Music was a passion for Kort Ogden - he was paired with it like a melody to a rhythm. There was no pitch he couldn't discern, no tempo he couldn't keep, admirers said.

“Musicians I don't even know have called me and said he was a true right-on-pitch person, and that it was a privilege to play with someone of his caliber,” wife Sandi Ogden said. “It was just ingrained in him.”

Kort Ogden died Friday from cancer. He was 62.

His love for music performance began at MacArthur High School, where he was a trumpet player in the band.

The son of a retired colonel, he followed his father into the military after high school, joining the 5th Army Jazz Band. During his three years of service, he played “Taps” at the funerals for former presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Harry Truman.

As a bass player, he served as the backbone to the numerous civilian bands that followed. His bandmates described him as a team player — something rare in such a competitive industry.

In the early 1980s, Kort Ogden went to Nashville, Tenn., with drummer and friend Phil Dalmolin to audition for country singer Sylvia, known for her 1982 hit “Nobody.”

Kort Ogden got the gig, but Dalmolin didn't.

“I was kind of bummed. ... They offered Kort the gig and not me,” Dalmolin said.

Although Dalmolin encouraged Kort Ogden to take the gig, he refused.

“Friendship meant everything to Kort,” he said.

Kort Ogden started working for Dahill Xerox Company after coming to terms with the instability of a music career. In 1987, he met Sandi Ogden there. They married three years later.

Eventually, the emphasis of Kort Ogden's life began to shift from playing the bass in bands to camping and fishing with friends and relatives. But he always stayed involved in music.

“He played occasional things with people and still played it (the bass) at home,” Sandi Ogden recalled.

Last year, Kort Ogden and Dalmolin played their final performance together at Cooter Browns Saloon in San Antonio.

“That night at Cooter Browns, Kort was very intent and happy making music,” Dalmolin said. “It lit his soul on fire.” Kort Ogden had rare musical gifts, Dalmolin recalled.

“(Kort was) perfectly in tune, his timing was impeccable,” he said. “Fast tempos, other musicians knew they could lean on Kort. On a slow ballet, man he could just nail it and keep it there.”

jluna@express-news.net