Saturday, November 11, 2006
Morton Gould's 1943 American Salute was written for a radio broadcast--and, according to the All Music Guide, ovenight. It stands out in its cluttered field because it's so extraordinarily effective--otherwise, it's one in a zillion. Anyone who digs through old sheet music has encountered enough varitaions on/odes to Yankee Doodle; America; Hail, Columbia; and Star-Spangled Banner to fill the memory banks of a hundred collectors. By 1943, a rhapsody on Louis Lambert's 1863 When Johnny Comes Marching Home was more of a cliche than "Let's put on a show!" But who cares? It hits the mark, and then some.
The magnificent Civil War march in question originated as the Irish ballad Johnny, We Hardly Knew Ye, a denunciation of war so bitter as to make Where Have All the Flowers Gone sound like Wouldn't It Be Loverly.
Louis Moreau Gottschalk, who wrote louder and flashier patrotic "Pops" pieces in the 19th century, might have advised Gould to add a piano. Or two, or three. At least four.
American Salute (Morton Gould), National Symphony Orchestra. From RCA Victor LP set.
Played as it should be played--with the orchestra blowing the roof off the studio. Take that, Boston Pops!
Your blogger, way back in 1977. (29 years ago--yikes!) My first duty station, my first Navy barracks. And I still had hair on the top of my head. Ahhh... memories.
Today is the day we give thanks to all who served. I thought this wonderful songbook cover (or an image thereof) from my collection would go nicely with that sentiment. "Up-to-date patriotic songs," no less. (O.K., Blogger. Any time....)
And we've got some up-to-date 78s to go with it--six sides from the wonderful Columbia label band led by Charles Prince. The first two are pretty worn, so please bear with the scratch, hiss, and swish (not necessarily in that order). The sound quality gets better fast, though none of these are in terrific shape. I think I got some nice sound out of them, regardless. All I did was flip the "Bad Sound Out" switch and turn its individual volume knob to zero. This allowed the good sound to shine through in all its goodness.
Following the six excellent Prince's Band performances, there are two rousing 1948 tracks by George M. Cohan, Jr. (son of the famous songwriter), both ripped from an RCA Camden LP.
The Star Spangled Banner (Arr. by John Philip Sousa), Prince's Band, 1917.
No, I take that back. Let the door hit you. Hard. You stupid virus.
I think this is my first-ever blog post on the subject of sweat. A MY(P)WHAE milestone. And you... was there.
We all was there.
Bev is feeling better, too. Her coughing isn't nearly as constant. (Nearly as constant?) My, aren't we arty.
When next I'm at the Blogger dashboard, I'll be putting up a link to Newsday's The TV Zone blog (to show up on the right side of this page). Even if, like me, you're not a TV freak (my geekiness is mostly audio), you'll love the expert writing. And the expert wit. It's really that good, and I recommend the site with all my, um, recommendation.
Did I mention that I'm on Prednisone? I am, and it does weird things to one's mind. And one's choice words. I mean, word choosings. I mean....
Actually, the worst part was my first day on the stuff--I must have been up for a full 24 hours. Or close to same. Congested, short of breath, but full of energy! Believe it or not.
Anyway, the TV Zone is a lot of fun. And I'm not going around plugging blogs every day of the week, as you know. I have my "boys" go out and do that. Drive-by pluggings. They'll never trace 'em to me. Never.
On account of my illness, I'm behind in answering comments and such. Sorry about that. Instant communication is such a blessing--until you try to catch up with it. ("Wait, wait....") So much for the instantness part.
Speaking of TV, I watched TimeCop for the first time today. (Timecop? Whatever.) Normally, I love time-travel shows/episodes, but this thing seems to have been put together by three-year-olds. Seriously, The Time Tunnel was great TV by comparison. TimeCop has everything we can expect from a Sci-Fi series: macho male models trying to be actors, little sexpot blondes punching out men twice their size, a plot that shifts every two minutes (action in place of excitement, I think the technique is called), and little attempt at period accuracy. For instance, the year was supposed to be 1939, but a gramophone was playing a circa-1913 Columbia label 78 which, oddly enough, was emitting hi-fi quality sound.
Terrible stuff. Even Sliders got stupid after a while, but it was never this bad.
Bring back The Time Tunnel, Sci-Fi. I'd rather see Irwin-Allen paper-mache/Saran-Wrap effects than the same ol' computer-generated "vortexes." Please, Sci-Fi.
Friday, November 10, 2006
The others are in playable to playable-plus condition. (I just now made up that grading standard. I like it.)
I cross-dated these against matrices listed on an "ethnic" discography and discovered they hail from 1927 and 1928. Just as my ears had guessed. (Note: The links go to a Box.net page offering both play and download options. Let me know if there are any page-display issues. Thanks.)
Give Me a Kiss--Polka, Kapalka i Jego Orchestra, 1927. From Victor label 78.
Podlotek--Polka (J. Kmiec)--Kapalka i Jego Orch., 1927. Flip of above.
Krakowianka Polka (Ulenski)--Orkiestra Ulenskiego, 1928. From Victor 78.
Kujawiak od Zychlina (Ulenski)--Orkiestra Ulenskiego, 1928. Flip of above.
The Wedding in the House of Witos--Orkiestra Witkowskiego, 1927. From Victor 78.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
...but a great year for U.S. pop tunes! This classic number, written in 1929, was featured in the 1930 movie Chasing Rainbows.
Happy Days Are Here Again (Ager-Yellen), Possibly the Ferko String Band, mid- to late 1950s(Please go to bottom of Savefile page to download)
I rescued this from a cassette tape, the insert card of which lists the title but not the artists. Whoever they are, they seem to be having a ball! (Update: Heikk2000 suggested the group is probably the Ferko String Band. My ears agree! Many thanks.)
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Sunday, November 05, 2006
I found my first Line Material 45 three or four years ago at a Columbus, Ohio thrift store--The Kinds of Christmas, I believe. I found the rest at Colleen's Collectables, that same city's best used record shop. Colleen had never heard of them, so she threw them in for nothing along with the rest of my XMas haul. They were the freebies of the bunch! She figured I'd be the only person to ever come into the shop knowing what those things were, let alone come in looking for them. Then, a few years later, they made their cyber-debut. Right here on this shoe.
As we speak, I have a bunch of Yuletide 78s to rip and restore. So, here I am, my cold still in force, an on-and-off fever in temporary "off" mode, and my throat slightly less sore than it has been these past few days. I literally lack the energy to change cartridges on my Dual (for 78s). That might put me in line for an absence of energy award of some kind.
It's funny--when your body's aching, the "simple" things become "I don't want to do that" things. Such as, getting out of a chair. Reaching for something. Strenuous feats like that.
Actually, I'm feeling quite a bit better. For the moment. But I know it's just for the moment--it'll be baaaaack. Viruses love to toy with their hosts. "O.K., let's give him 20 more minutes of feeling better and then, WHAM! Back to a semi-coma. Set your timers...."--Virus Control.
A little earlier, waking up from my on-and-off sleep, I realized I needed to get the trash cans out to the "curb," seeing as how it's Monday morning. Luckily, it's not Monday morning. But I didn't know that--it took me a full five minutes to realize it's Sunday. Good thing I was too pooped to actually get up.
Watched most of an I Love Lucy episode. That show was so very well done. And I've always felt it was less anti-female than its rep would suggest. Lucy was really a very assertive character, and it's nice to see a female in the head clown role. I don't mean that in a mean way, either! The choice clown roles usually went to men, and Lucy was up there with the best of them. I also admire Desi Arnaz' work on the show--I think he was quite a gifted comic actor. That whole cast was marvelous. Some of the episodes are too silly for words, but lots of things register as silly after half a century, to be fair. Plus, so many of the show's gimmicks have since been done to death. I'm tempted to credit Lucy with inventing the pacing we take for granted in TV comedies. 50 years later, the timing is still dead on.
Anyway, should I try to get some more rest, or should I attempt to change the cartridge? Which, you'll recall, seems like a big, big task at the moment. Hmm.
I'd better not rush into any life-changing decisions, here.
Oh, fine. The virus has returned to torment me. I hope it had a nice break.
Meanwhile, here's some Sunday morning music for everyone, including two tracks I'd planned to put up but never did. I don't have all the data I'd like for these (you'll recall that Box.net's invaluable "Info" box no longer works), but I remember the basics. The Ben Light side (Melody in F) features three musicians, I believe--one them on the Novachord.
Indian March, Creatore's Band, from Victor 78.
Mardi Gras (Grofe), Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra, 1947.
Melody in F (Rubinstein), Ben Light, others. Late 1940s, from Tempo label 78.
Round Town Gals, The Hill Billies (1926).
Lee, fighting a fever