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WYEP Remembers: Artists we lost in Jan. & Feb. 2024

WYEP pays tribute to the artists we lost in the first months of 2024.

January 2

Chris Karrer | 76
Multi-instrumentalist, composer, and experimental music pioneer who founded the influential German rock bands Amon Düül and Amon Düül II

January 4

David Soul | 80
Actor and singer, best known for his role on "Starsky & Hutch," who also achieved #1 song in 1977 with "Don't Give Up on Us."

January 5

Del Palmer | 71
Longtime musical collaborator, sound engineer, and partner of Kate Bush, from the late 1970s through the early 1990s.

Larry Collins | 79
Rockabilly artist known for his fast guitar playing who came to prominence as a child prodigy, playing in The Collins Kids with his sister Lorrie. Later he wrote and produced hits for country music stars, including the 1972 Tanya Tucker hit "Delta Dawn."

January 6

Iasos | 77
Pioneer of new age music, releasing one of the first albums of the genre, "Inter-Dimensional Music," in 1975.

January 11

Annie Nightingale | 83
Radio DJ and journalist who was the first female host on BBC Radio 1 in 1970, and who would become the station's longest-serving broadcaster. Also the first female host of the influential BBC musical variety TV show "The Old Grey Whistle Test."

January 13

Jo-El Sonnier | 77
Singer, songwriter and accordion player who sparked a revival of Cajun music with his hit country covers of “Tear-Stained Letter” and “Rainin’ in My Heart" in the 1980s, and who also recorded with Mark Knopfler and Elvis Costello.

January 19

Mary Weiss | 75
Influential lead singer of the 1960s vocal group The Shangri-Las, whose hits included "Leader of the Pack," "Give Him a Great Big Kiss," and "Remember (Walking In the Sand)."

Marlena Shaw | 81
Soul singer, known for her hits in the 1960s and '70s, including “California Soul” and “Woman of the Ghetto,” whose music has also been frequently sampled by hip hop artists.

January 23

Frank Farian | 82
Music producer and founder behind the disco group Boney M, whose hits include "Daddy Cool" and "Rasputin," as well as the creator of the controversial duo Milli Vanilli.

Melanie Safka | 76
Folk singer who made her debut at Woodstock in 1969, and went on to have hits in the early 1970s, including “Brand New Key” and “Lay Down (Candles in the Rain)."

January 31

Paul Brett | 76
Folk and rock guitarist who played with many British groups and artists including the Strawbs, The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, Roy Harper, Al Stewart, and Lonnie Donegan.

February 2

Wayne Kramer | 75
Lead guitarist of the influential proto-punk band MC5, which he co-founded in the 1960s.

Derrick McIntyre | 66
Bassist who was formerly part of the 1990s jazz rock band Jamiroquai.

February 3

Aston “Family Man” Barrett | 77
Bassist and bandleader of Bob Marley & The Wailers in the 1970s, who also played in Lee “Scratch” Perry’s band The Upsetters.

February 5

Toby Keith | 62
Country music singer, songwriter, and producer, best known for his country hits in the 1990s, including "How Do You Like Me Now?!" and "Should've Been a Cowboy."

February 7

Mojo Nixon | 66
Musician, actor, and DJ known for his comedic novelty songs in the 1980s and 1990s, including “Elvis Is Everywhere” and "Don Henley Must Die."

Henry Farmbrough | 85
Singer and last original member of vocal group the Spinners, who helped popularize the "Philly Soul" sound in the 1970s.
*Inductee, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

February 7

Gylan Kain | 81
Spoken-word artist better known as "Kain the Poet," who co-founded the influential collective the Last Poets in the late 1960s and paved the way for hip-hop.

February 9

Damo Suzuki | 74
Lead vocalist of the pioneering German experimental rock group Can from 1970 to 1973, recording on the albums "Tago Mago," "Ege Bamyası," and "Future Days."

Jimmy Van Eaton | 86
Early rock & roll drummer who recorded as a core session musician at Sun Records in the 1950s, playing with pioneering rockabilly artists like Jerry Lee Lewis and Billy Lee Riley

February 11

Randy Sparks | 90
Folk musician and songwriter who played an influential role in the 1960s folk revival, leading popular ensembles like the New Christy Minstrels and the Back Porch Majority, and nurturing the careers of future stars including Kenny Rogers, John Denver, and Gene Clark.

February 16

Dex Romweber | 57
Rockabilly and roots rock musician who played in the Flat Duo Jets and the Dex Romweber Duo, in addition to his solo career.

February 19

Bobby Tench | 79
Singer and guitarist best known for replacing Rod Stewart in the Jeff Beck Group, and who later played with Ginger Baker, Van Morrison, Freddie King, and Humble Pie.

February 22

Veronica "Roni" Stoneman | 85
Bluegrass banjo player and comedian, known for her role as a cast member on the country music variety show "Hee Haw." Also, a member of the Stoneman Family, one of the most successful acts in early country music.

February 25

Peter “Peetah” Morgan | 46
Reggae musician who founded and fronted the Grammy-winning group Morgan Heritage

Gretchen Unico joined WYEP in January 2022, but her love for music blossomed at the age of 14 when she discovered The Monkees. Since then, she has been captivated by the unique sounds of the ’60s and ’70s eras. Her fascination with the diverse genres of those decades is fueled by the interesting stories behind the evolution of each music scene. Gretchen’s passion for music extends to vinyl records, of which she started collecting in high school. She relishes the experience of playing vintage albums on her turntable, feeling connected to the history and memories embedded in each record. Through her love for music, Gretchen has opened herself up to a world full of endless possibilities, and she looks forward to discovering more hidden gems from the past.