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Irving Fields

Irving Fields  Biography

As of 2002, Irving Fields was one of the last of his generation of active musicians; trained in the prime years of Tin Pan Alley and classic American popular music before World War II, he could be found still playing piano regularly in New York in the second year of the new century. Born in 1915, Fields grew up on the Lower East Side of Manhattan and, after a stint as a child actor in Yiddish theater, became part of the generation that followed New Yorkers like Bert Kalmar, Harry Ruby, George Gershwin, and their contemporaries into music. At age 15, he won first prize playing piano on Fred Allen’s Amateur Hour radio, which got him 50 dollars cash and a week playing at the Roxy Theater. From there, he went on to engagements at other venues and studied at the Eastman School of Music and the Masters Institute in Manhattan, and made appearances as a piano soloist with the Boston Pops as well as leading his own group that got to Carnegie Hall. He also began writing songs, among them “Miami Beach Rhumba,” which became a hit for Xavier Cugat. He also wrote “Chantez, Chantez,” which was covered by Dinah Shore; “Managua, Nicaragua,” recorded by Guy Lombardo, Emdundo Ros, and Freddy Martin; “The Door Is Open,” recorded by Sarah Vaughan; and “Night After Night” and “Miami Beach Cha Cha Cha,” among others.

As of 2002, Fields was playing at Harry’s Bar in the Park Lane Hotel in New York at the age of 87, but over the years, amid the songwriting and concertizing, he’s also entertained on cruise ships, private parties for movie stars and real estate moguls, numerous other venues, and at children’s concerts (where one of the highlights is an original song, “Who Put the Banana in the Piano”).

Fields also found time to record albums during the late ’50s and early ’60s, including The Fabulous Fingers of Irving Fields for Fiesta, Irving Fields Plays Irving Berlin in Fabulous Hi-Fi for Tops Records, Irving Fields at the Latin Quarter for 20th Century-Fox, and Broadway Hits in Hi-Fi and At the St. Moritz for ABC Paramount. His most famous body of work, however, was the “…and bongos” instrumental series that he recorded for Decca Records during the height of the hi-fi/stereo boom of the late ’50s: Bagels and Bongos, a Latin/Jewish hybrid that caught on in a serious way; followed by Pizzas and Bongos, Champagne and Bongos, Bikinis and Bongos, and More Bagels and Bongos, and all rounded out by Irving Fields and His Trio at the Emerald Room. Thanks to the late ’90s surge of interest in late ’50s instrumental dance music (i.e. “bachelor’s den” compilations etc.), Fields — who was born in the heyday of the 78 rpm disc and acoustical recording — has found his work as a performer and composer returning to availability on compact disc. ~

Source: All Music Guide

3 thoughts on “Four Divine States of Mind”

  1. I am reaching out to you on behalf of Saiph Stars, a non-profit organization developed for children battling illnesses, providing them with resources such as videos, songs, games, magazines, etc. to entertain and inspire them while undergoing treatments during their long hospitalizations.
    BH, we have a wide range of performers, singers, storytellers such as Yakov Shwekey, Mordechai Shapiro, Ari Goldwag, Baruch Levine, YBC, Uri Davidi, Rabbi Ashear, Rabbi Lish, Chofetz Chaim Heritage Foundation, Rabbi Erps, Rebbee Hill, Rabbi Pesach Krohn, and many more who have joined our project by allowing us to use their material. In addition, subscriptions such as Mishpacha, Binah, The Circle, Spotlight, JWOW have all joined our project as well BH. All the material will be uploaded to locked iPads and is streamed thru the Saiph Stars App designated to be used by these children.
    We would love to include your material as it would mean a lot to the children.
    Please check out our website for more info at http://www.saiphstars.com.
    It should be a tremendous zechus for you! Looking forward to hearing from you soon!

  2. Felice Glazer says:

    I was just sitting at my piano looking over a very old book of songs called the songs we sing by Harry Cooper Smith. I got this book when I went to Anshe emet Sunday school in Chicago. That was in the late forties and fifties. This book is falling apart but I love it and will never part with it until I pass away. Something today just made me decide to look up the name of Harry Coopersmith and that’s how I found this site.

  3. Philip Joseph Brody says:

    Joseph Brody was my great grandfather. Murray Brody was my grandfather and Joseph Brody was my father. I am Philip Joseph Brody born in Queens N.Y. My halfbrother Brian is a saxophone player. Unfortunately I think musical talent skipped me. My great grandfather died before my father was born. Unfortunately my father died around 59 years old. I’m about to be 52 so hopefully I won’t pass before my time.

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