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"SEI" 2002 Obituary


SEIDEL  SEILLIER  SEILS 

SEIDEL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2002-11-26 published
Folk singer, ad man penned lyrics
Travellers founder, political backroomer, rewrote This Land with a Canadian twist
By Charles MANDEL Special to The Globe and Mail Tuesday, November 26, 2002 -- Page R11
Wordsmith and marketing executive Jerry GOODIS, as well-known for his advertising slogans as for rewriting This Land Is Our Land for the landmark folk group The Travellers, has died at age 73.
Mr. GOODIS's facility with words ranged from the nationalistic pride of the folksong's lyrics, to the crassly commercial but nonetheless equally memorable Harvey's Makes Your Hamburger a Beautiful Thing. "His forte was the spoken word," said Jerry GRAY/GREY, a life-long friend of Mr. GOODIS's. "He could sell anything to anybody, as happened later in the advertising business."
A jazz fan who loved the music of Stan KENTON and Woody HERMAN, Mr. GOODIS was the son of a union organizer/tailor in Toronto's garment district. He studied art at the city's Central Technical High School, but gained his real education through the Communist-leaning United Jewish People's Order to which both his and Mr. GRAY/GREY's parents belonged.
In the early 1950s, both Mr. GOODIS and Mr. GRAY/GREY sang in the United Jewish People's Order's youth choir, a group of some 18 kids that would travel around Ontario and sing folk music and labour songs on picket lines. The youngsters spent summers at the United Jewish People's Order's camp, Naivelt, northwest of Toronto, where they'd sing songs and swap stories at informal hootenannies. The mother of Zal YANOVSKY -- he would go on to fame as the Loving Spoonful's guitarist -- acted as camp director, and renowned American folksinger Pete SEEGER was a frequent visitor. "It was a cauldron of folk music," Mr. GRAY/GREY recalled.
In 1953, Mr. GOODIS and Mr. GRAY/GREY, along with Gray's sister Helen, Sid DOLGAY and Oscar ROSS formed The Travellers, drawing inspiration from Mr. SEEGER and his group, The Weavers. According to authors Ted and Alex BARRIS in their book, Making Music, when The Travellers made their debut at the United Jewish People's Order's national convention in 1953, "they sang their complete repertoire of three songs, and when the audience called for more, they sang all three songs again."
In 1954, Mr. SEEGER told The Travellers they might as well rewrite Woody GUTHRIE's classic anthem to America, This Land Is Our Land, because no one south of the border could hear it at the time. Mr. GUTHRIE, Mr. SEEGER and others were under investigation as Communists and radio stations had blacklisted their music. At a house party, Mr. GOODIS and the others began playing around with the lyrics, first writing "from Newfoundland to the Vancouver Island." The group changed the song to its better-known version ("from Bonavista to the Vancouver Island") in time for a talent-hunt show on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation-Television called Pick the Stars.
The Travellers sang This Land Is Our Land on the show and the letters of acclaim from viewers poured in. In the following decade, the song became such a huge hit that when singers like Peter, Paul and Mary or the Kingston Trio came to Canada, they'd launch into the American version and then look puzzled when Canadian audiences began jeering them. "The song lives on," Mr. GRAY/GREY said. "It's The Travellers' signature song and has been since those early days."
Mr. GOODIS recorded Across Canada With The Travellers and The Travellers Sing Songs of North America with the band. Despite the group's growing fame, Mr. GOODIS remained modest about his role. His son David remembers that Mr. GOODIS would always joke he lacked talent.
"He couldn't sing, but he started the group so they couldn't kick him out," David said. "That was the line he always used to use."
As it turned out, nobody pushed Mr. GOODIS from the band. He quit in 1961 to form an ad agency that would become Goodis Goldberg Soren and go on to create some of the catchiest product slogans around. As Mr. GOODIS avidly pursued singing, he'd also fostered an equal interest in advertising. While working at his first job, cutting stencils for mimeograph machines, Mr. Goodis hit on the idea of starting a direct-mail company. With his friend and later-to-be fellow Traveller Oscar ROSS, they began Rosgood Advertising.
"We used to say, let's do it even though we're not going to make money. But we'll get samples. But we never got very far with those samples," Mr. ROSS said.
Mr. GOODIS managed advertising for a Toronto jewellery-store chain and did a catalogue for a children's-wear distributor, but it was while singing for The Travellers that he met his future ad-agency partner. Sam GOLDBERG worked as the group's music director and manager, but like Goodis he saw a future in advertising. Carl DAIR, a graphic designer, joined them, but ultimately their third partner was Al SOREN.
Their first break came when they landed the account for Hush Puppies, a then-unknown brand of shoe. They had $7,000 to launch the campaign, so for $900 the agency created a 20-second television commercial featuring a basset hound. The unlikely ad sparked sales and the accounts rolled in. The Canadian Encyclopedia reports that the firm's billings quickly reached $30-million.
Mr. GOODIS is widely credited for creating such slogans as, "We care about the shape you're in" for Wonderbra, and, "At Speedy, you're a somebody" for Speedy Muffler King. However, his colleagues said copywriters and art directors actually penned the lines. Doug LINTON, who worked as a creative director at Goodis Goldberg Soren, said Mr. GOODIS critiqued advertising brilliantly and encouraged creative thought. "He convinced the captains of industry, the people who purchased advertising, that they could make money by doing advertising that had some wit and artistry about it."
Politics also attracted Mr. GOODIS. In 1968, he attended the Liberal Party convention and came back excited over the prospects of a rising star who might one day become prime minister, Pierre TRUDEAU. " From then on, whenever election time was getting close, my dad would immerse himself in that," David GOODIS remembered. Along with Senator Keith DAVEY, Mr. GOODIS became one of Prime Minister Trudeau's most trusted re-election team members.
After leaving advertising, Mr. GOODIS founded The Jerry Goodis Business Education Group and helped set up programs for young entrepreneurs at several universities and colleges. As late as 1998, Hamilton's McMaster University hired him to help rebrand the educational institution.
After a lifetime in Toronto, Mr. GOODIS moved to Harrison Hot Springs in British Columbia, where he entered semi-retirement. In the last couple of years of his life, according to Mr. GRAY/GREY, Mr. GOODIS reunited with The Travellers, helping with publicity around a National Film Board production on the band. "I think in his later years," Mr. GRAY/GREY said, "he began to appreciate the value the Travellers had on the Canadian psyche. In many ways, he may have forgotten his roots and in later years when he wasn't doing as much in the business world, he loved what The Travellers were doing and loved the part he played. After all, he's the founder."
Mr. GOODIS died of cancer on Nov. 8. He leaves his third wife, Joyce SEIDEL- GOODIS of Harrison Hot Springs, and children Leslie, David and Noah.

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SEIDEL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2002-11-26 published
Folk singer, ad man penned lyrics
Travellers founder, political backroomer, rewrote This Land with a Canadian twist
By Charles MANDEL Special to The Globe and Mail Tuesday, November 26, 2002 -- Page R11
Wordsmith and marketing executive Jerry GOODIS, as well-known for his advertising slogans as for rewriting This Land Is Our Land for the landmark folk group The Travellers, has died at age 73.
Mr. GOODIS's facility with words ranged from the nationalistic pride of the folksong's lyrics, to the crassly commercial but nonetheless equally memorable Harvey's Makes Your Hamburger a Beautiful Thing. "His forte was the spoken word," said Jerry GRAY/GREY, a life-long friend of Mr. GOODIS's. "He could sell anything to anybody, as happened later in the advertising business."
A jazz fan who loved the music of Stan KENTON and Woody HERMAN, Mr. GOODIS was the son of a union organizer/tailor in Toronto's garment district. He studied art at the city's Central Technical High School, but gained his real education through the Communist-leaning United Jewish People's Order to which both his and Mr. GRAY/GREY's parents belonged.
In the early 1950s, both Mr. GOODIS and Mr. GRAY/GREY sang in the United Jewish People's Order's youth choir, a group of some 18 kids that would travel around Ontario and sing folk music and labour songs on picket lines. The youngsters spent summers at the United Jewish People's Order's camp, Naivelt, northwest of Toronto, where they'd sing songs and swap stories at informal hootenannies. The mother of Zal YANOVSKY -- he would go on to fame as the Loving Spoonful's guitarist -- acted as camp director, and renowned American folksinger Pete SEEGER was a frequent visitor. "It was a cauldron of folk music," Mr. GRAY/GREY recalled.
In 1953, Mr. GOODIS and Mr. GRAY/GREY, along with Gray's sister Helen, Sid DOLGAY and Oscar ROSS formed The Travellers, drawing inspiration from Mr. SEEGER and his group, The Weavers. According to authors Ted and Alex BARRIS in their book, Making Music, when The Travellers made their debut at the United Jewish People's Order's national convention in 1953, "they sang their complete repertoire of three songs, and when the audience called for more, they sang all three songs again."
In 1954, Mr. SEEGER told The Travellers they might as well rewrite Woody GUTHRIE's classic anthem to America, This Land Is Our Land, because no one south of the border could hear it at the time. Mr. GUTHRIE, Mr. SEEGER and others were under investigation as Communists and radio stations had blacklisted their music. At a house party, Mr. GOODIS and the others began playing around with the lyrics, first writing "from Newfoundland to the Vancouver Island." The group changed the song to its better-known version ("from Bonavista to the Vancouver Island") in time for a talent-hunt show on Canadian Broadcasting Corporation-Television called Pick the Stars.
The Travellers sang This Land Is Our Land on the show and the letters of acclaim from viewers poured in. In the following decade, the song became such a huge hit that when singers like Peter, Paul and Mary or the Kingston Trio came to Canada, they'd launch into the American version and then look puzzled when Canadian audiences began jeering them. "The song lives on," Mr. GRAY/GREY said. "It's The Travellers' signature song and has been since those early days."
Mr. GOODIS recorded Across Canada With The Travellers and The Travellers Sing Songs of North America with the band. Despite the group's growing fame, Mr. GOODIS remained modest about his role. His son David remembers that Mr. GOODIS would always joke he lacked talent.
"He couldn't sing, but he started the group so they couldn't kick him out," David said. "That was the line he always used to use."
As it turned out, nobody pushed Mr. GOODIS from the band. He quit in 1961 to form an ad agency that would become Goodis Goldberg Soren and go on to create some of the catchiest product slogans around. As Mr. GOODIS avidly pursued singing, he'd also fostered an equal interest in advertising. While working at his first job, cutting stencils for mimeograph machines, Mr. Goodis hit on the idea of starting a direct-mail company. With his friend and later-to-be fellow Traveller Oscar ROSS, they began Rosgood Advertising.
"We used to say, let's do it even though we're not going to make money. But we'll get samples. But we never got very far with those samples," Mr. ROSS said.
Mr. GOODIS managed advertising for a Toronto jewellery-store chain and did a catalogue for a children's-wear distributor, but it was while singing for The Travellers that he met his future ad-agency partner. Sam GOLDBERG worked as the group's music director and manager, but like Goodis he saw a future in advertising. Carl DAIR, a graphic designer, joined them, but ultimately their third partner was Al SOREN.
Their first break came when they landed the account for Hush Puppies, a then-unknown brand of shoe. They had $7,000 to launch the campaign, so for $900 the agency created a 20-second television commercial featuring a basset hound. The unlikely ad sparked sales and the accounts rolled in. The Canadian Encyclopedia reports that the firm's billings quickly reached $30-million.
Mr. GOODIS is widely credited for creating such slogans as, "We care about the shape you're in" for Wonderbra, and, "At Speedy, you're a somebody" for Speedy Muffler King. However, his colleagues said copywriters and art directors actually penned the lines. Doug LINTON, who worked as a creative director at Goodis Goldberg Soren, said Mr. GOODIS critiqued advertising brilliantly and encouraged creative thought. "He convinced the captains of industry, the people who purchased advertising, that they could make money by doing advertising that had some wit and artistry about it."
Politics also attracted Mr. GOODIS. In 1968, he attended the Liberal Party convention and came back excited over the prospects of a rising star who might one day become prime minister, Pierre TRUDEAU. " From then on, whenever election time was getting close, my dad would immerse himself in that," David GOODIS remembered. Along with Senator Keith DAVEY, Mr. GOODIS became one of Prime Minister Trudeau's most trusted re-election team members.
After leaving advertising, Mr. GOODIS founded The Jerry Goodis Business Education Group and helped set up programs for young entrepreneurs at several universities and colleges. As late as 1998, Hamilton's McMaster University hired him to help rebrand the educational institution.
After a lifetime in Toronto, Mr. GOODIS moved to Harrison Hot Springs in British Columbia, where he entered semi-retirement. In the last couple of years of his life, according to Mr. GRAY/GREY, Mr. GOODIS reunited with The Travellers, helping with publicity around a National Film Board production on the band. "I think in his later years," Mr. GRAY/GREY said, "he began to appreciate the value the Travellers had on the Canadian psyche. In many ways, he may have forgotten his roots and in later years when he wasn't doing as much in the business world, he loved what The Travellers were doing and loved the part he played. After all, he's the founder."
Mr. GOODIS died of cancer on Nov. 8. He leaves his third wife, Joyce SEIDEL- GOODIS of Harrison Hot Springs, and children Leslie, David and Noah.

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SEIDEL o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2002-11-16 published
GOODIS, Gerald (Jerry) -- Currently of Harrison Hot Springs, British Columbia and formerly of Toronto, passed away on Friday, November 8, 2002 in Chilliwack, British Columbia. Survived by his loving wife Joyce (SEIDEL.) Loving father of Leslie Ruth, David Seth and his wife Judy (PLOTKIN,) and Noah Lee. Devoted grandfather of Samuel, Joseph, Adam and Daniel. Cherished brother of Albert (Mildred) SOREN and Norman (Edie) GOODIS. Memorial service to be held at Vaughan Estate, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto on Thursday, November 21 at 1: 00 p.m. Visitation at 573 Briar Hill Avenue, Toronto following the memorial and Friday evening. If desired, donations may be made to the Canadian Cancer Society or Covenant House.

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SEILLIER o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.globe_and_mail 2002-11-25 published
The supernova of ballet
Fun-loving character dancer lived life to the fullest
By Paula CITRON
Monday, November 25, 2002 -- Page R7
Toronto -- When John CRANKO's The Taming of the Shrew entered the National Ballet of Canada's repertoire in February, 1992, there were four advertised casts, and I was slated to see them all. It was Peter OTTMANN, then a first soloist who was appearing as Lucentio, who told me about a fifth performance -- a student matinee that featured a new member of the corps de ballet as Petruchio.
When one dancer singles out another to a dance writer, you listen, and even though I was in Shrew overload, I was there that Thursday afternoon to experience the explosive dance phenomenon known as William MARRI.
His maddeningly male, politically incorrect Petruchio kicked butt and gave no quarter, and I thought he was one of the sexiest men alive, let alone that the guy could dance up a storm.
"I felt he was going to be brilliant which is why I mentioned the performance," recalled Mr. OTTMANN. " From what he was showing in rehearsal, I knew he was going to be a major player of the next generation."
Reid ANDERSON, who staged the ballet, was the National Ballet's artistic director at the time.
"One noticed immediately William's beautiful feet and legs, and handsome, chiselled features," he said from his office at the Stuttgart Ballet in Germany. "He had the raw animal charisma that I thought would be perfect for the role."
Mr. MARRI was Shakespeare's Petruchio in real life, too -- a hard-drinking, hard-living, fun-loving bon vivant with an appetite for excitement.
His death in Manhattan on Nov. 16 -- just two days before his 34th birthday -- was a shock, but not the manner of his going. His motorcycle collided with a cab and three operations couldn't save him.
Mr. MARRI often alluded to the notion that he would die young on his beloved bike. Perhaps that's why he lived every moment to the fullest.
"He had a James DEAN quality about him," said National Ballet principal dancer Rex HARRINGTON, "like he was doomed to live fast, die young and become a supernova."
Mr. MARRI was in New York because he was the second cast lead in the Twyla THARP/Billy JOEL dance musical hit Movin' Out. The company had been searching for over six months for an acting dancer to play Eddie in the matinees until they found Mr. MARRI. "He was hungry, a quality I admire," Ms. THARP said. "He came to a role that was already defined, but he made it his own."
Perhaps the most astonishing fact about Mr. MARRI was that he didn't begin serious dance training until he was 19.
Born and raised in Montreal, he had an unsettled early life. His parents separated when he was young and he had a volatile relationship with his father. By his teens, Mr. MARRI was a street-smart, dyslexic dropout hanging out in bad company. He had also been a beach bum in Hawaii, and in fact, when he got the Broadway role earlier this year, he moved to the New Jersey shore so he could surf every morning before going to the theatre.
He became interested in classical dance after seeing Jorge DUNN of the Bjart company perform in a movie. More to the point, he told Friends later, a dance school was home to a plethora of half-naked women in leotards.
Vincent WARREN, his first teacher at L'cole suprieure de danse du Qubec, remembered a guy who walked in off the street in 1987 wearing a tattered track suit on a bronzed body that was born to dance. Daniel SEILLIER, his second teacher, recalled the big personality whose wildness manifested itself in a maniacal urge to succeed.
After graduating, Mr. MARRI spent the summer at the Banff Centre's dance program where he solidified his legend as a Casanova.
He joined the National in 1990, and while not quite the stately prince with beautiful lines, he excelled in the dramatic, demi-character roles requiring both strong technique and acting.
Mr. MARRI never held back on-stage nor in his personal life, said James KUDELKA, the National's artistic director. Close Friends like Richard LANDRY and Christopher BODY from the National, and Sean D'ANDRADE, who works in hospitality, are full of William MARRI stories, many unprintable. He was a man who loved women and possessed an unrelenting sexual appetite. He could carouse all night and still show up for work the next day. As former dancer Joanna IVEY says: "If you knew him a short time, he was your friend. If you knew him a long time, he was your brother."
Mr. MARRI was a man who believed in a male code of nobility and loyalty.
Even so, women like ballet orchestra violist Valerie KUINKA adored him because he was spiritual and tender. Principal dancer Greta HODGKINSON, who was romantically involved with Mr. MARRI for more than five years, said he was vulnerable and sensitive yet brutally honest.
Complex, vain and intelligent, a suave French-Canadian who had exquisite taste, Mr. MARRI was a man of many facets. He loved watching cartoons and collecting comic books and he was interested in the supernatural. He was a master chess and pool player and an avid golfer, and also a superb cook, gourmand and wine savant. In fact, he dreamed of opening up a restaurant with his good friend, tenor Richard MARGISON, and their favourite conversations were about the world's best wines and tequilas.
Although fiercely dedicated to his craft, Mr. MARRI often refused to do press interviews or go to receptions. When he did attend, he acted outrageously. Yet, in his final years at the National, he took it upon himself to be gadfly to such talented youngsters as first soloist Guillaume COT.
"It was scary at first, but I think he saw I had the potential to become self-absorbed and egotistical," Mr. COT said. "He wanted to teach me early, what he had come to learn late."
And then there was the motorcycle.
On the day he was promoted to principal dancer, Mr. MARRI showed a dearly held, dog-eared photo of a motorbike, a Ducati, to Ms. KUINKA, telling her it was going to be a present to himself.
"His motorcycle was all about freedom," Mr. LANDRY said. "A hundred kilometres [an hour] on a bike feels different than in a car. You feel alive in the rush of speed."
For those he left behind, that was a great irony. Former soloist Roberto CAMPANELLA said perhaps it was best that death took Mr. MARRI -- anything less than 120 per cent would have been a nightmare.
William MARRI, dancer; born in Montreal on Nov. 18, 1968; died in New York on Nov. 16, 2002.
Paula CITRON reviews dance for The Globe and Mail.

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SEILS o@ca.on.york_county.toronto.toronto_star 2002-12-18 published
KOWALLIK, Marie Luise -- Peacefully at home on Monday, December 16, 2002 in her 65th year. Marie leaves behind her devoted husband Erwin KOWALLIK and her loving children Maureen SINGER and Michael KOWALLIK (Elizabeth.) Beloved grandmother of Ryan, Lucas, Austin and Michelle. Dear sister of Peter (Karin) BEHRENDT and aunt of Oliver. Loved sister-in-law of Lotti SEILS. She will be sadly missed by the rest of her family and Friends in both Canada and Germany. Visitation will be held on Thursday from 1-3 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. and Friday from 1-3 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the Demarco Funeral Home ''Scarborough Chapel'' (4129 Lawrence Ave. E., just west of Kingston Rd.), 416-724-4129. Funeral Service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, December 21, 2002 at the Epiphany Lutheran Church (20 Old Kingston Rd. - 416-284-5922). Interment to follow at Whitevale Cemetery.

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