My father, Louis Steinman, would have been one hundred on December 26, 2015. From him I get my handwriting, my taste for salty foods, my sense of humor, my willingness to engage strangers in conversation, and much more. He loved a wide variety of music, from Rossini to Jolson to Broadway show tunes. Although he didn’t share my enthusiasm for jazz, he tolerated it, and without him I would never have seen Louis (the other one) live in 1967.
He sang bits of songs that he had heard in his childhood, and I (not the most curious of children) do not remember asking him, “What is the name of that song, and when did you first hear it?” But a number of songs came direct to me because of him. It was only after his death that I learned what a few of the mysteries were. I offer a few songs below in his honor, in versions he might have heard in his childhood.
I knew this song only as “Leaves come tumbling down, ’round my head. Some of them are brown, some are red”:
When I was a fretful child, easily upset and teary, I would hear this (wlthough he didn’t know the verse):
and on a more jubliant note:
and even a silly one that I saw him sing to my eldest niece while she was very young:
Thank you, Dad, for all you were and all you gave.
May your happiness increase!