West Side Story Redux

I see that the musical, West Side Story, is coming back to Broadway, where it started over sixty years ago. Of course this isn't exactly an earth-shaking event, since it has been revived several times before, but it got me to reminiscing. No, I didn't see the original stage show. In fact as a clueless … Continue reading West Side Story Redux

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