“Hello and Goodbye”: A tribute to those we lost in 2023

Despite the glories of the season as we bid farewell to 2023, there are plenty of tears, too. Sadly, human suffering around the world – from Israel to Gaza to Ukraine and beyond – will be how we start 2024 as well.

But we find hope in those who have comforted us the best way they knew how – some in song, for example Burt Bacharach, whom we lost at the age of 94. “Why were these songs rediscovered and why do people still sing them?” “Because I think they have toughness. They have sophistication. They have some sophistication,” he said in 2002.

It even made the overcast skies look a little less grey.

Jimmy Buffett It never seems to be anything to worry about anything. He dissolved our worries like salt on the rim of a margarita.

In 1986, Buffett admitted, “I got into this business years ago just to have fun and meet girls, for no other reason. I was meant to be a lawyer. So, I'm happy.” I didn't follow that!”

What a laid back lawyer! Buffett kept our feet in the sand until the age of 76.

Since 1992: Jimmy Buffett and the “Parrots”

Our politics today could use a few harsh shots of satire Mark Russell. Our elected officials were still tapping their toes before they realized they had been vilified. He once told an audience: “Have they ever been offended? God, I hope so!”

Speaking of abuse, Norman LearThe character of Archie Bunker was her undisputed king.

Henry Jefferson: “Who said Santa Claus was white?”
Archie Bunker: “Come on, I had the same argument with you about Jesus!”

“There is nothing that unites people more or better than laughter,” Lear told the Sunday Morning program in 2021.

His shows, from “All in the Family” to “The Jeffersons,” made us laugh at ourselves and our times. Lear was 101 years old.

The Smothers Brothers had their own style of social commentary too, in particular Tommy Smotherswho waged a battle against this particular network over censorship of his jokes.

Speaking to Sunday Morning in 2022 about the political humor that led to its cancellation in 1970, Tom Smothers said: “There was no premeditation or anything we did at all. We never did it for attention. We just did it “And if it got attention, I said, 'I'll do it again. Maybe we'll get more attention.'”

Tom Smothers, the elder half of the pioneering duo, kept us laughing until he was 86.

It was a great era for television and music, when the beautiful voices of Crosby, Stills and Nash were born. David Crosby He had a way of putting social anxiety into lyrics that has stood the test of time. “One of the good things about being a singer-songwriter is that you leave a legacy, and I feel like I'm leaving a good legacy,” he said in 2007.

He left us at the age of 81.

Crosby provided the soundtrack to a generation that saw a lot of change, especially for women.

Dianne Feinstein She became the first female mayor of San Francisco in 1978, and became the longest-serving senator.

In 1982, Feinstein said: “People still don't imagine that women in an executive position have to work very hard. And so, there are a lot of demands that I think are placed on me because I'm a woman, not necessarily.” Because I'm mayor.”

She was a key player in Washington, bringing about change one vote at a time… just like that Sandra Day O'Connor She served as the first woman to be appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court. She has answered the country's most vexing constitutional questions with unwavering determination and confidence.

In a 2006 interview, O'Connor said: “My policy was not to look back and try to second-guess it and say, 'Oh, did I do the right thing? Should we have done something else?'” “It's a hard way to live, and I didn't want to live that way. So, I put in the effort up front, made a decision, and then moved on.”

In the White House, the First Lady Rosalynn Carter Fight for those who are often ignored by the government. But it also had a hand in world peace work. “I never asked anyone for help and was rejected,” she said in 1980.

It was she who proposed inviting Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin to Camp David, where the Israeli-Egyptian peace agreement was reached.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Henry KissingerThis, under President Richard Nixon, helped pave the way for this agreement. However, his style of diplomacy was not always acceptable – when it came to Vietnam, he initially wanted to escalate it, but then tried to end it.

Historians are still sorting it all out. Kissinger himself told the Sunday Morning program in 2011: “You shouldn't ask people who have been active to define their legacy — they tend to exaggerate!”

It is no exaggeration what some other men have done for this country.

Ken Potts He dived into the burning waters of Pearl Harbor to rescue his fellow sailors.

Richard Baranczyk He risked his life to save works of art stolen by the Nazis.

And Ben Ferencz He undertook the moral duty of putting the Nazis on trial at the Nuremberg Trials.

“War makes killers out of decent people,” Ferenc told “60 Minutes” in 2017. “All wars. All decent people.”

War, huh, yeah
What is its benefit?
Nothing at all
Say it again, y'all

With his 1969 Motown song “War” recorded by songwriter Edwin Starr Barrett Strong It summed up the frustrations many felt about the war – and these words could easily apply to those fighting a different kind of war, a racist war.

Jim Brown, one of the best players in the NFL, was also a passionate voice for social activism. “Yes, there is racism in the NFL,” he said in 1986. “There's no question about it.” “You have to reach out and be conscious in bringing in other people, and the more we reach out to our community, the more people prove that they are on par, up to par, or even superior.”

He left the NFL for a career in acting (“The Dirty Dozen,” “Ice Station Zebra”). His personal life was turbulent, but he wanted to use his fame for change, just like others do.

Harry Belafonte He was a humanitarian first, a singer second. Although “The Banana Boat Song” made him famous on stage and screen, his passion was righting the wrongs of the world.

His platform only grew as he entered movies — and on Broadway.

But as the song says, Broadway is often an unforgiving place. Songwriter Cynthia Weilalong with her collaborator husband Barry Mann, has given a voice to all those striving to reach the Great White Way.

“That's what songwriters live for, knowing that they touched someone and helped them in some way,” Will told “Sunday Morning” in 2015.

Weil and Mann became pop stars with hit songs like “I've Lost That Loving Feeling,” a song we'll never stop loving. Cynthia Weil took her wing this year at the age of 82.

There was a lot in the movies that we missed, e.g Ryan O'Neill, who will forever be remembered for his role alongside Ali MacGraw in “Love Story.” He described the blockbuster romantic tragedy as “movie magic.”

For the actor Michael GambonThere was a little magic at work, too. He portrayed Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts, who always seemed to have wisdom.

To all those who cast their spell on the big screen – we will miss you:

Raquel Welch“One million years BC.”

Alan Arkin“Little Miss Sunshine.”

Rico Browning“Creature from the Black Lagoon”

Richard Roundtree“the aperture”

Melinda Dillon“Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “A Christmas Story”

Topol“Fiddler on the Roof”

Stella Stevens“Professor Josey”

Michael Lerner“Barton Fink”

On the small screen, we've had our share of notable departures as well.

Talk shows were never the same after that Jerry Springer -High eyebrow, it wasn't. But that, in Springer's view, doesn't make it trash TV either. He once said: “Look, television doesn't create values, nor should it. It's just an image of everything that's out there – the good, the bad, and the ugly.”

“The Price Is Right” has been a different station on the daytime dial, and for nearly four decades Bob Barker He was on top. “What really gives the show its character are the people,” he said in 1985. “They're the main ingredient in the show. And I think what I can help them put on television is what makes our show entertaining.”

Credit goes out not only to those who win the Showcase Showdowns, but also to pets everywhere. Bob Barker was 99 years old.

Remember when television was more of an escapism?

As Shirley Finney in “Laverne & Shirley” Cindy Williams She played the role of the roommate we would all love to have. She did it her way, and for that we are certainly grateful to her.

But when it came to roommates, there was no such thing as “Friends,” with a cast who became real-life friends themselves. Which is what made the passage Matthew Perry very Difficult.

He had his demons, but he was always committed to helping others who were suffering as well. Perry was a friend to the end, and he was only 54 years old.

To all those familiar TV faces, our humble thanks:

Suzanne Somers“The Three Company.”

David McCallum“,” The Man From Uncle “,” NCIS “

Mark Margolis“Breaking Bad” and “Better Call Soul”

Barbara Bosson“Hill Street Blues.”

Paul Robbins (Pee Wee Herman)

project Marty Croft“H.R. Poffenstoff”

Richard Belzer“Law and order”

Andre Prager“Brooklyn Nine-Nine”

Mark Goddard“Lost in space”

George Maharis“Route 66”

Barry Humphreys (Lady Edna)

Lisa Loring“The Addams Family”

Francis Sternhagen“Cheers”

There is a certain emptiness without their humor and love.

How do you sum up the talent that was? Tina Turner – A performer with endless energy who often sang about her personal struggles, and unfortunately, there were many. The Queen of Rock and Roll was truly better than most. She left us at 83.

We have lost another provocative singer: Sinead O'ConnorWho never wavered in word or deed.

Steve Harwell, the mouth behind Smashmouth, left us at just 56 years old. He was a huge star in every sense of the word.

To all those musicians who carry songs in their hearts, our lives are better thanks to your gift:

DJ Casper“cha cha slice”

Lisa Marie Presley“Turn off the lights”

pianist Andre Watts

Singer and songwriter “Sugar Man”. Sixto Rodriguez

Rudolf IsleyThe Isley Brothers

Gordon Lightfoot“,” Sunset “,” Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald “

Drummer Fred Whiteearth, wind and fire

One of the most famous images of the Apollo program – “Earthrise” – was taken by the Apollo 8 crew.


From about 238,000 miles away, our home in the cosmos was captured in an image from Apollo 8, the first human spaceflight to orbit the moon, led by Frank Borman. He left us at 96.

Marilyn Lovell She watched her husband, Jim Lovell, go into space four times, never knowing whether he would return. He's always done that. Now she is in the stars, and he is the one searching for her. Marilyn Lovell was 93 years old.

The deaths of friends, loved ones, those we love, those we know (and even those we don't know), have affected us all. Young or old, they lose Tony Bennett Hit hard.

As he explained in 1989, “If you hear a song, you say, 'Oh my God, you like it.' All you feel is tingles up your spine, and you feel, 'Not only do I love it, but I think the audience will continue to love this.' “

Tony Bennett sings “I Left My Heart in San Francisco”:

Tony Bennett – I Left My Heart in San Francisco (from MTV Unplugged) by
com. tonybennettVEVO on

He did what he did, the way he did it, with style, class and grace – and he did it for decades. He was as timeless as the songs he sang, the gold standard for singers everywhere.

We can't remember them all, but our hearts want more from so many. For their talents, morals, and passions, we are eternally grateful.

To all of them we extend a warm “peace and farewell” greeting.

The story is produced by Young Kim. Editor: Steven Tyler.

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