Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, passed away today (20 May 2013) at 12:31PM PT at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany after a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74. At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by his wife Dorothy Manzarek, and his brothers Rick and James Manczarek.
She was the first crush for a generation of boys, the perfect playmate for a generation of girls.
Annette Funicello, who became a child star as a cute-as-a-button Mouseketeer on “The Mickey Mouse Club” in the 1950s, ruled among baby boomers, who tuned in every weekday afternoon to watch her on their flickering black-and-white television sets.
Then they shed their mouse ears, as Annette did when she teamed up with Frankie Avalon during the ’60s in a string of frothy, fun-in-the-sun movies with titles like “Beach Blanket Bingo” and “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini.”
Decades later, she endeared herself to baby boomers all over again after she announced in 1992 that she had multiple sclerosis and began grappling with the slow, degenerative effects with remarkably good cheer and faith.
Funicello died on Monday at Mercy Southwest Hospital in Bakersfield, Calif., of complications from MS, the Walt Disney Co. said. She was 70 and had dropped from public view years ago.
“She really had a tough existence,” Avalon told The Associated Press. “It’s like losing a family member. I’m devastated but I’m not surprised.”
George “Shadow” Morton, the visionary Brill Building songwriter and producer who also worked with rock artists including Iron Butterfly and Vanilla Fudge, has died at age 72.
Along with Phil Spector, with whose work his is often compared and confused, Morton is best remembered for helping popularize girl groups in the ’60s. He is most closely associated with the Shangri-Las, whom he discovered and helped fashion their biggest hits, ‘Remember (Walking In The Sand),’ ‘Leader of the Pack’ and ‘Give Him a Great Big Kiss.’
Jimmy O’Neill, host of the ABC-TV music show “Shindig” that featured nearly every big-name music act of the ’60s including the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Jerry Lee Lewis, the Beach Boys, the Byrds and many others, has died, his daughter said Saturday on Facebook. LA Radio.com listed his age at 72 and said he had suffered from a heart condition and diabetes for many years.
“On January 11th, our beloved father Jimmy O’Neill peacefully transitioned into a better place,” Katy O’Neill posted on her father’s page on Facebook. “His vivacious laugh, talented voice, sense of humor and warm heart will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him. His legacy will live on and he will never leave our hearts. Thank you to all our friends and family for all of your support during this difficult time. Blessings. Graciously, Katy O’Neill and our entire family.”
Fontella Bass, a St. Louis-born soul singer who hit the top of the R&B charts with “Rescue Me” in 1965, has died. She was 72.
Bass died Wednesday night at a St. Louis hospice of complications from a heart attack suffered three weeks ago, her daughter, Neuka Mitchell, said. Bass had also suffered a series of strokes over the past seven years.
Ravi Shankar was already revered as a master of the sitar in 1966 when he met George Harrison, the Beatle who became his most famous disciple and gave the Indian musician-composer unexpected pop-culture cachet.
Suddenly the classically trained Shankar was a darling of the hippie movement, gaining widespread attention through memorable performances at the Monterey Pop Festival, Woodstock and the 1971 Concert for Bangladesh.
Harrison called him “the godfather of world music,” and the great violinist Yehudi Menuhin once compared the sitarist’s genius to Mozart’s. Shankar continued to give virtuoso performances into his 90s, including one in 2011 at Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Shankar, 92, who introduced Indian music to much of the Western world, died Tuesday at a hospital near his home in Encinitas. Stuart Wolferman, a publicist for his record label Unfinished Side Productions, said Shankar had undergone heart valve replacement surgery last week.
Earl Carroll, a lead singer of the Cadillacs and later a member of rival singing group The Coasters, died Sunday, Nov. 25, at the age of 75. He had been staying at a nursing home in New York City, and was suffering from a stroke and diabetes.
Carroll is best known for his part in the doo-wop 1950s group the Cadillacs, which he co-founded. Their hits included “Gloria,” “You Are,” “Wishing Well,” “My Girlfriend,” “Peek-a-Boo,” a jive version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Speedo,” which was titled after his nickname.