Archive for March, 2013

Elvis Presley

Posted in Graceland with tags , , on March 19, 2013 by Cade

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January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977

Elvis Aaron Presley was a little-known singer/songwriter who struggled his entire career to find an audience.

OR…perhaps it’s more accurate to say that he was one of the biggest pop-phenomena in the history of the world.

The “King of Rock and Roll” – a title that barely scratches his impact on popular music –  was a talented singer, actor and hip-jiggler who starred in more than 30 movies and had over 35 number one singles.  His rise to stardom, at the perfect intersection of time, history and relevance  ushered in a new era of music that was both ground-breaking and controversial.  He paved the way for nearly every rock and roll artist to follow.  He was simply without peer.

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James Naismith

Posted in Memorial Park Cemetery (KS) with tags , , , on March 18, 2013 by Cade

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November 6, 1861 – November 28, 1939

Canadian-born James Naismith was a physical educator, coach and inventor. He is most remembered for inventing the game of basketball at a Massachusetts YMCA in 1891. Naismith then went on to become the first basketball coach at the University of Kansas. He famously told his successor, Forest “Phog” Allen, that you “can’t coach basketball; you just play it.”  He was partially right.  HE wasn’t that great at coaching it.  He retired with a 55–60 career record.

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Nat King Cole

Posted in Forest Lawn Glendale with tags , , on March 17, 2013 by Cade

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March 17, 1919 – February 15, 1965

Nathaniel Adams Coles was born in Alabama, raised in Chicago, and, from an early age, began a long career in music that would lead to him becoming one of the most recognizable voices of the 20th century.  Nat dropped the “s” from his last name and picked up the nursery-rhyme-inspired middle name “King” and burst his buttery-voiced way into the Big Band, Jazz and Pop music worlds. Also a gifted pianist, Cole made a lasting impact with such mega-hits as “Unforgettable,” “L-O-V-E” and “The Christmas Song.” He was also the first African-American to host his own television variety program, The Nat King Cole Show.

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Eddie Albert

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , , on March 15, 2013 by Cade

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April 22, 1906 – May 26, 2005

Green Acres is the place for me. 
Fa-arm livin’ is the life for me. 
Land spreadin’ out so far and wide 
Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside…  Continue reading

Eva Gabor

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , on March 15, 2013 by Cade

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February 11, 1919 – July 04, 1995

…New York is where I’d rather stay. 
I get allergic smelling hay. 
I just adore a penthouse view. 
Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue. Continue reading

Billie Holiday

Posted in St. Raymond's Cemetery with tags , , on March 15, 2013 by Cade

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April 7, 1915 – July 17, 1959

A revolutionary Jazz vocalist known to many as “Lady Day,” Billie Holiday had no equal.  Her life was filled with hardship and drama from the beginning:

Underage prostitution? Check.
Drugs and alcohol? Check.
Abusive relationships? Check.
Married to a mafia enforcer? Check.
Arrested in a drug raid of her hospital room as she lay dying? Check.

She crammed a lot of life, both good and bad, into 44 brief years.

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Jack Haley

Posted in Holy Cross Cemetery (CA) with tags , , on March 15, 2013 by Cade

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August 10, 1898 – June 6, 1979

I’m not going to say that Jack Haley wouldn’t have had a career if Buddy Ebsen didn’t almost die from a reaction to aluminum-based make-up…but he certainly wouldn’t have been AS famous.  Probably.  I don’t know.  Jack had a pretty decent career as a song-and-dance man/comedian.  He starred in such musicals as Alexander’s Ragtime Band and Poor Little Rich Girl.  But none of them came close to as big as his accidental role as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz.  It’s true, though, he did replace TV’s Jed Clampett in the iconic role when Ebsen had a serious reaction to the metallic paint in the costume and make-up.  The rest is history.

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Dinah Shore

Posted in Hillside Memorial Park with tags , on March 15, 2013 by Cade

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February 29, 1916 – February 24, 1994

One of the most popular Big Band-era female vocalists, Frances Rose “Dinah” Shore was probably most known for her later work in television – specifically The Ed Wynn Show, Colgate Comedy Hour and a number of self-titled variety programs. She worked with everyone from Bob Hope to Nat “King” Cole, Bing CrosbyJack Lemmon and Ella Fitzgerald – racking up an impressive number of Emmys along the way.

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Jack Kerouac

Posted in Edson Cemetery with tags , , , on March 12, 2013 by Cade

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March 12, 1922 – October 21, 1969

Jack Kerouac was an author and pioneer of the “Beat Generation.” His most famous novel is arguably 1951’s On The Road, which features the basic blueprint for what would become the post-war “Beat” culture of seeking out how to live and navigate life.  Kerouac, along with fellow “Beats” Allen Ginsberg, Neal Cassady and William S. Burroughs,  would inspire a generation of those seeking to find answers to all the questions life brings.

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Melvin Franklin

Posted in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills with tags , , , on March 12, 2013 by Cade

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October 12, 1942 – February 23, 1995

The Temptations were a lot of things. Groundbreaking. Unpredictable. Entertaining. And a total mess. David Melvin English, AKA Melvin Franklin, was the foundation of the group, both vocally and temperamentally.   His mellow bass vocals became one of the Temptations most recognizable features.  Franklin and long-time friend, Otis Williams, were the only two original members to never leave the group. Continue reading