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The Stories Behind The Songs

Harvey Granat serenades with

George Gershwin’s greatest hits 

With his smooth cabaret voice, singer Harvey Granat serenaded the audience at the Hicksville Public Library while performing the songs of the late American singer and songwriter George Gershwin on Sunday, April 27.

Granat is known for his performances being a combination of an artists’ songs and interesting stories from the artists’ lives. He did more than just sing during his performance; he also told the audience stories about Gershwin, from letters and manuscripts Granat has compiled.

Granat began incorporating storytelling into his performances while he was entertaining at a resort about eight years ago. A person at the resort asked him the question, “Do you know how the song was written and when it came about?” and Granat responded, “As a matter of fact I do.”

“I told the story and this person said that I should tell more stories like that,” he said. “People seem to like it. It separates me from the bunch.”

A few songs that Granat performed included “Swanee,” “Our Love is Here to Stay,” “They Can’t Take That Away From Me,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” and more of Gershwin’s original songs.

Most of the members of the audience were older, and looking to be brought back to a time that they remember fondly. Two of these audience members were Mildred Dreyer and Gail Zaino.

“It brought back some great memories,” said Zaino, who commented that the music put her in a dancing mood. “I thought of going to weddings with my husband and dancing to these songs.”

“He has a great voice,” said Dreyer. “I enjoyed it so much. It was very entertaining.”

Not only were the audience members entertained by the music, but they also learned new things from the stories that Granat told of Gershwin. Zaino and Dreyer especially enjoyed hearing all of the Gershwin stories and learned new information about the singer.

In addition to being an entertainer, Granat is an investment banker and has taught a class called “The History of the American Songbook” at LIU Post. He is also a music restorian and collects memorabilia from his favorite musicians.

“My favorite stuff happens to be George Gershwin, but I have many composers in my collection,” he said.

Some artists that are in his collection include Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and Irving Berlin. “They were the greats in that period of time,” added Granat.

Recently Granat moved into New York City but previously lived in Port Washington, and also lived in Manhasset for 30 years.

He has been singing and performing since he was a young boy. “I come from a musical family,” he said. “I’ve loved to sing since I was a kid.”

Granat entertains at county clubs, restaurants, hotels, and many other engagements. He frequently travels to Canyon Ranch in the Berkshires in Arizona, but also performs locally. His next local performance will be at Plainview Public Library on May 3 at 8 p.m. as well as at Manhasset Public Library on May 13 at 2 p.m.

News

Sabina Lotlikar never imagined she’d find herself competing in a pageant. The 19-year-old from Hicksville was more used to spending her time cooking, playing video games and working out than walking in heels in front of hundreds of people. But that all changed this year when Lotlikar decided to compete in the Miss LI pageant, an experience she describes as unforgettable.

“It was so nerve-wracking because I’ve never done anything like this, but I’m so glad I went through it and was dedicated to it. It was amazing,” she says.

When it comes to photography, it’s been a long road for Hicksville’s John Micheals. What started as a hobby in childhood, has now returned as an irreplaceable form of self expression.

“It’s a way of expressing myself. I’m very comfortable with it. It’s a way of expressing myself and being me without any qualifications,” he said.

Micheals’ journey in photography started with snapping pictures with a Kodak as a kid growing up in Queens. As an undergrad at City College of New York, he took art classes and his photography took a back seat as he became an art teacher. When he retired in 1996, he picked up the camera again, taking classes at Nassau Community College and getting his certificate in photography. He dropped photography again when family priorities arose, and got behind the lens again in 2009.  


Sports

The fields of Kevin Kolm Memorial Park were filled with nearly 200 soccer players on Saturday for the annual ‘Soccer For A Cause’ event. The event was put together by the Mastermind Unit in sponsor of the Michael Magro Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting pediatric patients with cancer and their families.

“The Mastermind Unit is a non-profit organization that was founded by a group of guys who grew up playing soccer together in Hicksville,” said co-founder Bryan Alcantara. “This is our seventh annual  ‘Soccer For A Cause’ event at Memorial Park.”

Cantiague Park Senior Men’s Golf League had its fourth tournament on Thursday, July 17. We had 34 golfers and only three who scored under 40. Low overall score was won by Charlie Hong with an impressive 34. Joe Sander scored a solid 49 and won low overall net with a 31.

Competition on the nine-hole course is divided into two divisions. Flight A is for players with a handicap of 13 or lower. Flight B is for players with a handicap of 14 or more. The league is a 100% handicap league. Any man 55 years or older is eligible for membership. We have many openings for this year, and you can sign up anytime throughout the the season. The league meets every Thursday at 7:30 a.m., but the formal tournament dates are only the first and third Thursday of the month through late October. We will have a final luncheon with prizes on our last meeting.


Calendar

Personality Disorders

August 25

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4



Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com