Loonis McGlohon: North Carolina Was His Home
On January 26, 2002, noted pianist and composer Loonis McGlohon died. Born in Ayden in 1921, he grew up listening to big band music and learning the piano from the church organist. After graduating from East Carolina University, McGlohon moved to Charlotte where he began working for WBTV, first with a jazz show. He moved up to become music director and producer, among other positions there.
McGlohon is perhaps best known for forming the Loonis McGlohon Trio, which recorded more than two dozen albums and toured the world. His compositions include “The Wine of May” and “Songbird,” and have been recorded by scores of performers including Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Judy Garland and Rosemary Clooney.
An ardent advocate of his home state, McGlohon collaborated with journalist Charles Kuralt on North Carolina is My Home, a symphonic work with narration and vocals which has been distributed as a recording, public televison broadcast and video and a coffee table book.
In recognition of his songwriting, McGlohon was honored in 1998 with a tribute at New York’s Lincoln Center where many of the artists who had played with him and sung his songs made appearances. He was inducted into the North Carolina Music Hall of Fame in 1999.
Other related resources:
- The North Carolina Arts Council
- North Carolina Art Trails
- Resources for exploring performing arts from the N.C. Arts Council
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