June 17, 2014 |
BY HIS OWN admission, Russ Connor was something of a wild man in his youth. There was the time he and some buddies commandeered a trolley to drive them from dry Ocean City, N.J., to wet Somers Point for a night of intemperance. He once raced his Pontiac GTO full-out on an unopened section of the Atlantic City Expressway, not the safest venture even on a vacant road. His expenses and his caprices were paid for at least in part by the $20 weekly check he got from the government as a returning GI. He was an Army veteran of World War II. Donald Russell Connor, who went from his carefree years to the sober world of banking, working his way up to vice president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, a jazz buff who wrote four books on Benny Goodman and became pals with drummer Gene Krupa, died Wednesday at age 92. He was one of the original homeowners in Levittown.
March 20, 2013 |
Warren B. Goodman, 91, of Bala Cynwyd, an ice skater who won championships in the 1930s, died Thursday, March 14, of a heart attack while visiting his daughter in Los Angeles. Born in Philadelphia, Mr. Goodman started skating at age 11 with skates he found in an attic. With the exception of two lessons from a professional, he was self-taught. In 1937, while attending West Philadelphia High School, he won the Middle Atlantic States Men's Junior Championships; in 1938, he won the Philadelphia District Men's Junior Championship; in 1939, he won the Men's Senior title at the Middle Atlantic Championships; and in 1940, he competed at the U.S. Championships in Cleveland, where he placed fourth in the Men's Senior Division.
March 7, 2013 |
William F. Hyland, a New Jersey attorney general in the 1970s who argued the Karen Ann Quinlan "right-to-die" case before the state Supreme Court, fought back challenges to Atlantic City gaming in its nascence, and wailed on clarinet with Benny Goodman, died of complications of a stroke on Saturday, March 2, in Moorestown. He was 89, with a brimful resumé in public service. During a career exceeding 50 years, Mr. Hyland moved in and out of private practice. Those occasions often were commas in a lengthy list of Democratic Party posts, an elected office, and several gubernatorial appointments of increasing gravitas.
October 19, 2011
LOS ANGELES - Pete Rugolo, an Emmy- and Grammy-winning composer and arranger who worked with greats such as Miles Davis and Benny Goodman, has died. He was 95. A family spokeswoman said that Rugolo died Sunday in the Sherman Oaks area of Los Angeles. Rugolo was chief arranger for Stan Kenton's orchestra after World War II, helping develop its progressive jazz sound. He later was musical director for Capitol Records, where he signed Peggy Lee, Mel Torme and others.
July 9, 2010 |
HISTORICALLY, explosive pop-music hits like "The Twist" have rarely been created in a vacuum. Usually there's an abiding current, a big wave of interest in a style or three that numerous artists latch onto and ride for all its worth . . . until the next big craze comes along. In hindsight, 1960 can be seen as a year on the creative cusp, a time of optimism, experimentation and youthful frivolity inspired, in part, by the idealistic visions of presidential candidate (then president-elect)
January 23, 2002 |
Peggy Lee, the enduring and influential singer and composer who exuded a subtle, smoldering sexuality and whose hits "Fever" and "Is That All There Is" became standards, has died. She was 81. According to her daughter, Nicki Lee Foster, Lee died of a heart attack at her Los Angeles home on Monday night. A diabetic with a history of heart trouble, she underwent four angioplasty operations and double-bypass surgery in 1985. In 1998, she suffered a stroke that impaired her speech.
September 26, 2000 |
Peter Nero and the Philly Pops opened their 22d season Sunday at the Academy of Music with "Live! On the Air. " They might have called it "Nostalgia Time. " The theme of the concert was music you, or your parents or grandparents, used to hear during the glory days of radio. So, after "The Star Spangled Banner," beautifully sung by Katie Lacie (on the high notes I imagined I heard the sound of shattering crystal), the Popsters opened with a rousing rendition of "The William Tell Overture.
May 25, 1994 |
Ben Greenblatt, 88, of Haverford, a swing pianist who played for intimate society parties from the Main Line to Hyannis Port and at inaugural balls for FDR and Richard Nixon, died Sunday at Bryn Mawr Hospital. For 40 years, Mr. Greenblatt played piano for the Meyer Davis Orchestra and often led the group himself. He played thousands of musical interludes - "Keys to Happiness" was one - on the radio from the 1930s into the 1960s, and he gave piano lessons to the children with Social Register names.
April 29, 1993 |
The private lives of jazz musicians rarely seep into the gossip press, give or take a Miles Davis or an Andre Previn. Humdrum is not a category in the Down Beat polls. Two of the most exciting artists in the history of jazz are the subjects of recent biographies, and while these richly gifted Midwesterners were poles apart in terms of public adoration, they shared a propensity for rotten luck and alcoholic instability. And both of them were lightning rods for domestic strife. One, of course, does not judge a career on the number of bottles in the back alley or the number of tuxedos reduced to shreds by a tempestuous live-in inamorata.
March 29, 1993 |
The season-ending performance of the Pennsy Pops, like Winston Churchill's famous pudding, had no theme, but it was a tasty smorgasbord. You like classical? They give you classical. You like jazz? They give you jazz. You like big band, light opera, Broadway melodies, Latin rhythm, soft-and-mellow? Well, you get the idea, and so did the audience at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside on Friday night at the first of the three weekend performances. At the end, it gave the orchestra a prolonged standing ovation.