Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Clarence McDonald, Cheech and Chong Big Bambu Organist, Dies at 76

Clarence “Mac” McDonald, a keyboardist, producer, songwriter and arranger who collaborated with the likes of Ray Charles, Bill Withers, James Taylor and Cheech & Chong, has died. He was 76.

McDonald died Wednesday in Las Vegas after a long battle with cancer, a family spokesperson said.

In the 1960s, McDonald served as the musical director and pianist for The Vocals — an opening act for Charles that was a forerunner of The 5th Dimension — and later played keyboards on “Moving on Up,” the theme song to the 1975-85 CBS sitcom The Jeffersons that was performed by actress Ja’Net DuBois and a gospel choir.

He made songwriting contributions to Deniece Williams’ 1976 debut album This Is Niecy; produced Withers’ 1977 LP Menagerie, which included the No. 1 hit “Lovely Day”; and co-produced with Maurice White The Emotions’ 1977 album, Rejoice, which featured another chart-topper, “The Best of My Love.”

McDonald played on songs including Taylor’s 1975 classic “How Sweet It Is” and Charles and Gladys Knight’s “Heaven Help Us All,” from Charles’ final album, 2004’s Genius Loves Company, and he was the only musician heard on Cheech & Chong’s seminal 1972 comedy album Big Bambu (he played the organ).

Born in Los Angeles on Feb. 24, 1945, McDonald was playing the piano in a funeral home by the age of 12 and in nightclubs by age 16. He graduated from Dorsey High School, then, after working with The Vocals, spent two years in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War.

McDonald went on to work with such other acclaimed artists as The Temptations, Ella Fitzgerald, Carole King, The Jackson 5, Patti LaBelle, Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand, Marlena Shaw, Hall & Oates, Nancy Wilson, Freddie Hubbard, Johnny Mathis, Billy Preston, Tina Turner, Justin Timberlake, Linda Ronstadt, Boz Scaggs and Seals & Crofts during his 50-plus-year career.

Survivors include his wife, Susan.

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Tommy Chong Auctioning his 1959 Jaguar Mark IX

 Tommy Chong is selling his 1959 Jaguar Mark IX on eBay.  Bidding is up to $6249 with 3 days remaining.

"This 1959 Jaguar Mk IX is a running and driving project finished in black with a brown leather interior. The original hood ornament is in place as indicated in the photographs. The tires on this car are older and there is cracking in the paint. Some of the chrome accents are loose as shown. The original California license plate that was shown in Motor Trend Magazine featuring Tommy Chong (Cheech and Chong) is attached in included with the vehicle purchase. The mileage shows just over 84000 miles, although I am not sure if these are the true miles. The former owner stated that they preformed a carburetor rebuild, replaced coolant hoses, serviced the brake master cylinder, and a full ignition tune up in 2011. I have personally driven this vehicle on my property to ensure it runs and drives but have not driven it in length to attest to the roadworthiness. 

The interior does need some much needed cosmetic love as shown. Mr. Chong did sign one of the rear flip down tray tables. The signature has faded over the years but is still visible. This is a very beautiful barn find - selling it in as found condition, the pictures speak for themselves."

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Richard "Cheech Marin" Turns 75

 Comedian/actor/art aficionado, Richard 'Cheech' Marin, turns 75 today.  He was born July 13th, 1946 in Los Angeles California.