We met in the summer of 1970, spending many a day on the beaches of southern California. He was refined, well educated and a gentleman. He explained he had won a contest as part of a radio station promotion and studied classical trumpet at the New England Conservatory before becoming lead trumpet with Maynard Ferguson, Stan Kenton and the Woody Herman band. Quite a feat for a guy in his 30’s, both of us Libra’s, we formed a special friendship, with him guesting in my home.
He was excited about the mixture of jazz & rock music, asking me as a programmer of a number of radio stations, what I thought of his idea. I explained it was the variety of music featured on Top Forty that just could feature such a blend and encouraged him on.
A year later he was starring on the Johnny Carson Tonight Show with a new hit single, “Get It On” with two more successful albums to follow. We stayed in touch, meeting for a final day a Paradise Cove in the summer of 1974, just a few days before he would perish in a plane crash on his way to a concert.
Another who left us way to soon, Bill Chase . . . RIP buddy.