RIP: Glenn (Robertson) Yarbrough, one of the founding members of the folk group The Limeliters, died in his Nashville home on Thursday, Aug. 11 following complications from dementia. He was 86. He was the lead singer with the Limeliters from 1959 to 1963 and subsequently had a prolific solo career, recording on various labels. Among career highlights, Yarbrough provided vocals for the animated versions of The Hobbit, but was best known for his single “Baby the Rain Must Fall,” the theme from the 1965 Steve McQueen film as well as “It’s Gonna Be Fine.” He was also an accomplished sailor who owned and lived aboard several, including Brass Dolphin, a Chinese junk. He was an off-shore sailor who had visited many world ports.
RIP: Robert "Bobby" Hutcherson, an American jazz vibraphone and marimba player, died from emphysema on Aug. 15 at age 75. Best known for his post-bop recordings for Blue Note Records in the 1960s and 1970s, Hutcherson played with a litany of jazz greats as both bandleader and sideman during a career spanning more than 50 years. Among them were Herbie Hancock, Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon. – LA Times
RIP: CKWX AM 1130 Vancouver news reader David Cassady Aug. 14 at age 86. According to a posting on Radio West he came to Canada from San Francisco and "immediately took the 'WX news department sound and class to a new level". He was with the AM between 1973 and the early 80s and also worked for a time at CFAX Victoria. He retired a number of years ago and was living in the Fraser Valley.
RIP: Nelson J. Chu, known professionally as DJ Official, an American Christian hip hop musician, a member of the Christian collective 116 Clique, and rap group The Cross Movement, died Aug. 14 after undergoing double lung transplant surgery. The announcement was made by family. He was 39.
-- Rush has been letting us know for months that the R40 tour was more than likely the last for various reasons relating to the sheer physical toll it has taken on drummer Neil Peart and guitarist Alex Lifeson. Another confirmation of the same appeared on Facebook yesterday, although the band’s webpage and official site has no statements supporting the already made claim. Separately, Lifeson was recently in the studio with producer Terry Brown putting guitar tracks down for Jim McCarty, perhaps best known for his work with the Yardbirds, and Renaissance. Incidentally, Lifeson turns 62 on Aug. 27.
-- Australian comedian, actor, composer, songwriter, pianist and director Tim Minchin has had his latest musical comedy, Groundhog Day, open at the Old Vic in London this week to rave reviews. It’s his follow-up to the hugely successful first try with Matilda the Musical. It’s based on the 1993 film of the same name. Stephen Sondheim had initially expressed interest in writing the score, but later withdrew saying it would “gild the lily” and “it cannot be improved.” Here’s a clip of a performance Minchin gave earlier this year at London’s Savoy Hotel.
-- Friends of Levon Helm, including Dr. John, Lucinda Williams, Bob Weir and Patti Griffin, gathered at Lincoln Center in NYC earlier this month (Aug. 6) to remember The Band drummer and warm memories of The Last Waltz that has its 40th anniversary on American Thanksgiving on Nov. 24. One can read about the gathering and view pictures from the concert here, and below is a 2013 doc made about him by director Jacob Hatley at Helm’s Woodstock, NY homestead. Helm died from cancer on April 19, 2012.
-- Apple Music has signed an exclusive content-streaming deal with Birdman and Cash Money Records, Billboard reports. The label roster includes Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Lil Wayne.
-- Megaupload's Kim Dotcom is a fugitive — and his failure to surrender himself to US authorities on charges of racketeering and criminal copyright infringement will cost him an estimated $67M. ... The 4th Circuit rejects the contention that a federal statute dis-entitling fugitives from defending property claims against government forfeiture actions is a violation of due process rights. – Hollywood Reporter
-- Melissa Etheridge’s latest album, a Pledge-funded project, has been recorded at Royal Studios in Memphis with Willie Mitchell’s son Boo Mitchell producing the sessions set for release Oct. 7 on Stax Records. She’s calling it Memphis Rock and Soul.
-- Transatlantic trio Blurred Vision has released a teaser (here) for their Pledge Music-funded album Manhattan that is co-produced by brothers, Terry and Phil Brown. The group, consisting of Iranian-born brothers Sepp Osley (guitar and vocals), Sohl Osley (bass), and Ben Riley (drums), maintain bases in Toronto and the UK. Below, “Dear John” taken from the group’s debut album, Organized Insanity.