FAREWELL Music World Passings of 2010

We pay our respects to
Alex Chilton, Mark Linkous, Captain Beefheart, Ari Up, Solomon Burke, Jay
Reatard and many more.

 

BY FRED MILLS

 

This annual ritual – cataloguing those we lost in the year
that’s just completed – might be considered depressing by some, a morbid
exercise that doesn’t serve any concrete purpose other than providing busywork
for the compiler. That may be true, but having performed this ritual for years
now, I’ve learned to take a quiet comfort in pulling together notes and combing
the internet to learn names, dates, causes of death – and the artistic
achievements that prompt us to memorialize the people in the first place. So as
you scan down the list of those who did leave us this year, pause when you
reach an artist who was particularly special to you, and meditate momentarily
on why he or she was special. The list isn’t comprehensive, but it
does dovetail into virtually every musical genre and discipline (it
additionally includes a handful of non-musicians), and it touches equally upon
the obscure and the well-known.

 

I’ll forgo any unnecessary commentary and simply provide the
list this time around. In addition, links are included for those artists we
wrote about at BLURT this year and you can follow those links if you want to
read more. You’ll come across names that will cause you to open your eyes wide
in surprise, as I did,  because you
hadn’t heard they’d passed, and perhaps hadn’t even thought about in years; and
you’ll come across others that will find you nodding your head as you remember
getting the news (was there a 2010 death more abrupt and startling, and yes,
unsettling, as Alex Chilton’s, coming as it did when many of you were in Austin
in the thick of SXSW revelry and maybe even anticipating the Big Star
performance that had been scheduled?).

 

And then what I hope you’ll do is this: after you pay your
last respects, pledge to seek out those artists who are still with us and who
are important to you, and let them know in some way how much you appreciate
them. As I wrote in this space last year:

 

It’s certainly a cliché to go up to a
musician and say how much you’ve loved the records, the concerts, etc. But just
because it’s a cliché doesn’t mean the musician doesn’t want to hear it from
you. Let them know how you feel
before it’s time for a posthumous tribute. Need I add that when you learn of
an artist who’s in need of help – many musicians can’t even afford health
insurance, for example, and an illness or an injury not only can rack up huge
bills but also keep them from their one reliable source of income, performing –
open up more than just your heart and donate something.

 

Meanwhile, this week The
New York Times
posted online a wonderful audio/video tribute to some of the
artists who passed away in 2010. (The Times made a similar film at the end of 2009; you can view both of them below
following the main list.) Titled “The Music They Made,” it merges artist images
to short, signature musical passages, and if it doesn’t bring tears to your
eyes at times, you’ve surely got a heart of stone.

 

Read also:

 

*BLURT’s farewell to music passings of 2009

 

*BLURT’s farewell to music passings of 2008

 

***

 

JANUARY

Earl Gaines, Dec. 31, 2009

Lhasa de Sela, Jan. 1

Gregory Slay (Remy Zero), Jan. 1

Willie Mitchell (producer/Hi Records owner), Jan. 5

Art Clokey (Gumby), Jan. 8

Mick Green (Johnny Kidd & the Pirates), Jan. 11

Brian Damage, aka Brian Keats (Misfits), Jan. 12

Teddy Pendergrass, Jan. 12

Yabby You, Jan. 12

Jay Reatard, Jan. 13 (feature/interview)

Bobby Charles, Jan. 14 (feature/interview)

Carl Smith, Jan. 16

Kate McGarrigle, Jan. 18

Ian Christie, Jan. 19

L.A. Johnson (producer, Neil Young associate), Jan. 21

Apache, Jan. 22

Shirley Collie Nelson, Jan. 27

Howard Zinn, Jan. 27

 

FEBRUARY

Greg Pianka (Dirty Looks), Feb. 5

Iain Burgess (producer), Feb. 11

Jake Hanna, Feb. 12

Dale Hawkins, Feb. 13

Doug Fieger (The Knack), Feb. 14

Lee Freeman (Strawberry Alarm Clock), Feb. 14

Lil’ Dave Thompson, Feb. 14

Will Roy
Sanders, Feb. 16

T-Bone Wolk, Feb. 28

 

MARCH

Fred Wedlock, March 4

Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse), March 6 (feature/interview)

Micky Jones (Man), March 10

Lesley Duncan, March 12

Herb Cohen (Zappa manager), March 16

Alex Chilton, March 17 (feature)

Charlie Gillett (journalist), March 17

Marva Wright, March 23

Johnny Maestro (The Crests), March 24

Jim Marshall (photographer), March 24

 

APRIL

Guru (Gang Starr), April 1

Mike Zwerin (musician/critic), April 2

Malcolm McLaren, April 8

Steve Reid, April 13

Peter Steele (Type O Negative), April 14

Mississippi Slim, aka Walter Horn Jr., April 14

Will Owsley (Semantics, Amy Grant band), April 30

 

MAY

Dave Fisher (The Highwaymen), May 7

Lena Horne, May 9

Ronnie James Dio, May 16

Hank Jones, May 16

Larry Dale, May 19

Paul Gray (Slipknot), May 24

Judy Lynn, May 26

Slim Bryant, May 28

Dennis Hopper, May 29

Ali-Ollie Woodson (Temptations), May 30

 

JUNE

Dana Key (DeGarmo and Key), June 6

Marvin Isley, June 6

Stuart Cable (Stereophonics), June 7

Phillip Petty (Point Blank), June 8

Crispian St. Peters, June 8

Ken Brown (Quarrymen), June 9

Jimmy Dean, June 13

Jim Pugliano (The Jaggerz), June 15

Bill Dixon, June 16

Garry Shider (Parliament-Funkadelic), June 16

Tam White, June 21

Larry Jon Wilson, June 21 (feature/interview)

Peter Quaife (The Kinks), June 23

Fred Anderson, June 24

Benny Powell, June 26

Rammellzee, June 27

Bill Aucoin (KISS manager), June 28

Robert Byrd, June 28

 

JULY

Harvey Fuqua (The Moonglows), July 6

Sugar Minott, July 10

Tuli Kupferberg (Fugs), July 12

Hank Cochran, July 16

Carlos Vila, July 16

Fred Carter Jr., July 17

Andy Hummel (Big Star), July 19 (Big Star feature)

Phillip Walker, July 22

Al Goodman (Ray, Goodman & Brown), Aug. 26

Ben Keith (Neil Young band), Aug. 26

Derf Scratch, aka Fred Milner (Fear), July 28

Lorene Yarnell (Shields & Yarnell, mimes), July 29

Mitch Miller, July 31

 

AUGUST

Mitch Jayne (The Dillards), Aug. 2

Bobby Hebb, Aug. 3

Catfish Collins (The J.B.s), Aug. 6

Chris Dedrick (The Free Design), Aug. 6

Jack Parnell, Aug. 8

Calvin “Fuzz” Jones, Aug. 9

Richie Hayward (Little Feat), Aug. 12

Abbey Lincoln,
Aug. 14

Robert Wilson (Gap Band), Aug. 15

Ahmad Alaadeen, Aug. 15

Kenny Edwards (The Stone Poneys), Aug. 18

Michael Been (The Call), Aug. 19

Tito Burns, Aug. 23

George Weiss (songwriter), Aug. 23

 

SEPTEMBER

Mike Edwards (Electric Light Orchestra), Sept. 3

Rich Cronin (LFO), Sept. 8

Gus Williams, Sept. 13

Alphonsus “Arrow” Cassell (“the King of Soca”), Sept. 15

Jerry Williams (Th’ Cigaretz/Workdogs/Hi Sheriffs of Blue),
Sept. 19

Buddy Collette, Sept. 19

Don Partridge, Sept. 21

Eddie Fisher, Sept. 22

Dick Griffey (Solar Records founder), Oct. 24

Tony Thibodeaux, Sept. 30

 

OCTOBER

T Lavitz, Oct. 7

Albertina Walker, Oct. 8

Solomon Burke, Oct. 10

General Johnson (Chairmen of the Board), Oct. 13

Eyedea, Oct. 16

Stephen Calt (blues historian/author), Oct. 17

Dennis Taylor (Delbert McClinton band), Oct. 17

Marion Brown, Oct. 18

Ari Up (The Slits), Oct. 20 (feature/interview)

Tom Winslow, Oct. 23

Gregory Isaacs, Oct. 25

Walter Payton, Oct. 28

Andrew Midgley (Cola Boy), Oct. 28

John Sekula (Mushroomhead), Oct. 28

 

NOVEMBER

Ruben Basoalto, Nov. 3

Mimi Perrin, Nov. 16

Little Smokey Smothers, Nov. 20

Peter “Sleazy” Christopherson (Throbbing Gristle), Nov. 24

 

DECEMBER

Helen Boatwright, Dec. 1

John Leslie (porn star/musician), Dec. 5

James Moody, Dec. 9

Woolly Wolstenholme (Barclay James Harvest), Dec. 13

Captain Beefheart, Dec. 17 (feature)

Robin Rogers, Dec. 17

Harold Blanchard, Dec. 19

Magnolia Shorty, Dec. 20

Teena Marie, Dec. 26

Bernie Wilson (Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes), Dec. 27

Billy Taylor, Dec. 28

Bobby Farrell (Boney M), Dec. 30

 


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