Well this is the week we say goodbye to those people who shaped the radio/television/entertainment business. Below is only a partial list of those we lost this year. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families.
Larry Lujack: legendary Chicago radio personality on WLS and WCFL. Known for his quick wit, phenomenal radio voice, and his great comedy routines on his shows such as “Animal Stories” and “Clunk Letter Of The Day”. The top radio personality there for over two decades. One of the best communicators ever.
Stan Brooks: former news director and on-air personality at CBS Radio’s 1010 WINS in New York City. Stan started with WINS when it was a Top 40 station and was approached by the management to oversee the news department when it was to go all-news on April 19, 1965, which has stayed with that format ever since. His invaluable contributions made WINS one of the most successful radio stations in history both in terms of audience reach and revenue generated. After being on the management side for years, he went back to doing what he loved: reporting, especially at City Hall. He passed away one month after retiring from WINS.
Bonnie Franklin: comedienne who starred in the CBS hit series, “One Day At A Time” that ran from 1975-1984 as Ann Romano as a divorced mother of two teenage daughters.
Jean Stapleton: comedienne who was so beloved as Edith Bunker in the CBS hit series, “All In The Family”. Stapleton appeared in the show from 1971-1980. Stapleton’s character died in the series but in real life she thought her character had been exhausted to the max and wanted to be phased out of the series.
Jean Cooper: beloved actress in the #1 daytime drama in the country…on CBS…The Young & The Restless. Cooper helped boost the ratings for Y&R with her role as Katherine Chancellor Murphy which she played for over 4 decades.
Van Cliburn: famous classical pianist and Fort Worth philanthropist. Known for his extraordinary 1958 performance of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto #1 in F sharp minor in Moscow, which contributed to a thawing of relations between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R…..at least temporarily.
Jonathan Winters: perhaps the funniest comedian that ever lived. Influenced others such as Robin Williams with his gift to mimic people to a tea. Also was the voice of many cartoons characters. Starred in the 1963 movie, “It’s A Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” with Phil Silvers, Spencer Tracy, Ethel Merman, Milton Berle, and The Three Stooges.
Ray Manzarek: renowned keyboardist with the 1960’s rock group The Doors and composer. Take a listen to “Light My Fire” and you definitely here Manzarek on the keyboard.
George Jones: known either as “The Possum” (because of the shape of his nose) or as “No Show Jones” (when he would fail to show up for a concert). Legendary country singer. He had 14 number one hits, including “White Lightning” and “He Stopped Loving Her Today” , a song about his troubled marriage and ultimately his divorce from country singer Tammy Wynette. Battled alcoholism for years.
Ray Price: one of the best country singers that ever lived. Had numerous hits on the country charts such as “For The Good Times”, “Heartaches By The Number”, and “Crazy Arms”. As a former country DJ on Fort Worth’s 92.1 KTFW, I used to play Ray’s and George’s songs on my Saturday night show. One of the most beautiful voices ever.
Hope everyone has a Happy New Year and be safe. See you next time.
(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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