Andrew Johnson

Posted in Andrew Johnson National Cemetery with tags , on November 9, 2020 by Cade

December 29, 1808 – July 31, 1875

Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the United States. Becoming President following Abraham Lincoln’s assassination and preceding Grant’s administration, Johnson was a sort of “historical stop-gap” that was widely regarded as – at best – ineffectual. The country was a mess thanks to the Civil War and Johnson’s attempts at a quick reconstruction were mostly bungled. He wanted the southern states back in the union quickly. He didn’t care if they adopted laws and codes that protected the now-freed former slaves or not. Congress strongly disagreed. Johnson vetoed any bill they put forward. They impeached him. Very little got done. Continue reading

Patsy Cline

Posted in Shenandoah Memorial Park with tags , , on November 2, 2020 by Cade

cline1September 8, 1932 – March 5, 1963

If country music had official royalty, Patsy Cline was its first queen.

Virginia Patterson Hensley knew she wanted to be a singer from the very beginning. Though she worked odd jobs in her Virginia hometown out of a need to help her family, it wasn’t long until she was aiming higher and soliciting auditions wherever and whenever she could. Following a brief illness at the age of 15 that affected her throat…and therefore her voice, Ginny realized quickly that she had been given a gift. Local radio shows and a stint with a regional country band followed and soon, her gift was being shared on television and larger radio markets.

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Dudley Moore

Posted in Hillside Cemetery (Scotch Plains) with tags , , , on October 26, 2020 by Cade

moored1April 19, 1935 – March 27, 2002

What Dudley Moore lacked in stature, he more than made up for in talent. The diminutive English actor/comedian was also a brilliant musician who learned to play organ and piano at a young age. His musical ability led to scholarships and eventually to Oxford, where he fell in love with jazz…and comedy.

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Whitney Houston

Posted in Fairview Cemetery with tags , on October 19, 2020 by Cade

August 9, 1963 – February 11, 2012

Whitney Houston was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1963. 48 years later, she died in a bathtub in Beverly Hills. Everything that happened in between was a wild, at times spectacular ride.

One of the most successful and awarded female singers of all time, Whitney was at the top of her game immediately. Her 13x(!) Platinum self-titled debut album in 1985 and her 9x Platinum 1987 follow up generated SEVEN straight #1 hits. Each bigger than the last and every one incredibly popular with R&B AND Pop audiences. She was an instant – and formidable – superstar.

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William Carlos Williams

Posted in Hillside Cemetery (Lyndhurst) with tags , on October 12, 2020 by Cade

September 17, 1883 – March 4, 1963

“The purpose of an artist, whatever it is, is to take the life, whatever he sees, and to raise it up to an elevated position where it has dignity.”

William Carlos Williams was a literary superhero: Mild-mannered physician by day, generation-influencing poet by night. Williams was raised in a Dominican/Puerto Rican home in New Jersey where mostly Spanish was spoken. But, it was his deft use of the English language that became his legacy. A leader in the Modernist and Imagist movements of poetry, Williams’ economical use of words in popular poems such as “The Red Wheelbarrow” and “This Is Just To Say” became imagist classics…though he and his contemporaries, like Ezra Pound, had “moved on” from the movement by the time the poems were published. Continue reading

Joey Ramone

Posted in Hillside Cemetery (Lyndhurst) with tags , , on October 5, 2020 by Cade

May 19, 1951 – April 15, 2001

Jeffrey Hyman had all the makings of an awkward kid. He was tall, shy and struggled with obsessive-compulsive disorder. But he found solace in music. He loved bands like The Who and The Beatles. He learned to play the drums. He joined a band. Then he joined another band. Then he changed his name to “Joey Ramone” and became an icon.

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Jason Robards

Posted in Oak Lawn Cemetery with tags , on September 28, 2020 by Cade

July 26, 1922 – December 26, 2000

Jason Nelson Robards, Jr. was a highly-regarded American stage and screen actor. Born in 1922, Robards’ father was a silent-era Hollywood actor who struggled during the transition to “talkies” and, though Jason initially resented Hollywood’s treatment of his father, sometimes the acting gene just prevails. Following a harrowing Naval service in World War II, Robards launched his own acting career in New York in the late 1940s. Continue reading

Mary Tyler Moore

Posted in Oak Lawn Cemetery with tags , on September 21, 2020 by Cade

December 29, 1936 – January 25, 2017

Groundbreaking actress and producer, Mary Tyler Moore, changed the game. Though, she was already enjoying some working success in her young career, she blasted into the national eye when Carl Reiner cast her opposite Dick Van Dyke in 1961’s The Dick Van Dyke Show. Moore’s Laura Petrie not only provided a brilliant comedic compliment to Van Dyke’s energetic Rob, but also re-imagined the role of the “housewife” as something more than just dinner and slippers. Moore would win her first Emmy for her work on the show, and she wasn’t about to slow down.

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Alan Shepard Jr.

Posted in Cremated with tags , , , on September 14, 2020 by Cade

November 18, 1923 – July 21, 1998

Alan Shepard was an American Naval test pilot and astronaut. He was a member of the vaunted Mercury 7 – the first group of astronauts in the U.S. His most notable achievement was as the “first American in space.” His often-delayed May 1961 mission was somewhat eclipsed by the fact that the Soviet Union successfully sent one of their cosmonauts into space just three weeks earlier. Still, Shepard’s accomplishment was met with ticker tape parades and hero status. Continue reading

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 in 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