In a year that lasted longer than any other year in my own recent memory, it’s hard to believe that Neil Peart, David Olney, and legendary Philadelphia DJ Gene Shay all died this year.
This year we also lost civil rights era heroes John Lewis, C.T. Vivian, Bruce Boynton and Charles Evers – as well as Chuck Yeager and the Notorious RBG.
The sports world said goodbye to a laundry list of legends: Gale Sayers, Don Shula, Joe Morgan, Don Larsen, Lou Brock, Bob Gibson, Whitey Ford, Dick Allen, Tom Dempsey, Al Kaline, Tom Seaver, Paul Hornung, Jay Johnstone…and we said goodbye to Sean Connery, Carl Reiner, Chadwick Boseman, Brian Dennehy, Buck Henry, Robert Conrad, Lyle Waggoner…
Behind the desk, we lost some great ears – this year, Keith Olsen, Bruce Swedien, Rupert Hine, Bob Kulick, and the legendary Hal Willner all left us.
Country music took an especially hard hit this year – Mac Davis and Helen Reddy died on the same day. They also lost Kenny Rogers, Hal Ketchum, Jan Howard, Joe Diffie, Charlie Daniels, Billy Joe Shaver, KT Oslin, Justin Townes Earle and Doug Supernaw.
Then there were the folks whose names you might not recognize – Buddy Cage, Pete Carr, Jamie Oldaker, Bucky Baxter, Chris Darrow, Todd Nance, Bones Hillman, Lyle Mays, Bucky Pizzarelli, McCoy Tyner, Eric Weissberg…all great players who left their mark on the landscape for years to come.
Little Richard. John Prine. Emitt Rhodes. Bill Withers.
And because the year just doesn’t seem to let up, we’re still processing the loss of Charley Pride, Leslie West…and Eddie Van Halen.
That’s a herd of huge footprints that’ll never be filled. Fare thee well.