We first moved to the Hancock Park area some 20 years ago and I’ll never forget the first time there was a day-time emergency. The sirens of a fire truck brought neighbors spilling out of their homes and I remember thinking, geez. It’s the middle of the day – doesn’t anyone have a job on this block?
I soon learned that 90% of the residents on our block in Windsor Village are the producers, writers, directors, actors and artists behind the creative genius of the Southern California entertainment industry. But few are as productive as writer David Ritz who was featured this weekend in Sunday’s LA TImes Entertainment section.
Ritz is having five books released this year alone, with an autobiography of Buddy Guy due out this month. He is best known for his collaboration with artists such as Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, B.B. King, Janet Jackson and Gary Sheffield, among a long list of others. He also writes novels, but began his career as a ghostwriter working with Ray Charles 35 years ago to bring Brother Ray: Ray Charles’ Own Story to print.
The LA Times article brings David Ritz to life, just as he brings so many legendary musicians, athletes and talk show hosts to life in his books. It’s a fun read and provides some curious insights into jazz and blues artistry, as well as this great neighbor who lives just down the street. We’ve all been bragging for years that the guy who wrote the lyrics to Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” lives on our street, and now people may finally believe us.