Jazz musician Val Eddy has died, aged 88. Eddy, real name Valentino DeCastris, passed away on 4 August (14) in his hometown of Rockford, Illinois following a battle with cancer and Parkinson's disease.
The singer and band leader played the bass, banjo and mandolin and partnered up with late pianist Homer Carlson to become the Val Eddy Duo.
During his 70-year career, he performed internationally with jazz greats including Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Count Basie. In the 1950s, the duo was joined by late guitarist Dave Pitts and became the Val Eddy Trio. The band starred in its own live music TV series called The Song Shop.
Friends will perform jazz songs in his honour at the local funeral home on Wednesday (13Aug14) and Eddy's service will take place on Thursday (14Aug14).
Rock icon Jimi Hendrix's early recordings as a member of Curtis Knight and the Squires is set for a proper release after years of legal roadblocks. The 88 studio recordings Hendrix made as a session guitarist for the R&B group between 1965 and 1967 finally belong to his family's music company, Experience Hendrix LLC.
The deal marks the end of the long battle the Hendrix estate had with music producer Ed Chalpin, who originally recorded the tracks.
Chalpin initially signed Hendrix and Knight to a three-year contract with his company PPX International for just $1 and a one per cent royalty rate.
Just before Hendrix went out to pursue a solo career, his manager Chas Chandler bought out every contract Hendrix had previously signed, with the exception of PPX.
After Hendrix became a success, Chalpin and PPX released a number of Knight's records to make it look like Hendrix was a key member of the band.
In 2001, executives at Experience Hendrix LLC won a lawsuit over Chalpin and PPX, enforcing a 1973 consent decree to limit the producer's rights in Hendrix records to 33 masters. In 2006, Experience Hendrix LLC bosses also secured a court order against Chalpin.
Now, the musician's tracks with Knight will be remastered and issued over the next three years through Sony Music's catalogue division, Legacy Recordings.
Documentary filmmaker Robert Gardner has died at the age of 88. The moviemaker passed away after suffering a cardiac failure on 21 June (14) in Boston, Massachusetts, according to the New York Times.
Gardner began making anthropological films in the 1950s and was best known for projects like Dead Birds, Deep Hearts and Forest of Bliss.
He was also an author of books Gardens of War: Life and Death in the New Guinea Stone Age and Making Forest of Bliss: Intention, Circumstance and Chance in Nonfiction Film. He was the host of TV series Screening Room in the 1970s.
Gardner also served as the Director of the Film Study Center at Harvard University from 1957 to 1997.
Veteran British actress Jean Alexander is "out of danger" following a terrifying health scare. The former star of U.K. soap opera Coronation Street sparked fears among fans on Monday (23Jun14) when she fell ill and was admitted to a hospital in Southport, England.
Her brother, Kenneth Hodgkinson, has now confirmed the 88 year old is out of hospital and is recovering in a rehabilitation centre.
He says, "We don't think it is serious, she is getting on very well. She has left the hospital now and is in rehabilitation, a home, just for a week or so. I can't give a definite medical statement because I haven't got it... It looks as if she won't be kept for long under medical supervision. I've heard from the people there, in the home, that she is quite cheerful and she feels alright. So whatever it is it would appear that she has passed through it reasonably well. She seems reasonably chirpy and not in danger."
Hodgkinson goes on to reveal his sister asked him to thank fans for their well wishes, adding, "She is very grateful for all the interest shown by the public in her... She realises people may want to send cards, but she would be glad if she is not flooded with flowers or chocolates or things like that."
Spanish writer Ana Maria Matute has died. She was 88. She suffered a heart attack in Barcelona, Spain on Wednesday (25Jun14), according to her son.
Hailed as one of the greatest authors of post-Civil War Spain, she was best know for her works Los Abel (The Abels) and Los Soldados Lloran de Noche (Soldiers Cry By Night).
Her last novel, Family Demons, is set to be published posthumously in September (14).
Matute garnered many of her homeland's top literary prizes during her career, including The Miguel de Cervantes Prize, an accolade honouring the lifetime work of writers using the Spanish language.
Theatre director Stuart Vaughan has lost his battle with prostate cancer at the age of 88. Vaughan passed away on Tuesday (17Jun14) in High Bridge, New Jersey.
The founder of the New York Shakespeare Festival, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Repertory Theatre New Orleans and The New Globe Theatre, he is best known for his productions of plays like Two Gentlemen Of Verona with Elizabeth McGovern, Romeo and Juliet and Julius Caesar with Al Pacino and Martin Sheen.
Vaughan was also the artistic director of New York's Phoenix Theatre.
He was the recipient of an Obie Award in 1958 and a Drama Desk Award.
The truck driver deemed responsible for a New Jersey traffic pile-up that put funnyman Tracy Morgan in the hospital and claimed the life of his comedian pal James 'jimmy Mack' Mcnair was speeding prior to the collision, according to U.S. transportation officials. Kevin Roper, a driver for U.S. superstore Wal-Mart, stands accused of falling asleep behind the wheel of his vehicle after ploughing into the back of a limo bus carrying Morgan and his companions early on 7 June (14).
The impact of the collision killed McNair and left Morgan and two others with serious injuries.
Roper pleaded not guilty to charges of vehicular homicide and assault by auto during a court hearing last week (11Jun14), but now a preliminary report released by officials from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) suggests the suspect had ignored speed limit signs to slow down on the New Jersey Turnpike due to construction.
Officials claim he had been driving at 65 miles (104 kilometres)-per-hour, instead of the advised 45 miles (72 kilometres)-per-hour moments before the crash. The regular speed limit on the highway is 55 miles (88 kilometres)-per-hour.
Prosecutors have also accused Roper of sleep deprivation, claiming he had been awake for more than 24 hours at the time of the fatal incident. He faces up to 10 years behind bars if authorities can prove he ignored sleep guidelines for a trucker.
Morgan remains hospitalised, but his condition has been upgraded from critical to fair.
Designer Gustave Tassell, who created outfits for Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Princess Grace of Monaco, has died, aged 88. Tassell passed away on 9 June (14) of complications from Alzheimer’s disease, according to his sister.
The Coty Award winner famously created Jackie Kennedy's wardrobe for a tour of India in 1962, when he was called one of America’s hottest new designers.
Tassell was the son of an amusement park tycoon, who studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.
He was studying art in New York in the late 1940s when he took a job as a window dresser and fell in love with fabrics and designing chic outfits for stylish women. He perfected his craft in Paris in the early 1950s.
Jazz great Jimmy Scott has died at the age of 88. The singer passed away in his sleep on Thursday (12Jun14) at his home in Las Vegas.
Born in Ohio, Scott began performing professionally in the late 1940s and enjoyed R&B chart success in America in 1950 with Everybody's Somebody's Fool.
He enjoyed sporadic success in the 1950s and then signed to Ray Charles' Tangerine Records, where he released Falling In Love Is Wonderful in 1963.
His success was short-lived and, by the mid-1970s, he had returned to Cleveland, Ohio, where he worked as a shipping clerk and an elevator operator, among other things, according to Billboard.com.
Scott enjoyed a career resurgence in the early 1990s when he appeared in the finale of David Lynch's TV drama Twin peaks and released a Grammy-nominated comeback album, titled All the Way.
He went on to release the acclaimed albums Dream and Heaven, and recorded Holding Back the Years, which featured his renditions of songs by the likes of John Lennon and Elton John.
Scott suffered from a rare genetic condition, known as Kallmann's syndrome, which left him small in stature and gave him a permanently youthful appearance and the nickname Little Jimmy Scott.
He moved from Cleveland to Las Vegas in 2007 for health reasons.
Ann B. Davis' former The Brady Bunch co-stars have paid tribute to the late actress, who died on Sunday (01Jun14). The 88 year old, who played beloved housekeeper Alice Nelson on the classic sitcom, passed away from a subdural haematoma after slipping and hitting her head in the bathroom at her home in Los Angeles.
After receiving news of her death, Florence Henderson, who played family matriarch Carol Brady, took to Twitter.com and shared her grief, writing, "I'm so shocked & saddened to learn my dear friend & colleague Ann B Davis died today. I spoke with her a few months ago & she was doing great."
Maureen McCormick, the show's Marcia Brady, tells The Hollywood Reporter, "I admired Ann B so much as an actor... She was one of the greats. Most of all, I admired her heart. She was a dear friend... deep, honest and true. She was one of my earliest role models, and that continues to this day. She made me a better person. How blessed I am to have had her in my life. She will be forever missed."
Eve Plumb, Jan Brady on the sitcom, told TheWrap.com that Davis was "an amazing lady", adding, "She was great to work with, and I have wonderful memories of our scenes together on The Brady Bunch." Plumb continued, "She was kind and generous to all of us on set. Although we hadn't seen each other as often as we may have wanted to in the last few years, I am sure she knew she held a very important place in my heart. My thoughts are with her family and friends."
Meanwhile, a slew of celebrities have added their own condolences, including Christina Applegate, who tweeted, "Ann B Davis. How many mornings I have spent with you. RIP", and while actress Marlee Matlin added, "I grew up wanting to be Marcia Brady but with 4 kids, I turned into Alice the Maid. RIP Ann B. Davis."