Categotry Archives: Musicians


Johnny Bristol


Categories: Military, Musicians

jbristol.jpgJohn William Bristol, a singer and former Motown producer, died on March 21. Cause of death was not released. He was 65.

The North Carolina native was serving in the Air Force when he met singer Robert “Jackey” Beavers in the late 1950s. They formed the doo-wop duo Jackey & Johnny, and played shows in the Detroit area. In 1961, they recorded several singles, including the tune “Someday We’ll be Together.” Diana Ross & the Supremes remade the song in 1969, with Bristol singing background vocals.

Bristol spent most of the 1960s as a producer and songwriter for Motown Records. There he worked with some of the label’s biggest acts: Marvin Gaye, Smokey Robinson, Michael Jackson, Gladys Knight & the Pips, the Four Tops and Stevie Wonder. Bristol married and divorced Maude Bristol Perry, Battle Creek, Mich.’s first African-American woman mayor. He also wed and divorced Iris Gordy, the niece of Motown founder Berry Gordy.

Bristol left Motown in 1973 and launched his solo career. He signed record deals with MGM and Atlantic and released numerous singles. The song, “Hang On In There Baby,” reached number two on the R&B charts and number eight on the pop charts. He continued recording music through the 80s and early 90s. At the time of his death, Bristol was finalizing plans to tour Britain and complete a gospel album.

Listen to 2 Bristol Songs


Niki Sullivan


Categories: Musicians

Niki Sullivan, a member of the band Buddy Holly and the Crickets, died on April 6. Cause of death was not released. He was 66.
Sullivan was born in California but raised in Lubbock, Tex. He served in the Navy for a short period then returned home and became a professional musician. He played rhythm guitar and sang backup with Buddy Holly and the Crickets on 27 of the 32 songs Holly recorded before his death. Sullivan was known in the press as the “other one with glasses.”
The Crickets’ first record sold 50,000 copies. The band appeared on “American Bandstand” and “The Ed Sullivan Show,” and shared the stage with early rock ‘n’ roll legends such as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, The Drifters, the Everly Brothers and Paul Anka. Sullivan quit the group in 1957 to take a break from the hectic touring schedule. In 1959, a plane carrying Holly, J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson and Ritchie Valens crashed, killing everyone on board.
Sullivan recorded a single as a solo artist that attained modest regional success, but he stopped performing in the 1970s. His final years were spent living near Kansas City and working at Sony Electronics. He was inducted into the Buddy Holly Walk of Fame in 1986.


Nikita Bogoslovsky

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Categories: Musicians

nbogoslovsky.jpgNikita Bogoslovsky, a Soviet-era composer who wrote more than 300 scores, died on April 4. Cause of death was not released. He was 90.
Born in St. Petersburg, Bogoslovsky became one of the Soviet Union’s most beloved composers for writing ballads such as “Dark Night,” “I Dreamed of You for Three Years” and “Beloved City.” During World War II, he traveled to the front lines to give intimate concerts at military hospitals.
When he wasn’t composing music for 120 films and 80 shows, Bogoslovsky wrote nine humor books, including the popular “Notes on the Brims of a Hat.”
Bogoslovsky was memorialized by astronomers who named a small planet after him. In 1998, a plate was set on the Star Square in Moscow in his honor.


Zaki Nassif


Categories: Musicians

Zaki Nassif, one of Lebanon’s most renowned composers, died on March 11 from a heart attack. He was 88.
Nassif studied music at the American University of Beirut in the 1930s. He launched his show business career as a singer and composer for Radio-Orient and Radio Liban.
An accomplished songwriter, Nassif composed or sang more than 2,000 folk songs during his six-decade career. His music preserved the essence of traditional Lebanese music, and was performed by many famous Lebanese artists, including diva Fairuz and Wadih Safi, the country’s most famous singer. He was best known for writing the patriotic anthem, “Rajeh Yittammar Libnan” (Lebanon Will Be Rebuilt), a song that encouraged citizens to reconstruct their country after the 1975-1990 civil war.
In 1995, Nassif composed an album with Fairuz, titled “Fairuz Chante Zaki Nassif” (Fairuz Sings Zaki Nassif). He also served as a judge on the TV talent show, “Studio El Fann” (Art Studio).
Listen to a MIDI of Nassif Music


Bob Copper


Categories: Military, Musicians, Writers/Editors

bcopper.jpgBob Copper, a legendary British folk singer, died on March 29. Cause of death was not released. He was 89.
Copper was born on a sheep farm in southern England to a family of folk singers. Inspired by nature and the rhythms of country life, generations of Coppers sang to entertain the relatives and neighbors on long, winter nights.
In 1898, a woman named Kate Lee visited the town of Rottingdean and wrote down the words and music to 50 songs sung by Bob’s grandfather, James “Brasser” Copper. Bob’s father, Jim Copper, penned the words to dozens more, including “The Banks of the Sweet Primroses,” “The Honest Laborer” and “Shepherd of the Downs.”
As a teen, Bob Copper served in the Household Cavalry and performed his family’s music at pubs and parties during leave. When the British Broadcasting Corp. aired a live performance of Copper and his father singing in a pub garden, Bob’s career took off.
For 50 years, Copper was a driving force behind the British folk revival. He immortalized his family’s melodies on numerous records and in three songbooks, one of which — “A Song for Every Season” — won the 1971 Robert Pitman Literary Prize. In 2001, Copper received a lifetime achievement honor from the BBC’s Folk Awards. He was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire a few days before he died.
Listen to the Copper Family

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