Albert mentioned the gravesite service and the paraphrased version of "I'll Be A Friend With Pleasure" I read for the crowd. Anyone could do what I did, but in case someone might find it interesting here it is!
Right from the start-------you played a part
We gave our hearts---------with pleasure
Solo's with style and finesse----brings happiness
Thousands answered "yes"-----with pleasure
Sunset till dawn------though you are gone
Dreams linger on----we treasure
If you contend------this is the end
We'll always be your friend----with pleasure
This tune was Rich Johnson's favorite as well as Gerri Bowers and it's right up there with myself as well...now that I can hear it without getting a big lump in my throat. As I've written before, I doubt Bix ever had a better friend that Rich Johnson.
Also at the gravesite, Rick Sundin sang "The Hymn of Promise" while Ray Davis released 4 white doves (actually white Racing Homer Pigeons) to signify the past 4 decades of the Bix Festival. As Albert also reported, Jim Cullen's band played both Bix and Hoagy Carmichael tunes that were very appropriate for the occassion....and they played them very well!
Best wishes to all Bix fans,