Archive for February, 2014

William Hanna

Posted in Ascension Cemetery with tags , , , on February 24, 2014 by Cade

hanna1July 14, 1910 – March 22, 2001

As one half of the most successful film and television animation duo in the history of Hollywood, William Hanna created cultural icons like Tom and Jerry, The Flintstones, Scooby-Doo and The Jetsons. Hanna started his career in animation in the Harman and Ising1 studio out of a simple need for a post-Depression job. He quickly rose through the ranks and moved on to MGM. At MGM, he met Joseph Barbera and the two quickly teamed up and started a 60 year partnership. Hanna-Barbera’s early success with the classic cat and mouse series Tom and Jerry (which won 7 Academy Awards) led to more an more successes – especially among adult viewers. Sensing they had something to offer, they forayed into prime time television with a spoof of The Honeymooners called The FlintstonesThe Flintstones became the first truly successful animated prime time series and ran for 6 seasons. Continue reading

Johnny Cash

Posted in Hendersonville Memory Gardens with tags , , , , on February 21, 2014 by Cade

cash2February 26, 1932 – September 12, 2003

Four words that changed American music forever:

“Hello, I’m Johnny Cash.”

John Cash defied genre. Sure, he is most remembered as a rebel country artist who’s trademark black clothes earned him the nickname “The Man In Black.” But, throughout his iconic career, he crossed over into many other genres including rock, gospel, folk and blues, netting millions of diverse fans along the way. He is one of only two artists (that I know of) who are inductees in the Rock and Roll, Country Music and Gospel Halls of Fame (the other being some kid named Elvis.)  Johnny’s life ran the gambit of highs and lows. He struggled with addiction to drugs and alcohol, infidelity and depression. On the flip side, he found a kindred in second wife, June Carter, re-embraced the Christian faith of his youth and enjoyed late career resurgences with both The Highwaymen – a supergroup of sorts with fellow “outlaws” Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson – and his final recording sessions with famed rock producer Rick Rubin. Continue reading

June Carter Cash

Posted in Hendersonville Memory Gardens with tags , , , on February 21, 2014 by Cade

cartercash1June 23, 1929 – May 15, 2003

Valerie June Carter was destined to be a musician. Born in 1929 into a talented family of musicians, June quickly joined her parents, uncle, aunt, cousins and siblings onstage and a prosperous career was started. June was a multi-instrumentalist, singer, dancer and songwriter who toured the country with her family, often playing the onstage role of the comedic sister. She also trained as an actor under legendary acting coach, Lee Strasberg. As popular and famous as the Carter Family was in the country and Opry circles, it was her relationship to third husband, Johnny Cash, that skyrocketed June into the public eye. Continue reading

Eddie Rabbitt

Posted in Calvary Cemetery (TN) with tags , , on February 21, 2014 by Cade

rabbitt1November 27, 1941 – May 7, 1998

Rumor has it, Eddie Rabbitt loved a rainy night. You could see it in his eyes. Yes, he loved a rainy night. Well, it made him high. That’s just a rumor, though.

Eddie was a country singer/songwriter who successfully crossed over to the pop charts in the late 1970’s and ’80’s. His hits like “I Love A Rainy Night,” “Drivin’ My Life Away” and “You and I” (duet with Crystal Gayle) chewed up the Billboard charts. He also recorded the title song from the AWESOME Clint Eastwood orangutan-caper film, Every Which Way But Loose. Before then, Rabbitt was known mostly as a writer whose songs were sung by folks like Elvis Presley and Ronnie Milsap. Continue reading

Tammy Wynette

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , , , on February 19, 2014 by Cade

wynette2May 5, 1942 – April 6, 1998

Virginia “Tammy” Wynette Pugh was one of the most popular female country artists of all time. Her impact on women in the genre and her hits like the iconic “Stand By Your Man” earned her the nickname “The First Lady of Country Music.” While working as a hairdresser, Wynette signed to Epic records at the age of 24 and began churning out hit after hit. She married fellow country singer George Jones after Jones professed his love for her following an altercation between him and her second husband. The power couple would record a number of hits together, even after the marriage ended. Continue reading

Jerry Reed

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , on February 19, 2014 by Cade

reed3March 20, 1937 – September 1, 2008

Jerry Reed was a singer, songwriter and actor. He had some hits. He was in some movies. I could write things about all of that.  But, wouldn’t we all just rather watch this?

R.I.P. Snowman Continue reading

Andrew Jackson

Posted in The Hermitage with tags , on February 19, 2014 by Cade

jackson6March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845

The 7th President of the United States, Andrew “Old Hickory” Jackson was a general who served in the army before entering politics. He was a staunch supporter of states’ rights and limited Federal government. Though, he was adamantly against secession in any form. His aggressive personality (hence the nickname) and frontier background – you did NOT want to duel with Andrew Jackson – made him quite the character. In fact, his opponents regularly referred to him as a “jackass,” which he embraced. Continue reading

George Jones

Posted in Woodlawn Memorial Park (TN) with tags , , , on February 18, 2014 by Cade

jones1September 12, 1931 – April 26, 2013

Up until April of 2013, George Glenn Jones, nicknamed “The Possum,” was considered by many to be the greatest living country singer. Dying has a way of altering that claim, but the legend of The Possum continues. With more than 150 hits spanning his half-century-plus career, Jones’ influence and impact on country music can’t be overstated. He shot to super-stardom  in the early 1960’s with hits like “White Lightnin'” and “She Thinks I Still Care” and enjoyed success for the rest of the decade. Continue reading

Brian Keith

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , on February 14, 2014 by Cade

keith1November 14, 1921 – June 24, 1997

Brain Keith began acting at the age of two. He appeared on stage, in dozens of television shows and scores of films. He is probably best known for his role in the original The Parent Trap and for his television shows Family Affair (opposite Sebastian Cabot – who is buried just across the road from Keith) and Hardcastle and McCormick. Alright, so that last one is how I best remember him, but I digress. Keith’s career boasts an impressive number of starring and guest starring roles. He was prolific and busy. In his later life, he suffered from health issues, including emphysema and lung cancer. And in 1997, his daughter, Daisy, committed suicide. Unable to deal with his health and the death of his daughter1, Keith took his own life just two months later. He was interred next to Daisy in Westwood. Continue reading

Sebastian Cabot

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , , on February 14, 2014 by Cade

cabot1July 6, 1918 – August 22, 1977

Of course, I could very easily base most of this write up on English actor Charles Sebastian Thomas Cabot’s most famous role: that of valet Mr. French on the classic CBS sitcom Family Affair (opposite permanent neighbor, Brian Keith). But, I would rather devote my energy to his stunning turn as Bagheera, the wise panther in Disney’s 1967 masterpiece The Jungle Book. Without the centered and stoic Bagheera, who knows what would have become of the movie’s hero, Mowgli the mancub. Would he have succumbed to the lackadaisical and hapless ways of Baloo, doomed to drift through life without purpose or vision? Would he have been forced to unwillingly hand the secret of fire over to the likable, but dangerous King Louie? Even if he managed to evade these pitfalls, he most CERTAINLY would have been eaten by Kaa. But no, it was Cabot’s Bagheera who steered the young boy safely toward his destiny. And for that, we thank you, Sebastian. Continue reading