In Memoriam: Malcolm Young (1953 – 2017)

Malcolm Mitchell Young (6 January 1953 – 18 November 2017) was an Australian musician and songwriter, best known as a co-founder, rhythm guitarist, backing vocalist and songwriter for the hard rock band AC/DC. Except for a brief absence in 1988, he was with the band from its November 1973 beginning until retiring permanently in 2014, due to health reasons. Young and the other members of AC/DC were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.

Though his younger brother Angus is the more visible of the brothers, Malcolm has been described as the driving force and the leader of the band. He also added that despite his retirement from the band, AC/DC was determined to continue making music with his blessing. As the rhythm guitarist, he was responsible for the broad sweep of the band’s sound, developing many of their guitar riffs and co-writing the band’s material with Angus. He was married to Linda Young and had two children, Cara and Ross.

Young took a leave of absence from AC/DC in April 2014, to receive treatment for dementia. In September 2014, the band’s management announced that he would be retiring permanently.

(CBSNEWS) Malcolm Young, guitarist and co-founder of pioneering rock band AC/DC, has passed away, the band said in a statement Saturday. He was 64.

“With enormous dedication and commitment he was the driving force behind the band,” the band said on its website. “As a guitarist, songwriter and visionary he was a perfectionist and a unique man. He always stuck to his guns and did and said exactly what he wanted.”

Young founded the Australian rock band with his brother Angus in 1973. He was the group’s rhythm guitarist until 2014, when the band announced he was taking a leave of absence for health reasons. It was later revealed he had been diagnosed for dementia.

Young’s family said he passed away peacefully Saturday with his family at his bedside. He is survived by his wife O’Linda and two children.

“He leaves behind an enormous legacy that will live on forever,” the band said. “Malcolm, job well done.”

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In Memoriam: Robert Knight (1945 – 2017)

Robert Knight (born Robert Peebles, April 24, 1945 – November 5, 2017) was an American singer best known for the 1967 recording of the song “Everlasting Love”. Born in Franklin, Tennessee, Knight made his professional vocal debut with the Paramounts, a quintet consisting of school friends. Signed to Dot Records in 1960, they recorded “Free Me” in 1961, a US R&B hit single that outsold a rival version by Johnny Preston.

After this initial success, their subsequent releases flopped, resulting in a breakup of the group. They also broke their recording contract with Dot and were prevented from recording for  4 1⁄2 years. Knight attended Tennessee State University, where he studied chemistry and sang with the Fairlanes, a vocal trio.

In 1967, after Knight was seen performing with the Fairlanes in Nashville at a Vanderbilt University fraternity, he was offered a contract as a solo artist by the Rising Sons label. His first recording, “Everlasting Love”, written by label owners Buzz Cason and Mac Gayden, was a success, reaching number 14 on the US R&B chart and 13 on the Billboard Hot 100. This enduring song was an even bigger success in the UK the following year when a version by Love Affair reached No. 1, ironically preventing Knight’s version from progressing further than No. 40.

Knight scored two further pop hits at home, “Blessed Are The Lonely” and “Isn’t It Lonely Together”. In 1973/1974, thanks to heavy rotation by Northern soul music admiring deejays he hit the UK Singles Chart again with the re-issue of his late 1968 recording “Love on a Mountain Top”, reaching #10 in early 1974 in the UK Singles Charts. The song was also written by Cason and Gayden. The re-issued “Everlasting Love” went even higher in the UK in 1974, reaching the Top 20. His final UK chart record was “Better Get Ready For Love” which reached #53 in May 1974.

He also worked for Vanderbilt University as a chemical lab technician, a chemistry teacher, and a member of the grounds crew.

Knight died at home in Tennessee, aged 72.  – Wikipedia

In Memoriam: Keith Wilder (1952 – 2017)

(TMZ) Keith Wilder, the lead singer of the ’70s funk band Heatwave, has died.

Wilder’s had several massive hits, including “Always and Forever,” “Boogie Nights” and “The Groove Line.”
Wilder had been suffering from serious health problems recently and died in his sleep Sunday, according to his cousin and bandmate, Billy Jones.

“Always and Forever” was the group’s biggest hit … as it went platinum. “Boogie Nights” broke the top 10.
Keith summed up his band simply … “We just kept it real and kept it pure.” The group was nominated for 2 Grammys but didn’t win.

Wilder was 65.

Heatwave were an international funk/disco band formed in 1975. Its most popular lineup featured Americans Johnnie Wilder Jr. and Keith Wilder (vocals) of Dayton, Ohio; Englishman Rod Temperton (keyboards); Swiss Mario Mantese (bass); Czechoslovak Ernest “Bilbo” Berger (drums); Jamaican Eric Johns (guitar); and Briton Roy Carter (guitar).

In Memoriam: Fats Domino (1928 – 2017)

(CNN)Antoine “Fats” Domino, a titan of early rock ‘n’ roll whose piano-based hits — such as “Ain’t That a Shame,” “Blueberry Hill” and “Blue Monday” — influenced artists including Paul McCartney and Randy Newman, died Tuesday, an official said.

Domino passed away due to natural causes, according to Mark Bone, chief investigator with the Jefferson Parish Medical Examiner’s office in Louisiana. He was 89.
With producer and arranger Dave Bartholomew, Domino cut a string of songs in the 1950s and early ’60s that helped establish his hometown of New Orleans as a rock ‘n’ roll hotbed and made him one of the music’s leading figures.
The pair recorded “The Fat Man” in late 1949, a song considered one of the first rock ‘n’ roll records — a group that includes Wynonie Harris’ version of “Good Rockin’ Tonight” (1947) and Jackie Brenston and Ike Turner’s “Rocket 88” (1951) — and followed it up with more than 30 Top 40 hits, including 23 gold singles.

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Wikipedia
Antoine “Fats” Domino Jr. (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017) was an American pianist and singer-songwriter of French Creole descent. Five of his records released before 1955 sold over a million copies and were certified as gold records,[1] and he had 35 records in the U.S. Billboard Top 40. His musical style is based on traditional rhythm and blues, accompanied by saxophones, bass, piano, electric guitar, and drums.

In Memoriam: George Young (1946 – 2017)

(New York Daily News) George Young, the decades-long music man known for producing his brothers in AC/DC, has died at 70.

The death of Young, born in Scotland but a longtime Australian who also led the 1960s group the Easybeats, was announced by record company Albert’s on Monday.

“A consummate songwriter, trailblazing producer, artist, mentor and extraordinary musician, George was above all else a gentleman who was unfailingly modest, charming, intelligent and loyal; a man with a wonderful sense of humour,” it said in a statement.

It was not immediately clear what caused Young’s death.

The Easybeats, which had a style similar to the Beatles, lasted until the late 1960s, though his departure paved the way for Young to begin working with his brother’s Malcolm and Angus on their upstart hard rock band and its first albums.
“Without his help and guidance there would not have been an AC/DC,” the group said Monday, adding that “you could not ask for a finer brother. “

Young also continued his music studio work as a songwriter, penning hits for various acts such as John Paul Young’s late 1970s song “Love is in the Air.”

Albert Productions, which he helped bring fame in the 1970s, continued to work until 2016, when it was sold to BMG.

George Redburn Young (6 November 1946 – 22 October 2017) was an Australian musician, songwriter and record producer. Born in Scotland, he moved to Australia with his family as a teenager, and became a naturalised citizen. He was a member of the 1960s Australian rock band the Easybeats, and with band mate, Harry Vanda, he was a co-writer of the international hits “Friday on My Mind” and “Love Is in the Air”, the latter recorded by John Paul Young (no relation). Young and Vanda were also the producers of some work by the Australian hard rock band AC/DC, formed by his younger brothers Malcolm and Angus Young. Vanda & Young were inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 1988 and the Easybeats in 2005. Young died on 22 October 2017, aged 70. – Wikipedia

 

In Memoriam: Gord Downie (1964 – 2017)

Gordon Edgar “Gord” Downie CM (6 February 1964 – 17 October 2017) was a Canadian rock musician, writer, and occasional actor. He was the lead singer and lyricist for the Canadian rock band The Tragically Hip. He released six solo albums: Coke Machine Glow (2001), Battle of the Nudes (2003), The Grand Bounce (2010), And the Conquering Sun with The Sadies (2014), Secret Path (2016), and Introduce Yerself (2017).

Wikipedia Page

New York Times Obituary