The Parlor Songs MIDI Collection
May, 1998 Edition, Featured Covers
This month, I would like to salute music from an incredible collection that has been shared
with me by Don Taddia from Memphis. This collection has such startlingly beautiful covers, we have featured some of them
each month for the last several months.
Music & Lyrics by: J. S. Zamecnik Cover artist: unknown.
The cover of this song is one of the most striking in the collection. The colors and emotion in the subject's face make it a wonderful work of art. Originaly written in 1908, this is a reprint from 1913 with production by the Central Engraving Company of Cleveland, Ohio. The song is a college march that is interesting to hear but not one of those catchy tunes that sticks with you. Nonee-less, the cover makes this one of the more valuable collector's items from the period.
Music by: Harry Von Tilzer> Cover Artist: Gene Buck
By now, if you have visited our pages in the past, you have seen that Harry Von Tilzer was one of the most prolific and popular composers of the parlor song era. This is another of his many great works that clearly shows why he was so popular. The song, one of those great ragtime songs is a catchy tune that makes your feet want to move, no matter how hard you try not to let them. The song shows a definite Cuban influence and is reminiscent of the works of the great Cuban composer Louis Gottschalk.
Music and Lyrics by: Dave Reed, Jr. Cover artist: unknown
The song within this cover is an interesting, spritely march that is intended to be reflective of African music. In listening to it, it is hard for me to see much connection, other than that in the composer's mind. At the turn of the century and into the 20's, there was a popular style of music called "blackface". Though much of the music is excellent, in today's society, the covers and lyrics represent an embarassing look at the civil rights abuses of the past. Dave Reed Jr. wrote a number of works in this genre. The lyrics are insensitive and reflective of the stereotypes of the times.
Music by: Irving Berlin Lyrics by: Grant Clark & Irving Berlin Cover artist: John Frew & Irving Berlin
This work illustrates the greatness of Irvin Berlin. Not only was he a great composer but here we have him as lyricist and even a cover artist. This is the only work of it's kind by Berlin that I have found where he was compser, lyricist and artist. There were other composers who are notable for their cover art also such as the great E.T. Paull, but most from this period were focused as either composers or lyricists. As with any Berlin song, the music is captivating and rhythmically invigorating, be sure to listen to this one.
Music & Lyrics by: Charles K. Harris Artist: Van Alten
This short little sad song is enough to bring tears to your eyes. It tells the story of a little girl suffering over the loss of her momma and her father's remarriage to someone new.
"There's another picture in my mamma's frame. It's some other lady's, her smile is not the same."
Sad stuff indeed, but a reflection of the romantic times when the song was written.
Listen to this heart rending ballad.
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