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WYEP Remembers: Artists We Lost in March & April 2024


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

March 2

Jim Beard | 63
Jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and producer who toured with Steely Dan since 2008 and recorded with artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Al Jarreau, Meshell Ndegeocello and Steve Vai.

W.C. Clark | 84
Highly influential blues musician known as the "Godfather of Austin Blues," who formed the W. C. Clark Blues Revue and played venues with artists including James Brown, B.B. King, Albert King, Freddy King, Sam and Dave, Elvin Bishop and Bobby Blue Bland.

March 3

Brit Turner | 57
Co-founder and drummer of the southern rock band Blackberry Smoke, the first unsigned artists to top the Billboard Country Albums chart with their 2015 record "Holding All The Roses."

March 4

B.B. Seaton | 79
Reggae singer, songwriter, and record producer who was a member of The Gaylads, The Astronauts, Conscious Minds, and the Messengers.

Anthony "Baby Gap" Walker | 60
Singer, dancer, songwriter, choreographer and member of the Gap Band, who also worked on the side project Billy & Baby Gap, and collaborated with Rick James and George Clinton.

March 7

Steve Lawrence | 88
Singer and actor, best known for performing with his wife Eydie Gormé, starting on "Tonight Starring Steve Allen" in 1954. He also played the character Maury Sline in the 1980 film "The Blues Brothers."

March 10

Paul Nelson
Grammy award-winning blues and rock guitarist, record producer, and songwriter, who played and recorded with artists such as Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, Johnny Winter, and members of the Allman Brothers Band.

T.M. Stevens | 72
Bassist who sometimes went by the name "Shaka Zulu" and was a member of Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul, the band Vai with Steve Vai, and the Pretenders. Also played with other artists including Joe Cocker, Billy Joel, Nona Hendryx, Cyndi Lauper, and Tina Turner.

Karl Wallinger | 66
Multi-instrumentalist who played in the Waterboys before becoming the founder, songwriter, and frontman of World Party and writing the band's Top 40 hit "Ship of Fools."

March 11

Eric Carmen | 74
Lead singer and founding member of the Raspberries, who also found success as a songwriter and solo artist with hits including "All By Myself" and "Hungry Eyes."

Lichelle "Bo$$" Laws | 54
Pioneering gangsta rap artist who was one of the first women rappers signed to Def Jam Records.

March 14

Angela McCluskey | 64
Singer and frontwoman for 1990s alternative band Wild Colonials, who also recorded vocals for songs used in various TV shows, movies, and commercials.

March 17

Sandra Crouch | 81
Grammy award-winning gospel singer and percussionist and twin sister of prominent gospel musician Andrae Crouch. Also played tambourine on various Motown songs, including the Jackson 5 hits "I Want You Back" and "ABC."

Cola Boyy | 34
Singer, multi-instrumentalist, and disability rights activist, who collaborated with artists including the Avalanches and MGMT.

Steve Harley | 73
Singer, songwriter, and frontman of the glam rock band Cockney Rebel, best known for the song "Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me)."

March 18

Kevin Toney | 70
Pianist, arranger, producer, conductor, and composer, formerly of the R&B, jazz, and funk group the Blackbyrds, who also worked with a wide range of artists throughout his career.

March 25

Chris Cross | 71
Founding member and bassist in the new wave band Ultravox, who co-wrote the band's biggest hit "Vienna.”

March 29

Gerry Conway | 76
Folk rock drummer and percussionist who backed Cat Stevens, Jethro Tull, and Fairport Convention.

April 1

Michael Ward | 57
Founding member and guitarist of the alternative rock band School Of Fish, who later joined the Wallflowers, playing on their biggest, Grammy-winning hit "One Headlight." Also played with Ben Harper's Innocent Criminals and Gogol Bordello.

April 4

Keith LeBlanc | 69
Drummer and producer best known for his work on classic hip-hop, songs with Grandmaster Flash and the Sugarhill Gang. Also worked on recordings for a wide range of artists, including Peter Gabriel, The Cure, R.E.M., Ministry, and Nine Inch Nails.

Graeme Naysmith | 57
Guitarist and founding member of the 1990s alternative band Pale Saints.

April 7

Clarence "Frogman" Henry | 87
R&B singer and pianist, best known for his early rock & roll hits, "Ain't Got No Home" and "(I Don't Know Why) But I Do."

April 13

Rico Wade | 52
Hip-hop producer and member of the production and songwriting trio Organized Noize, who shaped the sound of Southern rap in the 1990s, working with Outkast and Goodie Mob, and also produced other hits including TLC’s “Waterfalls" and En Vogue’s “Don't Let Go (Love)."

April 14

Ben Eldridge | 85
Banjo player and founding member of bluegrass band The Seldom Scene, who also played on recordings for Linda Ronstadt, and was the father of Chris Eldridge of the Punch Brothers.

April 18

Dickey Betts | 80
Singer, songwriter, guitarist, and founding member of the Allman Brothers Band, who wrote and sang the band's biggest hit "Ramblin' Man" and composed the instrumental "Jessica." He was known for his guitar duets with Duane Allman and later assumed lead guitar after Allman's death.

April 24

Mike Pinder | 82
Co-founder and keyboardist of the Moody Blues, who was the last surviving original member, and was in large part responsible for pushing the band towards progressive rock in the late 1960s with the acclaimed albums "Days of Future Passed" and "In Search of the Lost Chord," on which he was one of the earliest rock artists to incorporate the Mellotron.
*Inductee, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

April 26

Frank Wakefield | 89
Bluegrass mandolin player known for his collaborations wide array of artists, including Red Allen, Jimmy Martin, Don Reno, Jerry Garcia, David Grisman, New Riders of the Purple Sage, the Stanley Brothers, and the Greenbriar Boys.

April 30

Duane Eddy | 86
Influential early rock & roll guitarist, known for his distinctive "twangy" sound, who found success with his instrumental records in the 1950s and early 1960s, including "Rebel Rouser" and "Peter Gunn."
*Inductee, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Read more about the artist we lost in January and February in 2024 here.

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.