Ernest Gallo

Ernest Gallo Wine VineyardsErnest Gallo (March 18, 1909 – March 6, 2007) was the American co-founder of the E & J Gallo Winery, which recently changed its name to Gallo Family Vineyards. He was ranked 297th on the 2006 Forbes 400 list of billionaires.

After the death of his parents, Ernest and brother Julio (1910–1993), along with their wives Amelia (1910–1993) and Aileen (1913–1999), raised their thirteen-year-old little brother Joseph (1919–2007). In 1986, the brothers sued Joseph for using the Gallo name on his cheese labels. The brothers won and their relationship with Joseph was forever strained.

Ernest Gallo was married for sixty-two years to Amelia Franzia Gallo. When she died on December 22, 1993, Ernest released the following statement: "Amelia was a great wife, mother and grandmother, and a truly great lady. While her loss is very, very difficult for me, I feel fortunate and thankful I have had her for sixty-two memorable years." The couple had two sons: David, who died in 1997, and Joseph.

His younger brother, Joseph Gallo, died on February 17, 2007 at age eighty-seven. Weeks later, on March 6, 2007, Ernest Gallo died at his home in Modesto, California.

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Saddam Hussein

Saddam HusseinSaddam Hussein (April 28, 1937 – December 30, 2006), was the President of Iraq from July 16, 1979, until April 9, 2003

Saddam was hanged on the first day of Eid ul-Adha, December 30, 2006, despite his wish to be shot (which he felt would be more dignified). The execution was carried out at "Camp Justice," an Iraqi army base in Kadhimiya, a neighborhood of northeast Baghdad. The execution was videotaped on a mobile phone, showing Saddam being taunted before his hanging. The video was leaked to electronic media, becoming the subject of global controversy.

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June Allyson - Golden Globe winner, Actress from 1940s 1950s

Hollywood Walk of FamerGolden Glove Winner 

June AllysonJune Allyson (October 7, 1917 – July 8, 2006) was a Golden Globe-winning American film and television actress, popular in the 1940s and 1950s.

Death of June Allyson
June Allyson had been in failing health since undergoing a hip-replacement surgery, and died at her home in Ojai, California on July 8, 2006. She was 88 years old. Her death was a result of pulmonary respiratory failure and acute bronchitis. Her husband of nearly 30 years, David Ashrow, was at her side.

For her contribution to the motion picture industry, June Allyson received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame at 1537 Vine Street.

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Best Foot Forward (1943)
Thousands Cheer (1943)
Girl Crazy (1943)
Meet the People (1944)
Two Girls and a Sailor (1944)
Music for Millions (1944)
Her Highness and the Bellboy (1945)
The Sailor Takes a Wife (1945)
Two Sisters from Boston (1946)
Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)
The Secret Heart (1946)
High Barbaree (1947)
Good News (1947)
The Bride Goes Wild (1948)
The Three Musketeers (1948)
Words and Music (1948)
Little Women (1949)
The Stratton Story (1949)
The Reformer and the Redhead (1950)
Right Cross (1950)
 Too Young to Kiss (1951)
The Girl in White (1952)
Battle Circus (1953)
Remains to Be Seen (1953)
The Glenn Miller Story (1953)
Executive Suite (1954)
Woman's World (1954)
Strategic Air Command (1955)
The Shrike (1955)
The McConnell Story (1955)
The Opposite Sex (1956)
You Can't Run Away from It (1956)
Interlude (1957)
My Man Godfrey (1957)
A Stranger in My Arms (1959)
They Only Kill Their Masters (1972)
Blackout (1978)
That's Entertainment! III (1994)
A Girl, Three Guys, and a Gun (2001)
Short subjects
Ups and Downs (1937)
Pixilated (1937)
Swing for Sale (1937)
Dime a Dance (1937)
Dates and Nuts (1937)
Not Now (1938)
 Sing for Sweetie (1938)
The Prisoner of Swing (1938)
The Knight Is Young (1938)
All Girl Revue (Short subject, 1940)
Screen Snapshots: Hollywood, City of Stars (1956)


Early life
Allyson was born Eleanor (Ella) Geisman in the Bronx, New York City to Clara Provost and Robert Geisman on October 7, 1917. Her paternal grandparents, Harry Geisman and Anna Hafner, were immigrants from Germany, although Allyson has claimed that her last name was originally "Van Geisman", and was of Dutch origin.June was six months old when her alcoholic father who'd worked as a janitor abandoned the family. Her mother worked as a telephone operator and restaurant cashier. Allyson was brought up in near poverty. At eight, a dead tree branch fell on her while she was bicycling. Several bones were broken, and doctors said she would never walk again. She underwent months of swimming exercises and regained her health.

After graduating from a wheelchair to crutches to braces, she was inspired to dance by obsessively watching Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire movies. In 1938, fully recovered, she tried out for a chorus job in the Broadway show "Sing out the News." The choreographer gave her a job and a new name: Allyson, a family name, and June, for the month.

Like other musical performers in New York, the 5'1" Allyson found work in movie short subjects that were filmed there. Her first opportunity came from Educational Pictures at its Astoria, Long Island studio. Educational cast her as an ingenue opposite singer Lee Sullivan, comic dancers Herman Timberg, Jr. and Pat Rooney, Jr., and future comedy star Danny Kaye. When Educational ceased operations, Allyson moved over to Vitaphone in Brooklyn, and starred or co-starred (with dancer Hal LeRoy) in musical shorts until that studio discontinued New York production in 1940.

Allyson returned to the New York stage. After her appearance in Best Foot Forward in 1941, she was selected for the 1943 film version, and followed it up with several other musicals, including Two Sisters from Boston (1946) and Good News (1947). She also played straight roles such as Constance in The Three Musketeers (1948), the tomboy Jo March in Little Women (1949), and a nurse in Battle Circus (1953). June was very adept at opening the waterworks on cue, and many of her films incorporated a crying scene. Fellow MGM player Margaret O'Brien recalled that she and Allyson were known as "the town criers."

In 1950, June Allyson had been signed to appear opposite Fred Astaire in Royal Wedding, but had to leave the production due to pregnancy. (She was replaced initially by Judy Garland, and later Jane Powell.)

James Stewart was a frequent co-star, teaming up with Allyson in films such as The Glenn Miller Story, The Stratton Story and Strategic Air Command.

Allyson was an extremely active star in the 1940s and 1950s. She won a Golden Globe Award for her performance in the comedy Too Young To Kiss in 1951. In 1955, she was named the ninth most popular movie star in the annual Quigley Exhibitors Poll and the second most popular female star (behind Grace Kelly). She starred in 1956 with a young rising star named Jack Lemmon in a musical comedy, You Can't Run Away From It.

After her film career ended in the late 1950s, Allyson starred on television as hostess and occasional star of The DuPont Show with June Allyson. The anthology series lasted two seasons. In later years the actress appeared on popular shows such as The Love Boat and Murder, She Wrote.

Personal life
On August 19, 1945, Allyson caused Hollywood studio chiefs some consternation by marrying Dick Powell, who was 13 years her senior and had been previously married to Mildred Maund and Joan Blondell. They had two children, Pamela Allyson Powell (adopted in 1948 through the Tennessee Children's Home Society in an adoption arranged by Georgia Tann) and Richard Powell, Jr. born on December 24, 1950. The couple briefly separated in 1961, but reconciled and remained married until his death on January 2, 1963, which led to Allyson's effective retirement from the screen.

Following Powell's death, she went though a bitter court battle with her mother over custody of her children, Ricky and Pamela. Reports at the time revealed that writer/director Dirk Summers, with whom Allyson was romantically involved from 1963 to 1975, was named legal guardian for Ricky and Pamela as a result of a court petition. Members of the nascent jet-set, Allyson and Summers were frequently seen in Cap d'Antibes, Madrid, Rome and London. However, Summers refused to marry her and the relationship did not last. Allyson twice married and divorced Powell's barber, Alfred Glenn Maxwell, who she claimed physically abused her. During this time, Allyson struggled with alcoholism, which she overcame in the mid-seventies. She was married to David Ashrow, a dentist turned actor, from 1976 until her death. The couple occasionally performed together in regional theater.

Allyson returned to the Broadway stage in 1970 in the play Forty Carats and later toured in a production of No, No Nanette.

Dick Powell had been a major television player with his own production company, Four Star, owning several network shows. When he died, Allyson was left very well off and didn't need to work. She occasionally made appearances on talk and variety shows.

After Dick Powell developed kidney problems and died of cancer, June Allyson committed herself to charitable work on his behalf. She championed the importance of research in urological and gynecological diseases in seniors, and represented the Kimberly-Clark Corporation in commercials for Depend adult diapers. Her name made the headlines again when actor-turned-agent Marty Ingels publicly charged Allyson with not paying his large commission on the Depend deal. Allyson counter-charged that Ingels was harassing her with dozens of phone calls daily and nightly.

Allyson made a special appearance in 1994 in That's Entertainment III, as one of the film's narrators. She spoke about MGM's golden era, and introduced vintage film clips.

Claydes Smith, guitarist in Kool & the Gang, dies 57

Claydes Charles Smith (September 6, 1948 – June 20, 2006) was an American musician best known as co-founder and lead guitarist of the group Kool & the Gang.

Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, he was introduced to jazz guitar by his father in the early 1960s.

Later in that decade he was in a group of New Jersey jazz musicians, including Ronald Bell (later Khalis Bayyan), Robert "Kool" Bell, George Brown, Dennis Thomas and Robert "Spike" Mickens, who became Kool & the Gang. Other members would include lead singer James "JT" Taylor.

Kool & the Gang grew from jazz roots in the 1960s to become one of the major groups of the 1970s, blending jazz, funk, R&B, and pop. Despite their popularity waning briefly, the group enjoyed a return to stardom during the 1980s.[1]

Illness forced Smith to stop touring with the group in January 2006. He died in Maplewood, New Jersey.

Smith, who was known professionally as Charles Smith, wrote the hits "Joanna" and "Take My Heart," and was a co-writer of others, including "Celebration," "Hollywood Swinging," and "Jungle Boogie."

Smith is survived by his six children -- Claydes A. Smith, Justin Smith, Aaron Corbin, August Williams, Uranus Guray, and Tyteen Humes -- and nine grandchildren.

Slobodan Milosevic, President of Serbia, found dead 64

slobodan milosevicSlobodan Milosevic (August 29, 1941, Yugoslavia – March 11, 2006, The Hague, Netherlands) was President of Serbia and of Yugoslavia. He served as the President of Serbia from 1989 until 1997 and as President of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1997 to 2000. He also led the Socialist Party of Serbia from its foundation in 1990.

Death of Slobodan Milosevic
Slobodan Milosevic was found dead in his cell on March 11, 2006, in the UN war crimes tribunal's detention center, located in the Scheveningen section of The Hague.

Autopsies soon established that Slobodan Milosevic had died of a heart attack. He had been suffering from heart problems and high blood pressure. However, many suspicions were voiced to the effect that the heart attack had been caused or made possible deliberately.

Gene Pitney, R&R Legend, "Town Without Pitty" dies 65

Gene Francis Alan Pitney (February 17, 1940 - April 5, 2006) was an American singer-songwriter. He was also an accomplished guitarist, pianist, drummer and skilled sound engineer. In 2002, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Death of Gene Pitney
Pitney died on April 5, 2006 at the age of 66. He was found dead by his tour manager in the Hilton Hotel in Cardiff in the middle of a UK tour. His final show at Worthing's Pavilion Theatre was deemed a huge success, with a standing ovation, ending the show with his 1961 hit "Town Without Pity". An autopsy confirmed the singer died of natural causes. Pitney was laid to rest on April 13, 2006 at Somers Center Cemetery in Somers, Connecticut.

Through the mid-1960s, he enjoyed considerable success as a recording artist on both sides of the Atlantic. As a performer, he charted 16 Top 40 hit singles in the U.S., four of which reached the Top Ten. In the UK, the figures were even more impressive: 22 top 40 hits, and 11 Top Tens. As a songwriter, he also penned the big early 1960s hits "He's A Rebel" by The Crystals, and "Hello Mary Lou" by Rick Nelson.

Gene Pitney - Town Without Pitty

Les Brown - Big Band Leader who brought Doris Day

Hollywood Walk of Famer 

Death Big band leader Les Brown Famous dead people
Buy from Amazon.com: Les Brown's Big Band CD's

Les Brown Band LeaderLes Brown, Sr. (March 14, 1912 – January 4, 2001) and the Band of Renown are a big band that began in the big band era of the late 1930s and now performs under the direction of his son Les Brown, Jr.

Death of Les Brown
Les Brown's cause of death was not specified to public.
Les Brown was 91 years old at the time of his death. Les Brown Sr. is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

"Les Brown and the Band of Renown" brought Doris Day into prominence with their recording of "Sentimental Journey" in 1945. The release of "Sentimental Journey" coincided with the end of WWII in Europe and was the homecoming theme for many veterans. They had nine other number-one hit songs, including "I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm."

Les Brown with Doris Day - Lost Horizon

Julius J. Epstein - Author of Casablanca

Julius J. Epstein (August 22, 1909 - December 30, 2000) was an American screenwriter, who had a long career, most noted for the adaptation - in partnership with his twin brother, Philip, and others —- of the unproduced play Everybody Comes to Rick's that became the screenplay for the film Casablanca (1942), for which its team of writers won an Academy Award. Following his brother's death in 1952, he continued writing, garnering two more Oscar nominations and, in 1998, a Los Angeles Film Critics Association career achievement award. His credits included Four Daughters (1938), The Bride Came C.O.D. (1941), The Man Who Came to Dinner (1942), Mr. Skeffington (1944), The Tender Trap (1955), Light in the Piazza (1962), Send Me No Flowers (1964), Pete 'n' Tillie (1972), and Reuben, Reuben (1983).

Epstein graduated from The Pennsylvania State University in 1931 with a BA in Arts and Letters. Both he and his brother wrestled for the varsity squad there.

Jack Warner, head of Warner Brothers, had a love-hate relationship with the writing duo of the Epstein brothers. He could not argue with their commercial success, but he deplored their pranks, their work habits and the hours they kept. He consistently butted heads with the two. In 1952, Warner gave the brothers' names to the House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC). They never testified before the committee, but on a HUAC questionnaire, when asked if they ever were members of a "subversive organization," they responded, "Yes. Warner Brothers."

Epstein was the uncle of Leslie Epstein, director of the creative writing program at Boston University and accomplished novelist and the great-uncle of Boston Red Sox General Manager Theo Epstein.

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Roebuck "Pops" Staples - Staples Singers

Roebuck "Pops" Staples (December 28, 1914 – December 19, 2000) was a Mississippi-born Gospel and R&B musician. He was an accomplished songwriter, guitarist and singer. He was the patriarch and member of singing group The Staple Singers, which included his son Pervis and daughters Mavis, Yvonne, and Cleotha.

Roebuck Staples was born on a cotton plantation near Winona, Mississippi, the youngest of 14 children. When growing up he heard, and began to play with, local blues guitarists such as Charlie Patton, who lived on the nearby Dockery Plantation, Robert Johnson, and Son House.. He dropped out of school after the eighth grade, and sang with a gospel group before marrying and moving to Chicago in 1935.

Biography continues on next page

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There he sang with the Trumpet Jubilees, while working in the stockyards, in construction work, and later in a steel mill. In 1948 he formed The Staple Singers to sing as a gospel group in local churches, with him singing and playing guitar behind his children. They first recorded in the early 1950s for United and then the larger Vee-Jay Records, with songs including "This May Be The Last Time" (later covered by The Rolling Stones) and "Uncloudy Day".

In the 1960s the Staples Singers moved to Riverside Records and later Stax Records, and began recording protest, inspirational and contemporary music, reflecting the civil rights and anti-war movements of the time. They gained a large new audience with the 1972 US # 1 hit "I'll Take You There", followed by "Respect Yourself", "If You're Ready (Come Go With Me)", and other hits. Pops Staples also recorded an instrumental blues album, Jammed Together, with fellow guitarists Albert King and Steve Croppe.

After Mavis left for a solo career in the 1980s, Pops Staples began a solo career, appearing at international "blues" festivals (though steadfastly refusing to sing the blues), and tried his hand at acting. His 1992 album Peace to the Neighborhood won a Grammy nomination, and in 1995 he won a Best Contemporary Blues Album Grammy for Father, Father.

In 1986, Roebuck played the role of Mr. Tucker, a voodoo witch doctor, in the Talking Heads film True Stories.

In 1998 he received a National Heritage Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts, and in 1999 the Staple Singers were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Hank Snow - Hall of Fame Country singer

hank Snow CD CD Hank Snow Country Dead country Singer
Buy from Amazon.com: Hank Snow CD's

hank snowClarence Eugene Snow (May 9, 1914 – December 20, 1999), better known as Hank Snow, was a Hall of Fame country music singer and songwriter.

Death of Hank Snow
Hank Snow was 85 years old at the time of his death.
The cause of death is unspecified

Recording Achievements
Total Singles Charted – 85
Top 40 Chart Hits – 65
Top 10 Chart Hits – 43
No.1 Chart Hits – 7
Total Number of Weeks on Charts – 876
Total Number of Weeks at #1 – 56
Total Albums Released – 120 (Est.)

Hank Snow - I've Been Everywhere

Hank Snow's Biography continues next page

hank Snow CD CD Hank Snow Country Dead country Singer
Buy from Amazon.com: Hank Snow CD's  

Hank Snow's Biography
Snow was born in Brooklyn, Queens County, Nova Scotia, Canada. When he was 14, he ordered his first guitar from Eaton's catalogue for $5.95, and played his first show in a church basement in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia at the age of 16. He then travelled to the nearest big city, Halifax, where he sang in local clubs and bars. A successful appearance on a local radio station led to his being given a chance to audition for RCA Victor in Montreal, Quebec. In 1936, he signed with RCA Victor, staying with them for more than 45 years.

A weekly Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio show brought him national recognition and he began touring Canada until the late 1940s when American country music stations began playing his records. He headed to the "Country Music Capital of the World," Nashville, Tennessee, and Hank Snow, the "Singing Ranger" (modified from the nickname "Yodelling Ranger" given him before his high voice changed to the baritone that graced his hit records), would be invited to play at the Grand Ole Opry in 1950. That same year he released his mega-hit, "I'm Movin' On." The first of seven Number 1 hits on the country charts, "I'm Movin' On" stayed at Number 1 for nearly half a year. While performing in Renfro Valley, Snow was walking with a young unknown performer by the name of Hank Williams when someone yelled out, "Hey, Hank," at which Williams turned around and Snow tapped Williams on the shoulder and said, "No, Hank, he means me."

Along with this hit, his other "signature song" was "I've Been Everywhere," in which he portrayed himself as a hitchhiker bragging about all the towns he'd been through. This song was originally written and performed in Australia by Geoff Mack, and its re-write incorporating North American place names was brilliantly accomplished. Rattling off a well-rhymed series of city names at an auctioneer's pace has long made the song a challenge for any country-music singer to attempt. Johnny Cash's version of it was used in recent years as the soundtrack to an American motel chain's television commercials.

A regular at the Grand Ole Opry, in 1954 Hank Snow persuaded the directors to allow a new singer by the name of Elvis Presley to appear on stage. Snow used Elvis as his opening act, before introducing him to Colonel Tom Parker. In August of 1955, Snow and Parker formed the management team Hank Snow Attractions. This partnership signed a management contract with Presley but before long, Snow was out and Parker had full control over the rock singer's career.

In 1958, Snow became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

Performing in lavish and colourful sequin-studded suits, Snow had a career covering six decades during which he sold more than 80 million albums. Although he became a proud American citizen, he still maintained his friendships in Canada and remembered his roots with the 1968 Album, "My Nova Scotia Home". That same year he performed at campaign stops on behalf of segregationist presidential candidate George Wallace.

In Robert Altman's 1975 film Nashville, Henry Gibson played a self-obsessed country star loosely based on Hank Snow.

Despite his lack of schooling, Snow was a gifted songwriter and in 1978 was elected to Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame. In Canada, he was ten times voted that country's top country music performer. In 1979, Hank Snow was elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Canadian Music Hall of Fame and the Nova Scotia Music Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the Canadian Country Music Hall of Fame in 1985.

In 1994 his autobiography, "The Hank Snow Story," was published, and later The Hank Snow Country Music Centre would open in Liverpool, Nova Scotia.

The victim of an abusive childhood, he set up the Hank Snow International Foundation For Prevention Of Child Abuse.

Snow died in Madison, Tennessee in the United States and was interred in the Spring Hill Cemetery in Nashville.

Elvis Presley, The Rolling Stones, Ray Charles, Ashley MacIsaac, Johnny Cash and Emmylou Harris, among others, have covered his music. One of his last top hits, "Hello Love," was, for several seasons, sung by Garrison Keillor to open each broadcast of his Prairie Home Companion radio show. The song became Snow's seventh and final No. 1 hit on the Billboard magazine Hot Country Singles chart in April 1974. At 59 years and 11 months, he became the oldest (to that time) artist to have a No. 1 song on the chart. It was an accomplishment he held for more than 26 years, until Kenny Rogers surpassed the age record in May 2000 (at 61 years and nine months) with "Buy Me a Rose." Snow currently ranks as the fourth-oldest artist to have a No. 1 song, behind Dolly Parton, Rogers and Willie Nelson.


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