Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Unchained no more

Fascinated to read that Hy Zaret, who wrote the lyrics of Unchained Melody, has died a few months short of his 100th birthday. From Al Hibbler in 1955, through the Righteous Brothers in the 60s, the dreadful Robson and Jerome in the 90s and Gareth Gates in 2002. the song has continued to have a timeless appeal and it was undoubtedly one of the songs of the century. There's a full obituary in the July 4 issue of The Independent http://news.independent.co.uk/people/obituaries/article2733232.ece
When I reported the death of Nellie Lutcher the other day at the age of 94 John Howard pointed out to me that Kay Starr is still alive aged nearly 85. But she's not the oldest diva around: Lena Horne celebrated her 90th birthday on Saturday.

I would love to hear of any other major stars who are into their 90s. I know that there are a couple of blues artists, such as Honey Boy Edwards (92 last Thursday), but who else is there still surviving after all these years? Your comments are always welcome ( it shows someone reads the blog) but especially this time.


At 10:44 am , Blogger Dave C said...

I thought of offering up the name of Jimmy Young whose 1955 single recording of Unchained Melody had the aptly titled flip Help Me Forget. But it turns out that he is only 83 or 85 and still a young man.

At 4:46 pm , Anonymous Horrnsey Howler said...

Willie "Pinetop" Perkins turned 94 on 07/07/07 and is still performing. Hubert Sumlin presented Pinetop with a birthday cake on stage at the Waterfront Blues Festival.

At 8:31 pm , Blogger Nick said...

Good to know he's still performing, but not on Sundays, as we know from our trip to Clarksdale.

At 10:34 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a very late response, but I thought I'd share that Bonnie Lou is apparently due to have her 90th birthday tomorrow (I hope I haven't jinxed her by writing this today!) Kay Starr is STILL alive and kicking at 92, while Doris Day is also 90, and Vera Lynn seems to be soldiering on at the age at 97.Jimmy Young is also still with us, now aged 93. There's probably others too, I'll let you know! Daniel

At 10:46 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, Kitty Kallen is also still with us, now 92. A few others in their late 80s include BB King (89) Tony Bennett (88) Chuck Berry (also 88) Harry Belafonte (87) Vic Damone (86) and Fats Domino (also 86).

At 7:40 pm , Blogger Nick said...

Glad to know someone is reading a seven year old entry. Hate to think how many have died since then! But good info and thanks...as you know I met Quinton Claunch, who worked at Sun and founded the Hi and Goldwax labels and will be writing up the interview soon. He's still promoting a new singer who he likes at the age of 92.


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