"Jazz" McCray died yesterday..."Charleston - NOT New Orleans - is really where American Jazz began."
My friend Jack McCray said that a lot back when we both worked at The Post and Courier.
Jack was a writer and music expert that I was never able to surprise with any of my offbeat questions about jazz. I would even look up little known facts to tease him with but he always was a step ahead of me.
He died Wednesday after being MR. JAZZ in this city for as long as I can remember.
He wrote a book about the Charleston music roots.
I bought it.
He signed it for me.
I'm glad he left me a memento of a nice guy.
A few years ago, I did a salute to Mr. Jazz on my blog. That was a fun day.
I heard a LOT of good jazz upstairs at Mistral's on Market Street. And at McCrady's.
Yes, Jack was the driving force behind those Piccolo Spoleto Jazz Fests.
He used to share stories about noted music places like the old Chef & Clef, also on Market Street.
I was born here but left when I was a teenager to join the Marines.
When I came back in 1993, I appreciated the city a lot more.
After I started at the paper and got to know him, Jack would tell me what I had missed.
Now, I'll miss him.
Thanks for stopping by. Happy Marine Corps birthday. It's our 236th.