Philly jazz artist Don Gardner passes away at age 87

The rhythm and blues singer's career spanned more than 70 years.

John McDevitt
September 08, 2018 - 1:42 pm
don gardner

Steve Bryant / Phil. Clef Club

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) -- A memorial service is planned in October for an accomplished Philadelphia jazz artist who passed away Tuesday at the age of 87.   

In the early 1960's, Don Gardner recorded the pop hit "I need your Lovin'."  The rhythm and blues singer, songwriter, and drummer grew up in North Philadelphia.

Gardner's career spanned more than 70 years, from the late 1940's until just before his passing. He was the executive director of the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts, where he worked with young performers.

Lovett Hines is the Artistic Director of the Philadelphia Clef Club. He was at the hospital when Gardner passed away, playing the artist's music.

"And I just held the telephone to his ear on YouTube," Hines said. "And you could see his reaction with his eyes moving and moving his hand. So he responded to the music, and I'm glad that was the last thing he heard."

The public is invited to attend a memorial service on October 11 and 12 at 7: 30 p.m. at the Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz and Performing Arts in South Philadelphia.