Tuesday, January 4, 2011

R.I.P. VERNE LANGDON 1941-2011


Verne Langdon (1941 - 2011):

Born in Oakland, California, Langdon was known in cult monster mask circles as the creative force behind the Don Post Studios "Calendar Masks". He was also the creator of the most sought-after collector's mask, "The Zombie", and was creator-producer of the cult classic Decca LP An Evening With Boris Karloff And His Friends. With Jay Stein and Terry Winnick he created The Land Of A Thousand Faces Makeup Show in 1975 and the Castle Dracula horror show in 1980 for Universal Studios Tour, Hollywood, California. He has produced, written, performed and recorded thirty one albums for two record labels, Electric Lemon Record Co., and Dejavu Record Company. His most recent album was released on March 16, 2009, Jonathan Winters - A Very Special Time. The nineteen track, spoken word album, featured memorial tracks with all music composed by Verne Langdon.

Langdon was a member of American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. He was a special guest of the Monsterpalooza – The Art of Monsters on April 9, 2010, in The Marriott Burbank Airport Hotel in Burbank, California.

Langdon died, at the age of 69, on January 1, 2011. en.wikipedia.com

Verne Langdon was born in Oakland, California to a musical family; his mother was staff First Cellist
with NBC radio in San Francisco, his father played violin, and to complete the musical history, Verne's
uncle was famed jazz cornetist, bandleader Ernest Loring "Red" Nichols (Red Nichols and The Five Pennies).

By age two Verne was climbing up on the piano bench and duplicating melodies; by age 12 he was studying
classical piano with Thomas Ryan, then head of the Music Department at San Jose State University.

When it became obvious to Ryan that Verne's talent for improvising and creating his own melodies was
holding the young artist back, Verne's parents were advised to put an end to formal lessons and give his gift free reign.

By fourteen, Verne Langdon was working for both of San Jose (California's) major music stores, demonstrating pianos and organs, where noted
keyboard musician Korla Pandit heard Verne perform, and invited him to study music and theory. Verne studied with Pandit for several years, learning
and perfecting the simultaneous Hammond organ/grand piano techniques originated by Pandit on radio, most notably the "Chandu the Magician" radio
soap opera (1948 revival).

Verne soon thereafter embarked on a successful career in radio, first with a weekly live broadcast organ music show (1959), then as a co-host for the
prototype of the Coca-Cola Hi-Fi Club (1959-1960), and finally with his own 4-hour AM and 4-hr PM radio show, 6 mornings and nights per week,
on 50000 watt radio station KLOK-AM in the San Francisco Bay Area(1960-1962).

From 1967, when he and collaborator Milt Larsen produced "An Evening With Boris Karloff And His Friends" for Decca Records, to the present, he
has written, produced or been featured Artist for fifteen LP albums, two forty-five single releases, ranging from theatre organ to harpsichord, comedy
to calliope, and more than nearly 30 CDs. courtesy http://www.vernelangdon.com/Bio.html.

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