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Band of Gypsys Drummer Buddy Miles Dies

February 28, 2008 10:33 AM ET

Buddy Miles, who played drums for Jimi Hendrix's Band of Gypsys, died at his home in Austin, Texas yesterday. He was sixty. In addition to Hendrix, Miles worked with the likes of Carlos Santana, John McLaughlin, Stevie Wonder, Muddy Waters and David Bowie over a four-decade career. But his biggest contribution was to Band of Gypsys, a band that, along with bassist Billy Cox, was immortalized after performing four nights at the Fillmore East in NYC around New Year's 1970. Later in his career, Miles' contributed vocals to the California Raisins' version of "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," and was most recently plotting a Band of Gyspys reunion with Cox and other guitarists. In a statement yesterday, longtime friend Cox called Miles "an unsung musical genius."

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Song Stories

“Nightshift”

The Commodores | 1984

The year after soul legends Marvin Gaye and Jackie Wilson died, songwriter Dennis Lambert asked members of the Commodores to give him a tape of ideas. "And the one from Walter Orange has this wonderful bass line," said co-writer Franne Golde. "Plus the lyric, 'Marvin, he was a friend of mine' ... Within 10 minutes, we had decided it should be something like a modern R&B version of 'Rock 'n' Roll Heaven,' and I just said, 'Nightshift.'" This tribute to the recently deceased musicians was the band's only hit without Lionel Richie, who had left for a solo career.

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