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January 19, 2015

Ward Swingle passes

We lost another great one today as the venerable Ward Swingle died this morning at the age of 87. He had been in poor health of late and had moved from his long-time home in France to England so he could be closer to his daughter. A native of Mobile, Alabama, Ward founded the eponymous Les Swingle Singers who were winners of 5 Grammy awards including Best New Artists in 1963. Ward is one of the few musicians to have a particular style of music named after themselves with the Swingle Sound being very recognizable and unique.

I had the pleasure of being the producer of his instructional video "Swingle Singing" and although he was exacting in his needs was nevertheless a pleasure to work with. He spent most of his time in France but there was always a touch of the Southern gentleman in his demeanor.

Ward's survivors include his wife, Francoise; three daughters; and several nieces and nephews.

Truly one of the greatest innovators in a cappella, his music will live on for generations.

Posted by acapnews at January 19, 2015 12:00 AM