Listeria – In Memoriam

31 Jan

This is the season of awards shows, and people tune in for all kinds of reasons. To see who is going to win what. To see who is going to wear what. To see who is going to say what. I watch the shows like everyone else does, but I am looking for something else. I am fascinated by the “In Memoriam” part. It is interesting to see how they are going to pay tribute to the people who have passed away in the past year. Who will get the most applause? Who will be shown in a film clip rather than in a photograph? Who passed away that I did not know about? Who will be left out?

That last question is always the most controversial. It would be impossible to show everyone, and difficult decisions have to be made. Inevitably, people are going to get mad. I even wrote a post about people who I thought were mistakenly left out of an Academy Awards presentation.

With all of that being said, I have decided to provide my own “In Memoriam” for the people who passed away in 2013. To accomplish this, I bought a copy of Farewell, a LIFE publication honoring the deceased. It is filled with people who I know a lot about and people who I have never heard of. As the great decision maker of who should be honored in the SBI World, there will some left out just like on the awards show. However, these are the ones who I want to remember.Candle

You will have to imagine the music in the background.

In no particular order:

Margaret Thatcher – The Iron Lady. I read somewhere that the Steely Dan song “Peg” was about her. I wonder if that is true.

Helen Thomas – the White House reporter who covered every president from Kennedy to Obama.

David Frost – the interviewer who gained widespread fame for his sessions with Richard Nixon.

Dr. Joyce Brothers – the television counselor who paved the way for all of the others. She got her start on television by winning The $64,000 Question.Joyce Brothers

Roger Ebert – the movie critic who gave us “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”.

Annette Funicello – the original sweetheart of the Mouseketeers. She also became the sweetheart of beach movies. My dad and I saw her perform at the Super Bowl.

Esther Williams – the champion swimmer who became the queen of water-based movie extravaganzas. She was one of my mom’s favorites.

Jean Stapleton – the actress who served as the foil for Archie Bunker.Jean Stapleton

Bonnie Franklin – the mother on One Day at a Time, one of the many socially conscious sitcoms of the 1970s.

Karen Black – the actress who was in one of my favorite movies, Nashville.

Jonathan Winters – the genius comedian who is a hoot in It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World.

Harry Reems – the porn star who became a household name after appearing in Deep Throat, one of the most famous porn movies ever made.Harry Reems

Bobby “Blue” Bland – the blues singer who recorded, in my mind, the definitive version of “Stormy Monday”.

Patty Andrews – the last surviving member of The Andrews Sisters. If you have ever heard “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, then you have heard them at their best.

Patti Page – the singer of “The Tennessee Waltz”, one of my state’s official songs.

George Jones – the Possum. In my opinion, he is the greatest country singer to ever live. Unfortunately, his life was not as smooth as his voice.George Jones 2

J.J. Cale – the writer of “After Midnight”, “Cocaine” and a bunch of other great songs.

Lou Reed – the iconic singer who led The Velvet Underground and invited everyone to walk on the wild side.

Stan Musial – the Man. He was one of the greatest baseball players of all time.

Earl Weaver – the baseball manager best known for being thrown out of games. He was also a lover of the Earl Weaver Special, the three run home run.Earl Weaver

Art Donovan – the Baltimore Colt who gained more fame from his appearances of NFL Films.

Pat Summerall – the voice of the NFL who was also a fair placekicker.

Elmore Leonard – the writer who could create great characters and put great words in their mouths. His work was the inspiration for Justified, currently my favorite television show.Elmore Leonard

That is the completion of this blog’s “In Memoriam tribute”. Who would you put on the list?

11 Responses to “Listeria – In Memoriam”

  1. Marilyn Armstrong January 31, 2014 at 05:34 #

    These lists always make me sad. A whole generation — artists, actors, players, not to mention friends and family — are passing away. I miss them. So many of them.

    • Rick January 31, 2014 at 13:13 #

      It’s hard to see people we have watched and listened to pass away. We don’t know them but feel like we do.

      • Marilyn Armstrong January 31, 2014 at 21:39 #

        I’m having trouble with losing Leno for heavens sake. He’s been our final laugh of the night for what seems ever. Yes, he has gotten a bit stale … but there’s comfort in the guy who has been around a long time, who remembers the same stuff you remember.

        The worst is when the people dying are younger than me. That really hurts.

  2. John January 31, 2014 at 23:00 #

    I’m required by New Jersey state law to add James Gandolfini.

    • Rick January 31, 2014 at 23:04 #

      I was going to list him, but I hate to admit that I never watched The Sopranos.

      • John January 31, 2014 at 23:09 #

        You just admitted it. 😉

  3. jcalberta February 2, 2014 at 06:08 #

    … it’s shocking to see some people pass by with barely a peep or a nod.

    i sort of fall back against the wall and say “What the hell?… that’s it??”

    • Rick February 2, 2014 at 07:53 #

      Like Katie Elder, some people deserve good words spoken over them.

      • Marilyn Armstrong February 2, 2014 at 17:15 #

        Wow. Anyone who can quote from Katie Elder is welcome at OUR table anytime, Pilgrim.

      • Rick February 2, 2014 at 17:45 #

        Thanks. I think the graveyard scene is the best one in the movie. However, funeral scenes in movies fascinate me for some reason.

      • Marilyn Armstrong February 2, 2014 at 17:46 #

        John Ford specialized in them and always had everyone singing “Shall We Gather By the River.” So many movies, same hymn.

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