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Posts Tagged ‘Debbie Reynolds’

Died On This Date (December 28, 2016) Debbie Reynolds / Iconic American Entertainer

Posted by themusicsover on December 28, 2016

Debbie Reynolds (Born Mary Francis Reynolds)
April 1, 1932 – December 28, 2016

Debbie Reynolds was an internationally revered star of stage, film and television.  She did however, make a mark on popular music as well.  Born in El Paso,  Texas, Reynolds moved with her family to Burbank, California as a child.  By the early ’50s, she was under contract with Warner Bros. for whom she starred in several musicals.  Her first hit record came in 1951 – “Aba Daba Honeymoon,” from the film, Two Weeks With Love.  The record reached #3 on the Billboard pop charts.  In 1957, Reynolds scored her biggest hit, “Tammy,” from Tammy and the Bachelor.  It spent five weeks atop the pop charts and was the biggest-selling record by any female that year. It earned Reynolds her first gold record.  In 1959, she signed to Dot Records in 1959 and continued to release hit records for the next couple of years.  On December 28, 2016, Reynolds, was rushed to a hospital after a 911 caller reported that she was having trouble breathing.  Debbie Reynolds passed away later that day of what initial reports were calling a stroke. She was 84.  Her daughter, actress and author Carrie Fisher, passed away the day before at the age of 60.

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Died On This Date (December 28, 2011) Kaye Stevens / Popular Singer & Actress During The ’60s

Posted by themusicsover on December 28, 2011

Kaye Stevens
July 21, 1933 – December 28, 2011

Kaye Stevens was a popular entertainer who initially found her audience during the 1960s.  Stevens’ big break came one night when Debbie Reynolds, who was headlining the Riviera in Las Vegas, fell ill.  Stevens was called in at the last-minute, and club bookers quickly took notice.  Before she knew it, Stevens was playing up and down the Las Vegas Strip and at clubs in New York City, Miami, Los Angeles, and beyond.  She even secured an opening slot on dates with the Rat Pack,  Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, and Sammy Davis, Jr. During the mid ’60s, Stevens visited Vietnam as part of one of Bob Hope’s popular USO Tours.  She released a handful of albums during her career as well.  Stevens was also a familiar face on television throughout the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, appearing on numerous game shows and guest starring on several series programs.  Kaye Stevens was 79 when she passed away on December 28, 2011.  She had reportedly been suffering from breast cancer.

Thanks to Henk de Bruin at 2+ Printing for the assist.


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Died On This Date (April 9, 2011) Randy Wood / Founder Of Dot Records & Ranwood Records

Posted by themusicsover on April 9, 2011

Randy Wood
March 30, 1917 – April 9, 2011

Randy Wood was a successful music industry executive who is perhaps best remembered for being the man behind Dot Records.  Wood had just returned home after serving in World War II when he opened an appliance store in Gallatin, TN.  When he started music – mostly pop and classical albums – young customers began coming in, but asking for the rhythm & blues records they heard on a powerful station from faraway Nashville, Tennessee.  Wood quickly realized there was a need for a mail-order record business, and 78RPM was born.   By sponsoring a show on that Nashville station, WLAC-AM, spots for Randy’s Record Shop’s mail-order services could be heard clear across the United States and beyond.   With the income he was realizing from orders, Wood soon launched Dot Records out of the store.   The label quickly turned a profit as Wood figured out that white performers singing watered-down R&B songs was a recipe for success.   His artists like Pat Boone were turning songs by Little Richard and Fats Domino into pop hits while helping to further popularize the R&B singers as well.  Others he signed to Dot included Lawrence Welk, Tab Hunter, Debbie Reynolds, and the Mills Brothers.  The label was one of the most successful independent record companies of its time.  In 1968, Wood partnered with Welk to launch Ranwood Records in order to release records by artists mostly associated with the Lawrence Welk Show.  Welk purchased the label from Wood in 1979.  Randy Wood passed away on April 9, 2011.  He was 94.


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Died On This Date (September 22, 2010) Eddie Fisher / 1950s Pop Star

Posted by themusicsover on September 22, 2010

Eddie Fisher
August 10, 1928 – September 22, 2010

Eddie Fisher was a singer who became one of the world’s most popular entertainers during the 1950s.  Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Fisher started winning local amateur contest while still just a child.  By the mid ’40s, he was fronted various regionally popular big bands, and was soon discovered by Eddie Cantor who helped him land a record deal with RCA Victor.  After serving in Korea, where he fronted the Army Band, he began turning up on TV variety shows, helping him become one of the most popular pre-rock ‘n roll singers.  He went on to sell millions of records, co-star in several motion pictures, and host his own television show.  He continued making albums up until the mid ’80s.  Eddie Fisher was married to Debbie Reynolds, Elizabeth Taylor and Connie Stevens.  His children include actresses Carrie Fisher, Joely Fisher,  and Tricia Leigh Fisher.  On September 9, 2010, Eddie Fisher broke his hip, and died two weeks later of complications from hip surgery.  He was 82.

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Died On This Date (March 29, 1985) Jeanine Deckers / The Singing Nun

Posted by themusicsover on March 29, 2010

Jeanine Deckers (Born Jeanne-Paule Deckers)
October 17, 1933 – March 29, 1985

jeanne-deckersAs a Belgian nun, Jeanine Deckers earned a place in pop culture due to her international hit single, “Dominique,” released in 1963.  When John F. Kennedy was assassinated in November of that year, many US radio stations played the song in heavy rotation as part of their tributes to the late President.  This lead to Deckers becoming a popular concert draw around the United States and beyond as well as an appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show in January of 1964.  Hollywood took notice and cast Debbie Reynolds in a film entitled The Singing Nun which Deckers denounced as pure fiction.  The following year,  Sally Field was cast as the lead in a television comedy, The Flying Nun, a spoof of sorts on the film.  By 1968, Deckers’ music career was over and she had left the convent to open a school for autistic children.  The Belgian government came calling for their share of the profits from her first album (over $50,000), which she claimed went to the convent, making her exempt.  She eventually lost the court case that ensued.  Around this time she developed an addiction to drugs and alcohol and was suffering from depression and nervous breakdowns.  Blaming financial problems in a note left behind, Deckers took her own life  by an overdose of barbiturates and alcohol on March 29, 1985.  Ironically and without her knowledge, Deckers was awarded $300,000 in back royalties that very day.  The amount was significantly greater than the money she owed.

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