Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Cass Elliot (born Ellen Naomi Cohen; September 19, 1941 – July 29, 1974), also known as Mama Cass, was an American singer and member of The Mamas and the Papas. After the group broke up, she released five solo albums. In 1998, Elliot, John Phillips, Denny Doherty, and Michelle Phillips were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for their work as The Mamas and the Papas.
At the height of her solo career in 1974, Elliot performed two weeks of sold-out concerts at the London Palladium. She telephoned Michelle Phillips after the final concert on July 28, elated that she had received standing ovations each night. She then retired for the evening, and died in her sleep at age 32. Sources state her death was due to a heart attack. Elliot died in Flat 12, 9 Curzon Place, Shepherd Market, Mayfair, London which was on loan from singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson. Four years later, The Who's drummer Keith Moon died in the same flat at the same age. Elliot was buried in Mount Sinai Memorial Park Cemetery in Los Angeles.
An oft-repeated urban legend claims that Elliot choked to death on a ham sandwich. The story, which spread soon after the discovery of her body, was based on speculation in the initial media coverage. Although an autopsy had not yet been performed, police told reporters that a partially eaten sandwich found in her room might have been to blame. Despite the post-mortem examination finding that Elliot had died of a heart attack and no food was found in her windpipe, the false story that she choked on a sandwich has persisted in the decades following her death.
Monday, July 27, 2015
Frank Joseph Zamboni, Jr. (January 16, 1901 – July 27, 1988) was an American inventor, whose most famous invention is the modern ice resurfacer, with his surname being registered as a trademark for these resurfacers.
Zamboni was born in 1901 in Eureka, Utah, to Italian immigrants. His parents soon bought a farm in Lava Hot Springs near Pocatello, Idaho, where he grew up. In 1920, he moved with his parents to the harbor district of Los Angeles, where his older brother George was operating an auto repair shop. After Frank attended a trade school in Chicago, he and his younger brother Lawrence opened an electrical supply business in 1922 in the Los Angeles suburb of Hynes (now part of Paramount). The following year he married and eventually had three children, a son and two daughters. In 1927, he and Lawrence added an ice-making plant and entered the block ice business. They continued their ice business in 1939, but saw little future in that business with the advent of electrically operated refrigeration units. They decided to use their excess refrigeration equipment to open an ice rink nearby.
In 1940, the brothers, along with a cousin, opened the Iceland rink, which proved very popular, in no small part because Frank had devised a way to eliminate rippling caused by the pipes that were laid down to keep the rink frozen. (The rink still operates and is still owned by the Zamboni family.) He obtained a patent for that innovation in 1946. Then, in 1949, he invented a machine that transformed the job of resurfacing an ice rink from a five-man, 90-minute task to a one-man, 15-minute job. The initial machine included a hydraulic cylinder from an A-20 attack plane, a chassis from an oil derrick, a Jeep engine, a wooden bin to catch the shavings, and a series of pulleys. His son, Richard, said, "It took him nine years. One of the reasons he stuck with it was that everyone told him he was crazy." Zamboni did not expect to make more but, after seeing the machine, Sonja Henie immediately ordered two, and then the Chicago Black Hawks placed an order. Zamboni applied for a patent in 1949 – obtained in 1953 – and set up Frank J. Zamboni and Co. in Paramount to build and sell the machines.
The machine shaves ice off the surface, collects the shavings, washes the ice, and spreads a thin coat of fresh water onto the surface. In the early 1950s, Zamboni built them on top of Jeep CJ-3Bs, then on stripped Jeep chassis from 1956 through 1964. Demand for the machine proved great enough that his company added a second plant in Brantford, Ontario and a branch office in Switzerland. Though the term Zamboni was (and remains) trademarked by his company, the name is sometimes generically used for any brand of ice resurfacing machine.
In the 1970s, he invented machines to remove water from outdoor artificial turf surfaces, remove paint stripes from the same surfaces, and roll up and lay down artificial turf in domed stadiums. His final invention, in 1983, was an automatic edger to remove ice buildup from the edges of rinks.
He died of cardiac arrest at Long Beach Memorial Hospital in July 1988 at the age of 87, about two months after his wife's death. He also had lung cancer. The Zamboni company has sold more than 10,000 units of its signature machine, the Zamboni Ice Resurfacer, commonly known as a "Zamboni." The 10,000th machine was delivered to the Montreal Canadiens in April 2012 for use at the Bell Centre. The company is still owned and operated by the Zamboni family, including Frank's son and grandson. His remains are buried at All Souls Cemetery in Long Beach.
Zamboni was inducted into the Ice Skating Institute's Hall of Fame in 1965, and he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Engineering from Clarkson University in 1988. Frank was posthumously inducted into the NEISMA Hall of Fame in 1988, the United States Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2000, the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 2006, the National Inventor's Hall of Fame in 2007, the U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009, and into the United States Speed Skating Hall of Fame in 2013.
The Frank J. Zamboni School, in Paramount, is named after him.
In popular culture
On January 16, 2013, in honor of Zamboni's 112th birthday, Google published a Google Doodle dedicated to him. The doodle is a game where the player can clean the surface of a virtual ice rink using an ice resurfacer.
1. "NIAF ItalianAmericans: Frank J. Zamboni". Niaf.org.
2. "Frank J. Zamboni". I-italy.org.
3. Folkart, Burt A. (July 29, 1988). "OBITUARIES : Frank Zamboni; the Man Behind That Odd Machine". Los Angeles Times.
4. Bonk, Thomas (June 14, 1999). "One Cool Contraption". Los Angeles Times.
5. Harvey, Steve (June 16, 1988). "The One-of-a-Kind Zamboni : Name Put a Thrill in Ice Rink's Big Chill". Los Angeles Times.
6. Yoshino, Kimi (September 21, 2004). "Zamboni Drivers Have Coolest Jobs Around". Los Angeles Times.
7. "Jeeps on Ice (The Jeep CJ-3B Page)". Film.queensu.ca. 2006-01-12.
9. "Zamboni Company to Deliver Machine #10,000". Zamboni.com. Frank J. Zamboni and Co. Inc. 2012-04-12.
10. Francer, Cory (2009-07-29). "2009 Class". USA Today.
11. "WFSHOF — Frank Zamboni Biography". Worldskatingmuseum.org.
12. "California School Directory, School: Frank J. Zamboni". Cde.ca.gov. 1996-01-07.
13. "Zamboni". Google.com.
Sunday, July 12, 2015
Sherwood Charles Schwartz (November 14, 1916 – July 12, 2011) was an American television producer. He worked on radio shows in the 1940s, and created the television series Gilligan's Island on CBS and The Brady Bunch on ABC. On March 7, 2008, Schwartz, at the time still active in his 90s, was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. That same year, Schwartz was also inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.
On July 12, 2011, Sherwood Schwartz died peacefully in his sleep of natural causes. He was survived by his wife of nearly 70 years, Mildred Schwartz and their four children: Donald, Lloyd (the creator of The Munsters Today), Ross, and Hope (wife of Laurence Juber; reportedly named after Bob Hope), and his nine grandchildren: Juli, Jill, Jackie, Andy, Becky, Nico, Ilsey, Sprewell and Elliot as well as five great-grandchildren: Rachel, Sarah, Evan, and Aidan. He was buried at the Hillside Memorial Park in Culver City, California.
Friday, July 10, 2015
Ferdinand Joseph LaMothe (October 20, 1890 – July 10, 1941), known professionally as Jelly Roll Morton, was an American ragtime and early jazz pianist, bandleader and composer who started his career in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Widely recognized as a pivotal figure in early jazz, Morton is perhaps most notable as jazz's first arranger, proving that a genre rooted in improvisation could retain its essential spirit and characteristics when notated. His composition "Jelly Roll Blues" was the first published jazz composition, in 1915. Morton is also notable for naming and popularizing the "Spanish Tinge" (habanera rhythm and tresillo), and for writing such standards as "King Porter Stomp," "Wolverine Blues," "Black Bottom Stomp," and "I Thought I Heard Buddy Bolden Say," the last a tribute to New Orleans musicians from the turn of the 19th century to 20th century.
Reputed for his arrogance and self-promotion as often as recognized in his day for his musical talents, Morton claimed to have invented jazz outright in 1902—much to the derision of later musicians and critics. The jazz historian, musician, and composer Gunther Schuller says of Morton's "hyperbolic assertions" that there is "no proof to the contrary" and that Morton's "considerable accomplishments in themselves provide reasonable substantiation." However, the scholar Katy Martin has argued that Morton's bragging was exaggerated by Alan Lomax in the book Mister Jelly Roll, and this portrayal has influenced public opinion and scholarship on Morton since.
Early life and education
Morton was born into a creole of color family in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood of downtown New Orleans, Louisiana. Sources differ as to his birth date: a baptismal certificate issued in 1894 lists his date of birth as October 20, 1890; Morton and his half-sisters claimed he was born on September 20, 1885. His World War I draft registration card showed September 13, 1884, but his California death certificate listed his birth as September 20, 1889. He was born to F. P. Lamothe and Louise Monette (written as Lemott and Monett on his baptismal certificate). Eulaley Haco (Eulalie Hécaud) was the godparent. Hécaud helped choose his christening name of Ferdinand. His parents lived in a common-law marriage and were not legally married. No birth certificate has been found to date.
Ferdinand started playing music as a child, showing early talent. After his parents separated, his mother married a man named Mouton. Ferdinand took his stepfather's name and anglicized it as "Morton."
Morton claimed to have written "Jelly Roll Blues" in 1905.
At the age of fourteen, Morton began working as a piano player in a brothel (or, as it was referred to then, a sporting house). While working there, he was living with his religious, church-going great-grandmother; he had her convinced that he worked as a night watchman in a barrel factory.
In that atmosphere, he often sang smutty lyrics; he took the nickname "Jelly Roll," which was black slang for female genitalia.
After Morton's grandmother found out that he was playing jazz in a local brothel, she kicked him out of her house.
"When my grandmother found out that I was playing jazz in one of the sporting houses in the District, she told me that I had disgraced the family and forbade me to live at the house... She told me that devil music would surely bring about my downfall, but I just couldn't put it behind me."
Tony Jackson, also a pianist at brothels and an accomplished guitar player, was a major influence on Morton's music. Jelly Roll said that Jackson was the only pianist better than he was.
Jelly Roll Morton and his vaudeville partner Rosa Brown
Around 1904, Morton also started touring in the American South, working with minstrel shows, gambling and composing. His works "Jelly Roll Blues," "New Orleans Blues," "Frog-I-More Rag," "Animule Dance," and "King Porter Stomp" were composed during this period. He got to Chicago in 1910 and New York City in 1911, where future stride greats James P. Johnson and Willie "The Lion" Smith caught his act, years before the blues were widely played in the North.
In 1912–1914, Morton toured with his girlfriend Rosa Brown (above) as a vaudeville act before settling in Chicago for three years. By 1914, he had started writing down his compositions. In 1915, his "Jelly Roll Blues" was arguably the first jazz composition ever published, recording as sheet music the New Orleans traditions that had been jealously guarded by the musicians. In 1917, he followed bandleader William Manuel Johnson and Johnson's sister Anita Gonzalez to California, where Morton's tango, "The Crave," made a sensation in Hollywood.
Jelly Roll Morton with others outside the Cadillac Cafe in Los Angeles 1917
Morton was invited to play a new Vancouver, British Columbia, nightclub called The Patricia, on East Hastings Street. The jazz historian Mark Miller described his arrival as "an extended period of itinerancy as a pianist, vaudeville performer, gambler, hustler, and, as legend would have it, pimp."
Morton returned to Chicago in 1923 to claim authorship of his recently published rag, "The Wolverines," which had become a hit as "Wolverine Blues" in the Windy City. He released the first of his commercial recordings, first as piano rolls, then on record, both as a piano soloist and with various jazz bands.
In 1926, Morton succeeded in getting a contract to record for the largest and most prestigious company in the United States, Victor. This gave him a chance to bring a well-rehearsed band to play his arrangements in Victor's Chicago recording studios. These recordings by Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers are regarded as classics of 1920s jazz. The Red Hot Peppers featured such other New Orleans jazz luminaries as Kid Ory, Omer Simeon, George Mitchell, Johnny St. Cyr, Barney Bigard, Johnny Dodds, Baby Dodds, and Andrew Hilaire. Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers were one of the first acts booked on tours by MCA.
Jelly Roll Morton and His Red Hot Peppers
Marriage and family
In November 1928, Morton married the showgirl Mabel Bertrand in Gary, Indiana.
New York City
They moved that year to New York City, where Morton continued to record for Victor. His piano solos and trio recordings are well regarded, but his band recordings suffer in comparison with the Chicago sides, where Morton could draw on many great New Orleans musicians for sidemen. Although he recorded with the noted musicians clarinetists Omer Simeon, George Baquet, Albert Nicholas, Wilton Crawley, Barney Bigard, Russell Procope, Lorenzo Tio and Artie Shaw, trumpeters Bubber Miley, Johnny Dunn and Henry "Red" Allen, saxophonists Sidney Bechet, Paul Barnes and Bud Freeman, bassist Pops Foster, and drummers Paul Barbarin, Cozy Cole and Zutty Singleton, Morton generally had trouble finding musicians who wanted to play his style of jazz. His New York sessions failed to produce a hit.
With the Great Depression and the near collapse of the record industry, Victor did not renew Morton's recording contract for 1931. Morton continued playing in New York, but struggled financially. He briefly had a radio show in 1934, then took on touring in the band of a traveling burlesque act for some steady income. In 1935, Morton's 30-year-old composition King Porter Stomp, as arranged by Fletcher Henderson, became Benny Goodman's first hit and a swing standard, but Morton received no royalties from its recordings.
In 1935, Morton moved to Washington, D.C., to become the manager/piano player of a bar called, at various times, the "Music Box," "Blue Moon Inn," and "Jungle Inn" in the African-American neighborhood of Shaw. (The building that hosted the nightclub stands at 1211 U Street NW.) Morton was also the master of ceremonies, bouncer, and bartender of the club. He lived in Washington for a few years; the club owner allowed all her friends free admission and drinks, which prevented Morton from making the business a success.
In 1938, Morton was stabbed by a friend of the owner and suffered wounds to the head and chest. After this incident, his wife Mabel demanded that they leave Washington.
During Morton's brief residency at the Music Box, the folklorist Alan Lomax heard the pianist playing in the bar. In May 1938, Lomax invited Morton to record music and interviews for the Library of Congress. The sessions, originally intended as a short interview with musical examples for use by music researchers in the Library of Congress, soon expanded to record more than eight hours of Morton talking and playing piano. Lomax also conducted longer interviews during which he took notes but did not record. Despite the low fidelity of these non-commercial recordings, their musical and historical importance have attracted numerous jazz fans, and they have helped to ensure Morton's place in jazz history.
Lomax was very interested in Morton's Storyville days in New Orleans and the ribald songs of the time. Although reluctant to recount and record these, Morton eventually obliged Lomax. Because of the suggestive nature of the songs, some of the Library of Congress recordings were not released until 2005.
In his interviews, Morton claimed to have been born in 1885. He was aware that if he had been born in 1890, he would have been slightly too young to make a good case as the inventor of jazz. He said in the interview that Buddy Bolden played ragtime but not jazz; this is not accepted by the consensus of Bolden's other New Orleans contemporaries. The contradictions may stem from different definitions for the terms ragtime and jazz. These interviews, released in different forms over the years, were released on an eight-CD boxed set in 2005, The Complete Library of Congress Recordings. This collection won two Grammy Awards. The same year, Morton was honored with the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
When Morton was stabbed and wounded, a nearby whites-only hospital refused to treat him, as the city had racially segregated facilities. He was transported to a black hospital farther away. When he was in the hospital, the doctors left ice on his wounds for several hours before attending to his eventually fatal injury. His recovery from his wounds was incomplete, and thereafter he was often ill and easily became short of breath. Morton made a new series of commercial recordings in New York, several recounting tunes from his early years that he discussed in his Library of Congress interviews.
Worsening asthma sent him to a New York hospital for three months at one point. He continued to suffer from respiratory problems when visiting Los Angeles with a series of manuscripts of new tunes and arrangements, planning to form a new band and restart his career. Morton died on July 10, 1941, after an eleven-day stay in Los Angeles County General Hospital.
Jelly Roll Morton is buried at Calvary Cemetery in Los Angeles, California.
According to the jazz historian David Gelly in 2000, Morton's arrogance and "bumptious" persona alienated so many musicians over the years that no colleagues or admirers attended his funeral. But, a contemporary news account of the funeral in the August 1, 1941, issue of Downbeat says that fellow musicians Kid Ory, Mutt Carey, Fred Washington and Ed Garland were among his pall bearers. The story notes the absence of Duke Ellington and Jimmie Lunceford, both of whom were appearing in Los Angeles at the time. (The article is reproduced in Alan Lomax's biography of Morton, Mister Jelly Roll, University of California Press, 1950.)
Morton's piano style was formed from early secondary ragtime and "shout," which also evolved separately into the New York school of stride piano. Morton's playing was also close to barrelhouse, which produced boogie woogie.
Morton often played the melody of a tune with his right thumb, while sounding a harmony above these notes with other fingers of the right hand. This added a rustic or "out-of-tune" sound (due to the playing of a diminished 5th above the melody). This may still be recognized as belonging to New Orleans. Morton also walked in major and minor sixths in the bass, instead of tenths or octaves. He played basic swing rhythms in both the left and right hand.
Some of Morton's songs (listed alphabetically):
"Big Foot Ham" (a.k.a. "Ham and Eggs")
"Black Bottom Stomp"
"Burnin' the Iceberg"
"Doctor Jazz Stomp"
"The Dirty Dozen"
"Fickle Fay Creep"
"Good Old New York"
"Kansas City Stomp"
"King Porter Stomp"
"My Home Is in a Southern Town"
"New Orleans Bump"
"Red Hot Pepper"
"Tank Town Bump"
Several of Morton's compositions were musical tributes to himself, including "Winin' Boy," "The Jelly Roll Blues" (subtitled "The Original Jelly-Roll") and "Mr. Jelly Lord." In the Big Band era, his "King Porter Stomp," which Morton had written decades earlier, was a big hit for Fletcher Henderson and Benny Goodman; it became a standard covered by most other swing bands of that time. Morton claimed to have written some tunes that were copyrighted by others, including "Alabama Bound" and "Tiger Rag." "Sweet Peter," which Morton recorded in 1926, appears to be the source for the melody of the hit song "All Of Me," ostensibly written by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons in 1931.
His musical influence continues in the work of Dick Hyman and Reginald Robinson.
The Piano Rolls (Nonesuch, 1997)
Giants of Jazz (Collectables, 1998)
Mr. Jelly Roll (Tomato Music, 2003)
Jelly Roll Morton was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was elected as a charter member of the Gennett Records Walk of Fame.
In 2008, Jelly Roll Morton was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.
Representation in other media
Two Broadway shows have featured his music, Jelly Roll and Jelly's Last Jam. The first draws heavily on Morton's own words and stories from the Library of Congress interviews.
Jelly Roll Morton appears as the piano "professor" in Louis Malle's Pretty Baby, where he is portrayed by actor Antonio Fargas, with piano and vocals played by James Booker.
Jelly Roll Morton's Last Night at the Jungle Inn: An Imaginary Memoir (1984) was written by the ethnomusicologist and folklorist Samuel Charters, embellishing Morton's early stories about his life.
Morton and his godmother, Eulalie, appear as characters in David Fulmer's mystery novel Chasing the Devil's Tail.
Jelly Roll Morton is featured in Alessandro Baricco's book Novecento. He is the "inventor of jazz" and the protagonist's rival throughout the book. This book was adapted as a movie: The Legend of 1900, directed by Giuseppe Tornatore. His character is played by the actor Clarence Williams III.
The play Don't You Leave Me Here, by Clare Brown, which premiered at West Yorkshire Playhouse on September 27, 2008, deals with Morton's relationship with musician Tony Jackson.
Morton's name is mentioned in "Cornet Man," sung by Barbra Streisand in the Broadway musical Funny Girl (1964).
1923/24 1923-1924 (Milestone Records) Red Hot Peppers Session: Birth of the Hot, The Classic Red Hot Peppers Sessions ( RCA Bluebird)
1926-1927 The Pearls
1926-1939 (RCA Bluebird Records) Jazz King of New Orleans
1926-1930 (RCA Bluebird Records) (1938) The Complete Library of Congress Recordings, Vol. 1-8 (8CD) (Rounder Records)
Chord names and symbols (popular music)
Jerry Gates, a professor of Berklee College of Music, tells that he has heard chord symbols came from Ferde Grofé and Jelly Roll Morton.
1. AllMusic biography
2. Giddins, Gary and Scott DeVeaux (2009). Jazz. New York: W.W. Norton and Co, ISBN 978-0-393-06861-0
3. Critic Scott Yanow writes, "Jelly Roll Morton did himself a lot of harm posthumously by exaggerating his worth, claiming to have invented jazz in 1902. Morton's accomplishments as an early innovator are so vast that he did not really need to stretch the truth."
4. Schuller, Gunther (1986). The History of Jazz. Volume 2. Oxford University Press US. p. 136. ISBN 0-19-504043-0.
5. Martin, Katy. "The Preoccupations of Mr. Lomax, Inventor of the 'Inventor of Jazz,', Popular Music and Society 36.1, p. 30–39. Taylor and Francis, February 2013.
6. Eventually, he became "Jelly Roll" Morton, taking on the name of the female pudenda
7. jelly roll—Black slang from the 19th century for the vulva, with various related meanings, i.e. sexual intercourse, a loving woman, a man obsessed with finding same.
8. Culture Shock: The TV Series and Beyond: "The Devil's Music: 1920's Jazz", PBS
9. Reich, Howard; Gaines, William (2003). Jelly's Blues: the Life, Music and Redemption of Jelly Roll Morton. Cambridge MA: Da Capo Press. pp. 39–41. ISBN 0-306-81350-5.
10. Reich, Howard; Gaines, William (2003). Jelly's Blues: the Life, Music and Redemption of Jelly Roll Morton. Cambridge MA: Da Capo Press. pp. 42–59. ISBN 0-306-81350-5.
11. "Jelly Rolled into Vancouver." CBC Radio 2. 2010-03-31. Retrieved 2010-09-09.
12. Reich, Howard; Gaines, William (2003). Jelly's Blues: the Life, Music and Redemption of Jelly Roll Morton. Cambridge MA: Da Capo Press. pp. 70–98. ISBN 0-306-81350-5.
13. Reich, Howard; Gaines, William (2003). Jelly's Blues: the Life, Music and Redemption of Jelly Roll Morton. Cambridge MA: Da Capo Press. pp. 114–127. ISBN 0-306-81350-5.
14. Reich, Howard; Gaines, William (2003). Jelly's Blues: the Life, Music and Redemption of Jelly Roll Morton. Cambridge MA: Da Capo Press. pp. 132–135. ISBN 0-306-81350-5.
15. Reich, Howard; Gaines, William (2003). Jelly's Blues: the Life, Music and Redemption of Jelly Roll Morton. Cambridge MA: Da Capo Press. pp. 132–144. ISBN 0-306-81350-5.
16. Reich, Howard; Gaines, William (2003). Jelly's Blues: the Life, Music and Redemption of Jelly Roll Morton. Cambridge MA: Da Capo Press. pp. 144–146. ISBN 0-306-81350-5.
17. "Prominent Jazz Musicians: Their Histories in Washington, D.C.," George Washington University
18. "Library of Congress Recordings of Jelly Roll Morton Win at Grammys." Library of Congress. 2006-01-14.
19. Gelly, David, Icons of Jazz: A History In Photographs, 1900-2000, San Diego, Ca: Thunder Bay Books, 2000, ISBN 1-57145-268-0
20. Louisiana Music Hall of Fame
21. Charters, Samuel Barclay (1984). Jelly Roll Morton's Last Night at the Jungle Inn: An Imaginary Memoir. Marion Boyars. ISBN 0-7145-2805-6.
22. "Cornet Man Lyrics." MetroLyrics.
23. Gates, Jerry (2011-02-16). "Chord Symbols As We Know Them Today – Where Did They Come From?" Berklee College of Music.
Dapogny, James. Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton: The Collected Piano Music. Washington, D.C., Smithsonian Institution Press, 1982.
The Devil's Music: 1920s Jazz Ellison, Ralph. Invisible Man; page 486.
"Ferdinand J. 'Jelly Roll' Morton," A Dictionary of Louisiana Biography (1988), pp. 586–587.
"Jelly," Time magazine, March 11, 1940.
Ward, Geoffrey C., and Kenneth Burns. Jazz, a History of America's Music 1st Ed. Random House Inc.
Lomax, Alan. Mister Jelly Roll, University of California Press, 1950, 1973, 2001. ISBN 0-520-22530-9
Wright, Laurie. Mr. Jelly Lord, Storyville Publications, 1980.
Russell, William. Oh Mister Jelly! A Jelly Roll Morton Scrapbook, Jazz Media ApS, Copenhagen, 1999.
Pastras, Phil. Dead Man Blues: Jelly Roll Morton Way Out West, University of California Press, 2001.
Reich, Howard; Gaines, William. Jelly's Blues: The Life, Music, and Redemption of Jelly Roll Morton, Da Capo Press, 2003.
Dapogny, James. Ferdinand "Jelly Roll" Morton: The Collected Piano Music, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1982.
Gushee, Lawrence. Pioneers of Jazz : The Story of the Creole Band, Oxford University Press.
Martin, Katy. "The Preoccupations of Mr. Lomax, Inventor of the 'Inventor of Jazz.'" Popular Music and Society 36.1, p. 30-39.
Taylor and Francis, February 2013. DOI:10.1080/03007766.2011.613225
Pareles, Jon. "New Orleans Sauce For Jelly Roll Morton: 'He was the first great composer and jazz master.' Tribute to Jelly Roll Morton." New York Times, 1989, sec. The Arts.
Thursday, July 9, 2015
Isabel Sanford (born Eloise Gwendolyn Sanford; August 29, 1917 – July 9, 2004) was an American stage, film and television actress best known for her role as Louise "Weezy" Mills-Jefferson on the CBS sitcoms All in the Family (1971–1975) and The Jeffersons (1975–1985). In 1981, she became the first black American actress to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.
Sanford was married to house painter William Edward "Sonny" Richmond. The couple had three children, two sons and a daughter, before separating. After their separation, Sanford and the children moved to California in 1960 while Richmond remained in New York. Shortly after their arrival, Richmond died after being involved in an altercation.
In September 2003, Sanford underwent preventive surgery on her carotid artery. In the ensuing months, her health steadily declined. She was hospitalized at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center on July 4, 2004 where she died five days later. Her publicist did not announce a cause of death, instead attributing it to unspecified "natural causes." She was interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Hollywood Hills in Los Angeles.
For her contribution to the television industry, Isabel Sanford has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame located at 7080 Hollywood Boulevard.
Monday, July 6, 2015
Griffith Jenkins Griffith (January 4, 1850 – July 6, 1919) was a Welsh-American industrialist and philanthropist. After amassing a significant fortune from a mining syndicate in the 1880s, Griffith donated 3,015 acres (12.20 km2) to the City of Los Angeles which became Griffith Park, and he bequeathed the money to build the park's Greek Theatre and Griffith Observatory. Griffith's legacy was marred by his notorious shooting of his wife in 1903, a crime for which he served two years in prison.
Career and philanthropy
Griffith J. Griffith was born in Bettws, Glamorganshire, South Wales, on January 4, 1850. He immigrated to the United States in 1865, settling in Ashland, Pennsylvania. In 1873 he moved to San Francisco, California, and became manager of the Herald Publishing Company. In 1887 he married Mary Agnes Christina Mesmer (1864–1948).
In 1878 G. J. Griffith became mining correspondent for the Alta California, a San Francisco newspaper. As a reporter he gained extensive knowledge of the mining industry on the Pacific Coast and in Nevada, which led to his employment by various mining syndicates. As a mining expert, Griffith acquired a fortune.
In 1882 Griffith moved to Los Angeles and purchased approximately 4,000 acres (16 km2) of the Rancho Los Feliz Mexican land grant. On December 16, 1896, Griffith and his wife Christina presented 3,015 acres (12.20 km2) of the Rancho Los Feliz to the city of Los Angeles for use as a public park. Griffith called it "a Christmas present." After accepting the donation, the city passed an ordinance to name the property Griffith Park, in honor of the donor.
"It must be made a place of rest and relaxation for the masses, a resort for the rank and file, for the plain people," Griffith told the Los Angeles City Council when he donated the land. "I consider it my obligation to make Los Angeles a happy, cleaner, and finer city. I wish to pay my debt of duty in this way to the community in which I have prospered." 
Griffith later donated another 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) along the Los Angeles River.
While vacationing in Santa Monica on September 3, 1903, Griffith shot his wife in the presidential suite of the Arcadia Hotel (above), as she knelt on the floor before him. Surprisingly, the shot did not kill her, but she was left disfigured and lost her right eye. In the sensational case, Griffith was charged with assault with a deadly weapon with intent to commit murder. The prosecution was led by Henry T. Gage, former governor of California. Griffith was defended by noted attorney Earl Rogers (below), whose cross-examination of the veiled Mrs. Griffith revealed that her husband — generally thought to be a teetotaler — was in fact a secret drunk who was subject to paranoid delusions. Griffith was convicted of a lesser charge, assault with a deadly weapon. The judge sentenced him to two years in San Quentin State Prison, instructing that he be given "medical aid for his condition of alcoholic insanity."
On November 4, 1904, Mrs. Griffith was granted a divorce on the grounds of cruelty, and she was awarded custody of her 16-year-old son, Vandell. The court also stated that G. J. Griffith would pay for his son's education at Stanford University. The decree was made in the record time of four-and-a-half minutes.
G. J. Griffith was released from prison December 3, 1906, after serving nearly two years. His conduct at the penitentiary was called exemplary. Griffith returned to Los Angeles and began lecturing on prison reform.
In December 1912 Griffith offered a second "Christmas present" to Los Angeles, in the form of a Greek Theater and a Hall of Science to be built at his expense in Griffith Park. The offer was accepted by the City Council, but members of the Park Commission objected and instituted a court action to block the donation. Griffith left the offer in his will.
Griffith J. Griffith died of liver disease on July 6, 1919. The bulk of his $1.5 million estate was bequeathed to the city for the building of the Greek Theater (1929) and Griffith Observatory (1935). He is interred at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery in Los Angeles in the northwest corner of Section 7, aka "The Griffith Lawn."
Griffith affected the title of Colonel, but official records of his military service which support this rank have not been found. Evidence suggests the only military title he ever held was "major" of rifle practice with the California National Guard.
1. "BBC – south east Wales historical figures – Griffith J Griffith". BBC website. BBC. May 14, 2010.
2. Los Angeles Daily Examiner, November 5, 1904; gravestone at Calvary Cemetery, East Los Angeles
3. "Death Claims G. J. Griffith," Los Angeles Times, July 7, 1919
4. Griffith Park narrative, Department of Recreation and Parks, City of Los Angeles
5. "Griffith Park To Be Considered For Monument Status"; Walton, Alice, City News Service, August 21, 2008
6. St. Johns, Adela Rogers, Final Verdict. Garden City, New York: Doubleday and Company, Inc., 1962, pp. 220–239. "That was where Earl Rogers began the first alcoholic insanity defense," St. Johns wrote. "Perhaps the first — certainly one of the first — times that alcohol was called to account in an American courtroom as a disease, a mental illness, not just a sin or a crime or an indulgence." (Final Verdict, p. 232.)
7. "Mrs. Griffith Gets Divorce," Los Angeles Times, November 5, 1904
8.^ "Griffith is Freed Today," Los Angeles Times, December 3, 1906; "Griffith to Lecture: Gone to San Francisco to Advocate Prison Reform Along Elmira Institution Lines," Los Angeles Times, January 26, 1908
9. "Death Claims G. J. Griffith," Los Angeles Times, July 7, 1919; "City Gains by Griffith Will," Los Angeles Times, July 12, 1919
10. Russell, Ron (July 3, 1988). Splendor Fades at Final Resting Place of Famous, Almost Famous. Los Angeles Times
11. Gurstelle, William (2006). Adventures from the Technology Underground. Clarkson Potter ISBN 978-1-4000-5082-6 12. Bell, Alison (June 12, 2011). Colonel Griffith J. Griffith one of L.A.'s more colorful figures. Los Angeles Times