Saturday, July 03, 2010
Another shot of Betsy, this time with some software effects I haven't used before. I believe that I have transformed the image. Obviously, I'm crazy, but just indulge me. Thanks.
In other news, I was watching a terrific show on History Channel dealing with America's states and how they got their exact shapes (in one instance, a surveying error played a role). There was mention of wannabe states, like Franklin, that never quite caught on. It made me think of the fabled planet Vulcan, which failed to catch on as a planet when it failed to make repeat appearances. Meaning that Vulcan is either very shy or nonexistent. Only it knows which.
Last time, in addition to Morton Gould, we heard musical Americana by Czech composer Julius Fucik, Irish-born and German-educated Victor Herbert, and (in the conductor's chair) Italian superstar Giuseppe Creatore. Today's music (to the best of my knowledge) is all by Americans, making it highly American Americana.
Today's selections are 78 rips from my collection, and I'm especially happy with Swanee, the Shannon Quartet sides, and the Judge Sturdy numbers (which is nearly all of them), sound-wise. On an earlier rip of the latter, the square dance caller's shouting was distorted, with much mic blasting. Somehow, I got a perfect balance this time. Maybe the 78 stylus was overdue for an update.
Please ignore the track numbers, which I forgot to remove. Play. Enjoy. Celebrate.
Swanee (Ceasar-Gershwin)--Peerless Quartet, 1920.
Turkey in the Straw--Jazarimba Orch., 1918.
Red Wing--Shannon Quartet, 1925.
Rainbow--Shannon Quartet, 1925.
On the Mississippi (Turkey-trot dance music)--Prince's Band, 1913.
Old Dance Tucker--Country Dance--Judge Sturdy's Orch., 1925.
Friday, July 02, 2010
We see Betsy Ross sitting between two giant candle holders as she sews the first American flag, fireworks filling the night sky behind her. I found this very Seventies made-in-Taiwan item at Goodwill some months back and decided to use it for July 4th. Then I set it on a bookshelf and forgot about it--until yesterday. Betsy almost missed her blog debut.
As you can see, I lit her from below--this I accomplished by turning the figurine upside down (my desk lamp not being very adjustable) and having the light shine straight down. Then, of course, I flipped the photo. And added the black background, the firework images, and the title. Thus was born this classic blog image, one that will be remembered until it's been forgotten.
So, we start our Independence Day music series with some concert Amerciana. And how, you ask, does Czech composer Julius Fucik's Entry of the Gladiators qualify as concert Americana? Excellent question. I guess because we associate it with the circus, an institution many Americans think of as American, but which isn't by a long shot.
So, I hope that answers your question. This was ripped from a 1937 U.K. 78 in my collection.
ENTRY OF THE GLADIATORS (Fucik)--Massed Military Bands, 1937.
Morton Gould's incredibly enjoyable Cowboy Rhapsody (1943) was ripped by me from three 12-inch 78s conducted by Gould himself. They are from the 1947 Columbia Masterworks set, Music of Morton Gould. Here's a bad photo of one of the 78s. The rip fared much better than the click. (The click??)
COWBOY RHAPSODY (Gould)--Robin Hood Dell Orch. of Philadelphia, cond. by Gould, 1947.
Then, a 1920 recording of American Fantasie, composed by the Irish-born and German-educated Victor Herbert. Here is the label. The worn disc has seen better plays.
AMERICAN FANTASIE (Herbert)--New York Police Band, 1920.
We close with ? Iaselli's American Army March, played in 1925 by the fabulous band of Italy's Giuseppe Creatore (1871-1952).
AMERICAN ARMY MARCH (Iaselli)--Creatore's Band, 1925.
More Americana to come!