TWANG TALK: Singers who left us without the fanfare
OPINION: LET'S turn our attention from country music for this week only, and contemplate on the passing of two big names in mainstream music.
The first was pop and jazz diva Kay Starr, who died without much fanfare last year, and pop star Peter Saarsted, who left us early this year.
Born Katherine Laverne Starks in 1922, Starr entered the music scene as a pop and jazz singer in the 1940s.
The mid-50s saw her blast into the pop field with Wheel Of Fortune, which made her a household name until, in the 60s, she repeated that success with Rock and Roll Waltz.
The song stood out because in a world clamouring for more frantic rock songs it was a cute little story told in waltz time.
Only a month or so back I got a call from a listener requesting the song some 50-plus years after its release, and a number of calls after it was played from people who said how wonderful it was to hear it again.
Saarsted was Indian by birth and moved to Britain in his early teens.
He broke into the music game as a folk singer, but really made the world sit up and listen in 1969 when he released his biggest hit, Where Do You Go To My Lovely?, which left listeners scratching their heads and trying to come to grips with the lyrics, while they queued up in their millions worldwide to buy the record.
He released quite a number of songs after that but none could quite reach the same standard, although Frozen Orange Juice and Take Off Your Clothes were two that threw out a challenge.
He passed away after a prolonged battle with progressive supranuclear palsy.