Billy Crystal makes tribute to uncle

Dec. 25, 2004 at 3:08 PM

NEW YORK, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- Verve Records releases "Billy Crystal Presents: The Milt Gabler Story," a tribute of songs selected by Gabler's New York native-nephew, Billy Crystal.

The 26 songs, to be released Jan. 11, showcase the variety of talent and genres Gabler worked with during his career as the founder of New York's Commodore Music Shop and its namesake label as well as an executive at Decca Records. Gabler had an immeasurable impact on popular music from the 1930s to today, according to Crystal.

Gabler took huge risks to record and distribute Billie Holiday's controversial "Strange Fruit" and help usher in the rock n' roll era with "(We're Gonna) Rock Around the Clock" by Bill Haley and His Comets, said Crystal.

Milt Gabler, a Lifetime Achievement Award honoree from the Recording Academy and a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, is a name mostly unknown to the millions of people who hear his songs every single day.

However, he recorded everyone from Louis Armstrong and Sammy Davis, Jr. to Bing Crosby and The Andrews Sisters.

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