Category popular music

Irvin Berlin, Bing Crosby and a White Christmas

Irving Berlin was an American composer and lyricist, widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. Born in Imperial Russia he arrived in the United States at the age of five and published his first song, “Marie from Sunny Italy”, in 1907.  He received 33 cents for the publishing rights!  Four years later […]

A man with potential appears on the scene.

Harry Lillis Crosby – better known as Bing Crosby – was an American singer, actor, and song writer that achieved great popularity in radio, recordings, and motion pictures. He became the archetypal crooner of a period when the advent of radio broadcasting and talking pictures and the refinement of sound-recording techniques made the climate ideal […]

Music from other performers who’s songs will take them into the nineteen thirties.

Albert Alick Bowlly [Al Bowlly] was born to Greek and Lebanese parents who had met en- route to Australia.  They moved to South Africa and their child was brought up in Johannesburg! After a series of odd jobs across South Africa, including being a barber and a jockey!  At the same time Al gained his […]

A story From Ragtime to Rock ‘n’ Roll

I first started pulling the pieces of this story together some 15 or so years ago.  At that time I was a tutor/speaker for the Workers Educational Association (WEA) and, among many other courses I presented, I offered ‘From Ragtime to Rock ‘n’ Roll’.   In due time I moved on, my activities changed and ‘FRT […]

Buddy and ‘Peggy Sue’ and others will be remembered.

In my younger days – the 1950’s that is – I was one of those thousands, or maybe millions, of British teenagers who latched on to the US ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll’ performers. Elvis was my number one with Buddy Holly a close second.  I can remember hearing – and then getting dad to buy – […]

A husband; a daughter and the beginning of Fame.

Last time we left Marlene, in 1922, being sacked four weeks after getting a job playing the violin in a pit orchestra for silent films at a Berlin cinema! In 1923 Marlene met Rudolf Sieber, a film professional who helped her land a part in the German 1923 silent film Tragedy of Love where she […]

Why DO fools fall in love?

Friday 20th July 1956 saw a song about the above, age old, question at number one in the UK popular music charts. Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers were asking the question ‘Why do fools fall in love?’ Frankie – then aged 12 – had written the song with a friend 12 months earlier.  They were […]