Friday, March 19, 2010

Farewell to three icons

This week has witnessed the passing of three icons of baby-boomer pop culture, all of which influenced the entertainment industry. 
March 14 saw the passing of Peter Graves, Television and Movie star of the 50's 60's and 70's, best known for his role as "Jim Phelps" on the cult classic TV show "Mission Impossible" and earlier for his role on "Fury".  As a kid I grew up in admiration of the impossible mission team and their amazing adventures...on a show that helped the careers of several other actors as well...Leonard Nimoy, Martin Landau, Barbara Bain,and many others.  His contribution will live on in the imaginations of many of my generation. He was 83
March 17 saw the passing of Alex Chilton, one of the founding members of the Box Tops, mostly known for the song "the Letter" (67'), but also known for "cry like a baby"(68').  He started his career in Memphis with the legendary Chips Moman (who also worked with Elvis, Bobby Womack, Carla Thomas..to name a few). After the Box Tops disbanded, Chilton formed Big Star in 1971, which became immensely influential to later groups (such as the Replacements and REM) as a the "power pop" sound. One of their songs "in the street" is the opening theme to "That 70's Show". Since that time Chilton had been recording solo efforts and even a reunion of Big Star in 2009....Chilton was even scheduled to perform at this years' South by Southwest conference in Austin. There will be instead a tribute at Antoine's  with a long list of stars, including Mike Mills (REM) and John Doe (X). He was 59
March 18 saw the passing of Fess Parker, commonly known as Davy Crockett in several Disney features and as Daniel Boone from 1964-70 on television.  Parker is widely known as one of the first widely merchandised faces on memorabilia..primarily the "coon skin cap", which due to the incredible popularity of "Davy Crockett", almost every child in America could be seen wearing one! Not to mention lunch boxes and numerous other items.  In later life Parker became involved in wine making and development, running a bed and breakfast at his winery.  Parker breathed life into historical figures Davy Crockett and Daniel Boone, by bringing their stories to many people in America and abroad he will be missed.  He was 85.
All three of these people contributed to the formation of my outlook and opinion of popular culture....We at the Garage will miss them.