The highs and lows of Dayton music in 2017

As with any year, the local music scene had highs and lows in 2017 — here’s a look at a few milestones:

>> Notable local deaths from 2017




This was a big year for the deaths of notable figures in Dayton music, starting with the passing of Walter "Junie" Morrison in January. Morrison's keyboard work was a major part of classic songs by the Ohio Players and Parliament-Funkadelic, and samples of his playing became key components for several generations of hip-hop producers. The Dayton native was 62 when he died in London, England, but details were not revealed to the public.

>> Funk legend and member of Ohio Players dies

Max Nye was a longtime member of Dayton band Dark Backward and an early member of pioneering new wave band Dementia Precox. He was 59 when he passed away on March 30 after a battle with liver cancer.

>> Dayton music fans honor Max Nye

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

Heatwave singer Keith Wilder died in his sleep from unspecified causes in October. The Dayton native, who was 65, was the gruff, soulful voice behind classic R&B hits "Groove Line" and "Boogie Nights."

>> Dayton funk legend Keith Wilder of Heatwave dies

Gilly's owner Jerry Gillotti passed away in November at 80 from heart and kidney disease. While he booked blues and rock acts, Gillotti a champion of jazz for close to 50 years. He brought some of the biggest names in jazz to his music venue such as Art Blakey, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans and George Benson.

>> Dayton icon and Gilly’s nightclub owner Jerry Gillotti dies

Blues singer and harmonica player Tom "Harpoon" Henry passed away in mid-December after a fight with cancer. He was 57 and continued to perform this year when his health allowed, performing with Brown Street Breakdown, the band he fronted for more than 20 years.


Thankfully, 2017 wasn’t all a downer.

In April, Robert Pollard reached an incredible milestone when he released his 100th album, Guided By Voice's "August By Cake." That was only one of this year's offering from the ever-prolific songwriter, who has been releasing albums since GBV's debut, "Forever Since Breakfast," in 1986. Pollard's output this year included "How Do You Spell Heaven" and a series of sold-out concerts with the latest version of GBV.

>> PHOTOS: Bob Pollard on stage in Dayton



The Breeders were back in 2017. The lineup that made the landmark 1993 album, "Last Splash," has been playing live and recording the follow-up to 2008's "Mountain Battles." The new single, "Wait in the Car," dropped in October, in advance of the full-length release in 2018. Guitarist Kelley Deal's other band R.Ring also put out the excellent album, "Ignite the Rest."

>> What The Breeders told this British tabloid

Fans of the Buffalo Killers got a double of dose of goodness in the form of the band's smoking new album, "Alive & Well in Ohio," and "Plenum Castle," the excellent solo album from the band's guitarist and singer Andy Gabbard.

>> Buffalo Killers guitarist releases solo album

Hawthorne Heights spent the year touring and writing songs. The top-selling rock band was in the studio this month recording new material. The members are remaining tight-lipped about the group's sixth full-length album but it should be out in 2018.

>> 5 Dayton rock bands that have gone international

>> Daytonians of the Week: Hawthorne Heights

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