From Chris Daniels on Fb, 3/23/18: There are times when we just don’t know how to say goodby. One of the greats is gone today, Kooster McAllister. He was a dear friend, a founder of the Telluride Bluegrass Festival, a great banjo picker, and one of the most honored remote, mixing and recording engineers in the world.
His accolades included a Grammy for “Standing In The Shadows of Motown,” engineering credits on albums from Springsteen to Pavarotti – The Rolling Stones to Prince. For years he was the engineer with his truck (The Record Plant Truck) for ABC’s Good Morning America. But that is just what he did for a living.
He was a great dad, and a dear friend. I ran into him a number of times over the past few years and had dinner with him, Chris M, Sam B, and Lynn B last year in Telluride. He was happy, in love, thrilled to watch his son moving safely into the industry and thrilled to see the Festival that he started with Picker, Fred and others, move into this century healthy, strong and in good hands.
Kooster played the song I wrote on banjo, “Old Man Das” better than I did and we laughed about it at that dinner. I stayed at Kooster’s house down the valley a number of times including one time when I almost lost my toe on an axe he kept at the bottom of his loft ladder. We still laughed about it (though not on that particular day).
He was gentle, wise, wonderfully opinionated (a good thing) and probably the best recording engineer I ever knew. He was funny as hell and he had a heart about the size of a Telluride full moon. He died of cancer near his home in New Jersey – surrounded by family and loving friends.
He was too young – but he packed more life into his time on the planet than anybody I ever knew. Big hugs dear ol’ friend. You gave the world so much incredible music that will live forever. As we used to say at our partings, “I love ya, buddy.” ~ CD
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Other Notable Musicians’ Deaths… March 2018
28: Oleg Anofriyev, 87, Russian actor, singer, songwriter, film director and poet.
26: Nikolay Kaufman, 92, Bulgarian musicologist, folklorist and composer.
25: Seo Min-woo, 33, South Korean singer (100%), suspected overdose; Jerry Williams, 75, Swedish singer, cancer.
24: José Antonio Abreu, 78, Venezuelan conductor and politician, founder of El Sistema; Lys Assia, 94, Swiss singer, winner of the first Eurovision Song Contest (1956); Rim Banna, 51, Israeli Arab singer, composer and activist, breast cancer; John Hsu, Chinese-born American violist.
23: Robert McAllister, 67, American recording engineer (The Rolling Stones, Bruce Springsteen, Rush), owner of Record Plant remote studio.
22: Shawn Elliott, American hardcore rock singer; Carlos Eduardo Miranda (pt), 56, Brazilian journalist, musician, record producer and reality television judge (Ídolos, Qual é o Seu Talento?).
20: Dilbar Abdurahmonova, 81, Uzbekistani conductor, violinist and teacher, People’s Artist of the USSR (1977); Dejan Bravnicar, 80, Slovene violinist; Ariel Bybee, 75, American operatic mezzo-soprano; Kak Channthy, 38, Cambodian space rock singer, traffic collision; Peter Cowling, 72, British bassist (Pat Travers Band); C. K. Mann, 81-82, Ghanaian highlife musician.
19: Irwin Hoffman, 93, American conductor; Shavey, Kenyan dancehall singer, traffic collision.
18: Karamjit Singh Dhuri, 80, Indian singer, traffic collision; Killjoy, 48, American musician (Necrophagia).