Friday, November 27, 2015

Louis Menand, how could you?

I was thoroughly enjoying Louis Menand's "The Elvic Oracle", his review of Peter Guralnick's Sam Phillips: The Man Who Invented Rock 'n' Roll, but then I came to this parenthetical:
(Becoming friendly with d.j.s who played the kind of music you recorded was basic industry practice. Leonard Chess, of Chess Records, used to have a trunk full of alligator shoes when he drove around visiting local d.j.s. He’d ask for their shoe size and gift them a pair.)
I've Italicized "gift" in the quotation because, as I've noted before, "gift" as a verb is unnecessary, as "give", which has no more letters, is already available, and using "gifted" as the past tense of "gift" causes confusion with "gifted" as a commonly used adjective.

In any event, thanks to Menand's review, I'm looking forward to reading Guralnick's book and reviewing it here.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

TBT: The Schnickelfritz Band, "Turkey in the Straw".

This TBT goes back to four years before I was born. The heading on the YouTube clip says "first version 1942" but the song is older than that. Its origins may be traced back to an Irish song, "The Old Rose Tree", and variants were common in the U.S. during the nineteenth century. It is reported to have been one of the tunes played by Titanic's orchestra as the ship was sinking.

As for the Schnickelfritz Band, they called themselves "America's Most Unsophisticated Band" and appeared in Busby Berkeley's Gold Diggers in Paris (1938), starring Rudy Vallee, whose agent discovered the band while visiting their hometown, St. Paul, Minnesota.