Thursday, January 29, 2015

RIP Rod McKuen

Rod McKuen, prolific songwriter and poet, dies at 81
Los Angeles Times
January 29, 2015 
Rod McKuen, a prolific songwriter and poet whose compositions include the Academy Award-nominated song “Jean” for the 1969 film “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” has died. He was 81.
McKuen had recently been hospitalized and died Thursday at a Beverly Hills rehabilitation center of respiratory arrest after suffering from pneumonia, according to his friend and producer Jim Pierson.
Among McKuen’s commercial successes in the 1960s and '70s were his reworking of Jacques Brel’s song "Le Moribond" for the English-language version of “Seasons in the Sun,” later covered by the Kingston Trio and Terry Jacks. Frank Sinatra recorded an album of McKuen songs in 1969 called “A Man Alone,” which included “Love’s Been Good to Me.”
He composed some wonderful and tuneful songs - I was just humming "Love's Been Good to Me" a couple of days ago. How great to leave songs that people sing -- onstage or in the shower.
Besides his score for “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” McKuen’s music for the animated feature “A Boy Named Charlie Brown” was also nominated for an Oscar.
McKuen was born in Oakland in 1933 and wrote later of an unhappy childhood and the abuse he endured at the hands of his stepfather. In the '60s, McKuen moved to Paris and began writing poetry. In all, he published more than three dozen collections of poems and essays.
Born: 4/29/1933, Oakland, California, U.S.A.
Died: 1/29/2015, Beverly Hills, California, U.S.A.
Rod McKuen’s westerns – actor, songwriter:
Wild Heritage – 1958 (Dirk Breslin)
Scandalous John – 1971 [songwriter]

RIP Vanj Orico

Dies in Rio actress Vanja Orico, the 'Cangaço Cycle muse'
She struggled against bowel cancer and had multiple organ failure.
Actress was the only Brazilian to work with Italian director Frederico Fellini.
Do Gi Rio
She died on Wednesday (28) in Rio, after 85 years, the singer, actress and filmmaker Vanja Orico. Affected by Alzheimer's, she still struggled against bowel cancer and was hospitalized since 11 January. The funeral is scheduled for this Thursday (29), at 16h, in St. John the Baptist Cemetery, South Zone of Rio.
Vanja was designed in the art scene in 1953 when interpreting the music Woman Lacemaker, movie theme The Cangaceiro, Lima Barreto. She ended up being consecrated as the Muse "Cangaço Cycle", and participated in films like Lantern, The King's Cangaço and Jesuíno Bright, the bandit.
The Rio de Janeiro artist participated in more than 20 films and was the only Brazilian actress to work with the filmmaker Federico Fellini, in the 50s, in the movie "Luci del varietà" ("Women and Lights").
Vanja also had notable participation during the military dictatorship. She was arrested and tortured after stopping the action of police during the student's funeral Edson Luiz, killed by repression. "Do not shoot, we're all Brazilians," would have screamed Vanja to police the system.
ORICO, Vanja (Evangelina Orico)
Born: 11/15/1929, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Died: 1/28/2015, Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Vana Orico’s westerns – actress:
Cangaciero – 1953 (Maria Clodia)
Lampiao, King of the Badlands – 1965
Cangacieros de Lampiao – 1967 (Mariana)
Jesuíno Brilhante, o Cangaceiro – 1972 (Maria de Goes)

RIP Neil LeVang

Noted Guitarist Neil LeVang Passes
Vintage Guitar Magazine
Neil LeVang, the noted studio guitarist whose list of credits includes dozens of television and film soundtracks as well as a 23-year stint with the Lawrence Welk Orchestra, died January 26. He was 83.
Born in Adams, North Dakota, in 1932, LeVang was a child when his family moved to Bemidji, Minnesota. From a very young age, he was fascinated with music he heard on WLS radio, as well as the violin and guitar played by his father and older brother. He started learning to play both instruments and was just 10 years old when he began playing in a band with a kid from the local high school.
Featured by Rich Kienzle in the December ’09 issue of Vintage Guitar magazine, LeVang recalled how, in 1945, his family moved to Riverside, California, where he would play violin at jazz jams, which led to stints in bands in various cities over the next several years.
In the mid ’50s, he returned to Hollywood and began to focus on a career as a guitarist. He replaced Barney Kessel on Jimmy Wakely’s weekly CBS radio show, and earned a spot as a regular in the studios. In ’59, he was tapped to replace Buddy Merrill, who was leaving Lawrence Welk’s band to join the Army. The gig occupied one day each week, giving LeVang ample time to continue expanding his studio efforts, which eventually included work with noted arrangers Neal Hefti, Nelson Riddle, Don Costa, and Billy May, as well as Hoyt Curtin at the Hanna-Barbera animation studios.
Other sessions included with the original Tijuana Brass with Herb Alpert, Frank Sinatra (with Hefti as arranger), Liberace, Eddie Fisher, Carol Burnett, Frank Zappa (on the Mothers of Invention debut album, Freak Out!), Bobby Darin, Bobbi Gentry, David Clayton Thomas, Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, and Noel Boggs. He also worked extensively on television-music sessions including a “Beverly Hillbillies” cast album for Columbia, the themes for “Green Acres” and, on his Fender Bass VI, “Batman” (also with Hefti) and alongside guitarists Howard Roberts and Al Hendrickson.  He accompanied orchestral arrangers including John Williams, Patrick Williams, Marty Paich, Artie Butler, and Henry Mancini, as well as Frank DeVol, who did the themes for “The Brady Bunch” and “Family Affair.” Other television-related work included “The Ed Sullivan Show,” “The Monkees,” “Highway to Heaven,” and “Petticoat Junction.” His list of movie-soundtrack work included All the President’s Men, At Long Last Love, Valley Of The Dolls, Dick Tracy, Good Morning, Vietnam, Disney’s Herbie The Love Bug series, Rosemary’s Baby, and Smokey and the Bandit. He played mandolin on the Godfather soundtrack.
LeVang helped Leo Fender create the Bass VI, based in part on a de facto prototype created when LeVang installed bass strings on a Telecaster. He later used it on Glen Campbell’s “Wichita Lineman.”
LeVang stayed with the Welk orchestra until ’82, when Welk discontinued the program. That year, he was nominated for best artist on a specialty instrument (mandolin) at the Country Music Association awards. Throughout his career, he played instruments including the Bass VI, Fender Precision Bass, Dobro, a Gibson L-5, a Fender King, a Tarrega classical, the mandolin, as well as four-string tenor and five-string banjos.
He is survived by his wife, Nancy, son Mark, and daughters Coral, Sonja, Erika and Tanya.

LeVANG, Neil
Born: 1/3/1932, Adams, North Dakota, U.S.A.
Died: 1/26/2015, Canyon Clountry, California, U.S.A.
Neil Levang’s western – actor, studio musician:
Rio Grande – 1949 (cowhand)
Paint Your Wagon – 1969 [studio musician]
True Grit – 1969 [studio musician]
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean – 1972 [studio musician]
The Man Who Loved Cat Dancing – 1972 [studio musician]
The Apple Dumpling Gang – 1975 [studio musician]
The Last Hard Men – 1976 [studio musician]
Goin’ South – 1978 [studio musician]
Hot Lead and Cold Feet – 1978 [studio musician]
Zorro, The Gay Blade – 1981 [studio musician]
Little House on the Prairie (TV) [studio musician]

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

RIP Pavle Minčić

RIP Pavle Minčić
The famous actor, satirist, humorist, singer and pianist, died yesterday at the age of 84 in Belgrade.
He was born on June 16, 1931 in Belgrade and was a theater actor, but he also tried his hand at film and radio. He attended elementary school, high school and the Academy for theater, film, radio and television in the class of Professor Raše Plaovića.
The rich acting career was realized in important roles in the plays "Jaje", "Olovka piše srcem","Tužna je nedelja", "Revizor", "Sponzor noćas mora pasti".. Egg".
He was the first actor in Belgrade who played monodrama, Gogol's play "The Diary of a Madman," He had some original shows on television programs such as "Godine prolaze vreme teče". His acting power ruled the scene and won the audience.
He retired after 40 years of work at the National Theatre in Belgrade, where he appeared in more than 120 roles. Someone at that time wrote that the National Theatre has a great, small stage and Pavle Minčić.
He received many awards ("Radoje Domanović", "Golden Turkey", "Golden Laurel" and others) including plaque "Artists and Performers" and "Golden Chain Award for Lifetime Achievement" for lasting contribution to culture. He was a prominent member of the "OSISANI hedgehog".
He will be remembered as a hero of our childhood, a cheerful spirit and dear to the hearts of many generations while playing Paju in the children's series “Na slovo, na slovo”, in “Davitelj protiv Davitelja” played Dr. Dobricu Kopicl, in a series of “Pozorište u kući” was Sonny Boy, and Živorad in the series “Ljubav na seoski način”, and all this in addition to numerous television films in which he played.
He was modest, never worked for money and did not get a national pension, while at the same time show performers received spoke: "It's behind me now," he usually rode the trolley.
Born: 6/16/1931, Belgrade, Serbia, Yugoslavia
Died: 1/25/2015, Belgrade, Serbia
Pavle Minčić’s western – actor:
The Golden Sling - 1967 (pianist)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

RIP Marshall Schlom

RIP Marshall Schlom
The Hollywood Reporter
By Mike Barnes
Marshall Schlom, a Hollywood script supervisor for four decades who worked with Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kramer, Mike Nichols and all the top directors of his day, has died. He was 86.
Schlom died Wednesday of complications from a fall at the Motion Picture & Television Country House and Hospital in Woodland Hills, his daughter, Wendi, told The Hollywood Reporter.
His father was Herman Schlom, a top producer at RKO Studios who did such features as the film noir classic Born to Kill (1947) as well as several Dick Tracy movies.
Marshall Schlom’s incredible body of work includes Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960), William Wyler’s Funny Girl (1968), Peter Bogdanovich’s The Last Picture Show (1971), Franklin J. Schaffner’s Papillon (1973), Barry Levinson’s Rain Man (1988), John Hughes’ Uncle Buck (1989) and Mark Rydell’s On Golden Pond (1981),
He worked with Kramer on Judgment at Nuremberg (1961), Pressure Point (1962), It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963), Ship of Fools (1965), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), The Secret of Santa Vittoria (1969), Bless the Beasts & Children (1971) and The Domino Killings (1977).
Schlom teamed with Herbert Ross on Funny Lady (1975), The Sunshine Boys (1975) and California Suite (1978); with Arthur Penn on The Chase (1966) and Night Moves (1975); with Richard Brooks on The Happy Ending (1969), $ (1971) and Looking for Mr. Goodbar (1977); with Nichols on Silkwood (1983) and Postcards From the Edge (1990); and with Mel Brooks on Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993) and Dracula: Dead and Loving It (1995), his final credit.
Schlom also served as script supervisor on the CBS series Perry Mason from 1963-66, worked on NBC's The Monkees and was a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences foreign film committee for four decades.
Schlom attended the University of California at Berkeley and UCLA, then set out to join his father at RKO. Studio chief Howard Hughes would not permit relatives of employees to be hired, however, so he submitted his résumé under the name of Michael Scott and landed a job.
Talking about working with Hitchcock on Psycho, Schlom said in 2012 interview that the director “knew everything about making movies, it was his job to go to work and make movies.
“I can tell you without a doubt, he knew more about making movies than any other director that I’ve been associated with. He ran a master class for me, that’s the best way to describe it.”
In addition to his daughter Wendi, Schlom also is survived by his wife of 64 years, Dorothy; children Val and Marla; grandchildren Evan, Derek, Zoe, Micah, Jenna and Hunter; and sister Lois.
SCHLOM, Marshall
Born: 3/3/1928, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 1/21/2015, Woodland Hills, California, U.S.A.
Marshall Schlom’s westerns – script supervisor:
Sergeants 3 – 1962
The Hired Hand – 1971
Oklahoma Crude - 1973

RIP Demetrio González

Mexican actor, singer Demetrio ‘El Charro Spanish’ González has died.
The baritone singer and actor Demetrio González, one of the figures of the Golden Age of Mexican cinema, who worked alongside greats like Luis Aguilar, Lola Beltran, Jose Alfredo Jimenez and Miguel Aceves Mejía, among others, died Sunday at 8:50 pm in his house in Tepoztlan, Morelos, at 87 years of age.
In an interview with Notimex, Rodolfo Gonzalez, son of so-called 'El Charro Spanish,' said his father "became very sick year from a stroke and was already very ill, died yesterday ".
He said that the actor "last year was very weak, but for a long time has been ill, so it was that the last seven years he lived there (Tepoztlan)".
He said Demetrio González was removed from the art around 35 years ago and much time was spent on their stuff; although in recent years was now completely removed from everything."
He added that he and Rodrigo and Barbara are the children who survived the late actor who celebrated a marriage with Maria Lourdes Rosas Priego and a second with Marina Tuero Tamayo.
In recent years, "his favorite pastime was watching television, where he saw his films, among his favorite were 'Los Laureles' and 'Caminos de Guanajuato' by his friend José Alfredo Jiménez," said Rodolfo.
Demetrio González was born in Asturias, Spain on October 7, 1927 and died on January 25, 2015 in Tepoztlan, Morelos.
The son of the actor reported that on Monday at 21:00's his remains were cremated at a well-known funeral home, where he was viewed by family and friends.
GONZÁLEZ, Demetrio
Born: 10/7/1927, Castiello de Bernueces Gijon, Asturias, Spain
Died: 1/25/2015, Tepoztlan, Morelos, Mexico
Demetrio González’s westerns – actor:
El jinete solitario – 1958
Guitarras de medianoche – 1958 (Demetrio)
Tan bueno el giro como el Colorado – 1959 (Demetrio González 'El Gallo Colorado')
Dos maridos baratos – 1960
El jinete solitario' en El valle de los desaparecidos: La venganza del jinete solitario – 1960 (Demetrio/Jinete solitario)
Los inocentes – 1961
Los laurels – 1961 (Rafael)
Pa' qué me sirve la vida – 1961 (Demetrio Morales)
Pobre del pobre - 1961
Los cinco halcones – 1962 (Doctor Demetrio)
Vuelven los cinco halcones – 1962 (doctor)
El lobo blanco - 1962
El amor llegó a Jalisco - 1963
Para todas hay – 1965
Gallo corriente, gallo valiente - 1966
Ambición sangrienta – 1968 (Teniente Fermín Moreno)
Cuatro hombres marcados - 1968

Monday, January 26, 2015

RIP Demis Roussos

Greek singer Demis Roussos dies aged 68
Greek singer Demis Roussos, who sold more than 60 million albums worldwide, has died aged 68 the Hygeia Hospital in Athens has confirmed to the BBC.
He was best known for his solo hits in the 1970s and 80s, including Forever and Ever, Goodbye and Quand je t'aime.
He was also a member of progressive rock group Aphrodite's Child.
Roussos was renowned for his off-screen role in Mike Leigh's 1977 TV play Abigail's party, having provided the party's soundtrack.
Roussos was as famous for his outfits as his music
He had been in the private hospital with an undisclosed illness for some time.
Greek singer Nana Mouskouri paid tribute on French radio RTL: "He had a superb voice, he travelled in the world ... he loved what he was doing.
"He was an artist, a friend. I hope he is in a better world."
The singer was born Artemios Ventouris Roussos in Alexandria, Egypt, in 1946, to a Greek father and Egyptian mother of Italian origin.
He was raised there until his parents moved to Greece in the early 60s after losing their possessions during the Suez Crisis.
Roussos began his music career at 17, when he joined the a band called The Idols, where he met his future Aphrodite's Child bandmate Vangelis.
Aphrodite's Child produced three albums including It's Five O'Clock and The Apocalypse of St John, and enjoyed huge success in Europe in the late 1960s, especially France.
Roussos went on to enjoy a successful solo career, topping the charts in several countries with Forever And Ever in 1973, before doing the same in the UK in 1976.
The 1970s were a prolific time for the singer who talked about his UK success during that time in an interview with The Guardian in 1999.
"This country was one of my most important territories," said Roussos.
"Back in '75 I had five albums in the top 10. Simultaneously. And among them the number one album and the number one single. And my name was mentioned twice or three times in the Guinness Book of Records."
He continued: "In 1975 I had the award for the top male artist, the award for top single, the award for top album. The Abba and me we took everything. Hahahaha!"
Other solo hits include My Friend the Wind, My Reason, Someday Somewhere and Happy To Be On An Island In The Sun.
Roussos' fondness for kaftans saw him dubbed "the Kaftan King" and he often wore them for his performances on shows such as Top of the Pops.
He was also famous for his vocal adaptation of the score from the 1981 film Chariots of Fire, which had been composed by Vangelis.
In 1978 he decided to keep a lower profile and moved to Malibu Beach in the US.
Plane hijack
On 14 June, 1985, Roussos boarded TWA Flight 847 from Athens to Rome - and found himself at the mercy of the Lebanese militant group Hezbollah, who hijacked the plane.
The men, who had smuggled a pistol and grenades through airport security, held the passengers at gunpoint.
The militant group demanded the release of 17 members of Hezbollah and the Iraqi Islamic Daawa Party, who had been detained in Kuwait for attacks that killed six people in 1983.
Roussos spent his 39th birthday in captivity, before being released in Beirut on 18 June - but most of the remaining 153 passengers spent 17 days on the plane.
Speaking to the Reuters news agency at the time, the singer said he had been "treated quite well".
"They gave me a birthday cake and they gave me a guitar, to sing," he said. "They have been very polite and very nice with us."
Return to music
Over the years, his quote became misinterpreted and distorted. Some papers said he had serenaded the hijackers. Others claimed he had pledged allegiance to Hezbollah.
Roussos, who rarely spoke about the incident, admitted he was riled by the exaggerations in an interview with Australia's Daily Telegraph in 2006.
"It is not every day that a pop superstar gets involved with terrorism as a victim, so the press takes advantage of that to say things they think are funny.
"I would like to see the journalist [who first reported the claim] in front of gunpoint like I was. Believe me, if he was there he would be so scared he wouldn't care about writing such stupidities like that.''
The experience changed his life and afterwards he decided the best way he could help others and promote understanding in the world was by returning to music.
He released his album The Story of Demis Roussos not long after.
ROUSSOS, Demis (Artemios Ventouris Roussos)
Born: 6/15/1947, Alexandria, Egypt
Died: 1/25/2015, Athens, Greece
Demis Roussos’ western – singer:
The Man from Cher (TV) – 1969 [member of the singing group Aphrodite’s Child]