Category Archives: News

RIP Ray Thomas


Ray Thomas, a founding member of British rock group The Moody Blues, has died at 76, months before the band is due to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

RIP Jerry Van Dyke

Jerry McCord Van Dyke (July 27, 1931 – January 5, 2018)

Jerry Van Dyke was an American comedian and actor, as well as the younger brother of Dick Van Dyke.

He made his television acting debut on The Dick Van Dyke Show with several guest appearances as Rob Petrie’s brother, Stacey. Later in his career from 1989 to 1997, he portrayed Luther Van Dam on the ABC sitcom Coach.

Wikipedia Link

RIP Rose Marie

Rose Marie Mazetta (August 15, 1923 – December 28, 2017)

Rose Marie, best known for her role as Sally Rogers on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” who had a nine-decade career in show business, died Thursday in Van Nuys, Calif. She was 94.

Publicist Harlan Boll confirmed her death.

Rose Marie was Emmy nominated three times for her work on “The Dick Van Dyke Show,” in which she played part of the writing team, led by Van Dyke’s Rob Petrie, for the fictional “Alan Brady Show.” The actress began a five-season stint as Sally Rogers in 1960.

The recent documentary “Wait For Your Laugh” by director Jason Wise chronicled her long career. Late in life she enjoyed communicating with her fans on social media. Her official account tweeted just a few hours before her death about playing the Flamingo in Las Vegas.

Decades earlier, she had been a child singing star under the name Baby Rose Marie. She began her career at 3, starring in her own show on NBC radio by the age of 5, cutting records and appearing in vaudeville, in shorts including 1929’s “Baby Rose Marie the Child Wonder” and in Paramount’s 1933 feature “International House” with W.C. Fields.

Variety founder Sime Silverman himself mentioned Rose Marie in its pages for “The Child Wonder,” writing, “Though but a kidlet, she seemed to have an idea of her own.”

Later, as a teenager, she became a nightclub singer before returning to radio as a comedienne.

In the early 1950s Rose Marie appeared on television variety shows as a singer and dancer, and she returned to the bigscreen in 1954, starring opposite Phil Silvers in “Top Banana,” an adaptation of Silvers’ Broadway show about a TV comedian.

The actress recurred on “The Bob Cummings Show” as Martha in 1958-59, and she was a series regular on a brief TV adaptation of “My Sister Eileen.” After “The Dick Van Dyke Show” she guested on a variety of TV shows, including “The Monkees” and “My Three Sons,” and she recurred on “The Doris Day Show.”

During the 1960s she also appeared onstage in “Bye Bye Birdie” and in a pair of features, starring opposite her “Van Dyke” co-star Morey Amsterdam in “Don’t Worry, We’ll Think of a Title,” and appearing in “Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round,” starring James Coburn.

Rose Marie made a steady stream of TV appearances from the early 1970s until the early 2000s, appearing, for example, on “Adam-12” and “Kojak”; recurring as Hilda the sandwich delivery lady on “S.W.A.T.”; appearing repeatedly in different roles on “The Love Boat”; guesting on “Cagney and Lacey” and “Murphy Brown”; appearing as a series regular on the brief 1994 sports comedy “Hardball”; and guesting on “Caroline in the City” (with Amsterdam), “Wings” and “Suddenly, Susan.” She was also a semi-regular on “Hollywood Squares” in the 1980s and ’90s.

Onstage, she starred with Rosemary Clooney, Helen O’Connell and Margaret Whiting in the musical revue “4 Girls 4,” which toured the U.S. and made television appearances for several years beginning in 1977.

In the 2000s she appeared in another comedienne’s HBO special, “Tracey Ullman in the Trailer Tales,” and returned to the “Van Dyke” fold for Carl Reiner’s animated “The Alan Brady Show” and for 2004’s “The Dick Van Dyke Show Revisited.”

Rose Marie Mazetta was born in New York City. She was married to trumpeter Bobby Guy from 1946 until his death in 1964.

She is survived by a daughter, Georgiana Marie “Noopy” and her son-in-law Steven Rodrigues. Donations may be made to Thrive and Heaven Helper’s Rescue.

RIP Angus Young

AC/DC co-founder and guitarist Malcolm Young has died after battling dementia for several years, the band announced Saturday. He was 64.

Young died at home with his family at this bedside, the band said in a statement.
Young, along with his brother Angus, founded the legendary rock band in 1975 in Australia.
 
 “Renowned for his musical prowess Malcolm was a songwriter, guitarist, performer, producer and visionary who inspired many,” the statement said. “From the outset, he knew what he wanted to achieve and, along with his younger brother, took to the world stage giving their all at every show. Nothing less would do for their fans.”

Young played rhythm guitar to Angus’ lead, and his driving riffs and mop-top hair were signatures of the band’s sound and image for decades.

RIP M-M-M-Mel Tillis

Lonnie Melvin “Mel” Tillis (August 8, 1932 – November 19, 2017)

Country Music Hall of Fame member Mel Tillis died on Sunday (Nov. 19) at the Munroe Regional Medical Center in Ocala, Florida. He was 85. The suspected cause of death is respiratory failure, according to his publicist, Don Murry Grubbs.

Despite his many distinctions as a performer, songwriter, actor and music publisher, Tillis was most identified with his stuttering, a speech impediment from childhood that he transformed into a comic bonanza.

Lonnie Melvin Tillis was born Aug. 8, 1932, in Tampa. By his account, he began stuttering when he was 3 years old, following a bout with malaria. His early attraction to music led him to learn to play guitar and violin while still a teenager. He also played drums in his high school band. While serving in the Air Force from 1951 to 1955, he played in a country band called the Westerners.

In 1956, Tillis made his first pilgrimage to Nashville, hoping to secure a recording contract. When that effort failed, he returned briefly to Florida and turned his attention to songwriting. Here success came quicker. Webb Pierce scored a No. 3 single in 1957 with “I’m Tired,” a song Tillis co-wrote with Buck Peddy and Ray Price.

Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mel_Tillis

Ain’t that a shame! RIP Antoine “Fats” Domino

Antoine “Fats” Domino, Jr. (February 26, 1928 – October 24, 2017)

“You made me cry / When you said goodbye,” he sang in the opening line of “Ain’t That A Shame,” his 1955 hit that spent 11 weeks at the top of Billboard’s R&B charts, and went to No. 10 on the Hot 100 pop chart. “Ain’t that a shame / My tears fell like rain.”

Although the words were downhearted, the spirit of the song was undeniably up. The implicit message: He may have experienced heartbreak, but he wasn’t about to let that take him down.

Like Chuck Berry, who was born a little more than a year before Fats came into the world on Feb. 26, 1928, Domino was nearly a decade older than Presley and Lewis and several other first-generation rockers. That meant that to many teens of the ’50s, he came across more like a genial uncle than a peer or an object of romantic infatuation.

But “Fats” was among the first acts inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and was reportedly only second to Presley in record sales thanks to a titanic string of 11 top 10 hits between 1955 and 1960.

RIP Tom Petty

Rocker Tom Petty died Monday after being rushed to a Los Angeles hospital, according to Tony Dimitriades, longtime manager of Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers. Dimitriades confirmed Petty’s death on behalf of the performer’s family.

He was 66.

“He suffered cardiac arrest at his home in Malibu in the early hours of this morning and was taken to UCLA Medical Center but could not be revived. He died peacefully at 8:40pm PT surrounded by family, his bandmates and friends,” Dimitriades said in a statement.

Tom Petty (October 20, 1950 – October 2, 2017)

With his nasally voice and chiming guitar, Petty and his longtime band, the Heartbreakers, churned out an instantly recognizable brand of sturdy, heartland rock that made them a classic-radio staple for decades. Petty, along with the band, was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.

The End was behind door #3! RIP Monty Hall

Monty Hall (August 25, 1921 – September 30, 2017)

Monty Hall, best known as the cheerful and friendly host of the game show ‘Let’s Make a Deal,’ died Saturday morning in Los Angeles, his daughter Sharon Hall said.

He was 96 and had been ill since suffering a heart attack shortly after his wife of almost 70 years died in June.

The End of an Era – RIP Hugh Hefner

What needs to be said?

Hugh Marston Hefner (April 9, 1926 – September 27, 2017)

Hefner died at his home in Holmby Hills, Los Angeles, California, on September 27, 2017, at the age of 91. His ashes will be buried in the crypt beside Marilyn Monroe. “Spending eternity next to Marilyn is an opportunity too sweet to pass up,” Hefner told the Los Angeles Times in 2009.

Troy Gentry, of country duo Montgomery Gentry, killed in helicopter crash

Eddy Montgomery (L)and Troy Gentry (R), of Montgomery Gentry

Troy Gentry, of the country duo Montgomery Gentry, was killed in a New Jersey helicopter crash Friday just before the group was set to perform. He was 50.

Don Williams, Country’s ‘Gentle Giant,’ Dead at 78

Don Williams (May 27, 1939 – September 8, 2017)

Don Williams, the Country Music Hall of Fame member whose imposing height and warm, reassuring voice earned him the nickname “Gentle Giant,” died Friday, September 8th after a short illness. An internationally popular country star, Williams recorded dozens of hit songs, including “Tulsa Time,” “Lord, I Hope This Day Is Good” and “It Must Be Love.” He was 78.

Farewell, Batman! (Adam West, RIP)

Adam West (September 19, 1928 – June 9, 2017)

Adam West, (born William West Anderson) the ardent actor who managed to keep his tongue in cheek while wearing the iconic cowl of the Caped Crusader on the classic 1960s series Batman, has died. He was 88.

West, who was at the pinnacle of pop culture after Batman debuted in January 1966, only to see his career fall victim to typecasting after the ABC show flamed out, died Friday night in Los Angeles after a short battle with leukemia, a family spokesperson said.

West died peacefully surrounded by his family and is survived by his wife Marcelle, six children, five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Batman debuted at 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 12, 1966, a Wednesday.  The cliffhanger episode would be resolved the very next night — Same Bat-time! Same Bat-channel!

The series, filmed in eye-popping bright colors in an era of black-and-white and featuring a revolving set of villains like the Riddler (Frank Gorshin), Joker (Cesar Romero), Penguin (Burgess Meredith) and Catwoman (Julie Newmar), was an immediate hit; the Thursday installment was No. 5 in the Nielsen ratings for the 1965-66 season, and the Wednesday edition was No. 10.

RIP Don Rickles

Don Rickles
(May 8, 1926 – April 6, 2017)

Donald Jay “Don” Rickles was an American stand-up comedian and actor. Best known as an insult comic, he also acted in both comedic and dramatic roles on film.
After toiling in relative obscurity for years as a more conventional stand-up comedian, Rickles unwittingly discovered his biggest laughs came when he turned the tables on his hecklers. His career then skyrocketed after he insulted the hot-tempered Sinatra, who normally did not take kindly to such treatment.
When the superstar singer and actor walked into a Miami Beach club in 1957 where Rickles was performing, the comedian greeted the “Chairman of the Board” from the stage: “Make yourself at home Frank. Hit somebody.” Sinatra roared — with laughter.
With Sinatra’s endorsement, Rickles began his comedic assault on people famous and not so famous — Jews, Asians, African Americans, the Irish, Puerto Ricans, red-headed women, short guys, you name it — with tremendous results. He referred to stupid people as “hockey pucks,” and in 1959, he signed for his first Las Vegas appearance, in the lounge of the Hotel Sahara.
In 1985, when Sinatra was asked to perform at Ronald Reagan’s second Inaugural Ball, he insisted that Rickles accompany him for a comedy routine. Rickles, naturally, did not spare the president (“Am I going too fast for you, Ronnie?” he asked) and considered that performance among the highlights of his career.
Rickles honed his reputation in numerous appearances on The Dean Martin Celebrity Roasts that ran on NBC from the mid-1970s to the mid-80s. The specials provided a perfect venue for Rickles to unleash his caustic brand of humor on such visiting dignitaries as Sinatra, Reagan, Bob Hope, Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas, Sammy Davis Jr. and Mr. T.
Johnny Carson provided Rickles a late-night stage by making him one of The Tonight Show’s most-frequent guests. On one memorable moment in 1968, Rickles cozied up to a half-naked Carson during a sketch with two Japanese female masseuses and said, “I’m so lonely, Johnny!” Carson threw him in a bathtub. More recently, he was a regular guest on Late Show With David Letterman, in which the CBS host treated Rickles like royalty.
Rickles intermittently played in movies, highlighted by Kelly’s Heroes (1970), where he co-starred with Clint Eastwood as Sgt. Crapgame, an Army black-marketer who had no compunction about cutting favorable deals with the Nazis.
He also played opposite beach bunny Annette Funicello in such movies as Pajama Party (1964) and Beach Blanket Bingo (1965), appeared as a Vegas casino manager in Martin Scorsese’s Casino (1995) and voiced the cranky Mr. Potato Head in the Toy Story films.
Rickles and his wife, Barbara, often vacationed with deadpan comic Bob Newhart and his wife, Ginnie.
 
“He was called ‘The Merchant of Venom,’ but in truth, he was one of the kindest, caring and most sensitive human beings we have ever known,” the Newharts said in a statement. “We are devastated, and our world will never be the same. We were totally unprepared for this.”
 
Rickles died on April 6, 2017, of kidney failure, in his home in Los Angeles.

 

RIP Captain Apollo (Richard Hatch)

Richard Lawrence Hatch (May 21, 1945 – February 7, 2017) was an American actor, writer, and producer best known for his role as Captain Apollo in the original Battlestar Galactica television series, and also as Tom Zarek in the 2003 remake of Battlestar Galactica.  He starred as Jan Berry in Deadman’s Curve as well.

John Wetton, Asia and King Crimson Frontman, Dies at 67

John Wetton (06/12/1949 – 01/31/2017)

John Wetton was an English singer, bassist, and songwriter. He rose to fame with bands Mogul Thrash, Family, King Crimson, Roxy Music/Bryan Ferry, Uriah Heep, and Wishbone Ash.

After his period with King Crimson, Wetton formed U.K., and later he was the frontman and principal songwriter of the supergroup Asia, which proved to be his biggest commercial success. Their self-titled debut album sold eight million copies worldwide and was Billboard magazine’s No. 1 album of 1982. He later formed the duo Icon with Geoff Downes (ex-Yes, ex-The Buggles), and since the 1990s had a successful solo career releasing a large number of studio and live albums.

Wetton had a long career as an in-demand session bass player, and collaborated with many members of progressive rock bands such as Yes (including Steve Howe, Bill Bruford, Geoff Downes, Alan White, Billy Sherwood and Peter Banks), Roxy Music and Bryan Ferry, and Genesis (Steve Hackett).

January 11th 2017— A PERSONAL STATEMENT FROM JOHN WETTON

I am disappointed to announce that, on the advice of my medical team, I have to withdraw from Cruise to the Edge, and from the first leg of the Journey tour, March 15 – April 4.

I will soon be starting a new medical chemotherapy procedure, under which I will not be able to fly.

I am grateful to the promoters of the cruise. I wish them pleasant sailing and I know my friends on the cruise, both artists and fans, will have a ball on the ocean wave, I will be with you all in spirit.

My good friend Billy Sherwood will fill in for me within Asia, keeping my seat warm during the initial 12 Journey dates. While I am naturally disappointed to miss the beginning of what I know will be an historic ASIA tour, I am intending to return to the stage with Asia later in 2017, dates soon to be announced.I know this decision will be in the best interests of my health and our fans, in the long run.

John Wetton
Bournemouth
England
January 11th. 2017

Wetton has an AMAZING discography… he has played with an impressive line of musicians.  Check it out on his Wikipedia page, at the bottom.

Wikipedia Link

Mike Connors, ‘Mannix,’ Dies at 91

Mike Connors (August 15, 1925 – January 26, 2017)

Mike Connors (born Krekor Ohanian) was an American actor best known for playing detective Joe Mannix in the CBS television series, Mannix. Connors’ acting career spanned six decades; in addition to his work on television, he appeared in numerous films.

Connors died just a week after being diagnosed with leukemia, at the age of 91.

Wikipedia Link

Farewell Mary Tyler Moore, Adieu Laura Petrie

Mary Tyler Moore (December 29, 1936 – January 25, 2017)

Mary Tyler Moore was an American actress, known for her roles in the television sitcoms The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970–1977), in which she starred as Mary Richards, a thirty-something single woman who worked as a local news producer in Minneapolis; and The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961–1966), in which she played Laura Petrie, a former dancer turned homemaker, wife and mother.  She died from cardiopulmonary arrest because of pneumonia at the age of 80 on January 25, 2017.

Wikipedia Link

RIP Debbie Reynolds

Debbie Reynolds (April 1, 1932 – December 28, 2016)

Mary Frances “Debbie” Reynolds (April 1, 1932 – December 28, 2016) was an American actress, singer, entertainer, businesswoman, film historian, humanitarian and a noted former collector of film memorabilia. Her breakout role was the portrayal of Helen Kane in the 1950 film Three Little Words, for which she was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Most Promising Newcomer. However, it was her first leading role in 1952 at age 19, as Kathy Selden in Singin’ in the Rain, that set her on the path to fame.

On December 28, 2016, a day after the death of her daughter Carrie Fisher, Reynolds died after suffering a massive stroke.

RIP Princess Leia

Carrie Fisher (October 21, 1956 – December 27, 2016)

Carrie Frances Fisher was an American actress, screenwriter, author, producer, and speaker. She was known for playing Princess Leia in the Star Wars films. Fisher was also known for her semi-autobiographical novels, including Postcards from the Edge and the screenplay for the film of the same name, as well as her autobiographical one-woman play and its nonfiction book, Wishful Drinking, based on the show. Her other film roles included Shampoo (1975), The Blues Brothers (1980), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), The ‘Burbs (1989), and When Harry Met Sally… (1989).

RIP George Michael

George Michael (June 25, 1963 – December 25, 2016),

Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou, known professionally as George Michael, was an English singer, songwriter, and record producer who rose to fame as a member of the music duo Wham! He is best known for his work in the 1980s and 1990s, including hit singles such as “Last Christmas” and “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go“, and albums such as Faith (1987) and Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1 (1990).

Michael sold more than 100 million records worldwide. His debut solo album, Faith (1987), sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. Michael garnered seven number one singles in the UK and eight number one hits on the Billboard Hot 100 in the US, including “Careless Whisper” and “Freedom! ’90“. He ranks among the best-selling British acts of all time, ranked by Billboard magazine as the 40th-most successful artist ever. Michael won various music awards throughout his 30-year career, including three Brit Awards—he won Best British Male twice, four MTV Video Music Awards, four Ivor Novello Awards, three American Music Awards, and two Grammy Awards from eight nominations. Michael, who was gay, was an active LGBT rights campaigner and HIV/AIDS charity fundraiser.

In 2004, the Radio Academy named Michael the most played artist on British radio during the period 1984–2004. The documentary A Different Story (released in 2005) covered his career and personal life. Michael’s first tour in 15 years, the worldwide 25 Live tour, spanned three tours over the course of three years (2006, 2007, and 2008). In the early hours of 25 December 2016, Michael, aged 53, was found dead in bed at his Oxfordshire home.