Tuesday, 31 December 2019

Johnnie Mae Matthews born 31 December 1922

Johnnie Mae Matthews (December 31, 1922 – January 6, 2002) was an American blues and R&B singer, songwriter, and record producer from Bessemer, Alabama. Known as the “Godmother of Detroit Soul” and as the first African American female to own and operate her own record label (Northern Recording Company) she was an early influence on the careers of many of the now-famous recording stars who began their careers in Detroit, Michigan such as Otis Williams, David Ruffin, and Richard Street of the Temptations, Jimmy Ruffin, Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records, Timmy Shaw, Barbara Lewis, Bettye LaVette and many more.

Matthews learned to sing in her church choir, and also performed with her mother at military bases throughout the Deep South. When she was twelve years old, the family relocated to New Jersey, and in 1947 Matthews left her parents home and moved to Detroit, Michigan where she married and started her own family. In 1957 she joined a local quintet called the Five Dapps, assuming lead vocals on "You're So Unfaithful," which was the B-side of their 1958 debut single, "Do Wop a Do". The Instrumental backing on the record was done by pianist Joe Hunter, who would frequently collaborate with Matthews in the years to follow, and later led Motown's famed studio band, the Funk Brothers.

In 1958, Matthews formed her own record label, dubbed the “Northern Recording Company”. Headquartered in an office at 2608 Blaine in Detroit, just a few blocks from her home, she used $85 borrowed from her husband's paycheck to become the first African-American woman to own and operate her own label. With sessions typically recorded at either nearby “Special Studio” or at radio station WCHB, Northern Recording Company was largely used as a vehicle to launch her own solo recording career. Her first release, "Dreamer", in 1959, was credited to “Johnnie Mae Matthews & the Daps”. Her follow-up single, "Mr. Fine", featured on its B-side, a song named "Someday", which was a solo tune by local singer Chet Oliver.

Motown Records founder, Berry Gordy has often credited Matthews with teaching him the ropes of the recording industry. He acknowledged her assistance in helping land a distribution deal with “Chess Records” for “The Miracles” 1959 hit "Bad Girl". It's impossible to know how differently Matthews' own recording career might have turned out had she accepted any of invitations of Berry Gordy to record for Motown, particularly during the mid-'60s, when she was delivering some of her finest material, most notably "Lonely You'll Be" and "Cut Me Loose," in 1967, the latter of which was subsequently licensed for national distribution on the Atco Records label

In her 1960 tune, "So Lonely," Matthews dropped the Dapps altogether. She then, quickly followed up with her second 
solo, "Ooh Wee Baby." On both of these recordings she was backed by a band called the “Groovers”, a group that was led by Joe Hunter, and also included bassist James Jamerson, guitarist Eddie Willis, saxophonist Eli Fontaine, and drummer Uriel Jones, all of who would become staples of Motown's greatest sessions as members of the, now famous, Funk Brothers Band.

Also in 1960 the label issued "Come On," the debut single by “The Distants” who were later renamed “The Temptations”. In time, Northern spun off a series of sister labels, most notably “Reel”, which was the label of several of Ms. Matthews’ singles, such as "Oh, Baby", "No One Can Love Me the Way You Do", "The Headshrinker", and "Come Home", all of which were released in 1961.


In 1963 she hired manager Ollie McLaughlin, who had previously launched the career of “Barbara Lewis”. McLaughlin brought Matthews to the attention of Mercury Records’ new Blue Rock subsidiary, where he eventually produced both of her singles for that label, "Baby, What's Wrong", and "My Man (The Sweetest Man in the World)". 
During the late '60s Matthews also cut a series of excellent singles for her “Big Hit” label, including "I Have No Choice", "My Momma Didn't Lie", and "Don't Be Discouraged"

 However, as the decade of the sixties came to a close, so did Northern Recording Company and all of her subsidiaries, and as the 1970s were being ushered in, Matthews turned her attention to “Black Nasty” an up and coming funk group that featured two of her children, Artwell and Aubrey. In 1973, Matthews produced the band's only album, “Talking to the People”, which was released on the “Stax” record label.

“Black Nasty” was later renamed “The ADC Band” and the group resurfaced in 1978 with the R&B smash "Long Stroke". Encouraged by their success, Matthews revived Northern Recording Company around this time, with the ADC Band supplying the musical backing on the disco-inspired tune "It's Good", which was later re-issued on the “Cotillion Records” label for national distribution. After one final Northern effort, 1980s "I Can Feel It," she closed the label for good, effectively ending her recording career.

Matthews died after a long bout with cancer on January 6, 2002. She was 79 years old.        (Edited from Wikipedia)

Monday, 30 December 2019

Stan Tracey born 30 December 1926

Stanley William Tracey CBE (30 December 1926 – 6 December 2013) was a British jazz pianist and composer, whose most important influences were Duke Ellington and Thelonious Monk. Known as 'the Godfather of British Jazz'  he was Britain’s finest and most original jazz composer; he was also a pianist of rare
distinction, whose work drew praise from some of the greatest jazz musicians — the saxophonist Sonny Rollins once demanding: “Does anyone here realise just how good he is?”

Stanley William Tracey was born in south London on December 30 1926, the son of a nightclub bartender. His formal education ended at the age of 12, because he refused to be evacuated along with the rest of his schoolfellows. The family possessed no radio or gramophone, but the boy would spend hours sitting on the communal stairs, listening to the music on the wireless belonging to the neighbours upstairs.

The RAF Gang Show (Stan 2nd from left)

He acquired a piano-accordion, taught himself to play and won several talent competitions. At 16 he joined an Ensa concert party, and remained with it until he was conscripted into the RAF. There he became a member of the RAF Gang Show, alongside Peter Sellers and Tony Hancock. He also taught himself to play the piano, and his first civilian job was as accompanist to Bob Monkhouse — Tracey appears briefly as a nightclub pianist in the 1954 film I Am a Camera.

By now Tracey had become captivated by jazz. In order to hear the best players in person, he worked in dance bands aboard the transatlantic liners Queen Mary and Caronia, and in New York he heard both Monk and Ellington for the first time.

It was virtually impossible to make a living from modern jazz in Britain during the 1950's, and Tracey joined the dance bands first of Roy Fox, and later of Ted Heath. Although Ted Heath and his Music was Britain’s top big band, Tracey found its repertoire dull, and to enliven the proceedings he would insert the odd “Monkish” dissonance into the piano part. “Ted never noticed,” he later recalled. “Fortunately, he was a bit deaf.” While with Heath, Tracey also took up the vibraphone, on which he played the occasional feature number.

         Here’s “Dream Of Many Colours” from above album.


Leaving Heath in 1959, Tracey formed a sextet, the MJ6 with the drummer Tony Crombie, and recorded an album of his own. Entitled Little Klunk, the record consisted of eight original compositions played by Tracey, the bassist Kenny Napper and the drummer Phil Seamen. Later the same year Ronnie Scott opened 
his jazz club in Soho, and Tracey became its house pianist. During the seven years in which he held the post he accompanied an extraordinary parade of the biggest names in jazz — including Dexter Gordon, Stan Getz, Wes Montgomery, Sonny Rollins and Roland Kirk. Far from being intimidated by these great figures, Tracey would challenge them with unusual harmonies and unexpected interjections. Some of them, like Rollins, loved it; others did not. But Tracey, loyally supported by Scott, always stood his ground.

Stan with Cleo Laine (1961)
It was during his tenure at Scott’s that Tracey wrote what is still his best-known composition, Under Milk Wood, an eight-part suite based on Dylan Thomas’s radio play. He wrote much of it while travelling home from Scott’s on the night bus to Streatham. The piece was recorded in 1965, and immediately hailed as a landmark in British jazz. Much of its success is due to the empathy between Tracey and the tenor saxophonist Bobby Wellins, whose hauntingly beautiful tone adds a tinge of melancholy to even the most energetic passages.

Jackie and Stan Tracey
Exhausted by the long hours and non-stop challenge of his work at Ronnie Scott’s, Tracey left the club in 1967. Unfortunately, this coincided with a somewhat bleak period in British jazz, with much of its traditional audience deserting in favour of “progressive rock”. With work growing increasingly sparse, he even toyed with the idea of becoming a postman, but with the aid of his formidably energetic wife, Jackie, he managed to get by on a mixture of grants, teaching and self-promoted events until the tide turned. 

In 1973 a reinvigorated Tracey celebrated 30 years in music with a sold-out concert at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London, and the following year he formed a quartet with the saxophonist Art Themen; a partnership that was to last for 22 years.

He also founded his own record label, Steam Records, and embarked on an energetic programme of work, recording and performing in every possible context, from solo piano to full 17-piece jazz orchestra.

In 1986 Tracey was appointed OBE in recognition of his services to British jazz — although he used to joke that it was actually for 40 years spent “battling bad pianos”. He was advanced to CBE in 2008. By his own reckoning, his playing career had taken him to 39 countries.

Tracey died of cancer on 6 December 2013. (Edited from The Telegraph & Wikipedia)

Here’s The Stan Tracey Quartet, More Live at the 100 Club playing “Metro Allegretto” Stan Tracey (piano), Art Themen (soprano sax), Roy Babbington (bass), Clarke Tracey (drums)  Date of recording unknown.

Sunday, 29 December 2019

Barbara Alston born 29 December 1943

Barbara Alston (29 December 1943 - 16 February 2018) was a founding member of the 1960s girl group the Crystals. She sang lead on the band’s first two hits, “There’s No Other Like My Baby” and “Uptown.”

Barbara Ann Alston was born in Baltimore to Ethel Banks Alston and John Westry. She moved to Brooklyn with her mother and graduated from what is now the W. H. Maxwell Career and Technical Education High School there. She was a choir-trained teenager and won a talent show with a group called the Delphi Thezonians. She was 17 when she became part of a quintet of Brooklyn high-school students organised in 1961 by her uncle, Benny Wells who named them The Crystals. More interested in choreography than singing, she nevertheless served as the band’s first lead vocalist, backed by fellow singers Dolores “Dee Dee” Kenniebrew, Mary Thomas, Patricia Wright and Myrna Giraud.

Their harmonious songs, often about young romance, were like those of many other popular all-female R&B vocal groups in the early 1960s, like the Shirelles and the Ronettes. Alston was pushed to the fore by producer Phil Spector, who was searching for up-and-coming acts for his newly formed lable, Philles Records. Spector had listened in on a Crystals rehearsal at the Brill Building, a music industry hub in Manhattan.


Spector signed the Crystals in 1961 when he was beginning to develop the richly orchestrated “wall of sound” style that would make him one of the 20th century’s most acclaimed producers. For the group’s earliest pop hits, he surrounded Alston’s alto voice with lush strings and guitars in songs such as “There’s No Other Like My Baby”, which peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard charts in 1962. 
The group’s second single, “Uptown” (1962), an upbeat number about the consolations of tenement life, written by Barry Mann and Cynthia Weill, featured playful Spanish guitars and castanets and reached No. 13 on the chart.

The band’s next single, “He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)”, was a disastrous ode to domestic abuse co-written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King, who later said she regretted lending her name to the track. “‘He Hit Me’ was absolutely, positively the one record that none of us liked,” Alston once said. “We knew in our hearts that it was going to be a controversial piece and argued on several occasions with Phil about releasing it.” Spector, who was later convicted of the 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson, prevailed but eventually pulled the single after some radio stations refused to play it.

The group, which quarrelled with Mr. Spector for years over royalties and other issues, went through several line-up changes and eventually shrank to four members. Their only chart-topping hit, “He’s a Rebel” (1962), was actually sung by another group, the Blossoms, whose lead singer was Darlene Love; Mr. Spector released it as a Crystals record because he thought the song would be more successful if it came from an established group.

Ms. Alston moved into the background when Dolores Brooks, known as Lala, became the lead singer for the Crystals’ later hits, including “Da Doo Ron Ron (When He Walked Me Home),” which reached No. 3, and “Then He Kissed Me,” which reached No. 6, both in 1963.

In later years, Alston sued Spector to receive her share of royalties from the Crystals, who regrouped in 1963 without Thomas and with Dolores “La La” Brooks as lead singer. They released hits including “Da Doo Ron Ron” and “Then He Kissed Me” before Alston left the group in 1965 to raise her son. Ms. Alston, who was shy and suffered from stage fright, was relieved to step out of the spotlight. She left the Crystals in 1965 to raise her first son, Tony, and the group broke up in 1967.

Alston appeared in the original 1966 Broadway production of Cabaret as one of the Kit Kat Girls. In 1968 she and fellow Crystal’s singer Mary Thomas were backing singers on Teri Nelsons Kama Sutra album “Sweet Talkin’ Teri.” Then, in 1971, with the rock & roll revival in full swing, Alston and the other the group members of the Crystals reunited and spent a few years delighting audiences on the oldies circuit. Otherwise, she stopped singing and held secretarial positions in New York and then in Charlotte, where she had lived since 1984. She had originally planned to move to Atlanta, her daughter said, but her car broke down in Charlotte. She never left.

Her daughter Donielle Prophete said that although her mother appreciated the royalty checks she received for the songs she recorded, she was content with life beyond her days as a performer. A mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, she was known to sing her hits around the house while doing chores, and she enjoyed knitting and cross-stitching.

She died in Charlotte, North Carolina, after a two-week battle with the flu, her family says. She was 74.

(Edited mainly from the New York Times & Independent)

Saturday, 28 December 2019

Michel Petrucciani born 28 December 1962

Michel Petrucciani (28 December 1962 – 6 January 1999) was a French jazz pianist. From birth he had osteogenesis imperfecta, a genetic disease that causes brittle bones and, in his case, short stature. He became one of the most accomplished jazz pianists of his generation despite having arms that caused him pain.

The son of the Sicilian jazz guitarist Antoine Petrucciani and his French wife Anne, Michel was born, in 1962, with osteogenesis imperfecta, more often known as glass bones disease. During his life he suffered literally hundreds of bone fractures. Raised in Montelimar in a jazz-filled home, he could hum Wes Montgomery solos as soon as he could talk. He played a toy set of drums in the family band, along with his brothers Philippe, who was also a guitarist, and Louis, who played the bass.

Petrucciani's ambition to become a pianist was fired when he saw a televised Duke Ellington concert when he was four. As a result his father bought him a toy piano but Petrucciani was so frustrated by its limitations that he smashed it with a hammer. Antoine, who had a job at a nearby military base, brought home a battered piano left behind by British soldiers. 
When he was seven and his playing had improved, his father bought a better piano from a local doctor. When he was 10 Petrucciani began to absorb the piano playing of Bill Evans, who became the major influence on the first part of his career. He also retained his love of the works of Bach, Debussy, Ravel, Mozart and Bartk.

His first major professional appearance was at the annual outdoor jazz festival in the French town of Cliouclat when he was 13. Although he had to be carried on stage for his performances, Petrucciani had powerful, long-fingered hands. When he travelled he took with him an extender that his family had devised to enable him to work the foot pedals. Already playing jobs all over France and at European festivals, he moved to Paris when he was 16, and in 1980 made his first album, Flash, with a trio that included his 
brother Louis. By now a star, he toured France to play duets with the American alto saxophonist Lee Konitz and later recorded with him.

When he was 18 he left for New York. He didn't have the cash to pay for his air ticket, but his father later made good the bad cheque. When he had earned enough money from working in New York, Petrucciani left for California, where he met his wife, Gilda Butta. He also encountered Charles Lloyd, a tenor saxophonist who had been in vogue during the Sixties when jazz and rock had first abutted. Lloyd had then led a quartet that had included Keith Jarrett and Jack deJohnette, but had stopped playing when his audiences decided that his band was more fashionable than he was.

Michel with Charles Lloyd 
Now, 15 years later, he was to come out of retirement. Petrucciani went to Lloyd's house in Big Sur with a friend who was a drummer. After hearing Petrucciani play the piano Lloyd requested that they perform together. After generating rave reviews up and down the West Coast, they worked across the world together for the next two years and their appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival, issued as an album, won them the 1982 Prix d'Excellence.


In 1983 the Los Angeles Times chose Petrucciani as Jazz Man of the Year and the Italian Government Cultural Office, who presumably knew about such things, selected him as "Best European Jazz Musician". The French, not to be outdone, awarded him the prestigious Prix Django Reinhardt. In 1984 his solo album 
100 Hearts achieved the French equivalent of a Grammy award: the Grand Prix du Disque - Prix Boris Vian. The then-virtuoso trumpeter Freddie Hubbard invited the pianist to join his All Star band and Petrucciani also worked with the tenorists Joe Henderson and Wayne Shorter and guitarists Jim Hall and John Abercrombie, all from the front rank of American jazz musicians. In 1986 he recorded at Montreux with Shorter and Hall.

From 1989 to 1992 Petrucciani worked with a quartet, often adding a synthesiser player, Adam Holzman. Petrucciani had retained his love of Duke Ellington, and his idea was that the synthesiser could bring the sound of a big band, Ellington's, to his quartet. Latterly he had worked as a soloist, moving beyond the Bill Evans influence to draw inspiration from the work of Keith Jarrett and to display an abundance of technique and power to match Oscar Peterson in his prime.

In the late 1990s, Petrucciani's lifestyle became increasingly taxing. He was performing over 100 times per year, and in 1998, the year before he died, he performed 140 times. He became too weak to use crutches and had to resort to a wheelchair. His final manager said, "He was working too much – not only recording and doing concerts, but he was always on television, and he was always doing interviews. 

He got himself overworked, and you could see it. He pushed too much." Petrucciani died from a pulmonary infection a week after his 36th birthday. He was interred in Le Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, one tomb away from Frédéric Chopin.

(Edited from Steve Voce @ The Independent & Wikipedia)

Here's Michel Petrucciani, Anthony Jackson, Steve Gadd in Stuttgart, Germany - 1998

Friday, 27 December 2019

Dardanelle Hadley born 27 December 1917

Dardanelle or Marcia Marie Hadley (December 27, 1917 - August 8, 1997), was an American jazz artist known for performing with Lionel Hampton. Over a career that lasted for more than a half-century, she played piano and vibes — and sang a little too — under the exotic-sounding name Dardanelle, years before many of today’s stars made performing under a single name a common practice.

But there does seem to be some confusion about her identity — not just her mysterious stage persona, but her real name too. Although everyone agrees that she was born in Mississippi in 1917, one source says she started life as Dardanelle Breckenridge, named by her father for the Dardanelles Straits. But even though she apparently did sometimes use Breckenridge, most sources say her real name was Marcia Marie Mullen, and she gave herself the name Dardanelle in the early stages of her career.

In any case, Hadley was born and grew up in Avalon, Mississippi, where she studied with Gladys Bacon, a Greenwood music teacher.  An internationally known singer and pianist, Dardanelle’s father Marcius Mosley “Buck” Mullen never studied music, never read it, but could play anything, particularly ragtime.  Dardanelle once said her “perfect” execution on the piano was a gift from her father.  The blue-eyed, talented performer was nicknamed “Peter” or “Pete” as a child because she was such a tomboy. 

Dardanelle’s Carnegie Hall aspirations were dashed early when she came down with polio, which weakened her left hand for the demands of classical music.She was also a talented vibraphonist, and singer who later studied music at Louisiana State University, holding a major, and supported herself by working as a house pianist at a local radio station.

By the late 1930s she started to appear professionally on the national jazz scene. During the 1940s she led her own Dardanelle Trio, with various collaborators, initially with bassist Paul Edenfield and guitarist Tal Farlow. The trio made a lot of good records during that period and also became a regular fixture at New York’s Copacabana.


By the 1950s Dardanelle had relocated to Chicago and left music to raise a family. She supported herself as a staff pianist for WGN-TV. She also worked on a highly regarded children’s television show called Lunchtime Little Theater where she was known as Aunt Dody.

Dardanelle moved to New Jersey in the 1970’s and formed a new trio with her son “Skip” Hadley on drums. She performed and recorded with Jazz stars Bucky Pizzarelli, George Duvivier, and Grady Tate.She appeared at many festivals and concerts and worked on cruise ships and television programs. She played at the Cookery and Carnegie Hall in New York. She was also a popular performer in Tokyo, Japan, where she lived for some time.

In 1984 Dardanelle returned to Mississippi where she was an active radio and TV personality, recording artist, and jazz performer (her second son, Brian Hadley, often played bass with her). From 1986-1988 she was Artist in Residence at Ole Miss (the University of Mississippi). 

The Dardanelle Trio visited London on April 23rd 1993 where they performed at “Pizza-on-the-Park”  resulting in a live album on the Audiophile label titles “Swingin’ In London.”

The jazz legend died August 8, 1997, at the age of 79 at the Baptist Memorial Hospital Central in Memphis, as a result of complications from heart valve replacement surgery she had in July.

(Edited from Wikipedia, mswritersandmusicians.com. and geezer music club.)

Thursday, 26 December 2019

Merle Evans born 26 December 1891

Merle Slease Evans (December 26, 1891 – December 31, 1987) was a cornet player and circus band conductor who conducted the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus for fifty years. He was known as the "Toscanini of the Big Top." Evans was inducted into the American Bandmasters Association in 1947 and the International Circus Hall of Fame in 1975.

Mr. Evans and his all-brass ensemble used to play about 200 different pieces of music in a three-hour performance. His repertoire pacing the ringside action included a medley of waltzes, tangos, fox trots, gallops, marches and Latin numbers, along with Wagner, Tchaikovsky and Smetana, not to mention Sousa. He wanted his music to have the zip that went with the sawdust, the beat of hoofs and the cheers of excited children.

Mr. Evans also enjoyed an illustrious musical career beyond circus, recording and directing bands around the country and in Europe. There, his concert programs included Bach, Beethoven and Brahms, played before audiences in the many thousands. 

Merle Evans was born in Columbus, Kansas in 1891. His father was a foreman in a coal mine. He had six siblings. Evans had an early job selling newspapers on corners. He used his cornet to call attention to the headlines. He is featured in Tom Rhoads' farcical history of Columbus. After holding several other jobs, Evans left home and joined the S.W. Brundage us Carnival Company as a cornet player. Evans held several other jobs, including as a band director for the Miller Brothers 101 Ranch Wild West Show featuring Buffalo Bill, ''I had practiced for six hours a day for three years,'' Evans recalled, ''but the best training was listening to such greats as Clark, Bachman, Gilmore, Sousa and learning from them the art of phrasing, tonal production, varied styles.''

He was blowing his cornet with Gus Hill's minstrels when Charles Ringling summoned him in 1919 to strike up the band for him. That was the year the circus of the five Ringling brothers joined forces with Barnum & Bailey, the creation of Phineas T. Barnum, to form the world's largest travelling exhibit, billed as ''The Greatest Show on Earth.'' Soon, the Big Top hailed Mr. Evans as a Toscanini of its very own. He wrote eight circus marches, including Symphonia and Fredella.


Evans was the band director for fifty years. He only missed performances due to a musician’s union strike in 1942 and the death of his first wife.  He announced his retirement for the first time in 1955, saying that the televised circus spectacular of that year would mark his final performance. By then he had struck up 
Merle Evans with Lee Wallenda

the band 22,000 times. But it was not until 1969, in his 50th year with the circus that he formally passed on his baton, along with his job of musical director. Even after that he could still be seen now and then leading the band in its red-costumed splendour. And he continued to show up as a guest conductor at workshops until last year.

Over the decades he witnessed the ups and downs of the circus world and the demise of the big tent, which Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey folded for the last time in Pittsburgh in 1956. He saw the acrobat Hans Jahn fall to his death in New York City in 1930 .On July 6, 1944, a fire broke out during a Ringling Bros. and Barnum and Bailey Circus performance. 
The fire killed around 168 people. The quick reaction of Merle Evans and his band is credited with saving thousands of lives. When Evans saw the fire, he signalled that the band should play John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” used in the circus as the “disaster march,” indicating an emergency. The performers heard the music and immediately began the evacuation. Accounts state that Evans and his band played until it was no longer safe to do so, and then evacuated and reformed outside, where their playing helped to pace the evacuation and steady the crowd.

After his retirement, Evans continued to live an active life. He served as a director of the Columbus State Bank in his hometown of Columbus, Kansas. He gave workshops and guest-led bands around the country. His second wife was Nena, who served as secretary to the owners and executives of the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey circus. Evans died in Sarasota, Fla., the winter home of the circus on December 31, 1987. He was 96 years old.

A scholarship at the Indiana University Bloomington Jacobs School of Music is named after Evans. The scholarship supports students with aspirations towards concert bands. The Midwest Clinic awarded Evans its Medal of Honour in 1966. Windjammers Unlimited credits Evans with its early success as an organization, and he is honoured in their Hall of Fame.

(Edited from Wikipedia & New York Times)