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Edgewater Resident Who Worked With Stars From Fred Astaire To David Bowie Dies at 98

Ken Nordine, Facebook

Edgewater resident Ken Nordine, one of the most celebrated voices in both radio and television, died this past Saturday at the age of 98.

Nordine had a very fruitful career as a “Word Jazz” artist working alongside a celebrity crowd while creating radio shows, commercials, movie trailers and spoken-word records. Through his colorful life he collaborated with the likes of stars such as David Bowie and Jerry Garcia. His work was truly diverse lending his voice to a multitude of well known commercials for Levi’s, Gallo Wine and Magnavox.  He was Linda Blair’s vocal coach for the exorcist in 1973 and performed alongside Fred Astaire on NBC in 1959.

During his life he made several highly praised spoken word albums. At the 22nd Grammy Awards in 1979, he was nominated for best spoken word, Documentary or drama recording for his album Stare With Your Ears. He was again nominated in 1992 at the 35th Grammy Awards for Best spoken word or non-musical album category for Devout Catalyst.
Nordine was born in Cherokee, Iowa in 1920 and later moved with his family to Chicago. He attended Lane Technical College Prep High School and the University of Chicago. His wife Beryl, an actress whom he married in 1945, passed away back on April 26, 2016.
Nordine was loved by many in the neighborhood, in fact a portion of street outside his home at Kenmore and Glenlake was named Ken Nordine Way. He is survived by his sons Kevin and Kris; sister Karen Bothwell; nine grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. According to a Sun-Times article his family is considering a gathering to honor him in the future.

 


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