Category USA

The war is over and we have a game to play

The day is Thursday 29th June 1950 and a game of football is taking place.  It’s not quite like the games that have been/are being played in Russia as I write.  This was the 1950 FIFA World Cup that was held in Brazil from 24th June to 16th July. It was the first World Cup […]

Music and the 1920s become the 1930s both sides of the Atlantic

One of the pioneers of the raucous, rapid-fire, eight-to-the-bar piano style described as ‘BOOGIE’ was Jimmy Yancey.  Born in Chicago in 1896 he worked in vaudeville as a singer and tap dancer – starting at the age of 6 – before taking up the piano in 1915.  Although he did not make a recording until […]

Norma Jeane Mortenson enters the world

On 1st June 1926 a little girl was born and, in due time, was named Norma Jeane Mortenson.  She was born and raised in Los Angeles and spent most of her childhood in fosters homes and an orphanage.  She married at the age of 16 and, in 1944 while working as part of the war […]

The conflicts are over and a new world begins

With the end of the conflict both sides of the Atlantic took a deep breath and moved on.  The third decade of the 20th century- the 1920s – looked exciting.  It would be the decade that marked the beginning of the modern music era. The music recording industry was just beginning to develop and a […]

The world was changing – and perhaps not for the better

It’s the second decade of the 20th century and the world continues to develop and change. At this time Great Britain was at the centre of the world’s largest empire, a beneficiary of colonial resources and trade.  It occupied territory on four different continents and was at the centre of a vast trading and commercial […]

Buddy & Maria Elena – a short life sadly lost.

Buddy’s wife was born María Elena Santiago in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Her mother died when Maria was 12 years old and, in 1953, her father had sent her to live with her aunt in New York City where she worked as a receptionist for a music publisher – ‘Peermusic’.  As a receptionist Maria Elena […]

Marlene Dietrich – the Dance Hall Queen

In the mid 1930’s things had begun to unravel for Marlene.  In her films she had become typecast as a woman of low morals.  Then, her chance of change came in 1939 when she was cast as “Frenchy” – a Western saloon hostess in ‘Destry Rides Again’. 1939 marked an incredible year in Hollywood cinema […]