Thursday, October 26, 2006

Little big horn

The name Tommy Johnson probably doesn't mean anything to you, unless you're thinking of...
  • The former major league baseball pitcher who has become synonymous with rotator cuff surgery. That's Tommy John.
  • The former lead singer and guitarist of the Doobie Brothers. That's Tom Johnston.
  • The noted journalist who was both the longtime publisher of the Los Angeles Times, and the longtime president of Cable News Network. That's Wyatt "Tom" Johnson.
  • The guy who used to beat you up and steal your lunch money back in the third grade, whose name just happened to be Tommy Johnson. That's... well... something you're just going to have to deal with on your own.
Though you may not know Tommy Johnson by name, or even by face, you'd certainly recognize his work. He was the tuba player whose sonorous tones were featured in one of the most instantly familiar pieces of motion picture soundtrack ever recorded: the theme from Jaws.

I can hear you doing it now: Da-dum da-dum. Da-dum da-dum. Da-dum da-dum da-dum da-dum da-dum da-dum...

It is my sad duty to inform you that Mr. Johnson passed away earlier this month, following a long battle with cancer and kidney disease. He was 71.

At least the shark didn't get him.


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