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Tune of the Week: Mysterious Mose

Mysterious Mose

The Tune of the Week is back after a long hiatus, and what better tune for the last week of October than R. Crumb and His Cheap Suit Serenaders’ recording of Mysterious Mose? Cursory internet searches as to who originally wrote this tune are frustratingly vague, but it was widely recorded in the early 1900s.

Tune of the Week: You're the Cream in my Coffee

You’re the Cream in my Coffee

It was my privilege earlier this month to travel to New York City to attend the wedding of my friends H____ and R_____, a remarkable couple whose passion for exuberant and/or vintage dressing has long been an inspiration for my own sartorial undertakings. Music at the reception was provided by a wonderful pickup band of… [Read More]

Tune of the Week: Percy Faith, Theme From A Summer Place

Tune of the Week: Theme From A Summer Place

Calendar Summer doesn’t begin for a couple of weeks yet, but in the United States most people peg the start of summer to Memorial Day. The days have certainly been warm and are nearly as long as they get, so it seemed like a good time to get the Grip and Word Tune of the… [Read More]

Tunes of the Week: Splendid / All in Together by Professor Elemental

Splendid / All in Together

It has not escaped my attention that I missed my usual Tune of the Week posting these last couple of weeks, so by way of catching up and tipping my hat to this spring’s back-to-back Steampunk shows, here are two tunes by the inimitable Professor Elemental.  It’s a bit of a departure from the recent… [Read More]

Tune of the Week: Lincoln's Hornpipe

Lincoln’s Hornpipe

Abraham Lincoln died 151 years ago today, and while I contemplated selecting a funeral march (yes, there were funeral marches written for the banjo in the 1800s) I decided that something a little more upbeat would be just as fitting as a positive remembrance for a remarkable man. This tune comes from Ryan’s Mammoth Collection… [Read More]

Tune of the Week: Base Ball Polka

Base Ball Polka (1867)

It’s opening week, so what could be better than some baseball-themed music?  We’re still back in the 19th century with a lovely Jas. M. Goodman composition from 1867 called Base Ball Polka, performed here on period-style banjo and fiddle by Al Smitley: While we’re at it, let’s celebrate the season with a discount bundle –… [Read More]

Tune of the Week April 1, 2016 - Jordan is a Hard Road

Jordan is a Hard Road

Earlier this week I traveled north to play some music with my friend Marek Bennett, with whom I share a mutual interest in 19th century banjo.  Springtime is good for renewing connections and rediscovering passions; I spent most of this last winter isolated and sitting at the sewing machine, but there is nothing like making… [Read More]

The Springtime Rag - Tune of the Week

The Spring-time Rag

Today was a particularly nice day, so this seemed seasonally appropriate. The Spring-time Rag was composed by Paul Pratt in 1916, and was performed here by Tom Brier on piano with percussion by Steve Drivon. Further Reading/Listening Edwards, Bill. “Paul Charles Pratt.” RagPiano.com. Accessed March 26, 2016. http://ragpiano.com/comps/ppratt.shtml. “Tom Brier @cdbaby.” Tom Brier. Accessed March… [Read More]

Tune of the Week - Whislting Rufus

Whistling Rufus

This enormously popular song was composed by Kerry Mills in 1899 and is performed here as a banjo duet by Hank Sapoznik and Greg Adams. Classic style banjo was also quite popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but has largely fallen out of public consciousness.  Five-string banjo was not a folk instrument… [Read More]

Photo for the tune of the week (Hut Sut Song)

The Hut Sut Song

“The Hut-Sut Song (a Swedish Serenade)” is a novelty song with nonsense lyrics. The song was written in 1941 by Leo V. Killion, Ted McMichael and Jack Owens. This highly infectious recording and film short features The King’s Men. (One interesting detail is that both the older gentleman at the boarding house and the doctor at the… [Read More]