Two Goodbyes

August 26, 2006 — 4 Comments

This week we had two say some painful goodbyes.

The first was to Maynard Fergusen. Fergusen was a jazz legend and one of the reasons I loved playing tromobone.

Walter “Maynard” Ferguson, one of the most influential musicians and band leaders in the history of Jazz, passed away August 23rd at 8:00 pm Pacific Time at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, California. He was 78 years old. His death was the result of kidney and liver failure brought on by an abdominal infection.

Maynard Ferguson, born May 4th 1928 in Montreal, started his career at the age of 13 when he performed as a featured soloist with the Canadian Broadcasting Company Orchestra. He played with some of the great Big Band Leaders of the 1940’s including Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Dizzy Gillespie, Charlie Barnett, Jimmy Dorsey and Stan Kenton. In 1945, at age 17, Ferguson became the leader of his own Big Band. The 78-year old musical phenomenon went on to record more than 60 albums, receiving numerous honors and awards including the GRAMMY® nomination for “Gonna Fly Now.”

The other fond farewell was to Pluto, former 9th planet in the solar system. Right when we thought we were going to induct 3 new planets, Pluto was demoted to a dwarf planet and – BAM! – just like that, we were down to 8.

We’re gonna miss you at the planet parties, Pluto. As Heidi Klum would say, “One day you’re in… and the next, you’re out.”

Auf weidersehen Maynard and Pluto.

Pat Callahan

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I'm a picker. I'm a grinner. I'm a lover. And I'm a sinner. I make my music in the sun.

4 responses to Two Goodbyes

  1. Wonder when it becomes a final Jeorpady question? "What is eight." Answer: Number of planets in the solar system. You bet it all?

  2. Always bet it all in Final Jeopardy. No question.

  3. There ya go! Bet it all 🙂

  4. Pat, I never knew you were a Maynard fan. Back in high school one of my first jazz albums I ever bought was Maynard Ferguson's "Conquistador" In fact our jazz ensemble performed "Give It One" and "Hey Jude" Our high school jazz jackets had a picture of Maynard plying his horn on the back and when I went backstage to meet him once he saw the logo and thought it looked "cool" and offered to buy the jacket, we had one made especially for him and to this day the photo of Maynard with our former high school band director and the jacket remains in the music hall at Batavia Senior High School in Batavia Illinois. My favorite album of all time is "Hollywood" and the song "For Your Eyes Only" Rest in peace MF.

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