DJ Sue

DJ Sue
Welcome to my blog. I’m a DJ in Second Life and I find myself discussing the music I’m playing with many of those in attendance at my shows. Unfortunately, when I am busy DJing, I can’t participate and discuss the music as fully as I would like. I’m hoping this blog can help change that. Look here before my set to see if I might be playing something interesting today or maybe after to see if discussion on a topic might continue. You are invited to join in the conversation and leave comments.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

2017... Hail and Farewell

Click to enlarge

UPDATE (January 1): In the last few days since I’ve written this, we have lost two more.  I should have known better than to tempt fate by saying, “The good news is, as of this writing, we have lost no one during the month of December.”  It has also been brought to my attention that I missed one significant one we lost back in June.  I have added the three names to the list in red.  I have also made a few other changes, mostly to programing notes concerning tomorrow’s show, also in red.

Last year, at the end of 2016, we had lost so many people that I was moved to write a blog post and do a special set.  The post started with a spoof magazine cover showing the Grim Reaper as Time’s Person of the Year.  After all, the Reaper had had an amazing year, claiming 33 significant people in the music industry during 2016.  You can read that post from last year, and see the mock Time Magazine cover, here.

I thought for sure that we had had a better year and I was shocked when I compiled the list.  Last year, I fit the entire list into a two hour show.  This year there were 44 names and I’d need to start the show early.  I’ll point out some of the more interesting ones then give a complete list in the order we lost them.

We lost Tommy Allsup who was a guitarist for Buddy Holly and the Crickets.  Everyone still talks about that fateful day, the day the music died in 1959, the day of the plane crash that took the lives of Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens (of La Bamba fame) and others.  As people discuss it, they often tell the story how there was one seat left and two people, and a coin toss decided the fate of Ritchie Valens.  He won the toss and was on the plane and lost his life with the others.  It was Tommy Allsup who lost that coin toss and remained behind.  He lived another 58 years and went on to work with other greats like Roy Orbison, the Ventures and Willie Nelson.  He was 85 years old when he died on January 11.

We lost two founding and long standing members of the Allman Brothers Band this year.  On January 24th, we lost drummer, Butch Trucks.  He was with the band throughout its entire history starting in 1969.  We lost the band’s namesake, Greg Allman on May 27th.  The other Allman Brother, Duane Allman, was killed in a motorcycle crash back in 1971.

The last day of January saw the death of John Wetton.  He was a critical member of a number of successful bands, which include Asia, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep and others.

On February 5th, Sonny Geraci, the vocalist for Climax, passed away.  Who can forget his amazing voice on Predacious and Few, which came out in 1971 and climbed to #3 on the charts?

Chuck Berry passed away on March 18th.  There is not much I can say about this legend that hasn’t already been said.  Maybe Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones put it best.  On hearing of Berry’s death, he tweeted, "One of my big lights has gone out.”

We lost Rosie Hamlin on March 30th.  Though she is relatively unknown today, she was the front woman for Rosie and the Originals.  The band had a big hit, Angel Baby, in 1960 when Rosie was just fifteen!  The song made it all the way to #5 on the charts and she became the first Latina to be featured on American Bandstand with Dick Clark.  At 15, she not only sang the song, she co-wrote it.  John Lennon has cited this song as one of his favorites and he released a cover of it in 1975. It has been covered by many others, including Linda Ronstadt.  Hamlin maintained an almost cult like following within the Latino community and she was the first Latina ever honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of fame.  For these reasons, she earned a place in my collage at the top of the page.

J. Geils was a staple of rock music through the 70’s and 80’s.  He seemed to just get more successful with age, breaking into video during his later career and releasing his biggest hit, Centerfold, in 1981.  It was on his tenth album, out of a total of eleven.  He died on April 11th.

Cuba Gooding Sr. died on April 27th.  Today he is probably best known as the father of actor, Cuba Gooding Jr., but he had a successful career in the early 70’s as the lead singer for the Main Ingredient.  He had five Top 10 hits, including Everybody Plays the Fool, which reached #2.

After finishing a concert with his band, Soundgarden, on May 18th Chris Cornell decided to hang himself in his hotel room.  He is considered one of the chief founders of the Grunge movement in the Seattle area in the 80’s and 90’s.  He was just 52 years of age.

About two months later on July 20th, Chester Bennington of Linkin Park and the Stone Temple Pilots also decided to commit suicide by hanging.  Linkin Park was an incredibly successful band and won many awards including, MTV Music Awards, American Music Awards and one Grammy. He has the unfortunate distinction of being the youngest on our list this year at only 41 years old.

Glen Campbell was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2010 and we watched him slowly fade away.  He continued to tour with his kids, whom he relied on to function, until he was no longer able to continue a couple of years ago.  His body finally gave out on August 8th.  He was a Beach Boy for a brief time and was an inductee of both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Country Music Hall of Fame.

We lost Fats Domino on October 24th.  He was a pioneer of Doo Wop and early Rock and Roll with such hits as I’m Walkin’ and Blueberry Hill.  He was 89 years old.

Della Reese was an amazing woman.  She had a successful music career and got a Grammy nomination for her 1959 hit, Don't You Know, which rose to #2 on the charts.  She went on to star in major motion pictures and had a television career that included both an Emmy nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for her role as Tess in Touched by an Angel.  We lost Della on November 19th.

Okay, who didn’t have a crush on David Cassidy at some point?  He was both an actor and a singer, and came to fame as Keith Partridge on the Partridge Family television show.  The show ran from 1970 to 1974 and portrayed a family that was also a rock band.  When I was young, he was the epitome of what the young generation was and his loss on November 21st really drives home the point that we are getting old.  David was 67 years young.

Rosie Hamlin wasn’t the only former teen star to leave us this year.  On November 24th we lost Mitch Margo, the lead singer for the Tokens.  He was only 14 when their hit, the Lion Sleeps Tonight, went to #1 on the charts in 1961.

Many of us are old enough to remember Gomer Pyle, who worked at the gas station in Mayberry on the Andy Griffith Show.  Gomer was played by actor, Jim Nabors, and became even more famous when he got his own series in which he joined the Marines. Nabors played the bumbling simpleton to the hilt and surprised the world with his singing voice during one particular episode.  “Did that voice came out of that buffoon?”  He went on to record several gold records and became a fixture at the Indianapolis 500 motor race, where each year he would open the festivities by singing (Back Home Again in) Indiana.  Jim Nabors left this world on November 30th.

Maybe 2016 was the surge of death that it seemed to be and it just extended into this year a little.  We lost twelve alone in January.  If we could just move January’s totals to 2016, the numbers would be 45 lost in 2016 and only 32 in 2017.  We had a bad March with six deaths and November saw seven check-out, so November seems to be another rise.  The good news is, as of this writing, we have lost no one during the month of December.

Game: In the list below there are 14 names in green.  They correspond to the 14 photographs I used to create the collage at the top of this post.  Can you match up the names to the photos above?  I’ll post the solution in the comments after I do the “Hail and Farewell” show on January 1.

Here is the complete list of the 44 that we lost this year:

Sylvester Potts, (died Jan. 6) singer, songwriter and member of the Contours (1938-2017)

Peter Sarstedt, (died Jan. 8) award winning folk singer and songwriter; had #1 hit in the UK with his song, Where Do You Go To (My Lovely)? (1941-2017)

Tommy Allsup, (died Jan. 11) guitarist for Buddy Holly and the Crickets (1931-2017)

Steve Wright, (died Jan. 16) bassist for the Greg Kihn Band (1950-2017)

Mike Kellie, (died Jan. 18) drummer for the V.I.P.’s, Spooky Tooth and the Only Ones (1947-2017)

Joey Powers, (died Jan. 20) had a single Midnight Mary that hit #10 on the charts in 1964. (1934-2017)

Pete Overend Watts, (died Jan 22) bass player for Mott the Hoople (1947-2017)

Bobby Freeman, (died Jan. 23) He had two Top 10 singles including Do You Want to Dance in 1958, which climbed to #5. (1940-2017)

Gil Ray, (died Jan. 24) drummer for Game Theory and the Loud Family. (1956-2017)

Butch Trucks, (died Jan. 24) drummer for the Allman Brothers Band (1947-2017)

Geoff Nicholls, (died Jan. 28) keyboardist for Black Sabbath (1948-2017)

John Wetton, (died Jan. 31) bassist and keyboardist for Asia, Mogul Thrash, Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music, Uriah Heep, and Wishbone Ash (1949-2017)

Steve Lang, (died Feb. 4) bassist for April Wine (1949-2017)

Sonny Geraci, (died Feb. 5) lead singer for the Outsiders and Climax (1947-2017)

Clyde Stubblefield, (died Feb. 18) drummer for James Brown (1943-2017)

Jim Fuller, (died Mar. 3) known as the “Godfather of Surf Music” and front man for the Surfaris (1947-2017)

Tommy Page, (died Mar. 3) known for his #1 hit single in 1990, I'll Be Your Everything (1970-2017)

Joni Sledge, (died Mar. 10) vocalist for Sister Sledge (1956-2017)

Chuck Berry, (died Mar. 18) singer and guitarist (1926-2017)

Sib Hashian, (died Mar. 22) drummer for Boston (1949-2017)

Rosie Hamlin, (died Mar. 30) front woman for Rosie and the Originals (1945-2017)

David Peel, (died April 6) front man for David Peel and the Lower East Side Band (1942-2017)

Bob Wootton, (died April 9) guitarist for Johnny Cash (1942-2017)

J. Geils, (died April 11) front man for the J. Geils Band (1946-2017)

Cuba Gooding Sr., (died April 27) lead singer for the Main Ingredient (1944-2017)

Clive Brooks, (died May 5) drummer for progressive rock band, Egg (1949-2017)

Chris Cornell, (died May 18) lead singer for Soundgarden and Audioslave (1964-2017)

Greg Allman, (died May 27) front man for the Allman Brothers Band (1947-2017)

Rosalie Sorrels, (died June 11) folk singer (1933-2017)

Gary DeCarlo, (died June 28) member of the band, Steam, and writer of Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye (1942-2017)

Chester Bennington, (died July 20) lead singer for Linkin Park and the Stone Temple Pilots (1976-2017)

Michael Johnson, (died July 25) had a hit single, Bluer than Blue, that went to #12 in 1978 (1944-2017)

Glen Campbell, (died Aug. 8) rock, folk, country and pop singer (1936-2017)

Sonny Burgess, (died August 18) rockabilly singer, guitarist and front man for the Legendary Pacers (1929-2017)

Walter Becker, (died Sept. 3) guitarist, bassist and one half of Steely Dan (1950-2017)

Tom Petty, (died Oct. 2) front man for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (1950-2017)

George Young, (died Oct. 22) member of the Easybeats and Flash and the Pan, co-writer of Friday on my Mind (1946-2017)

Fats Domino, (died Oct. 24) piano player and early Rock and Roll pioneer (1928-2017)

Robert Knight, (died Nov. 5) had a hit in 1967 with his song, Everlasting Love, which climbed to #13 on the charts (1945-2017)

Fred Cole, (died Nov. 9) singer and guitarist; member of the Lollipop Shoppe, Dead Moon, and Pierced Arrows (1948-2017)

Warren “Pete” Moore, (died Nov. 19) singer, songwriter and founding member of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles; wrote the vocal arrangements for every one of their hits (1938-2017)

Della Reese, (Died Nov. 19) singer, motion picture and television actress (1931-2017)

David Cassidy, (died Nov. 21) actor, singer, guitarist and member of the Partridge Family (1950-2017)

Mitch Margo, (died Nov. 24) vocalist for the Tokens (1947-2017)

Jim Nabors, (died Nov. 30) actor and singer (1930-2017)

Curly Seckler, (died Dec. 27) played guitar, banjo and mandolin, member of Lester Flatt’s & Earl Scruggs’ Foggy Mountain Boys from 1949 onward (1919-2017)

Rose Marie, [real name: Rose Marie Mazzetta] (died Dec. 28) Vaudevillian, singer, comedienne and actress, started her recording career in 1932 under the name, “Baby Rose Marie,” starred on the TV show, the Dick Van Dyke Show, last living artist to chart before World War II (1923-2017)

So, someone will inevitably ask, “What are the criteria for getting on the list?”  I can start that answer with this; these are the ones that I know about.  I may very well have missed someone.  The second factor is that I must know about them musically.  I either know the person, their song or their band.  They are not listed here unless I am familiar with at least one of those three things.

Join me this coming Monday night, New Year’s Day, at AWT from 6:00 to 9:00 PM as we say a final Hail and Farewell to those we lost in 2017.  Please note that this will start an hour early and go three hours, as I play one song by each artist in the order they are listed.

Note (12/31/21017):  I will start at 6:00 PM slt, but I don’t have a full three hours of “Hail and Farewell,” so I will kick off by counting down the top five hits of 2017 first.

"If there's a rock and roll heaven, well you know they've got a hell of a band."
 The Righteous Brothers, 1973


  1. "If there's a rock and roll heaven, well you know they've got a hell of a band." Amen and I know those pearly gates are just a rockin' out with those awesome names. A huge loss but their music will keep living on for generations to come, and in true DJ Sue fashion I am sure this will be a truly fitting tribute to them all.

    ~ Felicia & Kai