Spinning Platters Guide To Important Musicians That Passed Away In 2009

by Dakin Hardwick on January 1, 2010

This is a list of musicians of import that passed away in 2009. There will be many that are missed. You will be upset about some that I may have passed over. (I’m looking at you, Man In The Mirror) So, get ready to pour one down for:

Vic Chesnutt
Brilliant singer/songwriter that passed away on Christmas Day. He was a very hard working, very tough man, that managed to work as a touring musician despite his disability.
Brittany Murphy
Not really famous for being a musician, but her two pieces of recorded music work are pure pop confection that ring in your head for weeks.
Norton Buffalo
Legendary harmonica player for the Steve Miller Band.
Taylor Mitchell
Young singer/songwriter from Canada that was killed by a coyote.
Roc Raida (X-Ecutioners)
Roc Raida was a member of one of the greatest turntable crews in the history of pop music.
Mary Travers
Peter Paul and Mary were one of biggest groups of the mid-60’s, and Mary Travers handled the memorable female vocal harmonies.
Jim Carroll
The legendary punk rock poet and basketball player that wrote the greatest song about death this side of the Carter Family.
I mean, the guitar is named after him. And he was playing regularly up til the day he died at 94. Man was a genius, and by far the most important figure to pass away this year.
Gordon Waller (Peter & Gordon)
Early rock n roll legend from the first british invasion, and a precursor to the folk music revival.
Sky Saxon (The Seeds)
Garage rock legend and proto-punk mastermind was about to start playing shows again before his passing.
Andy Hughes (The Orb)
Late 90’s electronica legend pushed boundaries and helped lead to the great English rave movement.
Kenny Rankin
One of my own, personal earliest musical influences. This man had one of the most beautiful voices on earth, and brought the sound of scat and brought it to the pop musical world, influencing musicians as wide ranging as Bobby McFerrin, Jason Mraz, and Molly Siegel of Ponytail.
Jay Bennett (Wilco)
Fired during the recording of the classic Yankee Hotel Foxtrot record, Jay Bennett continued to have a successful career as a session musician and producer until his untimely passing at the age of 45.
Former member of rap/metal hybrid Crazy Town that went on to show some real inventiveness with his collaboration with Travis Barker.
Uriel Jones (Funk Brothers)
Session drummer that played on nearly every great Motown track. He was the guiding groove behind some of the greatest songs ever recorded.
Molly Bee
Molly Bee was 13 years old when she recorded “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus,” and went on to record many more classic rock and country masterpieces.
Orlando “Cachaito” Lopez (Buena Vista Social Club)
One of the finest bass players in all forms of music.
Ron Asheton
Ron Asheton is the most influential guitarist since Jimi Hendrix. His muscular riffing and deep tone helped create punk and grunge, and effectively all guitar playing in modern rock n roll music.
Jerry Fuchs
One of the finest drummers in the current crop of pop music, playing complex and layered rhythms like no other musician out there.
Ellie Greenwich
One of the great Brill Building songwriters, and the woman that wrote nearly every single song ever.
Ali Akbar Khan
Famed classical indian musician that brought the sarod to American audiences in the same way Ravi Shankar introduced us to the sitar.
Willie Deville
Of classic CBGB’s band Mink Deville, he fused together 50’s rock and 60’s pop to create an infectious version of power pop.
Lux Interior (The Cramps)
Early influence of psychobilly, and the band that paved the way for acts such as X, Social Distortion, Tiger Army and AFI.
Blossom Dearie
Legendary bebop bebop singer/pianist known for her distinctive “girlish” singing style, later became a voice for the popular Schoolhouse Rocks! series.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

brunocat January 2, 2010 at 10:02 am

Willy DeVille RIP


C. M. Slenko January 2, 2010 at 11:46 am

You seem to have missed Jack Rose, one of the greatest guitarists I’ve ever known, and a Philadelphia legend. He passed away on December 5th, 2009 at the age of 38. Rest in Peace.


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