Tag: In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Johnny Nash (1940 – 1980)

John Lester Nash Jr. (August 19, 1940 – October 6, 2020) was an American reggae and pop music singer-songwriter, best known in the United States for his 1972 hit, “I Can See Clearly Now”. He was one of the first non-Jamaican singers to record reggae music in Kingston, Jamaica.

Johnny Nash, whose 1972 song “I Can See Clearly Now” became a Number One hit and enduring radio song, died on Tuesday, his son confirmed to CBS. No cause of death was given. He was 80.

Nash began singing as a child in church in Houston, Texas, where he was born. As a teenager, he participated in a local variety show where he sang R&B covers, and in his late teens, he made his major label debut with 1957’s “A Teenager Sings the Blues.” The following year, his cover of Doris Day’s “A Very Special Love” marked his first charting single. Nash continued to release singles on a variety of labels and scored another chart hit with 1965’s “Let’s Move and Groove Together.”

In Memoriam: Mac Davis (1942 – 2020)

Morris Mac Davis (January 21, 1942 – September 29, 2020) was an American country music singer, songwriter, and actor, originally from Lubbock, Texas, United States, who has enjoyed much crossover success. His early work writing for Elvis Presley produced the hits “Memories”, “In the Ghetto”, “Don’t Cry Daddy”, and “A Little Less Conversation”. A subsequent solo career in the 1970s produced hits such as “Baby, Don’t Get Hooked on Me”. He also starred in his own variety show, a Broadway musical, and various films and TV shows.

Davia passed away after suffering a heart attack after heart surgery.

In Memoriam: Helen Reddy (1941 – 2020)

Helen Maxine Reddy (October 25, 1941 – September 29, 2020) was a singer, actress, and activist who held dual Australian and American citizenship. Born in Melbourne, Victoria to a show-business family, Reddy started her career as an entertainer at age four. She sang on radio and television, and won a talent contest on a television program, Bandstand, in 1966; her prize was a ticket to New York City and a record audition, which turned out to be unsuccessful. She pursued her international singing career by moving to Chicago and, subsequently, Los Angeles, where she made her debut singles “One Way Ticket” and “I Believe in Music” in 1968 and 1970, respectively. The B-side of the latter single, “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” reached No. 10 in Canadian pop chart RPM and she was signed to Capitol Records a year later.

During the 1970s, she enjoyed international success, especially in the United States where she placed 15 singles in the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100. Six made the Top 10 and three reached No. 1, including her signature hit “I Am Woman”. She placed 25 songs on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart; 15 made the Top 10 and eight reached No. 1, six consecutively. In 1974, at the inaugural American Music Awards, she won the award for Favorite Pop/Rock Female Artist. In television, she was the first Australian to host a one-hour weekly primetime variety show on an American network, along with specials that were seen in more than 40 countries.

Between the 1980s and 1990s, as her single “I Can’t Say Goodbye to You” became her last to chart in the U.S., she acted in musicals and recorded albums such as Center Stage before retiring from live performance in 2002. She returned to university in Australia and earned her degree, and practised as a clinical hypnotherapist and motivational speaker. In 2011, after singing “Breezin’ Along with the Breeze” with her half-sister, Toni Lamond, for Lamond’s birthday, Reddy decided to return to live performing.

Her song “I Am Woman” played a significant role in popular culture, becoming an anthem for second-wave feminism. She came to be known as a “feminist poster girl” or a “feminist icon”. In 2011, Billboard named her the No. 28 adult contemporary artist of all time (No. 9 woman). In 2013, the Chicago Tribune dubbed her as the “Queen of ’70s Pop”.

 

In Memoriam: Pamela Hutchinson (1959 – 2020)

The Emotions are an American Grammy Award–winning soul/R&B vocal group from Chicago, Illinois. The group started out in gospel music but transitioned into R&B and disco music. The Emotions were named by VH1 as one of the 18 most influential girl groups of all time. On September 18, 2020, Pamela Hutchinson died at the age of 61.

(CNN)Pamela Hutchinson, famed R&B singer with family group “The Emotions,” has died at the age of 61, according to a post on the band’s official Facebook page Sunday.

“Pam succumbed to health challenges that she’d been battling for several years,” the post read. “Now our beautiful sister will sing amongst the angels in heaven in perfect peace.” Hutchinson died on Friday, the post said, while asking fans and friends to respect the family’s privacy.

The group was originally a gospel outfit known as the Hutchinson Sunbeams who toured the gospel circuit with their father Joe Hutchinson. The Sunbeams sang on Jerry Van Dyke’s “Children’s Gospel” television show and also occasionally performed in the concert with Mahalia Jackson. They eventually became an R&B/Soul act with a popular following in their hometown of Chicago, Illinois. Soon being renamed as The Emotions, they signed with the Memphis-based Volt imprint of Stax Records in the late 60s. Under the production of Isaac Hayes and David Porter the group issued their 1969 debut album entitled So I Can Love You on Stax.

“So I Can Love You” rose to no. 43 upon the Billboard Top R&B Albums chart. The album’s title track got to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart and No. 39 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Another single entitled “The Best Part Of A Love Affair” rose to no. 27 upon the Billboard Hot R&B Songs chart.

During 1970, The Emotions released a single entitled “Heart Association.” That song reached No. 29 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart. The girl group went on to release their sophomore LP entitled Untouched in 1972 upon Stax. A song from the album called “Show Me How” rose to No. 13 upon the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart.

During 1972, the girl group also released another single called “My Honey and Me.” That song reached No. 18 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs chart.

The Emotions then started to work on their third studio album entitled Songs of Innocence and Experience. This LP was due to be issued in 1973, but was eventually shelved. The girl group went on to appear in the 1973 feature film Wattstax, performing the song “Peace Be Still.” The tune went on to be added to the movie’s soundtrack. Wattstax was also nominated for a Golden Globe in the category of Best Documentary. With Stax becoming defunct in 1975, the group then left the record label altogether.

The Emotions have been sampled by rappers such as Big Daddy Kane, Tupac Shakur, LL Cool J, Wu Tang Clan, 50 Cent, Ice Cube, Salt n Pepa, De La Soul, Kanye West, A Tribe Called Quest and Notorious BIG.

Artists such as Toni Braxton, 112, Mariah Carey, Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, Mary J Blige, Ginuwine, Keyshia Cole, Tamia and Janet Jackson have also sampled the girl group.

Their songs have also been covered by artists such as Phoebe Snow, Minnie Riperton, Marcia Hines, Patti La Belle, Maysa, The Temptations, Will Downing and Nancy Wilson.

The Emotions have also influenced artists such as En Vogue, Anita Baker, Shanice, Regina Belle, Lalah Hathaway, Jade, Erykah Badu, Kirk Whalum, Sheena Easton, Teena Marie and Fantasia.

 

In Memoriam: Ronald Nathan Bell (1951 – 2020)


Ronald Nathan Bell, also known as Khalis Bayyan (November 1, 1951 – September 9, 2020), was an American composer, singer, songwriter, arranger, producer, and co-founding member of Kool & the Gang.

Bell was born in Youngstown, Ohio, United States, in November 1951 to Aminah Bayyan (1932–2014) and Robert “Bobby” Bell (1929–1985), a professional boxer and Golden Gloves amateur boxing winner who traveled extensively on the boxing circuit throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In the segregated South, black musical acts and boxers on tour would often find themselves in the same accommodations, town after town, and Bell’s father would often bring home his jazz friends’ recordings. It was during those years on the road that his father became friends with Miles Davis and a roommate to Thelonious Monk.

“It was those albums that my dad brought home that drew me to jazz,” says Khalis. “As I child, I was influenced by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and Cannonball Adderley. I taught myself how to play saxophone by copying records by Lee Morgan, Art Blakey, and Wayne Shorter.”

The family moved to Jersey City, New Jersey, in 1960. In 1964, the young Ronald Bell and his brother, Robert “Kool” Bell, joined neighborhood friends Spike Mickens, Dennis Thomas, Ricky Westfield, George Brown, and Charles Smith to create a distinctive musical blend of jazz, soul, and funk. At first calling themselves “The Jazziacs”, the band went through various name changes – the New Dimensions, the Soul Town Band, and Kool & the Flames before settling on Kool & the Gang launched in 1969.

Bell composed, arranged, produced and performed some of the most popular music. A self-taught musician, his signature sound can be heard on the band’s horn lines, bass, synthesizer and vocals. He wrote and produced many of the band’s songs including “Celebration”, “Cherish”, “Jungle Boogie”, “Summer Madness”, and “Open Sesame”.

Bell was Muslim, and was given the name Khalis Bayyan by Imam Warith Deen Mohammed. He was also the father of singer Rachid “Rasalus” Bell, who often performs under the stage name Ra.

Bell died at his home in the United States Virgin Islands on September 9, 2020, at age 68. No cause was given, but the death was described as sudden.

In Memoriam: Ian Mitchell (1958 – 2020)

Ian Mitchell, Bay City Rollers bassist, dead at 62

The Bay City Rollers have said they are “deeply saddened” by the death of ex-member Ian Mitchell at the age of 62.

“Rest In Peace, Ian,” the Scottish pop band wrote as they announced his death on their Instagram page.

Mitchell joined the group in 1976 at the age of 17, replacing founding member and bassist Alan Longmuir.

But he quit the band after nine months to return his native Northern Ireland, where he performed with old school friends as the group Rosetta Stone.

While Mitchell was with the Rollers, they released the 1976 album Dedication and a cover version of Dusty Springfield’s I Only Want to Be With You.

But he found tensions within the band hard to cope with and departed that December, to be replaced by guitarist Pat McGlynn.

Writing on Facebook, founding member Stuart Wood said his former bandmate’s death was “very sad, sad news”.

He said he had “many fond memories” of performing with Mitchell, adding that he would be “sorely missed”.

US singer Kyle Vincent, who performed with Mitchell in the 2000s, said he had “some great memories” from their time together.

Writing on Instagram, he sent his “deepest condolences” to Mitchell’s widow Wendy “and Ian’s legion of fans around the world”.

The Bay City Rollers became tartan-clad sensations in the UK and US in the 1970s, spawning such hits as Bye Bye Baby and Shang-a-Lang.

The band were formed by Edinburgh-born Alan Longmuir, who died in 2018, with his younger brother Derek.

Wood still plays guitar with the Rollers, whose current line-up includes singer Ian Thomson, bassist Marcus Cordock and drummer Jamie McGrory.

Ctsy: BBC News

In Memoriam: Trini Lopez (1937 – 2020)

Trinidad López III (May 13, 1937 – August 11, 2020) was an American singer, guitarist, and actor. His first album included a cover version of “If I Had a Hammer”, which earned a Golden Disc for him. His other hits included “Lemon Tree”, “I’m Comin’ Home, Cindy” and “Sally Was a Good Old Girl”. He designed two guitars for the Gibson Guitar Corporation, which are now collectors’ items.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Lopez moved into acting, though his film career was not as successful as his music.  Lopez’s first film role was in Marriage on the Rocks (1965), in which he made a cameo appearance in a nightclub scene; Lopez’s soundtrack song, “Sinner Man”, became a hit single (no. 54 pop/no. 12 adult contemporary). He was one of The Dirty Dozen (1967), appeared as himself in The Phynx (1970), and played the title role in Claudio Guzman’s Antonio (1973). He made two appearances (playing different characters) on the television program Adam-12. In 1977, he played the role of Julio Ramirez in “The Mystery of the Silent Scream” which was part of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries TV series.

Lopez remained a lifelong bachelor and had no children. His nephew, Trini Martinez, was the drummer for the Dallas indie rock band Bedhead.

Lopez died on August 11, 2020, at Desert Regional Medical Center in Palm Springs, California. He was 83, and suffered from complications of COVID-19.

In Memoriam: Peter Green (1946 – 2020)

Peter Green (born Peter Allen Greenbaum, October 29, 1946 – July 25, 2020) was an English blues rock singer-songwriter and guitarist. As the founder of Fleetwood Mac, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1998. Green’s songs, such as “Albatross”, “Black Magic Woman”, “Oh Well”, “The Green Manalishi (With the Two Prong Crown)” and “Man of the World”, appeared on singles charts, and several have been adapted by a variety of musicians.

Green was a major figure in the “second great epoch” of the British blues movement. B.B. King commented, “He has the sweetest tone I ever heard; he was the only one who gave me the cold sweats.” Eric Clapton praised his guitar playing; he was interested in expressing emotion in his songs, rather than showing off how fast he could play and used string bending, vibrato, and economy of style.

Rolling Stone ranked Green at number 58 in its list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time”. His tone on the instrumental “The Super-Natural” was rated as one of the 50 greatest of all time by Guitar Player. In June 1996, Green was voted the third-best guitarist of all time in Mojo magazine.

Enduring periods of mental illness and destitution throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Green moved in with his older brother Len and Len’s wife Gloria, and his mother in their house in Great Yarmouth, where a process of recovery began.

Green married Jane Samuels in January 1978; the couple divorced in 1979. They had a daughter, Rosebud (born 1978).

Green lived on Canvey Island in Essex after leaving Fleetwood Mac.

On July 25, 2020, it was announced by the family solicitors that Green had died peacefully in his sleep at the age of 73.

In Memoriam: Joe Porcaro (1930 – 2020)

Joe Porcaro (April 29, 1930 – July 6, 2020) was an American jazz drummer.

Porcaro recorded with Natalie Cole, Don Ellis, Stan Getz, Freddie Hubbard, Gladys Knight, Madonna, The Monkees, Gerry Mulligan, Pink Floyd, Howard Roberts, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Sinatra, and Sarah Vaughan. He performed film scores with James Newton Howard, John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Danny Elfman, John Frizzell and his son Steve Porcaro. With educator and drummer Ralph Humphrey, he was one of the founders of the Los Angeles Music Academy (LAMA) in Pasadena, California, which is now called the Los Angeles College of Music (LACM).

His three sons were in the rock band Toto: drummer Jeff Porcaro (1954–1992), bassist Mike Porcaro (1955–2015), and keyboardist Steve Porcaro (b. 1957), who still is a session musician and programmer. Joe contributed additional percussion to every Toto album from Turn Back through Kingdom of Desire. He has a daughter, Joleen Porcaro Duddy (actress and designer), whose children, Chase and Paige Duddy, formed the electronic duo XYLO.

Porcaro led a group with Emil Richards, a native of Hartford who plays vibraphone and collects percussion instruments from around the world.

He died, aged 90, on July 6, 2020.

In Memoriam: Charlie Daniels (1936 – 2020)

Charles Edward Daniels (born October 28, 1936 – July 6, 2020) was an American singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist known for his contributions to Southern rock, country, and bluegrass music. He is best known for his number-one country hit “The Devil Went Down to Georgia”. Daniels has been active as a singer and musician since the 1950s. He was inducted into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame in 2002, the Grand Ole Opry in 2008, the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum in 2009, and the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2016.

ALL ACCESS.COM reported that Country music legend CHARLIE DANIELS passed away this morning in a HERMITAGE, TN hospital at the age of 83. Doctors determined the cause of death was a hemorrhagic stroke. Funeral arrangements will be announced in the coming days.

 

In Memoriam: Benny Mardones (1946 – 2020)

Ruben Armand “Benny” Mardones (November 9, 1946 – June 29, 2020) was an American pop singer and songwriter noted for his hit single “Into the Night,” which hit the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart twice, in 1980 (#11) and again in 1989 (#20).

Benny Mardones was born Ruben Armand Mardones on November 9, 1946, in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, Ruben Sr., was from Santiago, Chile. Benny only saw his father a few times in his life. His father left Benny and his sister, Louise, when Benny was a baby and eventually returned to Chile. In addition to Louise, Benny had two half-brothers and two half-sisters who live in Chile.

Benny grew up in Savage, Maryland, and graduated from Howard High School in Ellicott City, Maryland, in 1964. He joined the U.S. Navy after high school and served during the Vietnam War. He was briefly married when he was 21 years old, and again in the mid-1980s. After his discharge from the Navy he moved to New York City to pursue his singing and songwriting career. While living in New York, he composed several songs with writing partner Alan Miles. He later wrote songs with fellow singer-songwriter Bobby Tepper, including the song “Into the Night.”

The multi-platinum success of “Into the Night” in 1980 catapulted Benny into the limelight, and he soon spiraled into cocaine addiction and alcoholism. He stopped performing concerts and making public appearances and his label, Polydor Records, dropped him. Over the next few years, he lapsed into obscurity. The birth of his son Michael in April 1985 inspired Benny to get his life in order. The following month, he moved to Syracuse, New York, and by the end of the summer he had kicked his drug and alcohol habit. The renewed popularity of “Into the Night” in 1989 reignited his career, but he wasn’t able to duplicate his earlier success, and he never had another Billboard Top 100 hit.

Benny is the subject of a documentary titled Into the Night: The Benny Mardones Story that was set to be released on DVD in the fall of 2008. However, it has not been released, and no release date is scheduled.

Benny was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2000. Despite his illness, he continued to perform to sold-out audiences in central New York, where he retained a notable fan following. On December 16, 2017 Mardones performed “Into the Night” publicly for the last time at the Turning Stone Casino in Verona, NY.

On October 4, 2011, he married his third wife, Jane Braemer, originally from Denmark. He and Jane resided in Menifee, California.

In July 2018 Benny underwent DBS (Deep Brain Stimulation) which minimized the tremors, but complications from the extensive surgeries created numerous other balance, stability, confusion, and pain issues. After surgery, Benny suffered multiple falls including one that dislocated his hip and shattered his pelvic bone. Continued dislocations and several surgeries later, Benny spent a long time fighting various infections. His hip replacement surgery was completed in January 2019, but he dislocated his hip again and had another surgery to fix that.

In December 2018 a GoFundMe campaign was started to help with ongoing medical costs.

Mardones died on June 29, 2020 at his home in Menifee, California, at age 73.

In Memoriam: Steve Priest (1948 – 2020)


Stephen Norman Priest (February 23,1948 – June 4, 2020) was a British bass player known as the lead and backing vocalist of the glam rock band Sweet.

Priest was born in Hayes, Middlesex. He made his own bass guitar and began playing in local bands as a young teenager, after being influenced by artists such as Jet Harris of the Shadows, the Rolling Stones and The Who.

In January 1968, Priest was invited to form a four-piece band with vocalist Brian Connolly, drummer Mick Tucker, and guitarist Frank Torpey (b. April 30, 1947, Kilburn, North West London) – the band that was to become The Sweet. Torpey was replaced by Mick Stewart in 1969. Guitarist Andy Scott joined in August 1970, following Stewart’s departure and the classic line-up was established.

The Sweet was a band that went through many ups and downs. Initial success for The Sweet began in 1971, after the band teamed up with songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. However, The Sweet would pen a number of their own hits. Priest often directly backed up Brian Connolly’s vocals and took distinctive short high pitched vocal leads which was a key to their musical style at that time.

After Brian Connolly left The Sweet in early 1979, Priest became the main singer. This continued until 1982, when the original Sweet disbanded. By this time, Priest had divorced his first wife, Pat, and moved to New York City. On June 18, 1981, he married his second wife Maureen (née O’Connor), who was then East Coast Director of Publicity and Artist Relations for Capitol/EMI Records in New York. While in New York, he formed a band called the Allies with guitarist Marco Delmar and drummer Steve Missal. Success was elusive, although their composition “Talk To Me” was featured in a film, Fast Food.

Invited in 1985 by former bandmate Andy Scott to reform the Sweet, Priest declined. Shortly thereafter, Priest and his family relocated to Los Angeles.

During this period, Priest largely reverted to private life but made occasional forays into production and session work, as well as collaborations with other artists such as David Arkenstone and future bandmate Stuart Smith.

Priest did, however, go into a demo session in Los Angeles with the other members of the original Sweet in 1988, with Mike Chapman producing, to see if a studio album and reformation were possible. It is rumoured that the US record company MCA was interested at the time. However, the band members were unable to come to an agreement and the project failed. Despite the difficulties of the late ’70s, Priest continued his friendship with former Sweet lead singer Connolly, who was by now in poor health.

In 1994, Priest published his autobiography, Are You Ready Steve?, the title of which is taken from the intro to the Sweet’s “The Ballroom Blitz” when Brian Connolly counts in the song with, “Are you ready Steve? …Andy? …Mick? …Alright fellas, let’s gooooo!”, and in 2006, he released a CD entitled Priest’s Precious Poems. In January 2008, Priest formed a new version of the Sweet, not related to Andy Scott’s version of the band.

This new band played mainly festivals and venues in the U.S. and Canada. In early 2009, the band released a live CD, recorded in August 2008 at the Morongo Casino in Cabazon, California.

Priest later lived with his wife Maureen and daughters Danielle and Margaret in La Cañada Flintridge, California. He died on June 4, 2020 and is survived by his wife, Maureen, three daughters, Lisa, Danielle and Maggie, and three grandchildren, Jordan, Jade and Hazel.  — Wikipedia

In Memoriam: Betty Wright (1953 – 2020)

Bessie Regina Norris (December 21, 1953 – May 10, 2020), better known by her stage name Betty Wright, was an American soul and R&B singer, songwriter and background vocalist, who rose to fame in the 1970s with hits such as “Clean Up Woman” and “Tonight Is the Night”. She was also prominent in regard to the use of whistle register.

Born in Miami, Florida as Bessie Regina Norris on December 21, 1953, Wright was the youngest of seven children of Rosa Akins Braddy-Wright and her second husband, McArthur Norris. Wright began her professional career at the age of two when her siblings formed the Echoes of Joy, a gospel group. Wright contributed to vocals on the group’s first album, released in 1956. Wright and her siblings performed together until 1965, when she was 11 years old.

Following the group’s break-up, Wright, who was already using the name Betty Wright, decided to switch musical styles from gospel to rhythm and blues, singing in local talent shows until being spotted by a local Miami record label owner, who signed her to her first label (Deep City Records) in 1966 at 12. She released the singles “Thank You Baby” and “Paralyzed”, which found Wright local fame in Miami.

In 1967, the teen was responsible for discovering other local talents such as George and Gwen McCrae, helping them sign with the Alston Records label TK Records, part of Henry Stone’s recording and distribution company. Her first album, My First Time Around, was released when she was age 14. Her first hit single was “Girls Can’t Do What the Guys Do”. In 1970, while still in high school, she released “Pure Love” at the age of 16.

Wright died on May 10, 2020, from cancer at her home in Miami. She was 66, and news of her death was first announced by her niece. Just two days earlier, fellow singer Chaka Khan had made a plea on Twitter saying “Calling all my #PrayWarriors. My beloved sister, Betty Wright @MsBettyWright, is now in need of all your prayers.

In Memoriam: Florian Schneider-Esleben (April 7, 1947 – May 6, 2020) 7pm ET: Feature Artist – Kraftwerk

(Photo by Ellen Poppinga – K & K/Redferns)

Florian Schneider-Esleben (April 7, 1947 – May 6, 2020) was a German musician best known as one of the founding members of the electronic band Kraftwerk, performing his role with the band until his departure in November 2008.

Florian Schneider-Esleben founded Kraftwerk with Ralf Hütter in 1970. They met in 1968 while studying at the Academy of Arts in Remscheid, then at the Robert Schumann Hochschule in Düsseldorf, playing improvisational music together in the ensemble Organisation. Before meeting Hütter, Schneider had played with Eberhard Kranemann in the group Pissoff from 1967 to 1968. From 1968 to 1969, Schneider played flute, with Hütter on Hammond organ, Kranemann on bass and Paul Lovens on drums.

Originally, Schneider’s main instrument was the flute, which he would treat using electronic effects, including tape echo, ring modulation, pitch-to-voltage converters, fuzz and wah-wah, allowing him to use his flute as a bass instrument. He also played violin (similarly treated), electric guitar (including slide guitar), and made use of synthesizers (both as a melodic instrument and as a sound processor). Later, he also created his own electronic flute instrument. After the release of Kraftwerk’s 1974 album, Autobahn, his use of acoustic instruments diminished.

David Bowie titled his “Heroes” instrumental track “V-2 Schneider” after Schneider, and was heavily influenced by Kraftwerk’s sound during his “Berlin period” in the late 1970s.

Schneider, speaking in 1991, said: “I had studied seriously up to a certain level, then I found it boring; I looked for other things, I found that the flute was too limiting… Soon I bought a microphone, then loudspeakers, then an echo, then a synthesizer. Much later I threw the flute away; it was a sort of process.” Although he had limited keyboard technique, he apparently preferred to trigger the synth sounds through a keyboard (later, developments in sequencing limited the need for hands-on playing).

On May 6, 2020, it was reported that Schneider had died a few days after his 73rd birthday from cancer, having suffered from the illness for a short time.

We feature the music of Kraftwerk, 7pm ET on RadioMaxMusic May 6, 2020

In Memoriam: Millie Small (1946 – 2020)

Millicent Dolly May Small CD (October 6, 1946 – May 5, 2020) was a Jamaican singer and songwriter, best known for her 1964 recording of “My Boy Lollipop”, which reached number two in both the UK Singles Chart and the US Billboard Hot 100. On her UK records, she was usually credited mononymously as Millie.

She had a brief relationship with Peter Asher of the 1960s duo Peter & Gordon. In her August 2016 interview with U.S. journalist Tom Graves she said the relationship had been platonic.

She lived in Singapore from 1971 to 1973 before returning to the United Kingdom where she lived for the remainder of her life. She had a daughter, Jaelee, born in 1984, who studied art and the music industry and is a singer-songwriter.

Millie Small died on May 5, 2020 in England, reportedly from a stroke. News of her death was first announced to the Jamaica Observer by Chris Blackwell, who last met Small some 12 years before her death. He remembered her as “a sweet person” with a “great sense of humor”. Blackwell also credited her for popularizing ska on an international level “because it was her first hit record”.