How Marilyn Monroe’s Vocal Coach Taught Me to Sing

Things you do come back to you As though they knew the way —from “Where or When,” by Rogers & Hart

When I first met Hal Schaefer in 1978, he was in his early 50s, which then seemed old to me. I was barely 30. He had just moved from New York to my hometown of San Francisco with his second wife, Brenda, a singer in her late 30s. Hal was a famous jazz pianist. In his younger days, he had made his mark as a protégé of Duke Ellington,
who routinely introduced him on stage by saying, “Now you’re going to hear a real piano player.” But rumor had it that Hal’s career was later thwarted by alcoholism, although he had been sober for many years by the time I met him.

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