Monday, June 06, 2011
Bobby Wheeler RIP
In case you haven't heard, Jeff Conaway passed away last week. The last half of his life was pretty sad with his descent into drug addiction and depression. I always loved him in TAXI and I loved the fact that he played the part of a struggling actor trying to get on Broadway. Of course, in real life he had success on the great white way before he even graduated from college. He landed a gig as the understudy for several roles in the 50s rock musical, Grease (including Danny Zuko, the lead). He eventually replaced Barry Bostwick as the lead and starred in the show as Danny for 2 1/2 years while his friend John Travolta played Doody. By the time the film version came about, there was no denying Travolta the lead since he was one of the biggest stars in the world at the time but (as we all know) Conaway was given the role of Kenickie. Of course, then came TAXI and the rest is history.
In 1979, at the height of his popularity, Jeff Conaway released a self titled album. What amazes me about this album is the fact that the person singing is a well respected singer from the Broadway stage but you would never know it by listening to this. In every song, he uses a brash, throaty sound that makes him sound like he can't sing at all. It's quite sad really. But in any event, I present it for you as my special tribute to his memory. Here is "Jeff Conaway". Enjoy!