In Memoriam: David Cassidy (1950 – 2017)

(Washington Post) David Cassidy, an actor and singer who became a teeny-bopper heartthrob in the early 1970s, starring as shaggy-haired guitarist Keith Partridge on the musical sitcom “The Partridge Family,” died Nov. 21 at a hospital near Fort Lauderdale, Fla. He was 67.

His publicist, Jo-Ann Geffen, told the Associated Press on Saturday that he was hospitalized with liver and kidney failure. Mr. Cassidy announced earlier this year that he was suffering from dementia and would stop touring.

At the height of his popularity, Mr. Cassidy commanded a rabid fan base that drew comparisons to those of Elvis Presley and the Beatles, with the New York Times reporting that after a 21-year-old Mr. Cassidy’s gallbladder was removed in 1971, fans called for the singer’s gallstones to be covered in bronze and sold alongside clippings of his hair.

Mr. Cassidy’s entrails remained off the market, but for several years his likeness was emblazoned on posters, push-out cards, coloring books and lunchboxes, as the band he led on television — the Partridge Family, a true family outfit that featured his stepmother Shirley Jones — became one of the decade’s defining pop music acts, beloved by a mostly female audience and derided by critics who heard only bubble-gum blandness.

Cassidy announced on February 20, 2017, that he is living with non-Alzheimer’s dementia, the condition that his mother suffered from at the end of her life. He retired from performing in early 2017 when the condition became noticeable during a performance in which he forgot lyrics and otherwise struggled.

On November 18, 2017, it was announced that Cassidy had been hospitalized suffering from liver and kidney failure, and was critically ill in a medically induced coma. He was out of the coma two days later, but remained in critical but stable condition, with doctors hoping to keep him stable until a liver becomes available for transplant. Cassidy passed away the following day, aged 67 years.

In Memoriam: Warren “Pete” Moore (1939 – 2017)

Warren “Pete” Moore (November 19, 1939 – November 19, 2017) was an American singer-songwriter and record producer, notable as the bass singer for Motown group The Miracles from 1955 onwards, and is one of the group’s original members. He is also a 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee, and a BMI and ASCAP award-winning songwriter, and was the vocal arranger on all of the group’s hits.

In 2007 Moore reunited on stage with original Miracles Bobby Rogers, Claudette Robinson, and Smokey Robinson to celebrate the group’s 50th anniversary. In 2009, the Miracles received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

In 2012, Pete Moore was retroactively inducted with the rest of the original Miracles, Bobby Rogers, Ron White, Claudette Robinson, and Marv Tarplin into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside Miracles lead singer Smokey Robinson. The induction was handled by a Special Committee, under the premise that the entire group should have been inducted with Robinson back in 1987. Miracles lead singer Smokey Robinson was the only member of the Miracles to have been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1987. Moore was also inducted into the Rhythm and Blues Music Hall of Fame in his hometown of Detroit, on October 4, 2015.

Pete Moore died on his 78th birthday in Las Vegas, Nevada. – Wikipedia

RadioMax will feature the music of the Miracles Wednesday at 6pm ET

In Memoriam: Della Reese (1931 – 2017)

Della Reese, the vocal powerhouse who later starred as heaven-sent Tess on the television series Touched By an Angel, died Sunday evening at age 86.

She leaves behind children Deloreese, James, Franklin, and Dominique, as well as husband Franklin Lett.

“On behalf of her husband, Franklin Lett, and all her friends and family, I share with you the news that our beloved Della Reese has passed away peacefully at her California home last evening surrounded by love. She was an incredible wife, mother, grandmother, friend, and pastor, as well as an award-winning actress and singer.”

Della Reese (born Delloreese Patricia Early; July 6, 1931 – November 19, 2017) was an American nightclub, jazz, gospel, and pop singer; film and television actress; one-time talk-show hostess; and ordained minister, whose career spanned six decades. She also appeared as a guest on several talk shows and as a panelist on numerous game shows.

Reese’s long career began as a singer, scoring a hit with her 1959 single “Don’t You Know?”. In the late 1960s, she hosted her own talk show, Della, which ran for 197 episodes. She also starred in films beginning in 1975, including playing opposite Redd Foxx in Harlem Nights (1989), Martin Lawrence in A Thin Line Between Love and Hate (1996) and Elliott Gould in Expecting Mary (2010). She achieved continuing success in the television religious fantasy drama Touched by an Angel (1994–2003), in which Reese played the leading role of Tess.

On August 29, 2016, nearly two months after she celebrated her 85th birthday, Reese was said to be in failing health, as she uses a wheelchair, following two serious brain surgeries. She also admitted her suffering from diabetes, “My life is at stake,” she said. “I don’t have type 2 diabetes — type 2 diabetes has me.”

Reese was not wheelchair bound, and tried to avoid using one often because it would make her condition worse. Prior to attending the 2014 ceremony to honor her former co-star and long-time friend, Roma Downey, who received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, years after her mentor, Della Reese admitted (after collapsing on the set of Touched by an Angel) that diet had contributed to her diabetes, after years of eating her old, nightly snacks of fried chicken, potato chips, ice cream, candy bars and cola, and was very frustrated because she didn’t do anything to prevent her health problems. “With diet, exercise and medication, I took control of my diabetes,” she stated. “I lost 20 pounds and lowered my blood sugar from between 275 and 300 to between 67 and 110.”[23] After her last appearance on Signed, Sealed, Delivered, she had retired from acting. – Wikipedia

Studio albums 18
Live albums 8
Compilation albums 15
Video albums 1
Singles 16

In Memoriam: Mel Tillis (1932 – 2017)

Lonnie Melvin Tillis (August 8, 1932 – November 19, 2017) was an American country music singer and songwriter. Although he recorded songs since the late 1950s, his biggest success occurred in the 1970s, with a long list of Top 10 hits.

Tillis’ biggest hits include “I Ain’t Never”, “Good Woman Blues”, and “Coca-Cola Cowboy”. On February 13, 2012, President Barack Obama awarded Tillis the National Medal of Arts for his contributions to country music. He also won the Country Music Association Awards’ most coveted award, Entertainer of the Year. Additionally, he was known for his speech impediment, which didn’t affect his singing voice. His daughter is country music singer Pam Tillis.

Following his heyday in the 1970s, Tillis remained a songwriter in the 1980s, writing hits for Ricky Skaggs and Randy Travis. He also wrote his autobiography called Stutterin’ Boy. (The title comes from Tillis’ speech impediment.) Tillis appeared as the television commercial spokesman for the fast-food restaurant chain Whataburger during the 1980s. Tillis continued to record and have occasional hits through the decade, with his last top-10 hit coming in 1984 and his last top-40 country hit in 1988; like most country artists of the classic era, his recording career was dented by changes in the country music industry in the early 1990s. He also built a theater in Branson, Missouri, where he performed on a regular basis until 2002. In 1998, he teamed up with Bobby Bare, Waylon Jennings, and Jerry Reed to form The Old Dogs. The group recorded a double album of songs penned entirely by Shel Silverstein. In July 1998, Old Dogs Volumes 1 and 2 were released on the Atlantic Records label. A companion video, as well as a Greatest Hits album (composed of previously released material by each individual artist), were also available. In the 1990s, Tillis’ daughter, Pam Tillis, became a successful country music singer in her own right, with hits like “Maybe It Was Memphis” and “Shake the Sugar Tree”.

The Grand Ole Opry inducted Mel Tillis on June 9, 2007. He was inducted into the Opry by his daughter Pam. Along with being inducted into the Grand Ole Opry, it was announced on August 7 that year that Tillis, along with Ralph Emery and Vince Gill, were to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame.

Tillis had been unwell since January 2016 with various illnesses. Tillis died of respiratory failure in Ocala, Florida, at the age of 85. He is survived by his six children: singer-songwriter Pam Tillis, songwriter Mel “Sonny” Tillis, Jr., Carrie April, Connie, Cindy and Hannah Tillis. – Wikipedia

RadioMax will feature the music of Mel Tillis Tuesday November 21, 2017 at 6pm.