Charles Baird Parker, son of jazz great

Posted: March 31, 2014

Charles Baird Parker, 61, of Lansdale, the sole surviving child of the jazz saxophone great Charlie "Bird" Parker, died Sunday, March 23, at Lansdale Hospital of kidney, liver, and respiratory failure.

News of Mr. Parker's death was released by his attorney, Albert Oehrle.

Mr. Parker's father died in 1955 at age 34 while in mid-career as a jazz soloist. He helped create bebop, characterized by quick tempos and improvisation.

His mother, Chan Woods, a dancer, died in 1999 at age 74 in Champmotteux, France.

Many years ago, she wrote of her son: "The jazz world expected Baird to fill Bird's shoes. Those expectations almost destroyed him.

"Now he is a baker for his local Acme. He is not in need of the money, but he likes to work, and he's always liked to cook. I am very proud of him."

Mr. Parker had not been employed for many years. He received royalties from his father's copyrights.

He is survived by a daughter, Julie Ann, and a stepdaughter, Lesley Jane Leight.

Mr. Parker's sister, Pree, died as an infant. A half-sister also survives.

Funeral plans were pending.


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