Leon Russell Dead at 74: Elton John Says Goodbye: Tribute



Leon Russell, “The Master Of Space And Time” Dead at 74
The singer got the ambiguous title during his stint as Joe Cocker’s Musical Director for the “Mad Dogs & Englishmen” era in 1970.

Russell died in his sleep in Nashville, Tennessee, this morning. (November 13, 2016) His health had not been good for at least the past 10 years. In 2010, he underwent surgery to stop leaking brain fluid, and he suffered a heart attack in July 2016.

It was Elton John, a few years ago, who felt it was his mission to make sure that we didn’t forget about Leon Russell. So much so that the pair recorded the fabulous rootsy Americana album ‘The Union’ in 2010. On hearing the news of his old friends death Elton wrote, “My darling Leon Russell passed away last night. He was a mentor, inspiration and so kind to me,” John wrote. “Thank God we caught up with each other and made The Union. He got his reputation back and felt fulfilled. I loved him and always will.”

On Russell’s own website the words…”The Master Of Space And Time was a legendary musician and songwriter originally from Tulsa, Oklahoma who performed his gospel-infused southern boogie piano rock, blues, and country music for over 50 years.”

The singer was born in 1942. His real name was Claude Russell Bridges and like many who were just wired to have the gift and the wisdom to perfect it, he got on stage as early as he could playing in nightclubs as a young teen. He got people talking quickly and soon Jerry Lee Lewis was knocking on his door.

By the time he was 17 years-old LA was his home and he quickly became one of most in-demand session musicians playing with the Byrds, Herb Albert and Phil Spector. He also earned his membership into, the now famous, “Wrecking Crew,” of backup/studio cats that were the best in the business. Then came the segue from his name only being on the back of albums (if at all) to the front – in big letters.

Russell’s self titled debut album featured a tune that would have a special quality that would describe many of his future hits, many that would be recorded by others – it was an ingredient that many Jazz standards had. ‘A song For You’ could be recorded by any artist in any genre and still sound well-rooted in that land. The tune about forgiveness has been recorded by The Carpenters, Ray Charles, Willie Nelson, Donna Summer and in 2005 Herbie Hancock and Christina Aguilera’s version was nominated for a Grammy.

Like, ‘A Song For You’ his standard ‘This Masquerade’ was recorded by dozens of musicians but it’s the 1976 rendition by George Benson and his classic ‘Breezin’ album that stamped it’s place in music history. Originally a B-side to Russell’s 1972 hit ‘Tight Rope’ the tune earned Benson a Grammy in 1977 as ‘Record of the Year.’

Russell almost disappeared in the 80’s and 90’s. Instead of stadiums he played in clubs. He just fell out of flavor.

Elton John said a few years ago, “There are some people who are born to be leaders of musicians — and he is,”

Russell loved to talk about his journey’s and friends most notably Bob Dylan, George Harrison and the Stones.

Russell, an inductee of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, Married to his second wife, Janet, since 1979, Russell has six children. – by John Beaudin

John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 33 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver.

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Greg Lake, Legendary Pioneering Prog Rocker, Dead at 69: Full Report



Greg Lake, Legendary Pioneering Prog Rocker, dead at 69
Just as his original solo classic, “I Believe in Father Christmas’ is being added to radio stations all over the world for the holidays comes this sad news.

His manager, Stewart Young, said: “Yesterday, 7 December, I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer. Greg Lake will stay in my heart forever, as he has always been. His family would be grateful for privacy during this time of their grief.”

He was part of Progressive Rock royalty. Lake was a founding member of two huge bands in that genre. First King Crimson. Robert Fripp picked Lake to sing and play bass for the band even though up until that point he usually only played six string. Lake was on their first two albums, ‘In the Court of the Crimson King’ in 1969 and 1970’s ‘In the Wake of Poseidon.’ Everything changed when Lake and King Crimson toured with The Nice which featured another musical genius – keyboardist Keith Emerson who we lost this year as well on March 11th 2016. He was 71. The two soon discovered how much they had in common and that, in 1970, lead to the formation of Emerson Lake and Palmer with drummer Carl Palmer who is now the only surviving member of the band.

ELP were the quintessential Progressive, symphonic, art rock group and they had huge success. From their self titled debut in 1970 prog fans were pleasantly surprised at their ability to reinventing classical pieces. The very first song on that debut album, the Bartok inspired “The Barbarian” named after his “Allegro Barbaro” was such a brilliant piece. Gordon Fletcher of Rolling Stone magazine talked about another classic album ‘Brain Salad Surgery, “The real meat of this platter, is the “Karn Evil 9. It’s another tour-de-force where EL&P pull out all the sonic stops, this time around the themes of a tripart epic battle between man and his surroundings.” Lake called his tune “Lucky Man” a medieval fantasy. It was a song he started writing when he was only 12 after his mom bought him a guitar.

When Emerson died we did a poll with the participation a huge fans on Facebook and came up with the Top 10 ELP songs of all time. We will have a link to it at the end of this video

In 1975 Lakes “I Believe in Father Christmas’ reached No 2 on the charts.. It was really a anti-commercial tune about the exploitation of the holiday season.

Emerson, Lake and Palmer broke up in 1979. He formed a new ELP in the mid 80’s – Emerson, Lake and Powell, with Cozy Powell replacing Palmer. The original ELP got back together on and off since 1991.

The band Yes tweeted Very sad to hear of the passing of our friend legendary Greg Lake
Our thoughts & condolences are with Regina & Natasha & all the family -YES

Former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett said, “Music bows its head to acknowledge the passing of a great musician and singer, Greg Lake.”

For Yes keyboardist Rick Wakeman added, “Another sad loss with the passing of Greg Lake….You left some great music with us my friend & so like Keith , you will live on. – by John Beaudin

LINK TO TOP 10 ELP SONGS OF ALL TIME https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwgZy3_iGcc&t=96s

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Ray Sawyer Of Dr Hook Fame Dead at 81 – Our Tribute



RAY SAWYER OF DR. HOOK DEAD AT 81
He was one of their singers and the face of Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show. He was sometimes known as the mascot of the band because of his larger than life persona. He lost his right eye in a near-fatal 1967 automobile accident. Ray “Eye Patch” Sawyer died this morning. So far no details have surfaced.

Dr. Hook had 10 Top 40 Hits Including “Sylvia’s Mother” and “The Cover of Rolling Stone” both Top 10 hits from 1972 and their other seventies hits, “Only Sixteen,” “A Little Bit More,” “Walk Right In,” “Sharing the Night Together,” “When You’re in Love with a Beautiful Woman and “Sexy Eyes.’

Sawyer shared a birthday with me. He was born February 1, 1937, Chickasaw, Alabama. In the 80’s he left the band and toured “Dr. Hook featuring Ray Sawyer,” via a deal for licencing from the original band who owned the trademark.

Dr. Hook was formed in Union City, New Jersey. By the mid seventies they had a more commercial soft rock feel which gave them another life.

The remaining members of Dr. Hook just announced a big 50th Anniversary world tour that will have them on the road from 2019 to 2020.

It was Sawyer who inspired the hook in Dr. Hook because of his eye patch as a reference to Captain Hook from Peter Pan.

The band had a few million sellers including their classic “The Cover of The Rolling Stone” (1972) from Sloppy Seconds. The band reached out to the magazine proclaiming they’d given them the best publicity ever. Rolling Stone responded by sending a then 16-Year-old Cameron Crowe, who later became a famous director, to interview the band and yes they were on the cover of the Rolling Stone.

Thanks to Wray Ellis who reached out to us this morning with news of Ray’s passing. Wray will join us in another video today to talk about his time touring with Ray Sawyer. May he rest in peace. – by John Beaudin

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John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 35 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two version (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver and on iHeartRadio.

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Peter Tork of the Monkees, Dead at 77 – Our Tribute



Peter Tork of the Monkees, Dead at 77
He was the oldest member of the band. Just 24 when the Monkees phenomenon started in 1966. Though compared and meant to be in the same lane as the Beatles the Monkees were certainly a different animal but that’s not to say they didn’t leave an incredible mark on Rock-and-roll.

They set up the Monkees with Tork on bass alongside singer-songwriter Michael Nesmith, played guitar, with drummer Micky Dolenz and Davy Jones on lead vocals. The latter two were presented up front as lead singers even though all of them sang.

He was born Peter Halsten Thorkelson Feb. 13, 1942, in Washington, D.C… Both of his parents were folk music fans and bought him both a guitar and banjo when he was just a kid so Tork, however, was a musician long before the Monkees. He also played the piano. Before his fame, Tork played in coffee shops in New York City with the shortened last name of Tork.

Even though in the beginning they didn’t write or play on their own songs outside the vocals. On their debut album simply titled “The Monkees’ from October 1966 the group as a whole never play together with the exception of two tracks written and/or co-written by Michael Nesmith where Tork also plays guitar. Tork told CBS news that producer Don Kirshner, discouraged the band to even be in the studio during the recording leaving most of it to studio musicians like the wrecking crew.

In spite of that or maybe because of it the Monkees soared. Their likeability on TV was huge. That show only last 2 seasons from 1966 to 1968 but there was a hunger for that Beatle-like hijinks that was inspired by the Fab fours “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!,” Tork was the silly on – a self-professed dummy on the show which was an act but a lovable one at that. He always had that confused smile when he didn’t get what was happening in the room. He once told the New York Times the emotional age of the Monkees was 13.

They had over 10 Top 40 hits including, “(I’m Not Your) Steppin’ Stone” and “A Little Bit Me, a Little Bit You’ from 1966, “Pleasant Valley Sunday” the following year and their #1 hits 1966’s “Last Train to Clarksville,” and Neil Diamond’s “I’m a Believer” plus “Daydream Believer” in 67.

In 2016, while touring with the Monkees Tork told the Telegraph, “This is not a band. It’s an entertainment operation whose function is Monkees music, It took me a while to get to grips with that but what great music it turned out to be! And what a wild and wonderful trip it has taken us on!”

Tork was involved with many Monkees reunions. When Jones died in 2012 Nesmith who was usually hesitant to rejoin got back into the fold for their 50th-anniversary tour.

Tork’s death was announced originally on the band Facebook book page. He was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that affected his tongue in 2009. – by John Beaudin

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John Beaudin has been in major market radio (Edmonton, Vancouver & Calgary) for 35 years and a music journalist since 1989. He graduated from Broadcasting school as a news man so he would have the skills to write about the artists that inspired him since he bought his first album, “Madman Across The Water” by Elton John as a teen. In the 80’s Beaudin was the host of the syndicated radio show “The Cross Canada Report” which had two versions (Rock and A/C). Beaudin was also asked to be a judge at the Juno Awards (Canada’s answer to the Grammys) Twice. He has anchored every position in radio including morning and afternoon drive and was a Program and Music Director for The Breeze and California 103 in Calgary. He currently hosts the popular Lovesongs at QM-FM in Vancouver and on iHeartRadio.

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Heading West by Audionautix is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license ()
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Rock Stars Who Are Completely Unrecognizable In Real Life

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As found on Youtube

Rock Music 2019 Playlist – Alternative Music – Rock Music News

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As found on Youtube