Ray Manzarek, a founding member of the 1960s rock group The Doors whose versatile and often haunting keyboards complemented Jim Morrison’s gloomy baritone and helped set the mood for some of rock’s most enduring songs, has died. He was 74.
Manzarek died in Rosenheim, Germany, surrounded by his family, said publicist Heidi Robinson-Fitzgerald. She said the musician’s manager, Tom Vitorino, confirmed Manzarek died after being stricken with bile duct cancer.
The Doors’ original lineup, which also included drummer John Densmore and guitarist Robbie Krieger, was only together for a few years and they only made six studio albums. But the band has retained a large and obsessive following decades after Morrison’s 1971 death. The Doors have sold more than 100 million records and songs such as “Light My Fire” and “Riders On the Storm” are still “classic” rock favorites. For Doors admirers, the band symbolized the darker side of the Los Angeles lifestyle, what happened to the city after the sun went down and the Beach Boys fans headed home.
Next to Morrison, Manzarek was the most distinctive-looking band member, his glasses and wavy blond hair making him resemble a young English professor more than a rock star, a contrast to Morrison’s Dionysian glamour — his sensuous mouth and long, dark hair. Musically, Manzarek’s spidery organ on “Light My Fire” is one of the most instantly recognizable sounds in rock history.
Born and raised in Chicago, Manzarek studied piano as a child and briefly considered a career in basketball. After graduating from DePaul University, he headed west to study film at UCLA. A few months after graduation, he and Morrison met in 1965 on Venice Beach in California.
As Manzarek would often recall, Morrison read him some lyrics — Let’s swim to the moon/Let’s climb through the tide/Penetrate the evening that the/City sleeps to hide” — that became the start of “Moonlight Drive.”
“I’d never heard lyrics to a rock song like that before,” Manzarek told Billboard in 1967. “We talked a while before we decided to get a group together and make a million dollars.”
When Haynes Johnson visited Selma, Ala., months after a civil rights crisis there gripped the nation, he wrote in The Washington Evening Star that he’d found “no discernible change in the racial climate of the city.” When it came to employment, housing or education, blacks had made no real gains.
But he noticed something else as he traveled the South and talked to people.
As a result of what Selma’s blacks and their white supporters had done, he wrote, “The Deep South will never be the same.” He wrote that the demonstrations and march to Montgomery had lifted the spirits of blacks “everywhere.”
Johnson’s shoe-leather reporting and keen insights on the struggle of Southern blacks during the civil rights era won him the Pulitzer Prize for national reporting in 1966, one of many honors showered upon him during a brilliant career that spanned more than 50 years.
Johnson, a pioneering Washington journalist and author who helped redefine political reporting in addition to appearing on PBS and teaching journalism at the University of Maryland, died Friday at a Washington-area hospital after suffering a heart attack. He was 81, and had just attended the journalism school’s graduation days earlier.
Photographer Wayne F. Miller, who created a ground-breaking series of portraits chronicling the lives of black Americans in Chicago after serving with an elite Navy unit that produced some of the most indelible combat images of World War II, has died at age 94.
Miller was also known for his work as a curator on an international photojournalism exhibition called “The Family of Man” and for contributing the photos to Dr. Benjamin Spock’s “A Baby’s First Year.”
Born in Chicago, Miller trained for a career in banking but became a photographer when famed fashion photographer Edward Steichen picked him to be part of the military unit assigned to document the war. While assigned to the Pacific theatre, he took some of the first pictures of the atomic bomb-devastated Hiroshima.
His best-known wartime photograph shows a wounded pilot being pulled from a downed fighter plane. Miller had been scheduled to be aboard the plane before it was shot down, and the photographer who took his place was killed, according to Inga Miller.
After returning home to Chicago, Miller spent two years in the late 1940s on the city’s south side capturing the experiences of black residents, many of whom had moved north during the war in search of jobs and the promise of civil rights. The originals from his “The Way of the Northern Negro” series are now held in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Smithsonian Institution.
Flynn Robinson, the former NBA guard who played on the Los Angeles Lakers’ 1971-72 championship team, has died after a two-year fight with cancer. He was 72.
Called “Mr. Instant Point” by late Lakers broadcaster Chick Hearn, the 6-foot-1 Robinson averaged 9.9 points and 2.2 assists in 64 games in 1971-72, helping the Lakers win an NBA-record 33 consecutive games and the franchise’s first title in Los Angeles.
Dick Evey, a tackle who played most of his eight seasons in the NFL with the Chicago Bears, has died at age 72.
Evey played from 1964-69 with the Bears, who selected him out of Tennessee in the first round of the 1964 draft. Evey played with the Los Angeles Rams in 1970 and the Detroit Lions in 1971.
The Toronto Blue Jays held a moment of silence before Thursday night’s game against Baltimore to mark the death of prolific scout Epy Guerrero.
The Blue Jays said he died Thursday at 71 in his native Dominican Republic.
Leonard Marsh, the co-founder of the Snapple beverage brand, has died at age 80.
Snapple began in New York in 1972 as Unadulterated Food Products, which sold natural fruit juices to health food stores. Marsh, a window washer who would later serve as CEO of Snapple, launched the business on the side with his brother-in-law Hyman Golden and childhood friend Arnold Greenberg.
The trio didn’t introduce the brand name until 1980 and its popularity quickly soared as consumers clamored for healthier beverage options.
Georges Moustaki, an Egyptian-born composer, singer and poet who wrote songs for Edith Piaf and other French stars, has died at age 79.
When high school student Zach Sobiech learned he didn’t have much longer to live, his mother suggested he write letters to tell his loved ones goodbye. Instead, the Minnesota teenager turned to writing music — and his farewell song, “Clouds,” became a YouTube sensation that has attracted more than 4 million views.
Other musicians have covered the tune, and it inspired a celebrity video on YouTube. “Clouds” was even listed No. 1 on the iTunes Top 10 list on Wednesday — two days after Sobiech died after battling bone cancer.
Kenneth Waltz, a widely admired scholar of international relations who was best known to the broader public for his theory that, as far as nuclear weapons are concerned, “more may be better,” has died at 88.
Waltz ranked among the top five most influential scholars of international relations to emerge from the post-World War II era, said Stephen Walt, a Harvard University professor and former student of Waltz’s.
In discussions of nuclear policy, Waltz argued that nuclear weapons had not “proliferated” in recent decades but rather spread at a “glacial” speed.
“Deterrence has worked 100 percent of the time. We can deter small nuclear powers,” he said at an event at Columbia in 2007, according to the Journal of International Affairs. “After all, we have deterred big nuclear powers like the Soviet Union and China. So sleep well.”
Heinrich Rohrer, a Swiss physicist and one of the two Nobel Prize-winning scientists who helped make possible the modern field of nanotechnology by inventing a microscope that could readily see individual atoms, has died at age 79.
The device Rohrer created at an IBM laboratory in 1981 with Gerd Binnig was called the scanning tunneling microscope, and they shared half of the physics Nobel in 1986. (German scientist Ernst Ruska also received a physics prize that year for unrelated work on the electron microscope.)
Boruch Spiegel, one of the last remaining survivors of the 1943 Warsaw ghetto uprising by poorly armed Jewish insurgents against the powerful Nazi German force that occupied Poland, has died. He was 93.
Mack Emerman, the founder of Criteria Recording Studios where acts including Eric Clapton, James Brown and the Bee Gees made some of their most famous records, has died after a long illness. He was 89.
Some 250 gold or platinum singles and albums were recorded at Criteria, which became known as Atlantic Records South when Emerman formed an alliance with producer Tom Dowd.
The records include “Layla” by Clapton’s group Derek and the Dominoes, James Brown’s “I Feel Good,” “Eat A Peach” by The Allman Brothers Band and parts of huge 1970s hits such as “Saturday Night Fever” by the Bee Gees, Fleetwood Mac’s “Rumours” and “Hotel California” by the Eagles.
Bernard Waber, the author of such children’s favorites as “The House on East 88th Street” and “Lyle, Lyle Crocodile,” has died at 91.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.