Jazz pianist Sir George Shearing, who wrote the standard “Lullaby of Birdland” and headed a famed quintet bearing his name, died Monday. He was 91.
Dale Sheets, Shearing’s longtime manager, said the pianist, blind since birth, died of congestive heart failure.
Shearing was already hugely popular in his native England when he came in the United States in 1947.
The George Shearing Quintet’s first big hit was “September in the Rain,” in 1949. He wrote “Lullaby of Birdland” in 1952, naming it for the famous New York jazz club.
Among the luminaries with whom Shearing worked over the years were Nat “King” Cole, Mel Torme, Peggy Lee and Sarah Vaughan.
He remained active well into his 80s until he was injured in a fall in his New York home in 2004.
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