SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — It was a rough start to the year for music fans as icons like Glen Frey lost their lives in January.
We’re highlighting an obituary a day for the month of January. This list includes politicians, musicians, and a farmer who reported weather conditions for more than 80 years.
Mike Oxley, 71
The former member of the U.S. House led an effort to investigate failed energy giant Enron and helped create new accounting requirements in the 2002 Sarbanes-Oxley Act.
The law reshaped corporate oversight after accounting scandals in 2001-2002 at Enron, WorldCom and other major corporations exposed inadequate internal controls and auditors who had become too cozy with the companies whose books they examined. Those corporate scandals and others wiped out retirement accounts, cost investors billions and pushed people out of work.
Small companies later complained that the law Oxley helped create brought added costs to comply with requirements for reports on their internal financial controls.
Larry Gordon, 76
Gordon was a chemistry student at San Diego State University in the late 1950s when he started experimenting with foam materials at his father’s plastics factory and shaping boards in his friend and fellow surfer Floyd Smith’s garage.
At the time, surfboards were mostly made of balsa wood and were heavy and hard to maneuver. The polyurethane foam that Gordon and Smith used to build their boards were lighter and easier to ride, making surfing more accessible and helping drive its popularity across the globe.
Demands for the boards led the pair to move out of Smith’s garage in Pacific Beach and open a full-fledge surf shop in 1959.
Paul Bley, 83
Throughout his career, Bley was a musical adventurer determined to find his own voice. “If I come up with a phrase that sounds like somebody else, I don’t play it,” he said in a 2006 interview for the website All About Jazz.
He challenged the bebop orthodoxy, adapting the free jazz of saxophonist Ornette Coleman for the piano, offering a quieter, moodier version. He later pioneered experiments with synthesizers.
His groundbreaking piano trios – notably with bassist Gary Peacock and drummer Paul Motian – liberated rhythm instruments from their traditional supporting roles, making everyone equal as improvisers.
Long John Hunter, 84
Hunter also was a singer-songwriter whose best-known tracks are “El Paso Rock” and “Alligators Around My Door.”
James Brown, Buddy Holly, Etta James and Albert Collins reportedly attended shows by Hunter, who also became a mentor to then-teenager Bobby Fuller of “I Fought the Law” fame.
It was at the Lobby Bar that Hunter developed his showmanship. He was known for holding his guitar by the neck in one hand while continuing to play. With his free hand, Hunter would reach up, grab a rafter above the stage and start to swing but never missed a beat.
Norm Wolfinger, 70
Wolfinger is best known on the national stage as having recused himself from the George Zimmerman case in 2012. Gov. Rick Scott appointed special prosecutor Angela Corey to pursue the case.
Pat Harrington, Jr., 86
The actor and comedian got attention in the 1950s as a member of Steve Allen’s fabled TV comic troupe, but secured lasting fame decades later as Dwayne Schneider, the cocky handyman on the long-running sitcom “One Day at a Time.”
Schneider was a comically self-styled ladies’ man who boasted a trim mustache, a tool belt and a gut pressed against his white T-shirt—enabled by a large intake of water by Harrington before each episode taping to give himself the necessary paunch, he once disclosed.
Troy Shondell, 76
Originally from Fort Wayne, Indiana, Shondell started singing and writing as a teenager. One of his earliest songs, “Kissin’ at the Drive-In,” became popular at drive-in movie theaters.
His biggest hit was “This Time (We’re Really Breaking Up),” which spent four months on the Billboard Top 100 chart in 1961 and also charted on the UK singles chart. He later became a songwriter and publisher in Nashville, Tennessee.
Otis Clay, 73
The Mississippi-born Clay’s gruff, tenor-tinged voice on blues songs such as “Trying to Live My Life Without You” varied from his haunting but hopeful baritone on gospel standards like “When the Gates Swing Open.”
Friends and co-workers of Tankson’s, whom Clay had never met, repeatedly asked if he would sing “When the Gates Swing Open” at loved ones’ funerals. He once delayed a recording-session trip to Memphis to comply.
Richard Hendrickson, 103
The eastern Long Island chicken and dairy farmer is estimated to have tallied more than 150,000 weather observations in more than 80 years for the National weather Service. His data helped meteorologists analyze impending storms and information that tracks long-term climate change and other trends.
David Bowie, 69
Long before alter egos and wild outfits became commonplace in pop, Bowie turned the music world upside down with the release of the 1972 album, “The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars” which introduced one of music’s most famous personas. “Ziggy Stardust” was a concept album that imagined a rock star from outer space trying to make his way in the music world. The persona — the red-headed, eyeliner wearing Stardust — would become an enduring part of Bowie’s legacy, and a touchstone for the way entertainers packaged themselves for years to come.
Born David Jones in London, the singer came of age in the early 1970s glam rock era. He had a striking androgynous look in his early days and was known for changing his appearance and sounds. After “Ziggy Stardust,” the stuttering rock sound of “Changes” gave way to the disco soul of “Fame,” co-written with John Lennon, to a droning collaboration with Brian Eno in Berlin that produced “Heroes.”
William Del Monte, 109
Del Monte was just three months old when the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck, forcing his family into the streets to escape in a horse-drawn buck board with fire burning on both sides, Barroca said. The family crossed the bay to Alameda County but eventually came back to the city after the home was rebuilt.
Andrew Smith, 25
After the former Bulldogs star, who played in two national championship games was diagnosed with an aggressive form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma early in 2014, Smith’s wife, Samantha, started documenting her husband’s battle by providing updates and inspirational messages on a blog called “Kicking Cancer with the Smiths.” She continued writing even as Smith’s condition worsened recently.
Jim Simpson, 88
Simpson worked for NBC, ABC, CBS and TNT, and when he joined ESPN in 1979, he gave the fledgling cable sports network instant credibility.
Simpson called 14 Olympics, 16 Major League Baseball All-Star games, six Super Bowls and six World Series for TV or radio. He worked for NBC from 1964-79, handling AFL and later NFL broadcasts.
Rene Angelil, 73
Rene Angelil was a former singer-turned-manager when he received an audiotape of a 12-year-old singer from her mother.
The singer was Celine Dion, and in time her voice would become one of the most popular in the world, recalling big-voiced singers such as Barbra Streisand and Whitney Houston. Dion has said that Angelil mortgaged his house to finance her first album. He was her manager for decades, and the two married in 1994 in an elaborate ceremony at Notre Dame Basilica in Montreal.
Dan Haggerty, 74
The rugged, bearded actor starred in the film and TV series “The Life and Times of Grizzly Adams” about a mountain man and animal trainer.
Ted Marchibroda, 84
He coached the Colts twice – for five years in Baltimore and four years in Indianapolis – and is the only man to have coached both Baltimore franchises, the Colts and Ravens. He was probably one of the few who could have been accepted by both communities after the Colts’ move from Baltimore, too.
The sprint champion in the late 1980s and sire of 1995 Kentucky Derby and Belmont Stakes winner Thunder Gulch.
Gulch won the 1988 Breeders’ Cup Sprint and earned the Eclipse Award for top sprinter. Gulch won 13 of 32 starts and earned more than $3 million. Among his wins were the Hopeful Stakes as a 2-year-old, the Wood Memorial as a 3-year-old and the Metropolitan Mile two years in a row.
Glenn Frey, 67
Frey and Don Henley came from humble beginnings after playing back-up to another legend, Linda Ronstadt, and later forming the Eagles when signing with David Geffen’s Asylum Records. Their sound would go on to successfully blend rock and country – something others tried but was mastered by the Eagles.
The band released some of the most popular songs of the 1970s: “Take It Easy,” written by Frey and Jackson Browne, is irresistible with Frey singing lead and the band’s harmonies intact, and “Hotel California,” the moody soft rock track, is a classic.
Sylvia McLaughlin, 99
McLaughlin along with friends Kate Kerr and Esther Gulick launched their pioneering environmental organization in 1961 to protect the San Francisco Bay Area shorelines from development. The wife of a mining company executive on the UC Board of Regents, she used her charm, to make her case to protect the Bay.
Ronald Greenwald, 82
The presidential liaison of President Richard Nixon to the Jewish community, Greenwald was influential in the release of many prisoners around the world.
Derrick Todd Lee, 47
Lee was sentenced to life for one murder and to death for killing 22-year-old Charlotte Murray Pace, who was stabbed 81 times and bludgeoned with an iron in May 2002.
DNA evidence linked Lee to five additional killings from 1998 to 2003; Diane Alexander survived to testify against him in both the Pace trial and that for the murder in 2002 of Geralyn DeSoto.
Miloslav Ransdorf, 62
The member of the European for Parliament for the Czech Republic was caught on camera checking into parliament then leaving so he could claim a daily expense fee.
Bobby Wanzer, 94
The Hall of Fame point guard for Seton Hall in the 1940s led the Rochester Royals—later named the Sacramento Kings—to their only NBA championship.
In the finals, Wanzer averaged 12.4 points and 3.6 assists and scored 13 points in the decisive Game 7 to help beat the New York Knicks.
John Jay Hooker Jr., 85
The larger-than-life Nashville political figure spent his last days fighting to make physician-assisted suicide legal in Tennessee. He was also a socialite once named to an international list of the best dressed men in the world.
Thornton Dial, 87
The self-taught artist transformed discarded junk into sculpture and painted in bright colors and bold lines. After working for decades in a boxcar factory, Dial came to wide attention in the art world in 1987 when he met Atlanta collector Bill Arnett through another self-taught artist who lived in Birmingham, Lonnie Holley. Arnett said Dial began pulling works out of an old poultry house the first time he visited the artist.
Dial’s works are in collections including the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington and the High Museum in Atlanta. His drawings and painting are typically priced in the thousands of dollars in online art markets.
Abe Vigoda, 94
His death brought to an end years of questions on whether he was still alive – sparked by a false report of his death more than three decades ago. Though Vigoda took it in stride, the question of whether he was dead or alive became something of a running joke: There was even a website devoted to answering the much-Googled question, “Is Abe Vigoda dead?” (On Tuesday, it had been updated with “Yes,” with the date of his death.)
Vigoda worked in relative obscurity as a supporting actor in the New York theater and in television until Francis Ford Coppola cast him in the 1972 Oscar-winning “The Godfather.”
Vigoda played Sal Tessio, an old friend of Vito Corleone’s (Marlon Brando) who hopes to take over the family after Vito’s death by killing his son Michael Corleone (Al Pacino). But Michael anticipates that Sal’s suggestion for a “peace summit” among crime families is a setup and the escorts Sal thought were taking him to the meeting turn out to be his executioners.
But it was his comic turn in “Barney Miller,” which starred Hal Linden and ran from 1975 to 1982, that brought Vigoda’s greatest recognition.
He liked to tell the story of how he won the role of Detective Fish. An exercise enthusiast, Vigoda had just returned from a five-mile jog when his agent called and told him to report immediately to the office of Danny Arnold, who was producing a pilot for a police station comedy.
Jack Reed Sr., 91
The Tupelo businessman spoke out against Mississippi’s segregationist culture and was a longtime advocate for public schools before losing a race for governor in 1987.
In the aftermath of James Meredith integrating the University of Mississippi in 1962 amid civil unrest put down by federal troops, many lawmakers were considering closing any public school ordered to accept black students. In January 1963, Reed became one of the few prominent white Mississippians to contradict segregationist orthodoxy. Tapped to become the next president of the Mississippi Economic Council – the state chamber of commerce – Reed called on members of the group to abstain from violence, obey federal court orders, and keep public schools open even if they were ordered to integrate.
It was a risky stand for a man whose family depended on the goodwill of its department store customers, especially when other dissenters from segregationist orthodoxy had been socially ostracized and economically bulldozed.
Paul Kantner, 74
An original member of the 1960s rock group Jefferson Airplane, he stayed with the San Francisco-based band through its transformation from hippies to hit makers as the eventual leader of successor group Jefferson Starship.
The guitarist and songwriter had survived close brushes with death as a younger man, including a motorcycle accident during the early 1960s and a 1980 cerebral hemorrhage, and gone on to recover from a heart attack last year.
Alyce Dixon, 108
She joined the military in 1943, and was among one of the first African-American women in the Army. As a member of the Women’s Army Corps, she was stationed in England and France, where she served in the postal service as part of the 6888th Battalion.
Kenny Sailors, 95
Sailors led Wyoming to the 1943 NCAA title. He was the national player of the year and most outstanding player of that NCAA Tournament.
Sailors said he developed the jump shot as a youngster while playing against his older, taller brother on a makeshift dirt basketball court on their Wyoming farm.
In 2012, at 91, he was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame in a class that included Kentucky coach Joe B. Hall, Patrick Ewing and Earl Monroe. After his induction, Sailors said it was a great honor but jokingly added: “The only advantage I got over them is I’m good looking and got a jump shot.”
Signe Toly Anderson, 74
The vocalist and original member of the Jefferson Airplane left the band after its first record and was replaced by Grace Slick.
She was a folk and jazz singer who had performed in groups since high school. She moved to San Francisco in her 20s and began appearing at a popular folk club, the Drinking Gourd. Vocalist Marty Balin heard her sing and asked her to join what became the Jefferson Airplane, which in 1966 released “The Jefferson Airplane Takes Off.” Strongly influenced by the folk-rock sound of the time, “Takes Off” was a word-of-mouth hit that combined original songs and covers, including a showcase for Anderson and her soulful contralto, “Chauffeur Blues.”
But by the time the album came out, Anderson had given birth to her first child and she left after a farewell concert at the Fillmore in October 1966.