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And the Beat Goes on: Musicians Dead in October

musicians dead in October, dead musicians, rip, musicians dead in 2013, And the Beat Goes on: Musicians Dead in October, deaths in October

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

October saw the passing of numerous well-known musicians, including Lou Reed (The Velvet Underground) and Philip Chevron (The Pogues). The  Arizona music community was hit hard with the untimely deaths of three artists within one week: Andrew Duncan Brown, and Derrick and Amy Ross of the Nowhere Man and a Whiskey Girl.

Learn more about some other musicians dead in October 2013…

Frank D’Rone, dead at 81

Born as Frank Caldarone in Massachusetts, D’Rone was a jazz guitarist and singer. He began professionally playing the guitar and singing at the young age of just five years. He had his own local radio show by age 11, and at 13 years old, the American Guild of String Instruments gave him his Artist’s Degree in classical guitar. D’Rone released his debut album, Frank D’Rone Sings, in 1959.

Jan Kuehnemund, dead at 51

Kuehnemund, also called the “Guitar Queen,” was a rock guitarist from Minnesota best known for her involvement with the hard rock band Vixen. She was one of the founding members of the band, in which she performed as a guitarist and backing vocalist.

Cal Smith, dead at 81

Calvin Grant Shofner, better known by his stage name Cal Smith, was an American-born country singer. He is known for his track “Country Bumpkin,” a hit of the 1970s. Smith started his music career playing at San Francisco‘s Remember Me Cafe as a teenager. However, his professional career did not start until he was discovered by Ernest Tubb and started playing guitar for the Texas Troubadours in the 1960s. His discography includes more than 15 albums, between 1966 and 1986.

Roland Janes, dead at 80

Janes was an American rockabilly guitarist. He was also a record producer, working with Sun Records between the years of 1956 and 1963. Born in Arkansas, Janes learned to play guitar and mandolin and performed in country bands with his family members when he was young. Following his time in the marines, Janes moved to Memphis and began to play at clubs with Doc McQueen. He also connected with Sam Phillips of Sun Records and began working as a session guitarist for many musicians. In 1963, he left Sun Records and opened his own studio.

Noel Harrison, dead at 79

Harrison was a singer from London, England. He was also an Olympic skier, actor and the son of famous British actor Rex Harrison. One of Harrison’s most popular tracks was 1968’s “The Windmills of Your Mind,” which was the theme song for the film “The Thomas Crown Affair.” It was also a Top 10 hit on the UK Singles Chart. The song won the 1968 Oscar for “best original song.” Harrison released 13 albums from 1960 to 2010.

Gypie Mayo, dead at 62

Born as John Phillip Cawthra, Gypie Mayo was an English rock guitarist and songwriter. He played in Dr. Feelgood between 1977 and 1981, and joined the reborn Yardbrds from 1996 to 2004. Mayo and Nick Lowe wrote Dr. Feelgood’s only Top 10 single in the UK, “Milk and Alcohol.”

Al Johnson, dead at 65

Al Johnson was known as an R&B, soul singer, producer, arranger and writer. He was born in Virginia and went to school at Howard University, which is where he co-founded The Unifics. Johnson was the lead singer of the soul group. The Unifics had three major hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1968 and 1969. Later in his career, Johnson released solo work and also collaborated with Norman Connors, Jean Carn, The Whispers and many more.

Tony Brevett, dead in his 60s

Brevett was a member of the rocksteady band The Melodians. The group formed in the area of Kingston, Jamaica during the 1960s. Brevett was also the nephew of the Skatalites‘ bassist, Lloyd Brevett.

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