Rock Star Death Notices - April 2008

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Bill Ludwig II presenting a snare drum to Ringo Star of the Beatles

Bill Ludwig II presenting a snare drum to Ringo Star of the Beatles

Oscar Pyle - Died February 26 of an illness at age 86. He founded The Casablanca Steelband and co-founded The Steelband Association.

Giles Clark (aka Uncle Giles) - Died Feburary 26 at age 79. He is categorized as country, gospel, and folk. He sang and played accordion, harmonica, banjo and guitar.

Mabuti Johannes Nkuna (aka Umanji) - Died February 26 in South Africa due to an aids related illness. He was a musician, singer and songwriter and did, “Moruti Samba.”

Ray Kane (Raymond Kaleoalohapoina’oleohelemanu Kane) – Died February 27 and was born in 1925 in Koloa, Kaua’i. He was known as Hawaii’s slack key ambassador – He was a slack key guitarist and singer. He did, “Popoki Slack Key” and “I Ka Po Me Ke Au.” He worked with his wife, Elodia Kane and they did, “KeKali Nei Au.” He was also a cousin of singer, Aunty Genoa Keawe.

Mandi Lampi - Died February 27 at age 19. She was an actress and singer and did “Miks kaikki kiusaa.” She was the daughter of actor Jussi Lampi.

Ivan Rebroff (Hans-Rolf Rippert) - Died February 27 at age 76 in Frankfurt, Germany due to an illness. He is characterized as a folk, opera and light classics singer.

Lorene Forsyth - Died February 27 at age 79 due to cancer. She was a pianist. She worked with The San Francisco String Quartet, The Syracuse Symphony, Henry Mancini, John Williams, Liza Minnelli, Ethel Merman and The Metropolitan Opera. She also once gave lessons to singer, Joan Baez.

Mike Smith (Michael George Smith) – Died February 28 at age 64 in England due to pneumonia. He was a singer, keyboardist, songwriter and producer. He led Mike Smith’s Rock Engine and was a member of The Dave Clark Five (They did, “Glad All Over” and “Catch Us If You Can”). He was also inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Bangun Sugito (aka Gito Rollies) - Died February 28 at age 60 due to lymphatic cancer. He was a singer and a member of The Rollies.

Mike Conley (Michael Conley) - Died February 28 at age 48 in Chicago, Ill. due to a head injury. He was a punk singer and a member of The Swell and M.I.A. They did, “Boredom Is The Reason” and “Haven’t You Heard.”

Jimmy Faulkner - Died in March. He was a guitarist. He led Jimmy Faulkner And The Houseshakers. He also worked with Christy Moore, Donal Lunny, Mary Coughlan, Paul Brady, Freddie White, The Red Peters Blues Band, Kieran Halpin and Luka Bloom.

Pete Montan - Died in March. He was categorized as a rock drummer.

Tom Collins - Died in March of natural causes at age 75. He was born in the Colchester area. He played trumpet, cornet and flugelhorn and also led The Colchester Jazz Club band.

Wally Bussey (Walter Bussey) - Died in March and was born 1931 in London, England. He was a jazz musician who played saxophone, clarinet and flute. He also worked with The Colin Fraser Quintet.

Roy Ramos (aka Pia) - Died March 2 at age 62 due to an illness. He was a bassist and a member of Texas Revolution.

Harry Buddy Vaughan - Died March 2 at age 88 in Waterbury, Conn. He played trumpet. He also worked with Arthur Fieldler, Alvino Ray, Johnny Mandrell, Skitch Henderson and LeRoy Anderson.

Norman Smith (aka Hurricane Smith) – Died March 3 at age 84 in London, England. He was a musician and producer. He did, “Don’t Let It Die” and “Oh Babe What Would You Say?” He was an engineer for all of The Beatles recordings until 1965. He also produced Pink Floyd and The Pretty Things.

Suzi (Martina Carina Peereboom) - Died March 3 at age 61 in Nordmaling, Sweden. She was considered a pop singer. She did, “Johnny Loves Me” and “Max and Moritz.”

Ronnie I (Ronald A. Italiano) - Died March 4 at age 67 due to cancer. He was a DJ and record store owner. He was also the president and founder of The United In Group Harmony Association (U.G.H.A.) which is dedicated to the preservation and exposure of Doo-Wop music and the remembrance of Doo-Wop artists.

Leonard Rosenman - Died March 4 at age 83 due to a heart attack. He was a composer who wrote music for films including, Rebel Without A Cause, Fantastic Voyage and Beneath The Planet Of The Apes and for TV’s, Marcus Welby, M.D. and Combat!.

Tim Miller (Timothy Miller) – Died March 5 in Dubuque, IA, U.S. due to injuries from falling down a flight of stairs. He was a rock guitarist. He also played drums and sang. He was a member of Ng Kindheit. They did, “Hell To Get Along With” and “Deaf Like Me.”

Mel Durham - Died March 5 at age 93. He fit into the categories of Big Band, Bluegrass and folk. He played fiddle, banjo and guitar. He was also a member of The Ray Middleton Trio, Frankie Gould’s Big Band and The Wayne County Apple Knockers. He was a president for The Southern California Old Time Fiddlers Association.

Gloria Shayne Regney Baker - Died March 6 Stamford, CT. She was a lyricist and pianist. She co-wrote, “Do You Hear What I Hear” and “Goodbye Cruel World.” She had been married to composer, Noel Regney.

Lili Boniche - Died March 6 in Paris, France and born 1921 in the Kasbah of Algiers. He played the ud and guitar and was a composer. He mixed the music of rumba, pasodoble, tango, mambo and Arab-Andalusian.

Dave Wheeler - Died March 7 at age 77 due to lung cancer. He was a jazz musician. He played clarinet, saxophone and piano. He worked with Vic Damone, Stan Kenton and The Columbus Jazz Orchestra. He was also inducted into The Columbus Senior Musicians Hall Of Fame.

Cliff Thomas (Clifton A. Thomas) - Died March 7 at age 66 from cancer in Gulfport, MS. He was a singer and guitarist. He led The Cliff Thomas Trio and co-wrote, “Lovers Holiday” and “Pickin’  Wild Mountain Berries.” He recorded on both Sun Records and Ace Records.

Chet Matthew Lane (aka Mr. Music) - Died March 7 at age 79 due to an illness. He played accordion. He worked with his wife: Helene Lane, Johnny Kaaihue’s band, The Four Tophatters and The Mary Kaye Trio. He appeared on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand.

Dorothy Stone (Dorothy Ann Stone) - Found dead on March 7 in Green Valley, CA at age 49. She played flute and was a composer. She did, “Wizard Ball.” She was co-founder of The E.A.R. Unit.

Jeff Lindsey (aka The Fat Boy) - Died March 8 at age 50 of a heart attack. He was a gospel singer, guitarist and keyboardist.

Samy Al-Maghribi (Salomon Amzallag) - Died March 9 and was born in 1922 in Morocco. He played the Oud and was a singer and composer.

Warren Harry (aka Warren Bacall) - Died March 9 of a pulmonary embolism at age 54. He was a songwriter and wrote or co-wrote Bucks Fizz’s, “When We Were Young” and Yoko Oginome’s, “This Is Pop.”

Sai Htee Saing - Died March 10 and was born in 1950 in Lin Khae in southern Shan State. He was a singer and songwriter and co-founded of The Wild Ones.

Dennis Irwin - Died March 10 at age 56 of liver failure due to cancer. He was a bassist. He worked with The Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Red Garland, Johnny Griffin, Matt Wilson, John Scofield, Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Ted Curson and Betty Carter. He played on over 500 albums. He was also the partner of singer, Aria Hendricks.

Chuck Day - The soul of the Fairfax music scene - Died March 10 at age 65 due to an illness. He was a singer and guitarist. He did, “Pony Tail Partner” and “Mama’s Place.” He also led The Burning Sensations and worked with Johnny Rivers (“Secret Agent Man”), Shel Siverstein and The Mamas And The Papas (“Monday, Monday” and “California Dreamin.” He was the father of Mama Cass Elliott’s daughter.

Byrd Burton (Barry Burton) - Died March 10 at age 61 of Myelodysplastic syndrome. He was a guitarist and a member of The Amazing Rhythm Aces. They did, “Third Rate Romance” and “The End Is Not in Sight (The Cowboy Tune)”, and The Loved Ones.

Brian Connolly - Died March 10 in San Rafael of heart attack. He was born 1956 in Montclair, NJ, U.S. He was a sound engineer and singer. As a Sound engineer he worked for Mel Torme, Christine Ebersole and B.B. King.

Carl B. Kramer - Died 3-11-2008 - Born 10-311922 - Played guitar, steel guitar, banjo and fiddle - Appeared on The Country Boy Eddie Show.

J. Vance Boughner - Died 3-12-2008 in Longwood at Oakmont -  He was 93 years old - Born in York, York County - Played piano and organ - (He wrote, “One For Oliver”) - Worked with The Fran Eichler Orchestra, Buddy Lee’s Orchestra and Barry Blue.

Ed Megrant - Died 3-12-2008 - Liver cancer - He was 75 years old - Played piano and guitar - Worked with The Everly Brothers and Larry Robinson and played at his Magnolia Cafe.

Bob Wayne (Born Robert Weiss) - Died 3-12-2008 - Complications from heart disease - He was 93 years old - Singer - Led The Rollicaires - Worked with Fred Waring And His Pennsylvanians.

Martin Fierro (aka The Meester) - Died 3-13-2008 - Cancer ( Jazz - Rock ) Born 1-18-1942 in Mexico - Played saxophone and flute - Was a member of Shades Of Joy, Legion Of Mary, Zero and Al Rapone And The Zydeco Express -  Worked with Jerry Garcia, Chuck Berry, James Cotton, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Loudon Wainwright III, The Allman Brothers, The Maxnava Jazz Four, Mother Earth, The Sir Douglas Quintet, String Cheese Incident, Queen Ida, Yonder Mountain String Band, Steve Miller, Boz Scaggs, Dark Star Orchestra, New Monsoon and The Grateful Dead.

Singkham Bandith - Died March 13 in Bridgeport, CN at age 35. He was born in Laos. He was s musician, composer and actor. He appeared in and wrote music for the film, Blood Money (2006).

Wilfred Middlebrooks (aka Walkin’ Willie) - Died March 13 at age 74 of heart failure. He was a double bassist. He worked with Ella Fitzgerald, The Chattanooga Symphony and The Paul Smith Trio.

Bill Bolick (William A. Bolick) - Died March 14 at age 90. He played mandolin and sang. He was a member of The Blue Sky Boys and The Crazy Hickory Nuts.

Rev. Bruce Hilton - Died March 14 of kidney failure. He was born 1930 in Plymouth, Wis., U.S. He played tuba and was a member of The Joyful Noise Jazz Band. He was also a social justice and civil rights activist.

William H. Ruddy Jr. - Died March 14 at age 86. He was a guitarist. He worked with Tommy Sheridan, Frank Sinatra Jr., The Milwaukee Clipper Band and George Pritchett.

Mikey Dread (Michael Campbell) - Died March 15 due to a brain tumor in Connecticut. He was a reggae musician born 1954 in Port Antonio, Jamaica. He was a singer, producer and broadcaster. He did, “Break Down The Walls” and “Vegetable Mater.” He worked with King Tubby, The Clash and Carlton Patterson.

Vytautas Kernagis - Died March 15 at age 56 due to gastric cancer. He was a singer, songwriter, actor and TV announcer. He was a member of Aisciai and Rupus Miltai. He appeared in the rock opera, Velnio Nuotaka.

King Alex Littlejohn – Died March 15. He was a blues artist born in 1934 in Arkansas. He was a singer and bassist. He did, “Hot As A Coffee Pot” and “Huchia Cuthia Lovin’ Man.” He led King Alex And The Untouchables. He also worked with Jerry Lee Lewis, B.B. King and Provine “Little” Hatch.

Stu Nevitt (Stuart Nevitt) - Died March 15 due to complications from diabetes. He was 55 or 56 years old. He was a percussionist and composer. He was also a member of Shadowfax - Worked with Kim Angelis.

Ola Brunkert - Found dead March 16 at age 61 in Mallorca, Spain. He fell through a glass wall. He was a drummer. He was a member of Opus III, Science Poption and Slim’s Blues Gang. He also worked with ABBA (“People Need Love” and “Waterloo”).

Daniel MacMaster - Died March 16 at age 39 of a staph infection. He was a singer. He did, “One Step Behind” and “Bleeding Hearts Collide.” He was a member of Bonham. They did, “Cross Me And See” and “Wait For You.”

Patti Bown (Patricia Anne Bown) - Died March 16 at age 76 due to complications from diabetes and kidney failure. She was a jazz pianist and did, “G’won Train.” She worked with Quincy Jones, Billy Eckstine, Gene Ammons, Oscar Brown Jr., Jimmy Rushing, Dinah Washington and Leon Redbone.

Steve Wages (Stephen Glenn Cook Wages) - Died March 17. He was born in Forrest City. He was a guitarist and a member of The Steve Wages and The Bad Habit Band.

Nicolas Villanueva - Died March 18 at age 38 in Quechultenango, Guerrero, Mexico. He was shot more than 20 times by gunmen as he and his band played on stage. He was a singer and a member of Brisas del Mar.

Helen Abdallah (Helen J. Abdallah) - Died March 18 of a heart condition four days before her 93rd birthday. She sang and played mandolin, banjo, piano, organ and Hawaiian guitar. She was a member of The Irregulars.

MaWillies (William Bongani Makhubela) - Died March 18 in Soweto, South Africa because of possible TB. He was 38 years old. He was a singer. He did, “Intwenjani” and “Hoezit.” He also worked with Mahoota (“Qolo”), Mandla Spikiri, Jacarumba and Brown Dash. He was son of musician, Abel Mkhachane Makhubela.

Terry Carroll - Died March 19 at age 64 of lung cancer. He was a singer and guitarist and a member of The Springfield Country Band.

Devin Ossman - Found dead March 19 in Mount Rainier due to hypothermia at age 45. He played flute, piccolo, saxophone and penny whistle. He was a member of Indigo. His father is David Ossman, a member of the comedy troupe, The Firesign Theatre.

Mia Permanto - Died March 19 in Helsinki, Finland. She was born in 1988. She was a singer and did, “Rising Sun” with Heikki Liimatainen.”

Graham McKeel - Died March 19 in Tampa, FL due to heart failure. He was born in 1945. He was a drummer and a member of The Echoes. He was also a blocking fullback for the Florida Gators.

Sam Weiss - Died March 19 at age 81 in Boca Raton, FL. He was the co-founder (with his brother, Hy Weiss) of Old Town Records which released recordings by Robert & Johnny, The Fiestas, The Earls and The Capris.

Miles Bell - Died March 19 at age 61 of kidney failure. He was a manager. He worked with Sandy Hackett, 4 The Cause, The Blues Other Brothers, The Moffatts, Sandy Kastel and Cledus T. Judd.

Bill Brown (William Joseph Brown) – Died March 20 due to complications of a brain tumor. He was 54 years old. He played French horn and saxophone and was a band director. He was also a member of Smooth & Saxy. He worked with The Tyrone Davis Group and Dominant Factor.

John Fowler - Died March 21 at age 42 due to a brain aneurism. He was a drummer who worked with The Voodoo Jets (“Spaceman”), Steelheart (“I’ll Never Let You Go”), Smoke and Hipnotic.

Shusha Guppy (Shansi Assar) - Died March 21 in London, England at age 72. He was born in Tehran, Iran. He was a singer and writer.

Dillard Crume - Died March 21. He was a gospel producer, guitarist and singer. He was a member of The Soul Stirrers and The Crume Brothers. He also worked with The Blind Boys Of Mississippi and The Highway QC’s.

Cachao (Israel Lopez) - Died March 22 at age 89 due to complications from kidney failure. He was born in Havana, Cuba. He was a bassist and songwriter. He worked with Gloria Estefan, Tito Puente, Machito, Chico O’Farrill, Eddie Palmieri and Tito Rodrigues. He is considered to be the creator of Mambo.

Jason Rae - Died March 22 in Leeds and was born about 1976. He played saxophone and was a member of Haggis Horns who worked with Nightmares On Wax, Amy Winehouse, Mark Ronson and also with Jason’s wife, Corinne Bailey Rae.

Bill Ludwig (William F. Ludwig II) (aka The Chief) - Died March 22 and was born in 1917. He was the patriarch of The Ludwig Drum Company and developer of many percussion products.

Doug Hall – Died March 23 at age 48 due to brain cancer. He was a pianist and did, “JiHi” and “Once Around The Block.” He also worked with Chet Baker, Bill Waltrous, Dave Liebman, James Moody, Joe Farrell, Lee Konitz, and Victor Wooten.

Pepe Bayard (Pierre Bayard) - Died March 23 at age 62 due to cancer. He led The All-Stars Caribbean Pirates.

Roger Rich (Roger K. Rich) - Died March 23 at age 64. He was a gospel singer and a member of The Rhythmaires who became The Servants. He also worked with Jerry Stone - Son of singer, Claude J. Rich.

Neil Aspinall also known as the Fifth Beatle - Died March 24 at age 65 due to cancer. He was a road manager and personal assistant to The Beatles and an executive for Apple Corps. He sang backing vocals on “Yellow Submarine” and played harmonica on “Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite!”.

Doug Simon - Died March 24 at age 58. He was a guitarist and a member of Dayton. He worked with Brother Jack McDuff and Vesta Williams. He also played music for TV’s, The Young And The Restless.

Spanky Alford (Chalmers Edward Alford) - Died March 24 at age 52. He played guitar. He worked with A Tribe Called Quest, The Mighty Clouds Of Joy, John Mayer, Joss Stone, Common, The Roots, Angie Stone, D’Angelo, Eric Benet, Toto, Roy Hargrove, Raphael Sadiq, Jill Scott, Al Green, Fred Hammond, Mary J Blige, Williams Brothers, Erykah Badu, Shirley Caesar, James Cleveland and The Bee Gees.

Ahmed Nur Jango - Died 3-25-2008 in Mogadihsu - Heart attack - Singer and musician - (He did, “Daljir” and “Ladi waayey”) - Worked with Amina Muse Milano, Ahmed Ali Egal and Amina Abdullahi.

Alex Freidin - Died March 25 at age 90 due to congestive heart failure. He was a pianist and composer. He was also an opening act for Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin.

Bud Norfleet (Junious Norfleet) - Died March 25 at age 82 due to complications after a stroke. He was a gospel singer and a member of The Norfleet Brothers. They did, “Shadrack” and “None But The Righteous.”

Cavlar (Leval Lyde) - Died March 26 in Brooklyn, NY. He was shot at age 36. He was a rap artist.

Joe Brunetto (Joseph Brunetto III) - Died March 26 due to Cancer. He was born in 1951. He was a keyboardist. He led Raintree and worked with The Rick Brunetto Big Band and Ray Cincione.

Gene Puerling - Died March 26 and was born 3-31-1929 in Wisconsin. He was a singer and arranger. He was aslo a member of The Hi-Lo’s and The Singers Unlimited.

Toti Fuentes (Francisco Fuentes) - Died March 27 at age 55 from stomach cancer. He was born in Cagayan de Oro City. He was a pianist and worked with Richard Merk, The Apo Hiking Society, Hajji Alejandro, Aretha Franklin, Sergio Mendes, Basil Valdez, Pilita Corrales and Natalie Cole.

Sean Levert - Died March 30 in Cleveland, Ohio at age 39. He was a singer and a member of LeVert. They did, “Pop, Pop, Pop, Pop (Goes My Mind)” and “Casanova.” He was the son of singer Eddie Levert.