25 notable musicians who died in 2013
Echoes pays tribute to 25 of the music icons, music industry contributors, and legendary musicians who died in 2013
- Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner
Lead singer and guitarist with the Ohio Players – died 1/26/13 of cancer
The Ohio Players fused rock, soul, funk, and R&B and scored numerous hits in the 1970s after Leroy Bonner assumed vocal duties, including “Love Rollercoaster,” “Fire,” “Skin Tight,” and “Funky Worm.”
- Patty Andrews
Singer in The Andrews Sisters – died 1/30/13 of natural causes at the age of 94
The last of the three sisters to pass, Patty Andrews sang lead on a number of the group’s hits. The Andrews Sisters are largely identified as boosters of World War II (and their single “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”). The group was the most successful female vocal group in the first half of the 20th century, boasting as many as 113 charting singles between 1938-1951.
- Reg Presley
Singer with The Troggs – died 2/4/13 of lung cancer
Best remembered for 1966’s classic “Wild Thing,” The Troggs enjoyed more success in their native England than they did in the US. Reg Presley was a key to the band’s success, and other notable songs include “Love Is All Around,” “With a Girl Like You,” “Night of the Long Grass,” and “I Can’t Control Myself,” which garnered opposition from conservative radio at the time.
- Rick Huxley
Bassist for the Dave Clark Five – died 2/11/13 after suffering from emphysema
At the forefront of the British Invasion, the Dave Clark Five’s “Glad All Over” was the single to knock the Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand” off the top of the British charts. Other hits featuring Rick Huxley on bass included “Glad All Over,” “Bits And Pieces,” and “Everybody Knows.”
- Cleotha Staples
Singer with The Staple Singers – died 2/21/13 following a prolonged battle with Alzheimer’s
From blues, gospel, folk, to funk, The Staple Singers traveled through styles in their career, landing numerous hits between 1967 and 1981 from songs that include “I’ll Take You There,” and “Do it Again.” Cleotha Staples sang along with her father (Pops), brother Pervis, and sisters Mavis and Yvonne.
- Alvin Lee
Solo artist and leader of Ten Years After – died 3/6/13 of complications from surgery
Formed in 1967, Ten Years After and Alvin Lee‘s blues guitar playing came to prominence in the US after their performance at Woodstock. The British blues/rock quartet’s signature songs include 1969’s “Love Like A Man” and 1971’s “I’d Love To Change The World.”
- Clive Burr
Drummer for Iron Maiden – died in his sleep 3/12/13
Clive Burr played drums on the first three Iron Maiden albums, Iron Maiden, Killers, and Number of the Beast – the latter often cited among the greatest metal albums of all time.
- Bobbie Smith
Singer in The Spinners – died 3/16/13 from complications of pneumonia and influenza
The Spinners, who formed as a doo wop group in the ’50s, reached their height as the biggest soul group of the ’70s. Bobbie Smith, an original member, sang lead on The Spinners’ first single, “That’s What Girls Are Made For” in 1961. He also sang lead on several of the Spinners’ ’70s hits, including “I’ll Be Around” and “Could It Be I’m Falling in Love.”
- Robert Zildjian
Founder of the Sabian cymbal company – died 3/28 after a battle with cancer
Robert Zildjian, son of Avedis Zildjian (founder of the Avedis Zildjian Company), learned the secrets of cymbal making from his father. After he and his brother Armand feuded over the company’s management, Robert founded the Sabian cymbal company in 1981.
- Phil Ramone
Record producer and music industry maverick – died 3/30 after suffering an aortic aneurysm
Phil Ramone won eight Grammy awards as a record producer, emerging from trusted engineer to a major pop producer in the ’80s working with Billy Joel. He opened his A&R Recording studio in 1961, and his list of credits is long, working with artists such as Joel, Paul McCartney, Paul Simon, Kenny Loggins, Barbara Streisand, Barry Manilow, and Frank Sinatra (to name only a few). He won his Producer of the Year Grammy in 1980.
- Andy Johns
Engineer and record producer – died 4/7 of a bleeding ulcer
Andy Johns‘ list of credits as an engineer and/or producer begins in the late ’60s, working with Free, Led Zeppelin, and the Rolling Stones, and continues through to this decade, having worked with the likes of Eric Johnson and Joe Satriani.
- Cordell “Boogie” Mosson
Bassist for Parliament and Funkadelic – died 4/18 of liver failure
A prominent contributor to albums by both Funkadelic and Parliament from 1972-1980, Cordell “Boogie” Mosson was the bassist for Parliament-Funkadelic after Bootsy Collins went solo. Mosson was among the fifteen members of Parliament-Funkadelic inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997.
- Richie Havens
Folk singer, guitarist – died 4/22 of a heart attack
Richie Havens’ career as a folk singer started in Greenwich Village in 1965, and his career took off after he opened the Woodstock festival in 1969. He maintained a rigorous international touring schedule and released over 25 records in a career that spanned over 30 years.
- George Jones
Country music star – died 4/26 of hypoxic respiratory failure
George Jones is heralded for having one of the finest voices in the history of country music, and his long and storied musical and personal history is filled with hits, misses, addiction, and multiple marriages. Notable among his hits are “He Stopped Loving Her Today,” “Choices,” and “Golden Ring,” one of the many songs he recorded with his third wife, country star Tammy Wynette.
- Jeff Hanneman
Guitarist, co-founder, and songwriter for Slayer – died 5/2 of liver failure
Jeff Hanneman formed Slayer with fellow guitarist Kerry King in 1982, and the band went on to garner a huge and hard-core fan base with the release of 1986’s Reign In Blood. The band’s blend of speed and aggression never faltered, with new releases spanning 1982-2010.
- Cedric Brooks
Jamaican saxophonist and flautist – died 5/3 of cardiac arrest
Cedric “Im” Brooks was a Jamaican saxophonist and flautist known for his solo recordings and as a member of The Mystic Revelation of Rastafari, The Sound Dimensions, The Light of Saba, and The Skatalites.
- Mack Emerman
Founder of Criteria Recording Studios – died 5/17 of complications from pneumonia
Mack Emerman opened Criteria Recording Studios in 1959. As many as 250 gold and platinum singles and albums were recorded at Criteria, including “Layla” (Derek and the Dominos), “I Feel Good” (James Brown), Eat a Peach (The Allman Brothers) and parts of Saturday Night Fever (Bee Gees), Rumours (Fleetwood Mac), and Hotel California (The Eagles).
- Ray Manzarek
Founding keyboardist of The Doors, solo artist, producer – died 5/20 after battling bile duct cancer
Forming The Doors in 1965 with Jim Morrison, Ray Manzarek was the band’s musical bandleader as well as a keyboarding pioneer. After Morrison’s death in 1971, Manzarek embarked on a solo career that spanned blues, classical, rock, and punk – particularly in the LA punk scene as producer for X.
- Marvin Junior
Singer in The Dells – died 5/29 after suffering heart and kidney problems
Formed in 1953, the Dells started as a doo wop sextet, and spent some of their early years touring with acts such as Dinah Washington and Ray Charles. As a quintet in 1967, they were doing R&B and landed numerous hits, including “Stay in My Corner,” “Oh What a Nite,” “The Love We Had (Stays on My Mind),” and “Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation.” Marvin Junior was an original member and was with the group through their later years and releases into the 2000’s.
- Bobby “Blue” Bland
Blues and soul singer – died 6/23 of natural causes
Bobby Bland is credited as “one of the most powerful and distinctive voices in blues and R&B.” With releases that span the ’50s to the ‘00s, Bland’s highlights include “Is It Real,” “I’m Not Ashamed,” “Little Boy Blue,” and “Farther Up The Road.”
- Alan Myers
Drummer for Devo – died 6/24 of stomach cancer
The metronomic drummer behind Devo’s biggest hit, “Whip It,” Alan Myers performed with the band for a decade and recorded on its first six albums before departing in 1986.
- Jim Foglesong
Music producer and record executive – died 7/9 at the age of 90 after a brief illness
Starting his career at Columbia Records in 1951, Jim Foglesong became president of Dot Records in Nashville in 1973, and was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004.
- Allen Lanier
Keyboardist and guitarist for Blue Oyster Cult – died 8/14 of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
In addition to playing in Blue Oyster Cult from their debut album in 1972 through his retirement in 2006 (minus a short hiatus in the mid-’80s), Allen Lanier can be heard on notable singles including “(Don’t Fear) the Reaper,” “Godzilla,” and “Burnin’ for You.” He also contributed to landmark albums by Patti Smith (Horses, Easter, and Radio Ethiopia) and uncredited piano part on The Clash’s Give ‘Em Enough Rope.
- Phil Chevron
Singer, songwriter, guitarist from The Pogues – died 10/8 of esophageal cancer
Irish folk punk artist Phil Chevron left a substantial body of work that includes albums with the Radiators from Space (AKA the Radiators), solo work, collaborations, and his catalog with the Pogues. Notable songs from Chevron include “Faithful Departed,” and “Thousands Are Sailing.”
- Lou Reed
Singer and guitarist in the Velvet Underground and solo artist – died 10/27 from liver failure
With a career that spanned six decades, Lou Reed led the iconic Velvet Underground (“Sweet Jane,” “Rock and Roll”), had a prolific solo career (“Walk on the Wild Side,” “Satellite of Love”), and never stopped taking chances – from 1975’s double album noise fest of Metal Machine Music to Lulu, his 2011 collaboration with Metallica and last recorded work. Laurie Anderson’s farewell in Rolling Stone is a beautiful recap of their time together.