Larry Thomas lrt0393 at hotmail.com
Fri Oct 10 12:38:20 EDT 2008

Rocky Mount, North Carolina native Thelonious Sphere (so he wouldn't get mixed with the squares) Monk's music will be featured for 24 hours on Columbia University's WKCR-FM.  Today is Monk's birthday. Tune in to hear why North Carolinians are extremely proud of one of our own!  I am a 
historian who has studied the Carolina connection in jazz and have counted 75 and counting jazz personalities who were born in North Carolina, and have found that Monk deserves the title of the High Preist of Modern Music.  His compositions have become standards and his originality has yet
to be properly copied, although many have tried.  My study, Carolina Jazz Connection with Larry Reni Thomas, has tried to figure out why are there so many jazz personalities who were native North Carolinians? It is part of a power point presentation that I will present beginning this January 2009, as a member of a program sponsored by The North Carolina Humanities Council called "Road Scholars."  Saxophone great Jimmy Heath, who attended and graduated from high school in Wilmington (Williston High School Class of 1943), told me once, that he thought it was in the water.  His brother, legendary bassist, Percy (who was born in Wilmington, Williston H.S. Class of 1940) said in a 2002 interview before his passing, and before he received a honorary doctorate from UNC-W in came from the church and the Blues.  I think it may be a little of all three!  Enjoy Monk!
Larry Reni Thomas
Chapel Hill, NC
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