Maurice White, Earth, Wind & Fire Singer and Co-Founder Has Died at Age 74

SADLY, ANOTHER MUSIC GIANT HAS PASSED AWAY …

Maurice White, singer and co-founder of the legendary band Earth, Wind and Fire has died at age 74. White died in Los Angeles, CA after battling Parkinson’s disease since 1992. The band had so many great hits, including “Shining Star,” “September,” “Boogie Wonderland,” “Got To Get You into My Life,” and “After the Love has Gone.” Sadly Maurice White has passed; however, the sounds of Earth, Wind and Fire will live on forever. Easily EW&F are one of my top 50 bands of all-time. Maurice White, Rest in Peace.

September

Earth, Wind and Fire vocalist and co-founder Maurice White died in his sleep in Los Angeles on Wednesday evening. A rep for the band confirmed his passing to Rolling Stone. He was 74.

The singer had been battling Parkinson’s disease since 1992, according to TMZ. His health had reportedly deteriorated in recent months. Because of the disease, he had not toured with the pioneering soul and R&B group since 1994. He nevertheless remained active on the business side of the group.

“My brother, hero and best friend Maurice White passed away peacefully last night in his sleep,” White’s brother and bandmate Verdine wrote in a statement. “While the world has lost another great musician and legend, our family asks that our privacy is respected as we start what will be a very difficult and life changing transition in our lives. Thank you for your prayers and well wishes.”

Boogie Wonderland

“The light is he, shining on you and me,” the band added on Twitter.

White, who formed the group with Verdine in 1969, helped innovate a lush, eclectic style with Earth, Wind and Fire that drew inspiration from funk, jazz, R&B and Latin music – as well as Sly Stone and James Brown – for a unique sound that set the tone for soul music in the Seventies. The springy, elastic soul-pop of “Shining Star,” which White co-wrote, earned them their first Number One, and paved the way for hits like the joyful “Sing a Song,” the percussive and brassy “September,” their swinging cover of the Beatles’ “Got to Get You Into My Life” and the robotic disco of “Let’s Groove.” Rolling Stone included the group’s sweetly smooth 1975 single, “That’s the Way of the World,” on its list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Earth, Wind & Fire Bandmates Call Maurice White ‘A Consummate Perfectionist

White — who died Thursday (Feb. 4) at age 74 after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease — formed the band in 1969, after a tenure as the drummer in the Ramsey Lewis Trio and a short run with his own band, the Salty Peppers. White was EWF’s visionary and conceptualizer, its chief songwriter and producer, as well as the focal point of one of the tightest, hottest-stepping frontlines in pop music.

Over time, White nurtured his younger brother, bassist Verdine White, and singer Philip Bailey as EWF leaders as well, taking over day-to-day operations when he trimmed back his role. But White remained a presence and guiding light in EWF’s world, and back in mid-January — when EWF’s Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award honor was announced — Verdine White and Philip Bailey reflected on his vision and legacy to Billboard:

Posted February 5, 2016 by
Deceased, Music, Obituary | no comments

Actor Abe Vigoda Dead at 94

THIS TIME IT IS SADLY TRUE, ABE VIGODA HAS DIED …

Abe Vigoda, the actor most known for his role as Tessio in The God Father, The God Father II and detective Phil Fish in the 1970s TV series “Barney Miller,” has passed away at the age of 94 in New Jersey. According to accounts, Vigoda died Tuesday morning in hospice care his sleep in Woodland Park, New Jersey of old age. His career spanned 7 decades with his most prominent roles of that on Barny Miller, Fish and The God Father movies. He was one of my favorites.

I know what  many are saying, but I thought he was already dead. Well so did People Magazine three decades ago In 1982, People Magazine erroneously declared Vigoda dead. Oops. However, the incident made him a cult figure and Vigoda and others were able to keeping all in good humor. Okay People magazine, you can now accurately report his passing.

Rest in Peace Abe Vigoda

abe_vigoda_Fish

Abe Vigoda – Barny Miller

Character actor Abe Vigoda, whose leathery, sad-eyed face made him ideal for playing the over-the-hill detective Phil Fish in the 1970s TV series “Barney Miller” and the doomed Mafia soldier in “The Godfather,” died Tuesday at age 94.

Vigoda’s daughter, Carol Vigoda Fuchs, told The Associated Press that Vigoda died Tuesday morning in his sleep at Fuchs’ home in Woodland Park, New Jersey. The cause of death was old age. “This man was never sick,” Fuchs said.

His death brought to an end years of questions on whether he was still alive — sparked by a false report of his death more than three decades ago. Though Vigoda took it in stride, the question of whether he was dead or alive became something of a running joke: There was even a website devoted to answering the much-Googled question, “Is Abe Vigoda dead?” (On Tuesday, it had been updated with “Yes,” with the date of his death.)

Vigoda worked in relative obscurity as a supporting actor in the New York theater and in television until Francis Ford Coppola cast him in the 1972 Oscar-winning “The Godfather.”

Vigoda played Sal Tessio, an old friend of Vito Corleone’s (Marlon Brando) who hopes to take over the family after Vito’s death by killing his son Michael Corleone (Al Pacino). But Michael anticipates that Sal’s suggestion for a “peace summit” among crime families is a setup and the escorts Sal thought were taking him to the meeting turn out to be his executioners.

New York Times: Abe Vigoda, of ‘Godfather’ and ‘Barney Miller,’ Dies at 94.

Abraham Charles Vigoda was born in New York City on Feb. 24, 1921, to Samuel Vigoda, a tailor, and the former Lena Moses, immigrants from Russia. Abe, one of three brothers, began acting as a teenager and turned professional in 1947, performing almost entirely onstage for the next 20 or more years.

In 1960, he starred in an Off Broadway production of the Strindberg drama “The Dance of Death,” and he appeared frequently at the New York Shakespeare Festival in the early ’60s, as John of Gaunt in “Richard II” and King Alonzo in “The Tempest,” among other roles.

In 1963, he had the lead in an Off Broadway production of Shaw’s “Mrs. Warren’s Profession.” Five years later, he was on Broadway in Peter Weiss’s “Marat/Sade.”

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Vigoda is survived by three grandchildren and a great-grandson, The Associated Press reported. His second wife, Beatrice Schy, died in 1992.

Eagles Co-Founder & Musci Icon Glenn Frey Has Passed Away at Age 67 … RIP

OMG, ANOTHER MUSIC GIANT HAS DIED FAR TOO EARLY … THE LIGHTS ARE A LITTLE LESS BRIGHT TODAY AT THE HOTEL CALIFORNIA.

Glenn Frey, the co-founder and guitarist of The Eagles has passed away at age 67 in New York City. Frey co-wrote most of the legendary Eagles songs that we all know so well and grew up with.  And then there is an entire generation of people who are saying Eagles who, we know him for the soundtrack and his recurring role from Miami Vice. No matter what the case, Music just lost another one of their giants and far too young. This one hurts. The Eagles broke up in the 80′s and thankfully “hell froze over” in 1994 when the Eagles got back together for their monster Hell Freezes Over tour and recorded music till the end.

We’re told the cause of death was a combination of complications from rheumatoid arthritis, acute ulcerative colitis, and pneumonia.

Frey had been battling intestinal issues for months and had surgery in November. We’re told in the last few days his condition took a turn for the worse. He died in New York City.

Glenn co-wrote and sang on most of the Eagles hits, including “Take It Easy,” “Tequila Sunrise,” “Lyin’ Eyes,” and “Heartache Tonight,” to name a few. He also co-wrote “Hotel California” and “Desperado” with Don Henley and took home 6 Grammys with the band.

Tequila Sunrise

From The Eagles comes the following,

It Is With The Heaviest of Hearts That We Announce …

the passing of our comrade, Eagles founder, Glenn Frey, in New York City on Monday, January 18th, 2016.

Glenn fought a courageous battle for the past several weeks but, sadly, succumbed to complications from Rheumatoid Arthritis, Acute Ulcerative Colitis and Pneumonia.

The Frey family would like to thank everyone who joined Glenn to fight this fight and hoped and prayed for his recovery.

Words can neither describe our sorrow, nor our love and respect for all that he has given to us, his family, the music community & millions of fans worldwide.

Don Henley issued a statement following the news, in which he called Frey “the one who started it all.”

Henley praised his fellow musician’s work ethic, “encyclopedic” knowledge of music, and devotion to his family. Read Henley’s moving and profound statement below:

“He was like a brother to me; we were family, and like most families, there was some dysfunction. But, the bond we forged 45 years ago was never broken, even during the 14 years that the Eagles were dissolved. We were two young men who made the pilgrimage to Los Angeles with the same dream: to make our mark in the music industry — and with perseverance, a deep love of music, our alliance with other great musicians and our manager, Irving Azoff, we built something that has lasted longer than anyone could have dreamed.

“But, Glenn was the one who started it all. He was the spark plug, the man with the plan. He had an encyclopedic knowledge of popular music and a work ethic that wouldn’t quit. He was funny, bullheaded, mercurial, generous, deeply talented and driven. He loved his wife and kids more than anything.

A great tribute at Instapundit.

Fantastic Glenn Frey interview from 1992

Dan Haggerty, Actor Who Played Grizzly Adams, Dies at 74 from Cancer

SAD NEWS, ACTOR OF ONE OF MY FAVORITE 70′S SHOWS PASSES AWAY …

Dan Haggerty, the actor who played mountain man Grizzly Adams with his sidekick, a real bear named Ben, in the 1974 movie (VIDEO) that would become a NBC TV weekly show, The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, has passed away. Dan Haggerty died Friday in Burbank, California at 74 as a result of cancer of the spine. Haggerty. who rose to stardom with his rose as the gently mountain man, Grizzly Adams, who was falsely accused of murder and fled to the woods. On a personal note, how I loved this show growing up as a kid and could not wait for it all week to come on. Grizzly Adams and his relationship with an orphaned bear named Ben, Hollywood take note. The TV series ran from 1977 to 1978. Why does it seem like it was so much longer? Maybe it was because it was one of my favorite TV shows of all time!

Dan Haggerty – Rest in Peace

dan_haggerty_with_Ben

Early on in his career and this was something I never knew, Haggerty was cast in a small non-speaking role as a bodybuilder in the 1964 film Muscle Beach Party, with Franky Avalon and Annette Funicello, and also as a bodybuilder in Girl Happy. These were followed by appearances in various biker and wildlife films such as Easy Rider, Angels Die Hard, The Adventures of Frontier Fremont, and Terror Out of the Sky.

dan_haggerty

Dan Haggerty IMDb

Dan Haggerty, who played a gentle mountain man with a luxuriant beard and a bear named Ben in the 1974 movie “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams” and the NBC television series of the same name, died on Friday in Burbank, Calif. He was 73.

The cause was cancer of the spine, his friend and manager Terry Bomar said.

Mr. Haggerty was working as a stuntman and animal handler in Hollywood when a producer asked him to act in some opening scenes he was reshooting for a film about a woodsman and his bear. Based on the novel “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams,” by Charles Sellier Jr., it told the story of a California man falsely accused of murder who flees to the woods, where he develops a rapport with the animals around him and tames an orphaned bear.

The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams – The Adams Cub

ABC News has confirmed with the actor’s manager Terry Bomar:

“Dan Haggerty, a beloved Father and friend, has died at 4:30 this morning at St Joseph Hospital in Burbank, CA, surrounded by his family that loved him. He had fought a long hard battle with cancer of the spine that was discovered in August of this year,” Bomar wrote in a press release.

He continued, “All the awards pale in comparison to his huge laugh and wonderful sense of humor that made everyone laugh with him. He would light up any room he entered. He loved life, loved his family, loved his friends and fans.”

Grizzly Adams Pilot Episode Part 1

Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

NY Times OBIT:

Daniel Francis Haggerty was born on Nov. 19, 1942, in Los Angeles. His parents separated when he was 3, and he had a troubled childhood, escaping several times from military school before going to live with his father, an actor, in Burbank, Calif.

At 17 he married Diane Rooker. The marriage ended in divorce. His second wife, the former Samantha Hilton, died after a motorcycle accident in 2008. He is survived by his children, Megan, Tracy, Dylan, Cody and Don.

His first film was “Muscle Beach Party” (1964), in which he played a body builder named Biff opposite Frankie Avalon and Annette Funicello. Bit parts in biker and wildlife films followed, as characters like “Bearded Biker” or “Biker With Bandana.” He appeared briefly in “Easy Rider” as a member of the hippie commune that Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper visit.

He made several films with an outdoor setting, including “Where the North Wind Blows” (1974), in which he played a Siberian tiger trapper, and “The Adventures of Frontier Fremont” (1976). He appeared as a dog trainer in the David Carradine film “Americana” (1983). In “Grizzly Mountain” (1997) and “Escape to Grizzly Mountain” (2000) he played a character very much like Grizzly Adams.

As his career cooled, Mr. Haggerty appeared in horror films like “Terror Night” (1987), “Elves” (1989) — playing an alcoholic mall Santa — and “Axe Giant: The Wrath of Paul Bunyan” (2013).

Legendary Musician David Bowie Dies at 69, Rest in Peace

THIS MORNING I WOKE UP STUNNED AND SADDENED …

David Bowie, one of my all-time favorite musicians, has passed away at the age of 69. According to reports, Ziggy Star Dust died after an 18-month battle with cancer. Honestly, I never knew he had it. Bowie had just released his last album, “Blackstar,” this past Friday on his birthday. His music spanned so many generations and Bowie kept reinventing himself and his music. See David Bowie in concert was more than a concert, it was an epic event. The man was a music legend with more fantastic songs than most band have songs. In 1975, Bowie achieved his first major American crossover success with the number-one single “Fame” and the hit album Young Americans. But that is not before the glam rocker had such huge hits as  ”Space Oddity” and “Star Man.” However, probably my favorites are probable “Changes” and “Heroes”. But there are just too many to pick from. Then there was the MTV years where Bowie hit it big with “Let’s Dance,” “Modern Love” and “China Girl.”

You will be missed, Rest in Peace.

David Bowie – Space Oddity

David Bowie, the infinitely changeable, fiercely forward-looking songwriter who taught generations of musicians about the power of drama, images and personas, died on Sunday, two days after his 69th birthday.

Mr. Bowie’s death was confirmed by his publicist, Steve Martin, on Monday morning.

He died after an 18-month battle with cancer, according to a statement on Mr. Bowie’s social-media accounts.

“David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family,” a post on his Facebook page read.

Mr. Bowie wrote songs, above all, about being an outsider: an alien, a misfit, a sexual adventurer, a faraway astronaut. His music was always a mutable blend: rock, cabaret, jazz and what he called “plastic soul,” but it was suffused with genuine soul. He also captured the drama and longing of everyday life, enough to give him No. 1 pop hits like “Let’s Dance.”

David Bowie – Changes

The Guardian – The legendary musician known for musical innovation and experimentation with his image died 18 months after being diagnosed with cancer.

The singer’s death was confirmed in a Facebook post on his official page: “David Bowie died peacefully today surrounded by his family after a courageous 18-month battle with cancer. While many of you will share in this loss, we ask that you respect the family’s privacy during their time of grief.”

Writing on Twitter, Bowie’s son, the film director Duncan Jones, 44, said: “Very sorry and sad to say it’s true.” The news came as a shock to some, who were initially sceptical, but Bowie’s publicist, Steve Martin, told the Reuters news agency: “It’s not a hoax.”

David Bowie – Heroes

More from the NY Times obit:

Born David Robert Jones on Jan. 8, 1947, in South London, Mr. Bowie was a person of relentless reinvention. He emerged in the late 1960s with the voice of a rock belter but with the sensibility of a cabaret singer, steeped in the dynamics of stage musicals. He was Major Tom, the lost astronaut in his career-making 1969 hit “Space Oddity.”

He was Ziggy Stardust, the otherworldly pop star at the center of his 1972 album “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars.”

He was the self-destructive Thin White Duke and the minimalist but heartfelt voice of the three albums he recorded in Berlin in the ’70s, often considered his greatest work: “Low,” “ ‘Heroes’ ” and “Lodger.”

The arrival of MTV in the 1980s was the perfect complement to Mr. Bowie’s sense of theatricality and fashion. “Ashes to Ashes,” the “Space Oddity” sequel that revealed “we know Major Tom’s a junkie,” and “Let’s Dance,” which offered, “Put on your red shoes and dance the blues,” gave him worldwide popularity.

Mr. Bowie was his generation’s standard-bearer for rock as theater: something constructed and inflated yet sincere in its artifice, saying more than naturalism could. With a voice that dipped down to baritone and leaped into falsetto, he was complexly androgynous, an explorer of human impulses that could not be quantified.

 David Bowie – Starman (1972)

 

Posted January 11, 2016 by
Celebrity, Deceased, Music, Obituary | one comment

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