Newswire: R.I.P. Rod McKuen, popular poet and prolific songwriter

The L.A. Times is reporting the death of Rod McKuen, a poet, singer, songwriter, and composer whose works were full of longing and loneliness, but which drew a huge crowd of fellow sensitive, soul-searching types of the late 1960s, when he became one of the best-selling poets of that or any era. McKuen was also a prolific songwriter, penning more than 1,500 tunes that were recorded by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Perry Como, Barbra Streisand, Johnny Cash, and Madonna, recording dozens of his own solo albums, and composing orchestral works and the Academy Award-nominated soundtracks for films like The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie and A Boy Named Charlie Brown. McKuen died after suffering from pneumonia at the age of 81.

In McKuen’s oft-mythologized childhood, he ran away from an alcoholic stepfather at the age of 11 and made his own way, Horatio Alger-style, working odd …

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