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Lynda Roth

Lynda Roth

Lynda Roth, composer and performer and 25-year Laguna Beach resident, died June 2, 2012, at her home surrounded by her life partner Lisa Richter and several close friends.  She is survived by her brothers Bill and Dennis and sister Keren Grass, and numerous family members and friends.

Roth was born in Pittsburgh, Penn., on June 8, 1952. She started  studying piano at the age of 7, beginning a lifetime love of music.  She graduated from Brandeis University in 1974 in Judaic studies.

Roth performed in various bands and later as a soloist throughout New England, New York, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, and Los Angeles. As music director for “Playboy’s Girls of Rock and Roll,” she toured Monte Carlo and Honolulu.

Roth was the last student of Lyle (Spud) Murphy, a Los Angeles  jazz great. She was a prolific songwriter, recording a number of albums, including a joint venture with local jazz vocalist Karen Gallinger. In 1983, Roth’s album “Try” was the Billboard Magazine pick of the week.

In 1988, Roth earned an Emmy for the musical score “Dollars and Sense” written for PBS. In 1994, she opened Studio Laguna, and continued to record and compose for a number of television and corporate clients including “The Guiding Light,” ESPN, and The San Bernardino Museum.

As the musical director for Debbie Friedman, Roth performed with her at venues throughout the world, including Carnegie Hall in 1996 and 1997.

Roth was well known in Laguna for her generous spirit and open heart. She could always be counted on to volunteer her talents for fundraisers for non-profit organizations such as the AIDS Services Foundation and Laguna Art Museum.

Roth was a piano bar favorite throughout Laguna, including at the defunct Boom Boom Room, Little Shrimp, and Ron’s. She had a loyal following and always packed the house. She knew each fan’s favorite tune and would key up the melody as soon as she saw them walk into the lounge.

Several years ago, Roth founded The Muse Project, an innovative educational program to utilize the power of music to teach American history and literature. Roth composed choral works derived from original texts, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the book,
Uncle Tom’s Cabin.” The work is simply astounding. Before becoming ill, Roth was only able to professionally record a handful of her nearly 40 compositions. If you would like to fulfill her  legacy, you can send contributions to The Muse Project, 303 Broadway, Ste. 104-13, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. To learn more, visit themuseproject.org.

Roth’s partner would like to invite all who wish to celebrate Roth’s life to a memorial at Heisler Park on Sunday, June 17, at 8 a.m. in the amphitheater located near the lawn bowling green.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Mike says:

    I met Linda when she was 16 – she and my sister were youth group members/leaders together. They created a bond that was never broken, friends always – which wasn’t hard to do with Linda. I was 4 years younger than she and my wonderful sister Bonnie, but whenever she came to visit she would take me out to the basketball courts to shoot around. Linda was a natural, athletically gifted and competitive in a fun, playful way. I remember her always having a quick smile and contagious laugh and of course a great sense of humor, yet, she was as deep as they come – an amazing person, someone you never forget. Rest in peace Linda. You will always be missed.

  2. pete says:

    I use to work with Lynda at The Boom Boom Room and again at Romeo Cucina she had an amazing talent. she was a great friend she will be missed.

  3. Serra Gokce says:

    Lynda was in my life from the day i moved to Laguna Beach in 1989.
    She touched my heart in many ways and will always be in my heart.
    Rest in peace my friend. you are one of a kind!

  4. David says:

    I met Lynda through Career Day at LBHS in 1999, where she was my musical mentor for a day. Later she showed me my first taste of what its like to do recording at a home studio, something I’ve continued with ever since. Lynda taught me many important lessons about life and music in our time that I will always remember.

  5. Isaiah Powell says:

    I first met Lynda 12 years ago through a high school program that let me shadow her as a musician. Through her infinite love of music she allowed me and several others to record in her home studio. Later we began the Songwriters/Composers Club in Laguna Beach High School where she gave her time to sit with us and offer advice and support. She was always upbeat, outgoing, and never judgmental of bad teenage poetry. I was trying to reconnect with her when I stumbled upon this. The world lost an amazing soul.

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