Saturday, January 20, 2018

Drugs, Booze, Death - American Musicans

1. Introduction
Drugs, Booze and Death of American Musicians. This is a list of the most famous American celebrities/biggest names in American music who have died from drugs and/or alcohol-drinking in the Electrofied Era.  The Rock Era which falls within the Electrofied Era was famous for the mantra "Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll".  It is true there are a lot of Rock artists on this list, but it should be pointed out that artists from the Swing Era and Pop Standard Era are also on the list. Artist from multiple genres, Country, Jazz, Soul, etc. are found here You can presume all deaths are accidental unless stated otherwise in the artist commentary.

2. Site Directory/Contents
Everything is on this page.  Scroll down to find what you are looking for.

1. Introduction
2. Site Directory/Contents
3. Top 40 Artists
4. Top 25 With Video Links
5. Electrofied Era Definition
6. Electrofied Era History
7. Electrofied Era Time Periods
8. Memorable
9. You Can't Make This Up!

3. Top 40 Artists

40. Marilyn Monroe - (1926 - 1962)
From "Some Like It Hot" trailer.
For more on this photo visit
She is best remembered as an actress but did have a singing career. Some of her better known songs are "Diamonds Are A Girls Best Friend", "I Wanna Be Loved By You", "My Heart Belongs To Daddy", "Lets Make Love", and "That Old Black Magic".  Perhaps her most remembered singing performance is "Happy Birthday Mr. President". She sang this song to President John Kennedy. She died of a barbiturate overdose.  Her death was ruled a suicide. It has been claimed by several sources she was linked to President Kennedy romantically and his brother Robert. There have been claims the Kennedy's were involved in her death by means of murder. To this date these are nothing more than claims.

39. Jesse Ed Davis - (1944 - 1988)
He was a Native American of mixed tribal heritage. He was born in Oklahoma and matured musically in the Sooner state. He was one of the nations leading guitarist and as such was a highly sought after session man.  He worked with many of the giants in the music business. Some of the people he worked with were Ringo Starr, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Rod Stewart, Steve Miller, Harry Nilsson, Keith Moon, Bob Dylan and Neil Diamond  It is generally believed he died from a heroin overdose.

38. Gerald Levert - (Levert & LSG) (1966 - 2006)
He was an R&B singer performing  in two groups. The first, named for himself and his brother, Levert and the second, LSG, a so called super group made up of Gerald Levert, Keith Sweat and Johnny Gill.  Each of these groups produced one blockbuster hit.  "Casanova" for the group Levert and "My Body" for LSG. With Levert he had several big hits in the R&B area..  He died from an overdose of prescription and over the counter drugs.

37. Scott Weiland -  (Stone Temple Pilots, Velvet Revolver, Art of Anarchy & The Wildabouts) - (1967 - 2015)
     He was best known as the lead vocalist of "Stone Temple Pilots", but he also had a solo career and was a member of the super group "Velvet Revolver".  As a vocalist he had great range at both the high and low ends. At the time of his death he was on tour with his band "The Wildabouts". At age 48 he died from alcohol and a mixture of drugs. He had a long history of drug abuse. He was a well known fan of Notre Dame Football. Some will say it is too bad he did not follow the values as taught at the university in South Bend, (Notre Dame) Indiana.

36. Brian Cole  - (The Association) - (1942 - 1972)
He was the bass player for the 1960's Folk-Rock group, The Association. Their hits included, "Windy", "Along Comes Mary", "Never My Love", "Cherish", and "Everything That Touches You". He died at age 29 from a heroin overdose.

35. Shannon Hoon - (Blind Melon) - (1967 - 1995)
He was a singer songwriter from Dayton, Indiana.  It is said those who die with the most toys win.  How about those who live longest win.  Kim Wickes who grew up in Dayton, Indiana is the clear winner. We will return to her later.  He was the lead singer of Blind Melon. It has been suggested the group got it's name from a Cheech and Chong skit making fun of Blind Blues men. Whether that is true is up in the air.  What is true is the band had some success with Hoon as the lead vocalist. He died form a cocaine overdose. Now for Kim Wickes.  She was nearly killed twice as a child in Korea first from an Korean War explosion and the second a near drowning. She was adopted by a family in Dayton, In. and grew up as a Christian. She went on to attend the Indiana School for the Blind, graduated from I.U. and became an evangelist touring the world and singing on Billy Graham television rallies.  She is still alive and well having recorded several albums and written several books. She is blind and alive.
Top 40 Blind and Visually Impaired American Musicians see artist 41

34. Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) 1964-2017
     Chris was a singer/songwriter and guitarist.  He was active as a solo artist and with several bands.  The band he was most associated with is Soundgarden.  He also wrote for motion picture soundtracks and is best remembered for "You Know My Name" from the James Bond film Casino Royal. He co-wrote and performed the song. Other bands he was associated with are Audioslave, Temple of the Dog and Center of Disease Control Boys. Chris will be remembered as a pioneer in the Grunge Rock movement. His death was the result of the ingestion of multiple drugs leading to suicide by hanging.

33. Brent Mydland - (Grateful Dead) - (1952 - 1990)
While he was a multiple instrumentalist he is best known for his keyboard work as a member of the Grateful Dead. This earned him a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He died from an accidental overdose from a Speedball.

32. Douglas Glenn Colvin a.k.a. Dee Dee Ramone - (The Ramones) - (1951 - 2002) 
He was a singer songwriter and played bass for the Ramones.  He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame two months before his death. He as well as his band mates were inducted in their first year of eligibility  He died from a heroin overdose.

31. Tim Hardin - (1941 - 1980)
He was a singer and songwriter.  He is best remembered for his songwriting talents.  His two biggest songs were "If I Were A Carpenter" and "Reason To Believe". Bobby Darin scored big with "If I Were A Carpenter" and Rod Stewart did well with "Reason to Believe". Some of the artists who recorded his songs were Rick Nelson, Bobby Darin, Rod Stewart, Doc Watson, Bob Seger, Joan Baez, Johnny Cash, Cella Black, Sonny & Cher, Bob Dylan, Gary Lewis & The Playboys, The Carpenters, Wilson Phillips, Glen Campbell, Cher(solo), The Kingston Trio, and Mason Williams to name a few. He died from an ongoing addiction to heroin.

30. Howie Epstein - (Tom Petty & the Hearbreakers) (1955 - 2003) 
He was a bass player and recorded with some of the biggest names in the industry, Johnny Cash, Del Shannon, Carl Perkins, John Prine, Warren Zevon, Roy Orbison, Village People, Stevie Nicks, and Linda Ronstadt.  He was the bass player for the Heartbreakers. Besides playing bass he sang harmonies with Tom Petty. He died from the heavy use of drugs (heroin) which compromised his health.

29. Chris Kelly - (Kris Kross) - (1978 - 2013)
Chris Smith was the other half of the Rap/Hip Hop duo Kris Kross.  Their biggest hit was "Jump" from the album "Totally Krossed Out". They had several other hits which include, "Tonites The Night", "Warm It Up", "and "Alright". It has been alleged that his mother informed police that he had a history of drug abuse. It is believed, based on allegations, he died from a speedball. Medical examiners reported he did die from a combination of drugs but did not specify exactly as to what drugs.

Image result for David Cassidy28. David Cassidy - (The Partridge Family)  (1950 - 2017)
David came from a family of entertainers. His dad was a famous Broadway actor. His stepmother was Shirley Jones with whom he stared in the television series "The Partridge Family". They also recorded several hit songs as The Partridge Family. He was a singer songwriter and actor. He had limited success as a solo singer having one Top Ten hit. He battled alcohol much of his life. He was arrested more than once for driving under the influence  and spent several stints in rehab battling the illness. The cause of death was Kidney and Liver failure. Alcohol's impact on destroying these organs can be enormous.

27. John Belushi - (Blues Brothers) - (1949 - 1982)
VIDEO - The Blues Brothers (John Belushi lead vocal) - Soul Man
He was a comedian, actor and singer. His two best remembered films are The Blues Brothers and Animal House. He died of an drug overdose from a Speedball (heroin & cocaine). Their hits incleded "Soul Man", "Rubber Biscuit", "Gimme Some Lovin'" and "Who's Making Love".

26. Art Tatum - (1909 - 1956)
VIDEO - Art Tatum - (Playing in 1943)
Art Tatom
For more on this photo visit
He was a famous Jazz pianist.  Art was considered to be the greatest Jazz pianist of the 20th. century. Virtually every Jazz musician of renown points to Tatum as The Piano Jazz Musician. His biggest weakness was the consumption of alcohol. It is his consumption of alcohol that is believed to have been the primary cause of his health decline and death due to kidney failure.
Top 40 Blind and Visually Impaired American Musicians see artist 13

4. TOP 25 With Video Links
25. Keith Whitley - (1954 - 1989)
VIDEO - Keith Whitley - When you Say Nothing At all
He was a Country Music star on the rise.  He had already had more than a half dozen big hits in the genre and was married to Country Music legend Lorrie Morgan. She was on tour when he died of alcohol poisoning. Some of his hit songs are "Somebody's Doin' Me Right", "It Ain't Nothin'", "Miami, My Way", "I Wonder Do You Think Of Me", "Brotherly Love" (with Earl Thomas Conley), "Don't Close Your Eyes", and "Til A Tear Becomes A Rose" (with Lorrie Morgan).

24. Dorothy Dandridge - (1922 - 1965)
VIDEO - Dorothy Dandridge - Chattanooga Choo Choo
She was an actress, singer and dancer.  She was in numerous films and was a highly regarded lounge singer. Her cause of death is some what disputed.  She was married twice and had a four year affair with Hollywood legend Otto Preminger which she ended when it became clear he would not divorcee his wife. The most commonly accepted cause of death was she died from an accidental overdose of antidepressants.

23. Ol' Dirty Bastard a.k.a. ODB - (1968 - 2004)
VIDEO - Wu-Tang Clan - Method Man
His musical expertise was Rap. He was a founding member of the Wu-Tang Clan and was a successful solo artist. Some of the artists he worked or recorded with were Mariah Carey, Snoop Dogg, Method Man, Kanye West, Busta Rhymes, and Jay-Z. He had a long Rap sheet (pun intended). He was arrested repeatedly from drug possession to assault. He died of a drug overdose.

22. Frankie Lymon - (1942 - 1968)
VIDEO - Frankie Lymon - Goody Goody
Frankie Lymon as part of
Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers
For more on this photo visit
Frankie was a Doo Wop legend. The film "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" was based on his life and titled after his biggest hit. Most films play fast lose with the truth and sometimes omits important facts. Frankie was married three times all at the same time. He was a bigamist. One of his wives was also a bigamist as she was still married to another man when she married Lyman. He is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He died of an Heroin overdose.

21. Esther Phillips - (1935 - 1984)
VIDEO - Esther Phillips - What A Difference A Day Makes (Disco)
She performed in multiple genres from Country, Blues, Disco, and Jazz. Some of her hits were "Mistrusting Blues", "And I Love Him" (answer to the Beatles song "And I Love Her"), "Release Me", "Double Crossing Blues", and the Disco hit "What A Difference A Day Makes". She died from Liver and Kidney failure due to chronic drug use.

20. David Ruffin - (The Temptations) - (1941 - 1991)
VIDEO - The Temptations (David Ruffin lead vocal) - My Girl
He was a member of the Temptations and was the lead singer on their classic hit "My Girl". He is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  He had hits on his own "My Whole World Ended (The Moment You Left Me)", "Walk Away From Love", and "A Nite At The Apollo Live! The Way You Do Things You Do/My Girl" (with Hall & Oates and brother Jimmy Ruffin). David died from cocaine.

19. Kurt Cobain - (Nirvana) - (1967 - 1994)
VIDEO - Nirvana (Kurt lead vocal) - Smells Like Teen Spirit
He was the driving and creative force behind the Seattle based Grunge Rock band Nirvana. They were little more than a one hit wonder band.  Their albums sold well and they did help to popularize Grunge Rock It has been stated he had ADHD and Bi-Polar conditions, He abused alcohol and drugs and made several attempts at suicide. His personal life was little more than a train wreck. It appears he died from a drug fulled (heroin) suicide.
Blind Sight 100 Most Important American Songs see song 84

18. John Panozzo - (Styx) - (1948 - 1996)
VIDEO - STYX (John Panozzo on drums) - Blue Collar Man
He was the drummer for the band STYX. Years of alcohol abuse virtually destroyed his liver bringing about an early death. Cirrhosis of the Liver caused by excessive drinking is what brought him down. STYX is one of the great Rock bands of the last half century.  Some of their hits include "Lady", " Mr. Roboto", "Renegade", "Sing For The Day", "Blue Collar Man (Long Nights)", "Come Sail Away" and "Don't Let It End".
Top 100 American Recording Artists  see artist 90

17. Johnny Ray - (1927 - 1990)
VIDEO - Johnnie Ray - Just Walking In The Rain
He was a singer of the pre-Rock period of the Electrofied Era.  His hits "Cry" and "Walkin' My Baby Back Home"  influenced the likes of Elvis Presley and other early Rockers. While he continued to generate hits during the rise of Rock, in the end he met the fate of most Pop Standard singers. He was pushed aside to make room for the new teen idols. He was a heavy drinker and as a result developed liver problems. He died from liver failure.
Musicians with Disabilities Top 25 Americans see artist 16

16. Hillel Slovak - (Red Hot Chili Peppers) - (1962 - 1988)
Video - Red Hot Chili Peppers - Hillel Slovak Tribute
He is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a founding member of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers. He had become addicted to heroin and could not break it's hold.  In the end that is what killed him.

15. Dinah Washington - (1924 - 1963)
VIDEO - Dinah Washington - What A Difference A Day Makes
She performed Jazz, Pop, Blues, R&B, Rock, Country and Gospel as a singer.  Worked with Brook Benton producing two hits "Baby (You Got What It Takes)" and "A Rockin' Good Way (To Mess Around And Fall In Love)". She was married seven times. Some of her hits were "What A Difference A Day Makes', "Unforgettable", "This Bitter Earth", and "September In The Rain". She is in the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Drug overdose was cause of death as the result of several drugs.

14. Ike Turner - (1931 - 2007)
VIDEO - Ike & Tina Turner - Proud Mary
He was one of the founding fathers of Rock 'n' Roll and one of his wives, Tina Turner, went on to become a superstar. Some believe he recorded the first Rock 'n' Roll song "Rocket 88". Jackie Brenston gets the credit on the label but it was Ike's band. He is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However it can be strongly argued Fats Domino's "The Fat Man" was the first Rock recording.  Ike's greatest fame came when he discovered Anna Bullock. He changed her name to Tina Turner.  They had several hits "Proud Mary", "River Deep - Mountain High", "It's Gonna Work Out Fine", and "Nutbush City Limits". He has two Grammy awards. Tina left him claiming spousal abuse which was portrayed in the film "What's Love Got To Do With It". He is noted for his heavy use of drugs and his womanizing. As to the latter he had at least a dozen or more wives/relationships and that is a conservative count. His drug usage was legendary.  He died from a cocaine overdose.

13. Tommy Dorsey  - (1905 - 1956)
VIDEO - Tommy Dorsey - Opus One
Tommy Dorsey
Photo from William P Gottllieb Collection
Library of Congress
For more on this photo visit
He was one of the greatest of the Big Band leaders. He and his brother Jimmy formed the Dorsey Brothers Band and one of their musicians was Glenn Miller who would form his own band and have great success. The Dorsey's split and his older brother started the Jimmy Dorsey Band. Tommy Dorsey had many big hits. Here are just some of them "The Big Apple", "Dipsy Doodle", "Indian Summer", "I'll Never Smile Again" (with Frank Sinatra), "The Music Goes Round and Round", and "In The Blue of the Evening". He died from inhaling his own vomit while heavily sedated with sleeping pills.

12, Janis Joplin - (1943 - 1970)
VIDEO - Janis Joplin - Me and Bobby McGee
Her breakout came with Big Brother and the Holding Company. The Psychedelic Rock band was in many ways the typical band of the genre. She gained recognition as the front woman of the band.  Her singing style was powerful and cutting edge.  One of her best songs with the band was "Down On Me". She was one of the featured performers at Woodstock.  Psychedelic Rock was heavily influenced by and influenced the drug culture of the sixties decade. Nearly from the start of her music career she got involved in drugs  She made several attempts to stop but was unsuccessful.  The Bette Midler film "The Rose" was loosely based on Janis.  Some had called her a female Elvis.  Now, after both Elvis and Janis fans stop laughing, they did share one thing in common, they both died from drugs.  She died from a heroin overdose with alcohol consumption.

11. Billie Holiday - (1915 - 1959)
VIDEO - Billie Hopliday - Lover, Come Back to Me
Billie holiday
Carl Van Vecthen Photographs
Library of Congress
For more on this photo visit
Her greatest success came in the early years of the Electrofied Era. While she had success in the thirties it was in the forties she saw her career bloom. She had a rough life being arrested for prostitution at age fourteen and working in and out of brothels and night clubs. It was this life that introduced her to recorded music, and gave her the opportunity to become a singer.  She would become one of the most influential female Jazz vocalist of the 20th. Century. From early on in her life alcohol was a part of her daily routine.  As she became successful she became involved in drugs. In 1947 during the peak of her career she was arrested for possession of narcotics. After serving a short sentence she resumed her career and went back to using drugs and consuming high levels of alcohol. Her beauty and talent couldn't save her from herself.  In 1959 she was taken to a New York hospital where she was arrested for drug possession   She had been admitted for heart disease and cirrhosis of the liver. She died a month latter at age 44 of heart failure due to cirrhosis of the liver caused by drug and alcohol abuse.

10. Bobby Hatfield - (Righteous Brothers) - (1940 - 2003)
VIDEO - Righteous Brothers ( Bobby Hatfield vocal) - Unchained Melody
He was one half of the Righteous Brothers.  The hit song "Unchained Melody" by the Righteous Brothers was in essence a solo by Bobby.  His death due to a illegal drug overdose in a Michigan motel ended the Righteous Brothers.  Bill Medley the other half of the duo continues to perform.  He is best known for his primary vocals in the hit song "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin" and in the duet with Jennifer Warrens on "I've Had The time of My Life".
Blind Sight 100 Most Important American Songs see song 92

 9. Hank Williams - (1923 - 1953)
VIDEO - Hank Williams - Cold Cold Heart
He was one of the most important Country music stars of the late 1940's and the early fifties.  He was born with Spina Bifida, a painful ailment due to a birth defect.  His substance and alcohol abuse is attributed in part to his efforts to cope with the pain from Spina Bifida. His drinking problems began during World War II when several members of his band were drafted.  He had trouble replacing them.  He was one of Country Music's greatest song writers.  He pinned "Your Cheatin Heart", "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry", and "Hey Good Lookin'" to name a few. His consumption of alcohol, morphine and other pain killers hurt his career and led to his early death at 29 years. There remains some controversy as to the actual cause of his death but there is no doubt that he had high levels of alcohol and morphine in his system at the time of death.
Musicians with Disabilities Top 25 Americans see artist 17

 8. Judy Garland - (1922 - 1969)
VIDEO - Judy Garland - Smile
Besides being a singer she was one of Hollywood's biggest stars.  She stared in the Wizard of Oz and sang the mega hit from the film, "Over The Rainbow".  Her daughter Liza Minnelli has become a star in her own right.  Judy, like Elvis, died in the bathroom on the toilet. Some of her hits were "The Trolley Song", "For Me and My Gal" (with Gene Kelly), and "Over The Rainbow". She died from an accidental overdose of barbiturates.

 7. Jimi Hendrix - (1942 - 1970)
VIDEO - Jimi Hendrix - Foxey Lady
He was one of the most influential electric guitar artists of the Electrofied Era.  Hendrix impression on the music scene was more of a super nova, brilliant but short lived, whereas, the impact of Les Paul (invented the Electric guitar)  and the Ventures (creators of reverse tracking and flangging effects) were long lived and many ways were more influential over time. Both Les Paul and the Ventures were not only famous guitarists, they through the years made significant improvements to the instrument which all guitarist use today. There is no disputing the guitar talents of Hendrix and his willingness to use feedback as a tool in presentation. He was a pioneer in that one area unlike anyone else. Jimi had a drug and alcohol problem and a checkered past with the law.  He had a short stint playing with Joey Dee and The Starlighters who had gained fame from their recording of "Peppermint Twist".  Hendrix made his name in Europe and gained superstar status as the result of his performance at Woodstock. He was an founding father of the Psychedelic Rock genre which over time has lost most of it luster.  Hendrix died of  asphyxia from aspirated vomit due to drug (barbiturates) and alcohol consumption. He died in London, United Kingdom.
Top 100 (United States) Songs of American Patriotism see song 1
Blind Sight 100 Most Important American Songs see song 22

 6. Tom Petty *- (Tom Petty and the Hearbreakers also The Traveling Wilburys) - (1950 - 2017)
Tom was one of the leading American male vocalists of the last half of the 20th Century. he had over 25 hit songs. His biggest hit was "Free Fallin'". He was also a part of the "Super Group" The Traveling Wilburys made up of Roy Orbison, George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan and Tom Petty. The group fell apart due to poor sales, the death of Roy Orbison (hear attack) and the declining heath of George Harrison (cancer). Tom Petty's death was the result of an overdose from a cocktail of multiple prescription drugs. Two of those drugs were fentanyl and oxycodone. He had been diagnosed with a broken hip. Howie Epstein a member of The Heartbreakers preceded Petty in death also due to drugs. He is #30 on this list.

 5. Jim Morrison - (Doors) - (1943 - 1971)
VIDEO - The Doors (Jim Morrison vocals) - Riders on The Storm
Grave of Jim Morrison
Krzysztof Mizera photographer
For more on this photo visit
He was the lead singer and lyricist for the rock band the Doors.  He was the driving force for the Doors.  "Light My Fire" was their biggest hit.  He was renown for his drug usage.  He died in France and because the French did not require an autopsy, his death remains in dispute as to the actual cause.  Those that were near him at the time said he died from an overdose of heroin.  It's been reported his lover/Common Law Wife, Pamela Courson later stated they had done heroin together and that Jim had vomited some blood but that he seemed to have improved.  She fell asleep and awake to find Jim unresponsive. Pamela died of heroin several years after Jim's death. Ironically they both died at 27 years.

 4. Prince - (1958 - 2016)
VIDEO - Prince - 1999
The Associated Press reported Prince died from an Opioid overdose. Prince was one of the most creative and energetic musicians of the 20th. Century. He invented the Minneapolis Sound. He deliberately blurred and mixed musical genres. He took Funk, Rock, Pop, Disco/Dance, New Wave Soul and more and created some of the most popular and enduring songs. These are a few of his best known hits, Kiss, Little Red Corvette, Raspberry Beret, 1999, Let's Go Crazy and Purple Rain.
3. Whitney Houston - (1963 - 2012)
VIDEO - Whitney Houston - I Wanna Dance With Somebody
Whitney was one of the biggest female recording artists of the 20th. century.  Her biggest hit was a cover of Country Music icon Dolly Parton's song "I Will Always Love You".  Houston was married to Bobby Brown and the two of them had a long history of problems related to drug consumption.  She was related to another great female singer of the 20th. century, Dionne Warwick and Whitney's mother is Cissy Houston a founding member of The Sweet Inspirations.  The Sweet Inspirations recorded backing vocals for many of the biggest names in the business.  They were also Elvis Presley's backing female group.  Whitney had made several successful films, The Bodyguard being one of them.  She died at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, from drowning. in her suite's bathtub.  The medical report on her death showed she had ingested several drugs including a significant amount of cocaine.  She also had marijuana in her blood.  Her death by drowning is believed to have been caused by the drugs.
Top 100 American Recording Artists  see artist 12
Blind Sight 100 Most Important American Songs see song 97
Top 100 (United States) Songs of American Patriotism see songs 10 & 1

 2. Michael Jackson*(1958 - 2009)
VIDEO - Michael Jackson - Beat It
Michael Jackson started his career in Gary, Indiana where his family lived.  The discovery of the Jackson Five by Diana Ross and signing to Motown records would set his life path in motion.  Like Elvis Presley he would become so famous that it would be extremely difficult for him to go out in public. He came to define the modern Music Video. Some of his hits were "Billie Jean", "Scream" (with sister Janet Jackson), "Bad", "Thriller", "Beat It", "Smooth Criminal", "Off The Wall", "Rockin' Robin", "Say Say Say" (with Paul McCartney), "Rock With You", "This Is It" and "You Rock My World"

Top 100 American Recording Artists  see artist 4
Blind Sight 100 Most Important American Songs see songs 26 & 62
Musicians with Disabilities Top 25 Americans see artist 1

 1. Elvis Presley*(1935 - 1977)
VIDEO - Elvis Presley - Jailhouse Rock
VIDEO - Elvis Presley vs JXL - A Little Less Conversation
VIDEO - Elvis Presley - Rubberneckin' (Paul Oakenfold Remix)
     The single biggest recording act in American history and arguably in the World. He has left a permanent mark not only in the music industry but on our culture and the world.  His success was predicated on his talent, but not on it alone.  The Electrofied Era was coming of age when he arrived on the stage.  The development of technologies in the production, recording, dissemination and storage of music saw vast revolutionary changes and he surfed this wave of change flawlessly. The United States was
Elvis Presley
For more on this photo visit
the preeminent nation in the world militarily, economically, politically and arguable culturally.  His talent was aided by his nation's status in the world. Superhuman success can bring the burden of super problems.  He lost all sense of a private life while out of his home. His very success lead to his own demise. Being one of the most recognized person's in the world restricted his life to a prison. With great fame and wealth comes power.  He and others were unprepared to handle that power in a positive manner all the time. He died from an over dose of prescription drugs.  Some of his hits were "Burning Love", "Jailhouse Rock", "Bosa Nova Baby", "It's Now Or Never", "I Can't Help Falling In Love", "Don't Be Cruel", "My Way", "Surrender", "Stuck On You", "Big Hunk Of Love", "All Shook Up" "Suspicious Minds", "In The Ghetto", "Memories", and "A Little Less Conversation".
Top 100 American Recording Artists see artist 1
Top 100 (United States) Songs of American Patriotism see songs 33, 23, 8, and 3
Blind Sight 100 Most Important American Songs see songs 85, 80, 78, 53, 36, 9 and 3


5. Electrofied Era Definition
 The "Electrofied Era" is the result of the profound impact of electricity and electronics on the writing, creation, performance, recording, dissemination, and storage of music. It transcends all  genres by encompassing them.  The Eectrofied Era spans the years 1940 to the present. 

6. Electrofied Era History
     The "Electrofied Era' began in 1940 the beginning of a decade that saw the recording studios not just capturing sound but also altering it. It is also based on the development of Les Paul's, "Log Guitar", and his early attempts at multi-track recordings. The decade saw a  maturing of electric media.   Recordings, Jukebox, radio play plus use in motion pictures began to have a broader impact on music popularity than sheet music sales, live performances, and Broadway. The word "electrofied" is coined to point out the artists, record producers, sound engineers and inventors did much more than just add and use electricity in the music industry. They unleashed a whole new creative spirit, an "Oh Wow" effect. Electrified cannot be used to define the new studio production capabilities or the diverse means of how music is disseminated. Electricity added new dimensions to live performances from the size of the audiences to the creative nature of the productions, to the instruments and the music itself.  To say the music is electrified is neither appropriate or enough.
     The dissemination of popular music has changed and continues to expand since the beginning of the Electrofied Era.  The advent of television, (Black and white TV was invented before 1940 and color TV in 1940, but did not find general usage until after World War II) the satellite, and the Internet changed how music is created, stored and disseminated.  Technology has changed when, where, how, and even who use popular music.  New art forms sprung out of the technology bringing us Rock'n' Roll, modern Soul, Disco, and the Music Video to name just a few.  It has also impacted how, where, and size of space we store our music.  The transistor radio, 45 and 33 1/3 RPM recordings, CD's, television, computers, the Internet, the Walkman, mp3 players and i-pods are just some of the changes impacting the music industry.

7. Electrofied Era Time Periods

Time periods related to Electrofied Era

  Pre-Electrofied Era
     1. 1877 - 1926  Conception Period -  (Phonograph, Silent Motion Pictures and early Radio)
     2. 1927 - 1939  Gestation Period - (Motion Pictures with Sound & Early electrified Instruments)
  Electrofied Era
     3. 1940 - 1955  Early Electrofied Era - (Log Guitar, Sound recording alteration and multi-track recording)
     4. 1955 - 1990  Established Electrofied Era - (Stereo, electronic special effects, synthesizers, Computer/Digital Recording, Distribution & Storage)
     5. 1991 - Present  The Electrofied Era - Cloud Period - (mp3 internet download and cloud storage)

8. Memorable

Paul Butterfield - (1942 - 1987)
He was a vocalist and harmonica player. He recorded with some the giants in the music industry, Jimi Hendrix, The Band, Muddy Waters, and Bonnie Raitt. He was the front man for the Paul Butterfield Blues Band. He died of peritonitis from excessive and prolonged Drug and alcohol abuse.

Robbin Crosby - (Ratt) - (1959 - 2002)
He either wrote or co-wrote Ratt's best music including their biggest hit, "Round And Round". He had a history of drug problems and came down with the HIV virus from the early to mid nineties  He shot up making him more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. He died from a combination of things all believed directly related to his drug habit.  His death was the result of complications with HIV, a weight problem (over 400 pounds) and a heroin overdose.

Lil Peep (1996 - 2017)
He died in Tucson, Arizona from what police report as a drug overdose. Drug paraphernalia was found on the tour bus where he died. Xanax and Fentanyl have been determined to be the primary cause of death. He was a rising New York Rap artist and at age 21 had a full career in front of him. He was noted for blending "emo" and "Hip/Hop" music styles. 
Tommy Bolin - (Zephyr - The James Gang - Deep Purple and solo) - (1951 - 1976)
He was a highly regarded guitarist.  As one of the nation's leading guitarist he worked with some of the biggest Rock bands. He died from heroin, cocaine, barbiturates and alcohol.

Steve Foley - (The Replacements) -  (1958 - 2008)
He was a drummer from the twin cities area of Minnesota   He played with several bands the most notable being, The Replacements.  He toured with them throughout the United States and Europe. He died from a prescription drug overdose.

Bob Stinson - (The Replacements) - (1959 - 1995)
He was a founding member of the Replacements. He had been pushed out of the band and replacement found before his death which was the result of long term alcohol and drug addictions.

Bradley Nowell - (Sublime) -  (1968 - 1996)
He was a guiarist and lead vocalist of the emerging group Sublime.  They managed several minor hits and one hit album. He died of a heroin overdose.

Jeff Hanneman - (1964 - 2013)
He was a singer/songwriter/gutiar player and founding member of the metal band Slayer. His death came from Liver failure from alcohol related cirrhosis.

Vic Chesnutt - (1964 - 2009)
He has been labeled Folk-Rock and Alternative Country and the shoes fit, but he also had songs that defied genre stereotyping  He was severely injured in a car accident that basically left him wheel chair bound. It did not stop him from being a singer songwriter. Some of his material was very dark in tone and other songs were mysterious in nature, but what they all were, just plain good. He died from an overdose of muscle relaxants.

Lowell George - (Little Feat) - (1945 - 1979)
He performed and recorded with numerous bands  and solo acts not the least of which were, The Standells, Mothers of Invention, Harry Nilsson and Robert Palmer. He is most noted for his work with the band Little Feat. It is believed he died of heart failure due to drugs.

Jimmy Lee Lindsey Jr a.k.a. Jay Reatard - Reatards - (1980 - 2010)
He fronted, founded or played with a variety of bands.  The best known being the Reatards a band of his creation.  He was from Memphis. He played Punk and Garage Rock. He died from cocaine and alcohol.

Pimp C - (Underground Kingz a.k.a. UGK) - (1973 - 2007)
He was a member of the Houston Rap scene.  He had some success in the field. His biggest hit was the album "Pimpalation" He had serious problems with the law.  He served time in Texas between 2002 and 2005 for parole violation on an assault charge. He was found dead in an L.A. hotel room from sleep apnea and a drug overdose.

Paul Gray - (Slipknot) - (1972 - 2010)
He was the base player for the metal band, Slipknot. The band has had several successful albums and are very successful concert performers. He died from a accidental drug overdose.

Gram Parsons
He referred to his music as "Cosmic American Music".  He blended a multitude of music genres using Country Music as a starting point.  He had a huge impact on other artists and the changing world of Rock 'n' Roll.  He died at age 26 from morphine and alcohol.

9. You Can't Make This Up!!!
"Dimwit" of band D.O.A. 
(Canadian - extraordinary mention) He had been a member of D.O.A. and also Subhumans. In 1994 he died of a drug overdose.