Thursday 10pm: In Memoriam: Dr. John (1941 – 2019)

June 6, 2019
Editor In Chief

Malcolm John Rebennack (November 20, 1941 – June 6, 2019), better known by his stage name Dr. John, was an American singer and songwriter. His music combines blues, pop, jazz, boogie woogie and rock and roll.

Active as a session musician since the late 1950s, he gained a following in the late 1960s after the release of his album Gris-Gris and his appearance at the Bath Festival of Blues and Progressive Music. He performed a lively, theatrical stage show inspired by medicine shows, Mardi Gras costumes and voodoo ceremonies. Rebennack recorded more than 20 albums and in 1973 produced a top-10 hit, “Right Place, Wrong Time”.

The winner of six Grammy Awards, Rebennack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame by singer John Legend in March 2011. In May 2013, Rebennack received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Tulane University.

For more extensive information – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dr._John

We celebrate the career of Dr. John 10pm on RadioMaxMusic.

In Memorium: Leon Redbone (1949 – 2019)

May 30, 2019
Editor In Chief

Leon Redbone (born Dickran Gobalian, August 26, 1949 – May 30, 2019) was a singer-songwriter, guitarist, actor and voice actor specializing in jazz, blues, and Tin Pan Alley classics. Recognized by his Panama hat, dark sunglasses, and black tie, Redbone was born in Cyprus of Armenian ancestry, and first appeared on stage in Toronto, Canada in the early 1970s. He also appeared on film and television in acting and voice-over roles.

Redbone’s concerts made use of performance, comedy, and skilled instrumentals. Recurrent gags involved the influence of alcohol and claiming to have written works originating well before he was born – Redbone favored material from the Tin Pan Alley era, circa 1890s to 1910. He sang the theme to the 1980s television series Mr. Belvedere and released sixteen albums.

Redbone passed away in the early morning of May 30, 2019

http://radiomaxmusic.com/redbone.html

Great Soul Performances On-Demand Special

May 30, 2019
Editor In Chief

On May 15th, we lost one the suavest, coolest, most debonair bass singer in our business, Chuck Barksdale founding member of the Mighty Dells.

We have created a special Great Soul Performances edition featuring our salute to Chuck and the Dells with as many of their songs as we can get in; keeping in mind that they recorded in five decades, so you won’t hear them all, but a goodly amount.

Also you’ll hear the Dells in their own words from an interview I did with Chuck Barksdale, Marvin Junior and Mickey McGill, recorded back when I was at WWRL in New York, several decades ago. All aspects of their career will be covered from Doo Wop, Soul, Jazz, Smooth R&B and several songs they sang on as background singers.

–Bobby Jay

Click Here for the
podcast page

 

The Dells grew up in Harvey, Illinois and began singing together while attending Thornton Township High School. Forming in 1952 under the name the El-Rays, the group initially consisted of Marvin Junior, Mickey McGill, Lucius McGill, Verne Allison, Chuck Barksdale, and Johnny Funches. Lucius soon left the group and the remaining quintet signed with Checker Records, releasing their first single, “Darling I Know,” which flopped.

In 1955, the group renamed themselves the Dells and signed with Vee-Jay Records. In 1956, they recorded their first hit, “Oh, What a Night” (a song co-written by Johnny Funches, who also sang lead on the recording alongside Marvin Junior), which hit the Top 5 of the R&B singles chart. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The song is ranked #260 on the Rolling Stone magazine’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In November 1958, the Dells suffered a car accident that left McGill in a hospital in Ohio for six months. The group temporarily disbanded and Barksdale sang as a member of Harvey Fuqua’s spinoff Moonglows act, Harvey and the Moonglows, which included a young Marvin Gaye. In 1961, the Dells reunited and auditioned for Dinah Washington. After Washington agreed to hire them, Johnny Funches left the group to take care of his family. Funches was replaced by Flamingos founding member Johnny Carter and sang background for Washington for two years. In 1966, they were hired to open for Ray Charles, only to be fired after a performance resulted in several standing ovations. The group would also sing background for Barbara Lewis, mainly on Lewis’ 1963 hit, “Hello Stranger”, while also working with Quincy Jones, who helped to fine-tune their vocals for standards and jazz material.

Thursday 11am: In Memoriam – Earl Thomas Conley (1941 – 2019)

April 11, 2019
Editor In Chief

Earl Thomas Conley (October 17, 1941 – April 10, 2019) was an American country music singer-songwriter. Between 1980 and 2003, he recorded ten studio albums, including seven for the RCA Records label. In the 1980s and into the 1990s, Conley also charted more than 30 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs charts, of which 18 reached Number One. Conley’s 18 Billboard Number One country singles during the 1980s marked the most Number One hits by any artist in any genre during that decade except for Alabama and Ronnie Milsap.

Throughout his career, Conley’s music has been referred to as “thinking man’s country.” This is because the narrator looks into the heart and soul of his characters in each song.

Conley was born in Portsmouth, Ohio, and when he was 14, his father lost his job with the railroad, forcing the young boy to move in with his older sister in Jamestown, Ohio. He was offered a scholarship to an art school, but rejected it in favor of joining the U.S. Army. While in the Army, Conley became a member of a Christian-influenced trio, where his musical talent and vocal ability first began.

Conley then decided to consider performing as a serious career option. He shifted more deeply into the classic country sounds of artists such as Merle Haggard and George Jones. During this period he first tried his hand at songwriting.

In 1968, after his discharge from the Army, Conley began commuting from Dayton to Nashville. In 1973 while in Nashville, Conley met Dick Heard, who produced country music singer Mel Street. This meeting eventually led to the Conley-Heard collaboration on the song “Smokey Mountain Memories,” which made the top 10 for Street. After being honorably discharged from the military, he began playing in clubs in Nashville, Tennessee, at night, supporting himself working blue-collar jobs during the day.

Feeling that he wasn’t making any progress in Nashville, Conley moved to Huntsville, Alabama, to work in a steel mill. There, he met record producer Nelson Larkin, who helped him sign with independent record label GRT in 1974. Conley released four singles on that label, none of which became large hits. At the same time, he was selling songs that he had written to other artists, including Conway Twitty and Mel Street, who were having much success with them.

Conley returned to Nashville, now writing for Nelson Larkin’s publishing house. In 1979, he signed a recording contract with Warner Bros. Records. Two years later, he had his first Top 40 hit, “Dreamin’s All I Do”. He left the label in 1979 and joined Sunbird Records, where he again worked with Nelson Larkin.

This time, Conley found success, with a Top Ten and a Number One single within the next two years. He continued to have success over the next few years, and in 1983, he was nominated for multiple Grammy Awards for his song “Holding Her and Loving You”. He set a record the following year as the first artist in any genre to have four Number One singles from the same album.

In 1986, Conley was credited with breaking down country music barriers when he duet with pop/R&B singer Anita Pointer of the Grammy-winning Pointer Sisters. Their single, “Too Many Times,” the title track to Conley’s 1986 album, reached #2 on the Country charts.

By the end of the 1980s, Conley began collaborating with Randy Scruggs (son of country singer Earl Scruggs), in the hopes that he could bring his music back to his country roots. His record sales began to drop in the 1990s, as country took a more, progressive turn, and Conley was dropped from his record label in 1992.

He took a seven-year recording hiatus between 1991 and 1997 due to a number of factors, including vocal problems, disenchantment with record label politics, road fatigue, and mental burnout. He began recording again in 1998. In late 2013, Conley gave a telephone interview with Pods o’ Pop. Conley recalls that he may be the only country artist to appear on the Soul Train television program (he performed his duet with Pointer) and goes into detail about the string of hits Randy Scruggs and he co-wrote.

In 2002, Blake Shelton charted in the Top 20 with “All Over Me,” which Conley co-wrote with Shelton and longtime friend, songwriter Michael Pyle.

Earl died on April 10, 2019, at 77 years old from complications of dementia – Wikipedia

In Memoriam: Mark Hollis (1955 – 2019)

February 27, 2019
Editor In Chief

Mark David Hollis (January 4,1955 – February 25, 2019) was an English musician and singer-songwriter. He achieved commercial success and critical acclaim in the 1980s and 1990s as the co-founder, lead singer and principal songwriter of the band Talk Talk. Hollis wrote or co-wrote most of Talk Talk’s music, including hits like “It’s My Life” and “Life’s What You Make It”, and increasingly developed an influential experimental and contemplative style.

Beginning in 1981 as a synth-pop group with a New Romantic image, Talk Talk’s sound became increasingly adventurous under Hollis’s direction. For their third album, The Colour of Spring (1986), Talk Talk adopted an art pop sound that won critical and commercial favour; it remains their biggest commercial success. The band’s final two albums, Spirit of Eden (1988) and Laughing Stock (1991), were radical departures from their early work, taking influence from jazz, folk, classical and experimental music. While they were commercial failures in their own time, these albums have come to be seen as early landmarks of post-rock music.

After Talk Talk disbanded in 1992, Hollis returned to music in 1998 with a self-titled solo album, which continued the direction of Talk Talk’s sound but in a more minimal, spare, acoustic style. Following the release of his only solo album, Hollis largely retired from the recording industry.

Hollis died, aged 64, in February 2019 after a short illness.

In Memoriam: Peter Tork (1942 – 2019)

February 21, 2019
Editor In Chief

Peter Halsten Thorkelson (February 13, 1942 – February 21, 2019), better known as Peter Tork, was an American musician and actor, best known as the keyboardist and bass guitarist of the Monkees.

On March 3, 2009, Tork reported on his website that he had been diagnosed with adenoid cystic carcinoma, a rare, slow-growing form of head and neck cancer. A preliminary biopsy discovered that the cancer had not spread beyond the initial site. “It’s a bad news / good news situation,” explained Tork. “It’s so rare a combination (on the tongue) that there isn’t a lot of experience among the medical community about this particular combination. On the other hand, the type of cancer it is, never mind the location, is somewhat well known, and the prognosis, I’m told, is good.” Tork underwent radiation treatment to prevent the cancer from returning.

On March 4, 2009, Tork underwent extensive surgery in New York City, which was successful.

On June 11, 2009, a spokesman for Tork reported that his cancer had returned. Tork was reportedly “shaken but not stirred” by the news, and said that the doctors had given him an 80% chance of containing and shrinking the new tumor.

In July 2009, while undergoing radiation therapy, he was interviewed by the Washington Post: “I recovered very quickly after my surgery, and I’ve been hoping that my better-than-average constitution will keep the worst effects of radiation at bay. My voice and energy still seem to be in decent shape, so maybe I can pull these gigs off after all.” He continued to tour and perform while receiving his treatments.

On September 15, 2009, Tork received an “all clear” from his doctor.

Tork documented his cancer experience on Facebook and encouraged his fans to support research efforts of the Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma Research Foundation.

Tork, a blues and folk musician who became a teeny-bopper sensation as a member of the Monkees, the wisecracking, made-for-TV pop group that imitated and briefly outsold the Beatles, died Feb. 21. He was 77.

The death was announced by his official Facebook page.

In Memoriam: James Ingram (1952 – 2019)

January 29, 2019
Editor In Chief

James Edward Ingram (February 16, 1952 – January 29, 2019) was an American singer, songwriter, record producer, and instrumentalist. He was a two-time Grammy Award-winner and a two-time Academy Award nominee for Best Original Song.

Since beginning his career in 1973, Ingram had charted eight Top 40 hits on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart from the early 1980s until the early 1990s, as well as thirteen top 40 hits on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. In addition, he charted 20 hits on the Adult Contemporary chart (including two number-ones). He had two number-one singles on the Hot 100: the first, a duet with fellow R&B artist Patti Austin, 1982’s “Baby, Come to Me” topped the U.S. pop chart in 1983; “I Don’t Have the Heart”, which became his second number-one in 1990 was his only number-one as a solo artist. In between these hits, he also recorded the song “Somewhere Out There” with fellow recording artist Linda Ronstadt for the animated film An American Tail. The song and the music video both became gigantic hits. Ingram co-wrote “The Day I Fall in Love”, from the motion picture Beethoven’s 2nd (1993), and singer Patty Smyth’s “Look What Love Has Done”, from the motion picture Junior (1994), which earned him nominations for Best Original Song from the Oscars, Golden Globes, and Grammy Awards in 1994 and 1995.

Ingram died on January 29, 2019, from brain cancer, aged 66, at his home in Los Angeles. Choreographer–actress Debbie Allen announced his death on her official Twitter page.

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