Whitney Houston

Posted in Fairview Cemetery with tags , on October 19, 2020 by Cade

August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012

Whitney Houston was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1963. 48 years later, she died in a bathtub in Beverly Hills. Everything that happened in between was a wild, at times spectacular ride.

One of the most successful and awarded female singers of all time, Whitney was at the top of her game immediately. Her 13x(!) Platinum self-titled debut album in 1985 and her 9x Platinum 1987 follow up generated SEVEN straight #1 hits. Each bigger than the last and every one incredibly popular with R&B AND Pop audiences. She was an instant – and formidable – superstar.

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William Carlos Williams

Posted in Hillside Cemetery (Lyndhurst) with tags , on October 12, 2020 by Cade

September 17, 1883 – March 4, 1963

“The purpose of an artist, whatever it is, is to take the life, whatever he sees, and to raise it up to an elevated position where it has dignity.”

William Carlos Williams was a literary superhero: Mild-mannered physician by day, generation-influencing poet by night. Williams was raised in a Dominican/Puerto Rican home in New Jersey where mostly Spanish was spoken. But, it was his deft use of the English language that became his legacy. A leader in the Modernist and Imagist movements of poetry, Williams’ economical use of words in popular poems such as “The Red Wheelbarrow” and “This Is Just To Say” became imagist classics…though he and his contemporaries, like Ezra Pound, had “moved on” from the movement by the time the poems were published. Continue reading

Joey Ramone

Posted in Hillside Cemetery (Lyndhurst) with tags , , on October 5, 2020 by Cade

May 19, 1951 – April 15, 2001

Jeffrey Hyman had all the makings of an awkward kid. He was tall, shy and struggled with obsessive-compulsive disorder. But he found solace in music. He loved bands like The Who and The Beatles. He learned to play the drums. He joined a band. Then he joined another band. Then he changed his name to “Joey Ramone” and became an icon.

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Jason Robards

Posted in Oak Lawn Cemetery with tags , on September 28, 2020 by Cade

July 26, 1922 – December 26, 2000

Jason Nelson Robards, Jr. was a highly-regarded American stage and screen actor. Born in 1922, Robards’ father was a silent-era Hollywood actor who struggled during the transition to “talkies” and, though Jason initially resented Hollywood’s treatment of his father, sometimes the acting gene just prevails. Following a harrowing Naval service in World War II, Robards launched his own acting career in New York in the late 1940s. Continue reading

Mary Tyler Moore

Posted in Oak Lawn Cemetery with tags , on September 21, 2020 by Cade

December 29, 1936 – January 25, 2017

Groundbreaking actress and producer, Mary Tyler Moore, changed the game. Though, she was already enjoying some working success in her young career, she blasted into the national eye when Carl Reiner cast her opposite Dick Van Dyke in 1961’s The Dick Van Dyke Show. Moore’s Laura Petrie not only provided a brilliant comedic compliment to Van Dyke’s energetic Rob, but also re-imagined the role of the “housewife” as something more than just dinner and slippers. Moore would win her first Emmy for her work on the show, and she wasn’t about to slow down.

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Alan Shepard Jr.

Posted in Cremated with tags , , , on September 14, 2020 by Cade

November 18, 1923 – July 21, 1998

Alan Shepard was an American Naval test pilot and astronaut. He was a member of the vaunted Mercury 7 – the first group of astronauts in the U.S. His most notable achievement was as the “first American in space.” His often-delayed May 1961 mission was somewhat eclipsed by the fact that the Soviet Union successfully sent one of their cosmonauts into space just three weeks earlier. Still, Shepard’s accomplishment was met with ticker tape parades and hero status. Continue reading

Eddie Cochran

Posted in Forest Lawn Cypress with tags , on October 1, 2019 by Cade

October 3, 1938 – April 17, 1960

Rock ‘n’ roll and Rockabilly pioneer Eddie Cochran began playing guitar as a young boy. He got pretty good, pretty quick. By the time he was high school, he knew he was destined to be a musician. He dropped out and never looked back. By the time he was 16, he was already in the studio and, by 1957, had his first hit – “Sittin’ in the Balcony” – at the age of 18. That same year he appeared alongside Jayne Mansfield and a slew of other musicians in the comedy The Girl Can’t Help It. His career exploded. Continue reading

Richard Street

Posted in Forest Lawn Cypress with tags , , , , on September 27, 2019 by Cade

street2October 5, 1942 – February 27, 2013

Richard Street was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Northwestern High School with his cousin, Melvin Franklin, and another young man named Otis Williams. Along with Al Bryant and a few others, they formed the singing group that would eventually become Otis Williams and the Distants. In 1960, Williams, Franklin and Bryant left the Distants to form the Elgins…which became the Temptations. Continue reading

Sandy West

Posted in Forest Lawn Cypress with tags , on September 24, 2019 by Cade

July 10, 1959 – October 21, 2006

In the summer of 1975, a 15 year-old drummer named Sandra Pesavento (going by “Sandy West”) met a 16 year-old guitarist named Joan Larkin (going by “Joan Jett”). They liked each other instantly and decided to start an all-girl rock band. Continue reading

Mark Twain

Posted in Woodlawn Cemetery (Elmira) with tags , on September 9, 2019 by Cade

twain1November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910

Samuel Langhorne Clemens was arguably the most famous riverboat pilot in history.

He also – apparently – liked to write a little.

Young Sam Clemens grew up on the banks of the Mississippi river. His sole ambition as a boy was to pilot a riverboat…which he eventually did. After some time spent on the river, he found his way west to work with his brother in the Nevada territory. It was in Nevada where Clemens first began his work as a professional writer when his mining career floundered. In 1863, he wrote his first humorous piece for the Territorial Enterprise newspaper. He signed it as “Mark Twain” – boatman slang for water that was 12 feet deep, or safe to travel for the riverboats. Continue reading