Senior Songwriters Continue To Serenade Their Peers
By Dara Mormile
Songwriters Marion and Albert Mazur are seated at the piano in front of an audience at the Abe Stark Senior Center on Farragut Road. Marion warms up the crowd by telling a story about their new ballad, "Brooklyn New York," a tune they are proposing for the borough's theme.
"There's Frank Sinatra's 'New York, New York' but Brooklyn itself doesn't have a theme song," Albert told the Canarsie Courier in a recent interview. "Brooklyn's a great borough to live in - and like our song says, 'Every day's a holiday in Brooklyn.'"
This Sunday, the couple is scheduled to perform the song at the Hebrew Educational Society, hoping to influence officials, including representatives from Borough President Marty Markowitz' office.
While the native Brooklynites are known for belting out original tunes at local senior centers, they began bringing harmony and entertainment to the community when they met nearly 50 years ago.
Marion and Albert grew up a few houses away from each other in Greenpoint. Albert, a pianist, was a public school music teacher. He performed at nightclubs, hotels, conducted choral groups at senior centers and composed classical compositions. Marion, who worked for the Arthritis Foundation, was also musically talented. She also played piano and wrote songs for various neighborhood organizations.
Marion was collecting donations for the foundation when she came to Albert's house and noticed a sign in his window: "Seeking lyricist."
"I rang his doorbell, received his contribution and decided to ask him if he wrote any music," she said. "I wrote as well, but I sang and he played music. In a way, we were looking for each other."
Their collaboration led to the release of two records and the Fred Fischer Music Company published their combined lyrics. In 1960, after the couple joined the American Society of Composers Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), they received an award for a Bar Mitzvah song.
After three years of working together, Albert and Marion married and continued to spread their love of music.
The Mazurs moved to the Flatlands area from Greenpoint in 1965 and joined the Hebrew Educational Society's Mr. & Mrs. Club. Albert taught music at the HES and Marion wrote a play called "Marriage Anyone?" which she says was an entertaining tongue-in-cheek interpretation of the Jewish religion and its rituals.
Albert, 78, and Marion, 88, still perform three to four times a week at Brooklyn senior centers, including the Glenwood and Remsen senior centers.
"The best part of performing is hearing others sing with us," Albert said. "A lot of the seniors at the Remsen Center are church-goers. They have a lot of spirit and love the entertainment."