Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door: Notable Deaths in July 2022

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We note with sadness the following contributors to rock and pop music from the 50s to the 80s – the BEST music ever made! – who passed away last month:

July 05
Manny Charlton / (Manuel Charlton) → Founding member, lead guitarist and producer for several of Scottish hard rock Nazareth‘s albums, including the breakthrough LP Hair Of The Dog (#20, 1975) and their biggest hit, power ballad “Love Hurts” (#8, CAN #1, 1974), produced demo tapes for nascent hard rockers Guns N’ Roses in 1986, left Nazareth in 1990 for a 30-year solo career and brief stint as frontman for early 90s Texas-based the Manny Charlton Band, died suddenly from undisclosed causes on 7/5/2022, age 80.

July 07
Adam Wade / (Patrick Henry Wade) → Lab assistant for polio-researcher Dr. Jonas Salk, then early 60s R&B/pop vocalist with three Top 10 hits in 1961, including “Take Good Care Of Her” (#7, R&B #20, 1961), in 1975 became the first Black American to host a major TV program, the CBS-TV game show Musical Chairs (1975), had a variety of TV and movie roles and recorded sporadically until contracting Parkinson’s disease in the 10s, died from undisclosed causes on 7/7/2022, age 87.
Don Graham / (Donald Fredrick Graham) → Junior-level music promoter at Warner Bros. in the late 50s with multiple hits like “Kookie, Kookie (Lend Me Your Comb)” (#4, R&B #30, 1959), co-founded future mega-chain Tower Records in 1960, joined A&M Records as national sales manager in 1961, co-founded jazz-pop Blue Thumb Records in 1968 and started his own promotion/production company in 1980, remained active as a promoter and producer through the 90s, retired and died of stomach cancer on 7/7/2022, age 85.

July 09
Barbnara Thompson / (Barbara Gracey Thompson MBE) → Classically-trained English jazz-rock saxophonist, flautist and composer, wife and off-and-on bandmate of drummer Jon Hiseman of hard rock Colosseum from 1967 until his death in 2018, also played side gigs with pop-prog-rock Manfred Mann’s Earth Band (LP The Roaring Silence, 1976) and the Keef Hartley Band, formed jazz-rock United Jazz + Rock Ensemble in the 70s, fronted her own nine-piece Latin-rock outfit Jubiaba and Barbara Thompson’s Paraphernalia ovder the years, occasionally with husband Jon, died after a 25-year battle with Parkinson’s disease on 7/9/2022, age 77.

July 11
David Dalton / (John David Dalton) → British-born American writer and music critic, co-founding editor of Rolling Stone magazine, author of over 20 rock music books, including the now cult-classic James Dean, The Mutant King and biographies of Paul Anka, Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin, Sid Vicious, Andy Warhol and multiple other rock music luminaries, his uncanny ability to live the rock-star lifestyle and mingle with the stars afforded unprecedented access to the core of his material, continued to write and offer his commentary of radio until his death from cancer on 7/11/2022, age 80.

July 13
Michael James Jackson → American record producer, engineer and composer best known for producing hard-rock albums by Kiss in the 1980s, including the hit LP Animalize (#19, 1983), also worked with other hard-rock bands such as L.A. Guns, Red Rider and Hurricane, along with pop-rock Pablo Cruise, collaborated with numerous producers, songwriters and artists including Paul Williams, Jesse Colin Young, Hoyt Axton, and Paul Stanley, earned eight gold and six platinum records over a 40-year production career, died from complications COVID-19 and pneumonia on 7/13/2022, age 77.
Mark Fleischman / (Mark Harvey Fleischman) → American hospitality entrepreneur who owned multiple big-market restaurants over a 60-year career, best known for purchasing the infamous Manhattan nightclub Studio 54 in 1980 from its convicted, tax-evading founder/owners, ran the club through its apex and decline as AIDS and crack-cocaine altered the disco culture of the late 80s, developed a degenerative disease in 2016 and chose to die in a Swiss hospital from assisted suicide on 2/13/2022, age 82.

July 14
Poogie Hart / (William Alexander Hart) → Founding member, tenor vocalist and co-writer of multiple hits for R&B/Philly soul trio The Delfonics, including “La-La Means I Love You” (#4, R&B #2, 1968) and the Grammy-winning “Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time)” (#10, R&B #3, 1970), left the group in 1970 but reformed several incarnations of The Delfonics through the decades, briefly recorded in the mid-00s as The Three Tenors of Soul with 70s Philly-soul stars Russell Thompkins Jr. (The Stylistics) and Ted Mills (Blue Magic), died in a Philadelphia hospital from complications of an unspecified surgical procedure on 7/14/2022, age 77.

July 15
Paul “Horse” Ryder / (Paul Anthony Ryder) → With his vocalist brother Shaun, co-founding member and bassist for Manchester electro-dance pop Happy Mondays (“Kinky Afro,” MOD #9, UK #1, 1990), played with the band for 40 years with occasional breaks to collaborate with other musicians, write songs for others and appear on TV programs, died from a rare form of cancer on 7/15/2022, age 58.

July 19
Michael Henderson / (Michael Earl Henderson) → Teenaged bass guitarist hired away from the Detroit Emeralds by Stevie Wonder and Motown for touring and sessions, then worked with Miles Davis in the 1970s on his early funk-fusion albums Jack Johnson (1971), Live-Evil (1971), and Agharta (1975), sang lead on Norman Connors’s “You Are My Starship” (#27, R&B #3, 1976) and followed with eight solo R&B Top 40 singles over 10 years, including “Take Me I’m Yours” (#88, R&B #3, 1978), retired from music in 1986 but performed sporadically and in a Miles Davis bandmates’ reunion in 2002, died from cancer on 7/19/2022, age 71.

July 23
Bob Rafelson / (Robert Rafelson) → Influential film director, producer and key figure in the New Hollywood movement of young filmmakers in the 70s, directed Five Easy Pieces (1970) and The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981), produced Easy Rider (1969) and The Last Picture Show (1971), earlier co-created pre-fab pop-rock The Monkees and co-produced the Emmy-winning TV show starring the band, co-wrote (with Jack Nicholson), produced and directed the Monkees’ send-up film Head (1968), retired from Hollywood in the mid-2000s, moved to Aspen, Colorado, and died from lung cancer on 8/23/2022, age 89.


July 27
Larry Josephson / (Norman Lawrence Josephson) → “Grumpy” morning-shift radio personality on noncommercial WBAI-FM in New York, his show and the station became pioneers of free format radio in the 60s and 70s and spawned countless imitators and successors around North America, left WBAI in 1972 for a similar gig in California but returned to New York in 1974 with new programs on different stations over the next 40 years, including producing the revival of the classic radio comedy team of Bob and Ray on the syndicated “Bob and Ray Public Radio Show” (1981-1986) and other eclectic subjects, most of which were generated from the spare-bedroom studio of his Manhattan apartment, died from a Parkinson’s disease-related cardiac arrest in a nursing home on 7/27/2022, age 82.
Mick Moloney / (Michael Moloney) → Irish-born American musician, folklore historian, cultural scholar and educator with a deep resume of work related to Irish culture and history, including over 125 recorded albums, numerous books, several public television documentaries, and concerts promoting women in Irish music, in 1978 co-founded Irish touring ensemble Green Fields of America, progenitor of Riverdance, the theatrical show featuring Irish music and dance, amassed a collection of material now housed at New York University in its Archives of Irish America, where he was professor of music and Irish studies until his retirement, received a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts in 1999, the nation’s highest honor in the folk and traditional arts, played at the Maine Celtic Festival a week before dying from undisclosed causes on 7/27/2022, age 77.


July 29
Jimy Sohns / (James Alan Sohns) → Founding member and lead vocals for 60s Chicago blues-pop-rock, one hit wonder Shadows of Knight and their cover of Van Morrison‘s “Gloria” (#10, 1965), remained a constant on the Chicago garage- and punk-rock scene for decades following the band’s dissolution in 1968, managing other rock bands and fronting incarnations of the Shadows of Knight on the oldies circuit, suffered a stroke and died several days later on 7/29/2022, age 75.

July 30
Nichelle Nichols / (Grace Dell Nichols) → American actress and sometime pop singer best known as Lieutenant Uhura, the fourth-in-command on the starship U.S.S. Enterprise on the classic TV series Star Trek (1966-1969), a leading role among the first for a Black women on a major American TV program, earlier performed in the 50s as a vocalist for Duke Ellington, Lionel Hampton and as a soloist in the Chicago Playboy Club, released two music albums, a collection of pop standards Down To Earth (1967) and the space-themed pop-rock LP Out of This World (1991), in the 80s and on represented NASA to recruit female and minority candidates for spaceflight training and is credited with inspiring several Space Shuttle astronauts to join the program, died of heart failure on 7/30/2022, age 89.


July 31
Mo Ostin / (Morris Meyer Ostrofsky) → Record company executive and leading architect of the modern music business, worked for Verve and Frank Sinatra‘s Reprise Records before joining Warner Bros. in 1963 for a 31-year career, the last twenty-two as CEO, along the way signing The Kinks and Jimi Hendrix and overseeing contracts with Talking Heads, Prince, Madonna and scores of other top acts, his artist-friendly style and hands-off creative policy won accolades across the industry and huge successes for Warner, left the company to join DreamWorks in 1994, later donated $10 million to his alma-mater UCLA to establish the state-of-the-art Evelyn and Mo Ostin Music Center, died in his sleep from natural causes on 07/31/2022, age 95.

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