Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Musicans and Artists in Rock & Roll Heaven, Part Six

Here are more of the Rock Era musicians and artists who passed away in 2015:

Curtis Lee ("Pretty Little Angel Eyes") died January 8 of cancer in Yuma, Arizona at the age of 75.

Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister, singer and songwriter who was with the group Hawkwind in the 70s and then founded and fronted the group Motorhead, died December 28, 2015 at the age of 70 after a short battle with cancer.

Wally Lester, a member of the Skyliners ("Since I Don't Have You", a song Lester co-wrote), died April 21, 2015 of pancreatic cancer in Southport, North Carolina at the age of 73.

Michael Lookofsky, keyboardist of the Left Banke ("Walk Away Renee"), died March 19, 2015 of heart failure in Englewood, New Jersey at age 65.

Joe Mauldin, double bassist for one of the giant rock pioneers, the Crickets, died of cancer in Nashville, Tennessee at the age of 74.

            (Top to bottom--Allison, Holly, Mauldin)

Mauldin was also a member of the Four Teens, but with guitarist Buddy Holly and drummer Jerry Allison in the Crickets, achieved international fame with songs like "That'll Be The Day", "Maybe Baby", "Oh Boy" and "It's So Easy"   Mauldin was also a songwriter, co-writing "Well All Right" with the Crickets, and went on to be a recording engineer at Gold Star Studios in Los Angeles, the home of such recording giants as Brian Wilson, Herb Alpert and Phil Spector.

As guitarist Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones remarked about the influence of the Crickets, "These guys wrote them, sang them and recorded them, and it so impressed us in England. There would probably be no Beatles or Rolling Stones without them."

After the death of Holly in 1959, the Crickets continued to record, and opened for the Everly Brothers on an international tour.  Allison also worked with Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, John Prine, Waylon Jennings and many others.

Ernie Maresca, who wrote "The Wanderer" for Dion and co-wrote "Donna The Prima Donna" with Dion, died July 8, 2015, died at his home in Pompano Beach, Florida at the age of 76. 

Maresca was a member of the Regents before they recorded their version of the hit "Barbara Ann", and he also enjoyed a solo hit with "Shout!  Shout!  (Knock Yourself Out)".

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