Friday, December 28, 2012

R.I.P. 60s-70s Arts & Entertainment

Among those we lost in 2012 were these important figures in the culture of the 60s and 70s: Don Cornelius, creator and host of TV's Soul Train.  Robin Gibb of the BeeGees, a group that expanded the Beatles-style music of the 60s and created a whole new phenomenon in the disco era of the 70s.  Ravi Shankar, classical Indian musicians who became known in the U.S. in the 60s and beloved ever since.  Dave Brubeck, jazz pianist and composer,pictured here with the quartet that made Time Out, the biggest selling hit jazz album of the 1960s.  Davy Jones of the 60s TV and recording group The Monkees.  Donna Summer, the female voice of the disco 70s. Levon Helm, drummer and singer for The Band, the group formed in the late 60s that became prominent in the 70s as well.  Peter Bergman, member of the unique 1960s comedy quartet, Firesign Theatre, whose first four albums became a surreal soundtrack of the decade.

Not pictured: singer and songwriter Scott ("If You're Going to San Francisco...") MacKenzie, film critics Andrew Sarris (of the auteur theory) and Judith Crist, actors Larry Hagman and Phyllis Diller, writer and director Nora Ephron, art critic Hilton Kramer, British actor Victor Spinetti (Help!),singers Etta James and Andy Williams, artist LeRoi Neiman.  May they rest in peace and their work live on.

R.I.P. 1960s-70s The Big Stage

Among those we lost in 2012 who influenced the shape of the 1960s and 1970s: Barry Commoner, whose 1971 best selling The Closing Circle helped make ecology the topic of the decade.  Neil Armstrong, the first human to set foot on the moon.  Alexander Cockburn, journalist and gadfly beginning in the 60s and 70s.  George McGovern, carrying on the Kennedy legacy in the 60s and making a brave and honorable run for the presidency on an anti-war platform in 1972.  Gore Vidal, whose voice in books, on TV and elsewhere made him one of the 60s prime public intellectuals.  Russell Means, activist at Wounded Knee in 1973, Native American advocate and actor in succeeding decades.  Mike Wallace, TV journalist who began to make his mark in the 1960s.  Helen Gurley Brown, whose Sex and the Single Girl in 1961 and editorship of Cosmopolitan magazine helped shape the sexual and women's revolutions of the 60s and 70s.    

R.I.P. 1950s and Before

Among those we lost in 2012: Dick Clark, who started his career with American Bandstand in the 1950s, and remained ageless for decades.  Marc Swayze, artist for the original Captain Marvel comic books who created Mary Marvel.  Herb Reed, last surviving original member of The Platters, one of the great groups of the 1950s.  Andy Griffith, film actor who scored big in 50s TV.  Peggy Ahern, already grown up when the Our Gang comedies became TV staples in the 50s.  Lucille Bliss, who voiced the pioneer 1950s TV cartoon hero, Crusader Rabbit.  Dorothy McGuire of the McGuire Sisters, stars of records and TV in the 50s.  Don Grady, whose best known TV role was in My Three Sons.  Gone now, but their work lives on.