As we approach the centennial anniversary of your birth, In addition to wishing you a Happy 100th Birthday, I want also to say Thanks. For more than half of your life, I have been a devoted fan who has assiduously followed your career from the first time I heard you inspire the George Shearing Quintet with your astounding virtuosity. I have followed your career from the founding of Levy Enterprises which catapulted you to the apex of ALL Personal Managers…why? Because you had intestinal fortitude to defy the odds and vault over the numberless obstacles thrown in your path and become the FIRST African American to achieve such a lofty perch in the Music enterprises. Few Blacks know of your legendary career made even more illustrious by the number of prominent Black Artists whose careers are the direct product of your extensive expertise, innate intuition and dynamic drive. Your numerous Awards, Honors and Professional Recognition have found dormancy in the passage of time and the recesses of your stoic Modesty. I have not forgotten your contributions to America’s contribution to the World’s cultural and artistic anthropology. In addition to the many 78 RPMs of “September in the Rain”, I have been fortunate to be able follow your many of accomplishments through a mutual friend of ours who is just as enthralled by your continuing legacy as I, but who also enjoys a personal love and relationship with you. His name is: Washington Rucker. Our friendship extends back to just after the “George Shearing Quintet” era. So I thank you and him for all of the joy that has fallen on my life through the music that I love. I thank you for those who might not know how deserving you are of the iconic position you hold in our collective lives.
May God Bless you and assure us that you will enjoy this Birthday in a manner befitting the reality of your Royalty.