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ISA Songwriter Obituaries


Songwriter Obituaries 2019

Morris L Diamond
Morris L Diamond
(97), song-plugger, film music supervisor, record label manager, concert promotor and television actor, whose career included a pre-war stint as assistant manager with Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra, before working as an independent record promoter during the rock & roll years. He later became music supervisor on such movies as 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang', 'Man Called Dagger', 'Fake-Out', 'Gaby: A True Story' and 'The Dukes'. As head of Beverly Hills Records, he fronted a roster which included Ennio Mooricone and J P Morgan, while also setting up a concert promotion business which brought to Europe such stars as Michael Jackson, Liza Minnelli, Julio Iglesias, Tom Jones and Shirley MacLaine.

In Rancho Mirage, California, USA, of heart failure

Andre Williams
Andre Williams
(82), singer, songwriter and record producer whose hit songs include 'Shake A Tail Feather' (Five Dutones, James & Bobby Purify, Ike & Tina Turner, Ray Charles), 'Jail Bait,' 'Greasy Chicken,' 'Bacon Fat' and 'Cadillac Jack', who worked with Ike Turner and Bobby 'Blue' Bland.

In Chicago, Illinois, USA, of heart failure

Billy Adams
Billy Adams
(79), singer and songwriter whose compositions included the rockabilly standard 'Rock, Pretty Mama', as well as 'You Heard Me Knocking', 'True Love Will Come Your Way' and 'You Gotta Have A Duck Tail'.

In Westmoreland, Tenessee, USA, of heart failure

Dina
Dina
(62), songwriter and composer who represented Portugal in the 1992 Eurovision, and composed music for numerous television series and movies.

In Lisbon, Portugal, from complications of lung fibrosis

Les Reed
Les Reed
(83), songwriter, musician and orchestra leader, whose hit songs include 'Delilah' (Tom Jones), 'Here It Comes Again' (The Fortunes), 'It's Not Unusual' (Tom Jones) and 'The Last Waltz' (Engelbert Humperdinck), and who also played piano for the The John Barry Seven, as well as collaborating with such writers as Gordon Mills, Barry Mason, Geoff Stephens, Roger Greenaway, Roger Cook, and Johnny Worth.

Les Reed's songs have been recorded by such stars as Elvis Presley ("Girl Of Mine", "Sylvia" and "This Is Our Dance"), Shirley Bassey ("Does Anybody Miss Me") and Bing Crosby ("That's What Life Is All About"), but he also wrote hits for the Dave Clark 5 ('Everybody Knows'), Des O'Connor ('I Pretend'), Herman's Hermits ('There's A Kind Of Hush') and The Applejacks ('Tell Me When') as well as penning the Leeds United anthem 'Marching On Together'.

Les Reed's film scores include those for 'The Girl On A Motorcycle', 'The Bushbaby', 'One More Time'. 'George And Mildred', 'Creepshow 2' and 'Parting Shots'.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Surrey, UK, of undisclosed causes

Earl Thomas Conley
Earl Thomas Conley
(77), singer-songwriter who scored 18 American country Number One singles, including such classics as 'What I'd Say', 'Holding Her And Loving You', 'Silent Treatment', 'Fire And Smoke', 'I Have Loved You Girl (But Not Like This Before)', 'Somewhere Between Right And Wrong', 'Don't Make It Easy For Me', 'Brotherly Love' (with Keith Whitley),'We Believe In Happy Endings' (with Emmylou Harris) and 'Too Many Times' (with Anita Pointer), and whose compositions were also recorded by such stars as Blake Shelton, Conway Twitty and Mel Street.

Earl Thomas Conley also set a record with his 1984 album, 'Don’t Make It Easy For Me', when he became the first artist in any genre to have four number one singles from the same album.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, from complications of dementia


Kim English
(48), gospel and house music singer and songwriter who topped the Billboard dance charts eight times with such songs as 'Unspeakable Joy,' 'Everyday,' and 'Missing You.'.

In Chicago, Illinois, USA, while awaiting a kidney transplant

Jenny Pagliaro
Jenny Pagliaro
(35), songwriter and lead singer with the LA-based duo Roses And Cigarettes.

In Santa Monica, California, USA, due to complications from stage IV breast cancer

Maggie Warwick
Maggie Warwick
(79), singer and songwriter whose hit songs include 'Mountain Pf Love' (David Houston), 'I Almost Called Your Name' (Margaret Whiting), 'The Girl Most Likely' (Jeannie C. Riley), 'Reconsider Me' (Johnny Adams, Ray Pillow, John Wesley Ryles and Narvel Felts), 'The Wedding Cake' (Connie Francis), 'Country Girl' and 'Oh Singer' (Jeannie C. Riley), who worked with such acts as Dale Hawkins,

In in Shreveport, Louisiana, USA, from complications of pneumonia


Armando Vega Gil
(64), singer, songwriter, musician, author and founder of the band Botellita de Jerez.

In Mexico City, Mexico, by suicide

Nipsey Hussle
Nipsey Hussle
(33), Grammy-nominated rapper and songwriter, who collaborated with Drake, Snoop Dogg. Problem, Trey Songz, Jay Rock and Sean Kingston.

In front of of his store, Marathon Clothing, in South Los Angeles, California, USA, following a shooting

Stephen Fitzpatrick
Stephen Fitzpatrick
(24), singer and songwriter with Liverpool-based band Her's.

On Interstate 10 in Arizona, USA, following a car crash

Audun Laading
Audun Laading
(25), singer and songwriter with Liverpool-based band Her's.

On Interstate 10 in Arizona, USA, following a car crash

Chauncey Crumpacker
Chauncey Crumpacker
(91), three-time Grammy-nominated producer and executive for RCA Victor who brought Elvis Presley to the label, and also produced such stars as Chet Atkins, Mala Powers, Morgana King, Harry Nilsson, Eartha Kitt and Harry Belafonte.

In Red Hook, New York, USA, of natural causes

Scott Walker
Scott Walker
(76), singer-songwriter, record producer and former member of The Walker Brothers, whose hits include 'Make It Easy On Yourself', 'The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore', 'Jackie', 'My Ship Is Coming In', '(Baby) You Don't Have to Tell Me', 'Another Tear Falls', 'Joanna' and 'Remember Me'.

In London, UK, of undisclosed causes

Bernie Torme
Bernie Tormé
(66), Irish guitarist, songwriter, and former member of Gillan, the Ozzy Osbourne Band and Desoerado.

In London, UK, from pneumonia

Eddie Lambert
Eddie Lambert
(76), music publisher (Interworld Music Group, 20th Century Fox Music), record producer and executive with several major record labels including ABC/Dunhill, Motown and EMI-Capitol, who worked with such stars as The Righteous Brothers, Evie Sands, Player, The Grass Roots, Tavares, Glen Campbell, Hall & Oates, Bill Conti, The Commodores, El Debarge, The Temptations, Dennis Edwards, The Four Tops, Sam Harris, Stacy Lattisaw, Kenny Loggins, Walter Becker and Donald Fagen of Steely Dan, Jim Croce and Bruce Willis.

Brother of songwriter Dennis Lambert and co-owner of their joint label Haven Records.

In West Hills, California, USA, of cancer

John Kilzer
John Kilzer
62, singer-songwriter and pastor at Saint John’s United Methodist Church in Memphis, whose songs were recorded by such stars as Roseanne Cash, Trace Adkins and Maria Muldaur.

In Memphis, Tennessee, USA, by suicide

Stan Applebaum
Stan Applebaum
(97), composer, arranger and conductor who orchestrated hits for such acts as Ben E King ('Stand By Me' and 'Spanish Harlem'), Neil Sedaka ('Breaking Up Is Hard To Do'), The Drifters ('Save The Last Dance For Me'), The Coasters, Brook Benton, Bobby Vinton and Connie Francis, as well as arrangements for Benny Goodman, Harry James, Glenn Miller, Jimmy Durante and The US Navy and Air Force bands. In addition, he penned music for more than 1500 commercials including the famous PanAm Airlines' ad "Makes The Going Great", winning in the process four Clio Awards.

In New York City, USA, of heart failure


Keith Flint
(49), singer and songwriter with Prodigy, whose UK hits included such classics as 'Firestarter', 'Breathe', 'Everybody In The Place', 'Omen', 'No Good (Start The Dance)', 'Charly', 'Out Of Space', 'Baby's Got A Temper', 'Voodoo People' and 'Warrior's Dance'.

In North End, Great Dunmow, Essex, UK, by suicide

Ger Cusack
Ger Cusack
(76), singer and songwriter with The Empire Showband, whose hits include "It's Only A Rumour", and who worked with Adam Faith, the Everly Brothers, Roy Orbison, Emile Ford, and Long John Baldry.

In Limerick City, Ireland, following an illness

Andre Previn
André Previn
(89), pianist, conductor, and composer, who won four Academy Awards for his film work and ten Grammy Awards for his recordings.

His movie soundtracks include 'Elmer Gantry', 'Four Horsemen Of The Apocalypse', 'Inside Daisy Clover', 'The Fastest Gun Alive', 'Dead Ringer' and 'Bad Day At Black Rock'.

In addition to his movie work, André Previn was music director of the Houston Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and the Oslo Philharmonic, as well as the principal conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.

In Manhattan, New York City, USA, of heart failure

Mark Hollis
Mark Hollis
(64), songwriter and lead singer for Talk Talk, whose hits include 'It’s My Life', 'Today', 'Talk Talk' and 'Life’s What You Make It', and who also penned material for the hit television series 'Boss' starring Kelsey Grammer.

In London, UK, of an undisclosed illness

Earl Shuman
Earl Shuman
(95), songwriter, whose hits included 'Hey There Lonely Girl' (Ruby & The Romantics, Eddy Holman), 'Banjos Back In Town' (Bing Crosby, Teresa Brewer), 'Hotel Happiness' (Brook Benton), 'Caterina' (Perry Como), 'I Am' (Tony Bennett, B.B. King), 'I've Been Here' (Barbra Streisand), 'Theme For A Dream' (Cliff Richard), 'Starry Eyed' (Michael Holliday), 'Clinging Vine' (Dean Martin, Bobby Vinton), 'Left, Right, Out Of Your Heart' (Patti Page), 'Seven Lonely Days' (Bonnie Lou, Jean Shepard, Lynn Anderson), 'Close To Cathy' (Mike Clifford), and whose songs were also recorded by such stars as Tom Jones, Ed Ames, Sammy Davis Jr., Nat King Cole, k.d. lang, Ella Fitzgerald and Patsy Cline.

In addition, Earl Shuman wrote the lyrics for the musical adaptation of James Thurber's short story 'Secret Life Of Walter Mitty' while as a music publisher, he was instrumental in the success of Meat Loaf's 'Bat Out Of Hell' album.

In New York City, USA, of heart failure

Fred Foster
Fred Foster
(87), record producer, label owner and music publisher, who founded Monument Records in North Carolina in 1958, before moving the company to Nashville two years later following his first hit with 'Gotta Travel On' by Billy Grammer.

In 1960, Monument signed Roy Orbison, and over the next decade, along with its subsidiary Sound Stage 7 Records, scored more than 100 hits with acts such as Dolly Parton, Bob Moore, Joe Simon, Arthur Alexander, The Dixie Belles, Ivory Joe Hunter, Lloyd Price, Gene Allison, Percy Sledge, Robert Knight, Ray Stevens, Tony Joe White, Jeannie Seely, Billy Walker, Robert Mitchum, Grandpa Jones, Henson Cargill and Charlie McCoy, as well as giving recording contracts to such songwriters as Harlan Howard, Cindy Walker, Willie Nelson, Norro Wilson, Bobby Russell, Don Robertson, Wayne Carson, Billy Joe Shaver, Bob Morrison and Hank Cochran.

Fred Foster also founded Combine Music, which signed Kris Kristofferson, with Foster suggesting the title for Kristofferson’s 'Me And Bobby McGee', and went on to produce hits for Billy Swan, Larry Gatlin, Willie Nelson and Connie Smith. However, following a string of poor non-music industry investments, he was forced to sell both Monument and Combine in 1986.

After this, he became a major independent producer, producing several hits, including the Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Ray Price album 'Last Of the Breed' in 2007, which featured Price and Nelson’s Grammy-winning duet 'Lost Highway'. Fred Foster was inducted into the Country Music Hall Of Fame in 2016.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure

Peter Tork
Peter Tork
(74), songwriter, singer, instrumentalist and actor with The Monkees, who played keyboards, bass guitar, banjo, and harpsichord on a number of the group's records, as well as co-riting several of their songs.

Having bought himself out of his contract with the group, Peter Tork started a solo career, and formed a number of bands, including Shoe Suede Blues, but none of his later attempts were as commercially successful as The Monkees.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of complications from Adenoid Cystic Carcinoma

Noel Reid
Noel Reid
(80), songwriter, jpurnalist and broadcaster, whose songs include 'You Can't Stop The Music' which was the runner-up in the 1975 National Song Contest, along with other songs which won international contests.

In Dublin, Ireland, of heart failure

Jacqueline Steiner
Jacqueline Steiner
(94), folk singer and songwriter, whose songs include "MTA", a Gold Disc for the Kingston Trio, and who worked with Pete Seeger as well as serving as an officer of the National Association For The Advancement Of Colored People (NAACP).

In Norwalk, Connecticut, USA, of pneumonia

Kyle Yorlets
Kyle Yorlets
24, singer and songwriter with the country band Carverton.

In West Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of gunshot wounds following a robbery

Cadet
Cadet
(28), former member of the Gypsy Hill Crew, who worked with such rap acts as Krept & Konan and Bugzy Malone, and whose songs include 'Gipset Flow' and 'Stereotype'.

In Newcastle-under-Lyme, UK, following a car crash

Roberto Livi
Roberto Livi
(76), singer, songwriter and producer, who wrote hits for Roberto Carlos, José José, Julio Iglesias, Ana Gabriel, Vicki Carr, Christian Castro and Lisette Melendez.

In Denver, Colorado, USA, of heart failure

Harold Bradley
Harold Bradley
(93), guitarist whose instrumental breaks, usually uncredited, became a core part of such classic hit songs as 'The Battle of New Orleans', 'Swingin', 'Here In The Real World', 'Crazy', 'Coal Miner’s Daughter', 'Stand By Your Man', 'Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree', 'Make The World Go Away', 'Big Bad John', 'Jingle Bell Rock', 'King Of The Road', 'Harper Valley P.T.A.', 'It’s Only Make Believe', 'Long Black Veil' and 'For the Good Times'.

Credited as 'the most recorded instrumentalist in history' and a member of Nashville’s renowned 'A Team' of session musicians, Harold Bradley backed such stars as Elvis Presley, Brenda Lee, Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Clyde McPhatter, Ruth Brown, Carl Perkins, The Everly Brothers, Eddy Arnold, Ernest Tubb, Red Foley, Hank Williams, Tammy Wynette, Loretta Lynn, Ray Price, Patsy Cline, Jimmie Davis, Webb Pierce, Jim Ed Brown, Don Gibson, Jim Reeves, Chet Atkins, The Statler Brothers, Bill Anderson, Kitty Wells, Charley Pride, Tom T. Hall, Conway Twitty, Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, George Morgan, Marty Robbins, Lefty Frizzell, Faron Young, Hank Snow, Floyd Cramer, Bob Wills, Dolly Parton, Carl Smith, Johnny Cash, Hank Thompson, Sonny James, Ivory Joe Hunter, Patti Page, Brook Benton, Connie Francis, Ann-Margret, Burl Ives, Leon Russell, Bobby Vinton, Al Hirt, The Four Aces, Paul Anka, The Newbeats, Robert Mitchum, Michael Nesmith, Tom Jones, Pete Fountain, Henry Mancini, Joan Baez, Damita Jo, Boots Randolph, and Perry Como.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure

James Ingram
James Ingram
(66), singer, songwriter, record producer. two-time Grammy Award-winner and two-time Academy Award nominee for Best Original Song, whose hits include "Just Once", "One Hundred Ways", "Baby, Come To Me", "How Do You Keep The Music Playing?", "Yah Mo B There", "What About Me?", "Somewhere Out There", "The Secret Garden (Sweet Seduction Suite)" and "I Don't Have The Heart".

In Los Angeles, Californa, USA, of brain cancer

Michel Legrand
Michel Legrand
(86), composer, songwriter, pianist and winner of three Academy Awards for such scores as 'Summer Of ’42' and 'Yentl' as well as the song 'The Windmills Of Your Mind' from the film 'The Thomas Crown Affair'.

Michel Legrand who was also Oscar-nominated for the movies 'Les Parapluies De Cherbourg' and 'Les Demoiselles De Rochefort' worked with such stars as Miles Davis, Ray Charles, Orson Welles, Perry Como, Neil Diamond, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Lena Horne, James Ingram, Jack Jones, Kiri te Kanawa, Frankie Laine, Johnny Mathis, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand, Sarah Vaughan, Shirley Bassey, Andy Williams, Nana Mouskouri, Jean Cocteau, Frank Sinatra and Edith Piaf.

His hit songs include 'What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?', 'Watch What Happens', 'The Summer Knows' and 'You Must Believe In Spring'.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Paris, France, following a heart attack

Oliver Mtukudzi
Oliver Mtukudzi
(66), singer, songwriter, philanthropist and human rights activist, and Zimbabwe's first UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador for Eastern and Southern Africa.

In Harare, Zimbabwe, of complications from diabetes.

Maxine Brown
Maxine Brown
(87), singer-songwriter, brother of country star Jim Ed Brown, and member of The Browns whose hits include 'The Three Bells', 'Scarlet Ribbons', 'The Old Lamplighter' and 'Send Me The Pillow You Dream On'. Maxine Brown's songs were also recorded by such country acts as Justin Tubb, Goldie Hill, Buck Owens, Susan Raye, The Canadian Sweethearts, George Jones, Margie Singleton, Bill Anderson, Jan Howard and The Collins Kids.

In Little Rock, Arkansas, USA, of complications from heart and kidney disease

Shirley Boone
Shirley Boone
(84), singer, songwriter, author, daughter of country legend Red Foley, wife of pop superstar Pat Boone, and mother of Grammy nominated vocalists Cherry, Lindy, Debby and Laury Boone.

In Beverly Hills, California, of cancer

Bonnie Guitar
Bonnie Guitar
(95), songwriter, guitarist and record label owner, whose own hits included 'Dark Moon', 'Mister Fire Eyes', 'I’m Living In Two Worlds', 'Get Your Lie The Way You Want It', 'The Tallest Tree', 'You Can Steal Me', 'A Woman In Love', 'Stop The Rain', 'Leaves Are The Tears Of Autumn', 'That See Me Later Look' and 'Allegheny', working alongside such acts as Sam Cooke, The Everly Brothers, Gene Vincent, The Del-Vikings and Jerry Lee Lewis.

In 1959, she discovered the Fleetwoods, and formed a record label (Dolton Records) to record the group, going on to produce, and play guitar on most of their hits, including 'Come Softly To Me', 'Mr Blue', Tragedy', 'The Great Imposter', 'Outside My Window' and 'Lovers By Night Strangers By Day'. She subsequently signed the Ventures, producing such hits as 'Walk Don’t Run', 'Perfidia' and 'Slaughter on Tenth Avenue'. Having sold Dolton to Liberty Records, she retired with her husband to their ranch near Mount Rainier where they reared horses, but following his death in 1983, resumed her performing career, recording a number of albums while working night clubs along the West Coast until a few months before her final illness.

In Soap Lake, Grant County, Washington, USA, of congestive heart failure, following a fall

Whitey Shafer
Whitey Shafer
(82), songwriter amd singer who penned such country classics as 'All My Ex's Live In Texas' and 'Does Fort Worth Ever Cross Your Mind' along with hits for George Jones, Merle Haggard, Keith Whitley, George Strait, Willie Nelson, Connie Smith, Johnny Russell, John Michael Montgomery, Lee Ann Womack, Kenny Chesney, Moe Bandy. Johnny Rodriguez, Lefty Frizell, Shawn Colvin and many others.

In addition to his songwriting career, Whitey Shafer recorded for a number of labels, including Musicor and RCA, and toured as an opening act for Willie Nelson.

International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Whitney, Texas, USA, of heart failure

Phil Thomas
Phil Thomas
(74), songwriter whose hits include 'Colorado Kool-Aid' and 'Me And The IRS' (Johnny Paycheck), 'Drinkin’ My Way Back Home' (Gene Watson), 'Now You’re Talking' (Mel McDaniel), 'Hard Baby To Rock' (Tari Hensley) and 'Mirror, Mirror' (Barbara Mandrell), as well as chart entries for such stars as Montgomery Gentry, John Conlee, George Strait, Alabama and Randy Travis.

In Perry County, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure

Maeng Yuna
Maeng Yuna
(29), singer-songwriter known as the 'Suzanne Vega of South Korea', whose hits include 'Paradise'.

In Seoul, South Korea, following a heart attack

Steve Ripley
Steve Ripley
(69), songwriter, musician, studio owner, and lead singer with The Tractors ('Baby Likes To Rock It'), and who worked with Bob Dylan, Leon Russell, J J Cale, Roy Clark and Eddie Van Halen.

In Pawnee, Oklahoma, USA, of cancer

Pegi Young
Pegi Young
(66), singer, songwriter, educator, philanthropist and former wife of singer-songwriter Neil Young, and who worked with such acts as Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Elton John, Pearl Jam, Metallica, R.E.M., James Taylor, Willie Nelson, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Buffalo Springfield.

In San Mateo, California, USA, of cancer

Daryl Dragon
Daryl Dragon
(76), singer, songwriter, musician, and one-half of The Captain & Tenille whose hits include 'Love Will Keep Us Together', 'Song Of Joy. 'Do That To Me One More Time', 'Can't Stop Dancing', 'You Never Done It Like That', 'The Way I Want To Touch You' and 'Muskrat Love'.

Son of noted composer Carmen Dragon, Daryl played with Fats Domino and BB King prior to stardom and was also the keyboard player for the Beach Boys in the mid-1960s and early 1970s.

In Prescott, Arizona, USA, from complications of renal failure

Songwriter Obituaries Prior To 2019

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