William O. “Bill” Parsley

Composer, pianist

William O. “Bill” Parsley, composer of musicals and popular pianist, died in Los Angeles of kidney failure May 28. He was 49.

A celebration of his life will be held at 3:00 p.m. June 24 at the Magic Castle in Hollywood. RSVP (323) 851-3313, ex. 395.

Parsley was born in Concord, Calif. and graduated Cal State Fullerton.

He wrote the scores for musicals including “The Dance Factory,” “Charlie C.” and Alex Wexler’s “Hollywoodland,” winner of the Maxim Mazumdar Award given by the Alleyway Theatre. Parsley’s work on “Hollywoodland” also garnered recognition from Wagner College where the show was a finalist for the Stanley Dramatist Award, as well as a the Global Search for New Musicals in Cardiff Wales.

At the time of his death, he had just completed the score for a new musical, “The Very Strange Story of the Vanishing Hitchhiker.”

Parsley also composed for films and television as well as providing incidental music for several West Coast stage productions.

Parsley had been playing piano nightly at the Peninsula Hotel in Beverly Hills.  His knowledge of popular songs also made him a favorite at the Magic Castle in Hollywood where he frequently “channeled” Irma, the piano-playing ghost.

He is survived by his life partner, Kenton Faust, and a sister.

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