JUNE CHRISTY

I am absolutely delighted to see such a nice, interesting and complete homepage
for my aunt.  I can help you with your question regarding her final resting place.
June's body was cremated and her ashes were distributed in the ocean off
Marina Del Rey. Her busband, Bob Cooper, was handled in a similar fashion.
Both were quite special people to me.
 
She was quite special if perhaps a bit fragile from all the wear and tear. 
In the things I've read about her, one common theme came through.  That was
her warmth on stage and the genuine affection she had with fellow musicians.
Her friends were always musicians and artists...starving and otherwise. 
Talent was what she was drawn to.  Everytime I meet a jazz artist who knew her,
they always have something nice to say.  She was no prima-donna at all. 
If anything, just detached and blase about her fame.

June was about 5' 2" and pretty thin for a good part of her life. 
Coop was almost 6' 5".  They were an interesting size contrast to look at. 
June was probably right handed as she wrote that way....in the most gorgeous, 
artistic script you've ever seen.

As for cars....Coop drove Cadillacs almost exclusively.June drove various
foreign sports cars until the mid 1960's when she bought a 1964 White
Thunderbird convertible. She loved that car so much she kept it. Literally.
It's the last car she bought. When she died, the car had less than 50,000
miles on it and Coop sold it as a classic.

June was agnostic. She practiced no formal religion. Over the years when she
felt the urge she would consult Tom Vaughn, the Episcopalian Priest who was
also a jazz pianist. June was well versed in religion and philosophy,
however. She read extensively on Eastern religions.  Her attitudes were at
least somewhat shaped by Buddhist teachings.

 In the early 1950's June had more offers for work than she could deal with. 
However, June was never particularly interested in the "pop" medium. She and
Pete Rugolo chose interesting, if eclectic, songs for her artistry much to
the chagrin of Capitol Records. As a result, those post "Something Cool" albums
are considered classics today, but frankly never sold the numbers that Capitol
had hoped. There has long been a struggle for the truly gifted artists
between music that moves off the shelves and music that "speaks to the
artist."  In June's case, she sold enough that they worked with her, but not
enough to become a pop icon like Doris Day or Frank Sinatra.

Your letter brought out some of the frustration I've heard over the years by
other Christy fans about the lack of information on her work, appearances 
and life.This was the result of my aunt's  basically resolute desire to avoid
publicity, and from about 1968 onward, to avoid work except when she wanted 
to buy something.

When June's agent, Carlos Gastel, died in that same time frame, June went
happily into semi-retirement. At tax time, or when she wanted to re-do part
of her home, she'd take a gig for a week or so...create some excitement that
she was "coming out of retirement" and then essentially stop working again.
Coop told me once when he was in St. Louis touring with Frank Sinatra about
1972  I think, that June was thinking of accepting an engagement at the Long
Beach auditorium (a popular venue for artists just south of LA) but he wasn't
sure she would do it.  "It puts her under such pressure to perform.  I really
wish she would promote her career a little more actively, but she just has no
interest." Was his quote at the time.

I had a series of discussions with June and Bob about their lives and careers
from 1987 to June's death in 1990 when business took me to Los Angeles. 
I learned June's take on her "place" in jazz.  She was largely unimpressed 
with her work. She thought she was recording "standards-to-be" at the time 
she recorded them and then watched the business turn away from jazz to rock and
roll. She felt her work was good but becoming forgettable and was literally
amazed at the number of fans who would still write to her expressing their
adolation. 

June is enigmatic to many of us. She cared little for fame, but liked to live
well. Didn't take herself very seriously, but chose songs to record with the
same level of care one would take when selecting a name for a child.  She had
a lovely home in the hills of Sherman Oaks over-looking the Valley and in her
later years left it less and less.  She lost any urge to paint, a hobby she
was incredibly good at.  Even toward the end, they still never had to wait for
a table in a restaurant and June seemed quite content with her existence.  She
was a wonderful influence on me.  As a kid I saw her on television and it was
always an "event" when she came to town.  She was one of those personalities
that changes the dynamics of a room just by walking into it.  She exuded class
and elegance.  

Thanks so much for your work in helping keep my aunt's "footprints" alive.  I
loved what she did in music, named my daughter Christy in tribute to June
(June teased me that I may live to regret that) and feel like she was a
wonderful positive influence on my life.

Scott Luster.  E-mail: RateSearch@aol.com

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