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September 10, 2010

Walter Latzko dies

Legendary arranger Walter Latzko passed away this morning at 7.45am after a long illness. He was 86 years old. A member of the Barbershop Hall of Fame he left a legacy of 1,226 arrangements for barbershop quartets and choruses of which 94 are medleys and is considered to be one of the greatest barbershop arrangers ever.

Walter was a joke-writer and musician having written for Arthur Godfrey’s radio and TV shows, Jack Sterling’s CBS morning radio show, Garry Moore, and Durward Kirby. He was the arranger and coach for the Chordettes who were regular performers on the Godfrey shows. He married one of the Chordettes, Marjorie, in 1953 who sang on the famous recording “Mr. Sandman.”

Read "From Lederhosen To Barbershop" where he reflects on a life in music, the great quartets he's known, and his wonderful wife of 56 years Margie.

Read his obituary here.

Posted by acapnews at September 10, 2010 9:50 PM


I loved Walter's attitude toward assisting anyone who called to ask for an arrangement, or an embellishment, or to make an arrangement contestable, or to simplify a song or two. He was always willing to jump right in. He was kind, generous, fun, fun-loving and the kind of person the entire world needs many more of today. Aside from all the good, great, and wonderful things Walter represents in life, . . . in death . . . and forever, I genuinely miss him, his light, his integrity, and his "latest" arrangement being sung somewhere beyond where we can reach, or hear, for now. Go in peace Walter, my friend.

Posted by: Bill Ward at October 18, 2010 6:27 AM

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