Monday, April 30, 2012

RIP Joel Goldsmith

Joel Goldsmith (1957-2012)

Joel Goldsmith has passed away at age 54. The composer was born on November 19, 1957. Throughout his career, he received three Emmy Award nominations for his music for the sci-fi hit shows Stargate SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis, including a nod for the latter series’ main titles. His most prominent feature credit as a composer was the 1996 sci-fi movie Star Trek: First Contact, on which he collaborated with his father Jerry Goldsmith and which recently received an expanded CD release. His other feature film credits include Roland Emmerich’s Moon 44, the fantasy adventure Kull the Conqueror starring Kevin Sorbo and the Kirk Douglas-starring comedy Diamonds. Among his other credits for the small screen are the mini-series Helen of Troy, the theme for the first season of the sci-fi show Sanctuary and the fantasy series Witchblade. The composer also scored the video game Call of Duty 3, which was released in 2006.

Born: 11/19/1957, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.
Died: 4/29/2012, Hidden Hills, California U.S.A.

Joel Goldsmith's westerns - sound mixer, composer:4
She Came to the Valley - 1979 [sound mixer]
Brotherhood of the Gun - 1991 [composer]

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

RIP Robert O. Ragland

Robert O. Ragland, Prolific Film Composer, Dies at 80

by Mike Barnes

His credits include the campy 1972 horror film "The Thing With Two Heads."

Robert O. Ragland, a film composer for such 1970s cult movies as The Thing With Two Heads and Grizzly, died April 18 at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. He was 80.

Ragland was preceded in death by his wife Martha Montgomery, who married Ragland in 1972 after the death of her husband, nine-time Oscar-winning film composer Alfred Newman (The King and I).

A native of Chicago, Ragland served as a musical arranger for the Dorsey Brothers Orchestra before entering the advertising business. He then came to Hollywood in the late 1960s and wound up scoring more than 50 films.

In addition to the The Thing With Two Heads (1972), starring Ray Milland and Roosevelt Grier, and Grizzly (1976), which saw Christopher George battle an out-of-control bear in a state park, Ragland composed music for such films as Project: Kill (1976) starring Leslie Nielsen, Q (1982), 10 to Midnight (1983) with Charles Bronson, No Place to Hide (1993), The Raffle (1994), Top of the World (1997), Menahem Golan's Crime and Punishment (2002) and Downtown: A Street Tale (2004).

RAGLAND Robert O. (Roberto Oliver Ragland)
Born: 7/3/1931, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Died: 4/18/2012, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Robert O. Ragland’s westerns – composer:
Seven Alone – 1974
Pony Express Rider – 1976

Sunday, April 22, 2012

RIP Jan Suzin

Well-known TV presenter John Suzin is dead. He died sometime during the night between Saturday and Sunday April 22 after a long illness at a hospital in Warsaw. He was 82 years. He was recognized the voice of all Poles. He was one of the first two teachers on Television and starred when TV first aired. - He was a fantastic person in every way - says colleague Bogumil Wander, announcer and presenter of Polish Television. Suzin’s began working on TV in the mid-50s and ended on November 26, 1996. Television viewers will remember him mainly as a presenter and announcer, endowed with a deep voice-over of popular programs (such as "Probe") and feature films, especially westerns. For years he was a TV presenter.

Born: 4/12/1930, Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland
Died: 4/22/2012, Warsaw, Mazowieckie, Poland

Jan Suzin's western - narrator:
Eukaliptus – 2001

RIP Manfred Richter

Theater actor Manfred Richter died
 The actor Manfred Richter is dead, he died last Friday April 20, aged 68 in a Berlin hospital of cardiac arrest, said his widow, Barbara Richter.
Previously he had been fighting for several weeks with a vascular disease and had been "really on the mend." His death therefore came as a surprise.
Born in Magdeburg, East Germany he’s remembered for his roles in the TV detective series "Police 110" and in the family series "Stories übern fence". After the turn of the century, he was more on theater stages, most recently at the City Theater in Berlin Koepenick.
He was originally a professional boxer and a layman, before being discovered by the director Ulrich Thein for his drama "Titles I Have Not Had" (1964). Afterward he attended the School of Dramatic Art, Ernst Busch in Berlin. Since 1977, he has lived in Berlin.

RICHTER, Manfred
Born: 1/2/1944, Magdeburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany
Died: 4/20/2012, Berlin, Berlin, Germany

Manfred Richter's western - actor:
Trail of the Falcon -  1967 (soldier)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

RIP Peter Carsten

Actor Peter Carsten Dies

Lucija,  21 April (STA) - German-born actor Peter Carsten died in Lucija, Slovenia on Friday evening April 20, 2012, aged 83, his wife Lilijana Carsten Ramsenthaler has confirmed for the STA. In his long career he played in more than 100 applications from 1953-1999, but is known primarily for the role of the Nazi commander Kowalski from the German film trilogy 08/15, copied from the novel of the proposals by Hans Hellmut Kirste.

Carsten played alongside many stars of the European cinema in German, Italian, Yugoslav and British co-productions. Carsten was born on April 30, 1929 in the Bavarian-Edelsfeld Weissenbergu. Educated to be a bank employee, after World War II, he focused on studying to become an actor. He made his first stage appearance in 1948 in the Youth Theatre of Hanover.

Following the success of the film trilogy 08/15 he played in many roles as soldiers and senior officers, including the film “Nachts, wenn der Teufel Kam” (1957) by Robert Siodmak  and“Hunde, wollt ihr leben ewig” by Frank Wisbarsa.

He played a role in the international co-productions, among them in the film La Grande Strada Azzurra (1957), alongside French and šansonjerja actor Yves Montand and Katanga in the movie alongside Australian actor Rod Taylor.

In addition to roles in war films and has tried in other film genres. Together with Romy Schneider starring in the romantic comedy Scampolo (1958), alongside Klaus Kinski is played in western Satan der Rache (1969).

With the beginning of the modern Slovenian cinematography, film director of Czech descent Františkom Čapom, in 1957 in Sečovlje Salina, Piran and around co-production filmed in the Italian movie Bread and salt (La Ragazze della salina), which starred alongside Marcello Mastroiannija.

In his 70th year, Carsten moved to Yugoslavia, where he participated in numerous film and television productions. Among them are a series of written-off return and Partisans and partisan film Pakleni Island (1979) and partisan squadron (1979) by Velimir Bato Živojinović.

CARSTEN, Peter (Günter Ramsenthaler)
Born: 4/30/1929, Edelsfield- Weißenberg, Bavaria, Germany
Died: 4/20/2012, Lucija Piran, Slovenia

Peter Carsten's westerns - actor:
My Name is Pecos – 1967 (Steve)
And God Said to Cain - 1969 (Acombar)
Where the Bullets Fly – 1972 (Tom Slatery/Heininger)

RIP Marcelo Alfaro

The actor Marcelo Alfaro died Monday.

His last appearance on television was in Montecristo. He died on the eve of the broadcast which will be watched on Tuesday.

 Actor Marcelo Alfaro, who starred in numerous novels in his 30 year career in television, died Monday morning.

Alfaro appeared in fiction as Sos mi vida, Montecristo, tales and novels Los cuentos de Fontanarrosa, along with Louise Kuliok. The actor who was also a teacher of acting, was a student of Augustine Arezzo and Alberto Ure and directed several times at the Gerardo Roman theater, as in en Sexo Droga y Rock and Roll and A Corazón Abierto. The remains of the actor will be buried Tuesday in the Pantheon of Actors Chacarita cemetery

ALFARO, Marcello
Born: 2/11/1963, Argentina
Died: 4/17/2012, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Marcello Alfaro’s western – actor:
30/30 (TV) – 2001 (Demetrio Morel)

RIP Gordon White

Gordon White passed away at the South Muskoka Memorial Hospital in Bracebridge, on Monday, April 16, 2012 in his 76th year. Beloved husband of Catherine of Bracebridge. Loving father of Cynthia White, Linda McDermott (Christopher), David White (Leanne), Laura McCulloch (Kevin), Michael Gordon White and Michael David White. Proud grandfather of Eamon, Niall, Liam & Eilish McDermott, Rachelle & Katie Arsenault and Bradley, Stephanie, Kyle, Logan, Mia & Aven White. Dear brother of Eva

Friends will be received at the Reynolds Funeral Home ‘Turner Chapel’ on Thursday, April 19, 2012 from 10:00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. A service to remember Gordon will take place in the Chapel at 11:00 a.m. Cremation has taken place. Memorial donations to the Alzheimer Society of Muskoka are greatly appreciated. Messages of condolence can be made at
WHITE, Gordon (Gordon Harry William White)
Born: 1937
Died: 4/16/2012, Bracebridge, Ontario, Canada

Gordon White’s western – set designer:
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – 2007

Thursday, April 19, 2012

RIP Levon Little

The Band's Levon Helm dies at age 71

Levon Helm came to fame in a rootsy rock group that featured three extraordinary voices. But you could always tell which was his: It was the sound of the lusty wildcat, the stern Southern preacher, the depleted Confederate soldier, the dirt farmer at the end of his day.

Helm, 71, who as a drummer backed a pair of legendary musicians and then became a star himself with The Band and as a solo artist, died today from throat cancer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

"Thank you, fans and music lovers, who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration," said his daughter, Amy, and wife, Sandy, in a statement released Tuesday before he died. "He has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage."

As a young man out of Elaine, Ark., in the early 1960s, Helm hooked up with fellow Arkansan and rockabilly star Ronnie Hawkins (Who Do You Love?), moved to Toronto and recruited four Canadians to join the backing group: guitarist Robbie Robertson, bassist/vocalist Rick Danko, pianist/vocalist Richard Manuel and organist Garth Hudson.

Known as The Hawks, they toured with Hawkins, then split and eventually became Bob Dylan's backing band just as the folk king was embracing electric rock. Though Helm left the group to work on an oil rig for two years, he rejoined his mates, and they and Dylan settled near West Saugerties, N.Y., in the latter half of the '60s. Countering the psychedelic trend that dominated the fractured music scene, they wrote and recorded songs steeped in old-time country, soul, R&B, '50s rock, gospel, blues and folk ballads — with lyrics that spoke of an older America.

Helm and the four Canadians got a recording contract of their own, and as The Band they released 10 studio albums from 1968 to 1998. In its heyday, the group appealed more to the rock intelligentsia than the masses, but on the strength of two highly influential albums, Music From Big Pink and The Band, and timeless songs such as The Weight, Up On Cripple Creek and The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down (Helm sang lead and drummed on all three), they earned enshrinement in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 and a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys in 2008.

Singer Rosanne Cash, herself the daughter of another Arkansas icon, Johnny Cash, recalls singing The Weight with Helm at an Americana Music Association event a year or so ago: "My whole body was tingling throughout the song. I didn't want it to end. It was like going back in time to revisit some of the searing musical moments that made me want to become a musician. Levon was so sweet, so full of light. … I'm heartbroken he has moved on to 'find a place where he can lay his head.' But I hope he found it."
The Band broke up in 1976 — Helm had become estranged from Robertson. partly because of disputed songwriting credits — and filmmaker Martin Scorsese chronicled the group's all-star farewell concert in The Last Waltz film and soundtrack, with Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Hawkins, Van Morrison, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton and others participating.

At Saturday's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony in Cleveland, Robertson told the audience that "We all need to send out love and prayers to my Band mate Levon Helm."

The members regrouped without Robertson in 1983 but called it quits for good in 1999 after the deaths of Manuel and Danko.

Helm used the first break to launch a side career: From 1980 to 2008, he acted in more than a dozen films, most notably as Loretta Lynn's father in Coal Miner's Daughter opposite Sissy Spacek.

But he never strayed from music, even while he was battling throat cancer beginning in the late 1990s. His sturdy tenor voice had become raspy from radiation treatments, but he continued to record and during the past decade staged a series of popular Midnight Ramble concerts involving a variety of guest musicians at his barn-like studio next to his home in Woodstock, N.Y. Helm said at the time that the concerts raised money to pay his medical bills.

Of the more than a dozen solo and informal group albums that Helms recorded, the final three, 2007's Dirt Farmer, 2009's Electric Dirt and 2011's live Ramble at the Ryman, each won Grammys. The award for Electric Dirt was the first to be given in the newly created Americana category — wholly appropriate, since Helm was first and foremost a man who swore by the mud below his feet.

HELM, Levin (Mark Lavon Helm)
Born: 5/26/1940, Elaine, Arkansas, U.S.A.
Died: 4/19/2012, Manahttan, New York, U.S.A.

Levon Helm's western - actor:
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada - 2005 (old man with radio)

RIP Nicola Tirone

Italian singer Nicola Tirone died on April 12, 2012 in Milan, Italy. He was 67. The lead singer of Nico e I Gabbiani (Nico and the Seagulls) was born in Sambuca, Sicily and achieved much success in the '60s, especially with the song ‘Parole’, recorded with his group I Gabbiani (The Seagulls). Other hit songs were ‘Amore, Ritornerà l'estate’ (1968) and ‘Fiumi di parole’ (1969). After the group disbanded Tirone began a solo career in 1971 and released a single ‘Cento campane’, written by Fiorenzo Fiorentini and Romolo Grano. In the same year he released “Un raggio di sole” an Italian version of the 1969 hit by Sheila. In 1975 he took part in the Festival of Sanremo with the song “Io credo”. Nico and the Seagulls sang “Come se fosse gia’autunno” for the Euro-western “I’ll Sell My Skin Dearly (1967) starring Mike Marshall.

 TIRONE, Nico (Nicola Tirone)
Born: 9/18/1944, Sambuco, Agrigento, Sicily
Died: 4/12/2012, Milan, Lombardy, Italy

Nico Tirone's western - singer:
I'll Sell My Skin Dearly - 1967 [sings "Come se fosse gia'autunno"]

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

RIP Dick Clark

Dick Clark, 'Bandstand' Host, Dead at 82

Dick Clark, affectionately known as the "world's oldest teenager," has died. He was 82.

Richard Wagstaff Clark became a national icon with American Bandstand in the late 1950s, hosting the show for more than 30 years. Clark also hosted the annual New Year's Eve special for ABC for decades. He weathered scandals, hosted game shows and renewed his Bandstand fame with a new generation by producing the nostalgic TV drama American Dreams.

Clark's emergence on the national stage owed much to his being in the right place at the right time. After a childhood immersed in the world of radio — his father worked as a station manager at WRUN in Utica, N.Y. — Clark became an announcer with WFIL radio in Philadelphia and hosted the local show Bandstand.

Four years into his time at WFIL, Clark got his big break. A Philadelphia TV host on a local teen dance program called American Bandstand had been accused of sexual impropriety with some of the teenage dancers and arrested for drunken driving. The station faced enormous pressure to cancel its most lucrative program, and the producers needed a new host.

Music historian John Jackson says Dick Clark "had a clean-cut, impeccable image. He had a boyish look about him, an innocent look." In other words, he was the ideal candidate.

At the time, rock 'n' roll still carried an air of danger and controversy, but as host of American Bandstand, Clark would make the scandalous look tame. He changed American pop culture by creating an image of wholesome American teen life to which bubbly pop music was fundamental.

Clark was one of the first to take kids seriously as consumers and use the music they liked as a marketing tool. Today the kids-as-consumers concept drives much of television programming, so it's hard to imagine the kind of resistance Clark met from ABC studio executives when he first proposed that Bandstand go national.

"He was laughed out of the studio," says Jackson. "They said to him, 'Who wants to watch kids dancing in Philadelphia?' "

As it turned out, a lot of people did.

American Bandstand premiered nationally on Aug. 5, 1957, with Billy Williams singing "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter." The show was an instant success, and in addition to bailing out the struggling ABC, it helped sell hundreds of thousands of records.

It's difficult to overestimate Bandstand's influence on the music industry — and as a cultural bellwether.

"We got serviced with the latest releases," Clark said in a 1998 NPR interview, "and we had a huge teen audience watching who were trendsetters. So radio-station program directors used to assign their assistants to watch the program and copy down what we played. And within a day it was being played everywhere."

Rocker Brenda Lee says the Bandstand experience was transformative for musicians like her.

"If you were on the Clark show with a new record, it was almost like Dick Clark giving his blessings and saying, 'This record is gonna be a hit,' " she told NPR in 1998.

Among those transformed were musicians Fabian, Frankie Avalon and Freddie Cannon — all of whom Clark and his show made into teen idols.

"People today can't imagine how much power he had. In the 1950s, when Dick Clark started, he was the only national disc jockey," says historian Jackson, who wrote a history of American Bandstand.

Using the earnings from his fabulous success, Clark began to acquire record companies — a move that got him into trouble in 1959 when Congress began to investigate "payola," or the exchanging of bribes for record promotion. Clark, it turned out, was hyping records that he secretly owned.

When the dust settled, Clark had to choose between his music-industry interests and hosting American Bandstand. Needless to say, Bandstand won.

Clark would continue to diversify his portfolio, though, buying radio stations and oil wells — and pouring money into TV. He produced and hosted game shows like The $10,000 Pyramid and TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes, and ventured into the movie business with popular exploitation films like Psych-Out (1968), The Savage Seven (1968) and Killers Three (1968).

In an unlikely role reversal, Dick Clark plays a TV announcer critical of youth culture run amok in Wild in the Streets (1968).

"Who in America can truly resist the clarion call of youth?" the announcer asks. "Never has it been so brazenly sounded. Experience? It has brought you nothing."

It's an uncharacteristically cynical pronouncement from a man whose uncanny youthfulness was essential to his brand. More likely, Clark will be remembered for empowering youth culture — and for quotes like "Music is the soundtrack to your life."

And, of course, his signature Bandstand signoff: "For now, Dick Clark. So long" — followed by that jaunty salute to the camera.

CLARK, Dick (Richard Wagstaff Clark)
Born: 11/30/1929, Mount Vernon, New York, U.S.A.
Died: 4/18/2012, Los Angeles, California, U.S.A.

Dick Clark’s westerns – actor, producer:
Stoney Burke (TV) – Sgt. Andy Kincaid
Branded (TV) – J.A. Bailey
The Guns of Will Sonnett – 1967-1969 [producer]