In Memoriam: Nancy Wilson (1937 – 2018)

Nancy Sue Wilson (February 20, 1937 – December 13, 2018) was an American singer whose career spanned over five decades, from the mid–1950s until her retirement in the early–2010s. She was notable for her single “(You Don’t Know) How Glad I Am” and her version of the standard “Guess Who I Saw Today”.

Wilson recorded more than 70 albums and won three Grammy Awards for her work. During her performing career Wilson was labeled a singer of blues, jazz, R&B, pop, and soul, a “consummate actress”, and “the complete entertainer”. The title she preferred, however, was “song stylist”. She received many nicknames including “Sweet Nancy”, “The Baby”, “Fancy Miss Nancy” and “The Girl With the Honey-Coated Voice”.

Wilson married her first husband, drummer Kenny Dennis, in 1960. In 1963, their son, Kenneth (Kacy) Dennis Jr., was born, and by 1970, they divorced. On May 22, 1973, she married a Presbyterian minister, Reverend Wiley Burton. She gave birth to Samantha Burton in 1975, and the couple adopted Sheryl Burton in 1976. As a result of her marriage, she abstained from performing in various venues, such as supper clubs. For the following two decades, she successfully juggled her personal life and her career. In November 1998, both of her parents died; she calls this year the most difficult of her life.

In August 2006, Wilson was hospitalized with anemia and potassium deficiency, and was on I.V. sustenance while undergoing a complete battery of tests. She was unable to attend the UNCF Evening of Stars Tribute to Aretha Franklin and had to cancel the engagement. All of her other engagements were on hold pending doctors’ reports.

In March 2008, she was hospitalized for lung complications, recovered, and claimed to be doing well. In the same year, her husband, Wiley Burton, died after suffering from renal cancer.

On December 13, 2018, Wilson died at her home in Pioneertown, California after a long illness. She was 81 years old.

In 1964, Wilson won her first Grammy Award for the best rhythm and blues recording for the album How Glad I Am. She was featured as a “grand diva” of jazz in a 1992 edition of Essence. In the same year, she also received the Whitney Young Jr. Award from the Urban League. In 1998, she was a recipient of the Playboy Reader Poll Award for best jazz vocalist.

In 1986, she was dubbed the Global Entertainer of the Year by the World Conference of Mayors. She received an award from the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in 1993; the NAACP Image Award – Hall of Fame Award in 1998, and was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame in 1999. She received the Trumpet Award for Outstanding Achievement in 1994. Wilson received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1990, at 6541 Hollywood Blvd. She received honorary degrees from Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA and Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta sorority. Wilson has a street named after her in her hometown of Chillicothe, Ohio. She co-founded the Nancy Wilson Foundation, which exposes inner-city children to the country. Wilson was the recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), NEA Jazz Masters Fellowships award in 2004, the highest honors that the United States government bestows upon jazz musicians. In 2005 she received the NAACP Image Awards for Best Recording Jazz Artist. She received the 2005 UNCF Trumpet Award celebrating African-American achievement, a Lifetime Achievement Award from the NAACP in Chicago, and Oprah Winfrey’s Legends Award.

In September 2005, Wilson was inducted into the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site. Wilson was a major figure in Civil Rights Movement. Wilson said, “This award means more to me than anything else I have ever received.” Times.com, August 20, 2006: “It’s been a long career for the polished Wilson, whose first albums appeared in the 1960s, and she faces that truth head-on in such numbers as ‘These Golden Years’ and ‘I Don’t Remember Ever Growing Up’. Shorter breathed these days, she can still summon a warm, rich sound and vividly tell a song’s story. With a big band behind her in ‘Taking a Chance on Love’, she also shows there’s plenty of fire in her autumnal mood”. At the Hollywood Bowl, August 29, 2007, Wilson celebrated her 70th birthday with an all-star event hosted by Arsenio Hall. Ramsey Lewis and his trio performed “To Know Her Is To Love Her”. – Wikipedia

In Memoriam: Roy Clark (April 1933 – November 2018)

Country legend Roy Clark is seen performing in this undated photo. Clark, who was a star on the popular syndicated country music variety show “Hee Haw”, died at his home in Tulsa. (WikiMedia)

Roy Linwood Clark (April 15, 1933 – November 15, 2018) was an American singer and musician. He is best known for having hosted Hee Haw, a nationally televised country variety show, from 1969 to 1997. Clark was an important and influential figure in country music, both as a performer and helping to popularize the genre.

During the 1970s, Clark frequently guest-hosted for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show and enjoyed a 30-million viewership for Hee Haw. Clark was highly regarded and renowned as a guitarist and banjo player, skilled in the traditions of many genres, including classical guitar, country music, Latin music, bluegrass, and pop. He had hit songs as a pop vocalist (e.g., “Yesterday, When I Was Young” and “Thank God and Greyhound”), and his instrumental skill had an enormous effect on generations of bluegrass and country musicians. He became a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1987, and, in 2009, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. He published his autobiography, My Life in Spite of Myself, in 1994.

Clark married Barbara Joyce Rupard on August 31, 1957, and they had four children. He made his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Roy Clark Elementary School was named in his honor in 1978.

Clark died on November 15, 2018, at 85 at his Tulsa home due to complications of pneumonia. – Wikipedia

In Memoriam: Marty Balin (1942 – 2018) (Music 7pm)

Marty Balin born Martyn Jerel Buchwald; January 30, 1942 – September 27, 2018 was an American singer, songwriter, and musician best known as the founder and one of the lead singers of Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship.

Balin was the primary founder of Jefferson Airplane, which he “launched” from a restaurant-turned-club he called the Matrix, and also one of its lead vocalists from 1965 to 1971. In the group’s famous 1966-1971 iteration, Balin served as co-lead vocalist alongside Grace Slick and rhythm guitarist Paul Kantner. While his output diminished after Surrealistic Pillow (1967) as Slick, Kantner, and lead guitarist Jorma Kaukonen matured as songwriters (a process compounded by Balin’s eschewal of the group’s burgeoning “ego trips”), his most enduring songwriting contributions—which were often imbued with a romantic, pop-oriented lilt that was atypical of the band’s characteristic forays into psychedelic rock—include “Comin’ Back to Me” (a folk rock ballad later covered by Ritchie Havens and Rickie Lee Jones), “Today” (a collaboration with Kantner initially written on spec for Tony Bennett that was prominently covered by Tom Scott), and again with Kantner, the topical 1969 top-100 hit “Volunteers.” Although uncharacteristic of his oeuvre, the uptempo “3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds” and “Plastic Fantastic Lover” (both written for Surrealistic Pillow) remained integral components of the Airplane’s live set throughout the late 1960s. – Wikipedia

RadioMax will feature the music of Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson and Marty Balin at 7pm ET

Read More at Rolling Stone Magazine

In Memoriam: Aretha Franklin (1942 – 2018)

Aretha Louise Franklin (March 25, 1942 – August 16, 2018) was an American singer and songwriter. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, where her father, C. L. Franklin, was minister. In 1960, at the age of 18, she embarked on a secular career, recording for Columbia Records but only achieving modest success. Following her signing to Atlantic Records in 1967, Franklin achieved commercial acclaim and success with songs such as “Respect”, “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman”, “Spanish Harlem” and “Think”. By the end of the 1960s she had gained the title “The Queen of Soul”.

Franklin eventually recorded a total of 112 charted singles on Billboard, including 77 Hot 100 entries, 17 top ten pop singles, 100 R&B entries and 20 number-one R&B singles, becoming the most charted female artist in the chart’s history.

Franklin also recorded acclaimed albums such as I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You, Lady Soul, Young, Gifted and Black and Amazing Grace before experiencing problems with her record company by the mid-1970s. After her father was shot in 1979, Franklin left Atlantic and signed with Arista Records, finding success with her part in the 1980 film The Blues Brothers and with the albums Jump to It (1982) and Who’s Zoomin’ Who? (1985).

In 1998, Franklin won international acclaim for singing the opera aria “Nessun dorma”, at the Grammys of that year replacing Luciano Pavarotti. Later that same year, she scored her final Top 40 recording with “A Rose Is Still a Rose”.

Franklin’s other popular and well known hits include “Rock Steady”, “Jump to It”, “Freeway of Love”, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who”, “Chain Of Fools”, “Until You Come Back to Me (That’s What I’m Gonna Do)”, “Something He Can Feel”, “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)” (with George Michael), and a remake of The Rolling Stones song “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”.

Franklin has won a total of 18 Grammy Awards and is one of the best-selling musical artists of all time, having sold over 75 million records worldwide.

Franklin has been honored throughout her career including a 1987 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in which she became the first female performer to be inducted. She was inducted to the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2005. In August 2012, Franklin was inducted into the GMA Gospel Music Hall of Fame.

Franklin is listed in at least two all-time lists on Rolling Stone magazine, including the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, and the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. She died at home August 16, 2018, her publicist confirmed. – Wikipedia

In Memoriam: Yvonne Staples (1938 – 2018)

Yvonne Staples, whose baritone helped propel the Staple Singers to the top of the music charts and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1999, has died at home in South Shore at 80, according to Chicago’s Leak & Sons Funeral Home.

RadioMaxMusic will feature the music of the Staple Singers at 8pm ET

Ms. Staples performed on hits including “Respect Yourself,” “I’ll Take You There” and “Heavy Makes You Happy” with her sisters Mavis and Cleotha and their father, guitarist Roebuck “Pops” Staples.

She was born in Chicago to Pops and Oceola Staples, both with Mississippi roots. She started singing with Mavis and their brother Pervis in the 1940s at their uncle’s church.  For more on this story click here

The Staple Singers were an American gospel, soul and R&B singing group. Roebuck “Pops” Staples (1914–2000), the patriarch of the family, formed the group with his children Cleotha (1934–2013), Pervis (b. 1935), and Mavis (b. 1939). Yvonne (1936–2018) replaced her brother when he was drafted into the U.S. Army, and again in 1970. They are best known for their 1970s hits “Respect Yourself”, “I’ll Take You There”, “If You’re Ready (Come Go with Me)”, and “Let’s Do It Again”, which with one exception (“I’ll Take You There”) peaked on the Hot 100 within a week from Christmas Day. While the family name is Staples, the group used “Staple” commercially. – Wikipedia

In Memoriam: Daryle Singletary (1971 – 2018)

Daryle Bruce Singletary (March 10, 1971 – February 12, 2018) was an American country music singer. Between 1995 and 1998, he recorded for Giant Records, for which he released three studio albums: Daryle Singletary in 1995, All Because of You in 1996 and Ain’t It the Truth in 1998. In the same timespan, Singletary entered the top 40 of the Hot Country Songs charts five times, reaching number two with “I Let Her Lie” and “Amen Kind of Love”, and number four with “Too Much Fun”.

In 2000, Singletary switched to Audium Entertainment (a division of Koch Entertainment), where he released the albums Now and Again (2000) and That’s Why I Sing This Way (2002), both of which were largely composed of cover songs. A third album of covers, 2007’s Straight from the Heart, was issued on the independent Shanachie Records label. He returned to Jack Noseworthy Studios (now renamed E1 Music) in 2010, to release Rockin’ in the Country.

Singletary died from an apparent blood clot at his Lebanon, Tennessee, home on the morning of February 12, 2018, according to a Taste of Country report. – Wikipedia

Daryle Singletary Dies

In Memoriam: Vic Damone (1928 – 2018)

Vic Damone (born Vito Rocco Farinola; June 12, 1928 – February 11, 2018) was an American traditional pop and big band singer, songwriter, actor, radio and television presenter, and entertainer who is best known for songs such as “You’re Breaking My Heart” (a number one hit), the number four hit “On the Street Where You Live” (from My Fair Lady), and “My Heart Cries for You” (also No. 4).

Vic Damone Dies At 89