Tuesday 28 November 2023

R.B. Greaves born 28 November 1943

Ronald Bertram Aloysius Greaves III (28 November 1943 – 27 September 2012) was an American singer who had chart success in 1969 with the pop single "Take a Letter Maria". A number two hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, this single sold one million copies, and it earned gold record certification from the Recording Industry Association of America. Greaves also reached the Top 40 in early 1970 with "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me". 

Ronald Bertram Aloysius Greaves III, born in British Guiana, South America at the US Air Force Base at Atkinson Field (now Timehri). A nephew of Sam Cooke, he is of African American and Seminole Indian decent and grew up on a Seminole reservation in California. He moved to England in 1963. Greaves had built a career both in the Caribbean and in the UK, where he performed under the name Sonny Childe with his group the TNTs and recorded a few singles between 1965 -1968. (Without Childe/Greaves, The TNT became the backing band for P.P. Arnold, probably best known for her versions of “The First Cut is the Deepest” and “Angel of the Morning.”) 

Greaves debut recording, his self penned  "Take a Letter Maria", was released under the name R.B. Greaves in 1969. Produced by Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, the song was recorded in August 1969 at Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama with backing from the legendary Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section. It was an out-of-the-box hit in the U.S. for the Atco label, rising to No. 2 in just six weeks, only to be denied the top spot by The 5th Dimension’s “Wedding Bell Blues.” His self-titled album peaked at No. 85 in 1970. 

The song is the story of a man who learns of his wife's infidelity and dictates a letter of separation to Maria, his secretary, who the last verse suggests may become his new love. The song has a distinct Latin flavor, complete with a mariachi-style horn section. It received gold record certification from the RIAA on 11 December 1969. By 1970, sales of this song totaled 2.5 million. 


In the early 1970s, Greaves spent a lot of time in Southern California, and was often accompanied at live shows and on recordings by his longtime friends Phillip John Diaz, a guitarist, and Michael “Papabax” Baxter, a songwriter and keyboardist.

 Greaves recorded a series of cover versions as follow-ups, including Burt Bacharach's and Hal David's "(There's) Always Something There to Remind Me" (1970) plus  "Fire and Rain" (1970), "Whiter Shade of Pale" (1970), "Margie, Who's Watching the Baby" (1972) and "Naked Eyes" (1983). Greaves left the Atlantic /Atco label in the 1970s in favour of Sunflower Records, and then signed to Bareback Records. His only chart release for the latter label in 1977 was "Margie, Who's Watching the Baby", but it didn't revive his career. He ended up moving to Los Angeles and began to work in the technology industry. 

Greaves died from prostate cancer at his home in Granada Hills, California, on 27 September 2012 at the age of 68. He is buried in New Haven, Connecticut. He was married three times: 1969- 1970 to Claire Francis, 1971-1973 to Sandra Golden and from 1975 to actress Maura Dhu Studi who he divorced pre 1990. While his career may not have reached the same heights as some of his contemporaries, his music continues to be celebrated by fans of soul music. 

(Edited from Wikipedia, Old Time Muisc.com & NBC News)

Monday 27 November 2023

Bootsie Barnes born 27 November 1937

Robert "Bootsie" Barnes (November 27, 1937 – April 22, 2020) was an American jazz tenor saxophonist and a modern Philadelphia jazz icon. Through the power of his example, the depth of his clout and the sheer persistence of his presence, he held down the deeply swinging center of the city’s jazz community for over a six decade career. During that time, he maintained a steadfast commitment to the bebop language and a no-nonsense connection to his audience. 

Robert Manuel Barnes was born in Pennsylvania Hospital and grew up in the Richard Allen Homes, a North Philadelphia housing project. His father, Wilbur Jones, was a trumpeter who had played in big bands led by Bill Doggett and Frank Fairfax. His mother, Esther Barnes, did housekeeping work. Bootsie was the youngest of four boys; his nickname was bestowed, teasingly, by his brothers. In addition to his father, he had an early musical role model in his mother’s older brother, Jimmy Hamilton, a clarinetist and saxophonist with a prestigious chair in the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Still, up through his teenage years Barnes aspired to play drums; he recalled being let in the stage door of the Earle Theatre, where he was given a pair of sticks by Ellington’s drummer, Sonny Greer. 

Barnes played drums in the band at Ben Franklin High, switching to saxophone only at age 19, after his grandmother gave him an instrument. He started on alto, inspired by Jackie McLean, and took up the tenor initially because it could lead to more gigs. But the register and heft of the larger instrument proved ideal.  From the 1960s on, he played constantly in Philly, notably with an honor roll of organists, including Jack McDuff, Jimmy Smith, Shirley Scott and Don Patterson. He played in the house band at the Uptown Theatre; at institutions like Pep’s Musical Bar; and in an array of spots otherwise not known for their jazz bookings. 

“Sometimes on the weekends we’d have three or four gigs,” recalls pianist Uri Caine, who started playing with Barnes in the mid-‘70s, at age 18. “We’d start in the afternoon in one place, go somewhere else and play until 4 in the morning.” Caine, who kept this pace with Barnes for about six years, describes a musician who had friends in every corner of the city. “For me it was a beautiful learning experience, because I got to play a lot, which was amazing. And with musicians like Philly Joe Jones, Bobby Durham, Mickey Roker — those were his drummers. My whole orientation was changed by being with him.” 

                         Here’s “You’ve Changed” from above album.


In the 1980s, Barnes toured with Sonny Stitt. He continued to play in his home town and recorded his album "You Leave Me Breathless!" in 1995. For a good stretch in the mid-1990s, Barnes held court every week at Ortlieb’s Jazzhaus, a beloved, smoke-filled joint in the Northern Liberties neighborhood. Ortlieb’s used to call it the ‘Tuesday night prayer meeting.’ Pianist Orrin Evans, who was 13 when he first played with Barnes said “ That’s what it was. You stepped into that church, and you’d better know your scriptures.” “That was the school of higher learning,” says Mike Boone, who played bass in his quartet alongside pianist Sid Simmons and drummer Byron Landham. “With all due respect to any college or university, for Philadelphia, that was the place.” In 2001, Bootsie played at the Newport Jazz Festival. 

In an article for Patch, Kim Tucker wrote, "Barnes has toured the world performing the music he loves, jazz in places like St. Croix US Virgin Islands, to Europe and back home to Philadelphia. From the "Chitlin Circuit" to the infamous New Jersey clubs: Dreamland, Cotton Club, Loretta's High Hat, Club Harlem, Barnes has taken the stage at Philly's Blue Note, Just Jazz, Red Carpet, The Showboat and Pep's too." 

Bootsie toured Europe as well as the United States and Canada, leaving a lasting impression on audiences all over the world. He headlined venues from New York’s famed Birdland to the very prestigious Le Grand Hotel in Paris. He  won numerous Jazz awards, such as the Marjorie Dockery Volunteer Award from the Urban League Guild of Philadelphia and New York’s Greater Jamaica Development Corporation Award, and is often listed within the Top Ten Jazz Picks. 

Bootsie Barnes & Larry McKenna

In recent years, Barnes forged a fruitful collaboration with his fellow Philly tenor Larry McKenna; their joint album, The More I See You, earned favorable coverage on its release in 2018. Among Barnes’ other albums Hello, in 2003. But in some ways his most emblematic album is his first, at least in terms of the attitude. A quartet date released in 1984, it’s titled Been Here All Along. 

He died from COVID-19 after being three weeks at the Lankenau Medical Center in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania, on April 22, 2020, during the pandemic. He was 82.

(Edited from obit from Nate Chinen @ WBGO,Wikipedia & All About Jazz) 


Sunday 26 November 2023

Alice Clark born 1947

Alice Clark (c. 1947– April 2004) was an American soul singer, who had little commercial success but whose recordings became highly regarded. 

Little is known publicly of her life outside her brief music career between 1968 and 1972. She grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City. Acording to Billy Vera, who wrote and produced her first record, "I got the impression her life wasn't that great. She... had kids and belonged to a religious order that forbade either bathing or washing hair, I don't recall exactly which..." 

Her first record, pairing two Vera songs, "You Got a Deal" and "Say You'll Never (Never Leave Me)", was recorded in 1968 at the Jubilee Records studio with musicians including Vera and Butch Mann (guitars), Jimmy Tyrell (bass), Earl Williams (drums), Money Johnson (trumpet) and others. Produced by Vera, it was released on the Rainy Day label owned by Chip Taylor and Al Gorgoni. Later the same year, Clark recorded "You Hit Me (Right Where It Hurt Me)" and "Heaven's Will (Must Be Obeyed)", both arranged by Richard Tee and produced by George Kerr. Released on Warner Bros.-Seven Arts Records, "You Hit Me" – co-written by Sylvia Moy and first recorded by Kim Weston at Motown – was not a hit at the time. 


In 1972, Bob Shad of Mainstream Records signed Clark to record an LP with arranger Ernie Wilkins. Produced by Shad, the album, Alice Clark, was recorded at the Record Plant in New York and included three songs written by Bobby Hebb, as well as Jimmy Webb's "I Keep It Hid" – also issued as a single – Juanita Fleming's "Never Did I Stop Loving You", and John Bromley and Petula Clark's "Looking at Life". The session musicians on the album included guitarist Cornell Dupree, keyboardist Paul Griffin, and drummer Bernard Purdie. Again, the records were unsuccessful, and Clark made no more recordings. 

Clark left the music business after her eponymous album fizzled, likely because she had left everything on the table. She must have believed that if the music on this album didn't connect with the market, nothing she recorded ever would. In the hands of a more commercially minded soul producer, she might have fared better. She returned to family life in Bedford-Stuyvesant. She died from cancer in 2004, aged 57. 

In Britain, "You Hit Me (Right Where It Hurt Me)" became a staple of the Northern soul scene in the early 1970s, valued both for its rarity and its quality as "a classic piece of uptown soul". Her album also became highly valued and collectable, later claimed as "delivered with understated passion and appealing vulnerability", "astonishing","sublime", "perhaps one of the finest soul albums ever recorded" and "the Holy Grail of modern soul", in which "every single element - the singer, the songs, the musicians, the production - are simply superb...[and] the whole is even greater than the sum of the parts." 

Mystery surrounds Alice Clark’s life after she turned her back on music. She seems almost to have vanished into thin air. That’s a great shame. Especially given the resurgence in interest in her music and Ace Records recent release of The Complete Studio Recordings 1968-1972. Belatedly, Alice Clark’s music is finding the wider audience that it so richly deserves.   

(Edited from Wikipedia & Dereks Music Blog)

Saturday 25 November 2023

Derroll Adams born 25 November 1925

Derroll Adams (November 27, 1925 – February 6, 2000) was an American folk musician. Ask the average folk enthusiast who Derroll Adams is, and chances are you'll get a vague glimmer of recognition, followed by a shrug of puzzlement. Few figures have effected as much of an impact on other musicians, while falling by the wayside before the public. 

Born Derroll Lewis Thompson in Portland, Oregon, he was the son of a vaudeville juggler and master storyteller. At age 16, just about the time that the Second World War was breaking out, Adams joined the Army, but was discharged within a few months when his age was discovered. He later served in the United States Coast Guard, after which he attended art school -- it was during this time that Adams chanced to see a concert by Josh White, which set him on the road to becoming a musician. 

His subsequent hearing of records by Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie, and Cisco Houston only reinforced his love of folk music, and in a surprisingly short time, he'd become proficient on the guitar and a near-virtuoso on the banjo. He played for audiences as part of former Vice President Henry Wallace's 1948 presidential campaign. During the 1950s, Adams hooked up with the folk singer Odetta in an organization known as "World Folk Artists," and began building an audience; by the end of the decade, his banjo playing was being used on some film soundtracks. 


In 1957, Adams had his first successful song, "Portland Town," an account of birth, life, and death that became his magnum opus, covered widely over the years by other folk singers. Around the same time, he met up with Ramblin' Jack Elliott, who, with his wife, invited Adams to come to England with them. Over the next few years, the three played numerous folk clubs in England, while Adams resided for a time with songwriter Lionel Bart and also performed on the European continent. Adams and Elliott also made recordings together for Topic Records, which was then England's leading folk label. In 1966, while traveling through Europe, they cut an album together in Milan, Italy. By this time, Adams was a fixture on the European folk scene, his rough-hewn voice and distinctive banjo style drawing a serious following, especially among the new generation of folk performers coming up behind him. 

Ramblin' Jack Elliott & Derroll

All wasn't well, however, as Adams became increasingly disenchanted with the widening audience for folk music. Where the clubs in the early '60s had been attended by serious listeners with an honest interest, by 1966 he found himself playing more often to rowdy, drunken listeners who cared little for what he was actually doing. He became known for incidents in which he would smash his guitar and leave the stage. Finally, he met a woman from Belgium who became his fourth wife, and he left the music business to help run her decorating business. 

His influence lingered, however. In 1967, even as Adams was temporarily retired, he became the subject of perhaps the best song that Donovan Leitch (aka Donovan) has ever written, "Epistle to Derroll." Appearing on the Gift From a Flower to a Garden album, the words and music reflected the debt that Leitch owed Adams as a musician and songwriter -- the entire song, and specifically the line "bring me word of the banjo man with the tattoo on his hand," may be the most poignant and haunting in Donovan's entire song output. 

Both his wife's business and the accompanying marriage failed, however, and Adams resumed his performing career in Europe's folk clubs, his name still widely known on his adopted continent. He proved a fairly controversial figure, however, for his rejection of authenticity and his purist approach to folk music; he insisted that old songs could be performed perfectly well in new ways, and he occasionally got drunk and swore on-stage. 

Odetta & Derroll 

Still, he continued playing, and in 1991, the folk community -- including the members of Pentangle, as well as his former partner Elliott and veterans like Happy Traum -- turned out for a concert celebrating Adams' 65th birthday, which was later released on record. When failing health kept him and his most faithful companion, his banjo, away from the stage, Derroll Adams spent his time painting. He drew, wrote poetry and lyrics, composed melodies, fooled around with his banjo, enjoyed classical music, but also listened with enthusiasm to various kinds of new musical styles and sounds. He returned to his old passions with renewed energy: history, philosophy, esotericism, tarot, cabala and I Ching, as well as Chinese and Japanese music. 

Derroll Adams & Arlo Guthrie

“The folk singer of folk singers” received many visitors at the Antwerp retreat. Some of them came to seek the advice of a much-esteemed master. The respect he enjoyed was a source of both surprise and delight to him. He passed away on February 6, 2000 in Antwerp, Belgium. He remains unjustifiably better known in Europe than in the country of his birth. 

(Edited from AllMuisc & derrolladams.org) 

Friday 24 November 2023

Richard Tee born 24 November 1943

Richard Tee (November 24, 1943 – July 21, 1993) was an American pianist, studio musician, singer and arranger, who worked on hundreds of sessions by every major name in the rock, soul and R&B worlds. He played on such notable hits as "In Your Eyes", "Slip Slidin' Away", "Just the Two of Us", "I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow (Than I Was Today)", "Crackerbox Palace", "Tell Her About It", "Don't Give Up" and many others. 

Tee was born Richard Edward Ten Ryk in Brooklyn, New York to Edward James Ten Ryk (1886–1963), who was from Guyana, and Helen G. Ford Skeete Ten Ryk (1902–2000), of New York. Tee spent most of his life in Brooklyn and lived with his mother in a brownstone apartment building. Richard began playing piano at age 3, and his mom started him on classical lessons when he was only 5, which he continued to take for over 12 years. 

Tee graduated from The High School of Music & Art in New York City and attended the Manhattan School of Music. Though better known as a studio and session musician, Tee led a jazz ensemble, the Richard Tee Committee, and was a founding member of the band Stuff. In 1981, he played the piano and Fender Rhodes for Simon and Garfunkel's Concert in Central Park. 

Tee & Steve Gadd

Tee played with a diverse range of artists during his career, including Paul Simon, Carly Simon, The Bee Gees, Barbra Streisand, Roberta Flack, Aretha Franklin, Diane Schuur, Donny Hathaway, Peter Allen, George Harrison, Diana Ross, Duane Allman, Quincy Jones, Bill Withers, Art Garfunkel, Nina Simone, Juice Newton, Billy Joel, Etta James, Grover Washington Jr., Eric Clapton, Kenny Loggins, Patti Austin, David Ruffin, Lou Rawls, Ron Carter, Peter Gabriel, George Benson, Joe Cocker, Chuck Mangione, Pino Daniele, Tim Finn, Peabo Bryson, Mariah Carey, Chaka Khan, Phoebe Snow, Doc Severinsen, Leo Sayer, Herbie Mann and countless others. He also contributed to numerous gold and platinum albums during his long career and joined Stuff led by bassist Gordon Edwards. Other members of the band included guitarist Cornell Dupree, drummer Chris Parker, and later guitarist Eric Gale and drummer Steve Gadd. 


Tee was the arranger on the O'Jays 1968 single, "I'll Be Sweeter Tomorrow" bw "I Dig Your Act" that was released on Bell 691. Along with Hugh McCracken, Eric Gale, and Steve Gadd, Tee played on Van McCoy's 1976 album, The Real McCoy. The album received a good review with the picks being "Love at First Sight", "Night Walk", "Theme from Star Trek", and "African Symphony". 

In June 1980, the band Stuff, made up of Tee, Gordon Edwards, Cornell Dupree, Eric Gale, and Steve Gadd, performed at the Berkeley Jazz Festival which was held over a four day period. On the week ending July 12, 1980, Tee's album Natural Ingredients entered the Cash Box Jazz Top 40 Albums chart at no. 31. At week three on July 26, it got to no. 20. It held that position for another week. It spent a total of nine weeks in the chart. 

Tee used a diverse range of keyboards during his recording and touring career, notably the Hammond organ, piano, Hohner clavinet and synthesizers. His trademark sound, however, was his unique method of playing a Fender Rhodes electric piano and feeding the signal through an Electro-Harmonix Small Stone effect pedal phase shifter. 

After a 16-year relationship with Eleana Steinberg Tee of Greenwich, Connecticut, the couple were married in Woodstock, New York, by New York State Supreme Court Justice Bruce Wright. The couple moved to the Chelsea Hotel in 1988, and later to Cold Spring, New York. 

In 1993, Tee had begun extensive treatment for his prostate cancer following his diagnosis during his tour with Paul Simon's Rhythm of the Saints tour. A special tribute event was set up for him and was to take place on June 6, 1993 at Club Tatou located on 233 North Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. Those set to attend included Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, and Chevy Chase. Proceeds from the event were to go to Humantics Foundation for Richard Tee. 

Tee died on July 21, 1993, in Calvary Hospital (Bronx) aged 49, after suffering from prostate cancer. In addition to his wife he was survived by his mother Helen Ten Ryk of Brooklyn, six sons, and two stepdaughters. He is buried in the Artist Cemetery in Woodstock, New York. 

(Edited from Wikipedia) 

Thursday 23 November 2023

Al Smith born 23 November 1923

Al Smith (November 23, 1923 – February 7, 1974) was an American songwriter, band leader and  record producer from Chicago. 

Albert B. Smith was born in Bolivar County, Mississippi. His family moved to Pace, Mississippi, in 1927. He danced with a jug band on the streets of Rosedale, Mississippi, when he was 7. He learned how to play the string bass in a school band after hearing Big Joe Williams and other Delta bluesmen at his mother's barrelhouse. 

After shipping out with the Merchant Marine in 1940, he arrived in Chicago in 1943. In 1945 he started what he referred to as a "bebop" band. According to Rowe, it had 8 pieces plus blues singer Tiny Topsy. Smith and band were working on the South Side sporadically playing at various Clubs and Lounge bars until June 1948 when he was playing as Al Smith and the Band that Rocks at the Sawdust Trail. It was after the Sawdust Trail gig that Smith latched onto something steadier. He reappeared in June 1949 with an "indefinite" deal with the Apex Club in Robbins, Illinois. 

Between the Fall of 1952 and the Spring of 1959, Al Smith had recording sessions sewed up at four different independent labels in Chicago. He led house bands at Chance (1952-1954), Parrot/Blue Lake (1953-1955), United and States (1953-1956), and, most importantly, Vee-Jay (1954-1959) where he ran the house band. His primary employment in all cases was backing vocal groups, plus an occasional solo singer who didn't have a band. Instrumental tracks (except in the case of his valedictory session in 1959) were done during the studio time left over from vocal sessions. 


Among the better-known Chicago musicians who worked with Al Smith were Sonny Cohn, Booby Floyd, Red Holloway, Harold Ashby, Johnny Board, Leon Washington, Eddie Johnson, Lucius Washington (Little Wash), Von Freeman, Mac Easton, Horace Palm, Norman Simmons, Willie Jones, Sun Ra, Lefty Bates, Matt Murphy, Quinn Wilson, Vernel Fournier, Paul Gusman, and Alrock "Al" Duncan. 

Al Smith 1957

Smith booked club dates with some regularlty through the first half of 1956, but worked just one gig as a leader in 1957, after which essentially retired from the Chicago club scene. He hung up his studio bandleader role in 1959, as Vee-Jay moved toward "middle of the road" accompaniment provided by Riley Hampton, a schooled arranger. In his later days, Al Smith was Jimmy Reed's manager and bandleader, then, after Vee-Jay folded in 1966, Reed quickly resurfaced at ABC Bluesway, where Smith became a producer. Smith handled sessions by Reed, John Lee Hooker, and other blues and R&B artists. Al Smith's business relationship with Jimmy Reed ended in 1971. 

During the frenetic final days of ABC, Smith inked a 25-LP production deal in 1973 with the reactivated Bluesway operation. Twenty of these albums subsequently appeared. They were generally regarded as slapdash affairs, but they provided an opportunity for many bluesmen to record for a major label. 

Al Smith died in Chicago, on February 7, 1974, of a heart attack. He had been suffering for some time from heart disease and diabetes. 

(Edited from Robert Campbell’s Al Smith discography)

Wednesday 22 November 2023

Rita Sakellariou born 22 November 1934


Rita Sakellariou (born 22 November 1934,  – died 6 August 1999) was a popular Greek singer whose career began in poverty and ended in shimmering success. 

Her ardent admirers included shipping tycoons Aristotle Onassis and Stavros Niarchos, film star Anthony Quinn and Andreas Papandreou, Greece's first socialist prime minister. He once boasted that without her plaintive ballads he might not have had the strength to win three elections. His greatest pleasure was to dance a zeimbekiko to the accompaniment of Sakellariou singing her classic Istoria mou, amartia mou (My story, my sin). 

It was not always so. The singer rose from desperate poverty. Her early years mirrored many of the tribulations of modern Greece. As a child, her partisan father was killed in the 1946-49 civil war on Crete where she had been born and bred. Her mother moved with her three childen to the port of Pireaus to try and make ends meet. At 12, Sakellariou left school to help earn a living for her family selling bread and lemons in a cart she pushed around Pireaus's desolate streets. Later, in the poverty-stricken 50s, she worked in factories; and when the going got really tough - after her first marriage foundered - she gathered garbage at the slums' rubbish dump. 

All this she would recall without a trace of self-pity. It was, she said, the only way she could feed her two children by "the man who had chosen me as his wife" at the age of 14. "Such things cannot be forgotten," she told a television interviewer during one of her last public appearances. "They are what have made me who I am - an illiterate woman who has only one talent, which is to sing." Sakellariou had no formal training, but an inimitable voice endowed with emotion. 


She was discovered while performing in a neighbourhood nightclub that specialised in rebetika (the poorman's blues). Soon she began to collaborate with bouzouki players and songwriters such as Vasillis Tsitsanis - men who popularised rebetika by taking it out of its natural habitat of hashish dens, prisons and slums. Her partnership with Tsitsanis lasted eight years. In that time she shot to fame with Istoria mou, amartia mou and other songs that poignantly conjured the sadness of life with all its nostalgia, suffering and unrequited love. 

Performing across Greece, as well as America, she also starred in several Greek films. In the late 60s, she met her second husband, a wrestler who fell for her as she mesmerised an audience in Salonika. The couple married within a year and Sakellariou settled down to bring up three more sons. Throughout these years she continued to sing in the Queen Ann, a nightclub her husband had established on the National Road out of Athens. The 70s saw a series of hits, including Kathe Iliovasilema (Every Sunset) and Oi Andres kai oi Handres (Men and Beads). However, even at her peak of popularity she had problems. Record companies tried to exploit her and her attempts to come up with more commercial hits in the 80s and 90s never matched her earlier successes. Increasingly she found herself spawning imitators, although few could rival her at her best. 

In August 28, 1998, she and her friend Lakis Korres took a short vacation to Epidaurus. There she felt bad, crouching in bathroom from a terrible pain. At Hygeia Hospital, medical checks confirmed she was suffering from lung cancer which metastasized to her bones. The doctors had given her one-year to live. She immediately received chemotherapy. Around January 1999, she began to feel better and was offered to do concerts in Australia. Wearing a wig, she appeared in 5 of the 10 concerts but had to return to Greece where medical checks showed the cancer had spread to her vocal cords. 

During her last years she lived in Nea Smyrni neighbourhood of Athens. She travelled to New York for medical treatment at the Memorial Sloan–Kettering Cancer Center then spent 40 days at Hygeia Hospital in Athens where she died on 6 August 1999, aged 64. She was buried on 9 August in the First Cemetery of Athens. 

It was one of Sakellariou's many talents that throughout her long career she had the affection of Greeks across the political and social divide. They adored her voice but also her humanity and humility and her help for those less fortunate than herself. 

(Edited from Guardian obit by Helena Smith & Wikipedia)