Saturday, January 16, 2016

233.4 - RIPs of 2015

RIPs of 2015

I occasionally do an RIP on the show, a mention of the death of, usually, some well- or at least reasonably well-known person whose death triggers some sort of memory, some connection to earlier days. So I figured I'd take a minute to recap those I did this year, in order.

First came Leslie Gore, a 60s pop singer known for songs like "It's My Party" and "You Don't Own Me."

Then there was Leonard Nimoy. He was a director, an author, a poet, a photographer, and an art collector - but to legions of fans he was and will remain Mr. Spock. Which is only logical.

Minnie Minoso died last year. That's a name I expect fewer of you know. He was the ninth non-white and the first Cuban to play major league baseball, where his speed - he lead the American league in triples and steals three times each - earned him the nickname "The Cuban Comet." He was also a seven time all-star and won the Golden Glove award three times.

Sarah Brady was the next to get an RIP here. She was instrumental in the passage of the Brady bill in 1993, one of the last major pieces of national legislation on gun control we've seen. In her own words, she made her life’s ambition to put the NRA out of business. She didn't succeed, but no one ever doubted her determination or her commitment.

Percy Sledge was someone who, even if you didn't recall the name, you knew what he was most famous for: the song that has been called "the definitive soul ballad," "When a Man Loves a Woman."

The third musical loss of the year on this RIP list was, for me, the saddest: The man who redefined the blues and helped establish what blues guitar is, B.B. King, died in 2015.

And the last who got an RIP on the show was Theodore Bikel, the accomplished actor whose skill with accents saw him play everything from a World War 2 German military officer to a southern sheriff - and who, of particular meaning to me, helped found the Newport Folk Festival.

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