Thursday, December 31, 2015

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

Saluting the great artists and musicians who joined Rock & Roll Heaven this year:

Billy Joe Royal, who gave us the songs "Down In The Boondocks" and "Cherry Hill Park"died October 6, 2015 in Morehead City, North Carolina at the age of 73.

Paul Serrano, jazz trumpeter and head recording engineer for Delmark Records, who worked with Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Al Green, Natalie Cole, Tower of Power and Mick Jagger, died January 15, 2015 in Burbank, Illinois at the age of 82 after battling Parkinson's Disease for 25 years.  Serrano played trumpet on hundreds of records for Chess, Brunswick and Mercury Records.  (Note:  some websites say that Paul died in Kansas City, Kansas.  He died in Burbank, according to the newspaper 'The Chicago Tribune'.)


P.F. Sloan (Philip Gary Schlein), singer, guitarist, and songwriter who worked with the Fifth Dimension, the Mamas & the Papas, Jan & Dean (singing falsetto on "The Little Old Lady From Pasadena") and the Rip Chords and wrote "Eve Of Destruction" for Barry McGuire, "Secret Agent Man" for Johnny Rivers, "You Baby" and "Let Me Be" for the Turtles, "Where Were You When I Needed You" for the Grass Roots and "A Must To Avoid" for Herman's Hermits, among others, died November 15, 2015 in Los Angeles of pancreatic cancer at age 70.

Lew Soloff, who played trumpet and flugelhorn with Frank Sinatra and Paul Simon and was a member of Blood, Sweat & Tears from 1968-1974, and also played for George Benson, Chuck Mangione, Maynard Ferguson, Dizzy Gillespie and others, died March 8, 2015 of a heart attack in Brooklyn, New York  at age 71.  (Note:  many websites lazily say Soloff died in New York City, which of course is made up of several boroughs.  He died in Brooklyn, according to the newspaper 'The New York Times'.)

Soloff played the unforgettable 35-second trumpet solo on "Spinning Wheel".

Keyboardist Paul Shaffer, of Late Show With David Letterman—was among Soloff’s closest friends. “He could play anything with authority and credibility,” Shaffer said. “And his ambition was always to be an artist, a soloist. But he had the kind of training that enabled him to become a number-one, first-call studio musician.” 


David Somerville, co-founder and original lead singer with the Diamonds ("Little Darlin'), who also worked with the Four Preps, died July 14, 2015 in Santa Barbara, California of prostate cancer at the age of 81.  (Note:  some websites insist he died July 15, but according to the official website for Somerville, he died July 14.)

Chris Squire, bassist, keyboardist and singer with several groups, most notably Yes (a group Chris co-founded), died of acute erythroid leukemia June 27, 2015 in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 67.

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