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Life Arts    H4'ed 2/20/11

THE UNUSUAL STORY OF A GREAT HIT SONG OF THE 60'S

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Message Phil Klein
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I'm sorry I've taken so long to reply to your note.   I've been very busy with many things, including completing the song, ("I Wanna Be Around") and getting the right singer to sing it.   I've finally gotten Tony Bennett to be the vocalist and he will sing it on the Steve Allen show."

 

The rest is history.   The song became a huge hit and was even nominated for a Grammy award in 1963.   Johnny Mercer gave Sadie Vimmerstedt a 50% share of the song's royalties.   But that's not the end of this story.   Because of its unusual nature, I began telling it in my own musical shows.    On one such occasion, I was presenting a program in Virginia, and in the audience was a person, Tony Stein, who was a writer for a newspaper, THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT.   He mentioned in his column about his having attended my program at Virginia Tech and that he particularly enjoyed the story about Sadie Vimmerstedt and Johnny Mercer.

 

And now, the synchronicity"*

 

A few years after that event, I received (to my great astonishment) an email which read:   "You had it all right!   My family became close friends of the Mercers and at Johnny's invitation, we made many yearly trips to his home in Savannah to celebrate his birthday."

(The email was from Sadie Vimmerstedt's daughter!)

 After that, she and I exchanged several emails. Great story,

great ending!

 *SYNCHRONICITY - Jungian term for a kind of coincidence.

 

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I have spent a long and interesting life involved in music, as a performer (piano,) educator (at every level from elementary to graduate school,) solo pianist, bandleader, composer/songwriter; entertainer, storyteller and humorist. In my final (more...)
 
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