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Obituaries in the News

August 18, 2004

Melvin Endsley

DRASCO, Ark. (AP) _ Melvin Endsley, a songwriter best known for his hit ``Singing the Blues,″ died of heart complications Monday, his family said. He was 70.

Endsley’s song-writing career began in the 1950s. ``Singing the Blues″ spent 10 weeks at No. 1 in 1956 and has been covered by more than 100 artists.

Endsley contracted polio at age 3 and spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair. He formed his first band after he was admitted to the Crippled Children’s Hospital in Memphis when he was 11.

He began writing songs early, and country-blues hits eventually earned him a spot in the Arkansas Entertainer Hall of Fame in Pine Bluff. He appeared on several television programs in the late ’50s, including the Grand Ole Opry’s ``Friday Night Frolics.″

Other of his hits include ``Knee Deep in Love,″ ``I Ain’t Getting Nowhere With You,″ and ``Bring the Blues to My Door.″ He wrote more than 400 songs.

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William H. Harlan

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ William H. Harlan, the retired University of Florida swimming coach who led the Gators to eight conference titles, died Tuesday, school officials said. He was 83.

Harlan was a six-time Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year and his teams won eight SEC titles from 1963-1976.

As a 5-year-old he was the mascot of the 1927 Gators baseball team, then became the football mascot a year later. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Florida after his military service in World War II. He captained the university’s swim team in 1948.

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