About This Blog

Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973) was the greatest economist of my time. His greatest works can be accessed here at no charge.

Mises believed that property, freedom and peace are and should be the hallmarks of a satisfying and prosperous society. I agree. Mises proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the prospect for general and individual prosperity is maximized, indeed, is only possible, if the principle of private property reigns supreme. What's yours is yours. What's mine is mine. When the line between yours and mine is smudged, the door to conflict opens. Without freedom (individual liberty of action) the principle of private property is neutered and the free market, which is the child of property and freedom and the mother of prosperity and satisfaction, cannot exist. Peace is the goal of a prosperous and satisfying society of free individuals, not peace which is purchased by submission to the enemies of property and freedom, but peace which results from the unyielding defense of these principles against all who challenge them.

In this blog I measure American society against the metrics of property, freedom and peace.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Did You Ever See A Dream Walking? [SCANDAL ALERT!]

Written in 1933

Music by Harry Revel

Lyrics by Mack Gordon

Performed by The Eddy Duchin Orchestra, 1933

Vocal by Lew Sherwood [a "beautiful, soft-voiced singer" popular in his day]

NOTES [Beware of Scandal Below!]: The photos included in the YouTube music video below are exquisite. Some show Eddy Duchin along with his orchestra. Some are a bit more titillating. Duchin and his orchestra were a society favorite, playing regularly at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York City.
His society following made him a favorite of the leading composers of the day, and such writers as George Gershwin, Richard Rogers, and Cole Porter called upon him to introduce new songs. It was not just his music which the social set accepted, they loved Duchin as well. Among the socially prominent people he met at the Waldorf was Marjorie Oelrichs whom he married in 1933. Four years later she died giving birth to their son Peter. [From "The Big Band Almanac" by Leo Walker]
Bucking a trend -- the big bands began to fade away in the 50's and were all but dead in the early 60's -- Eddy's son Peter Duchin formed an orchestra modeled after his father's in 1962. To my knowledge, Peter Duchin and his orchestra are still doing high society gigs, performing at celebrity weddings, birthdays and inaugural balls.

You can taste the flavor of celebrity and society in the photos in the video. They include shots of golden age movie stars I can't recognize from classic movies I can't name. Note the risque pinup shots taken, I assume, in the 20's and 30's. Considering today's standards and today's brand of risque, the photos seem mild by comparison. Looking at these old photos, it's interesting to consider that sex and scandal were always a huge part of American culture. However, in the Victorian times of the past sex and immorality were not worn on the sleeve, but were properly repressed and kept private. Scandal was something whispered about. It was not flaunted as it is today by the ubiquitous, in-your-face media.

As an example, I italicized the word "Bucking" two paragraphs above as an intended pun for those in the know. In 1938 Eddy Duchin precipitated a "minor" national and world scandal:
Duchin's 1938 release of the Louis Armstrong song "Ol' Man Mose" (Brunswick Records 8155) with vocal by Patricia Norman caused a minor scandal at the time with the lyric "bucket" being heard as "fuck it." Some listeners conclude that there is no vulgarism uttered, while others are convinced that Norman does say "fuck" (which would explain one of the band members laughing delightedly after Norman seems to chirp, "Awww, fuck it... fuck-fuck-fuck it!").
The "scandalous" lyrics caused the record to zoom to #2 on the Billboard charts, resulting in sales of 170,000 copies when sales of 20,000 were considered a blockbuster. The song was banned after its release in Great Britain. The notorious number can be heard on a British novelty CD, Beat the Band to the Bar.
 [Here's Eddy Duchin, his orchestra and Patricia Norman's "Ol' Man Mose"]

Here's Eddy Duchin's "Did You Ever See A Dream Walking?"

The Eddy Duchin version of the song above starts with the song's chorus, hence it does not include this beautiful verse preceding:

Something very strange and mystic happened to me.
Something realistic and as weird as can be.
Something that I feared, somehow is now endeared to me.
What a funny feeling, odd and yet so true!
Did a thing like this ever happen to you?
 Here's a version, performed by Bing Crosby, which includes the verse:

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