Monday, June 20, 2022

Adler, Larry (1914 – 2001) – American harmonica player

Larry Adler or Lawrence Adler was born in Baltimore on 1914. Both his parents were recent immigrants from Russia. He generally considered to be responsible for the elevation of the mouth organ to concert status in the world of classical music.

He had worn a talent competition at the age of thirteen by playing a Beethoven minuet on what had hitherto been regarded as a musical toy. Soon after this victory and over the objections of his horrified parents, Adler headed to New York City to look for work in the motion picture industry, which at that time had not yet made the move to Hollywood.

Vaughan Williams, Malcolm Arnold, Darius Milhaud and Paul Hindemith have all written works for him and his reputation is worldwide.

He had appeared in motion pictures during the 1930s and 1940s and with concert orchestras. Adler himself has also written film scores including Genevieve (1954), for which he played in the sound track.

With other show-business personalities, he was blacklisted by the American entertainment industry after 1949 for his alleged left-wing sympathies. In that year, he refused to testify against the "Hollywood Ten."

In 1950 Adler and performer Paul Draper sued Hester McCullough, the wife of a "Time-Life" editor for libel for alleging he was a communist, but the jury was unable to reach a verdict.

Since then, he has lived for many years in England where he has created a second career for himself as a journalist and writer.

In 1994, he became the oldest artist ever to be awarded a gold disc for a million-selling album - appropriately of Gershwin melodies, accompanying entertainers from a different generation such as Elton John, Sting and Kate Bush.

Adler was an entertaining performer and showman--the concerts in support of The Glory of Gershwin also revealed that he was a competent pianist, when he opened each performance with Gershwin's Summertime, playing piano and harmonica simultaneously.

Adler died on August 6, 2001, in London’s St. Thomas’s Hospital at the age of 87.
Adler, Larry (1914 – 2001) – American harmonica player

The Most Popular Posts