Category: In Memoriam 2023

Artists who we lost this year

In Memoriam: Keith Reid (1946 -2023)

Keith Stuart Brian Reid (October 19, 1946 – March 23, 2023)was an English lyricist and songwriter. He best known for being the songwriter who wrote the lyrics of every original song released by Procol Harum, with the exception of the songs on their 2017 album Novum.

He met Gary Brooker, lead singer with Procol Harum, with whom he co-wrote most of the band’s songs (some music was written by organist Matthew Fisher and by guitarist Robin Trower), in 1966. They began collaborating, and their composition “A Whiter Shade of Pale”, Procol Harum’s first single, was released in 1967. It reached the top of the UK Singles Chart and sold over six million copies worldwide. Keith Reid was an official member of Procol Harum and attended all their recording sessions and most of their concert performances, despite having no performance role in the band. Reid continued to write lyrics for the band until they disbanded in 1977. Reid has said that the dark tone of his lyric writing derives from his familial experience of the Holocaust.

He reunited with Brooker and Procol Harum for the albums The Prodigal Stranger (1991) and The Well’s on Fire (2003). A new album from the Keith Reid Project, In My Head, was released in December 2018.

Reid died from cancer on March 23, 2023, at the age of 76.

In Memoriam: Peggy Scott-Adams (1948 – 2023)

Peggy Scott-Adams (born Peggy Stoutmeyer, June 25, 1948 – March 27, 2023) was an American soul, blues and R&B singer. She was sometimes known by her earlier name of Peggy Scott, and billed as ‘The Little Lady with the Big Voice’.

Peggy Stoutmeyer was born on June 25, 1948, in Opp, Alabama, and grew up in Pensacola, Florida. Throughout her early career, Scott toured with Ben E. King as a teenager. She hit the Top 40 three times with “Lover’s Holiday” (July 1968)(#19Can.), “Pickin’ Wild Mountain Berries” (November 1968)(#31Can.), and “Soulshake” (February 1969)(#36Can.) as a duet act with Jo Jo Benson. All of these singles were released by SSS International Records. Not long after that, out of the music industry since the late 1960s, she was working as a lounge singer in Pensacola, Florida, until she moved to California and married Robert L. Adams Sr.

Scott was persuaded to return to the studio by singer-songwriter and producer Jimmy Lewis. With his guidance, they recorded her solo debut album, Help Yourself, released on October 22, 1996.

One of the Jimmy Lewis songs was a track about a woman complaining that her husband had romantic and sexual desires for another man. Released as a single initially just to blues radio stations, the song, “Bill”, also began getting airplay on Urban contemporary radio and soon gained most-requested status at several larger stations. It peaked at number 87 on the Billboard Hot 100. The music video to “Bill” also became popular. The album, Help Yourself began selling well, making the Billboard 200 albums chart, peaking at number 72, number 9 on the R&B chart and number 1 on the Top Blues Albums chart.

The release of Contagious later in 1997 also featured the hit single “Spousal Abuse”, which tackled the issue of domestic abuse in relationships. Her third album, Undisputed Queen, was released in 1999. She continued in 2000 with Live in Alabama & More, which featured the ballad, “When I’m With You” and the dance track “Sweaty Men”. Both singles became hits. The next album was Hot and Sassy.

Adams died on March 27, 2023, at the age of 74.

In Memoriam: Howie Kane (1941 – 2023)

Howard G. Kirschenbaum (June 6, 1941 – March 2023), better known as Howie Kane, was an American pop singer who was a member of Jay and the Americans. He sang vocals for the band between 1960 and 1973, and again from 2006 until his death.

Kane died at the age of 81.

Howie was one of the two singers for Jay & The Americans (with Jay Traynor) from 1960 to 1973 and rejoined the reformed band in 2006. Jay & The American were given their name by legendary songwriters Leiber and Stoller, who wrote the Elvis Presley hits ‘Hound Dog’ and ‘Jailhouse Rock’, ‘Yakety Yak’ for The Coasters and Ben E. King’s ‘Stand By Me’.

Jay & The Americans first American hit was ‘She Cried’ (no 5, 1962). ‘Come A Little Bit Closer’ reached no 3 in 1964, Cara Mia’ was a no 4 hit in 1964 and ‘This Magic Moment’ reached no 6 in 1968.

Jay & The Americans had 10 Top 40 hits in the USA between 1962 and 1969. ‘Come A Little Bit Closer’ was used in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2’ in 2017 and sold a further 2.6 million copies.

In Memoriam: Tom Leadon (1952 – 2023)

Tom Leadon (pronounced led-un; September 16, 1952 – March 22, 2023) was an American musician. He was one of the founding members of Tom Petty’s original band, Mudcrutch, and remained its guitarist following its revival in 2007. He was the brother of Bernie Leadon, the former banjoist and guitarist of the Eagles.

In high school, Leadon was a member of the Epics in Gainesville, Florida, where he met Petty. Leadon was the lead guitarist and Petty played bass. Soon after forming Mudcrutch, with Randall Marsh on drums, the group added a second lead guitarist, Mike Campbell. Leadon and Campbell shared lead guitar solos during Mudcrutch’s live shows in and around Gainesville, and also on their recording of “Up in Mississippi”.

Leadon left Mudcrutch in 1972 and moved to Los Angeles, following in the footsteps of his older brother Bernie, who had recently formed the Eagles with Randy Meisner, Glenn Frey, and Don Henley. Leadon also played bass in Linda Ronstadt’s band, and in 1976 joined the country-rock band Silver, which had a top 40 hit the same year with “Wham-Bam”.

In 1975, the Eagles recorded one of Leadon’s original songs, “Hollywood Waltz”, and released it on their One of These Nights LP. The final version of the song is credited to Tom Leadon, Bernie Leadon, Frey, and Henley. Later that year Buck Owens released his own version.

Leadon later became a guitar teacher in Nashville.

In 2007, Petty reformed Mudcrutch, which had broken up in 1975. The band recorded a self-titled debut album in 2008. Recording personnel included original band members: Petty, Leadon, Mike Campbell, and Randall Marsh. Also in this version of Mudcrutch was Benmont Tench, who had been originally brought into the band when Leadon left in 1972. The band went on to continue being intermittently active with touring, and recording a live album and a follow-up to their debut with Mudcrutch 2, in 2016. Petty died in 2017, bringing Mudcrutch’s operations to a close.

Leadon died on March 22, 2023, at the age of 70.

In Memoriam: Ray Pillow (1937 – 2023)

Herbert Raymond Pillow (July 4, 1937 – March 26, 2023) was an American country music singer who has also worked as a music publisher and artists and repertoire (A&R) representative. In his career, he charted 18 times on the Billboard country singles chart, with his highest-peaking song being the number 9 single “I’ll Take the Dog”, a duet with Jean Shepard. After charting for the last time in 1981, Pillow founded Sycamore Records with Larry McFadden, and later worked in the A&R department of Capitol Records.

Pillow continued to perform as a member of the Grand Ole Opry and on popular classic country television programs such as Country’s Family Reunion, which airs regularly in the United States on RFD-TV network.

Through his record label, Pillow released two albums, Ray Pillow Live and Country Class, the latter of which contained new material.

Pillow was a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1966.

Pillow died in Nashville, Tennessee on March 26, 2023, at the age of 85.

In Memoriam: Wayne Swinny (1964 – 2023)

Wayne Swinny (1964 – 2023), founding member and guitarist of the band Saliva, is dead after suffering a brain hemorrhage.

A rep for the band tells us, “It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Wayne Swinny, the guitarist of Saliva. Wayne passed away this afternoon from a spontaneous brain hemorrhage while on tour.”

The tragic news comes only hours after the band revealed Wayne was in the ICU after having the medical emergency. (Reported by TMZ)

Saliva is an American rock band formed in Memphis, Tennessee, in 1996. Saliva released their self-titled debut album in 1997 through Rockingchair Records, a label owned and operated by Mark Yoshida. The release was recorded and produced by Bill Pappas at Rockingchair Studios.

They were signed to Island Def Jam Records and went on to release their second studio album Every Six Seconds. Saliva later released their third studio album titled Back into Your System in 2002, which reached No. 19 on the Billboard 200. Back into Your System launched one of Saliva’s most successful songs, “Always”, reaching No. 51 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 1 on the Modern Rock Chart. Three years after Survival of the Sickest, Saliva released Blood Stained Love Story in 2007, repeating Back into Your System’s chart performance at No. 19 on the Billboard 200. Its first single, “Ladies and Gentlemen”, peaked at No. 2 on the Mainstream Rock Chart.

In Memoriam: Mick Slattery (1946 – 2023)

Mick Slattery (1946 – 2023)

English space rock group Hawkwind formed in London in 1969 when singer and guitarist Dave Brock met bass player John Harrison. The first incarnation of the group included lead guitarist Mick Slattery and drummer Terry Ollis, who were soon joined by friends Nik Turner and Dik Mik Davies on saxophones and electronics respectively.

Hawkwind, the widely influential heavy prog band, suffered a major loss with the death of former guitarist Mick Slattery. A founding member of Hawkwind, Slattery passed away after a short illness at the age of 77, the band has reported.

Via the Hawkwind Facebook page, “We are sorry to share the sad news that our old friend, and Hawkwind founder member, Mick Slattery passed away peacefully at home yesterday, St Patrick’s Day, 17th March 2023, aged 77, after a short illness.”

Coming out of psychedelic band The Famous Cure in the 60s, Slattery and Dave Brock formed Hawkwind in 1969 along with bassist John Harrison, and then drummer Terry Ollis, Nik Turner and Michael Davies, aka Dik Mik.

by Michael Berdan, The Pit

In Memoriam: Clarence Eugene “Fuzzy” Haskins (1941 – 2023)

Clarence Eugene “Fuzzy” Haskins (June 8, 1941 – March 17, 2023) was an American singer. He performed with 1950s and 1960s doo-wop group, The Parliaments, and was a founding member of the groundbreaking and influential 1970s funk bands Parliament and Funkadelic, also known as Parliament-Funkadelic. He left Parliament-Funkadelic in 1977 to pursue a solo career. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. In 2019, he and Parliament-Funkadelic were given Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards.

Haskins suffered a serious stroke in 2022, He died on March 17, 2023, at the age of 81.

In Memoriam: Tony Coe (1934 – 2023)

Anthony George Coe (November 29, 1934 – March 16, 2023) was an English jazz musician who played clarinet, bass clarinet, and flute as well as soprano, alto, and tenor saxophones.

Born in Canterbury, Kent, England, Coe started out on clarinet and was self-taught on tenor saxophone. At just 15 years of age in 1949 he played in his school’s (Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys) trad band and two years later, aged 17, became a full professional with Joe Daniels. In 1953, aged 18, he joined the army where he played clarinet in the Military band and saxophone with the unit Dance Band. After demob in 1955 he spent some time in France with the Micky Bryan Band (Micky on piano, Gerry Salisbury (valve trombone), Harry Bryan (trumpet), Lennie Hastings on drums, and Coe on clarinet), before rejoining Joe Daniels. In 1957 Tony’s father went to see Humphrey Lyttelton and, as a result, Tony spent just over four years with Humphrey’s band from 1957 to the end of 1961. This was a period when Coe was brought to the attention of critics and fans as well as giving him some degree of international fame. He left Lyttleton at the end of 1961 to form his own outfit.

In 1965, he was invited to join Count Basie’s band (‘I’m glad it didn’t come off – I would have lasted about a fortnight’) and has since played with the John Dankworth Orchestra, the Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band, Derek Bailey’s free improvisation group Company, Stan Tracey, Michael Gibbs, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, and Bob Brookmeyer, and performed under Pierre Boulez as well as leading a series of groups of his own, including Coe Oxley & Co with drummer Tony Oxley. He played clarinet on Paul McCartney’s recording of “I’ll Give You a Ring” released in 1982 and saxophone on John Martyn’s 1973 album, Solid Air.

Coe also worked with the Matrix, a small ensemble formed by clarinettist Alan Hacker, with a wide-ranging repertoire of early, classical, and contemporary music, the Danish Radio Big Band, Metropole Orchestra and Skymasters in the Netherlands. He has worked additionally with the Mike Gibbs big band and the United Jazz and Rock Ensemble.

Coe recorded on soundtracks for several films, including Superman II, Victor/Victoria, Nous irons tous au paradis, Leaving Las Vegas, Le Plus beau métier du monde and The Loss of Sexual Innocence. He also composed the film score for Camomille.

Coe died at the age of 88.

In Memoriam: Bobby Caldwell (1951 – 2023)

Robert Hunter Caldwell (August 15, 1951 – March 14, 2023) was an American singer, songwriter and musician. He released several albums spanning R&B, soul, jazz, and adult contemporary. He is known for his soulful and versatile vocals. Caldwell released the hit single and his signature song “What You Won’t Do for Love” from his double platinum debut album Bobby Caldwell in 1978. After several R&B and smooth jazz albums, Caldwell turned to singing standards from the Great American Songbook. He wrote many songs for other artists, including the Billboard Hot 100 No. 1 single “The Next Time I Fall” for Amy Grant and Peter Cetera. Caldwell’s music is frequently sampled by hip hop and R&B artists.

Caldwell died on March 14, 2023. His death was announced the following day by his wife, who stated on Twitter that “Bobby passed away here at home. I held him tight in my arms as he left us. I am forever heartbroken. Thanks to all of you for your many prayers over the years.” According to Regenerative Medicine LA, Caldwell’s health had declined after suffering severe side effects from fluoroquinolone.

In Memoriam: Jerrold Samuels (1938 – 2023)

Jerrold Samuels (May 3, 1938 – March 10, 2023) was an American singer, songwriter and record producer. Under the pseudonym Napoleon XIV, he achieved one-hit wonder status with the Top 5 hit novelty song “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!” in 1966. Samuels occasionally revisited the Napoleon XIV character to record other songs, usually comedy records with an insanity theme.

Under the name Scott David (his son’s name), he co-wrote “As If I Didn’t Know” with Larry Kusik, a top 10 hit for Adam Wade in 1961. Samuels also wrote “The Shelter of Your Arms”, a top 20 hit for Sammy Davis Jr. in 1964.

Samuels died on March 10, 2023, at the age of 84.

In Memoriam: Gary Rossington (1951 – 2023)

Gary Robert Rossington (December 4, 1951 – March 5, 2023) was an American musician and songwriter. He was the longest-serving remaining original member of Southern rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd, in which he played lead and rhythm guitar.

In 2009, he became the last original member to remain in the band, and became the last surviving original member in 2019 until his death on March 5, 2023.

Rossington was also a founding member of the Rossington Collins Band, along with former bandmate Allen Collins.

Rossington’s mother recalled that he had a strong childhood interest in baseball and aspired as a child to one day play for the New York Yankees. Rossington recalled that he was a “good ball player” but upon hearing the Rolling Stones in his early teens he became interested in music and ultimately gave up on his baseball aspirations.

It was Rossington’s love of baseball that indirectly led to the formation of Lynyrd Skynyrd in the summer of 1964. He, Ronnie Van Zant, and Bob Burns became acquainted while playing on rival Jacksonville baseball teams and the trio decided to jam together one afternoon after Burns was injured by a ball hit by Van Zant. They set up their equipment in the carport of Burns’ parents’ house and played The Rolling Stones’ then-current hit “Time Is on My Side”. Liking what they heard, they immediately decided to form a band. Naming themselves The Noble Five (with the additions of guitarist Allen Collins and bassist Larry Junstrom) they later changed the name of the band to The One Percent before eventually settling on the name Lynyrd Skynyrd in 1969.

Rossington grew up in a single parent household and said that early in their relationship, Van Zant became somewhat of a father figure to him. He credited Van Zant, who was three years his senior, with teaching him and his bandmates how to drive a car, as well as introducing them to “all that stuff you learn when you’re 14, 15, 16”.

According to a New York Times article, Lacy Van Zant, patriarch of the Van Zant family, once went to West Jacksonville’s Robert E. Lee High School to plead Rossington’s case to school administrators after the fatherless Rossington was suspended for having long hair. Lacy Van Zant explained to the assistant principal that Rossington’s father, who died shortly after Rossington was born, had died in the Army and that Rossington’s mother needed the money Rossington made playing in his band. Lacy Van Zant further explained that, like his own sons, they were working men and long hair was part of the job. It’s not known if the elder Van Zant’s efforts were successful, but Rossington later dropped out of high school to focus on Lynyrd Skynyrd full-time.

Rossington and Dale Krantz-Rossington were married in 1982 and had two daughters.

Rossington suffered a heart attack on October 8, 2015, after which two Lynyrd Skynyrd concerts had to be canceled. In July 2021, he underwent emergency heart surgery.

On March 5, 2023, it was announced by multiple sources that Rossington had died. He was 71.

In Memoriam: Glenn Michael Lockett (Spot) – (1951 – 2023)

Glenn Michael Lockett (July 1, 1951 – March 4, 2023), better known as Spot, was an American record producer best known for being the house producer and engineer for the influential independent punk record label SST Records. He styled his name SPʘT, using all capital letters and adding a dot inside the O.

Glenn Michael Lockett was born in the Los Angeles area to a Caucasian mother (maiden name Katz) and an African-American father on July 1, 1951. With his older sister Cynthia, he was raised in upper-middle-class Hollywood. Lockett’s father Claybourne, known as Buddy to his soldier friends, had been a fighter pilot with the 100th Fighter Squadron in WW II, an all-Black formation that was part of the Tuskegee Airmen. Lockett moved from Hollywood to Hermosa Beach in the mid-1970s, where he met Greg Ginn while working at a vegetarian restaurant called Garden of Eden. Lockett also freelanced for Easy Reader, authoring record reviews under the name Spot.

Befriending Ginn, Spot was briefly bassist for Panic, the band which would soon become Black Flag.

Spot died on March 4, 2023, at Morningside Healthcare in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where he was recovering from a stroke he had suffered three months earlier. He had been suffering from fibrosis since late 2021 and was awaiting a lung transplant prior to his stroke.

In Memoriam: Michael Rhodes (1953 – 2023)

Michael Rhodes (September 16, 1953 – March 4, 2023) was an American bass player, known for his session work and touring in support of other artists, and his collaborations in bands and ensembles.

Rhodes was born in Monroe, Louisiana, and taught himself to play the guitar by age 13 and the bass soon after. In the early ’70s, Rhodes moved to Austin, Texas, where he performed with local bands. Four years later, Rhodes moved to Memphis, Tennessee, where he performed with Charlie Rich’s son Alan.

In 1977, Rhodes moved to Nashville, and he joined local band The Nerve with Ricky Rector and Danny Rhodes. He worked as a demo musician for Tree Publishing Company, and then as a session player.

Rhodes joined Rodney Crowell, Steuart Smith, Eddie Bayers, and Vince Santoro in the Cicadas. They recorded one album in 1997, but had been playing together for more than a decade. Rhodes was also a member of The Notorious Cherry Bombs, with Crowell, Bayers, Vince Gill, Hank DeVito, and Richard Bennett.

Rhodes has contributed to the recordings of numerous artists, including Neal McCoy, Chely Wright, Pat McLaughlin Doug Stone, Wynonna Judd, Steve Winwood, Larry Carlton, the Dixie Chicks, Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker, Hank Williams, Jr., Rosanne Cash, Vince Gill, Dolly Parton, Randy Travis, Faith Hill, Toby Keith, and Kenny Chesney.

He was an active sideman in recordings and touring of Joe Bonamassa.

Rhodes was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2019.

Rhodes died on March 4, 2023, at the age of 69.

In Memoriam: David Lindley (1944 – 2023)

David Perry Lindley (March 21, 1944 – March 3, 2023) was an American musician who founded the band El Rayo-X, and worked with many other performers including Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt, Ry Cooder, Bonnie Raitt, Warren Zevon, Curtis Mayfield and Dolly Parton. He mastered such a wide variety of instruments that Acoustic Guitar magazine referred to him not as a multi-instrumentalist, but instead as a “maxi-instrumentalist.”

The majority of the instruments that Lindley played are string instruments, including violin, acoustic and electric guitar, upright and electric bass, banjo, lap steel guitar, mandolin, hardingfele, bouzouki, cittern, bağlama, gumbus, charango, cümbüş, oud, and zither.

Lindley was a founding member of the 1960s band Kaleidoscope, and worked as musical director for several touring artists. In addition, he occasionally scored and composed music for film.

Lindley was known for his work as a session musician. He contributed to recordings and live performances by Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, Linda Ronstadt, Curtis Mayfield, James Taylor, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Terry Reid, Dolly Parton, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Toto, Rod Stewart, Joe Walsh and Dan Fogelberg. He also collaborated with fellow guitarists Ry Cooder, Henry Kaiser and G. E. Smith. Artist Ben Harper credited Lindley’s distinctive slide guitar style as a major influence on his own playing, and, in 2006, Lindley sat in on Harper’s album Both Sides of the Gun. He was known in the guitar community for his use of “cheap” instruments sold at Sears department stores and intended for amateurs. He used these for the unique sound they produce, especially with a slide. In the early 1990s, he toured and recorded with Hani Naser adding percussive instruments to his solo performances, and his instrumental repertoire which he used in his session work. Lindley also toured extensively and recorded with reggae percussionist Wally Ingram. Touring around the world exposed him to exotic instruments.

Lindley’s voice may be heard in the version of “Stay” performed by Jackson Browne. Browne’s version is a continuation of “The Load Out”, and its refrain is sung in progressively higher vocal ranges. The refrain of “Oh won’t you stay, just a little bit longer” is sung first by Browne, then by Rosemary Butler, then by Lindley in falsetto.

Lindley joined Jackson Browne for a tour of Spain in 2006. Love Is Strange: En Vivo Con Tino, a 2-CD set of recordings from that tour, was released May 11, 2010, with Browne and Lindley touring together starting in June of that year. The duo also won an Independent Music Award for Best Live Performance Album.

Lindley married Joan Darrow, the sister of his musical colleague Chris Darrow from the band Kaleidoscope. In 1970, Joan and David Lindley had a daughter named Rosanne who became a folk singer with the Mountain Goats and the Bright Mountain Choir in the 1990s. The Lindleys lived in a quiet neighborhood of Claremont, California, in a home described by a journalist as containing a “tidal flood of instruments strewn all over the house. In every room. On the floor, balanced against the wall, lying atop cabinets and just literally occupying virtually every inch of available floor space.”

Lindley died on March 3, 2023, at the age of 78. A published report indicated he had been in ill health for several months prior to his death.