Michael Tracey White, 39, of Salisbury, Md., died at Atlantic General Hospital on Sunday, Sept. 3, 2006. Born in Salisbury, White was known throughout the area as a professional musician, performing solo, or with saxophonist Joe Smooth or drummers Chuck de Martin or Joe Mama, or as the frontman for swing/rockabilly act Michael and the Little Professors.
White never had a “day job.” He worked his way through college at what is now Salisbury University by performing music and continued to perform regularly through Saturday, Sept. 2, 2006. Scheduled performances included several set for the week of his death in Ocean City and on the main stage at the upcoming Ocean City Sunfest 2006. His latest album, “Swingin’ Sounds for Now,” was due out this fall.
White’s memorial tune inspired by the death of NASCAR legend Dale Earnhardt Sr., “Cold Day in Daytona,” sold more than 22,000 units internationally and peaked at No. 9 on the independent worldwide country chart in 2001. A portion of the profits from sales of the song were donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Throughout his career, White was lauded by such music legends as Peter Noone of Herman’s Hermits and composer/TV personality Steve Allen. White’s hobbies included writing music, surfing and collecting old records.
In addition to his parents, White is survived by his wife, Michelle, and son Noah. A viewing was set for Wednesday, Sept. 6, at Holloway Funeral Home in Salisbury, with the funeral to be held on Thursday, Sept. 7, at St. Francis DeSales Catholic Church in Salisbury.