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Posts Tagged ‘Aretha Franklin’

RIP, Cornell Dupree (May 8, 2011) Jazz and R&B Guitar Great

Posted by on May 8, 2011

Cornell Dupree
December 19, 1942 – May 8, 2011

Cornell Dupree was a respected jazz and R&B guitarist who, over the course of his career, played on records by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Joe Cocker, and Brook Benton.  In his early years, Dupree could be found playing in the legendary Atlantic Records house band, with whom he played on such iconic records as Benton’s “Rainy Night In Georgia,” and Franklin’s “Respect” on which he provided the instantly recognizable opening guitar riff.  He was also a founding member of the much respected jazz funk combo, Stuff.  Dupree also released several of his own albums throughout the years, his most popular being 1994’s Bop ‘n’ Blues.  Cornell Dupree had been suffering from emphysema and had been waiting for a lung transplant when he passed away on May 8, 2011.  He was 68.

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RIP, Eddie Serrato (February 24, 2011) Drummer For ? And The Mysterians

Posted by on February 24, 2011

Eddie Serrato
December 5, 1945 – February 24, 2011

Eddie Serrato was the original drummer for the legendary Michigan garage band, ? and the Mysterians. It is he you can hear playing on their classic hit, “96 Tears.”  Formed when Serrato was recruited from a local Mexican band in 1962, ? and the Mysterians went on to be called by some as the world’s first punk band – if not exactly that, they were without a doubt one of the first Latin rock bands to score a #1 pop hit in America.   The success of that record – which has been covered live or recorded by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Iggy Pop, Garland Jeffreys, and Aretha Franklin – was enough to get the band a nationally televised performance on American Bandstand.   The group released several more moderately successful records throughout the rest of the ’60s, many of which were co-written by Serrato.   He left the band 1968, with  ? and various configurations of the Mysterians, both with and without him, continuing to perform well into the 2000s.  Serrato himself went on to produce Tejano music during the latter part of his life.  On February 24, 2011, Eddie Serrato died of a heart attack at a local hospital where he had been recuperating from an undisclosed surgery.  He was 65.

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RIP, Joseph “Red Dog” Campbell (February 21, 2011) Legendary Roadie For The Allman Brothers

Posted by on February 21, 2011

Joseph Campbell
March 27, 1942 – February 21, 2011

Joseph “Red Dog” Campbell was the beloved longtime roadie for the Allman Brothers Band.  While in college after returning for Vietnam, Campbell was so moved by the electrifying guitar work in Aretha Franklin’s recording of “The Weight,” that he sought out the young guitar player, Duane Allman. And after seeing the Allmans perform, he offered to go to work for them.   He even went as far as to help support the band with his monthly disability checks during their lean early years.  Over the next 30-odd years, Campbell was a loyal and hard working member of their crew.  He later wrote of his exploits in his memoirs,  The Legendary Red Dog: A Book Of Tails.  In the 2000 film Almost Famous, the roadie for the film’s fictional band, Stillwater was named Red Dog in honor of Campbell.  Joseph “Red Dog” Campbell died of cancer on February 21, 2011.  He was 68.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums

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RIP, Dick Griffey (September 24, 2010) Founder Of SOLAR Records

Posted by on September 24, 2010

Dick Griffey
November 16, 1938 – September 24, 2010

Dick Griffey is best remembered as the founder of influential R&B label, SOLAR (Sound Of Los Angeles Records).  Formed in 1977, the label was one of the most successful R&B labels outside of Motown.  Griffey launched his music career during the ’60s when he became part owner of a Los Angeles nightclub, Guys and Dolls which played host to shows by the likes of Ike & Tina Turner and Isaac Hayes.  He soon went on to work as a talent scout for the influential TV dance program, Soul Train.  That lead to a partnership with show creator, Don Cornelius with Soul Train Records.  For some reason, the label folded within two years, so Griffey built SOLAR from its ashes.  The label was one of the most influential urban labels during the late ’70s and ’80s thanks in part to Griffey’s ability to find talent that were much more than the majority of one-dimensional disco and dance acts of the era.  The label roster included the Whispers, Klymaxx, Midnight Starr, Lakeside, and the Deele.  The latter featured a young Kenny “Babyface” Edmonds and Antonio “L.A.” Reid.   Griffey was also a successful concert promoter for a time, setting up tours for the likes of Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Michael Jackson, and Aretha Franklin.  During the ’90s, Griffey had a part in the birth of Death Row Records, the label founded by Suge Knight and Dr. Dre.  On September 24, 2010, Dick Griffey passed away while recuperating from heart surgery.  He was 72.

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Died On This Date (August 15, 2008) Jerry Wexler / Legendary Producer & Label Head

Posted by on August 15, 2010

Jerry Wexler
January 10, 1917 – August 15, 2008

In the studio with Aretha Franklin

Jerry Wexler was best known as a music producer who was responsible for some of the greatest music from the 1950s through the 1980s.  He also coined the phrase “rhythm and blues” while he was editor of Billboard magazine before he became a partner of Atlantic Records in 1953.  While at Atlantic he either produced or signed some of the all time greats of popular music.  That list includes Wilson Pickett, Led Zeppelin, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Bob Dylan and the Allman Brothers.  He retired from the music business in the late ’90s, and passed away of congestive heart failure in 2008.

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Posted in Blues, Disco, Early Rock, Easy Listening, Funk, Gospel, Pop, Producer, R&B, Record Label, Rock, Southern Rock | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Died On This Date (August 13, 1971) King Curtis

Posted by on August 13, 2010

“King Curtis” Ousley
February 7, 1934 – August 13, 1971

King Curtis was a revered tenor saxophonist who, as a session man, played on hits by the likes of the Coasters, Aretha Franklin, and Buddy Holly.  His most famous playing can be heard on “Yakety Yak” by the Coasters.   He also released several albums on his own before his career was tragically cut short.  According to reports, Ousley was carrying an air conditioner up to his New York apartment during a sweltering heat wave.  En route, he was met by two men doing drugs who wouldn’t let him pass.  In the resulting scuffle, Juan Montanez fatally stabbed Ousley.  Sam Moore has claimed that he and Aretha Franklin witnessed the attack as they were arriving to visit Ousley.  Franklin and Stevie Wonder each performed at his funeral.

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RIP, Mitch Miller (July 31, 2010) Successful Band Leader & TV Personality

Posted by on July 31, 2010

Mitch Miller
July 4, 1911 – July 31, 2010

Mitch Miller was many things – musician, record company executive, A&R man, singer, conductor, band leader and producer, but to millions of Americans he was the host of the popular television series and number one albums entitled Sing Along With Mitch.  Although his music was far from rock ‘n roll, he is considered one of the most influential people in popular music.  He is also often credited for inventing what would later be called karaoke because of the “bouncing ball” he used over the songs’ lyrics as the music was broadcast into homes during the ’50s and ’60s.  As an A&R man and producer for Columbia Records, Miller helped create stars out of the likes of Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, and Rosemary Clooney.   Many songs he produced have since become pop standards.   He also discovered Aretha Franklin and signed her to her very first record deal until she was courted away by Atlantic Records.     Mitch Miller was 99 when he passed away on July 31, 2010.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums for the help

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Died On This Date (July 28, 1995) Eddie Hinton / Muscle Shoals Guitarist

Posted by on July 28, 2010

Eddie Hinton
June 15, 1944 – July 28, 1995

Eddie Hinton was one of those great unknowns. As a session guitarist within the legendary Muscle Shoals Sound Rhythm Section, his brilliance can be heard on hits by the likes of Wilson Pickett, Arthur Conley, Aretha Franklin, Joe Tex, Solomon Burke, Percy Sledge, The Staple Singers, The Dells, Johnnie Taylor, Elvis Presley, the Box Tops, Boz Scaggs, and Otis Redding. And as a songwriter, he penned a few hits as well, including “Breakfast In Bed” which has been recorded by the Pretenders, Dusty Springfield and UB40. During the early ’80s however, Hinton’s career and personal life took a drastic turn for the worse, at one point, leading him to a life on the streets. But with the help of friends, he was able to rebound and get back to doing what he did best – writing, recording and touring. Things were going pretty smooth for Hinton until July of 1995. He had just come of the road and was finishing up a new album when he suffered a fatal heart attack on July 28. He was 51.

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Died On This Date (July 10, 1987) John Hammond / Legendary Talent Scout & Producer

Posted by on July 10, 2010

John H. Hammond
December 15, 1910 – July 10, 1987

Photo by Frank Driggs

Photo by Frank Driggs

John Hammond was one of the most influential men in the music business during the 20th century.  Whether as a producer or talent scout, Hammond was instruental in the success of many of the names in music.  That list includes Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Billie Holiday, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Pete Seeger, Aretha Franklin, and Count Basie.  Hammond began his career in the early ’30s, mostly working with jazz artists, primarily helping African American musicians like Lionel Hampton and Charlie Christian land gigs in previously all-white bands.  In 1938, Hammond put together the first of the groundbreaking From Spirituals To Swing concerts that included the biggest names in jazz, blues and gospel.  Taking place at Carnegie Hall, it was reportedly the first significant concert by a racially mixed group of performers in front of a racially mixed audience.  The albums documenting the shows are now considered American music classics and a box set was released in 1999 thanks in part to Morgana Kennedy at Vanguard Records. In the early ’60s, Hammond was hired by Columbia Records where he signed Springsteen, Dylan, Seeger, Aretha and many others.  John Hammond passed away after a stroke at the age of 76.

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Died On This Date (June 25, 2006) Arif Mardin / Notable Producer & Arranger

Posted by on June 25, 2010

Arif Mardin
March 15, 1932 – June 25, 2006

Born to a well-to-do family in Istanbul, Turkey, Arif Mardin, moved to the United States in 1958, having been awarded a scholarship to the Berklee College of Music.  After graduating, Mardin moved to New York City to break into the music business.  He took a job at Atlantic Records as assistant to fellow Turkish immigrant, Nesuhi Ertegun.  Within no time, Mardin became the label engineer and producer and eventually Sr. Vice President of the company.  Along with Tom Dowd and Jerry Wexler, he would be credited for creating the legendary “Atlantic Sound.”  Over his career he produced hits by a who’s who of popular music, and in doing so was awarded a dozen Grammys and over 40 gold and platinum records.  Artists that he produced include Barbra Streisand, the Bee Gees, Diana Ross, Queen, Aretha Franklin, Norah Jones, Willie Nelson, Dusty Springfield, and many more.  Arif Mardin died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 74.

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