Gerard Piel

Magazine Publisher

Gerard Piel, 89, the former publisher of Scientific American magazine who oversaw a dramatic upswing in the venerable periodical's fortunes, died Sept. 5 at a hospital in New York after a stroke.

Mr. Piel, a former science editor of Life magazine, and several associates bought Scientific American with borrowed money in 1947, during a lull in its popularity. He oversaw several years of reforms, including having scientists themselves write articles about their research.

Circulation topped 1 million by the 1980s, and Mr. Piel became the magazine's chairman in 1984. It was sold to publisher Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck in 1986.

He wrote several books, including "The Age of Science: What Scientists Learned in the 20th Century" (2001).

Gerard Souzay


Gerard Souzay, 85, one of France's great baritones and a master of art songs, died Aug. 17 at his home in Cap d'Antibes, France. No cause of death was reported.

In a nearly 50-year career, Mr. Souzay made hundreds of recordings and appeared in the world's great opera houses, including New York's Metropolitan Opera house, where he first appeared in 1965.

He sang a variety of musical styles in 15 languages and was praised by the French Cultural Ministry for his interpretation of Ravel, Stravinsky, Mozart, Wagner and others.

He studied at the Paris Conservatory from 1940 to 1945 under the French singer Pierre Bernac as well as Claire Croiza and Vanni Marcoux. He won quick recognition after his first recital in Paris in 1945 and made his operatic debut at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in 1957, according to Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians.

Joe Barry

Pop Singer

Joe Barry, 65, the hard-living "swamp pop" performer whose 1960 version of "I'm a Fool to Care" put him in the national spotlight, died Aug. 31 after a heart attack, it was reported in New Orleans.

Mr. Barry, whose given name was Joseph Barrios, recorded his 1960 hit at Cosimo Matassa's famed studio in New Orleans. The record went gold and landed him on Dick Clark's "American Bandstand." Besides "I'm a Fool to Care," a Gene Autry ballad about a discarded lover, Mr. Barry's other big hit was "Teardrops in My Heart" in 1961.

Mr. Barry was renowned as a hard-living musician who indulged heavily in drugs and alcohol during the 1960s as he traveled across the country playing in nightclubs. He was "prone to violent mood swings," and he trashed several hotel rooms, according to swamp pop historian Shane Bernard.

Swamp pop, a feel-good sound that came from the postwar swamps of south Louisiana, is a hybrid genre combining rhythm and blues, Cajun music and other influences.

Donald James Leslie


Donald James Leslie, 93, inventor and manufacturer of the Leslie speaker, which helped popularize the Hammond organ and contributed to the development of electronic music, died Sept. 2 at his home in Altadena, Calif. No cause of death was reported.

A fan of church and theater pipe organs, Mr. Leslie became enamored with the compact electric Hammond Organ shortly after it was introduced in 1935.

He first heard the instrument -- engineer Laurens Hammond's low-cost alternative to the pipe organ -- in a Los Angeles furniture store where he was working servicing radios.

The little electric organ, Mr. Leslie thought, sounded much like a theater or church pipe organ in the vast furniture showroom. But once he got it home, he was disappointed with its sound in confined spaces. So he started experimenting with devices to make the instrument sound like the labyrinthine pipe organs.

When he came up with his hand-built speaker, he offered it to Hammond, hoping for a job, but was rejected.

Mr. Leslie then founded Electro Music to manufacture his speaker, which became a popular sound-refining amplifier for Hammond organs and eventually musical instruments made by Wurlitzer, Conn, Thomas, Baldwin, Kimball, Yamaha and others.