Marty Balin and Charles Aznavour!

Legendary singers/musicians Marty Balin and Charles Aznavour joined the great jam session in the sky this week, at ages 76 and 94, respectively! Balin is the second member of Jefferson Airplane/Starship to leave us in the last three years, following the death of Paul Kantner in early 2016. Considered the primary founder of Airplane in ’65, he stayed with the group for six years, writing many of their early songs and famously getting knocked out by the Hell’s Angels at Altamont. He rejoined the group, relabeled as Starship, in ’75, and left after Grace Slick did three years later. Rock and Roll Hall of Famers in 1996!

Aznavour did not quite achieve the wild success in America that he had in France, where he was often referred to as “France’s Frank Sinatra.” He performed for seven decades, writing over 1,000 songs, and sold something in the neighborhood of 180 million albums. In an international vote in 1998, he was named the Entertainer of the Century by CNN, ahead of Elvis, Bob Dylan, and everyone. Like Sinatra, he also worked periodically as an actor, appearing in such famed films as The Tin Drum, And Then There Were None, and Truffaut’s Shoot the Piano Player. Perhaps (?) he’s better remembered by my generation for his hosting of a season one episode of The Muppet Show – singing “The Old Fashioned Way” along side ballroom dancing human sized Muppets and “Inchworm,” to a worm. Classic!

The Gardons score their fifth death of the year and advance a few spots on the overall, while Team Dondos nabs a big 14th death with Aznavour and clears the double century mark! Well done, folks!

Replacement picks due by next Wednesday!

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