The Manhattans Still Relevant (5 Decades In)

I really enjoyed interviewing The Manhattans and catching their amazing live show earlier this summer. 

I hope you enjoy it as well. Read the transcript from the very start , download the podcast, or just continue reading. 

Today, we conclude our coverage for Silent Cacophony and DOPEfm. 

Chase: “Are any of you involved in side projects or is The Manhattans just about it?”

Charles Hardy (points to Al) “He’s the musical director for The Cotton Club Orchestra.”

Al Pazant: “I’m a trumpet player. We have an orchestra at The Cotton Club in New York City.”

Lee Williams: “The famous Cotton Club, and his brother Eddie Pazant is the music director.”

Chase: “I’m an elementary school teacher and I started playing in band in Grade 7. What’s disturbing now is that many schools don’t have music programs and the ones that do, you have to pay in order to be part of it, so they can maintain the instruments. How do you feel about music high school music programs?”

Charles Hardy (motions to Al) “He’s a teacher.”

Al Pazant: “I taught for 28 years. But it’s definitely a good thing. I think they should have programs starting in elementary schools. There is a lot of talent there that can really be developed. Unfortunately, they’ve cut out a lot of the funding so there is a lot of programs that haven’t been developed and a lot of talent that has not been found. But I definitely think it’s bad that they cut it out.”

Lee Williams: “My daughter is a saxophone player, barotone and alto sax. To keep it up, it’s hard to say, how do we keep the kids in there to be able to do this? How do we get the parents behind it to keep the instruments in schools? How do we talk to the governors about having them bring it back? I think that as long as we keep feeding or children and pushing them, I think sooner or later, it will come back. They will get a budget, some kind of way.”

Al Pazant: “Oh, I hope so.”

Lee Williams: “It’s a tough thing, but it’s a great art.”

Chase: “I think the arts are very important. I’ve been working in some schools that didn’t have choirs. I made sure to start up a  choir in every school I went to. I tried to get them excited about music. And the response was amazing. I think kids need music. I think we all need it. I think too many people are just passive listeners and not active participants in the music. I think it’s great for us to foster that kind of thing in the kids.”

Al Pazant: “I think you can cure so many things. There are so many intangibles. Music calms the savage beast. Music can help keep you at a certain level. It gives you a level head and keeps you down to earth.”

Chase: “It’s such a pleasure talking to you guys. This has been amazing. We’re talking with The Manhattans here at the Canadian National Exhibition. Legendary musicians, who have been doing their thing since the 1960s. It’s been really cool talking to you guys and I’m really looking forward to seeing you on stage tonight.”

Al Pazant: “We really appreciate you having us on. We can guarantee the people that if they come out to a show, they will hear vintage Manhattans. You will hear songs that we are known for, you will hear great ballads, love songs, and songs that you’ll be able to sing to. I hope you come out and enjoy the show.”

Chase: “We should let the audience know that it is easy to find your music. You can find it online, on iTunes. You also have many compilations and Best of Albums, one of which is titled after your number one hit ‘Kiss and Say Goodbye.’ So they should go find your music and if they like what they hear, go support.”

Charles Hardy: “They can go to CD Baby, you can go to our website You can Google The Manhattans and it will go right to that page. The way the technology is now, it’s so easy to find whatever you want to on The Internet.”

Chase: “Are any of you on social media? Can we find you on Twitter? or anything like that?”

Charles Hardy: “I’m on. It’s under my name, Charles Hardy. Type it in, Google it in, or from our website. I email, which is hdance2luvsong1 (at) aol (dot) com, you can go there. There are more ways than one.”

Chase: “Alright, Daddy J and Chase March here closing out our interview with The Manhattans. Daddy J is going to spin some of your songs now, and we’ll be right back. Thanks a lot guys!”

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