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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: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 2:06 AM
CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — A 6-year-old child was abducted early Tuesday after two car thefts at a Georgia day care, authorities said.
About five minutes after the car thefts, the child was seen on surveillance video walking back to the Childcare Network Daycare, Clayton County police Sgt. Ashanti Marbury said. It’s not known where he was abandoned.
Three men are sought in connection with the crimes at the day care, located in the 6000 block of Fayetteville Road in Riverdale, police said.
About 7:25 a.m., Clayton County police were called to the day care in reference to two stolen vehicles left running and unattended.
Surveillance video showed a silver Nissan Altima parking next to a gray 2016 Chrysler 300. A man in the front passenger seat of the Nissan jumped into the Chrysler’s front passenger seat. Moments later, the Chrysler drove away.
Not long after the theft, the Nissan drove to another location in the day care parking lot and made an abrupt stop at a white 2014 Hyundai Santa Fe, Clayton County police said. The Hyundai, which had a 6-year-old inside, was also left running and unattended.
A person in the back seat of the Nissan hopped out, got into the Hyundai and sped away, police said.
In under a minute, all three cars were seen on surveillance video leaving the day care parking lot.
Shortly after, the child was seen walking back to the day care and was reunited with his mom. He was not injured.
Police later found the Hyundai Santa Fe at the intersection of East Faytetteville Road and Evans Drive — less than a mile from the day care. The Chrysler 300 has not been found.
Earlier this year, Clayton County police rescued two girls after someone stole an SUV with them inside from a gas station. A baby and her 4-year-old sister were dumped on the side of the road miles apart in freezing temperatures. Authorities arrested Khyree Swift and a 16-year-old in connection with the crime.
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 1:39 AM
MILTON, Mass. — Now that summer is just around the corner, experts are warning that ticks will be coming back in full force.
One tick expert in New England told Boston's WFXT that the warmer weather will cause what he called a "tick explosion."
The tiny, pesky and possibly harmful arachnids are about to spring into action, and everyone should be extra vigilant.
"They're up and looking for a host hoping something will walk by that they can latch on," said Dr. Thomas Mather, aka "The Tick Guy."
Mather said this season is prime for ticks, and his website, tickencounter.org, shows the type to watch out for in New England this season is the deer tick because it spreads Lyme disease.
"It's very important because around here it's the worst for Lyme disease more than anywhere else in the nation," Mather said.
The website also lists high tick activity in most of the eastern United States, as well as the Midwest, Plains states and West Coast. Deer ticks are the most prevalent species in the Northeast and Midwest, while Lone Star ticks dominate in the Southeast and much of the Central U.S. Wood ticks are more common in the Mountain region, and Pacific Coast ticks are prevalent on the West Coast, the site said. Learn more here.
Stephen Novick of Boston-based FlyFoe said his business is extremely busy since the ticks never really went away.
"We had a mild winter, didn’t freeze too much, and because of that, the animal populations were active longer, and that enabled the tick populations to be active," he said.
Deer, chipmunks and rodents all carry ticks. Spraying is one way to keep ticks out of your yard.
You may even opt for a garlic-based, organic repellent or a store-bought pesticide.
"The pesticide is the lowest rated by the EPA, so it’s also super safe," Novick said.
The pesticide is used for flea and tick collars for pets.
Spraying has to be done once a month to keep ticks at bay, but for many it's the best alternative as it provides peace of mind.
Ticks usually hide in tall grass, so if you go hiking or walking in the woods, make sure to wear long-sleeve shirts and pants or get tick repellent clothing, use bug spray and always check yourself for ticks after being outdoors.
Checking for ticks is always important because if you happen to have been bitten, the quicker you remove the tick, the less likely it is that it will transmit any diseases.
Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 1:15 AM
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 1:15 AM
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Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 12:59 AM
DAYTON — A two-vehicle accident at Wayne Avenue and East Fifth Street early Wednesday is believed to be the result of a road-rage incident, Dayton police officers said.
The accident was dispatched about 11:53 p.m. with a vehicle reportedly on its top.
OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Driver killed in head-on collision in Riverside
Police tell us their preliminary investigation reveals that a gold Saturn began pursuing a red Ford on I-75, near Stanley Avenue. The pursuit continued into Dayton, where the Saturn hit a blue car and ended up on its top at Wayne Avenue and East Fifth Street after that collision.
Police did speak with the driver of the red car and let that person go.
They told us they cited the driver of the Saturn for reckless operation. Officers said they believe the Saturn was pursuing the Ford as part of some kind of argument.
No one was injured, police said.