On July 11, 2014, Thomas Erdelyi aka Tommy Ramone, died aged 65. Being drummer, record producer, musician and songwriter, he was best known as member of the “Ramones”. He worked as an assistant engineer at the “Record Plant” studio, where, he worked on the production of the 1970 Jimi Hendrix album “Band of Gypsys”.Tommy Ramone was the last surviving original member of the “Ramones” before his death.
On July 10, 1941, Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe aka Jelly Roll Morton, died aged 60. Being pianist, bandleader and composer, he is regarded as the pivotal figure in early jazz. His composition “Jelly Roll Blues” was the first published jazz composition, in 1915. He wrote number of ragtime and early jazz standards such as “King Porter Stomp”, “Wolverine Blues”, “Black Bottom Stomp”, and “I thought I heard Buddy Bolden Say”.
On July 4, Louis Armstrong died aged 69. Being trumpeter and singer, he brought various inventions in jazz music, including shifting the focus from collective improvisation to solo performance, bringing improvisation to singing (scat singing) and “reviving” the stage performance with charismatic and expressive stage presence. Armstrong became one of the first African-American artists that were popular among wide “white” audience. His influence extended far beyond jazz music and he is regarded as one of the most influential artists in the history of the 20th Century popular music.
On July 3, 1971, James Douglas “Jim” Morrison, died aged 27. Being singer, songwriter and poet he is best known as the lead singer of The Doors. His poetic odes to rebellion, his charismatic, wild personality and his mysterious death made him one of the most legendary, Influential and best loved rock artists of all times. On the “Rolling Stone” magazine list of “100 Greatest singers of all time”Morrison was ranked 47.
On July 3, 1969, Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones died aged 27. Being songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Jones was the founder and original bandleader of the Rolling Stones. As he developed a serious drug problem over the years, his role in the band slowly diminished and Jagger and Richards overshadowed him. In June 1969, he was asked to leave the band and was replaced by Mick Taylor. Jones died by drowning in the swimming pool at his home on Cotchford Farm inHartfield, East Sussex. Bill Wyman (the original Rolling Stones bass player) said of Jones, “He formed the band. He chose the members. He named the band. He chose the music we played. He got us gigs. ..Very influential, very important, and then slowly lost it – highly intelligent – and just kind of wasted it and blew it all away.”
On June 30, 2001, Chester Burton “Chet” Atkins, died aged 77.Being guitarist, vocalist and producer, together with Owen Bradley, Atkins created country music style known as the “Nashville” sound. In his career, Atkins recorded more than 100 albums and has produced records for Perry Como, Elvis Presley, Don Gibson, Jim Reeves, Waylon Jennings,The Browns, Hank Snow, Porter Wagoner, Norma Jean, Dolly Parton, Dottie West, The Everly Brothers, Eddy Arnold, Don Gibson, Jerry Reed, Skeeter Davis and others.
Throughout his career, Atkins earned numerous awards, including 11” Grammy Awards”, nine CMA “Instrumentalist of the Year” honors, “Lifetime Achievement Award” from NARAS and was inducted into the “Rock & Roll Hall of Fame”, “Country Music Hall of Fame” and “Museum and the Musicians Hall of Fame ”.
On June 29, 1979, Lowell Thomas George, died aged 34. Being songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, he was member of Frank Zappa’s “Mothers of Invention”, but he is best known as a leader, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter of “Little Feat”. George also worked as a producer, he produced the Grateful Dead’s 1978 album “Shakedown Street”, the “Little Feat’s” albums and Valerie Carter’s 1977 album “Just a stone’s throw away”. In 1979 George released his only solo album “Thanks, I’ll eat it here”.