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Song Story: Scarborough Fair

Scarborough Fair is a traditional English ballad about the Yorkshire town of Scarborough. Scarborough is a small town on the coast of England. The “Scarborough Fair” was a popular gathering in Medieval times, attracting traders and entertainers from all over the country. The fair lasted 45 days and started every August 15th. In the 1600s, Read More

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Behind the Song: Highland Cathedral

    Often when you hear the bagpipes one of the songs that is popular to be played is Highland Cathedral, although the song does have lyrics.   The song falls right behind Amazing Grace and Scotland the Brave, as a request for the bagpipes. In honor of St. Andrews Day later this month, I thought Read More

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Song Story: Over There

Over There was written by George M. Cohan in 1917, during the height of World War I.  The song became an instant hit. The song reflected Americans’ expectations that the war would be short.  It was a patriotic song designed to galvanize American young men to enlist in the army and fight the “Hun”. The Read More

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Patriotic songs: This is My Country

This is My Country is a popular patriotic song for both the native born and the immigrant. The song was composed in 1940 by the songwriting duo Don Raye {born Don Raye Wilhoite, Jr.} and Al Jacobs. Don Raye Wilhoite, Jr. was born on March 16, 1909 in Washington, D.C.  He changed his name to Read More

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Halloween Songs: Monster Mash

Monster Mash is a Halloween song that has continued to be a hit since its release in 1962. One night while Bobby “Boris” Pickett was performing with his band, he decided to do a monologue imitation of horror movie actor Boris Karloff to the song “Little Darlin” by the Diamonds.   The monologue was such an Read More

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Profile of a Performer: Patsy Cline

I have several friends that are huge Patsy Cline fans, so I thought it would be fun to take a look at her life and career. Wikipedia says, “Cline was known for her rich tone, emotionally expressive and bold contralto voice, and her role as a country music industry pioneer. Along with Kitty Wells, she Read More

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Broadway Composers: Kalmar and Ruby

Kalmar and Ruby are another famous songwriting team of the first half of the 20th Century. The team consisted of lyricist Bert Kalmar and composer Harry Ruby. Bert Kalmar was born on February 10, 1884 in New York City. Harry Ruby was also born in New York City, on October 29, 1895.  Both men began Read More

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Broadway Composers: Kern and Hammerstein

Just as Richard Rodgers was part of the Rodgers and Hart collaboration, prior before he joined Oscar Hammerstein, so was Hammerstein part of a writing partnership also. Kern and Hammerstein was a duo that consisted of Jerome Kern as the composer and Oscar Hammerstein II as the lyricist. They are best known for their book Read More

Rodgers and Hart

Broadway Composers: Rodgers and Hart

Long before there was Rodgers and Hammerstein, there was Rodgers and Hart. The duo consisted of composer Richard Rogers and lyricist Lorenz Hart.  They worked together on 28 stage musicals and more than 500 songs from 1919 until Hart’s death in 1943. Rodgers and Hart first met when they were both students at Columbia University Read More

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Profile of a Composer: George Gershwin

George Gershwin is known for his orchestral compositions such as Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris and the opera Porgy and Bess. George Jacob Gershwine was born on September 26,1898 in New York City.  He was the son of Moishe and Roza Bruskina Gershowitz.   The Gershowitz name was soon Americanized to Gershwine. George had Read More