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Posts Tagged ‘Elvis Presley’

RIP, Dolores Fuller (May 9, 2011) Wrote A Number Of Songs For Elvis

Posted by on May 9, 2011

Dolores Fuller (Born Dolores Eble)
March 10, 1923 – May 9, 2011

Dolores Fuller is perhaps best remembered as the one-time girlfriend of notorious film maker, Ed Wood for whom she co-starred as the female lead in his cult classic, Glen or Glenda.  She also had minor roles in numerous other films during the ’50s and again in the ’90s.  Fuller made a more significant impact on pop music however, but oddly enough, as a songwriter.  When she was going after a role in Elvis Presley’s, Blue Hawaii, the film”s producer and Fuller’s friend, Hal Wallis – who knew of her songwriting talent – put her in touch with the publishing company that provided Presley with songs.  They brought her on, and it was there that she began writing such Presley classics like “Rock-A-Hula Baby,” “Spinout,” and “Do The Clam.”  In all, she wrote twelve songs for the King.  Fuller also penned tunes for Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, Shelley Fabares, and Terry Stafford to name a few.  In 1994, Fuller was portrayed by Sarah Jessica Parker in Tim Burton’s biopic, Ed Wood.   Dolores Fuller died on May 9, 2011 following a stroke.  She was 88.

Thanks to Benji Isabel for the help

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RIP, John Cossette (April 26, 2011) Grammy Telecast Producer

Posted by on April 26, 2011

John Cossette
February 22, 1957 – April 26, 2011

John Cossette is perhaps best remembered as a longtime producer of the Grammy television broadcast.  He carried on the tradition started by his father, Pierre Cossette, who produced the very first broadcast in 1971.   Cossette worked on the Grammy show for the better part of the past 20 years, most recently as executive producer.  He served in the same capacity for the Latin Grammys as well.   Outside of the award show, Cossette produced programming for BET as well as the Broadway, Chicago and London productions of Million Dollar Quartet, which is based on the historic 1956 meeting of Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.  John Cossette was 54 when he passed away on April 26, 2011.  Cause of death was not immediately released.

Thanks to Craig Rosen of Number1Albums

Posted in Producer | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

RIP, Mel McDaniel (March 31, 2011) Country Music Star

Posted by on March 31, 2011

Mel McDaniel
September 6, 1942 – March 31, 2011

Photo by Dean Dixon

Mel McDaniel was a successful country music artist who scored several hits during the 1980s.  Born and raised in Oklahoma, McDaniel was one of millions of kids who were inspired to make music after witnessing Elvis Presley on television.  Thankfully for us, he remained faithful to that dream.  McDaniel eventually landed in Nashville where, during the mid ’70s,  he landed a deal with Capitol Records.  By the late ’80s, McDaniel had released such hit records as “Louisiana Saturday Night,” “Baby’s Got Her Blue Jeans On,” and the Bruce Springsteen-penned, “Stand On It.”  In 1996, he was seriously injured when he took a fall from a Lafayette, Louisiana stage and never fully recovered.  He then suffered a major heart attack in 2009.  But it was ultimately cancer that took Mel McDaniel’s life on March 31, 2011.  He was 62.

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RIP, Eddie Snyder (March 10, 2011) American Composer & Lyricist

Posted by on March 10, 2011

Eddie Snyder
February 22, 1919 – March 10, 2011

Eddie Snyder was an American composer who is best remembered for co-writing the English lyrics and music for the Frank Sinatra hit, “Strangers In The Night.” The song was first written by a Croation songwriter, the piece eventually ended up with Snyder who helped create the English lyrics and complete the music with Bert Kaempfert and Charles Singleton.  Although Sinatra reportedly hated the song, his rendition of it was the title song of his most successful album and won three Grammys.  Snyder also co-wrote the Al Martino hit, “Spanish Eyes.”  Songs that Snyder either wrote or co-wrote have been recorded by the likes of Elvis Presley (“Spanish Eyes”), Johnny Mathis (“A Time For Us”), and Perry Como (“The Girl With The Golden Braids”) to name just a few.  Eddie Snyder passed away on March 10, 2011 at the age of 92.

Thanks to Anne Bentley for the help

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RIP, Bruce Jackson (January 29, 2011) Longtime Concert Sound Engineer For Bruce Springsteen

Posted by on January 29, 2011

Bruce Jackson
DOB Unknown – January 29, 2011

Bruce Jackson was a sound engineer who helped Bruce Springsteen create his storied concert experiences as his concert sound engineer for over ten years.  Jackson started with Springsteen during his historic Darkness On The Edge Of Town tour of 1978 and stayed on board through 1987’s Tunnel Of Love  Express tour.   And if that weren’t impressive enough, Jackson also worked with the likes of Elvis Presley, Stevie Wonder, and Barbra Streisand over the years.  He was also an experienced pilot.  On January 29, 2011, Bruce Jackson was killed when the plane he was flying crashed in Southern California.

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RIP, Lamar Fike (January 21, 2011) Elvis’ Memphis Mafia

Posted by on January 21, 2011

Lamar Fike
November 11, 1935 – January 21, 2011

Carrying Elvis Presley on stage

Lamar Fike was one of Elvis Presley’s closest friends and confidants for many years.  He met Presley in 1954, and went to work for him in 1957.  As part of Presley’s storied “Memphis Mafia,” Fike had many responsibilities over the years, including concert lighting duties as well as  arranging transportation for Elvis.  When Presley was drafted by the U.S. Army, Fike reportedly enlisted in order to be close to his boss  while overseas only to be denied due to his large weight.   Fike also worked for Hill and Range music publishers and managed Brenda Lee for a short time.  Lamar Fike died of Lymphoma on January 21, 2011.  He was 75.

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Died On This Date (December 27, 2004) Hank Garland / Nashville Studio Legend

Posted by on December 27, 2010

Walter “Hank” Garland
November 11, 1930 – December 27, 2004

Hank Garland was respected session guitarist who was part of country music’s legendary Nashville A-Team who played on most of the greatest records during the ’50s and ’60s.  Garland picked up the guitar at the age of six, and by the time he was 12 he was playing on local radio stations, and within two years of that, he moved to Nashville to further his career.  Like his friend Chet Atkins, Garland stood out above the rest for the fact that he was so skilled at marrying country with jazz in his playing.  When he was 19, Garland released his biggest hit, “Sugarfoot Rag,” which went on to sell over a million copies.  Between 1957 and 1961, Garland recorded and performed live with Elvis Presley, adding his signature sound to such records as “Big Hunk O’ Love” and “Little Sister.”  Over the years he also played with Patsy Cline, Roy Orbison, Conway Twitty, Bob Dylan, and Marty Robbins, to name a few.  He also collaborated with such jazz icons as Charlie Parker and George Shearing.  Garland did his part to improve race relations at the time by hiring African American jazz musicians to perform with him to the dismay to some in Nashville.  In 1961, Garland was seriously hurt in a car accident that some have speculated was purposely caused by a rival.  Either way, Garland ended up in a coma for several days and incurred injuries that left him unable to record again. Hank Garland was 74 when he passed away on December 27, 2004.

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RIP, Sherrill “Shaun” Nielsen (December 10, 2010) Sang With Elvis

Posted by on December 10, 2010

Sherrill “Shaun” Nielsen
DOB Unknown – December 10, 2010

Shaun Nielsen was a singer, songwriter, producer, and pianist who is perhaps best remembered for his time singing with Elvis Presley.  Besides performing on stage with Presley, Nielsen dueted with him on “Softly As I Leave You,” which was nominated for a Grammy in 1978.  It was during those years that he sang with Voice, the Gospel group who opened for Presley.  Nielsen was also part of such Gospel groups as the Singing Speers, the Imperials, and the Statesmen.  All were inducted into the Gospel Hall Of Fame, making Nielsen the only person to be done so three different times.  Sherrill “Shaun” Nielsen died of cancer on December 10, 2010.  He was 68.

Posted in Gospel, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Died On This Date (September 1, 2008) Jerry Reed

Posted by on September 1, 2010

Jerry Reed (Born Jerry Hubbard)
March 20, 1937 – September 1, 2008

Jerry Reed was a country singer, songwriter and musician who may be just as well known for his string of supporting actor roles throughout the ’70s and ’80s.  Reed was already writing music while in high school and by the time he was 18, he already had a publishing deal.  His first breakthrough came when Gene Vincent made his “Skinny Legs” a rockabilly hit in 1958.  After a two-year term in the military, Reed headed to Nashville where his career really took off.  He became a popular session player and his songs were starting to get noticed.   He released his first significant country hit with “Guitar Man” in 1967.  Elvis Presley soon covered it, making it an even bigger hit.  Presley would go on to record three more of Reed’s songs.   Reed went on to have many big country hits over the couple of decades including “Amos Moses,” “When You’re Hot You’re Hot,” “Lord Mr. Ford,” and “She’s Got The Goldmine (I Got The Shaft.”  In the mid ’70s, began a film career that included the three popular Smokey and The Bandit films alongside his friend, Burt Reynolds.  Reed died of emphysema at the age of 71.

Thanks to Craig Rosen at Number1Albums for the help

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Posted in Country, Musician, Singer, Songwriter | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Died On This Date (August 29, 1976) Jimmy Reed

Posted by on August 29, 2010

Mathis “Jimmy” Reed
September 6, 1925 – August 29, 1976

Jimmy Reed was an influential electric blues guitarist, singer and songwriter during the ’50s and ’60s.  Throughout a career that began with him busking in Mississippi, Reed released several hit records, including “Bright Lights Big City,” “Big Boss Man,” and “You Don’t Have To Go.”  His songs have been covered by such greats as the Rolling Stones, Elvis Presley and Hank Williams Jr. Unfortunately, Reed’s career quickly to a nosedive due to his heavy alcoholism and bouts with epilepsy.  The fact that his label, Vee-Jay Records, was on its last leg didn’t help either.  This perhaps kept him from attaining legendary status and world fame like many of his contemporaries.  Jimmy Reed was 50 when he passed away on August 29, 1976.

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