Volume CIV, No. 3March, 2004
Dennis W. Brooks – Saxophone
Virgil Caruso – Oboe
Leo De Betta – Saxophone
V. Richard De Cicco – Trumpet
Albert Gabay – Accordion
Joseph Giorgio – Saxophone
Manny O. Grodman – Piano
Joseph B. Habig – Trombone/Producer
David Kates – Viola
Gary W. King – Electric Bass
Michael Lepore – Piano
Joseph C. Longo – Piano
William May – Trumpet/Arranger
J. R. Mitchell – Percussion
Frank Palmer – Accordion
Emil Paolucci (Powell) – Bass
Francisco Racimo – Vocals
Francis A. Renda – Saxophone
Peter Rogers – Bass
Judith Sidorsky – Piano
Lewis Waldek – Tuba
Albert Weintraub – Violin
Roslyn L. Young – Viola
Fred Zabin – Bass
Joseph B. Habig
Joseph Habig, 79, a record producer and trombonist, and an 802 member since 1946, died on Sept. 21, 2003.
In 1965, Mr. Habig won a Grammy for producing Stravinsky’s “Symphony of Psalms,” with Robert Shaw conducting the Robert Shaw Chorale and Orchestra.
He worked as artist and repertoire producer at RCA Victor Red Seal for 19 years, and at Reader’s Digest music division for 16 years as executive producer.
In addition, Mr. Habig recorded top popular and jazz artists, including Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman, Les Brown, Frankie Carle, Marian McPartland, Dick Hyman and many others.
Prior to joining RCA he worked 10 years as a trombonist with Dean Dixon and the American Youth Symphony, Leon Barzin and the New York City Symphony, Benjamin Swall and the North Carolina Symphony, and Morton Gould.
When high-fidelity sound recording emerged, he helped organize the Consumer’s Union Listening Panel, consisting of members of the New York Philharmonic and the Metropolitan Opera orchestras. The panel conducted a series of tests on amplifiers, and its findings were published in 1954.
Mr. Habig earned a B.S. in music education at the City College of New York and also attended Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music.
He is survived by his wife Virginia.
Francisco Racimo, 99, died on Nov. 24, 2003. Mr. Racimo was a vocalist who also played Spanish guitar, Hawaiian steel guitar, mandolin and mandocello, and he had been a Local 802 member since the mid-1940’s.
Mr. Racimo came to this country in 1925 from the Philippines. He soon became a member of the Dave Apollon Orchestra, playing the RKO-Orpheum circuit. He formed his own trio called the Racimo Hawaiians, and was a longtime fixture at Sherman Billingsley’s famed original Stork Club.
For several seasons, his trio performed at the Steel Pier in Atlantic City. They were also part of a regular live broadcast on NBC at the studios at Rockefeller Center.
In the 1960’s he joined the Johnny Pineapple Orchestra playing the famed Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago and the Roney Plaza in Miami among others.
For the whole summer of 1976, Mr. Racimo played his steel guitar on stage in the show at Radio City Music Hall during the bicentennial celebration that year. Later in life, when he was in his 80’s and 90’s, he enjoyed working in film and television.
Mr. Racimo is survived by his daughter, Victoria Racimo.
Lewis Waldeck, 68, a tuba player and an 802 member since 1953, died on Jan. 26.
As a professional tuba player, he performed with the Florida Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, the New Orleans Philharmonic, the Bolshoi Ballet, and the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra. He also played in other orchestras as well, including the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and the New York Philharmonic, and in the big bands of Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and Sauter-Finegan. His work as a musician culminated in a 25-year position with New York City Opera Orchestra.
He was head of the AFM’s Symphonic Services Division from 1983 to 1995.
He is survived by his wife Mary, daughter Erika, son-in-law Brad, sisters-in-law Carol and June, niece Val and nephew Tom.
Fred Zabin, 55, an acoustic and electric bassist, died on Dec. 22, 2003.
Mr. Zabin was a native of Chicago and received his early musical training in Los Angeles. He made New York his home base for the past 20 years.
He played with the Glenn Miller Orchestra, Andrew Hill, Houston Person and Etta Jones, Frank Wess, Art Lillard and Arturo O’Farrill, among many others.
Mr. Zabin performed at many clubs in New York and abroad. He performed with his own group, which had featured the late saxophonist Clarence “C” Sharp.
Until recently, he had performed regularly at the Garage and the Village Restaurant in Manhattan.
Mr. Zabin earned a bachelor’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music and a master’s degree from New York University.
He taught at the Harlem School of the Arts, in the New York City public school system, and privately.
Mr. Zabin is survived by his partner Stephanie Clark, parents Irving and Esther Zabin, and sisters Lee and Carol Zabin.