Norman Whitfield Dead At 67
LOS ANGELES September 19, 2008 - Norman
Whitfield, US songwriter and producer who
co-wrote a string of Motown classics
including War, Just My Imagination
(Running Away With Me) and I Heard It
Through the Grapevine, has died at 67.
A spokeswoman at Cedars-Sinai Medical
Centre said Whitfield died there yesterday.
He suffered from complications of diabetes
and had recently emerged from a coma,
The Detroit Free Press reported.
The New York-born Whitfield was a
longtime Motown producer who during the
1960s and 70s injected rock and
psychedelic touches into the label's soul
Many of his biggest hits were co-written
with Barrett Strong, with whom he was
inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame
in 2004. He and Strong won the Grammy in
1972 for best R&B song for the
Temptations' Papa Was a Rolling Stone.
Many of Whitfield's songs from the late 60s
and early 70s have a strong political tone,
including the Temptations' 1970 Ball of
Confusion (That's What the World Is
Today), and Edwin Starr's 1970 hit War.
In his only No 1 hit, Starr sings in an
anguished voice that war is "a heartbreaker
friend only to the undertaker. ... What is it
good for? Absolutely nothing". Whitfield
produced and co-wrote the song.
Among his other songs were Cloud Nine
and Beauty Is Only Skin Deep, both hits
for the Temptations, and Too Busy Thinking
About My Baby, a 1969 hit for Marvin Gaye.
The group Undisputed Truth had a top five
hit in 1971 with Whitfield and Strong's
Smiling Faces Sometimes Tell Lies, and
then in 1976 Taka Boom (Chaka Khan's
younger sister) became the lead singer for
Undisputed Truth and the group success
skyrocketed with the instant disco favorite
hit "You + Me".
Whitfield won another Grammy in 1976 for
best original television or motion picture
score for Car Wash. The movie's theme
song was a No 1 hit for Rose Royce and a
Golden Globe nominee for best original
Paul Newman Dead at 83
September 26, 2008 - Paul
Newman, the Academy-Award
winning superstar who
personified cool as an activist,
race car driver, popcorn
impresario and the anti-hero of
such films as "Hud," "Cool
Hand Luke" and "The Color of Money," has
died. He was 83.
Newman died Friday Sept. 26, 2008 at the
age of 83 after a long battle with cancer at
his farmhouse near Westport, Connecticut,
publicist Jeff Sanderson said. He was
surrounded by his family and close friends.
Newman is survived by his wife, five
children, two grandsons.
Levi Stubbs Dead at 72
Detroit Oct 17, 2008 -
Four Tops lead singer
Levi Stubbs, who
possessed one of the
most dynamic and
emotive voices of all
the Motown singers, died today at
72. He had been ill recently and
died in his sleep at the Detroit
house he shared with his wife,
said Dana Meah, the wife of a
grandson. The Wayne County
medical examiner's office also
confirmed the death. Stubbs is
survived by his wife, five children
and 11 grandchildren.
With Stubbs in the lead, the Four
Tops sold millions of records,
including such hits as "Baby I
Need Your Loving," "Reach Out (I'll
Be There)" and "I Can't Help
Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)."
The group performed for more than
four decades without a change in
personnel. Stubbs' death leaves
one surviving member of the
original group: Abdul "Duke" Fakir.
Dee Dee Warwick Dead at 63
October 18, 2008 - Dee Dee
Warwick, 63, an R&B singer
who recorded a few hits in
the 1960s and was the sister
of entertainer Dionne
Warwick, died today at a rest home in
South Orange, N.J., according to publicist
Kevin Sasaki. The cause of death was not
announced, but Sasaki said she had been
in failing health for several months. In the
last few years she worked primarily on her
Buddy Miles Dead at 60
February 26, 2008 -
Buddy Miles, a drummer
who played with Jimi
Hendrix and sang in the
featuring the California
Raisins in the 1980s died today, he
was 60. Miles had been suffering
from congestive heart failure, died in
Austin, publicist Duane Lee said.
Rudy Ray Moore Dead at 81
October 19, 2008 - Rudy Ray
Moore the comedian probably
most remembered for his portrayal
of the strangely articulate pimp in
the films "Dolemite" and "The
Human Tornado," died on Sunday,
October 19, of complications related to
Koko Taylor Dead at 80
June 11, 2009 - Hundreds of
mourners turned out Thursday at a
music-filled wake and memorial
service for Chicago blues icon
Koko Taylor, whose regal bearing
and powerful voice earned her the
nickname "Queen of the Blues."
Taylor last performed on May 7 in Memphis,
Tenn., at the Blues Music Awards. She died
June 3 at age 80 shortly after having surgery
because of gastrointestinal bleeding.
Miriam Makeba Dead at 76
November 10, 2009 -
Legendary South African
musical treasure and
GRAMMY Award winner
Miriam Makeba has died of
a heart attack after a performance in
Italy. She was 76.
Makeba fell ill after a concert in the
southern Italian town of Baia Verde
late on Sunday, November 9. She
died after being rushed to a clinic in
the town of Castel Volturno.
Wayman Tisdale Dead at 44
May 15 2009 - Former NBA
player and jazz musician
Wayman passed away
Friday, May 15th after a
two-year battle with cancer.
Tisdale died Friday morning
at the age of 44 at St. John Medical Center
in Tulsa, OK. Tisdale was diagnosed with
bone cancer in March 2007 and had part of
his right leg amputated due to the cancer in
August 2008, causing him to wear a
prosthetic. Living with the struggles of being
an amputee first hand, Tisdale was set to
launch the Wayman Tisdale Foundation as
a means to help amputees cope both
emotionally and financially with their new
Freddie Hubbard Dead at 70
December 29, 2008
collaborated with such greats as
Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane and
Sonny Rollins, died Monday, a
month after suffering a heart attack.
He was 70.
Hubbard died at Sherman Oaks
Hospital, said his manager, fellow
trumpeter David Weiss of the New
Jazz Composers Octet. He had
been hospitalized since suffering the
heart attack a day before
A towering figure in jazz circles,
Hubbard played on hundreds of
recordings in a career dating to
1958, the year he arrived in New
York from his hometown
Indianapolis, where he had studied
at the Arthur Jordan Conservatory of
Music and with the Indianapolis
Symphony Soon he had hooked up
with such jazz legends as
Thelonious Monk, Miles Davis,
Cannonball Adderley and Coltrane.