Tag: died

American Folk Music Legend and Great-Grandpa Musical-Activist Pete Seeger Passes

JAN 28, 2014 – JTMP is in shock and in mourning today, for we woke up to the news that we lost American folk music legend and Great Grandpa Musical Activist that started it all, Pete Seeger. Pete is a personal inspiration, for I attend a "Sing Out Jam Out" folk music circle (find one on MeetUp.com!), and we use the "Rise Up Singing" song book that he helped out with and contains many of his songs. His passing will affect millions and he will have an impact on America and the world for years to come.

Pete was born in New York in 1919, and died in New York in 2014, at the age of 94. His musical career started in the 1940s and 1950s and he enjoyed a successful musical career, and even performed with the band the Weavers, who were blacklisted during the McCarthy era. He is considered by many to have started the activist folk music scene in the 1960s, and Pete and his music became a staple of protests and rallies from the 1960s to today.

JTMP joins the mourning of the passing and celebration of the life of the American activist folk music legend, Pete Seeger. Below is Pete and the Weavers reunited for a concert at Carnegie Hall singing the folk classic, "Wimoweh", or "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", and read about this amazing man on NPR.org here. Rest in Peace Pete, we will carry on the struggle for civil rights!  (photo credit: LOC/CC)

“Funky Claude” from “Smoke on the Water” dies

FEB 3, 2013 – The man who helped inspire the Deep Purple classic "Smoke on the Water" and was enshrined in one of the verses, Claude Nobs, or "Funky Claude" who was "running in and out, pulling kids out the ground", has died. The song sings about Funky Claude saving many concert goers after "some stupid with a flare gun" fired it into the ceiling of a casino during a Frank Zappa concert in 1971. The song went on to become a Rock and Roll Classic, and for many a budding guitarist (including myself) this was the first ever riff I ever played on the guitar.

Read more about Claude on his Wikipedia Bio here. Check out the studio version of "Smoke on the Water" below, play some air guitar, and crank it up! This is for you Funky Claude!  (photo credit: CC/BrianMcMillen)

Robin Gibb passes away at age 62

MAY 21, 2012 – One of the world's best known and in my opinion one of the best singers and songwriters in the world, Robin Gibb, passed away yesterday at the age of 62 from cancer. He was of course known as the 3rd voice in the Bee Gees, a musical group that spanned decades and  had hits on the charts not heard of since The Beatles. (photo credit: RobinReigns/Wiki)

Robin was born on the Isle of Man, then moved with his family to Manchester, England, then settled in Brisbane, Australia. He was a rival to his brother Barry, as both of them wanted to sing lead vocals in the band, and at one time he left the group, but later returned. They went on to record 21 studio albums, and had 60 songs on the charts, with 9 of them reaching number 1.

He and his brothers went on to pen such classics as, "Massachusetts", "I Just Got get a Message to You", and "To Love Somebody". They also wrote many songs for other artists such as Dionne Warwick, Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, and more. They were known as the chameleon band, and would change with each decade to try and stay relevant, and played a huge role in the 1970s when disco came out when they recorded the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, and later paid a price for it; they were unfairly labeled as giving birth to the disco sound. "The movie that should be burned", the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band movie with Frampton, didn't help. But they did continue to tour for years and were successful, until brother Maurice died in 2003.

Robin is survived by his wife Dwina, and his children Melissa, Spencer and R.J., his brother Barry, his sister Lesley and his mother, Barbara. Watch the Brothers Gibb harmonizing like only brothers can do below, with Robin taking the lead on "Massachusetts".

Legend and Master Banjo Player Earl Scruggs Passes at Age 88

MAR 29, 2012 – Legend and master banjo player Earl Scruggs, who was the father of the three-finger banjo picking style, passed away on March 28, 2012 at the age of 88. Born in 1924 in Flint Hill, N.C. he taught himself how to play with his 2 other  brothers, including the guitar and autoharp. He started his musical career with Bill Monroe and the Bluegrass Boys in 1939.

IN 1948 Earl and guitar player Lester Flatt left the Bluegrass Boys and formed a duo,  their peak being in 1962 with the theme to the Beverly Hillbillies that virtually everyone knows. Earl Scruggs was a progressive when it came to music and social issues, and wanted to bring in some popular sound, maybe even some saxophone; but Lester was very conservative and hated long-haired hippies, and it caused a rift and breakup of the duo in 1969.

Earl Scruggs became one of the very rare country/bluegrass musicians to ever add his musical activist voice to the anti-Vietnam War movement, performing his classic song "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" at the Moratorium to End the War in Vietnam demonstration in October of 1969. Earl Scruggs later said in an interview of his performance, "I think the people in the South is just as concerned as the people that's walkin' the streets here today… I'm sincere about bringing our boys back home. I'm disgusted and in sorrow about the boys we've lost over there. And if I could see a good reason to continue, I wouldn't be here today."

Watch a video of the legendary Earl Scruggs performing his "Foggy Mountain Breakdown" with some friends below.