KATHERINE ANDERSON (SCHAFFNER) co-founder of the Marvelettes died on Wednesday 20th September. She was aged 79 and her daughter, who announced the sad news, said that her mother died of heart failure associated with congestive heart failure.

It was in 1961 that Katherine and school mates Gladys Horton, Georgeanna Tillman, Juanita Cowart and  Georgia Dobbins formed a vocal group, the Casinyets (“can’t sing yet!”). They auditioned for Motown as the Marvels and though rejected at first, when they returned with the Dobbins co-penned ‘Please Mr. Postman’, Berry Gordy signed ‘em up. A quick name change to the Marvelettes .. and the rest is history!

Anderson rarely took lead vocals and drifted away from the group (who’d had numerous personnel changes) in the 1970s. She went on to work on various Detroit community projects and was a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees along with the other Marvelettes.

US sources are reporting the death on Tuesday 14th September of FRED “TIMBALES” LEWIS, percussionist and songwriter with Lakeside. Few details are forthcoming save that he was aged 72. Lakeside (formed in 1970)  was made up of two Dayton, Ohio bands – the Nomads and the Young Undergrounds.  They were originally called Lakeside Express and after gaining popularity on the LA club circuit they were signed by music biz hustler, Dick Griffey who won them a Motown contract. Little came of that, so Griffey put them with his new SOLAR label. By then they were just “Lakeside” and they soon enjoyed a run of hit singles and successful albums. Their biggest hit was ‘Fantastic Voyage’ (later remade by Coolio) but their  cover of the Beatles’ ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ is worth checking.

R&B singer, IRISH GRINSTEAD died on Saturday 16th September. She was aged just 43 and was a member of the girl group, 702. It’s reported that  she’d been dealing with “medical issues” since the start of the year. Ms Grinstead began singing as a teen with her twin sister Orish and her other sister LeMisha. They were “discovered” by Michael Bivens and won a record contract but before they cut a record, Orish was replaced by a school friend Kameelah Williams. Called 702, the telephone area code in Las Vegas, where they were from, they debuted in 1996 with the album ‘No Doubt’. The group biggest hit was 1999’s ‘Where My Girls At?’