NEW YORK CITY MUSICAL HISTORY: GREAT PERFORMERS and PERFORMANCES

Interested in the musical history of New York City? Then you might like the site I’ve created at Facebook, called “The Musical History of New York City.”  Have a look by CLICKING HERE

Pictured here, counter-clockwise from upper left: Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, Dion and the Belmonts, the Chantels, Frank Sinatra, Jules Munshin and Gene Kelly, Lena Horne and Cole Porter. 

THE MUSIC, IMAGES and STORIES of WAR

I saw WWII through the eyes and ears of my mother and father’s generation. The images…the flag raising at Iwo Jima, the soldier and nurse in Times Square…and my parents’ stories and music—In the Mood and Moonlight Serenade on the jukebox of Popp’s Ice Cream Parlor in Woodhaven Queens. The music, images and stories painted a vivid picture of their experiences.

That was very different from the way I viewed my generation’s war. The images were far from uplifting–the young girl running and covered with napalm, the police captain putting a bullet in a young man’s head and body bags arriving at airports are the symbols I remember. And the songs that Americans connected to the images were decidedly “anti-war.” Pete Seeger’s “If I Had a Hammer” and “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” The Doors, “Unknown Soldier,” Edwin Starr’s “War,” and many others filled the airwaves. And there were no heroic welcomings– fifteen of my local high school friends died in Vietnam.

The soldiers had their favorite songs too: Aretha Franklin’s, “Chain of Fools” and Marvin Gaye’s, “What’s Goin On?” but I believe the most popular song among the fighting forces was a song that tells of the misery of living and working in an urban environment. But within the context of serving in a foreign country, thousands of miles from home, knowing that any moment might be your last, the words, “We gotta get out of this place, if it’s the last thing we ever do,” took on an entirely different meaning: CLICK HERE FOR SONG

You can follow my “Musical History of New York City” HERE

NEW YORK CITY TOP TIER TALENT: WALTER PARKS and NICOLE ZURAITIS

 

Those of you who know me well know I attend lots of events in NYC. This past Friday night I attended back-to-back performances in Greenwich Village: Walter Parks at Cafe Bohemia and Nicole Zuraitis at 55 Bar. Stunning performances, each. And talk about value for your buck….incredible. Occasionally, and it’s become very occasionally, I’ll attend a Broadway musical–at about five to ten times the price–and more often than not, I leave awfully disappointed. Moral of the story…support local artists…they deserve your support. They may not be as brilliant as Walter and Nicole but I know how hard these artists ply their crafts. Bravo, brava to all my artistic friends.

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. 

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.
.
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

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.

“FROM CARNEGIE HALL to THE CELL”: MEET JIIN YANG

Come see “From Carnegie Hall to the Cell” the last in the series “Classically Exposed,” produced by Charles R. Hale Productions and Musical Solis (Seunghee Lee (Sunny)). At the Cell Theatre, December 13, 7:30pm. For tix and info CLICK HERE

Meet one of the performers, Jiin Yang:

Jiin has performed as a soloist with numerous orchestras: KBS Symphony Orchestra, Auburn Symphony Orchestra and the New Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra. She has also appeared as a chamber musician in many world renowned venues…NYC’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Cadogan Hall, Paris’ Salle Gaveau, Beijing’s National Centre for the Performing Arts, and Washington DC’s Kennedy Center. Most recently Jiin performed with Wayne Weng in a show I created called “Connecting the Masters” part of the “Classically Exposed” series at the Cell.