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And the Beat Goes on: Musicians Dead in July

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

July saw the passing of, among many, two former members of Motown’s Funk Brothers (bassist Bob Babbitt and trumpeter Maurice Davis), the first female singer to top country charts in the United States (Kitty Wells), an Olivia Tremor Control member and co-founder of Elephant 6 (Bill Doss), and 22-year-old multi-instrumentalist of the Tempe-based band While We’re Up (Zach Booher).

Find out more about the other talented musicians who passed away this month below…

Ossie Hibbert, dead at 62

Born Oswald Hibbert, Ossie was a Jamaican musician and record producer. Throughout his career, he lended his skills on the piano, organ and keyboard to reggae acts such as The Revolutionaries, The Aggrovators and The Professionals.


Lionel Batiste, dead at 81

Uncle” Lionel Batiste was a blues and jazz musician and singer from Louisiana. His career in music began at age 11, when he played bass drum for the Square Deal Social & Pleasure Club. He is well known for his involvement in the Treme Brass Band as a vocalist and bass drummer.


Dennis Flemion, dead at 57

Dennis Flemion and his brother formed the independent rock band The Frogs in 1980. Flemion was the main percussionist for the group. In 1996 and 1997, he played live keyboards for the Smashing Pumpkins, after the passing of Jonathan Melvoin.


Lol Coxhill, dead at 79

Coxhill was an English free-improvising jazz saxophonist and raconteur. He played both sopranino and soprano saxophone.


Jon Lord, dead at 71

Jonathan Douglas Lord was an England-born pianist, composer and Hammond organ player. He is credited for fusing rock and baroque or classical music, especially in his work for bands such as Deep Purple, The Flower Pot Men, Whitesnake, Ashton & Lord, The Artwoods and Paice.


Larry Hoppen, dead at 61

Hoppen was an American musician and singer who was a co-founder of Orleans. In the pop-rock band, Hoppen served as guitarist and vocalist.


Don Bagley, dead at 84

Born in Utah, Don Bagley was an American jazz bassist. Bagley was formally trained on the double bass and played alongside Shorty Sherock, Dick Pierce, Stan Kenton, Wingy Manone, Nat King Cole, Dexter Gordon and more.


Darryl Cotton, dead at 62

Australian singer Darryl Cotton was a founding member of the rock band Zoot. During his life, he performed with artists such as Cliff Richard, Shaun Cassidy, Olivia Newton-John and The Osmonds, acted and worked as a television presenter.

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