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October 3, 2006

Moonglows' Prentiss Barnes dies in traffic accident in Mississippi

Prentiss Barnes, who sang with the Moonglows and is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, has died in a weekend traffic accident in southwest Mississippi. Funeral arrangements are incomplete. A list of survivors was not available.

Barnes, 81, a bass singer for the Moonglows, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in March 2000. He's also a member of the Vocal Group Hall of Fame and a Rhythm and Blues Foundation Pioneer.

The Moonglows' R&B and doo-wop recordings include "Blue Velvet," "Most of All," "We Go Together" and "Ten Commandments of Love." The McGuire Sisters recorded a pop version of their '50s hit "Sincerely."

The Moonglows disbanded in the mid-1960s, and Barnes went solo.

Barnes, of Magnolia, was killed Saturday when his car wrecked on Mississippi 48, east of Magnolia.

Pike County Coroner Percy Pittman said Barnes was thrown from the car and died of massive trauma.

In 1969, Barnes struck out on a solo career and headed for California. On the westward trip, Barnes was injured when a train struck his car in Texas. After the wreck, doctors amputated Barnes' left arm. A shattered hip caused his right leg to shorten. It took two years and 10 operations before Barnes was well enough to return to Mississippi.

Mississippi Musicians Hall of Fame founder Jim Brewer of Hazlehurst said Barnes' death is another loss of the state's musical legacy.

"He was a real Mississippi music treasure, and like so many Mississippi musicians, throughout his career he had to sustain himself with performances, which were not always there," Brewer said. "But he was a great Mississippi musician."

Posted by acapnews at October 3, 2006 12:10 AM