January 21, 2007 in Nation/World

In passing: ‘Pookie’ Hudson, 72, doo-wop singer

The Spokesman-Review
 

Thornton James “Pookie” Hudson, lead singer of the Spaniels doo-wop group best known for the 1954 hit “Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight,” has died. He was 72.

Hudson died Tuesday of complications from thymus cancer at his home in Capitol Heights, Md., said his publicist, Bill Carpenter.

Hudson continued performing into last fall when he learned that his cancer had returned after a remission. His last recordings were done in October for an “Uncloudy Christmas” CD that will be released in the fall, Carpenter said.

Paris

Rene Riffaud, 108, WWI veteran

Rene Riffaud, one of France’s last World War I veterans, has died at age 108, leaving just three known French survivors of the 1914-18 conflict.

Riffaud died overnight Tuesday, said Marie-Georges Vingadassalon, a spokeswoman for the National Veterans Office.

Only belatedly, in 2006, did France recognize Riffaud as a veteran of the war, giving him an official veteran’s card after his granddaughter brought his case to the government’s attention.

The Veterans Office said he was born Dec. 12, 1898, in Tunisia and joined a colonial artillery unit in April 1917. He told the Associated Press he was in a village in eastern France when the war ended on Nov. 11, 1918.

KIEV, Ukraine

Evhen Kushnaryov, 55, lawmaker

Evhen Kushnaryov, a prominent lawmaker and ally of Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych, died Wednesday from gunshot wounds suffered while hunting, a Health Ministry spokeswoman said. He was 55.

Kushnaryov, a former governor of the eastern Kharkiv region, was shot Tuesday while hunting with a group of friends, spokeswoman Uliana Lozan said.

Authorities opened a criminal investigation but said the shooting appeared to be an accident. The Interior Ministry said, however, that it was investigating all possibilities.

Police have refused to release the name of the person suspected of firing the shot that hit Kushnaryov but said that they have asked the other hunters in the party to pledge not to leave the country.

Beijing

Bo Yibo, 98, revolutionary

Bo Yibo, the last of the “Eight Immortals” who led China through economic reforms and the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests, has died, an official news agency reported Tuesday. He was 98.

Bo, the father of China’s commerce minister, was a veteran of the 1949 communist revolution and a former vice premier.

He was the last of the “Eight Immortals,” the group of revolutionary veterans who included supreme leader Deng Xiaoping and led China through the launch of economic reforms in 1979 and the upheaval of 1989, the year of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests.

Bo, a conservative, was believed to be a supporter of the decision to use soldiers to crush the protests.

Los Angeles

Harvey Cohen, 55, composer

Harvey Cohen, an Emmy Award-winning composer and orchestrator who created music for films and TV shows including “Dallas” and “Sex and the City,” has died. He was 55.

Cohen died Sunday afternoon after a heart attack, his attorney and friend Ivan Rothberg said.

Cohen received Emmy Awards for his musical direction and composition work in two animated shows, “The Adventures of Batman and Robin: A Bullet For Bullock” and “Disney’s Aladdin.”

Cohen also arranged music for recording artists including Kenny G and The Irish Tenors.


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