Monday, January 7, 2013

Buried in a Distant Age

Suspicious patch of dirt upon a green field
What buried mystery might some digging yield?

The music, art, and fashions of bygone days fascinate me, inspiring me to imagine how life might have been in the years, decades, and centuries before my birth. This antique allure also lies at the root of my love for history. So, it is with great enthusiasm that I seek out information on these times past, from the actions of the great leaders of the age to the quotidian lifestyles of the average person.

This process of learning is like solving a mystery, like digging up buried treasure. It brings me stories and images, which, in turn, drive me to continue to seek inspiration among the hidden cultural gems of the past. Yeah, love for knowledge is a thirst that can never be quenched, an itch that can never be scratched. Yet, it is rarely painful, always beckoning and inviting, leaving gifts of insight with each step taken.

Which leads me to today's topic, the birth date of Al Bowlly. By coincidence, I was asked today about the popular music of the 1930s and his songs came straight into my mind. Although relatively obscure now, as are most crooners of the "sweet" style, Bowlly was quite popular in his day. So iconic was his voice that his music is occasionally used to evoke a nostalgic sense of the era, such as in movies like The Shining.

Photograph from The Shining (Overlook Hotel, July 4th Ball, 1921)
On view as part of LACMA's Stanley Kubrick exhibition

Well, let's dig through the years and excavate some fine music from the obscurity of days gone by. It's not forgotten now.

And here are a few of Al Bowlly's most popular songs.

"The Very Thought of You"


"It's All Forgotten Now"

"Melancholy Baby"

"Goodnight, Sweetheart"

And my favorite, "Midnight, the Stars and You"


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