Tag Archive: 2016 Musical deaths


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As Barbara Streisand and the late Donna Summer (I still cannot believe Donna died so soon…) sang back in 1979, “Enough is Enough“ with these losses, but somehow, I do not think they will end with the conclusion of 2016. 1859

OMG! What a tragic year for us who have lived via our stars like Prince, Glenn Frey, David Bowie and many more!! Is it our supernatural Baby Boomer karma catching up to us? All of this reinforces my reckoning with our human mortality. And you?

At the rate that our musical stars are dying I might be next!lol Even though I was only a Dee Jay on the radio, who played their hits!
I have experienced many strange events by being part of the media. For example, I was working the board on The Zone, 104.5FM, which was only one hundred yards away from the scene where the NFL’s Tennessee Titan’s legendary quarterback, Steve McNair was murdered by his extramarital lover. I digress; this article is about 2016!
Can we dig deeper into this? Is there a conspiracy about that is suddenly taking away American icons rapidly via some diabolical plan? Is it “ISIS”-related? Most likely, Nyet.

On the heels of learning about Colonel Abrams from the list I link later in this blog, I peruse it again, in order to do a possible year-end summary of the many important stars and musicians we lost this year, when I come across the name, “David Mancuso”. I’d skimmed this list many times during the past week and saw his name only this evening now, over a drink, while at a lonely, hidden bar in a southern town. This trend may well continue into 2017! I hope not…

I remember the shiny cobblestoned streets, often moistened by a recent rain as I, the still a bit shy, baby DJ, freshly graduated from Adelphi University, crossed to visit him at 99 Prince Street, the home of David Mancuso and the first Record Pool I ever belonged to which was responsible for many of the vinyl 12” DJ versions I own. Sometimes I left with just a couple big, album-sized envelopes and other times, I could hardly walk to the subway station, if I hadn’t driven there, parking several blocks away as parking was difficult in that part of “the Village” in Manhattan, New York.

David was kind of “scary” to the 1970s me. Not in the mean sense of the word, but just the kind of fun, strange cat that I would likely become! He briefly would chill with me, imparting heavy conversation sometimes [I didn’t always understand, but pretended to] and schooled me about stuff that I had no idea about though I now still relate to as “an old Black American Hippie”, which is, at my core, who I am! Many other Baby Boomers are similar to me, but will not admit it because of the un-corporate connotation of “Hippie”. I say “f-ck that!” Be who you are (another famous, educational song lyric!). David would agree. I wish I was him sometimes now!

David Mancuso was mysterious to me. I remember always wanting to smoke a joint with him! Ha! Maybe we did once, or I smelled it while copping my sides. “I can’t remember”, lol Those were the daze. How I came to find him, I cannot really recall. It must have been via one of my major record company Promotional contacts, my own research, Billboard magazine, or word-of-mouth via other DJs…I apologize for being so vague about this, which I am usually so succinct – at the time of this writing, but I do not have all of my belongings with me to research into my past, as it used to be when I began to blog. ‘Working on changing that asap! I always left there feeling part of the greater DJ game! I knew I was a real “player” and party motivator! All of that started, by the way, in my senior year at the now defunct, Andrew Jackson High School in Cambria Heights, Queens, New York City and going forward from there (as was mandatory in those great days) as an undergraduate DJ on the campus of Adelphi University in Garden City, Nassau County on Long Island.
This is as close to the David Mancuso that I remember:

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And as I write this, I receive the news that naughty, inner-conflicted “Wham” boy Gorge Michael died over Christmas weekend. He cheated death many times as attested to here:
http://www.rollingstone.com/music/features/rob-sheffield-on-why-george-michael-was-a-true-pop-visionary-w457788

Again, this is a summary inspired by the passing of my 99 Prince Street Record Pool Founder, David Mancuso; yet another “nail in our collective coffin” during twenty-sixteen. Is there a larger message that we should be hearing behind these passings? I think so!
To encompass all of the disappointing hurt in words of this year’s losses is difficult. And again, as I write this, the news of Carrie Fisher of “Star Wars” (the original) fame now passing-away at only the age of sixty (60)! WTF?? 160421142237-people-we-lost-april-2016-medium-plus-169

How did the passing of Gene Wilder, Prince, Craig Sager, Ron Glass, Alan Thicke, Maurice White, George Kennedy, Patty Duke, Merle Haggard, Pearl Washington, Billy Paul, Muhammad Ali, Morley Safer, Bobby Hutcherson, Hugh O’Brian, Bobby Vee, Gwen Ifill, Clarence Reid or Florence Henderson and others you can view on the link below, impact you this year? We all have our “heroes”, right? There is no shame in claiming them.

http://www.syracuse.com/celebrity-news/index.ssf/2016/01/celebrity_deaths_in_2016_famous_photos.html

Please share in the “Comments” area in remembrance…of them. I pray upon the souls of all these giants we’ve lost and that some of what I have written in hommage has educated you and made sense.

**PickHitt: and just as I clicked “Publish”, the news of another beloved of my lifetime and mother of Carrie Fisher (I didn’t KNOW that!), Debbie Reynolds joined the parade of 2016 stars leaving the physical world. “Wow”…again.

“Dearly Beloved, I would die for you…”

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Finally, “like 1999…” Do you remember where you were when that year actually hit? I bet that song, by Prince, was blazing at the party that midnight!

Prince was a curiosity; basically an anomaly to me, when he came on the music scene at the time that I was a young, rising radio DJ. I received his first vinyl album, “Uptown” from my Warner Brothers Records friend, Jackie Thomas, while the “Awl Nyte Flyte” host on Worcester, Massachussetts Top 40 station, ‘ WFTQ AM/”14Q” circa 1980. Soon I would be playing the single, “I Wanna Be Your Lover” often on the Contemporary Hit Radio air waves.  I remember my late radio DJ inspiration and Program Director, Frankie Crocker, referring to him on the air as “his royal purple badness”; a great description! lol

I thought Prince was kind of an ordinary – but naughty – singer, at first.
He had this band and wore what looked like a raincoat on the inner sleeve picture of that first album, “Uptown”.  Who knew that this cat would become a major musical muskrat?  I played much of his music in clubs and on the radio as a disc jockey talent. He became a little more weird when he changed his name to a symbol in the early 1990s. “Hmmm…”

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My top five (5) Prince jams are: “When Doves Cry”[the long 12” extended version], “Little Red Corvette” [ditto the version], “I Wanna Be Your Lover”, “Erotic City” and “Lets Go Crazy”.

I had forgotten about this jam, “Lets Go Crazy”, until it came to me, recently and subliminally while at my day job, a week after his untimely and sudden death. Watching the performance on this video inspired this blog post!

Prince courted some baad babes too! Maybe that is why I ignored him: he didn’t share with me! My top Prince hot chick ladies are: Apollonia, (the late)  Vanity, Shiela E and Carmen Electra! More of them are here!  http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2010/02/princes-10-hottest-female-proteges/  Some guys have all the luck – and then you die. Ain’t it a shame?  Here is some of my collection of Prince vinyls:

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Yes, I took Prince for-granted as I am sure you did too (unless you live in Minnesota). He burst onto the scene in the early eighties and became a fixture of hot, dancible contemporary American hit music that people from all walks of life partied to and appreciated.  I recently heard some blue-collar types complain that while country music icon, Merle Haggard had passed away recently, he did not receive as much media attention as this “so-and-so” Prince did from the news media.  Well, maybe they missed the updates, or misunderstand the nuances of how the body public processes music genres.  We are the world, we are the music. I loved that he was not afraid of Controversey and not ashamed of his self deprecating “Dirty Mind” (like mine). His over-protectiveness of his videos being on YouTube troubled me.

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You already know how weirdly strange it is that Prince is the latest in a string of musician deaths here, only four months into 2016.  This year reminds me of this time in 2012, when we lost the likes of Whitney Houston, Donna Summer and Don Cornelius (Soul Train’s host). It is very strange and the only saving grace is the music they left behind for we, still in the physical world, to listen to.

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Above, the flip-side of my first Prince vinyl album cover. Well, “This is what it sounds like when” [Your] Fans cry…

Hey, be sure to save the location of my new, music-reviews-ONLY blog post! https://achilliadsmyvinylrecordshoppe.wordpress.com/ 
There you will be able to keep up-to-date on the latest music and learn about the contemporary music artists of my lifetime. It is a work in-progress…
Please check it out and let your voice be heard above the herd.

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