Ken Lelen

Ken Lelen
Ken Lelen sings great American ragtime, jazz & swing and performs with vintage acoustic guitars for an authentic, back-in-the day sound.

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

 2022 Concert Schedule

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We are vaccinated and boosted — and more than a little eager to bring live music to folks across the country. Our schedule of Vintage Music Concerts is taking shape as we resume our lives and livelihoods. Here's the initial array of dates, venues and Concert Themes we've booked for 2022.

 

Date          Venue + Location                               Website                Concert Theme
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Apr    22          Luther Crest Community, Allentown PA             Luther Crest                   Hollywood Song Souvenirs

May   14           Westfield Memorial Library, Westfield NJ         Westfield Library          Legendary Love Songs 

Jun    16           Springhill, Erie PA                                                    Springhill                        The Moon, the Stars & You

Jun    18           Homewood @ Crumland, Frederick MD             Homewood                  Crooners, Swingers & Idols

Jun    22           Heath Village, Hackettstown NJ                           Heath Village                 The Moon, the Stars & You

Oct       5            Greendale Men's Club, Worcester MA                Greendale Club            Crooners, Swingers & Idols

Oct       7            Sunapee Coffeehouse, Sunapee NH                     Sunapee                       Legendary Love Songs

Oct       8           Harvey Mitchell Library, Epping NH                   Epping Library              Hollywood Song Souvenirs

Oct      13           Bermuda Village, Advance NC                              Bermuda Village            The Moon, the Stars & You

Oct      18           Springhill, Erie PA                                                   Springhill                     Crooners, Swingers & Idols

Oct      22          Homewood @ Crumland, Frederick MD            Homewood                     The Moon, the Stars & You

Oct      23          Oak Crest, Parkville MD                                         Oak Crest                         Mid-Century Melodies

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                                   ©  2022 — Kenneth Lelen — All Rights Reserved    

Monday, March 7, 2022

Concert  Themes
  Popular program themes for Vintage Music Concerts
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© 2022 — Kenneth Lelen — All Rights Reserved

Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers - 1936
With the addition of six new themes, Vintage Music Concerts will offer 27 programs for its 2022 concerts. Each theme traces a musical, romantic or historic idea with wry comments, savory musings or amusing stories. Audiences will find their favorite melodies and fondest memories seasoned with warmth and wit, while hosts will discover themed concerts are easy to promote.

Vintage Music Concerts offer hand-crafted jazz, ragtime, swing and pop tunes as well as vintage acoustic guitars for an authentic back-in-the-day sound. You can't get this old-time sound from some box with plastic knobs.


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Vintage Guitar Roadshow
For an authentic, back-in-the-day sound, concert offers great American ragtime, jazz and swing tunes of the 1920s, 1930s & 1940s paired with vintage acoustic guitars from the same decades. Program explores popular music of early 20th Century as well as the current market for guitars used by performers of that time.

MidCentury Melodies
Johnny Mercer - 1950s
A concert of great tunes from the 20th Century's juicy middle — before musical tastes were stained by disco, bossa nova, bubble gum and stadium singers. We will explore the hit tunes of Jo Stafford, Tony Bennett, Vaughn Monroe, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mercer, Patti Page, Nat King Cole, Dinah Shore, Dave Barbour, Rosemary Clooney, Edith Piaf, Bob Wills, Barbara Cook and others.

Crooners, Swingers & Idols
Concert of romantic ballads and pop songs foisted on American ears by heart-throb crooners, teen-aged idols and Rat Pack swingers during the Eisenhower Era. These songs were hits for a post-war sock-hop generation, a time when people dated, dined & danced to their favorite tunes as they aired on radios, juke boxes or at the movies. You’ll be glad to hear them again.

Huddie Ledbetter - 1940s
Great American Songsters
Stories and songs by the performers, com- posers and musical scamps that populated the early 20th Century. These genre-makers include Bob Wills, Carson J Robison, Big Bill Bronzy, Bessie Smith, Jimmie Rodgers, Jimmie Davis, Leadbelly, Goebel Reeves and the Carters.

American originals all, they worked out of the humid limelight of Tin Pan Alley even as they spawned the musical genres known today as blues, bluegrass, R&B, ragtime, country, country 'n western, western swing, cowboy, hillbilly, Piedmont and folk.

Some of these songsters were famous in their own day, some were not. Still, their music spread across America's cultural landscape in several formats, including recorded discs, radio air time, Hollywood movies, Broadway shows, juke box selections, big band dance tunes, jazz combo cutting contests and juke joint favorites.

The Moon, The Stars and You
Concert will summon wine-dark skies, cheerful stars and the pale moon on high for romantic insight and inspiration with classic love songs, including: Blue Moon, Fly Me To The Moon, It’s Only A Paper Moon, Moonglow, As Time Goes By, Moon River, How High The Moon, Moonlight Bay, Stars Fell On Alabama, Beyond The Sea, Blue Skies, Moonlight in Vermont, Get Out and Get Under The Moon, Moonlight Serenade, Old Cape Cod, Polka Dots and Moonbeams and, of course, everyone's favorite, Stardust. Your fondest memories will rise on the horizon.

The Singing Cowboy - Gene Autry - 1930s
Lunchbox Cowboys
Popularized on the radio, with Saturday afternoon flicks, in the earliest black-and-white TV shows, with merchandise found in mail-order catalogs and on the shelves of five-and-dime stores, the singing cowboys were a big deal with small-fry buckaroos (boys and girls) from the early 1930s until the mid-1960s.
 
Though a few Tin Pan Alley cats prowled their ranks, the list of luminous lunchbox cowboys included Jimmie Rodgers, Roy Rogers, Patsy Montana, Dale Evans, Al Dexter, Gene Autry, Carson Robison, Burl Ives, Bradley Kinkaid, Jimmy Dickens and others. You'll be surprised how many of these sagebrush songsters you recognize and how many of their great tunes you remember. Happy Trails To You.
 
Big Band Idols
Concert of songs immortalized by vocalists, musicians and band leaders who fronted Big Bands, jazz combos and society orchestras during the Swing Era.

Irving Berlin's memorable masterpiece - 1920
Ragtime Rascals
Concert offers hot sweet jazz renditions with the memorable tunes, clever lyrics and rapid rhythms loved by flappers, doughboys and bootleggers and spread by radio, talkies, 78s and tin lizzies.

When Love Was Nifty
In the decade before Elvis and his rowdy friends arrived, American pop music shifted its focus to appeal to both adult interests and youthful ideas of romance.

She Did It Her Way
Concert celebrates lives, romances, careers and hits of female vocalists and recording artists such as Peggy Lee, Billie Holiday, Patti Page, Dinah Shore, Ella Fitzgerald, Jo Stafford, Judy Garland, Bessie Smith, Mildred Bailey, Helen Forrest and others.

He Did It His Way
Concert celebrates lives, romances, careers and hits of male vocalists and band leaders such as Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Benny Goodman, Louis Armstrong, Gene Autry, Johnny Mercer, Artie Shaw and others.

Great American Cabaret
Back in the day couples dated, dined and danced at cabarets, supper clubs, hotels, restaurants and night clubs, so our concert offers the standards, ballads and jazz hits of saloon singers, ballroom bands and jazz combos.

Radio Ramblers
Americans once used console, tabletop or portable devices to hear music, news, drama, comedy, games, sports, shopping and gossip of the day, so our concert salutes the shows, songs, singers and emcees of radio's heyday.

Juke Joint Jive
Memorable toe-tappin' hits favored by lindy hoppers, stage door johnnies, zoo suiters, swingshift maisies, jitter buggers, drugstore cowboys & bobby soxers.

Speak Easy Jazz
Concert of record, jukebox and radio hits by the artists who were progenitors of American jazz: Louis Armstrong, Sidney Bechet, Isham Jones, Paul Whiteman, Mildred Bailey, Duke Ellington, Billie Holiday, Richard Whiting et al.

Composer Jimmy McHugh and
lyricist Dorothy Fields - 1933
Sunny Side Of The Street
Concert of mirthful, upbeat romantic songs that will smother you in unsolicited love advice, repair or improve your personality, poke fun at society's upper crust (AKA — the 1 percent) and beat back the blues you've denied for who knows how long. 
 
Legendary Love Songs
Concert offers musical fountain of amorous lyrics, catchy tunes and dewy-eyed anecdotes to re-ignite old flames, evoke moonlit nights, recall romantic affairs, re-submit to the pangs of heartthrobs and heartaches — all those memorable times each kiss was an inspiration.

Torch Song Embers
Concert plays bittersweet, wistful and romantic songs for folks who idolize the One Who Got Away, can't seem to forget a misbegotten lover and still romanticize that long-ago tryst.

Kingston Trio Redux
The Kingston Trio changed the course of pop music for 10 years from the late 1950s to late 1960s. They became America's most envied, imitated and successful pop group as they gathered a repertoire from numerous sources — urban and rural folk, calypso, folk rock, Broadway show tunes and Americana — and spun their arrangements into commercial success on college campuses, in coffee houses and with hit records.

Broadway Song Mementos
Tunes Great White Way producers used to advance story lines, tout ingénues and draw income from sheet music, records, juke box, movies and radio airplay.

Cliff Edwards (Ukulele Ike) and admirer - 1930s
Hollywood Song Souvenirs
Song selection gave movie makers ways to turn celluloid dramas & zany comedies into hits. You’ll be surprised how many tunes you remember.

Singer - Songwriters
Tin Pan Alley, Broadway and Hollywood lost their grip on pop music in the 1960s when talented upstarts such as Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Carole King, Gordon Lightfoot and others began to write, record and sell their own hit tunes. Called folksingers at the time, these youngsters' used record sales to gain both popular attention and cultural identity.

Composer George Gershwin and
lyricist Ira Gershwin - 1920s
Tin Pan Alley Cats
Songs and stories behind the great American hit songs of Irving Berlin, George and Ira Gershwin, Jimmy McHugh and Dorothy Fields, Johnny Mercer, Jule Styne, Harold Arlen, Cole Porter, Hoagy Carmichael, Johnny Mercer, Johnny Black, Duke Ellington, Frank Loesser, Harry Warren, Richard Rodgers and Larry Hart and other well-known composers.

Bye Bye Blues
Concert features the jazz and swing hits popular in the era between the world wars. Young people claimed these tunes as their own because the songs were danceable and had clever lyrics and memorable melodies. What's more, they were performed by vocalists and big bands who gained popularity with simultaneous appearances in recordings, radios, jukeboxes and movies.

In The Mood
Concert offers a bouquet of romantic tunes from the war-torn 1940s that gave pop music emotional depth and evoked nostalgic moods to resonate with folks on the Home Front & Front Lines. Back in the day escapism was a priority for listeners and this Vintage Music Concert will help you get away from it all.


Dustbowl balladeer Woody Guthrie - 1943

Prairie Poets 
With songs and stories, this concert will explore the late 20th Century cultural impact of such American and Canadian artist-performers as Woody Guthrie of Okema OK, Goebel Reeves of Sherman TX, Bob Dylan of Duluth MN, Gordon Lightfoot of Toronto ON, Buffy Sainte-Marie of Qu'Appelle Valley SK, and Ian Tyson of Victoria BC.

Folk Song Boomers
Concert of pop, topical, folk, traditional and protest songs that became popular radio hits and sing-along anthems for America's post-war generation that came of age in the 1950s and 1960s.

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© 2022 — Kenneth Lelen — All Rights Reserved

Monday, August 2, 2021

 2021 Concerts

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Plans for 2021 concerts are again postponed.

 

This time, it's because of the spread of the Delta variant in the face of low

vaccination rates, and lack of safety protocols in some areas and at some

venues. We also see haphazard masking as well as people who won't wear

a mask. Most confounding is the spread of Covid among people who aren't

vaccinated, which endangers all of us.

 

Please check back in September, October or November for

updates on concerts planned for late 2021 and early 2022.

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