Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Liza Minnelli Stepping Out! 2015

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Scott Schechter, expert fan

Scott Schechter with Liza Minnelli. He was an authority on the careers of Minnelli and her mother, Judy Garland.
Posted on Thu, May. 21, 2009


By Sally A. Downey
Inquirer Staff Writer
Scott Schechter, 48, formerly of Philadelphia, an authority on the careers of Judy Garland and her daughter Liza Minnelli, died of an apparent heart attack May 14 while traveling by train from a business dinner in New York to his home in Asbury Park, N.J.
In 1998, Mr. Schechter coproduced what critics considered the definitive audio overview of Garland's career. The four-CD box set, Judy, spans the singer's career from her earliest known recordings in 1929, when she was 7, to her final appearances in 1969. Mr. Schechter also coproduced the set's 32-minute video and cowrote its 100-page book.
He also wrote Judy Garland: The Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Legend, a 2002 book that describes the "alternately astonishing, trivial, revelatory, mordantly funny act of possible madness known as Judy Garland," according to reviewer David Patrick Stearns, an Inquirer music critic.
The book lists the contents of Garland's address book, tells when she had teeth pulled and migraine headaches, and gives details of a day of filming of The Wizard of Oz that was wasted when a raven flew off the Scarecrow's shoulder and did not return.
In 2004, Mr. Schechter compiled The Liza Minnelli Scrapbook, a pictorial biography of the singer. He had good people skills and was able to gather unique images from photographers who shared his vision, said Mr. Schechter's life partner, Russell Klein.
Mr. Schechter befriended Minnelli, who chose him to run her official Web site. His expertise as a Garland-Minnelli historian was acknowledged on his TV and radio appearances, and he was a consulting producer to companies that continue to release Garland and Minnelli material.
Mr. Schechter grew up in the Melrose Park Gardens neighborhood of Philadelphia. He told Stearns that he had found metaphysical irony in having grown up in the town where Garland began her U.S. concert career in 1943 (at Robin Hood Dell) and concluded it in 1968 (JFK Stadium).
Mr. Schechter told Stearns that he had discovered Garland when That's Entertainment, a 1974 anthology of MGM musicals, opened at the old Fern Rock Theater.
"Then Channel 48 purchased a package of MGM musicals that were shown on weekdays at 1 p.m.," he told Stearns. "I had a pact with my mom that if I kept my grades up, I could come home for lunch on those days when they showed Judy's movies and not go back to school in the afternoon. I was 13."
After graduating from Northeast High School in 1979, Mr. Schechter worked for insurance companies in Philadelphia and New York before making Garland and Minnelli a career.
An animal-rights activist, Mr. Schechter doted on his rescue dog, Tigger, Klein said.
Mr. Schechter and Klein were involved in neighborhood revitalization efforts in Asbury Park, where they had lived since 2003.
In addition to his partner, Mr. Schechter is survived by a brother, Herman; a sister, Rene Schechter Klein; and two nieces.
A life celebration will be scheduled next month.
Contact staff writer Sally A. Downey at 215-854-2913 or sdowney@phillynews.com.

1 comment:

Marc said...

In addition, he was a really nice guy!