Here are current stories about Oldies Artists in the News:
Ronnie Bright, best known as being "Mr. Bass Man" on the Johnny Cymbal 1963 hit (#16), passed away on Thanksgiving (November 26) at the age of 77. The New York native sang in the Valentines, the Cadillacs and the Coasters and was a backup singer on Barry Mann's "Who Put The Bomp" (#7-1961) and Jackie Wilson's "Baby Workout" (#5-1963), as well.
Get Well wishes go out to Gerry Granahan, who suffered a heart attack Thanksgiving Week. He is reportedly resting in Rhode Island Hospital in Providence.
According to his daughter, Debby, Pat Boone had knee replacement surgery on November 19. He had partial replaement surgery done in 2007.
Cynthia Robinson, vocalist and horn player with Sly and the Family Stone, died of cancer Monday (November 23) at the age of 69. The Sacramento, California native also played in Graham Central Station and was inducted into the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame along with the Family Stone in 1993. The group charted ten times in the top 40, including the number-one hits, "Everyday People" (1969), "Thank You Falletinme Be Mice Elf Agin" (1970) and "Family Affair" (1971). You may recall in their song "Dance To The Music" (#8-1968), Sly introduces the band, including, "... Cynthia on the throne... Cynthia and Jerry got a message that's sayin' All the squares, go home!"
Kenny Rogers will be honored with the Country Music Television Artists of a Lifetime award at their annual ceremonies December 2 in Nashville.
Carly Simon revealed to People magazine in an interview released Wednesday (November 18) that the second verse of "You're So Vain" is about Warren Beatty. "I have confirmed that the second verse is Warren. Warren thinks the whole thing is about him!" But Carly says the rest of the song is about two other men who she won't reveal "[a]t least until they know it's them"
Songwriter P.F. Sloan (born Philip Gary Schlein) died Sunday (November 15), shortly after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was 70. A meeting with Elvis Presley in Hollywood at the age of 13 caused him to become a musician, but after initially trying his hand at recording, he found success as a composer, usually with Steve Barri. His hits included "Eve Of Destruction" (#1 in 1965 for Barry McGuire), "A Must To Avoid" (#8-1966 by Herman's Hermits), the Turtles' "You Baby" (#20-1966) and "Secret Agent Man" (a #3 hit for Johnny Rivers in 1966). His autobiography, "What's Exactly The Matter With Me," was published last year.
It's been learned that composer Winfield Scott died October 26 at the age of 95. Winfield co-wrote "Return To Sender" and "One Broken Heart For Sale" (both with Otis Blackwell) as well as LaVern Baker's hit, "Tweedlee Dee," Connie Francis' "Many Tears Ago" and Bill Haley's "Burn That Candle."
Influential New Orleans composer, producer, arranger and artist Allen Toussaint died Monday (November 9) while on tour in Spain. He was 77. Allen wrote such classics as "Mother-In-Law" (#1-1961 for Ernie K-Doe-- he also produced the recording), "Southern Nights" (#1-1977 as recorded by Glen Campbell), "Working In The Coal Mine" (#8-1966 by Lee Dorsey), "Java" (#4-1964 by Al Hirt) and "Whipped Cream" (#68 in 1965 for Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass but better known from its use on TV's "The Dating Game"). He produced artists like B.J. Thomas, Dr. John, the Meters and even "Lady Marmalade" from Labelle (#1-1975). He worked with Paul McCartney on Wings' "Venus And Mars" album in 1975. Allen was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the the Blues Hall of Fame in 2011, the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame in 2009 and the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame in 1998.
Andy White, the Scottish session drummer hired by producer George Martin to play on the first Beatles single, "Love Me Do" and "P.S. I Love You," passed away Monday (November 9) in New Jersey at the age of 85. George hired Andy to play drums because he was unsure as to Ringo Starr's ability. Andy's version of "Love Me Do" made the American pressing of the single (where Ringo can be heard on tambourine), but Ringo's take was used early on in the UK. Andy went on to play for many other sessions, including Tom Jones' "It's Not Unusual," Lulu's version of "Shout" and recordings by Engelbert Humperdinck, Dusty Springfield, Herman's Hermits and Petula Clark.
Martin Beard, bassist with San Francisco's Sopwith Camel on their #26 hit, "Hello Hello" in 1967, died Tuesday (November 10) at the age of 68. The British-born Martin later became an electronics technician in Silicon Valley.
Police showed up at a private charity event in Beverly Hills Saturday night (November 7) complaining that guest performer and former Kiss guitarist Gene Simmons was making too much noise. Police shut down his act but a DJ took over providing music as celebs contributed to the "Children Matter" function.
Johnny Mathis' Hollywood Hills mansion was destroyed by fire Monday night (November 2). While some memorabilia was saved by firefighters, Johnny said there was "nothing left" of the home he had owned for 56 years. Johnny had been in Cleveland in concert at the time of the fire, which is believed to have started in an aquarium room. Said Johnny, "I'm OK, nobody got hurt - that's always important. We can always replace things."
Billy Joel sang the national anthem before game three of the World Series between the Mets and Kansas City in New York on Friday (October 30). The Mets use "Piano Man" during the 7th inning of their home games. New York won the game, but lost the Series.
Forbes Magazine has come out with its annual list of the top-earning dead celebrities and Michael Jackson is again #1. The gloved-one earned over $115 million in the last year, easily outpacing Elvis Presley with $55 million. "Peanuts" creator Charles Schultz is third with $40 millio, followed by Bob Marley at $21 million. Elizabeth Taylor rounds out the top five at $20 million. Others in the top 15 include John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean and Joan Rivers.
Andy Kim was announced Monday (October 26) as the 2016 inductee into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. Andy will be honored in ceremonies May 5 in Toronto.