R.I.P. Robin Gibb

Disco took another hit this week with the death of Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees, one of the biggest Disco acts of all time. He passed away yesterday due to cancer at the age of 62. The Bee Gees are known for their impeccable harmonies and accessible brand of Disco. They have sold over 100 million records and in a 2 year span in the late 70s racked up 6 consecutive #1 singles.

Some of their hits include “You Should Be Dancing”, “Stayin’ Alive”, “More Than A Woman”, “How Deep Is Your Love”, “Emotion” and more. Some of those hits come from the 70s Disco film “Saturday Night Fever” starring John Travolta. The soundtrack for the movie won Album of the Year at the Grammys in 1979. They also starred in the 1978 film adaptation of the Beatles album “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, which had a little “Abbey Road” thrown in for good measure.

As I write this post I am listening to the Bee Gees and realizing how many great hits they had and how Disco got a really bad wrap over the years. Between the death of Donna Summers and now Robin Gibb, I’ve been listening to more Disco than usual and it’s hard to not get caught up in these awesome, funky Disco grooves. What can I say, I got Disco fever!!! A lot of us did at some point and that is due in large part to the Bee Gees and Donna Summer, of which we have been dealt two loses from in one week. R.I.P. Robin Gibb.

 

R.I.P. Dick Clark

Dick Clark passed away yesterday at 82 from a heart attack. He was the legendary host and producer of “American Bandstand” the longest running variety show in history. He and the show played a huge part in legitimizing Rock & Roll to the masses. He was a nice clean cut guy, who parents felt comfortable with, thereby making them more comfortable with their kids listening to the Rock & Roll he introduced them to. He helped break the careers of tons of heavy hitting music acts from Buddy Holly, Chubby Checker, The Beach Boys, to Ike and Tina Turner, Smokey Robinson and The Miracles, Stevie Wonder, Simon and Garfunkel, The Jackson 5, to Madonna, Queen, Run-DMC and many others.

He also has rung in the New Year in Times Square, every year since 1974, with his annual show “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve” which has been co-hosted with Ryan Seacrest for the past 5 years. It’s safe to say that Ryan Seacrest will become the Dick Clark for a new generation, what with hosting “New Year’s Rocking Eve” and the modern day “American Bandstand”, “American Idol”. Although Seacrest is a shoe in to take over Dick’s legacy, there will never been a more influential, successful and beloved TV host as Dick Clark. R.I.P.

R.I.P. Whitney Houston

It has just been announced that Whitney Houston has passed away at the age of 48. There is no news on the cause of her death, yet. She was considered by many (including myself) to be one of the greatest female voices of all time. Her first album was released in 1985 and in her 27 year career she has accumulated  somewhere around 415 awards, making her the most awarded female artist of all time. Her album/soundtrack for the movie “The Bodyguard” won Grammy for Album of the Year in 1994. She’s also the 15th all time, best selling artist in the world. Some of her most memorable hits include “Greatest Love of All”, “I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me)”, “I Will Always Love You” and many more. We will always love YOU, Whitney. Rest in peace.

R.I.P. Don Cornelius

Don Cornelius host and creator of the classic television show “Soul Train”, the longest-running, first-run nationally syndicated show in television history, passed away on February 1st, from what appears to have been a self inflicted gun shot wound to the head. Don was believed to have been suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. It is a sad and unfortunate end to a legend in the music industry, who was instrumental in bringing black music and culture into American homes for 35 years. Below is a short video from ABC News, showing you a snippet of his life and legacy. Rest in Peace, Love and Soul, Don Cornelius.

Etta James Dies At 73

Legendary R&B singer, Etta James passed away earlier today from complications related to Leukemia. She would have been 74, next Wednesday (January 25th). She is widely know as one of the best singers of the 20th century and has inspired scores of R&B singers. She is best know for her biggest hit “At Last”, but has given so much more to the music world. Etta James had many struggles, from poverty to drug addiction, throughout her life, but has left a legacy of classic records and an indelible style that will live on for years and years to come. It’s very eerie that after decades of not being on the music charts, she is currently featured on Flo Rida’s new song, “Good Feeling” which is currently at number 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. It’s weird how things happen sometimes, but very fitting that she passed away on top.  Below is a live performance of her singing “At Last” and the music video for “Good Feeling”. R.I.P. Etta James.