Tag: In Memoriam

In Memoriam: Ben E. King September 28, 1938 – April 30, 2015

Rhythm and Blues legend Ben E. King has died at the age of 76. Born Benjamin Earl Nelson on September 28, 1938, in Henderson, North Carolina, and moved to Harlem, New York, in 1947.

Ben E King appeared at a time when pop music was pausing for breath between the wakeup call sounded by the first generation of American rock’n’rollers and the blast of energy provided from across the water by the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. His distinctive voice, shaped by the fervour of black church music but capable of a suavely seductive romanticism, was heard on such hits as Spanish Harlem and Stand By Me.

King, who has died aged 76, first made his name as the lead singer of the Drifters, with a handful of hit singles that embodied the best elements of Brill Building pop, in which the sounds of rhythm and blues and gospel music were brought to bear on custom-made songs with simple, catchy and inventive melodies, swathed in imaginative, often sophisticated arrangements.

Stand By Me

Spanish Harlem

Save the Last Dance For Me

In Memoriam: Leonard Nimoy – March 26, 1931 – February 27, 2015

Leonard Simon Nimoy, Mr. Spock, died in his Los Angeles home this morning of end stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He was 83.

 photo 220px-Leonard_Nimoy_by_Gage_Skidmor_zps148f78ce.jpg

Mr. Nimoy announced that he had the disease last year, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

His artistic pursuits – poetry, photography and music in addition to acting – ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: “Live long and prosper” (from the Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma”).

In Memoriam: Joe Cocker (20 May 1944 – 22 December 2014)

Gravel voiced British rocker, Joe Cocker died today at his home in Crawford, Colorado after a battle with small cell lung cancer. He was best known for his memorable Woodstock performance of The Beatles’ With A Little Help from My Friends in 1968 and his duet in 1980 with Jennifer Warnes, “Up Where We Belong,” that appeared in the movie “An Officer and a Gentlemen.” Joe is survived by his wife of 27 years, Pam; his brother, Victor; his step-daughter, Zoey Schroeder; and his two grandchildren, Eva and Simon Schroeder.

In Memoriam: Vern Radul (Edger)

In is with a heavy heart that we bring the saddest news that our dear friend and editor Edger passed away on November 28 after a brief illness. As one friend noted Edger was caring, passionate and compassionate and with a strong sense of justice.

Vern Radul 11/28/2014 photo Vern_zpse07c1aba.jpg

Rest in Peace, my friend

In Memoriam: Joan Rivers 1933 – 2014

Iconic comedienne Joan Rivers passed away on Thursday, September 4, a week after suffering a cardiac arrest during an outpatient procedure at a private endoscopy clinic. She was 81 years old and had spent 50 years in show business.

In the almost 50 years since she burst onto the scene on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Rivers ascended to the pinnacle of American showbusiness – even as she skewered its excesses with her scathing wit.

A workaholic, Rivers had been hosting an online weekly talk show called In Bed with Joan, and had just filmed a special award-show episode of E!’s Fashion Police before being taken ill. She was frequently performing live stand-up, and had finished the fourth season of Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best, the reality show in which she starred with her daughter. [..]

Rivers never made a secret of the surgical procedures that significantly altered her looks. Instead, they became a source of material for her act. “I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they’ll donate my body to Tupperware,” she once said.

Her daughter, Melissa, released this statement yesterday:

In her 2012 best selling book, Ms. Rivers laid out the plans for her funeral.

When I die (and yes, Melissa, that day will come; and yes, Melissa, everything’s in your name), I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action . . . . I want craft services, I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! I want it to be Hollywood all the way. I don’t want some rabbi rambling on; I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents. I don’t want a eulogy; I want Bobby Vinton to pick up my head and sing “Mr. Lonely.” I want to look gorgeous, better dead than I do alive. I want to be buried in a Valentino gown and I want Harry Winston to make me a toe tag. And I want a wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyoncé’s.

Her funeral will be held Sunday in Manhattan at Temple Emmanual-El.

In Memoriam: Robin Williams 1951 – 2014

Robin McLaurin Williams (July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014) was an American actor, comedian, film producer, and screenwriter.

Weapons of Self Destruction

Warning; this video contains strong language and topics that may not be appropriate for the wofk place or young children.

Nanu, Nanu, Mork.

In Memoriam: Maya Angelou 1928 – 2014

Author, poet, singer, dancer, actress, but most of all, Civil Rights Activist, Maya Angelou died this morning at her home in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86 years young.

Still I Rise

   You may write me down in history

   With your bitter, twisted lies,

   You may trod me in the very dirt

   But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

   Does my sassiness upset you?

   Why are you beset with gloom?

   ‘Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

   Pumping in my living room.

   Just like moons and like suns,

   With the certainty of tides,

   Just like hopes springing high,

   Still I’ll rise.

   Did you want to see me broken?

   Bowed head and lowered eyes?

   Shoulders falling down like teardrops.

   Weakened by my soulful cries.

   Does my haughtiness offend you?

   Don’t you take it awful hard

   ‘Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

   Diggin’ in my own back yard.

   You may shoot me with your words,

   You may cut me with your eyes,

   You may kill me with your hatefulness,

   But still, like air, I’ll rise.

   Does my sexiness upset you?

   Does it come as a surprise

   That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

   At the meeting of my thighs?

   Out of the huts of history’s shame

   I rise

   Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

   I rise

   I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

   Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

   Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

   I rise

   Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

   I rise

   Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

   I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

   I rise

   I rise

   I rise.

Blessed be

In Memoriam: Ray Bradbury

“I don’t try to predict the future, I try to prevent it.”

~Ray Bradbury~

Ray Douglas Bradbury, August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012

Bradbury died in Los Angeles, California, on June 5, 2012, at the age of 91, after a “lengthy illness”, coincidentally during a rare transit of Venus

My earliest memory of Ray Bradbury was my father reading to me from The Martian Chronicles. I was three. Later he would read aloud from Fahrenheit 451 and his short stories while I looked on at the words on the page. I read from those same books that were left to me by “Pop” to my daughter and gave her my first edition copy of “Something Wicked This Way Comes” which “Pop”  gave me for my 15th birthday.

Ray Bradbury, Who Brought Mars to Earth With a Lyrical Mastery, Dies at 91

By many estimations Mr. Bradbury was the writer most responsible for bringing modern science fiction into the literary mainstream. His name would appear near the top of any list of major science fiction writers of the 20th century, beside those of Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert A. Heinlein and the Polish author Stanislaw Lem. His books are still being taught in schools, where many a reader has been introduced to them half a century after they first appeared. Many readers have said Mr. Bradbury’s stories fired their own imaginations.

More than eight million copies of his books have been sold in 36 languages. They include the short-story collections “The Martian Chronicles,” “The Illustrated Man” and “The Golden Apples of the Sun,” and the novels “Fahrenheit 451” and “Something Wicked This Way Comes.”

Though none of his works won a Pulitzer Prize, Mr. Bradbury received a Pulitzer citation in 2007 “for his distinguished, prolific and deeply influential career as an unmatched author of science fiction and fantasy.”

Scarecrow gave this tribute to Bradbury’s memory by reminding us of what could happen in a totalitarian society like the one in Fahrenheit 451:

In Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury describes the horrors of a totalitarian society so repressive and fearful of ideas that it banned books and burned them.  But clever humans figured out they could preserve the literature if each person committed to memorizing a book, reciting and teaching it to others, and passing it on to the next generations.

So I thought we might honor Bradbury’s life and work by passing on a few ideas that are worth preserving as we ponder the meaning of Wisconsin and mourn America’s descent into union bashing and income inequality, enforced by secrecy, propaganda and protected financial looting. [..]

First, as this analysis from the Economic Policy Institute illustrates – and see the video at top – income equality tends to be much higher in America when there are strong unions, while inequality explodes when unions are weak.  It seems like an obvious connection – if lower classes have clout, they can demand more of the benefits of their labor – but it’s not emphasized enough in all the media’s right wing excitement about destroying the power of unions. [..]

Second, as James Kwak has written, the Republican policy of lower taxes does not apply across the board; it applies to the top, mostly.  But they don’t seem to care if taxes are directly or indirectly raised on the poor.  In the Atlantic, Kwak writes about the “GOP’s bizarre, disturbing passion for raising taxes on the poor.” [..]

[One] way to look at Wisconsin is to see it as part of a long term, calculated strategy of weakening unions and destroying their bargaining power.  With that power gone, there is nothing to prevent the top percentages from grabbing almost all the gains from labor productivity increases, thus increasing income and wealth inequality.  The winners then use the political power from that to perpetuate the inequality in their favor.  From there, it is a simple enough leap to use the protected positions of wealth to loot the rest of society and use the power of the state to protect the looting and cover for the looters.

It’s a great strategy if you’re one of the looters, but it’s profoundly criminal.    Remember that.

Ray Bradbury will live forever with his words, hopefully, the future generations will listen, so far we aren’t

May the Goddess guide him on his journey to the Summerlands. May his family, friends and all those who ahve read and will read his works, find Peace.

Blessed Be. The Wheel Turns.

In Memoriam: Donna Summer

She will sing and dance forever in our hearts.

Sing on, Donna. We will dance forever to your voice.

Blessed Be. The Wheel Turns

May the Goddess guide her on her journey to the Summerlands. May her family, friends and the world find Peace.

The Passing of Youth

Cross posted from The Stars Hollow Gazette

I felt a special twinge the other day when I heard that Davy Jones had died of a heart attack at age 66. I thought, “Wow, he was 66? Where has time gone?” I wasn’t alone. The baby boomer generation is aging more rapidly than we care to admit and Davy’s death was a cruel reminder of the passage or our youthful idols.

Davy Jones was the British member a contrived American Rock and Roll group for a 1966 television series that was not so much a parody of the more famous Beatles but a mimic of the group that appealed to a slightly younger fan base. Not quites as popular as the British counterparts but The Monkees had their appeal and their hit songs, “Last Train to Clarksville”, “Daydream Believer” and “I’m a Believer” which became a hit once again when it was redone by Smashing Pumpkins for the movie “Shrek”. Off and on over the years thanks to MTV and the cable network, “Nickelodeon“, “Monkee Mania” was reignited and there were several reunions and tours.

The Monkees were the “cool” group that used to hang around with Frank Zappa, a very young Jack Nicholson, boxer Sonny Liston, famous stripper Carol Doda, Glenn Campbell and members of The Byrds. Many of their songs were written by . Neil Diamond, Gerry Goffin and Carole King, Harry Nilsson, Barry Mann, Cynthia Weil, and many other highly regarded writers. The musicians that accompanies the group were just as well known and accomplished, drummer “Fast” Eddie Hoh, Lowell George, Stephen Stills, Buddy Miles and Neil Young. The Monkees, too, were accomplished musicians and played their own instruments. From a contrived TV group, they proved to the world that they were a bona fide group.

In February 2011, Davy announced another reunion, An Evening with The Monkees: The 45th Anniversary Tour, which would be his last. Davy sadly passed away on February 29 and with him died part of the youth of many of his fans.

The Wheel Turns. Blessed Be

In Memoriam: Whitney Houston

Whitney Elizabeth Houston (August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012)

Where Do Broken Hearts Go

In 1991 at Super Bowl XXV, Whitney gave this flawless performance of the National Anthem that has yet to be matched.

May the Goddess guide her on her journey to the Summerlands. May her family, friends, fans and the world find Peace.

The Wheel Turns. Blessed Be.

Rest In Peace, Col. Potter

Harry Morgan April 10, 1915 – December 7, 2011

Load more