Of note: Julien J. LeBourgeois, Billy Barnes, Jean Taittinger

September 26, 2012
Julien J. LeBourgeois
Navy vice admiral

Julien J. LeBourgeois, 88, a retired Navy vice admiral who commanded a cruiser during the Vietnam War and held other high naval posts, died Sept. 16 at a retirement community in Williamsburg. He had heart and kidney ailments, said his son, Julien D. LeBourgeois.

Adm. LeBourgeois was born in Southern Pines, N.C., and was the son of a Navy officer. He attended the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, where he was a member of the track team, and he graduated in 1944 as part of an accelerated wartime program.

He served as a shipboard gunnery officer during World War II aboard the USS Columbia, a light cruiser. He later held posts in naval intelligence and received a master’s degree in international affairs from George Washington University in 1963.

After serving in the office of the Chief of Naval Operations at the Pentagon, Adm. LeBourgeois commanded the USS Halsey, a guided missile frigate, from 1965 to 1967. The ship rescued 17 downed U.S. pilots during the Vietnam War.

Adm. LeBourgeois later held senior positions at the Pentagon and with NATO in Belgium. His final assignment before his retirement in 1977 was as president of the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

His decorations included two awards each of the Distinguished Service Medal and Legion of Merit, plus the Bronze Star.

He retired to New London, N.H., where he helped develop a continuing education program at Colby-Sawyer College. He later moved to Williamsburg.

Billy Barnes
composer

Billy Barnes, a composer and lyricist whose music and devilishly funny lyrics were displayed on “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In” in the 1960s and ‘70s, died Sept. 25 at his home in Los Angeles. He was 85.

He had complications from Alzheimer’s disease, said his partner, Richard T. Jordan.

A Los Angeles native, Mr. Barnes earned a reputation as “The Revue Master of Hollywood” after hitting his stride in 1958 with “The Billy Barnes Revue” at the Las Palmas Theater.

With a cast of eight — Ken Berry, Bert Convy, Joyce Jameson, Ann Guilbert, Jackie Joseph, Patti Regan, Len Weinrib and Bob Rodgers (who wrote the sketches and directed) — the revue skewered cultural subjects such as beatniks, Ivy Leaguers, juvenile delinquency, progressive education and 1930s movies.

A Times critic called the revue, for which Mr. Barnes played piano in the pit, “the most outrageously clever satirical show seen in this city in many, many years.”

Jo Anne Worley was another Barnes discovery. She was cast in a new “Billy Barnes Revue” company at the Las Palmas Theater when the original cast went to New York. She later appeared in the cast of “The Billy Barnes People,” a hit that originated at the Las Palmas Theater and had a brief run on Broadway in 1961.

Worley also worked with Mr. Barnes when she was a cast member of “Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In,” the wacky hit comedy-variety series for which he wrote humorous and topical songs from 1968 to 1973.

And that was always Mr. Barnes playing the baby grand piano on “Laugh-In” whenever Worley performed a short song that had a joke finish.

One of the songs Mr. barnes wrote for “The Billy Barnes Revue,” the ballad “(Have I Stayed) Too Long at the Fair,” was recorded by Barbra Streisand in 1963. It also was included in a medley on her “Color Me Barbra” album and sung on her 1966 TV special of the same name.

Another signature Barnes song, “Something Cool,” was a 1950s hit for jazz vocalist June Christy.

Jean Taittinger
French Champagne heir

Jean Taittinger, 89, a longtime French legislator and heir to the Taittinger Champagne legacy, died Sept. 23. His son Frantz Taittinger confirmed the death to the Associated Press but provided no further details.

Jean Marie Pierre Hubert Taittinger fought the Nazis at the end of World War II and went on to a long political career. He was a member of Parliament and mayor of the Champagne center Reims from the 1950s to the 1970s. He also served as France’s justice minister under President Georges Pompidou.

He was honorary president of the Taittinger Champagne house, whose origins date back to the 1700s.

— From news services and staff reports

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