It may be one of the saddest subjects to bring up while the Oscars are going on but it’s news that MUST be shared. Especially considering the fact that these aren’t just any artists that came and went from the industry, these contributors brought so much to the table and losing them takes another spot in this growing industries history.
From Britain, Kevin Ayers, the founding member of the band Soft Machine and singer-songwriter has died at the age of 68. Ayers has worked with other artists including, Mike Oldfield, Brain Eno, Teenage Fanclub, Neutral Milk Hotel and Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci. His last released album was in 2007 entitled The Unfairground. Ayer said in a 2003 interview, “I think you have to have a bit missing upstairs, or just be hungry for fame and money, to play the industry game. I’m not very good at it.” Soft Machine are considered a KEY psychedelic band of the late 60’s. May Kevin Ayers rest in peace.
From Chicago, Cleotha Staples, the founding member of the group The Staple Sisters, has died at the age of 78. After battling Alzheimer’s for 12 years, Cleotha was recently put under 24 hour home care and her caretaker was with her when she past. As the soprano of the ever so soulful group, her harmonies are some of the most recognizable in the industry. Cleotha was the oldest of her four sisters. Her sister Mavis, had this to say about her sister, “I credit Pops’ guitar and Cleedy’s voice with making our sound so different. Her high voice… A lot of singers would try to sing like her… Her voice would just ring in your ear. It wasn’t harsh or hitting you hard, it was soothing. She gave us that country sound.” The Staple Sisters made their first nationwide hit in 1957 and their music lives on to this day. May Cleotha Staples rest in peace.
From Baltimore, Otis “Damon” Harris, a member of the legendary group the Temptations, died at the age of 62. The family spokesperson, Chuck Woodson, said that Harris had been fighting prostate cancer for 14 years. Harris joined the group as lead tenor in the 70’s and can be most recognized for singing the lead on the song “Papa Was A Rollin’ Stone.” Under his stay, the group won three Grammy awards. In 1975 Harris returned to his high school group for a hit record in 1976. In 1978 he released his solo album and soon after retired to finish college. In his most recent years Harris launched the because he had waited too long to get checked by a doctor. “He didn’t want anyone to suffer the consequences that he suffered for not doing that.” May Otis Harris rest in peace.
From Mississippi, Magic Slim, blues singer and guitarist, died at the age of 75. Slim was best known for the “intensity of his performances.” No Depression magazine once said, “Magic Slim doesn’t just play the blues, he body slams his audiences with a vicious guitar attack that pins them to the floor.” In Chicago in the 60’s Slim formed the group Magic Slim and the Teardrops. They went on to be the regular band at the local night club, later headlining at blues festivals, recording regularly and winning numerous awards. The last album released by the band was Bad Boy in 2012. “There’s probably not another bluesman who had quite the repertoire that Slim had.” May Magic Slim rest in peace.