Volume CV, No. 1January, 2005

Joe BushkinPiano

Vito G CannavoBass

Milton E CasselClarinet

Cy ColemanPiano

Samson CosciaBass

Chuck GeorgeDrums

Bill HamiltonFormer 802 Staff Member

Charles J HenryTrombone

Reunald Jones Jr.Trumpet

Antonio ManzolinoSaxophone

Walter RaimGuitar/Arranger

Frank ReginaDrums

Murray SelbyPiano

Alfonso SemenzaPiano

Joe Bushkin

Joe Bushkin, 87, a pianist and songwriter and an 802 member since 1934, died on Nov. 3.

Mr. Bushkin performed and recorded with such jazz and big band greats as Fats Waller, Eddie Condon and Billie Holiday.

As a member of the Tommy Dorsey band, he co-wrote the hit “Oh! Look at Me Now” with John DeVries. The song launched the career of a young Frank Sinatra, the band’s vocalist.

During one concert, Judy Garland introduced Mr. Bushkin as “a musician’s musician, but he plays awfully pretty for the people,” according to daughter Christina Bushkin Merrill.

Mr. Bushkin learned to play the piano at 10 and started playing professionally in 1932 with Frank LaMarr at the Roseland Ballroom in Brooklyn. Three years later, he became intermission pianist at the Famous Door, where the Bunny Berigan Boys, a group that included guitarist Eddie Condon and pianist George Zack, performed.

Mr. Bushkin ended up replacing Zack and went on to play with Condon, Joe Marsala and Dorsey.

He played on Billie Holiday’s first recording under her own name in 1936. His career was interrupted when he joined the Army in 1942 and rose to the rank of master sergeant.

Mr. Bushkin retired in the 1960’s but returned to play on Bing Crosby’s last tour in 1976 and 1977. He also performed in a concert series at New York’s St. Regis hotel in 1984 that celebrated his 50 years in show business.

Besides daughters Christina and Nina, Mr. Bushkin is survived by his wife, Francice, daughters Tippy Bushkin and Maria Bushkin Stave, and six grandchildren.

This obituary is from the Associated Press.

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Cy Coleman

Cy Coleman, 75, a pianist and composer and a member of 802 since 1945, died on Nov. 18.

Mr. Coleman was a child prodigy who gave piano recitals at Steinway, Town and Carnegie Halls between the ages of six and nine.

Before beginning his fabled Broadway career, Mr. Coleman led a jazz trio, which made many recordings and was a much-in-demand club attraction. Once he turned his attention to songwriting, he scored big with such timeless standards as “Witchcraft” and “The Best Is Yet to Come.”

His streak as a Broadway composer began with “Wildcat” in 1960, which included “Hey Look Me Over.”

Next was “Little Me,” which featured “Real Live Girl” and “I’ve Got Your Number.”

Continuing his success, Mr. Coleman’s collaboration with lyricist Dorothy Fields resulted in “Sweet Charity,” which introduced “Big Spender” and “If My Friends Could See Me Now.”

The 1970’s saw three more classic Coleman Broadway musicals, all Tony winners: “Seesaw,” “I Love My Wife” and “On the Twentieth Century.”

In 1980, Mr. Coleman served as producer as well as composer for the smash “Barnum.”

And the 1990’s brought more new Coleman musicals to Broadway: “City of Angels,” “The Will Rogers Follies,” “The Life,” “Exactly Like You” and a new production of “Little Me.”

In addition to Dorothy Fields, Mr. Coleman worked with many great Broadway lyricists, including Carolyn Leigh, Michael Stewart, David Zippel, A.E. Hotchner and Betty Comden & Adolph Green.

His honors include three Tony Awards, three Emmys, two Grammys, election to the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, as well as recipient of the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame Johnny Mercer Award and the ASCAP Foundation Richard Rodgers Award for Lifetime Achievement in the American Musical Theatre.

At the time of his death, Mr. Coleman was juggling several productions, including a revival of “Sweet Charity”; separate musical biographies of Napoleon, Grace Kelly and Elaine Kaufman (the proprietor of Elaine’s restaurant in Manhattan); and “Pamela’s First Musical,” based on the playwright Wendy Wasserstein’s book for children. And as recently as October, he was performing in cabaret at Feinstein’s at the Regency.

He is survived by his wife Shelby Brown and daughter Lily Cye.

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Samson Coscia

Samson Coscia, 95, a bass player and an 802 member since 1926, died on Oct. 13.

Mr. Coscia played bass professionally from the age of 16, often playing with his father at the Roxy Theatre in the late 1920’s and early 1930’s. He opened with Radio City Music Hall in 1938 and played there for more than 35 years.

Besides his father, Mr. Coscia studied with U. Buldrini, who was principal bassist of the New York Philharmonic.

Mr. Coscia played with the Met for eight years and with the American Symphony Orchestra under Leopold Stokowski for several years.

He also performed with the New York City Opera Company, American Opera Society, New York Philharmonic Symphony Society, NBC Symphony, Radio City, Brooklyn Philharmonic, and many of the freelance orchestras in New York and Long Island. Mr. Coscia played with almost every major conductor of the 20th century, including Leonard Bernstein, Fritz Reiner and Aram Khachaturian, as well as Skitch Henderson.

He also played for chamber groups, on radio and TV, for films and recordings, and jazz.

At the end of his life, he was still performing. He was principal bassist with the Boca Raton Symphonic Pops.

His son Richard provided these details of his life.

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