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Marvin Hamlisch Remembered Fondly In Detroit

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LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 18:  Composer Marvin Hamlisch attends a Society of Composers & Lyricists/ASCAP Q&A prior to a screening of "The Informant!" at the Linwood Dunn Theater on November 18, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

LOS ANGELES, CA – NOVEMBER 18: Composer Marvin Hamlisch attends a Society of Composers & Lyricists/ASCAP Q&A prior to a screening of “The Informant!” at the Linwood Dunn Theater on November 18, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

gregbowman Greg Bowman
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DETROIT (WWJ) One of America’s best-known composers, Marvin Hamlisch, died Tuesday after what’s been described as a brief illness. Hamlisch composed more than 40 film scores, including “Sophie’s Choice,” “Ordinary People” and “The Way We Were.”

WWJ’s Greg Bowman spoke with Hamlisch in 2011 when he came to West Bloomfield to perform at the Stephen Gottlieb Music Festival.

So, did the musical star ever get tired of playing his big hits over and over?

“No, I enjoy it, I got a good kick out of it,” he told Bowman. “I also liked the fact that later on people said to me ‘I got married to that song’ or whatever. They have a story about it usually, so I enjoy that.”

Hamlisch told WWJ in 2011 that he’s sorry that so many kids nowadays don’t know the music of great composers like Cole Porter and George Gershwin.

“The arts are just as important as math and just as important as English and somwhow or other we’ve lost that, we’ve lost that these are subjects that should be part and parcel of a person’s education,” he said.

He added:  “It’s not their fault that they don’t know this, it’s just because they’re not hearing them.”

Hamlisch also revealed a bit of a secret, saying he was a fan of the show “Glee,” and describing it as “the best ambassador for show tunes.”

Hamlisch last played in Metro Detroit when he was featured at the Stephen Gottlieb Music Festival in West Bloomfield.

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s cellist Hayden McKay said Hamlisch was a genius and much-loved in Detroit.

“The Detroit Symphony Orchestra performed with Marvin Hamlisch many times, he came as a guest conducter and pianist and I’m sure my colleagues will share a lot of grief with me,” McKay said. “He was a real musician, he studied classical piano and he really played. But the public knows him for fantastic hits like ‘The Way We Were.’ Also a performer, many times when he came he would do four or five shows in a weekend, every show would be different.”

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