Allan Sherman, “Folksinger”

Song parodist Allan Sherman (born Allan Copelon — he took his mother’s birth name after his parents’ divorce), was born in Chicago on this date in 1924. His 1962 debut song-parody record, My Son, the Folksinger, became the fastest-selling album until that time. Sherman’s strength was in setting silly lyrics to classical music (as in “Hello Muddah, hello Faddah, here […]

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The Short Season, Part 2

HUSTLING FULL-TIME IN THE CATSKILLS by Elliot Podwill   To read Part 1, click here.   THE SOCIAL DARWINIAN universe we inhabited filtered down to adolescent social mores. A friend in high school was on several occasions turned down for dates by girls because his family car was dingy. (No subways or buses ran in South Fallsburg.) […]

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July 18: Victor Gruen’s Shopping Mall

Architect Victor Gruen (Gruénbaum), who designed America’s first indoor shopping mall (the Southdale Mall in Edina, Minnesota, 1956) and outdoor pedestrian mall (in Kalamazoo, Michigan, 1958), was born in Vienna on this date in 1903. A lifelong socialist, he fled from the Nazis in Austria in 1938 and landed in Los Angeles in 1941, where […]

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