Thursday, December 31, 2015

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

We salute those members of the Rock Era who have joined Rock & Roll Heaven in 2015:

Mike Porcaro, co-founder and bassist of Toto, and brother of Jeff and Steve Porcaro, died March 15 in Los Angeles of amyotophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease).  Jeff was 59 years old.


 In addition to being with Toto for nearly 25 years, Porcaro also worked with Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, America, Dionne Warwick, the Pointer Sisters, Dan Fogelberg, Seals & Crofts, Natalie Cole, Donna Summer, Cher, Pink Floyd, Christopher Cross, Juice Newton, Boz Scaggs, Pablo Cruise, .38 Special, Stevie Nicks, Ricky Martin, Michael McDonald, Steve Vai and Eric Carmen, to name a few.

Gary Richrath, guitarist with REO Speedwagon, died September 13, 2015 in Bloomington, Illinois at the age of 65.

Preston Ritter, drummer of the Electric Prunes, died March 30, 2015 after years of dialysis for kidney problems, including two kidney transplants.  After leaving the group, Ritter became a session musician, working with the Beach Boys, Linda Ronstadt and Dobie Gray, before becoming a DJ. 

 As if that wasn't enough to achieve in a lifetime, he then became a police officer and an investigator.  Preston then became a missionary in Korea, where he taught theology. 

Ritter then returned to Los Angeles and became a drum teacher and an author of several books on drum methods.

We salute you, Preston, for your great contributions to our lives. 

Cynthia Robinson, trumpeter and singer with Sly and the Family Stone and Graham Central Station, died November 23, 2015 of cancer at age 71 in Carmichael, California.  (Note:  some websites claim Robinson was 69 when she died.  She was 71, according to 'CBS, 'CNN' and the newspaper 'The New York Times'.)

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