Spooner's Web Glob
Of George & Ira, Richard & Jeffrey .....
and Ira's Organ Too !
Anne and I have been regular viewers of what is now known just as The PBS News Hour,since the days of when it was the McNeil-Leher Report.I wouldn't say we are news junkies,just people who like to stay well informed and not have to suffer through 10 minutes of sound bites,sold as"news",couched in 20 minutes of commercials from drug companies.
BTW: Isn't a junkie synonymous with drug addict?
5 Nights a week,Jim Leher,Margret Warner,Gwen Ifill,Ray Sanchez,Judy Woodfruff,Jeffrey Brown and more, come into our home,like old friends,__with not only in depth news from the entire planet and sometimes beyond, but also intelligent analysis and civil discussion of the same. Plus they provide the added bonus of stories on every subject imaginable that "the others" just do not. On December 7th, the News Hour revamped itself slightly for probably only the third time(?)as veteran anchor Jim Leher, gets ready to semi-retire,I suppose.
Last evening December 9th, Jeffrey Brown,who mainly covers Arts & Entertainment, but is totally adept at whatever assignment they give him,presented a story about Piano Man, Richard Glazier. Owing to time constraints(even the commercial free News Hour has them)it was an edited version of the full 15 minute interview. But thanks to the PBS Newshour Web sight,I have embedded the full interview for you on here,along with a brief performance by Richard,a master musician, who speaks so warmly and eloquently of his muses,George & Ira Gershwin.
As a professional songwriter,not only was I naturally interested in this piece,but when Mr. Glazier spoke about of being a 9 year old,and wanting to send a letter to Ira Gershwin,not knowing where to address it,that his Aunt Esther, who helped him write the letter, suggested he send it to ASCAP, (American Society Of Composers, Authors and Publishers)Well as a proud member of ASCAP's #1 Club,I was galvanized to this story and then further knocked out, by Mr. Glazier's artistry,as he performed on the very Steinway,George Gershwin composed a huge part of our American Songbook on.
I have tagged on my personal note about Ira's organ. Back in the mid '60's, in my Long Island Bar Band rock daze,The Rascals,who started out playing in my backyard,in West Hampton,had become probably the largest sellers of Hammond Organs in the companies history. Any rock band on the Island,who wanted to keep working,needed to get a Hammond. A Farfisa or Vox portable, just wouldn't cut it. As I transformed from,The Strangers',lead guitarist to become our Hammond organist,I came upon Ira Gershwins' 1930's era Hammond B Organ,for sale at Jack Kahn's Piano & Organ emporium in Freeport,LI. Although it was very affordable and not priced,as a national treasure,(probably because Ira was a lyrcist ?) I passed on it,because it did not have percussion,a feature Hammond added to their organs in 1956. That said,I wonder where Ira's Hammond Organ is today? I know from personal experience,that fire,rain or even a gas leak explosion,that reduces a night club to a pile of rubble,cannot kill a Hammond.
"THE STRANGERS _ 1966"
"IT'S NEWS TO ME"
Jeffrey Brown, Judy Woodruff, Jim Leher, Gwen Ifill, Ray Sanchez, Margaret Warner,
HERE BELOW IS THE UNEDITED VERSION OF THE INTERVIEW CONDUCTED IN THE GERSHWIN ROOM
AT THE LIBRARY OF CONGRESS, WASHINGTON, DC
And Finally Here Is Richard Glazier Letting His Fingers
DO THE SINGING
On The Gershwin's "Embraceable You"