Peter Schickele & Jack Burke Jr.
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Schickele, a Juilliard-trained musician and humorist whose parody albums earned him four consecutive Grammy awards in the 1990s, died Jan. 16 at age 88. In his early career, Schickele composed film scores, orchestrated Joan Baez albums, and played the bassoon with a symphony. Along the way, he wrote classical music parodies under the pen name P.D.Q. Bach, the supposedly forgotten youngest son of the classical composer. While Schickele continued his more serious work, it was his P.D.Q. Bach persona that sold out concert halls and won Grammys. As his parody gained popularity, Schickele ran with it, writing a fictional 1976 biography of the character and even inventing fanciful instruments such as the dill piccolo (for sour notes).
Jack Burke Jr.
A golfer whose hot streak in 1956 led to two major championships, Burke died Jan. 19. He was 100. The son of a professional golfer, Burke qualified for the U.S. Open at age 16. After serving in the Marine Corps, Burke returned to professional golf. In 1952, he won four professional tournaments in a row and at year’s end won the PGA’s Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average. Four years later, he got hot again. Down by eight strokes going into the final round, Burke came from behind to win the 1956 Masters. Three months later, he’d win the PGA Championship. Burke co-founded Champions Golf Club in Houston in 1957, finally selling the club to his son in 2021.