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Three Stages of My Youth @ Waldorf Astoria Glamour

A Waldorf Story by Keith Hurd

Three Stages of My Youth in Waldorf Astoria Glamour

I remember going to the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom annually for the Milliken Breakfast show where my grandfather, Danny Hurd, was the musical director and music coordinator when I was 9 to 14 years old. I would sit next to the Producer, Tiny Pebworth during rehearsals or watch from the sound booth. The Milliken shows hosted a cavalcade of stars from Ginger Rodgers, Ann Miller, Bert Parks, Madeline Kahn, Gwen Verdon, Chita Rivera, and Dom Deluise. (I have the programs I can provide). Annual shows 1974-1980.

And I remember going to the Cocktail Terrace at the Waldorf Astoria the years my grandfather, Danny Hurd playing Cole Porter’s piano had a trio with vocalist and former Miss New York, Judith Keithley. They performed two nights a week and I would go there after taking in a Broadway show to hear great jazz standards of Gershwin and Cole Porter. 1984-1989

Years later I raised money for a Broadway revival of DAMN YANKEES and as Marketing Director, I arranged for Jerry Lewis who was starring as the Devil (aka Applegate) in the show to reside at the Waldorf Towers for his six-month engagement in 1995. He insisted he must stay in Suite 26F in the Towers - the suite Frank Sinatra stayed at, and the Waldorf accommodated his wish.

The epitome of glamour, The Waldorf Astoria - I continued to bring promotions of Broadway shows I worked on to the Waldorf including a Cole Porter promotion with Kiss Me Kate. In January 1998, we held one of the grandest Broadway opening night parties for RAGTIME at the Waldorf Astoria Ballroom.