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Mintun at the Keys


Some Sundays there are ten birthdays, and some, like tonight, there are three. But they're solid: Fanny Brice, Denny Dennis and Ethel Waters, all singers. Curiously, no band leaders, songwriters or instrumentalists. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough. At times like these, I think, "Guest!" There aren't many people who "work" for "The Big Broadcast." In the early years of the show, there were still people around I play: Connie and Vet Boswell, Edward Eliscu, Cab Calloway, Ben Selvin, and I was fortunate to have them on the air. Their ranks thinned with time. In 2010, when I was part of the second season of Michael Feinstein's "American Popular Songbook," we did an interview segment on the air. And it worked! Ever since, I've had friends joined me in the studio, like Vince Giordano, Floyd Vivino, Bucky Pizzarelli and Bryan Wright. Tonight, pianist and music scholar Peter Mintun will be my guest. Peter came prepared, with some recorded rarities, and three delightful "Studio A" performances at the keyboard.

Besides selections by our birthday celebrants, "Halloween" appropriate recordings, a fair number of requests, and a few pianistic sides, like "Don't Mention Love to Me," which was written by pianist Oscar Levant, and performed by a band led by Gershwin discovery Mario Braggiotti, who, I learned since, was the recipient of a fan letter from Peter Mintun!