Val Eddy was a legendary vibraphonist and composer who played a large part in the early acceptance of the vibraphone in classical music and popular recordings. With his trusty 1922 Leedy vibraphone, Val composed and arranged a number of important books for the instrument including the renowned “Solos Suitable for Playing in Church” and the now famous “Bird Suite.” He arranged for the 80-piece US Navy band during World War II and was heard weekly over NBC. He also performed in many concerts for the Navy School of Music. After the war he was the drummer in the Navel Academy Band for many years before his work as a composer hit full swing. His compositions for the marimba, such as “Mexi-Mexi” helped define the power of the instrument in classical settings and his “Bird Suite,” including the charming “Penguin March,” “Bufflehead Duck Waddle” and “Brown Pelican Strut” were considered important works for the vibraphone and used in educational study in many university programs around the world.
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