Thursday, December 21, 2006

Noted In Passing

Some noteworthy people have passed away recently. While their names may not be famous, their work is certainly well known by those of us of a certain age (which will remain unspecified).

First, Joe Barbera died just a few days ago. Barbera was one half of the Hanna-Barbera team that created Yogi Bear, the Jetsons, Top Cat, and Huckleberry Hound.

Another recent loss was Sid Raymond. Raymond voiced Baby Huey, as well as those mischievous magpies named Heckle and Jeckyl.

Then back in October a guy named Tommy Johnson died. Who? Tommy Johnson, the tuba player. Now many of you are wondering why the heck you should know a tuba player, or why you would even care.

Well, Johnson was no ordinary tuba player. He was a studio musician, and chances are that you've heard his work hundreds--if not thousands--of times. Those musical notes used to communicate back and forth with the aliens in Close Encounters? That was done with a tuba, and Johnson's lips and lungs were behind it. The familiar bum-bum-bum-bum of the Jaws theme? Again, Johnson and his tuba. He also worked on the Indiana Jones films, Star Wars, and thousands of others. Earlier this month, an 'orchestra' of 99 tuba players got together in Los Angeles to honor Johnson.

Though by no means obscure, the death of Peter Boyle just a week ago should also be noted. He's probably best know as Ray's father on Everybody Loves Raymond, To me, however, Boyle will forever be the tap dancing monster from Young Frankenstein. Or would that be Fronkenstein?

I am reminded by the passing of each of these names that my own youth is disappearing into the past, while Medicare and adult diapers are drawing ever closer.

0 thoughtful ramblings: