The following article was brought to my attention by one of the 45 Catalog Contributors – I felt that the entire article warrants reproduction here to guard against it disappearing at some point from it’s original source. It is reproduced in total from “Philly. Com” and published back December 10 1991. They have Vicky’s spelling incorrect here but that is a common mistake through the years.
A Close and Strange Encounter
by Jim NIcholson, Daily News Staff Writer
Richard P. Colanzi, formerly of 13th and Mifflin streets, and now a record promoter in Nashville, was one of those affected by Jack Ruby’s murder of alleged Kennedy assassin Lee Harvey Oswald.
It was November 1963 and Colanzi, a graduate of Southern High School, was doing record promotion for Myers Music Inc. publishing company at 208 N. Broad St. His boss, Jimmy Myers, another Philadelphian, had written the all-time classic, “Rock Around the Clock,” a few years earlier.
“The first week in November 1963 I get a call from Vicky Morrison in Dallas, Tex. She owned a company called Band Box Records and a recording studio in Denver, Colo.,” said Colanzi. “She was very excited: ‘Dick, I have just left a gentleman named Jack Ruby, who owns the Carousel Club. He is an influential man with a lot of connections.’ “
Colanzi said Morrison told him that she recommended him to Ruby, who was promoting a new singer. She said Ruby would be calling Colanzi about promoting the singer’s upcoming record, which Ruby wanted to have out before Christmas. It would be released on Morrison’s Band Box label.
“On approximately the 15th or 16th of November, Jack Ruby did call me,” said Colanzi. “He said he was excited about producing the record, and he wanted to fly me down for the recording session two weeks before Christmas and then line up some TV shows. He said he had a budget to spend some money – $10,000, a lot of money then. After I checked with some TV shows in New York, I called him back around the 18th or 19th.
“The next thing I knew, I’m sitting in my mother’s living room with the rest of the nation watching television and, all of a sudden, Jack Ruby. I froze. I remember my brother coming in. I’m white as a ghost. ‘Richie, is anything wrong?’ I said no. I said this thing about the president has me all upset. Five minutes later, Vicky Morrison called me. I took it upstairs. Vicky is panicking: ‘Dick, Dick. Did you see the television?’ I said, ‘Calm down. Have you talked to Jimmy?’ “
Actually, Colanzi was just as scared as Morrison. For 10 years after the incident, he didn’t even tell his family or closest friends about it, with the exception of Myers, who gave Colanzi the name of his lawyer. Colanzi called the attorney, who advised him to sit tight and do nothing.
Colanzi said the attorney told him that, “No doubt your name is in his (Ruby’s) records. Somebody – the FBI – is going to give you a call, and when that happens, call me immediately.”
Colanzi understood. He was sure his phone number would show on Ruby’s telephone receipts of the call eight days before he killed Oswald. Also, there would probably be business records or appointment books with his name and number in them. Failing that, when the Feds got done with Morrison, who had met with Ruby and was doing business with him, Colanzi would be next in line.
It has been 28 years and no investigator has ever called Colanzi or, to his knowledge, Morrison.
Colanzi continued in the promotion business, moving to Nashville about 10 years ago. From 1979 to 1982, he went on the road and did radio promotion for the country group Alabama, which had four gold records during that time.
Colanzi has had a good career. But he still wonders where it might be today had an assasin’s bullet not deflected an early shot at the big time.