LONG FOR NOW’ BUT NOT
Just after we talked about the great Herb Reed, fabulous bass player and founding member of the Platters (in previous post) we came upon too long a list of other rock and roll greats and important people who have recently left us. Most of the basic information comes to us from the excellent ‘Cashbox Canada’. Using this as a basis, our goal here is to add to the reviews with music and videos in our effort to help keep these artists alive. Lucky for us, music lives on through the magic media of records, CDs, radio and now video. So, just think of these artists as on tour and enjoy the marvelous sounds they have left us until we see them again. Check back early and often to ‘Remembering’ page above for recent updates.
But first, let’s look back at a couple of artists, not know as rock and roll artists as much as fine actors who made that common plunge into rock and rol for a record or twol, first Lori Martin, of National Velvet fame (TV 1960-62) and Don Grady of My Three Sons
written by Don Brady
R.B. Greaves (Take A Letter Maria) Dies of Cancer
Submitted by cashbox on Fri, 10/12/2012 – 12:54 News Rock & Roll Heaven
Submitted by Sandy Graham
R. B. Greaves, a pop singer whose “Take a Letter, Maria” was a 1969 hit, has died in Los Angeles. He was 68 and was the nephew of the legendary R&B singer, Sam Cooke. Greaves died of prostate cancer on Sept. 27 at his home, said Craig Harvey, Los Angeles County coroner’s chief of operations.
Ronald Bertram Aloysius Greaves III, was born on 28 November 1944, on a U.S. Air Force Base in Georgetown, (the former British) Guyana.Living in the United Kingdom in the 1960s, he recorded several soul singles as Sonny Childe, but it was after moving to the United States that he scored his biggest hit as R.B. Greaves and the hit ‘Take A Letter Maria.”
There are many other songs about infidelity hitting the top of the charts with “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel in 1968; “Me And Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul in 1972; “Torn Between Two Lovers” by Mary MacGregor in 1977, and a personal favourite of mine, the hauntingly beautiful duet of Jose Feliciano and Gloria Estefan and ‘Tengo Que Decirte Algo’ where a wife confesses her affair, and her husband lovingly forgives her.
Andy Williams His Talent Was Wider Than a Mile – Now Crossing in Style
Submitted by cashbox on Fri, 09/28/2012 – 11:07 News Rock & Roll Heaven
Submitted by Sandy Graham
On Friday, November 4, 2011, it was reported in the press that American crooner Andy Williams had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. The singer confirmed the news during an appearance that weekend at his Moon River Theater in Branson. He traveled to Houston, Texas for chemotherapy treatments and then moved with his wife, Debbie, to Malibu, California, to be closer to cancer specialists in the Los Angeles area.
On July 19, 2012, Williams’ theater announced that Andy Williams had returned to Branson following cancer treatment and was “in good spirits and getting stronger every day” and had hoped to take the stage as scheduled in September. However, on September 25, 2012, Williams died at the age of 84, having suffered from bladder cancer for a year. I had the pleasure of meeting and working with Andy Williams in the late 1970’s and one of his greatest characteristics, besides the amazing voice, was his wicked sense of humour. At one show at Hamilton Place in Ontario, he came out to a rousing round of applause, then stopped in his tracks, turned his back on the audience, pretended to do up his fly, then did an about face and said ‘okay that’s a bit better!’. The same slapstick humour prevailed when he would come out after intermission with the then popular Kodak Instamatic camera and say, ‘you are such a great audience I want to take a picture of you all!’ Then he would hesitate for a second and say ‘ I can’t seem to get you all in the photo. Can you sit just a little bit closer together?’. Perfect delivery.
Sam (Sniderman) the Record Man Passes away in Toronto
Submitted by cashbox on Mon, 09/24/2012 – 08:32 News Rock & Roll Heaven
Submitted by Joanne Smale on behalf of the Sniderman Family.
Iconic Canadian record retailer, Sam Sniderman, passed away peacefully in his sleep, surrounded by loved ones, in Toronto on Sunday September 23. He was 92.
Known widely as Sam the Record Man, Mr. Sniderman joined his brother, Sid, in a small retail store on College Street in Toronto in 1937 – Sniderman Radio Sales and Service. Together they built a chain of Sam the Record Man stores that literally spanned the country.
“Sam was the last of the great Canadian showmen that were able to establish themselves as household names purely through the force of their personality”, said Brian Robertson, a close family friend and Chairman Emeritus of the Canadian Recording Industry Association. “He was a mentor to literally hundreds of Canadian artists and musicians and the Yonge Street record store and Sam’s presence there was the centre of the Canadian music industry’s universe for over three decades”.
Sam Sniderman was a Member of the Order of Canada, was an inductee of the Canadian Music Industry Hall of Fame and the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame, received the Governor General award and Honourary doctorates from Ryerson University and University of Prince Edward Island.
He is survived by his sons Bobby and Jason, as well as their wives Marlaina and Karen, grandchildren Zachary, Jhase, Cosmo and Echo.
Joe South Don’t It Make You Wanna Go Home?
Submitted by cashbox on Thu, 09/06/2012 – 22:24 News Rock & Roll Heaven
Submitted by Don Graham
Someone asked me just the other day “Who’s your favourite songwriter? Who inspired you as a writer?” Without hesitation I said “Joe South!” And now, few days later came the news that he has passed on. He died at his home in Flowery Branch, Ga., Wednesday morning (Sept 5). He was 72.
In 1958, he recorded his debut single, a novelty tune called “The Purple People Eater Meets the Witch Doctor.” In 1959, South wrote a couple of songs which were recorded by rocker Gene Vincent “I Might Have Known” and “Gone Gone Gone”.
Aside from being a prolific songwriter, South was also a prominent sessionman, playing guitar on Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools”, Tommy Roe’s “Sheila”, Marty Robbins sessions and Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde album. Some list South on the electric guitar part that was added to Simon & Garfunkel’s first hit “The Sounds of Silence” although others credit Al Gorgoni and/or Vinnie Bell instead.
Scott McKenzie Passes Away, May he find some “gentle people there”
Submitted by cashbox on Fri, 08/24/2012 – 11:12 News Rock & Roll Heaven
Submitted by Don Graham
Scott McKenzie of whom producer Lou Adler once said “ He sings like an angel. Scott McKenzie has one of the most beautiful voices to ever have a rock ‘n’ roll hit” has died at age 73 in Los Angeles, California. He is perhaps best known for his 1967 hit single “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair).” “San Francisco” was written by John Phillips, the leader of the 1960’s group The Mamas and the Papas. But McKenzie sang it and it has stood as an anthem for the 1960s flower power movement for decades.
Phillips and McKenzie, along with Dick Weisman, formed The Journeymen in 60’s, which Phillips left to form the Mama and Papas. McKenzie was originally pegged to be a Papa but declined to pursue a solo career. That cleared the way for Nova Scotian Denny Doherty to join. McKenzie would later replace Doherty in a 90’s version of the group.
Canadian guitarist Bob Cohen of Montreal worked with a version of that band that included Scott McKenzie and remarked what a nice guy he was and said of the signature song “San Francisco”, ” We all know what that song meant to our generation and for years I played it in bars with different singers. The first time Scott McKenzie opened his mouth to sing it while I was on stage with him, the feeling was indescribable. No one but him could do that song justice.”