Singer/songwriter Lorene Mann has died at the age of 76. Mann passed away on Friday (24May13), according to MusicRow.com.
The Tennessee-born musician moved to Nashville at the age of 19 to pursue songwriting, and she went on to pen tracks in the 1960s for stars such as Kitty Wells, Rex Allen and Skeeter Davis. She signed to RCA Records in 1964 and worked with Justin Tubb before carving out a solo career for herself.
Mann also appeared in several TV shows and movies, including 1975 Burt Reynolds film W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings.
The singer co-founded the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), and, in 2011, she was handed the organisation's Maggie Cavender Award, a lifetime-achievement honour in recognition of her "extraordinary service to the songwriting community".
William Asher, who directed widely popular episodes of such classic TV shows as I Love Lucy and Bewitched, died Monday at a board and care facility in Palm Desert, Calif., according to USA Today, at the age of 90 years old. Though no cause of death has been officially given, Asher's wife, Meredith, says that he died of complications from Alzheimer's disease.
But Asher managed to leave quite an incredible mark on the world, making generations of fans laugh time and time again. His association with Lucy stars Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz began when he directed the pilot of Eve Arden's Our Miss Brooks for their Desilu Studios. This led to him heading at least 100 episodes of 'Lucy,' including the classic “Job Switching” episode, in which which Lucy and Ethel are seen working in a candy factory and unable to keep up with the chocolates being sent down the conveyor belt that they are supposed to be wrapping.
Asher also produced and directed episodes of another popular hit television show, Bewitched, which starred his then-wife Elizabeth Montgomery as a witch. During that time, he was nominated for four Emmys for directing and producing, winning once for directing. So even though he may be physically gone, his endless contributions to entertainment will never be forgotten.
Aside from his wife, Asher is also survived by Liane Sears and Rebecca Asher, sons Brian, Bill Jr., Robert and John, four stepchildren, nine grandchildren and eight step-grandchildren.
[Photo credit: Wenn.com]
Kitty Wells, Country Music Legend, Dies at 92
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Kitty Wells, widely regarded as the first female country superstar, has died at home in Nashville, Tennessee after complications from a stroke at the age of 92. Wells had a long and prestigious career in the industry: she recorded approximately fifty albums, had twenty-five top-ten hits, and toured the world several times over. Her song "It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels" in 1952 was the first number one hit by a woman on the country music charts and influenced countless other female artists. Her reign atop the Billboard charts empowered many other women to take control of their careers and dream of similar success that seemed previously unattainable.
Though Wells never thought of herself as a trailblazer, explaining to the Associated Press in 2008 that "I never really thought about being a pioneer ... I loved doing what I was doing," that didn't stop other people from regarding her as such. Countless women in the industry regard her as an inspiration or influence. She is considered the 6th most successful country artist of all time and was was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1976 after dominating the scene in the 50s and 60s. She also received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1991.
Wells was originally born Ellen Muriel Deason in Nashville and began playing the guitar at the tender age of 14; she would frequently perform her songs at area dances.
Wells married Johnny Wright--one half of singing group Johnny and Jack--in 1938. She borrowed her stage name from an old folk song "Sweet Kitty Wells." Always the consumate performer, Wells continued to perform well into the 2000s at area events in Nashville, though she retired from touring in 2000 at the age of 80.
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Yes it’s true. Although it reaped deserved accolades and an Oscar win for its star Philip Seymour Hoffman Capote keeps you somewhat at arm’s length as you watch Truman Capote go through his agonizing journey to writing his one and only masterpiece In Cold Blood. Infamous however wears its heart on its sleeve drawing you in immediately. When we first meet Capote (Toby Jones) it’s in New York. As the toast of the town and confidante to some of Manhattan’s elite grand dames including Babe Paley (Sigourney Weaver) and Slim Keith (Hope Davis) Capote’s mood is light and airy his antics hilarious. Then once Capote travels to Kansas to cover the grisly Cutter murders with his dear friend Nell Harper Lee (Sandra Bullock) the frivolity is peeled away layer by layer. When he finally becomes so tortuously—and yes even romantically (it goes there)—entangled with killer Perry Smith (Daniel Craig) and the writing of his book hits its crescendo Capote emerges as a beaten-down and bitter man who ultimately can’t even be lifted by his high society friends. Infamous is infinitely more heartbreaking. It’s really hard to top Hoffman’s Oscar-winning performance as Truman Capote. He embodies the character with such exquisite and subtle suffering you don’t mind the fact he doesn’t look anything like the diminutive author. Toby Jones (Finding Neverland) however does look like Capote. A LOT like him and is just as capable at wringing out all of Capote’s brilliance and faults. But rather than dominate Jones’ eerie look-a-like characterization blends in more with Infamous’ scenery allowing some of the other colorful characters to step up to the plate. Weaver and Davis are effusive and catty as Capote’s Manhattan buddies who give hints on what’s to become of Capote later in his life when he finally goes too far and crosses these fine society ladies. Craig is also particularly effecting as Smith full of pathos and rage. But the real stand out is Bullock as Harper Lee. Her unassuming but quietly fierce take on the To Kill a Mockingbird author far outshines Catherine Keener’s Oscar-nominated performance in Capote. Bullock brings such an essence to the role that when watching Lee tell stories of when she and Truman were children you see the little girl Scout from Mockingbird so very clearly. Kudos all around. Director/writer Douglas McGrath has to got to be kicking himself. Seriously. Of course he’s going to say “Given the riveting contradictions in Capote’s character the rich range of people who made up his circle and the comic and dramatic turns that marked the period the real wonder is that there were only two scripts.” But the fact of the matter is Capote came first and furious getting all kinds of good strokes. Releasing another movie about the very same subject on its heels...well that movie is going to have a harder time. Period. And that’s a real shame. McGrath does some truly marvelous things with Infamous. He shows how a flamboyant gay writer spoiled chic who plays court jester to the very cream of New York society is set down in the wastelands of Kansas to write about a horrible crime. Capote’s antics at first are hilarious such as trying to wear cowboy boots and a cowboy hat just to fit in. But then the shift into the dark side as Capote delves deeper and deeper into the psyche of the killers keeps you riveted. It might be the same but Infamous is just as worthy.