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And the Beat Goes on: Musicians Dead in December

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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.”

Find out more about some of the musicians dead this month…

Nick Talbot, dead at 37

Nick Talbot was a British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and journalist known under the moniker Gravenhurst. Active from 1999 until his death earlier this month, Talbot was signed to Warp Records. He also contributed to Guy Bartell’s Bronnt Industries Kapital. In 2000, he and Bartell formed Silent Age Records. Talbot released several singles, EPs and albums throughout his career and had his music featured in numerous soundtrack and compilation releases.

Bobby Keys, dead at 70

He was born in Slaton, TX as Robert Henry Keys, but he is better known as Bobby Keys by Rolling Stones fans. The American saxophonist performed with numerous musicians throughout his career, including the aforementioned Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Buddy Holly, Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, Elvis Presley, three of The Beatles members, Joe Cocker and more. Keys contributed to countless popular albums during his career in the music industry, which started in 1956.

Ian McLagan, dead at 69

McLagan was a musician who hailed from England and played the keys, guitar, drums and harmonica. He was an active member of the English rock groups Small Faces and Faces. He worked closely with Rod Stewart, The Rolling Stones, The New Barbarians, Billy Bragg and the Blokes, and other well-known acts. McLagan also headed his own band, releasing multiple solo albums.

Brian Roy Goble, dead at 57

Brian Roy Goble, who was also called Sunny Boy Roy and Wimpy Roy, was a Canadian musician. He was the bassist for several Vancouver-based punk bands. Eventually he would become the lead singer of The Subhumans. When that band split, Goble joined D.O.A.. He reunited with his Subhumans bandmates in 2006.

Wendy Rene, dead at 67

Memphis soul singer-songwriter Mary Frierson performed for years under the name Wendy Rene. She was more active between 1962 and 1967, returning for a brief appearance in 2010. When she was young, she formed a quartet called The Drapels with her brother and two friends. In 1963, the group auditioned in front of Stax co-founder Jim Stewart and were offered a recording contract. Frierson shared some of her solo work with Stewart and was offered a solo contract, which marked the beginning of her career in the industry. Her songs have been used in films and sampled in popular music.

Larry Henley, dead at 77

If you have heard the song “Wind Beneath My Wings,” then you are familiar with some of the work that singer-songwriter Larry Henley left behind. He and Jeff Silbar wrote the hit song in the 1980s. In addition to this contribution to the music industry, Henley also served as the lead singer for the pop band Newbeats, which formed in the 1960s. He was known for his distinct falsetto.

Joe Cocker, dead at 70

John Robert Cocker, or Joe Cocker, was an English singer and musician who came to fame during the 1960s. He will be remembered by the grit in his voice, his eye-catching movements during live performances, and his successful covers of popular songs (including hits by The Beatles). Cocker performed his cover version of The Beatles’ “With a Little Help from My Friends” at Woodstock in 1969. His rendition reached number one in the United Kingdom in the late 1960s, and even became the theme song for The Wonder Years. Another popular cover he did was of Billy Preston and Bruce Fischer’s “You Are So Beautiful.”

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