Joe Sample Dies at 75

September 18, 2014

Joe Sample, pioneering keyboard player and composer who grafted styles like funk, jazz, gospel, and Zydeco and founder of the Crusaders, died this past month at the age of 75. Sample, who influenced generations of musicians looking for new voice rooted in various Southern traditions, passed away from lung cancer, according to his manager. The Crusaders broke barriers and made waves in the ’60s, including the Top 40 hit, “The Freedom Sound.” Sample had also struggled with heart disease and the Eptein-Barr virus, which results in crippling fatigue, yet still took his new band, Creole Joe Band, on tour last year.

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