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Inside Obituaries

Earl Palmer: Drummer at the heart of rock ‘n’ roll

Monday, 22 September 2008

Being energetic is a prime requirement for a drummer, but few have possessed the drive of Earl Palmer, whose torrid drumming redefined New Orleans music in the mid-1950s. His pounding percussion is strongly featured on such rock'n' roll classics as Fats Domino's "I'm Walkin'", Little Richard's "Long Tall Sally", Eddie Cochran's "Somethin' Else" and Ritchie Valens' "La Bamba". He could play in a variety of styles and for 10 years his work was rarely off the charts. Little Richard described him as "a wonderful man and the greatest session drummer of all time."

Humberto Solas: Director who told the stories of Cuba's struggles under Castro

Monday, 22 September 2008

As a child of Fidel Castro's revolution, the Cuban film director Humberto Solás had to walk a fine line in his craft but he walked it well. He became one of the country's most internationally-respected film-makers, helping drag Cuban film out of early 20th century Hollywood exploitation, through communist censorship and patriotic self-censorship, to its current status as a leading light in Latin American film.

Pate, playing a gunslinger, with Kathleen Crowley in the 1959 Western vampire movie, 'Curse of the Undead'

Michael Pate: Actor, writer and director whose film 'Tim' launched Mel Gibson

Saturday, 20 September 2008

The Australian actor, writer, producer and director Michael Pate had an enormously prolific career – he was in such demand in 1953 that Columbia Pictures wrote to the director of the film El Alamein, in which he was appearing, asking him to "Please kill Michael Pate before noon".

P.C. Bartrum: Scholar of Welsh genealogy

Saturday, 20 September 2008

Although he had no family connection with Wales, and was in some respects the quintessential Englishman, P.C. Bartram devoted his immense scholarly skills to the study of Welsh genealogy, in which he was the foremost expert.

John Matshikiza: Poet, actor, journalist and activist

Saturday, 20 September 2008

John Matshikiza could typically be found in the watering holes of the non-racial Johannesburg suburb of Melville, drinking red wine (often well before lunch), eating spare ribs and debating issues big and small with his vibrant circle of friends. It could take a while for newcomers to appreciate his status, because bespectacled, beret-wearing "Johnny" showed scant interest in his own reputation. In fact he was an actor and director in film, theatre and television, an award-winning journalist, published poet, university lecturer and political activist. "I'm all these things because I cannot get away from all of them," he said recently.

Jacobs delivers a speech in Frankfurt in 1969

Klaus Jacobs: Chocolate and coffee billionaire who put his fortune to work supporting young people

Friday, 19 September 2008

Klaus Jacobs was a German businessman whose talent for founding, running and acquiring businesses helped him amass an extensive fortune as one of the most important figures in the world's coffee and chocolate trades.

Don Helms: Hank Williams' steel guitarist

Friday, 19 September 2008

A highly influential steel guitarist, Don Helms was best known for his membership of Hank Williams' band The Drifting Cowboys. His distinctive style, with its blues inflections and characteristic use of the upper octaves, featured on over a hundred of the singer's classic sides, including "Cold, Cold Heart" (1950), "I Can't Help It (If I'm Still in Love With You)" (1951) and "Your Cheatin' Heart" (1952).

Olin Stephens: America's Cup yacht designer

Friday, 19 September 2008

Olin J Stephens Jnr, the doyen of modern yacht design, who has died aged 100, developed the Sparkman & Stephens design house on 5th Avenue, New York, with his brother Rod, and dominated yacht racing for much of the 20th century.

Obituaries in Brief

Friday, 19 September 2008

Col Egar

Norman Whitfield: Songwriter and producer who added a political edge to Motown

Thursday, 18 September 2008

While Brian and Eddie Holland and Lamont Dozier defined "The Sound Of Young America" which was championed by mid-sixties Tamla Motown, the songwriter and producer Norman Whitfield took Berry Gordy Jr.'s label in a whole new direction with the psychedelic soundscapes he created for The Temptations, The Undisputed Truth, Edwin Starr and Rare Earth in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Wolves' Shorthouse tackles Jack Froggatt of Portsmouth during the 1949 Charity Shield

Bill Shorthouse: Stalwart of the finest Wolves side

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Those who followed football during the middle years of the last century will, likely as not, mention Bill Shorthouse as the unluckiest defender never to win an England cap.

Terry Wells: Botanist, ecologist and author

Thursday, 18 September 2008

It is commonplace today to see flocks and herds of animals, and vegetation cut and mown, on nature reserves. It is hard to recollect that, some 50 years ago, the prevailing view was that nature should be left to look after itself. Management of such areas amounted to putting up a fence and reserve notices. But it was eventually observed that under such a regime of neglect, reserves lost their intrinsic wildlife-interest as grasslands became rank and woodland thicket.

Obituaries in Brief: Selma Dritz

Thursday, 18 September 2008

The physician Selma Dritz, who died on 3 September aged 91, tracked the city's first Aids cases as the disease took hold in the early 1980s.

Cameron Buchanan

Thursday, 18 September 2008

Cameron Buchanan, who died aged 80 on 10 September, became the youngest footballer to play for a League club when he appeared for Wolverhampton Wanderers in a wartime game against West Bromwich Albion in September 1942, aged 14 years and 57 days.

Obituaries in Brief

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Hazel Warp

More obituaries:

The year in pictures

Columnist Comments


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The issue underlying the economy in 2009 will be the role of the state.


Howard Jacobson: Cohen does Old Testament love and loss

Can you see where the singer got his taste for the eroticism of betrayal?


Deborah Orr: The state of the high street is a spectator sport

Suddenly everyone is a retail expert, happy to bang on about consumption.

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