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A singer dies in Los Angeles

This moving tribute to Russ Columbo was written by the Editor of the Los Angeles Post Record and published on September 4, 1934, two days after his untimely death.  


"The tragic ending of the life of Russ Columbo brought real grief to millions of men and women all over the nation. He had become part of their lives. His voice had found response to something within themselves. 
 

                        


The rapid rise of this young man from obscurity to fame and fortune would have been possible in no other age. 
 
The reward of genius in the past was long and slow starvation, with recognition coming slowly in the end, if at all. Especially this was true of writers and artists, but also musicians generally discovered their recognition depended on the approbation of the critics. 
 
Today genius receives the accolade of a democracy and fame depends on the populace. The voice that reaches the heart rather that the one that can meet the technical judgment of the critic obtains a hearing. 
 
Russ Columbo had such a voice. When he sang, millions listened. He brought them something they wanted, something that lifted them from themselves to a world of dreams, something they understood and welcomed.                           
 
His untimely passing brings more real regret than would that of many men who have won fame in science or statecraft. For he fitted into the times -- perhaps he would have fitted into any period, for men, thank heaven, have been and still are ruled by their hearts and not their minds. 
 
He gave warmth when sentiment grew chill. He brought moments of happiness and drove away despair and discontent. Who is to say that he did not possess real genius? And who dares deny that invention and invention and science are making men and women more human, drawing them closer together, instead of turning mankind into mere machines." 




Russ wrote the melody for this song and recorded it on August 31, 1934 during his last recording session.


 
                                 

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