Best known pianist from the 1970s, Dave Frishberg, passed away on Wednesday, November 17, in Portland, Ore. He was 88.

The death of the jazz songwriter was confirmed by his wife, April Magnusson, through New York Times, with no cause of death mentioned. However, in 2019, a GoFund me page was established for the iconic jazz composer, with the title "Helping Dave Through Some Hard Times," as he suffered "a series of setbacks" to his health.

It was later suspended on the day of his death, declaring that he has been "battling illness for several years."

Who Is Dave Frishberg?

According to the source, David Lee Frishberg was a native-born Minnesotan, born on March 23, 1933. For as young as seven, he initially sketched athletes from news photos and thought of becoming a sports illustrator.

Later on, he listened closely to music growing up and could sing the entire score of "The Mikado" and other Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. His brother, Mort, "steered him" toward jazz and blues records and let him learn the keyboard in his teenage years before discovering the modernist pianism of bebop.

The publisher has also described him as a "songwriter whose sardonic wit as a lyricist and melodic cleverness as a composer," which made him "in the top echelon of his craft."

Another report from New York Daily News reported that he began working as a scriptwriter for on-air personalities in 1957 at New York station WNEW. Frishberg further got recognition as other artists at venues partnered with him for piano performances.

The source also stated that he declined an offer to be Judy Garland's music director after working with her and Carmen McRae during his stay upstate.

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Rest In Peace Frishberg

The article also described Frishberg's songwriting as being for "grown-ups." Yet, he reached his widest audience with a song for ABC-TV's longtime running Saturday animated show "Schoolhouse Rock!" with "I'm Just a Bill" in 1973.

Other than that, he also showcased more beautiful ballads in his days, including "Do You Miss New York?," "Sweet Kentucky Ham," "My Attorney Bernie," and "Van Lingle Mungo."

As soon as his death was announced, numerous fans and friends shared their tribute online.

 


May his soul rest in peace.

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