In Memoriam

Posted In: Arts & Entertainment, Local Music,   From Issue 134   By: Robert E Martin

16th December, 1983     0

We lost several great musicians and artistic talents in 2014 that made an undeniable impact upon our regional music scene, along with several legendary artists that established a legacy for innovation. Here are but a few:

Richard Wagner. Saginaw’s ‘Mystery Man’ passed away in 2014, leaving a solid legacy of distinct musical accomplishment. A guitarist, songwriter, vocalist with a gifted ear for lyricism and arrangement, Wagner achieved consecutive stages of success with his early career in The Bossmen and later The Frost, moving on to collaborate with Alice Cooper and Lou Reed. He also contributed to recordings from Kiss, Aerosmith and Air Supply. Wagner was a community activist and spearheaded many worthy causes such as the 'Save the Children' Foundation.  Dick Wagner has lived a life from which the fairy dust of Rock ‘n Roll dreams is born.  With a stellar career that spanned four decades, he wrote over 300 songs in his lifetime and experienced firsthand both the innocence and decadence of what has become an almost mythic lifestyle.

Jeff Shaw. A consummate drummer and musician for over 30 years, Jeff started playing drums at the age of nine and embarked upon a journey that entertained many ears and influenced many lives throughout the tri-city area. He performed with such luminaries as The Kix Band, Ovation and The Klams, while filling in with just about every group performing the regional circuit.

Nick Oppermann.  A founding member of the New Reformation Dixieland Band along with his brother Dave, Nick was also a key player in the Celebration Road Show and gifted with public relations, proven through his track record as Director of Public Relations & adjunct instructor at Northwood University, along with this duties as editor at The Township Times and executive director of The Saginaw Bay Symphony Orchestra.  A talented troubadour and ambassador of music, he will be missed.

Other significant musical artists that we lost in 2014 include: Jack Bruce, co-founder of the legendary group Cream; Small Faces keyboardist Ian McLagen; Phil Everly of the Everly Brothers; Rolling Stones saxophonist, Bobbie Keys; and Stooges co-founder Scott Asheton.


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