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I once asked Timothy if he'd ever read any of the articles I had written in HITS. His answer was that he'd never cracked open an issue in his life. Never looked at a page. Never skimmed a word. I found this a bit peculiar (although understandable).
IN PRAISE OF TIMOTHY WHITE
A Fellow Writer Reminisces About
the Billboard Editor in Chief
By Shirley Halperin

I am but one of the countless number of people whose life Timothy White touched. Like many of his New York nightclubbing pals, I make my living as a music journalist (or at least try to). But unlike most others, I never worked with Timothy, he hadn't edited any of my stories, and I had never interviewed him for anything. Yet every time I saw him, he would engage me in conversation, we would debate, he would ask for opinions and talk to me like I was a valued colleague taking part in some kind of impromptu editorial meeting—right there in the basement of the Mercury Lounge! After five years of such encounters, I considered him a friend.

I once asked Timothy if he'd ever read any of the articles I had written in HITS. His answer was that he'd never cracked open an issue in his life. Never looked at a page. Never skimmed a word. I found this a bit peculiar (although understandable), so I photocopied a whole bunch of HITS dialogues I had done and dropped them off at his office the next day. I never did find out what he thought of our little slice of the trade, but at least I know he looked at it (it was packaged so that it couldn't be avoided—we're good at that.)

When last we spoke, Timothy had called to voice his opinion on a video project I had recently worked on. Called Money for Nothing, the program was a no-holds-barred critique of the music industry's current quagmire in which several highly vocal artists lament its seemingly grim fate. Timothy was so juiced after watching it that he felt he just had to vocalize his thoughts immediately. He did so in a 10-minute rant on my answering machine with an e-mail to boot. Typical Timothy—he had to be heard. Which is why, for someone like me, who couldn't necessarily enjoy the constant companionship of a Billboard subscription, it was ramblings like this one that were music to my ears. Like a really good, timeless song, Timothy's words had passion, intellect, history, and, most importantly, great delivery.

He was a true mentor, and he will be missed.

Shirley is a New York-based freelance writer who has contributed frequently to HITS and hitsdailydouble.com.



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