Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Musicians and Artists in Rock & Roll Heaven for 2015, Part One

Hundreds of musicians died this year, including close to 60 that you very well might know.  For ease of uploading and listening to the tremendous contributions these newest members of Rock & Roll Heaven made to our lives, we have separated our feature into 11 sections:


Lynn Anderson died July 30, 2015 at age 67 of a heart attack in Nashville, Tennessee.  Lynn did one song that most people knew, but it was a big one--"Rose Garden" in 1971. 

"Rose Garden" went all the way to #3, one of the biggest mainstream country crossovers in history, and sold over one million copies.  "Rose Garden" placed at #351 in The Top 500 Songs of the Rock Era* on Inside The Rock Era.

Sam Andrew, founding guitarist of Big Brother and the Holding Company, who also played clarinet, saxophone and sang, died February 12, 2015 from open heart surgery after a heart attack in San Francisco, California at the age of 73.  (Note:  some websites report that Andrew died in San Rafael, California.  According to the the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times', he died at the UCSF (University of California San Francisco) Medical Center in San Francisco.)

 Marlene Barrow-Tate, one of the top background singers of all-time, died February 23, 2015 at age 73.  Barrow was a long-time member of the Andantes, the studio singers who sang on such Motown songs as  "Love Child" by the Supremes, "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" by Marvin Gaye, "Reach Out, I'll Be There", "Bernadette", "Baby I Need Your Loving", "Standing In The Shadows Of Love" and "It's The Same Old Song" by the Four Tops, "My Guy" by Mary Wells', "Higher And Higher" by Jackie Wilson, and "Jimmy Mack" by Martha & the Vandellas, just to name a few.

   Barrow-Tate also sang backing vocals for Stevie Wonder, the Temptations, the Marvelettes, Jimmy Ruffin, Edwin Starr, and Brenda Holloway.

Barrow-Tate also filled in for Florence Ballard at concerts by the Supremes.  The Andantes were inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame last year.

Cilla Black ("You're My World" from 1964), who scored 11 Top 10 hits in her native England, died August 1, 2015 at her vacation home near Estepona, Spain from a stroke after a fall that caused a traumatic head injury. 

"You're My World" was Black's biggest hit in the U.S., peaking at #26.  But she was a huge star in her native England, scoring 21 hits, with 10 going Top 10 and two #1's.  Cilla was 72. 

 Errol Brown, lead singer of one of the top interracial groups of all-time, Hot Chocolate, died May 6, 2015 of liver cancer at his home in the Bahamas at age 71. 

 Brown led Hot Chocolate on quite a winning streak.  Their story is similar to Cilla Black above, although Hot Chocolate enjoyed better success in the United States.  They cleared the Top 10 with "Emma", "You Sexy Thing" and "Every 1's A Winner".  In the U.K., the group accumulated 33 hits with 12 of those reaching the Top 10, with hits including "So You Win Again" and "No Doubt About It". 

Buddy Buie, prolific songwriter, producer, and manager, who
wrote "Spooky", "Stormy" and "Traces" for the Classics IV, as well as many songs for other artists, died July 18, 2015 of a heart attack in Dothan, Alabama.

Buie began as a member of the group, and stayed on as their manager, producer and main songwriter when they evolved into the Atlanta Rhythm Section in 1971, writing hits such as "So Into You" and "Imaginary Lover".

Buie also wrote for Garth Brooks, Santana, Gloria Estefan and Tommy Roe, among others.  Buie was 74.

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