In July of 2016, the Thursday Night Jazz Salon celebrated the music of lyricist Hal David. Hal’s widow, Eunice David, helped put the evening together, and suggested I contact Sally Kellerman, whom I knew as an actress, but Eunice said Sally also was Hal’s favorite singer of his songs.
Sally had a little fairy dust on her. You noticed her immediately, she charmed everyone, and she sang distinctively, and hauntingly. I later found out she’d turned down a recording contract with Verve Records, when she graduated from Hollywood High!
Sally became a friend of the Jazz Salon, coming nearly every Thursday to pal around, and sing a few songs. She was a joy to all the musicians on the bandstand, as well as the audience members, who found themselves in the room with a movie star. Sally always took time for autographs and selfies.
Sally gradually suffered increasing signs of dementia. She NEVER forgot the lyrics, but was forgetting everything else. She moved into an assisted living facility in November of 2018. The day after Thanksgiving, the band played a concert at the facility. Sally sang flawlessly, and became a star there, as well.
Here is a video of Sally singing one Thursday night in May 2017. Her dear friend, singer Maria Howells, joins her for the last song, “Girl Talk”.
Everyone at the Jazz Salon is grateful for the time we were able to spend with Sally. I have tears as I write this.