Archive for Musicians

Eric Carr

Posted in Cedar Hill Cemetery (NY) with tags , , on March 1, 2021 by Cade

July 12, 1950 – November 24, 1991

Paul Caravello grew up in Brooklyn, New York idolizing – like many kids of his time – early Rock ‘n’ Roll bands like the Beatles. Caravello started dabbling in his own music during high school. A talented kid, he learned to play guitar, piano, drums and was also a vocalist. Over the course of the next decade, he joined a number of bands in and around New York that met with little success. By the age of 30, he had grown weary and was about to call it quits on his music career when a friend mentioned that the iconic rock band, Kiss, was looking for a new drummer.

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Chet Atkins

Posted in Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens with tags , , , on February 15, 2021 by Cade

atkins3
June 20, 1924 – June 30, 2001

Iconic guitarist, instrumentalist and producer, Chester “Chet” Atkins rarely basked in the limelight during his 50+ year career. He was more than happy to play on a friend’s record, or churn out hit after hit from the helm of the now-legendary RCA Victor studio in Nashville, Tennessee. That is not to say he wasn’t gifted in his own right. You don’t win 14 Grammys, 9 CMA awards or earn the nickname “Mr. Guitar” by being a slouch. But his biggest contribution to the music industry was undoubtedly his time spent cultivating the “Nashville Sound” that allowed Country music to successfully cross over to Pop audiences throughout the 1950s and ’60s.

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Donna Summer

Posted in Harpeth Hills Memory Gardens with tags , , on February 8, 2021 by Cade

December 31, 1948 – May 17, 2012

The undisputed Queen of Disco, Donna Summer (LaDonna Gaines) was a steady presence in the Billboard Top 40 for more than a decade in the 1970s and ’80s. Born in Boston, Summer took a very unconventional route to international stardom. She left high school and moved to New York City to pursue a career in musical theatre…specifically, she wanted to be in the groundbreaking show Hair. She ended up landing a role in the Munich production of the show. While in Germany, she began her recording career and eventually fell in with producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte and began writing, recording and shopping new songs all throughout Europe. In 1974, the trio was able to get her single, “Love to Love You Baby” into the hands of Casablanca Records in the U.S. It became a hit and a popular early track in the emerging Disco scene.

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Glen Campbell

Posted in Campbell's Cemetery with tags , , , , , on November 23, 2020 by Cade

April 22, 1936 – August 8, 2017

Glen Campbell was not the first “Rhinestone Cowboy,” but he’s arguably the most famous. At least, that’s what you might suspect judging him solely by his biggest hit.

Despite personally resonating with the titular character in the chart-topping 1975 song, Campbell was so much more than a sequined journeyman waiting for his turn in the spotlight.

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Joey Ramone

Posted in Hillside Cemetery (Lyndhurst) with tags , , on October 5, 2020 by Cade

May 19, 1951 – April 15, 2001

Jeffrey Hyman had all the makings of an awkward kid. He was tall, shy and struggled with obsessive-compulsive disorder. But he found solace in music. He loved bands like The Who and The Beatles. He learned to play the drums. He joined a band. Then he joined another band. Then he changed his name to “Joey Ramone” and became an icon.

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Eddie Cochran

Posted in Forest Lawn Cypress with tags , on October 1, 2019 by Cade

October 3, 1938 – April 17, 1960

Rock ‘n’ roll and Rockabilly pioneer Eddie Cochran began playing guitar as a young boy. He got pretty good, pretty quick. By the time he was in high school, he knew he was destined to be a musician. He dropped out and never looked back. By the time he was 16, he was already in the studio and, by 1957, had his first hit – “Sittin’ in the Balcony” – at the age of 18. That same year he appeared alongside Jayne Mansfield and a slew of other musicians in the comedy The Girl Can’t Help It. His career exploded. Continue reading

Richard Street

Posted in Forest Lawn Cypress with tags , , , , on September 27, 2019 by Cade

street2October 5, 1942 – February 27, 2013

Richard Street was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Northwestern High School with his cousin, Melvin Franklin, and another young man named Otis Williams. Along with Al Bryant and a few others, they formed the singing group that would eventually become Otis Williams and the Distants. In 1960, Williams, Franklin and Bryant left the Distants to form the Elgins…which became the Temptations. Continue reading

Sandy West

Posted in Forest Lawn Cypress with tags , on September 24, 2019 by Cade

July 10, 1959 – October 21, 2006

In the summer of 1975, a 15 year-old drummer named Sandra Pesavento (going by “Sandy West”) met a 16 year-old guitarist named Joan Larkin (going by “Joan Jett”). They liked each other instantly and decided to start an all-girl rock band. Continue reading

Rick James

Posted in Forest Lawn Cemetery (NY) with tags , , , on September 2, 2019 by Cade

February 1, 1948 – August 6, 2004

James Ambrose Johnson Jr. was born in Buffalo, NY. His mother worked as a dancer and numbers runner to make ends meet. Young James would often accompany her on her rounds and he was exposed to bars that featured musicians like Miles Davis and Etta James. Needless to say, he liked what he saw and it was music from there out. Well, music and drugs, but I digress. He got in trouble quite a bit as a young man, so he joined the Navy, as one does. Not finding military life to be for him, and finding himself under orders to go to Vietnam, he fled to Toronto and started performing music under the name Ricky James Matthews. Long story short, he met Neil Young, moved to Detroit, met Stevie Wonder (who encouraged him to shorten his stage name to “Ricky James”) and signed with Motown. Continue reading

Jeff Healey

Posted in Park Lawn Cemetery (ON) with tags , , on August 5, 2019 by Cade

healey2March 25, 1966 – March 2, 2008

Jeff Healey’s place in pop-culture extends well beyond the fact that he was a talented blues-rock guitarist and singer who had one really great year. His eponymous trio, The Jeff Healey Band, had a monster hit in Canada and the U.S. with 1989’s “Angel Eyes” and he dominated the Toronto club scene in the mid-to-late 1980s. After the success of their first single and album, The JHB went on to record four more albums over the ensuing dozen or so years. But, Jeff didn’t just front his blues-rock band. Continue reading