A tribute to the famous and not-so-famous musicians who passed away last year
The following is a list of some of the notable musicians who passed away in 2014, including a few who performed in the Santa Barbara area in recent years. Some are well-known, many are not, but all are worthy of our respect. R.I.P. — Rock In Peace.
Pete Seeger — He was a legendary folk singer with quite a colorful history.
In the early 1940s he performed with the Almanac Singers, whose ranks also included Woody Guthrie. In 1948 he co-founded The Weavers, which had a No. 1 hit with their cover of “Goodnight, Irene” by Leadbelly. In 1953, The Weavers were dropped by their record label and their songs were denied airplay because of suspected communist activities.
When Seeger was called to testify before McCarthy's House Un-American Activities Committee in 1955, he refused to name his personal and political associations, which led to him being found in contempt of Congress and blacklisted. Seeger was a key figure in the 1960s folk revival, and wrote or co-wrote the folk classics “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?,” “If I Had a Hammer” and “Turn, Turn, Turn!” He also helped to popularize “We Shall Overcome,” which became an anthem for the American Civil Rights Movement. Seeger also recorded multiple albums for children. In January 2009, at age 89, Seeger led the crowd in singing Guthrie's “This Land is Your Land” at President Barack Obama's inauguration.
Phil Everly — Brothers Phil and Don Everly made up The Everly Brothers, one of the most successful musical duos in the history of popular music. Their hit songs include “Bye Bye Love,” “Wake Up Little Susie,” “All I Have to Do is Dream” and “Cathy's Clown.”
Gerry Goffin — A lyricist who co-wrote many hits with his then-wife Carole King, including “Will You Love Me Tomorrow,” “Take Good Care of My Baby,” “The Loco-Motion,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) a Natural Woman” and “Pleasant Valley Sunday.” Later, he won an Academy Award for co-writing the theme for the movie Mahogany. He also co-wrote “Saving All My Love for You” and “Tonight, I Celebrate My Love.”
Joe Cocker — A former Santa Barbara resident, the mad dog and Englishman sang soulful, raspy-voiced covers of songs, including “With a Little Help From my Friends” (immortalized in the Woodstock movie), “Feelin' Alright,” “The Letter” and “You Can Leave Your Hat On.” He also showed his sensitive side with the hits “Up Where We Belong” and “You Are So Beautiful.” Click here for a review of Cocker's concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl in 2012.
Jack Bruce — Best known as the bass player and lead vocalist for Cream, he co-wrote many of that band's best-known songs, including “Sunshine of Your Love,” “White Room” and “I Feel Free.” He also wrote “Theme from an Imaginary Western,” which was covered by Mountain.
Bobby Womack — A singer-songwriter and instrumentalist, he wrote the Rolling Stones' first UK No. 1 hit “It's All Over Now.” His own R&B hits included “That's the Way I Feel About Cha,” “Woman's Gotta Have It” and “Looking for a Love.” He also contributed to recordings by other artists including Sly and the Family Stone's album There's a Riot Goin' On.
Charlie Haden — Acclaimed jazz double bassist and composer, he played with Ornette Coleman, Keith Jarrett, Pat Metheny and many others. He also led the Liberation Music Orchestra.
Tommy Ramone — The original drummer for punk rock pioneers The Ramones, he played on and co-produced their first three albums, Ramones, Leave Home and Rocket to Russia, and wrote “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend” and most of “Blitzkrieg Bop.”
Johnny Winter — Incendiary blues guitarist who burst onto the music scene in the late 1960s, played at Woodstock and produced Muddy Waters' comeback albums in the late 1970s.
Dick Wagner — Rock guitarist who along with Steve Hunter appeared on Lou Reed's classic albums Berlin and Rock 'n' Roll Animal. Wagner also played with Alice Cooper, with and without Hunter, and wrote “Only Women Bleed” for Cooper's album Welcome to My Nightmare.
Paul Revere — Organist for Paul Revere & The Raiders whose hits included “Kicks” and “Indian Reservation (The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian),” and who appeared regularly on television, including being the house band for Dick Clarkʼs show Where The Action Is. The band typically played in American Revolutionary War costumes, giving a visual gimmick to go along with their rockin' music.
Scott “Rock Action” Asheton — Drummer for proto-punk band The Stooges, which featured the singing of Iggy Pop and whose first three albums, The Stooges, Fun House and Raw Power, are considered to be classics.
Bobby Keys — Longtime saxophone player for The Rolling Stones, he also played on songs with other artists such as John Lennon's “Whatever Gets You Through the Night.”
Ian McLagan — Best-known for playing keyboards for The Small Faces and The Faces, he also played with The Rolling Stones and on recording sessions with Bob Dylan, Jackson Browne, Joe Cocker and many others.
Paco de Lucia — A virtuoso flamenco guitarist, often called the best that ever lived, his amazing collaborations with Jon McLaughlin and Al Di Meola widened his acclaim outside of Spain.
Maria Franziska von Trapp — The last surviving member of musical family that was basis for The Sound of Music, she was the second-oldest daughter and was portrayed as Louisa in the film and musical.
Shirley Temple — Most famous for her career as a child actress in the 1930s, she is included here because she sang many songs in her movies including “On the Good Ship Lollipop.”
Casey Kasem — Disc jockey who hosted American Top 40 from 1970 until 2009, his show included a weekly countdown, trivia about the songs and artists he was playing, and long-distance dedications.
Other notable 2014 musician and music-related deaths:
Bob Casale — played guitar and keyboards for Devo
Gary Burger — lead singer of proto-punk band The Monks
Glenn Cornick — bassist for Jethro Tull
Dave Brockie — frontman for GWAR, known as “Oderus Urungus”
Larry Ramos — member of The Association; click here for a review of their performance at the Chumash Casino Resort in 2011
Jesse Winchester — songwriter whose songs were recorded by Jimmy Buffett, Joan Baez, the Everly Brothers and Elvis Costello
Franny Beecher — lead guitarist for Bill Haley & The Comets
Nash the Slash — multi-instrumentalist and founder of FM, performed with face covered my surgical bandages
Tim Hauser — founder and singer of The Manhattan Transfer
Joe Lala — member of Blues Image, worked with many musicians including Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and The Bee Gees
Bobby Gregg — drummer who played on Bob Dylan's “Like a Rolling Stone,” Simon and Garfunkel's “Sound of Silence” and many more songs
Horace Silver — jazz pianist, composer, bandleader
John Spinks — guitarist for The Outfield, wrote “Your Love”
Raphael Ravenscroft — played saxophone solo for Gerry Rafferty's “Baker Street,” worked with many others
Jimmy C. Newman — Cajun country singer-songwriter
Wayne Static — lead vocalist for metal band Static-X
Bob Crewe — produced and wrote for The Four Tops, also co-wrote “Lady Marmalade”
Jimmy Ruffin — Motown singer, had a hit with “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted”
James Levesque — bassist for Agent Orange
Frankie Dunlop — jazz drummer
Rick Rosas — bassist, played with Neil Young, Joe Walsh, performed with Buffalo Springfield at reunion concert at the Santa Barbara Bowl in 2011
Clive Palmer — founding member of the Incredible String Band
Mabon “Teenie” Hodges — guitarist/songwriter for Al Green, co-wrote “Take Me to the River”
Jerry Corbitt — guitarist for The Youngbloods
Larry Henley — co-wrote “Wind Beneath My Wings”
Isaiah “Ikey” Owens — keyboardist who played with Jack White, Mars Volta
Big Bank Hank — member of the Sugarhill Gang
William “Bunny Rugs” Clarke — lead singer of reggae band Third World
Paul Goddard — bassist for The Atlanta Rhythm Section
Chip Young — guitarist and producer, worked with Elvis Presley, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, George Jones, Waylon Jennings and many more artists
Tommy Gough — member of The Crests (“Sixteen Candles”)
Bob Montgomery — early songwriting partner with Buddy Holly
Freddie Fingers Lee — pianist, worked with Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis
Dave Gregg — guitarist for D.O.A.
Brian “Wimpy Roy” Goble — bassist for D.O.A., the Subhumans and the Skulls
Joe Sample — pianist who played with Miles Davis, Steely Dan and many others
Gerald Wilson — jazz trumpeter, arranger
Johnny Elichaoff — drummer for League of Gentlemen, manager for Tears for Fears
Mark Loomis — guitarist for The Chocolate Watchband
Jean Redpath — Scottish folk singer
Gustavo Cerati — Argentine singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist
Uppalappu Srinivas — Indian mandolinist
Manitas de Plata — flamenco guitarist
Cosimo Matassa — producer and engineer at J&M Studio, where hits were recorded by Fats Domino, Little Richard and others
Alan Douglas — producer for Jimi Hendrix, Miles Davis, Jon McLaughlin and others
John Fry — founder of Ardent Studios in Memphis, producer of Big Star's recordings
John Hampton — engineer and producer at Ardent Studios in Memphis
Tom Skeeter — owner of Sound City Studios
Graeme Goodall — co-founder of Island Records
Henry Stone — producer for TK Records
Larry Smith — producer for Run-D.M.C.
Saul Zaentz — owner of Fantasy Records who often feuded with their best-known act Creedence Clearwater Revival, also a noted movie producer
Gary Grimshaw — psychedelic poster artist
H.R. Giger — designed artwork for Emerson, Lake, and Palmer's Brain Salad Surgery album, plus for the Dead Kennedys, Magma and Danzig; also known for artwork and inspiration for the Alien movies