Rock and Roll Heaven: Jefferson Airplane Edition

Have You Seen the Stars Tonite

Two members of Jefferson Airplane went to Rock and Roll Heaven on Jan 28, 2016: Paul Kantner and original singer Signe Anderson. We remember both today.

Paul Kantner

Kanter was a founding member and guitarist who remained with the band for several decades, playing on numerous influential records and the occasional hit. Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy (the Grammy Awards) paid tribute to Kanter:

"Paul was a key architect in the development of what became known as the San Francisco Sound," he wrote. "The music community has lost a true icon."

Coincidentally, the academy named Jefferson Airplane as one of it's annual Lifetime Achievement Award recipients earlier this month.

Kanter's bandmates also paid tribute, noting that while he never wrote or sang on any of the band's mega-hits, he was always a core member and critical contributor to the band's sound. Check out Ultimate Classic Rock's top 10 Kantner songs to find some gems you won't hear on the radio.

Signe Anderson (1941 - 2016)

Anderson was the vocalist on the band's 1966 debut album "Jefferson Airplane Takes Off," including the band's version of "Let's Get Together." (The Youngbloods would have a hit with the same song the following year.) Anderson left the band in 1966 following the birth of her first child with husband Jerry Anderson. Her final live appearance with the band took place on October 15, 1966, at the legendary Filmore theater in San Francisco.

Former bandmate Marty Balin posted this tribute on Facebook:

"One sweet lady has passed on. I imagine that she and Paul woke up in Heaven and said, 'Hey, what are you doing here? Let's start a band,' and no sooner then said Spencer was there joining in." (Former drummer Spencer Dryden died in January 2005.)

For more on the San Francisco Sound, see "Take A Trip Through Psychedlic Music," originally published August 18, 2015.

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