BOBBY DARIN’S “ONCE UPON A TIME”

 

Only once or twice in my lifetime has a celebrity’s death really moved me; Bobby Darin’s death was one of those. Maybe it was because he was a New York kid or maybe he reminded me of my youth or maybe it had something to do with overcoming life’s challenges.

Darin was married and divorced twice by the time he was 30; he was devastated when learned at the age of 32 that the woman he thought was his older sister was his mother, and he suffered from poor health his entire life. Beginning at age eight, he was stricken with recurring bouts of rheumatic fever.

But he could act, dance and put across a song. Sad, when you hear Darin ask the pianist to give him a minute to catch his breath in the following clip–he was thirty-years-old–but during the last few years of his life Darin was often administered oxygen during and after his performances. Here, in my view, is one of best life performances of a standard I know of… “Once Upon a Time”  So affecting. 

VAN CLIBURN’S GRAMMY AWARD WINNING PERFORMANCE

When I was a young boy my mother introduced me to classical music. The first album she bought was also the first Grammy award winning classical album, which included Van Cliburn’s performance of the Tchaikovsky Piano Concerto No 1. The album was recorded at New York’s Carnegie Hall in 1958. Twenty-three-year old Cliburn, who had recently won the first International Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow in 1958, performed a number of encore pieces that evening. One of them was written by Robert Schumann and arranged by Franz Liszt…and one of my favorites….it’s called “Widmung.” And if you listen carefully, you’ll hear some Schubert at the end. Here’s Cliburn’s Widmung

JENNY LIND, CASTLE GARDEN and MY ANCESTORS

Castle Garden, which was originally built as a fort in 1811, ostensibly to protect New Yorkers from the British in the run up to the war of 1812, was leased to NYC as a place of entertainment in 1821. In 1850 Castle Garden was the site of two extraordinarily successful concerts given by the Swedish soprano Jenny Lind.

When I’m in Battery Park, where Castle Garden is located, I think of my ancestors who came to New York City between the 1840s and 1890. None of them came through Ellis Island. A few would have come to the docks and been met by customs agents prior to 1855, including the Hales, who arrived in 1854, but most of them came through Castle Garden, which opened in 1855. Pretty humbling.

THE MUSICAL HISTORY OF NEW YORK CITY

 

So many great New York City musical moments: Sinatra, the Beatles, Marian Anderson, the Ronettes and the Ramones, Billy Joel, Billie Holiday and Duke Ellington…and that’s just scratching the surface.

From the time I was three or four years old, thanks to my mother, I was listening to the radio. First it was what we now call the American Songbook, then it was Doo Wop, the Girl Groups, Rock, Jazz, and Classical. And then there were/are the venues….the Village Vanguard, Carnegie Hall, the Apollo, Central Park, 55 Bar and on and on.

I, like so many of us, live for good music…and I’m also very interested in the history of music, particularly in New York City.

So join me at Facebook by CLICKING HERE: Share your favorite New York music stories with a photo. (No YouTube videos, please, I’d like this to be a story and photos page.) If you want to personalize a story, go ahead. Everyone loves a universal story…it may be your story, your parents, your grandparents, a friend or an old family acquaintance.

A few rules…please don’t use this sight to promote a product or your career…no politics….no musical downloads such as YouTube videos…no more than two posts a day…please do not repeat what someone else has already posted…and remember…this should be specific to New York City.

FENWICK, LEE, MACK, MALONEY, YANG and HALE: FABULOUS NIGHT at THE CELL

“From Carnegie Hall to the Cell,”  the last show of the 2019 series “Classically Exposed,” featured a night of wonderful music presented by fabulous musicians…and a dose of Carnegie Hall’s history. 

The performers, who are pictured below, were Jiin Yang, Baron Fenwick, Robert Anthony Mack, Clare Maloney, Seunghee Lee and me, Charles R. Hale

Seunghee Lee and I, co-producers of the series, are looking forward to 2020 when we will be presenting the second installment of “Classically Exposed.” We will be providing the dates and details within the next few weeks. 

Photos by Arnette Janine and Seunghee Lee.

Jiin Yang and Baron Fenwick

 

Baron Fenwick

 

Clare Maloney

 

Charles R. Hale

 

Robert Anthony Mack

 

Baron Fenwick and Seunghee Lee

 

Clare Maloney and Robert Anthony Mack

 

Jiin Yang, Baron Fenwick, Seunghee Lee, Clare Maloney and Robert Anthony Mack

CARNEGIE HALL: THE PAST COMES ALIVE at THE CELL, DECEMBER 13, 7:30pm

What do country singer Patsy Cline, French chanteuse Edith Piaf, soprano Licia Albanese and “From Carnegie Hall to the Cell’s” vocalist Clare Maloney have in common? Join us this Friday, December 13 at The Cell to find out.
 
For tix and info CLICK HERE 
 
In addition to Clare the show, which looks back at Carnegie’s legendary performs and performances, features a wonderfully gifted group of performers including Seunghee Lee (Sunny), Robert Anthony Mack, Jiin Yang and Baron Fenwick.
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The Cell is located at 338 West 23rd St in the Chelsea section of Manhattan. Doors and bar at 7:00pm. The show begins at 7:30pm.

FROM CARNEGIE HALL TO THE CELL: DECEMBER 13, 7:30PM at the CELL

 

“Charles, a chronicler of New York life and culture, blends the city’s rich history with music imagery and performance art and captures the vibrant and unique experience that is New York City.” Author and Historian Peter Quinn

*****

From the time I was a young boy growing up in New York, I was fascinated by the connection between, music, imagery and history. Pure and simple…that’s my passion. Now I am bringing this passion forward through personal recollections, anecdotes and stories of the artists and musical geniuses who have intertwined the history of Carnegie Hall with the history of New York, making Carnegie one of the world’s most prestigious venues.   

I know some of you have purchased tickets, but if you haven’t or if you’d like one or two more there are eight seats left. https://bit.ly/2ODqsjL

I hope you can join Seunghee Lee (Sunny), Clare Maloney, Robert Anthony Mack, Jiin Yang, Baron Fenwick and me for an evening of entertainment and conviviality at “the cell,” on December 13, 7:30pm. 

Thank you for your support, 

Charles

CARNEGIE HALL’S GOLDEN ANNIVERSARY SEASON, 1940-1941

 

Carnegie Hall’s first public concert was performed on May 5, 1891. Fifty years later they featured the man whom the Hall was named for and the person most responsible for bringing the Hall into existence, Andrew Carnegie. 

Here’s what the Golden Anniversary cover of the program looked like, including the musical program of December 3rd, 1940, conducted by Leopold Stokowski. I also notice that my good friend Joe McElligott’s grand uncle, Fire Commissioner John J. McElligott’s “Fire Notice” is included in the program. 

A few years earlier, in 1937, my grandfather Charles F. Hale, a member of the FDNY, received an award for bravery at City Hall. It was handed to him by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia and Joe’s commissioner uncle, John J. McElligott. It’s a very big city, but at times it’s a very small world. 

ROBERT ANTHONY MACK in “FROM CARNEGIE HALL to THE CELL,” DECEMBER 13, 7:30PM

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Robert Mack, Tenor recently performed the role of Bartell D’Arcy in the Irish Repertory Theatre’s production of The Dead, 1904. He has received glorious reviews for his powerful but sweet lyric tenor voice, throughout the US and Europe with Houston Grand Opera, New York City Opera, Budapest Opera, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City, The Royal Danish Opera, Opéra Française de New York, Nashville Opera, Opera Carolina, The Springfield Symphony, The Paris Bastille, The Teatro Real in Spain, and has spent several seasons on the roster of The Metropolitan Opera. Mr. Mack has performed on Broadway in Smokey Joe’s Café and 3 Mo’ Tenors. He has been the tenor soloist in The Verdi’s Requiem, and other notable oratorios.
 
I’m thrilled that this extremely talented tenor will be performing in my show “From Carnegie Hall to the Cell,” December 13, 7:30pm.
 
For tickets and info CLICK HERE

BARON FENWICK and CHARLES R. HALE at LEHMAN COLLEGE, DECEMBER 5

 

Join pianist Baron Fenwick and Charles R. Hale, tomorrow, 12/5, 12:30pm, in the Lovinger Theatre at Lehman College, for another in Charles’s classical music series for college students, “It’s Just Great Music.”

This is a free event.

Thanks to Professor Joseph McElligott for all he does to support the arts and artists.