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    Nash, Dick

    Dick Nash's parents passed away when he was still a wee boy, and he found some solace in music when he attended boarding school where he took up the army bugle and then the trumpet, but Dick was a closet trombonist.  Eventually, the bandmaster relented and told Dick the trumpet was too wee for him.  By the time Dick was in high school, he was out of the closet.  He studied under John Coffey of the BSO and practiced classical trombone, but what he really wanted to play was dance band music.  It was the early 1950s, and jazz was still very much king, even though a lot of the big bands were disappearing.  By the time Dick and his newlywed wife Barbara emigrated from Boston to Los Angeles (a combination honeymoon and permanent move) jobs for trombonists were drying up.  The first year was lean.  In pricey L.A., it didn't take Dick long to run through his savings account.  Good timing for Tommy Pederson to come along and invite him to some regular sessions at Hoyt's Garage, named for Hoyt Bohannon.  Dick's brother Ted was already established as a saxophonist with Jerry Gray and Dick Haymes, and he recommended Dick for a couple of television programs, one with Frank DeVol and the other with Tennessee Ernie Ford.  Finally, a regular paycheck, and just in time for Dick and Barbara's firstborn to arrive.  It was a temporary gig, however, only a little over three months, for fifty dollars a week.  George Bruns, a bassist and trombonist, was at the opposite end of the spectrum:  He was getting more work than he could handle.  He virtually handed Dick his spot on the Tennessee Ernie Ford radio programme.  To give you some idea how fledgling television was at this time, Dick's paycheck skyrocketed to $275 a week, which was a lot of money in the mid-'50s.  Trombonist Ray Klein had heard one of Dick's solos on the radio and invited him to sit in with a merry band of musicians who liked to have informal jam sessions.  It turned out to be another serendipitous meeting:  Klein was a session man at 20th Century Fox.  When he left his post in 1958, he arranged for Dick to take his spot.  Hence, the beginning of Dick's film career, which would eventually include Bingo Long's Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings, Breakfast at Tiffany's, Butch and Sundance:  The Early Years, Days of Wine and Roses, King of the Olympics, Sabrina, and Sanctuary.  It was not all wine and roses in the 1950s, however.  Along with such notables as Andre Previn and John Williams, Dick found himself wearing the uniform of the California National Guard, having been drafted in wartime by the Selective Service.  Fortunately for Dick, he would be armed with a horn, not a rifle.  Ironically, he found himself playing the first instrument he ever learned, the army bugle.  Being in a military band did not preclude danger.  In Korea, three of his fellow musicians were killed, by friendly fire.  After this hiccup in his civilian career, and again with the help of his brother Ted, he found himself working with Billy May & His Orchestra.  This was a big scene, because May toured with the likes of Nat King Cole and Sarah Vaughan, in support of their Capitol recordings.  One night, in that shrine of shrines, Carnegie Hall, Billy told Dick that Nat was sick and couldn't make the show.  In lieu of Nat's set, he said, Dick would do a solo set instead.  You think it would be the proudest achievement of his life, but it wasn't.  By his own admission, Dick's coup de grace was sinking a hole in one at St. Andrews Golf Course.  So much for "Under the Double Eagle".

     

    Lalo Schifrin recordings

    All for the Love of Sunshine (Lalo Schifrin)

    Theme from "Medical Center" (Lalo Schifrin)

     

    Sources:

    1.      http://www.trombonesonline.com/artist-trombone/dicknash.htm

    2.      http://www.trombone-society.org.uk/resources/interviews/tracy_nash.php

     

    Here he is performing "I Cover the Waterfront"...

     

                       

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     



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