Robert Greenberg

Historian, Composer, Pianist, Speaker, Author

Archive for Entertainers

Dr. Bob Prescribes Steve Lawrence: Entertainer

Yesterday’s Music History Monday post marked the birth on July 8, 1935, of the American Grammy and Emmy Award-winning pop singer, actor, and comedian Steve Lawrence.  Maestro Lawrence’s birth name was Sidney Liebowitz, which I used as a point of departure for an extended riff on American Jewish musicians/entertainers who changed their named in order to “blend in” to what was, during the first half of the twentieth century, the predominantly white, Protestant, Anglo-American culture. During the course of researching and writing yesterday’s blog, I watched a bunch of Steve Lawrence videos.  In some, he appeared solo.  In others, he appeared with his wife and performing partner, Eydie Gormé (1928-2013).  In still others, he appeared with his best pal, Sammy Davis Jr. I watched Steve Lawrence perform and be interviewed on his friend Johnny Carson’s Show (on which he appeared many times) and the Ed Sullivan Show (ditto).  In fact, I spent an entire afternoon watching Steve Lawrence videos.  It was an altogether shocking pleasure, one that evoked from me applause (is there anything more stupid, really, than applauding a YouTube video?), laughter, a few tears, and the most acute nostalgia: I hadn’t realized – or at least I hadn’t remembered – […]

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