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    Brush With Greatness - Phil Winer

    Monday, 06 February 2017 00:00

    Written by JAZZ.FM91 staff

    This week we hear from longtime listener Phil Winer.

    "Great memories from the Montreal Jazz Festival back around 1983: my brother invited me to a small venue to hear and see Blossom Dearie and, although I followed a lot of music, at that time I had no idea who she was. Earlier in the day I purchased one of her CDs in hopes of asking her to sign it.

    Before the show began I said that I was going to go backstage in search of Miss Dearie. Backstage was really a side-door entrance. I walked back there and saw a girl gargling over a sink. I asked her, quickly, if Miss Dearie was available. She gave me a very quizzical look and said,

    "Yes. Can I help you?"

    Wow! face to face with the legend! She was very gracious, and she personalized the CD, something which I cherish.

    Many years went by and, later, I was surprised to learn she was American, not British. Very unfortunately, I never did see her again in New York before she passed away. I weould love to have had that second chance!

    I can remember her singing "I Won't Dance" in French and "Surrey with the Fringe on Top".

    I would give a lot to be able to relive that evening and see her again; thank goodness I still have solid memories, at least, and her CDs to take me there. What an unforgiving feeling that I never got to see her in New York City, though. She performed at Danny's Seafood Palace (near Times Square) quite regularly. That was THE place to see her."

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