Along the Cherry Lane

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Cherry Lane Music Group, Apr 9, 2012 - Music - 312 pages
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John Denver said, "I have a producer who looks like an accountant, and an accountant who looks like a producer." Soberly dressed, unflashy, and a trained classical musician, in the golden age of the music business Milt Okun stood out by not standing out. His legacy does that for him. He discovered and launched John Denver, and mentored him throughout his career. He created arrangements for Peter, Paul and Mary that the trio performed for half a century. He brought Placido Domingo a crossover career that made him an international star beyond the world of opera. He founded Cherry Lane Music, publisher of Dreamworks and Paramount and Marvel, Elvis and Quincy Jones and the Black Eyed Peas. Without Milt, there would be no Hard Rock Cafe. And yet, as he tells it, it all happened almost despite his best efforts. "I thought," he says, "I would be a junior high school music teacher all my life."

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User Review  - MaryinHB - LibraryThing

Milt Okun doesn't look like he should be in the music business, he wears suits and he isn't flashy. He has a solid base in classical music. So why did he end up producing many classic songs during the ... Read full review


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About the author (2012)

Milton Theodore Okun was born in Brooklyn, New York on December 23, 1923. He spent summers at a resort his parents ran in the Adirondacks, where singers like Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie performed. He received a bachelor's degree in music education from New York University and a master's degree in music from Oberlin College. He worked as a junior high school music teacher for years, recorded several folk albums of his own, and worked with Harry Belafonte during a summer tour. He stopped teaching when he became a pianist, conductor, and arranger for Belafonte in the 1950s. Okun founded Cherry Lane Music Publishing in 1960. He was a producer and arranger for Peter, Paul and Mary, John Denver, and Plácido Domingo. He also produced Laura Nyro's first album More Than a New Discovery and the Starland Vocal Band's hit Afternoon Delight, and conducted Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach, and the orchestra that accompanied him, on his album Haneshama Lach. Okun he wrote a memoir entitled Along the Cherry Lane: Tales from the Life of Music Industry Legend Milton Okun with his son-in-law Richard Sparks. He died on November 15, 2016 at the age of 92.

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