Volume CVII, No. 12December, 2007
Cabiria P. Accarino – Piano
Angelo E. Brucklier – Drums
Gerald R. Chamberlain – Trombone
Frank Dallas – Bass
Claude Garreau Jr – Piano
Charles W. Geiger Jr – Drums
Sanford Green – Piano
Merv Griffin – Piano
Bob Kross – Trombone
Thomas Makem – Banjo
Louis D. Mancino – Bass Guitar
Specs Powell – Drums
Gustave Rarys – Piano
Joseph F. Sisco Jr – Saxophone
Beatriz Svercel – Piano
George L. Triffon – Trumpet
Walter A. Wegner – Flute
Bill Wittmer – Piano
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.