Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died. (updated)


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My family and I saw Bill LaVorgna along with Liza at the Royal Albert Hall few years back. It was plain to see Liza held him in the highest esteem.

Condolences to all.
kooky
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He was a lovely man, I am sure that Judy greeted him and said
" Thank you for loving and talking care of Liza "
Nesta
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I was saddened by the news that pappy passed. Liza will survive, with the help of her fans and those she keeps close by. I met Pappy, was a quiet gentle soul. He was stablity. He will be missed....
Pappy...I am sure they got drums in heaven baby....have fun!

love the pappy

nesta
DAME
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#29
Posted: 7/31/07 at 7:24pm
Liza is still going on with her concert tonight.. as Pappy would have liked. I am sure the evening will be very emotional.
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Updated On: 7/31/07 at 07:24 PM
DAME
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#30
Posted: 8/1/07 at 12:55pm
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Yawper
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#31
Posted: 8/1/07 at 1:17pm
That photo of Liza & Bill has always been one of my favorites.
DAME
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#32
Posted: 8/1/07 at 1:19pm
Me too.
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PalJoey
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#33
Posted: 8/1/07 at 1:43pm
Condolences to you, ChaosBria. I'm sure your family has many wonderful memories of Pappy.

I seem to recall he played drums for Judy before he played for Liza. If anyone has the information on when he did (if he did), please post it.
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Carl Magnum
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#34
Posted: 8/1/07 at 2:27pm
Liza gave a wonderful performance last night in spite of the tragic loss she has suffered. At the very end of the show she finished with a very touching rendition of "I'll Be Seeing You..." acapella and had to stop a couple times to keep herself from breaking down.
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#35
Posted: 8/1/07 at 2:31pm
"At the very end of the show she finished with a very touching rendition of "I'll Be Seeing You..."

Wow. That must have been quite a moment, for her and the audience.
Yawper
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#36
Posted: 8/1/07 at 2:40pm
I think he started with Judy around 1957/8 and ended after Carnegie Hall or that tour.

Lovely article from last fall when they played the Norsk Høsfest in Minot, ND.

Høstfest Performer Has Long History in Music
DAME
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#37
Posted: 8/1/07 at 3:03pm
Carl where you there?
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#38
Posted: 8/1/07 at 4:13pm
Yeah Dame I was there last night, about 10 rows back or so. Very very good show and the end was very emotional and touching.
I got rid of my teeth at a young age because... I'm straight. Teeth are for gay people. That's why fairies come and get them
DAME
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#39
Posted: 8/1/07 at 5:46pm
Excellent. Did she talk about Pappy? How did you like the Kaye Thompson stuff?

By the way.. this is from a E mail I just got.


Broadway musical director Bill LaVorgna, 74, died at his home here on
Tuesday. He had suffered a heart attack while walking his dog on
Sunday.

LaVorgna was known as the musical director for singer Liza Minnelli
and her mother Judy Garland. He was an accomplished musician and
drummer.

Born in Paterson, N.J., on June 3, 1933, he graduated from New York
University with a musical degree. He was a veteran of the Korean War
and more than six decades in the entertainment field, performing with
such greats as Garland, Minnelli, Frank Sinatra and Dizzy Gillespie.

Minnelli's Website, www.officiallizaminnelli.com, announced
LaVorgna's death, and urged everyone to pray for his family. A formal
statement, it said, would be forthcoming.

His son, Mark said, that before moving to Florida, he made his
residence in Princess Anne, Md., for 20 years. Prior to that, the
family lived in Walton, N.Y., and Sussex, N.J.

He said that aside from his musical passion, his father was an avid
sportsman with a love of the outdoors and most especially deep sea
fishing. The family raised and trained sporting dogs for decades on
their Windswept Farm.

LaVorgna is survived by his wife of 54 years, Joan; his three sons,
Mark, Blaise, and David, all of Maryland, and six granddaughters.

Memorial contributions may be made to either The Salvation Army or
The Recreational Fishing Alliance ( PO Box 3080 , New Gretna , NJ
08224).

A memorial service will be Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. at Trinity United
Methodist Church in Salisbury, Md., for friends and family.
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SueleenGay
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#40
Posted: 8/1/07 at 5:49pm
"with no mammy and no pappy, she's so unhappy..."

Sorry, that song has really been going through my head all day.
PEACE.
DAME
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#41
Posted: 8/1/07 at 7:29pm
Sueleen you made me laugh. Loved it.
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DAME
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#42
Posted: 8/2/07 at 7:21pm
I found another posting.

I am kind of bewildered that BWW or Playbill have not posted anything official.
article
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Yawper
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#43
Posted: 8/2/07 at 11:39pm
Different crowd - he wasn't a Broadway theater person.
DAME
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#44
Posted: 8/3/07 at 11:31am
Honey.. LIZA IS BROADWAY! Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.

Anyway.. I know.. I seem to be the only one that cares.. This is the most recent info from Scott:

Thursday, August 2nd, 2007 2:45 PM

Just spoke with Liza a little while ago, and she sends everyone her love and thanks for all the support. Also, everything is set, they're still leaving on Monday for the tour overseas, so all concerts are proceeding -- no changes to the schedule.

Thanks again everyone for all the wonderful messages and kindess. As information comes in for tributes to Pappy, etc., I'll keep you posted as much as possible.

Love,

Scott S.

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DAME
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#45
Posted: 8/5/07 at 1:30pm
Below is a statement from Bills Grandaughter from Officiallizaminnelli.com:



My name is Gabrielle LaVorgna and I am the grandaughter of the late Bill LaVorgna. I have been reading the updates you have had on Liza's website on my father's condition and I feel it is only right someone from our family send a short message to the people out there who cared about my grandfather. Below, I have written a short sentiment thanking everyone for their thoughts and prayers and also answer the question in regards to making donations in my grandfather' s name. Should you decide not to put my short statement on the site, that's perfectably understandable, but I did want to make it known that our family does sincerely appreciate the sentiments. Thank you once again.

Sincerely,

Gabrielle LaVorgna

As all of you are now aware, Bill LaVorgna, a man I am proud to call my grandfather, passed away on Tuesday morning. The days following his heart attack on Saturday have been some of the toughest that our family has ever faced. The thoughts and prayers that all of you have directed towards the man you know as Pappy and his entire family have been wonderful and I am eternally grateful for them as is my family.

Music was one of my grandfather' s passions in addiction to fishing. Despite "retiring" years ago, he continued to perform right through the end of his life. The seat at a drum-set was one of the best for him and he was always happy to meet any fans after shows. Without music, he would not have been the same person that he was.

If anyone wishes to show their respect for my grandfather, memorial contributions may be made to either your local Salvation Army or to The Recreational Fishing Alliance (PO Box 3080, New Gretna, NJ 08224)

Thank you once again and good wishes to you all.

Gabrielle LaVorgna
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chaosbria
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#46
Posted: 8/5/07 at 5:28pm
Heh. Well, I didn't think Scott was going to put the first part on the site, but oh well. Also, oddly enough, I'm unable to see my own statement on the site.
DAME
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#47
Posted: 8/5/07 at 5:36pm
It came from his daily E mail.
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Yawper
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#48
Posted: 8/5/07 at 5:46pm
You can post at the open message board at http://www.lizaonline.com if you want. It's not, and doesn't purport to be, 'official' in any way, but it is open web instead of requiring subscription. You just have to carefully proofread your posts because there are no editing options once you post it.
DAME
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Bill LaVorgna (Liza's Pappy) has died.#49
Posted: 8/5/07 at 6:44pm
I don't like that message board is set up.
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DAME
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The Obituary#50
Posted: 8/16/07 at 1:00pm
The obituary:

From NorthJersey.com

Bill LaVorgna, 74; music director for Liza Minnelli

Wednesday, August 8, 2007
By JAY LEVIN
STAFF WRITER

Back in the day, no one at Paterson Central High School played a meaner set of drums than Bill LaVorgna.

"He was the most popular boy in school," said the girl who married the musical prodigy in 1953.

"And he got off to play with the USO," Joan LaVorgna said. "That would annoy us."

Bill LaVorgna, who grew up on Ryerson Avenue in Paterson's Totowa section, went on to perform with show business greats: Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Dizzy Gillespie, Sammy Davis Jr., Pat Boone and Barry Manilow, among others. For more than 30 years, he was musical director for Garland's daughter, Liza Minnelli.

Mr. LaVorgna, 74, died at his home in Stuart, Fla., on July 31, two days after suffering a heart attack.

This week and next, he was to accompany Minnelli on a concert tour of Spain and Monaco.

Minnelli, who was 11 years old when her mother signed Mr. LaVorgna to a contract in 1957, offered a tribute to the man she called "Pappy" on her Web site, officiallizaminnelli.com.

In a broadcast interview last year, Mr. LaVorgna discussed his long association with Minnelli:

"When the red light's on and we're working, it's dead serious. But other than that, she treats my kids like they're family."

"Liza calls me every day," Joan LaVorgna said. "She has been a part of our family."

Mr. LaVorgna took up the drums as a child. Jack Smith, who lived across the street from the LaVorgna family, remembered neighborhood musicians -- including the future jazz guitar great John "Bucky" Pizzarelli -- flocking to his classmate's house for jam sessions.

Smith said young Bill knew where his destiny lay.

"Bill was a very good athlete," said Smith, of West Paterson, "but he gave up sports to protect his hands."

After graduating from Paterson Central in 1951, Mr. LaVorgna attended New York University, earning degrees in education and music. He was never without work; his wife said his 10,000 recording dates in New York City must be some sort of record.

Early in their marriage, the LaVorgnas lived in Paterson and Kinnelon.

Besides his wife, Mr. LaVorgna is survived by three sons, David of Baltimore and Mark and Blaise, both of Salisbury, Md., and six granddaughters.

The family is holding a memorial service Sunday at Trinity United Methodist Church in Salisbury, Md.

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