|Death: ||Oct. 19, 2007|
Sal Carson - Bay Area trumpeter and bandleader
Sal Carson, a veteran trumpeter and bandleader who played all over the Bay Area, at 49ers games and summer resorts, has died in San Francisco of heart failure. He was 86...
from San Francisco Chronicle - (Oct/30/2007)
Moraga resident, longtime musician dies of heart failure
Sal Carson's music reached many lives and also gave meaning to his own.
"It was his life, his livelihood, his passion," said his youngest daughter, Karen Loing, 52.
The 86-year-old Moraga resident and Bay Area native died of heart failure Oct. 19. But even in his last days, his trumpet and music scores weren't far from his thoughts or his reach. Services will be held in the spring at Glenbrook Cemetery on Cobb Mountain in Lake County.
In the 65-years Carson spent building a career as a respected musician and sought after performer, he shared a stage with the best in the business and entertained the country's leaders.
It started when a 15-year-old Carson picked up a banjo. Not long after, the trumpet became his instrument of choice and his life-long companion. His children can easily picture a younger version of the hard-working man they looked up to.
"He never went to a prom," said Loing. "He always played them."
Carson and wife Kathleen would pack up their three young daughters every summer and head for Cobb Mountain to Hoberg's Resort.
There, the kids would be busy with swimming, horseback riding and games. But their fondest memories are of their father serenading a packed outdoor dance floor perfumed with the aroma of the surrounding pine trees under the stars.
"I can remember watching all the people dancing to his music," Loing said. "I thought my dad was amazing."
People traveled great distances to spend summers at Hoberg's, said JoAnne Grasso, Carson's middle daughter. For more than 25 years, Carson would greet them, trumpet in hand, as they stepped off the bus.
"My dad is attached to a lot of people's good memories," she said.
His own memories were filled with hob-knobbing with famed entertainers and prominent figures.
The Sal Carson Orchestra — a versatile band of 40 or a trio — was the home-game band for the San Francisco 49ers. The band performed for Presidents John Kennedy and Gerald Ford, and was the local politicians choice to play at fundraisers.
Carson made music with such big-names as Vic Damone, Bob Hope, Duke Ellington, Frankie Laine, Helen O'Connell, Phyllis Diller and Barbara Eden.
And he never missed a performance at the Columbus Day Parade in San Francisco. Because of his local persona, Carson was dubbed "The San Francisco Music Man."
Friends say he was nothing short of legendary, not only as a musician but a man with a thirst for life.
Neighbor and good friend Pat Geroghegan said Carson routinely sat in his back yard and could be heard tinkering on his trumpet. Even weeks before his death, Geroghegan recalls hearing his friend two doors down first warming up and then working his way into song.
"Even though he was sick and weak, his desire was to play," he said. "He never talked about getting old, he always lived for the day and had plans for the future."
Jerry Stucker, longtime friend and former band member, said Carson's positive outlook and easy going nature contributed to his success as a musician.
"It can be a hard business and people get jaded," he said. "But not him."
Carson's wife said he was driven by his music, even in the last couple of years when his heart and health were fading.
"He still wanted to do everything," she said. "Doctors said they didn't know what was keeping him alive besides will power."
from Lamorinda Sun (CA) - October 26, 2007
Created by: Kathy Knickmeyer
Record added: Feb 11, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 65525462
|Photos may be scaled.|
Click on image for full size.