Playing with the Cocoanut Grove Orchestra | Los Angeles Conservancy

Playing with the Cocoanut Grove Orchestra

Tue 8/12/14

I remember the Ambassador Hotel, May Company, Petersen Museum (formerly Ohrbach's, which had the best Japanese restaurant on the top floor), and many other stores and theaters between San Vicente and La Brea. We used to shop and eat along the nice stores and restaurants along Wilshire.

One of my first jobs after high school and coming to L.A. in the early 1950s was appearing with the Cocoanut Grove Orchestra [at the Ambassador Hotel] playing harp; intermission piano and doing the vocals on the nationwide radio remote. Every so often they would have a Greek night at the Grove, and I have a wonderful photo of one of the orchestra members, a waitress, and myself in Greek togas. 

[Editor's note: Ms. Stoller is pictured at right in the photo. She is a renowned pianist, harpist, and vocalist who has performed with everyone from Billie Holiday to Bjork. She still performs regularly with the Corky Hale Quartet, and was married for over forty years to legendary songwriter Mike Stoller of Leiber and Stoller.]