2014 was a beautiful music year, but unfortunately we have lost some great singers on the way. Once more an ode to the ones who died.
One of the first singers to die this year was Phil Everly, who was part of the Everly Brothers. He died on the third of January because of a lung disease, which followed his life of smoking. He was 74 years old, but will live on through his songs with his brother, who is still alive.
Some weeks later, the folk and protest singer Pete Seeger died. Though Pete did not have success with the original versions of his songs, covers have reached the hit charts. The song Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season), which was sung by the Byrds and written by Pete Seeger, even hit number 1. Pete Seeger was 94 years old.
In June, several famous artists passed away. Rik Mayall, a member of the Young Ones, died on the 9th. He was mostly a comedian, but his work with the Young Ones brought him a hit, when they re-recorded Living Doll with Cliff Richard for charity.
On the 19th of June, Gerry Goffin died at the age of 75. He was a songwriter, firstly for his wife, Carole King, but he wrote a lot of hits later: Will You Love Me Tomorrow, The Loco-Motion, and with some others Theme From Mahogany.
The drummer of the Ramones, Tommy Ramone, died at the age of 65 in July. A nice anekdote is that he had to, since no-one else wanted to do it. Apart for drumming some years, he also was one of the producers of the Ramones.
On the first of October, Lynsey de Paul died. There were some charting singles, but that’s not the main reason why I remember her. I remember her for playing songs between different parts of a Tommy Cooper show, and I thought she had a lovely voice.
Alvin Stardust also died this year. Mostly famous for his hit Pretend, but with quite some more hits, he passed away at the age of 72. He was still active in the music industry, though he did not release any new albums the last years (since 1989).
November brought us the death of Big Bank Hank. He was one of the rappers in the Sugarhill Gang. Much too young, he died at 58 this year.
And only a few days ago, Joe Cocker died. He became really famous because of the hit Up Where We Belong, together with Jennifer Warnes, but his cover of the Beatles’ song With A Little Help From My Friends already established him in the sixties as a good singer. Hits like Unchain My Heart, You Can Leave Your Hat On and Summer In The City put his fame down in the eighties and the nineties.
An impressing list of good artists, who will live on in their music. May they rest in peace.
I was shocked to hear that Frankie Knuckles, the Godfather of House, had died yesterday at the age of 59. Of course, this is much too young to die, and on top of that, he made great music. One of his biggest hits was The Whistle Song, which is just sublime. You can hear that he mixed disco with the thing that later would become house. Great music, great dance beats. Enjoy
Frankie Knuckles- The Whistle Song
Rest In Peace- Frankie Knuckles (59)