KANSAS CITY, Mo. — We all forget some due dates from time to time, so local libraries often think nothing of a book or other material coming back a few weeks late.
But David Izzard was a sophomore at what’s now UMKC studying music theory and composition when he went to the Kansas City Public Library to check out some records in 1961.
He took that music on quite a journey over the next 60 years.
“Music is what I do,” said Izzard in his home. “When I can’t sleep at night, I’ve got music going through my head.”
It’s been running through his head over the course of his long career in music.
“In the early 70s, I began to write jingles for radio and television locally and then I did a few national things,” said Izzard.
Then, Izzard took his talents to Los Angeles, spending long hours writing out music scores for TV productions, movies, and award shows. Thirty-five years of doing that let him work alongside some of the best composers and artists in the business while working on productions like Titanic and Indiana Jones.
When the shine wore off, Izzard and his wife packed up and came back to Kansas City.
“And I finally got to this box in my office, and I opened it up and there they were,” said Izzard, referring to the records he had checked out in 1961. “I thought: ‘Oh man, I’m in trouble now.'”
Inside, he found records of The Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet and Bela Bartok, so Izzard decided this time to make his case with works, not notes.
“Whilst reorganizing my vinyl record collection, I came across the enclosed two vinyl records,” Izzard wrote the to the Kansas City Public Library.
The letter eventually found its way to Kansas City Public Library Deputy Director of Library Services Joel Jones.
“You can do the math on how many years they were overdue, but we are not concerned about that at all,” said Jones. “We were just excited to have them back.”
Luckily for Izzard, Kansas City Public Library fines have always been capped at $2 before they were eliminated completely in July of 2019. That meant that Izzard was never in danger of paying the $450 fine, before interest, he calculated and thought he might be subject to paying.
Izzard’s only payment was to return the records, more than a little late, but still in good condition after all these years. They’ll live on in the library’s archives where visitors will be able to see the records and the 1960’s era check-out cards that were still inside, stamped with dates from the 1950s and 1960s.
“I think that shows how much respect he has and so many people have for the public library,” said Jones.
When Izzard passes away, the broadcast-quality section of his music collection will be sent to UMKC.