MELVIN B. LANE, 85 Magazine publisher
Melvin B. Lane, former publisher of Sunset magazine and a Stanford University trustee, died Saturday in Atherton, Calif., of complications from Parkinson's disease.
Mr. Lane, former co-owner and publisher of Lane Publishing Co. and Sunset Magazine and Books, was a major force at his alma mater, playing key roles in the creation of Stanford's long-range land-use plan, the Center for International Security and Cooperation and the Woods Institute for the Environment. One of his biggest campus projects was a fundraising campaign to restore Stanford's Memorial Church after the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake.
Lane's family moved from Des Moines, Iowa, to San Francisco in 1928, when his father bought the fledgling travel magazine Sunset. Mr. Lane attended Palo Alto High School and Pomona College and graduated from Stanford University in 1944.
After serving in the Navy during World War II, he began working in the family business. He led a new book division dedicated to do-it-yourself home improvements and helped the magazine become one of the nation's best-known regional publications. In 1990, the family sold Lane Publishing Co. to Time Warner.
In 1972, Gov. Ronald Reagan appointed Mr. Lane the first chairman of the California Coastal Commission, which oversaw conservation and land-use initiatives along 1,100 miles of coastline. He was also active in other environmental organizations, including the Peninsula Open Space Trust and World Wildlife Fund.
OLIVER MORGAN, 74 Rhythm and blues vocalist
Oliver Morgan, a New Orleans rhythm & blues vocalist best known for his 1964 hit "Who Shot the La La," died Tuesday in his home in Atlanta. He had suffered a heart attack about two weeks ago.
Mr. Morgan grew up in New Orleans' 9th Ward alongside Fats Domino, Jessie Hill and Smiley Lewis. He sang in church and with friends from the neighborhood and recorded his first single in 1961 for AFO Records under the pseudonym "Nookie Boy."
Three years later, "Who Shot the La La," a whimsical take on the mysterious 1963 death of singer Lawrence "Prince La La" Nelson - who was not shot, but died of an apparent drug overdose - became his first and only national hit.
The strutting party anthem featured keyboardist Eddie Bo, who is credited as the song's writer even though Mr. Morgan claimed to have written it.
Mr. Morgan toured nationally on the strength of the song but eventually settled back into the life of a local entertainer. In nightclubs and at the annual New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, he performed with his trademark second-line umbrella. Mr. Morgan did not release a full-length album until 1998's I'm Home, which was produced by Allen Toussaint and issued by his NYNO Music label.
ALAN POTTASCH, 79 Created Pepsi ads
Alan Maxwell Pottasch, who was behind such iconic ad campaigns as the "Pepsi Generation," died in his sleep Friday in Los Angeles, where he was working on a TV commercial, PepsiCo Inc. said. Though he retired in 1991, he continued to work for the company as a consultant.
Mr. Pottasch was the creative force behind five decades of Pepsi advertising campaigns, the company said. He started working for the company in 1957, and as a marketer recognized the shift from promoting products to selling a way of life.
He produced ads such as the famous 1980s Pepsi commercials that starred Michael Jackson, as well as those featuring celebrities such as Lionel Richie, Ray Charles, Michael J. Fox, Cindy Crawford, Britney Spears and Beyonce.
He held a bachelor's degree in creative writing from Pennsylvania State University. He also attended directing school in New York and participated in the advanced management program at Harvard Business School.
Mr. Pottasch lived in New Fairfield, Conn.
BARTHOLOMEW KINCH, 86
Wire service editor
Former United Press International editor Bartholomew Kinch, who was one of the last people to interview bandleader Glenn Miller before he vanished and who helped cover events such as man's first moon landing, died Sunday, his son, Richard Kinch, said. He had been hospitalized last week for a series of tests, but they turned up only relatively minor ailments, and the cause of his death was unclear, his son said.
Mr. Kinch was an editor for many years on UPI's national desk in Manhattan, helping to cover major news developments, including the anti-Vietnam War movement, the Watergate scandal and the first human landing on the moon.
After growing up in Malverne, Mr. Kinch joined the Army during World War II and served as a correspondent with the 8th Air Force in England.
He interviewed Mr. Miller in England just before the musician took off in December 1944 on a fatal flight to Paris.
Mr. Kinch joined United Press in 1946 and retired in 1983.