Den sidste entertainer - den første tid
The historian Hannibal Munk tells the story of his own grandfather, the entertainer Simon Rosenbaum, who died in 2015 at the age of 89. The article concerns itself with Simon’s early struggles with getting his career as an entertainer going and staying on tracks. It takes its point of departure in 1945 when Simon, like many Danish Jews, returned to Copenhagen after two years in exile in Sweden. Simon, at that time an office clerk and translator at a merchant house, decided to make a career shift exchanging the outlook of a stable income with the uncertain existence as a piano player at Jewish family parties and at nightclubs in hopes of gaining a more permanent foothold in the entertainment business. Throughout the late 1940s Simon was repeatedly rejected until he in 1951 was accepted as a piano player for an amateur cabaret which finally gave him some early recognition. Fortunes did not change overnight and Simon had to face many long nights at work as a bar pianist and an accompanist for the growing network of professional artists that he came in contact with. Throughout the 1950s this work took him all over Denmark at different venues and even to Sweden and Israel. Finally, he got the chance to do his own permanent cabaret at the New Rosenborg restaurant in central Copenhagen. At the turn of the decade going into the happy 60s, Simon had at last settled down and started to gain the recognition as one of Denmark’s leading entertainers. The road getting there was usually not told by Simon himself. Telling about success is usually more compelling. Yet, the story about a successful career is only put into perspective when told side by side with the struggles getting to that point.