Thu 28 Dec, 2006 07:40 am
Usually someone starts such a thread at years end. Lest we forget those whove died. Its been a year in which weve lost quite a few of the luminaries. Remember?
MAYNARD FERGUSON--Whose trumpet and flugel music broke out the "modern big band brass sound" of the 70's . His "Children of Sanchez" was a soundtrack for a second rate movie adaptation. However , the sound track was spectacular.
Hey, farmerman. Mr. High Notes himself. buddy. Had a great vinyl with all the jazz artists doing fantastic songs. I think Maynard did "Don't Worry 'Bout Me" on that one. Clark Terry was another trumpet man that I liked and met.
Hope you are doing well.
Mickey Spillane, author of the Mike Hammer stories, died July 17 at the age of 88.
Spillane was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was raised in Elizabeth, New Jersey. He began his writing career in 1935 submitting stories to illustrated magazines and comic books (nicknamed 'slicks'). Among others, Spillane had written for Captain Marvel, Superman, Batman and Captain America.
The day after Pearl Harbor Day in 1941, Spillane joined the Air Corps of the United States Army. Many of the scenarios with which he was said to partake in his military service later became topic matter for his most popular writing. According to the Guardian, Spillane was not only a fighter pilot and instructed incoming cadets, but he claimed to work briefly as an undercover investigator for the Manhattan District Attorney's Office and, upon demobilization from the Army, he found work as a trampoline artist in a traveling circus.
The Erection Set (1972), U.S. paperback cover featuring Spillane's then-wife Sherri Malinou
For a time Spillane was one of the most popular authors in the U.S., with seven titles among the ten best-selling American books of the 20th century.
The Associated Press' wrote:
Mr. Spillane, a bearish man who wrote on a manual Smith Corona, said he didn't care about reviews. He considered himself a "writer," not an "author," defining a writer as someone whose books sell. 
An early version of Spillane's Mike Hammer character, called Mike Danger, was submitted in a script for a detective-themed comic book. Following its rejection, Spillane turned to the novel format. His first novel, written in six days, I, the Jury, was published by E.P. Dutton in 1947 and the paperback version was published by Signet in December 1948. He wrote the book in a tent while he built his first house. I, the Jury introduced Spillane's tough detective Mike Hammer. The violence was more overt than it had ever been in a detective story. His books, although considered tame by current standards, had more than their contemporary competitors in terms of sexual episodes.
Spillane also dabbled in film. He had a chance to play himself as a detective in Ring of Fear in 1954. It was directed by screenwriter, James Edward Grant.
Many of the Mike Hammer novels were made into movies, including the classic film noir Kiss Me Deadly (1955) and The Girl Hunters (1963), in which Spillane himself starred. In The Girl Hunters, Spillane played his creation, Mike Hammer (one of the few occasions in film history in which an author of a popular literary hero has portrayed his own character). It also starred Bond girl Shirley Eaton and actor Lloyd Nolan. He also appeared as a writer who is murdered in the TV series Columbo.
In 1965, he married his second wife, Sherri Malinou, a model who posed in the nude for the cover of his 1972 book The Erection Set. The book was also dedicated to her.
Spillane also appeared in a series of commercials for Miller Lite which parodied his tough-guy image.
Spillane became a Jehovah's Witness in 1951 (NPR Interview).
Mickey Spillane died July 17, 2006 at his home in Murrells Inlet, South Carolina from pancreatic cancer.
 Criticism of his work
Literary critics hated Spillane's writing, citing high content of sex and violence. In answer to his critics, Spillane had a few terse comments:
Those big-shot writers could never dig the fact that there are more salted peanuts consumed than caviar.
If the public likes you, you're good.
Russian-American author Ayn Rand publicly praised Spillane's work at a time when critics were almost uniformly hostile. She considered him an underrated if uneven stylist, and found congenial the black-and-white morality of the Mike Hammer stories. She later publicly repudiated what she regarded as the amorality of Spillane's Tiger Mann stories.
German painter Markus Lüpertz claims that Spillane's work influenced his own. He certainly loves to shock his critics by saying that Spillane counts as one of the major poets of the 20th century as far as he is concerned.
Gerald Ford, best known for tripping over his own feet. The one and only president from my home state.
Former Giants shortstop Uribe dies in car crash
47-year-old killed in accident in Dominican Republic (Dec 8, 2006)
Don Knotts and Gavin McGavin; two actors we "grew up" with.
JERRY ORBACH-Who played the wisecracking detective Briscoe on Law and Order.New York native and Northwestern University alumnus Jerry Orbach has often commented, without false modesty, that he is fortunate indeed to have been a steadily working actor since the age of 20. After training with Herbert Berghof and Lee Strasberg, the lanky, deep-voiced Orbach received his first off-Broadway job as an understudy in the popular 1955 revival of The Threepenny Opera, eventually playing the lead role of MacHeath. During the Threepenny run, Orbach made his first film appearance in the Manhattan-filmed low budgeter Cop Killer (1958). In 1960, Orbach created the role of flamboyant interlocutor El Gallo in the off-Broadway smash The Fantasticks. That musical is still running, but Orbach has since starred in such Broadway productions as Carnival (1961), Promises Promises (1966), Chicago (1975) and 42nd Street (1983). By day, Orbach made early-1960s appearances in several New York-based TV series, notably The Shari Lewis Show. At first, Orbach's film assignments were infrequent, but starting with 1985's Brewster's Millions, the actor managed to show up in at least one movie per year. His more fondly remembered screen roles include the part of Jennifer Grey's father in Dirty Dancing (1987), the voice of the Chevalieresque candellabra in the Disney cartoon feature Beauty and the Beast (1990), and Billy Crystal's easily amused agent in Mr. Saturday Night (1992). On TV, Jerry Orbach has starred in the 1985 Murder She Wrote spinoff The Law and Harry McGraw, and was one of the many revolving-door regulars on the 1990s cop series Law and Order. ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide
What can you say that hasn't been said already.
Not a hero of mine but still a hero for many.
Law and Order is one of those shows I could sit through and watch the whole segment. The cast of characters on that show are really good, and I was never bored.
Shelley Winters (8-18-1920 to 1-14-2006)
As the Associated Press reported, "During her 50 years as a widely known personality, Winters was rarely out of the news. Her stormy marriages, her romances with famous stars, her forays into politics and feminist causes kept her name before the public. She delighted in giving provocative interviews and seemed to have an opinion on everything."
That led to a second career as a writer. Though not an overwhelming beauty, her acting, wit, and "chutzpah" gave her a love life to rival Monroe's. In late life, she recalled her conquests in autobiographies so popular they undermined her reputation as a serious actor.
Let's not forget Al 'Grampa Munster' Lewis. Not only an actor but a former New York State Gubernatorial candidate and at one time proprietor of a restaurant.
looks like we can possibly add Saddam Hussein to that list....
either that or some poor schmuck saying to himself.."Man! Why did I answer that add for a gig for a Saddam look alike?"
Syd Barrett, founding member of Pink Floyd, died July 7 at the age of 60. PBS aired one of the last videos of him in concert.
Aaron Spelling, tv mogul, died June 23 at the age of 83. Without him we'd not have jiggle TV.
Louis Rukeyser, business journalist best known for Wall Street Week, died May 2 at the age of 73. He made learning about the stockmarket interesting to watch.
Dennis Weaver, actor best known for McCloud, died February 24 at the age of 81. Always liked the McCloud character.
Don Knotts, comic actor best known as Barney Fife on the Andy Griffith show, died February 24 at the age of 81. I liked him better in Three's Company and the movie Mr. Limpet.
Curt Gowdy, broadcaster, died February 20 at the age of 86. Grew up listening to him broadcast baseball games.
Betty Friedan, feminist, died February 4 at the age of 85. She did a lot to change the lives of American women. Not sure if all of it was an improvement.
Coretta Scott King, widow of the civil rights leader, died January 31 at the age of 78. A gracious woman who also did a lot to change the lives of Americans. Give your husband my thanks.
Lou Rawls, singer, died January 6 at the age of 72. Mmmm, still love the sound of his voice. You'll never find another voice like his.
My childhood friend Christine Green (only 49).
Such happy memories.
the last shred of my faith that we as a species might not be on the road to eradication died this year....
actually your just threatened and not endangered yet. Wasnt you amazed at how the Bush admin carried the atandard for ya? Classy Guy no? A real intellect?
WILSON PICKETT-My favorite soul singer. James Brown was ok, Wilson was great.
60 Minutes' Ed Bradley.
I had a major crush on him.
He played a gig in my local park about two years ago, and was brilliant.
Lot of teen memories there.
Also Alan Freeman (Radio 1 DJ) for the same reasons as above.
Syd's already been mentioned.
Has anyone mentioned Wilson Pickett yet?