Friday, June 5, 2009

David Carradine (1936-2009) and Koko Taylor (1928-2009), R.I.P.

I almost didn't post this, because I learned of the passings of both David Carradine and Koko Taylor a few days ago... and in the past, I've tried to keep such tributes timely.

I've made occasional references to "Blogger-bloggers" on my own blogs. That's a specific reference to bloggers whose blogs are actually Blogger blogs, i.e. blogs on Blogger. Got that? Good. Let's continue.

Blogger-bloggers are fairly incestuous, in that they often make references to other Blogger-bloggers by name, assuming that they all operate in the same circle and everybody reads the same blogs.

Not so, say I... which is why I always assume that you ("you" being my readers) don't know about a blog which I may follow. My blog, therefore, is a bit more "reader friendly," IMHO.

Having said that... Over the past year or so, I've noticed a tendency for Blogger-blogger A to say, "I was gonna post an obit for [fill in name of celebrity], but Blogger-blogger B beat me to it!"

Well, say I, so what? This isn't a race, and I don't recall the New York Times ever saying, "Hey, we can't cover this 'Watergate' thing! The Washington Post already beat us to it!"

So, with that lengthy intro out of the way...

Koko Taylor, 1928-2009, R.I.P.

Ms. Taylor was best known for her powerful rendition of the song, Wang Dang Doodle, which was written by the incredible Willie Dixon (Check the songwriter's credit for, like, all the blues songs recorded by British rock groups in the 1960s and early 1970s; chances are, it was written by Dixon.). Dixon discovered her in the early 1960s, and signed her for the Chess label.

Koko Taylor -- and I suggest you visit her own website -- was a trailblazing female performer in a field then dominated by men. Her "reign" as "Queen of the Blues" brought one back to the days of Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, and Memphis Minnie. She paved the way for other women to follow. And she'll be greatly missed.

It often amazes me what some of the YouTube crowd call "videos" -- this one's
not too thrilling -- but here's the one and only Koko Taylor's signature tune!

David Carradine, 1936-2009, R.I.P.

Ah, what a loss! I've been a fan of John Carradine's second-eldest son since the mid-1960s, when he appeared in the short-lived TV series, Shane.

I followed his career throughout the years, enjoying such films and TV series as Kung Fu (of course), The Long Riders, Kung Fu: The Legend Continues, and The Gambler Returns: The Luck of the Draw (the last time he portrayed the original Kwai Chang Caine), and I was much less offended by his appearance in the Yellow Book ad -- or ads? I only saw one -- than many others were. (After all, as Adam West once told me -- and I'm paraphrasing -- "The job of a working actor is to work." Mr. West was saying that to explain roles in such films as The Happy Hooker Goes Hollywood.)

Somehow, to the amazement of many, I managed to miss Mr. Carradine in Bound for Glory (the Woody Guthrie bio) and both of the Kill Bill flicks! (Sooner or later, I'll see 'em, don't worry!)

Again, I don't really have much to say, other than to mention that I thought it rather unfortunate that Mr. Carradine died from hanging while he was involved with filming a movie called Stretch. That could lend itself to a sick joke at the hands of anyone who's so inclined. There's been speculation that he perished during an auto-erotic act, so I can only hope the timing of it all insured that he died with a smile... and no, I'm actually not trying to be funny there.

There are worse ways to go, certainly...

Thanks for your time.

P.S. ~~ I probably (stress "probably") won't post again until Theme Thursday. I've been very busy lately, so I need a small breather, fellow babies!


  1. enjoy the time away. a fitting point to end on before it. grew up on Kung Fu and Carradine.

  2. Little Grasshopper will be missed. I honestly cannot remember Koko Taylor, but I am sure if I hear her songs then I will remember.

    Great post about their passings.

    Have fun on your break. Sometimes our brains need a rest.

    God bless.

  3. Mrsupole: In my rush to post this, I neglected to include a video. Consider it fixed.

  4. I saw the Koko Taylor blip of an article, in the T&G. Very saddened by the loss of such a great singer.

  5. I am glad you chose to post this article even though it was not "timely." I, too, have been very busy and missed it in the news.

    He was good in the Kill Bills. I think you will enjoy his appearances in them.

  6. I get you on the blogger-blogger thing. Thank you for this not-at-all-belated obit post. I mean, what kind of people sit around waiting and watching the news so that they can be "first up" with their tribute or whatever? Sheesh!

    I'm giving you a virus, by the way. But there is no time limit as to when you pass it on, and it's not at all fatal. So take your break and see you Thursday!

  7. Megan: Hm. Shortly after I wake up, I see your note about giving me a virus. Shortly after that, my doctor's office calls to cancel today's appointment.

    Maybe it's not a good day to leave the house.

    I'm not sure if I'll do the "eight things" lists. For one thing, I don't watch TV. No, really. No militant, anti-television reason. I just can't see paying for cable or satellite when I'd watch it so rarely.

    Also, not to sound too morbid, but I really can't think of eight things I'm looking forward to. Three or four, MAYBE, if I push it...

    I see you decided to change your profile photo, after all.

  8. Excellent post about endings. So... to new beginnings :-)

  9. it would seem that Uma Thurman finally finished the job she set out to do years ago

  10. Thank you...learned a lot and enjoyed it! Hope your busy days are...less busy now :)

    Take care

  11. I totally agree with your 'why not' blog something someone else has. They didn't have your take on it, right?

    I'm not familiar with Koko Taylor, but it sounds like I might have missed out.
    Anyhow, Kwai Chang is the one I'll miss for sure. He'll always be that character to me, I guess, as well as to many others, hence the Yellowbook ads, which I found hilarious, by the way.
    That Gambler movie you mentioned in which Carradine played Caine for the last time, is that one of those Kenny Rogers movies? I never watched any of those, so it could easily be and I wouldn't know, although I'd watch one if Carradine was in it. He was one of those actors--there's always just a few--who are so good, anything they're in is worth a watch, if only just to see them.

    Well anyway, I enjoyed your piece, and I haven't seen anybody else's, so I'm glad you went ahead with it.

  12. The Gambler movie was the fourth(?) of the Kenny Rogers movies, and included over a dozen stars from old TV Westerns, reprising their earlier roles. Appearances included Clint "Cheyenne" Walker, Hugh "Wyatt Earp" O'Brien, Chuck "The Rifleman" Connors, Gene "Bat Masterson" Barry, Jack "Maverick" Kelly... and in the Chinatown, San Francisco sequence, Mr. Carradine! Worth grabbing, if you can find it.

  13. Wow! Thanks. That sounds worth hunting for! I'll let you know if I find it.

  14. This is indeed a great loss as the one of David Carradine!Yes watch both Kill Bill are amazing!R.I.P. both of them.

  15. Theme Thursdays confuse me...I'll have to track back and figure out what/who/where.

    Not that I need another reason to post when I'm yappy enough as it is.

    Commenting on old entries is FUN!

  16. Innit?

    And if you click on a Theme Thursday link, it'll tell you whatever you need to know... except that if YOU refer to IANO, you'll confuse the hell out of most of them. (That's what I meant in this post about being "Blogger-friendly," little missy!!!)


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