Tom Terrell's Washington Post obit

Thanks to Brian Tate and the Full Spectrum crew for bringing Tom’s obit to my attention.

Mr. Terrell, whose buoyant enthusiasm led to many friendships in the music business, had a gift for discovering artists and musical developments.

"He somehow managed to hear of people long before anyone else did," said Bill Warrell, who hired Mr. Terrell as the first DJ at d.c. space in 1977. "He did everything, he knew everybody. He introduced so many of us to each other. That was his magic."

Mr. Terrell’s journalism was often a spirited blend of autobiography and musicology, leavened with slang, profanity and the knowledge of every trend in popular music for the past half-century. He wrote about virtually every form of music from Africa and the Americas, and in an NPR commentary last December he found himself praising an artist he never expected to like: Frank Sinatra.

"When I was younger, I couldn’t understand why my father, the hippest black man I’ve ever known, dug him so much," he said. "Now, when I listen to Sinatra and the Count Basie Orchestra swinging to heaven with ‘Fly Me to the Moon,’ I know."

. . .

Mr. Terrell maintained that music could be a beneficial force in the world, uniting people across racial, social and geographical boundaries.

"He loved bringing new music to people," said his sister Bevadine Z. Terrell of Washington. "He loved bringing people together, not just African Americans, but white people, Asian people, African people. He was open to all types of music."

Certainly, this is a great way to be remembered.

Read the full obit by clicking here.

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