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

4.8 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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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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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Hal Leonard Corporation; First Edition ~1st Printing edition (May 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1423499492
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423499497
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #789,014 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I knew about Milt Okun because of John Denver. This book enriched my knowledge. I learned a lot of new things about Okun, Denver and other artists. I learned how much Milt has influenced the music I love. It is interesting that we have a mutual love of opera and that Milt taught John to love it, too. His cd Great Voices Sing John Denver thrills me. Thank you for this book.
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By Bill on March 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With some interest, I delved into Mr Okun's autobiography today. As a Peter Paul and Mary enthusiast for over 40 years, I was especially interested in his take on the trio. I was surprised at the harsh words he had for all three, especially Peter and Mary [neither of whom contributed quotes to this endeavor, interestingly]. His point of contention is, basically, that the they had unconventional vocal abilities in the context of being in a group, along with the way Mary sang 'flat' and Peter spent more time with benefits than recording an album owed to his record label.
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. One has to wonder why the only kindnesses shown Peter Paul and Mary come from Mr Okun congratulating himself for how he 'made' Peter Paul and Mary what they became. His complete dismissal of their post-Okun Gold Castle recordings-and the return, in the 90's, to Warner's, again without Okun-tells a reader a good deal more about Okun than it does the trio.
Overall, this is a good read; many funny moments come to life and the birds-eye view of things from Mr Okun's vantage point are priceless. I just wish he had more respect for the group that made his name a household one to many boomer's.
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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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