Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Finding Patty Andrews

Well, Van Alexander ( the Big Band leader who wrote "A Tisket-A Tasket",and LeeHale, who was the musical director for the Dean Martin TV show for it's entire run of nine years, trekked out to Patty's house and practically knocked the door in to find her. She hadn't been answering her phone or answering the door bell. We finally got her to write up a foreword for my upcoming book H*A*R*M*O*N*Y which will feature her Andrews Sisters story and the Mills Brothers, Ink Spot, McQuires, and dozens of other singing groups of the 20s to the 80s.
I have been receiving many nice fan letters on the book STAR*DUST-The Bible of the Big Bands as well as my 2002 Crosby Book. Today I received a wonderful tribute Christmas letter from Lydia Heston, wife of my good friend Charlton Heston, whom  I considered one of the Top Ten movie stars of all time. We always wrote back and forth for many years after first meeting him at a book signing in Huntington where we exchanged books and signatures.
Another friend, Larry O'Brien, who had been musical director for the Glenn Miller Orchestra for many years, finally has retiredwith his lovely wife Judy. I received a Christmas card from their new home in Hawaii, where they plan to live out their lives. Larry and I first met when William B. Williams of New York's radio station WNEW where he presided over the famed "Make Believe Ballroom" disc jockey show. We were at the Westbury Music Fair working in a show that featured Margaret Whiting, Billy Eckstine, Dizzy Gillespie, and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. That was in 1982 and we have been pals ever since. Larry directed one of his last performances at the Patchogue Theater in late November 2010.The young  Miller players were just sensational. I have also been working on Lee Hale's autobiography, editing and formatting. Look for it on amazon in about March of 2011.Great batch of stories as Lee worked with just about every living personality  as director of music ans sketches for Dean Martin's television variety show. That's it for now.