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Larry Adler Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Spouse (2)  | Trivia (16)  | Personal Quotes (3)

Overview (3)

Born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA
Died in Lambeth, London, England, UK  (cancer)
Birth NameLawrence Cecil Adler

Mini Bio (1)

Larry Adler was born on February 10, 1914 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA as Lawrence Cecil Adler. He is known for his work on Genevieve (1953), The Hellions (1961) and The Hook (1963). He was married to Sally Irene Cline and Eileen Walser. He died on August 6, 2001 in Lambeth, London, England.

Spouse (2)

Sally Irene Cline (1 January 1969 - 1978) ( divorced) ( 1 child)
Eileen Walser (11 April 1938 - 1959) ( divorced) ( 3 children)

Trivia (16)

Harmonica player.
His last recording was a duet of "Young at Heart" with Cerys Matthews from the Welsh pop band Catatonia.
Was nominated for an Oscar for his work on the soundtrack of Genevieve (1953), though he was originally kept off the credits because of a McCarthy blacklisting.
Surname should be Zelakovitch, however his grandfather changed it to Adler as he was sick of being the last to be called in US Immigration queues.
Although both of his trials for having alleged Communist ties ended in hung juries, Adler's U.S. engagements dried up virtually overnight. Soon thereafter, he went into self-imposed exile in England, and never returned to America permanently again.
Despite his self-imposed exile, he remained an American citizen, and turned down a knighthood for that reason.
Along with fellow American John Sebastian (father of the same named folk-rock performer), Adler was responsible for the harmonica, or mouth organ, becoming accepted in serious musical circles. Such distinguished composers as Darius Milhaud, Ralph Vaughan Williams, and Cyril Scott, wrote works especially for him, and Maurice Ravel was so impressed with his arrangement of Ravel's "Bolero" for harmonica that he asked to keep it as a souvenir.
When he was asked to do the score for Genevieve his agent asked for 750 pounds but was told the studio couldn't afford that much and instead offered him 2.5% of the profits. The agent tried to convince him to decline saying this film was intended to be a 'quota' film which would probably never make back its cost in takings. He decided to take the chance having liked what he had seen of the work thus far and as a result, within four weeks it made back the costs and he found himself able to pay to send his children through college with the money he made from the movie.
It took 31 years after the Oscar nomination of the Genevieve score before the committee finally sent him his certificate of nomination.
Three months after performing 'Sophisticated Lady' with Duke Ellington, the two of them performed the piece at a nightclub. After the performance they were introduced to Billie Holiday, whose greeting was claimed by Adler to have been 'Man, you don't play that bloody thing, you sing it'.
He said on his tour in Australia, that George Gershwin felt that Rhapsody in Blue had been written for him after hearing how well the song sounded when Larry played it on his harmonica. He always wished he could perform it in public with Gershwin and then realized he could despite Gershwin's death because he had an old recording made of Gershwin playing the piece which he then got transferred to a keyboard. This performance of him with Gershwin's recorded version can be heard on the Live in Australia CD.
Performed George Gershwin's Summertime with Itzhak Perlman on Parkinson (1971) in 1980.
After Adler's refusal to co-operate with HUAAC resulted in his blacklisting, he moved to Britain with his English wife and children in 1949.
Adler became personally involved with Ingrid Bergman during one of his USO tours.
Maurice Ravel gave Adler free rights to perform a cut version of "Bolero" in any medium he chose.
Adler was an indefatigable performer for American troops during World War II with comedian Jack Benny in both Europe and the Pacific.

Personal Quotes (3)

[on his self-imposed exile] England has a sense of justice and fair play that I hope will one day become prevalent in America, as well. Old friends tell me things have changed in America, but I am afraid they will have to change a good deal more before I decide to return.
If I were dictator of the world my first act would be to forbid Bob Dylan from playing the mouth organ! God, I think he's bad!
[on Ira Gershwin] When Paul Draper and I were starting out on our first concert tour - I was to play, and he to dance - I was living out in California, about three blocks away from Ira. The day I was to leave by train to meet Paul in Denver for our first engagement, I was pretty nervous, as you can imagine. The doorbell rang. It was Ira. he handed me a package, In it was some formal dresswear. Shirts, collars, bow ties, studs, waistcoats. He said, 'Larry, these belonged to George. You and he wore the same sizes, so I thought they might bring you some luck tonight'. The guy is some sort of angel.

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