On the latest episode of Hollywood Babble-On Kevin Smith and Ralph Garman paid homage to some people in show business who left behind some bodies of work that will be enjoyed for generations to come: Al Jarreau, Bobby Freeman, and George “The Animal” Steele.
“If you were alive during the 80s you heard his music on the radio constantly,” Garman said after breaking the news to the sold-out Babble-On audience that the Grammy winning singer Al Jarreau had passed away from respiratory failure, at the age of 76.
Photo by marina Chavez, aljarreau.com
“He was in the hospital, kept comfortable by his wife, son, and a few family and close friends,” according to aljarreau.com.
Jarreau was known for his use of jazz-style scat singing, for which he was commonly known as the “Scat Acrobat.” His long career was continually recognized, winning seven Grammy awards; his most recent in 2007 for a collaboration with George Benson and Jill Scott.
“That makes me feel like I’m fucking 13,” Smith said after watching the opening to ABC’s Moonlighting. “That takes me right back to that moment in time.” Jarreau wrote the theme to the hit 80s television show that starred Cybill Shepherd and Bruce Willis as private detectives.
“Bobby Freeman, San Francisco’s first rockstar passed away at the age of 76,” announced Garman. Freeman was most known for the song he recorded at the age of 17 that helped define the sound of early rock and roll, “Do You Want To Dance.”
Freeman’s energized performances quickly had him touring with the likes of Fats Domino and Jackie Wilson. Additionally, his exposure to America was bolstered by appearances on American Bandstand and The Dick Clark Saturday Night Beechnut Show.
“I know where I was introduced to it,” Garman said in remembering the popularity of “Do You Want To Dance,” “It was on the soundtrack to American Graffiti. I remember as a kid I had that album that had all those oldies on it, and it was one of my favorites.”
“If you’re a wrestling fan this was a dark week,” Garman told the Babble-On attendees, “because George ‘The Animal’ Steele passed away.”
The professional wrestling icon passed away at the age of 79.
Look at the crowd painted on the plywood in the background of this picture. Those were the days my friends. – Jim Meyers, georgetheanimalsteele.com
Born William James Myers, “The Animal” took on his wrestling moniker when he first stepped into the squared circle in 1967 at Studio Wrestling in Pittsburgh. The wrestling superstar was also a full time high school physical education teacher and coach, starting the Madison High School (Madison, MI) wrestling program in 1966 and winning the state championship in 1969.
Myers is in both the Michigan Coaches and Michigan Football Coaches Halls of Fame and as George Steele in the WWE “Hall of Fame” and Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.
“He was a legend,” said Garman.