chicagoBLUESnews

Copyright © Chicago Blues News. All rights reserved.

LONNIE BROOKS

JULY 3
Rudy Rotta, 66

Italian blues guitarist and singer, who played with John Mayall, Robben Ford and Peter Green during his career

JULY 6
Melvyn "Deacon" Jones, 73 

  • Founder of the Indiana band, Baby Huey and the Babysitters
  • Had an 18-year run with John Lee Hooker as his organist and musical director


AUGUST 3
Steve "RainMan" Rainey, 63

  • Kenosha (WI) drummer who died after a lengthy illness following a stroke in 2016
  • Drummer for The Real Deal Band in Wisconsin


AUGUST 15
Paul Oliver, 90

British writer who wrote The Story of the Blues in 1969, considered the first comprehensive history of blues.

AUGUST 18
Sonny Burgess, 88

Famed rockabilly guitarist who recorded for Sun Records

AUGUST 13
Frank Bandy III, age unknown

  • Bass player/producer
  • Played with Jimmy Rogers, Scotty and the Bad Boys and JB Ritchie


SEPTEMBER 1
Todd Bartelstein, 54

Chicago harp player who drowned  in Lake Michigan

SEPTEMBER 4
Gene Jackson, 73

  • Drummer Gene Jackson passed away in Denver
  • A member of the first class of inductees into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame


SEPTEMBER 5
Rick Stevens, 77

Tower of Power singer, who died from cancer

SEPTEMBER 23
Charles Bradley, 68

Bradley, known as the "Screaming Eagle of Soul" because of his raspy voice and stirring performances, died of stomach cancer.

SEPTEMBER
Peter G. O'Grady, 63

  • O'Grady once owned Porter's Oyster Bar in Crystal Lake, a bar that hosted a lot of great blues to that far northwest suburb. 
  • He was killed when a 17-year-old driving an SUV hit his motorcycle.


SEPTEMBER  27(?)
Lissa Driscoll, 54 

  • Lissa was a longtime street performer in New Orleans' French Quarter
  • Also known as "Washboard Lissa” and “Ragtime Annie"
  • Died from throat cancer


SEPTEMBER 27
Ellis CeDell Davis, 91

Delta blues guitarist who died from complications of a heart attack in Hot Springs, AR 

OCTOBER 17
Howard Carroll (92)

Lead guitarist for the influential and Grammy Award-winning gospel group, The Dixie Hummingbirds, in Philadelphia

OCTOBER 23
Fats Domino, 89

One of rock 'n' roll's pioneers, who died of natural causes in New Orleans

OCTOBER 29
Joseph "Smokey" Holman, 64

  • Lead singer of  Wisconsin-based Tweed Funk, passed away suddenly in Gary, IN.  
  • Holman had been battling multiple myeloma cancer for the past 1.5 years. 


NOVEMBER 6
Bobby Too Tuff (aka Edward Blanch), 85, 92 or 93 (not sure)

Maxwell St. musician and one-time occasional member of Low-reen and the Maxwell St. Market Blues Band, died after a brief stay in the intensive care unit at Jackson Park Hospital.

NOVEMBER 19
Clark Dean, 91

  • Local Chicago sax player and beloved husband of fellow musician Yoko Noge
  • Yoko and Clark founded the Jazz Me Blues Band, playing regularly more than 15 years together until Dean's health declined in 2011. 
  • Dean also accompanied Chicago's legendary boogie woogie piano player Erwin Helfer.


NOVEMBER 29
Robert "Bilbo" Walker, 80

  • One of the last and most colorful Mississippi Delta bluesmen of his generation 
  • Had been receiving cancer treatment in California 




 

Remembering those members of the blues (and a few borderline blues) 
community we lost in 2017

JAMES COTTON

JANUARY 11
Tommy Allsup, 85

  • A western swing/rockabilly guitar icon, who died from complications following a hernia operation.
  • Somewhat famous for losing a coin toss to Ritchie Valens on "the day the music died"


JANUARY 24
Butch Trucks, 69

The drummer/Allman Brothers co-founder who committed suicide.

JANUARY?
Edmund Perkins aka "Cadillac," age unknown

A member of Chicago's blues community

JANUARY 27
Lundi Tyamara, 38

South African Gospel singer, who died from stomach TB and a liver condition

FEBRUARY 11
Walter “Junie” Morrison, 62

  • Singer, keyboardist, producer, one-man studio band and funk mastermind
  • A band member of both Parliament-Funkadelic and the Ohio Players, in London


FEBRUARY 18
Clyde Stubblefield, 73

The drummer for James Brown, who died in Madison, WI, of kidney failure

FEBRUARY 20
Willie J. Barney, 89

  • West Side businessman and founder of Barney’s One Stop and Records
  • Barney also owned 4Brothers Records, Tyrone Davis' the first label.


MARCH 12
P-Nut/Robert Johnson, 69

American keyboardist for Parliament-Funkadelic

MARCH 16
James Cotton, 81

Chicago blues harmonica master, who died from pneumonia at St. David's Medical Center in Austin, TX, according to an Alligator press release

MARCH 18
Chuck Berry, 90

  • The man who defined rock 'n' roll
  • Blues fans all know  (or should) that Berry got a big boost in 1955 from our hometown hero, Muddy Waters, who helped Berry hook upwith Chess Records to turn his song, Ida Red, into the classic, Maybellene (with Willie Dixon on bass).


APRIL 1
Lonnie Brooks, 83 

  • Legendary Chicago blues guitarist
  • Sons Ronnie and Wayne are following in their dad’s footsteps


APRIL 11
John Warren Geils Jr., (aka J. Geils), 71

  • Leader of the Boston band, the J. Geils Band, died of natural causes in his Massachusetts home.
  • Band had its biggest hits with pop stuff like Love Stinks, but the band did start out as the J. Geils Blues Band.


MAY 3
Casey Jones, 77

  • Chicago drummer who died after battling prostate cancer
  • Jones was also a singer and frontman who recorded with Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, Lonnie Brooks, Johnny Winter and Albert Collins.


MAY 6
Michael Packer, 66

Singer/songwriter, guitarist and piano player who helped start both the New York Blues Hall of Fame and the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame|, who died after a short bout with liver cancer


APRIL 29
Robert E. Lafary, Jr., 65

Indiana blues drummer who most recently played with The Bob Lafary Trio

MAY 16
Rosa Nell Speer, 94

Pianist/vocalist for the Grammy-nominated gospel group, the Speer Family, one of the first white gospel groups who were pioneers in featuring female singers


MAY 27
Gregg Allman, 69

A founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, who died at his home in Savannah, GA, from liver cancer 

JUNE 17
Sonny Knight, 69

Minneapolis-based soul singer, who most recently performed with Sonny Knight and the Lakers

JUNE 19
Noel Neal, 54

  • Longtime bass player for Chicago legend James Cotton
  • One of the musical sons of the great Raful Neal Sr. and brother of Kenny Neal


JUNE 21
Richard Belton, 77

American Cajun accordionist and vocalist, who died after being hospitalized for pneumonia

The Sky is Crying

BOBBY TOO TUFF