A Story About Dad

When i was sitting with Dad tonight for dinner we were talking about his role in the record business which started in 1947.
It was fate actually. The only reason he was in the record business is because he applied to become an engineer but the company would not take any Jews and they said don’t call us we will call you so his dreams were dashed until fate intervened. Dad was part of a left wing organization . There was an election for a volunteer to go to Yugoslavia to build the People’s railroad with Tito and Dad ran against Solly Rosenbaum who was head of the Party .
Dad was second in command. Solly won and he asked Dad to take his job in a left wing record company until he got back. Solly never came back ,fate unknown and Dad rose in the ranks from shipper to Vice President.
Because the boss could not go into the United States because of the McCarthy blacklist and the Red Scare Dad was not on a list then so he would go to New York City and pick up labels and became very well known.
Here was a man who hung out with Maria Callas refusing to kiss her hand like she demanded but instead shook it which caused her to remark painfully,”You have broken my hand!” .Then there was Edith Piaf who was holed up in a boarding house in Montreal and Dad brought her red roses every day and she would answer the door in a black dress covered with cigarette ash .
Then there was Herbert Von Karajan whose hand my mother refused to shake at a record party because he was Hitler’s favorite conductor.
There was Joan Baez and there was Leonard Cohen and i remember when Dad stayed up all night in line outside a record store to score Bruce Springsteen tickets and we all went and had front row center.
Dad was involved with music at every decade for 7 decades .He is the last of his contemporaries ..
I remarked how he is probably the only senior of his generation in this dining room that embraced music like that …He saw its all.
The first record he bought was Jan Peerce’s Bluebird of Happiness and he had just bought it and was on the streetcar and there was a sharp jolt and the record cracked in his hands.He got off the bus and returned to the record store and bought the last copy they had …again.
I remember giving Dad Grateful Dead tickets
I remember introducing Dad to Jerry Garcia in San Francisco.
Just 6 months ago for his 91’st he was hanging out at bars and blues clubs in New Orleans enjoying every minute. While i am here we will meet downstairs while i slip my headphones on him and i will turn him on to whatever i am listening to…

Dad is the ultimate music man…

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