Monthly Archives: November 2017

HATEWATCH: HEADLINES FOR 11-22-2017

Hatewatch Headlines 11/22/2017

Hate crimes spike brings calls for hearings; Facebook still allows ad discrimination; Trump sells out alt-right on net neutrality; and more.

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Politico: Democrats demand hearing after latest FBI hate crimes statistics show an uptick.

ProPublica: Faceboook (still) letting housing advertisers exclude users by race.

Raw Story: Trump’s move to kill net neutrality sells out the alt-right in favor of big business.

Independent (UK): United States one of only three countries to vote against UN resolution condemning Nazism.

Associated Press: Judge permanently blocks Trump’s executive order to cut funding for sanctuary cities.

Reveal News: Federal agency refers teenage girls to counselors picked by anti-abortion group.

Media Matters: Anti-LGBT hate group kicked off its conference with an amazing interpretive rainbow flag dance.

Washington Post: Richard Spencer event on Maryland farm is cut short when everyone is asked to leave.

Forward: Alt-right finds common ground with Nation of Islam over racial separation.

Right-Wing Watch: Far-right activists party with Bannon, Gorka, congressmen and ‘Election Integrity’ commissioner.

Jacksonville Business Journals (FL): A Nazi, a Klan member and a Confederate sympathizer confront protesters at UNF campus.

Salon: Anti-LGBT county clerk Kim Davis may face man she refused a marriage license as opponent.

The Maui News (HI): Man spewing ‘hateful things’ leads anti-LGBT protest outside church as it installs gay pastor.

Los Angeles Times: Anti-sharia demonstrators face off with antifascists at site of San Bernardino terror attack.

Detroit Free Press: Two men charged in robbery, shooting of transgender woman in Detroit.

Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, TX): Aryan Circle members, associates in North Texas indicted on federal drug offenses.

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INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR THE ELIMINATION OF VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND GIRLS: NOVEMBER 25, 2017

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls

The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is an occasion for governments, international organizations and non-governmental organizations to raise public awareness of violence against women. It has been observed on November 25 each year since 2000.

Violence against women is an issue that UN and many others take seriously.
©iStockphoto.com/funky-data

What Do People Do?

Various activities are arranged around the world to draw attention to the need for continuing action to eliminate violence against women, projects to enable women and their children to escape violence and campaigns to educate people about the consequences of violence against women. Locally, women’s groups may organize rallies, communal meals, fundraising activities and present research on violence against women in their own communities.

An ongoing campaign that people are encouraged to participate in, especially around this time of the year when awareness levels for the day are high, is the “Say NO to Violence Against Women campaign”. Through the campaign, anyone can add their name to a growing movement of people who speak out to put a halt to human rights violations against women.

Public Life

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

On November 25, 1960, three sisters, Patria Mercedes Mirabal, María Argentina Minerva Mirabal and Antonia María Teresa Mirabal, were assassinated in the Dominican Republic on the orders of the Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo. The Mirabel sisters fought hard to end Trujillo’s dictatorship. Activists on women’s rights have observed a day against violence on the anniversary of the deaths of these three women since 1981.

On December 17, 1999, November 25 was designated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women by the UN General Assembly. Each year observances around the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women concentrate on a particular theme, such as “Demanding Implementation, Challenging Obstacles” (2008).

Symbols

Events around the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women are coordinated by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). The logo of this organization consists of “UNIFEM”. The letters “U” and “N” are in blue and the letters “I”, “F”, “E” and “M” are in a darker shade of this color. An image of a dove surrounded by olive branches is to the right of the word. The image of the dove incorporates the international symbol for “woman” or “women”. This is based on the symbol for the planet Venus and consists of a ring on top of a “plus” sign.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls Observances

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Thu Nov 25 2010 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Fri Nov 25 2011 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Sun Nov 25 2012 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Mon Nov 25 2013 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Tue Nov 25 2014 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Wed Nov 25 2015 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Fri Nov 25 2016 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Sat Nov 25 2017 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Sun Nov 25 2018 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Mon Nov 25 2019 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance
Wed Nov 25 2020 International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women United Nations observance

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AFRICA INDUSTRIALIZATION DAY: NOVEMBER 20, 2017

Africa Industrialization Day

Africa Industrialization Day is celebrated on November 20 each year. It is a time when governments and other organizations in many African countries examine ways to stimulate Africa’s industrialization process. It is also an occasion to draw worldwide media attention to the problems and challenges of industrialization in Africa.

Africa Industrialization Day themes have focused on business and technology in previous times.
©iStockphoto.com/bonnie jacobs

What Do People Do?

Various events are held to mark Africa Industrialization Day. Many of these involve local and national leaders and representatives of national and international non-governmental organizations. A special effort is made to unite leaders or representatives of as many African countries as possible to stimulate discussion on the industrialization of Africa and assess the progress made in the past year. The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) plays an important role in coordinating events on or around Africa Industrialization Day.

In addition, statements are delivered at UNIDO’s headquarters in Vienna, Austria. These statements are from leaders from the African Union, the Economic Commission for Africa, and the UN. It is hoped that these parties will raise global consciousness of the importance of industrialization in Africa and remind the international community that more than 30 of the world’s 50 least developed countries are located in Africa

Public Life

Africa Industrialization Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

The 25th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July 1989. During this session, November 20 was declared to be Africa Industrialization Day. On December 22, 1989, the UN General Assembly also proclaimed this date to be Africa Industrialization Day. It was first observed on November 20, 1990.

Each year events around Africa Industrialization Day concentrate on a particular theme. In the past the themes have been: “New information and communication technologies” (2002); “Acceleration of Africa’s integration in the global economy through effective industrialization and market access” (2003); “Strengthening productive capacity for poverty reduction within the framework of NEPAD” (2004); “Generating African competitiveness for sustainable market access” (2005); “Reducing poverty through sustainable industrial development” (2006); “Technology and innovation for industry: investing in people is investing in the future” (2007); and “Business through technology” (2008).

Symbols

A common symbol of Africa Industrialization Day is a geographical representation of the continent, including the island of Madagascar. Flags of international organizations in Africa, such as the African Union, or a selection of national flags may also be displayed.

Africa Industrialization Day Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Sat Nov 20 2010 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Sun Nov 20 2011 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Tue Nov 20 2012 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Wed Nov 20 2013 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 20 2014 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Fri Nov 20 2015 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Sun Nov 20 2016 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Mon Nov 20 2017 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Tue Nov 20 2018 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Wed Nov 20 2019 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance
Fri Nov 20 2020 Africa Industrialization Day United Nations observance

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UNIVERSAL CHILDREN’S DAY: NOVEMBER 20, 2017

Universal Children’s Day

The United Nations’ (UN) Universal Children’s Day, which was established in 1954, is celebrated on November 20 each year to promote international togetherness and awareness among children worldwide. UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, promotes and coordinates this special day, which also works towards improving children’s welfare.

Universal Children’s Day promotes the welfare of and understanding between children.
SOURCE: the blackhomeschool.com

What Do People Do?

Many schools and other educational institutions make a special effort to inform children of their rights according to the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Teachers stimulate their pupils to think about the differences between themselves and others and explain the idea of “rights”. In countries where the rights of children are generally well-respected, teachers may draw attention to situations in countries where this is not the case.

In some areas UNICEF holds events to draw particular attention to children’s rights. These may be to stimulate interest in the media around the world or to start nationwide campaigns, for instance on the importance of immunizations or breastfeeding.

Many countries, including Canada, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, hold Universal Children’s Day events on November 20 to mark the anniversaries of the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, other countries hold events on different dates, such as the fourth Wednesday in October (Australia) and November 14 (India). Universal Children’s Day is not observed in the United States, although a similar observance, National Child’s Day, is held on the first Sunday in June.

Public Life

Universal Children’s Day is a global observance and not a public holiday.

Background

On December 14, 1954, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should introduce an annual event from 1956 known as Universal Children’s Day to encourage fraternity and understanding between children all over the world and promoting the welfare of children. It was recommended that individual countries should choose an appropriate date for this occasion.

At the time, the UN General Assembly recommended that all countries should establish a Children’s Day on an “appropriate” date. Many of the countries respected this recommendation and the Universal Children’s Day has since been annually observed on November 20. There are however, some countries, such as Australia and India, which still chose various different dates during the year to celebrate this day.

On November 20, 1959, the UN General Assembly adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child and on November 20, 1989, it adopted the Convention on the Rights of the Child. Since 1990, Universal Children’s Day also marks the anniversary of the date that the UN General Assembly adopted both the declaration and the convention on children’s rights.

Symbols

Universal Children’s Day is part of the work carried out by UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund. UNICEF’s logo consists of an image of a mother and child, a globe, olive branches and the word “UNICEF”. All parts of the logo are in UN’s blue color, although it may be presented in white on a blue background.

Universal Children’s Day Observances

 

Weekday Date Year Name Holiday Type
Sat Nov 20 2010 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Sun Nov 20 2011 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Tue Nov 20 2012 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Wed Nov 20 2013 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Thu Nov 20 2014 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Fri Nov 20 2015 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Sun Nov 20 2016 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Mon Nov 20 2017 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Tue Nov 20 2018 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Wed Nov 20 2019 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance
Fri Nov 20 2020 Universal Children’s Day United Nations observance

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HAPPY THANKSKILLING!

In remembrance of all the innocent and defenseless Black Americans who lost their lives at the hands of sadistic, nasty, vicious, perverse, brutish, and monstrous White humans who gave not a damn about the sanctity of so many, many lives taken, I give to you, United States of America, the following thoughts for November 23, 2017.

So, when you sit down at your tables, remember all the abominations committed against Black Americans in the name of white power, white purity, white possessiveness, white racism, white inhumanity, and non-stop white terrorism.

Remember all the atrocities committed by the illegal aliens from Europe……….the undocumented invaders to this hemisphere……..

that Black people have suffered under for centuries.

Lynching of Jesse Washington in Waco, Texas, May 16, 1916.

When you pick up that turkey leg, or stab a knife into the turkey breast, remember all the lynching picnics and barbecues held by throngs of thousands, while Black women, Black men, and little Black children were burned, tortured, and torn apart, their body parts sold as souvenirs, by soulless, dead on the inside things that looked like humans—but were not.

Lynching of Laura Nelson and her 14-year-old son, L.D. Nelson, May 25, 1911, Okemah, Oklahoma.

Laura Nelson.

L.D. Nelson.

When you fill your mouth full of dressing, cranberry sauce, green beans, salads and desserts, remember the entire all-Black towns that were burned to the ground; all the Black people destroyed because of some filthy lie that a White woman vomited out of her mouth. The Rosewoods. The Greenwoods. The Slocums.

As you cram down your throat pumpkin pie with all the trimmings, remember the coup d’états known as Wilmington, North Carolina and Colfax, Louisiana.

Yeah, that’s right.

Coup d’états.

Bet you did not know that.

As you sit back to watch football games, pause to remember all the racial pogroms.

Banished.

Leave or die.

All the Black people whose hard-won homes, land, and other properties, that were stolen by some of the biggest and most venomous thieves the world has ever known.

Forsyth County, Georgia.

Harrison (Boone County), Arkansas.

Just to name a few.

As you sit around reminiscing about the good-ol’-days, take time to remember that what constitutes the good-ol’-days for you never, ever, were good-ol’-days for millions of Black people—and still are not.

When you push away from the table, stuffed, almost unable to move, realize that by remaining silent about the present atrocities that Black women, men, and children suffer through in this so-called land of the free, so-called land of the brave, makes you just as guilty (and more so) as those who raped, murdered, burned, castrated and enslaved so many Black people.

Just as guilty as the race soldiers, who shot down unarmed Black women, men and children. Just because they have a badge and a gun to be the paddyrollers of the 21ST Century.

The racist-can’t-wait-to shoot-to-death criminal citizens who have murdered Black women and girls.

Remember Eleanor Bumpers.

Sandra Bland.

Deborah Pearl.

So, while you chew on all of the aforementioned, remember that The Great Whore of Babylon has much to answer for.

And not very much to be thankful for.

Just remember, that it was Black people you came after the most and in the most vicious of ways.

Everything that has been done to Black people, you have done to yourselves.

You have sown the seeds, the harvest will come in due time.

Amen.

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IN REMEMBRANCE: 11-19-2017

EARLE HYMAN, BILL COSBY’S FATHER ON ‘THE COSBY SHOW’

Earle Hyman before his induction into the Theater Hall of Fame in 1997. 

Credit Ron Frehm/Associated Press

Earle Hyman, who broke racial stereotypes on Broadway and in Scandinavia in works by Shakespeare and Ibsen but was better known to millions of Americans as Bill Cosby’s father on “The Cosby Show,” died on Friday in Englewood, N.J. He was 91.

His death was confirmed by Jordan Strohl, a representative for The Actors Fund.

Like many actors who love the stage, Mr. Hyman paid the bills with television work — soap operas and police dramas, “Hallmark Hall of Fame” and “The United States Steel Hour,” and made-for-TV movies. Most memorably, he played Russell Huxtable, the father of Dr. Cliff Huxtable, in 40 episodes of Mr. Cosby’s hugely popular NBC situation comedy about an upper-middle-class black family, broadcast from 1984 to 1992.

Although he was only 11 years older than Mr. Cosby, Mr. Hyman was an authoritative father figure, sometimes reciting Shakespeare at length — in scenes especially tailored to Mr. Hyman’s classical talents — when sage advice was required for his son.

But in a stage career that bridged oceans, languages and racial sensibilities, he also played the traditionally white roles of Hamlet, Macbeth and Lear in New York and London and the black roles of Othello, Eugene O’Neill’s Emperor Jones and the chauffeur in Alfred Uhry’s “Driving Miss Daisy” in Norway, Denmark and Sweden. There he electrified audiences and critics performing in their native languages, albeit with an American accent.

He was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in New York in 1997.

Mr. Hyman appeared on and off Broadway in a score of productions over six decades, a lifetime of Beckett, O’Neill, Pinter, Albee and lesser lights as well as Shakespeare and Ibsen. And for nearly as long, he worked part of each year on the stages of Norway, where he had homes in Oslo and the fjord country, refuges from what he called the pressures, pleasures and racial barriers of New York.

“It used to be that casting black actors in traditionally white roles seemed daring, like marching in the street, and maybe things have gotten better and maybe they haven’t,” Mr. Hyman told The New York Times in 1991. “But just the fact that people still ask that question — should we or shouldn’t we? — proves that things have not come a long way.

“In Norway, where I have performed for three decades, I have played a Norwegian archbishop and no one has raised a question,” he added. “Here I am almost 65 years old and I’m still saying that all roles should be available to all actors of talent, regardless of race. Why should I be deprived of seeing a great black actress play Hedda Gabler?”

With young contemporaries like James Earl Jones, Sidney Poitier, Harry Belafonte and Morgan Freeman, Mr. Hyman was a major influence in developing black theater in America. He appeared in black-cast productions on Broadway and in regional theaters and was a founder of the American Shakespeare Festival in Stratford, Conn., which began in 1955 and often cast black actors in customarily white leading roles.

Skirting racial barriers that had long limited the opportunities for black actors in America, Mr. Hyman lived and worked in England for five years and spent parts of each year in Scandinavia, mostly in Norway, for more than a half century. He became fluent in Norwegian and Danish, spoke passable Swedish, and performed in Oslo, Copenhagen and Stockholm in plays by Shakespeare, Ibsen and O’Neill.

After his debut at the National Theater in Bergen in “Othello” in 1963, Mr. Hyman, the first American to perform for Norwegians in their own language, was hailed by Norwegian critics, inundated with offers to stay on and besieged by fans from across a land of reserved people rarely given to emotional displays. After 50 consecutive sellouts, he was also drawing international attention.

“Even speaking Norwegian with an American accent has not diminished Mr. Hyman’s achievement for Norway’s critics and its theatrically sophisticated audiences,” a correspondent for The Christian Science Monitor wrote. “Along with the eloquence, dignity and towering emotional force of his characterization, the clarity of Mr. Hyman’s diction has won him admiration.”

George Earle Hyman was born in Rocky Mount, N.C., on Oct. 11, 1926, one of four children of Zachariah and Maria Plummer Hyman, who were both teachers. The family moved to Brooklyn when he was a boy. He graduated with honors from Franklin K. Lane High School, where he studied French and Latin.

Captivated by a production of Ibsen’s “Ghosts” that he saw in Brighton Beach, he resolved to be an actor. He devoured plays by Ibsen and Shakespeare, memorized parts easily and at 16 performed on Broadway in “Run, Little Chillun.”

His first Broadway hit, in 1944, was “Anna Lucasta,” Philip Yordan’s play about a Polish family, turned into a story about blacks, with an American Negro Theater cast that also included Alice Childress, Hilda Simms and Canada Lee. It ran 957 performances and was one of Broadway’s longest-running nonmusical plays at the time. After it closed in 1946, Mr. Hyman toured with the company in America and Europe.

Finding little work on Broadway in the early ’50s, he moved to London and over several years performed 13 roles in 10 Shakespeare plays, including the lead in a televised “Hamlet.” He played Othello in 1957 with the American Shakespeare Festival in Connecticut, and that year visited Norway for the first time. He was enthralled by a nation with an almost colorblind perspective on race.

“The first time I stepped on that soil I fell in love with it,” Mr. Hyman told The Associated Press in 1988. “I felt I’d been there before.”

Mr. Hyman, who never married, lived at the Lillian Booth Actors Home in Englewood. He leaves no immediate survivors.

He appeared in a number of made-for-television films and movies, including “Macbeth” (1968), “Julius Caesar” (1979) and “Coriolanus” (1979). He also provided voices for numerous episodes of the 1980s animated TV series “ThunderCats.”

He was nominated for a Tony for his 1980 Broadway role in Edward Albee’s “The Lady From Dubuque,” and for an Emmy in 1986 for his “Cosby Show” work. He won a CableACE Award in 1983 for best actor in a drama for “Long Day’s Journey Into Night”; an Outstanding Pioneer Award in 1980 from the Audience Development Committee, which recognized achievements by black theater artists; and the Medal of St. Olav from the King of Norway in 1988 for his work there.

SOURCE: The New York Times

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MEL TILLIS, COUNTRY STAR KNOWN FOR HIS SONGS AND HIS STUTTER

 

 

Mel Tillis at his theater in Branson, Mo., in 1998. Credit Mel Tillis Theater

Mel Tillis, whose career as a country singer and the writer of enduring hit songs like “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” earned him a place in the Country Music Hall of Fame and a National Medal of Arts — but who was equally well known for the stutter he employed to humorous and self-deprecating effect onstage — died on Sunday in Ocala, Fla. He was 85.

Mr. Tillis “battled intestinal issues since early 2016 and never fully recovered,” his publicist, Don Murry Grubbs, said in a statement. The suspected cause of death was respiratory failure, he said.

Mr. Tillis found a way to turn his speech impediment into an asset by using his ready smile and innate comedic timing to get his audiences to laugh along with him. He stuttered his way to regular appearances on television talk shows and to clowning bit parts in Hollywood movies.

He even went so far as to make the nickname Stutterin’ Boy, conferred upon him by the singer Webb Pierce, the title of his autobiography (written with Walter Wager and published in 1984), and to have it painted on the side of his tour bus. He also named his personal airplane Stutter One and referred to his female backup singers as the Stutterettes.

Mr. Tillis stuttered only when he spoke, not when he sang. His resonant baritone was suited to both traditional country and pop-leaning material and was the vehicle for upward of 70 Top 40 country hits. His stutter might not have figured so prominently in his career had he focused exclusively on songwriting, or had the country entertainer Minnie Pearl, for whom he played rhythm guitar in the 1950s, not asked him to perform some of his songs in her show.

Mr. Tillis was named entertainer of the year by the Country Music Association in 1976. 

Credit Associated Press

“She’d get me off to one side and say, ‘Melvin, you’re gonna at least have to announce your songs, and then thank the folks,’” Mr. Tillis said, recalling Pearl’s response to his hesitancy about speaking in public, in an interview published in the newsletter of the International Songwriters Association in 2002.

“I was so bashful and scared,” he went on, “and she said, ‘If they laugh they’ll be laughing with you, not against you.’ And I began to tell anecdotes that had happened to me, and people would laugh. And I began to like that, you know.”

Mel Tillis, Glen Campbell, & Minnie Pearl – The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour (1972) – Auctioneer Video by Glen Campbell – A Tribute

Even so, he said of his speech impediment in a 1976 interview with People magazine, “One of my main objectives in life has been to whip this.”

Though at times eclipsed by his fondness for drollery, Mr. Tillis’s early artistic reputation rested on the decidedly sober material he wrote for honky-tonk singers like Mr. Pierce and Ray Price. “Detroit City,” a wistful ode to homesickness written with Danny Dill, became a Top 10 country and Top 20 pop hit for Bobby Bare in 1963.

Mr. Tillis also contributed hits to the Patsy Cline catalog, including “So Wrong,” composed with Mr. Dill and the rockabilly singer and guitarist Carl Perkins. “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” an anguished ballad sung from the perspective of a disabled Vietnam War veteran whose wife is cheating on him, was covered by numerous artists. The 1969 recording by Kenny Rogers and First Edition reached the pop Top 10 and the country Top 40.

Billed solo or with his band, the Statesiders, Mr. Tillis had six No. 1 country singles, including “Coca-Cola Cowboy,” which appeared on the soundtrack to the 1978 Clint Eastwood movie, “Every Which Way but Loose.” He placed a total of 35 singles in the country Top 10, 15 in a row from 1976 to 1981, before the hits stopped coming in the mid-1980s.

He was named entertainer of the year by the Country Music Association in 1976. He was also inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame that year and elected to the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007. He received the National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama in 2012.

Lonnie Melvin Tillis was born on Aug. 8, 1932, in Tampa, Fla. His father, Lonnie Lee, worked as a baker and played harmonica and guitar. His mother, the former Burma Rogers, came from a musical family. Together with the rousing hymns of the Baptist church, Mr. Tillis’s parents instilled in him an early love of music.

Mr. Tillis served in the Air Force from 1951 to 1955. After that he briefly attended college in Florida and worked for a railroad and as a truck driver before moving to Nashville in 1957. There he landed a songwriting job with Cedarwood Publishing for $50 a week.

He signed a contract with Columbia Records in 1958 but did not enjoy success until five years later, and then only of the middling variety, when “How Come Your Dog Don’t Bite Nobody but Me,” a novelty number he sang with Mr. Pierce, reached the country Top 40.

Mr. Tillis went on to record for a number of labels and release some 60 albums, among them “Mel & Nancy” (1981), a collection of duets with the daughter of his friend Frank Sinatra. He also had minor roles in comedic action films like “Smokey and the Bandit II” (1980) and “The Cannonball Run” (1981) and appeared regularly on TV talk and variety shows including “The Tonight Show” and “The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour.”

A savvy entrepreneur, Mr. Tillis established a number of successful business ventures, including song publishing and film production companies, a music theater in Branson, Mo., and a 1,400-acre working farm, where he raised cattle, corn and tobacco, in Ashland City, Tenn., west of Nashville.

He is survived by his longtime partner, Kathy DeMonaco; his first wife and the mother of five of his children, Doris Tillis; a sister, Linda Crosby; a brother, Richard Tillis; six children: Pam Tillis, Connie Tillis, Cindy Shorey, Mel Tillis Jr. (known as Sonny), Carrie April Tillis and Hannah Puryear; six grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

His daughter Pam, a singer and songwriter, released a tribute album to him, “It’s All Relative: Tillis Sings Tillis,” in 2002.

Exploiting his speech impediment for laughs might not have been politically correct, but Mr. Tillis knew that living with a disability had its serious side.

“Stuttering brings out some very strange reactions,” he wrote in his autobiography. “It makes some folks feel nervous and uncomfortable, while others laugh because they find it funny. A lot of people think I’m putting it on. But I don’t worry about that because people who stutter know I stutter. And that’s what counts.

“Yes, I’ve made a lot of money talking this way. But I didn’t ask to be called the singer who stutters. Sometimes I feel the stutter is bigger than the song. I like to think that I have some God-given talent, too.”

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SKYWATCH: LIGO SEES SMALLEST BLACK HOLE BINARY YET, SKY-SWEEPING TELESCOPE SEES FIRST LIGHT, AND MORE

LATEST NEWS

LIGO Sees Smallest Black Hole Binary Yet

Sky & Telescope
LIGO has detected another black hole merger, raising the tally to five. Read more…

Sky-sweeping Telescope Sees First Light

Sky & Telescope
The Zwicky Transient Facility has taken its first image, covering an area equivalent to 247 full Moons in a single shot. This beginning is part of an ongoing sea change in astronomy. Read more…

Planet Orbits Quiet Star 11 Light-years Away

Sky & Telescope
Astronomers have discovered a potentially rocky planet around a red dwarf star just 11 light-years away. Read more…

Orbital Path Podcast: The 11 Dimensions of Brian Greene

Sky & Telescope
In this episode of Orbital Path, we hear from Brian Greene on the coming paradigm shift in physics as current theories fail to adequately explain quantum entanglement. Read more…

NASA Completes Critical Parachute Test for Mars 2020 Rover

Sky & Telescope
A suborbital launch from Wallops Flight Facility tested a critical piece of landing hardware for the Mars 2020 rover. Read more…

OBSERVING HIGHLIGHTS

This Week’s Sky at a Glance, November 17 – 25

Sky & Telescope
Challenge planets, faint fuzzies naked-eye, and an explanation of why the Sun may already be setting near its earliest for you, all in this week’s Sky at a Glance! Read more…

Fishing for Double Stars in Pisces

Sky & Telescope
Pisces, that sprawling constellation of faint stars easy to ignore, holds a treasure trove of double stars for small telescopes. Read more…

Tour November’s Sky: Predawn Planets

Sky & Telescope

As you’ll hear in this month’s astronomy podcast, Venus and Jupiter are putting on quite a show low in the east before dawn. Read more…

COMMUNITY

Astrophotography: Imaging Foundations

Sky & Telescope
Astrophotographer Richard S. Wright, Jr. embarks on his imaging blog. Join him each month to learn how to get the most out of your imaging equipment. Read more…

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