Saturday, November 19, 2016

RIP Sharon Jones

Sharon Jones in full flight. Photo: Matthew Allen

Very sad news, Miss Sharon Jones has passed away, aged 60. I had the pleasure of meeting her at Womad, when she and the Dapkings performed there in 2008, their first time here. Got to tell her how much I loved her music. RIP

From Daptone:

May 4, 1956 - November 18, 2016

We are deeply saddened to announce that Sharon Jones has passed away after a heroic battle against pancreatic cancer. She was surrounded by her loved ones, including the Dap-Kings.

Thank you for your prayers and thoughts during this difficult time.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following organizations:
- The Lustgarten Foundation
- James Brown Family Foundation
- Little Kids Rock

From the New York Times:

"... Ms. Jones was that rare music star who found fame in middle age, when she was in her 40s.

In addition to working as a correction officer at Rikers Island and an armed guard for Wells Fargo, Ms. Jones, who had grown up singing gospel in church choirs, initially dabbled in professional music as a session singer and the vocalist in a wedding band, Good N Plenty.

After meeting Gabriel Roth, the producer and songwriter also known as Bosco Mann, Ms. Jones made the leap from backup singer to main attraction. Desco Records released her debut 7-inch vinyl single, “Damn It’s Hot,” in 1996. She was 40.

With the encouragement and songwriting of Mr. Roth, who co-founded the Brooklyn soul and funk revival label Daptone Records and serves as the bandleader of the Dap-Kings, Ms. Jones’s full-length debut, “Dap Dippin’ with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings,” came out in 2002. She would go on to release four more studio albums and two compilations on the small label, a point of pride for the fiercely independent Ms. Jones.
With her late start, Ms. Jones recorded and performed at an unrelenting pace, and in the last year and a half of her life she made two albums, opened two national tours for Hall & Oates, was featured in a television commercial for Lincoln (performing the Allman Brothers’ “Midnight Rider”) and starred in “Miss Sharon Jones!,” a documentary about her life.

The film traced her life from the diagnosis of Stage 2 pancreatic cancer in 2013 through her triumphant return to the stage in 2015. Ms. Jones is survived by four siblings, seven nieces and three nephews....

... During her illness, Ms. Jones and the Dap-Kings earned a Grammy nomination in 2015 for best R&B album with “Give the People What They Want.” (“Why is there not a category for soul?” Ms. Jones told Billboard at the time. “That’s my goal. Put me in the right category.”)

ADDED: Gabe Roth spoke to the LA Times about her last days:

Roth said in an interview Saturday, suffered a stroke on Nov. 8 — election night -- as she was watching the returns. He immediately flew to Cooperstown N.Y., where she was in the hospital, and summoned the rest of the band.

“She told the people that were there that Trump gave her the stroke,” said Roth, laughing.

Binky [Griptite, a Dap-Kings member] started to play the guitar and she started humming along. It was kind of remarkable. She was just moaning at first, and then she was moaning in tune and then she started following chord changes and pretty soon she was humming "His Eye on the Sparrow" with him.

We all just kept playing and singing with her, and little by little over the next couple of days she actually started moving her mouth and started singing lyrics. She just wanted to sing these gospel songs.

Every time we'd stop, she’d just keep singing -- “Amazing Grace” and “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” “This Little Light of Mine.” We just stayed with her and sang with her and played music with her.

She still couldn't talk, and couldn't answer questions, but that part of her that's singing, that part of her that made music and that loved music and that was musical just didn't want to go. It was just so strong."

No comments: