Posts from the ‘Obituaries’ Category

Time…

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I know lots of people in my age group are thinking the same thing tonight: How bizarre is it that TWO of the major, Pop Culture icons of our generation died on the same day?

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We knew Farrah’s time was short but Michael Jackson?  This afternoon, my sister texted me about Farrah and made the statement about Ed McMahon, Farrah and who would the third be?  Unreal.

As a little girl in the 70’s, I looked at Farrah as the epitome of physical perfection.  I mean, she had the hair, the teeth, the body, she could play tennis AND she was married to the Six Million Dollar Man!MV5BMTQzNzE3NzA0OF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNjI5NTQ2__V1__SX450_SY313_

Amazing to me that Farrah died of a type of cancer that is almost embarrassing to talk about and had to be somewhat humiliating to her, yet, she was so open about it, sharing her journey and being so real about the whole thing.  There she, the embodiment of all that is physically perfect…I appreciate her so much for allowing us in such an intimate part of her life.  Farrah suffered so and I’m glad she’s not suffering any longer. b-Farrah-Fawcett-4eec8c4ccad9

Michael Jackson was on the soundtrack of my life from birth…I can’t even wrap my head around him being gone.  Hands down, he was probably one of the most incredible songwriters, singers, producers, visionaries and good grief…his performing….I wish I could’ve seen him live.

Yeah, he was odd.  Most geniuses have some sort of weirdness about them.  I wish he would have had some people in his life who could’ve kept him closer to the ground but my word…like his former father in law, nobody has experienced that kind of fame.  The kind of fame Elvis and Michael Jackson had is unsurpassed.  There’s no manual on how to be a celebrity on that level.

Thriller is the best selling album of ALL time.  ALL TIME.  That’s pretty mind blowing.

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I nearly cut off part of my big toe when I was about 14 trying to emulate MJ’s dance moves.  Holy crap, that hurt.  That little kick thing he does here…

Amazing…

A weird day…both of these people passing brings home, yet again, time is marching and we’re all getting older…

Both of these passings make me really, really sad…

Chiseled

They didn’t call him “The Voice” for nothin’…Vern Gosdin was the geunine article.  After years of health problems, mostly related to strokes, Vern died here in Nashville yesterday.

The last time I saw Vern was about a year ago when CLC and I had lunch at the Cracker Barrel by Opryland.  Apparently, Vern was a daily customer and was on a first name basis with all the staff.  (Remember, Chris? One-by-one just about ALL the waitresses came by to see him?) 

Vern had a couple of different careers in music, first making his mark in the Bluegrass world in the 60’s with The Golden State Boys, which included his late brother, Rex, Don Parmley and  Chris Hillman.  They later changed the hillmenbands’ name to The Hillmen.  Vern was right in the middle of the country/rock movement of the late 60’s on the West Coast and even had one of his songs in the movie “Easy Rider.”

After giving up a music career and moving to Atlanta, Vern resurfaced and lordy, I’m glad he gave music another go.  Some of my very favorite country music recordings are Vern’s…his version of “Dim Lights, Thick Smoke (And Loud, Loud Music)” is my favorite rendition of that tune…Curtis Young’s perfect harmony on it is just superb…

 

Vern’s Gospel album, in my mind, is way up there with the best of the best. The Gentleman Formerly Known As My Husband had the priviledge of contributing harmony vocals on this album. I can’t speak for him but I would wager he is quite proud of that.  Vern’s version of “Jesus Hold My Hand” is my most absolute favorite recording of that Albert E. Brumley classic…

Vern’s classic, written with the late Max D. Barnes, Chiseled In Stone, I think, is up there with He Stopped Loving Her Today with the best of the best of country songs…embodies everything that makes a country song a great country song…very visual and real; so much so you just want to cry when you hear it…

A Death in the Family

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It’s not possible that Dan Miller  is gone from this world

No, he wasn’t what you’d call ‘Young” but Dan Miller, although he was 67, was somehow ageless.  At least he was to me. 

I’ve been in love with Dan Miller my whole life.  That is no lie. 

Dan Miller moved to Nashville in October of 1969 and started his career with what was then WSM TV.  That same month, the Collie’s from Southern California also moved to Nashville.  I was 8 months old.

The Dad was BIG on the evening news.  I mean, he was not a particularly anal, OCD kinda guy but at 6:00, it was Newstime.  Dan was his Newsguy of choice.  (The Dad was critical of broadcasters and Dan was just about the only one he was always complimentary of). 

I’ve seen Dan go through many co-anchors, sports guys and girls like Charlie MacAlexander, the late Paul Eels, and some girl named Robin Roberts who now greets us every morning on Good Morning America;  weather people ,including his good friend Pat Sajak, George Goldtrap (the Chalk Throwing Guy), the late Boyce Hawkins and of course….everybody’s Uncle Bill Hall…Carol Marin, John Tesh, Lonnie Lardner (Dad called her “Lardie Lardie” for some reason.)

One of the most memorable moments was the time Huell Howser did the story on Porky the Pig…who went to that Great Barnyard in the Sky.  Dan tried really hard not to lose it on the air but…to me, that always rivaled Chuckles the Clown. Oh lordy mercy….if somebody can find a video on that, give us a link. (Didn’t find one on the You Tubes). 

You have to watch this…Demetria shows us Dan’s office and some great outtakes.

Dan was just there.  He came to the house every evening about suppertime and about bedtime.  He told us of the goings on in Nashville.  We trusted him.  We loved him.  He was like part of the family…almost like that really cool, handsome uncle that you’re so proud of.  Whatever Dan Miller said was so.  Period.

I never actually met Dan but the times I ever saw him anywhere, to me, it was like seeing a rock star. He was so tall and handsome and just plain dreamy. We corresponded here and there and something that tickled me to no end was Dan being my Facebook friend. (Shut up…he LOVED me!) 

 I emailed him one time and told him they oughta bring back Miller & Company.  He thanked me and said he didn’t think a show like that could fly nowadays.   (Dan Miller emailed me! See, I told you he adored me)

I reckon if it’s your time to check out, there was no better way for a fella to leave than by being in his hometown at the Master’s with your good friends.  To go out for a little walk, showing your friend your childhood neighborhood  and keep on walking into the next life on the same street where you entered life?  To be here one minute and gone the next….good for Dan because he didn’t suffer but for his family, friends and all of us who felt like close, personal friends….it’s gonna take some getting used to. 

I remember in 1986 or so when Dan left Nashville to take a job in LA.  They ran a goodbye tribute that had all of Nashville in tears.  Dan went off to LA and anchored some news for a bit.  I was out there during that period and was SO HAPPY to see him on tv.  I missed him.

As much as Nashville cried when Dan left here for LA, we cheered when he came back in the early 90’s and resurrected “Miller & Company” on TNN. and then when he came back to WSMV, where he belonged.  It was like he never left. 

I can’t stand it that he won’t be back this time. 

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You must go to WSMV’s website and see their beautiful tributes.  Channel 5 offered their own very sweet tribute as well.

Go see Dan’s blog while you’re at it.

See Ya, Dan…

I’m so sad to hear this morning that singer/songwriter and my fellow longtime Hendersonvillian, Dan Seals has died.  

I first remember Dan as part of England Dan and John Ford Coley.  This song was HUGE when I was a kid.  I still love it and it’s on my Ipod.

When I worked at the Country Music Hall of Fame in the 80’s, they had a tape player that played current country hits over and over and over and over and over…….Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Tanya Tucker, Earl Thomas Conley (gawsh I love him) and Dan. Everytime I hear any of those tunes, I’m transported back to the old Hall of Fame with the REALLY ugly mural on the wall.

I was always partial to Dan’s “Addicted” and then this song….a little heavy on the corn, but, I think a great song and a great recording…anything written with or by Bob McDill is always so visual…”Everything That Glitters” is no exception.

Natasha Richardson

I was hoping and praying that we would follow Natasha Richardson’s miraculous recovery from her head injury on a ski slope in Canada. I was hoping that maybe the lack of details on her condition this morning meant that it natasha1wasn’t as bad as I was thinking. I mean, beautiful 45 year old, Tony Award winning actresses like Natasha Richardson, with sons near around the age of my own, aren’t supposed to die in their prime.  Right???

I can’t help but think about that scene from Love, Actually where Liam Neeson, who is now Natasha’s widower, is delivering the eulogy at his wife’s funeral. Who would have ever thought? (Couldn’t find a clip on You Tube of it.  It’s wonderful)

Unbelievable…

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Hank Locklin

Country Music has lost a dandy with the passing of Hank Locklin.  He’s one of the few from that era and on that level, it is sad, but, my gosh….91 years of living and up until fairly recently, Hank was active.  What a funny little man who sang some classics…..Please Help Me I’m Falling, Send Me The Pillow are the biggies.

Hank and the Biffer went all the way back to Houston days. 

I have many memories of Hank but my FAVORITE one is this one right here.

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This was at Carl Smith’s Medallion Ceremony when he was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2004.  I was TRYING to take a picture of Carl and Goldie, their son Dean, his wife Tammy, and their daughters Lori Lynn and Carlene.  Hank happened to just wander up and got in the middle of it like he was supposed to and it was hilarious.   Like Hank was standing in for Carl, Jr. or something.  Har.  Good times.

Here’s a little clip of Hank singing his signature song…..ah and my beloved T. Tommy Cutrer introducing him….I swear, I’m so glad I was able to hang around all these people.  Lotta love to Hank’s family, ‘specially his son Adam who is a good feller.

RIP-Socks

Socks the cat has done gone to Glow-ry.

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They say Socks was about 19 or 20 years old.  That’s a lotta lives.  I can’t believe the Clinton’s didn’t take Socks with them to New York.  They took Buddy.  What’s up with that?

Socks looks a lot like my former cat, Crystal (whom I apparently miss so bad that yesterday when I was at the house. I called her “Emily”, which is the other cat’s name.  That’s insane, isn’t it?)

Together Again

Just heard that the great steel guitarist, Tom Brumley, died in San Antonio after a heart attack. Tom was part of Buck Owens’ legendary Buckaroos during their heyday and played that amazing steel on all those wonderful hits and was one of the most influential amongst the steet guitar crowd. 

The Brumleys were blessed with above-average talent all around.  Tom’s Daddy was Alfred E. Brumley who was the Mack Daddy of Gospel music songwriting that wrote I’ll Fly Away, Turn Your Radio On, If We Never Meet Again, Rank Stranger, I’ll Meet You In The Morning and a ton of other gospel standards. 

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Tom even had his own MySpace page!  Go there so you can hear more.

A Plethora of Random Pontifications

The Countdown to 40 officially kicked off today and I can’t believe I had my camera and didn’t take a single picture.  My mind is going.

We are T minus 6 days and counting …..the festivities kicked off with lunch with my friends Tara, Kathy and Melissa. 

The Forty-Paloooza continues Saturday evening -there will be a harmonic convergance of the joint birthdays of me and my pal Scott.  (He’s gonna be but a young boy of 30 something and his day falls a couple days after mine) down on Broadway at the Big Bang so just bring yourself on down there.  I’ve never been there but I hear it’s fabulous.  7:00.

The Root Canaled tooth has healed well.  I had a couple of rather painful days post rootin’, but, it’s good now.

I was at the Guitar Lesson Place today and I was looking in a People magazine from December and how I missed this famous person obituary, I do not know…

My sleep patterns during this period of unemployment have been rather…irregular, and I often find myself SF36187watching Jeffersons reruns at 4 a.m. and Bentley just dang cracks me up.
http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/tv/2008/12/05/2008-12-05_actor_paul_benedict__harry_bentley_on_th.html

I first remember Paul Benedict from Sesame Street though….

Before His Time

Butch Baldassari’s long, valiant fight with cancer ended today.  This is a huge loss for the entire music community in Nashville.  (Go to the link and read Butch’s bio.  Incredible career)

As horrible as it’s been watching Butch’s struggle with brain cancer this last couple years, it has been really wonderful to see his peers rally around him with benefits and other fundraisers

God bless Butch and his family.

Never Ending Shiz

Hate, hate, hate to hear that Delaney Bramlett died in LA yesterday.  I just happened to see his daughter Bekka on tv the other day, singing her ass off.  Good lord, Delaney, Bonnie and their youngun are the epitome of Blue Eyed Soul.

I was hoping You Tube would have a live video of Delaney and Bonnie singing my favorite song of theirs, Never Ending Song of Love,  however, I was not so fortunate to find a clip of them singing it.

Don’t fret kids….I did find this version from the Lawrence Welk Show featuring The Aldridge Sisters and the Otwell Twins though!  This had to have been Delaney’s favorite version of this song.

Ok…now that we’ve all had a good laugh…watch Delaney and Bonnie on this way cool clip of them with Eric Clapton doing Poor Elijah.

Jud Collins

Nashville’s first anchorman,who was known in town as “Mister Television” for many years,  Jud Collins has passed away.

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Maybe Things Aren’t So Bad

Seems like everytime I try to attend my own Pity Party, something is thrown my way that helps me reconsider getting all doodied up and ready to go. 

Fighting the Christmas Blahs and feeling sorry for myself cause of the Unemployment thing, I get news this morning that a former classmate of mine met a very violent and tragic end to his life this week. 

Thanks to Facebook, there’s been a collective grieving and remembering of David Williams. 

I was in Elementary school, Junior High and High school with David.  We were both in the Brentwood band.  He was a strikingly handsome kid with a flair for art and a killer sense of humor.  (That’s him in the blue uniform holding the trophy. )n1441708119_30162540_1910

Camoflauge pants make me think of David…always have.  So does Moses Malone and pencil drawings…and trombones and blue eyes. He had the most piercing blue eyes that offset his dark hair.  I never had a thing for him (I know it sounds like I did, but, I didn’t) but I can tell you right here and now, hearing of the horrible way he died just makes me sick.

Also reminds me that things could be worse and are for a lot of people.

Van and Bettie

Two obituaries of note this Friday:

Bettie Page, one of the most iconic pin-up types ever (and graduate of Nashville’s Hume-Fogg High School) has died at the age of 85.  picbettiepagefaceforblog

Van Johnson has died at the age of 92.  I always loved seeing Van on documentaries and other interviews about cvr40s-pwvanHollywood’s Golden Age.  His recall was spectacular and he had great stories.  Brigadoon, The Caine Mutiny, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, A Guy Named Joe (which TCM shows often.  I think this was the movie he was in the middle of making when he was in a really bad car accident that got him a metal plate in his head)Yours, Mine and Ours (with his longtime buddy Lucille Ball, who was largely responsible for his Hollywood career) and a ton of other movies and theater productions.  He was a goodern.

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No, Lesley…you arent the only one who knows who Odetta was.

However, I don’t think enough people do and thats a shame.  Odetta was one of the “architects” of popular music beings that she was a big inspiration to Joan Baez and Bob Dylan.  Amazing that in spite of heart disease, Odetta was still working and was scheduled to perform at Obama Inauguration next month. 

Read this from NPR.

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