Share on Google Plus Share on Twitter
  1
Share on Facebook
  1
Share on LinkedIn Share on PInterest Share on Reddit Share on StumbleUpon Tell A Friend 2 Shares     
Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites View Article Stats
3 comments

Life Arts

AN UNUSUAL MUSICAL TALE

Become a Fan
  (6 fans)
By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 2 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Sam Coslow was a successful lyricist during the Tin Pan Alley era.   Two of his many successful songs were COCKTAILS FOR TWO and

MY OLD FLAME.   He, like many other successful composers and lyricists, went through a period of scrounging about the musical world in his early years, trying to achieve fame and fortune. He was involved in the following incident during this period.

In the early 1920's he was pounding the pavement like many others, trying to discover some sort of an "in" to further his career.   He happened to   discover an ad in a New York newspaper, which simply stated that someone in New Jersey was seeking "a certain kind of songwriter."   He made an inquiry, and was granted an interview at a particular address in N.J.

When he arrived for his appointment, he was astounded to find that the address was that of none other than Thomas Edison.   The quarters were richly furnished and the woman in the office greeted him somewhat superciliously, saying that Mr. Edison would be with him momentarily.

Soon he was ushered into a sumptuous office where, behind a big desk sat the man with the famous visage: Thomas Alva Edison.

Immediately, Edison remarked to him "Well, you fellows must all be very busy. You're the only one who responded to my ad!" With that, Edison continued:

"My most prized invention, as far as I am concerned, is the phonograph!   But I have a problem. I CAN'T STAND TODAY'S MUSIC!"   He proceeded to rant and rave about the lack of beautiful melodies, (and apparently wanted to hear more florid tunes of the JEANNIE WITH THE LIGHT BROWN HAIR variety.)

Edison continued:   I want you to be my personal emissary" my "talent scout"- to search for beautiful music that is worthy of being recorded for my phonograph.

When Coslow left the office he was exuberant!   Needless to say, it took little time for the news of his "connection" to hit the street, and Coslow immediately became besieged by songwriters who wished to get in on the connection to Edison.

Two highly successful songwriters of the time were Gus Kahn and Walter Donaldson.   So when they contacted Coslow, saying they had a sure fire hit they wanted to get to Edison, he consented to listen to the song, and upon hearing CAROLINA IN THE MORNING he shared their enthusiasm and could hardly wait to play the song for the great man.

Edison listened to Coslow's enthusiastic raving about this new hit-to-be and instructed him to play it on the piano that stood in the corner of his office. Coslow had played no more than a few bars, when Edison shrieked "STOP!"  

Startled, Coslow stopped playing, and Edison ordered him to play the first two notes of the song, all by themselves -" with one finger at a very slow tempo, over and over. If you know this song, you'll recall that the first two notes are used again and again and again! (DA-DA-DA-DA-DA-DA, etc.)

But Coslow played them slowly, and by themselves as instructed. He was interrupted when Edison shrieked:

"YOU CALL THAT BEAUTIFUL MUSIC ?!   YOU'RE FIRED !!

And so ended Sam Coslow's relationship with Thomas Alva Edison!

But this tale requires more of an explanation.   As you know, CAROLINA IN THE MORNING did indeed become a very big hit and there are two musical reasons why those monotonous two same notes could succeed:

Next Page  1  |  2

 

I have spent a long and interesting life involved in music, as a performer (piano,) educator (at every level from elementary to graduate school,) solo pianist, bandleader, composer/songwriter; entertainer, storyteller and humorist. In my final (more...)
 
Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Mother Machree

Danny Boy (One of a Kind!)

THE STARS AND STRIPES FOREVER (some interesting facts)

THE UNUSUAL STORY OF A GREAT HIT SONG OF THE 60'S

What Everyone Should Know About Einstein and the Atomic Bomb

How the Best Loved Song of WW I Was Retrieved...(from a waste basket!)

Comments

The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
2 people are discussing this page, with 3 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

Older music lovers routinely bemoan what has happe... by Phil Klein on Wednesday, Feb 9, 2011 at 12:54:02 AM
Here's a video of Al Joson singing Carolina in the... by Don Smith on Wednesday, Feb 9, 2011 at 12:58:20 AM
Hi, Don...It's interesting reading about your own ... by Phil Klein on Wednesday, Feb 9, 2011 at 9:00:11 PM