International Songwriters Association (ISA) Songs And Songwriting • Obituaries

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International Songwriters Association

The Obituaries

Songwriter Obituaries 2023 Pt 2

Names In Blue Denote An ISA Hall Of Fame Member

Richard Landis
(77), musician, singer-songwriter, and record producer.

Born in Queens, New York, Richard Landis was an accomplished pianist by the age of ten, and having graduated from The High School of Music & Art in 1962, worked in clubs and bars across the East Coast until 1970 when he formed a band with UK musician Spencer Davis which toured the US with Poco. He also released a solo album while working as East Coast director of Talent Acquisition for Capitol Records in New York, and in 1979, moved to Los Angeles to handle Capitol's talent acquisition in California.

In 1981, he was introduced to Juice Newton, and produced her multi-platinum album "Juice", which included the hit single "Angel Of The Morning". He also opened a recording studio in his house which recorded demos and masters by such talent as Vince Gill, Tina Tirner, Tori Amos and Joan Armatrading.

In 1990, he was appointed VP of A&R for BNA Records in Nashville having been ancouraged to move there permanently by Joe Galante, then RCA head in Music City. There he worked with Lorrie Morgan, Clint Black, Restless Heart, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Rick Nelson, Conway Twitty. The Oak Ridge Boys, Earl Thomas Conley, Eddie Rabbitt, Kenny Rogers, Doug Supernaw, Neil Diamond and Roy Rogers, whose final recordings Landis produded. In Nashville, he also operated Loud Recording Studios, and Fool On The Hill Studios in Berry Hill, which he later sold to Peter Frampton.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Rolf Harris
(93), singer-songwriter and entertainer.

Rolf Harris was born in 1930, in Perth, Western Australia. He started his career as a musician, playing the didgeridoo and the wobble board, and after he had moved to London in 1954, scored several hit singles, most notably "Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport" and "Sun Arise" both of which he had written, as well as revivals of the Theodore F. Morse and Edward Madden song "Two Little Boys", and Led Zeppelin’s "Stairway To Heaven" (which recording led to numerous appearances at Glastonbury between 1998 and 2013).

Harris was also a talented painter and often showcased his artwork on television. His distinctive style featured bold, colourful designs, and in 2006, he was invited to paint a portrait of Queen Elizabeth, which was later displayed in the Queen's Gallery in Buckingham Palace.

However, his effectively ended in 2014 when he was convicted of multiple counts of indecent assault against underage girls and young women, some dating back to the 1980s. He was sentenced to a prison term of five years and nine months and the convictions led to his public disgrace and to the removal both of his artwork from public display and his songs from radio and television.

Near Maidenhead, Berkshire, UK, of neck cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Pete Brown
(82), poet and lyricist known for his collaborations with the rock band Cream

Born on Christmas Day 1940, in Ashtead, Surrey, England, Brown gained recognition in the 1960s as a poet and writer in the London underground scene.

His partnership with Cream began when he met drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Jack Bruce. Brown's poetic and often surreal lyrics provided a unique complement to the band's bluesy and psychedelic rock sound. Some of his notable contributions included writing the lyrics for Cream's hits such as "Sunshine of Your Love," "White Room," and "I Feel Free."

Beyond his work with Cream, Pete Brown had a diverse career as a poet, lyricist, and performer, collaborating with various musicians, including Graham Bond, Phil Ryan, and Piblokto!. Additionally, he released several solo albums, combining spoken word poetry with music.

Pete’s contributions to music and poetry made him an influential figure in the realm of rock and psychedelic music. His poetic lyrics continued to resonate with audiences, and his work remained an integral part of the legacy of Cream and the wider rock music scene of the 1960s.

In London, England, of cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Andy Rourke
(59), musician and songwriter best known as the bassist for the influential alternative rock band The Smiths.

Andy Rourke was born in 1964, in Manchester, England. His father, who was Irish, presented him with a guitar when he was seven, but it was a school friend, John Maher (later to adopt the name Johnny Marr), who suggested he switch to bass guitar when they formed their first band together. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Manchester's music scene was thriving, with influential bands like Joy Division and The Fall emerging from the area. This vibrant musical environment influenced Rourke's interest in pursuing a music career.

Leaving school at 15, he and Marr played in various groups including Freak Party, eventually forming the Smiths when Stephen Morrissey (known then simply by his surname Morrissey) arrived as lead singer.

The Smiths were active from 1982 to 1987 and gained critical acclaim for their distinctive sound and the songwriting partnership between Morrissey and Johnny Marr, while Andy Rourke's bass playing greatly contributed to their unique sound, characterised as it was by melodic, jangly guitar lines and thoughtful lyrics. Some of their notable songs included "This Charming Man," "How Soon Is Now?," "There Is a Light That Never Goes Out," and "Bigmouth Strikes Again," and The Smiths gained a devoted following and achieved significant success during their five-year existence.

After The Smiths disbanded in 1987, Rourke remained active in the music industry. He contributed to various musical projects, collaborated with different artists, and played as a session musician backing several singers, including Sinéad O'Connor (on her 1990 album "I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got"). He also backed Morrissey at the start of his solo career on "Interesting Drug" and "The Last Of The Famous International Playboys" as well as "November Spawned A Monster" and "Piccadilly Palare", co-writing "Yes, I Am Blind" and "Girl Least Likely To" amongst others.

After the break-up, along with drummer Mike Joyce, Andy sued both Morrissey and Johnny Marr and although both cases were settled. Andy Rourke was adjudged bankrupt a few years later.

In 2009, he moved to New York, joining the internet radio station East Village Radio as a presenter. He and another DJ Olé Koretsky also formed D.A.R.K along with Dolores O'Riordan from The Cranberries, releasing "Science Agrees" in 2016 on Cooking Vinyl Records. Prior to his death, Andy was playing with Blitz Vega, a band formed with Kav Sandhu of the Happy Mondays.

In New York City, USA, of pancreatic cancer.

© Jim Liddane

John Giblin
(71), bassist, session musician. composer and producer.

John Giblin was born in Bellshill, Scotland, into a musical family who encouraged his interest in music from a very young age.

He took up the bass while still at school, and moved to Manchester and then London at the age of 18, becoming a member of the Latin American band Gonzalez.

Soon after, he toured with Pete Gabriel, and for a period, was a member of Simple Minds, replacing John Forbes. Although he did a world tour with Simple Minds, he preferred the studio environment and quickly became known for his skill as a session bassist, playing both on record and occasionally on stage with artists such as Kate Bush ("Babooshka"), Phil Collins ("You Can't Hurry Love"), Peter Gabriel ("In the Air Tonight"), Chris De Burgh ("Lady In Red"), John Lennon, John Martyn, Elkie Brooks , Annie Lennox, Elton John, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, Donovan, Judie Tzuke, Fish, Sarah Brightman, Brian Eno, Exile, Roberta Flack, Al Green, Sting, David Sylvian, Jon Anderson, Brand X, Tanita Tikaram, The Everly Brothers, George Martin, and Scott Walker.

His style of playing was characterised by a melodic approach, technical proficiency, and ability to provide a solid foundation for the music he accompanied and he was highly regarded for his contributions in various genres, including rock, pop, and progressive music.

In Cheltenham, England, of cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Francis Monkman
(73), musician, composer and founding member of Curved Air.

Born in 1949, in Hampstead, London, Francis Monkman was educated at Westminster School where he studied organ and harpsichord. He later attended the Royal Academy of Music and first gained prominence as a member of the progressive rock band Curved Air, joining the group in 1971.

He played keyboards, synthesizers, and guitar, and his intricate playing style and innovative use of synthesizers contributed to the band's distinctive sound. Monkman's notable work with Curved Air included albums like "Second Album" (1971) and "Phantasmagoria" (1972).

After leaving Curved Air in 1972, Monkman went on to collaborate with various artists and bands. He worked with the British rock band Sky from 1979 to 1984, contributing to their albums "Sky" (1979), "Sky 2" (1980), "Sky 3" (1981), "Sky 4: Forthcoming" (1982), and "Cadmium" (1983). His keyboard and synthesizer skills played a significant role in defining Sky's symphonic rock sound.

Monkman also pursued a solo career and released several albums showcasing his talent as a composer and musician. His solo discography includes albums such as "Dweller On The Threshold" (1981), "21st Century Blues" (1987), and "Pianoscope" (1998).

In addition to his work in the rock genre, Monkman was an accomplished composer for film and television. He composed soundtracks for various productions, including the British TV series "The Long Good Friday" (1980) and the films "The Madness of King George" (1994) and "The Big Swap" (1998).

In London, UK, of cancer

© Jim Liddane

Stuart Slater
(77), singer, songwriter and music industry executive.

Stuart Slater was born in Liverpool, England in 1945, and attended Liverpool Institute Grammar where he developed his love for music. Adopting the name Stu James, he joined local band The Nomads as lead singer at the age of 17. The Nomads subsequently changed their name to The Mojos, and 1964, signed first with Oriole Records for one single, and subsequently to Decca Records where they scored three consecutive UK hit singles "Everything's Alright" (#9) which was co-written by Stuart and later covered by David Bowie, "Why Not Tonight" (#25) and "Seven Daffodils" (#30).

The Mojos broke up in 1966 but Stuart re-formed the band the next year with a new line-up comprising Eddie Harnett on lead guitar, Duncan Campbell on bass and Tony House on drums. Although they signed with Liberty Records, the band failed to chart and Stuart left to complete a university degree, before going on to take up a position at CBS Records in London.

He also teamed up with singer-songwriter and actress Stephanie DeSykes and together they penned two UK Eurovision Song Contest entries, Co-Co's "The Bad Old Days" in 1978 and Prima Donna's "Love Enough For Two" in 1980.

During this period, Stuart worked as manager for Bradleys Records in London, before moving to Sony/ATV Music Publishing and subsequently to Chrysalis. In his various industry roles, he worked closely with such acts as Go West, The Goodies, Spandau Ballet and Living In A Box and was father of singer-songwriter Toby Slater, best known as lead singer in the 1990s pop band, Catch.

in London, England, of undisclosed causes

© Jim Liddane

Rita Lee
(75), singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, known as "Brazil's Queen Of Rock".

Born Rita Lee Jones in São Paulo, Brazil to a mother of Italian ancestry and a father, a dentist who was also a descendant of a Confederate officer who had emigrated to Brazil after the American Civil War, she attended the Colégio Rio Branco in São Paulo. Later, she studied literature at the Pontifical Catholic University of São Paulo but dropped out before completing her degree to pursue a career in music.

Although her mother was a proficient classical pianist. Rita herself was largely self-taught having learned to play guitar, drums and other instruments by herself. She cited a wide range of musical influences, including early rock and roll, Brazilian music, and American blues and jazz and her diverse musical and family background helped shape her unique style, which incorporated elements of all of these genres.

She started her music career in the late 1960s as a member of the band "Os Mutantes", which was known for its innovative and experimental approach to rock music. In 1972 however, she quit to pursue a solo career with her own band Tutti Frutti, going on to release more than 20 hit albums, including “Fruto Proibido” (Forbidden Fruit), which is nowadays regarded as a Brazilian classic.

She was also a prominent figure in the counterculture movement, advocating for freedom of expression and social justice and was frequently at odds with the Brazilian government.

In a career spanning nearly fifty years, she sold more than 60 million records worldwide, including such hits as "Lança Perfume," "Mania de Você," "Ovelha Negra", and "Mutante", receiving numerous awards and honours, including the Brazilian Order of Cultural Merit and an induction into the Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame.

She was also an accomplished writer. "Lança Perfume," a memoir published in 2016, chronicled her life and career in music, covering her childhood, her time with the band Os Mutantes, her solo career, and her personal life. She also wrote children's books, including "Amiga Ursa," "Dr. Alex e os Incríveis Aventureiros," and "A História dos Beatles para Crianças." In addition, she oenned a novel - "Dropz" - which was published in 2000.

Seven-time Grammy Award Winner.

In São Paulo, Brazil of lung cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Jasmin Stavros
(68), singer-songwriter.

Born Milo Vasic in Spit, Croatia, Jasmin Stavros started drumming at the age of 15 and in the 1980s, travelled to the USA where he studied at a New York jazz academy. His professional career took off in the early 1990s when returned from America following Croatia's declaration of independence, and he quickly became popular not only in Croatia but also the surrounding Balkan region.

Some of his best-known songs included "Dao bih sto Amerika" ("I Would Give A Hundred Americas"), "Dalmatinac I Slavonka" ("A Dalmatian Man And A Slavonian Woman." which tells the story of a romance between a man from the Dalmatia region of Croatia and a woman from the Slavonia region, and celebrates regional identity and cultural diversity within Croatia), "Najljepše Se Ja Uvijek S Nasmiješkom Sjecam," "Otkad Tebe Nema," and "Ljubomorni ljudi."

Stavros was known for his energetic performances and catchy melodies, and his music often featured a mix of traditional Croatian folk music and modern pop influences. He released over a dozen albums throughout his career and continued to perform and record music up until his death.

In Zagreb, Croatia, of lung cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Claude Gray
(91), singer and songwriter.

Claude Gray (known as "The Tall Texan" due to his 6 feet 5 inches height), was born in Henderson, Texas in 1932.

In 1950, a month after graduating from Henderson High School, he enlisted in the US Navy, serving in Japan for four years. On returning home, he worked as a radio announcer in Kilgore, Texas and Meridian, Mississippi and began his singing career in the late 1950s, performing in honky-tonk clubs in Texas with his band, the Trail Riders, initially playing a mix of traditional country music and rockabilly.

In 1958, he signed a recording contract with Decca Records, releasing his first single, "I'm Not Supposed to Love You Anymore" which reached the top 10 on the country music charts. He went on to have 27 more hits throughout the 1960s and 1970s, including "Family Bible" (for which he paid Willie Nelson $100), "My Ears Should Burn (When Fools Are Talked About)," and "The Most Wanted Woman in Town". His final hit, in 1986, was a cover of Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline".

Other chart entries (several self-penned) included "I Never Had the One I Wanted", "I'll Just Have Another Cup of Coffee (Then I'll Go)", "Take Me to Your World", "The Rosary", "How Fast Them Trucks Can Go", "I've Got a Secret", "Daddy Stopped in (To Get His Honky Tonk On)", and "You Take the Table (And I'll Take the Chairs)".

A regular performer on the Grand Ole Opry, he continued to record and tour with his band, by now named The Claude Gray Roadshow which at various times included musicians who would go on to become the cream of Nashville's session crew - people like guitarist Ray Edenton, drummer Buddy Harman, and fiddler Buddy Spicher.

Claude Gray was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 1999 alongside country stars Jeannie C. Riley and Rodney Crowell.

In Skokie, Illinois, USA, of brain cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Linda Lewis
(72), singer and songwriter.

Born Linda Ann Fredericks in West Ham, London, Linda Lewis (she took the surname "Lewis" in homage to soul singer Barbara Lewis) began her music career as a teenager, performing in local clubs and pubs. A self-taught guitarist and keyboard player, Linda's voice was notable for its five-octave vocal range, and its soulful and bluesy sound, while critics were quick to compare her to artists such as Minnie Ripperton, Aretha Franklin and Janis Joplin.

In 1971, she released her first solo album, "Say No More", which included the hit single "Reach For The Truth". Other hit singles included "Rock-A-Doodle-Doo" (1973), which featured a catchy melody and upbeat lyrics, and "It's In His Kiss", a cover of the classic song by Betty Everett, later to become a hit also for Cher.

She scored a number of UK hits including "I'd Be Surprisingly Good For You", written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice for the musical "Evita", "Sideway Shuffle", from her 1973 album "Lark" and "This Time I'll Be Sweeter" - originally recorded by Martha Reeves, another of her idols, which featured a stripped-down arrangement that allowed Linda's vocals to shine.

Throughout her career (she was still recording at the age of 72), she provided vocal backing for a number of notable artists, including David Bowie ("Young Americans" (1975), "Station to Station" (1976), and "Lodger" (1979)), Cat Stevens ("Teaser And The Firecat" (1971), "Catch Bull At Four" (1972), and "Foreigner" (1973)". Steve Harley & Cockney Rebel "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)" 1975), Joan Armatrading (on Armatrading's self-titled album from 1976) as well as tracks for Rod Stewart, Rick Wakeman and Jamiroquai while she also collaborated with Kanye West and Basement Jaxx

In addition to her music career, Linda also appeared in a number of films and TV shows, including "A Taste Of Honey, "A Hard Day's Night", "Quadrophenia" and "The Sweeney".

In London, UK, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Gordon Lightfoot
(84), singer-songwriter, guitarist, and generally regarded as Canada's greatest songwriter.

Gordon Mererdith Lightfoot was born in Orillia, Ontario, Canada and grew up in a musical family, in which his parents, in particular his mother Jessie, encouraged his interest in music from a young age. He began playing the piano when he was four and later learned to play the drums, ukulele, and guitar which would become his primary instrument.

Growing up in Orillia, Lightfoot was exposed to a variety of musical styles, including country, blues, and traditional folk music. He was also influenced by the music of his era, such as the emerging rock and roll genre, and pop music.

In high school, Lightfoot played at local dances and in 1958, having graduated, attended Westlake College of Music in Los Angeles, where he studied composition, orchestration, and piano. He returned to Canada in 1960 and began his music career performing at coffeehouses in Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood. Initially influenced by the folk music of Bob Dylan and Woody Guthrie, he quickly developed his own unique style that blended elements of folk, country, and pop.

In 1964, Lightfoot released his debut album, "Lightfoot!" which included the hit single "Remember Me (I'm The One),", a song which reached the Top 30 on the Canadian charts. It was to be just the first of many hits in a career which would span sixty years.

As a songwriter, one of his greatest strengths was his ability to write songs that tell a story. His lyrics often drew on themes of love, loss, and nature, and were imbued with a sense of nostalgia and longing that resonates with listeners These songs included "If You Could Read My Mind", an introspective ballad which reached #5 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and "Sundown", an upbeat, country-rock tune featuring catchy guitar riffs and lyrics about a troubled relationship, which became Lightfoot's only #1 hit on the US charts. "Carefree Highway" (1974) a breezy, acoustic guitar-driven track and "Early Morning Rain" (1966) a melancholy ballad, with its haunting melody and poetic lyrics about lost love, also charted and have all been covered by numerous artists over the years.

Perhaps his most famous song, and as he told the International Songwriters Association, his own personal favourite is "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald", which tells the story of a freighter that sank in Lake Superior on November 10, 1975, with the loss of all 29 crew members. The song features a haunting melody, poignant lyrics, and powerful imagery that captures the tragedy of the event and the bravery of the men who lost their lives. "The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald" became a signature song for Lightfoot and is considered a classic of the folk-rock genre. It has been covered by numerous artists over the years and continues to be played on classic rock radio stations around the world.

His ability as a songwriter resulted in hundreds of cover versions of his songs, by such artists as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Neil Young, Hank Williams Jr, Bob Dylan, Harry Belafonte, the Grateful Dead, Judy Collins, Chad & Jeremy, George Hamilton IV, Peter, Paul and Mary, the Kingston Trio, Marty Robbins, Leroy VanDyke, Olivia Newton-John, and Jim Croce. Althogh he has been criticised by some for being overly sentimental at times. or for promoting an idealised vision of Canada that ignored its darker history and ongoing struggles with social and political issues, there is absolutely no doubt that his songs have continued to resonate with audiences of all ages, and his influence can be seen in the work of countless songwriters who have followed in his footsteps.

In addition to his lyrical talent, Lightfoot was also a gifted musician. His fingerpicking style on the guitar was distinctive and highly regarded, and his arrangements often featured intricate harmonies and lush instrumentation that added depth and texture to his songs.

A prolific recording artist, (he released 20 studio albums, three live albums, 16 greatest hits albums and 46 singles), a broad cross-section of his best work over the years would have to include "Lightfoot!" (1966), "The Way I Feel" (1967), "Did She Mention My Name?" (1968), "Back Here on Earth" (1968), "Sit Down Young Stranger" (1970), "Summer Side of Life" (1971), "Don Quixote" (1972), "Old Dan's Records" (1972), "Sundown" (1974), "Cold On The Shoulder" (1975), "Summertime Dream" (1976), "Endless Wire" (1978), "Dream Street Rose" (1980), "Shadows (1982), "Salute" (1983), "East Of Midnight" (1986), "Waiting For You" (1993), "A Painter Passing Through" (1998), "Harmony" (2004) and "All Live" (2012).

Lightfoot's many awards include the highest number of Juno Awards of any other artist in Canadian history, including Male Vocalist of the Year (1971), Best Country Male Vocalist (1975), and Songwriter Of Yhe Year (1975 and 1977). In 1997, Lightfoot was awarded the prestigious Governor General's Performing Arts Award, which recognises lifetime achievement in the performing arts in Canada.

He was inducted into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame in 1986, in recognition of his significant contributions to Canadian music and into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2001, in recognition of his exceptional songwriting talent. He was also appointed a Member Of The Order of Canada in 1970 and was later promoted to Officer in 1988, in recognition of his contributions to Canadian culture.

ISA • International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

At the Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto, Canada, of natural causes.

© Jim Liddane

Tim Bachman
(71), guitarist, songwriter and founding member of Bachman-Turner Overdrive (BTO).

Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, Tim Bachman quit college to join his elder brother Randy's band Blue Belt just after they had completed their second album, but when this failed to produce a hit, co-founded Bachman Turner Overdrive in 1973 with a third brother, drummer Robbie Bachman, and bassist Fred Turner

Bachman Turner Overdrive went on to achieve significant commercial success in the 1970s, with hits like "Takin' Care of Business," "You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet," and "Roll On Down The Highway" although Tim had departed the band in 1974 following internal disputes about his drinking and drug-taking, to be replaced by Blair Thornton.

Ten years later. he re-joined the band for one album and a number of tours, but left again, this time to become a real estate broker in British Columbia.

In Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, of brain cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Wee Willie Harris
(90), musician, vocalist and one of the earliest exponents of rock and roll in the UK.

Born Charles William Harris in Bermondsey, southeast London, he started playing piano at the age of five, adding in later years both guitar and bass. In 1950, he went to work at the nearby Peek Freans biscuit factory, but in 1955, quit his job to play piano around the newly emerging coffee bars in West London, occasionally using the name "Fingers Harris" while fronting such long-forgotten outfits as Lo’Don’s Ravin’ Rockers.

In 1956, he became resident pianist at the he 2i's Coffee Bar in Soho. Here he adopted the soubriquet "Wee" in tribute to his idol Little Richard. Mainly self-taught but an excellent pianist, he soon found himself in demand to accompany such aspiring acts as Adam Faith and fellow Bermondsey boy Tommy Steele. It was at this time that Harris himself adopted an unique rasping vocal style, while his very diminutive stature was deflected by outrageous costumes and hair of many different hues ranging from green to orange to pink, earning him the title "the wild man of rock and roll".

By 1957, he had found a manager who introduced him to TV producer Jack Good and also to Decca Records, who released his first single "Rockin' At The 2 I's" in December of that year. Appearances on Jack Good's BBC show "Six-Five Special" brought him to national attention, and he toured the UK with such visiting acts as Freddy Cannon, Conway Twitty and Johnny Preston. In his autobiography, Paul McCartney recalls queuing for his autograph after a show in Liverpool, and his surprisingly diverse list of admirers included John Lennon, David Bowie, and Dusty Springfield, who along with Madeline Bell backed him on one of his infrequent recording sessions.

Although he built up a big following in Europe, particularly in Germany and Italy (he can be seen performing "Bloodshot Eyes" in the 1960 Italian movie "Il Mondo di Notte“), and continued to release the occasional single ("Got A Match", "Wild One", "Someone's In The Kitchen With Diana") and an album ("I Go Ape"), his failure to achieve chart success in the UK, and the changing face of pop music with the emergence of a raft of singers such as Eden Kane, Craig Douglas and Billy Fury, all sporting prettier faces, catchier names and less outrageous stage personae, led him to find work as an entertainer on cruise ships and in holiday camps during the 1970s, where he was as likely to be asked to perform "The Lambeth Walk" as "Rock Around The Clock".

However, in 1979, he found himself name-checked in Ian Dury's hit "Reasons To Be Cheerful Part 3" and re-surfaced in London, to be warmly greeted by the punk fraternity. He went on to release his second album "Twenty Reasons To Be Cheerful" in 2000 dedicating it as a tribute to Dury who had died in March.

In later years, Harris continued to perform, appearing on "Comic Relief" and the occasional regional chat show, and in 2018, a retrospective CD and book titled "I Go Ape! - The Wee Willie Harris Story" was released by John Beecher's Rollercoaster Records.

In London, UK, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Johnny Fean
(71), singer-songwriter and guitarist with iconic Irish band, Horslips.

Born in Dublin, Johnny moved as a child to Limerick, and then to Shannon, County Clare, taking up guitar at the age of twelve. Heavily influenced by blues music and such guitarists as Jimi Hendrix, Peter Green and Eric Clapton, he first joined Sweet Street alongside Limerick vocalist Eugene Wallace (later to work in London with Robin Gibb, Ringo Starr, David Essex, Phil Lynnot, Phil Collins, Roger Taylor, Keith Moon and Rick Grech), and violinist Joe O'Donnell (later of East Of Eden). After Sweet Street, he joined the progressive country rock and blues band Jeremiah Henry. featuring amongst others, Jack Costello on bass and Guido DiVito on drums (both of whom are better known as members of legendary Limerick rock band, Grannies Intentions).

Neither Sweet Street (who once supported John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers) or Jeremiah Henry released any commercial recordings however, and meanwhile, Johnny was also becoming known for his skills on the banjo, performing frequently at various traditional Irish music venues in Clare.

Eamon Carr, Barry Devlin, Jim Lockhart, Declan Sinnott and Charles O'Connor who had formed Horslips in Dublin two years earlier, heard one of his performances while they were appearing in Clare, and invited Johnny to audition for them when Declan left. Although initially reluctant, Johnny was persuaded by his younger brother Donal to travel to Dublin, and so he joined Horslips in time to record their first album.

The band, espousing what is nowadays termed "Celtic Rock" (Horslips are often referred to as "the founding fathers of Celtic rock"), would go on to phenomenal success, touring Britain, Germany, Canada and the United States. while releasing such hits as "Dearg Doom" (which reached #1 in Germany and was later sampled for the Irish number one single "Put 'Em Under Pressure"), "Trouble With A Capital T", "King Of The Fairies", "Daybreak", "Exiles" and "Guests Of The Nation".

Horslips also produced more than a dozen studio albums, including "Happy to Meet – Sorry to Part" (1972), "The Táin" (1973), "Dancehall Sweethearts" (1974), "The Unfortunate Cup Of Tea" (1975), "Drive The Cold Winter Away" (1975), "The Book Of Invasions" (1976 and their only album to chart in the UK), Aliens (1977 and their only album to chart in the USA), "The Man Who Built America" (1978), "Short Stories - Tall Tales" (1979) and "Roll Back " (2004).

In 1980, Horslips broke up due to differences on how to proceed musically, and Johnny and Eamonn formed the Zen Alligators with Philip Fay on guitar and Gary Eglinton on bass. This band released several singles, but in 1983, ex-Horslip Charles O'Connor reunited with Johnny and Eamon to form a new band, Host, along with Peter Keenan on keyboards and Chris Page on bass. This band too released a number of records but also made a point of including several Horslips numbers in their live repertoire.

Following the dissolution of Host, Johnny moved to London in 1986 and worked as a session and gigging musician, touring with Treat and later performing with an outfit humorously christened The Psychopats, alongside former Miami Showband member Steve Travers whom he had met in London in 1996.

To celebrate his 50th birthday in 2001, Johnny returned to Ireland, but once back, decided to remain, going on to form the duo Fean & Travers which over the next twenty years, would perform in almost every county in Ireland, while recording such songs as "I Am The One" (featuring ex-keyboardist Bob Seger Band Robyn Robins). When Blendi Krasniq joined on drums in 2007, the trio decided to work as The Johnny Fean Band while also performing as a duo under the Fean & Travers name. In addition, Johnny continued to participate in occasional reunions of Horslips (now featuring Johnny's brother Ray on drums).

At his home in Shannon, Ireland, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Keith Gattis
(52), singer-songwriter and record producer.

Born in Johnson City, Texas, Keith Gattis moved to Nashville on leaving college, signing with RCA Nashville in 1996. His initial self-titled album yielded one minor hit "Little Drops Of My Heart", and Keith left for Los Angeles, where he found work as a session guitarist.

On returning to Nashville in 2002, he joined Dwight Yoakam's band as band leader, releasing his own "Big City Blues" three years later. Although this album did not sell as well as predicted, it attracted a lot of industry interest, and he soon found himself collaborating on recording projects with such stars as George Jones, George Strait, Kenny Chesney, Willie Nelson, Kid Rock, Randy Houser, Charlie Robison, Gary Allan, Dwight Yoakam, and Randy Travis.

As a songwriter, he also scored with "El Cerrito Place", "Reconsider" and "Down Again" (all for Charlie Robison), "When I See This Bar" and "I Got A Car" for Kenny Chesney, "Let It Go" and "Goin' Goin' Gone" both for George Strait, and "What Whiskey Does" for Randy Houser.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, following a tractor accident at his home.

© Jim Liddane

Harry Belafonte
(96), singer, actor, and social activist.

Harry Belafonte was born in Harlem, New York City, to Jamaican parents, growing up in poverty and facing racial discrimination from a young age. Having joined the US Navy, he served during World War 2, emerging from the services with the aim of becoming an actor. However, in order to pay for acting classes at the Dramatic Workshop Of The New School in New York City where he was studying alongside Marlon Brando, Tony Curtis, Walter Matthau and his friend Sidney Poitier, he started singing in jazz clubs in the New York area, occasionally backed by the Charlie Parker band, which included Charlie Parker himself and Miles Davis. Eventually he was discovered by a talent scout and signed to a record deal, first with Roost Records in 1949, and later in 1953 with RCA Victor where his early albums featured a mix of folk and calypso music, reflecting his Caribbean roots and his interest in traditional music from around the world.

Belafonte's national breakthrough came with his album "Calypso," released in 1956. The album included the hit single "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)," which became a cultural phenomenon and helped popularise calypso music in the United States. "Calypso" was the first album to sell over one million copies in the US and spent 31 weeks at the top of the Billboard charts.

Other hits included "Island In The Sun", "Scarlet Ribbons", "Hole In The Bucket" (With Odetta), "Mary's Boy Child" and "Jump In The Line" along with such songs as "Shake, Shake Senora", "Matilda Matilda", and "Limbo Song", all of which would be Top 10 hits again in the early 60s under "Twist" titles for Gary US Bonds, Jimmy Soul and Chubby Checker.

Belafonte continued to release successful albums throughout the 1950s and 1960s, including "Belafonte Sings Of The Caribbean" (1957), "Belafonte At Carnegie Hall" (1959), and "Belafonte Returns To Carnegie Hall" (1960). He also collaborated with other musicians and performers, including Miriam Makeba, Odetta, and the Belafonte Folk Singers.

In addition to his music, Belafonte became known for his activism and used his platform to raise awareness about social issues. He released several albums that addressed political and social themes, such as "Belafonte Sings The Blues" (1958), "Belafonte...Live!" (1972), and "Paradise In Gazankulu" (1988), which focused on apartheid in South Africa.

Belafonte's recording career slowed down in the 1990s and 2000s, but he continued to release occasional albums and perform live. His music has had a lasting impact on popular culture and inspired generations of musicians and activists.

Belafonte also had a successful acting career, appearing in films such as "Carmen Jones" (1954), "Island in the Sun" (1957), ""Odds Against Tomorrow" (1959), "The World, The Flesh And The Devil" (1959), "Buck And The Preacher" (1972), "Uptown Saturday Night" (1974), "The Player" (1992), "White Man's Burden" (1995), "Kansas City" (1996), "Bobby" (2006), and "BlacKkKlansman" (2018). He was also a frequent guest on television shows and hosted his own variety show, "The Harry Belafonte Show" in the late 1950s.

Belafonte was also an active advocate for civil rights and social justice. He participated in the Civil Rights Movement alongside figures such as Martin Luther King Jr. and served as a cultural ambassador for the United States, using his platform to raise awareness about issues such as poverty, racism, and inequality. He opposed the policies of a number of US presidents, most notably the Bush dynasty, and became a friend of such left-wing leaders as Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez. A strong support of President Obama, he lent his assistance to Bernie Sanders in his failed 2016 bid to win the Democratic nomination from Hilary Clinton, and again in 2020 when Sanders lost to Joe Biden.

Throughout his life, Belafonte received numerous awards and honours for his contributions to music and activism, including the National Medal of Arts, Kennedy Centre Honours, and the NAACP Image Award. He continued to be an influential figure in the entertainment industry and remained an advocate for social justice throughout his life.

Three-time Grammy Award Winner.

In Manhattan, New York, USA, from congestive heart failure.

© Jim Liddane

Otis Redding 111
(59), singer-guitarist and founder member of The Reddings.

Born in Macon Georgia, he was the son of soul legend Otis Redding and the former Zelma Atwood. Three years after his birth, his Dad died in the 1967 aircrash which also killed guitarist Jimmy King, tenor saxophonist Phalon Jones, organist Ronnie Caldwell, and drummer Carl Cunningham.

In 1980, Otis Jr, (by now 16), his brother Dexter and family friend Mark Lockett, formed The Reddings, whose first release, "Remote Control" hit #6 on the Billboard Hot Soul Singles that same year. Other soul hits included a remake of his father's "Sittin' On The Dock Of The Bay", "Call The Law", and "The Awakening" a bass-drums-duet.

In 1988, The Reddings broke up, and Otis was invited by Eddie Floyd to play guitar for him on a European tour, on condition that he also performed some of his father's songs. Although Otis had never regarded himself as a vocalist, he agreed, and from then on, performed occasionally, while working with his family’s Otis Redding Foundation which organises summer camps that teach children to play music. He also headed several other charities in Macon, including the local chapter of Meals On Wheels.

In Macon, Georgia, USA, of cancer.

© Jim Liddane

April Stevens
(93), Grammy Award-winning vocalist.

Born Carol LoTempio in Niagara Falls, New York, she started singing at an early age, appearing on a number of television shows in the New York area. In 1950, the family moved to Los Angeles enabling April and her younger brother Nino (who had played clarinet with Benny Goodman at the age of 7), to pursue careers in the entertainment industry, she as a vocalist and he as a session musician (Bobby Darin, John Lennon), record producer (Atlantic Records) and occasional actor ("The Glenn Miller Story" featuring James Stewart, as well as the voice of "Garfield The Cat".).

Carol too landed several small roles in films and television shows, releasing her debut single, "I'm In Love Again" in 1951 under the name April Stevens. While her early music career did not immediately take off, she continued to perform and release records throughout the 1950s and in 1959, recorded "Teach Me Tiger," which had been written by her brother, Nino. The song featured suggestive lyrics and a seductive delivery by Stevens, which caused some controversy but became a surprise hit, reaching No. 86 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and No. 27 on the R&B chart. In 1983, the astronauts aboard space shuttle Challenger even requested the song as a wake-up call.

Following the success of "Teach Me Tiger," Stevens appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show and American Bandstand, and toured with other popular artists of the time, such as Fats Domino and Ray Charles but did not have another major hit until the early 1960s, when she started recording duets with her brother.

Nino Tempo and April Stevens began working together as a night-club act in the early 1961, releasing the single "Paradise" in 1962. They were distinctive for their smooth harmonies and their ability to switch between different genres of music, including pop, rock, and R&B and the fact that they wrote and produced much of their own music.

Their signature song, "Deep Purple,", written in 1933 by Peter DeRose and Mitchell Parish, was released in late 1963 and became a massive hit, reaching No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, as well as winning the 1964 Grammy Award for Best Rock And Roll Recording. The single went on to sell more than one million copies and earned them a Gold Disc. The B side, "I've Been Carrying A Torch For You So Long That I Burned A Great Big Hole In My Heart," still holds the record for the longest title on the flip side of any number one single.

The duo's other hits included "Whispering," Sweet And Lovely," "Stardust", and "Tea For Two" and although the siblings continued to record together into the 1970s (scoring a number 5 hit in the Netherlands in 1973 with "Love Story" on A&M Records), April shifted toward a more adult contemporary sound, releasing several solo albums including "The Best of April Stevens" (1971), "When The Feeling Hits You!" (1976), and "This Is Love" (1979).

She also continued to work in film and television, with appearances on shows such as "The Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island".

April remained active in the music industry throughout the 1980s and 1990s, performing live and recording new material, while releasing her autobiography "Teach Me Tiger" in 2013. Six years earlier, in 2007, she had been inducted into the Hit Parade Hall of Fame for her contributions to pop music.

Grammy Award Nominee.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Bob Heatlie
(76), songwriter and record producer.

Born in Craigmillar, Edinburgh, Scotland, Bob Heatlie started performing as a teenager with his father's band, and later travelled Europe including the then USSR, as a drummer with Band of Gold. He took up producing in his early twenties, working initially on folk material in collaboration with local producer Neil Ross, eventually opening his own recording studio in Edinburgh.

One of the first songs he wrote "Japanese Boy" was recorded by local folk singer Mary Sandeman, who adopted the name Aneka for the occasion. A major German label, Hansa, took the recording, and within weeks, it was Number 1 in the UK, Belgium, Finland, Ireland, Sweden and Switzerland, going on to sell well over a million copies worldwide.

Bob then went on to write a succession of hits for Shakin' Stevens, including "Cry Just A Little Bit" (1983) and "Breaking Up My Heart" (1985) before penning what was to become his biggest hit "Merry Christmas Everyone", (ironically composed during the middle of a heatwave) which topped the charts across Europe in 1985, and is constantly played on radio every Christmas, earning over the years, several million pounds in royalties for its creator.

Although he continued to work with Stevens until the early 1990s, and had songs recorded by a wide variety of singers including Cliff Richard ("Locked Inside Your Prison"), Bob began to move into penning material for television, including music for "Fun House", "Wheel Of Fortune", "Worlds Apart" and the television special "The Curious Case Of Santa Claus".

In Edinburgh, Scotland, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Cliff Fish
(73), bass guitarist and vocalist with Paper Lace.

Born in Ripley, Derbyshire, UK, Clive formed Music Box in Nottingham in 1967 with Dave Manders, Roy White and Phil Wright, performing mainly Beach Boys material. Two years later, they changed their name to Paper Lace, releasing their debut album "First Edition" on Phillips in 1972. The album was not a hit, but a five-week stint as winners during the 1973 series of "Opportunity Knocks" brought them to the attention of songwriters Mitch Murray and Peter Callander, who promptly offered them "Billy Don't Be A Hero" which stayed top of the UK charts for three weeks.

However a delay in releasing the record in the USA allowed Bo Donaldson & The Heywoods to do a cover version and hit the top spot on the Billboard charts instead.

Paper Lace had better luck with "The Night Chicago Died" (another Murray-Callander song) which topped the charts in both the UK and USA, selling in excess of three million copies.

Their subsequent records "The Black-Eyed Boys" and "Hitchin' a Ride '75" did not do as well however, and the band broke up in 1980, with Cliff eventually retiring to live in Cyprus.

At his home near Limassol, Cyprus, from cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Ahmad Jamal
(92), jazz pianist and composer.

Born Frederick Russell Jones in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania , USA, to a father who played guitar and a mother who sang in church choirs, he began playing the piano at the age of three, initially in his local Baptist church.

In later years, he would convert to Islam, dropping his birth name and adopting the name Ahmad Jamal.

By the age of 14, he was already performing in jazz clubs in the Pittsburgh area and in the 1950s, formed his own trio and started recording a series of critically acclaimed albums for the Argo and Impulse! imprints.

His unique renditions of such pieces as "Poinciana", "Ahmad's Blues", "Dolphin Dance" and "But Not For Me," were radio-friendly and quickly established him as one of the leading jazz pianists in the USA.

Ahmad Jamal had a minimalist approach to jazz piano, using space and silence to create tension and release in his improvisations. This distinctive style incorporated influences not only from bebop and swing, but also classical music.

Over the course of his career, he toured extensively both in the USA and abroad, often appearing with such acts as Art Blakey, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Sonny Stitt, Dinah Washington and Lester Young. In addition, he recorded over 70 albums, which won him numerous awards and honours, including a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2017.

Ahmad Jamal inspired several other performers, particularly Miles Davis, who cited Jamal as a major influence on his own work. In later years, he became heavily involved in music education and served as a mentor to a mumber of aspiring jazz musicians, including bassist Reginald Veal and drummer Herlin Riley.

Grammy Award Winner.

Member Ordre Des Arts Et Des Lettres.

In Ashley Falls, Massachusetts, USA, from complications of prostate cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Mark Sheehan
(46) , musician, songwriter, and guitarist, best known as one of the founding members of the Irish band, The Script.

Mark Sheehan was born in the Liberties area of Dublin, Ireland into a musical family and started playing the guitar himself at a young age. It was while at school in Dublin, that he met his future bandmate Danny O'Donoghue.

In 1996, Mark and Danny became members of Dublin band Mytown, along with Terry Daly, Dermot Browne, Paul Walker and Tony Dunne. The band signed to Universal Records US, and although Mytown had only modest success, releasing just one album and four singles, Mark and Danny stayed on in the USA to work as songwriters and producers for various artists, building up a track record which would eventually encompass such names as Ronan Keating, Westlife, Britney Spears, Boyz II Men, One Direction.and Ziggy Marley.

Mark and Danny returned to Dublin due to the illness of Mark’s mother Rachel. Before their return, they had formed The Script with drummer Glen Power, and had signed with London-based Sony Label Group imprint Phonogenic

The band's self-titled debut album, released in 2008, which featured the singles "The Man Who Can't Be Moved" and "Breakeven" (both co-written by Mark) was an immediate commercial and artistic success, reaching the top of the charts in Ireland and the UK and over the next decade, The Script would on to release six more successful albums, including "Science & Faith", "Freedom Child" and "No Sound Without Silence".

In all, between 2010 and 2022, the band amassed more UK No 1 albums than any other Irish act, while also scoring 16 hit singles, and winning numerous industry awards.

Meteor Music Award For Best Irish Band (2009, 2011).

BMI Million-Air Award (2013).

Ivor Novello Award For Best Selling British Single (2011).

ASCAP Award For Best Selling UK Single (2013)

Of undisclosed causes, but after a short illness.

Ian Bairnson
(69), musician, songwriter and guitarist, and former member of hit groups Pilot and the Alan Parsons Project.

Ian Bairnson was born in Lerwick, Shetland, but moved to Edinburgh as a child. He started playing the guitar at a young age and began his professional career as a musician in the 1970s, performing with various bands and artists in Scotland.

In 1973, he joined with former Bay City Rollers musicians David Paton and Billy Lyall to form the band Pilot, which scored a number of hits including "Magic", "January", "Call Me Round" and "Just A Smile".

In 1976, Alan was hired by producer and musician Alan Parsons to play guitar on the album "Tales of Mystery And Imagination," the debut album of the Alan Parsons Project. Subsequently he became a key member of the band, playing on all of their albums and contributing greatly to their distinctive sound. He played lead guitar also on their 17 US Hot 100 hits, including "Eye In The Sky," "Games People Play," and "Time."

He also toured with Bucks Fizz for whom he co-wrote two of their Top 20 hits, "If You Can't Stand The Heat" (1982) and "Run For Your Life" (1983).

In Frimley, Surrey, UK, of complications brought on by dementia.

© Jim Liddane

Karl Berger
(88), jazz musician, composer, and music educator.

Karl Berger was born in Heidelberg, Germany, and grew up in a family of musicians. He began his music career as a pianist and vibraphonist at Club 54 in Heidelberg.

In 1966, Berger moved to the United States and became a prominent figure in the New York City jazz scene. and he played with some of the great jazz musicians of his time, including Dave Brubeck, Ornette Coleman, and Don Cherry. He founded the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock, New York, in 1971, which became a hub for experimental and improvisational music. The studio hosted workshops and concerts featuring a diverse range of musicians, including Anthony Braxton, Jack DeJohnette, John McLaughlin, Ed Blackwell, Lee Konitz, Dave Holland and Pat Metheny.

In addition to his work as a musician and educator, Berger was also a composer. He wrote music for jazz ensembles, chamber ensembles, and orchestras. His compositions often incorporated elements of jazz, classical music, and world music.

Berger received numerous awards and honours for his contributions to music, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1972 and a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowship in 2012.

In Albany, New York, USA, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Lasse Wellander
(70). guitarist and composer, best known for his work with ABBA.

Born in Skrikarhyttan, Sweden, Lasse Wellander began his music career in the 1960s, playing in a number of bands in his native Sweden. In the 1970s, he became a highly sought-after session musician and played on numerous recordings, including those by ABBA, Roxette, and Björn Ulvaeus & Benny Andersson of ABBA fame.

Aside from his session work, Wellander also released several solo albums, including "Borderline" (1980), "Nights In White Satin" (1985), and "Swedish Guitar" (1994).

Throughout his career, Wellander was recognised for his musical contributions. In 1983, he won a Swedish Grammy Award for "Best Instrumental Performance" for his work on the album "Monica Törnell & Lasse Wellander." He was also awarded the "Jazzkatten" prize, which is awarded annually by the Swedish Radio to outstanding jazz musicians in Sweden.

In Stockholm, Sweden, from cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Paul Cattermole
(46), singer, actor, and television personality.

Paul Cattermole was born in St Albans, Hertfordshire, England and was one of the original members of S Club 7 when the group was formed in 1998. S Club 7 became an instant success with hits like "Bring It All Back", "S Club Party", and "Reach" and Cattermole was known for his distinctive vocals and energetic performances.

In addition to his music career, Cattermole also acted in various television shows and films, including appearances in "The Bill", "Hollyoaks", and "Primeval". He also appeared in stage productions such as "Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat" and "Jack And The Beanstalk".

After S Club 7 disbanded in 2003, Cattermole pursued a solo career, releasing an album called "Drive" in 2005. However, the album did not achieve the same level of success as his previous work with the group.

In later years, Cattermole appeared on a number of reality television shows, including "Celebrity Big Brother" and "The Jump" and spoke publicly about his struggles with mental health and financial difficulties. At the time of his death, he was about to re-join S Club 7 for a major UK reunion tour.

In Dorset, England, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Ray Shulman
(73), songwriter and founding member of both Simon Dupree & The Big Sound and Gentle Giant.

Born in Southampton, England into a musical family, Ray along with his brothers Gary and Phil founded Simon Dupree & The Big Sound in 1966. The following year, they had a UK hit with "Kites", but the brothers dissolved the outfit in 1969, in order to form the more progressive rock group Gentle Giant.

Although nominally the bass guitarist, Ray was adept at both vocals and a range of instruments including violin, viola, guitar, trumpet, recorder, keyboards, drums and percussion. He also wrote much of the material recorded by the band.

Gentle Giant released eleven albums and were very popular live, but they failed to achieve significant commercial success and Ray left in 1980, moving successfully into production, with such acts as the Sugarcubes, the Sundays, the Trash Can Sinatras, Ian McCulloch and the Defects, and several others.

In London, England, of undisclosed causes, but following a long illness.

© Jim Liddane

Peter Shelley
(80), singer-songwriter, record label owner and the person who "invented" Alvin Stardust.

Born in London, England, Peter Shelley joined Chappell Music as a song-plugger in 1965, before moving to EMI as personal assistant to their chief songwriter and record producer Norman Newell, from whom he learned the craft of record production.

Leaving EMI, he joined Decca Records as their talent scout, signing such acts as Amen Corner, Ten Years After, and the nucleus of what would later become King Crimson. In 1968 encouraged by his success, Peter decided to set himself up as an independent producer-songwriter and in 1973, co-founded with accountant Michael Levy, the independent London-based record label, Magnet Records.

Peter's first production for Magnet was of himself singing his own composition "My Coo Ca Choo", which Magnet promptly released under the invented glam-rock name of "Alvin Stardust". To Peter's total surprise, the record became a smash hit, topping the charts in more than a dozen countries, and earning Magnet its first Gold Disc.

Peter however, had no wish to adopt a glam rock persona, and so, days before he was due to perform the song on "Top Of The Pops", he signed veteran 60's hit vocalist Shane Fenton to Magnet, and re-christened him Alvin Stardust. In this way, Peter invented a star who would become a huge international success, recording several more of Peter's songs, including the UK Number 1 hit "Pretend".

Meanwhile, Peter had discovered and signed both Guys 'n' Dolls and Chris Rea to the Magnet label, while also writing, producing and recording two massive hits for himself - "Gee Baby" and "Love Me Love My Dog" - this time releasing them under his own name.

Just two years after opening, Magnet had become the most successful independent record label in the UK (at one stage holding four of the positions in the Top 10). It would go on to boast a roster that would include not just Alvin Stardust, Peter Shelley, Guys & Dolls and Peter Rea, but also Stevenson's Rocket, Matchbox, Adrian Baker, Silver Convention, Darts, Kissing The Pink, Bad Manners, David D'Or, and Blue Zoo..

In 1975 however, at the height of his success, Peter abruptly quit Magnet, moving eventually to live in New York.

Here he found success with another of his invented characters - "Robotman" - which he sold to United Media Syndicate. As a concept, "Robotman" became remarkably popular, both as a comic strip and as a music driven, licensed property, featuring both Peter's vocals and songs prominently in the production.

Following the death of his wife, Peter moved to Canada, joining his son, British-Canadian singer-songwriter John Southworth in British Columbia.

Ivor Novello Award Winner.

In Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Seymour Stein
(80), the founder of Sire Records who signed The Ramones, Talking Heads, Madonna and Depeche Mode.

Born in Brooklyn, New York City, USA, Seymour Stein began working part-time after school for Billboard magazine in 1955 at the age of 13, and is credited with having assisted Tommy Noonan develop the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1958.

Three years later, while still in school, Sid Nathan who owned King Records met him at the magazine's HQ in New York and was so impressed with his knowledge of the music industry that he persuaded Stein's very reluctant father to let his son go to work for him in Cincinatti, Ohio during summer vacation.

Stein did not come back to New York for two years, when he was offered a job by Sid Abramson, co-founder of Atlantic Records, but he found the position boring, and quickly left to join George Goldner as his personal assistant. Goldner was setting up Red Bird Records with songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, but when that relationship soured in 1966, Stein - now 24 - managed to raise $11,500 to set up Sire Records alongside songwriter-producer Richard Gottehrer whose songs included "My Boyfriend's Back" (US #1 for The Angels) "I Want Candy" (for the Strangeloves), and "Sorrow" (later recorded by David Bowie).

After a slow start, Sire began to sign groundbreaking acts such as Talking Heads, the Pretenders, The Rezillos, The Saints, Madonna, The Replacements, Depeche Mode, The Smiths, The Cure, Ice-T, Ministry, The Undertones, and Echo & the Bunnymen. Although many of tbe acts Stein signed revelled in being called "punk", Stein himself found the term derogatory and is credited with inventing the phrase "new wave" to describe Sire's catalogue.

In 1987 Stein was made president of Warner Bros-Reprise where he remained until 1995, when he decided to return to Sire, while retaining a vice-presidency at Warners. In 2018, at the age of 75, Seymour Stein announced his retirement from both positions.

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In New York City, USA, of cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Ryuichi Sakamoto
(71), Oscar and Grammy-winning composer.

Born in Tokyo, Japan, Ryuichi Sakamoto emerged as an innovative composer, pianist and singer-songwriter in the 1970s as the keyboardist in the influential electronic music group Yellow Magic Orchestra from 1978 to 1983.

He also composed music for films such as "The Last Emperor " and "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence" while his solo output included albums like "Thousand Knives Of Ryuichi Sakamoto", "B-2 Unit", "Beauty" and "Playing The Piano".

In a career spanning fifty years, he won numerous awards including an Academy Award for Best Music Score in 1988, a Golden Globe Award in 1989, two Grammy Awards in 1990 and 2020, Japan's Order Of Culture award in 2001, as well as France's Commandeur des Arts et Lettres award.

Grammy Award Nominee.

Two-time Grammy Award Winner.

Academy Award Winner.

In Tokyo, Japan, of cancer.

© Jim Liddane

"Sweet" Charles Sherrell
(80), bassist with Aretha Franklin, Al Green and Maceo Parker, and more recently, both bassist and musical director for James Brown.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of complications brought on by emphysema.

© Jim Liddane

Brian 'Brizz' Gillis
(48), co-founder of the 1990s group LFO.

Born in New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA, in 1995 Brian Gillis, along with fellow vocalists Brad Fischetti and Rich Cronin, co-founded LFO (known in the UK as Lyte Funkie Ones due to a name dispute). Their first two singles "If I Can't Have You" and "Step By Step" failed to make much headway, leading to Brian quitting the band to pursue a solo career.

With new member Devin Lima, LFO went on to score a number of hit singles, including "Summer Girls", "Girl On TV", "I Don't Wanna Kiss You Goodnight", "West Side Story" and "Every Other Time" and a platinum album "LFO". However, declining sales led to their break-up in 2002. In 2009, the band re-united, only for Rich Cronin to die of leukaemia aged 36 in 2010 and Devin Lima to die from adrenal cancer in 2018 at the age of 41.

Meanwhile, Brian Gillis toured as a solo act for several years before taking up a position with BMG Records in Florida.

In Miami, Florida, USA, suddenly of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Keith Reid
(76), songwriter of "A Whiter Shade Of Pale" and founding member of Procol Harum.

Born in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, England, Keith Reid decided at an early age that he wanted to be a songwriter, posting off his first lyrics to London music publisher and producer Guy Stevens while still at school. Having failed to pair him up with both Stevie Winwood and Jack Bruce, Stevens finally introduced him to Gary Brooker, the former lead vocalist and musician with The Paramounts of "Poison Ivy" fame.

Together they wrote a number of songs intended for acts ranging from the Beach Boys to Dusty Springfield. However, when the duo did not succeed in achieving even one cover, they decided to set up their own band, Procol Harum, recruiting organist Matthew Fisher (previously with Screaming Lord Sutch), guitarist Robin Trower, and drummer Barrie Wilson (both formerly with The Paramounts).

Although Keith Reid never performed or recorded with the band, he became an official member of Procol Harum, going on to write or co-write the lyrics to every song, including their first success, the ten million-selling classic "A Whiter Shade Of Pale", which reached #1 in eleven countries in 1967.

Other hits followed, including "Homburg", "Conquistador" and "A Salty Dog", with Reid usually collaborating with composer Gary Brooker on most of them. In fact, Reid wrote or co-wrote the entire recorded output of Procul Harum, apart from the songs on their 2017 album "Novum".

He also co-wrote the John Farnham million-seller "You're The Voice" (still the biggest-selling record of all time in Australia), as well as two of Michel Polnareff's European hits "You'll Be On My Mind" and "Time Will Tell".

Although he continued to write for Procol Harum, Keith Reid decided to move to New york in 1986 to set up his own management company, whose successes included Gonzales ("I Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet"), Sutherland Brothers And Quiver ("Arms of Mary" and "Sailing"), Frankie Miller ("Darling"), Mickey Jupp ("Don't Talk To Me"), and Robin Trower ("Bridge Of Sighs").

in 2008, he founded The Keith Reid Project, which released two albums of his later compositions featuring amongst others, Southside Johnny, Chris Thompson, John Waite and Michael Saxell, while Keith Reid's songs have also been recorded by such acts as Annie Lennox, Willie Nelson, Sarah Brightman, Jeff Healey, Heart, Robin Trower, Mavis Staples, Felix Cavaliere, John Waite, Chris Thompson, John Farnham and the Alan Parsons Project.

ISA • International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In London, England, of cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Ray Pillow
(85), Grand Ole Opry singer, music publisher and Liberty Records executive.

Born in Lynchburg, Virginia, Ray Pillow graduated with a business degree and served in the US Navy before signing with Capitol Records, Nashville, in 1964.

From then until well into the 1980s, he was a country music chart regular scoring such hits as “I’ll Take The Dog" and "Mr and Mrs Used To Be" (both with Jean Shepherd), "Thank You Ma’am", "Common Colds And Broken Hearts", "Take Your Hands Off My Heart", "Volkswagen" and "Reconsider Me".

Although he was mainly associated with Capitol, he also released hits on ABC, Plantation, Mega, Hilltop, Dot, and MCA, before setting up in 1981, the Sycamore Valley Music Company - a successful music publishing firm whose songwriting roster included Lee Greenwood. In 1990, he was invited by Jimmy Bowen to join Liberty Records Nashville, as an A&R executive.

However, despite his industry success, he continued to perform regularly on the Grand Ole Opry up until 2016, giving his final performance on the 50th anniversary of his induction.

Grand Ole Opry Member.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of complications brought on by Alzheimer's Disease.

© Jim Liddane

Howie Kane
(78), founder member of Jay & The Americans vocal group.

Howie Kane was born in Belle Harbor, New York, and in 1961, along with Jay Traynor, Kenny Vance and Sandy Deanne, who were fellow students attending New York University, founded Jay & The Americans.

Under the tutelage of songwriters Jerry Lieber & Mike Stoller, their first record "Tonight" (from "West Side Story") scraped into the US Hot 100, but their follow up - "She Cried" (later covered by The Shangri-Las and Aerosmith), made Number 5.

By now, Jay Traynor had left, to be replaced as lead singer by Jay Black, and their subsequent hits, which included "Only In America", "Come Dance With Me", "Come A Little Bit Closer", "Let's Lock The Door (And Throw Away The Key)", "Cara Mia", "Why Can't You Bring Me Home", "Livin' Above Your Head", "No Other Love", "Some Enchanted Evening", "Sunday & Me", "Hushabye" and "Walkin' In The Rain", made them one of the three most popular home-grown groups in the USA alongside Frankie Valli & The 4 Seasons and The Beach Boys.

In 1973, the group split amicably, with each member pursuing their own musical interests, although Jay Black retained the rights to the name and continued to perform as Jay & The Americans.

In 2004, Jay Black lost ownership of the name having been adjudged bankrupt as a consequence of running up massive gambling debts. The remaining original members then paid $120,000 to buy the name back, before going on to launch a new version of the group in 2006. This line-up, with lead singer Jay Reincke, started touring again in 2007, performing as headliners on the lucrative oldies circuit, frequently with such legacy acts as The Tokens, The Ronettes, The Drifters and Gary Lewis & The Playboys.

In New York City, USA, of complications following a motoring accident.

© Jim Liddane

Nicholas Lloyd Webber
(43), composer, lyricist, and record producer.

The son of Andrew Lloyd Webber, his work includes "Love, Lies And Records", "The Last Bus", "56 Up", "Wanted", "Greys Anatomy", "The Little Prince", "Fat Friends The Musical", "Bea", "Control Z", "Monarca" and "Cinderella" as well as advertising campaigns for Rimmel London and Armani.

Grammy Award Nominee.

In Basingstoke, UK, of gastric cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Leon Hughes
(92), vocalist and last surviving member of the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame inductees, The Coasters.

Born in Dallas, Texas, Leon moved with his parents to Los Angeles, joining The Lamplighters in 1952, and later The Hollywood Flames. During this period, he also set up his own label Leoneal Records which released a number of singles by The Celebritys, Leoneal & Janet, and The Signals (with Leon singing usually alongside his sister and brother).

In 1955. he became a founding member of the Coasters, with Bobby Nunn, Carl Gardner, and Billy Guy, recording such early Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller songs as "Down In Mexico", "Searchin" and "Young Blood" and over the next two years, the group toured across the USA, appearing at venues such as Carnegie Hall, Madison Square Garden and Radio City Music Hall, with Chuck Berry, Little Richard, The Platters, The Drifters and Bill Haley & The Comets.

In 1957, he and Bobby Nunn left the group rather than re-locate with Leiber and Stoller to New York, forming instead The Dukes, and signing with Flip Records of Los Angeles. Although none of the new band’s releases charted, the act became popular across California.

Meanwhile, as the hits dried up in New York, Carl Gardner became the last original member of The Coasters, giving him disputed ownership of the band name. Consequently, over the next forty years, numerous groups were formed by the various ex-members of The Coasters, with names like The Original Coasters, The Coasters Two Plus Two, Leon Hughes & His Original Coasters, The World Famous Coasters, Leon Hughes' Coasters etc., all of which Hughes was associated with, while he also continued to perform and record with a re-formed Hollywood Flames act, appearing on stage until shortly before his death.

At his home in Watts, Los Angeles, California, USA, of natural causes.

© Jim Liddane

Laura Valenzuela
(92), actress and TV star who hosted the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest.

Laura Valenzuela was already a well-known television personality in Spain, having fronted programs such as "Galas del Sábado" and "Contamos Contigo", when sbe was chosen to host the 1969 Eurovision Song Contest held at Madrid's Teatro Real, which Spain went on to win with Massiel's song "La, La, La". She also acted in several films, many of which were directed by her husband José Luis Dibildos.

In Madrid, Spain, of natural causes.

© Jim Liddane

Jim Gordon
(78), session and studio drummer who worked with Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Joe Cocker, The Yardbirds. Delaney & Bonnie, Derek & The Dominos, Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention, Steely Dan and John Lennon.

Frequently credited as co-writer with Eric Clapton of the classic song "Layla", Gordon was a member of the renowned Wrecking Crew. His most notable drumming credits include tracks like "Layla" (Eric Clapton), "Tusk" (Fleetwood Mac) and "You Are So Beautiful" (Joe Cocker), along with such albums as "Pet Sounds" by the Beach Boys (1966), "Gene Clark With The Gosdin Brothers" by Gene Clark (1967); "The Notorious Byrd Brothers", by the Byrds (1968), and the hit single "Classical Gas", by Mason Williams (1968).

In addition to his work in popular music, he also composed film scores for movies such as "Apocalypse Now" and "The Exorcist III".

In 1983, at the height of his career, in a psychotic episode associated with undiagnosed schizophrenia, Gordon murdered his mother and was sentenced to 16 years to life in prison.

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee.

At the California Medical Facility in Vacaville, California, USA, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Bobby Caldwell
(78), singer-songwriter and musician who having backed Little Richard for several years during the 1970s, went on to score a solo hit with his signature tune "What You Won't Do For Love", taken from his platinum-award winning debut album "Bobby Caldwell". The song was later covered by a number of acts including Go West, Phyllis Hyman, Roy Ayers, Michael Bolton, Intro and Boyz II Men.

In 1986, Bobby Caldwell penned "The Next Time I Fall", which became a #1 hit for Amy Grant and Peter Cetera, and followed this up with songs for Roy Ayers, Chicago, Natalie Cole, Neil Diamond, Roberta Flack, Al Jarreau and Boz Scaggs. He also penned and recorded songs for a number of movies including "Back To School", "Mac And Me", "Salsa" and "Night Of The Comet".

In New York City, USA, having suffered for several years from the side effects of fluoroquinolones.

© Jim Liddane

Costa Titch
(28), rapper-songwriter whose hits include "Big Flexa" (which achieved more than 45 million views on YouTube), "Nkalakatha" and "Activate".

During a live performance at the Ultra Music Festival in Johannesburg, South Africa, following a heart attack.

© Jim Liddane

Jerry Samuels
(84), singer-songwriter and record producer who under the pseudonym Napoleon X1V, wrote, performed and produced the 1966 US #1 hit "They're Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haaa!".

Born in New York City, Jerry Samuels started as a recording engineer with Associated Recording Studios in 1958, while also releasing a number of unsuccessful singles under his own name. In 1961 however, he penned "As If I Didn't Know", a top 10 hit for Adam Wade and scored again with "The Shelter Of Your Arms", a 1964 hit for Sammy Davis Jr, which was covered by more than 50 recording acts .

While experimenting in the studio with a taped drum loop featuring only a snare drum and a tambourine, he penned a novelty song about an owner’s travails with his dog, and the ensuing release on Warner Brothers (under the name Napoleon X1V), reached #1 on Cashbox, earning Samuels a Gold Disc. To add to the bizarreness of the release, the "B" side was the "A" side played backwards, and titled “!aaaH-aH ,yawA eM ekaT ot gnimoC er’yehT".

Although his own recording career was short-lived, his songs continued to be recorded by such names as Adam Wade, Sammy Davis Jr, Bobby Scott, LaVern Baker, Johnny Ray, Ivory Joe Hunter, Willie Nelson, Doris Day, The Lettermen, Neil Diamond, Tiny Tim and Bob Crewe, and he continued to work as a singer both under his own name and the pseudonym, before setting up a successful talent management company in Philadelphia - the Jerry Samuels Agency.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, of complications from dementia & Parkinson's Disease.

© Jim Liddane

Brian Perkins
(82), lead singer with The Delltones, whose hits included "Gee", "You're The Limit", "Get A Little Dirt On Your Hands", "Come A Little Bit Closer", "Hangin' Five", "Sittin' In The Moonlight", "Blue Moon", "Walkin' Along", "Hey Girl Don't Bother Me", "Out The Back" and "Pappa-Oom-Mow-Mow".

In New South Wales, Australia, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Gary Rossington
(71), guitarist-songwriter, and the only member of Lynyrd Skynyrd to play on all of the band's albums.

Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Gary Rossington first aspired to be a baseball player, but a chance meeting with Ronnie Van Zant and Bob Burns while playing ball, led to the formation of their first band The Noble Five, later re-named Lynyrd Skynyrd after both Leonard Skinner, a character in Allan Sherman's hit song "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh" and Leonard Skinner, a coach at Rossington's High School who had once suspended him due to his long hair.

The band scored their first hit in 1974 with "Sweet Home Alabama", and also charted with "Free Bird", "Saturday Night Special", "Double Trouble" and "What's Your Name?"

Rossington survived the 1977 air-crash at Gillsburg, Mississippi, which killed Ronnie Van Zant and Steve Gaines, after which Lynyrd Skynyrd disbanded for a period, only re-uniting ten years later in 1987.

Gary's songs for the group included "Sweet Home Alabama", "Keeping the Faith", "I Ain’t The One", "Things Goin’ On", "Don’t Ask Me No Questions", "One Good Man", and "Gimme Back My Bullets" as well as "Don't Stop Me Now" for the Rossington-Collins Band, a band formed during the hiatus after the 1977 air crash.

In Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, from complications brought on by heart disease.

© Jim Liddane

Michael Rhodes
(69), Nashville session bassist who played on hundreds of hits by such stars as Willie Nelson, Etta James, Mark Knopfler, Alan Jackson, Stevie Nicks, Brian Wilson, Vince Gill, Dolly Parton, George Strait, Randy Travis, Faith Hill, Toby Keith, Neal McCoy, Doug Stone, Wynonna Judd, Steve Winwood, the Dixie Chicks, Reba McEntire, Tanya Tucker, Hank Williams Jr, Elton John, Johnny Cash, Joan Baez and Rosanne Cash.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

David Lindley
(78), musician who founded the band El Rayo-X in 1979 and worked with Jackson Browne, Warren Zevon, Dolly Parton, Curtis Mayfield and many others. A multi-instrumentalist known for his eclectic style which combined elements of rock, folk, blues, jazz, reggae and punk, his main instruments were lap steel guitar and violin but he also played mandolin or banjo.

In Claremont, California, USA, of cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Slim Borgudd
(76), singer, musician, actor, and Formula One driver who raced for the ATS and Tyrrell teams.

Born in Överluleå, Sweden, Borgudd's first recording was "Du är nära mig" ("You're Near Me") with the group The Youngsters in 1965. In 1966 he joined the band Svenne & Lotta as bass guitarist and vocalist. They released several singles for EMI before disbanding in 1970.

During the 1970s Borgudd performed with various groups including The Slimmers, and also appeared on television shows such as "Sommar i P1" from 1973 to 1975 where he sang duets with Anni-Frid Lyngstad of ABBA fame. In 1979 he recorded an album titled "Let It Begin" which included his hit single "Lovin' You".

In 1984 Borgudd released his second solo album entitled "Keep On Movin", which featured guest appearances by John Waite and Dave Edmunds among others. The same year he starred alongside Jonny Nilsson in the movie "Stormskärs Maja" directed by Bo Widerberg about a young man's journey to find himself after leaving home at age fifteen. During this period he also composed music for films such as "Svart Lucia" (1985), "Rederiet" (1993–1994) and "Skilda världar" (1996).

Borgudd continued to perform regularly both as a solo artist and with various bands around Sweden including Hot 'n Honey Band, Slick Shoes Bandet and Slim & Friends featuring former members of Svenne & Lotta plus other musicians from northern Sweden. In 2018 he received a prestigious award from SKAP - Swedish Society of Songwriters Composers Authors Producers – honouring him for 50 years of contributions to popular music culture in Scandinavia.

In Stockholm, Sweden, of complications brought on by Alzheimer's Disease.

© Jim Liddane

Steve Mackey
(56), songwriter, producer and bass player with Pulp.

Born in Sheffield, England, Steve Mackey moved to London in 1979 to pursue an interest in movie-making, joining Pulp that same year. He remained with the band until 2002, during which period they scored 18 Top 100 singles.

Mackey subsequently set up a a songwriting and production partnership with Ross Orton, working with such acts as M.I.A., Kelis, Cornershop, Florence And The Machine, The Long Blondes, Jarvis Cocker, Summer Camp and Palma Violets. In 2010, he rejoined Pulp for a number of tours and a new album, but said that he would not be involved in their proposed 2023 reunion tour.

His best-known compositions include 'Babies', 'Born To Cry', 'Common People', 'Disco 2000', 'Dishes', 'Further Complications', 'Help The Aged', 'Last Day Of The Miners' Strike' (co-written with Burt Bacharach), 'Love Is Blind', Something Changed', 'This Is Hardcore' and 'Underwear' (all for Pulp), along with songs recorded by Tony Christie, Róisín Murphy, William Shatner, Joe Jackson, My Chemical Romance, Winston K, Joe Dolan, Nick Cave and Sophie Ellis-Bextor.

Ivor Novello Award Winner.

In London, UK, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Wayne Shorter
(89), jazz saxophonist, composer and bandleader, widely considered one of the greatest jazz musicians of all time.

As a member of Miles Davis' Second Great Quintet, he contributed to some of Davis' most renowned albums such as 'ESP', 'Nefertiti', and 'Bitches Brew' while his own solo career includes dozens of acclaimed albums such as 'Speak No Evil' and 'Native Dancer'.

Shorter's style blend of bebop with modalism, creating complex yet melodic improvisations earned him numerous awards.

Nine-time Grammy Award Winner.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of heart failure.

© Jim Liddane

Ron Altbach
(76), pianist and songwriter who co-founded King Harvest ('Dancing In The Moonlight'), before going on to join Celebration, the band formed by Mike Love. Soon after, he became session keyboardist for The Beach Boys, co-writing such Beach Boys tracks as 'Lady Lynda', 'Belles Of Paris', 'She's Got Rhythm' and 'Alone On Christmas Day'.

In Los Angeles. California, USA, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Tom Whitlock
(68), songwriter who started out in Springfield Missouri aged 15 playing session drums for writer Wayne Carson, before moving to Los Angeles when he met Georgio Moroder, with whom he wrote the Grammy Award-winning song 'Take My Breath Away', a #1 hit worldwide for Berlin.

Other hits followed including 'Danger Zone' (Kenny Loggins), 'Radar Radio' (Giorgio Moroder), 'Lead Me On' (Teena Marie) and 'Through The Fire' (Larry Greene), while his work has also been recorded by such stars as Bonnie Tyler, Jennifer Rush, Michael McDonald, Ray Charles, Graham Nash, Falco, Diana Ross, Teddy Pendergrass, Roger Daltrey, and John Entwistle.

In addition, he co co-wrote the official theme songs for both the 1988 Summer Olympics and the 1990 FIFA World Cup. and throughout his songwriting career, continued to play drums for the Missouri band, The Dog People.

Grammy Award winner.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of complications brought on by Alzheimer's disease.

© Jim Liddane

Tony Marshall
(85), German-born vocalist and TV star who had trained to be an opera singer in Karlsruhe, but switched to pop music soon after graduation, scoring an international hit in 1972 with 'Pretty Maid'.

In Baden-Baden, Germany, of heart failure.

© Jim Liddane

Chuck Jackson
(85), singer-songwriter who started his career as a member of the Del-Vikings ('Come Go With Me' and 'Whispering Bells').

Born in Latta, South Carolina, USA, Chuck Jackson grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where he began singing in church at a young age. Jackson was heavily influenced by gospel music and the R&B sound of the time.

As a teenager, Jackson formed a doo-wop group called The Del-Vikings with his friends. They had a regional hit with their song "Willette," but Jackson eventually left the group to pursue a solo career. In the late 1950s, Jackson moved to New York City and began performing in local clubs. He caught the attention of songwriter and producer Teddy Randazzo, who signed him to his new label, Wand Records. Jackson's first hit single, "I Don't Want to Cry," was released in 1961 and became a Top 40 hit.

During his career, he recorded over 40 albums and scored 30 Hot 100 singles, including 'I Don't Want To Cry' (co-written with Luther Dixon), Burt Bacharach's 'Any Day Now' (later a country #1 for Ronnie Milsap), 'I Keep Forgettin'' (covered by both Michael McDonald and David Bowie), 'Something You Got' (a duet with Maxine Brown), and a subsequent pairing with Dionne Warwick ('If I Let Myself Go').

A close friend of controversial Republican Party strategist Lee Attwater (they even cut an album together 'Red Hot & Blue'), Jackson appeared in the award-winning documentary about Attwater's life, 'Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story', while his song 'I Can't Break Away' became the theme of the 1989 hit movie 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure'.

Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame Inductee.

In Macon, Georgia, USA, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Gerald Fried
(95), composer who penned scores for more than 300 movie and TV episodes.

Born in the Bronx area of New York City, Gerald Fried studied music at the Juilliard School in New York and later served in the United States Army during the Korean War.

After his military service, he worked as a composer and arranger for various radio and television programs, including "The Dinah Shore Show" and "The Ed Sullivan Show."

Fried is perhaps best known for his work as a composer for film and television. He scored music for over 200 movies and television shows, including 'Roots', 'Gilligan's Island', 'Dynasty', 'Star Trek', 'Paths Of Glory', 'The Killing', 'The Man From Uncle', 'Ben Casey', 'Mission: Impossible', 'Lost In Space', 'Gunsmoke', 'Wagon Train', 'Mannix' and 'Police Woman'.

Oscar Award Nominee.

Emmy Award Winner.

Five-time Emmy Award Nominee.

In Bridgeport, Connecticut, USA, of pneumonia.

© Jim Liddane

Kyle Jacobs
(49), songwriter and musician, who wrote the first ever song to debut at #1 on the Billboard's Country Singles chart.

Born in Bloomington, Minnesota, Kyle Jacobs moved to Nashville when he was 27, and three years later, scored his first #1 hit with '8th World Wonder' recorded by Kimberley Locke. He went on to produce four #1 country airplay singles for Lee Brice — 'Hard To Love', 'I Drive Your Truck', 'Drinking Class' and 'Rumor', along with the Garth Brooks' million-seller 'More Than A Memory'.

Other hits followed by such acts as Trace Adkins, Jo Dee Messina, Craig Morgan, Tim McGraw, Clay Walker, Kelly Clarkson, Scotty McCreery, Darius Rucker, Wynonna, and his own wife Kellie Pickler.

Grammy Award Nominee.

In Nashville, Tennesee, USA, by suicide.

© Jim Liddane

Hans Paulsen
(77), singer-songwriter whose own hit records include 'Boom-Sha-La-La-Lo' and 'Light Across the Valley', but who also penned hits for Johnny Farnham ('Rose Coloured Glasses' and 'Jamie'), Zoot ('Monty & Me'), The Strangers ('Lady Scorpio') and Russell Morris ('It's Only A Matter Of Time').

In Mellbourne, Australia, of heart failure.

© Jim Liddane

Craig Hayes
(75), lawyer and musician who represented such country stars as Faith Hill and Aaron Neville, while occasionally performing and recording with Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Alain Goraguer
(91), cpmposer who penned music for such movies as 'La Planète Sauvage', 'La Vie De Bohème', 'Deux Jours à Tuer' and 'Saint Laurent', and worked with Serge Gainsbourg and Nana Mouskouri.

In Paris, France, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Huey 'Piano' Smith
(89), singer-songwriter and pianist, whose hits include 'Rocking Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu', 'Don’t You Just Know It' and 'Sea Cruise'.

Huey Smith was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. As a child he studied classical piano but by the age of 12 had already begun performing professionally at local R&B clubs around the city. He continued to hone his skills as a pianist throughout adolescence eventually joining units such as Clarence "Frogman" Henry's Band, and The Blue Diamonds.

In 1953, Huey signed with Ace Records where he released his debut single "Rockin' Pneumonia & The Boogie Woogie Flu". This song became an instant hit on radio stations across America, leading to further hits with such songs as "Don't You Just Know It" (1958) and "High Blood Pressure" (1959).

During this period, Smith also toured extensively with Fats Domino and Little Richard among others and in 1958 he formed his own band called The Clowns which featured many of New Orleans’ top musicians.

He scored his biggest success the following year - not as a performer however but as a songwriter - with Frankie Ford's recording of “Sea Cruise”. The song was intended to be a release by Smith, but the record label, in what many regarded an act of racial discrimination, decided to remove Smith's vocals, and re-record Ford's voice over Smith's original backing track - releasing his version instead. Ford's recording went on to sell a million copies, with the song itself going on to become a rock & roll classic, scoring more than 300 cover versions for Smith.

As a consequence of his voice being removed however, Smith quit Ace Records, signing instead with Imperial, and although the hits dried up, for the next sixty years, he continued to perform both in New Orleans, and on American oldies stours.

A prolific songwriter whose songs were recorded by such names as Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith, Jerry Lee Lewis, Herman’s Hermits, Jimmy Buffett, KC & The Sunshine Band, Boz Scaggs, Patti LaBelle, Chubby Checker, The Grateful Dead, Tom Jones, Paul Simon and Johnny Rivers, he is credited with being one of the most important figures in bringing R&B music from its birthplace in New Orleans to worldwide audiences.

ISA • International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA, of natural causes.

© Jim Liddane

Guido Basso
(85), trumpeter, flugelhornist, harmonica player and composer who worked with such jazz greats as Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Quincy Jones, Pearl Bailey and Benny Goodman while also performing as a session musician on more than 200 albums by stars like Anne Murray, Ian Tyson, and Mel Tormé.

Grammy Award Winner (with Rob McConnell's Boss Brass).

In Toronto, Canada, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

David Jude Jolicoeur
(54), rapper-songwriter known as Trugoy The Dove and a member of both De La Soul (“Breakadawn,” “Stakes Is High,” and “Me, Myself And I”), and the Spitkicker Collective.

Grammy Award Winner.

Six-time Grammy Award Nominee.

In New York City, USA, from congestive heart failure.

© Jim Liddane

Connie (Guybo) Smith
(83), bassist on most of Eddie Cochran's hit recordings, including 'Sittin' In The Balcony', 'C'mon Everybody', 'Summertime Blues' and 'Three Steps To Heaven'.

In Bell Gardens, California, following a heart attack.

© Jim Liddane

Nigel Burlison
(87), highly-regarded music publishing executive who administered the Beatles song catalogue for Dick James Music.

Born in Surrey, UK, Nigel Burlison spent some time in the RAF before starting with the London-based Keith Prowse Music in 1957. Four yeare later, he joined the newly-fprmed Dick James Music, where his work would eventually bring him into contact not only with The Beatles, but also with Graham Nash and later Elton John.

In 1971, he accepted an offer from Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss to move to Rondor Music's London office, where he soon found himself handling the copyrights of The Beach Boys, Bob Marley and The Carpenters. He became such a close friend and confidante of Bob Marley that many in the industry credited this friendship to Marley's decision to assign his songs to Rondor Music.

In 1982, Nigel moved again, this time to assist an old publishing colleague now at Warner Brothers Music in Los Angeles, where he remained for four years.

Upon his return to London, he rejoined Warner, but some years later, took early retirement so that he could move to France with his wife Maia.

His retirement did not last very long however, and he soon found himself heading up the Paris office of the newly-formed Warner-Chappell Music, before accepting his last position, as Head of Royalties & Accounting at Rondor Music's Paris HQ.

Near Paris, France, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Kiernan Forbes
(35), rap performer, songwriter and producer known as AKA, who scored several platinum albums in his native South Africa and also received a US Black Entertainment Television Award plus an MTV Europe Music Award.

Outside a night-club in Durban, South Africa, following a shooting incident which also took the life of businessman Tebello 'Tibz' Motsoane.

© Jim Liddane

Dennis Lotis
(97), South African-born singer and actor, who managed to combine touring as a sophisticated big-band vocalist with the Ted Heath Orchestra while simultaneously appearing as a pop singer on such UK teen TV shows as 'Six-Five Special' and 'Thank Your Lucky Stars'.

In Stiffkey, Norfolk, UK, from natural causes.

© Jim Liddane

Burt Bacharach
(94), songwriter, record producer and pianist, who during the course of a seventy-three year career scored 73 American Top 40 hits, and whose songs were recorded by more than one thousand artists.

Burt Bacharach was born in Kansas City, Missouri, but grew up in n Forest Hills,Queens, New York. He studied music from a young age, taking piano lessons and studying harmony. After graduating high school, Bacharach attended Mannes College of Music in New York City, where he studied composition with composer-theorist Stefan Wolpe for two years before transferring to McGill University in Montreal to study with Oscar Peterson. In addition to his formal education, Bacharach was also self-taught and learned much about jazz by listening to records and attending live performances.

He began his professional career as a pianist, composer and arranger in the 1950s, working with some of the greatest jazz musicians of that era including Gerry Mulligan, Stan Getz and Count Basie, as well as becoming musical director for such singers as Vic Damone and Marlene Dietrich. He moved back to New York City, where he wrote music for Broadway musicals such as "Promises, Promises" and "The Look Of Love". During this period he also composed songs for artists like Dionne Warwick (whom he had discovered), Gene Pitney, Dusty Springfield and Tom Jones among others, many in collaboration with lyricist Hal David. By the late 1960s Bacharach had established himself as one of the leading composers in popular music, with such hits as "Walk On By", "Anyone Who Had a Heart", "Alfie", "I Say A Little Prayer", "I'll Never Fall In Love Again", and "Do You Know The Way To San Jose".

In the 1970s, he continued to score a string of hit singles and albums, including his 1972 album "Burt Bacharach & Hal David: A Musical Portrait". This album included hits like "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head," "I'll Never Fall In Love Again" and "What's New Pussycat?" which helped to establish him as one of the most successful songwriters of the decade. In addition, he composed several film scores during this oeriod, such as "Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid" (1969), "Lost Horizon" (1973) and "Slap Shot" (1977).

His remarkable early success continued. He released several albums during the 80s, including "Burt Bacharach" (1981), "The Burt Bacharach Collection" (1982), "Make It Easy on Yourself" (1983), and "At This Time" (2005). He also wrote music for the films "Arthur" (1981) and "Lost In America" (1985). Additionally, he collaborated with other artists such as Elvis Costello, Dionne Warwick, Carole Bayer Sager, Michael McDonald, and Christopher Cross.

His hits during the 1990s included "That's What Friends Are For" (1995), "The Look of Love" (1997), and "What The World Needs Now Is Love" (1999). He also wrote scores for a number of films, including "The Addams Family Values" (1993) and "Grace of My Heart" (1996).

As he entered his seventies. Burt continued to compose and perform with a wide range of artists, releasing the critically acclaimed album "At This Time" in 2005 which featured collaborations with Elvis Costello, Rufus Wainwright and Chris Botti. In 2006 he collaborated with Hal David on an album called "Painted From Memory" which won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. In 2008 he released another solo album called "One Amazing Night" featuring collaborations by Dr John, Dionne Warwick and Stevie Wonder among others. Subsequently, Burt worked on numerous movie scores including "The Look Of Love" (2013), "Red 2" (2013) and "On The Basis Of Sex" (2018).

ISA • International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

Six-time Grammy Award Winner.

Three-time Academy Award (Oscar) Winner.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of natural causes.

© Jim Liddane

Pat Bunch
(83), songwriter whose songs were recorded hy more than 100 recording stars.

Born in Zanesville, Ohio, she did not pen her first song until she was almost forty years old. That song, 'Last Love Of My Life', was co-written with Lynn Anderson, after which she went on to pen more than 100 songs for such acts as Moe Bandy, Joe Stampley, Crystal Gayle, Janie Fricke, Ty Herndon, Martine McBride, Baillie & The Boys, Collin Raye, Terri Clark, Steve Holy, BlackHawk, Chris Janson, Suzy Bogguss, Carlene Carter, John Michael Montgomery, Kenny Rogers, Patty Loveless, Reba McEntire, Tammy Wynette, Juice Newton, The Forester Sisters, Lacy J. Dalton, Judy Rodman, Barbara Mandrell, Michelle Wright, Dottie West, Pam Tillis, Shelby Lynne, Sylvia, Lauren Alaina. Mary Chapin Carpenter, Don Williams, Billy Dean, Lee Greenwood, Charley Pride, Gene Watson, Mark Wills, The Gatlins, George Strait, Sammy Kershaw, Clay Walker and The Oak Ridge Boys.

Although mainly known for her country music songwriting, her songs were also recorded by Glenn Frey, Art Garfunkel, Percy Sledge, Joan Baez and Petula Clark.

Grammy Award Nominee.

In Cross Plains, Tennesseee, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Phil Spalding
(65), bassist and songwriter, who worked with such stars as Ray Charles, Mike Oldfield, Mick Jagger, Seal, Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, Robbie Williams, Suggs, The Who, Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Joe Cocker, Toyah, GTR, Geri Haliwell and Randy Crawford, as well as playing on the 'Lion King' album.

In London, UK, suddenly of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Lillian Walker
(78), singer who co-founded The Exciters, and whose hits include 'Tell Him', 'He's Got The Power', 'Do Wah Diddy' and 'A Little Bit Of Soap'.

The act, whose recording of the Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller production of the Bert Berns song 'Tell Him' inspired Dusty Springfield to quit The Springfields folk group and perform in the pop/soul genre, opened for The Beatles on their 1964 American tour. This led to the Gator Bowl controversy in Jacksonville, Florida when the Beatles threatened that they would not perform if the management tried to prevent the Exciters from appearing because they were black.

In New York City, USA, of angiosarcoma.

© Jim Liddane

Butch Miles
(78), drummer with the Count Basie Orchestra between 1975 and 2007, but who also worked with Frank Sinatra, Dave Brubeck, Sammy Davis Jr., Lena Horne, Tony Bennett and Ella Fitzgerald, appearing on more than 100 albums, including 11 released under his own name.

In Austin, Texas, USA, of complications brought on by idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.

© Jim Liddane

Peter McCann
(75), singer-songwriter who scored a Gold Disc with his own recording of 'Do You Wanna Make Love', before going on to become a prolific hit songwriter, penning songs for dozens of country, pop, and soul vocalists.

Born in Bridgeport, Connecticut, Peter McCann led his college folk-rock band to a three-album deal with Motown Los Angeles, following a chance meeting with Rolling Stones producer Andrew Loog Oldham.

While in California, he penned 'Right Time Of The Night', which first time producer Jim Ed Norman persuaded first-time recording act Jennifer Warnes to record. The subsequent success of the song led to a recording contract for Peter himself, resulting in to his own Gold Record for 'Do You Wanna Make Love', which crossed over onto the country charts via three hit versions - by Bobby Smith, Buck Owens and David Wills.

Peter moved to Nashville where he scored a string of pop, country and soul charters for Janie Fricke, Earl Thomas Conley, K.T. Oslin, Baillie & The Boys, Kathy Mattea, Shaun Cassidy, Karen Carpenter, Isaac Hayes, Millie Jackson, Paul Anka, Julio Iglesias, John Travolta, Bobby Vinton, Con Hunley, Lynn Anderson, Crystal Gayle, Lee Greenwood, Michael Johnson, Donny Osmond, Ricky Nelson, Andy Williams, Reba McEntire, Jim Ed Brown, Anne Murray, Nicolette Larson, Eddie Rabbitt, Kenny Rogers, Lisa Brokop, Shelly West, Mickey Gllley, Michael Jackson, Jermaine Jackson, and Louise Mandrell.

One of his early songs 'Take Good Care Of My Heart' was recorded by Whitney Houston on her first album which went on to sell 22 million copies.

A fierce advocate on behalf of songwriters, and an expert on copyright law, he lectured on the intricacies of the American Copyright system at colleges across the country, even co-writing songs with Senator Orrin Hatch of Utah whom he had met while lobbying in Washington on behalf of songwriters.

ISA • International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, in his sleep, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Charlie Thomas
(81), lead singer with The Drifters on several of their hits, including 'Sweets For My Sweet' and 'When My Little Girl Is Smiling'.

In New York City, USA, of hepatocarcinoma.

© Jim Liddane

Adolfo Pacheco
(82), singer-songwriter whose hits include 'El Viejo Miguel', 'El Mochuelo' and 'La Hammaka'.

In Baranquilla, Colombia, following a car crash.

© Jim Liddane

Barrett Strong
(81), singer-songwriter who scored Motown's first-ever hit with 'Money (That's What I Want)' in 1960, a record whose earnings helped solidify the fledgling label.

Although originally given a co-writing credit with Berry Gordy and Janie Bradford when the song was first registered with the US Copyright Office, this was altered some years later, and the song was instead credited only to Gordy and Bradford.

'Money' went on to become one of the biggest-selling rock songs of all time, with subsequent versions by the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Searchers, Led Zeppelin, the Kingsmen, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Miracles, Joey Dee & The Starliters, The Crickets, The Everly Brothers, John Lee Hooker, Little Richard, Roy Orbison, John Belushi, Cheap Trick, The Doors and Ringo Starr.

Barrett subsequently quit Motown and went to work with Chrysler in Detroit, but later returned to team up with songwriter-producer Norman Whitfield, emerging as a major force at the label, co-writing such hits as 'I Heard It Through The Grapevine' (Marvin Gaye and Gladys Knight & the Pips), 'War' (Edwin Starr), 'Wherever I Lay My Hat' (Paul Young), 'Smiling Faces Sometimes' (Undisputed Truth), along with 'Cloud Nine', 'I Can't Get Next to You', 'Psychedelic Shack', 'Ball of Confusion', and 'Papa Was a Rollin' Stone' (all by the Temptations.

When Motown relocated to Los Angeles, Barrett Strong remained in Detroit, signing with Epic and later Capitol, and penning songs for releases by both himself and The Dells.

ISA • International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

Grammy Award Winner.

Songwriters Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Detroit, Michigan, USA, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Tom Verlaine
(73), singer-songwriter, guitarist, and frontman with the New York band Television.

Although the band's two albums were critically well-received, they failed to achieve commercial success, but Tom went on to have a successful solo career, collaborating with such luminaries as Patti Smith and James Iha of Smashing Pumpkins, while releasing ten albums under his own name.

In New York City, USA, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Bob Croce
(65), singer-songwriter and first cousin of Jim Croce, who worked with such acts as such as Doc Watson, Dave Mason, Jerry Jeff Walker, Phoebe Snow, Nicolette Larson, 38 Special, Tom Chapin and Ralph McTell.

In Folsom, Pennsylvania, USA, of heart failure.

© Jim Liddane

John Langford
(87), singer-songwriter popularly known as John The Fish, who worked with such acts as Brenda Wooton, Michael Chapman and Ralph McTell, and hosted the weekly folk music programme on BBC Radio Cornwall for many years.

In Truro, Cornwall, UK, following a stroke.

© Jim Liddane

Dean Daughtry
(76), keyboardist who in the course of a 55-year career, had the distinction of being a member of three hit-making acts.

Born in Kinston, Alabama, he started out as a member of The Candymen, who acted as backing group for Roy Orbison between 1965 and 1968, but also scored several hits of their own including 'Georgia Pines' and 'Ways'. Then, between 1968 to 1971, he was a member of Classics 1V whose hits include 'Spooky', 'Stormy' and 'Traces'.

Finally, in 1972, using colleagues from his two previous bands, he co-founded the Atlanta Rhythm Section, which topped the charts with 'So In To You', 'Imaginary Lover', 'I'm Not Gonna Let It Bother Me Tonight' (all of which he co-wrote), and a re-recording of 'Spooky'.

In Huntsville, Alabama, USA, of heart failure.

© Jim Liddane

Carol Sloane
(85), singer in the jazz genre who as a teenager worked with Les and Larry Elgart's orchestra and who during a 70 year career, released 30 albums on such labels as Columbia, Sony and Concord Jazz.

In Stoneham, Massachusetts, USA, of complications following a stroke.

© Jim Liddane

Anthony 'Top' Topham
(75), who ate the age of fifteen, became a founding member of The Yardbirds, only to be replaced by Eric Clapton when his parents objected to his becoming involved in music at such a young age.

In later years, he worked as a session musician with Christine McVie, Duster Bennett, and Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green, and rejoined the Yardbirds in 2013.

In London, UK of complications brought on by dementia.

© Jim Liddane

Peter Cooper
(54), singer-songwriter, author and senior director of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, whose songs were covered by such stars as John Prine, Todd Snider, Bobby Bare and Mac Wiseman.

Grammy Award Nominee.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, following a fall.

© Jim Liddane

Ginny Reddington
(77), singer-songwriter who with her husband Thomas W Dawes (a former member of The Cyrkle), became one of the most prolific advertising jingle composers ever. Her compositons include not only 'You, You’re The One' (McDonalds) and 'Coke is it' (Coca Cola), along with jingles for American Airlines, Kit Kat, Johnson’s Baby Powder, and Hertz, but also such pop hits as 'Hurtin’ Song', (Eddy Arnold), and 'Love Don’t Live Here Anymore' (Sarah Vaughan), as well as the book, music and lyrics for 'The Talk Of The Town', a show about literary luminaries Dorothy Parker, Robert Benchley and George S. Kaufman, which ran for several years in New York.

In Manhattan, New York City, USA, of complications brought on by hepatic cirrhosis.

© Jim Liddane

Bernard Greene
(57), also known as BG The Prince Of Rap, who scored nine Top 50 hits in Germany where he had been stationed with the US Army, including 'This Beat Is Hot' and 'Take Control Of The Party', both of which also charted in the USA.

In Wiesbaden, Hesse, Germany of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

David Crosby
(81), singer-songwriter and founder member of The Byrds.

David Crosby was born into a wealthy family in Los Angeles, and attended Santa Barbara High School in California. He later studied at the University Of Southern California and Bard College in New York, but dropped out before graduating.

David began began his career in the early 1960s as a folk singer and songwriter, playing with bands such as The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills & Nash (later to become Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young). He recorded such hits as "Mr. Tambourine Man", "My Back Pages", "So You Want To Be A Rock 'n' Roll Star", "Eight Miles High" and "Turn! Turn! Turn!" (all with the Byrds), and "Marrakesh Express", "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes", "Woodstock", "Teach Your Children", "Ohio", "Our House", "Just A Song Before I Go", "Wasted On The Way", "Southern Cross" and "War Games" (all with Crosby, Stills & Nash).

In 1969 he went on to release his first solo album, "If I Could Only Remember My Name". It featured guest appearances from several of his friends from the music industry and spawned two successful singles: "Music Is Love" and "Laughing".

His most notable compositions in a career spanning almost sixty years include "Eight Miles High", "Guinnevere", "Almost Cut My Hair", "Wooden Ships", "Delta", "Long Time Gone", "Deja Vu", "Cowboy Movie", "Laughing", "Lady Friend", "Triad" and "The Lee Shore".

In all, David Crosby was associated with albums which sold more than 50 million copies, as well as five additional albums under his own name, all of which were chart hits.

ISA • International Songwriters Association Hall Of Fame Member.

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee (as part of The Byrds).

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee (as part of Crosby, Stills and Nash).

In Santa Ynez, California, USA, from complications of COVID-19.

Van Conner
(55), songwriter, bass guitarist and founding member of Screaming Trees, whose hits include 'Bed of Roses', 'Nearly Lost You', 'Dollar Bill' and 'All I Know'.

In Seattle, Washington, USA, of pneumonia having been in a coma following stomach surgery.

© Jim Liddane

Matthias Carras
(58), singer, DJ and TV personality, whose hits include 'Ich Krieg Nie Genug Von Dir' and 'Ich Bin Dein Co-Pilot'.

In 2015, at the height of his success, he announced his retirement, brought on he said later, by chronic depression, but he returned to the studios six years later, releasing a well-received album.

In Biedenkopf, Hesse, Germany, of cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Larry Morris
(75), singer-songwriter and vocalist with Larry's Rebels, whose hits include 'It's Not True', 'I Feel Good', 'Painter Man', 'Dreamtime' 'Halloween'. 'Do What You Gotta Do', 'Let's Think Of Something' and 'Mo'reen'.

Following the break-up of the band, Larry embarked on a solo career, before living for ten years in the USA as an illegal immigrant. On his return to New Zealand, he started performing again at local venues in Auckland, and the man once called a 'degenerate' by former Prime Minister Robert Muldoon, ended up being lauded as a national treasure.

New Zealand Music Hall of Fame Inductee.

In Auckland, New Zealand, of heart failure.

© Jim Liddane

Gary Smith
(73), record producer and songwriter whose Fort Apache Recording Studios (originally in Boston) recorded such artists as Billy Bragg, Throwing Muses, 10,000 Maniacs, Natalie Merchant, The Pixies, Weezer, The Specials, Warren Zevon, The Lemonheads, Radiohead, Juliana Hatfield and Tanya Donnelly.

Although the studios moved on several occasions to locations in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Bellows Falls in Vermont, Gary himself continued to live on a farm in rural New Hampshire, where he was a director of local radio station WOOL, and owner of the 'Popolo Restaurant' in Bellows Falls.

In Walpole, New Hampshire, USA, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Les Barker
(75), poet best known for his parodies of popular songs, and who toured Britain, Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada for more than forty years, during which period, he penned more than 80 books, and produced 25 solo albums.

One of his works 'Guide Cats For The Blind' led to a series of CDs being released to raise funds for the British Computer Association Of The Blind, featuring Les Barker's compositions performed by such stars as June Tabor, Martin Carthy, Mike Harding, Tom Paxton, Jimmy Young, Nicholas Parsons, Terry Wogan, Prunella Scales and Andrew Sachs.

At New Saints FC's football grounds in Oswestry, Shropshire, UK, of cardiac arrest.

© Jim Liddane

Robbie Bachman
(69), drummer with Bachman-Turner Overdrive, whose hits include 'Let It Ride', 'Takin' Care of Business', 'You Ain't Seen Nothing Yet', 'Roll On Down The Highway', 'Hey You', 'Down To The Line' and 'Lookin' Out For #1'.

Canadian Music Hall of Fame Inductee.

In Vancouver, Canada, of cardiac arrest.

© Jim Liddane

Bruce Gowers
(82), television director whose UK production of the iconic 'Bohemian Rhapsody' video for Queen led to even greater success in the USA, where he worked with Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, Harry Belafonte, Rod Stewart, Fleetwood Mac, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, James Brown and Britney Spears.

He was also a director on 'American Idol ' for ten years, while producing dozens of music awards shows for VH1, The Academy Of Country Music, Billboard, MTV etc.

In Santa Monica, California, USA, of acute respiratory infection.

© Jim Liddane

Johnny Powers
(83), singer-songwriter whose biggest success as a performer was 'Long Blond Hair' on Fox Records in 1957.

On the collapse of that label, he joined Sun Records in 1959, but the following year, left to become the first white singer to sign with Berry Gordy's Motown Records, working as in-house producer and songwriter with Eddie Holland, Marvin Gaye and Clarence Paul. While there, he also oversaw the label's recording, pressing and distribution operations.

In 1965, he left Motown to go back on the road as a rockabilly performer, a role he continued in until his retirement at the age of 82. By then, he owned several music publishing companies including Powerhouse Music and Jet-Eye Music, as well as shares in a number of local record labels.

Rockabilly Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Detroit, Michigan, from heart failure.

© Jim Liddane

Renée Geyer
(69), singer often dubbed 'Australia's Queen Of Soul', whose hits include 'Heading In The Right Direction'. 'Stares And Whispers', 'Say I Love You' and 'It’s A Man’s Man’s World' (it was her version which was used in the American TV series 'Mad Men'), and five of whose 34 albums were certified gold.

She also worked for a period in the USA as a session vocalist on releases by such stars as Neil Diamond, Men At Work. Chaka Khan, Sting, and Joe Cocker.

ARIA Hall of Fame Inductee.

In Geelong, Australia, from complications caused by hip surgery, during which she was diagnosed as having inoperable lung cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Keith Beaton
(72), co-founder and lead singer with Blue Magic.

Blue Magic were founded in Philadelphia in 1972 with Theodore Mills, Vernon Sawyer, Wendell Sawyer, Keith Beaton, and Richard Pratt as the original members. Over the next decade, they scored sixteen R&B hits include 'Sideshow', 'Spell', 'What’s Come Over Me', 'Grateful', 'Three Ring Circus', and 'Stop To Start'.

Although Keith left the band in the 1980s, he continued to perform as a solo artist and with other groups, and he remained active on the Philadelphia music scene up until his death.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, of cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Lisa Marie Presley
(54), singer-songwriter, and daughter of Elvis Presley.

Born In Memphis, Tennessee, Lisa Marie was the only child of Elvis and Priscilla, and was raised at Graceland, the family's Memphis mansion. As a child, Lisa Marie was very close to her father, who doted on her and occasionally took her on tour with him. She was also close to her maternal grandparents, who played an important role in her upbringing.

After her father's death in 1977, Lisa Marie went to live with her mother in California. She found it difficult to cope with her father's death and the pressures of being in the public eye and during her teenage years, she experimented with drugs and struggled with addiction.

However, in 2003 Lisa Marie emerged as a singer-songwriter with her first album "To Whom It May Concern". She also charted with such songs as 'Lights Out' and 'Dirty Laundry', while her later albums "Now What" (2005), and "Storm & Grace" (2012) all reached the US Top 50.

She married four times, to musician Danny Keough, singer Michael Jackson, actor Nicolas Cage, and musician Michael Lockwood and had four children, including actress Riley Keough and twins Finley and Harper Lockwood.

Known for her philanthropic work, particularly in support of charities focused on children's health and welfare, she supported organisations such as the Dream Factory, the Children's Hospital in Los Angeles, and the Presley Charitable Foundation, which has been established by her father.

In Calabasas, California, USA, of a small bowel obstruction as a delayed consequence of bariatric weight loss surgery.

© Jim Liddane

Dennis Budimir
(84), guitarist who worked with such stars as Harry James, Peggy Lee, Joni Mitchell, The Carpenters, Brian Wilson, Barbra Streisand, Linda Ronstadt, Glen Campbell, Dusty Springfield, Quincy Jones, Tom Waits, Perry Como, Harry Nilsson, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Johnny Mathis, Cher, Bobby Darin, The Monkees, Doris Day, Ella Fitzgerald, Neil Diamond, Henry Mancini, Stan Getz and Jimmy Smith.

He also recorded more than 1000 movie scores, and was an established member of the legendary Wrecking Crew.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of heart failure.

© Jim Liddane

Jeff Beck
(78), guitarist, songwriter, and record producer who is considered to have been one of the greatest guitarists of all time and has had a significant impact on the development of rock music.

Jeff Beck was born in Wallington, Surrey, England. Although he sang in a choir from an early age, his real musical influences were guitarists like Les Paul, Lonnie Mack, Cliff Gallup (lead guitarist with Gene Vincent) and Steve Cropper.

While attending Wimbledon College of Art, Beck played with Screaming Lord Sutch and the Savages, and several bands later, was invited to replace Eric Clapton in The Yardbirds, who achieved remarkable success during his stay.

After leaving the Yardbirds in 1967, he formed the Jeff Beck Group which went on to release a series of influential albums that blended rock, jazz, and blues.

Over the years, Beck also collaborated with numerous musicians and artists, including Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger, Roger Waters, Sting, Rod Stewart, Ronnie Wood, Cozy Powell, Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Johnny Depp and many others. He won several awards for his contributions to music, including six Grammy Awards. and his innovative guitar playing inspired countless musicians and fans worldwide.

Jeff Beck scored several hits throughout his career, both as a solo artist and as a member of various bands, including "Hi Ho Silver Lining" (solo), "Beck's Bolero" (solo), "I Ain't Superstitious" (with the Jeff Beck Group), "Shapes of Things" (with the Yardbirds), "Over Under Sideways Down" (with the Yardbirds), "Cause We've Ended As Lovers" (solo), "Freeway Jam" (solo), "People Get Ready" (with Rod Stewart), "Superstition" (with Stevie Wonder), and "Going Down" (with the Jeff Beck Group).

These tracks showcased Beck's versatility as a guitarist, with his unique blend of rock, blues, jazz, and funk. They also became staples of classic rock radio and helped to solidify Beck's legacy as one of the greatest guitarists of all time.

Eight-time Grammy Award Winner.

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee.

Ivor Novello Award Winner.

In London, UK, of bacterial meningitis.

© Jim Liddane

Stan Hitchcock
(82), singer who scored 14 hits on the Billboard Country Charts, before going on to co-found CMT (Country Music Television), which was sold on to Gaylord Entertainment nine years later.

Soon after, he started producing his own nationally syndicated show 'Heart To Heart', which interviewed country stars like Waylon Jennings, Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Keith Whitley and many others.

In Gallatin, Tennessee, USA, of heart failure.

© Jim Liddane

Ted ‘Kingsize’ Taylor
(83), singer who fronted the influential Merseyside act Kingsize Taylor & The Dominoes, and who frequently shared the bill in both the UK and Germany with such acts as The Beatles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Ray Charles, Fats Domino and the Everly Brothers.

Although the band was well regarded, at one stage featuring Priscilla White (later to become Cilla Black) as vocalist, the unit itself failed to achieve success as a recording act leading Taylor to quit the music business permanently in 1965.

In Birkdale, Merseyside, UK, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Séamus Begley
(73), internationally acclaimed accordionist, singer and composer in the Gaelic tradition.

Born in in the Gaeltacht (Irish language-speaking) village of Baile na bPoc, on the Dingle Peninsula, in Kerry, Ireland, Séamus Begley came from a musical family and began playing the accordion at a young age.

He went on to become a prominent member of several traditional music groups, including the group Téada and quickly became a highly respected and influential figure in the traditional Irish music scene, known for his mastery of the accordion and his distinctive singing style in the Irish language.

He also collaborated with many other musicians throughout his career, and in a career spanning sixty years, released a number of well-received albums, working with such acts as Mary Black and Sharon Shannon.

He appeared at the 1989 Glastonbury Festival with Australian guitarist Steve Cooney, and received numerous awards and accolades for his music, including the TG4 Gradam Ceoil Traditional Musician of the Year award in 2013.

At his home in Baile na bPoc, Corca Dhuibhne, Kerry, Ireland of undisclosed causes, but having recently undergone heart surgery.

© Jim Liddane

Slim Newton
(90), singer-songwriter whose song 'The Redback On The Toilet Seat' earned him an Australian Gold Disc.

Australian Country Music Hall of Fame Inductee.

In New South Wales, Australia, of complications brought on by dementia.

© Jim Liddane

Alan Rankine
(64), musician, who with Billy Mackenzie, founded The Associates, before going on to involve himself in production - most notably of The Cocteau Twins.

He later set up a record label which released early recordings by Belle and Sebastian and Snow Patrol.

In Glasgow, Scotland, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Gordy Harmon
(74), founding member of The Whispers, whose hits included 'The Time Will Come', 'Seems Like I Gotta Do Wrong', 'Your Love Is So Doggone Good' and 'I Only Meant To Wet My Feet'.

In Los Angeles, California, USA, of heart failure.

© Jim Liddane

Steve Davis
(73), singer-songwriter whose more than 400 songs were recorded by such stars as Diana Ross, Joe Cocker, Meatloaf, Tom Jones, Engelbert Humperdinck, Johnny Mathis, Reba McEntire, Johnny Paycheck, Kenny Rogers, Mac Davis, Eddie Rabbitt, Alabama, George Jones, Faith Hill, Tanya Tucker, Tammy Wynette, Charlie Rich and Charlie Daniels.

His most popular songs include "Texas Tornado," "It Ain't Cool To Be Crazy About You," "Time Marches On," and "The Way You Love Me." He also released several albums as a solo artist, including "Walkin' Through Fire" and "Lone Star State Of Mind."

In addition to his songwriting and music career, Davis also worked as a television producer and writer, and wrote material for several TV shows and movies.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Joe Browne
(81), singer-songwriter and guitarist, who came to national prominence in Ireland with such bands as Empire, Berwyn, Santa Fe and Ohio, before returning to his home town of Limerick to front the much-admired Dirty Dawg Revue.

In Newport, Tipperary, Ireland, of natural causes.

© Jim Liddane

Alan Copeland
(96), lead singer with Glenn Miller's Modernaires and songwriter amongst whose hits was 'Make Love To Me', a US Billboard #1 for Jo Stafford. Other hits include 'High Society', recorded by Jo Stafford, Frankie Laine, Guy Lombardo and Kenny Ball, and 'When I stop Loving You', recorded by Frank Sinatra and Jimmy Wakely.

He also acted as musical arranger for such stars as Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Julie Andrews, Count Basie and Engelbert Humperdinck.

Grammy Award Winner.

In Sonora, California, USA, of heart failure.

© Jim Liddane

Mark Capps
(54), Nashville-based recording engineer, whose credits include Neil Diamond, Kenny Rogers, The Oak Ridge Boys, Donna Summer, Alabama, Conway Twitty and Olvia Newtown-John.

Grammy Award Winner.

In Nashville, Tennessee, USA, of gunshot wounds following an altercation with local police.

© Jim Liddane

Kara Jane Spencer
(32), UK singer-songwriter who while amost totally incapacitated by ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) - successfully appealed to musicians and producers to help her to finish and release her debut hit album 'It's Still M.E.'.

In Derby, UK, of complications linked to ME.

© Jim Liddane

Fred White
(67), drummer with Earth Wind & Fire, whose hits include 'September', 'Let's Groove', 'Shining Star' and 'Boogie Wonderland', and whose record sales are in excess of 90 million copies.

Grammy Award Winner.

Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee.

In Chicago, Illinois, USA, of undisclosed causes.

© Jim Liddane

Lola Chantrelle Mitchell (Gangsta Boo)
43, pioneering Memphis rapper, much admired by Missy Elliott, and former member of platinum act Three 6 Mafia.

In Memphis, Tennessee, USA, of cocaine and fentanyl overdose.

© Jim Liddane

Anita Pointer
(74), singer-songwriter, and founder of The Pointer Sisters.

The group was formed in Oakland, California in 1969 and consisted of Anita and her three sisters, Ruth, June, and Bonnie Pointer. Their biggest hits include 'Jump For My Love', 'Fire', 'He’s So Shy', 'Slow Hand', 'Neutron Dance', 'Automatic' and 'I'm So Excited'.

Anita Pointer sang lead vocals on many of their biggest hits, including "Fire", "He's So Shy", and "Jump For My Love" and in addition to her work with The group, also released several solo albums, including "Love For What It Is" and "Rock Me".

Three-time Grammy Award Winner.

In Beverly Hills, California, USA, of cancer.

© Jim Liddane

Songwriter Obituaries Prior To 2023

ISA • International Songwriters Association (1967)

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