Saturday, May 30, 2009

SHAG DANCING!


The Shag Dance is sort of a lazy jitterbug, done on beaches at night, always with someone of the opposite sex. Therefore, the music shaggers picked for their soundtrack had to be sunny, sexy, fun, and lazy. Depending on who you talk to, shagging can be done to songs as diverse as Elvis' "Return To Sender" and Marvin Gaye's "Sexual Healing," but the general consensus is that there should be a slow shuffle at the bottom and some sort of southern soul on top.

The big hits of shag are almost all one-hit wonders, cherry-picked for their utility - Willie Tee's "Teasin' You," the O-Kaysions' "Girl Watcher" - but that also gives the scene room to breathe. And, as has been proven by its continuing popularity, room to expand.
My favorite Shag Dance song!

PHIL SPECTOR GETS 19 YEARS FOR MURDER


Phil Spector was finally sentenced Friday to 19 years to life in prison for the murder of actress Lana Clarkson, who was shot through the mouth in the music producer's home six years ago. Spector, 69, looked straight forward and showed no emotion as Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler ordered a term of 15 years to life for second-degree murder plus four years for personal use of a gun. He'll probably be out in 5 years. If he gets a break he may be able to obtain a mentally illness release to a mental illness facility.


Not saying that Spector is not guilty, but he is obviously mentally ill. LOOK at the FACE! OMG what a mess. OJ they let roam free to torture more people and destroy his children's lives too. Hollywood finally convicts a celebrity, frail, tiny, and insane Phil. Well the world is finally safe from Phil.... we can all now finally sleep at night...


Here is a good bye to poor old Phil:

JACKIE WILSON: LONELY TEAR DROPS


One of my absolute favorite singers of all time (I know I say that about everybody) Was the amazing Jackie Wilson. I have to great fortuen to have seen him play the supper club at the Hyatt Regent Hotel in Dearborn MI in the late 1970's. Man oh man what a performer!

He smoked onstage which was kind of different, but didn't seem to inhibit him at the time. But the smoking and drinking may have lead to his untimely death at such a young age.

Of course being shot by angry girlfriend may have contributed to his death as well. Wow what story. My favorite of his many hits is "Lonely Teardrops"

From Wiki:
Jack Leroy "Jackie" Wilson, Jr. (June 9, 1934 – January 21, 1984) was the most marvelous high energy American singer. Wilson was important in the transition of rhythm and blues into soul. Gaining fame in his early years as a member of the R&B vocal group, The Dominoes, after going solo in 1957 he went on to record over fifty hit singles over a repertoire that included R&B, pop, soul, doo-wop and easy listening before lapsing into a coma following a collapse on stage during a 1975 benefit concert. By the time of his death in 1984, he had become one of the most influential soul artists of his generation.


Wilson was shot and wounded by one of his alleged lovers, Juanita Jones, on February 15, 1961. Allegedly, Jones shot Wilson in a jealous rage when he returned to his apartment with another woman, fashion model Harlean Harris, an ex-girlfriend of Sam Cooke. In order to protect his reputation, Wilson's management concocted a story that Jones was an obsessed fan who threatened to shoot herself, and that Wilson's intervention concluded in his being shot. The story was accepted, and no charges were brought against Jones.

Freda Hood, Jackie's first wife with whom he had four children, divorced him in 1965 after fourteen years of marriage. He married Harris in 1967, but split up soon after. Jackie later met and lived with Lynn Crochet, and they had two children. He was with Lynn up until his heart attack and on-stage accident in 1975. However, as he and Harris never officially divorced, Harris took the role of Wilson's caretaker for the singer's remaining nine years.

Wilson suffered a massive heart attack while playing a Dick Clark show at the Latin Casino in Cherry Hill, New Jersey on September 29, 1975, falling head-first to the stage while singing the line from his hit "Lonely Teardrops", ("My Heart is Crying").

The blow to the head Wilson suffered left him comatose. For the next eight years and four months, he was in a vegetative state until his death at age 49. Al Green and Elvis Presley were some of the few artists who regularly visited the bed-ridden Wilson. When he found out that Jackie was broke, Dick Clark paid all of Jackie's medical bills up to the day he died.

According to the 2005 biography, Jackie Wilson: Lonely Teardrops he received a well-publicized funeral attended by approximately 1,500 relatives, friends and fans. He is interred in the Westlawn Cemetery in Wayne, Michigan.



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DEVIL WITH A BLUE DRESS: MITCH RYDER


We just loved this video and thought we'd share this classic anthem on a Sunny Saturday in Ann Arbor!


Lyrics:

Mitch Ryder and the Detroit Wheels
Devil with the Blue Dress


Devil with the blue dress, blue dress, blue dress
Devil with the blue dress on
Devil with the blue dress, blue dress, blue dress
Devil with the blue dress on

Fee, fee, fi, fi, fo-fo, fum
Look at Molly now, here she comes
Wearin' her wig hat and shades to match
She's got high-heel shoes and an alligator hat
Wearin' her pearls and her diamond rings
She's got bracelets on her fingers, now, and everything

{Refrain}

Wearin' her perfume, Chanel No. 5
Got to be the finest girl alive
She walks real cool, catches everybody's eye
They got to be nervous, they can't say Hi
Not too skinny, she's not too fat
She's a real humdinger and I like 'em like that

{Refrain}

Good golly, Miss Molly
You sure like to ball
Good golly, Miss Molly
You sure like to ball
It's late in the evenin'
Don't you hear your mama call


From the early, early mornin' 'til the early, early nights
See Miss Molly rockin' at the House of Blue Lights
Good golly, Miss Molly
You sure like to ball
While you're rocking and you're rolling
Can't you hear your mama call

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY WE LOVE YOU!

KIM AND LESLEY

Friday, May 29, 2009

THE GLASS CASTLE: GREAT RETRO BOOK!


Growing up in a similar time as this author there were some similarities to my own childhood in this book. Of course my parents weren't as alcoholic or neglectful. But the wildness and runnign the streets and making up war games in the woods I think we all did. We ran a lot wilder as kids in the 60's than kids do now.

They say it was a safer time in history but really it wasn't. There were pedophiles and creepies running rampant in neighborhoods back then too. Child crimes just weren't publicized in the media like they are now thankfully to keep our children more protected.

Our kids are so protected that we don't allow them to run free like we did. To ride off on bike ride adventures miles away from our homes. To play night games of kick the can and hide and seek. We had kid "gangs" that hung out after dark around the street light poles and though we did get into a lot of mischief we stayed just short of being truly criminal.

This book comes very close to some of the wilder things we did as kids in the 60's. I loved this book and read it over two times. I highly advise you to read Jeanette's unvarnished story of her
excentric (neglected) childhood and eventual escape to a successful life.

After all you need to know what bad really is before you can really find good...


Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination, teaching them physics, geology, and above all, how to embrace life fearlessly. Rose Mary, who painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family, called herself an "excitement addict." Cooking a meal that would be consumed in fifteen minutes had no appeal when she could make a painting that might last forever.


Later, when the money ran out, or the romance of the wandering life faded, the Walls retreated to the dismal West Virginia mining town -- and the family -- Rex Walls had done everything he could to escape. He drank. He stole the grocery money and disappeared for days. As the dysfunction of the family escalated, Jeannette and her brother and sisters had to fend for themselves, supporting one another as they weathered their parents' betrayals and, finally, found the resources and will to leave home.

What is so astonishing about Jeannette Walls is not just that she had the guts and tenacity and intelligence to get out, but that she describes her parents with such deep affection and generosity. Hers is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its profound flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.

Buy this book!


Thursday, May 28, 2009

ROD "THE MOD" STEWART


Roderick David "Rod" Stewart, CBE (born 10 January 1945) is a British singer and songwriter born and raised in London, England and currently residing in Epping. He has Scottish and English parentage.

With his distinctive raspy voice, Stewart came to prominence in the late 1960s and early '70s with The Jeff Beck Group and then Faces. He launched his solo career in 1969 with his debut album An Old Raincoat Won't Ever Let You Down (US: The Rod Stewart Album). His work with The Jeff Beck Group and The Faces proved to be influential on the formation of the heavy metal and punk rock genres, respectively. Both bands were also pioneers of blues-rock.

With his career in its fifth decade, Stewart has achieved numerous solo hit singles worldwide, most notably in the UK, where he has garnered six consecutive number one albums and his tally of 62 hit singles include 31 that reached the top 10, six of which gained the number one position. He has also had 16 top ten singles in the USA, with four of these reaching number one. His most-known solo hit singles are "Maggie May", "You Wear It Well", "Sailing", "Tonight's the Night (Gonna Be Alright)", "Forever Young" and "Rhythm of My Heart."

In 1969 I discovered Rod Stewart. Visiting Michigan from Jacksonville Alabama, I heard a song at a friend's home that had the most unique voice I had ever heard in my young teen life. Scrambling to find the album cover I found a treasure trove of Rod with the Faces and Rod just launched a new album solo. They were both out of this world and my life was changed forever. Begged my mother to drive me to the record store (only place to buy records back then) and I bought the Yellow Album



Then I bought Gasoline Alley and then grabbed the album that featured Maggie May Rod's biggest hit, Every Picture Tells a Story.

Playing the records over and over until my grandmother lost her mind became my new obsession. Love every song on every one of these records.


Rod was "The Mod" because had the coolest "mod" hair cut and was the most stylish of the British Invaders. He ws totally different looking and sounding than any other rock singer of the day. I couldn't wait to take these records back to Alabams for my friends to hear.

When I got home I discovered that my friends had all discovered Elton John and Creedance Clearwater Revival. Though I kind of liked them too, for my money my first crush on a rocker was directed squarely toward Rod "The Mod" Stewart. All my babysitting money went to Rod too.

Happy as I am for Rod's continued success singing standards etc. I fell out of love when Rod launched into Disco territory Hot Legs and such weren't very good and I lost all interest after that time.

I really wanted a video of Ooh La La with the Faces or Rod singing Gasoline Alley. I did find GA sung with no music... boring and lot's of covers of Ooh La La boring.

But I did find a gem to share with young retro viewers and turn back time with my peers.

Here is Young Rod "Sailing" in action.

 

 Couldn't resist showing you guys this video of Rod surprising Jeff Beck on stage 

 

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

JOSE FELICIANO: LIGHT MY FIRE



"Light My Fire" by the Doors was one of the biggest hits of the 60's and it was a hot song sung by the ever so hot Jim Morrison. My favorite version was a much slower and in my opinion even hotter that Jim's

Jose Feliciano's version of "Light My Fire" still sounds as fresh today as the first time I ever heard him play acoustic guitar and sing this song....


From Jose's WEBSITE

Jose was born blind, to humble beginnings on September 10, 1945, in Lares, Puerto Rico. One of eleven boys, his love affair with music began at the age of three when he first accompanied his uncle on a tin cracker can. When he was five, his family immigrated to New York City. Young Jose learned to play the concertina at age six, using a handful of records as his teacher. At eight, he performed for his classmates at PS 57, and at nine, performed at The Puerto Rican Theater in the Bronx. Venturing beyond the accordion, he taught himself to play the guitar with undaunted determination and again, with nothing but records as his teacher, practicing for as many as 14 hours a day. Exposed to the rock-n-roll of the 50's, Jose was then inspired to sing.

At 17, Jose quit school. His father was not working at the time and he needed to help his family. He played in coffee houses in Greenwich Village and for his salary -- as was customary during that time period in small clubs -- they'd "pass the hat". He played his first professional engagement that same year in Detroit, Michigan. (Of Course Detroit!)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

CASINO: THE TRUE PLAYERS


In my top 5 favorite movies of all time is Casino. Guess Marty Scorsese and I go way back. Most people know the true back story behind Goodfellas and the fictional similarities to real life characters in The Godfather but most know little about the real people in Casino. I thought I add a bit from the internet on the real players in CASINO.

Frank "Lefty" Rosenthal (Ace Rothstein Robert DeNiro part)

Read the great book Casino by Nicolas Pileggi who also wrote Wiseguy.


Franks's Very Cool Website is HERE


For much of his professional life, the Chicago-born and casino-bred, Rosenthal has been the country's top handicapper. He was one of a handful of men who literally set the line for thousands of bookmakers from coast to coast.

During the 1970's, and early eighties, Rosenthal ran four Las Vegas casinos simultaneously, including the world famous Stardust Hotel and Casino. Rosenthal is also credited with creating the first Race & Sports book (Parlor) in Las Vegas.


Despite resistance from the traditional casino bosses, who believed exclusively in terms of table games, Rosenthal had spent decades in and around the sports world to know that it could be the mother lode of casino betting. He created a space-age theater-like Race and Sports book at the Stardust Hotel & Casino that was copied by every casino on the strip. Few if any people knew more about the world of gambling than Frank Rosenthal.

Anthony “The Ant” Spilotro and wife Nancy

Anthony Spilotro, Protégé of Mad Sam DeStefano made his bones in 1962 when he put small time burglar Billy McCarthy's head in a vise and cranked it tighter and tighter until one of his eyes popped out. “The Ant” Later became the outfits man in Vegas and Basis for the Nicky Santurro character played by Joe Pesci in the movie Casino he would also eventually whack Mad Sam.



Wife of Las Vegas sports handicapper, Frank Rosenthal. Born Geraldine "Geri" McGee, she met Anthony Spilotro, the best friend of Frank Rosenthal, at a gambling convention in Atlantic City, New Jersey, where she began an affair with him. She made her living as a "chip girl" (a good looking woman who hustled gamblers for a chip or two in exchange for temporary companionship) and as a part time topless dancer and occasional prostitute, hanging around the high rolling gamblers in the casinos, where she would move from gambler to gambler. Anthony Spilotro, who introduced Frank to Geri, and soon they were were a couple.



Frank did a very successful TV show while in Vegas much to the disapproval of the upper management of the mob. Great interview with Frank HERE

Though Ant and his brother died a horrible beating death and Geri died young from a suspected hot dose of heroin. Frank died at age 79 while living in south Florida.

Frank states on his website that the torture scene in the movie was accurate. Yuck! Read more on his website. How exciting Frank had the great promoter sense to build a fabulous website before he died.

Friday, May 15, 2009

20TH CENTURY BOY: MARC BOLAN


I have been in a Marc Bolan mood for a week! Don't know what brought him into my mind. Guess Marc is reaching into my dreams and asking for a post on RetroK.

He was of course the first Glam Rocker but he preferred Cosmic Rocker. Cosmic he was.... Gorgeous looking rocker and what a stage performer he was! As much as I love David Bowie, Marc did it first and did it hotter and sexier... I wanted him to be my boy for sure....


No one before or since has created a sound, an image, and genre all his own. His tragic car accident and early death at age 30 froze his music in time forever.


 

Bolan was a self made pop icon, and one of the original Glam Rock stars in England. Born Marc Feld, he had a brief career as a superstar with his band T-Rex, but was eventually reduced to hosting a Children's TV series. On the night of September 16, 1977, Marc had dinner with his love Gloria Jones, with whom he had a 2-year-old son Rolan.

After much merriment, Gloria got behind the wheel of her purple Mini 1275 GT (license plate FOX 66IL) to drive Marc and herself home. This was about 4am. Shortly thereafter, the Mini was traveling on Queens Ride, at the southern edge of Barnes Common, south London.

The Mini left the road as it crossed a hump backed bridge, shot through the fence and smashed into a sycamore tree. Marc's side took the impact, and he was thrown into the back of the car, and killed instantly. Gloria was unconscious but alive. Read the Whole Story on FindaDeath Marc Bolan

Monday, May 11, 2009

1960's BIGGEST SCANDALS : ELIZABETH TAYLOR

Mike Todd and Elizabeth Taylor

Just 3 days after Ms Taylor divorced Michael Wilding who was way too old for her and possible gay, she married movie producer Mike Todd in Acapulco. Todd was 24 years her senior, but Taylor acknowledges that of all her marriages, this was her happiest. The couple had a daughter, Elizabeth "Liza" Todd in August of that year.

Michael Todd was HOT! Also Hot tempered, determined and exciting. What girl wouldn't fall for such a man as producer Mike Todd. Tragically he was killed in a plane crash and Mike's good friend Eddie Fisher consoled the sorrow filled young widow.

On the rebound and still probably full of grief she married Eddie Fisher. His wife Debbie Reynolds was let with two small children and humiliated world wide.


Eddie did Debbie a favor in our book...

Eddie Fisher and Liz

As you can tell by this picture Liz just "wasn't that into him." Grief does strange things to a person's emotional system. Hollywood turned their back on La Liz and the world felt sorry for poor Debbie.

In 1963, she became the highest paid movie star up until that time when she accepted $1 million to play the title role in the lavish production of Cleopatra for 20th Century Fox.

It was during the filming of that movie that she worked for the first time with future husband Richard Burton, who played Mark Antony. Movie magazines had a field day when Taylor and Burton began an affair during filming; both stars were married to other people at the time. But Oh my my Liz and Dick!!!

These two did chew up the scenery in Cleopatra but it was worth every penny to watch their love story unfold onscreen. I still love watching that film just to see their scenes. Let's see... Eddie Fisher?? or Richard Burton?? No choice there! There were never two hotter starts to grace our movie screens and never will be.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

SAM GIANCANA PHYLLIS MCGUIRE 1960 LOVE STORY


Sam Giancana, Chicago mob boss, was untouchable until 1960, when he met Phyllis McGuire, lead singer of the popular McGuire Sisters. Deftly eluding the Justice Department, the F.B.I. and rival mobsters, the murderous gangster was helpless in the hands of the wholesome, "virginal" singer he first saw in Las Vegas.


Phyllis McGuire was not a gold digger when she met Sam Giancana. Phyllis was hot, had hit recordings topping the charts and making long money in personal appearances around the world.

But Phyllis was in love.

All those in the know say it was Phyllis who could not help herself. She knew better than to fall for a lousy guy like Sam. She didn’t need anything from him. Sam was not even a handsome man, so why then? Well, they say “love is blind” and it could not be truer than with Phyllis's love for Sam. Power is the ultimate turn on we guess...
Phyllis McGuire

San Giancana enjoyed the limelight, some say he was even envious of show business personalities. Perhaps this is where he went way wrong. Sam seemed to thrive on his own notoriety in the media.

Tony Accardo had advised Sam on various occasions to “keep your head down,” as being visible would only bring dangerous attention to the Outfit. Sam would not listen.

At this time Sam was seeing singer Phyllis McGuire of The McGuire Sisters and it was a routine thing to see their photo in a newspaper or magazine on a regular basis.

This brought a lot of attention from the Feds. In 1965, Sam was the subject of a grand jury inquiry. Sam again took the fifth, refusing to answer their probing questions, but was soon given immunity. Sam still refused to talk and he was sent to Cook County jail for contempt.

He served a year and was released in May of 1966, and headed straight for Mexico. Where he lived until 1974 when the U.S. pressured the Mexican government to stop protecting him. The Mexicans literally pushed Sam across the border into El Paso, TX, into the waiting arms of FBI agents.

Sam was brought back to Chicago to wait to testify again. The Grand Jury intended to repeat the process in hopes of putting Sam back in jail, now that he was medically ill. The Outfit did not like either of these events.

Phyllis McGuire was also called before this grand jury and many experts to this day say “she never told one tale out of school” about Sam. She gave them only “surface” information, not even if Sam ever got a parking ticket. Phyllis held up.


HBO produced a really HOT version of the Sam and Phyllis romance and although they took great license with the real story it is one of my favorite films to watch often. Shoot I think I have it on Dvd and am going to put it on right now!

JFK Judith Exner and Sam Giancana
Great Story on Sam HERE


Friday, May 08, 2009

BRENDA HOLLOWAY:TOO HOT FOR MOTOWN?


Brenda Holloway is my most favorite female singer of the Motown Era. I often wondered why she never charted like the rest of the "girl" groups. Berry Gordy and his "interest" in Diana Ross may have played a big part. Or Brenda's refusals to be just Berry's "girl" may have caused it. Most likely that Ms H had a very strong snarky sense of her own purpose, style and obvious singing talent.

Brenda like Mary Wilson (also too pretty for Motown) was pushed aside for Mr. Gordy's personal agendas.Read this fabulous article that tells the entire history of Brenda at Motown.

Brenda Holloway: Too Hot For Motown?

Well Brenda's been called the Most Beautiful Woman Ever Signed to Motown Records and no one's going to argue you that. Brenda Holloway had the beauty, and the voice. But it wasn't her voice that got her signed to Motown.

Berry Gordy happened to be there the night she lip-sync Mary Wells song "My Guy", even though Berry didn't hear her voice, he just had to her have her on his label, and he kind of figured she could sing because she had the emotions and attitude when she sung, plus he found her very attractive, and after that night she had a contract.

Berry showed a lot of interest in Brenda Holloway, groomed her for stardom, in her first time in Detroit, she stayed with various family members of Berry Gordy's. Berry Gordy was looking for another "MARY WELLS", and it certainly look like she could fill Mary Wells shoes.


Now let's talk about the Motown Years. It wasn't her voice that caught Berry Gordy's eye it was the skin-tight gold pantsuit that she filled out, but it was Brenda Holloway's voice that made her Motown's first major Los Angeles discovery.

Brenda had a lot of sex appeal, she was too sexy for Motown, in her live performances she would have the men yelling and screaming, but she was scared sometimes after shows because the women wanted to cut her throat for having their men yelling for her.

Brenda Holloway's looked up to Tina Turner, she didn't want to be like The Supremes, or Kim Weston, or The Vandellas, she wanted to maybe start a new image.

Berry was very much attracted to this youthful beauty, but Brenda put it bluntly that "Either I be your woman or I sing", After that, she said he never pushed me again. Brenda said a lot of the other women singers were jealous of me because I would stay with Gwen, Berry's sister and his parents.

Brenda Holloway yearned for fame and did everything asked of her (with a little back-talk) believing this could be the quickest route to success.
She got reputation for her stage outfits, they would come to see her sing, but mostly to see what she was wearing, onstage she dressed elegantly in shimmering tight-fitting gowns, she put The Supremes to shame, they couldn't copy her outfits.

She toured North America with The Beatles in 1965. However towards her 4 year stay with Motown it became apparent she was being ignored by the Motown offices. She had reverted to a second-class priority because she said "Motown's policy was to build one act at a time or their favorites.

When The Supremes were taking off, the company would pull in records so that The Supremes could go for the million. When I asked why my records were being pulled, Berry just simply said WAIT YOUR TURN, He just kept telling me that.

My records would go out of stock and stores were told to re-order. It was usually at a crucial point when the singles couldn't be got, so they weren't played and didn't go into the charts. I feel Motown really exploited me. For instance, they let The Supremes study my tapes and take songs from me.

Maybe Brenda Holloway wasn't meant for Motown, too hot, too daring, too sexy. Motown couldn't handle her, didn't know what to do with her. Motown of course wanted to keep their good, wholesome image. Brenda is getting her recognition now.

Her music is available in stores and online, the hit songs and the never-heard or released classics that should of became hits. You're in for a treat when you hear some of those classic soul songs. She lives in Los Angeles, California. She still working hard, still a main attraction and she still looks good in gold.


BRENDA HOLLOWAY


Tuesday, May 05, 2009

I COULD NEVER LOVE ANOTHER: DAVID RUFFIN




The Temptations were the most consistently successful of the guy bands at Motown. The original line up with David Ruffin and Eddie Kendricks as the lead singers in my opinion have never been topped. The many incarnations of the groups had future successes as well but that raw sexual voice of David Ruffin was irreplaceable.



Davis Eli Ruffin (January 18, 1941 – June 1, 1991)

Fabulous Soulful lead singer of The Classic Five (Original) Temptations from 1964 to 1968 David was the lead voice on such famous songs as "My Girl" and "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" and many more. Known for his unique sexy raspy and anguished vocals, Ruffin is one of the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time by Rolling Stone magazine. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1989 for his work with the Temptations.

Smokey Robinson saw Ruffin’s unique voice that was "mellow" yet "gruff". Robinson thought that if he could write just the perfect song for Ruffin's voice, then he could have a smash hit. That song, "My Girl" recorded in November 1964 and released a month later, became the group's first #1 single and its signature song, and elevated Ruffin to the role of lead singer and front man.


He was just home from a British tour with ex-Temptations Eddie Kendricks and Dennis Edwards. Friends said he was carrying proceeds from the tour of somewhere between $10,000 and $40,000.

On June 1, 1991 after a whole evening of drinking in a Philadelphia bar, Ruffin purchased several vials of crack cocaine at 2:00 a.m., by 2:25 a.m., the cocaine was gone and Ruffin was unconscious. David's final performance in a crack house had lasted 25 minutes, and there would be no encore.

Twenty-five minutes later, he was dumped from a loaned limousine at the emergency room of the University of Pennsylvania Hospital, the driver told hospital staffers that Ruffin had overdosed, then quickly left. By 4:00 a.m., fifty-five minutes after he was admitted, the 50-year-old former motown star, who once rolled up to concerts in a mink-lined limo apart form the rest of his group, was, dead, with $53 in his pockets.

It was only when the FBI did a fingerprint check that the singer was positively identified. His death was ruled accidental, due to an adverse reaction to cocaine and other drugs.

Ruffin had been in and out of rehabilitation centers since 1967, and in 1987 was sent to jail because of a drug-related parole violation.

Ruffin's funeral was held at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, June 10, 1991, amidst huge crowds of mourners at New Bethel Baptist Church, during which members of The Temptations sung "My Girl" en masse. Following the services, David was laid to rest at Woodlawn Cemetary in Detroit.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

GOODFELLAS


Henry Hill grew up in Brooklyn, New York and at an early age ran errands for the local Lucchese crime family. Being of Italian and Irish decent, Hill was never "made" into the crime family, but was a soldier of capo, Paul Vario, and participated in hijacking trucks, loan sharking, bookmaking and took part in the infamous 1967 Air France heist among others.


In 1967 mobster Henry Hill, aged 23, took part in the $420,000 burglary at the Air France air-cargo terminal in New York City's JFK International Airport.


 
The heist is memorable for its sheer audacity, and the oddness of the target, particularly in that an airline should keep such sums in storage at an airport: Air France was the carrier for American currency that had been exchanged in France by tourists and military personnel.

After Hill's close friend Tommy DeSimone vanished and he ignored warnings from his associates to stop dealing drugs, Hill became paranoid that he would soon be killed and became an F.B.I. informant. His testimony aided in the conviction of 50 criminals


Tommy DeSimone May 24, 1950 – January 14, 1979

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