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Legendary Rush drummer Neil Peart dies

Staff Report SANTA MONICA - Calif. - Neil Peart, drummer of Canadian band Rush, has died. Also the primary lyricist of the band, Peart died Tuesday, Jan. 7, in Santa Monica, California. He had been diagnosed with brain cancer, according to reports. He was 67. Peart grew up in Port Dalhousie, Ontario, and joined Toronto-based Rush in 1974, two weeks before its first U.S. tour. He would go on to record 19 studio albums with the band, becoming one of the most influential drummers and…

Rock drummer Ginger Baker dies at 80

Staff Report Ginger Baker, who became one of rock 'n' roll's most influential drummers as a member of Cream, died Sunday at his home in England. He was 80. According to Baker's Facebook page,  he "passed away peacefully." He had been in failing health. Born Peter Edward Baker in London in 1939, Baker was nicknamed Ginger because of red hair. He began playing drums at 15 and co-founded Cream with Eric Clapton in 1966. Baker recorded six albums with Cream, 18 solo albums and played on…

Cars frontman Ric Ocasek found dead in New York apartment

Staff Report NEW YORK - Ric Ocasek, frontman and rhythm guitarist of The Cars, has died, NYPD spokesmen reported Sunday night. According to reports, Ocasek was found earlier today in his bed by his estranged wife, Paulina Porizkova. While a cause of death has not been announced, it is believed he died of natural causes. He was 75. Ocasek founded The Cars in Boston in 1976 along with bassist and co-frontman Benjamin Orr; lead guitarist Elliot Easton; drummer David Robinson and keyboardist…

Cancer claims rocker Eddie Money

By Kristin M. Hall Associated Press A publicist for Eddie Money said the rock star has died after he recently announced he had stage 4 esophageal cancer. He was 70. Cindy Ronzoni provided a statement from the family and said Money died Friday morning in Los Angeles. The husky-voiced, blue collar performer was known for such hits as "Two Tickets to Paradise" and "Take Me Home Tonight." In 1987, he received a best rock vocal Grammy nomination for "Take Me Home Tonight," which featured a…

Irish band One for the Foxes coming to Mendelssohn Sept. 17

By Jim Hagerty Reporter ROCKFORD - It will be an evening of unique Irish music Tuesday, Sept. 17, as One for the Foxes takes the stage at the Mendelssohn Performing Arts Center, 406 N. Main St, Rockford. The show is sponsored by Rockford's Irish Marching Society.  Fusing Irish, Americana and folk, One for the Foxes comprises Dave Curley (guitar, banjo mandolin, vocals), Tadgh Ó Meachair (piano, accordion), and fiddler and vocalist Joanna Hyde. Curley was born is Galway, Ireland. Ó…

21st Annual RAMI Spring Benefit March 23

Staff Report ROCKFORD -- This 21st Annual Rockford Area Music Industry (RAMI) Spring Benefit will be Saturday, March 23, at Tebala Event Center, 7910 Newburg Road. Doors open at 6 p.m. Dancing starts at 7 p.m. Live music will be performed by Vintage Vinyl, Missing Links and the Sensations. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Advance tickets can be purchased ramiawards.com. The 28th Annual RAMI Awards will be presented Friday, April 12, at Tebala. Directions Tebala Event…

Aretha Franklin’s music rise on charts following her death

By Mesfin Fekadu AP Music Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Aretha Franklin's music quickly climbed the iTunes' charts following her death on Thursday. Her "30 Greatest Hits" album hit the No. 1 spot, replacing Nicki Minaj's new album, while "Respect" reached No. 2 on the songs' charts. More songs from Franklin, including "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman," ''Think," ''Chain of Fools" and "I Say A Little Prayer," were in the Top 40. The iTunes charts tracks digital sales and is updated…

Guitarist Matt Murphy of ‘The Blues Brothers’ fame dies at 88

By Jim Hagerty Reporter MIAMI - Matt "Guitar" Murphy, best known for his role as the lead guitarist in the 1980 film "The Blues Brothers," died Friday. He was 88. Before he was tapped for the hit movie and as a touring musician with John Belushi (Jake Blues) and Dan Aykroyd (Elwood Blues), Murphy was one of the best-known guitar players on the national blues scene. (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || ).push({}); Murphy was born in Sunflower, Mississippi, and moved to

Former RSO director Crawford Gates dies

By Victor Yehling WNIJ News SALT LAKE CITY - Crawford Gates, longtime music director for the Rockford Symphony Orchestra and the Beloit Janesville Symphony Orchestra and professor emeritus at Beloit College, died at the age of 96 in the early hours of Saturday in Salt Lake City. Gates joined the Beloit College faculty as professor of music and artist in residence in 1966 – the same year he began a 33-year career with the Beloit Janesville Symphony. He also directed the Quincy Symphony…

Coronado’s risky venture pays off

For a first stab at something outside the Coronado's normal scope of performances, last week's Ryley Walker show was very well thought out and executed.