Bob Prahin, a pianist who was a fixture on the Columbus music scene for decades, died on Saturday August 29, 2015. He was 75. Prahin, whose stage name was Bob Allen, will be remembered as a musical legend in central Ohio, said bandleader Rick Brunetto, who considered Prahin a mentor and his dearest friend.
Bob Prahin, a pianist who was a fixture on the Columbus music scene for decades, died on Saturday. He was 75.
Prahin, whose stage name was Bob Allen, will be remembered as a musical legend in central Ohio, said bandleader Rick Brunetto, who considered Prahin a mentor and his dearest friend.
“He was a great virtuoso pianist,” Brunetto said. “He could almost move people to tears with the beauty of his ability to play.”
Prahin earned his living, and his fame, heading the Bob Allen Trio and playing lounges, including the former Maramor and Christopher Inn. Brunetto joined the trio as a drummer in the mid-1970s and played with Prahin for 13 years.
“I consider him to be the greatest musician I’ve ever known,” he said. “It’s just a terrible loss to the music community.”
Among his greatest gifts was his creativity and the ability to blend classical music and jazz into something new, said Brunetto and Prahin’s wife of nearly 11 years, Mickey Prahin.
Mr. Prahin, who was born blind in Cleveland, graduated in 1963 from Capital University in Bexley.
Over the past decade, he was managing a number of health-care issues. He had heart-bypass surgery in 2003 and developed diabetes and circulatory problems. In 2011, his legs were amputated.
Brunetto said Prahin’s blindness was not an obstacle -- “it didn’t stop him from going anywhere” --p p p p and his wife said that he rarely showed any depression following the loss of his legs.
“He was a very strong, determined man,” Mrs. Prahin said, “while being very kind.”
Mrs. Prahin knew her husband before she knew his music, but people had often asked her if she fell in love with him because of his talent.
“He put his feelings into his music,” she said. “He was an absolutely colossal musician.”
Brunetto said his friend also was “a marvelously intelligent man,” adept with electronics, and had a wonderful sense of humor.
Prahin spent his last days at a rehabilitation center in Gahanna, where he and Brunetto chatted on Friday about playing at the Christopher Inn, and the many late-night trips made to White Castle after performances.
“He just was a wonderful man, and very much loved,” Brunetto said.
Along with his wife, Prahin leaves behind a son and two daughters. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Southwick-Good Funeral Chapel.
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