In Memory Of...


It is with great sadness to note the passing
of our friends and fellow musicians




Adams, Ellwood "Ace"
Ellwood Adams , known as 'Ace the Bass' performing with jazz and R&B groups through the 1950s-60s.
Joe V recalls that Ace worked at the Officer's Club at the 5th Regiment Armory where my dad worked. I had met him on occasion as a kid but didn't know about his musical history. When the first edition of Baltimore Sounds came out dad showed it to him and he was all too eager to meet with me and share his recollections of his days playing music. He talked about all the clubs along the Pennsylvania Avenue corridor and named all the musicians that played regularly in each club. Ace played with many of them. He talked fondly about about the days of lugging his double bass around on street cars to and from gigs.
His groups included The Rhythm Kings, The Old Mill Trio (Old Mill house band), The Red Fox house band (with Andy Ennis and Carlos Johson), The Tune Makers (with Carlos Johnson), Los Tremendos (a Latin group with Eddie Drennon at Moe's, the Bamboo Lounge).
Sadly Ace passed away November 21, 2010 (88).


The Tune Makers at The Comedy Club circa 1963.
L to R: Ace, Tommy Williams, Wilbert Stewart, Carlos Johnson, Ed Walto.

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Adams, Harold
Harold Adams , jazz saxophonist passed away in January 2021. Harold toured as a member of Luther Ingram's Unit Truth in the 1970s, and was a member of Greg Hatza's Moon August for over 25 years. He started out as a member of The Imperals who released a single on Howfum Records. He went on to be a member of many groups including The Soul Brothers, Both Worlds, Adams-Barber-Rucks, 'Tiny' Tim Harris' The New Thing, Ruby Glover's backing band, Winfield Parker's backing band, Natural Gas, Earl Wilson's Phase One...

Harold Adams with Moon August - 1989

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Alexander, Les
On January 27, 2017 legendary radio personality Les Alexander passed away at age 93.
After serving in the military in WWII, he began a career in broadcasting starting in Philadelphia, then moving to Baltimore where he hosted a talent show on WAAM-TV. He went on to radio at WITH, then to WCAO from 1957 where he was heard on afternoons until the early 1970s. He later moved to North Carolina to radio station WAYS-AM and also did television work.

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Amtmann, Keith
Keith Amtmann (Wild Fire, Wild Mouse) passed away on May 12, 2008. In the words of friend John Cochran "Keith was a good singer, rhythm guitarist, and one of the finest songwriters I've ever known. He'll be sorely missed by every musician whose privilege it was to work with him."

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Andrews, Jeff
Jazz bassist Jeff Andrews has passed away. A cause of death has not been announced, although he was battling double pneumonia earlier this year. He was 59 years old.
"Andrews was raised in Baltimore, Maryland where he grew up hearing rock and jazz musicians melding their styles in the late 60s and early 70s. He briefly attended the Berklee College of Music but left school because he was not able to take composition courses, which were his main focus, until his senior year. Andrews spent some time in Los Angeles before moving into the fertile jazz scene in New York City and was soon playing with an amazing array of saxophonists like Wayne Shorter, Bob Mintzer, and Michael Brecker.
"I played a lot with sax players. The cream of the crop and these guys were idols of mine" he stated. "Wayne Shorter was one of my biggest influences and Mike Brecker of course. Playing with those guys I took the opportunity to pick up as much information from them as I could." It was also during this time that he became the first musician to book gigs at the now world-famous 55 Bar. He started calling Mike Stern to play with him after the guitarists run in the Miles Davis band, leading to a long and fruitful relationship.
Andrews also worked with Vital Information, Frank Gambale, Larry Coryell, Bob Berg, Gil Evans, Bill Evans, Herbie Hancock, Dennis Chambers, and many more. He was a prominent teacher and taught at the Manhattan School of Music, The New School, Mannes College of Music, and SUNY Purchase in addition to his private students and numerous clinics around the world.
In Baltimore he was a member of the rock band Atticus Finch circa 1972-73, and appeared on a 1981 album by jazz-fusion group Inside Out.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Jeff Andrews.
Article by 'No Treble' website writer Kevin Johnson, April 2019.

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Armstrong, Reuben
Reuben Armstrong , drummer for Frankie & the Spindles, passed away on January 27, 2018 due to heart disease at the age of 66.
The Spindles were originally known as The Spinners but had to change their name due to the nationally known Motown group of the same name. Frankie & the Spindles modeled themselves after The Temptations. They were one of the most popular Baltimore R&B groups of their era and they inspired many other groups that followed. They released a string of singles including the regional hits "(My Girl Is Made Of) Candy" and "Count To Ten." In later years Reuben played in backing band for Tiny Tim Harris. He also backed and recorded with Gumption label groups such as The Bleu Lights, Lady A, and Rhapsody.

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Arrington, Joe
RIP Joe Arrington died of cancer on December 11, 2020 at his home in Texas where he had recently moved.
Joe played guitar in Baltimore bands that included Sabotage, Dogs of War, Action Figures...



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Bailey, Walt
RIP Walt Bailey .
Shirley Girard sent the sad news that her dad passed away on December 12, 2020 after a long battle with esophageal cancer.


Walt Bailey - photo courtesy of Shirley Girard

I was fortunate to have met up with Walt at Bluesette reunions, Baltimore R&B Jam reunions, and his well-deserved induction into the Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame in 2013.
Walt played bass guitar and electric guitar in many top local bands, many of whom had record releases, bands included The Progressions, A Taste, Good Grief, Light (aka Lux), Touch, Mike Jones Band, Flow, Carry On, Trudy & Walt duo... and others.
The following article was borrowed from slackerproductions YouTube post "The Progressions - The Love Train (on The Ronnie Dove Show June 28, 1966)."
The Progressions were a band from around the Baltimore, Maryland area that was formed in 1963. At the time of this recording, the group consisted of members Charles Richard "Ricky" Peters (Vocals, Drums), Trudy Morgal (Vocals, Drums), Walt Bailey (Bass, Vocals), Skip Herbert (Lead Guitar), and Carl Brooks (Rhythm Guitar, Keys). The two songs that were released by the group on the Scepter record label in May of 1966 were produced by Tommy Kaye with session man Hugh McCracken on Guitar and Harmonica. Ricky and Trudy would trade off on the drums when the other would be fronting the group.
After the Progressions had a change in lineup, Trudy Morgal (Trudy Cooper), Rick Peters, and Walt Bailey joined up with Bob Grimm and changed their name to Light. Trudy, Rick and Bob would perform together in other various groups later on as well.
Ricky Peters died in May of 1998 from liver failure at the age of 49.
(A) lip synched performance (of their song "The Love Train") was recorded for an episode of the Ronnie Dove Show - The episode was filmed June 28, 1966.
In 2013, Trudy Cooper Morgal and Walt Bailey were inducted into the Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame, as was this show's host, Ronnie Dove, for his own legendary career as a performer.

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Baitch, Al 'Madman'
Baltimore's legendary saxophonist Al 'Madman' Baitch passed away on March 24, 2014. The following article, a fitting tribute, was written by Michael Olesker and published in the Baltimore Sun in 2005.
'Madman' still calls the tune on saxophone
March 11, 2005|By MICHAEL OLESKER
THE MUSIC plays on. Al "Madman" Baitch, 80 years old, assures this yesterday morning as he bounces from his car toward Miller's Deli at the Greenspring Shopping Center, defying every lurking pneumococcus in the morning chill, and also defying the odds. His career is entering the springtime of its 65th year. He wears a brand-new pacemaker, which will have to learn to move to the rhythm of the Madman.
Baitch goes back to weekend nights atop Keith's Roof, where guys wore zoot suits and the dancing was interrupted only by the fights. Fights over deeply serious issues such as who gets to jitterbug with whom, and what part of town you came from. Fights where order was restored only when the band struck up the national anthem and everybody snapped to attention.
And gigs at the Surf Club, where he saw doorman Bob "Rabbit" Pomerlane back down heavyweight champ Rocky Marciano. And joints on The Block, where he fronted for distinguished ladies of the dance such as Irma the Body, Ronnie Bell and Her Twin Liberty Bells, and a youngster out of West Virginia named Belle Fleming who changed her name and created a legend as Blaze Starr.
And the Ambassador Club, Eddie Leonard's Spa, the Silver Dollar Club, the Club 21, the Club Charles, plus joints along Pennsylvania Avenue maybe 60 years ago where he learned his saxophone trade as one of the first white guys in town playing with black groups.
Most of them are gone now, the places as well as the performers. Baitch is Baltimore's link across the musical generations, a keeper of pop music history, still playing weekend gigs at American Legion halls and political barbecues with his trio. And still enduring.
Last week, he checked himself into Sinai Hospital for a new pacemaker. Yesterday, he was declaring himself the picture of health. He practically danced a little jig. For 65 years, the man has set so many others to dancing.
Like all the times at the Surf Club, when Al and Earl Bostic would engage in wailing saxophone showdowns, rousing packed houses to fever pitches, with Al down on his knees, throwing himself onto his back and bouncing his 240 pounds on the bandstand.
Or moonlight cruises on the Chesapeake, when the music was romantic and the post-war crowds were happy that the world had quieted down for a few beats.
He came out of the Lexington Market area, where he grew up as Abraham Mendel Baitch, whose parents were immigrants from Russia and Poland and had a little grocery store at 114 N. Pine, down the block from the old police station. The saxophone was a bar mitzvah present. He heard Vido Musso playing it on Benny Goodman's big number, "Sing, Sing, Sing," and figured, "I want to do that."
By the time he got to Forest Park High School, he was playing local clubs. Then he joined the Merchant Marine, sailed on a liberty ship taking supplies to wartime ally Russia, twice making the treacherous Murmansk run where they faced freezing weather and the fear of being attacked by a submarine.
After the war, everybody looked to start their lives over again. Baitch found work at a place called Chick's Bar, Baltimore and Greene streets, where somebody told him, "You gotta have a gimmick." Television was coming in big by then, and Al saw a newspaper ad for Muntz TVs. Mr. Muntz wanted to practically give the sets away, but Mrs. Muntz said no. Madman Muntz, the old man called himself. Al liked the sound of it. Thus, "Madman" Baitch was born.
"It fit," he says. "The way I used to walk the bar playing the saxophone, and lying on my back. I was a showman. You had to be. So I became Madman."
But his reputation came from more than a nickname. The guy knew how to play. He backed up Sarah Vaughan, Bill Haley, George Shearing. For six years, he was a fixture at the Surf Club, Fayette near Highland, where he saw the confrontation that endures in local legend.
The joint was packed, the waiting line was long, and Rocky Marciano, accompanied by fight promoter Benny Trotta, tried to enter. Bob "Rabbit" Pomerlane, manning the door, said no, and cemented a reputation as one of the town's not-to-be-messed-with guys.
"In those days," Baitch says, "you saw all kinds of confrontations. Hell, all those years I worked on The Block. ... "
It was live music in those days, and names that defined a generation of street fighters, gamblers, sporting types: Julius (Lord) Salisbury and Pacie Silbert, Henny Corcoran and Sylvan Bass and Foto Lewis, who got his name because he'd run along the grandstand as the horses headed down the homestretch at Pimlico for a photo finish.
And the most famous Block denizen, Blaze Starr. "She was a waitress on Baltimore Street," Baitch remembers. "Attractive, well built. Solly Goodman owned the Two O'Clock Club then. He said, `I want you to work for me.' She said, `I never danced.' He said, `Don't worry, you don't have to dance.'"
Blaze let your imagination work for you. She brought a little elegance to the undress. "She never cursed, she never was drunk, she was never out of line," Baitch says. "She was a lady."
He remembers it all. He's still out there, a sax symbol at 80, playing with his trio. Wearing his brand-new pacemaker, too. The thing will have to work hard to keep pace with the Madman.

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Baker, Henry
Local great jazz saxophonist Henry Baker passed away in April 2008. Mr. Baker was instrumental in organizing the music program at Morgan State where he formed the Mo-Bops in the 1950s. Among other local and national artists Henry also played with Tracy McClearey's Royal Men of Rhythm as house band at the Royal Theater, Owen Pinkney's Quartet, the Aristocrats of Jazz, and traveled nationally with Paul Bley's band. In addition to his music career he was proprieter of Mr. Baker's chain of hair salon's. He owned the Peyton Place club on Pennsylvania Avenue in the '60s, and later The Closet jazz club on West Franklin St. Condolences to his family and friends.

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Barnes, Kevin
RIP Kevin Barnes , passed away in May 2020. Kevin sang baritone for the 1970s TK Records recording group Jimmy Briscoe's (Little) Beavers.

Photos: Left - from 1974 T.K. Pi Kappa LP "My Ebony Princess"
Right: from 1977 T.K. Wanderick LP "Jimmy Briscoe & the Beavers"

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Barton, Gary
Gary Barton , singer with '60s-70s R&B group The Camaros Soul Revue has passed away after a long battle with cancer.
5.2018

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Bavaro, Larry
RIP Larry Bavaro
passed away on April 8, 2020 of a heart attack. He played drums for over 40 years in many local groups including The Doubts, Beat Boys, Mannekin, Big City, Rob Fahey's Pieces, Cry Wolf... Wishing my condolences to all his family and friends.

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Bell, Demian
RIP Demian Bell
aka Denny Romans passed away on May 17, 2014 after battling cancer. Guitarist. Member of the Moss, Psychedelic Propeller, and Good Grief in Baltimore area, had a stint with Moulty & the Barbarians, later formed Maypole with record releases on Colossus label. He was a member of Renaud & the Junction, Contraband, and backed DC artist Roy Buchanan. Demian also performed throughout Europe for 30 some years including time with his group The Blues Mekaniks.

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Benicwicz, Larry
Larry Benicewicz , 72 passed away on October 10, 2019 after battling cancer. His career was as a teacher in Anne Arundel County schools, but his real love was music - especially the blues, and at an early age he began a collecting records. Larry was a major proponent of local and national musicians and wrote historical articles for many publications. He was a major contributor to the Blues Rag (The Baltimore Blues Society magazine), local monthlies such as Maryland Musician, Music Monthly, and international publications such as Soulbag (Paris, France), as well as magazines in Belgium, Vienna, and British Columbia.
He and Carol Campbell, his partner of 40+ years, traveled extensively in the U.S. and Europe where they interviewed and photographed scores of musicians. Carol and Larry married on October 4, a week before Larry's death.
Larry was a major supporter of zydeco, cajun, and blues music. He tirelessly promoted New Orleans groups and introduced them to the Baltimore / D.C. area, many times having them stay at their home in Waverly. For his dedication Larry was named an Honorary Citizen by the Governor of Louisiana.



Baltimore Blues Society founder Dale Patton referred to Larry as "a walking catalog of records." Larry provided soundtrack music for many films by John Waters including Hairspray, Cry Baby, Cecil B. Demented and others. He also co-produced CD collections including "A John Waters Christmas."
Larry happily provided information and photos for the Baltimore Sounds book, a project that he found very important to preserve the history of local music. In recent years I was many times surprised to receive packages in the mail from Larry of extra or duplicate copies of local 45's that he had found to try to help replace my collection that was lost through a divorce. Other folks have related similar stories about Larry's kindness and generosity.
He will be greatly missed by family, friends, and colleagues.

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Bertling, Norb
I am sorry to report that Norbert 'Norb' Bertling , drummer for many years in the Baltimore area has passed away. Norb was remembered at the November 18, 2018 MEHOF ceremony as a member of inducted group THE GIGS.
Groups that Norb played for over the years included The Circuit Breakers, The Rockin' Airs, Eric & the Wall of Sound, The Patent Pending, Southwind, The Bill Evett Trio, Lovesong, The Gigs (both the first and second incarnations of the group). RIP.

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Bey, Ramir
Ramir Bey , jazz bassist passed away on July 18, 2020. RIP, Ramir!

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Bonner, Gene
Saxophonist Gene Bonner passed away on August 5, 2015 at the age of 80. Starting in the 1950s he performed with the National Guard Band and led his own orchestra that performed on WAAM-TV. He was a member of the Zim Zemarel Orchestra from the 1960's through the 1990's, then continued to lead the orchestra after Zemarel passed away.

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Boucher, Steven
I was very saddened to learn that Steven Boucher passed away in January 2015 after a long battle with cancer.

Steve Boucher at Back Of The Vac circa 1983
Steve and his group were our regular Sunday night band at Back of the Vac in the 1980s. They also performed regularly at Spittel's Salty Dog Saloon, and The Horse in Fells Point among others.
Steve ventured to Nashville to pursue a recording career. He released a CD in 1991 "Let Me Show You How It's Done" on T.K.O. Nashville label. A great album that is well worth seeking a copy if you are a fan of '90s country music.

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Brady, Bob
Baltimore lost a legendary voice as Bob Brady has passed away.


Photos: Bob Brady circa 1969

A vocalist, guitarist and pianist, Bob started out in the early '60s with local group The Flintstones. The group was a finalist in Buddy Deane battle of the bands. Members went on to many great local bands. In 1964 he joined The Conchords. Bob Brady & the Conchords became one of the top Baltimore area groups of the '60s and early '70s. They recorded a string of regionally popular singles on the Chariot label as well as a solo release on A&M Records. Many of their releases later became highly sought after collectible records in Europe. Bob was later a member of the groups Energy, Rise, Cadillac Cruisers, Pastime, and others.
In the '00s one of the Conchords records, "Everybody's Goin' To The Love-In," a Northern Soul collectible, had caught on in Europe as the music for a radio and television commercial. Bob proudly showed me a (very small) royalty check and remarked that after forty years he had become an overnight sensation!
Bob battled with heart disease and cancer in recent years and passed away on November 29, 2016 at age 71.

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Brown, Marvin
Marvin Brown , known for his sweet soul style falsetto vocals as member of AVCO/H&L recording group The Softones. The group was produced by the famed team of Hugo & Luigi and featured a backing session group led by Van McCoy. Marvin's voice also graced recordings with First Class, The Tones, Johnnie Johnson's Fonics, Cruel Shoes, and others.
Outside of music Dr. Marvin Brown was a psychologist and drug treatment plan administrator. He passed away on July 3, 2020 at age 66.

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Bullock, Hiram
Accomplished jazz and rock guitarist Hiram Bullock passed away on July 25, 2008. In January he was diagnosed with a tumor in his throat and it ultimately took his life. To quote Scott Pendleton "Another friend and musician gone... keep your friends close... too many of them are leaving too soon."

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Burkowske, Carl
Carl E. Burkowske passed away on Monday, February 15, 2016. Originally from the Woodlawn suburb of Baltimore, his last residence was in Lusby, MD.



Carl was introduced to me by RaVons manager Vern Ruppert. We met with bandmate Clyde Weitzel and enjoyed a small RaVons reunion and talked about all the old bands. Carl was intrigued by the Baltimore Sounds book. He was always eager to send additional information about local music and we corresponded quite often.
Using the stage name Carl Evans he was a guitarist with The Spartans, the original RaVons, The Centaurs, then in 1961 started a 35 year run as a founding member of The Sentries (managed by his dad Frank 'Bee' Burkowske). The Sentries became one of the Baltimore area's most in demand variety and show bands.
Carl's bands performed at all the major clubs in the area as well as wedding receptions, bull roasts, etc. They did countless radio and television appearances including The Buddy Deane Show, Kerby Scott Show, Wing Ding, Larry Angel Show... In 1967 Brenda & The Sentries released a single "Don't Make Me Lie" written by WCAO DJ Alan Field.
Aside from music, Carl worked for United Airlines for 32 years.
Funeral services were held on Friday, February 19. RIP, Carl.

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Callas, Demitri 'Penny'
RIP Demetri "Penny" Callas January 12, 2020 after a long battle with Parkinsons. Frederick based legendary guitarist was inducted in the Maryland Entertainer's Hall of Fame in 2018. Groups that Penny played with included The Playboys, The Shades, Ronnie Dove's BelTones, The Bad Boys, Flavor (national hit "Sally Had a Party"), Bill Black's Combo, Frankie Valli's Four Seasons, Holland, Demetri & the Flashbacks...
Though I did not personally know him throughout these groups I always remember a chance meeting with him that we talked about our shared passion of records.


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Canelli, Marty
Marty Canelli , passed away on February 24, 2021. Keyboard player, sound engineer. Long time member of Gazze. Also a member of Truck, Turn Blue, Wintersunn. Recorded with Greenberry Woods, W.C. Spencer, Myracle Brah...

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Cayce, Steve
On May 18, 2013 we learned that Steve Cayce was found dead in his Towson apartment, apparently as a result of a bad fall. Initial reports are that it was accidental.
Steve was a great guitarist whose skills were heard in bands such as Queen's Chapel, Deceiver, Spitfire, and a couple of stints with blues rock group Doc Rogers & the Rock Dodgers.
David Wilcox posted the news on Facebook "As you guys know, Steve was one of my closest friends, and he will certainly be missed. I must also say here, that he was one of the best guitarists I ever knew, and that I ever had the privilege of working with - and I'm sure you guys feel the same. He was one of the rare and few who could "pull off" (playing-wise and sound-wise): Hendrix, Stevie Ray, Robin Trower, and other blues-rock greats. Steve was truly one of the finest and talented out there."
"There will be no viewing or service of any kind, per Steve's own wishes. I was told that when Steve had his accident a couple years back (with his legs being crushed, etc.), that he apparently put something in writing at that time - (believing he might very well not make it from his leg injuries)." May you rest in peace, Steve.

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Clark, Bob
RIP Bob Clark passed away on May 27, 2015 due to complications of liver cancer. Bandmates Russ Krauch and Lee Doll noted that "Bob drummed for many local bands over the years including Talegunner, The James Morley Band and more recently The 13th Dream."
"Bob was best known however for his time drumming for Wally and the Weirdos. He was in the band from 1979-1982 and then rejoined in 1984 for the last year of shows. He also appeared on the Best of Wally and the Weirdos CD that came out in 2005. We will miss our friend very much."
Joe V has some fond memories of Wally & the Weirdos performing at Back of the Vac night club in the 1980's.

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Coffy, Marge
Marjorie Coffy owner of 'Ferndale Oldies' passed away Feb. 12, 2010. You may leave a guestbook entry at: http://www.kirkleyruddickfuneralhome.com/index.php

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Compton, Johnathan 'Sir Johnny O'
Baltimore Radio DJ Icon 'Sir Johnny O' dies at 75
by Zenitha Prince -- Special to the AFRO

A legendary Baltimorean fell silent when Sir Johnny O, who for years graced Baltimore's airwaves as a host on WWIN-Spirit 1400 AM radio, died on Oct. 29. He was 75.
Sir Johnny, whose real name was Johnathan Compton, had been battling a respiratory illness at a a Baltimore hospital. Several former colleagues visited him during his illness, and shared their memories of their peer and friend.
Compton's involvement in the media business began in his teens. In 1962, he distinguished himself when, at the age of 19, he landed his first on-air position at 1600 WWRL-AM in New York. Opportunities continued to present themselves, and a year later, he moved to WDAS in Philadelphia.
By 1964, Larry Dean, a former WWRL radio host who had helped Compton secure the New York gig, had advanced into a management position at WWIN in Baltimore. Dean convinced Compton to move farther south, and he assumed the 1 a.m. to 6 a.m. shift at WWIN, where he stayed for 20 years. During that time, he created the popular "Turnpike Jazz" segment which aired as part of the all-night show.
In later years, Johnny handled fill-in shifts at WEBB and WITH and also tried his hand at Internet radio.
A venerated veteran of the business, Compton mentored several fledgling jocks trying to break into the Baltimore radio industry, including J.B. Brown, Sam Beasley, Guy Broady and Curtis Anderson.
Many of his mentees and colleagues recalled the fascinating stories he would share about his time in the business. One such tale revolved around the April 1968 riots that erupted in Baltimore at the news of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination. Compton was at the studio and on the air when shots were fired through the window and he had to dive for cover, he told them.
"We won't forget his engaging personality, deep and cultured baritone voice, or his love for the business and the many who worked with him," radio veteran Bob Mathers said in a statement.
Mr. Compton, a Baltimore native, graduated from Frederick Douglass High School in 1956, and served in the Army before pursuing a radio career. He died of heart failure on October 29, 2013 at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

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Crawford, Al
R.I.P. Al Crawford (76), manager of Towson based band The Dynamics and proponent of several memorable Baltimore Jam band reunions, passed away on September 17, 2019 in Plano, Texas after a long battle with kidney and heart failure. Al was very helpful with sharing his knowledge about local bands for the Baltimore Sounds book.

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Dahlstrom, Al
RIP Al Dahlstrom
February 2020.
Al played for many of Baltimore area's best bands over a 6 decade career!
Bands include The Sentries, Joy Riders, Fugitives, Legend, Majestics, Snowblind, Brasswork, Big Cam & The Lifters, Soul Mates, Mary Lou & The Untouchables...

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Daniels, Tex
TEX DANIELS (Daniel George Franckewitz)
From moorefamilyfuneralhomes.com
Born of Polish Immigrants, Joseph and Marie Franckewitz, on February 22, 1924 and was baptized Daniel George Franckewitz. He became one of Baltimore's most popular radio and television entertainers - Tex Daniels! Taking accordion lessons at an early age it was not long before he was playing Polish weddings and all types of affairs. He also played saxophone in the St. Patrick's and City College bands, with the inception of radio station WSID in Essex in 1947. Tex Daniels became a part of the Lazy H Ranch Boys with Paul Seipp, Eddy Stater and his brother Raymond. They did all live shows around the noon hour at the radio station and eventually to the highway theater on Saturdays with a live audience. When the station was moved to downtown Baltimore, the group stayed until Tex did a disc jockey show. They moved to WBMD and did a daily live radio show. Their personal appearances took them into all of Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, the New England states and even into Canada. Whenever on tour, the radio played transcriptions. Country music parks were popular at that time, such as Valley View Park and Brendel's Manor to mention a few. Tex and the Lazy H Ranch Boys appeared with such artists as Jimmy Dickens, Ernest Tubb, Red Foley, Hank Williams and Minnie Pearl. The Lazy H Ranch Boys started on WAAM-TV, channel 13 in 1949 and stayed until 1956. The show, tagged Lazy H Ranch, did live shows weekly with guest stars, square dancing and a popular game show entitled "Can You Play This?" Lazy H Ranch became one of Baltimore's most popular country music shows. Unfortunately, no tapes were made back then so the only memories of the Lazy H Ranch time are photographs. With Bill Haley's big hit "Rock Around The Clock" in 1957, country music went on a decline and Tex changed the name of the group to "Fran Daniels and Her Escorts." Tex and Fran were married in 1952. The group was a big hit, doing a one hour floor show and dance music. The group made about six tours to Greenland and played military bases from Florida to Maine, and as far west as Colorado. When at home, the group held up at Club 40 on Pulaski Highway. In 1970 Fran and Tex moved to Charlotte, NC and eventually divorced. Tex continued in music and remained in Charlotte 18 years. He returned to Baltimore in 1989 to help take care of his mother, and he continued on as a one man band switching from accordion to the keyboard (organ). Tex played the VFW in Roseville and Rosedale for 8 years. He worked until December 1999, appearing at nursing homes, senior centers, assisted living homes, private clubs and engagements. With six hip operations that he had over a period of 24 years it was time for him to retire. Tex will be remembered as the finest accordion and organ player ever and as a kind and gentle person, always trying to make people happy with his music. Tex Daniels (Daniel George Franckewitz) was also the BEST Father in the world that took care of his two sons, James Franckewitz and Joseph Franckewitz, and also his 9 grandchildren - the best that any man could do in the world.

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Dark, Johnny Johnny Dark passed away on September 15, 2016 (82). A true legend in Baltimore radio. Many thousands of listeners grew up with him on the air during the 1960s and '70s on WCAO-AM where he worked for 30 years. His voice immortalized on the "Cruisin' 1968" album (Increase Records). In his later years he was an air personality at WTTR in Westminster, MD. Much has been written about him... what more can I say? Thank you Johnny for introducing me to the most exciting years of Top 40 radio!



Photos above: Cruisin' 1968 (Increase Records) - Johnny Dark from the WCAO album

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Deane, Buddy
R.I.P. Buddy Deane July 16, 2003

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DiMarino, Ed
R.I.P. Ed DiMarino April 5, 2017. Bass guitarist, a member of local popular band Joy.
Ed relocated to Las Vegas in 1977 where he performed with many top artists including Wayne Newton, The Smith Brothers, and The Righteous Brothers.

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DiPaula, Michael
Michael DiPaula passed away on September 25, 2017. In his teens he played saxophone for The Marquis, and The Chelseas throughout the Baltimore area and Ocean City. The Chelseas appeared on The Kerby Scott Show. Michael was a U.S. Navy veteran and operated a successful dental practice in Parkville for over 30 years.

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DiPaula, Tommy
Bass guitarist Tommy DiPaula, passed away on July 16, 2012, as a result of an auto accident. Tommy was an original member of local favorite and RCA recording group The Royal 5 + 1. He also played in many other Baltimore area groups including Horizon, Night Shift, and more recently with The Klassix. Sincerest condolences are extended to his family and friends.

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Ennis, Ethel
Ethel Ennis , legendary jazz singer passed away on February 17 due to complications from a stroke. She was 86. Condolences to her family, friends and fans.




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Ferrell, Anthony
Radio personality Anthony Ferrell aka Dr. Doo-Wop host of a popular oldies show on Morgan State University's radio station WEAA passed away on October 4, 2017 after suffering a stroke.

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Fisher, Ralph
Saying so-long to Ralph Fisher... By Baltimore Sun writer Jacques Kelly Ralph Otis Fisher , a versatile drummer who performed at jazz clubs and did studio work with 1970s pop artists, died of cancer Saturday (December 27, 2008) at his Randallstown home. He was 61. Over the past five decades, he played rhythm and blues, jazz and gospel at numerous clubs and private parties and was one of Baltimore's best-known drummers. "He had the right timing. He had the right touch. He had the right feel," said singer Ethel Ennis. "Speaking as a vocalist, he was a take-care-of-you drummer." Born and raised in Frederick, he first showed an interest in percussion when, as a child, he would hammer out musical rhythms on his family's kitchen chairs. After he wore out their upholstery, his father bought his 5-year-old a set of drums. He played in the school band at Linganore High School. Family members said his first professional job was playing at the Gist Club in Libertytown at 16. A year later he moved to Baltimore and performed at the Sphinx Club, Club Casino and New Albert Hall in the then-flourishing Pennsylvania Avenue music scene. "He performed flawlessly and was one of the most highly sought-after and highly respected drummers to come out of Baltimore," said E. Scott Johnson, chair of the Maryland State Arts Council. When African-American stars came to Baltimore and sang at the Royal Theatre or at Carr's Beach near Annapolis, Mr. Fisher played alongside and often performed with opening acts. "He was a natural talent and very serious about his music. He wanted everything to be right," said Nevitta Ruddy, a friend and keyboard player. "If someone else wasn't playing properly, he'd stop the music." Family members said he moved to Los Angeles for a while many years ago and did studio work with Earth, Wind and Fire and the Temptations, often supplying his brand of funk to practice sessions. He also toured with Wilson Pickett and Luther Ingram. "Ralph was known throughout the music world as a gifted drummer, and to see him live was to be treated to an explosive show," said his sister, Shirley L. Jackson of Randallstown. "He was versatile enough to play any music genre, but jazz, R&B, funk, blues and gospel were his favorite musical entities." In Baltimore, he played at the New Haven Lounge, the Park Plaza, the Caton Castle, Mimi Junior's, the 32nd Street Plaza and Duffy's Lounge. He also recorded with the poet Wanda Robinson on two albums on the Perception label in the early 1970s and was a member of Cruel Shoes, a group led by John Palumbo that released a CD in 1992. He was also a member of Scott Cunningham's Band in the late 1970s. "Like many of the noted local musicians, he could be found regularly at the Sportsman's Lounge, where there was a jam session Monday nights," said his sister. Family members said that Mr. Fisher was a "very spiritual person" and played drums for a church band at Bible Manor Church with his longtime friend Julius Brockington. At the time of his death, he was working on a gospel CD, a project he did not finish.


Ralph Fisher

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Flinkman, Norman
RIP Norman R. Flinkman aka Randy Fisher , died June 10, 2015 of pancreatic cancer in Pompano Beach, Florida.
Mr. Flinkman attended Forest Park High School, then served in the U.S. army. Under stage name Randy Fisher he released a record in 1958 "You're The Reason" b/w "I've Got The Feeling" (Saliano 112) backed by a studio group called The Sharp Tones.
During the 1960's he performed professionally as a comedian and singer under the stage name Buddy DeVille. He worked local clubs that included The 2 O'Clock Club on the famed Baltimore Block, and Sherrie's Show Bar on Pulaski Highway. He toured nationally, later becoming a promoter and a booking agent.
. In the 1970s he owned a night club in Dothan, Alabama, and later retired to Florida.

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Flockton, Michelle
"Three months later, his sister Michelle Flockton (nee' Grden 1963 - 2015) died of leukemia in September 2015. She was sister of drummer John Grden. Her friend John Cochran said "Michelle wasn't cited anywhere in Baltimore Sounds, but she was a brilliant flutist with a degree from Towson State, and later an instructor there. She would sit in with Driving Force during our covers of "Locomotive Breath" and excerpts from "Supper's Ready".

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Ford, Ricky
Ricky Ford , guitarist and member of local bands including Cinnamon Cloud, Joshua, Rockhard Peter. Ricky passed away due to lung cancer on December 16, 2020.
RIP Ricky - sending condolences to family and friends.

Ricky with The Cinnamon Cloud circa 1968, Ricky with Joshua circa 1972

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Forrester, Jim
Jim Forrester , 43, bass guitarist of popular 90's recording group Sixty Watt Shaman, and more recently with the bands Foghound, and Serpents of Secrecy, was shot to death outside of the tattoo shop where he worked in Fells Point. Condolences to all friends and family.

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Gale, Jack
Jack Gale , radio legend and friend, died of natural causes on January 24, 2018 at the age of 92, at his home in Sebring, Florida. He was predeceased by his wife Lovey.
Baltimore Sun staff writer Jacques Kelly wrote a nice tribute
"Jack Gale, talent manager and radio host on Baltimore's old WITH-AM, dies"
Jack had so many stories that a book could be written. And as a matter of fact he DID write a book! I would highly recommend anyone to search out a copy of his book "Same Time, Same Station." His musical career in radio, recording and producing records, voiceovers and commercials spanned 8 decades! A true original and professional in every way!



Lovey Gale, Jack Gale, and Joe V - photo circa 2009

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Gannon, Roland
Roland Gannon, guitarist of '60s band the Nomads, passed away in August 2009. Roland worked at Fred Walker Music and Dundalk Music for many years and was a retired Army veteran. A memorial gathering was held in his honor, attended by family, friends and many members of his '60s band the Nomads. Some great stories were told. He will be missed by many.

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Gantt, Warren
RIP Warren Gantt
March 2020. Warren was drummer for the Fuzzy Kane Trio (Bay Sound Records recording artist). The trio also backed jazz vocalist Ernie Andrews on Phil-LA of Soul Records.

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Gavazzi, Debbie
Debbie Gavazzi passed away on June 27, 2012
Debbie was an indie talent agent who worked a lot in Maryland. Condolences to her family and friends.

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Gillespie, John
John Gillespie - Guitarist, original member of The Belltones. Johnny toured with Ronnie Dove for over 25 years. A resident of Glen Burnie, MD for many years, he passed away in Knoxville, TN on October 21, 2018.

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Gilyard, James
James Gilyard , aka 'JG' passed away on September 11, 2015 after a long battle with cancer.
JG played bass guitar for the Shyndells Band, backing many recording artists on Rufus Mitchell's Ru-Jac Records label, and as primary backing band for local R&B legends Winfield Parker and Kenny Hamber among others. The Shyndells provided backing music and/or opened for a virtual who's who of R&B music throughout the 1960's on many local stages including the Civic Center, Lyric Theater, and Carr's Beach, as well as tours on the famed 'chitlin' circuit.'
In 1969 JG joined the Hitchhikers (Denny & the Hitchhikers) along with Warren Garrison, Kenny Hamber, and others after the departure of Denny Picasso. The group membership evolved as they became known as The J.G. Hitchhikers. Among many venues local and abroad, they played two years as the house band at The Blackjack Club in Baltimore.


J.G. continued as leader of Kenny Hamber's backing bands, touring the U.S. and Europe, until his health began failing in recent years. He had a warm personality and a huge infectious smile. I was honored to be recognized by him at shows at the 5th Regiment Armory and the Patapsco Arena.

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Glaser, David
David Glaser - Guitarist, songwriter, teacher David Glaser has passed away after battling cancer.
Dave played in many Annapolis/Baltimore area groups including Van Dyke & Glaser, Daylight, Telluride, Band of a Thousand Names, Guitars From Mars, Expensive Hobby...
From his website:
"David Glaser has been playing professionally for over 30 years! He is an iconic musician in the Mid Atlantic area and is a nationally known electric and acoustic guitarist, mandolinist, and songwriter. His style and skill set have made him a sought-after studio musician and side man. He records tracks in his home studio and plays over 150 shows annually.
"David's resume includes gigs with recording artists Lowen & Navarro, Starpoint, Bob Sima, and many others. See www.davidglaser.com for more about David."
posted 6.11.2018

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Grden, John
John Grden (1964 - 2015) speed metal drummer passed away in June 2015. He is noted in Baltimore Sounds with Decadence (p.116), Have Mercy (p.202), Mary Suicide, (p.296), Nothing Sacred (p.334), Pessimist (p.365), and Speaking in Tongues (p.455), but friend and bandmate John Cochran remembered "we had a rocking teenage combo (Driving Force, p.132) that made a little but significant splash. He wasn't no slouch on trombone either, no shit!"

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Grim, Danny
Danny Grim passed away on April 10, 2019 after a long battle with bladder cancer. He was well known bass guitarist for many years as a member of Chrystal, Teazer, then an original and long-time member of Hectic Red from the mid-80s through the 2000s, during which time he also played concurrently with groups such as Reporter, XYZ, and KGB.

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Gunther, Roy
Roy Gunther. Band manager and booking agent. Passed away of cancer on December 27, 2008. R.I.P. Some of local groups he managed during the '60s and '70s included Gary & the Artesians, The Del Vinos, The Legends, The Package, Raintree, Felix, Carry On...

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Hancock, Billy
Billy Hancock , a rockabilly singer, guitarist and bassist known for his outrageous stage presence and his collaborations with virtuosic guitarist Danny Gatton, died Jan. 22, 2018 at a hospital in La Plata, Md. He was 71. The cause was complications from cirrhosis, said his producer, Jon Strong of Ripsaw Records.
See tribute article in :

The Washington Post by Terence McArdle


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Harris, Damon
Singer Damon 'Otis' Harris passed away on February 18, 2013.
Damon began his singing career with local teen R&B groups the Tempros, and Shades Formation, then the Vandals (Young Vandals) who released singles on T-Neck Records.
At the age of 21 he fulfilled a dream joining his idol group Motown's Temptations as a replacement for the departed Eddie Kendricks. From 1971 through 1975 Damon sang on all the major Temptations hits including their biggest "Papa Was A Rolling Stone." During his tenure with the group they earned nine gold record awards, three Grammies and two American Music Awards.
In 1975 he returned to Baltimore and reunited with former members of the Vandals calling themselves Impact. The group released albums and singles on Atco and WMOT labels. Damon also released a solo album in 1978 with a single "It's Music" reaching the national R&B charts. After some work in Vegas and tours with a Tempations off-shoot group Damon retired from music and went to school to study law.
In late '90s he was diagnosed with prostate cancer and after a number of years winning the battle he founded The Damon Harris Cancer Foundation. Damon told me how proud he was to give something back to the community by promoting awareness of prostate cancer among African-American men - the demographic most susceptible to the disease.
After a 14-year battle with cancer Damon passed away at the Joseph Richey Hospice in Baltimore at the age of 62.


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Hendry, Neil
Neil Hendry , the first drummer and founding member of the band The Uncertain Things, died of liver failure in April 2013.
Posted 2/2016. Update courtesy of Matt Siran

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Hensel, 'Budd'
Albert Charles "Budd" Hensel, Jr. passed away on May 18, 2017 at his home in Ocoee, Florida. From 1958-1961 he was lead guitarist and vocalist of Gardenville area group The Adjectives. He later joined The Del Satins through the early to mid-1960s using the stage name of Buddy Lee Rimar.
Some of Budd's music is posted on broadjam.com, where a brief autobiography reads:
"Starting at 13 playing bluegrass music, During the mid 50's and late 60's I worked with many local Maryland, Washington D.C. R&B Bands Then an opportunity took me to the Big Apple working with some of the better known Artists of R&B era.
"In 1968, family responsibilities took me away from the spotlights, ending my dreams of being a known entertainer... So I began writing and taping various types of music and lyrics.
"In 2006 my children had discovered several of the tapes I'd composed, persuading me to continue my efforts into more than just a hobby.
"In 2007, I joined ASCAP and Broadjam, then assembled a mini-studio using a multitrack recorder...
"At my age, to be heard or even recognized as the writer of song you like, I say "Thank You" and always remember "For such is the life of a Struggling Musician.""

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Hernandez, Roger
Longtime career musician Roger Hernandez, died earlier this year (2012) at age 56.
Roger had an extensive history performing locally and abroad.
Guitarist Richard Walton recalls that Roger "hired me right out of high school in a working 9 piece band called Sunset Dawn in 1974. We were doing a lot of good gigs back then. After the band broke up Roger went solo, working cruise ships and touring."

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Hess, Jamie
Word recently received that Jamie Hess passed away this June 2014. Jamie played keyboards for RCA recording artist The Lafayettes. His piano playing will always live on in their recordings including the classic "Life's Too Short."

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High, Karon
John Cochran recalls " my dear friend and soulmate Karon High (1955 - 2010). Karon came to Baltimore by way of Austin, Texas, and participated in regional songwriting forums. She was a good acoustic guitarist and had a voice that could melt glass. We would kill 'em at Fells Point with our "Paradise By the Dashboard Light" karaoke."


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Hoffman, Bill
I am sorry to note the recent passing of Bill Hoffman (keyboards) an early member of The Sentries, and later with Legend.
June 2009

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Holyfield, Lizzy Dean
We are sorry to hear that Lizzy Dean Holyfield , vocalist of Great Mutant Skywheel passed away October 2020.

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Hughes, Jimmy
Jimmy Hughes passed away on July 1, 2010 after a long battle with throat cancer. He was primarily known as a bass guitarist, playing music for almost 50 years with local groups including The Rhythmaires, CJ & the Legends which later became known as Legend, The Lower East Side, and in more recent years The Charmed Times Reunion Band. All of these groups released records. Jimmy was and always will be a Legend. Not only in band name, but in class and personality, as well as musicianship. Jimmy played a big part in recent years stirring up nostalgia for the Baltimore music scene. He seemed to know everyone and had endless stories about himself and others playing locally and touring across the country. His knowledge of music in addition to his encyclopedic memories of old TV and other such trivia was phenominal. He was part of a group that wrote and published band biographies for the Charmed Times magazine, and he influenced me to continue the work which eventually snowballed into the Baltimore Sounds book. I was honored that he was kind enough to write an endorsement for the book and I had his words printed on the first page.

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Hunt, Clay
Clay Hunt , vocalist of many top Baltimore groups including The Sentries, The Princetons, New Censation, Pure Delight. He also sang with DC's Peaches & Herb. His recordings were released on Bay Sound, Kapp, Polydor, Pride record labels.
May 2020


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Jacobson, Joe
Joe Jacobson passed away in spring of 2017.
Joe studied at Peabody Conservatory of Music and was an accomplished pianist and songwriter. Joe and I carpooled and attended classes together at The Broadcasting Institute of Maryland in 1983. He went on to do some work as a cameraman. We had some good times at Dead Freddie's and Spittel's Salty Dog Saloon. I remember at his home making recordings of our singing while he played the piano in a lower key and sped up the tape to make us sound like the Chipmunks. It was good for a few laughs!



Joe recorded a record circa 1978 and released as Joe Elliott & Clear Daze. He was a member of The Wave (1983-86), and Mirage (1986-96). His song "Running Away From Love" was a national R&B hit for local DJ/recording artist Curtis Anderson. I lost contact with Joe in the '00s as he moved away from the area. At the time of his passing he was living in Sarasota, Florida.

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Jeppi, John
John C. Jeppi, Sr. , I am sorry to relay the news of John's passing on January 17, 2021 due to covid pneumonia, age 83. John, a sports announcer, founded the Broadcasting Institute of Maryland in 1969 and opened the way to radio and television careers for many hundreds of students. I enrolled in BIM and took classes in 1983 with hopes of working in radio programming. He was always very supportive and worked to instill enthusiasm to all his students. A catch phrase of the school was ten two-letter words "if it is to be it is up to me".
John retired from BIM in 2015. He was a 2014 inductee to the Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame.

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Johnson, Joel
RIP Joel Johnson - reportedly passed away during surgury on October 3, 2018. Nicknamed "Razor Sharp," Joel (pronounced Jo-El) played keyboards with local Baltimore funk/R&B groups including Madhouse (Today Records recording artist) and offshoot group Witchcraft.
Childhood friend and bandmate Gary "Mudbone" Cooper brought many Baltimore musicians into the P-Funk family, including Joel as a member of former JB's bass player Bootsy Collins' Rubber Band. As members of the group they toured worldwide and released numerous albums of their brand of funk including "Ahh... The Name Is Bootsy, Baby! (1977), "Bootsy? Player Of The Year" (1978), "This Boot Is Made For Fonk-N" (1979), "Ultra Wave" (1980), "The One Giveth, The Count Taketh Away" (1982), "Jungle Bass" (1990), "Blasters Of The Universe" (1993), "Keepin' Dah Funk Alive 4-1995" (1995), "Christmas Is 4 Ever" (1996).


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Johnson, Robert 'P-nut'
Robert "P-Nut" Johnson (1947-2017), funk vocalist and songwriter has passed away on March 11, 2017.
This news from his friend Reggie Kelly: "It is with great sadness to inform those who knew him that ROBERT "P-Nut" JOHNSON has died! I met P-Nut some years ago when he was a member of the popular singing Quintet "THE CIVICS". Earlier on the group was backed up by an all White band known as "THE JETSONS"; then later they switched to an all Black band named "THE COLLECTIONS". It wasn't too shortly thereafter that he, along with Gary, Joel "Razor Sharp" Johnson (no relation) were recruited by William "Bootsy" Collins along with others from the Cincinnati, Ohio area formed "Bootsy's Rubber Band" of which their first LP "Stretchin' Out" was released on Warner Brothers Records in 1976. After several reincarnations of the group P-Nut finally became a member of Parliament recording and touring until his untimely death."


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Jones, Jimmy
Jimmy Jones , died of kidney failure on February 16, 2021 at age 50. DJ / vocalist / recording artist, purveyor of Baltimore Club & House music. He was a member of recording group Doo Dew Kidz, his solo hits included "Watch Out for the Big Girl."

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Joy, Bill
We are sorry to hear that Bill Joy , vocalist of The Verdicts, Grok, and Spitfire passed away in October 2020.

Bill Joy & The Verdicts at The Rhapsody

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Kelly, Mike
Mike Kelly , Michael Dean Kelly passed away on June 18, 2016 after a brief illness. He was 58. Mike played drums with several popular Baltimore area bands including Bock, Revolution, Apricot Brandy... RIP, Mike

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Kennedy, Franklin
Franklin C. Kennedy , singer of Frankie & the Spindles passed away on April 20, 2016 at age 67.
The Spindles were very popular in Baltimore and influenced many later groups such as The Softones, The Persians, and others... DJ Rockin' Robin took the group under his wing hooking them up with producer George Kerr and releasing several singles on the Roc-Ker label including their classics "(My Girl) Is Made Of Candy" and "Count To Ten." Rockin' Robin also introduced the group to songwriters/producers Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff in Philadelphia where they went on to release singles on Funny A, Gamble, TSOP, and Strawberry labels.
Frankie eventually left the group and worked outside of music, while the group continued in various incarnations into the 2000s.

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Kestle, Jimmy
Saying so long to Jimmy Kestle who passed on April 18, 2020 after a long battle with alzheimer's.
Jimmy was a fixture in the Baltimore area music scene for many years playing bass guitar for many of the top local groups as well as a stint with Dion DiMucci's Streetheart Band.
He began in the mid-60s with a teen band called The Dimensions, then went on to be a member of Cindy & the Censations, Bob Brady's Conchords, Coyote, Dan Patch, Paper Cup, The Streetheart Band, The Mainstreet Gang that became Rosco. Am I missing any? In his later years he devoted his musical talent to his church group.
Jimmy was well liked and respected throughout the musical community. It was heartwarming to see the incredible outpouring of support with a packed house for a benefit for Jimmy and his wife Rosemary at the Ashland Cafe in 2018.


Photos: Jimmy with The Conchords 1971, Jimmy with Coyote 1972

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Krixer, Kraig
Kraig Krixer , According to CBS/WJZ news reports, well known and respected Baltimore musician Kraig Krixer along with his roomate John Gurkis were found dead inside Krixer's Perry Hall condo on January 21, 2011. I have not yet heard the cause of death. Tom Warner has a nice tribute on his blog page http://accelerateddecrepitude.blogspot.com/2011/01/kraig-krixer-rip-1951-2011.html

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Laird, Dick
Dick Laird , Longtime bluegrass musician of the South-Central PA and Maryland area, member of Bluestone.

July 2019 - Courtesy of Jeff Laird and Russ Hooper

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Levy, O'Donel
O'Donel Levy passed away on March 14, 2016 due to a stroke he suffered in 2009. Born in South Baltimore on September 20, 1945, 'Butch' went on to quite a career as a jazz guitarist. He attended Peabody, worked with Julius Brockington's groups, and ventured to New York where he toured with Jimmy McGriff and George Benson. During the 1970s and 80s he released more than a dozen albums on Groove Merchant, LRC, and other labels. He later moved to Singapore and developed a loyal following. In the early 2000s he returned to the Baltimore area.
I had the pleasure of meeting him through my friend and talent agent Michael Lipman. We went to see him perform several times at the short-lived jazz club Courtney's Place in Randallstown, and visits to his studio in Belair.
Butch had quite a sense of humor, and it was painful to see him partially paralyzed from his stroke though he remained upbeat in hopes of being able to play again. RIP Butch, you will be missed.

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Light, Mickey
Mickey Light (Leight) , Frank Sinatra impersonator extroidanaire, passed away on January 8, 2019 due to complications from dimentia. Mickey had moved to Chicago in recent years. He was 83.


Mickey Light (photo borrowed from his website)

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Lipman, Michael
Michael S. Lipman passed the morning of January 8, 2013 due to complications from a stroke.
Michael worked a number of jobs including insurance and sales related positions. In recent years he ran his own talent agency named Missile Productions (the name derived from his initials MSL).
His musical experience came from the 1960s-70s when he worked as an equipment manager for the Michael Goldberg Band and hung out at The Full Moon Saloon.
I began running into Michael at many local music events and we became friends. Mike seemed to know everyone. He knew your likes and dislikes and was always giving gifts, especially if he knew what music you liked he would make specialized CD music collections. Knowing that I collected records he gave me his album collection after he had transferred it to CD. He was good with computers and was always very helpful to anyone who asked. He was also very knowledgeable about sports. His signature was creating paper roses out of napkins for all the ladies. If you knew him you knew that he could be quite opinionated and always try to impose his way of doing things. Sometimes we would butt heads but it was always good natured. He loved the colossal doughnuts at Shopper's and was proud of how he could get a cheap meal by buying two dollar BK burgers and combine them onto one bun. There was never anything green on his plate, and he would tell you the only thing green in his refrigerator may have been some old meat.
During my marriage separation he welcomed me into his home where I rented a room. It was a nice situation as we were both very interested in music and were able to travel to events together albeit for different purposes. He was checking out bands for bookings and I was conducting interviews for my book. We introduced each other to our friends in the business. He introduced me to his friends Dennis Chambers, Victor Williams, and Joe Phillips (of the Winstons), among others, at Tom's Sports Bar in Randallstown where we would often stop in to enjoy their weekly specials and a beer, although Mike never drank nor smoked (he claims his entire life). We also traveled on occasion to hear local artists, and multiple times we saw The Spindles, Chauncey Harris & Joyride, Tony Sciuto, Linda Nelson, O'Donel 'Butch' Levy (also going to his studio, and visiting him in assisted living after his stroke). We had great visits with Renaud on his rural farm, and a memorable holiday party at Victor's house. We went to see artists perform at the Lexington Market, Lurman Theater, Harbor Place, and many other venues.
It was only a couple days after his 65th birthday. I happened to be off from work one day when my phone rang at about 5AM. It was Mike from the next room calling to ask me to help him. He suffered a stroke that morning and his condition quickly deteriorated. In the following months he went through various rehab programs but ultimately was confined to a bed at several assisted care facilities over his remaining two and a half years. His motor skills were greatly diminished but he kept his sharp mind and wit.

I tried to drop in on him once a week although in recent months could not make it as often as I had wished. Mike was a true friend. He was also a great help with the book and I am thankful that he saw it come to completion.
Services will be at Sol Levinson Funeral Home in Pikesville. Please call them for details.

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Litchfield, Ron
Remembering Ron Litchfield who passed away in 2014.
Ron and I grew up on the same street in Ellicott City, and later we both worked for the same employer for over thirty years. Ron enjoyed playing guitar, riding motorcycles, and collecting vinyl, especially Lynyrd Skynyrd related collectibles. Our record collecting hobby took us on many memorable escapades.
Ron's sole mention in the Baltimore Sounds book was as a member of the Howard County based bar band Wendell Ross & The Supremes.

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Lloyd, Harold
Harold Lloyd, saxophonist and songwriter, passed away on September 29, 2009. He was a member of Morgan's Pirates, Sawbuck, Tugboat, Contraband, and others... Condolences to friends and family.

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Mach, Steve
Steve Mach passed away in October 2011 after unusual and unfortunate circumstances. Steve played bass guitar with local bands including Modern Vogue, The Vamps, The Actors... Steve was also known in New York City where he worked as a lighting technician at the famed CBGB's night club. Friend Warren Cherry forwarded the following link.
http://articles.baltimoresun.com/2011-10-05/news/bs-md-ci-mach-police-shooting-20111005_1_baltimore-police-officer-police-shootings-cbgb

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Magee, Marylou
RIP Marylou Magee-Kern , 49, of Marylou and the Untouchables passed away Thursday, June 25, 2015 at University of MD Medical Center. She was the spouse of Leonard Kern.
Marylou was born November 25, 1965 in Baltimore, MD the daughter of Elsa Lillian (Beyer) Magee and the late Carl W. Magee.
She came from a family of musicians, was lead singer for Marylou and the Untouchables, performed with various artists such as Tommy Thomas of the Drifters, Taylor Dayne, Dana Carvey, Ray Charles, Dimitri Callas (lead guitarist for the Four Seasons), Clarence Clemens (saxophonist for Bruce Springsteen), and James Brown.
Surviving her in addition to her husband and mother are brothers Mark and Thomas Magee, sister-in-law Yvonne Magee, sister-in-law Mary Magee and numerous nieces and nephews, family and friends. Preceded in death by brothers David and Joseph Magee.
Obituary from Burrier-Queen web-site


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Mardones, Benny
Benny Mardones , Cleveland born Ruben Armand Mardones grew up in Savage, Maryland and attended Howard High School and performed in local bands. After moving to New York he became a writer for Mercury Records, later with White Whale, and Columbia writing songs for ther artists. In 1980 while at Polydor Records he scored his only personal hit "Into The Night" that peaked at #11 on Billboard Pop charts.
Benny passed away on June 1, 2020 after battling parkinson's for 20 years.

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Matarozza, Daryl
Darryl Matarozza
passed away on February 7, 2020.
Darryl started out playing guitar as a founding member of The Gigs in the mid-60s, later switching to bass guitar in a musical career that spanned parts of six decades. He rejoined The Gigs when they regrouped in 2007. Inbetween he was a member of many prominent Baltimore groups including Staggerwing, Daylight, Paper Cup, Shor Patrol, and The Approach.

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Mercer, Beretta
Vocalist Beretta Mercer sang throughout the Baltimore/Washington area for over 30 years in popular local groups MFD & Co, and The Rollex Band. She died in her sleep on August 25, 2012.
Baltimore Afro-American columnist Valerie Fraling wrote "Beretta who endured so much would often say "I won't complain," could "tear the roof off the mother, sucker" rolling on the floor, jumping on chairs and tables as guests watched in amazement of this full-figured star. Whenever she saw me, she would sing my favorite song "At Last." She loved us begging her for one more song."
"Maceo's owner Dante said Beretta stopped in the club Friday night, making her rounds to her favorite places, unknowingly taking her final curtain call. Beretta may you find the peace you so deserve. "at last."

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Meyers, Lou
Vocalist Lou Meyers passed away on Wednesday, Feb., 26, 2014 after a long battle with cancer. A long-time veteran of the Baltimore music scene, Lou sang with the Playboys, The MoJo's, The Progressions, and others. In 2013 Lou was honored with induction into the Maryland Entertainers Hall of Fame. Condolences to his family and friends.

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Miller, Bill
Guitarist Bill Miller, former member of the Grabbers and other Glen Burnie based groups, passed away in July 2008.

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Mills, Louis
Iconic studio engineer Louis "Lou" Mills passed away on September 16 of a heart attack. Lou established Recordings Inc., later known as Flite 3 Studios. From its inception in 1958 through closing in 2003 he engineered and/or produced thousands of sound and video projects from music, to radio/TV commercials, to major movie productions.

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Morgan, Ray
Ray (Huettner) Morgan , vocalist of Morgan's Pirates, The Shambells, and in more recent years a member of a capella group Smooth Teaze. Ray lost his long battle with cancer on August 6, 2020.

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Morris, Reggie Wayne
RIP Reggie Wayne Morris Friend, masterful guitarist and musician

1/2020

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Mudd, Susie
My friend and colleague Susan Elizabeth "Susie" Mudd, Music Monthly publisher, passed away on April 5, 2012 after a long battle with cancer. Susie did as much or more than anyone to promote music of the Baltimore region.
See article by Frederick N. Rasmussen:
Susan Mudd, April 13, 2012, By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun
Susan Elizabeth "Susie" Mudd, the former publisher, editor and owner of the free magazine Music Monthly, which for nearly three decades reported on Mid-Atlantic rock bands and musicians as well as other music, died April 5 of cancer at Sinai Hospital.
The longtime Lauraville and Lutherville resident was 56.
"Whether Susie realized it or not, she had made her mark on the Mid-Atlantic music scene," said Paul Manna, who worked for Ms. Mudd as a columnist and later in advertising sales. "She was highly regarded by the music community and wanted people on her staff who believed in what she was doing."
"Her death is a great loss to the music community. She was a dear friend and big proponent of what we did at the 9:30 Club in Washington and at Merriweather Post Pavilion," said Richard Heincke, a concert promoter and owner of IMP Productions.
"She got so many local musicians their start in the world that she's had some bearing on," he said. "In the local Baltimore-Washington music scene, she was very influential. Her magazine was a regional force in the Northeast Corridor."
Born in Baltimore and raised in West Towson, Ms. Mudd was a 1973 graduate of Towson Catholic High School and earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Mount St. Mary's University in 1978.
After a brief stint in the traffic department at 98 Rock, Ms. Mudd joined the fledgling music publication Maryland Musician as a reporter and columnist.
While Ms. Mudd preferred the bass, she did not play an instrument.
"The bass was her favorite instrument," said Ms. Mudd's niece, Kelly Connelly, who was a columnist and editor at Music Monthly. "She was more of an admirer of music than a participant."
Ms. Mudd's column, "The Red Rocket Report," featured news on local rock bands and took its name from her love of rock music and her penchant for wearing red clothing.
In 1981, she became sole owner of Maryland Musician, which she renamed Music Monthly after buying out her partner.
"Covering music created by Mid-Atlantic artists was her life's work and passion. She was as much known for her brash, no-holds-barred reviews as she was for shining light on local talent and giving people chances to contribute to the magazine as writers and photographers," said Ms. Connelly, who lives in Charles Village.
"She also covered the Baltimore Symphony as well as the jazz scene. She covered all types of music," she said. "She felt it was important for bands to get publicity in our publication."
Ms. Connelly said her aunt had a sharp eye for emerging talent and that Music Monthly played an important role in an era before the Internet took over publicizing musicians, bands and other celebrities.
"Often, Music Monthly was the first publication area artists received publicity from, and she took pride in playing a part in the success of such artists as Good Charlotte, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Tori Amos and countless others," she said.
"Susie never held her tongue about anything, and there was never a dull moment working with her," her niece said. "She was passionate about covering music and stuck to her guns. She was fearless when it came to giving it back to critics."
"She gave me my first job in the music business in 1991, and I owe her dearly. It was a big leap of faith and was a major turning point in my life," recalled Mr. Manna, who wrote "Maryland Artists on Stage," which were live concert reviews.
"I admired her tireless passion to keep her free publication around for us fellow music junkies. All Susie wanted was for her paper to survive each month," said Mr. Manna, who is now a concert promoter and owner of Baltimore's 24-7 Entertainment.
"As a free magazine, it's a tough business because you live and die on advertising, but Susie gave me complete autonomy. She struggled and sacrificed so much every single month trying to keep it afloat," he said. "Those who really knew her, know underneath her rough exterior was a very kind soul."
By 2008, the magazine's circulation had risen to 90,000. But beset with financial problems and the onset of health problems, Ms. Mudd made the decision to end publication of Music Monthly.
"It had become difficult for her to keep the independent publication afloat, so she stopped," said Ms. Connelly.
"She had a love of music that was tangible," said Cyndi Lewis, the former website and merchandising manager for Baltimore's Kelly Bell Band.
"Her words resonated with readers who anxiously waited for Music Monthly to come. She offered constructive criticism, and her opinions mattered," said Ms. Lewis. "She was the best friend Baltimore music ever had."
Ms. Mudd, who was living in Roland Park at the time of her death, was especially fond of her three bichon frises and was an avid Orioles fan.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Sunday at Peaceful Alternatives Funeral & Cremation Center, 2325 York Road, Timonium.
In addition to Ms. Connelly, she is survived by three brothers, John Mudd of Towson, Dan Mudd of Montclair, Calif., and Tom Mudd of Haywards Heath, England; three sisters, Tricia Mudd of Towson, Amy Ciarlo of Timonium and Mary Ann Connelly of Onacock, Va.; and many other nieces and nephews. fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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Myers, Frank
Frank Myers Frank "Hank" Myers passed away on January 9, 2017 at the age of 67. Frank played guitar and keyboards. He was a member of many top Baltimore bands starting in the mid-60s including The Deltas, Shane, The Blue Meanies, The Overlea Brothers, Retrospect aka The Bottles that morphed into (Stevie &) The Satellites, and in recent years was a member of a reformed version of The Gigs.

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Noto, Joe
RIP Joe Noto musician and proprieter of Music Land in Belair passed away on May 7, 2015 after a long battle with cancer. Joe emigrated from Sicily as a teenager. He opened Govan's Music in the '60s, and the business later relocated to Belair as Music Land, operating for over 40 years. Although I missed him and his groups in the Baltimore Sounds book, Joe and I later had some nice conversations about local musicians, his bands (The Joe Noto Combo, and others), and many other bands and musicians from northeastern Maryland. Joe was very genuine and supportive of the many musicians who patronized his store. He wanted me to do another book to include artists that were missed in the book. As fellow Sicilian descendents, Joe and I also had ties to family and friends in Little Italy and it was fun talking about shared connections. I will miss his friendly smile and conversations at Music Land.

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Novik, Greg
Greg Novik passed away on October 11, 2017 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. For 28 years Greg was the friendly proprieter of Greg's Bagels in Belvedere Square before giving up the business in 2016 due to his health.
Musically, as a multi-instrumentalist of guitar, bass, keyboards, and saxophone, Greg was member of Montgomery County based recording groups The Resumes, and The Newports, and also led his band Greg and his Novikanes. In Baltimore he was a member of The New Apocalypse who released several singles and an album "Stainless Soul" on MTA Records.

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O'Brennan, Mark
Mark O'Brennan passed away on April 5, 2019. He was lead singer of several southern rock bands throughout Maryland and Pennsylvania - groups included Barnstorm, Motherlode, John's Basement...

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Ocasek, Ric
Ric Ocasek (Richard Theodore Otcasek) March 23, 1944- September 15, 2019


Ric Ocasek, Baltimore native was frontman for The Cars
Associated Press - New York - Ric Ocasek, famed frontman for The Cars rock band, has been found dead in a Manhattan apartment.
The New York City police department said officers responding to a 911 call found the 75-year-old Ocasek about 4 p.m. Sunday. They said that there was no sign of foul play and that the medical examiner was to determine a cause of death.
The Cars' chart-topping hits in the late 1970s and 1980s included "Just What I Needed," "Shake It Up" and "Drive." The band was inducted (in 2016) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In May 2018, model and actress Paulina Porizkova announced on social media that she and Ocasek had separated after 28 years of marriage. The pair first met while filming the music video for "Drive."
A Baltimore native, Ocasek spoke in 1991 of what it was like to grow up in the city with family just north of Baltimore in Parkville.
"I was a total Baltimore kid. I dyed my hair blond in the front, went to Ocean City, and lived that whole thing," he said at the time. "Baltimore has always had a unique ambience about it, of all the places in this country. I can see why John Waters remains there." The Baltimore Sun contributed to this article.



Cars display at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio - photos by Joe V.

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Paone, Loretta
Loretta Paone (Berger) , singer notable for her Brenda Lee tributes passed away on June 1, 2020. In 2013 she was inducted into the Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame.

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Parker, Winfield
Winfield Parker , 78, passed away on January 18, 2021.
Winfield aka Buddy started out as a saxophonist in the late 1950s with a local group called the Vee Jays. He went on to work with Sammy Fitzhugh's Morrocans, toured with Little Richards backing band The Upsetters, recorded with Big Jay McNeely, and Baltimore's R&B vocal group The Swallows.
At the insistance of manager Rufus Mitchell, Winfield stepped out front as a vocalist. He released a handful of great soul records in the 1960's on Mitchell's Ru-Jac Records label and toured extensively throughout the famed chitlin' circuit along with many of the top R&B artists of the time.
Further record releases came on Atco, Wand, Arctic, GSF, and Spring which produced a national hit with a cover of Joe Tex's "S.O.S.(Stop Her On Sight)." Winfield was also the featured vocalist on Both Worlds' album "Best of Both Worlds" on Calla Records. He later became a member of Washington D.C.'s The Knight Brothers.
In the early 1980s Winfield embarked on a successful gospel music career releasing numerous albums. In the 2000's he toured with performances of both gospel and secular music.

Arch Social Club - November 11, 2017

BP Records released a retrospective in 2008, and Omnivore Records released a CD of Winfield's Ru-Jac recordings.
Since first seeking out Winfield for the Baltimore Sounds book it has been an honor to be considered a friend, he will be missed! RIP Buddy!

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Peacock, George
George Peacock passed away on September 12, 2016. He was a saxophonist with '60s Baltimore groups The Artesions, The Satins, The Statics, and The Epics. George reunited with the Epics in 2002 for the second R&B Jam reunion.

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Phillips, George
George Phillips , 68, vocalist of R&B group Lycindiana that became internationally renowned recording group Starpoint with record releases on Chocolate City, Boardwalk, and Elektra labels. Mr. Phillips died of sepsis on February 2, 2021.

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Pittman, Lee
It is with great sorrow to relay the news that Lee Pittman
passed away on March 21, 2020 after battling cancer.
Lee was lead singer for Capitol Records' recording group Tomorrow's Promise, and later with Baltimore R&B group Flight 300. Lee shared information about his groups for the Baltimore Sounds book. Wishing my condolences to all family and friends.

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Popoli, Larry 'Reds'
LARRY "REDS" POPOLI , May 13, 1925 - October 29, 2017, Lawrence Joseph Popoli was born and raised in Highlandtown on Decker Avenue along with his ten siblings. His parents were Anthony and Marie. He attended St Brigid's and Mount St. Joseph High School for 2 years before joining the Navy. He was aboard the Block Island aircraft carrier when they were torpedoed. The one thing he saved was his trumpet. Upon being discharged from the Navy, he worked for the City of Baltimore as a street surveyor for many years. In 1949, he and his brothers, Anthony and Michael formed the band Larry Reds Popoli and His Orchestra. Many Baltimoreans will recall the many venues that they played. The group played many Mayoral Balls and also played four times for Vice President Agnew. He later became the bugler at all of the local racetracks and had fond memories of meeting Red Skelton, Johnny Carson, Redd Foxx, Howard Cosell and all the major jockeys as he called the Preakness ponies to the post. One year he even taught trumpeter Al Hirt to blow the call. When he was not bugling, he worked in the mutual departments of the tracks.
Larry is survived by his wife of 68 years, Connie (nee Kaniecki), his son Mark, his son and daughter-in-law Gary and Nicole, and his 2 granddaughters Alexandra and her husband Joseph, and Gabriella. He is also survived by his sisters Rosie, Marie and her husband Victor, and Stephanie, and numerous nieces and nephews. His other siblings, Lucille, Amelia, Dolly, Josephine, Margaret, Anthony and Michael are also deceased. Memory tributes may be sent to the family at www.evansfuneralchapel.com
Source: Evans Funeral Chapel

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Przylepa, Peter
It is with great sadness to note the sudden passing of Peter Przylepa, Jr. on Thursday April 11, 2013.
Baltimore Bands facebook site host Stan Gibson posted "His skills at sound engineering had him working with some of the most famous people in the business. J Geils, Stevie Ray Vaughn etc... He was the best when it came to telling stories from the past." See many tributes and comments https://www.facebook.com/groups/209543105828380/
Sincere condolences to his family and many friends.

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Ptak, Brian
Brian Ptak (1974-2014) songwriter, vocalist and guitarist of '90s group Classic Earth.

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Quigley, Ray
Ray Quigley (1948-2014), bass guitarist of Graham Chambers System ('67-69), and in later years The Charmed Times Reunion Band. I knew Ray throughout my many years of attending record conventions. Ray and friends established a show in the 1989 at the Catonsville Knights Of Columbus Hall. The show later moved to the Arbutus Fire Hall where it continues strong into 2015.
Ray was also involved with the "Charmed Times" publication about local music. This led to the formation of The Charmed Times Reunion Band that was also instrumental in the reuniting of the group Legend.
The "Baltimore Sounds" book grew out of the Charmed Times newsletter.
In retirement Ray and his wife Chris moved to Maine to be near their daughter Carol, while Ray enjoyed a few years of outdoors life.

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Reed, Earline
Jazz singer Earline Reed passed away on June 27, 2019.
Touted as "Baltimore's Lady of Song", and noted by her daughter Dawn as being "among the legends of Pennsylvania Avenue's Sphynx Club." Earline sang with The Fuzzy Kane Trio at various area clubs including Lenny Moore's Club 24. In the 1980s she was vocalist with the jazz/R&B group In Flight, performing at The Bird Cage, Dotson's, and other venues.



1969 ad for Lenny Moore's club featuring Earline Reed with The Fuzzy Kane Trio

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Reedy, Frank
Frank Reedy passed away on May 2, 2019. Frank played drums in local bands and was a custom drum craftsman for the Baltimore Drum Company.

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Reese, Danny
Musician and radio personality Danny Reese passed away suddenly on April 28, 2013 at his home in Naples, Florida. Danny (born Reese Danial Blankenship) was born in Havre de Grace, MD and grew up in Delta, PA. He graduated from Kennard-Dale High School in 1969. He was only 61.
From The Baltimore Sun: "Danny began his successful career as an on-air radio personality on WNOW in York, PA, and then moved on to WPOC (where he was known as 'Old Blue Eyes'), WITH, and WCAO in the Baltimore, MD market. After 20 years in the radio industry, Danny then moved into the public relations, insurance, mortgage and sales fields."
Danny and his wife Ronni "relocated from MD to Naples in 2005 to enjoy the FL sunshine and lifestyle. Danny never lost his passion for music. He brought his high school rock and roll band, Sites 'N Sounds, together in May, 2010 to perform once again for their MD/PA fans, and they continue to reunite twice a year for performances there. In 2011, Danny joined the Fort Myers-based classic rock band Redemption, as their front man, and they performed throughout Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Matlacha, and Naples."
Joe V: I met Danny in 1981 around the time I has aspirations of becoming a DJ. We became friends and I attended many of his record hops especially many occasions at Spittel's Salty Dog Saloon on Rolling Road in Catonsville where he encouraged me, often letting me sit in as a guest DJ, and a couple times filling in for him when he had other engagements.
I saw Danny sporadically over the years, but when the first Baltimore Sounds book came out he called to congratulate me. We got together and he presented me with a copy of a record released by his teen band The Sites 'N Sounds. Up until then I hadn't known that he played in a band. His band was actually from Delta, PA, but played a lot toward Baltimore especially at teen events throughout Harford County. Their record was done at a label based in Aberdeen, MD. The group biography was added to Baltimore Sounds second edition.
I saw Danny just before he and Ronni moved to Naples and we vowed we would someday get together again. Fast forward to 2009 - on a trip to Fort Myers/Cape Coral, I misplaced his number. Not knowing if I would ever make it to SW Florida again, I tried a phone book search and disappointingly found that his number was unlisted. Knowing that he collected vintage guitars I jotted down the numbers of several music stores in the area, but thinking it was too much of a long shot almost didn't call. Finally before my trip was over I tried the number for a store called Gator Music and explained to the clerk that I was just grasping at straws but maybe he may know of my friend, guitarist, and guitar collector Danny Reese. Without hesitation the person immediately exclaimed "of course, that guy is a guitar legend in this town!" and at that very moment I recognized the voice of Danny himself who answered the phone! What a coincidence, he was working part time at that store! We got together that evening for a couple beers and a few laughs. Danny's friendship, sense of humor and infectious laugh will never be forgotten."
"DR" will continue to rock on in the hearts of everyone who knew him." A celebration of his life and a memorial service were held in Naples. A memorial service for family and friends was held in Towson on June 1.

Joe and Danny circa 1982 Spittels Salty Dog Saloon, Catonsville
Joe and Danny circa 2009 Naples, Florida

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Reinhardt, Gil
Gil Reinhardt, lead guitarist for the Urch Perch, Black Foot Smoke, Koffee Beans and many other groups from Baltimore, Maryland, passed away after a long illness on August 17, 2011. Please visit his Facebook page to share condolences and to celebrate all the wonderful years of great fun and music we shared with Gil

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Gil-Reinhardt/229333900410743#!/pages/Gil-Reinhardt/229333900410743

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Ridgley, Howard
RIP Howard Ridgley , bass player for the Upsetters, passed away on Sunday May 10, 2015 at the extended care facility in North Carolina where he had been living for the past year.
Howard played briefly for Terry & The Uptights. He was a member of the Upsetters band that recorded with and toured as Otis Redding's backing band in 1967.
Mark Koch, one of the musicians that followed Howard as bassist for 'Baby Blues and The No Attitude Band' located in Orlando FL and Nashville TN, said that "Howard has been a close friend for several years and I have grown very fond of him and will miss him. He will be missed by many musicians that considered [him] to be a true friend and wonderful musician. (Baby Blues Band members) Joey and Leslie Eberline are going to have a Celebration of Life for Howard outside Orlando FL sometime in the near future. Howard did not want a funeral service, but this will be more of a tribute to him by his musician friends."


Baby Blues & The No Attitude Band's 1996 CD "Real Beauty"

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Ruppert, Vern
Vern Ruppert passed away on September 9, 2016. Vern started out with music in the mid-1950s as guitarist of popular group The Londonaires. They made appearances on The Buddy Dean Show. He went on to manage The RaVons, and wrote songs for pop singer Dick Charles. Vern later worked as a mobile DJ using the name Vern Charles. A school teacher by trade, in his retirement years he operated an antique mall booth in Westminster, and specialized in military memorabilia sales on the internet.
Vern took an interest in the Baltimore Sounds book project, relating many stories and introducing me to some of his bandmates. He designed an early version of the Baltimore Sounds website. A friend who will be truly missed.
Vern Ruppert

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Rutberg, Alan
Alan Rutberg , Jazz aficionado, record collector, proprieter of Own Guru Record shop (in Hampden then later moving to Fells Point) and record dealer at the monthly Arbutus record show.
From Legacy.com:
"Baltimore, MD - After a long, graceful, and intelligent conversation with illness, Alan Marshall Rutberg passed away on June 1, 2018.
"Born on March 12, 1948, in New London, PA, to Frances and Morris Rutberg (deceased), he attended local schools, graduating from New London High, Class of 1968, and UConn at Storrs in 1972.
From an early age, Alan was seen around New London with camera in hand, creating art and finding beauty in the most under-examined elements in our daily lives. Alan continued that passion in California, where he received a MFA at San Francisco Art Institute. He returned to the east coast where he became assistant professor of photography at the University of Maryland, Baltimore campus, becoming a well-respected teacher and mentor. Intensely involved in various pursuits in art, Alan opened OWN GURU, a music and book store in Fells Point, Baltimore, specializing in obscure, rare and well-curated 20th century music, and first edition poetry and novels of the Beat Generation.
"Alan is survived by his brother Eric of San Francisco, as well as many friends in New London, Baltimore, and San Francisco. Service and interment will be in Sonoma, Calif."

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Scarborough, Gary
Saying goodbye to Gary Scarborough ,65, who passed away on March 10, 2018 after a three-year battle with cancer. Gary played guitar in local bands beginning with teen band The New Breed during his years at Woodlawn High School. He later played briefly in the rock band Calico, and really came to prominence with the popular country-rock (later evolving to hard rock) band Trigger Happy in the 1970s and '80s, then again when they reformed in the '90s. Gary was on their lone record release titled "She's Got It All" that appeared on the second 98 Rock Album in 1982. Inbetween Trigger Happy stints he gigged as a solo and duo. He also recorded music for 98 Rock's morning show.

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Schauer, Bob 'Spider'
RIP - Bob 'Spider' Schauer passed away on Friday, Feb. 28, 2014 as a result of a stroke suffered a week prior. Services were private. Bob was a very respected local drummer who played for Buddy Robbins, Joe Noto, Johnny Walker's Good Guys, City Lights... He was inducted into the Maryland Entertainers Hall of Fame in 2013. Condolences to his family and friends.

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Schwartzman, Ed
I am sorry to note the recent passing of Ed Schwartzman
guitarist, early member of The Sentries, and member of the Upsetters, Fidelities, Matadors of Sound...
posted June 2009

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Scruggs, Llewellyn 'Hondo'
I am very disheartened to learn that my friend Llewellyn 'Hondo' Scruggs passed away on Christmas Day 2013, apparently as a result of a heart attack. I first met Hondo while while working on the first edition of Baltimore Sounds. At the time I was trying to find out about the groups that recorded the records that I had in my collection. Groups like Madhouse, Grand Jury, Chocolate Rain, Creme Soda, etc... Hondo introduced me to many of the band members and over the years he kept me informed of the projects he was working on including gospel music he had written, and recordings made with guitarist Timothy Moore (founder of Heaven Bound), and others. Lew was a vocalist with the funk group Madhouse that released an album and two singles on Today Records in 1972. More recently he provided vocals on the 2011 CD by Bennie Cowan & the Real Brasstaxx titled "It's a Horn Thing 'G'." I'd like to express my sincere condolences to his family and friends.

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Shaw, Mark
Mark Shaw , drummer for the Dalton Gang passed away May 2020.

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Shepherd, Wendell
R&B / Jazz trumpeter Wendell Shepherd passed away on May 7, 2017. The renowned Baltimore musician was a member of The Grand Jury throughout most of the 1970's. He later played in backing bands for Charles "Big Daddy" Stallings, and Kenny Wright among others, and backed P-Funk groups on local engagements.



Most recently Wendell was a member of The Sky High Band.

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Shields, Raymond
Raymond Shields, vocalist of the Spindles for over 40 years, passed away on Saturday, November 8, 2008.

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Smith, Carl Wayne
Carl Wayne Smith , (65), original bass guitarist and vocalist of The New Diablos. Known as Wayne, he passed away on February 2, 2016 from dementia.
Wayne was featured on both New Diablos records "Land of Love" (vocal b/w instrumental version) on Littlefields Records in 1968, and "Tangerine Guides" b/w "I'm Fake" recorded in Philadelphia and released on Fayette Records in 1970. All three tracks are featured on the 2014 Gear Fab Records retrospective CD "Psychedelic States - Maryland in the 60s"
In the early 1970s he relinquished the bass guitar role becoming the sound man for the group, and continued to do sound for other groups into the 1990s. In addition to sound he sang including stint with the Baltimore Symphony Choir. He leaves behind a daughter and two grandchildren. Thanks Michele (Smith) Watson.

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Smith, Steve
It is with great sadness to learn that my old friend Steve Smith passed away in June 2013 after a long illness.
Steve and I shared musical interests since childhood, and in those days he tried (without much success) to teach me to play the bass guitar. Steve went on to play with his brother Jay in a 50's retro band Jupiter & The Jets, and later played bass guitar with Dragonfly, Taxie, and Jagged Edge among others...
I bought my first bass amp from Steve, a huge Kasino brand wheeled amp that I used to wheel half a mile up the road to jam in Earl's backyard. I used to climb up and jump off the amp (ouch!) - a rock star that couldn't play a lick - but had the hair and the big amp, thanks to Steve!
Had lots of great times at events with Steve's southern rock cover band Dragonfly (the ultimate Howard County party band) at the infamous Hillbilly Mansion and subsequent reunion parties, the concert in Nick and my backyard in Elkridge that made the front page of the local paper, and the many times we hired the group to play at Back of the Vac night club. Good times that will never be forgotten.
Rest in peace, Steve!

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Snyder, Ed
Ed Snyder (1942-2014) of the Coachmen during the mid-'60s. His group released a single on Monumental Records.

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Stancil, Phillip
Phillip Stancil , pianist and multi-instrumentalist known as Sir Andre, attended Forest Park High School, then Peabody Conservatory, before moving to Louisville, KY where he became musical director for Atlantic Records recording artist Ben E. King, later returning to Baltimore and operating his own production company. Phillip passed away on October 24, 2015 at age 65.

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Stermer, Jay
Jay Stermer , pianist/arranger, founding member of The Admirals passed away on Saturday, December 23, 2017 near his retirement home in Wellington, Florida.
According to The Palm Beach Post "A Wellington man walking his dogs just after midnight was killed Saturday when a rear-ended car was flung into him.
"John J. Stermer, 74, died at the scene of the 12:10 a.m. Saturday crash, the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said. Stermer was walking the dogs on the sidewalk of Big Blue Trace not far from Wellington Elementary School just before the crash occurred, the Sheriff's Office reported in a statement."
Alcohol or drugs appeared to be a factor according to the Sheriff's report.
Jay's band The Admirals were an institution in the Baltimore area and Ocean City. The group released records on Pulse, Soultrain, and Lefta labels.
Jay and his wife moved to Florida in 1985. They operated a dry-cleaning business called Admirals Cleaners. Their son Evan attended Wellington High School where Jay was well known for providing music and sound effects during Wellington High School Wolverines baseball games.

Also see writeup and pictures at
the BaltimoreJam website


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Stone, Frank, Jr.
RIP Frank Stone, Jr. , passed away peacefully on June 23, 2015 after a long battle with cancer. He was a keyboardist with '60s band King Solomon's Minds, appearing on the Kerby Scott Show, and sharing stages with the likes of Canned Heat and other major artists. Frank shared information about KSM and his dad who was in popular country bands in the '50s and '60s.

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Sturgill, Larry
Larry Sturgill , lead guitarist of long-time popular Howard County band The Prodigals, was killed in an automobile accident on September 15, 2015. He was 72.



Larry was the first person I interviewed for the Charmed Times newsletter. The article was not published by Charmed Times, but subsequently led to the beginning of the Baltimore Sounds book. As a writer himself, Larry was quite intrigued by my project and was always willing to help, staying in touch over the years.
Larry was a founding member of The Prodigals (1959-72, 1980-91). The band was a staple at fire hall dances, county fairs, and night clubs throughout MD, PA, and DC, while also traveling as far as NY City. They released a record in 1966 "I Need You" b/w "You Better Move On" (Acadian 1000). The group folded in 1972, then as a result of a reunion in 1980 they reformed as a country band and continued into the early '90s.
Larry was also involved in guitar manufacturing, purchasing the Harptone Guitar Company in New Jersey along with tooling and manufacturing equipment from Microfret Guitars in Frederick. He and business partner Bob McHenry owned and operated the American Musicians Supply store in Sykesville, and were instrumental in organizing the town street festivals that brought bluegrass and country musicians from all over the region.

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Suchy, John
John Suchy passed away suddenly on April 21, 2020 (61).
Borrowed from the Hectic Red website: "Such" is a veteran of the Maryland music scene, playing with some of Maryland's best bands for over 30 years. For almost as long he has operated a recording studio in Towson, now known as Sound Locker, where he has recorded and produced countless local and national artists. John teaches audio and recording techniques at CCBC Essex and the Baltimore School for the Arts. He is an accomplished actor, appearing in stage productions at theaters around the Baltimore area. He also works with SoundLogix LLC, designing and running sound systems for area theaters."
As a guitarist, keyboardist, and vocalist, bands John played in included No Mercy, Spectrum, Killing Floor, disappear fear, Charm City Rockers, Reporter, and over 30 years with classic rock group Hectic Red. At his Such Sounds Studio John recorded, produced and/or played on many releases including those by Black Friday, Milkshake, Christopher Wilson, Sarah Pinsker, Jeff Order...

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Summerville, Byron
Vocalist Byron Summerville an original member of the great West Baltimore R&B group The Softones was diagnosed with lung cancer just four months ago and passed away on Friday November 2, 2012.
The Softones started in the '60s and were influential to many groups in the area that followed in their footsteps. With Byron the Softones were known worldwide, releasing numerous hit singles and an album on Avco Records.
Byron was one of my first interviews when I started assembling the first 'Baltimore Sounds' book. He was very kind and willing to help. Byron may you rest in peace.

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Tankersley, Ron
Ron Tankersley passed away on November 23, 2019. He was keyboardist and vocalist of local groups Quest, Vamp City (The Vamps), The Sway, The Pawns, Ron Tankersley & Dave Roat duo, and solo under the stage name Ronnie Buss. Ron was also very creative with video production. He made many contributions to the Baltimore Sounds book.

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Taylor, Charlie
Charlie Taylor, LEAD SINGER FOR 2ND COMING BAND DIED MAY 20TH 2009 @ MARYLAND UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL-HE NEVER HAD TO ASK (WHAT IF!)-GO TO myspace.com/2ndmusic for pics and music-in balt we played Club Venus, Hollywood Palace, Club 40, Legends, Mr Pipps, along with any other clubs open at that time and wherever Starleigh booked

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Therres, Greg
Gregory Alan Therres On March 20, 2010 Gregory Alan Therres, devoted father of Jessica and Christina Therres, and his loving four-legged companion Audrey Fay. He is also survived by his siblings Terry, Cindy, Michael, and Kevin. Greg was a vocalist and member of Tamerlane with Dr. Feelgood, Beginnings, Jeremiah, and was owner of Starleigh Entertainment A memorial service was on March 27 at the family owned Ruck Towson Funeral Home, Inc. 1050 York Road. Contributions may be made in his name to www.americanheart.org, or www.kidneyfund.org or www.diabetes.org

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Thomas, Ernie
Ernie Thomas passed away on September 21 after long fight against injuries sustained as a pedestrian hit by a motor vehicle in Atlantic City. Ernie played drums with Both Worlds after Ralph Fisher left the group. He played with many other groups from the Baltimore and D.C. area including Sweet Blindness, White Heat, Downstairs Band, Johnson Brothers, as well as bands of Phil Flowers, and Ernie Fields.

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Thompson, Tommy
Tom Thompson passed away on June 28, 2016 after a battle with cancer. He was recently honored with induction into the Maryland Entertainment Hall of Fame as a member of The Admirals. Tommy played bass guitar and sax. He was also a member of Danny & the Elegants, Pen Lucy, and SirPrize. RIP, Tommy

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Treffinger, Gerald
Saying goodbye to fellow musician Gerald Treffinger, vocalist and keyboardist of Denny & the Dynamics, The Satins, Danny & the Elegants, Majic. He was found deceased at his home in Florida on Tuesday March 29, 2011, apparently of natural causes.

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Treffinger, Paul
Paul Treffinger passed away on March 4, 2019. As a young drummer Paul sat in with his brother's band The Dynamics. He went on to be a member of many top notch local bands that include Morgan's Pirates, And The Echoes, Billy Storm & the Tempests, The Graham Chambers System, Good Grief, Chalet... In the 00s Paul was coaxed into dusting off his kit and he became an integral part of several Baltimore RandB Jam Reunions.

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Trieble, Chris
Saying goodbye to Chris Trieble , one of my oldest and dearest friends. Both of us music fanatics. We started garage bands during high school. And although our bands never got anywhere we had lots of great times. Chris studied classical guitar at Peabody. He went on to play in several successful local bands including This 'N That, and others.
Chris and I spent countless hours traveling to record stores and we both built nice record collections.
Outside of music we traveled the entire east coast on many different excursions - everywhere from Montreal (a trip accompanied with his sister Renee), to Key West. One trip we were headed to New York and at the last minute decided to head south 'not stopping until we saw palm trees,' eventually ending up in Savannah Georgia on a whim! There were many harrowing experiences that we managed to get through - one at the Canadian border entering New York. Once at a gas station in NW Georgia where we narrowly escaped a group of rednecks picking a fight. An all-night trip to Grafton, WV to visit a friend that should have taken 4-5 hours but we battled what turned out to be a bad alternator and a clogged gas filter - driving then gravel topped Route 50 at night with no headlights. The stories are endless. Thanks Chris!
Life took us in different directions until reconnecting at our 25th High School reunion and we stayed in touch on and off since. Chris was also a good cook. Will miss the many cookouts, his homemade Italian dishes and chili.
Chris was found deceased in his Arbutus apartment on June 23, 2015. I'll miss you, my friend. RIP.



Chris and Joe at the Baltimore Book Fair - 2008

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Turner, Frank
Frank Turner , country music bandleader, passed away on November 28, 2017 at the age of 80. His groups the Country Rhythm Boys, the New Country Showmen, and Turner's Outlaw Band entertained throughout the mid-Atlantic region for many years and featured some of the best country musicians from the area. He hosted annual gatherings at his Turner Ranch in King George, Virginia. In 2010 he was inducted into the Maryland Country Legends Hall of Fame.

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Utter, Dave
David Utter , guitarist / vocalist with Face Dancer, Fast Eddie, Deanna Bogart Band, and other Baltimore / D.C. area groups passed away on July 31, 2019 at age 66.


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Wentworth, Mark
Mark Wentworth , trombonist with The Deltas passed away on May 31, 2017 (67)

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Weston, Denny
Denny Weston , very prolific bass guitarist, whose groups included The Londonaires, Emmel & His Counts, The Esquires, Tommy Vann's Professionals, Al Rossi's Joy, and Dion's Streeheart Band. Passed away a couple of years ago.
2/2016 - Thanks to his Londonaires bandmate Vern Ruppert for the memory.

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Yawn, Jesse
Jesse H. Yawn , 78, of Bradenton, Florida, passed away on July 5, 2016.
From AEI VBooking Agency website:
"Blues Singer Extraordinaire, Jesse H. Yawn has been a fixture in Baltimore, Washington areas blues scene for over 25 years. A personable Gentle Giant of a Man, Jesse has enjoyed a huge loyal following wherever he appears.
"Born in Florida, he cut his teeth on Gospel music. Later he was recuited by the national touring acts such as The Visionaires and The Trumpets of Joy.
"Jesse moved to Rochester, New York in the early 50's to join the Travelling Six Spirituals group and later formed his own group, The Flower City Gospelaires.
"Turning to the blues scene, Jesse worked with legendary giants such as Jack McDuff, George Benson, Grant Green and Albert King at such clubs as The Pithod Club, Lee's Hotel, Club Mr. Wonderful & V.I.P Lounge.
"Moving to Baltimore in 1971, Jesse was rediscovered by Bobby Parker and Larry Benicewicz of the Baltimore Blues Society at club 8X10. Jesse went on to help form the Soul Providers group and won the D.C Blues Best Artists Competition. He was sent to represent the Mid Atlantic Region in Memphis, Tennessee at the National Finals of the Blues Foundation.
"Jesse Yawn has established his name on the local music scene and his popularity has sent him to various venues throughout the states, including shows for President Clinton's Inaugural Events.
His distinction for the blues has brought about engagements in Italy and Germany as well.
"You will find him performing at major Blues Festivals on the basis of his critically acclaimed album, "Forever More," newly released from HorsePlay Records [1997]. This accomplishment features not only the finest musicians with international credentials, but also received accolades from such notables like John Lee Hooker and Bernard "Pretty" Purdie."

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