Famed Saxophonist/Flutist James Moody Passes

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 9 — Famed jazz musician, composer and band leader James Moody died Thursday of pancreatic cancer at the San Diego Hospice, his wife said. He was 85.

Linda McGowan Moody told The San Diego Union-Tribune the saxophonist and flutist, who enjoyed a successful career that spanned six decades, died with his family by his side, following a 10-month battle with pancreatic cancer.

“He couldn’t have gone more peacefully,” Moody told the newspaper.

(more…)

Published in: on December 10, 2010 at 9:04 AM  Leave a Comment  
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RIP: Jazz Guitarist Herb Ellis Dies at 88

Renowned jazz guitarist Herb Ellis, 88, died at his home in Los Angeles on March 28. He had Alzheimer’s disease.

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Rock Photographer Jim Marshall Dies

Legendary rock photographer Jim Marshall – best known for taking iconic pictures of The Beatles, The Who, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix – has died at the age of 74.

For more on Jim Marshall

Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 7:21 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Singer Marva Wright, the Blues queen of New Orleans, dies at 62

Marva Wright, known as the Blues queen of New Orleans, died after suffering complications following a stroke. She was 62.

(more…)

Published in: on March 25, 2010 at 7:14 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Founding Member of the Legendary Chi-Lites Robert ‘Squirrel’ Lester Passes–Havoc Da Mouthpiece Mourns the Loss of his Father

Los Angeles -For most hip hop aficionados, Havoc Da Mouthpiece’s claim to fame goes back to the pioneer days of the west coast’s gangsta’ hip hop era when he was the frontman for the rap crew South Central Cartel, and west coast rap duo Havoc and Prodeje. Few realized that the Chicago native actually had roots that nestled deep in the foundation of R&B, as his father, Robert “Squirrel” Lester was one of the founding members of the legendary soul group the Chi-Lites.

When Robert Lester passed away on Thursday, January 21 from cancer (more…)

Published in: on January 27, 2010 at 5:56 PM  Leave a Comment  
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TEDDY PENDERGRASS – PUBLIC VIEWING AND MEMORIAL

TEDDY PENDERGRASS

March 26, 1950-January 13, 2010

PUBLIC VIEWING AND MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR LEGENDARY SOUL SINGER AND HUMANITARIAN TO BE HELD IN PHILADELPHIA

FRIDAY, JAN. 22 AND SATURDAY, JAN. 23

DIGNITARIES AND CELEBRITIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

TO JOIN FRIENDS, FAMILY AND FANS IN REMEMBERING R&B SUPERSTAR

WHAT: PUBLIC VIEWING AND MEMORIAL SERVICE FOR TEDDY PENDERGRASS. Teddy Pendergrass, one of the leading soul singers of all time and R&B’s reigning sex symbol in the 1970s and ’80s, to be remembered with family by friends, dignitaries, celebrities and fans from around the world. The legendary, Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter, whose powerful vocals helped define The Sound of Philadelphia, first with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (“I Miss You,” “Bad Luck,” “Wake Up Everybody,” and the two million seller “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”) and later with an incendiary solo career as an international R&B superstar (“Close the Door,” “Turn Off the Lights,” “I Don’t Love You Anymore” “Love T.K.O.”), was an inspirational figure to millions through the charitable Teddy Pendergrass Alliance (TPA) and his partnership with the National Spinal Cord Injury Association.

WHEN: OFFICIAL PUBLIC VIEWING – Friday, January 22, 2010

Noon to 8:00 p.m.

MEMORIAL SERVICE – Saturday, January 23, 2010

9:00 to 10:00am – PRIVATE VIEWING FOR INVITED GUESTS AND FAMILY

10:00 a.m. to Noon – MEMORIAL SERVICE

Private interment for friends and family only will immediately follow.

WHERE: Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, 2800 West Cheltenham Ave. Philadelphia, PA 19150

PARKING: Limited Media parking on Vernon Road (between Pickering and Michener)

CREDENTIALS: Media must check in and show press credentials and/or personal identification to access media areas.

Credential Pick Up Hours:

Friday, January 22 – 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Saturday, January 23 – 8:30 a.m.to 10:00 a.m.

**Please note: Credential is valid for public viewing and memorial service coverage**

MEDIA: Designated media area available for photo and TV crews outside the church and in church foyer area.

· NO CAMERAS OR RECORDING DEVICES OF ANY KIND (TV, PHOTO, AUDIO) WILL BE PERMITTED INSIDE THE SANCTUARY.

· LIMITED MEDIA SEATING AVAILABLE DURING MEMORIAL ON FIRST-COME BASIS

CONTACTS: JL Media Relations /Jalila Larsuel (family and media)

jlmediapr@gmail.com / (213) 369-4362 cell

Randex Communications /Randy Alexander (media only)

randex@randexpr.com / (609) 280-6140 cell

Published in: on January 25, 2010 at 4:21 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Funeral Arrangements for Teddy Pendergrass Announced

TEDDY PENDERGRASS, one of the leading soul singers of all time and R&B’s reigning sex symbol in the 1970s and ‘80s, died last night following a prolonged illness.

The legendary, Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter, whose powerful vocals helped define The Sound of Philadelphia, first with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes before breaking out with an incendiary solo career, passed away at Bryn Mawr Hospital in suburban Philadelphia, where he had been hospitalized since August. He was 59.

Pendergrass is survived by his mother, Ida Pendergrass; his wife Joan; his children, Teddy Pendergrass II, Trisha Pendergrass and La Donna Pendergrass; daughters from his marriage to Joan, Sherilla Lestrade and Jessica Avila; and grandchildren Montaurius Driane, Desaray Drane, Teddy Pendergrass III, Alana Nida Sky Pendergrass, Gabriel Gomes, Jasmine Lestrade and Jeremiah Sanford. Additionally, Pendergrass is survived by his daughter-in-law, Felicia Pendergrass, as well as relatives Francine Pendergrass, Georger Mouzon and Neverland Dent.

The official public viewing will be held Friday, Jan. 22 at 10 a.m. at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, 2800 West Cheltenham Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19150. The funeral will be held Saturday, Jan. 23 at 10 a.m., also at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church. Internment will follow at West Laurel Hill Cemetery, Bala Cynwyd, PA.

The family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to The Joan & Teddy Pendergrass Memorial, P.O. Box 382, Gladwyne, PA 19035.

More information on Teddy Pendergrass and all Philadelphia International Records artists at http://www.Gamble-Huffmusic.com

Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 10:48 AM  Comments (1)  
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Teddy Pendergrass March 26, 1950-January 13, 2010–The Sound of Philadelphia Loses One of its Most Powerful Voices

KENNY GAMBLE AND LEON HUFF, LEGENDARY PRODUCERS AND ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME INDUCTEES, “DEEPLY SADDENED” BY DEATH OF “BEST FRIEND” AND “ONE OF THE GREATEST”

PHILADELPHIA – TEDDY PENDERGRASS, one of the leading soul singers of all time and R&B’s reigning sex symbol in the 1970s and ‘80s, died last night following a prolonged illness.

The legendary, Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter, whose powerful vocals helped define The Sound of Philadelphia, first with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes before breaking out with an incendiary solo career, passed away at Bryn Mawr Hospital in suburban Philadelphia, where he had been hospitalized since August. He was 59.

The force of his masculine vocal prowess and sex appeal of his passionate love ballads forever linked Pendergrass to Philadelphia International Records like Marvin Gaye to Motown, Otis Redding to Stax/Volt and Sam Cooke to RCA.

Starting in 1972, Pendergrass propelled a string of hits with the Blue Notes such as “I Miss You,” “Bad Luck,” “Wake Up Everybody,” and the two million seller “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” In 1977, Pendergrass launched a solo career and continued the arsenal of hit singles that took him around the world with “Close the Door,” “Turn Off the Lights,” “I Don’t Love You Anymore” “Love T.K.O.,” and many more, earning five Grammy nominations for Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Together, his voice led a string of 10 consecutive platinum records.

Pendergrass later became an inspirational figure to millions in the 28 years since he was left quadriplegic from a horrific 1982 car accident. He established the charitable Teddy Pendergrass Alliance (TPA) in 1987, and in 2007, formed a partnership with the National Spinal Cord Injury Association to help people with injuries during the early stages of recovery, which led to his recognition that year as one of the most influential SCI activists with his induction into the Spinal Cord Injury Association Hall of Fame.

In a joint statement, legendary producers and recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, who brought Philadelphia soul music (“The Sound of Philadelphia”) to “people all over the world” said:

“Teddy Pendergrass was one of the greatest artists that the music industry has ever known, and there hasn’t been another one since. We’ve lost our voice and we’ve lost our best friend, but we’re thankful for what we had. It was beautiful. He was one of the best.”

Born in Kingstree, SC, and raised in Philadelphia, Theodore DeReese Pendergrass, Jr. dropped out of Overbrook High School in his junior year to pursue his musical dreams. In the late-’60s, he landed a gig as drummer with the great doo-wop group the Cadillacs. Around 1970, some of the members joined Harold Melvin in the Blue Notes. Teddy came along, but his strong vocal style – heavily influenced by Otis Redding and Marvin Junior of the Dells – soon got him promoted to lead singer. When Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes were signed to Philadelphia International in 1972, it was the beginning of a four-year string of hits, all showcasing Teddy’s dynamic vocals. They made their chart debut with, “I Miss You,” then their first #1 hit, “If You Don’t Know Me By Now” and “The Love I Lost,” also #1, and their final #1, “Wake Up Everybody.” More Pendergrass-driven Blues Notes classics include “Bad Luck” (#4 R&B; #1 Dance) and “Don’t Leave Me This Way” and “Bad Luck.”

By 1976, Pendergrass’ star had risen into the stratosphere. He was a dominating, commanding figure for black America, and referred to at the time by Mr. Gamble as “the Black Elvis.” In fact, at the time of his accident, like Elvis, Pendergrass was readying to launch a Hollywood movie career, with Sidney Poitier set to mentor.

Pendergrass’ solo career began in spring 1977, with the solid R&B/pop crossover hit, “I Don’t Love You Anymore,” from his self-titled debut LP (also the source of his next crossover, “The Whole Town’s Laugh­ing At Me”), instantly sending his sex symbol status into the stratosphere. Women from around the world, of all racial backgrounds, would attend his concerts and literally throw themselves and their clothes on stage, just to get Pendergrass’ attention, or attract a kiss while he sang to them. He drove women so wild on stage, that he became the first artist to establish “for women only” concerts.

His second album, 1978’s Life Is A Song Worth Singing, brought his Philadelphia International Records a #1 hit, “Close The Door,” and the follow-up, “Only You” (plus such memorable tracks as “When Somebody Loves You Back,” “Get Up, Get Down, Get Funky, Get Loose,” and the title tune). The next album, 1979’s Teddy, kicked off with the #2 smash, “Turn Off The Lights,” followed on the charts by “Come Go With Me,” and also including “I’ll Never See Heaven Again.” After a double-LP live album that Christmas, Pendergrass came back in the summer 1980 with TP, containing his signature #2 hit “Love T.K.O.” and a duet with Stephanie Mills, “Feel The Fire.” The hit streak continued in late-’81 with the album It’s Time For Love, and another signature tune, the #4 hit “You’re My Latest, My Greatest Inspiration,” along with the title tune and “Nine Times Out Of Ten.”

After recording his next album, Pendergrass suffered a life-altering automobile accident on March 18, 1982, that left him partially paralyzed from the waist down with a spinal cord injury. A prophetic single was issued in May, “This Gift of Life,” from the new album that followed in August, This One’s For You. A lengthy rehabilitation followed, culmi­nat­ing in the release of his final (eighth) album for PIR in 1984, Heaven Only Knows (with his final PIR chart single, “I Want My Baby Back”). Later that year, Teddy moved to Asylum Records and rallied back onto the charts with Love Language, and his first crossover hit in three years, “Hold Me,” a duet with Whitney Houston.

Pendergrass’ comeback was celebrated with his heroic performance at the Live Aid concert in his native Philadelphia on July 13, 1985. He went on to release four more albums through the ’90s on Asylum and its sister label Elektra, among them Joy (1988) and Truly Blessed (1991, which spun off the #1 R&B hit, “It Should’ve Been You”). Pendergrass continued on occasion to perform, most recently at the June 2007 Philadelphia concert, “Teddy 25 – A Celebration of Life, Hope and Possibilities,” and lead various philanthropic ventures.

At “Teddy 25,” at which he announced “instead of being saddened by this milestone,” he was “deeply overwhelmed with a sense of gratitude to all the people who have helped me overcome the many fears and difficulties I would ultimately encounter as a disabled person.” To celebrate his milestone, Philadelphia International Records released THE ESSENTIAL TEDDY PENDERGRASS. The double-disc set marked two anni­versaries – 35 years since his first recordings as lead singer with Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (starting in 1972, with “I Miss You” and the #1 “If You Don’t Know Me By Now”), and 30 years since Pendergrass’ emergence as a solo artist in 1977 (“I Don’t Love You Anymore,” from his self-titled debut album that year).

Pendergarss’ songs have been sampled by numerous soul and R&B artists, and have used in a number of TV commercials and films around the world, including the “Nutty Professor, Old Navy and Chevrolet.

Gamble & Huff wrote over 3,000 songs within 35 years, including R&B #1 hits, pop #1 hits, gold and platinum records, Grammy winners and BMI songwriters’ awards honorees. Featured prominently in television programs (“The Apprentice”), films (“The Nutty Professor”) and advertising spots (Verizon, Old Navy, The Gap) for more than 30 years, Gamble and Huff’s songs have entered the musical DNA of contemporary culture. In fact, one of their songs is played on the radio somewhere in the world every 13.5 minutes. With a stable core of artists led by the O’Jays, Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, Billy Paul, MFSB and the Three Degrees, Gamble and Huff co-founded Philadelphia International Records and created monster hits almost from the first day of its inception. Songs they have written and produced together, like “Back Stabbers,” “Love Train,” “For The Love Of Money,” “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” “Cowboys to Girls,” “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” “Enjoy Yourself,” “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me,” “Only the Strong Survive” and “TSOP,” have received songwriters’ awards from Broadcast Music International (BMI). All told, the Gamble-Huff/PIR music machine has generated over 100 Gold and Platinum records and over 70 #1 hits.

In 1999, four years after being inducted into the National Academy of Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, Gamble & Huff were honored by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences with the Trustees Award for their extensive body of work, both as producer and songwriter, and their contribution to the entire fabric of popular music. In 2008, Gamble & Huff were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Gamble & Huff also have appeared on American Idol in a show devoted entirely to their music, and have been inducted twice into the Dance Music Hall of Fame and the R&B Hall of Fame.

Pendergrass is survived by his mother, Ida Pendergrass; his wife Joan; his children, Teddy Pendergrass II, Trisha Pendergrass and La Donna Pendergrass; daughters from his marriage to Joan, Sherilla Lestrade and Jessica Avila; and grandchildren Montaurius Driane, Desaray Drane, Teddy Pendergrass III, Alana Nida Sky Pendergrass, Gabriel Gomes, Jasmine Lestrade and Jeremiah Sanford. Additionally, Pendergrass is survived by his daughter-in-law, Felicia Pendergrass, as well as relatives Francine Pendergrass, Georger Mouzon and Neverland Dent.

Funeral arrangements will be announced later today.

More information on Teddy Pendergrass and all Philadelphia International Records artists at http://www.Gamble-Huffmusic.com

MEDIA CONTACT:

Randy Alexander / Randex Communications

609-280-6140 / randex@randexpr.com

http://www.randexpr.com

Published in: on January 14, 2010 at 4:22 AM  Comments (3)  
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Blues singer Sandra Wright dies at 61

When Sandra Wright moved to Vermont in 1992, bandmate Dave Nerbak said she was something special.

Wright, who headlined countless shows, benefit concerts and music festivals in Vermont in the last two decades, died Monday at the age of 61.

|”Everyone’s pretty shaken up,” said Linda Bassick, a friend.

Born in Memphis, Tenn., Wright described growing up around gospel music in a 2003 interview with British music magazine In the Basement.

Her aunts and cousins sang, and one cousin achieved fame as blues singer Memphis Slim.

Wright sang in a gospel choir and studied opera in college.

Nerbak said she toured with Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown before forming the Sandra Wright Band, which toured up and down the East Coast before settling in Ludlow in 1992.

A 25-year veteran of the Burlington music scene, Nerbak said he started working with Wright about nine years ago.

Working with Wright, Nerbak said he learned to play R&B with a “condensed orchestra.”

Diana Winn Levine, owner of Rebop Records, said she met Wright in 1997. People described Wright’s voice as having both great power and great range.

“I’ve heard her sing Zeppelin, sing Robert Plant,” friend Mark Andrade said. “I said, ‘That sounds like Sandra Wright,'” he said. “The guy next to me said, ‘That is Sandra Wright.’ Wright would go to open mic nights, Andrade said, and give younger singers tips.

Wright’s final show was with former members of the Unknown Blues Band as part of Burlington, Vermont’s First Night.

For more:
http://www.rutlandherald.com/article/20100113/NEWS04/1130388/1002/NEWS01

Published in: on January 13, 2010 at 6:51 AM  Leave a Comment  
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Services For Blues Man Earl Gaines Announced

Nashville R&B star Earl Gaines died on New Year’s Eve at St. Thomas Hospital. He was 74 years old. Gaines was a gruff-voiced shouter who was a central figure in Music City’s soul scene for decades. That fact was underscored by his prominence in the Country Music Hall of Fame exhibit and Grammy Award winning CD set Night Train to Nashville.

He first achieved prominence in 1955 by singing lead on the original version of the standard “It’s Love Baby (24 Hours a Day)” for Louis Brooks & His Hi-Toppers. As a solo star, he had later hits with “The Best of Luck to You” in 1966 and “Hymn Number 5” in 1973. The Night Train compilations reissued his “White Rose,” recorded in 1959, and “Don’t Take My Kindness for a Weakness,” from 1965, as well as “It’s Love Baby.” He also performed memorably at the museum exhibit’s opening celebration.

Funeral services for Earl Gaines have been set for Friday January 8, 2010 at St. Luke CME Church in Nashville, TN. Viewing will be at 10 a.m. followed by a musical service at 11 a.m. with Service at 12 noon.

Davis-Campbell-McLean is the presiding Funeral Home. They are located at 1404 Jefferson St. Nashville, TN, phone (615) 329-9700.

Jerry “Boogie” Mason
The Boogie Report

Published in: on January 8, 2010 at 2:02 AM  Leave a Comment  
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