Peter Falk was 83. He marshaled actorly tics, prop room appurtenances and his own physical idiosyncrasies to personify Columbo, one of the most famous and beloved fictional detectives in television history.
Clarence Clemons was 69. He was a saxophonist with the E Street Band and a vital ingredient of Bruce Springsteen's sound and an invaluable onstage foil to "the Boss".
Betty Fox was 71. She was Terry Fox's mom and she nurtured his legacy into one of international action and inspiration in the fight against cancer.
Every year I raise funds here and run in the Terry Fox Run. This year, I won't just be running for Terry, I'll be running for Betty, too.
Carl Gardner was 83. He was the original lead singer of the R&B group the Coasters, best known for the 1950s hits "Yakety Yak," "Searchin'," "Poison Ivy" and "Young Blood."
Jack Kevorkian was 83. He was a former pathologist, dubbed as “Dr. Death” in the 1990’s for his “right-todie” campaign, who assisted in more than 130 physician-assisted suicides.
Gil Scott-Heron was 62. He was the poet, musician, and author known primarily for his work as a spoken word performer in the 1970s and 80s, and for his collaborative soul works with musician Brian Jackson. He was the man behind such seminal pieces of music as “Home Is Where The Hatred Is” and “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”.
I'm late with this one... Gil Scott-Heron passed on Friday. I received the following note late last night via the contact form.
No RIP for Gil Scott-Heron? He didn't really skip your generation did he?
I'm in my mid-thirties. I've been listening to music from various genres for as long as I can remember. Gil Scott-Heron's contribution to music has been seriously under reported.
In fact, I only know of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" because one of my favourite albums of all time, It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back, by one of my favourite bands of all time, Public Enemy, opens with this:
Peace. Armageddon has been in effect, go get a late pass... step. This time around the revolution will not be televised…step. London, England... consider yourselves... warned!
I'm getting a late pass myself. I have some catching up to do.
Jeff Conaway was 60. He made his name playing bad boy Kenickie in the movie Grease and as struggling actor Bobby Wheeler in the sitcom Taxi.
Pete Griffin was 81. He and David Haydu formed the comedy duo Pete & Geets, hosting a morning-drive radio show on CHUM-FM in the early 1970s that was later revived between 1982-1987 on CFNY.
Here's some great audio of Pete and Geets, originally shared here.
I once interviewed my buddy Freddie P about the Pete and Geets show, and asked him what it was like to be a part of it all. Here's what he told me:
Pete and Geets were fantastic. They were Canada's pioneer FM morning show, and here's what I mean by that. In the early days of CHUM-FM they changed the way morning radio was done.
Less music, more talk, irreverent instead of corny and they didn't yell at you like the am morning shows did. When they came to CFNY in 1980, it got even better.
I often find it amusing how much credit Howard Stern gets for bringing a different style of morning show to radio, but his "style" was being established by Pete and Geets before Stern was even out of college. But without the tits and ass.
And of course, Pete and Geets never got the credit they deserved, mainly because they never had huge ratings. But as we've learned over the years, ratings doesn't mean quality.
The current ratings system is a joke and has robbed Toronto of a lot of good radio over the years.
It sounds like I missed something special. Glove tap to @mondoville for letting me know about this loss and helping me verify his age.
"Macho Man" Randy Savage was 58. He was one of the most famous WWF superstars of all-time.
I always loved Macho Man. In fact, less than a month ago, I wrote about his epic rap career. I highly recommend you visit Macho Man's Rap Career Was Epic for more memories of the Macho Man, including a few cuts from Be A Man, an album I'll bet you don't own.
Rip Macho Man. Ooh yeah!
I'm watching old footage of Macho Man, from the glory days of WWF wrestling. Here's Macho Man and Mean Gene Okerlund.
And here's Macho Man and the lovely Elizabeth at home, being interviewed by Mean Gene.
Sadly, Macho Man now joins Elizabeth on the lengthy list of Wrestlemania III stars who have passed away.
Harmon Killebrew was 74. He was the affable, big-swinging Hall of Famer whose tape-measure home runs made him the cornerstone of the Minnesota Twins.
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