Alex Hassilev

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Alex Hassilev (born in Paris, July 11, 1932) is an American folk musician who was one of the founding members of the group The Limeliters [1] and produced the rock album The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds . He was educated at Harvard and the University of Chicago. He is an actor with a number of film and television appearances to his credit. He is a musician, switching from the guitar to the banjo. He speaks fluent French, Russian and Spanish and has contributed many foreign language songs to the Limeliters' repertoire.

Paris Capital of France

Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.

The Limeliters

The Limeliters are an American folk music group, formed in July 1959 by Lou Gottlieb, Alex Hassilev (banjo/baritone), and Glenn Yarbrough (guitar/tenor). The group was active from 1959 until 1965, when they disbanded. After a hiatus of sixteen years Yarbrough, Hassilev, and Gottlieb reunited and began performing again as The Limeliters in reunion tours. On a regular basis a continuation The Limeliters group is still active and performing. Gottlieb died in 1996, Yarbrough died in 2016 and Hassilev, the last founding member who had remained active in the group, has retired, leaving the group to carry on without any of the original members.

Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s from musical styles such as gospel, jump blues, jazz, boogie woogie, and rhythm and blues, along with country music. While elements of what was to become rock and roll can be heard in blues records from the 1920s and in country records of the 1930s, the genre did not acquire its name until 1954.

The Limeliters

When the Limeliters first broke up at the height of their fame in 1963, Alex Hassilev turned to acting and operating a recording studio in his home, producing records for a variety of other artists as well as the Limeliters. He appeared in the 1966 movie The Russians are Coming, The Russians are Coming as Hrushevsky, a Soviet sailor. For over thirty years he has been a successful record producer and songwriter, and today he continues to produce many of the Limeliters' recordings.

The original Limeliters (Lou Gottlieb, Alex Hassilev and Glenn Yarbrough) had numerous reunion tours throughout the 1970s. In the early 1980s, Alex and Lou wanted to keep the Limeliters together on a more full-time basis. They brought on tenor Red Grammer, who stayed with the Limeliters for the next 10 years.

Louis Gottlieb credited as Lou Gottlieb, was bassist and comic spokesman for music trio The Limeliters. He held a Ph.D. in musicology and was considered one of the so-called "new comedy" performers, a new generation of unabashed intellectuals that also included Mort Sahl, Nichols and May, and Lenny Bruce.

Glenn Yarbrough American folk singer

Glenn Robertson Yarbrough was an American folk singer and guitarist. He was the lead singer (tenor) with the Limeliters from 1959 to 1963. He also had a prolific solo career, recording on various labels.

Red Grammer American musician

Robert Crane "Red" Grammer is an American singer and songwriter.

In about 1990, Red left the group to devote more time to a career as a singer of children's songs, and he has had a very successful career in that field. Alex and Lou found Rick Dougherty to take Red's place, another tenor.

In 1996, Gottlieb died of cancer. Alex and Rick decided to keep the group going, and brought on Bill Zorn to take Lou's place in the Limeliters. Zorn had played with the Kingston Trio in the 1970s, and then went to England to focus on his music there.

In 2004, Bob Shane of the Kingston Trio was forced to retire due to health reasons. Bill Zorn left the Limeliters and joined the Kingston Trio. At about this time, Rick Dougherty also left the Limeliters to go on tour with Glenn Yarbrough, and former Brothers Four member Dick Foley. Alex sued both Zorn and Dougherty over their leaving the group, but the case eventually resolved. Dougherty then joined Bill Zorn in the Kingston Trio, replacing Bob Haworth.

Bob Shane American musician

Robert Castle Schoen, known professionally as Bob Shane, is an American singer and guitarist and, with Nick Reynolds' death in October 2008, the only surviving founding member of The Kingston Trio. In that capacity, Shane became a seminal figure in the revival of folk and other acoustic music as a popular art form in the U.S. in the late 1950s through the mid-1960s.

The Kingston Trio American folk and pop music group

The Kingston Trio is an American folk and pop music group that helped launch the folk revival of the late 1950s to late 1960s. The group started as a San Francisco Bay Area nightclub act with an original lineup of Dave Guard, Bob Shane, and Nick Reynolds. It rose to international popularity, fueled by unprecedented sales of LP records, and helped alter the direction of popular music in the U.S.

After Zorn and Dougherty left the group, Hassilev brought on Mack Bailey and Andy Corwin to take their spot in the Limeliters. In 2006, Alex retired from the group, and brought on Gaylan Taylor to take his place. However, occasionally he makes a special appearance with the Limeliters.

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References

  1. Ginell, Cary. "Biography: The Limelighters". Allmusic . Retrieved 13 April 2010.