Orbison had a legendary, operatic voice. He was shy by nature; years after weathering the tragic deaths of his wife and children, Orbison had recently started coming out of his shell, and joined the all-star band the Traveling Wilburys. He died of heart failure on December 6th.
Joel Selvin, the Rock Critic for the San Francisco Chronicle, talks with Fresh Air Producer Amy Salit about the life of Grateful Dead band leader Jerry Garcia. Marin County officials in California say Garcia died early this morning of apparently natural causes. He was 53.
Baker, one of America's great rhythm-and-blues singers of the 1950's, died earlier this week. She was 67. The Associated Press says the cause was heart complications. Baker was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991. Her hits included "Tweedlee Dee," "Jim Dandy," and "I Cried a Tear." After living in the Philippines during the '70's and '80's, Baker made a comeback in the '90's when she appeared on Broadway in "Black and Blue." (REBROADCAST FROM 3/26/91).
Derek Taylor, a former press agent for the Beatles, died Sunday at the age of 65. He is the author of It was 20 Years Ago Today He served two stints with the Beatles. Once in 1964 during their world tour and again in 1968. (Originally aired 6/4/87)
Rock historian and writer Robert Palmer died yesterday at the age of 52. He was the New York Times's first full-time rock critic writing from 1981-1988, and was a contributing editor at Rolling Stone magazine since the 1970s. He's wrote several books on blues and rock and roll, and was the writer and music director for the award-winning documentary films, "The World According to John Coltrane," and "Deep Blues." He was chief advisor to the 1995 ten-part PBS documentary, "Rock & Roll: An Unruly History,".
Today, we remember Sonny Bono. He died yesterday afternoon in a skiing accident. He was 62. Bono was completing his second term in the U.S. Congress. He was the second most-requested speaker at House members events during the 1996 campaign season. Although he ended up in politics, many of his know him best for his work in music and show business. Terry Gross spoke with him in 1991, three years before he was elected to Congress. (Rebroadcast of 7/17 and 7/18 1991).
Singer, songwriter and guitarist Carl Perkins died yesterday at the age of 65. He died of complications from a series of strokes. Perkins is the pioneer of a style of music called Rockabilly, which is described as "a country man's song with a black man's rhythm." He's the man who wrote "Blue Suede Shoes," the hit song sung by Elvis Presley which became the first Sun label record to sell over a million copies.