Tag Archives: Tributes

Tributes: French Fashion Designer Pierre Cardin Dies At 98 (Video)

Legendary French fashion designer Pierre Cardin died Tuesday at the age of 98 at a hospital in Neuilly in western Paris, his family told AFP.

Pierre Cardin, was an Italian-born naturalised-French fashion designer. He is known for what were his avant-garde style and Space Age designs. He preferred geometric shapes and motifs, often ignoring the female form. He advanced into unisex fashions, sometimes experimental, and not always practical. 

Tributes: British Author John le Carré (1931-2020)

John le Carré, who forged thrillers from equal parts of adventure, moral courage and literary flair, has died aged 89.

Le Carré explored the gap between the west’s high-flown rhetoric of freedom and the gritty reality of defending it, in novels such as The Spy Who Came in from the ColdTinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Night Manager, which gained him critical acclaim and made him a bestseller around the world.

On Sunday, his family confirmed he had died of pneumonia at the Royal Cornwall Hospital on Saturday night. “We all deeply grieve his passing,” they wrote in a statement.

His longtime agent Jonny Geller described him as “an undisputed giant of English literature. He defined the cold war era and fearlessly spoke truth to power in the decades that followed … I have lost a mentor, an inspiration and most importantly, a friend. We will not see his like again.”

Read more at The Guardian

Tributes: Country Singer Charlie Pride (1934-2020)

We remember Charley Pride, one of the first African Americans to become popular as a country artist. Pride died yesterday at the age of 86, of complications from COVID-19.

Charley Frank Pride (March 18, 1934 – December 12, 2020) was an American singer, guitarist, and professional baseball player. His greatest musical success came in the early to mid-1970s, when he was the best-selling performer for RCA Records since Elvis Presley.[1] During the peak years of his recording career (1966–87), he had 52 top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, 30 of which made it to number one. He won the Entertainer of the Year award at the Country Music Association Awards in 1971.

Pride was one of three African-American members of the Grand Ole Opry (the others are DeFord Bailey and Darius Rucker). He was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2000.

Rise to fame

While he was active in baseball, Pride had been encouraged to join the music business by country stars such as Red Sovine and Red Foley, and was working towards this career. In 1958, in Memphis, Pride visited Sun Studios and recorded some songs.[14]

He performed his music solo at clubs and with a four-piece combo called the Night Hawks during the time he lived in Montana.[11] His break came when Chet Atkins at RCA Victor heard a demonstration tape and got Pride a contract. In 1966, he released his first RCA Victor single, “The Snakes Crawl at Night”.[11] Nashville manager and agent Jack D. Johnson signed Pride. Atkins was the longtime producer at RCA Victor who had made stars out of country singers such as Jim ReevesSkeeter Davis, and others. Pride was signed to RCA Victor in 1965. “The Snakes Crawl at Night” did not chart. On the records of this song submitted to radio stations for airplay, the singer was listed as “Country Charley Pride”. Pride disputes that the omission of a photo was deliberate; he stated that getting promoters to bring in a black country singer was a bigger problem: “people didn’t care if I was pink. RCA signed me… they knew I was colored…They decided to put the record out and let it speak for itself.”[11] While living in Montana, he continued to sing at local clubs, and in Great Falls had an additional boost to his career when he befriended local businessman Louis Allen “Al” Donohue, who owned radio stations including KMON, the first stations to play Pride’s records in Montana.[11]

Soon after the release of “The Snakes Crawl at Night”, Pride released another single called “Before I Met You”, which also did not chart. Not long afterwards, his third single, “Just Between You and Me”, was released. This song finally brought Pride success on the country charts. The song reached number nine on Hot Country Songs on February 25, 1967.[15]

According to a news item by the Associated Press, Pride made this comment in a 1992 interview: “They used to ask me how it feels to be the ‘first colored country singer’ .. Then it was ‘first Negro country singer;’ then ‘first black country singer.’ Now I’m the ‘first African-American country singer.’ That’s about the only thing that’s changed”. [16]

Career peak

“Pride’s amazing baritone—it hints at twang and melisma simultaneously, and to call it warm is to slight the brightness of its heat”

Christgau’s Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981)

The success of “Just Between You and Me” was enormous. Pride was nominated for a Grammy Award for the song the next year. In the late summer of 1966, on the strength of his early releases, he was booked for his first large show, in Detroit‘s Olympia Stadium. Since no biographical information had been included with those singles, few of the 10,000 country fans who came to the show knew Pride was black, and only discovered the fact when he walked onto the stage, at which point the applause trickled off to silence. “I knew I’d have to get it over with sooner or later,” Pride later remembered. “I told the audience: ‘Friends, I realize it’s a little unique, me coming out here—with a permanent suntan—to sing country and western to you. But that’s the way it is.’ ”[18]

The show became the first of a long and active career playing to large audiences, his race soon becoming a minor detail compared to his success. In 1967, he became the first black performer to appear at the Grand Ole Opry since founding member DeFord Bailey, who had last appeared in 1941.[19] Between 1969 and 1971, Pride had eight singles that reached number one on the US Country Hit Parade and also charted on the Billboard Hot 100: “All I Have to Offer You (Is Me)“, “(I’m So) Afraid of Losing You Again“, “I Can’t Believe That You’ve Stopped Loving Me“, “I’d Rather Love You“, “Is Anybody Goin’ to San Antone“, “Wonder Could I Live There Anymore“, “I’m Just Me“, and “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin’“. The pop success of these songs reflected the country/pop crossover sound that was reaching country music in the 1960s and early 1970s, known as “Countrypolitan“. In 1969, his compilation albumThe Best of Charley Pride, sold more than one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc.[20] Ultimately, Elvis Presley was the only artist who sold more records than Pride for RCA Victor.[11]

Pride performed “All His Children“, featured in the film Sometimes a Great Notion (1971).[21] The film received two Oscar nominations in 1972, one for “All His Children”.[22]

“Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'”

In 1971, Pride released what would become his biggest hit, “Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'”, a million-selling crossover single. The same year, he won the Country Music Association‘s entertainer of the year award, as well as its top male vocalist award in 1971 and 1972.[23]

“Kiss an Angel Good Mornin'” became Pride’s signature tune. Besides being a five-week country number one in late 1971 and early 1972, the song was also his only pop top-40 hit, hitting number 21, and reaching the top 10 of the Adult Contemporary charts, as well.

Tributes: Legendary Scottish Actor Sean Connery Dies At 90 (Video)

Acclaimed Scottish actor Sean Connery has died at the age of 90, the BBC reports. In 1999, 60 Minutes profiled the “James Bond” star. Steve Kroft asked Connery about how he separated himself from the movie character he had become so famous for.

Sir Thomas Sean Connery was a Scottish actor and producer. He was best known as the first actor to portray the character James Bond in film, starring in seven Bond films, between 1962 and 1983. Connery had been in smaller theatre and television productions until he got his break with the Bond films.

Tributes: “The Lasting Legacy Of Ruth Bader Ginsberg” (WSJ Video)

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a fierce advocate for women’s legal equality and the second woman to serve on the Supreme Court, has died at age 87. Watch key moments of her career and reflections by WSJ’s Gerald F. Seib and Jess Bravin.

PHOTO: Nikki Kahn/Getty Images.

Video Tributes: Actress Diana Rigg (1938-2020)

The actor Diana Rigg, known for her roles on stage and in film and television – including The Avengers and On Her Majesty’s Secret Service – has died at the age of 82 after being diagnosed with cancer in March.

Rigg, who rose to prominence in the 1960s through her starring role as Emma Peel in The Avengers alongside Patrick Macnee, enjoyed a long and varied career, playing Lady Olenna Tyrell in HBO’s smash hit Game of Thrones, a show she admitted in 2019 that she had never watched.

She also played Countess Teresa di Vicenzo, or Tracy Bond, James Bond’s first and only wife to date, in the 1969 film On Her Majesty’s Secret Service’.

Video Tributes: Actor, Comedian And Director Carl Reiner Dies At 98 (CBS)

Carl Reiner, the funnyman behind TV classics like “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and movies like “The Jerk,” died on June 29, 2020 at the young age of 98. In this interview with ”Sunday Morning” correspondent Tracy Smith originally broadcast on March 8, 2015, the writer-director-actor proved that he had never stopped cracking us up.

Carl Reiner was an American comedian, actor, director, screenwriter, and publisher whose career spanned seven decades. During the early years of television comedy from 1950 to 1957, he co-wrote and acted on Caesar’s Hour and Your Show of Shows, starring Sid Caesar.

Tributes: Sleep Medicine Pioneer William Dement Dies At 91 – “Drowsiness Is Red Alert” (1928 – 2020)

Stanford Sleep Medicine logo
June 18, 2020

The Promise of Sleep - William C. Dement MDHis mission was to educate the world about the importance of sleep, which he believed was dangerously undervalued. His motto, “drowsiness is red alert,” is a message he tirelessly broadcast to his students, trainees, members of Congress and the world at large. 

William Dement, MD, PhD, known as the father of sleep medicine, died June 17 after a two-year battle with cardiovascular disease. He was 91.

William Dement MD (1928- 2020) - Father of Sleep MedicineWith a handful of other scientists, Dement, a longtime faculty member of the Stanford School of Medicine, created the fields of sleep research and sleep medicine, and his many books and lectures helped raise awareness of sleep disorders and the dangers of sleep deprivation.

Dement’s many other accomplishments and accolades range far and wide: Dement and Guilleminault were the founding editors of the journal Sleep, the first major international journal devoted to sleep, publishing the first issue in 1978. He was the author of books for lay readers, including The Promise of Sleep, Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep and The Sleepwatchers. The 2012 comedy film Sleepwalk with Me featured The Promise of Sleep and Dement in a cameo.

Read full tribute

Artist Tribute: Wolf Kahn (1927-2020) – “Lust For Life”

“I have a good relation with black,” says Wolf Kahn. This is not obvious. The painter stands in front of an unfinished oil—a pattern of trees, a slice of sky—and nothing of it argues “black”; we are in the realm of Gerard Manley Hopkins’s “skies of couple-colour” and “rose moles all in stipple.” The world here evoked is luminous, bright, and the act of witness is an act of celebration. Colors laid down on the canvas are some of Kahn’s signature colors: purple, alizarin crimson, lemon yellow, phthalo green.

The painter’s shock of hair is white, his eyes are a bright blue. Trim yet sturdy, eighty-five, he wears faded blue jeans and an old plaid shirt “I like the bottom left of this painting,” he says, “the bottom right needs work. But nature in general is quite generous in providing material for one’s imagination; I will return to it later, when you go.”

Seven years later and after his death, a black-rimmed condolence card seems no more appropriate now than then. An exuberant artist, this master of shape and color always had “a good relation with black.” So I, along with legions, mourn him—but I also want to celebrate his life-long act of witness and (to borrow a phrase applied to a predecessor) flat-out “Lust for Life.”

(From BrooklynRail June 2020)

Wolf Kahn was a German-born American painter. Kahn, known for his combination of Realism and Color Field, worked in pastel, oil paint, and printmaking. He studied under Hans Hofmann, and also graduated from the University of Chicago.

Literary Tribute: Rachel Carson “Dreams Of The Sea” (The New Yorker)

The New Yorker Radio Hour logoBefore she published “Silent Spring,” one of the most influential books of the last century, Rachel Carson was a young aspiring poet and then a graduate student in marine biology. Although she couldn’t swim and disliked boats, Carson fell in love with the ocean. Her early books—including “The Sea Around Us,” “The Edge of the Sea” and “Under the Sea Wind”—were like no other nature writing of their time, 

The Edge of the Sea Rachel CarsonJill Lepore says: Carson made you feel you were right there with her, gazing into the depths of a tide pool or lying in a cave lined with sea sponges. Lepore notes that Carson was wondering about a warming trend in the ocean as early as the 1940s, and was planning to explore it after the publication of “Silent Spring.” If she had not died early, of cancer, could Carson have brought climate change to national attention well before it was too late?

Excerpts from Carson’s work were read by Charlayne Woodard, and used with permission of Carson’s estate.

Rachel Louise Carson (May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964) was an American marine biologist, author, and conservationist whose book Silent Spring and other writings are credited with advancing the global environmental movement.

Carson began her career as an aquatic biologist in the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, and became a full-time nature writer in the 1950s. Her widely praised 1951 bestseller The Sea Around Us won her a U.S. National Book Award, recognition as a gifted writer, and financial security. Her next book, The Edge of the Sea, and the reissued version of her first book, Under the Sea Wind, were also bestsellers. This sea trilogy explores the whole of ocean life from the shores to the depths.

Late in the 1950s, Carson turned her attention to conservation, especially some problems that she believed were caused by synthetic pesticides. The result was the book Silent Spring (1962), which brought environmental concerns to an unprecedented share of the American people. Although Silent Spring was met with fierce opposition by chemical companies, it spurred a reversal in national pesticide policy, which led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides. It also inspired a grassroots environmental movement that led to the creation of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Carson was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Jimmy Carter.

Bio from Wikipedia