Volume CI, No. 1January, 2001

Tony “Lane” AlessiGuitar

Samuel A. CoreysBassoon

Harold CurtisSaxophone

Benny FairbanksSaxophone

Vernel FournierDrums

Louis G. FranskoViolin

Jean FrazerPiano

Serafino GervinoMandolin

Lee KleinmanDrums

James J. LeggCopyist

Zeke MannersAccordian

George MeshejianFrench Horn

Anthony “Tony” MirandaFrench Horn

Edwin B. Robbins, Jr.Timpani

Michael RudiakovCello

John SchmidtTrumpet

Brooks SmithPiano

Harry StrideGuitar

Sidney E. WoloshinViolin

Tony “Lane” Alessi

Tony “Lane” Alessi, 94, a guitar player and a 66-year member of Local 802, died in Florida on Oct. 29.

Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Alessi became the guitar accompanist for Vaughn De Leath (who was billed as the “first lady of radio”) on NBC in the early 1930s. In 1942 he formed the Air Lane Trio and played the Dixie Hotel, Jack Dempsey’s, and radio programs at WOR and WNEW. The trio won an “award of merit for outstanding instrumental trio of the year,” given by Song Hits magazine, and had a live radio broadcast on NBC called “Down Memory Lane with the Air Lane Trio.”

In 1948 he and his wife, Mae, moved to Highstown, N.J., where they owned and operated the Applegarth Inn. In the early ’50s they settled in Palm Bay, Fla., where Mr. Alessi became active in Little Theatre.

He is survived by his wife Mae, seven grandchildren and many great-grandchildren

Back to top

Harold Curtis

Harold Curtis, 76, a saxophone player, and a member of Local 802 since 1944, died in Boston on Oct. 30.

Born in Brooklyn, he began studying the saxophone and clarinet while in his teens and was a working musician by the time he was 17. While playing in the Catskills he met and worked with his future wife, Sydell, a pianist, and they were married in the early 1940s, just before he entered the armed forces. He received a commendation for organizing a band on the transport ship that was carrying him to the Philippines.

Mr. Curtis had an active club date career for many years, performing often at hotels in the Catskills. He formed a family band, the Hal Curtis Trio, with his wife on piano and son William on drums.

He is survived by his son. The family has requested that any contributions in his memory be made to the Emergency Relief Fund of Local 802.

Back to top

Vernel Fournier

Vernel Fournier, 72, a drummer, died on Nov. 4 in Jackson, Miss. Mr. Fournier, who joined Local 802 two decades ago, had been unable to play since suffering a stroke in 1994; he moved to Mississippi several years ago to be with his family.

Born in New Orleans, he began playing the drums at the age of 10, performing in street concerts and parades. One of his teachers was jazz drummer Sidney Montague. Mr. Fournier attended Alabama State College, where he played with the student orchestra, and then toured with King Kolax’ rhythm and blues band. He also played with Dookie Chase in New Orleans during the 1940s. In 1948 he moved to Chicago, where he played with blues and jazz groups and in 1953 became house drummer at the Bee Hive, on the city’s South Side. From 1957 until 1961 he played with the Ahmad Jamal Trio, which made several top selling records – including “Live at the Pershing.” He played with George Shearing through the mid-’60s.

Mr. Fournier moved to New York in 1979. He was a member of Clifford Jordan’s groups, occasionally played with Billy Eckstine, and also formed his own trio. He taught drumming at Barry Harris’ Jazz Cultural Theatre, the New School, and the Mannes College of Music.

He is survived by daughters Taliah and Renee, sons Aaron and Eric, three stepchildren and 12 grandchildren.

Back to top

George Meshejian

George Meshejian, 69, a French horn player and an 802 member since 1949, died on Oct. 12.

Mr. Meshejian began playing while in his teens, and studied in Philadelphia. While serving in the armed forces he was a member of the Air Force Band in London, and he stayed on in England after his discharge, performing with Covent Garden orchestras. In New York, he played with the Little Orchestra Society under Thomas Scherman and did a good deal of freelance work and subbing in Broadway shows. He also traveled around the world with a number of Sol Hurok’s productions, and eventually became a travel agent.

He is survived by his brother Haig and cousins Gladys Borman and Georgiana Adams.

Back to top

Anthony “Tony” Miranda

Tony Miranda, 82, a French horn player who performed and recorded extensively, and a 60-year member of Local 802, died on Nov. 11.

Mr. Miranda received his bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College, and was a student in the opening year of the Tanglewood Berkshire Center in 1940. He served in the armed forces during World War II, was principal horn with the U.S. Army Band in Washington, D.C., and was serving in France when the war ended.

He was principal horn with the New York City Opera (for 12 years), the American Symphony under Arturo Toscanini, the New York Chamber Soloists, Musica Aeterna and the Little Orchestra Society, among others. He was also a member of the Long Island Philharmonic. Among his notable performances, Mr. Miranda performed the American premier of the Richard Strauss Horn Concerto No. 2 in Town Hall with Thomas Scherman and the Little Orchestra Society. He was a soloist with orchestras and in recitals and festivals across the country.

He also recorded extensively, with conductors including Toscanini, Morton Gould and Leonard Bernstein, and musicians such as Luciano Pavarotti, Frank Sinatra, Percy Faith, Perry Como, the Beatles and Miles Davis. He performed on The Coca Cola Hour and The Sid Caesar Show.

He is survived by his wife, Sharon Moe, also an 802 member, children Antonia, Anthony, Andre and Danielle, and brother Julius.

Back to top

Michael Rudiakov

Michael Rudiakov, 66, a cellist and teacher and an 802 member for many years, died on Nov. 17. Born in Paris, he grew up in Tel Aviv, where his father was a concert pianist and teacher. He moved to New York to study at Manhattan School of Music in 1956, and served briefly as principal cellist of the Indianapolis Symphony, before returning to Israel to become principal cellist of the Jerusalem Symphony.

In 1966 he returned to New York and joined the faculty of Sarah Lawrence College, where he directed a chamber music series. He also taught at the New England Conservatory, the Manhattan School of Music and Lehman College. In 1983 he joined the faculty at the Manchester Music Festival in Vermont and, in 1985, became the festival’s director.

From 1968 to 1975 Mr. Rudiakov was the cellist of the Composers’ String Quartet. He was an early member of the Aeolian Chamber Players, and a soloist with the Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra and other ensembles. In the 1980s he formed the Rudiakov Duo with his cousin Shoshana Rudiakov, a pianist. He was a member of the Brooklyn Philharmonic for many years and continued to perform with the orchestra, although he moved to Vermont in 1996.

He is survived by his wife Judith, daughter Liselotte, son Ariel, brother Yair and stepmother Grete.

Back to top

Sidney E. Woloshin

Sidney E. Woloshin, 72, a violinist and writer of ad jingles, died on Nov. 5 of pneumonia. He had been an 802 member for almost 30 years.

Born in Hartford in 1928, he began studying the violin at age 8. He earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the instrument at the Boston University College of Music. After a tour in the armed services, where he performed in the Air Force orchestra, Mr. Woloshin moved to New York in 1955 and found a job as a producer of television commercials. He later started his own firm devoted to jingles.

He was co-composer of “You Deserve a Break Today,” the famous ad jingle for McDonald’s that set the peppy tone for the national introduction of the fast-food chain in 1971. Last year Advertising Age magazine named it the top jingle of the century. Mr. Woloshin was also a jingle writer on the ad campaign “Pan Am Makes the Going Great.” He worked on a campaign for State Farm insurance, in which Barry Manilow sings, “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.”

Mr. Woloshin continued to work as a producer until shortly before his death. He is survived by his wife Sylvia, daughter Ellen, son Jonathan and two grandchildren.

Back to top