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Archive - Feb 2011

February 28th

Jane Russell, Hollywood star, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, dies 89

Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell (born June 21, 1921 – February 28, 2011) an American film actress and was one of Hollywood's leading sex symbols in the 1940s and 1950s.

Russell was voted one of the 40 Most Iconic Movie Goddesses of all time in 2009 by Glamour (UK edition).

Death of Jane Russell
Jane Russell died of respiratory problems.
Jane Russell was 89 years old at the time of her death.

Jane Russell

Marilyn Monroe and Russell putting signatures, hand and foot prints in cement at Grauman's Chinese Theater, 1953

February 25th

The Day The Music Died, American Pie, & Bobby Vee

On February 3, 1959, a small-plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, killed three American rock and roll musicians: Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, as well as the pilot, Roger Peterson.

The day was later called The Day the Music Died by Don McLean, in his song "American Pie".


Monument for Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson

American Pie is a folk rock song by American singer-songwriter Don McLean. Recorded and released on the American Pie album in 1971, the single was a number-one U.S. hit for four weeks in 1972. The song is a recounting of "The Day the Music Died" – the 1959 plane crash that killed Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper. The song was listed as the number five song on the RIAA project Songs of the Century. "American Pie" is Don McLean's signature song.

The song is well known for its cryptic lyrics that have long been the subject of curiosity and speculation. Although McLean dedicated the American Pie album to Buddy Holly, none of the musicians in the plane crash are identified by name in the song itself. When asked what "American Pie" meant, McLean replied, "It means I never have to work again." Later, he more seriously stated, "You will find many interpretations of my lyrics but none of them by me... sorry to leave you all on your own like this but long ago I realized that songwriters should make their statements and move on, maintaining a dignified silence."

** Recommended Visit:
"Bob Dearborn's Original Analysis of Don McLean's 1971 Classic "American Pie"
23 minutes of RealAudio file available

References in the song

Notable references are based on interpretations of the song by Bob Dearborn and Jim Fann.

    * Ritchie Valens
    * The Big Bopper
    * Buddy Holly – The Day The Music Died
    * The Father, The Son and The Holy Ghost
    * María Elena Holly – his widowed bride
    * "(Who Wrote) The Book of Love" – The Monotones
    * "Lonely Teenager" – Dion
    * "A White Sport Coat (and a Pink Carnation)" – Marty Robbins
    * Bob Dylan – the jester on the sidelines in a cast.
    * Elvis Presley – the King
    * Connie Francis or Queen Elizabeth II – the queen
    * James Dean
    * Lenin – However, Official Lyrics show this to be John Lennon, a play on words
    * Karl Marx or Groucho Marx
    * Jerry Moss – "moss grows fat on a Rolling Stone"
    * The Beatles – The Quartet
    * "Helter Skelter" – a Beatles song used by Charles Manson
    * The Byrds – "Eight Miles High"
    * "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" – (The Marching Band) – The Beatles – (sergeants played a marching tune)
    * Woodstock Festival – "There we were, all in one place"
    * The Space Race – "A generation lost in space"
    * The Rolling Stones – Jack Flash and "moss grows fat on a Rolling Stone"
    * Mick Jagger – Satan laughing with delight
    * Hells Angels at the Altamont Free Concert – "No angel born in hell"
    * Janis Joplin or Billie Holiday – Girl Who Sang the Blues
    * Fillmore East or The Fillmore – the sacred store

Singer Bobby Vee was 15 years old on The Day the Music Died.  Vee and a hastily-assembled band of Fargo, North Dakota, schoolboys calling themselves The Shadows volunteered for and were given the unenviable job of filling in for Holly and his band at the Moorhead engagement. Their performance there was a success, setting in motion a chain of events that led to Vee's career as a popular singer.

Again, I recommend you to visit this page and listen to original analysis in RealAudio format.
"Bob Dearborn's Original Analysis of Don McLean's 1971 Classic "American Pie"

 

February 24th

Suze Rotolo, Bob Dylan's 'Freewheelin' Girl,' Dies 67

Susan Elizabeth Rotolo (November 20, 1943 – February 24, 2011) known as Suze Rotolo (pronounced Soo-zee), was an American artist, perhaps best known as Bob Dylan's girlfriend between 1961 and 1964. She is the woman walking with him on the cover of his album The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan. In her book, A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties, Rotolo described her time with Dylan and other figures in the folk music scene in Greenwich Village, New York. She also discussed her upbringing as a "red diaper" baby—a child of radicals during the McCarthy Era. Later as an artist Rotolo specialized in artists' books and taught at the Parsons School of Design in New York City.

Death of Suze Rotolo
Rotolo died in New York on 24 February 2011, aged 67, following a long illness.

February 18th

"Anna Nicole", the opera, premieres in London Thursday

Click for a complete story

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"Anna Nicole," the opera -- yes, the opera -- premieres at London's Royal Opera House Thursday.

The life of the Texas-born stripper who married a multi-millionaire more than 60 years her senior, then spent the rest of her life fighting his heirs over his money after he died, might not seem to belong on the same stage that hosts Verdi and Puccini.

February 17th

Perry Moore 'Chronicles of Narnia' Producer Dies 39

Perry Moore (November 4th, 1971 - February 17, 2011) was an American author, screenwriter, and film director. He was best known as the executive producer of The Chronicles of Narnia film series and the author of the award-winning book Hero (about a gay teenage superhero).

Death of Perry Moore
Moore was openly gay and lived in New York City with Hunter Hill (a writer for Paper magazine). He died of an apparent drug overdose at his home in New York City on February 17, 2011. He was 39 years old. His body was discovered by his life-partner Hill.

February 16th

Len Lesser, Veteran Actor, Seinfeld's 'Uncle Leo', Dies 88

Leonard King "Len" Lesser (December 3, 1922 – February 16, 2011) was an American actor. He was best known for his recurring role as Uncle Leo on Seinfeld, which began during the show's second season in "The Pony Remark" episode.

Before he played the role of Uncle Leo, Lesser worked for years in film, TV and on stage. His resume includes projects with Clint Eastwood, Barbra Streisand, Lee Marvin, Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen. Lesser has appeared on American television steadily since 1955 on scores of TV classics such as The Monkees, "Bat Masterson," The Outer Limits, Alfred Hitchcock Presents, Get Smart, Quincy, The Rockford Files, Mad About You, All in the Family, Boy Meets World, and, most recently, Castle. He has also appeared in a variety of films such as The Outlaw Josey Wales, including a key role in the Clint Eastwood movie Kelly's Heroes.

Death of Len Lesser
On February 16, 2011, Lesser died from cancer-related pneumonia in Burbank, California, at the age of 88.

"Can you blame her?"

February 14th

George Shearing, ‘Lullaby of Birdland’ Jazz Virtuoso, Dies 91

Sir George Shearing, OBE (August 13, 1919 – February 14, 2011) was an Anglo-American jazz pianist who for many years led a popular jazz group which recorded for MGM Records and Capitol Records. The composer of over 300 titles, he had multiple albums on the Billboard charts during the 1950s, 1960s, 1980s and 1990s.

He became known for a piano technique known as Shearing's voicing, a type of double melody block chord, with an additional fifth part that doubles the melody an octave lower. George Shearing credited the Glenn Miller Orchestra's reed section of the late 1930s and early 1940s as an important influence.

Shearing's interest in classical music resulted in some performances with concert orchestras in the 1950s and 1960s, and his solos frequently drew upon the music of Satie, Delius and Debussy for inspiration.

Death of George Shearing
George Shearing died of heart failure in February 2011 in New York City
George Shearing was 91 old at the time of his death

Lullaby of Birdland - George Shearing - 1987 

George Shearig (piano) with Mel torme (sining) - Berlin 89 part 4

February 12th

Betty Garrett, actress in Film, TV, Broadway, Dies 91

Betty Garrett (May 23, 1919 – February 12, 2011) was an American actress, comedienne, singer and dancer who originally performed on Broadway before being signed to a film contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. While there, she appeared in several musical films before returning to Broadway and making guest appearances on several television series.

Later, she became known for the roles she played in two prominent 1970s sitcoms: Archie Bunker's liberal neighbor Irene Lorenzo in All in the Family and landlady Edna Babish in Laverne & Shirley.

In later years, Garrett appeared in television series such as Grey's Anatomy, Boston Public and Becker as well as in several Broadway plays and revivals.

Betty Garrett won a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actress – Series, Miniseries or Television Film for a role of landlady Edna Babish in Laverne & Shirley.

Death of Betty Garrett
Betty Garrett died of an aortic aneurysm in Los Angeles on February 12, 2011,
Betty Garrett was 91 years old at the time of her death.

Betty Garrett Montage - Betty Garrett's 90th Birthday Bash

Kenneth Mars, Comedic Actor in TV and Film, Dies 75

Kenneth Mars (April 14, 1936 – February 12, 2011) was an American television, movie and voice actor. He may be best-remembered for his roles in several Mel Brooks films: the insane Nazi playwright Franz Liebkind in 1968's The Producers, and the relentless Police Inspector Hans Wilhelm Fredrich Kemp in 1974's Young Frankenstein.

He voiced the roles of Ariel's father King Triton in The Little Mermaid, and Littlefoot's Grandpa Longneck in The Land Before Time movie series and the spin-off television series.

Death of Kenneth Mars
Kenneth Mars died of pancreatic cancer.
Kenneth Mars was 75 years old at the time of his death.

The Producers (1968) - Franz Liebkind (Kenneth Mars)

February 11th

Elizabeth Taylor Hospitalized with Heart Failure

Click for a complete story

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The 78-year-old icon is currently hospitalized with symptoms caused by congestive heart failure, which she has suffered from for several years.

February 8th

Marvin Sease, American Blues singer, dies 64

Marvin Sease (February 16, 1946 - February 8, 2011) was an American blues and soul singer, known for his racy lyrics.

Sease died of pneumonia in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on February 8, 2011, eight days before his 65th birthday

 Cany Licker (Warning, adult content)

February 6th

Cast of "Rebel Without a Cause"

1998 AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movies #59

Rebel Without a Cause DeathSome call it "Rebel Without a Cause Curse"

Rebel Without a Cause (1955) is a film directed by Nicholas Ray that tells the story of a rebellious teenager played by James Dean, who comes to a new town, meets a girl, defies his parents, and faces the local high school bullies. It sought to portray the existing decay of youth in middle America, critique parental style, and expose the rift between two generations. The title is taken from psychiatrist Robert Lindner's 1944 book, Rebel Without A Cause: The Hypnoanalysis of a Criminal Psychopath but has no other relationship to the book.

In 1990, Rebel Without a Cause was added to the preserved films of the United States Library of Congress's National Film Registry as being deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant."

Cast with tragic death

  • James Dean – Jim Stark
  • Natalie Wood – Judy
  • Sal Mineo – John "Plato" Crawford
  • Nick Adams – Moose

James Dean
James Byron Dean (February 8, 1931 – September 30, 1955): Died in traffic accident at the age of 24. Accident was caused by opposit way driver hitting James Dean head on.

Natalie Wood
(July 20, 1938 – November 29, 1981) Her drowned body was found at Catalina Island, California. Aged 43

Salvatore "Sal" Mineo, Jr.
(January 10, 1939 – February 12, 1976) Arriving home after a rehearsal on February 12, 1976, Sal Mineo was stabbed to death in the alley behind a West Hollywood apartment building. He was 37 years old.

Nick Adams
(July 10, 1931 - February 7, 1968) His lawyer/friend Erwin Roeder found Nick Adams' dead body at his house. He was 26 years old. Cause of death is still a mystery (accident, drug, suicide...)

Gary Moore, Thin Lizzy Guitarist, Dies 58

Robert William Gary Moore (April 4, 1952 – February 6, 2011) known simply as Gary Moore, was a musician best recognized as a blues rock guitarist and singer from Belfast, Northern Ireland.

In a career dating back to the 1960s, Moore played with artists including Phil Lynott and Brian Downey as early as his secondary school days, leading him to membership with the Irish rock band Thin Lizzy on three separate occasions. Moore shared the stage with such blues and rock luminaries as B.B. King, Albert King, Colosseum II, Greg Lake and Skid Row (not to be confused with the glam metal band of the same name), as well as having a successful solo career. He guested on a number of albums recorded by high profile musicians, including a cameo appearance playing the lead guitar solo on "She's My Baby" from Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3.

Death of Gary Moore
Gary Moore died at the age of 58, in the early hours of 6 February 2011, while on holiday at the Kempinski Hotel in Estepona, Spain. Cause of death is not known at this moment.

* As of February 8, 2011 - Reports indicate Gary Moore is likely to have died of heart atack.

Gary Moore - Parisenne Walkway (From "One Night In Dublin: A Tribute To Phil Lynott")
August 20th 2005

Gary Moore - Still Got The Blues (Live)

February 5th

John Paul Getty III dies 54

John Paul Getty III (November 4, 1956 – February, 5 2011) was the eldest of four children of Paul Getty and Gail Harris, the grandson of oil tycoon Jean Paul Getty, and the father of actor Balthazar Getty.

On July 10 1973, John Getty III was kidnapped in the Piazza Farnese in Rome.  The kidnappers cut off his ear and send it to a newspaper. Getty III was found alive in southern Italy on December 15, 1973, shortly after the ransom ($2.9 million) was paid. Several of the kidnappers were apprehended. Most of the ransom money was never recovered

Getty was an alcoholic and drug addict. In 1981, taking a cocktail of valium, methadone and alcohol resulted in liver failure and a stroke which left Getty quadriplegic and nearly blind

Death of John Paul Getty III
On February 5, 2011, Getty died at Wormsley, his home in Buckinghamshire, England after a long illness. He had been in poor health since his 1981 drug overdose. He is survived by his son.

John Lennon's jukebox

In 1989, John Lennon's jukebox surfaced in an auction of Beatles memorabilia at Christie's, and was sold for £2,500 ($4,907) to Bristol-based music promoter John Midwinter. Lennon had apparently bought the jukebox – specifically a Swiss KB Discomatic – in 1965, and filled it with forty singles to take with him on tour. Midwinter spent several years restoring the box and researching the discs catalogued in Lennon's spidery handwriting. When Midwinter developed cancer, and his health began to deteriorate, his desire to see the player featured in some kind of documentary became all the more important.

Story continues next page

The story finally reached its wider public in 2004, when The South Bank Show broadcast a documentary on the jukebox in which many of the represented artists, along with Sting, were asked to comment. Developed by Steve Jansen for the British television production company Initial, headed by Malcolm Gerrie, the project took longer than was hoped to get picked up. This fact was rendered all the more poignant in that the show was commissioned mere days after Midwinter died. A compilation album was also released, containing thirty-four of the singles' A-sides and seven of their B-sides.

Album
The 2004 Compilation album named John Lennon's Jukebox contains several songs that are believed to be part of John Lennon's original choice. However the compilation album is labelled as "a collection inspired by music from his own collection" and some of the songs on the album are different versions from the ones that could have been included in the jukebox. The version of "Some Other Guy" by The Big Three, for instance, is not the one that was in the original jukebox but a mid-1970s recording by the same group.

Track Listings

1. In The Midnight Hour - Wilson Pickett
2. Rescue Me - Fontella Bass
3. The Tracks Of My Tears - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
4. My Girl - Otis Redding
5. 1 - 2 - 3 - Len Barry
6. Hi-Heel Sneakers - Tommy Tucker
7. The Walk - Jimmy McCracklin
8. Gonna Send You Back To Georgia - Timmy Shaw
9. First I Look At The Purse - Contours
10. New Orleans - Gary U.S. Bonds
11. Watch Your Step - Bobby Parker
12. Daddy Rollin Stone - Derek Martin
13. Short Fat Fannie - Larry Williams
14. Long Tall Sally - Little Richard
15. Money (Thats What I Want) - Barrett Strong
16. Hey! Baby - Bruce Channel
17. Positively 4th Street - Bob Dylan
18. Daydream - The Lovin Spoonful
19. Turquoise - Donovan
20. Slippin & Slidin - Buddy Holly
21. Be-Bop-A-Lula - Gene Vincent
22. No Particular Place To Go - Chuck Berry
23. Steppin Out - Paul Revere & The Raiders
24. Do You Believe In Magic - The Lovin Spoonful
25. Some Other Guy - The Big Three
26. Twist & Shout - The Isley Brothers
27. She Said Yeah - Larry Williams
28. Brown Eyed Handsome Man - Buddy Holly
29. Slippin & Slidin - Little Richard
30. Quarter To Three - Gary U.S. Bonds
31. Ooh My Soul - Little Richard
32. Woman Love - Gene Vincent
33. Shop Around - The Miracles
34. Bring It On Home To Me - The Animals
35. If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody - James Ray/Hutch Davie
36. Whats So Good About Goodbye - The Miracles
37. Bad Boy - Larry Williams
38. Agent Double O Soul - Edwin Starr
39. Ive Been Good To You - The Miracles
40. Oh I Apologize - Barrett Strong
41. Whos Lovin You - The Miracles