My friend Treva Silverman is a wonderful writer, among other things a two-time Emmy-winner for The Mary Tyler Moore Show. She's also a terrific honky tonk piano player, which personally I think trumps her many other great skills, but even without that she'd be pretty swell.
She just left a long, heartfelt comment about Herschel Bernardi, after having seeing the piece and video posted here about him. Since I suspect that most people don't read comments too often, I wanted to re-post it here. I do so not just because it's so touching about her close friend, but also it relates to another video I wasn't planning on posting, but now will.
By the way, when she mentions Lorenzo Music, he was himself a highly admired writer (notably for many of the MTM TV series), but became best known as the voice of 'Carlton the Door Man,' on Rhoda, and then later as the voice of Garfield.
Thanks, Bob, for uncovering this gem of a master class of musical performing.
The video that I wasn't going to post here was another one of Herschel Bernardi singing "If I Were a Rich Man." I wasn't going to because a) I'd just posted the other, and b) this one cuts off while he's singing, at least a chorus too early. However, when Treva wrote above about how wonderful he was even after his lung operation when he could "only sing softly, but a softly-singing Herschel was more magnificent than most brilliant singers in full strength," I felt the video was too perfect a fit to leave it unseen.
I'm not sure what this comes from, but it looks to be an appearance on an Israeli TV show. It's black-and-white and takes place in a small room filled with young people sitting around. Because the room is so small and the "audience" so close (he's virtually on top of them, as he wanders around), he's toned down his performance of "If I Were a Rich Man" to fit the environment, and with only a simple piano accompaniment. (Just like Treva herself once provided.) In many ways, we therefore almost get to see the "softly-singing" that Treva referred to -- for a song that is most known for its boisterousness. (Think of that other, wonderful video the other day here from Ivan Rebroff.) Wonderful too is watching the faces of the young people around him growing growing in admiration and wonderment.
As I said, the video cuts off too early. But what a fascinating performance to have preserved -- in many ways similar to his other, but on its own just a nuanced gem.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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