The music that slipped away in 2017

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)

Chuck Berry

Glen Campbell

 

Butch Trucks (Allman Brothers)

Maggie Roche (The Roches)

Roberta Peters

William Onyeabor

Buddy Greco

Nicolai Gedda

Eddie Kamae

Larry Coryell

Clyde Stubblefield

Barbara Carroll

Al Jarreau

Arthur Blythe

Joni Sledge (Sister Sledge)

Dave Valentin

Sylvia Moy – I wrote blog about her earlier this year.

Bruce Langhorne

J. Geils

Linda Hopkins

Gregg Allman (Allman Brothers)

Barbara Smith Conrad

Chris Cornell (Soundgarden)

Geri Allen

Rosalie Sorrels

Paul Zukofsky

Chester Bennington (Linkin Park) – not a big fan sorry, so no song link.

Ray Phiri

John Abercrombie

Fredell Lack

Bea Wain

Sonny Burgess

Barbara Cook

Tom Paley

Zuzana Ruzickova

CeDell Davis

Charles Bradley

Brenda Lewis

Michael Friedman [theatre]

Don Williams [country]

Holger Czukay (Can)

Walter Becker (Steely Dan)

Jim Nabors

Carol Neblett [opera, soprano]

Jon Hendricks [jazz]

Dimitri Hvorostivsky [opera, baritone]

Wayne Cochran

David Cassidy

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.

Fred Cole

Keely Smith [jazz]

Pat Dinzio (The Smithereens)

Vincent Nguini

Johnny Hallyday – the “Elvis of France”

Mitch Margo

Tommy Keene

Mel Tillis [country]

Chuck Mosley (Faith No More)

Robert Knight

Dick Noel “King of the Jingles”

Al Hurricane

Howard Carroll (Dixie Hummingbirds)

Jessi Zazu (Those Darlins)

Skip Prokop (Lighthouse)

D.L. Menard

Micheal Johnson

Red West

Jimmy LaFave

Robert Miles

Cuba Gooding Sr. (The Main Ingredient)

Dick Contino – I have a surprising love of accordion music

Allan Holdsworth [influencer and in many groups]

David Peel

Paul O’Neill (Trans-Siberian Orchestra )

Clem Curtis (Foundations)

Horace Parlan [jazz]

Leon Ware

Clyde Stubblefield

Svend Asmussen [jazz]

John Wetton (King Crimson, Asia)

Ronald ‘Bingo’ Mundy (Marcels)

Jaki Liebezeit (Can)

Peter Sarstedt

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

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An Alberta Icon

Actually, I started out the day humming ‘I wanna be in the cavalry…’which is really catchy, but I’ve ended up playing ‘Hard on equipment’ about 15 times in row now, just because the song is so gosh darned good.

Listen for yourself:

HARD ON EQUIPMENT

(Corb Lund)

corb lund

He’s been roundin’ off bolts since the age of fourteen
Was that a five eighths or a nine sixteenths?
He’s got a metric socket that don’t quite fit
Well it’ll wiggle just a little but it ain’t quite stripped
The safety guard’s gone from his grinding machine
He got a stiff paint brush he only sorta got clean
He’s the hired man, my neighbor and a cousin in law
He’s a jerry riggin’ fool, he got the tool for the job

Well it’s vise grips for pliers, and pliers for a wrench
A wrench for a hammer, hammers everything else
It just don’t seem to make much difference
I sure do like him but he’s hard on equipment
I sure like you son, but you’re hard on equipment

His corners ain’t square and his floor ain’t level
And he’s had a little trouble with the old tape measure

His doors don’t close ‘cause the jamb ain’t plumb
And he’s a Goddamn menace with an air nail gun
They love to see him comin’ at the lumberyard store
Fixed the leak in his roof with a two by four
Drilled holes in his boards with the wrong kinda bit
And when they don’t line up he blames the government

He got the whole front yard full of fix ‘em up cars
Three don’t run and the rest won’t start
Everything’s fine with his rebuilt motor
Except of course for the couple spare washers left over
Baler twine tie downs goin’ down the road
On two bald tires and an oversize load
He ain’t never read a manual ‘cause that’s like cheatin’
He don’t mind the grease on his hands while he’s eatin’

He’s got busted up knuckles, his thumb got bruised
Jesus Christ was a carpenter, too

That last line “Jesus Christ” reminds me of my dad.

Picture my sister and I sitting watching TV upstairs, my dad downstairs putting lights in the newly finished basement. All of a sudden we hear “gggggggaaaargh” – then silence. I look at my sis, she looks at me. We spend a moment in silence, then I say “You go down”, she says “No, you go down”. This goes on for another 30-40 seconds. Finally, much to our relief we hear “JEEESUS CHRIST” in my dad’s voice booming from the bowels of the house. So, we figure, if he can curse he’s OK, and went back to the Flintstones.

True story.

Don’t know what you about Corb Lund, but here are a few highlights about this Alberta music icon:

Lund was a founding member of The Smalls ; (http://liamdynes.wordpress.com/portfolio/writing/the-smalls-go-out-big/) – a hardcore punk band I caught at least once – I think at Bronx. (‘nother fact, Nirvana played Bronx too http://www.nirvanaguide.com/1991.php)

Hurtin’ Albertans is Corb Lund’s touring band.

In 2006 Kurt Browning, performed a figure skating routine to “Expectation and the Blues”.

In 2009 Lund signed with New West Records, home of Dwight Yoakam, Steve Earle, Kris Kristofferson – keeping company with alt rock aristocracy.

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