Keeping The Music Alive

The music lives on from these special performers who left us in 2015

The music lives on from these special performers who left us in 2015

Austin photo: Event_ACL Live_B.B. King
B.B. King.
Lesley Gore
Lesley Gore. Courtesy photo
124, Clay Walker party, October 2012, Percy Sledge
Percy Sledge. Percy Sledge Photo by © Michelle Watson/
Scott Weiland Stone Temple Pilot Velvet Revolver Wildabouts 2015 death
Scott Weiland. Scott Weiland/Facebook
Austin photo: Event_ACL Live_B.B. King
Lesley Gore
124, Clay Walker party, October 2012, Percy Sledge
Scott Weiland Stone Temple Pilot Velvet Revolver Wildabouts 2015 death

The author Thomas Campbell once said, “To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die.” That is certainly rings true when it comes to some of the musicians who left us in 2015. From rock, to rap, to gospel, to jazz; we will mourn their loss, but can also take comfort that their music lives on.

Below are just some the amazing talent that will live in hearts forever…

Andrae Crouch

The Grammy award winner was a celebrated singer, songwriter and pastor who served in Los Angeles and was known as the father of modern gospel music. Crouch performed with such stars like Quincy Jones, Diana Ross, Elton John and conducted the choirs for Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” and Madonna’s “Like a Prayer.” Crouch died after suffering a heart attack. He was 72.

Lesley Gore

Best known for her smash hit “It’s my Party,” singer/songwriter was discovered by Quincy Jones. Gore followed it up with “Judy’s Turn to Cry,” You Don’t Own Me” and “California Nights.” Gore also performed on two consecutive episodes of the Batman television series (January 19 and 25, 1967), in which she guest-starred as Pussycat, one of Catwoman's minions and was nominated for an Academy Award for her work in the 1980 film, Fame. Gore died at the age of 68.

Jimmy Greenspoon

While best known as the keyboardist for Three Dog Night, Greenspoon, also performed and recorded with Linda Ronstadt, Jimi Hendrix, Beck, Cheech & Chong, Eric Clapton, Buddy Miles and many more. Greenspan also composted original music for movies including  Field of Dreams, Hellboy  and Die Hard. Greenspan lost his battle with cancer at the age of 67.

Percy Sledge

"When a Man Loves a Women” was Percy Sledge’s first song recorded under contract. The inspiration for the song came when his girlfriend left him for a modeling career after he lost his job. The song topped the U.S. charts for two weeks in 1966 and was than “rediscovered” in the 1980s and 1990s when it was in films like Platoon, The Big Chill, and The Crying Game. The song was adopted as the title of a Meg Ryan romance movie in 1994. It reached the top of the charts again in 1991 when it was covered by Michael Bolton. Sledge died at the age of 74.

B.B. King

B.B. King got his big break when he was invited to appear on the Sonny Boy Williamson’s radio program in 1948. King earned numerous awards and recognition garnering 30 Grammy nominations, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and a Presidential Medal of Freedom. “There's not a lot left to say because his music is almost a thing of the past now and there are not many left that play it in the pure way that B.B. did,” said Eric Clapton, a close friend and great admirer. King died at the age of 87 leaving behind his daughter, Patty King and his cherished guitar, Lucille.

Allen Toussaint

Legendary Jazz great Allen Toussaint was the man behind “Working in a Coal Mine” and “Lady Marmalade” as a writer/producer before gaining new fame as a performer. Toussaint worked with Lee Dorsey, Art and Aaron Neville, Irma Thomas, Joe Cocker and many others. A member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame, Toussaint was awarded the National Humanities Medal in 2013. Toussaint died at the age of 77 following a performance in Spain.

Scott Weiland

The former front man for the Stone Temple Pilots and Velvet Revolver, Scott Weiland helped forge the grunge sound into main stream radio. The album Core made it to No. 3 on the Billboard album charts and produced four hit singles: “Sex Type Thing,” “Plush,” “Creep,” and “Wicked Garden.” Later Weiland joined forces with members of Guns N’ Roses and Wasted Youth to form Velvet Revolver and had their first album “Contraband” debut at No. 1 with singles “Fall to Pieces” and the Grammy-winning “Slither”. Weiland was 48.

Cynthia Robinson

A trumpet player and original member of Sly and the Family Stone, Robinson helped create the groundbreaking soul-funk-psychedelic sound for a band whose collection of black and white musicians of both sexes and its hippie vibe helped mirror the ideals of the times. Their second album Dance to the Music was loaded with hits like “Every Day People,” “Stand,” “Hot Fun in the Summertime,” and “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Again).” Robinson was 71.

Chris Squire

A co-founder and bassist for the rock band Yes, Chris Squire. Squire was the group’s only member to have performed on every Yes studio album and heavily influenced bass players world-wide. Wielding his trademark Rickenbacker 4001, Squire was a leader among the English progressive rock bands showcasing a clear and distinct style of play. Squire died at the age of 77 following a brief battle with leukemia.

Andy White

Best known as the replacement drummer for the Beatles first single U.S. single release “Love Me Do,” Andy White went on to play with many prominent musicians including Chuck Berry, Herman’s Hermit’s, Billy Fury and drummed on Tom Jones’ smash hit, “It’s not Unusual.” White moved to the U.S. in the late 1980s and became a drum instructor. He was 85.

Sean Price

Born in Brooklyn, rapper Sean Price performed under the name Ruck with Heltah Skeltah and Boot Camp Clik before going solo. Price went back to his birth name to release Monkey Barz which received critical acclaim. Price also teamed with Guilty Simpson and producer Black Milk for their acclaimed 2011 LP Random Axe. Price had been working on a new mixtape “Songs in the Key of Price” that was due out last August at the time of this death. He was 43.