Triple Played: A tremendous loss this year in the music industry

Our favorite musicians are dear to each of us. We make the relationship personal when their songs become a part of our lives.

We turn to music for all of the things that life has to offer. We use music every day of our lives for any number of reasons.

Music is the one thing that makes the inevitable ups and downs of life more enjoyable and tolerable. We use it to express life, love and death. We use it to help with loss and heartbreak. We use it for inspiration and solitude. We use it to entertain and to grieve. We use it to get “fired up” and to relax.

When one of our favorite musicians dies, it often is heartbreaking and devastating to us. For many, it is the worst thing to happen all year because these musicians have become a large part of our existence.

This past year was a year of tremendous loss in the music industry. It almost seemed like a week didn’t pass without the passing of another great artist.

■ As a testament to David Bowie’s popularity with our customers, we never have any used copies of his great LPs in our store. My mother, my wife, myself and our two children are all big fans of the Starman.

■ Pete Huttlinger was John Denver’s guitar player. Through Ron Wilson (Sandstone Concerts), I had the opportunity to meet Pete when he played here with the Wild Jimbos. Pete was an incredible guitar player and a wonderful man.

■ Dale Griffin played drums for Mott the Hoople on its classic David Bowie-produced “All the Young Dudes” LP and several others.

■ Paul Kantner was the co-founder, singer/songwriter and guitarist for the iconic San Francisco counter-culture band Jefferson Airplane. That band, along with the Grateful Dead, was partly responsible for defining the San Francisco sound of the late 1960s and 1970s.

■ Maurice White was one of the founding members of the amazing Earth, Wind and Fire. White helped give the band a one-of-a-kind sound. Not an easy thing to do at that time in the world of soul music.

■ Merle Haggard was one of the true originals of country music who along with Buck Owens created the “Bakersville” sound. There are way to many songs to list, but “Kern River” and “Tulare Dust” are two of my favorites.

■ Prince was a stylist and a guitarist few could match and the “soul” of James Brown. Combine that with great songwriting and vocals and you have a superstar who was much more than a symbol.

■ Leonard Cohen was one of the greatest songwriters to emerge from the 1960s. With a career of more than 50 years, his songs could match anybody from the Brill Building as well as Paul Simon and Bob Dylan.

■ Leon Russell was a musicians musician. Russell started out at 16 as a session musician with Glen Campbell. Turning that into a very successful solo career. His stunning debut album is one of my very favorites.

■ Glenn Frey was the co-founder, singer/songwriter and alpha dog of the Eagles. He was my favorite musician from my very favorite band at one time in my life. Frey was not only an incredible vocalist, he was an amazing vocal arranger for most of the Eagles great harmonies.

We also saw the passing of Sharon Jones, Denise Matthews (Vanity), Joey Feek, Frank Sinatra Jr., John Berry, Phife Dawg and George Michael.

Please resolve to celebrate your favorite musicians while they are still with us.

Don’t wait until they are not.

Rock Cesario owns Triple Play Records, 530 Main St., and hosts “Acoustic Sunday” from 9 a.m. to noon on KSTR 96.1 FM. Email him at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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