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Not a good week:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNMEUbUgWc0
R.I.P. Victoria Wood….

     

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Billy Paul  R.I.P.

The music world has lost another veteran with news of the death of soul singer Billy Paul, the voice behind ‘Mr and Mrs Jones’.
The star died aged 81 at his home in New Jersey, his manager confirmed. He had previously been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

The star’s career lasted more than six decades, during which he worked prolifically with the song-writing team of Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff. Gamble and Huff were among those to pay tribute following Bill’s death. In a statement, they called him “one of the great artists to come out of Philly and to be celebrated worldwide”.

With his big glasses, bushy beard and smiling face, Billy was a distinctive stage presence, and his 1972 hit ‘Mr and Mrs Jones’ soon became a timeless classic, played on radio stations around the world to this day. The song, a classic ode to the temptations of an extramarital affair Billy’s off-stage life. In fact, he was married to his wife Blanche Williams for decades.

     

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This is unfortunately becoming a well used thread. At the weekend we lost Cliff Stocker. Not only the front man of Slack Alice for 50 years but promoter and nice guy. RIP.

     
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mcraggs27 - 22 April 2016 07:51 AM

Really sad news that Prince has died, after being found collapsed in a lift at his Minnesota Paisley Park home, aged only 57.
He had been take ill a few days earlier,on a flight from Georgia and was taken for treatment in Illinois, but was soon released and assured fans that he was feeling better and resting at home.
An eccentric, maverick, visionary, creative icon & a virtuoso performer - the world has just lost another one.

For Prince - Dave Gilmour - Comfortably Numb (incorporating Purple Rain) April 24th 2016

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UcDHXoQmxu0

 

     

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R.I.P.  Burt Kwouk who died yesterday aged 85.

Best known as Inspector Clouseau’s manservant Cato in the Pink Panther movies, but a stalwart of British movies and television throughout the 1960s and 70s, including a couple of Bond movies, Hammer films, The Avengers & Dr Who. Warrington born Herbert W Kwouk’s last recurring role was “Electric” Entwhistle from the mysterious East (Hull) in Last of The Summer Wine. A very popular, hard working, well loved actor with a wry sense of humour. Once, when asked about all the cliché oriental characters he played, his reply was “I think the Second World War happened just to keep me in work”.

     

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Saddened to hear on the radio this morning that Leonard Cohen has died. Known as “the Godfather of Gloom” or “the High priest of Pathos”, epithets he embraced as part of his witty and self-depreciating manner, Cohen passed peacefully barely a month after releasing You Want It Darker, what many are citing as one of his best albums.

Although he’s no doubt going to be best known for his 1984 song Hallelujah, which he thought had been covered too many times; he’s left us with a very rich legacy of great songs spanning a 50 years career; Bird on The Wire, Suzanne, Dance Me To The End of Love; So Long Marianne; Hey, That’s No Way To Say Goodbye; the last two about his muse/lover Marianne Ihlen.

In context, Cohen was the dark eminence among a small pantheon of extremely influential singer-songwriters to emerge in the Sixties and early Seventies. Only Bob Dylan exerted a more profound influence upon his generation, and perhaps only Paul Simon and fellow Canadian Joni Mitchell equalled him as a song poet. Such is influence and appeal of this poet, novelist, songwriter and legendary ladies’ man has endured throughout his career.

For Leonard, RIP; Tower of Song:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WirxqAn7Ck8

     

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Read this morning that we lost another music icon this week-end; singer/songwriter & musician Leon Russell passed in his sleep yesterday aged 74. he had been recuperating from a major heart attack and by-pass surgery in the summer.

Russell was a prolific tourer, performer and collaborator over six decades, working with the likes of Elton John, George Harrison, Willie Nelson & Joe Cocker, working as a session player & writer until his solo breakthrough in 1970. Russell’s A Song for You has been recorded by more than three dozen artists (Ray Charles won a Grammy Award for his version). His work spanned genres, and over the years several artists found chart success by recording his songs, including Cocker (Delta Lady), The Carpenters (Superstar), B.B. King (Hummingbird) and George Benson (This Masquerade). Claude Russell Bridges was born in Lawton, Okla., on April 2, 1942. He began learning piano at the age of four; by his early teens, he was playing in Tulsa nightclubs. Following his high school graduation, Russell toured with Jerry Lee Lewis for a few months, then moved to Los Angeles and found work as a session musician. As part of the Wrecking Crew, a collective of elite studio musicians, Russell played piano on a number of hit songs.As a solo artist, Russell’s most successful years came in the 1970s, beginning with his eponymous solo debut in 1970 and subsequent releases Leon Russell and the Shelter People and Carney. He also made records with his then-wife Mary Russell and country star Willie Nelson and released the first of multiple country albums he made under the name Hank Wilson. Russell was a captivating live performer. In 1971, he wowed crowds at the star-studded Concert for Bangladesh with a scorching medley of Jumpin’ Jack Flash and Youngblood. Two years later, The Tennessean wrote of one of his live shows: “A Leon Russell show is inevitably more than an aural experience. The crowd provided strawberry incense, fluorescent Frisbees, and clouds of smoke, tobacco and otherwise. Excited fans standing in front of the stage bent double, (and) pounded their arms with the rhythm of the music.”

His most recent album release, Life’s Journey was in 2014, but most recently he’ll be remembered for 2010’s collaboration with Elton John, The Union.

A Song For You - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=37dw2r45Xzg  Leon Russell RIP.

     

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25 years ago today, we lost one of Rock’s greatest (& most flamboyant) frontmen/singers Freddie Mercury.

Here you go….... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvB2MnIIdMw

     

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Almost let this one slip by; 40 years ago on 4th Dec, the day after opening a show for Jeff Beck, we lost Tommy Bolin; former James Gang and the 1st guitarist to fill Blackmore’s shoes in Deep Purple. A sad loss to drugs & alcohol..

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Squ4C6919aY

     

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Heard that veteran actor Peter Vaughn died yesterday, 93. Best known these days as Game of Thrones’ Master Aemon. For me though, he’ll always be “Genial” Harry Grout from Porridge:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5xOldHAIXXo

     

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This is one thread that I can do without posting in to hit my target; seems we’re ending the year as it started.

News has broken that Greg Lake has died, aged 69, following a long battle with cancer. Founder and bassist with prog legends King Crimson, appearing on their debut In The Court of The Crimson King, but before their 2nd album was released, Lake had joined with [the late] Keith Emerson & Carl Palmer to found seminal progsters Emerson Lake & Palmer.

It’s a this time of year though that Lake will be best remembered by the non-progsters for his 1975 Christmas hit I Believe In Father Christmas, co-written with former King Crimson band-mate Pete Sinfield; written as an indictment of how Christmas was [even then] becoming crass & commercialised.

ELP never really survived the Punk era and the band split in 1980, with Lake briefly joining Asia, the reviving ELP with the P provided by Cozy Powell before the original line-up re-united in 1991 on an on again-off again basis until their final show at the High Voltage Festival in London 2010.

For Greg - Lucky Man https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nm7-cysfE2c  R.I.P.

     

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Seems the Grim Reaper wasn’t quite finished with 2016 over the holidays. Very sad to have learned of that Rick Parfitt passed on Christmas Eve. He had a very close call over the summer with a massive heart attack where he was actually dead for several minutes. On medical advice, as well as his own quip about not wanting to die in front of an audience, Parfitt dropped out the most recent and ironically final “Electric”  Status Quo tour to recuperate in Marbella. However, it was not the heart that directly led to Rick’s death, it was a severe infection following an earlier shoulder injury that the cause of death was attributed to. Pariftt had hoped to be working on a solo project in 2017, as well as his autobiography.

And then a day later, George Michael; not a name that’s bandied about on here, but one of the country’s biggest stars over the last couple of decades. Apparently cause has been given as heart failure at the young age of 53.

And we can’t overlook the passing of Carrie Fisher, Debbie Reynolds and Liz Smith…

     

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A year ago today, we lost David Bowie….

One of my favourites of his more recent works - Survive...  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47QPNy50fnw
R.I.P.

     

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John Wetton RIP

An absolute ProgRock giant. He’ll be remembered mainly for Asia I guess but I loved his work with King Crimson and especially the original U.K. with Bruford, Jobson and Holdsworth. As well as stints in Uriah Heep; Roxy Music; Wishbone Ash; Family; Renaissance.

Sadly, another loss to cancer.

     

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Charles Edward Anderson Berry - 1927 - 2017

John Lennon once said, “if you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it ‘Chuck Berry’. And what better epitaph could a musician have, than to define an entire genre.

    Berry had an interest in music from an early age, performing at High School when he was 14; even a stint in jail (the first of several) didn’t diminish this, and even while holding down jobs in an automotive plant or as a beautician, Berry was performing in clubs in the early 1950s to support his young family. Founding his guitar style from teacher Ira Harris and showmanship from T-Bone Walker. Berry began performing with the Johnnie Johnson Trio. His break came when he travelled to Chicago in May 1955 and met Muddy Waters, who suggested he contact Leonard Chess, of Chess Records. With Chess he recorded “Maybellene”—Berry’s adaptation of the country song “Ida Red”—which sold over a million copies, reaching number one on Billboard magazine’s rhythm and blues chart. By the end of the 1950s, Berry was an established star with several hit records and film appearances and a lucrative touring career. He had also established his own St. Louis nightclub, Berry’s Club Bandstand. But in January 1962, he was sentenced to three years in prison for offenses under the Mann Act—he had transported a 14-year-old girl across state lines. After his release in 1963, Berry had several more hits, including “No Particular Place to Go”, “You Never Can Tell”, and “Nadine”. But these did not achieve the same success, or lasting impact, of his 1950s songs, and by the 1970s he was more in demand as a nostalgic performer, playing his past hits with local backup bands of variable quality. His insistence on being paid in cash led in 1979 to a four-month jail sentence and community service, for tax evasion.

    Berry was among the first musicians to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on its opening in 1986; he was cited for having “laid the groundwork for not only a rock and roll sound but a rock and roll stance.” Berry is included in several of Rolling Stone magazine’s “greatest of all time” lists; he was ranked fifth on its 2004 list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll includes three of Berry’s: “Johnny B. Goode”, “Maybellene”, and “Rock and Roll Music”. Berry’s “Johnny B. Goode” is the only rock-and-roll song included on the Voyager Golden Record.

R.I.P “Chuck” - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNeEb7I3bwI

(+ send off tribute from Kenny Wayne Shepherd - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5-qBqMOP0fU&feature=youtu.be)

     

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I wonder if T2 will be as big a disappointment as the original Trainspotting was to the railway enthusiast.