Rock & Roll Heaven

Legendary Music Icon Kelton ‘Kelso’ Herston Passes On

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Edwin Hawkins When Jesus Comes Oh Happy Day!

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Submitted by Sandy Graham

In 1960’s, when music had become immersed in drug related songs (Magic Carpet Ride, Itchycoo Park, Kicks, Inna Gadda Da Vida) Edwin Hawkins hit the charts with ‘Oh Happy Day’. An unlikely hit  for 1969.

“Oh Happy Day” paved the way for seismic changes in gospel music. An exuberant paean to the spiritually cleansing powers of Jesus.  It was a hymn written in the mid-18th century, but it was Edwin Hawkins  who popularized it and turned it into a global standard.

The song became a hit in 1969, credited to the Edwin Hawkins Singers, and reached No 2 in the UK and No 1 in France and Germany, as well as No 4 on the US’s Billboard Hot 100 chart. It sold more than a million copies in two months, and would eventually sell 7m internationally.

Fans of Motown or soul singers such as Sam Cooke or Aretha Franklin could identify with the sound immediately, but instead of pop lyrics, Oh Happy Day was an unabashed celebration of religious faith. In 1970 it won a Grammy award for best soul gospel performance. Also that year the Four Seasons covered it on their album Half and Half, and it would be recorded by Glen Campbell, Johnny Mathis, Elvis Presley, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, and Franklin and Mavis Staples, not to mention Robson and Jerome, and Susan Boyle. George Harrison cited it as an inspiration for his hit My Sweet Lord.

Dolores O’Riordan of the Cranberries Gone at 46

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Story Credit: Associated Press

Dolores O'Riordan, whose urgent, powerful voice helped make Irish rock band The Cranberries a global success in the 1990s, died suddenly on January 15, 2018, at a London hotel. She was 46.

The singer's publicist, Lindsey Holmes, confirmed she died in London, where she was recording,"No further details are available at this time," Holmes said, adding that the singer's family was "devastated" by the news. London's Metropolitan Police force said officers were called just after 9 a.m. Monday to a hotel where a woman in her 40s was found dead. The police force said the death was being treated as "unexplained."To all those who follow and support Irish music, Irish musicians, and the performing arts, her death will be a big loss," Higgins said in a statement.

O'Riordan was born on Sept. 6, 1971, in Ballybricken, southwest Ireland. In 1990, she answered an ad from a local band in nearby Limerick city — then called The Cranberry Saw Us — that was looking for a lead singer.

A name change and a confluence of factors turned The Cranberries into international stars. Their guitar-based sound had an alternative-rock edge at a time when grunge was storming the music scene.The band's songs — on which O'Riordan was chief lyricist and co-songwriter — had a Celtic-infused tunefulness. And in O'Riordan they had a charismatic lead singer with a distinctively powerful voice.

Heavy play on MTV for their debut single "Dream" and the singles that followed helped bring the group to the attention of a mass audience.

Artist Manager and Music Business Consultant Janice Starodub Passes Away

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Submitted to Cashbox Canada
(Courtesy of Anya Wilson Promotion & Publicity)

The Manitoba country music industry has suffered the devastating loss of artist manager Janice Starodub on New Year’s Eve at the age of 49. Janice Anne Starodub passed away peacefully at the Selkirk Regional Health Centre surrounded by her family, husband Phil and three children, after a yearlong battle with cancer.

Janice began her career as a teacher whose creativity led her to songwriting, which in turn took her to Nashville, where networking introduced her to connections within the publishing community. It was also the place where she discovered where she fit in with the music industry. Her teaching experience, can-do attitude, and patience made her an ideal fit to fill the much-needed role of advising and developing young artists, initiating imaging and media training sessions, working on grants and arranging successful songwriting trips and showcases in LA, Nashville, and domestically.

Janice formed her company JanSTAR Entertainment in November 2011 and worked alongside renowned-Manitoban songwriter, manager and producer, Chris Burke Gaffney. She also worked as a day-to-day manager for Bryce Pallister, a young singer/songwriter on Mike Denney’s MDM Recordings Inc. label.

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