WHEN IT WAS HIP TO BE HEP

Fondly Remembering HARRY “THE HIPSTER” GIBSON…
… On His 102nd Birthday.

Frantic and eccentric … Rockin’ and Rollin’ twenty years before Elvis, Harry was a true master of boogie woogie piano — and every other musical style, too!

HARRY “The Hipster” GIBSON
Julliard trained, he blazed his own musical trail and was popular during the mid-1940’s during the heyday of the “Zoot suit with the drape shape and the reet pleat.”  Today, Harry is often remembered for the dubious distinction of being arrested with jazz pal and drug buddy Billie Holiday.  

 

After a relatively short time in the spotlight, Gibson drifted into obscurity, only to be rediscovered thirty years later by a small but devoted contingent of fans from new generations.


His decades of living in the fast lane, however, had reached its peak (or valley) — and his self-destructive lifestyle finally took its tragic toll in 1991, when Harry took his own life.
Jazz radio legend, CHUCK NILES.

 

Jazz radio legend Chuck Niles was a good friend of Harry’s and, when I recorded “Stop That Dancin’ Up There,” a wild Gibson trademark tune, (see link below), Chuck was the first to give it repeated air play and invited me into the studio several times to talk about it.  Niles commented on the air that, aside from Harry himself, I was the only other singer to ever do Gibson’s music justice — and that’s a badge of honor I still wear paradoxically — with both pride and humility.

HARRY “THE HIPSTER” GIBSON (Harry Raab)
27th June 1915 – 9th May 1991


HERE’S HARRY IN HIS PRIME, performing his signature tune, “Handsome Harry the Hipster.”  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xm3HdISZLKc

HERE’S MY RECORDING of Harry Gibson’s “Stop That Dancin’ Up There,” as presented by my buddy, “Uncle Floyd” Vivino, on his New York radio show: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KmYynbpuLIg

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