Monday, April 15, 2013

Begin the Beguine

© MMXIII V.1.0.3
by Morley Evans

This version by Artie Shaw and his orchestra is one of the best renditions of "Begin the Beguine" I've heard. Cole Porter wrote it in 1935 while he was on a cruise of the south Pacific on a Cunard liner:

The big band music of the thirties and forties was replaced by three chord chonga-changa racket in the fifties. Promoters discovered big money could be made if they could get disc jockeys to play a song over and over on the radio. Over and over. Payola! That's the ticket! Tell the kids how great Rock 'n Roll is. Tell them to buy! Tell them they can rebel and be free of what binds their parents! Kids rushed to their record shop to buy a "45" for 99 cents. Millions and then billions were made and tastes were changed.

Although one can still hear something good, music generally has gone downhill ever since. Let's hope rap is the bottom and that nothing could get any worse. But don't hold your breath! One can only dream of dancing in the Grand Ballroom of the Waldorf Astoria in a romantic by-gone era. Thankfully, they still play Fred Astaire movies on TCM and clips like this one have been preserved on YouTube. Sadly, the video here is somewhat overexposed but the sound is still great!

Okay, okay. Some hot licks have been played on guitar too. I promise to post a few.

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