Death Race

Here Are All the Musicians Who Died in July 2016

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Steven Young, British musician (Colourbox, MARRS) and songwriter ("Pump Up the Volume") 

Anyone who's ever stepped inside of a dance club knows MARRS' 1987 hit "Pump Up the Volume." The whole enterprise was almost shut down by the British producing/songwriting juggernaut of Stock Aitken Waterman, who (unlike James Brown, Kool & the Gang, Public Enemy and Trouble Funk) objected to being sampled without permission. By the time the song reached stateside, the offending sample was removed, thank goodness. Because without "Pump Up the Volume," where else would the shampoo and hair conditioner jingles of tomorrow have come from? 


Erik Petersen, 38, American punk rock musician (Mischief Brew)

Philly punk outfit Mischief Brew started as an outlet for Petersen's punk acoustic writings and later fleshed out to a full band lineup. In this clip, Petersen plays a 2007 benefit for Food Not Bombs.


Bonnie Brown, 77, American country singer (the Browns), lung cancer

Bro-and-sis trio the Browns had several folk-fashioned pop songs in the '50s, including "The Old Lamplighter," "Scarlet Ribbons," and this morose cradle to the grave chart-topper about a cute person named Little Jimmy Brown who was born, got married, and died with all the joie de vivre of a Hummel statue.


Gary S. Paxton, 77, American record producer ("Monster Mash") and singer-songwriter (Skip & Flip, The Hollywood Argyles)
Paxton produced two novelty songs that were number-one Billboard Hot 100 singles, "Alley Oop" for the Hollywood Argyles in 1960 and "Monster Mash" for Bobby "Boris" Pickett in 1962. He was eccentric enough to strike fear into even Phil Spector back in the day, and he hadn't lost his humor in later years. As a gospel singer, he penned a track called "Fat Fat Christians," and as an old man, he performed in a mask and cape as Grandpa Rock. His last recording was song called "AARP Blues."


Chad Joseph Standlea, Phoenix musician, 32

Our condolences go out to the family, friends and bandmates of this gifted singer-songwriter who went too soon and left so much.


Keith Gemmell, 68, British sax, flute, and clarinet player (Audience, Stackridge, Pasadena Roof Orchestra), throat cancer

Audience was one of those art-rock bands you always saw in Great Hipgnosis album cover books but never actually heard. Better late than never, I guess.

Roye Albrighton, 67, British rock guitarist and singer (Nektar)
Ditto for Nektar. Because you can't hear the single, you have to play the entire album.
Fred Tomlinson, British singer (The Two Ronnies, Monty Python's Flying Circus), composer ("The Lumberjack Song")
The Fred Tomlinson Singers guested on many memorable sketches like "Spam," "The Lumberjack Song," "The Money Song," and "Sgt. Duckie's Song." The Singers also performed on the recording of "Sit on My Face."

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Serene Dominic
Contact: Serene Dominic