They say celebrities and prominent people go in threes. Here again is proof.
Gone in 2013 …
Badasses: Jim Kelly (“Enter The Dragon”), Tom Laughlin (“Billy Jack”), Tony Musante (Left TV’s “Toma” after one season. The show became “Baretta” with Robert Blake.).
Bad girls (or so it seemed): Christina Amphlett (Divinyls’ “I Touch Myself”), Lisa Robin Kelly (“That ’70s Show”), Mariangela Melato (General Kala in “Flash Gordon”).
Baseball memories: Gates Brown (Tigers), Stan Musial (Cardinals), Earl Weaver (Orioles).
Behind the boards: Andy Johns (engineered or produced Jethro Tull, Free, Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones), Bobby Martin (arranged or produced the Philadelphia sound), Phil Ramone (produced a who’s who of jazz, pop and rock acts).
Bluesmen: Bobby Bland, Bobby Parker, Chick Willis.
Chicago bluesmen: Jimmy Dawkins, Joe Kelley (Shadows of Knight), Magic Slim.
Chicago film folks: Karen Black (she grew up there, then went on to “Easy Rider,” “Five Easy Pieces” and more), Roger Ebert (man, I miss his tweets), Dennis Farina (cop turned actor).
Chicago hosts: Larry Lujack (WLS radio), Earl Pionke (founded Earl of Old Town folk club, where John Prine and Steve Goodman got started), Bernard Sahlins (Chicago’s Second City troupe co-founder).
Childhood memories: Cosmo Allegretti (“Captain Kangaroo”), Frank Bank (Lumpy on “Leave It To Beaver”), Annette Funicello (beach movies).
Country legends: George Jones, Ray Price, Slim Whitman.
Distinctive voices: J.J. Cale, Richie Havens, Pat Summerall.
Funny guys: Charlie Hill (Oneida Indian comic who grew up here), Elroy Schwartz (“Gilligan’s Island” co-writer), Jonathan Winters.
Funny ladies: Jane Kean (“The Honeymooners”), Jean Stapleton (“All In The Family”), Marcia Wallace (“The Bob Newhart Show”).
Glamour gals: Gussie Moran (1949 tennis fashion sensation), Maxine Powell (Motown style adviser), Esther Williams (swimmer turned actress).
Good advice: Dr, Joyce Brothers (TV psychologist), Dr. C. Everett Koop (surgeon general), Pauline Phillips (Dear Abby).
Gone from the group: Leroy “Sugarfoot” Bonner (Ohio Players), Bobby Rogers (Miracles), Bobby Smith (Spinners).
Great imagery on film: Ray Harryhausen (stop-motion animation), Dean Jeffries (designed the Monkeemobile and the Green Hornet’s Black Beauty), Hal Needham (ex-stunt man who wrote and directed “Smokey And The Bandit”).
Great imagery on paper: Carmine Infantino (vintage DC Comics), Elmore Leonard (crime novels), Storm Thorgerson (Hipgnosis’ ’70s album covers).
Great Train Robbers: Ronnie Biggs, John Daly, Bruce Reynolds.
Guitars: Peter Banks (Yes), Alvin Lee (Ten Years After), Jim Sundquist (Fendermen).
Hot wheels: Andy Granatelli (Indy 500 car owner, STP ads), Dick Trickle (NASCAR driver from Wisconsin), Cal Worthington (Los Angeles car dealer with wild TV ads).
Innovators: Ray Dolby (Dolby noise reduction), Paul Tanner (Glenn Miller Band trombonist who created the Electro-Theremin used by the Beach Boys), Paul Williams (founded Crawdaddy magazine).
Keyboards: George Duke, Allen Lanier (Blue Oyster Cult), Ray Manzarek (Doors).
Meet the Beatles’ pals: Sid Bernstein (U.S. promoter), Jackie Lomax (late ’60s Apple sides produced by George Harrison), Tony Sheridan (early ’60s collaborator).
Memorable everyday people: William “Freddie” McCullough of Bloomingdale, Georgia (“There isn’t enough space here to list all of the women from Freddie’s past. … A few of the more colorful ones were Momma Margie, Crazy Pam, Big Tittie Wanda, Spacy Stacy and Sweet Melissa.”), Mary A. “Pink” Mullaney of Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin (“If you’re about to throw away an old pair of pantyhose, stop.”), Harry Stamps of Long Beach, Mississippi (“He particularly hated Day Light Saving Time, which he referred to as The Devil’s Time.”).
Milwaukee’s finest: Edmund Fitzgerald (insurance executive for whom ill-fated Great Lakes ship was named), Elmer Lenz (police officer who yanked George Carlin off a Summerfest stage after he did “The 7 Dirty Words You Can’t Say On Television” routine in 1972), Sam Pace (Esquires singer).
Muscle: Emile Griffith (boxer), Ken Norton (boxer and actor), Joe Weider (bodybuilder).
Nicknames from my youth: Flynn “The Electric Eye” Robinson (Milwaukee Bucks), George “The Boomer” Scott (Milwaukee Brewers), Maurice “Mad Dog” Vachon (All-Star Wrestling).
Percussion: Vincent Montana Jr. (MFSB, Salsoul Orchestra), Alan Myers (Devo), Ed Shaughnessy (“Tonight Show” orchestra).
Role models: Mike Hegan (Brewers player whose fashion style I borrowed when I was 14), Arnie Hoffman (I worked under Arnie on the regional desk at the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram in 1978 and 1979, my first paying job in the news business), Fred Steffen (he hired me for that job).
Scene-stealers: Deacon Jones (once part of the Los Angeles Rams’ Fearsome Foursome, he also was a larger-than-life actor and singer), Richard LeParmentier (Admiral Motti, all choked up in “Star Wars”), Peter O’Toole (in pretty much all of his films).
Seen on the original “Hawaii Five-O”: Allan Arbus (bad guy, 1976), Glenn Cannon (Attorney General John Manicote, 1972-77), Ed Lauter (bad guy, 1980).
Seen on the original “Star Trek”: Michael Ansara (Kang, 1968), Jay Robinson (Ambassador Petri, 1968), Malachi Throne (Commodore Mendez, 1966).
Songbirds: Patty Andrews, Eydie Gorme, Patti Page.
Temptations: Damon Harris (tenor/falsetto, 1971-75, succeeded Eddie Kendricks), Deke Richards (co-produced their duet LPs with the Supremes, wrote “Give Love on Christmas Day,” which they covered) Richard Street (baritone, 1971-92; succeeded Paul Williams).
Unforgettable: Scott Carpenter, Nelson Mandela, Lou Reed.
When basketball was watchable: Zelmo Beaty, Tom Boerwinkle, Dean “The Dream” Meminger.
X-rated: Dixie Evans (burlesque dancer and stripper), Al Goldstein (“Screw” magazine), Harry Reems (“Deep Throat”).
One last note: This is not intended to be an inclusive list of all who passed in 2013. Rather, this is my highly subjective list. Yours will be different.
Please visit our companion blog, The Midnight Tracker, for more vintage vinyl, one side at a time.