August, 1998 Edition Remembering The Roaring Twenties!
Boop Boop a Doop! The Roaring Twenties was a wild time in our history; prohibition, gangster wars,
wild and crazy parties, feminine liberation and generally a period of sweeping social change. Hmm, sounds like today!
The music of the twenties reflected the times with snappy new rhythms, fast tempos
and suggestive lyrics. For this month we will celebrate that wild period with a selection of some
some of the great songs from the twenties.
No Man's Mama
Music by: Lew Pollack
Lyrics by: Jack Yellin
I think that if any song from the twenties epitomizes the era, it is this one. This may well be one of the earliest feminine rights songs
and certainly is one that demonstrates the freedom that women found during that era. The lyrics express a woman's happiness at being single,
free of obligations towards any man and her freedom to do whatever she wants. Not only are the lyrics expressive, but the tune is one that I
think is really enjoyable and a great model of the music of that era.
The Lunatic's Lullaby
Music & Lyrics by: Leslie Moore, Johnny Tucker & Edgar Leslie Cover Artist: Barbelle
Talk about whacky somgs! The Lunatic's Lullaby is one of the whackiest I have seen. First, the cover. You could spend
hours looking at it and still not catch all the detail. This one is like the "Where is Carmen" of the 20's. Then there is the music and lyrics.
Here is a sample of this crazy song's lyrics.
"I was born at night one morn and the whistles rang boom-boom I boil a cake
and drink a steak when the mud pies are in bloom."
Music by: Phillip Braham Lyrics by: Douglas Furber Cover artist: unknown
"Introduced in Andre Charlot's "Revue of 1924". I can remember hearing this song a lot when I was younger and always thought it was a pretty cool tune. It is, but when I saw the
lyrics after getting the sheet music, I was shocked. The song is basically about people smoking opium at the local opium house. As if that were not bad enough, the
lyrics are pretty racist in their reference to asians. I'll skip sharing those with you. Regardless, again we have a song that is reflective of the age and one that has musically stood the test of time.
What A Man!
Music & Lyrics by: Walter Donaldson & Ralph Williams Cover artist: unknown
By it's own admission, this song is a "Hot'n Da-Da-Da Daddy! Fox-trot song". This song is reflective of the age of the "flappers". The Flappers were the playgirls of the 20's.
They were the gals with the "turned up nose and the turned down hose". The Fox-Trot was THE dance of the 20's (aside from short lived fad dances such as the Charleston). Fox-Trots were
danced in 2/4 or 4/4 time, and used a variety of slow and fast steps. Dances of the 1920s, such as the Charleston, with its kicks, swinging arms, mobile torsos, and blaring rhythms,
reflected a euphoric sense of prosperity and freedom. This is a really snappy twenties song.
Music & Lyrics by: Roe Pettay Cover artist: unknown
"Dedicated to the memory of our departed President, Warren G. Harding". A patriotic elegy written on the occasion of Harding's death.This song is probably one of the rarest in the collection. It is a song written and published in my home town (Ashtabula, Ohio), by a home town son. The song was written as a genuine
and heartfelt personal tribute to Warren G. Harding. Harding was the 29th President of the US. Not considered a very good leader, his administration is most remembered for its corruption.
Harding died in office on August 2, 1923 of an embolism. Since Harding was also an Ohioan, Roe Pettay may have been motivated by that to compose this musical tribute.
Kitten On The Keys
Music by: Zez Confrey Cover artist: unknown
Another of the musical revolutions that appeared in the twenties was the development of "The Jazz Age". This period in musical history brough forth some of the most
talented and creative musicians of our century. The musicians of that period included Duke Ellington, King Oliver, Louis Armstrong, Fats Waller and Zez Confrey.
Confrey wrote a number of jazz style piano works that have continued to be staples of the repertoire. Among them is this work, perhaps his best known surviving work.
Another of his works, Dizzy Fingers, can be found in this months gallery, be sure to listen to it too.
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