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NEWS
March 21, 2013
Bobbie Smith, 76, a former lead singer of the Spinners, has died in Orlando, Fla. A statement released Monday by the manager of the rhythm-and-blues group said Mr. Smith died Saturday of complications from pneumonia and influenza. The statement said he had been diagnosed with lung cancer in November. Mr. Smith was the group's original lead singer and was the voice on its first hit, "That's What Girls Are Made For. " The group earned nearly a dozen gold records and a half-dozen Grammy nominations.
NEWS
November 14, 2012 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
HERE'S HOW A FAN commented on a couple of hit songs by Major Harris: " 'Love Won't Let Me Wait' and 'I Believe in Love' were two of his biggest hits that we played so much, my parents wanted to break the records. " Such devotion was a typical reaction of R&B fans to the lead singer of Philadelphia's own Delfonics, a group graced by the Major's dulcet tones in the 1970s. He was a major player in the success of the iconic "Philadelphia Sound," as promoted by the songwriting and producing team of Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff and their Philadelphia International Records.
NEWS
November 22, 2012
Rhythm-and-blues singer Billy Scott, 70, died from pancreatic and liver cancer Saturday at his home in Charlotte, N.C. Born Peter Pendleton in Huntington, W.Va., he sang with various groups while in the Army. After he was discharged in 1964, he changed his name, and with his wife, Barbara, began recording in 1966 as the Prophets. The band's first gold record was 1968's "I Got the Fever. " Other hits included "California" and "Seaside Love" as the Georgia Prophets. The group recorded a number of hits in the 1970s in the beach-music genre, a regional variant of R&B. In 1999, Mr. Scott was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame.
NEWS
December 29, 2012
Ray Collins, a singer whose dispute with one guitarist led him to hire another, Frank Zappa, with whom he would go on to form the avant-garde rock group the Mothers of Invention, died Monday in Pomona, Calif. The death of Mr. Collins, who was in his mid-70s, followed his admission to Pomona Valley Hospital Medical Center a week earlier for cardiac arrest, according to local news accounts. Mr. Collins entered the national spotlight with the Mothers of Invention, an outlet for Zappa's unique sense of humor and challenging, unorthodox compositions.
NEWS
August 13, 2011
Jani Lane, 47, former lead singer of the metal rock band Warrant, has died in Los Angeles. Officer Sara Faden said Mr. Lane's body was found Thursday in a Woodland Hills hotel. She had no immediate information on the cause or circumstances of his death. Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter said Friday that an autopsy did not reveal what killed the rocker and that the cause would be determined after results from toxicology and other tests are received. With his long blond hair and tight leather outfits, Mr. Lane, born John Kennedy Oswald in Akron, Ohio, embodied the excess of 1980s "hair metal" rock bands.
NEWS
February 6, 2013
Reg Presley, 71, lead singer of the Troggs on hit songs including the garage-rock classic "Wild Thing," died Monday at his home in Andover, England, after a yearlong bout with lung cancer. Mr. Presley and the Troggs scored their breakthrough hit in the early days of the British music invasion. The song, a cover of a version by Jordan Christopher and the Wild Ones, was later picked up not only by garage bands the world over - the lead guitar riffs were easily copied - but also by icons like Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Springsteen.
NEWS
November 20, 2012 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Rhythm and blues singer Billy Scott has died in North Carolina at age 70. Scott died Saturday of pancreatic and liver cancer at his home in Charlotte, said Bill Kopald with the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame. Scott, who was born Peter Pendleton in Huntington, W. Va., sang with various groups while in the Army. After he was discharged in 1964, he changed his name, and with his wife, Barbara, in 1966 began recording as The Prophets. Their first gold record was 1968's "I Got the Fever.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 13, 2012 | By CHUCK DARROW and Daily News Staff Writer
This is getting to be routine. About four years ago, Chris Squire of the veteran progressive-rock band Yes called to explain why and how Benoit David had replaced original lead singer Jon Anderson in the then-40-year-old outfit. Recently, Squire, the group's charter bassist, was back on the blower, this time talking about David's replacement, Jon Davison, who over the next five days, will be introduced to local fans as Yes performs Friday at Tropicana Atlantic City and Wednesday at Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem.
NEWS
September 1, 2004
A Convention Notebook item Tuesday gave an incorrect age for folk singer Pete Seeger. He is 85.
NEWS
February 13, 2012 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
LOS ANGELES - Coroner's officials said yesterday that they wouldn't release any information about an autopsy on singer Whitney Houston. The singer, 48, was found in the bathtub of her room Saturday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, but Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter declined to say anything about the room's condition or any evidence investigators recovered. He said that there were no obvious signs of trauma, but that officials were not ruling out any cause of death until they have toxicology results, which will take weeks to obtain.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 2015 | By Tirdad Derakhshani, Inquirer Staff Writer
Tyrese: Radio too white? His latest car pic, Furious 7 , has made a trillion dollars. He's designing a talk show for OWN with Run D.M.C. 's Rev Run , and he has scored his first No. 1 album on the Billboard charts, with Black Rose . Yet, Tyrese Gibson , 36, seems irked it took him 17 years to make it. Radio stations, he suggests, prefer to play white R&B singers. "If Justin Timberlake , Robin Thicke , and Sam Smith are singing R&B/soul music, how is it possible that they're being played by . . . [these]
ENTERTAINMENT
July 25, 2015 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
Anyone who knows jazz in Philadelphia knows Wendy Simon. Throughout the 1980s and '90s - whether as a soloist, paired with local-legendary pianist Eric Spiegel in Tuxedo Junction, or with Mark Shaw's society orchestra - the singer was renowned for her low, delectable voice, her innovative scat-singing, and her delicate way with a ballad. "My vocal range changed, though, and I'm actually singing higher," says Simon, "which is unusual because most singers lower the keys of their songs as they age. What I love most that's changed with age is having the confidence of my experience and the courage to continue to strive to go beyond my self-imposed limitations in all aspects of my life, as well as my art. " Some of those experiences kept her off the stage for 18 years, a spell happily broken when she returns to live singing this weekend at Paris Bistro, with the accompaniment of the Tom Adams Trio.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 23, 2015 | By Jenny DeHuff
Like fine wine, Jade Starling just gets better and better with age. Pun intended, but "Better and Better" is a song off Starling's new hit album, which just landed in the No. 24 spot on the August Billboard Top 100 dance chart. Starling has been a musician with Pretty Poison since the early 1980s. Her new stuff has the benefit of authorship from longtime writing partner Whey Cooler, who's also credited with helping Pretty Poison reach its great success.  Now, Starling is promoting her new, much anticipated solo debut, "Captive.
NEWS
July 2, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
A memorial prayer service is to be Saturday, July 11, for Antoinette Marie Galizia Favata, 92, a Bucks County native who died Saturday, March 7, of causes related to aging at a hospice in West Palm Beach, Fla. Mrs. Favata, a singer and secretary, was the mother of U.S. Eastern District Court Judge Cynthia M. Rufe. "To all who knew her, she was a most warm, generous, and loving person with the ability to give comfort to those in need," her family said in a statement. She was married to Lucien Russell Favata, who died in 1986.
NEWS
June 19, 2015 | Chuck Darrow, Daily News Staff Writer
FOR SINGER-songwriter Jonatha Brooke , words and music just weren't enough. Through June 28, Brooke, a favorite of the "AAA radio" (WXPN) crowd, is performing her piece, "My Mother Has 4 Noses," at Malvern's People's Light theater. The show, which ping-pongs between monologues and original songs, chronicles the life and death of Brooke's mother, who apparently was the very definition of the word "eccentric. " While Nancy Lee Nelson (who liked to be known as "Stoney," from her maiden name, Stone)
NEWS
June 16, 2015 | By Bonnie L. Cook, Inquirer Staff Writer
Ethel F. Semser, 98, of Philadelphia, an international opera singer and linguist, died Thursday, June 4, of complications from pneumonia at Penn Hospice at Rittenhouse. Born in 1917 and reared in Philadelphia, she was the daughter of Nathan Frey, a violist for the Philadelphia Orchestra. She graduated from Germantown High School and received a bachelor of arts degree from Temple University and a master of arts in foreign languages from the University of Pennsylvania. She also trained privately as an opera singer.
NEWS
June 8, 2015 | By Jessica Parks, Inquirer Staff Writer
Anthony Riley, 28, a Philadelphia street performer who left NBC's singing-competition show The Voice in January to deal with substance-abuse issues, was found dead Friday. Over the last decade, Mr. Riley had been a fixture in Center City, crooning Motown and pop songs for tips on the bustling streets outside Reading Terminal Market, Penn's Landing, and Independence Hall. Since leaving the TV show, he had been working on an album but continued to struggle with addiction, his friends and family said Saturday.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 20, 2015 | By David Patrick Stearns, Inquirer Music Critic
No commemorative speeches. No plaques. No tear jerking. Artistic director David Hayes barely announced the encore at the farewell concert of the Philadelphia Singers, going out of business after 43 years, but let the occasion speak with music, the best performance coming last - Rachmaninoff's Vespers , the "Rejoice O Virgin" section. Maybe Hayes was focusing his energy, having survived last week's Amtrak derailment in reportedly functional though bruised form, which had him walking on and off stage with care.
NEWS
May 15, 2015 | BY ALLIE VOLPE, philly.com avolpe@philly.com
MAC McCAUGHAN just got his car tires replaced. "I better sell some records to pay for them," he said, chuckling, in a phone call last Tuesday, the day his first solo album under his own name was released. The Superchunk lead singer and co-founder, who also co-founded Merge Records, has often ventured into his own territory with his mostly solo sidepiece Portastatic over the course of his 20-years-plus career. But he felt like he'd closed the book on that project. So, he retreated into the basement, literally and figuratively, and revived the initial, adolescent thrill of songwriting on "Non-Believers," which was recorded in McCaughan's Chapel Hill, N.C., home-basement studio.
NEWS
May 5, 2015 | BY JOHN F. MORRISON, Daily News Staff Writer morrisj@phillynews.com, 215-854-5573
IF YOU NEEDED musical entertainment for a special event, Anthony White would have been your man. Anthony was a child prodigy on the piano, and in later years he was in demand everywhere, from funeral homes to churches to the performance halls where he opened for some of Philly's outstanding musicians. "Anthony was always willing to play for any event you asked," his family said. Anthony Rayvon White, who formerly worked for the Pennsylvania Unemployment Office and the University of Pennsylvania Science Center, a king of the barbecue grill who loved to entertain, died April 23 after a brief illness.
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