The Baltimore Sun

Bill Chinnock, a musician and founding member of what became Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, died Wednesday, police said in Yarmouth, Maine. He was 59.

Mr. Chinnock, a blues and roots rock stylist, had Lyme disease, and police said they were called to his East Main Street home by his live-in caregiver. Lt. Dean Perry would not comment on the cause of death but said "it is not of a suspicious nature."

Mr. Chinnock's manager, Paul Pappas, told WCSH-TV that the guitarist, keyboardist, singer and songwriter committed suicide.

A Newark, N.J., native, Mr. Chinnock was a key figure in the Asbury Park, N.J., music scene that propelled Springsteen to stardom.

Mr. Chinnock moved to Maine in the 1970s. He made 13 albums and in 1987 won an Emmy for his song "Somewhere in the Night." A duet he later recorded with Roberta Flack was used for the soap opera Guiding Light.

His albums include Blues, Badlands, Alive at the Loft, Dime Store Heroes, Livin' in the Promised Land and Out on the Borderline.

In addition to performing at venues in Maine and around the country, Mr. Chinnock wrote music for films and television.

JAMES R. ROSS, 80 Judge, kin of Jesse James

Retired California Superior Court Judge James R. Ross, great-grandson of outlaw Jesse James and author of a book about him, I, Jesse James, died Monday. He was 80.

Judge Ross died of a heart attack at his Fullerton home, third cousin Eric James, president of the James Preservation Trust, said Wednesday from his home in Danville, Ky.

Born in 1926 in Independence, Mo., Judge Ross was said to be the closest living relative of Jesse James. His father was Jesse Edward James. Judge Ross' book on his great-grandfather, who died in 1882, was published in 1989.

Judge Ross was an Orange County Superior Court judge from 1983 to 1995. Of all the cases he handled, his cousin said, Judge Ross was proudest of one involving two men who were kicked out of Disneyland in 1980 for dancing together. In 1984, Judge Ross ruled in favor of the couple.

"He felt that basically it was in the tradition of the James family to make sure civil rights are restored to citizens," Eric James said.

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