Ralph MacDonald (March 15, 1944 Harlem, New York - December 18, 2011 Stamford, Connecticut) was an American percussionist and song-writer. He joined Harry Belafonte's band at age 17. He wrote the Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway song "Where is the Love" with songwriting partner William Salter. Probably his best-known composition is the Grover Washington, Jr. - Bill Withers hit "Just the Two of Us", which has since been covered by many artists, including Will Smith.
His recording credits number in the hundreds and include George Benson, David Bowie, Aretha Franklin, Art Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Quincy Jones, Carole King, Miriam Makeba, David Sanborn, Paul Simon, Steely Dan, James Taylor, Luther Vandross, Amy Winehouse, and Jimmy Buffett, whose Coral Reefer Band has featured MacDonald as member since the late 1990s.
Ralph MacDonald cause of death Ralph MacDonald died after a long illness. Ralph MacDonald was 67 years old at the time of his death.
Grover Washington Jr. Featuring Bill Withers - Just the Two of Us
Roberta Flack / Donny Hathaway - Where Is The Love (1972)
Joseph William "Joe" Frazier (January 12, 1944 – November 7, 2011), also known as Smokin' Joe, was a former Olympic and Undisputed World Heavyweight boxing champion, whose professional career lasted from 1965 to 1976, with a brief comeback in 1981.
Frazier emerged as the top contender in the late 1960s, defeating the likes of Jerry Quarry, Oscar Bonavena, Buster Mathis, Eddie Machen, Doug Jones, George Chuvalo and Jimmy Ellis en route to becoming undisputed heavyweight champion in 1970, and followed up by defeating Muhammad Ali on points in the highly-anticipated "Fight of the Century" in 1971. Two years later Frazier lost his title when he was knocked out by George Foreman. He fought on, beating Joe Bugner, losing a rematch to Ali, and beating Quarry and Ellis again.
He is an inductee of both the International Boxing Hall of Fame and the World Boxing Hall of Fame.
Joe Frazier cause of death Joe Frazier was diagnosed with liver cancer in late September 2011 and admitted to hospice care and died November 7, 2011. Joe Frazier was 67 years old at the time of his death.
Robert Frank "Rob" Grill (November 30, 1943 – July 11, 2011) was an American lead singer, songwriter and bass guitarist of the rock and roll band, The Grass Roots.
Grill launched a solo career in 1979, assisted on his solo album by several members of Fleetwood Mac. Responding to 60s nostalgia, Grill then reformed The Grass Roots (billed "The Grass Roots Starring Rob Grill") and had with the toured the United States with the reunited outfit since the 1980s.
Grill composed sixteen songs for The Grass Roots and his solo album. One of these appeared as a single "A" side. It is "Come On And Say It". His other fifteen compositions appeared on single "B" sides and albums. He wrote frequently with Warren Entner and they were considered a songwriting team. Grill played with The Grass Roots on sixteen albums, seven of which charted. He took part in thirty two Grass Roots singles released, twenty one of which charted.
Rob Grill Cause of Death Grill died July 11, 2011 in an Orlando, Florida hospital. He had been in a coma since sustaining a head injury several weeks earlier when he fell after suffering a stroke in northern California. Rob Grill was 67 years old at the time of his death.
The Grass Roots-Midnight confessions Rob Grill is the mustache (bass guitar)
John Joseph Maus (November 12, 1943 - May 7, 2011), known professionally as John Walker, was an American singer, songwriter and guitarist, best known as the founder of The Walker Brothers, who had their greatest success in the 1960s, particularly in the United Kingdom.
The Walker Brothers sold about 23 million albums and disbanded in the late 60s.
John Walker Cause of Death In 2010 Walker was diagnosed with liver cancer from which he died, at his home, in Los Angeles on 7 May 2011. JohnWalker was 67 years old at the time of his death
The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore) - Walker Brothers
John Walker - Kentucky Woman (of The Walker Brothers)
Charles Edward Sellier, Jr. (November 19, 1943 – January 31, 2011) was an American television producer and director, best known for creating the American televsion series The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams.
Death of Charles Sellier, Jr. Charles Sellier, Jr. died unexpectedly at his home in Idaho. Charles Sellier, Jr. was 67 years old at the time of his death.
The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams, is the title of a 1972 novel by Charles E. Sellier Jr., a 1974 film based on the novel, a two-season NBC television series, and a 1982 TV movie. The title character — played by Dan Haggerty—is loosely based on the actual trapper, J. Capen "Grizzly" Adams.
" Sad news for the Rock & metal world today. Ronnie James Dio has lost his battle with Cancer. It was reported that he passed away today. He will be sorely missed. " - 1metalfan -
Ronald James Padavona Born: July 10, 1942 Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA Died: May 16, 2010 (67) Houston, Texas, USA
Ronnie James Dio was an American heavy metal vocalist and songwriter. He performed with Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell, and his own band Dio. Other musical projects include the collective fundraiser Hear 'n Aid. He was widely hailed as one of the most powerful singers in heavy metal, renowned for his consistently powerful voice and for popularizing the "devil's horns" hand gesture in metal culture. He was collaborating on a project with former Black Sabbath bandmates Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Vinny Appice, under the moniker Heaven & Hell, whose first and only studio album, The Devil You Know, was released on April 28, 2009.
Death of Ronnie James Dio Ronnie James Dio died at 7:45 am (CDT) of stomach cancer. Ronnie James Dio was 67 years old at the time of his death.
Statement from Official Fan Site: "Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever."
1983 Ronnie James Dio "Rainbow In The Dark" (Rock Palace)
Lynn Rachel Redgrave (March 8, 1943 – May 2, 2010) was an English actress.
A member of the well-known British family of actors, Lynn Redgrave trained in London, before making her theatrical debut in 1962. By the mid-1960s she had appeared in several films, including Tom Jones (1963), and Georgy Girl (1966) which won her a New York Film Critics Award and nominations for an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award.
Redgrave was born in London, England, the daughter of actors Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson. Her sister is actress Vanessa Redgrave; her brother was actor and political activist Corin Redgrave. She was the aunt of actor Carlo Gabriel Nero and actresses Joely Richardson, Jemma Redgrave and Natasha Richardson.
Death of Lynn Redgrave Lynn Redgrave died following her long seven-year battle with breast cancer.
Lynn Redgrave discussed her health problems associated with bulimia and breast cancer, the latter of which she was diagnosed with in December 2002. She had a mastectomy in January 2003, and chemotherapy.
Kenny Rankin (February 10, 1942 - June 7, 2009) was an American pop and jazz singer and songwriter from the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City, New York.
Rankin appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson more than 25 times. Host Johnny Carson was so impressed by him that he wrote the liner notes to Rankin's 1967 debut album Mind Dusters, which featured the single "Peaceful," a cover of which Helen Reddy would reach #12 in 1973. Georgie Fame also had a hit with this song in 1969.
When Paul McCartney and John Lennon were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987, McCartney asked Rankin to represent them at the ceremony based on the strength of his 1975 versions of McCartney's songs Blackbird and Penny Lane.
Death of Kenny Rankin Rankin passed away from lung cancer on June 7, 2009 Kenny Rankin was 67 years old at the time of his death
Estelle Bennett (July 22, 1941 - February 11, 2009) was a member of the girl group The Ronettes, along with her sister Ronnie Spector and cousin Nedra Talley. After the Ronettes' 1966 break-up, she recorded a single for Laurie Records, "The Year 2000/The Naked Boy". She then quit the music business and had rarely been seen since. She got married (last name Dong) and raised a family.
In 2007, when the group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she refused to perform with them, and spoke only a brief two sentences during her acceptance speech, "I would just like to say, thank you very much for giving us this award. I'm Estelle of the Ronettes, thank you."
Death of Estelle Bennett Estelle Bennett died on February 11, aged 67
Billy Henderson (August 9, 1939, Detroit, Michigan — February 2, 2007, Dayton Beach, Florida) was an African-American singer. He was an original member of The Spinners, a soul vocal group.
Billi Henderson's Death
Henderson died of complications caused by diabetes.
Billi Henderson was 67 years old at the time of his death
The Spinners were formed in 1954 by five friends including Henderson from a High School in Ferndale, Michigan. They had several hits, especially in the 1970s, such as "I'll Be Around" (1972) and "Could It Be I'm Falling in Love", "Then Came You" (with Dionne Warwick) and "The Rubberband Man". The Spinners were nominated for six Grammy Awards and they received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the second star for a musical group consisting of African-Americans.
In 2004, Henderson had to leave The Spinners after he tried to sue the corporation and the business manager of the group for financial reasons.
Paul Xavier Gleason (May 4, 1939 – May 27, 2006) was an American film and television actor.
Death of Paul Gleason Gleason died on May 27, 2006 at a Burbank, California hospital from mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer connected with asbestos, which he is thought to have contracted from asbestos exposure on building sites while working for his father as a teenager
Career Gleason starred in many movies, and became well-known initially as Dr. David Thornton on All My Children, playing the role from 1976 to 1978. He is perhaps best remembered for his role as Richard Vernon, the gruff disciplinary principal in the seminal 1985 movie The Breakfast Club. He reprised versions of that character several times, including in an A*Teens music video, on the television show Boy Meets World (although he was a dean on BMW) and in the films Johnny Be Good and Not Another Teen Movie. As a bookend to his modern fame as strict disciplinarian, Gleason played a tough yet forgiving and nurturing professor to the lead character in Van Wilder.
Gleason is known to Star Wars fans for his role as Jeremitt Towani in the 1985 made-for-TV film The Battle for Endor. He played the villainous Clarence 'Mr' Beeks in the famous 1983 comedy Trading Places starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. He also played Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T Robinson, the blowhard police official in Die Hard.
Peter Charles Archibald Ewart Jennings, CM (July 29, 1938 - August 7, 2005) was a Canadian-American journalist and news anchor. He was the sole anchor of ABC's World News Tonight from 1983 until his death in 2005 of complications from lung cancer. A high-school dropout, he transformed himself into one of American television's most prominent journalists.
Death of Peter Jennings Peter Jennings died of lung cancer. Peter Jennings was 67 years old at the time of his death.
Jennings started his career early, hosting a Canadian radio show at the age of nine. In 1965, ABC News tapped him to anchor its flagship evening news program. His inexperience marred his first short stint in the anchor chair, and Jennings became a foreign correspondent in 1968, honing his reporting skills in the Middle East.
He returned as one of World News Tonight's three anchors in 1978, and was promoted to the role of sole anchor in 1983. Jennings formed part of the "Big Three" news anchors who dominated American evening news in the 1980s and 1990s. Having always been fascinated with the United States, Jennings became a naturalized United States citizen in 2003. His death, which closely followed the retirements of Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather, marked the end of the "Big Three" era.
President Clinton to Peter Jennings "Don't go there Peter!"
Morton Downey, Jr. (born Sean Morton Downey; December 9, 1932 - March 12, 2001) was a controversial and influential American television talk show host of the 1980s who pioneered the "trash talk show" format.
Death of Morton Downey, Jr Morton Downey, Jr was died of lung cancer
Morton Downey, Jr was 67 years old at the time of his death.
Lung cancer of Morton Downey, Jr
In 1996, Downey was diagnosed with lung cancer and had one of his lungs removed. He did a complete about-face on tobacco use, going from a one-time member of the National Smokers Alliance to a staunch anti-smoking activist. He continued to speak against smoking until his death from lung cancer in 2001 at age 67. After being diagnosed with lung cancer, he said, "I had spawned a generation of kids to think it was cool to smoke a cigarette. Kids walked up to me until a matter of weeks ago, they'd have a cigarette in their hand and they'd say, 'Hey, Mort,' or, 'Hey, Mouth, autograph my cigarette.' And I'd do it." He also blamed tobacco companies for lying to consumers about cigarettes.
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Morton Downey Jr - Rock / Metal
Author Adrian Havill later said that Downey's cancer and subsequent anti-smoking commercials, like other celebrity causes for certain diseases, served as a publicity tool
In the 1980s, Downey was working as a talk show host at KFBK-AM in Sacramento, California, where he established his abrasive and much imitated right wing, populist style, relentlessly deriding anyone who disagreed with him or had a liberal point of view. Downey's success, coupled with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine, laid the groundwork for more aggressive, opinion-based talk radio. His work led to the "trash talk" genre of Jerry Springer, Maury Povich, Ricki Lake and many more. His fight with fellow radio talk show host Wally George (with each charging that the other was not conservative) on George's talk show led to police tackling Downey to the ground.
Downey later headed to Secaucus, New Jersey where his highly controversial television program The Morton Downey Jr. Show was taped for two years before it was canceled for low ratings. (His replacement at KFBK was Rush Limbaugh). The program featured screaming matches among Downey, his guests, and his audience members. He would chainsmoke during the show and blow smoke in his guests' faces. Downey's signature phrases pabulum puker (referring to political liberals) and "zip it!" briefly enjoyed some popularity in the contemporary vernacular. He particularly enjoyed making his guests angry with each other. The Washington Post wrote about him, "Suppose a maniac got hold of a talk show. Or need we suppose?" David Letterman said, "I'm always amazed at what people will fall for. We see this every 10 or 12 years, an attempt at this, and I guess from that standpoint I don't quite understand why everybody's falling over backwards over the guy."
The success of the show made Downey a pop culture celebrity, leading to an appearance on Saturday Night Live in 1988 and later roles in movies such as Predator 2 and Revenge of the Nerds III: The Next Generation. He was also cast in several TV roles, often playing tabloid TV hosts or other obnoxious media types.
Controversies In 1989, as fascination with Downey's show began to wane, he was involved in an incident in a San Francisco International Airport restroom in which he claimed to have been attacked by neo-Nazis who painted a swastika on his face and attempted to shave his head. Some inconsistencies in Downey's account (e.g., the swastika was painted in reverse, suggesting that Downey had drawn it himself in a mirror), and the failure of the police to find supportive evidence, led many to suspect that the incident was a hoax and a plea for attention. A few months later, the show was canceled.
Downey was sued for allegedly appropriating the words and music to his theme song from two songwriters. He was sued for $40 million after bringing a stripper onto the show and calling her a "slut," a "pig," a "hooker," and a "tramp," saying that she had diseases, and banging his pelvis against hers. At one point, he was arraigned on criminal charges for attacking a gay guest on his show, in a never-aired segment. In another lawsuit, he was accused of slandering a newscaster (a former colleague), and of indecently exposing himself to her and slapping her.
Downey infamously hit Stuttering John with a chair on The Howard Stern Show and punched him.
In interviews, he expressed regret for some of the extreme theatrics of his TV show, saying he had taken things too far. He added that he had been a "bastard." However, he also claimed that his show was of a higher quality and not as "sleazy" as Jerry Springer's.
Attempted comeback In 1993, Downey attempted a comeback in talk radio on Dallas radio station KGBS, where he would scream insults at his callers. He was also hired as the station's VP of Operations. The following year he had a short-lived television show, Downey, that was similar in theme to his earlier, more popular show. In one episode, Downey claimed to have had a psychic communication with OJ Simpson's murdered ex-wife, Nicole Brown Simpson.
Like his father, Downey pursued music as a career, recording in both pop and country styles. One song, "Green Eyed Girl" scraped the bottom reaches of the Billboard Magazine Country chart, peaking at #95 in 1981. After the success of his talk show, Downey returned to the recording studio to cut an album of songs based on his show, Morton Downey Jr. Sings. The album's only single, "Zip It!" (a catch-phrase from the TV show, used to quiet an irate guest), became a surprise hit on some college radio stations. Following his death, news reports and obituaries incorrectly (according to the Orange County Register) credited him as the composer of "Wipe Out." As of 2007, Downey's official website (and others) continue to make this claim.
Personal life His parents were also in show business; his father Morton Downey was a popular singer, and his mother Barbara Bennett was a singer and dancer. His aunts included Hollywood film stars Constance and Joan Bennett, from whom he was estranged, and his maternal grandfather was the celebrated matinée idol Richard Bennett. Born into a life of luxury, he was raised next door to the Kennedy compound at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.
Downey was married four times and had four children from three of those marriages. With wife Helen he had Melissa, with Joan he had daughters Tracey and Kelli, and with fourth wife and widow Lori he had Seanna. He and Lori met when she appeared as a dancer in a show he attended in Atlantic City.
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