I admit, 2017 music losses were completely over-shadowed by the insanity of politics. But this year again, every genre lost a legend or two it seems. Country music lost Glen Campbell, funk lost Clyde Stubblefield, romance lost Al Jarreau, we lost the inspiration for Mr Tambourine Man Bruce Langhorne, jazz lost Arthur Blythe, the Allman Brothers lost more than most, and we all lost the legendary Chuck Berry. The year also sort feels like seven degrees of separation from Paul Simon.
I’ve tried to round up some of the farewells below; it’s a long list. Omissions are not meant to offend, but do reflect my personal taste in music, and the paths I have both traveled and not yet discovered in music.
I don’t think as a Canadian I could start any mourning with anyone except Gord:
Gord Downie (The Tragically Hip)
Tom Petty (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
Butch Trucks (Allman Brothers)
Maggie Roche (The Roches)
Joni Sledge (Sister Sledge)
Sylvia Moy – I wrote blog about her earlier this year.
Gregg Allman (Allman Brothers)
Barbara Smith Conrad
Chris Cornell (Soundgarden)
Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) – not a big fan sorry, so no song link.
Michael Friedman [theatre]
Don Williams [country]
Holger Czukay (Can)
Walter Becker (Steely Dan)
Carol Neblett [opera, soprano]
Jon Hendricks [jazz]
Dimitri Hvorostivsky [opera, baritone]
Pete Moore (Miracles)
Della Reese [jazz]
Malcolm Young – I’m including the link to his obituary because he played a part in my formative years, but no song link because I have never been a particular fan of AC/DC.
Keely Smith [jazz]
Pat Dinzio (The Smithereens)
Johnny Hallyday – the “Elvis of France”
Mel Tillis [country]
Chuck Mosley (Faith No More)
Dick Noel “King of the Jingles”
Howard Carroll (Dixie Hummingbirds)
Jessi Zazu (Those Darlins)
Skip Prokop (Lighthouse)
Cuba Gooding Sr. (The Main Ingredient)
Dick Contino – I have a surprising love of accordion music
Allan Holdsworth [influencer and in many groups]
Paul O’Neill (Trans-Siberian Orchestra )
Clem Curtis (Foundations)
Horace Parlan [jazz]
Svend Asmussen [jazz]
John Wetton (King Crimson, Asia)
Ronald ‘Bingo’ Mundy (Marcels)
Jaki Liebezeit (Can)
Behind the music
George Avakian [jazz] – produced recordings by legends I love, like Louis Armstrong.
Harold Pendleton – Reading Festival & Marquee Club Founder.
Bill Marin – behind acts I love, like Tito Puente and Celia Cruz.
Carol Peters – manager of the band Heart, a band of women managed by a woman. How could I not note that?
Johnny Sandlin – Allman Brothers producer. I told you they got hit bad in 2017.
Harry Sandler – behind acts I love, like John Mellencamp, Eagles, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Nicks.
Nigel Grainge – founded Ensign Records home to acts I love like, Sinead O’Connor, The Boomtown Rats, Thin Lizzy, The Waterboys, and 10cc.
Eric Miller – brought back recordings by legendary artists I love, like Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, Dizzy Gillespie and Ray Charles, and might be the reason I found them and love them.
Ilene Berns – ran Bang Records with groups I love, like Van Morrison, Neil Diamond, The McCoys, Strangeloves.
Marilyn Petrone – music executive who has worked with more artists I love than I can list but to name a few: Tina Turner, War, ELO, Kenny Rogers, and Johnny Rivers.
Buddy Bregman – worked with legends I love like, Ella Fitzgerald, Ethel Merman and Bing Crosby.
I know she’s not a musician, but since her loss mattered to me I’m going to include her with the song we all associate with her: Mary Tyler Moore