Archive for February, 2014

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Posted in Mt. Auburn Cemetery with tags , , on February 28, 2014 by Cade

longfellow1February 27, 1807 – March 24, 1882

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was a popular American Romantic poet whose lyrical poems often depicted historic or mythological narratives. Perhaps his most famous work is “Paul Revere’s Ride.”

Longfellow was born in Portland, ME and attended Bowdoin College. He spent many years abroad in Europe and learned a number of languages. This would lead to him becoming one of the more important translators of the 19th Century. In fact, he was the first American to translate Dante’s Divine Comedy. Though his works were met with popular success, his life was filled with tragedy. Continue reading

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Johnny Paycheck

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , , on February 28, 2014 by Cade

paycheck1May 31, 1938 – February 19, 2003

Donald Eugene Lytle, known to the world as Johnny Paycheck, was a country singer/songwriter whose biggest hit became an anthem for disgruntled employees for generations. Paycheck recorded “Take This Job and Shove It” in 1977 and it became his only number 1 hit. Though, Johnny had a number of smaller hits throughout his career, too. He was part of the “outlaw” movement of country music in the 1970’s. But, unlike many of his other outlaw contemporaries, Johnny lived it. Continue reading

Winston Churchill

Posted in St. Martin's Churchyard with tags on February 27, 2014 by Cade

churchill1November 30, 1874 – January 24, 1965

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill was a two-time Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. He is widely regarded for his steadfast leadership throughout World War II. Churchill’s political career grew slowly out of a lengthy service in the military which eventually led him to Parliament. After a period of political exile (self-imposed) he returned to the public eye when the war began. King George VI asked Churchill to succeed Neville Chamberlain, who had resigned as Prime Minister. His fearless refusal to yield to the advancing German forces set the tone for Great Britain’s survival in the face of unimaginable danger and helped slow the tide of war in Europe. Continue reading

Jackie “Moms” Mabley

Posted in Ferncliff Cemetery with tags on February 27, 2014 by Cade

mabley1March 19, 1894 – May 23, 1975

Did you hear the one about the young girl from North Carolina who lost both of her parents tragically as a child, was raped twice before the age of 14 and had to give up the resulting children for adoption? Hoo-boy! It’s hilarious!

Such were the beginnings of one of the most influential female stand-up comics of all time. Jackie Mabley (born Loretta Aiken) ran away from all that to start a life of comedy…because that’s really all you can do at that point. Fast forward a few years and we find “Moms” -as she’s now referred – as a very popular comedian who is known for her racy material and frumpy on-stage persona. Continue reading

Woodrow Wilson

Posted in Washington National Cathedral with tags , on February 27, 2014 by Cade

wilsonw1December 28, 1856 – February 3, 1924

28th President of the United States. A progressive commander-in-chief responsible for a good number of the big-government policies that are still in effect today, Woodrow Wilson got a lot of stuff done. He was known for his oratory skills and as an intellectual leader. He ran for re-election in 1916 with the slogan “He Kept Us Out Of War”…only to finally launch the U.S. into World War I shortly after his second term began. Eh, you do what it takes to win, I guess. To his credit, Germany was defeated and, not only was he instrumental in the formation of the new League of Nations, but he was awarded the 1919 Nobel Peace Prize. Continue reading

Phil Silvers

Posted in Mt. Sinai Memorial Park with tags on February 26, 2014 by Cade

silvers1May 11, 1911 – November 1, 1985

Comedian and actor, Phil Silvers, got his start in movie houses entertaining audiences when the projectors would break down. He spent the early parts of his career on the Broadway stage and in short subject films. Made the leap to feature pictures, but found his biggest fame as Sgt. Ernest Bilko on the CBS television show You’ll Never Get Rich – which was later named The Phil Silvers Show, once it was deemed a hit. Silvers was known as “The King of Chutzpah” for his physical, slap-sticky brand of comedy. Continue reading

Webb Pierce

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , on February 25, 2014 by Cade

pierce3August 8, 1921 – February 24, 1991

Webb Michael Pierce was a flashy honky tonk singer and guitar player who was one of the most recognizable talents on the 1950’s. Pierce topped the country charts with his like “In The Jailhouse Now” and “Wondering” and was a member of the fabled Grand Ole Opry. His was a persona and a life of excess. His custom-made suits, silver-dollar-lined cars and piano-shaped swimming pools were indicative of his personal tastes. Even though he had a reputation as a hard drinker, Pierce continued to work in the industry, recording duets with the likes of Willie Nelson and his daughter, Debbie, though his popularity was never as high as it was early in career.  Webb Pierce died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 69. Continue reading