It Happened at Birdland - The New York Times


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/27/nyregion/metropolitan-diary-it-happened-at-birdland.html?rref=collection%2Fcolumn%2Fmetropolitan-diary
 
It Happened at Birdland
By  STEVEN B. GALKIN DEC. 27, 2017
Dear Diary:
It was September 1961, and I was preparing to enter the United States Army in a few weeks.
 
A friend invited me to meet him at Birdland in Manhattan, where Maynard Ferguson and Buddy Rich would be appearing.
 
I had been to Birdland many times before and had usually been let in at no charge by Pee Wee Marquette, who worked at the entrance collecting the $3 admission fee and knew me. (Yes, it was just $3.)
The club was crowded that night. I stood at the back because there were no seats available. As the band played, I spoke to the gentleman standing next to me.
 
“Did you know Ferguson is a high-note specialist?” I asked him based on my knowledgeable, 20-year-old’s experience.
He nodded and said he was aware of that.
 
Just then, the set ended, and a spotlight landed on me and the man I had been talking to.
 
“Ladies and gentlemen, we have someone special here this evening,” Pee Wee Marquette announced to the crowd. “Please welcome Count Basie!”
 





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