CNN.com - Vocalist William Warfield dies at 82 - August 26, 2002
William Warfield, an acclaimed bass-baritone known best for his rendition of "Ol' Man River" in the musical "Show Boat," has died.
Warfield, 82, died Sunday at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago where he had been recovering from a fall late last month, his brother Thaddeus Warfield said. An autopsy was pending.
Warfield had most recently served as a professor of music at Northwestern University.
[. . .] Prior to joining Northwestern in 1994, Warfield was the chair of the voice department at the University of Illinois.
I'm embarrased to admit I really only remember him from U of I, and I never saw him perform there. WILL, the university/local NPR station, aired a tribute a few days back, which is available on their site. The CNN story mentions his tour of Europe in passing; there's a lot that could be written on the political uses of black entertainers by the state department in the postwar years, but I'm not feeling up to it at the moment. Riverwalk has a longer bio, and goes into slightly more detail, noting that with 6 tours, Mr. Warfield had done more of the things for the department than any other solo artist. They also list shows which featured his music. Another detailed biography, not yet updated to reflect his passing, appears at African American Publications.
I'm actually more familiar with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, from the summer my mom spent there. It's a nice place. I recommend it to anyone with severe spinal injuries. They let you keep the halo and everything, assuming you ever come out of it.
We also got some t-shirts and mugs, although most of the shirts got cut up to get them over the halo. And no, I'm not explaining what that is. Consider yourself blessed if you don't know.
One good thing about this, it made me look up Shozo Sato. Another brilliant artist working in the cornfields teaching pathetically ignorant children like me. WILL, the public tv branch, produced a documentary on him, too.
Bridge of 10,000 Miles (Producer: Leslie Epperson) In 1964, Shozo Sato brought traditional Japanese art forms of tea ceremony, flower arranging, black ink painting and Kabuki theater to America as a visiting professor in both Theater and Art and Design at the University of Illinois. The remarkable career and philosophy of Shozo Sato is the subject of this half-hour documentary. It is the story of a man determined to bridge cultural gaps through art. Distributed by CEN.
I'm not quite cranky enough to say that I hope I have a chance to see that before he dies. Except I just did.
Well, I have a better excuse for blowing it off now than I did back then. . .