You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else by The Jones Girls

Yet another artist taken from us in April 2017 was Brenda Jones, one of the three sisters who made up The Jones Girls.  Unfortunately, Ms. Jones was struck and killed by an automobile while crossing the street on April 3 or 4 (depending on the source), while she had been in Wilmington, Delaware, visiting her daughter.

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Come Back by J. Geils Band

With the advent of April 2017 came yet another classic hits artist taken from us, as John “J.” Geils was found dead in his home at age 71 of what has been reported to be natural causes.  J. Geils, of course, was the namesake of what was called the J. Geils Blues Band before simply becoming the J. Geils Band in 1969.  (I suppose it was a catchier name for a band than its original name, Snoopy and the Sopwith Camels.)

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Reach Your Peak by Sister Sledge

On March 10, we lost yet another pop singer, as Joni Sledge, the second oldest Sledge sister, passed away at the age of 60 from causes that are, as of two weeks ago, unknown.  While it was youngest sister Kathy who sang lead on most of the Sister Sledge songs that people remember, Joni sang lead on a few as well.

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Leave a Tender Moment Alone by Billy Joel

One of the lesser-publicized deaths of 2016 was that of Jean-Baptiste Frédéric Isidore “Toots” Thielemans, who passed away at the age of 94. (In fact, his death was so little publicized that it was at least a month afterward before I ever heard of it.) Though he had been well-known for his harmonica skills, I found myself unsure of where I had heard them until recently.  As it turns out, I had heard what is probably his most often heard piece a lot during my life.

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Boogie Down by Al Jarreau

2016 took far too many of our favorite artists from us.  2017 continued that trend, unfortunately, with the death of Al Jarreau last month at the age of 76.  The Washington Post’s obituary fondly remembered him as the “acrobat of scat”, a man who had a wide following but who never quite made it in the way so many of his contemporaries did.

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The One You Love by Glenn Frey

Let’s face it: 2016 has been a lousy year for classic hits.  First we lost David Bowie, and then soon afterward, we lost Glenn Frey.

Of course, just as with Mr. Bowie, Glenn Frey had too long and successful of a career for me to try to do it justice in one paragraph, so I won’t.  The levels of success he enjoyed are obvious based on the number of Eagles songs still receiving airplay on both classic hits and classic rock stations, and a few classic hits stations still play one or two of his solo hits (mostly #2 hits “The Heat Is On” and “You Belong to the City”, I would imagine).

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Find Another Fool by Quarterflash

It seems like an unlikely start for a band, but Quarterflash got its start when a couple of teaching students met and fell in love.  Marv and Rindy Ross were a good foundation for the bands in which they played; Marv played guitar, and Rindy sang and, for good measure, also played saxophone.  And so they formed a band and gave it a name few people would forget:  Seafood Mama.

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Turn It On Again by Genesis

In the late 80s and early 90s, it could be argued that Genesis was one of the most popular bands around.  (Obviously, others–U2, for example–could make similar claims.)  I could list multiple hits from Genesis that still get lots of radio airplay even today.  (I could also list several songs from that period that could qualify for this blog, but those would require me to update this blog a lot more often than I currently do.*)

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