Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Final Notes in 2007

Category: News

Here is a list of the people in the musical world who performed their final song in 2007:

Del Reeves (January 1, emphysema, 73). A country singer best known for his hit "Girl on the Billboard" and a long-time Grand Ole Opry performer.

Sneaky Pete Kleinkow (January 6, complications of Alzhemier's disease, 72). Rock and roll's greatest pedal steel guitarist, he performed with the Flying Burrito Brothers and a number of other rock acts.

Doyle Holly (January 13, prostate cancer, 70). A former member of Buck Owens' Buckaroos, he had his own limited solo career in country music. His best-known hit was "Queen of the Silver Dollar," which was produced by and featured backing vocals by Waylon Jennings.

Thornton J. "Pookie" Hudson (January 16, cancer, 72). The lead singer of the band the Spaniels, best known for the hit "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight."

Denny Doherty (January 19, kidney problems, 66). "Zal and Denny, working for a penny, trying to get a fish on the line." One of the Mamas and the Papas.

Brent Liles (January 19, hit by semi while bicycling, 43). Bass player for the punk band Social Distortion.

Jerry Hayes (January 21, unknown causes, 61). Country songwriter, his best-known hits were "Rolling with the Flow" and "Who's Cheatin' Who."

Tom Morrell (January 29, emphysema, 68). Steel guitarist in Bob Wills' Texas Playboys.

Mike Clark (February 1, cancer, 63). Originally a drummer for Sam Cooke, he went on to found Southern Tracks recording studio.

Frankie Laine (February 6, complications from hip replacement surgery, 93). A magnificent pop singer responsible for such classics as "Moonlight Gambler," "Jezebel," "Rawhide," and the theme song of the Mel Brooks classic Blazing Saddles.

Ray Evans (February 15, heart attack, 92). Best-known as the songwriter for a number of television shows, including the theme to Mr. Ed.

C's Record Store, Louisville, Kentucky (February 17, demise of interest in vinyl, 25). The last true record store in Louisville closed its doors for the last time.

Ian Wallace (February 22, esophageal cancer, 60). A British drummer who worked with Bob Dylan, Don Henley, and many others.

Donnie Brooks (February 23, heart attack, 70). The singer of the classic hit "Mission Bells."

Brad Delp (March 9, suicide [carbon monoxide poisoning], 55). The lead singer of the rock band Boston.

Luther Ingram (March 19, kidney failure, 69). An R&B singer best-known for his soulful rendition of "If Loving You is Wrong (I Don't Want to Be Right)."

Henson Cargill (March 24, complications from surgery, 66). Country singer best known for his crossover hit "Skip a Rope."

Don Ho (April 14, heart attack, 76). The legendary Hawaiian singer with his own club in Waikiki, he scored a major pop hit with "Tiny Bubbles" in the 60s.

Glenn Sutton (April 17, heart attack, 70). Country songwriter ("Your Good Girl's Gonna Go Bad") and producer (he produced his then-wife Lynn Anderson's classic "Rose Garden").

Bobby "Boris" Pickett (April 26, leukemia, 69). The ultimate one-hit wonder, the man who gave us "Monster Mash."

Tommy Newsom (April 27, liver cancer, 78). A jazz saxophonist best known as a member of Johnny Carson's Tonight Show band.

Zola Taylor (April 30, pneumonia, 69). The female singer in the Platters.

Tony Thompson (June 1, drug overdose, 31). Singer in Hi-Five (who did "I Like the Way").

Hank Medress (June 18, lung cancer, 69). The lead singer on the Tokens' smash "The Lion Sleeps Tonight."

Beverly Sills (July 2, lung cancer, 78). One of America's best-known opera singers.

Boots Randolph (July 3, subdural hematoma, 80). A member of country music's "A List" of session musicians and the performer of "Yakety Sax," which was the theme music to The Benny Hill Show.

Bill Pinkney (July 4, unknown causes, 82). The last original member of the group the Drifters.

Ron Miller (July 23, heart failure/cancer, 74). A songwriter, his best-known hit was Stevie Wonder's "For Once in My Life."

Lawton Williams (July 26, respiratory illness, 85). Country songwriter who wrote Bobby Helms' "Fraulein" and Gene Watson's "Farewell Party."

Lee Hazelwood (August 5, cancer, 78). Singer, songwriter, producer, and duet partner with Nancy Sinatra.

Max Roach (August 15, illness, 83). Jazz percussionist.

Hilly Kristal (August 28, lung cancer, 75). The owner of CBGB's, the club where the groundwork for American punk music was laid.

Janis Martin (September 5, cancer, 67). A rockabilly singer with the hit "Will You Willyum" in the 50s and the misfortune of being tagged "the female Elvis."

Luciano Pavarotti (September 5, pancreatic cancer, 71). To say "opera singer" is such an understatement. Pavarotti was the face of opera music for much of the world.

Hughie Thomasson (September 9, heart attack, 55). The lead guitarist for the southern rock band the Outlaws, of "There Goes Another Love Song" fame.

Bobby Byrd (September 12, cancer, 73). An R&B songwriter who worked with James Brown.

Larry Fuller (September 22, fire on tour bus, 55). Bluegrass performer.

Werner von Trapp (October 11, natural causes, 91). One of the singing von Trapp family, the family portrayed in The Sound of Music.

Nicky James (October 15, brain tumor, 64). A former member of the Moody Blues.

Teresa Brewer (October 16, neuromuscular disease, 74). An extraordinary pop music singer with hits such as "Music Music Music" and "Till I Waltz Again With You."

Lucky Dube (October 18, shot to death, 43). South African reggae performer.

Porter Wagoner (October 28, lung cancer, 80). Country Music Hall of Fame performer, showman, and ambassador for the Grand Ole Opry.

Robert Goulet (October 30, pulmonary disease, 73). Pop singer with a booming baritone voice.

Hank Thompson (November 6, lung cancer, 82). Country Music Hall of Fame member who kept western swing alive through a 60-year career.

George Osmond (November 6, unknown cause, 90). The father of the singing Osmond family.

John Peterson (November 11, heart attack, 65). The one-time drummer of the Beau Brummels, he co-founded the band Harpers Bizarre (best-known for their rendition of Simon & Garfunkel's "59th Street Bridge Song").

John Hughy (November 18, heart attack, age unknown). A country steel guitarist who spent many years playing for Conway Twitty.

Kevin Dubrow (November 25, cocaine overdose, 52). The lead singer of the 80s band Quiet Riot.

Jim Nesbitt (November 29, heart ailment, 75). Country novelty singer, best known for his song "Please Mr. Kennedy."

My Mother (December 9, complications from brain aneurysm, 75). The greatest mother in the world who introduced me to the music of everyone from Jim Reeves to Elvis Presley.

Ike Turner (December 13, reportedly emphysema, 76). The ex-husband and former musical partner of Tina Turner.

Marvin "Sweet Louie" Smith (December 15, unknown cause, 68). A member of The Checkmates, Ltd., who had the hit "Black Pearl" in the 60s.

Dan Fogelberg (December 16, prostate cancer, 56). Folk-rock singer with a string of critically acclaimed albums such as Nether Lands and pop hits such as "Longer and "The Leader of the Band."

Joel Dorn (December 17, heart attack, 65). Record producer who scored with Roberta Flack's "Killing Me Softly (With His Song)."

Oscar Peterson (December 23, kidney failure, 82). Jazz pianist who won eight Grammys over his career.

Farewell, and thanks for the music.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

We Drank a Toast to Innocence

Category: News

Dan Fogelberg, the folk-rock singer-songwriter who rose to prominence in the 70s with a string of critically-acclaimed albums such as Souvenirs and Nether Lands and saw commercial success into the 80s thanks to hits like "Longer" and "Same Old Lang Syne," died Sunday (12/16) in his home in Maine after a long battle with advanced prostate cancer.

Fogelberg was born in Peroria, Illinois on August 13, 1951 and became popular in the 70s amid the "singer/songwriter" era. With albums like Captured Angel and Souvenirs (the latter produced by his longtime friend Joe Walsh), Fogelberg established himself as one of the most gifted of the genre. One song from Souvenirs, "Part of the Plan," was Fogelberg's first top 40 song.

He did not obtain widespread commercial success, however, until 1978's Twin Sons of Different Mothers with jazz flautist Tim Weisberg. The single from the album, "The Power of Gold," made Billboard magazine's top 30. His next album, Phoenix (named after the mythical bird, not the city), contained his biggest hit, "Longer."

His success continued with 1980's The Innocent Age, which featured four hits: "Same Old Lang Syne," "Hard to Say" (which featured Glenn Frey on backing vocals), his ode to his father, "The Leader of the Band," and "Run for the Roses." That song is featured prominently every May prior to the Kentucky Derby by various news outlets.

Fogelberg's success waned after The Innocent Age because of the rise of dance and "hair bands." His last charted single, "She Don't Look Back," barely made it out of the 90s on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1987. He continued to release albums, however, and maintained a loyal fan base.

In 2004, Fogelberg was diagnosed with advanced prostate cancer. He canceled his tour and began taking treatments. In 2005, he announced that the progress of the cancer had been slowed "to an almost negligible level" according to his post on his web site.

Dan Fogelberg was 56.

Fogelberg's web site