Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Members of Rock & Roll Heaven, Part Four

Two great trumpeters died this year; Wayne Jackson, who played on 116 Top 10 songs, and Mic Gellette, who also played for scores of artists.  Inside The Rock Era salutes the great brass players as well as the others who we lost in 2016:

Mic Gillette, founder and trumpet and trombone player with Tower of Power, who also worked with Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Rod Stewart, the Doobie Brothers, Jefferson Starship, Huey Lewis and the News, Santana, Heart, America, Sheryl Crow, Blood, Sweat & Tears, Melissa Manchester, Little Feat, Link Wray, and many others, died January 17 at age 64 of a heart attack in Concord, California.

The Tower of Power quickly established themselves as one of the top horn sections in the nation and soon were in demand.  They scored a minor hit with "You're Still A Young Man" and are best known for their 1973 hit "So Very Hard To Go".  

The great horn section will be remembered for their other hit, "You're Still A Young Man". 

Elton John used the Tower of Power on his 1974 album Caribou.  Gillette helped turn Elton's "The Bitch Is Back" into a #1 hit.

Gillette also played on "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me".

In 1977, Mic played horns on the Brothers Johnson smash "Strawberry Letter 23".

Giorgio Gomelsy, first manager for the Rolling Stones and the Yardbirds, died January 13 of cancer in New York City at age 81.

Gomelsy was the owner of the famous Crawdaddy Club in London.  He brought in the Stones as the house band and later took over their early management.  

As the Stones took off into stardom and hired Andrew Loog Oldham as manager, Gomelsy recruited the Yardbirds as the house band at Crawdaddy.  Gomelsy served as the group's manager from 1964-66 and produced their first two albums, including their first hit "For Your Love".  

Gomelsy produced solo projects for Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page and also produced for Eric Clapton and Rod Stewart, among others.

Paul Gordon, keyboardist and guitarist who worked with Prince, America, Chaka Khan, the Goo Goo Dolls, Mandy Moore, Natasha Bedingfield, the B-52's and the New Radicals, died February 16 in Nashville, Tennessee.

Gordon wrote songs for Kenny Rogers, Dionne Warwick, James Ingram, Juice Newton, Kenny G, Laura Branigan, Deniece Williams and Peter Cetera, among many others.  Gordon co-wrote "The Next Time I Fall" for Cetera's duet with Amy Grant.

Gordon played for the New Radicals on their 1998 hit "You Get What You Give".

He was the keyboardist with the B-52's from 2007 until his death. 

Gogi Grant, who had one of the great early hits of the Rock Era, "The Wayward Wind",  died March 10 at her home in Los Angeles at the age of 91.  Grant sang all the songs for actress Ann Blyth in the movie The Helen Morgan Story.  

Grant's "The Wayward Wind" topped the chart for eight weeks in 1956.

Eddie Harsch, former keyboardist with the Black Crowes, died at the age of 59 on November 4 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Harsch joined the group before their 1992 album Southern Harmony and Musical Companion.  He played on four other albums by the group.  The Crowes enjoyed their biggest hit with the #26 song "Hard To Handle".  The biggest hit Harsch had with the group was the #48 song "Remedy".    

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