Thursday, June 20, 2013

James Gandolfini and Slim Whitman

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Some very surprising and sad news yesterday...

James Gandolfini, best known for his role as an anxiety-ridden mob boss on HBO's "The Sopranos," died Wednesday while on vacation in Italy. He was 51.

Gandolfini's acting credits included roles in "The Last Castle" with Robert Redford, "The Mexican" with Brad Pitt and Julia Roberts, and "Surviving Christmas" with Ben Affleck. In recent years, he had starred in several movies, including the Oscar-nominated "Zero Dark Thirty," "The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3" and "Killing Them Softly."

He will certainly be remembered for his iconic role on The Sopranos. You definitely did not want to mess with that character.

Also, another passing yesterday...

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Slim Whitman, the high-pitched yodeling county music singer whose productive career spanned decades, died Wednesday, his son-in-law told CNN. He was 90. 

Whitman gained fame in Europe as well as the United States. "Love Song of the Waterfall," which a Country Music Television biography calls his "breakthrough" hit, was released in the early '50s. His next single "Indian Love Call" brought him stardom, according to the bio. 

His music was featured in the 1996 film "Mars Attacks!" In the film, the sound of Whitman's "Indian Love Call" made the heads of invading Martians explode.

I will always remember his song "Una Paloma Blanca" because it was featured prominently on his endlessly running late-night commercial for one of his albums in the 80's. You know the ones...they seem to run every commercial break after midnight.

Una Paloma blanca...ahh...Ahhhhhhhh!

That yodel is always in my mind somewhere...and always makes me laugh.

They will both be missed.

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