Don Yarborough was a three-time gubernatorial candidate in Texas during the 1960s and whose challenge to incumbent Gov. John B. Connally was one of the reasons President John F. Kennedy decided to make a swing through Texas in November 1963
Along with the better-known Ralph W. Yarborough, a political ally but no relation, Mr. Yarborough represented the liberal wing of the state's Democratic Party. Making his first run for governor in 1962, he built a coalition of labor, minorities, women and liberals and came within 27,000 votes of defeating Connally, the candidate of the state's business-oriented conservative Democrats.
Running again in 1964, Mr. Yarborough accused the incumbent of being "a wolf in sheep's clothing," because Connally -- who would later become a Republican -- did not support Kennedy on civil rights and other progressive issues. Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, himself a Texan, was concerned that Mr. Yarborough might defeat Connally in 1964 and that his liberal views would drive conservatives into the Republican fold, thus jeopardizing Kennedy's reelection chances in 1964.
Johnson convinced Kennedy that a presidential visit to Texas would help unite the famously fractious party. When Connally was shot while riding in the car with the president, he became a national hero, and he easily defeated his liberal challenger. After losing another governor's race in 1968, Mr. Yarborough retired from politics. Texas voters confused Don Yarborough not only with Ralph Yarborough, a U.S. senator from 1957 to 1970, but also with a political unknown named Don Yarbrough. In 1976, Yarbrough relied on the familiar-sounding name to get elected to the Texas Supreme Court, but he was indicted on criminal charges a year later.
Yarborough died Sept. 23 at his home in Houston of complications from Parkinson's disease.
Ferrante & Teicher were a duo of piano players, known for their light arrangements of familiar classical pieces, movie soundtracks, and show tunes. Ferrante met Teicher met while studying at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. Musical prodigies, they began performing as a piano duo while still in school. After graduating, they both joined the Juilliard faculty.
Between 1950 and 1980, they were a major American easy listening act, and scored four big U.S. hits: "Theme From The Apartment" (Pop #10), "Exodus" (Pop #2), "Tonight" (Pop #8), and "Midnight Cowboy" (Pop #10). They performed and recorded regularly with pops orchestras popular standards by George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers and others. In 1973, they did the opening theme music for the Rod Serling radio drama series, The Zero Hour.
Their biggest hit, was an arrangement of Ernest Gold's epic movie theme "Exodus," which climbed to number two and inspired a popular jazz version by saxophonist Eddie Harris. 1961 brought another pop Top Ten with the West Side Story song "Tonight," which was featured on their highest-charting LP, the number ten West Side Story and Other Motion Picture & Broadway Favorites. Arthur Ferrante, died in September 2009 at age age 88
Henry Gibson (September 21, 1935 – September 14, 2009) was best known as a cast member of Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In.
Gibson was born James Bateman in Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Dorothy (née Cassidy) and Edmund Albert Bateman. He attended Saint Joseph's Preparatory School, where he was President of the Drama Club.
Graduating from The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., he served in the U.S. Air Force as an intelligence officer. After his discharge, he developed an act in which he portrayed a Southern accented poet. His stage name was a play on dramatist Henrik Ibsen, and he often pronounced his name as if it were "Ibsen", particularly when performing as "The Poet".
Gibson spent three years as part of the Laugh-In television show's cast. He often played "The Poet," reciting poems with "sharp satirical or political themes". Gibson would emerge from behind a stage flat, wearing a Nehru jacket and "hippie" beads and holding an outlandishly large artificial flower. He would state the "[Title of poem] — by Henry Gibson", bow stiffly from the waist, recite his poem, and return behind the flat. Gibson's routine was so memorable that John Wayne actually performed it once in his own inimitable style: "The Sky — by John Wayne. The Sky is blue/The Grass is green/Get off your butt/And join the Marines!", whereupon Wayne left the scene by smashing through the flat. Gibson also regularly appeared in the "Cocktail Party" segments as a Catholic priest, sipping tea. He would put the cup on the saucer, recite his one-liner in a grave and somber tone, then go back to sipping tea. He also made recurring appearances in the 1969-1974 anthology Love, American Style.
Singer-songwriter Mary Allin Travers (November 9, 1936 – September 16, 2009) was a member of the folk group Peter, Paul and Mary, along with Peter Yarrow and Noel "Paul" Stookey. Peter, Paul and Mary was one of the most successful folk-singing groups of the 1960s.
The group Peter, Paul and Mary was formed in 1961. The group was popular and known for its renditions of anthems such as "Blowin' in the Wind", "If I Had a Hammer" and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?". Puff, the Magic Dragon, recorded in 1963, is so well-known that it has entered American and British pop culture. The group broke up in 1970, and Travers subsequently pursued a solo career and recorded five albums. The group re-formed in 1978, toured extensively and issued many new albums. The group was inducted into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 1999.
In 2005, Travers was diagnosed with leukemiA AND died on September 16, 2009, at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Connecticut. She was 72 years old.
Paul Burke was an actor who was nominated, twice, for an Emmy for his role as Detective Adam Flint in the gritty crime hit Naked City (1960-63). In a forty year career, Burke acted in dozen different TV programs including 12 O’Clock High and Dynasty. Burke died of leukemia at age 83 in 2009. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, the son of Marty Burke, a boxer who fought Gene Tunney and later owned a restaurant and a nightclub in the New Orleans French Quarter known as "Marty Burke's". His grandfather, Martin P. Burke, was a New Orleans police officer.
Mary Wells was an American R&B singer whose voice helped usher in the Motown sound with such earl hits as 1964’s “My Guy.” Although Wells’ only #1 hit, it will go down in history as the song that broke the Beatles’ 1964 chart-topping streak. After a few moderate hits, Wells left Motown in 1965 and made a comparatively small amount of recordings until she all but retired in 1970. The late ’80s found Wells launching a much-welcomed comeback, releasing a couple well-received albums. But then in 1990, Wells was diagnosed with larynx cancer for which she had to spend what was left of her money on treatment. Thankfully friends and fans like Diana Ross, Mary Wilson, Martha Reeves, Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart and more donated large sums of money to help her out. On July 26, 1992, while in a hospital getting treated for pneumonia, Wells passed away from the effects of the cancer at the age of 49. From The Music's Over.Com
Marge Ganser was one of the four singers in the ’60s girl group, the Shangri-Las. She, along with identical twin, Mary Anne Ganser, and another set of sisters, Mary Weiss and Betty Weiss, recorded such hits as “Leader Of The Pack” and “Remember (Walking In The Sand).” Even though Mary Weiss was the lead singer, the outspoken Marge was seen as the leader of the group. After record label problems and a downturn in their popularity, the Shangri-Las called it quits in 1968. Marge Ganser later went to work for the telephone company and died of breast cancer on July 28, 1996.
Mama Cass, as she was known, is best remembered as one of the singing women of ’60s folk rock band, The Mamas & The Papas. She, along with Michelle Philips, John Phillips and Denny Doherty made records that are considered to be staples of the psychedelic pop scene of the late ’60s and early ’70s. Such hits included “California Dreaming” and “Monday Monday.” Born in Baltimore, Elliot moved to New York City to pursue a career on Broadway. After appearing in a few musicals, Elliot set her sites on the local folk music scene, eventually falling in with Doherty who would later recruit the Phillips’ to form The Mamas & The Papas. The group worked together until 1971, afterwhich Elliot released solo records, including the hit, “Dream A Little Dream of Me.” She was also a popular personality on television, appearing regularly on such programs as Hollywood Squares, The Mike Douglas Show and Match Game. Contrary to the popular myth that she choked to death on a sandwich, Mama Cass died of a heart attack in her sleep following a London performance. She was just 32. The Who’s Keith Moon died in the same room four years later. From The Music's Over.Com
Although he also managed among others, Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas and Gerry & the Pacemakers, Brian Epstein is best remembered as manager of the Beatles. Many give him credit for the early success of the band. Epstein first met the Beatles after the Cavern Club show on November 9, 1961. By late January of 1962, Epstein was officially the band’s manager. He helped facilitate many of the band’s earliest successes, but by January of 1966, the Beatles decided not to renew their contract which was due to expire the following year. Epstein was notoriously addicted to drugs, and on August 27, 1967, he died of what was ruled and accidental overdose. He was 32 years old. In later years, Paul McCartney claimed that “if anyone was the fifth Beatle, it was Brian.” And John Lennon once said that Eptstein’s death was the beginning of the end of the Beatles. From The Music's Over.Com
Tom Fogerty is best remembered as the founding guitarist for Creedance Clearwater Revival alongside his younger brother, John Fogerty. Prior to his days in CCR, Fogerty had a group, Spider Webb & The Insects that were signed to Del-Fi Records, but broke up before they could release any records. In the mid ’60s, Fogerty joined up with his brother in the Golliwogs who eventually changed their name to Creedance Clearwater Revival. CCR went on to become one of America’s most popular rock bands, releasing such huge hits as “Bad Moon Rising,” “Proud Mary” and “Fortunate Son.” Over the course of just five years, the band released a series of albums that are now considered classic rock staples. In spite of the band’s success, Fogerty quit the band in 1971 partly due to his strained relationship with his brother. Fogerty’s solo debut album of 1971 was a minor hit which reached #78 on the Billboard charts. Tom Fogerty died of AIDS at the age of 48. He had been infected with HIV from a blood transfusion. From
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