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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

Rhea Manjrekar traded in her running shoes and track shorts for high heels and an evening gown recently, as she participated in the Miss Teen India New York pageant. The 15-year-old from Hicksville snagged the title of first-runner up, and will be competing for the national title in December. 

 

This was Manjrekar’s first time competing in a pageant. But she started out with major doubts about even participating. 

 

 “At first, I didn’t want to do it. I have extreme stage fright. My mom told me to try it out because she thought it would boost my confidence and look good on my college applications, so I went for the practice,” Manjrekar said. “The girls were so nice. I thought I wouldn’t fit in but I made friends immediately so I decided to do it.” 

The parking lot of Sears in Hicksville transformed into a sea of cars this past Saturday as part of the ninth annual Long Island Cruizin’ For A Cure Car Show. 

 

The show, which was founded by Jericho prostate cancer survivor Sandy Kane, is the only car show on Long Island dedicated to raising funds for research, testing and also education for early detection of prostate cancer. The all-volunteer car show usually draws around 4,000 attendees. It features 600 cars, trucks, motorcycles and more; a perfect day for car enthusiasts and the like.


Sports

This November, Hicksville resident Marlo Signoracci will head to Florida for Ironman, a demanding, long-distance triathlon that includes biking, running and swimming. Here, she shares her story as she prepares for one of the most physically challenging athletic events out there.

 

If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you! 

At 6 a.m. on a blustery Saturday morning 1,600 people arrived at Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park to participate in the 27th annual Runner’s Edge Tobay triathlon and tri- relay race. The participants were from all over Long Island, some from upstate NY, a few from out of state and were all ages and some even with disabilities but all came with one goal in mind, to finish.

The course starts out as a half mile swim in Oyster Bay Harbor, then a 9.3 mile bike ride through Oyster Bay, Laurel Hollow, and Cove neck which is very hilly but finishes with a 2.9 mile downhill to the finish. Then the riders have one more leg of the race which is 3.2 mile run through Mill Neck and Brookville, up to Planting Fields Arboretum and back down to Roosevelt Park to the finish line.


Calendar

Board of Ed Meeting - September 17

Back To School Night - September 18

Pasta Dinner Fundraiser - September 20


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