Sunday, November 7, 2010

Jerry's sunset.

Today’s ‘Positive and Optimistic Sunday’. But today I write of a sad event that happened last week. Our story begins on 19 December 1967 – Sweetheart Vivienne’s and my wedding day. As I’ve written [1], our wedding waltz was ‘Sunrise Sunset’ [2]. To this day I can’t listen to it without tears clouding my eyes. Because it reminds me how very blessed I am. Of course ‘Sunrise Sunset’ is from the musical Fiddler on the Roof [3]. Fiddler dates from 1964 – a long time ago, but only three years before our wedding. Its music was written by Jerrold Lewis (‘Jerry’) Bock (pictured) [4]. Born in the US in 1928, Bock had a distinguished career as a composer of theatre musicals. Along the way he collected three Tony awards and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama. And he was an inductee of both the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Theatre Hall of Fame. He wrote music for many musicals including Mr Wonderful and Fiorello! But far and away his most successful musical was Fiddler. Last Wednesday, 81-year-old Bock died – from heart failure [5]. I feel like his death’s somehow closed a chapter of my life. But his music lives on. And it’ll be listened to and treasured for decades to come. I feel sure.

P.S. Ironically just ten days before his death, Bock spoke at the funeral of 98-year-old Joseph Stein [6] who wrote the book Fiddler on the Roof from which the musical was adapted.

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