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'I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus' - Jimmy Boyd dies at 70

7021 Hollywood Blvd

Jimmy Boyd (born January 9, 1939 in McComb, Mississippi; died March 7, 2009) was an American singer, musician, and actor.

Death of Jimmy Boyd
On March 7, 2009, he passed away from cancer.
Jimmy Boyd was 70 years old at the time of his death

Jimmy recorded the song "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" for Columbia Records, when he was 12 years and 11 months old. Even in those days of limited media, it became a record industry phenomenon, selling over two and a half million records in its first week's release. Jimmy's name became an international household word, and he skyrocketed to the status of a major star. Columbia Records execs were baffled at the song's popularity. They had already presented Jimmy with two gold records. (In the days before the Grammy Award existed, gold records were effectively the Grammys, and they were actually real gold). Jimmy's record went to number one on the charts again the following year at Christmas, and went on to sell again and again every Christmas. Today on the internet it sells worldwide to new generations, and has reportedly sold over 60,000,000 records since its initial release.

Jimmy Boyd - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Playing on original 78 rpm record

James Whitmore, Emmy, Golden Globe & Tony Winner, dies 87

1949 Battleground, best supporting actor2000 The Practice - Outstanding Guest Actor 

James Allen Whitmore, Jr. (October 1, 1921 - February 6, 2009) was an American two-time Academy Award-nominated, Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning film actor.

Death of Jame Whitmore
Whitmore was diagnosed with lung cancer in November of 2008. He died of the disease, at his home in Malibu, California,
James Whitmore was 87 years old at the time of his death.

Biography
Following World War II, Whitmore appeared on Broadway in the role of the Sergeant in Command Decision. MGM hired Whitmore on contract, however his role in the film was played by Van Johnson. Whitmore's first major movie was Battleground that was turned down by Spencer Tracy, for which Whitmore was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Other major films included The Asphalt Jungle, The Next Voice You Hear, Above and Beyond, Kiss Me, Kate, Them!, Oklahoma!, Black Like Me, Guns of the Magnificent Seven, Tora! Tora! Tora!, and Give 'em Hell, Harry!, for which he was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of former President of the United States Harry S Truman.

To a younger generation, he was probably best known, in addition to his role in The Shawshank Redemption, as the commercial spokesman for Miracle-Gro plant food for many years.

Brooks Commits Suicide - James Whitmore as Brooks

James Whitmore's Filmography continues next page

James Whitmore's Filmography 

The Majestic (2001)
Here s To Life (2000)
Behind the Planet of the Apes (1998)
The Relic (1997)
Wild Bill, Hollywood Maverick: The Life and Times of William A. Wellman (1996)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Where The Red Fern Grows - Pt. 1 & 2 (1992)
Old Explorers (1990)
Glory! Glory! (1988)
All My Sons (1987)
Frontier Heritage (1987)
Nuts (1987)
Celebrity (1985)
The Adventures of Mark Twain (1985)
The Killing of Randy Webser (1981)
Rage (1980)
The First Deadly Sin (1980)
Bully (1978)
The Word (1978)
The Serpent's Egg (1977)
Give 'Em Hell, Harry! (1975)
I Will Fight No More Forever (1975)
Where the Red Fern Grows (1974)
High Crime (1973)
The Harrad Experiment (1973)
Chato's Land (1971)
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
Guns of the Magnificent Seven (1969)
Madigan (1968)
Nobody's Perfect (1968)
Planet of the Apes (1968)
Chuka (1967)
Waterhole Number 3 (1967)
Black Like Me (1964)
Who Was That Lady? (1960)
Face of Fire (1959)
The Restless Years (1958)
The Deep Six (1957)
Crime in the Streets (1956)
The Eddy Duchin Story (1956)
The Last Frontier (1956)
Battle Cry (1955)
Oklahoma! (1955)
The McConnell Story (1955)
Them (1954)
All the Brothers Were Valiant (1953)
Kiss Me Kate (1953)
The Girl Who Had Everything (1953)
The Great Diamond Robbery (1953)
Above and Beyond (1952)
Because You're Mine (1952)
The Next Voice You Hear (1950)
Battleground (1949)
Ray Bradbury Dancing Among the Muses

Frank Zappa's drummer Jimmy Carl Black dies 70

Jimmy Carl Black (born James Inkanish, Jr., February 1, 1938 – November 1, 2008) was a drummer and vocalist for The Mothers of Invention. Born in El Paso, Texas, he was of Cheyenne heritage. His trademark line was "Hi Boys and Girls, I'm Jimmy Carl Black, and I'm the Indian of the group." He has been credited on some Mothers albums as playing "drums, vocals, and poverty". He appeared in the movie 200 Motels and sings the song Lonesome Cowboy Burt. He worked as a guest vocalist with Muffin Men, a Frank Zappa tribute band based in Liverpool, England, and with Jon Larsen, on the surrealistic Strange News From Mars project, featuring several other Zappa alumni, such as Tommy Mars, Bruce Fowler, Arthur Barrow. Black was diagnosed with lung cancer in August 2008, and died on November 1st. A benefit will be held on 9 November 2008 at the Bridgehouse II in London.

Jerry Reed, Smokey & The Bandit Actor and Guitar Legend Dies 71

Jerry Reed Hubbard (March 20, 1937 - September 1, 2008), known professionally as Jerry Reed, was an American country music singer, country guitarist, session musician, songwriter, and actor who appeared in over a dozen films. As a singer, he may be best known for When You're Hot, You're Hot, for which he received the Grammy Award for Best Male Country Vocal Performance in 1972 and East Bound and Down, the theme song to the first Smokey and the Bandit movie in which he portrayed the "Snowman", Cletus Snow.

Death of Jerry Reed
Jerry Reed died in Nashville, Tennessee, of complications from emphysema.
Jerry Reed was 71 years old at the time of his death

Jerry Reed's filmography & discography continues next apge

Discography
The Unbelievable Guitar and Voice of Jerry Reed (1967)
Nashville Underground (1968)
Alabama Wild Man (1968)
Better Things in Life (1969)
Jerry Reed Explores Guitar Country (1969)
Georgia Sunshine (1970)
Cookin' (1970)
When You're Hot, You're Hot (1971)
Ko-ko Joe (1971)
Smell the Flowers (1972)
The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972)
Jerry Reed (1972)
Hot a' Mighty! (1973)
Lord, Mr. Ford (1973)
The Uptown Poker Club (1973)
A Good Woman's Love (1974)
Mind Your Love (1975)
Red Hot Picker (1975)
Both Barrels (1976)
Jerry Reed Rides Again (1977)
East Bound and Down (1977)
Sweet Love Feelings (1978)
Jerry Reed Live! (1979)
Jerry Reed sings Jim Croce (1980)
Texas Bound and Flyin' (1980)
Dixie Dreams (1981)
Roscoe and Jimmy (1981)
The Man with the Golden Thumb (1982)
The Bird (1982)
Ready (1983)
Poppin', Lockin', and Loadin'! (1983)
My Best to You (1984)
What Comes Around (1985)
Lookin' at You (1986)
The Essential Jerry Reed (1995)
Flyin' High (1995)
Pickin' (1998)
Jerry Reed Visits Hit Row (2000)
Finger Dancing (2000)
Jerry Reed, Live Still! (2005)
Let's Git It On (2006)
The Gallant Few (2008)

Filmography
Gator (1976)
Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
High-Ballin' (1978)
The Concrete Cowboys (1979)
Hot Stuff (1979)
Smokey and the Bandit II (1980)
Smokey and the Bandit Part 3 (1983)
The Survivors (1983)
What Comes Around (1985)
Bat 21 (1988)
The Waterboy (1998)

Biography

Early life
Reed was born in Atlanta, Georgia, the second child of Robert and Cynthia Hubbard. Reed's parents separated four months after his birth, and he and his sister spent seven years in foster homes or orphanages. Reed was reunited with his mother and stepfather in 1944. Music and impromptu performances helped ease the stressful times the new family was under.

By high school, (O'Keefe High School, Atlanta, Georgia) Reed was already writing and singing music, having picked up the guitar as a child. At age 18, he was signed by publisher and record producer Bill Lowery to cut his first record, "If the Good Lord's Willing and the Creeks Don't Rise." At Capitol Records, he recorded both country and rockabilly singles to little notice, until label mate Gene Vincent covered his "Crazy Legs" in 1958. By 1958, Lowery signed Reed to his National Recording Corporation, and he recorded for NRC as both artist and as a member of the staff band, which included other NRC artists Joe South and Ray Stevens.

Reed married Priscilla "(Prissy)" Mitchell in 1959. They have two daughters, Charlotte Elaine "Lottie" Reed Stewart, and Seidina Ann Reed Hinesley, born April 2, 1960.

Career
After a two-year stint in the military, Reed moved to Nashville in 1961 to continue his songwriting career, which had continued to gather steam while he was in the armed forces, thanks to Brenda Lee's 1960 cover of his "That's All You Got to Do." He also became a popular session and tour guitarist. In 1962, he scored some success with the singles "Goodnight Irene" and "Hully Gully Guitar," which found their way to Chet Atkins, who produced Reed's 1965 "If I Don't Live Up to It."

"Guitar Man"
In 1967, Reed notched his first chart hit with "Guitar Man," which Elvis Presley soon covered. Presley had come to Nashville to record in 1967, and one of the songs he was working on was "Guitar Man," which Reed had written and recorded. "I was out on the Cumberland River fishing, and I got a call from Felton Jarvis (then Presley's producer). He said, 'Elvis is down here. We've been trying to cut 'Guitar Man' all day long. He wants it to sound like it sounded on your album.' I finally told him, 'Well, if you want it to sound like that, you're going have to get me in there to play guitar, because these guys (you're using in the studio) are straight pickers. I pick with my fingers and tune that guitar up all weird kind of ways.'"

So, Jarvis hired Reed to play on the session. "I hit that intro, and [Elvis's] face lit up and here we went. Then after he got through that, he cut  'U.S. Male' at the same session. I was toppin' cotton, son." Reed also played the guitar for Elvis Presley's "Too Much Monkey Business" (1968), recorded in the same session. After Presley recorded another of Reed's songs, "U.S. Male," the songwriter recorded an Elvis tribute, "Tupelo Mississippi Flash," which proved to be his first Top 20 hit.

1970s
After releasing the 1970 crossover hit "Amos Moses," a hybrid of rock, country, and Cajun styles, which reached #8 on the U.S. Pop charts, Reed teamed with Atkins for the duet LP Me & Jerry. During the 1970 television season, he was a regular on the Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour, and in 1971 he issued his biggest hit, the chart-topper "When You're Hot, You're Hot," which was also the title track of his first solo album and reached #9 on the Pop charts.

A second collaboration with Atkins, Me & Chet, followed in 1972, as did a series of Top 40 singles, which alternated between frenetic, straightforward country offerings and more pop-flavored, countrypolitan material. A year later, he scored his second number one single with "Lord, Mr. Ford" (written by Dick Feller), from the album of the same name.

Atkins, who frequently produced Reed's music, remarked that he had to encourage Reed to put instrumental numbers on his own albums, as Reed always considered himself more of a songwriter than a player. Atkins, however, thought Reed was a better fingerstyle player than he himself was; Reed, according to Atkins, helped him work out the fingerpicking for one of Atkins' biggest hits, "Yakety Axe."

Reed was featured in animated form in a December 9, 1972 episode of Hanna-Barbera's The New Scooby-Doo Movies, "The Phantom of the Country Music Hall" (prod. #61-10). He sang and played the song "Pretty Mary Sunlite." That song is played throughout the episode as Scooby and the gang search for Reed's missing guitar.

In the mid-1970s, Reed's recording career began to take a back seat to his acting aspirations. In 1974, he co-starred with his close friend Burt Reynolds in the film W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings. While he continued to record throughout the decade, his greatest visibility was as a motion picture star, almost always in tandem with headliner Reynolds; after 1976's Gator, Reed appeared in 1978's High Ballin and 1979's Hot Stuff, which won the coveted Best Picture award from the Pawn Shop Association of America. He also co-starred in all three of the Smokey and the Bandit films; the first, which premiered in 1977, landed Reed a Number 2 hit with the soundtrack's "East Bound and Down."

Reed also took a stab at hosting a TV variety show, filming two episodes of The Jerry Reed Show in 1976. The show featured music performances and interview segments, but did not contain the comedy skits that usually were a part of variety shows of the '70s. Guests included Tammy Wynette, Ray Stevens, and Burt Reynolds.

In 1978, he appeared as himself in the television show Alice.

In 1979, he released a record comprised of both vocal and instrumental selections titled, appropriately enough, Half & Half. It was followed one year later by Jerry Reed Sings Jim Croce, a tribute to the late singer/songwriter. He starred in a TV movie in that year entitled The Concrete Cowboys.

1980s and 1990s
In 1982, Reed's career as a singles artist was revitalized by the chart-topping hit "She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)," followed by "The Bird," which peaked at Number 2. His last chart hit, "I'm a Slave," appeared in 1983. That same year, he co-starred with Robin Williams and Walter Matthau in the Michael Ritchie comedy The Survivors. Reed guest-starred in the October 13, 1983 episode of Mama's Family, "The Return of Leonard Oates" (Episode 13, Season 2), as Naomi Harper's ex-husband Leonard Oates.

On the invitation of the band, Jerry Reed and his band joined the Dexys Midnight Runners U.S tour in 1984. Unfortunately, Jerry had to drop out after playing only a few dates due to a commitment on the U.S. television show Hee Haw. Jerry was to appear as a recurring character in the "cornfield" sketch.

After an unsuccessful 1986 LP, Lookin' at You, Reed focused on touring until 1992, when he and Atkins reunited for the album Sneakin' Around before he again returned to the road.

Reed had a role as a Commander/Huey Pilot for Danny Glover's character in the 1988 movie Bat*21 starring Gene Hackman. Jerry also acted as executive producer on this film.

Reed starred in the 1998 Adam Sandler film, The Waterboy, as Red Beaulieu, the movie's chief antagonist and the head coach for the University of Louisiana Cougars football team.

He teamed up with country superstars Waylon Jennings, Mel Tillis, and Bobby Bare in the group Old Dogs. They recorded one album, in 1998, entitled Old Dogs, with songs written by Shel Silverstein. (Reed sang lead on "Young Man's Job" and "Elvis Has Left The Building," the latter possibly in deference to Elvis' helping launch his career.)

In 1998, the American rock band Primus covered the Jerry Reed song "Amos Moses" on the EP entitled Rhinoplasty.

2000s
In October 2004, "Amos Moses" was featured on the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas soundtrack, playing on fictional radio station K-ROSE. His latest recording was released in 2006, named Let's Git It On. In 2007, UK band Alabama 3 (Known as A3 in the USA) covered his hit "Amos Moses" on their album M.O.R.

Reed has appeared as a guest on the fishing television series Bill Dance Outdoors. In one memorable appearance, Reed caught a particularly big largemouth bass and planned to have it preserved and mounted by a taxidermist. Dance objected to this plan, and freed the fish when Jerry wasn't looking. Reed became enraged when he discovered what had happened, and chased Dance off the boat and to shore. This incident was also mentioned in one of Jeff Foxworthy's standup comedy routines.

Reed appeared as a character in the Red Sovine-based comedy fiction blog "Tales From the Truckstop".

In 2008, the Youtube sensation Red State Update parodied the song "When You're Hot, You're Hot" in their feud with Democrat Senator Joe Biden of Delaware with the song "Fightin' Joe Biden".

Atlantic Record's Jerry Wexler, record producer, dies at 91

Last living partner of Atlantic Records

Gerald "Jerry" Wexler (January 10, 1917 – August 15, 2008) was a music journalist turned music producer, and was regarded as one of the major record industry players behind music from the 1950s through the 1980s. He coined the term "Rhythm & Blues", and was integral in signing and/or producing many of the biggest acts of the last 50 years, including Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, Led Zeppelin, Wilson Pickett, Dusty Springfield and Bob Dylan. Wexler was inducted in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1987.

Death of Jerry Wexler
Wexler died at a hospice in Sarasota, Florida on August 15, 2008 from congenital heart disease according to his son, Paul.  Jerry Wexler was 91 years old of age at the time of his death.

Johnny Griffin - Jazz saxophonist, Fastest sax player 80

Buy From Amazon: Johnny Griffin CDs

Dead Sax PlayerJohn Arnold Griffin III (April 24, 1928 – July 25, 2008) was an American bop and hard bop tenor saxophonist.

Death of Johnny Griffin
Johnny Griffin died in Availles-Limouzine, France, where he had lived for the past 24 years.
Johnny Griffin was 80 years old at the time of his death.
Cause of death is unknown for now.  Griffin's wife Miriam found him dead before he was due to give a concert.

Johnny Griffin's last concert was July 21, 2008, in Hyères, France.

Early life and education
Griffin studied music at DuSable High School under Walter Dyett, starting out on clarinet before moving on to oboe and then alto sax. While still at high school at age 15, Griffin was playing with T-Bone Walker in a band led by Walker's brother.

* Johnny Griffin's biography & discography continues next page
* Buy From Amazon: Johnny Griffin CDs

Johnny Griffin's Sax Solo

Early career
Alto sax was still his instrument of choice when he joined Lionel Hampton's big band three days after his high school graduation, but Hampton encouraged him to take up the tenor, playing alongside Arnett Cobb. He first appeared on a Los Angeles recording with Hampton's band in 1945 at the age of 17.

In 1947, Griffin and fellow Hampton band member Joe Morris formed a sextet, where he remained for the next two years. His playing can be heard on various early Rhythm and Blues recordings for Atlantic Records. By 1951 Griffin was playing baritone sax in an R&B sextet led by former bandmate Arnett Cobb.

After returning to Chicago from two years in the Army, Griffin began establishing a reputation as one of the premiere saxophonists in that city. Thelonious Monk enthusiastically encouraged Orrin Keepnews of Riverside Records to sign the young tenor, but before he could act Blue Note Records had signed Griffin.

He joined Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers in 1957, and his recordings from that time include a memorable album joining together the Messengers and Thelonious Monk. Griffin then succeeded John Coltrane as a member of Monk's Five Spot quartet; he can be heard on the album "Thelonious Monk at the Five Spot."

Recordings
As leader of his own band, his first Blue Note album Introducing Johnny Griffin in 1956, also featuring Wynton Kelly on piano, Curly Russell on bass and Max Roach on drums, brought him critical acclaim.

A 1957 Blue Note album A Blowing Session featured him with fellow tenor players John Coltrane and Hank Mobley. He played with Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers for a few months in 1957, and in the Thelonious Monk Sextet and Quartet (1958). During this period, he recorded a set with Clark Terry on Serenade To a Bus Seat featuring the rhythm trio of Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers, and Philly Joe Jones.

At this stage in his career, Griffin was known as the "fastest tenor in the west", for the ease with which he could execute fast note runs with excellent intonation.

Subsequent to his three albums for Blue Note, Griffin did not get along with the label's house engineer Rudy Van Gelder, he recorded for the Riverside label.

From 1960 to 1962 he and Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis led their own quintet, recording several albums together.

Move to Europe
He went to live in France in 1963, moving to the Netherlands in 1978. Apart from appearing regularly under his own name at jazz clubs such as London's Ronnie Scott's, Griffin became the "first choice" sax player for visiting US musicians touring the continent during the 60s and 70s. He briefly rejoined Monk's groups (an Octet and Nonet) in 1967.

Griffin and Davis met up again in 1970 and recorded Tough Tenors Again 'n' Again, and again with the Dizzy Gillespie Big 7 at the Montreux Jazz Festival. In 1965 he recorded some albums with Wes Montgomery. From 1967 to 1969, he formed part of The Kenny Clarke-Francy Boland Big Band, and in the late 70s, recorded with Peter Herbolzheimer And His Big Band, which also included, among others, Nat Adderley, Derek Watkins, Art Farmer, Slide Hampton, Jiggs Whigham, Herb Geller, Wilton Gaynair, Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, Rita Reys, Jean "Toots" Thielemans, Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Grady Tate, and Quincy Jones as arranger. He also recorded with the Nat Adderley Quintet in 1978, having previously recorded with Adderley in 1958.

His last concert, July 21, 2008 was played in Hyères, France. Johnny Griffin died in Availles-Limouzine, France, where he had lived for the past 24 years.

Selected discography
Introducing Johnny Griffin (1956)
A Blowing Session (1957)
The Congregation (1957)
Johnny Griffin Sextet (1958)
The Little Giant (1959)
The Big Soul Band (1960)
White Gardenia (1961; Riverside Records)
The Kerry Dancers and Other Swinging Folk (1961)
Tough Tenor Favourites (1962)
Grab This! (1962)
The Man I Love (1967)
Tough Tenors Again 'n' Again, with Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis (1970)
Bush Dance (1978)
That Old Feeling (Rita Reys, Trio Pim Jacobs ft. Johnny Griffin (1979)
Take My Hand (1988)
The Cat (1990)
Dance of Passion (1992)
Johnny Griffin/Steve Grossman Quintet (2000)

Grammy-Winning Singer Jo Stafford Dies at 90

Hollywood Walk of Famer Hollywood Walk of Famer Hollywood Walk of Famer 

Joe StaffordJo Stafford (November 12, 1917 – July 16, 2008), born Jo Elizabeth Stafford, in Coalinga, California, was an American pop singer whose career spanned the late 1930s through the early 1960s. Stafford is greatly admired for the purity of her voice and was considered one of the most versatile vocalists of the era. She was also viewed as a pioneer of modern musical parody, having won a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album in 1961 (with husband Paul Weston) for their album Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris.

Death of Jo Stafford
Jo Stafford is died of congestive heart failure.
Jo Stafford was 90 years old at the time of her death

I'll be seeting You

You Belong To me

* Jo Stafford's biography & discography continues next page.
* Please share your memory, leave your comment

Albums
Kiss Me, Kate (1949)
Jo Stafford with Gordon MacRae (1949)
Autumn in New York (1950)
Songs for Sunday Evening (1950)
American Folk Songs (1950)
Songs of Faith (1950)
Jo Stafford: Capitol Collectors Series (1950)
As You Desire Me (1952)
Starring Jo Stafford (1953)
Broadway's Best (1953)
New Orleans (1954)
Garden of Prayers (1954)
My Heart's in the Highland (1954)
Soft and Sentimental (1955)
Songs of Scotland (1955)
Memory Songs (1955)
Happy Holiday (1955)
Ski Trails (1956)
A Girl Named Jo (1956)
Once Over Lightly (1957)
Swinging Down Broadway (1958)
Ballad of the Blues (1959)
I'll Be Seeing You (1959)
Jo Stafford's Greatest Hits (1959)
Jo + Jazz (1960)
Music of My Life (1961)
Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris (1961)
Whispering Hope (1962)
The Hits of Jo Stafford (1963)
Peace in the Valley (1963)
Joyful Season (1964)
Getting Sentimental over Tommy Dorsey (1964)
Sweet Hour of Prayer (1964)
This is Jo Stafford (1966)
Do I Hear a Waltz? (1966)
Big Band Sound (1970)
Piano Artistry of Jonathan Edwards (1985)
G.I. Joe (1987)
Broadway Revisited (1987)
You Belong to Me (1989)
America;s Most Versatile Singing Star (1990)
Fabulous Song Stylists (1991)
You'll Never Walk Alone (1992)
Greatest Hits (1993)
Sixteen Most Requested Songs (1995)
The Very Best of Jo Stafford (1995)
Say It's Wonderful (1995)
For You (1995)
Spotlight on Jo Stafford (1996)
Jazz (1996)
Drifting and Dreaming with Jo Stafford (1996)
Jo Stafford Story (1997)
The One and Only (1997)
Walkin' My Baby Back Home (1998)
G.I. Jo Sings the Hits (1998)
Too Marvellous for Words (1998)
Coming Back Like a Song: 25 Hits: 1941-47 (1998)
No Other Love (1998)
Jo Stafford (1940-44 (1998)
Happy Holidays: I Love the Winter Weather (1999)
Jo + Broadway (1999)
Jo + Blues (1999)
Songs of Faith, Hope and Love (1999)
Just Reminicin' (2000)
Jo and Friends (2000)
The Columbia Hits Collection (2001)
Candy (2001)
Haunted Heart (2001)
A–You're Adorable (2001)
International Hits (2001)
Cocktail Hour (2001)
The Magic of Jo Stafford (2001)
My Darling, My Darling (2001)
Jo Stafford on Capital (2001)
Best of the War Years (2001)
The Old Rugged Cross (2001)
The Two of Us (2001)
I Remember You (2002)
The Ultimate Jo Stafford (2002)
The Best of Jo Stafford (2003)
Meet Jo Stafford (2003)
You Belong to Me (2003)
Stars of the Summer Night (2004)
Over the Rainbow (2004)
Alone and Together (2005)
Memories Are Made of These (2005)
Love, Mystery and Adventure (2006)
Sincerely Yours (2006)
This is Gold (2006)
Vintage Years (2006)
All Hits (2006)
Ultimate Capitol Collection (2007)
Jo Stafford and Friends (2007)
Her Greatest Hits (2008)

Notable songs

Solo
"All The Things You Are"
"Allentown Jail"
"Autumn in New York"
"Black Is the Color"
"Day By Day"
"Early Autumn"
"Feudin' and Fightin'"
"Goodnight Irene" 
"Haunted Heart"
"Here I'll Stay"
"I Love You"
"Indiscretion"
"I'll Be Seeing You"
"It Could Happen to You"
"It's Almost Tomorrow"
"Ivy"
"Jambalaya"
 "Keep It a Secret"
"Just One Way to Say I Love You"
"The Last Mile Home"
"Let's Take the Long Way Home"
"Long Ago (And Far Away)"
"Make Love to Me!"
"The Nearness of You"
"No Other Love" 
"On London Bridge"
"Out Of This World"
"Ragtime Cowboy Joe"
"September Song"
"Serenade of the Bells"
"Shrimp Boats"
"Some Enchanted Evening"
"Suddenly There's a Valley"
 "Swingin' On Nothin'"
"Symphony"
"Teach Me Tonight" 
"Thank You for Calling"
"That Sugar Baby O' Mine"
"That's for Me"
"(Now and Then) There's a Fool Such As I"
"There's No You"
"The Things We Did Last Summer"
"White Christmas" 
"Wind in the Willow"
"With a Little Bit of Luck"
"You Belong to Me"

With Frankie Laine
"Back Where I Belong"
"Basin Street Blues"
"Floatin' Down To Cotton Town"
"Goin' Like Wildfire"
"Hey Good Lookin'"
"In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening"
"Pretty-Eyed Baby"
"Settin' The Woods On Fire"
"Way Down Yonder In New Orleans"

With Gordon MacRae
"'A' — You're Adorable"
"Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo (The Magic Song)" 
"Dearie"
"Echoes"
"My Darling, My Darling"
"Say Something Sweet To Your Sweetheart"
"Whispering Hope"

With Johnny Mercer
"Candy"
"It's Great to Be Alive"

Jo Stafford Biography 

Early years
Stafford was born to Grover Cleveland Stafford and Anna York Stafford, a distant cousin of Sergeant Alvin York. Originally, she wanted to become an opera singer and studied voice as a child. However, because of the economic Great Depression, she abandoned that idea and joined her sisters Christine and Pauline in a popular vocal group, "The Stafford Sisters," which performed on Los Angeles radio station KHJ.

The Pied Pipers
When her sisters married, the group broke up and Stafford joined a new vocal group, The Pied Pipers. This group consisted of eight members: John Huddleston (who was Stafford's husband at the time), Hal Hooper, Chuck Lowry, Bud Hervey, George Tait, Woody Newbury, and Dick Whittinghill, besides Stafford. The group became very popular, working on local radio and movie soundtracks, and caught the attention of two of Tommy Dorsey's arrangers, Axel Stordahl and Paul Weston.

In 1938, Weston persuaded Dorsey to sign The Pied Pipers for his radio show, and they went to New York for a broadcast date. Dorsey liked them enough to sign them for ten weeks, but after the second broadcast the sponsor heard them and disliked them, firing the group. They stayed in New York for three months, but landed only a single job that paid them just $3.60 each, though they did record four sides for RCA Victor Records.

Half the members of the Pied Pipers returned to Los Angeles, but they had a difficult time trying to make a living until they got an offer from Dorsey to join his big band in 1939. This led to success for the whole group, but especially for Stafford, who was also featured in solo performances. The group also backed Frank Sinatra in some of his early recordings.

In 1942, the group had an argument with Dorsey and left, but in 1943 it became one of the first groups signed to Johnny Mercer's new label, Capitol Records. Capitol's music director was the same Paul Weston who had been instrumental in introducing Stafford to Dorsey. Weston and Stafford married in 1952. They went on to have two children, Tim and Amy.

Solo career
In 1944, Stafford left the Pied Pipers to go solo. Her tenure with the USO, in which she gave countless performances for soldiers stationed overseas, acquired her the nickname "GI Jo."

Beginning in 1944, she hosted the Tuesday and Thursday broadcasts of an NBC musical variety radio program — the Chesterfield Supper Club.

In 1948 Stafford and Gordon MacRae had a million-seller with their version of "Say Something Sweet to Your Sweetheart" and in 1949 repeated their success with "My Happiness".

In 1950, she left Capitol for Columbia Records, then returning to Capitol in 1961. At Columbia, she was the first recording artist to sell twenty-five million records. During her second stint at Capitol, Stafford also recorded for Frank Sinatra's Reprise label. These albums were released between 1961 and 1964, and were mostly retrospective in nature. Stafford left the label when Sinatra sold it to Warner Bros.

In the 1950s, she had a string of popular hits with Frankie Laine, six of which charted; their duet of Hank Williams' "Hey Good Lookin'" making the top ten in 1951. It was also at this time that Stafford scored her best known hits with huge records like "Jambalaya," "Shrimp Boats," "Make Love to Me," and "You Belong to Me". The last song was Stafford's all-time biggest hit, topping the charts in both the United States and the United Kingdom (the first song by a female singer to top the UK chart).

Comedy career
Stafford briefly experimented with comedy under the name "Cinderella G. Stump" with Red Ingle and the Natural Seven. True success in the comedy genre, though, would come about almost accidentally.

Throughout the 1950s, Stafford and Paul Weston would entertain guests at parties by putting on a skit in which they assumed the identities Jonathan and Darlene Edwards, a bad lounge act. Stafford, as Darlene, would sing off-key in a high pitched voice; Weston, as Jonathan, played an untuned piano off key and with bizarre rhythms.

Finding that she had time left over following a 1957 recording session, Stafford, as a gag, recorded a track as Darlene Edwards. Those who heard bootlegs of the recording responded positively, and later that year, Stafford and Weston recorded an entire album of songs as Jonathan and Darlene, entitled Jo Stafford and Paul Weston Present: The Original Piano Artistry of Jonathan Edwards, Vocals by Darlene Edwards. As a publicity stunt, Stafford and Weston claimed that the Edwardses were a New Jersey lounge act that they had discovered, and denied any personal connection; much time would pass before people realized (and Stafford and Weston admitted) that they were in fact the Edwardses. The album was followed up with a "pop standards" album, on which the pair intentionally butchered popular music. The album was a commercial and critical success; it proved to be the first commercially successful musical parody album, laying the groundwork for the careers of later "full time" musical parodists such as Weird Al Yankovic.

The couple continued releasing Jonathan and Darlene albums, with their 1961 album, Jonathan and Darlene Edwards in Paris winning that year's Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album (they "tied" with Bob Hope, as the Grammys decided, in a rare move, to issue two comedy awards that year. Hope was given an award for "Spoken Word Comedy.") It was the only major award that Stafford ever won.

The couple continued to release Jonathan and Darlene albums for several years, and in 1977 released a final, one-off single, a cover of The Bee Gees' "Stayin' Alive" backed with "I Am Woman." The same year also saw a brief resurgence in the popularity of Jonathan and Darlene albums when their cover of "Carioca" was featured as the opening and closing theme to The Kentucky Fried Movie.

Retirement
In 1966, Stafford went into semi-retirement, retiring completely from the music business in 1975. Except for the 1977 Jonathan and Darlene Edwards version of "Stayin' Alive," Stafford wouldn't perform again until 1990, at a ceremony honoring Frank Sinatra.

Stafford won a breach-of-contract lawsuit against her former record label in the early 1990s, which won her the rights to all of her old recordings, including the Jonathan and Darlene recordings. Following the lawsuit, Stafford, along with son Tim, reactivated the Corinthian Record label which began life as a religious label the deeply religious Paul Weston had started. With Paul Weston's help, she compiled a pair of Best of Jonathan and Darlene albums, which were released in 1993. In 1996, Paul Weston died of natural causes. Stafford continued to operate Corinthian Records. In 2006, she donated her library and her husband's to the University of Arizona.

John Phillip Law - Actor dies 70

John Phillip Law (September 7, 1937 – May 13, 2008) was an American film actor, with more than a hundred movie roles to his credit. He was the son of actress Phyllis Sallee, and the brother of actor Thomas Augustus Law.

He is best known for his roles as the blind angel Pygar in the science fiction classic Barbarella, and as news anchor Robin Stone in The Love Machine. (The latter reteamed him with Alexandra Hay, his costar from the 1968 "acid comedy" Skidoo.)

Besides Barbarella, a few of Law's movies have become cult classics, including Danger: Diabolik, The Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Death Rides a Horse, Attack Force Z, and The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming. 

Death of John Phillip Law
Cause of death is not known,  John Phillip Law was 70 years old at the time of his death

Death Rides a Hourse - US Film Trailer

Jeff Healey - Blind singer from Roadhouse

** Blind singer from Patrick Swayze's Roadhouse (1989)

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Jeff HealeyNorman Jeffrey Healey (March 25, 1966 – March 2, 2008), known professionally as Jeff Healey. He was a blind Canadian jazz and blues-rock guitarist and vocalist.

Death of Jeff Healey
Jeff Healey died of cancerat St. Joseph's Health Centre in his home town of Toronto.
Jeff Healey wwas 41 years old at the time of his death. His death came a month before the release of his new album, Mess of Blues, which will be his first rock album in eight years.

Jeff Healey had a surgery for Lung Cancer last year (Blog Entry: Jeff Healey Lung Cancer)

Patrick Swayze - On March 5, 2008, media announced that the Roadhouse buddy Patrick Swayze is battling cancer. (Blog Entry: Patrick Swayze battling cancer)

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Jeff Healey Biography 

Life and career
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Healey was raised in the city's west end. His father was a firefighter. Healey lost his sight when he was one year old, due to retinoblastoma, a rare cancer of the eyes which he suffered from throughout his life and which ultimately killed him. His eyes had to be surgically removed, and he was given artificial replacements. He began playing guitar when he was three, developing his unique style of playing the instrument flat on his lap.

When he was 17 he formed the band Blue Direction, a four-piece band which primarily played bar-band cover tunes. Among the other musicians were bassist Jeremy Littler, drummer Graydon Chapman, and a schoolmate, Rob Quail on second guitar. This band played various local clubs in Toronto, including the Colonial Tavern.

Shortly thereafter he was introduced to two musicians, bassist Joe Rockman and drummer Tom Stephen, who formed a trio and made their first public appearance at The Birds Nest, located upstairs at Chicago's Diner on Queen Street West in Toronto. The new band received a write-up in Toronto's NOW magazine, and quickly were playing almost nightly in local clubs such as Grossman's Tavern and the famed blues club Albert's Hall. At this point, Healey and the band were featured in a movie, Road House, which was inspired when its creator saw Healey playing. With the resulting stardom, they soon signed with Arista Records and in 1988 released See The Light, which included the hit single "Angel Eyes". The song "Hideaway" was nominated for the "Best Instrumental" Grammy Award, and in 1990 the band won the "Entertainer of the Year" Juno Award. Other hits have included "How Long Can a Man Be Strong" and a cover of The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps".

Healey was never particularly enamored with the world of rock music, however, and soon left it for music he preferred, vintage jazz. He had been sitting in with traditional jazz bands around Toronto since the beginning of his music career.

In his later years, he released three CDs from his true passion, traditional American jazz from the 1920s and 1930s. He was an avid record collector and amassed a collection of well over 25,000 78 rpm records. For many years Healey played his music-at Healey's on Bathurst Street in Toronto, where he played with a rock band on Thursday nights, and with his jazz group, Jeff Healey's Jazz Wizards, on Saturday afternoons. The club moved to a bigger location at 56 Blue Jays Way and it was named Jeff Healey's Roadhouse. Though he had lent his name and often played there, Jeff Healey did not own or manage the bar.

Though known primarily as a guitarist, Healey also played trumpet and clarinet during live performances. He also appeared on Deep Purple vocalist Ian Gillan's CD/DVD Gillan's Inn. He can also be seen playing the electric guitar with Stevie Ray Vaughan in SRV's rock video Look At Little Sister.

Healey had, from time to time, hosted a CBC Radio program entitled My Kind of Jazz, in which he played records from his vast vintage jazz collection. He hosted a program of the same name on Toronto station CJRT-FM, also known as JAZZ.FM91.

He had also been touring with a group called the Jazz Wizards, playing American jazz from the 1920s, 1930s and early 1940s.

They had been planning to perform a series of shows in Britain, Germany and Holland in April 2008.

Healey discovered and helped develop the careers of other artists, including Amanda Marshall and Terra Hazelton.

On January 11, 2007, Healey underwent surgery to remove metastatic tissue from both lungs. In the previous eighteen months he had two sarcomas removed from his legs.

Healey was married to his wife Christie with two children

Discography
1988: See the Light
1989: Road House Soundtrack
1990: Hell to Pay
1992: Feel This
1995: Cover to Cover
2000: Get Me Some
2002: Among Friends
2004: Adventures in Jazzland
2006: It's Tight Like That
2008: Mess of Blues

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Johnny Grant - honorary mayor of Hollywood

 

Johnny GrantJohnny Grant (May 9, 1923 – January 9, 2008) was an American radio personality, television producer, and the honorary mayor of Hollywood. The honorary mayor was present at Hollywood community functions, including the unveiling of new stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. An intersection just north of Hollywood Boulevard and Highland Avenue is designated "Johnny Grant Way."

Grant died in bed at his apartment in the Roosevelt Hotel, the night of January 9, 2008 at the age of 84

In 1954, Grant had a significant role in the Paramount film White Christmas, portraying "Ed Harrison," an Ed Sullivan-type TV show host.

He is a retired major general in the California State Military Reserve, a volunteer backup and support force of the California National Guard. He is the only person ever to twice receive an Order of California, the state's highest honor. He was the first recipient of the highest honor awarded by the USO, the United Service Organizations. He has been chairman of the Los Angeles City Fire Commission, the Los Angeles County Social Service Commission and the Burbank, California, Police Commission. Most recently he has been a member of the Los Angeles City Cultural Heritage Commission.

Grant has won the Emmy Award twice. He was also chairman of the "Hollywood Christmas Parade" and head of the Hollywood Walk of Fame committee.

Related Blog - Angelyne to Succeed Johnny Grant?

Joey Bishop

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Joey Bishop memoryJoey Bishop (February 3, 1918 – October 17, 2007) was an American entertainer, perhaps best remembered as being a member of the "Rat Pack" with Frank Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr. He was the last survivor of that group of entertainers.

In 1941, Bishop married Sylvia Ruzga, who died in 1999. They had one son, Larry Bishop.

Bishop appeared on television as early as 1948 and was a frequent guest on television talk shows, game shows, and comedy shows. He is listed as #96 on Comedy Central's list of the 100 greatest standups of all time.

Bishop was the last living member of The Rat Pack and was also the longest-lived member.

Cause of Death
Publicist and longtime friend, Warren Cowan, announced Bishop died of multiple causes at his home in Newport Beach, CA on October 17, 2007.  Joey Bishop was 89 years old at the time of his death.

Jane Wyman, Actress

Hollywood Walk of FameHollywood Walk of FameOscar WinnerGolden Globe award winnerGolden Globe award winnerGolden Globe award winner

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Jane Wyman (January 5, 1917 – September 10, 2007) was an Oscar, Golden Globe-winning and Emmy-nominated American actress. She was an ex-wife of the President Ronald Reagan.

Birth name:  Sarah Jane Mayfield
Born: January 5, 1917 Saint Joseph, Missouri, United States
Died September 10, 2007 (aged 90) Palm Springs, California, United States
Years active 1932-1993
Spouse(s) Myron Futterman (1937-1938), Ronald Reagan (1940-1948),  Fred Karger (1952-1954), (1961-1965)
Official site: www.jane-wyman.com

Death

Jane Wyman died at the age of 90 at her Palm Springs home on Monday, September 10, 2007, having long suffered from arthritis and diabetes.

 

Joel Siegel - Good Morning America

Joel SiegelJoel Siegel (July 7, 1943 – June 29, 2007) was an American film critic for the ABC morning news show Good Morning America for over 25 years. Born to a Jewish family and raised in Los Angeles, California, he graduated cum laude from UCLA. During college, he worked to register black voters in Georgia, and he spoke frequently of having met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He also worked as a joke writer for Senator Robert F. Kennedy and was at the Ambassador Hotel the night the senator was assassinated.

Death
Joel Siegel died of complications from colon cancer on June 29, 2007, in New York
Joel Siegel was 63 years old when he died.

In 1981 he joined "Good Morning America" as a film critic. While Siegel worked at his reviewing, he wrote the book for The First, a Broadway musical based on the story of Jackie Robinson, for which he received a Tony Award nomination in 1982.

 

Jerry Lamon Falwell

Jerry FalwellJerry Lamon Falwell, Sr. (August 11, 1933 – May 15, 2007) was an American fundamentalist Christian pastor and televangelist. He was the founding pastor of the Thomas Road Baptist Church in Lynchburg, Virginia. He founded Liberty University in 1971 and co-founded the Moral Majority in 1979.

Cause of Death - "cardiac arrhythmia, age 73

Falwell led services at Thomas Road Baptist Church, a megachurch in Lynchburg, Virginia. He changed affiliations from Baptist Bible Fellowship International to the mainly conservative Southern Baptist Convention, and ended his self-identification with fundamentalism in favor of evangelicalism.

In early 2005, Falwell was hospitalized for two weeks with a viral infection, discharged, and then rehospitalized on May 30, 2005, in respiratory arrest. President George W. Bush contacted Falwell to "wish him well." He was subsequently released from the hospital and returned to his duties. Later in 2005, a stent was implanted to treat a 70% blockage in his coronary arteries.

On May 15, 2007, CNN and USA Today reported Falwell had been found without pulse and unconscious in his office about 10:45 am after missing a morning appointment and was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital.

"I had breakfast with him, and he was fine at breakfast… He went to his office, I went to mine and they found him unresponsive." said Godwin, the executive vice president of Falwell's Liberty University.

His condition was initially reported as "gravely serious"; CPR was administered unsuccessfully. As of 2:10 pm, during a live press conference, a doctor for the hospital confirmed that Falwell had died of "cardiac arrhythmia, or sudden cardiac death." A statement issued by the hospital reported he was pronounced dead at Lynchburg General Hospital at 12:40 pm, EST. Falwell’s family, including his wife Macel and sons Jerry Falwell, Jr. and Jonathan Falwell, were with him at the hospital

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Janet Blair, 40s actress

Janet Blair Dead ActressJanet Blair (April 23, 1921 - February 19, 2007) was an American film and television actress.

Death of Janet Blair
Janet Blair died of complications from pneumonia, at St. John's Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
Janet Blair was aged 85 at the time of her death.

Born as Martha Jane Lafferty (she took her acting surname from Blair County, Pennsylvania) in Altoona, Pennsylvania, she began her acting career on film in 1942. She left films for many years after she was dropped by her studio, Columbia Pictures, and disliked the roles she was offered.

Instead, she took the lead role of Nellie Forbush in a production of the stage musical South Pacific, making more than 1,200 performances in three years. " never missed a performance", she noted proudly. During the tour, she also got married to second husband, producer-director Nick Mayo, and they became parents of Amanda and Andrew.

She made a rare dramatic appearance in the 1962 British horror film Night of the Eagle.

Her last performance was on television in a 1991 episode of Murder, She Wrote, starring Angela Lansbury.

Janet Blair Singing "To Me"

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