IRVING FIELDS, 101, on Aug. 20 in New York City. Considered the last of the legendary cocktail pianists who tickled the ivories in swank nightspots from the 1930s through the 1950s. He won the Fred Allen Amateur Hour on radio at age 15 and was given a week’s engagement at the Roxy Theater. He attended the Eastman School and early in his career, had classical piano engagements.
His best-selling album Bagels and Bongos sold more than two million copies and blended traditional Jewish melodies with Cuban rhythms that he learned playing on Caribbean-bound cruise ships. In the day when many New York hotels did live radio broadcasts, he enjoyed long stays at the Park Sheraton and Plaza Hotels.