Lesley Sue Goldstein Lesley Gore,

Lesley Sue Goldstein (May 2, 1946 – February 16, 2015), better known as Lesley Gore, was an American singer, songwriter, actress, and activist. At the age of 16, in 1963, she recorded the pop hit “It’s My Party”, and followed it up with other hits including “Judy’s Turn to Cry”, “You Don’t Own Me”, and “California Nights”.

Gore also worked as an actress and composed songs with her brother Michael Gore for the 1980 film Fame, for which she was nominated for an Academy Award.[1] She hosted an LGBT-oriented public television show, In the Life, on American TV in the 2000s, and was active until 2014.
Gore died of lung cancer on February 16, 2015, at the NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, New York City; she was 68 years old.[22][23] Her New York Times obituary described her as a teenage and feminist anthemist.[24] Following her death, Neil Sedaka commented that she was “a phenomenal talent” and “a great songwriter in her own right.”[24

Robert Dwayne “Bobby” Womack

Robert Dwayne “Bobby” Womack (/ˈwoʊmæk/; March 4, 1944 – June 27, 2014) was an American singer-songwriter and musician. An active recording artist since the early 1960s, when he started his career as the lead singer of his family musical group the Valentinos and as Sam Cooke’s backing guitarist, Womack’s career spanned more than 50 years, during which he played in the styles of R&B, soul, rock and roll, doo-wop, gospel, and country.
Womack wrote and originally recorded the Rolling Stones’ first UK No. 1 hit, “It’s All Over Now” and New Birth’s “I Can Understand It” among other songs. As a singer he is most notable for the hits “Lookin’ For a Love”, “That’s The Way I Feel About Cha”, “Woman’s Gotta Have It”, “Harry Hippie”, “Across 110th Street” and his 1980s hit “If You Think You’re Lonely Now”.

Edward John ‘Ed’ Gagliardi

Edward John ‘Ed’ Gagliardi (February 13, 1952 – May 11, 2014) was an American bass guitarist who was the original bass player for the 1970s rock band Foreigner. He was a member of Foreigner from the beginning in 1976. Gagliardi, most notably, played a red Rickenbacker bass guitar, left-handed even though he was a naturally right-handed. It is widely known that he did so out of admiration, and devotion to Sir Paul McCartney (most often self-doctored from right handed basses, reengineered and played upside down, by Gagliardi himself). Gagliardi was on the albums Foreigner and Double Vision, and parted ways, due to creative differences, in 1979.
In 1981, Ed formed the band Spys with former Foreigner keyboardist Al Greenwood,[1] a band that set the tone for much of the 80’s synth-rock bands, and received great acclaim within the musical community.
Ed died of cancer on May 11, 2014, after battling cancer for eight years. Friends and family held a private ceremony.[2][3]

JOSEPH COOK

JOSEPH COOK (DECEMBER 29, 1922 – APRIL 15, 2014), KNOWN AS LITTLE JOE COOK, WAS AN AMERICAN RHYTHM AND BLUES SINGER AND SONGWRITER. HE IS BEST KNOWN AS THE LEAD SINGER OF LITTLE JOE & THE THRILLERS, WHOSE SONG “PEANUTS” REACHED NO. 22 ON THE BILLBOARD TOP 100 IN 1957.[1]
He was born in South Philadelphia, and started singing in church. His mother, Annie Hall, was a locally well-known blues singer and his grandmother was a Baptist preacher.[2][3] By the time he was 12, he and three cousins had formed a gospel vocal quartet, the Evening Stars, who had a one-hour weekly radio show in Philadelphia. Cook was noted for his falsetto singing as well as his personality, and first recorded in 1949. In 1951 the group recorded “Say A Prayer for the Boys In Korea” for Apex Records.[2] He also worked in shipbuilding for the US Navy, and as a delivery driver.[4]
In the early 1950s Cook decided to make the transition to secular rhythm and blues music,[3] later declining an offer to join The Soul Stirrers after Sam Cooke left.[2] He formed a new doo-wop vocal group, the Thrillers, with Farrie Hill (second lead), Richard Frazier (tenor), Donald Burnett (baritone), and Henry Pascal (bass). They won a contract with OKeh Records in 1956, and their first single, “Do the Slop,” was a regional hit in Philadelphia and New York. The song introduced a new dance craze, and the group performed at the Apollo Theater.[5]
The group’s second single, “Peanuts”, was written by Cook and again featured his falsetto as the lead. Released in 1957, it won the group an appearance on American Bandstand, and rose to no. 22 on the national pop chart,[6] though it failed to make the R&B chart. Cook’s falsetto singing style was reportedly an influence on singers Frankie Valli, who recorded “Peanuts” with The Four Seasons, and Lou Christie.[2][3]
Later recordings by the group were less successful, though they continued to release singles on the OKeh label until 1961. After a brief stay with 20th Century Records, the group broke up.[5] Cook began performing solo, and toured with B. B. King and Bobby “Blue” Bland.[2] He also formed a group, The Sherrys, with his daughters, Delthine and Dinell Cook and their friends Charlotte Butler and Delores “Honey” Wylie. Their record “Pop Pop Pop-Pie” reached No. 25 on the R&B chart in 1962.[7]
Cook moved to Boston in the late 1960s, and continued to perform in clubs. He had a residency at the Cantab Lounge in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1980 until he retired in 2007,[3][5] being voted the region’s Best Local R&B Performer in 2002.[2]
Cook died on April 15, 2014, at the age of 91. He is survived by his wife Joanne and six children.[1]

RODNEY “SKIP” BRYCE

ROB BASE AND DJ E-Z ROCK WERE A HIP-HOP DUO FROM HARLEM, NEW YORK WHO WERE BEST KNOWN FOR THEIR HIT “IT TAKES TWO”, A SINGLE THAT WAS A TOP 40 HIT AND HAS BEEN CERTIFIED PLATINUM BY THE RIAA. THAT SONG WAS A PART OF THE DUO’S ALBUM OF THE SAME NAME, WHICH ALSO HAS BEEN CERTIFIED PLATINUM. THEY ARE ALSO KNOWN FOR BEING PIONEERS OF THE CROSSOVER SUCCESS THAT RAP MUSIC WOULD HAVE IN THE POPULAR MUSIC MAINSTREAM.[1] THE DUO CONSISTED OF ROB BASE (ROBERT GINYARD, BORN MAY 18, 1967) AND DJ E-Z ROCK (RODNEY “SKIP” BRYCE, DIED APRIL 27, 2014).

RAYMOND LOUIS “RAY” KENNEDY

RAYMOND LOUIS “RAY” KENNEDY (NOVEMBER 26, 1946 – FEBRUARY 16, 2014) WAS AN AMERICAN SINGER, SONGWRITER, MUSICIAN AND RECORD PRODUCER, BASED IN LOS ANGELES. HIS WORKS SPAN MULTIPLE GENRES INCLUDING R&B, POP, ROCK, JAZZ, FUSION, ACID ROCK, COUNTRY AND MANY OTHERS. HE CO-WROTE “SAIL ON, SAILOR”, ONE OF THE BEACH BOYS’ MID-CAREER HITS[1] AS WELL AS TWO HITS FOR THE BABYS: “EVERYTIME I THINK OF YOU” AND “ISN’T IT TIME”.
Born in Philadelphia, Kennedy began playing saxophone at age nine; he sang in a cappella groups in New Jersey and Philadelphia before becoming a dancing regular on American Bandstand in 1960. Dick Clark eventually offered to pay him to pantomime playing saxophone with groups such as The Platters, The Drifters, Chubby Checker, Little Richard, and many more.
In 1965 Kennedy recorded his first single as vocalist with then-unknown Kenny Gamble, “Number 5 Gemini” on Guyden Records. That year Kennedy also auditioned for and received a gig playing tenor sax with Gerry Mulligan, one of the top baritone jazz saxophonists in the world. That led to Kennedy leaving his home in New Jersey, playing various jazz clubs and making his way south.
With drummer Jay David, Kennedy eventually left the tour to play various gigs with Dizzy Gillespie, J. J. Johnson, Buddy Rich and the Gene Krupa Jazz Group, until he decided in 1962 that the lifestyle of a jazz musician was simply not for him.
Kennedy went to Paducah, Kentucky to play a few gigs with Brenda Lee; one-nighters with Little Richard, Fats Domino, Jerry Lee Lewis, Wilson Pickett, and many others followed. Encouraged by friend Otis Redding, Kennedy shifted his focus back to singing and moved to New York in 1963. He was signed by Ahmet Ertegun to Atlantic Records, recording as “Jon and Ray” and touring with Jon Mislan, AKA ( Johnny Angel ). In 1966 he formed another band called “Group Therapy” and recorded two albums before deciding to move to Los Angeles with them in 1968.
Kennedy’s first solo album, “Raymond Louis Kennedy”, was released in 1970. That year he befriended Dave Mason of Traffic, and toured with him in support of Mason’s solo album, “Alone Together,” also collaborating on a song “Seasons” that ended up on a future Mason solo album, “Let It Flow.” During this period, Kennedy also co-wrote the Beach Boys hit, “Sail On, Sailor”.
He was featured on the soundtrack to the Brian DePalma cult film sensation Phantom of the Paradise. Kennedy sang “Life at Last”. In the movie, the song was lip-synched by Gerrit Graham as the character Beef, who performed the song as a Frankenstein-type transvestite constructed by the members of The Undead while they themselves performed “Somebody Super Like You (the Beef Construction song)”.
Kennedy spent the next several decades writing, recording and touring with and for musicians including Sly and the Family Stone, Brian Wilson, Dave Mason, Jeff Beck, Barry Goldberg, Maurice White, Aerosmith, Michael Schenker, Engelbert Humperdinck, Wayne Newton, Tanya Tucker, Bill Champlin, Willie Nelson, Mick Fleetwood and many others

JOHN “JAY” TRAYNOR

JOHN “JAY” TRAYNOR (MARCH 30, 1943 – JANUARY 2, 2014) WAS AN AMERICAN SINGER.
Traynor was the third lead vocalist of the Mystics, singing falsetto on “The White Cliffs of Dover” and lead on “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and “Blue Star”. Later, he started Jay and the Americans with Kenny Vance and Sandy Yaguda, and was the original lead singer. He sang lead on the Americans’ first hit, “She Cried,” which was followed up by the LP, She Cried. All recordings were produced by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, who produced numerous artists and wrote many hits for Elvis Presley, the Drifters, the Coasters, and many more.
Traynor left the Americans, releasing solo records, including “I Rise, I Fall” on the Coral label in 1964. His name on the label was denoted as “JAY … formerly of Jay & the Americans”.[1] Later in the ’60s, he released “Up & Over”, produced by Dennis Lambert for Don Costa Productions. The song became a big hit with the UK “Northern Soul” underground dance clubs. Traynor was replaced in the Americans by David Blatt, who agreed to perform under the stage name Jay Black. After working for Woodstock Ventures, the company that put on the “Woodstock” festival, Traynor then began a career working behind the scenes with many ’70s acts (Mountain, West, Bruce & Laing, The Who, Ten Years After, Yes, and gospel singer Mylon LeFevre).
In 1977 Traynor moved to Albany, New York, near his roots in Greenville and worked at WNYT as a studio camera operator. He then performed with cover bands (George and “Friends”), jazz trios, and finally as the male singer with the Joey Thomas Big Band, where his love for Frank Sinatra’s music began. The Big Band put out a few CDs with Traynor, including Live On WAMC & The Sinatra Show. In 2006, Traynor received a call from Jay Siegel, and he toured with Jay Siegel’s Tokens for the remainder of his life.[citation needed]
Jay Traynor died January 2, 2014 of liver cancer at a hospital in Tampa, Florida

John “Jay” Traynor

John “Jay” Traynor (March 30, 1943 – January 2, 2014) was an American singer.
Traynor was the third lead vocalist of the Mystics, singing falsetto on “The White Cliffs of Dover” and lead on “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” and “Blue Star”. Later, he started Jay and the Americans with Kenny Vance and Sandy Yaguda, and was the original lead singer. He sang lead on the Americans’ first hit, “She Cried,” which was followed up by the LP, She Cried. All recordings were produced by Jerry Leiber & Mike Stoller, who produced numerous artists and wrote many hits for Elvis Presley, the Drifters, the Coasters, and many more.
Traynor left the Americans, releasing solo records, including “I Rise, I Fall” on the Coral label in 1964. His name on the label was denoted as “JAY … formerly of Jay & the Americans”.[1] Later in the ’60s, he released “Up & Over”, produced by Dennis Lambert for Don Costa Productions. The song became a big hit with the UK “Northern Soul” underground dance clubs. Traynor was replaced in the Americans by David Blatt, who agreed to perform under the stage name Jay Black. After working for Woodstock Ventures, the company that put on the “Woodstock” festival, Traynor then began a career working behind the scenes with many ’70s acts (Mountain, West, Bruce & Laing, The Who, Ten Years After, Yes, and gospel singer Mylon LeFevre).
In 1977 Traynor moved to Albany, New York, near his roots in Greenville and worked at WNYT as a studio camera operator. He then performed with cover bands (George and “Friends”), jazz trios, and finally as the male singer with the Joey Thomas Big Band, where his love for Frank Sinatra’s music began. The Big Band put out a few CDs with Traynor, including Live On WAMC & The Sinatra Show. In 2006, Traynor received a call from Jay Siegel, and he toured with Jay Siegel’s Tokens for the remainder of his life.[citation needed]

ROBERT LEE “BOBBY” PARKER

ROBERT LEE “BOBBY” PARKER (AUGUST 31, 1937 – OCTOBER 31, 2013[2]), WAS AN AMERICAN BLUES-ROCK GUITARIST, SINGER AND SONGWRITER.[3] HE IS BEST KNOWN FOR HIS 1961 SONG, “WATCH YOUR STEP”, A SINGLE FOR THE V-TONE RECORD LABEL WHICH REACHED THE BILLBOARD HOT 100; THE SONG WAS PERFORMED BY, AND INFLUENCED, THE BEATLES AMONG OTHERS.
Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, but raised in Los Angeles, California, Parker first aspired to a career in entertainment at a young age.[3] By the 1950s, Parker had started working on electric guitar with several blues and R&B bands of the time, with his first stint being with Otis Williams and the Charms. Over the next few years, he also played lead guitar with Bo Diddley (including an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show),[3] toured with Paul Williams, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, LaVern Baker, Clyde McPhatter, and the Everly Brothers. He first recorded, as Bobby Parks, with the Paul Williams band in 1956.[4]
His first solo single, “Blues Get Off My Shoulder”, was recorded in 1958, while he was still working primarily with Williams’ band. The B-side, “You Got What It Takes”, also written by Parker, was later recorded for Motown by Marv Johnson, but with the songwriting credited to Berry Gordy, Gwen Fuqua and Roquel Davis. Parker told the Forgotten Hits newsletter in 2008:[5]
“I wrote ‘You’ve Got What It Takes,’ that was MY song. Even had the Paul Hucklebuck Williams band playing on it behind me… And then Berry Gordy just stole it out from under me, just put his name on it. And what could I do? I was just trying to make a living, playing guitar and singing, how was I going to go on and fight Berry Gordy, big as he was, and Motown Records? There wasn’t really nothing I could do about it – it was just too big and I didn’t have any way to fight them…”
Parker also performed frequently at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, and in the late 1950s toured with Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Little Richard. By the early 1960s, he had settled into living in the Washington, D.C. area and played at blues clubs there after having left Williams’ band.
He recorded the single “Watch Your Step” for the V-Tone label in 1961. The song was written by Parker, inspired by Dizzy Gillespie’s “Manteca” and Ray Charles’ “What’d I Say”.[6] It reached no.51 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1961,[7] although it did not make the national R&B chart. It was later covered by the Spencer Davis Group, Dr. Feelgood, Steve Marriott, Adam Faith, and Carlos Santana,[3] and was performed by the Beatles in concerts during 1961 and 1962. The song’s guitar riff inspired the introduction to the Beatles’ 1964 hit single “I Feel Fine”,[8] and, according to John Lennon, also provided the basis for “Day Tripper”.[6] In relation to the Beatles’ use of the riff, Parker said: “I was flattered, I thought it was a cool idea. But I still had, (in the) back of my mind, (the idea) that I should have gotten a little more recognition for that.”[9] Led Zeppelin also used the riff as the basis for their instrumental “Moby Dick.”[10]
With the success of the song, both in the United States and overseas, he toured the UK in 1968 and recorded his next record, “It’s Hard But It’s Fair” produced by Mike Vernon and released on Blue Horizon. Jimmy Page was a fan of Parker’s and wanted to sign up Parker with Swan Song Records. Page offered an advance of US$2000 to fund the recording of a demo tape, but Parker never completed the recording, and an opportunity for Parker to be exposed to an international audience was lost.[citation needed] On January 1, 2012, Parker’s “Watch Your Step” sound recording became Public Domain in Europe, due to the 50 year copyright law limit in the E.U.[11][12]
For the next two decades, Parker played almost exclusively in the D.C. area. By the 1990s, Parker started to record again for a broader audience. He recorded his first official album, Bent Out of Shape, for the Black Top Records label in 1993, with a follow-up in 1995, Shine Me Up.[3] In 1993, he also was the headliner for the Jersey Shore Jazz and Blues Festival. Parker continued to perform as a regular act at Madam’s Organ Blues Bar in Washington.
Bobby Parker died of a heart attack on October 31, 2013, at the age of 76.