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This is the early masthead from Parlor Songs that appeared with the Dec. '97 issue.

A Blast From The Past; Part 3

December 1997, Third Issue Updated.
Large Format Sheet Music.

 

This is the third of several planned updates of early editions of ParlorSongs. The Parlor Songs Academy had it's humble beginnings in 1997 as a addendum to my personal site about our Caribbean travels and life on St. Thomas U.S.V.I. By the way, I've not updated that site for about five years. I've lost my user name and password and the old Geocities, now Yahoo has no "real" people you can contact for help. Anyway, for more about ParlorSongs' origins, see our "about us" page.

 

Since that rather humble, inauspicious start, the ParlorSongs issues have improved and expanded far beyond these earliest issues. Quite honestly, the original issues are simply not up to our current standards and we thought it was time to go back and bring them up to date. The earliest issues featured smaller cover images, MIDI music only and so little commentary as to be virtually useless. As such, for us, they've become historical curiosities and in some cases, an embarrassment for us when compared to more recent issues.

 

As a result, we are upgrading these old issues with improved images, Scorch music presentations, lyrics and more comprehensive historical and performance notes. Many of the songs we published early on deserve a better presentation and an up-to-date look. In addition, we had a feature early on called our gallery where we simply presented the cover image and a MIDI file with no other information about the song. As we "recondition" these older issues, we will also include music that was in the gallery (that is public domain) but in our current format.

 

With the reconditioning of these issues, we will be "retiring" the old issues from our active issues but will retain a link through the new issues for those who may be curious to see our original publication. In that spirit, we offer this link to the original December, 1997 "third issue" of Parlor Songs.

 

If you are new to us, to enjoy the full musical experience, we recommend that you get the Scorch plug in from our friends at Sibelius software. The Scorch player allows you to not only listen to the music but to view the sheet music as the music plays and see the lyrics as well. Each month we also allow printing of some of the sheet music featured so for those of you who play the piano (or other instruments) you'll be able to play the music yourself. It's a complete musical experience! Get the Sibelius Scorch player now.

 

Richard A. Reublin, October, 2006. This article published October, 2006 and is Copyright © 2006 by Richard A. Reublin and The Parlor Songs Academy Text, images or music may not be reproduced in part or in total without express written permission of the author or a company officer.

 


Oh! You Circus Day

1912


Music by: Edith Maida Lessing
Lyric by: Jimmie Monaco
Cover artist: unknown

 

Back in '97 I said, "This is one of my favorites from the collection. This song was introduced in 1912 in Lew Field's "Hanky Panky" Not only is the music upbeat and the kind of song that just gets "stuck in your head", but the lyrics are absolutely some of the funniest I have seen. Here is perhaps the funniest line, "and the monkeys we will pestercate", nonsense but fun." At that time, we were still more or less struggling to provide the best possible listening experience so gave a try at providing a "sing along" option and created a somewhat cumbersome sing along page. We said at that time; "As a special treat this month, when you play this song, you will also get to see the full lyrics, so sing along." Thank goodness that Sibelius later came to our rescue with the perfect software to produce a real time sing along feature!

 

The song is truly a delight. With a wonderfully festive melody and those cute lyrics, how can one not love it? A nice introduction of the chorus melody leads to a vamp section and then the verse, a very nice melody in its own right. It has that turn of the century charm that so many songs of the period had. The chorus is a great melody to and at one point when "talking" of a Salome dancing the bass line has an interesting drum like beat. You gotta love this one!

 

Edith Maida Lessing is credited with a few other works besides Oh! You Circus Day. Perhaps her most lasting song was Just as the Ship Went Down, a 1912 an emotion laden tribute piece to the Titanic's lost souls. Also in 1912 she published Goin' to the Country Fair and When Crazy Joe Did The Alligator Slide (music by Dennison Cook). In 1915, she wrote the lyrics to The Jitney Bus with music by Roy Ingraham. Her dates and biographical information seems to be well hidden.

 

Jimmie V. Monaco (1885 - 1945) Born in Genoa Italy, (some sources list Fornia as his birthplace.) Monaco came to the U.S. (Chicago) in 1891 with his parents. Wikipedia states the family emigrated to Albany, New York when Jimmy was six. He worked as a ragtime player in Chicago before moving to New York in 1910. Monaco's first successful song Oh, You Circus Day was featured in the 1912 Broadway revue Hanky Panky. Further success came with "Row, Row, Row" (lyrics by William Jerome) in the Ziegfeld Follies of 1912. Perhaps his best remembered song is You Made Me Love You (lyrics by Joseph McCarthy) introduced by Al Jolson in 1913 and famously performed by Judy Garland with revised lyrics as Dear Mr. Gable in 1937.

 

Monaco worked with a number of lyricists before moving to Hollywood where he teamed with lyricist Johnny Burke to produce songs for several Bing Crosby films. Four of Monaco's songs received Academy Award nominations for Best Song: Only Forever (lyrics by Johnny Burke) from the 1940 film Rhythm on the River, We Mustn't Say Goodbye (lyrics by Al Dubin) from the 1943 film Stage Door Canteen, I'm Making Believe (lyrics by Mack Gordon) from the 1944 film Sweet and Lowdown and
I Can't Begin to Tell You (lyrics by Mack Gordon) from the 1945 film The Dolly Sisters.
Monaco died in Beverly Hills, California. (Essential biography retrieved from wikipedia.org )

 

Hear this funny novelty song. (Scorch plug-in version)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics

 



Girl of Mine

1917


Music by: Harold Freeman
Lyrics by: Freeman
Cover artist: Rolf Armstrong


In our original issue I said; " This is one of those gorgeous colorful covers from the glory days of sheet music. The colors and realism of the painting are striking. The artist, Rolf Armstrong is one of the most highly regarded cover artists from the period yet sadly, we have only seven known works by him. Listening to the music brings images of those gentler, kinder days." The cover of this work rivals another of our early featured songs, Dear Heart featured in October of '97. The cover artist, Rolf Armstrong (1899 - 1960) was best known as a "pinup" artist whose works reached their peak popularity in the 40's. His works are regarded by many as the definitive pinup art in America. They are absolutely stunning and this early work of his clearly illustrates his tremendous talent. For an excellent look at his biography and some of his later art, see The Pinup files website article on Armstrong.

 

The music is rather dated, that is it can easily be identified as an early 20th century work. In fact, for 1917 it is a bit more grounded in the 1900-10 period as far as style and harmony. With a sweet melody for both the verse and chorus and loving lyrics, it is a wonderful love ballad from the period.

 

Harold B. Freeman, the songwriter who brought us this excellent work has fared less well than the music. I've been unable to find very little information about him in my references or on the web. However, we do know of some other works in addition to The Land Of Make Believe (Scorch format) by him, all of which also have fabulous covers. Among them are; Girl of Mine (MIDI) (1919), Just a Girl Like You (MIDI) (1919), Day Dreams of You (1928), It's a Long Way From Berlin to Broadway (1917) and Virginia Moonlight (1920). Freeman formed his own publishing house probably in 1919. The title Girl Of Mine was published by A.J. Stasny yet all other 1919 works and those beyond were published by Freeman's house. Given Freeman's reasonably large output and the fact that he had a major publishing house, I find it quite odd that little else is said about him in numerous books about Tin Pan Alley.

 

Enjoy this wonderful old love song (Scorch plug-in required)

listen to MIDI version

Lyrics


 


Little Puff of Smoke Good Night

1910

 


Music by: G. Harris ("Doc") White
Words by: R. W. Lardner
Cover artist: Unknown

 

Back in '97 when we first published this song we said: "For all you Chicago White Sox fans, here is an historical work written by "Doc" White who was a Chicago pitcher at that time. The cover art is reflective of the popular "blackface" music from that period but at least here, the art shows a sensitive side. Doc White (1879 - 1969) pitched for Chicago for several years and pitched against cross-town rival Chicago Cubs in the 1906 World Series (the sox won). Doc wrote at least three other songs with his co-writer Lardner who was a sportswriter in Chicago during that period too."

 

As such, this is a pretty unique and fairly rare work. I've sent a number of emails to the Chicago newspapers asking for information about Lardner and/or White but never did receive any answers. I'm sure they are more interested in today's Bears scores than some 1910 pair of songwriters. However, Wikipedia did have a basic biography of White, seen below and there is a terrific site about Lardner maintained by Scott Topping at S.W. Michigan (see below)

 

The song is a languid lullaby, nice but not particularly inspiring. The music is somewhat repetitive in that White seemed to use only a couple of motifs. Despite that it is an effective lullaby and comforting to listen to.

 

Guy Harris "Doc" White (April 9, 1879 - February 19, 1969) was an American left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball. He played for two teams, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Chicago White Sox, during his career which lasted from 1901 to 1913. Born in Washington, D.C., "Doc" White was a graduate of a dental school in Georgetown which explains the "Doc" nickname. He led the league in ERA in 1906 with 1.52 and wins in 1907 with 27. White died at age 89 in Silver Spring, Maryland, just 8 months after witnessing Don Drysdale surpass his record of 45 consecutive scoreless innings on June 4, 1968. (From Wikipedia)

 

R. (Ring) W. Lardner (1885 - 1933) an incredibly versatile and talented man of letters, was an author, composer, poet and playwright as well as writer of the lyrics for Little Puff of Smoke Good Night. In 1916 he published a book, Gullible's Travels (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1917, 1925) and was a Sports Writer in Chicago for a time. Lardner actually wrote several other books and short stories as well as lyrics for at least 20 other songs. Among his other song titles are; I Wonder What My Stomach Thinks of Me (1910), Gee! It’s A Wonderful Game (1911, music by "Doc" White), Lydia Pynkham (1913), Teddy You’re A Bear (1916), No Place Like Home (1917, for which he also wrote the music), Prohibition Blues (1919), June Moon (1929) and If I Were You, Love (I’d Jump Right in the Lake) (1930). Lardner died in 1933 of a heart attack. For very much more about this fascinating man, visit the "Lardnermania" site which details his life and works.

 


Listen to and see this wonderful "lullaby" song ( Scorch plug-in required)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics


Beautiful Ohio

1918



Music by: Mary Earl
Words by: Ballard MacDonald
Cover artist: Unsigned

 

Our brief coverage of this song in '97 said; "This is the song of my home state and that of Ms. Forward. (Parlor Songs had it's origins in a collection of sheet music from Constance Forward's estate) I still can remember Ms. Forward teaching my fourth grade class this song. No doubt she played it from this very sheet music. A lovely song, it brings back many thoughts of my own childhood. Ms Forward also taught my father when he was in 4th grade; I'll bet she taught him this song too. Mary Earl was a prolific writer of songs during this era and is known for a number of other lasting melodies including Dreamy Alabama included in this months gallery." For Dreamy Alabama, see below.

 

This song is one of the most well known in the annals of "state" related songs. The dreamy and flowing melody is sublime and the lyrics are too. The song is a lovely waltz that is easy to sing, except for men some of the higher notes in the chorus can be a stretch. The verse is short and little known as with many songs, the chorus is the most popular. The introduction is an almost dark and forbidding passage that is very much in contrast with the chorus. If you've never heard the opening and verse, you'd probably never connect it to the more well known melody.

 

Mary Earl (1862-1932). Back in 1998, I said; "After researching Mary Earl , I'm wondering exactly what does a woman composer have to do to merit mention as an important, even unimportant, songwriter in America? Again, we have a successful composer who wrote a number of popular works who has been virtually snubbed by compilers of American music history. In addition to Love Bird, Dreamy Alabama and Beautiful Ohio (Both MIDI) Earl also wrote My sweetheart is somewhere in France (1917). I hope that someone, somewhere with the resources can correct these grievous oversights and capture the lost heritage of these fine composers and songwriters before it is gone forever."

 

Someone did! One of our helpful readers, David Meyers from Columbus Ohio's Columbus Senior Musicians Hall Of Fame, sent us a kind note identifying the "real" Mary earl. Mary Earl was a pen name for Robert A. "Bobo" King (b. Sept. 20, 1862 New York, NY, d. April 13, 1932 New York, NY) Nee: Robert Keiser At only age six, Robert was already taking piano lessons. He took a job in Ditson's music store as a young boy. A little later, Leo Feist, the Tin Pan Alley publisher, hired the youngster, and before long, he was writing pop songs. In 1903, he had his very first hit song with "Anona".

 

King was one of those truly prolific composers whose output is not counted.
He wrote songs under his own name, under pseudonyms (very often a feminine
name), and even anonymously! As a result, there is now no way to estimate
his total output. During WW1, King, like other composers, wrote inspirational war songs. Among them, we find: Lafayette, We Hear You Calling and When the Boys Come Home.

 

In 1918, he went to work for Shapiro-Bernstein Music Publishers under a
contract to produce 4 songs per month. Two of the songs he composed under
this contract were big hits: the 1918 Beautiful Ohio, (Midi) with lyric by Ballard Smith and his 1919 Dreamy Alabama, (Midi) words and lyric by King. ( Both published under the pseudonym of Mary Earl.)

Some of the other songs that are directly traceable to King are: Beautiful Hawaii, In Old Manila, Isle Of Paradise, Hawaiian Smiles, I Ain't Nobody's Darling, Why Did I Kiss That Girl, Just Like a Rainbow, Apple Blossoms, I Scream, You Scream, Ain't My Baby Grand and Moonlight on the Colorado. During the course of his career, he also composed various concert pieces including Gavottes; Polkas; Marches, and Waltzes. (Many thanks to David for this information, see his Columbus (Ohio) Musicians site at: http://seniormusicians.homestead.com/CSMHOF.html )

 

Hear this original state song of Ohio (Scorch format)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics




The Flash

1869



Music by: Carlo Mora
Cover artist: Starmer


From time to time we have received submissions from others of unique music they've discovered that we had not featured up till that time. This work was such a submission. In 1997 we said; "This piece was submitted by one of the "fans" of the Parlor Songs collection. David Holliday at dholliday@sprintnet.com. David found this work among a pile of papers. He submitted it to me and asked that I sequence it. After seeing the interesting cover and listening to the fascinating song we decided that we just had to share this work with you. We have been unable to find out anything about the composer, whose name is spelled two different ways on the work. We also have not found out anything about the work. You are probably the first (after David and I) to hear this obscure work for over 100 years. Enjoy!"

 

The piece begins with an introduction that slowly descends in pitch at a fairly slow tempo. Then the first section give us a loping theme with repeats. At a constant tempo we are treated to several motifs and many of the repeats are played an octave higher than the first run through. A recurring theme uses pairs of 16th notes and an eighth that is much like a gallop. If the cover is any indication, the piece is representative of a fire brigade. It is interesting to note the cover image, it is a little creepy in that the people and animals seem to be ghostly specters or skeletons. The ending builds in intensity over two pages before ending in an upward scale in octaves followed by a fanfare style coda. Pretty enjoyable and not too difficult to play. We've provided it in printable format for those of you who'd like to give it a try.

 

Carlo Mora continues to be an elusive composer, I've still not found any details about him after ten years. The cover of the sheet states Carl Mora as the composer however the first page inside states his first name as Carlo.


 

Enjoy this great piano solo piece ( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics (There are no lyrics for this piece)


The remaining pieces featured in this update were included in the Gallery for December 1997 and had no information included, all that was presented was the cover image and a midi file. Most of the gallery music had nothing to do with the theme of the feature so the following songs are an eclectic mix of unrelated themes.


 


Dreamy Alabama

1919



Music by: Mary Earl
Words by: Earl
Cover artist: Unknown

 

While Beautiful Ohio was written with Ballard MacDonald, Earl (Robert King) struck out on her (his) own with this fabulous song. In yet another state oriented ballad, Earl has given us another very beautiful melody and lyrics. The cover of this work is also well worth lingering over. The art is excellent and though unfortunately unsigned, it is a higher level work of art than some of the other covers of the period.

 

Like Beautiful Ohio, this work is a waltz but in many respects much more classical and expressive, if that is at all possible. The introduction is almost operatic in style and with an emphatic vamp we come to the verse, marked tranquillo e dolce. Lasting only 16 measures, it has a feel much different from the chorus. The chorus is a dreamy waltz melody that reflects the title. Though the chorus repeats, the second time adds a second voice marked as Obligato ad libitum to make for a nice duet. Rather than marking it using repeat signs, the "repeat" is actually through composed to add the second voice. You can clearly see this if you play the Scorch version rather than the midi. If you don't already have the Scorch plug-in, be sure to get it. Just click on the "Scorch" version link below and a window will open allowing you to go get the plug-in. It's quick and easy and well worth the few minutes it takes.

 

Listen to this classic Alabama piece (Scorch plug-in)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics



Dance of the Demon

1898



Music by: Eduard Holst
Cover artist: Unknown

 

Our Gallery that month also included this "Grand galop de concert," a piano solo piece that is challenging and rather lengthy. At six pages and some repeats, it can be a challenge for all but the most advanced players. The cover certainly depicts a rather demonish scene, probably the gates of hell but the music is different. Expecting the work to be somewhat dark and scary I've found that it is actually a rather bright piece that contains little if any foreboding. It is almost spritely and would make just as good a dance for sprites, elves and fairies as demons. Now that's my opinion, you may differ.

 

A short Allego introduction of triplets leads to a short Presto and then the main theme marked Tempo di Galop. The galop begins with a 16 bar repeated section that has a long descending group of 16th notes followed by a short interlude, then another scale. The piece continues on with lots of octaves and sections of bright 16th notes with an embedded melody. At measure 96 we come to a con fuoco section with marcato bass that is perhaps the only "darker" portion of the piece. The theme is repeated in bariolage. We then come home to the original theme and coda.

 

Eduard Holst may be the Denmark born (b. 1843 Copenhagen.- d. 1899 New York, NY) playwright who also managed to find time to compose. According to accounts of the time, he was a very versatile man who was an actor, dancer, dance master, playwright and composer. His compositions include songs and piano solo works though a catalog has proven elusive. We have three of his works in our collection, Bloom & Blossom, (scorch format) a Waltz (1887) and Autumn Leaf, a Polka for Children also from 1887 and a part of a six work series for children titled Shower of Melodies published by White Smith Music in Boston. His other work we have is a far cry from a child's work and is in fact a complex and fantastic work titled Dance of The Demon (MIDI) in 1888. Among his other works are Marine Band March and Battle of Manila (1898). Holst also composed a comic opera, Our Flats and a comedy, Hot Water. Though we can only find a few of his works listed in various sources, he was quite prolific and a 1908 biography states he produced over two thousand works.

 

Listen to this great old piano concert piece( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics (There are no lyrics for this piece)



Black Hawk Waltz

1877



Music by: Mary E, Wails
Cover artist: Unsigned

 

Of all the works we've published over the years, none other has generated the interest or sales of reproductions that this most famous 19th century waltz has. We continually receive requests for copies or just letters from people telling us how meaningful the work was to them, their parents or grandparents. Apparently, the song was wildly popular for many years and we've found publication of this work that extends well into the 20th century. Not only was it popular just to listen to but countless piano teachers apparently used it as an important teaching piece. I wonder now why we never have till now produced it in Scorch format with at least some history.

 

Based on the story of the famed Chief Black Hawk (1767–1838) and the Black Hawk war of 1832. That war by the way was the only military combat experience of Abraham Lincoln. The war was precipitated by the US seeking room for expansion set out to evict the Sac and Fox tribes from Illinois. After several years of skirmishes, Black Hawk and 400 warriors took a stand. The last battle of the war took place on the Bad Axe River, where Black Hawk was attacked by troops and a Sioux war party. Trapped, he displayed a white flag, but this was ignored and almost all of his band, including women and children, were wiped out. Black Hawk himself escaped, surrendered to the Winnebago, was turned over for imprisonment, and was released in 1833 to return to the pitiful remnant of his tribe and his family in Iowa. Lorado Taft's colossal statue (1911) near Oregon, Ill., has come to be known as the Black Hawk Monument. After the war Black Hawk became a folk hero. Walsh wrote this piece no doubt in honor of him.

 

Mary E. Walsh has fared much less well than both Black Hawk and her fabulous waltz. Little if anything can be found about her life and works.

 

Listen to this famous and popular old waltz (Scorch plug-in required)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics (There are no lyrics for this work)



My Rose of Waikiki

1917



Music by: Earl Burtnett and Jos. A Burke
Lyric by: J. E. Dempsey
Cover artist: J. Dember

 Over the years we've featured many Hawaiian works, especially in our two features about Hawaiian related songs, first in December of 1998 where we displayed this work again and said; "Surely Waikiki is the name and beach that for many people defines Hawaii. Pictures of Waikiki with Diamondhead in the background represent the beauty and attraction of the islands. This song, though not a memorable tune is another attempt to romanticize Hawaii through music. The cover is fascinating and is one of the more beautiful in the collection. Artistically it is a nice depiction of a serene tropical moonlit beach. Once again, I could not resist adding the steel guitar sound." We issued a second set of Hawaiian themed songs the following December of 1999. The cover of this work is one of the best

 

For this update we've again used steel guitar for the voice line and present it now in the Scorch format. The song really does capture the "Hawaiian" style and feel; much more so than many of the so called Hawaiian songs of the era. Most were so far from a true reflection of Hawaiian music as to be nearly criminal. Of course the music was largely based on stereotypes and misconceptions. However, the public cared not for most had never been to Hawaii and for them the stereotypes were reality. This is one of the better such songs.

 

Earl Burtnett (b. 1896, Harrisburg, IL - d. 1936, Chicago) Perhaps best known as a popular band leader in the 20s and 30s, Burtnett also was a pianist in jazz bands, arranged music for Art Hickman and wrote many very popular works, several of which are well known today. Educated at Pennsylvania State College, he arranged music for Art Hickman and his band till 1929 when he took over the band. Their good ensemble sound assured them of play in some of the leading ballrooms in the Midwest including the Drake Hotel in Chicago. His many songs include; Canadian Capers (1915), Down Honolulu Way (1916, ) Do You Ever Think Of Me? (1920), Leave Me With a Smile (1921), Mandalay (1924) and 'Leven Thirty Saturday Night (1930). Unfortunately, Burtnett's career was cut short by his untimely death at only age 39.

 

Listen to this grand old Hawaiian tune (Scorch plug-in)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics



Harmony Bay

1914



Music by: Terry Sherman
Words by: J. Brandon Walsh
Cover artist:

 

This is another oddity for us. We not only published just the cover and a MIDI of this great work in our '97 gallery but again in the December '98 gallery. Neither time did we include any other information. The cover on this piece is a terrific one by an unknown but talented artist. The fellows in the inset photo are "Hines and Fox," one of the many popular at the time but now unknown Vaudevillians of the era.

 

The song is a wonderful harmonious one with echoes of such great songs as Moonlight Bay or Shine On Harvest Moon. As with most songs of the era we hear an introduction of the chorus melody and a two measure vamp to get ready for the verse. The verse is short and sweet but it is the chorus where this piece hits it's stride. Using grace notes in echoing passages following each passage, it takes on a sublime and joyous nature that make you want to sing along with a smile. It is a great song that brings with it memories of days gone by and a touch of nostalgia.

 

Terry Sherman is credited with several songs from 1912 - 14 but none after or before. I've not found any biographical information. Among his published songs are: Pawnee Dear (1913), By The Old Wishing Well (1913), Harmony Bay (1914) and the Boogie Man Rag (1912), published in a rag and song version.

 

J. Brandon Walsh is another songwriter who has left us with a sunstantial number of published works but for whom little can be found about his life. Among his published songs are: Irish Tango (1914), Happy Days (1913), When It's Springtime In Virginia, (1913), Telephone For Me (1914), Forest Queen (1913), Harmony Bay (1914) and Teasin' (1922)

 

 

 

Listen to this sweet old song (Scorch plug-in required)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics



The Fate of the Titanic

1912



Music by: Delbert Rhoades
Words by: Rhoades
Cover artist: unsigned

 

We first featured this song of course in the '97 gallery but later resurrected it in 2001 for our issue on Boats, Ships and Songs of the Sea. In that issue we said: "Whenever we think of ships and the sea, thoughts of the Titanic cannot be far from mind. Several of the songs this month speak to the dangers of the sea (Des Seemanns Los, The Ship That Never Returned, We Were Shipmates, Jack and I) and of course those who go down to the sea in ships face the prospect of never returning home. This work is one of many songs written in 1912 to commemorate the loss of the Titanic. It is one of the rarer works as it was published by the author as publisher in Mendon, Ohio. Mendon is a small town in Northwestern Ohio near the Indiana border. Mendon boasts a population of 717 and covers a land area of less than a square kilometer.

 

The song carries a wonderful sentiment but I have to admit that musically I can see why it has not survived. Though the melody is a very pleasant one, the song suffers from the continued repetition of the short phrase and wears thin very soon. As an historical document, this song is an important part of the transportation category of sheet music. Obviously Mr. Rhoades was moved by the incident and wrote this touching song as a tribute to those who died. We offer you this piece in the same way, as a tribute to the sea and those who have risked and lost their lives. We began this month's feature with a song that saluted a ship that never returned, we end it with the same.

 

Delbert Rhoades was a longtime resident of Mendon, and was a piano tuner by trade. He also repaired watches, even though he was legally blind! In searching for information about Mr. Rhoades, I did make contact with some current Mendon, Ohio residents who were kind enough to find some information for us. The following information was kindly provided by Mr. Rex Emans;

"John Maurer (78 years old) Still runs the Hardware Store in Mendon, remembers (Del) playing cards in the furniture store ( morgue in back room). He was legally blind ,but could see some if held cards REAL close to his eye, He ALWAYS wore a Derby hat , suit and vest , dressed up all the time. Was clean shaved. Never married , but rumor has it he dated Clara Rager. He lived with a John Maurer who said Del also was a watch repairman , Said he held the watch real close to his eye and could fix them., but was a good piano tuner and repairman."

 

Listen to this rare Titanic song (Scorch plug-in)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics



Twentieth Century

1911



Music by: J. Messina
Cover artist: unsigned

 

Here is another piece that managed to be exposed twice in a gallery but never as a featured item. It is a fairly straighforward ,march item but unique in that it celebrates the turn of the 20th century and it's musical tone. Though in 1900, most music followed traditional harmonic style, a modern movement was beginning to emerge, not in popular music but in classical. Composers such as Stravinsky were just beginning to emerge with music that was less harmonic and less tonal (atonal, without a tonal center) than the music that came before it. Harmonically, more dissonance was emerging which made the music somewhat less pleasing to the ear but was viewed as "modern."

 

Messina manages to give some hints of these trends in this march. The music still is tonally based but Messina manages to include some dissonance and offers some chromatic progressions that hint of the modern age in classical music (and jazz) that was about to blossom. It is an interesting work.

 

 

J. Messina could be Joe Messina but the two are listed separately in most library collections and there is no cross duplication in the titles attributed to them. "J." has a number of later works attributed to him as composer and several where he is credited as the arranger. The original works by him include the Twentieth Century (1900), Love and Passion (1902), In The Valley of Roses With You (1919) and Wayside Chapel Reverie (1930). He arranged a number of other popular works including one arrangement of the famous Robin's Return in 1926.

 

Listen to this great old march( Printable using the Scorch plug-in)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics (There are no lyrics for this work)



The Burning of Rome

1908



Music by: E. T. Paull
Cover artist: Litho by A. Hoen

 

This final work is also from the gallery section of that early 1997 issue. One of the most published of E. T. Paull's marches, copies of it abound. Unlike many of his works that often sell for over $100, the commonness of this one rarely gets more than a few dollars. Regardless of sheet music value, the music within is priceless. One of the two early Paull marches (the other was Ben Hur) that established his reputation, it is probably the most well known of all his works. It also follows the formula that Paull established of tying themes to actions in a storyline. Paull may have adopted the idea of a piece of music reflecting events or places from the classical idea of a tone poem but it certainly was unique in popular music.

 

Paull often included "descriptives" with his works that gave a preview and outline of the story that the music was to convey. He included text cues in the score as a new musical passage appeared that described the link. For example in this piece he includes themes described as; "Dash of the charioteers for position, The Race, Parade of the Victors, Evening song of the Christians," and "People in Panic." Each musical theme reflects the emotion, urgency and actions of the descriptions. It really is quite a show and probably explains some of the popularity of his marches. He used this device in almost all of his marches. We've included the full cover image, "explanitory" page and last page in the Scorch version of this song so you can appreciate his approach. The file is over 4MB so be patient as it loads, it's worth the wait.

 

E.T. (Edward Taylor) Paull (February 16, 1858 - November 27, 1924) Was the son of Virginia farmers and started his musical career as manager of a music store, selling pianos and organs in Martinsburg , Virginia around 1878. It is unclear as to his activities for the next 20 years but his first successful march was The Chariot Race or Ben Hur March (MIDI) in 1894. The great success of this march caused Paull to begin a steady stream of works. He started his own publishing company around this same period and continued publishing under his name till his death (at which time the company was bought and continued to publish under the same name for two years afterward). Though best known today for his marches, Paull did write other works and even wrote one piece for silent film Armenian Maid in 1919. Marches were wildly popular and though Paull was capable of composing fine works, he often obtained works by others and arranged them and released them under his banner. This work is one such work. His last work was the 1924, Spirit Of The U.S.A., copyrighted just six weeks before his death. See our in-depth biography of Paull as well as our two features on his music from July 2001 and June 1998 to learn more about this man and his music.

 

Listen to this popular Paull march (Scorch plug-in)

Listen to MIDI version

Lyrics (There are no lyrics for this piece)


This article published October, 2006 and is Copyright © 2006 by Richard A. Reublin and The Parlor Songs Academy Text, images or music may not be reproduced in part or in total without express written permission of the author or an officer of the corporation. Though the songs published on this site are often in the Public Domain, MIDI renditions are protected by copyright as recorded performances.

Thanks for visiting us and be sure to come back again next month to see our new feature or to read some or all of our over 120 articles about America's music. See our resources page for a complete bibliography of our own library resources used to research this and other articles in our series.

 

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