Feather, one of the world's most prominent jazz critics died of pneumonia, yesterday at the age of 80. He grew up in England and moved to America in 1940. His most important writing was his encylopedia of jazz, an essential reference work of musician bios. Feather spent his final months editing a new edition, which is scheduled for publication next year. Feather also produced about 200 recording sessions, composed for many of the musicians he worked with, and even played piano on some of their sessions.
Merrill died Monday at age 68. The son of the founder of the Merrill Lynch brokerage house, Merrill traveled to Europe at age 24, a newly published poet "meaning to stay as long as possible". That was in 1950. His memoir "A Different Person" detailed his two and a half years there, and featured encounters with psychoanalysts, new and old lovers, and Alice Toklas. Merrill wrote eleven books of poems, and was the winner of two National Book Awards, the Bollingen Prize for Poetry, and the Pulitzer Prize. (Rebroadcast)
Monette died of complications from the AIDS virus on Friday, at age 49. His 1988 book "Borrowed Time: An Aids Memoir," was the first memoir to be published about AIDS, and won a National Book Award. In it, Monette told the story of his "beloved" friend and lover's two year struggle with AIDS. The book was called "a gallant, courageous love story." In 1992, he wrote a memoir about his own life before he came out of the closet at the age of 25, "Becoming a Man: Half a Life Story." (Rebroadcast)
Kenyon died Saturday of leukemia. She and her husband, poet Donald Hall, had both been struggling with cancer for years. Many of their works were inspired by their battles with the disease. Their last book of poems, entitled Constance, is about Hall's surgery and recovery. We replay our 1993 interview with the couple.
Former Executive Editor of The New York Times James Reston. He died this week at the age of 86, from cancer. He spent fifty years with The New York Times. He began as a reporter in London in 1940, covering the war. He was also Washington bureau chief, executive editor, and columnist. He retired in 1989 at the age of 80. In 1991 he wrote a new memoir, called Deadline (Random House). (REBROADCAST from 10/30/91)
The former president of NBC Entertainment Brandon Tartikoff died yesterday at the age of 48 from complications from treatment for Hodgkin's disease. We remember him with a 1992 interview excerpt. While at NBC, he was responsible for such hit series as "The Cosby Show," "Cheer," "Miami Vice," and "Hill Street Blues." He went on to become chairman at Paramount Pictures. He wrote a book about his NBC years, "The Last Great Ride." (Turtle Bay Books). (REBROADCAST from 10/20/92)
Derek Taylor, a former press agent for the Beatles, died Sunday at the age of 65. He is the author of It was 20 Years Ago Today He served two stints with the Beatles. Once in 1964 during their world tour and again in 1968. (Originally aired 6/4/87)
Today, we remember Sonny Bono. He died yesterday afternoon in a skiing accident. He was 62. Bono was completing his second term in the U.S. Congress. He was the second most-requested speaker at House members events during the 1996 campaign season. Although he ended up in politics, many of his know him best for his work in music and show business. Terry Gross spoke with him in 1991, three years before he was elected to Congress. (Rebroadcast of 7/17 and 7/18 1991).