Dave Blume

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Although composer and producer David Blume launched his career as a jazz artist, he later enjoyed success in pop and film music, and spent over three decades accompanying his folksinger wife Carolyn Hester…
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Although composer and producer David Blume launched his career as a jazz artist, he later enjoyed success in pop and film music, and spent over three decades accompanying his folksinger wife Carolyn Hester on tour and on record. Born in Boston in 1931, Blume began studying classical piano at the age of four, and made his recital debut that same year. As an adolescent he embraced jazz, learning to arrange for big bands and orchestras. He nevertheless majored in journalism at Northeastern University, working part-time for the United Press International. After graduating in 1952, Blume was drafted to serve in the U.S. Army, serving as an arranger and conductor for the Fort Bragg, NC, base orchestra. After receiving his discharge, he settled in nearby Fayetteville, and with cousin Howard Baum founded a bowling alley, B&B Lanes. He also formed a jazz combo, the David Blume Trio, that regularly headlined B&B's bar before settling in Boston, where they launched a residency at Fred Taylor's Paul's Mall and Jazz Workshop. There Blume began writing in tandem with lyricist Jerry Keller. Although their satirical "Turn Down Way" was written for jazz, sunshine pop group the Cyrkle nevertheless scored a Top 20 chart smash with their 1966 cover version. Its success also proved Blume's entrée into Hollywood, and in 1968 he scored the Don Knotts vehicle The Shakiest Gun in the West. That same year, he also worked on the comedy What's So Bad About Feeling Good?

Around that same time, Hester -- the Texas-born singer/songwriter whose friendship with a then-unknown Bob Dylan was pivotal in securing his first recording contract with Columbia -- abruptly and unexpectedly abandoned folk music in favor of psychedelia, recruiting Blume, guitarist Steve Wolfe, and drummer Skeeter Camera to form the Carolyn Hester Coalition and releasing a much-maligned LP on Cotillion. The group proved short-lived, but Hester and Blume wed in 1969, continuing their writing and performing collaboration for over three decades. In 1972 the couple relocated to Los Angeles, where Blume worked as a staff producer for RCA. He and Hester also helmed their own independent label, Outpost, and jointly operated Café Danssa, a folk-dancing club in L.A. Blume later returned to his journalism roots, working in a series of editorial capacities for the Los Angeles Times. At the same time, he remained on the RCA payroll, however, and after embracing the synthesizer, contributed to Hugo Montenegro's 1974 cult classic Hugo in Wonder-Land, a collection of Stevie Wonder covers. Beginning in 1994, Blume served as the house pianist for a Stan Kenton tribute mounted annually in Monrovia, CA. After retiring from the L.A. Times in 1999, his health declined, and shortly after suffering a stroke he died at his home in Sylmar, CA, on March 16, 2006.