Country Music People December 2018 - Page 60

Obituaries Roy Dave Rowland, best known for his recordings as Dave & Sugar, died Nov. 1, after suffering a stroke in his Nashville home. The singer, 74, also performed solo in 1982. Among the trio’s top tunes were The Door Is Always Open, Tear Time and Golden Tears, all of which were 1970s’ #1 Billboard chartings. Although his Sugar vocalists changed from time-to-time, the original two providing perfect harmony were Jackie Frantz and Vicki Hackeman. Prior to launching the trio, Dave’s smooth baritone helped enliven Coy Cook & the Senators, J. D. Sumner & The Stamps Quartet gospel group (then touring with Elvis), and The Four Guys. While with Charley Pride’s troupe, he introduced Dave & Sugar as an act, and Charley encouraged his label RCA to give them a try. Their debut charter was a Shel Silverstein standard The Queen of the Silver Dollar, previously a rock hit for Dr. Hook (1972), with Dave & Sugar’s 1975 version charting 17 weeks and peaking in the Top 20. A follow-up single The Door Is Always Open (co-written by Dickey Lee & Bob McDill) charted 19 weeks (#1, 1976) and became their signature song. Besides the subsequent #1 ballads, they also enjoyed eight Top 10s including I’m Gonna Love You and Knee Deep In Loving You. In 1982, Dave tried going it alone, scoring two singles - Natalie, Lovin’ Our Lives Away - neither of which hit Top 40, though the album they spun off, Sugar Free, peaked at #56 in 1982. Though nominated several times for best group awards by both the CMA and ACM, Dave & Sugar didn’t cross the winner’s line. Rowland also was booked two years with Kenny Rogers. Former Sugar singer Jackie Frantz Cusic dispatched this on-line message to Dave’s widow: “Terri, though I’ve never had the opportunity to meet you, I wanted you to know how sorry I am for your loss. I had the awesome opportunity of getting to sing with Dave as one of the first two Sugars. He is the one who gave me that opportunity and all the blessings that came with it. I will forever be grateful to God and to Dave for taking a chance on me. May the Lord comfort and carry you through the days ahead.” Terri herself posted this loving statement: “My wonderful, caring husband, I am lost without you. At least you are no longer in pain. So many people have asked about you. You were an amazing man and my husband, my life of 33 years. What an amazing career. Love you always.” Noted recording engineer-producer Gene Eichelberger, 77, died following a lengthy illness, Oct. 9, at his Nashville residence. The Pennsylvania native moved to Nashville in 1969, initially working at Cinderella Studios in suburban Madison, and later Nashville’s Quadraphonic Studio, His Master’s Wheels, and The Bennett House in Franklin. Additionally during his 35-year recording career, he also worked the consoles in Muscle Shoals, Ala. and in Los Angeles, Calif. Among artists’ efforts he guided in the studios were by Elvis Presley, Kris Kristofferson, Lyle Lovett, The James Gang, Steve Goodman, Area Code 615, Joan Baez, Bob Seger and Buffy Sainte Marie. Known throughout the industry as the “engineer’s engineer,” he helped mentor and train some of the finest engineers, and was inducted into the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and Audio Engineering Society with Lifetime Achievement honours. Acclaimed artist-songwriter-guitarist Tony Joe White, 75, died Oct. 24, from a heart attack at his home in Leiper’s Fork, near Nashville. Known for his “swamp rock” sounding vocals and writings, the Louisiana native’s more familiar creations were Polk Salad Annie, Rainy Night in Georgia and I’ve Got a Thing About You, Baby. Personally, he toured with such notable groups as Sly & The Family Stone and Steppenwolf, while legends like Elvis Presley, Brook Benton, Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, Waylon Jennings, Ray Charles, Conway Twitty and Tina Turner cut his creations. The gritty, Bayou rockin’ singer also charted Columbia country with his self-penned The Lady in My Life and We Belong Together in the early 1980s, and his debut album Black & White had also been recorded in Nashville for Monument Records (1969). In September, White recorded his final album Bad Mouthin’, in his Leiper’s Fork home studio, once a two-stall horse stable. 60 cmp - DECEMBER 2018 CLARK 1933-2018 by Duncan Warwick T he legendary ‘superpicker’, Country Music Hall of Famer and co-host of the beloved Hee Haw TV show, Roy Clark, died due to complications from pneumonia at his home in Tulsa, Oklahoma on November 15. He was 85. As well as charting 52 songs on the Billboard Hot Country Singles chart between 1963 and 1989, Clark also starred in 60s TV show The Beverly Hillbillies and was the pioneer who turned Branson, Mo., into the live music capital of the world (the Ozark town today boasts more seats than Broadway). He helped turn Hee Haw into the longest running syndicated TV show in American television history and was renowned for his musical prowess, especially on banjo, and of course, his humour. Bob Hope summed the warmth Clark gave to his audiences up when he told Roy, “Your face is like a fireplace.” Born Roy Linwood Clark on April 15, 1933 in Meherrin, Virginia, his family moved to D.C. when he was a youngster. His father played in a square dance band and took him to free concerts by the National Symphony and by various military bands. “I was subjected to different kinds of music before I ever played. Dad said, ‘Never turn your ear off to music until your heart hears it because then you might hear something you like.’” Acquiring his first guitar, a Sears Silvertone, when he was 14, Clark made his first TV appearance the same year – 1947. He got so good playing with his dad’s band and in any bar he could every