It happened this week

his is the week that was in matters musical …

Not really a good week to be a guitarist…a good reason to stay in bed methinks…

1954, guitarist Danny Cedrone dies … he recorded the jazzy guitar solo on “Rock Around The Clock” with Bill Haley & His Comets … tragically Cedrone broke his neck falling down a flight of stairs before he could enjoy the acclaim of generations of rock guitarists … eight months after his death, the song became a huge hit … if you really want to be a guitar god, take a crack at that final chromatic run …

1970, New Orleans jazz and R&B singer and guitarist Lonnie Johnson passes on … one of the earliest players to use an electric guitar, he worked with some of the biggest names in popular music including Duke Ellington and Louis Armstrong … by the late 1950s, he had dropped out of sight but enjoyed a revival in the 1960s when he was discovered working as a hotel janitor and was recruited to tour Europe with American Folk Blues Festival (out on DVD by the way) … death was brought on when he was struck by an auto in Toronto in 1969 and died a year later from the effects …

1973, also struck and killed by a motorist, legendary guitarist Clarence White was loading gear after a gig when he was hit by a drunken driver … White was known for his lightning-fast bluegrass flatpicking … he was brought in to play electric guitar on some pioneering country-rock tunes on The Byrds Younger Than Yesterday album in 1966 … White later joined The Byrds and stayed with them until they finally broke up in 1973 … perhaps he is best known for co-inventing the Parsons-White B-Bender, a device that bent his Telecaster’s B-string when he pulled down on his guitar strap, which activated pulleys and levers routed in the back of the guitar … the B-Bender permitted White to imitate a pedal steel guitar …

1982, James Honeyman-Scott of the Pretenders dies of a cocaine and heroin overdose in his sleep in London at the age of 25 … ironically the guitarist was among the band members who voted out bass player Pete Farndon for drug abuse a mere two days earlier … after Honeyman-Scott’s death, frontwoman Chrissie Hynde pens the tune “Back on the Chain Gang” as a tribute to him … the song will go on to be one of the band’s biggest hits … guitarist Robbie McIntosh, whom Honeyman-Scott was trying to talk into joining the band just before his untimely death, is enlisted to replace him … a year later Pete Farndon will also die from drug-related causes …

1993, blues guitarist Luther Tucker dies … working mostly for Chess Records, the hard-edged Chicago blues guitarist backed Little Walter, Muddy Waters, and Howlin’ Wolf …

1995, he was a blues-rock guitarist who rolled up his plaid flannel shirtsleeves, strapped on his battle-scarred 1961 Stratocaster and gave his all at every show … Rory Gallagher dies from complications following a liver transplant … Rory specialized in a no-nonsense, no-holds-barred, two-fisted style of blues-tinged rock … excelling at flatpicking, fingerpicking, and slide guitar, Rory avoided using special effects, content to wring exciting solo after solo from the classic setup of his faithful Strat run through a Dallas Rangemaster treble booster into a Vox AC-30 … some of the ways his memory is revered: in his homeland Ireland, a pub is named after him, a sculpture and bronze statue have been created in his likeness, and the Rory Gallagher Music Library was opened in Cork in 2004 …

2004, Iggy Pop and The Stooges are reported to be working on songs for their first new studio record in 31 years … Pop speculates that they may record the album in Los Angeles noting, “That will torture me deeply.” … Pop is joined by original Stooges guitarist Scott Asheton and his brother Ron Asheton on drums …

2006, co-founder and guitarist for Kool & The Gang, Claydes Charles Smith dies … he wrote the hits “Joanna” and co-wrote “Celebration” … Stones guitarist Ron Wood enters a rehab facility in London to dry out just before the band embarks on yet another tour …

And that was the week that was.

Arrivals:

June 14: Burl Ives (1909), pianist Cy Coleman (1929), Junior Walker (1931), Muff Winwood, bassist for The Spencer Davis Group (1943), Rod Argent of the Zombies (1945), Alan White of Yes (1949), Boy George (1961), Chris DeGarmo of Queensryche (1963), British pop diva Billie Myers (1971)

June 15: Jaki Byard (1921), Nigel Pickering of Spanky & Our Gang (1929), Waylon Jennings (1937), Harry Nilsson (1941), Doug Roberts (1941), Ian Matthews (1946), Russell Hitchcock of Air Supply (1949), Steve Walsh of Kansas (1951), country-pop singer Terri Gibbs (1954), Garry Roberts of Boomtown Rats (1954), Scott Rockenfield of Queensryche (1963), Michael Britt (1966), Ice Cube (1969), Dryden Mitchell of Alien Ant Farm (1976)

June 16: lyricist Ben Raleigh (1913), saxophonist Lucky Thompson (1924), Charlie Byrd (1925), Motown songwriter-producer Lamont Dozier (1941), Eddie Levert of the O’Jays (1942), Pete Rivera of Rare Earth (1945), James Smith of the Stylistics (1950), Gino Vanelli (1952), Tupac Shakur (1971)

June 17: Igor Stravinsky (1882), guitarist Cliff Gallup of Gene Vincent and the Blue Caps (1930), Norman Kuhlke of The Swinging Blue Jeans (1942), Chris Spedding (1944), Barry Manilow born Barry Alan Pinkus (1946), Paul Young (1956), Kevin Thornton of Color Me Badd (1969)

June 18: Jeanette MacDonald (1907), lyricist Sammy Cahn (1913), Paul McCartney (1942), Carl Radle (1942), Jerome Smith of KC and The Sunshine Band (1953), Tom Bailey of The Thompson Twins (1957), West Arkeen (1960), Alison Moyet (1961), Dizzy Reed (1963), Nathan Morris of Boyz II Men (1971)

June 19: Tommy Devito of The Four Seasons (1936), Shirley Goodman of vocal duo Shirley and Lee (1936), Elaine “Spanky” McFarlane of Spanky & Our Gang (1942), Robert Gordon (1945), Nick Drake (1948), Ann Wilson of Heart (1950), Paula Abdul (1962), Brian Vander Ark of The Verve Pipe (1964), Korn’s Brian Welch (1969)

June 20: Guy Lombardo (1902), Jimmy Driftwood (1907), Chet Atkins (1924), Billy Guy of The Coasters (1936), Brian Wilson (1942), Anne Murray (1945), pianist Andre Watts (1946), Lionel Richie (1949), Alan Longmuir of The Bay City Rollers (1953), Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony (1955), John Taylor of Duran Duran (1960), Sugar Ray’s Murphy Karges (1968), Jeordie White of Nine Inch Nails and A Perfect Circle and aka Twiggy Ramirez of Marilyn Manson (1972)

Departures

June 14: blind flamenco singer Delores Alcantara (1999), Rory Gallagher (1995), Henry Mancini (1994), Brenda Payton of Brenda and the Tabulations (1992), songwriter-producer Cliff Goldsmith (1991), Pete DeFreitas of Echo and the Bunnymen (1989), Wynonie Harris (1969)

June 15: Lew Chudd founder of Imperial Records (1998), Ella Fitzgerald (1996), Kin Vassy (1994), Wes Montgomery (1968)

June 16: Ben Shabalala (2004), The Savages singer Screaming Lord Such born David Edward Such (1999), John Wolters (1997), Kristen Pfaff of Hole (1994), John Jordan (1988), James Honeyman-Scott (1982), Warren Ryanes (1982), Don Robey, founder of Peacock Records (1975), Lonnie Johnson (1970), Jack McFadden, Nashville manager of Buck Owens (1968)

June 17: Mark Cherron (1994)

June 18: Luther Tucker (1993), Danny Cedrone (1954)

June 19: Bobby Helms of “Jingle Bell Rock” fame (1997), composer Vivian Ellis (1996), Walter Jackson (1983), Clarence White of The Byrds (1973)

June 20: Claydes Charles Smith (2006), Bobby Gimby (1998), Lawrence Payton of The Four Tops (1997), Jim Ellison (1996), Louis Benjamin (1994)

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