Matthew Seligman 14 July 1955 – 17 April 2020 was an English bass guitarist, best known for his association with the new wave music scene of the 1980s. Seligman was a member of The Soft Boys and the Thompson Twins, and was a sideman for Thomas Dolby. Seligman was also a member of Bruce Woolley & The Camera Club and The Dolphin Brothers, and backed David Bowie at his performance at Live Aid in 1985.
Gary McSpadden (January 26, 1943 – April 15, 2020) was an American pastor, singer, songwriter, producer, television host and motivational speaker. He had musical roots in quartet music and Southern gospel with The Statesmen, The Oak Ridge Boys, The Imperials, The Bill Gaither Trio, and The Gaither Vocal Band. McSpadden’s songs include “Jesus Lord To Me”, “Hallelujah Praise The Lamb”, and “No Other Name But Jesus”. He has produced albums for numerous groups. In 1987, he co-hosted PTL Today after Jim Bakker resigned. McSpadden went on to produce television programs, including the “Jubilee” concert series filmed at Silver Dollar City in Branson, Missouri. He also produced and starred in several live music shows in the Branson area during the 1990s and 2000s.
John Prine (October 10, 1946 – April 7, 2020) was an American country folk singer-songwriter. He was active as a composer, recording artist, and live performer from the early 1970s until his death, and was known for an often humorous style of country music that has elements of protest and social commentary.
A member of Chicago’s folk revival.Widely cited as one of the most influential songwriters of his generation, Prine was known for humorous lyrics about love, life, and current events, as well as serious songs with social commentary, or which recollect melancholy tales from his life.
William Harrison Withers Jr. born July 4, 1938 is an American former singer-songwriter and musician who performed and recorded from 1970 until 1985. He recorded several major hits, including “Lean on Me”, “Ain’t No Sunshine”, “Use Me”, “Just the Two of Us”, “Lovely Day”, and “Grandma’s Hands”. Withers won three Grammy Awards and was nominated for four more. His life was the subject of the 2009 documentary film Still Bill. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015
Ellis Louis Marsalis Jr. November 14, 1934 – April 1, 2020 was an American jazz pianist and educator. Active since the late 1940s, Marsalis came to greater attention in the 1980s and 1990s as the patriarch of a musical family, with sons Branford and Wynton rising to international acclaim
Adam Lyons Schlesinger October 31, 1967 – April 12020 was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and guitarist. He won three Emmys, a Grammy, and the ASCAP Pop Music Award, and was nominated for Oscar, Tony and Golden Globe Awards.
He was a founding member of the bands Fountains of Wayne, Ivy, and Tinted Windows. He was a key songwriting contributor and producer for Brooklyn-based synth-pop duo Fever High. Schlesinger grew up in Manhattan and Montclair, New Jersey
Wallace Roney (May 25, 1960 – March 31, 2020) was an American jazz (hard bop and post-bop) trumpeter.
Roney took lessons from Clark Terry and Dizzy Gillespie and studied with Miles Davis from 1985 until the latter’s death in 1991. Wallace credited Davis as having helped to challenge and shape his creative approach to life as well as being his music instructor, mentor, and friend; he was the only trumpet player Davis personally mentored. Wallace Roney died at the age of 59 The cause was complications arising from COVID-19
Alan Merrill born Allan Preston Sachs February 19, 1951 – March 29, 2020 was an American vocalist, guitarist, songwriter, actor and model. In the early 1970s, Merrill was the first Westerner to achieve pop star status in Japan. He was the co-writer of, and lead singer on, the first released version of the song “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll”, which was recorded by the Arrows in 1975.
Merrill was best known as a vocalist and songwriter but also played the guitar, bass guitar, harmonica and keyboards
Joe Logan Diffie December 28, 1958 – March 29, 2020 was an American country music singer. After working as a demo singer in the 1980s, he signed with Epic Records’ Nashville division in 1990. Between then and 2004, Diffie charted 35 singles on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, five of which peaked at number one: his debut release “Home”, “If the Devil Danced (In Empty Pockets)”, “Third Rock from the Sun”, “Pickup Man” (his longest-lasting number-one song, at four weeks) and “Bigger Than the Beatles”. In addition to these singles, he had 12 others reach the top 10 and ten more reach the top 40 on the same chart. He also co-wrote singles for Holly Dunn, Tim McGraw, and Jo Dee Messina, and recorded with Mary Chapin Carpenter, George Jones, and Marty Stuart.
Original Riot guitarist Lou A. Kouvaris – who appeared on the first Riot album Rock City and wrote songs for Narita (1979) – has passed away from Coronavirus (COVID-19). He was 66 and passed away at his home in Long Island, New York.