Sunday, February 14, 2010

Godspeed, Kenny Jagger

Kenny Jagger was a founder of the Indianapolis BMW (Motorcycle) Club and a good friend.

Kenneth R. Jagger 91, of Indianapolis, passed away Tuesday, February 9, 2010. He was born in Columbia City, IN on December 23, 1918, the son of the late Ray and Mary (Gaff) Jagger.

Kenny started his career as a professional musician at the Colonial Hotel and Gardens at Lake Manitou, Rochester, IN. After graduation from Rochester High School, he studied theatre-radio organ under Mildred Fitzpatrick at the Sherwood Music School in Chicago.

During his career, he traveled all over America as an exclusive Music Corporation of America (MCA) artist playing organ and piano at celebrated hotels and lounges.

One of the choice locations was the Midtown Manhattan Sheraton Hotel. He had his own radio show nightly on WNEW in New York. He recorded phonograph records for the F.M. label, as well as the Gold Seal label. His most popular record was Pinetop's Boogie Woogie disc. His records were distributed worldwide. He had the distinction of being the last organist to play at the Indiana Theatre.

After over 30 years without organ music, arrangements were made with the Thomas Organ Co. for Kenny to play for the 1967 showing of Gone with the Wind. Locally, he is best remembered for his engagement at the Graylyn Hotel Blue Room. During this period he had two television shows a week on WFBM-TV Channel 6. He was also the organist on Channel 4 for the Billie Boucher show. In addition to these TV shows, his music was aired on WISH, WIRE, and WFBM radio.

Over the years, he played extensive engagements at the Shrine Club, Columbia Club, Plainfield Elks Club, Highland Country Club, Indianapolis Country Club, Indianapolis Athletic Club and Lutz Supper Club.

Kenny was an avid motorcyclist and always strove to improve the image of the sport. While on the Billie Boucher show he created a TV motorcycle special. He was the recipient from the BMW motorcycle factory in Munich, Germany of a 300,000 Mile Award for riding BMW motorcycles over 300,000 miles during a 34-year period. He was the President of the Indianapolis BMW Club numerous times and was the creator of the nationally attended Christmas in June motorcycle rally held on Floyd "Pop" Dreyer's acreage near Mount Meridian, Ind.

He was a Charter Life Member of the Local 3 American Federation of Musicians, the American Theatre Organ Society, and the Indianapolis Organ Club where he performed numerous programs. He was also a Charter Life Member of the American Motorcycle Association, BMW Motorcycle Owners Association, and the BMW Riders Association. Additional memberships included the Indianapolis Art Center, the Masonic Lodge Evergreen Chapter, Scottish Rite and Shrine.

His wife of 52 years, Florence Zigas Jagger and a brother Robert Dale Jagger, preceded him in death. Relatives include a daughter, Jacqueline Ann Harris (husband Richard) of Muncie, IN; a son, John Raymond Jagger (wife Leslie) of Maryville, TN; four granddaughters, Michelle Weaver, Teresa Hayes, Kathryn Hilleson and Meredith Jagger, and two great-grandchildren, Bailee and Brock Weaver.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 20 at Northminster Presbyterian Church, 1660 Kessler Blvd., East Drive, Indianapolis. Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. followed by a service at 2:00 p.m. Please visit his online guest book at

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