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Subject: Singer & Composer Keith Textor

Dies at 96
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Date Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 02:36:31pm


Keith Textor

Palm Desert - Featured Fred Waring performer Keith Textor, whose fierce love of music inspired a marriage and built a successful career, passed away peacefully on Friday, February 23rd, 2018. He died while at home in Palm Desert, CA, surrounded by his family. Keith could light up a room right to the very last of his 96 years.

Keith's passing was the result of a head injury caused by a fall which took place outside his home two weeks prior to his death. He had lived on his own since the passing of his beautiful wife Sylvia, who died from Alzheimer's disease in 2014.

A professional singer, composer and arranger of television and radio commercials for over 30 years, his company Scott-Textor Productions was known for "jingles" the likes of United Airlines and TV shows such as Candid Camera and Sesame Street. Collaborations with notables such as Ridley Scott, Richard Avedon and numerous singing celebrities graced his diverse musical career.

Born in Coon Rapids, Iowa to Fred and Jessie Textor in 1921, Keith's lifelong love for music began at an early age, winning singing competitions across the Midwest. He would later bring his talents to the Navy as a trumpet player, bugler and bandleader following his studies at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN.

Proud of his wings, Keith was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1945 and returned to alma mater St. Olaf in search of a career. He proceeded to form a singing group that would spark a brilliant romance and launch a notable profession in the music industry. Sylvia Mikelson, the founding alto of this group that would be called The Honey Dreamers, became Keith's lifelong singing partner and wife of 69 years.

The Honey Dreamers, for which Keith wrote arrangements of many of the day's popular songs for the five-part singing group, kicked off their live performing careers in Minneapolis and quickly hit the nightclub scene in Chicago. Performing nightly at the College Inn of the Hotel Sherman there, their music caught the attention of Bob Banner, director of NBC's The Dave Garroway Show who asked them to join the weekly 15-minute show, which they did. Not long after, The Honey Dreamers made a move and joined New York City's high-stakes music scene.

In the early 1950s, Keith and Sylvia left The Honey Dreamers to join The Fred Waring Show, performing as a featured duo alongside the well-known Pennsylvanians. In 1954 they went on to perform on Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca's Your Show of Shows.

Keith and Sylvia retired to Palm Desert in 1986 where they enjoyed old and new friendships, setting a high bar for engaging conversation, bridge and tennis games. Famous for spontaneous performances in his later years, Keith would easily entertain total strangers with a favorite verse or two.

His daughter and son-in-law Terry and Jim Platz, son Thomas Textor, grandchildren Willem Platz, Samuel and Alexa Schrader, Jacob Textor and extended family members especially Mary and Tink Gilbertson, as well as the many wonderful friends he has left behind will sorely miss Keith.

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IMDbLinkTuesday, March 13, 02:38:09pm

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