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Style Scott, reggae drummer, dead at 58

The news from Jamaica tells us that Style Scott (aka Lincoln Valentine Scott) has died at the young age of 58.  Details are fuzzy, but Scott was apparently murdered.  So far no arrests have been made in the case of Scott’s death.

Police discovered Scott’s body in his house after the 10pm hour.  They were told that neighbors heard ‘explosions’ from the home prior to the police arrival.

Scott began his musical career sitting in on rehearsals and playing sessions in the 1970s while doing his stint in the Jamaican Defence Force.  In 1978 he joined up with bass player Errol ‘Flabba’ Holt leading to the formation of the Roots Radics band.  The band played with a wide variety of artists including Gregory Issacs and Bunny Wailer.

Scott’s more recent collaborations were with Adrian Sherwood in Dub Syndicate.

Just as a refresher – raggae evolved from calypso (not that person in the Disney movie).  Calypso was an early 20th century music coming out of Trinidad and Tobago.  Dub grew out of raggae originally by remixing known songs removing the vocals and pumping up the rhythm parts.

Dub Syndicate – Let The Spirit Rise – add some dub music to your collection today.

Jan Hooks, formerly of SNL, gone at age 57

Goodbye Bette Davis. Goodbye Jodie Foster.  Goodbye Kathie Lee Gifford.  Goodbye Tammy Faye Bakker.  Goodbye Sinead O’Conner. Jan Hooks, who was well known for these and other actress impersonations on SNL, has died at the age of 57.

Hooks got her start on “The Bill Tush Show” which broadcast in the 1980s on WTBS in her home town of Atlanta, Oh Atlanta (thank you, thank  you Lowell George).  The show mixed up comedy, interviews, and a variety of musical guests including the debut of The Vapors performing their classic “Turning Japanese” on the show.

Hooks left SNL in 1991 and took a part in the successful TV show “Designing Women“.  Hooks also had a very memorable roll in “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” playing the part of Tina a tour guide at the Alamo. Can you say ‘adobe’ with me?

OBTW Bill Tush has been news journalist and humorist.  In 1965 he was working as a radio disk jockey in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, hosting the “Mid Morning Polka Party”.

Latrobe of course is famous for Rolling Rock beer as well as (apparently) polka. (Always link back to beer whenever you have the chance.)  (Or to the Deer Hunter wherein you will find several scenes that feature Rolling Rock.)  Fish wrap.

Lest you think polka has also gone and joined the bleedin’ choir invisible polka radio may still be found especially if you find yourself in Michigan or surfing the net.  Polka is apparently a Czech word meaning “Polish woman” if you believe the Oxford Etymological Dictionary.

Bel Air born racehorse Cigar stubbed out at 24

Today, we give an ODD nod to the war against speciesism , as we report the death of the legendary American Thoroughbred race horse Cigar who passed on to that great paddock in the sky. In 195 and 1996 he won 16 consecutive races against topnotch competition. During his career he earned over $9 million dollars.

He missed $10 million by $185. (Dare we say, “Close but no cigar?”) Top lifetime Thoroughbred racing earnings go to Curlin who won over $10 million.

Lest you think his name came from a tobacco product, be advised that it came from a aeronautical term pre-takeoff check-offs: Controls, Instruments, Gasoline, Attitude, Runup. It was bestowed upon him by his owner, Allen Paulson who owned the Gulfstream Aerospace Corporation, maker of Gulfstream private jets.

Psst, for those of you with double digit multiples of Cigar’s winnings, Gulfstream has a new, super secret jet in the offing – code name P-42.

Alas, Cigar was sterile. (We ask ODDly, if Cigar had produced progeny, would they have been known as “Cigar-ettes”? Sorry.) In contrast to the tragedy of Ferdinand, Cigar was retired to the Kentucky Horse Park.

He died October 8, 2014 following complications of surgery for severe osteoarthritis. Cigar was 24 years old.

Marian Seldes, stalwart actress, exits the stage

Actress Marian Seldes has passed away at age 86. She was the Tony Award-winning star of “A Delicate Balance” written by playwright Edward Albee.

Ms. Seldes was known as a teacher to both the great Kevin Kline and the incomparable Robin Williams.  She was also said to be a muse to Mr. Albee.

“O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention,
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act
And monarchs to behold the swelling scene!”

She held for a time the Guinness World Record for most consecutive performances. Our friends in the UK called her “stalwart” meaning of course “loyal, reliable, and hardworking”.

Incidently the Tony Awards are named for Antoinette Perry, an actress, director, producer, and wartime leader of the American Theatre Wing.

Ms. Perry was born and raised in the Mile High City of Denver Colorado which coincidentally is the home locale for Kevin Kline (and Diane Keaton) in the movie Darling Companion.  Denver is also just a short drive from Robin Williams’ well known Mork and Mindy House located in Boulder, Colorado.

Artie Shaw, Big Band leader, passes the baton

Artie Shaw, the jazz clarinetist and big-band leader who successfully challenged Benny Goodman’s reign as the King of Swing with his recordings of “Begin the Beguine,” “Lady Be Good” and “Star Dust” in the late 1930’s, died December 30, 2004 at his home in Newbury Park, Calif. He was 94.

He apparently died of natural causes, his lawyer, Eddie Ezor, told The Associated Press.

Artie Shaw’s virtuosity on his instrument, his groups’ highly original arrangements and his explosively romantic showmanship made him one of the most danced-to bandleaders of swing and one of the most listened-to artists of jazz.

He quit performing in 1954 , but the many re-releases of his discs, a ghost band, and his informed but often sardonic comments on music and many other subjects kept him in the public ear.