2016: Too Many Musicians Have Died (it’s only April!)

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ROCK, POP & COUNTRY STAR PASSINGS IN 2016

The first four months of this year have seen a terribly large number of singers and musicians die. Included are three that I loved and respected above few others (they’re the top 3 below).

1. GEORGE MARTIN – Genius Producer of THE BEATLES, PAUL McCARTNEY, GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS,BILLY J. KRAMER & THE DAKOTAS, CILLA BLACK, JEFF BECK, CHEAP TRICK, ELTON JOHN, THE MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA & others.

2. KEITH EMERSON – ELP & THE NICE

3. PAUL KANTNER – THE JEFFERSON AIRPLANE & JEFFERSON STARSHIP

SIGNE TOLY ANDERSON – THE JEFFERSON AIRPLANE

DAVID BOWIE

DENNIS DAVIS – Bowie’s longtime drummer

MAURICE WHITE – EARTH, WIND & FIRE

MIC GILETTE – Brass horn player for EARTH, WIND & FIRE, and COLD BLOOD and THE SONS OF CHAMPLIN

GLENN FREY – THE EAGLES

MERLE HAGGARD

NATALIE COLE (New Year’s Eve)

STEVIE WRIGHT (Dec 27) – Singer for Aussie Brit Invasion band THE EASYBEATS (“Friday on My Mind”)

GATO BARBIERI – Jazz saxman/composer (“Last Tango in Paris”)

FRANK SINATRA JR.

LEMMY KILMISTER (Dec 28) – HAWKWIND & MOTORHEAD

GARY LIOZZO – Singer for THE AMERICAN BREED (“Bend Me, Shape Me”)

KITTY KALLEN – Popular Big Band singer with tons of hits

DALE “BUFFIN” GRIFFIN – MOTT THE HOOPLE

SONNY JAMES – Pop & country singer (“Young Love”)

DAN HICKS – Led THE HOT LICKS

LENNIE BAKER – Singer/sax with SHA NA NA & DANNY & THE JUNIORS

ANDY “THUNDERCLAP” NEWMAN – Pianist/bandleader (“Something in the Air”)

GOGI GRANT – Singer (The Wayward Wind”)

GAYLE McCORMICK – Singer for the 70s band  SMITH (“Baby, It’s You”)

OTIS CLAY – Blues & soul singer, Blues Hall of Famer

LEON HAYWOOD – 70s R&B singer

PAUL BLEY – Jazz pianist

NICK CALDWELL – Singer with THE WHISPERS

JIMMIE HASKELL – Film & TV score composer

JAMES TERY JOHNSON – drummer/pianist for Stax Records house band THE MAR-KEYS

CARLO MASTRANGELO – Bass singer with DION & THE BELMONTS, then lead singer with THE BELMONTS

GIL GILBEAU – string instruments with THE FLYING BURRITO BROTHERS

VANITY (Prince protege)

PRINCE

and LONNIE MACK.

Story by: Steve Smith

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