George “Geordie” Hormel, II

George “Geordie” Hormel, II

Birth
Austin, Mower County, Minnesota, USA
Death 12 Feb 2006 (aged 77)
Paradise Valley, Humboldt County, Nevada, USA
Burial Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend
Memorial ID 32172690 · View Source
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PHOENIX….2/12/06 ….George (Geordie/Jordie) Hormel, 77, of Paradise Valley, died Sunday, February 12 of natural causes after a short illness. Hormel passed away in his home with his family at his side.

Hormel, heir to the meat packing Hormel Foods Corporation, and owner of The historic Wrigley Mansion in Phoenix, and Village Recording Studio in Los Angeles, was well known for his philanthropic endeavors and charitable contributions throughout the state. He was an accomplished artist and musician who could be found every Sunday Brunch playing the Steinway piano at his beloved Wrigley Mansion. Hormel, who purchased the Wrigley in 1992, loved the Mansion's architecture and historic significance it brings to the valley.
Hormel is survived by his wife Jamie, his six children, eight grandchildren and two brothers.
Private funeral services will be held and a public memorial will be announced in a couple of weeks. Donations may be made in Hormel's name to Hospice of The Valley.
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Biography
Almost everyone knows who he is - born a Cancer, July 17, 1928, of a family who created the most deadly food of the century - SPAM - but some might be unaware of what he is. Continuing in his family's tradition, Geordie has been creating food since his youth - food for heart and soul.
Maybe he didn't have to make an instrument out of a cigar box but, when he was three years old, he would have done anything necessary to have some way to be able to make music. The piano was there, and would seem to have been a logical start, but a piano teacher told his parents that a child was not ready to learn piano until the age of six! So, Geordie was told he was "too young to learn" and "Don't Bang On The Piano!"
Necessarily, he created a secret practice place in the basement of the guest house even though it was unheated during those frigid Minnesota winters. There was an old upright! Little Geordie could make notes! They were all right there. The white keys made a "scale." The black keys made "sharps" and "flats." With a phonograph, (the kind you had to wind up!), he got busy educating himself by playing along with people like Frankie Carl, Art Tatum, Benny Goodman, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Harry James, Oscar Peterson, Ella Fitzgerald, Nellie Lutcher, Louis Armstrong, and many more.
When he was six, he was taken down to the same piano teacher but, by then, he was too involved learning on his own, by ear, to get into this seemingly "square" approach to nowhere he wanted to go. Today, Geordie wonders how much further he might have pushed himself if he had been exposed to some blues and some gospel music back then. Nat King Cole eventually became his most admired pianist but, most of the time, he sounds more like Errol Garner, (another example of a self-taught musician).
Geordie feels he is not even qualified as a professional musician, "I've been very lucky," he says. He has no formal education at all in music, or art, or writing - the three things he wants to pursue. "They raised me to be a butcher," he explained, "but it's my fault, now. I just don't get around to doing it - getting into a school and studying. I know I've got some talent. I just don't know what it is or when I use it!"
Anyway, this "butcher," while on active duty in the Coast Guard, composed and orchestrated music for a movie that didn't get made. A friend, however, happened to be going to the Netherlands and asked if there was anything Geordie wanted recorded by the Concertgebow Orchestra! Geordie gave him his movie score, of course. Then someone from the TV series Playhouse 90 happened to overhear the tapes. The result was: in the later '50s into the '60s Geordie Hormel composed music for about half of all filmed TV shows - The Fugitive, Lassie, Naked City, Rin Tin Tin, Wanted Dead Or Alive, Ozzie & Harriet, The Untouchables, to name a few.
He has recorded about three hundred songs and written about one hundred. One of them was a hit. Chinatown. He spent a couple of years on the road as a singer doing jazz-oriented pop music in clubs and concerts. He even played the White House! A club, The Most, in New York City, booked him for two weeks in 1962. He stayed there a year without a day off. He has performed on national TV and played piano with six big-name orchestras.
Geordie helped start the careers of several artists and can feel he has had something to do with creating many works of genius. This pleases him. The visionary says, "It's just common sense to see what's coming."
In 1968, in Los Angeles, Geordie opened his own creation, The Village Recorder. The Village was one of the first major independent recording studios and is still going strong today, and still recognized as a leader in the industry. Geordie's ideas, systems, forms, etc. have become universally adopted by other studios.
There have been over two hundred gold and platinum records awards for hits made in The Village. Nearly a billion records have been sold that were created in Geordie's studios.
"What is your place in music?" we asked. "Well, I'm a 1938 amateur/pro pop piano player and singer with not much claim to fame except that I'm still here!" As time goes by, Geordie becomes more and more unique and appreciated. A father to five children, a friend to scores of diverse people - he must be one of the most personally loved humans on earth. He sees beauty in everything and can't say no. Seeing Geordie with his two little girls and his beautiful young wife, Jamie, enjoying the Arizona desert and its magic, you can tell they are gratefully, generously, and respectfully living a blessed life.
NOTE: Geordie Hormel, age 77, passed away February 12, 2006.

Source: JAZZ


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  • Created by: K.P.
  • Added: 14 Dec 2008
  • Find A Grave Memorial 32172690
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for George “Geordie” Hormel, II (17 Jul 1928–12 Feb 2006), Find A Grave Memorial no. 32172690, ; Maintained by K.P. (contributor 46787693) Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.