Patrick Monaghan, a popular Ontario blues radio show host, died on July 25 of pancreatic cancer.
Monaghan hosted the Buckslide Blues Cruise show on Haliburton's 100.9 Canoe FM. Posting on Broadcast Dialogue, Karim Mosna noted that "Patrick went far above and beyond just playing the songs. He was an ambassador and champion of the blues, promoting up-and-coming musicians, particularly Canadian artists. He travelled to blues festivals across Ontario to discover new artists, interview and spotlight their music on the show.
"He took over the blues program from former Canoe FM host Lee MacLean in 2016. Pat recalls he had just five hours of training. The first song he played on the show was his favourite song, the classic Green Onions by Booker T. & The MGs, which is the song still heard on the Canoe FM radio ad that promotes his show. He credited the opportunity to produce David Mair’s Tuesday Night Sessions for two and a half years as an invaluable opportunity to gain comfort with the equipment. The Buckslide Blues Cruise reflected his vast music knowledge and appreciation, playing everything from Lead Belly to Led Zeppelin. Pat also loved to share interesting backstories about the musicians."
Monaghan won three Best Blues Show Of The Year awards from the National Campus and Community Radio Association (NCRA). In January 2023, he also received the prestigious Maple Blues Award for Blues Booster Of The Year in Canada.
He was involved in organising the inaugural Haliburton Highlands Blues Festival, set for Aug. 26, and proceeding in his honour.
Broadcast Dialogue quotes Monaghan as telling station colleagues that “I truly love what I am doing…When I push the button on the board and the light turns green, I’m not sick anymore. I always use the motto ‘I keep the blues alive, but the last few years the blues has been keeping me alive.’
As news of his passing spread, tributes poured in over social media, including from musicians and other community radio stations. “We have lost a great supporter of live music. He was truly a thumbs-up guy. As Stevie Ray Vaughan said, The Sky Is Crying. Gonna miss you pal,” said Ken Wallis, host of the syndicated radio shows Blues Source Canada and Blues Source International.
“The Blues world has lost a good one. This gentleman has done so much for the advocacy of Blues music; a bigger booster you will never find,” added Dwayne Blackburn from the band Heartless Saints. “His radio show not only showcased the stars; it gave airtime to anyone trying to earn a spot in the Blues fraternity. Always upbeat, encouraging…and willing to lend an ear. He met his illness head-on, with a positivity that I could only dream of having. Rest easy, Pat. I’m sure you’re already lining up a ton of shows to watch. You will be missed.”
Toronto Blues Society president Derek Andrews posted on Facebook that "those of us who knew MBA Blues Booster recipient Patrick Monaghan were nervous about his ominous health issues. it was inevitable that we would lose him but he kept showing up and being a positive force, thumbs up all the time. Too cruel for Patrick to pass."
Sources: Broadcast Dialogue, Facebook
Marc Roy, an award-winning bluegrass and roots music musician from Peterborough, died on July 25 at age 39. A cause of death has not been reported.
Roy was commonly described as a string wizard, playing guitar, mandolin, and fiddle with equal skill and in genres including. bluegrass, country, folk. and Canadian fiddle music. He collaborated with a wide range of Canadian musicians and performed with his wife Phaedra in the duo Marc and Phaedra.
He was a key figure in the Crazy Strings residency at The Silver Dollar that fuelled a bluegrass revival in Toronto in the 2000s. Roy earned multiple Central Canadian Bluegrass Awards for both his guitar and mandolin playing.
In 2003, Roy collaborated with bluegrass luminary Andrew Collins (Creaking Tree String Quartet) on an acclaimed duo album, Likewise. Collins was one of many peers who posted tributes on social media. His Facebook post reads, in part: "Anyone who knew Marc admired his unique gift. He had an unbridled ability and fluidity on any stringed instrument, though, especially the guitar and mandolin, that would stop you in your tracks. Hearing just a couple of notes from his hands, and even the least knowledgeable music listener could recognize that there was something special.
"Marc himself was a complex soul. I think his greatest personal strength was his sensitive nature. He was very kind and empathetic. Quick to encourage anyone with a smile or compliment. Thinking about his passing brings up a lot of complex emotions. Obviously, at the top of this list are sadness and a sense of great loss, but I think those who knew him are also dealing with another type of loss, something akin to frustration. The mourning of the unrealized potential that his talent offered him. It feels like a beautiful song, ending with an unresolved final chord."
Also posting on Facebook was Derek Downham: "This news of Marc Roy is breaking my heart. Easily one of the most talented players I’ve ever met. A sweet man who deserved to live much longer. I’m blessed to have watched him grow up playing. Truly a phenom amongst the phenomenal in Toronto’s potent bluegrass scene. Musically he was a flatpicking hero, a dynamo of dynamics and a non-stop conduit of taste. May he be remembered more for these things than anything else. Rest, Marc."
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help with Roy's funeral costs and a Celebration of Life that will be held in Toronto in the upcoming weeks. Contributions are accepted here.
Sources: Facebook, SNBC13, Melissa Sherman, Bluegrass Today
Randy Meisner, an American singer and co-founding member of the Eagles, died on July 26 in Los Angeles due to complications from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) at age 77. The news was shared by the band on their website.
Meisner, along with Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and Bernie Leadon, formed the Eagles in 1971. He played bass and sang on several of the rock band’s most beloved albums. He co-wrote the band’s hit song Take It to the Limit, which he also sang.
Prior to his success with the Eagles, Meisner was a bassist for Poco, with former Buffalo Springfield members Richie Furay and Jim Messina, and was a vocalist for Rick Nelson’s Stone Canyon Band.
Meisner left The Eagles in 1977, and the band replaced him with the same musician who had succeeded him in Poco, Timothy B. Schmit. He went on to release a few solo albums including his self-titled set in 1978 and 1980’s One More Song. Meisner was excluded from the Eagles’ reunion tour in 1994 but appeared beside the band for a 1998 appearance at the New York City induction ceremony for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He was also invited by the Eagles to take part in their “History of the Eagles” world tour in 2013 but was unable to join them due to his ongoing health issues.
Paul Reubens, a comedian and actor best known as Pee-wee Herman, died on July 30 at the age of 70. The news was announced via the official Pee-wee Herman Facebook page, which disclosed that Reubens “bravely and privately” suffered from cancer for half a dozen years.
Born Paul Rubenfeld in Peekskill, N.Y., Reubens was best known as Pee-wee Herman, a naive character he first concocted while part of the Groundlings in the late 1970s. The character eventually morphed into his recognizable form, with a childlike voice made for imitating, gray suit, pale face, red bow tie, and white sneakers.
Reubens’ special The Pee-wee Herman Show debuted on HBO in 1981 and was geared more towards adults than the children’s TV show Pee-wee’s Playhouse, which ran from 1986 to 1991. Tim Burton made his directorial debut with Pee-wee’s Big Adventure in 1985. Reubens wrote and naturally starred in the vehicle, which grossed over $40M in North America.
The Pee-wee character returned in the 2016 film Pee-wee’s Big Holiday. Outside of Pee-wee, Reubens popped up in numerous TV and film comedies including The Blues Brothers, Murphy Brown, Pushing Daisies, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Matilda, and Reno 911!., plus such other features and series as Blow, Tron: Uprising, and Mosaic, to name a few.
Biff (Paul Conrad) Rose, an American comedian and singer-songwriter, died on July 25 at age 85. The news was confirmed by a post on his official Facebook page.
Rose first found popularity in the Greenwich Village folk scene of the early '60s. He moved to Hollywood in 1966 where he found a job working as a comedy sketch writer with George Carlin on the John Davidson show. In 1968, Rose released his first album The Thorn in Mrs. Rose's Side, containing his best-known composition, Fill Your Heart, co-written with Paul Williams and famously covered by both David Bowie on his album Hunky Dory and Tiny Tim on the B-side of his hit single Tip Toe Thru The Tulips.
Rose made 10 appearances on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show from 1968 to 1970. He also performed on The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, American Bandstand, and Hugh Hefner's Playboy After Dark. He emceed the Atlantic City Pop Festival of 1969 and the Atlanta Pop Festival of 1970. Subsequent albums included 1978's Roast Beef ( produced by Monkee Mike Nesmith) and Bone Again (1996).
.He co-founded the Mythological Records label and recorded prolifically. There are over 30 albums spanning his entire career available via biffrose.bandcamp.com. In recent years, his inflammatory and purportedly racist social media posts created controversy.
Sources: Wikipedia, Facebook