Nicol Williamson passed away on December 16th in Amsterdam from esophageal cancer at the age of 73. You might remember him as Merlin in Excalibur or Father Morning in Exorcist III. Rest in Peace
Paterno, Joseph Vincent (Joe Pa)
Born: December 21, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York.
Died: January, 22, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania.
Vocation: Football Coach
Penn State, Retired.*
Born: December 21, 1926, in Brooklyn, New York.
Died: January, 22, 2012 in State College, Pennsylvania.
Vocation: Football Coach
Speaking of Dub (the real kind), just over one year ago the music world lost one of its pioneers in the realm of dub and roots. Vivian "Yabby You" Jackson produced some of the most hard driving reggae ever released. RIP. [more inside]
Chances are that sometime, somewhere, out of the corner of one ear, at least, you've heard the iconic (yet all-but-forgotten) "Willie and the Hand Jive". Set to a Bo Diddley beat, it was an infectious little number that made quite a splash back in its day. Here's a fun live version of the bouncy tune, complete with the three largest dancing girls you're ever likely to see, and here's the original 1958 recording. The composer of the tune, the son of Greek immigrants who decided that the world of black music was where he wanted to be, was one Johnny Otis, who has just died at the grand old age of 90. Shortly after its release, "Willie and the Hand Jive" was covered by early rock icons like Bo Diddley and, across the pond in England, Cliff Richard. But apart from his most famous tune, Johnny did a LOT of recording and performing throughout his lengthy career, so there's... [more inside]
The world just got a little less funky. Jimmy Castor passed away today. You might know him as the doo-wop Junior who replaced Frankie Lymon in The Teenagers. You might know him forYou Might know his hits Troglodyte, Hey, Leroy, or maybe the Bertha Butt Boogie. You might even know his Magic Saxophone. [more inside]
This is My Story: Part One, Part Two. (youtube videos) Ben Breedlove passed away on December 25, 2011. (Last link contains autoplaying video) [more inside]
The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government. - Justice Anthony KennedyJohn Geddes Lawrence, the defendant in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that declared sodomy laws unconstitutional across the country, died on Nov. 20, according to an obituary posted by R.S. Farmer Funeral Home in Silsbee, Texas. He was 68. [more inside]
News organizations from around the world are reporting on the death of Cheetah-Mike, the chimp who purportedly played Cheeta, the companion to Johnny Weissmuller’s Tarzan from the MGM and RKO film series of the 30s and 40s. If this is one of the original film Cheetas, it would make Cheetah-Mike, at 80, the longest-lived captive chimp on record. But there’s reason to doubt he’s both that old and was in the films with Weissmuller. First, because this is significantly longer than chimps usually live, and second because this has happened once before.
On December 19th, Ford closed the doors of their St Paul auto plant, ending 800 jobs and 86 years of history. The plant was closed as part of Ford's move to end the Ford Ranger in North America, a truck that will still be available overseas. Born of the 80s gas crisis, the Ranger has been Ford's compact truck for almost forty years. Ford blames demand for large trucks and the shrinking gap in price between the compact and full-sized truck markets, spurring concern about the future of the compact truck market in North America.
Warren Hellman, billionaire, financier, and sponsor of the best free music festival around, Hardly Strictly Bluegrass, died today in San Francisco. [more inside]
George Whitman, founder of the Parisian landmark bookstore Shakespeare And Company, has died at the age of 98
"If I am kept away from writing I become physically unwell. It is art and the creation of art that sustains me." Russell Hoban 1925-2011
Depending on when and what you started reading you may know Russell Hoban as the author of the children's book Bread and Jam for Frances or the post-apoocalyptic sci-fi novel Riddley Walker. Hoban also wrote Emmet Otter's Jug Band Christmas which was made into a one-hour Christmas Special originally aired by HBO in the 70's and re-released as recently as 2008. He published one book of poetry, The Last of the Wallendas, which included many dark poems such as The Dream of the Kraken. Hoban died in London last night, aged 86. [more inside]
The fantasy artist of Xanth, Robert Jordan and many, many more...... If you read fantasy novels in the 70's, 80's, 90's, and beyond, up to ... well, just recently... you know his work. Please raise a . to... Darrel K. Sweet
Harry Morgan, best remembered at Officer Bill Gannon, and Colonel Sherman T. Potter, has closed his last case, and ridden off, into the sunset.
"Almost everything I do is based on other texts anyway. Without plagiarism, there would be no literature. I'm a rewrite man." The poet Christoper Logue has died, aged 85. Logue had a varied career, at various points serving in the British Army (and being arrested for espionage after a drunken threat to sell secrets), writing pornography under the nom de plume Count Palmiro de Vicarion, recording George Martin-produced, "heroically daft" jazz recitals of the poems of Pablo Neruda (YT) and regularly contributing to the British satirical magazine Private Eye, where he edited Pseuds' Corner, while finding the time to be arrested again, for civil disobedience as part of Bertrand Russell's Committee of 100. [more inside]
Zdeněk Miler, the animator of the beloved Krtek ("Little Mole") animations died today. Conceived in 1954 after stumbling on a mole's burrow on his evening walk, Krtek appeared in about fifty films all drawn by Miler. The first Krtek film ("How Krtek Got His Pants"), originally an educational video about the manufacture of linen, won first prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1957. The Krtek films have been aired in about eighty countries. Miler's young daughters did the uber-cute vocalizations for Krtek, and were the films' test audience as Miler tweaked the films per their suggestions. Here are some perennial favorites: Krtek and the Radio, Krtek and the Green Star, Krtek at Christmas, Krtek and the Robot. Miler, like most film buffs, was surprised that Krtek had remained largely unknown in the United States. "Pretty much the whole world knows Krtek," Mr. Miler said. "America, which is usually first in everything, is last in this. I always look at American history," he said, "and it is a very hard one. People came. They conquered a continent. They suffered hardships, and that hardship is reflected in its movies. I look at children there and think what they are watching is a reflection of that hardness. If you look at America, it is epic. Whereas here, it is more poetic. I feel here there is more lyricism."
Growing up, she was a beloved celebrity in her home country. Thousands of girls were named after her. So was a bestselling perfume. But Josef Stalin's "Little Sparrow," his only daughter, (born Svetlana Stalina) defected to the United States in 1967. Upon arriving in New York, she promptly held a press conference that surprised the world, denouncing her father's regime. Svetlana became a naturalized US citizen, moved to Taliesin West, married an American, changed her name to Lana Peters, then returned to the Soviet Union in 1984, declaring that she had not been free "for one single day" in the U.S., only to once again return to America in 1986. She lived out her remaining days in a small town in Wisconsin. Mrs. Peters passed away from colon cancer on November 22nd, at the age of 85. [more inside]
Paul Motian (wiki) (myspace) (allaboutjazz), one of the great jazz drummers of our time, is dead at 80. [more inside]
Tom Keith, sound effects wizard on A Prairie Home Companion and longtime host of MPR's Morning Show, has died.
How's about that, then? Now then, now then. Goodness gracious. As it appen's. Guys and gals. Jewelry jewelry... etc
RIP Sir Jimmy Savile, English disc jockey, television presenter and media personality. Quite a personality. [more inside]
Two time Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon has died of his injuries after a 15-car crash at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. [more inside]
According to breaking news, Dennis Ritchie, inventor of the C programming language, co-author with Brian Kernigham of the famous book on it, and creator with Ken Thompson of the Unix operating system, has died. [more inside]
Derrick Bell, Law Professor and Civil Rights Advocate, dies at 80. Bell was a pioneer of critical race theory and the first tenured black professor at Harvard Law School. Bell was also a lover of gospel music, and hosted an annual gospel choir concert.
Bob Cassilly, an industrial artist/sculptor from St. Louis, responsible for revitalization via art, has tragically died in a bulldozer accident while working on his last creation, Cementland.
Mansoor 'Tiger' Ali Khan, erstwhile Indian cricket captain, has died. His legacy evokes a previous era in Indian history: a last-generation Royal blinded in one eye as a young man, he captained the Oxford then the Indian teams (his father had played for Oxford and England before captaining India), and married movie actress Sharmila Tagore with whom he had children who went on to become movie stars themselves. Some memories of a man known for his cricketing skill, style and charisma.
Character actress Frances Bay has passed away at the age of 92. You may recognize her from Happy Gilmore, the work of David Lynch (Twin Peaks, Blue Velvet, Wild at Heart) and Seinfeld.
George Kuchar dies. Bronx-born underground filmmaker George Kuchar, whose was created in semi-collaboration with his twin brother Mike, has passed away. [more inside]
Bill Kunkel, one of the co-founders of Electronic Games magazine and a pioneer in video game journalism, has died at the age of 61. His list of accomplishments is impressive and diverse, working on everything from strategy guides to graphic novels to feature films, but his enduring legacy will likely be the magazine (Flickr set), in which he and his team coined such enduring terms as "easter egg" and "screenshot." [more inside]
"Uncle Frank" of late night TV's Jimmy Kimmel Live has died at 77
On August 12th, pioneering experimental animator Robert Breer passed away at the age of 84. [more inside]
Somewhere along the line, you might've heard one of the biggest hits to ever come out of the world of jazz: it was a song originally made famous by Les McCann and Eddie Harris back in 1969, called Compared To What. If you were in the right place at the right time, you might've even caught them doing it live. Or, if you were born a little too late for all that, you might've heard the song performed by John Legend and the Roots. Well, the man who wrote the song, Gene McDaniels, has just left us at age 76. RIP Gene McDaniels.
When forensic sculptor Frank Bender, Esquire's Man of the Month in April 2004, died this week the world mourned one of the foremost skull-to-face recreationists. What fewer people knew was that his passing created an opening in The Vidocq Society a members-only crime-solving organization he co-founded in 1990, dedicated to working on long-unsolved murders. Membership is limited to 82 members, one for each year of Inspector Vidocq's life. The organization does have a newsletter available online and guests and associates sometimes tag along to their monthly luncheons, Cuisine & Crime Solving.
Amy Jade Winehouse was found dead in her London home at the age of 27. CNN and BBC are providing breaking coverage of the story. The powerful British soul and R & B singer had a history of struggling with drugs and alcohol. [more inside]
"I knew that by assembling seven different people and forcing them to live together, the show would have great philosophical implications". Television genius Sherwood Schwartz, dies at 94.
American football player John Mackey has died at 69. Mackey, who scored a 75-yard touchdown for the Baltimore Colts in their victory in 1971's Super Bowl V, suffered from dementia. His wife Sylvia petitioned the NFL to create the 88 Plan, a program that pays for health care for NFL veterans with dementia. By 2007, Mackey, then 65, could not recognize former teammate Ralph Wenzel or distinguish coffee from soup. When the 88 Plan (so-named after Mackey's jersey number) was implemented in 2006, the NFL maintained that the plan, and the 97 players who then qualified for its assistance, "doesn't imply any link between football and brain damage". [more inside]
Otto von Habsburg-Lothringen, son of Charles, last monarch of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, died on July 4 at the age of 98. [more inside]
Born in Lexington, Virginia in 1928, friends with Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns, and victim of art vandalism, artist Cy Twombly died today . Some of his works can be seen here and here.
Comic book artist Gene Colan died on June 23, 2011. Colan began his comic book career in 1944, and after service in WWII went on to illustrate a wide range of comic book characters for both Marvel and DC. The artist might be best known for his 70 issue run in Marvel's Tomb of Dracula in the 1970's. Colan's lush moody style was also well-suited to Batman, as evidenced by his work on Batman and Detective Comics in the 1980's. Other titles and characters associated with Colan include Howard the Duck, Daredevil (including an 81 issue run from 1966-1973), Doctor Strange, and Captain America. [more inside]
Writer, traveler, and kidnapper of Nazi generals, Sir Patrick Leigh Fermor -- Paddy to friends and fans -- is dead at 96. A silver lining: his biographer Artemis Cooper reports that the long-awaited final installment of his trilogy recounting a year-long walk across Europe as a young man in the 1930s, "has existed for some time, and will be published in due course."