The picture above says it all. We have lost so many this year and not just from the music industry. However, the music industry seems to have lost more than its fair share. The first we lost was David Bowie on January 10, but this came on the heels of two others we lost in the last couple of days of 2015. Lemmy of Motorhead (December 28) and Natalie Cole (December 31). [I’ve included both here as 2016 deaths since they were so close and part of the “beginning of the year glut.”] Well bad things happen in threes, so while tragic, we were done, right? Nope. One week later we lost two in the same day, Dale Griffin of Mott the Hoople and Funk artist, Clarence "Blowfly" Reid. We wouldn’t finish January before losing Glenn Frey, front man for the Eagles during their heyday and an amazing solo artist, and Paul Kantner, a major force behind both the Jefferson Airplane and Jefferson Starship.
By the time March came to an end, we had lost fifteen!
Things lightened up in April and we only lost three, but two were household names, Prince and Merle Haggard. Death did take a holiday and we didn’t lose anyone that I know of during June, July or the first half of August. It begs one to ask, does death have children who were off for Summer Break?
Two bands took double hits this year. We lost ⅔ of Emerson, Lake and Palmer but each ELP death took place exactly three days after a member of Australia’s Daddy Cool decided to give up the ghost. We lost Keith Emerson (March 11) exactly three days after Ross Hannaford of Daddy Cool. At the end of the year, we lost Greg Lake (December 7) exactly three days after Wayne Duncan (December 4) of Daddy Cool. The coincidence is kind of spooky.
When making one of these lists, you always run into the question of who to include and who not. As you probably have guessed by now, I’m going to do a set related to this so I have omitted a couple for whom I don’t have any material in my library, such as rappers Shawty Lo and Phife Dawg, whom we lost this year. While I included George Martin, Producer for the Beatles (sometimes referred to as the “Fifth Beatle”), I did not include Rene Angelil (passed January 14), manager and husband of Celine Dion. However I did include Gene Wilder, as I often play a tune or two of his from something like Willy Wonka at times during my sets. He feels like an old friend of DJ Sue sets so I included him. I did not include DJ’s or other ancillary music personalities like Latin DJ Jinx Paul, who was tragically killed in a hit and run on December 19th.
My entire set at 7:00 PM on January 1st will be a special tribute to those we lost in 2016 based on my list below. It seems the Reaper wasn’t done yet and worked some overtime on Christmas Day. While I wrote this yesterday, I learned of the passing of George Michael, so he has been added to the list below.
So come join me this Sunday, Jan 1st at 7:00 PM at AWT, as we mourn the losses, but more importantly, celebrate these wonderful lives that have touched and enriched our own. We toast them as we bid HAIL & FAREWELL!
[As I was preparing to cut and paste this article from MS Word to my blog, I received an email from a DJ friend of mine informing me of the passing of Rick Parfitt of the Status Quo on Christmas Eve. He has also been added to the list. We have 6 more days of 2016. I’ll include any updates as comments to this post.]
Those we lost in 2016:
December 28, 2015, Ian "Lemmy" Kilmister (Motorhead), age 70, (1945-2015)
December 31, 2015, Natalie Cole, age 65, (1950-2015)
January 10, 2016, David Bowie, age 69, (1947-2016)
January 17, 2016, Dale Griffin (Mott the Hoople), age 67, (1948-2016)
January 17, 2016, Clarence "Blowfly" Reid, age 76, (1939-2016)
January 18, 2016, Glenn Frey (The Eagles, Solo), age 67, (1948-2016)
January 28, 2016, Paul Kantner (Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship), age 74, (1941-2016)
February 4, 2016, Maurice White (Earth, Wind and Fire), age 74, (1941-2016)
February 15, 2016, Denise "Vanity" Matthews (Vanity 6), age 57, (1959-2016)
March 4, 2016, Joey Feek (Joey+Rory), age 40, (1975-2016)
March 8, 2016, George Martin (Producer for the Beatles, "the Fifth Beatle"), age 90, (1926-2016)
March 8, 2016, Ross Hannaford (Daddy Cool), age 65, (1950-2016)
March 11, 2016, Keith Emerson (Emerson, Lake and Palmer), age 71, (1944-2016)
March 16, 2016, Frank Sinatra Jr., age 72, (1944-2016)
March 16, 2016, Lee Andrews (Lee Andrews and the Hearts), age 79, (1936-2016)
April 6, 2016, Merle Haggard, age 79, (1937-2016)
April 21, 2016, Prince, age 57, (1958-2016)
April 24, 2016, Billy Paul, age 81, (1934-2016)
May 19, 2016, John Berry (The Beastie Boys), age 52, (1963-2016)
May 21, 2016, Nick Menza (Megadeth), age 51, (1964-2016)
August 14, 2016, James Woolley (Nine Inch Nails), age 49, (1966-2016)
August 20, 2016, Matt Roberts (3 Doors Down), age 38, (1978-2016)
August 29, 2016, Gene Wilder, age 83, (1933-2016)
September 16, 2016, Jerry Corbetta (Sugarloaf), age 68, (1947-2016)
September 25, 2016, Jean Shepard, age 82, (1933-2016)
October 24, 2016, Bobby Vee, age 73, (1943-2016)
November 7, 2016, Leonard Cohen, age 82, (1934-2016)
November 13, 2016, Leon Russell (The Wrecking Crew), age 74, (1942-2016)
November 18, 2016, Sharon Jones (Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings), age 60, (1956-2016)
December 4, 2016, Wayne Duncan (Daddy Cool), age 72, (1944-2016)
December 7, 2016, Greg Lake (Emerson, Lake and Palmer, King Crimson), age 69, (1947-2016)
December 24, 2016, Rick Parfitt (Status Quo), age 68, (1948-2016)
December 25, 2016, George Michael (Wham, Solo), age 53, (1963-2016)