OBITUARIES: Doug Bennett Dies At Age 53 & Hackberry Ramblers Bass Player Dead At 79

CALGARY (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Globe and Mail reported earlier this week that the front man for the Canadian indie rock group Doug and the Slugs died over the weekend in a Calgary hospital.

A native of Toronto, Doug Bennett moved to Vancouver where he founded Doug and the Slugs. He wrote a number of hits for the band, which has a total of four gold records and was hailed as one of Canada’s top touring groups during their prime in the ’80s.

Former band mate Simon Kendall released a statement in which he cited a long-standing illness as the primary cause for Bennett’s admittance to the hospital on October 9th. According to the Globe and Mail, he lost consciousness soon after arriving at the hospital and died on Saturday. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

Hackberry Ramblers Bass Player Dead At 79

LAKE CHARLES, La. (AP) – John A. "Johnny" Faulk, a bass player with the Cajun band The Hackberry Ramblers, died Sunday at a Lake Charles Hospital after falling ill unexpectedly earlier in the week. He was 79.

Faulk was a relative newcomer to the Ramblers, a band that started in the 1930s with its mix of Cajun songs in French and Western Swing. He joined around 1979, with a bass he'd bought from Sears in the late 1940s.

Although the band celebrated its 70th anniversary last year, it won national acclaim in more recent years, with a Grammy nomination and a film on PBS earlier this year, "Make'em Dance: the Hackberry Ramblers Story."

Faulk had performed as recently as last weekend in New Orleans when the band played a fais-do-do at Tipitina's dance hall and at the Prytania Theatre, following a showing of the film.

Faulk was one of the youngest members of the band – the founders are still playing in their 90s. And Faulk was the band's showman, the live wire whose whoops and hollers from the back line sparked the performances.

"He will be deeply, deeply missed – both as a person and musically," said Ben Sandmel, the band's drummer and manager. "He was the sweetest guy in the world, just a wonderful person."

Sandmel said the band will continue to perform – they have a wedding this weekend in Mandeville, a performance in Oxford, Miss., on Oct. 28, and an appearance at the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville on Oct. 30.

"It'll be heartbreaking to play without him, but it is absolutely what he would want us to do," Sandmel said.

Survivors include Faulk's wife of 59 years, Eddie Mae Faulk, one son and three daughters – and a large extended family. Sandmel noted that 18 of Faulk's relatives accompanied them on one performance at the Grand Ole Opry.

Funeral services were set for Thursday at Johnson Funeral Home in Lake Charles, followed by burial at Grand Lake Community Cemetery.

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