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Rock Star Death Notices - Rökktober 2009


Photo Caption: Steely Johnson

Steely Johnson

Eddie Higgins (Haydn M. Higgins) - Died August 31 at age 77 in Ft. Lauderdale, FL, of lung and lymphatic cancer. He played piano and vibes. He worked with Coleman Hawkins, Wayne Shorter, Lee Morgan, Eddie South, Eric Schneider, Russ Phillips, Jack Teagarden and Sergio Mendes. He was husband of singer, Meredith d’Ambrosio.

Steely Johnson (Wycliffe Johnson) - Died September 1 in Long Island, NY, of heart failure. He was in his early 50s. He was a keyboardist. He worked with Bob Marley And The Wailers. He was half of the production duo, Steely And Clevie who worked with Dawn Penn, Caron Wheeler, Dennis Brown, The Specials, Jimmy Cliff, Beenie Man,  Bounty Killer, Elephant Man, No Doubt and Billy Ocean.

Jake Brockman (James Ralph Drake Brockman) - Died September 1 at age 53 in a motorbike accident. He was a keyboardist and a member of BOM (“Dubmarine” and “Roach.”) He worked with Echo And The Bunnymen (“Enlighten Me” and “Thick Skinned World.”)

Tom Mills - Died September 1 at age 65 in Devizes of a heart attack. He played guitar. He was half of the duo, The Yokels (They did, “There’s Nothing Like Country Smells” and “The Cows All Do The Line Dance.”) He worked with Reg Presley (“Marry Me”).

Bill Hefner (Willie Gathrel Hefner) - Died September 2 at age 79 in Huntsville, Alabama, after a stroke. He was a singer and a member of The Harvesters’ Quartet. He was a member of the U.S. Congress for 24 years.

Jon Eydmann (Jon Peter Eydmann) - Died September 2 at age 41 and in Menaggio, Italy, two days after suffering a seizure after he jumped into a lake. He was a manager for Spitfire, Suede, The Auteurs and The Mega City 4. He was an A&R man for Fire Records signing Libido, Spacemen 3 and Novocaine.

Guy Babylon (Guy Graham Babylon) - Died September 2 at age 52 in Los Angeles, CA. He had a heart attack while swimming. He was a keyboardist. He worked with Iron Butterfly, Tavares, Ashton, Elton John (“Sleeping With The Past” and “Club At The End Of The Street”) and Warpipes (“Rock N’ Roll Condition” and “Holes In The Heavens.”)

Mary Travers of Peter, Paul and MaryMary Travers (Mary Allin Travers) - Died September 16 at age 72 in Danbury, Connecticut, due to complications from chemotherapy associated with a bone marrow transplant. She was a singer. She did, “Follow Me” and “All My Choices.” She was a member of Peter, Paul And Mary (They did, “If I Had A Hammer”, “Puff The Magic Dragon” and “Leaving On A Jet Plane.”) She worked with John Denver and with The Song Swappers who backed Pete Seeger. She was a Vocal Group Hall Of Fame Foundation Inductee.

Ghandi Burgess (Vernon Burgess) - Died September 2 at age 84 of an illness. He was a trumpet player. He worked with Shine Hayward, Ron Lightbourne, Ben E. King and Nina Simone.

Leeora Daniels (Leeora Staples) - Died September 2 at age 67 of lung disease. She was a singer and promoter. She was a member of The Christian Wonders and Leeora Daniels And Something Special. She was a cousin of The Staple Singers.

John Smith (John Orvia Smith) (aka Tennessee Smith) - Died September 2 at age 91 in Griffin, due to complications of kidney failure. He sang and played fiddle. He was a member of The Red River Rangers, The Sunshine Boys and The Smith Brothers (They did, “Happy Birthday In Heaven” and “God’s Rocket Ship.”) He worked with Hank Newman’s Georgia Crackers.

Michael Bloomfield - Died September 3 at age 51 due to something Swine flu related. He was a keyboardist and a member of The Gospel Harmony Boys (“Time Has Made A Change” and “Where Could I Go.”)

Paul Packo (Paul F. Packo) - Died September 3 at age 85 in Newark, Del. He was a keyboardist. He worked with Lawrence Welk, Desi Arnaz, The Meltones and The Banjo Dusters.

Howard New - Died September 3 at age 42 in Knutsford in a car accident. He was a singer, songwriter and producer. He did, “Battlefield.” He worked with Tina Turner. He also collaborated with Lucy Silvas (“It’s Too Late”), Cher, Belinda Carlisle, Jools Holland and David Foster.

Skip Miller (Alvin Roman Miller Jr.) - Died September 4 in Los Angeles, CA, of a heart attack. He was born in 1946 in New York City, NY. He had been a president for Motown Records and Sr. VP for RCA Records. He worked with Lionel Richie, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Kool Moe Dee, Too Short, KRS-1, Me Phi Me, Stacy Earl, DJ Jazzy Jeff And The Fresh Prince and Diana Ross. He founded The Panda Entertainment Group.

Patrick SwayzePatrick Swayze (Patrick Wayne Swayze) - Died September 14 at age 57 in Los Angeles of pancreatic cancer. He was an actor and dancer. He co-wrote and sang, “She’s Like The Wind” which appeared in the film, “Dirty Dancing.” He acted in the films Road House and Ghost.

Loh Guik Hong (aka Xue Liang) - Died September 5 at age 39. She fell from the 12th floor of her condominium. She was a singer.

Mickie Jones - Died September 5 in San Dimas, CA, of liver cancer. He was a bassist and a member of Bux (They did, “White Lightning” and “Crosstown Girl”), Angel (They did, “Chicken Soup” and “Dr. Ice”) and Empire.

Kenny Martin - Died September 6 at age 68. He was a singer. He did, “I’m The Jivin’ Mr. Lee” and “I’m Sorry.” He was a member of The Motor City Rhythm & Blues Pioneers (They did, “Blackjack Baby” and “Motor City Man.”)

Fred Mills (Frederick Mills) - Died September 7 at age 70 or 74 near Atlanta in a car accident. He was a trumpeter and a member of The Canadian Brass. He worked with with Rennquintett, Brassa Nova, The New York City Opera and the American Symphony Orchestra.

Roger McCarville - Died September 7 at age 72 due to complications of pneumonia. He was a singer and a member of Irish Wakes & Weddings.

Eddie Locke (Edward Locke Jr.) - Died September 7 at age 79 in Ramsey NJ. He was a drummer. He worked with Dick Wellstood, Willie “The Lion” Smith, Red Allen, Lee Konitz, Tiny Grimes, Earle Warren, Teddy Wilson, Coleman Hawkins, Kenny Burrell, Roland Hanna, Tony Parenti and Roy Eldridge.

Kyle Woodring (Kyle B. Woodring) - Found dead on September 8 in Lockport at age 42. He was a drummer. He did, “Angel’s Eyes” and “Child’s Gift.” He worked with Survivor, John Mellencamp, Blanc Faces, Rich Mullen, Kris Kristofferson, Robbie Fulks, Dennis DeYoung, Dolly Parton, George Michael, George Jones, Willie Nelson and Deana Carter.

Juanita Brooks - Died September 10 at age 55 due to complications after back surgery. She was a singer. She worked with Eddie Bo, The Headhunters and The Treme Brass Band. She appeared in the musicals, One Mo’ Time, Staggerlee and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Stuart Earnshaw
- Died September 10 at age 48 in Elland. His motorcycle crashed with a forklift. He was a saxophonist and a member of The Jump Jive ‘N’ Wail Band.

Sam Hinton
(Sam Duffy Hinton) - Died September 10 at age 92. He played harmonica and guitar and sang. He did, “Whoever Shall Have Some Good Peanuts” and “When You Go a-Courting.” He was a member of The Texas Trio. He worked with his wife, singer and fiddler Leslie Hinton. He also was a marine biologist.

Pierre Cossette
- Father of the Grammys - Died September 11 at age 85 in Ormstown. He produced the Grammys for the first time on television and was involved with the production until his death. He worked for TV’s Latin Grammy Awards and The BET Awards. He produced Celine Dion’s specials. He co-founded Dunhill Records releasing recordings by Three Dog Night, Johnny Rivers, The Mamas And Papas, Steppenwolf and Barry McGuire. He was a Canada’s Walk Of Fame Inductee.

Jim CarrollJim Carroll (James Dennis Carroll) - Died September 11 at age 59 in Manhattan, NY, of a heart attack. He was a poet and singer. He led The Jim Carroll Band. They did, “People Who Died” and “It’s Too Late.” He wrote the book, “The Basketball Diaries.”

Bob Greenberg - Died September 11 at age 75 in West Hills, CA, after suffering a strok. He was a record executive. He worked for Warner Brothers, Atlantic Records, United Artists and Mirage Records. He worked with artists such as Aretha Franklin, ABBA, Led Zeppelin, Bette Midler, The Rolling Stones, Foreigner, AC/DC, Genesis and Whitesnake. He had been the president of Hitmaker’s Magazine.

Davie Speirs - Died September 11 at age 68 of an illness. He sang and played guitar and banjo. He was a member of Jook Street Jug and The Tannahill Folk Trio.

Ramiro Musotto - Died September 11 in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil of Pancreatic cancer. He was born in 1964 in La Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina. He was a percussionist. He did, “Majno Ma Bi” and “Ronda.” He worked with Gato Barbieri, Daniela Mercury, Gilberto Gil, Marisa Monte, Caetano Veloso, Virginia Rodriguez and Sergio Mendes.

Baul Samrat Shah Abdul Karim
- Died September 12 at age 93 in Sylhet. He was a Bengali Baul folksinger, multi-instrumentalist and composer. He did, “Gari Cholena Cholena” and “Maya Lagaise.”

Liz Westphalen (Elizabeth Ann Abels Westphalen) (Elizabeth A. Jaunty) - Died September 12 at age 57in Omaha, NE, of ovarian cancer. She was a singer, pianist and songwriter. She was a member of Bout Time and worked with Mannheim Steamroller and Rick Swanson.

C.J. Jenkins (Clarence Jenkins III) - Died September 13 at age 50 in Vineland, NJ, of a heart attack while performing. He was a bassist and a member of Faith Or Fear (They did, “Nothing Uncommon” and “Disintegration.”)


Bobby Graham
(Robert Francis Neate) - Died September 14 at age 69 in Welwyn Garden City, Herts, of stomach cance. He was a drummer. He worked with Mike Berry And The Outlaws, Joe Brown And The Bruvvers, Marty Wilde’s Wildcats, The John Barry Seven, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones (“It’s Not Unusual”), The Animals (“We Gotta Get Out Of This Place”), Jimmy Page (“She Just Satisfies”), The Dave Clark Five, Herman’s Hermits, The Kinks (“You Really Got Me”), Petula Clark (“Downtown”), P J Proby, The Fortunes, Cilla Black, The Pretty Things, Gene Pitney and The Jazz Experience.

Lily T (Lily Tembo) - Died September 14 at age 27 in Lusaka, Zambia. She was a singer. She did, “Tiye” and “Weo Na Neo.” She worked with In Between and Maureen Lilanda.

Henry Gibson (James Bateman) - Died September 14 at age 73 in Malibu, CA, of cancer. He was an actor. He did, “200 Years” and “Keep A-Goin’” in the film, “Nashville.” He was a cast member for TV’s, Rowan And Martin’s Laugh-In and was Judge Clark Brown for TV’s, Boston Legal.

Trevor RhoneTrevor Rhone (Trevor D. Rhone) - Died September 15 in Kingston, Jamaica. He was born in 1940. He was a playwright. He co-wrote the film, The Harder They Come which helped popularize reggae in the US and stars Jimmy Cliff and features music by Desmond Dekker, The Slickers and Toots & The Maytals.

Cyril McKevitt - Died September 15 Dundalk of a heart attack. He was a singer and trombonist. He worked with The Mighty Mainliners who became Big Tom And The Mainliners (They did, “Gentle Mother” and “Old Log Cabin For Sale.”)

Filip Nikolic
(Filip Nikolitch) - Died September 16 at age 35 due to a possible overdose of sleeping pills. He was a singer and actor. He did, “Tim” and “Quelque Chose A Change.” He was a member of 2Be3 (They did, “Partir Un Jour” and “La Salsa.”)

Orhan Atasoy - Died September 16 in Baltimore, MD, of cirrhosis of the liver. He was born in 1949 in Istanbul, Turkey. He was a guitarist. He did, “Gemiler” and “Yorgunum.”

Johnny Mullins
- Died September 16 at age 86 in Springfield, Missouri, of Alzheimer’s disease. He was a songwriter and guitarist. He wrote Emmy Lou Harris’, “Blue Kentucky Girl”, Porter Wagoner’, “Company’s Comin” and Loretta Lynn’s, “Success.” He was a Missouri Writer’s Hall of Fame Inductee.


Michael Whitwell
(Michael Stephen Whitwell) - Died September 17 at age 59 in Petaluma, CA, of cancer. He was a trumpet player. He worked with The Ray Charles Orchestra, Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, The Four Tops, B.B. King, Sarah Vaughan, Crossfire, Peter Welker’s Sextet, The Sacramento Pops, The Reno Philharmonic, Ella Fitzgerald, Natalie Cole, Emmy Lou Harris and The Temptations.

Ajile Turner
- Died September 18 at age 38 in Brooklyn, NY, in a motorcycle accident. He had been a manager for Rahzel and DJ JS-1. He was cousin of rapper, Common.

Arthur Ferrante (Arthur Richard Ferrante) - Died September 19 at age 89 in Longboat Key, FL, of natural causes. He was a pianist. He was half of the duo, Ferrante And Teicher (They did, “Theme From The Apartment” and “Midnight Cowboy.”)

Bob Kula - Died September 19 at age 53 due to head injuries due to a fall. He played guitar, mandolin, bass and steel guitar. He worked with John Marriot & Crossfield, The Rats, Skuddur, Warsaw Willie, Cimarron Express and The Jailbreakers.

Roc Raida (Anthony Williams) - Died September 19 at age 37 due to complications after a car accident. He was a DJ and producer. He did, “One Man Band” and “The Murder Faktory.” He was a member of The X-Ecutioners (They did, “It’s Goin’ Down” and “A Journey Into Sound.”) He worked with Linkin Park, Mike Shinoda, Common, Mike Patton, Rob Zombie, Rob Swift, DJ Q-Bert, Jungle Brothers, Fat Joe, Ghostface Killah, Dilated Peoples, Everlast, Kool G Rap, Cypress Hill and Diggin’ In The Crates Crew.

Freddy Bienstock (Frederick Bienstock) - Died September 20 at age 81 in Manhattan, NY. He was a music publisher. He was the CEO of Carlin America music publishing. He co-founded The Hudson Bay Music Company. He was an adviser for Elvis Presley. He was married to Atlantic Records co-founder, Miriam Abramson.

Harold Fontenot - Died September 20 at age 73 of cancer. He was a singer and guitarist. He worked with Wayne Gilmore, Hadley Castille and Judge Bobby Brinkman.

Parviz Meshkatian - Died September 21 at age 54 in Tehran, Iran of cardiac arrest. He played Santur and Setar and was a composer. He did, “Dawn” and “Bidad.”

Wesley Johnson (aka Wess) - Died September 21 in New York. He was a singer and bassist. He was half of the duo, Wess e Dori Ghezzi. They did, “Voglio stare con te” and “Un corpo e un’anima.”

Sam Carr (Samuel Lee McCollum) - Died September 21 at age 83 in Clarksdale, MS, due to an illness. He played drums, harmonica and bass. He led Little Sam Carr And The Blue Kings and The Delta Jukes. He was a member of Frank Frost And The Night Hawks and The Jelly Roll Kings. He worked with Lonnie Shields, Sonny Boy Williamson II, T-Model Ford, Asie Payton, Buddy Guy, Paul “Wine” Jones and Robert “Bilbo” Walker.  He was married to singer, Doris Carr. He was son of singer and guitarist, Robert Lee McCollum (aka Robert Nighthawk).

Gary Tuttle (Gary R. Tuttle) - Died September 21 at age 59 in Akron, Ohio, of an illness. He was a musician. He was a member of King Tut And The Royal Subjects, Nashville Bound, Masters Of The Honkytonk and Hot Cargo.

Mrs S. Varalakshmi
(aka S. Varalaxmi) - Died September 22 at age 82 in India. She acted and sang in the films, Poova Thalaiyaa and Veerapandiya Kattabomman. She was wife of film producer, A L Srinivasan.

Todd Henry (Todd R. Henry) - Died September 23 at age 50 in Tyler, TX. He was stabbed by a student. He was a guitarist, keyboardist, bassist and music therapist. He worked with Gob Darien, Ken Johnson, Thomas Mitchell, George Faber and Grant Cook.

Sir Howard Morrison - Died September 24 at age 74 in Rotorua, Bay of Plenty, New Zealand of a heart attack. He did, “How Great Thou Art.” He was a member of The Ohinemutu Quartet which became The Howard Morrison Quartet (They did, “There’s Only One Of You” and “Short Fat Fannie.”)

Alicia de Larrocha (Alicia de Larrocha y de la Calle) - Died September 25 at age 86 in Barcelona, Spain of cardio-respiratory failure. She was a pianist. She recorded the music of Manuel de Falla, Enrique Granados and Isaac Albeniz. She was married to pianist, Juan Torro.

Benny Mahan (aka Flap, The King and The Silverback Gorilla) - Died September 26 at age 65. He was a singer, drummer and guitarist. He was a member of Howie And The Hillcats (They did, “Dial 1-800” and “Talk Show Survivors.”)

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