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Obituaries in the News

February 27, 2003

LONDON (AP) _ Historian Christopher Hill, a Marxist whose reinterpretation of the 17th century changed the way Britons regard the English revolution, died Monday. He was 91.

In books such as ``The World Turned Upside Down″ (1972), Hill reclaimed a largely forgotten radical tradition, exploring the many groups _ including Diggers, Ranters and Levelers _ that challenged the monarchy in the 17th century.

Born in the northeastern English city of York, Hill attended the city’s St. Peter’s School before studying at Balliol College, the start of an academic association only ended 47 years later when he retired as master.

He read Marx while an undergraduate but remained vague about the timing of his conversion to Marxism. But by the time he graduated he had joined the Communist Party and he spent 1935 in the Soviet Union, where he became enamored of Russian life, although not Soviet politics.

During World War II, Hill joined the army’s intelligence corps and was seconded to the Foreign Office.

In 1940, he published his decisive essay, ``The English Revolution 1640,″ a hard-hitting look at revolutionary pressures in England after 1640 when parliamentary forces overthrew the monarchy. In it, he challenged the traditional view that these years were just an aberration in the stately progress of English history.

After the Soviet invasion of Hungary in 1956, Hill became frustrated with the Communist Party’s reluctance to criticize the Soviet Union and later broke with it.

Rev. E.V. Hill

LOS ANGELES (AP) _ The Rev. E.V. Hill, who worked with civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. and later became the pastor of Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church in Los Angeles, died Monday. He was 69.

Hill became pastor of Mt. Corinth Missionary Baptist Church in Houston at age 21. While there, he was one of seven black pastors who joined King in forming the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which became central to the civil rights struggle. Hill nominated King as president of the conference.

He came to Los Angeles in 1961 to become pastor of Mt. Zion. Eleven years later, he was elected as the youngest president of the California State Baptist Convention. He also served as co-chairman of the Baptist World Alliance, and was an associate professor of evangelism for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.

Hill was a leader in the National Baptist Convention, the nation’s largest grouping of black churches, and in 1998 he defended the denomination’s disgraced president, the Rev. Henry Lyons, who was found guilty of racketeering.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Tom Glazer, a folk singer best known for fanciful children’s songs including one about a mountain of spaghetti, died Friday at his home in Philadelphia. He was 88.

A cause of death was not immediately given.

Glazer was one of a group of folk singers, including Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Josh White and Burl Ives, who helped popularize folk music in the 1940s.

Glazer’s best-remembered song, though not his own favorite, was ``On Top of Spaghetti,″ a 1963 hit sung to the tune of ``On Top of Old Smoky.″ The song, featuring a wayward meatball, had a chorus of children singing lines like ``On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese.″

Another in the loose coalition of musicians, Pete Seeger, remembered Glazer as a solid performer.

``He wasn’t fancy,″ Seeger said Tuesday. ``He was just straightforward. He had a good sense of humor.″

Glazer was born in Philadelphia and hitchhiked to New York when he was 17. He later went to Washington, worked at the Library of Congress and befriended Alan Lomax, who established the library’s Archive of American Folk Song.

In 1945, he started an ABC radio show, ``Tom Glazer’s Ballad Box.″ He was host of a weekly concert show for children in the 1960s on WQXR radio in New York.

Glazer also wrote books about music and composed songs recorded by Frank Sinatra, Perry Como and the Kingston Trio.

Albert Hibbs

PASADENA, Calif. (AP) _ Albert Hibbs, a NASA engineer known as the ``Voice of JPL″ for his work as a broadcast spokesman for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory’s earliest solar system missions, died Monday. He was 78.

The Ohio native joined JPL as a research engineer in 1950. He held a variety of technical jobs, including system designer of the first U.S. satellite, Explorer I. While at JPL, he earned a doctorate in physics from the California Institute of Technology, which manages the lab for NASA.

Hibbs was best known for his work in popularizing JPL’s unmanned missions of exploration. He served as lab spokesman for the Surveyor missions to the moon; the Mariner missions to Mars, Venus and Mars; the Viking mission to Mars; and the Voyager mission to the outer planets.

He also worked in television and radio, winning the George Foster Peabody Broadcasting Award in 1963 as host of the NBC weekly TV show ``Exploring.″

Chuck Lampkin

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) _ Chuck Lampkin, a drummer who played with Dizzy Gillespie and other jazz greats before becoming one of the first blacks to be a television news anchor, died Feb. 10. He was believed to be 78.

He was among those credited with introducing Brazil’s bossa nova music to the United States, said his widow, Gail Lampkin.

Lampkin suffered kidney failure in 1999, and had a stroke several years later, his widow said. She declined to give the cause of death, but said he had been awaiting a kidney transplant.

Lampkin was believed to be 78, said the Rev. Dale Lind, a pastor to the jazz community who conducted a memorial service Feb. 18 at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church in New York.

Besides Gillespie, Lampkin’s credits include albums with Eddie ``Lockjaw″ Davis, Eddie Harris and Rex Stewart.

In addition he performed with Duke Ellington, Sarah Vaughn, and worked with Quincy Jones,″ according to a family friend.

It is unclear why Lampkin moved from jazz to broadcasting sometime in the mid-1960s. Some friends speculate that the experience of serving in the military in the 1950s changed the direction of his career.

Lampkin was considered one of the nation’s first black anchors in 1970 at WIVB-TV in Buffalo, N.Y. He also anchored at WDSU-TV in New Orleans, and hosted its ``Cookin’ with Soul″.

Ernie Mills

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) _ Veteran state Capitol reporter Ernie Mills, whose reports on politics were broadcast on television and radio stations statewide, died Wednesday. He was 76.

Mills was a newsman in New Mexico for more than four decades, and was at the center of one of the biggest stories _ the Feb. 2-3, 1980, riot at the state penitentiary that left 33 inmates dead.

After being asked, he went inside to negotiate with prisoners who were holding guards hostage.

He became managing editor of the Gallup Independent in 1956, and two years later became chief of the Albuquerque Journal’s Capitol bureau in Santa Fe.

He left journalism in 1960 for five years to do political consulting, then returned to do statewide radio broadcasts from Santa Fe.

His daily commentary, ``Dateline New Mexico,″ was broadcast most recently by nearly 20 radio stations statewide, Lorene Mills said. He did the report for about 35 years, she said. His twice-daily news report, ``Roundhouse and Capitol Report,″ also was broadcast by the stations.

He is survived by his wife, their daughter Joy, and three children by previous marriages, Edmund Mills, Kenneth Mills and Margaret Mills; six grandchildren and one great-grandchild, the family said.

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