Friday, December 26, 2014

R.I.P. 2014 70s and 80s

Several fond figures from TV some boomers in the 70s grew up on: Ralph Waite, the father in The Waltons, Dave Madden of The Partridge Family,  Ann B. Davis of The Brady Bunch, John Henson, puppeteer for The Muppets.

Music of the 70s and 80s lost Tommy Ramone, last surviving member of The Ramones, and Bob Casale, founder of Devo.  Also singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester.

Saturday Night Live lost its voice--announcer Don Pardo--as well as 80s star Jan Hooks.

Film lost Harold Ramis (Ghostbusters), cinematographer Gordon Willis (Annie Hall and many others),  producer Sal Zaentz (One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), director Paul Mazursky (Blume in Love), director Richard Attenburough (Gandhi) and filmmaker Wu Tainming.

Film, television, stage and more--beginning with Mork & Mindy, Robin Williams was everywhere.

In the big world, the editor who helped bring down a corrupt president, Ben Bradlee.

R.I.P. 2014: the 60s

From 60s music: most recently singer Joe Cocker.  Earler in the year: Jack Bruce (bassist for Cream), guitarist Johnny Winter, Bobby Keys (sax player for the Rolling Stones and a solo artist), Ian McLager (keyboards, the Faces), Glenn Cornick (bass, Jethro Tull), Paul Revere (lead singer, Paul Revere and the Raiders.)  Bobby Womack, Jay Traynor (Jay and the Americans.)

Also lyricist Gerry Goffin (with Carole King) and songwriter Peter Callander.

From the folk world, Pete Seeger, who belongs in every decade from the 30s on, but reemerged with the 60s folk boom, including mentoring Bob Dylan; and (speaking of Dylan) Carla Rotolo, whose enthusiasm got Dylan gigs and a recording contract.  And a girlfriend--her younger sister, Suzy.

A major if recently forgotten figure of the 60s counterculture was Steven Gaskin, whose Monday Night Class at the Family Dog in San Francisco was immense and amazing (I was there for several, including the First Annual Holy Man Jam.)  He later left the city and established The Farm, an experimental community that still exists.  Marking his passing, the Sun Magazine re-published a 1985 interview  and an example of a Monday Night Class.

Movies lost director Mike Nichols (The Graduate) and French director Alain Renais, actor Maximillian Schell ( Academy Award for Judgement at Nuremberg.)

Writers crucial to the decade: Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Amiri Baraka (then known as Leroi Jones).

R.I.P. 2014: The 50s and Before

From 1950s TV: comic genius Sid Caesar. Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., star of 77 Sunset Strip.

From 1950s music: Phil Everly (left) of the Everly Brothers.  Bob Crewe, producer for The Four Seasons and songwriter ("Big Girls Don't Cry.")

Icon from the 50s and before: Shirley Temple, who produced a 1950s TV series of fairy tale adaptations that ranks among her lasting accomplishments.

From the World War II era: Chester Nez, Navajo code talker.  Alice Herz, oldest survivor of the Holocaust.  Theodore "Dutch" Van Kirk, last survivor of the Enola Gay crew that dropped the first atomic bomb on Hiroshima.