In this country we play a code of football known as Australian Rules, or AFL. It is different to all the other codes. At its best, it is the most spectacular and exciting sport anywhere. Okay, I am a bit biased, but I really do think so. Every team has a club song, which the […]
A little while ago I wrote about the Pizza Principle: do not judge the music of a country by the pizza named after it. The principle applies most obviously to Hawaii, where tourist clichés obscure a rich musical tradition. Discovering the wonderful steel guitar playing of Sol Ho’opi’i inspired me to be more open minded […]
Another star of another time, now pretty much forgotten. Carmen Cavallaro. “The Poet of the Piano”, they called him. American born, of Italian heritage, Cavallaro was classically trained but in the 1930s he shifted to playing jazz and swing in ballrooms and nightclubs. He used his classical expertise to adorn popular tunes with what the […]
There are some artists who are hard to take seriously, not because they are obscure but because they were once enormously popular. If you love to hunt for old records in op-shops and thrift-stores, as I do, you see these guys so often that you flick straight past them. James Last. Nana Mouskouri. Kamahl. Harry […]
Kurt Maier was born in Germany in 1911, and became a skilled pilot. He fought with the Luftwaffe during the Second World War, and rose to the rank of Major. He was awarded the Knight’s Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, for bravery and leadership. Perhaps surprisingly, Maier survived the war. All the […]
Trevor Stanford was born on in 1925 in Bristol, the seaport in the west of England. A man born in that time and place was pretty much certain to go to war – Germany invaded Poland the day before he turned thirteen – and he did, serving in the Royal Navy. His military service saw […]
The vinyl microgroove LP was launched in 1949. So when this record was released, late in 1952, the technology was still new, exciting and expensive. One of the many superior features of the vinyl record is hard to appreciate, unless you have handled a shellac gramophone disc. Or, more to the point dropped one. Think […]
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