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Along the Cherry Lane: Tales from the Life of Music Industry Legend Milton Okun Hardcover – May 1, 2011


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423499492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423499497
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,053,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

2008 recipient of the Abe Olman Publisher of the Year Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame as founder and publishing pioneer of Cherry Lane Music Publishing in 1960, Milt Okun's career in the music industry includes roles as a singer, teacher, conductor, arranger, publishing executive, and author. As a producer, Okun is known for having worked with legendary artists such as John Denver; Placido Domingo; Peter, Paul and Mary; and Laura Nyro. After establishing Cherry Lane, Okun launched a music education magazine, Music Alive!, to bring the excitement of the music world into the music classroom, and to give back to music teachers and students.Richard Sparks explored the 21st-century poker boom in Diary of a Mad Poker Player and Getting Lucky. Before moving to Los Angeles he was a prolific scriptwriter for UK television, specialising in comedy (Not the Nine O'Clock News, The Optimist, The Worst of Hollywood) and children's adventure series (The Famous Five, The Flying Kiwi). He now concentrates on writing opera libretti, both original works and translations of classics.

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Customer Reviews

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Here's the inside scoop from a great music producer: Milt Okun.
Shorty McCoy
There are wonderful stories here of the years with John Denver and Odetta, as well as some insights into the inner-workings of the Albert Grossman organization.
Bill
Anyone who is interested in the music industry and the evolution of music from the 1950s - 1970s will love this.
Coral Russell

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Grady Harp HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Milton Okun has to be one of those rare birds who qualifies for the term 'Renaissance Man' in music. Though his name may not be immediately recognizable to the masses, certainly in the music industry he approaches the status of Icon. He began his life as a child lover of opera, became a gifted pianist until a two year hiatus of rest as treatment for glomerulonephritis stopped that direction toward becoming a career classical concert pianist, but his life didn't stop there - not even for a respite. Milton Okun's magnetic personality and sense of timing and music taste lead him to become one of the nation's most important music producers, music arrangers, conductors and of course educators.

This book is remarkable not only for the life of a very great man but also in the manner in which that life is shared. Written with the commentary and question/answer technique of Richard Sparks (not only an astute writer but a man of many musical talents, himself), this memoir brings in the pages of the book comments from many of the important people whose lives he helped shape. Okun not only became close friends with opera giant Placido Domingo after providing him with the opportunity to record a crossover song with John Denver ('Perhaps Love' - a song that continues to make the rounds of best selling creations) that guided Domingo closer to the people of the world who might otherwise have avoided opera and opera singers, he also joined the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Opera Company and helped guide that company to success.

And it doesn't stop there.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Through the years some have been given the sobriquet "Mr. Music" - here's one gentleman who truly deserves the title. Milt Okun is a renowned music producer whose career spans time spent as a school teacher to working with, mentoring and befriending some of the greatest names in music to launching his music publishing company. ALONG THE CHERRY LANE is 50 years of music history as experienced by Okun and those who shared this period with him.

A critic wrote, "Of all producers, Milton Okun's range is the wildest, from Placido Domingo to the Muppets." So true. He's the man who recognized the potential in three singers who had never worked together before and became one of the most popular musical acts of their generation - Peter, Paul, and Mary. This same man saw in John Denver what the singer did not find in himself - he believed in Denver and the rest is musical history.

Okun's memoir is delivered in an easy conversational style with Richard Sparks (Okun's son-in-law) asking questions, rasing topics and Okun replying with anecdotes, details of his work with music greats, plus revelatory facts about his publishing and production endeavors.

ALONG THE CHERRY LANE is a must for music lovers everywhere - it tops the charts.

- Gail Cooke
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Janette Fuller on June 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
"Along The Cherry Lane; Tales From The Life Of Music Industry Legend Milton Okun" is an enchanting and amazing memoir.' This book reveals the details of Mr. Okun's unique career in the world of music, told in a series of stories and interviews.
Milton Okun is a musician, teacher, conductor, music arranger, producer and publisher. He has worked with some of the biggest stars in the world of folk and popular music.
A critic once wrote, "Of all producers, Milton Okun's range is the widest, from Placido Domingo to the Muppets."
Mr. Okun is a real rock star in the world of professional music...but most of his work was done behind-the-scenes.

Milt Okun's career went from school teacher to working with some of the biggest names in music. He transformed three unknown singers who had never worked together into one of the most famous musical acts of their generation; Peter, Paul and Mary. He was a music producer for John Denver, Placido Domingo and dozens of other musicians. He is the founder of Cherry Lane, a music publishing company. Music is his life and this book highlights his many accomplishments.

After reading this book, I feel like I have been sitting by the fire chatting with Milt, his family and his associates. The interview format is casual and friendly. Mr. Okun appears to be a very humble man and is generous with praise for his talented family and the musicians that he worked with. I learned a great deal about the work that goes into producing a big hit in the music world. Milt had his share of challenges through-out his long career, but he does not dwell on the negative. This memoir is up-beat, entertaining and informative. Milt does a very good job in sharing a picture of his life. Kudos to Richard Sparks for a job well done!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Coral Russell on April 15, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
I had the pleasure of interviewing Milton Okun and Richard Sparks on my BlogTalkRadio show. They were great. This book is utterly fascinating. Anyone who is interested in the music industry and the evolution of music from the 1950s - 1970s will love this. They always glamorize the problems and comebacks of music stars. This story was so refreshing by detailing the professional life of someone in the business who 'does the right thing'. His dealings with some of the biggest names in music history (John Denver, Placido Domingo, Peter, Paul, and Mary, Harry Belafonte, and more. Milt Okun started out as a teacher and that background comes through in all of his later dealings. His love of opera and supporting school children being able to experience it. His development of talent. Mr. Okun and assorted family members have gone on to build Cherry Lane into a premier music publishing house. His originality, cutting edge, and the encouragement of outside-of-the-box thinking he attributes to hard work. I couldn't agree more and now in his 80's he is amazingly still at it. Music fans can look forward to a new album produced by Mr. Okun in September 2012.
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