Category: In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Hal Ketchum (1953 – 2020)


Hal Michael Ketchum (April 9, 1953 – November 23, 2020) was an American country music artist. He released eleven studio albums since 1986, including nine for divisions of Curb Records. Ketchum’s 1991 album Past the Point of Rescue is his most commercially successful, having been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Between 1991 and 2006 Ketchum had seventeen entries on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, including three that reached the number two position: his debut single “Small Town Saturday Night”, “Past the Point of Rescue”, and “Hearts Are Gonna Roll”. Ketchum’s music is defined by his songwriting and folk music influences. Ketchum retired from the music business in 2019 following a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Ketchum was born in Greenwich, New York. At the age of 15, he began performing in clubs as a drummer with a rhythm and blues trio. In 1981, Ketchum moved to Austin, Texas, where he began to visit Gruene Hall, a small dance hall near his home. This influenced him to try his hand at singing and songwriting, and by 1985 he was playing at small Texas clubs. In 1986, Ketchum recorded 11 of his self-penned songs under his full name Hal Michael Ketchum. This album, Threadbare Alibis, was released in 1988 on the Watermelon Records label.

Ketchum then moved to Nashville, Tennessee, and signed a record deal with Curb Records. In 1991, Ketchum released his Curb debut album Past the Point of Rescue. Four singles were released from the album: “Small Town Saturday Night” was first, achieving a peak of number two on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart.[2] After it came Ketchum’s own composition “I Know Where Love Lives”, which charted at number thirteen. Also peaking at number two was the title track, written by Irish musician Mick Hanly and originally a hit single in Ireland for Mary Black in 1988. The last single from the album was a rendition of The Vogues’ “Five O’Clock World”, which Ketchum took into top 20 of Hot Country Songs in 1992. Allen Reynolds, a producer best known for his work with Garth Brooks and Kathy Mattea, produced the album with Jim Rooney. Among the musicians contributing to the album were Mattea, Gary Burr, and Richard Bennett, as well as Bruce Bouton, Chris Leuzinger, and Milton Sledge of Brooks’ studio band The G-Men. Alanna Nash of Entertainment Weekly rated the album “A-“, stating that “Literate and tuneful, Past the Point of Rescue balances poetic love songs with a squint-eyed look at teenage rebellion, romance, and psychological intrigue, all delivered with a tenor that throbs with passion and conviction.” Past the Point of Rescue was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America for U.S. shipments of 500,000 copies.

He released the album Sure Love in 1993. The album’s title track charted at number three on Hot Country Songs, followed by “Hearts Are Gonna Roll” also at number two and “Mama Knows the Highway” at number eight, while the last single “Someplace Far Away (Careful What You’re Dreaming)” was less successful on the charts.

In 1994, Ketchum released the album Every Little Word. Five singles were issued from the album. Ketchum wrote the first two singles, “(Tonight We Just Might) Fall in Love Again” and “That’s What I Get for Losin’ You”, with former NRBQ member Al Anderson. These peaked at numbers 20 and 22 on Hot Country Songs in 1994, respectively. After it came Ketchum’s last top-ten hit “Stay Forever”, which he wrote with Benmont Tench; the title track and its B-side, “Trail of Tears”, both fell short of the top 40. Ketchum was also inducted as the 71st Member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1994.

Two years later came a greatest-hits package entitled The Hits. This album included the non-charting single “Hang In There Superman.” Ketchum did not appear on the charts again until 1998, when he reached number 36 with a cover of Todd Rundgren’s “I Saw the Light”, from his next album, also entitled I Saw the Light. Awaiting Redemption followed in 1999 without a charting single.

He covered “If I Never Knew You” with Shelby Lynne for The Best of Country Sing the Best of Disney. In 2001, Ketchum released Lucky Man. This album included only one charting single in the number 40 “She Is”. King of Love followed in 2004 with only the number 60 “My Love Will Not Change” to its credit. One More Midnight, released only in the United Kingdom, produced a number 47 country hit in the United States with “Just This Side of Heaven (Hal-Lelujah)”, although the album itself never was released in the U.S. His most recent US releases are Father Time in 2008, and I’m the Troubadour in 2014.

In June 1998, Ketchum was diagnosed with a neurological disorder called acute transverse myelitis, an ailment of the spinal column, which left Ketchum without the use of the left side of his body.[10] He had to relearn basic tasks, including how to walk and play the guitar.

Ketchum was also a painter and his work has been shown in Santa Fe, New Mexico’s Pena Gallery, where he had an art-show opening in 2002. He was also a master carpenter and enjoyed making toys.

On April 14, 2019, Ketchum’s wife, Andrea, announced on his Facebook page that he had been suffering from early-onset senile dementia (including Alzheimer’s disease) throughout much of his most recent tour, and that it had progressed to the point that he could no longer perform. Ketchum died from the disease on November 23, 2020 at the age of 67.

 

In Memoriam: Doug Supernaw (1960 – 2020)


Douglas Anderson Supernaw (September 26, 1960 – November 13, 2020) was an American country music artist. After several years performing as a local musician throughout the state of Texas, he signed with BNA Records in 1993.

Supernaw has released four studio albums: Red and Rio Grande (1993), Deep Thoughts from a Shallow Mind (1994), You Still Got Me (1995), and Fadin’ Renegade (1999), as well as two compilation albums, 1997’s The Encore Collection, and 2017’s Greatest Hits. Between 1993 and 1996, he charted 11 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks (now Hot Country Songs) charts, including “I Don’t Call Him Daddy”, his only number one single in late 1993.

Supernaw died on November 13, 2020 at the age of 60 from stage IV lung and bladder cancer.

 

In Memoriam: Bones Hillman (Wayne Stevens) (1958 – 2020)


Wayne Stevens (May 1958 – 7 November 2020), known by the stage name Bones Hillman, was a New Zealand musician best known as the bass guitarist for the Australian alternative rock band Midnight Oil, which he joined in 1987 and remained with until his death in 2020.

He played bass guitar in his first band the Masochists, an early New Zealand punk act, formed with Kevin Gray (vocals), Spike Nasty (drums) and Jimmy Sex (guitar), from the Auckland suburb of Avondale. They were alternatively known as The Metal Masochists, MM, Vandals, and The Avondale Spiders. In late 1977 he joined the Suburban Reptiles and appeared on their first single, “Megaton” (Vertigo, 1978). The name Hillman was coined by the make of car he drove. He left the band in early 1978 and joined the former Masochists in the Rednecks, a mainstay of the legendary Zwines punk scene in Auckland.

In late 1977, he joined the New Zealand band the Swingers with Phil Judd (ex-Split Enz) and Mark Hough (a.k.a. Buster Stiggs, ex-Suburban Reptiles). Their single “Counting the Beat” was a trans-Tasman number one hit before the band disintegrated in 1983. He appeared in the 1982 film Starstruck, as one of the Swingers. He was credited as Dwayne Hillman.

Moving to Australia as part of The Swingers in 1980 and living there until 2002, he was a member of internationally known Australian rock band Midnight Oil, replacing Peter Gifford in 1987 as bass player.

During the hiatus of Midnight Oil, Hillman returned to New Zealand, working as a studio and live musician with Dave Dobbyn and recorded the album Available Light. Hillman moved with his family to Nashville, Tennessee, in early 2007 to participate in the more active musical scene there.

In 2009, Hillman recorded albums for Anne McCue (Broken Promise Land) and Elizabeth Cook (Welder, produced by Don Was). Two years later he worked on the Musical adaptation of Diner, recording tracks for Sheryl Crow. In 2014, Hillman reunited with Midnight Oil producer Warne Livesey to record songs for his new musical project the Graysmiths. The following year, Hillman recorded and toured with Matthew Good.

In 2017, Hillman participated in a Midnight Oil reunion and tour.

In Memoriam: Ken Hensley (1945 – 2020)


Kenneth William David Hensley (August 24, 1945 – November4, 2020) was an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer, best known for his work with Uriah Heep during the 1970s.

He wrote or co-wrote the majority of Uriah Heep’s songs during this period, including the hit singles “Lady in Black” (on which he sang lead vocals), “Easy Livin'” and “Stealin'”, as well as “Look at Yourself”, on which he also sang lead vocals, and “Free Me”.

From The Ken Hensley Website
It is with great sadness that we announce that Ken Hensley, former Uriah Heep vocalist songwriter and multi-instrumentalist passed away peacefully on 4th November following a very short illness.

Ken was one of the most important musicians of the past half-a-century. His work with Uriah Heep in the 1970s helped to make the band hugely influential. He also collaborated with bands such as Blackfoot, W.A.S.P. and Cinderella, as well as building a very successful solo career. As a writer he was responsible for such classics as ‘Lady In Black’, ‘Easy Livin”, “July Morning” and ‘Look At Yourself’.

A very spiritual person, Ken became an inspiration to many and known for encouraging talented artists.

“I am in deep shock at the news Ken Hensley has passed away, and my sincere condolences go to his family and wife Monica. Ken wrote some amazing songs in his tenure with the band, and they will remain a musical legacy that will be in people’s hearts forever. RIP Ken” Mick Box – Uriah Heep

Ken had recently finished work on a new project My Book of Answers which is due for release end of February 2021.

He leaves behind a wife Monica and 2 brothers Trevor, Mark and sister Dawn and his close friend and manager Steve Weltman.

We wish to express our deepest sympathies to Ken’s family, friends and many associates from his musical career at this time. The family ask fans for some space and time to come to terms with the tragic and unexpected loss.

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Bands and guest appearances
The Gods (1965–1969) – lead vocals, keyboards, occasional guitar
Head Machine (1969) – lead vocals, keyboards, guitars (This was a one-album project put together by a producer)
Toe Fat (1969) – keyboards, backing vocals, occasional guitar
Uriah Heep (1970–1980) – keyboards, backing and occasional lead vocals, acoustic and slide guitar, primary songwriter
Weed (1971) – lead vocals, keyboards, guitars (A one-album side project for Hensley. The other musicians playing on the album are thought to have been from a German band called Virus)
Shotgun (1981) – lead vocals, keyboards, guitars
Ken Hensley Band (1981) – lead vocals, keyboards, guitars
Blackfoot (1982–1985) – keyboards, backing vocals, slide guitar
W.A.S.P. (The Headless Children, 1989) – keyboards
Cinderella (Heartbreak Station, 1990) – Hammond organ
Ken Hensley & Visible Faith (1999) – lead vocals, keyboards, guitars
Bruce Cameron (Midnight Daydream, 1999) – keyboards
Hensley/Lawton Band (2000–2001) – keyboards, guitars, lead and backing vocals
Ken Hensley/John Wetton (2001) – keyboards, guitars, lead and backing vocals
Ken Hensley & Free Spirit (2002) – keyboards, guitars, lead vocals
Ayreon (2004) – Hammond solo on Loser from the album The Human Equation
Ken Hensley & The Viking All-Stars Band (2005) – keyboards, guitars, lead vocals
Ken Hensley & Live Fire (2006–2020) – keyboards, guitars, lead vocals
Therion (2007) – Hammond solo on Trul from the album Gothic Kabbalah
B.T.R. (2008) – keyboards, guitars, lead and backing vocals (The Bulgarian hard rock band played with Hensley on a few occasions most of which also included John Lawton)
Toni Rowland (Unfolding, 2010) – keyboards, guitars, producer
Sunrize (2011) – Touring together with the Bulgarian rock band Sunrize during their Rock on the Rocks tour 2011.

Solo albums
Proud Words on a Dusty Shelf (1973) – AUS #57[6]
Eager to Please (1975)
Free Spirit (1980)
The Best of Ken Hensley (compilation, 1990)
From Time to Time (1994)
A Glimpse of Glory (1999)
Ken Hensley Anthology (compilation, 2000)
Running Blind (2002)
The Last Dance (2003)
The Wizard’s Diary Vol. 1 (compilation, CD/DVD, 2004)
Cold Autumn Sunday (2005)
Elements – Anthology 1968 To 2005 (compilation, 2006)
Inside the Mystery (compilation, 2006)
Blood on the Highway (2007)
Live Fire (DVD, 2007)
Blood on the Highway – Release Concert (live DVD, 2008)
Love & Other Mysteries (2012)[7]
Live Tales (live, 2013)
Rare & Timeless (compilation, 2018)

With Uriah Heep
…Very ‘Eavy …Very ‘Umble (1970)
Salisbury (1971)
Look at Yourself (1971)
Demons and Wizards (1972)
The Magician’s Birthday (1972)
Uriah Heep Live (live, 1973)
Sweet Freedom (1973)
Wonderworld (1974)
Return to Fantasy (1975)
The Best of Uriah Heep (compilation, 1975)
High and Mighty (1976)
Firefly (1977)
Innocent Victim (1977)
Fallen Angel (1978)
Conquest (1980)
Live at Shepperton ’74 (live, 1986)
Live in Europe 1979 (live, 1986)
Still ‘Eavy Still Proud (compilation, 1990)
Rarities From The Bronze Age (compilation, 1991)
The Lansdowne Tapes (1993)
A Time of Revelation (1996)
Live in San Diego 1974 (live, 1997)
The Magician’s Birthday Party (live, 2002)
Chapter & Verse – The Uriah Heep Story (compilation, 2005)

With The Gods
Genesis (1968)
To Samuel A Son (1969)
The Gods Featuring Ken Hensley (1976)

With Head Machine
Orgasm (1969)

With Toe Fat
Toe Fat (1970)

With Weed
Weed…! (1971)

With Blackfoot
Siogo (1983)
Vertical Smiles (1984)
KBFH Presents Blackfoot Live 1983 (live, 1998)

With John Wetton
More Than Conquerors (live, 2002)
One Way Or Another (live, 2002)

With Ken Hensley & Live Fire
Faster (2011)
Live Fire LIVE (live, 2013)
Trouble (2013)
Live in Russia (live, 2019)

 

 

In Memoriam: Rance Allen (1948 – 2020)


Rance Allen (November 20, 1948 – October 31, 2020), was an American Bishop, Minister, and gospel musician, and the founder and leader of the famed Rance Allen Group. Known for his extremely wide vocal range and powerful singing voice, Allen became known as the main lead vocalist and the leader of the influential group.

He was the senior pastor of the New Bethel Church Of God In Christ in Toledo, Ohio, since its July 1985 establishment. In November 2011, Rance Allen was elevated to the office of Bishop in the Church of God in Christ, for the Michigan Northwestern Harvest Jurisdiction.

Allen was born in 1948 in Monroe, Michigan to Thomas and Emma Pearl Allen. He had 11 siblings: six sisters and five brothers. Allen founded the Rance Allen Group in Detroit in 1969 joined by his brothers Thomas and Steve.

Allen was married to Ellen Marie Allen (née Groves). The two were married on December 1, 1970. The couple had no children together.

Allen and his group had performed with many gospel musicians throughout the country, including Andrae Crouch, Marvin Winans, Bebe and Cece Winans, the Clark Sisters, Kirk Franklin, Marvin Sapp, Tye Tribbett, Shirley Caesar, Donnie McClurkin, Bernard Jackson Jr. and Mary McLaurine Glover. He also performed for President Barack Obama at a White House Celebration of Gospel Music and was nominated for five Grammy Awards.

Allen’s wife, Ellen Allen, and manager Toby Jackson announced in a joint statement that Allen died early Saturday (Oct. 31) while recovering from a “medical procedure” at Heartland ProMedica in Sylvania, Ohio. Allen was a longtime Toledo, Ohio resident and most recently bishop for Church of God in Christ for the Michigan Northwestern Harvest Jurisdiction.

“I am so sorry to hear of the passing of Gospel Great, Bishop Rance Allen,” singer Gloria Gaynor tweeted. “He will surely enrich the heavenly choir now.”

A native of Monroe, Michigan, Allen was a singer, songwriter and musician who formed his group with his brothers Tom and Steve. Another sibling, Esau, occasionally joined them. A promotion man for Stax Records heard them at a Detroit talent contest and they eventually signed with the label’s Gospel Truth imprint. Allen and his siblings were featured in the 1973 documentary WattStax, performing the funky “Lying On the Truth.”

Like the Winans and others later on, the Allens inverted the formula of soul performers like Ray Charles who used gospel sounds for secular themes. On “Just My Salvation,” the Allen Group reworked The Temptations melancholy love song “Just My Imagination” into an uptempo hymn.

The Allens were inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame in 1998. On his own, Rance Allen was nominated for a Grammy fin 2009 or best gospel performance for “I Understand,” which featured Mariah Carey and BeBe Winans among others.

In 2015, he sang at the White House, with President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama among those in attendance.

Source: Wikipedia and Microsoft News

 

In Memoriam: Bob Gibson (Music Publicist) (1939 – 2020)

Bob Gibson, who cofounded the powerhouse music publicity firm Gibson & Stromberg in the late ’60s and worked with some of the genre’s biggest acts, died Oct. 23 in Los Angeles at age 80. No cause was given.

Gibson & Gary Stromberg founded their publicity firm in 1969 and represented the Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Elton John, the Who, the Eagles, James Taylor, the Beach Boys, and T. Rex, among many others.

When the firm dissolved in 1975, Gibson went out on his own, representing key artists and executives before reuniting with Stromberg in the early 1990s.

Gibson, who once ran the famed music nightclub The Cheetah in Santa Monica, later became an executive at ABC Dunhill Records.

Robert Hazard Gibson was born in Los Angeles in 1939 to Colonel Bill Gibson and Suzanne Ainsworth Hazard. He is survived by three sons, Courtney Gibson, Christian Gibson, and Bobby Gibson; his former wife, Pearl Gibson; and his sisters, Melinda Haldeman, Patti James and Cynthia James. No memorial plans have been announced.

Ctsy Deadline.com

In Memoriam: Jerry Jeff Walker (1942 – 2020)

Jerry Jeff Walker (born Ronald Clyde Crosby; March 16, 1942 – October 23, 2020) was an American country music singer and songwriter. He is best known for writing the 1968 song “Mr. Bojangles”.

Walker’s “Mr. Bojangles” (1968) is perhaps his best-known and most-often covered song. It is about an obscure alcoholic but talented tap-dancing drifter who, when arrested and jailed in New Orleans, insisted on being identified only as Bojangles (the nickname of famed dancer Bill Robinson).

In his autobiography, Gypsy Songman, Walker made it clear the man he met was white. Further, in an interview with BBC Radio 4 in August 2008, he pointed out that at the time the jail cells in New Orleans were segregated along color lines, so his influence could not have been black. Bojangles is thought to have been a folk character who entertained informally in the South and California, with authentic reports of his existing from the 1920s through to about 1965.

Walker recorded songs written by others such as “LA Freeway” (Guy Clark), “Up Against the Wall Red Neck Mother” (Ray Wylie Hubbard), “(Looking for) The Heart of Saturday Night” (Tom Waits) and “London Homesick Blues” (Gary P. Nunn).[citation needed] He also interpreted the songs of others such as Rodney Crowell, Townes Van Zandt, Paul Siebel, Bob Dylan, Todd Snider, Dave Roberts, and even a rodeo clown named Billy Jim Baker. Some have called Jerry Jeff the Jimmy Buffett of Texas. It was Jerry Jeff who first drove Jimmy Buffett to Key West (from Coconut Grove, Florida in a Packard). Walker and Buffett also co-wrote the song “Railroad Lady” while riding the last run of the Panama Limited.

Walker had an annual birthday celebration in Austin at the Paramount Theatre and at Gruene Hall in Gruene, Texas. This party became an enormous event in Texas and brought some of the biggest names in country music out for a night of picking and swapping stories under the Austin skyline. Jimmy Buffett attended the 2004 birthday bash.

On June 25, 2019, The New York Times Magazine listed Jerry Jeff Walker among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal Studios fire.

Walker was diagnosed with throat cancer in 2017 and passed away on Friday, October 23, 2020, from cancer-related complications.

 

In Memoriam: Tony Lewis (1957 – 2020) (4pm ET Music Salute)


Tony Lewis (December 21,1957 – October 19, 2020) was an English singer-songwriter/musician. He was a member of the band the Outfield, known for their hit single “Your Love”. After a long career with the Outfield, Lewis began work as a solo artist. He released his first solo album, Out of the Darkness, in the spring of 2018 on Madison Records.

Lewis — best known as the “Your Love” singer for the British rock band The Outfield.

Tony reportedly died Tuesday near his home in London. The cause of death was not revealed. The musician, songwriter and record producer co-founded The Outfield with Alan Jackman and John Spinks. Their music roared in the 1980s with hit tracks like “Your Love,” “All The Love” and “Say It Isn’t So.”

The Outfield’s debut album was “Play Deep” in 1985 … which would go on to reach triple platinum sales and break the top 10 in the U.S. album charts. “Your Love” — prominently featured in tons of TV shows, films and even commercials — peaked at No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1986. It’s easily one of the most recognizable songs in rock history.

In 2014, John Spinks died of liver cancer at the age of 60. His friendship and musical partnership meant a lot to Lewis, and the loss of his friend was devastating. After the death of his longtime collaborator, Lewis decided to take a break from music. For the first year, Lewis did not even want to listen to music or play the guitar. His wife Carol encouraged him to start recording and get back to what he really loved doing. Music had always been a part of Lewis’ life, and it was where he went for comfort. Lewis returned to his solo roots, revisiting his early lyric ideas and playing around with a body of backing tracks. Eventually he teamed up with his wife Carol, who he found had a talent for writing lyrics.

Lewis and Carol collaborated on a new body of work, which takes on the spirit of the Outfield while letting Lewis’ own style shine through. In October 2017, with the help and support of Randy Sadd of Protocol Entertainment (who was a radio promoter for the Outfield 2004–2011), Lewis was introduced to Tanner Hendon and was signed to Hendon’s record label Madison Records. A new album was soon released, Out of the Darkness, and featured the debut single “Into the Light”. The single made an entry on the Billboard charts. On the new album, Lewis plays all the instruments, as well as producing and recording everything on his own.

In Memoriam: Johnny Nash (1940 – 1980)

John Lester Nash Jr. (August 19, 1940 – October 6, 2020) was an American reggae and pop music singer-songwriter, best known in the United States for his 1972 hit, “I Can See Clearly Now”. He was one of the first non-Jamaican singers to record reggae music in Kingston, Jamaica.

Johnny Nash, whose 1972 song “I Can See Clearly Now” became a Number One hit and enduring radio song, died on Tuesday, his son confirmed to CBS. No cause of death was given. He was 80.

Nash began singing as a child in church in Houston, Texas, where he was born. As a teenager, he participated in a local variety show where he sang R&B covers, and in his late teens, he made his major label debut with 1957’s “A Teenager Sings the Blues.” The following year, his cover of Doris Day’s “A Very Special Love” marked his first charting single. Nash continued to release singles on a variety of labels and scored another chart hit with 1965’s “Let’s Move and Groove Together.”

In Memoriam: Eddie Van Halen (1955 – 2020)

Edward Lodewijk Van Halen (January 26, 1955 – October 6, 2020) was a Dutch-American musician, songwriter, producer, and inventor. He was the main songwriter and lead guitarist of the American rock band Van Halen, which he co-founded in 1972 with his brother, drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Mark Stone, and singer David Lee Roth. He was well known for popularizing the tapping guitar solo technique, allowing rapid arpeggios to be played with two hands on the fretboard. In 2012, he was voted number one in a Guitar World magazine reader’s poll for “The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”.

Eddie struggled with alcoholism and drug abuse. He began smoking and drinking at the age of 12, and he stated that he eventually needed alcohol to function. Eddie entered rehabilitation in 2007, and later shared in an interview that he had been sober since 2008.

Suffering from lingering injuries from past, high-risk, acrobatic stage performances and crashes, Eddie underwent hip replacement surgery in 1999, after his chronic avascular necrosis, with which he was diagnosed in 1995, became unbearable. Eddie began receiving treatment for tongue cancer in 2000. The subsequent surgery removed roughly a third of his tongue. He was declared cancer-free in 2002. He blamed the tongue cancer on his habit of holding guitar picks in his mouth, stating in 2015: “I used metal picks – they’re brass and copper – which I always held in my mouth, in the exact place where I got the tongue cancer. … I mean, I was smoking and doing a lot of drugs and a lot of everything. But at the same time, my lungs are totally clear. This is just my own theory, but the doctors say it’s possible.”

In 2012, Eddie underwent an emergency surgery for a severe bout of diverticulitis. Recovery time required due to the surgery led to postponement of Van Halen tour dates scheduled in Japan. Eddie was later hospitalized in 2019 after battling throat cancer over the previous five years. He died from the illness on October 6, 2020, at the age of 65.

Wednesday 9/30/2020 12pm: Feature Artist: In Memoriam – Helen Reddy

Helen Maxine Reddy (born October 25, 1941) is an Australian-American singer, actor and activist. Born in Melbourne, Victoria to a show-business family, Reddy started her career as an entertainer at age four. She sang on radio and television, and won a talent contest on a television program, Bandstand, in 1966; her prize was a ticket to New York City and a record audition, which turned out to be unsuccessful. She pursued her international singing career by moving to Chicago and, subsequently, Los Angeles, where she made her debut singles “One Way Ticket” and “I Believe in Music” in 1968 and 1970, respectively. The B-side of the latter single, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” reached No. 13 in Canadian pop chart RPM and she was signed to Capitol Records a year later.

During the 1970s, she enjoyed international success, especially in the United States where she placed 15 singles in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. Six made the Top 10 and three reached No. 1, including her signature hit “I Am Woman”. She placed 25 songs on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart; 15 made the Top 10 and eight reached No. 1, six consecutively. In 1974, at the inaugural American Music Awards, she became the first artist to win the award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist. In television, she was the first Australian to host her own one-hour weekly primetime variety show on an American network, along with several specials that were seen in more than 40 countries.

Between the 1980s and 1990s, as her single “I Can’t Say Goodbye to You” became her last to chart in the U.S., she acted in musical theatres and recorded a few albums such as Center Stage before retiring from live performance in 2002. She returned to university in Australia and earned her degree, and practised as a clinical hypnotherapist and motivational speaker. In 2011, after singing “Breezin’ Along with the Breeze” with her half-sister, Toni Lamond, for Lamond’s birthday, Reddy decided to return to live performing.

Her song “I Am Woman” played a large role in popular culture and became an anthem for second-wave feminism. She came to be known as a “feminist poster girl” or a “feminist icon”. In 2011, Billboard named her the No. 28 adult contemporary artist of all time (No. 9 woman). In 2013 the Chicago Tribune dubbed her as the “Queen of ’70s Pop”.

In Memoriam: Mac Davis (1942 – 2020)

Morris Mac Davis (January 21, 1942 – September 29, 2020) was an American country music singer, songwriter, and actor, originally from Lubbock, Texas, United States, who has enjoyed much crossover success. His early work writing for Elvis Presley produced the hits “Memories”, “In the Ghetto”, “Don’t Cry Daddy”, and “A Little Less Conversation”. A subsequent solo career in the 1970s produced hits such as “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me”. He also starred in his own variety show, a Broadway musical, and various films and TV shows.

Davia passed away after suffering a heart attack after heart surgery.

In Memoriam: Helen Reddy (1941 – 2020)

Helen Maxine Reddy (October 25, 1941 – September 29, 2020) was a singer, actress, and activist who held dual Australian and American citizenship. Born in Melbourne, Victoria to a show-business family, Reddy started her career as an entertainer at age four. She sang on radio and television, and won a talent contest on a television program, Bandstand, in 1966; her prize was a ticket to New York City and a record audition, which turned out to be unsuccessful. She pursued her international singing career by moving to Chicago and, subsequently, Los Angeles, where she made her debut singles “One Way Ticket” and “I Believe in Music” in 1968 and 1970, respectively. The B-side of the latter single, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” reached No. 10 in Canadian pop chart RPM and she was signed to Capitol Records a year later.

During the 1970s, she enjoyed international success, especially in the United States where she placed 15 singles in the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. Six made the Top 10 and three reached No. 1, including her signature hit “I Am Woman”. She placed 25 songs on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart; 15 made the Top 10 and eight reached No. 1, six consecutively. In 1974, at the inaugural American Music Awards, she won the award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist. In television, she was the first Australian to host a one-hour weekly primetime variety show on an American network, along with specials that were seen in more than 40 countries.

Between the 1980s and 1990s, as her single “I Can’t Say Goodbye to You” became her last to chart in the U.S., she acted in musicals and recorded albums such as Center Stage before retiring from live performance in 2002. She returned to university in Australia and earned her degree, and practised as a clinical hypnotherapist and motivational speaker. In 2011, after singing “Breezin’ Along with the Breeze” with her half-sister, Toni Lamond, for Lamond’s birthday, Reddy decided to return to live performing.

Her song “I Am Woman” played a significant role in popular culture, becoming an anthem for second-wave feminism. She came to be known as a “feminist poster girl” or a “feminist icon”. In 2011, Billboard named her the No. 28 adult contemporary artist of all time (No. 9 woman). In 2013, the Chicago Tribune dubbed her as the “Queen of ’70s Pop”.

 

In Memoriam: Tommy DeVito (1928 – 2020)

(CNN)Tommy DeVito, a founding member of The Four Seasons, the band portrayed in the hit musical “Jersey Boys,” has died of Covid-19 complications at 92.

DeVito died in Las Vegas on Monday, according to his friend Alfredo Nittoli, who first posted the news on Facebook.
Two other founding members, Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio, also released a statement on social media.

“We send our love to his family during this most difficult time. He will be missed by all who loved him,” part of the message read.

Together with Joe Long, the men started the foursome in in 1960, becoming known for their harmonies and falsettos. DeVito and Valli had already been performing together since 1954 when the band started.
During their time together the band had four No. 1 hits including “Sherry,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man” and “Rag Doll.”

The Four Seasons were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990, and they were immortalized in 2005 with the creation of the hit musical “Jersey Boys.” It tells the story of the band and won four Tony awards, including best musical, in 2006.

DeVito was born June 19, 1928, in Belleville, New Jersey, and was the youngest of nine children. He taught himself how to play the guitar and started performing as early as the age of eight. His last album was a series of Italian folk songs that he recorded and released in 2006.

We feature the music of The Four Seasons – 4pm ET on RadioMaxMusic

In Memoriam: Pamela Hutchinson (1959 – 2020)

The Emotions are an American Grammy Award–winning soul/R&B vocal group from Chicago, Illinois. The group started out in gospel music but transitioned into R&B and disco music. The Emotions were named by VH1 as one of the 18 most influential girl groups of all time. On September 18, 2020, Pamela Hutchinson died at the age of 61.

(CNN)Pamela Hutchinson, famed R&B singer with family group “The Emotions,” has died at the age of 61, according to a post on the band’s official Facebook page Sunday.

“Pam succumbed to health challenges that she’d been battling for several years,” the post read. “Now our beautiful sister will sing amongst the angels in heaven in perfect peace.” Hutchinson died on Friday, the post said, while asking fans and friends to respect the family’s privacy.

The group was originally a gospel outfit known as the Hutchinson Sunbeams who toured the gospel circuit with their father Joe Hutchinson. The Sunbeams sang on Jerry Van Dyke’s “Children’s Gospel” television show and also occasionally performed in the concert with Mahalia Jackson. They eventually became an R&B/Soul act with a popular following in their hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Soon being renamed as The Emotions, they signed with the Memphis-based Volt imprint of Stax Records in the late 60s. Under the production of Isaac Hayes and David Porter the group issued their 1969 debut album entitled So I Can Love You on Stax.

“So I Can Love You” rose to no. 43 upon the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart. The album’s title track got to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart and No. 39 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Another single entitled “The Best Part Of A Love Affair” rose to no. 27 upon the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart.

During 1970, The Emotions released a single entitled “Heart Association.” That song reached No. 29 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart. The girl group went on to release their sophomore LP entitled Untouched in 1972 upon Stax. A song from the album called “Show Me How” rose to No. 13 upon the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart.

During 1972, the girl group also released another single called “My Honey and Me.” That song reached No. 18 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart.

The Emotions then started to work on their third studio album entitled Songs of Innocence and Experience. This LP was due to be issued in 1973, but was eventually shelved. The girl group went on to appear in the 1973 feature film Wattstax, performing the song “Peace Be Still.” The tune went on to be added to the movie’s soundtrack. Wattstax was also nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Documentary. With Stax becoming defunct in 1975, the group then left the record label altogether.

The Emotions have been sampled by rappers such as Big Daddy Kane, Tupac Shakur, LL Cool J, Wu Tang Clan, 50 Cent, Ice Cube, Salt n Pepa, De La Soul, Kanye West, A Tribe Called Quest and Notorious BIG.

Artists such as Toni Braxton, 112, Mariah Carey, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Mary J Blige, Ginuwine, Keyshia Cole, Tamia and Janet Jackson have also sampled the girl group.

Their songs have also been covered by artists such as Phoebe Snow, Minnie Riperton, Marcia Hines, Patti La Belle, Maysa, The Temptations, Will Downing and Nancy Wilson.

The Emotions have also influenced artists such as En Vogue, Anita Baker, Shanice, Regina Belle, Lalah Hathaway, Jade, Erykah Badu, Kirk Whalum, Sheena Easton, Teena Marie and Fantasia.