Classical

My Cousin Says Lenny Bernstein was a Regular Guy

HT: ES

He had a stern visage and chiseled features (or was it stern features and chiseled visage?), invariably was called “Leonard” and generally was wearing a tux when us lay people saw him. This made Leonard Bernstein seemed to be a formal and standoffish figure.

This, apparently, wasn’t the case. My cousin Ellen, who is the principal oboist for the Grand Rapids Symphony, posted the above clip on Facebook and referred to Bernstein as “Lenny.” This informality surprised me. “That’s what we called him,” she wrote. Well, I had no idea that she knew “Lenny.” (Ellen, by the way, is the pretty girl in the glasses at the right side of the screen at the 1:34 mark in this video.)

It turns out that Lenny was quite a relaxed guy. That apparently came through in the Young People’s Concerts he hosted. I am too young to remember those. (It’s refreshing, by the way, to be able to say that.) Check out the video above, which presumably consists of excerpts from those presentations, to hear Bernstein run through some boogie-woogie piano and bits of songs by The Association, The Kinks, The Beatles and, as an added bonus, Tommy James & the Shondells.

Somehow, I had never thought of Leonard Bernstein and “My Baby Does the Hanky Panky” in the same sentence before.

About the author

admin

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment

Our New Things: Links to Music Sites and Info on Analog Tech and Vinyl

TDMB has focused on music and musicians. We will continue to do that, of course. We're also expanding our coverage to include vinyl and analog equipment.

More specifically, we'll look at this huge and interesting world from the perspective of music lovers who want a better experience, not committed non-audiophiles.

Check out is some of what we've written so far:

-- Assessing the Value of Vinyl Records: An Overview

-- 7 Quick Tips on Optimizing Your Turntable Cartridge

-- Why Vinyl Records Continue to Thrive

-- Finding the Best Amplifier

-- Finding the Best Phono Preamp

-- What Speakers Do I Need for My Turntable?

Check out more articles on analog equipment and vinyl.

The site also is home to The Internet Music Mapping Project, an effort to list and describe as many music-related sites as possible.

Our Music

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

🎼🎺🎻🎹🎷🎶🎵


What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

🎼🎺🎻🎹🎷🎶🎵

The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

Full Disclosure

As an Amazon affiliate, this site earns a commission on every purchase made. All prices remain the same to you.