• PMonteleone

I have been unwittingly (witlessly?) channeling Leon Redbone all my musical life. Ever since I first saw him in the mid-1970s at the Schaeffer Music Festival in Central Park, at a concert where he opened for Janis Ian, my path toward unlocking the secrets of early 20th Century music was set. I'm his biggest fan. ("No, I am!" said a million other people who apparently do not know any better.)

I ran into Leon a few times around town 30-odd years ago when I lived a few miles from him outside of New Hope, PA. My favorite encounter happened before Christmas one year. After rummaging through a pile of broccolini at the local grocery produce section, I turned around and stood face-to-face with the man himself. "Oh!" I said, "my favorite musician!" "Well," he said in full baritone response, "You have good taste." I spent the rest of the shopping tour crisscrossing him up and down the aisles as he whistled holiday tunes.

I learned this song, "Please Don't Talk About Me When I'm Gone," from Leon's recording, and in 1982, I played it for my pops as he lay dying from lung cancer in his bed at the VA hospital in New York. Dad was pretty out of it at the time, but I'm sure he would have agreed with the tune's sentiment.

So, I'll say farewell to Leon Redbone and dedicate this video to his memory, and to the memory of my old man.

  • PMonteleone

Spring is here, summer is next door, fall is down the street, and winter is a few blocks away, which means it is not too late to book Tin Pan Handlers for your special event. We'll play for parties, picnics, weddings, company affairs, festivals, retirement homes, bars & pubs, cruises, name it, we'll play it. Get in touch!

  • PMonteleone

Updated: Oct 19, 2020

Tin Pan Handlers bandmates have been influenced by a diverse group of musical pioneers. From Woody Guthrie to Bing Crosby, Fletcher Henderson, Carmen McRae, Stephen C. Foster, Harry Belafonte, Art Tatum, Art Blakey, Art Pepper, Cole Porter, Charlie Christian, Charlie Parker, Charles Mingus, Hoagy Carmichael, Maybelle Carter, Betty Carter, Mildred Bailey, Fred Astaire, Scott Joplin, Janis Joplin, Joe Pass, Cliff Edwards, Thomas Fats Waller, Antoine Fats Domino, Sam Cooke, Milton Ager, Marian Anderson, Susannah McCorkle, Harold Arlen, Harry Warren, Simon & Garfunkel, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Robert Johnson, Johnny Cash, Johnny Winter, Camille Saint-Saëns, Lee Wiley, Lee Morse, John Coltrane, Connie Boswell, Chris Connor, Jack Teagarden, John Lennon, Jerome Kern, Jean Ritchie, Geoff Muldaur, Mose Allison, Sol Ho'opi'i, Django Reinhardt, Jerry Garcia, Joni Mitchell, June Christy, Patsy Cline, Woody Herman, Ray Charles, Elizabeth Cotten, Meredith D'Ambrosio, Phil Ochs, Ella Fitzgerald, Ludwig van Beethoven, Annette Hanshaw, Artie Shaw, Paul Robeson, Arthur Johnston, Lyle Ritz, Louis Armstrong, Louis Jordan, Dean Martin, Mary Martin, Tom Lehrer, Earl Scruggs, Earl "Fatha" Hines, Al Bowlly, Andrés Segovia, Benny Goodman, Tony Bennett, Mark Murphy, Paul McCartney, Lambert, Hendricks and Ross, Peter, Paul and Mary, Al Jolson, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Van Heusen, Jimmie Rodgers, James V. Monaco, James P. Johnson, Bix Beiderbecke, Richard Rodgers, Lorenz Hart, Oscar Hammerstein II, Florence Price, Tom Waits, Lena Horne, Bill Evans, Eubie Blake, Arthur "Blind" Blake, "Blind" Blake Alphonso Higgs, Blind Willie McTell, Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Sergei Prokofiev, Doc Watson, Irving Berlin, Stan Getz, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, Bobby Short, Gabriel Fauré, Walter Donaldson, Wanda Jackson, Erik Satie, Thelonious Monk, George Jones, George Harrison, George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, Yip Harburg, Noël Coward, Noel Gay, Ethel Merman, Ethel Waters, Tina Turner, Heitor Villa-Lobos, Hector Berlioz, Pete Seeger, Tom Jones, Marvin Gaye, Frank Loesser, Leon Redbone, Leonard Bernstein, Bessie Smith, Eartha Kitt, Merle Haggard, Miles Davis, Sammy Davis, Jr., Sammy Cahn, Anita O'Day, Doris Day, Julie London, Kay Starr, Margaret Whiting, Richard Whiting, Bill Monroe, Vassar Clements, Oscar Peterson, Big Joe Turner, Joe Williams, Hank Williams, Mary Lou Williams, Spike Jones, Johann Sebastian Bach, Barbra Streisand, Nat King Cole, King Bennie Nawahi, Andy Iona, Andy Bey, Billie Holiday, Billy Eckstine, Nina Simone, Jeri Southern, Blossom Dearie, Robert Crumb, Alfred Apaka, Mavis Staples, Johnny Mercer, John Denver, Martha Argerich, Lead Belly, Jim Kweskin, Mel Tormé, Antônio Carlos Jobim, Antonio Vivaldi, Rosemary Clooney, Eddie Lang, Dinah Washington, Ringo Starr, Clifford Brown, Aretha Franklin, Dave Van Ronk, Bedřich Smetana, Randy Newman, Karen Carpenter, Roy Smeck, Roy Book Binder, Peggy Lee, Jackie Wilson, and Nancy Wilson, among many others, we Handlers have heard it all. In turn, we try to infuse the music we play with a nod to the musicianship of our favorite songbirds. (If you name a musician who is not represented on this list, I'll bet at least one of us has been influenced by that person, and his or her absence here can only be attributed to an oversight on my part.)