My Grandfather Sold a Fake Book to President Truman

My grandfather, who passed well before I was born, owned a music store on 48th Street called Banner Music. One day, two well dressed men walked into the store. I’ll let Murray Sunshine tell the rest of the story. Murray, who sat in on drums at my bar mitzvah party (swinging) and once ragged on my wife for ordering pierogi at the Second Avenue Deli, worked with and loved Grandpa Fintz. As much as any one else, knowing him has connected me to the lovely but lost world they once inhabited. Not least of all, because he can tell a story like this.

This was recorded at my grandmother’s 90th birthday party on January 1, 2012. If you don’t know what a fake book is, read this.

6 thoughts on “My Grandfather Sold a Fake Book to President Truman”

  1. You had me hooked just with the blog title of this post, Luke, but the storytelling is delightful. I’m glad for you and for us that you have this recorded-its a classic example of many natural storytelling techniques.

    And what a radiating character name, “Murray Sunshine” 😉

    thanks luke, a gem.

  2. I always look forward to your posts. Great listen! Thanks for sharing! I work in a library and didn’t know Fake Books were illegal at some point.

  3. Awesome.

    My first fake book was a third-hand, bindered Xerox of the Real Book. It was given to me, very ceremoniously, by my jazz teacher in middle school, who also happened to have married my uncle earlier that year. I’ve added my own layer of annotations and dog-ears over the past 20 years, and it’s still sitting on my bookshelf. Would be fun to compare my charts to Truman’s!

    Thanks for sharing.

  4. @Asante: thanks, homie. And I didn’t know Fake Books became legal at some point…

    @Boone: I just know you swing harder than Truman ever could have…

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