Good-bye Broadway, Hello France

 

Something for the weekend.  Good-bye Broadway, Hello France.  Like the Civil War, World War I produced endless songs, most of which were never heard of again after the  War was concluded.  Quite popular during the War was Good-bye Broadway, Hello France, written in 1917 by by Billy Baskette, with lyrics written by C. Francis Reisner and Benny Davis.  Whenever a World War I documentary has ever been produced, this song is often played as US troops are shown being shipped to France.

Published in: on June 17, 2017 at 3:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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June is Bustin’ Out All Over

Something for the weekend.  June is Bustin’ Out All Over (1956).  We had a wet and very cool May in Central Illinois, but June feels like June.  I became familiar with this song as a child listening to it being played on the Captain Kangaroo Show.  Leslie Uggams gave a memorable rendition in 1968:

 

Published in: on June 3, 2017 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Nearer, My God, To Thee

 

Something for the weekend.  Nearer, My God, to Thee, sung by Mahalia Jackson.  Written in 1841 by Sarah Fuller Flower Adams, it retells the story of Jacob’s Dream.  A hymn of surpassing power in time of grief and loss, it was played by Confederate bands after Pickett’s Charge, and was sounded while the Rough Riders buried their dead.  Its title was the last words said by a dying President McKinley and the band on the Titanic ended their heroic service by playing the hymn as the ship sank beneath the waves. (more…)

Published in: on May 20, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Nearer, My God, To Thee  
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The Reluctant Conscript

 

Something for the weekend.  The Reluctant Conscript performed by Bobby Horton who has waged a one man crusade to bring Civil War era music to modern audiences.  This song is typical of the type of humorous songs sung by soldiers on both sides.    Civil War soldiers endured hardships and casualties that modern students of that conflict can only regard as appalling.  However, the amazing thing is the good humor that those very brave men also displayed, often directed against themselves.  We stand on the shoulders on the giants, and among those giants are a lot of 18-20 young men clad in blue and gray, many of whom did not get any older, and who overwhelmingly met their fates with courage and a type of laughing gallantry that is all too foreign to our debased times.

Published in: on May 6, 2017 at 5:33 am  Comments Off on The Reluctant Conscript  
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The Girls Would Cry Shame and They’d Volunteer

 

Something for the weekend.  The immortal Tennessee Ernie Ford singing The Why and the Wherefore, a popular marching song for Union troops during the Civil War: (more…)

Published in: on April 22, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on The Girls Would Cry Shame and They’d Volunteer  
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Livery Stable Blues

 

Something for the weekend:  Livery Stable Blues.  Recorded by the Original Dixieland Jass Band on February 26, 1917, it was released in March 1917 by Victor and became a huge hit.  It was the first jazz song released on record.  The band prior to the end of the year would change their name to the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.

Published in: on March 11, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Livery Stable Blues  
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America

Something for the weekend.  America from West Side Story.  Hard to believe that it is 60 years since this updating of Romeo and Juliet was first performed on the stage.  Parts of it are still powerful, especially at the end where Maria blames the hate of both the Jets and the Sharks for the death of her Tony, and the gang members join in carrying away his corpse.  Of course some elements now seem absurd.  The gang members now look so clean cut that they are more like young members of a Rotary Club than would be street criminals.

Published in: on March 4, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on America  
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The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance

Published in: on February 18, 2017 at 3:25 am  Comments Off on The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance  
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Lincoln and Liberty Too

The low clown out of the prairies, the ape-buffoon,

The small-town lawyer, the crude small-time politician,

State-character but comparative failure at forty

In spite of ambition enough for twenty Caesars,

Honesty rare as a man without self-pity,

Kindness as large and plain as a prairie wind,

And a self-confidence like an iron-bar:

This Lincoln, President now by the grace of luck,

Disunion, politics, Douglas and a few speeches

Which make the monumental booming of Webster

Sound empty as the belly of a burst drum.

Stephen Vincent Benet, John Brown’s Body

Something for the weekend.  Lincoln and Liberty Too, the most stirring campaign song in American history, sung by Bobby Horton who has waged a one man crusade to bring Civil War music to modern audiences.  Mr. Lincoln’s birthday is on Monday which this year coincides with the state holiday in Illinois.  I always close down the law mines on that day.  Lincoln used to say that Henry Clay was his ideal of a statesman and for me Abraham Lincoln has always filled that role.  Presidents come and Presidents go, but Washington and Lincoln remain, the fixed stars of the better angels of our natures.

Published in: on February 11, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on Lincoln and Liberty Too  
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God Bless the USA

It is thought by many, and said by some, that this republic has already seen its best days; that the historian may now write the story of its decline and fall. Two classes of men are just now especially afflicted with such forebodings. The first are those who are croakers by nature. The men who have a taste for funerals, and especially national funerals. They never see the bright side of anything, and probably never will. Like the raven in the lines of Edgar A. Poe, they have learned two words, and those are, ‘never more’. They usually begin by telling us what we never shall see.

Frederick Douglass, December 7, 1869

 

 

 

Something for the weekend.  This rendition of Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA seems very appropriate as a new administration begins.  We Americans are a tough and resilient people, something our adversaries frequently forget and something we too also sometimes fail to remember.

Published in: on January 21, 2017 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on God Bless the USA  
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