Monday, January 1, 2007

Sound and Video

Papa's Diary contains frequent references to music and popular culture, especially when he discusses the programming he listened to on the radio. Here are a few sound and video files from the Web that might help us understand what he saw and heard himself.


January 1 entry:

The Volga Boat Song was played in the New Years Eve concert Papa attended. Here's a version from Radio Blog Club:


January 4 entry:

Papa recounts the story of a young Jewish woman who plays Schubert's Serenade for immigration officials in order to qualify for an artist's exception to the Jewish immigrant quota laws. It's here at Radio Blog Club:


March 21 entry:

Papa describes how he listened to a boxing match in which Jewish boxer Abe Goldstein took the bantamweight title. We don't have any footage of Golstein's fight, but YouTube does have this 1922 fight featuring Benny Leonard, who was perhaps the most famous Jewish fighter:


April 6 entry:

"Always blues, blues, even the radio is sending me blues through the air," said Papa one rainy April day. We can't be sure what he listened to, but here's 1923 Bessie Smith recording of "Down Hearted Blues" from

And here's a recording of "Who's Sorry Now" by the Original Memphis Five from


April 7 entry:

Papa frequently says he listens to an ensemble called The Gypsy String Orchestra on the radio, and while I haven't yet found one of their recordings, this 1914, Gypsy-influenced Berkes Bela tune from might be in the ballpark:


April 28 entry:

Papa lists a number of songs the Gypsy String Orchestra played on the radio that day, among them:

"Indian Love Lyrics," which surely sounded a lot like this 1921 Edison Diamond Disc recording from the Library of Congress:

A "Gypsy Chardash" along the lines of this 1920's-ish recording by Bibor Olga Ciganyzenekara (Olga Bibor's Gypsy Ensemble) at

Papa didn't mentioned the "Gypsy Love Song" specifically, but I thew in this 1923 recording of it, also available at

On September 12, Papa used the phrase "Flaming Youth," which was the title of a popular movie starring Colleen Moore. Here's a video of Moore, who became a huge star after her appearance in Flaming Youth:

Once in a while, when Papa doesn't write in his diary for a day or two, I fill in the blanks with fictional episodes or dream sequences. I thought it would be fun to use the following Felix the Cat cartoon to illustrate a dream on October 12.

On November 5th, Papa saw Maria Jeritza in the Metropolitan Opera's production of Tannhauser. The following clip features Jeritza singing an aria from that very opera:

And here's a video of Herbert Von Karajan conducting the opening of Tannhauser:

And here's the finale of Tannhauser from (this link will open a new window)

Papa saw Madame Butterfly on November 22nd with Beniamino Gigli and and Antonio Scotti. Here's a clip of Gigli singing "O Solo Mio":

And here's a clip of Scotti singing "Tosca":

Here's a 1918 recording, via, of Frances Alda singing from Madama Butterfly.

On November 24t, Papa saw Mefistofele at the Met with the great Chaliapin. Here's a clip of Chaliapin singing "Ave Signori (Hail, Sovereign Lord)" from Mefistofele:

Papa hit the Met again on December 4th, where he saw the venerable Giovanni Martinelli in Carmen. Here's a clip from of Martinelli singing La fleur que tu m'avais jetee from Carmen.

More opera on December 5th, and this time it's Martha at the Met. Here's the great Giovanni Martinelli, who Papa had seen the previous day in Carmen, singing the well known aria "M'appari tutt'amor" from Martha:


I got rather wistful after I posted the last diary entry on December 31, 2007, and I wound up putting this video together and posting it the next day. It's just a slide show with pictures of Papa at various stages of his life, set to a song called "Indian Love Lyrics" that Papa heard on the radio (as mentioned above) on April 28, 1924.

1 comment:

  1. Thank You for sharing Papa's lovely memories...:)