George Shearing Dies
In the late forties and early fifties I was working in a plywood mill in order to pay for my college education. Going to school during the day, I worked the swing shift, roughly four to midnight. There was a jazz show on the local radio station. My wife, Anna, was listening one evening. There was a quiz with the prize of two tickets to hear George Shearing. No one had won by the time I got home sometime after midnight. The jazz dj had played a jazz piece featuring a clarinet, piano and drums. Identify the players. I said that had to be the Benny Goodman Trio, with Benny Goodman on clarinet, Teddy Wilson on piano and Gene Krupa on drums. She immediately called the program and we won two tickets to see George Shearing at some funky roadhouse outside of Olympia, WA.
I remember that I had to borrow my folks’ car because we didn’t own one. We drove from Tacoma to Olympia and had a wonderful evening listening to Shearing. At one intermission I was able to talk with him for a few minutes. There was not a very big crowd. I told him the story of how I had won the tickets. He chortled and said that he was glad that I had known the answer. That’s a fond memory from sixty years ago.