Duke Ellington, (Edward Kennedy Ellington) 4/29/1899 - 5/24/74. Born in Washington DC, Duke was one of the twentieth century's best-known African-American celebrities. He was a band-leader, pianist and composer. Along with numerous other awards and accolades he was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1966. Duke died of lung cancer. He was 75.

An icon. Glad he lived a long life. I hope someone volunteers to share their thoughts on Mr. Ellington since I don't feel qualified having not listened to much of his music.

Duke Ellington And Louis Armstrong - I'm Just A Lucky So And So
via FoxyTunes

Cass Elliot, (Ellen Naomi Cohen ), 9/19/41 – 7/29/74. Cass was born in Baltimore, Maryland. She is best remembered as Mama Cass of the pop quartet The Mamas & the Papas. After the group broke up, she had a successful solo career, releasing nine albums. Elliot was found dead in her hotel room in London from an apparent heart attack after two sold-out performances at the Palladium. She was 32.

California Dreamin....Mama Cass had a great voice. Its sad that she died so young and suddenly. I am sure the people who saw her perform those last two nights must have felt a bittersweet connection to the concerts they attended.

The Mamas And The Papas - California Dreamin'
via FoxyTunes

Bill Chase, (William Edward Chiaiese), 10/24/34 – 8/9/74. Bill was born in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a rock-jazz musician with a band called “Chase”. He played the trumpet. He died along with 3 of his bandmates in a plane crash. Bill was 39.

Wow. I suppose the reason so many musicians are lost in planes is because they travel extensively. Three people lost, it won't be the last time. Very sad. RIP, Bill.

Nick Drake
, (Nicholas Rodney Drake), 6/9/48 - 11/25/74. Nick was born in Arden, England. He landed a record deal at age 20 and went on to make several albums. Nick was known for playing the guitar but also played piano, clarinet and sax. His music continues to gain audiences to this day and he is considered one of the most influential English songwriters of the last 50 years. Nick suffered from severe depression which led to his overdose and suicide at the age of 26.

I have loved music since I was 4 years old. A guy I was dating (not at age 4, more like 24) was stunned and disappointed that I did not know who Nick Drake was. I made it my goal to find out and yes, I loved his unique lyrics and can easily see how his depression influenced his music. Another tragic loss that breaks my heart. I've lost four people in my life to suicide, two of my closest friends and two cousins. I understand, but I hate the way it devastates those left behind.

Nick Drake - One of These Things First
via FoxyTunes


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salacia said...

Nick Drake's Five Leaves Left is one of my favorite CD's. There's a good vid I have featured on by blog www.musicimmortal.com. Glad to find another fan. Good article.