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Worldcrunch

Farewells, June 2014: Chester Nez, Casey Kasem, Godfather Of Ecstasy

Notable deaths of the past month.

1. Bobby Womack, Soul Music Legend (1944-2014)

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2014-06-29 Read Later
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Bobby Womack, the multitalented singer-songwriter-guitarist who left an indelible mark on soul and R&B in the 1960s and 1970s, died Friday at the age of 70.

During his career of more than 40 years, Womack had some 50 songs that made the charts, including “That’s the Way I Feel About Cha,” (No. 2, 1971) or “Nobody Wants You When You’re Down and Out” (No. 2, 1973).

He started out with his brothers in Cleveland, in a family gospel act, and also wrote one of the early classics of the rock-and-roll era (“It’s All Over Now,” famously covered by the Rolling Stones); became an in-demand session guitarist (for the likes of Aretha Franklin) and songwriter (for Wilson Pickett and others). 

In his later years, Womack fought various drug addictions and health problems. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009.

The Rolling Stones payed a tribute to their friend Bobby Womack on Saturday

Read more from The New Yorker.

Photo: Official Facebook Page


Crunched By: Sixtine Lechère

2. Eli Wallach, Actor (1915-2014)

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2014-06-25 Read Later
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NEW YORK — Eli Wallach, the award-winning American film and stage actor who helped bring method to the movies, has died at the age of 98.

In a career spanning six decades, he remains best known for his villainous roles in films such as The Magnificent Seven, regarded by many as his definitive role, and in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. He also appeared in many TV shows and plays.

Born in Brooklyn to Polish immigrants, Wallach served in the army during the Second World War. He worked on Broadway in the post-War years and made his film debut with the controversial 1958 drama Baby Doll. Wallach continued to act into the 1990s and received an honorary Oscar in 2011 when the Academy rewarded him for being a "quintessential chameleon."

Read more from The New York Times.

Wallach in The Good the Bad and the Ugly  Photo: United Artists


Crunched By: Sixtine Lechère

3. Gerry Gofin, Songwriter (1939-2014)

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2014-06-20 Read Later
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LOS ANGELES — Gerald "Gerry" Goffin, the New York-born songwriter behind the Shirelles' "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" and Aretha Franklin's "(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman," died Thursday in Los Angeles at age 74.

Goffin was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990 with former songwriting partner and first wife Carole King.

During his career, Goffin penned seven Billboard Hot 100 chart-toppers, and a whopping 59 Top 40 hits.

Here's the full list of songs written by Gerry Goffin and Carole King.

Read more from USA TODAY.

Photo: steve/Worldcrunch

4. Horace Silver, Jazz Composer And Musician (1928-2014)

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2014-06-19 Read Later
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Horace Silver, an American composer and pioneer of the jazz subgenre known as hard bop, has died at his home in New Rochelle, N.Y. at age 85.

A renowed pianist and saxophone player, Silver also composed music inspired by his philosophy of holistic self-help, jazz critic Leonard Feather wrote. His most remarkable works include Song For My Father and Señor Blues. He also appeared on a number of Miles Davis albums.

Read more from Pitchfork.

                

Photo: Dimitri Savitski


Crunched By: Sixtine Lechère

5. Casey Kasem, Radio Icon (1932-2014)

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2014-06-16 Read Later
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WASHINGTON — U.S. radio icon Casey Kasem died Sunday, Father's Day, at age 82 after suffering from dementia and Parkinson’s disease.

Kasem was the longtime host — 40 years — of the American Top 40 broadcast. Starting in 1970, he hosted several versions of the music countdown show on both television and radio.

This son of Lebanese immigrants also did voice-over work in commercials and cartoons, most notably representing the voice of Shaggy in the Scooby-Doo cartoon series. Kasem will also be remembered for his signature closing advice, “Keep your feet on the ground and keep reaching for the stars.”

Read more from USA TODAY

Photo: Alan Light/Worldcrunch


Crunched By: Sixtine Lechère

6. Chester Nez, WWII Code Talker (1921-2014)

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2014-06-05 Read Later
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Chester Nez, the last of the 29 Navajo "Code Talkers" recruited during World War II to develop secret wartime communication based on their native language, has died in New Mexico at the age of 93.

As the Washinton Times notes, Nez was in 10th grade when he lied about his age to enlist in the U.S. Marine Corps, unaware that he would become part of an elite group of Code Talkers. 

"It's one of the greatest parts of history that we used our own native language during World War II," Nez told The Associated Press in 2009. "We're very proud of it."

Read more from the Washington Times. 

Photo: Dean Hanson/Albuquerque Journal/ZUMA

7. Alexander Shulgin, "Godfather Of Ecstasy"(1925-2014)

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2014-06-04 Read Later
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Alexander "Sasha" Shulgin, the eccentric and controversial American pharmocologist pioneer known for his work on psychoactive drugs, has died of liver cancer at age 88 in Lafayette, CA.

Shulgin, who once told the New York Times that he'd had more than 4,000 psychedelic experiences, introduced the medical potential of the compounds he had himself synthetized — more than 400, including MDMA a.k.a. "ecstasy" — to psychoanalysts.  

Read his TIME obit here.

Photo: JonRHanna


Crunched By: Sixtine Lechère
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