Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Maxim Saury born 27 February 1928

Maxim Saury (born February 27, 1928, Enghien-les-Bains - November 15, 2012, Boulogne-Billancourt) was a French jazz clarinetist, bandleader and arranger, he is one of the symbols of the " revival " (the "resurrection") of New Orleans jazz in Saint-Germain-des-Prés , for the 1950s and 1960s .

Though Saury's father played violin professionally, he did not take to the instrument as a young child, and only began playing when he was twelve years old. He switched to clarinet because he admired the playing of Hubert Rostaing. Shortly after World War II he began playing with Christian Azzi and Claude Bolling, and briefly led a trio in 1949.

In the 1950s he founded his own large ensemble called the New Orleans Sound; this band included Jean-Claude Naude and went on several tours worldwide. Between 1955 and 1968, he played almost tirelessly at the Caveau de la Huchette , in Paris and participated in all major French jazz festivals (including Cannes , Antibes , Nice or Juan-les-Pins ).

                     Here's "September Song" from above E.P. 


Since the late 60's, as a representative of the French traditional jazz scene, he has performed regularly in France and throughout the world.  He played with Barney Bigard in the US in the late 1960s and returned to play in the US twice in the 1970s. Once being with Louis Armstrong on his 70th anniversary concert. 

As a representative figure in French traditional jazz, he was frequently invited to play music, or the role of a musician, in film and television, including in Bonjour Tristesse, Les Tricheurs, Mon oncle, and Adieu Philippine.

Maxim with Louis Armstrong 1970

In 2007, he was one of the few performers selected for the compilation in four volumes The 100 Greatest Successes of Saint-Germain-des-Pres , alongside Yves Montand , Boris Vian , Juliette Greco , The Brothers Jacques , Catherine Sauvage , Sidney Bechet , Marcel Mouloudji and Stéphane Grappelli .

In 2008, Maxim Saury remarried at the age of 80. And, in 2009, he still performed in various galas and concerts, celebrating his "career of sixty years.”

He died at the age of eighty-four on November 15, 2012 at Ambroise-Paré Hospital in Boulogne-Billancourt, following heart problems.

Maxim Saury’s daughter is the jazz drummer Julie Saury .

Tuesday, 26 February 2019

Billy Jack Wills born 26 February 1926

Billy Jack Wills (February 26, 1926 – March 2, 1991) was perhaps one of the most underrated Western swing bandleaders whose Western Swing Band broke new ground for the genre in the early '50s.

Born in Memphis, Hall County, TX, Billy Jack was exposed at an early age to the music of his famous brother Bob, as well as his father, champion fiddler John Wills. After beginning his professional career in brother Johnnie Lee Wills' Tulsa band in the early '40s, Billy Jack went to California to work as a bassist and drummer for the Texas Playboys. In that group, he played a significant role both as a vocalist and songwriter, lending his bluesy voice to "Cadillac in Model A" and providing lyrics to the massive hit "Faded Love."

The Wills boys, from left to right, youngest to oldest: Brothers Billy Jack Wills,
 Luther J. "Luke" Wills, Johnnie Lee Wills, and Bob Wills,
 and their father John Tompkins "Uncle John" Wills.

After six years as a member of the Texas Playboys, Billy Jack got his chance as a leader when Bob moved his base of operations from the Wills Point Ballroom in Sacramento to Oklahoma City. Tired of touring, mandolinist Tiny Moore stayed behind to manage Wills Point. 

Evelyn McKinney & Billy Jack Wills
Needing a new band to fill the void left by Wills' departure, Moore suggested Billy Jack. Bob agreed, and Moore and Billy Jack assembled a band that included trumpeter and bassist Dick McComb, fiddler/bassist Cotton Roberts, rhythm guitarist Kenny Lowery, and steel guitarist Tommy Varner. The group, dubbed Billy Jack Wills & His Western Swing Band, began broadcasting over Sacramento's KCRA radio in 1950, soon moving to the considerably larger KFBK.

The band truly came into being, however, after the start of the Korean War. Looking to replace the drafted Varner, Wills hired a local teenager named Vance Terry, a disciple of Noel Boggs whose crisp, driving style added the final element to the group's adventurous sound.

The enormous age difference (20 years) between Billy Jack and Bob meant that the younger's musical interests were considerably more advanced. While Bob had drawn inspiration from the primitive blues and jazz of the 1910s and '20s, Billy Jack's muse lay in the developing genres of jump blues, R&B, and be-bop. These fixations gave his group a progressiveness that was found nowhere else, characterized by its hard-swinging jazz rhythms and bluesy, shouted vocals, which drew heavily from the styles of Wynonie Harris and Roy Brown.


Between 1950 and 1954, the group enjoyed a strong Northwest following, touring and building up an eclectic repertoire of radio transcriptions. They covered many of the popular black hits of the time, including Ruth Brown's "Teardrops From My Eyes" and Larry Darnell's "For You, My Love."  

In 1953, the group cut a version of Roy Brown's "There's Good Rocking Tonight"; later that year, they turned in a rollicking arrangement of Bill Haley's first hit, "Crazy, Man, Crazy."
The group's success, however, was short-lived. In 1954, Bob Wills disbanded the Texas Playboys and returned to Sacramento to perform with Billy Jack. The idea was to increase business at Wills Point, but the results were disastrous. Bob quickly took charge of the group and against the wishes of most involved, immediately set off on tour, at which point Tiny Moore quit to host a children's television show.

Out on the road, energies were soon sapped. Under Wills' control, the boldness that had characterized the band's radio broadcasts began to fold, channeled into what was by now the rather stale sound of the Texas Playboys. That and the emerging television craze effectively ended the group. Vance Terry quit to enroll in college; he later joined Jimmie Rivers and the Cherokees. Tiny Moore went on to play with Merle Haggard & the Strangers. Billy Jack struggled on without success and played on various radio broadcasts before retiring from music in 1960. He died on March 2, 1991 in Oklahoma, aged 65. 

Billy Jack Wills should be considered much more than a footnote in the music careers of his older brothers. He was an important artist in his own right who played Western swing with the complexity of jazz, the emotion of blues, and the aggression of rock ‘n’ roll.
(Compiled mainly from AllMusic bio by Jim Smith.)

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Patti Wicks born 24 February 1945

Patti Wicks (born Patricia Ellen Chappell; February 24, 1945, Islip, New York – March 7, 2014, West Palm Beach, Florida) was an American jazz singer and pianist who was active in the music scene of New York and Florida. Patti was beloved by critics and fans alike. She had a distinctive harmonic approach to jazz and the great American songbook. Her voice was smoky and mature.

Wicks began playing the piano at the age of three and learned to play by ear because she was born visually impaired. She graduated from Islip High School in 1962. She later attended the Crane School of Music at the State University of New York at Potsdam. At Crane, Patti studied with James Ball, an accomplished classical and jazz pianist. He introduced her to the music of many jazz greats, including pianist Bill Evans who would have a major influence on Patti's style as a jazz pianist. She quickly immersed herself in the music, listening to jazz recordings, playing at jam sessions and playing week-end gigs at clubs. She graduated with a degree in music education but was determined to pursue a career in jazz.

Patti began to perform professionally and moved to New York City, where she played in small ensembles and entertained at many of the city's more important jazz spots, including Bradleys'. She also directed her own trio, featuring bassists such as Sam Jones, Richard Davis, Brian Torff, and Mark Dresser, and drummers Curtis Boyd, Louis Hayes, Mickey Roker, and Alan Dawson.

In the 1970s, she moved to Florida where for many years she played at the Jazz Showcase, one of the major jazz houses in the area. Other venues were The Metropolitan Room (NYC), Blues Alley (DC), The Jazz Corner (Hilton Head SC), The Blue Note (Milan), Alexanderplatz (Rome), The Cape May (NJ), Syracuse Jazz Festival and Italy’s Le Spezia, Livorno, Argo, & Euro Jazz d Ivrea Festivals.

She worked as a musician with, among others, Clark Terry, Larry 
Coryell, Frank Morgan, Ira Sullivan, Flip Phillips, Anita O'Day, 
Rebecca Parris, Roseanna Vitro and Giacomo Gates. In addition, she taught jazz piano at colleges and gave private lessons.

During the 1990's, with her trio, she moved up and down the east coast playing at jazz spots in the Hamptons on New York's Long Island, at the Jazz Corner, Hilton, SC and at various concerts and festivals. As she was developing her style, Wicks made a point not to listen too much to other vocalists fearing she would end up trying to be a clone of one of them. Rather, she concentrated on the works of instrumentalists Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and Bill Evans. Although her range was limited, Wicks' diction, phrasing and intonation were excellent. In 1999, Wicks recorded They Can’t Take That Away from Me for a commercial for Wyndham International Hotels and Resorts that was aired for two years on television and radio stations worldwide.

                    Here's "Body & Soul" from above album.


Wicks’ debut album as a leader, Room At The Top: The Patti Wicks Trio, was released in 1997, followed by Love Locked Out (2003), which featured Joe LaBarbera and Keeter Betts, Basic Feeling (2005), Italian Sessions (2007), It’s a Good Day (2008) and 
Dedicated To (2009). She appeared at major festivals and clubs in the U.S. and abroad.  She was involved in ten jazz recording sessions from 1997 to 2010.

The 2003 release of her album Love Locked Out on the MAXJAZZ label received rave reviews and propelled Wicks onto the stages of major jazz clubs and festivals. That same year, she was a guest on Marian McPartland’s National Public Radio show Piano Jazz. She toured Italy frequently from 2004 to 2009, and recorded several albums with her Italian trio, one of which earned the Italian equivalent of best jazz album in 2009.

Patti died 7, 2014 in West Palm Beach, Florida due to complications from a heart attack which she suffered a week before. She was 69-years old.

(Edited from numerous sources mainly Wikipedia & AllMusic)

Saturday, 23 February 2019

Sterling Bose born 23 February 1906

Sterling Belmont "Bozo" Bose (September 23, 1906, Florence, Alabama - June 1958, St. Petersburg, Florida) was an American jazz trumpeter, cornetist and singer. His style was heavily influenced by Bix Beiderbecke and changed little over the course of his life. Like many great jazzmen, Sterling's career was ruined and cut short by his addiction to alcohol.

Original Crescent City Jazzers – L to R:Felix Guarino, Sterling Bose, 
Johnny Riddick, unknown, unknown, Avery Loposer.

Bose spent part of his youth in New Orleans where he absorbed the city's jazz sounds and played with hometown bands such as trombonist Tom Brown. In 1923 Sterling was in St. Louis where he worked with the Crescent City Jazzers and the Arcadian Serenaders at St. Louis' Arcadia Ballroom. He made his first recordings with the Serenaders in late 1924. The group has a similar sound to early jazz bands such as the Wolverines and New Orleans Rhythm Kings. Sterlings' style is influenced by Bix Beiderbecke but also has a bit of the "sock" style of early trumpeters Paul Mares and Phil Napolean, a driving rhythmic type of playing.


Here's a nice recording cut by a wonderful, though largely forgotten, combo; The Arcadian Serenaders. The record was cut during Okeh's fourth trip to St. Louis in October of 1925,

Sterling "Bozo" Bose, c / Avery Loposer, tb / Cliff Holmon, cl, as / Johnny Riddick, p / Bob Marvin, bj, gtr / Felix Guarino, d. 
This particular session is highly significant in jazz history because it was recorded during the same time the band played on an opposite stage from the Frankie Trumbauer Orchestra when it was headlining the Arcadia Ballroom. The Trumbauer band included in its ranks clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, and cornettist Bix Beiderbecke. Beiderbecke roomed with cornettist Sterling Bose, the cornet player on Co-Ed, and the Bixian influence on the young horn player is heard clearly in his easygoing style.

Bose played with Jean Goldkette's Orchestra in 1927-28 after the departure of Beiderbecke. Following this he worked in the house band at radio station WGN in Chicago before joining Ben Pollack from 1930 to 1933. Sterling was quite a character. Whilst with Pollack, Stirling and Jack Teagarden enjoyed many crazy adventures together. They both shared a love for liquid refreshment and used this to enhance such pursuits as midnight fishing trips and flying lessons! Bose was a fine reader and soloist but his penchant for barleycorn caused him to pass out on the bandstand on numerous occasions! After Pollack he worked with Eddie Sheasby in Chicago, and moved to New York City in 1933.

Bose (top right) with Bob Crosby's Orchestra

He had many gigs in New York in the 1930s and 1940s, including time with Joe Haymes (1934–35) and Tommy Dorsey (1935), Ray Noble (1936), Benny Goodman (1936), Lana Webster, Glenn Miller (1937), Bob Crosby (1937–39), Bobby Hackett (1939), Bob Zurke, Jack Teagarden, Bud Freeman (1942), George Brunies, Bobby Sherwood (1943), Miff Mole, Art Hodes (1944).

One of his last recordings was on an Eddie Condon Town Hall concert during the summer of '44. 

Sterling is heard on a driving version of Jazz Me Blues in the company of PeeWee Russell, Benny Morton, Gene Schroeder and Ernie Caceres. His lead work and solo are of the usual high order.

Bose had a short stint with Horace Heidt in August 1944 then began a long period of free lancing in Chicago, New York and Mobile before making his home base in St. Petersburg, Florida.(He had a few stints with Tiny Hill's band during this time). From 1950-7 he led a band at the Soreno Lounge in St. Pete. 

Sterling's brother Neil had committed suicide some years earlier and after years of alcoholism and ill health he shot himself in June of 1958.   (Edited from Wikipedia & Pete Kelly's Blog)

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Val Rosing born 21 February 1910

Valerian Rosing (1910–1969), also known after 1938 as Gilbert Russell, was a British dance band singer who had a light baritone voice, with a pronounced vibrato, best known as the vocalist with the BBC Dance Orchestra directed by Henry Hall.

Rosing was the son of Russian tenor Vladimir Rosing and English singer Marie Falle. He was born 21 February, 1910 in Amerley, London and educated at Westminister School and Pembroke College, Oxford. Atone time Val thought of becoming a lawyer, but while on a visit to America where his father was directing an opera company, he decided that he preferred the footlights. For some time before becoming a band singer, he toured the music halls with his own act playing various musical instruments.


Rosing sang on the original BBC recording of Teddy Bears' Picnic as well as In a Little Gypsy Tea Room. He also sang on the Ray Noble Orchestra's version of Try a Little Tenderness, the first recording of this well-covered song. Rosing recorded more than 
one hundred sides with various English bands, including Spike 
Hughes and His Decca-Dents, the Jack Payne Orchestra, Jack  Orchestra, Rosing's own Radio Rhythm Rascals and a larger group called his Swing Stars, which also included two guitarists.

In 1938, Rosing moved to America at the urging of Louis B. Mayer, who renamed him "Gilbert Russell", with hopes of making Rosing the "English Bing Crosby". His years at MGM were uneventful and, after his stint with the studio, Rosing sang and acted in musicals and light operas around the country. Making the transition from pop to "legitimate" singer, Rosing legally changed his name to Gilbert Russell and sang in the Chicago Theatre of the Air, the NY Opera Company, and the San Francisco Opera.

In the 1960s, Rosing worked as one of Hollywood's top vocal coaches. Among his pupils were Shirley Jones, George Chakiris, Natalie Wood, Celeste Holm, Peter Falk and Beau Bridges.

Rosing was married three times. The first, in 1932, was to English actress Meriel Carrington. They had a daughter, the artist Anna Edouard. His second marriage was in 1953 to Marilyn Pendry, a dancer in movies such as White Christmas and An American in Paris. They had one daughter, Claudia Russell, before divorcing. Rosing's third marriage was in 1961 to June Baum, a singer and actress.

Lobby card for the 1939 film, "Bridal Suite". Val aka Gilbert Russell 
(center) is pictured here as the bridegroom.

Though it's not uncommon for artists to change their names and move across seas, the way in which Rosing became another person is striking. Gilbert Russell left Val Rosing behind, erased any memory of his existence and never shared any of his memories with his family. It was a complete change of who he was and what people knew him for. His reasons remain a mystery, even to his own daughter.

Rosing died of cancer in 1969 at the age of 59 and is buried at Eden Cemetery in Los Angeles.

(Edited mainly from Wikipedia)

Val actually sang 'Leaning on a Lamp-Post' before George Formby did - about fifteen minutes before, in the Formby film 'Feather Your Nest' (1937).

Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Mervin Shiner born 20 February 1921

Mervin James Shiner (February 20th, 1921 (Bethlehem, Pennsylvania) is a Country singer and guitar player (mostly Honky-Tonk style). Like so many talented country performers, Shiner never got the breaks to make the big time.

Martin guitars have held a special place in Merv's heart ever since his father bought him his first one in 1937. What a sacrifice it was in the middle of the Depression for Merv's father to purchase his 16-year-old son a Martin guitar for $37.50 so he could pursue his dreams of being a musician. He and his mom began singing on the radio every Sunday night out of WEST in Easton. The duo known as "Mervin Shiner and his Mother" sang country and gospel songs for the program "Western Roundup." The mother and son duo soon gained widespread popularity in Pennsyvania .

For a period during high school, Mervin hitchhiked to Easton once a week to perform an additional 15-minute program by himself. Back then, country was considered 'hick' and known as hillbilly music. Following his high school graduation Mervin headed for Hollywood, intent upon continuing his career in the entertainment world. He sang and played in several shows then moved back east where he remained busy singing weekly radio spots on WEST and WSAN in Allentown. He even became a part of a local cowboy band, the Circle J. Range Riders from Quakertown. Mervin 
recalled. The Range Riders played with Roy Rogers and was the Dorney Park house band.

After a successful audition in 1949, Mervin and his mother sang on a television program called the "Hometown Frolic" out of WATV in Newark, N.J. As a result Mervin came to the attention of Vaughn Horton, a famous songwriter, who helped the young singer secure a Decca recording contract. His songs made the Top 10, including "Why Don't You Haul Off and Love Me," "Little Liza Lou," "Anticipation Blues," "An Old Christmas Card," "I Overlooked an Orchid" and "If You've Got the Money, I've Got the Time." Some fans called him "the singer with a tear in his voice," perhaps a trait he gained from his mother's advice that he should always, "Sing the way the song makes you feel."


But it was the children’s song “Peter Cottontail” that really opened all the doors for Mervin. "Peter Cottontail" was hoppin' on the airwaves by Easter 1950 and Mervin soon was singing the Opry with Hank Williams and Minnie Pearl and went on to sing with or 
write songs for Dolly Parton and Charlie Pride.

After recording "Cottontail," Shiner went on to become immensely popular below the Mason-Dixon line as a standard on the Nashville circuit. Much of his career was spent touring the United States and living in Nashville. Shiner has recorded with the famous gospel quartet, the Jordanaires, and was even the star attraction of the Camel Caravan. He recorded for various labeles throughout his career including Coral, RCA Victor, Coffee House, MGM, Little Darlin' and Cetron and used the name Mervin, Merv or Murv Shiner.

During the 70’s Shiner lived in Tampa, Florida and worked booking bands until he "retired". He stopped performing regularly in 2004 but during 2014 at the age of 93 he performed most of his favourite songs at a Homecoming Anniversary concert in Bethlehem captivating his audience with precious memories and anecdotal stories which he weaved throughout his 18-song set. With a musical career that has spanned more than seven decades, much of it spent in Nashville, he had lots to draw from.

As of 2016 Shiner was still singing and playing his Martin Guitar.

(Edited from Country Picker & Decca album liner notes)

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Johnny Dunn born 19 February 1897

Johnny Dunn (February 19, 1897 – August 20, 1937) was an American traditional jazz trumpeter and vaudeville performer.

Before Louis Armstrong arrived in New York in 1924, Johnny Dunn was considered the top cornetist in the city. His staccato style, double-time effects and utilization of wah-wah mutes gave him notoriety for a time.

Dunn had attended Fisk University in Nashville and had a solo act in Memphis before being discovered by W.C. Handy. He joined Handy's band in 1917 and during the next three years became known for his feature on "Sergeant Dunn's Bugle Call Blues" (which later became the basis for "Bugle Call Rag"). A pioneer with plunger mutes, Dunn's double-time breaks, with their inflexible and jerky rhythms, had a direct link to military bands.

He recorded with Mamie Smith in 1920-1921, leaving in the latter year to lead his own Original Jazz Hounds. From 1921-1923, the cornetist recorded frequently, both with his own group and backing singer Edith Wilson.

He joined Will Vodery's Plantation Orchestra in 1922, visiting Europe with the revue Dover to Dixie the following year. However, the Chicago musicians were much farther advanced than Dunn and once Louis Armstrong began influencing brassmen with his swinging, legato solos for Fletcher Henderson, Dunn was instantly out of date.


After visiting Europe again (this time with the Blackbirds of 1926 show), Dunn briefly led his own big band and then in 1928 made his finest recordings, four numbers with Jelly Roll Morton and two with both James P. Johnson and Fats Waller on pianos.

Strangely enough, he never recorded again, moving permanently to Europe, where he played with Noble Sissle in Paris, worked with his own group (the New Yorkers) mostly in Holland, and was largely forgotten before his early death. Dunn died of tuberculosis aged 40 in Paris, France in August 1937

Dunn was among the best of the musicians playing in the immediate pre-jazz years and he influenced many of his contemporaries. Overshadowed though he was by the arrival of Louis Armstrong, Dunn was still an able and gifted player, showing subtle power and using complex patterns that never descended into mere showmanship. His stylistic roots became outmoded during the 30s but his decision to remain in Europe and his early death meant that his reputation never suffered, except, perhaps, by neglect, and today he can be recognized as having been a highly accomplished trumpeter.

(Edited from Wikipedia All About Jazz & AllMusic)

Alto saxophonist Lex van Spall and drummer Bobby 't Sas led a band called "The Chocolate Kiddies" in Holland in the early 1930's. For this film they had guest artists Johnny Dunn, the famous American trumpeter and trombonist Jake Green who also recorded with Bessie Smith. The tenor saxophonist is Jascha Trabsky who later had a famous record shop in The Hague.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Little Caesar born 18 February 1928

Little Caesar (February 18, 1928 *– June 12, 1994*) was an African American Blues and R&B singer and actor who is always confused with the entirely different guy who was the lead singer of Little Caesar & the Romans, the doo wop group who had a 1961 hit with "Those Oldies But Goodies."

Harry 'Little' Caesar was born into a family of steelworkers in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His mother died when he was only nine months old, leaving his father to care for two older brothers and a sister. When he was three years old, his family moved to Youngstown, Ohio, and it was here that the young Harry grew up. To help his family, Harry kept odd jobs in construction and the steel mill throughout his teens.

At 13 “Little Caesar” worked at a railroad company while attending Covington Grade school. During his High School days he worked evenings shining shoes to help his father. He also began singing at the Tabernacle Baptist Church of Youngstown. It was around this time he joined the local Wolf Gang and became known as Kid Wolf, but before he could get into too much trouble he had to enlist.   
In the 40’s he formed a gospel group during his hitch in the Army. After his discharge in May 1950 he moved to Oakland, California, where joined the Calvary Gospel Quartet which proved to be the beginning of his professional music career.

He began working with the Peter Rabbit Trio and Que Martyn. He scored an R&B hit in 1952 for Los Angeles entrepreneur John Dolphin's Recorded in Hollywood label with the novelty "Goodbye Baby."  Little Caesar had a bent for slightly morbid, even slightly ghoulish material. Though other 
records tend not to be as oddball, there are more frequent than usual
allusions to ghosts, death, violence, and depression than is customary for the genre.

Little Caesar might not have been nearly as outrageous in these departments as Screamin' Jay Hawkins was, but he nonetheless qualifies as a vague ancestor of sorts to that rock & roll madman, his more eccentric qualities amplified by his rather gloomy vocal delivery and the eerie lo-fi production of some of his records. For that reason, he is a little more interesting than the usual obscure '50s R&B vocalist of average talents, though he did his share of fairly straightforward jump blues and ballads, too.


Although most of his records were cut in the early 50's (usually for the Recorded in Hollywood label), He also recorded four as a member of the Bay Area R&B vocal group the Turbans, as well as seven in 1960 for the Downey label in a notably deepened, more weather-beaten vocal timbre and more pronounced rock & roll-influenced feel.

His career out of music was if anything, more interesting than his career in music. His acting debut was in 1969 on an episode of Diahann Carroll's TV series JULIA, as Herb the Handy(man). 
He became known for his low, gravelly voice and under-his-breath delivery. He also appeared in many small rolls on TV series during the 70's & 80's including LA Law, MacGyver, Hill Street Blues, Good Times, Room 222, and many others. He appeared in many films notably A Few Good Men (1992), The Longest Yard (1974) and Bird on a Wire (1990).

He died age 66, on June 12, 1994 in Los Angeles County, California, due to complications from diabetes. 

(Edited from Ace Records, Wikipedia, AllMusic,  IMDb.) 

*Some sources also give birth date as 28th and day of death as 14th