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Barry Beckett

Producer worked with famous singers

Barry Beckett, 66, a keyboard player and record producer who had important roles in recordings by Bob Dylan, Percy Sledge, Hank Williams Jr. and Kenny Chesney, died June 10 at his home in Henderson, Tenn.

He had been in failing health for several years after a stroke and being diagnosed with cancer.

"There's no way I would be where I am today in my life if it wasn't for Barry Beckett," country music star Chesney told the Tennessean newspaper.

Beckett produced the first two albums recorded by Chesney.

Beckett was born in Birmingham, Ala., and came to prominence in the 1960s as part of a group of session musicians working at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals, Ala.

As a keyboardist, Beckett played on Sledge's "When a Man Loves a Woman," Paul Simon's "Kodachrome," Bob Seger's "Mainstreet," and the Staple Singers' "Respect Yourself."

In the 1970s, he produced Dylan's "Slow Train Running," Dire Straits' "Communique" and "Honest Lullaby" by Joan Baez.

In 1984, he moved to Nashville and went to work for Warner Bros., where he co-produced three of Williams' most successful recordings: "Montana Cafe," "Hank Live" and "Born to Boogie."

Hal Woodeshick

All-Star pitcher led NL in saves in 1964

Hal Woodeshick, 76, who pitched for five major league teams during an 11-year career in which he was an All-Star and part of a World Series championship team, died Sunday in his hometown of Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

Woodeshick has been in failing health for some time, according to an announcement from the Houston Astros.

Known as a durable reliever, Woodeshick went 44-62 with 61 saves and a 3.56 ERA with Detroit, Cleveland, the Washington Senators, Houston (when the expansion team was known as the Colt .45s) and St. Louis. He was an original member of the Colt .45s and posted the second victory in Houston history. He later led the National League with 23 saves in 1964 as a member of the Colt .45s and was named to the National League All-Star team.

Woodeshick had a quirk on the mound: Although he had an excellent pickoff move to first base, he had trouble throwing there after fielding comebackers. The problem became so pronounced that he eventually trotted toward the bag before making a soft toss.

Woodeshick threw his final pitch in the majors for St. Louis, retiring Boston star Carl Yastrzemski on a grounder late in Game 6 of the 1967 World Series.

The next day, the Cardinals won the title.

-- times staff and wire reports

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