We remember award-winning songwriter Isaac Hayes and other celebrities who died this day, August 10, in history.
2015: Buddy Baker, U.S. NASCAR racer and announcer who won the 1980 Daytona 500, dies at 74.
2013: Eydie Gorme, U.S. singer who performed and recorded solo but is known best for her singing partnership with her husband, Steve Lawrence, dies after a brief illness at 84.
Although usually recognized for her musical partnership with Lawrence, Gorme broke through on her own with the Grammy-nominated “Blame It on the Bossa Nova,” according to her obituary by The Associated Press. The bouncy tune about a dance craze of the time was written by the Tin Pan Alley songwriting team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. Her husband had had an equally huge solo hit in 1962 with “Go Away Little Girl,” written by the songwriting team of Gerry Goffin and Carole King. Gorme would score another solo hit in 1964, but this time for a Spanish-language recording. Read more
2013: Jody Payne, U.S. musician and singer known best for being a longtime guitarist in Willie Nelson’s band the Family, dies of heart problems at 77.
According to a 2011 profile in The Mobile Press-Register, Payne toured with Nelson from 1973 to 2008. He retired to Stapleton, with his wife Vicki. There he continued playing music, teaching the guitar at a local music store. A post on Willie’s Nelson’s Facebook page about Payne’s death said, “Our friend will be missed.” Read more
When Burns’ career faltered following the 1964 death of his wife and stage partner, Gracie Allen, Fein helped him get cast opposite Walter Matthau in 1975’s “The Sunshine Boys,” his daughter, Tisha Fein, told The Associated Press. Burns, then 76, received a supporting actor Oscar. Fein produced some of Burns’ other films including “18 Again!” and won an Emmy as producer of a 1977 TV special with Burns. The comedian died in 1996 at age 100. Read more
A singer and guitarist who also was a Nashville recording session musician, Grammer performed regularly on the Grand Ole Opry beginning in 1959, noted his obituary by The Associated Press. “Gotta Travel On,” adapted from a British folk tune, was a million-seller and the first hit for Nashville’s Monument Records and its famed founder, Fred Foster. It was a hit on the pop, country, and rhythm and blues charts. Grammer also designed guitars, and a brand of flat-top came from a company he started in the 1960s. He donated his first model to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 1969. Read more
2008: Isaac Hayes, U.S. singer-songwriter and producer known for the theme to the movie “Shaft,” who also provided the voice for the popular character Chef on the animated series “South Park,” dies after a stroke at 65.
Hayes’ soulful, funk-infused music won him an Oscar for the theme from “Shaft,” making him the third African American to win an Academy Award. His other musical highlights include the hit “Soul Man,” written for Sam & Dave, and his albums “Hot Buttered Soul” and “Black Moses.” As an actor, Hayes provided the voice of Chef on “South Park” for nine years, introducing a new generation to his signature vocal style and musical sensibilities. Outside his entertainment career, Hayes kept himself busy with humanitarian work like the One Campaign, Youth for Human Rights International, and his own Isaac Hayes Foundation. Read more
2002: Michael Houser, U.S. musician who was a founding member and the lead guitarist of the band Widespread Panic, dies of pancreatic cancer at 40.
2001: Lou Boudreau, U.S. Major League Baseball Hall of Fame shortstop and manager for the Cleveland Indians who was an eight-time All-Star, dies of cardiac arrest at 84.
1987: Raquel Torres, Mexican-born U.S. actress who was a star of the early talkie movies, dies of a heart attack at 78.
1979: Dick Foran, U.S. actor who appeared in many movies and TV shows including “Song of the Saddle” and “Maverick,” dies at 69.
1977: Vince Barnett, U.S. actor who appeared in nearly 200 movies including the original “Scarface,” dies at 75.
1973: Douglas Kennedy, U.S. actor who starred on the television series “Steve Donovan, Western Marshall” and played the sheriff, Fred Madden, on the TV show “The Big Valley,” dies at 57.
1928: Rex Cherryman, U.S. film actor who was a leading man in the silent era, dies at 31.