the dynamic duo? No…not Batman and Robin. Paul and Fred Korman, of course.
an old expression…good things come in pairs. This pair are twins…sort of.
Separated only by years, this unique combo share in a lot of ways.
grew up together displaying mutual likes and dislikes and, thus, their
respective personalities are similar. A revolution might have resulted had there
been sibling rivalry, but that did not exist. They grew up not competing, but,
rather, complimenting each other. They shared a distribution of talent that
ripened as they attained new heights.
in stature and looks, the two sustain a disciplined regimen of physical fitness
that enables both to maintain hectic schedules.
tunes up his muscles in the weight room several times a week. His concern for
his body accelerated after turning 50. “I’ve belonged to a gym for many
years but didn’t get really serious until then. I am trying to stymie the
inevitable,” Fred said.
similarly, practices weight training and thinks nothing of riding his bike from
Hicksville to Jones Beach. For those of you who have visions of trying it,
don’t. Well, at least start on a small scale and work your way up to the
“long” trek. Paul’s stamina is incredible and that’s a trait that
doesn’t just happen. It requires years of dedication.
the elder, was born September 14, 1946 at the Brooklyn Jewish Coney Island
Hospital. Paul, the younger of the two was born in the same hospital on November
26, 1950. Their early years were spent living on Bay 32nd Street in Brooklyn.
Korman’s made a big move from Brooklyn to Levittown in 1958. While attending
school there, the two boys dedication to music accelerated. Fred was molding his
musical talent while Paul was learning the basics. The perseverance of both
young men enhanced their ability to excel.
moved to Hicksville several years later. Fred became a member of the Hicksville
High School orchestra as an oboist. His proficiency earned him a spot as a
soloist with the Leonard Bernstein Young Peoples Concert at Carnegie Hall at the
age of 16. He was also an active member of the Long Island Symphony Orchestra
while in high school.
graduated from Hicksville in 1964. He then moved south in search of a pedestal
that would highlight his talent. He spent nine years living in the French
Quarter of New Orleans and playing with the symphony there. Fred said, “Yes, I
frittered away my 20’s in New Orleans, and I’m proud of it.”
completed his high school education and was graduated in June of 1969 from
Hicksville High. He attended Nassau Community College while continuing an active
role in music. His maturity in music continued to expand in the 70’s. It was
1964, however, in junior high school, when Paul and three of his friends formed
a band. They affectionately called themselves the “4 Teens, not original, but
then, they were teenagers. The highlight of the year was their premier
performance at the World’s Fair. That was his first test in a professional
became involved in the plumbing and heating supply industry after college. He
worked for Ben Goldin Supply in Westbury as a salesman. He eventually began
working for a manufacturer’s representative firm, the William Near Agency.
This platform laid the groundwork for Paul who now has his own business, The
Paul L. Korman Sales Agency. Paul is active in the metropolitan New York area as
a representative of several national vendors. Paul is married to Sharon and they
have a son, Matt.
his stint with the New Orleans symphony, Fred continued his pursuit of a musical
career playing in the Hartford symphony orchestra. Fred would eventually join
the Oregon Symphony as principal oboist in 1978. That means that Fred plays all
the solo parts for oboe and he also plays the first note that the orchestra
tunes by. You might say that his attendance at Julliard and the Hart College of
music paved the way to this notable accomplishment.
was on sabbatical until several years ago when he joined forces with several
friends and began a new regimen of playing local establishments. Paul plays bass
and is the founder and promoter of the Mama Ray Band. Mama Ray is touted as one
of the premier rock and blues vocalists in the metropolitan New York area.
has been living in Portland, Oregon for over 20 years. Throughout his time
there, He has been teaching oboe in a master class and has conducted similar
seminars in other parts of the country. Fred has recorded both classical and
jazz on various labels throughout the years. He also performs as a soloist and
has received critical praise for his “flawless playing.”
years ago, Paul was the featured performer on Buffalo Bob’s Doo Wop Shop. His
appearance there is touted as a “tour-de-force performance. His renditions of
many popular masterpieces left the author speechless. His bass was booming.
has always been extremely interested in psychology. He was the author of a
four-hour workshop called, “Enjoying the Note You’re On.” His forte is
teaching stress management to other performers, mostly musicians, though his
auspices extend to other professionals, including athletes and writers.
DePreist, Music Director and Conductor of the Oregon Symphony said, “Fred
Korman is a true artist with extraordinary musicality and a natural gift for
expressive, lyrical playing.”
fellow oboist, John Mack of the Cleveland Orchestra made the following comment
about Fred Korman: “His tone and interpretations are always refreshingly
how about “Coney Island Korman,” my affectionate name for Paul. I bet you
didn’t know Coney was a big “Wheel” in New York.
recent accomplishments…his Mama Ray Band was the opening act for such notables
as The Vanilla Fudge, Dr. John, Leon Russell, Blue Oyster Cult and the Billy
Joel Movin’ Out Broadway Show.
would think the brothers had played together somewhere, sometime. Wrong. The
first time the “dynamic duo” played together was several years ago when they
rented studio time and made a recording of their Mom’s four favorite songs in
honor of her 80th birthday. She was totally surprised when they gave her this
says he indulges in an occasional bacon cheddar cheeseburger, but, for the most
part, maintains a sensible diet that avoids most red meat. His comment, “I
want to stay as fit and youthful as I can with a reasonable amount of effort.
Don’t we all?
a parting note, Fred says, “My good friend, Susan, makes a rice pudding
that’s to die for!!!
Korman’s band is the opening act for the legendary Leon Russell at the
Downtown, 190 Main Street, Farmingdale, Friday night, February 13, 2004.