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2009 - week 51, from 19 Dec - people who died in 2009

PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:51 am
by Charlie
Seq - Artist - Song Title - Album - Country - Label - Cat no

1 - Les Paul [age 94] & Mary Ford - How High The Moon - The Very Best of… - USA - Capitol - E-ST 23321

2 - Blind Snooks Eaglin (73) - Alberta - That's all Right - USA - Original Blues - OBCCD 568-2

3 - Ali Akbar Khan (87) and Asha Bhosle - Tarana (in Adar)) - Legacy - India - Triloka/AMMP - 7216-2

4 - Mercedes Sosa [74] - Zamba a Monteros - escondido en mi pais - Argentina - Polydor - 533031-2

5 - 'Mink' Deville (59) - Spanish Stroll - Mink Deville - USA - Raven - RVCD-59

6 - Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez (66) - Wahira - Cachaito - Cuba - World Circuit - WCD061

7 - The Swan Silvertones (feat Claude Jeter - 94) - Singing in My Soul - Swan Silvertones - USA - Vee Jay - NVG-2

This programme is devoted to singers and musicians who died during 2009. The music industry must have one of the lowest life expectancies of any occupation but most of the people featured here lasted long enough to enjoy what cricketers refer to as ‘a good innings’.

Les Paul & Mary Ford

Les Paul was one of the most extraordinary musicians of his or any other time, not only as inventor and designer of the Gibson Les Paul guitar but as a master musician and record producer too. Listening again to his solo on ‘High How the Moon’ it is clear how influential he was on every rock ‘n’ roll guitarist from Scotty Moore (with Elvis Presley) and James Burton (Ricky Nelson, Merle Haggard) to Jimmy Page and whoever else you wish to include from that later generation. The sophistication of the multi-tracked arrangement of his own guitar and his wife Mary Ford’s voice still boggles the mind.

Blind Snooks Eaglin

Blind Snooks Eaglin was never a best-seller, but it has become surprising for me to encounter so many other people who shared what I thought was my own secret discovery back around 1960. How did we all find out about this New Orleans 12-string guitarist? I no longer remember. How many others realised that he was not really the street singer presented on the album cover, but a seasoned session musician? We may have been tricked, but the album is still a delight.

Ali Akbar Khan

I am ashamed to admit that I only realised what a major figure Ali Akbar Khan had been when reading the obituaries which reported the intense apprenticeship he endured under instruction from his disciplinarian father. The only album of his on my shelves features his sarod in exquisite duets with Asha Bhosle.

Mercedes Sosa

The Argentinean Mercedes Sosa was one of those big-voiced singers whose recorded performances rarely did justice to the impact of experiencing her charismatic live performances. I feel fortunate to have caught her at the Royal Festival Hall in the late 1990s.

Willy DeVille

Willy DeVille was a New York singer whose first albums suggested a more versatile Lou Reed, and who was subsequently championed by another Lou Reed follower, Mark Knopfler. The French took DeVille to heart and supported him while the rest of the world turned its back. Garth Cartwright argues for Willy to be placed at the top of the pantheon among his generation’s rock singers.

Orlando ‘Cachaito’ Lopez

‘Cachaito’ was the nickname given to the bass player Orlando Lopez in tribute to his uncle Cachao, one of Cuba’s most famous musicians and arrangers. We might never have known about Cachaito if he had not been the rhythmic fulcrum of Buena Vista Social Club, the revivalist ensemble convened in Havana in 1996 by World Circuit producer Nick Gold and Ry Cooder. Following the multi-million-selling success of that album, Nick produced several records featuring many of the band’s individual members, including an album by Cachaito which many members of the forum at included among their best albums of the decade 2000- 2009.

The Swan Silvertones (Clauder Jeter, front left)

Of all the American gospel quartets which emerged during the 1940s and ‘50s, the Swan Silvertones made several of the most exquisite records, most of them featuring Claude Jeter as lead tenor. The group remained little known outside the religious community until Paul Simon invited Jeter to contribute to his album There Goes Rhymin’ Simon (1973). The group initially recorded for King (in the 1940s) and Specialty (early 1950s), but achieved greatest success with Vee Jay (1955 to 65), including the song chosen here. If you find something by them on any of these labels, grab it – they were remarkably consistent.

Thanks to Con Murphy for compiling the Roll of Honour of people who died during 2009 in the Obituary section of the forum at

Re: 2009 - week 51, from 19 Dec - people who died in 2009

PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 10:47 pm
by Adam Blake
Is that someone playing wah-wah 12 string electric guitar on the Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez track? That's surely unusual for a Cuban record - or indeed any record. Can someone confirm or deny? My friend here thought it was pans, as in steel band pans, but I thought it was a 12 string put through a wah-wah pedal.
Confused... Lovely record, I should add.

Re: 2009 - week 51, from 19 Dec - people who died in 2009

PostPosted: Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:32 pm
by Nigel w
That will be Manuel Galban.

He plays electric guitar on most of the Buena Vista spin-off releases, Adam, and with the BVSC touring band. He also made that great album of guitar duets with Cooder and is the guitarist on all of those fantastic 60s Cuban records by Los Zafiros. I believe he had the first-ever wah-wah pedal in Havana and was certainly playing it by the late 1960s..

Re: 2009 - week 51, from 19 Dec - people who died in 2009

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 2:28 am
by Adam Blake
Ah ha! Thank you, Nigel.

Re: 2009 - week 51, from 19 Dec - people who died in 2009

PostPosted: Tue Dec 22, 2009 3:08 am
by John Leeson
Nigel w wrote:That will be Manuel Galban.

And Marc Ribot made an album (Marc Ribot y los Cubanos Postizos) built around Galaban's sound .

Re: 2009 - week 51, from 19 Dec - people who died in 2009

PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2010 4:32 pm
by liz molony
My husband says smiling broadly: 'What's that first piece Charlie played ??- its GREAT.'. [How High the Moon]...and he's drumming out the rhythms, telling me all about Les Paul's multi track genius.
'Oh no ....'.chips in our daughter, 'You haven't got dad listening to now too ...'
In fact he's known this music when I was still in the heart of Africa and far from Les Paul an' all.
23 Dec 2009 17:39