Musicians Obituaries – September 2023
Jimmy Buffett @ 76 – Singer-songwriter, author & entrepreneur who hit big with “Margaritaville,” (1977) passed away after struggling with an undisclosed illness since 2022. Photo courtesy of Tim Mosenfelder/Wireimage.
Gary Wright @ 80 – A Cresskill, NJ native who attended Tenafly High School started with the band Spooky Tooth & went on to have hits like (“Dream Weaver” – 1976) using an ARP Solina string synthesizer. Wright also befriended & collaborated with George Harrison. He played keyboards on Harrison’s classic “All Things Must Pass.” Gary went on to appear on 6 George Harrison solo albums. He reunited with Spooky Tooth in 2004 for two shows in Germany. Wright died in California & his son Justin said his dad had been suffering from Parkinson’s disease & Lewy body dementia for several years. Color photo courtesy of Rob Shanahan.
Charlie Robison @ 59 – Texas singer-songwriter died in a San Antonio hospital after suffering from cardiac arrest & other medical complications. His career was launched in the late 80s but retired early (2018) after a procedure on his throat left him unable to sing. Singer-songwriter Bruce Robison is his younger brother. Color image courtesy of CharlieRobison.com
Roger Whittaker @ 87 – African-born British composer & baritone singer of the classic tune “The Last Farewell” which was also covered by Elvis Presley late in his career. Roger sold 50 million records worldwide.
Color image courtesy of Roger’s Facebook.
Terry Kirkman @ 83 – Kansas-born singer-songwriter of the famed hit-making 60s band The Association. Terry passed away in California from congestive heart failure following a long illness. Terry wrote & sang lead on the hits “Cherish” & “Everything That Touches You” as well as on “Never My Love” & the epic “Requiem for the Masses.” The group was nominated six times for a Grammy Award. 1970 photo courtesy of Terry’s Facebook + Michael Ochs Archive/Getty.
Richard Davis @ 93 – An American jazz bassist – While Mr. Davis was primarily a jazz bassist he appeared on the classic Van Morrison album “Astral Weeks,” and was described by reviewer Greil Marcus as one of the greatest basses ever heard on a rock album. Davis was in demand in many musical circles. He even appeared on Laura Nyro’s “Smile” LP. As a member of a band, he played with Miles Davis, Eric Dolphy, Elvin Jones & Dexter Gordon & on sessions with Frank Sinatra & Bruce Springsteen. He died after being in a hospice for 2 years. 2016 photo courtesy of Paul Charbit/Gamma-Rapho/Getty.
Bernie Marsden @ 72 – Excellent English rock/blues guitarist with the band UFO & the original lead guitarist of Whitesnake in the 70s & 80s. He passed away peacefully with his family by his side. Color image courtesy of Joby Sessions/Future Publishing/via Getty.
Bob Feldman @ 83 – Bob was a Brooklyn-born songwriter who along with Jerry Goldstein & Richard Gottehrer wrote 60s classics “I Want Candy,” “Cara-Lin,” & “Night Time,” by The Strangeloves with “I Want Candy” later covered by Bow Wow Wow (1982). Other hits were “My Boyfriend’s Back,” by The Angels & “Hang On Sloopy,” by The McCoys. “Sorrow,” was recorded by The McCoys as well as David Bowie. He was a songwriter/producer. No cause of death has been released. B&W photo courtesy of PoPsie Randolph/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images.
Ray Hildebrand (“Paul” of the duo Paul & Paula) @ 82 – Was the Texas-born singer & other half of the hit duo Paul & Paula (Jill Jackson) who had a major hit in 1963 with the Hildebrand written multi-million selling “Hey, Paula.” It stayed 3 weeks at #1. The duo never romantically involved, broke up in 1965. Ray went on to record Christian-oriented music. Ray died in Kansas City (Missouri) surrounded by family. B&W image courtesy of Ray Hildebrand Music.
Keith Gattis @ 52 – A native of Texas the country singer-songwriter/producer penned hits for George Strait, Charlie Robison, Kenny Chesney & many others. Keith died in a tractor accident at his home in Nashville. Gattis started his career performing in & around Austin then moved to Nashville where he signed to RCA Nashville in 1996. Color image courtesy of Gary Miller/Getty Images.
Len Chandler @ 88 – Len Hunt Chandler Jr. – Columbia recording artist out of Akron, Ohio who was part of the early folk revival of the 60s. He was basically a folk/protest singer out of the school of Bob Dylan, Joan Baez & Phil Ochs. He performed alongside Dylan & Len had his songs were covered by the Serendipity Singers & Pete Seeger.
Len had suffered several strokes recently & died at his L.A. home in California. B&W photo courtesy of PL Gould/Images Press/Getty Images.
Larry Chance @ 82 of The Earls – One of the last great doo-wop hit songs that charted. “Remember Then,” (1962) came from this superb group with lead vocals of Philadelphia native Larry Chance. Chance passed away from complications of cancer. We’ll remember Larry…
Photos courtesy of Larry’s website & Facebook.
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Musicians Obituaries – September 2023