Death is inevitable. But at The Spec, we share this sentiment with Neil Strauss: “Everyone loves you when you’re dead.”
Find out more about some of the musicians dead in October…
Dave Pike, dead at 77
Pike was a Detroit-born musician known for playing marimba and jazz vibraphone. His involvement in music started at a young age when he learned drums at 8 and taught himself how to play vibes. Pike’s recording debut came in 1958 as part of the Paul Bley Quartet. Throughout his career, he played alongside Herbie Mann, Nick Brignola, Kenny Clarke and Bill Evans. Pike also performed as lead musician, releasing albums on MPS Records.
Billy Joe Royal, dead at 73
Royal was country and pop singer, who also play piano and acoustic guitar. He is best known for the track “Down in the Boondocks,” which he released in 1965. His career started during the 1950s and included releases on Tower, Atlantic, Columbia and Sussex record labels. Royal’s discography is made up of 14 studio records and 37 singles, many of which landed on the Billboard charts.
Carey Lander, dead at 33
Lander was a keyboardist and singer associated with the Scottish pop band Camera Obscura. She joined the group circa 2002 as a replacement for Lindsay Boyd. In 2011, Lander was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her leg. While undergoing treatment, she was dedicated to raising money for Sarcoma UK. If you’d like to know more about the organization or donate, visit here.
Skatemaster Tate, dead at 56
Skatemaster Tate was born as Gerry Hurtado in Los Angeles. In the 1970s, Tate was a popular amateur skater. He went to a broadcasting trade school, worked as a DJ in punk rock clubs, and eventually turned to music. He recorded his first song, “Skaterock Rap,” in a friend’s basement in the early 1980s. His discography includes half a dozen releases. Tate also worked as a television host, performed with Porno for Pyros and other acts, produced music for The Stone Boners, and more.
Cory Wells, dead at 74
Born in Buffalo, N.Y. as Emil Lewandowski, Cory Wells was an American musician known for being one of three vocalist in Three Dog Night. Wells was born into a musical family and started honing in on this art as a teen. He joined the United States Air Force right after graduating high school and was part of a band while in service. After duty, he played in several bands before forming Three Dog Night in 1968 with Danny Hutton. The band was successful, producing more than 20 Billboard Top 40 hit songs between 1969 and 1975.
Leon Bibb, dead at 93
Bibb was an actor and folk musician from Kentucky. He had his own talk show on NBC; was a blacklisted entertainer during the late 1950s and early 1960s for alleged connections with left-wing causes; fought against racial segregation in America during the 1960s; performed with Bill Cosby on tours and The Ed Sullivan Show; provided the soundtrack to “The Young One” film; was a member of the Order of British Columbia; and released 11 studio albums between 1959 and 2003.
Herbie Goins, dead at 76
Hubert Leroy Goins was an R&B musician who was born in Florida, but primarily worked in England during the 1960s and then in Italy. He grew up singing in the church and formed a blue group called The Teen Kings when he was still a child. His musical career began to take flight after he moved to New York City and began opening for popular acts such as Sam Cooke, Bobby Bland and B.B. King. His musical career involved work as a singer, songwriter and record producer.