Obituaries: Dickie Peterson, Vic Mizzy, Al Martino, Julie Coryell, Dee Anthony, Art D'Lugoff

Dickie Peterson, bassist and lead singer for the power trio Blue Cheer, died Oct. 12 after a battle with cancer. He was 63.

Peterson was a founding member of Blue Cheer, which formed in San Francisco in the late ’60s, debuting with a raucous cover of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues” on their first album Vincebus Eruptum.

The band’s last U.S. tour (with Peterson, founding drummer Paul Whaley, and guitarist Andrew “Duck” MacDonald) was in support of their 2007 release What Doesn’t Kill You … According to Blue Cheers’ Web site (www.bluecheer.us), the band was planning to tour in support of the 2009 DVD release of “Blue Cheer Rocks Europe” when Peterson’s cancer was found, putting the tour on hold.

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Vic Mizzy, the songwriter who wrote the catchy theme songs to “The Addams Family” and “Green Acres,” died Oct. 17. He was 93.

Mizzy got his start in vaudeville and wrote songs that were recorded by Dean Martin, Doris Day, Perry Como and Billie Holiday in the 1940s and ’50s.

Mizzy has said that he didn’t mind if people only remember him for the finger snaps at the start of the “The Addams Family” theme song. After all, he said, “Two snaps got me a mansion in Bel Air.”

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Singer Al Martino, who played the Frank Sinatra-type role of Johnny Fontane in “The Godfather” and recorded hits including “Spanish Eyes” and the Italian ballad “Volare” in a 50-year musical career, died Oct. 13 at age 82.

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Jazz and rock historian Julie Coryell died May 10 at age 61, according to a report in the New York Times.

While married to guitarist Larry Coryell, Julie also managed his career and contributed to some of his recordings, including singing on “Beyond These Chilling Winds” on the 1971 album Larry Coryell At The Village Gate.

She also helped write a number of his songs, including “Spaces (Infinite)” and “Chris” from his 1970 album Spaces.

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Dee Anthony, who began a 40-year music-managing career representing neighborhood friend Jerry Vale in the 1950s and later worked for Tony Bennett, Peter Frampton and other popular artists, died Oct. 25. He was 83.

Anthony was Frampton’s manager when the singer-guitarist released the successful Frampton Comes Alive album in 1976. He also represented British acts including Traffic, Jethro Tull and Joe Cocker when they first came to the United States in the mid-1960s. Anthony went on to represent Peter Allen and Devo in the 1980s and retired in the mid-1990s.

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Art D’Lugoff, whose famed New York City nightclub, the Village Gate, featured performers from jazz great Duke Ellington to 1960s counterculture rocker Jimi Hendrix, died Nov. 4 at age 85.

D’Lugoff hired blacklisted singers Paul Robeson and Pete Seeger and fired Dustin Hoffman as a waiter. Hoffman, then a struggling actor, later said he was so distracted by the performers that he neglected customers.

D’Lugoff booked jazz greats John Coltrane, Miles Davis and Thelonious Monk and standup comics Lenny Bruce and Woody Allen. Hendrix and Jim Morrison performed at a 1970 benefit the club hosted for counterculture icon Timothy Leary, a proponent of LSD experimentation.


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