BY ROBERT D. MCFADDEN VIA NY TIMES
Nat Hentoff, an author, journalist, jazz critic and civil libertarian who called himself a troublemaker and proved it with a shelf of books and a mountain of essays on free speech, wayward politics, elegant riffs and the sweet harmonies of the Constitution, died on Saturday at his home in Manhattan. He was 91.
BY GIANLUCA MEZZOFIORE VIA AOL
Florence Henderson arrives at the Television Academy’s 66th Emmy Awards Performers Peer Group Celebration at the Montage Beverly Hills on Monday, July 28, 2014, in Beverly Hills, Calif. (Photo by Matt Sayles/Invision for the Television Academy/AP Images)
Florence Henderson, who played America’s most beloved TV mom in The Brady Bunch, has died aged 82, her manager and her publicist said.
Henderson, whose acting career spanned decades, died after suffering heart failure, her manager Kayla Pressman said in a statement. Her role as matriarch Carol Brady, which she played from 1969 to 1974, established her as an icon of the blended family and resonated with many American households. The show was so successful that it later returned to television in various forms, including “The Brady Bunch Hour” in 1977, “The Brady Brides” in 1981 and “The Bradys” in 1990.”It represents what people always wanted: a loving family. It’s such a gentle, innocent, sweet show, and I guess it proved there’s always an audience for that,” Henderson said in 1999.
BY DAVID FRICKE VIA ROLLING STONE
David Fricke honors the memory of Billy Miller, who – along with his wife, Miriam Linna – co-founded essential rock & roll imprint Norton Records. Gino Domenico/AP
Billy Miller – who died on November 13th at 62 at his home in Brooklyn, New York, from complications of myeloma, kidney failure and diabetes – was one of those souls, a collector and scholar of the raw, fundamental and unapologetic in rockabilly, R&B and garage punk who shared his knowledge and passions with the exuberant, addicting force of a true fan. He was also one hell of an entrepreneur. In 1977, Miller – a native of Jamaica, Queens – met Miriam Linna, an early drummer for the Cramps, at a New York record fair. Two years later, they founded the encyclopedic fanzine Kicks which begat their Norton Records label in 1986, an enterprise that remains a vital beachhead for the history you need to know in a business otherwise going down the tubes.
BY JOHN PAYNE VIA L.A. WEEKLY
Former L.A. Weekly music editor John Payne remembers the outspoken writer, critic and scholar who “didn’t just love music, he really kind of was music.”
You may or may not know Waller from his long-standing presence — some 40-plus forking years — here in town as a music journalist and author of the definitive The Motown Story (Scribner’s, 1985). He was also a chapter-contributor to the L.A. punk-rock history bible Make the Music Go Bang! and, in the ’70s, co-founded (along with Phast Phreddie Patterson) the influential Back Door Man fanzine/indie record label. You’d see Waller’s byline on loads of liner notes, too, including some of those big Rhino box sets of the ’90s like Beg, Scream & Shout! The Big Ol’ Box of ’60s Soul, plus several volumes of the Nuggets garage-rock compilations.
BY MARTIN KNELMAN VIA THE GLOBE AND MAIL
It was a mild day for mid-November in Montreal when Leonard Cohen’s funeral was held last Thursday in the city he always considered home, even after years of living in Los Angeles.
One of his best songs, In My Secret Life, included the words “I know what is right/And I’d die for the truth.” And in the end, those lyrics segued into Cohen’s secret funeral.
Looking back at the amazing career of Leonard Cohen (Reuters)
About 15 people attended the graveside ceremony and burial in the Jewish section of Mount Royal Cemetery.
BY DANIEL RYS VIA BILLBOARD
AP Photo/Gino Domenico Billy Miller and Miriam Linna pose in their apartment in Brooklyn where they run Norton Records in April 13, 2002.
Norton Records co-founder Billy Miller has died following a battle with multiple myeloma, according to the label. He was 62.
Miller, alongside his wife Miriam Linna, launched and ran the fan zine Kicks Magazine in 1978, and formed Norton Records nearly a decade later, with its first release Hasil Adkins’ 1986 collection Out To Hunch. Over the years, the label became a home for rockabilly, roots music, rare indie records and soul releases, often mining the obscure to shine a light on unheralded genres and artists. In addition to Adkins, the label’s web site calls Norton the home for artists such as Link Wray, the Pretty Things, the Sonics, Daddy Long Legs and the Flaming Groovies, alongside a slew of others.
BY JON PARELES VIA NY TIMES
Photo Leon Russell performing in the early 1970s. Credit Robert Knight Archive/Redferns, via Getty Images
Leon Russell, the longhaired, scratchy-voiced pianist, guitarist, songwriter and bandleader who moved from playing countless recording sessions to making hits on his own, died on Sunday in Nashville. He was 74.
His website said he had died in his sleep but gave no specific cause.
Mr. Russell’s health had incurred significant setbacks in recent years. In 2010, he underwent surgery for a brain fluid leak and was treated for heart failure. In July he had a heart attack and was scheduled for further surgery, according to a news release from the historical society of Oklahoma, his home state.
BY WILLIAM GRIMES VIA NY TIMES
Billy Miller of Norton Records, photographed at his home in Brooklyn in 2013. Credit Eilon Paz
Billy Miller, a rock ’n’ roll archivist and collector whose record label, Norton, gave new life to forgotten rockabilly artists and garage bands of yesteryear, died on Sunday at his home in Brooklyn. He was 62.
The cause was complications of multiple myeloma, kidney failure and diabetes, his wife and business partner, Miriam Linna, said.
Mr. Miller and Ms. Linna met in 1977 at a record fair in New York. She was an original member of the punk-rockabilly group the Cramps and the editor of a fanzine for the rock band the Flamin’ Groovies. He was a fanatic collector.
BY LARRY ROHTER VIA NY TIMES
Photo Leonard Cohen performing in Brooklyn in 2012. Credit Chad Batka for The New York Times
Leonard Cohen, the Canadian poet and novelist who abandoned a promising literary career to become one of the foremost songwriters of the contemporary era, has died, according to an announcement Thursday night on his Facebook page. He was 82.
Mr. Cohen’s record label, Sony Music, confirmed the death. No details were available on the cause. Adam Cohen, his son and producer, said: “My father passed away peacefully at his home in Los Angeles with the knowledge that he had completed what he felt was one of his greatest records. He was writing up until his last moments with his unique brand of humor.”
BY TELEGRAPH REPORTERS
Pete Burns in 1991 CREDIT: REX/SHUTTERSTOCK
Pete Burns, founder and lead singer of the band Dead or Alive, has died at the age of 57 after a cardiac arrest. The news was confirmed today in a post on the musician’s official Twitter account.
“It is with great sadness that we have to break the tragic news that our beloved Pete Burns of Dead or Alive died suddenly yesterday of a massive cardiac arrest,” the post read. “All of his friends and family are devastated by the loss of our special star.”