Skip to main content

10 Musicians Who We Lost In 2017 | Charleston Weddings

26 December 2017

Well, here we are again and we are just 5 days away from the brand new year of 2018. It seems like just yesterday I posted about the tremendous loss we experienced in 2016. The good news is 2017 (at least with 360 days down) saw much less loss when it comes to our favorite musicians. The bad news is the lesser amount of musicians that passed still included some pretty iconic ones. Truth be told, if one person dies, that is one person too many.  We saw classic rock artists, R&B artists, as well as jazz artists pass way too soon. We also saw some big names in the modern and alternative rock genre pass as well.  Some of these artists that I'll spotlight you might not think would be played at weddings, but as I have found out in recent years that no two weddings are the same and there is a chance that a lot of these get thrown into a cocktail hour playlist or even a dinner music playlist. Remember when you are brainstorming for music that you would like to hear at your wedding reception, jot down a list of artists and when we meet, we can go through your list and begin to create that perfect soundtrack. Getting back to 2017 and the artists we've lost,  I will cross my fingers that I have not jinxed things and that we remain in the clear for the next 5 days and that we do not experience any more major loss of of life in the music industry.

1. Tom Petty

I am still shocked and saddened by the loss of Tom Petty. He is truly an iconic musician. His collaborative efforts are far too many to mention in a single blog post, but his work with the Heartbreakers, his solo work, and the supergroup he was a part of (The Traveling Wilburys) are all worth mentioning and adding into his muscial resume.  Brides and grooms and their guests have sung along to "Free Fallin" by Tom Petty, and danced a little bit to "American Girl", his first hit in the mid 70s with his band The Heartbreakers. His sound is non-abrasive and perfect for a cocktail hour and / or dinner playlist. Tom Petty will continue to be played at Charleston weddings for the foreseeable future.

2. Chris Cornell
Out of the ten artists mentioned in this blog post, Chris Cornell and Soundgarden are probably least likely to show up on any of my playlists for my Charleston weddings. But hey, what did I say up above? No two weddings are alike and who knows, I might be booked by a couple who wants to have a "90s Alternative Rock" cocktail hour at their wedding. But seriously, the loss of Chris Cornell was like losing another major figure in the 90s Grunge scene. Kurt Cobain. Layne Staley. Chris Cornell. Scott Wieland. All four are now deceased and all four played an integral role in the 90s Grunge musical genre.  

3. Fats Domino
Fats Domino was a great piano player who sold close to 70,000,000 records and played a lot of rhhythm and blues with a New Orleans flavor and rock & roll.  "Ain't That A Shame" reached the Top 10 and was covered by Cheap Trick, and his song "Blueberry Hill" went all the way to Number 2. Fats Domino has appeared on wedding playlists all over Charleston and would fit well into an old style R&B cocktail hour at your favorite wedding venue.

4. Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry was ranked 5th on Rolling Stone's (greatest of all time) list back in 2011, and for good reason. "Rock & Roll Music" and "Johnny B. Goode" are 50s rock songs that commonly show up on wedding playlists.  He is in the same category as Fats Domino and was an early pioneer of rock music. Take a listen to the song "Maybelline", which was released in 1955 and you'll see what I mean. Chuck Berry lived a very long life and was performing up until 2014, just three years before his 90th birthday.

5. David Cassidy
I'm not even sure that the members of One Direction or the Backstreet Boys went through the pandomonium that David Cassidy did back in the early 1970s during his concerts. The hysteria that was caused by the thousands of teen girls was said to have been more than what The Beatles experienced.  He'll always be remembered as Keith Partridge in The Partridge Family, but he had also done some covers of The Association with "Cherish", as well as The Rascals "How Can I Be Sure?"

6. Chester Bennington
Chester Bennington is the second musician on this post who isn't likely to show up on any Charleston wedding playlists, unless the bride and groom wanted to do some type of early 2000s modern rock cocktail hour at their wedding reception over at the Historic Rice Mill or Harborside East.  Linkin Park went on to sell over 65 million records, and when Scott Wieland of the Stone Temple Pilots died, he filled on the lead vocals.  As of the greatest rock vocalists of the 2000s, he'll be sorely missed.

7. Gregg Allman
Gregg Allman was best known for playing in the southern rock band, The Allman Brothers. Gregg wrote some of the most popular songs of the band like "Melissa", Whipping Post", and "Midnight Rider". I've seen myself play quite a bit of Allman Brothers at weddings around Charleston in recent years. Gregg Allman also released a solo record in 1987, which featured his hit "I'm No Angel".

8. J Geils
J Geils was the leader of the J Geils Band. The J Geils Band had numerous hits back in the 70s with songs like "Must Of Got Lost", and "Ain't Nothing But A House Party", but achieved more mainstream success in the early 80s with songs like "Centerfold", which is commonly showing up Charleston wedding playlists in the 80s category. What can I say? It's real fun song. 

9. Joni Sledge
Sister Sledge consisted of 4 sisters. Debbie, Joni, Kim and Kathy. They were a band that achieved major success during the disco era. "We Are Family" is still a staple at a lot of Charleston weddings, and can be (with the right crowd) a pretty good floor filler.

10. Al Jarreau
Al Jarreau spanned multiple genres ranging from jazz to R&B to soul. He is famous for singing the theme song to the popular 80s TV show "Moonlighting", and had a Top 10 R&B hit in the early 80s called "We're In This Love Together". 

As I mentioned up above, I hope I have not jinxed things and we lose more great musicians in the next 5 days. In doing the research for this blog post, I had seen other articles that were posted long before mine will be, so I think we will be safe. Thank you very much for making it to the end of this post, and better yet, thanks for finding me, Bookmark my website and come back to it when you are ready to sit down with one of the top wedding DJs in Charleston. Click HERE to tell me a little bit about your wedding now