Actor Ron Glass died of respiratory failure last week. Glass had a steady career as an actor in television (76 acting credits according to IMDB), but he is most remembered for the role of Detective Ron Harris on one of the great situation comedies ever, "Barney Miller" which ran from 1975 to 1982. The show depicted the daily doings of the detective squad in the NYPD's 12th Precinct.
It was a show that never jumped the shark. As good in its last season as it was in the first. At the time when we lived in Cleveland, we had an acquaintance who was detective in the Cleveland PD, and he said that no show depicted the life of a detective squad better than did "Barney Miller."
Glass continued to work as a guest on a million TV shows, and even had a couple of series after, "Barney Miller", but that is the show that will live forever (you can still see it on those classic TV cable networks), so actors like Ron Glass will always be visible. Nice.
1920 - 2016
Guitarist Al Caiola also passed away last month at the age of 96. Caiola released a number of instrumental recordings in the 1960's that became hits, the themes from "Bonanza" and "The Magnificent Seven" being the most well known. However, when you read the obituary for Caiola, it is positively jaw-dropping when you see the number of people with whom Caiola recorded. How does this lineup grab you? Buddy Holly, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Johnny Mathis, Simon & Garfunkel, Sarah Vaughn, Glen Campbell, and Rosemary Clooney. He also played in orchestras led by Percy Faith, Morton Gould, and Andre Kostelanetz, and was featured on the radio and television shows of Jackie Gleason, Ed Sullivan, Arthur Godfrey, and Steve Allen. That is some resume!
It was said that he could play whatever was required - classical, jazz, R&B, rock & roll. He was the classic well rounded musician.
For those of us in Pittsburgh, we heard the sounds of Al Caiola every Saturday night when his recording of Henry Mancini's "Experiment in Terror" (from the movie of the same name) was used as the theme music for Channel 11's "Chiller Theater".
RIP Ron Glass and Al Caiola.