John “Marmaduke” Dawson, a longtime Grateful Dead collaborator who developed a devoted following with his psychedelic country group New Riders of the Purple Sage, died of stomach cancer July 21. He was 64.
With the Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, Dawson co-founded New Riders in 1969 to showcase his songs along with Garcia’s pedal-steel guitar playing. Two other Dead members, bassist Phil Lesh and drummer Mickey Hart, also played in New Riders for a time. The band toured with the Dead starting in 1970 and released eight albums on Columbia Records from 1971 to 1976. The New Riders scored their first gold record in 1973 with the hit “The Adventures of Panama Red.”
Dawson also contributed to a number of Grateful Dead songs, most notably co-writing “Friend of the Devil’’ with Garcia and Dead lyricist Robert Hunter.
Jazz composer George Russell, whose theories influenced the music of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, died July 27 at age 86 of complications from Alzheimer’s.
Russell played drums in Benny Carter’s band and later wrote “Cubano Be/Cubano Bop” for Dizzy Gillespie’s orchestra. It premiered at Carnegie Hall in 1947 and was one of the first fusions of Afro-Cuban rhythms with jazz.
Russell developed the so-called Lydian concept in 1953. It’s credited as the first theoretical contribution from jazz.
Graphic designer Heinz Edelmann, best known for his work as art director of the 1968 Beatles film “Yellow Submarine,” died July 21 at the age of 75.
In addition to his work on “Yellow Submarine,” Edelmann designed many book covers, including the first German edition of J.R.R. Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.”