Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sounds like a great book to get. Montreal in photographs

I'll bet this would be a really interesting book, some great old photographs a lot of them we most likely would have seen or posted by now, but some new gems may be there as well. I will look into getting this book. The following appears in todays online Gazette.   Cheers ! LesF

                     
          

William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody was already a legend of the American Old West when he founded the famed Buffalo Bill’s Wild West travelling show in 1883. That show spread the myth of the Wild West as Buffalo Bill toured North America and Europe.
One of his most important stops was in Montreal in August 1885. He and Sioux chief Sitting Bull posed for photos taken by Montrealer William Notman, the first internationally acclaimed Canadian photographer in the 19th century.
“Sitting Bull is looking off far away — there’s a kind of sadness in his gaze — and William F. Cody is posing, trying to look dignified,” says journalist, author and historian Jean-François Nadeau, whose recently published photography book Montrealers: A Story in Portraits (Juniper Publishing) showcases the shoot.
Jean-François Nadeau wanted to focus on everyday people in Montrealers: A Story in Portraits, “because that gives you a special feeling about what Montreal was really like.”
Jean-François Nadeau wanted to focus on everyday people in Montrealers: A Story in Portraits, “because that gives you a special feeling about what Montreal was really like.” Pierre Obendrauf / Montreal Gazette
“This is probably the most famous photo of the myth of the American Wild West, probably the most-reproduced photo of the story of the American West, and it was taken in Montreal!” says Nadeau. He adds that while “Sitting Bull was booed at other stops on this tour, in Montreal he was cheered by audiences.”
Neither Sitting Bull nor Buffalo Bill were Montrealers, of course, but their presence looms large in Nadeau’s book because, he says, “it is one of the most important photos taken in Montreal in the 19th century.”
This image of Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill is "one of the most important photos taken in Montreal in the 19th century,” according to Jean-François Nadeau.
This image of Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill is “one of the most important photos taken in Montreal in the 19th century,” according to Jean-François Nadeau. William Notman & Son / McCord Museum
The image is one of more than 400 black-and-white photographs in Montrealers: A Story in Portraits, published to coincide with Montreal’s 375th anniversary. Nadeau’s beautifully packaged commemorative book includes previously unpublished or unknown photos that depict the lives of Montrealers from the beginnings of photography until 1976. They include work by many masters of the form, such as Gaby (Gabriel Desmarais), Alain Chagnon, Yousuf Karsh, Gabor Szilasi and Notman, as well as work by lesser-known and anonymous photographers.
“Notman was the most celebrated Canadian photographer of his era,” says Nadeau. “He had over 25 studios in North America, he was well organized, his was a big business. But most early photography before the 20th century is of rich people. Photographers (then) were not interested in taking photos of people living in poor neighbourhoods and suburbs — they took photos of what their society permitted them to photograph.”
Complicating matters, Nadeau says, is that in Montreal “we are not (overly) familiar with our past. Montrealers talk a lot about it, but our knowledge isn’t very deep. We also don’t know a lot about photographers here, though we know there were a lot of pictures taken.”

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Taverne de Paris, St-Denis St., 1973. From the book Montrealers: A Story in Portraits.
Taverne de Paris, St-Denis St. (1973) Alain Chagnon
So while readers will enjoy portraits of such celebrities as Mordecai Richler, poet Émile Nelligan, actress Geneviève Bujold, conductor/pianist Wilfrid Pelletier and trailblazing female impersonator Guilda, Nadeau hopes his book will also deepen Montrealers’ appreciation for their city and the working-class citizens who put Montreal on the map.
“Yes, I included pictures of well-known people like Leonard Cohen, but those photos are interesting because the photos themselves are special,” Nadeau explains. “It’s not about well-known or famous people, and I’m not interested in monuments, buildings and streets — I am much more interested in ordinary people and their lives, because that gives you a special feeling about what Montreal was really like.
“While these faces do not mirror our (contemporary) lives, you see incarnations of what you could have been, and that further roots us in our city.”
Self-portrait in mirror, Notre Dame St., Griffintown, circa 1970.
Self-portrait in mirror, Notre-Dame St., Griffintown (circa 1970). David W. Marvin / McCord Museum
Montrealers: A Story in Portraits also lovingly shines a light on little-known pioneers, such as “Mrs. Fletcher,” who opened her photo shop and studio in Old Montreal in 1841.
“She is important because she is (likely) the first woman in Canada taking pictures, taking portraits, and she’s doing it right here, at Place d’Armes,” Nadeau says. “We don’t know much about her, but we do know that from the beginning of photography in Montreal until now, there were a lot of women photographers. Unfortunately, like other women in history, their contributions have been neglected. In my book I also talk about Kéro, who was everywhere in the 1960s and 1970s, but we don’t talk about her anywhere today. She’s gone, but she was really important.”
The book’s 12 chapters each include an in-depth profile of a Montreal photographer, and photos are grouped under different themes, such as housing, work, nightlife, religion and First Nations, complete with commentary.
All photos are in black and white because, Nadeau says, “before the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York accepted a colour exhibition in 1976, black-and-white photography was considered superior. For instance, if you were a Canadian citizen at the time, you couldn’t get a colour passport photo — black-and-white photos were considered more ‘real’ than colour. Which suggests that what is real is not always the truth.
Montreal Alouettes football player, circa 1963.
Montreal Alouettes football player (circa 1963). Antoine Desilets / McCord Museum
“If you look at ads for camera companies over the past 50 years, they keep advertising that their photos look more real. But what is real and what is not real? In the 1950s the Kodachrome colour process gave you blasting red and blasting blue. At the time it was considered the best rendition of colour. We know today that’s not true. When we see a photo from that time, we know it was from the ’50s. The same will be said of our photos today. It is always a convention of our time, of what we see.”
In a world where some 350 million photos are uploaded to Facebook every day, has the value of photography been diminished?
“There will always be photos that manage to capture a moment in time and stand the test of time,” Nadeau says. “But today everybody thinks they are a photographer and can take timeless photos. People think they take good photos because they get a lot of likes on Facebook. It’s not because you post photos on Instagram that you’re a photographer — it’s the capacity to deliver your own thoughts in your photos that makes you a good photographer.
“Each photo in my book has at its core an idea, a message. People take photos today, but many have nothing to say.”

Six of Jean-François Nadeau’s favourite photos from Montrealers: A Story in Portraits

Union representative Huguette Plamondon with Montreal meat-packing employees (1956).
Union representative Huguette Plamondon with Montreal meat-packing employees (1956). Basil Zarov / Library and Archives Canada
“Basil Zarov was a well-known photographer, really into the arts, and here perfectly captures Huguette Plamondon in her daily work, so well dressed, talking with workers in a slaughterhouse. Gives you an idea of how rough Montreal could be at the time.”
Buildings slated to be demolished in Victoriatown (Goose Village) (1963).
Buildings slated to be demolished in Victoriatown (Goose Village) (1963). Jean-Paul Gill and Ludger L’Ecuyer / City of Montreal Archives
“Montreal asked two city photographers to take photos of buildings that were going to be scrapped. The photographers would number each photo with a little marker, to identify the building, snap the picture, then were off to the next place. But people were still living there. Their photos are incredible views of Montreal; (they) give you a very precise idea of what life was like at the time.”
Griffintown (1966).
Griffintown (1966). Antoine Desilets
“One of the kids is black, the other I’m not sure, and they are playing in a poor neighbourhood. We don’t see many photos of children today, because people are wary and there are laws protecting children. You can no longer just take photos of children and publish them. There were also a lot more children in the streets back then. Here, Antoine Desilets captures a simple moment. He always brings a fresh touch to his photos.”
Young boys in street (circa 1940).
Young boys in street (circa 1940). Paul-Marc Auger / McCord Museum
“People were not afraid to let their children play outside. People had large families, so it was nice to stretch outside where there was more space. Montreal was a young city. So you see kids running in the middle of the street everywhere!”
Montreal Botanical Garden (1946).
Montreal Botanical Garden (1946). Conrad Poirier / BAnQ
“Such a great shot! Conrad Poirier is working with the lines created by the light. Two young girls are walking, but all the viewer can see are the lines. Poirier’s magical touch here is all in the geometry of the photo.”
Place d’Armes (1941).
Place d’Armes (1941). Conrad Poirier / BAnQ
This was chosen as the cover image for Montrealers: A Story in Portraits. “You can say from today’s perspective that this is a bad photo — that the woman is out of focus, the focus is behind her, it’s a bit overexposed in front, and by the end it’s a fantastic photo because it gives you a sense of freshness, of speed, of Montreal at its best: Place d’Armes with streetcars and elegant, well-dressed people. It gives you a perfect feel of what Montreal is, or was. Sometimes a picture is not about capturing perfection in the details — it’s the composition, the feel, the idea behind it. This photo is Montreal.”

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Train on Ice,,,Really even we knew it was dumb to play on the ice

This story was first published on Jan. 12, 2003, in the Montreal Gazette.
It was one of the most bizarre rail accidents in Montreal’s history and also one of the least auspicious. Bizarre, because the rails were laid not on terra firma but on ice across the frozen St. Lawrence. And inauspicious, because the accident came on the very first day of operations that winter.
The Victoria Bridge was an undeniably magnificent response to the formidable, mile-wide barrier of the river at Montreal. Its opening in late 1859 gave shippers in the city easy rail access to the Atlantic, at Portland, Me. It almost seemed a miracle. Freight and passengers could now move between tidewater and the American midwest through central Canada even when the ice of winter shut deep-sea ships out of Montreal’s harbour for months at a stretch.
But the bridge was also a barrier in its own right. It was owned by the Grand Trunk Railway, and though other lines could use it, they had to pay for the privilege. Even then, their timetables had to cede priority to the Grand Trunk’s. Was there a way out of the dilemma, short of building a new rail bridge?
In winter, at least, there might be. For generations, Montrealers had been accustomed to laying out ice roads across the river to the South Shore communities. To and fro, the sleigh drivers would make their way, conveying firewood, occasional farm products and other loads, as well as people. They followed tracks marked by evergreen saplings set at close intervals along the way, much as snowmobile clubs mark routes for their members across frozen lakes in our own day. It was rough going, for the ice in places off Montreal often heaved up in daunting ridges and blocks, and occasional thin spots in the surface presented other dangers, but it worked. Could it work not just for sleighs but for something far heavier, a steam locomotive and a string of cars?
In January 1880, a small consortium of Grand Trunk rivals, led by the provincially owned Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa and Occidental Railway, set out to try. Thumbing their noses at the Victoria Bridge, they laid a temporary rail line across the now-thick ice to Longueuil and announced a shuttle service to the South Shore for as long as the ice was safe.

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The first run was a sensation. Crowds gathered at the waterfront where a small engine and several cars, all decorated with flags and fir boughs, stood ready to go. People were invited to climb on board for the inaugural run, and many quickly did. However, a few among them found that their winter boots were no antidote for their suddenly-cold feet and just as quickly climbed back down. Holes had been cut in the ice nearby to test its thickness, and the water now bubbling up through them was an ominous sight. Nonetheless, the jaunt across the river and back came off without a hitch. The QMO&O and its allies had presented shippers with an alternate way of getting things across the river, at least for a few months.
Flushed with their success, they decided to repeat the venture the following winter. The ice railway opened for business on Jan. 5, 1881, but that very afternoon things went bad. QMO&O yard engine No. 31 pulling 17 cars from Longueuil to Hochelaga jumped the tracks and fell over on its side. The shock was enough to crack the ice, and the engine began sinking into 30 feet of water. The crew just managed to jump clear in time; the engineer lay stunned for a moment on the ice, only coming to when cold water from the widening gulf in the ice began to soak him.
Despite this setback, and as audacious as ever, the line’s operators vowed to continue. “Almost immediately afterwards,” the Gazette reported, “the work of repairing the track was commenced. … The engine will be raised at once, the Company having already received a number of offers to undertake the work.”
An experienced diving contractor from Sorel named Charles Champagne was chosen to direct the recovery. Within three days of the accident, the tracks had been rerouted and service resumed. Meanwhile, Champagne and his crew, led by a diver named Larin, set about determining that the sunken engine was in sound condition. More challenging, they also had to figure out how the engine could be levered up from the river bottom and placed on the fragile ice surrounding the hole without it or their equipment plunging back through again. Five days after the engine had gone down, however, it was on its way back up to the open air and safety.
The service across the ice continued for the rest of that winter without serious incident, prompting the QMO&O to go for a third season. However, nature failed to co-operate. January 1882 was unusually mild, and the service was late in getting under way. The unsuitable weather continued, and runs across the river often had to be suspended. It proved to be the last year for the ice railroad. The Victoria Bridge had the last laugh.

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year 2017

Happy New Year to all who surf by and those who read our stuff,,,,,  Cheers ! Les


                           

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Many Familiar Names Who Checked Out This Year

Death claimed transcendent political figures in 2016, including Cuba’s revolutionary leader and Thailand’s longtime king, but also took away royals of a different sort: kings of pop music, from Prince and David Bowie to George Michael.
Embracing Soviet-style communism, Fidel Castro, who died in November, overcame imprisonment and exile to become leader of Cuba and defy the power of the United States at every turn during his half-century rule. Perhaps befitting the controversial leader, his death elicited both tears and cheers across the Western Hemisphere.
However, shock, grief and nostalgia greeted the deaths of several giants of pop music. David Bowie, who broke musical boundaries through his musicianship and striking visuals; Prince, who was considered one of the most inventive and influential musicians of modern times; and George Michael, first a teenybopper heartthrob and then a mature solo artist with videos that played up his considerable appeal.
Among the political figures who died in 2016 was the world’s longest reigning monarch: King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was revered in Thailand as a demigod, a father figure and an anchor of stability through decades of upheaval.
Others in the world of public affairs included former United National Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, ex-senator and astronaut John Glenn, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, former Israeli leader Shimon Peres and former U.S. first lady Nancy Reagan.
In the sports arena, the year saw the passing of legendary boxer Muhammad Ali, whose fast fists and outspoken personality brought him fans around the world. Other sports figures included: golfer Arnold Palmer, Gordie “Mr. Hockey” Howe, basketball players Dwayne “Pearl” Washington and Nate Thurmond, Olympians Vera Caslavska and Tommy Kono, wrestlers Harry Fujiwara and Chyna, and mixed martial arts fighter Kimbo Slice.
Artists and entertainers who died in 2016 included author Harper Lee, conductor Pierre Boulez, musicians Leonard Cohen, Merle Haggard, Maurice White, Frank Sinatra Jr. and Phife Dawg, and actors Gene Wilder, Abe Vigoda, Florence Henderson, Alan Rickman, Robert Vaughn, Garry Shandling, Doris Roberts, Alan Thicke, Fyvush Finkel and Anton Yelchin.
The last week of the year was not merciful, claiming the lives of author, actress and stand-up comedian Carrie Fisher, who gained pop-culture fame as Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” and — a day later — her mother, Debbie Reynolds, who lit up the screen in “Singin’ in the Rain’ and other Hollywood classics.
Here is a roll call of some of the people who died in 2016. (Cause of death cited for younger people, if available.)
JANUARY:
Dale Bumpers, 90. Former Arkansas governor and U.S. senator who earned the nickname “giant killer” for taking down incumbents, and who gave a passionate speech defending Bill Clinton during the president’s impeachment trial. Jan. 1
Pierre Boulez, 90. Former principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic who moved between conducting, composition and teaching as one of the leading figures in modern classical music. Jan. 5.
Pat Harrington Jr., 86. Actor and comedian who in the 1950s got attention as a member of Steve Allen’s fabled TV comic troupe but secured lasting fame decades later as Dwayne Schneider, the cocky handyman on the long-running sitcom “One Day at a Time.” Jan. 6.
Princess Ashraf Pahlavi, 96. Twin sister of Iran’s deposed shah whose glamorous life epitomized the excesses of her brother’s rule. Jan. 7.
Otis Clay, 73. Hall of fame rhythm and blues artist known as much for his big heart and charitable work in Chicago as for his singing internationally. Jan. 8.
David Bowie, 69. Other-worldly musician who broke pop and rock boundaries with his creative musicianship, striking visuals and a genre-spanning persona he christened Ziggy Stardust. Jan. 10.
Alan Rickman, 69. Classically-trained British stage star and sensual screen villain in the “Harry Potter” saga and other films. Jan. 14.
Rene Angelil, 73. Celine Dion’s husband and manager, who molded her from a French-speaking Canadian ingénue into one of the world’s most successful singers. Jan. 14.
Dan Haggerty, 74. Rugged, bearded actor who starred in the film and TV series “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams.” Jan. 15.
Glenn Frey, 67. Rock ‘n’ roll rebel who co-founded the Eagles and with Don Henley formed one of history’s most successful songwriting teams with such hits as “Hotel California” and “Life in the Fast Lane.” Jan. 18.
Abe Vigoda, 94. Character actor whose leathery, sad-eyed face made him ideal for playing the over-the-hill detective Phil Fish in the 1970s TV series “Barney Miller” and the doomed Mafia soldier in “The Godfather.” Jan. 26.
Paul Kantner, 74. Founding member of the Jefferson Airplane who stayed with the seminal band through its transformation from 1960s hippies to 1970s hit makers as the eventual leader of successor group Jefferson Starship. Jan. 28.
Signe Toly Anderson, 74. Vocalist and original member of the Jefferson Airplane who left the band after its first record and was replaced by Grace Slick. Jan. 28.
Linus Maurer, 90. Cartoonist and illustrator whose old friend Charles M. Schulz borrowed his first name for Charlie Brown’s blanket-carrying best friend Linus in his “Peanuts” comic strip and cartoons. Jan. 29.
Georgia Davis Powers, 92. Giant in the fight for civil rights in Kentucky and the first African-American woman elected to the state Senate. Jan. 30.
Terry Wogan, 77. His warm Irish brogue and sly, gentle humor made him a star of British television and radio for decades. Jan. 31.
FEBRUARY:
Bob Elliott, 92. Half of the enduring TV and radio comedy team Bob and Ray. Feb. 2.
Maurice White, 74. Earth, Wind & Fire founder whose horn-driven band sold more than 90 million albums. Feb. 3.
Ferd Kaufman, 89. Associated Press photographer who was at Dallas police headquarters as authorities brought in President John F. Kennedy’s assassin. Feb. 3.
Edgar Whitcomb, 98. Former Indiana governor who escaped from a Japanese prisoner camp by swimming overnight during World War II and then made an around-the-world solo sailing trip while in his 70s. Feb. 4.
Edgar Mitchell, 85. Apollo 14 astronaut who became the sixth man on the moon when he and Alan Shepard helped NASA recover from Apollo 13’s “successful failure.” Feb. 4.
Antonin Scalia, 79. Influential conservative and most provocative member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Feb. 13.
Boutros Boutros-Ghali, 93. Veteran Egyptian diplomat who helped negotiate his country’s landmark peace deal with Israel but clashed with the United States when he served a single term as UN secretary-general. Feb. 16.
Andrzej Zulawski, 75. Filmmaker and writer named best director last year at a film festival in Switzerland for his latest film, “Cosmos.” Feb. 17.
Angela “Big Ang” Raiola, 55. Raspy-voiced bar owner who gained fame on the reality TV series “Mob Wives.” Feb. 18.
Harper Lee, 89. Elusive novelist whose child’s-eye view of racial injustice in a small Southern town, “To Kill a Mockingbird,” became standard reading for millions of young people and an Oscar-winning film. Feb. 19.
Umberto Eco, 84. Italian author who intrigued, puzzled and delighted readers worldwide with his best-selling historical novel “The Name of the Rose.” Feb. 19.
Eric “Winkle” Brown, 97. British pilot who flew more kinds of aircraft than anyone in history and was the first person to land a jet on an aircraft carrier. Feb. 21.
Sonny James, 87. Country singer who recorded romantic ballads like “Young Love” and turned pop songs into country hits. Feb. 22.
George Kennedy, 91. Hulking, tough-guy actor who won an Academy Award for his portrayal of a savage chain-gang convict in the 1960s classic “Cool Hand Luke.” Feb. 28.
MARCH:
Tony Warren, 79. British writer who created the long-running soap opera “Coronation Street.” March 1.
Thanat Khoman, 101. As Thailand’s foreign minister, he helped cement his country’s close relations with the United States during the Vietnam War. March 3.
Joey Feek, 40. With her husband, Rory, she formed the award-winning country duo Joey + Rory. March 4.
Pat Conroy, 70. Author of “The Great Santini,” ”The Prince of Tides” and other best-sellers, whose novels drew upon his bruising childhood and the vistas of South Carolina. March 4.
Raymond Tomlinson, 74. Inventor of modern email and a technological leader. March 5.
Nancy Reagan, 94. Helpmate, backstage adviser and fierce protector of Ronald Reagan in his journey from actor to president — and finally during his battle with Alzheimer’s disease. March 6.
George Martin, 90. The Beatles’ urbane producer who quietly guided the band’s swift, historic transformation from rowdy club act to musical and cultural revolutionaries. March 8.
Peter Maxwell Davies, 81. Experimental, socially radical composer who served as Queen Elizabeth II’s official master of music. March 14. Leukemia.
Frank Sinatra Jr., 72. He carried on his father’s legacy with his own music career; his kidnapping as a young man added a bizarre chapter to his father’s legendary life. March 16.
Meir Dagan, 71. Former Israeli general and longtime director of the country’s spy agency. March 17.
Bob Ebeling, 89. Booster rocket engineer who spent decades filled with guilt over not stopping the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger. March 21.
Andy Grove, 79. Former Intel Corp. chief executive whose youth under Nazi occupation and escape from the Iron Curtain inspired an “only the paranoid survive” management philosophy that saved the chip maker from financial ruin in the 1980s. March 21.
Rob Ford, 46. Pugnacious, populist former mayor of Toronto whose career crashed in a drug-driven, obscenity-laced debacle. March 22. Cancer.
Phife Dawg, 45. Lyricist whose witty wordplay was a linchpin of the groundbreaking hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest. March 22. Complications from diabetes.
Garry Shandling, 66. Actor and comedian who masterminded a brand of phony docudrama with “The Larry Sanders Show.” March 24.
Earl Hamner Jr., 92. Prolific writer who drew upon his Depression-era upbringing in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia to create one of television’s most beloved family shows, “The Waltons.” March 24.
Mother Mary Angelica, 92. Folksy Roman Catholic nun who used a monastery garage to begin a television ministry that grew into a global religious media empire. March 27.
Winston Moseley, 81. Man convicted of the 1964 stabbing death of Kitty Genovese, a crime that came to symbolize urban decay and indifference. March 28.
Patty Duke, 69. As a teen, she won an Oscar for playing Helen Keller in “The Miracle Worker,” then maintained a long career while battling personal demons. March 29.
Hans-Dietrich Genscher, 89. Long-serving German foreign minister who was one of the key architects of the country’s 1990 reunification of east and west. March 31.
Imre Kertesz, 86. Hungarian writer who won the 2002 Nobel Prize for Literature for fiction largely drawn from his experience as a teenage prisoner in Nazi concentration camps. March 31.
APRIL:
Leandro “Gato” Barbieri, 83. Latin Jazz saxophonist who composed the Grammy-winning music for the steamy Marlon Brando film “Last Tango in Paris” and recorded dozens of albums over a career spanning more than seven decades. April 2.
Erik Bauersfeld, 93. He turned three words from a minor acting role — “It’s a trap!” — into one of the most beloved lines of the “Star Wars” series. April 3.
Merle Haggard, 79. Country giant who rose from poverty and prison to international fame through his songs about outlaws, underdogs and an abiding sense of national pride in such hits as “Okie From Muskogee” and “Sing Me Back Home.” April 6.
Howard Marks, 70. Convicted drug smuggler who reinvented himself as an author, raconteur and drug-reform campaigner after publishing the best-selling autobiography “Mr. Nice.” April 10.
David Gest, 62. Music producer, reality TV star and former husband of Liza Minnelli. April 12.
Fred Hayman, 90. Dapper entrepreneur and “Godfather of Rodeo Drive” whose vision transformed a nondescript Southern California street into one of the world’s pre-eminent fashion districts. April 14.
Doris Roberts, 90. She played the tart-tongued, endlessly meddling mother on “Everybody Loves Raymond.” April 17.
Patricio Aylwin, 97. Lanky law professor who played a decisive role in restoring Chile’s democracy after 17 years of brutal dictatorship and was later elected president. April 19.
Chyna, 46. Tall, muscle-bound, raven-haired pro-wrestler who rocketed to popularity in the 1990s and later made the rounds on reality TV. April 20.
Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, 52. Basketball player who went from New York City playground wonder to Big East star for Jim Boeheim at Syracuse. April 20.
Victoria Wood, 62. British comedian who found humor in everyday life and blazed a trail for other female comics. April 20.
Prince, 57. One of the most inventive and influential musicians of modern times with hits including “Little Red Corvette,” ”Let’s Go Crazy” and “When Doves Cry.” April 21.
Isabelle Dinoire, 49. Frenchwoman who received the world’s first partial face transplant. April 22.
Billy Paul, 80. Jazz and soul singer best known for the No. 1 hit ballad and “Philadelphia Soul” classic “Me and Mrs. Jones.” April 24.
Remo Belli, 88. Musician who pioneered the synthetic drumhead in time to help a generation of rock-and-rollers shape their sound and then saw it become standard on kits across genres. April 25.
Harry Wu, 79. Former political prisoner who dedicated his later life to exposing abuses in China’s brutal prison labor camp system. April 26.
Ozzie Silna, 83. He turned a fading American Basketball Association franchise into a four-decade windfall of nearly $800 million from the NBA in what’s commonly called the greatest deal in sports history. April 26.
Conrad Burns, 81. Former U.S. senator whose folksy demeanor and political acumen earned him three terms and the bitter disdain of his opponents. April 28.
Rev. Daniel Berrigan, 94. Roman Catholic priest and peace activist who was imprisoned for burning draft files in a protest against the Vietnam War. April 30.
MAY:
Tommy Kono, 85. He took up weightlifting in an internment camp for Japanese-Americans and went on to win two Olympic gold medals for the United States. May 1.
Madeleine LeBeau, 92. French actress best known for her small but memorable role in “Casablanca” as Rick’s pushed aside girlfriend Yvonne who passionately sings “La Marseillaise” at a pivotal moment. May 1.
Afeni Shakur, 69. Former Black Panther who inspired the work of her son, rap icon Tupac Shakur, and fostered his legacy for decades after he was slain. May 2.
Carl Fredrik Reutersward, 81. One of Sweden’s best-known modern artists and the creator of the iconic statue of a revolver barrel tied in a knot. May 3.
Bob Bennett, 82. Former U.S. senator who shied away from the spotlight but earned a reputation as someone who knew how to get things done in Washington. May 4.
William Schallert, 93. Veteran performer and Hollywood union leader who played Patty Duke’s father — and uncle — on TV and led a long, contentious strike for actors. May 8.
Gene Gutowski, 90. Polish-American Holocaust survivor who was the producer of three films by director Roman Polanski in the 1960s and reunited with him decades later for the Oscar-winning Holocaust drama “The Pianist.” May 10.
Donnovan Hill, 18. California teenager whose paralyzing football injury led to increased safety protections for young players after he sued a youth league. May 11.
Samuel Gibson, 39. Diminutive New Zealand man who inspired many by defying the brittle bones he was born with and pursuing a life filled with rigorous outdoor adventures. May 16. Died after falling from wheelchair during half-marathon.
Guy Clark, 74. Texas singer-songwriter who helped mentor a generation of songwriters and wrote hits like “L.A. Freeway” and “Desperados Waiting for a Train.” May 17.
Morley Safer, 84. Veteran “60 Minutes” correspondent who was equally at home reporting on social injustices, the Orient Express and abstract art, and who exposed a military atrocity in Vietnam that played an early role in changing Americans’ view of the war. May 19.
Rosalie Chris Lerman, 90. Survivor of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp who was the wife of the founder of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and a passionate advocate of Holocaust remembrance. May 19.
Alan Young, 96. Actor-comedian who played the amiable straight man to a talking horse in the 1960s sitcom “Mister Ed.” May 19.
Kang Sok Ju, 76. Top North Korean diplomat who negotiated a short-lived 1994 deal with the United States to freeze his nation’s nuclear programs in exchange for international aid. May 20.
Mullah Mohammed Akhtar Mansour, believed to be in his mid-50s. His brief rule of the Taliban in Afghanistan was marked by mistrust and strife. May 20. Killed in a drone strike.
Thomas E. Schaefer, 85. Retired Air Force colonel who was the ranking military officer among the 52 Americans held hostage in Iran for 444 days before being released in 1981. May 31.
JUNE:
Muhammad Ali, 74. Heavyweight champion whose fast fists, irrepressible personality and determined spirit transcended sports and captivated the world. June 3.
Peter Shaffer, 90. British playwright whose durable, award-winning hits included “Equus” and “Amadeus.” June 6.
Victor Korchnoi, 85. Chess grandmaster and former Soviet champion who defected to the West and was considered among the best players never to win a world championship. June 6.
Kimbo Slice, 42. Bearded street fighter who parlayed his Internet popularity into a mixed martial arts career. June 6.
Theresa Saldana, 61. “Raging Bull” actress who survived a stalker’s brutal attack to become a crime victims’ advocate and reclaimed her entertainment career with “The Commish” and other TV shows. June 6.
Gordie Howe, 88. Known as “Mr. Hockey,” the rough-and-tumble Canadian farm boy whose blend of talent and toughness made him the NHL’s quintessential star. June 10.
Margaret Vinci Heldt, 98. She became a hairstyling celebrity after she created the beehive hairdo in 1960. June 10.
George Voinovich, 79. Former U.S. senator and a two-term Ohio governor who preached frugality in his personal and public life and occasionally bucked the GOP establishment. June 12.
Lois Duncan, 82. Known for her pioneering suspense novels that captivated young readers, including “I Know What You Did Last Summer,” which became a movie. June 15.
Jo Cox, 41. Lawmaker who campaigned for Britain to stay in the European Union. June 16. Killed by a gun- and knife-wielding attacker.
Anton Yelchin, 27. Rising actor best known for playing Chekov in the new “Star Trek” films. June 19. Hit by his car in his driveway.
Wayne Jackson, 74. Trumpet player on rock ‘n’ roll, soul, R&B and pop mainstays along with Memphis Horns partner and tenor saxophonist Andrew Love. June 21.
David Jonathan Thatcher, 94. Member of the Doolittle Raiders, who bombed Japan in an attack that stunned that nation and boosted U.S. morale during World War II. June 22.
John Ashe, 61. Former UN General Assembly president who was facing criminal charges in a bribery case. June 22.
Michael Herr, 76. Author and Oscar-nominated screenplay writer who viscerally documented the ravages of the Vietnam War through his classic nonfiction novel “Dispatches” and through such films as “Apocalypse Now” and “Full Metal Jacket.” June 23.
Bernie Worrell, 72. “Wizard of Woo” whose amazing array of keyboard sounds helped define the Parliament-Funkadelic musical empire and influenced performers of many genres. June 24.
Bud Spencer, 86. Burly comic actor dubbed the “good giant” for punching out bad guys on the screen, often in a long series of spaghetti westerns. June 27.
Alvin Toffler, 87. Guru of the post-industrial age whose “Future Shock” and other books anticipated the disruptions and transformations brought about by the rise of digital technology. June 27.
Isak Chishi Swu, 87. Militant leader of the Naga tribal insurgency in India. June 28.
Pat Summitt, 64. Winningest coach in Division I college basketball history who uplifted the women’s game from obscurity to national prominence during her 38-year career at Tennessee. June 28.
JULY:
Elie Wiesel, 87. Romanian-born Holocaust survivor whose classic “Night” became a landmark testament to the Nazis’ crimes and launched his career as one of the world’s foremost witnesses and humanitarians. July 2.
Michael Cimino, 77. Oscar-winning director whose film “The Deer Hunter” became one of the great triumphs of Hollywood’s 1970s heyday and whose disastrous “Heaven’s Gate” helped bring that era to a close. July 2.
Jack C. Taylor, 94. He started a leasing company with seven cars and built it into Enterprise Rent-A-Car. July 2.
Abbas Kiarostami, 76. Iranian director whose 1997 film “Taste of Cherry” won the prestigious Palme d’Or and who kept working despite government resistance. July 4.
William L. Armstrong, 79. Colorado media executive who became a major conservative voice in the Senate. July 5.
Abdul Sattar Edhi, 88. Pakistan’s legendary philanthropist who devoted his life to the poor and the destitute. July 8.
Sydney H. Schanberg, 82. Former New York Times correspondent awarded a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the genocide in Cambodia in 1975 and whose story of the survival of his assistant inspired the film “The Killing Fields.” July 9.
Bernardo Provenzano, 83. Convicted Cosa Nostra “boss of bosses” who reputedly led the Mafia’s powerful Corleone clan. July 13.
Nate Thurmond, 74. Tenacious NBA defensive center who played with Wilt Chamberlain. July 16.
Alan Vega, 78. Punk pioneer who helped form the duo Suicide, widely regarded as a forerunner of punk and electronic music. July 16.
Wendell Anderson, 83. Former Minnesota governor and ex-Olympian described in a 1973 Time magazine cover article as the youthful embodiment of his home state only to lose public confidence later by arranging his own appointment to the U.S. Senate. July 17.
Clown Dimitri, 80. Beloved Swiss clown and mime over nearly six decades who studied under Marcel Marceau and spread smiles from Broadway to Congo. July 19.
Mark Takai, 49. U.S. representative, war veteran and long-time legislator known for his bright nature and deep commitment to service. July 20. Pancreatic cancer.
Thomas Sutherland, 85. Teacher who was held captive in Lebanon for more than six years until he was freed in 1991 and returned home to become professor emeritus at Colorado State University. July 22.
Marni Nixon, 86. Hollywood voice double whose singing was heard in place of the leading actresses’ in such movie musicals as “West Side Story,” ”The King and I” and “My Fair Lady.” July 24.
Rev. Tim LaHaye, 90. Co-author of the “Left Behind” series, a multimillion-selling literary juggernaut that brought end-times prophecy into mainstream bookstores. July 25.
Sam Wheeler, 72. Renowned land speed motorcycle racer. July 25. Injuries suffered in a motorcycle crash.
Youree Dell Harris, 53. Actress who became famous playing the Jamaican psychic Miss Cleo, claiming to know callers’ futures in ubiquitous TV infomercials and commercials. July 26.
Gloria DeHaven, 91. Daughter of vaudeville stars who carved out her own career as the vivacious star of Hollywood musicals and comedies of the 1940s and ’50s. July 30.
AUGUST:
Anne of Romania, 92. Wife of Romania’s last monarch, King Michael. Aug. 1.
Ahmed Zewail, 70. Science adviser to President Obama who won the 1999 Nobel Prize for his work on the study of chemical reactions over short time scales. Aug. 2.
Pete Fountain, 86. Clarinetist whose Dixieland jazz virtuosity and wit endeared him to his native New Orleans and earned him national television fame. Aug. 6.
Helen Delich Bentley, 92. Former Maryland congresswoman who was an expert on the maritime industry. Aug. 6.
Robert Kiley, 80. He is credited with revitalizing and modernizing public transportation networks in Boston, New York and London. Aug. 9.
Harry Briggs Jr., 75. As a young boy, he was at the center of a lawsuit that culminated with the U.S. Supreme Court outlawing segregated public schools. Aug. 9.
Kenny Baker, 81. He played the lovable droid R2-D2 in the “Star Wars” films, achieving cult status and fans’ adulation without showing his face or speaking any lines. Aug. 13.
Fyvush Finkel, 93. Plastic-faced Emmy Award-winning actor whose career in stage and screen started in Yiddish theater and led to memorable roles in “Fiddler on the Roof” on Broadway and on TV in “Boston Public” and “Picket Fences.” Aug. 14.
Bobby Hutcherson, 75. Bricklayer’s son who became one of the most inventive jazz vibraphonists to pick up a pair of mallets. Aug. 15.
Joao Havelange, 100. President of FIFA for two decades, who transformed soccer’s governing body into a multibillion-dollar business but also a hotbed for subsequent corruption. Aug. 16.
John McLaughlin, 89. Conservative commentator and host of a long-running television show that pioneered hollering-heads discussions of Washington politics. Aug. 16.
Arthur Hiller, 92. Oscar nominee for directing the hugely popular romantic tragedy “Love Story” during a career that spanned dozens of popular movies and TV shows. Aug. 17.
John W. Vessey, 94. Army general who rose in a 46-year military career to become chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and helped oversee Reagan’s military buildup. Aug. 18.
Jay Fishman, 63. Former Travelers Group insurance company chief executive who became a national advocate for research into Lou Gehrig’s disease after being diagnosed with it. Aug. 19.
Donald “D.A.” Henderson, 87. Epidemiologist whose leadership resulted in the eradication nearly 40 years ago of smallpox, one of the world’s most feared contagious diseases. Aug. 19.
Toots Thielemans, 94. Belgian harmonica player whose career included playing with jazz greats like Miles Davis and whose solos have figured on numerous film scores. Aug. 22.
Walter Scheel, 97. He helped shape West Germany’s policy of reconciliation with the communist bloc as foreign minister and later served as his country’s president. Aug. 24.
Sonia Rykiel, 86. French designer dubbed the “queen of knitwear” whose relaxed sweaters in berry-colored stripes and eye-popping motifs helped liberate women from stuffy suits. Aug. 25.
Gene Wilder, 83. Frizzy-haired actor who brought his deft comedic touch to such unforgettable roles as the neurotic accountant in “The Producers” and the mad scientist of “Young Frankenstein.” Aug. 28.
Juan Gabriel, 66. Mexican songwriter and singer who was an icon in the Latin music world. Aug. 28.
Harry Fujiwara, 82. Better known as Mr. Fuji, he was a former star wrestler and manager. Aug. 28.
Vera Caslavska, 74. Seven-time Olympic gymnastics gold medalist who stood up against the 1968 Soviet-led invasion of Czechoslovakia. Aug. 30.
SEPTEMBER:
Jon Polito, 65. Raspy-voiced actor whose 200-plus credits ranged from “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Modern Family” to the films “Barton Fink” and “The Big Lebowski.” Sept. 1.
Sam Iacobellis, 87. Rockwell International engineer who met President Ronald Reagan’s challenge to deliver 100 B-1 bombers as fast as possible in the early 1980s to challenge the Soviet Union. Sept. 3.
Hugh O’Brian, 91. He shot to fame as Sheriff Wyatt Earp in what was hailed as television’s first adult Western. Sept. 5.
Phyllis Schlafly, 92. Outspoken conservative activist who helped defeat the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s and founded the Eagle Forum political group. Sept. 5.
Bobby Chacon, 64. Hall of Fame boxer whose memorable fights included victories over Rafael “Bazooka” Limon, Cornelius Boza-Edwards, Danny Lopez and Ruben Olivares. Sept. 7.
Greta Zimmer Friedman, 92. Believed to be the woman in an iconic photo shown kissing an ecstatic sailor in Times Square celebrating the end of World War II. Sept. 8.
Johan Botha, 51. Tenor whose light but muscular voice dazzled audiences at the world’s top operatic stages. Sept. 8.
Lady Chablis, 59. Transgender performer who became an unlikely celebrity for her role in the 1994 best-seller “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil.” Sept. 8.
Jack Hofsiss, 65. Stage and screen director who won a Tony Award in his first outing on Broadway while helming “The Elephant Man” and kept working despite an accident that left him without the use of his arms and legs. Sept. 13.
Rose Mofford, 94. Arizona’s first female governor and a shepherd for the state during a period of political turbulence. Sept. 15.
Edward Albee, 88. Three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright who challenged theatrical convention in masterworks such as “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” and “A Delicate Balance.” Sept. 16.
W.P. Kinsella, 81. Canadian novelist who blended magical realism and baseball in the book that became the smash hit film “Field of Dreams.” Sept. 16.
Charmian Carr, 73. Actress best known for sweetly portraying the eldest von Trapp daughter in “The Sound of Music.” Sept. 17.
Rose Pak, 68. Brash community activist who helped transform San Francisco’s growing Asian American population into a politically powerful constituency. Sept. 18.
Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural Jr., 68. Musician who rose from a cotton-picking family in southwest Louisiana to introduce zydeco music to the world through his band Buckwheat Zydeco. Sept. 24.
Arnold Palmer, 87. Golfing great who brought a country-club sport to the masses with a hard-charging style, charisma and a commoner’s touch. Sept. 25.
Jean Shepard, 82. “The grand lady of the Grand Ole Opry” who had a long recording career in country music. Sept. 25.
Ben Steele, 98. Bataan Death March survivor whose art helped him maintain his sanity as a prisoner of war and helped him forgive his captors. Sept. 25.
Curtis Roosevelt, 86. He lived in the White House as a child when his grandfather, Franklin D. Roosevelt, was president and worked for two decades at the United Nations. Sept. 26.
Shimon Peres, 93. Former Israeli president and prime minister, whose life story mirrored that of the Jewish state and who was celebrated around the world as a Nobel prize-winning visionary who pushed his country toward peace. Sept. 28.
OCTOBER:
Joan Marie Johnson, 72. A founding member of the New Orleans girl group The Dixie Cups, who had a No. 1 hit in 1964 with “Chapel of Love.” Oct. 3.
Jacob Neusner, 84. He transformed the study of American Judaism, becoming one of the most influential 20th-century scholars of the religion. Oct. 8.
Aaron Pryor, 60. Relentless junior welterweight who fought two memorable bouts with Alexis Arguello. Oct. 9.
Andrzej Wajda, 90. Poland’s leading filmmaker whose career maneuvering between a repressive communist government and an audience yearning for freedom won him international recognition and an honorary Oscar. Oct. 9.
Donn Fendler, 90. As a boy, he survived nine days alone on Maine’s tallest mountain in 1939 and later wrote a book about the ordeal. Oct. 10.
Dario Fo, 90. Italian playwright whose energetic mocking of Italian political life, social mores and religion won him praise, scorn and the Nobel Prize for Literature. Oct. 13.
King Bhumibol Adulyadej, 88. World’s longest reigning monarch, he was revered in Thailand as a demigod, a humble father figure and an anchor of stability through decades of upheaval at home and abroad. Oct. 13.
Dennis Byrd, 51. Former NFL defensive lineman whose career was ended by neck injury. Oct. 15. Car accident.
Junko Tabei, 77. The first woman to climb Mount Everest. Oct. 20.
Tom Hayden, 76. 1960s antiwar activist whose name became forever linked with the Chicago 7 trial, Vietnam War protests and his ex-wife, actress Jane Fonda. Oct. 23.
Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, 84. Former emir of Qatar who was deposed by his son in a bloodless palace coup. Oct. 23.
Jack T. Chick, 92. His cartoon tracts preached fundamentalist Christianity while vilifying secular society, evolution, homosexuality, and the beliefs of Catholics and Muslims. Oct. 23.
Bobby Vee, 73. Boyish, grinning 1960s singer whose career was born when he took a stage as a teenager to fill in after the 1959 plane crash that killed rock ‘n’ roll stars Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and J.P. “The Big Bopper” Richardson. Oct. 24.
Jorge Batlle, 88. Former president was a force in Uruguayan politics for half a century, who led the nation during one of its worst economic recessions. Oct. 24.
Robert A. Hoover, 94. Second World War fighter pilot who became an aviation legend for his flying skills in testing aircraft and demonstrating their capabilities in air shows. Oct. 25.
Norman R. Brokaw, 89. Talent agent who represented Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, Clint Eastwood and other top Hollywood stars. Oct. 29.
NOVEMBER:
Jean-Jacques Perrey, 87. French composer and pioneer of electronic pop music who was best known for co-writing “Baroque Hoedown,” used as the music for the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disney theme parks. Nov. 4.
Janet Reno, 78. First woman to serve as U.S. attorney general and the epicenter of several political storms during the Clinton administration, including the seizure of Elian Gonzalez. Nov. 7.
Leonard Cohen, 82. Baritone-voiced Canadian singer-songwriter who blended spirituality and sexuality in songs like “Hallelujah,” ”Suzanne” and “Bird on a Wire.” Nov. 7.
Robert Vaughn, 83. Debonair, Oscar-nominated actor whose many film roles were eclipsed by his hugely popular turn in television’s “The Man From U.N.C.L.E.” Nov. 11.
Leon Russell, 74. He performed, sang and produced some of rock ‘n’ roll’s top records. Nov. 13.
Gwen Ifill, 61. Co-anchor of PBS’ “NewsHour” with Judy Woodruff and a veteran journalist who moderated two vice presidential debates. Nov. 14.
Holly Dunn, 59. Country singer who had a hit in 1986 with “Daddy’s Hands,” about her minister father. Nov. 14.
Mose Allison, 89. Pianist and singer whose witty, Southern-accented lyrics delivered over a backdrop of boogie-woogie blues and jazz piano influenced musicians across a wide spectrum. Nov. 15.
Anthony Brooklier, 70. Los Angeles lawyer whose clients included “Hollywood Madam” Heidi Fleiss and his own mob-boss father. Nov. 15.
Melvin Laird, 94. Former Wisconsin congressman and U.S. defense secretary during years when President Richard Nixon sought a way to withdraw troops from Vietnam. Nov. 16.
Mentor Williams, 70. Award-winning songwriter behind the 1970s hit “Drift Away,” which became a soulful rock ‘n’ roll anthem aired on radio stations for generations. Nov. 16.
Denton Cooley, 96. Cardiovascular surgeon who performed some of the nation’s first heart transplants and implanted the world’s first artificial heart. Nov. 18.
Sharon Jones, 60. Powerhouse who shepherded a soul revival despite not finding stardom until middle age. Nov. 18. Cancer.
Ralph Branca, 90. Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher who gave up the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” that still echoes six decades later as one of the most famous home runs in baseball history. Nov. 23.
Florence Henderson, 82. Broadway star who became one of America’s most beloved television moms in “The Brady Bunch.” Nov. 24.
Fidel Castro, 90. He led his bearded rebels to victorious revolution in 1959, embraced Soviet-style communism and defied the power of U.S. presidents during his half-century of rule in Cuba. Nov. 25.
Fritz Weaver, 90. Tony Award-winning actor who played Sherlock Holmes and Shakespearian kings on Broadway while also creating memorable roles on TV and film from “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” to “Marathon Man.” Nov. 26.
Michael James “Jim” Delligatti, 98. McDonald’s franchisee who created the Big Mac nearly 50 years ago and saw it become perhaps the best-known fast-food sandwich. Nov. 28.
Grant Tinker, 90. He brought new polish to the TV world with beloved shows including “Hill Street Blues” as both a producer and a network boss. Nov. 28.
DECEMBER:
Jayaram Jayalalithaa, 68. South Indian actress who turned to politics and became the highest elected official in the state of Tamil Nadu. Dec. 4.
John Glenn, 95. His 1962 flight as the first U.S. astronaut to orbit the Earth made him an all-American hero and propelled him to a long career in the U.S. Senate. Dec. 8.
Esma Redzepova, 73. One of the most powerful voices in the world of Gypsy music. Dec. 11.
Joe Ligon, 80. Singer and dynamic frontman of the Grammy-winning gospel group Mighty Clouds of Joy. Dec. 11.
E.R. Braithwaite, 104. Guyanese author, educator and diplomat whose years teaching in the slums of London’s East End inspired the international best-seller “To Sir, With Love” and the movie of the same name. Dec. 12.
Alan Thicke, 69. Versatile performer who gained his greatest renown as the beloved dad on the sitcom “Growing Pains.” Dec. 13.
Lawrence Manley Colburn, 67. Helicopter gunner in the Vietnam War who helped end the slaughter of hundreds of unarmed Vietnamese villagers by U.S. troops at My Lai. Dec. 13.
Craig Sager, 65. Longtime NBA sideline reporter famous for his flashy suits and probing questions. Dec. 15.
Henry Heimlich, 96. Surgeon who created the life-saving Heimlich maneuver for choking victims. Dec. 17.
Zsa Zsa Gabor, 99. Jet-setting Hungarian actress and socialite who helped invent a new kind of fame out of multiple marriages, conspicuous wealth and jaded wisdom about the glamorous life. Dec. 18.
George Michael, 53. Musician who shot to stardom at an early age in the teen duo WHAM! and moved smoothly into a solo career. Dec. 25.
Carrie Fisher, 60. Actress who found enduring fame as Princess Leia in the original “Star Wars” trilogy. Dec. 27.
Debbie Reynolds, 84. Actress who lit up the screen in “Singin’ in the Rain’ and other Hollywood classics, one day after losing her daughter Fisher. Dec. 28

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sad News Montrealer Leonared Cohen Dead at 82

Leonard Cohen Dead at 82:

                    
                            

Montreal-born poet, songwriter and artist Leonard Cohen has died at the age of 82.
FB page  gave no other details but said a memorial would take place in Los Angeles at a later date.
“It is with profound sorrow we report that legendary poet, songwriter and artist, Leonard Cohen has passed away.We have lost one of music’s most revered and prolific visionaries. A memorial will take place in Los Angeles at a later date. The family requests privacy during their time of grief.”

MONTREAL — Leonard Cohen — writer, poet, composer, singer, renowned seducer and, for many, the epitome of cool — has died at the age of 82.
His sonorous, tobacco-painted baritone was once described as "the musical equivalent of rotgut whisky" and his lyrics and texts relentlessly studied spirituality, sex, power and love.
Just weeks ago Cohen released a new album, "You Want It Darker," produced in part by his son Adam. Cohen was still performing to sellout crowds and drawing new generations of fans at an age when most people would have settled back in their rocking chairs to reflect on their life's accomplishments.
Now all that's left is his prodigious body of work, which includes the oft-covered "Hallelujah," which was sung by k.d. lang during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Pointing to W.B. Yeats, Walt Whitman and Canadian poet Irving Layton among his literary influences, Cohen himself had fans among some of music's top names, including U2, REM, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
In reviewing his 2008-10 world tour, Britain's Independent newspaper declared that "to hear him sing is still an experience to truly make young women and romantics shiver and sweat."
Cohen's compositions endlessly entranced audiences, who usually treated the reclusive performer with awe. However, his poetic songs were far from being toe-tappers, with some clocking in at seven minutes long and dealing more in substance than sass.
His songs prompted him to be dubbed the "godfather of gloom," the "poet laureate of pessimism," the "grocer of despair" and the "prince of bummers." One reviewer in the 1970s described his songs as "music to slit your wrists to."
But he was hailed for his intelligence, humility, curiosity and generosity, donating unpublished poems, poems-in-progress, drawings and archival material to a fan website where it could be enjoyed by followers.
The 2003 Order of Canada inductee is said to have had a fantastic sense of humour and loved to crack jokes.
He wasn't adverse to poking fun at himself, as he did before a sold-out crowd at Montreal's Bell Centre during a 2012 concert.
"Sometimes, I stumble out of bed, look at myself in the mirror and say to the mirror, 'Lighten up, Cohen'," he said to laughter.
Compared to some entertainers who march through their famous lives with brass-band personalities, Cohen glided along unassumingly, although any tidbit of news or sighting was almost treated with second coming-type excitement.
He could show up in the darndest places other than the sun-drenched streets of Los Angeles, where he often recorded. Cohen was so taken with the Greek island of Hydra that he bought a house there in 1960 for $1,500 and lived in it even though it had no electricity or running water.
He also stayed in a Zen Buddhist monastery on Mount Baldy near Los Angeles for five years and popped up in his Montreal hometown where he strolled around the city. The singer once left a TV reporter doing man-in-the-street interviews gobsmacked when the journalist unknowingly tapped him for an opinion. Cohen shyly declined.
He also liked to slide into a booth at the fabled Montreal deli The Main for a smoked-meat sandwich.
"A lovely man," recalled Diane Bass, whose husband owns the restaurant.
But the 2008 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame struggled to define the location of the creative well that spawned his offerings.
"If I knew where the songs came from, I'd go there more often," he said in a 1992 interview with The Canadian Press.
"Some people write great tunes in the back of taxicabs but it takes me endless amounts of writing and rewriting to come up with something I can wrap my voice around."
Another time he compared it to being like a "bear stumbling into a beehive."
The ever-dapper Cohen, who favoured black suits, fedoras and tweed caps, was born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934, to a middle-class family. His father, who ran a well-known clothing store, died when he was nine.
He pursued undergraduate studies at McGill University and became president of the debating union. He flirted with a legal career and attended McGill law school for a year after completing his bachelor's degree. He also went to Columbia University for a year.
But literature had a stronger call than litigation.
"Let Us Compare Mythologies," his first book of poetry, was published in 1956 when he was an undergrad. The "Flowers For Hitler" poetry collection and the novels "The Favourite Game" and "Beautiful Losers" followed in the 1960s.
But as eloquent as he could be on the printed page, establishing himself as a poet and novelist of renown by the age of 32, Cohen decided that songwriting might pay better.
It was a career change that raised a few eyebrows and agents in New York reportedly asked him, "Aren't you a little old for this game?"
It didn't stop him.
A big break came in 1966 when Judy Collins recorded his standard "Suzanne," and he came out with his first album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" the same year.
That was followed up with "Songs from a Room" in 1969, which included the popular "Bird on the Wire."
He had a fairly steady output although his popularity dipped in the 1970s as disco, not doom, was deemed to be the treat for consumers' ears. But Cohen began a comeback in 1984 with "Various Positions," which included "Hallelujah."
Ironically, "Hallelujah," was on the only Cohen album ever rejected by his record company and was little noticed when it did come out on an independent label. But it has become modern standard after hundreds of cover versions, high-profile performances and use in TV and movie soundtracks.
It's played at weddings, funerals — including the 2011 state ceremony for then NDP leader Jack Layton — school concerts and religious services. It was repeatedly played on VH1 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and at a telethon for relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake in 2010.
But the Grammy- and Juno-winning Cohen, who once played the head of Interpol in an episode of TV's "Miami Vice," seems to have been defined almost as much by his libido as his music and his words.
Actress Anjelica Huston once summed him up as "part wolf and part angel."
"Death of a Ladies' Man," a 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector and his famous "wall of sound" style, traded on Cohen's love life, although the singer described the final product as "grotesque."
Cohen was generally discreet about the women he dated, with the tally mainly being taken by the media.
"I never discuss my mistresses or my tailors," he told an interviewer, although he has broken that rule a few times, describing an encounter with Janis Joplin in the song "Chelsea Hotel No. 2."
As well, one of his signature tunes, "Suzanne" is based on another lover he knew in Montreal.
The 1991 Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee's love life served to fuel a standing quip in his hometown that his Montreal conquests alone could fill a small phone book. His prowess even rated a tip of the hat in Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 album guide.
"For all his poetic angst and folkie sorrow, Cohen could never hide the fact that he was getting more rock-star booty than any other Canadian, before or since," wrote Rob Sheffield.
"Whispering in his glamorously tattered voice, he still makes all his songs sound like sinful confidences shared over bottles of bloody-red wine."
At the height of his popularity in France in the 1960s, it was said that if a French woman owned one album, it was likely to be by Cohen.
But he dismissed it all with a resigned shrug.
"No one masters love and I don't seem to ever master the song," he said. "You have to struggle with it, like it was the first time you ever did it."

© Copyright Times Colonist - See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/canadian-musical-icon-leonard-cohen-dead-at-the-age-of-82-1.2629883#sthash.6XyBBfQy.dpuf
MONTREAL — Leonard Cohen — writer, poet, composer, singer, renowned seducer and, for many, the epitome of cool — has died at the age of 82.
His sonorous, tobacco-painted baritone was once described as "the musical equivalent of rotgut whisky" and his lyrics and texts relentlessly studied spirituality, sex, power and love.
Just weeks ago Cohen released a new album, "You Want It Darker," produced in part by his son Adam. Cohen was still performing to sellout crowds and drawing new generations of fans at an age when most people would have settled back in their rocking chairs to reflect on their life's accomplishments.
Now all that's left is his prodigious body of work, which includes the oft-covered "Hallelujah," which was sung by k.d. lang during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Pointing to W.B. Yeats, Walt Whitman and Canadian poet Irving Layton among his literary influences, Cohen himself had fans among some of music's top names, including U2, REM, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
In reviewing his 2008-10 world tour, Britain's Independent newspaper declared that "to hear him sing is still an experience to truly make young women and romantics shiver and sweat."
Cohen's compositions endlessly entranced audiences, who usually treated the reclusive performer with awe. However, his poetic songs were far from being toe-tappers, with some clocking in at seven minutes long and dealing more in substance than sass.
His songs prompted him to be dubbed the "godfather of gloom," the "poet laureate of pessimism," the "grocer of despair" and the "prince of bummers." One reviewer in the 1970s described his songs as "music to slit your wrists to."
But he was hailed for his intelligence, humility, curiosity and generosity, donating unpublished poems, poems-in-progress, drawings and archival material to a fan website where it could be enjoyed by followers.
The 2003 Order of Canada inductee is said to have had a fantastic sense of humour and loved to crack jokes.
He wasn't adverse to poking fun at himself, as he did before a sold-out crowd at Montreal's Bell Centre during a 2012 concert.
"Sometimes, I stumble out of bed, look at myself in the mirror and say to the mirror, 'Lighten up, Cohen'," he said to laughter.
Compared to some entertainers who march through their famous lives with brass-band personalities, Cohen glided along unassumingly, although any tidbit of news or sighting was almost treated with second coming-type excitement.
He could show up in the darndest places other than the sun-drenched streets of Los Angeles, where he often recorded. Cohen was so taken with the Greek island of Hydra that he bought a house there in 1960 for $1,500 and lived in it even though it had no electricity or running water.
He also stayed in a Zen Buddhist monastery on Mount Baldy near Los Angeles for five years and popped up in his Montreal hometown where he strolled around the city. The singer once left a TV reporter doing man-in-the-street interviews gobsmacked when the journalist unknowingly tapped him for an opinion. Cohen shyly declined.
He also liked to slide into a booth at the fabled Montreal deli The Main for a smoked-meat sandwich.
"A lovely man," recalled Diane Bass, whose husband owns the restaurant.
But the 2008 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame struggled to define the location of the creative well that spawned his offerings.
"If I knew where the songs came from, I'd go there more often," he said in a 1992 interview with The Canadian Press.
"Some people write great tunes in the back of taxicabs but it takes me endless amounts of writing and rewriting to come up with something I can wrap my voice around."
Another time he compared it to being like a "bear stumbling into a beehive."
The ever-dapper Cohen, who favoured black suits, fedoras and tweed caps, was born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934, to a middle-class family. His father, who ran a well-known clothing store, died when he was nine.
He pursued undergraduate studies at McGill University and became president of the debating union. He flirted with a legal career and attended McGill law school for a year after completing his bachelor's degree. He also went to Columbia University for a year.
But literature had a stronger call than litigation.
"Let Us Compare Mythologies," his first book of poetry, was published in 1956 when he was an undergrad. The "Flowers For Hitler" poetry collection and the novels "The Favourite Game" and "Beautiful Losers" followed in the 1960s.
But as eloquent as he could be on the printed page, establishing himself as a poet and novelist of renown by the age of 32, Cohen decided that songwriting might pay better.
It was a career change that raised a few eyebrows and agents in New York reportedly asked him, "Aren't you a little old for this game?"
It didn't stop him.
A big break came in 1966 when Judy Collins recorded his standard "Suzanne," and he came out with his first album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" the same year.
That was followed up with "Songs from a Room" in 1969, which included the popular "Bird on the Wire."
He had a fairly steady output although his popularity dipped in the 1970s as disco, not doom, was deemed to be the treat for consumers' ears. But Cohen began a comeback in 1984 with "Various Positions," which included "Hallelujah."
Ironically, "Hallelujah," was on the only Cohen album ever rejected by his record company and was little noticed when it did come out on an independent label. But it has become modern standard after hundreds of cover versions, high-profile performances and use in TV and movie soundtracks.
It's played at weddings, funerals — including the 2011 state ceremony for then NDP leader Jack Layton — school concerts and religious services. It was repeatedly played on VH1 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and at a telethon for relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake in 2010.
But the Grammy- and Juno-winning Cohen, who once played the head of Interpol in an episode of TV's "Miami Vice," seems to have been defined almost as much by his libido as his music and his words.
Actress Anjelica Huston once summed him up as "part wolf and part angel."
"Death of a Ladies' Man," a 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector and his famous "wall of sound" style, traded on Cohen's love life, although the singer described the final product as "grotesque."
Cohen was generally discreet about the women he dated, with the tally mainly being taken by the media.
"I never discuss my mistresses or my tailors," he told an interviewer, although he has broken that rule a few times, describing an encounter with Janis Joplin in the song "Chelsea Hotel No. 2."
As well, one of his signature tunes, "Suzanne" is based on another lover he knew in Montreal.
The 1991 Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee's love life served to fuel a standing quip in his hometown that his Montreal conquests alone could fill a small phone book. His prowess even rated a tip of the hat in Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 album guide.
"For all his poetic angst and folkie sorrow, Cohen could never hide the fact that he was getting more rock-star booty than any other Canadian, before or since," wrote Rob Sheffield.
"Whispering in his glamorously tattered voice, he still makes all his songs sound like sinful confidences shared over bottles of bloody-red wine."
At the height of his popularity in France in the 1960s, it was said that if a French woman owned one album, it was likely to be by Cohen.
But he dismissed it all with a resigned shrug.
"No one masters love and I don't seem to ever master the song," he said. "You have to struggle with it, like it was the first time you ever did it."

© Copyright Times Colonist - See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/canadian-musical-icon-leonard-cohen-dead-at-the-age-of-82-1.2629883#sthash.6XyBBfQy.dpuf
 
MONTREAL - Leonard Cohen — writer, poet, composer, singer, renowned seducer and, for many, the epitome of cool — has died at the age of 82.
His sonorous, tobacco-painted baritone was once described as "the musical equivalent of rotgut whisky" and his lyrics and texts relentlessly studied spirituality, sex, power and love.
Just weeks ago Cohen released a new album, "You Want It Darker," produced in part by his son Adam. Cohen was still performing to sellout crowds and drawing new generations of fans at an age when most people would have settled back in their rocking chairs to reflect on their life's accomplishments.
Now all that's left is his prodigious body of work, which includes the oft-covered "Hallelujah," which was sung by k.d. lang during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Pointing to W.B. Yeats, Walt Whitman and Canadian poet Irving Layton among his literary influences, Cohen himself had fans among some of music's top names, including U2, REM, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
In reviewing his 2008-10 world tour, Britain's Independent newspaper declared that "to hear him sing is still an experience to truly make young women and romantics shiver and sweat."
Cohen's compositions endlessly entranced audiences, who usually treated the reclusive performer with awe. However, his poetic songs were far from being toe-tappers, with some clocking in at seven minutes long and dealing more in substance than sass.
His songs prompted him to be dubbed the "godfather of gloom," the "poet laureate of pessimism," the "grocer of despair" and the "prince of bummers." One reviewer in the 1970s described his songs as "music to slit your wrists to."
But he was hailed for his intelligence, humility, curiosity and generosity, donating unpublished poems, poems-in-progress, drawings and archival material to a fan website where it could be enjoyed by followers.
The 2003 Order of Canada inductee is said to have had a fantastic sense of humour and loved to crack jokes.
He wasn't adverse to poking fun at himself, as he did before a sold-out crowd at Montreal's Bell Centre during a 2012 concert.
"Sometimes, I stumble out of bed, look at myself in the mirror and say to the mirror, 'Lighten up, Cohen'," he said to laughter.
Compared to some entertainers who march through their famous lives with brass-band personalities, Cohen glided along unassumingly, although any tidbit of news or sighting was almost treated with second coming-type excitement.
He could show up in the darndest places other than the sun-drenched streets of Los Angeles, where he often recorded. Cohen was so taken with the Greek island of Hydra that he bought a house there in 1960 for $1,500 and lived in it even though it had no electricity or running water.
He also stayed in a Zen Buddhist monastery on Mount Baldy near Los Angeles for five years and popped up in his Montreal hometown where he strolled around the city. The singer once left a TV reporter doing man-in-the-street interviews gobsmacked when the journalist unknowingly tapped him for an opinion. Cohen shyly declined.
He also liked to slide into a booth at the fabled Montreal deli The Main for a smoked-meat sandwich.
"A lovely man," recalled Diane Bass, whose husband owns the restaurant.
But the 2008 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame struggled to define the location of the creative well that spawned his offerings.
"If I knew where the songs came from, I'd go there more often," he said in a 1992 interview with The Canadian Press.
"Some people write great tunes in the back of taxicabs but it takes me endless amounts of writing and rewriting to come up with something I can wrap my voice around."
Another time he compared it to being like a "bear stumbling into a beehive."
The ever-dapper Cohen, who favoured black suits, fedoras and tweed caps, was born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934, to a middle-class family. His father, who ran a well-known clothing store, died when he was nine.
He pursued undergraduate studies at McGill University and became president of the debating union. He flirted with a legal career and attended McGill law school for a year after completing his bachelor's degree. He also went to Columbia University for a year.
But literature had a stronger call than litigation.
"Let Us Compare Mythologies," his first book of poetry, was published in 1956 when he was an undergrad. The "Flowers For Hitler" poetry collection and the novels "The Favourite Game" and "Beautiful Losers" followed in the 1960s.
But as eloquent as he could be on the printed page, establishing himself as a poet and novelist of renown by the age of 32, Cohen decided that songwriting might pay better.
It was a career change that raised a few eyebrows and agents in New York reportedly asked him, "Aren't you a little old for this game?"
It didn't stop him.
A big break came in 1966 when Judy Collins recorded his standard "Suzanne," and he came out with his first album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" the same year.
That was followed up with "Songs from a Room" in 1969, which included the popular "Bird on the Wire."
He had a fairly steady output although his popularity dipped in the 1970s as disco, not doom, was deemed to be the treat for consumers' ears. But Cohen began a comeback in 1984 with "Various Positions," which included "Hallelujah."
Ironically, "Hallelujah," was on the only Cohen album ever rejected by his record company and was little noticed when it did come out on an independent label. But it has become modern standard after hundreds of cover versions, high-profile performances and use in TV and movie soundtracks.
It's played at weddings, funerals — including the 2011 state ceremony for then NDP leader Jack Layton — school concerts and religious services. It was repeatedly played on VH1 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and at a telethon for relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake in 2010.
But the Grammy- and Juno-winning Cohen, who once played the head of Interpol in an episode of TV's "Miami Vice," seems to have been defined almost as much by his libido as his music and his words.
Actress Anjelica Huston once summed him up as "part wolf and part angel."
"Death of a Ladies' Man," a 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector and his famous "wall of sound" style, traded on Cohen's love life, although the singer described the final product as "grotesque."
Cohen was generally discreet about the women he dated, with the tally mainly being taken by the media.
"I never discuss my mistresses or my tailors," he told an interviewer, although he has broken that rule a few times, describing an encounter with Janis Joplin in the song "Chelsea Hotel No. 2."
As well, one of his signature tunes, "Suzanne" is based on another lover he knew in Montreal.
The 1991 Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee's love life served to fuel a standing quip in his hometown that his Montreal conquests alone could fill a small phone book. His prowess even rated a tip of the hat in Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 album guide.
"For all his poetic angst and folkie sorrow, Cohen could never hide the fact that he was getting more rock-star booty than any other Canadian, before or since," wrote Rob Sheffield.
"Whispering in his glamorously tattered voice, he still makes all his songs sound like sinful confidences shared over bottles of bloody-red wine."
At the height of his popularity in France in the 1960s, it was said that if a French woman owned one album, it was likely to be by Cohen.
But he dismissed it all with a resigned shrug.
"No one masters love and I don't seem to ever master the song," he said. "You have to struggle with it, like it was the first time you ever did it."

© Copyright Times Colonist - See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/canadian-musical-icon-leonard-cohen-dead-at-the-age-of-82-1.2629883#sthash.BSIAoPNk.dpuf
MONTREAL - Leonard Cohen — writer, poet, composer, singer, renowned seducer and, for many, the epitome of cool — has died at the age of 82.
His sonorous, tobacco-painted baritone was once described as "the musical equivalent of rotgut whisky" and his lyrics and texts relentlessly studied spirituality, sex, power and love.
Just weeks ago Cohen released a new album, "You Want It Darker," produced in part by his son Adam. Cohen was still performing to sellout crowds and drawing new generations of fans at an age when most people would have settled back in their rocking chairs to reflect on their life's accomplishments.
Now all that's left is his prodigious body of work, which includes the oft-covered "Hallelujah," which was sung by k.d. lang during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Pointing to W.B. Yeats, Walt Whitman and Canadian poet Irving Layton among his literary influences, Cohen himself had fans among some of music's top names, including U2, REM, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
In reviewing his 2008-10 world tour, Britain's Independent newspaper declared that "to hear him sing is still an experience to truly make young women and romantics shiver and sweat."
Cohen's compositions endlessly entranced audiences, who usually treated the reclusive performer with awe. However, his poetic songs were far from being toe-tappers, with some clocking in at seven minutes long and dealing more in substance than sass.
His songs prompted him to be dubbed the "godfather of gloom," the "poet laureate of pessimism," the "grocer of despair" and the "prince of bummers." One reviewer in the 1970s described his songs as "music to slit your wrists to."
But he was hailed for his intelligence, humility, curiosity and generosity, donating unpublished poems, poems-in-progress, drawings and archival material to a fan website where it could be enjoyed by followers.
The 2003 Order of Canada inductee is said to have had a fantastic sense of humour and loved to crack jokes.
He wasn't adverse to poking fun at himself, as he did before a sold-out crowd at Montreal's Bell Centre during a 2012 concert.
"Sometimes, I stumble out of bed, look at myself in the mirror and say to the mirror, 'Lighten up, Cohen'," he said to laughter.
Compared to some entertainers who march through their famous lives with brass-band personalities, Cohen glided along unassumingly, although any tidbit of news or sighting was almost treated with second coming-type excitement.
He could show up in the darndest places other than the sun-drenched streets of Los Angeles, where he often recorded. Cohen was so taken with the Greek island of Hydra that he bought a house there in 1960 for $1,500 and lived in it even though it had no electricity or running water.
He also stayed in a Zen Buddhist monastery on Mount Baldy near Los Angeles for five years and popped up in his Montreal hometown where he strolled around the city. The singer once left a TV reporter doing man-in-the-street interviews gobsmacked when the journalist unknowingly tapped him for an opinion. Cohen shyly declined.
He also liked to slide into a booth at the fabled Montreal deli The Main for a smoked-meat sandwich.
"A lovely man," recalled Diane Bass, whose husband owns the restaurant.
But the 2008 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame struggled to define the location of the creative well that spawned his offerings.
"If I knew where the songs came from, I'd go there more often," he said in a 1992 interview with The Canadian Press.
"Some people write great tunes in the back of taxicabs but it takes me endless amounts of writing and rewriting to come up with something I can wrap my voice around."
Another time he compared it to being like a "bear stumbling into a beehive."
The ever-dapper Cohen, who favoured black suits, fedoras and tweed caps, was born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934, to a middle-class family. His father, who ran a well-known clothing store, died when he was nine.
He pursued undergraduate studies at McGill University and became president of the debating union. He flirted with a legal career and attended McGill law school for a year after completing his bachelor's degree. He also went to Columbia University for a year.
But literature had a stronger call than litigation.
"Let Us Compare Mythologies," his first book of poetry, was published in 1956 when he was an undergrad. The "Flowers For Hitler" poetry collection and the novels "The Favourite Game" and "Beautiful Losers" followed in the 1960s.
But as eloquent as he could be on the printed page, establishing himself as a poet and novelist of renown by the age of 32, Cohen decided that songwriting might pay better.
It was a career change that raised a few eyebrows and agents in New York reportedly asked him, "Aren't you a little old for this game?"
It didn't stop him.
A big break came in 1966 when Judy Collins recorded his standard "Suzanne," and he came out with his first album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" the same year.
That was followed up with "Songs from a Room" in 1969, which included the popular "Bird on the Wire."
He had a fairly steady output although his popularity dipped in the 1970s as disco, not doom, was deemed to be the treat for consumers' ears. But Cohen began a comeback in 1984 with "Various Positions," which included "Hallelujah."
Ironically, "Hallelujah," was on the only Cohen album ever rejected by his record company and was little noticed when it did come out on an independent label. But it has become modern standard after hundreds of cover versions, high-profile performances and use in TV and movie soundtracks.
It's played at weddings, funerals — including the 2011 state ceremony for then NDP leader Jack Layton — school concerts and religious services. It was repeatedly played on VH1 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and at a telethon for relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake in 2010.
But the Grammy- and Juno-winning Cohen, who once played the head of Interpol in an episode of TV's "Miami Vice," seems to have been defined almost as much by his libido as his music and his words.
Actress Anjelica Huston once summed him up as "part wolf and part angel."
"Death of a Ladies' Man," a 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector and his famous "wall of sound" style, traded on Cohen's love life, although the singer described the final product as "grotesque."
Cohen was generally discreet about the women he dated, with the tally mainly being taken by the media.
"I never discuss my mistresses or my tailors," he told an interviewer, although he has broken that rule a few times, describing an encounter with Janis Joplin in the song "Chelsea Hotel No. 2."
As well, one of his signature tunes, "Suzanne" is based on another lover he knew in Montreal.
The 1991 Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee's love life served to fuel a standing quip in his hometown that his Montreal conquests alone could fill a small phone book. His prowess even rated a tip of the hat in Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 album guide.
"For all his poetic angst and folkie sorrow, Cohen could never hide the fact that he was getting more rock-star booty than any other Canadian, before or since," wrote Rob Sheffield.
"Whispering in his glamorously tattered voice, he still makes all his songs sound like sinful confidences shared over bottles of bloody-red wine."
At the height of his popularity in France in the 1960s, it was said that if a French woman owned one album, it was likely to be by Cohen.
But he dismissed it all with a resigned shrug.
"No one masters love and I don't seem to ever master the song," he said. "You have to struggle with it, like it was the first time you ever did it."

© Copyright Times Colonist - See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/canadian-musical-icon-leonard-cohen-dead-at-the-age-of-82-1.2629883#sthash.BSIAoPNk.dpuf
                          

MONTREAL - Leonard Cohen — writer, poet, composer, singer, renowned seducer and, for many, the epitome of cool — has died at the age of 82.
His sonorous, tobacco-painted baritone was once described as "the musical equivalent of rotgut whisky" and his lyrics and texts relentlessly studied spirituality, sex, power and love.
Just weeks ago Cohen released a new album, "You Want It Darker," produced in part by his son Adam. Cohen was still performing to sellout crowds and drawing new generations of fans at an age when most people would have settled back in their rocking chairs to reflect on their life's accomplishments.
Now all that's left is his prodigious body of work, which includes the oft-covered "Hallelujah," which was sung by k.d. lang during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Pointing to W.B. Yeats, Walt Whitman and Canadian poet Irving Layton among his literary influences, Cohen himself had fans among some of music's top names, including U2, REM, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
In reviewing his 2008-10 world tour, Britain's Independent newspaper declared that "to hear him sing is still an experience to truly make young women and romantics shiver and sweat."
Cohen's compositions endlessly entranced audiences, who usually treated the reclusive performer with awe. However, his poetic songs were far from being toe-tappers, with some clocking in at seven minutes long and dealing more in substance than sass.
His songs prompted him to be dubbed the "godfather of gloom," the "poet laureate of pessimism," the "grocer of despair" and the "prince of bummers." One reviewer in the 1970s described his songs as "music to slit your wrists to."
But he was hailed for his intelligence, humility, curiosity and generosity, donating unpublished poems, poems-in-progress, drawings and archival material to a fan website where it could be enjoyed by followers.
The 2003 Order of Canada inductee is said to have had a fantastic sense of humour and loved to crack jokes.
He wasn't adverse to poking fun at himself, as he did before a sold-out crowd at Montreal's Bell Centre during a 2012 concert.
"Sometimes, I stumble out of bed, look at myself in the mirror and say to the mirror, 'Lighten up, Cohen'," he said to laughter.
Compared to some entertainers who march through their famous lives with brass-band personalities, Cohen glided along unassumingly, although any tidbit of news or sighting was almost treated with second coming-type excitement.
He could show up in the darndest places other than the sun-drenched streets of Los Angeles, where he often recorded. Cohen was so taken with the Greek island of Hydra that he bought a house there in 1960 for $1,500 and lived in it even though it had no electricity or running water.
He also stayed in a Zen Buddhist monastery on Mount Baldy near Los Angeles for five years and popped up in his Montreal hometown where he strolled around the city. The singer once left a TV reporter doing man-in-the-street interviews gobsmacked when the journalist unknowingly tapped him for an opinion. Cohen shyly declined.
He also liked to slide into a booth at the fabled Montreal deli The Main for a smoked-meat sandwich.
"A lovely man," recalled Diane Bass, whose husband owns the restaurant.
But the 2008 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame struggled to define the location of the creative well that spawned his offerings.
"If I knew where the songs came from, I'd go there more often," he said in a 1992 interview with The Canadian Press.
"Some people write great tunes in the back of taxicabs but it takes me endless amounts of writing and rewriting to come up with something I can wrap my voice around."
Another time he compared it to being like a "bear stumbling into a beehive."
The ever-dapper Cohen, who favoured black suits, fedoras and tweed caps, was born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934, to a middle-class family. His father, who ran a well-known clothing store, died when he was nine.
He pursued undergraduate studies at McGill University and became president of the debating union. He flirted with a legal career and attended McGill law school for a year after completing his bachelor's degree. He also went to Columbia University for a year.
But literature had a stronger call than litigation.
"Let Us Compare Mythologies," his first book of poetry, was published in 1956 when he was an undergrad. The "Flowers For Hitler" poetry collection and the novels "The Favourite Game" and "Beautiful Losers" followed in the 1960s.
But as eloquent as he could be on the printed page, establishing himself as a poet and novelist of renown by the age of 32, Cohen decided that songwriting might pay better.
It was a career change that raised a few eyebrows and agents in New York reportedly asked him, "Aren't you a little old for this game?"
It didn't stop him.
A big break came in 1966 when Judy Collins recorded his standard "Suzanne," and he came out with his first album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" the same year.
That was followed up with "Songs from a Room" in 1969, which included the popular "Bird on the Wire."
He had a fairly steady output although his popularity dipped in the 1970s as disco, not doom, was deemed to be the treat for consumers' ears. But Cohen began a comeback in 1984 with "Various Positions," which included "Hallelujah."
Ironically, "Hallelujah," was on the only Cohen album ever rejected by his record company and was little noticed when it did come out on an independent label. But it has become modern standard after hundreds of cover versions, high-profile performances and use in TV and movie soundtracks.
It's played at weddings, funerals — including the 2011 state ceremony for then NDP leader Jack Layton — school concerts and religious services. It was repeatedly played on VH1 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and at a telethon for relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake in 2010.
But the Grammy- and Juno-winning Cohen, who once played the head of Interpol in an episode of TV's "Miami Vice," seems to have been defined almost as much by his libido as his music and his words.
Actress Anjelica Huston once summed him up as "part wolf and part angel."
"Death of a Ladies' Man," a 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector and his famous "wall of sound" style, traded on Cohen's love life, although the singer described the final product as "grotesque."
Cohen was generally discreet about the women he dated, with the tally mainly being taken by the media.
"I never discuss my mistresses or my tailors," he told an interviewer, although he has broken that rule a few times, describing an encounter with Janis Joplin in the song "Chelsea Hotel No. 2."
As well, one of his signature tunes, "Suzanne" is based on another lover he knew in Montreal.
The 1991 Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee's love life served to fuel a standing quip in his hometown that his Montreal conquests alone could fill a small phone book. His prowess even rated a tip of the hat in Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 album guide.
"For all his poetic angst and folkie sorrow, Cohen could never hide the fact that he was getting more rock-star booty than any other Canadian, before or since," wrote Rob Sheffield.
"Whispering in his glamorously tattered voice, he still makes all his songs sound like sinful confidences shared over bottles of bloody-red wine."
At the height of his popularity in France in the 1960s, it was said that if a French woman owned one album, it was likely to be by Cohen.
But he dismissed it all with a resigned shrug.
"No one masters love and I don't seem to ever master the song," he said. "You have to struggle with it, like it was the first time you ever did it."

© Copyright Times Colonist - See more at: http://www.timescolonist.com/canadian-musical-icon-leonard-cohen-dead-at-the-age-of-82-1.2629883#sthash.BSIAoPNk.dpuf
MONTREAL - Leonard Cohen — writer, poet, composer, singer, renowned seducer and, for many, the epitome of cool — has died at the age of 82.
His sonorous, tobacco-painted baritone was once described as "the musical equivalent of rotgut whisky" and his lyrics and texts relentlessly studied spirituality, sex, power and love.
Just weeks ago Cohen released a new album, "You Want It Darker," produced in part by his son Adam. Cohen was still performing to sellout crowds and drawing new generations of fans at an age when most people would have settled back in their rocking chairs to reflect on their life's accomplishments.
Now all that's left is his prodigious body of work, which includes the oft-covered "Hallelujah," which was sung by k.d. lang during the opening ceremony of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Pointing to W.B. Yeats, Walt Whitman and Canadian poet Irving Layton among his literary influences, Cohen himself had fans among some of music's top names, including U2, REM, Johnny Cash and Bob Dylan.
In reviewing his 2008-10 world tour, Britain's Independent newspaper declared that "to hear him sing is still an experience to truly make young women and romantics shiver and sweat."
Cohen's compositions endlessly entranced audiences, who usually treated the reclusive performer with awe. However, his poetic songs were far from being toe-tappers, with some clocking in at seven minutes long and dealing more in substance than sass.
His songs prompted him to be dubbed the "godfather of gloom," the "poet laureate of pessimism," the "grocer of despair" and the "prince of bummers." One reviewer in the 1970s described his songs as "music to slit your wrists to."
But he was hailed for his intelligence, humility, curiosity and generosity, donating unpublished poems, poems-in-progress, drawings and archival material to a fan website where it could be enjoyed by followers.
The 2003 Order of Canada inductee is said to have had a fantastic sense of humour and loved to crack jokes.
He wasn't adverse to poking fun at himself, as he did before a sold-out crowd at Montreal's Bell Centre during a 2012 concert.
"Sometimes, I stumble out of bed, look at myself in the mirror and say to the mirror, 'Lighten up, Cohen'," he said to laughter.
Compared to some entertainers who march through their famous lives with brass-band personalities, Cohen glided along unassumingly, although any tidbit of news or sighting was almost treated with second coming-type excitement.
He could show up in the darndest places other than the sun-drenched streets of Los Angeles, where he often recorded. Cohen was so taken with the Greek island of Hydra that he bought a house there in 1960 for $1,500 and lived in it even though it had no electricity or running water.
He also stayed in a Zen Buddhist monastery on Mount Baldy near Los Angeles for five years and popped up in his Montreal hometown where he strolled around the city. The singer once left a TV reporter doing man-in-the-street interviews gobsmacked when the journalist unknowingly tapped him for an opinion. Cohen shyly declined.
He also liked to slide into a booth at the fabled Montreal deli The Main for a smoked-meat sandwich.
"A lovely man," recalled Diane Bass, whose husband owns the restaurant.
But the 2008 inductee into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame struggled to define the location of the creative well that spawned his offerings.
"If I knew where the songs came from, I'd go there more often," he said in a 1992 interview with The Canadian Press.
"Some people write great tunes in the back of taxicabs but it takes me endless amounts of writing and rewriting to come up with something I can wrap my voice around."
Another time he compared it to being like a "bear stumbling into a beehive."
The ever-dapper Cohen, who favoured black suits, fedoras and tweed caps, was born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934, to a middle-class family. His father, who ran a well-known clothing store, died when he was nine.
He pursued undergraduate studies at McGill University and became president of the debating union. He flirted with a legal career and attended McGill law school for a year after completing his bachelor's degree. He also went to Columbia University for a year.
But literature had a stronger call than litigation.
"Let Us Compare Mythologies," his first book of poetry, was published in 1956 when he was an undergrad. The "Flowers For Hitler" poetry collection and the novels "The Favourite Game" and "Beautiful Losers" followed in the 1960s.
But as eloquent as he could be on the printed page, establishing himself as a poet and novelist of renown by the age of 32, Cohen decided that songwriting might pay better.
It was a career change that raised a few eyebrows and agents in New York reportedly asked him, "Aren't you a little old for this game?"
It didn't stop him.
A big break came in 1966 when Judy Collins recorded his standard "Suzanne," and he came out with his first album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" the same year.
That was followed up with "Songs from a Room" in 1969, which included the popular "Bird on the Wire."
He had a fairly steady output although his popularity dipped in the 1970s as disco, not doom, was deemed to be the treat for consumers' ears. But Cohen began a comeback in 1984 with "Various Positions," which included "Hallelujah."
Ironically, "Hallelujah," was on the only Cohen album ever rejected by his record company and was little noticed when it did come out on an independent label. But it has become modern standard after hundreds of cover versions, high-profile performances and use in TV and movie soundtracks.
It's played at weddings, funerals — including the 2011 state ceremony for then NDP leader Jack Layton — school concerts and religious services. It was repeatedly played on VH1 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and at a telethon for relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake in 2010.
But the Grammy- and Juno-winning Cohen, who once played the head of Interpol in an episode of TV's "Miami Vice," seems to have been defined almost as much by his libido as his music and his words.
Actress Anjelica Huston once summed him up as "part wolf and part angel."
"Death of a Ladies' Man," a 1977 collaboration with Phil Spector and his famous "wall of sound" style, traded on Cohen's love life, although the singer described the final product as "grotesque."
Cohen was generally discreet about the women he dated, with the tally mainly being taken by the media.
"I never discuss my mistresses or my tailors," he told an interviewer, although he has broken that rule a few times, describing an encounter with Janis Joplin in the song "Chelsea Hotel No. 2."
As well, one of his signature tunes, "Suzanne" is based on another lover he knew in Montreal.
The 1991 Canadian Music Hall of Fame inductee's love life served to fuel a standing quip in his hometown that his Montreal conquests alone could fill a small phone book. His prowess even rated a tip of the hat in Rolling Stone magazine's 2004 album guide.
"For all his poetic angst and folkie sorrow, Cohen could never hide the fact that he was getting more rock-star booty than any other Canadian, before or since," wrote Rob Sheffield.
"Whispering in his glamorously tattered voice, he still makes all his songs sound like sinful confidences shared over bottles of bloody-red wine."
At the height of his popularity in France in the 1960s, it was said that if a French woman owned one album, it was likely to be by Cohen.
But he dismissed it all with a resigned shrug.
"No one masters love and I don't seem to ever master the song," he said. "You have to struggle with it, like it was the first time you ever did it."

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