A Strange Taste Of Mozart

Like most music lovers, I'm a fan of Wolfie - Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theuphilus Mozart, as he was baptized - so my ears always prick up when I hear something about him. (Do ears actually do that?) But it took me a while to warm to a strangely hypnotic song that became a world-wide hit … Continue reading A Strange Taste Of Mozart

Glockenspiels Are Not What They Used To Be

There are a lot of things that we found funny as kids just because of their odd and unusual names, and I can remember one of them being the glockenspiel. I'm pretty sure that I had no idea what it really was when I was growing up, but I seem to remember hearing the word … Continue reading Glockenspiels Are Not What They Used To Be

The Musical Side Of Ben Franklin

Have you ever heard of a musical instrument called the glass armonica? If you think you have, then you might also think I meant to type 'harmonica' but you'd be wrong. A glass harmonica is the name used to describe the process of playing music with a wet finger on a row of glasses, and … Continue reading The Musical Side Of Ben Franklin

From Russia With Love. . .Songs

I always thought there were some similarities between "April In Paris" and "Autumn In New York" but I didn't realize until recently that both romantic ballads were written by the same guy, and his story is a good one. Born in Russia as Vladimir Aleksandrovich Dukelsky, a name that he continued using off and on … Continue reading From Russia With Love. . .Songs

Tooting Their Own Horns — Swiss Style

Mrs. BG and I were watching a PBS show about Switzerland the other night and I especially enjoyed some scenes that featured yodeling and alpine horn playing. (I'm easily entertained.) Since I've already written about the former a few years ago in a post titled Respecting The Art Of Yodeling, it seemed to make sense … Continue reading Tooting Their Own Horns — Swiss Style

Anatomy Of A Song – A Russian Classic Goes Pop

As we all look forward to the approach of the new year (it has to be better than 2017, right?) I thought it might be a good time for another edition of one of my favorite Special Features, Anatomy Of A Song. The featured piece of music is one that has a history that includes … Continue reading Anatomy Of A Song – A Russian Classic Goes Pop

Helmut Zacharias – The Magic Violinist

Germany was a volatile place in 1931 but it did have a long tradition of music appreciation, so it's not surprising that an eleven-year-old violinist named Helmut Zacharias would find an appreciative audience when he played a Mozart concerto on national radio. But he took it in stride -- after all, he'd been performing for … Continue reading Helmut Zacharias – The Magic Violinist

Florian ZaBach And His Very Warm Feathered Friend

Not many classically-trained violinists have managed to crack the upper reaches of the pop music charts, but that's exactly what happened in 1951 when Florian ZaBach had a million-selling record with a tune about a bird. But "The Hot Canary" wasn't his only foray into bringing light classics to the masses. In addition to selling … Continue reading Florian ZaBach And His Very Warm Feathered Friend

Diamonds In The Rough – Part III

Once again, I'm offering up a handful of choice goodies for an edition of our newest Special Feature, Diamonds In The Rough. It's my not-so humble attempt to showcase some of the GMC's noteworthy posts from the early days. (Noteworthy being defined as the ones I like.) In case you haven't noticed by now, I'm … Continue reading Diamonds In The Rough – Part III

The Music Of The Sopranos

Most know by now that James Gandofini has unexpectedly died in Rome from an apparent heart attack. Not surprisingly, there are countless articles exploding into the media stream about the 51-year-old actor, and even though he had a diverse career most are centered around his iconic gangster character, Tony Soprano. We're doing the same here … Continue reading The Music Of The Sopranos