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And the Beat Goes on: Musicians Dead in July

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Death is inevitable. But at The Spec, we share this sentiment with Neil Strauss: “Everyone loves you when you’re dead.”

This month saw the passing of many musicians from around the world.

America lost several beloved artists. Blues musician and songwriter Texas Johnny Brown passed away at the age of 85. Brett Walker, a record producer, musician and songwriter died at 51 years of age. There was also the passings of Jim Foglesong, a country music executive and producer who was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004, and blues artist T-Model Ford. Both were in their 90s. JJ Cale an American Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter also died this month at  74 years.

There were several other deaths of talented musicians who were not from the United States. In this month’s feature, learn more about these musicians dead in July…

Gary Shearston, dead at 74

Gary Rhett Shearston was an Australian singer-songwriter who became a professional at the young age of 19. He was known for being a leading figure in the folk music revival during the 1960s. Shearston was the biggest record seller of folk music in Australia between 1966 and 1967. Peter Paul and Mary recorded a cover of his track “Sometime Lovin’” and invited him to the United States – he accepted and spent four years on the east coast, returning to England in 1972.


Bernard Vitet, dead at 77

Bernard Vitet was born in Paris, France. The French musician and composer was a multi-instrumentalist who co-founded the first free jazz band in his country in 1974. Vitet was involved in the initial fusion of jazz and contemporary music with Jean-Louis Chautemps and Bernard Parmegiani. During the 1960s, he performed along singers Serge Gainsbourg, Marianne Faithfull, Brigitte Bardot and many more. Between 1976 and 2008, Vitet spent much of his time doing Un Drame Musical Instantané with Jean-Jacques Birgé. This involved composing and improvising hundreds of works, including experimental essays, symphonic pieces and music for films.


Bernie Nolan, dead at 52

Bernie Nolan was a Dublin-born, England-raised entertainer. Throughout her career she was a  singer, actress and TV personality. Nolan was lead vocalist of The Nolans, an Anglo-Irish girl group made up of sisters. The band was active from 1974 to 2005, and reformed in 2009 for a concert tour and the release of In the Mood Again. In 2005, Nolan shared  All By Myself, her debut solo album. Outside of music, she was a cast member of BBC’s “On the Waterfront,” Channel 4’s “Brookside,” ITV’s “The Bill,” and much more.


MC Daleste, dead at 20

Born Daniel Pedreira Senna Pellegrine, MC Daleste was a Brazilian rapper, funk singer and songwriter. The young rapper began his career in 2009, composing funk songs. He found success with the releases of “Pedra da Exaltação,‘” “Exaltação Fora do Normal” and “Quem Menstruou aqui de Vermelho.” Earlier this month, Daleste was fatally shot in the abdomen while performing at a free show held in his birthplace of São Paulo.


Mikhail Gorsheniov, dead at 39

Mikhail Gorsheniov, also called The Pot, was the lead singer and composer for the Russian horror punk rock band Korol i Shut (The King and the Jester). In 1988, Gorsheniov and his classmates formed the band, which was known for incorporating different elements of gothic rock, art rock, hard rock and punk rock. From 2001 to 2011, Korol i Shut was the most well-known and successful Russian hard rock and punk act.


Pino Massara, dead at 82

Pino Massara, birthname Giuseppe Previde Massara, was an Italian conductor, record producer, composer and musician. Many of his songs were covered by well-known acts, such as Nat King Cole and Dean Martin. During the 1970s, Massara founded an alternative recording company called Bla Bla Records, which produced the first releases of Juri Camisasca, Capsicum Red and Franco Battiato.


Chiwoniso Maraire, dead at 37

Chiwoniso Maraire was a Zimbabwean singer-songwriter and advocate of Zimbabwean mbira music. Maraire was daughter of renowned Zimbabwean mbira teacher and player Dumisani Maraire. She was also the frontwoman for an acoustic group called Chiwoniso & Vibe Culture. From the years 2001 to 2004, she was a member of Women’s Voice, a multi-national, all-women band featuring members from America, Algeria, Israel, Norway, Tanzania and Zimbabwe.


Cory Monteith, dead at 31

Monteith was a Canadian actor and musician. He is most known for his role as Finn Hudson in the Fox TV series “Glee.” An audition tape of Monteith singing “Can’t Fight This Feeling,” helped him land his role on the hit show “Glee.” Despite not being a singer prior to his role as Finn, Monteith sang joint lead or lead on many songs performed on the show.

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