01.30.10

Jane Jarvis, RIP

Posted in Baseball at 2:23 pm by

Longtime Shea Stadium organist Jane Jarvis, last seen in this space facing homelessness in 2008, passed away last Monday at the age of 94.  From the New York Times‘ Peter Keepnews :

After eight years playing for the Braves at County Stadium in Milwaukee, she was a fixture at Shea Stadium from 1964 to 1979, performing a repertory that mixed jazz staples like Charlie Parker™s œScrapple From the Apple with more conventional fare like œTake Me Out to the Ballgame and œMeet the Mets.

Few Mets fans knew that Ms. Jarvis had begun her career as a jazz pianist. Even fewer knew that she had a day job with the Muzak Corporation.

Muzak was synonymous with soothing background sounds piped into elevators when Ms. Jarvis was hired for a clerical job there in 1963, not long after she moved to New York and roughly a year before she joined the Mets. She worked her way up to vice president in charge of programming and recording; when she began supervising sessions, she hired Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry and other jazz musicians. The result was canned music considerably more swinging than the Muzak norm, much of which the musicians, including Ms. Jarvis, composed themselves.

Faith & Fear In Flushing’s Greg Prince paid tribute as well ; “She outlived Shea. She outlived the organ as the prime source of pregame and between-innings entertainment. She lived a very long time and accomplished a great deal as a musician and music executive. She lives on for every Mets fan who ever clapped or tapped along to whatever she played. Jane Jarvis was as much the Mets as anybody or anything else between 1964 and 1979. For those of us enchanted by the Melody Queen of Shea Stadium, she™s always going to be synonymous with some of the best days of our lives.”

One Response to “Jane Jarvis, RIP”

  1. Peter Matturro says:

    Jane Jarvis was as much a part of Mets lore as Casey Stengel. Her magnificent melodies, brightened up even the darkest days at Shea. Rain delay- no problem , we have Jane. Her music supplied the backdrop to attending a Met’s game an enjoyable experience. Now, it is not enough to go enjoy a game, one has to put up with all the crap and noise that is considered entertainment. You can have all the crap, I’d rather have Jane!!! R.I.P.old girl!!!

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