*COREY ALLENJames Dean’s doomed nemesis in Rebel Without a Cause dies of complications of Parkinson’s Disease, but leaves behind an enduring existential query.


*SEN. ROBERT C. BYRDThe West Virginia Democrat died at age 92 on June 28, leaving behind a mixed legacy that included his membership in the Ku Klux Klan in his pre-political days, opposition to Civil Rights legislation in the ‘60s, and his repudiation of those views after he joined the Baptist Church. In his last year, Sen. Byrd made a dramatic entrance into the Senate chamber to cast his vote in favor of healthcare reform for “my friend Ted Kennedy.” Shortly before that vote, he had made a brave speech in early December 2009 counseling the coal industry to begin embracing a future in which “our total energy picture lies in change and innovation,” which earned him an immediate reprisal from killer coal baron DON BLANKENSHIP, the best indication that Sen. Byrd had struck a nerve. Our multi-part retrospective of Sen. Byrd includes: an overview of the Senator’s life and career, with video of former President Bill Clinton explaining the motive behind Sen. Byrd’s affiliation with the KKK during his eulogy to Sen. Byrd; reflections on the Senator by CHRISTY HARDIN SMITH, a fellow West Virginian writing for The Seminal community site of www.firedoglake.com; an appreciation in words and video of The Fiddlin’ Senator—Sen. Byrd was “a spirited fiddler,” says Senate Historian DONALD RITCHIE, and we have some recordings to prove it; and finally, the full text of Sen. Byrd’s December 2009 speech, ‘Coal Must Embrace The Future.’

*JIMMY DEAN‘Big Bad John,’ pioneering country music TV host, builder of an empire of breakfast sausages, and all-around good guy. A fond farewell.




*PETE QUAIFE, The KinksRemembering the Kinks’ founder and original bass player, who died of kidney failure on June 23. Includes a 1998 interview with Quaife by Martin Kalin.



*CRISPIAN ST. PETERS, One Enduring HitIn the U.S., Crispian St. Peters was a one-hit wonder, with 1966’s ‘Pied Piper,’ but he made the most of his moment.



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