Sunday May 15, 2022
Emerson Avenue Salonlines Proudly Presents
a Live YouTube Broadcast
– A “hybrid” concert –
I’LL ALWAYS BE TWENTY-ONE!
(But What About My Fingers??!!)
George Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Arthur Schwartz, Ralph Rainger, Carroll Gibbons, Kay Swift are all represented, but Alex wants to call special attention to a recently discovered, lovely Vernon Duke number, called “I’ll Always Be Twenty-One”. It’s an as-good-as-unknown song from a late 30s unproduced show, THE CAROUSEL, predecessor to the famed Rodgers & Hammerstein 40s musical, CAROUSEL. Duke’s show never made it to a theatre stage, not to speak of Broadway, but a few songs were submitted for copyright, fortunately including “21”. Alex decided this particular song title aptly describes his own situation. He’ll always be figuratively young “upstairs”, but how much longer will those dastardly digits maintain enough dexterity to play this stuff youthfully? So far so good–
Alex Hassan, our Emerson Avenue Pandemic Pianoodler, is back with another knuckle-busting (and romantic too–fear not!) program of Tin Pan Alley delights between the two world wars. There’ll be a few more familiar melodies than usual from our ever-exploratory plonker (great UK colloquialism for [certain kinds of] pianists), and the inevitable How Could These Be Unknown ? titles.
Soooo, drop everything Sunday night, the 15th, and we’ll all determine whether Alex’s fingers are still “21”. 7:30PM Eastern, “emersonavenuesalons.com“.
Be there, or be…uhhh….rectangular?
Alex Hassan has been in total immersion 1920s/30s Tin Pan Alley Popular Piano Styles therapy for over 40 years. A pupil of a pupil of a pupil of a pupil of Franz Liszt (well…it SOUNDS impressive?!), he has been a torchbearer for the melodies of between-the-wars Broadway and Hollywood (and European equivalents), devoting himself more specifically to collecting and resurrecting the great “late Romantic with a beat” popular songs that really never had a chance.
His archival collection of [mostly] popular piano solo and vocal sheet music numbers around 45,000 titles, entirely 1920s/30s. It is a tribute to those heady musical times that there is still so much left to find.
Alex has performed internationally at such venues as England’s Aldeburgh Festival, Husum (2007 & 2015–“Piano Rarities Festival”), Washington DC’s Kennedy Center, the Coolidge Auditorium (Library of Congress), various Manhattan/Baltimore/Washington night spots, and national ragtime festivals. He has recorded prolifically for England’s SHELLWOOD PRODUCTIONS, Los Angeleno label OPERETTA ARCHIVES, and Pennsylvania’s STOMP OFF, and has produced/annotated several reissues of the virtuoso popular pianists of the 78RPM period, for both Shellwood and the Pittsburgh company, RIVERMONT (for which he has also recorded, along with two brilliant singing friends).
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