Volume CVII, No. 12December, 2007

Cabiria P. AccarinoPiano

Angelo E. BrucklierDrums

Gerald R. ChamberlainTrombone

Frank DallasBass

Claude Garreau JrPiano

Charles W. Geiger JrDrums

Sanford GreenPiano

Merv GriffinPiano

Bob KrossTrombone

Thomas MakemBanjo

Louis D. MancinoBass Guitar

Specs PowellDrums

Gustave RarysPiano

Joseph F. Sisco JrSaxophone

Beatriz SvercelPiano

George L. TriffonTrumpet

Walter A. WegnerFlute

Bill WittmerPiano

Gordon “Specs” Powell

Gordon “Specs” Powell, 85, a drummer and an 802 member since 1939, died on Sept. 15.

Mr. Powell is historically credited for breaking the color barrier at CBS New York in 1943 when he was hired as the first black musician at a national network.

He later became a full-time member of the musical staff at CBS where he worked from 1947 to 1972 as a member of the Ray Bloch orchestra on the “Ed Sullivan Show.” He also played with the “Jackie Gleason Show,” “Candid Camera,” and a host of other radio and television specials at the network.

At CBS, Powell’s ability to musically adapt with the likes of such artists and musicians as Alfredo Antonini, Frank Sinatra, Harry Belafonte, Carroll Burnet, Melba Moore, and Barbara Streisand, gained him respect and fame as a versatile and skilled percussionist.

Mr. Powell began his career in Harlem during the swing era and was a regular on New York’s famed 52nd Street.

He recorded with such greats as Red Norvo, Erroll Garner, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Tatum and Billie Holiday.

He is survived by his wife Peggy, daughters Donna Mosley and Tina Allen, and son Theodore Smith.

Back to top