Johnny Carson Tonight Show, King of Late Night died 79

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John William "Johnny" Carson (October 23, 1925 – January 23, 2005) was an American actor, comedian and writer best known for his iconic status as the host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson for 30 years.

Death

Johnny Carson died of Emphysema.
Johnny Carson was  79 years old at the time of his death

At 6:50 AM PST on January 23, 2005, Carson died at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, of respiratory arrest arising from emphysema. Following Carson’s death his body was cremated, and the ashes were given to his wife. In accordance with his family’s wishes, no public memorial service was held. There were countless tributes paid to Carson upon his death, including a statement by President George W. Bush, all recognizing the deep and enduring affection held for him.

Tributes published after his death confirmed that he had been a chain-smoker. While The Tonight Show was broadcast live, he would frequently smoke cigarettes on the air; it was reported that Carson had said "these things are killing me" as far back as the 1970s.

Johnny Carson’s Last TV appearance (Letterman)

Ray Charles Biography – September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004

Ray Charles Robinson (September 23, 1930 – June 10, 2004) known by his stage name Ray Charles, was a pioneering American pianist and soul musician who shaped the sound of rhythm and blues. He brought a soulful sound to country music, pop standards, and a rendition of "America the Beautiful" that Ed Bradley of 60 Minutes called the "definitive version of the song, an American anthem — a classic, just as the man who sang it."

Frank Sinatra called him "the only true genius in the business." And in 2004, Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Ray Charles #10 on their list of The Immortals: 100 Greatest Artists of All Time

Early years

Ray Charles Robinson was born in Albany, Georgia to Bailey Robinson, a railroad repair man, mechanic and handyman, and Aretha Williams, who stacked boards in a sawmill; the two were never married. The family moved to Greenville, Florida, when Ray was an infant. Bailey had two more families, leaving Aretha to raise the family. When Charles was five, he witnessed his younger brother drown in his mother’s large portable laundry tub.

When he was six, Charles began to go blind, becoming totally blind by the age of seven. Charles never knew exactly why he lost his sight, though there are sources which suggest Ray’s blindness was due to glaucoma. He attended school at the St. Augustine School for the Deaf and the Blind in St. Augustine, Florida. He also learned how to write music and play various musical instruments. While he was there, his mother died. His father died two years later.

After he left school, Charles began working as a musician in several bands that played in various styles, including jazz and, in Tampa “with a hillbilly band called The Florida Playboys."

Charles moved to Seattle in 1947 or 1948. He soon started recording, first for the label Swingtime Records, achieving his first hit with "Baby, Let Me Hold Your Hand" in 1951, then signed with Ahmet Ertegün at Atlantic Records a year later. When he entered show business, his name was shortened to Ray Charles to avoid confusion with boxer Sugar Ray Robinson

Middle years

Almost immediately after signing with Atlantic, Charles scored his first hit singles with the label with the rap-like "It Should Have Been Me" and the Ertegun-composed "Mess Around", both making the charts in 1953. But it was Charles’ "I Got a Woman" (composed with band mate Renald Richard) that brought the musician to national prominence. The song reached the top of Billboard’s R&B singles chart in 1955 and from there until 1959, Charles would have a series of R&B chart-toppers including "This Little Girl of Mine", "Lonely Avenue", "Mary Ann", "Drown in My Own Tears" and "The Night Time (Is the Right Time)". During this time of transition, he recruited a young girl group from New York named the Cookies as his background singing group, changing their name to the Raelettes in the process. In 1959, Charles crossed over to top 40 radio with the release of his impromptu blues number, "What’d I Say", which was initially conceived while Charles was in concert. The song would reach number 1 on the R&B list and would become Charles’ first top ten single on the pop charts, peaking at number 6. Charles would also record one of his finest albums, The Genius of Ray Charles, before leaving Atlantic for a more lucrative deal with ABC in 1959. Hit songs such as "Georgia On My Mind", "Hit the Road Jack" and "Unchain My Heart" helped him transition to pop success and his landmark 1962 album, Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, helped to bring country into the mainstream.

Later years

In 1965, Charles was arrested for possession of heroin, a drug to which he had been addicted for nearly 20 years . It was his third arrest for the offense, but he avoided prison time after kicking the habit in a clinic in Los Angeles. He spent a year on parole in 1966.

During the 1960s and 1970s, Charles’ releases were hit-or-miss, with some big hits and critically acclaimed work, and some music that was dismissed as unoriginal and staid. His version of "Georgia On My Mind", was proclaimed the state song of Georgia on April 24, 1979, with Charles performing it on the floor of the state legislature. He also had success with his unique version of "America the Beautiful." In November 1977 Charles appeared as the host of NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

In the late 1980s a number of events increased Charles’ recognition among young audiences. He made a cameo appearance in the popular 1980 film The Blues Brothers. In 1985, "The Right Time" was featured in the episode "Happy Anniversary" of The Cosby Show on NBC. The cast members used the song to perform a wildly popular lip-synch that helped the show secure its wide audience.[citation needed]. Charles’ new connection with audiences helped secure an advertising spot for Diet Pepsi.[citation needed] In a Pepsi Cola commercial of the early 1990s, Charles popularized the catchphrase "You Got the Right One, Baby!"

In 1989, Charles recorded a cover version of the Japanese band Southern All Stars’ song "Itoshi no Ellie" as "Ellie My Love" for a Suntory TV advertisement, reaching #3 on Japan’s Oricon chart. Eventually, it sold more than 400,000 copies, and became that year’s best-selling single performed by a Western artist for the Japanese music market.

In the late ’80s and early ’90s, Charles made appearances on The Super Dave Osbourne Show, where he performed and appeared in a few vignettes where he was somehow driving a car, often as Super Dave’s chauffeur. At the height of his newfound fame in the early nineties, Charles did guest vocals for quite a few projects. He also appeared (with Chaka Khan) on long time friend Quincy Jones’ hit "I’ll Be Good To You" in 1990, from Jones’ album Back on the Block.

Following Jim Henson’s death in 1990, Ray Charles appeared in the one-hour CBS tribute, The Muppets Celebrate Jim Henson. He gave a short speech about the deceased, stating that Henson "took a simple song and a piece of felt and turned it into a moment of great power". Charles was referring to the song It’s Not Easy Being Green, which Charles later performed with the rest of the Muppet cast in a tribute to Henson’s legacy.

During the sixth season of Designing Women, Ray Charles vocally performed "Georgia On My Mind", rather than the song being rendered by other musicians without lyrics as in the previous five seasons.

Final appearances

Gladys Knight performed Charles’ "Georgia On My Mind" during the Opening Ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia.

In 2000, Charles made a special guest appearance on Blues Clues Big Musical Movie as a fictional character named G-Clef. The Temptations also made a guest appearance as his companions. Charles recorded "There It Is" during and after filming with Steve Burns and Traci Paige Johnson. After recording, Charles commented "This has been the most fun I ever had since I met President Reagan in ’84."

In 2002 Charles headlined during the Blues Passions Cognac festival in southern France. At one point in the performance a young fan rose to his feet and began to sing an a cappella version of Charles’ early song, "Mess Around"; Charles responded by performing the song.[citation needed]

In 2002 he took part – with other musician – in a peace concert in Rome, which was the first event to take place inside the city’s ancient Colosseum since 404 A.D. The event was organized in partnership with the Glocal Forum and the Quincy Jones Listen Up Foundation.

In June, 2003, Ray Charles presented one of his greatest admirers, Van Morrison, with his award upon being inducted in the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the two sang Morrison’s song from the Moondance album, "Crazy Love". This performance is captured on Morrison’s 2007 album, The Best of Van Morrison Volume 3.

In 2003 Charles performed "Georgia On My Mind" and "America the Beautiful" at a televised annual electronic media journalist banquet held in Washington, D.C., at what may have been his final performance in public. Ray Charles’ final public appearance came on April 30, 2004, at the dedication of his music studio as a historic landmark in the city of Los Angeles

He died on June 10, 2004 of "liver disease", at his home in Beverly Hills, California, surrounded by family and friends. His death was not due to liver cancer as was erroneously reported on certain websites He was interred in the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, California.

His final album, Genius Loves Company, released two months after his death, consists of duets with various admirers and contemporaries: B.B. King, Van Morrison, Willie Nelson, James Taylor, Gladys Knight, Michael McDonald, Natalie Cole, Elton John, Bonnie Raitt, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, and Johnny Mathis. The album won eight Grammy Awards, including five for Ray Charles for Best Pop Vocal Album, Album of the Year, Record of the Year and Best Pop Collaboration with Vocals for "Here We Go Again" with Norah Jones, and Best Gospel Performance for "Heaven Help Us All" with Gladys Knight; he also received nods for his duets with Elton John and B.B. King.

The album included a version of Harold Arlen’s "Over the Rainbow", sung as a duet by Charles and Johnny Mathis; that recording was later played at his memorial service.

Two more posthumous albums, Genius & Friends (2005) and Ray Sings, Basie Swings (2006), were released. Genius & Friends consisted of duets recorded from 1997-2005 with artists were personally chosen by Ray Charles. Ray Sings, Basie Swings consists of archived vocals of Ray Charles from a live 1973 performance added to Count Basie’s music. Charles’ vocals recorded from the concert mixing board were added to a new accompaniment by the Count Basie Orchestra (among others). Gregg Field, who had performed as a drummer with both Charles and Basie, produced this album.

Controversies and criticisms

Despite his support of Martin Luther King, Jr. in the 1960s and his support for the American Civil Rights Movement, Charles courted controversy when he toured South Africa in 1981, during an international boycott of the country because of its apartheid policy.

Personal life

Charles was married twice and fathered twelve children by seven different women. He was married for the first time to Eileen Williams on July 31, 1951. This marriage produced no children and ended in divorce in 1952. Three children are from his second marriage to Della Beatrice Howard Robinson, one of his original Raelettes, whom he married on April 5, 1955. They divorced in 1977. His long term girlfriend and partner at the time of his death was Norma Pinella.

His children were:

  • Charles Wayne Hendricks (son of Marge Hendricks – one of the Raelettes)
  • Evelyn Robinson (daughter of Louise Mitchell)
  • Raenee Robinson (daughter of Mae Mosely Lyles)
  • Sheila Robinson (daughter of Sandra Jean Betts)
  • Vincent Kotchounian (son of Arlette Kotchounian – worked with him as photographer on Would You Believe album)
  • David Robinson (son of Della Robinson)
  • Ray Charles Robinson, Jr. (son of Della Robinson)
  • Reverend Robert Robinson (son of Della Robinson. The only child allowed to attend his funeral)
  • Reatha Butler
  • Alexandria Bertrand (daughter of Chantelle Bertrand)
  • Robyn Moffett
  • Ryan Corey Robinson den Bok (son of Mary Anne den Bok)

Ronald Reagan

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Ronald Reagan Books CD 
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Ronald Reagan PoliticsRonald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975). Born in Illinois, Reagan moved to Hollywood in the 1930s, where he became an actor, president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and a spokesman for General Electric. Reagan became involved in politics during his work for G.E. and switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party in 1962. After delivering a rousing speech in support of Barry Goldwater’s presidential candidacy in 1964, he was persuaded to seek the California Governorship, winning two years later and again in 1970. He was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 as well as 1976, but won both the nomination and election in 1980.

Death
Reagan died at his home in Bel-Air, California, at 1:00 PM PDT on June 5, 2004. A short time after his death, Nancy Reagan released a statement saying: "My family and I would like the world to know that President Ronald Reagan has passed away after 10 years of Alzheimer’s Disease at 93 years of age. We appreciate everyone’s prayers." Reagan’s body was taken to the Kingsley and Gates Funeral Home in Santa Monica, California later in the day, where well-wishers paid tribute by laying flowers and American flags in the grass. On June 7, his body was removed and taken to the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, where a brief family funeral service was held. His body lay in repose in the Library lobby until June 9; over 100,000 people viewed the coffin

Johnny Cash – 71


Johnny Cash won about 10 or more grammys (a LOT)

Johnny Cash DeathJohnny Cash (February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003) was a Grammy Award-winning American singer-songwriter and one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century. Primarily a country music artist, his songs and sound spanned many other genres including rockabilly and rock and roll (especially early in his career), as well as blues, folk and gospel.

He sold over 90 million albums in his nearly fifty-year career and came to occupy a "commanding position in music history".

Illness & Death of Johnny Cash
In 1997, Cash was diagnosed with the neurodegenerative disease Shy-Drager syndrome. The diagnosis was later altered to autonomic neuropathy associated with diabetes. This illness forced Cash to curtail his touring. He was hospitalized in 1998 with severe pneumonia, which damaged his lungs.

Johnny Cash died less than four months after his wife June Carter Cash’s death in Nashville, Tennessee. He was interred next to his wife in Hendersonville Memory Gardens near his home in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Johnny Cash was 71 years old at the time of his death.

Johnny Cash – Ring of Fire

John Ritter – Jack Tripper, Three’s Company

Hollywood Walk of Fame1984 Three's CompanyGolden Globe Winner 

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John RitterJohnathan Southworth "John" Ritter (September 17, 1948 – September 11, 2003) was an Emmy- and Golden Globe award-winning American actor and comedian best known for his role of Jack Tripper in the sitcom Three’s Company.

Death of John Ritter
John Ritter aortic dissection caused by a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect.  John Ritter was 54 years old at the time of his death.

On September 11, 2003, Ritter collapsed while rehearsing scenes for an episode of 8 Simple Rules that was to have Henry Winkler as a guest star. He was taken across the street from the studio to Providence Saint Joseph Medical Center, where he died hours later, at the age of 54. Ritter died in the same hospital in which he was born. The cause of death was an aortic dissection caused by a previously undiagnosed congenital heart defect; Ritter’s father died of a heart attack almost thirty years earlier. Years later Ritter’s wife testified in court that he had had concerns for his own health because of the cause of his father’s death.

Ritter was interred at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Los Angeles.

Jack Tripper Dancing Scene – After taking 2 tranquilizers

Bob Hope, entertainer (May 29, 1903 – July 27, 2003)

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Bob Hope Memorabilia
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Bob Hope BiographyBob Hope (May 29, 1903 – July 27, 2003) was an English-born American entertainer who appeared in vaudeville, on Broadway, on radio and television, in movies, and in performing tours for U.S. Military personnel. He was well known for his good natured humor and the longevity of his career.

Bob Hope Cause of Death:
Bob Hope died of Pneumonia. Bob Hope was 100 years old at the time of his death. Bob Hope died at Toluca Lake, California, United States

Birth name: Leslie Townes Hope
Born: Eltham, London, England

Academy Awards
2 Honorary Oscars
2 Special Awards
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

Stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
Motion picture star at 6541 Hollywood Blvd.
Radio star at 6141 Hollywood Blvd.
TV star at 6758 Hollywood Blvd.
Live theatre special plaque at 7021 Hollywood Blvd.

John Phillips – Papa John from The Mamas & The Papas

Mamas & papas John Philips Dead Celebrity
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Mamas & Papas

John Phillips, born John Edmund Andrew Phillips (August 30, 1935 – March 18, 2001), was an American singer, guitarist, and songwriter. Known as Papa John, Phillips was a member and leader of the singing group The Mamas & the Papas. He is the father of Jeffrey Phillips, Mackenzie Phillips, Chynna Phillips, Tamerlane Phillips, and Bijou Phillips.

Death of John Phillips
John Phillips died on March 18, 2001, aged 65, in Los Angeles of heart failure.
John Phillips was 65 year old at the time of his death.

He is interred in an outdoor crypt at Forest Lawn Cemetery (Cathedral City) near Palm Springs, California, where he had lived with his fourth wife, Farnaz. He left behind five children and a body of highly acclaimed music. He died just days after completing sessions for a new album. Phillips 66 was released posthumously in August of 2001

The Mamas and The Papas – Monday Monday
John Phillips is the one with the guitar

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Early life
Phillips was born in Parris Island, South Carolina. His father was a retired United States Marine Corps officer who won an Oklahoma bar from a fellow Marine in a poker game on the way home from Europe after World War I. His mother was Cherokee Indian and met and married Phillips’ father in Oklahoma. According to Phillips’ autobiography, Papa John, his father was a heavy drinker who suffered from ill health.

Growing up in Alexandria, Virginia, Phillips was inspired by Marlon Brando and other film stars to be "street tough." He formed a small gang of teenage boys, who also sang doo-wop songs. A poor student but likable kid, he was the star of the basketball team at George Washington High School (Class of 1953), one of the predecessors to today’s T. C. Williams High School. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy, but left during his first (plebe) year. He also attended Hampden-Sydney College on a partial athletic scholarship, but dropped out and shortly thereafter married his first of four wives.

Susan Adams was the daughter of a wealthy Virginia family. Together they had a son called Jeffrey and a girl they named (Laura) Mackenzie Phillips.

The Mamas & the Papas
Phillips longed to have success in the music industry and traveled to New York to find a record contract in the early sixties. His first band, The Journeymen, was a folk trio. He developed his craft in Greenwich Village, during the American folk music revival, and met his future The Mamas & the Papas bandmates Denny Doherty and Cass Elliot there. Lyrics of their song "Creeque Alley" describe this period.

While touring California with The Journeymen he met his future second wife, the teenage Michelle Gilliam. Their affair finally forced the dissolution of his first marriage. Phillips was married to Michelle Phillips from 1962 to 1970. They had one child together, Chynna Phillips, the founder of the singing group Wilson Phillips.

Phillips was the primary songwriter and musical arranger of The Mamas & the Papas. Early in the band’s history, John and Michelle were responsible for writing most of the band’s songs. John would often come up with a melody and some lyrics and Michelle would help him complete the lyrical portion of the song. After being signed to Dunhill Records, they had several Billboard Top Ten hits during the group’s short lifetime, including "California Dreamin’"; "Monday, Monday"; "I Saw Her Again"; "Creeque Alley"; and "12:30 (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon)". John Phillips also wrote "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)," the 1967 Scott McKenzie hit that was to become the Summer of Love "anthem." Phillips also wrote the oft-covered "Me and My Uncle," which was the song performed more times than any other over 30 years of Grateful Dead concerts.

The group’s popularity rivaled that of The Beatles and The Rolling Stones in the late sixties. Although the band lasted only several short years with five studio albums, the music is recognized today as some of the greatest pop of the 20th century.

The Phillipses became Hollywood celebrities, living in the Hollywood Hills and socializing with stars like Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, and Roman Polanski. The group broke up largely because Cass Elliot wanted to go solo and because of some personal problems between Phillips, Michelle, and Denny Doherty. Michelle had been fired briefly in 1966, for having had affairs with both Denny and Gene Clark, and was replaced for two months by Jill Gibson, their producer Lou Adler’s girlfriend. Although Michelle was forgiven and asked to return to the group, the personal problems would continue until the band split up in 1968. Cass Elliot went on to have a successful solo career until her death in 1974.

After: The ups and downs
Phillips released his first solo album Wolfking of L.A. in 1970. The album was not commercially successful, although it did include the minor hit "Mississippi", and Phillips began to withdraw from the limelight as his use of narcotics increased.

Actress Geneviève Waïte became wife number three in 1972. Tamerlane and Bijou Phillips entered the world during this union, which was marked by years of mutual drug abuse, infidelity and failed artistic expression. John produced a Genevieve Waite album, Romance Is On the Rise, that was quickly forgotten. Her acting career fizzled. Phillips persevered by writing music for films and Broadway, creating a musical. It was savagely criticized and closed on Broadway during previews. Phillips moved to London. He began to write new songs in 1973 when Mick Jagger encouraged him to record another solo album. It was to be released on Rolling Stones Records and funded by RSR distributor Atlantic Records. Jagger and Keith Richards would produce and play on the album, as well as former Stone Mick Taylor and future Stone Ronnie Wood. The project was derailed by Phillips’ increasing use of cocaine and heroin, substances that he shot into his body, by his own admission, "almost every fifteen minutes for two years". Amazingly, he survived, yet almost everything else in his life, including the new album, was shelved.

In 1975 Phillips, still living in London, was commissioned to create the soundtrack to the Nicolas Roeg film The Man Who Fell to Earth, starring David Bowie. Phillips asked Mick Taylor to help out and the film was released in 1976. Decades later, in 2001, the tracks of the Half Stoned or The Lost Album album were released as Pay Pack & Follow a few months after Phillips death. The record is an interesting collection of vocal harmony, country and rock. Although the album offers a trip back to the 1970s, the record was not noticed by the press and general music buying audience; moreover, Phillips’ untimely death prevented any marketing or tour support.

A drug trafficking conviction in 1981 brought the hot glare of public scrutiny. Phillips and his television star daughter Mackenzie made the rounds in the media, instructing kids and their parents how not to become addicts. This public relations campaign helped reduce his prison time; he bargained down to only a month in jail. Upon release, he re-formed The Mamas & the Papas, with his daughter Mackenzie Phillips, Spanky McFarlane (of the group Spanky and Our Gang) and Denny Doherty. Throughout the rest of his life, Phillips toured with various versions of the group.

In 1986, he published a best-seller, his autobiography, Papa John. He was divorced from Waite in 1985. He co-wrote a song for the Beach Boys, "Kokomo" , which became a number one hit in 1988.

In the 1990s, his years of addiction took hold; he had a liver transplant in 1992. Several months later, Phillips was photographed drinking alcohol in a bar in Palm Springs, California, as published in the National Enquirer newspaper. Phillips was questioned about the photo on the Howard Stern radio show, saying "I was just trying to ‘break in’ the new liver." The Mamas and the Papas were inducted into the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame on Jan 12th, 1998.

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Morton Downey, Jr – Talk Show Host

Dead Talk Show HostMorton 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

Career
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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Dale Earnhardt – NASCAR Legend – Race car driver

Nasca driver memorabilia Dale Earnhardt Movie
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Dale Earnhardt NASCAR driverRalph Dale Earnhardt, Sr. (April 29, 1951 – February 18, 2001) was an American race car driver, best known for his career driving stock cars in NASCAR’s top division. Earnhardt had four children, Kerry, Kelley Earnhardt Elledge, Dale Jr., and Taylor Earnhardt. His widow, Teresa Earnhardt (whom he married in 1982) is the owner of Dale Earnhardt, Inc., the race team and merchandising corporation Earnhardt founded with her in February of 1980.

Death of Dale Earnhardt
Dale Earnhardt died in a last-lap crash during the 2001 Daytona 500.
Dale Earnhardt was 49 years old at the time of his death.

Earnhardt is known for his success in the Winston Cup Series, now known as the Sprint Cup Series. He won seventy-six races (including his only Daytona 500 victory in 1998), and his seven championships are tied for most all-time with Richard Petty. His highly aggressive driving style made him a fan favorite and earned him the nicknames "Ironhead", "Mr. Restrictor Plate", "The Man in Black" and most famously, "The Intimidator."

Dale Earnhardt Crash, 2001

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Les Brown – Big Band Leader who brought Doris Day

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Les Brown Band LeaderLes Brown, Sr. (March 14, 1912 – January 4, 2001) and the Band of Renown are a big band that began in the big band era of the late 1930s and now performs under the direction of his son Les Brown, Jr.

Death of Les Brown
Les Brown’s cause of death was not specified to public.
Les Brown was 91 years old at the time of his death. Les Brown Sr. is interred in the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.

Biography
"Les Brown and the Band of Renown" brought Doris Day into prominence with their recording of "Sentimental Journey" in 1945. The release of "Sentimental Journey" coincided with the end of WWII in Europe and was the homecoming theme for many veterans. They had nine other number-one hit songs, including "I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm."

Les Brown with Doris Day – Lost Horizon