Monday, November 12, 2007
Pearl Zimney Warnow
Pearl Zimney married Harry Warnow (Raymond Scott) in 1935. She was an essential part of Scott's life in the mid-1930s when he first achieved fame and recognition as a musical enfante terrible. She was present during the brief lifespan of his legendary "powerhouse" Quintette (1937-39), and she accompanied Raymond and his Quints to Hollywood in 1938. She was there during his foray into big band leadership (1939), and when he formed his first commercial electronic lab (Manhattan Research, Inc.) in 1946, the same year he composed the score for the hit Broadway musical Lute Song.
Besides being smart, beautiful, and resourceful, Pearl was an audio engineer (mentored by Scott) who in the 1930s occasionally "manned" the console at Scott's Universal Recorders studios in Manhattan.
"It was very interesting," she later recalled. "I remember once the famous jazz trumpeter Bunny Berigan came up with this singer—I forget her name. The two of them were high as a kite. I didn’t know anything about drugs then. But they were loopy."
Pearl and Harry had two children, Carolyn and Stanley. Stan is currently at work on a documentary about his dad.
"You could never make eye contact with Raymond, at least in his early years," Pearl reflected in a May 2000 interview. "His ability to connect with people, to have a real open relationship, it just wasn’t there—with musicians, with me. Raymond was an original, and I guess you could say a genius, but that encompasses a lot of things. He was different and difficult, and withdrawn. He had some very strange feelings and ideas. Though I loved him, I really did."
Pearl was born on this date in 1910. (She passed away on April 28, 2001.) The above quotes are from an extended interview with Pearl that appears in the Raymond Scott Quintette CD Microphone Music.
Pearl and Harry divorced in 1950. Two years later, she married Larry Winters. Pearl spent the rest of her long, productive, and buoyant life in Mamaroneck, NY.