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Nichelle Nichols

So. Another part of our imagined future has gone into the past.

Nichele Nichols is of course most famous for playing Lieutenant Nyota Uhura in the original Star Trek TV series (and subsequent films.) For a black woman to have a role as an important member of a military company was a breakthrough for the 1960s and she was lauded as a role model by no less than Martin Luther King.

It is widely believed that her kiss with William Shatner in one episode was the first inter-racial kiss on US TV (but it may not have been.)

Grace Dell (Nichelle) Nichols: 28/12/1932 – 30/7/2022. So it goes.

Everybody’s Favourite Actor

Bernard Cribbins has died.

My first memory of him is of those novelty hit songs Right Said Fred and Hole in the Ground from 1962, where he carried off the part of the working man slightly bewildered at the idiocies of those supposedly in charge to perfection.

I later saw him in the spin-off Doctor Who film Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 AD. I do not consider this appearance as canonical since it doesn’t follow the TV chronology. However he did become so with appearances alongside David Tennant’s Doctor more than forty years later.

Then of course there was his railway station worker Albert Perks in The Railway Children film of 1970. But his list of film parts is long and his face and voice would have been a very familiar one, even without his voicing of the characters in The Wombles.

He always seemed to be a kindly presence. I note that unlike many well known faces of those times there has never been a hint of scandal about him.

Mnay people would choose Right Said Fred as their comedy Cribbins song but for me it will always be Hole in the Ground.

Bernard Cribbins: Hole in the Ground

The world is a smaller, poorer place for his passing.

Bernard Joseph Cribbins: 29/12/1928 – 27/7/2022. So it goes.

Reelin’ in the Years 206: Broken Down Angel

I saw in the Guardian last week that Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton has died.

Nazareth were one of the first Scottish groups – at least since (The) Marmalade – to have a succession of records featuring in the UK charts.

This was their first such hit.

Nazareth: Broken Down Angel

Manuel (Manny) Charlton: 25/7/1941 – 5/7/2022. So it goes.

Uwe Seeler

One of the greats of German (well West German) football has died.

While not quite as prolific as his compatriot Gerd Muller, with whom his career overlapped slightly, he scored 43 times for his national side and 404 for his club side Hamburger SV.

He played in no fewer than four World Cups for West Germany but despite that country’s formidable record in the competition the closest he came to winning it was in 1966 when West Germany lost the final in extra time (to a somewhat dubious goal – and another when some people were on the pitch.)

It’s his equalising goal against the same opponents four years later in Leon in Mexico however that I remember most. That backheader is sublime:-

It seems he was a lovely man too.

While researching this I discovered Seeler’s grandson Levin Mete Öztunalı is also a professional footballer.

Uwe Seeler: 5/11/1936 – 21/7/2022. So it goes.

Something Changed 57: Kinky Afro

I saw in the Guardian earlier in the week that Paul Ryder of the Happy Mondays had died.

The band never actually bothered the charts overmuch but I was aware of them.

This was their second top ten hit.

Happy Mondays:- Kinky Afro

Paul Anthony (Horse) Ryder: 24/4/1964 – 15/7/2022. So it goes.

Johnny Graham

I have just noticed on the club website that Johnny Graham, midfield maestro of that famous Sons promotion team of 1972 has passed away. I can’t convey the sadness I feel at this news.

Johnny’s total of 385 games for Dumbarton FC is the most of anyone who has played for the club, as is his 99 cup ties.

As the club tribute says he scored 29 gaols for the side but assisted countless others. I well remember him scoring a beauty against Falkirk at Boghead in 1970. He got the ball at the edge of their box and flicked it over a defender’s head, whom he ran round to hit the ball on the volley into the net. Sublime.

He also had the unique trick of seeming to let an opposition clearance go over his head in midfield before extending his superb left peg back behind him and without being able to see the ball using the back of that foot propel it forwards again – usually to a team mate. I’ve never seen anyone else do that.

Johnny Graham: 30/12/1947 – 28/06/2022. So it goes.

Friday on my Mind 218: I Know I’m Losing You. RIP Joe Messina

It was just after I got back from my holiday that I saw the obituary of Joe Messina, one of the Funk Brothers, the session musicians behind the success of the Tamla-Motown record label.

Messina’s rhythm guitar was a potent driving force in the groove of those records. This is only one of the hits he played on.

The Temptations: I Know I’m Losing You

Joseph Lucian (Joe) Messina: 13/12/1928 – April 4/4/2022. So it goes.

Phil Bennett

And now one of the greatest – if not the greatest outright – rugby players of my lifetime, Phil Bennett, has gone.

He was a magnificent fly-half for Llanelli, Wales and the British and Irish Lions. Anyone who has seen his contribution to that try for the Barbarians against New Zealand in 1973 will never forget it.

This is his own view of the try:-

Philip (Phil) Bennett: 24/10/1948 – 12/6/2022. So it goes.

Holiday and Things I Missed

I’ve been away for a holiday – on Orkney again – but the travelling had me knackered and I haven’t felt like blogging since I got back, though the posts I’d scheduled for the time I would be away seem to have listed okay.

In the interim Paula Rego, the Portugusee artist whom I mentioned here and who lived in England for a long time, has died.

Maria Paula Figueiroa Rego: 26/1/1935 – 8/6/2022. So it goes.

Also gone is Northern Ireland’s most successful football manager, Billy Bingham who took his country to the World Cup Finals not just once, but twice, in 1982 and 1986 and two British Home Championship wins in 1980 and 1984, the last edition of that tournament so that they still hold the title of British Champions. (Northern Ireland had only ever won the tournament outright once before.)

William Laurence (Billy) Bingham: 5/81931 – 9/6/2022. So it goes.

Not to mention longtime campaigner for nuclear disarmament, Bruce Kent.

Bruce Kent: 22/6/1929 – 8/6/2022. So it goes.

Reelin’ in the Years 203: Instant Karma! – RIP Alan White

Another obituary in the Guardian. This time of Alan White, long-time drummer with Yes. Despite my liking for Prog Rock I was never into Yes. To me they seemed to take it a little too far.

Even without the Yes connection White would have had a notable career. He played on John Lennon’s Imagine LP and on George Harrison’s All Things Must Pass.

He also drummed on this, released in February 1970:-

Plastic Ono Band: Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)

Alan White, 14/6/1949 – 26/5/2022. So it goes.

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