Saving the best for last – the music we lost in 2016

2016 was a banner year for losses in music. Every genre lost a legend or two it seems. Country music lost Merle Haggard, funk lost Bernie Worrell, hip hop lost John Berry, Canada lost Leonard Cohen, jazz lost Mose Allison, the blues lost Ruby Wilson, and we all lost the great genre crossing artists Prince and David Bowie.

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.

 

JANUARY

Bowie's album Tonight
I got this just before I stopped buying records in high school.

Kitty Kallen (May 25, 1921 – Jan 7, 2016)

Otis Clay (Feb 11, 1942 – Jan 8, 2016)

Red Simpson (March 6, 1934 – Jan 8, 2016)

David Bowie (Jan 8, 1947 – Jan 10, 2016)

mott
In my punk/glam playlist.

Dale Griffin of Mott the Hoople (Oct 24, 1948 – Jan 17, 2016)

Glenn Frey of the Eagles (Nov 6, 1948 – Jan 18, 2016)

Black [Colin Vearnecombe] (May 26, 1962 – Jan 26, 2016)

Paul Kantner of Jefferson Airplane/Starship (March 17, 1941 – Jan 28, 2016)

Eagles - Hotel California
I have this on record as well.

Signe Toly Anderson of Jefferson Airplane (Sept 15, 1941 – Jan 28, 2016)

FEBRUARY

Maurice White of Earth, Wind & Fire (Dec 19, 1941 – Feb 4, 2016)

Joe Dowell (Jan 23, 1940 – Feb 4, 2016)

Dan Hicks of Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks (Dec 9, 1941 – Feb 6, 2016)

Earth Wind and Fire
I’m not actually sure if this was originally mine or my brothers. It’s mine now.

Roy Harris (June 15, 1933 – Feb 9, 2016)

L. C. Ulmer (Aug 28, 1928 – Feb 14, 2016)

Vanity (Jan 4, 1959 – Feb 15, 2016)

Sonny James (May 1, 1928 – Feb 22, 2016)

Lennie Baker of Danny and the Juniors (April 18, 1946 – Feb 24, 2016)

MARCH

bennythJoey Feek (Sept 9, 1975 – March 4, 2016)

Karen Carroll (Jan 30, 1958 – March 9, 2016)

Ray Griff (April 22, 1940 – March 9, 2016)

Gogi Grant (Sept 20, 1924 – March 10, 2016)

Keith Emerson of Emerson Lake and Palmer (Nov 2, 1944 – March 11, 2016)

Merle Haggard
When I left home I left behind access to my mom’s country music collection so I bought this three CD set.

Frank Sinatra Jr (Jan 10, 1944 – March 16, 2016)

Lee Andrews of Lee Andrews and the Hearts (June 2, 1936 – March 16, 2016)

Steve Young (July 12, 1942 – March 17, 2016)

Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest (Nov 20, 1970 – March 22, 2016)

Patty Duke (Dec 14, 1946 – March 29, 2016)

APRIL

Prince
Purple Rain was the setting for my first date in 1983.

Merle Haggard (April 6, 1937 – April 6, 2016)

Prince (June 7, 1958 – April 21, 2016)

Lonnie Mack (July 18, 1941 – April 21, 2016)

billy-paul
In my Pop – soul playlist

Billy Paul (Dec 1, 1934 – April 24, 2016)

Papa Wemba (June 14, 1949 – April 24, 2016)

MAY

Julius La Rosa (Jan 2, 1930 – May 12, 2016)

Guy Clark (Nov 6, 1941 – May 17, 2016)

papawemba
In my Global – Africa playlist.

John Berry of the Beastie Boys (May 31, 1963 – May 19, 2016)

JUNE

Dave Swarbrick of Fairport Convention (April 5, 1941 – June 3, 2016)

Henry McCullough (July 21, 1943 – June 14, 2016)

Mike Hart of The Roadrunners (Dec 3, 1943 – June 22, 2016)

boxtops
In my Brit invasion playlist. And yes, I know the Boxtops were an American band. They’re here because that’s how I think of their sound. Creating playlists is an inexact science.

Shelley Moore (March 10, 1932 – June 23, 2016)

Bernie Worrell of Parliament-Funkadelic (April 19, 1944 – June 24, 2016)

Mike Pedicin (Oct 24, 1917 – June 26, 2016)

Mack Rice (Nov 10, 1933 – June 27, 2016)

JULY

Monty Python
The CD with the lost case has the Lumberjack song on it.

Danny Smythe of The Box Tops (Aug 25, 1948 – July 6, 2016)

Bonnie Brown of the Browns (July 31, 1938 – July 16, 2016)

Fred Tomlinson (18 December 1927 – 17 July 2016)

Lewie Steinberg of Booker T. & the M.G.’s (Sept 13, 1933 – July 21, 2016)

Pat Upton of Spiral Staircase (Aug 5, 1940 – July 27, 2016)

AUGUST

bobby-vee
My mom had sets of CDs with 50’s music. Bobby Vee was there. I used to sit in front of the stereo and play them over and over.

Glenn Yarbrough (Jan 12, 1930 – Aug 11, 2016)

Matt Roberts of 3 doors down ( ? – Aug 20, 2016)

Toots Thielemans (April 29, 1922 – Aug 22, 2016)

SEPTEMBER

Prince Buster (May 24, 1938 – Sept 8, 2016)

Fred Hellerman of the Weavers (May 13, 1927 – Sept 1, 2016)

boogienights
In the Dance – disco playlist.

John D. Loudermilk Jr. (March 31, 1934 – September 21, 2016)

Jean Shepard (Nov 21, 1933 – Sept 25, 2016)

Oscar Brand (Feb 7, 1920 – Sept 30, 2016)

Clifford Curry (Nov 3, 1936 – Sept 7, 2016)

OCTOBER

Bobby Vee (April 30, 1943 – Oct 24, 2016)

frankievally
In the Dance -disco playlist.

Pete Burns of Dead or Alive (Aug 5, 1959 – Oct 23, 2016)

Rod Temperton of Heatwave (Oct 9, 1949 – Oct 5, 2016)

Joan Marie Johnson of The Dixie Cups (Jan 15, 1944 – Oct 5 2016)

Don Ciccone (Feb 28, 1946 – Oct 8, 2016) of The Critters, The Four Seasons and Tommy James and the Shondells.

NOVEMBER

Leon Russell (April 2, 1942 – Nov 13, 2016)

Leonard Cohen
This is the only Leonard Cohen I own, but I own a lot of his music covered by other artists.

Leonard Cohen (Sept 21, 1934 – Nov 7, 2016)

Mose Allison (Nov 11, 1927 – Nov 15, 2016)

Sharon Jones of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings (May 4, 1956 – Nov 18, 2016)

Kay Starr (July 21, 1922 – Nov 3, 2016)

Eddie Harsch of the Black Crowes (May 27, 1957 – Nov 4, 2016)

Jimmy Young (Sept 21, 1921 – Nov 7, 2016)

Mentor Williams (June 11, 1946 – Nov 16, 2016)

george-michael
This is the very first CD I ever bought.

Doug Edwards of Chilliwack (March 15, 1946 – Nov 11, 2016)

Holly Dunn (Aug 22, 1957 – Nov 14, 2016)

Ray Columbus of Ray Columbus & The Invaders (Nov 4, 1942 –Nov 28, 2016)

Bap Kennedy (June 17, 1962 – Nov 1, 2016)

DECEMBER

Greg Lake of King Crimson and Emerson Lake and Palmer  (Nov 10, 1947 – Dec 7, 2016)

Bunny Walters (May 31, 1953 – Dec 14, 2016)

Barrelhouse Chuck (July 10, 1958 – Dec 12, 2016)

Jim Lowe (May 7, 1923 – Dec 12, 2016)

Valerie Gell of the Liverbirds (Aug 14, 1945 – Dec 11 2016)

Micky Fitz of The Business (1959 – Dec 2016)

George Michael  (Jun 25, 1963 – Dec 25, 2016) 


Musical Mentions:

George Martin (Jan 3, 1926 – March 8, 2016) called the ‘fifth Beatle’, record producer.

Rudy Van Gelder (Nov 2, 1924 – August 25, 2016) important jazz recording engineer involved with John Coltrane, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Sonny Rollins, and Art Blakey.

Robert Stigwood (April 16, 1934 – Jan 4, 2016) managed Cream & Clapton and launched the Bee Gees.

Marni Nixon (Feb 22, 1930 – July 24, 2016) sang voices for actresses in The King and I, West Side Story and My Fair Lady.

Scotty Moore (December 27, 1931 – June 28, 2016) played guitar with Elvis.

Bob Krasnow (July 20, 1934 – December 11, 2016) founded Blue Thumb Records, was chairman of Elektra Records, and co-founded of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Robert Bateman (April 30, 1936 – Oct 12, 2016) co-wrote Please Mr. Postman and If You Need Me.

Curly Putman (Nov 20, 1930 – Oct 30, 2016) wrote Green, Green Grass of Home and He Stopped Loving her Today.

Sandy Pearlman (Aug 5, 1943 – July 26, 2016) involved with albums by Blue Öyster Cult, The Clash, The Dictators, Pavlov’s Dog, Space Team Electra, and Dream Syndicate; and was the founding Vice President of eMusic.com.

Richard D. Trentlage (Dec 27, 1928 – Sept 21, 2016) wrote the Oscar Meyer jingle.

Ruby Wilson (Feb 29, 1948 – Aug 12, 2016) The Queen of Beale Street

Russian  Red  Army  choir – 92 people on board a plane that crashed into the Black Sea, including the choir members.

Allan Williams – credited with discovering the Beatles and their first manager.

 

 

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December earworm round up

I wake up almost every morning with an earworm. Sometimes they fade quickly, other times they last for days. Sometimes they make me happy, sometimes they make me question my sanity. They come from all genres. I rarely figure out what triggered them. The only thing I do know and that they do without fail is reinforce my belief that all music is connected and that good music never goes out of style.

Below is a roundup of my December earworms. naturally, given the season, some of my earworms are going to be in the holiday spirit.

  1. Lou Rawls Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  2. xmas-cds2Bette Midler From A Distance
  3. Brenda Lee  Rockin Around the Christmas Tree
  4. Little Richard Tutti Frutti
  5. Ella Fitzgerald ‘S Wonderful
  6. Louie Prima I Wanna Be Like You
  7. Sinead O’Connor Nothing Compares 2 U
  8. Joan Armatrading Love And Affection
  9. Big Momma Thornton Hound Dog
  10. Frank Sinatra Come Fly With Me
  11. Connie Francis Lipstick On Your Collar
  12. Dionne Warwick I Say A Little Prayer
  13. Edith Piaf La Vie En Rose
  14. King Oliver  St.James Infirmary
  15. Billy Bragg There Is Power In A Union
  16. xmas-cds3Chet Baker Autumn Leaves
  17. Jimmy Buffet Margaritaville
  18. Skeeter Davis The end of the world
  19. Annie Lennox God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  20. Alanah Myles Black Velvet
  21. Cab Calloway Hi De Ho Man
  22. Bo Diddley Who Do You Love
  23. Del Shannon Runaway
  24. Patti Smith Because the Night
  25. Burton Cummings I Will Play A Rhapsody
  26. Donna Summer I Feel Love
  27. Malcolm Middleton Four Cigarettes
  28. Marianne Faithful The Ballad Of Lucy Jordan
  29. Country Joe Macdonald Feel Like I’m Fixing To Die

Women classical composers – the December edition

Like most things historical, women are underrepresented in the genre of classical music. In spite of the odds being against them, a few women wrote some exceptional classical music that survives to the present day. They deserve more exposure. So it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are 4 female classical composers whose works I have on my iPod right now, with links to songs for each of them.

Augusta Holmès
Augusta Holmès

Augusta Holmès (Dec 18, 1847)

Like many women throughout history, she began her career by pretending to be a man. Her family was opposed to her pursuing music so she published under the pseudonym Hermann Zenta.

“Irlande” poème symphonique (1882)

En Chemin

 

 

Maddalena Sirmen
Maddalena Sirmen

Maddalena Sirmen (Dec 9, 1745)

Unusual for a women of her time, she continued to perform and retained control of her own finaces through her married life.

Violin Concerto No. 3 in A major, Op. 3 No. 3

Violin Concerto No.2 in E-major

 

 

Mathilde Kralik
Mathilde Kralik

Mathilde Kralik (Dec 3, 1857)

Her talent was recognised and supported by her family.

Sonate für Klavier und Violine

Praeludium, Passacaglia and Fugato

 

 

Maria Szymanowska
Maria Szymanowska

 

Maria Szymanowska (Dec 14, 1789)

Szymanowska was a virtuoso pianists of the 19th century. She was well known in artistic circles of her day, and German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe may have been in love with her.

Nocturne in B flat major

Etude No.9

Classical composers – the December edition

I have broad, perhaps somewhat eclectic taste in music. Most of the genres outside what gets airplay on popular radio I stumbled upon by accident. Our culture doesn’t really expose young people en masse to much more than current popular music. And that’s a shame. So it feels like a good idea to do my bit to mitigate our cultural musical myopia.

Below are 31 works of classical music composed by artists born in December whose works I have enjoyed – one for each day of the month.

I feel it is only right to begin with one of the most famous and influential of all composers in the history of classical music.

Ludwig van Beethoven (baptised Dec 17, 1770)

Ludwig van Beethoven Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820
Ludwig van Beethoven
Portrait by Joseph Karl Stieler, 1820
Vítězslav Novák
Vítězslav Novák

Irving Fine (Dec 3, 1914)

Vítězslav Novák (Dec 5, 1870)

Władysław Szpilman (Dec 5, 1911) was the inspiration for the protagonist of Roman Polanski’s The Pianist            

Claude Balbastre
Claude Balbastre

Henryk Górecki (Dec 6, 1933)

František Xaver Dušek (baptised Dec 8, 1731)

Claude Balbastre (Dec 8, 1724)   

Jean Sibelius (Dec 8, 1865)

Paul Ladmirault (Dec 8, 1877)

Émile Waldteufel
Émile Waldteufel

Émile Waldteufel (Dec 9, 1837)

Joaquín Turina (Dec 9, 1882 )

César Franck, photographed by Pierre Petit
César Franck, photographed by Pierre Petit

César Franck (Dec 10, 1822)

Marios Varvoglis (Dec 10, 1885)

Carl Friedrich Zelter (Dec 11, 1758)  

Hector Berlioz (Dec 11, 1803)

Manolis Kalomiris (Dec 14, 1883)

Zoltán Kodály (Dec 16, 1882)

Edward Macdowell
Edward Macdowell

Fernando Lopes-Graça (Dec 17, 1906)

Edward MacDowell (Dec 18, 1860)

George Frederick Bristow (Dec 19, 1825)

Carl Friedrich Abel by Thomas Gainsborough
Carl Friedrich Abel by Thomas Gainsborough

Arturo Márquez (Dec 20, 1950)

Leroy Robertson (Dec 21, 1896)

Carl Friedrich Abel (Dec 22, 1723)

Charles Wakefield Cadman (Dec 24, 1881)

 

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges (Dec 25, 1745) is remembered as the first classical composer of African ancestry. 

Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges
Joseph Bologne, Chevalier de Saint-Georges

Antiochos Evangelatos (Dec 25, 1903)

Sylvio Lazzari
Sylvio Lazzari

Willem van Otterloo (Dec 27, 1907) 

Dmitry Kabalevsky
Dmitry Kabalevsky

Daniel Léo Simpson (Dec 28, 1959)

Calixa Lavallée (Dec 28, 1842) composed the music for O Canada

Sylvio Lazzari (Dec 30, 1857)

Dmitry Kabalevsky (Dec 30, 1904)