62, the "King of Zydeco" who inspired toot-tooting and foot-stomping worldwide with his spirited Cajun accordion, died Dec. 12 at a hospital in Lafayette, La. He had diabetes and a kidney ailment, but a hospital spokesman said the cause of death had not been determined.
Zydeco is thought to be a corruption of the French word "haricot," from the Cajun expression about dancing -- "snap a bean." The music is a mix of blues, country, rock, Cajun waltzes and two-steps.
He recorded more than 100 albums and was twice nominated for Grammy awards. The success of the 1954 recording "Cliston Blues" won Mr. Chenier his first wide recognition. Later numbers included "Monifique" in 1967, "Tu le ton son ton" in 1970 and "Jambalaya" in 1975.
82, a former royal milliner who was responsible for creating some of the most distinctive hats worn by Britain's Queen Elizabeth and for the wide-brimmed veiled creations that are still among the 87-year-old Queen Mother's favorites, died Dec. 11 in London. The cause of death was not reported.
The Danish-born hat maker was a favorite with Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, when she was duchess of York and later queen. His reputation soared when she wore one of his creations bedecked with artificial tomatoes and half-open pea pods. He went bankrupt in 1955 but continued to have royal patrons. He retired in the 1960s because of poor health, debts and lack of demand for his creations.
LEROY (SLAM) STEWART,
73, a jazz musician who performed with Benny Goodman, Art Tatum and Slim Gaillard, died Dec. 10 in Binghamton, N.Y. He had a heart ailment.
Mr. Stewart's primary instrument was the bass but he performed on many other instruments with considerable skill and style. He was best known for "Flat Foot Floogie," which he performed with Gaillard in the 1930s.
58, an American art critic and writer whose biography of French sculptor Auguste Rodin was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, died Dec. 9 in Barcelona after a heart attack.
His "Rodin: A Biography," was recently published by Henry Holt. Mr. Grunfeld's other books include "The Art and Times of the Guitar," "The Hitler File," "Prophets Without Honor: A Background to Einstein, Freud, Kafka and Their World," and a series of Time-Life books on music and art.
CHARLES B. ROGERS,
76, a Kansas native whose paintings of rural Kansas and the American West won him international acclaim, died of leukemia Dec. 10 at a hospital in Salina, Kan.
Mr. Rogers, known as "the Kansan," had had his works shown in Paris, London, Tokyo, Mexico City, Japan and across the United States. At the Rogers House, his museum in Ellsworth, Kan., are displayed many of the works that won him more than 130 awards.