My Introduction to the world of arranging for hire

(the following is an excerpt from my upcoming memoir: "Walking With Giants")

The summer of 1977 was eventful. I had now been hanging out with Billy for close to four years and we were becoming closer as friends and musical partners. I had gone from being a naive young musician to becoming a competent musical director on the Mitzi Gaynor show in less than a year and would spend my time off the road picking up loose ends with Billy on his various musical variety television shows and nightclub acts. And, hanging out at the beach or observing his recording sessions.

One of the more unusual things I had to adapt to was writing with fountain pens on vellum. I didn’t really understand why that was the preferred method when I would see Billy working at home, but that’s the way he worked. Another curious aspect of working with Billy was that he never used a piano when writing. He would imagine the entire score in his head and then commit it to paper. I didn’t question it,...

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