Category Archives: Obit

Remembering Nanci Griffith, 1953-2021

Though I spent my days as a small town news reporter in Eastern Connecticut in the mid-80s, I got my foot into the features writing at  the Hartford Courant by agreeing to be the folk reviewer. It was a crash course in a field that had not only a rich heritage but was also undergoing […]

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That Time I Interviewed Rush Limbaugh

The mistake I made when I met Rush Limbaugh 30 years ago was that I thought he was just kidding. The bluster, the self-promotion, the exaggerated outrage of the radio star, who died Wednesday at 70, was so over the top you’d think he was trying to portray every liberal’s idea of a stereotypical right […]

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Remembering Larry King, 1933-2021

It’s hard to imagine a broadcast world without Larry King, who died Saturday at 87. He made his name as a radio and TV interviewer with bottomless curiosity that was also real — he prided himself on avoiding preparation. His gruff, staccato style made him both a throwback and an original,playing himself in dozens of […]

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Remembering Charley Pride, 1934-2020

It was just last month that country music pioneer Charley Pride was honored at the CMA Awards. Saturday, at 86, he was one of the more than 298,000 Americans who have died from Covid complications. In his time, Pride scored more than 50 Top 10 country singles, 40 of which went to No. 1. Before […]

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Remembering Mac Davis, 1942-2020

Lost in the news this week is the death of Mac Davis Tuesday at 78. A songwriter (“I Believe in Music” who was hitmaker in his own right (“Baby Don’t Get Hooked on Me”), he was even a movie star for a time in things like “North Dallas Forty” and “The Sting II.” But his […]

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Remembering Little Richard, 1932-2020

There was no doubting that excitable voice on the phone 25 years ago. He was coming around for a club gig in in New Haven, but it was much more than gig. “Knocking it loose like a goose gone to roost!” shouted the pioneering rock ’n’ roller Little Richard, who died Saturday at 87.  “Knocking […]

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Virus Takes Adam Schlesinger, 52

It’s clear COVID-19 will mow us all down, spiritually if not literally, decimating every aspect of life. The music world is already being cut down from every genre. I just saw Joe Diffie playing some agreeable country at my first visit to the Grand Old Opry in October; he’s dead of it at 61. Jazz […]

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Wisdom from Terrence McNally, 1938-2020

Theater suffered a loss this week when the playwright Terrence McNally died at 81, of complications of our current plague, the coronavirus. It was a sad irony since many of McNally’s plays dealt with the effects of a previous plague, AIDS, in the 1980s. His plays, musicals and screenplays, which included “Frankie and Johnny in […]

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Remembering Kenny Rogers, 1938-2020

I feel kind of bad now that I pressed Kenny Rogers a few years back on whether a tour he was calling “The Gambler’s Last Deal: Final World Tour” would actually be his last. Similar ventures by, say, Kiss, Cher and the Who over the past few years had not resulted in actual farewells. When […]

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Remembering Sleepy LaBeef, 1935-2019

Sleepy LaBeef, the rockabilly figure who played and toured for more than 60 years, died the day after Christmas. He was 84 and had played his last concert in September. One of the last rockabilly artists to be signed by Sun Records, LaBeef had an encyclopedic knowledge of American roots music, professing at one point […]

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