Archive for the RIP Category

RIP Mel McDaniel

Posted in RIP on April 1, 2011 by takecountryback

Grand Ole Opry member Mel McDaniel has passed away. RIP to one of the good guys of country music.

RIP Billy Lee Riley passes at age 75

Posted in RIP on August 5, 2009 by takecountryback

Billy Lee Riley, a rambunctious performer who helped develop the Sun Records sound as a studio musician for other headliners, has died. He was 75.

Riley’s singles included “Red Hot” and “Flyin’ Saucers Rock & Roll,” the latter of which led him to call his band “The Little Green Men” for a time. Riley died Sunday in Jonesboro, according to Dillinger Funeral Home in Newport, which is handling arrangements. He had been suffering from colon cancer, and it had moved to his bones, his wife, Joyce, told The Commercial Appeal newspaper in Memphis, Tenn.

“He was actually feeling better lately. So the very end was unexpected. But, he went peacefully,” Joyce Riley said.

Riley was one of the early performers who recorded at Memphis’ legendary Sun Records, but he was overshadowed by his cohorts, including Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. Among many other songs, Riley and his band played on the original Sun recording of Lewis’ “Great Balls of Fire.”

Riley’s voice at times had a cadence similar to Presley’s but early on he sang with more of a growl. His voice softened in his later recordings, which focused more on blues. A 22-song compilation, “Red Hot: The Best of Billy Lee Riley,” is among records still available.

Born in the town of Pocahontas, Riley grew up in a sharecropper family in northeast Arkansas and learned guitar and harmonica from other families.

In the early 1960s, Riley took his talents to California, where he worked as a studio musician for The Beach Boys, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin. He also played bass, drums and sang.

Riley continued to perform, touring in Europe in the 1970s and 1980s to receptive rockabilly audiences. He kept performing late in life, including a June gig in Memphis with Sonny Burgess, another northeast Arkansas native and Sun performer.

The funeral home said there would be no visitation, and that a graveside service is set for 3 p.m. Wednesday at Walnut Grove Cemetery in Newport.

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RIP: Mighty Joe Young, Jr.

Posted in RIP on June 15, 2009 by takecountryback

June 11, 2009 – Mighty Joe Young, Jr. a Chicago Blues notable quietly slipped away from us in the pre-dawn hours after 3:00 a.m. following a harrowing bout with terminal pancreatic cancer. The International Blues Community took two hits in as many weeks with first the legendary Koko Taylor’s passing last week and now Young’s untimely death.

Young was the son of the late Mighty Joe Young, Sr. (Blind Pig Records). His guitar can be heard on his father’s recordings. He shared the stage with the Queen of the Blues herself on more than one occasion, as well as with such powerhouses as Roy Hytower (the root doctor), his renowned father & many others.

Mighty Joe Young, Jr. will lie in state Friday June 12, 2009 at Corbin Colonial Funeral Chapel 1001 Madison in Maywood, IL 60153 4:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. Funeral Services are at Corbin on Saturday 10:00 a.m. – Noon.

Singer, Songwriter, Musician Mighty Joe Young, Jr. began his love affair with the guitar when his older brother Earl realized she wasn’t the girl for him and introduced the siren to his younger brother.

Like his famous father the late Mighty Joe Young, Sr., Joe was a natural and was wed to his music ever since. Flourishing under the tutelage of his father, Joe formed his first band while still in high school.

After marrying and starting a family, Joe traveled around the country with his father performing and honing his chops playing rhythm and lead guitar. His powerful sound has been featured on studio sessions for his late father Mighty Joe Young, Sr. and on varied projects for other artists.

Joe burned up the Chicago blues scene for several decades. Gifted with the phenomenal ability to play music by ear, Joe was at ease playing everything from cool jazz to hot soul, but the melodies of white-hot electric blues fueled his performances.

Joe’s band included some of Chicago’s best musicians who formed the Mighty Joe Young Rhythm & Blues Band. Continuing the family tradition, his own daughters Leah Chanelle & Chontella Renee along with his granddaughters Natalia Renee & LaDonna Chanelle often accompanied him on stage.

Throughout his career Joe headlined many events including the 24th Annual Blues Festival in June 2007. He played such stellar venues as the Isaac Hayes Club, Buddy Guy’s Legends, Famous Dave’s, Koko Taylor’s Celebrity, Blues Etcetera, Frankie’s Blues Room to name a few in the Chicago land area. He also played an assortment of national venues & corporate affairs.

Joseph Young, Jr. was born the second child to the late Mighty Joe Young, Sr. and Lorene Sneed Young in Milwaukee, Wisconsin November 14, 1948. Both parents made their celestial transition before him.

Joseph married in July 1967 to Lavera Levy and was later divorced. There were three children born to their union. Joseph & Lavera remained friends.

Joseph attended Richard Crane High School where he was a good student, but exhibited a much more keen interest in studying music than the three “R’s”. Throughout his youth “Joe Joe” (as he was affectionately called) competed successfully in numerous showcases and talent shows.

In 1999, Joe became a founding member of The Mighty Joe Young Blues Foundation where he served on the Board of Directors until 2002. Each year Joe spearheaded an annual Tribute Show in honor of his late father the legendary Mighty Joe Young, Sr.

Rest In Peace, Martha Vaughan

Posted in RIP on June 15, 2009 by takecountryback

from the S.R.V. Remembrance Ride & Concert:

Martha Vaughan, mother of Stevie and Jimmie Vaughan, passed away Sunday, June 14, 2009. Everyone at the S.R.V. Remembrance Ride & Concert are deeply saddened by her passing. Martha’s support of the Ride & Concert sustained the event in the early years and she often attended with her brother Joe and his family. Our condolences go out to “Uncle” Joe, Jimmie Vaughan and the rest of the Vaughan and Cook families.

After Stevie’s passing, Martha established the SRV Memorial Scholarship Fund for students at W.E.Greiner Middle School. The Ride & Concert has been proud to contribute the proceeds of the events to that scholarship fund. To date, 173 music scholarships have been awarded to music students at W.E. Greiner Middle School. This year marks the fifteenth annual event and it will be dedicated to Mrs. Vaughan’s memory as well as Stevie’s.

Koko Taylor Passes at age 80

Posted in Artists, Blues, RIP on June 4, 2009 by takecountryback

“Blues is my life,” … “It’s a true feeling that comes from the heart, not just something that comes out of my mouth”

Chicago blues icon Koko Taylor died Wednesday afternoon at age 80, after surgery May 19 to correct a gastrointestinal bleed.

    “She was recovering slowly but surely, and then she had a real bad night,” said Marc Lipkin, a spokesman for Taylor’s longtime Chicago-based label, Alligator Records. Taylor was recovering from her surgery at Northwestern Memorial Hospital when she died.

She had performed only weeks earlier at the Blues Music Awards ceremony in Memphis, Tenn., where she received her record 29th Blues Music Award .

More here

Singer-Songwriter Vern Gosdin Dies in Nashville at Age 74

Posted in RIP with tags on April 29, 2009 by takecountryback

Original post from CMT

Singer-songwriter Vern Gosdin, who achieved mainstream country success in the ’80s with hits such as “Set ‘Em Up Joe” and “Chiseled in Stone,” died late Tuesday (April 28) at a Nashville hospital at age 74. Gosdin, who was often referred to as “the Voice,” reportedly suffered a stroke several weeks ago.

Born in Woodland, Ala., he had already achieved success with his brother, Rex, as the Gosdin Brothers before launching his solo career. As a teenager, his family hosted The Gosdin Family Gospel Show on a radio station in Birmingham, Ala. Vern and Rex Gosdin moved to the Los Angeles area in 1961 and began performing in a bluegrass group, the Golden State Boys. The band evolved into another bluegrass group, the Hillmen, featuring Chris Hillman, who later became a founding member of the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothersand the Desert Rose Band. With the demise of the Hillmen, the Gosdin Brothers scored one country hit, “Hangin’ On,” which peaked at No. 37 on theBillboard chart in 1967. Rex Gosdin died in 1983.

In the early ’70s, Vern Gosdin moved to Atlanta, where he ran a retail store, but he continued to perform in area clubs. Emmylou Harris, who knew him from their days in California, teamed with Gosdin to record a demo single featuring two songs — a remake of “Hangin’ On” and a new one, “Yesterday’s Gone.” The demo resulted in Gosdin’s contract with Elektra Records. “Yesterday’s Gone” became his first single for the label and reached No. 9 on the country chart in 1977.

During the late ’70s and early ’80s, Gosdin charted other Top 10 singles for the Elektra, Ovation and AMI labels before scoring his first No. 1 hit in 1984 with “I Can Tell by the Way You Dance (You’re Gonna Love Me Tonight),” written by Sandy Pinkard and Rob Strandlund. After moving to Columbia Records in the late ’80s, he quickly scored a series of Top 10 singles with songs he co-wrote, including “Do You Believe Me Now,” “Chiseled in Stone,” “Who You Gonna Blame It On This Time” and “That Just About Does It.” His recordings of two other original songs from that era — “Set’ Em Up Joe” and “I’m Still Crazy” reached No. 1. Gosdin’s last Top 10 singles were released in 1990 — “Right in the Wrong Direction” and “Is It Raining at Your House.”

In 1989, Gosdin and one of his longtime songwriting collaborators, Max D. Barnes, shared a CMA Award for song of the year for “Chiseled in Stone.” George Strait enjoyed a Top 10 hit in 1997 with “Today My World Slipped Away,” a song Gosdin co-wrote with Mark Wright. It had been a Top 10 single for Gosdin in 1982.

Aubrey Mayhew, Johnny Paycheck’s Supporter and Producer, Dead at 81

Posted in RIP on April 5, 2009 by takecountryback

From CMT

Aubrey Mayhew, who co-founded Little Darlin’ Records with Johnny Paycheck in 1966 primarily as a vehicle for Paycheck’s own music, has died at a Nashville hospice at the age of 81. Time and cause of death have not yet been announced. Despite its focus on Paycheck, Little Darlin’ became a home to such other country artists as Bobby Helms and Jeannie C. Riley. Mayhew also served as Paycheck’s producer, manager and occasional co-writer. Paycheck’s first and highest-charting single on Little Darlin’ was “The Lovin’ Machine,” which went to No. 8 in 1966. In all, Paycheck charted nine singles on the label, four of them co-written with Mayhew. Paycheck would go on to achieve his greatest fame at CBS/Epic Records in the 1970s. He died in 2003. Mayhew’s other passion was collecting memorabilia of President John Kennedy’s assassination, a passion that extended to purchasing the Texas Book Depository building in Dallas from which Kennedy was shot. Some of Little Darlin’s extensive catalog has been released on Koch Records, including the 2004 compilation album A Little Darlin’ Christmas, featuring seasonal tracks by Helms and Paycheck. Other Little Darlin’ artists spotlighted in the Koch re-releases were Riley, Jeannie C. RileyDon Williams, Lightnin’ Hopkins and steel guitar player Lloyd Green.