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Howard Chaykin

Hey, hey, hey--before he became that guy, Neal Hefti was a fantastic composer and arranger for the Count Basie Orchestra--the so called Atomic band. For all the TV theme crap, there was also WHIRLY BIRD, and SHINY STOCKINGS--two of the best pieces the second Basie unit ever did.

A few years back, I was standing at my dealership waiting for service behind a tall, heavyset guy in a straw hat, polo and shorts--typical California outfit for a man in his seventies.

He left, I stepped up, and saw his signature on the registry. It was Hefti. I ran outside and tried to catch him and tell him how much I loved his Basie stuff, but he was gone.

So much for another fanboy moment.

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