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

Rick James

Posted in Forest Lawn Cemetery (NY) with tags , , , on September 2, 2019 by Cade

February 1, 1948 – August 6, 2004

James Ambrose Johnson Jr. was born in Buffalo, NY. His mother worked as a dancer and numbers runner to make ends meet. Young James would often accompany her on her rounds and he was exposed to bars that featured musicians like Miles Davis and Etta James. Needless to say, he liked what he saw and it was music from there out. Well, music and drugs, but I digress. He got in trouble quite a bit as a young man, so he joined the Navy, as one does. Not finding military life to be for him, and finding himself under orders to go to Vietnam, he fled to Toronto and started performing music under the name Ricky James Matthews. Long story short, he met Neil Young, moved to Detroit, met Stevie Wonder (who encouraged him to shorten his stage name to “Ricky James”) and signed with Motown. Continue reading

Millard Fillmore

Posted in Forest Lawn Cemetery (NY) with tags , on August 26, 2019 by Cade

January 7, 1800 – March 8, 1874

Millard Fillmore was the 13th President of the United States. Born in a log cabin. Mostly self-educated. Became a lawyer. He was basically Abraham Lincoln lite. Well, not exactly. Fillmore was sort of haphazardly elected as Vice-President in 1848 and assumed the Presidency when Zachary Taylor ate some bad cherries in July of 1850. He was the last member of the Whig party to hold the office. Continue reading

Dennis Edwards

Posted in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery with tags , , , on August 22, 2019 by Cade

February 3, 1943 – February 1, 2018

Dennis Edwards, Jr. was an R&B vocalist who rose to fame in the Motown Records machine of the 1960’s Detroit scene. After a brief stint in the military, Edwards signed on retainer with Motown Records. He became the lead vocalist for The Contours, who traveled with, and opened for, the Temptations, with whom he became friends. In 1968, the Temptations fired “Classic 5” lead singer, David Ruffin, and asked Edwards to take his place. Continue reading