The Great Maurice White of Earth, Wind and Fire has died

There were few groups who enjoyed the success of Earth, Wind and Fire. Maurice White was the force behind the group. For about a 5 – 7 year period, Earth, Wind and Fire were the best in the land. Their concerts were legendary. Their sound was uniquely soulful. Their horn section was the best.

From Rolling Stone:

Earth, Wind and Fire vocalist and co-founder Maurice White died in his sleep in Los Angeles on Wednesday evening. A rep for the band confirmed his passing to Rolling Stone. He was 74.

The singer had been battling Parkinson’s disease since 1992, according to TMZ. His health had reportedly deteriorated in recent months. Because of the disease, he had not toured with the pioneering soul and R&B group since 1994. He nevertheless remained active on the business side of the group.

“My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep,” White’s brother and bandmate Verdine wrote in a statement. “While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes.”

“The light is he, shining on you and me,” the band added on Twitter.

White, who formed the group with Verdine in 1969, helped innovate a lush, eclectic style with Earth, Wind and Fire that drew inspiration from funk, jazz, R&B and Latin music – as well as Sly Stone and James Brown – for a unique sound that set the tone for soul music in the Seventies. The springy, elastic soul-pop of “Shining Star,” which White co-wrote, earned them their first Number One, and paved the way for hits like the joyful “Sing a Song,” the percussive and brassy “September,” their swinging cover of the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” and the robotic disco of “Let’s Groove.” Rolling Stone included the group’s sweetly smooth 1975 single, “That’s the Way of the World,” on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. (more…)

Here are my top 5 EWF tunes:

#5 – After the Love was Gone

#4 – Reasons

#3 – Sing a Song

#2 – Shining Star

#1 – Got to Get You into My Life

 

 

Glenn Frey dead at age 67

I have always like the Eagles. They had a great sound, smooth and soulful. Glenn Frey will be missed. RIP!

From the Rolling Stone:

Glenn Frey, Eagles guitarist and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, passed away Monday. He was 67. “It is with the heaviest of hearts that we announce the passing of our comrade, Eagles founder, Glenn Frey, in New York City on Monday, January 18th, 2016. Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia,” the Eagles wrote in a statement Monday.

“The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery,” the statement continued. “Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide.”

In a separate statement, Don Henley said of Frey, “He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction.  But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved.  We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream:  to make our mark in the music industry — and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed.  But, Glenn was the one who started it all.  He was the spark plug, the man with the plan.”

Henley continued, “He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit.  He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven.  He loved is wife and kids more than anything.  We are all in a state of shock, disbelief and profound sorrow.  We brought our two-year History of the Eagles Tour to a triumphant close at the end of July and now he is gone.  I’m not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet.  It will be very strange going forward in a world without him in it.  But, I will be grateful, every day, that he was in my life.  Rest in peace, my brother.  You did what you set out to do, and then some.”

Artist: Glenn Frey
Tune: The Heat is On

NFL – Week 17

 Now, today, we are going to see the good, the bad and the ugly of the NFL. 5 or 6 coaches seem to be on their way out. Chip Kelly is already gone in Philadelphia. I think that Jason Garrett is safe in Dallas. Tom Coughlin is out in New York. (I kind of feel sorry for him. Without JPP and Victor Cruz, whose career I think is over in the NFL, there was no way from him to really put a winning team together this year.) San Fransisco is a disaster. I have no idea what’s going on there. Chuck Pangiano is rumored to be leaving Indianapolis after being unable to get on the same page as the GM.

In order to win in the NFL, you need a quarterback who can throw strikes in the 4th quarter. You need an offensive line that can protect the QB. You need a running back who can get first downs in the 4th quarter and NOT fumble the ball. Finally, you need a group of receivers who know how to get away from press coverage and catch those high velocity strikes in tight windows. Finally, you need a defense that will bend but not break. Although this formula is easy to write down, it is hard to find the right personnel. Look at the Atlanta Falcons. They looked great for about 6 weeks this year. Then they fell apart. On the other hand, the Lions looked awful at the beginning of the year, then fired several coaches and played with fire the last 7 weeks.

I’ll type some more on the NFL this evening. For now, I’m going to sit back and enjoy an afternoon of football!