Phil Walden, 66, the Capricorn Records founder who launched the careers of Otis Redding and the Allman Brothers Band, died Sunday in Atlanta after a long battle with cancer, his family said yesterday.
The Macon, Ga.-based record label, founded in 1969, was influential in bringing together rock, country and blues artists who crafted a new style exemplified by groups like the Allmans and the Charlie Daniels Band, another act discovered by Mr. Walden.
"Phil was a visionary," said Chuck Leavell, who joined the Allman Brothers on keyboards in 1972 and now plays with the Rolling Stones. "He just had a great vision and a true, deep passion for the music."
Mr. Walden's long career began when he was a college student at Mercer University in Macon, where he helped break down racial barriers in the Deep South by booking predominantly black bands for white college and high school parties.
His two most famous artists, Mr. Redding and guitarist Duane Allman, died tragically - Mr. Redding in a plane crash in 1967 at age 26 and Mr. Allman in a motorcycle accident in 1971 at age 24.
Mr. Walden had met Mr. Redding in Macon in the 1950s, when both were teenagers. Redding became a top rhythm and blues star in the 1960s and was on the brink of wider acclaim when he died. He had recorded "(Sittin' On) The Dock Of The Bay" days earlier. It became a smash hit in 1968.
"Starting with Otis has really been the story of my career," Mr. Walden told the Associated Press in 1997. "I don't sing, I don't write, I don't perform, I don't produce. But I've had these incredible associations over some 40 years in this industry with some of the most incredibly talented people."
Over the years, Mr. Walden endured rocky times at Capricorn, including bankruptcy proceedings and a late 1970s lawsuit by the Allmans, in which the courts ruled the band had been underpaid for album sales, and in recent years talked openly about his struggles with drug and alcohol abuse.
Mr. Walden sold the rights to Capricorn's contracts and music catalog in 2000.
Rabbi Moses Teitelbaum, 91, worldwide spiritual leader of an ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect, died yesterday in a New York City hospital.
The rebbe, or grand rabbi, of the Satmar Hassidim, he had been under treatment for spinal cancer and other ailments. The group has about 120,000 followers worldwide, according to sociologist Samuel Heilman, with large congregations in Brooklyn and the village of Kiryas Joel, 45 miles northwest of New York.
The sect takes its name from the town of Satu Mare in present-day Romania.
Rabbi Teitelbaum was born in Siget, in present-day Romania. He escaped Nazi persecution during World War II and came to the U.S. in 1946. He took over leadership of the Satmar sect from his uncle, Rabbi Joel Teitelbaum, who died in 1979.
Alexis Bespaloff, 71, wine columnist for New York Magazine for more than two decades, the author of six books on wine and a frequent contributor to food, wine and travel magazines, died of cancer Saturday at his home in Las Cruces, N.M.
Mr. Bespaloff joined the ranks of prominent wine writers with publication of The Signet Book of Wine in 1971. A nontechnical introduction to what was then a forbidding subject to most Americans, The Signet Book was revised and expanded in 1980 and again in 1985, selling well more than a million copies.
Alexis Bespaloff's Guide to Inexpensive Wines appeared in 1973, and a literary anthology, The Fireside Book of Wine, was published in 1977. His revision and update of The Frank Schoonmaker Encyclopedia of Wine, first published in 1964, appeared in 1988. His magazine column ran from 1972 until 1996.