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Reviews and News

The latest review of SWING is by Yahoo! Contributor Mary Beth Magee.

If you have Amazon Prime you can now 'borrow' the Kindle version of SWING for FREE!

Here's another book review, by Scott Eyman of the Palm Beach Post.  

The list of positive reviews for SWING continues:

I highly recommend this book. I usually listen to audio books, but this is one book in print that I couldn't put down. Don't even think about it. Just read it! This is a good one.  

"SWING" is a great read, and a more than impressive, heartfelt, first novel from this author. Bravo!  

A great read about perseverance and acceptance and a trip to the world of Swing.

Here is my recommendation...buy it for your IPad or eReader, download some Louis Prima songs, put your earphones in, turn up the volume and enjoy it.

Alan Gerstel's Blog
headshot of Alan Gerstel, author


Click here to buy the book on Amazon.

It is also available as an ebook.


Entries in Valley Forge Music Fair (1)


Bill Cosby and Me

I think Bill Cosby is one of the funniest men alive.  And if you have ever seen him perform one of his many stand-up routines, I think you will agree.  Certainly, he was funny on his TV show, and was a groundbreaking actor on "I Spy", but I have some very early memories of Mr. Cosby.

I was working as a Technical Director at Storrowton Music Fair in West Springfield, Massachusetts in the summer of 1963.  Near the end of the summer season, the theatre booked a traveling Hootenanny Show.  I don't remember much about the show, but I DO remember the featured comedian:  Bill Cosby.  He was practically unknown to the audience, but his routine brought the house down!  It was the first time I saw him do his "Superman" bit with Clark Kent trying to change into Superman in a phone booth, and is spotted by a cop.  VERY funny stuff.

Fast-Forward one year..... Bill Cosby had become a household name.  He was performing at that time, at the Latin Casino, a nightclub in Philadelphia.  I was the touring (as the Technical Director) with the show "No Strings" starring Diahann Carroll.  We played one week at Valley Forge Music Fair... not too far from Philadelphia.

One night, Bill Cosby showed up to take Miss Carroll to dinner after her show.  I re-introduced myself to Mr. Cosby as having worked with him the previous summer.  The night air was a bit chilly even in the heart of the summer, and Miss Carroll took her time preparing for her dinner date.  I suggested to Mr. Cosby that we go into the lighting booth which was still warm from the show.

And there... in this small lighting booth backstage at Valley Forge Music Fair... Bill Cosby had me in stitches for at least 20 minutes!  He told jokes.  He told me about his routines.  And he made me laugh again and again.  It was an amazing one-on-one experience that remains with me to this day.

Thank you, Mr. Cosby... for a "performance" I will never forget.