RIP – DANNY DEGENNARO


EXPIRED: 12/28/11  – Danny DeGennaro, 56, also known as Danny Rio, seemed to have returned to his Bucks County, Pennsylvania, home only to confront a burglar.  He was shot and left for dead.

DeGennaro, who fronted the Philly-based Danny DeGennaro Band, is best known for being a guitarist and singer for Kingfish, a band that included former Grateful Dead guitarist Bob Weir among its early members. Although the two were never in the band at the same time, they certainly shared an audience and gave DeGennaro great networking opportunities he used throughout his career.

That career included performing with Bo Diddley, Billy Squier, Clarence Clemons and some of Philadelphia’s great blues artists including T.J. Tindall and Parliament Funkadelic’s Michael Hampton.

DeGennaro last played with Kingfish in 2010 on their Live and Kicking tour.

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RIP – BOBBY HEBB


EXPIRED: 08/03/10 – Bobby Hebb, 72, was raised by blind parents near Nashville’s Music Row, so with parents who were focused on sound it was only natural that he would gravitate to the sounds of the area.

Early on he began performing as a street musician, singing, tap dancing, and playing spoons. His talents got him on a local Nashville TV show, which caught the eye of country star and music impresario Roy Acuff, who asked Hebb to join the house-band at Nashville’s Grand Old Opry.

He accepted, and this being the 50’s, made history. Hebb became the first black performer on stage at the famed theatre.

This “celebrity” or “infamy” – whichever way you look at it – got him a lot of attention, and eventually Hebb was singing back-up for many of rock’s early black stars, including Bo Diddley on his recording of “Diddley Daddy.” In 1960 he got in front of the mike on his own and recorded a version of Acuff’s hit “Night Train To Memphis” scoring a minor hit and raising his stature a wee bit.

Things were looking up for Hebb until things started looking down. On the day following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Hebb’s brother, Harold, was stabbed to death in a fight in a Nashville club. He was down, and while most people grieved and found no solace, Hebb looked up. He wrote “Sunny.”

“Sunny, yesterday my life was filled with rain / Sunny, you smiled at me and really eased the pain”

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