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Appreciating Dave McKenna — Tom Reney

January 9th 2009

Dave McKenna, a New England jazz legend, died on Saturday, October 18, 2008, at the age of 78. His sister Jean McKenna O’Donnell noted that he’d enjoyed the Red Sox spectacular Game 5 victory over Tampa Bay on Thursday night. Dave, who grew up in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, had two great passions: jazz piano and the Boston Red Sox. Indeed, during his playing years, he was notorious for his habit of listening to Sox games on a concealed transistor radio while he played piano at the Copley Plaza and other Southern New England saloons. Among the handful of tunes he composed, two were dedicated to Ted Williams, “Theodore the Thumper” and “Splendid Splinter.”

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