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Author Topic:  Gary Church
Larry King


Watts, Oklahoma, USA
Post  Posted 20 Feb 2018 8:00 am    
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Gary Church , incredible horn player with Merle Haggard and later with Mel Tillis has passed away from injuries sustained in an automobile accident . The info I received was that his car was T-Boned in Arizona . He is survived by his long time companion Cheryl . No other info is available at this time
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Sam Marshall


Chandler, AZ USA
Post  Posted 20 Feb 2018 12:16 pm    
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Oh dear, I am so sorry to hear this.

I met & heard Gary several times and was always impressed with his exceptional work with traditional jazz groups here in the Phoenix area.

Sam in AZ
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Milt Quackenbush

Gold Coast, Nerang Queensland
Post  Posted 2 Mar 2018 1:24 am     Gary Church
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Very sad news about the passing of Gary Church. I met Gary back in 1976 at the Ramada Inn in Scottsdale AZ. I was working with the Freddie Powers Show at the Speak Easy Club. Gary came in the club and introduced himself. He said he was a musician, so we got him up to play.

He was great, and we became best friends from that day on, despite the fact he accidently knocked my valve trombone off the Piano and broke it

Gary was an extremely talented musician. He played Cornet, Trombone, Piano, Guitar and Banjo. He was a great singer too, and comedy came naturally to him.

Gary also had success as a song writer, co-writing, I Always Get Lucky With You, with Freddy Powers and Merle Haggard.

Although he played all genres of music, including country music at the top level, with Merle Haggard, Gary is best known for his contribution to Jazz. He was one of the best Dixieland player that I’ve ever worked with.

Gary moved to Branson, Missouri, to become a Statesider, in Mel Tillis’ 22 piece band. A year later, I joined Mel too, so our good times working together started anew. They were such fun years.

Gary will be missed by all who knew him, and heard his music. Nobody can fill his shoes. I am so thankful to have been able to share the stage with this talented man on so many occasions.

Condolences to Gary’s partner, Cheryl, his son Eddie, and his Sister Michelle, and the Church Family.

It’s hard to say goodbye, Son Buddy.

I’m gonna miss ya Mugs. Love you forever.
Milton Q
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Ron Pruter


Arizona, USA
Post  Posted 12 Mar 2018 9:12 pm    
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Gary and I used to work together in a music store here in Mesa Az. To say comedy came easy to this "one of a kind guy" is a real under-statement.
Here's an example. He and I was working one day. I was doing guitar repairs just around the other side of an open door in the music shop and a young kid comes in. Gary starts talking to him about how hard the music biz is. He's talking to him and putting him on just to entertain me. Telling him things like, have you ever heard of Jefferson Airplane? They were Jefferson Airplane then Jefferson Starship, the just Starship; changing their name with the times. Then he says Man, I knew them back when they Jefferson Wheel barrow.
Then he starts telling the poor kid how his band almost made it but the record company just couldn't pronounce their name. Now Gary's got him right where he wants him and the kid asks "what was your name"? Gary says " the name of our band was....And Gary blows a big loud, perfectly timed fart. I was in tears of laughter behind the wall. I could go on. I'll miss him. His son Eddy is a chip off the old block. RIP Gary...RP
Emmons SKH Le Grande, '73 P/J bass, Tick tack bass, Regal high strung, and a Coral Sitar.
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