Steve's Dead Rock Stars


*** 2018 ***

Claim to Fame
Cause of Death
2/11/201889Vic Damonelounge singer Miami Beach, Florida

Rest in Peace
Vic Damone

June 12, 1928 - February 11, 2018

Vic Damone, a popular 1950s crooner and nightclub star, has died at age 89.

Born Vito Rocco Farinola in Brooklyn, New York, he took his mother's maiden name, Damone. Inspired by his favorite singer, Frank Sinatra, Damone began taking voice lessons. His professional career began when he won "Arthur Godfrey's Talent Hunt" in April, 1947. On the show he met Milton Berle who got him work singing at night clubs. By mid-1947, Damone had signed a contract with Mercury Records. His hit singles included "Again," "You're Breaking My Heart," "My Heart Cries for You," "On the Street Where You Live" and, in 1957, the title song of the Cary Grant film "An Affair to Remember."

Damone was regularly a featured guest performer on TV Variety shows. Among the programs on which he appeared are The All Star Revue, The Texaco Star Theater with Milton Berle, The Arthur Murray Party, What's My Line?, The Jackie Gleason Show, The Steve Allen Show, The Perry Como Show, The Bell Telephone Hour, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Garry Moore Show, I've Got A Secret, The Jack Paar Program, The Red Skelton Hour, The Andy Williams Show, The Hollywood Palace , The Dean Martin Show, Hullabaloo, Mickie Finn's, The Danny Thomas Hour, The Jonathan Winters Show, The Carol Burnett Show, Della, Playboy After Dark, The Joey Bishop Show, Jimmy Durante Presents the Lennon Sisters, Dinah!, The Mike Douglas Show, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and several Bob Hope specials.

In 1951, Damone appeared in two movies: The Strip (where he played himself) and Rich, Young and Pretty.

In 1964, he sang "Back Home Again in Indiana" before the Indianapolis 500 car race, filling in for Jim Nabors who sang the song almost every Memorial Day weekend from 1972 to 2014.

Vic Damone was a personal friend of Donald Trump. Trump offered to be a character witness on Damone's behalf in the event of any legal action his step-daughters might take to prevent him from receiving any of his then ill wife's estate, with an estimated worth of $900 million.

Damone died on February 11, 2018 at the age of 89.

2/7/201876Mickey Jonesdrummer / actor

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Mickey Jones

June 10, 1941 - February 7, 2018

Mickey Jones was the drummer for Kenny Rogers and the First Edition and toured the world with Bob Dylan in 1966. He also drummed for Trini Lopez and did a Vietnam USO tour with Johnny Rivers and Ann-Margret, entertaining the troops. Jones was awarded 17 gold records from his musical career.

After the break-up of The First Edition in 1976, Jones concentrated on acting. He appeared in memorable roles on Flo, the short-lived spin-off to the CBS sitcom Alice, as a crooked mechanic/sheriff in National Lampoon's Vacation, and as Chris Farber in the television series, V. Jones had a recurring role as Pete Bilker on the ABC sitcom Home Improvement.

He appeared in the movies Starman (1984) and Total Recall (1990). In 1996, he appeared in Sling Blade as the drummer in the band, and in the movie Tin Cup, with fellow character actor Dennis Burkley.

In 2005, he contributed to the documentary, No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.

In 2009, Jones published his autobiography That Would Be Me, the title based on the catchphrase often used by his character on Home Improvement.

Jones died following a lengthy but unspecified illness on February 7, 2018, aged 76. He is survived by his wife, Phyllis Jean Starr, and their two children.

2/3/201865Leon "Ndugu" Chanclerjazz drummer

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Leon "Ndugu" Chancler

July 1, 1952 - February 3, 2018

Leon "Ndugu" Chancler, a prolific jazz drummer, producer, session musician and university professor who played drums on Michael Jackson's classic "Billie Jean," died at age 65.

He worked with George Benson, Stanley Clarke, The Crusaders, George Duke, Herbie Hancock, John Lee Hooker, Hubert Laws, Thelonious Monk, Jean-Luc Ponty, Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers, Patrice Rushen, Santana, Frank Sinatra, Donna Summer, The Temptations, Tina Turner, and Weather Report.

In 2006, he became an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Jazz Studies at the University of Southern California.

2/1/201874Dennis EdwardsTemptations, vocaliststrokeChicago, Illinois

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Dennis Edwards

February 3, 1943 - February 1, 2018

Dennis Edwards, former lead singer for Motown pioneers the Temptations, has died at the age of 74.

Edwards was a member of the Temptations from 1968 until 1977, replacing the late David Ruffin. He sang on several hits, including "I Can't Get Next to You," "Ball of Confusion" and "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone." He rejoined the group from 1980 to 1984 and 1987 to 1989.

In 1984, he scored a solo hit with "Don't Look Any Further" (featuring Siedah Garrett).

Dennis Edwards was briefly married to Ruth Pointer, whom he wed in Las Vegas in 1977. The couple had one daughter, Issa Pointer, who became a member of her mother's vocal group, The Pointer Sisters. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with the Temptations in 1989.

1/24/201860Mark E. SmithThe Fall, vocalist Manchester, England

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Mark E. Smith

March 5, 1957 - January 24, 2018

Mark Edward Smith was the lead singer of the post-punk group The Fall, which he led from 1976 until his death.

He died at his home in Prestwich, England, at the age of 60.

1/23/201878Hugh Masekelajazz trumpeterprostate cancerJohannesburg, South Africa

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Hugh Masekela

April 4, 1939 - January 23, 2018

Hugh Masekela, South-African jazz trumpeter and anti-apartheid activist who played with the Byrds and Paul Simon, has died. He was 78.

Masekela was known for writing well-known anti-apartheid songs such as "Soweto Blues" and "Bring Him Back Home". He also had a number 1 US pop hit in 1968 with his version of "Grazing in the Grass". He played primarily in jazz ensembles, but also on popular recordings by The Byrds ("So You Want to Be a Rock 'n' Roll Star" and "Lady Friend") and Paul Simon ("Further to Fly").

He appeared at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967, and was subsequently featured in the film Monterey Pop by D. A. Pennebaker.

1/20/201876Jim RodfordArgent / Kinks / Zombies, bassistFallSt Albans, England

Photo (c) 2006 Steve Covault
Jim Rodford

July 7, 1941 - January 20, 2018

James Walter Rodford, long time bass guitarist for Argent, The Kink and the modern version of the Zombies, has died after a fall down a stairway at his home in England. He was 76.

Rodford joined with his cousin, Rod Argent, to form Argent in 1969. They are best remembered for their 1972 hit "Hold Your Head Up." Another hit followed with "God Gave Rock & Roll to You", later covered by Kiss.

In 1978, Rodford joined the Kinks as a bass guitarist and played with them until their final breakup in 1996. He played on every Kinds album from 1979's Low Budget to 1993's Phobia, the band's final LP before their breakup.

Rodford never played with the Zombies in the 1960s, despite having been closely involved with them. However, he began to play the bass guitar with the band's 2004 reincarnation, with his son Steve on drums. He played with the reunited Zombies until the time of his death.

1/16/201869Dave HollandJudas Priest / Trapeze, drummer Lugo, Spain

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Dave Holland

April 5, 1948 - January 16, 2018

Dave Holland, drummer for Judas Priest from 1979 until 1989, has died at his home in Spain. He was 69.

During his time with Judas Priest the band recorded classics such as 'British Steel,' 'Screaming for Vengeance' and 'Defenders of the Faith.' He died on Jan. 16 at a hospital in Lugo, Spain, where he was living. A cause of death was not given.

1/15/201846Dolores O'RiordanCranberries, vocalist London

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Dolores O'Riordan

September 6, 1971 - January 15, 2018

Dolores O'Riordan was an Irish singer, songwriter, and leader of the rock band The Cranberries from 1990 until their breakup in 2003.

On the morning of January 15th 2018, O'Riordan was found dead at the London Hilton hotel in Mayfair. She was 46. She was in London for a recording session.

1/15/201874Edwin Hawkinsgospel singerpancreatic cancerPleasanton, California

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Edwin Hawkins

August 19, 1943 - January 15, 2018

Edwin Hawkins, a gospel singer known for his arrangement of "Oh Happy Day!", has died in California at age 74.

Hawkins sold several million copies of "Oh Happy Day!" and was awarded a Grammy for his work. The Edwin Hawkins Singers also had success with folk singer Melanie, backing her on her song about performing at the 1969 Woodstock Music Festival "Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)".

1/10/201867Eddie ClarkeMotörhead, guitarist London, England

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Eddie Clarke

October 5, 1950 - January 10, 2018

Motörhead Guitarist Eddie Clarke has died after being admitted to a London hospital with pneumonia.

Clarke was the last-surviving member of Motörhead's original lineup. Known as "Fast Eddie" for his lightning-quick skills on the guitar, Clarke joined drummer Phil "Philthy Animal" Taylor and singer/bassist Ian Fraser "Lemmy" Kilmister to form Motörhead.

He sang lead vocals on five Motörhead songs: "Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers" (on which he traded vocals with Lemmy), "I'm Your Witchdoctor" (on which he duets vocals with Lemmy), "Step Down" and an alternative version of "Stone Dead Forever" (which later appeared on the Bomber Deluxe Edition), and "Emergency" one of the B-side tracks on The St. Valentine's Day Massacre EP

Clarke left Motörhead in 1982.

1/7/201861Chris Tsangaridesproducerpneumonia and heart failure

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Chris Tsangarides

August 17, 1956 - January 7, 2018

Christopher Andrew Tsangarides was a British Grammy-nominated record producer and sound engineer. He was best known for his work with heavy metal bands, including Judas Priest, Anvil, Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy, Helloween, Angra, Anthem, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Tygers of Pan Tang.

1/5/201876Ray ThomasMoody Blues, vocalistCancerLondon

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Ray Thomas

December 29, 1941 - January 5, 2018

Ray Thomas, flautist, vocalist and founding member of the Moody Blues, has died at age 76.

Thomas appeared on all of the Moody Blues albums, including their classic LPs like Days of Future Passed, In Search of the Lost Chord, A Question of Balance and Every Good Boy Deserves Favour. He continued to work with the band until his retirement in 2002 after suffering from a series of health issues.

1/2/201885Rick Hallowner of FAME StudiosMuscle Shoals, Alabama

Rest in Peace
Rick Hall

January 31, 1932 - January 2, 2018

Rick Hall, owner of FAME Studios in Muscle Shoals, Alabama, influential in recording country and soul music, has died at age 85.

Rick Hall produced dozens of soul and country hits and worked with many great artists including Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, Duane Allman and Etta James.

As a songwriter, Rick Hall had his first successes in the late 1950s, when George Jones recorded his song "Achin', Breakin' Heart", Brenda Lee recorded "She'll Never Know", and Roy Orbison recorded "Sweet and Innocent".

In 1960, Hall started a company based in Florence, Alabama and named it Fame (Florence Alabama Music Enterprises). Producer Sam Phillips , originally from Florence, Alabama, was an early mentor.

Hall's life and career are profiled in the 2013 documentary film Muscle Shoals.

1/2/201874Tony CalderBeatles, promoter London

Rest in Peace
Tony Calder

June 27, 1943 - January 2, 2018

Tony Calder, a music promoter who worked with the Beatles, Rolling Stones and others, has died at a London Hospital following a battle with pneumonia. He was 74.

In 1962, Calder was hired by Brian Epstein to promote The Beatles single "Love Me Do," helping to kick-start the Beatles' career.

The following year, pop impresario Andrew Oldham and Calder merged their clientele to set up the UK's first independent PR-pop company, 'IMAGE.' The company handled the day-to-day management of the Rolling Stones, and later the promotion of the Beach Boys via their publishing contract.

In early 1965, Calder worked with Marianne Faithfull, producing her biggest hits "Come and Stay With Me", and "This Little Bird". In 1965 Calder and Oldham formed Immediate Records, the first major independent label in the UK, eventually responsible for acts like The Small Faces, Fleetwood Mac, Rod Stewart, The McCoys, Chris Farlowe, Amen Corner, P.P. Arnold and The Nice.

In 1975, Calder was appointed CEO of NEMS Records, where he signed Black Sabbath, Pluto and Marianne Faithfull.


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