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In Memoriam: Musicians And Industry Giants We Lost In 2011

For Rocks Off, one of the creepiest parts of our job is to report on deaths in the industry. Now matter how old or young the musician or mogul is, it's hard to try to quantify a person's life over the course of a few hundred words. How can you? Professional obit writers must be touched by the hand of God to be able to do this numerous times daily.

2011 was a rough year for Houston, losing blues legend Earl Gilliam, Clip D, and Kathy Johnston of the Mydolls. Huey P. Meaux, the onetime studio and record-label owner and chart-topping producer who helped define the Gulf Coast sound through hits by the Sir Douglas Quintet, Freddy Fender and Barbara Lynn, died in April at the age of 82. He's going to be remembered not only for his hit-making heyday, but also his more tawdry dealings too.

Sadly the most shocking, non-shocking death this year was Amy Winehouse, who died July 23 after a life of booze and drugs. Her death at 27 put her into the vaunted 27 Club along with all the other miscreants who shuffled off this mortal coil. It's hard not to be angry about this one, seeing that almost every outlet was at her disposal to clean up, and she had the entire music industry rallying behind her, but it was not enough.

I compiled a gigantic list of all the deceased this year, along with links to proper obits. The Houston-centric names are listed at the end, along with a young fellow from Dallas whose early demise ripped out a bit of the heart of our friends to the north, the Dallas Observer. We could feel their loss in their words and comments.

Amy Winehouse

Clarence Clemons

Poly Styrene

Teena Marie

Wilma Lee Cooper

Wade Mainer

David "Honeyboy" Edwards

Cody Smoot

Myra Taylor

Gerry Rafferty

Heavy D

Bert Jansch

David Honeyboy Edwards

Charlie Louvin

Don Kirshner

Marshall Grant

Bob Flanigan

Andrea True

Sylvia Robinson

Roger Williams

Leonard Dillon

Johnnie Wright

Jessy Dixon

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith

Jani Lane

Mikey Welsh

DJ Mehdi

Larry "Wild Man" Fischer

John Walker

Gerard Smith

Gil Scott Heron

Loleatta Holloway

Barry Llewellyn

Nick Ashford

Nate Dogg

Mike Starr

Jerry Leiber

Dan Peek

Andrew Gold

John Barry

Gary Moore

Phoebe Snow

Johnny Preston

Susan Elizabeth Rotolo

Pinetop Perkins

Ferlin Husky

Rob Grill

Michael "Würzel" Burston

Billie Jo Spears

Seth Putnam

John Atterberry

Earl Gilliam

Kathy Johnston

Hubert Sumlin

Doyle Bramhall

Joe Gracey

Frankie Campagna, lead singer of Dallas greaser punk band Spector 45

Dobie Gray

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