Is there anyone out there that hasn't heard that old wives' tale by now? They say that celebrity deaths usually happen in threes. I'm not so sure it's true as much as it is the law of averages. Different folks can be classified as a "celebrity" for different reasons. Therefore, given how often people die on a a regular basis, you're bound to find three of them clumped together. These next three did not really occur close to one another, but they were three that I wanted to briefly touch on since I can relate to them all in one way or another...
Marvin Isley, 56
He passed away June 6th as a result of complications from diabetes. The news threw me at first because of the last name. Any true R&B fan knows the Isley Brothers. Marvin was the youngest of the brothers. He was a member of the group although he hadn't performed with them in quite some time because of his illness. When I first saw this and he was referred to as the bassist, I thought they were referring to Ernie Isley. He and Ron were the only two I clearly remember because they're always the ones performing. Although it clearly wasn't Ernie, it is still a tragic loss. Dude was an integral part of creating an R&B legendary group and was much too young to leave us.
Jimmy Dean, 81
Died of natural causes on June 13th at his home in Virginia. Of course what I remember him for the most was the sausages he hawked. Those sausages are the TRUTH! Although honestly, someone will have to really screw up a sausage for me not to like it. What I didn't realize was that dude was a country singer before he got into the sausage business. He even had a song out that I remember: "Big Bad John". Even though the only reason I remember it is because it was showcased on a commercial for some compilation cd that ran constantly back in the day. Ever since then, everytime I meet someone named John, that song immediately comes to mind.
Manute Bol, 47
He passed away most recently (just yesterday) as a result of acute kidney failure. At one point in time, Manute was the tallest person in the NBA at 7'7". In fact, the Washington Bullets had the unique distinction of being the one team with both the tallest player and the shortest for a short stint when Manute and Mugsy Bogues were teammates. I always wished he would find success in the League, but he never could coordinate his awkward body with the skills that were necessary to be a force. He eventually ended up with more career blocks (2,086) than career points (1,599). He may not have created the impact in the NBA that folks had anticipated, but he will never be forgotten.
Rest in peace all.