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Tag: In Memoriam (41-50 of 323)

'Sunday Kind of Love' singer Fran Warren dies

Fran Warren, whose 1947 recording of “A Sunday Kind of Love” was one of the classic hits of the big band era, has died.

Alan Eichler, a spokesman for the singer-actress, said Tuesday that Warren died March 4 of natural causes at her home in Brookfield, Conn. She was 87.

Warren’s career spanned more than 50 years with hits that included the Tony Martin duet “I Said My Pajamas (and Put On My Prayers),” the Lisa Kirk duet “Dearie” and “It’s Anybody’s Heart.” Her films roles included Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd.

She frequently appeared and performed on the talk shows of Johnny Carson, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin and Steve Allen.

Warren is survived by two daughters, a son-in-law and two nieces.

Bobbie Smith of soul legends the Spinners dies at 76

Bobbie Smith, original lead singer of legendary soul group the Spinners, has died at the age of 76, according to the Associated Press (via Billboard). A statement issued today by the group’s manager said Smith was diagnosed with lung cancer in November and passed away on Saturday morning due to complications from pneumonia.


Jason Molina of Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co. dies at 39

Jason Molina, the musician behind beloved indie-rock outfits Songs: Ohia and Magnolia Electric Co., died from organ failure on Saturday at his home in Indianapolis. He was 39.

Molina’s death, Chunklet reports, was caused by years of alcohol abuse, which the musician had been dealing with publicly. Molina’s last few years included numerous stints in rehab centers in America and England, and Pitchfork reports that his family members had set up a fund in 2011 for fans wanting to contribute to his medical costs.

In May of last year, Molina posted a statement on Magnolia Electric Co.’s website acknowledging his struggle but letting fans know that he was improving. It was his last public comment about his health:

Treatment is good, getting to deal with a lot of things that even the music didn’t want to. I have not given up because you, my friends have not given up on me. I do still need your support however that takes shape, good vibes are worth more than you might think.

Molina released his most recent album in 2012, the  solo effort Autumn Bird Songs. His body of work includes more than two decades of music created under various names — most of it released on his longtime label, Secretly Canadian.

The label issued an emotional statement on its website; you can read it in full below:


Grand Ole Opry star Jack Greene dies at 83

Jack Greene, a longtime Grand Ole Opry star who earned fame with his hit “There Goes My Everything,” died on Thursday at his home here. He was 83. The cause was complications of Alzheimer’s disease, said Jessie Schmidt, a spokeswoman for the Grand Ole Opry.

“There Goes My Everything” reached No. 1 on the Billboard country chart and No. 65 on the pop chart in 1966. It earned the deep-voiced Mr. Greene awards for single of the year and male vocalist of the year from the Country Music Association in 1967. That same year he began performing regularly at the Grand Ole Opry.

His other hits, mostly in the late 1960s, included “All the Time,” “What Locks the Door” and “Statue of a Fool.”

“There Goes My Everything,” written by Dallas Frazier, was covered by several other singers, including Elvis Presley. Engelbert Humperdinck’s version reached No. 20 on the Billboard pop singles chart in 1967.

“I had letters by the thousands from people who had lost loved ones,” Mr. Greene once said about the reaction to that song. “It touched a lot of people’s lives.”

Mr. Greene was born in Maryville, Tenn., where he started in radio at WGAP. In addition to singing and playing guitar, he played bass and drums in various groups. His big break came when the influential singer-songwriter Ernest Tubb hired him as his drummer in the early 1960s.

Ten Years After's guitarist Alvin Lee, dead at 68 after surgery complications

British rock guitarist Alvin Lee, founder of the band Ten Years After who burst to stardom with a memorable Woodstock performance, has died. He was 68.

A statement posted on Lee’s official website said he died Wednesday unexpectedly from complications following a routine surgical procedure. Lee’s manager, Ron Rainey, said the guitarist died in Spain.

“We have lost a wonderful, much loved father and companion,” said the statement signed by his daughter Jasmin, wife Evi and former companion Suzanne. “The world has lost a truly great and gifted musician.”

The Nottingham, England-born Lee founded the band Ten Years After in 1967. The group first toured the U.S. in 1967, but its popularity exploded following Lee’s rousing performance of the song “I’m Going Home” at Woodstock in 1969. Lee’s epic and electrifying solos on his Gibson guitar for the 11-minute performance were immortalized in the documentary film about the legendary festival. READ FULL STORY

Canadian country singer Stompin' Tom Connors died

Canadian country-folk singer Stompin’ Tom Connors, whose toe-tapping musical spirit and fierce patriotism established him as one of Canada’s biggest cultural icons, has died, his promoter said Wednesday night. He was 77.

Connors passed away from natural causes at his home Wednesday evening, Brian Edwards said. The musician, rarely seen without his signature black cowboy hat and stomping cowboy boots, was best known for songs “Sudbury Saturday Night,” “Bud the Spud” and especially “The Hockey Song,” a fan favorite played at hockey arenas around North America.

Those three songs are played at every Toronto Maple Leafs home game. At Toronto’s Air Canada Centre Wednesday night, many fans took to their feet as “The Hockey Song” was played after Connors’ death was announced. READ FULL STORY

Founding Miracles singer Bobby Rogers dies at 73

Bobby Rogers, singer and founding member of the Motown group the Miracles, died this morning at the age of 73. The singer, who had long been suffering from illness, was at his home in Southfield, MI.

Rogers is best known for his work with the Miracles and his songwriting collaborations with Smokey Robinson. “Another soldier in my life has fallen,” Robinson said in a statement, the AP reports. “Bobby Rogers was my brother and a really good friend. He and I were born on the exact same day in the same hospital in Detroit. I am really going to miss him. I loved him very much.”

Rogers formed the Miracles back in 1956 with Robinson, cousin Claudette Rogers, Pete Moore, and Ronnie White. The group went on to produce a number of R&B hits, including “Shop Around,” “You’ve Really Got a Hold on Me,””Ooo Baby Baby,” “The Tracks of My Tears,” “I Second That Emotion,” and “Tears of a Clown.” The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012.


Temptations singer Richard Street died

Former Motown vocalist Richard Street, a member of the Temptations for 25 years, has died. He was 70.

Street’s wife, Cindy, says her husband died early Wednesday at a hospital in Las Vegas after a short illness.

Richard Street (far left in above photo) sang as a young man with Temptations members Otis Williams and Melvin Franklin, but didn’t join the famed Motown group until the early 1970s. He later made the move from his native Detroit to Los Angeles with other Motown acts and stayed with the group until the mid-1990s.

Funeral arrangements are incomplete, but Cindy Street expects services to be held sometime next week in Cypress, Calif.

She says her husband “was a really good person” who should be remembered for his work with the Temptations.

Mindy McCready dead of apparent suicide

According to the Cleburne Country Sheriff’s Office in Heber Springs, Ark., troubled country star Mindy McCready, best known for her hit 1996 album Ten Thousand Angels, died today in an apparent suicide at the age of 37.

Stacy McCloud, a reporter at Fox17 in Nashville, first tweeted the news on Sunday evening, and followed-up with a clarifying tweet an hour later:

NBC News correspondent Andrea Canning also reported details via Twitter, where she claimed that a close friend of McCready’s explained the singer had shot herself.

An email and call to McCready’s rep were not immediately returned.

Last week, a judge ordered McCready be sent to a treatment facility for mental health and alcohol issues on the same day that her two children, Zander, 6, and Zayne, 10 months, were placed in foster care. In January, McCready’s boyfriend, David Wilson, Zayne’s father, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

McCready moved herself from Florida to Nashville when she was 18, and within a year had scored a recording contract at BNA Records. In 1996, she released her debut album, Ten Thousand Angels, which sold over 2 million copies and spawned the number one single “Guys Do It All The Time.”

McCready’s two subsequent albums with BNA, 1997′s If I Don’t Stay the Night and 1999′s I’m Not So Tough, couldn’t match the success of her debut (though, If I Don’t Stay the Night was certified Gold), and she was dropped by the label soon after. In 2002, McCready released a self-titled fourth album with Capitol Records, but it was a commercial failure, and she was dropped once again.

Over the subsequent years, McCready’s personal struggles often overshadowed her musical endeavors. In August 2004, she was arrested for using a fake prescription to purchase OxyContin pills. In May 2005, McCready’s then-boyfriend, Billy McKnight, Zander’s father, was charged with attempted murder after he assaulted her. She was charged with DUI the same month. The following July, McCready was found unconscious in a hotel lobby in Florida after an attempted drug overdose. In September of that year, while pregnant with her first child, McCready was again hospitalized for an overdose of antidepressants. Sadly, those weren’t her only suicide attempts. McCready was also hospitalized in 2008 after cutting her wrists.

In 2009, McCready appeared in the third season of Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew. She released a new album in 2010 called I’m Still Here. “This time I can survive,” she wailed during the bridge of the title track.

McCready continued to run into legal troubles stemming from her probation and an ongoing custody dispute over son Zander from 2010-2012. The apparent suicide of boyfriend David Wilson on January 13 of this year clearly shook the star. In her last interview, McCready spoke with Dateline shortly after Wilson’s death. “He was my soulmate,” she said, through tears. “He was my life.”

Mindy McCready Comes Clean: Read the 2009 EW feature on the troubled star
Mindy McCready committed for alcohol and mental health issues

'Wild Thing' singer Reg Presley of the Troggs dead at 71

The structure is simple, the guitar riffs basic, the lyrics at best inane, but the Troggs’ “Wild Thing” remains a garage rock classic more than 45 years after its release made the Troggs and lead singer Reg Presley international stars.

Presley, whose raunchy, suggestive voice powers this paean to teenage lust, died Monday after a year-long struggle with lung cancer that had forced him and the band into reluctant retirement, his agent Keith Altham announced on Facebook late Monday night. He was 71.

“My dear old pal Reg Presley of the Troggs died today,” he said, calling Presley “one very real person in a sometimes very unreal world.” He said the singer had suffered a number of strokes recently and died at his home in Andover (70 miles west of London) surrounded by his family and friends. READ FULL STORY

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