Archive for December, 2020

J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson

Posted in Forest Lawn Memorial Park (TX) with tags , , on December 28, 2020 by Cade

bopper1October 24, 1930 – February 3, 1959

“Hellooo Baby!”

Celebrity and tragedy often go hand in hand. Sometimes, the former leads to the latter. And sometimes, the latter solidifies the former.

Jiles Perry “J.P.” Richardson was a radio personality in East Texas whose biggest claim-to-fame by the time he was 26 was successfully pulling off a 5-day on-air marathon broadcast that found him spinning some 1,821 consecutive records. Known to his audience as “The Big Bopper,” Richardson also dabbled in songwriting. His songs caught the ear of Mercury records and, in 1958, Bopper’s novelty song “Chantilly Lace” started steadily climbing the charts.

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Eddie Kendricks

Posted in Elmwood Cemetery with tags , , , on December 21, 2020 by Cade

kendricks1December 17, 1939 – October 5, 1992

Eddie James Kendrick grew up singing in church in his native Alabama. Through the church choir, he met a young man named Paul Williams and the two quickly formed a doo-wop group called The Cavaliers. They moved to Cleveland, Ohio in 1957 and, shortly thereafter, to Detroit where they enjoyed some local success rebranded as The Primes1. In 1961, The Primes broke up, but Kendricks (as he was now calling himself) and Williams joined another group called The Elgins. The Elgins would soon become The Temptations.

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Gene Tierney

Posted in Glenwood Cemetery with tags , on December 14, 2020 by Cade

November 19, 1920 – November 6, 1991

In Hollywood during the 1940s, sensational good looks could get you pretty far; almost as far as raw talent alone. Fortunately for Gene Tierney, she had both. Born in New York and raised in high society Connecticut, a chance trip to California as a teen and a visit to the famous Warner Bros. film studios instantly grabbed young Gene’s attention. She knew from that moment she wanted to be an actor. Acting classes in New York City led to stage appearances and by the time she was 20, she had already made a critical splash on Broadway – the “legitimate theatre” which her father all but demanded she exclusively strive for. From that point, it was an easy jump to Hollywood where – “legitimate” or not – a film career awaited.

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Howard Hughes

Posted in Glenwood Cemetery with tags on December 7, 2020 by Cade

December 24, 1905 – April 5, 1976

Hoo boy. Settle in.

Howard Hughes Jr. was a lot of things. I mean, a LOT of things.

Howard Hughes was a businessman. At the age of 18, young Howard inherited the Hughes Tool Company when his father died. Hughes would use the Tool Company to foray into many successful ventures over the course of his lifetime ranging from real estate to medical research.

Howard Hughes was a film producer. In the 1940s, he gained control of RKO Pictures (as well as its subsidiaries). Under his watch, RKO produced early classic films like Hell’s Angels, The Front Page and the original Scarface. At RKO, Hughes also weeded out the “communists” just for good measure.

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