Monday, June 23, 2014

Ron Aprea: John Lennon/Beatles Jazz tribute album on the horizon!

Ron Aprea is a jazz saxophone player.
He arranges, composes, produces.

He has played with world class musicians including people like Louis Armstrong, Lionel Hampton, Woody Herman, Tito Puente and a host of other great jazz bands and musicians. He has toured and done festivals in France, the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival event at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho. His wife, Angela DeNiro,  is also a jazz singer. He has produced three albums with her. He has his own production company where he takes on other artists and produces them. He also has his own recording studio.
I began the interview by asking Ron makes him happy and what makes him unhappy.
He said there are a million things that make him happy. He is happy when he wakes up in the morning! He is happy to be doing what he loves doing, playing music, and especially creating good music with good musicians.
He is happy to see his kids grow up and his grand kids as well.He also has a wonderful wife that makes him happy. She supports him one hundred percent. What makes him unhappy? Not performing as much as he would like to at times.
Sometimes, political situations make him unhappy. For the most part, he tries to stay away from negative thoughts. He focuses on the positive things like his music.
That keeps him from having bouts with unhappiness. All in all, he's a pretty happy guy!
Why does he do what he does? For all of the above reasons. He loves performing. It is a major thrill for him to be up on a stage and seeing people being cheered on by what he does. He also loves the idea of being creative. He is in a very creative end of the music business, primarily in the jazz world. It is always changing. It is always growing and expanding. He is always searching and looking for new avenues. He is still learning, as well. The process is part of what he loves as well.
Ron's parents were not artistic although there was music on both sides of his family. On his mother's side of the family, they all had good singing voices, including his mom. On his father's side of the family, there were some musicians. His mother use to take Ron to theatres, one being the famed Paramount Theatre. These were the days when there were many live stage shows.

His mother did love music.
They would see many of the great bands live on stage. He remembers thinking as a kid, "That's what I want to do."

It's hard for him to imagine what his life would have been like if he had pursued a different path. He did love sports and was a baseball player when he was younger.
If he had not gone into music, perhaps that is the path he would have followed. He also loves to make things, so being a carpenter is another possibility.

In 1974, Ron did an album with John Lennon, which was an unusual project because Ron had been primarily in the jazz end of the business. He had been
on the road with Lionel Hampton and a few other jazz bands, including Woody Herman. Ron came back to New York and a friend of his, Steve Madaio, a trumpet player, called Ron. They were just chatting away about current events and what was going on in the music scene.
In the middle of the conversation, Steve said to Ron, "By the way, what are you doing tomorrow? We are doing a recording if you're interested." Ron said, "Sure!"
They continued small talking. Before they hung up, Ron decided to get some information about the session. Ron was thinking it was going to be some little "demo thing". It seemed as if it was going to be some insignificant thing. Ron said, "By the way, whose recording?" Steve said, "Oh, John Lennon." That was the way it started. Ron went into the studio the next day and met John Lennon. They started putting tracks down for his Walls and Bridges album. This was the fifth album by John Lennon, issued on 26 September 1974 in the United States and on 4 October in the United Kingdom.
Ron and John became friends. Ron says that John was a super guy and very easy to work with.
It was a fun project. They had five horns! The other horn players were all jazz guys with the exception of tenor saxophone player Bobby Keys, who was more of a rock musician. Robert Henry 'Bobby' Keys is an American saxophone player, and has performed with other musicians as a member of several horn sections of the 1970s. The other horn players were Frank Vicari (tenor sax), Howard Johnson (baritone and bass sax) and Steve Madaio (trumpet).
Julian Lennon was on drums on Ya Ya. 
During one of the breaks, Ron was photo copying some of the lead sheets. John didn't have musical arrangements; he basically had lead sheets. They were making up lead sheets to make up the various parts of the album. Ron was making copies so everyone would be on the same page. John walked into the room and sticks his face in the photo stat machine and hits the button.
Photostat of Lennon's face!
Two photo stats of his face come sliding out of the machine. John hands them to Ron and says, "Hang on to these. Some day they will be worth a lot of money." Ron didn't think much of this moment other than the fact that John was going to go blind! Those lights were so intense. Ron rolled them up and stuck them in his case and didn't realize what an important gift that was until a day or two later. It occurred to him that this was really cool. Ron put it in a frame and put it on his wall where it still hangs today.
The reason for this current project is to create an album and dedicate it to John Lennon. The album will consist of tunes he co-wrote or tunes from the Walls and Bridges album. One of those songs is Whatever Gets you Through the Night. This song along with the album won Lennon a Grammy, the only Grammy he ever won. Walls and Bridges received mixed reviews from contemporary music critics. During the recording of Whatever Gets You thru the Night, Elton John bet Lennon that it would top the charts.
Walls and Bridges
Walls and Bridges had a popular ad campaign (created by Lennon) called "Listen To This ..." (button, photo, sticker, ad, poster, and t-shirt).
Walls and Bridges would be Lennon's last album of original material until 1980's Double Fantasy, though a follow-up titled Between the Lines was planned for late 1975.
Walls and Bridges was first re-released on vinyl in the US in 1978, then again in 1982, and 1989, on Capitol.
Walls and Bridges was released in a remixed and remastered form in November 2005 (though four of the original tracks: Old Dirt Road, Bless You, Scared and Nobody Loves You were not remixed).
On Ron's upcoming album, he will be "jazzing up" Lennon's music. The tunes are gorgeous and Ron is being respectful of Lennon's original intent. This is a fun project for him. All in all it will be a tribute to John Lennon/the Beatles. It is something that Ron has wanted to do since his friendship with John in the early Seventies. He has finally gotten around to doing it. To make this happen, he is using Kickstarter.
So far, it is going very well, so Ron is excited about that.
I asked Ron to share his favorite memories of John Lennon.
The first thing that comes to Ron's mind is how kind John was. This may be to his detriment, but he was also very "open" with total strangers. He would say hello to everybody. In the middle of the night, after the sessions, John would be walking back to his apartment and Ron would be going to the train station through the streets of New York City. There was a lot of crime in those days. It was much worse in 1974 than what it is now.Ron was always afraid for John, but John didn't share that fear. He seemed to enjoy shocking people by saying hello to them. He would wave to truck drivers and kneel down and talk to homeless people. He was always so kind to everybody.
I asked Ron what the lowest point of his career was. He was at a loss for words. He says he really doesn't dwell on that. Like any profession, there are ups and downs. His happiness is based on how well he is playing. As long as he
Lennon's "Little Big Horns"
feels comfortable, as a musician, he is cool.
He is usually pretty comfortable, so he doesn't feel that he really has any real lows worth talking about.
What does Ron think of the state of the music industry today? "I think it's a mess!" It's in bad shape for whatever reasons. The record industry is experiencing real challenges. Recording studios are shutting down. In general, it is mostly downloads now.
CDs sales are not really happening as often anymore. The recording business, as well as the industry as a whole, is going through a tough time right now.
Ron is shooting for early October for a CD release date. Nothing is completed yet. All the arrangements have been done.
Ron cannot wait to hear these arrangements. Ron is using the horn section and the string section and the rhythm section as similar as possible to the ones used on Walls and Bridges. Ron spent six months going through every song from the Beatles/Lennon catalog. He then whittled that down to twelve. Then he did the arrangements. He had such a great time with this entire process. It is time consuming, as well, but time well worth spent. The music is done, now it's time to start recording!
I asked if he had a favorite song on this album. They all are!
He can't pick one. He already picked out twelve that he loves. It is like having twelve kids. He loves them all. When they are recording, one might "explode", and that might become his favorite. He has produced enough albums to know that that changes from phase to phase. In the writing phase, you have a favorite. Then, you go into the recording studio and that produces a different favorite. By the time it's done and you're mixing it, the one that emerges is the one you least thought would.  
The most important lesson Ron has learned in this business is to treat people nice. It is important to have support and have friends. Ron has seen just the opposite in this business and he simply treats others the way he desires to be treated. That is a lesson a lot of us should really learn.
I asked Ron to name his biggest vice and his greatest virtue. He had vices in the past that he has gotten rid of like smoking. He also may have run around a lot when he was younger. He doesn't know that he has any vices
Art Blakey
at this stage of his life.
His greatest virtue is his passion. It shows up in his music and he thinks that comes across. He did an album last year that was a tribute to Art Blakey. Born in 1919, Art Blakey began his musical career, as did many jazz musicians, in the church. The foster son of a devout Seventh Day Adventist Family, Art learned the piano as he learned the Bible, mastering both at an early age.
Art was a hero to Ron when he was growing up, a great jazz drummer. Most of the critics talked about Ron's passion in that album.
All that has been covered in this blog reveals the secret to longevity in this business. Be respectful to your peers and people, in general. Get work wherever you can. Don't lose your passion. When the business is going bad, you can't lose your passion for the music. Hold on to your passion. Separate the music from the business. Ron has been able to do that. Stay in shape. Keep your "chops" up. Hold your own among the crop of musicians that surround you. Stay fresh and continue to grow because you don't want to be looked at as an "old timer".
Stay on top of today's music scene. Ron tries to keep his music fresh by staying in touch with "what the young guys are doing."
Ron's professional schedule right now is OK. He feels that it could be better. He has been fortunate enough to forge a great relationship with New Jersey's famed jazz club, Trumpets. They have been encouraging him to bring his big band there. He has always had a passion for big bands. He has an amazing library of big band music. He has been making appearances with his Count Basie Tribute show at Trumpets one Sunday a month and they have done very well. In addition to that, he has been freelancing. He has some summer jazz festivals and concerts coming up. Again, it is not as busy as he would like it to be but he tries and stays active.
I asked if he considered himself a good student. He said absolutely! He is studying all the time. He also teaches privately. They also keep him fresh. He learns from them, as well. He is constantly being reminded of the basics because of his teaching.
Elvin Jones
He also loves watching the kids grow. He also loves exposing them to the greats, such as Charlie Parker.
As mentioned earlier, he has played with many of the greats. He has shared a bandstand with people like Elvin Jones, a jazz drummer of the post-bop era, Frank Foster, an American tenor and soprano saxophonist, flautist, arranger, and composer, Frank Wess, tenor saxophone, flute, Woody Herman (mentioned before). Ron has been fortunate. That never goes away. He loves sharing that history with the next generation. 
Ron's love of music covers the gamut from Mozart in the classical field to Harold Arlen in the pop field to Duke Ellington in the world of jazz. 
Frank Foster
His number one role model is Frank Foster. He was a great friend. He met Frank back in the fifties when he was a kid. Ron was sitting in front of the Basie band and Frank was already an international celebrity on tenor sax with the Basie band. They met at Birdland and stayed friends for almost six decades. Frank was not only a great sax player, he was also a great arranger and composer. Later, when he left the Basie band, he was a great bandleader. Ron also played with Frank's band. Frank was Ron's tutor. 
He taught Ron not only about music, but also about the business and about life in general. 
He was the closest thing to an angel. He was a great friend and a great guy. 
As of this writing, there are ten days left in Ron's kickstarter campaign. Anyone desiring to contribute or support this John Lennon project should go HERE and it will be very much appreciated by both Ron Aprea and myself. 
Thank you Ron Aprea for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!
With grateful XOXOXs ,

Check out my site celebrating the first Fifty Years of Hello, Dolly!

I desire this to be a definitive account of Hello, Dolly!  If any of you reading this have appeared in any production of Dolly, I'm interested in speaking with you!

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Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!    

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Melissa Manchester is Loving The Life at The Carlyle


You Gotta Love The Life
Accompanying herself on piano, she will perform a selection of hits spanning her career, along with several songs from her upcoming album. She will be joined on stage by Stephan Oberhoff (keyboard, guitar) and Susan Holder (vocals, percussion).

Performances will take place Tuesday - Friday at 8:45pm; and Saturday at 8:45pm and 10:45pm (See Below for How to Purchase Tickets)

I do love to perform. And I'm ever so grateful that this has turned into a job with a future.
Melissa Manchester

Manchester may be best known for her international hits Looking Through the Eyes of Love and Don’t Cry Out Loud, but her legacy as a songwriter goes back much further. Her songs have been recorded by Barbra Streisand, Dusty Springfield, Alison Krauss, Roberta Flack, Johnny Mathis and more.  She’s performed on the stage alongside Kelsey Grammer in Stephen Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd and on the screen alongside Bette Midler in the film For The Boys.
Melissa Manchester has a 40 year career in show business that few could match — writing and performing hit songs for herself and other artists, winning a Grammy Award, writing and acting for the stage, film and television and now teaching a course on songwriting at the University of Southern California.She was born in New York where her father was a bassoonist for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and her mother was one of the first women to own a sportswear design and manufacturing

I am very excited about today's feature. Melissa Manchester's music is definitely a part of the landscape of my life.
I was very excited to meet her a few years ago when she was presented with a Bistro Award for Lifetime Achievement. I was even more excited to be in her presence and soak in her magic at her opening night at The Carlyle on Tuesday Night. It gets even better! I got to sit down and discuss The Life of Melissa Manchester yesterday.
Today, I celebrate her and her body of "worth".
I began the interview by asking Melissa if she is where she thought she would be at this point in her life.
She guesses that she is! She was hoping that this adventure would just keep unfolding and it has.
What does she know now that she wishes she knew when she first started her career?

She wishes that she had known the inefficiency of holding a grudge, also slowing her mind down to think before making decisions, and to also understand that life is mostly gray and very little black and white.
When people tell you who they are, believe them the first time.
Melissa explains to me that her show is where she lives and breathes. It is her laboratory and it is where she does her work.  
Because it is live, things keep showing up in the moment. There is not a "special" show she does for The Carlyle or a special show she does for a symphony. It is all in the mix of doing her standards that people want to hear from her and also showing people that she has a huge range of appreciation for different types of music.
Tuesday night at The Carlyle, Melissa introduced the audience to songs from her forthcoming album, her twentieth!
It is called You Gotta Love the Life. She was able to not only sing LIVE with her musicians, she also sang to tracks from the album.
It was a lot of fun and a great evening.
How long did it take from being a Harlette to having her first big record deal?

(The Harlettes, aka The Staggering Harlettes, is a trio of backup singers who support Bette Midler during her live musical performances.)
She was finishing up her six month run as one of the original Harlettes when she signed a deal with Bell Records. Eventually, Bell Records became Arista Records. There were many years prior to that Bell Records contract in which she was trying to get a contract with record companies. It was about a seven year journey before she got that record contract.
One thing that I was surprised to learn Tuesday night is that Melissa is a teacher!
She was invited by the head of the new, at the time, brand new Pop division of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California. The longest standing cultural institution in Los Angeles, USC Thornton opened its doors in 1884.
She took over an inventive class called Musical Theatre Writing for the Pop Singer/Songwriter.
The class was originally taught by this year's Tony Award winner Jayson Robert Brown.
As he moved on, Melissa was asked to take over. It was incredible.
Melissa helped her students to create a musical. It was a fantastic discipline for these songwriters to shift their minds to write for characters.
She tells her students that they have to stay curious.
They have to keep their minds open. She thinks of her mind as a kind of "pet". She really knows when it is quiet. She recently did a lot of writing for the album. She allows her mind to be quiet and just BE. She thinks of it as a lab space. When her mind is quiet, she just leaves it alone. When some inspiration comes, from a piece of chatter, for instance, (it could be something she over heard someone say), or an idea comes her way, it just "gloms" on to her mind.

When that happens, she knows she has to pay attention to it. It has to be expressed. That's really what it is all about. She still has the same "hunger" as she did when she was just starting out at seventeen.
What motivates her to keep going, to keep striving? 

Melissa believes this is just a spectacular way to live a life. Her version of "normal" is not for everybody. She has an understanding of what it is to be on the road. She KNOWS what it is to entertain on a stage. It is where she does her work. It is where she shares her joy. It is where she has grown. She knows how to use space and how to turn songs into monologues. This version of "normal" really works for her.

Melissa doesn't worry about the "market place" because the market place is in the middle of an industry revolution. it is still being decided what the market place is and what it looks like.
It is now re framed. Melissa has learned that mostly by her students. For instance, this twentieth album, You Gotta Love the Life, was suggested to her by a student that she give crowd funding a try.
Jamie deRoy
Her students would come in with their new cds, shrink wrapped, with photos and credits, and very tidy. She would ask her students, "How did you do this in a six month time frame?" She was thinking they would tell her about different record labels.
They were constantly telling her about crowd funding and that she should do it.
It was explained to Melissa and her tour manager of 31 years, Susan Holder.

Last August, they started a campaign on Indiegogo.
They got enough contributions to go into the studio. They recorded the album at Citrus College which is a fantastic community college in California. Melissa is an artist in residence there.
She wanted to return to how she started making records, which was to have a bunch of musicians in a studio and bring new songs to life and breathe new life into old songs that she has been working on on the stage.
The unexpected part of the whole process of the crowd funding for Melissa was that the fans were just as interested in the process almost as much as she is. This campaign took on life almost as a living entity. For those who contributed enough, they came down to the studio. The studio is a teaching studio at the college. It was a very jolly experience.  
Melissa has collaborated with some of the greatest artists in the music industry. What makes a good collaboration?
tour manager (and fellow entertainer of 31 years!), Susan Holder.
For Melissa, it is when she is fascinated with how someone else's mind works, how they use language, interesting suggestions, and unexpected ideas...that always enthralls Melissa.
What are the deal breakers? "You gotta pick your battles." The only deal breaker for Melissa is if someone is boring. That is really hard. That makes time slow down terribly. 
The greatest lesson that Melissa has learned in her career so far is that, "You can always learn something." When you're very young, you're very sure that you know what you know. The truth is that the longer you are given the gift of walking a path that you love that you show passion for, the interesting thing is that you become softer and stronger at the same time. That is the beginning of the wisdom of life.
Is there a favorite song that Melissa didn't write that she wishes she had? As Time Goes By, Moon River,
with Stephen Oberhoff
You'll Never Walk Alone
, You've Got a Friend, Our Love Is Here To Stay, Everything's Coming Up Roses...
The lowest point in Melissa's career occurred after trying to get onto a record label that was known for its incredible history with certain formidable women. Melissa finally got on to the label and it was a disaster. They shelved her record after a very short amount of time and Melissa was disillusioned. She felt as if pieces of her soul had been shaved off. She had to stop. She had to pull away. Luckily, she had two children to raise. If she didn't have these kids to raise, chances are she would have had a nervous breakdown. She was too busy to notice.
Melissa Manchester and Paul Williams

She let herself BE for a while and she was busy with her kids. She had some wonderful projects to work on. She was writing for Disney animated films at the time. She wrote the score for Lady and the Tramp II  and a song for The Great Mouse Detective,  a 1986 American animated mystery film. Then she started to feel that her soul was bubbling with ideas again. This was over a couple of years. Then, her dear friend Paul Williams, great songwriter suggested she go down to Nashville and collaborate down there.
Her first response was, "Nashville!?!?! Really!?!?!" He said, "Yes.In Los Angeles, people want to know what you've been doing LATELY. In Nashville, they are just glad you showed up." She did. It was a remarkable renaissance for her. Nashville is a fantastic Mecca for songwriters who write the way Melissa enjoys writing which is being in a room with others and discuss ideas. They are so fantastically talented, one more than the next. It gave her a lot of joy and health again.
I asked Melissa to describe the first time she heard one of her songs on the radio. The song was Midnight Blue.She had recorded two albums prior to that and they got a nice gathering of college students following them mostly in the New York State area. Melissa used to perform in coffee houses in the tri-state area.
When Midnight Blue was released, now on Arista, which was a brand new company, there was a major push across the nation,  secondary market college radio stations. Finally, to hear that it was going to be on one of the top radio stations. She finally heard it somewhere on the road.
It was thrilling...for many reasons. It was thrilling because it stemmed from this conversation. Melissa remembers when she and Carole Bayer Sager wrote the song and people were touched by it. She remembers playing a concert for the first time in which the opening notes of the song caused the audience to erupt because they recognized it. That had never happened to her before. It was just wild. "There is a feeling of intense energy behind you and of the audience accepting you and them telling you what your songs meant to them, how it helped to crystallize their own issues
through your songs." That was truly the unexpected part and it continues to be the unexpected part.
When Midnight Blue came out, that was right before "programming" showed up in radio. Disc jockeys still ruled the airwaves, they were still king. Shortly, thereafter, the tone of radio began to change. It became more homogenized and there were more companies dictating what would be on the playlist. The industry is constantly changing.
The point of departure for music is a very level playing field. Anybody can make a record. It can be done in their garage. Anyone can post something on You Tube. The question is, as always is, "Will it stick?" That is ALWAYS the question. For Melissa, she appreciates the various conventions but she just loves what she is doing so much and she just keeps forging ahead even when people say, "We don't like what you do." Melissa knows her purpose. She knows how people respond. She is very grateful for, not only the journey, but also the deep appreciation of the song form.

The Evolution of An Artist
Melissa Manchester started out singing in college coffee houses all over New York state, all over
with Billy Stritch
Connecticut, all over New Jersey. She was a jingle singer. "You learn how to think on your feet as a jingle singer." She signed with Bell Records which eventually became Arista Records.She had quite a bit of success early on which she didn't understand because she was quite young. "When you're very young, not enough wisdom has shown up to re frame things so you understand that these are just 'moments' and that you don't have to attach everything that you are or your sense of self worth to that event.'
There came a time where things were not as successful. Records were not selling as much.She took time away to raise her kids. There was a dismissive period in her life. She would go to the grocery store and the cashier would say, "Oh, do you still sing?" Melissa would say, "Yes, I do..."
with Jim Caruso
That's when the 'inner work' kicks in. "You have to stay fortified with a sense of your self inside regardless of what appearances outside look like." When her kids were old enough, they gave her their blessings to go back on the road and that is what she did. When she did go back on the road, the music industry was changing. She wasn't quite prepared for how it had changed. She just kept moving forward. That's because that is all she knows how to do.This is what she loves to do. As the title of her twentieth album states, You Gotta Love The Life, and she does. She understands it, she fights for it, she is an independent artist. She has earned the right to her opinion. She knows the kind of musical variety that she is comfortable with. She stays hungry.

Melissa is thrilled to be playing at The Carlyle. It is a legendary place. She saw Bobby Short there years ago. She has played every place from The Bitter End to Radio City Music Hall in New York City. It is fantastic to now be playing The Carlyle. Melissa's hope for herself is that she become the "George Burns" of singers. She just wants to keep doing this and to keep writing and to keep teaching. "It is a splendid way to learn about yourself and to be of service to the listeners."

Most of the photographs in this article are by Stephen Sorokoff and originally ran in

I would also like to thank Susan Holder for arranging this interview.
The cover photo for Melissa’s new album, YOU GOTTA LOVE THE LIFE. Credit:  Randee St. Nicholas.
  Please LIKE Melissa on FACEBOOK
Reservations made by
phone at 212.744.1600 are $70 ($120 for premium seating, $50 for bar seating) Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday late show; and $80 ($130 for premium seating, $60 for bar seating) on Friday and Saturday. Reservations made online at are $65 ($115 for premium seating) Tuesday – Thursday & Saturday late show; and $75 ($125 for
premium seating) on Friday and Saturday. Café Carlyle is located in The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel (35 East 76th Street, at Madison Avenue).

Kevin Spirtas, Jamie deRoy, Melissa Manchester, Richard Skipper
For more information, please visit

About Café Carlyle at The Carlyle, A Rosewood Hotel

Originally opened in 1955, Café Carlyle is New York City’s bastion of classic cabaret entertainment, a place where audiences experience exceptional performers at close range in an exceedingly elegant setting. Since composer Richard Rodgers moved in as The Carlyle’s first tenant, music has been an essential part of The Carlyle experience. No place is that more evident than in the Café Carlyle.

Café Carlyle is known for talents including Woody Allen, who regularly appears on Monday evenings to play with the Eddy Davis New Orleans jazz band. For three decades, Café Carlyle was synonymous with the legendary Bobby Short, who thrilled sell-out crowds for 36 years.
His spirit lives on through the music at Café Carlyle.

Continuing the tradition of the 1930s supper club, Café Carlyle features original murals created by French artist Marcel Vertès, the Oscar-winning art director of the 1952 Moulin Rouge.

Eda Sorokoff and Melissa Manchester
For more information, please contact Blake Zidell or Ron Gaskill at Blake Zidell and Associates,718.643.9052, or

Thank you Melissa Manchester for the gifts you have given to the world and continue to give!
With grateful XOXOXs ,

Billy Stritch, Melissa Manchester, Doug Major

Check out my site celebrating the first Fifty Years of Hello, Dolly!

I desire this to be a definitive account of Hello, Dolly!  If any of you reading this have appeared in any production of Dolly, I'm interested in speaking with you!

If you have anything to add or share, please contact me at


Please do what YOU can to be more aware that words and actions DO HURT...but they can also heal and help!    
Thank you, to all the mentioned in this blog!

Here's to an INCREDIBLE tomorrow for ALL...with NO challenges!

Please join us for Beautiful, LA-based singer-songwriter Sarah Dashew to grace the stage of 54 Below: “Something in the Weather” beauty to warm New York on Tuesday, June 17th, 9:30 PM.

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