Gershenson, Joseph [Sanford, Joseph G.]
- Warren M. Sherk
[Sanford, Joseph G.]
(b Chişinău [Kishinev], Russia, Jan 12, 1904; d Los Angeles Jan 18, 1988). American music director, conductor, and violinist of Russian birth. He was raised on Army posts in New York by his bandleader father, who left Russia for Germany, and arrived in the United States in 1906. A half-size violin given by a family friend led to his playing in a school orchestra. He later studied privately with violinist and composer Edward Kilenyi Sr. (1884–1968). He abandoned night classes in law and accounting to play the violin for vaudeville. Through conducting at RKO theaters the Colony (1924–5) and the Coliseum (1926–8), he met RKO circuit music director Milton Schwarzwald, and served as his assistant from 1928 to 1933. From 1933 to 1939, he produced one- and two-reel musical shorts directed by Schwarzwald for their company, Mentone Productions, which were distributed by Columbia and RKO. When RKO theater executive Nate Blumberg was named president of Universal in ...