Rock & Roll Heaven

Hal Blaine May He Rest Forever On the 2 and the 4

Hal Blaine.jpg

Submitted by Don Graham

Hal Blaine, the drummer for The Wrecking Crew, has passed away at the age of 90. Blaine was one of the most recorded studio drummers in the history of the music industry, having played on an estimated 35,000 sessions, 6,000 singles and on 40 number 1 hits.

Hal Blaine was actually the driving beat behind the soundtrack of our lives From the early days of Phil Spector and The Ronettes to The Byrds and The Beach Boys Hal Blaine’s creative style shaped the sound of pop music The opening drum hits on The Ronettes ‘Be My Baby’ made the song instantly recognizable. Pop legend Andy Kim said on his Facebook page “Listening to the explosive intro of ‘Be My Baby’ by The Ronettes made my transistor radio shake, and started me dreaming of what my world would be like living inside that radio. Thank you, Hal Blaine.” Blaine even played at his own 90th birthday bash.

Hal was born in Holyoke, Massachusetts and started playing drums at the age of eight and moved to California with his family in 1943. Gene Krupa’s teacher Roy Knapp was Hal’s instructor from ’49 to ’52 and that readied him for the live circuit working the Chicago clubs. He was part of Count Basie’s big band and toured with Patti Paige.

Peter Tork More Than Just a Monkee

Peter Tork.jpg

Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Peter Halsten Thorkelson better known as Peter Tork, was an American musician, composer and actor, best known as the keyboardist and bass guitarist of the Monkees. Peter Tork was the loveable wise guy of the Monkees, the popular television rock group that rocketed to stardom in the 1960s. But Peter Tork was a serious musician who pushed for the Monkees to create their own music instead of the outside musicians and songwriters the producers used when the show started. Tork wrote the song “For Pete’s Sake,” which was used for the closing credits during the Monkees second season. He continued to record and perform folk and blues music after the Monkees, releasing his latest album with his band Shoe Suede Blues in 2018.

Reggie Young Forever Young

Reggie Young.jpg

Submitted by Don Graham

One of the most recorded session guitarists of a generation, Reggie Young, has passed away at age 82. Young died during the evening of January 17, 2019, at his home in Leiper's Fork, Tennessee from heart failure.

He got his start in Memphis with a band called Eddie Bond and the Stompers, a rockabilly group that toured with the likes of Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins in the late ‘50s and in 1958 joined Johnny Horton’s band and played the Louisiana Hayride several times.

He was a member of the Bill Black Combo and in 1964 The Beatles requested the Bill Black Combo to be their opening act in Europe and their American tour and that was Reggie’s first taste of Europe and Beatlemania. The Bill Black Combo players wore jackets with the initials BBC for Bill Black Combo but of course, the kids in England thought they were from British Broadcasting Company, BBC. Bill Black passed away in 1965 and Reggie began to do more studio work at Royal Studios in Memphis. He eventually left Royal and went to work with  Chips Moman at American in Memphis. The Memphis Boys were responsible for a string of hits with Moman. Reggie was tired of traveling and wanted to concentrate on session work and was comfortable at American in Memphis but went to Nashville to record with Joe Tex. They cut a song called Show Me and Joe Tex wanted to book more sessions but Reggie said he only wanted to record at American in Memphis, so the next record from Tex, Skinny Legs And All, was cut in Memphis.

Legendary Music Icon Kelton ‘Kelso’ Herston Passes On

Kelton Kelso Herston.jpg

Courtesy of Times Daily

Kelton Dean Herston, "Kelso", 87 of Nashville Tennessee passed away peacefully on December 4, 2018.

Mr. Herston was born on April 23, 1931, in Rogersville, Alabama. He grew up in Florence, Alabama, where he developed an early love for music and the guitar. Kelso graduated from Coffee High School in Florence and attended the University of Alabama before joining the United States Air Force. While in the service, he was stationed in West Germany. During his tour of duty, he formed a band in Frankfurt, which ended up performing for the troops in the 7th Army Special Services.

Upon his return home from the service in 1956, he formed Tune Records and Publishing in Florence, with his friend James Joiner. Three years later, Sam Phillips of Sun Records in Memphis hired Kelso to open an office in Nashville, Tennessee, to run his publishing companies, Hi-Low and Knox Music. Kelso also began playing guitar on recording sessions in Nashville and soon became one of Nashville's top session players, playing on hundreds of songs.

Roy Clark Yesterday When He Was Young

Roy Clark Hee Haw.jpg

Submitted by Don Graham

Roy Clark has left the stage and has gone on to his next appearance, joining an illustrious group in heaven that includes Chet Atkins and his buddy Glen Campbell. The  multi-leveled entertainer died at his Tulsa, Oklahoma, home due to complications from pneumonia. Roy Linwood Clark was born April 15, 1933, in Meherrin, Virginia and was the oldest of five children. He was 85 years old.

The multitalented Clark was known to different folks for different reasons, all having to do with his unique gifts.  He was one of finest guitar players to ever pick up the instrument, a musicians musician, a brilliant entertainer and comedian and smooth voiced singer. Harold  Bradley called him “honest” and everything Roy Clark did was honest, the way sang, played and carried himself.  He was  best known for his 24 years as co-host of the long-running country  comedy showHee Haw that allowed him to show his comedic skills and his guitar prowess equally. He guest-hosted "The Tonight Show" multiple times, he got to work as youngster with the great like Hank Williams and was an inspiration to a wide range of  pickers,  with his instructional guitar books.Of note Brad Paisley acknowledged the fact that his grandpa watched Roy and Buck Owens on Hee Haw and because of that started playing guitar. Had he not done that chances are good Brad might not have played guitar.

Arizona Blues Hall of Fame guitarist Jim Glass dies at 70

Jim Glass Photo Credit Candace Porth.jpg

Story Credit Ed Masley The Republic azcentral.com
Jim Glass Photo Credit Candace Porth

Joshua Glass says he always loved watching his father, Arizona Blues Hall of Famer Jim Glass, play guitar.“I can honestly say those are the times that I could see the pure joy on his face,” he says. “When he was playing.”

Jim Glass died Feb. 26 after suffering a massive heart attack. He was 70.

“He had a heart attack a couple years ago,” his son recalls. “And that pretty much did a number on him. He never quite fully recovered. There were some issues in his lungs, and then he had another massive heart attack on his way to a doctor’s appointment and it was just too much.”

Michele Robins, a jazz announcer at KJZZ, met Glass in 1984.

"When I first heard Jim play,” she says, “I thought he sounded like a cross between Eric Clapton and the Allman Brothers, such a pure, sweet tone. He always told me that the sign of a great blues guitarist was less notes, not more. His passion was playing the blues and I'm so happy he was able to share this love with Arizona for such a long time. He truly was the best blues guitarist to have ever graced the Arizona music scene."

Beyond his chops, Glass brought a certain presence to the scene that did not go unnoticed.

"I'll never forget his charm," Robins says, "those beautiful blue eyes, how much he loved cats (he had eight cats at one time living with him!) and that incredible sound coming from his vintage Les Paul."

Ronnie Prophet Gone At 80

Ronnie Prophet.jpg

Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Canadian born country singer/entertainer, comedian and musician Ronnie Prophet has passed away at age 80.

Ronald Lawrence Victor Prophet, who charted 23 singles from 30 albums in a career that spanned 60 years, died with loving family and friends at his side on Friday, March 2 at age 80, following cardiac and kidney failure. Survived by his wife of 32 years, Glory Anne Carriere Prophet, sons Tony (Kitty) Prophet, Vancouver, BC, Jimmy (Emily) Prophet, Nashville, TN, stepchildren Rhonda (Bill) Paisley, Nanaimo, BC, Warren (Lesa) Carriere, Regina, SK, Tamara Greer, Estevan, SK and 12 grandchildren - Justin, Joey, Jake and Patrick Prophet, Josh and Victoria Paisley, Meagan and Stephanie Carriere, and Brooklyn, Ryan and James Greer.

His longtime friend and Agent of 38 years, Paul Mascioli commented “Ronnie was an international star who transcended all boundaries with his big heart and superb showmanship. He was a working man’s entertainer and loved by people of all ages. We’ll truly miss him but will never forget him”.

Bill Burkette of The Vogues Dies of Cancer

Bill Burkette of The Vogues.jpg

Submitted by Cashbox Canada

Bill Burkette, the original lead singer of The Vogues passed away on March 1, 2018.

According to his wife of 54 years Elaine, Burke was 75 and had lymphoma, according to his wife of 54 years, Elaine. "He was always singing," his wife said. "The singing was a great part of his life. That's what he loved to do."

The Vogues, were known for the hit songs "Five O'Clock World," "You're the One" and "Turn Around, Look at Me."

"You're the One" reached No. 4 on Billboard's Top 100.

The original lineup comprised of Burkette, the lead singer, Don Miller, Hugh Geyer and Chuck Blasko. They were together as a musical act for about eight years, Elaine Burkette said.

"It was a lot of fun," she said. "We traveled and we saw quite a bit of the entire country. We took the kids with us. It certainly was interesting."

When the group formed in high school, it was known as the Val-Aires. Members briefly split up after high school as they joined the military or attended college. They reformed in 1965 as The Vogues.

"Things took off from there," Elaine Burkette said.

Daryle Singletary Gone Too Soon

Daryle Singletary.jpg

Submitted by Don Graham

One of the finest voices in country music has left the planet at young age of 46. Daryle Singletary passed away suddenly at his home in Lebanon, Tennessee just outside of Nashville.

Singletary born in Cairo, Georgia got started early in music singing gospel songs with his brother and cousins. Moving to Nashville in 1990, he played the local nightclubs before signing with Evergreen Records in 1992. He worked as a demo singer and one of the demos that Singletary sang was "An Old Pair of Shoes", which Randy Travis eventually recorded. Travis liked what he heard and recommended Singletary to his management team, who helped him sign to a recording contract with the Irving Azoff’s Warner-distributed Giant Records.

Hugh Masekela South African Jazz Pioneer Who Fought the Evil of Apartheid

Hugh Maskela Guardian 2011 Photo Credit Sarah Lee.jpg

Story Credit: Robin Denselow The Guardian
Hugh Maskela Guardian 2011 Photo Credit Sarah Lee

Hugh Masekela, who has died aged 78, was one of the world’s finest and most distinctive horn players, whose performing on trumpet and flugelhorn mixed jazz with South African styles and music from across the African continent and diaspora. Exiled from his country for 30 years, he was also a powerful singer and songwriter and an angry political voice, using his music and live performances to attack the apartheid regime that had banished him from homeland.

Even when he had returned to the country of his birth under the leadership of Nelson Mandela, after having lived and worked in the US and in Botswana, Masekela continued to comment fearlessly on political events in South Africa and around the world, enjoying his status as an international celebrity, playing for presidents and royalty and concert audiences, and often collaborating with other musical greats.

Syndicate content