Friday, August 27, 2010

Farewell Dear Friend


Sunday, Birmingham and the state of Alabama lost a dear friend. Cecil Whitmire who was responsible for the renovation and preservation of our beautiful Alabama Theatre passed away. Cecil began playing, what we all call "The Mighty Wurlitzer" in the late 1970's . In 1987 he became the president of Alabama Landmarks and is credited with giving our fabulous 83 year old Alabama Theatre a new life. I was privileged to have met him in recent years when I photographed the Alabama and another of his loves.....the Lyric. We mourn the loss of a wonderful friend and hope that others will step up to continue the renovation and preservation of the theatres that he so loved.

I have many posts of the Alabama and the Lyric here, here, and here, and here,

18 comments:

altadenahiker said...

Oh, I've followed this. What a loss, but what a legacy.

TheChieftess said...

His was a life to celebrate!!! How wonderful that he did so much to preserve such wonderful history!!!

Olivier said...

beau jeu sur les ombres et les couleurs

jb said...

Celebrate people like this - there aren't enough of them.

He would have liked this:

"Knock knock"

"Who's there?"

"Wurlitzer"

"Wurlitzer who?"

Wurlitzer one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready..."

Carl Perkins wrote it, Elvis Presley made it famous.
Legendary, actually

Judy - So California said...

Oh my - what a loss but what a save. Without him the Alabama Theater and the Mighty Wurlitzer would probably just be a distant memory and to my thinking he was not very old either. I am sorry for your personal loss and the loss to all.

Maya said...

Oh, it's beautiful!!

Daryl said...

May he rest in peace ... what a great loss ...

B SQUARED said...

Rest in peace!

steviewren said...

Oh, I'm sad! I had no idea. Who will play the his beloved Wurlitzer now? Birmingham owes a lot to him and all the others who took on the project of bringing the Alabama back to life. He will be missed.

claudine said...

C'est toujours triste d'apprendre la mort de quelqu'un! Il a eu une vie bien remplie ! Il restera le souvenir de cet homme!

Virginia said...

Claudine,
Nous allons certainement!

Thank you all for your kind comments. Cecil loved this city and most of all the theatres.
V

Virginia said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom & Loretta said...

There will be a Celebration of Life event to honor the memory of both Cecil and Linda Whitmire. It will be at the theatre on Sunday, Sept. 12, at 2 PM. Thanks to everyone who posted such kind comments. We cherish the legacy of Linda and Cecil.

Tom Cronier
Alabama Theatre Volunteer

Oh, and there are three other local organists who play Big Bertha regularly. See www.alabamatheatre.com t

Thérèse said...

I am hoping Cecil Whitmire will be an inspiration for many.

Chuck Pefley said...

What a gorgeous image to make this tribute to a man with a life well-lived.

bfarr said...

An appropriate memorial, I think.

Petrea said...

You chose the perfect shot for this tribute.

Kim said...

A wonderful tribute photo, V. It is very beautiful to behold. I am wishing these theaters well in the absence of Cecil's advocacy. I'm sure he inspired some in the community who will take up the mantel in his honor.
-Kim