Tuesday, January 19, 2016

GLENN FREY (1948 - 2016)

The world has sadly lost another incredible artist as Glenn Frey, the singer and guitarist of the legendary country-rock band, the Eagles who also enjoyed success as a solo artist passed away yesterday at the age of sixty-seven. He died from complications of rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis and pneumonia. The Eagles were selected for last year's Kennedy Center Honors but Frey was too ill to attend, so the band decided to postpone the award until this year.

Born and raised in the Motor City, Frey first learned the piano before switching to the electric guitar as a teen. He played with many rock bands in the area before meeting local performer, Bob Seger who became a great influence and encouraged him to write his own material. Frey was invited to perform on Seger's hit recording, "Ramblin' Gamblin' Man" in 1968.

Frey eventually headed west to try his luck and would meet musician J. D. Souther. They teamed-up and formed a duo, Longbranch Pennywhistle and played throughout L.A. After recording an album in 1969, the two ended their partnership amicably two years later. Souther was dating singer, Linda Rondstat at the time and she needed a back-up band for her upcoming album. He recommended Frey, guitarist, Bernie Leadon, bass guitarist, Randy Meisner and drummer, Don Henley. By the end of the recording sessions, Frey and Henley knew they had become a band and formed the Eagles. They released their self-titled debut in 1972 and it became an immediate hit with three top-forty singles, "Take It Easy", "Witchy Woman" and "Peaceful Easy Feeling". The Eagles soon became one of the most successful rock bands of all time selling well over one hundred and fifty million records with their greatest hits album selling forty-two million copies alone. After years of recording and touring, tension and resentments flared and the Eagles would break-up by 1980.

Frey went on as a solo artist with his most notable songs are "The Heat Is On" from the "Beverly Hills Cop" soundtrack in 1984 and "You Belong To The City" for the television show, "Miami Vice" the following year. He also did some acting appearing on the television shows,"Miami Vice", "Wiseguy", "Nash Bridges" and in the 1996 film, "Jerry Maguire".

After thirteen long years, the Eagles reunited (with "The Long Run"-era band which featured Frey, Henley, Joe Walsh, Don Felder and Timothy B. Schmit) in 1994 and released "Hell Freezes Over" which the title comes from the likelihood of the band ever coming back together again. They would continue to perform together since then with their last major tour in 2013. The Eagles were inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 and won six Grammy Awards including the 1977 Record of The Year for "Hotel California".

Here's just a small sample of the great music that Glenn Frey has left us with:

"Take It Easy" - The Eagles (1972) mp3

"New Kid In Town" - The Eagles (1976) mp3

"You Belong To The City" - Glenn Frey (1985) mp3


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