PASSINGS: Kitty White, Erich Kunzel, William Marvin
Vocalist sang with Elvis
Kitty White, 86, a versatile vocalist who sang “Crawfish” with Elvis Presley in the 1958 film “King Creole,” died of complications from a stroke Aug. 11 at Palm Springs Health Care Center, her family said.
Known for what has been described as “exceptional control of breath, pitch, vibrato and dynamics,” White sang jazz, gospel, pop and spiritual music. She recorded with Capitol, Mercury, Pacific Jazz, New Horizons, Clover and other labels, and she recorded with jazz greats including Ben Webster, Buddy Collette and Red Callender.
Among her other film credits as a singer are “The Night of the Hunter” and “Kiss Me Deadly.”
She was born Kitty Jean Bilbrew on July 7, 1923, in Los Angeles and launched her career at age 3 when she and her twin sister, Maudie, began singing in vaudeville. She later performed in clubs in Los Angeles. She moved to Palm Springs in 1967 and sang at the Spa Hotel for 16 years.
Conductor of Cincinnati Pops
Erich Kunzel, 74, the award-winning conductor who headed the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra since it was founded three decades ago, died Tuesday at a hospital near his home in Swan’s Island, Maine, a Cincinnati Pops spokesman said.
Kunzel was diagnosed with liver, colon and pancreatic cancer in April but continued conducting while undergoing treatment.
On July 4, Kunzel conducted a concert at the U.S. Capitol with Aretha Franklin. He had led the National Symphony on the Capitol lawn in nationally televised Memorial Day and Independence Day concerts since 1991.
Kunzel was a guest conductor with the L.A. Philharmonic from 1983 to 1991 and also led the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops in many performances.
Born March 21, 1935, in New York City, Kunzel was educated at Dartmouth, Harvard and Brown universities and began his professional conducting career in 1957 with the Santa Fe Opera. He went to Cincinnati in 1965 as assistant conductor. The Cincinnati Pops Orchestra was officially established in 1977 with Kunzel as conductor.
Kunzel received the National Medal of Arts from President George W. Bush in 2006 and was inducted into the American Classical Music Hall of Fame in 2008.
Ex-chairman of Marvin Windows
William Marvin, 92, the former president and chairman of Marvin Windows and Doors responsible for its growth into a major manufacturer, died Monday at his home in Warroad, Minn., the company said. A cause of death was not given.
After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Marvin returned to Warroad in 1939 and went to work for his father at what was then the Marvin Lumber and Cedar Co.
Marvin pushed to expand the company into the window and door business, and it eventually became one of the largest of its kind in the world. He assumed the company’s presidency and chairmanship in 1960.
A year later, the factory burned down and Marvin chose to rebuild in Warroad, a northwestern Minnesota town just south of the Canadian border, where he was born Aug. 25, 1917.
Most recently he served as honorary chairman of the firm.
-- Times staff and wire reports
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