The Journal Gazette
 
 
Thursday, February 13, 2020 1:00 am

Deaths

Jazz keyboardist Mays dies after battling illness

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES – Lyle Mays, a jazz keyboardist whose work, chiefly with the Pat Metheny Group, won nearly a dozen Grammy Awards, died Monday in Los Angeles. He was 66. Mays had a “long battle with a recurring illness,” according to Pat Metheny's website.

“Lyle was one of the greatest musicians I have ever known,” Metheny wrote. “Across more than 30 years, every moment we shared in music was special.”

He co-founded the group with guitarist Metheny in the 1970s, where he was a performer, composer and arranger. The group's endlessly innovative fusion style incorporated everything from rock and contemporary jazz to world music. Mays also was a sideman for albums by jazz, rock and pop artists, including Joni Mitchell, Rickie Lee Jones and the group Earth, Wind & Fire.

'Sweet Charity' actress Kelly dies

Actress, singer and dancer Paula Kelly, who earned an Emmy Award nomination on the sitcom “Night Court” and co-starred with Chita Rivera and Shirley MacLaine in the film “Sweet Charity,” has died. She was 77. Kelly died Sunday of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, according to Los Angeles' Ebony Repertory Theatre.

Kelly earned a best supporting actress Emmy nod in 1984 for portraying public defender Liz Williams on the first season of NBC's “Night Court” and received another in 1989 for playing a lesbian on the ABC miniseries “The Women of Brewster Place.”

Kelly made her Broadway debut in the 1964 musical “Something More!” directed by Jule Styne and starring Barbara Cook. She later shared the stage with Morgan Freeman on Broadway in “The Dozens.”

Longtime Nelson drummer, 87, dies

A publicist for Willie Nelson says Paul English, Nelson's longtime drummer and the inspiration for Nelson's song “Me and Paul,” has died. He was 87. Elaine Schock had no other details on English's death as of Wednesday.

English joined Nelson's band, nicknamed the Family, in 1966 and continued with him for most of his long career. English earned a reputation for brandishing a firearm and engaging in off-stage scuffles that made him an outlaw sideman as tough as Nelson himself.

Nelson bragged on their escapades in the song, singing “And at the airport in Milwaukee, They refused to let us board the plane at all, They said we looked suspicious, But I believe they like to pick on me and Paul.”


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