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Obit: George Levine (George Lorrie) 1923-2009

Suffet 12 Jan 10 - 07:10 AM
GUEST,Seth Levine 28 Jul 13 - 03:13 PM
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Subject: Obit: George Levine (George Lorrie) 1923-2009
From: Suffet
Date: 12 Jan 10 - 07:10 AM

Sad news. George Levine, who under the stage name George Lorrie was once the long time host of a folk music program on WNCN radio in New York City, passed away on December 29, 2009, at the age of 86. George had been ill for several years and had been confined to a nursing home for the last two. When we once asked him why he didn't use his real name on the air, he told us, "Because George Levine was blacklisted and George Lorrie wasn't. This was radio, not television, so who would know?"

George also liked to tell the story about when he was a longshoreman in Baltimore during World War II. Woody Guthrie, then in the Merchant Marines, landed in town on a Liberty Ship, and a number of the union men, George included, went to a local bar with Woody after work for a night of whatever. The only problem was the drinking age in Maryland was 21 at the time, and George was only 20. So Woody called over the bartender and said, "A round of drinks for the boys -- and a glass of milk for the kid." How many people are there who could honestly say Woody Guthrie once treated them to a glass of milk, let alone a glass of milk in a waterfront bar?

George was a DJ who gave Pete Seeger airplay in the 1950s and early 1960s when few others would do so. But he was much more: a journalist, a songwriter, a performer, and even a small businessman who fought the giant AT&T telephone monopoly and won. At the time, AT&T enforced a rule that required customers to rent AT&T telephones and not connect any others to their system. Then George came along and started selling system-compatible telephones he imported from Italy. AT&T tried to put him out of business, but the courts ruled in George's favor, and soon the entire telecommunications industry changed forever.

George Levine was one of the True Good Guys. We will miss him.

--- Marilyn & Steve Suffet


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Subject: RE: Obit: George Levine (George Lorrie) 1923-2009
From: GUEST,Seth Levine
Date: 28 Jul 13 - 03:13 PM

Dear Marilyn and Steve,
Thank you for a wonderful remembrance of my father. I have just seen it as I was looking for any recordings of his that may have survived on the internet.
Thank you again,

Best regards,
Seth


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