Saturday, January 27, 2007

Radio Dismuke

A commenter to this blog, Dismuke, introduced me to his web site, which has an internet radio station that plays music from 1925-1935. The recordings of the early ‘30s are my favorite of all time because they have that ‘20s bounce but also have a string section. Some of the ‘20s jazz combo recordings can sound too rinky-dink, and then the recordings in the late ‘30s and ‘40s get too sleepy. The big bands lost the string section in the late ‘30s – a string section is expensive – giving rise to the Glenn Miller/Tommy Dorsey sound that most people associate with swing. This sound is okay, but it doesn’t send me like that early ‘30s sound. ‘40s swing has neither the snappy hot beat nor the beauty of strings. Nothing can top a string section bouncing along an upbeat, syncopated melody.

(Along with arrangements, songwriting deteriorated greatly in the ‘40s. The rise of boogie woogie made the melodies less interesting. The stage was set for Rock’n’Roll and the backbeat juggernaut.)

Another great thing about ‘30s recordings is that the singers perform the songs at the upbeat tempo they were written to be sung at. Modern cabaret singers drive me crazy because they slow down the songs in order to show off their voices. This often destroys the songs. Take George and Ira Gershwin’s “I’ve Got A Crush On You,” for example. It was done on Broadway as an upbeat song. I would bet that if you listened to 100 modern cabaret singers do this song, not one would do it at the right tempo. They slow it down and make it a torch song. You lose so much when that happens, especially with Gershwin, who was the most kinetic and danceable of composers. (Harry Warren, in my opinion, has the second best dancing drive in his melodies. He is not as famous as the Broadway songwriters because he worked in Hollywood and the East Coast intellectuals used to turn their nose up at the movies.)

Also, the ‘30s singers sing the melody right, with the exception of Billie Holliday, who was constitutionally incapable of singing a song straight. When singers do a Sarah Vaughan and change the melody, I think, “Well, this singer considers himself a better songwriter than Jerome Kern (or whoever).” I prefer melodies sung the way they were written.

There was a long period in the 1980’s when I listened to nothing but ‘30s music. I found myself writing ‘30s songs in my head. I remember when I was around the age of 30 walking up Lexington Avenue in New York City with this Gershwin-like bouncy tune in my head. I decided I had to learn how to write music so I could get it down and not forget it. I bought books and learned (just barely) to write a lead sheet. I had long talks with a conservatory-trained composer at my day job and picked up some great tips for harmonizing. I then wrote the book, lyrics and music to an unproduced musical comedy in the ‘30s style.

Nowadays I’m writing songs in an early ‘60s style that I want to record in a studio in a fellow’s garage in Riverside, California. (It’s the Army of Davids scenario. I can do things in a garage that pros could not do 30 years ago.) I fear that listening to Radio Dismuke will screw up my songwriting, because when I listen to too much ‘30s music, I start writing it. After hearing just a few songs I have that sound running in my head right now. Lou Reed says it’s fun living with a radio in your head. I know what he means.

But it might not be so bad getting reacquainted with ‘30s songs. I have noticed that if you take ‘30s melody and harmony and put a backbeat to it, the result sounds like something from the late ‘50s or early ‘60s. Those Brill Building songwriters had roots in the pre-rock tradition. And some pre-rock songs have been quite successful in the rock era: “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes,” “Dream A Little Dream of Me,” “I Only Have Eyes For You,” “Summertime.” And who can forget Paco’s rendition of “Puttin’ On the Ritz”? I wish I could.

UPDATE: Dismuke’s myspace page has three fabulous recordings that play when you click on the page. The recording of “As Time Goes By” is a perfect example of what I mean about songs sung at the right tempo. For the last 60 years I don’t think anyone has recorded that song at the pace of the Columbians here. When you slow the song down, I tell you, it becomes dreary and dull. Why, oh why can’t singers get it right?

In the original production of Show Boat in 1928, believe it or not, both "Old Man River" and "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man of Mine" were uptempo happy songs. Those repetitive, syncopated melodies are infectious toe-tappers when done moderately fast. Imagine trying to get a singer to do one of those songs with some pace today! I don't know if Paul Robeson was the first singer to slow "Old Man River" down, but it would be nice if he was -- then I could call slow tempos a commie plot.

I wish I could listen to this music while I work, but unfortunately my day job involves listening FM radio stations. Instead of Radio Dismuke, I have to listen to Hip-Hop, which is rather like saying instead of visiting John Galt I have to spend time with Charles Manson.

18 comments:

Dismuke's said...

Gee - thanks for the nice write up and plug for my station!

myrhaf wrote:

"Also, the ‘30s singers sing the melody right, with the exception of Billie Holliday, who was constitutionally incapable of singing a song straight. When singers do a Sarah Vaughan and change the melody, I think, “Well, this singer considers himself a better songwriter than Jerome Kern (or whoever).” I prefer melodies sung the way they were written."

YES! That drives me nuts too. I have never cared for Billie Holliday and the modern ones are even worse. They not only change the melody - a great many of them are not even capable of generating much in the way of a melody. It's like they are trying to sing in a monotone. Perhaps it is because modern popular music almost never has a melody - and even though they are performing an old song, they don't want to be regarded as being too "old fashioned."


myrhaf wrote:

"Another great thing about ‘30s recordings is that the singers perform the songs at the upbeat tempo they were written to be sung at. Modern cabaret singers drive me crazy because they slow down the songs in order to show off their voices. This often destroys the songs."

Yes. I actually wish that such performers would simply NOT perform vintage tunes at all. If they did modern stuff, I would just be bored to tears or nausiated depending on how bad it is. But for me, who knows very well what such songs are supposed to sound like - well, such aesthetic vandalism is very uncomfortable to witness. It is like seeing a person you once thought the world of who has just spent several hard years in a concentration camp where he was lobotomized and his body shows the ravages of starvation and torture. You can recognize that it is the same person you once knew - but all you can focus on is the contrast of what once was and all that has been destroyed. And while a destroyed song is certainly not as dramatic or tragic as a destroyed human being, there is one respect in which it is worse: decent people are not going to applaud what was done to the concentration camp victim or suggest that it is somehow an improvement. Yet that is exactly what many do when many moderns botch up old songs.

myrhaf wrote:

"In the original production of Show Boat in 1928, believe it or not, both "Old Man River" and "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man of Mine" were uptempo happy songs. Those repetitive, syncopated melodies are infectious toe-tappers when done moderately fast."

Another example is the Rogers and Hart song "Manhattan" which was composed in the 1920. I never used to care for the song and considered it to be dull and dreary because I had only heard it performed in such a manner. Then I came across recordings from when the song was new - and, oh, boy, they were peppy and syncopated and it came across as being a very cheerful and happy tune.

Early recordings of Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" were actually performed in a slightly up-tempo fashion.

On the other hand, I also have vintage recordings where certain songs were significantly slowed down - and yet they work, sometimes quite well, while the post World War II attempts usually fail.

I think slowing down the music is only part of the problem. Besides doing slowing them down, they drain all of the emotion and, therefore, the soul and life, out of the music.

A few years ago, someone I know confided to me that he had previously been treated for panic-anxiety attacks. The doctors gave him medication that was supposed to prevent the attacks from happening. Towards that end, the medication was successful. However, despite strong protests by the doctors, he chose to discontinue the medication because he considered the side-effects to be worse than the occasional attacks. When I asked what the side-effects were like, he said that if one were to imagine a spectrum of all possible emotions with the very center being that of utter indifference, the effect of the medication was as if someone had chopped off both ends of the emotional spectrum leaving only a very limited portion of the center. He no longer felt the anxiety or the depression - but he didn't feel much of anything else either. If he observed that his kids were behaving like monsters, destroying things in the house and needed to be disciplined, he felt the same emotional reaction that he would if his wife reminded him that his favorite program was about to start on TV - both were just tasks that he had to do. Basically, all emotions - positive and negative - were drained away from him. He gave up the medication because he felt like a zombie (BTW - I am not endorsing his giving up the medication. For all I know, either the doctors failed to offer or he refused to allow them to attempt to regulate the dosage which I am told is sometimes necessary with such medicines).

I bring this up because, when he told me that story, a chill went down my spine because it occurred to me that THAT was a great description of what so much of modern popular culture is like. It is like everything has been emotionally sanitized - and I submit that it goes well beyond music.

Modern popular music - even that which is not outrightly nihilistic - is never joyous, never excited nor happy. Nor is it sad. Nor is it gloomy or blue. (I am referring only to the actual MUSIC and not lyrics which may or may not express such things). All of that went out of the window with melody. All that is left is a shell where mere deviation from a monotone passes for the role once served by melody. In the old days they called such stuff "elevator music." The only difference with today's stuff is they have added a rhythmic beat.

The lack of emotion in modern music used to puzzle me because, if moderns are anything, they tend to be rabid emotionalists in the very worse possible way. This is, after all, the age of the Oprah show - and of Cindy Sheehan. One would expect emotionalists to at least enjoy emotionally expressive music.

Eventually, what occurred to me is that, while we live in an age filled with unapologetic emotionalism, there are certain types of emotions which are considered taboo: any emotions which are rooted in one's values.

Expressing and being guided by one's emotions is perfectly ok and even encouraged these days if those emotions happen to be rage, hostility and envy. And going through the ritual of expressing emotions of "compassion" and "sensitivity" is considered mandatory if a modern wishes to avoid being regarded as a Nazi or worse.

On the other hand, openly expressing passion and enthusiasm for one's values - well that does not always go over well in a great many circles today. People tend to regard it with varying degrees of suspicion. Sometimes it is met with a look the sort of amusement that one would have towards a child talking about magic and Santa. Often it is taken as a sign of weakness - on the premise that strength of character requires one to be a hard-boiled cynic.

Sometimes it can brand a person as a freak. People who are passionate take what they are passionate about seriously - and, taking things too seriously is another taboo in today's world. People who give voice to too much passion and enthusiasm for their work, their productive hobbies, for the ideas which animate them - well, to moderns, that means one does not "have a life" and needs to "get out more."

All of the emotions that have been sanitized out of today's music are all related to one's relationship to the values one is passionate about. Joy, excitement, enthusiasm are examples in a positive sense - while sadness and feeling "blue" are examples in a negative sense.

It is not that modern people do not experience profound values and emotions. Most people certainly do. It is just that such values and emotions are utterly antithetical to today's cultural trends - and, as a result, they tend to be invisible and foreign to the sense-of-life of the resulting popular culture.

If open and public display of one's gushing enthusiasm or excitement about something one is passionate about is met with strange looks - well, a great many people are going to eventually learn to repress such emotions. So how likely is it going to be that music which unapologetically gushes a similar spirit of enthusiasm and excitement going to be received in a culture where people are taught to repress such emotions?

In a culture where cheerfulness is considered shallow and expressions of hard boiled cynicism are considered as a sign of maturity and sophistication - is it surprising that cheerful music is considered trite? If one regards sadness through the lens of cynicism - well, all that is left is a feeling of emptiness. So is it surprising that sad songs are no longer written and the old ones are dismissed as "too sentimental"?

Today's popular culture (and I am talking about the least offensive aspects of it) has all the charm of a styrofoam cup. A styrofoam cup does perform a utilitarian function and does hold liquid just as well as any other type of cup. But imagine going out on the town at what you have been told is the grandest restaurant in town for a very nice dinner to celebrate a very special occasion - and it is served on paper plates and the wine is served in styrofoam cups. That is the emotion I usually feel when I venture from the little pre-World War II bubble I have built for myself and venture out into and look too hard at today's culture. It is just a shallow, bland, dreary emptiness - and I don't know who I feel sorry for more: those who have no grasp of what they are missing or me for living in a world where the things I value so passionately are largely invisible.

The good news, however, is the Internet is a very powerful, effective and inexpensive medium through which to communicate. Unless they manage to outlaw Internet radio (the RIAA has been trying its very best to do just that with all streams other than simulcasts of FM radio broadcasts), it is now possible to show people first hand the sort of popular music that once existed - and what the music of the future could build upon. When I was a kid, that was very difficult to do - the music was completely absent from AM/FM radio and few people have the resources to drop lots of money to buy records just to explore a new genre that someone suggested to them. Today, all one needs to explore the music is an Internet connection, a soundcard and the appropriate URLs. In a way, it is like spreading Objectivism. The biggest challenge is simply getting the word out that an alternative exists.

myrhaf wrote:

"I have noticed that if you take ‘30s melody and harmony and put a backbeat to it, the result sounds like something from the late ‘50s or early ‘60s. Those Brill Building songwriters had roots in the pre-rock tradition."

I have noticed a similar connection with the two genres of music in that I really enjoy a lot of the doo wop type music from the early rock era.

To me, the doo wop music attempts to express a similar range of emotions that music in the 1920s and 1930s was able to. By contrast, the bland "easy listening" pop of the late '40s and early '50s often has a difficult time of it. Attempts on the part of easy listening period music to sound cheerful, for example, come across as very trite and hokey to me. And, most easy listening compositions and recordings pretty much put me to sleep. The early rock stuff always struck me as sort of a rebellion against the dreary and dreadful post World War II stuff and an attempt on the part of teenagers to bring life back to music. And they were very handicapped in that they did not have the resources to do so that their parents did in that, by the 1950s, for various reasons, there simply no longer existed the venues where an upstart band with lot of musicians and instruments could make a financial go of it. So the bands had to be very small, sometimes with little more than a rhythm section and they used vocals to carry the melody and to even fill in for musical instruments. And some of the doo wop vocal groups were VERY talented and impressive. In that respect, however, they were really taking to a new level what other "Golden Era" vocal groups - from the Revelers (and their German counterpart, the Comedian Harmononists) in the late '20s and early '30s, to Paul Whiteman's Rhythm Boys (where Bing Crosby got his professional start) to the Boswell Sisters and most especially the Mills Brothers had stared a couple of decades earlier. The Mills Brothers are described on the labels their early 78s as "three boys and a guitar" and some labels even carry a notice that no musical instruments beside one guitar were used in the recording. They turned their voices into musical instruments - and that is what the doo wop groups did as well.

Above all, the early doo wop type rock was melodic. It could be joyous or it could be sad. And the music could be BEAUTIFUL - beauty being something that is almost devoid from today's music.

To me, early rock, as a genre, does fall short of the music from the 1920s and 1930s. But I consider that to be a fault not of the song writers and performers but rather of the financial limitations of what they had to work with. In the late 1920s, there were occasions when some of the more famous and successful dance bands would have up to 40 musicians in the band. Clearly a greater range of musical possibilities are open to those who have such resources at their disposal. But I think it is inappropriate to think in such terms when listening to the early rock. One has to take a genre on its own terms - which include the limitations that were imposed on it. It is sort of like listening to recordings from the acoustical era (i.e. pre-microphone) which came to an end when electrical recording became standard around 1925. The acoustical recordings do not sound nearly as good as the later electrical ones - but that certainly is not a mark against the recorded performances from that era or the music. Such factors, however, can and frequently do have an impact on the era and genres of music that one prefers to listen to.

Myrhaf said...

You have thought deeply and well about today's culture of value-deprivation.

Dismuke said...

Well....I certainly have had plenty of experience and occasions to think about it - and I suspect most of your readers have as well. None of us deserve to go through it as much as we must.

On the other hand, it is also very true that this is, by no means, anywhere near the worst period of history in which to be born. And, despite today's many problems and the cultural emptyness and ugliness, a very good case could be made that one would be crazy to wish themselves in any other previous time period. I am not sure that even I would step into a time machine if one were somehow offered to me - though it sure would be awfully tempting.

We may never experience the joy of being part of a fully rational culture - but we are fortunate in that we have the Internet which makes it easier to find, participate in and even create from scratch various rational subcultures. And that is by no means a small or an insignificant thing.

Myrhaf said...

I would not go back in time for anything more than a brief visit. I certainly would not want to live in an era before the invention of novocaine!

There is a problem of Objectivists living in alienation in the current world, something that should be avoided. We have to celebrate our values and look for the best in others and try not to get depressed about things over which we have no power.

Anonymous said...

Dismuke,

Thanks so much for your insights. I enjoyed your posts immensely. And thank you for introducing me to the music of the 20's and 30's; things of beauty that I didn't even know existed.

MadMax

Inspector said...

Dismuke,

Do you blog?

If so, where?

If not, why not. You'd certainly do well with it from what I've seen.

Myrhaf said...

Madmax, you're welcome, but you should thank Dismuke. He is the one with the passion for the music. His loyalty to values led to collecting the music library and making the web site.

Inspector, I was wondering the same thing.

Myrhaf said...

Oh, I see that Madmax directed his comment to Dismuke, not me. Never mind! Where's my coffee...

Dismuke said...

MadMax -

Thanks so much for your nice comments. And I am very glad you enjoyed the music - bringing it to the attention of new audiences is the station's very first priority. So I am always very happy whenever I hear that it has done so. Watch out - 1920s & 1930s music can be very addictive!

Inspector -

No, I don't blog - other than the weekly musical updates of 78 rpm recordings I do on my website, if that counts as blogging.

The primary reason I have never given any serious thought to blogging is the fact that I am already stretched pretty think time wise with my existing on-line projects - and that situation is only going to become more so once some of the things I have in the works and others that are in the planning stage come into being. Whenver I feel in the mood to vent about something, there are usually discussion boards or other online venues that I can go to where it would be considered on-topic.

I have toyed with the notion of creating a blog/ezine of sorts devoted to early 1900s popular culture with myself being but one of several regular contributors. But that, too, would take up a lot of time and there are other projects that I don't have time for that I would probably do before that if I did somehow have extra time. I am very honored, however, that you think I would do well at blogging.

Dismuke said...

myrhaf wrote:

"I would not go back in time for anything more than a brief visit. I certainly would not want to live in an era before the invention of novocaine!

What I wouldn't want to give up is air conditioning. They did have "refrigerated air" in the "Golden Era" - but you pretty much had to go to the movie palaces and, later on, restaurants, in order to enjoy it.

I have seen snippets of some sort of British television series about a fellow who is able to, at will, travel back and forth between the present and World War II era England. I am told the series follows his adventures and the double lives he lives in both time periods. As long as one fantasizes about time travel,one might has well do so in a way where one has the best of both worlds.

myrhaf wrote:

"There is a problem of Objectivists living in alienation in the current world, something that should be avoided. We have to celebrate our values and look for the best in others and try not to get depressed about things over which we have no power."

Dr. Peikoff also said something along similar lines in his Understanding Objectivism course (which I HIGHLY recommend to anyone - especially newbies). He basically said that as bad as our present culture is, it is not so bad that it should prevent a rational person from living a happy life.

I think part of the reason many Objectivists feel a sense of alienation is not so much related to the nature of Objectivism itself but rather from the particular pool of people who are most inclined to develop an interest in it. While there are certainly many exceptions, people who develop an interest in philosophical issues tend to be people who find the conventional wisdom that they were brought up under to be significantly lacking. They generally are people who consider the world around them and/or their lives as falling short in some way and are seeking answers. I think such people are rather inclined to have feelings of alienation from the very get-go.

I also think part of it has to do with the fact that Objectivists, far more so than the general population, have a very strong vision of the world as it could be and should be (to change Ayn Rand's words a bit). I think the contrast of that vision with the world as it is can sometimes be very difficult for certain people to deal with - so much so that they can be blinded to things around them that are praiseworthy and which could enrich their lives.

I know I sometimes have a similar difficulty with the contrast of the early 1900s verses today. Last night I was looking at some photographs of Detroit in the 1920s and 1930s - I can easily spend hours looking at and becoming absorbed in photos from that era. I wish I could describe what I feel when I do - it is a sort of poignant feeling of wonder and a certain sense of loss for a world that I never even knew first hand. Those old pictures are so wonderfully free from the shabby ugliness that has permeated the visual landscape ever since the mid 20th century. And yet, when I put the pictures away, it is the world with the shabby ugliness that I must live in and try to find happiness in.

I think the key to dealing with that contrast is to make a conscious effort at selective focus. Rather than dwelling on the shortcomings of the world as it is, one should instead focus on those values that can and do exist in today's world while, at the same time, trying to bring that vision of the possible into reality in one's own life to the whatever degree one is able. And when one does so, one should savor those values much as one keeps that last spoonful of ice cream in one's mouth so that it will last longer.

I have always been inspired by Ayn Rand's comment about those who fight for the future live in it today. That's kind of how I feel when I work on my website and radio station or when I interact with others who share my interest in that era. Whenever I do so, I am to that degree, living in the era that I am so fond of - it is something which is very much real and an important part of my life. To add a different twist to Ayn Rand's words, by fighting for my vision of the past, I get to live in it today. Only I don't think of it as fighting for the past. My vision of the future is a high tech version of the early 1900s - minus the garbage of that era such as the racism, the statism, etc.

EdMcGon said...

I hate to go back to the original post after Dismuke's thought provoking comments, however...

Myrhaf,
When you brought up "I've Got a Crush on You", I was immediately reminded of Sinatra doing a torch version of it on "Sinatra at the Sands"(1965), where Sinatra playfully starts flirting with one of the bandmembers. I almost suspect by his making fun of it, he was agreeing with you.

While we're on the subject of old music, does anyone know any good websites to download old public domain songs?

Dismuke said...

edmcgon -

Here are some download sites.

You can download off my site at www.dismuke.org and www.dismuke.org/how - but, for several reasons which I will not go into here, the selections are only in Real Audio format which is not very popular with downloaders.

This site has mp3 downloads of vintage recordings - though this month he is more focused on later blues recordings: http://www.swazoo.com/

Here is another site that is regularly updated and has some really nice mp3 downloads:
http://www.2multiples.com/hotdance/

Another really great and extenisve site for vintage recordings is www.redhotjazz.com It, however, is in Real Audio format and you cannot download. But there is a wealth of vintage jazz and early dance band recordings there.

An INCREDIBLE resource with lots of very historical downloads is the Cylinder Digitalization and Preservation Project at the University of California Santa Barbara. There are LOTS of recordings of cylinder records from the 1890s through the late 1920s that you can download. Cylinder records were pretty rejected in favor of disc records by about 1910. But Thomas Edison personally preferred the format and did hated planned obsolescence so he continued to sell them until the stock market crash forced him out of business in 1919. Anyhow, recordings from this era are NOT as accessable to modern audiences as are the recordings from the late 1920s onward due to the fact that they were all recorded acoustically - i.e. through a large horn instead of a microphone. As a result, the fidelity is going to sound weak to modern ears and some people have difficulty adjusting. However, that was the era of ragtime and there a lot of wonderful ragtime recordings or popular recordings heavily influence by ragtime on that site. There are also several recordings of some of Ayn Rand's favorite "tiddlywink" songs - though it is highly unlikely that Ayn Rand would have heard any of the particular recordings on the site. The site also gives you the option of streaming the files via Quicktime, downloading an mp3 or even downloading the unedited .wav file transfer. The URL is: http://cylinders.library.ucsb.edu/ The easiest way to access the recordings is to click on the "browse" link.

If you play music, you can actually download vintage sheet music of public domain songs at: http://scriptorium.lib.duke.edu/sheetmusic/
Even if you do not play music, this site is fun to go through just from a visual standpoint because the art work on the old sheet music covers was VERY beautiful. The best way to experience the site is to click on "browse by title pages" which will present thumbnails of the cover page art work for all of the works in the collection. You will be asked to select which decade from the 1850s through the 1810s you wish to view. Start with the later decades and work backwards. The really beautiful sheet music covers with colorful artwork did not really become common until the early 1900s - though you will see some examples in the 1890s. Prior to that, the covers were not colored and were mostly decorated with fancy text. All of the works there, however, contain the actualy music pages themselves, so if you can play music, you can get a feel for the music from the different eras.

EdMcGon said...

Thanks Dismuke! :)

I don't play music, but I used to DJ at a "big band" nightclub, which was a lot of fun. (I mostly played music from the 40's & 50's.)

I've always been a fan of Fats Waller and Scott Joplin, so I'd love to hear some of the other music from that period.

EdMcGon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dismuke said...

edmcgon -

If you enjoy Joplin, here is an Internet radio station I highly recommend checking out. It is called Elite Syncopations and plays nothing but ragtime. Its website is at http://www.ragtimeradio.org/

One of the advantages of the station verses the cylinder records archive is, while the radio station does play vintage recordings, it also plays a very large number of modern recordings of ragtime music.

One of the difficulties that many exploring ragtime for the first time have is the fact that the music is from the era when records were made acoustically. For people who are not used to the acoustical sound and the limitations of that recording technology - well, that can be a very big distraction.

BTW - here are a few recordings from that cylinder site of songs that Ayn Rand was fond of:

Get Out And Get Under

The Mill In The Forest

Amina - Serenade Egyptian (There are a few other versions of "Amina" in the archives - just do a word search if you are interested.

Ayn Rand also enjoyed operettas by Franz Lehar and Emerich Kalman. I recommend both highly. If you do a word search for "Lehar" on the site you can find several recordings of his compositions. Here is one that I enjoy and is typical of his style. Here is another recording that I think is kind of neat of a Lehar composition.

Dismuke said...

Oh, gee - how could I forget? Here is another song in the cylinder database that Ayn Rand enjoyed.

It's A Long, Long Way To Tipperary

Here is another version of the song

It's A Long, Long, Way To Tipperary

The song was very popular with the British troups during World War I and quickly made its way over to America.

Inspector said...

Dismuke,

I understand what you mean about the time investment. If you ever do start, know that you'll have at least one reader.

Dismuke said...

Inspector -

Thanks!

As for time - a while back I read an article online about some fellow, I think he was either in the UK or in Ireland, who is sort of a medical freak and the object of quite a lot of scientific interest in that he does not sleep. He hasn't slept in years and has no adverse physical or mental effects as a result. When the rest of his family goes to bed, he usually catches up on his reading.

A lot of people, for obvious reasons, are interested in learing what it is about him that makes him different. For example, the need for troops to sleep is one of the great difficulties that militaries have to work around in battle.

Wouldn't it be great if someone could figure out what makes this man the way he is and perhaps make it possible for everyone else too? We wouldn't have to live a day longer and yet our lifetimes could be expanded by up to about a third.

Of course Hillary and HillaryHealthCare will probably swat anything like that down before it is discovered - along with the wonderful cure which I am waiting for which will enable all of us to live to at least 140 or more.