Ray Thomas, Moody Blues Founding Member
(29 December 1941 – 4 January 2018) was an English musician, flautist,
singer and composer in the UK rock band The Moody Blues.Thomas and Pinder
then recruited guitarist Denny Laine, drummer Graeme Edge, and bassist
Clint Warwick to form a new, blues-based band, The Moody Blues. Signed to
Decca Records, their first album, The Magnificent Moodies, yielded a No. 1
UK hit (No. 10 in the US) with “Go Now”. Thomas sang lead vocals on George
and Ira Gershwin’s “It Ain’t Necessarily So” from the musical Porgy and
Bess.Thomas also started writing songs. The first he contributed to the
group’s repertoire were “Another Morning” and “Twilight Time” on Days of
Future Passed. His flute had featured on three songs on the debut album
—”Something You Got”, “I’ve Got a Dream”, and “Let Me Go”—as well as the
single “From the Bottom of My Heart”, but it would become an integral part
of the band’s music, even as Pinder started to use the Mellotron keyboard.
Thomas has stated that a number of his compositions on the band’s earlier
albums were made in a studio broom closet, with Thomas writing songs on a
glockenspie. Hayward has spoken of Thomas’s learning transcendental
meditation in 1967, along with other members of the group.
Pat DiNizio (October 12, 1955 – December 12, 2017) was the lead singer, songwriter, and member of the band The Smithereens, which he formed in 1980 with Jim Babjak, Dennis Diken, and Mike Mesaros, from Carteret, New Jersey.
DiNizio died on December 12, 2017. According to bandmates, his health declined following a series of health issues that began in 2015 after a pair of falls that resulted in nerve damage which limited the use of his right hand and arm
A native of Scotch Plains, New Jersey, he released a number of solo albums, Sounds and Songs (1997), This is Pat DiNizio, a collection of cover songs arranged for piano and vocals (2006), Revolutions (2 CDs plus 1 DVD, limited edition of 300 copies, 2006), Pat DiNizio (2007), and Pat DiNizio/Buddy Holly (2008). An expanded 2-CD version of This is Pat DiNizio was issued in 2011.
Wayne Cochran (May 10, 1939 – November 21, 2017) was an American soul singer, known for his outlandish outfits and white pompadour hairstyle. He was sometimes referred to as The White Knight of Soul.Cochran is best known today for writing the song “Last Kiss”, which he performed with the C.C. Riders..
Influenced by the country and rhythm and blues music he heard on the radio, Cochran fronted his first band – a group called the Rockin’ Capris – as a teenager, and eventually left high school to pursue music as a full-time career. He relocated to Macon, Georgia, where he befriended the soul singer Otis Redding (playing bass guitar on Redding’s early recording of “Shout Bamalama” and its B-side, “Fat Girl”) and recorded his first single, “The Coo”, which attracted the attention of King Records, who signed him to a record deal. Cochran became close friends with King label mate James Brown, whose stage show and road band influenced his own performing style and inspired him to assemble his own soul revue, the C. C. Riders, which occasionally featured as many as 14 musicians plus two female backing vocalists, the Sheer Delights.