In Memorium 2005

"Long John" Baldry - British R&B artist died July 21st, 2005, after battling a chest infection for four months. He was 64. Baldry was one of the founding fathers of British rock'n'roll in the '60s. Eric Clapton has stated many times that he was inspired to pick up the guitar after seeing Baldry perform

Renaldo (Obie) Benson - a member of the Four Tops, passed away following a long illness on July 2nd, 2005. He was 69.

Jim Capaldi - drummer for Traffic and a solo artist, died on January 28th, 2005, after a brief battle with stomach cancer. He was 60.

Chris Curtis - drummer and vocalist for the The Searchers, passed away on February 28th at the age of 63. His band placed seven songs in Billboard's Top 40 including "Love Potion Number Nine" and "Needles And Pins".

Tyrone Davis - best known for "Turn Back The Hands of Time" and "Can I Change My Mind", died February 9th, 2005 in from complications following a stroke. He was 66.

Spencer Dryden - drummer for The Jefferson Airplane from 1966 to 1970, passed away on January 10th, 2005, after a brief battle with colon cancer. He was 66.

Michael Gibbins - drummer for Badfinger on their hits "Come And Get It","Day After Day" and "No Matter What", died in his sleep on October 4th, 2005, at the age of 56 .

John Fred Gourrier - who led John Fred and his Playboy Band to Billboard's #1 spot in December 1967 with "Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)" - died April 15th, 2005, after a long bout with kidney disease. He was 63.

Joe Jones - a musician-turned producer who sang the 1961 #3 hit "You Talk Too Much" and went on to become an independent music publisher and advocate for black artists' rights, died on November 27th, 2005. He was 79.

Keith Knudsen - longtime Doobie Brothers drummer who was part of the band during their string of hits in the 1970s, died of pneumonia on February 8th, 2005. He was 56.

Tony Meehan - drummer for The Shadows on their UK number one hit, "Apache", died in hospital on November 28th, 2005, from head injuries sustained in a fall. He was 62. "Apache" spent twenty-one weeks at the top of the British music charts in 1960.

Ray Peterson - who scored a pair of US Top Ten hits with "Tell Laura I Love Her" and "Corinna, Corinna" in 1960, died of cancer on January 25th, 2005, at the age of 69.

Rod Price - a founding member of Foghat died March 22nd, 2005, after falling down a stairway at his home. The 57 year old guitarist was with the band for three platinum and eight gold records including their highest charting US single "Slow Ride" in 1976.

Sammi Smith - best known for the 1971 # 8 hit, "Help Me Make It Through the Night", died February 12th, 2005 at the age of 61. She won a Grammy award for her rendition of the song written by Kris Kristofferson, establishing him as a leading Nashville songwriter.

Jakson Spires - drummer and founding member of Blackfoot, died March 16th, 2005, at the age of 53, after suffering a brain aneurysm. The band reached #26 on the Billboard Hot 100 in August, 1979 with "Highway Song."

Domenic Troiano - guitarist for The Guess Who and The James Gang, died of cancer on May 25th, 2005. He was 59.

Link Wray - the electric guitar innovator who is often credited as the father of the power chord, died at his home in Copenhagen on November 5th, 2005, of natural causes. He was seventy-six. His 1959 instrumental, "Rumble" was banned by many radio stations despite having no lyrics.


This Week in Music

1957 - Sammy Davis Jr. hosts a syndicated radio talk show with a round-table discussion of rock & roll. His guests are Columbia Records executive Mitch Miller and MGM Records president Arnold Maxim. When Davis and Miller blast rock & roll as "the comic books of music," Maxim takes an opposing viewpoint and says, "I don't see any end to rock & roll in the near future."

1963 - James Carroll at WWDC in Washington, DC, became the first disc jockey to broadcast a Beatles record on American airwaves. Carroll played "I Want To Hold Your Hand", which he had obtained from his stewardess girlfriend, who brought the single back from Britain. Due to listener demand, it played daily, every hour. Since it hadn't been released yet in the States, Capitol Records initially considered court action, but instead released the single earlier than planned.

1977 - Elvis Costello appears on NBC-TV's Saturday Night Live, where producer Lorne Michaels refuses to allow him to perform "Radio, Radio" (because of the song's criticism of the broadcasting industry). A few measures into "Less than Zero", Costello halts his group and goes into "Radio, Radio". He will never be invited back.


Rock Series At Coconut Club

Over the next several months there is a series of rock shows that are being taped for television broadcast. The series is being produced by Michael Krikorian and is called Today is Tomorrow's Yesterday: The Unknown Heroes Of Rock. This past Wednesday evening late '70's band Starz gave a first rate performance as part of the series. They were both engaging onstage and provided a quality evening of their best material including their chart success "Cherry Baby." In short, these guys ROCKED and I'm glad to have caught their show. This series presents a unique opportunity to see and hear some groundbreaking acts performing in a rare intimate atmosphere. Krikorian should be commended for developing and bringing the series to the Coconut Club. It's a great opportunity for true music fans to experience artists showcasing their material in something other than the environment of a lounge nostalgia show. Next up is the Five Man Electrical Band on Sunday the 8th of January, they are best known for their hit single "Signs." Krikorian told me that four members of the now 7 person band are original members. It is a requirement of the series that the majority of the band's line-ups are original members. It should be another good night of music that Fresno music lovers will be fortunate to experience. Admission is free but reservations are required and can be made by calling 237-8155.