Lloyd Lindroth, `Liberace Of The Harp'
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Musician Lloyd Lindroth, a Seattle native whose flamboyant flash earned him the title "the Liberace of the harp," is dead at age 63.
Mr. Lindroth died Thursday night at St. Thomas Hospital, where he had been hospitalized since May 22 for treatment of pneumonia.
He wore flashy costumes with rhinestones, tassels and braided chains during his two 30-minute performances six nights a week at the Opryland Hotel.
His repertoire included all styles of music, from "Beer Barrel Polka" to "Rocky Top" to "America the Beautiful."
"I live for my harp," he said in a 1991 Associated Press interview.
He had showcased his harp on stages where the instrument was a stranger: the Grand Ole Opry and the syndicated TV show "Hee Haw." He played on the soundtrack of the TV classic "Roots" and performed periodically on cable TV's Nashville Network.
Mr. Lindroth, who did not sing, owned four harps and wore a $7,000 harp-shaped ring when he played. His performances were accompanied by a laser show and "dancing waters" - water shot into the air by jets and rocker arms.
He had performed for literally millions of people.
Mr. Lindroth was born in Seattle, where he began playing the harp at age 14. He played in the U.S. Army Band and performed five times in the White House during the Eisenhower administration.
He had lived in Nashville since 1983. Before moving here, Mr. Lindroth played in just about all the major casinos on the strip in Las Vegas.
"I am a reincarnated Liberace," he once said.
Mr. Lindroth underwent a heart transplant last October and resumed performing six weeks later.
Even during his most recent hospitalization, Mr. Lindroth wanted to keep playing his harp.
"He asked to leave the hospital so he could go do his shows and then come back, but the doctor said no," George Michaud, his longtime manager, said today.
"And he wanted me to bring a harp to the hospital room so he could keep his fingers up."
Funeral services were incomplete, but he will be buried in Las Vegas.
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