PASSINGS: Jimmy Wyble, Edith Diaz

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Jimmy Wyble

Eclectic guitarist

Jimmy Wyble, 87, a guitarist of great range who played with country-western swing bandleader Bob Wills as well as with the Benny Goodman and Red Norvo jazz combos, died of heart failure Jan. 16 while under hospice care at his home in Altadena, according to his friend and fellow guitarist Larry Koonse.


James Otis Wyble was born Jan. 25, 1922, in Port Arthur, Texas. While working for a Houston radio station and playing guitar in western swing bands in the early 1940s, he and fellow guitarist Cameron Hill were invited to join Bob Wills’ Texas Playboys.

Wyble served in the Army during World War II and later led his own jazz quintet of accordion, clarinet, bass and drums along with his guitar.

In the 1950s and ‘60s, he toured with Norvo, a vibraphonist, and with Goodman, the clarinetist and bandleader, as well as with Frank Sinatra during an Australian concert series.

When not touring, Wyble was a studio musician in Los Angeles, a member of Tony Rizzi’s Five Guitars group and a well-regarded instructor.

Edith Diaz, a Puerto Rican-born character actress who appeared in films including “Scenes From a Class Struggle in Beverly Hills” and “Sister Act” and in a host of TV series, notably the 1976 CBS sitcom “Popi,” died of heart failure Dec. 19 at a North Hollywood nursing home. She was 70.

-- times staff and wire reports