Each year-end brings the usual look back on those that have passed during the year. Here is my incomplete list of Music Icons that have passed in last twelve months. The list was compiled extemporaneously during the year as the news was reported.
First, it was Joe Cocker in December and now Rod Mckuen in January. I used to give his books away to potential girlfriends thinking it would give me a hand up as a sensitive guy. Of course it did not work. Neither did Khalil Gibran books. All I need now is for Hank Williams Jr. to pass and my life will have made full circle. Most of my rowdy friends have settled down too.
Rod Mckuen January 30, 2015
"Love's Been Good to Me"
Lesley Gore February 16, 2016
"It's my Party"
I just heard that Percy Sledge passed away. He sang "When a Man Loves a Woman" was released in 1966. I can never hear this song without thinking about one my best buddies in the Nam. Bronte was from Odessa, Texas. His wife was named Sally, He could belt out "Mustang Sally" with the best of them. But when he sang Percy's song it could bring tears to us grunts. We would chant "Sing it Percy".
Percy Sledge April 14, 2015
When A Man Loves a Woman
Ben E. King Died today. While most of the young will remember his song from the 1986 Film Stand By me, I remember it from 1961 when I was desperately looking for a gal to "Stand By Me" or lie, as the case may be.
Ben E. King April 30, 2015
"Stand By Me"
The great blues legend B. B. King Passed away today. He was 89 years old. At 89, I guess you could say he had a good run. It was a good gig and he kept it up until almost then end. My musical taste run the gamut from folk , jazz ,blues, rock and roll, etc. I even like a few of the rap tunes as long as they are not full of street language.
Music can transcend politics, race, economics or any other field of human endeavor. Music provides the context of our lives. Another icon is gone.
B.B. King May 15, 2015
"The Thrill is Gone."
Lynn Anderson July 31, 2015
"I never promised you a Rose Garden"
A Georgia boy who had a few hits, Billy Joe Royal was born in Marietta, Ga. His friend Joe South who was also a Georgia Boy and song writer wrote this song.
October 6, 2015 Billy Joe Royal
"Down in the Boondocks"
Most people have never heard of P. F. Sloan, but many may remember one of his songs. To me it was the most in your face pessimistic songs ever written. It would become one of the Vietnam Anthem songs. We sang it "Over and Over Again" when on stand down and a bit pissed at the world. Barry McGuire's sang the song in 1965 (Barry is still alive and was 80 this past October).
P.F. Sloan November 15, 2015
"Eve of Destruction"
All this news reminds us of just how old we are becoming. I never understood why older people would read the obituaries every day. I don't do that but these deaths seem to pop up on the Boob Tube way too often for this old fart. Add that on top of the notifications via Email of classmates who have passed and the former Comrade in Arms passing and posted on our Unit Website, and you have proof positive on how fortunate you are to still be winding up another year.
I don't like to dwell on death, it is more certain than taxes but when you contemporary entertainers pass it just gives you a jolt. That reminds me of a book that good old Georgia boy Lewis Grizzard wrote in 1984. "Elvis Is Dead and I Don't Feel So Good Myself " Wait Lewis Grizzard died March 20, 1994.