• Remembering Joe Sample Feb. 1939 - Sept. 2014

    Set 18 2014, 15:21

    Joe Sample, who became a jazz star in the 1960s as the pianist with the Jazz Crusaders and an even bigger star a decade later when he began playing electric keyboards and the group simplified its name to the Crusaders, died on Friday in Houston. He was 75.

    The cause was mesothelioma, said his manager, Patrick Rains.

    The Jazz Crusaders, who played the muscular, bluesy variation on bebop known as hard bop, had their roots in Houston, where Mr. Sample, the tenor saxophonist Wilton Felder and the drummer Nesbert Hooper (better known by the self-explanatory first name Stix) began performing together as the Swingsters while in high school.

    Mr. Sample met the trombonist Wayne Henderson at Texas Southern University and added him, the bassist Henry Wilson and the flutist Hubert Laws — who would soon achieve considerable fame on his own — to the group, which changed its name to the Modern Jazz Sextet.

    The band worked in the Houston area for several years but did not have much success until Mr. Sample, Mr. Felder, Mr. Hooper and Mr. Henderson moved to Los Angeles and changed their name to the Jazz Crusaders, a reference to the drummer Art Blakey’s seminal hard-bop ensemble, the Jazz Messengers.

    Their first album, “Freedom Sound,” released on the Pacific Jazz label in 1961, sold well, and they recorded prolifically for the rest of the decade, with all four members contributing compositions, while performing to enthusiastic audiences and critical praise.

    In the early 1970s, as the audience for jazz declined, the band underwent yet another name change, this one signifying a change in musical direction. Augmenting their sound with electric guitar and electric bass, with Mr. Sample playing mostly electric keyboards, the Jazz Crusaders became the Crusaders.

    Their first album under that name, “Crusaders 1,” featuring four compositions by Mr. Sample, was released on the Blue Thumb label in 1972.

    With a funkier sound, a new emphasis on danceable rhythms and the addition of pop songs by the Beatles and others to their repertoire, the Crusaders displeased many critics but greatly expanded their audience.

    For Mr. Sample, plugging in was not a big step. He had been fascinated by the electric piano since he saw Ray Charles playing one on television in the mid-1950s, and he had owned one since 1963.

    Nor did he have any problem crossing musical boundaries: Growing up in Houston he had listened to and enjoyed all kinds of music, including blues and country.

    “Unfortunately, in this country, there’s a lot of prejudice against the various forms of music,” Mr. Sample told The Los Angeles Times in 1985. “The jazz people hate the blues, the blues people hate rock, and the rock people hate jazz. But how can anyone hate music? We tend to not hate any form of music, so we blend it all together. And consequently, we’re always finding ourselves in big trouble with everybody.”

    They didn’t find themselves in much trouble with the record-buying public. The Crusaders had numerous hit albums and one Top 40 single, “Street Life,” which reached No. 36 on the Billboard pop chart in 1979. Mr. Sample wrote the music and Will Jennings wrote the lyrics, which were sung by Randy Crawford.

    By the time “Street Life” was recorded, Mr. Henderson had left the Crusaders to pursue a career as a producer. Mr. Hooper left in 1983. Mr. Sample and Mr. Felder continued to work together for a while, but by the late 1980s Mr. Sample was focusing on his solo career, which had begun with the 1969 trio album “Fancy Dance” and included mellow pop-jazz records like “Carmel” (1979).

    His later albums included the unaccompanied “Soul Shadows” (2004). His last album, “Children of the Sun,” is to be released this fall.

    He also maintained a busy career as a studio musician. Among the albums on which his keyboard work can be heard are Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On,” Joni Mitchell’s “Court and Spark” and “The Hissing of Summer Lawns,” Tina Turner’s “Private Dancer,” Steely Dan’s “Aja” and “Gaucho,” and several recordings by B. B. King.

    His music has been sampled on numerous hip-hop records, most notably Tupac Shakur’s “Dear Mama.”

    Joseph Leslie Sample was born on Feb. 1, 1939, in Houston, the fourth of five siblings, and began playing piano when he was 5.

    His survivors include his wife, Yolanda; his son, Nicklas, a jazz bassist with whom he occasionally performed; three stepsons, Jamerson III, Justin and Jordan Berry; six grandchildren; and a sister, Julia Goolsby.

    Mr. Sample’s fellow Crusader Mr. Henderson died in April.

    In recent years, Mr. Sample had worked with a reunited version of the Crusaders and led an ensemble called the Creole Joe Band, whose music was steeped in the lively Louisiana style known as zydeco. At his death he had been collaborating with Jonatha Brooke and Marc Mantell on a musical, “Quadroon,” which had a reading in July at the Ensemble Theater in Houston.

    Correction: September 18, 2014

    An obituary on Monday about the pianist Joe Sample misstated the year his album “Soul Shadows” was released. It was 2004, not 2008.

    Emma G. Fitzsimmons contributed reporting.

    A version of this article appears in print on September 15, 2014, on page D10 of the New York edition with the headline: Joe Sample, 75, Crusaders Pianist, Dies. Order Reprints|Today's Paper|Subscribe
  • Bobby Womack, 1944-2014

    Lug 3 2014, 5:26

    Bobby Womack, a colorful and highly influential R&B singer-songwriter who influenced artists from the Rolling Stones to Damon Albarn, has died. He was 70.

    Womack's publicist Sonya Kolowrat said Friday that the singer had died, but she could provide no other details. Womack was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease two years ago and overcame addiction and multiple health issues, including prostate cancer, to pull off a second act in his career.

    Womack performed recently at the Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and seemed in good health and spirits. He had been scheduled to perform at multiple events across Europe in July and August.

    He told the BBC in 2013 the Alzheimer's diagnosis came after he began having difficulty remembering his songs and the names of people he had worked with.

    The soul singer cut a wide path through the music business as a performer and songwriter in his 50-year career. In 2009, Womack was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

    According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame website, Womack was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and sang gospel music at a young age.

    Under the influence of gospel and R&B legend Sam Cooke, Womack moved into secular music. In the early 1960s his group recorded "It's All Over Now," which was covered and by the Stones and became the band's first number-one hit.

    His songs have been recorded by multiple artists, and he played as a session musician in Memphis in the 1960s.

    Womack influenced many early rockers before fading from popular music for more than a decade. Albarn and XL Recordings president Richard Russell helped Womack regain his career with 2012 comeback album "The Bravest Man in the Universe."

    "I don't think he ever really thought that he would do anything again," Albarn said of Womack in March. "Watching his rehabilitation and watching his ability to confront new material and new challenges was nothing short of miraculous at the time, and he still today continues to battle his demons and his illness.

    But he's a beautiful person and when he opens his mouth and that voice comes out, it is something that is somehow touched by God."

    CHRIS TALBOTT, AP Music Writer

    AP Music Writer Mesfin Fekadu in New York contributed to this report.

    Copyright © 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

    - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/ns/obituary.aspx?n=bobby-womack&pid=171521677#sthash.TecgfPxE.dpuf

    - See more at: http://www.legacy.com/ns/obituary.aspx?n=bobby-womack&pid=171521677#sthash.TecgfPxE.dpuf

    -See more at: http://www.legacy.com/ns/obituary.aspx?n=bobby-womack&pid=171521677#sthash.TecgfPxE.dpuf

  • November 2013 - DONNA SUMMER - Love To Love You Donna [The Remixes]

    Nov 15 2013, 6:07

    Here is a Q&A from Bruce Sudano, singer-songwriter, producer and arranger who was married to the late Donna Summer.

    Here he discusses his contribution to Love To Love You Donna—the new remix album on Verve Records which celebrates the life and voice of the “queen of disco” and recent Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.

    MAGNETIC RECOMMENDS: Verve Announces Love To Love You Donna Remix LP


    Soon after Donna passed away, I began to recognize the desire and responsibility of caring for Donna’s legacy.

    My kids and I spoke about it at length, ‘What were the priorities, what would have the most impact and how would things layout time wise, going into the future?’

    My thought was and is, whenever possible work with friends–very talented friends–but people who knew and loved Donna.


    “One night at dinner in Malibu with David [Foster, Verve Chairman] and his wife Yolanda, I said I had an idea and asked for a meeting with his staff.

    I presented Verve with two ideas, a remix album, and an album of Donna hits–I already had a list of contemporary singers and Donna songs.

    I knew both ideas were long shots but for completely different reasons; however, it quickly became apparent that the album of new recordings was an unattainable goal.

    So onto the remix record–something Donna and I had discussed for years.


    Well, there was one major problem…Universal couldn’t find the master recordings of Donna’s catalogue!

    Hard to believe but true, so we decided to search again anyway. In the end, as unbelievable as this sounds, Giorgio [Moroder] found some of the masters in his laundry room.”

    “For all the other vocals there’s a new technology that allows you to isolate and separate the vocal from a mix. It wasn’t cheap, but we tried and the results were mixed.

    Sometimes it worked great, sometimes it didn’t work as well, which was the case with ‘Working the Midnight Shift’ (the Donna shadow controversy), but I really wanted that song on the record, as well as ‘Our Love’–after all these were songs she also wrote.

    I was pushing for more obscure songs but for obvious reasons the label and some of the remixers wanted the hits.


    I wasn’t involved specifically in the selection of the remixers–this complicated task fell to the very capable Dahlia Ambach-Caplin and Randall Poster, both of whom are experts in the genre and know all the players.

    This was no easy process either. They did it brilliantly, casting the record with a diverse group of contemporary remixers to re-imagine Donna’s songs for the current dance scene. It would have to cover many bases in order to hit all the different styles and moods of the scene currently in vogue, but they got it done.

    Donna was always about pushing the envelope and never wanted to repeat herself. She wanted to be in the moment, or even better a step ahead, so we knew not to play it safe in our approach. But at the same time, we had an understanding that some Donna purists might be put off.

    My thought always is, the originals exist. This record is about bringing Donna music into the current dance world, much of which is ambient and deconstructed and hard for older ears to digest, especially for those married to the originals.

    To them I say, try to imagine yourself as a 24-year old hitting the clubs! If you can’t do that, put the record on when you’re cleaning the house on a Saturday, it works perfectly! I know, I tried it.”


    I like all the tracks on the record obviously, but if I had to choose a favorite, today I’d say ‘Dim All The Lights,’ OMG!!

    I think the album works as a whole from start to finish–it takes you on a trip with different flourishes and remembrances of Donna along the way.

    I’ll tell you this, it’s always a challenge to reinterpret a masterpiece, but you have to try and separate yourself from it and view it as something new.


    From the very beginning of the project, it was my desire to include a new song, especially for the fans.

    I knew they wanted new Donna as much as I did, but the label wasn’t convinced. I sent them a demo of the song ‘La Dolce Vita’ early on and they said they didn’t feel it would work.

    Somewhere along the way I brought it up again but they still weren’t feeling it.

    Finally, as we were getting ready to master the album, Giorgio [Moroder] asked me if I had any new Donna songs that he could possibly include on a project of his. I took this as an opportunity to approach the company again and said, ‘What if Giorgio would produce the new song?’ They liked this because it book-ended the project in a beautiful way.

    Interview Credit: MSOPR
  • The DAY the blues died....June 23, 2013 -- Tennessee legend Bobby Bland succumbs

    Lug 9 2013, 19:27

    Robert Calvin "Bobby" Bland (January 27, 1930 – June 23, 2013), né Brooks, also known professionally as Bobby "Blue" Bland, was an American singer of blues and soul.

    Bland developed a sound that mixed gospel with the blues and R&B.

    He was described as "among the great storytellers of blues and soul music... [who] created tempestuous arias of love, betrayal and resignation, set against roiling, dramatic orchestrations, and left the listener drained but awed."

    He was sometimes referred to as the "Lion of the Blues" and as the "Sinatra of the Blues";[3] his music was also influenced by Nat King Cole.

    Bland was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 1981, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1992, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1997.

    The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame described him as "second in stature only to B.B. King as a product of Memphis's Beale Street blues scene.
  • Marvin Junior of the Dells (1936 - 2013)

    Giu 1 2013, 20:13

    His husky, mahogany instrument was the inspiration for Teddy Pendergrass and countless other male singers who emulated his grit, power and conviction, the very personification of a masculine voiced soul singer. When baritone Marvin Junior sang, you believed every word. As one of two long-time lead singers for the Dells (we lost the falsetto lead Johnny Carter in 2009), Marvin helped define for a generation what a male soul singer was expected to be, soulful, declarative, unwaveringly sure in his desires and love, the kind women wanted and men respected.

    An inductee in both The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Vocal Group Hall of Fame along with his fellow Dells, Marvin Junior will be greatly missed.

    Born in the Chicago south suburb of Harvey, Illinois on January 31, 1936, Marvin Junior is an original founding member of The Dells. Formed at Thornton Township High, Marvin Junior, Johnny Funches (who was later replaced by Johnny Carter, formerly of The Flamingos, following a Dells’ car accident), Verne Allison, Chuck Barksdale, Mickey McGill, and his brother Lucius (who left the group after their first 45 was released) auditioned for Chess Records as a street corner doo wop group in the 1950s and hit regionally with “Darling I Know” and “Christine.”

    After being schooled by Harvey Fuqua of the Moonglows on five-part vocal harmony and gaining experience as the background touring and session singers for the iconic Dinah Washington, the Dells proved unstoppable. Starting with their first national #3 R&B hit “Oh, What A Nite” (which would be re-recorded in 1969 as “Oh, What A Night” and became a #1 R&B and a Top 10 Pop hit) and followed through in 1965 with their Top 25 R&B hit, “Stay in My Corner,” a song whose re-recorded version eventually became The Dells first #1 R&B and Top 10 Pop hit in 1968.

    Scores of Top 40 R&B hits followed, including: “Nadine,” “Our Love,” “There Is,” “Super Woman,” “I Miss You,” “Always Together,” “Glory of Love,” “Open Up My Heart,” “I Touched A Dream,” “It’s All Up to You,” “On the Dock of the Bay,” “A Heart is a House of Love,” “The Love We Had (Stays on My Mind),” “I Wish It Was Me You Loved,” “I Can Sing a Rainbow/Love is Blue,” “Give Your Baby A Standing Ovation,” “You Just Can’t Walk Away,” “My Pretending Days Are Over,” and “Learning To Love You Was Easy (It’s So Hard Trying To Get Over You).”

    With 26 original and 14 compilation albums released, Marvin Junior and The Dells had a career spanning four decades. More meaningfully, Junior belonged to a group whose member line-up after 1960 never changed again. There are few genres where The Dells did not successfully excel during their prime, from pop and R&B to doo-wop and jazz, every genre owned by their unique harmonies.

    The act recorded for several labels, sometimes helping to define that label, like Cadet/Chess in the 1960s with producer/arranger Charles Stepney, Philadelphia International with the legendary Gamble & Huff, as well as ABC, Volt, Virgin, Vee Jay, Mercury and 20th Century Fox, among others.

    Marvin Junior and the group proved so culturally impactful during their run, they were the inspiration for Robert Townsend’s hit film The Five Heartbeats. Reportedly, it was Marvin Junior who encouraged a change in direction for the film, originally conceived as a comedy, to a serious drama, citing the decidedly unfunny experiences groups like The Dells endured on the road from 1952 up until Marvin Junior’s death, from racism to label rip-offs.

    Townsend toured for several weeks with Junior and The Dells to accurately capture the quintet's experience for Townsend's fictional story of the rise and fall of an R&B group. The movie soundtrack also landed The Dells a final major R&B hit in "A Heart is a House of Love."

    A staple of the golden-era veterans' circuit, Marvin Junior and The Dells toured extensively throughout the 90s and 2000s and recorded their last album in 2002, Open Up My Heart: The 9/11 Album. His son, Marvin Junior, Jr., has followed his father’s footsteps, becoming a respected musician and recording artist with a voice very reminiscent of his father.

    We are still working to identify and list out Marvin Junior’s surviving family members. Marvin Junior was 77. May he rest in peace and his music live on forevermore.

    By L. Michael Gipson (via www.soultracks.com)
  • Founding keyboardist of the Doors dead at 74, May 2013

    Mag 27 2013, 4:24

    Ray Manzarek, the founding keyboardist of the Los Angeles rock band The Doors, died in a clinic in Germany on Monday after a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer, according to his publicist. He was 74.

    Born Raymond Daniel Manczarek Jr. and raised on the south side of Chicago, he resisted piano lessons when he was young, until he heard Chicago blues and jazz on the radio. In 1965, he formed The Doors after moving to Los Angeles and meeting Jim Morrison. "We were aware of Muddy Waters. We were aware of Howlin' Wolf and John Coltrane and Miles Davis," Manzarek told WHYY's Fresh Air in 2000.

    Manzarek brought the Chicago sound to L.A.'s beaches, and The Doors added beat poetry and psychedelic drugs to rock 'n' roll. "As the sun is setting into the Pacific Ocean at the end, the terminus of Western civilization, that's the end of it," Manzarek said. "Western civilization ends here in California at Venice Beach, so we stood there inventing a new world on psychedelics."

    The group became well-known for Morrison's magnetism and volatility. Drummer John Densmore says Manzarek recognized Morrison's talent for words.

    "He saw in Jim the magic before anyone," Densmore says. He also figured out how to add something new to the band. "We didn't have a bass player, which is really against the rock 'n' roll rules, but we found this keyboard bass. And so Ray's left hand and my drumming were ... cooking up the groove for [guitarist] Robby [Krieger] and Jim to float on top of."

    Manzarek pulled double duty: Not only did he provide half of the rhythm section, but he played melodies too.

    "I had a keyboard bass sitting on top of a Vox Continental organ," he told Fresh Air in 2000. "The Vox Continental organ was what I played with my right hand and the Fender keyboard bass with my left hand."

    It was Manzarek's interpretation of Bach — with that right hand — that launched The Doors' first hit, "Light My Fire," in 1967.
  • Country music legend, George Jones dies at 81.

    Apr 28 2013, 9:49

    As reported below from CNN.com

    (CNN) -- George Jones, the country music legend whose graceful, evocative voice gave depth to some of the greatest songs in country music -- including "She Thinks I Still Care," "The Grand Tour" and "He Stopped Loving Her Today" -- has died, according to his public relations firm.

    Jones, 81, died Friday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, the public relations firm said. He had been hospitalized since April 18 with fever and irregular blood pressure.

    Jones' career was marked by a tumultuous marriage to Tammy Wynette and bouts with alcoholism that led to occasional concert cancellations. (One of his nicknames was "No-Show Jones"; after he got clean, he puckishly used "No-Show" on his license plates.)

    But there was no denying his talent. Waylon Jennings once wrote a song that said, "George might show up flyin' high, if George shows up at all/But he may be, unconsciously, the greatest of them all."

    Famous friends chimed in after learning of his death.

    "My friend, the greatest singer of all time, has passed," Brad Paisley wrote on Twitter. "To those who knew him, our lives were full. To those of you who don't: discover him now."

    In a statement, Merle Haggard said, "The world has lost the greatest country singer of all time. Amen."

    Jones, nicknamed "The Possum" for his resemblance to the animal, was born in 1931 in east Texas. His early life was marked by poverty and a violent, alcoholic father. Young George taught himself to play guitar, and by the time he was a teenager he was singing on the streets and in the clubs of Beaumont, Texas, not far from his birthplace of Saratoga.

    After a quick marriage and service in the Marines, Jones was discovered by Starday Records co-owner Pappy Daily, who guided his early career. Jones' first single, 1954's "No Money in This Deal," failed to chart, but 1955's "Why, Baby, Why" was a hit.

    By 1959, Jones had moved to Nashville and recorded his first No. 1, "White Lightning."

    Jones' early hits, such as "Lightning," "The Race Is On" and "Root Beer," were in a high-powered, rockabilly mode, but he found his biggest success as a crooner. Ensuing years were marked by such songs as "Things Have Gone to Pieces" and "A Good Year for the Roses," which highlighted broken or thwarted romance and the kind of longing that suggests late, lonely nights in bars.

    It was a life that Jones started knowing all too well.

    His second marriage, to Shirley Corley, was marked by frequent benders. Jones recalled one that became legend: He had been drunk for several days, and Corley hid the keys to all of their cars. However, he pointed out, she'd forgotten one vehicle: their lawnmower. They lived eight miles from a liquor store but that didn't stop Jones.

    "I imagine the top speed for that old mower was five miles per hour," he recalled in his 1996 memoir, "I Lived to Tell It All." "It might have taken an hour and a half or more for me to get to the liquor store, but get there I did."

    Jones and Corley divorced in 1968. A year later, he married Wynette, one of Nashville's biggest names. The two had a number of huge hits together, but the strain of their marriage was indicated in song titles such as their "We're Gonna Hold On" and the Jones solo song "We Can Make It." (One of Wynette's singles was called "Kids Say the Darnedest Things"; one of those "things" was "I want a divorce.")

    "By now, the couple's marriage was becoming a public soap opera, with their audience following each single as if they were news reports," wrote CMT.com in its Jones biography.

    Wynette filed for divorce in 1973, reconsidered and then filed again two years later. This time it stuck. However, though the couple were divorced, they continued to sing together for years afterward. Wynette died in 1998.

    Jones' life went into a tailspin. He started using cocaine and missing shows more frequently, 54 in 1979 alone, according to CMT.com. His weight dropped from 150 to 100 pounds. He entered rehab but left after a month.

    And yet at this time he recorded perhaps his greatest song, 1980's "He Stopped Loving Her Today," the tale of a man who continued pining for his lost love many years after she left him. The song, written by Bobby Braddock and Curly Putnam, has been voted the greatest country song of all time in a Country Music Magazine poll.

    Jones continued to struggle in the early '80s -- once leading police on a car chase in Nashville -- but with the help of his fourth wife, Nancy Sepulvado, he got clean.

    Though his hit-making slowed down, mainly thanks to changing tastes in country music, he became a revered elder statesman, often credited as an influence by generations that followed. He paid tribute to his own and preceding generations in a 1985 hit, "Who's Gonna Fill Their Shoes."

    Other singers stood up for Jones. At the Country Music Association Awards in 1999, Jones was asked to shorten his hit song "Choices." He refused and boycotted the honors. But at the awards, Alan Jackson cut his own song short and went into "Choices," giving Jones his due.

    "Not everybody needs to sound like a George Jones record," Jackson once said in an interview, according to The New York Times. "But that's what I've always done."
    His singing remains a model.

    "There aren't words in our language to describe the depth of his greatness," Vince Gill said in a statement. "I'll miss my kind and generous friend."

    Jones, a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, was honored by the Kennedy Center in 2008 and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012.
  • Jazz singer, Miss Ella Fitzgerald, remembered as a Google Doodle on her 96th…

    Apr 28 2013, 9:37

    From Google Internet News...

    If you were curious about the basis for Thursday's Google Doodle, look no farther than the Queen of Jazz. April 25 would have been Ella Fitzgerald's 96th birthday if she had not passed away in 1996.

    During her lengthy career, Fitzgerald became one of the world's most renowned jazz singers.

    Her career stretched over 59 years; she won a total of 13 Grammys, and she was even awarded a National Medal of Honor and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

    Fitzgerald's life is now a part of America's history, as archival material from her career is housed in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and some of her personal music arrangements have a home at the Library of Congress. A music festival was even created for her in Fitzgerald's birth city of Newport News, Va. It's nice to see that Fitzgerald's legacy continues to live on, even if it's in such a simple way as a Google Doodle.
  • Essential reading for serious music lovers...Just so you're informed...The qhblend…

    Feb 28 2013, 8:29

    the qhblend closes one chapter and opens another...

    Kinda like Oprah (Say Amen Somebody)

    One of our members of our group, who in my opinion writes one of the best music-based blogs on the entire World Wide Web has taken up new residence (so to speak), and I think it is really worth mentioning here, so that you, too, may keep up with his editorials.

    Our Member and My Boy (I taught him everything he knows...LOL), Quentin (I believe he hails from Ohio), owner and proprietor of the qhblend, is now launching his new site at the following web address --


    You would be hard-pressed to make note of it and keep in touch by reading him and encouraging him...the boy is bad, y'all...take it from me.

    In case you're interested, and you should be, his old blog address is --


    Consider yourselves having been informed...Thanks,

  • Dr. Drew Pinsky speaks about Mindy McCready and rehab success & non-success

    Feb 27 2013, 7:45

    Dr. Drew Pinsky, who treated Mindy McCready on his VH1 show "Celebrity Rehab" -- which has now experienced five deaths among cast-members over the years -- says he reached out to the country singer in the past month after hearing of her boyfriend's death.

    "She was devastated," he says of her reaction to the Jan. 13 death of record producer David Wilson, the father of her now-orphaned son Zayne.

    "Although she was fearful of stigma and ridicule she agreed with me that she needed to make her health and safety a priority," he says. "Unfortunately it seems that Mindy did not sustain her treatment."

    McCready died Sunday afternoon at her home in Arkansas of an apparent suicide at the age of 37.

    Pinsky calls McCready a "lovely woman who will be missed by many."

    The singer was a part of the series' third season, which has now suffered three deaths -- after Alice in Chains' Mike Starr and "Real World" alum Joey Kovar of unrelated drug overdoses in the past two years. From the second season, "Grease" actor Jeff Conaway and Rodney King have also died.

    The reality show centers on Dr. Drew and his staff at the Pasadena Recovery Center, where groups of celebrities of varying degrees of fame have sought treatment for addiction over five seasons. In all, 41 celebrities have participated, with Conaway and ex-Guns N' Roses drummer Steven Adler appearing in two seasons apiece.

    A sixth installment of the show shifted the focus to non-celebrities and was known as "Rehab With Dr. Drew."

    Read Dr. Drew's full statement (via Buzzfeed):

    I am deeply saddened by this awful news. My heart goes out to Mindy's family and children. She is a lovely woman who will be missed by many. Although I have not treated her for few years, I had reached out to her recently upon hearing about the apparent suicide of her boyfriend and father of her younger children. She was devastated. Although she was fearful of stigma and ridicule she agreed with me that she needed to make her health and safety a priority. Unfortunately it seems that Mindy did not sustain her treatment.

    Mental health issues can be life threatening and need to be treated with the same intensity and resources as any other dangerous potentially life threatening medical condition. Treatment is effective. If someone you know is suffering please be sure he or she gets help and maintains treatment.