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Rock Star Death Notices - September 2009


Photo Caption: Les Paul holding a copy of Maximum Ink at 92 years old - photo by Sarah Grant

Les Paul holding a copy of Maximum Ink at 92 years old - photo by Sarah Grant

Les Paul (Lester William Polfuss)- Died August 13 at age 94 White Plains, NY of pneumonia. He was born in Waukesha, Wisconsin. He played guitar, banjo and harmonica. He led The Les Paul Trio. He worked with his wife Mary Ford (They did, “Vaya Con Dios” and “How High The Moon”) and with Rube Tronson’s Texas Cowboys, Georgia White and Bing Crosby (“It’s Been A Long, Long Time”). He built one of the first solid body electric guitars and was a pioneer of multitrack recording . He was a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee, National Broadcasters Hall Of Fame Inductee and National Inventors Hall Of Fame Inductee.

Cadillac Joe Andersen (Joseph F. Andersen) - Died July 29 at age 57 in Madison, WI due to an infection while weakened with cancer. He was an organist and singer. He did, “Dr. Sonny” and “Riff For G.” He was a member of The Blind Wolf Blues Band. They did, “Creepin’ In” and “Break Song #29.”) The Cadillac Joe Band and The Joe Andersen Jazz Organ Group. He was brother of saxophonist, Don Andersen and father of guitarist, Aaron Williams.

Joe Masters (Joseph Isaac Masters) - Died July 31 in Gloucester, MA. He was born in 1924 in Boston, MA. He played banjo and led The Riverboat Stompers.

Bill Walsh - Died in July. He played piano accordion, saxophone, steel guitar, clarinet, trumpet and concertina. He worked with The Kevin Burke Band and The Brose Walsh Band.

Jon Pertersen - Died in August. He co-wrote, “Not So Long Ago.” He was a member of Hibbard Riverboat Six, The Interlochen Jazz Quintet, The Jon Petersen Trio and The Petersen And Hayes Duo. He authored the book, “Scale Fingering Patterns”.

Carl Beatson Asiedu (Charmz) - Died August 1 in south London, England at age 19 after being stabbed after a gig. He did, “Buy Out Da Bar.” He worked with Kid N Play.

Andy Parle - Died August 1 in Liverpool, England at age 42. He was a drummer. He was a member of Space (They did, “Female Of The Species” and “Neighbourhood”).

Dusty Hare (aka Rhadebe) - Died August 1 in Gonubie, East London, South Africa at age 25 of a suspected heart attack. He was a guitarist, drummer and singer.

Neil Lewis - Died August 1 in Swansea, Wales at age 55 of an illness. He was a guitarist and singer. He was half of the duo, Same Way Twice. He worked with Max Boyce (They did, “Packer Of The Leads”).

Billy Lee Riley - Died August 2 at age 75 in Jonesboro, Ark. of colon cancer. He played guitar and sang. He did, “Trouble Bound” and “Flying Saucers Rock And Roll.” He was a session musician for Sun Records. He led The Little Green Men. He worked with Jerry Lee Lewis (“Great Balls Of Fire”), The Beach Boys, Herb Alpert, Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin. He co-founded Rita Records, Nita Records and Mojo Records.

Bill Reid - Died August 2 Salem, VA, at age 88. He was a singer, fiddler and guitarist. He was a member of Bill And Mary Reid And The Melody Mountaineers (They did, “Blue Ridge Waltz” and “I’ll Never Be Lonesome Again”) and Salt & Peanuts. He worked with Curly Lambert and Benny Martin.

Stanley Robertson - Died August 2 at age 69 in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland of a heart attack. He was a singer. He did, “Rum Scum Scoosh” and “The Old Woman In The Vinegar Bottle.”

Tim Hilt - Died August 2 at age 56 in Live Oak, FL. He was a guitarist and a member of Sundown and The OCDs.

Urip Ariyanto (aka Mbah Surip) - Died August 4 at age 60 in East Jakarta of a suspected heart attack. He was a singer. He did, “Tak Gendong.”

Ole A. Sorli (Ole Anders Sorli) - Died August 4 at age 63. He was a musician and a member of Jan Rohde & His Cool Cats (They did, “Lotta Lovin’”).  He was also a manager for Dollie de Luxe.

Roger Rae - Died August 4. He was a trombonist. He worked with The Monty Sunshine, The Dick Charlesworth City Gents, The Syd Lawrence Orchestra, The Terry Lightfoot Band, The Nick Ross Orchestra and NRO.

Billy Taylor (William Taylor) - Died August 4 at age 72 in Washington, D.C. He was a singer and a member of The Castelles (They did, “My Girl Awaits Me” and “Wonder Why”).  He worked with The Dreams (“Darlene” and “Letter To My Girl”), The Angels, The Larks, Sonny Til’s Orioles (“Back to The Chapel”), The Modern Red Caps (“Golden Teardrops”) and The Cobras (“La La”). He was a United In Group Harmony Hall Of Fame Inductee and Vocal Group Hall Of Fame Foundation Inductee.

Danny Cline (Daniel Colin Cline) (aka D-Child) - Died August 4 in University Place of cancer. He was a singer and a member of The Biznautics and Nasty Left. (They did, “Smoke Rings” and “Truck Stop”).

Tony Sheppeard (Tony Ray Sheppeard) - Died August 4. He was a singer. He did, “A Brand New Friend” and “It’s You.” He worked with The Stone River Band and Two Fat Daddys For Christ.

Mike Koroulakis (Michael John Koroulakis) - Died August 4 at age 23 in Reno, Nevada, in a car accident. He was a guitarist and bassist. He worked with Chandala.

Dianne Grainger (Dianne Nichol Grainger) - Died August 4 at age 24 in Bethesda, MD. She fell from a car. She was a drummer and worked with Orianthi Panagaris.

Iwalani Kahalewai  - Died August 4 at age 74 of cancer. She was a singer and worked with The Puamana Trio, Nina Kealiiwahamana and The Royal Hawaiian Band.

Gulshan Kumar Mehta (aka Gulshan Bawra) - Died August 6. He was a songwriter. He co-wrote, “Agar tum na hote” and “Teri Badmashiyan.” He wrote songs for films including, Zanjeer and Haqeeqat.

Bahadir Akkuzu - Died August 6 in Turkey of a heart attack. He was born in 1955 in Istanbul, Turkey. He was a singer and guitarist. He was a member of 4 Adam, The Signal and Kurtalan Express.

Willy DeVille (William Boray) - Died August 6 in New York of pancreatic cancer. He as born on August 25, 1953 or 1950 in Stamford, Connecticut. He was a singer. He led Billy And The Kids, The Royal Pythons, Billy DeSade And The Marquees and Mink DeVille (They did, “Spanish Stroll” and “Let Me Dream If I Want To”). He worked with Doc Pomus.

Eddie Daye (Eddie Jasper Daye) - Died August 6 at age 79 in Washington, D.C. of an illness. He was a singer. He did, “(I’m Not A Dirty Old Man, I’m Just A) Sexy Senior Citizen.” He was a member of The Spiritualaires and 4 Bars Of Rhythm which became The 4 Bars (They did, “Grief By Day, Grief By Night” and “Try Me One More Time”). He worked with his wife as Eddie And Denise And The Good Time Band.

Otha Young (aka Robert O. Young) - Died August 6 at age 66 in Los Angeles, CA of cancer. He was a singer and guitarist. He wrote, “The Sweetest Thing (I’ve Ever Known.)” He worked with Juice Newton (“Angel Of The Morning” and “Queen Of Hearts”) in her backup band Silver Spur and as the duo, Dixie Peach.

Tatiana Stepa - Died August 7 at age 46 in Bucharest, Romania of cancer. She was a singer and guitarist. She did, “Poem cu umeri goi” and “Singuratate.”

Billy Pierson - Died August 7 at age 46 near Southport, FL. His truck ran off a highway. He was a singer and guitarist. He did, “Too Hot To Handle (Too Cold To Hold)” and “She Left Me Holding The Bottle.”

Mike Seeger - Died August 7 at age 75 in Lexington, VA of cancer. He sang and played banjo, guitar, fiddle, harmonica, autoharp and dulcimer. He was a member of The New Lost City Ramblers. He was half brother of singer and musician, Pete Seeger and singer Peggy Seeger.

Tamas Cseh - Died August 7 at age 66 in Hungary of lung cancer. He was a singer and guitarist. He did, “Budapest” and “Karacsony.” He worked with Masik Janos and Geza Beremenyi.

Carleen Hutchins (Carleen Maley) - Died August 7 at age 98 in Wolfeboro, NH. She played trumpet and viola. She was an innovative violin maker. Yo-Yo Ma recorded with an alto violin she created. She was a co-founder of The Catgut Acoustical Society.

Fred Lawrence - Died August 7 at age 68 in Burbank, CA of a cardiac arrest. He played saxophone and was a music and television talent agent. He founded the Fred Lawrence Associates agency with clients such as The Manhattan Transfer, Anne Murray, Paul Revere And The Raiders, Jean-Luc Ponty, Toni Basil, The Four Seasons and The Everly Brothers. He was a member of The Airdales, The ExecuTives and Spider And The Crabs. He was a Kansas Music Hall Of Fame Inductee.

Carter Benfield (Carter E. Benfield) - Died August 7 at age 79 in Drexel, NC. He played guitar and piano. He worked with Carl Story.

Aram Tigran - Died August 8 in Athens, Greece. He was born in 1934 in Al-Qamishli, Syria. He was a singer and Oud player. He did, “Dilo Lo” and “Lori Lori.”

Albert Leet (aka Buddy Lee) - Died August 8 due to complications of diabetes. He was born in 1918. He played banjo. He worked with Bob Scobey’s Frisco Jazz Band (They did, “Bye Bye Blues” and “Under The Double Eagle.”)

Kevin Smith (Kevin F. Smith) - Died August 8 at age 59. He was a singer and guitarist. He worked with The Dublin City Ramblers, Tommy Makem, Paddy Reilly, Cherish The Ladies and Black 47.

Johnny Porrazzo (John Porrazzo) - Died August 9 at age 94 in Rockford. He was a musician. He worked with Django Reinhardt, Vaughn Monroe, Dave Remington, Joe Venuti, Louie Armstrong and Wayne King.

Gerald Roth (Gerald J. Roth) - Died August 9 at age 85. He was a trumpet player and a member of The Kurtz Orchestra, Allentown and The River Boat Banjo Band.

Doug Knight (Douglas O. Knight) - Died August 9 at age 57. He played banjo and guitar and sang. He led The Mardi Gras Bluegrass Band and Three Doug Knight.

Robin Lawson - Died August 9 at age 70 of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease. Musician that led The Robin Lawson Trio and worked with Jim Calhoun and Hal Davis.

Jasmine You (Jasmine Yuu) - Died August 9. She was a bassist and a member of Jyakura and Versailles also know as Versailles Philharmonic Quintet (They did, “The Revenant Choir” and “Prince”). Also worked with The Hizaki Grace Project (“Winter Farewell”).

Bryan Carolina (aka Sunny Boy) - Died August 9 in Hampton, VA. He was shot during a robbery.

Buddy Politelli (Anthony Carmine Politelli) - Died August 9 at age 82 in Rhode Island of an illness. He was a singer and trumpeter and led The Aristocrats.

David Van De Pitte (David J. Van De Pitte) - Died August 9 at age 67 of cancer. He was an arranger, director, composer and bassist. He wrote Diana Ross’, “How About You” and Gloria Gaynor’s, “Please Be There.” He arranged for Marvin Gaye, Gladys Knight, The Jackson 5, David Ruffin, Stevie Wonder, Eddie Kendricks, Martha And The Vandellas, Paul Anka, The Four Tops and The Temptations.

Pete Dana (Daddy Cool) - Died August 11 in Australia. He was a singer and keyboardist. He did, “The Bonnet And The Boot.”

Aubrey Simani - Died August 11 in Mdantsane. She was hit by a car. She was born in 1940 in Duncan Village. She played saxophone and woodwinds and a member of The Four Yanks and The Jazz Ministers. She worked with Letta Mbuli, Ernest Motle, Sipho Gumede, Caiphus Semenya and The Mdantsane Jazz Ensemble Township Connection.

Kitty White (Kitty Jean Bilbrew) - Died August 11 at age 85 in Palm Springs, CA due to complications from a stroke. She was a singer and pianist. She sang “Crawfish” in Elvis Presley’s movie, King Creole which was later remixed as a duet between her and Elvis. She worked with Red Callendar, Laurindo Almeida, Ben Webster and Buddy Collette. She was at one time married to songwriter, Eddie White.

Rashied Ali (Robert Patterson) - Died August 12 at age 74 in New York after heart surgery. He was a drummer and led The Rashied Ali Quintet - Worked with Bill Dixon, Pharoah Sanders, Purple Trap, Alice Coltrane, Arthur Rhames, John Coltrane, Henry Grimes, James Blood Ulmer and Paul Bley. He was brother of drummer, Muhammad Ali.

Kelly Pates - Died August 12 at age 55 of heart failure. He was a singer and guitarist and a member of The Pates.

Jonny Andreasen - Died August 12. He was a guitarist and worked with L.I.G.A.S and Paradox Blue.

Allen Shellenberger - Died August 13 at age 39 in Artesia, CA of brain cancer. He was a drummer and a member of Razzle, Stain and Lit (They did, “My Own Worst Enemy” and “Lipstick And Bruises”).

Gunnar N. (Gunnar Nordberg) - Died August 13 at age 35 in Norwich, Conn. He was a singer, musician, mixed media artist and sound technician. He recorded as Darks Pandemonium (He did, “Brain Surgery” and “Butterfly”).

Frank Witt (Frank A. Witt) - Died August 14 at age 80 in Monroe County, Smithfield Township. He played clarinet and saxophone and was a member of The Anthrotones.

Gates Nichols (Warren Nichols) - Died August 14 at age 65 in Austell of pancreatic cancer. He played steel guitar, keyboards, trombone and bass. He worked with The Gunsmoke Band, Southerner, The Confederate Railroad and Henry Gross.

Lawrence Lucie - Died August 14 at age 101 in New York. He sang and played guitar, banjo, mandolin and violin. He worked with his wife Nora Lee King and with Duke Ellington, Big Joe Turner, Red Allen, Benny Carter, The Mills Blue Rhythm Band, Billie Holiday, Louie Bellson, Cozy Cole, Louis Armstrong, Fletcher Henderson, Teddy Wilson, Jelly Roll Morton and Coleman Hawkins.

Hal Dessent (Harold Dessent) - Died August 14 in La Jolla, CA of natural causes. He was born in 1916. He played saxophone, clarinet and flute. He worked with The Louis Panico Orchestra and with the Chicago Theater orchestra backing acts which included Frank Sinatra. He was heard on jingles for Chevrolet, Budweiser, Schlitz, McDonald’s and Oscar Mayer.

Joseph Pisano (Joseph J. Pisano) - Died August 14 at age 86 in Westminster of an illness. He played clarinet, saxophone and flute. He led Main Street and worked with Steve Allen and and Xavier Cugat.

Florin Bogardo - Died August 15 at age 66 in Bucharest, Romania of an illness. He was a singer. He did, “Sa Nu Uitam Trandafirii” and “Plop infrint. ” He was husband of singer, Stela Enache.

Jim Dickinson (James Luther Dickinson) - Died August 15 at age 67 Memphis, Tennessee after triple bypass heart surgery. He was a producer, pianist and singer. He worked with Bill Justis, The Jesters (“Cadillac Man"and “My Babe”), The Dixie Flyers, Snake Eyes, Mud Boy And The Neutrons, Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones (“Wild Horses”) and The Flamin Groovies - Produced Big Star, Willy DeVille, Green On Red, The Replacements, Mojo Nixon, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and Alex Chilton.

Ryan DeZurik - Died August 16 at age 19 when his car was hit by a drunk driver. He was a singer and a member of Oath By Blood.

Carlos Ocaranza (Carlos Vicente Ocaranza) (aka El Loco Elizalde) - Died August 16 at age 32 in Guadalajara, Mexico. He was gunned down outside a bar after a gig. He was a singer.

Jorge Altamirano Pelayo - Died August 17 when he was gunned down outside a bar. He was the manager for Carlos Ocaranza.

Gianni Basso - Died August 17at age 78 in Asti, Italy. He was a saxophonist and clarinetist. He led Saxes Machine and The Gianni Basso Big Band. He worked with The Raoul Falsan Big Band, Lee Konitz, Sarah Vaughan, Chet Baker, Phil Woods and Art Farmer.

Verity Meldrum (Verity Anne Meldrum) - Died August 17 at age 58 of cancer. She was a singer and actress. She was in Song And Dance and the original London cast of Godspell starring David Essex. She co-wrote, “The Room” with Carl Davis.

Charley Lynnwood Mixon - Died August 17 at age 59 in Boise, Idaho of cancer. He was a singer, harmonica player and percussionist. He worked with The Sage Brothers, The Lynnwoods and Cheap Date.

Reggie Harper (aka D’laniger) - Died August 18 at age 57 in Jackson Miss. He was shot in a domestic dispute. He was a guitarist. He worked with The Esquires, Bobby Rush, Bobby Jonz, Stan Mosley, Frank Mendenhall, Sir Charles Jones, Billy “Soul” Bonds, Johnny Taylor and The Millenium Band

Jack Golly (John E. Gollobith) - Died August 18 at age 86 in Tampa, FL. He was a clarinetist, trumpeter, arranger and conductor. He worked with with Jimmy McPartland’s Dixieland Band, Spike Jones And His City Slickers (“All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” and “Feitlebaum”) and The Showmen.

Jay McCarty (Charles Francis McCarty Jr.) - Died August 18 at age 46 in Chesapeake, Virginia when he was hit by a drunk driver while riding a bicycle. He sang and played keyboards and harmonica. He was a member of Tidewater Drive.

Alappuzha Pushpam - Died August 20 at age 82 in Kochi. She was a singer. She did, “‘Karutheedathe Jeevithame” and “Karuthapenne.” She was daughter of theatre personality, Sebastian Kunjukunju Bhagavathar.

Larry Knechtel (Lawrence William Knechtel) - Died August 20 at age 69 in Yakima Valley, Washington of a possible heart attack. He was a bassist and keyboardist. He worked with Bread, Kip Tyler And The Flips, Neil Diamond, Randy Newman, Elvis Costello, Chet Atkins, Joan Baez, The Dixie Chicks, The Beach Boys, Stephen Bishop,The Spencer Davis Group, John Denver, Duane Eddy, The Doors, The Everly Brothers, The 5th Dimension, Art Garfunkel, Jerry Garcia, The Grass Roots, Jan & Dean, Thelma Houston, Billy Joel, Al Kooper, The Mamas & Papas, Barry McGuire, The Monkees, Harry Nilsson, Dolly Parton, The Partridge Family, Tina Turner, Elvis Presley, Johnny Rivers, Diana Ross and Nancy Sinatra. He was one of The Wrecking Crew. He was a Musicians Hall Of Fame Inductee.

Johnny Carter (John Edward Carter) - Died August 21 at age 75 in Harvey of lung cancer. He was a singer. He was a member of The Flamingos (They did, “Golden Teardrops” and “If I Can’t Have You”) and The Dells (They did, “Stay In My Corner” and “Oh What A Night”). He worked with Dinah Washington, Ray Charles and Barbara Lewis. He was a Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductee.

Dean Turner (aka Dean Dirt) - Died August 21 at age 37 of cancer. He was a singer and bassist. He was a member of Deer Bubbles, The Jim Jims and Magic Dirt (They did, “Plastic Loveless Letter” and “Goofy Gumb”). He produced Theredsunband, Violent Soho and Sons Of The Sun.

Mark Guppy (aka Mega and Mazzer) - Died August 21 at age 42 in Chippenham, Wiltshire, UK. He was a drummer and singer. He was a member of Nexzis (They did, “Message To The Stars” and “Fever Pitch”).

Larry McCrorey (H. Lawrence McCrorey) - Died August 22 at age 82 in Grand Isle, Vermont. He played saxophone. He worked with Just Jazz, Will Patton and George Voland.

Don Greathouse (Donald Victor Greathouse) - Died August 22 at age 75 in Hampton, VA. He was a singer and bass player. He worked with Solid Rock (They did, “Wayfaring Stranger ” and “Glorybound Train”).

Toni Sailer (Anton Engelbert Sailer) (aka The Blitz from Kitz) - Died August 24 at age 73 in Innsbruck, Austria due to illness. He was a skier, actor and singer. He did, “Tiroler Hula Hup” and “Immer Wenn es Schneit.”) He was a 1956 triple skiing Olympic champion.

Joseph Maneri (Joseph Gabriel Esther Maneri) - Died August 24 at age 82. He was a saxophonist, clarinetist and teacher. He led The Joe Maneri Quartet (They did, “Dahabenzapple” and “Coming Down The Mountain.”) He worked with his son, Mat Maneri and with Randy Peterson, John Lockwood, Joe Morris, Ed Schuller, Uwe Steinetz, Pandelis Karayorgis and Ben Schwendener. He was the founder of The Boston Microtonal Society.

John Bohannon - Died August 24 at age 76 in West Chester, PA of prostate cancer. He sang and played bass. He was a member of Irish Mist.

Keith Lebo (Keith W. Lebo) - Died August 25 at age 59. He was a singer and guitarist. He did, “It’s Time To Go” and “The Writing On The Wall.” He was a member of Shade, Secret Leader and The Center Street Band (They did, “Cheap Beer” and “Take You For A Ride”).

Berle Adams (Beryl Adasky) - Died August 25 at age 92 in Los Angeles, CA. He co-founded Mercury Records which released recordings by Dinah Washington, Erroll Garner, Vic Damone, Tony Martin and Frankie Laine . He was a senior executive for MCA. He was a booking agent for Nat King Cole, Woody Herman, The Andrews Sisters and Glenn Miller and was a manager for Louis Jordan.

Ellie Greenwich (Eleanor Louise Greenwich) (aka Ellie Gaye) - Died August 26 at age 68 in New York of a heart attack. She was a singer, pianist, songwriter and producer. She did, “Niki Hoeky” and “Cha-Cha Charming.” She co-wrote, “Then He Kissed Me”, “Leader Of The Pack”, “Hanky Panky” and “Da Doo Ron Ron.” She was a member of The Jivettes and The Raindrops (They did. “What A Guy” and “That Boy John”). She worked with Frank Sinatra, Dusty Springfield, Bobby Darin, Lesley Gore, Desmond Child, Paul Shaffer, Neil Diamond, Ella Fitzgerald, Nona Hendryx, Cyndi Lauper and Lou Christie. She was at one time married to her songwriting partner, Jeff Barry. She was a Songwriters Hall Of Fame Inductee.

Virgilio Savona (Antonio Virgilio Savona) - Died August 27 at age 89 in Milan, Italy of Parkinson’s disease. He was a singer and pianist. He was a member of Quartetto Egie which became Quartetto Ritmo and finally became Quartetto Cetra (They did, “Nella vecchia fattoria” and “Un disco dei Platters”). He was married to singer, Lucia Mannucci.

Ernie Duff - Died August 28 of brain cancer. He was born in 1936 in South London, England. He was a singer and a member of The Stardust Big Band.

DJ AM (Adam Goldstien) - Died August 28 at age 36 in New York. He was a club DJ. He was a member of Crazy Town (They did, “Butterfly” and “Darkside”) and TRVSDJAM. He was co-owner of the nightclub LAX. He worked with Jay-Z, Steve Aoki, Will Smith, Madonna and Papa Roach.

Bob Nelson (Nelson Roberto Perez) - Died August 28 at age 90 of cardiac arrest. He was a singer. He did, “O Boi Barnabe” and “Eu Tiro o Leite.”

Gene Woods (Eugene M. Woods) - Died August 28 at age 66 in Arma, KS of Lou Gehrig’s Disease. He was a guitarist and led Gene And The Night Lighters. He worked with Jack Green, Connie Conrad And The Bellhops, Roy Acuff and Jimmie Dickens.

Jesse Fortune (aka Fortune Tellin’ Man) - Died August 31 at age 79 in Chicago, Ill. after collapsing during a performance. He was a singer. He did, “Too Many Cooks” and “Fortune Tellin’ Man.” He worked with Otis Rush, Little Monroe, Buddy Guy and Willie Dixon.

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