Thursday, October 30, 2008

Memphis Says Good-Bye To Jazz & Music Education Legend...

Dr. Goodrich True To His Music Love
By By Jon W. Sparks
Special to The Commercial Appeal

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Andrew L. Goodrich was passionate about each of the rich and varied parts of his life -- jazz musician, educator, father, civil rights activist.

Dr. Goodrich, who died Sunday at age 80 in Bryn Mawr, Pa., grew up in Memphis with a devotion to jazz. He took up the alto saxophone in the seventh grade and was a member of the Manassas High School Band whose members included jazz performers who would garner global reputations, such as Harold Mabern, Booker Little and Charles Lloyd.

He was awarded a music scholarship to Tennessee State University and was a member of the nationally recognized Collegians jazz band.

Vikki Tolbert, Dr. Goodrich's daughter, said alto saxophonist Tony Williams went to TSU to play with the Collegians when her father was a member. Williams had a high opinion of his abilities but when he heard the band, "he said they were so awesome, so hot, that he hid his sax under his bed," Tolbert said.

Dr. Goodrich became a band director and music teacher in Memphis and later in Nashville. "He was always very passionate about his music and that was near and dear to him," said his son, Eric Goodrich.

Tolbert said her father realized that teaching and performing would not be enough to raise his four children, so he went to Michigan State University and got a Ph.D. in administration and higher education.

While Dr. Goodrich pursued his career as an administrator and professor at the University of Maryland and the University of Illinois, among other places, he also continued to perform.

Among the artists he performed with were Aretha Franklin, Lou Rawls, Clark Terry, Jimmy Cleveland, Cannonball Adderley, Nat Adderley and Thad Jones. He twice performed at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and also at the White House for President Ronald Reagan's celebration of Lionel Hampton.

Dr. Goodrich produced three jazz albums: Natch'l Natch'l in 1976, Motherless Child in 1997 and Too Muckin' Fuch in 2002.

While he was dedicated to his music, his family and education, he was also an activist in the civil rights movement. When he lived in Nashville, he opened his home to out-of-town students who were participants in sit-ins, his daughter said.

Dr. Goodrich also leaves two other sons, Dr. Kenneth Goodrich and Reginald Goodrich; a brother, Harold Goodrich; and eight grandchildren.

A viewing for Dr. Goodrich is 11 a.m.-1 p.m. today followed by a memorial service at Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, 620 Parkrose Road. Interment is Monday at 10:30 a.m. at West Tennessee Veterans Cemetery.

The family asks that any memorials be sent to the Andy Goodrich Memorial at Stax Music Academy.

© 2008 Scripps Newspaper Group — Online

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