Jim and I corresponded occasionally over the past few years, and I had just thought to check in with him a couple of weeks ago to say hello. Now I regret that I didn't. Very sorry to hear this news. He was a kind and generous man.
I'm so very sorry to hear of Jim's passing. We had corresponded off and on over quite a number of years and I greatly admired his audio skills. I actually used an audio excerpt from a CDR that Jim had sent me as an "audio contemplation" at my wife's funeral service back in 2016. It was from Walt Disney's BAMBI, of all things. I had clued him in to the particular Laser Disc pressing that had the isolated "music & effects" track. He right away went and bought a copy, extracted and edited it for himself, and sent me a copy. We both loved that score. The handkerchiefs all came out during that contemplation.
A couple of years ago, when I flew into Chicago solo for a John Williams concert with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, I had done so with my second ticket for Jim. But he had an bad injury at work at the last minute and couldn't walk, so we never got to meet, except back and forth over the phone that time.
We had traded a number of hard to find scores. My eyes would light up when I saw a e-mail from Jim with with the opening line "Could you use a copy of...." or "I just got a copy of..." I knew it would be something great. The last time was for Bernard Herrmann's only Oscar-winning score to THE DEVIL AND DANIEL WEBSTER. He had compiled the scratchy old acetates that had been around forever, the DVD scenes with only/mostly music, and all the 1940s radio broadcasts that had used the music or the concert suite. I still want to see if there is any way to get this out in the future. Jim was just on my mind recently, as I wanted to ask his permission to use his CDRs as a partial resource in just such a project before possibly sending them to one of our master audio magicians (I'm avoiding name dropping - you all know his name).
Here's to a life well-lived, my friend! Thank you for how generously you shared it with me!
I learned of Jim Doherty's death onlly in this thread, as I had seen no notice in our local Chicago paper. I regret that my loss of three other friends recently (who were closer to me) delayed my posting here in Jim's honor, but he deserved what I can offer him for this community.
Jim and I shared the same mentor for Golden-Age scores: the late Dennis Petersen, whom we separately met in the 1970s, in Dennis' capacity as the soundtrack/original cast specialist on staff at Rose Records (later Tower) in Chicago. Conversations with Dennis for decades had been peppered with mentions of information, or especially the gift of some obscure or never-released holy grail, that came from "my friend Jim Doherty." But since Dennis and I largely didn't socialize away from the store, I never got introduced to that oft-mentioned friend who seemed to have provided him with even more treasures than I had managed to do.
But a tragic tendency about our mentors is that if they are older, we often outlive them. I was among those who spoke at Dennis' well-attended memorial service almost 10 years ago; afterward a stranger approached me to thank me for what I had said about Dennis because he was too broken up to speak himself, adding that he was Jim Doherty. In my remarks I had intended yet forgotten to ask to meet him, if he was present, so I was grateful for Jim's reaching out to me. Also, I was touched to learn that day that apparently, Dennis had told Jim of "my friend Steven Lloyd" over the years, as often as vice versa.
After the service I ate with Jim and his girlfriend, while my wife later joined us after talking to one of the few women who had spoken. In under an hour's visit, Jim was clearly a warm, decent, and delightful fount of taste, informed opinion, good humor, and friendliness. We exchanged our phone numbers ... yet sadly never got together in person again.
Possibly quite a few members here may have known Jim even better than I did, with my (perhaps) 16 hours of telephone conversation across nearly 10 years. But from that limited contact, with the tie of a revered, longtime mutual friend between us, I assure all of Jim's more distant friends on this forum that your positive impressions of him, including his personal generosity, truly reflected his character.
About his loyalty: When I informed Jim that I had taken possession of the rarest treasures from our late friend's extensive film-music CD collection (at the urging of Dennis' longtime partner to his family) and invited him to tell me any titles he wanted for himself before I started listing them on eBay, Jim declined to take even a single disc. Even though I assured him that there were things I intended to keep for myself without remorse -- feeling that Dennis would have preferred the two of us continuing to enjoy works that had given him so much pleasure in life -- Jim simply refused. To him it was taking advantage of a friend's death. Perhaps Jim held that against me; he never mentioned it again. But I am content to think again about a dear friend, whenever I listen to certain scores that came to my collection from his. (If anything, I feel sorrier today for the collectors who shelled out stiff eBay prices 10 years ago, for scores that have since been reissued and even expanded.)
Jim and I continued to chat for years after that by phone, as we could enjoy overlapping tastes about some scores, composers, and films, as well as one lamented friend. But while I could get him to laugh occasionally by an observation, quotation, or anecdote, over time it became more difficult to lift him above accumulating setbacks in his life: in his career, an eventual breakup with that girlfriend (with whom years later he still hoped he might reunite someday), the death of his mother. When my own mother died last year I decided not to tell Jim, lest I risk putting him back in touch with old grief of his own. But it's too late now for anything except knowing I shouldn't have squandered the limited time remaining to us both.
Until I read material that has been linked to this thread, I didn't know Jim was four or five years younger than I am. It's always useless to feel that a life was cut undeservedly short, since none of us gets to make those decisions; but at least he was spared any lingering, more excruciating way to die than by a heart attack. Regardless of it having been a short life, though, I appreciate however well I got to know such a worthy friend of a great friend of ours.
Thank you, Steven, for sharing such a personal story. "Personal" is something that has grown over here what with the contained pandemic lifestyle and the emergence of Zoom gatherings. But even with the heretofore limited knowledge of folks behind posts, when one of us "goes" it sticks in the craw. You start off loving film music and the people responsible for it and end up loving the people who love film music.
I know Jim loved "Walking Distance" and expected him to show up in the recent thread dedicated to the score and picture. In a sense he was there because of a mutual sensitivity inherent to film music folk in general and a heightened sensitivity to lovers of that score and picture in particular. Yes, he was meant to be there--in a Martin Sloan-ish manner of speaking. Arrrgh fate stepped in and cut his presence short for that and everything else.
Anyway, appreciate your adding human perspective to the latest unwanted announcement in this slice of cyberspace.
“Philip R. Jaeger, Zion, Ill., died Oct. 26, 2020, at St. Francis Hospital following an aggressive return of leukemia.
“He was born on Aug. 20, 1948, in Cedar Rapids, IA, the son of the late Ray C. and Rose E. (Meadows) Jaeger. They later settled in Zion and he graduated from Zion Benton High School in 1966. He graduated from Carthage College in 1970 with a BA with honors in English and Speech. He received his Master of Arts degree from Northwestern University in 1972. As a child, Philip spent as much time as he could at the movie theaters immersing his imagination in whatever story Hollywood had to tell. This was the beginning of his passion for the theater and his obsession with movie memorabilia/trivia. Phil was known throughout regional community theater as an actor, director and mentor. His final curtain call took place in March just before the COVID emergency shut down theaters. He reprised his role as George in Lakeside Players production of Death of a Streetcar Named Virginia Wolf. Phil treasured classical dramatic theater but some of his finest performances were in comedy.
“Philip is survived by a niece, Denise Dodd of Phoenix, a nephew and several great-nieces and nephews as well as his significant theater families at Lakeside Players, P, M & L, and RG Productions among others throughout southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois. "Uncle Phil" will be greatly missed by his Tappa-Mattner family. He was preceded in death by a sister Bronwen and a nephew Gregory.
“Given the risk of additional loss and illness, there will be no gathering to memorialize Phil at this time.
“Memorial contributions can be made to a thespian college scholarship fund to be created in his memory, c/o Lakeside Players, In Memory of Phil, 514 56 Street, Kenosha, WI 53140.”