From the Library: Between the Wars

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Monday, 15 June, 2009

Today in our From The Library spot, Elrik Merlin presents a programme of music from the period between the First and Second World Wars – from big bands to ballads and movie soundtracks – featuring restored original recordings.

Following the First World War, everything had changed and the society of the early part of the century would never return. But despite the rigours of the Depression, people still knew how to have fun, and the popularity of mass entertainment – whether it was live music, wireless, gramophone record or movie, reached an all-time high.

The music had changed, too, with the advent of new dances, swing, and the start of the big band era. In today’s programme, you’ll hear amazing soundtracks from Busby Berkeley’s spectacular films, early Frank Sinatra with Tommy Dorsey, the wonderful writing of Noël Coward, instrumental hits of the period, songs that even today still bring a tear to the eye and much, much more.

Listen in particular for songs in which a significant part of the total running time from the start of a number is taken up by an instrumental or vocal section — what we would today call an extended “intro”. In fact, it’s the “verse” section of the song that you seldom hear today — followed by the more familiar chorus, which is the part we might remember.

Inevitably, without checking the release dates of each of these songs, it’s possible there’s the odd number from the 40s in today’s show, but the majority of those we’ll leave for another day.

From the Library is presented by Radio Riel in conjunction with the Alexandrian Free Library Consortium of Second Life. You can listen to the programme now at Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin.

For more information on the Alexandrian Free Library, current exhibits, and the work of Consortium members in general, please visit the Alexandrian Free Library website, or one of their branches in-world

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