Tuesday, May 8, 2012

STEVE SANDERS REMEMBERS MORT LINDSEY



Earlier today, Coyne Steven Sanders, popular author and television historian, was over at the Yahoo version of TJGE musing on the passing of Mort Lindsey. I found his thoughts relevant and touching and wanted to share them with everybody. I've also included an excerpt from a post of his from a month ago that
goes hand in hand with today's reminiscences.


It is indeed a sad day as we learn of Mort's passing. I knew him for over 20
years, prior to "Rainbow's End," and then I'd see him over the years at various
functions, Judy events (such as the LA Garland tribute I referenced recently
here), etc. I was thrilled to bring about his reunion with Lorna. He was playing
piano on weekends at a hotel in Beverly Hills and when Lorna, Colin and I all
lived in LA (and good friends), I arranged for Lorna and Mort to see each other
again after many years. The three of us went to the hotel, surprised him and it
resulted in a great friendship with Mort, Lorna and Colin which sustained to
Mort's death. Mort was truly a wonderful man, a brilliant musician, and, next to
Roger Edens, I think understood Judy better musically than anyone else as
arranger-conductor et al. He was a kind, caring, gentle soul but with a definite
sharp wit and awareness. He was fiercely protective and devoted to Judy, loving
and respecting her as a human being, mother and artist. He would tell me often
of Judy's kindnesses over the years, her unassuming nature and her complete
trust in him. And how hard she worked and how much she loved to perform. And
respected her audiences. He told me once, "She was incapable of giving a bad
performance. During the '61 tour, particularly, she couldn't WAIT to get on
stage, she was so happy, healthy and wanted to sing."

He told me Judy was close friends with his wife, also named Judy, who was
Garland's stand-in during the series. He told me of his family exchanging Chirstmas
presents with hers, and how Judy would remember the birthdays of his children. He would
recall, with a smile, how the the two Judys would love their private time, where
they would talk about being mothers, how they loved their children and exchanged
'tips' on raising their kids as the children got older. Mort would say, that in
those private, off stage moments, Judy easily put aside being a performer and
relished being 'just' a mother, a friend and having Judy and Mort as friends
whom she could confide in, talk about life and exchange stories. Mort showed me
wonderful photos of Judy at birthday parties for his children and Mort's family
with Judy and her kids over the years, Judy and her children invariably looking
happy and clearing enjoying being in each other's company. Mort would say how
much Judy 'adored' her children and was 'very normal' in how she raised her
kids, instilled the proper values...and when Judy was off stage and around
trusted friends, such as Mort and Judy Lindsey, she was relaxed, kind, always
caring and remembered the smallest things they would tell her which she would
ask about later, in concern, or particular dates for remembering birthdays,
anniversaries and such. And delighted in giving them little surprise presents
over the years.

He never said one unkind or negative thing about Judy, in all the years I knew
him and would often say, "I've worked with them all but Judy was by far the
best. She was in a class by herself. Judy had the most amazing sense of humor
and she would be the first one to laugh at herself. She could size a person up
in a second. She was the greatest singer of them all, and that includes Sinatra
and Barbra. And she respected her audiences, and loved peforming, more than
anyone else. She was the very best. She was brilliant. She knew music, she knew
sound, she knew lighting like nobody's business. The greatest singer and
entertainer of the century and it was an honor to know her and work with her."

There are more quotes from Mort in "Rainbow's End," but I wanted to share more
personal memories and more of his quotes here, told to me over the years after
the book was published...hope this at least presents more about the man and his
more private thoughts about Judy.
Coyne Steven Sanders
_________________________________________________________________________________
I continue to be astounded and grateful that my book
continues to resonate and find new readers after so many years. I had no idea it
would have the impact it did; most of all, I'm so grateful for having had the
forum to do my part to correct so many inaccuracies, dispute lies and at least
partially undue the damage that had been done years before by the Torme book.
I've related this story before, but when I was still researching for the book,
Mort called me and said, "I just ran into Mel Torme. We ran into each other
jogging on the beach in Malibu. He was in a huff and furious." He told Mort, "I
just got a call from a guy named Steve Sanders...he says he's writing a book
about the television series. I told him I had already written that book," to
which Mort replied, "No, Mel, Steve's book is doing to be different -- he's
going to tell the TRUTH!" For that alone, I am indebted to Mort Lindsey for
life!
Coyne Steven Sanders

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanx .... I love this!

silentsgirl said...

What a beautiful tribute to a marvelous man. I'm so glad that Judy had him in her life. Thank you for sharing this.

Sheila Quarry said...

Wonderful man.

Sunnyvale

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