Debby King, 71, Backstage Aide Known as ‘Soul of Carnegie Hall,’ Dies
October 12, 2021 4:36 PM   Subscribe

“She’s the soul of Carnegie Hall,” the cellist Yo-Yo Ma said in a phone interview. “She enables the transition that takes place between a person backstage getting ready to perform and then going onstage to share everything that is important to them. That transition for an artist is often when they’re at their most vulnerable.” Debby King, 71, Backstage Aide Known as ‘Soul of Carnegie Hall,’ Dies (SY NYTIMES) A short video from Today's A Life Well Lived segment
posted by beisny (10 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
What a career! One of those people where you just don't now how they keep all those balls in the air. The show wouldn't go on without them.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:37 PM on October 12 [1 favorite]

Thank you for this piece, her voice really comes through in it. She sounds like a true character.
posted by panhopticon at 9:47 PM on October 12

posted by riruro at 9:55 PM on October 12


Lots of fun stories about the Carnegie Hall job, but this was such a gut punch:
In 2004, her jobs collided when the executive director of Carnegie Hall, Robert Harth, died suddenly at 47. A co-worker called Ms. King to tell her that his body was on its way to the morgue, but she already knew.

“I’m sitting right here now taking care of him,” she responded. “I’m holding his hand so he’s not alone tonight.”
posted by mogget at 11:00 PM on October 12 [3 favorites]

posted by Faint of Butt at 3:47 AM on October 13

posted by benluttrull at 7:00 AM on October 13

We have a saying in my family, "What would Frank Sinatra do? Then do it!" as a sort of motivating and at times, sarcastic line. She actually said it (in another form) to Frank himself!!! Can't wait to send this out.

posted by AugustWest at 9:00 AM on October 13

posted by BlahLaLa at 2:05 PM on October 13

I grew up seeing Deb every few weeks, my Dad being in the NY Pops, "house band" at Carnegie.

Truly a wonderfully warm lady, and also take no sh1t steely when that was called for.

Queen of the Backstage
posted by goinWhereTheClimateSuitsMyClothes at 8:41 PM on October 13 [2 favorites]

posted by filtergik at 6:05 AM on October 14

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