Eric Schaefer

The Song Alone is available in paper and ebook at Amazon. It is also available as an ebook from Smashwords. At Smashwords, the first twenty percent of the  book is available for free viewing. 

I believe I have finally figured out how to make an internal link work. Click the button to the right and enter a new world.

Chapters I, II, III and a little bit of chapter IV of The Song Alone

Musical Birthday. George Gershwin, born September 26, 1898, died far too young in 1937. Here is his pal Oscar Levant having a daydream with Concerto in F in the film An American in Paris.

What passes for modern art in Washington, D.C., or your tax dollars at work.

A missing Rubens, a portrait of the 1st Duke of Buckingham, has been discovered in a house in Glasgow. Bendor Grosvenor, known to viewers of Fake or Fortune, is the art historian who made the initial attribution.

Two Musical Birthdays. Fred Ahlert, born September 19, 1892 and Roy Turk, born a day later, September 20, 1892, both in New York City, wrote “I’ll Get By” in 1928. Click below for the Ipana Troubadors, actually Sam Lanin’s orchestra with Bing Crosby singing.

Musical Birthday. Hank Williams, born twenty years and two days after Roy Acuff on September 17, 1923, wrote many great songs in his short life. Here is an excerpt from a 1952 TV show with Acuff as M.C. and fellow performer. Williams comes in at 9:45. The second button goes to Freddy Fender, who grew up bi-lingual in El Paso, performing Jambalaya with a Spanish refrain thrown in.

Musical Birthday. Roy Acuff, born September 15, 1903 must have sung The Wabash Cannonball a few thousand times in his life. The song began life as a 19th century folk song, original author unknown, titled The Great Rock Island Route, and the lyrics were rewritten at least twice by the time Acuff and his groups sang it. There are a number of good train songs where the driving melody gives a sense of rolling down the tracks at sixty miles per hour behind a chugging steam locomotive, but this was the first and it is always fun to hear. This is the version from the 1940 film Grand Ole Opry.

True Crime. Retired LAPD detective with gambling problem turns to bank robbery.

This is an article by Mark Hulbert on the state of the stock market and the Dow Theory. To define the basis of the theory, a good that is manufactured is a good that has to be shipped when, and if, it is sold. If a stock price index of manufacturers is climbing, while the corresponding transportation index is not, or vice versa, business may not be as good as the market assumes, and a bear market for stocks may be coming. Needless to say, events always look clearer in retrospect than they did while we muddle through them, which is why the bear market may be half over before the investor can be certain that he is in one.

An article in the Telegraph about conductor Charles Dutoit.

Musical Birthday. Ogden Nash, born August 19, 1902, is known for his humorous rhymes, my favorite being turtle with fertile. But he did have a shot at Broadway a couple of times and in the show One Touch of Venus Nash and Kurt Weill wrote”Speak Low,” a song that would be on my top ten list of Broadway melodies, if I ever made such a list. Mary Martin and Kenny Baker starred in the original production.

Musical Birthday. James Warburg, born August 18, 1896, member of the famous German-American banking family, son of Paul Warburg, the leading architect of the Federal Reserve system, nephew of art historian Aby Warburg, founder of the Warburg Library, now in London’s Bloomsbury district a stone’s throw from where Virginia Woolf and Maynard Keynes once lived, and the lyricist of the 1930’s let’s wear the jitterbuggers out number, “Fine and Dandy.” He co-wrote that with his wife at the time, Kay Swift. Ms. Swift would shortly become George Gershwin’s main squeeze. Young Warburg, presumably not wanting to embarass his banking forbears, used the pen name, Paul James. Here are the Dorsey Brothers giving it the full treatment.

Batteries, present and future, according to The Economist.

The Volcker Rule. An article about the SEC’s study of the effects of the rule that was much in the news a few years ago. How high should be the wall between commercial and investment banking is an argument that will long continue.

Musical Birthday. Bernice Petkere, born August 11, 1901, called the Queen of Tin Pan Alley by Irving Berlin, according to Wikipedia. I have to admit that I always thought Ray Noble wrote Close Your Eyes, but not so, Ms. Petkere did, both music and lyrics. Here is Noble’s 1933 hit with Al Bowlly singing.

The Sugar Barons. There is no reason that the sugar industry should have any government handouts or special protections. One could say that it is another white powder that gives its consumer a good feeling in the short run and endangers his health in the long run. Here is the article on the Barons.

Dr. Robert Lustig, professor at UCSF, has been talking about the dangers of sugar for years. He has written a book, Fat Chance, and has another book coming out next month. He has many videos of his lectures posted on YouTube. This one is about an hour long and gets to the heart of what the fructose molecule does to the liver.

Gary Taubes, science journalist, most recent book is The Case Against Sugar. He, too, has many videos on the web. Here is a lecture shortly after the publication of the latest book.

Belated Musical Birthday. Miguel Prado, born August 1, 1905 in Tinguindin, Michoacan, died in San Miguel de Allende in 1987, composed many songs. Here is Duerme, sung by Pedro Infante in the film Un Rincon cerca del Cielo.

This song becomes most interesting to those of us north of the border, because the lyrics have two translations into English. Dreaming, lyrics by Anthony Stephan, (could find nothing about him through Google), sung by Al Bowlly with the Ronnie Munroe band in London in March, 1940. A year later Jimmy Dorsey, with Bob Eberly and Helen O’Connell singing, recorded Time Was, lyrics by Sidney (Bob) Russell who went on to some fame in the 1960’s working with Quincy Jones. I have to say I am partial to Stephan’s version: more romantic and more in keeping with the loving spirit of the original.

Tough times on Presidio Terrace, or We ain’t gonna be bothered with these chickenfeed taxes.

How to make a smooth cheese nacho sauce from real cheddar. Better living through chemistry.

Musical Birthday! Alfredo Gil, born August 5, 1915 was one of the three original members of Los Panchos, the first musician to use the requinto guitar professionally, and the composer of over 300 songs. Here is Sin un Amor, cowritten with fellow Los Pancho, Chucho Navarro.

Mozart’s final, and hard-working as always, months.

For certain matters there are no substitutes for pen and paper.

I had hoped to have this up and going by July 14th, but did not make it. In the spirit of good French-American relations, here is one of those 1920’s Americans in Paris singing Cole Porter. (Less than two and half years until the twenties begin again.)

Taleb on business ethics. Why Each One Should Eat His Own Turtles.