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Published: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 8:29 AM
Updated: Friday, November 24, 2017 @ 2:26 PM
— Jerry Gillotti, the iconic co-founder and owner of Gilly’s, died on Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, Nov. 23. He was 80.
A spokeswoman for the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office said this morning, Nov. 24, that her office had been notified of Mr. Gillotti’s death at a local hospice facility.
Mr. Gillotti had been severely injured in a robbery and beating outside the nightclub at 132 S. Jefferson St. in March 2016. No arrests have been made
>> RELATED: Gilly’s Jazz owner injured in robbery (March 2016)
The club remains open and plans to continue scheduled shows, including those planned for this weekend.
The Gillotti family said in a statement that Gilly’s will close permanently on Dec. 31.
Mr. Gillotti’s son, Mike Gillotti, posted about his father’s passing on his Facebook page.
“We are very sad to announce that my Dad, Jerry Gillotti, passed away yesterday after a long battle with heart and kidney disease. The Gillotti family would like to thank the Dayton Community for your thoughts and prayers as well as 45 years of supporting the best in live music. Thank you for your love and support.”
Jerry Gillotti mentioned the serious brain injury he sustained in that attack as a major contributor to his declining health in an interview with us last month about the future of his beloved music venue.
He said he hadn’t fully recovered and was relying on his wife, Winnie Gillotti, for transportation. His brother, Tom, increased his involvement in the business.
Jerry Gillotti said he wanted to continue operating the club indefinitely, but said he had to face reality.
“I am 80 years old,” he told us in the interview. “I don’t have the health or the stamina or the years left or days left.”
>> RELATED: Benefit being planned for attacked business owner Jerry Gillotti of Gilly’s (March 2016)
Many Dayton-area residents reflected upon Jerry Gillotti’s contribution to the community.
"Jerry and Gilly’s is a Dayton Original and will be greatly missed in the downtown music scene,” Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein said.
Blues and rock musician Doug Hart of the Doug Hart Band said those close to club had known that Gillotti’s health had taken a turn for the worse recently and he was at Hospice.
“Knowing it’s going to happen doesn’t make it any easier when it does,” Hart said.
He has played 20 to 25 shows at Gilly’s in the past 10 years.
Jerry always gave me the freedom to put on a show the way I wanted and promote it the way I wanted,” Hart said. “Jerry is one of the sweetest men I’ve known. I can’t say enough about the wonderful human being he was, but he was not a pushover. He was good at his business, and you knew where you stood.”
Hart said Jerry Gillioti also had a great sense of humor.
“He was very perceptive. He wouldn’t say much, but when he did, everyone listened,” the musician recalled. “He would come up with these one liners and everybody laughed.”
Gilly’s helped put Dayton on the map in the jazz and blues worlds. Hart said he was humbled to play there.
“It is one of the more legendary clubs I know of in the country ,” he said. “Everybody that I considered my hero I’ve seen play there.”
Before opening Gilly’s, Jerry Gillotti was an inside salesperson for the Farnbacher Toy Company and was Public Relations Director for Cassano Pizza King, where he co-hosted the “Fans in the Stands” radio show with Vic Cassano on WHIO Radio for over seven years.
He had also been an advertising consultant for the Tatone Auto Group in Fairborn.
Mr. Gillotti, a 1962 University of Dayton graduate, bought Wedgewood Inn on Patterson Road in 1969 and featured jazz acts there two years before he and his brother purchased the former site of Green Derby at 801 N. Main St. and transformed it into Gilly’s.
The first show as Gilly’s was Roy Meriwether on July 7, 1972, according to Gary J. Leppla, Gillotti’s attorney and friend.
Reached this morning, Leppla said he had visited Mr. Gillotti in recent weeks at both his hospital and at his hospice bedside, and had a brief conversation with the nightclub owner on Tuesday.
“He said, ‘You didn’t have to come down here.’ Again, typical Jerry, always supportive of others.”
Jerry Gillotti “was one of a kind, really focused on supporting musicians, treating his customers fairly, and providing a quality level of jazz and blues beyond anything we could ever expect,” Leppla said. “So many musicians owe so much to him.”
>> RELATED: Jerry Gillotti just keeps jazzin’ on (April 2010)
>> RELATED: Gilly’s Jazz shows over the years
In his nomination of Jerry Gillotti to the Dayton Walk of Fame, Leppla said Gillotti became one of the greatest jazz and blues promoters in the United States. After a successful run on North Main Street, Jerry moved Gilly’s to the Dayton Transportation Center. In addition, Jerry hosted a Sunday morning jazz show for several years on WING-AM radio.
Heartfelt tributes to Mr. Gillotti have been posted on Facebook as well.
IMPACT ON DAYTON MUSIC
His influence was not just local.
Local musician Hal Melia first met Gillotti 45 years ago
“Everybody around the country knows about Jerry Gillotti and Gilly’s,” Melia said.
“Dayton’s a place where people make things happen and have to figure out how to do that, and Jerry always did that.”
Performers booked at Gilly’s through the years include a host of local groups and a laundry list of national acts that include Tony Bennett, Diane Schuur, BB King, Wynton Marsalis, Art Blakey, Dexter Gordon, Bill Evans, George Benson, Herbie Hancock, Count Basie, Bobby Blue Bland and Stevie Ray Vaughn.
“I put groups in here when I know he wasn’t making a dime on it. And I put groups in here .... that pack the place out for him. He was the same kind of guy no matter what,” Melia said.
Floyd Weatherspoon, one of four vocalists in the Dayton based R&B group “Touch,” said the closure of Gilly’s will leave a hole in the city.
“I think it going to be a big loss in Dayton,” he said. “There are not a lot of places where grown folks can go without worrying about riff riff coming in and causing confusion.”
Weatherspoon’s band has played a Valentine’s weekend show at Gilly’s for 20 consecutive years.
In recent years, the group added a Sweetest Day show.
Weatherspoon spent 32 years in the automobile sales business like Mr. Gillotti’s brother Tom.
“Every time I called, he said ‘how’s sales’ then we started talking about sports and then we start talking about booking the club,” Weatherspoon said with a laugh. “He was a good dude to talk to. It’s just really sad that this happened.”
Weatherspoon said Touch has opened for a list of national acts that includes The Temptations and Eddie Money, but always found its way back to Gilly’s.
“We knew it was great place to play, and we always had a sell-out,” he said. “(Gillotti) gave a lot of local groups a place to showcase their talents. If you were good, you’d come back.”
Gillotti told this news organization in October that he was proud to have brought “every jazz artist in the world” to Dayton.
“I’ve had (45) years, and they have been good years,” he said. “I haven’t made a lot of money to be honest with you, but it is a passion to present the music in the right way.”
Dayton native Tony Houston said Jerry Gillotti and the passion for blues he shared with Dayton greatly influenced him as a musician.
Houston said he learned from watching and studying under the musicians Gillotti brought to town. In the early days, they were featured for a week at a time and offered classes in their hotel rooms to supplement their income.
Houston recalled paying George Benson two chickens cooked by his grandmother for a lesson.
He said Mr. Gillotti was generous and offen allowed him to meet musicans backstage.
“It was a tremendous setting and chance for musicians to learn,” Houston said of Gilly’s. “It a huge loss to the Dayton comunity and music scene. I hope that something continues to make that happen at Gilly’s.”
Dave Shores, a 22-year sound technician at Gilly’s, said music was Gillotti’s life.
“It was all about the music,” Shores said. “I watched him take losses on acts to get them in the club.”
Shores said he did repairs at Gilly’s whenever Gillotti asked him.
With a laugh, he recalled Gillotti, after being woken by a nurse, telling him a story from his hospital bed following that March 2016 attack.
“That was Jerry,” Shores said.
He said he once told one of his interns “you haven’t made it in the music business in Dayton” until Jerry Gillotti has chewed you out.
Shores said he later joked with that intern after Jerry did in fact chew him out in a hallway.
While he could be tough and expected the best as a business owner, Gillotti protected his employees and, on the rare occassions there were problems, defended them, Shores said.
“He had their backs,” Shores said. “ He’d say, ‘you are not going to trick my people that way’.”
In addition to his induction in the Dayton Walk of Fame in 2013, Gillotti was recognized by the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music with the prestigious William Lawless Jones Award for his contributions to the region’s jazz culture.
In an article celebrating his 30th anniversary at Gilly’s, Gillotti told the Dayton Daily News his passion for jazz was ignited during his time in the Army while stationed in Frankfurt, Germany. He frequented jazz clubs and heard iconic acts such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and the Modern Jazz Quartet.
He left the service in 1958 with an idea.
“If you presented (jazz) correctly, in a nice atmosphere, you’ve got to be successful; people will come out to see it because it’s just so infectious and it’s such good music,” he told contributing writer Kris Alavattam.
Published: Thursday, January 18, 2018 @ 6:12 AM
PERRIS, Calif. — Neighbors described the reportedly nightmarish situation at the Turpin home, where parents David and Louise allegedly kept their 13 children shackled to their beds and malnourished, as seeming like a “cult.”
A man named Mike, who did not want to give his full name and was a neighbor of the Turpins when they lived in Murrieta, California, told the Post, “I thought they were like a cult. They would march back and forth on the second story at night. The light would be on the whole time, and they would be marching the kids back and forth.”
Mike said he would arrive home late from his job at a hospital and see the children marching through the upstairs rooms of the Turpin home between midnight and 3 a.m.
David and Louis Turpin were arrested Sunday in their Perris, California, home after one of their daughters called police for help, saying she had managed to escape the house with a cellphone. When police arrived, they reportedly found the siblings, ages 2 to 29, living in squalor and looking very thin, with several of the kids shackled to furniture.
Mike said his wife, Myrna, called the family “clones,” saying the Turpins all spoke “robotically, in a monotone and at the same” time during the few occasions on which Myrna interacted with them at a local grocer.
However, Mike told the Post that he and Myrna never called the police because they didn’t see anything that suggested they needed to. They just thought the parents were a bit odd.
Mike, as well former neighbors from when the Turpins owned a farm in Rio Vista, Texas — which the family left due to foreclosure — remarked on the amount of trash that the family accumulated.
“I ended up calling the police because of the trash and everything that was left there,” said former Texas neighbor Randy McClain. “There was a brand new pickup truck covered in [trash] — a whole truck bed full and overflowing to the ground with trash: diapers, Spam cans, potted meat cans, just overflowing.”
The Daily Mail got access to the Turpin’s Perris backyard and found a Disney-themed fountain situated in a messy yard in which “piles of metal pipes could be seen strewn around, along with a rusty set of metal garden furniture and some diaper boxes.”
Through the screen door, the Daily Mail spied piles of clutter, including what appear to be stacked books, within the house.
Neighbor Leticia Gomez, 45, who lives directly behind the Turpin home, told the Daily Mail that she wasn’t aware there were any kids in the house. She described the Turpins’ garden as unkempt and “scruffy.”
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 3:58 PM
— David and Louise Turpin, the California couple who were charged with torture and child abuse after authorities accused them of holding their 13 children captive in dire conditions, previously lived in Texas, several news outlets have reported.
ABC News reported Thursday that it had acquired pictures from inside the family’s former Texas home, near Fort Worth. The pictures were submitted by the home’s current owner, who took the pictures after he bought the foreclosed property about 18 years ago.
The pictures, which can be seen here, show stained carpets and walls. The current owner told ABC it required an “extensive cleanup” and that he and his wife “believed that the previous occupants destroyed the house because it was being foreclosed on.”
The anonymous owner also told ABC that feces were smeared all over the walls of every room at the time that he bought the home.
Published: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 1:52 AM
PERRIS, Calif. — A pair of well-kept dogs were taken from the Perris, California, house where 13 children were found shackled and severely malnourished last week.
David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 49, are facing a minimum of 94 years for charges including child neglect and torture after police said their children, ranging from ages 2 to 29, were discovered in their home severely malnourished.
In a statement on Wednesday, city spokesman Joe Vargo said authorities recovered two Maltese terrier dogs in far better condition than the Turpins’ children. The 1-year-old female puppies were reportedly healthy and were taught skills, People reported.
“The animals, one white and one black, appear healthy and friendly and are leash-trained, according to Christina Avila, a senior animal control officer,” a press release from the city of Perris said.
Investigators said the children were only allowed showers a few times per year and were fed only once per day. In a press conference with reporters Thursday, District Attorney Mike Hestrin alleged that the last time any of the children had seen a doctor was four years ago and they had never been to a dentist. Police said the parents allegedly kept themselves well-fed and regularly ate pies in front of their children to taunt them, ABC News reported.
The 17-year-old who reportedly escaped the home through a bedroom window to alert authorities was initially believed to be just 10 years old due to the severity of her malnourishment, while the oldest victim, a 29-year-old woman, weighed only 82 pounds when the children were found. According to Hestrin, the children “lack a basic knowledge of life,” although they were allegedly homeschooled, KTLA reported.
Published: Friday, January 19, 2018 @ 12:35 AM
Updated: Sunday, January 21, 2018 @ 1:02 AM
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