Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Musicians and Artists in Rock and Roll Heaven, Part Two

Here is Part Two of our annual feature:

Drummer Bob Burns, one of the founding members of Lynyrd Skynyrd, died April 3, 2015 in a car accident in Cartersville, Georgia.  He was 64.

Wayne Carson, songwriter of two of The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era*--"The Letter" by the Box Tops and "Always On My Mind" by Willie Nelson, died July 20, 2015 of congestive heart failure in Franklin, Tennessee at the age of 72.  

Carson also produced, and played piano, guitar, bass, and percussion.  In addition to the two monster hits listed above, he wrote "Soul Deep" for the Box Tops and also worked with Brenda Lee, Glen Campbell, Alabama, B.J. Thomas, the Pet Shop Boys, and Ike & Tina Turner, just to name a few.    (Note:  some websites claim Carson died in Nashville, Tennessee.  He died at a convalescent hospital in Franklin, according to the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times'.)  

Natalie Cole died December 31, 2015 in Los Angeles of congestive heart failure at age 65.

The talented daughter of the great Nat "King" Cole burst onto the scene in 1975 with "This Will Be".


Cole scored 17 hits in her career, including the Top 10's "This Will Be", "I've Got Love On My Mind", "Our Love", "Pink Cadillac" and "Miss You Like Crazy".

But perhaps she will be best known for her vocal she recorded in 1991 and released as a recorded "duet" with her late father.

Don Covay died in his sleep at age 78 after suffering a second stroke on January 31, 2015 in Valley Stream, New York.  (Note:  some websites report that Covay died on January 30, and some sites claim he died in Franklin Square, New York, but the correct date is January 31 and the correct place of death is Valley Stream, according to the newspaper 'The New York Times'.  The newspaper 'The Washington Post', 'NPR' and 'Rolling Stone' magazine claim Covay died at age 76, but every other major source--'The New York Times' and 'Billboard', as well as Covay's publicist, say he died at age 78.)

Covay wrote "Chain Of Fools" for Aretha Franklin, and songs for the Rolling Stones, Gladys Knight & the Pips, Wilson Pickett, Steppenwolf, Chubby Checker, Bobby Womack, Solomon Burke and others, and worked with Jimi Hendrix and Little Richard,

Luigi Creatore (left), part of the songwriting team Hugo 
& Luigi with cousin Hugo Peretti, died December 13, 2015 from complications of pneumonia in Boca Raton, Florida at age 93.  


Creatore  and Luigi wrote "Can't Help Falling In Love" for Elvis Presley and English lyrics for the Tokens classic "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", among many others.  

Creatore also produced for Perry Como, Sam Cooke ("Chain Gang", Twistin' The Night Away and "Wonderful World"), Little Peggy March ("I Will Follow Him"), Van McCoy ("The Hustle") and Jimmie Rodgers ("Honeycomb" and "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine"), among others, and was a co-owner of Roulette Records and Avco Records, 

Little Jimmy Dickens ("May The Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose") died January 2, 2015 of cardiac arrest at the age of 94 in Nashville, Tennessee.  

Ervin Drake, who wrote songs recorded by Elvis Presley, Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra ("It Was A Very Good Year", Diana Ross, Perry Como, Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington, died January 15, 2015 of bladder cancer in Great Neck, New York at age 95. 

Tim Drummond, bassist of Bob Dylan, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Neil Young, who also worked with B.B. King, James Brown, Eric Clapton, Jewel, Joe Cocker and Miles Davis, died January 10, 2015 at the age of 74 in St. Louis County, Missouri.

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