Obituaries, May 26, 2022

Veteran talk show host and journalist Andrew Glen Krystal died Sunday in Toronto. He was 63. No cause has been released.

Krystal had most recently been hosting Krystal Nation on SiriusXM Canadian current affairs channel, Canada Talks, and running his own digital content and communications firm, working with clients that included Tourism Ontario.

Following studies at the U of Toronto in both international relations and English, he performed dual roles in both talk radio and marketing.

From 1986 to 1991 he worked with Sonic Workshop, owned by the late David Pritchard and Alan Lysaght, where he co-produced, wrote, voiced and sold the Entertainment Tonight-style series Entertainment Week and Entertainment Today that aired in 60 Canadian markets.

As an award-winning broadcast editorialist on Talk radio, he’s appeared on local and regional broadcasts in both Toronto (AM 640, Newstalk 1010, The Fan590) and New York (WABC) ‎and regionally on the East Coast for Rogers talk stations where he led the first commercial talk FM network in Canada).  Previously, he has appeared on CNN’s Travel Guide and on travel TV programs across the US and Canada. Funeral arrangements are to TBA as too a memorial for his many friends in media, politics and entertainment.

And you can listen to some of his earlier SiriusXM shows here, a Toronto Mike podcast interview with him here and read a more complete Broadcast Dialogue obit here.

Paul Horace Plimley, a Vancouver jazz pianist, died on May 18, age 69, of cancer.

The Georgia Straight called him "one of the city’s most gifted improvisors. He was a founder of Vancouver’s New Orchestra Workshop Society in 1977, as well as a mainstay of the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Over the course of a career that spanned six decades, he recorded albums as a bandleader with the likes of bassists Lisle Ellis and Barry Guy, and percussionist Trichy Sankaran. As a respected collaborator, he also made records with American sax player Joe McPhee, guzheng innovator Mei Han, and California composer Anthony Davis."

Noted Canadian jazz critic and author Mark Miller posted this tribute: "Paul Plimley was one of the Canadian jazz scene’s true originals. I once described him as ‘an impulsive improviser whose considerable expressivity and physicality at the keyboard, post-Cecil Taylor, was leavened by a lyricism born—he would say—of Debussy and a twinkling sense of humour, if not mischief, entirely of his own." Sources: Georgia Straight, Mark Miller, Wikipedia

International

Rick (Richard Gordon) Price, an English bassist who played with various Birmingham-based rock bands, most notably Sight and Sound, the Move (1969–1971), and Wizzard (1972–1975), died on May 17, age 77.

After starting out in the Cimarrons, the Sombreros, and Sight & Sound, Price joined the Move in 1969, staying with the group for two years, including an unsuccessful US tour. He signed a contract with Gemini Records, and recorded the albums This Is To Certify That (1970) and Talking To The Flowers (1971).

He joined up again with Roy Wood in the latter's new band, Wizzard, with whom he had two British number one hit singles, See My Baby Jive and Angel Fingers, as well as the No. 4 Christmas classic I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday (all 1973). After Wizzard split up, he joined the Wizzo Band on pedal steel guitar in 1975, but they broke up in 1978. Price was also a member of The Rockin' Berries from 1990 until his death.

Price was married to Dianne Lee of the 1970s duo Peters and Lee. The couple toured as a duo, performing hits and new songs. Sources: Wikipedia, 

Vangelis (born Evangelos Odysseas Papathanassiou), the Oscar-winning Greek keyboardist and electronic music composer, died on May 17, age 79. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and other government officials expressed their condolences.

Vangelis wrote the Academy Award-winning score for the film Chariots of Fire and music for dozens of other movies, documentaries and TV series. The opening credits of Chariots of Fire roll as a bunch of young runners progress in slow motion across a glum beach in Scotland, as a lazy, beat-backed tune rises to a magisterial declamation. It’s one of the most instantly recognizable musical themes in cinema.

The 1981 British film made Vangelis. AP notes that "he evolved into a one-man quasi-classical orchestra, using a vast array of electronic equipment to conjure up his enormously popular undulating waves of sound. A private, humorous man — burly, with shoulder-length hair and a trim beard — he quoted ancient Greek philosophy and saw the artist as a conduit for a basic universal force. He was fascinated by space exploration and wrote music for celestial bodies but said he never sought stardom himself. A micro-planet spinning somewhere between Mars and Jupiter — 6354 Vangelis — will forever bear his name."

His initial encounter with success came with his first Greek pop band in the 1960s. At 20, Vangelis and three friends formed the Forminx band in Athens, which did very well in Greece. After it disbanded, he wrote scores for several Greek films and later became a founding member — together with another later-to-be internationally famous musician, Demis Roussos — of Aphrodite’s Child. Based in Paris, the progressive rock group produced several European hits, and their final record, 666, released in 1972, is still highly acclaimed.

Aphrodite’s Child also broke up, and Vangelis pursued solo projects. In 1974, he moved to London, built his own studio and cooperated with Yes frontman Jon Anderson, with whom he recorded as Jon and Vangelis and had several major hits, including Friends Of Mr. Cairo.

After Chariots of Fire, Vangelis wrote music scores for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) and 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), as well as for Missing (1982) and Antarctica (1983), among others. He refused many other offers for film scores, saying in an interview: “Half of the films I see don’t need music. It sounds like something stuffed in.”

His interest in science — including the physics of music and sound — and space exploration led to compositions linked with major NASA and European Space Agency projects. When British theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking died in 2018, Vangelis composed a musical tribute for his interment that the ESA broadcast into space.

Canadian guitar star Liona Boyd had befriended Vangelis, and she offered this recollection and tribute to FYI: "Vangelis was a giant in the music world and I was devastated to learn he had died. I became friends with him three years ago when a mutual friend from London introduced us. He invited me to his home in Paris where I met some of his family."

"I spent two delightful afternoons and evenings at his spacious apartment where he played me some of his recent videos, and I witnessed him working with his engineer on his album Juno to Jupiter. He listened with pleasure to my forthcoming instrumental album, knowing that my producer and I had been inspired by Vangelis, and I had dedicated Anthema to him. His assistant cooked us a feast each evening and then was sent out to pick up a box full of rich desserts from a local cafe….Yumm!  He gifted me one of his sketches and later mailed me his lovely piano album Nocturne.  I feel so honoured to have known this creative genius and to have spent that time with him."

Sources: PitchforkLiona Boyd, The Guardian, AP

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