Definitions

Lou

Lou

[loo]
Gehrig, Lou (Louis Gehrig), 1903-41, American baseball player, b. New York City. He studied and played baseball at Columbia, where he was spotted by a scout for the New York Yankees. As the team's first baseman (1925-39), Gehrig played in 2,130 consecutive league games (setting a record that stood until 1995, when it was broken by Cal Ripken, Jr.), batted .361 in seven World Series, and broke many other major-league records. The "Iron Horse," as he was known to admirers, had a lifetime batting average of .340, and his 493 home runs rank him among the game's best. He four times won the Most Valuable Player award. Stricken by amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a rare type of paralysis since commonly referred to as Lou Gehrig's disease, Gehrig retired from baseball in 1939 and served (1940-41) as a parole commissioner in New York City. He was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1939.

See K. Brandt, Lou Gehrig: Pride of the Yankees (1985); J. Eig, Luckiest Man: The Life and Death of Lou Gehrig (2005).

Harrison, Lou, 1917-2003, American composer, b. Portland, Oreg. He studied composition in California with Henry Cowell and Arnold Schoenberg. His early work stresses percussion while combining Western, Asian, African, and Latin American rhythms and often using unorthodox "found" instruments. In this period he also collaborated with John Cage. Moving to New York in 1943, Harrison became a music critic, part of Virgil Thomson's circle, and a friend of Charles Ives, whose music he championed. All these composers influenced Harrison's extremely varied oeuvre. In 1953 he moved to W California.

Harrison had an ongoing interest in Balinese music and is considered the founder of the American gamelan (a mainly percussion Indonesian orchestra) movement. He built gamelan instruments and composed several works incorporating gamelan, e.g., the choral Pacifica Rondo (1963) and La Koro Sutro (1972) and a double concerto (1982). He also had a deep knowledge of Chinese and Korean music. Versatile and prolific, Harrison wrote four symphonies, concerti, an opera (1952), songs, chamber music, piano pieces, dances, and other compositions. While his usually spare and frequently exuberant works encompass many styles, systems, harmonies, and tunings, they are united by an imaginative joining of traditions and frequently by a blending of East and West. Harrison was also a college teacher, poet, essayist, painter, and longtime gay activist.

See P. Garland, ed., A Lou Harrison Reader (1987); H. Von Gunden, The Music of Lou Harrison (1995); L. E. Miller and F. Lieberman, Lou Harrison: Composing a World (1998).

Costello, Lou: see Abbott and Costello.
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