Categotry Archives: Musicians

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Exploding Hearts

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Categories: Musicians

Three members of the band, Exploding Hearts, were killed on July 20 in an automobile accident.
Bassist Matthew “Matt Lock” Fitzgerald, 20, was driving the band home from a gig in San Francisco when he lost control of his van. He died at the hospital. Lead singer Adam “Baby” Cox, 23, and drummer Jeremy “Kid Killer” Gage, 21, were ejected from the vehicle and died at the scene. Guitarist Terry Six and the band’s manager, Rachelle Ramos, sustained minor injuries. Ramos was the only one in the van wearing a seat belt.
Exploding Hearts was an up-and-coming punk-pop group out of Portland, Ore. Their debut album, “Guitar Romantic,” received good press; Rolling Stone described it as “Big Star-meets-Ramones.”
The band planned to launch a U.S. tour in the fall.

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Elisabeth Welch

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Categories: Actors, Hollywood, Musicians

ewelch.jpgElisabeth Margaret Welch, an actress and cabaret singer who wowed audiences in New York, Paris and London, died on July 15. Cause of death was not released. She was 99.
Despite her father’s vehement protests, Welch appeared in the 1923 Broadway musical, “Runnin’ Wild,” where she was credited for introducing a dance to the tune of the “Charleston.” While she appeared in several all-black revues on- and off-Broadway, Welch made a name for herself on the nightclub circuit at the Royal Box in New York. There she sang the Cole Porter classic, “Love for Sale,” a song written from a prostitute’s point of view that caused a scandal at the time. Irving Berlin caught one of Welch’s performances and offered her the lead role in his play, “The New Yorkers.”
In the 1930s, Welch traveled to London and became a star of West End musical theatre by performing in “Nymph Errant” and “Solomon.” Welch then did a show at the Moulin Rouge in Paris and was instantly crowned a darling of the caf

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Celia Cruz

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Categories: Musicians

ccruz.jpgCelia Cruz, the queen of salsa and the grande dame of Cuban music, died on July 16 of brain cancer. She was 77.
Growing up in Cuba, Cruz used to sing her brothers and sisters to sleep. Though she had planned on becoming a literature teacher, Cruz began touring the local radio circuit after winning a contest one of her cousins urged her to enter.
Her big break came in 1950 when the popular band, La Sonora Matancera, asked her to become its new lead singer. Cruz received mixed reviews from the band’s fans, but gained enough positive feedback to leave Cuba and go on tour.
Once she conquered Latin America, Cruz traveled to New York. There she began a successful solo career and a colloboration with Puerto Rican percussionist Tito Puente.
Cruz’s success infuriated Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. He branded her a traitor for leaving Cuba, and when Cruz’s mother died in 1962, Castro refused to allow her back in the country to attend the funeral.
The flamboyant singer who was known for wearing nine-inch heels and magnificent wigs, made more than 76 records, and toured all over the world. She won two Grammys and three Latin Grammys and appeared in several films, including “The Mambo Kings” and “The Perez Family.” She was even immortalized with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.
Cruz’s final CD will be released in August.
Watch Celia Cruz’s Video for “La Negra Tiene Tumbao”

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Benny Carter

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Categories: Musicians

bcarter.jpgBenny Carter, a legendary saxophonist and accomplished jazz composer, died on Saturday of bronchitis. He was 95.
As a child, Carter was taught to play the piano by his mother and sister. When he was old enough to afford it, Carter purchased an alto saxophone, taught himself how to play it, and spent the next 70 years performing and recording records. Over time, he also learned how to play the trumpet, clarinet, trombone and tenor and baritone saxophones.
Carter started sitting in with bands in Harlem jazz clubs as a teenager. His first full-time job was performing with the Charlie Johnson Orchestra at Smalls’ Paradise in New York.
He taught himself how to arrange music, and his first charts were recorded in 1928. That same year, Carter joined the Horace Henderson band. When the leader of the band walked out, Carter was elected as his replacement. He was only 21 years old.
In the 1930s, Carter formed his own band and played at the Savoy Ballroom. Although he was a reserved man, his reputation grew within jazz circles. Pianist Teddy Wilson, trumpeter Miles Davis and drummer Max Roach all played in Carter’s band.
Carter broke the color barrier in Hollywood as one of the first black arrangers to write movie and TV soundtracks. He also arranged music for the major singers of his time, including Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles.
In the second half of the 20th century, Carter released numerous records and performed throughout the U.S. and Europe. He received the lifetime achievement Grammy in 1987, then released another 20 albums before retiring.
At the end of his career, Carter was honored at the Kennedy Center in Washington. He received the National Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton, and an honorary doctorate from Princeton University.

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