Thursday, January 22, 2009

RIP David "Fathead" Newman

KINGSTON, N.Y. (AP) — Jazz musician David "Fathead" Newman, who was a tenor soloist with the Ray Charles Band, died Tuesday. He was 75.

His manager, Karen Newman, said Newman died of pancreatic cancer in a hospital in Kingston, N.Y.

A Dallas native, Newman left college to tour with Charlie Parker's mentor, Buster Smith.

According to his Web site, Newman spent twelve years with the Ray Charles Band starting in 1954. He began as the baritone player and became the star tenor soloist.

He returned to Dallas and led his own bands before moving to New York City. As a studio musician he worked on recording projects with musicians including Herby Mann, Aretha Franklin and Aaron Neville.

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