What happened in November 26, 1978?

I recently came across an excerpt from the book “Meet Me At Jim & Andy’s” by Gene Lees. The excerpt is the very sad story told by a close friend of Frank Rosolino about the events leading up to the tragic night of November 26, 1978 when Frank shot himself and his two young boys.

I’ve always had a curiosity about that night. I had received a National Endowment for the Arts grant to study that next summer with Frank. We had talked about it and everything had been arranged.

While the story gives a long and personal accounting of events leading up to that night, don’t expect any clean, logical answers. I don’t think it’s possible to understand why a man of rare talent and unbridled humor would kill himself and shoot his two sons, leaving one dead and the other blind.

If you care to read: www.jazzmasters.nl/rosolino.htm


7 thoughts on “What happened in November 26, 1978?”

  1. Frank was a creative genius. And it’s sad that sometimes people like him will sometimes engage in self destructive behavior. For example, look at Vincent Van Gogh. He was also a creative genius who killed himself. Those sons of his were just children. How terrible.

  2. November 26 never goes by without me thinking of Justin. He was a sweet friend.
    Thanks for pointing out that article!

  3. he was having an affair on his third wife who found out and killed herself, then he killed his own son and himself. His life was apparently miserable despite his amazing talent.

    1. Frank was destitute when he took his own life & sot both sons, leaving one dead & one permanently blind. I knew his great talent & spent many hours with Frank & our mutual friend, Jack Nimitz. They were in Super Sax together & played many studio sessions together. If he announced his intentions why were they not addressed? It still bothers me to this day in 2022.

  4. My dad, a tech. Sergeant, played the drums with him in the army band in the Phillipines [1945-1946] and had photos featuring both of them with the other musicians. In addition to playing in the marching band for the Phillipines independence ceremonies with both Gen. MacArthur and Pres. Aguinaldo present, they were both in the smaller dance band which played the officer’s club where my dad Harvey played a regular drum set while seated. My dad got an offer to play for Ray Anthony but decided to attend college where he played in the Campus Owls at Miami of Ohio. He would proudly point out Frank in his army photos and of course was mystified by what ultimately happened, which I can clearly recall being commented upon. Dad quit playing music when he got married in 1953.

  5. I was a young drummer of 22, playing at a club in Laguna Beach. Frank would often drop by to sit in on a weekend and I had the pleasure of performing with him at a time when he was experimenting with the valve trombone and amplification. His friendliness and musicality made those occasions so special for me. The news of his suicide shocked me, as I never saw any indication of any emotional problems. I became a psychologist several years later and worked for a short time as a suicide intervention counselor,so that tragedy was often in the back of my mind. I came to understand that often there are no signs to casual friends or colleagues that such a tragedy could occur. My heart still goes out to his sons.

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