A few that left us in 2011

The lists of people that died during the year fills newspapers, magazines and tv shows. Most lists show more or less the same people, e.g. the most famous terrorist in history and the guy that made electronics fruity.

My list is not something I really prepared for a long time, and two of them I did not know about before they died. But I think they are all worth reading about, listening to and maybe get inspired by. The order they are listed in is just coincidental.

Bill Tapia, ukulele and guitar player, died at the age of 103, being probably the oldest active musician in the world, and also the one with the longest professional music career. It was a fascinating life. There are excellent clips of him on youtube.

Dennis Ritchie died at the age of 70, without much notice in the non-tech media. He was co-creator of the original Unix and also the programming language C. Maybe not as fancy as fruity computers, but he was a giant, and a key figure in the history of technology.

David "Honeyboy" Edwards, the last of the old Delta Blues musicians, died at the age of 96. He was not of the earlier generations like Charley Patton, Son House and Tommy Johnson but the same as Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters and Johnny Shines. Edwards was not regarded as one of the true giants, but he was there, he knew and played with many of them. He was probably the last link to that era. He continued to perform until this year. Official site.

Pinetop Perkins, pianist, perhaps most famous for being part of Muddy Waters 1970s band. His career was also very long. He was born in 1913. Official site.

This list has a lot of music makers. When writing today, I realised Hubert Sumlin, sadly passed away a few weeks ago, at the age of 80. Forever known as Howling Wolf's permanent guitar player for many years. He had a very personal and sharp style of playing.

Michael Stern Hart, inventor of the ebook and founder of Project Gutenberg. Visionary and inventor, a fighter for the public domain and for knowledge. There should be more people like him in the world.

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