General News

Jazz star Ben Tucker killed in crash

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Jun 05, 2013 | 9:48am EDT

Jazz musician Ben Tucker has been killed in a car crash in Georgia. The 82 year old was driving a golf cart across a road on Hutchinson Island in Savannah on Tuesday (04Jun13) when a car slammed into him at high speed. He was taken to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The other driver, a 52-year-old man from Texas, has been charged with racing, vehicular homicide and reckless driving, according to Savannah-Chatham County police spokesman Julian Miller. An accomplished upright bass player, Tucker performed with the likes of Quincy Jones and Peggy Lee, and played an impressive instrument he named Bertha and claimed was 240 years old. Tucker also penned a number of jazz records, most notably the track Comin' Home Baby!, co-written with jazz vocalist Bob Dorough, which has been recorded by Mel Torme, Herbie Mann and, more recently, Michael Buble. Jazz guitarist Howard Paul paid tribute to his longtime friend saying, "One of the most interesting things about playing with Ben was he was so beloved by so many people in Savannah who had met him at his club or whose weddings he had played. You could count on being interrupted at least three times in a song because Savannahians (sic) would walk up and shake his hand while we were playing." "He was on the music scene for so many years and performed with many of the greatest names in jazz, yet he spent so much time with local musicians and children as well. I think he grew up in an era of jazz musicians where they felt obligated to give back."

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