East Side Musician, Composer Paul Gordon Passes Away

East Nashville’s music community lost one of its own when musician, composer, and producer Paul Gordon passed away at age 52 from complications related to a genetic heart defect.

Gordon, a well-known and popular resident of the Lockeland Springs neighborhood, was diagnosed over 15 years ago with a congenital heart condition. He had recently returned from a tour backing country artist Jennifer Nettles. On Feb. 18, he checked himself into St. Thomas West Hospital and passed away that same day.

Born Paul Christian Gordon in Newport, R.I., in 1963, Gordon first came to national prominence as a member of the ’90s alternative pop band New Radicals. Since that time, he has worked as a keyboardist, guitarist, or producer with a large and diverse list of artists that includes Natasha Bedingfield, Danielle Brisebois, The Devlins, Goo Goo Dolls, John Gregory, Nona Hendryx, Eran DD, The Juliet Dagger, Chaka Kahn, Mandy Moore, Lisa Marie Presley, Prince, Carly Smithson, Brenda K. Starr, Wild Orchid, Anna Wilson, and David Yazbek. In 2007, he joined The B-52s touring band as a keyboardist and has most recently been working with Sugarland lead singer Jennifer Nettles on her solo projects.

In addition to his work with other artists, Gordon also built a career as an accomplished soundtrack composer for children’s and animated programs for The Fox Network, ABC Family, and Spike TV, writing or cowriting themes for such popular shows as Digimon, Power Rangers Wild Force, and Transformers: Robots in Disguise.

In 2006, Gordon, his wife, Jennifer, and their two son sons, Alec and Graham, relocated to Nashville from Los Angeles. They immediately became active members of the Lockeland Springs community, and Gordon was a frequent patron at the Eastland Café, often holding court on the corner barstool. On the day of his funeral, Feb. 22, a special place was set at the bar to honor Gordon, while friends and family toasted
his memory.

In a post on their Facebook page, The B-52s paid honor to Gordon’s memory: “Our friend, keyboard player and guitarist, bandmate and brother, Paul Gordon passed away peacefully today and our hearts are broken. Words can’t express all the feelings we share as we remember his generous spirit, kindness and talent. He was and always will be a part of our B-52s family and we will miss him so much. We send our love to his family.”

Because of his heart condition, Gordon was unable to qualify for life insurance, and a special GoFundMe account (gofundme/PaulGordon) has been set up to assist with funeral expenses and to provide short-term support for his wife and sons. A separate memorial fund is also being established to provide for greater, long-term needs.