In Memoriam|

Photo: Grandpa Elliott (photo by MBC74 from Wikipedia) Grandpa Elliott (77) (born Elliot Small; July 10, 1944 – March 8, 2022), also known as Uncle Remus, was a veteran street-musician in New Orleans, Louisiana. He played the harmonica, sang, and was a street icon in New Orleans.

Grandpa Elliott was born as Elliot Small on July 10, 1944 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Growing up in the Lafitte Housing Projects, Small developed a love of music as a young boy, in part to deal with the pains of an unhappy home life. Small’s uncle was a professional musician who worked with Lloyd Washington of the Ink Spots, and often let his nephew come to the Dew Drop Inn to hear them play. One day when his uncle left for work without his harmonica, Small picked it up and put it to his mouth. “Oooh, it was awful,” he said, laughing. “He chewed tobacco. I had to sterilize that thing.” . . .

“They brought me to New York to tap on Broadway when I was 6 or 7, and my mama got killed up there,” he said. The man they lived with beat them both and ended up killing his mother. After it happened, his grandmother brought Small back to New Orleans and gave him and his older sister Frances a good life. “She was a sweet old lady,” he said. “My stepfather was a man who did not love his child,” he said. “But my uncle would come to the house, and play the harmonica to me.”
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Small did not completely lose his sight to glaucoma until 2005. It was in that year that recording engineer and producer Mark Johnson launched a project called Playing for Change, dedicated to promoting international unity through music. He began recording performances by street performers from around the world. Johnson heard Small sing the Ben E. King hit “Stand by Me” and immediately recorded him singing the tune on Royal Street, making his performance the centerpiece of a video featuring performances of the number by a handful of artists. In 2009, after the “Stand by Me” video was posted online, it racked up 177,097,721 plays on YouTube (March 9, 2022), and suddenly Small had an international audience. Small signed on for a tour with a band of musicians affiliated with the Playing for Change project. He has also been on The Tonight Show and The Colbert Report. He performed to a crowd of more than 40,000 at Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California, on June 30, 2009, playing the “Star Spangled Banner” on harmonica and singing “God Bless America.” Later that same year, the Playing for Change Band came to New Orleans to accompany Small on his debut CD Sugar Sweet, released November 3, 2009, an eclectic collection that includes gospel, blues, soul and what Small called “some strong love songs.” Keb Mo’ also accompanied on the album. Small was the first artist to be signed to Playing for Change Records/ Concord Music Group. The whole experience taught him to trust people again. “Mark Johnson changed my life,” he said. “He made me lift my head up.” Small has been featured on Playing for Change in several episodes.

Small died from complications of a skin infection on March 8, 2022, at the age of 77.


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Jimbeau Hinson, Country Singer/Songwriter, Dies
James L. Hinson Jr. (70), c. 1952 – March 4, 2022), better known as Jimbeau Hinson, was an American country music singer-songwriter.

Hinson, along with co-writer Roy August, wrote the 1981 #1 Hot Country Songs hit, “Fancy Free”, for The Oak Ridge Boys’ album, Fancy Free (1981). The album was also a #1 on the Top Country Album chart and peaked at #14 on the Billboard 200. In 2010, “Fancy Free” attained the BMI 2 Million Spins Award, with over 13 years of aggregate broadcast time. Hinson has written country hits for a number of artists, The Oak Ridge Boys, David Lee Murphy, Patty Loveless, Kathy Mattea, Brenda Lee, John Conlee, Steve Earle. Additional, artists who have recorded his songs include: Reba McEntire, Lynn Anderson, and Carol Channing.

Hinson performed country music from his teenage years in the late 1960s and began going by the name Jimbeau Hinson in the mid 1970s, to avoid any confusion with Muppets creator Jim Henson. Hinson signed a writing contract with The Wilburn Brothers publishing company at age seventeen and later recorded several singles for Chart Records.. . . In the late 1980s he was a contestant on Star Search.

Hinson released his first album as an artist, Strong Medicine, on Wrinkled Records in 2013.

Hinson was openly bisexual, although he was in a monogamous relationship with his wife Brenda from the 1980s. He was diagnosed with HIV in 1985. He suffered a stroke in 2021, and recovered, but suffered a second stroke in early 2022. Hinson died on March 4, 2022, at the age of 70.


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Other Notable Musicians’ Deaths…

We are going to miss them so much. If you want to know more about any of the musicians we lost, please check them out at http://www.wikipedia.com

March 2022
9: Ron Miles, 58, American musician from Denver, Colorado (see In Memoriam)

8: Grandpa Elliott, 77, American musician, complications from skin infection; Ziggy Sigmund, Canadian guitarist (Slow, Econoline Crush); Isao Suzuki, 89, Japanese jazz double-bassist, COVID-19.

7: Jan Welmers, 84, Dutch composer and organist.

6: Pau Riba i Romeva, 73, Spanish musician, pancreatic cancer.

5: Elguja Burduli, 80, Georgian actor (Dark Eyes, The Sun of the Sleepless, A Chef in Love) and singer; Patricio Renán, 77, Chilean singer.

4: Iwan Edwards, 84, British-born Canadian choral conductor; Jimbeau Hinson, 70, American country music singer-songwriter; Calvin Mark Lee, 85, American music producer (Mercury Records).

3: Denroy Morgan, 75–76, Jamaican-born American reggae musician, cancer.

2: Johnny Brown, 84, American actor (Good Times, Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, The Plastic Man Comedy/Adventure Show) and singer; Chuck Criss, 36, American musician (Freelance Whales), suicide (death announced on this date); SiMan Baby, 58, American disc jockey, pancreatic cancer (death announced on this date).


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