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Morris Levy; Music Publisher, Owner of Nightclub

May 28, 1990

Morris Levy, 62, who owned the jazz nightclub Birdland and whose record company produced such hits in the 1950s as "Why Do Fools Fall in Love" and "Peppermint Twist." Levy's Birdland, named after saxophonist Charlie (Bird) Parker, was a world-famous jazz mecca in New York City. Levy became a music publisher and record company mogul in the '50s. His Roulette Records was one of the leading independent companies and helped develop such stars as Tommy James. In the 1970s, Levy opened a chain of record stores in the Northeast. At his death, Levy was facing a 10-year prison term for a 1988 conviction on two federal counts of conspiring to extort $1.25 million from a Pennsylvania record wholesaler. On May 21 in New York City of cancer.

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