Academic journal article ARSC Journal

Current Bibliography

Academic journal article ARSC Journal

Current Bibliography

Article excerpt

News of Publications

M&A (merger and acquisition) activity is hot on Wall Street, and apparently it has come to the collecting world as well. After a year of discussion, and member votes, California's Antique Phonograph Society (APS) and the Michigan Antique Phonograph Society (MAPS) have decided to merge. MAPS has been struggling in recent years while APS has not, and APS will apparently take the lead in the new organization which will have about 800 members. Both societies have upgraded their publications recently, but MAP's In the Groove will be folded into APS's Antique Phonograph. These publications generally feature short (sometimes superficial) articles aimed at collectors, are handsomely illustrated, and often emphasize machine collecting. The new, larger Antique Phonograph should serve this world well.

Although only one of its articles deals specifically with recordings, a special Stephen Foster-themed issue of American Music (Fall 2012) contains some very interesting articles about Foster's music as represented in modern media, including live performance, motion pictures, and television (would you believe a detective on Law & Order: Criminal Intent singing and dancing to an 1861 Foster song?).

The interesting series "Sidemen Correspondence," consisting of responses to letters and questionnaires sent by Dr. Ian Crosbie in the 1960s and '70s to sidemen who had been in swing-era bands, continues in The IAJRC Journal. Members of bands from Charlie Barnet to Bob Zurke were contacted, and the responses are reprinted verbatim. The IAJRC has also published other thought-provoking articles recently. "Role of the Auslanders" (March 2013) argues that "outsiders," notably minorities and foreigners, were largely responsible for the growth of jazz in the U.S. "How the Taxman Cleared the Dance Floor" (June 2013, reprinted from The Wall Street Journal) asserts that a "ruinous" 30% tax on dance establishments, imposed in 1944 but continued in some form until the 1960s, killed off the big bands. So that's why big band music was replaced by "undanceable" be-bop!

An article on Liberace in the highbrow International Piano (May/June 2013) is so sarcastic and dismissive one suspects the author, Benjamin Ivry was assigned to write it after drawing the short straw in an office pool. "Given the vast amount of phoniness in the man's life ... there is no good word to be said about Liberace's recordings ... turned Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue into cheesy lounge-style noodling ... a ghastly sound experience by almost any criterion." Lighten up, Mr. Ivry!

At least, he sniffs, Ferrante and Teicher were Julliard-trained. (But then, so was rock-and-roller Neil Sedaka.)

The latest example of SAD syndrome ("sloppy arrogant, discography") is found in the latest Discographical Forum, an otherwise estimable publication. After declaring that he dislikes the "rats" that come out to criticize any new discography a contributor proceeds to proclaim two pages of detailed and definitive corrections to a recently published discography of jazz drummer Tiny Kahn. Remarkably he adds "Please don't ask me where my sources come from. I don't know it any more." Then why should we believe anything he says?

Doggies in Windows, and a Bottomless Pit of Music

Ever think you're in a rut, listening to the same music (or type of music) over and over? Recently I've been shoveling music into my iPod, which is apparently a bottomless pit into which music can be endlessly poured without it ever getting full. But it was largely the "same stuff" I've always listened to, so I decided to take the opportunity to locate and load the entire top 20 (or sometimes the top 100) most popular records from each year, regardless of whether they had previously been on my "playlist." They came from CDs (easy to load), LPs, 78s, even cylinders (not so easy). There was plenty of space for them, but the moment of truth arrived when I encountered Patti Page's 1953 smash hit "(How Much Is That) Doggie in the Window," which seems to be everyone's favorite record-to-hate. …

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