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Archive - Sep 2011

September 29th

Sylvia Robinson, ‘the Mother of Hip-Hop,’ Dies 75

Sylvia Robinson (March 6, 1936 - September 29, 2011) was a singer, musician, music producer, and record label executive, most notably known for her work as founder/CEO of the seminal hip hop label Sugar Hill Records. She is credited as the driving force behind two landmark singles in the genre. The first was "Rapper's Delight" by the Sugarhill Gang, which was the first rap song to be released by a hip hop act. The second was "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five.

Sylvia Robinson cause of death
Sylvia Robinson died of congestive heart failure.
Sylvia Robinson was 75 years old at the time of her death.

Pillow Talk - Sylvia Robinson

The Sugar Hill Gang - Rapper's Delight

Former Seahawks center Tofflemire dies at 46 of heart failure

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Former Seattle Seahawks center Joe Tofflemire has died of heart failure, according to his brother Paul Tofflemire. He was 46.

The Spokesman-Review reports that Joe Tofflemire died Tuesday at a hospital in Coeur d'Alene after being found unconscious and unresponsive in his Post Falls home.

Tofflemire was the Seahawks' second-round pick in the 1989 draft. His injury-plagued career lasted until 1995. His 33 appearances were concentrated mostly in 1990 and 1992.

Joe Tofflemire played in college at the University of Arizona, where his brother Paul followed, giving the Wildcats a Tofflemire starting at center for seven years.

September 28th

Leonard Dillon, Reggae Pioneer, died 68

The Ethiopians were a ska, rocksteady, and reggae vocal group, founded by Leonard Dillon ( December 9, 1942, Port Antonio, Jamaica – September 28, 2011), Stephen Taylor and Aston Morris.

Leonard Dillon cause of death.
Leonard Dillon died of lung and prostate cancer on 28 September at his daughter's home in Kingston, Jamaica.  Leonard Dillon was 68 years old at the time of his death.

Reggae hit the Town - The Ethiopians

September 26th

Johnny Wright, Country music pioneer, husband of Kitty Wells, dies 97

Johnnie Robert Wright, Jr. (May 13, 1914 – September 27, 2011), known professionally as Johnnie Wright, was an American country music singer-songwriter who spent much of his career working with Jack Anglin as the popular duo Johnnie & Jack, and was also the husband of Kitty Wells.

In 1937, he married Kitty Wells.

In 1952, Johnnie & Jack’s "Poison Love" took them to the Grand Ole Opry, where the duo, along with Wells, were invited to join and where they remained for 15 years.

In 1964, he and his Tennessee Mountain Boys had a Top 25 hit with "Walkin', Talkin', Cryin', Barely Beatin' Broken Heart." The following year, he had success with "Hello Vietnam", a No. 1 hit. In 1968, he and Wells recorded an autobiographical duet, "We'll Stick Together", and continued playing live shows together through the early 1980s.

Johnnie Wright cause of death
Johnnie Wright passed away of natural causes at his home in Madison, TN on September 27, 2011.  Johnnie Wright was 97 years old at the time of his death.

Johnnie Wright - Is Love Worth All The Heartaches?

Johnny Wright - Hello Vietnam (Full Metal Jacket)

Rev Jessy Dixon, Legendary Gospel Singer, Died 73

Jessy Dixon (March 12, 1938 - September 26, 2011) was an American gospel singer, songwriter, and pianist, with success among audiences across racial lines. He has three Gold albums and seven Grammy nominations.

Jessy Dixon cause of death
Jessy Dixon died affter long illness
Jessy Dixon was 73 years old at the time of his death

Operator by Jessy Dixon

September 23rd

Orlando "Zeus" Brown

Orlando "Zeus" Brown,
a 6-foot-7 offensive tackle who played for the Cleveland Browns and Baltimore Ravens in a career that lasted from 1994 through 2005,
was recently found dead in his Baltimore condominium.

Wanda Sykes: I had a double mastectomy

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(CBS) Comedienne Wanda Sykes made a very serious revelation during an interview on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

In the appearance, which is set to air Monday, Sykes admits that she was diagnosed with breast cancer earlier this year and decided to have a double mastectomy.

"I had breast cancer," Sykes, 47, said, according to reports. "Yeah, I know it's scary."

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Wanda Sykes (born March 7, 1964. 47 years old) is an American writer, stand-up comedian, actress, and voice artist. She earned the 1999 Emmy Award for her writing on The Chris Rock Show. In 2004 Entertainment Weekly named her as one of the 25 funniest people in America. She is well known for her role as Barbara Baran on The New Adventures of Old Christine and for her appearances on HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm. In November 2009 The Wanda Sykes Show, her own late-night talkshow, premiered on Fox, airing Saturday nights. It ended in April 2010.

Sykes also had a successful career in film, appearing in Monster-in-Law, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Evan Almighty, and License to Wed, and voiced characters in Over the Hedge, Barnyard, Brother Bear 2, Rio, and Ice Age: Continental Drift.

September 22nd

Vesta Williams, 80s R&B singer, found dead 53

Vesta Williams (December 1, 1957 – September 22, 2011) was an American R&B singer. Originally credited by her full name, she was sometimes simply billed as Vesta from the 1990s onwards. Although Williams never had any albums certified gold nor any Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, she scored six Top 10 hits on the US Billboard R&B chart from the mid 1980s to the early 1990s. Williams was known for the hits, "Once Bitten, Twice Shy", "Sweet Sweet Love", "Congratulations" and "Special"

Vesta Williams cause of death
Vesta Williams was found dead in a hotel room in El Segundo, California, on September 22, 2011.  An autopsy was scheduled to determine the cause of death.
Vesta Williams was 53 years old at the time of her death

Congratulations - Vesta Williams

September 21st

The End of R.E.M., and They Feel Fine

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R.E.M., the underground band from Athens, Ga., that helped invent the alternative-rock sound of the 1980s, said on Wednesday that its members were splitting up after 31 years of making music together.

September 18th

Dolores Hope, Bob Hope's Wife, Dies 102

Dolores Hope (May 27, 1909 - September 19, 2011) was an American singer, philanthropist and wife of actor/comedian Bob Hope.

Dolores Hope cause of deaths
Dolores Hope died of natural causes on September 19, 2011
Dolores Hope was 102 year old at the time of her death.

SILVER BELLS - Bob and Dolores Hope 1978 special

September 17th

Death in Kennedy, Mondale, & Percy Family (US Politics)

One must bring up "Death Comes in Threes" myth.  This time it will be "Political Death Triad" rather than "Celebrity Death Triad".

Also, both Kennedy & Mondale were 51 years old.

  • September 16, 2011 - Kara Kennedy Allen, daughter of the late Senator Edward M. Kennedy, died Friday night at a health club in Washington, D.C.  Kennedy Allen, 51, had just taken a swim in the club, according to multiple people on close terms with the Kennedy family, who said she was found in the steam room by another gym member.
  • September 17, 2011 - Eleanor Mondale Poling, 51, daughter of former Vice President Walter Mondale, died at her Minnesota home early on Saturday after a six-year battle with brain cancer.
  • September 17, 2011 - Charles H. Percy, a brilliant businessman who represented Illinois for nearly 20 years in the U.S. Senate, once headed the chamber’s powerful Foreign Relations Committee, and harbored unrealized ambitions to run for the presidency, died early Saturday. He was 91.

September 16th

Hollywood Stunt Pilot Crashes Aircraft, 11 dead and 58 injured

Jimmy Leeward died on September 16, 2011, when his aircraft went off course and crashed into the crowd at the National Championship Air Races at Reno Stead Airport, northwest of Reno, Nevada, killing 11 and injuring 58 spectators. Early eyewitness news accounts, as reported on CNN, said that it appeared Leeward knew he was going to crash and tried to avoid the grandstands

James Kent "Jimmy" Leeward (October 21, 1936 – September 16, 2011) was an American air racer, owner of the Leeward Air Ranch in Ocala, Florida, and the pilot of the heavily modified North American P-51 Mustang racing aircraft, The Galloping Ghost.  Jimmy Leeward had several film credits as a stunt pilot, actor, crew and himself.

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith, Grammy-Winning Bluesman dies 75


Willie "Big Eyes" Smith (January 19, 1936 – September 16, 2011) was a Grammy Award-winning American electric blues vocalist, harmonica player, and multi-award winning drummer. He was best known for several stints with the Muddy Waters band beginning in the early 1960s.

On February 13, 2011, he won a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album for Joined at the Hip, an album he recorded with Pinetop Perkins.

In 1961 Smith became a regular member of Muddy Water's band, which then consisted of George "Mojo" Buford, Luther Tucker, Pat Hare, and Otis Spann. By the mid '60s he'd left the band for more steady work as a cab driver. In the late '60s he rejoined Muddy's band and remained a permanent member until 1980.

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith Cause of death
Willie Smith died following a stroke on September 16, 2011.
Willie Smith was 75 years old at the time of his death.

Willie "Big Eyes" Smith Harmonica

Tom Wilson, Ziggy creator, dies 80

Tom Wilson Sr. (August 1, 1931 – September 16, 2011) was an American cartoonist. Wilson was the creator of the comic strip Ziggy, and drew it from 1971 to 1987. Afterwards, the strip was continued by his son, Loveland, Ohio resident Tom Wilson, Jr.

Wilson's career began in 1950, doing advertisement layout for Uniontown Newspapers, Inc. In 1955, he joined American Greetings (AG) as a designer, becoming Creative Director in 1957 and vice-president of creative development in 1978. While at AG, he developed the Soft Touch greeting card line. He also served as president of Those Characters From Cleveland, AG's character licensing subsidiary.

Wilson was a survivor of lung cancer.

Tom Wilson cause of death
Tom Wilson died of pneumonia in his sleep at night
Tom Wilson was 80 years at the time of his death.

September 14th

Frances Bay, actress in 'Happy Gilmore,' 'Seinfeld,' dies at 92

Frances Bay (January 23, 1919 – September 15, 2011) was a U.S.-based Canadian character actress, best-known for playing quirky, elderly women on film and television. She began her acting career in her mid-50s.

Bay may also be familiar from her performance in the music video for Jimmy Fallon's comedy song, Idiot Boyfriend. She made an appearance as Mrs. Pickman in John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness. She may be best-remembered for her performance as the hapless but loving grandmother of Adam Sandler's titular character in the 1996 film Happy Gilmore.

Frances Bay appeared as Mrs. Hamilton in the Christmas television special Christmastime with Mister Rogers. She went on to play small roles in films like The Karate Kid, Big Top Pee-wee and Twins.

Her first major television appearance occurred playing the grandmother to the character of Arthur Fonzarelli (aka "The Fonz") on Happy Days.  In 1983, she played the grandmother in Little Red Riding Hood in Faerie Tale Theatre for Showtime. In 1994, she played Mrs. Pickman in John Carpenter's In the Mouth of Madness.

In 1986, Bay appeared as the doddery aunt of Kyle MacLachlan's character in David Lynch's Blue Velvet. This role seems to have endeared the actress to Lynch, who recast her in several subsequent works, including as a foul-mouthed madam in Wild at Heart, and as Mrs. Tremond on Twin Peaks and its movie spin-off, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.

She has the distinction of appearing in the final episodes of three long-running sitcom series: Happy Days, Who's the Boss? and Seinfeld. Bay had the opportunity to play Cousin Winifred in the fourth to last episode of Road To Avonlea, for which she won a Gemini Award.

Frances Bay cause of death
Frances Bay died of pneumonia and other complications.
Frances Bay  was 92 years old at the time of her death

Jerry Seinfeld Mugs an Old Lady for her Marble Rye