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MEM­PHIS MAFIA main­stay RED WEST (above right, b.1936) acted as Elvis Pres­ley’s con­fi­dante, driver and body­guard for 20 years. He also wrote songs for his em­ployer, Ricky Nel­son and Dino, Desi & Billy. Af­ter he was fired by Ver­non Pres­ley in 1976, he co-wrote the big-sell­ing tell-all book Elvis: What Hap­pened?. Pub­lished just weeks be­fore its sub­ject’s death, it spoke of the King’s drug de­pen­dency and sex life, among other per­sonal rev­e­la­tions. West also found suc­cess as an ac­tor, and died less than two months af­ter his cousin Sonny, also a Mem­phis Mafia mem­ber.

WIND­SOR mu­si­cian MICK BUND (b.c.1966) had worked with his friend and flat­mate Sarah Crack­nell be­fore play­ing bass for Birm­ing­ham enig­mas Felt on the al­bum The Pic­to­rial Jack­son Re­view and the sin­gle Space Blues in 1988. He went on to play with David West­lake, Saint Eti­enne, Bocca Ju­niors, Airstream, Large Num­ber and Mex­ico 70, whose Thirty Five Whirlpools Be­low Sound al­bum came out in 2006. In 2003 he re­leased a solo LP, As­tro­naut Graf­fiti. In 2012 he mused, “I really hated that ‘ex-Felt’ thing at first, but now, Christ, it’s magic.” RAP­PER FRESH KID ICE (AKA Christo­pher Wong Won, b.1964) found in­famy and sales run­ning into mil­lions with lewd Mi­ami hip-hop­pers 2 Live Crew, whose 1989 al­bum As Nasty As They Wanna Be was the sub­ject of a cel­e­brated ob­scen­ity trial. A founder mem­ber of the group and a US Air Force veteran, af­ter their split in 1991 he went solo for The Chi­na­man al­bum, formed his own Ice Cold Pro­duc­tions out­fit, joined var­i­ous par­tial 2 Live Crew re­unions and re­leased solo LPs in­clud­ing Still Nasty and Freaky Chi­nese. He suf­fered strokes in 2008 and 2010, and pub­lished his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy My Rise 2 Fame in 2015.

SINGER-song­writer MICHAEL JOHN­SON (b.1944) played with John Den­ver in the short-lived trio Den­ver, Boise & John­son be­fore start­ing his solo ca­reer with 1973’s There Is A Breeze. In 1978 he had his first hit with the US Num­ber 12 soft rocker Bluer Than Blue: two more Top 40 en­tries fol­lowed. In the sec­ond half of the ’80s he was a US coun­try chart reg­u­lar, scor­ing five mel­low Top 10 sin­gles, in­clud­ing the Num­ber 1s Give Me Wings and The Moon Is Still Over Her Shoul­der. He con­tin­ued to record – in ’97 he duet­ted with Ali­son Krauss on When­ever I Call You Friend – and recorded his fi­nal al­bum, Moon­lit Déjà Vu, in 2012.

TUXEDOMOON’s PETER DACHERT (AKA Peter Prin­ci­ple, b.1954) played bass and gui­tar with the San Fran­cisco new wave avant-gardists from 1978, mov­ing with them to Europe in 1981. De­spite sev­eral line-up changes, Dachert re­mained part of the group through­out the ’80s, play­ing on and writ­ing for al­bums in­clud­ing Holy Wars, You and Di­vine, based on Maurice Bé­jart’s bal­let of the same name. Though the group were in­ac­tive in the ’90s, he re­joined them in 2004. Dachert also recorded solo al­bums in­clud­ing Sed­i­men­tal Jour­ney and Idyl­la­try, and pro­duced groups in­clud­ing Ma­rine and Min­i­mal Com­pact. He died in Brus­sels, where Tuxedomoon had been work­ing on a con­cert tour and new record­ings.

LOUISIANA am­bas­sador D.L. ME­NARD (b.1932) was dubbed ‘The Ca­jun Hank Wil­liams’ due to his blend­ing of Ar­ca­dian mu­sic with coun­try. He be­gan his ca­reer in the early ’50s with ac­cor­dion­ist Elias ‘Shute’ Badeaux’s Louisiana Aces, and in 1962 – while work­ing at a gas sta­tion – he wrote La Porte D’en Ar­rière (The Back Door), the sig­na­ture song he would play for the rest of his life. A skilled chair-maker by trade, he toured in­ter­na­tion­ally, was elected to the Louisiana Hall of Fame in 2009 and made his last live ap­pear­ance on July 2 in his home­town of Erath, cel­e­brat­ing the 50th an­niver­sary of his most fa­mous song. See film of the per­for­mance on YouTube.

SOUTH AFRICAN singer, gui­tarist and pro­ducer RAY PHIRI (b.1947) played in soul band The Can­ni­bals in the ’70s, and they later mor­phed into fu­sion­ists Stimela, whose 1986 song Whis­pers In The Deep was banned by the apartheid regime. Phiri would fa­mously lend his artistry to Paul Si­mon’s al­bums Grace­land (1985) and Rhythm Of The Saints (1990). He also took part in Grace­land’s 25th an­niver­sary tour. On news of his death, South African Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma paid trib­ute, say­ing, “He was a mu­si­cal gi­ant. This is in­deed a huge loss for South Africa.”

GUI­TARIST JIMMY NALLS (b.1951) played with Alex Tay­lor, Dr. John, Don McLean and Lloyd Price be­fore join­ing three mem­bers of The Allman Broth­ers Band – key­boardist Chuck Leavell, bassist La­mar Wil­liams and drum­mer Jai Jo­hanny Jo­han­son – in South­ern fu­sion jam band Sea Level, who recorded five al­bums in their 1976-1981 life­span. Af­ter­wards Nalls played with B.J. Thomas, Noel Paul Stookey and T. Gra­ham Brown. From the mid-’90s he had been suf­fer­ing from Parkin­son’s dis­ease; in June he re­leased The Jimmy Nalls Project Al­bum, with con­tri­bu­tions from Larry Carl­ton, Brad Whitford, Leavell, Joe Bona­massa and oth­ers.

BOBBY TAY­LOR (b.1934), front man of Mo­town’s The Van­cou­vers, was ar­guably best re­mem­bered not as lead singer on 1968 Top 30 US hit Does Your Mama Know About Me but as the man who that year first alerted his la­bel to the po­ten­tial of The Jack­son 5, who sup­ported Tay­lor’s band in Chicago and whose ear­li­est tracks he pro­duced. Born in Wash­ing­ton DC, Tay­lor’s big vo­cal range, con­trol and com­fort in many styles peaked in The Van­cou­vers, but later solo work was less suc­cess­ful. He died in Hong Kong on July 22. Clive Prior, Ian Har­ri­son, Ge­off Brown

Freaky Chi­nese: 2 Live Crew’s Fresh Kid Ice.

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