Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Obituaries

Soul singer Percy Sledge, beast remembered for his 1960s hit, "When a Man Loves a Woman," has died. He was 73 and died of natural causes. He had been in hospice for some time.

That big hit was released in 1966, a banner year for classic songs in rock and R&B.

Prior to becoming a recording artist, Sledge worked as a hospital nurse. He caught his big break when he recorded "When a Man Loves a Woman." Sledge took the track, his debut single, to number-one on both the Billboard Hot 100, where it spent two weeks at the summit, and on the Billboard R&B Chart, where it held the top spot for six weeks. The song also reached the Top 10 in the United Kingdom twice--going to number-four upon its original release and reaching #2 when it was re-released in 1987. The song found new life in the United States in 1991 when Michael Bolton's cover of "When a Man Loves a Woman" topped the Billboard Hot 100.
_____

Nobel-winning German writer Guenter Grass, 87, died on Monday:

A trained sculptor, Grass made his literary reputation with "The Tin Drum," published in 1959. It was followed by "Cat and Mouse" and "Dog Years," which made up what is called the Danzig Trilogy - after the town of his birth, now the Polish city of Gdansk.

Combining naturalistic detail with fantastical images, the trilogy captured the German reaction to the rise of Nazism, the horrors of the war and the guilt that lingered after Adolf Hitler's defeat. The book follows the life of a young boy in Danzig who is caught up in the political whirlwind of the Nazi rise to power and, in response, decides not to grow up. His toy drum becomes a symbol of this refusal.
_____

Uruguayan author Eduardo Galeano, 74.
_____

Pro football player Jim Mutscheller, 85.
_____

Actor Richard Dysart, 86:

He created the Broadway role of the Coach in "That Championship Season," for which he won a Drama Desk Award in 1972, and his many film appearances included Hal Ashby's "Being There," Clint Eastwood's "Pale Rider" and John Carpenter's "The Thing."

But his most memorable role was likely that of head man in the firm of McKenzie, Brackman, Chaney and Kuzak in NBC's 1986-1994 series. It was produced by Steven Bochco, who, having scored a hit with the police series "Hill Street Blues," was casting another multi-character series that would portray the life in a toney Los Angeles law office.

No comments: