Obituaries, May well 11, 2023 | FYIMusicNews

Brian McKenna, an acclaimed Montreal-born documentary filmmaker and founding producer of CBC’s The Fifth Estate, died on May well 5, at age 77, after a brief illness. 

McKenna’s career commenced when he was editor-in-main of his school newspaper, Loyola Information before he joined the Montreal Star and later CBC.

The CBC studies that “He was very best known for the award-successful series The Valour and the Horror. The a few-section series examining Canadian involvement in 3 battles throughout the 2nd World War was the subject matter of controversy immediately after its release and led to a five-7 days investigation by the Senate, a CRTC hearing, a $500 million lawsuit and a CBC ombudsman’s report.

McKenna’s most counseled perform delved deep into Canada’s purpose in many wars over the very last few centuries — having directed around 20 movies on the issue — but he is also remembered for local Montreal news like the controversy bordering the 1976 development of the Olympic Stadium.”

He also co-authored an unauthorized, bestselling biography of previous Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau with his initial spouse Susan Purcell in 1980.

In his occupation at the Fifth Estate, McKenna designed many documentaries on John F. Kennedy, such as the 1983 episode Who Killed JFK? that drew additional than 3 million viewers – – the highest rankings in Fifth Estate record. 

The filmmaker been given 40 award nominations in Canada and internationally and won the 1993 Gordon Sinclair Award For Broadcast Journalism. He received the Governor General’s Record Award for Well-known Media in 2007 for “his remarkable capacity to tackle the troubles of speaking heritage by a fashionable media with originality, willpower, and a deep regard for people whose stories he tells.”

McKenna was also an advocate for the freedom of the press and in opposition to the kidnapping of journalists and co-founded a team that later became the Canadian Journalists for Free Expression (CJFE).  Source: CBC Information


Soňa Červená, a Czech opera singer known for enjoying Carmen and far more than 110 roles in San Francisco and other opera homes driving the Iron Curtain, died on May 7, at age 97. 

Červená was as a visitor singer at the Unter den Linden Opera and the Berlin State Opera when she emigrated to West Berlin in 1962 by means of the final opened crossing in the recently built Berlin Wall. The Iron Curtain saved her outside the house her place for 30 several years. In the West, Červená was centered at the Frankfurt Opera, but she grew to become regarded for her guest performances in numerous opera homes in Europe and the US and festivals at Bayreuth, Glyndebourne and numerous other individuals.

She performed with conductors these types of as Rafael Kubelik, Herbert von Karajan, Pierre Boulez, Charles Mackerras and Francesco Molinari Pradelli. In 1962, she started out her 11-12 months regular cooperation with the San Francisco Opera in the title role of Georges Bizet’s Carmen, her trademark character. 

After she retired from opera, she moved to the Thalia Theater in Hamburg, Germany, in which she worked with U.S. director Robert Wilson as an actress, and then starred in Wilson’s productions at the National Theater in Prague.  Amid her awards, she been given the Gold Medal in the Arts from the John F. Kennedy Middle in Washington in 2013 and received a Medal of Merits, a Czech state decoration the identical yr.

Resource: AP

Frank Kozik, an American artist who developed posters and album addresses for numerous bands, died on May well 6, at age 61. No trigger of dying has been noted.

His album addresses include things like Queens of the Stone Age’s self-titled album, Melvins’ Houdini, and the Offspring’s Americana. Bands which includes Nirvana, Sonic Youth, the White Stripes, Butthole Surfers, Toronto group Rusty, and Beastie Boys are amid the numerous artists who commissioned tour posters. 

Pitchfork reports that “Kozik began undertaking posters although living in Austin in the early ’80s right after having focus from bands for his perform as portion of the mail art community. He step by step bought function for corporate advert campaigns, participated in gallery displays, and ultimately started off his label Man’s Ruin Documents. Man’s Wreck launched songs by Kyuss, Significant on Fireplace, Melvins, and much more. He was the creative director of Kidrobot, the restricted version art toy company.”

He attributed the aesthetic of his most famous do the job to his “dark perception of humour” and expanding up in punk rock. 

Resources: Pitchfork

Rob Laakso, a longtime guitarist and multi-instrumentalist in Kurt Vile & The Violators and Swirlies, died last week at age 44 from cholangiocarcinoma—a uncommon form of bile duct most cancers.  Laakso’s spouse Mamie-Claire Cornelius verified her husband’s demise on May 6.

In a submit shared on Instagram, Vile remembered Laakso, thanking good friends and lovers for their have eulogies and recollections of the musician. “Tributes are by no means easy but this one is just far too near to the bone I guess. He was silent but there was so considerably to him. Musical genius. Recording whizz. Best husband and father.”

Vile also questioned his followers to donate money to assist assistance Laakso’s family members and went on to recount recollections of actively playing and co-making with Laakso in the studio about the yrs.  Laakso executed many instruments throughout Kurt Vile’s solo work and his information with the Violators. His previous studio document with Vile was in 2022 (enjoy my moves). He also regularly toured with Vile and joined in on a 2019 NPR Small Desk Live performance session.

Sources: Pitchfork, Rolling Stone, Tunes Radar at?v=T0pJICOxK0Y

Linda Lewis (Born Linda Ann Fredericks ), a British singer and songwriter acknowledged for her five-octave vocal range and function as a backing singer for the likes of David Bowie, Rod Stewart and Yusuf Islam, died on May perhaps 3, at the age of 72. Her sister Dee Lewis Clay shared the information on social media. No induce of death was provided.

Lewis relished both of those solo accomplishment in the 1970s and a long job of supplying backing vocals for artists including David Bowie and Rod Stewart.

Born in London, she dabbled in acting, appearing as a screaming enthusiast in the first Beatles movie A Tricky Day’s Night time in 1964. A self-taught guitarist and keyboard participant, she appeared at the very first Glastonbury competition in 1970 and experienced 4 leading-40 hits all through the up coming decade – the to start with coming with Rock-a-Doodle-Doo which arrived at No 15 in the British isles in 1973.

Her greatest strike arrived with It’s In His Kiss – a cover of a 1963 tune afterwards built renowned by Cher as The Shoop Shoop Song.

She dated Cat Stevens and afterwards was married to musician Jim Cregan in 1977 for a brief time. In 2004, she married new music agent Neil Warnock, who survives her.

Her credits as a backing vocalist bundled Bowie (for his Aladdin Sane album), Stewart, Steve Harley and Cockney Rebel, Rick Wakeman, Joan Armatrading and Jamiroquai.

Her song Outdated Smokey was sampled by rapper Prevalent in his 2005 hit Go!, which was made by Kanye West. She also collaborated with Basement Jaxx on the keep track of Near Your Eyes. Her last track, Earthling, a collaboration with British isles band the Paracosmos, was launched in March.

Resources: The Guardian, LA Instances

Irv Lichtman, for decades a single of Billboard’s most revered and beloved editors and columnists, died on Could 2, at age 87.

Billboard termed him “an advocate for songwriters who chiselled out a niche as the go-to professional in new music publishing.”

Born in the Bronx, Lichtman worked at Cashbox suitable out of college, from 1956 right until 1975. He went on to work for NY Times New music Publishing for around a yr, before becoming a member of Audio Fidelity Records. From there, Lichtman produced the leap to Billboard, signing up for the new music trade in late 1978. 

Former government editor Ken Schlager remembers Lichtman as a “genuinely heat and funny guy,” whose columns Inside of Keep track of and Words and phrases & Songs were a “must-read.” Canadian music journalist Larry LeBlanc, now a senior writer at CelebrityAccess, told Billboard that “I was so blessed when I joined Billboard in 1991 because Irv was my quick editor in New York that I claimed to for about 4 many years. Irv manufactured me come to feel at house and gently guided me in the Billboard way of reporting music news. He was generally sharp, perceptive, and heat. Damn, this breaks my heart.”

Examine far more in this Billboard obituary.

Chris Strachwitz, Arhoolie Records founder and a focused musicologist, died on May possibly 5, of complications from congestive heart failure, at age 91.

Just hours before, following the 2023 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival saluted his perform in helping introduce Cajun and zydeco songs to a greater viewers, and an show within the Good Grounds grandstand showcased his photographs.

Commencing in 1960, Strachwitz introduced much more than 400 albums on Arhoolie, lots of of them by Louisiana roots new music artists. He was instrumental in discovering zydeco king Clifton Chenier, as properly as bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins.

Born in Germany, Strachwitz moved to the United States and turned his love of standard, regional music and the musicians who make it into a lifelong job and passion.

His passions ranged from Cajun and zydeco to Tex-Mex norteño to Mississippi delta nation blues. In addition to Clifton Chenier, he served nurture the occupations of these kinds of south Louisiana artists as Beausoleil avec Michael Doucet and Marc and Ann Savoy. He and Les Blank developed two critical documentaries of classic audio: Chulas Fronteras, a 1975 film about the Mexican-American new music of Texas, and J’ai Été Au Bal, a 1989 film about the Cajun and Creole music of southwest Louisiana.

The Nationwide Endowment for the Arts awarded him a Countrywide Heritage Fellowship in 2000. The Recording Academy gave him its Trustees Award in 2016.

“No a person has meant more to the preservation and appreciation of Americana roots tunes than Chris Strachwitz,” Bonnie Raitt wrote in “Arhoolie Records’ Down Property Tunes: The Photographs and Stories of Chris Strachwitz, a e-book to be posted by Chronicle Textbooks this October.

Smithsonian Folkways obtained the Arhoolie catalogue in 2016. The Arhoolie Basis, the nonprofit Strachwitz started in 1995, will continue on its do the job of preserving and documenting regular tunes.

In a Facebook write-up, Toronto creator and tunes journalist Nicholas Jennings pointed out that “along with blues and zydeco, Strachwitz would history Cajun, all fashion of Mexican American tunes, New Orleans jazz and brass bands, klezmer, polka, hillbilly, gospel, street and outsider musicians, free of charge jazz, bluegrass, sacred steel and additional. Arhoolie’s catalogue is a ponder to behold.”

Resources:, Offbeat, Tim Perlich, Nicholas Jennings, The Guardian