Post from elsewhere by Tim Landers – PLEASE contact Tim Landers, (443) 686-1450, to help with this event in honor of Gil Monroe.
Dear Fellow Entertainers, Musicians and Friends, I am sorry to have to write this but I am attempting to pull off something that is very difficult to do. With the exception of a few people, many of you will be startled and I hope even outraged by what I am about to tell you. As many of you know, one of the truly great mentors in my life is Gil Monroe. I don’t think that I need to go into a long drawn out story of everything Gil has accomplished but for those who need a little history here goes: This man lead one of the most successful orchestras in the country starting in the 1940′s. Johnny Mann was one of his piano players and singers, Hank Levy played Sax for him and he worked with the likes of everyone from Guy Lombardo , The Temptations and Buddy Rich to Stevie Wonder. Gil also ran a music store in the Overlea area where many a young musician was given their first taste of what it was like to truthfully be a professional.
We were taught, nurtured and even promoted by this man. He gave freely of his talent and his own equipment so that we could begin to earn money doing what he and the teachers in his studio had taught us to do and never asked for anything in return (except the equipment back). I am fortunate to be living one of the lives that this man touched and have never forgotten him for it. We kept in touch over the years and had lunch and dinners regularly. At 90 years old he’s still sharp as a tack but sadly through no fault of his own has become the victim of what so many of our senior citizens have been experiencing. I will share the actual details with anyone who would like them but for now let’s just say that Gil has been seriously taken advantage of even abused. He was literally tossed out on the street. I know this to be true because for the last month Gil has been living with me. A nurse punctured his eardrum so he can’t hear that well and he’s not up with the latest technology like computers (which is why I feel safe sharing this on facebook) but otherwise he’s in great shape and is not on a single medication.
Recently Gil moved in with his niece briefly until other arrangements can be made. With the exception of a very meager Social Security and Retirement income (which his ex-wife gets part of) he has nothing except a 1997 Lincoln Town Car. What I am proposing is for everyone who wishes to give back something to this man who gave so much to others, pitch in together and organize an event to celebrate his life and give all of the proceeds to Gil. I have already spoken to a few folks but I need alot of help. We need to have a committee set up to handle this huge undertaking so please don’t volunteer unless you are truthfully willing to do a great deal of work for nothing in return other than feeling a little bit better about yourself.
I am proposing that we get a hall in the Baltimore area and organize a volunteer group of musicians to play. Everyone, whether they are playing or not has to buy a ticket and hopefully almost everything from food to drinks and the hall will be donated or acquired at an extremely low rate. All egos must be set aside as we must keep our eye on the ball so to speak. Gil is a very proud man but I know he would greatly appreciate help now and HE DESERVES IT. One thing I do know about entertainers is they tend to have very big hearts and also take care of their own.
If you are interested in helping out, please respond to me via Facebook or call me at (443) 686-1450. I will also be posting this on Baltimore Bands and would appreciate it if everyone out there would send it to everyone they can. Once I see how much interest there is I will make my decision on how to proceed. Remember, hopefully we are all going to be 90 one day and I don’t know about you but I would like to spend my final years with at least a bit of my dignity left. Thank You And God Bless You, Your Buddy, Timmy