Categotry Archives: Musicians


Danny Joe Brown


Categories: Musicians

Danny Joe Brown, the original lead singer of the Southern rock band Molly Hatchet, died on March 10 of renal failure and pneumonia. He was 53.

The Jacksonville, Fla., native graduated from high school, spent two years in the U.S. Coast Guard then made a living as an insurance salesman. His passion, however, was music and in 1974, he joined Molly Hatchet, a hard-rockin’ six-piece band that was named after a 17th century prostitute who allegedly beheaded and mutilated her clients.

Brown served as the frontman and lone vocalist for the group, and lent his deep, gravelly voice to the songs “Dreams I’ll Never See” and “Gator Country.” Molly Hatchet’s self-titled debut went platinum in 1978. A year later, the band released its sophomore effort, “Flirtin’ With Disaster,” which sold over 2 million copies.

Citing diabetes and exhaustion from constant touring and partying, Brown left the band in 1980. He created a short-lived side project — The Danny Joe Brown Band — before rejoining Molly Hatchet in 1982 to record the albums “No Guts…No Glory” and “The Deed Is Done.”

Molly Hatchet disbanded several times in the 1980s, but reunited for a reunion tour in 1996. When Brown’s diabetes worsened, vocalist Phil McCormack replaced him. His musical career ended in 1998 after he suffered a debilitating stroke.

Molly Hatchet Download MP3s by Molly Hatchet


Brandenn E. Bremmer


Categories: Extraordinary People, Musicians

Brandenn E. Bremmer, a 14-year-old musical prodigy from Nebraska, sustained a gunshot wound to the head on March 15. The boy died the following day at Children’s Hospital in Denver. Authorities suspect he committed suicide.

Bremmer taught himself to read when he was 18 months old. He began playing the piano at 3 and was home-schooled from kindergarten on. At 10, Bremmer became the youngest person to graduate through the Independent Study High School conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Described by friends and family as a bright young man who smiled often, Bremmer dressed up like Harry Potter — one of his favorite literary characters — for his graduation picture.

Bremmer was only 11 when he began studying piano improvisation at Colorado State University at Fort Collins, Colo. Last year, he released his debut album, “Elements,” and gave concerts in Colorado and Nebraska. The day his body was found, Bremmer had just completed the artwork for the cover of his second CD, which features meditative, New Age piano music.

Like most kids, he loved watching cartoons, playing video games, riding his bike and catching fish. In January, Bremmer enrolled in a biology class at Mid-Plains Community College in North Platte, Neb. He planned to graduate from the University of Nebraska’s medical school by the time he was 21 and become an anesthesiologist.

His mother, mystery writer Patricia Bremmer, said he showed no signs of depression and didn’t leave a suicide note. Bremmer’s kidneys were donated to two people. His liver went to a 22-month-old and his heart to an 11-year-old boy.


Chris LeDoux


Categories: Musicians, Sports

cledoux.jpgChris LeDoux, a world champion bareback rider and country music star, died on March 9 from complications of liver cancer. He was 56.

The son of an Air Force major, LeDoux lived in France, New York, Texas and Pennsylvania before moving to Cheyenne, Wyo. He developed an interest in rodeo in his teens and was soon roping calves and riding bulls, saddle broncs and bareback broncs.
In high school, LeDoux twice won the state title for bareback riding. He received a rodeo scholarship after graduation and won the national title in his third year of competition. In 1976, LeDoux was named the world bareback champion by the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association.

LeDoux’s other passion was music. He taught himself to play the guitar and harmonica, and used his talents to pay his way from one rodeo to another. The singer/songwriter once described his music as a “combination of western soul, sagebrush blues, cowboy folk and rodeo rock ‘n’ roll.” Each song he performed offered an autobiographical look at life on the rodeo circuit, the experiences of modern cowboys and the love he felt for his family.

LeDoux independently released 22 albums — mostly cassettes he sold at concerts and rodeos from the back of his pick-up truck. But his music found a wider audience in 1989 when Garth Brooks mentioned his name in the hit song, “Much Too Young (To Be This Damn Old).”

LeDoux signed a recording contract with Capitol Records Nashville in 1990. Two years later, he and Brooks joined forces on the song “Whatcha Gonna Do With a Cowboy,” which became a top 10 hit and was nominated for a Grammy Award. LeDoux sold more than 6 million albums during his singing career. He was best known for the songs “Hooked on an 8 Second Ride,” “Copenhagen,” “This Cowboy’s Hat,” “Even Cowboys Like a Little Rock and Roll,” “Riding for a Fall” and “Honky Tonk World.”

LeDoux was inducted into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame in 2003. His life was chronicled in the biography, “Gold Buckle Dreams – The Rodeo Life of Chris LeDoux,” by David G. Brown. A week after his death, Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal declared July 30, 2005 as “Chris LeDoux Day.”

Listen to an Interview With “Saturday Night Country”

Chris LeDoux Download MP3s by LeDoux


Rod Roach

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Categories: Musicians

Rodney William Roach, a champion banjo player known as “the gentle giant,” died on Feb. 23 of brain cancer. He was 63.
Roach was just a boy when he took up the ukulele and the guitar. He continued to experiment with string instruments, teaching himself to play the mandolin, fiddle and dobro. After hearing bluegrass legends Flatt and Scruggs play the five-string banjo, however, Roach made the instrument his own.
The 6-foot-7 musician attended Middlebury College in Vermont and played with numerous bluegrass bands, including the Otter Creek Ramblers, Apple Country, Tasty Licks, Stoney Lonesome and Eel River Bog Trotters. He was named the New England 5-String Banjo Champion in 1971 and 1972.
Roach made a living as a senior insurance claims adjuster for Encompass Insurance in Quincy, Mass., but his passion for music never waned. In recent years, he taught banjo workshops and performed with The Back Eddy Bluegrass Band. A prolific songwriter, Roach was best known for writing a song to commemorate Massachusetts’ observance of the U.S. bicentennial in 1976.


Jeanette Schmid

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Categories: Musicians

Jeanette Schmid shall never purse her lips again.
Austria’s last professional whistler, Schmid was better known by her stage name: Baroness Lips von Lipstrill. Born a man in Czechoslovakia, Schmid underwent a sex change in Egypt in 1964.
She went into show business after landing a job dancing for the shah of Iran. When her costume was deemed too skimpy, Schmid changed into a more conservative outfit and entertained the monarch by whistling a polka by Johann Strauss Jr.
Schmid whistled professionally for the next four decades and shared the stage with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Marlene Dietrich and Edith Piaf. In recent years, she performed on television and worked the circus and cruise line circuits, entertaining audiences by hitting the high C note.
Schmid died of the flu at the age of 80. The exact day of her death was not released.

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