To Those We Lost in 2016, Part Two

2016 Countdown

2016 was an especially brutal year: we lost David Bowie, Prince, Sharon Jones, Leonard Cohen, Lemmy Kilmister, Phife Dawg, and that's just to mention a few. (You can see part one of our list here.) KEXP is celebrating the lives of all these artists on the air, today, Thursday, December 15th from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM PST. Join DJs Morgan, Troy Nelson, Stevie Zoom, Kevin Cole, and Isaac Kaplan-Woolner, producer for KING 5 Evening segments and Special Programming, as they share stories and songs from those we lost in 2016, as well as those in late 2015 who passed after last year's tribute show. Below, we've gathered videos from just a few of these memorable musicians. They may be gone, but their music will live on forever.

Research by Isaac Kaplan-Woolner

  • Muhammad Ali (January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016)
  • Born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; American professional boxer and activist. In 1963, Ali released an album of spoken word music on Columbia Records titled I Am the Greatest, and in 1964, he recorded a cover version of the rhythm and blues song "Stand by Me." I Am the Greatest reached number 61 on the album chart and was nominated for a Grammy Award. He later received a second Grammy nomination for "Best Recording for Children" with his 1976 spoken word novelty record, The Adventures of Ali and His Gang vs. Mr. Tooth Decay.
  • Attrell Stephen Cordes, Jr. (May 15, 1970 – June 17, 2016)
  • Known by the stage name Prince Be, was an American musician, singer, rapper, songwriter, and record producer. Cordes was the lead vocalist of the hip hop group, P.M. Dawn, which he formed in 1988 with his brother, Jarrett Cordes, also known by DJ Minutemix. Cordes, as the frontman and lyricist for P.M. Dawn, became known for blending rap with singing, as well as ethereal beats and aspects of mysticism and crypto-Christian imagery, to his songs. In 2016, the New York Times called both Cordes and P.M. Dawn "both under appreciated and quietly influential."
  • Amjad Farid (Fareed) Sabri (December 23, 1976 – June 22, 2016)
  • Pakistani singer and a proponent of the Sufi Muslim tradition. Son of Ghulam Farid Sabri of the Sabri Brothers, he emerged as one of South Asia's most prominent qawwali singers, often reciting poems written by his father and uncle. He was shot dead in Karachi in a targeted killing claimed by a splinter group of the Pakistani Taliban. In his memory, Wo'Pop on KEXP has invited one of the best Qawwali bands in the US perform in-studio. Fanna-Fi-Allah will be LIVE in-studio on July 1st. "This is some of the most beautiful music ever made and will be shared," said Wo'Pop host, Darek Mazzone. "As long as we are here, it will not be silenced, ever."
  • George Bernard "Bernie" Worrell, Jr. (April 19, 1944 – June 24, 2016)
  • American keyboardist and composer best known as a founding member of Parliament-Funkadelic and for his work with Talking Heads. He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, inducted in 1997 with fifteen other members of Parliament-Funkadelic. Worrell was described by Jon Pareles of The New York Times as "the kind of sideman who is as influential as some bandleaders."
  • Ralph Edmund Stanley (February 25, 1927 – June 23, 2016)
  • Known as Dr. Ralph Stanley, an American bluegrass artist, known for his distinctive singing and banjo playing. Stanley began playing music in 1946, originally with his brother Carter as part of The Stanley Brothers, and most often as the leader of his band, The Clinch Mountain Boys. He was part of the first generation of bluegrass musicians and was inducted into both the International Bluegrass Music Hall of Honor and the Grand Ole Opry.
  • Geneviève Castrée Elverum (April 9, 1981 – July 9, 2016)
  • Canadian cartoonist, illustrator, and musician from Quebec, and a foundational part of the Anacortes, WA music scene, along with husband Phil Elverum. She once recorded under the name Woelv and later switched to Ô PAON.
  • Steven Young (July 13, 2016)
  • Co-founder of '80s electronic acts Colourbox and M/A/R/R/S. Young and his brother Martyn formed Colourbox in 1982. In 1987, Young and other members of Colourbox joined with the duo A.R. Kane to form M/A/R/R/S (an acronym of their names). Together, they recorded the single “Pump Up the Volume” b/w “Anitina (The First Time I See She Dance).” for 4AD Records. “Pump Up the Volume” was nominated for Best Pop Instrumental Performance in 1989.
  • Steve Young (July 12, 1942 – March 17, 2016)
  • American country music singer, songwriter and guitarist, known for his song "Seven Bridges Road". He was a pioneer of the country rock, Americana, and alternative country sounds, and also a vital force behind the "outlaw movement" that gave support to the careers of Waylon Jennings, Hank Williams, Jr. and more. Young was also featured in the 1975 Outlaw Country documentary Heartworn Highways. He was the subject of the song "The All Golden" by Van Dyke Parks. Young's first album, Rock Salt & Nails, on A&M, was performed on and supported by Gram Parsons, Gene Clark and other musicians from the 1969 musical community in Southern California.
  • Boruch Alan Bermowitz (June 23, 1938 – July 16, 2016)
  • Known professionally as Alan Vega, was an American vocalist and visual artist, primarily known for his work with the electronic protopunk duo Suicide.
  • Charles Davis (May 20, 1933 – July 15, 2016)
  • American jazz saxophonist and composer. Davis played alto, tenor and baritone saxophone, and performed extensively with Archie Shepp and Sun Ra.
  • Samuel Clarke "Sandy" Pearlman (August 5, 1943 – July 26, 2016)
  • American music producer, artist manager, professor, poet, songwriter, and record company executive. He was best known for founding, writing for, producing, or co-producing many LPs by Blue Öyster Cult, as well as producing important albums by The Clash, The Dictators, Pavlov's Dog, Space Team Electra, and Dream Syndicate; he was also the founding Vice President of
  • Glenn Robertson Yarbrough (January 12, 1930 – August 11, 2016)
  • American folk singer. He was the lead singer with The Limeliters from 1959 to 1963, followed by a prolific solo career.
  • Robert "Bobby" Hutcherson (January 27, 1941 – August 15, 2016)
  • American jazz vibraphone and marimba player. "Little B's Poem", from the album Components, is one of his best-known compositions. Hutcherson influenced younger vibraphonists including Steve Nelson, Joe Locke, and Stefon Harris.
  • James Joseph Woolley (September 26, 1966 – August 14, 2016)
  • American keyboard and synthesizer player for Nine Inch Nails during the 1991 Lollapalooza Tour and the beginning part of the 1994 Self Destruct Tour. Woolley also appeared in the videos for "Wish" and "March of the Pigs", as well as parts of the Nine Inch Nails release Closure (1997). Woolley won a Grammy Award in 1993 for Best Metal Performance for "Wish".
  • Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidor Baron Thielemans (April 29, 1922 – August 22, 2016)
  • Known professionally as Toots Thielemans, Belgian and American jazz musician. He was known for his harmonica playing, as well as his guitar, whistling skills, and composing. According to jazz historian Ted Gioia, his most important contribution was in "championing the humble harmonica", which Thielemans made into a "legitimate voice in jazz".
  • Rudolph "Rudy" Van Gelder (November 2, 1924 – August 25, 2016)
  • Regarded as the most important recording engineer of jazz by some observers, Van Gelder recorded several thousand jazz sessions, including many recognized as classics, in a career which spanned more than half a century. He worked with many record companies but was most closely associated with Blue Note Records.
  • Monty Lee Wilkes (August 26, 2016)
  • After helping shape the acoustics at Minnesota’s landmark rock venue First Avenue and keeping chaotic tours with The Replacements and Nirvana on track, Monty Lee Wilkes settled into an impressive 30-plus-year career as a sound engineer with artists ranging from Prince and Britney Spears to the Beastie Boys.
  • Jerome Silberman (June 11, 1933 – August 29, 2016)
  • Known professionally as Gene Wilder, American film and theater comic actor, screenwriter, film director, and author.
  • Samisoni Koroitamudu (February 18, 1991 - August 29, 2016)
  • Known as Big Makk, an Orlando DJ and member of the Mad Decent roster of artists, passed in a car crash in Casselberry, Florida. Big Makk was one of the early innovators of the moombahton EDM sub-genre.
  • Fred Hellerman (May 13, 1927 – September 1, 2016)
  • American folk singer, guitarist, producer, and songwriter, primarily known as one of the original members of The Weavers, together with Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, and Ronnie Gilbert. He was also known for producing the record album Alice's Restaurant (1967) for Arlo Guthrie.
  • Cecil Bustamente Campbell OD (May 24, 1938 – September 8, 2016)
  • Known professionally as Prince Buster, Jamaican singer-songwriter and producer. He was regarded as one of the most important figures in the history of ska and rocksteady music. The records he released in the 1960s influenced and shaped the course of Jamaican contemporary music and created a legacy of work that later reggae and ska artists would draw upon.
  • Chris Stone (September 10, 2016)
  • Founding partner in the legendary Record Plant Recording Studios and leading figure in the music recording industry for nearly 50 years, suffered a heart attack and massive stroke.
  • DJ Spank-Spank (September 21, 2016)
  • Legendary DJ and member of the pioneering electronic group Phuture. Phuture is most remembered for their track “Acid Tracks,” which single-handedly gave birth to the Acid House genre.
  • Shawty Lo (March 22, 1976 - September 21, 2016)
  • Atlanta rapper, perhaps best remembered for his single “Dey Know,” off his 2008 debut record, Units In the City. Shawty Lo came up in the early 2000s as part of the hip hop group D4L (known for their #1 Billboard Hit “Laffy Taffy”), also founding D4L records in 2003.
  • Stanley Dural, Jr. (November 14, 1947 – September 24, 2016)
  • Better known by his stage name Buckwheat Zydeco, an American accordionist and zydeco musician. He was one of the few zydeco artists to achieve mainstream success.
  • Kashif Saleem, previously Michael Jones (December 26, 1956 – September 25, 2016)
  • American multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, record producer, artist, composer, author, director and educator from New York City. Kashif first taught himself to play a $3 song flute at age seven and later the piano in the basement of his church. At age 15, Kashif joined B. T. Express and performed on stages around the world. He studied Islam and changed his name from Michael Jones to Kashif, which means discoverer and inventor. He crafted his own distinctive sound and later signed with Arista Records enjoying success as a solo artist. Together with Stevie Wonder, he was considered a pioneer in urban music thanks to his specific synthesizer technology approach and the introduction of MIDI in his production.
  • Stanley Dural, Jr. (November 14, 1947 – September 24, 2016)
  • Better known by his stage name Buckwheat Zydeco, an American accordionist and zydeco musician. He was one of the few zydeco artists to achieve mainstream success.
  • Oscar Brand (February 7, 1920 – September 30, 2016)
  • Canadian-born American folk singer-songwriter and author. In his career, spanning 70 years, he composed at least 300 songs and released nearly 100 albums, among them Canadian and American patriotic songs. Brand's music ran the gamut from novelty songs to serious social commentary and spanned a number of genres. He also wrote a number of short stories.
  • Rodney Lynn "Rod" Temperton (9 October 1949 – September/October 2016)
  • English songwriter, record producer and musician. He initially made his mark as the keyboardist and main songwriter for the 1970s R&B, funk and disco band Heatwave, whose hit songs included "Boogie Nights" and "Always and Forever". After being recruited by producer Quincy Jones, he wrote several internationally known songs performed by Michael Jackson, including "Thriller", "Off the Wall" and "Rock with You". He also wrote George Benson's hit "Give Me the Night", and Patti Austin and James Ingram's US number one hit "Baby, Come to Me", among many others. Temperton won a Grammy Award in 1991 for his work on "Birdland", from Quincy Jones's album Back on the Block.
  • Joan Marie Johnson (October 3, 2016)
  • Co-founder of the pop trio The Dixie Cups, with her cousins Barbara Ann and Rosa Lee Hawkins. The group hit the top of the charts in 1964 with "Chapel of Love," a song that Phil Spector, Jeff Barry, and Ellie Greenwich had originally written for The Ronettes. The track stayed at Number 1 for three weeks. The follow-up, “Iko Iko,” cracked the Top 20 in 1965.
  • Chris Porter and Mitchell Vandenburg (October 19, 2016)
  • Both members of the band Chris Porter & the Bluebonnet Rattlesnakes. While en route to their next show from Charleston, South Carolina, to Baltimore, Maryland, they were stopped in traffic caused by two previous accidents when they were rear-ended by a tractor-trailer. Porter was previously in the bands The Back Row Baptists and the lovely Some Dark Holler.
  • Philip "Phil" Chess (March 27, 1921 – October 19, 2016)
  • American record producer and company executive, the co-founder with his brother of Chess Records.
  • Peter Jozzeppi "Pete" Burns (August 5, 1959 – October 23, 2016)
  • English singer-songwriter and television personality. He founded the pop band Dead or Alive in 1980, which rose to mainstream success with their 1985 single "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)". He later rose to further celebrity status in the British media following his appearance on Celebrity Big Brother 4, in which he finished in fifth place.
  • Bobby Vee (April 30, 1943 - October 24, 2016)
  • 1960s pop idol, famously responsible for giving Bob Dylan his career start. Over the course of a lengthy career, Vee had 38 Hot 100 Chart Hits, including ten which reached the top 20. Six of his singles were certified gold.
  • Jean-Jacques Perrey (January 20, 1929- November 4, 2016)
  • Pioneer of modern electronic music, recording delightful albums with an Ondioline keyboard as early as 1957. Perrey’s most famous albums, The In Sound from Way Out (1966) and Kaleidoscope Vibrations (1967), were recorded with fellow pioneer Gershon Kingsley. His music has been sampled by The Beatles, Gang Starr, A Tribe Called Quest, Ice Cube, and Dr. Dre.
  • Leonard Cohen (September 21, 1934 - November 7, 2016)
  • Considered one of the most respected and influential songwriters of the modern era. Earlier this year, Cohen wrote to his long-time friend Marianne Ihlen (“Song Long, Marianne”) just two days before she passed away, writing “Well Marianne, it's come to this time when we are really so old and our bodies are falling apart and I think I will follow you very soon. Know that I am so close behind you that if you stretch out your hand, I think you can reach mine.”
  • Leon Russell (April 2, 1942 - November 13, 2016)
  • Southern Rock pioneer, and ubiquitous presence in 1960s and 1970s rock, collaborating with everyone from Joe Cocker to George Harrison to Elton John to Ike & Tina Turner. He has six gold records to his own name, and is perhaps most known for the track “A Song for You,” which has been covered by over 100 artists.
  • David Mancuso (October 20, 1944 - November 14, 2016)
  • DJ who started the influential “by invitation only” parties in New York City, eventually known as The Loft. This led to the popularization of “by invite only” parties throughout New York. Popular jams from these parties were collected on two CDs, The Loft Volume 1 and 2, released in 1999 and 2000.
  • Mose Allison (November 11, 1927 - November 15, 2016)
  • Influential jazz and delta blues pianist, whose musical influence can be felt in classic British invasion tracks and folk music. He has been called “one of the finest songwriters in 20th century blues,” and has been covered by such artists as Van Morrison, Pete Townshend, and the late Leon Russell. “Allison” by Pixies is about Mose Allison.
  • Sharon Lafaye Jones (May 4, 1956 – November 18, 2016)
  • American soul and funk singer, lead singer of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. Jones experienced breakthrough success relatively late in life, releasing her first record when she was 40 years old. In 2014, Jones was nominated for her first Grammy, in the category Best R&B Album, for Give the People What They Want.
  • Pauline Oliveros (May 30, 1932 - November 24, 2016)
  • Foundational experimental music composer, known for coining the term “Deep Listening,” and founder of the Center for Deep Listening. Oliveros released several foundational ambient records consisting of her voice and accordion, and spent the latter part of her career focusing on musical improvisation.
  • Michael “Micky Fitz” Fitzsimons (December 1, 2016)
  • Frontman of UK punk/Oi! band The Business, formed in 1979 in Lewisham, South London. The band lasted for four decades, crafting countless anthems for their working class. At the end of 2015, Fitz was diagnosed with cancer on the lymph gland and had been undergoing radiotherapy.
  • Victims of the Oakland Ghost Ship warehouse fire (December 2, 2016)
  • Musicians Joey Casio (Joseph Matlock), Cash Askew, and Travis Hough were among the 36 victims. At approximately 11:30 p.m. PST, a fire broke out in a warehouse, known as Ghost Ship, that was converted into an artist collective and into unpermitted dwelling units in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland, California.
  • Gregory Stuart "Greg" Lake (November 10, 1947 – December 7, 2016)
  • English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and producer who gained prominence as a founding member of the progressive rock bands King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP).
  • Gregory Stuart "Greg" Lake (November 10, 1947 – December 7, 2016)
  • English guitarist, singer, songwriter, and producer who gained prominence as a founding member of the progressive rock bands King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP).

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