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Robert H. Brooks, 69, Owner of Hooters Restaurant Chain, Is Dead
By DOUGLAS MARTIN, NY Times
Robert H. Brooks, who, as the self-styled “Worldwide Wing Commander” of Hooters restaurants, known for spicy chicken wings and spicier waitresses, took the company to 46 states and 20 countries, died on Sunday at his home in Myrtle Beach, S.C. He was 69.
The company announced the death. The Associated Press said an autopsy found he died of unspecified natural causes.
Mr. Brooks, who was raised as a Methodist on a tobacco farm lacking plumbing and electricity, might have seemed an odd sort to lead an empire based on hot pants and pitchers of beer. When he first invested in Hooters, he said he did not know that the name and owl-eyes logo were meant as a reference to the female anatomy.
He got involved in Hooters only after the friend he had lent money to invest in Hooters franchises could not pay him back. His first action as operator was to change from a bar concept that sold little food to a full-service restaurant and bar.
He proceeded to open Hooters franchises from San Diego to São Paulo to Shanghai, at 430 locations in all. He started a magazine, pro golf tour, stock car racing series, credit card and casino, all under the Hooters name. His boldest venture, Hooters Air, an airline with hostesses in the familiar orange shorts and white tank-tops, began flying two years ago, but was grounded by high fuel prices.
Although he was apt to volunteer to interviewers that he liked to invite the ministers of his church to stop by Hooters to appreciate what he considered its intrinsic wholesomeness, Mr. Brooks made it clear what he was promoting.
“Good food, cold beer and pretty girls never go out of style,” he said in an interview with Fortune magazine in 2003.
Hooters, with its televisions tuned to sports channels and jukeboxes crammed with oldies, was the creation of six Midwesterners who opened the first one in Clearwater, Fla., in 1983. According to their Web site, they wanted a place “they couldn’t get kicked out of.”
The founders and Mr. Brooks clashed raucously over the years. He had the right to operate all Hooters’ restaurants outside the six-county area of Tampa Bay, but was not legally allowed to budge from the founders’ procedures.
They complained when they thought he tinkered with their signature blue cheese dressing and seethed when he tried to use Lycra fabric for the tops of the waitresses’ uniforms.
Even as Mr. Brooks acquired a vast majority of the expanding Hooters chain, the original owners, who still controlled the trademark, held him at bay in lawsuit after lawsuit. Finally, in 2001, Mr. Books paid them $60 million for the trademark and also gave them franchising rights around Tampa Bay, Chicago and New York.
Leading up to the settlement, Mr. Brooks and the original owners had cooperated to successfully fight federal charges that they practiced sex discrimination by hiring only women as servers. As part of their joint campaign, they dressed up a restaurant manager named Vince in a waitress uniform and put him on billboards.
Robert Howell Brooks was born outside Loris, S.C., on Feb. 6, 1937. He majored in dairy science at Clemson University and was drafted into the Army in the late 1950’s.
He worked for a Philadelphia food formula company before using his savings of $10,000 to start his own company, now called Naturally Fresh Foods, in 1966. It developed nondairy coffee creamer and preservative-free refrigerated salad dressings, among other products.
Mr. Brooks lent money to a friend, who had bought the rights to build Hooters franchises outside the Tampa Bay area. When his friend could not keep up with payments, Mr. Brooks called the note.
His son Mark was killed in a plane crash with the champion Nascar driver Alan Kulwicki in 1993, as they traveled to promote Hooters.
Mr. Brooks is survived by his wife, Tami; another son, Coby; his daughter, Boni Belle Brooks; and his stepchildren, Jerrett and Christi Oates.
Mr. Brooks declined to follow his wife’s advice to eliminate bikini contests, saying he did not see the difference between these and the Miss America contest, but he did make all restaurants remove a Playboy photo of a former Hooters waitress.
“I know he did that for me,” Mrs. Brooks said in an interview with The Sun News of Myrtle Beach.
Mickey Spillane, 88, Critic-Proof Writer of Pulpy Mike Hammer Novels, Dies
By RICHARD SEVERO. NY Times
Mickey Spillane, the creator of Mike Hammer, the heroic but frequently sadistic private detective who blasted his way through some of the most violent novels of the 1940’s and 50’s, died yesterday at his home in Murrells Inlet, S.C. He was 88 and had homes in South Carolina and New York City.
His death was confirmed by Brian Edgerton of Goldfinch Funeral Home in Murrells Inlet, a village south of Myrtle Beach. Other details were not immediately available.
Scorned by many critics for his artless plots, his reliance on unlikely coincidence and a simplistic understanding of the law, Mr. Spillane nevertheless achieved instant success with his first novel, “I, the Jury,” published in 1947. He cemented his popularity over the next few years with books like “Vengeance Is Mine,” “My Gun Is Quick,” “The Big Kill” and “Kiss Me, Deadly,” which became the best of the several movies based on his books, in 1955, with Ralph Meeker as Mike Hammer.
As the books kept coming, some critics softened toward him. The Times Literary Supplement of London described his 1961 novel, “The Deep,” as “nasty” but nevertheless exhibiting “a genuine narrative grip.”
Mr. Spillane referred to his own material as “the chewing gum of American literature” and laughed at the critics. “I’m not writing for the critics,” he said. “I’m writing for the public.” He described himself as a “money writer,” in that “I write when I need money.”
“I have no fans,” he told one interviewer. “You know what I got? Customers. And customers are your friends.”
His customers remained loyal even after the Hammer character became much imitated and later generations of pulp writers produced books filled with even more violence than Mr. Spillane’s.
Mr. Spillane took issue with those who complained that his books had too much sex. How could there be sex, he asked, when so many women were shot? He noted the conspicuous role women played among his victims: Mary (abandoned), Anne L. (drowned in a bathtub), Lola (fatally stabbed), Ethel (whipped before she was shot), Marsha (shot) and Ellen (like Mary, given the heave-ho).
And then there was Velda, Mike Hammer’s blond, beautiful and patient companion in several novels. Hammer made no advances toward her and all she got for her trouble was being shot, assaulted, strung up naked and whipped.
In “I, the Jury,” Hammer became so angry at a female psychiatrist that he shot her in her “stark naked” stomach. (“Stark naked” was a phrase that Mr. Spillane rather liked.) As she died, she asked, “Mike, how could you?” To which Hammer replied, “It was easy.”
The Saturday Review of Literature summarized the book as “lurid action, lurid characters, lurid plot, lurid finish.” Anthony Boucher, reviewing it for The New York Times, called it “a spectacularly bad book.” But it enjoyed enormous sales and convinced Mr. Spillane that he could earn a living as a writer. He bought some land near Newburgh, N.Y., 60 miles north of New York City, built a cinder-block house there and proceeded to churn out his special brand of carnage. One bad guy was shot to death by a year-old baby, and in another book Mike Hammer wounded a malefactor just badly enough that he could watch him burn to death.
Frank Morrison Spillane was born on March 9, 1918, in Brooklyn, the son of John J. and Catherine A. Spillane; Mickey was a nickname for his baptismal name, Michael. He was educated in schools in Brooklyn and in Elizabeth, N.J., and graduated from Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn in 1935. During his school years, he entertained friends by telling them his own ghost stories. He attended what is now called Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan., without graduating.
During the 1930’s, he worked as a lifeguard at Breezy Point, Queens; during the 1940 Christmas season, he sold $1 ties at Gimbels department store. There he met Joe Gill, another Brooklynite, whose brother, Ray, was an editor at Funnies Inc., a comic-book producer in Midtown Manhattan. Mr. Spillane convinced Ray that he could write comic books.
The day after Pearl Harbor was attacked, Mr. Spillane enlisted in the United States Army Air Forces and became a fighter pilot. To his dismay, he was stationed in Florida and Mississippi for the duration of the war, training others to be fighter pilots. After the war, he returned to Funnies Inc., but soon tired of comic-book writing and turned to novels.
Aside from his detective stories, he wrote two well received, nonviolent children’s books, “The Day the Sea Rolled Back” (1979), which won a prize from the Junior Literary Guild, and “The Ship That Never Was” (1982).
Among his other novels were “The Long Wait” (1951), “The Girl Hunters” (1962), “Day of the Guns” (1964), “The Death Dealers” (1965), “The Twisted Thing” (1966) and “Body Lovers” (1967). He also was a writer of a screenplay based on “The Girl Hunters,” produced by Colorama Features in 1963.
Mr. Spillane’s most famous hero became the protagonist of two successful television series. The first, “Mike Hammer,” with Darren McGavin, ran from 1956 to 1959. “Mickey Spillane’s Mike Hammer,” with Stacy Keach, ran from 1984 to 1987. Mr. Keach also starred in “Mike Hammer, Private Eye,” from 1997 to 1998.
Mr. Spillane also did some acting; he played Mike Hammer and other “tough detective” roles and parodies on television and in movies. He also appeared in more than 100 Miller Lite beer commercials. _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Tue Jul 18, 2006 3:54 am
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
Mako Spent Life Resisting Stereotypes
By JOCELYN STEWART Los Angeles Times
Published: Jul 23, 2006
In the early days of his acting career, when most roles offered to Asian-American actors were caricatures or stereotypes, Mako took just such a part and used it to open the doors of Hollywood and Broadway to others.
In the 1966 film "The Sand Pebbles," he played the Chinese character Po-han who spoke pidgin English, called the white sailors in the movie "master," and treated them as such. Through the power of his acting, though, Mako transformed Po-han and compelled the audience to empathize and identify with the "coolie."
Mako, whose portrayal earned an Academy Award nomination, died Friday of esophageal cancer at his home in Somis, Calif. He was 72.
In an acting career that spanned more than four decades, Mako was a familiar face in film and television. He appeared on series including "McHale's Navy," "I Spy," "M*A*S*H," "Quincy," and "Walker, Texas Ranger."
In films, he was a Japanese admiral in the film "Pearl Harbor," and a Singaporean in "Seven Years in Tibet." He was Akiro the wizard in "Conan the Barbarian" and "Conan the Destroyer" with Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Mako, though, had a larger view of the possibilities for Asian-American actors.
In 1965, he co-founded the East West Players, the nation's first Asian-American theater company. As artistic director, Mako trained generations of actors and playwrights. He brought to the stage classics including Shakespeare's "Twelfth Night," Chekhov's "Three Sisters" and lesser-known contemporary works.
He devoted the entire 1981 season to works discussing the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II. The series coincided with the opening of a national discussion on internment reparations.
"Of course, we've been fighting against stereotypes from Day 1 at East West," Mako said in 1986. "That's the reason we formed: to combat that, and to show we are capable of more than just fulfilling the stereotypes - waiter, laundryman, gardener, martial artist, villain." _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Sun Jul 23, 2006 11:19 pm
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
Veteran Royal Shakespeare Actor and Voice artist Tony Jay loses long fight to recover from surgery
In April 2006, Tony Jay was admitted to Cedar Sinai Hospital for micro surgery to remove a non cancerous tumor from his lungs. In recovery his vital signs became critical and since April, through strength and determination, he began to recover both his breathing and mobility. Although it was a possibility that he might have been able to return home in the next few months, on Sunday Tony Jay was unable to realize that dream. He is survived by his wife Marta and his son Adam, who follows in his fathers footsteps in the field of Acting.
Tony Jay leaves a vast legacy of work in television, voice and film, with appearances with Arnold Schwartzenegger, Danny Devito, Woody Allen, Karl Malden, Kim Basinger, Dan Ackroyd to name a few.
His television performances include Beauty and the Beast (as the arch-villain Paracelcus), Golden Girls, Murphy Brown, Hunter, Bob Newhart, Night Court, Star Trek, Lois and Clark, Sisters and recently Burning Zone.
His work in voice acting includes Mighty Max, Bruno the Kid, Tale Spin, Savage Dragon, Reboot and many more. His role as Judge Frollo in Disney's Hunchback of Notre Dame has been been critically acclaimed as "probably the best Disney villain to date". _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Fri Aug 18, 2006 7:44 am
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
Actor Glenn Ford Dies at 90
August 31, 2006
Glenn Ford, the rangy, laconic actor who in a long and prolific career in films and television portrayed characters from gallant leading men to saddle tramps, died Wednesday. He was 90.
Ford, a top box-office draw in the 1950s whose career spanned more than five decades and more than 100 films, was found dead at his Beverly Hills home by Fire Department paramedics just before 4 p.m.
Largely out of the public eye since the early 1990s, Ford was saluted by American Cinematheque at Hollywood's Egyptian Theatre in May on his 90th birthday. Ford, who had suffered several strokes, had been expected to attend but ultimately missed the event because of fragile health.
In his prime, Ford posted a string of memorable credits that included "Gilda," "The Big Heat," "The Blackboard Jungle," "3:10 to Yuma," "The Teahouse of the August Moon," "Don't Go Near the Water," "The Courtship of Eddie's Father," "Pocketful of Miracles" and "The Rounders."
He could play an ambitious, crooked gambler with a soul-saving sense of honor ("Gilda") or an idealistic yet tough-minded teacher ("Blackboard Jungle").
As a youth, Ford portrayed a Depression-era store clerk who hitchhiked west in "Heaven With a Barbed Wire Fence," his first feature picture in 1939. As a middle-aged character actor, he was the surrogate father of "Superman" (1978) in the first feature-length film treatment of the comic book character.
And although he was never nominated for an Oscar, he was a longtime Hollywood favorite.
In the 1970s, Ford began concentrating on television, portraying Sheriff Sam Cade in "Cade's County"; the narrator of the children's series "Friends of Man"; and the Rev. Tom Holvak, a poverty-stricken preacher, in "The Family Holvak."
The last character, in the 1975-77 series, was based, Ford told The Times in 1975, on his grandfather, Thomas Ford, a rural minister in Quebec, Canada, the actor's native land.
He was born Gwyllyn Samuel Newton Ford on May 1, 1916, the son of a railroad executive and mill owner and nephew of Sir John MacDonald, a former prime minister of Canada and a descendant of Martin Van Buren, eighth president of the United States.
Ford spent his earliest years in Glenford, site of the family's paper mill, from which Ford took his professional name.
By the time his family moved to California when he was 7, he had already developed a taste for performing. At Santa Monica High School, he ran track, played lacrosse and excelled in English and drama.
Ford worked with numerous little theater groups and California touring companies as an actor and stage manager before joining the Broadway-bound play "Soliloquy," starring film actor John Beal, in 1938.
But when the play reached Broadway, it closed after only two performances. Ford returned to Los Angeles, and 20th Century Fox hired him for a fourth-billed role in the low-budget "Heaven With a Barbed Wire Fence."
It was not the most auspicious of debuts.
In a 1985 interview with The Times, Ford recalled that the film's director, Ricardo Cortez, told him he would never make it as a movie actor. But soon after, Ford was signed by Columbia. Roles in a string of B pictures followed, until World War II service intervened.
Ford enlisted in the Marine Corps in December 1942, after having been a member of the Coast Guard Auxiliary for a year. After his discharge in 1945, he returned to the screen the next year in three notable pictures: "Gilda"; "A Stolen Life," in which he played opposite Bette Davis; and "Gallant Journey," a film biography of 19th century flight pioneer John Montgomery.
In "Gilda," where Rita Hayworth performs one of the steamiest dances in movie history, Ford was praised by Variety as "a far better actor than the tale permits."
In 1953, Ford had his Columbia contract rewritten so he could work for other studios. Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer featured him as the doctor-husband in "Interrupted Melody," the story of opera star Marjorie Lawrence, a polio victim. That picture and others, such as "Ransom" and "Don't Go Near the Water," brought him rave notices about his "recent mature and thoughtful performances" and his "sly and adept" comedy.
Off-screen, Ford played polo — he had learned to ride while taking care of Will Rogers' polo ponies as a teenager in the 1930s — and was lifelong friends with William Holden and Hayworth. He also worked with Actors and Others for Animals, an animal-rights group.
As a commander in the Naval Reserve, Ford spent a month in South Vietnam in 1967. Accompanied by a Marine Corps camera crew, he filmed combat locations for "Global Marine," a documentary training movie for recruits.
"People who come out here for a visit and go back with pat opinions about how the war is going to be won are fools," Ford told The Times at the end of his trip to the war zone.
"This is a vicious war, a unique war, with no simple answer, but I think the complicated problem we face here cannot be appraised and judged by anyone who has not been here."
In the mid-to-late 1960s, Ford created three quality film roles that enriched his reputation: the footloose cowboy in "The Rounders," the good cop gone bad in "The Money Trap" and the frontiersman trying to recapture his family from Indians in "Day of the Evil Gun."
If Ford gravitated toward a single genre in his later years, it was the western, where the simple plot lines and sparse dialogue suited him. "You don't have to speak English to understand what's going on," he once told The Times. "I've always said the talking pictures talk too much anyway."
Besides, he added, "I'm out of place doing sophistication. I'm so uncomfortable in a tuxedo." _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
And just because it was posted on YTMND doesn't mean it's blasphemous. I think the music is rather fitting. _________________ Toonami visual schedule - UPDATED AUGUST 2, 2015
Mon Sep 04, 2006 1:19 am
Joined: Apr 02, 2003
SYDNEY, Australia (CNN) -- Steve Irwin, the TV presenter known as the "Crocodile Hunter," has died after being stung by a stingray in a marine accident off Australia's north coast.
Media reports say Irwin was snorkeling at Batt Reef, a part of the Great Barrier Reef about 9 miles (about 15 kilometers) from the town of Port Douglas, when the incident happened on Monday morning.
Irwin, 44, was killed by a stingray barb that pierced his chest, according to Cairns police sources.
Irwin was in the area to film pieces for a show called "Ocean's Deadliest" with Phillippe Cousteau, grandson of Jacques, Irwin's producer and friend John Stainton told CNN's "American Morning." But weather had prevented the crew from doing work for that program, said Stainton, so Irwin decided to do some softer features for a new children's TV show he was doing with his daughter, Bindi.
"He came over the top of a stingray that was buried in the sand, and the barb came up and hit him in the chest," said Stainton.
Ambulance officers confirmed they attended a reef fatality Monday morning off Port Douglas, according to Australian media. (Watch scenes of Irwin, known for his his enthusiasm and support for conservation -- 2:49)
Queensland Police Services also confirmed Irwin's death and said his family had been notified. Irwin was director of the Australia Zoo in Queensland. (Read the TIME.com obituary.external link)
He is survived by his American-born wife Terri and their two children, Bindi Sue, born 1998, and Robert (Bob), born December 2003.
"The world has lost a great wildlife icon, a passionate conservationist and one of the proudest dads on the planet," Stainton told reporters in Cairns, according to The Associated Press. "He died doing what he loved best and left this world in a happy and peaceful state of mind. He would have said, 'Crocs Rule!' "
Australia Prime Minister John Howard said he was "shocked and distressed at Steve Irwin's sudden, untimely and freakish death," according to AP. "It's a huge loss to Australia."
Irwin became a popular figure on Australian and international television through Irwin's close handling of wildlife, most notably the capture and relocation of crocodiles.
Irwin's enthusiastic approach to nature conservation and the environment won him a global following. He was known for his exuberance and use of the catch phrase "Crikey!"
"It's unbelievable, really," Jack Hanna, the host of "Jack Hanna's Animal Adventure" and director emeritus of the Columbus (Ohio) Zoo, told CNN. "You think of Steve Irwin and you think 'indestructible.' "
Hanna, a friend of Irwin's, noted that Irwin's persona of the Crocodile Hunter was no act. Irwin grew up around crocodiles, snakes and other animals at his parents' Queensland Reptile and Fauna Park and had been handling such creatures since he was a child.
"The guy lived his life this way," said Hanna. "It was how he was raised. You knew that this guy, from the time he was 8 or 9 years old, was working with crocodiles and snakes."
Though stingrays can be threatening, their sting -- usually prompted by self-defense -- is not often fatal. The bull ray that apparently stung Irwin was "a one-in-a-million thing," wildlife documentary maker Ben Cropp told TIME. "I have swum with many rays, and I have only had one do that to me."
"A wild animal is like a loaded gun -- it can go off at any time," Hanna told CNN. "You have to be careful of that." But, he added, it's not the animals who are inherently dangerous, but the way they may react around humans. "It's not fair to the animal. It's only using the defenses that God gave it," said Hanna.
Rise to popularity
Irwin first became popular with his show "Crocodile Hunter," which first aired on Australian TV in 1992. Eventually, the program was picked up by the Discovery Network in the United States, establishing Irwin worldwide.
His popularity led to a film, "The Crocodile Hunter: Collision Course" (2002).
Irwin's image suffered a setback in January 2004 when he held his then 1-month-old baby Bob while feeding a crocodile at his Australian zoo. (Full story)
In a statement released to Australian media, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer expressed his sorrow and said that he was fond of Irwin and was very appreciative of all the work he had done in promoting Australia overseas.
In 2003, Irwin spoke to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.'s "Australian Story" television program about how he was perceived in his home country.
"When I see what's happened all over the world, they're looking at me as this very popular, wildlife warrior Australian bloke," he said, the ABC reported.
"And yet back here in my own country, some people find me a little bit embarrassing. "You know, there's this ... they kind of cringe, you know, 'cause I'm coming out with 'Crikey' and 'Look at this beauty.' "
"He has left a legacy," Stainton told CNN. "That people do love some of the unloved animals like crocodiles and reptiles that people wanted to kill. He's actually put a position in their hearts for them. I want that to continue. ... I want people to really go out there and remember Steve Irwin for what he really was, which was a great conservationist, saving wildlife and actually promoting wildlife that people didn't love."
Some very sad news. Shirley Walker has passed away after suffering a brain aneurism, from which she did not regain consciousness. It's the loss of a real pioneer for female composers, not to mention the loss of a sweet, funny woman whom I long admired, and whose work I was lucky enough to publicize at various junctures.
I was already a fan of Shirley's collaborative work on the amazing acid rock score for APOCALYPSE NOW, her co-composing of THE BLACK STALLION (along with Carmine Coppola), and her orchestrating / conducting duties on such scores as BACKDRAFT, EDWARD SCISSORHANDS, NIGHTBREED and BATMAN before meeting her on my move to LA in 1989.
One could hear Shirley's talent for dark, symphonic music on these scores - a talent that more than proved itself with her exciting, Herrmann-esque score for MEMOIRS OF AN INVISIBLE MAN- the first major Hollywood score soley composed by a woman to my knowledge.
Shirley really had a flair for super-heroic action on scores for THE FLASH, additional music for MYSTERY MEN the BATMAN and SUPERMAN animated series, and her terrific score for BATMAN- MASK OF THE PHANTASM. Her music really captured the intimidating menace of the Dark Knight, not to mention the sad, psychological underpinning of his mission of vengeance- a score that ranks as one of the best written for the comic book icon.
Some of Shirley's other notable scores include ASTEROID, SPACE - ABOVE AND BEYOND and SPAWN. More than any other genre, Shirley could bring out the black humor of horror and suspense like few composers. In scores like TURBULENCE and three FINAL DESTINATIONS, Shirley took a macabre delight in playing the bad guys- even Death himself. One of my fondest memories is seeing Shirley amp up the orchestra with a "gore-o-meter" of her devising for the third DESTINATION, previewing the deaths to their knowing, gross-out groans of the players- and a lot of laughter. But perhaps Shirley's best score in my estimation is for WILLARD, which used accordions to play the mad ratman. Surely the coolest, most fiendish use of the instrument in film scoring history. Topped off with a knowingly fearesome orchestra, WILLARD was pure, brilliant camp heaven.
I'll never forget my first meeting with Shirley while covering her work for INVISIBLE MAN- where the biggest monster was a feral cat that would keep attacking at any opportune moment. Shirley had a water bottle at the ready, playing a game of cat-and-mouse with her pet to see when a spritzing would be due.
Later on, I did liner notes for Shirley's terrific ESCAPE FROM LA score, a wonderful hodge-podge of ideas that remains one of my favorite action scores. When interviewing both her and John Carpenter, I could easily see how Snake Plissken's first composer knew, and appreciated that his hero was in good hands- a composer who never missed the satire in the gunplay.
Like the sadly missed Basil Poledouris, Shirley remains, in my estimation, one of the best symphonic composers that Hollywood has had in the last twenty years- someone who had a real grasp for melody and themes, no matter the blood-curdling, of super-fantastical situation she might be playing. And like Basil, she should have worked a whole lot more. But her fans more than knew of her talent, as could be witnessed by the people who showed for an ESCAPE FROM LA signing that she graciously attended at Creature Features.
I like to think that Shirley remains one of the true fan favorites among soundtrack appreciators. A woman who set the tone for dreams of super powers, and a person who could make you laugh and scream at the same time during a particulary nasty ending. And I know that despite Shirley's too-soon one, her music will continue to thrill us all. Aptly, her last score is for BLACK CHRISTMAS, one that will provide horror fans with more gruesome, musical delight.
This isn't any kind of official announcement. Just an appreciation. I'm sure there will be one shortly.
_________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Thu Nov 30, 2006 9:53 pm
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
Toon actor Raymond passes at 97
Heckle and Jeckle lose their voice
By VARIETY STAFF
Sid Raymond, an actor who landed roles alongside A-list stars and was the voice of beloved cartoon characters but went largely nameless himself, died Dec. 1 in Aventura, Fla. From complications of a stroke the week before. He was 97.
His agent called him the day he died about an audition for a cholesterol drug commercial, his daughter Cynthia Raymond said.
"Obviously he was kind of typecast as an older guy," she said. "But he would go to any commercial, anything."
The voice of the obese cartoon duck Baby Huey, the comical bartender of 1960s beer commercials for Schlitz and a familiar face on television from "The Ed Sullivan Show" to "The O.C.," Raymond was a show business fixture for six decades. Decades of brief, sometimes-uncredited appearances on Broadway, in movies such as "The Hustler" and "Big Trouble" and on the small screen made him a familiar face.
Throughout the 1950s, Raymond appeared in televised dramas such as "Kraft Theater" and episodes of "The Honeymooners."
Raymond also lent his voice to Katnip, the cartoon cat that appeared in the "Herman and Katnip" series of animated film shorts in the 1940s and 1950s, and to mischievous cartoon magpies Heckle and Jeckle.
Documentary filmmaker Howard Weinberg profiled Raymond in a 27-minute film short in 2002 titled "Sid at 90."
"An inspiration for anyone who has ever clung to a passion, Sid Raymond concedes that, as an actor, he was never a star," Weinberg writes on the documentary's Web site. "But in the context of an enduring spirit, fame seems somehow beside the point." _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Tue Dec 12, 2006 5:29 pm
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
NEW YORK (AP) -- Peter Boyle, who played the tap-dancing monster in "Young Frankenstein" and the curmudgeonly father in the long-running sitcom "Everybody Loves Raymond," has died. He was 71.
Boyle died Tuesday evening at New York Presbyterian Hospital. He had been suffering from multiple myeloma and heart disease, said his publicist, Jennifer Plante.
A member of the Christian Brothers religious order who turned to acting, the tall, prematurely balding Boyle gained notice playing an angry workingman in the 1970 sleeper hit "Joe," playing an angry, murderous bigot at odds with the emerging hippie youth culture.
Briefly typecast in tough, irate roles, Boyle began to escape the image as Robert Redford's campaign manager in "The Candidate" and left it behind entirely after "Young Frankenstein," Mel Brooks' 1974 send-up of horror films.
The latter movie's defining moment came when Gene Wilder, as scientist Frederick Frankenstein, introduced his creation to an upscale audience. Boyle, decked out in tails, performed a song-and-dance routine to the Irving Berlin classic "Puttin' On the Ritz."
The film also led to the actor meeting his wife, Loraine Alterman, who visited the set as a reporter for Rolling Stone magazine. Boyle, still in his monster makeup, quickly asked her for a date.
He went on to appear in dozens of films and to star in "Joe Bash," an acclaimed but short-lived 1986 "dramedy" in which he played a lonely beat cop. He won an Emmy in 1996 for his guest-starring role in an episode of "The X Files," and he was nominated for "Everybody Loves Raymond" and for the 1977 TV film "Tail Gunner Joe," in which he played Sen. Joseph McCarthy.
In the 1976 film "Taxi Driver," he was the cabbie-philosopher Wizard, who counseled Robert De Niro's violent Travis Bickle.
Other notable films included "T.R. Baskin," "F.I.S.T.," "Johnny Dangerously," "Conspiracy: Trial of the Chicago 8" (as activist David Dellinger), "The Dream Team," "The Santa Clause," "The Santa Clause 2," "While You Were Sleeping" (in a charming turn as Sandra Bullock's future father-in-law) and "Scooby Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed."
Mel Brooks was saddened by the news of Boyle's death.
"I will always cherish Peter Boyle's remarkable performance as the monster in 'Young Frankenstein,' " Brooks said, according to Reuters.
The "Young Frankenstein" performance showed another side of the Emmy-winning actor, one that would be exploited in countless other films and perhaps best in "Everybody Loves Raymond," in which he played incorrigible paterfamilias Frank Barone for 10 years.
"He's just obnoxious in a nice way, just for laughs," he said of the character in a 2001 interview. "It's a very sweet experience having this happen at a time when you basically go back over your life and see every mistake you ever made."
When Boyle tried out for the role opposite series star Ray Romano's Ray Barone, however, he was kept waiting for his audition -- and he was not happy.
"He came in all hot and angry," recalled the show's creator, Phil Rosenthal, "and I hired him because I was afraid of him."
But Rosenthal also noted: "I knew right away that he had a comic presence."
The show's star, Ray Romano, paid tribute in a statement.
"I am deeply saddened by the passing of Peter Boyle. When I came out to L.A. to do 'Everybody Loves Raymond,' I knew no one. Peter immediately took me under his wing and became my friend and mentor. He gave me great advice, he always made me laugh, and the way he connected with everyone around him amazed me," Romano's statement said.
"The fact that he could play a convincing curmudgeon on the show, but in reality be such a compassionate and thoughtful person, is a true testament to his talent. ... I feel very lucky to have known and shared great experiences with Peter, and I will miss him forever."
The son of a local TV personality in Philadelphia, Boyle was educated in Roman Catholic schools and spent three years in a monastery before abandoning his religious studies. He later described the experience as similar to "living in the Middle Ages."
He explained his decision to leave in 1991: "I felt the call for awhile; then I felt the normal pull of the world and the flesh."
He traveled to New York to study with Uta Hagen, supporting himself for five years with various jobs, including postal worker, waiter, maitre d' and office temp. Finally, he was cast in a road company version of "The Odd Couple." When the play reached Chicago he quit to study with that city's famed improvisational troupe Second City.
Upon returning to New York, he began to land roles in TV commercials, off-Broadway plays and finally films.
Through Alterman, a friend of Yoko Ono, the actor became close friends with John Lennon.
"We were both seekers after a truth, looking for a quick way to enlightenment," Boyle once said of Lennon, who was best man at his wedding.
In 1990, Boyle suffered a stroke and couldn't talk for six months. In 1999, he had a heart attack on the set of "Everybody Loves Raymond." He soon regained his health, however, and returned to the series.
Despite his work in "Everybody Loves Raymond" and other Hollywood productions, Boyle made New York City his home. He and his wife had two daughters, Lucy and Amy. _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Wed Dec 13, 2006 11:41 pm
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
DALLAS - Lamar Hunt, the pro sports visionary who owned the Kansas City Chiefs and came up with the term “Super Bowl,” died Wednesday night. He was 74.
Hunt, a founder of the American Football League and one of the driving forces behind the AFL-NFL merger, died at Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas of complications from prostate cancer, Chiefs spokesman Bob Moore said.
Hunt battled cancer for several years and was hospitalized the day before Thanksgiving with a partially collapsed lung. Doctors discovered that the cancer had spread, and Hunt had been under heavy sedation since last week.
“He was a founder. He was the energy, really, that put together half of the league, and then he was the key person in merging the two leagues together,” said Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, Hunt’s neighbor. “You’d be hard-pressed to find anybody that’s made a bigger contribution (to the NFL) than Lamar Hunt.”
Carl Peterson, the Chiefs’ president and general manager, called Hunt “arguably the greatest sportsman of this last half-century, although he never sought fame or recognition for the improvements and changes he brought to the world’s sports institutions.”
“His was a creative, constructive and loving life not nearly long enough and we will likely never see one like it again,” Peterson said.
The son of Texas oilman H.L. Hunt, Lamar Hunt grew up in Dallas and attended a private boys’ prep school in Pennsylvania, serving as captain of the football team in his senior year. His love of sports led to his nickname, “Games.”
Hunt played football at SMU, but never rose above third string. His modest achievements on the field were dwarfed by his accomplishments as an owner and promoter of teams in professional football, basketball, baseball, tennis, soccer and bowling.
Hunt’s business dealings were also the stuff of headlines. Hunt didn’t need to make money — his father was an oil wildcatter who was often referred to as the richest man in the world. But he tried to build on his father’s wealth.
Along with two brothers, Hunt tried to corner the silver market in 1979 and 1980. Their oil investments also soured in the 1980s. Some estimated the family’s losses in the billions.
Hunt also suffered setbacks in the world of pro sports, but overcame them.
When NFL owners rebuffed Hunt’s attempt to buy a franchise and move it to Dallas, Hunt — ignoring his father’s advice — founded the AFL. He owned one of the AFL’s eight original teams from the inaugural 1960 season, the Dallas Texans.
The Texans, however, struggled in head-to-head competition with the expansion Dallas Cowboys of the NFL. Convinced that both franchises would suffer as long as Dallas remained a two-team city, Hunt moved the Texans to Kansas City in 1963.
“I looked around and figured Kansas City could be a success,” he told The Associated Press. “By our fourth or fifth year, we started to succeed. The Cowboys of course did very well too.”
Hunt realized his dream of becoming an NFL owner after the two leagues reached a merger deal in 1966.
In 1967, the Chiefs lost the first AFL-NFL championship — it was then called the World Championship Game. Three years later, the Chiefs beat the Minnesota Vikings for the title.
By then, the championship game had been christened the Super Bowl. Hunt came up with the name while watching his children play with a SuperBall.
In 1972, Hunt became the first AFL figure to be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and each year the Lamar Hunt Trophy goes to the winner of the NFL’s American conference.
Hunt long campaigned to let teams other than Dallas and Detroit play at home on Thanksgiving Day. To honor his effort, the NFL scheduled a third game on the holiday this year — in Kansas City. Hunt missed it, though, because he was in the hospital and couldn’t get the game on TV.
For several years, Hunt also owned the minor-league baseball Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs, but his 1964 effort to bring major league baseball to the Dallas-area failed. Eight years later, the Washington franchise moved to suburban Arlington and became the Texas Rangers.
In 1967, Hunt was one of 10 original founding partners in the Chicago Bulls basketball franchise. He was the last remaining original owner.
Also in 1967, Hunt started the first organized effort at a pro tennis tour with World Championship Tennis, and in 1968 he helped bring pro soccer to the United States with his Dallas Tornado of the old North American Soccer League.
More recently, Hunt and his sons owned Hunt Sports Group, which manages Major League Soccer franchises in Dallas, Kansas City and Columbus, Ohio.
In 1969, Hunt tried to buy Alcatraz, the island in San Francisco Bay that once housed a federal prison, and develop it with a tourist park and shopping destination. The idea died amid local protest.
Hunt created Worlds of Fun, a $50 million amusement park, and Oceans of Fun, a $7 million water recreation park, in Kansas City. He opened a pro bowling arena in Dallas — actress Jayne Mansfield was the opening-night draw.
Hunt was part of H.L. Hunt’s “first family” — the wildcatter had 15 children by three women. Despite huge losses in the silver and oil markets, family members kept much of their wealth protected by elaborate trusts, and their names have long dotted lists of the wealthiest Americans.
Counting pro football, Hunt has been inducted into eight halls of fame, including ones for soccer and tennis as well as the Texas Business Hall of Fame and the Kansas City Business Hall of Fame. _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Thu Dec 14, 2006 7:39 am
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
Music pioneer Ertegun dies
Atlantic Records founder worked with Franklin, Coltrane, Led Zeppelin
By PHIL GALLO, Daily Variety
Atlantic Records founder Ahmet Ertegun, the maestro of music moguls who introduced the world to some of the finest blues, jazz and rock acts of the past 50 years, died Thursday, almost seven weeks after falling at a Rolling Stones concert in New York. He was 83.
Ertegun, who signed, produced and/or collaborated with Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, John Coltrane and Led Zeppelin, slipped and hit his head backstage at the Oct. 29 Stones show at the Beacon Theater. He was put into an induced coma before being taken to the hospital. His condition had stabilized, but he remained in the coma and was taken off life support Monday.
Still with Warner Music Group, he held the title of founding chairman of Atlantic Records, the label he created with Herb Abramson in 1947. They soon were joined by his brother, the late Nesuhi Ertegun, and later by journalist Jerry Wexler.
A pivotal force in popular music whose artists were often revolutionary, Ertegun was a beloved figure who once was dubbed "the greatest rock 'n' roll mogul in the world.''
In the 1950s, Atlantic blossomed into a prominent home for some of America's most important rhythm and blues performers -- starting with Ruth Brown and LaVern Baker -- and jazz artists (Charles Mingus, Coltrane, Ornette Coleman). Around the time the label was sold to Warner Seven-Arts in 1967, Ertegun was shaping the label as home for a new breed of rock acts, signing the Bee Gees, Cream, Buffalo Springfield, Crosby Stills & Nash and Led Zeppelin, among others.
The son of the Turkish ambassador to the U.S., Ertegun was born July 31, 1923, in Istanbul, but left Turkey at the age of 2, spending most of his childhood in Berne, Geneva, Paris and London. He came to the U.S. with his older brother in 1934, moving to Washington, D.C. His father was Turkey's ambassador to the U.S. until his death in 1944. Both brothers were avid collectors of jazz recordings.
In the late 1930s the brothers were promoting jazz concerts for multiracial audiences long before it was culturally acceptable.
"We'd invite Ellington, Basie and Lester Young to lunch at the embassy and afterwards there'd be an informal jam session,'' Ertegun once told the Washington Post.
Atlantic Records, the name taken as a contrast to Pacific Jazz, began as a one-room operation in New York with $10,000 borrowed from Ertegun's dentist Vahdi Sabit and some additional funding from co-founder Abramson, an exec with National Records. At the time, Ertegun was still in graduate school at Georgetown, majoring in philosophy.
The first song Atlantic issued, on Nov. 21, 1947, was "Rose of the Rio Grande" by the Harlemaires.
Atlantic had its first hit in early 1949 with "Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee" by Stick McGhee. The brothers traveled to New Orleans in the late 1940s to look for talent and recorded Professor Longhair, which convinced them to incorporate the New Orleans sound into their recordings. Label's session men could not re-create a New Orleans sound, but in the process of trying they created a boogie-based, sax-dominated style that was dubbed the Atlantic Sound.
Wexler joined Atlantic in 1953 and helped bolster the label's R&B side; he also helped Ertegun buy out the two initial investors.
The label gained national notoriety through Ray Charles' "I've Got a Woman," a No. 1 R&B hit in early 1955. Charles would have 23 top 20 singles during his Atlantic tenure from 1954 to 1960. That Ertegun allowed Charles to record with his own band in Georgia instead of with session musicians in New York -- the industry standard at the time -- set him apart as a label owner and that m.o. would work well for Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and other soul singers down the road.
Label's early stars included the Drifters (featuring Clyde McPhatter), Ben E. King, Charles, Ruth Brown and Big Joe Turner. Ertegun later signed and turned around the career of Franklin, who had been languishing at Columbia, and Pickett.
In the early 1950s the Erteguns started other labels -- Cat and Atlas -- acquired another, Spark, to use as the foundation of Atco Records and gave an indie production deal to songwriters Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who had written hits for the Drifters, Coasters and Elvis Presley.
In the early days of Atlantic, the already bald and bearded Ertegun was practically a one-man show, producing, writing songs and promoting the label's roster. Atlantic struggled because many radio stations wouldn't play African-American performers and many of the label's recordings were covered by white performers who then had hits, "Sh-Boom," "This Magic Moment" and "Shake, Rattle & Roll" being prime examples.
Most of the early recordings also were produced by Ertegun and Wexler; Ertegun even sang backup on songs like Joe Turner's recording of "Shake, Rattle & Roll."
His unerring ear also extended to songwriting. Some of Atlantic's early recordings were written by him under the pseudonym A. Nugetre (Ertegun spelled backward).
One of his first pop hits came when he took over working with Bobby Darin from Abramson, who had grown frustrated with the singer's first three recordings for Atco. One day in 1958, Darin thought he had written two hits and took one, "Early in the Morning," to Decca; Atlantic got the second one, "Splish Splash." The novelty number impressed Ertegun, but he had only allotted 90 minutes in the studio to record the tune. Darin became the white pop hitmaker the Erteguns had sought, branching out as a pop crooner and making a mint for Atco with "Mack the Knife" and "Beyond the Sea."
While Atlantic had a reputation for paying better songwriting and performance royalties than other labels, it was a royalty spat that led to Ertegun splitting with Leiber & Stoller and their young protege Phil Spector. Leiber & Stoller attempted to merge their Red Bird Records with Atlantic in 1964, but failed.
As popular R&B started coming from the Motown label and rock hits were either from the Beach Boys or British Invasion bands, Ertegun turned to the Rascals on the East Coast and a West Coast duo that had been under Spector's tutelage, Sonny & Cher. Nesuhi, meanwhile, had moved deep into jazz with Coltrane, Mingus and the Modern Jazz Quartet, while Wexler was aligning Atlantic with recording studios in Memphis and Muscle Shoals, Ala. That paved the way for Atlantic to take over the Stax label and its roster, led by Otis Redding, whose albums eventually were released by Atco.
In July 1966, Ertegun signed Brit supergroup Cream to the label and soon thereafter the label inked the Sunset Strip acts Buffalo Springfield and Iron Butterfly.
But in October 1967, while Atlantic was still trying to break new rock acts and see which stars it could bring over from Stax, Wexler persuaded Ertegun to sell the company to Warner Seven-Arts for $17.5 million. A year later, Atlantic's sales hit $45 million and Wexler and Ertegun attempted unsuccessfully to buy back the company. Company was sold again in 1969, to the Kinney Corp., and CEO Steve Ross persuaded Ertegun to stay on as chairman-CEO of Atlantic.
Ertegun, after selling his interest, inked the Bee Gees, Led Zeppelin, Derek & the Dominos, J. Geils Band, Dr. John and Crosby, Stills & Nash and made it one of the prime rock labels of the late '60 and early 1970s. (Ertegun also persuaded CSN to add Neil Young to the band for a tour.)
Staying true to his roots in the early 1970s, he also signed and recorded acts that sounded nothing like the hitmakers of the day: Bette Midler, Roberta Flack, Donny Hathaway and the blues team of Buddy Guy and Junior Wells. Ertegun also inked and championed Mabel Mercer and Bobby Short.
In 1970, when the Rolling Stones' Decca contract had expired, Ertegun and Mick Jagger hashed out a deal for Atlantic to distribute the newly formed imprint Rolling Stones Records. Atco handled distribution for the first three years, with Atlantic taking over from 1973-85. The Stones, who released "It's Only Rock and Roll," "Some Girls" and "Tattoo You" during their Atlantic tenure, also wanted the label to be used for solo projects and to sign other acts, but most of those efforts did little but drain Atlantic's coffers.
Besides setting up the Stones deal, Ertegun also financed a label to be run by David Geffen, Asylum Records, which quickly became the hotbed of Southern California rock with the Eagles, Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell on the roster. It became a subsidiary of Atlantic in '73.
In 1990, Ertegun started to share his chairman job with Doug Morris, who orchestrated a number of acquisitions that kept Atlantic at the industry fore. Morris ankled in 1995, replaced as co-chairman by former Rush manager Val Azzoli. After AOL Time Warner sold Warner Music Group in late 2003, Ertegun was given the title of founding chairman, Atlantic Records.
Aside from music, the Ertegun brothers co-founded the New York Cosmos soccer team and were instrumental in bringing in soccer legends such as Pele to play for the team in the 1970s.
He was also key in the creation of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was inducted in the hall's second year. The rock hall currently counts 22 acts that either got their start or hit their artistic peak while at Atlantic or Atco, the most of any label. (By comparison, Motown has nine and Columbia/Epic has 13.)
In 2005, the Recording Academy made Ertegun the first person honored at the President's Merit Award Salute to Industry Icons. The Library of Congress honored him in 2000 as a living legend.
He is survived by his second wife, Mica, doyenne of her own interior design firm, whom he married in 1961. He will be buried in a private ceremony in his native Turkey. A memorial service will be conducted in New York after the new year. _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
"Superman can't be emo. He can't cut himself."-CP
Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:11 pm
Joined: Nov 07, 2002
Chris Hayward, an Emmy-winning writer for television whose work was once banned in Canada because of the painful inadequacies of one of its leading men — the righteous, square-jawed and stupendously slow-witted Mountie Dudley Do-Right — died on Nov. 20 at his home in Beverly Hills, Calif. Mr. Hayward, who was also a creator of “The Munsters,” was 81.
The cause was cancer, said his wife, Linda Simmons Hayward. She said that news of Mr. Hayward’s death had been made public only recently.
Mr. Hayward was for many years a writer for Jay Ward Productions, creators of the subversive animated cartoons starring Rocky the flying squirrel and Bullwinkle J. Moose. Originally broadcast on ABC in 1959 as “Rocky and His Friends,” the program, renamed “The Bullwinkle Show,” moved to NBC in 1961; it returned to ABC from 1964 to 1973.
A sophisticated cold war spoof (moose and squirrel are locked in endless battle with the perfidious Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale), the show attracted an ardent cult following and has been blessed with eternal life in syndication. It comprised various segments, including “Fractured Fairy Tales,” narrated by Edward Everett Horton, and “Peabody’s Improbable History,” starring a cerebral dog.
Mr. Hayward worked on all the segments but was most closely associated with “The Adventures of Dudley Do-Right,” which followed the hapless royal Canadian Mountie in his ceaseless pursuit of Snidely Whiplash, a very naughty man.
Because the Dudley Do-Right segments were deemed harmful to the national esteem, the Rocky and Bullwinkle shows were initially not broadcast in Canada.
With Allan Burns, Mr. Hayward also conceived of “The Munsters.” The show, which chronicled the twisted fortunes of a family of ghouls, was broadcast on CBS from 1964 to 1966. At first, the two men received no credit for creating it. Only after the Writers Guild of America took up their case with the producer, Universal Studios, were they awarded credit and financial compensation.
In 1968, Mr. Hayward and Mr. Burns won Emmy Awards for their work on “He & She,” a short-lived comedy on CBS starring Richard Benjamin and Paula Prentiss.
Christopher Robert Hayward was born on June 19, 1925, in Bayonne, N.J. A self-taught singer and composer, he left high school before graduating to pursue a musical career in Los Angeles. But he suffered from stage fright and, encouraged by a night class in screenwriting, switched careers. During the 1950’s, he worked for Mr. Ward on the animated series “Crusader Rabbit.”
In addition to his wife, Mr. Hayward is survived by a sister, Doreen Nagle of Fresno, Calif.; three children from a previous marriage, Laurel Hayward of London and Ojai, Calif.; Victoria O’Connor of London; and Tony Hayward of Ventura, Calif.; and two grandchildren.
Among the other shows for which Mr. Hayward wrote are “Get Smart” and “Barney Miller.” But no subsequent job could match the peculiar charms of working for Jay Ward, a rogue cartoon producer famous for his economy. Jay Ward Productions was no Hanna-Barbera: Mr. Hayward often worked in a freezing basement, for little compensation beyond the joy of writing deliciously bad puns for the masses.
“The pay was low and the insecurity great,” he told The Los Angeles Times in 1988. “Jay felt the writers should pay him. His theory was ‘Never show a profit or else you’ll have to pay people.’ ” _________________ "When I became a man, I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up."- C.S. Lewis
James Brown, the dynamic, pompadoured "Godfather of Soul," whose rasping vocals and revolutionary rhythms made him a founder of rap, funk and disco as well, died early Monday, his agent said. He was 73.
Brown was hospitalized with pneumonia at Emory Crawford Long Hospital on Sunday and died around 1:45 a.m. Monday, said his agent, Frank Copsidas of Intrigue Music. Longtime friend Charles Bobbit was by his side, he said.
Copsidas said Brown's family was being notified of his death and that the cause was still uncertain. "We really don't know at this point what he died of," he said.
Along with Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan and a handful of others, Brown was one of the major musical influences of the past 50 years. At least one generation idolized him, and sometimes openly copied him.
His rapid-footed dancing inspired Mick Jagger and Michael Jackson among others. Songs such as David Bowie's "Fame," Prince's "Kiss," George Clinton's "Atomic Dog" and Sly and the Family Stone's "Sing a Simple Song" were clearly based on Brown's rhythms and vocal style.
If Brown's claim to the invention of soul can be challenged by fans of Ray Charles and Sam Cooke, then his rights to the genres of rap, disco and funk are beyond question. He was to rhythm and dance music what Dylan was to lyrics: the unchallenged popular innovator.
"James presented obviously the best grooves," rapper Chuck D of Public Enemy once told The Associated Press. "To this day, there has been no one near as funky. No one's coming even close."
His hit singles include such classics as "Out of Sight," "(Get Up I Feel Like Being a) Sex Machine," "I Got You (I Feel Good)" and "Say It Out Loud -- I'm Black and I'm Proud," a landmark 1968 statement of racial pride.
"I clearly remember we were calling ourselves colored, and after the song, we were calling ourselves black," Brown said in a 2003 Associated Press interview. "The song showed even people to that day that lyrics and music and a song can change society."
He won a Grammy award for lifetime achievement in 1992, as well as Grammys in 1965 for "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" (best R&B recording) and for "Living In America" in 1987 (best R&B vocal performance, male.) He was one of the initial artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, along with Presley, Chuck Berry and other founding fathers.
He triumphed despite an often unhappy personal life. Brown, who lived in Beech Island near the Georgia line, spent more than two years in a South Carolina prison for aggravated assault and failing to stop for a police officer. After his release on in 1991, Brown said he wanted to "try to straighten out" rock music.
From the 1950s, when Brown had his first R&B hit, "Please, Please, Please" in 1956, through the mid-1970s, Brown went on a frenzy of cross-country tours, concerts and new songs. He earned the nickname "The Hardest Working Man in Show Business."
With his tight pants, shimmering feet, eye makeup and outrageous hair, Brown set the stage for younger stars such as Michael Jackson and Prince.
In 1986, he was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And rap stars of recent years overwhelmingly have borrowed his lyrics with a digital technique called sampling.
Brown's work has been replayed by the Fat Boys, Ice-T, Public Enemy and a host of other rappers. "The music out there is only as good as my last record," Brown joked in a 1989 interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
"Disco is James Brown, hip-hop is James Brown, rap is James Brown; you know what I'm saying? You hear all the rappers, 90 percent of their music is me," he told the AP in 2003.
Born in poverty in Barnwell, South Carolina, in 1933, he was abandoned as a 4-year-old to the care of relatives and friends and grew up on the streets of Augusta, Georgia, in an "ill-repute area," as he once called it. There he learned to wheel and deal.
"I wanted to be somebody," Brown said.
By the eighth grade in 1949, Brown had served 3 1/2 years in Alto Reform School near Toccoa, Georgia, for breaking into cars.
While there, he met Bobby Byrd, whose family took Brown into their home. Byrd also took Brown into his group, the Gospel Starlighters. Soon they changed their name to the Famous Flames and their style to hard R&B.
In January 1956, King Records of Cincinnati signed the group, and four months later "Please, Please, Please" was in the R&B Top Ten.
While most of Brown's life was glitz and glitter, he was plagued with charges of abusing drugs and alcohol and of hitting his third wife, Adrienne.
In September 1988, Brown, high on PCP and carrying a shotgun, entered an insurance seminar next to his Augusta office. Police said he asked seminar participants if they were using his private restroom.
Police chased Brown for a half-hour from Augusta into South Carolina and back to Georgia. The chase ended when police shot out the tires of his truck.
Brown received a six-year prison sentence. He spent 15 months in a South Carolina prison and 10 months in a work release program before being paroled in February 1991. In 2003, the South Carolina parole board granted him a pardon for his crimes in that state.
Soon after his release, Brown was on stage again with an audience that included millions of cable television viewers nationwide who watched the three-hour, pay-per-view concert at Wiltern Theatre in Los Angeles.
Adrienne Brown died in 1996 in Los Angeles at age 47. She took PCP and several prescription drugs while she had a bad heart and was weak from cosmetic surgery two days earlier, the coroner said.
More recently, he married his fourth wife, Tomi Raye Hynie, one of his backup singers. The couple had a son, James Jr.
Two years later, Brown spent a week in a private Columbia hospital, recovering from what his agent said was dependency on painkillers. Brown's attorney, Albert "Buddy" Dallas, said singer was exhausted from six years of road shows. _________________ "Life's a journey, not a destination..." -Aerosmith ('Amazing')
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