Not only are we saying goodbye to the old year, but also to all those great musicians who have left us. In this (by far not complete) list of persons we lost this year, we stop to remember them and their contribution to music. It would not have been the same without them.
The first month of the year saw two great singers pass away. On the 25th of January, the Greek singer Demis Roussos passed away on the age of 68. He was the singer of Aphrodite’s Child, famous for songs like Rain & Tears, and later solo with songs like My Friend The Wind. A few days later, on the 29th, Rod McKuen passed away. He probably is better remembered for his poems, but in 1973, he had a hit with the protest song Soldiers Who Want To Be Heroes. He was 81 years old.
February saw the passing away of the singer of Visage, Steve Strange. He was singer on the famous single Fade To Grey, and passed away at the age of 55 on the 12th of February. Four days later, on the 16th of February, Lesley Gore passed away. She will be remembered for singing hits like You Don’t Own Me and It’s My Party. Lesley was 68 years old. The end of February, the 25th to be exact, Chris Rainbow died. Though he had two solo songs, he will be best remembered for his vocals on several records of the Alan Parsons Project, including Don’t Answer Me.
On the 15th of March, the bass player of Toto, Mike Porcaro, died. He started with playing the cello on Good For You (Toto IV), but played the bass on the albums that followed. He was 59 years old.
In April and May, several legends passed away. Starting with Percy Sledge, who died on the 14th of April. Of course everyone will remember him for the number 1 hit When A Man Loves A Woman. He was 74 years old. On the 30th of April, Ben E. King passed away at the age of 76. His song Stand By Me returned to the charts quite some times, even making it to number 1 in 1987 in the UK. Errol Brown, the singer of Hot Chocolate, passed away on the 6th of May. He was the singer on hits like Everyone’s A Winner, Emma and You Sexy Thing. He was 71 years old. The 14th of May saw the passing away of the big blues singer B.B. King. Not only a great singer, but also a great guitarist, who left us an impressive catalogue of songs. One of the songs we will remember him for is The Thrill Is Gone. B.B. King was 89 years old.
Chris Squire, the bassist and one of the founders of Yes, passed away on the 27th of June. The most people will remember his bass play from the song Owner Of A Lonely Heart, but it can be heard on most of the albums by Yes. He was 67 years old. On the 30th of July, the singer Lynn Anderson died. She had a big hit with (I Never Promised You A) Rose Garden, which was number 1 in quite some countries. She also was 67 years old. The guitarist of REO Speedwagon, Gary Richrath, died on the 13th of September. He played the lead guitar, wrote songs, took the vocals on some songs, and helped with the production of the albums. He was 65 years old.
Jim Diamond, the singer of Ph.D., died this year on the 8th of October. Famous for the vocals on I Won’t Let You Down, the only big hit Ph.D. had, he was quite successful. He was 64 years old. In the end of October, on the 28th, Diane Charlemagne died. She is mostly famous in the electronic music, where she was the lead singer of the Urban Cookie Collective (famous for their hit The Key The Secret). She was only 51 years old.
The last two months of the year saw the passing away of some great musicians. On the 9th of November, Andy White passed away on the age of 85. He was a session drummer, most famous for playing the drums on Love Me Do by the Beatles. Two days later, on the 11th, another drummer passed away. Phil Taylor was the drummer of Motörhead, famous for their song Ace of Spades. He was 61 years old. On the 15th, P.F. Sloan passed away. He was the writer of quite some songs, including Eve Of Destruction, which became a number 1 hit for Barry McGuire. He was 70 years old. And then, on the 27th of December, Stevie Wright died. He was the singer of the Easybeats, who had a hit with Friday On My Mind. He was 68 years old. The 28th of December saw Lemmy Kilmister, the singer of Motörhead, pass away. This also meant the end of Motörhead, which had earlier lost its drummer. Lemmy was 70 years old. The same day saw the death of houseproducer Guru Josh, who was particularly famous for his hit Infinity. He only was 51 years old…
Not only musicians died, there were also some important figures who were important for music that died. On the 8th of January, the owner of the Cavern Club in the years of the Mersey Beat died. Ray McFall, the man who told the Beatles to smarten up, died on the age of 88.
Holly Woodlawn, a transgender actress, died on the 6th of December at the age of 69. She is most famous for the song Walk On The Wild Side by Lou Reed, for whom she was the inspiration to write the song. Yes, she was the he that became a she.
Well, that was 2015. Let us remember those artists by never forgetting their music.
Posted on December 28, 2015, in Articles Archive and tagged 2015, bb king, ben e king, chris squire, death, diane charlemagne, easybeats, gary richrath, guru josh, lemmy, lynn anderson, mike porcaro, motörhead, percy sledge, pf sloan, stevie wright. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.