From Wehoville. Click here to read the story on the Wehoville website.
Alliance for Housing and Healing will install a plaque on Santa Monica Boulevard today honoring Rick Starr, “the Patron Saint of Sheet Music,” who was known for his support of musical theater and its artists for almost twenty years.
Starr died in July last year. He had worked for years at Hollywood Sheet Music, which closed in 2009. Established in 1969, Hollywood Sheet Music was known for its extensive music library and for the expertise of Starr, its only employee. Its clients included “American Idol,” Michael Feinstein, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, Johnny Mathis, Sony Studios, “the Tonight Show” and Warner Bros. as well as music teachers, students and performers. Hollywood Sheet Music has since reopened with a store in Burbank and sells sheet music online.
Starr also was known for Rick’s Picks, the shows he hosted at the Gardenia Supper Club at 7066 Santa Monica Blvd., east of La Brea, which is the longest-running cabaret supper club in the United States.
A brief biography of Starr written in 2007 on the occasion of his receiving a humanitarian award from the Actor’s Equity Association Western Region, noted that he “began his career as an Equity actor, doing character roles all over the Eastern Seaboard. He got his Equity card in a dinner theater production of ‘Guys and Dolls,’ and for a long time worked regularly as an actor in stock companies, supplementing his career by directing and choreographing summer theatre and kids camps, culminating in the Equity Library Theater production of ‘Anything Goes’.”
Starr moved to Los Angeles to perform in “Night Shift,” then became AEA stage manager briefly before joining Hollywood Sheet Music in 1989.
The AEA biography cited Starr for his “knack for finding obscure or out of print music… (suggesting) audition songs and (sharing) information about upcoming shows. He also attends as many shows as possible, bearing opening night gifts that range from music-themed pencils and erasers to framed out-of-print sheet music. ”
The plaque installation, which will take place at 11:30am outside Don’t Tell Mama at 8279 Santa Monica Blvd near Sweetzer, is on part of the West Hollywood Memorial Walk, which was developed by AHH in cooperation with the City of West Hollywood to memorialize those who have died of AIDS-related illnesses. The walk’s memorial plaques extend along Santa Monica Boulevard from Fairfax to Doheny. The plaques are supported by donations that go to support the work of AHH, the county’s oldest and largest provider of financial assistance to people living with HIV/AIDS. It helps clients pay for rent, utilities, food and drugs.