*Cool Photo of the Month: Doomed Star Sheds Gassy Skin Before Death
SPACE.com reports on a doomed star caught in the act of shedding its gassy skin in a new photograph from the Hubble Space Telescope.

*Remembering Hank Cochran
A tribute to one of the great country songwriters of all time, who died of pancreatic cancer on July 15, plus excerpts from a 2009 interview with Cochran originally published in American Songwriter magazine.

*Sincerely: A Tribute to Harvey Fuqua
HARVEY FUQUA founded the Moonglows and had a short-lived solo career, but it was his multiple roles as  talent scout, producer, label owner, songwriter, arranger, confidante to soul stars and leader of an organization he founded to work with underprivileged inner-city and third world youth made him one of the most important figures in popular music in the last half of the 20th Century. The whirlwind that was Fuqua's life came to an end on July 6, when he died of a heart attack in a Detroit hospital.

*‘Who’s That Guy Over There?’ “Neil Young.’
BEN KEITH, for nearly 40 years the pedal steel guitarist for Neil Young as well as being a stellar producer and in-demand session musician, died of a heart attack while at Young’s ranch on July 26.

steinbrennerGeorge Steinbrenner From All Angles
Love him or hate him—and plenty did, often all at once—the controversial, larger-than-life New York Yankees owner GEORGE STEINBRENNER, who died suddenly of a massive heart attack on July 13, was different things to different people, depending on what he needed or who was in his sights. In tribute to an owner the likes of which we may never see again, we offer four unique perspectives on his unusual modus operandi.
*In an exclusive to TheBluegrassSpecial.com, former Yankees batboy and public relations executive JOE D'AMBROSIO remembers his tumultuous years with the World Champions on the field, and the day the Boss stood up for him when he was a new and beleaguered rookie in the PR office.
*Former New York City Mayor ED KOCH, writing in the Huffington Post, also remembers a testy Steinbrenner, with whom he came to have a positive working relationship. On a less positive note, noted sports law authority ROGER ABRAMS, also writing in Huffington Post, recalls "George Steinbrenner Was a Bully."
*And LONNY STRUM, managing director of the Strum Consulting Group, recalls his memorable, early-career encounter with the mercurial Steinbrenner in ‘The Day ‘The Boss’ Kicked Me Out Of His Office,’ a thoughtful reminiscence by a businessman who never lost his respect for Steinbrenner’s passion for winning.


The stadium voice of the New York Yankees (1951-2007) and the New York Giants (1956-2006) passed away at his home in Baldwin, NY, on July 11, three months shy of his 100th birthday. Elegant, dignified and classy, Sheppard, he of the precise diction and professorial tone, epitomized what the Yankees wanted the franchise to stand for, even when things were at their craziest on the field during late owner George Steinbrenner’s early years.

*RALPH HOUK: Ten days following Bob Sheppard’s death, eight days following George Steinbrenner’s, the Yankees organization suffered another blow when Ralph Houk, who as manager guided the team to three straight American League pennants and two World Series championships in the early ‘60s, died at his home in Winter Haven, FL.

*BILLY LOES: A mainstay of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ pitching staff from 1952 through the team’s 1955 World Championship, Billy Loes dsied on July 15 at a hospice in Tuscson, AZ, at age 80. His wife, Irene, said her husband had suffered from diabetes for years. During his Dodgers career, Loes won 50 games and lost 25, his best season coming in 1952, when he recorded a 13-8 record, four shutouts and a 2.69 earned run average. He is better remembered in baseball lore, however, as an odd duck who stood out on a team of odd ducks, most notably for claiming he muffed a ground ball back to the mound because he lost it in the sun.

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Founder/Publisher/Editor: David McGee
Contributing Editors: Billy Altman, Laura Fissinger, Christopher Hill, Derk Richardson
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Staff Photographers: Audrey Harrod (Louisville, KY; www.flickr.com/audreyharrod), Alicia Zappier (New York)
E-mail: thebluegrassspecial@gmail.com
Mailing Address: David McGee, 201 W. 85 St.—5B, New York, NY 10024