August 12, 2007 in Nation/World

In Passing

The Spokesman-Review
 
The Spokesman-Review photo

Fishman
(Full-size photo)

Henderson, Nev.

Lee Hazlewood, ‘Boots’ composer

Lee Hazlewood, a singer, songwriter and producer who crafted one of the iconic records of the 1960s – Nancy Sinatra’s “These Boots Are Made for Walkin’ ” – then dropped out of sight at the height of his success and became a reclusive cult hero, died Aug. 4 at his home in Henderson, Nev.

Hazlewood, 78, died of complications of renal cancer.

The Oklahoma native did notable work early and late in his career, but it was his music with Sinatra in the mid- and late-1960s that secured his legacy. He teamed with her on nine Top 40 singles, headed by “Boots,” which has assumed a life as a multipurpose anthem of tough-chick female empowerment and/or kinky domination fantasy.

“He hasn’t gotten the recognition he should,” said Sinatra. “He’s one of the most influential songwriter-producers ever, and he deserves proper attention from his peers.”

Hazlewood isn’t identified with a signature sound the way contemporaries such as Phil Spector and Brian Wilson were, but his mainstream productions tweaked pop conventions with subtle experimentation, and over the years he moved from country-rooted narrative to impressionistic imagery to musical theatricality, always laced with his offbeat personality. He’s cited widely as a primary inspiration for today’s neo-psychedelic and baroque-pop movements.

Los Angeles

Hal Fishman, news anchor

Hal Fishman, the multi-award-winning KTLA-TV Channel 5 news anchor who was a Los Angeles broadcasting fixture for nearly 50 years, has died.

Fishman, 75, died at 3 a.m. Tuesday at his home with his family. He was hospitalized with a serious infection after collapsing at his home Aug. 1. On Aug. 3, the station announced that he had been diagnosed with colon cancer and that the disease had spread to his liver.

A broadcaster who began his television career in Los Angeles in 1960, Fishman had anchored his station’s popular 10 p.m. newscast – “KTLA Prime News” – since 1975.

He covered major news stories in Southern California, including the Watts riots, the assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, the Sylmar and Northridge earthquakes and the Rodney King beating case. A onetime assistant professor of political science, he also served as the newscast’s managing editor and commentator.

Fishman anchored his last broadcast July 30.

Montgomery, Ala.

Richmond Flowers, Alabama politician

Former state Attorney General Richmond Flowers, a moderate on racial issues who challenged the dominance of segregationist Gov. George Wallace in the 1960s but saw his political career end in an extortion case, died at his home Thursday. He was 88. A cause of death was not given.

Flowers was elected attorney general in 1962, the year Wallace won his first term as governor, and Flowers soon took socially progressive actions in contrast to Wallace’s call for “segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!”

Flowers was one of the first “New South politicians” who realized the 1965 Voting Rights Acts would change the political landscape of the South by registering thousands of blacks to vote, said Wayne Flynt, a retired history professor from Auburn University.

Some people considered Flowers a political opportunist who sought to take advantage of changing times, while others looked at him as a courageous fighter willing to anger white voters during the tumultuous ‘60s, Flynt said.

“There’s probably a touch of both in him,” Flynt said.

Flowers was the subject of a 1989 television movie, “Unconquered,” focusing on the racial turmoil in the 1960s.


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