Ray Ellis (July 28, 1923 Philadelphia – October 27, 2008 Encino, California) was an American record producer, arranger and conductor. The orchestration for Billie Holiday’s Lady in Satin is perhaps his best known work in the jazz vein.
Ellis arranged many hit records in the 1950s and 1960s. Included are classics such as "A Certain Smile" by Johnny Mathis; Broken Hearted Melody by Sarah Vaughan; and "Standing On The Corner" by the Four Lads. In 1970 he produced Emmylou Harris’ debut LP Gliding Bird.
Ellis work encompassed all areas of music, from records to film, commercials, and television. His television theme music credits include NBC News At Sunrise with Connie Chung and the original cartoon series Spider-Man. In the early 1960s, Ellis had a contract to produce his own easy listening record albums with RCA Victor, MGM, and Columbia, the most popular probably being Ellis in Wonderland.
Death of Ray Ellis Ray Ellis died of complications from melanoma Ray Ellis was 85 years old at the age of his death.
Muslim Mahammad oglu Magomayev (Azeri: Müslüm Maqomayev; born August 17, 1942 in Baku – October 25, 2008 in Moscow) was an Azerbaijani baritone operatic and pop singer of the 1960s and 1970s.
Death of Muslim Magomaev Muslim Magomaev died after a long illness. Muslim Magomaev was 66 years old at the time of his death.
Early life Muslim Magomaev represented one of the most respected artistic dynasties in Azerbaijan. His grandfather Muslim Magomayev (1885-1937), a friend and contemporary of the prominent Azerbaijani composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov, was one of the founders of Azerbaijani-composed music. Magomaev’s father, Mahammad Magomaev, who died during World War II, was a gifted Scenic designer, and his mother was an actress.
Muslim Magomaev’s biography continues on next page
Estelle Reiner (June 5, 1914 – October 25, 2008), described by The New York Times as "matriarch of one of the leading families in American comedy", was an actress who was the wife of Carl Reiner and the mother of Rob Reiner. Reiner, herself, has been credited with delivering one of the most memorable lines in movie history.
Death of Estelle Reiner Estelle Reiner died of natural causes on October 25, 2008 at age 94 in her home in Beverly Hills, California.
Estelle Reiner’s most enduring film role was in 1989’s When Harry Met Sally…, in which director Rob Reiner cast his mother as a customer in a scene with stars Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan at Katz’s Delicatessen, in which Ryan fakes what was described as "a very public (and very persuasive) orgasm". Approached by a waitress after Ryan finishes, Reiner deadpans "I’ll have what she’s having". The line was ranked 33rd on the American Film Institute’s list of the Top 100 movie quotations, just behind Casablanca’s "Round up the usual suspects".
Merl Saunders (February 14, 1934 – October 24, 2008) was an American multi-genre musician who played piano and keyboards, favoring the Hammond B-3 console organ.
Born in San Mateo, California, Saunders gained notice in the 1970s when he began collaborating with Jerry Garcia, with the Grateful Dead and with Garcia’s bands The Legion of Mary and Reconstruction.
Death of Merl Saunders Merl Saunders died in San Francisco, California on the morning of October 24, 2008, after fighting infections as a result of complications related to the stroke which he suffered in 2002. Merl Saunders was 74 years old at the time of his death.
Biography He led his own bands, as Merl Saunders and Friends, playing live dates with Garcia, as well as Mike Bloomfield, David Grisman, Tom Fogerty, Vassar Clements, Kenneth Nash, John Kahn and Sheila E.
He has worked with musicians Paul Pena, Bonnie Raitt, Phish, Miles Davis, and B. B. King. Merl also recorded with The Dinosaurs, a "supergroup" of first-generation Bay Area rock musicians.
Richard Blackwell (born Richard Sylvan Selzer) (August 29, 1922 – October 19, 2008) was a fashion critic, journalist, television and radio personality, artist, former child actor and former fashion designer, sometimes known just as Mr. Blackwell. He was the creator of the Ten Worst Dressed Women list, an annual awards presentation he unveiled in January of each year. He published the "Fabulous Fashion Independents" list and an annual Academy Awards fashion review, both of which receive somewhat less media attention. His longtime companion, former Beverly Hills hairdresser, Robert Spencer, managed him. He wrote two books, Mr. Blackwell: 30 Years of Fashion Fiascos and an autobiography, From Rags to Bitches.
Death of Richard Blackwell Blackwell died in Los Angeles on October 19, 2008, aged 86, of complications from an intestinal infection
Dee Dee Warwick (September 25, 1945 – October 18, 2008), was an African-American soul singer. She was born Newark, New Jersey as Delia Mae Warrick. Following the example of her elder sister, Dionne Warwick, she changed her surname from Warrick to Warwick in the early 1960s.
She is best-known for her hits during the 1960s, including the #13 R&B hit I’m Gonna Make You Love Me, co-written by Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff and later covered by Diana Ross & the Supremes, The Temptations, and Play. She is also a two time Grammy nominee for "Foolish Fool" and "She Didn’t Know".
Recordings of both her Mercury Records years and her Atco years are available on CD and hopefully her RCA, Kama Sutra, Heritage and Private Stock Records will follow. In late 2006 Dee Dee returned to much success singing background for Dionne in concert and also was part of the "Family First" song in the Tyler Perry movie and soundtrack for "Daddy’s Little Girls"
In January 2008 Dee Dee is featured in the title song from Dionne’s gospel album "Why We Sing" and was continuing background work with her sister
In February 2008, Dee Dee continued her background vocals for Dionne’s one woman show "My Music and Me" in Europe.
Warwick was the niece of gospel singer Cissy Houston and a cousin of Whitney Houston
Dee Dee Warwick – I’ll Be Better Off…
Dee Dee Warwick’s discography on next page
Chart singles 1963: You’re No Good (Jubilee) (#117 US) – The original recording of this song. It was later covered by Betty Everett, The Swinging Blue Jeans and Linda Ronstadt, all of whom had hits with it. 1965: Do It With All Your Heart (Blue Rock) (#124 US) 1965: We’re Doing Fine (Blue Rock) (#96 US, #28 R&B) 1966: I Want To Be With You (Mercury) (#41 US, #9 R&B) 1966: I’m Gonna Make You Love Me (Mercury) (#88 US, #13 R&B) – The original recording of this song. Later jointly covered by Diana Ross & The Supremes and The Temptations, who took it to the US top 10. 1967: When Love Slips Away (Mercury) (#92 US, #43 R&B) 1969: That’s Not Love (Mercury) (#106 US, #42 R&B) 1969: Ring of Bright Water (Mercury) (#113 US) 1969: Foolish Fool (Mercury) (#57 US, #14 R&B) 1970: She Didn’t Know (She Kept On Talking) (Atco) (#70 US, #9 R&B) 1970: Cold Night In Georgia (Atco) (#44 R&B) 1971: Suspicious Minds (Atco) (#80 US, #24 R&B) 1975: Get Out Of My Life (Private Stock) (#73 R&B)
Levi Stubbles (June 6, 1936 – October 17, 2008), better known by the stage name, Levi Stubbs, was an American baritone singer, best known as the lead vocalist of the famed Motown R&B group The Four Tops.
Death of Levi Stubbles Levi Stubbles died October 17, 2008 at his home in Detroit after a long serious illness including cancer and a stroke — that forced him to stop performing in 2000. Levi Stubbles was 72 years old at the time of his death
The Four Tops Stubbs began his professional singing career with friends Abdul "Duke" Fakir, Renaldo "Obie" Benson and Lawrence Payton to form the Four Aims in 1954. Two years later, the group changed their name to the Four Tops. The group began as a supper-club act before finally signing to Motown Records in 1963; by the end of the decade, The Four Tops had over a dozen hits to their name.
Levi Stubbs’ biography continues next page
Four Tops – I’ll be there. Lead singer is Levi Stubbs
The most popular of the Four Tops hits, all of which featured Stubbs on lead vocals, include "Baby I Need Your Loving", "I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie, Honey Bunch)", "It’s the Same Old Song", "Reach Out I’ll Be There", "Standing in the Shadows of Love", "Bernadette", "Still Water (Love)", and "Ain’t No Woman (Like the One I’ve Got)".
Although Stubbs was a natural baritone, most of the Four Tops’ hits were written in a tenor range to give the lead vocals a sense of urgency. Stubbs and the other Tops remained a team until Payton died in 1997, at which point Theo Peoples took his place. The Four Tops were elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Benson also died on July 1, 2005.
Other work As an actor, credited as Levi Stubbs, Jr., he provided the voice of the carnivorous plant "Audrey II" in the movie version of the musical, Little Shop of Horrors (1986) and the voice of Mother Brain in the animated TV series Captain N: The Game Master (1989). Stubbs has also guest starred in a number of TV shows as himself.
Personal life Stubbs and his wife Clineice were married from 1960 until his death, and had five children. In 1995, Stubbs was diagnosed with cancer, and later, a stroke, and therefore stopped touring. Since 2000, Theo Peoples has taken Stubbs’ place as the lead singer of The Four Tops, with Ronnie McNeir taking the place that Payton originally held. Stubbs was a cousin of soul singer Jackie Wilson.
On October 15, 2008, Nancy was admitted to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center after having twisted on her leg and fallen at home the previous week. Persistent pain ensued and doctors determined that the 87-year-old former first lady had fractured her pelvis.
Edie Adams (April 16, 1927 – October 15, 2008) was an American singer, Broadway, television and film actress and comedienne.
Edie Adams made sporadic appearances through the decades on television, including on Fantasy Island The Love Boat, Murder, She Wrote and Designing Women.
Death of Edie Adams Edie Adams died of cancer and pneumonia in Los Angeles, where she resided, aged 81
Husband Ernie Kovacs Edie Adams was married to Husband Ernie Kovacs for 8 years (1954 – 1962). Ernie Kovacs (January 23, 1919 – January 13, 1962) was an American comedian whose uninhibited, often ad-libbed, and visually experimental comic style came to influence numerous television comedy programs for years after his early death in an automobile accident. Such iconoclastic shows as Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In, Monty Python’s Flying Circus, The Uncle Floyd Show, Saturday Night Live and even Captain Kangaroo and Sesame Street, and TV hosts such as David Letterman are seen as having made use of Kovacs’ influence.
Edie Adams’ Television & Filmography on next page
Adams starred on Broadway in Wonderful Town (1953) opposite Rosalind Russell (winning the Theatre World Award), and as Daisy Mae in Li’l Abner (1956), winning the Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. She played the Fairy Godmother in Rodgers and Hammerstein’s original 1957 Cinderella broadcast. She played supporting roles in several well-known films in the 1960s, including "Miss Olsen" in The Apartment (1960). In 2003, as one of the last surviving headliners from the all-star movie, It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, she joined actors Marvin Kaplan and Sid Caesar at 40th anniversary celebrations of the movie. She was also a favorite nightclub headliner. Adams "both embodied and winked at the stereotypes of fetching chanteuse and sexpot blonde".
Television Ernie in Kovacsland (1951) (canceled after 2 months) The Ernie Kovacs Show (1952–1956) Cinderella (1957) Lucy Meets the Moustache (1960) Take a Good Look (panelist from 1960–1961) Here’s Edie (1963–1964) Evil Roy Slade (1972) Cop on the Beat (1975) Superdome (1978) Fast Friends (1979) The Seekers (1979) Make Me an Offer (1980) Portrait of an Escort (1980) A Cry for Love (1980) The Haunting of Harrington House (1981) As the World Turns (cast member in 1982) Shooting Stars (1983) Ernie Kovacs: Between the Laughter (1984) Adventures Beyond Belief (1987) Jake Spanner, Private Eye (1989) Tales of the City (1993) (miniseries)
Filmography Showdown at Ulcer Gulch (1956) The Apartment (1960) Lover Come Back (1961) Call Me Bwana (1963) Under the Yum Yum Tree (1963) It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963) Love with the Proper Stranger (1963) The Best Man (1964) Made in Paris (1966) The Oscar (1966) The Honey Pot (1967) Up in Smoke (1978) Racquet (1979) The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood (1980) Boxoffice (1982) Broadway: The Golden Age, by the Legends Who Were There (2003)