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 Larry Adler

Larry Adler

Birth
Baltimore, Baltimore City, Maryland, USA
Death 6 Aug 2001 (aged 87)
London, City of London, Greater London, England
Burial Golders Green, London Borough of Barnet, Greater London, England
Memorial ID 5860304 · View Source
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Musician. Born as Lawrence Cecil Adler in Baltimore, Maryland, into a Jewish family. He graduated from the Baltimore City College high school. Larry taught himself harmonica which he preferred to call a mouth-organ and began playing professionally at the age of 14. In 1927, the harmonica was popular enough that the Baltimore Sun newspaper sponsored a contest. His rendering of a Beethoven minuet won him the award, and a year later, he ran away from home to New York. After being referred by Rudy Vallée, Larry got his first theatre work, and caught the attention of orchestra leader Paul Ash, who placed Larry in a vaudeville act as "a ragged urchin, playing for pennies." Larry finally broke the typecasting and appeared in a dinner jacket in the 1934 Paramount film Many Happy Returns, and was hired by British theatrical producer C. B. Cochran to perform in a London revue. He found stardom in the United Kingdom and the British Empire, where, it has been written, harmonica sales increased twenty-fold and 300,000 people joined fan clubs." Larry was one of the first harmonica players to perform major works written for the instrument, often written expressly for him: these include Jean Berger's Concerto for Harmonica and Orchestra "Caribbean" in 1941, Cyril Scott's Serenade a harmonica and piano, in 1936, Vaughan Williams' Romance in D-flat a harmonica, piano and string orchestra; that premiered New York, in 1952, Milhaud's Suite Anglais in Paris, in 1947, Arthur Benjamin's Harmonica Concerto in 1953, and Malcolm Arnold's Harmonica Concerto, Op. 46 in 1954, written for The Proms. He recorded all these pieces except the Scott Serenade, some more than once. Earlier, Larry had performed transcriptions of pieces written for other instruments, such as violin concertos by Bach and Vivaldi and he played his arrangement of Vivaldi's Violin Concerto in A minor with the Sydney Symphony. Larry and his performing partner, the tap dancer Paul Draper, were denounced as Communist sympathizers in 1948. They sued for libel but were unable to win full vindication..He departed for Britain, where he remained a star of the first rank. He earned household-name status there as much for his lively and humorous public personality as for his musicianship. During this time Larry would also get married for the first time to Eileen Walser in 1952 and they would share 2 children before divorcing in 1957. In 1959 he would wed for a second time to Sally Cline and they would produce another child together, there marriage would also end in divorce in 1963. Larry would die peacefully of cancer in St Thomas' Hospital, London, at the age of 87.

Bio by: Shock


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Ron Moody
  • Added: 19 Oct 2001
  • Find A Grave Memorial 5860304
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Larry Adler (10 Feb 1914–6 Aug 2001), Find A Grave Memorial no. 5860304, citing Golders Green Crematorium, Golders Green, London Borough of Barnet, Greater London, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave .