FRED & PAUL KORMAN

Remember the dynamic duo? No…not Batman and Robin. Paul and Fred Korman, of course.

There’s 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.

They 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.

Similar in stature and looks, the two sustain a disciplined regimen of physical fitness that enables both to maintain hectic schedules.

Fred 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.

Paul, 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.

Fred, 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.

The 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.

They 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.

Fred 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.”

Paul 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 arena.

Paul 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.

Following 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.

Paul 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.

Fred 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.”

Several 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.

Fred 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.

James 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.”

A fellow oboist, John Mack of the Cleveland Orchestra made the following comment about Fred Korman: “His tone and interpretations are always refreshingly interesting.”

And how about “Coney Island Korman,” my affectionate name for Paul. I bet you didn’t know Coney was a big “Wheel” in New York.

Paul’s 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.

You 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 wonderful gift.

Fred 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?

As a parting note, Fred says, “My good friend, Susan, makes a rice pudding that’s to die for!!!

Paul Korman’s band is the opening act for the legendary Leon Russell at the Downtown, 190 Main Street, Farmingdale, Friday night, February 13, 2004.

Be there!!!