Jeremy [Six Strings]: Can you tell us how you became involved with "APOLLO 11" film and how did you approach this score different from the last score?

Matt Morton: I’ve been friends with and have worked with the director, Todd Douglas Miller, since we were kids growing up in Gahanna, Ohio (a suburb of Columbus).  He was the singer in my high school band “651” (I played guitar), and after high school, he went to film school at Eastern Michigan and I went on to Denison University where I started another band (with some other Gahanna friends) called “The Shantee”.  That band stayed together for 9 years - we recorded several albums and toured all over the country.  Todd started working on commercials in Detroit, and we kept in touch.  He would come out to shows and occasionally film them.  He used some music from my band in his first feature-length documentary ‘Gahanna Bill’.

The Shantee kind of hit a glass ceiling in the early 2000s.  We were being offered recording, publishing, and distribution deals, but because digital piracy had really hurt record companies’ profits, they weren’t offering very good deals to bands at our level.  Around this time, I started doing my first composing gigs - mostly little web videos and ads for clothing retailers, hospitals, and charities.  I started having more fun making tracks in my home studio than I was having on the road, and it meant I could make more money from my music too.  This was about 2004 when I left my band and Todd and I started working on our first projects together.

We worked in obscurity for years, slowly learning our craft by making everything from web videos to shorts to feature-length narratives and docs.  Luckily, we got to make lots of mistakes before many people were paying attention to us.  They say that every overnight sensation takes at least 10 years, and for us, that was definitely true.  In 2014, we finally got our first big chance to get noticed.  With the help of IFP (Independent Filmmaker Project) in New York City, we got ‘Dinosaur 13’ into Sundance and we world premiered on opening night.  After a bidding war, Lionsgate and CNN Films acquired the distribution rights.  It had a brief theatrical run, but it really found its audience when it played on CNN.  It won an Emmy in 2015 for Outstanding Science and Technology Programming.

After we won the Emmy for CNN, they asked us if we had any short film ideas, which led to the 2016 Apollo 17 short documentary ‘The Last Steps’ (CNN Films, Great Big Story).  Like ‘Apollo 11’, it was constructed completely from archival footage.  It ended up being very popular with online viewers, so with the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing coming up, CNN Films approached us about making a feature-length archival documentary about Apollo 11.

Jeremy [Six Strings]: How much creative freedom did you have while working on "APOLLO 11" film and what would you like the audience to take away from the score?

Matt Morton: Any film score is a collaboration, which is one of my favorite things about making them.  And since Todd and I have worked together for so long, we trust each other’s skills and vision a lot.  With that said though, when I told Todd my idea to do a synth-driven score using only instruments and effects that existed at the time of the mission (1969), he was hesitant and needed some convincing (note: the following paragraphs are from the production journal I was asked to write about my approach to the score).

In the spring of 2017 when I found out I was going to have the honor of scoring this film, the historical importance of the Apollo 11 Mission almost paralyzed me - how could I ever do it justice?  I'm a huge science nerd, and I put humankind's first steps on an alien world right up there with the first time a fish walked on land.  It was an evolutionary milestone. How do you put that into music?  And on the other hand, considering the huge number of films and film scores that had already been made on the subject, how would I find a unique way to score it?

I approached it like a method actor, by exhaustively researching the mission and all of the films that were made about it.  I read tons of books and watched and re-watched every documentary and narrative film about the Apollo Program that I could find.  I revisited the music of the time (I've loved 1960s music my whole life), and the ways that authors and the general public reacted to the event when it happened.  And since the action centers on the astronauts and mission control, I also tried to think about what it must have felt like to be one of them at each step of the way.  I knew Todd (the director) wanted it to feel like you're right there with them on the mission, so the score needed to ratchet up the tension and excitement that they were all experiencing.

But I also thought it was important that, since we'd only be seeing archival footage from 1969, we should only hear sounds that could have been made at the time of the mission.  A lot of the 'Apollo 11' team (including Todd and I) also worked on 'The Last Steps', a short documentary about our last manned mission to the Moon, Apollo 17 in 1972.  Like 'Apollo 11', that film used all archival footage, but for that score, I used any instrument or effect that fit my approach to the scene, including modern ones.  I love that score in its own right, but one of my thoughts after the fact was that it sometimes took me out of the feeling of "being there" in 1972 when I heard modern-sounding drum loops or super-lush digital reverbs.  So when we got the chance to tell Apollo 11's story, I got to learn from that experience and try a new approach.

My breakthrough, as far as narrowing down my approach and palette for the score, came when I started thinking about the fact that at the time, the Apollo Program was at the absolute cutting edge of science and technology.  The sheer amount of money spent (around 3% of our GDP) and the number of people working on it (over 400,000 people) have been credited with fast-forwarding the normal pace of technological innovation by about 10-20 years.  I started thinking about whether there were any parallels in the music world of the time.  Were there any technological developments happening then that lead to new types of music being made?  What was the avant garde music of the time like?  And would any of that new music and music technology be useful in scoring a dangerous and heart-racing space adventure in a 6.5 million pound rocket?

My answer was the synthesizer and the huge world of electronic and experimental music that it enabled after its development in the 1960s.  In 1963-1964, Bob Moog (in upstate New York) and Don Buchla (in San Francisco) were each independently developing the first modern (non-room-sized) modular synthesizers, unaware of each other's work at opposite ends of the country.  They steadily refined and expanded these instruments throughout the decade and they began being used by the few commercial composers and university professors who could get access to them (at the time, they cost the equivalent of a house).  In 1968, Wendy Carlos released her album 'Switched On Bach' (which were multi-tracked recordings of classic Bach pieces played entirely on a Moog synthesizer), and after its release, the Moog synthesizer blew up.  In the years that followed, the synthesizer began being used on recordings by mainstream artists like The Beatles, The Who, Keith Emerson, and Pink Floyd, as well as electronic music pioneers like Tangerine Dream, Isao Tomita, Suzanne Ciani, Kraftwerk, and Giorgio Moroder.  Today, the synthesizer's reach is immense, but it had its big bang around the time of the Apollo 11 Mission.  The futuristic sound of the synthesizer also fit in perfectly with the technological focus and futuristic look of our film.

So by late 2017, I had decided to only use instruments and effects of that were available in 1969, but I didn't actually own any synthesizers older than my Moog Minimoog Model D (which was released in 1970).  This is when I got lucky.  That year, Moog Synthesizers had decided to build (reissue) 25 of their classic Synthesizer IIIc modular synthesizers using the same parts and construction methods they used back in 1968.  I decided to make the (sizable) investment to buy one of them and use it as a central voice in my score.  When I combined the Moog IIIc with other vintage pieces including a Binson Echorec 2 (an early tube echo restored and modified by Soundgas Ltd.), a Mellotron (an early tape-based keyboard sampler), a 1965 Hammond A-143 Organ, a Leslie (rotating) Speaker, various guitar tube amps, spring and plate reverbs, early drum machines like the Maestro Rhythm King and Ace Tone Rhythm Ace, and an Echoplex EP-2 (a tube tape echo), I had a formidable palette of period sounds for the score.  I started experimenting with all the gear and seeing what kinds of sounds I could get out of them.  I produced hours of music that no one will ever hear, but some of those experiments actually made it into the final score, including the opening cue "The Burdens and the Hopes" which plays under the suiting-up and leaking valve scenes.  I've also posted a few of my synth and musique concrete experiments (the ones I knew wouldn't work in the film) on my Instagram. The only other ingredient was the orchestra, which of course also existed at the time.

My original concept for the compositions was to make them sound like they were archival just like the film footage, or in other words, to make it sound like they were written, played, and recorded in 1969 by musicians and engineers of the time.  But then I realized I could never really do that - it would only ever be an emulation.  It wouldn't ring true because as an artist, in order to get the best music out of myself, I have to stay authentic to myself and my tastes, and I live in the present.  I wasn't born until 1977, and I didn't start playing my first instrument (guitar) until 1986.  So I decided the most interesting thing I could do was to make modern compositions, but because I'd be using the instruments and effects of 50 years ago, they'd probably be a unique mixture of then and now and help to bridge the time gap between the people on the screen and the people in the audience.

Jeremy [Six Strings]: Please tell us a little more about yourself, that isn't in your official bio and which composer inspired you to get into being a composer... why?

Matt Morton: I grew up in a family without any professional musicians or artists, but I still developed a strong love of music at a very young age because of my dad's huge record collection.  My urge to play and create music grew directly from my love of it.  I almost didn’t have a choice - I had to learn how to do it myself.

I started on guitar when I was 9, but I wasn't satisfied with playing just one instrument for very long.  I’ve continued learning and acquiring new instruments (and recording gear) my whole life.  Although my strongest instruments are still guitar and bass, I’ve learned keyboards, drums, ukulele, charango, ronroco, banjo, cuatro, etc.  I think that comes from a realization that all the instruments, including the way they’re recorded and mixed, have an effect on the final track and the way that it's felt by the listener.  I guess I just kept following my curiosity and kept learning how to play the parts of each of the musicians and engineers until I was able to make full recordings all by myself.  I’d say I’m almost as interested in engineering and producing music as I am in composing it.

As for which composer inspired me to become one, it didn’t really happen that way for me.  I feel like I fell backwards into it.  I didn’t grow up dreaming of being the next John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith.  I wanted to be the next Jimi Hendrix, Brian Wilson, George Martin, or Jimmy Page - the guys mixing the power of rock and pop songwriting with the power of the recording studio.  I started getting interested in orchestral instruments more because of ‘Sgt. Pepper’ and ‘Pet Sounds’ at first, but once I got bitten by the orchestral bug, I started working my way back through the huge history of orchestral concert music, and I also became much more attuned to film scores.  Composing for film is really the ultimate medium for me because I get to combine my love of so many different kinds of music with my love of recording and using the studio as an instrument.

Jeremy [Six Strings]: After working on "APOLLO 11" film, what is next and what do you use to inspire your next project?

Matt Morton: I have a bunch of ideas for what I might want to do next, including possibly taking a short break from scoring to record a solo album using the same 1969 palette I used for 'Apollo 11’ (but without having to limit the track lengths or keep arrangements minimal in order to stay out of the way of dialogue).  But whatever my next film scoring job is, I will draw my inspiration from the story and the way the filmmakers want to tell it.  If you do it right, each score should have its own character and palette, and they should always be defined by what will help the storytelling process.  One of my favorite parts of composing is deep-diving into the background of the story and searching for clues that will help me enhance it in a meaningful way.  I have to really believe in the project or else I can’t make good music for it.  Hopefully whatever comes along next will be even more inspiring than the Apollo 11 mission, but that’s a pretty tall order!

About Matt Morton... is a composer, multi-instrumentalist, and engineer/producer from Columbus, Ohio. He started on the guitar at age 9 and went on to learn the bass, piano, drums, mandolin, cuatro, charango, ukulele, banjo, and the cello. He was a founding member, lead guitarist, and vocalist for The Shantee (rock band), and has recorded several albums, toured nationally, and opened for bands including George Clinton and Parliament/Funkadelic, Blues Traveler, Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, the Neville Brothers, Dickey Betts of the Allman Brothers, Widespread Panic, and The National.

His feature-length scores include 'Scaring the Fish' starring Max Casella and Anthony Rapp, John Urbano's Panama documentary 'Beauty of the Fight', Todd Douglas Miller's Emmy-winning Sundance documentary 'Dinosaur 13' (Lionsgate, CNN Films), and 'Apollo 11' (NEON, CNN Films). His short-form and commercial clients include CNN Films (their Apollo 17 short documentary 'The Last Steps'), SapientNitro, Ketchum, JPMorgan Chase, Wendy's, Scotts Miracle-Gro, American Eagle, Hollister Co., JDRF, Mercy Health, and the Children of Fallen Patriots Foundation. He is also the founder of the music production company Studio 651 Ltd. and its publishing division, Studio 651 Publishing (BMI).

Matt's most recent project is the feature-length, all-archival documentary 'Apollo 11'. He wrote, orchestrated, performed, recorded, and mixed all of the original music for the film, as well as the teaser trailer and the theatrical trailer. Every instrument and effect used in the score existed at the time of the mission in 1969 including a Moog modular Synthesizer IIIc (a reissue of the 1968 version - 1 of 25 in the world), a Binson Echorec 2 (tube echo), a Mellotron (early keyboard sampler used by The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, etc.), a Hammond organ, various period drum machines, and the orchestra. The Soundtrack is out now digitally worldwide on Milan Records, with a CD release on June 28th, and a vinyl release on July 19, 2019 (the day before the 50th anniversary of the first moon landing).  The film will debut on TV (US only) on CNN on June 23rd.  A special 48-minute version of the film, ‘Apollo 11: First Steps Edition’, is playing now in science centers and museums.  The ‘Apollo 11’ documentary team will also be awarded the Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication at the Starmus Festival in Zurich, Switzerland on June 24th along with fellow recipients Elon Musk and Brian Eno.

It's a real honor when you can talk with someone with so much passion about their craft and you all know my respect for score music. Matt Morton has earned my respect, he is a true professional when it comes to this score for the documentary "APPOLLO 11" and I suggest you look for release from label MILAN RECORDS and MATT MORTON on the web.

Also, thank you for being awesome I got a little behind on this interview well not a little a lot, but thank you for understanding!
-Jeremy [Retro]

I am everywhere: TWITTER, FACEBOOK, HWR: SIX STRINGS MAGAZINE and HBA [HORROR SITES]. Last visit MY T-SHIRTS STORE at NEATORAMA something always going on and it is one click away!


Here is my list, now let me make one thing clear... there were great releases in the entire year of 2019, but these are my most listened to. I want to thank all the composers, labels, friends and Howlin' Wolf Records for making it possible to be part this world for over 10 years.

Remember when you listen to score music, there are no losers!
Jeremy [Six Strings]

Most Played in 2019:

"Aurora" Music by Oscar Fogelström (MovieScore Media)
"Marvel's Avengers: Endgame" Music by Alan Silvestri (Walt Disney Records)
"Cliffs of Freedom" Music by George Kallis (Aegean Entertainment)
"Krypton" Music by Pinar Toprak (Varese Sarabande)
"Joker" Music by Hildur Guðnadóttir (WaterTower Music)
"Alita: Battle Angel" Music by Tom Holkenborg (Milan Records)
"Shazam!" Music by Benjamin Wallfisch (WaterTower Music)
"Under the Silver Lake" Music by Disasterpeace (Milan Records)
"Swoon" Music by Nathaniel Mechaly (MovieScore Media)
"Tim Burton's Dumbo" Music by Danny Elfman (Walt Disney Records)
"Brightburn" Music by Tim Williams (Sony Music)
"BBC's: Good Omens" Music by David Arnold (Silva Records)

Favorite Series:

"The Mandalorian: Season 1 Chapters 1-8" Music by Ludwig Göransson (Walt Disney Records)
"The Dragon Prince Season 1, 2 and 3" Music by Frederik Wiedmann (Lakeshore Records)
"The Dark Crystal Volume 1 & 2: Age of Resistance" Music by Daniel Pemberton (
Varese Sarabande)
My Personal Favorites:

"The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then the Bigfoot" Music by Joe Kraemer (La-La Land Records)
"Motherless Brooklyn [Score]" Music by Daniel Pemberton (WaterTower Music)
"Star Wars IX: The Rise of Skywalker" Music by John Williams (Walt Disney Records)

Great Releases:

"Masters of the Universe (2Cd)" Music by Bill Conti (NoteForNote Music)
"Apollo 13 [1995-2019]" Music by James Horner (Intrada)
"Knight Rider (2Cd)" Music by Stu Phillips (Varese Sarabande)

My Favorite:

"Howard The Duck 3Cd [1986-2019]" Music by John Barry, Original Songs Produced by Thomas Dolby - Additional Music by Sylvester Levay (Intrada)

I am everywhere: TWITTER, FACEBOOK, HWR: SIX STRINGS MAGAZINE and HBA [HORROR SITES]. Last visit MY T-SHIRTS STORE at NEATORAMA something always going on and it is one click away!

Out 2019 and In 2020... sadly these are some of the folks we lost...

Celebrity Deaths 2019...


02 – Daryl Dragon, Singer/songwriter – known as The Captain in musical duo “The Captain and Tennille” hit songs “Love Will Keep Us Together”, “Muskrat Love” – age 76 (renal failure)

02 – Bob Einstein, Actor/comedy writer – created stuntman character Super Dave Osborne – age 76 (leukemia)

02 – Gene Okerlund, Wrestling announcer – known as “mean Gene” inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame (2006) – age 76 (complications from a fall)

06 – William Sheppard, Actor(UK) – warden of the Klingon gulag in “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country” (1991) – age 86

10 – Larry Cunningham, Singer – part of the R&B group The Floaters (1976-’85), biggest hit “Float On” – age 67

11 – Verna Bloom, Actress – played Sarah Belding in “High Plains Drifter” (1973) – age 80 (dementia)

13 – Bonnie Guitar, C&W Singer – biggest hit “Dark Moon” (1957) which was a C&W/pop crossover song – age 95

15 – Carol Channing, Actress/singer/comedian – “Hello Dolly” (1964 & 1995) won (4) Tony Awards, (1) Golden Globe and (1) Grammy – age 97 *(editors note: I saw Ms Channing in Hello Dolly in ’64 and ’95 and met her in ’95. She was a great actress and a wonderful person, she will be missed)

17 – Windsor Davies, Actor(WAL) – played Battery Sergeant Major Williams in BBC TV show “It Ain’t Half Hot Mum” (1974-’81) – age 88

21 – Kaye Ballard, Actress/comedian – played Kaye Buell in “The Mothers-in-Law” (1967-’69) and was a regular on “Match Game” (1962) – age 93

21 – Maxine Brown, C&W Singer – with the country trio The Browns, biggest hit; “The Three Bells” (1959) – age 87 (heart and kidney disease)

21 – Michel Legrand, Musical composer (FR) – two Academy Awards, “The Windmills of Your Mind” (1968) and the score to “Summer of ’42” – (1971) – age 86

21 – Olga Loizon, Restaurateur – started “Olga’s Kitchen” chain in metro Detroit – age 92

25 – Steve Bell, Journalist – was the news anchor for ABC’s morning show Good Morning America (1975-’86) – age 83

29 – James Ingram, Singer/songwriter – two-time Grammy Award-winner, top hits; “Baby, Come to Me” (1982), “I Don’t Have the Heart” (1983) – age 66 (brain cancer)

30 – Dick Miller, Actor – character actor in “Gremlins” (1984), “Gremlins 2: The New Batch” (1990) – age 90

31 – Candice Earley, Actress – played Donna Tyler Beck on TV soap opera “All My Children” (1978-2005)- age 68 (Multiple system atrophy)


01 – Clive Swift, Actor (UK) – played Richard Bucket on the BBC soap opera “Keeping Up Appearances” (1990-’95) – age 82

03 – Julie Adams, Actress – starred in “Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954), Eve Simpson on “Murder, She Wrote” (1984-’96) – age 92

03 – Kristoff St. John, Actor – played Neil Winters on TV soap opera “The Young and the Restless” (1991-2019) – age 52 (suicide)

07 – John Dingell, Politician – United States House of Representatives from Michigan (1955-2015) longest sitting Congressman – age 92

07 – Frank Robinson, MLB Baseball player – Baseball Hall of Fame, 14-time All-Star, 586 career home runs, first ever black MLB manager – age 83 (bone cancer)

08 – Albert Finney, Actor(UK) – “Tom Jones” (1963), “Big Fish” (2003), “The Bourne Ultimatum” (2007) – age 82

09 – Carmen Argenziano, Actor – played Jacob Carter on TV sci-fi “Stargate SG-1” – age 75

10 – Jan-Michael Vincent, Actor – played Stringfellow Hawke on the TV show “Airwolf” (1984–86) – age 73 (cardiac arrest)

19 – Karl Lagerfeld, Fashion designer – he headed the fashion houses of Chanel, Fendi and Lagerfeld – age 85

20 – Vinny Vella, Actor – played Artie Piscano in movie “Casino” (1995) and HBO TV show “The Sopranos” (1999-’07) – age 72 (liver cancer)

21 – Beverley Owen, Actress – played Marilyn Munster on TV show “The Munsters” – age 81

21 – Peter Tork, Musician/actor – he was keyboardist and bass guitarist for pop group and TV show “The Monkees” – age 77 (adenoid cystic carcinoma)

22 – Clark James Gable, Reality TV host – grandson of Clark Gable and host of reality show “Cheaters” – age 30

22 – Brody Stevens, Comedian/actor – Comedy Central TV reality show “Brody Stevens: Enjoy It!” – age 48 (suicide)

22 – Morgan Woodward, Actor – played Marvin “Punk” Anderson in TV show “Dallas” also, the Walking Boss, in movie “Cool Hand Luke” (1967) – age 93

23 – Katherine Helmond, Actress – played Jessica Tate on TV show “Soap” (1977-’81) and Mona Robinson on “Who’s the Boss?” (1984-’92) – age 89 (Alzheimer’s)

25 – Mark Hollis, Singer/songwriter (UK) – founder of the pop group Talk Talk, top songs “It’s My Life” and “Life’s What You Make It” – age 64

25 – Lisa Sheridan, Actress – appeared in TV shows “Halt and Catch Fire” and “Journeyman” (2005) – age 44 (complications of chronic alcoholism)

27 – Nathaniel Taylor, Actor – played Rollo Lawson in TV show “Sanford and Son” (1972-’77) – age 80 (heart attack)

28 – André Previn, Conductor/composer – scored music for over 50 Hollywood films, four Academy Awards and 10 Grammy awards – age 89


04 – Keith Flint, Musician/singer/dancer (UK) – frontman for dance/music group “Prodigy”, hit songs “Firestarter” and “Breathe” (1996) – age 49 (suicide)

04 – Roberta Haynes, Actor – prominent roles in “The Fighter” (1952), “Return to Paradise” (1953) and many others – age 91

04 – Luke Perry, Actor – played Dylan McKay on the TV series “Beverly Hills, 90210” (1990-2000) and Fred Andrews on the CW series “Riverdale” – age 52 (stroke)

08 – Marshall Brodien, Actor/magician – played Wizzo the Wizard on WGN TV show “The Bozo Show” (1968-’94) – age 84 (Alzheimer’s)

09 – Jed Allan, Actor – played Rush Sanders on TV show “Beverly Hills, 90210” (1990-2000) and C.C. Capwell on “Santa Barbara” (1984-’93) – age 84

10 – Freeda Foreman, Professional boxer – daughter of former heavyweight champ George Foreman – age 42 (suicide)

11 – Hal Blaine, Drummer – drummer in Phil Spector’s house band “The Wrecking Crew” played on #1 hits; “Be My Baby” (1963), “Good Vibrations” (1966) – age 90

11 – Julia Ruth Stevens, Babe Ruth’s adopted step daughter – age 102

16 – Dick Dale, Musician/guitarist – known as “The King of the Surf Guitar”, “Secret Surfin’ Spot” from the 1963 movie, Beach Party – age 81

16 – Richard Erdman, Actor – character actor in over one hundred films, played chief Hoffy in “Stalag 17” (1953) – age 93

22 – Scott Walker, Singer/songwriter (UK) – frontman for The Walker Brothers, top song “Make It Easy on Yourself” (1965) – age 76

24 – Nancy Gates, Actress – contract actress for RKO Studios, “Comanche Station” (1959), “Some Came Running” and “Suddenly” – age 93

28 – Bill Isles, Musician – original member of “The O’Jays” (1958-present), “Back Stabbers” (1972) – age 78 (cancer)

29 – Agnes Varda, Film director (FR) – oldest ever Oscar nominee (2017) and won an Honorary Oscar – age 90

30 – Tania Mallet, Actress (UK) – played Tilly Masterson in James Bond movie “Goldfinger” (1964) – age 77

31 – Nipsey Hussle, Rap singer/songwriter – nominated for Best Rap Album in 2019 for Victory Lap – age 33 (murdered)


02 – Kim English, Singer – had many hits on the US Hot Dance Music/Club Play charts including “Unspeakable Joy” and “Missing You” – age 48 (kidney failure)

03 – Dennis Day, (day the body was found) Child actor – an original member of Disney’s “The Mickey Mouse Club” – age 76

04 – Roberta Haynes, Actress – prominent roles in “The Fighter” (1952), “Return to Paradise” (1953) – age 91

06 – Jim Glaser, C&W Singer – #1 hit, “You’re Gettin’ to Me Again” (1984) – age 81 (heart attack)

07 – Seymour Cassel, Actor – nominated for an Academy Award for “Faces” (1968), appeared in many John Cassavetes and Wes Anderson films – age 84 (Alzheimer’s disease)

09 – Charles Van Doren, Game show contestant – he was the biggest winner in the 1950s game show scandal winning $129,000 on the quiz show “Twenty-One” – age 93

10 – Earl Thomas Conley, C&W Singer/songwriter – had eighteen #1 hits on country charts, including “Holding Her and Loving You” – age 77 (cerebral atrophy)

15 – Georgia Engel, Actress – played Georgette Baxter on the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1972-’77), nominated for five Emmy Awards – age 70

15 – Joe Terry (Joe Terranova), Singer – original member of Danny & the Juniors, “At The Hop” (1957) – age 78

16 – Fay McKenzie, Actress/singer – appeared in five singing cowboy films with Gene Autry, acted from 10 months old to 100 – age 101 (in her sleep)

17 – Chet Coppock, Sportscaster/sports author – inducted into the Chicagoland Sports Hall of Fame for his many years of sport coverage (2003) – age 70 (car accident)

21 – Ken Kercheval, Actor – played Cliff Barnes on TV show “Dallas” (1978-’91) – age 83 (pneumonia)

22 – Dave Samuels, Musician – vibraphonist for the jazz group Spyro Gyra – age 70 (long term illness)

25 – John Havlicek, NBA Basketball player – played 16 seasons for Boston Celtics, won eight NBA championships – age 79 (Parkinson’s disease)

25 – Larry “Flash” Jenkins,, Actor/director/producer – appeared in many films like “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” (1986), “Fletch” (1985), “The Presidio” – age 63 (heart attack)

28 – Troy Shafer, TV host/contractor – starred in DIY Network’s “Nashville Flipped” – age 38 (unknown)

29 – John Singleton, Director/screenwrite/producer – directed “Boyz n the Hood” and nominated for an Academy Award for his directing – age 51 (stroke)

30 – Boon Gould, Musician (UK) – founding member of rock group Level 42, biggest hit “Something About You” – age 64

30 – Peter Mayhew, Actor (UK) – played Chewbacca in five “Star Wars” movies and in many appearances for children causes – age 74 (heart attack)


02 – John Starling, Musician – an International Bluegrass Music Hall of Fame inductee and Grammy Winner (1991) founder of the bluegrass group The Seldom Scene – age 79 (congestive heart failure)

04 – JR Cobb, Musician/songwriter – founding member of Atlanta Rhythm Section (1972-’87), wrote hit songs “Spooky” and “Stormy” – age 75 (heart attack)

05 – Barbara Perry, Actress/singer/dancer – played Pickles (Buddy Sorrell’s wife) on “The Dick Van Dyke Show” (1961-’66) – age 97

08 – Jim Fowler, TV host/zoologist – co-host and host of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” (1985-’88) – age 89 (complications of heart disease)

09 – Freddie Starr, Comedian,singer/actor (UK) – lead singer in the group “Midniters” (1960’s) and had several self titled TV shows in the 1990’s – age 76

11 – Peggy Lipton, Actress/model/singer – played Julie Barnes in TV show “The Mod Squad” (1968-’73) also Norma Jennings in “Twin Peaks” (1990-’91) – age 72 (colon cancer)

11 – Pua Magasiva, Actor (NZ) – played Shane Clarke, the Red Ranger from “Power Rangers Ninja Storm” – age 38 (unknown)

13 – Doris Day, Actress/singer – as a singer she recorded over 650 popular songs (1947-’67), signature song “Que Sera Sera”, as an actress in movies “Calamity Jane” (1953), “Pillow Talk” (1959), “Move Over Darling” (1963), as an actress on TV “The Doris Day Show” (1968-73) – age 97

14 – Tim Conway, Comedian – one of the comedy troupe on the TV show “The Carol Burnett Show” (1967-’78) also played Ensign Parker on TV show “McHale’s Navy” (1962-’66) – age 85 (dementia)

15 – Chuck Barksdale, Singer – founding member of doo-wop group “The Dells” performed over 50 years, hit song “Oh, What a Nite” – age 84

15 – Bobby Diamond, Child actor/attorney – played Joey Clark Newton in TV show “Fury” (1955-’60) – age 75

16 – Ashley Massaro, WWE wrestler/TV host/model – WWE star and contestant on Survivor: China (2007) – age 39 (suicide by hanging)

17 – Herman Wouk, Author – Pulitzer Prize winner for “The Caine Mutiny” also wrote “The Winds of War” and “War and Remembrance” – age 103

18 – Melvin Edmonds, R&B Singer – member of the group “After 7”, top hits: “Can’t Stop,” “Ready or Not” – age 65

23 – Bill Yoast, Highschool football coach – assistant coach of the Virginia that inspired the movie “Remember the Titans” – age 94

26 – Bart Starr, NFL Football player – quarterback for the Green Bay Packers (1956-’71) won three consecutive league championships and two Super Bowls – age 85

28 – Carmine Caridi, Actor – played Carmine Rosato in “The Godfather Part II” (1974); expelled from Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for alleged bootlegging of movies – age 85

28 – Willie Ford, Bass singer – co founder of The Dramatics, biggest hits; “In The Rain” and “Toast to the Fool” – age 68 (heart disease)

29 – Peggy Stewart, Actress – appeared in mostly western movies including Red Ryder, Gene Autry and The Cisco Kid films – age 95

30 – Leon Redbone, Singer-songwriter/actor – sang the theme to TV show “Mr. Belvedere”, released sixteen albums – age 69


03 – Paul Darrow , Actor (UK) – played Kerr Avon in BBC TV series “Blake’s 7” (1978-’81) – age 78 (aortic aneurysm)

05 – Robert Earle, Game show host – hosted TV game show “G.E. College Bowl” (1962-’70) – age 93

06 – Dr.John, Singer/songwriter – New Orleans native, 6 Grammy Awards, biggest hit “Right Place, Wrong Time” (1973), Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (2011) – age 77 (heart attack)

09 – Bushwick Bill, Singer/producer (JA) – member of the group Geto Boys, platinum album “We Can’t Be Stopped” – age 52 (pancreatic cancer)

09 – Jim Pike, Singer – co-founder and lead singer of The Lettermen; “Goin’ Out of My Head/Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” (1968), “When I Fall in Love” (1962) – age 82 (Parkinson’s Disease)

10 – Chuck Glaser, C&W Singer/songwriter – member of the trio “The Glaser Brothers” charted nine singles on the Billboard Hot Country Singles charts – age 83

12 – Sylvia Miles, – Actress – twice nominated for the Academy Awards for “Midnight Cowboy” (1969) and “Farewell, My Lovely” (1975) – age 94

13 – Sean Mccann, Actor (CAN) – played Jim Baxter on the TV sitcom “The Baxters” (1979-’81) – age 83

17 – Gloria Vanderbilt, designer – designed fashions, perfumes, and household goods but known for a line of stretch blue jeans – age 95 (stomach cancer)

21 – Susan Bernard, Actress/author/model – starred in “Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!” (1965), was a Playboy centerfold (1966) – age 71 (heart attack)

21 – Elliot Roberts, Music manager – managed the careers of Neil Young and Joni Mitchell – age 76

22 – Judith Krantz, Romance novelist – wrote best sellers “Scruples”, “Princess Daisy”, and “Till We Meet Again” – age 91

23 – Stephanie Niznik, Actress – played Nina Feeney on TV show “Everwood” (2002-’06) – age 52 (not yet given)

24 – Billy Drago, Actor – played Frank Nitti in movie “The Untouchables” (1987) and the demon Barbas in TV shoe “Charmed” – age 75 (complications of a stroke)

24 – Sean Rich, Fisherman/outdoorsman/beloved Son – jack of all trades, he contributed to the lives of everyone he met – age 38 (auto accident)

26 – Beth Chapman, Actress – wife and costar to Duane “Dog” Chapman on TV show “Dog the Bounty Hunter” (2004-’12) – age 51 (throat cancer)

26 – Douglas Fielding, Actor (UK) – played Sergeant Alec Quilley on TV show “Z-Cars” (1969–’78) – age 73

26 – Max Wright, Actor – played Willie Tanner on TV sitcom “Alf” (1986-’90) – age 75 (lymphoma)

28 – Charles Levin, Actor – played Elliot Novak on the TV show “Alice” and Eddie Gregg on “Hill Street Blues” (1982-’86) – age 70 (went missing from home, found a week later in the woods)


02 – Lee Iacocca, Automobile executive/author/philanthropist – he had various jobs up to President of Ford Motor Company (1946-’78) and CEO of Chrysler Corporation (1979-’93) – age 94

03 – Arte Johnson, Comedic actor – regular on TV comedy “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” – age 90 (bladder and prostate cancer)

06 – Cameron Boyce, Actor – had roles in Mirrors, Eagle Eye, Grown Ups, and Grown Ups 2 – age 20 (a seizure)

09 – Ross Perot, Businessman,philanthropist/politician – started two highly successful tech companies (EDS 1962-’84) ran for U.S. President in 1992 and 1996 – age 89 (leukemia)

09 – Rip Torn, Actor – played Artie the producer on “The Larry Sanders Show” (1992-’98), Zed in the movie “Men in Black” (1997) – age 88

12 – Dick Richards. Drummer – Hall of Fame inductee, was a member of “Bill Haley & His Comets” – age 95

14 – Pernell Whitaker, Professional boxer – holds the longest unified lightweight championship reign in boxing history – age 55 (struck while walking across the street)

16 – Barry Coe, Actor – played Paul Templin in TV series “Follow the Sun” (1961-’62) also appeared as “Mr Goodwrench”in TV commercials in the ’70s and ’80s – age 84 (myelodysplastic syndrome)

16 – John Paul Stevens, Lawyer/jurist – associate justice of the United States Supreme Court (1975-’10) – age 99

18 – David Hedison, Actor – played Captain Lee Crane on TV show “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea” (1964-’68) – age 92

19 – Rutger Hauer, Actor (NL) – starred in movies “Nighthawks” (1981) and “Blade Runner” (1982) – age 75

22 – Art Neville, Singer/songwriter – founded the Meters and later The Neville Brothers – age 81


01 – Ian Gibbons, Musician/keyboardist (UK) – played with “The Kinks” (1979-’89)(1993-’96) – age 67 (bladder cancer)

03 – Clifford Branch, Pro Football Player – played with the Oakland/LA Raiders (1972-’86), won (3) National Titles (1976,’80,’84) – age 71

05 – Toni Morrison, Novelist/editor/professor – won the Pulitzer Prize for novel “Beloved” (1987) also a Nobel Prize in Literature (1993) – age 88

11 – Barbara March, Actress (CA) – played Star Trek character Lursa, one of the Duras sisters – age 65 (cancer)

13 – Kip Addotta, Comedian – many appearances on The Tonight Show as well as The Mike Douglas Show, Dinah! and American Bandstand – age 75

16 – Peter Fonda, Actor – wrote and produced the counterculture movie “Easy Rider” (1969) nominated for two Academy Awards – age 79 (lung cancer)

19 – Larry Taylor, Bass guitarist – played bass for the Canned Heat rock/blues band, biggest hit “Going Up the Country” – age 77 (cancer)

23 – Sheila Steafel, Actress (UK) – played Tania in “Tropic of Cancer” (1970), Isolde in “Just Like a Woman” (1967) – age 84

26 – Isabel Toledo, Fashion designer – most designs under her own name including designing for Michelle Obama, later became creative director of Anne Klein – age 59 (breast cancer)

27 – Jessi Combs, Experimental car driver/ TV host – she set the land speed record for women at 477.59 mph and was attempting to break that record in a jet car when she crashed and died – age 36

30 – Valerie Harper, Actress – played Rhoda Morgenstern on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” (1970–’77), also on the spin off “Rhoda” (1974–’78) won four Emmy’s – age 80 (leptomeningeal carcinomatosis – brain cancer)


03 – Carol Lynley, Actress – nominated for Golden Globe’s for “The Light in the Forest”(1958) and “Blue Denim” (1959), was the go to actress in sitcoms n the 60’s and 70’s – age 77 (heart attack)

08 – John Wesley, Actor – played Mr. Jim on the TV series “Martin” also Sweets Walker on the TV series “Dirty Dancing” (1988-’89) – age 72 (multiple myeloma)

13 – Eddie Money, Singer/songwriter – had numerous hits in the 70’s and 80’s; “Two Tickets to Paradise” (1977), “Take Me Home Tonight” (1986) – age 70 (esophageal cancer)

13 – Brian Turk, Actor – played Tiny in “Beverly Hills, 90210” (1995) and Gabriel on “Carnivàle” (2003-’05) – age 49 (cancer)

15 – Phyllis Newman, Actress/singer – won a Tony Award and was a frequent panelist on the top-rated network game shows, played Doris Hudson on “Diagnosis: Unknown” (1960) – age 86 (complications of a lung disorder)

15 – Ric Ocasek, Singer/songwriter – founding member of rock band The Cars (1976-’88) “Drive”, “Shake it up” – age 75 (atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease)

17 – Cokie Roberts, Journalist/author – senior news analyst and commentator for ABC News (1988-present) and NPR (1981-’88) – age 75 (breast cancer)

17 – Suzanne Whang, Television host/comedian – hosted HGTV’s “House Hunters” (1999-’07) and played Polly Chae on “Las Vegas” (2003-’08) – age 56 (cancer)

20 – Jan Merlin, Actor/screenwriter – played Cadet Roger Manning in TV series “Tom Corbett, Space Cadet” (1950-’53) also Lieutenant Colin Kirby in “Rough Riders” (1959) – age 94

21 – Jack Donner, Actor – recurring role on General Hospital as Nikolas and Spencer Cassadine’s butler Alfred – age 90

21 – Aron Eisenberg, Actor – played the Ferengi, “Nog” on “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” (1993-’99) – age 50 (kidney failure?)

21 – Sid Haig, Actor – played Captain Spaulding in “House of 1000 Corpses”, “The Devil’s Rejects” and “3 from Hell” – age 80 (lung infection)

24 – Jimmy Nelson, – Ventriloquist – was co-host of “Texaco Star Theater” with Milton Berle (1950) and did Nestle’s Quick TV commercials (1955-’65) – age 90 (stroke)

27 – Rob Garrison, Actor – played Tommy in “The Karate Kid” – age 59 (kidney and liver issues)

27 – Jimmy Spicer, Hip hop artist – best know for old school rap song “Dollar Bill Y’all” – age 61 (brain and lung cancer)

30 – Jessye Norman, Opera Singer – as a dramatic soprano she received 5 Grammy’s including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the National Medal of Arts – age 74


02 – Barrie Masters, Musician(UK) – founder of Eddie and the Hot Rods biggest hit “Do Anything You Wanna Do” – age 63

03 – Lewis Dauber, Actor – played Frank on soap opera “Days of our Lives” (1993) and Harry in “AfterMASH” (1985-’85) – age 70 (liver cancer)

04 – Diahann Carroll, Actress/singer – won a Golden Globe Award for TV series “Julia” (1968-’71) and an Academy Award for movie “Claudine” (1974) – age 84 (cancer)

06 – Ginger Baker, Musician-drummer (UK) – co-founder of rock group Cream, “Crossroads”, “White Room”, “Sunshine of Your Love”; sold over 15 million records – age 80 (heart issues)

06 – Larry Junstrom, Musician/bassist – founding member of Lynyrd Skynyrd (1964-’71) and .38 Special (1976-’14) – age 70

06 – Karen Pendleton, Child actress – an original Mickey Mouse Club Mouseketeer (1955-’59) she stayed with the show for it’s entire original run – age 73 (heart attack)

06 – Rip Taylor, Comedian/actor – known for his flamboyance and throwing confetti at himself, he had twenty appearances on Ed Sullivan Show as “the crying comedian” – age 88 (complications from a seizure)

08 – Molly Duncan, Musician/saxophonist(SCT) – founding member of The Average White Band (1974-’80) and The 360 Band (1995-present) – age 74 (cancer)

11 – Robert Forster, Actor – played Bud Baxter (Mike’s father) in TV series “Last Man Standing” (2011-’17) and Max Cherry in movie “Jackie Brown” – age 78 (brain cancer)

14 – Steve Cash, Singer/songwriter – founding member of the southern rock band Ozark Mountain Daredevils (1972 – present) top song “Jackie Blue” – age 73 (extended illness)

16 – John Clarke, Actor – played Mickey Horton on soap opera “Days of Our Lives” (1965-’04) – age 88

17 – Rep.Elijah Cummings, Politician – was a U.S. Representative for Maryland’s 7th congressional district (1996-death),received 12 honorary university doctoral degrees- age 68 (complications concerning longstanding health challenges)

17 – Bob Kingsley, Radio personality/announcer – host of American Country Countdown (ACC) (1978-’05) and Bob Kingsley’s Country Top 40 (2006-present) – age 80 (bladder cancer)

17 – Bill Macy, Actor – played Walter Findlay on TV show “Maude” (1972-’78) – age 97

21 – Jerry Fogel, Actor – played Jerome “Jerry” Buell on TV show “The Mothers-in-Law” (1967-’69) – age 83

26 – Paul Barrere, Muscian/songwriter – member of rock group Little Feat, wrote “Skin It Back”, and “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now” – age 71 (liver cancer)

26 – Robert Evans, Actor/producer/studio executive – produced Rosemary’s Baby, Love Story, The Godfather, and Chinatown – age 89

29 – John Witherspoon, Actor – played Willie Jones in “Friday” (1995), Next Friday (2000) and Friday After Next (2002) – age 77


01 – Rudy Boesch, Master chief petty officer U.S. Navy – was the first U.S. Navy SEAL also hosted the TV show “Combat Missions” – age 91

02 – Brian Tarantina, Actor – played Jackie in TV show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” (2017-’18) – age 60

03 – Robert Norris, Model/rancher/philanthropist – was the original “Marlboro Man” on TV commercials for fourteen years – age 90

04 – Virginia Leith, Actress – played Ellen Kingship in “A Kiss Before Dying” (1956) also a decapitated head in “The Brain That Wouldn’t Die” – age 94

05 – Laurel Griggs, Child actress – played Ivanka in the Broadway play “Once” for seventeen months – age 13 (asthma attack)

05 – William Wintersole, Actor – played Mitchell Sherman on “The Young and the Restless” for 20 years and Ted Ballantine on “General Hospital” – age 88

13 – Niall Tóibín, Actor(IRL) – played Joseph Donnelly’s father in “Far and Away(1992) – age 89

21 – Michael J. Pollard, Actor – won a Oscar for playing C.W. Moss in “Bonnie and Clyde” (1967) – age 80 (cardiac arrest)


01 – Shelley Morrison, Actress – played the maid Rosario Salazar in TV show “Will & Grace” (1999-’06) – age 83 (heat failure)

05 – Robert Walker, Actor – played Ensign Frank Pulver in “Ensign Pulver” (1964), Billy Hyatt in “War Wagon” (1967) – age 79

08 – René Auberjonois, Actor – played Odo on TV show “Star Trek: Deep Space Nine” (1993-’99) and Clayton Endicott III on “Benson” (1979-’86) – age 79 (metastatic lung cancer)

08 – Caroll Spinney, Cartoonist/puppeteer – played Big Bird and Oscar the Grouch on childrens TV show “Sesame Street” (1979-’18) – age 85

08 – Paul Volcker, Economist – Chairman of the Federal Reserve (1979-’87) under President’s Carter and Reagan – age 92 (prostate cancer)

10 – Philip McKeon, Actor – played Tommy Hyatt, Alice’s son on TV show “Alice” – age 55 (a long illness)

12 – Danny Aiello, Actor – played Tony Rosato in movie “The Godfather Part II (1974)” and Salvatore “Sal” Frangione in “Do the Right Thing” (1989) – age 86

21 – Joseph Segel, Entrepreneur – founded QVC (1986-present) and Franklin Mint (1964-present) – age 88 (natural causes)

24 – Allee Willis, Songwriter – wrote “I’ll Be There For You”, the theme song for TV show Friends won two Grammy Awards – age 72 (cardiac arrest)

25 – Lee Mendelson, TV Producer – produced over 40 animated Peanuts specials starting with “A Charlie Brown Christmas” (1965) – age 86 (lung cancer)

26 – Jerry Herman, Composer/lyricist – composed the music for Hello, Dolly!, Mame, and La Cage aux Folles won 3 Tony Awards – age 88

27 – Don Imus, Controversial radio personality/TV host – radio career ran from 1968-2018 most of that time his show was “Imus in the Morning” – age 79 (prostate cancer)

-Jeremy [Retro]


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