Photo: Postcard for J.D. Naftzinger, funeral director and embalmer, listed on EBay, as Buy It Now for $150.
Queen of the Dead—dateline November 28, 2011
• I am going to get “More, More, More (How Do You Like It?),” stuck in your brain for the next week, I apologize in advance. Actress and singer/songwriter Andrea True, 68, died in Kingston, New York, on November 7. She is best remembered for her disco hits—in addition to the one above, “New York, You Got Me Dancing” and “What’s Your Name, What’s Your Number,” all of which reached the charts (and the dance floors) in the late 1970s. True also acted in numerous films throughout that decade, most of them soft-core porn (including such eyebrow-raising titles as The Russians Are Coming, Doctor’s Teenage Dilemma, The Wetter the Better, Once Over Nightly, and Little Orphan Sammy).
• Another sitcom icon gone: writer and producer Jack Elinson, 89, died on November 17. He wrote scripts for such feather-lite (not even “light”) offerings as The Real McCoys, The Danny Thomas Show, Gomer Pyle, Wait Till Your Father Gets Home, Good Times, One Day at a Time—and the 1955 episode of The Jimmy Durante Show during which guest Carmen Miranda had a heart attack (she died later that night). Carmen—being nothing if not a trouper—falls to one knee, gets right back up and goes on with the show.
• It’s hard to become a well-known “character” in New Orleans; there is so much competition. But Yvonne “Miss Dixie” Fasnacht (who died at 101 on November 13) did herself proud. The proprietress of Dixie’s Bar of Music, she had been a sax player with several all-girl bands (the Harmony Maids, the Smart Set) before opening Dixie’s in 1939. It was a celebrity gathering place, a gay bar, a landmark: “It was more a social center than it was a pickup bar,” said reporter Frank Gagnard. “It was where gay people went to meet friends. Miss Dixie didn’t allow any hanky-panky at all.” Fasnacht retired in 1964, but, says the site lagenealogy, she and her sister “hosted all-day Mardi Gras parties at their Bourbon St. home (with interior patio), every year. There, one could find street-people chatting, eating and drinking with corporate CEOs. Above all else, one could find a bathroom, aspirins and delightful folks.”
• Well, this is depressing: Italian-born jazz singer Daniela D’Ercole recorded her first album in 2008; she had recently been performing up and down the East Coast and had moved to New York: She only wanted to chase her dream and bring joy to people, always with a smile on her face,” said her friend and accompanist, Giuseppe Bassi said. “And you should just have seen her face when she heard something that touched her heart . . . It was like the sun rising.” You can tell this isn’t going to end well, right? D’Ercole, 32, was killed by an SUV while crossing 106th Street and Broadway late on the night of November 10. YouTube her—she was fabulous, and not as affected as many jazz singers can be.