Category: In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Lamont Dozier (1941 – 2022)

Lamont Herbert Dozier (June 16, 1941 – August 8, 2022) was an American singer, songwriter, and record producer, from Detroit, Michigan. He co-wrote and produced 14 US Billboard number 1 hits and 4 number ones in the UK.

Dozier was a member of Holland–Dozier–Holland, the songwriting and production team responsible for much of the Motown sound and numerous hit records by artists such as Martha and the Vandellas, The Supremes, The Four Tops, and The Isley Brothers. Along with Brian Holland, Dozier served as the team’s musical arranger and producer, while Eddie Holland concentrated mainly on lyrics and vocal production.

Along with the Holland Brothers, Dozier followed his work for Motown Records as founder and owner of Invictus Records and Hot Wax Records, producing top-charting hits for acts Freda Payne, Honey Cone, Chairmen of the Board, and 100 Proof Aged in Soul.

Dozier was married three times. His first two marriages, to Ann Brown and Daphne Dumas, ended in divorce. His third marriage, to Barbara Ullman, lasted from 1980 until her death in 2021. They had three children and he had three children from his previous relationships.

Dozier died at his home near Scottsdale, Arizona on August 8, 2022, at the age of 81.

In Memoriam: Olivia Newton-john (1948 – 2022)

Dame Olivia Newton-John AC DBE (September 26, 1948 – August 8, 2022) was a British-born Australian singer, songwriter, actress, entrepreneur, and activist. She was a four-time Grammy Award and 14 of her albums (including two Platinum and four 2× Platinum) have been certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). With global sales of more than 100 million records, Newton-John is one of the best-selling music artists from the second half of the 20th century to the present.

In 1978, she starred in the musical film Grease, whose soundtrack remains one of the world’s best-selling albums of recorded music. It features two major hit duets with co-star John Travolta: “You’re the One That I Want” – which ranks as one of the best-selling singles of all time – and “Summer Nights”. Her signature solo recordings include the Record of the Year Grammy winner “I Honestly Love You” (1974) and “Physical” (1981) – Billboard’s Top Hot 100 Single of the 1980s – plus her cover of “If Not for You” (1971), “Let Me Be There” (1973), “If You Love Me (Let Me Know)” (1974), “Have You Never Been Mellow” (1975), “Sam” (1977), “Hopelessly Devoted to You” (also from Grease), “A Little More Love” (1978) and, from the 1980 film Xanadu, “Magic” and “Xanadu” (with Electric Light Orchestra). Plus “Heart Attack” (1982) and “Twist of Fate” (from the 1983 film Two of a Kind).

Newton-John was an activist for environmental and animal rights issues.

In May 2017, it was announced that Newton-John’s breast cancer had returned and metastasized to her lower back Her back pains had initially been misdiagnosed as sciatica.

Newton-John subsequently revealed this was actually her third bout with breast cancer, as she had privately battled a recurrence of the disease in 2013 in addition to her initial 1992 fight. With the 2017 recurrence the cancer had spread to her bones and progressed to stage IV.

Newton-John experienced a great deal of pain from the metastatic bone lesions and had openly spoken of using cannabis oil to ease her pain. She was an advocate for the use of medical cannabis. Her daughter Chloe owns a cannabis farm in Oregon.

She died on August 8, 2022 at her home in California.

In Memoriam: Michael Henderson (1951 – 2022)

Michael Henderson (July 7, 1951 – July 19, 2022) was an American bass guitarist and vocalist. He was known for his work with Miles Davis in the early 1970s and on early fusion albums such as Jack Johnson, Live-Evil, and Agharta, along with a series of his own R&B/soul hits and others featuring him on vocals, particularly the Norman Connors-produced hit “You Are My Starship” in 1976 and other songs in the mid to late-1970s.

Henderson died on July 19, 2022, at his home in Atlanta, Georgia, at the age of 71.

In Memoriam: William Hart (1945 – 2022)

William “Poogie” Hart, (1945 – 2022) vocalist and founding member of the Philadelphia soul group the Delfonics, has died, TMZ and The Philadelphia Inquirer report. Hart was taken to Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia after experiencing difficulty breathing and died Thursday night due to complications from surgery, according to the reports. He was 77.

The Delfonics are an American R&B/soul vocal group from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Delfonics were most popular in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Their most notable hits include “La-La (Means I Love You)”, “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)”, “Break Your Promise”, “I’m Sorry”, and “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide from Love)”. Their hit songs were primarily written by lead vocalist and founding member William “Poogie” Hart, and arranger and producer Thom Bell.

Their songs have been used in film soundtracks, including Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 movie Jackie Brown, in which “La-La (Means I Love You)” and “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” underscore the pivotal relationship between the characters played by Pam Grier and Robert Forster. Their songs “Ready or Not Here I Come (Can’t Hide from Love)” and “Funny Feeling” were used in the video game Grand Theft Auto V on the fictional radio station The Lowdown 91.1.

William “Poogie” Hart continued touring with his group, Johnson and Fleming while Wilbert Hart continued touring with his group, Branch and Salaam. Randy Cain reunited with the brothers at the Rhythm and Blues Foundation Awards in Philadelphia to perform for the first time together in years, and were honored with the Pioneer Award. Soon after, Cain joined William Hart on his tour and stayed with that unit until his death in 2009. William Hart, along with Russell Thompkins Jr., the original lead singer of The Stylistics and Ted Mills the original lead singer of Blue Magic came together to record a CD entitled, The Three Tenors of Soul, which was produced by songwriter and producer, Bobby Eli and released in 2007.

Randy Cain died on April 9, 2009, at age 63.

Major Harris died on November 9, 2012, at age 65.

As of 2020, William Hart and Wilbert Hart celebrated their 55th anniversary in the music industry with Lead singer William “Poogie” Hart passing on July 14, 2022, at age 77.

In Memoriam: Paul Ryder (1964 – 2022)

Paul Anthony Ryder (April 14, 1964 – July 15, 2022) was an English musician. He was a bass player and a founding member of the Manchester band Happy Mondays.

Ryder was an active member of the band through most of its history from its inception in 1983 through to his death. His bandmates include his brother Shaun Ryder, Gary Whelan, Mark “Bez” Berry, Paul Davies and Mark Day. It was during his tenure with the band that it had its biggest successes with albums such as Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches which sold more than 350,000 copies in the UK.

Ryder lived in Los Angeles where he continued to write music. He supported Tom Tom Club on two of the dates on the North America tour in October 2010, playing gigs in San Francisco and Los Angeles. He was joined by Eddy Gronfier, Neo Garcia on drums and Matt Cheadle on guitar.

Happy Mondays are an English rock band formed in Salford in 1980. The original line-up was Shaun Ryder (vocals), his brother Paul Ryder (bass), Gary Whelan (drums), Paul Davis (keyboard), and Mark Day (guitar). Mark “Bez” Berry later joined the band onstage as a dancer/percussionist. Rowetta joined as a second vocalist in 1990.

The group’s work bridged the Manchester independent rock music of the 1980s and the emerging UK rave scene, drawing influence from funk, house, and psychedelia to pioneer the Madchester sound. They experienced their commercial peak with the releases Bummed (1988), Madchester Rave On (1989), and Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches (1990), with the last going platinum in the UK. They disbanded in 1993, and have reformed several times in subsequent decades.

In Memoriam: Manuel Charlton (1941 – 2022)

Manuel Charlton (July 25, 1941 – July 5, 2022) was a founding member of the Scottish hard rock band Nazareth and was their lead guitarist from 1968 to 1990, has died at the age of 80. Born in Andalusia, Spain in 1941, Charlton moved with his family to Dunfermline, Scotland as a young child. It was there that in 1968, he would co-found the band Nazareth with vocalist Dan McCafferty, bassist Pete Agnew and drummer Darrell Sweet.

In Memoriam: Bernard Belle (1964 – 2022)

Bernard Belle (November 12, 1964 – June 23, 2022) was an American composer, producer, and musician. After starting his career as an R&B guitarist, Belle became known as a songwriter for Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston and a producer of gospel music. Belle died Thursday, June 23, at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital in Georgia, at the age of 57. Belle’s official cause of death was due to congestive heart failure, according to his sister and primary caretaker, Regina Belle, a Grammy Award-winning recording artist, who posted on her Facebook Page, “The smartest part of me has passed on. My brother, Bernard Belle was brilliant. Bernie, please help me to shine from heaven. I love you.”

Belle grew up in Englewood, New Jersey and performed as a musician while still a student at Dwight Morrow High School.

Bernard Belle is notable for his partnership with producer Teddy Riley and his collaborations with Michael Jackson. He is credited with writing and co-writing “Remember the Time”, “Privacy” and “Why You Wanna Trip on Me”. He began working with Teddy Riley in 1986. Together, they became the pioneers of the new jack swing era of music. He wrote and produced for, among others, Whitney Houston, Bobby Brown, Patti LaBelle, Aaron Hall, Keith Sweat, Al B. Sure!, and Today.

After dedicating his life to Christ in 1994, Belle still remained one of the most sought after producer/musicians in the Gospel music industry. He performed with Donnie McClurkin, Shirley Caesar, Richard Smallwood, Marvin Sapp, Fred Hammond, Yolanda Adams, Tye Tribbett, Mary Mary, Kirk Franklin, Donald Lawrence, Smokie Norful, Hezekiah Walker and BeBe & CeCe Winans.

Belle’s name appears on over 70 million records worldwide as a producer, writer, or musician. He received four Grammy Awards, an American Music Award, two Soul Train Music Awards, over a dozen ASCAP Awards, and nominations for Stella and GMA Dove Awards.

In Memoriam: Jim Schwall (1942 – 2022)

Jim Schwall (November 12, 1942 – June 19, 2022) was an American musician, singer-songwriter, and photographer. He is best known as a co-founder and member of the Siegel-Schwall Band.

Jim Schwall was born in Chicago, Illinois, and currently resides in Tucson, Arizona. A singer-songwriter, he plays guitar, as well as mandolin, bass guitar, accordion, and other instruments. He studied music at Roosevelt University. There he met Corky Siegel, and became interested in electric blues music. Schwall and Siegel formed a blues duo in 1964, playing at Chicago bars and clubs. They performed regularly at Pepper’s Lounge and at Big John’s, where well known, established blues musicians such as Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, and Willie Dixon would often sit in. The duo expanded to a quartet and became the Siegel-Schwall Band. Schwall’s amplified Gibson B-25 acoustic guitar was a distinctive component of the band’s sound.

The Siegel-Schwall Band became quite popular, and by 1967 were touring nationally, performing at large venues like the Fillmore West and sharing the bill with well-known rock bands. Between 1966 and 1974, they released at least ten albums. They were also noted for their collaborations with Seiji Ozawa, combining blues with classical music. After 1974, they disbanded, but the band re-formed in 1987. They played occasional live dates and released two albums of new material over the following decade.

Schwall was also the leader of his own blues-rock band, the Jim Schwall Band. This band formed in the mid-1970s, and versions continued playing live on an intermittent basis into the 2000’s.

Schwall has also been involved in numerous other musical projects. He plays guitar and accordion in the band So Dang Yang, and is the bassist for the Cajun Strangers. He holds a PhD in musical composition from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993, and has taught music at the college level. As a composer, he specialized in ballet, opera, and other music for the stage.

In Memoriam: Dennis Cahill (1954 – 2022)

Dennis Cahill (June 16, 1954 – June 20, 2022) was an American guitarist who specialized in Irish traditional music. He was born in Chicago of parents from County Kerry, Ireland. Cahill began playing guitar at the age of nine and studied the instrument at the Chicago Musical College. He was active in the Irish traditional music scene in Chicago in the 1980s and 1990s.

In the late 1980s he and Irish fiddler Martin Hayes formed a band in Chicago called Midnight Court which combined traditional music with rock and roll. The band, in which Cahill played a Fender Telecaster and Hayes an electric fiddle, was active between 1989 and 1992. After its demise Cahill and Hayes continued to work together and formed an acoustic duo in 1996, developing an “unrushed, lyrical, highly expressive interpretation” of traditional Irish music. Cahill’s chordal accompaniment uses standard tuning.

In 1999 a New York Times reviewer described Hayes and Cahill’s approach as “stripping old reels and jigs to their essence, leaving space between the notes for harmonics and whispered blue notes,” resulting in “a Celtic complement to Steve Reich’s quartets or Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain. ” Hayes and Cahill toured extensively and released three recordings on the Green Linnet label: The Lonesome Touch (1997), Live in Seattle (1999), and Welcome Here Again (2008). Cahill and Hayes, along with singer Iarla Ó Lionáird, fiddler Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and pianist Doveman, were the members of The Gloaming, an Irish-American supergroup whose first album was released in 2014, winning the Meteor Choice Music Prize for Irish album of the year.

Dennis resided in Chicago with his wife Mary Joyce.

A post on his website confirmed that the musician passed away on Monday evening with his wife Mary by his side:

Hi folks, Jimmy Keane here on Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Our dearest Dennis passed away peacefully on Monday evening, with his beloved Mary by his side as she has throughout his journey. Just moments before — we were comforting Dennis while The Lament for Limerick from Dennis’ album with Martin was on in the background — and as the track advanced to My Love is in America, Mary turned off the player, leaned over to hug and kiss Dennis one last time – and then he was gone…

Too heartbroken to write any more…

Play a tune today. Sing a song. Tell a corny joke. Sip a whiskey. Cherish a memory…

My loving condolences to Mary, Cliodhna, the Cahill family, and all of Dennis’ many friends…

Love you Dennis and rest gently in peace…

In Memoriam: Brett Tuggle (1950 – 2022)

Brett Tuggle (died June 19, 2022) was an American musician, singer and songwriter who is best known for his keyboard playing with Fleetwood Mac and the David Lee Roth band.

As a child, he studied classical piano and learned guitar and organ in his birthplace of Denver, Colorado, United States. As a teenager, he played in local Denver bands. When he left home, he played in touring bands in Texas, where he learned a range of traditional music styles. He then returned to Colorado where he launched the band Head First. In 1979 record producer Keith Olsen invited Tuggle to go to Los Angeles to meet an artist who needed a keyboard player.

In Los Angeles, Tuggle made numerous professional contacts with bandleaders, which helped to start his touring career. He spent much of 1981 as keyboardist for John Kay & Steppenwolf, before meeting Rick Springfield and joining his band in early 1982. He also played keyboards with David Lee Roth in Roth’s post-Van Halen career 1986-94 and briefly returned in 1997. In 1988, Tuggle co-wrote the top 10 hit single “Just Like Paradise” with Roth. In 1992, Tuggle was invited by Mick Fleetwood to be a member of the band The Zoo. Tuggle also toured with Steve Lukather from Toto. Tuggle has played with Chris Isaak and Whitesnake.

While Tuggle is known for his onstage keyboard playing for Fleetwood Mac, he is best known for his performing and songwriting as keyboard player for Roth on the 1986/1987 Eat ‘Em and Smile tour, the 1988 Skyscraper tour, the 1991 A Little Ain’t Enough tour where he also has several co-writes on that album, and up to the 1994 Your Filthy Little Mouth tour. He continued to perform on various occasions with Roth until some point in 1996/1997.

In Memoriam: Joel Whitburn (1939 – 2022)

Joel Carver Whitburn (November 29, 1939 – June 14, 2022) was an American author and music historian, responsible for setting up the Record Research Inc. series of books on record chart placings.

Whitburn was born in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. He started collecting records in his teens, first subscribed to Billboard in 1953, and when the Hot 100 was introduced in 1958 started recording the chart placings of records on index cards. He worked on record distribution for RCA in the mid 1960s, using his chart statistics to inform radio stations, before founding his own company, Record Research Inc., in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, in 1970. He put together a team of researchers to examine in detail all of Billboard’s music and video charts, and set up a licensing arrangement with Billboard.

Since then, Record Research has published reference books based on data from the various popular music charts and to date has published over 200 books, 50 of which are in the Record Research catalogue. His research extends from 1890 to the present and covers many genres. Featuring each recording’s peak position, date charted, weeks charted, label and information, and trivia on recordings and artists, Whitburn’s books are used extensively by the entertainment industry (especially radio DJs) and music fans worldwide. His flagship publication is Top Pop Singles, which covers the history of Billboard’s popular singles charts, primarily the Billboard Hot 100. The most recent edition, Top Pop Singles 1955–2018, was released in June 2019. Whitburn was also the author of the series Top 40 Hits, published by Billboard Books. The most recent edition, the ninth, was published in 2010. Whitburn’s Record Research is Billboard’s longest-running licensee, with a relationship extending 50 years.

Whitburn was an avid collector of phonograph records, with one of the world’s largest collections in his underground vault. His collection includes a copy of nearly every 78-rpm record, 45-rpm single, LP, and compact disc to reach the Billboard charts.

In collaboration with Rhino Records, Whitburn produced over 150 CD compilations, which are typically compiled according to their Billboard chart performance.

Whitburn died at the age of 82 on June 14, 2022.

In Memoriam: Julee Cruise (1956 – 2022)

Julee A. Cruise (December 1, 1956 – June 9, 2022) was an American singer, songwriter, actress, and musician, best known for her collaborations with composer Angelo Badalamenti and film director David Lynch in the late 1980s and early 1990s. She released four albums and collaborated with a variety of other artists.

Cruise was known for her song “Falling”, the theme song for the television series Twin Peaks. She also had minor appearances as a roadhouse singer in Twin Peaks, both the original series and the 1992 movie, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. She would later return for the revival series, Twin Peaks: The Return (2017), 25 years later, performing in the closing credits of the penultimate episode. She also featured in Lynch and Badalamenti’s avant garde concert, Industrial Symphony No. 1, which was filmed and released on home media.

Other notable singles included “Rockin’ Back Inside My Heart” (1990) and “If I Survive” from her 1999 Wide Angle album. Her final album, My Secret Life, was released in 2011.

Cruise was also a stage actress and appeared in the Broadway musical Return to the Forbidden Planet and the bio-musical Radiant Baby in 2004.

Cruise was married to author and editor Edward Grinnan.

On March 28, 2018, Cruise announced on her Facebook page that she had systemic lupus, which caused her considerable pain and affected her ability to walk and stand. Cruise died on June 9, 2022, at the age of 65.

In Memoriam: Jim Seals (1941 – 2022)

James Eugene “Jim” Seals (October 17, 1941 – June 6, 2022) of the 1970’s soft rock duo Seals & Crofts has died at the age of 80. No details surrounding his death have been released.

Seals was born in Sidney, TX, in 1941. In the 1950s, he teamed up with fellow Texan Darrell “Dash” Crofts. They moved to California, where they wrote songs for other artists before striking gold with their music. They are best known for their Hot 100 #6 hits “Summer Breeze,” “Diamond Girl,” and “Get Closer.”

Seals and Crofts signed a contract with Warner Bros. Records in August 1971. Their first album with their new label did not break into the charts, but their second album, Summer Breeze, charted at #7 in 1972. It sold over a million copies. The duo disbanded in 1980.

Seals has long been a public advocate of the Bahá’í Faith. Seals is the brother of “England” Dan Seals, of England Dan & John Ford Coley.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Ruby Jean and three children, Joshua, Juliette, and Sutherland.

In Memoriam: Hal Bynum (1934 – 2022)

Harold L. Bynum (September 29, 1934 – June 2, 2022) was an American songwriter associated with the Outlaw country movement in the 1970s. Bynum wrote more than 200 songs for popular country artists, including Kenny Rogers (“Lucille”), Patty Loveless (“Chains”), Johnny Cash (“Papa Was a Good Man”), Cash and Waylon Jennings (“There Ain’t No Good Chain Gang”), and Jim Reeves (“Nobody’s Fool”). Bynum also wrote “The Old, Old House”, which has been performed by George Jones, Bill Monroe, Ralph Stanley, and the Grateful Dead.

In 1977, Bynum received songwriter awards from the Country Music Association Awards and the Academy of Country Music for “Lucille” (co-written with Roger Bowling), the Song of the Year. Bynum’s autobiographical book, The Promise (2002) (also the name of his 2002 album) describes his upbringing in Texas and his work as a songwriter in Nashville. Bynum is also known for his spoken word recordings. Both his book and the album of the same name were released on Bynum’s Beauregard Books/Records label.

In Memoriam: Trouble DTE (1987 – 2022)

Mariel Semonte Orr, (1987 – 2022) an Atlanta rapper better known by his stage name Trouble, has died at 34.

The “Bring It Back” rapper, who was also known as Skoob, was reportedly caught in a fatal shooting altercation in Atlanta on Saturday night while sitting in his car. He had performed the same night, only hours before the incident.

Orr’s death was confirmed by his label, Def Jam Recordings, in a post on Sunday morning.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the children, loved ones and fans of Trouble,” the label wrote. “A true voice for his city and an inspiration to the community he proudly represented.”