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Trumpet player Freddie Hubbard, 70


Freddie Hubbard died 29 December 2008, at Sherman Oaks Hospital as a result of a heart attack suffered in late November. His name might not blow up the same marquee lights as that of the late Eartha Kitt, whom we lost on Christmas Day, but anyone who cultivates even a passing interest in jazz certainly knows Hubbard's swift, mercury-smooth trumpet sound, whether they realize it or not.
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Cellist Valentin Berlinsky dies at 83


Valentin Berlinsky, for six decades the cellist of the Borodin Quartet, one of the most renowned string quartets in the world and by all accounts the longest continuously playing one, died on 15 December 2008, in Moscow. He was 83 and had lived in Moscow most of his life. The death was announced on the quartet’s Web site, [LINK], which gave no cause.
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Singer Eartha Kitt dies


Eartha Kitt, a sultry singer, dancer and actress who rose from South Carolina cotton fields to become an international symbol of elegance and sensuality, has died, a family spokesman said. She was 81.
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  • Jazz pianist, composer Page Cavanaugh dies at 86


    Page Cavanaugh, whose trio played in films and on Frank Sinatra's radio show, died Dec. 19, 2008 of kidney failure in Granada Hills, Calif. He was 86.
    In the late '40s and early '50s, The Page Cavanaugh Trio was popular as a nightclub act, on recordings and in feature films such as "Romance on the High Seas" with Doris Day.
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  • MITCHELL LURIE, Clarinetist, 86


    Mitchell Lurie, a world-renowned clarinetist and clarinet teacher who taught for many years at USC and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, has died. He was 86. Lurie, who had been in ill health in recent years, died of pneumonia 24 November 2008 at his home in West Los Angeles.
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    Conductor Richard Hickox dies suddenly


    Opera Australia has been shocked by the sudden death of British conductor Richard Hickox, the company's music director. Hickox, 60, suffered a heart attack in London. The news was still filtering out tonight to members of Opera Australia. A shocked Murray Black, The Australian's Sydney opera and classical music critic, said one of Hickox's legacies would be his versatility as a conductor.
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    Conductor Ray Ellis...85


    Conductor/arranger Ray Ellis, who arranged such classics as "Chances Are" by Johnny Mathis, "Splish Splash" by Bobby Darin and "Standing on the Corner" by the Four Lads, died Monday, 27 October 2008, in Encino of complications from melanoma. He was 85. During a career that spanned almost 65 years, the Philadelphia native also arranged for acts including Tony Bennett, Doris Day, the Drifters, Connie Francis, Judy Garland and Ray Price.
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    Italian tenor Gianni Raimondi has died at age 85

    Raimondi, who sang with diva Maria Callas and other opera legends, has died aged 85, Milan's La Scala opera house said Friday. Raimondi died on Sunday, 19 OCT 2008, at his home in Pianoro near Bologna in central Italy. La Scala said in in a statement that he had requested that his death not be announced until after his private funeral. La Scala described Raimondi, who was born in 1923, as having "one of the biggest voices of his time." Raimondi gave 270 performances, including a standout display in Luchino Visconti's 1956 version of Giuseppe Verdi's "La Traviata". He appeared in Vienna, Berlin, London and New York and worked with Callas and orchestra great Herbert von Karajan at La Scala.

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    Neal Hefti


    Neal Hefti (born October 29, 1922, Hastings, Nebraska Died October 11, 2008)

    ...American jazz trumpeter, composer, tune writer, and arranger. He began arranging professionally in his teens, when he wrote charts for Nat Towles. He became a prominent composer and arranger while playing trumpet for Woody Herman; while working for Herman he provided new arrangements for "Woodchopper's Ball" and "Blowin' Up a Storm," and composed "The Good Earth" and "Wild Root." After leaving Herman's band in 1946, Hefti concentrated on arranging and composing, although he occasionally led his own bands. He is especially known for his charts for Count Basie such as "Li'l Darlin'" and "Cute". The wikipedia bio goes on...In the 1960s and later he composed and arranged mainly for movies and television. He wrote the background music for movies such as Sex and the Single Girl, How to Murder Your Wife, Synanon, Boeing Boeing, Harlow, Lord Love a Duck, Duel at Diablo, Oh Dad Poor Dad Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feelin' So Sad, and Barefoot in the Park. His best-known contributions of this period are the themes for the TV series Batman and The Odd Couple.
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    Singer Connie Haines dies at 87

    Connie Haines, a peppy, petite, big-voiced singer with a zippy, rhythmic style who most famously teamed up with Frank Sinatra as lead vocalists with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra, then went on to a prolific career of her own, died on Monday, 23 SEP 2008, in Clearwater Beach, Fla. She was 87. Born Yvonne Jasme she began singing and dancing at an early age. Her big break came in 1935, at age 13, when she won an amateur contest on Fred Allen's NBC radio program. During the late 1930s she worked for Howard Lally's orchestra. In 1939 bandleader Harry James heard Haines rehearsing at a New York music publishing company and hired her for his band, changing her name. She left the following year and kept busy with solo engagements around the New York area before being hired by Tommy Dorsey, where she joined former James bandmate Frank Sinatra. In 1941 Haines landed the spot as featured vocalist on Abbott and Costello's radio program.

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    John Pennink

    John Pennink, 78, a retired concert pianist, died of a heart attack Aug. 31 at his home in Huntingdon Valley, PA...MORE

    Conductor Vernon Handley has died


    Vernon Handley, one of the best-loved and most respected of British conductors, has died. Throughout his life he was a devoted champion of British repertoire, making some of the most intuitive and masterful recordings of works by Elgar, Vaughan Williams and Holst. It was also through Handley’s tireless – and most importantly, convincing – advocacy that many will have first developed a love of composers such as Bliss, Finzi, Howells, Rubbra and Bridge. In fact, of Handley’s 160 recordings, over 90 were of British music, including 87 works which had not been recorded before. His discography includes all the symphonies of Bax, Vaughan Williams, Stanford, Malcolm Arnold and Robert Simpson, and all the major works of Elgar.
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    Singer Ralph Young dies at 90

    Tony Sandler and Ralph Young
    Ralph Young, a singer best known as the English-language half of the popular multilingual duo Sandler & Young, died on Friday at his home in Palm Springs, Calif. He was 90. Young was also a legend of the big band era, born in the Bronx in 1918, he sang with Les Brown's Band and formed his own band when he served stateside in the Army during World War II. Later he joined Belgian-born singer Tony Sandler and their baritone voices blended well, with Sandler singing songs in their original language while Young sang along with an English translation. Their first album sold more than a million copies. The pair recorded 22 albums, appeared on "The Ed Sullivan Show" and "The Tonight Show," and headlined concerts at legendary nightclubs in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York City and Europe.

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  • Classical announcer Fred Crane dies at 90

    c1938 FRED CRANE with GEORGE REEVES
    Fred Crane, a former longtime Los Angeles classical music radio station announcer who achieved a slice of film immortality as an actor who played one of the handsome Tarleton twins in the 1939 movie classic "Gone With the Wind," has died. He was 90.
    Crane, who had been hospitalized for a few weeks with diabetes-related complications, died of a blood clot in his lung Thursday in a hospital near Atlanta, said his wife, Terry. Crane was the oldest surviving adult male cast member of "Gone With the Wind," producer David O. Selznick's epic production of the Margaret Mitchell novel starring Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh. Crane became a part-time announcer at Los Angeles classical radio station KFAC in 1946. He continued to act, mostly in television, until the mid-1960s, when he began working full time at KFAC.
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    Tenor Mark Lundberg dies at 50


    Lundberg's management company says the singer died Friday, 15 August 2008, in Long Island after a brief illness. The cause of death wasn't released. Lundberg made his debut in Brussels in the 2006-07 season as Tristan in "Tristan und Isolde." He sang bass and baritone for many years before making the transition to dramatic tenor roles. Lundberg was to perform the role of Samson in "Samson & Dalila" with the Pitsburgh Opera later this year. Officials there say he competed at the regional finals of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions as a bass, baritone and tenor.
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    Isaac Hayes (August 20, 1942 – August 10, 2008)


    About 3,000 fans and friends have attended a memorial service for soul singer Isaac Hayes in Memphis.
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