Listen to Austin 360 Radio

Former Austin musician Gil Askey dies in Australia

Staff Writer
Austin 360

Editor’s note: This article was originally published April 9, 2014

Rep. Dawnna Dukes, Gil Askey’s cousin, confirms that the Austin native, trumpet player and Motown arranger died early Wednesday at age 89 in Australia, where he has lived for more than 30 years.

“Born in Austin on March 7, 1925 to Ada DeBlanc Simond and Aubrey Askey, he recently celebrated his 89th birthday,” Dukes said in a news release. “Gil passed peacefully at his home in the loving care of his immediate family.

Michael Corcoran wrote about Askey in 2011 for the American-Statesman:

Gilbert Askey left Austin for good at age 17 in 1942, but the former Motown arranger, who received an Oscar nomination for his work with Diana Ross on “Lady Sings the Blues,” says “Austin has never left me.”

Although he has lived for 30 years in Australia, where his wife, Hellen, is from, the L.C. Anderson High School graduate comes back to visit once a year. His nickname is “Brother,” and when he comes back to Austin, state Rep. Dawnna Dukes said, “Brother makes an effort to see everyone around from the old days.” His two older sisters, Grace and Velma Jo, are still alive, as are friends that go as far back with Askey as the first grade at the Olive Street School.

Read the 2011 profile here. We’ll have more on Askey in Thursday’s newspaper.