Brian McLane

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January 6th, 2012 · No Comments · Family and Friends

The Legacy of Jan August

Click to Watch The Legacy of Jan August

My Grandfather Jan (“Pop Pop”). To the world he was known as Jan August. And to me he is not only my grandfather but one of the greatest pianists I’ve ever seen. He is most well known for his arrangement of Miserlou and Malaguena but there are so many hits. Most people these days would know Dick Dale’s version of Miserlou from the 1994 John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson film “Pulp Fiction.”

Thirteen albums on the Mercury Label, Radio shows and Television appearances including the Ed Sullivan Show and Joe Franklin, performances at the White House for President Harry S. Truman and was a star on the local circuit including regular stints at the Latin Quarter, The Roxy and The Paramount Theaters, Jan August’s Legacy is secured.

I got a call from my cousin James who (like all six grand children) is going through his Jan August phase – meaning he’s trying to find out everything he can about our Pop Pop that he can. My other cousin Jan and Pop Pop’s namesake, went so far as to replicate all the Jan August Albums on CD as the original masters have apparently been lost and Universal Music doesn’t care a bit. I’ve tried but it’s impossible.

The Thirteen Albums include:
Jan August: Pianissimo
Jan August: Styles Great International Hits
Jan August: Plays Songs To Remember
Jan August: Cocktails and Conversation (My favorite)
Jan August: Great Piano Hits
Jan August: Cha Cha Charm (another favorite)
Jan August: My Best Too You (I’m sorry – THIS IS MY FAVORITE)
Jan August: Keyboard Waltzes
Jan August: Piano Roll Blues
Jan August: Music for the Quiet Hour (It’s a toss up – this one’s awesome)
Jan August: The Great Pop Piano Classics

and there are a few others.

While Jan August recorded thirteen albums there is very little film or video of him. However my cousin James reached out to and connected with someone in Australia who had an old film clip made by RKO Pictures featuring singing star Kitty Callen. It was one of those films they’d play either before a picture or in between a double feature.

Here James (who now fronts the band ESR from Orlando) does a great little video about our Grandfather and his legacy including that of the grandchildren (Jan, Keith, June, Brian, Mandy and James). Several of us went into music and James highlights some of our accomplishments though I almost made him redo the video which took him a few hours because he left out the fact that I made it to MTV which is the Rock Band equivalent of the sperm fertilizing an egg. But it’s still great. Here is James “ESR” Casazza introducing The Legacy of Jan August.

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