Everett Lilly's voice was a thing of natural beauty. When he sang, and even when he talked, you heard the sound of those Southern West Virginia mountains he loved. He was a bigger-than-life personality you never forgot, whether you met him on the street or heard him on the stage. Lilly died of complications from an aneurysm on May 8. He was 87.
Take a humongous group of excitable jokers who have too much free time on their hands, mix in enough instruments to satisfy an entire marching band variety, toss a few gigantic pom poms and enormously-loud/elaborate outfits their way and you'll get Mucca Pazza. The Chicago-based band is a 30-piece (yes, 30 trombonists, trumpeters, guitarists, cheerleaders, and more) community of "circus punks" that makes music that sounds like the results of a rowdy weekend at band camp.
It was one of his final live performances. On Jan. 29, 1971, 69-year-old Louis Armstrong walked onto the stage at the National Press Club to accept an award. He'd planned to perform a couple of numbers and was under doctor's orders not to break out his trumpet, but Armstrong couldn't resist putting on a memorable show. He sang in a voice more gravelly than ever, blew his horn and played a few of his classics, starting with his rendition of "Hello Dolly."
Garth Knox was born to play the viola. As a youngster, he already had two sisters who played violin and a brother who played cello. "So for the family string quartet," Knox says, "it was very clear from the start which instrument I would play."