Category Archives: Final Notes / In Memoriam

Final Note: Howlett ‘Smitty’ Smith

Life Member. Piano
2/28/1933 – 11/24/2019

by Paul Gormley, Life Member

Howlett Smith was a unique pianist, singer, whistler, composer, and lyricist who I had the pleasure of working with for more than 25 years. Smitty’s career was mainly as musical entertainer in live venues. He performed at Bob Burns restaurant in Santa Monica for 10 years, left to play at Sterlings in Santa Monica for 10 years, then returned to Bob Burns for a 20(!)-year run. He had a fan base that ranged from non-musicians to jazz DJ Chuck Niles and singer Mark Murphy. Continue reading

Final Note: Richard ‘Slyde’ Hyde

Life Member. Trombone
7/4/1936 – 7/15/2019

by Paul Gormley, Life Member

I met Slyde in 1988 on bus trip to Lake Havasu with the Capp/Pierce Juggernaut big band. Before we arrived back in L.A., Slyde had invited me to come to his and Yolee’s Lake Sherwood home for dinner. This was the beginning of a warm friendship that continues. Continue reading

Final Note: Eric C. (Rick) Culver

Life Member. Trombone
4/30/1943 – 1/11/2020

by Tom & Lila Peterson

This note is in celebration of the life of Rick Culver. I met Rick in 1967 when we were in the Army Special Services band at Fort Meade Maryland. It didn’t take long to become good friends and that friendship has lasted over the years. Continue reading

Celebration of Life: Emil Richards

Yo! 

For those who knew and loved Emil Richards, we invite you to celebrate his life and legacy on the WB Eastwood Scoring Stage Sunday Feb 9th, 2020 • 11am. Please bring a joke, a memory, or a piece of music you would like to play as a tribute. 

We look forward to seeing you there. 

Good Vibes! 
Celeste & Camille Radocchia

Kindly RSVP and direct any inquiries to Gina Zimmitti & Whitney Martin at: celebrate.emil@gmail.comFeel free to attach a favorite photo to the RSVP!

Final Note: Gloria Carol Ramsay

Life Member. Recorder
1/6/1926 – 4/26/2019

Born in Daytona Beach, Florida and passed away peacefully in Ojai, California. She studied at the University of Southern California, receiving her BA in 1948 and her Master in Musicology in 1958. She received a Fulbright grant to the Paris Conservatory; a Queen Elisabeth of Belgium research scholarship; studied musicology at the Sorbonne; and received the License de Concert in Clarinet. Continue reading

Final Note: Tony Giaimo

Life Member. Saxophone
12/16/1927 – 9/24/2019

Tony Giaimo passed away on Sept. 24, 2019, at 91 years. He was a longtime member of the American Federation of Musicians Local 47. Tony was a singer, saxophonist, and a top-tier clarinetist.

He began studying music at the age of 10, and by the time he was 14 he was playing in Manhattan clubs, alongside the likes of a 16-year-old Tony Bennett. By 15 he was traveling the U.S. as a working musician. Continue reading

Final Note: Matthew Lincoln Utal

Former Life Member. Saxophone
7/13/1926 – 9/5/2019

Matt Utal passed away at the age of 93 on September 5, 2019. He was born in Brooklyn, New York, on July 13, 1926 to Eunice Bloom and Louis Wattel. Eunice later moved to California and married Michael Utal, who adopted Matt in 1931. He began to study piano as a little boy. Continue reading