Readers of The Economist will know that there is some disagreement about the Shim Sham, from which Mr Reed developed the Shim Sham Shimmy. Some say it started as a tap routine in the early 1900s; others credit it to the Brains-as-well-as-Feet team.

They don't write obituaries like they used to. Thank God. And this one from The Economist is an absolute gem. Alas, I can't find an article I read some time ago about the rise of the modern obituary, although I recall that it was extremely fine.

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