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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

Levittown Hall in Hicksville comes alive every Thursday night with music, dance, fun and laughter as students are swept away into the world of Latin dance.

Under the instruction of professional teacher Mark James, dance hopefuls learn a trio of Latin dance, including salsa, meringue and what James describes as the biggest craze in Latin dancing today, bachata.

 book shops in Hicksville and around the country will hand out free comics on Oct. 25, to celebrate the second biggest free comic book event of the year—Halloween ComicFest. On Saturday, anyone who goes into a participating comic shop can choose from 19 free comics and participate in fun activities comic shops host for their customers to enjoy, while discovering new types of comics and the treasures found in store.

In Hicksville, both Game Master Games (954 S. Broadway) and Amok Time (108C New South Road) will be taking part in the Halloween ComicFest festivities. Game Master Games just recently started carrying comic books and this will be the store’s first comic book-related event. Coincidently, the event runs in the middle of an in-store gaming convention, and store owner Dave VanderWerf is looking forward to the increased exposure for the store.


Sports

The Hicksville girls volleyball team improved to 7-1 by knocking off Oceanside in three consecutive sets by scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-14.

Emily Markakis played terrificly, using a powerful serve to record three aces, seven kills and added nine digs. Nikki Chase added six kills and eight digs. Additionally, Raeann Dong was versatile—recording three aces, seven kills and nine digs.

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



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