RIP: Liam Clancy, Aaron Schroeder, Jack Rose

December 8th, 2009, 4:58 pm by Greg

Liam Clancy

Liam Clancy

LIAM CLANCY: 1935-2009
Liam Clancy, the last surviving member of the seminal Irish folk band the Clancy Brothers, died on Friday at a Cork hospital at age 74. Bob Dylan once declared, “I never heard a singer as good as Liam ever. He was just the best ballad singer I’d ever heard in my life. Still is, probably.”

Aaron Schroeder

Aaron Schroeder

Aaron Schroeder wrote or co-wrote 17 songs that were recorded by Elvis Presley, including five of his No. 1 hits: “It’s Now or Never,” “Good Luck Charm,” “Stuck On You,” “I Got Stung” and “A Big Hunk o’ Love.” Schroeder also wrote songs for Frank Sinatra, Roy Orbison, Perry Como, Barry White and Nat King Cole. He founded the independent label Musicor Records, was Gene Pitney’s manager and produced his hit “Town Without Pity.” And he wrote the theme song, “Scooby Doo, Where Are You?”

Jack Rose

Jack Rose

JACK ROSE: 1971-2009
I had never heard of Jack Rose until I heard about his death. But this obituary of the Philadelphia guitarist by David Morris at, so moved me that I felt he had been my friend for years. Excuse me. I must go now to search for some Jack Rose recordings…


RIP: Ellie Greenwich, 1940-2009

August 26th, 2009, 3:14 pm by Sara

ellieSongwriter Ellie Greenwich died today of a heart attack in New York City’s Roosevelt Hospital. She was 68 years old.

Her songs were so yearning, so heartfelt, so universal that everyone wanted to record them.

And they did.

Everyone from Linda Ronstadt to to the Ramones, from the Beach Boys to the Flying Lizards, from U2 to Mariah Carey, from John Lennon to the Bay City Rollers, from Humble Pie to Death Cab for Cutie, from Shaun Cassidy to Melissa Etheridge and from Tiny Tim to Twiggy.

“Be My Baby”
“Chapel of Love”
“Hanky Panky”
“And Then He Kissed Me”
“Do Wah Diddy Diddy”
“Da Doo Ron Ron”
“The Leader of the Pack”
“I Can Hear Music”
“River Deep, Mountain High”

Ellie Greenwich was a sensational pop songwriter, whose best work epitomized the classic “girl group” sound of the ’60s with smash hits for the Dixie Cups, the Ronnettes, the Crystals, the Shangri-Las and so many others.

Over the years, she collaborated with such fellow songwriters as her husband Jeff Barry, Phil Spector and Doc Pomus, to name just a few. She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1991.

The hit Broadway jukebox musical “Leader of the Pack” was based on her songs and life, earning a Tony nomination when it opened in 1985. She also starred in the production.

Greenwich was also a major talent as a vocal arranger on such classic hit records as Aretha Franklin’s “Chain of Fools” and Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls Just Want to Have Fun.”

As a producer, she was at the helm for many of Neil Diamond’s early hit recordings as well as sessions for Connie Francis and Dusty Springfield.

And, yes, you can hear Greenwich’s voice handling the backing vocal chores on hits by everyone from Jim Croce to Blondie.

Greenwich is gone, but her music lives on and on. And so does her wisdom about the art of songwriting. Thanks to Paul Rapp for the link.

Remembering Lisa Atkinson

August 25th, 2009, 4:21 pm by Greg

Lisa Atkinson died in her San Mateo, California, home on Saturday, May 9 after a long illness. She was 51 years old.

Lisa Atkinson performing at Don Quixote's International Music Hall, Felton, CA, 2007

Lisa Atkinson performing at Don Quixote's International Music Hall, Felton, CA, 2007

Lisa was a favorite performer on Albany’s folk music scene back in the ’80s. While based in the Capital Region, she recorded the single “She’s Got Secrets,” as well as the full-length album “Pack Me in Your Suitcase.”

She was also an award-winning children’s music performer, who recorded three albums for Albany’s A Gentle Wind children’s music label – “I Wanna Tickle the Fish,” “The One and Only Me” and “The Elephant in Aisle Four.”

“A Celebration of Life” will be held in her honor from 2-5pm on Saturday, August 29 – which would have been Lisa’s 52nd birthday – at the A.S.K. Arts Center at 97 Broadway in Kingston.

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RIP: Jim Dickinson, 1941-2009

August 17th, 2009, 1:58 pm by Greg

jimDickinsonMemphis icon and master musician Jim Dickinson died Saturday at the age of 67. He was never a household name – not even close. But he was a behind-the-scenes player with enormous talent, and his various credits as a music and producer would fill pages.

The short version goes something like this:

He was a much in-demand session musician who recorded with the likes of Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin and the Rolling Stones.

As a producer, he was at the helm for some of the best work by John Hiatt, Big Star, the Replacements, Screaming Jay Hawkins, Toots Hibbert and Ry Cooder.

His sons – Cody and Luther – are two-thirds of the North Mississippi Allstars.

RIP: Les Paul

August 13th, 2009, 2:00 pm by Sara


Les Paul, 1915-2009

Holly & EvanThe Cock'N'Bull RestaurantJim Gaudet and the Railroad BoysCaffe LenaCartoonist John CaldwellAdvertise on Nippertown!The Sanctuary For Independent MediaArtist Charles Haymes