Loonis McGlohon

Prolific songwriter and pianist

Loonis McGlohon, prolific songwriter and pianist who, among other tunes, co-wrote two Frank Sinatra hits, “A Long Night” and “South to a Warmer Place,” died Jan. 26 at his home in Charlotte, N.C., after a nine-year battle with lymphoma. He was 80.

Among his hundreds of jazz and pop songs were cantata “A Child’s Christmas,” friend Charles Kuralt’s “On the Road” theme music, “Blackberry Winter,” “Be a Child,” “Songbird,” etc.

North Carolina native served with the Army Air Forces during WWII, then played with the Jimmy Dorsey and Jack Teagarden orchestras before working heavily in radio, writing songs and doing piano accompaniment for such singers as Helen O’Connell, Judy Garland, Mabel Mercer and Eileen Farrell.

In 1960, he teamed with composer Alec Wilder and later they had a regular National Public Radio program based on Wilder’s book “The American Popular Song.”

Active in Presbyterian churches, he was a choir director and wrote religious songs as well as commercial ditties.

He is survived by wife Nan, a son, two daughters and several grandchildren.

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