From the Library: Between The Wars

in Radio Riel Main

by Elrik Merlin on Tuesday, 30 September, 2008

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 – 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 produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with the Caledon Library in Second Life. Today’s programme was produced by Elrik Merlin.

For more information on the Caledon Library, current exhibits and the work of Second Life reference libraries in general, please visit the Caledon Library Web site, or one of their locations in-world.

You can listen now at — the ideal URL for you to use in your home parcel media address in-world — or simply visit any Caledon Library branch in-world and press Play on your embedded music player.


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