Rock and Pop Star Deaths in 2020

Bob Shane - Jan. 26; one of the three original members of the Kingston Trio, the folk group that had a No. 1 hit with "Tom Dooley" in 1959 (watch below) and released 24 studio albums and a number of live ones between 1958-2017; he passed away in a hospice in Phoenix; was 85.

Billy Joe Shaver - Oct. 28; Texas-born "outlaw" country singer recorded 17 albums from 1973-2014 and had several modest country hits, including "You Asked Me To" (No. 80, 1977, watch below), which he wrote with Waylon Jennings; suffered a stroke; was 81.

Jack Sherman - Aug. 18; Miami-born guitarist played on the Red Hot Chili Peppers debut album and co-wrote their second album Freaky Styley; cause undisclosed; was 64. 

Jason Slater - Dec. 9; original bass player in Third Eye Blind and producer of several Queensryche; suffered liver failure; was 49.

Jerry Slick - Mar. 17; Grace Slick's first husband, a drummer who founded the Great Society in 1966 with Grace and his brother Darby, who wrote "Someone to Love" (watch below; it was renamed "Somebody to Love" by Jefferson Airiplane, who had a No. 5 hit with it in 1967); Jerry and Grace were married from 1961-1971; he was also a documentary filmmaker and owned Slick Film; suffered from cancer; was 80.

Millie Small - May 5; Jamaican-born singer had hits with "My Boy Lollipop" (No. 2, 1964, watch below) and a few other novelty songs; suffered a stroke; was 72.

Michael Peter Smith - Aug. 3; Chicago-based singer-songwriter known for such songs as "The Dutchman" and "Spoon River," both performed by Steve Goodman; suffered from colon cancer; was 78.

Willie "Wild" Sparks - May 23; drummer with Graham Central Station who had hits with "Can You Handle It?" (No. 49, 1974, watch below)) and "Release Yourself" (1974); cause undisclosed; age unknown.

Geoff Stephens - Dec. 24; songwriter and member of the New Vaudeville Band who had a No. 1 hit with the novetly song "Winchester Cathedral" in 1966 (watch below); also wrote "There's a Kind of Hush" by Herman's Hermits (No. 4, 1967); cause undisclosed; was 82.

Gordon Stone - July 10; Vermont-based picker played banjo and pedal steel guitar on Phish's A Picture of Nectar (1992) and performed in the Gordon Stone Trio; cause undisclosed; was 70.


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Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.