...in 1946, singing "Sentimental Journey"
with the Les Brown Orchestra
Nostalgia triggered by
a PBS musical special
By AUDREY YEAGER-MOORE
Not long ago, public television ran a wonderful special featuring the vocalists of the 1930s and 1940s, along with the bandleaders who were just as well known as the singers in those days.
It's odd how those talented people can still move us as we once more stroll down the years, re-living memories that once again seem such a vital part of our lives.
Once more I was caught up in the swirl of warm summer evenings, walking to Wilson's ice cream shop with a young man, holding hands all the way, not dreaming that soon one of those sun-browned hands would belong to my future husband.
All the sweetness of those years was indelibly pressed down upon a dream that never quite disappears--a dream away from reality. And, at 80 years of age, it seems more real than reality.
The trumpets, the saxaphones, the flutes and all the rest. They accompanied a
single voice or a pair of voices or maybe a trio of sisters, a male quartet or a whole
chorus. It was the Sound of Music of our time--and didn't we love it? Can today's
music compare in any way? Honestly, I don't see how.
There was Doris and Ella and Bing and Frank and the bands of Glenn and Benny and so many more.
They're playing "In The Mood" and "Mood Indigo," "Stars Fell On Alabama"
My step-mother played piano for my dad's group of musicians and whenever the sheet music for a new song came out, she took us to the big department store where she purchased the latest tunes. It wasn't long before she had it down pat. I did thr same with the lyrics. No wonder I had a love for the "swing."
There were many silly pieces, too. I mean, if you think some of the tunes of today are silly, you need to hear some of the stuff we used to hear, like "Open the Door, Richard" and "Pistol Packin' Mama" and "Mairzy Doats." Maybe we had those silly tunes to cheer up the American boys who were fighting around the world. What's their excuse for silly tunes today? Well, we still have lots of young Americans fighting all over the world, don't we? I guess they need cheering up, too.
But it was that soft romantic stuff that pulled our emotional chain and we never seemed to get enough of it. Hope you agree. I sat in front of the TV set the other night, mesmerized for a time, hoping I wouldn't have to get up and interrupt that wonderful world of make believe.
©2012 by Audrey Yeager-Moore. The caricature of Audrey Yeager-Moore is ©2001 by Jim Hummel. This column first posted March 26, 2012.
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