OBITUARIES: King Snake Records' Bob Greenlee Dead At 59

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — Bob Greenlee, the founder of the Florida based blues label, King Snake Records, died in Sanford, FL on February 12 at age 59 after battling pancreatic cancer. Rufus Thomas, Lucky Peterson, Kenny Neal, Raful Neal and Noble "Thin Man" Watts were among the artists on King Snake during the late 1980's. In high school, Greenlee played in rocks bands with Duane and Gregg Allman and later was the bassist in the Midnight Creepers.

Greenlee earned an undergraduate degree at Yale and was accepted to its law school. He was also a fourth-round draft pick of the Miami Dolphins in 1967. He passed on both to be in the music business. "The blues lives here, grows here," he said in 1990. "Kind of like okra and collard greens; its natural place is the South." –Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen

Little Richard Honors Late Musician

MACON, GA (AP) — Little Richard attended funeral services for a Georgia musician who helped him get started in the recording industry and once supplied him with a shirt and a car for a performance at the Apollo Theatre.

Melvin C. "Percy" Welch offered Little Richard a place in his band in 1952.

"I didn't have clothes," Little Richard recalled Saturday at Welch's funeral in Macon. "My mama had 12 kids. My daddy was a bootlegger, and the boot was empty that day."

Welch, 75, died Feb. 8 of kidney failure.

Welch also coached Otis Redding and worked with Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Gladys Knight and The Drifters, according to friends.

Welch remained with family in Macon rather than seek fame in Hollywood. "He never did get what he should have gotten as far as his music is concerned," Little Richard said.

Turkish Musician Cem Karaca Dies At 58

INSTANBUL, Turkey (AP) — Cem Karaca, an influential rock musician whose leftist politics temporarily cost him his Turkish citizenship, has died. He was 58.

Karaca, who put together more than 20 albums, died on Feb. 8 of heart failure, doctors said.

Born in Istanbul in 1945 to an Armenian Christian mother and Muslim father, Karaca mixed Turkish themes with western rock music, and was one the most well known rock musicians in Turkey. But for many Turks, Karaca was equally known for his leftist politics.

In 1979, amid street fighting between nationalists and leftists, Karaca fled to Germany, where he was to spend the next eight years in exile.

Turkey's military, which restored order to the country with a 1980 military coup, cracked down on dissidents and demanded Karaca return to Turkey to face criminal charges of inciting violence.

He refused to return and lost his citizenship as a result. He was able to win it back and return to Turkey in 1987 after then Prime Minister Turgut Ozal, from a center-right party, intervened.

Karaca's later music assumed a more conciliatory tone and he said he wanted his music to appeal to a broader segment of society.

"Today, no one can be shot because of his or her leftist or rightist views. I can sit down and talk with a person who doesn't share the same views with me," the bearded, long-haired Karaca said in an interview with the magazine Aktuel published this month. "We can't compare the political situation in the 1970's with today's situation. I am addressing my music to my generation and the young people who don't support extremist views, but those who know how to ask questions."

Thousands of fans attended his funeral in Istanbul last week, saying Islamic prayers as requested by Karaca. He is survived by his wife and son.

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