane Allman, in 1969.  The Allman Brothrers went on to become one of the most influential rock bands America has ever produced.  Albums like The Allman Brothers Band, At Fillmore East, and Eat A Peach are considered landmark recordings of the ’70s. Their marriage of rock to country, blues and jazz – along with unmatched improvisational skills, laid the foundation of the Southern Rock scene which exploded in their wake. Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, and the Marshall Tucker Band are just a handful of bands from the American South who built successful careers due in large part to the Allman Brothers’ direct influence. Between their formation in 1969, and ultimately calling it a day in 2014, the band released 11 studio albums and 16 official live albums while playing countless live shows during their on-again off-again run.  During one break during the ’80s, when most thought his career was over, Allman released a handful of solo albums including Laid Back and I’m No Angel, both of which went gold.  His most recent solo album, 2011’s Low Country Blues, was also his highest charting, debuting at #5 on the Billboard charts.  In recent years, Gregg Allman suffered from a series of health issues and ultimate lost his life to complications of liver cancer.  He was 69 years old when he passed on.

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Died On This Date (August 31, 3014) Jimi Jamison / Former Lead Singer of Survivor

Posted by themusicsover on August 31, 2014

Jimmy “Jimi” Jamison
August 23, 1951 – August 31, 2014

Jimi-JamisonJimi Jamison is perhaps best remembered as a lead singer of ’80s rock band Survivor.  Raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Jamison began singing and playing the guitar and piano as a child.  By the time he hit middle school, he was already playing in a band.   During the early ’80s, Jamison became the lead singer of a band called Cobra, and a few years later, he was invited to front Survivor after original lead vocalist (and “Eye Of The Tiger” singer) Dave Bickler left due to serious issues with his vocal cords.  Jamison’s first recording with the group was the hit, “The Moment of Truth,” for the Karate Kid soundtrack.  That was quickly followed by the Vital Signs album which went Platinum and reached #16 on the US album charts.  The album spawned the hits, “High On You,” “The Search Is Over,” and “I Can’t Hold Back.”  Its follow-up, When Seconds Count, also cracked the Top 50 on the US album charts powered by several radio-friendly pop-rockers.   The list of hit songs that Jamison sang lead on include “Burning Heart” from the Rocky IV soundtrack, and “I’m Always Here,” the theme song of the popular Baywatch television series.  He was also an in-demand session singer, having recorded with the likes of Joe Walsh and ZZ Top, whose Billy Gibbons often referred to him as the fourth member of the group.   Jamison continued to record and perform as a solo act, and upon occasion, with Survivor well throughout the rest of his life.  His most recent solo album, Never Too Late, was released in 2012.   Jimi Jamison was 63 when he died of a heart attack on August 31, 2014.

Thanks to David Plastik at eRockPhotos for the assist.

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Died On This Date (April 10, 2009) Rocky Hill / Houston Guitarist; Brother of ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill

Posted by themusicsover on April 10, 2010

John “Rocky” Hill
December 1, 1946 – April 10, 2009

rocky-hillRocky Hill was by all accounts, a killer guitar player, as well as the older brother of Dusty Hill, bassist for Texas rock band, ZZ Top.  The Hill brothers began playing together in their early teens eventually forming a trio called American Blues with future ZZ Topper, Frank Beard on drums.  The band broke up in 1969 when the Hills moved from Dallas to Houston.  Dusty and Beard soon joined up with Billy Gibbons to form ZZ Top.   Rocky, who was more of a blues loyalist continued on alone, at times playing with the great Lightnin’ Hopkins.   He apparently struggled with drugs and alcohol through much of his adult life.  Cause of death was not immediately released but was called medical in nature.

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Died On This Date (November 30, 2000) Scott Smith / Loverboy

Posted by themusicsover on November 30, 2009

Scott Smith
February 13, 1955 – November 30, 2000


Scott Smith is best remembered as the original bassist for the Canadian rock band, Loverboy who had a string of hits during the ’80s.  Learning to play the guitar as a child, Smith switched over to bass just as he was hitting his teen years.  While in college in 1980, he was asked to join Loverboy.  The band’s debut self titled album was a hit, selling over 2 million copies in the U.S. alone and helping the band land tours with such superstar acts as Journey, ZZ Top, and Cheap Trick.  The band released a series of hit singles that included “Working For The Weekend,” “Turn Me Loose,” and “The Kid Is Hot Tonight.”  The band would become synonymous with ’80s arena rock.  The band broke up in the late ’80s, but reunited in 1991.  On November 30, 2000, Scott Smith lost his life at sea after being swept overboard by an unexpected wave while sailing with friends off the coast of San Francisco.  He was 45 years old.

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Died On This Date (November 12, 1997) Rainer Ptacek / Guitar Great

Posted by themusicsover on November 12, 2009

Rainer Ptacek
June 7, 1951 – November 12, 1997


Rainer Ptacek was one of those rare breeds that was known as a “musician’s musician.”  As a guitarist he developed the ability to use loops, picking, the slide and other such manipulations to raise him above his peers.  Guitar gods no less than Jimmy Page and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons held Ptacek in the highest regard.  He released several albums during his 20+ year career.  Rainer Ptacek learned he had a brain tumor and lymphoma in early 1996 prompting Robert Plant and fellow guitarist, Howe Gelb to arrange benefits to help with medical bills.  Ptacek, 46, succumbed to the disease in November of 1997.

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