Musician Obits

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Feb 152010
 

Early rockabilly star Dale Hawkins, writer of “Suzie Q,” died of cancer at 73. Hawkins was a Louisiana guitarist and cousin of Ronnie Hawkins (The Hawks, The Band).

Doug Fieger, 57, died on February 14, 2010. He was the lead singer of the New Wave band The Knack and co-wrote the biggest hit song of 1979, “My Sharona.”

Jan 182010
 

Chilton Searcy Price, writer of “You Belong To Me” and “Slow Poke,” died in Louisville on Thursday, January 14. Price was a violinist with the Louisville Orchestra who later worked as a music librarian at WAVE radio during the 1940s. She was discovered by Louisville band leader Pee Wee King and his partner Redd Stewart, who recorded several of her songs. King and Stewart also took writer credits on a number of her songs, which, she said, was acceptable, given that they had made her successful.

Price continued to write throughout her life, including the song “Never Look Back” for Doris Day in the M-G-M film, “Love Me or Leave Me”. She also wrote for orchestra leader Mitch Miller.

An obituary is here and a short article in the Courier-Journal is here.

Dec 252009
 

Various sources are reporting that singer/songwriter Vic Chestnutt had died, following a suicide attempt on Christmas eve. Other reports are that he is in a coma but not dead. More to follow as information becomes available.

Chestnutt’s record label, Constellation Records, released a statement yesterday that Chestnutt died Friday, December 25, at 14:59.

Nov 182009
 

From Ray Redman, we have this remembrance/party review for Mr. Fish:

“Pat Lentz, Jon Gage, Heather Drury Leoncini and various JJB (Juggernaut Jug Band) supporters orchestrated a farewell party for Steve Drury AKA ‘The Amazing Mr. Fish’. It was standing room only for the majority of the night at the Park Restaurant at Slugger Field. The rain didn’t seem to dampen the spirits of the jugband fans.

John Gage set up a humble PA and played a few songs. There was no speech, per Heather’s request. She wanted a party, not a wake. There was only music and a celebration of Fish’s life. A slide show of Fish’s world played quietly in the background .

Gage was followed by several other pickers whose names I didn’t catch. Ebenezer Primitive (Aviv Naamani and me) and a guest jug blower played for about an hour. Tinnius McPann (Alan Brock) and ‘The Pail’ fiddled away on a few Celtic tunes. Alan finished out with some old time tunes, accompanied by Joe Mooser on accordion.

There were several past members of the JJB. I overheard some great stories of past adventures. The current members of JJB were there but didn’t play. Mike Hoerni, Roscoe Goose and Chris Brandstatt played at Clifton’s Pizza last Friday and Saturday. The show went on at Clifton’s in spite of Fish’s death. Many came to offer their condolences that night.

The online guestbook displayed heartfelt condolences from as far away as Japan.

Fish was informed of the seriousness of his health condition last Thursday, I believe. He spent a few hours with Pat Lentz and John Gage. A blood disorder and liver complications made his condition untreatable. He passed away Saturday morning.

Waitin’ for that chicken pie to cool.”

Oct 082009
 

I got a phone call from Mary Wagner, widow of Rick Wagner, songwriter and host of a number of Songwriters’ Nights around town during the 90s. I hadn’t heard that Rick had died; Mary said he didn’t want to make a fuss. He passed away on June 4, 2008. Mary is looking for an autographed copy of Steve Ferguson’s Fun for Fools album that Rick lent to a musician at one his Songwriters Night, so if that someone is you, Mary would very much like to have it back, as it meant a great deal to her late husband. Mary can be reached at 614-8713.