Our dear friend, fellow songwriter-singer, life lover and cherished friend Sandy Ross died this week. This is a message to all her friends and fans from her partner in life and love, also a cherished friend, Lee Hirsch.
Dear Friends and Colleagues of Sandy Ross:
It is with great sadness that I tell you of the passing of contemporary folk and acoustic blues songwriter-performer, Sandy Ross. She was surrounded by her family and loved ones, when she left us, on Saturday, May 6, 2017.
Sandy was known for her laughter, that bright smile with her twinkling eyes, and her welcoming ways, and of course her many talents, musically. She entertained audiences with her own special blend of contemporary folk and acoustic blues for more than four decades. Originally from Phoenix, Arizona, she spent the ’70s in Los Angeles, working as a staff songwriter for Warner/Chappell Music and producing demos on a single-song basis for nine other major song publishers including: Filmways Music, MCA Music, and
During that decade she had songs recorded by Kim Carnes and Anne Murray at a time when they were at the height of their careers. In addition, she released an indie LP of her own performances (A Lady of a Different Time, 1971). She was a regular singer-songwriter throughout the greater Los Angeles area and also booked other performers of many different genres at various Hollywood live-performance venues, including
the Los Angeles Performing Arts and Folklife Festival and the internationally-renowned Bla-Bla Cafe.
Sandy released three indie recordings in the’90s and toured the greater U.S. four times doing more than 48 live syndicated radio shows and 120 coffeehouse/bookstore performances.
In 1995, her third album and first CD, Portraits of Innocence, made the FOLKDJ-L Top 50 and received airplay on folk shows on 387 radio stations, including rotation play on 17
Americana reporting stations. The Portraits of Innocence cut, “All My Heroes Sang the Blues,” not only made the Americana rotation, but was featured on the CBC in Canada and made Top 40 rotation play in Hong Kong, during that same time period.
In 1998 her CD, Coloring Outside the Lines, also made the FOLKDJ-L Top 50 (at number 9) when it debuted and in 1999 both CDs were incorporated into the Smithsonian Institute Folkways catalog, in addition to the Fast Folk recordings she made for the two Los Angeles compilation albums. (Sandy has the distinction of being the only Los Angeles singer-songwriter to have been included on both LA Fast Folk compilations.)
In 2005 Sandy wrote and compiled the book A Place Called the Bla-Bla Cafe, which is an insider’s look at Hollywood talent showcasing against the historically political backdrop of the 1970s. The book has received great reviews and accolades from indie book ublishing organizations and readers’ websites, including a 2007 Independent Publishers Book Award (IPPY).
Sandy’s most recent CD, Grandma’s Got a Boombox, 2015, was exceptionally
well-received by the folk/acoustic music community. It reached number 14
on the Folk Radio Top 70, was on the charts for six months straight after its release, and at year end was the 53rd most played album of the year (out of the top 300). “Distant Campfire,” from that album, reached number six on the Top Folk Songs chart, and was the 26th most played folk song for 2015.
Sandy just completed her last project, an acoustic blues compilation CD, All My Heroes Sang the Blues (May 2017), which is scheduled for release this May/June.
There will be a CD Release party/Celebration of Life, for Sandy, but information is not available at this time. When it is, you’ll be notified of the details.
Again, I share your sorrow. Can’t help but wonder where all that intelligence, humor, and love she so willingly shared, went. She will be missed by so many, but none more than I.
–Lee Hirsch, May 9, 2017