Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Members of Rock & Roll Heaven, Part Two

Our feature continues with more of the great talent we lost this year:

1937:  Bonnie Brown of the Browns ("The Three Bells" from 1956) died July 16 of lung cancer in Little Rock, Arkansas at the age of 77.

The group hit #1 for four weeks on 1959 with "The Three Bells".  They charted seven times, also collecting the #5 hit "The Old Lamplighter".

Pete Burns of Dead or Alive died October 23 in London from cardiac arrest at age 57.

Dead or Alive never found the Top 10, but they reached the Top 20 with both "You Spin Me Round (Like A Record)" and "Brand New Lover".

Nicholas Caldwell, co-founder of the Whispers, died January 5 of congestive heart failure in San Francisco.

The Whispers enjoyed their biggest hit with "Rock Steady" in 1987, but are perhaps best known for their 1980 Gold record "And The Beat Goes On".  Caldwell was 71.

Phil Chess, who founded the label Chess Records with his brother Leonard, died October 18 in Tucson, Arizona at age 95.  Little Walter, John Lee Hooker, Rufus Thomas, Bobby Bland and Howlin' Wolf were some of the major blues artists who recorded on the label.

One of Howlin' Wolf's most popular songs is this one. 

Don Ciccone, lead singer and songwriter of the Critters, died October 8 in Ketchum, Idaho, according to his social media manager Lynn Pattnosh.  Ciccone was 70.

Ciccone and the Critters had one hit, "Mr. Dieingly Sad", in 1966.  Ciccone later joined Frankie Valli's Four Seasons from 1973 to 1981 and was the bassist and musical director for a later incarnation of Tommy James and the Shondells.

Folk legend Leonard Cohen died November 7 in Los Angeles at age 82.

One of Cohen's best-known songs is "Suzanne". 

Jerry Corbetta (front, above), singer and keyboardist with Sugarloaf, died September 16 of Pick's disease in Denver, Colorado.  He was 68.

Sugarloaf enjoyed a #3 hit with "Green-Eyed Lady" in 1970.   They later returned to the Top 10 in 1975 with "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You".

Singer Attrell Cordes, who went by the stage name of Prince Be in the group P.M. Dawn, died June 17 in New Jersey after suffering from diabetes and renal kidney disease.  

Attrell and Jarrett Cordes formed the group in the late 1980's and enjoyed the big hits "Set Adrift On Memory Bliss" and "I'd Die Without You". 

Attrell was 46.

Patty Duke died March 29 of sepsis from a ruptured intestine in Coeur d' Alene, Idaho at age 69.  

Patty enjoyed her biggest hit in the Rock Era with "Don't Just Stand There" in 1965.

Doug Edwards of Skylark and Chilliwack died at the age of 70 on November 11 in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Prior to joining Skylark, Edwards played guitar for the Fifth Dimension and once opened for Frank Sinatra.  He wrote the 1973 hit "Wildflower" for Skylark.

Edwards became a session guitarist for artists such as Olivia Newton-John, Terry Jacks, the Poppy Family and Glass Tiger.

Many people do not know Chilliwack, but as smart Inside The Rock Era viewers, you do.  Chilliwack recorded great songs such as "My Girl (Gone, Gone, Gone)" and "I Believe".  Edwards joined Chilliwack in a later reincarnation of the band in 1989.

Keith Emerson, founding member and legendary keyboardist of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, died of suicide March 11 in Santa Monica, California at the age of 71.

In 1973, the trio enjoyed a minor hit with "From The Beginning".

Emerson, Lake & Palmer recorded this timeless song.

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