"Hit Parade" Singer
Snooky Lanson, 76, a singing star of the popular Saturday night television show "Your Hit Parade" from 1950 to 1957, died July 2 at a hospital in Nashville. The cause of death was not reported.
"Hit Parade" was the TV version of the legendary radio program, "Lucky Strike Hit Parade." It counted down the top tunes of the week and featured "extras." After leaving the show, he sang in nightclubs. Since 1967, he had lived in Nashville, where he hosted a radio program and sold cars.
In 1941, he recorded the hit record "By the Light of the Silvery Moon" with the Ray Noble Band. A later hit, "The Old Master Painter," helped him land the "Hit Parade" job. Among the songs he sang on TV were "Ebb Tide," "He" and "Mr. Sandman." He also sang "Mona Lisa" 13 straight weeks on the show.
Anatoly Grishchenko, 53, the Soviet helicopter pilot who developed leukemia and bone cancer after helping to contain the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986 by dumping tons of sand over the smoldering reactor, died of cardiopulmonary failure July 2 at a hospital in Seattle.
He received the Soviet Union's highest award for heroism for flying five missions in his heavy-lift copter through radioactive gases spewing from the burning Chernoobyl plant. He attempted to cap the reactor by dumping sand and cement.
Diagnosed with pre-leukemia in September 1988, he was the only victim of the disaster to undergo a bone marrow transplant in the United States. Last month, Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev sent the Soviet hero a personal get-well note and letter of gratitude, praising him as "a brave man who didn't spare his life in the line of duty."
J.C.R. Licklider, 75, a psychologist and a pioneer in computer use who was a professor emeritus of electrical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, died June 26 at a hosptial in Arlington, Mass., after an asthma attack.
He said the full potential of computers could be reached only by improving users' ability to interact with them. He contributed to computer applications for libraries, introducing the concepts of digital computers and telecommunications into the processes of storing and retrieving information.
His views were supported by the Defense Department's Advanced Research Projects Agency, which established large-scale experimental computer science research projects at universities across the country. He headed the first one, Project MAC, from 1968 to 1970. It now is the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science.
STEVEN R. GORDON
Steven R. Gordon, 45, the classical pianist who instructed 84 pianists in a performance of George Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" at the opening ceremonies of the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, died of lymphoma June 30 in Los Angeles.
He first performed at the Hollywood Bowl when he was 9. He studied piano under Sergei Tarnowsky, a teacher of Vladimir Horowitz, and competed in the prestigious Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow.
With his wife, pianist Nadya Cataldo, he recorded all of Maurice Ravel's two-piano compositions. The couple also performed duets during appearances in Europe, the United States and South America.
PAUL B. WITTENBERG
TV Sound Editor
Paul B. Wittenberg, 63, who won an Emmy Award for his sound editing on the "Miami Vice" TV series in 1984 and who received two Golden Reel awards from the Motion Picture Sound Editors, died of cancer July 1 in Mission Hills, Calif.
His 35-year entertainment career included stints at such studios as MGM, 20th Century-Fox, Universal and Stephen J. Cannell Productions. His film and television credits include "Jaws," "Scarface," "Hunter" and "21 Jump Street."