True. And SOMEHOW after he became head of A&R for Columbia in 1960, he managed to co-exist with John Hammond, Columbia’s producer and talent scout, who had discovered and/or signed Benny Goodman, Charlie Christian, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Teddy Wilson, Big Joe Turner, Pete Seeger, Babatunde Olatunji, Aretha Franklin, George Benson, Bob Dylan, Freddie Green, Leonard Cohen, Bruce Springsteen, Arthur Russell, Asha Puthli, and Stevie Ray Vaughan to the label.
He did a version of Give Peace a Chance. It’s on one of the Golden Throats CDs.
The Times had a long and fascinating obit yesterday. Among the most interesting tidbits was that he got Patti Page to sing “Come on a My House” against her wishes, and it made her a star. The song was based on an old Armenian melody and was written by William Saroyan (that William Saroyan!) and his cousin, Ross Bagadrian, later creator of the Chipmunks as David Seville. I never knew Alvin was related to William Saroyan.
He also was a world-class oboist, and played once with Charlie Parker.
I always thought having the “bouncing ball” on the lyrics for “The Fish Cheer” in the “Woodstock” movie was a nice satire of “Sing Along With Mitch”.
I knew he was still alive but only because I happened to look at his wiki page a couple months ago…it was a “omg…he’s still living at 99”???
That was Rosemary Clooney, not Patti Page.