Loonis McGlohon, 80, who collaborated with composer Alec Wilder to write "Blackberry Winter" and host public radio's "American Popular Song" in the 1970s, died Jan. 26 at his home in Charlotte. He had lymphoma.
Mr. McGlohon accompanied Frank Sinatra, Tony Bennett, Vic Damone, Steve Lawrence and other vocal greats on the piano during the nationally broadcast show's six-year run. He had worked with singer Marlene VerPlanck since 1976.
He was an arts booster for his home state of North Carolina and wrote the musical "North Carolina Is My Home" in 1983 with television journalist Charles Kuralt, another North Carolina native. They performed it throughout the country and in Europe.
Mr. McGlohon recorded more than 35 albums and also co-wrote with Wilder the songs "Be a Child" and "Let Me Stay," the theme for "American Popular Song."
Mr. McGlohon also wrote the hits "Songbird," "The Wine of May," "Where Is the Child I Used to Hold" and religious songs such as "Teach Me, Lord."
The Wilder-McGlohon collaboration began in 1960, when he was living in Charlotte. He was a longtime admirer of Wilder, so he sent him a couple of songs. Wilder, known for both his jazz and popular music, liked what he heard, called Mr. McGlohon and proposed that they work together. Wilder died in 1980.
Loonis Reeves McGlohon grew up in Pitt County, the son of an auto mechanic and teacher. He would listen to a Raleigh radio station to songs of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw and other bandleaders from New York. He met his first professional musicians while attending what is now East Carolina University.
Mr. McGlohon played piano in the Army Air Forces band during World War II. After the war, he and his wife, Nan, stayed in Charlotte instead of going to play piano in New York. He joined a band of ex-GIs and went to work for Southern Railway.
Survivors include his wife and three children.