Archive for Singers

Richard Street

Posted in Forest Lawn Cypress with tags , , , on September 27, 2019 by Cade

street2October 5, 1942 – February 27, 2013

Richard Street was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. He attended Northwestern High School with his cousin, Melvin Franklin, and another young man named Otis Williams. Along with Al Bryant and a few others, they formed the singing group that would eventually become Otis Williams and the Distants. In 1960, Williams, Franklin and Bryant left the Distants to form the Elgins…which became the Temptations. Continue reading

Rick James

Posted in Forest Lawn Cemetery (NY) with tags , , , on September 2, 2019 by Cade

February 1, 1948 – August 6, 2004

James Ambrose Johnson Jr. was born in Buffalo, NY. His mother worked as a dancer and numbers runner to make ends meet. Young James would often accompany her on her rounds and he was exposed to bars that featured musicians like Miles Davis and Etta James. Needless to say, he liked what he saw and it was music from there out. Well, music and drugs, but I digress. He got in trouble quite a bit as a young man, so he joined the Navy, as one does. Not finding military life to be for him, and finding himself under orders to go to Vietnam, he fled to Toronto and started performing music under the name Ricky James Matthews. Long story short, he met Neil Young, moved to Detroit, met Stevie Wonder (who encouraged him to shorten his stage name to “Ricky James”) and signed with Motown. Continue reading

Dennis Edwards

Posted in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery with tags , , , on August 22, 2019 by Cade

February 3, 1943 – February 1, 2018

Dennis Edwards, Jr. was an R&B vocalist who rose to fame in the Motown Records machine of the 1960’s Detroit scene. After a brief stint in the military, Edwards signed on retainer with Motown Records. He became the lead vocalist for The Contours, who traveled with, and opened for, the Temptations, with whom he became friends. In 1968, the Temptations fired “Classic 5” lead singer, David Ruffin, and asked Edwards to take his place. Continue reading

Gregory Hines

Posted in St. Volodymyr's Cemetery with tags , , , on August 18, 2019 by Cade

February 14, 1946 – August 9, 2003

Tony and Emmy award-winning dancer, singer and actor, Gregory Hines, was always on the stage. From a young age, Gregory (along with brother, Maurice, and sometimes their father) would entertain audiences in nightclubs throughout their native New York City. Especially adept at tap dancing, young Gregory eventually headed to Hollywood and found work as a musician and actor. Continue reading

Eydie Gormé

Posted in Hillside Memorial Park with tags , on January 29, 2019 by Cade

August 16, 1928 – August 10, 2013

Edith Gormezano, known by her professional name, Eydie Gormé, was a successful and award-winning pop and Latin singer whose nearly 60-year career scored hits all around the world. For much of her career, she performed with fellow singer and husband, Steve Lawrence, whom she met while working on Steve Allen’s Tonight Show in the 1950s. Steve and Eydie recorded dozens of albums together, but also worked heavily as solo artists. Eydie’s biggest hit was 1963’s “Blame It on the Bossa Nova” which reached No. 7 on the U.S. pop charts. Having grown up in a multilingual home, she recorded five albums in Spanish with the internationally renowned bolero trio, Los Panchos. Continue reading

Al Jarreau

Posted in Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills with tags , , on December 10, 2018 by Cade

March 12, 1940 – February 12, 2017

Jazz singer Al Jarreau walked by night. And he flew by day. Nothing could change him. Set and sure of the way. Originally from Wisconsin, Jarreau got his professional start in night clubs in the San Francisco area. L.A. would soon call and with it came TV appearances, recording contracts, Grammys and acclaim. With hits like “We’re in This Love Together” and “After All”, Jarreau’s smooth vocals resonated with audiences. Later in his career he focused on live shows and even appeared on Broadway in the 1996 revival of Grease. His biggest hit (at least in my house) was the theme song to the late-80s television show, Moonlighting. Continue reading

Darla Hood

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags , , , on November 26, 2018 by Cade

November 8, 1931 – June 13, 1979

By the ripe old age of 10, Darla Hood had already appeared in more than 45 of the classic Hal Roach Our Gang/Little Rascals shorts. After that, everything else was gravy. Originally from Oklahoma, Darla was discovered in New York by a Roach associate and was immediately shipped off to L.A. where she appeared in her first Our Gang short at just 4 years old. Ostensibly the only girl in the “classic lineup,” Darla often played the “love interest” of one or more of the other Rascals, including – perhaps most famously – Carl Switzer‘s Alfalfa. When she walked away from the series in 1941, Hood went on to find success as a recording artist and singer. Continue reading

Nelson Eddy

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags , on November 15, 2018 by Cade

June 29, 1901 – March 6, 1967

Nelson Ackerman Eddy was a celebrated, classically-trained baritone who rose to prominence on the Philadelphia opera stages in the 1920s and early ’30s. His talent, charisma and good looks made for a successful career giving concerts all across the U.S.. One such concert occurred in 1933 in Los Angeles when he subbed for Lotte Lehmann at the last minute. The audience for that concert was full of Hollywood producers and studio folk and before Eddy could blink, he was under contract with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. After struggling at first to find a place to showcase their newfound golden voice, MGM finally paired Eddy with an established star – Jeanette MacDonald – in 1935’s Naughty Marietta. Continue reading

Patty Andrews

Posted in Westwood Memorial Park with tags , , , on October 24, 2018 by Cade

February 16, 1918 – January 30, 2013

Along with big sisters LaVerne and Maxene, Patty Andrews was one of the most recognizable and famous swing and boogie-woogie performers of all time. The Andrews Sisters were enormously popular during World War II when they performed for the U.S. Troops at home and abroad. They racked up hits like “Boogie-Woogie Bugle Boy” and “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree” and appeared in more than a dozen films at the height of their career. Their classic harmonies inspired countless performers that followed. They worked with all the classic Big Band outfits from Tommy Dorsey to Benny Goodman and everyone in between. Continue reading

Chris Cornell

Posted in Hollywood Forever Cemetery with tags , , on August 31, 2018 by Cade

July 20, 1964 – May 18, 2017

An enormous talent and an unmistakable voice, Chris Cornell not only soared from the early 1990’s grunge-rock movement, but helped define and shape it. Cornell’s first success was found with the Seattle-based grunge-pioneer band, Soundgarden, which he fronted from the mid-80s until the band dissolved in 1997. Soundgarden shot through the charts and their seminal 1994 release, Superunknown – the band’s 4th – remains one of the most successful and influential albums of that decade. Following Soundgarden, Cornell joined members of Rage Against the Machine to form the supergroup, Audioslave, which went on to release 3 albums and the gold-single “Like a Stone.” Continue reading