Deaths Elsewhere

Deaths Elsewhere

July 25, 2005

Myron Floren, 85, an accordion player who entertained generations of television viewers on The Lawrence Welk Show, died of cancer Saturday at his Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., home.

A consummate musician versed in styles from polka to Bach, he joined Mr. Welk's band in 1950 and stayed on until the television show ended in 1982. More recently, he performed at music festivals around the country.

The orchestra, which also included saxophonist Dick Dale and singer Jim Roberts, was famous for bouncing, effervescent dance music that Mr. Welk began playing as a young man in his native North Dakota.

Long John Baldry, 64, the British blues legend who helped launch the careers of such rock greats as Rod Stewart and the Rolling Stones, died Thursday of a chest infection in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Mr. Baldry, nicknamed Long John because of his 6-foot-7-inch frame, was one of the main forces in British blues, rock and pop music in the 1960s. He first hit the top of the U.K. singles charts in 1967 with "Let the Heartaches Begin." One of his most memorable hits, "Don't Try to Lay No Boogie-Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll," was co-produced by Mr. Stewart and Elton John.

Although he released more than 40 albums, he was perhaps best known for nurturing the nascent talent of a host of musicians who are now worldwide stars. His early 1960s stage act featured the likes of Mr. Stewart, Mick Jagger, Charlie Watts, Jimmy Paige and Ginger Baker.

Eugene Record, 64, founder of the legendary Chicago-based vocal group The Chi-Lites, died there Friday after a long battle with cancer.

He was the composer of many hits including The Chi-Lites classic, "Have You Seen Her?" and "Oh Girl," among others. The Chi-Lites were formed in Chicago in 1959, and Mr. Record slowly emerged as the group's lead singer, songwriter and producer, according to the group's Web site. He retired from the group in the mid-1980s.

The Chi-Lites and Mr. Record recently appeared in the documentary Only the Strong Survive, directed by D.A. Pennebaker.

Charles Chibitty, 83, the last survivor of the Comanche code talkers who used their native language to transmit messages for the Allies in Europe during World War II, died Wednesday. He had been living at a nursing home in Tulsa, Okla.

A group of Comanche Indians from the Lawton, Okla., area was selected for special duty in the Army to provide the Allies with communications that the Germans could not decipher. Like the larger group of Navajo Indians who performed a similar service in the Pacific theater, the Comanches were dubbed "code talkers."

In 1999, Mr. Chibitty received the Knowlton Award, which recognizes individuals for outstanding intelligence work, during a ceremony at the Pentagon's Hall of Heroes.

John Herald, 65, a guitarist and singer whose group the Greenbriar Boys was among the first bluegrass bands in New York in the 1960s, died July 18 at his home in West Hurley, N.Y. The Ulster County medical examiner has not ruled on the cause of death, but the state police said it appeared to be suicide. His body was found Tuesday.

A regular presence on the folk and bluegrass scene for more than four decades, Mr. Herald was known for his accomplished guitar picking and strong and boyishly nasal voice, which grew gentle in later years. A noted songwriter, his songs were performed by Linda Ronstadt, Maria Muldaur, Joan Baez, and Peter, Paul and Mary.

The Greenbriar Boys, formed by Mr. Herald with Eric Weissberg and Bob Yellin in the late 1950s, were active on the New York folk scene.

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