ANGEL RISSOFF

1948-2017
Fashion Blog

Angel Rissoff Sings From the Heart

Whether it's Soul, Urban Blues or Rock!

My Brother Angel

Stuart Rissoff, November 14, 2017

It is with profound sadness that I announce the death of my brother Angel Rissoff. I would like to thank all who came out for his funeral. It was a sendoff that he would have enjoyed. Angel had been battling cancer for the last 16 months. He fought this disease with dignity and determination. Unfortunately, he ultimately lost the battle. Despite the grim prognosis when he was first diagnosed, he never gave up. His outlook was positive. There were of course ups and downs, side effects from the drugs, and the knowledge that he faced an uphill battle. Thankfully, he was able to maintain his independence and quality of life almost to the very end. Indeed, I was able to see his last performance in May. He sounded and looked great. The fact that it was at first unclear whether he would have been alive in May made the event that much sweeter. Nevertheless, his condition then deteriorated to the point that he could no longer perform, inasmuch as his condition fluctuated day to day.

Angel was a Jewish kid from the Bronx. He was a product of his time. He was born in 1948, and raised on Howdy Doody, the Lone Ranger, baseball cards, comic books and the Honeymooners. Music was in his blood. He lived my father's dream, which was to be a singer. At an early age, he became consumed by the music of Chuck Berry, James Brown, The Flamingos, Sam Cooke, and Little Richard, to name a few. When he was 18 he left home to pursue a career in Rock and Roll. He initially moved to Florida, becoming a part of the South Florida music scene, first with The Kollektion and then The Blues Image. As the house band for the popular Thee Image club, The Blues Image shared bills with the leading rock acts of the time, including Jimi Hendrix and The Doors. His passion never abated. More recently he was a member of Little Isidore and the Inquisitors, and Kenny Vance and the Planotones. He also had a successful solo career. He collaborated with Gene Cornish, Eddie Brigati, Johnny Gale, Seth Glassman, John "Ratso" Girardi and others.

His career was not without pitfalls. Those who follow Facebook know that his last post on Wednesday celebrated his 27th anniversary of sobriety.

He was the proud and loving father of Emily, who was the light of his life. He was also blessed to have Johunta Klasson in his life the last 4 years. Her love and support was critical in his struggle battling this disease. He was also blessed to have doctors and support staff at Sloan-Kettering whose care and compassion guided him through this ordeal. Dr. James Harding and Dr. Xiomara Rocha-Cadman were there to shepherd him through his treatment. They truly are doing God's work. If anyone wishes to make a donation to any organization in Angel's honor we would request that it be Sloan-Kettering.

A few paragraphs do not sum up a life, but offer a glimpse into how it was lived. His life was characterized by honesty, integrity, humility, and malice toward none. The posts online echo these sentiments. These are traits that too often are in short supply today. While he was not a religious person, he was a spiritual one. At the funeral, my friend David spoke about the story of Jacob, who reportedly was never buried, implying that he never died. The rabbinical interpretation was that he never died because his teachings, and impact on others, was eternal. As a brother, father, friend, and musician, his impact lives on in us, and hopefully those who come after us. Through his music he brought joy to so many.

Through the power of recordings, YouTube, and social media, he will live on through his music, which may be the ultimate tribute.

A memorial jam will be held in the near future. We will post the date and place once it has been finalized.

My Dad

Emily Rissoff, November 10, 2017

Many of you may not have known, but for the last year or so, my dad has been battling liver cancer. Very early this morning, his body finally gave up. This is the last picture we took together. On Tuesday I had a cold and called out of my internship, so I made us tea. I stayed home yesterday too. I never thought I’d say thank goodness I got sick.

Today has been so weird. I’m waiting for a text from him or something saying this is all a joke and he’ll be home tomorrow. But I know I have to accept the truth that he was suffering and now he’s at peace. Despite drama we encountered, family or otherwise, we had a really good relationship. He was always there for me and listened to whatever problems I had. Whether it was playing catch at the park, playing music on the piano and guitar (respectively), or sitting in the living room reading books or watching tv, we had fun. It was impeccable timing that I left Trader Joe’s in October and got to spend more of this past month home with him. We’ve done a lot of laughing and crying in this time because we knew the day was coming.

No amount of preparation could stop the pain when it finally happens, but I’m glad to say I don’t have any regrets. His music will live on in the hearts of many fans. Heaven has gained another Angel. Literally and figuratively.

My Friend Angel

Bill Paolucci, November 15, 2017

Even though I have never met Angel in person, he lived in The Bronx and I live in North Central Indiana, I feel I know him from Facebook, our phone calls, texts, emails and most of all his music.

I became aquainted with Angel several years ago through our mutual friend, Ratso Gerardi. I was and still am Ratso's webguy. A couple years ago I became Angel's webguy also.

Part of my job was to create posters for the gigs Angel, Mike Marble and Ratso (Mars Project) would perform. I would portray the guys as characters from movies, TV, current events, etc. Angel would always get a big kick out the these. I have posted several below.


I love all of Angel's music but this is my favorite.



















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Comments

Thank you, Stuart, for filling in the last 16 months. I’d fallen out of touch.

Howard Sann

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You, your family and the world have suffered a huge loss. He became a dear friend as my husband and I followed him for many years. He shared his love of books with Joe Furman and my husband Jim. Boxes of books traveled from New York to New Jersey to Connecticut. I like to believe the 3 of them are caught up now. Jim passed November 9, 2015 and Joe last summer. They all suffered such slow deaths with courage. I will miss Angel but am glad he is at peace.

Judy Bute

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Angel and I were friends for over 20 years. I knew him as a dynamic performer but also a caring, genuine and honest friend. I will forever cherish the times we spent together as a part of the music world at shows or interviewing him for my radio program, but also times like when we hung out at the mall, my apartment, KHP Music in Dunn, NC, The Carolina Beach Music Awards (where the crowds always loved him) or wherever we happened to be. I will miss our phone calls where we talked about music of course where he'd say "I'm gonna send you something I'm working on. Let me know what you think", what Emily was working on music-wise, baseball, life in general and whatever came to our minds. It was an honor every time I had the opportunity to introduce him on stage or to any music lover. In 2007 we were working the Charleston Beach Music & Shag Festival and I introduced him to the crowd as The Bronx Bomber of Soul. He later asked me "Where the heck did you come up with that?" to which I replied, "Well, Babe was the Bronx Bomber, so as a play on that moniker, I came up with The Bronx Bomber of Soul". he said "I like it. Thanks, man". So many great times and stories of Angel I will always remember. My love, respect and sympathy is extended to Emily, Stuart, Johunta and Angel's many friends and fans. Angel, I love ya man!!

Butch Halpin

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I’m so sad to hear about Angel. I’ve known him and been a fan since his days with the Inquisitors.

Felix

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God bless you, sweetheart. I'm in the wings and will be checking in on you. Your dad made his presence known to me 3 times yesterday. Very profound. Just know you're surrounded. I know today is the funeral. You're in my heart.

XO Rosalinde

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Hi Emily

So very sorry to learn of your dad’s passing. He & I had worked together both in a vocal group and in studio back up sessions. One of the many things I recall is that at the finish of every working session he wanted to get back to you. You were always his first consideration.

In addition to his remarkable talent, his dedication as a parent never ceased to impress me.

Respectfully & Sincerely,
Les Levine

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I am so sorry to hear this — Angel’s music will always live on. Thank you for letting us know and we will be saying a prayer for you.

Sonny Francis

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Emily

What can i say we never met but your father talked about you all the time he was so proud of you that's why when you put out your record I had to buy it I had to support you because you were his little girl. Angel rissoff is one of the most talented musicians I've ever worked with and in 2013 I lost my father-in-law and he supported me and we talked about a lot of things but the thing that was most important other than his music was his being a father and that's something that he was so proud of and I'm just so sorry and I am so happy you were able to spend time with them and I wish there was something I could do or say that would help I want to make sure if there's any recordings that I have or videos or photos of him thst i have I will make sure you get them.

Please keep me posted on what you plan on doing.

Love one of the City Boys Allstars
Horace Derayco Scott

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So very sorry for your loss. He will be sorely missed.

Bob "Bluesbobby" Weinberg President, South Florida Blues Society

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Dear Emily,

I am so sad to hear this terrible news; I was unaware that you father had a bout with cancer. We were friends for over 50 years, as I was one of his first managers. His other manager, my partner, Ritchie Reitzer, passed away years ago.

Once upon a time, 30 years ago, I taught your father to hypnotize himself and he stopped smoking cigarettes immediately. He walked into my apartment, a smoker, and walked out a non-smoker.

My heartfelt condolences go out to you, dear Emily. Angel was a soulful singer and a good person. He was intelligent and caring, and I will miss him sorely.

With warmest personal regards,
Michael

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Emily,

i’m so sorry for your loss. i first met your dad over 50 yrs ago when we actually shared girlfriends back in our “ Bronx Boys " days. we also shared our LOVE of music especially doo wop . he of course was part of our street corner singers, where he would entertain us and develop his talent. we also shared our LOVE for the METS and always remained loyal through their struggles and celebrated their triumphs. and even though i’ve been living in san diego for over 35 yrs now , we’ve kept in contact mainly through FB. you’re correct in saying that ‘ heaven has gained another angel‘. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

Jimmy Barone

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Dear Emily

Sorry,to hear,this news! Yes,I enjoyed your dad,s music have a few CD,s of his. Like,you said Emily,Heaven,has gained an angel! Angel RIP.

THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC
TOM

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Emily,

I am so sorry for your loss. Angel was one of the very best singers on the planet. I had no idea he was even sick, but I should have guessed since I had not received any emails from him in months. He will be greatly missed. I have a bunch of music playlists on my computer, and one of them is simply entitled “Angel”. It’s a playlist of many of his songs that I consider favorites. I don’t have a lot of playlists attributed to a particular artist, so that tells you how important Angel’s music is in my book. I’m sure he’s already singing in heaven.

Blessings, John Douglas
TOM

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So sorry to hear of Angel's passing. Such a great singer and person.

Kathy Tobin

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So sorry for your loss..he will be missed.

Ginny Marie

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Hi Emily.

I am so sorry to hear of your dad’s passing. He was a tremendous performer and a terrific person. I enjoyed my time with him when he was a member of The Planotones.

Here is a photo that I took of him and you in 2005 at a concert in Lodi. He was very proud of you.


Please remember in your times of sorrow the wonderful memories you have of your dad.

May he rest in peace.

Tony Satus

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