Delaney Bramlett, 69, a singer, songwriter and producer who penned classic rock songs such as “Let It Rain” and worked with musicians George Harrison and Eric Clapton, died Saturday at UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles as a result of complications from gallbladder surgery, his wife Susan Lanier-Bramlett said.
Born in Mississippi in 1939, Bramlett came to Los Angeles in the 1960s and played guitar in the house band for the TV pop show “Shindig.”
With his then-wife Bonnie Lynn he formed the short-lived Southern blues-rock band Delaney & Bonnie & Friends. The band toured as the opening act for Blind Faith, the supergroup that featured British guitarist Clapton.
FOR THE RECORD:
Bramlett obituary: The obituary of songwriter Delaney Bramlett in Sunday’s California section said that the song “Superstar” was most recently recorded by Sonic Youth. That version of the song was included in a 1994 tribute album to the Carpenters and was not the most recent recording of the composition. —
FOR THE RECORD:
Delaney Bramlett obituary: A news obituary of rock musician Delaney Bramlett in the Dec. 28 California section said that he wrote “Never Ending Song of Love,” and that he co-wrote “Superstar” with Leon Russell and “Let It Rain” with Eric Clapton. Bramlett’s then-wife, Bonnie Bramlett, should have been included as a co-writer on those three songs. —
After Bramlett and his first wife divorced in the early ‘70s, they parted professionally as well, and he faded from the spotlight.
During his career, Bramlett performed, co-wrote or recorded with stars such as Harrison, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, John Lennon, Dave Mason, Billy Preston, J.J. Cale, the Everly Brothers and Mac Davis. He also produced artists including Etta James and Elvin Bishop.
He is perhaps best known for standards such as “Superstar,” co-written with Leon Russell, which has been recorded by many artists, most recently by Sonic Youth in a version featured on the Grammy-nominated soundtrack of the movie “Juno.”
Bramlett also co-wrote “Let It Rain” with Clapton, who also recorded it, and “Never Ending Song of Love,” which was recorded by more than 100 artists including Ray Charles, George Jones and Tammy Wynette.
Bramlett recently released an album, “A New Kind of Blues,” on independent label Magnolia Gold Records.
‘Psychotic Reaction’ writer
John Byrne, 61, a rock ‘n’ roll musician who wrote and sang “Psychotic Reaction,” the only hit of the San Jose garage band Count Five, died Dec. 15 of kidney and liver failure at the Regional Medical Center of San Jose, his daughter Tina said.
“Psychotic Reaction,” with its distinctive fuzz guitar and harmonica riff echoing the sound of the Yardbirds, reached No. 5 on the Billboard charts in 1966. It has been immortalized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as one of 500 songs that shaped rock music.
Byrne, who was born Nov. 16, 1947, in Dublin, immigrated to the United States at age 14, joining an older brother living in San Jose.
Count Five (sometimes referred to as Count V) was formed in 1964 in San Jose. Byrne, who played rhythm guitar and sang, joined lead guitarist John Michalski, bassist Roy Chaney, drummer Craig Atkinson and Ken Ellner, who also sang and played the harmonica.
The band released its debut album, also called “Psychotic Reaction,” in 1966. A few singles followed, but the group never repeated the singular success of “Psychotic Reaction.”
Byrne returned to his studies at San Jose State University and became an accountant, later working as a manager of a Montgomery Ward store in Northern California. But he never quit playing music, his daughter said.
“Maybe I made some mistakes,” Byrne told the San Jose Mercury News in 2002 when the band had a revival. “I was determined to get through college. Maybe I was wrong, but I’m glad I’m an educated man. At least when people talk to me, they know I’m not an idiot.”
Marshall Truehill Jr.
New Orleans housing activist
The Rev. Marshall Truehill Jr., 60, a New Orleans activist and religious leader who protested the destruction of low-income housing after Hurricane Katrina, died after a heart attack on Christmas Day in New Orleans.
Truehill was known for his ministry in public housing projects, and, since 1973, he had pursued improving the quality of life for residents. Truehill was appointed by former Mayor Marc Morial to the City Planning Commission in 1998.
Truehill used his knowledge of planning and public policy, with firsthand experience of New Orleans neighborhoods and its people, to promote economic development and commerce while preserving the character and integrity of the city’s historic neighborhoods.
Walter W. Gallas, director of the New Orleans field office for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, called Truehill’s death “a great loss to the community.”
“Marshall was able to eloquently express the plight of the public housing residents whose voices were stilled or ignored by city and federal officials. . . . His manner was usually cool, calm and collected, but when he was provoked, an angry and defiant edge would creep into his voice, and those in the room would stop, look up, and listen to the words of this confident preacher,” Gallas said.
Born Sept. 5, 1948, in New Orleans, Truehill was educated in the city’s public schools. He received a bachelor’s degree in music education from Xavier University, a bachelor of theology from Christian Bible College, a master’s and a doctorate of divinity from New Orleans Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in urban studies from the University of New Orleans.
Truehill was founder and executive director of Faith in Action Evangelistic Team Inc. and pastor of First United Baptist Church, a biracial church that did not reopen after Katrina and subsequent flooding devastated the city in 2005.
-- times staff and wire reports