Paul Schrade, 97, an autoworkers union leader who survived a bullet to the head when Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1968, died early Wednesday after a brief illness at his home in Los Angeles, according to his brother-in-law, Martin Weil. Schrade was walking a pace or two behind Kennedy when he was hit.
Gal Costa, 77, one of Brazil’s greatest singers and a model for generations of Brazilian performers, died Wednesday at her home in São Paulo. The cause was not available. In the 1960s, Costa was at the forefront of Tropicália, the movement that brought psychedelic experimentation and anti-authoritarian irreverence to Brazilian pop music.
Costa’s voice, a lustrous mezzo-soprano, was a marvel of grace and vitality, equally capable of gravity-defying delicacy, tart teasing, jazzy agility and rock intensity. Over a recording career that spanned more than 50 years and three dozen albums, she championed innovative Brazilian songwriters and cross-fertilized Brazilian regional styles with international pop and rock. She received the Latin Grammy Award for lifetime achievement in 2011.
Jeff Cook, 73, who co-founded the country group Alabama and steered it up the charts with such hits as “Song of the South” and “Dixieland Delight,” died Monday at his home in Destin, Florida. Cook had Parkinson’s disease and disclosed his diagnosis in 2017.
As a guitarist, fiddle player and vocalist, Cook — alongside cousins Randy Owen and Teddy Gentry — landed eight No. 1 songs on the country charts between spring 1980 and summer 1982, according to the Country Music Hall of Fame. That run included the pop crossover hits “Love in the First Degree” and “Feels so Right,” as well as “Tennessee River” and “Mountain Music.”
Evelyn de Rothschild, 91, who as a London scion of the European banking dynasty helped Britain privatize its railroads, steel and coal in the tradition of his ancestors, who had helped finance the acquisition of the Suez Canal and the defeat of Napoleon, died Monday evening at his home in London.
Rothschild, who rose to chair in 1976, promoted strong ties with Britain’s government, news media and financial and business communities. During the Conservative government of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, from 1979 to 1990, Rothschild helped fulfill her signature policy of privatization, selling state-owned industries and other assets to private companies, ostensibly to improve their productivity, increase competition, cut workforces, weaken trade unions and raise funds for a government beleaguered by strikes and recession.
Aaron Carter, 34, the singer-rapper who began performing as a child and had hit albums starting in his teen years, was found dead Nov. 5 at his home in Southern California. No further details were available.
Carter, the younger brother of Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, performed as an opening act for Britney Spears as well as his brother’s boy band, and appeared on the family’s reality series “House of Carters” that aired on E! Entertainment Television.
Doris Grumbach, 104, who in novels, essays and literary criticism explored the social and psychic hardships of women trapped in repressive families or disintegrating marriages, and who, as modern feminism came of age in the 1970s and ’80s, portrayed lesbian characters and themes in a positive light that was then unusual in mainstream fiction, died Nov. 4 in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania.
Bill Sheffield, 94, a former Alaska governor whose term in office was roiled by an impeachment proceeding, died Nov. 4 at his home in Anchorage.
Sheffield, who was governor from 1982 to 1986, was accused of steering a lease for state office space to a political ally and lying about it. He was not indicted by a grand jury, but the panel recommended the Legislature consider impeachment. The state Senate decided there was not enough evidence to impeach.
Sheffield, a successful hotelier, sold that business in 1987, according to his obituary. He went on to leadership positions with the Alaska Railroad and the Port of Anchorage.
Janet Thurlow, 96, a singer who worked on Seattle’s Jackson Street during its post-World War II jazz heyday and later toured with Lionel Hampton, encouraging him to hire her childhood friend Quincy Jones, died Oct. 4 in Lynwood, California, near Los Angeles. The cause was congestive heart failure.
Born in Seattle in 1926, Thurlow grew up in a musical family and sang on the Major Bowes Amateur Hour radio show when she was 5 years old. In a 1989 oral history interview, Thurlow said that her taste for jazz was awakened later: “Ray Charles lived about five blocks down from me and used to call me to come down and fix his lunch, or his dinner … he’d play piano and I’d sing with him. So I started going out to the after-hours places.”
At that time, mixing in a Black jazz scene was a bold and unusual move for a young white woman. But Thurlow enthusiastically embraced a world she found welcoming and warm, fronting a combo with pianist Cecil Young and dating Black musicians such as pianist Winfield King and Hampton trombonist Jimmy Cleveland, whom she later married. For most of 1951, she toured with Hampton, becoming one of the first white singers to work with a Black band.