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Popular Song and Dance 1912

Discussion in 'Amusements & Diversions' started by Shelley Dziedzic, Jul 1, 2002.

  1. Every generation seems to have its own music and memorable dance crazes. Looks like I will be catapulted back into my misspent youth with the jitterbug and You Ain't Nothin' But A Hound Dog. I found this link today which addresses much of the pop culture of 1912- especially amusing were the funny dances like the Lobster Rag and the Castle Walk- and we thought the Swim, Twist, frug and Mashed Potatoes were hot stuff! The first link is an absorbing account of THE dance team of the time-Irene and Vernon Castle. The second will give a good list of popular tunes-some of which we are still crooning today-had no idea Oh You Beautiful Doll was written in 1911- and then, where would we be without Irving Berlin? Got a favorite 1912 tune?
    http://www.paragonra gtime.com/castle.htm l
    http://www.paragonra gtime.com/discs.html
  2. The Maxixe (pronounced "Ma-sheesh"), named for the prickly part of a cactus, was a Brazilian dance exhibited in the US in 1910. It was not introduced to Paris until 1912 at which time it became hugely popular. Edison recorded the rythmic "rumba" type tune that accompanied the Maxixe in the US in 1914.

    The Maxixe's Titanic connection is of course that it was the music which Edith Rosenbaum Russell's toy pig played when its tail was twisted. She famously soothed the frightened children in her lifeboat with the tune, playing it over and over. One wonders, however, whether the adults appreciated the monotony! happy.gif

    Here it for yourself:

    http://nico.library. ucsb.edu/cylinders/C USB-CYL0023a.mov
  3. Pat Cook

    Pat Cook Guest

    Slight typo there - whenever Geoff or I dance, it's a tangle, not tango.

    As ever and ever,
  4. Bob Cruise

    Bob Cruise Guest

    I find the music of 1912 extremely intriguing. Coming as it does near the start of the 20th century, it sits between what we consider "classical" and "modern". So - sometimes I hear jazz, sometimes I hear strictly "old-fogey".

    As enjoyable and familiar as this music is, however, we of the 21st century must regard it in the light of its uncertain beginnings.

    Consider: although the then-newly-evolving genre of "ragtime" sounds pleasing to our ears (both in its own right - "Alexander's Ragtime Band" - and for what it portends), it is interesting to note what L. Frank Baum wrote in 1913's "The Patchwork Girl of Oz" (one of the many sequels to his hugely successful "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"). Says one character of ragtime: "It's enough to drive a crazy lady mad."

    My favorite 1912 hit?

    "Lily of Laguna"

    This song is #21 on the CD "Titanic: Music as Heard on The Fateful Voyage" (available from Rhino Records)

    "Lily of Laguna"' is a tune of the "cakewalk" genre, the origin of which, as the American Heritage Dictionary describes, is "a promenade or walk, formerly executed as entertainment by American blacks in which those performing the most complex and unusual steps won cakes as prizes."


    They don't write 'em like they used to!!!
  5. Yes Shell, You caught us at our weekly Tango class, our instructor says we are doing very well - next week it's Cook's turn to lead!

    p.s. Heard from Behe last week - still as objectionable as ever I'm afraid! Even tried to suggest that pink really wasn't Cook's colour for a ball gown!

  6. I'd go for the Turkey Trot, I was 25 before I realised that they don't still do it in discos!

  7. Dave Moran

    Dave Moran Member

    They don't do it ANYWHERE !!!

    Indeed, if you do it in Utah you get strapped down on 'Ole Sparky' and they run the National Grid through you...
  8. Hey Dave, Sounds like my kinda place! Wonder what they'd make of my "Dashing White Charger"? Doesn't really bear dwelling on does it??

  9. On eBay there are some picture postcards of couples doing the Maxixe, circa 1912. As the poses reveal, this was no timid dance.
  10. Pat Cook

    Pat Cook Guest

    Sir Geoffrey penned: "Heard from Behe last week - still as objectionable as ever I'm afraid! Even tried to suggest that pink really wasn't Cook's colour for a ball gown!"

    Oh, he's still upset because I made fun of that chartreuse chiffon he had on - I mean, REALLY! - Pastels are SOOO out!

    In glorious Technicolor,
    Cook, in a flowing lavender robe with epaulets.
  11. Cook, exactly WHICH lavender robe are you wearing? I swear if Phil doesn't stop passing that damn kimono around, I'm going to be forced to tell that he wears peekaboo-lace knickers... oops. happy.gif
  12. And pray Randy, what's wrong with peekaboo knickers? I've been wearing 'em for years, although in my case there's a darned sight more "boo" than "peek"!!
  13. !!!!!!!!!! happy.gif all the better my dear Sir to go with your - what was that? - your hairy toes!
  14. Pat Cook

    Pat Cook Guest

    And he wonders why I look better in a ball gown!
  15. Somebody once said that the only thing I'd look good in is a shroud! One with a tear in (Turin) get it? Oh, please yourselves!
  16. Ragtime lives on! At last I have the perfect ensemble for the Gilded Age convention in Newport in April. At last the intricacies of the Grizzly Bear and Lame Duck shall be revealed. Geoff, Old Twinkletoes- shall we tango? You may clench the rose in your teeth- now if we only had 4 good knees between us. . .
  17. Shelley me dear, I'll clench the rose between my teeth with pleasure - but nobody will see it in my pocket!

    Geoff (swatting up on his "Bunny Hug".)
  18. John Clifford

    John Clifford Member

    Reading these posts, I'm reminded of the big dance tunes that I remember, and often resurface:
    1. "The Hokey Pokey";
    2. "The Chicken Dance"; and,
    3. The "New York, New York" kickline.
    What will future generations think of those pieces, along with the "Y-M-C-A" spelling move, and "The Macarena"?

    RE: "where would we be without Irving Berlin?". Besides the obvious answer that "someone else would have had to write 'God Bless America' for Kate Smith to perform", we might not have had the famous GI piece, "Oh How I Hate To Get Up In the Morning" (yes, I often feel that way @ 6:15 AM). happy.gif
    BTW, Irving Berlin once performed "Oh How I Hate To Get Up In the Morning" at a GI benefit: a soldier turned to another, and said "I'll bet the composer is now spinning in his grave, after hearing HIM sing that piece".

    Also, Shelly, how many of the Irving Berlin stamps have you now bought?
    This can be our true "fan appreciation statement": buy out the new U.S. postage stamp issue. That happened with the Snoopy stamps, last year.

    My favorite 1912 tunes, from Ian Whitcomb's CD:
    1. "The White Star March";
    2. "The Glowworm";
    3. "The Merry Widow Waltz"; and
    4. "I Love To Be Beside the Seaside".

    John Clifford
  19. Thanks John- I had not seen the Irving Berlin stamp- am on my way to the post office!