Obituaries, Dec. 15, 2022

Angelo Badalamenti, David Lynch’s composer on Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, and more, died on Dec. 11, at the age of 85, of natural causes.

Obituaries, Dec. 15, 2022

By Kerry Doole

Angelo Badalamenti, David Lynch’s composer on Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, and more, died on Dec. 11, at the age of 85, of natural causes.

He collaborated with Lynch on multiple projects and albums and also worked with the likes of Paul McCartney, David Bowie and Nina Simone.

The Guardian reports that "Lynch and Badalamenti would become close friends and collaborators, working together on Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks, Wild at Heart, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, Lost Highway, The Straight Story and Mulholland Drive. Badalamenti also appeared on screen as the coffee-loving gangster Luigi Castigliane in Mulholland Drive, and played piano with Isabella Rossellini in Blue Velvet."


The classically trained musician also worked with the likes of Nina Simone, David Bowie, Paul McCartney, Shirley Bassey, Marianne Faithfull, Liza Minnelli, Pet Shop Boys and LL Cool J over his varied career, and composed themes including Inside the Actors Studio and the torch theme for the 1992 Olympic Games.

On 1986’s Blue Velvet, his first collaboration with Lynch, he was brought in to work as a vocal coach for Rossellini. Lynch asked him to write a tune for the score and eventually tasked him with writing the entire soundtrack.

Badalamenti would receive a Grammy award and three Emmy nominations for his work on Twin Peaks, and the soundtrack went gold in 25 countries.

Born in Brooklyn in 1937, Badalamenti played piano and French horn as a teenager before heading to music school on a full scholarship. He graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in 1960. During college breaks, he would accompany performers at resorts in the Catskill Mountains. 

He eventually landed a job at a music publisher, which saw him write songs for artists including Shirley Bassey and Nina Simone, under the pen name Andy Badale. His first film score was for 1973’s Gordon’s War, and 1986’s Blue Velvet was his third score.


Badalamenti, Lynch and singer Julee Cruise put out two albums, 1989’s Floating into the Night and 1993’s The Voice of Love. He and Lynch also recorded a jazz album, Thought Gang, in the early 1990s, which wasn’t released for another two decades.

He would later work with such noted film directors as Paul Schrader, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Jane Campion, Danny Boyle, and Eli Roth. His music was used in A Nightmare on Elm Street 3: Dream Warriors, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Secretary, the 2006 remake of The Wicker Man and A Late Quartet.

Badalamenti received a lifetime achievement award at the 2008 World Soundtrack Awards, and the prestigious Henry Mancini award in 2011, which was presented to him by Lynch.

Sources: The Guardian

J.J. (James Jay) Barnes, a Detroit soul singer popular on the UK Northern Soul scene, died on Dec. 10, at the age of 79, according to family.

He signed with Detroit-based Ric-Tic Records, and later in his career, he signed with Motown Records as a songwriter but not as a recording artist.

Barnes' hit single, Baby Please Come Home, was released in 1967 on the Groovesville recording label and charted at No. 9 on the Billboard R&B chart in the U.S.


Detroit Metro Times' Adam Stanfel interviewed Barnes in October, where the artist said his final live performance would be at the Detroit A-Go-Go festival which was held in Detroit. In the article, Barnes said that he would never fully retire but that would be his last live in-person concert because of his health conditions.

In the '70s, Barnes became a hit in the UK and was a face in the country's northern soul scene. Sources:Detroit Free Press, Tim Perlich

Jet Black (born Brian Duffy), drummer and founding member of the English rock band The Stranglers, died on Dec. 6, at the age of 84, of respiratory problems. 


The Guardian notes that "The Stranglers rose to prominence alongside the mid-1970s punk movement without ever being part of it, being a little older and more musically seasoned than bands such as Clash or the Sex Pistols. Pivotal to the Stranglers’ development was their drummer and founder member, Jet Black. As well as being a musician who had grown up with jazz rather than rock’n’roll, Black was also a successful entrepreneur who had built his own home-brewing empire and enjoyed a lucrative career in the ice cream trade. He later also managed to invent the patented Jet Black Power Bass Drum Pedal, allowing the drum to be played remotely."

In 1977 the Stranglers achieved immediate success with their debut album, Rattus Norvegicus, which reached No 4 on the UK album chart and delivered the Top 10 hit Peaches. Despite Peaches’ provocatively sneering, sexist lyrics, it became an enduring favourite, frequently used in TV shows, movies and video game soundtracks.

Their most successful single, Golden Brown (1982), was conceived by Black and the keyboards player Dave Greenfield and featured a quasi-baroque harpsichord part as well as a distinctively stuttering time signature. The song reached No 2 on the UK chart.

Black played on all the Stranglers’ albums up to Giants (2012), and expressed a particular fondness for The Gospel According to the Meninblack (1981), the band’s enigmatic concept album about alien invasions, among other things. 

A visit to an Essex jazz club is credited with fuelling Black's interest in jazz drumming, and he formed a band with a group of fellow enthusiasts. They performed regular gigs and cut a four-track EP under the name of the Omega Dance Orchestra. Black then became a semi-professional musician, while getting involved in the ice-cream business.


He then entered the brewing business, with some success, before returning to his prime passion, music. After a period of experimenting and auditioning musicians, he met the guitarist and vocalist Hugh Cornwell, who had been in the Anglo-Swedish band Johnny Sox, and they were joined by bass player (and classically trained guitar player) Jean-Jacques Burnel as well as the keyboards player Hans Wärmling (also from Johnny Sox). In 1974 they named themselves the Guildford Stranglers – of various nicknames they took, Jet Black stuck – and played middle-of-the road pop, travelling to gigs in one of Black’s ice-cream vans. Wärmling was soon replaced by Dave Greenfield, establishing the classic Stranglers lineup.

Black stopped performing live with The Stranglers in 2015, having suffered various chest problems as well as an episode of atrial fibrillation (heart arrhythmia). Sources: The Guardian, The Stranglers website

Peter Cooper, a longtime Nashville country music journalist and singer/songwriter, died Dec. 6 at age 52, after a head injury following a fall.

Spin notes that "Cooper spent years in the sometimes thankless, sometimes super-scrutinized role of country music critic of the Nashville Tennessean, Nashville’s last daily newspaper. It was a sweet situation, mostly, but a tough gig, too, like when charming country superman Toby Keith, offended that Cooper had referred to an unflattering mention from actor Ethan Hawke, trotted out his Toby Keith act on Cooper at a press conference.


A more reputable source, Kris Kristofferson, said Cooper “looks at the world with an artist’s eye and a human’s heart and soul.” George Jones’ family chose words from Cooper’s Tennessean obituary for Jones’ tombstone.

After 15 years at the Nashville Tennessean, Cooper went on to the Country Music Hall of Fame, hosting the podcast series Voices In The Hall, and writing, and producing for exhibitions.

As a songsmith, Cooper got up on stages all over Nashville to perform his own work in front of audiences who’d been reading his reviews of others for years. Among his collaborators were Todd Snider and the legendary steel guitar master Lloyd Green.

“In the daytime, I write for the Nashville Tennessean newspaper, I’m a music journalist…” Cooper said onstage, introducing a song, Thin Wild Mercury, he’d co-written with Todd Snider, about the time Bob Dylan threw Phil Ochs out of his limousine, saying “You’re not a writer, you’re a journalist.” Cooper was both.

Cooper released several albums as part of the duo Eric Brace & Peter Cooper and was in the trio Eric Brace, Peter Cooper and Thomm Jutz.

His songs had been recorded by John Prine, Todd Snider, Bobby Bare and Mac Wiseman, among others. Cooper received a Grammy nomination for best children’s album for 2011’s I Love: Tom T. Hall’s Songs of Fox Hollow, a tribute album to the songwriter’s story songs. A memorial service will take place in early 2023. Sources: Spin, Billboard

Manuel Göttsching, a German musician and producer who led the krautrock outfit Ash Ra Tempel and then explored electronica, died on Dec. 4, at the age of 70. No cause of death has been reported.

Pitchfork reports that "Göttsching made his name in the West Berlin underground scene in the late 1960s and early ’70s. He was a core member of Ash Ra Tempel, a krautrock linchpin with revolving members including Tangerine Dream’s Klaus Schulze. The loose, shapeshifting outfit released five influential albums between 1971 and 1973. Göttsching’s solo debut, 1975’s Inventions for Electric Guitar, was subtitled Ash Ra Tempel VI; from then on he mostly produced records under his own name or as Ashra, such as the 1976 classic New Age of Earth."

In 1981, Göttsching improvised the composition that became known as E2-E4, now viewed as a landmark slice of electronic music. The full improvisation was released on his friend Schulze’s label, without overdubs, in 1984, and it appeared to have little impact.

Though E2-E4 sold poorly, it made its way across the Atlantic and into Larry Levan’s Paradise Garage sets, as well as the collections of key electronic music innovators. The cycle continued in 2021 when the British producer and Berghain DJ Barker released E7-E5, named for a typical response to the e2-e4 chess opening.

Göttsching released a handful of compositions in the ensuing decades, including 2000’s Friendship, his Ash Ra Tempel reunion album with Schulze. In recent years, he oversaw reissues of nearly all of his albums as a solo artist and with Ash Ra Tempel, while performing live around the world. Sources: Pitchfork, Trevor Reekie

Georgia Holt (born Jackie Jean Crouch), an American singer-songwriter, actress, and model and the mother of singer and actress Cher, died on Dec. 10 at the age of 96.

Holt sang on an Oklahoma City radio station when she was six years old, and by age 10 sang with bandleader Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. She won several talent and beauty competitions and had a number of minor television and film roles in the 1950s. After performing in a singers' workshop (Phil Moore's Get Your Act Together) in July 1978 at Studio One in Los Angeles, Mike Douglas, Merv Griffin, and Dinah Shore booked Holt to appear on their television talk shows.

Holt was the subject of the 2013 Lifetime documentary Dear Mom, Love Cher, which was executive produced by her daughter, Cher. Holt also released her album Honky Tonk Woman, which was recorded in 1982, in 2013. The album includes a duet with Cher titled I'm Just Your Yesterday.

In 2013, Holt and Cher appeared together on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Ellen DeGeneres Show to promote the documentary and the album. In 2014, Holt and her grandson Chaz Bono appeared in episode 9 of the sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race for a talk-show-themed challenge. Sources: Wikipedia, People

Five Finger Death Punch
Travis Shinn

Five Finger Death Punch

Chart Beat

Five Finger Death Punch’s ‘This Is the Way’ Scores DMX His First Mainstream Rock Airplay No. 1

The band extends its record for the longest streak of No. 1s in the chart's history, while the rapper earns a posthumous ruler.

Five Finger Death Punch extends its record streak of No. 1s on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock Airplay chart, while featured artist DMX achieves a posthumous leader, as “This Is the Way” tops the June 15-dated survey.

The song is Five Finger Death Punch’s 11th straight Mainstream Rock Airplay No. 1, lengthening the longest streak of leaders in the chart’s 43-year history. The Ivan Moody-fronted band’s run began in 2018 with “Sham Pain.”

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