Aug 122017
 

Rhinestone Cowboy Rode Off At 81

 

Glen Campbell who made America GREAT with songs like “Southern Nights”, “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “By The Time I Get To Phoenix” died from Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Glen Campbell, the beloved Rhinestone Cowboy, rode off into the sunset, for the final time.

The extra-ordinary artist was born as the “12th child and seventh son of a dirt poor sharecropper born in the depths of the depression on April 22, 1936”. He wasn’t treated and raised like a child-prodigy, mind you. He wasn’t given an education to help him get started on the right foot. But his father bought him a toy guitar when Glen was only 4 years old…. It seems like that one little toy guitar determined the course of Glen Campbell’s life.

Nothing was given to Campbell; nothing fell into his lap. One of the largest obstacles he had to overcome was his inability to write or read music… Still, his virtuosity on a guitar earned him many opportunities. Before embarking on a solo career, Glen Campbell was in high demand as a guitarist by such stars as Elvis, Frank Sinatra and The Beach Boys.

Establishing himself within the music industry first, prepared Glen Campbell for a solo career and he achieved stardom in both country and pop music. Among his most popular songs are: “Southern Nights”, “Rhinestone Cowboy”, “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”, “Wichita Lineman” and “Galveston”. His hits marked milestones in our lives and are as much a part of American history as his rags to riches life story.

Even Campbell’s well-publicized battle with alcohol and cocaine didn’t slow down his career. He worked with the best in the music industry. He was chosen by John Wayne as his co-star in “True Grit”. He had a career as a successful TV host hosting music greats ranging from Johnny Cash to The Beatles on his “The Glen Campbell Good Time Hour”. Yes, he published an autobiography appropriately titled “Rhinestone Cowboy”, too.

For a long time, it seemed that nothing can stand in the way of the Rhinestone Cowboy. Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis caught him, his family, friends and fans by surprise. And yet, in a typical Campbell-style, Glen didn’t run and hide.
He faced the cruelty of the disease with “The Glen Campbell Goodbye Tour”. All 151 shows were sold-out. His children assumed key positions in his band and supported the final tour. His final release, “I’m Not Gonna Miss You”, earned Glen Campbell yet another Grammy for the Best Country Song and his second Oscar nomination.

“By the time Campbell won his sixth Grammy Award in 2014 for his final recording, “I’m Not Going to Miss You,” he had won most every award and achieved every milestone available to musicians. One of the best-selling solo male artists in U.S. chart history, Campbell released more than 70 albums, selling 50 million copies with more than 80 songs charting. He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Musicians Hall of Fame. He won the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, twice won the Academy of Country Music’s Album of the Year award and was named Male Vocalist of the Year by both. In 2012, he was bestowed the Grammy’s most prestigious honor, a Lifetime Achievement Award.” (Quote from Glen Campbell’s Website.)

Glen Campbell, the hardy American, talented artist and a family man lost his hard-fought battle with Alzheimer’s disease. His legacy enriched us all. He made America GREAT!

 

 

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Entertainment Editor, I. Sturm

 

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May 132017
 
Former Sheriff Lee Baca Found Guilty

Former Sheriff Lee Baca (right) with then-Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa

U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson sentenced former Los Angeles sheriff Lee Baca – who was found guilty in March – to three years of federal prison for obstructing federal corruption and civil rights investigation.

Baca resigned – or “retired”, if you will – in 2014 only after federal agents became suspicious of the way he run Los Angeles jails. The federal investigation uncovered corruption, intimidation, human and civil rights’ violations and abuse of power, among other “dirty” secrets of Lee Baca’s department.

Following the federal investigation, nine of Lee Baca’s subordinates in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department were found guilty. (Among them, Paul Tanaka, undersheriff and Baca’s right hand man, who is serving a 5 year term in a federal prison.)

Lee Baca’s attorney attempted to use the former sheriff’s age (74) and a diagnosis of early stage Alzheimer’s disease as a part of his defense strategy. The defense backfired.

Even though the prosecutor asked for only a two year sentence, U.S. District Judge Percy Anderson ordered the disgraced sheriff to serve three years in prison and in his statement stressed out that Alzheimer’s disease is not a “get out of jail card”. (A wise judge.)

Lee Baca is to begin serving his sentence by July 25. His attorney announced that he will appeal.

Following the sentencing, Lee Baca stated that that he is a man of principle. (Clearly, the wrong principle. One has to wonder how much of Lee Baca’s legacy of terror was actually uncovered, after all he worked for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for 48 years!)

Anything L.A. Liberal Magazine’s Editor, E. Elrich

 

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Aug 302016
 

Gene Wilder – Willy Wonka - Dead at 83

Gene Wilder succumbed to complications from Alzheimer’s disease. He died earlier this month but his death was announced by the family, today.

Gene Wilder was one of the greatest comedic actors in Hollywood. His unique neurotic persona, make-believe toughness and genuine vulnerability perhaps shone best in his projects with Mel Brooks. The talented actor with curly hair and piercing blue eyes is well remembered for his roles in The Producers, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, The Woman in Red (which he has written, produced and had an acting role in) and many other films.

Gene Wilder is also remembered as the husband of the brilliant comedienne Gilda Radner (best known as the star of Saturday Night Live). She was his third wife and Gene has proven his character as a husband and a human being throughout her brave battle with cancer. Gilda Radner didn’t survive but Wilder’s fight with cancer didn’t end with her death. He founded Gilda Radner Detection Center in Los Angeles and co-founded a cancer support group, Gilda’s Club.

During his career Wilder was twice nominated for an Oscar, twice nominated for the Golden Globes and awarded Primetime Emmy Award and other professional recognitions.

Before making a full time commitment to a career as a novelist, Gene Wilder stated: “I don’t like show business, I realized, I like show, but I don’t like the business.”
He blessed us with “the show”: his performances are rich, usually joyous and always entertaining. His personal trials and tribulations aside, Wilder’s professional legacy is one of joy and laughter and as every actor will tell you, comedy is the hardest part of the craft to master. Gene Wilder was a master of comedy, he created his own “brand” of comedy, if you will.

Gene has earned respect and recognition of his Hollywood peers. He is fondly remembered by Jim Carrey, Mel Brooks, Billy Crystal, Eric McCormack, Debra Messing and many others.

Gene Wilder is survived by his 4th wife Karen Boyer, an adopted daughter – from his marriage with Mary Joan Schutz – and a nephew Jordan Walker-Pearlman whom Wilder considered his substitute son.

Every death is a loss and every loss is sad. In the case of Gene Wilder, he knew up till the end that he was loved and appreciated. He left behind precious memories of joy that will last forever. Thank you and rest in peace Mr. Wilder.

Anything L.A. Magazine’s Entertainment Editor / I. Sturm