Irving Fields made a career out of mashing up musical styles, often by taking Eastern European sounds and putting them to a Latin beat. His hit 1959 album Bagels and Bongos sold two million copies and spawned a series of followups: Bikinis and Bongos, Champagne and Bongos, Pizza and Bongos and More Bagels and Bongos.
As a pianist with the Irving Fields Trio, he performed at many of the hot nightclubs of midcentury Manhattan–Copacabana, the Latin Quarter and Mermaid Room. Just months ago, he could still be heard performing at Nino’s Tuscany Steakhouse. He was 100 at the time.
Fields (August 4, 1915-August 20, 2016) had a humorous side to him (as if his “…and Bongos” albums aren’t proof enough). He composed and recorded “The YouTube Dot Com Theme Song,” which has been viewed over 800,000 times.