Overlooked No Longer: Notable Deaths in 2019


We inadvertently overlooked the following artists, luminaries and other persons of note who died in 2019 after contributing – in some meaningful way – to rock and pop music of the 60s, 70s and 80s – the BEST music ever made! Belatedly, we recognize and salute them here as additions to our post from January 18, 2020:

January 21
Maxine Brown / (Ella Maxine Brown Russell) → With her younger siblings, Jim Ed and Bonnie, vocals in 50s-60s country-folk harmony trio The Browns, the group started in 1954 and performed regularly on the Louisiana Hayride radio and TV show, toured with then 20-year-old Elvis Presley in 1955 and had the huge crossover hit “The Three Bells” (#1, Country #1, 1959), retired in 1967 to raise a family but returned for a brief solo career in 1969 and for Browns reunions over the years, published her autobiography, Looking Back to See in 2005, died from complications of heart and kidney disease on 1/21/2019, age 87.

January 26
Michel Legrand / (Michel Jean Legrand) → French jazz pianist and award-winning composer with over 150 film scores and dozens of timeless songs to his credit, including an Oscar for “The Windmills of Your Mind” from The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), Song of the Year in 1972 for “The Summer Knows” from Summer of ’42, and a Grammy for best TV instrumental composition, “Brian’s Song” (#56, 1972), issued 24 albums as a solo artist (I Love Paris, Holiday In Rome and Castles In Spain were all US Top 10 albums) and collaborated with Stan Getz, Lena Horne and others on six more, remained active writing concertos, performing on stage and conducting major orchestras in Washington, D.C., Boston and Minnesota into his 80s, died from an immune system failure (sepsis) on 1/26/2019, age 86.

February 05
George Klein → Memphis disc jockey, early proponent of rock ‘n’ roll and nearly life-long friend of Elvis Presley, the two met in grade school and were close friends until Presley‘s death in 1977, member of Elvis‘s entourage, known as the “Memphis Mafia,” best man at The King of Rock ‘n’ Roll‘s’s wedding (and Presley at his), cameo actor in his friend’s film, “Jailhouse Rock” (1957), pallbearer at his funeral and deliverer of the acceptance speech when Elvis was inducted posthumously into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, later hosted SiriusXM’s channel 19 Elvis Radio and wrote two books, Elvis Presley: A Family Album (2007) and Elvis: My Best Man: Radio Days, Rock ‘n’ Roll Nights (2011), died from complications of dementia and pneumonia on 2/5/2019, age 83.

February 13
Earl Shuman / (Earl Stanley Shuman) → Prolific songwriter and lyricist best known for co-writing “Hey There Lonely Girl,” originally recorded by Ruby & The Romantics as “Hey There Lonely Boy” (#27, 1963) but most recognized as the “girl” version by R&B singer Eddie Holman (#2, R&B #4, 1970), also co-wrote over 400 other songs, including “Seven Lonely Days” for Bonnie Lou (Country #7, 1953) and recordings by Barbra Streisand, Ella Fitzgerald, Tom Jones and many others, along the way published albums by Meat Loaf and Mountain, died after a brief hospitalization on 2/13/2019, age 95.

February 23
Stan Applebaum / (Stanley Seymour Applebaum) → Acclaimed composer, arranger and orchestral conductor credited with working on over 30 Top 10 hits and more than 1,500 radio and TV commercials – with four Clio Award winners – wrote his first arrangement at age 12 and spent nearly 75 years of his adult life composing and arranging pop, jazz, light rock and orchestra music, including the orchestration on the Drifters‘ “There Goes My Baby” (#2, R&B #1, 1959), the first R&B record to use strings, served as principal arranger and orchestrator for the New York Pops for almost 15 years and wrote for orchestras including the New York Philharmonic and the London Philharmonic, donated his archives to the New York Public Library a year before dying from unspecified causes on 2/23/2019, age 96.

March 01
Paul Williams / (Paul Nigel Vincent Yarlett) → Journeyman British guitarist and vocalist, in the 60s as a blues-rocker in Zoot Money’s Big Roll Band (with future Police guitarist Andy Summers) and the Alexis Korner Band (aka Blues Incorporated), briefly joined John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers (replaced John McVie in 1967), later with progressive rock Juicy Lucy, Tempest and, after relocating to the U.S., I.O.U., performed with various rock bands through to the 10s, died from undisclosed causes on 3/1/2019, age 78.

March 04
Eddie Lambert → Music industry executive with a five-decade career, starting in the 60s at small New York publishing companies and Capitol Records (signed and produced The Manhattan Transfer), moved to L.A. in 1969 to work at ABC/Dunhill Records (Steely Dan, Jim Croce), in 1974 started Haven Records (The Righteous Brothers, Player, the Grass Roots) with his younger brother, songwriter/producer Dennis Lambert, in the late 70s with Interworld Music Group (Hall & Oates, Bill Conti), in the mid-80s joined Steve Barri at Motown Records (The Commodores, The Temptations, The Four Tops), from 1989 spent 11 years at EMI-Capitol Special Markets as vp film & television licensing, in the early 00s became Chief Music Officer for internet startup SmashCast and started his own music licensing and consulting business, retired in 2017 to battle cancer and died on 3/4/2019, age 76.

March 07
Sydney Sheinberg / (Sidney Jay Sheinberg) → Columbia Law School graduate and entertainment industry executive with Universal Studios starting in 1958, credited with turning a second-rate studio into an industry powerhouse largely through his signing and nurturing of film director Stephen Spielberg (Jaws, 1975), in 1973 became COO of MCA, Inc. (parent company of Universal) and led MCA Music Entertainment‘s acquisitions of Motown in 1988 and Geffen Records in 1990, retired from MCA in 1995 and produced feature films through his production company The Bubble Factory, died following years battling Parkinson’s disease on 3/7/2019, age 84.

March 09
Asa Brebner → Bass guitarist, singer, songwriter and local club legend in a number Boston-area bands, including proto-punk/cult bands Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers (“Roadrunner,” 1977) and Robin Lane & The Chartbusters, whose video for “When Things Go Wrong” was a mainstay on early MTV, from 1988 on soldiered through a up-and-down solo career, did session and production work, drew cartoons for High Times and other magazines, attended Chartbusters reunions, died from a heart attack on 3/9/2019, age 65.

March 17
Bernie Tormé / (Bernard Joseph Tormey) → Irish blues-rock guitarist, singer, record label and production studio owner, fronted his own bands in the 60s and 70s, then played with hard rock Gillan (“Trouble,” UK #14, 1980), briefly replaced Randy Rhoads in Ozzy Osbourne‘s backing band, toured with Atomic Rooster and collaborated with numerous others, released nearly 20 studio and live albums of his own, including four after 2014, died from a virulent double pneumonia on 3/17/2019, age 66.

March 27
Joe Flannery / (Joseph Flannery) → Childhood friend of Beatles manager Brian Epstein and booking manager for the band in the early 60s, became a key figure in the Fab Four’s early development, alternating as chauffeur, driving instructor and den mother for them and other local Merseyside bands, in addition to bookings at The Cavern Club and other venues in Liverpool and around the UK, wrote the autobiographical Standing in the Wings: The Beatles, Brian Epstein and Me, attended Beatles conventions as an unofficial ambassador for the band until his death from undisclosed causes on 3/27/2019, age 87.

March 30
Billy Adams / (Willie Murray Adams) → Rockabilly Hall of Fame guitarist and singer/songwriter, wrote and recorded the rockabilly classic “Rock, Pretty Mama” (1957) and multiple other 50s staples of the genre, turned to the ministry in 1965 after rockabilly fell out of style, wrote gospel songs and toured with his family until 2002 when a resurgence of rockabilly gave him a late career boost, released a collection of 27 of songs and appeared at music festivals in U.S. and Britain, died from undisclosed causes on 3/30/2019, age 79.

Apri 03
Shawn Smith → Seattle-area grunge and indie rock singer, songwriter and musician, member of alternative rock bands Brad (with Stone Gossard), Pigeonhed, Satchel and The Twilight Singers, and served as frontman for a reunion of Mother Love Bone, released ten albums as a solo artist before dying from a torn aorta caused by high blood pressure on 4/3/2016, age 53. (His body was discovered in his home on 4/5/2019, the same date on which fellow Seattle musicians Kurt Cobain and Layne Staley (Alice in Chains) died in 1994 and 2002, respectively.)

Apri 06
Jim Glaser / (James William Glaser) → Country music singer and songwriter, joined with brothers Chuck and Tompall in sibling trio The Glaser Brothers for 16 albums and 24 charting singles between 1960 and 1982 (“Lovin’ Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again),” Country #2, 1981), the trio also operated Glaser Sound Studios in Nashville (aka “Hillbilly Central,” a focal point for the “outlaw country” movement) and among many others, published “Gentle On My Mind” (Glen Campbell, #39, 1968), better known for writing “Woman, Woman” for Gary Puckett & The Union Gap (#4, 1967) and for his own solo hit “You’re Gettin’ to Me Again” (Country #1, 1984), died after a heart attack on 4/6/2019, age 81.

Apri 12
Johnny Hutch / (John Howard Hutchinson) → Rock ‘n’ roll drummer in Merseybeat power trio The Big Three (“By The Way,” UK #22, 1963) and rivals to The Beatles for popularity in the early 60s Liverpool music scene, played drums behind Lennon, McCartney and Harrison on separate audition sessions in 1960 and 1962, turned down an offer to join the future Fab Four as Pete Best’s successor before Ringo Starr was given the job, left the music industry in 1965 for the real estate renovation trade and died on 4/12/2019, age 79.

April 13
Paul Raymond / (Paul Martin Raymond) → English keyboardist and guitarist, and long-time member of progressive/space rock then hard rock/metal UFO (“Doctor, Doctor,” UK #35, 1979), trained early as a jazz musician but in 1967 joined pop-rock Plastic Penny (“Everything I Am, ” UK #6, 1967) then replaced Fleetwood Mac-bound Christine Perfect (later McVie) on keyboards and backing vocals in blues-rock Chicken Shack (“I’d Rather Go Blind,” UK #14, 1969) and its successor band Savoy Brown (“Tell Mama,” #83, 1971), recruited to UFO in 1976 and spent nearly 45 years in four separate stints with the band, during breaks played in side projects with UFO bandmates guitarist Michael Schenker in MSG and bassist Pete Way in Waysted, rejoined UFO in 2003 and played on the band’s last six studio albums, died from a heart attack one week after UFO‘s final UK show as part of a farewell world tour on 4/13/2019, age 73.

April 15
Les Reed / (Leslie David Reed, OBE) → Novello Award-winning English songwriter, musician and light-orchestra leader, wrote or co-wrote over 60 charting, mostly MOR pop songs, including “It’s Not Unusual” with Gordon Mills (Tom Jones, #10, UK #1, 1965), “The Last Waltz” with Barry Mason (Engelbert Humperdinck, #25, AC #6, UK #1, 1967) and “Kiss Me Goodbye” with Mason (Petula Clark, #15, UK #50, 1968), another Reed/Mason composition became “Marching On Together,” the anthem for English football club Leeds United, since sung by LUFC fans at every match for nearly 50 years, in his later career scored motion picture soundtracks and stage musicals, died from undisclosed causes on 4/15/2019, age 83.

April 30
Boon Gould / (Rowland Charles Gould) → With his younger brother, Phil and two others, founding member and guitarist in jazz-funk-pop fusion Level 42 (“Lessons In Love,” #12, UK #3, 1987), left the band in 1987 due to nervous exhaustion but continued to write new songs and attend occasional reunion performances, died from an apparent suicide on 4/30/21019, age 64.
Russ Gibb / (Russell James Gibb) → Disc jockey, music venue owner and local rock ‘n’ roll impresario at the center of the 60s Detroit music scene, early supporter of local bands MC5, Ted Nugent and Iggy Pop, best known for starting and perpetuating the 1969 “Paul is dead” hoax about Beatle Paul McCartney‘s supposed death and subsequent cover-up, later invested in music magazine Creem and regional cable TV franchises, died from undisclosed causes on 4/30/2019, age 87.

May 09
Preston Epps / (Preston Eugene Epps) → Percussionist and one hit wonder bongo player who taught himself to play the bongos while stationed on Okinawa during the Korean Conflict, credited with introducing bongos and congas to mainstream rock and pop music through his Top 20 hit “Bongo Rock” (#14, 1959), follow-on formulaic singles “Bongo in the Congo,” “Bongo Boogie,” “Flamenco Bongo” and others failed to attract attention, played as a session musician in the 60s and 70s and on the club circuit into the 90s, died of natural causes on 5/9/2019, age 88.

May 14
Mike Wilhelm / (Michael Ray Wilhelm) → Founding member, guitarist, singer and songwriter in seminal psychedelic rock band The Charlatans, the group had limited commercial success but is generally credited with starting the acid rock and hippie counter-culture scene in the Haight-Ashbury area of San Francisco in the mid-60s, after the band dissolved in 1969 founded folk-rock trio Loose Lips and later spent six years as lead guitarist for power pop/proto-punk The Flamin’ Groovies, issued six solo albums through 2007 and participated in several Charlatans reunions before dying from complications of cancer on 5/14/2019, age 77.
2019 ● Leon Rausch / (Edgar Leon Rauch) → Western swing bassist, singer and “the voice” of the legendary Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys (“Sugar Moon,” Country #4, 1947) for over 60 years, fronted the band following Wills‘ death in 1975 and purchased the rights to use Wills name in 1986, continued to appear at festivals and sang at the annual Bob Wills Day in Turkey, Texas, until a few years before his death from unspecified causes on 5/14/2019, age 91.

May 15
Chuck Barksdale / (Charles Barksdale) → Founding member and bass vocals in 50s doo wop quintet The Dells, the group recorded and toured full-time for nearly 60 years and had charting hits in five decades, including “Oh What A Nite” (R&B #4, 1956) and “A Heart Is A House For Love” (R&B #13, 1991), their longevity due partially to business acumen but also to their ability to transition from doo wop to smooth soul and contemporary R&B as times changed, retired when the group disbanded in 2012 and died after several years of declining health on 5/15/2019, age 84.

May 18
Melvin Edmonds → With his younger brother, Kevon, and high school chum Keith Mitchell, vocals in contemporary R&B/soul trio After 7, signed to Virgin Records and scored three Top 20 singles in 1989-1990: “Heat Of The Moment,” (#19, R&B #5, 1989), “Can’t Stop,” (#6, R&B #1, 1990) and “Ready or Not” (#7, R&B #1, 1990), all three co-written and co-produced by another younger brother, R&B superstar Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, left the band and was replaced by his son, Jason, but returned for the group’s 2016 comeback album Timeless, died following a brief but unspecified illness on 5/18/2019, age 64.

May 21
Jake Black / (John Black) → Scottish musician with the pseudonym “The Very Reverend D. Wayne Love” in quirky, country-blues-acid-house fusion band Alabama 3, best known for co-writing “Woke Up This Morning” (UK #78, 1997), the memorable opening theme to the cutting-edge, hugely popular TV drama The Sopranos, hospitalized with an acute respiratory illness days after performing at a festival in Lancashire, England, and died on 5/21/2019, age 59.

May 28
John Gary Williams → Lead singer for Memphis R&B vocal quartet The Mad Lads, a 60s Stax Records group instrumental in developing a more refined, Northern soul sound to complement Stax‘s grittier Southern soul with hits such as “Don’t Have to Shop Around” (#93, R&B #11, 1965) and “I Want Someone” (#74, R&B #10, 1966), charged with the gunshot wounding of a Memphis police officer in 1968 but received a lighter sentence for lack of direct involvement, released a lone solo album in 1973 at the depths of the label’s financial crisis, died after a long fight against throat cancer on 5/28/2019, age 73.

June 09
Jim Pike / (James R. Pike) → Founding member and vocalist in close-harmony folk-pop trio The Lettermen, the group had 31 charting singles, including the Grammy-nominated medley “Goin’ Out of My Head/Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” (#7, AC #2, 1967) before selling his shares and leaving in 1974 when his voice failed due to constant touring, reunited with former Lettermen colleague Bob Engemann in the 80s as Christian music Reunion, died from complications of Parkinson’s disease on 6/9/2019, age 82.

June 10
Chuck Glaser / (Charles Vernon Glaser) → Country music singer and songwriter, joined younger brothers Jim and Tompall in sibling trio The Glaser Brothers for 16 albums and 24 charting singles between 1960 and 1982 (“Lovin’ Her Was Easier (Than Anything I’ll Ever Do Again),” Country #2, 1981), the trio also operated Glaser Sound Studios in Nashville (aka “Hillbilly Central,” a focal point for the “outlaw country” movement) and among many others, published “Gentle On My Mind” (Glen Campbell, #39, 1968), ran the brothers’ businesses and released a final solo album, That’s When I Love You the Most before dying (two months after Jim) from unspecified causes on 6/10/2019, age 83.

June 24
Jeff Austin → Mandolinist, singer, songwriter and co-founder of progressive bluegrass jam band (“jamgrass”) Yonder Mountain String Band, the influential and successful fusion of rock and modern bluegrass that he formed just a few years after picking up a mandoilin for the first time, left in 2014 due to “creative differences” and started a solo career concurrent with fronting the Jeff Austin Band, recorded and performed until cancelling a tour due to an unspecified health emergency, placed in a medically-induced coma a few days later and died on 6/24/2019, age 45.

July 06
Gary Lemel → Erstwhile early-60s, pre-Beatles Vee Jay Records pop singer, wised up and became a film music producer, eventually as a senior executive at Casablanca Records, Boardwalk Records and Columbia Pictures, joined Warner Bros. in 1997 as chief of worldwide music and later as president of Warner‘s film division for 23 years, dubbed “the Godfather of the Modern Soundtrack” for supervising countless blockbuster soundtrack albums, including The Big Chill (1983), Ghostbusters (1984) and St. Elmo’s Fire (1985), performed in various pop-rock moonlight bands until incapacitated by degenerative Lewy brain disease, died from complications of Parkinson’s disease on 7/6/2019, age 80.

July 8
Jim Henke / (James D. Henke) → Rock music critic and editor at Rolling Stone magazine from 1977 to 1993, wrote hundreds of articles about Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, the Smiths and others, including U2: The Next Big Thing shortly before the U.S. release of their debut album, Boy in 1981, left Rolling Stone for a short stint at Elektra Records and in 1994 signed on with the nascent Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as its first Chief Curator, for 18 years led RRHOF collections acquisitions and exhibits, among others curating Roots, Rhymes and Rage: The Hip-Hop Story, the first major museum exhibit devoted to hip-hop, retired in 2012 and died after a long battle with dementia on 7/8/2019, age 65.

July 16
Johnny Clegg / (Jonathan Paul Clegg) → British-born, South African guitarist and songwriter known as the “White Zulu” for his writings against the white minority rule of apartheid, co-founder and frontman for multiracial Afro-Euro-dance pop band Juluka and Zulu-dance-pop Savuka, his song “Scatterlings Of Africa” was his only entry on the UK Singles Chart (UK #44, 1983 with Juluka and UK #75, 1987 as Johnny Clegg & Savuka) and was featured on the soundtrack to the Oscar-winning film Rain Man (1988), continued to perform with his bands and release solo albums through 2018, died from pancreatic cancer on 7/16/2019, age 66.

August 01
Ian Gibbons → English keyboardist, most notable for playing with The Kinks (“Come Dancing,” #6, UK #12, 1982) from 1979 to 1989, rejoined the group in 1993 and remained with them until their 1996 breakup, over the years also worked with Suzi Quatro, Ian Hunter, Dr. Feelgood and many others, in 2008 joined The Kast Off Kinks featuring former Kinks members, including Mick Avory, John Gosling, John Dalton and Jim Rodford, died from bladder cancer on 8/1/2019, age 67.

August 07
David Berman / (David Craig Berman) → Poet, songwriter, anarchist and only constant member of indie rock/avant garde Silver Jews, formed the band in 1994 with two college roommates and issued six critically-acclaimed studio albums through 2008, then abruptly ended the project and retired from music to concentrate on promoting social injustice causes and attacking his father’s consulting business supporting guns, alcohol, union-busting and other industries of the like, resurfaced publicly in 2018 with a new project, Purple Mountains and released an eponymous debut album in July 2019, scheduled to renew touring to support the album two days before dying by hanging himself in his Brooklyn apartment on 8/7/2019, age 52.

August 15
Roberta Petersen → Long-time and influential record label executive at Warner Bros. Records from 1971 for nearly 25 years during the heyday of 70s and 80s rock and pop music, spawned the careers of The Flaming Lips, Jane’s Addiction, Devo, Dire Straits, among many others, joined Geffen Records in 1992 in the then-newly created post of senior director A&R and administration, retired in 1995, dropped out of the music industry for a quieter life and died while under hospice care in the end stages of acute dementia on 8/15/2019, age 74.

August 19
Larry Taylor / (Samuel Lawrence Taylor) → Eighteen-year-old session bassist for Jerry Lee Lewis and later on several late-60s albums by The Monkees, co-founded blues/boogie-rock Canned Heat (“Going Up The Country,” #11, 1968) in 1967 and appeared at Monterrey (1967) and Woodstock (1969) plus on 26 albums with the original Canned Heat lineup and various reunions through 2015, worked as a session bassist for dozens of artists over the decades, from John Mayall to Tom Waits and Leo Kottke, died after a 12-year battle with cancer on 8/19/2019, age 77.

September 10
Daniel Johnston / (Daniel Dale Johnston) → American songwriter and cartoon artist in the lo-fi, alternative and underground music scenes, primarily in Austin, Texas but known nationally despite not having a recording contract with any sized record label, diagnosed schizophrenic with bipolar disorder, self-released dozens of albums and cassette tapes on his own labels, Kurt Cobain famously wore a t-shirt with his artwork to the 1992 MTV Awards and called him “the best songwriter on earth,” Pearl Jam, Tom Waits and Wilco, among others, covered his songs, died of a suspected heart attack at home on 9/10/2019, age 58.

September 19
Larry Wallis → English hard rock guitarist and songwriter with a long resume, including co-founder of late-60s pop-rock The Entire Sioux Nation and original member of heavy metal trio Motörhead during 1975, in between played with ex-T. Rex percussionist Steve Took‘s Shagrat, Blodwyn Pig, briefly with start-up UFO and the first incarnation of power pop/proto-punk Pink Fairies, after Motörhead wrote and recorded the punk classic “Police Car” in 1977 and became an in-house writer and producer for Stiff Records into the 80s, played in various collaborations before rejoining the Pink Fairies in 1987, released three albums with The Deviants and wrote for Dr. Feelgood in the 90s, continued working alongside other top names in British rock through to the 10s and in 2017 issued The Sound Of Speed, a collection of rare and unreleased tracks, died from undisclosed causes on 9/19/2019, age 70.

September 23
Robert Hunter → Folk-bluegrass musician, singer, songwriter and poet best known as the Grateful Dead‘s chief lyricist, wrote the words to dozens of the band’s best known songs, including “Truckin’,” “Friend Of The Devil,” “Touch Of Grey,” and “Uncle John’s Band,” also co-wrote songs with Bob Dylan, Bruce Hornsby, Elvis Costello and others, issued several folk-country-rock albums as a solo artist and published numerous books of poetry and his lyrics, died following an undisclosed surgery on 9/23/2019, age 78.

October 02
Barrie Masters → Co-founder, high-energy lead singer and only constant member of long-lived British pub-rock/new wave Eddie & The Hot Rods (“Do Anything You Wanna Do,” UK #9, 1977), despite frequent line-up changes the band stayed mostly relevant for decades amidst changing times and audience tastes, released a dozen albums and EPs after 1980, including a rework of the their debut LP, 35 Years of Teenage Depression (2011), presided over a reunion of past and present bandmates in a one-off Done Everything We Wanna Do show near London in April 2019 before dying suddenly from undisclosed causes on 10/2/2019, age 63.

October 11
Sonny Curtis → Pedal steel guitar legend and longtime sideman to country music stars George Jones and Tammy Wynette, following an early 60s stint with Johnny Paycheck (then Donny Young, later “Take This Job And Shove It,” Country #1, 1977) joined the Jones Boys in 1964 and played with Jones through his 1969 marriage to Wynette and 1975 divorce, stayed with Wynette‘s band until 1980, dropped out of touring in the 80s to care for his ailing wife, released a solo album Reflections (2002) and died from complications of Alzheimer’s disease on 10/11/2019, age 83.

October 20
Arnold Gosewich → Ottawa-area chain record store owner who joined Capitol Records of Canada, rising to president (1969-1976) and then Chairman & CEO of CBS Records of Canada (1977-1982), left the music business in 1982 to become COO of book publisher Macmillan Canada, stepping down in 1989 to establish a book publishing consulting and literary agency, during his career also serving as president of the Canadian Recording Industry Association, now known as Music Canada, and a director of the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame, died on 10/20/2019, age 85.

October 22
Ed Cherney → Highly-respected Los Angeles recording engineer with Grammy Awards for four albums: Bonnie Raitt‘s Longing in Their Hearts (1994), Buddy Guy‘s Blues Singer (2003) and two Willie Nelson albums, Summertime: Willie Nelson Sings Gershwin (2016) and My Way (2018), plus over 350 other album credits with The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Sting and dozens of others, worked at Westlake Recording Studios and The Village Recorder, the latter in “Studio Ed,” his last project was Don Felder‘s American Rock ‘N’ Roll in 2019, released just six months before his death from cancer on 10/22/2019, age 69.

October 25
Tom Draper / (Thomas R. Draper) → Appliance salesman with a college degree in marketing who became a respected record label executive credited with the development of black music in the 70s and 80s, first as a early 70s sales and promotion agent for RCA Records in its newly-established black music department, subsequently promoted to VP of A&R but left in 1975 to join Warner Bros. Records as VP of marketing and promotion, over 12 years built Warner into a leading force in black music with a roster that included Ashford & Simpson, Chaka Khan, Prince, and the Staple Singers, among many others, moved to Time Warner as a VP in 1987 and retired in the 90s, died following a brief illness on 10/25/2019, age 79.

December 20
Nancy Lewis / (Nancy Carol Lewis Jones) → College campus correspondent for Billboard magazine in the early 60s, after graduating moved to New York and London for music magazine Fabulous, in 1965 became public relations manager for Track Records and publicist for The Who, Jimi Hendrix and The Rolling Stones, as head of publicity for Buddah Records launched Genesis in the U.S. in 1971 and brought Monty Python’s Flying Circus to American TV in 1974, led the troupe’s successful lawsuit against ABC-TV for severely editing episodes of the program, a case considered a landmark in protecting the copyrights of writers/performers, her story became the subject of No Naughty Bits, the 2011 theater show in London, died from leukemia on 12/20/2019, age 76.

December 26
Jerry Herman / (Gerald Sheldon Herman) → Award-winning Broadway composer and lyricist best known for three top theater scores – Hello, Dolly! (1964, won two Tony awards and Billboard #1 pop album), Mame (1966) and La Cage Aux Folles (1983, two Tony awards), the latter a groundbreaking exploration of homosexuality in mainstream American entertainment, his 17 Broadway shows spawned several pop standards, including Louis Armstrong‘s version of “Hello, Dolly!”, which ended The Beatles‘ 14-week reign at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart in late-1964, openly gay for most of his life and diagnosed HIV-positive in 1985, lived for nearly 35 years with the virus until dying from undisclosed causes on 12/26/2019, age 88.

December 29
Norma Tanega / (Norma Cecilia Tanega) → One hit wonder novelty pop-folk singer with “Walkin’ My Cat Named Dog” (#22, 1966), the song was covered by Barry McGuire (1972) and They Might Be Giants (1999), among others, afterwards left for the UK and other opportunities, took up a professional and personal relationship with British pop-soul singer Dusty Springfield and co-wrote several of Dusty‘s B-Side songs, returned to the U.S. in 1970 to begin a decades-long music teaching career in various California state and private colleges, died from colon cancer on 12/29/2019, age 80.


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