by Goldmine Staff and The Associated Press
Stephen Bruton, a guitarist and songwriter who played with Kris Kristofferson for nearly 40 years and whose songs have been recorded by Bonnie Raitt, Willie Nelson, Jimmy Buffett and others, died May 9 of complications of throat cancer. He was 60.
Bruton had recently finished working with musician-producer T Bone Burnett on a movie called “Crazy Heart.” Burnett had asked Bruton to produce the music.
Bruton released five albums as a solo artist and was a favored guitarist for many longtime associates when they needed an evocative sound or instrumental color to complement their songs.
Jay Bennett, a musician and songwriter who was a former member of the rock band Wilco, died May 24 at the age of 45.
Bennett worked as a sound engineer and played instruments for Wilco from 1994 to 2001. Earlier this year, he sued the band’s lead singer, Jeff Tweedy, claiming he was owed royalties for songs during his seven years and five albums with the group and money from the band’s 2002 documentary, “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.”
Clive Scott, keyboardist and vocalist for the English group Jigsaw, died May 10 from a stroke, two weeks after sustaining head injuries caused by falling from a ladder.
Scott co-wrote most of the band’s songs with bandmate Des Dyer; they also wrote the hit song “Who Do You Think You Are” for Bo Donaldson And The Heywoods.
Rudolph “Rudy” Anderson, lead singer for the 1950s rhythm and blues vocal group the Wheels, died March 7 at age 71. He had been ill with chronic kidney disease.
Anderson formed the Wheels in Brooklyn, N.Y. The group’s initial release, “My Heart’s Desire,” became a local hit and the group’s signature tune.
A United States Army veteran who served in the Korean theater of operations, Rudy Anderson later became a music teacher.
— Todd Baptista
Jazz musician and basketball player Wayman Tisdale died May 15 at the age of 44 after a two-year battle with cancer.
Tisdale was a three-time All-American basketball player at Oklahoma in the mid-’80s. He was on the U.S. team that won the gold medal in the 1984 Olympics and played a dozen years in the NBA.
As a musician, Tisdale recorded eight albums. A bass guitarist who often wrote his own material, his most recent album, Rebound, was inspired by his fight with cancer and included guest appearances by several artists, including saxophonist Dave Koz and country star and fellow Oklahoma native Toby Keith.
His Way Up! release debuted in July 2006 and spent four weeks as the No. 1 contemporary jazz album. His hits included “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now,” “Can’t Hide Love” and “Don’t Take Your Love Away.”
Charles “Buddy” Montgomery, an accomplished pianist and vibraphonist and brother of jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery, died May 13 of heart failure. He was 79.
Montgomery wrote and arranged music with his brothers Wes and Monk, a bassist, and went on to form the group the Mastersounds. He performed and recorded with the likes of Miles Davis and Bobby Hutcherson and also founded the Oakland, Calif., Jazz Alliance, pairing local talent with established musicians.
Pittsburgh jazz trombonist Randy Purcell, who gained fame with the Maynard Ferguson Orchestra, died May 16 of complications from diabetes. He was 62.
Purcell toured with the Glenn Miller, Sy Zentner and Fred Waring orchestras and the Navy Commodores. Purcell’s peak fame came with Ferguson’s orchestra in the 1970s, especially his solo on “Chameleon,” and later on songs including “The Way We Were” and “Feelings.”
Travis Edmonson, a folk-music singer and songwriter of the 1950s and ’60s who was considered a pioneer by such artists as the Kingston Trio, died May 9 at the age of 76.
Some of Edmonson’s signature songs included “I’m a Drifter” and “Malaguena Salerosa.”
Rafael Escalona, a prolific composer and performer of vallenato classics that define the Colombian-born genre, died May 13 of cancer. He was 81.
Escalona’s name and work were immortalized in the novel “One Hundred Years Of Solitude” by Nobel Prize-winning author Gabriel Garcia Marquez.
British composer Nicholas Maw, known for his opera based on the novel “Sophie’s Choice” and for a nearly 100-minute symphony, died May 19 of heart failure and complications from diabetes and dementia. He was 73.
Maw taught music composition at the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore from 1998 until last year.
Lee Solters, a longtime Hollywood publicist who represented some of entertainment’s biggest stars, including Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Michael Jackson, Dolly Parton, the Muppets, Mae West and Led Zeppelin, died May 18. He was 89.