Remembering Dave Goldberg, Ben E. King, Ellen Albertini Dow, and Errol Brown
Here are some of the descriptions you’ll be hearing in coming days about Dave Goldberg, who died suddenly Friday at 47: friend, dad, husband, brother, Midwesterner, entrepreneur, poker player, mensch, investor, mentor.
It is with no hyperbole to say Goldberg was one of the most beloved among the truly successful people in Silicon Valley. He was a bright kid from Minnesota who graduated from Harvard and landed in Los Angeles working in the music industry. He made his bones selling a music startup to Yahoo, where he stayed on for a time as an executive in the Terry Semel era.
He was already a big deal when he met a big-deal executive at Google, Sheryl Sandberg. He eventually moved north when they became a couple. Goldberg went on to lead the investment group that bought SurveyMonkey, the cash-generating online company that pioneered the “freemium” business model so popular today with next-generation software companies like Evernote, Dropbox, and Eventbrite.
(I wrote about SurveyMonkey in Fortune when Goldberg raised debt in 2013 as a way of delaying an IPO and again just recently when he debuted a new benchmarking service. Dave is the first person who explained to me that “freemium” was going to be a big deal. He also was a natural manager, and he spoke about talent in 2013 at Brainstorm Tech in Aspen. Check out the now poignant Q&A he did right before the conference. )
Let’s cut straight to the chase about what everyone said about Dave Goldberg: Had he not been married to one of the most famous personalities in Silicon Valley, he would have been known first as one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the Valley. I’ve known Goldberg for years, and being known as Sheryl Sandberg’s husband never bothered him in the least. He knew exactly who he was. A handful of years ago we had lunch because someone had suggested to him that he might hire me to work at SurveyMonkey. It took me about a minute to politely explain why I was fantastically happy doing what I was doing, which he understood immediately because he felt the same way about what he was doing. We spent the next part of lunch comparing notes about how blessed we were to be busy, fulfilled people who managed to spend plenty of time being dads and husbands too.
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You just don’t meet many people who are talented, successful, bright, kind, humble, and universally admired and liked.
Words can’t begin to describe how much Dave Goldberg will be missed.
By Adam Lashinsky | @adamlashinsky
Fortune editor Alan Murray interviewed Goldberg at the 2015 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year. Here’s a clip of the interview:
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‘Stand By Me’ Singer Ben E. King Dead at Age 76
NEW YORK (AP) — Ben E. King, singer of such classics as “Stand By Me,” ”There Goes My Baby” and “Spanish Harlem,” has died.
King died Thursday at age 76, publicist Phil Brown told The Associated Press. Brown did not immediately have other details.
As a member of the Drifters, King co-wrote and sang lead on “There Goes My Baby.” The band had a string of hits featuring King, including “Save the Last Dance for Me” and “This Magic Moment,” before he left in a contract dispute.
The 1961 ballad “Spanish Harlem” gave King his first solo hit. “Stand By Me,” written with Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, was chosen one of the Songs of the Century by the Recording Industry Association of America.
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Ellen Albertini Dow Dies: ‘Wedding Singer’s Rapping Granny Was 101
Ellen Albertini Dow, whose memorable take on “Rapper’s Delight” stole the show in the 1998 Adam Sandler movie The Wedding Singer — and whose screen career started in her 70s — died today. She was 101. Her longtime agent Juliet Green confirmed the actress’ death to Deadline but offered no details.
Albertini Dow studied acting with Michael Shurtleff and Uta Hagen in NYC, worked with mimes Marcel Marceau and Jacques LeCog in Paris and played the Borscht Belt as part of a comedy act before moving west to teach in the drama department at Los Angeles City College. The Pennsylvania native later transferred to Pierce College in the San Fernando Valley, where her husband Eugene Dow launched the theater department where they both taught. Albertini Dow retired from teaching in 1985 and went on to study acting at the American Film Institute.
She landed a role on the ’80s iteration of The Twilight Zone and during the next decade appeared in films including My Blue Heaven and the Sister Act pics and on such classic TV series as Moonlighting, Murphy Brown, The Golden Girls, The Wonder Years, Star Trek: The Next Generation, ER and Seinfeld.
But she likely is best remembered as the gesticulating singer-turned-rapper in the pink shawl in The Wedding Singer. Her peppy and uninhibited version of “Rapper’s Delight” was on the first of the film’s two soundtrack albums; it’s the only remade track on either record whose film version was used — the others being by the original artists. The album, which made the Billboard Top 5 and went double platinum, featured a medley of her take alongside Sugarhill Gang’s classic original. Watch a clip below. Albertini Dow also performed a sweet version of “Till There Was You” in Wedding Singer.
Born on November 16, 1913, in Mount Carmel, PA, she continued to work throughout the new century, appearing as recently as two years ago on New Girl and on Family Guy (2012) and Shameless (2011). She also was a regular on early-’00s WB comedy Maybe It’s Me. Other credits since Wedding Singer include Cold Case, Hannah Montana, My Name Is Earl, Scrubs, Six Feet Under and such features as Wedding Crashers and Sandler’s toon musical Eight Crazy Nights.
By Erik Pedersen
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Hot Chocolate Singer Errol Brown Dead at 71
Singer Errol Brown, who fronted the pop and disco group Hot Chocolate from the late Sixties through the early Eighties, has died. He co-wrote and sang the 1975 hit “You Sexy Thing,” which got a second life from placement in The Full Monty, and 1973 single “Brother Louie,” which serves as the theme song for TV’s Louie. The Jamaican-British musician had been suffering from liver cancer and died in his home in the Bahamas with his wife, Ginette, and daughters, Colette and Leonie, by his side, according to the BBC. He was 71.
Brown, who was born in Jamaica, moved to the U.K. with his mother when he was 12. Along with some friends, he began his music career by sending a reggae version of “Give Peace a Chance” to John Lennon in 1969. The Beatle liked what he heard and signed Hot Chocolate to Apple.
The BBC reports that Hot Chocolate were the only group to have a hit single for 15 years, landing on the British charts every year between 1970 and 1984. The group’s Top 10 U.K. hits include “So You Win Again” (Number One, 1977), “No Doubt About It” (Number Two, 1980) and “It Started With a Kiss” (Number Five, 1982), among others, as well as “You Sexy Thing” and “Brother Louie,” which both crossed over into the U.S. charts.
Hot Chocolate’s other U.S. Top 10 hits include “Emma” and “Every 1’s a Winner.” Around the peak of their fame, Hot Chocolate performed at a pre-wedding party for Prince Charles and Lady Diana in Buckingham Palace, according to The New York Times.
Brown quit the group in 1985, to dedicate himself to his family, but later did two solo tours in the U.K. in the Nineties. He carried out a farewell tour in 2009, telling the BBC he’d “done all [he] wanted to do.”
“Errol was a lover of life and obviously ‘music,’” Brown’s manager, Phil Dale, wrote in a statement. “I never went into his home, car or a hotel room without music playing…. His greatest legacy is that his music will live on.”
Queen Elizabeth II made Brown a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 2003. He received an Ivor Novello award the following year, according to the BBC, for his outstanding contribution to the country’s music.
Rolling Stone | by Kory Grow
Hot Chocolate singer Errol Brown dies
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Other Notable Musicians’ Deaths…
6: Errol Brown, 71, Jamaican-born British singer (Hot Chocolate), liver cancer.
4: Ellen Albertini Dow, 101, American actress (The Wedding Singer, Patch Adams, Wedding Crashers).
2: Guy Carawan, 87, American folk singer and civil rights activist; Dave Goldberg, 47, American executive (SurveyMonkey, LAUNCH Media), head trauma from treadmill fall.
30: Steven Goldmann, 53, Canadian music video and film director, cancer; Ben E. King, 76, American soul and R&B singer (“Stand by Me”, “Spanish Harlem”), coronary heart disease: Patachou, 96, French singer and actress; Ronald Senator, 89, British composer, house fire.
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