Tuesday, 18 April 2017


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Sylvia Moy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sylvia Moy
Birth nameSylvia Rose Moy
BornSeptember 15, 1938
Detroit, Michigan, U.S.
DiedApril 15, 2017 (aged 78)
Dearborn, Michigan, U.S.
GenresSoul music
Occupation(s)Songwriter, record producer
Associated actsStevie Wonder
Sylvia Rose Moy (September 15, 1938 – April 15, 2017) was an American songwriter and record producer, formerly associated with the Motown Records group. The first woman at the Detroit-based music label to write and produce for Motown acts, she is probably best known for her songs written with and for Stevie Wonder.



Life and career[edit]

Born and brought up on the northeast side of Detroit,[1] Moy studied and performed jazz and classical music at Northern High School, before she was seen performing in a club in 1963 by Marvin Gaye and Mickey Stevenson. She was given recording and songwriting contracts by Motown, but was urged to prioritize her songwriting because the company was short of material for its artists.[2][3]
According to Berry Gordy's autobiography To Be Loved, Moy was directly responsible for the label keeping Stevie Wonder. Gordy wrote that, after Stevie's voice began to change as a result of puberty, he was going to drop him from the label. It was then that Moy went to Gordy and asked "if she could come up with a hit for Stevie would he reconsider"; he agreed. Her first writing success came with "Uptight (Everything's Alright)", which she co-wrote with Henry "Hank" Cosby after hearing Wonder improvising on piano. Moy wrote lyrics to the song, which she conveyed to Wonder by singing into his headphones one line ahead as he recorded.[2]
Among the subsequent hit singles Moy wrote and/or produced while at Motown were Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour", "I Was Made to Love Her", and "Never Had a Dream Come True"; and "Honey Chile" and "Love Bug Leave My Heart Alone" by Martha and the Vandellas.[4] She also co-wrote "This Old Heart of Mine (Is Weak for You)" with Holland-Dozier-Holland for the Isley Brothers; and "It Takes Two" with William "Mickey" Stevenson for Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston.[5]
She later wrote theme songs for several television shows, and was involved in writing film music.[1] She was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame alongside fellow Motown songwriter and producer Hank Cosby in 2006.[6][7] She also set up a non-profit group, Center for Creative Communications, working with underprivileged children in Detroit.[2]
Moy died of complications from pneumonia in Dearborn, Michigan, at the age of 78.[2]

Selected songwriting credits[edit]

Monday, 17 April 2017


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Felix Pappalardi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Felix Pappalardi
Background information
Birth nameFelix A. Pappalardi Jr.
BornDecember 30, 1939
Bronx, New York
OriginUnited States
DiedApril 17, 1983 (aged 43)
Manhattan, New York
GenresRockblues rockhard rock
Occupation(s)Music producersongwritervocalistbassist
Years active1963–1982
Associated actsCreamMountain
Notable instruments
Gibson EB-1 violin bass
Felix A. Pappalardi Jr. (December 30, 1939 – April 17, 1983) was an American music producersongwritervocalist, and bassist.



Early life[edit]

Pappalardi was born in The BronxNew York City. A classically trained musician, he graduated from New York City's The High School of Music & Art and attended the University of Michigan.[1]


In 1964 Pappalardi was a member of Max Morath's Original Rag Quartet (ORQ) in their premier engagement at New York's Village Vanguard with several other famous musicians. Along with Felix on guitarrón (Mexican acoustic bass) were pianist/singer Morath, who revived classic ragtime played in the Scott Joplin manner, Barry Kornfeld, a well-known NYC studio folk and jazz guitarist, and Jim Tyler, a famous Baroque and Renaissance lutenist playing four string banjo and mandolin. The ORQ then toured the college and concert circuit during the following year, and opened four engagements with the Dinah Shore show in Las Vegas and elsewhere. Pappalardi studied classical music at the University of Michigan. Upon completing his studies and returning to New York, he was unable to find work and so became part of the Greenwich Village folk-music scene where he made a name for himself as a skilled arranger; he also appeared on Tom Paxton as well as Vince Martin and Fred Neil albums for Elektra Records. From there he moved into record production, initially concentrating on folk and folk-rock acts for artists such as The Youngbloods and Joan Baez.
As a producer, Pappalardi is perhaps best known for his work with Cream, beginning with their second album, Disraeli Gears. Pappalardi has been referred to in various interviews with the members of Cream as "the fourth member of the band" as he generally had a role in arranging their music. He contributed instrumentation for his imaginative studio arrangements and he and his wife, Gail Collins, wrote the Cream hit "Strange Brew" with Eric Clapton. He also produced The Youngbloods' first album.
As a musician, Pappalardi is widely recognized as a bassist, vocalist, and founding member of the American hard rock band/heavy metal forerunner Mountain, a band born out of his working with future bandmate Leslie West's soul-inspired rock and roll band The Vagrants, and producing West's 1969 Mountain solo album. The band's original incarnation actively recorded and toured between 1969 and 1971. Felix produced the band's albums, and co-wrote, and arranged a number of the band's songs with his wife Gail Collins and Leslie West.
The band's signature song, "Mississippi Queen" is still heard regularly on classic rock radio stations. They also had a hit with the song "Nantucket Sleighride" written by Pappalardi and Collins.
Felix generally played Gibson basses live and on Mountain's recordings. He is most often shown with an EB-1 but there are photographs of him playing an EB-0 live. He was known for playing a Gibson EB-1 violin bass through a set of Sunn amplifiers that, he claimed, once belonged to Jimi Hendrix.[citation needed]

Later life and death[edit]

The grave of Felix Pappalardi in Woodlawn Cemetery
Pappalardi was forced to retire because of partial deafness, ostensibly from his high-volume shows with Mountain. He continued producing throughout the 1970s, released a solo album (Don't Worry, Ma) and recorded with Kazuo Takeda's band Creation (who had opened for a reunited Mountain during their 1973 tour of Japan).
In May 1973, the British music magazine NME reported that Pappalardi would be producing and playing bass on Queen of the Night, the debut album for Maggie Bell, former singer of Stone the Crows,[2] but this proved to be a false rumor.[3]
Pappalardi was shot and killed by his wife, Gail, on April 17, 1983, in their East Side Manhattan apartment, with a derringer he had given her as a gift a few months previously. Gail Pappalardi was subsequently charged with second-degree murder and was found guilty of the lesser criminally negligent homicide.
He is interred next to his mother at Woodlawn Cemetery in The BronxNew York City.

Selected discography[edit]

For his work with Mountain, see their page.

As producer[edit]

Other appearances and contributions[edit]

  • 1963: Vince Martin and Fred Neil - Tear Down the Walls - guitarrón and backing vocals
  • 1964: Tom Paxton - Ramblin' Boy - guitarrón
  • 1965: Tom Paxton - Ain't That News! - guitarrón
  • 1966: Buffy Sainte-Marie - Little Wheel Spin and Spin - credited as "instrumental ensemble arranger and conductor" on "Timeless Love"
  • 1966: Ian and Sylvia - Play One More - bass
  • 1966: Ian and Sylvia - The French Girl - credited as "arr. and conducted"
  • 1966: Ian and Sylvia - When I Was A Cowboy - bass
  • 1966: Ian and Sylvia - Short Grass - bass
  • 1966: Ian and Sylvia - Lonely Girls - bass
  • 1967: Devil's Anvil - Hard Rock From the Middle East - bassguitartamburapercussion and vocals, credited as "arranger and musical director"
  • 1967: Richie Havens - Morning, Morning - credited as "arranger'
  • 1967: Jackie Washington [Landrón] - Morning Song - credited as "backup ensemble conductor'
  • 1968: Bo Grumpus - Before the War - keyboards, trumpet , bass, guitar, percussion, ocarina
  • 1968: Kensington Market - Avenue Road - vocals on "Aunt Violet's Knee"
  • 1969: Kensington Market - Aardvark - bass, piano, trumpet, organ
  • 1969: Jolliver Arkansaw - Home - keyboards, guitar, ocarina and bass on "Hatred Sun"
  • 1970: Ian and Sylvia - Greatest Hits - bass
  • 1970: Fred Neil - Little Bit of Rain - bass
  • 1971: John Sebastian - The Four of Us - bass on "Apple Hill"
  • 1971: Richard & Mimi Fariña - The Best of Richard & Mimi Fariña - bass
  • 1973: Bedlam - Bedlam - keyboards, credited as songwriter on "Looking Through Love's Eyes (Busy Dreamin')"
  • 1973: Eddie Mottau - No Turning Around - Mellatron, organ, ocarina and trumpet on "Circus Tent" and "Waitin' Out The Winter"
  • 1975: The Flock - Inside Out - backing vocals on "Straight Home"
  • 1977: Jesse Colin Young - Love on the Wing - backing vocals and string arrangements on "Drift Away" and "Fool", horn arrangements on "Louisiana Highway"
  • 1981: Kicks - "Kicks featuring Marge Raymond" - backing vocals on "Raceway" and "All Over Again" along with Steven Tyler

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