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Brian Matthew 1928 - 2017

It had been a long-standing pleasure of mine on a Saturday morning; setting out early and tuning into Sounds of The Sixties on Radio2, as hosted by “your lod mate” Brian Matthew. As well as having that clear, BBC modulated tone, Matthew had that avuncular but knowledgeable delivery; he met the bands, knew the bands loved the music, but didn’t chase the attached celebrity as other DJs.

Brian started broadcasting in 1948 and started working for the BBC in 1954 and was among the first advocates of “pop” music with shows like Saturday Club and Easy Beat , the BBC’s concessions to pop music before being superseded by pirate radio before Radio 1 came about. Brian also did some TV work, hosting ITV’s Thank Your Lucky Stars from 1961-66. Laterly, he hosted Radio 2’s Round Midnight arts magazine from 1978-1990 and from 1990 became the voice of Sounds of The Sixties..

In October 2017, he became the oldest, regular broadcaster on BBC radio, but shortly after, was taken ill and Sir Tim Rice stood in for a few weeks. The BBC thought they could “retire” Matthew, but loyal fans and an e-petition said otherwise and he was back in late February. However, combination of failing health and re-scheduling, it was a brief return and the show was handed over to Tony Blackburn.

     

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John Warren “J” Geils -  1946 - 2017

News broke yesterday that John Geils, founder and lead guitarist of The J Geils Band was found dead by police at his home in Groton; Massachusetts yesterday morning. Death is being attributed to natural causes.

The J Geis Band started while he was at college and released their debut in 1970. A shift in styles from Soul & R’n'B to more pop rock saw them reap success in 1979 - 80 with Love Stinks and Freeze-Frame albums, the latter spawning the single Centre-Fold. The band eventually broke up in 1985 when geils put down his guitar to open an auto repair shop for high-end Italian sports cars; a business he owned and ran into the mid 1990s.

He returned to music in 1992 when he produced an album for Danny Klein and formed the band Bluestime with Magic Dick. He played in the New Guitar Summit with Duke Robillard and Gerry Beaudoin and in the acoustic trio Kings of Strings with Beaudoin and Jerry Miller. In 2005, he released his first solo album, a jazz album.

     

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Chris Cornell - 1964 - 2017 R.I.P.

According to his representative, rocker Chris Cornell, who gained fame as the lead singer of Soundgarden and later Audioslave, has died at age 52.  In a statement to The Associated Press, Brian Bumbery says Cornell died Wednesday night in Detroit. Bumbery called the death now reported as suicide by hanging, “sudden and unexpected” and said his wife and family were shocked by it. The statement also said the family would be working closely with the medical examiner to determine the cause and asked for privacy.

Cornell was on tour when he died: he was still going strong as a musician, and performed a show hours before he died. He was in the middle of a sold-out US tour, with six dates left remaining before its finish on May 27.

Cornell, who sang and played rhythm guitar, formed Soundgarden in 1984 with lead guitarist Kim Thayil and bassist Hiro Yamamoto. The band were one of the first to sign to record label Subpop, which also took on Nirvana and Mudhoney, and became known for their Grammy Award-winning singles Black Hole Sun and Spoonman. Cornell had a four-octave range and worked with a number of different artists as a singer and songwriter. Soundgarden broke up in 1997, but reformed in 2010. Cornell went on to form supergroup Audioslave, which he fronted alongside former Rage Against the Machine members Tom Morello, Tim Commerford and Brad Wilk, in 2001.

While he collaborated with other artists throughout his career, a personal favourite was with Alice Cooper on the track Stolen Prayer;  Corner’s 1999 solo album, Euphoria Morning, proved to be the first of five spanning 16 years. His last, Higher Truth, reached the US top 20, following its release in 2015. He toured with Linkin Park and Aerosmith in the late Noughties, and played Hyde Park as recently as 2012.  Cornell also made a foray into film soundtrack composition, writing the Casino Royale theme You Know My Name and The Keeper, which he won a Golden Globe nomination for and appeared in the film Machine Gun Preacher.

With a strong solo career and further Soundgarden reunions on the cards, one of Rock’s truly outstanding voices has been sadly silenced.

For Chris:-
Nearly Forgot My Broken Heart:- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KhJ9IwYc5NU
Black Hole Sun - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltc5EsuyBh4

 

     

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Our heartfelt thoughts and sympathies go out to the victims and the families of those caught up in Monday night’s atrocity in Manchester.

     

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R.I.P Sir Roger Moore KBE 1927 - 2017

Very sad at the news overnight that Roger Moore has passed in Switzerland after a short fight with cancer.

Best known as, to date, the longest running Bond with 7 films in the role, ‘Sadly, I had to retire from the Bond films. The girls were getting younger, or I was just getting too old.’ Moore made his name in television as Ivanhoe, “Beau” in Maverick; Simon Templer in The Saint and as Brett Sinclair in The Persuaders opposite Tony Curtis.

After Bond, Moore didn’t appear on screen for five years and aside from a few good roles, seemed to enjoy lampooning his earlier career. However, most of his energies were spent doing charitable work; for many years a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador since 1991;  Moore was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2003 for “services to charity”. In 2008, the French government appointed Moore a Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.

‘I would love to be remembered as one of the greatest Lears or Hamlets. But, as that’s not going to happen, I’m quite happy I did Bond.’

     

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In memory of Jeff Buckley - 20 years ago, May 29th - tragically drowned in a swimming accident in the Mississippi near Memphis. Great loss.

     

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R.I.P.  Gregg Allman 1947 - 2017

Sad to learn over the week-end that Gregg Allman passed, aged 69. No official cause has been announced as yet, though it was known that Allman suffered from chronic liver issues in recent years.

Though he claimed the term as redundant, along with acclaimed guitarist brother Duane, Gregg Allman was unwittingly one of the principal architects behind “Southern Rock”, fusing Country Blues with West Coast extended improvisation; as well as being blessed with one of blues/rocks great growling voices and a Hammond B-3 sound with deep, emotional power.

For Gregg - Dreams https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NBo_POKv21w  R.I.P.

     

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R.I.P. John Noakes  1934-2017

Not a musician, but to those of us in the UK growing up in the 1960s & 70s, something of a childhood hero. Noakes became an actor after training as a aircraft mechanic, but found his niche in long running children’s TV magazine show Blue Peter as their “action man”. In 1973, he became the first civilian to free-fall 5 miles, climbed Nelson’s column “literally hanging from ladder with nothing at all beneath me”., crashed coming down the Cresta Bobsleigh run; but these paled into insignificance when trying to “wrangle” Lulu, a frightened baby elephant, in a live TV studio….

A family statement said he had “endured and suffered from” Alzheimer’s disease. “Whilst he will be greatly missed by his wife, family and many friends his release from continuing ill health must be counted as a blessing,” it said.

For John; one of the best Yorkshiremen - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vzasI7ZWUe0

     

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R.I.P.  actor Peter Sallis O.B.E.  at the age of 96.
Long time veteran of stage and TV, but more famously known as Norman “Cleggy” Clegg in the long running sit-com Last of The Summer Wine in which he appeared in all 295 episodes, as well as playing his father in a prequel series. Sallis retired from acting when Summer Wine was cancelled in 2010 after a 37 year run.

However, he’ll be more famously remembered as the voice of animated inventor Wallace in the Oscar wining Wallace & Gromit adventures, A Grand Day Out; The Wrong Trousers; A Close Shave; Curse of the Were-Rabbit and Matter of Loaf & Death.

In Wallace’s own words - “The bounce has gone from his bungie.”

     

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R.I.P.  Adam West, aka Bruce Wayne, aka Batman 1928 - 2017

After a short bout of leukaemia, we’ve lost the original & iconic Batman. Despite a seven decade career, it’s the 2 year stint in the “campy” TV role that defined West’s career and though it typecast him, he was never outwardly bitter about it.

*Sigh*  There’s another childhood hero gone…..

     

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One of the greatest movie lines ever, Some days you just can’t get rid of a bomb! Remember the first time I saw Batman and Robin at the Sat morning pictures.

mcraggs27 - 12 June 2017 11:35 AM

R.I.P.  Adam West, aka Bruce Wayne, aka Batman 1928 - 2017

After a short bout of leukaemia, we’ve lost the original & iconic Batman. Despite a seven decade career, it’s the 2 year stint in the “campy” TV role that defined West’s career and though it typecast him, he was never outwardly bitter about it.

*Sigh*  There’s another childhood hero gone…..

     
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Flags flying at half mast over Trumpton, Chigley & Camberwick Green (not to mention Play School) as veteran Children’s TV presenter Brian Cant died a couple of days ago.

Sorry USA, you probably haven’t a clue who I mean, but us Brits of a certain age have lost a cornerstone of our 1960s childhood.

     

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Chester Bennington 1976-2017
Sad news broke earlier of the suicide of Linkin Park & Stone Temple Pilots singer/frontman Chester Bennington at the age of 41. The singer is said to have struggled for years with alcohol and drug abuse, and has talked in the past about contemplating suicide as a result of being a victim of abuse as a child. Bennington was said to be close to Soundgarden vocalist Chris Cornell, who took his own life in May.

Linkin Park broke through with their debut album, Hybrid Theory which fused elements of metal and rock with rap and hip-hop to shape the nu-metal genre and was one of the millennium’s top sellers shifting over 30 million copies.Arguably their biggest asset was Chester’s powerhouse voice. He had a huge, raspy vocal which suited their stadium-filling, singalong anthems. Whilst his vocal persona could be described as angry and harsh, in person he was warm, articulate and funny. The follow-up album Meteora topped the Billboard 200 chart in 2003 and is regarded as one of the biggest indie rock records of all time. The band’s most recent album, One More Light, saw a different direction as they worked with prolific pop songwriters Julia Michaels and Justin Tranter - and collaborated with UK grime artist Stormzy. They were due to start touring this week.
R.I.P Chester - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hjg-9JHfDdM

 

     

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If there’s a Highway to Hell but only a Stairway To Heaven; it speaks volumes about the predicted traffic flow..