Remembrances of Marvin Hamlisch and His Legacy

Orrymain

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I just learned about the death yesterday of Marvin Hamlisch and it has made me feel very nostalgic in a few different ways.

View attachment 1876 For one thing, Hamlisch was simply so talented that his work is part of many favorite movies. I actually recall the year when he won three Academy Awards, two for The Way We Were and one for The Sting. It was a huge deal at the time. He was responsible for other favorites, too, like Seems Like Old Times and Chapter Two.

He was also involved in the 1984 Olympics ceremonies in Los Angeles. That was a magical time for America. There was a spectacular piano portion and who can forget grocery clerk Vicki McClure singing Reach Out and Touch. Hamlisch wrote the Welcome Song, so had a hand in what went on.

Then there were his appearances on The Johnny Carson Show. He could be very funny sometimes.

What I probably remember most, though, is actually seeing him conduct for Barbra Streisand in her initial return to concert performances. It was 1993 and she had two dates in Las Vegas. We went to the second one. It was a star studded event -- great names in Hollywood were there, people like Gregory Peck. It was an incredible experience. The rapport between Streisand and Hamlisch was obvious.

Of his death, Barbra was quoted today as saying, "I’m devastated. He was my dear friend. Just last night, I was trying to reach him, to tell him how much I loved him and that I wanted to use an old song of his that I had just heard for the first time. He was a true musical genius, but above all that, he was a beautiful human being. I will truly miss him.”

Talents like Hamlisch do not appear every day. He's left behind a wonderful legacy, and I will always remember that Vegas concert and his music.
 

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