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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Musical Passings - Gerry Rafferty & Teena Marie

Two music masters passed within the last few weeks, and I wanted to take a moment to pay tribute to them.

Today, Gerry Rafferty passed away after a long bought of illness. This Scottish singer and songwriter penned a number of songs that were heard often around the AM and FM dials in the 70's. My iPod has a dozen or so tunes by this man including "Baker Street", "Home and Dry" and "Right Down the Line" from his 1978 album City To City. Another favorite of mine from this era is "Stuck In the Middle" from 1973 which Gerry co-wrote as part of the band Stealers Wheel (I did not know this - so even in death I learn something about the man).

The day after Christmas, Teena Marie was found dead in her home. This phenomenal talent got her start on the Motown label in the late 70's working with super-producer Rick James. She was a rare breed - one of the few white artists on a label mostly known for black musicians. Still, she proved her ability and held her own, racking up a number of hits in the 80's including "I Need Your Lovin'" (1980), "Square Biz" (1981), "Lovergirl" (1985) and "Ooo La La La" (1987). One of my favorite tracks of hers appears on the Goonies soundtrack - "14K". I definitely plan to add more of her tracks to my iPod in the coming months (a number of her albums are on my save-for-later list on emusic.com - just waiting to be downloaded as time allows).

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