In Memoriam: Larry Cunningham (1951 – 2019)

January 15, 2019
Editor In Chief

TUCSON (CelebrityAccess) Larry Cunningham, 67, singer for the R&B group The Floaters, has died.

The Floaters had one crossover hit, “Float On,” filled with astrological signs and cheesy pickup lines. The group evolved from The Detroit Emeralds, formed in 1968, and “Float On” was a 1977 release. The band recorded the song in a garage recording studio.

Cunningham had reportedly been suffering from health problems for years and was hospitalized with chest pains in December.

For more :  https://www.soultracks.com/story-larry-cunningham-dieshttp://djrobblog.com/archives/7577

In Memoriam: Whitey Shafer (1934 – 2019)

January 13, 2019
Editor In Chief

Sanger D. “Whitey” Shafer (October 24, 1934 – January 12, 2019) was an American country songwriter and musician. He wrote numerous hits for stars such as George Jones, Lefty Frizzell, and George Strait.

Born and raised in Whitney, Texas, Shafer’s musical career began in his hometown of Whitney where he played in a school band. In the following years he toured the U.S., performing with, among others, the then-unknown Willie Nelson. In 1967 Shafer moved to Nashville, Tennessee, where he signed with the Blue Crest Music Publishing Company. There he wrote two songs for George Jones, “Between My House and Home” and “I’m a New Man in Town”, along with many other tunes for lesser-known acts. Shafer signed contracts with Musicor and RCA as a singer, but he was never as successful as he was as a songwriter.

In the early 1970s Shafer signed an exclusive contract with Acuff-Rose Music. In the following years he wrote many songs which went on to become successful on the U.S. country charts, including several No. 1’s. His songs included “The Baptism of Jesse Taylor” for Johnny Russell, “Tell Me Lying Eyes Are Wrong” for George Jones, and a series of hits for Moe Bandy. He had a longstanding friendship with Lefty Frizzell, whom he had met at his record label. He and Frizzell wrote the song “That’s the Way Love Goes” together, a hit for Johnny Rodriguez and also Merle Haggard in 1983; they also wrote “I Never Go Around Mirrors” (which Frizzell recorded in 1973 and turned into a top 25 country hit a year later) and “Bandy the Rodeo Clown” for Moe Bandy, which became a major hit shortly after Frizzell’s 1975 death. After Frizzell’s death Shafer wrote the tribute song “Lefty’s Gone” recorded by George Strait for his Something Special album.

Three divorces helped him with his song writing in the 1980s when Shafer wrote “Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind” (1985; with Darlene Shafer) and “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” (1987; with his fourth wife Lyndia J.). Both of these were No. 1 hits for George Strait, and both were nominated for CMA’s Song of the Year.[3] “All My Ex’s Live in Texas” was also nominated for a Grammy Award, for Best Country Song (lost to: Paul Overstreet & Don Schlitz for “Forever and Ever, Amen”).

In the middle of the 1980s Shafer released two albums, I Never Go Around Mirrors and So Good for So Long, containing his greatest hits. In 1989 Keith Whitley chose the Shafer penned, “I Wonder Do You Think of Me”, as the title track and the first single released after Whitley’s death and went to No. 1. Also in 1989 Shafer was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In the 1990s and 2000s, Shafer continued to write for musicians such as John Michael Montgomery, Lee Ann Womack, and Kenny Chesney. In 2004, Shafer’s recording of “All My Ex’s Live In Texas” appeared on the soundtrack to the video game Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. – Wikipedia

In Memoriam: Daryl Dragon (1942 – 2019)

January 3, 2019
Editor In Chief

(CNN) Daryl Dragon, one half of popular ’70s duo The Captain & Tennille, died Wednesday, according to his publicist Harlan Boll. He was 76.

Dragon, whose ever-present captain’s hat left no doubt about which half of the duo he was, died of renal failure in Prescott, Arizona, Boll said. “He was a brilliant musician with many friends who loved him greatly,” Toni Tennille said in a statement. “I was at my most creative in my life when I was with him.”

Tennille was at Dragon’s side when he passed away, Boll said.

The duo’s best-known songs included “Muskrat Love,” “Do That to Me One More Time” and “Love Will Keep Us Together.”

Dragon, a classically trained pianist, was most at home behind the keyboard. One of his early gigs was as a backup musician for the Beach Boys in the mid-’60s.

Dragon and Tennille met in 1971 when she hired him to play piano for a musical called “Mother Earth.” They married in 1975, a year after they signed a deal with A&M Records. Their first album produced the hit single “Love Will Keep Us Together,” which enjoyed multiple weeks atop the Billboard chart.

Dragon and Tennille separated in 2013 and finalized their divorce in 2014. They remained close friends.
Dragon is survived by his older brother, Doug Dragon, and two nieces, Kelly Arbout and Renee Henn.
Boll asked that any donations being made in Dragon’s name be made to organizations doing research into brain diseases and conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease or post-traumatic stress disorder.

The Captain & Tennille were American recording artists whose primary success occurred in the 1970s. The husband-and-wife duo were “Captain” Daryl Dragon (August 27, 1942 – January 2, 2019) and Toni Tennille (born May 8, 1940). They have five albums certified gold or platinum and scored numerous hits on the US singles charts, the most enduring of which included “Love Will Keep Us Together”, “Do That to Me One More Time”, and “Muskrat Love”. They hosted their own television variety series on ABC in 1976–77.

In 1972, Toni Tennille was the co-writer of an ecology-themed musical, Mother Earth. At that time, Daryl Dragon (son of composer Carmen Dragon) was working as a keyboardist for the Beach Boys. When Tennille’s show was preparing to move from San Francisco’s Marines Memorial Theatre to Southern California’s South Coast Repertory, a call was put out for a replacement keyboardist. Dragon was between tours when he heard about the opening, met Tennille in San Francisco to audition, and landed the gig.

Dragon later reciprocated by recommending Tennille to the Beach Boys when the band needed an additional keyboardist, and they hired her. She toured with them for a year, and has since been known as The Beach Boys’ one and only “Beach Girl.”

Realizing their collaborative potential when the tour was over, Tennille and Dragon began performing as a duo at the now-defunct Smokehouse Restaurant in Encino, California. They started to become popular in the Los Angeles area, and their early version of the Tennille-penned “The Way I Want to Touch You” became popular on a local radio station. This led to a recording contract with A&M Records.

Their first hit single, a rendition of Neil Sedaka’s and Howard Greenfield’s “Love Will Keep Us Together”, reached #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart nine weeks after its 1975 debut, and went on to win the Grammy Award for Record of the Year. It sold over 1 million copies and was awarded a Gold disc by the RIAA on July 1, 1975. Tennille paid tribute to Sedaka in the recording when she sang the overdub “Sedaka is back” at the outro. The duo successfully mined the Sedaka songbook a number of times over their chartmaking career. Two of their other hit singles were the Sedaka co-writes “Lonely Night (Angel Face)” and “You Never Done It Like That”. Their Spanish recording of “Love Will Keep Us Together”, “Por Amor Viviremos”, also charted in 1975; it was the first time two versions of the same single charted simultaneously. Tennille and Dragon included renditions of several other Sedaka songs on their albums.

Tennille and Dragon married on November 11, 1975 (not on Valentine’s Day 1974, as is often erroneously reported, for example, on the February 14, 1976 edition of Casey Kasem’s American Top 40).

In Memoriam: Ray Sawyer (1937 – 2018)

January 1, 2019
Editor In Chief

Ray Sawyer (February 1, 1937 – December 31, 2018) was an American singer and vocalist with the 1970s rock band, Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show. Though primarily a backing vocalist and occasional percussionist on congas or maracas, he sang lead on their hit song “The Cover of Rolling Stone” and was a recognisable presence in the band owing to the eyepatch and cowboy hat he wore. He was also the uncle of the vocalist of Wild Fire, Zack Sawyer.

Sawyer lost his right eye in a 1967 automobile accident. He said the following about his life around the time of his accident: “I must have played all the clubs from Houston to Charleston until I decided I was going insane from too much beans and music, and I gave it up. I saw a John Wayne movie and proceeded to Portland, Oregon, to be a logger complete with plaid shirt, caulk boots, and pike pole. On the way my car slipped on the road and the accident left me with the eye patch I now wear. When I recovered I ran straight back to the beans and music and vowed, ‘here I’ll stay’.” Dr. Hook had many hit singles such as “Sylvia’s Mother”, “The Cover of Rolling Stone”, “A Little Bit More”, “Only Sixteen”, “Walk Right In”, “Sharing the Night Together”, “When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman”, “Better Love Next Time”, “Sexy Eyes”, “Girl Can Get It”, and “Baby Makes Her Bluejeans Talk”.

From 1988 to October 2015, Sawyer toured the nostalgia circuit as “Dr. Hook featuring Ray Sawyer,” under license from bandmate Dennis Locorriere, who tours separately and owns the Dr. Hook trademark. Sawyer retired in 2015 and died after a short illness, aged 81.

In Memoriam: Nancy Wilson (1937 – 2018)

December 14, 2018
Editor In Chief

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)

November 16, 2018
Editor In Chief

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)

September 28, 2018
Editor In Chief

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

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