Tuesday, January 19, 2010

“Bad news travels like wildfire…”

Author Erich Segal, who not only wrote the novel for the critically-panned-but-hugely-popular Love Story (1970) but also the screenplay for the film adaptation, died January 17 at the age of 72. A professor of classics at both Yale and Oxford, he also penned the screenplays for Yellow Submarine (1968), The Games (1971), Oliver's Story (1978) and Man, Woman and Child (1983)—the last two adapted from his novels as well.

The Guardian obituary includes the immortal Dorothy Parker quote about Love Story: “The banality of Love Story makes Peyton Place look like Swann’s Way. It skips from cliché to cliché with an abandon that would chill the blood of a True Romance editor.” The “banal” novel went on to sell four million copies, and it was once guesstimated that one out of five Americans had read it.

My CharredHer webpage also reports on the passing of Canadian folksinger Kate McGarrigle at the age of 63, who with her sister Anna comprised the popular singing duo, The McGarrigle Sisters. Their songs were recorded by a good many artists—the best-known being Heart Like a Wheel, which was the title tune from one of Linda Ronstadt’s popular LPs in the 1970s. The sisters released their debut album, Kate and Anna McGarrigle, in 1975 and saw several tracks from it get the cover treatment from the likes of Emmylou Harris, Judy Collins and Billy Bragg. She was at one time married to singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III (Dead Skunk) and saw both her son Rufus and daughter Martha follow in their footsteps in the music business.

R.I.P, Mr. Segal and Ms, McGarrigle. You will both be sorely missed. (A doff of the TDOY chapeau to Bill Crider for the Segal notice, btw.)

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Mike Rea said...

Fro fans of Kate McGarrigle (and her sister Anne) track down the animated short "The Log Drivers Waltz". A nice bit of whimsy from the NFB with vocals by the McGarrigle sisters. This short ran for years as filler on may Canadian public TV channels.

Tom said...

Very interesting this all is. She is Rufus Wainwright's mom? Didn't realize. Ivan, I really appreciate your tributes, otherwise I wouldn't know. By the way I had forgotten there was the sequel to "Love Story" - I'll have to check that out sometime.