- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2009

Eddie Bo

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ New Orleans blues singer-pianist Eddie Bo, who worked with such musicians as Irma Thomas and Art Neville, has died. He was 79.

His death was confirmed Friday by his close friend and booking agent, Karen Hamilton, who said Eddie Bo, whose real name was Edwin Joseph Bocage, had a heart attack while out of town Wednesday.

Bocage was an accomplished keyboardist-pianist with a career spanning more than five decades. Hamilton said he counted Professor Longhair as one of his biggest inspirations.

An accomplished songwriter, Bocage penned the 1960 Etta James hit “My Dearest Darling” and “I’m Wise,” which was made famous by Little Richard when renamed and released in 1956 as “Slippin’ and Slidin’”.

Bocage released more than 50 singles in his career _ a number second only to Fats Domino among New Orleans artists _ including “Check Mr. Popeye” in 1962.

Early in his career, Bocage toured with singers Joe Turner, Lloyd Price and the late Ruth Brown and Earl King. But he spent most of his career with New Orleans musicians, among them soul singer Irma Thomas, R&B; singer Robert Parker and singer-keyboardist Art Neville, the eldest of The Neville Brothers.

Besides music, Bocage was also known for his carpentry skills. He repaired the wind damage to the roof of his house after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Hamilton said. And when he wanted to open his own restaurant, he converted an old office building into the cafe he named, “Check Your Bucket” after his 1970 hit. It was flooded during Katrina and wasn’t reopened.


Johnny Donnels

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ Johnny Donnels, who won acclaim for his pictures of the people and places in New Orleans’ French Quarter, has died. He was 84.

Cheron Brylski, a close friend, said Friday that Donnels fell outside his Desire Street home last week and broke his hip. He died Thursday.

Donnels had a gallery near Jackson Square for more than 50 years. He lived in the Quarter for most of his life, and was playwright Tennessee Williams’ neighbor in the 1940s.

His work, chronicled in a 1999 book, has been exhibited at the Kennedy Center, Harvard University, the Ford Times Collection of American Art, the National Academy of Design, the New Orleans Museum of Art and Historic New Orleans Collection.

Although he was a renowned photographer, Donnels began his career as a painter.

For a time, he worked as a police sketch artist. In the 1960s, Donnels bartered a painting for a camera, and a career change followed.


Vic Gilardi

NEW YORK (AP) _ Vic Gilardi, one of racing’s most popular jockey agents who represented Hall of Fame rider Jorge Velasquez for more than two decades, has died. He was 78.

Gilardi died Thursday after a one-month stay at a New York hospital, the New York Racing Association said in a news release Friday.

A former Marine, Gilardi also booked mounts for brother-in-law Tony Russo, Karl Korte, Tommy Lee, Kenny Church, Phil Grimm, Richard Migliore, Jorge Chavez and Shaun Bridgmohan.

It was his 23-year relationship with Velasquez for which Gilardi was best known.

Gilardi and Velasquez worked together until 1987, when Velasquez went to France. He then had great success booking mounts for Chavez, who was New York’s leading rider from 1994-99.


Patrick Kinna

LONDON (AP) _ Patrick Kinna, a stenographer who served Winston Churchill during World War II, has died. He was 95.

Kinna died March 14, Hannington Funeral Directors of Hove said.

Kinna’s duties included taking dictation while the prime minister bathed, and he was a witness to an encounter between a naked Churchill and U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt in the White House in 1942.

Kinna said Churchill had just emerged from the bath when there was a knock at the door, and the British leader opened it to find Roosevelt waiting. Not at all embarrassed, Churchill simply said it proved he had nothing to hide from the U.S. leader.


Whitey Lockman

PHOENIX (AP) _ Whitey Lockman, who doubled ahead of Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard Round The World” that clinched the 1951 NL pennant, died Tuesday at the Mayo Clinic Hospital. He was 82.

Lockman told the New York Daily News last week that he was fighting pulmonary fibrosis. Lockman’s wife, Linda, told the News on Thursday night that her husband’s death was “very, very sudden.”

Lockman was an outfielder and first baseman and played with the Giants from 1945-1958. His career, which ended in 1960, also included stints with the Cardinals, Orioles and Reds. He was a career .279 hitter with 114 home runs and was an All-Star in 1952.

He is perhaps remembered most for his role in the New York Giants’ comeback against the Brooklyn Dodgers in Game 3 of their NL pennant tiebreaker playoff in 1951. New York, which trailed Brooklyn by 13 games before play on Aug. 12, forced the best-of-three playoff and were tied at a game apiece going into the finale at the Polo Grounds.

Brooklyn led 4-1 in the ninth when singles by Alvin Dark and Don Mueller put runners at the corners, After Monte Irvin fouled out, Lockman hit an RBI double just inside the left-field line that left two on for Thomson. Ralph Branca relieved, and Thomson followed with a three-run homer to left, which became known as “The Shot Heard Round the World.”

After his playing career, Lockman went on to manage the Cubs from 1972-74 and also served as an executive with the Montreal Expos and Florida Marlins.

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