Music of the 20s & 30s

in Daily Programme

by Elrik Merlin on Wednesday, 20 July, 2011

Today’s programme on Radio Riel focuses on the music of the 20s and 30s.

It’s the first of two programmes covering the period between the end of the First World War and the end of the Big Band era prior to the advent of rock’n’roll. Thus tomorrow’s show focuses on the music of the 1940s.

In both cases, the programme is a mixture of predominantly original recordings plus modern performances of the songs and dance music of the period. There is also an inevitable overlap between the two programmes.

Today we will be featuring the music of two modern bands that have captured the mood and feeling of the 20s and 30s. One is Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester, who moved on from their big band pastiches of modern pop songs to authentically recreate the music of the time of the Weimar Republic, when Berlin was a capital of the arts. The other is the 14‐piece San Francisco Starlight Orchestra, which was started in 1984 by John Howard as an authentic 1920s “novelty dance orchestra”, with the goal of being true to the full instrumentation and sound of the era. We’ll also hear period music from the Mighty Wurlitzer cinema organ originally installed in the Regal Cinema in Kingston Upon Thames and now in the Brentford Musical Museum.

Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin and produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with our friends at the Alexandrian Free Library Consortium of Second Life. You can listen to the programme in‐world now at, or simply click here to start your player, if your browser is configured to do so. Listeners in the United States are encouraged to tune in using this link:

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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